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09 Jul 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. The Defence Secretary congratulated (9 Jul 17) the Iraqi Prime Minister and security forces on their victory in Mosul. The UK had played “a leading role in the Coalition that has helped bring about the removal of the death cult from Mosul.” (MoD, 9 Jul 17.)
On 12 Jul 17 Tornados and Typhoons assisted Iraqi troops mopping up Daesh fanatics in Mosul and attacked three further terrorist positions in Raqqa. (MoD, 13 Jul 17.)
Comment: An exchange in the House of Lords (12 Jul 17) drew attention to the Syrian Civil Defence (SCD), also known as the White Helmets, and the work it does in rescuing people from the devastation caused by the
Syrian regime and Russian air strikes. Some 3,100 volunteers deliver community-based services to approximately 7,000,000 Syrian civilians living in opposition-controlled areas. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/27, 17 July 17)
13 Jul 17. Romania: 135 Expeditionary Air Wing (EAW). The RAF reported (13 Jul 17) that the Romanian President visited members of 135 EAW based at Mihail Kogalniceanu airbase in Eastern Romania. The 143 members of 135 EAW are supporting four Typhoon aircraft from 3 Fighter Squadron which have been deployed to enhance the NATO Southern Air Policing mission led by the Romanian Air Force. The role will be undertaken by the RAF until September 2017.
Comment: The four Typhoon aircraft deployed from RAF Coningsby on 24 Apr 17. The EAW is based at RAF Leeming. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/27, 17 July 17)
13 Jul 17. RAF: All Branches Open to Women. The Defence Secretary announced (13 Jul 17) that, from September 2017, ground close combat roles in the RAF Regiment will be open to women. The opening of the RAF Regiment to women means that both men and women will be able to serve in every Trade and Branch in the RAF.
Comment: The RAF Regiment was due to open its recruitment for women by the end of 2018, at the same time as the Royal Marines and the Infantry. However, a “review of work practices” concluded that the RAF Regiment
was closer to the Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) in terms of “risks”. The RAC is already admitting women into its training ranks. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/27, 17 July 17)
13 Jul 17. Typhoon: Enhancements. The Defence Secretary announced (13 Jul 17) the award of a £40m contract to Leonardo for the upgrade of the Typhoon’s Defensive Aids Sub System (DASS). Running over a two-year period, the contract will sustain 65 jobs at Leonardo and 41 with BAE Systems. The MoD also announced (14 Jul 17) contract signature worth £9.5m with QinetiQ to provide Typhoon pilots
with the latest cockpit technology to prepare them for ‘front line combat.’ BAE Systems announced (14 Jul 17) that the first live firing of MBDA.s Brimstone missile from a Typhoon has been successfully completed.
Comment: The Brimstone launch forms part of Project Centurion; an RAF programme to ensure a smooth transition of Tornado GR4 capabilities on to Typhoon. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/27, 17 July 17)
13 Jul 17. P-8A Poseidon: Squadrons Announced. The Defence Secretary confirmed (13 Jul 17) that the RAF’s new P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) will be operated by 120 Squadron and 201 Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth. The first of nine aircraft is due to arrive in 2020. In the meantime skills have been maintained by embedding RAF aircrew within MPA squadrons
of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the US.
Comment: The order for the first two P-8A Poseidon MPA, which are being procured via a Foreign Military Sale from the US Government, was confirmed in April 2017. On 29 Jun 17 the Defence Secretary signed a Statement of Intent on North Atlantic Maritime Patrol with his US
and Norwegian counterparts. The agreement en