Defence Secretary Announces £400m SSBN Funding Boost

December 6, 2018 – Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has today announced a £400 million funding boost for the Dreadnought program, as he opened a new training academy and revealed the name of the second Dreadnought submarine. The planned funding release, which supports the building phase of the programme, came as the Defence Secretary unveiled a £25 million BAE Systems academy that will upskill employees to work on Royal Navy submarines for the next two decades. The £400million investment will safeguard more than 8,000 jobs in Barrow and across the UK,…

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Sea King Helicopters and Asbestos

December 5, 2018 – Serving personnel, veterans, former MOD civilian personnel and contractors may have seen media reports about asbestos being found in some sea king helicopters. The MOD has undertaken an investigation and people that may have had an association with the sea king might find the following information useful in considering the possible risk of exposure: Asbestos in sea king the sea king first entered service in 1969 and the final aircraft were retired from the active inventory on 30 September 2018 historically, asbestos containing material was used where resistance to heat or…

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Shipbuilding Firms Chosen for Fleet Solid Support Competition

November 30, 2018 – A syndicate of British firms, along with four international shipbuilding companies, have been selected to compete for the Fleet Solid Support ships contract, Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has announced. The crucial vessels, which will deliver ammunition, food and supplies to UK forces across the globe, will work alongside the Royal Navy’s fleet of warships and will be an important part of the UK Maritime Task Group. The British consortium is made up of leading manufacturing and engineering companies Babcock, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and Rolls-Royce. They…

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HMS Dragon Seized Three Tonnes of Hashish

November 26, 2018 – HMS Dragon has seized three tonnes of hashish in one of the most significant drugs busts in the Gulf this year, dealing a major blow to the funding of terrorism. The Portsmouth-based Type 45 destroyer was on patrol in the Middle East when they came across a suspicious dhow – a type of vessel common to the Middle East – in a notorious drug smuggling route known as the ‘Hash Highway’. Swooping into action, sailors and Royal Marines from HMS Dragon launched their fast boats to…

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Lightnings strike Eagles and Hawks as F-35s train to defend UK skies

November 30, 2018 – Side by side several thousand feet above eastern England three warbirds fly in close formation as UK F-35s take part in their first combat exercise in home skies: playing out a mock 21st-Century Battle of Britain. Two Lightnings – one flown by an RAF pilot, the second with a Fleet Air Arm aviator in the cockpit – joined 40 British, American and French jets over East Anglia and the North Sea for Exercise Point Blank. For the past three years, the US and RAF have been…

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Rolls-Royce to supply MTU generator sets for refurbishment of UK Type 45 naval vessels

November 26, 2018 – Rolls-Royce is to supply 18 MTU Series 4000 diesel generator sets to BAE Systems as part of the Power Improvement Project (PIP) to increase the resilience of the power and propulsion system in all six Type 45 destroyers. The two existing diesel gensets are to be replaced by three MTU gensets per vessel. The three MTU gensets will complement two existing Rolls-Royce WR21 gas turbines also supplying power to the electric propulsion system. Knut Müller, Head of MTU’s Marine & Government Business, said: “We are delighted…

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UK to double F-35 fleet with 17-jet order

November 15, 2018 – The UK is set to double its number of world-beating F-35 stealth jets after ordering 17 more aircraft, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced. The 17 new F-35B aircraft will be delivered between 2020 and 2022 and will complement the 16 British aircraft currently based at RAF Marham and in the US, as well as two additional aircraft which are already on order. Overall, the UK has committed to procure 138 aircraft over the life of the programme. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “I am delighted…

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RFA Tidesurge Conducts Chinook Trials

November 12, 2018 – While her sister pumps hundreds of tonnes of fuel into Britain’s new aircraft carrier, RFA Tidesurge is proving the £113m ships are more than mere tankers. The third of four large, fast tankers – built specifically to support the UK’s two Queen Elizabeth-class flagships – is carrying out trials with the largest helicopter on the UK Armed Forces’ books, the Chinook. Those trials, conducted off Portsmouth and in the Navy’s South Coast Exercise Areas, will help to write the operators’ manual for the Tide class, allowing…

