World military update

Spain begins preparations for UAV deployment to Afghanistan
Spain is to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the first time to offer greater protection to its troops stationed in Afghanistan, Defence Minister Jose Antonio Alonso has announced. The UAVs will include the latest batch of 27 AeroVironment (AV) RQ-11 Raven small UAVs and the four larger Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Searcher II long-endurance UAVs, which are now undergoing final preparations in Spain
Putin approves establishment of aircraft construction centre
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on 20 February authorising the development of the National Aircraft Construction Centre (NACC) in Zhukovsky, near Moscow. According to Putin, the NACC will include “research institutes and a united engineering centre to establish divisions of major firms working in aircraft construction and in related industries [with the aim of creating] a modern industrial, transport, social and engineering infrastructure”

Algeria negotiates on FREMM acquisition
France and Algeria are in advanced talks on the sale of up to four FREMM multirole frigates to the Algerian Navy, according to a Paris-based newsletter Maghreb Confidential , citing sources in Algiers. An industry source in Paris with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed that talks, which began with President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit to Algiers in early December 2007, were indeed under way and making progress
Vietnamese industry boss calls for foreign investment
The head of Vietnam’s state-owned defence industry sector has called on foreign companies to participate in the expected growth of the country’s military enterprises. Speaking at a press conference on 25 February to announce the Defence Industry Ordinance – legislation that will see Vietnam’s military-owned defence companies being transferred to the state by 2012 – Lieutenant General Truong Quang Khanh said the policy was being introduced to attract industrial investment
Russia plans to increase defence spending by a fifth in 2008

The Russian defence ministry is to increase spending by 20 per cent in 2008, according to a report from Russian state-run information agency RIA Novosti. On 26 February, the news service said that Russia plans to spend around RUR1 trillion (USD40 billion) of federal budget funds in 2008, which represents an increase of approximately 20 per cent, according to a statement from Deputy Defence Minister Lyubov Kudelina

Imagery reveals Russian S-400 training area
Google Earth satellite imagery has highlighted what appears to be S-400 hardware deployed for training at the Ashuluk surface-to-air missile (SAM) firing range in Russia. Located about 110 km north of Astrakhan in southwestern Russia, Ashuluk is the most widely used SAM training range in the Russian Federation

Source: Jane’s Intelligence journal

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