Rapid Fire 2011-07-07: SDSR CVN Impact

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* Democrat members of the House of Representatives challenge President Barack Obama’s plans for troop withdrawals from Afghanistan by proposing a series of amendments to the 2012 fiscal year defense appropriations bill. The amendments seek to reduce funding for combat operations and accelerate US troop withdrawal. * The Department of Defence (DoD) sends to Congress a 91 page request to reallocate $5 billion worth of funding to replace bombs dropped during the Libya air campaign. * The UK National Audit Office (NAO) publishes a report raising concerns that the Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) [PDF] radically changed the Queen Elizabeth Class carrier concept. * Australia awards a two year contract extension to BAE Systems to provide maintenance, engineering and logistics support to its 33 Lead-in-Fighter Hawk Aircraft. * South Korea’s defense ministry requests a 6.6% increase to its budget for 2012 to improve combat readiness for its troops. If approved, the defense budget will increase to $29.1 billion in 2012, up from $27 billion for 2011. * Israel’s Defense Ministry awards the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) new Calanit artillery shell with the Israel Defense Prize. * Russia follows up its agreement with Azerbaijan to extend the lease of its Armenian air base until 2044 by formally asking Ukraine if it can rent facilities on its Crimean peninsula to to train naval pilots.

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