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JMSDF Acknowledges Allies’ Assistance in North Korea Monitoring

November 6, 2018 (Google Translation) – The Ministry of Defense and the SDF are monitoring waters suspected of violating UN Security Council resolutions in order to prevent “settlements”, and since January this year, since 10 cases that are strongly suspected of implementing ” I have made public. About one month from the end of April this year and about one month from mid September against the United States against illegal marine activities including North Korean flagged vessels prohibited by a UN Security Council resolution Half, based on the US Army…

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Statement on Shipbuilding by Stuart Andrew, Under Secretary of State

October 18, 2018 – “I would like to thank all hon. and right hon. Members, my predecessor, the hon. Member for Aberconwy, (Guto Bebb) and the Minister for Defence People and Veterans (the Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood) for their contribution to the Opposition Day debate on Defence Industry and Shipbuilding which took place on 11 July 2018. The passionate and constructive comments of Members clearly demonstrated this House’s support for shipbuilding. “Naval shipbuilding has a particularly important place in our defence industry. As a maritime nation, our prosperity as well…

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New £1bn Deal to Support Navy Operations Will Support Over 700 British Jobs for a Decade, Defence Minister Announces

October 7, 2018 – Defence Minister Stuart Andrew has announced that new contracts expected to be worth over £1bn have been signed with British firms to support military ships for the next decade. The contracts, which will secure over 700 jobs at shipyards across the country, will support the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary ships and the Royal Navy’s Survey and Hydrographic Fleet. The deal covers 17 ships and will improve how spares, repairs and maintenance work are carried out. The successful companies will work on the ships at dockyards around…

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Surge in Action as RFA Tidesurge begins trials

October 3, 2018 – On a fine autumn day, the third of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s new tankers heads to sea to begin military trials. RFA Tidesurge – one of four Tide-class ships built to support the new carriers and their battle groups – has already proven her seakeeping abilities courtesy of a lengthy delivery voyage from the builder’s yard in South Korea all the way round to Falmouth. There, A&P turned a tanker into a military tanker courtesy of comms kit, computer systems, defensive weaponry and the like –…

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F-35Bs Join Forces with British Aircraft Carrier to Make History

October 2, 2018 – This week the first F-35 Lightning fighter jets landed on the deck of the United Kingdom’s new aircraft carrier making history and marking the beginning of more than half-a-century of ‘Carrier Strike’ operations. Royal Navy Cmdr. Nathan Gray and Royal Air Force Sq. Ldr. Andy Edgell, both test pilots at the F-35 Integrated Test Force at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., were the first pilots to land the stealth F-35 Lightning fighter jets on board the carrier, demonstrating the formidable force HMS Queen Elizabeth and…

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Sea King Helicopters: Asbestos

September 12, 2018 – The Ministry of Defence (MOD) are currently making a thorough investigation into whether some sea king helicopters contain asbestos. Veterans may have seen media reports about asbestos being found in some sea King helicopters. The MOD is undertaking a thorough investigation of this and any advice to veterans will be published here when available. In the meantime, the following information may be useful. asbestos is fire resistant and was widely used in the 20th century as an insulating material in boilers, pipework etc and notably in building construction…

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British-armed F-35B Lightning jet takes to the skies

Britain’s new stealth fighter jet, the F-35B Lightning, has carried out its first trials armed with UK-built weapons, showcasing the major role that the UK plays in the supersonic aircraft and bringing it a step closer to operations on the frontline. Defence Minister Stuart Andrew revealed that a British F-35 Lightning jet reached the landmark milestone whilst he was on a visit to the Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA) in Wales. The Welsh site is set to become a global repair hub for the cutting-edge aircraft, providing crucial maintenance,…

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