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4 novembre 2015 3 04 /11 /novembre /2015 12:30
photo UK Gov

photo UK Gov

 

Nov 1, 2015 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Dubai - Construction work has begun in Bahrain to build Britain's first permanent military base in the Middle East since 1971, amid security threats in the region, Bahrain's state media reported Sunday.

 

"The ground-breaking ceremony for the establishment of the marine facilities headquarters in the kingdom of Bahrain" was launched on Saturday, the official BNA news agency.

 

The ceremony was attended by British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa, it said.

 

Hammond tweeted on Saturday that "work starts today on new @RoyalNavy base at Mina Salman #Bahrain," and said the new base "is a symbol of UK's enduring commitment to Gulf security".

 

The new base is part of a deal reached last year between the two countries to increase cooperation in tackling security threats in the Middle East.

 

Bahrain -- which is part of a US-led coalition that has been carrying out air strikes on the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria -- is already home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

 

Britain is part of the US-led coalition but takes part only in air strikes on Iraq, with its warplanes taking off from the Royal Air Force base at Akrotiri in Cyprus, where it also has a second garrison.

 

The new base in Bahrain "will enable Britain to send more and larger ships to reinforce stability in the Gulf," British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said last year.

 

Sheikh Khalid, quoted by BNA, said the construction of the new base was expected to "strengthen the partnership between the two countries and enable the forces to carry out their duties effectively".

 

Construction of the base will cost £ 15 million ($23 million, 19 million euros) and, according to Bahrain's Al-Wasat newspaper it should be completed next year.

 

Britain withdrew from bases in the Gulf in 1971, in a move that led to the independence of Bahrain and Qatar and the creation of the United Arab Emirates.

 

Currently Britain uses US facilites in Bahrain's Mina Salman Port.

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10 mars 2015 2 10 /03 /mars /2015 18:40
Ukraine: Kiev confirme le retrait de la majeure partie des armes lourdes dans l’Est

 

10 mars 2015 45eNord.ca (AFP)

 

Le président ukrainien Petro Porochenko a confirmé le retrait de la majeure partie des armes lourdes dans la zone de conflit dans l’est de l’Ukraine, y compris du côté des séparatistes prorusses, alors que Londres accusait mardi la Russie de « saper » la sécurité en Europe de l’est.

 

« La partie ukrainienne a retiré la majorité de ses systèmes de lance-roquettes multiples et de son artillerie lourde » conformément aux accords de paix Minsk 2, a déclaré le président Porochenko dans une interview à la télévision publique ukrainienne diffusée tard dans la nuit de lundi à mardi.

« Nous constatons que les rebelles soutenus par la Russie ont également retiré une partie considérable » de leurs armes lourdes, a poursuivi le chef de l’État.

Kiev et les Occidentaux accusent Moscou d’armer les séparatistes et d’envoyer ses troupes en Ukraine, ce que la Russie nie farouchement malgré les nombreux témoignages de soldats russes publiés par des médias.

Le chef de la diplomatie britannique Philip Hammond devait réitérer ces accusations tout en accusant le président russe Vladimir Poutine de « saper » la sécurité des nations d’Europe orientale, dans un discours attendu dans la journée et dont des extraits ont été publiés à l’avance.

« Nous sommes à présent confrontés à un dirigeant russe enclin non à se joindre au système international fondé sur des règles, qui préservent la paix entre les nations, mais à le saper », devrait déclarer M. Hammond selon le texte de ce discours.

« Les actions du président Poutine – l’annexion illégale de la Crimée (en mars 2014, ndlr) et actuellement l’utilisation de troupes russes pour déstabiliser l’est de l’Ukraine – sapent fondamentalement la sécurité des nations souveraines de l’est de l’Europe », affirme M. Hammond.

 

3.000 soldats américains aux pays Baltes

Le discours virulent du chef de la diplomatie britannique contre la Russie intervient alors que l’Otan prépare d’importantes manoeuvres en Lettonie, Lituanie et Estonie.

Le Pentagone a ainsi annoncé lundi que les États-Unis avaient commencé à déployer 3.000 soldats et des équipements pour trois mois dans les trois pays baltes.

Ce déploiement s’inscrit dans le cadre de l’opération « Atlantic Resolve » lancée par les Etats-Unis dans le cadre de l’Otan pour rassurer les pays membres et alliés de l’Alliance face à la Russie.

