Global defence developments

NATO troops will remain in Afghanistan until 2009 as ANA numbers build
The number of NATO troops operating in Afghanistan will not be reduced until 2009 at the very earliest, according to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander, General Dan McNeill. Describing the ISAF as an “interim force” aimed at buying time and space for the build-up of efficient Afghan national security forces, Gen McNeill told the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on 12 September that there had been “significant” progress in the development of the Afghan National Army
ASTOR Dual Mode Radar positions UK armed forces on top of the world
As its designation implies, the Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) architecture now entering service will provide deployed UK armed forces with a long-range imaging and moving target detection tool. In terms of system development, the ASTOR programme can be traced back to the mid-1980s, when the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) launched the Corps Airborne Stand-Off Radar (CASTOR) programme, which was intended to provide medium- and high-altitude Ground Moving Target Indicator / Synthetic Aperture Radar (GMTI/SAR) battlefield surveillance capabilities for the UK military

Malaysia and US host intelligence conference
The Malaysian Ministry of Defence and the US Department of Defense jointly organised the first Asia Pacific Intelligence Chiefs Conference (APICC) from 5 to 7 September in Kuala Lumpur. Its objective was to enable military intelligence chiefs from the region to discuss methods of sharing and co-operating on intelligence on present and future threats, particularly in regard to terrorism
[first posted to – 20 September 2007]
Aegis wins major US security contract in Iraq
UK security firm Aegis Defence Services has won a major US contract to provide protective services and co-ordinate road movement in Iraq. The Reconstruction Security Support Services contract – worth an estimated USD475 million – is the largest single security contract to be awarded by the US Department of Defense in Iraq
Language barrier hampers Afghan army training
While the Afghan National Army (ANA) has a continuing need for modern weapons and supplies, the more urgent priority for the service is language training, particularly in English, according to the second-in-charge officer of NATO’s Joint Force Training Centre in Kabul. The paucity of Afghan officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) with a passing knowledge of English “makes it difficult for NATO to even identify the most suitable candidates for language and technical training”, said Brigadier General Ryszard Wisniewski, deputy director of the training centre, who added that many of the training, technical and operational manuals of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan – and all of NATO’s – are in English

Russia tests air-delivered ‘Father of All Bombs’
Russia has successfully tested a third-generation air-delivered thermobaric bomb, said the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Alexander Rukshin, on 11 September. Dubbed the ‘Father Of All Bombs’ because it is claimed to be bigger than the US Massive Ordnance Air Burst (MOAB, or ‘Mother Of All Bombs’) weapon, the conventional weapon does not have an official name in the Russian military hardware list

South Korea targets defence exports of $2bn by 2022
South Korea intends to export defence equipment worth up to USD2 billion by 2022, the country’s Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA) has stated. In mid- and long-term export plans released on 17 September, DAPA stated that its targets were to export military equipment worth USD1 billion by 2011 and to double that figure over the following 11 years
LME Eignarhaldsfelag scuppers Candover’s take-over bid for Stork

European private-equity firm Candover’s EUR1.46 billion (USD2.02 billion) bid for Netherlands-based aerospace, print and food services conglomerate Stork NV appears to have floundered after a major shareholder refused to concede to the offer. Icelandic investment group LME Eignarhaldsfelag – which built up a 43 per cent stake in Stork – indicated on 5 September that it was opposed to the deal, although the offer period was extended until 18 September to allow discussions to continue

Lula seeks new defence doctrine for Brazil
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has instructed his new Minister of Defence Nelson Jobim to create a planning group that will draw up a fresh defence doctrine. The document – to be titled ‘The Strategic Plan for National Defence’ – is due to be finalised by 7 September 2008

Source: Jane’s defence journal

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