16 Mar 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 9 Mar 17 Typhoons and Tornados attacked five targets in Mosul as well as a Daesh tunnel to the West of
Kirkuk and on 10 Mar 17 Typhoons provided “very close” air support to Iraqi troops in and around Mosul. On 12 Mar 17 Tornados bombed a Daesh Headquarters in Syria, just south of Raqqa, as Typhoons destroyed a
Mosul strongpoint. (MoD, 13 Mar 17.)
RAF personnel from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep the aircraft flying in support of counter-Daesh operations. (RAF, 16 Mar 17.)
Comment: The MoD has repeated (13 Mar 17) that: “The RAF are continuing to take the fight to Daesh in Iraq and Syria”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/12, 20 Mar 17)
17 Mar 17. Estonia: NATO Deployment. The MoD reported (17 Mar 17) that “around” 120 British troops arrived in Estonia; having flown from RAF Brize Norton. The Soldiers are mainly from 5th Bn The Rifles but also include members of an Armoured Engineer Squadron, an Artillery Group, a Port Task Group and a Military Police Detachment. The UK is taking a leading role in NATO’s Forward Presence; designed to assure NATO allies of the mutual
commitment to collective European Security. Some 300 British military vehicles have also departed for Estonia and are expected to arrive on or about 22 Mar 17. The rest of the UK deployment will take place during April (2017), when the total number of UK troops deployed will be around 800.
Comment: The UK-led Estonia Battlegroup is one of four NATO multinational deployments to the Eastern part of the Alliance. French and Danish personnel will also be working with UK Forces. Other nations are deploying to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. The Polish contingent also includes 150 UK personnel. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/12, 20 Mar 17)
10 Mar 17. Portsmouth: Jetty Refurbished. The MoD reported (10 Mar 17) that work to ready a jetty at HM Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth, has been
completed. The jetty has been refurbished to prepare for the first of the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.
The refurbishment is in addition to the dredging of the approach channel, inner harbour area and berths in order
to make them deep and wide enough for the new ships. Bespoke navigational lights, a high-voltage electrical
supply and specialist gangways are also being provided as part of a “huge programme of works”.
Comment: HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH continues with her harbour trials, as part of her ‘test and integration’ phase. Sea trials will begin on successful completion of the harbour trials. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/12, 20 Mar 17)
13 Mar 17. Brimstone: Successful Trials. BAE Systems reported (13 Mar 17) that a further series of flight trials of Eurofighter Typhoon with the ‘high Precision’ MBDA Brimstone air-to-surface weapon has been successfully completed at Warton (BAE Systems’ site in Lancashire). The trials are part of ongoing development work on the Phase 3 Enhancement package for Typhoon under Project Centurion.
Comment: Project Centurion is a programme which will ensure the smooth transition of Tornado capabilities on to Typhoon for the RAF by the end of 2018. Firing trials are now scheduled for later this year (2017), “to test the effectiveness of the weapon in operational scenarios”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/12, 20 Mar 17)
17 Mar 17. Tempus Pro Monitors: Now Issued. The MoD announced (17 Mar 17) the award of a £14m contract, to Remote Diagnostic Technologies (RDT), for the supply of medical monitors. The Tempus Pro monitors can help in the treatment of Service personnel if they are injured or taken ill on duty. The lightweight, robust and portable monitor, which is battery operated, can be used in all environments (land, sea or air). The monitor transmits medical data such as blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate in real time to medical facilities and treatment teams.
Comment: The c