En Ukraine, le président Porochenko a fait état d’un respect global de la trêve, en vigueur depuis le 15 février, malgré des hostilités sporadiques.

« Le long des 485 kilomètres de la ligne de front, il n’y a plus de tirs d’artillerie, sauf au niveau de quelques localités. En revanche, des armes à feu et des lance-grenades sont utilisés » plus fréquemment, a fait valoir le chef de l’Etat dans son interview.

Malgré ces signes de stabilisation, la tension demeure vive dans plusieurs points chauds de la zone de conflit, qui a fait plus de 6.000 morts en onze mois.

Selon M. Porochenko, 64 soldats ukrainiens ont été tués dans l’Est depuis le 15 février, malgré le cessez-le-feu.

Mardi, le porte-parole militaire ukrainien Andriï Lyssenko a affirmé que neuf soldats avaient été blessés au cours des dernières 24 heures.

L’armée ukrainienne a accusé les rebelles d’avoir effectué dans la nuit des tirs à l’artillerie lourde sur leurs positions dans plusieurs villages situés à proximité du fief séparatiste de Donetsk.

Dans le village de Chirokiné, à une dizaine de kilomètres du port de Marioupol, dernière grande ville de l’Est rebelle encore contrôlée par Kiev, des combats aux chars ont eu lieu lundi, selon l’armée ukrainienne.

La prise de Marioupol, que les séparatistes ont à maintes reprises désigné comme leur prochaine cible, serait une étape clé dans la création d’un pont terrestre entre la Russie et la péninsule ukrainienne de Crimée, annexée il y a un an par Moscou, mais très dépendante de l’Ukraine pour ses besoins en eau et en électricité.

« Ces actes agressifs (…) témoignent une nouvelle fois de la volonté des terroristes de poursuivre les hostilités et de ne pas permettre un règlement » du conflit dans l’est, a souligné l’armée ukrainienne dans un communiqué.

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4 octobre 2014 6 04 /10 /octobre /2014 12:30
L’incroyable Scud anglais contre l’armée de l’air française



01.10.2014 Vincent Lamigeon, grand reporter à Challenges - Supersonique

 

Il aurait pu venir d’Iran, de Russie, de Corée du Nord. Mais il est venu de l’allié britannique, celui avec lequel la France a signé en grande pompe les traités de collaboration de défense dits de Lancaster House en 2010. Lui ? Un Scud incroyable, inattendu, tellement grossier qu’on se demande si c’est bien un ministre des affaires étrangères britannique qui l’a dégainé. Interrogé par la BBC qui évoquait l’engagement britannique en Irak et le nombre supérieur d’escadrons de chasse en France par rapport à au Royaume-Uni, Philip Hammond a répondu hier d’un tacle dénué de toute subtilité diplomatique : « Vous ne trouverez personne qui s'y connaît dans ce domaine qui dira que l'armée de l'air française constitue une force plus redoutable que la Royal Air Force ».

Quelle mouche a donc piqué Hammond ? Difficile à dire, tant l’attaque relève plus du coup de menton de cour de récré que d’une analyse argumentée. Le constat qu’il dresse, même en excluant toute fierté cocardière, est éminemment contestable. Si l’armée de l’air britannique reste un acteur de premier plan, au savoir-faire et à l’expérience redoutables, elle traîne avec elle un boulet redoutable : l’incapacité latente de l’Eurofighter Typhoon, commandé à 160 exemplaires, de mener des frappes au sol.

La meilleure illustration est le fait que les appareils envoyés par la RAF en Irak sont de bons vieux Tornado, des appareils dont la version initiale a volé pour la première fois il y a 40 ans (14 août 1974), et dont les premières livraisons à la RAF datent de 1979. Le rapport du NAO, la Cour des Comptes britanniques, sur l’Eurofighter en 2011 soulignait que les véritables capacités multi-rôles de l’Eurofighter attendraient 2018… soit la possible fin de production de l’avion au rythme de production actuel.

