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Updated: 06-May-2004

SHAPE News Morning Update

6 May 2004

  • NATO considers Spanish request for royal wedding protection
  • NATO picks European proposal for improved satellite communications


  • Investigators say crew’s error caused airplane crash that killed Macedonian (sic) president


  • Car bomb blasts entrance to Baghdad’s Green Zone
  • U.S. Coast Guard evaluating threat of waterborne suicide attacks in Persian Gulf


  • North Korea to test long-range missile engine


  • NATO on Wednesday confirmed reports that Spain has requested an AWACS surveillance plane for anti-terrorist patrols during a royal wedding this month in Madrid. Spanish newspapers reported Tuesday that the government asked for assistance amid heightened security concerns following the bombings of Madrid’s railway network. NATO is also considering a request from Greece to provide AWACS during the Athens Olympics in August and from Portugal for coverage during the European soccer championship in June. (AP 051647 May 04)

  • NATO has chosen a proposal from a European consortium over a U.S. rival to provide the military alliance with enhanced satellite communications through the next 15 years. In a statement, NATO said the European proposal was the “lowest priced, technically compliant bid.” NATO said the project would enable the alliance to replace its two aging satellites and significantly boost its communications capacity to support more wide-ranging missions envisaged by the alliance. Enhanced satellite communications was one of a series of military capabilities which NATO leaders identified as priorities for modernizing the alliance. (AP 050947 May 04)


  • Errors by the crew caused the crash that killed the president of Macedonia (sic) and all others on board two months ago, officials announced in Sarajevo. A 75-page report produced by Bosnian, Macedonian (sic), U.S. and NATO investigators said the aircraft was functioning perfectly but the two-man crew miscalculated key flight data in stormy weather. (AP 051508 May 04)


  • A car bomb exploded at an entrance to the central Baghdad compound housing the U.S.-led administration of Iraq on Thursday, inflicting several casualties, witnesses said. There was no immediate comment from the U.S. military. (Reuters 060409 GMT May 04)

  • A joint U.S. Navy-Coast Guard team is reviewing its tactics for protecting navigation in the Persian Gulf following a suicide attack near an Iraqi oil terminal last month that killed three service members, Coast Guard Commandant Thomas Collins said Wednesday in Washington. “There’s less tolerance, more inclination to use force in the security zone,” he told a news briefing. He said the team is evaluating the possibility of more suicide attacks and will determine whether tactics need to be refined to meet the threat. (AP 051936 May 04)


  • North Korea is preparing to test a rocket engine for a missile potentially powerful enough to deliver a small payload to the continental United States, the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper reported in Seoul. The paper quoted diplomatic and defence sources as saying a ballistic missile test site destroyed in an accident in 2002 had been rebuilt and movement of rocket fuel and cranes to position a missile engine had been detected. The site is believed to be in Hwadae county in North Hamgyong province in the northeast of the country. South Korea’s defence ministry and the office of the joint chiefs of staff declined to comment on the report. (Reuters 060240 GMT May 04)


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