News Round-up – February 14th 2018

HMS Enterprise H88 Echo-class multi-role Hydrographic and Oceanographic Survey Vessel SVHO south georgia

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.

General Defence News

UK missed 2% defence spending target, report claims
(Financial Times)

Ministry of Defence to let soldiers work part-time in bid to attract new recruits

Ministry of Defence has spent £100mn in abuse compensation from Iraq and Afghanistan
(The Sun)

NATO chief backs bigger alliance training mission in Iraq

Nato’s stance and strategy in Europe

BAE proposes UK government financing to Malaysia for Typhoon jet deal

Increase in US jets flying from RAF Lakenheath
(Norfolk Eastern Daily Press)

British Army News

British Troops Undertake ‘Incredibly Important’ Winter Exercise In Estonia
(Forces Network)

Senior Rhyl Army officer leading UK troops in Estonia ‘to counter intensifying aggression’ from Russia
(Daily Post North Wales)

British Army Chief visits Kohima
(United News of India)

Beaten soldier awarded £1 million damages against Ministry of Defence
(St Helens Star)

Mum’s agony over not being able to tell children what happened to their soldier dad as ‘Army refuse to reveal how he died’
(The Sun)

‘We’ll also find traces of the fighting from 1914 and 1917 including the remains of British and German soldiers” Belgian Trench Excavation
(Daily Mail)

Royal Air Force News

Royal Air Force says ‘We love Lossie’ ahead of massive expansion at base
(Press and Journal)

Red Arrows death: Ejection seat failure a ‘once every 115 years’ event
(BBC News)

RAF Typhoon to Get Unparalleled Armaments
(Aviation Today)

Dhadnah event marks 75th anniversary of WWII crash
(Gulf Today)

Royal Navy & Marines News

HMS Queen Elizabeth in maiden Rock call
(Gibraltar Chronicle)

Britain trying to ‘headline grab’ in South China Sea, says state media
(The Guardian)

Royal Navy ship ‘sails within METRES of Russian boat’ during show of force NATO mission
(Daily Star)

London City Airport reopens after World War II bomb removed by Royal Navy

Fascinating pictures show Royal Marines in action aboard navy’s mighty warships during World War Two
(Daily Mail)

Hundreds of mourners salute Royal Navy doctor who saved hundreds of lives in the Falklands War

Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.



News Round-Up – November 20th 2017

British Army Challenger 2 II main battle tank

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.

General Defence News

Britain’s new military BFF (Best Friend France)

MoD Figures Show British Armed Forces Falling In Strength
(Forces Network)

Former Defence Ministers Call For More Cash To Be Pumped Into The Armed Forces
(Forces Network)

Putin Wants to Rebuild Soviet Union, Former Head of British Army Warns

Fightback over defence cuts as political choices jeopardise our nation’s security

£2500 Ministry of Defence grant pays for therapy garden at primary school
(Schools Week)

Jet engine inventor’s son visits Wright-Patterson
(Dayton Daily News)

Royal Navy And British Army Unite For Drill Practice
(Forces Network)

British Army News

Tanks here to stay say army on Battle of Cambrai’s 100-year anniversary
(Times & Star)

The Battle of Cambrai: ‘We had a sense of victory for the first time’
(BBC News)

Is the British Army on the Verge of Developing Super Ammo?
(The National Interest Online)

British military dog receives highest honor for valor
(KOMO News)

Goodbye Comfort Zone: Teenagers Get Taste Of Army Life
(Forces Network)

British Invasion! Royal Army sending more troops to train at Ft Polk
(KALB News)

Francis Rowntree killing ‘not justified’ – coroner
(BBC News)

Joseph Parker inquest: New witness ‘saw soldier shoot at man’
(BBC News)

Royal Air Force News

David Davis demanded the RAF fly him to Brexit negotiations
(Business Insider Nordic)

New Air Training Corps members recite the ‘cadets promise’
(Lynn News)

RAF Shawbury officer awarded flight safety award for drone awareness campaign
(Shropshire Star)

Babcock seals the deal for £160m worth of contracts with the Royal Air Force
(City A.M.)

