Sponsored by Lincad
30 Oct 18. Iraq and Syria: OP SHADER. On 15 Oct 18 Tornados destroyed a Daesh observation post in Eastern Syria and on 17 Oct 18 Tornados demolished another terrorist observation post in Eastern Syria. On 21 Oct 18 Typhoons engaged a Daesh strong-point which was firing at the Syrian Democratic Forces and on the following day Tornados bombed a terrorist base in Eastern Syria. On 24 Oct 18 Tornados destroyed an armed truck and two strong-points. On 26 Oct 18 Tornados bombed a further two strong-points engaged in a firefight with Syrian Democratic Forces. On 28 Oct 18 a Reaper attacked a group of terrorists in Eastern Syria as Typhoons collapsed the entrance to a cave containing weapons in Northern Iraq. (MoD, 30 Oct 18.)
Comment: During Oral Answers (22 Oct 18) the Defence Secretary said: “RAF strikes in Iraq and Syria will continue until Daesh has been defeated in both Iraq and Syria.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
29 Oct 18. Budget 2018: Defence Aspects. In his Financial Statement (29 Oct 18), the Chancellor of the Exchequer noted that a review into the modernisation of the Armed Forces was being undertaken “which will form the basis for a comprehensive consideration of defence spending next year.” An additional £1,000m has been allocated to the MoD “to cover
the remainder of this year and the next to boost our cyber capabilities and our anti-submarine warfare capacity, and to maintain the pace of the Dreadnought programme…”. Figures released in Budget 2018 give the MoD Departmental Expenditure Limits (DEL) as follows:-
Comment: ‘Budget 2018’ is published as HC 1629 and the above figures are derived from Tables 1.5 and 1.6. In his Financial Statement the Chancellor also said that the Treasury is to “mark the centenary of the Armistice by making a donation of £10m to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust to support veterans…”. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
30 Oct 18. Modernising Defence Programme (MDP): Update. In a Written Answer (30 Oct 18) the Defence Secretary confirmed that cross-Government discussion on the MDP was progressing and that the MoD would be in a position to indicate the timeframe for publication “once that discussion is suitably advanced”. On the same day in the House of Lords the Government’s Defence Spokesman said that the results of the MDP were expected “later in the Autumn”.
Comment: The preliminary ‘headline conclusions’ of the MDP were presented by the Defence Secretary in a Written Statement on 19 Jul 18. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
30 Oct 18. RN Ships: NATO Assignments. The Armed Forces’ Minister provided details (30 Oct 18) of RN ships assigned to NATO since November 2015:-
- Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1): HMS IRON DUKE (January to July 2016);
HMS MONMOUTH (February 2016) and HMS DUNCAN (October to December 2016).
- Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2): HMS DUNCAN (June to September 2017 and
January to June 2018); HMS DIAMOND (September to October 2017); HMS OCEAN (October to
- Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1): HMS GRIMSBY (November to
December 2015 and August to December 2016); HMS RAMSEY (January to April 2016, January to
April 2017 and May to August 2018); HMS PEMBROKE (April to June 2016); HMS SHOREHAM
(April to June 2017) and HMS CATTISTOCK (January to April 2018).
- Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 (SNMCMG2): HMS PEMBROKE (October to
November 2017) and HMS ENTERPRISE (July 2017 to July 2018).
Comment: From June 2017 to June 2018, the UK held the Command of SNMG2 and the ships indicated above acted as the Flagship. HMS ENTERPRISE held Command of SNMCMG2 during her time with the formation. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
26 Oct 18. Canada: Type 26 Frigate Design Selected. BAE Systems confirmed (26 Oct 18) that the Combat Ship Team, led by Lockheed Martin Canada, has been identified as preferred bidder for the Canadian Surface Combatants programme. Combat Ship Team’s proposed solution to the Canadian requirement uses BAE Systems Type 26 frigate design. The UK Defence Secretary said “Canada’s selection of our cutting-edge Type 26 warship for their future frigate programme shows that Britain remains world leader in maritime design and technology”.
Comment: The Canadian Government confirmed the selection of Lockheed Martin Canada as preferred bidder for the future Canadian Surface Combatants on 19 Oct 18 and that contract award would be subject to the necessary ‘due diligence’ process. The Combat Ship Team was competing against proposed designs from the Netherlands and Spain. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
01 Nov 18. Appledore Shipyard: Closure. Babcock International announced (1 Nov 18) the closure of its Appledore shipbuilding facility in Devon. The Company said that it will offer “relocation opportunities for all 199 Appledore employees at other Babcock facilities, 140 of whom are already on short-term redeployment to its Devonport operations.”. The GMB Union expressed its anger with the “devastating decision” and revealed that that Government had offered Babcock a £60m package of work to keep the shipyard open.
