24 Apr 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 20 Apr 17 Typhoons supported Syrian Democratic Forces, striking a Daesh-held building and a mortar
team. On 21 Apr 17 Tornados struck a Daesh supply vehicle and a group of fighters engaged with Iraqi troops.
On 22 Apr 17 Tornados took part in a Coalition attack on Daesh accommodation and vehicle sheds as well as two engineering vehicles. On 23 Apr 17 Typhoons destroyed an armed truck as Tornados bombed a Daesh
position. (MoD, 24 Apr 17.)
“The UK welcomes US action to sanction individuals connected to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.” (Foreign Secretary, 24 Apr 17.)
“The UK continues to promote a clear and united international community approach to put an end to the possession and use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.” (Foreign Secretary, 26 Apr 17.)
Comment: A series of Questions about Syria were tabled in the House of Lords (24 Apr 17). Topics covered included: Armed Conflict; Chemical Weapons; Military Intervention; Minority Groups and Overseas Aid.
The Foreign Secretary made a comprehensive Statement on the Provision of Equipment for Syria in the House of Commons (26 Apr 17). The UK intends to give £2m in equipment to the Syria Civil Defence (including cutting
& rescue tools, personal protective clothing, uniforms, communications equipment, medical supplies, vehicles and fire fighting equipment) and £4m in equipment to the Free Syrian Police (including vehicles,
communications equipment, uniforms and generators). The cost of providing this equipment is to be met by the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF). (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/17, 01 May 17)
24 Apr 17. Romania: Typhoons Deploy. Four RAF Typhoons deployed to Romania (24 Apr 17) as part of NATO.s enhanced Air Policing mission. The air patrols are to form part of the Alliance’s role to maintain security in the Black Sea region and to “demonstrate NATO’s unity and resolve in response to a more challenging security environment”. The Typhoons from 3 Fighter Squadron are to be based at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base for four months, where they will be working with the Romanian Air Force.
Comment: Following decisions taken by Allied Heads of State and Government at the Warsaw Summit in 2016, NATO is increasing its presence in the Black Sea region. HMS DARING sailed from Romania on 27 Apr 17 to
continue her operational deployment in the Black Sea. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/17, 01 May 17)
25 Apr 17. Tide Class Tankers: Soon to Enter Service. The Defence Procurement Minister confirmed (25 Apr 17) that RFA Tidespring was currently undertaking ‘customisation’ work ahead of Capability Assessment trials later in 2017. RFA Tidespring is due to enter service with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary by the end of 2017. The remaining ships (Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce) have all been launched. Tiderace undertook the majority of her contractor’s trials in January 2017 and
should complete them by mid-2017. The remaining two ships are expected to undertake their trials later this year (2017). The MoD’s current planning assumption is that all four Tide Class tankers will enter service by
the end of 2017.
Comment: Having been built in Korea, the Tide Class tankers are now being fitted out by A&P in Falmouth. Weaponry such as Phalanx is being incorporated together with secure communications and computer systems. Each ship requires 37 alterations or additions; work which will take about four months per vessel. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/17, 01 May 17)
21 Apr 17. Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV): Fifth River Class Batch 2. Work officially began on SPEY (21 Apr 17), the fifth and final River Class Batch 2 OPV for the Royal Navy. Like her four sister-ships (FORTH, MEDWAY, TRENT & TAMAR) SPEY will be built at Govan before she is transferred to the Scotstoun yard for fitting-out. After trials around Scotland, FORTH will be officially handed over to the