World defense update (Part 2)

Integration of DRC forces moves at slow pace
The integration of the various irregular forces, or militias, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) into the formal government armed forces is proceeding extremely slowly, according to UN sources in the DRC. This, they note, is partly the result of practical difficulties as there are only small teams of Belgian and South African instructors and directing staff available to handle integration and retraining into the Forces Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo (FARDC)
US announces fresh sanctions on Sudan

US President George W Bush announced on 29 May tighter sanctions against the government of Sudan in relation to the crisis in Darfur. The US government had signalled its intent earlier to ratchet up sanctions if the Sudanese government did not allow the deployment of a UN peacekeeping force
Moscow ready to retaliate if US builds missile defences
Moscow is preparing to take retaliatory measures if the US builds missile-defence systems in Eastern Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Washington has said it wants to deploy interceptor rockets in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic to guard against a potential missile threat from Iran or North Korea
Japan reveals name of North Korea’s R-27 IRBM
Japanese officials have recently disclosed that the name currently used by the US, South Korea and Japanese defence and intelligence communities to identify North Korea’s new R-27 (SS-N-6)-based intercontinental-range ballistic missile (IRBM) is Musudan.This name is derived from the name of the town closest to where the system was first identified in this case Musudan-ni, North Hamgyong Province.The procedure of naming North Korea’s missiles after the closest town to where they were first identified was used for both the ‘No Dong’ medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) and ‘Taepo Dong’ IRBMs.

India nears BrahMos submarine test firing
India plans to test fire the supersonic BrahMos cruise missile within weeks, in all likelihood from an upgraded Indian Navy (IN) Type 877 ‘Kilo’-class submarine.”The submarine version of BrahMos is ready to be tested, but we are waiting for the platform,” said BrahMos Aerospace Chief Executive Officer AS Pillai.The missile, which has been jointly developed with Russia, was successfully launched in April from a mobile launcher to its optimum range of 292 km.

Raytheon moves forward with missile-defence system
Raytheon has come closer to proving the feasibility of a new missile-defence system based on a modified air-to-air missile (AAM), announcing on 14 May that a recent test of the second-stage propulsion system had proved successful, writes Caitlin Harrington.The missile-defence system, known as the Network-Centric Airborne Defense Element (NCADE), is a boost-phase interceptor designed to destroy incoming short- and medium-range missiles such as ‘Scud’ or No Dong-class ballistic missiles.The NCADE uses the solid rocket motor of an Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM).

Australia targets Japan-US SM-3 development role

Australia is seeking to join co-operation and development work between Japan and the US on the next version of the Raytheon Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor, a source from the Japanese Ministry of Defence (MoD) has told Jane’s. The development of the SM-3 Block IIA – which is designed to improve the range and lethality of the missile interceptor – is currently taking place between Japan and the US, and is expected to be completed in the next few years

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