 

Sortie d'un Rafale équipé d'un ASMP-A

Sortie d'un Rafale équipé d'un ASMP-A

L'autre différence, et de taille, entre les deux armées de l'air est que l'une a la capacité nucléaire, pas l'autre. La France dispose des Rafale et Mirage 2000N, équipés de missiles ASMPA, qui complètent la Force océanique stratégique de quatre sous-marins lanceurs d'engins (SNLE) équipés de missiles M51 (et les six sous-matins nucléaires d'attaque). Le Royaume-Uni, lui, n'a plus de composante aéroportée de sa force de dissuasion depuis 1993, se reposant uniquement sur les sous-marins de classe Vanguard équipés de missiles Trident.

Cela n’empêche évidemment pas la RAF d’afficher des équipements qui font saliver l’armée de l’air française : une dizaine de ravitailleurs A330 MRTT sur les quatorze commandés ont déjà été livrés, quand la France se débat encore avec des antiques C-135 dont certains datent d’Eisenhower et tarde toujours à commander ses nouveaux appareils ; une dizaine de Reaper (General Atomics), capables de tirer de l’armement (459 tirs effectués à fin décembre 2013) quand la France se contente de deux Reaper non armés et d’une poignée de vieux Harfang.

Mais on comprend mal l’intérêt d’une telle saillie télévisée, à l’heure où les deux pays tentent de collaborer ensemble sur les drones ou les missiles. A moins que la sortie ne soit une énième tentative de disqualifier le Rafale à l’export, en Inde ou au Qatar par exemple. Comme se demandent judicieusement certains sur la twittosphère, les Anglais auraient-ils inventé le fair-play pour les autres ?

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15 juillet 2014 2 15 /07 /juillet /2014 11:50
Royaume-uni : le ministre de la Défense Philip Hammond remplace Hague

Le ministre de la Défense britannique et prochain ministre des Affaires étrangères, Philip Hammond

 

15.07.2014 Boursorama (AFP)

 

Le Premier ministre britannique David Cameron a annoncé mardi sur son compte officiel Twitter qu'il avait nommé l'actuel ministre de la Défense Philip Hammond comme nouveau ministre des Affaires étrangères, en remplacement de William Hague.

 

Suite de l’article

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24 juin 2014 2 24 /06 /juin /2014 14:30
Defence Secretary to visit Middle East partners

 

23 June 2014 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is to visit the Gulf to discuss the threat terrorist group  poses to Iraq and the region as a whole.

 

Mr Hammond will arrive in the Gulf early on Tuesday to meet with foreign and defence ministers of the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Qatar.

The 2-day visit will be an opportunity to discuss the need for a political solution to the crisis in Iraq which is inclusive and representative of all Iraq’s communities.

The meetings with regional allies will again demonstrate the UK’s commitment to the security of Gulf countries.

Speaking ahead of the visit Mr Hammond said:

The UK is deeply concerned by the recent developments in Iraq and the gains made by ISIL. Although the UK is not planning a military intervention, we are committed to finding a long-term political solution.

We remain committed to the security of the Gulf and want to reassure our friends and allies that we will do everything possible to support those who are working for a stable and democratic Iraqi state and to alleviate humanitarian suffering.

As the Foreign Secretary and I have previously made clear, the response to these events must be led by the Iraqi government. We are urgently looking at ways to help the Iraqi government, for example with counter-terrorist expertise.

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16 juin 2014 1 16 /06 /juin /2014 16:30
Hammond on Iraq: We're Not Anticipating Sending Military Support

 

Jun. 16, 2014 British Forces News

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond today said he did not anticipate that the UK would send military aid to Iraq. He spoke to our reporter Tim Cooper at the launch of the new upgraded Chinook at RAF Odiham

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27 mai 2014 2 27 /05 /mai /2014 18:50
The importance of Europe in NATO's maritime work

British Royal Marines train alongside their counterparts from the French Marine Corps (library image) [Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Sean Clee, Crown copyright]

 

23 May 2014 Ministry of Defence

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has delivered a speech at the annual meeting of the Chiefs of European Navies in Portsmouth.

 

During his speech Mr Hammond was clear on the role European navy chiefs must play in explaining the importance of Europe’s part in NATO’s maritime work in the lead up to the NATO Summit in Wales in September this year.

He discussed how important this coming together of nations was, with an emphasis on finding better ways of working together to tackle shared threats such as international piracy and blockades of economic choke points. Mr Hammond said:

Since the threats we face are global in scale, we must be ready to deploy, willing to project force around the globe, whenever and wherever the need arises. As we head towards the NATO Summit in Wales, we can shape our forces to meet the new security challenges that lie ahead.

