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07 Oct 21. Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB ADC appointed new Chief of the Defence Staff. Her Majesty the Queen has approved the appointment of Admiral Sir Tony Radakin KCB ADC to take over from General Sir Nicholas Carter GCB CBE DSO ADC Gen as the next Chief of the Defence Staff.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, said, “I’m delighted to congratulate Admiral Sir Tony Radakin on his appointment as Chief of the Defence Staff, a post he will take up on November 30th. Admiral Tony brings an unparalleled wealth of experience to the role at a time of significant change for the Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence. We are modernising to address the challenges posed by an increasingly unstable world and I know he will lead the Armed Forces with distinction in his new post.”
Admiral Tony has been an outstanding First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff overseeing a period of transformation in the Royal Navy that has seen more ships deployed, for longer, all over the world. That includes the inaugural voyage of HMS Queen Elizabeth at the head of our new Carrier Strike Group which set sail in May.
There is much to be done, at home and abroad, the threats against the UK and our allies are growing. Last year this Government made the biggest investment in Defence since the Cold War, and delivered a transformational vision for the future of the Armed Forces through the Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper. I would like to thank General Sir Nick Carter for his leadership and counsel as Chief of the Defence Staff. I now look forward to working with Admiral Tony as we fulfil the ambitions we both share for the nation’s Armed Forces.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said, “I am delighted to welcome Admiral Sir Tony Radakin as the next Chief of the Defence Staff. He has proven himself an outstanding military leader as First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff and I have every confidence he will be an exceptional Chief of the Defence Staff. Under his command we have more Royal Navy sailors on the front line, more warships at sea – including our two world class aircraft carriers – and we are leading a shipbuilding renaissance which is creating jobs and protecting lives around the UK. This Government has made a clear commitment to create the Armed Forces of the future, establishing the biggest defence investment programme since the Cold War. Admiral Tony will lead the Armed Forces at a time of incredible change while upholding the values and standards that they are respected for around the world. I know he will bring drive and dedication to the job and I look forward to working with him.
We owe General Sir Nick Carter our deepest thanks for his decades of steadfast duty spent keeping the UK, its citizens and our allies safe. During his time as CDS, I have valued his wisdom and support through moments of national crisis, including the Covid pandemic. He leaves his post at the end of November with the Armed Forces in excellent health, ready to face whatever challenges tomorrow brings. I wish him every success in his next endeavour.”
Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, said, “I am humbled to have been selected as the next Chief of the Defence Staff. It will be an immense privilege to lead our outstanding people who defend and protect the United Kingdom. I would like to thank General Sir Nick Carter for his leadership and wise stewardship of the UK’s Armed Forces over the last three years. I am looking forward to working further with The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP and the rest of the Department’s senior leadership team as we modernise the Armed Forces and implement the Integrated Review. The Government has given us clarity and additional resource to counter the threats we face as a nation. It is now time to get on and deliver.”
I am honoured to be chosen to lead the Armed Forces in this exciting time and in a period of enormous change. The Prime Minister and Secretary of State have demanded reform and we must seize the opportunity the Government has given us and ensure we are a global force delivering for Global Britain. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
07 Oct 21. Finland tweaks 2022 budget to accommodate HX fighter purchase. The Finnish government has approved an expansion to its defense procurement budget for 2022 that takes into account preliminary costs associated with the €10bn (U.S. $12bn) HX Fighter Program and the acquisition of new multirole aircraft. The proposal for new budgetary measures was presented to Finland’s national parliament, the Eduskunta, on Sept. 27. It is now included in the preliminary defense budget for 2022. Under the government spending plan, the armed forces’ procurement expenditure budget will rise to €2.37bn. The government has so far authorized the spending of €9.46bn to meet HX-FP acquisition costs. About €144m of the proposed increase in the military’s procurement budget relates to value-added taxes connected to the purchase of multirole fighters.
Logistics Command received final quotes from five manufacturers for the HX effort in April 2021, and they are currently under evaluation. Each contractor’s submission contained information on the inclusive solution and package tailored to each multirole fighter option.
The final quotes were received on five candidate aircraft: Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Dassault Rafale, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and the Saab Gripen.
The process is likely to run to the end of the third quarter of 2021, and the Defence Ministry is expected to ask the government to buy the aircraft by the end of the year.
The ongoing evaluation examines the scale of industrial cooperation offered by each manufacturer, including maintenance system solutions. On price, the military specified an offering, including operating and maintenance costs, must be affordable according to the existing defense budget.