Comment: The Appledore shipbuilding facility was first established on the River Torridge in North Devon in 1855 and was acquired by Babcock International in 2007. The yard has built over 200 ships of commercial and naval design standards. Most recently the shipyard was involved in the construction of many of the steel sections for the RN’s new aircraft carriers HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and HMS PRINCE OF WALES. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
22 Oct 18. Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV): Fisheries Protection. It was confirmed in the House of Lords (22 Oct 18) that plans to withdraw Batch 1 River Class OPV from service have yet to be finalised. The Government’s decision will depend upon the outcome of cross-Government discussions “to determine our requirement for fisheries protection and compliance of patrols in UK waters following our exit from the EU.”.
Comment: HMS SEVERN left service in December 2017 and is being held alongside pending a decision on future requirements. Consideration is also being given to extending the service of and/or keeping in reserve HMS CLYDE or HMS MERSEY. The Batch 1 River Class OPV are being replaced by second-generation River-class ships. However, First of Class HMS FORTH has been delayed into service following the discovery of defects. As a consequence, the Batch 1 vessel HMS TYNE will continue in service. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
23 Oct 18. Saudi Arabia: Training. The Armed Forces’ Minister confirmed (23 Oct 18) that there are 110 UK Service personnel and 130 MoD civilian staff permanently based in Saudi Arabia but that the total number changes frequently due to a variety of factors, including staff rotation. Of those permanently based in the country, only the Royal Navy Liaison Team (comprising four personnel) delivers training to Saudi Officer Cadets in Jbail. All other UK training is provided by visiting short-term training teams.
Comment: The Minister also said, in a Written Answer of 31 Oct 18, that 102 Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) pilots have been trained at RAF bases in the last ten years. Of these, 30 RSAF pilots have undertaken training at RAF Valley as part of their training programme. (See DNA Issue 18/37 dated 22 Oct 18.) (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
19 Oct 18. Caribbean: Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) Training. The RN reported (19 Oct 18) that a team from the RN’s International and Commonwealth Training Unit has helped to deliver EEZ instruction during a training course hosted by the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force from 1 to 5 Oct 18.
Comment: 27 law enforcement officers from Caribbean government agencies, Coast Guards and Police Marine Units attended the training which examined maritime legislation, physical threats to the marine environment (including crime, piracy and terrorism), fisheries protection, search & rescue and threats to the environment through marine pollution. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 18/39, 205 Nov 18)
02 Nov 18. Final assembly of E-7 aircraft and radar combination to be undertaken in the UK. Stuart Andrew, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, has revealed that Final assembly of the E-7 aircraft and radar combination will be undertaken in the UK.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson recently announced that the Ministry of Defence is in discussion with Boeing about the potential for the E-7 Wedgetail aircraft to replace the current Sentry fleet.
Stuart Andrew recently said in response to a parliamentary question, “Final assembly of the E-7 aircraft and radar combination would be undertaken in the UK and Boeing have confirmed that it intends to use the same facility to meet any future E-7 sales opportunities for other customers. Through-life, we anticipate that support and training would be undertaken within the UK, directly leading to UK jobs.”
The E-7 Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) System is able to fly for long periods of time and manage the battlespace from the sky, providing situational awareness and tracking multiple airborne and maritime targets at the same time. It then uses the information it gathers to direct other assets like fighter jets and warships. It has already been proven on operations in the battle against Daesh in Iraq and Syria. Further discussions are set to take place before any investment decision is made. If selected, UK industry will be involved significantly with the programme, from modification work to through life support. (Source: News Now/ukdefencejournal.org.uk)
02 Nov 18. U.S. approves key step toward German missile defence deal. The U.S. government has approved integration of the U.S. Patriot PAC-3 MSE missile into a next-generation German missile defence system, a spokesman said on Friday, a key step toward completion of a long-delayed multibillion-dollar arms sale. The decision followed high-level talks by German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis this summer, two sources familiar with the issue said. Germany selected the Medium Extended Air Defence System (MEADS) built by Lockheed Martin Corp and European missile maker MBDA over Raytheon’s Patriot air and missile defence system in 2015, but it has taken years to move forward on the new defensive system called TLVS.
U.S. Air Force Col. Mike Andrews, the Pentagon spokesman, confirmed the use of the MSE missile had been approved for use in the German programme, but gave no further details.
