Reserve Force Council :: South Africa
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The RFC, is a statutory body under the Defence Act, comprises members of the Reserve Units, individuals and associations. It acts as the representative of the Reserves (ResF), Volunteer or  Part-Time forces, component of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), and serves as an advisory body on all matters concerning the Reserves in the SANDF.  The RFC assists in promoting and maintaining the Reserves as an integral part of the SANDF.

This RFC website is the primary communication channel for all information relevant to Reserves in South Africa. Please register, top right corner, so that we can keep you updated at all times. We would appreciate your comments, suggestions and articles so that we can fullfill our role of communicating with our stakeholders - send an email to

All views of individual associations, organisations and individuals are theirs and not those of the RFC.



News October 2015
Written by ADIT - The Bulletin, Monday, 05 October 2015

According to the latest KPMG Global Aerospace and Defence Outlook, firms in the Aerospace & Defence (A&D) sector are focusing on two axes: driving growth and managing cost savings.

The report is based on 68 top executives’ interviews. 53% of them prioritize sales growth; 47% cite reducing their cost structure; while maintaining their business model competitive is a top challenge for 38% of the senior executives and efforts to develop R&D is the second challenge for 32% of them.

“With growth remaining slow and prices under continued pressure, A&D organizations are looking ahead for untapped growth opportunities and then working to prepare the groundwork for future campaigns and opportunities”, said KPMG’s Global Head of A&D.

In order to do so, many respondents are looking to foreign markets to seize growth opportunities. Indeed, more than 25% of the participants said they would penetrate new geographic markets through acquisitions, JVs or alliances, and 13% declared they would rebalance their worldwide footprint. Other firms will also adapt their existing products and services to fulfil the requirements of these new markets, through assessments in culture, business behaviuors and governance structures. Furthermore, “it will be important for A&D organizations to apply more rigorous integrated business planning techniques so that revenue, investment, cost and profit are tightly coupled from both a financial and operational perspective as opportunities will emerge and vary both in timing and scale from expectation,” added a U.S. KPMG partner.

Written by ADIT - The Bulletin, Monday, 05 October 2015

In recent years, the rise of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) industry among the consumer market has been increasingly preoccupying governments and militaries around the world, due the risks such “drones” may cause through criminal intent or by accident.

Recent incidents have required governments to implement and develop counter-UAV (C-UAV) technology and systems. These incidents include the overflight of nuclear power stations in France, the landing of a quad-copter on the White House lawn and the near-misses of UAVs and aircraft at a number of international airports. In the UK, the government has decided to work with NASA to design and build a system that would tag and track drones in flight: “The government is in early discussions with NASA about a drone traffic management system, and it is hoped that those discussions will lead to a UK involvement in the development of that system and the participation of UK industry in future trials to test the robustness of the technology", said Lord Ahmad, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Home Office.

At the same time, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) reminds loudly that there are rules to be followed for drone using. In addition, British engineers from defence group Selex ES are building a defence shield called Falcon Shield which takes control of rogue drones that could be used in terrorist attacks or illicit activities. This device is worth $311,000 and uses cameras, radar and advanced electronics to track drones.

Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 05 October 2015

Defence is going to be well represented at this week’s CSIR conference with seven speakers due to address topics ranging from landmine protection through to fighting poaching and streamlining aeronautical systems.

The two day event on Thursday and Friday at the CSIR Convention Centre in Pretoria is a highlight of the research and development organisation’s year and covers all areas it operates in.

Of particular interest, not only to the nation’s security agencies but the general public as well will be the paper to be delivered by Priaash Ramadeen. He will speak on technology to combat poaching with the emphasis on taking it from the developmental – laboratory – stage to the practical in national parks and game reserves.

Other defence speakers and their subjects are Rayeesa Ahmed (Research and development to protect soldiers from landmines and improvised explosive devices), Kevin Jamieson (The reality behind the assumptions: modelling and simulation support for the SA Air Force), Simphiwe Mkwelo (Your eyes and ears in the battlefield” optical and radar/radio frequency sensor research and development), Dr Kaven Naidoo (novel technologies for streamlined aeronautical systems research and development), Cobus Venter (Finding the right technology solutions to secure our borders) and Mthobisi Clyde Zondi (Technology-based acquisition strategies for the future defence force).

Former SA Navy chief and current Armscor chairman, retired vice admiral Johannes Mudimu, will deliver the keynote address for the defence component of the CSIR conference on Thursday.

Written by Guy Martin, Friday, 02 October 2015

The South African Navy’s frigate SAS Amatola will be ready to deploy operationally in the first quarter of 2016 after being refitted with her weapons. She recently underwent an extensive refurbishment at Southern African Shipyards in Durban and is currently undergoing the weapons refit in Simon’s Town.

The 121 metre long, 3 700 ton vessel was handed back to the Navy at Salisbury Island Naval Station on 31 July and sailed for Simon’s Town on 1 August after the R400 million overhaul, which took place between March 2014 and July 2015.

Prasheen Maharaj, CEO of Southern African Shipyards, said the refit involved the replacement of both main propulsion units, the refurbishment of the gas turbines, the complete blast and re-coating of the ship and the refurbishment of accommodation, bridge, engine control room, galley, mess, helicopter deck and hangar and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

Charles Maher, SAS General Manager: Marketing told defenceWeb that the refit had gone smoothly, with the only issue being the rudders, which had to be sent to ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in Germany for repair.

He said the Navy was extremely satisfied with the work that has been carried out look forward to similar work on future vessels being carried out in the same manner.