In the last phase of the evaluation, the military will require candidate aircraft take part in a simulated, long-term war game to determine the operational efficiency of each candidate’s proffered HX system, including entire life-cycle costs.
The HX-FP is the military’s largest-ever procurement. The choice of aircraft will influence the force’s operational and combat capability well in to the 2060s.
Future defense procurement activities are expected to involve partners for cross-border weapons acquisition. In September, Finland reached an agreement with Sweden covering the procurement of soldiers’ weapons systems and linked technologies. The agreement sets down guidelines to manage joint procurement projects. (Source: Defense News)
07 Oct 21. Wreath-layings mark 20th anniversary of UK operations in Afghanistan. The Armed Forces Minister James Heappey joined Armed Forces personnel to lay wreaths in memory of the 457 British service personnel who died during UK military operations in Afghanistan, on the 20th anniversary of the start of US-led coalition airstrikes. The wreaths were laid in two symbolic ceremonies at the Bastion Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, and at the Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial in London. Service personnel who served in Afghanistan and wear the Afghanistan Operational Service Medal attended the ceremonies to pay respect to their fallen comrades. Over 20 years, 150,000 Armed Forces personnel served on operations in Afghanistan.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said, “Today we remember the sacrifice and courage of the 457 service personnel who lost their lives during the 20 years of UK operations in Afghanistan. We remember their bravery in conflict and their dedication to the cause of peace and democracy. Their selfless sacrifice transformed Afghanistan and showed the UK’s solemn commitment to standing with our NATO allies.”
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, who laid a wreath at the Bastion Memorial today, said, “Having served on two tours of Afghanistan myself, I was proud to lay a wreath at the Bastion Memorial in memory of those who tragically did not return home. Our Armed Forces overcame unimaginable challenges in support of the people of Afghanistan and to defend the UK and its allies. We must continue to honour the legacy of the generations of service personnel who served in Afghanistan.”
During the military withdrawal this summer, the UK Armed Forces continued to support the people of Afghanistan, successfully airlifting 15,000 vulnerable people out of Kabul, and welcoming them to the UK with medical support, education, training, and housing. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
06 Oct 21. Expansion into the Pacific must come with more defense funds, says British lawmaker. The United Kingdom’s involvement in a new trilateral deal involving the U.S. and Australia indicates the British government’s rising concern over Chinese activities in the Pacific and how they could harm freedom of navigation at sea. However, the chairman of a parliamentary defense panel insists London is not losing sight of its own backyard in Europe, and therefore should increase defense spending.
“We don’t have the luxury to work independently given the challenges we all face,” Tobias Ellwood told Defense News during the second day of the Warsaw Security Forum, an event organized by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation think tank.
Under the AUKUS framework, announced Sept. 15, the U.S. and U.K. will aid Australia in building a nuclear-powered submarine fleet, among other emerging technologies.
“Britain is only spending 2 percent of its [gross domestic product] on defense. But the threats ahead are collectively greater than the ones from the Cold War when we were spending 4 percent,” Ellwood said.
He added that, with these emerging threats in mind, London is intensifying efforts to boost its space and cyber capacities. “The cyber and space capacities are dealt with, and money has already gone there,” Ellwood said. “But we also need a bigger Navy, and we are investing in it.”
However, more funds are also required to expand the U.K.’s capabilities in other fields amid cuts to some programs. Budget cuts have already forced the country to reduce its initial F-35 fighter jet order from 138 to 48 aircraft, he noted, and the British-led effort for a sixth-generation combat jet, dubbed Tempest, is still in flux.
BAE Systems is developing the aircraft in partnership with Leonardo UK, Rolls-Royce and MBDA UK. (Source: Defense News)
06 Oct 21. CSG21: Prime Minister Claims ‘Dozens’ Of F-35s Deployed On HMS Queen Elizabeth. Boris Johnson’s claim contradicts reports indicating the Royal Navy flagship is only carrying eight RAF F-35s, plus 10 from the US. The Prime Minister has said HMS Queen Elizabeth is currently carrying “dozens” of F-35 fighter jets while deployed to the Indo-Pacific. Boris Johnson’s claim at the Conservative Party Conference contradicts reports that the Navy’s flagship, currently leading the Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21) deployment, actually only has 18 jets on board.
