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Re: Take UK troops out of Iraq, senior military told ministers

This is on typhoon, since no Austrian thread, I figure I will put this here.
Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang
Schuessel's People's Party suspended coalition talks with the
Social Democrats after they pushed through the formation of a
parliamentary committee to re-examine whether the country should
buy Eurofighter GmbH jets.
``The basis necessary for a trusting and fruitful
cooperation'' with the Social Democrats ``has been seriously
called into question,'' Schuessel said last night after a party
meeting. Schuessel will now call on Austrian President Heinz
Fischer to decide on how to proceed, the People's Party said.
The Social Democrats, who beat the People's Party into
second place in elections Oct. 1 and are now seeking to lead a
coalition of the two largest parties, want to cancel a 2
billion-euro ($2.5 billion) order for the 18 fighter planes. The
Social Democrats, the Freedom Party and the Greens agreed last
night to set up the committee.
The creation of a two-way coalition with the People's Party
is Social Democrat leader Alfred Gusenbauer's most
straightforward option for forming a government. Other
possibilities would involve Gusenbauer or Schuessel leading
three-party coalitions to ensure a parliamentary majority.
``The president still believes that cooperation between the
two biggest parties would be the most sensible form of
government in light of the election results,'' Bruno Aigner, a
spokesman for the president, said by telephone today. ``The
president is in constant contact with the party leaders,'' he

`Temporary Solution'

``The general atmosphere is really bad, and in fact neither
party wants to form a coalition with the other,'' said Klaus
Poier, a political scientist at the University of Graz. ``A
temporary solution may be a minority government led by the
Social Democrats as both parties also want to avoid calling
elections again,'' he said.
Schuessel's government signed the purchase order for the 18
Eurofighters in July 2003, with delivery of the planes scheduled
to start next year. Eurofighter is a joint venture between
European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., BAE Systems Plc and
Finmeccanica SpA.
Parliament yesterday also agreed to set up a committee to
look at several banking scandals in Austria. Members of
Parliament will look into trading and investment losses at Bawag
PSK Bank and Hypo Group Alpe-Adria that emerged in March and
April this year.

Watchdog Probed

Lawmakers will also look at Raiffeisen Zentralbank's ties
with Ukrainian businessmen over the shipments of natural gas to
Western Europe. The committee is intended to investigate whether
the country's financial markets watchdog, the FMA, failed to
uncover the lack of risk management at Bawag and Hypo.
Klaus Liebscher, the governor of Austria's central bank
said today the inquiry must not call into question ``the high
reputation of Austria as a financial center.''
The Social Democrats took 35.3 percent of the vote compared
with 34.3 percent for the People's Party when Austria held
elections on Oct. 1. The Greens took 11.1 percent, while the
anti-immigrant Freedom Party took 11 percent. Schuessel's former
coalition partner, the Alliance for Austria's Future, gained 4.1
percent, also giving it seats in Parliament.

Deleted member 675

Re: Take UK troops out of Iraq, senior military told ministers

I'm not sure Austria can cancel the purchase. Well, to be more specific, it can cancel the order, but at this late stage penalty costs could easily be nearly as much as the planes themselves.


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Re: Take UK troops out of Iraq, senior military told ministers

anyhow, I really hope it doesn't, since typhoon is such a nice plane and deserves some export orders. I would really hate to see F-35 taking all the orders. Anyhow, a little bit on the aircraft carriers, looking like the projects might face some delays.
LONDON (AFX) - A multi-billion pound deal to build two new aircraft carriers
for Britain's Royal Navy risks slipping further behind schedule amid continuing
disagreements between the consortium building the craft and the Ministry of
Defence over rising costs, the Daily Telegraph reported, citing sources close to
the situation.
The Aircraft consortium, which includes BAE Systems PLC, VT Group PLC,
Thales and MoD officials should have submitted final price details Thursday, but
missed the deadline, the paper said.
The consortium says the carriers cannot be built for less than 3.8 bln stg,
up from an initial estimate of 2.8-3.0 bln.
Recent guidance from the MoD has been that the cost would be about 3.5 bln.

