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EADS wins $550m UAE command-and-control deal

February 23rd, 2011 by David No Comments

EADS has won a contract worth $550m to supply the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) armed forces with a new command and control system.

The deal was announced by Cassidian Systems, EADS’ defence and security division, at the IDEX defence industry show taking place in the UAE.

Cassidian will work with its joint venture company Emiraje in the UAE.

Libyan Mirage pilots defect to Malta

February 22nd, 2011 by David No Comments

Two Libyan fighter jet pilots have defected to Malta, by landing without permission on the runway of the island’s commercial airport.

The pilots, who are reportedly both colonels in the Libyan Air Force, are claiming asylum, after allegedly refusing orders to bomb protestors in Benghazi.

The aircraft, which landed at 16:30 local time, are French manufactured Dassault Mirage F-1 fighters.

The Mirage pilots reportedly only made contact with the airport control tower after they had landed on the commercial runway.

Protests in Libya have escalated since the removal of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, strenghening popular resolve against Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Hundreds of civilian protestors have been killed in clashes with pro-government forces in Tripoli and Benghazi within the past week, according to media reports.

The Mirage F-1 entered French service in 1973, and is still in French service today. It was also exported to Libya, Spain, Morocco, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and several other countries.

The F-1 jet aircraft is a second generation, Mach 2.2 capable, fighter aircraft, which was originally developed in the 1960s.

Two French-registered Super Puma civilian helicopters also landed in Malta, around the same time, reportedly carrying seven French employees of an Italian firm working in Libya.

All the passengers, who have landed without permission, are being temporarily held within Malta’s airport.

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.

Sikorsky and Alpha Star launch Saudi JV

February 18th, 2011 by David No Comments

Sikorsky has announced an agreement with Alpha Star Aviation Services to begin discussions for the formation of a joint venture in Saudi Arabia.

Sikorsky says the venture with Riyadh-based Alpha Star would provide “comprehensive military and commercial aviation support and maintenance services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

BAE wins South African MRAP deal

February 2nd, 2011 by David No Comments

BAE Systems has won a contract worth over $130m, as part of a team incorporating General Dynamics Canada, to upgrade protection and mobility of South African RG31 vehicles.

The RG31 mine resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles are battle-proven in Iraq and Afghanistan

Modernisation work to take place in South Africa includes engine and suspension updates, using BAE upgrade kits.

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