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DEFENCE
UK receives first C-17 Poland expands transport fleet
The first of four C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifters to be acquired by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) under a lease agreement with the US Air Force arrived at Royal Air Force (RAF) Brize Norton in  southern England on 23 May. The aircraft, which will conduct its first   operational sortie in early June, was formally accepted at Boeing's   Long Beach facility in California on 17 May. Poland's Ministry of National Defence (MND) on 16 May signed a Zl 38 million ($9.5 million) contract with PZL (Polskie Zaklady Lotnicze) Mielec for an additional two M-28B Bryza short-range transport aircraft for the Polish Air Force and Air Defence (WLOP).

 

NATO initiative progress lags Alliance selects TMD study contract winners
NATO's Defence Capabilities Initiative (DCI) has provided a sharp focus for nations to improve capabilities in critical areas, but allies will have little in the way of success to report when leaders gather for their next formal summit in October 2002 in Prague, according to an interim report on the DCI. NATO is set this week to award two $13.5 million feasibility study contracts for a future alliance theatre missile defence (TMD) system to transatlantic teams led by Lockheed-Martin Missiles and Fire Control, and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), NATO and industry sources told Jane's Defence Weekly.
Australia pushes ahead with extra US$12.3b spend

Australia's coalition government has delivered on its promise to increase defence spending as first outlined last year and reiterated in the 2000 Defence White Paper.

UK to launch SPEAR

The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) has unveiled a major new air-to-surface weapons programme for attacking a broad spectrum of targets at 50-100km ranges and, where necessary, at supersonic or even hypersonic speeds.

Taiwan to test-fire Patriot-2 Plus

The Republic of China (Taiwan) has formally announced its intention to test-fire a Raytheon Patriot-2 Plus air defence missile next month, with Defence Minister Wu Shih-wen releasing the news on 19 May after Washington's 'green light' for the test.


 
SECURITY We three kings...

IN A STRANGELY co-ordinated way, and largely for the same reasons, the three kings of Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia are becoming important figures in their countries' national politics. The monarchs of the three states have shared ideals: national independence, European integration, protection of ethnic minorities and opposition to communism. After years of social and political crises, the people of the Balkans now find such traits most appealing.

Ceotronics Ear Microphone EM-1

The EM-1 series ear microphone enables users to transmit and receive by speaking and listening through an earpiece. No batteries or radio transmissions are required. The ear microphone picks up speech vibrations from the ear canal and produces clear, intelligible speech sounds. It also becomes a receiver when the PTT (Press to Talk) switch is released. A complete package includes two ear-moulds, an earpiece cable, PTT adapter, and a radio specific connector. The equipment is not recommended for use with encrypted radios.

Where is Lulu Wang?

FRANCE AND China are trapped in a bizarre legal and diplomatic imbroglio that testifies to the Western world's squeamishness over China's zealous use of the death penalty against its citizenry. FOREIGN REPORT asks: where is Lulu Wang?

China's reply to America

AS RELATIONS between the United States and China get worse, the American government is applying to China its old Cold War policy of containment, as used for years against the Soviet Union. In response, China is seeking levers of power that will restrain America. FOREIGN REPORT reveals what China is doing.

 

Trouble in paradise

A SMALL but steady supply of illicit firearms, firearms parts and ammunition is being smuggled into countries in the South Pacific from neighbouring countries, including Australia, and probably also Indonesia, the Philippines, the United States and other countries in East Asia. This needs to be given high-priority attention by law enforcement agencies.

Border surveillance systems

The LRS 2000 Surveillance System has been developed by Security Design Associates to protect borders against infiltration, smuggling and human trafficking. The high performance camera and lens is capable of reading a vehicle number plate at up to 1.2km, recognising a known human face at up to 2.4km, and spotting human activity at up to 12km. During daylight the LRS 2000 provides high-resolution colour pictures and at night monochrome pictures with the equivalent performance of image intensifier cameras. Video signals can be encrypted, digitised and compressed for transmission via satellite or other telecommunications means.
The LRS 1000 gives the appearance of a standard CCTV camera, however
it is->


 ->equipped with a high performance lens/camera combination. The
system is ideal for city and large area site surveillance and is capable of detecting and tracking an individual at ranges in excess of 3.3km. Where 24-hour capability is required the system has the sensitivity of a first generation intensified camera.

Asia's new power balance

THE EMERGENCE of a post-Soviet world in which the United States is the only superpower is causing shifts in the balance of power in Asia.
Russia and China, both fearful of losing ground to America, have converged, while smaller and less heavily armed countries worry about
China's growing regional influence and strengthen their ties. FOREIGN REPORT reveals the latest move.

Modular Cobra system

The Modular Cobra from Thales Acoustics is a range of lightweight audio ancillary equipment for police firearms officers. The system can be reconfigured to suit specific types of operation for firearm users including rapid intervention, close rural observation and siege/hostage containment. The components are all fully strengthened to withstand rough usage and the extreme environments that may be encountered during police operations. The system is optimised for minimum weight, comfort and compatibility with helmets, respirators and other personal equipment. The system was originally based on the lightweight Cobra headset and has been extended to include noise excluding headsets.