“This is a significant step forward. The impasse has been solved,” said one of the sources, who was not authorised to speak publicly.
Lockheed, the top U.S. weapons maker, and MBDA gave no details, but said they were upbeat that the programme was moving forward. MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus, Britain’s BAE Systems and Italy’s Leonardo.
A spokesman at the German defence ministry gave no details, but said both the U.S. and German sides were committed to signing a contract. “There is new momentum. Both sides are clearly committed to successful completion of the TLVS programme,” the spokesman said.
Germany’s defence ministry in August asked Lockheed and MBDA to submit a best and final offer for the programme, but that required U.S. government approval of the integration of the PAC-3 MSE missile, one of the sources said.
Lockheed, which developed the MEADS programme together with MBDA, also builds the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement missile, but needed approval for its integration into German programme since the missile was developed separately from MEADS.
The MEADS system was developed with $4bn (£3.1bn) in funding from Germany, Italy and the United States, although the U.S. Army later ended its participation in the programme. Germany hopes to sign a contract for TLVS in 2019 and field the system in 2025. MBDA and Lockheed executives have said progress on the German deal could fuel interest by other countries in the system, which will offer the ability to knit together a variety of different systems, including Patriot. Initially slated to cost about 4bn euros ($4.56bn), sources say the final cost of the TLVS system is likely to be several billion euros higher. (Source: Reuters)
02 Nov 18. Turkey hires 3 companies to build indigenous long-range air defense system. A three-strong team of Turkish companies has been tapped to build the country’s first indigenous long-range air and anti-missile system, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The president said the first deliveries under the “Siper” program, or “Ditch” in Turkish, are expected at the end of 2021. The program partners are state-controlled military electronics specialist Aselsan, Turkey’s largest defense company; state-controlled missile-maker Roketsan; and Tubitak Sage, a defense specialist and part of Turkey’s state scientific research institute.
“This system is crucial for Turkey’s defense and they (the partners) are taking a new step with this project that will upgrade Turkey in the league of defense systems,” Erdogan said.
To augment its long-range defenses, Turkey decided in December to buy the Russian-made S-400 system. When the system is deployed on Turkish soil, the country will become the first NATO member to operate the S-400. Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar has said deployment of the S-400 will begin by October 2019. Erdogan’s announcement comes as Aselsan and Roketsan are in talks with Franco-Italian company Eurosam for the co-production of its SAMP/T system in Turkey. The talks are ongoing under a conceptual definition contract with the European producer. Scheduled to last 18 months, the definition study is meant to prepare a development and production contract for the future system, which is expected to meet operational requirements of the Turkish Air Force. (Source: Defense News)
02 Nov 18. Italy spends $5.7bn on military procurement in 2018. Italy has spent slightly more than €5bn (U.S. $5.7bn) on defense procurement in 2018 and launched a series of new programs, a newly released spending document has revealed. Published months behind schedule, the Defence Ministry document also states that the ministry’s overall budget, which includes its contribution to procurement as well as funds for personnel and maintenance and operations, stood at €13.8bn this year, up from €13.2bn the year before. The total budget for procurement combines a €2.3bn contribution from the Defence Ministry funding with a €2.8bn top-up from Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development, which has long shored up acquisition funding. A chart published in the document shows that procurement funding from the defense ministry has risen 83 percent from €1.5bn in 2008, and overtook Defence Ministry procurement in 2016 for the first time. The figures are contained in Italy’s annual defense spending document, which is due to be examined by the Italian parliament’s defense commission next week and has been seen by Defense News. Italy will suspend helicopter and missile purchases and cancel an office move by the defense ministry, a defense source has told Defense News, and also slow roll F-35 buys. The document breaks down spending per program in 2018 and lists new programs receiving funding for the first time, including four new Chinook helicopters for special forces troops, which will cost €528m over nine years. Launch funding is also allotted for the purchase of a third pair of U212 submarines for the Italian Navy, a program due to cost a total of €2.35bn. There is also launch funding for a second pair of Cosmo Skymed Second Generation radar satellites which will cost a total of €212m. Also included in the budget is funding to launch the purchase of a new submarine rescue vessel which will cost a total of €424m. Usually published in the spring, the release of the budget overview has been held up by a change of government, which saw a center-left administration replaced in June by a populist coalition. The new government’s defense budget plans are yet to be finalized as the overall state budget is still being worked on, but a source has already told Defense News that €450m are to be trimmed from planned spending to help fund social welfare programs. The programs to be put on ice during 2019 are NH-90 helicopter acquisitions and the CAMM-ER missile program, while plans to move the headquarters of individual military services in Rome under one roof in premises on the outskirts of the capital have been scrapped. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
02 Nov 18. Nato and UN sign updated joint declaration on cooperation. Nato and the United Nations (UN) have set out plans to support future cooperation between the two organisations with the signing of a new and updated joint declaration. The joint declaration builds on the original document that was signed between the two organisations in September 2008. The updated document is focused on bolstering the commitment for expanded consultation and cooperation between the two organisations. Major focus areas set out in the document include support for UN peace operations, counter-terrorism, civilian protection, and advancement for the Women, Peace and Security, the Children and Armed Conflict, as well as the Youth, Peace and Security agendas. The new framework was established ten years after the first effort and will help prevent violent extremism, in addition to focusing on lessons learned, planning and support for contingencies, cyber defence, and operational coordination and support.
Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “As organisations committed to upholding peace and security, Nato and the UN reinforce one another.
“While our mandates differ, we already cooperate across a range of issues, and there is a lot more that Nato and the UN can do together. So I welcome the conclusion of the updated Joint Declaration, and look forward to putting our ideas into action.”
Collaboration between Nato and the UN has been strengthened and expanded significantly over the last ten years, and both organisations closely cooperate on missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Source: army-technology.com)
01 Nov 18. Closure of Devon shipyard hits UK industrial strategy. Government had offered £60m package to owners Babcock to save the yard and its 200 jobs. The Appledore shipyard in Devon is to close despite the government offering a £60m package to its owner, putting almost 200 jobs at risk. Babcock International, the engineering group that runs the 163-year-old yard, confirmed it had taken the “difficult decision” to end operations at the site in March when its lease expires. The move comes after Appledore, which recently built sections for the Royal Navy’s aircraft carriers, failed to secure new orders. Its future had been in the balance following the completion of a contract to construct four offshore patrol vessels for the Irish Naval Service. Babcock said it would offer relocation opportunities to its other facilities for all 199 Appledore employees, 140 of whom are already on short-term redeployment to its nearby Devonport operations, which carries out refitting and maintenance of vessels. “Babcock’s focus is now firmly on its workforce and its determination to protect their employment within the business,” the company added. However, trade unions criticised the FTSE 250 group after it emerged that the Ministry of Defence had offered to bring forward £60m worth of work with the aim of keeping the staff on at either Appledore or Devonport. But that fell through after the MoD received no assurances from Babcock that it would keep the yard open if help were forthcoming, according to a letter from defence secretary Gavin Williamson to local Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox. “Unfortunately, however, our discussions with Babcock have established that this work would not be enough to secure the long-term future of the yard,” wrote Mr Williamson. Although Appledore is one of the UK’s smaller shipyards, its closure will nevertheless deal a blow to the government’s attempts to promote high-value manufacturing under its industrial strategy. A national shipbuilding strategy launched last year envisages the purchase of at least five frigates with work shared between shipyards around the UK. Recommended UK defence spending Gavin Williamson commits to keeping amphibious landing ships Union officials also accused ministers of not doing enough to save Appledore, which generated about £24m of Babcock’s underlying revenue of £5.4bn in 2017-18. “We feel that the government could have done much more to secure future work for Appledore and that defence secretary Gavin Williamson wrung his hands in true Pontius Pilate fashion when he said it was a commercial decision for the company,” said Heathcliffe Pettifer, regional officer at Unite, which wants the issue raised as a matter of urgency in the House of Commons. The MoD said it was “disappointed” by Babcock’s decision, adding that it had spent £1.7bn with the company last year. Appledore went into administration in 2003, with all 500 jobs lost. It was reopened the following year by DML, which was then bought by Babcock in 2007. (Source: FT.com)
BATTLESPACE Comment: This is just the start of a process which will spread throughout the UK defence industrial base. The lack of support for the Army in particular, may well see more defence companies shutting up shop with the onerous contract delays and promises of jam tomorrow by the MoD. BATTLESPACE heard yesterday of a report OF the waste of £3m in building a new facility which was not required at a military establishment. The biggest waste is the numbers of senior officers and managers in posts which, at one time used to take two or three personnel. This has grown in one case to a staff of 20 half colonels! It is time for another MoD Audit to tackle waste not contract overspend!
01 Nov 18. ADS has launched a new Brexit Hub on its website to give members a single authoritative source of information on the potential impact of Brexit on the Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors, and on how to prepare. With the UK set to leave the European Union (EU) on 29 March 2019, it is important that businesses across ADS’ industries make sure they are as prepared as possible for the potential outcomes. The ADS Brexit Hub covers three key areas:
- How Brexit will affect industry – including regulatory implications, impact on customs and the UK/EU border, and the future of UK involvement in EU R&D programmes.
