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06 Dec 17. Estonia: Typhoons Return. The RAF reported (6 Dec 17) that Typhoons from 3 (Fighter) Squadron returned to Estonia as part of the RAF support to the British-led deployed battlegroup. The Typhoons were based at Amari Air Base in Estonia, from where they conducted air-land integration training exercises.
Comment: The British-led battlegroup was formed around 1st Bn The Royal Welsh and is the Estonian-based element of the NATO Enhanced Forward Presence. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/45, 11 Dec 17)
08 Dec 17. Ukraine: Military Aid. The Defence Secretary advised in a Written Answer (8 Dec 17) that a Ukrainian delegation visited the UK from 28 Nov to 1 Dec 17 to review “a range of land and maritime equipment”. The visit followed a presentation of Ukrainian equipment requirements in April 2017 and a subsequent review by the Defence Equipment Sales Authority of the most appropriate surplus assets which the UK could offer.
Comment: The UK has supplied both surplus and purchased non-lethal items of equipment to the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) in support of its efforts in meeting the challenges of aggression from Russian-backed
separatist forces. The Defence Secretary also confirmed that: “Over the last two years the total cost of equipment supplied by Her Majesty’s Government to the Ukrainian Armed Forces was £2.2m.” In addition to non-lethal equipment supplies, the UK provides military training to the UAF under OP ORBITAL.
Earlier (7 Dec 17) the Armed Forces Minister confirmed that: “Our policy, to date, has been to not provide lethal equipment to the UAF, whilst reserving the right to keep this policy under review”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/45, 11 Dec 17)
27 Nov 17. RFA Tidespring: Service of Dedication. RFA Tidespring was welcomed (27 Nov 17) to the operational fleet during a Service of Dedication at HM Naval Base, Portsmouth. The Guest of Honour was the Honorary Commodore in Chief of the RFA, HRH Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, KG, GCVO.
Comment: RFA Tidespring is the First of Class of the Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability (MARS) Tankers which together with her three sister ships (Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce) are flexible, state-of-the-art double hulled vessels, which will provide key future support to the Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/45, 11 Dec 17)
05 Dec 17. P-8A Poseidon: Delivery Dates. The Defence Procurement Minister provided details (5 Dec 17) about the MoD order for nine P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft from the US Government, in a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangement. The UK order forms part of a larger US acquisition which is being procured in ‘lots’. UK aircraft are due to be delivered as part of lots eight, nine and 10. The first RAF aircraft is expected in 2019, with a further four due in 2020 and delivery of the final four due in 2021. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 17/45, 11 Dec 17)
07 Dec 17. Hawk: Production Line. The Defence Procurement Minister confirmed (7 Dec 17) that Qatar’s intent to purchase six Hawk aircraft will ensure that BAE Systems’ production line for the aircraft will continue for at least another 12 months. The MoD was working with closely with the Company “to secure further export orders”.
Earlier (28 Nov 17) BAE Systems’ Head of UK Military Air and Information told the Defence Committee that the Company was “doing everything” to bring Qatar’s Statement of Intent to purchase Hawk “to a contract conclusion quickly”, adding that “it was a timing issue about when we move forward to that signature”.
Comment: A Statement of Intent was signed on 17 Sep 17 by the Qatari Defence Minister and the UK Defence Secretary for the possible purchase of 24 Typhoon and six Hawk aircraft. However, give