Written by Kim Helfrich, Friday, 02 October 2015

In just over a week South Africans, particularly those near some landward ports of entry, will have visual proof something major on the military front is in the offing.

Captain Jaco Theunissen of the SANDF Joint Operations Division said personnel vehicles and equipment from countries involved in the AU African Standby Force (ASF) field training exercise, Amani Africa 11, are expected to start moving through at least seven South African ports of entry.

Apart from South Africa, which is contributing 2,356 troops, the next biggest troop contributor is the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Its 1,294 soldiers are expected to move into South African en route to the SA Army Combat Training Centre (CTC) at Lohathla in Northern Cape through Nakop (Namibia), Ramatlabama (Botswana), Oshoek (Swaziland) and Maseru Bridge (Lesotho) with Upington Airport the nearest fly-in port of entry for foreign military aircraft.

All told about 5,400 soldiers, police and civilians representing four AU regional economic communities will take part in the exercise which start on October 19 and finishes on November 7.

Realistic fictitious scenarios will take place during the field training exercise which will aim to validate the rapid deployment capability of the ASF as a start-up operation (Scenario 6 AU/Chapter 7 UN) and to run a full multi-dimensional Peace Support Operation (Scenario 5 AU/Chapter 6 UN). This will take place in the fictitious Republic of Carana. Comprehensive and detailed planning has been done by the AU, SADC and South Africa to date as well as in South Africa since March this year.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 02 October 2015

Northrop Grumman Corp has won a contract worth up to $3.2 billion for continued development, modernization and maintenance of all U.S. Air Force variants of the Global Hawk unmanned surveillance plane, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

The umbrella contract will allow the Air Force to order parts and services as needed through Sept. 30, 2020, with all work to be completed by Sept. 30, 2025, the U.S. Defense Department said in its daily digest of major weapons contracts.

Northrop builds several variants of the high-altitude surveillance drone for the U.S. Air Force, and a maritime surveillance version for the U.S. Navy. Company officials were not immediately available to comment about the contract award.

A senior U.S. Air Force general this month said a new electro-optical sensor and other upgrades for the Global Hawk plane could cost as little as half the previous estimate of $4 billion. It not immediately clear if the contract announced Wednesday would encompass those upgrades.

The Air Force hopes to carry out the upgrades to the Global Hawk before it retires its aging fleet of manned U-2 spy planes built by Lockheed Martin Corp. It says it cannot afford two high-altitude surveillance aircraft.

Written by Massachusetts National Guard, Friday, 02 October 2015

During an official signing ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, on 1 October, the Massachusetts National Guard became the U.S. partner for the Republic of Kenya as part of the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program, which is managed by the National Guard. Through the State Partnership Program, the Massachusetts National Guard will conduct mutually beneficial engagements in support of defense security cooperation goals and work to strengthen its partner nation’s domestic response capabilities.

“The Massachusetts National Guard, under the leadership of Maj. Gen. L. Scott Rice, has done a superb job building the State Partnership Program and identifying mutually beneficial opportunities between our Commonwealth and the Republic of Kenya,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts is proud to have an enhanced role in securing our nation’s defense around the world. Our administration looks forward to enhancing this program by developing and strengthening this partnership with the Republic of Kenya.”

The State Partnership Program is administered by the National Guard Bureau, guided by U.S. Department of State foreign policy goals, and supports theater commanders’ security cooperation objectives. The State Partnership Program has been successfully building relationships around the globe for the past 22 years; with the inclusion of the Republic of Kenya, the State Partnership Program will have a total of 70 state partnerships, the Massachusetts National Guard said.

"What's great about this program is that is mutually beneficial," said Gen. David Rodriguez, commander, U.S. Africa Command. "It allows for an exchange of knowledge and facilitates the development of personal relationships between partner nations and their National Guard counterparts."

Kenya is Massachusetts’ seco

Written by Reuters, Friday, 02 October 2015

South Africa's new visa rules will cost the tourism industry $540 million in yearly revenue, the head of an industry body said on Thursday.

Pretoria has implemented regulations requiring visitors to provide biometric data when applying for visas, a problem for people in large countries like China, which only has South African consulates in Beijing and Shanghai.

Further rules implemented in June require parents to carry unabridged birth certificates for their children when travelling to South Africa, a move heavily criticised by the tourism industry.

David Frost, CEO of the Southern African Tourism Services Association, told local media that South Africa will lose 7.5 billion rand very year if South Africa did not scrap the visa regulations.

"These regulations have had an impact on a key economic sector and we cannot afford it," Frost told Cape Talk Radio. "We are going backwards at time when our country solely needs economic growth."

The tourism sector has grown steadily since South Africa hosted the soccer World Cup in 2010 and is now the third largest contributor to gross domestic product.

Home Affairs minister Malusi Gigaba has said the new rules are a necessary measure to curb human trafficking. President Jacob Zuma said in August the rules would be reviewed.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 02 October 2015

The last week of August saw a German Air Force A400M took off at its Maximum Take-off Weight (MTOW) of 141 tonnes from Wunstorf for a week-long mission in Africa.

First stop was Dakar where it delivered spare parts and chemicals for water treatment plants in Senegal. From there, the aircraft reached Windhoek in Namibia in under nine hours.

The third stop of the mission was Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania. The plane then flew to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where it delivered tables and chairs for local schools.

The fourth step was Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, where the A400M experienced the most demanding environment of the mission with outside air temperature above 45ºC and humidity beyond 75%.