- Preparing for Brexit – examining five areas where companies can ask questions to develop their own Brexit plan.
- What happens next – covering updates, analysis and insights on progress in negotiations between the UK and EU, and upcoming milestones.
Together with the Brexit Hub, ADS has also launched a Brexit Readiness Questionnaire to help businesses identify the areas where they need to make plans.
ADS Chief Economist and Director of Policy Jeegar Kakkad said: “As the date of the UK’s departure from the EU comes closer, businesses in our four industries are working hard to make sure they are as prepared as possible for Brexit. While the detail of the final deal remains unclear as negotiations continue, companies of all sizes can ask simple questions now to step up their preparations. The new ADS Brexit Hub aims to give our more than 1000 member companies the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about how to address the challenges posed by Brexit.”
The ADS Brexit Hub is online at: https://www.adsgroup.org.uk/industry-issues/brexit-hub/
31 Oct 18. General Electric beats Rolls-Royce to power Turkey’s indigenous fighter jet. Turkey’s aerospace authorities have chosen General Electric’s F110 family of engines to power the prototype and an initial batch of what will become Turkey’s first indigenous fighter jet, the TF-X. A senior procurement official confirmed the choice, saying that the twin-engine TF-X will be powered by the F110-GE-129 or the F110-GE-132 engine.
“This is a stopgap solution until we have built our indigenous engine for the TF-X,” the official said.
Under the deal, the first prototype of the TF-X and an unknown number of initial batches would be powered by the F110 engine. Turkey then plans to switch to an engine to be developed by TRMotor, a national engine consortium. But some aerospace sources say the F110 may not be the ideal engine for a fifth generation fighter. “If the Turks go for the GE option, they will have to compromise on the stealth capabilities of the TF-X,” a Paris-based defense specialist said.
Earlier this year, Turkey and Rolls-Royce came close to a strategic cooperation deal for the development and co-production of an engine for the TF-X. The British company and the Turkish government signed a letter of intent to finalize negotiations on the engine program by July 31, but the plan did not come to fruition. Turkish officials say the idea behind the GE deal is to rely on foreign technology to eventually in the long term build an indigenous engine to power the TF-X.
Turkey wants to build the TF-X with know-how from BAE Systems. In January 2017, Britain and Turkey signed a deal worth more than £100m (U.S. $128m) to develop the Turkish fighter jet. Turkey hopes to have the first test flights of the aircraft in 2023. (Source: News Now/ Defense News)
31 Oct 18. Swiss backtrack on weapon sales to conflict states. The Swiss government has reversed a decision to loosen restrictions on weapons exports to countries wracked by internal conflict, following outcry over the planned move. Switzerland’s government, known as the Federal Council, said in a 31 October statement it had decided “not to amend the War Material Ordinance”. That marked a reversal from its highly controversial decision in mid-June to allow weapons exports to countries in the throes of civil strife, as long as there was no reason to believe the arms would be used in the conflict. The initial decision, which according to Swiss news agency ATS came amid heavy pressure from Swiss arms manufacturers, had been meant to “align the authorisation criteria in the War Material Ordinance with those of comparable European countries,” the government said, adding that it had been based on “security policy and economic considerations.” If it had gone through, the reform would have marked a shift from the current Swiss ban on weapons’ exports to countries involved in internal or international conflicts. The government had insisted in June that even if the restrictions were loosened, Swiss arms would not be sent to countries ravaged by widespread civil war like Yemen and Syria.
Despite those assurances, the reform plans sparked widespread outrage, and parliament refused to support the move. And a broad coalition of groups threatened to launch an initiative to put the issue to a popular vote, which is possible within Switzerland’s famous direct democratic system. The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, had also harshly criticised the planned change. He warned in a radio interview last month that the planned shift had contributed to Switzerland losing “credibility and reliability as a humanitarian actor” on the international stage.