Of the F-35s on HMS Queen Elizabeth, 10 belong to the US – with the remaining eight belonging to the UK. The UK does plan to have “dozens” of F-35s by 2025 – 48 to be precise – with the total eventually rising to 138. As of earlier this year, the UK had 21 F-35s – Britain’s most expensive and advanced warplane – with eight of those on HMS Queen Elizabeth. (Source: forces.net)
BATTLESPACE Comment: One of many inaccuracies in his rambling, quickfire speech which was sorely lacking in depth and content. He also said that improvements would be made to the A1 north of Berwick. H may not have noticed they were done 20 yearsago,, unlike the sorley needed improvements north of Newcastle!
05 Oct 21. Estonia eyes artillery, missile defense, drones in modernization drive. Estonia is developing its defense capacities in response to Russia’s actions in the region, with multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), air defense systems, coastal missile defense systems as well as unmanned and cyber defense capabilities ranking high in its acquisition plans, according to Estonian Defense Minister Kalle Laanet.
“Last May, we announced that, together with our neighbors Latvia and Lithuania we will buy the MLRS for our militaries,” Laanet told Defense News during the first day of the Warsaw Security Forum, an event organized by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation think tank. “My opinion is that the Baltic states should have common capabilities to fight, but also deter any aggressor, so that they have to take us seriously.”
In 2017, Lithuania signed a deal with Norway’s Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace to acquire the network centric air defense system (NASAMS). Under Estonia’s National Defence Development Plan for the years 2017 to 2026, the country is also planning to purchase a similar short- to mid-range air defense system.
“We would like to start this project in cooperation with the U.S.,” the minister said.
Asked about other potential joint procurements, such as an acquisition of fighter jets to safeguard the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian airspace, Laanet said, “We haven’t discussed this, but I always say: never say never.”
NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission was launched on 30 March 2004, one day after the three countries joined the alliance. Today, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania still depend on other allies, as they lack their own fighters that could be deployed to such missions.
Meanwhile, other projects in the pipeline include procuring new unmanned capacities for the Estonian armed forces, and investing in cyber defense capabilities, according to Laanet who said that Estonian company Milrem Robotics is developing unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) that could be supplied to the country’s military.
“We also have a pilot project to build unmanned vessels for the Estonian Navy. A consortium of defense companies has been put together, and the first vessel of this type is expected to be launched in 2026,” the minister said. (Source: Defense News)
05 Oct 21. Poland calls for enhanced EU-NATO cooperation amid Russian buildup. Poland hopes that a bolstered cooperation between the European Union and NATO, combined with the alliance’s further enlargement, could spur a more robust approach to Moscow, according to senior Polish defense officials. Speaking at the the Warsaw Security Forum, an event organized by the Casimir Pulaski Foundation think tank, Polish President Andrzej Duda said Oct. 5 that closer ties between NATO and the EU are required to combat Russia’s military-driven expansionism.
“We need a strong partnership between NATO and the European Union that ensures a synergy of both organizations,” Duda said. “Russia is expanding its military presence and it endangers NATO not only from the east, but also from the north and south.”
Duda said the EU’s Strategic Compass, a strategy under development that is to define the bloc’s security and defense policies, should be in harmony with the policies of NATO’s Strategic Concept document.
The president’s remarks were echoed in the speech by Paweł Soloch, the head of Poland’s National Security Bureau.
“There is an ongoing development of the military potential of the Russian Federation. On our part, this creates a need for a further adaptation of NATO’s capacities, also with the use of the instruments held by the European Union,” Soloch said. “Naturally, NATO has a significantly larger potential than Russia, but on the alliance’s borders, the forces accumulated by Russia give a tactical, and, for a defined time, also an operational advantage to this country.”
With this in mind, Europe “needs to have a single strategy that merges the potential of NATO and the European Union,” he said.
Speaking in the presence of Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who also took part in the forum, Soloch said that “NATO and the European Union must remain open for new members.”
In 2017, Ukraine’s parliament passed legislation that reinstated NATO membership as the country’s strategic foreign and security policy objective. The move came about three years after Russia invaded Ukraine and annexed the country’s Crimean peninsula in a move designed to harm Kiev’s western ambitions.
