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13 May 21. Germany, Poland agree to defend each other’s airspace. Germany and Poland have agreed to allow each other’s combat aircraft to cross their national borders in the event of a quick reaction alert (QRA) scramble. Announced on 12 May, the agreement signed in Warsaw between the German and Polish defence ministries will allow Luftwaffe Eurofighters to cross into Poland and Polish air force (Inspektorat Si? Powietrznych: ISP) Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon and MiG-29 ‘Fulcrum’ fighters to cross into Germany.
“This agreement will be the future, to allow our QRA fighter aircraft to operate across borders in our combined airspace,” said Commander Centre Air Operations, Luftwaffe Lieutenant General Klaus Habersetzer. “This not only protects our own populations, but it is ultimately good for the whole [NATO] alliance.”
As Gen Habersetzer noted, this agreement will form part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing (eAP) mission that also includes missions that cover Albania; Iceland; Slovenia; the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; the Benelux nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg; the Baltic Air Policing mission over Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; and the Southern Air Policing nations of Bulgaria and Romania. (Source: Jane’s)
13 May 21. DE&S launches new Strategy. New strategy sets out our ambitions for 2025 and is our response to the Government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.
We have launched our new strategy outlining our ambitions for 2025 with a focus on delivering through people, technology and innovation.
DE&S 2025 is our response to the Government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. It sets the course for a significant evolution in how we procure and support military equipment solutions for this Information Age.
Our strategy builds on our strong track record of delivering complex acquisition programmes for the UK’s Armed Forces. Since 2014 we have delivered over 4,500 contract awards, worth more than £47bn and managed 80 per cent of the UK’s biggest and most complicated defence programmes. We continue to play a major role in the prosperity of the UK by spending £8bn every year on UK contracts and through this, support more than 88,000 jobs.
Our new strategy will ensure we are best placed to help Defence deliver its future integrated force, and support wider Government priorities, from creating jobs and levelling up prosperity, to driving environmental change.
Chief Executive, Sir Simon Bollom said: There is a demand from our military clients for greater pace and agility and our role is to meet their needs – now and into the future.
The publication of the Integrated Review and the new investment that this brings provides an opportunity for us to seize the moment and deliver a further step-change in our performance in line with the new Defence Command Paper and priorities. This strategy provides us with the focus to raise our ambitions and deliver for our Armed Forces and wider society
Delivering the strategy
We will deliver the strategy by focusing on five priority areas. Through these, we will ensure we can provide the Armed Forces with some of the most advanced technology equipment needed to maintain their operational advantage.
- Pace and agility for our clients – We will improve our ability to deliver performance and solutions at pace with increased availability, fast response to our clients’ priorities, and a focus on safety, security and better integration of systems.
- Value to the taxpayer and society – We will make our investments go further to support defence and national priorities. We will deliver value for the Armed Forces and support government net zero and social value targets.
- Delivery through people – We will support a diverse and professional workforce that is empowered and equipped to deliver excellence. We will provide access to the right learning and development, invest in our leadership and embed our new set of values.
- Accelerated digital solutions – We will drive digital solutions for business and battlespace advantage. We will apply delivery enhancing Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science, open capability centres of expertise and launch innovative communities of interest.
- Delivery through partners – We will attract and work at pace with diverse, resilient and innovative suppliers and partners. We will implement the Defence and Security Industrial Strategy, secure our supply chains, support international partnerships and exports and protect our capabilities.
Krishna Dhanak, Director Corporate Strategy and Operations, added:
The Integrated Review calls for our acquisition and procurement to be more agile and responsive to the changing nature of operations and industry, and for our capabilities to be more persistently engaged – on task, on time, and deployed for longer.
Our strategy ensures we rise to this challenge by focusing on embracing innovative and emerging technology to deliver safe and secure integrated capabilities, and even greater value for our clients. It also recognises that our people and our partners are instrumental to success. We will work in collaboration and at increasing pace to help deliver one of the most integrated, digital and agile Armed Forces in the world.
Find out more about the DE&S 2025 Strategy and Key Performance Indicators.
13 May 21. £1.4bn modernised UK Chinook fleet. A £1.4bn contract to modernise the UK’s Chinook fleet over the next 10 years has been agreed. The deal will see British forces benefit from 14 of the latest iconic heavy-lift helicopters.