“There is no longer sufficient political support for the reform in the parliamentary security policy committees,” the government acknowledged in Wednesday’s statement. “Furthermore, to insist on the amendment might be counterproductive with regard to existing authorisation practices in the field of war material exports,” it added. (Source: Shephard)
30 Oct 18. Analysis: UK defence receives funding uplift to 2.12% of GDP. UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced additional funding of GBP1bn (USD1.28bn) for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 29 October in the country’s 2018 Budget. Within this boost, the Treasury allocated an extra GBP200m for defence over the remainder of 2018–19, and a further GBP800m for 2019–20. The GBP1 bn uplift comes in addition to the GBP800m increase in MoD funding announced in March 2018. According to Hammond, the extra GBP1.8bn will ensure that the armed forces can modernise and prioritise vital capabilities such as offensive cyber, anti-submarine warfare, and the nuclear deterrent. The March 2018 boost primarily benefitted capital spending in 2018–19, while the GBP200m will be allocated to the resource account for the remainder of the year, covering spending on personnel and operations. (Source: IHS Jane’s)
29 Oct 18. Export constraints emerge as sticking point for future German-French combat aircraft. Franco-German plans for a joint fighter aircraft project may be off to a rocky start, as reports emerged last week about fundamental disagreements between the two partners over export restrictions for such a weapon. According to a report on the website of the German magazine Der Spiegel, French negotiators made unlimited exportability of the so-called Future Combat Air System a prerequisite for getting started on the project. The position is at odds with a more restrictive policy by Berlin, where arms deals to sensitive countries traditionally are more heavily scrutinized for the potential of human rights abuses by the recipient government.
The Spiegel based its report on a four-page confidential cable from Germany’s ambassador in Paris, Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, describing the outcome of a Sept. 21 “crisis meeting” in the French capital. So deep ran the diverging views at the gathering that Claire Landais, the French secretary-general for defense and national security, threatened to cancel further planning unless Germany would agree to French demands for unconstrained exports of the future combat aircraft, according to the Spiegel.
Airbus CEO Tom Enders, whose company is involved in the planning alongside Dassault Aviation, criticized the reported German insistence on export caveats. “Berlin can’t urge greater European cooperation in its Sunday speeches and then refuse it when concrete projects are taking shape,” he told the magazine.
The idea behind the Future Combat Air System program is to create a sixth-generation aircraft that would eventually help wean European air forces from American-made hardware. A development contract is eyed for the mid-2020s following years of concept studies.
The future weapon is envisioned as a collection of aerial capabilities built around a new fighter aircraft. Supporting systems are eyed to include unmanned aircraft of various types plus a data link architecture connecting all elements.
German arms exports outside NATO and European Union countries have come under renewed fire since Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered by regime agents in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. The Saudi government initially denied knowing about the crime but was forced to acknowledge Khashoggi’s death following weeks of international pressure. The reported Franco-German disagreement on the exportability of FCAS comes on the heels of an interview by Airbus Defence and Space chief Dirk Hoke in the French business journal La Tribune on Oct. 18. Hoke said Airbus would take leadership of the overall system package of FCAS while Dassault would spearhead the fighter aircraft — a position that has the potential to create additional friction in the project. (Source: Defense News)
29 Oct 18. UK MoD gets budget boost of more than $1bn with three programs in mind. Britain’s Ministry of Defence has been given a £1bn (U.S. $1.28bn) spending boost in the Treasury budget announcement Oct. 29, with Chancellor Philip Hammond suggesting the money would be mainly spent on three strategic military programs. Hammond said the additional money would be available in the coming months. Cyber, anti-submarine warfare and the Dreadnought nuclear submarine build program all got named as destinations for the extra cash.
“As a former defense secretary myself I understand the immediate pressure our armed forces are facing, so today I will provide £1 bn to cover the remainder of this year and next to boost our cyber, and anti-submarine warfare capacity and to maintain the pace of the Dreadnought program,” Hammond told Parliament.
The increase caught many by surprise. Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been battling with Hammond for months for extra cash, but a massive funding commitment to the National Health Service made new funds toward security seem unlikely.
Jon Louth, the director for defence, industry and society at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank in London said the additional funding was good news, but fell well short of what is required.
“It’s welcome, but comes nowhere near addressing the potential funding gap if you add up all the programs in the equipment plan. It does appear to be a significant increase in percentage terms, although the devil will be in the detail,” he said.
The RUSI analyst said the outcome was “better than we expected a few months ago. Politically people will be chalking that up as a win for Williamson in the context of the wider government budget. One bn pounds is a win,” he said.
Louth cautioned against getting too hung up on the chancellor’s announcement about where the extra cash will be spent.
“I suspect when we come to see how the money is used next year it will potentially be a little different from the chancellor’s headlines today,” he said.
Defense consultant Alex Ashbourne Walmsley of Ashbourne Strategic Consulting said the new money was a “sticking plaster, but it will buy the MoD a bit more time to work out how to do more with less.”
Earlier this year the MoD received a total of £800m in funds to keep the program to build four Trident missile equipped Dreadnought nuclear submarines on track.
