07 Nov 16. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 2 Nov 16 Typhoons and Tornados destroyed Daesh sniper and mortar positions near Mosul. On the following day Tornados struck two targets near Mosul while a Reaper engaged four targets in the area.
On 4 Nov 16 a Reaper again operated near Mosul while Tornados attacked three targets inside Mosul and bombed two Daesh positions. On 5 Nov 16 a Reaper destroyed three Daesh targets near Mosul. On 6 Nov 16 Typhoons and a Reaper attacked five Daesh targets as Tornados destroyed an armoured vehicle inside Mosul. (MoD, 7 Nov 16.)
“The UK is not using depleted uranium in any of the weapons used in our counter-Daesh military operations in Iraq and Syria.” (Armed Forces. Minister, 8 Nov 16.)
On 7 Nov 16 Typhoons destroyed rocket and mortar equipment near Bayji as a Reaper engaged targets near Mosul and Raqqah. Typhoons bombed seven Daesh positions near Mosul on 8 Nov 16 as a Reaper attacked three other targets near the city. On 9 Nov 16 a Reaper destroyed an armoured vehicle as it fired on Iraqi forces. (MoD, 10 Nov 16.)
Comment: During Oral Answers on 7 Nov 16, the Defence Secretary said that, to date, the RAF has conducted 1,048 airstrikes in Iraq and 67 in Syria. In addition British troops have trained more than 30,000 Iraqi soldiers. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/44, 14 Nov 16)
06 Nov 16. India: Trade Mission. The Prime Minister led a trade mission to India (6 to 8 Nov 16) on her first major bilateral visit since
taking office. The Prime Ministers of India and the UK tasked the Defence Consultative Group meeting on 15/16 Nov 16 to take forward a bilateral Defence Co-operation agenda which includes the UK’s proposals for Capability Partnerships through a range of activities such as: military to military co-operation, training and exchange of subject matter experts, research and technology linkages as well as Defence manufacturing. India and the UK were said to “remain committed to promoting a free, open, peaceful and secure cyberspace….The growing India-UK cyber relationship is a success story of the Defence and International Security Partnership.”
Comment: Some 1.5 million people of Indian origin play a “vital role” in the UK, with Indian companies employing over 100,000 people. India is now the second largest international job creator in the UK with 7,105
new jobs in the past year. (Figures from the Prime Minister’s Office). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/44, 14 Nov 16)
10 Nov 16. Norway: Maritime Patrol Aircraft Co-operation. During a visit to Norway (10 Nov 16) the Defence Secretary announced further co-operation on Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and Exercises. Norway and the UK are to work closer on MPA co-operation, including reducing costs and increasing Operational effectiveness. As has already been announced, the UK is procuring nine Boeing P-8 MPA which are to be based in Scotland and “will allow for enhanced situational awareness in key areas such as the North Atlantic”.
Comment: Work on the UK’s MPA programme is said to be progressing well, including the investment on infrastructure in Lossiemouth. The first P-8A MPA is expected to come into service in 2019, with the entire fleet
being delivered by 2021. Former RAF personnel who previously served on Nimrods are re-joining in order to operate the P-8s: 12 people have recently re-joined and more are expected. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 16/44, 14 Nov 16)
07 Nov 16. F-35 Lightning II: Support Work. The MoD announced (7 Nov 16) that the UK has been chosen by the F-35 Programme Office to be a global repair hub; providing maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services for F-35 avionic and aircraft components. The work has the potential to generate over £2,000m of future F-35 support revenue over the life time of the programme. The work will be centred at the Defence Electronics & Components Agency in Wales; which is expected to be operational from early 2018. The prov