The order for the new aircraft signals the commitment made in the recent Defence Command Paper to invest over £85bn on military equipment over the next four years to reform and renew our Armed Forces.
Proven in battle and operated in every major conflict since the Falklands War, the Chinook is a highly-versatile aircraft. The helicopter can operate in a diverse range of environments, from the desert to the arctic, and transport up to 55 personnel or ten tonnes of cargo.
With a top speed of 300 kilometres per hour, the new H-47(ER) aircraft will have a range of new capabilities, including:
* an advanced digital cockpit
* a modernised airframe to increase stability and improve survivability
* a digital automatic flight control system to allow pilots to hover in areas of limited visibility.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
From assisting emergency repairs to UK flood defences, providing vital logistics support during Covid-19 to its warfighting role on Afghan battlefields, the Chinook has been the workhorse of the Armed Forces for over 40 years.
The cutting edge H-47 (ER) will be at the forefront of our specialist requirements in dealing with threats and logistic support. Our £1.4bn investment will mean we will be one of very few air forces with this capability.
The 14 aircraft will be purchased from the US via a Foreign Military Sales agreement and includes development and manufacture over the next decade. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2026. The new helicopters will be based at RAF Odiham, the home of the Chinook fleet.
Commander Joint Helicopter Command, Air-Vice Marshal Nigel Colman said:
Proven on both UK and overseas operations time and again over the last 40 years, the Chinook continues to be a critical capability for UK Defence; this announcement assures Chinook operations for the decades ahead and is representative of our commitment to modernise capabilities whilst maintaining interoperability with key allies.
In addition to traditional warfighting roles, the Chinook supports a wide variety of specialist tasks, including the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities. Most recently, it was part of the Joint Helicopter Aviation Task Force which transported NHS paramedics, equipment and patients during peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Introduced into service in 1981, the 40th anniversary of the first Chinook was recently celebrated with a new commemorative colour scheme. The oldest of fleet will be retired, enabling investment in the new aircraft to modernise the UK heavy lift capability. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
12 May 21. EU, NATO nations aim to carry military mobility to higher levels in Europe. National governments, the EU, and NATO are considering how to expand their individual and joint military mobility (MM) efforts across Europe during the next decade, with a broad emphasis on speeding up procedures for transit movement across national borders. “We want a well-functioning hub-and-spoke model in Europe where the spokes would be its main multi-use routes and corridors and its hubs would be logistics centres for host nation transit support of military movements,” said Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld.
She and other officials proffered their views during a 6 May symposium on MM hosted at the European Defence Agency (EDA) in Brussels.
Noting that the Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia, Portugal, and other EU countries put forward the idea during an EU defence ministers meeting earlier the same day, she said, “We have proposed to define a common level of ambition, with specific goals for delivery by 2027. If one can order a book online for same-day delivery, then we ought to be able to expect the same thing regarding [requests for] host-nation transit support.”
Transit-related issues were a common chord during the symposium.
“We all need to improve air- and sealift capabilities in support of logistics,” said EDA chief executive Ji?i Šediv?. “This will entail much more digitalisation and a need to harden processes, including civil-military IT [information technology] systems against cyber attacks.”
12 May 21. UK SMEs pitch for stake in high-tech industries of the future with Raytheon Technologies. Global opportunities in space and cyber on offer at unique international supplier event. Raytheon Technologies teamed up with the Department for International Trade to hold its largest supplier showcase. Over 100 small- and medium-sized enterprises, or SMEs, from across the UK were given access to global opportunities via the Raytheon Technologies supply chain during a two-day event to help build onshore capabilities and promote export business.
SMEs from across the UK represented a broad set of aerospace, space and cyber technology development and manufacturing at the largest supply chain event held yet between the UK government and Raytheon Technologies’ businesses.
ISTECMinister for Exports at the Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart MP, said: “Raytheon is one of the biggest names in the aerospace, security and space sectors and the connections and skills these SMEs will acquire through this event will accelerate their growth enormously while contributing to the levelling up of the UK. This Government is doing all it can to forge closer partnerships between UK businesses and overseas partners, particularly those with a strong foothold in huge markets such as the US, our closest friends.
“We have created the National Space Council, with a National Space Strategy that will be published this year, and the Prime Minister has highlighted the importance of transitioning to cleaner, greener aircraft through his creation of the Jet Zero Council. These initiatives, underpinned by our free trade agreements, will help the UK lead the charge on these exciting frontiers while championing sustainability as we move towards net-zero emissions.”