British and French paratroopers congratulate each other
British and French paratroopers congratulate each other after a successful joint exercise (library image) [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

Mr Hammond also referred to the NATO Summit as a chance to ‘reinvigorate and revitalise our network of alliances’, with particular focus on the development of command and control and logistics structures that will enable the UK and France to conduct combined joint operations. He said:

Having proved the concept, we want to expand the principle with the Joint Expeditionary Force. This would involve a maritime task force, commanded by a lead nation that would be generated, trained and validated for NATO operations but able to operate independently while at notice. We plan to sign a letter of intent with key potential participating nations at the NATO Summit in Wales in September.

NATO Summit Wales 2014

The NATO Summit will be the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain. As well as discussing Europe’s role in NATO’s maritime work, talk will address issues which threaten NATO countries’ national security and also the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan at the end of this year.

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16 mai 2014 5 16 /05 /mai /2014 07:50
The path to changing Defence

 

15 May 2014 Ministry of Defence

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond delivered a speech at the Reform Annual Dinner in London on Tuesday 13 May.

 

During his speech, Mr Hammond looked back on where MOD was 4 years ago and the efforts that have been made to transform Defence into a ‘disciplined department with a clear sense of direction’.

Mr Hammond talked about the efforts MOD has made to effect this change; one of the biggest transformation programmes ever undertaken in the western world.

He spoke of making tough decisions to get the budget under control, retiring long-running capabilities, making cuts to armed forces manpower and overhauling the infrastructure and equipment organisations:

We have balanced the books by taking a hard-headed approach to what we can and cannot afford.

We’ve published a balanced and deliverable equipment plan, something the government has not done before, giving everyone within Defence greater transparency and greater certainty to be able to plan for the future.

The need for a leaner, more strategic workforce was also stressed in Mr Hammond’s speech.

The objective of having the right people in place and fewer people doing a better job were part of the foundations of his argument that MOD is now running in a more businesslike manner.

Making reference to accountability and responsibility in terms of maintaining a stable budget he said:

We chose to delegate budgets downwards to the front line commanders. People now have a vested interest in knowing both the cost and the value of what they are doing. Now they are responsible for managing their multi-billion-pound businesses.

And it has paid off. We only commit when we’re sure we can afford not just the capital cost but the year-on-year running costs as well.

Decisions like whether we invest more in simulation by reducing live flying hours should clearly be taken by the RAF and not by politicians in Whitehall. Already, this devolution of power from the centre has paid dividends in promoting a culture of initiative.

Towards the end of his speech he spoke of the current imperative ‘to institutionalise innovation throughout the organisation’, describing it as ‘the lifeblood for reform’.

He emphasised that it was being achieved by empowering people with clear objectives on what they must deliver but with flexibility about how they deliver it.

Mr Hammond concluded his speech by saying that he was proud of what has been achieved so far but reiterated that there is still work to be done.

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6 mai 2014 2 06 /05 /mai /2014 16:50
Defence Secretary visits Typhoons in Lithuania

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond at Siauliai Air Base in Lithuania [Picture: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF, Crown copyright]

 

6 May 2014 Ministry of Defence

 

Philip Hammond has visited Royal Air Force personnel deployed to Lithuania as part of the Nato Baltic air policing mission.

 

The detachment of 4 Typhoon multi-role fighter aircraft arrived at Siauliai Air Base on 28 April, ahead of a 4-month deployment alongside the Polish Air Force, providing reassurance to Nato allies in Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

During his visit, Mr Hammond met with Lithuanian Minister of National Defence Juozas Olekas, before touring the RAF detachment and speaking with RAF personnel.

Mr Hammond and Mr Olekas then witnessed a practice scramble with pilots and ground crew sprinting to launch a pair of live-armed Typhoons.

Defence Secretary visits Typhoons in Lithuania
Typhoon aircraft practise a scramble during the Defence Secretary's visit to Siauliai Air Base [Picture: Corporal Neil Bryden RAF, Crown copyright]

Mr Hammond said:

We want to make very clear that we stand by our commitments to our Nato allies.

The deployment of these state-of-the art Typhoon jets to reinforce the Baltic air policing mission, and the extra British troops to exercises in Estonia, underlines our commitment to our partners in the region.