Some £600m of that cash came from a £10bn contingency fund set aside by the government for the Dreadnought program.
Ashbourne-Walmsley described the Dreadnought program as a “money pit.”
The MoD is trying to bridge a funding gap in its £179bn 10-year equipment plan. The black hole is put at anywhere between £4bn and £20bn by the National Audit Office, the government’s financial watchdog. The final figure is dependent, in part, on how effective an ongoing efficiency drive is at the MoD. The MoD budget for this year is £36.6bn with 15.6 percent of that spent on equipment procurement and 18.7 percent on support. The Conservative government is committed to increasing equipment spending in real terms by 0.5 percent a year until 2020. A long running review, known as the Defence Modernisation Program, has been looking at how British armed forces can adapt and transform to meet the changing and growing military threat, while at the same time balancing the books — an effort that could require capability cuts in several areas.
Publication of that report has already been kicked down the road a couple of times. Although Williamson may announce something before the end of the year, analysts and industry executives expect little of substance ahead of a comprehensive spending review due to take place across all government departments next year.
Hammond appeared to say as much today when he told Parliamentarians the modernisation review will “form the basis for a comprehensive consideration of defense spending next year.”
“The Modernizing Defence Program is increasingly tied into the comprehensive spending review and the 10-year equipment plan in 2019. We might get a whitepaper in late winter or early spring to set up some of the themes but the details won’t be out until beyond April,” said Louth.
Some industry executives though are starting to wonder if the modernization program could be published even by April. One executive who asked not to be named, said he wondered whether the comprehensive spending plan might be the trigger for a full blown strategic defense review, particularly if Brexit goes badly and the economy takes a big hit. (Source: Defense News)
BATTLESPACE Comment: A few crumbs spread at the door of defence to prop up the creaking Budget but nothing for key land systems projects. This small boost to defence will continue the already stalled procurement process right across the board and we are now likely to see little in major announcements until after the final Budget is formulated round about February 2019. Projects such as MRV(P) and Challenger 2 LEP are currently stalled in this budget squeeze. The decision made to cancel the Owning The Night Conference in January next year was driven by lack of clarity in UK defence funding with most of the budget being sucked into Big Ticket items such as Chinook, Dreadnaught, MIV and Type 26. This squeeze may well put the survival of some smaller SMEs in doubt at a time when the MoD has promised to spend 25% of the Budget with SMEs. Rhetoric or fact?
29 Oct 18. Warship HMS Montrose has sailed from Plymouth on a deployment that will take her across three of the world’s oceans as part of the UK’s commitment to security at sea. HMS Montrose will cross three oceans and visit four continents as she begins a global deployment today (Mon 29 Oct), before ultimately arriving at the newly-opened UK Naval Support Facility in Bahrain. Before entering the Gulf region, Montrose will spend some time in the Pacific to support the UK’s commitment to building relationships and maintaining stability in the Asia Pacific region.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “This deployment demonstrates the UK’s ability and willingness to fulfil a wide range of commitments anywhere in the world. Our world-class Navy currently has ships operating in nearly every ocean on earth, as we continue to step up to the ever-evolving challenges we face.”
HMS Montrose is the Royal Navy’s first Type 23 frigate to be forward-deployed in the Gulf region. The Plymouth-based warship will not see the shores of the UK again for more than three years, although her ship’s company will be back in spring 2019. This deployment is the first of its kind to be put into action by the Royal Navy and serves two purposes – to demonstrate the UK’s commitment to maritime security in the Gulf while also ensuring those on board can enjoy more stability in their home lives.
Commander Conor O’Neill, the ship’s Commanding Officer, said: “As a mariner, this is a particularly exciting deployment. We will be crossing most of the world’s oceans and visiting many continents, with a focus on the Asia Pacific region which is an area critical for our national prosperity.
“It is also an emotional day for all on board as we say goodbye to our loved ones, whose support we rely on every day whether at home or deployed.”
Montrose sailed from Plymouth to the sound of a piper from affiliated Army regiment, 3 Scots, in honour of her Scottish connection. Families of those on board lined the traditional wave-off location at Devil’s Point to bid their loved ones farewell. The frigate also saluted her local affiliated town of Fowey with a sail past. A busy period of weapons testing and operational sea training has seen the ship’s company put through their paces over previous months to get everything ready for sailing day.
Sub-Lieutenant Ben Hunter said: “I’m proud to be sailing on my first deployment, and feel privileged to have such an opportunity to visit parts of the world most people will never see. It’s what I signed up to do.”