Initiated by UK government, suppliers from across the UK used the event as a transatlantic platform to pitch their capabilities to deliver the latest technological developments ranging from aviation to space as companies seek to build back better from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 30,000 jobs supported through Raytheon Technologies operations in the UK, the company understands the vital role of teaming with UK suppliers to help drive prosperity and technology advancements across the country.
Raytheon Technologies’ footprint spans across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with world-leading manufacturing and design facilities in every nation of the UK. The contribution by the company to the UK Gross Domestic Product in 2019 stood at over £2.2bn.
Raytheon UK Chief Executive and Managing Director Jeff Lewis said, “This event demonstrates our focus on delivering on the UK government’s Defence and Security Industrial Strategy and SME Action Plan.
“We are continuing to invest in Britain to open up domestic opportunities and export markets, create employment, contribute to regional economic prosperity and deliver wider social value to foster a more secure and productive future,” he said.
“Collins Aerospace in the UK has more than 100-years of supporting the aerospace and defence sector in the region and around the world,” said Chris Hazeel, vice president Customer & Account Management UK and Northern Europe at Collins Aerospace. “With more than 4,500 employees across 20 locations in the UK, and a broad portfolio of solutions, we’re well-positioned to support the country’s industrial strategies, sustainably and securely.”
11 May 21. EU’s proposed rapid reaction entry force faces many hurdles. The EU’s new goal of creating a so-called initial entry force for rapid expeditionary deployment to regions in crisis sounds good on paper but is fraught with thorny political, financial, and pragmatic problems that the 27 EU countries must resolve if the force is to see the light of day.
An EU diplomatic source told Janes on 10 May, “A ready-to-go insertion force would mean 24/7 standby troops and assets, which is expensive. Who would pay for that and what about strategic transport for standby? Europe doesn’t have enough for non-standby. It’s a long-term capability issue and they’re talking about a rapid reaction force in the foreseeable future?”
Proposed by 14 countries during a 6 May meeting of EU defence ministers in Brussels, the idea calls for a 5,000-strong force of land, air, and possibly maritime elements that would train and exercise together for deployment to crisis points in Africa and elsewhere. It could be approved as early as March 2022, Josep Borrell, the EU’s security and defence policy chief, told reporters after the meeting.
However, he also acknowledged that, for such a force to be effective, the EU “must react and take decisions faster…on how to launch missions and operations”.
That admission points to the three obstacles that hinder rapid military interventions by the EU: inadequate force generation, cost-sharing among the member states, and unanimous voting within the EU Council, which directly represents national governments. (Source: Jane’s)
12 May 21. Reserve Forces 30 report published. The findings of an independent study to reform the Reserve Forces for the future has been published. The RF30 Review, commissioned by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter in February 2020, was led by Brigadier the Rt Honourable the Lord Lancaster of Kimbolton. The review was driven by 3 key factors:
* The Integrated Operating Concept, which outlines Defence’s renewed commitment to embrace information-age capabilities, conduct persistent overseas engagement, deepen resilience and increase integration across the services
* The imperative to make the UK more resilient to natural disasters including pandemics, and grey-zone activities such as cyber-attacks, which will require greater integration of reservists to bridge the gap between the military and civil sectors
* The ambitions set out in the Defence People Strategy to draw more on the diversity, skills and networks that reservists bring to defence, and to integrate the reserves as part of Defence’s People Transformation Programme.
As set out in the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper, evolving how and when the reserve force is utilised will be vital in planning for the challenges of tomorrow. This review outlines a vision for the future contribution of the reserves to defence and wider government objectives, set out to 2030.
RF30 provides the framework for an empowered reserve force, further integrated with both their regular counterparts and wider defence organisation. This would enable greater access to the valuable skills of the reserves, supporting the delivery of the plans outlined in the Integrated Review.
Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey said:
We thank Lord Lancaster for his thorough and insightful review into our Reserve Forces.
The Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper emphasised the importance of adapting to new and evolving threats; our reserves will play a vital role in supporting defence and wider government as we take forward this new direction.
We will now examine the recommendations in detail and respond formally to the report in due course.
