World defence update

UK shipbuilding JV eyes export opportunities

The proposed UK surface ships joint venture (JV) between BAE Systems and VT Group will look towards export opportunities in countries such as Greece and Libya in addition to pending domestic programmes, it emerged on 13 November. The JV – which is expected to have annual sales in excess of GBP700 million (USD1.45 billion) and a payroll of 6,850 divided between the two companies’ Portsmouth and Glasgow sites – is expected to come into being before the end of the year

New US Africa Command adopts a benign stance for maximum appeal and support

The United States is taking further steps to extend its influence into Africa with the phased establishment of Africa Command (AFRICOM). In a visit on 8 November to the headquarters of the African Union in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, AFRICOM’S first commander, General William Ward, told reporters that he wanted to make the transfer of activities from the three separate US commands – European Command (EUCOM), Central Command (CENTCOM) and Pacific Command (PACOM) – “as seamless as possible”

India’s Kiev-class carrier could be delayed beyond 2011, say government sources
The delivery of the Kiev-class aircraft carrier Vikramaditya (formerly Admiral Gorshkov ) to India could be delayed indefinitely, according to government sources. Russia has submitted a revised schedule for completing the contracted refit and repair work on the 44,500-ton carrier, which was originally due to be handed over in August 2008
Polish government announces planned troop withdrawal from Iraq
Polish Defence Minister Bogdan Klich, who took up his post in the new liberal government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk on 16 November, has said the administration will withdraw Poland’s operational units from Iraq in 2008. However, he said that Poland should retain a military contingent in Iraq focused on training the country’s security and defence forces

South Korea sets sights on exports to South America

South Korea’s Defence Acquisition Programme Administration (DAPA) has targeted sales in South America to further boost a successful year of defence exports. DAPA announced in October that sales of indigenously produced military equipment during 2007 had reached USD1.9 billion – a huge increase over the USD260 million posted during the previous year

German parliament approves deployments for one more year
Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, voted on 15 November 2007 to keep its military forces involved in Operation ‘Enduring Freedom’ and missions in Sudan and the Mediterranean for one more year. In the Bundestag, 414 out of 574 members voted in favour of continuing current operations. According to NATO, Germany has approximately 3,155 troops in Afghanistan, making it the third largest contributor of forces there after the United States and UK

Source: Jane’s defence journal

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