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27 mars 2015 5 27 /03 /mars /2015 07:25
Credits Eric Gaba

Credits Eric Gaba


March 26th, 2015 defencetalk.com (AFP)


Argentina branded Britain’s plans to beef up its defenses in the Falkland Islands a “provocation” and a pre-election stunt Wednesday.


On Tuesday, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said London would spend £180 million ($268 million) over 10 years to counter “continuous intimidation” from Argentina in the disputed South Atlantic islands, which the two countries went to war over in 1982.


“This business from Great Britain is a provocation, not just to Argentina but also to the United Nations,” said Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman.


The UN’s Decolonization Committee adopted a resolution last year calling on Britain to negotiate with Argentina on the islands’ status, as Buenos Aires has long demanded.


Britain argues the islanders should decide themselves which country they want to belong to. In a 2013 referendum, 99.8 percent voted to remain a British overseas territory.


Timerman said the British defense initiative “makes no sense.”


“We are committed to dialogue and international law,” he told local broadcaster Radio del Plata, saying Argentina would file a formal complaint with the UN and the Decolonization Committee.


President Cristina Kirchner’s cabinet chief, Anibal Fernandez, said the defense plan was less about Argentine threats than the campaign for Britain’s general elections on May 7.


“They’re facing elections so they resort to cheap nationalism to put all of British society on tenterhooks over a military matter,” he told a press conference.


Argentina invaded the Falklands, which it calls the Malvinas, in April 1982, sparking a bloody war that it lost in just over two months.


The conflict claimed the lives of 649 Argentine soldiers, 255 British soldiers and three islanders.


Argentina’s secretary for the Malvinas, Daniel Filmus, said it is “absolutely not the case” that Buenos Aires plans to repeat the invasion, launched under its military dictatorship.


“Since 1983, Argentina has again lived under a democracy and forcefully insists that there is only one path to regain sovereignty, the path of peace, diplomacy and negotiation,” he said.


Filmus said Britain’s real aim appeared to be “supporting the offshore oil rigs that are illegally pumping Argentine hydrocarbons” in the South Atlantic.


Argentina does not recognize Britain’s right to drill for oil in the region, where significant offshore deposits have been discovered in recent years.

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18 mars 2015 3 18 /03 /mars /2015 08:25
The Giraffe radar is part of the British Army Land Environment Air Picture Provision system.(Photo Lockheed Martin)

The Giraffe radar is part of the British Army Land Environment Air Picture Provision system.(Photo Lockheed Martin)


March 17, 2015 By Andrew Chuter – Defense News


LONDON — Britain has taken a significant step toward updating its air defenses on the Falkland Islands by kick-starting a competition to supply a key element of a new ground-based system.


Defence Ministry officials recently briefed industry on its requirements for a battle management C4I system and have triggered the process toward selecting a contractor to do the work by issuing a pre-qualification questionnaire.


An MoD spokesman declined to confirm the system is destined for the Falkland Islands, saying that commenting on deployment details is "inappropriate" at this time.


Industry sources, though, said the BMC4I system is scheduled to head to the British overseas territory in the South Atlantic, some 300 miles off the coast of Argentina.


Britain and Argentina fought a bloody war over the islands in 1982 and the dispute concerning sovereignty of the territory, known in Buenos Aires as the Malvinas, continues to rumble on diplomatically.


Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Saab were among the companies known to have attended the February briefing by the British MoD.


The contract comes in what the British call its B1 funding category, which means the value of the BMC4I deal lays somewhere between £100 million (US $147 million) and £250 million.


The command-and-control system will be part of an air defense system that will include a new ground-to-air missile being developed by MBDA and Saab's Giraffe radar, which is already in service with the British military.


The MoD spokesman said the BMC4I-based requirement is in the assessment phase with the contract award to go ahead, known here as the main gate decision, by May 2016.


He declined to give an in-service date for the system.


However, the MoD's Contract Bulletin reports that the winning contractor will have to provide five years of initial support in a contract set to end in 2025.


The British Army recently received the last unit of a similar ground-based air defense system from Lockheed Martin, known as Land Environment Air Picture Provision, or LEAPP.


The spokesman said LEAPP hadn't been considered because the new requirement involved additional capabilities.


"The potential threat posed to our forces from air platforms and their munitions has evolved and the system required must interact with the Future Local Area Air Defence System (FLAADS) (Land) and G-AMB radar system, meaning it needs a solution incorporating additional capabilities (like weapon control) for which LEAPP was not designed," he said.


LEAPP achieved full operating capability in December and the spokesman said reliability and functionality of the system is exemplary.


Britain awarded missile-maker MBDA a £228 million contract in December to develop the FLAADS (Land) weapon system.


The new weapon is destined to replace the long-serving Rapier anti-air missile as part of the Falklands ground-based defenses and in other British Army units by 2020.


With an aging Air Force, Argentina poses no threat to the islands, which are guarded by a small force of Royal Air Force Typhoon fighters and ground-based assets.


The Argentineans, though, have been trying, so far without success, to modernize a force that consists of Mirage III, Super Entendard and Nesher combat jets.

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