The A400M flew back to Europe on August 31 after a week-long mission of more than 23 000 km in five different countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Written by Kim Helfrich, Thursday, 01 October 2015

85 Combat Flying School (CFS) of the SA Air Force (SAAF) is staying put at Fighter Town – AFB Makhado – but an investigation into an operational Hawk squadron at AFB Waterkloof is underway.

This was the official response from the Air Office of the SAAF when asked if there were plans in place for 85 CFS to move to the Centurion air force base, generally seen as the SAAF’s transport hub.

“The SAAF is currently investigating and testing the feasibility to re-open an operational Hawk squadron at AFB Waterkloof,” the statement said.

With a total of 24 Hawk Mk120s in its inventory, of which three are believed to be unserviceable thanks to accidents, the SAAF could set up a separate Hawk squadron with 12 aircraft. This would leave nine aircraft at the Limpopo base for training purposes.

AFB Makhado is also home to the SAAF’s only other fast jet squadron – 2 – which flies the Gripen. According to the Air Office there are “no plans for any relocation of 2 Squadron at the moment”.

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News September 2015
Written by defenceWeb, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The SA Navy Type 209 submarine SAS Queen Modjadji last week took part in a deep water training exercise with a Royal Navy frigate carrying the new Wildcat maritime helicopter.

HMS Lancaster, a Type 23 frigate, is the first Royal Navy (RN) warship to carry the Wildcat which, according to the RN website “maintained an eye in the sky throughout the exercise helping surface vessels locate the elusive underwater foe and then simulated the dropping of stingray torpedoes onto the submarine’s location”.

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel, RFA Gold Rover, was the other participant in the four day exercise which saw the British ships pitting wits against the sub-surface vessel in a series of intermediate and advanced anti-submarine serials.

A number of SA Navy submariners were embarked on Lancaster for the duration of the exercise and they “relished the opportunity of observing the training from a surface perspective”.

Lieutenant Tom Johnson, one of Lancaster’s principal warfare officers, said: “The training was a fantastic opportunity to hone our anti-submarine warfare skills against a capable opponent and further enforce the strong relationship between the Royal and South African navies”.

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Burkina Faso soldiers met little resistance on Tuesday as they entered a presidential guard camp in the capital where members of the elite unit were holding out after a coup, an army officer said.

Residents of the Ouaga 2000 district in the capital Ouagadougou said they heard bursts of gunfire in the late afternoon as troops, who had surrounded the base for most of the day, moved in.

However, the officer, who was in command of part of the operation, said General Gilbert Diendere, the leader of the short-lived coup, was not in the camp.

"The armoured vehicles entered the camp without much resistance. But he wasn't there. We don't totally control the camp, but we're carrying out clean-up operations," said the officer, who asked not to be named.

He said Diendere's vehicle had been destroyed by soldiers near the Vatican's diplomatic compound, and the general was believed to have sought refuge inside.

Written by Oscar Nkala, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

The Nigerian Navy (NN) has acquired the Falcon Eye Israeli-designed mass surveillance system to monitor the country’s territorial waters and track movements within the broader Gulf of Guinea maritime zone.

The Falcon Eye is a sophisticated mass surveillance system designed in Israeli but manufactured by United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Falcon Technologies. The company also manufactures unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Its mass surveillance system uses a number of electro-optic systems and cameras operated from a command centre to detect and pinpoint vehicular and human movements within prescribed security environments.

Addressing delegates at the Nigerian Navy's inaugural lecture for officers on 17 September, Rear-Admiral Francis Akapan said the installation of critical components of the Falcon Eye maritime surveillance system is still continuing at strategic points within the country's territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

He said once completely rolled out, the system will enable the navy to monitor all movements and prevent the commission of maritime crimes such as piracy, oil theft, vandalism offshore oil infrastructure and illegal aircraft movements within the Gulf of Guinea.

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

India's cabinet on Tuesday cleared the purchase of Boeing's Apache and Chinook helicopters in a deal worth around $2.5 billion, two government sources said, in a boost to defence ties with the United States.

The deal strengthens the status of the United States as one of India's top military suppliers, along with Israel, dislodging Cold War-era ally Russia from its longstanding position as the South Asian nation's main source of weapons.

The approval for 22 Apache attack and 15 heavy lift Chinook helicopters, meant to replace the military's ageing Soviet-origin choppers, came just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to the United States to drum up investments into India.

"Both have been cleared, the total cost is $2.5 billion," a defence ministry source, who declined to be identified, because he is not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters. A senior government official confirmed the decision.

The deal includes an option for 11 more Apaches and seven more Chinooks, an industry source with knowledge of the matter said.

India was the top foreign buyer of U.S. arms in 2013, says defense research firm IHS Janes, and the two governments are now negotiating a series of defense collaboration projects.

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

A suspected Islamist rebel accused of destroying ancient monuments in Mali's Timbuktu appeared before the International Criminal Court on Wednesday, the first person to face charges for damaging mankind's cultural heritage at the court.

The ICC has been examining events in Mali since 2012, when Islamist Tuareg rebels seized large parts of the country's north and imposed strict Muslim religious law. They began desecrating ancient shrines, mosques and monuments in Timbuktu, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

French and Malian troops pushed them back the following year.

Prosecutors say that Malian citizen Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi led an Islamist morality squad called al-Hesbah, which helped execute the decisions of the Islamic court of Timbuktu. They accuse him also of belonging to Ansar Dine, an ally of Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM).

"My name is Ahmad al-Faqi a-Mahdi, and I am from the Tuareg tribe... I was born about 40 years ago. I am a graduate of the teachers' institute in Timbuktu and I was a civil servant in the education department... beginning in 2011," he told the court.

