12 Jan 04. The U.K. Defence Secretary welcomed the Director General of the Japanese Defence Agency to London. The two Ministers signed an agreement on further Defence co-operation and exchanges. Comment: The meeting was said to have concentrated on Iraq. Two Japanese diplomats were killed in Northern Iraq on 29 Nov 03. An advance party of 30 Japanese soldiers left for Iraq, via Kuwait, on 16 Jan 04. Some 1,000 members of the Self-Defence Force are expected to deploy to South East Iraq to help restore water services, rebuild schools and offer medical assistance. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/04, 19 Jan 04)
13 Jan 04. The Armed Forces’ Minister said that the first Sea Harrier Squadron was to be withdrawn from service on 31 Mar 04. Comment: The RN Sea Harrier had been programmed to leave operational service in 2012, to be replaced (as with the RAF Harrier GR7) by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). However, in February 2002 the MoD announced that the Sea Harrier would be withdrawn from service between 2004 and 2006: a decision that was criticised by the Defence Committee and others. It is understood that the Fleet Air Arm Squadron disbanding on 31 Mar 04 is 800, to be followed by 899 Squadron in 2005 and 801 Squadron in 2006. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/04, 19 Jan 04)
13 Jan 04. The Defence Procurement Agency (DPA) is conducting a survey of potential FSC suppliers, in order to discover which “aspects of the project they may see themselves participating in the future”. Comment: FSC has undergone an extended Concept Phase, which has concluded that the requirement will be met by a future warship programme. Initial Gate approval is expected in 2004, based on “a planning assumption of a new Class of ships which will be phased in as the Type 23 frigates are paid off”. The next stage of the programme is a four to five year Assessment Phase. First of Class is planned to enter service in December 2015. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/04, 19 Jan 04)
13 Jan 04. Contrary to newspaper reports , the MoD has placed orders for six Type 45 Destroyers with BAE SYSTEMS. The initial contract, worth more than £1,000m, for three ships (DARING, DAUNTLESS and DIAMOND) was announced on 20 Dec 00. An announcement that the contract had been doubled, to £2,000m for six ships (to include DRAGON, DEFENDER and DUNCAN), was made on 18 Feb 02.
Anticipated in-service dates, in the order indicated, are: November 2007, 2009, December 2009, 2010, 2010 and December 2011. In a recent Written Answer (14 Jan 04), the Armed Forces’ Minister said that the approved in-service date of November 2007 for First of Class HMS DARING was “currently under review”. Comment: ‘The Times’ and the ‘Financial Times’ (FT) reported (14 Jan 04) that only three destroyers were on order, with another three under negotiation. Both newspapers also incorrectly gave a contract value of £3,000m for six ships. As shown above, contract value to Industry for six ships is some £2,000m. The total cost of the six, when completed, has been estimated by the MoD (on 10 Jul 01 and on 18 Feb 02) as £4,300m. Both newspapers returned to the topic on 16 Jan 04, with the FT repeating that three Type 45s had been ordered and a further three under negotiation. The Defence Editor of The Times managed to get the number of Type 45s right this time, only to state an incorrect number of SSN [Item 7]. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 04/04, 19 Jan 04)
15 Jan 04. A study report on how to meet the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program requirements has arrived from Los Angeles, Calif., onboard a Bombardier Global Express aircraft. The report was prepared by the Cooperative Transatlantic AGS System (CTAS) consortium, a group of leading defense industry companies. The high-performance aircraft is recommended in the CTAS study report to be the primary platform for the NATO AGS solution. The plane, which