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26 Jul 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 26 Jul 17 a Reaper destroyed a terrorist truck in Eastern Syria some 20 miles from Hasakah. The following day a Tornado and Typhoon, while flying overwatch for Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), attacked mortar and sniper positions in Raqqa. Another Tornado and Typhoon pair struck a Daesh position in Raqqa on 28 Jul 17, while assisting the SDF. On 30 Jul 17, a Tornado and Typhoon conducted successful strikes against two terrorist snipers in Raqqa.
Comment: An RAF Sentinel R1 aircraft returned to RAF Waddington (2 Aug 17) following a two month deployment supporting Coalition Operations against Daesh. Operated by 5 (Army Co-operation) Squadron, the
Aircraft’s radar identifies and tracks targets, passing near real time information to friendly forces. During the deployment, the Sentinel was airborne for 235 hours (nearly 10 days) with a typical sortie lasting 10 hours. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/30, 07 Aug 17)
25 Jul 17. Extended Mandate: OP SOPHIA. The Council of the European Union (EU) confirmed (25 Jul 17) that the mandate of OP SOPHIA, the EU’s
mission to disrupt migrant smuggling and human trafficking in the Southern Central Mediterranean, has been extend to 31 Dec 18. The Operation’s mandate has also been amended to include: monitoring Libyan
Coastguard and Navy activities post training, new surveillance activities to gather information on illegal oil exports from Libya and enhance the sharing of information on human trafficking with the EU’s law enforcement
agencies (FRONTEX and EUROPOL).
Comment: HMS ECHO continues to lead the UK’s participation in OP SOPHIA, but took a break in May 2017 to attend the inaugural general assembly meeting of the International Hydrographic Organisation in Monaco. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/30, 07 Aug 17)
01 Aug 17. Babcock International: RN Support Contracts. The Defence Procurement Minister announced (1 Aug 17) the signing of an “innovative” contract with Babcock International Group for the supply of more than 10,000 different types of consumable items necessary for the day-to-day maintenance and operation of warships. The contract is estimated to be worth around £107m over the next seven years (i.e. to 2024). By bringing together eight older support contracts under one overarching management arrangement, it is claimed that the contract will generate savings of about £3m.
Comment: Under the seven year contract, Babcock is set to deliver a million individual items to all current and future RN vessels. Items range from small valves, bearings and gaskets to motors and electrical components. These items are considered ‘consumables’ in that they are impractical or impossible to repair. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/30, 07 Aug 17)
01 Aug 17. BAE Systems: Radar Support Contracts. The Defence Procurement Minister announced (1 Aug 17) the award of a range of radar support contracts, worth £72m, to BAE Systems. A five-year contract, covering technical support to the Sampson Multi-Function Radar, involves on-board maintenance, spares and repairs management which will support 255 jobs at
the company’s Isle of Wight site. The radar will also have its processing hardware updated. In addition, BAE Systems has won the Commander T101 radar four-year support extension contract.
Comment: The Sampson radar forms an integral part of the Sea Viper air defence system which is in operation on Type 45 destroyers. The award of a £175m in-service support contract for Sea Viper, supplied by MBDA,
was announced on 21 Apr 17. The Commander T101 radar is a long-range tactical air defence radar deployable by land, sea and air. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/30, 07 Aug 17)
31 Jul 17. Oman: First Hawk Delivery. BAE Systems confirmed (