UK RAF Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen John Hillier calls on ACM Dhanoa
(City Today)

Royal Navy & Marines News

Crack Royal Navy squad sent in to save missing Argentina submarine crew from beneath the waves
(The Sun)

Ex-Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown warns Royal Marines could ‘disappear in six years

Queen to commission Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth on 7 December
(Naval Technology)

Royal Navy sailors set for a historic first as they guard the Queen
(The Portsmouth News)

Trident submarine plans facing a ‘perfect storm’ of problems, says MoD report
(Herald Scotland)

Royal Navy divers destroy wartime bomb found 60m from North Sea gas pipe
(Norfolk Eastern Daily Press)

Royal Navy commanders to use drones to track Russian ships near British waters

Royal Navy rescues solo yachtsman stricken in rough seas in Bay of Biscay
(Sky News)

Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

News Round-Up – November 13th 2017

Prince charles remembrance service 2017

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.

General Defence News

Prince Charles steps in to lay wreath as Queen observes

Prince Harry breaks military rules while at Remembrance Day parade by having a beard

UK military ‘must evolve to match threats we face’, says Armed Forces chief
(Sky News)

Defence Secretary: “We Must Never, Ever Flinch In The Face Of Aggression”
(Forces Network)

Britain will lose NATO clout if defence cuts continue, warns top US general

A European Army is not happening, Ministry of Defence claims
(Blasting News)

Australian, British Forces Help Vietnamese People’s Army Prepare for South Sudan
(Sputnik International)

Far-Right groups are trying to hijack British symbols and institutions for their own warped ideals

Troops on tax credits as civilian staff get more than £7m in bonuses this year
(Daily Star)

British Army News

British Army’s Kenya training threatened by land row

UK tanks to receive ‘state of the art upgrades’ in MAJOR £1.4billion restoration programme

Serving soldier Semesa Rokoduguni dedicates try to his Army colleagues
(The Independent)

Landmark documentary to reveal Britain’s “forgotten” Chinese army in WWI

Army officers tell of helping London Bridge attack wounded
(Forces Network)

Reclaiming Remembrance: ‘I thought it was a white event’
(BBC News)

Top republican Copeland seeks new probe into father’s killing by Army
(Belfast Telegraph)

Royal Air Force News

Britain to send RAF Typhoon jets to Vladimir Putin’s doorstep as NATO vows to boost military might
(The Sun)

Devastating RAF air strike on ISIS underground lair kills dozens of jihadists as they try to flee

Fighting ISIS: On the Ramp at Al Udeid Air Base
(Aviation Week)

Fresh appeal launched on 50th anniversary of RAF Halton servicewoman Rita Ellis’ brutal murder
(Bucks Free Press)

Girlfriend of missing RAF man Corrie McKeague girlfriend posts heartfelt Remembrance Day tribute
(Scottish Daily Record)

I don’t bear my Iraqi captors ill will, says Gulf War RAF hero
(Evening Standard)

Royal Navy & Marines News

Plymouth Royal Marine dies aboard Royal Navy ship
(BBC News)

Britain ‘to halve’ its minehunter presence in the Gulf
(The National)

Bomb squad storms one of Britain’s main Royal Navy bases

Sex, Drugs And SSBNs
(Strategy Page)

Royal Navy EOD Divers Disable WWII “Pipe Bomb”
(The Maritime Executive)

UK Royal Navy to install NAVICS integrated communications systems
(Military Embedded Systems)

Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

UK joins trilateral partnership centred around P-8 Poseidon

Boeing P-8I Poseidon

The United Kingdom has joined the United States and Norway in outlining the principles of close cooperation between the three nations in operating the Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft (MPA). The statement of intent was signed on Thursday at a meeting between each country’s respective defence secretaries in Brussels – Sir Michael Fallon of the UK, James Mattis of the United States and Ine Eriksen Søreide of Norway.

The US Department of Defense issued a statement after the signing saying;

Today, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States signed a statement of intent to lay out guiding principles for a trilateral partnership with P-8A aircraft to address the changing security environment in the North Atlantic.

The agreement among the three NATO countries aims to establish a common framework in operating the advanced aircraft over the strategically significant regions of the North Atlantic and the North Sea. This will concentrate on areas such as maintaining a high of level of readiness and interoperability between them and to share operational experience of the aircraft to better understand how best to utilise the type in future operations.