HMS Montrose sails at a time when the Royal Navy is on operations in almost every one of the world’s oceans. Her sister ships HMS Northumberland and HMS Westminster are currently deployed in the Norwegian Sea on NATO exercise Trident Juncture while HMS Argyll is in the Indian Ocean taking part in drills with allies in the Asia Pacific.
Type 45 destroyer HMS Dragon has joined fleet flagship HMS Albion, minehunters HMS Ledbury and HMS Shoreham plus RFA Lyme Bay and RFA Cardigan Bay on Exercise Saif Sareea off the coast of Oman for the largest international war games for UK forces since 2001. HMS Diamond is on patrol in the Mediterranean while RFA Mounts Bay is deterring drug smugglers in the Caribbean. Britain’s newest aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth has left New York after a packed visit and rejoins her escort ship HMS Monmouth as RFA Tidespring heads across the Atlantic to join them. (Source: Royal Navy)
29 Oct 18. Leonardo CEO says Fincantieri JV to favor talks with France: paper. A joint venture signed between defense company Leonardo and shipbuilder Fincantieri will favor Italy’s talks with France over a military shipbuilding deal, Leonardo CEO told Corriere della Sera on Monday. Earlier this month the two Italian companies sealed a deal over the development of combat systems, strengthening their cooperation in the naval sector. Separately, Fincantieri and French state-controlled shipyards Naval Group last week announced a joint venture for warship projects, moving closer to a broader alliance between the two countries on military shipbuilding. Leonardo, which supplies combat systems and other equipment for military ships, is expected to take part in the alliance, but its role has been repeatedly questioned as its competences overlap with France’s Thales, which owns 35 percent of Naval Group. (Source: Reuters)
29 Oct 18. ADS Budget Response: Welcome Steps From Chancellor Help Industry Plan For Uncertain Future. In today’s Budget statement the Chancellor took important steps to help industry sustain investment and productivity improvements as they face uncertainty over the UK’s economic future after our departure from the European Union. The Budget introduced significant welcome measures for industry including:
- New funding worth £1.1bn for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, supporting investment in industrial productivity.
- Increased funding of £1bn to the Ministry of Defence that will boost cyber-security and anti-submarine capabilities, plus £160m in additional funding for counter-terror policing.
- An increase in the Annual Investment Allowance from £200,000 to £1m for two years, supporting business investment by smaller companies.
These announcements and others such as those providing support for smaller companies creating apprenticeships and extending business rate relief make a positive start in helping small businesses to address potential problems in cashflow after Brexit. However, the Chancellor has already warned that a failure to agree a deal with the EU over Brexit would require today’s plans to be revisited. In the event of a no deal Brexit, businesses in our aerospace, defence, security and space sectors will need further action and reassurance.
ADS Chief Executive Paul Everitt said, “Today’s Budget takes positive steps to help industry maintain investment, support future productivity improvements and work with the Ministry of Defence to boost the UK’s national security. We welcome the new £1.1bn investment announced for the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. We hope some of this extra investment will support ground breaking research into high value design and urban air mobility. Measures announced on investment allowances, business rate relief and apprenticeships are an encouraging down-payment on steps that will be needed to support smaller companies through the cashflow crisis that could follow a chaotic Brexit. The threat of leaving the EU with no deal is a drag on our economy and the Treasury should stand ready to take further steps if needed to make sure small companies are able to sustain their businesses through any period of turbulence.”
Lincad is a leading expert in the design and manufacture of batteries, chargers and associated products for a range of applications across a number of different sectors. With a heritage spanning more than three decades in the defence and security sectors, Lincad has particular expertise in the development of reliable, ruggedised products with high environmental, thermal and electromagnetic performance. With a dedicated team of engineers and production staff, all product is designed and manufactured in-house at Lincad’s facility in Ash Vale, Surrey. Lincad is ISO 9001 and TickITplus accredited and works closely with its customers to satisfy their power management requirements.
Lincad is also a member of the Joint Supply Chain Accreditation Register (JOSCAR), the accreditation system for the aerospace, defence and security sectors, and is certified with Cyber Essentials, the government-backed, industry supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks. The majority of Lincad’s products contain high energy density lithium-ion technology, but the most suitable technology for each customer requirement is employed, based on Lincad’s extensive knowledge of available electrochemistries. Lincad offers full life cycle product support services that include repairs and upgrades from point of introduction into service, through to disposal at the end of a product’s life. From product inception, through to delivery and in-service product support, Lincad offers the high quality service that customers expect from a recognised British supplier.