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

South Africa may set up a panel to process civil claims that have been filed against the government by the families of miners killed during a violent 2012 wildcat strike at a mine run by platinum producer Lonmin, the presidency said.

"A judge, assisted by experts, will be asked to lead this process in order to reinforce its independence," President Jacob Zuma said in a statement.

"Government will engage with the legal representatives of claimants, and encourage them to use this process. To the extent that some do not lend their co-operation, or it is not possible to resolve claims through mediation, government will seek to do so through the court process," Zuma said.

Families of 37 of the South African miners killed during the strike at the Marikana mine filed civil claims against the government in August.

In all, 44 people were killed in violence triggered by the stoppage, including 34 strikers gunned down by police in what became known as the "Marikana Massacre," the worst security incident since the end of apartheid over two decades ago.

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

South Sudan's president and a rebel leader accused each other on Tuesday of violating a ceasefire brokered to end a 21-month conflict in the world's newest state as United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon appealed to them "not to betray and disappoint us."

Ban told President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar that now was the time to correct their "grave mistakes." A political dispute between the pair spiralled into a war that has killed thousands and forced two million people to flee.

"We are all here to help you, I hope you will not betray and disappoint us," Ban told a meeting on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly in support of a peace deal signed last month.

Kiir has been president since independence from Sudan in 2011, and Machar was his deputy until he was dismissed in 2013.

The conflict reopened ethnic fault lines that pitted Kiir's Dinka against Machar's ethnic Nuer forces. Nearly 13,000 U.N. peacekeepers are still sheltering more than 200,000 people at camps throughout South Sudan.

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

More than 20 people were killed in a shootout at the weekend between Mozambican forces and gunmen in a convoy carrying the leader of the main opposition party, a government spokesman said on Tuesday.

Mouzinho Saide said armed men in a convoy of vehicles carrying Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the opposition Renamo party, opened fire on a minibus taxi carrying civilians.

"The Defense and Security Forces were sent to the scene, were confronted by shots coming from Renamo men. They fired back, killing the shooters," he said, adding 23 people had been killed.

Renamo officials said the attack on its members was an ambush.

Earlier this month, local media said Dhlakama had escaped without injury after his convoy was attacked by gunmen as he returned from a rally.

Written by SAnews, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

South Africa’s murder rate continues to increase with a total of 17 805 murders committed from 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015, the national crime statistics released on Tuesday reveal.

The statistics, which were completed in conjunction with Statistics South Africa, were released by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, Deputy Police Minister Makhotso Sotyu, the National Commissioner General Riah Phiyega, as well as some MECs responsible for Policing and Provincial Commissioners during a sitting of the Police Portfolio Committee in Parliament.

The data indicates that the murder rate increased for the third year in a row. Incidents of murder increased by 4.6% in the 2014/15 financial year when compared to the previous year.

This means 782 more murders were committed in South African compared to the 2013/14 financial year.

Previously, incidents of murder had increased from 16213 murders in 2012/13 to 17023 in 2013/14. This comes on the back of a similar increase in 2011/12 which stood at 15554.

Written by Reuters, Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Democratic Republic of Congo has closed its border with the Central African Republic, Congo's spokesman Lambert Mende told Reuters on Tuesday, amid four days of violence in Bangui in which at least 37 people have died.

The Congolese town of Zongo lies across the Ubangi river from the capital of Central African Republic, which has seen its worst clashes this year. The two countries share a border roughly 1,750 km (1,100 miles) long.

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News August 2015
Written by Guy Martin, Monday, 31 August 2015

The China Shipbuilding and Trading Company (CSTC) will use its expertise to assist Southern African Shipyards (SAS) in the rebuilding of South Africa’s maritime industry, with an emphasis on Operation Phakisa to develop the ocean economy.

This is according to Charles Maher, General Manager: Marketing at Southern African Shipyards (SAS) who told defenceWeb that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between SAS and CSTC earlier this year was bearing fruit. He said that after the MoU became effective at the end of March, there has been a secondary visit and follow-up meetings with more scheduled for the end of September while acting CEO of Transnet Siyabonga Gama and other executives will later this year travel to China on a fact-finding mission.

After theMoU was signed, Prasheen Maharaj, CEO of SAS, said the agreement would bring competitiveness and efficiency into South Africa with benefits to the shipbuilding supply chain. The agreement covers technology and skills transfer and will see SAS source equipment and supplies from China and market CSTC’s large ships in Africa.

SAS and CSTC committed to building a collaborative institutional relationship where experience and expertise are shared, particularly around potential projects which fall under Operation Phakisa. This was launched by President Jacob Zuma in 2014. One of its two key focus areas is to develop South Africa’s maritime economy in sectors such as marine transport and manufacturing and offshore oil and gas. It includes the expansion of South African port capacity for repair work for oil ships and oil rigs.

One of the projects the MoU with CSTC is targeting is the multibillion rand Saldanha Bay and Richard’s Bay oil and gas hubs, which aims to cater for the South African and West African oil and gas markets. Transnet as the custodian of

Written by Reuters, Monday, 31 August 2015

Chad has sentenced 10 members of Nigeria-based Islamist militant group Boko Haram to death on terrorism charges, judicial sources said on Friday.

"They are all sentenced to death," said one of the sources.

Chad's capital N'Djamena, less than 100 kilometres from the Nigerian border, was hit by a series of suicide bombings in June and July that killed more than 40 people.

Written by Reuters, Monday, 31 August 2015

Nigeria's security agency said on Sunday it had made significant breakthroughs in the fight against Boko Haram and arrested 20 prominent members of the militant Islamist group accused of orchestrating deadly attacks.