TRANSPORT
MESA AIR GROUP FINALISES DEAL FOR UP TO 80 BOMBARDIER AIRCRAFT

Mesa Air Group, based in Phoenix, USA has confirmed a letter of intent that was previously announced in spring this year, by finalising an order for up to 80 CRJ900 aircraft from Bombardier Aerospace. The order, valued at approximately US$1.2 billion for the firm aircraft, includes the purchase of 20 CRJ700s and 20 CRJ900s plus 40 options. Deliveries of the firm aircraft are set to begin in the first quarter of 2002 for the 700s and for the 900s, the first quarter of 2003.

BRITISH AIRWAYS ANNOUNCES PRE-TAX PROFIT

British Airways has announced a pre-tax profit of £150 million for its year end 31 March 2001, compared to £5 million in 2000. The operating income increased to £380 million, against £84 million in 2000.

AIR FRANCE ANNOUNCES INCREASE IN NET PROFIT

Air France has finalised its accounts for year end March 2001 and has announced a net profit of Euro 421 million, an increase of 18.9 percent. The airline commented that the increase was despite the steep rise in fuel prices and the cost of integrating its regional carriers.

SWISSAIR GROUP NAMES NEW CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

The Swissair Group has appointed Jacqualyn Fouse as Chief Financial Officer, replacing Georges Schorderet. Fouse will take over on 1 July 2001. The Swissair Group was previously known as the SAGroup until it re-branded itself in April this year, when it reverted to its previous name. A new credit line of CHF 1 billion has been guaranteed by Citibank, Credit Suisse First Boston and Deutsche Bank.


Intelligence Watch Report
Pakistan - Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) The Indian newspaper The Pioneer on 26 April reported that Pakistan's military leader Gen. Parvez Musharraf is increasingly relying on the ISI to retain his hold on the country. Realizing the importance of keeping the ISI on his side, Musharraf recently promoted ISI chief Maj. Gen. Mohammad Akram to lieutenant general. Also, he carried out a major reshuffle in the ISI and the Army by promoting at least six major generals to lieutenant generals, bypassing others in seniority who have been relegated to less important positions. According to the newspaper, the ISI is 200,000 strong and hosts a vast network of informers in the Indian subcontinent and some Islamic countries. Mexico - Zapatista National Liberation Movement [Ejercito Zapatista de Liberacion Nacional (EZLN)] The EZLN has broken off all contacts and negotiations with the Mexican government, AP reported on 1 April. According to the group's leader, Subcomandante Marcos, an amended version of the Indian rights bill it demanded, which both houses of Congress passed, has failed to meet its expectations. "With this reform, federal legislators and the Fox government close the door to dialogue and peace," reads an EZLN communiqué. The Zapatista rebels originally demanded regional autonomy for Indian areas and a local government based on councils of elders and village assemblies. The amendments give Indians preference, but not sole rights, over resources.
They also protect private land holdings and require state legislatures to enact local assembly decisions.
Russia - Federal Security Service [Federalnaia Sluzhba Besopasnosti (FSB)] FSB Academy Chief Lt. Gen. Valentin Vlasov in an interview with Moscow's Rossiyskaya Gazeta in its 25 April issue said that the academy has 10 faculties and 50 chairs employing 40 academicians and more than 1,090 doctors of sciences for the training of counterintelligence officers. The training lasts five years and for six years at the extension department and five and a half years at the Cryptography Institute. Up to 40 languages are offered for study. Academy graduates as a rule are appointed to work in the same regions from which they came to study. The FSB Academy celebrated its 80 th anniversary on 27 April. Colombia - United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia [Autodefensas Unidos de Colombia (AUC)] Military forces have cracked down on the rightist AUC paramilitary group, killing three of its members and capturing another 58, AP reported on 30 April. According to Defense Minister Luis Fernando Ramirez, the operation, during which Colombian marines clashed with AUC forces at least six times, "practically dismantled" an entire front of the group. It brought the number of AUC troops captured since the beginning of the year to 320, equal to the number seized through all of 2000. Officials said some of those killed and captured are responsible for massacring up to 40 civilians in Cauca state in April.
China - Xinjiang Province -Uighur Muslim Separatists Police in the northwestern city of Kashgar, some 2,100 miles (3,360 km) west of Beijing, near the country's border with Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, have arrested 25 alleged separatists, the Xinjiang Daily newspaper reported on 27 April. The group, led by a man identified as Abuduai Nisemaiti, was charged with buying weapons, including nine handguns and a hunting rifle.
The group also received some US$16,000 from supporters and called for creation of an independent state in Xinjiang province.
United Kingdom - Kashmir Hackers calling themselves "Silverlords for the freedom of Kashmir" have broken into an internal BBC Monitoring website that links company staff overseas with the main headquarters at Caversham, BBC reported on 1 May. A message in support of Kashmiri separatists was placed on the page, which can only be accessed from inside the company but shares its server with public BBC Monitoring pages. According to a company representative, the incident "did not affect content aimed at clients of the Monitoring Service or any other part of BBC Online."

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