The UK, alongside our international partners, remains steadfast in our condemnation of Russia’s behaviour and we urge the Russian government to take the appropriate steps to de-escalate the crisis.

The Baltic air policing standing defensive mission is undertaken by rotations of aircraft from contributing nations on a 4-month cycle.

NATO members such as the Baltic states, who do not have their own air policing assets, are assisted by others.

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11 avril 2014 5 11 /04 /avril /2014 07:30
British defence minister in Saudi talks

 

April 08, 2014 Spacewar.com (AFP)

 

Riyadh - British defence minister Philip Hammond held talks in Riyadh Tuesday, just weeks after BAE Systems announced an agreement with Saudi authorities on the spiralling costs of a multi-billion-dollar fighter deal.

 

Saudi state media gave very few details of what was discussed in Hammond's meetings with his counterpart Crown Prince Salman and National Guard Minister Prince Mitab bin Abdullah.

 

His talks with Salman focused on "cooperation between their friendly states and means of developing and strengthening it," the official SPA news agency said.

 

British contractor BAE Systems announced on February 20 that it had reached a new pricing agreement with Saudi Arabia for the deal it struck in 2007 to supply 72 Eurofighter Typhoon jets.

 

BAE gave no figures for the new value of the deal, which was originally put at �4.5 billion. The costs had risen sharply with less than half of the planes delivered.

 

The February agreement was a boost for BAE after the United Arab Emirates pulled out of talks with the British government to purchase Typhoon Eurofighters last December.

 

BAE, hit by government cutbacks to military spending, is looking to push on after the collapse in late 2012 of a planned mega-merger with European aerospace giant EADS, now renamed Airbus Group.

 

BAE builds the Typhoon in cooperation with Airbus Group and Italian defence firm Finmeccanica.

 

A previous arms deal between BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia was mired in allegations of corruption.

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2 avril 2014 3 02 /04 /avril /2014 11:35
Ceremony marks end of Task Force Helmand

British soldiers leave Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah on 1 March 2014 (library image) [Picture: Corporal Ross Fernie, Crown copyright]

 

2 April 2014 Ministry of Defence

 

After 8 years of front line operations, the UK's military headquarters in Helmand was disbanded yesterday.

 

In the latest stage of the ongoing drawdown of UK operations in Afghanistan, the functions of Headquarters Task Force Helmand have been subsumed into the wider US-led Regional Command (South West).

This milestone marks the end of the 16th Task Force Helmand operation for the British-led coalition task force, which has comprised soldiers from the Danish, Estonian, Tongan, Jordanian and Bosnian armed forces.

The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said:

At this important point in the final year of the UK’s lengthy and crucially important combat mission, it is only right to reflect on the significant achievements - and sacrifices - of the past 8 years.

The servicemen and women who have fought under the command of Task Force Helmand have protected the security of the UK and its people; prevented international terrorists from using Afghanistan as a base; and created the conditions for a brighter, more secure and more stable future for the country.

Having relocated from Lashkar Gah to Camp Bastion last year as part of the planned drawdown of British Forces in Afghanistan, the control of Task Force Helmand’s area of operations has now been handed over completely.

The ceremony to mark the end of Task Force Helmand
The ceremony to mark the end of Task Force Helmand [Picture: Corporal Daniel Wiepen, Crown copyright]

Although Task Force Helmand has disbanded, British troops will remain in Camp Bastion throughout 2014, either working in the coalition force under Regional Command (South West) or supporting the redeployment of equipment back to the UK under Joint Force Support (Afghanistan), the UK’s logistical headquarters.

The number of British service personnel in Afghanistan will continue to drop as the operation draws to a close and the Afghan National Security Forces prepare to stand alone without ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) support.

At the ceremony to mark the end of Task Force Helmand, its final commander, Brigadier James Woodham, said:

This is a significant moment in the drawdown of British forces in Afghanistan. It has been an honour to serve as the last Commander of Task Force Helmand and command the soldiers of 7th Armoured Brigade, The Desert Rats, on operations. The Task Force has achieved so much since 2006 and I pay homage to all of those who have served under the task force. We are leaving Helmand in a better place and the Afghan National Security Forces are well set to continue to deliver security to the region.

The number of British personnel in Helmand has reduced from a peak of more than 10,000 to its current level as the Afghan National Security Forces have taken the lead in security across the country. The role for the task force has changed from combat operations to advising the Afghan National Security Forces.

