Global defence update

Future generation: US alternative energy development

In his 2006 State of the Union address, US President George Bush surprised critics of his proconsumption energy policy by describing the nation as “addicted to oil” and calling on the Department of Energy to aggressively seek energy alternatives. Sceptical US journalists and Washington-based energy analysts have since questioned whether the president who recently authorised a multibillion dollar arms deal with six oil-producing Middle Eastern regimes is serious about reducing US consumption of foreign oil

MBDA acquires BCP
European missile house MBDA has completed the acquisition of German rocket-motor company Bayern-Chemie/Protac (BCP): a deal described as a “step towards” wider consolidation in the sector. Guiseppe Snider, director of Strategy and Planning at MBDA, said on 3 September: “The acquisition of BCP is a further decisive step towards consolidating the European guided-missile industry under the leadership of MBDA.” His comments mirror those of Marwan Lahoud, who – in his capacity as then chief executive of MBDA – said in October 2006 that acquisitions were a cornerstone of the group’s strategy as “we [MBDA] have reached the limits of organic and external growth”

Australia and US near signing of technology transfer agreement
Australia and the US are set to sign an agreement later this week that would allow Australia easier access to US military technology. The agreement is due to be signed between Australian Prime Minister John Howard and President George Bush on the fringes of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meetings taking place in Sydney until 9 September
UK begins handover of Basra to Iraqi forces
The British Army has pulled out of Basra Palace, its last base in Basra city, in order to consolidate its troops at Basra Airport and begin handing over security of the city to the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). “The Iraqi Security Forces want to take full responsibility for their own security and the handover is a step towards that goal,” said a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement

Khamenei appoints new head of IRGC

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has unexpectedly replaced the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) at a time of mounting tensions with Washington. State television said IRGC commander General Yahya Rahim Safavi would be stepping down to become a special military advisor to Khamenei and would be replaced by IRGC General Mohammad Ali Jaafari

Source: Jane’s defence journal

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