President Muhammadu Buhari has made halting Boko Haram's six-year-old insurgency a priority, but a Reuters tally shows the militants have killed more than 700 people in Nigeria in bomb attacks and shootings since he came to office on May 29.

In the latest violence, around 56 people were killed by suspected Boko Haram gunmen at a village in northeastern Borno state on Friday night, Borno state governor Kashim Shettima said late on Saturday.

The Department of State Services (DSS) said on Sunday that 20 "notable commanders and frontline members" of the jihadist group had been arrested in Lagos, Kano, Plateau, Enugu and Gombe states between July 8 and Aug. 25 this year.

The DSS said it had arrested those suspected of coordinating attacks earlier this year in the northern cities of Potiskum, Kano and Zaria, as well as the central city of Jos, adding that a number of them had made confessions.

Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 31 August 2015

Egypt will in the coming years take delivery of approximately 50 Ka-52 attack helicopters from Kamov.

A recent report by the Research and Production Corporation Precision Instrumentation Systems (JSC SPC CPR) company notes that 50 ECO-52 sensor turrets used aboard the Ka-52 will be delivered to Egypt between 2016 and 2019, indicating an order for up to 50 of the helicopters.

During the Paris Air Show in June, the head of Rosoboronexport’s delegation Sergei Kornev said that the Ka-52 had received its first foreign order but did not disclose who the customer was or how many aircraft were ordered.

Last week a “military-diplomatic source” told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS that Egypt intends to buy Ka-52 Alligators but deliveries have not yet started. No further details were given.

It is not clear if the Ka-52s were ordered in September last year when Russia said it had reached a preliminary deal with Egypt for the sale of $3.5 billion of weapons.

Turkish jets took part in U.S.-led coalition air strikes against Islamic State in Syria for the first time on Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

"Our jets started last night to carry out air operations with coalition forces against IS targets in Syria which pose a threat to our security too," a statement released on Saturday said.

The operation followed a technical agreement with the United States on Aug. 24 about Turkey's role in the campaign against the Sunni Islamists who control large areas of Syria and Iraq.

Turkey last month agreed to open its strategically important air bases to the coalition, but has been reluctant to play a leading role in the fight against Islamic State, fearing a backlash.

On July 24, Turkish warplanes attacked Islamic State targets in Syria, but not as part of the coalition operation.

Written by Reuters, Monday, 31 August 2015

Spanish authorities have arrested a American man on charges of enslavement and diamond pillaging during Sierra Leone's civil war, a victims' association said on Saturday.

Michel Desaedeleer, who has U.S. and Belgian citizenship, is suspected of forcing enslaved civilians to mine for diamonds in Sierra Leone's eastern district of Kono between 1999-2001, according to Swiss-based Civitas Maxima.

During Sierra Leone's long conflict, the diamonds were sent to neighbouring Liberia where former President Charles Taylor used the proceeds to finance weapons for rebels.

"(The case) will help to raise awareness of the pivotal role played by financial actors in the trade of mineral resources that fuel armed conflicts in Africa and elsewhere," said Alain Werner, director of Civitas Maxima, which has been working for years to document the crimes and assist victims.

A Belgian investigation led to a European arrest warrant being issued against Desaedeleer earlier this year. He is normally resident in the United States.

Written by Reuters, Monday, 31 August 2015

A veteran Mozambican investigative reporter, publisher of the online Diario de Noticias, was killed in a drive-by shooting as he jogged in the capital Maputo on Friday, police said.

Paulo Machava had previously worked on a radio show that talked about crime. Police said they were yet to make any arrests or establish the motive.

Abductions, mostly of wealthy foreigners involved in the southern African nation's coal and gas sector, and execution-style killings are becoming common in Maputo.

A prominent lawyer, Gilles Cistac, who was viewed as sympathetic to opposition calls for decentralisation of power in the resource-rich southern African country, was shot dead earlier this year.

Written by Reuters, Monday, 31 August 2015

Central African Republic's constitutional court has confirmed the exclusion of past members of a transitional government from running for office in presidential and parliamentary elections due in October.

A 2013 transitional charter stated that members of the caretaker body would not be eligible to participate in the polls, which are meant to draw a line under more than two years of violence

However, the court was asked to clarify the charter's provision after former Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye and other senior ministers, who have since left the transitional government, announced their candidacies.

The country descended into chaos in March 2013 when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, triggering reprisals by "anti-balaka" Christian militias who drove tens of thousands of Muslims from the south in a de facto partition.

The transitional authority was established to lead the country to fresh elections.

Written by Reuters, Monday, 31 August 2015

Four Libyan soldiers were killed and six wounded in fresh fighting with Islamist groups in the eastern city of Benghazi on Sunday, medics and military officials said.

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government have been fighting Islamist groups in the country's second-largest city Benghazi since last year, part of a wider struggle since Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in 2011.

A tank battalion fought with Islamist brigades which had been trying to advance in the west of Benghazi, military officials said. Fighting raged until late in the evening.

Army forces backed by armed residents have regained some areas in Benghazi lost last year. But critics say their outdated war planes and helicopters lacking precision guns have damaged parts of the city without gaining much on the ground.

There was also fighting on Sunday between army units loyal to the official government and Islamic State outside the city of Derna to the east of Benghazi.

Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 31 August 2015

A Cabinet show of force with four ministers present was at the weekend used to indicate the high level of concern government has regarding rhino poaching.

Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa was flanked by the ministers of defence (Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula), police (Nathi Nhleko) and state security (David Mahlobo) when she made only the third public announcement of the year on rhino poaching in Pretoria.

Molewa said anti-poaching efforts in particularly the Kruger National Park are being undertaken “in the face of a 27% increase in suspected poachers” entering the world-renowned game reserve.

“So far during this year there have been 1 517 positively identified poaching activities in Kruger implying three incursions a day anywhere along the park’s thousand kilometre long border.

“This implies there are 12 active poacher groups at any given time somewhere in the two million hectares that is Kruger,” she said adding “this is why our teams have made physical contact with heavily armed poachers 95 times this year, close to three times a week”.

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News July 2015
Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 July 2015

The United States will have delivered eight F-16 Block 52 fighter jets to Egypt by Saturday, the first such deliveries since military aid was halted in 2013.

The US embassy in Cairo said the eight F-16 Fighting Falcons would arrive on 30 and 31 July and would be delivered to Cairo West Air Base “as part of ongoing American support in Egypt and throughout the region. Built in Fort Worth, Texas, the eight fighter jets are being flown in directly from the United States, and will be immediately integrated into the Egyptian Air Force, joining its existing fleet of U.S.-made F-16 aircraft.”

U.S. Embassy Senior Defense Official in Cairo Major General Charles Hooper, noted, “The F-16s provide a valuable capability that is needed during these times of regional instability. America’s commitment to a strong relationship with Egypt is demonstrated by continued cooperation and capability sharing between our two countries. Extremists threaten regional security and these weapon systems provide a new tool to help Egypt fight terrorism.”

The United States embassy said four more F-16s will be delivered to Egypt in the coming months. “In addition, the United States will continue providing follow-on support, maintenance, and training for Egyptian Air Force pilots and ground crews.”

“The F-16 Block 52 delivery is the latest concrete step taken by the U.S. government in support of a friendship and strategic partnership with Egypt that has continued for over 30 years,” the US embassy said.

Written by Guy Martin, Friday, 31 July 2015

South Africans have the right to know when and where they are most at risk of being murdered.

Over the past two years, the country has experienced increasing murder rates. Four more people are being murdered every day on average than what was the case two years ago. This increase is particularly concerning, given that the murder rate more than halved since 1994.

If we are to reduce the murder rate, we need to know where and at whom violence reduction initiatives should be directed. Media reports sometimes include a description and circumstantial details of murder victims, but a vast majority of the 47 people who are murdered each day on average remain nameless and faceless.

An often-neglected question is whether all South Africans are equally at risk of being brutally killed. The crime statistics released by the South African Police Service (SAPS) every September can provide some insight to answer these questions. From these statistics, we can identify which police precincts record the highest incidents of murder in the country. For example, we know that half of all murders take place in only 12.3% of South Africa’s police station areas.

To better understand which policing precincts have the highest murder rates (that is, the numbers of murders per 100 000 of the population), the Institute for Security Studies calculated the population figures for each station area using the mid-term population figures that are released annually by Statistics SA, and which are based on the 2011 census data. Our analysis shows, for example, that 13% of police stations cover areas with populations larger than 100 000. Over a third of all police stations (39%) in the country cover areas with populations of fewer than 20 000 people.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

coastal city of Sirte, an Indian government spokesman said on Friday, an area which is under the control of Islamic State militants.

The Indian men, who have been in Libya for more than a year and were working at Sirte University, were detained at a checkpoint about 50 km (30 miles) outside Sirte late on Wednesday while on their way back to India, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vikas Swarup said in a statement.

The government said the men had been taken back to Sirte.

Swarup did not comment on what group or individuals the Indian government believed were behind the detention of the men.

"We are in regular touch with the families concerned and all efforts are being made to ensure the well-being and early release of the four Indian nationals," Swarup said.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 July 2015

Brigadier General Jean-Calvin Momha, Cameroon Chief of Air Force Staff, was present at a Denel Technical Academy (DTA) presentation to see 58 of his countrymen awarded for the successful completion of theoretical training in the aerospace sector.

They are now busy with the second phase of their training course and are doing on-the-job training. The first group is being followed by another 62 Cameroonian students who have been at the DTA since January doing the classroom section of the aviation and engineering apprenticeship course.

Denel Aviation chief executive Mike Kgobe said the academy was an indicator the company was extending its continental footprint.

“We have the proven product, the systems and the technical resources to strengthen the capacity of African defence forces. Denel also has a strong record of support to peacekeeping operations in a number of theatres on the continent,” he said at the award ceremony which was also attended by SA Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Zakes Msimang.

Kgobe said the DTA was growing into an institution of higher learning recognised across Africa with more students from African countries attending courses on offer at Denel’s Kempton Park campus.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA said on Thursday it will delay development of a military cargo jet and forgo $300 million of revenue this year due to Brazil's weaker currency and defense spending cuts, triggering the biggest drop in its shares in nearly four years.

Embraer now plans to deliver its first KC-390 cargo aircraft to the Brazilian Air Force in the first half of 2018 rather than the end of 2016, the company said in its quarterly earnings report. The plane is the biggest Embraer has made.

Second-quarter profit fell 10 percent from a year earlier due in part to its flagging defense unit, whose contracts have been cut back and stretched out due to a government austerity push aimed at shoring up Brazil's investment-grade rating.

Domestic defense contracts are also contributing less revenue in U.S. dollars due to a 20 percent plunge by the Brazilian real this year. Embraer is listed in New York and Sao Paulo and reports earnings in dollars.