The RF30 Review has made 18 recommendations in 4 broad categories:
1) Redefining the reserves’ relationship with society
2) Expanding the role of the reserves
3) Unlocking the potential of reservists
4) Transforming support to the reserves.
The RF30 Review will now be considered in full, with further work to take place in examining the feasibility of the recommendations in order to develop a defence change programme. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
11 May 21. Home Secretary Priti Patel speech to CyberUK Conference.
The Home Secretary has spoken at the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberUK conference on cyber security.
Let me start by thanking Lindy and the whole National Cyber Security Centre team for inviting me to join you today.
Today we are discussing many of the most challenging and important issues we face as a country. In light of the seriousness of these topics it is a privilege for me, as Home Secretary, to outline my priorities and observations on cyber security with you.
The efforts of the NCSC and the work you all do to protect our country in cyberspace are simply outstanding.
These efforts may not always be front page news, but in my role I know what you do here is at the forefront of defending our nation and keeping our people safe.
British businesses and the public are safer because of these efforts and the way in which you work to bring together intelligence and technology to protect people and our institutions.
Cyber continues to revolutionise the way we all live.
The last year has brought that home more than ever before.
Online communications, traffic and the volume that we see on online platform continues to grow.
And that impacts how we guard our own national security and brings new challenges while highlighting new threats, often exposing many new gaps that we have to close.
Cyber is now a core component of our homeland security mission, with effective cyber defences critical to making the UK a responsible Cyber Power, as set out in our recently published Integrated Review.
We are taking a new, comprehensive approach to strengthen our position as a democratic cyber power.
Protecting and promoting our interests in cyberspace, while also detecting, disrupting and deterring our adversaries.
While continuing to shape, influence and unlock tomorrow’s technologies and opportunities so they are safe, secure and open.
We want to make the United Kingdom, and the lives and livelihoods of our people, stronger and more resilient to the threats we face and ready for the opportunities ahead.
As Home Secretary, it is my responsibility and duty to keep our citizens safe and the country secure, while protecting economic prosperity.
Cyber security and resilience are increasingly important and integral parts of my job. This includes our domestic response to all kinds of cyber threats, whether they be from states with hostile intent, organised criminals, terrorists, or from elsewhere.
Throughout the last year, we responded to new threats, including working with the pharmaceutical industry and the NHS to help protect them from the cyber threats they faced while working to develop vaccines to beat COVID-19.
As all of you in this audience will be aware, the threats facing the UK in the cyberspace – to our citizens, our businesses, academia and to the government – are real and significant.
The picture is diverse, spanning state and state-sponsored actors, organised crime groups, and criminals seeking to profit by defrauding citizens and businesses online.
The scale of this type of criminality is truly shocking. In the year ending September 2020, there were an estimated 1.7 million cyber dependent crimes experienced by adults in England and Wales.
The overall cost of computer misuse incidents against individuals, including hacking into personal computers and email accounts and stealing of personal data and imagery, has been estimated at over £1bn.
And nearly 2 out of every 5 businesses in the UK identified at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months.
These are not just statistics. The impact of these breaches and attacks have a profound and lasting impact on people and their lives and livelihoods.
These crimes are not victimless. They cause real harm to people and businesses.
One of the biggest challenges we face in tackling these threats is the breadth of ways in which they can manifest themselves, often causing both financial suffering and long term damage.
The use of networked cameras to spy on and harass individuals…
The operation of criminal websites that sell compromised details, fuelling further cyber crimes and fraud…
The attack by criminals on services essential to the economy, such as the attack on fuel pipelines in the US last week…
And as you will have heard earlier from the CEO of Solar Winds, cyber operations are often highly sophisticated, and many are very likely to be state sponsored.
The hack on Solar Winds has shown that state actors have significant capability. We need to be able to understand that threat, protect ourselves from it, and bolster our cyber resilience.
While addressing the danger from state and state-sponsored actors, it is rightly a key priority.
We also know that criminal groups have the intent and technical means to operate in cyber space.
The NCSC Annual Report sets out that ransomware incidents handled by the Centre have been increasing.
Cyber criminals have increasingly focused on companies and organisations. Taking the time to research their target so they can maximise their chances of releasing higher sums of money through extortion.
In the face of such complex and often inter-linked threats, it is crucial that we join ourselves up, and have a clear and effective response so that our citizens and businesses are safe and can operate safely and securely online.