“The entire Russian policy on NATO is based on an assumption that NATO’s presence itself is a provocation. Whatever we do will be viewed by Russia as a provocation. So they only question is: will you do something, or will you not?” Kuleba said.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said during a visit to Washington on Oct. 5 that he had discussed options for enhanced support to Ukraine with U.S. President Joe Biden. With actual membership still some time in the future, alliance members could do more bolster the Ukraine’s aspirations in the fields of security-sector reform and anti-corruption, for example, Stoltenberg said. (Source: Defense News)
05 Oct 21. Exports delay modernisation of French armed forces. France has been increasing the number of export contracts in recent months, favouring transfers of equipment promised to the French air force and navy. For example, the sale of 24 Rafale fighters to Greece and Croatia has resulted in their removal from operational service with French air force squadrons. These second-hand aircraft will take a year to be upgraded for export customer requirements. The 12 used Rafales are being delivered to Greece, for which the French air force will be compensated with 12 new ones to be delivered by Dassault Aviation in 2024–25. The aircraft destined for Croatia will be withdrawn soon, but at this stage their replacement is not yet planned. France has already in the past sold aircraft in air force service to Brazil – 12 Mirage 2000s, including two twin-seaters – but they were not as necessary as the Rafales currently in service with the French air force, which has far fewer fighters in service than it did at the beginning of the century. France also favours the fast delivery of three Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) mid-size frigates to Greece. The first two will be delivered in 2025 instead of to the French Navy, as was originally planned after the delivery of its first FDI in 2024. The service’s own modernisation will therefore be delayed by several years, despite Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly’s clear indication by accelerating the programme last spring that these ships were intended for the French Navy. (Source: Jane’s)
03 Oct 21. Thousands of army veterans ready to tackle HGV crisis ‘but are being ignored by No 10. Former soldiers say they are not receiving adequate support in entering the road haulage sector despite having requisite skills. Thousands of army veterans are ready to help tackle the HGV crisis but are being ignored by the Government, a logistic expert has said. Service leavers and veterans with requisite skills that have no civilian equivalent are being hampered as they try to move into the road haulage sector. Former soldier Darren Wright, of Veterans into Logistics (ViL), a non-profit organisation, says with government support it would take only four weeks to train new truck drivers. The Government says 200 military personnel are due to start helping ease the fuel crisis on Monday.
Mr Wright said the UK needs a drivers’ “bootcamp” to fast-track people. “To get out of this mess and speed things up we all need to work together,” he said.
“We’ve been lobbying hard. Companies are screaming out for drivers, but the idea fell on deaf ears.
“We need all the organisations working together. We need the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) onside and we need access to ex-military instructors and examiners.
“We can get Class 1 drivers (the qualification required to drive fuel trucks) trained within four weeks with the right government support.”
Military drivers to remain on fuel delivery duties ‘for as long as necessary’
Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, said in an interview with The Telegraph that the military drivers will remain on fuel delivery duties “for as long as it’s needed”.
The MoD would not give any further details of military support to the crisis, citing “security reasons”.
However, The Telegraph understands each military driver will be able to deliver around 38,000litres of fuel over a typical 12-hour working day, enough for about 700 family cars.
The ViL campaign to get more service leavers into the logistics sector is being supported by Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, who is lobbying the Government.
In an email to ViL seen by The Telegraph, Chris Thomas of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) said the ten Greater Manchester councils and mayor Andy Burnham are “committed to working with ViL to deliver an innovative programme to rapidly train 60 Veterans to be able to drive HGV vehicles”.
He said the GMCA is “currently investigating the process through which to fund the project and also lobby for dedicated central government support in terms of theory and practical testing”.
An answer on “public purse funding” is expected soon, Mr Thomas said.
‘Government should make it easier to get veterans trained up’
Mr Wright said there are thousands of veterans with HGV licenses, but without the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence – a civilian qualification not awarded by the military and which “takes months” – they are unable to drive equivalent vehicles.
“The Government should target the right audience and make it easier to get them trained up,” he said.
“HGV practical driver training takes five days, it’s everything else that takes forever.”
If the Government was to allow ViL to use two military examiners, Mr Wright said he could be passing eight HGV drivers a day.
“With the right support this won’t be hard,” he said.
“People say it’s a dying trade, but it’s not. I’ve got thousands of young people in Manchester who want to be truck drivers. It’s a skill.
“There’s 400 service leavers in the north-west looking to get out. If we can train them and use a military examiner they’ll be trained HGV drivers and able to go straight into jobs.
“We shouldn’t be in this position as a country, we shouldn’t have a shortage of truck drivers. It’s been coming for a long time.”