Embraer shares fell almost 8 percent in Sao Paulo, on track for their biggest daily loss since August 2011.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

Airbus Group surprised investors with a strong second-quarter rise in earnings, pushing its shares up as much as five percent as lucrative jetliner deliveries outshone more bad news for the A400M military transporter.

Quarterly operating profit before one-off items jumped 15 percent to 1.23 billion euros, with gains of at least 20 percent in jetliner and helicopter profits masking a 159 million euro loss in defence and space.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected operating profit of 1.06 billion euros.

Airbus Group maintained its financial forecasts for the year as first-half revenue and core profits rose 6 percent.

Its shares were up 3.6 percent at 64.64 euros at 1036 GMT.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

Tunisia has extended its state of emergency for two more months, the presidency said in a statement carried on the state news agency on Friday.

The statement said the extension was effective from Aug. 3 and that the decision was made after consultations with the prime minister and parliament speaker.

A Tunisian gunman opened fire with a rifle at a beach hotel resort in June, killing at least 39 people, in an attack claimed by Islamic State.

Written by Reuters, Friday, 31 July 2015

Lasers, microwaves and other directed energy weapons could soon be used more widely by the U.S. military, top armed forces officials and U.S. lawmakers told an industry conference on Tuesday.

The officials described weapons that are in various stages of development and testing by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army, but said more work was needed to develop tactics for their use and to ensure sufficient funding.

"Directed energy brings the dawn of an entirely new era in defense," Lieutenant General William Etter, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, told a conference hosted by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment in Washington.

Directed energy refers to weapons that emit focused energy in the form of lasers, microwaves, electromagnetic radiation, radio waves, sound or particle beams.

Etter and other officials said such weapons could lower the cost of current weapons, speed up responses to enemy attacks and cut deaths of civilians in the battlefield, but tough policy questions remained about their deployment.

Written by defenceWeb, Friday, 31 July 2015

Operation Fiela, launched in May initially as an anti-xenophobic initiative but later expanded into an overall anti-crime drive, is still running but now apparently only using police for enforcement.

“In a nation-wide show of force, police pounced on suspected drug dens, shebeens, shops and arrested several people on Thursday as they took the action known as Operation Fiela to all nine provinces of the country,” the official government news agency SAnews reported.

“Law enforcement officials also arrested several motorists and impounded scores of unroadworthy vehicles stopped in a series of road blocks in Pretoria.

“Thursday’s operation involved thousands of police, including metro police and immigration officials who combed the streets of major cities and towns across the country. This followed a decision to roll out Operation Fiela to all parts of South Africa following its success in three provinces.

“The operation had up until now been mainly applied in Gauteng, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal where it was used to rid the provinces of illegal weapons, drug dens, prostitution rings and other illegal activities.

Written by defenceWeb, Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Chief of the South African Air Force, Lieutenant General Fabian Zakes Msimang, will be in Russia next month to attend the International Army Games event.

These ‘military Olympics’ have several different events, including the Aviadarts aviation competition, Tank Biathlon, Air Defence Battle, Safe Route combat engineering competition and Safe Environment competition.

50 crews from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China are taking part in Aviadarts 2015 with 12 types of aircraft and 100 pilots, according to Russia's Defense Ministry, as cited by RIA Novosti. Three airfields in the Ryazan, Bryansk and Kaluga regions will host the games. Some of the aircraft involved include JH-7 fighter bomber, Su-24M, Su-25 and Su-34 strike aircraft, Su-27, Su-30SM and MIG-29SMT fighters, Il-76 transports, Tu-22M3 bombers, and Ka-52, Mi-35 and Mi-8 helicopters.

International monitors from 10 other countries, including Egypt, Venezuela, Bahrain, India and Slovenia, will also be present at the aviation event, which had its opening ceremony on Monday. Fighter, bomber, ground attack, transport and other aircraft will compete against each other in events such as precision shooting.

The International Army Games will be held from 1 to 15 August at Alabino near Moscow. Thirteen nations are taking part in this year’s tank biathlon, using T-72B3 tanks (except China, which has brought its own Type 96A tanks). The countries include Angola, Armenia, Venezuela, India, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Russia, Serbia and Tajikistan.

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Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Libya.Libya's warring factions who operate rival governments have agreed "in principle" to hold future talks to end the crisis in Libya, moving the negotiations away from Geneva, the United Nations said on Thursday.

Some of the opposing factions met in Geneva earlier this month under the auspices of the United Nations, but key representatives from a Tripoli-based government and parliament stayed away, demanding the dialogue be held within Libya.

"There was agreement on the principle of convening future dialogue sessions in Libya, provided that logistical and security conditions are available," the U.N. Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) said in a statement after another round of talks in Geneva this week.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Catherine Samba-Panza.The government of Central African Republic said on Thursday it rejected a ceasefire deal made in Kenya between two militia groups aimed at ending more than a year of clashes and attacks in which thousands have died.

Few details have emerged about the talks between the mainly Muslim Seleka alliance and the 'anti-balaka' militia who oppose them, though the two sides conducted low-level and sporadic peace negotiations for much of last year.

"The government categorically rejects the Nairobi accord because it was not associated with the discussions in any way. It is not a real accord, rather it's a series of grievances from the two armed groups which hold the country hostage," Communications Minister Georges Adrien Poussou told Reuters.

Central African Republic has been gripped by violence since the Seleka rebelled and seized power in March 2013. The group was forced to stand aside last year having failed to contain clashes with the 'anti-Balaka' and other violence.