Government has a strong position against paying ransoms to criminals, including when targeted by ransomware. Paying a ransom in response to ransomware does not guarantee a successful outcome.
It will not protect networks from future attacks, nor will it prevent the possibility of future data leaks. In fact, paying a ransom is likely to encourage criminals to continue to use this approach.
There is action that organisations can take.
Be as prepared and engage with the NCSC and law enforcement as soon as you can, so they can assist with understanding and mitigating the incident.
Understand the consequences of an incident and how it will affect your organisation in the future. This is not just about loss of data; there can be real disruption and significant impacts.
Learn from incidents – prepare and exercise your response.
Ransomware, like other cybercrime types, has no boundaries. The challenge of investigating and identifying those responsible is one we share with our international partners.
Recently, Five Eyes interior ministers have agreed to work together to prevent, discourage and counter the threat of ransomware.
The threats we face are significant and evolving. But just as our adversaries are continually developing their tactics, we are always seeking new ways to bolster our defences.
And we are making progress. Funding from the National Cyber Security Programme has completely transformed our capability – from improving the response of local police forces through bringing the most sophisticated organised crime groups to justice.
We have also created the National Cyber Force to help transform the UK’s ability to counter and deter adversaries, and further our interests and promote our values.
We are also taking action to tackle the truly horrific levels of online child sexual abuse and exploitation, with law enforcement agencies, making an estimated 800 arrests and safeguarding or protecting over 1,000 children every month.
The key in all of this is to increase our resilience; from the most critical and important systems right through to PCs, tablets and smartphones – the very tools and devices used every single day – but to put the right protections in place to deliver on our ambition of making the UK the safest place to be online.
As a world-leading organisation in its field, the NCSC has a pivotal role to play, working across government and with industry to drive improvements in cyber security.
We have also set up the cyber Protect Network and Cyber Resilience Centres to boost the support provided by police to the public and businesses.
These are, of course, international issues. And that means the relationships we have with partners around the world, including our Five Eyes allies, are more important than ever before.
As I have set out, we are making progress. But we cannot stand still – this work is simply too important.
So we will, as promised in the Integrated Review, develop a comprehensive cyber strategy that will set out how we will maintain the UK’s competitive edge and counter the threats from cyberspace.
In line with this ambition, it is critical that government has all the right levers available to ensure that those who commit criminal acts in cyberspace are effectively investigated by law enforcement, and prosecuted by our criminal justice system.
Including those perpetrating the most heinous and appalling crimes against children or those committing serious fraud.
The Computer Misuse Act has proved to be an effective piece of legislation to tackle unauthorised access to computer systems, and it has been updated a number of times to take account of changes we now face.
Alongside the Act, there is also separate legislation that provides powers for law enforcement agencies to investigate both cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crimes.
As part of ensuring that we have the right tools and mechanisms to detect, disrupt and deter our adversaries, I believe now is the right time to undertake a formal review of the Computer Misuse Act.
And today I am announcing that we will be launching a call for information on the Act this year.
I would urge you all to provide your open and honest views on ensuring that our legislation and powers continue to meet the challenges posed by the threats in cyberspace.
Before I finish, I want to thank you again for the opportunity to speak to you today – and for all of the work that you do.
These are complex challenges, these are difficult issues, so it is absolutely vital that we work together closely to confront them.
We have made great strides, and we all know there is more to do.
My message to all of you working across the public and private sector to fend off cyber criminals and hostile state actors is simple: keep it up.
Your contributions and work are crucial if we are to stay one step ahead of our adversaries.
Ultimately, this is about keeping our citizens, our businesses, and our national security safe, and as Home Secretary that will always be my number one priority.
Thank you. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
07 May 21. Germany’s parliament implements European drone regulations into national law. The Germany parliament has voted into law the EU drone regulations drawn up by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) by approving the draft law “to adapt national regulations to the Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 of the Commission of May 24, 2019 on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft”.
With the adopted draft law, regulations in the Air Traffic Act, in the Air Traffic Regulations and in other laws and ordinances will be changed. In the Aviation Act, rules of jurisdiction have been revised. In addition, registers to be kept by the Federal Aviation Office will be introduced on operators of unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles that are subject to authorization. In this context, details of the processing of personal data are regulated.
For more information visit: www.bundestag,de (Source: www.unmannedairspace.info)
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