31 Mar 2011

Libya war: interactive video timeline map

Follow Channel 4 News across Libya as the conflict continues and watch the latest reports.

Key military assets in Libya crisis

European and US forces have launched attacks on Libyan targets under a United Nations resolution authorising action to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Below are the key military assets of the coalition forces and Libyan military.

Ground forces: 50,000 soldiers including 25,000 conscripts
– Main battle tanks: 2,205 although many are thought to be inoperable
– Reconnaissance vehicles: 120
– Armoured infantry fighting vehicles: 1,000
– Armoured personnel carriers: 945
– Artillery pieces: 2,421 (including 444 self-propelled, 647 towed)
– Mortars: 500
– Air defence surface-to-air missiles: at least 424

– Navy: 8,000 personnel including coast guard
– Submarines: 2 patrol submarines
– Surface vessels: 3
– Patrol and coastal ships: 14

– Air force: 18,000 personnel
– Combat capable aircraft: 374
– Fighter aircraft: 227
– Attack helicopters: 35
– Support helicopters: 85

French operation run from Solenzara air base on the island of Corsica.
– About 20 fighter aircraft deployed to Libya including fighter jets and one AWACS surveillance aircraft. The target area is an area 62-by-93 miles (100 km by 150 km) around the rebel-controlled city of Benghazi.
– Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle carrying about 1,800 crew members and some 20 aircraft. It is accompanied by an attack submarine, several frigates and a refuelling ship.

Special report - Libya war: strike against Gaddafi

– Participated in coordinated strike on 19 March against Libyan air defence systems using Tomahawk missiles launched from a Trafalgar-class submarine in the Mediterranean.
– Stormshadow missiles were launched from Tornado GR4 planes flown from a Royal Air Force base 3,000 miles away in Norfolk. Operation believed to be supported by VC10 and Tristar air-to-air refuelling aircraft as well as E3D Sentry and Sentinel surveillance aircraft. The MoD said Typhoon aircraft were standing by to provide support.
– Tornado aircraft have conducted air reconnaissance over Libya. The planes had landed at Gioia del Colle air base in Italy which would be their new base of operations.
– Two frigates based off the Libyan coast: the HMS Cumberland and the HMS Westminster.

United States
– The US Navy has five combat ships in the Mediterranean, including at least one guided-missile destroyer. There are no US aircraft carriers close to Libya.
– A defence official said three submarines outfitted with Tomahawk missiles are currently in the Mediterranean ready to participate, including attack submarines Newport News and the Providence.
– The military deployed planes, cruise missiles and electronic attacks, the Pentagon said.
– Aviano in Italy is home to a US air base with aircraft assigned to it – 42 F-16s. The Pentagon has not discussed the positioning of other planes in the region. The United States has a range of Mediterranean military bases and installations in Italy, Greece, Spain and Turkey.
– The United States started a “limited military action” in Libya several hours after France which included launching strikes along the Libyan coast that would target Libyan air defences.

Canada‘s frigate Charlottetown has joined naval actions, including a naval blockade, taking place off Libya.
– Six planes were deployed over Libya’s northern coast on 21 March, but they did not carry out any strikes on.
– One Canadian tanker aircraft was stationed at Decimomannu airbase in Sardinia, Italy.

Italy has deployed dozens of combat aircraft at its base at Trapani, in western Sicily in readiness for possible involvement in air strikes on Libya. Eight planes had been assigned to the coalition command and were ready to take part in operations immediately.
– Tornado fighter-bombers, F-16s and Eurofighters have been moved to Trapani from bases in Piacenza in northern Italy and Gioia del Colle in Apulia.
– Italy has offered the use of a NATO base near Naples as joint command centre for the operation and might participate later in military activities, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said.

– Six Danish fighter planes have been deployed to Sicily. Four were awaiting US instructions to join operations over Libya and two would be kept in reserve. Four Danish planes were later spotted taking off from Sigonella air base in Sicily.

– Six fighter aircraft to Crete to join the coalition 21 March but its defence minister said they would not engage in action until an effective, transparent command structure was in place, an apparent reference to NATO.

– Providing one tanker plane, one F-100 frigate, a submarine, a maritime patrol aircraft, and four F-18 jets.
– Two Spanish bases – Rota in Cadiz and Moron de la Frontera in Seville – are also available for use.

– A Greek Defence Ministry official said six fighters and a cargo plane from Qatar were expected to land at a military base on the island of Crete by 22 March.

United Arab Emirates
– The Italian command at Decimomannu airbase said it was awaiting the arrival of F-16s from the United Arab Emirates. It was not clear how many, or when they would arrive.

– Greek Defence Ministry said four Belgian F-16 aircraft took off from Greece on 21 March heading for Libya. The official said he was not aware whether they carried missiles and were meant to strike or were just patrolling.