Deleted member 675

In relations to tphuang's last post, that problem now seems resolved. Apologies for the link - registration only.

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A program to build two aircraft carriers for the British Royal Navy is expected to go before the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) Investment Approvals Board (IAB) Nov. 9 after a last-minute deal was agreed over the price of the vessels between government and the industry alliance set to build the warship....

IAB go-ahead is the start of a process which, if things go according to plan, could see the government announce the deal, known here as Main Gate, before Parliament goes into Christmas recess in mid-December. The two sides have settled on an incentive agreement which reduces the final cost of the two 65,000-metric-ton carriers to about 3.6 billion pounds, sources say.

More up-to-date news from Jane's. Sorry, I don't have a subscription. Well, who does? :D

UK carrier project poised for go-ahead
The UK's Future Aircraft Carrier (CVF) programme has been given the green light by the Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) top-level Defence Management Board (DMB).


Anyway, it's a bit of good news. Seems like things are moving towards Main Gate, though I will keep my fingers crossed.
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bd popeye

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UK to make significant troop reductions in Iraq in 2007

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British commitment in Iraq to be 'significantly' reduced by end of 2007

By Jennifer Quinn

10:30 a.m. November 27, 2006

LONDON – Thousands of British soldiers will leave Iraq over the next year, significantly downgrading the country's commitment in the region, the defense secretary said Monday. Poland and Italy also announced the impending withdrawal of their remaining troops.
The reduction of British troops will occur as control of two southern provinces is transferred to Iraqi forces, although Defense Secretary Des Browne insisted that “handover does not mean withdrawal.”

“Even when all the provinces are handed over, we will still be providing a force to mentor and back up the Iraqi army and police, and to protect coalition supply routes,” he said. “But I can tell you that by the end of next year I expect numbers of British forces in Iraq to be significantly lower – by a matter of thousands.”
Britain has more than 7,000 British troops in Iraq, primarily in the south; At the height of the conflict, there were about 46,000. Browne said the British military presence in Iraq would be determined by officials in London and Baghdad.

Also on Monday Polish President Lech Kaczynski said his country, a U.S. ally in Iraq and Afghanistan, would pull its remaining 900 soldiers out of Iraq by the end of 2007. And Italian Premier Romano Prodi said the last of Italy's soldiers in Iraq – some 60-70 troops – will return home this week, ending the Italian contingent's presence in the south of the country after more than three years.

In a speech to the Royal Institute of International Affairs, a foreign policy think-tank, Browne also warned Iran that it faces increasing isolation if it does not use its influence in Iraq constructively, but he spared Syria from similar criticism.

“Its foreign minister – the first senior-ranking Syrian official to visit Iraq since Saddam Hussein's fall – has re-established diplomatic ties and stated that Damascus is ready to engage in dialogue, and work for stability in Iraq and the region,” he said. “But, as ever, we need to see actions to match the words.”

Browne, singling out Iran, said the Islamic republic's support of insurgents is unacceptable and counterproductive.

“Iran must start seeing Iraq not as a tool in a wider confrontation with the West, but as a vital interest in its own right,” Browne said. “Iran's interest is in a stable, non-aggressive Iraq. So the message to Iran is simple; Be a constructive partner, help yourself as well as the wider region, or face increasing isolation.”

Last week, Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Britain may be able to hand over security responsibility in the southern port city of Basra by the spring of next year. Britain also hopes to hand security control over to the Iraqis in the province of Maysan, on the Iranian border, in January.


