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26 Mar 10. The U.K. Armed Forces will be doing its bit to address climate change as the MOD has today announced its Sustainable Procurement Strategy. The strategy will look at ways in which the Armed Forces – and their equipment – can become greener. Frontline operations could also benefit from Sustainable Procurement since improving the energy efficiency of equipment would reduce the number of supply convoys required in theatre, reducing operational risks to troops. Sustainable procurement could additionally reduce fuel costs and through-life costs of a piece of equipment. For example, three areas where the MOD has achieved energy efficiency are:
* Painting the hull of the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal with a special, hydro-dynamic paint, which reduces friction as the ship cuts through water. This allows her to sail faster and has improves her energy efficiency by 9 per cent overall;
* The engine upgrade of the Puma helicopters, which will improve energy efficiency by 25 per cent, while providing a 35 per cent power boost to the aircraft;
* More than 80 per cent of materials used in the ongoing redevelopment of Catterick Garrison are recycled.
Minister for Strategic Defence Acquisition Reform, Lord Drayson, said, “Climate change, resource depletion and energy competition are likely to contribute to future instability and conflict – making sustainable procurement an important defence issue. Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and other scarce resources will help the Armed Forces address the causes of climate change. But will also improve their ability to operate in hostile environments, reducing the need for re-supply convoys in dangerous territory.”
The strategy supports the Defence Acquisition Reform Programme and aims to embed the principles of sustainable development in the MOD’s acquisition processes. It involves assessing:
* Whether our equipment could be adapted to meet the challenges of climate change and reducing the use of fossil fuels;
* The balance between the environmental, economic and social impacts of sustainable development, while also maintaining and – where possible – improving our operational sustainability

25 Mar 10. USAF prepares for first flight solely powered by biofuel. The US Air Force (USAF) said it would fly an aircraft powered solely by a biomass-derived jet fuel blend for the first time on the week of 22 March, part of an ongoing to effort to wean the USAF fleet from the use of oil-based jet fuel. The biomass-derived fuel will be combined with a blend of traditional JP-8 jet fuel to power an A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft during a flight-test at Eglin Air Force Base in California, according to the USAF. (Source: Jane’s, JDW)

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