The Seleka occupies much of the north and an interim government is struggling to assert its authority. France has started withdrawing some of its troops from the country, as a U.N. force, due to reach 10,000 by the end of April, deploys ahead of elections due later this year

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

An airliner.Libyan carrier Buraq Airlines said on Wednesday it had suspended all flights for two days after one of its air crews was killed in an attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli.

It gave no details but a Libyan official has said a French national had been identified by his work identity card for the airline. Libyan websites said a crew of three were killed

Libyan carriers have struggled to keep the country connected to neighboring states since fighting between factions vying for power in Libya damaged Tripoli's main airport last year, causing foreign airlines to pull out.

On Tuesday, gunmen stormed the luxury Corinthia hotel, one of the last large hotels in Tripoli still open, killing around nine people, among them five foreigners.

"Buraq Airlines informs that all flights will be halted in the next two days due to reasons out of our control," the airline said on its Facebook website.

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

AirAsia.The French first officer of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed into the sea last month was at the controls just before the accident, Indonesia's lead investigator said on Thursday.

The Airbus A320 vanished from radar screens in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than half way into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore. All 162 people on board were killed.

"The second-in-command, popularly known as the co-pilot, who usually sits to the right of the cockpit, at the time, he was flying the plane," said National Transport Safety Committee (NTSC) investigator Mardjono Siswosuwarno, referring to first officer Remi Plesel.

"The captain, sitting to the left, was the pilot monitoring."

Data from the black box flight data recorder has provided the accident probe with a "pretty clear picture" of what happened in the last moments of AirAsia flight QZ8501, Siswosuwarno said, although few details have been made public

Written by Reuters, Thursday, 29 January 2015

Turkish Airlines and Middle East Airlines have resumed flights to Baghdad.Turkish Airlines and Lebanon's Middle East Airlines (MEA) resumed flights to Baghdad on Thursday after halting them earlier in the week when bullets hit a plane as it was landing in the Iraqi capital.

Samir Kubba, the head of Iraq's civil aviation authority, told Reuters a flight from Istanbul had landed and another from Beirut was expected shortly.

An MEA official and the Turkish Airlines website confirmed that both carriers, which provide daily flights to Baghdad, had resumed service.

At least seven airlines suspended flights to Baghdad following the shooting incident.

Dubai Aviation Corp, known as flydubai, Emirates Airlines, Sharjah's Air Arabia and Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways suspended flights in line with a directive from the United Arab Emirates' civil aviation authority

News December 2014
Written by defenceWeb, Tuesday, 09 December 2014
AHRLAC, the first military manned fixed wing aircraft fully designed, tested and developed in South Africa, has completed 50 hours of incident-free test flying from Wonderboom Airport.

The Advanced High-Performance Reconnaissance Light Aircraft is another offering for the South African and African defence and security sectors from the Paramount Group, the largest privately owned defence and aerospace company on the continent.

The 50 hour milestone was reached with 55 flights since July at the airport north of Pretoria. The flight test programme is expanding the aircraft’s flight envelope in key performance areas including handling, airframe systems, centre of gravity, performance ranges and rough field capabilities.

Written by Reuters, Monday, 08 December 2014
More than 70 Chinese nationals have been detained by Kenyan police investigating allegations of cyber crime, operating private radio services and being in the country illegally, their lawyers said on Friday.

China's foreign ministry said it was aware of the arrests and would cooperate with the Kenyan authorities.

The Chinese community in Kenya, as in other African nations, has grown with the expansion in trade and aid from the Asian giant.

"The Kenyan police have detained our clients for further investigations," said lawyer Ian Maina, who represents 40 of them. Another lawyer, Tom Wachakana, represents 36.

The lawyers said police were investigating allegations of involvement in cyber crime, breaking Kenya's communications rules by operating private radio broadcasting services and being in the country unlawfully.

Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 08 December 2014
The first of a series of medal parades to honour military and civilian personnel involved in the care of and funeral arrangements for Nelson Mandela saw 84 specially designed and minted medals awarded by President Jacob Zuma at AFB Waterkloof on Sunday.

Among the recipients were 76 serving and 14 retired members of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) the majority of them SA Military Health Service members, and 30 private medical doctors.

Zuma told those on parade at the Centurion air force base they were there to honour “those men and women in uniform who took care of our gallant leader when he was ill”.

“The awards are also bestowed to soldiers who participated in the burial preparations, the laying in state at the Union Buildings and those who ensured our beloved leader was accorded a befitting State funeral,” the SANDF Commander-in-Chief said.

Written by defenceWeb, Monday, 08 December 2014
The South African Competition Commission has recommended the sale of BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa (LSSA) to state owned defence group Denel go ahead as the transaction is not likely to lead to reduced competition.

The Commission met on 2 December and discussed the sale and in a subsequent statement to the media, it said that, “the Commission has recommended to the Competition Tribunal that the merger involving Denel SOC Limited (Denel) and BAE Systems Land Systems South Africa Proprietary Limited (LSSA) be approved without conditions.

“Denel controls various other firms and intends to acquire 100% shares of the LSSA…The Commission found that the transaction is unlikely to lead to a substantial prevention or lessening of competition. The transaction is unlikely to raise public interest concerns.”

In August BAE Systems and Denel signed an agreement to proceed with the sale, valued at R855 million ($79.85 million), which was anticipated to conclude during the fourth quarter of this year after receiving regulatory and other approvals.

“This proposed sale will further shape our portfolio around our core capabilities in tracked, combat and amphibious vehicles and weapon systems, which represent markets where we possess strong franchise positions and discriminating capabilities,” stated Erwin Bieber, president of BAE Systems, Inc.’s Platforms & Services sector.

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