World defence update

France appoints a general for its Libreville headquarters

France put the finishing touches to an overhaul of its permanent force in Africa on 1 August by appointing a general to command a new headquarters staff in Libreville, Gabon, the French Ministry of Defence announced earlier this month. Brigadier General Claude Reglat took charge of French forces in Gabon as part of a re-organisation that began in mid-2006 to bring all troops in Africa under four inter-service regional commands based in Libreville, Dakar, Djibouti and the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean
Somalia calls for more support from UN

Somali Prime Minister Ali Mohamen Gedi has expressed disappointment in the UN, which he sees as not paying serious attention to the situation in Somalia. “I feel reluctance” on the part of the UN regarding Somalia, Gedi said. Pointing to the UN’s strong focus on Darfur, he contrasted this with the fact that the UN Security Council has still not sent an assessment mission to Somalia
UN Security Council extends DRC arms embargo

The UN Security Council has extended by six months its arms embargo against militia groups operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). At the same time it condemned the continuing illicit flow of weapons into and around the country. The council voted unanimously on 10 August to maintain the sanctions until at least 15 February 2008 after receiving the final report from the Group of Experts – which was also re-established as a result of the 10 August resolution – on the monitoring of illegal arms flow
Firing trials prove G-2000 range capability over M-21 unguided rocket
Firing trials performed on the Adriatic Sea coast, in Montenegro, have confirmed that Serbia’s G-2000 rocket for the widely used Russian-made Grad 122 mm multiple rocket launcher is capable of achieving almost double the range of the original version of the unguided rocket. The new rocket shows a significantly tighter hit pattern even when fired at the maximum range. According to the Belgrade-based company EDePro (Engine Development and Production), which developed the G-2000, the circular error probable (CEP) has been reduced to less than 25 per cent than that of the standard rocket
Serbia unveils details of Kosava rocket system
Serbian defence organisation Yugoimport-SDPR announced a new tactical surface-to-surface guided rocket – created by mating a semi-active laser-guided bomb (LGB) with a solid-propellant rocket motor – at the ‘Partner 2007’ exhibition in Belgrade in June. According to Yugoimport-SDPR, the system has been developed for export only. The Kosava (Whirlwind) system consists of the guided rocket, a transporting and launching vehicle, a command vehicle and a logistic vehicle

Boeing and US MDA carry out ABL’s first target lasing
Boeing and the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) have carried out the first lasing of an airborne target by the YAL-1A Airborne Laser (ABL) aircraft. The trial demonstrated most of the engagement sequence that the aircraft would use to engage a ballistic missile. The modified Boeing 747-400F took off from Edwards Air Force Base, California, on 13 July, then used its infrared sensors and its Track Illuminator Laser (TILL) to find and track an instrumented target board mounted on the US Air Force’s NC-135E Big Crow test aircraft

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