Kit redeployment

British military vehicles arrive back in the UK
Redeployed British military vehicles arrive back in the UK from Afghanistan (library image) [Picture: Shane Wilkinson, Crown copyright]

Since the operation began, the UK Ministry of Defence has approved, through the Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) process, over £5.8 billion of battle-winning equipment to meet emerging threats in Afghanistan. So far more than 1,578 vehicles and items of major equipment have been redeployed from the front line and are now being made ready for future contingency operations.

The MOD has announced today that up to £20 million has been awarded to Coventry-based Morgan Advanced Materials for the maintenance and servicing of the army’s fleet of Mastiff, Wolfhound and Ridgback vehicles, which are based on the US Cougar vehicles made by Force Protection, as they come back from Afghanistan, to be retained in service so that UK troops will benefit from their capability for years to come.

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28 mars 2014 5 28 /03 /mars /2014 13:50
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond

 

27 March 2014 Ministry of Defence

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has been talking about why the UK and US must remain partners of choice in defence.

 

On Wednesday 26 March, the Defence Secretary gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC about the special relationship that exists between the UK and the US.

Various UK and US defence issues were raised in his speech, including Nato and European allies working together, broadening military capability, and Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Philip Hammond recognised the challenges that European defence faces in these times of austerity, but urged European Nato countries to take on greater responsibility for providing security in Europe.

British and French troops
British and French troops taking part in a training exercise (library image) [Picture: Corporal Obi Igbo, Crown copyright]

During his speech, Mr Hammond said:

Nato needs to grasp these challenges, and with the current events in Ukraine as a backdrop, reassert the pivotal role of Nato in our collective security, and demonstrate that we are prepared to put our money where our mouths are.

Guests at the Margaret Thatcher Centre for Freedom were also told about the meeting between Philip Hammond and the US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel where they discussed the current situation in Ukraine.

A British reservist and a Danish soldier
A British reservist and a Danish soldier training together (library image) [Picture: Corporal Ross Fernie RLC, Crown copyright]

Mr Hammond said:

We have a shared view of Russia’s actions and the consequences that Russia must face as a result.

With thousands of Russian troops still massed upon the border with Ukraine, there remains a significant risk of the crisis escalating.

That is why we, with the United States and our allies in Europe, have imposed a range of sanctions on Russia.

British and American troops
British and American troops working together on operations in Afghanistan (library image) [Picture: Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC, Crown copyright]

The Defence Secretary went on to say that there is hope that Russia and Ukraine will be able to resolve this dispute peacefully, through diplomatic means.

The future investment in our armed forces and the benefit that can bring to the UK’s relationship with the US was also reinforced by Philip Hammond. He said:

With a fully integrated force of 190,000 regulars and reserves, retaining our ability to deploy into the field a division-size force, our cutting-edge, broad spectrum conventional capabilities, our world class Special Forces, and our unique intelligence network, the UK will continue to be able to project and sustain military power around the world.

We will remain the most capable and most interoperable ally of the United States of America.

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11 mars 2014 2 11 /03 /mars /2014 17:35
UK and Australian Foreign and Defence Ministers meeting

 

11 March 2014 Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Ministry of Defence

 

Foreign and Defence ministers of the UK and Australia meet in London this week for the annual Australia-UK Ministerial (AUKMIN) meeting.

 

Foreign Secretary William Hague and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond will meet Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston to discuss foreign, defence and security policy challenges and opportunities for further joint cooperation.

During the visit, the Foreign Ministers will sign a Joint Statement on Enhanced Diplomatic Network Cooperation, which will enable diplomatic networks to share best practice and develop new initiatives in areas such as consular crisis training, IT and property cooperation. This will provide for efficiencies and cost savings for both countries.

The Ministers will also discuss the UN Security Council agenda, challenges around conflict and crisis response and developments in the Asia Pacific region, with particular focus on areas where UK and Australia can work more closely together or share resources. They will review and reaffirm the importance of intelligence cooperation and will discuss the current situation in Ukraine.

Defence-related discussions will focus on developing interoperability between our respective Armed Forces, building on the close relationship most recently fostered in Afghanistan and Iraq. Another critical element of these talks will be opportunities for collaborating on defence engagement in the Asia Pacific region.