The P-8 Poseidon is a derivative of the proven Boeing 737 commercial airliner and is developed from the 737-800 series. It is designed for a multitude of long-range maritime missions including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare and reconnaissance missions.

The RAF currently has nine airframes on order to fill the gap left by the retirement of the Nimrod MR.2 and the cancellation of the Nimrod MRA.4 which left the RAF without its own independent fixed wing maritime patrol asset. In order to maintain crew skills, RAF personnel have been serving with their NATO allies aboard their own maritime patrol aircraft and these crewmembers will likely form a cadre of new instructors when the Poseidon arrives.

Manufacture of the aircraft will be carried out across three production lots over a ten-year period with deliveries commencing in 2019 at an estimated cost of £3bn. The British aircraft will initially operate with US weapons and systems until British alternatives become available.

Both Norway and the US are acquiring the aircraft to replace their fleets of ageing P-3 Orions that have served admirably since the 1960s. Norway has five aircraft on order and these are expected to become operational at the same time as the RAF aircraft.

Typhoons deployed to Romania

RAF Typhoon no.3(f) squadronEurofighter Typhoon FGR.4s from the Royal Air Force’s No.3 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Coningsby have now deployed to Romania as part of the expansion of NATO’s air policing mission over Eastern Europe. Four aircraft and up to 150 personnel (air and ground crew) deployed to Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in south east Romania on Monday with the deployment expected to last up to four months. After a period of acclimation, the aircraft are reported to formally start operations by May 1st.

Images taken of the pilots taking off from Coningsby show that they are using the new £250,000 Striker II helmet which according to BAE Systems’ own website;

Striker II is a fully digital solution that provides today’s combat pilot with exceptional night vision and target tracking technology within a fully integrated visor-projected HMD system.

BAE Systems’ Striker helmet-mounted display system is based on the company’s unique two-part helmet design. It provides comfort, protection, and helmet stability for fixed- and rotary-wing platforms.

The RAF has had a long history patrolling NATO’s border with Russia having led four deployments of fighter aircraft as part of the alliance’s Baltic air policing mission since 2004. In those instances the aircraft have largely been the sole air defence asset for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. However, Romania has its own fighter force built around the MiG-21 LanceR – an upgraded version of the legendary but increasingly ageing MiG-21 “Fishbed”. The far more modern RAF aircraft will have to integrate in to Romania’s air defence network.

The deployment is part of NATO’s expanded effort to reassure its eastern members that it remains committed to their protection. It has also been reported in the Romanian press that the deployment of NATO fighters to their country is in direct response to a dramatic increase in the number of interceptions carried out by the Romanian Air Force of Russian aircraft over the Black Sea in recent months.

Romania will also host a large scale NATO exercise in July that U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm said in March would include up to 30,000 NATO troops.

Tornado GR.4s participate in Frisian Flag 2017

Panavia Tornado GR.4 No.31 Squadron Goldstars paveway brimstone

The RAF has been putting six Tornado GR.4 aircraft and their crews from No.31 Squadron through the gruelling two-week-long exercise, Frisian Flag 2017, which was held at Leeuwarden Air Base in the Netherlands. Beginning on March 27th and culminating on April 7th, the large scale exercise saw aircraft from several NATO members get airborne twice a day for a series of mock battles which saw the RAF aircraft act as the Red Force – the bad guys.

The primary purpose of Frisian Flag 2017, as well as honing combat skills, was to provide the participating units experience in combined NATO operations within a modern threat environment. The RAF Tornado GR.4s were joined by USAF F-15 Eagles, French Mirage 2000s, German Typhoons and an assortment of F-16 variants from several NATO countries. Missions undertaken included air defence and escort missions for the fighter aircraft while strike aircraft such as the Tornados were assigned to attack high priority ground targets and conduct defence suppression operations.

Wing Commander Matt Bressani of No.31 Squadron said;

Working with NATO countries helps us to better understand our own strengths and weaknesses by testing each other’s defences. With the Tornado GR4 going out of service in a few years’ time, this is an ideal opportunity to train our crews for their future beyond this air frame.

The last Tornado GR.4 is expected to be withdrawn from frontline service in 2019 with much of its strike tasking being undertaken by upgraded Typhoons. The Ministry of Defence has also said that the acquisition of the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II will be stepped up in order to create an additional frontline RAF squadron by 2023.