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30 Sep 17. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. OP SHADER activity for RAF Tornado, Typhoon and Reaper aircraft was recorded on: 30 Aug17, 1 & 2 Sep 17,
4 Sep 17, 6 to 9 Sep 17, 11 to 18 Sep 17 and 20 to 24 Sep 17 (all dates inclusive). The primary focus for the RAF activity over the week to 18 Sep 17 was “supporting Iraqi Operations against remaining Daesh positions in Northern Iraq”. (MoD, 30 Sep 17.)
Comment: The MoD confirmed (28 Sep 17) that the UK’s commitments to the fight against Daesh for all three Services in the region now numbers just over 1,400 military personnel. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/36, 09 Oct 17)
29 Sep 17. Nuclear Deterrent: NATO Visit. The Defence Secretary hosted a visit (29 Sep 17) by the NATO Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council to Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde at Faslane for talks on collective global security. The occasion also marked the UK’s 350th nuclear deterrence submarine patrol. The NATO Secretary General said: “I welcome the UK’s strong contribution to NATO, from its commitment to Defence investment to its operational deployments”. The visit included a tour of the Vanguard Class SSBN and the Trident Training Facility.
Comment: £1,300m is being invested over 10 years to upgrade engineering and training facilities at Faslane. By 2020 the Naval Base will be home to the entire UK submarine service where employment is set to increase from the current level of 6,800 to 8,500 in the 2030s.
The Faslane visit took place ahead of EX JOINT WARRIOR (1-12 Oct 17) involving 14 NATO nations exercising off the North and West coast of Scotland. The Exercise incorporates elements of EX FORMIDABLE SHIELD which runs until 18 Oct 17. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/36, 09 Oct 17)
29 Sep 17. Foxhound Protected Patrol Vehicles: In Service. A MoD spokesperson said (29 Sep 17): “Foxhound has dealt with the demanding conditions in Iraq, kept our soldiers safe and is delivering the required Operational output in the defeat of Daesh.”.
Comment: The MoD was responding to press reports covering comments from an Army Sergeant suggesting that Foxhound vehicles in Iraq were breaking down in hot weather. The UK has procured a total of 400 Foxhound vehicles since 2011 at a cost of over £360m. A Parliamentary Answer (13 Jun 16) indicated that 400 remained in service on 1 Apr 15. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/36, 09 Oct 17)
03 Oct 17. RN Warships: Common Support Model. During the Conservative Party Conference (3 Oct 17) the Defence Secretary confirmed that support contracts worth some £800m have been awarded as part of the Common Support Model (CSM) for RN warships. The CSM is to provide a framework for comprehensive support across the whole fleet of warships under one overarching arrangement. The aim is to “boost the performance and speed of all support” as well as making savings in equipment costs. The arrangement covers everything from combat managements systems, through to spares, repairs and maintenance.
Comment: Support contracts awarded so far cover 10 of 16 agreements included as part of CSM. Companies involved include: AGI Ltd, Babcock, BAE Systems and Thales. The total CSM package is worth £1,000m and will sustain over 1,000 UK jobs. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/36, 09 Oct 17)
05 Oct 17. RAF Marham: Construction Work. The MoD announced (5 Oct 17) that the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has completed the resurfacing of the intersection of the two runways at RAF Marham. As part of the third of nine phases, the work included the provision of hangars for 12 aircraft and an air crew feeding facility. This phase of the project also involved removing over 13,000 tonnes of asphalt, installin