World military update

Russia finally pulls out from Georgian base at Batumi
On the basis of a special agreement signed by high-ranking Russian and Georgian military representatives on 13 November in Tbilisi, Russia has fully withdrawn from the military base in the Georgian city of Batumi on the Black Sea coast. Ahead of schedule, since it had pledged to pull out of the base by the end of 2008, Moscow handed over all 12 military garrisons and the related infrastructure of the Batumi base to the Georgian Ministry of Defence on 14 November

Australia’s FFG update running 4.5 years late, warns audit office
A public spending watchdog has warned that the Royal Australian Navy will not receive its final modernised Adelaide-class frigate (FFG) until June 2009 – four and a half years late. In a detailed report on the AUD2.1 billion (USD1.9 billion) FFG Upgrade Project, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) highlights management problems within the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and warns of a knock-on effect on navy operations

Uncertainty surrounds attack in Bakassi peninsula
Twenty-one soldiers of the Cameroon Army were killed when a large group of armed men in fast boats attacked an army outpost on the Bakassi peninsula, which lies between the two countries and has been a source of contention since the 1980s. According to a Cameroon Army report, at least 10 of the attackers were killed in the incident. The Nigerian Army has denied that its troops were involved in the clash and blamed it on guerrillas of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which has carried out many similar attacks on Nigerian outposts and oil installations
Safran CEO dismisses Thales merger talk
The chief executive officer (CEO) of France’s Safran last week put paid to months of speculation concerning a possible merger between his group and the military electronics concern Thales, stating that such an initiative “doesn’t exist”. In an interview in the French business daily La Tribune on 12 November, Jean-Paul Herteman acknowledged that a restructuring of France’s defence industry was required and predicted Safran would be a player in the shakeout
EU adopts strategic framework for defence R&T

The governments of EU member states have adopted a framework that could lead to a joint Strategy on Defence Research & Technology. The European Defence Agency (EDA) said on 19 November that its Steering Board – composed of EU defence ministers – had agreed on “the objectives and methods for achieving a better collective performance from national defence R&T [research-and-technology] budgets”. The framework will help to define what industrial and technological capabilities the member states want to develop further, providing a list of key technologies for investment and the forms of collaboration necessary to achieve this

China plans to export defence equipment to Kenya

China has pledged to export defence equipment to Kenya as the African country attempts to modernise its armed forces. Without revealing details of the equipment to be transferred, Chinese Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan made the assurance during his meeting with Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki on 19 November in Nairobi. A statement said that the military support “would not only improve the forces’ ability to ensure security along the borders but also enhance Kenya’s role in peacekeeping activities in Africa and beyond”
Europe focuses on better co-ordinated maritime security

A consensus is emerging across Europe that the EU needs a co-ordinated maritime security policy enabling navies to work far more closely with national and EU law-enforcement and counterterrorism agencies than in the past. Policy makers from both the EU and NATO stress, however, that more effective maritime security depends less on new equipment and capability and more on achieving tighter co-operation and interoperability between maritime players within each nation and in co-ordination with EU and NATO agencies

Source: Jane’s defence journal

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