Australia and the UK will ramp up their development cooperation by signing a new Partnership Arrangement, committing to an annual Development Dialogue and intensifying collaboration in shared priority areas, including leveraging the private sector and aid for trade, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and humanitarian response.

Also at the talks, the ministers will formally launch a new dialogue on Asia, involving foreign policy experts from the UK and Australia. Based on a partnership between the British Ditchley Foundation and the Sydney-based think tank, the Lowy Institute for International Policy, the first meeting will take place at Ditchley Park in June. Its aim will be to promote our common interest in a stable and prosperous region.

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4 février 2014 2 04 /02 /février /2014 17:50
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond shakes hands with the French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, at RAF Brize Norton [Picture Paul Crouch, UK MoD]

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond shakes hands with the French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, at RAF Brize Norton [Picture Paul Crouch, UK MoD]

 

03/02/2014 International

 

Dans le cadre du sommet franco-britannique du 31 janvier 2014 qui s'est tenu sur la base militaire aérienne de Brize-Norton, au Royaume-Uni, le ministre de la Défense Jean-Yves Le Drian et son homologue britannique ont conclu différents accords permettant l’engagement immédiat d’importants programmes de défense conduits en coopération franco-britannique. Ce sommet fait suite aux accords de Lancaster House de 2010.

 

La relation de défense franco-britannique s'est considérablement renforcée au cours des 15 dernières années. En novembre 2010, la France et le Royaume-Uni ont signé le Traité de Lancaster House, point essentiel du renforcement de la coopération bilatérale en matière de défense. Le sommet franco-britannique qui s'est déroulé le 31 janvier 2014 a confirmé la volonté des deux pays de mutualiser des projets militaires.

 

Lors de ce sommet, Jean-Yves Le Drian et son homologue britannique, Philip Hammond ont conclu différents accords. Ils ont ainsi signé :

 

    Une lettre d’intention pour le lancement d’une nouvelle phase de travaux dans le domaine des drones de combat. Ces travaux porteront sur les architectures des systèmes, sur certaines technologies-clés et sur la définition des moyens de simulation.

    Un arrangement cadre permettant le lancement de la phase de développement et de production du missile Anti navire léger (ANL).

    Un arrangement cadre permettant de lancer le développement d’un prototype de drones de surface et sous-marins destinés à détecter et neutraliser les mines navales sur les fonds marins.

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31 janvier 2014 5 31 /01 /janvier /2014 17:50
UK and France agree closer defence co-operation

An RAF guard of honour greets French President Francois Hollande and UK Prime Minister David Cameron at RAF Brize Norton [Picture: Sergeant Dave Rose RAF, Crown copyright]

 

31 January 2014 Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street and Ministry of Defence

 

The UK and France have agreed to strengthen defence co-operation following a summit at RAF Brize Norton today.

 

A communiqué signed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande sets out plans for closer ties between the 2 countries.

Building on the Lancaster House treaty signed in 2010, the agreements further the security and prosperity of the 2 nations through commitments to jointly invest in the procurement of defence equipment, the joint training of armed forces and the continued development of the Anglo-French Combined Joint Expeditionary Force.

Both countries have today signed:

  • a statement of intent for a future combat air system, which would launch a 2-year, £120 million joint feasibility phase that will see British and French industries working together

  • technical arrangements for our exchange programme to provide RAF pilots and engineers with experience of operating the A400M ahead of the delivery of the UK’s first aircraft later this year; and for French pilots to gain flying experience on the RAF’s A330 Voyager aircraft

  • a memorandum of understanding confirming joint orders for a future helicopter-launched, anti-surface guided weapon for our navies

 

Agreements have also been reached that will see:

  • a £10 million contract for the development of underwater vehicles capable of finding and neutralising seabed mines

  • investment in the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, Berkshire, to allow collaboration on and safe testing of UK and French stockpiles and greater sharing of technical and scientific data to further joint research

  • further co-operation between both armies in the areas of equipment capability and interoperability

Both countries also agreed to build on international peacekeeping missions carried out by their respective forces in Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond and his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, agreed to continue the development of a Combined Joint Expeditionary Force capable of carrying out co-ordinated expeditionary military operations.

The 2 nations also agreed joint efforts to tackle security issues in north and west Africa, in particular terrorism, as well as drug and arms trafficking to achieve long term stability in the regions.

