Intel Briefs

– France successfully test fires new nuclear missile from submarine

– Libya close to finalizing $2 billion Russian arms deal

– Spain pushing to end EU’s embargo on arms sales to China

– Colombian rebel groups agree to “alliance”

French Nuclear Missile Test

On 27 January 2010 the French Armament Procurement Agency (Direction générale de l’armement, DGA) carried out a fourth test firing of a M51 ballistic missile in the Audierne bay (Finistère department). The missile was launched at 09:25 CET by the “Le Terrible” submarine and the firing has accomplished as planned. The missile was tracked during the entire flight by the DGA missile test centre at Biscarrosse and Quimper as well as by the survey vessel “Monge”.

Libya-Russian Arms Deal

MOSCOW — Libya is seeking to buy more than two billion dollars worth of Russian arms including 20 fighter planes, the Interfax news agency reported on Tuesday, citing a military-diplomatic source.

The report came as Libya’s defence minister was due to visit Russia in the latest sign of renewed cooperation between Moscow and the North African state, which enjoyed close ties during the Cold War.

“Libya is ready to buy around 20 fighter planes, at least two divisions of S-300PMU2 air defence systems and several dozen T-90S tanks from Russia, and also to modernise more than 140 T-70 tanks and other weapons,” the source said.

The source told Interfax that more than one billion dollars of the deal was for combat aircraft such as SU-35s, SU-30s and Yak-130s. The news agency put the total size of the deal at two billion dollars (1.4 billion euros).

Spain to end EU arms embargo in China

The Spanish EU presidency is considering lifting the arms embargo on China.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said his government, in charge of the rotating six-month EU presidency, was weighing “the pros and cons” of lifting the ban.