Defense developments

New-generation Exocet completes qualification firings
The new MM40 Block 3 Exocet surface-to-surface guided weapon has successfully completed a second and final qualification firing, according to European guided weapons house MBDA Missile Systems. In the most recent test, conducted on 25 April at the Centre d’Essais de la Mediterranee (CEM) on the Ile du Levant off southern France, an MM40 Block 3 missile flew more than 160 km while executing a typical littoral attack profile
Armor Holdings plans vote on BAE Systems deal
Armoured vehicles manufacturer Armor Holdings has announced plans to hold a special meeting of shareholders to consider and vote on the group’s Agreement and Plan of Merger with BAE Systems following the definitive merger agreement between the two companies, which was announced on 8 May. If the merger is completed, shareholders will be entitled to receive USD88 in cash, without interest, for each share of common stock owned, valuing the company at USD4.14 billion
India requests six C-130J aircraft from US

India has requested to purchase six Lockheed Martin C-130J transport aircraft from the US in a deal that could be worth more than USD1 billion, if all options are exercised. The Foreign Military Sale, of which US Congress was notified on 25 May by the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), included associated equipment and services

US pushes for tougher sanctions on Sudan

US President George W Bush announced tighter sanctions against the government of Sudan on 29 May in a move designed to push Khartoum to resolve the crisis in Darfur. The US government signalled its intent to ratchet up sanctions in April if the Sudanese government did not allow deployment of a UN peacekeeping force

Navantia on course to break even
Spanish state-owned military shipbuilder Navantia is expected to break even this year; three years after it was separated from the country’s civilian yards and relaunched as a stand-alone venture. Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy, David Vegara, said Navantia would emerge from the red and “about balance” this year’s profits, mainly thanks to achieving its biggest ever order book, which last year reached a value of more than EUR5.5 billion (USD7.4 billion)
DoD report sees Chinese focus on energy security, power projection

A report issued by the US Department of Defense (DoD) notes China’s growing emphasis on power projection within the Asia-Pacific region, as well as official concern in Beijing over the security of energy supplies. The DoD issues an annual report to Congress on China’s military power; the study is read closely for insight into Chinese modernisation programmes
North Korea tests short-range missile
US and South Korean intelligence officials have confirmed that North Korea conducted a test launch of a short-range missile on 25 May. This was the first missile test since July 2006 when North Korea launched eight missiles as part of a major ballistic missile test campaign, including a failed attempt to launch its Taepo Dong 2 intercontinental ballistic missile/satellite launch vehicle (ICBM/SLV)

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