19 Oct 10. HMS Belfast unveiled a major restoration project, designed to restore the ship to her former glory. The newly re-built replacement masts will be revealed, in the presence of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and former Arctic Convoy veterans. The vessel is one of the few surviving Royal Navy ships that served in the Arctic convoys, helping to keep Russia supplied and able to fight Hitler’s armies during the Second World War. The restoration project, which began in April 2009, has taken over 18 months to complete. All of the work has been done for free by a team of over 20 men and women from the JSC Shipbuilding plant, Severnaya Verf, in St Petersburg – as a tribute to the brave British and other Allied sailors who risked their lives on the convoys in the Second World War efforts. This project is dedicated to the enduring memory of all those Russian and Allied men and women, civilian and military, who served in the epic campaign to maintain the Arctic supply route against attack by submarines, aircraft, surface raiders and the greatest enemy of all, the sea. HMS Belfast, now a branch of the Imperial War Museum is the last witness to this heroic struggle to preserve the civilised World.
The ship’s Director Phil Reed said: “HMS Belfast may have been a British Royal Navy ship, but she is also part of Russia’s history and this new co-operation between us and our Russian friends echoes the co-operation experienced all those years ago – she is a veteran of the Arctic Convoys of the Second World War, and today one of the only remaining surviving ships of this time. Our new masts will stand as a reminder of that partnership to the 250,000 visitors who come every year to the heart of the City of London. Now with more and more visitors coming to London from Russia, HMS Belfast should be on their ‘must see’ list.”
18 Oct 10. Clarion Events, organisers of leading international defence exhibitions and conferences, is introducing a hosting scheme whereby delegate admission fees for qualifying personnel from the military procurement and operational communities will be waived. The scheme will apply to both uniformed personnel and civilians working in defence departments or agencies of European nations who are involved in the specification, procurement or deployment of products, technologies and services. The move will benefit attendees to Clarion’s Platform Survivability and Military Engineering conferences, together with ITEC and UDT. Delegate fees will continue to apply to attendees other than members of the scheme. However, applications for inclusion in the scheme from members of the military who are not invited will be considered. Tim Porter, Managing Director, Clarion Defence & Security, which stages the events said, ‘Our events serve a broad spectrum of military in the land, sea and air sectors. We know that they provide an important and time-effective platform for procurement and operational specialists to keep abreast of the issues and developments that help them meet their current and future needs. They also provide a valuable opportunity for the military customer to brief industry on priority goals.‘At the same time we have to be mindful of the financial constraints within which many militaries are now working. We believe that the launch of this hosting scheme demonstrates our commitment to bringing military and industry together to share knowledge and ideas.’
19 Oct 10. IDEX (International Defence Exhibition & Conference) today announced the appointment of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA) as the conference organiser for the Gulf Defence Conference that will run alongside next year’s event. IDEX is organised by Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC) in association with the UAE Armed Forces GHQ. INEGMA is one of the leading organisers of specialist defence and security events in the Middle East. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, IDEX, which is the region’s largest defence and securit