Wires Brief: New Ford-class carrier, Chinese air defences to be deployed, Haqqani leader killed

14 November 2103 – London, UK

United Kingdom

Prime Minister David Cameron launched a campaign to sell the Eurofighter Typhoon to the UAE, reports FT. This raises hopes that BAE Systems will be awarded the GBP 6.25 billion before BAE’s French rival.

Europe

Romania is looking to purchase 12 surplus F-16s from the Portuguese Air Force. Romania is also seeking weapons, equipment and in-service support from the US that is estimated to be worth USD 457 million (GBP 285.8 million). Turkey has asked NATO to extend their deployment of Patriot missiles, reports Turkey’s Today’s Zaman. A spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated that the reason was that there was no change at the Turkish-Syrian boarder.

North America

The US Navy has christened its first Ford-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The USS Gerald R. Ford is the first of 10 new super-carriers and is only 70 percent complete. The carrier is designed to carry more fighter planes and will have less than 1,000 crew members. The USS Gerald R. Ford is also reportedly 22 percent over budget at USD 13 billion (GBP 8.7 billion).

Africa

Kenya’s army chief, Julius Karangi alleges that the al-Shabab militants, that killed 67 people during the attack on West Gate Mall, attempted to escape. Al-Shabab has refuted this and stated that it was a specialised suicide commando squad, reports AFP. Kenya has deployed troops with Ethiopia into neighbouring Somalia to support the transitional federal government of Somalia and regain control of the country from al-Shabab.

The signing of the peace deal between the Democratic Republic of Congo and the M23 rebels has been delayed, reports Reuters. The delay was because of a debate whether the document should be entitled a” peace agreement or a vaguer declaration”.

An Egyptian court has ruled that the three-month state of emergency has expired, reports AFP.

Middle East

Syrian rebels and government forces clashed on the southern outskirts of Damascus, reports AP. Purportedly, the Syrian rebels have been weakened because of waning weapon supplies from Turkey. Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency reports that the IAEA can inspect the Arak heavy water facility before 11 December. Iran and the IAEA recently signed a joint statement on framework for cooperation.

Asia-Pacific

Typhoon Haiyan has hit the Philippines and international assistance is on its way. Britain is deploying RAF military transport aircraft and  HMS Daring to provide humanitarian assistance, including medical relief and potable water. Canada is deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team with supplies. US warships and aircraft are also have been deployed to provide assistance.

Japan times reports that China is considering to set up an air defence identification zone that will overlap Japan’s over the East China Sea. China has not defined an air defence identification zone before and such a zone are set up outside national airspace to prevent any incursions by suspicious aircraft.

Lockheed’s F-35 is now the sole candidate in the South Korean next fighter jet competition, reports Chosun Ilbo. 15 South Korean Air Force veterans have also written to President Park Geun-hye urging her to buy stealth fighters.

Nasiruddin Haqqani, a senior militant leader and brother of Haqqani network chief Sirajuddin Haqqani, has been shot dead near the outskirts of Islamabad, reports Dawn. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson, Shahidullah Shahid alleges that Haqqani was killed by Pakistani security forces.

The UNODC estimates that opium cultivation has risen 36 percent and that production is up 49 percent. Opium prices were lower than in 2012 around USD 145 (GBP 90.7) a kilogram.  There were more fatalities in the eradication campaign 143 people killed this year compared with 102 fatalities in 2012.

Social media wires

Purportedly the  scene where Nasiruddin Haqqani was killed.

  Purportedly Syrian rebels are continuing their efforts in Hama province.

Reports compiled by  Stewart Webb

Feature photo / “Artist depiction of the Ford-class USS Enterprise” – Wikimedia Commons, 2013

The Wires Brief is a mid week breaking news report incorporating wire service news and social media updates. DefRep can not verify the authenticity of social media reporters nor the accuracy of social media updates.

Stewart is the editor for DefenceReport. Stewart holds a MScEcon in Security Studies from Aberystwyth University and holds a BA in Political Science from Acadia University. His specialties include South Asian and Canadian defence issues. He has made frequent appearances on CTV National News, and other Canadian media outlets both radio and TV. Stewart can be contacted at: swebb@defencereport.com