10 Oct 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 6 Oct 16 Typhoons attacked a Daesh command post in Eastern Syria as Tornados and a Reaper attacked three terrorist targets around Mosul. On the following day Tornados struck terrorist positions in the Tigris Valley as Typhoons destroyed two trucks in Western Iraq. On 9 Oct 16 Tornados engaged two targets in the Tigris Valley as Typhoons and a Reaper collaborated against Daesh positions North of Mosul. (MoD, 10 Oct 16.)
The Speaker granted an emergency debate “on the unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Aleppo and more widely across Syria”. (The debate is recorded in Hansard for 11 Oct 16, starting at Column 165 and with the
Foreign Secretary’s response starting at Column 208.)
From 4 Apr until 20 Sep 16 UK Reapers were deployed on intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sorties in Iraq and Syria. Watchkeeper was not deployed during the period. (Armed Forces Minister, 12 Oct 16.)
Between Nov 14 and 16 Sep 16 there were 230 Brimstone missiles used in Iraq and Syria, as part of OP SHADER. The estimated cost of the use of these missiles is £18.7m. (Armed Forces Minister, 12 Oct 16.)
The MoD is not aware of any credible evidence to date of civilian casualties as a result of UK air strikes over Syria and Iraq. (Armed Forces Minister, 12 Oct 16.)
The House of Lords had an exchange of views over “recent developments in Syria”. (Hansard for 13 Oct 16, starting at Column 2004.)
Comment: Following the House of Commons emergency debate on ‘Aleppo and Syria’ (11 Oct 16) the Chairman of the International Development Committee wrote to the Foreign Secretary seeking “detailed answers” to a number of questions; in particular the resetting of 20,000 Syrian refugees and 3,000 unaccompanied children. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/40, 17 Oct 16)
13 Oct 16. Mediterranean: OP SOPHIA. RFA Mounts bay has resumed duties (13 Oct 16) patrolling the Mediterranean to counter illegal arms trafficking. The RFA has taken over from HMS DIAMOND, which carried out the role for two months while RFA Mounts Bay underwent planned maintenance.
Comment: The deployment of RFA Mounts Bay forms part of OP SOPHIA, which is focussed on tackling human smugglers and arms traffickers. RFA Mounts Bay’s role remains dealing with the movement of arms and assisting with the intelligence behind such activity. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/40, 17 Oct 16)
13 Oct 16. Successor Submarines: Missile Tubes. Babcock International announced (13 Oct 16) that the Company has been awarded a competitive contract from General Dynamics Electric Boat to manufacture 22 tactical missile tube assemblies as part of the common missile compartment project for the (UK) Successor and (US) Ohio Class replacement submarine programmes. Starting towards the end of 2016 and expected to complete in the early 2020s the work will be carried out at Babcock’s faculties in Rosyth and Bristol. The contract for this (initial) batch of missile compartment components is expected to be worth ‘around £80m’.
Comment: The (US) Ohio Class replacement programme has been referred to as ORP or SSBN (X): a programme to design and build a new class of 12 SSBN to replace the 14 Ohio Class. The Ohio Class replacement programme is now known as the Columbia Class programme. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/40, 17 Oct 16)
12 Oct 16. HMS AMBUSH: Accident Report. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch published (12 Oct 16) a Report (20/2016) into a marine accident on
15 Apr 15 involving the trawler Karen and a dived RN submarine. 18 months ago the actions of the command team of a RN submarine (now known to have been HMS AMBUSH) placed the lives of the crew of the trawler Karen in danger. “Regrettably, the reluctance of the Royal Navy to fully engage in the subsequent investigation resulted in this report taking significantly longer to deliver than would normally be the case. The accident happened because of insuffici