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Iranian warships in Suez Canal

February 22nd, 2011 by David No Comments

An Iranian frigate and an accompanying replenishment vessel have entered the Suez Canal, en route for the Mediterranean, according to Egyptian officials.

Iran says the two ships, named Alvand and Kharg respectively, are headed for Syria, to carry out naval training exercises with friendly forces there.

Israel has condemned the deployment as a “provocation” designed to increase regional tensions in the weeks following Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s removal from power in Egypt and anti-establishment protests across much of the Arab world.

The Iranian vessels entered the canal at 05:45 local time (03:45 GMT), according to Suez Canal officials.

Iran said the ships do not carry military equipment, nuclear materials or chemicals, according to Egypt’s defence ministry.

Medvedev fires deputy spymaster

February 21st, 2011 by David No Comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has reportedly fired the deputy chief of the country’s Federal Security Service (FSB).

The decision to fire Vyacheslav Ushakov for “poor performance” was made at the request of FSB chief Alexander Bortnikovas, according to Russian news wire RIA Novosti, quoting a spokesperson for Russia’s president.

Several high profile security and military intelligence officers have been relieved of their duties in the weeks since January’s Moscow airport bomb.

US Space strategy underlines importance – Lynn

February 17th, 2011 by David No Comments

The US Defense Department’s National Security Space Strategy, issued in January, highlights the growing importance of space within overall defence planning, according to deputy defense secretary William Lynn.

Lynn underlined that more than 60 years after Sputnik triggered the US-Soviet space race, at least sixty nations have now deployed satellites into space, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Security.

The US controls “less than 40% of the space market” today, added Lynn.

Thirty-seven US senators signed a letter of concern to secretary of state Hillary Clinton on Feb 2 stating concerns that the European Union is developing a space “code of conduct”, which they think could undermine US space strategy and harm security.

Lynn countered that proposals for the code are consistent with US space strategy to promote freedom of access and introduce more timely notifications of problems in space.

“We think this kind of voluntary code of conduct that promotes responsible behavior…should be viewed positively,” said Lynn.

Rolls-Royce wins $246m C-130 engine support deals

February 17th, 2011 by David No Comments

Rolls-Royce has announced two support contracts which will bring the engine-maker $246m in revenues, supporting the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft in US and UK service.

The US Air Force contract is for $203m to support its fleet of C-130J aircraft, flown by the US Air Force, US Air Force Training Command, Air National Guard, US Air Force Reserve and US Air Force Special Operations Command.

The UK Has also signed a contract extension worth $43m for Rolls-Royce to continue supporting the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) fleet of C-130J and C-130K transport aircraft.

The agreement was signed with Marshall Aerospace which is prime contractor for the Hercules’ operational support in RAF service.

BAE completes L-1 cyber intelligence buyout

February 17th, 2011 by David No Comments

BAE Systems has completed its acquisition of the Intelligence Services Group (ISG) part of L-1 Identity Solutions,

ISG is comprised of several intelligence and cyber security technology and advisory businesses: SpecTal, Advanced Concepts, and McClendon.

US-based ISG employs just over 1,000 people.

“The ISG acquisition is also consistent with BAE Systems’ strategy to grow its services business in cyber and intelligence,” said BAE.

BAE says it acquired ISG for approximately $297m. The deal was initially announced in September. 

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