Thursday, October 08, 2009

Avast!

There is much to mock here, but I won’t. The absurd events do a good enough job of it without any assistance.

Somali pirates in two skiffs fired on a French navy vessel early Wednesday after apparently mistaking it for a commercial boat, the French military said. The French ship gave chase and captured five suspected pirates.
No one was wounded by the volleys from the Kalashnikov rifles directed at La Somme, a 3,800-ton refueling ship, French military spokesman Rear Adm. Christophe Prazuck said.
La Somme "was probably taken for a commercial ship by the two small skiffs" about 250 nautical miles (290 statute miles) off Somalia's coast, Prazuck said.
This vessel, 18% grey paint, radomes, numbering and all, was confused by Somali pirates as a commercial vessel. Even in the dark, its’ profile couldn’t be mistaken for a commercial cargo ship:



What the hell were they thinking?


That isn’t the sad part. Having been bled dry over the decades, making them hard up for a viable fleet, they were using a lightly armed ship loaded with fuel as a command information center.
La Somme is the French command vessel in the Indian Ocean, overseeing French air, sea and land forces fighting Somali pirates and hunting terrorists under the banner of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom.
How, I wonder, could they have gotten that close without local radar and a nervous wizzo letting them know? After all, this isn’t the first time, unless they’re so structurally understaffed or aren’t permitted to stand a few sailors on their watch shift on the deck.
This was not the first time that Somali pirates have mistakenly attacked a French naval vessel. Several pirates were captured in May when they attempted to board a frigate in the area.


Elsewhere: how NOT to make the sale:
The plane was on a demonstration flight at an air show at Maatiga military airport when it crashed in the nearby Soug-Ejemaa district. There was no immediate word on the cause of the accident.
The South African Press Agency report failed to mention that the aircraft hit a house and that 3 residents were killed.

Omitted information and Arabs buying Russian weaponry in bulk... Is it 1971 yet? Industry press releases report that Russia has brokered 5 military contracts with the Libyan government..
Russia has five military procurement contracts underway with Libya, as reported yesterday by the news agency "RIA Novosti", quoting Alexander Mikheyev, deputy director general of Rosoboronexport, the Federal Agency in charge of managing former Soviet Union's military exports, and head of the Russian delegation at the "Lavex 2009" air show in Tripoli until today.

"The contracts involve military equipment for the Ground Forces and the Navy -Mikheyev explained- including the modernization of T-72 tanks, and the general supply of spare parts for the above-mentioned branches of the Armed Forces. We are also participating in a Libyan tender on the delivery of aircraft and air defense systems".
The 12h22 UT report cribbed from RIA Novosti was followed by a 17h23 UT report of the crash that neglected to make mention of the dead civilians.