Global defence update

Italian task force builds on Lebanon deployment with expansion on horizon

About 750 troops from the San Marco and Serenissima Lagunari regiments landed on Lebanese soil in September 2006, marking the start of the Italian Navy’s largest amphibious operation since the Second World War. Italy’s initial contribution to the UN peacekeeping mission – under the UNIFIL 2 banner – was also the first operational deployment of the country’s new force projection battlegroup

Unfurling the Royal Navy’s new air defence umbrella
It is now 25 years since conflict in the South Atlantic gave the UK Royal Navy (RN) a rude and costly awakening as to the limitations of its anti-air warfare (AAW) capability, both in ‘open ocean’ and in that sea area close to land now more generally characterised as the ‘littoral’. Among the key lessons identified were the performance limitations of the GWS 30 Sea Dart area air-defence missile system

Dire strait: Taiwan looks to US for naval deterrent effect

The Republic of China (Taiwan) remains something of a geopolitical curiosity, with most of the trappings of statehood but few of the security benefits. Indeed, it is a developed, democratic, functioning and economically viable state, but virtually unrecognised officially (only 24 states have diplomatic relations), and the 23 million-strong population continues to live in the shadow of a far larger neighbour with a stated intention to invade and unify the country under the banner of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)
Afghan, Iraq experience to shape joint US counterinsurgency manual
The US military is laying the groundwork for a joint counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine, following debate between the air and land services over their visions of irregular warfare. Defence officials involved in the process told Jane’s that the goal is to produce a joint COIN manual by early 2009
Bulava-M SLBM looks set to enter production

Russian Federation Navy Commander-in-Chief Fleet Admiral Vladimir Masorin has told Russian journalists that the decision to initiate series production of the Bulava-M (SS-NX-30) solid-propellant submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) has already been taken. He also said that any problems encountered in subsequent flight tests will be addressed and incorporated in the missile incrementally during the course of production

Iran’s Qassed ‘smart’ bomb enters production

Iran has commissioned a production line for the GBU-78/A Qassed (Messenger) 2,000 lb (907 kg)-class ‘smart’ bomb. Visiting the Tehran Defence Industries facility on 26 August, Iranian Minister of Defence and Logistics of the Armed Forces Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said that all stages of research, design and production of the Qassed had been carried out by the experts of the Ministry of Defence and Logistics, which provides 75 per cent of materials for the weapon, with the remainder coming from the private sector. The minister cited the programme as evidence that Western economic sanctions on Iran had not been effective but had encouraged self-sufficiency in military-related design and manufacturing expertise
Russia reaffirms bomber power
Ironically fulfilling the mission for which it was originally designed, a pair of UK Royal Air Force Typhoon F.2 multirole fighters were scrambled to intercept a Russian Tu-95 ‘Bear H’ bomber/maritime reconnaissance aircraft over the northern Atlantic Ocean on 17 August. The resumption of long-range patrols by Russian reconnaissance aircraft had been announced that day by Russian President Vladimir Putin in a ratcheting up of Moscow’s ongoing diplomatic spat with the West: a move reminiscent of the manoeuvrings of East and West through the 46 years of the Cold War

Indonesia looks to foreign banks to finance Sukhoi deal
Indonesia’s agreement with Russia to purchase six Sukhoi fighters will be dependent on loans from foreign banks as the Southeast Asian country cannot afford the aircraft, the Indonesian Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Directorate of Procurement told Jane’s on 30 August. Under the deal that was inked between defence officials of the two countries on 21 August at Russia’s MAKS 2007 aviation and space show, Jakarta agreed to purchase three Su-27SKM and three Su-30MK2 aircraft, with delivery expected in 2008-10
Source: Jane’s defence journal

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