World defence update

US military opens transit route between Russia and Afghanistan


The US military has opened its transit route between Russia and Afghanistan almost a year after Moscow first agreed to allow its territory to be used for the transfer of non-lethal NATO cargo. Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have all reached similar agreements with the United States in recent weeks following a diplomatic tour of the region by commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM) General David Petraeus





US forces in Japan face uncertain future as elections loom


The United States military faces an uncertain future in Japan, with the pro-US Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) seemingly set for an overwhelming defeat in forthcoming Japanese elections. Japan’s main opposition leader, Ichiro Ozawa, head of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), said in February that the US 7th Fleet, based in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, would be sufficient to secure the US presence in East Asia from a strategic viewpoint – suggesting that he supported the withdrawal of all other US forces




China’s defence budget set for continued double-digit growth



 China plans to increase its Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) defence budget by 14.9 per cent to CNY480.7 billion (USD70.2 billion), a government spokesman said on 4 March. According to comments published by China’s state-run news agency, the spokesman said the proposed military expenditure accounts for 6.3 per cent of the country’s total budget for FY09, which is “slightly down” from previous years




Navantia begins construction of Spain’s third S-80A submarine


Navantia has started construction of the third of four S-80A air-independent propulsion submarines on order for the Spanish Navy. Steel for pressure hull rings on the S 83 is being cut at the shipbuilder’s Cartagena facility, the company announced on 18 February South Korea joins counterpiracy deployments The KDX 2-class destroyer Moonmu Daewang is expected to sail to east Africa in mid-March as South Korea joins the multinational counterpiracy effort in the region. The 5,500-ton warship will carry a Super Lynx Mk 99 anti-submarine warfare helicopter and 30 special forces personnel in what will be the Republic of Korea Navy’s first overseas mission against potentially hostile opponents, the country’s official Yonhap news agency reported on 4 March




Indian Navy to create base protection force following Mumbai attacks



 The Indian Navy (IN) has assumed overall responsibility for India’s maritime security, relegating the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) and state police and marine agencies to supporting roles. The move – which was announced alongside plans to create a naval base protection force and procure dozens of new craft – is intended to address failings in command and control that emerged during last November’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai




Source: Jane’s Defence Journal

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