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with regard to the Brits and JSF. They really dug their own hole by not having realistic backup options in the beginning.
LONDON (XFN-ASIA) - Britain should cancel a deal with the US to purchase
Lockheed Martin Corp's Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jets if the US does not share
sensitive technology by the end of the year, a report by the parliamentary
defence committee will say, the Financial Times reported on Friday.
The yearly report on British weapons spending, which is due to be released
today, says "it is still uncertain whether the US is prepared to provide the
required information", despite Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W.
Bush agreeing in May that Britain would get the technology it needed.
Bush and Blair had said then that they agreed that Britain "will have the
ability to successfully operate, upgrade, employ, and maintain the Joint Strike
Fighter such that the UK retains operational sovereignty over the aircraft."
Britain was planning to purchase 138 JSF aircraft that would be operated on
two new aircraft carriers by 2013, but the MPs' report said: "If required
assurances are not obtained by the end of the year, we recommend the Ministry of
Defence switch the majority of its effort and funding into a fallback 'Plan B'."
Britain has thus far committed 3 bln usd to the JSF project, a spokesman for
the defence ministry told Agence-France Presse. It was planning to buy 150
fighter jets at 104 mln usd each, the defence ministry said in May.
The defence ministry spokesman said, however, that the final figure for how
much the deal would be worth was not yet clear.
According to the FT, the issues lie in the aircraft's advanced missions
systems and its stealth capability. Britain wants key technical details so that
it can upgrade the jets without having to send them to the US.
"I have been absolutely crystal clear on this issue. Our 'Plan A' is to buy
this aircraft, but our ability to buy it depends on having operational
sovereignty," Paul Drayson, the British defence procurement minister, was quoted
as saying by the daily.
"We will not buy the aircraft until we have that."
He said that he had a "Plan B" if the JSF project was abandoned, but
declined to give details.
Drayson is to travel to Washington next week to try and break the deadlock
over the project.
The JSF has been billed as the US' biggest fighter program. The Pentagon has
planned to buy 2,400 of the stealthy multi-role fighters and other countries
could purchase another 2,000 to 3,500 aircraft.
The aircraft is manufactured by Lockheed Martin with funding from the US
armed forces along with international partners Britain, Australia, Canada,
Denmark, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Singapore and Turkey.
The MPs' report also criticises the government for its inadequate provision
for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying they are "desperately short"
of equipment, according to The Independent daily.
They also criticised the defence ministry for mistakes made in an order of
Chinook helicopters from Boeing Co which have resulted in eight Chinooks being
grounded in Britain, with the defence ministry writing off the 200 mln stg cost
"During our visits to the UK armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq we were
told that additional equipment was required urgently, such as the helicopters,"
the report reads, according to The Independent.

Deleted member 675

with regard to the Brits and JSF. They really dug their own hole by not having realistic backup options in the beginning.

Well we were supposed to have the deal already. If the US isn't making good on their promises that's their problem. They've known what we wanted from the beginning - I don't see how they could have thought lying in public would satisfy us, given this isn't about face.

All I can assume is that some problems have slowed the negotiation process, which can be resolved.

Deleted member 675

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Britain's Ministry of Defence said on Tuesday it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the United States on development of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) but did not formally commit to buying the combat jets.

"We have always been clear that the UK would only sign the MoU if we were satisfied that we would have operational sovereignty of our aircraft," the MoD said in a statement.

"We have today received the necessary assurances from the U.S. on technology transfer, which we would require to operate the aircraft safely and maintain, repair and upgrade it over its operational life."

Great news. I always thought we could get it, even if there was a bit of a song-and-dance first.


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OK well thats the Aircraft, now what about the really fancy bits, that make such a difference to capability and performance, but which do not technically qualify as "Aircraft";)


More from JDW:

Everywhere the same butget problems ...

The UK House of Commons Defence Committee has warned a lack that of equipment and undermanning could threaten UK armed forces' ability to "fight the next war".

Decisions to be taken by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in early 2007 will determine whether a number of Royal Navy (RN) and Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels are withdrawn from front-line operations and placed in deep reserve. The MoD insists that "no decisions have been taken" on reducing the readiness level of selected RN and RFA ships
Only some days or few weeks ago a high admiral I believe recommanded sacrificing some of the high-tech investment for having enough mony to employ a size sufficient fleet to carry on operations.