Sean Thorley, a former soldier in the Royal Artillery, said: “In less than a month I’ve got a new career as a HGV driver with secure employment, enabling me to provide for myself and my family.”
Mr Thorley first spoke to ViL on Aug 2, 2021 and passed the CPC theory test four days later. On Aug 23 he passed the Class 2 driving test and secured full-time employment three days later. (Source: Daily Telegraph)
02 Oct 21. French defence groups turn to Macron to redress submarine reputation hit. Scrapping of ‘transformational deal’ with Australia marks a setback for Naval Group and Thales A US submarine returns to navy base in Guam. The US, UK and Australia recently signed a security deal that included nuclear-powered submarines, which in effect ended a submarine deal Canberra had with French defence groups. On September 15 Pierre-Eric Pommellet’s Naval Group colleagues were rejoicing over a long-awaited letter from an Australian government official saying the company had completed an important phase of its multibillion-euro submarine contract when he received a phone call telling him the whole deal was dead. An Indo-Pacific security alliance signed between the US, UK and Australia whereby Washington would supply nuclear-powered submarines made the French vessels redundant, the chief executive of the state-owned defence company was informed. The Franco-Australian submarine deal “was not just a programme, it was a transformation for the company, we were projecting Naval Group into a new world,” Pommellet told the Financial Times. “It was a transformation for France also. And so everything that is happening today is hard. It’s hard for the team.”
Some parts of the Australian government had apparently not been in the loop — hence the unfortunate letter, Pommellet said. The ruptured contract will be a painful financial hit for Naval Group, and to a much lesser extent Thales, which owns a 35 per cent stake in the state-controlled defence company and had its own agreement to supply electronic systems. Safran, France’s third-biggest defence company, which had been assigned research and development work, said it was “analysing the effects” of the termination on its business. The loss is bad news for French defence exports. Though they have increased in recent years thanks in large part to Dassault Aviation and Naval Group, irrespective of the Australian deal, orders have declined to an eight-year low last year, according to data from the defence ministry. It also comes two months after the Swiss government chose Lockheed Martin’s F-35 against competition from Dassault’s Rafale and Eurofighter. Sash Tusa, an aerospace and defence analyst at Agency Partners in London, said people fall into two camps when it comes to what caused the contract’s failure: those who believe it is the product of “an Anglo-US stitch up”, and those who say it was caused by Naval Group’s operational faults. “It’s probably somewhere in between,” Tusa said. In the Normandy port of Cherbourg, where the French submarines were to be built, the debate has hit morale and piqued workers’ pride. “We know this could have an impact on Naval Group’s reputation,” said union member José Baptista. “That’s why we’re making a big effort to say that this has nothing to do with the quality of our work and we are doing everything we can to make sure that we compensate for the loss of the Australian business with new contracts.” Beyond the €840m Naval Group received for the portions of work it already completed, the deal would have generated about €500m in annual revenues, or 10 per cent of total revenues, for the “years to come”, according to Pommellet. “It’s a huge crisis,” he said. “But . . . the world is vast and there are many people interested in what we’re doing.” President Emmanuel Macron has taken on the mission to show precisely that: on Tuesday he announced a $3bn contract for the delivery of three Belharra frigates to Greece. The ships will be built in France by Naval Group. The Greek deal represented a “vote of confidence as well as a demonstration of the quality offered by France”, he said. France also announced this week that it would sell 52 Caesar artillery guns to the Czech Republic in a deal worth €257m. Thales too needs to preserve its reputation. The day after the so-called Aukus deal, the group told investors it would have no material impact and confirmed its 2021 profit targets.
The company received about €65m in annual earnings before interest and tax from its stake in Naval Group pre-pandemic. Thales said that the maximum it stood to gain in any one year from the submarine contract via its stake in Naval Group was €30m, which still represents a fraction of its €2bn annual earnings in 2019. Thales could also still sell electronic components to Lockheed Martin. Although the US defence giant had been due to make the submarines’ combat systems under the French agreement, some analysts believe it could yet become a supplier as part of the Aukus deal. However, the slow pace at which the Naval Group submarine contract progressed, and a potential loss of credibility in France’s defence operations, could limit Thales’s growth in Australia, which has become a key market to the company in recent years, some said. “Whether they like it or not, this is a black mark for Naval Group,” Tusa said. And, for Thales it represents a “loss of momentum in the Australian market, which takes the wind out of its sails”. However Thales said that this was a “misunderstanding”. “We have to keep in mind that Thales Australia, with its 3,800 employees across 12 major sites, is an Australian company, an industrial defence leader in the country” and has been a “trusted partner serving the Australian Defence Force for more than 30 years”, a spokesperson said. As the financial details of a compensation agreement are ironed out by lawyers in Paris and Canberra, French defence companies will look for closer European co-operation, mirroring a push by Macron for a more coherent EU strategy. Defence experts have long called for greater consolidation of Europe’s fragmented defence industry, in part to help boost national budgets but issues of sovereignty have proven too difficult to overcome. “Europe needs to pull closer together,” one French executive said. As he announced an €8bn investment in EU defence initiatives over the next six years, Hervé Grandjean, spokesperson for France’s defence ministry, said the ruptured agreement should “lead us to . . . strengthen our partnerships with European countries”. But some EU partners are sceptical. Christian Mölling, research director with the Berlin-based German Council on Foreign Relations, pointed out discussions about prospective industrial consolidation have been “going on for 30 years and nobody has consolidated”. The French, he added, will never be “willing to integrate what they see as the crown jewels of their defence industry”. (Source: FT.com)
30 Sep 21. Turkey, Russia Mull Fighter Jet, Submarine Partnership. Turkey is considering more joint steps with Russia in the defense industry, including for fighter jets and submarines, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Thursday, a day after meeting with President Vladimir Putin. Talks with Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi focused on steps that would deepen defense cooperation between Turkey and Russia, including partnerships for aircraft engines, fighter jets and submarines, Erdoğan told journalists onboard the presidential plane.
“We had the opportunity to discuss comprehensively what steps to take in the production of plane engines, what steps to take regarding fighter jets,” he said, adding that other measures could include building ships and submarines.
Russia could also be involved in the construction of Turkey’s second and third nuclear power plants, Erdoğan said, while Putin suggested developing platforms for space launch platforms.
“We spoke to Mr. Putin about building two more nuclear plants, besides Akkuyu. He agreed to work on the issue,” Erdoğan said.
Akkuyu is Turkey’s first nuclear power plant that is being built by Russia’s state nuclear energy firm Rosatom in the southern Mersin province. The two countries signed a cooperation agreement in 2010 and began the construction in 2018. The initial unit of the plant is aimed to be completed by May 2023.
The three remaining units are due to start operation by the end of 2026, at a rate of one per year to ultimately have a total installed capacity of 4,800 megawatts (MW).
Once completed, the plant is expected to produce 35 bn kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually and will meet about 10% of domestic electricity needs.
It will have an estimated service life of 60 years with an extension of another 20 years and will produce carbon-free energy around the clock.
Compensation fighter jets
Erdoğan’s remarks come a week after he reiterated Ankara’s intention to acquire a new batch of S-400 air defense systems.
His comments triggered warnings from Washington that Turkey could face further measures under U.S. legislation penalizing countries that buy Russian arms.
NATO member Turkey’s 2019 purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defenses prompted Washington to remove it from the international program that produces next-generation F-35 fighter jets and cancel their sales, before sanctioning Turkey’s defense officials.
The U.S. argued that the system could be used by Russia to covertly obtain classified details on the Lockheed Martin F-35 jets and that it is incompatible with NATO systems. Turkey, however, insists that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems and would not pose a threat to the alliance.
Asked about Turkey’s plans to purchase additional S-400 systems despite threats of further U.S. sanctions, Erdoğan responded: “The S-400 process continues. There is no turning back.”
The president said he hoped to meet U.S. President Joe Biden at the G-20 meeting in Rome to discuss the F-35 project, including a $1.4bn (TL 12.42bn) payment Turkey had made for the F-35 jets it can no longer get.
Another meeting between the Turkish and U.S. leaders could also take place on the sidelines of a November climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Erdoğan said.
“We made a $1.4bn payment, what will become of that?” he said. “We did not – and do not – earn this money easily. Either they will give us our planes or they will give us the money.”
“We will discuss all relations including, military, political, economic, commercial,” he said.
Last week, Erdoğan was quoted as saying on his return from a visit to New York that U.S.-Turkish relations were not healthy and their current direction “does not bode well.”
However, after commenting on his plans to meet Biden next month he said on his return from Sochi: “There are some steps being taken that bode well.” (Source: https://www.defense-aerospace.com/ Daily Sabah)
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