Mr Hammond said:

Britain and France are natural partners for defence co-operation. We have made substantial progress since the Lancaster House treaty was signed in 2010 and today we have committed ourselves to go further still.

The agreements we have reached at this summit will improve the interoperability of our forces, enhance our joint equipment procurement and build on our capacity to support security and stability in places such as Libya, Mali and the Central African Republic.

Philip Hammond shakes hands with the French Defence Minister
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond shakes hands with the French Defence Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, at RAF Brize Norton [Picture: Paul Crouch, Crown copyright]

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11 décembre 2013 3 11 /12 /décembre /2013 08:50
UK To Establish Government Organization To Handle Defense Procurement, Support

 

Dec. 10, 2013 – Defense News

 

LONDON — The British Ministry of Defence has scrapped controversial plans to hand management of its £14 billion (US $22.9 billion) a year defense procurement effort to the private sector, and instead is setting up what it calls a bespoke central government trading entity based on the present equipment and support organization to buy hardware and services.

 

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond told Parliament Dec. 10 that the government would set up the new organization starting in April with current Defence Equipment & Support (DS&E) boss Bernard Gray as the chief executive.

 

Hammond said the new organization would procure private sector expertise through a series of support contracts to deliver “key changes to systems and processes and to strengthen program management while organic capabilities are built.”

 

Questioned by ex-Defence Procurement Minister Peter Luff about the areas where external business partners might play a role in the revamped DE&S, Hammond said “what we envisage in the DE&S plus model is probably three separate contracts; one to provide us with program management support, a spine for the organization; one to provide us with HR support, an area of particular weakness in DE&S; and a task-and-finish project to install some additional financial control systems within the organization.”

 

An MoD spokesman said the new entity is an “arms length body working within specially agreed rules that are different to those used by the rest of the civil service.”

 

The new organization will be accountable to Parliament and have its own board and an independent chairman.

 

The Labour opposition party labeled Hammond’s statement an “embarrassing U-turn”.

 

The new organization is being exempted from normal Treasury rules so it can recruit and reward staff along more commercial lines than is currently allowed under civil service rules.

 

The MoD said it had only shelved its preferred proposals for a government-owned contractor-operated (GoCo) scheme, and that they could be revived following following the 2015 general election.

 

Despite recent improvements in performance, the British have been looking to radically change the way they procure and support the military here after years of lengthy delays and cost overruns to major equipment programs.

 

The procurement changes are part of wider transformation plans being pushed by the government, including handing over responsibility for budgets to the individual service chiefs.

 

The GoCo scheme, of which former businessman and journalist Gray was the architect, was the government’s preferred option to provide the skills and expertise missing at DS&E.

 

The decision to halt the GoCo work was taken after one of the two final bidders for the management contract withdrew in November, leaving only a Bechtel-led consortium called Materiel Acquisition Partners (MAP) in play alongside an in-house proposal known as DE&S Plus.

 

Hammond told Parliament that the withdrawal of the CHMHill2-led consortium meant the MoD did not have a competitive process and the “risks of proceeding with a single bidder are too great to be acceptable.

 

“I have, therefore, decided to build on the DE&S Plus proposition, transforming DE&S further within the public sector supported by the injection of additional private-sector resources ensuring that the organization becomes “match-fit” as the public sector comparator for a future market-testing of the GoCo proposition,” he said.

 

Hammond said Bechtel had already expressed an interest in bidding for the support contract work.

 

A spokesperson for Bechtel signaled the company’s ongoing interest in procurement transformation but said the MAP proposals for the GoCo would have saved the MoD billions of pounds to reinvest in new equipment .

 

“MAP submitted a comprehensive proposal to transform UK military procurement. We were confident this would have generated billions of pounds of savings for the Armed Forces to invest in new equipment. It is obviously disappointing that the other team’s withdrawal at this late stage has led to a collapse in the competition. However, we remain committed to exploring with MoD how best we can contribute to future reforms,” said the spokesperson.

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8 octobre 2013 2 08 /10 /octobre /2013 16:50
New Scotland analysis paper on Defence

8 October 2013 Ministry of Defence and Scotland Office

 

Scotland benefits from every single pound spent on UK defence, a new Scotland analysis programme paper makes clear.

 

The Scotland analysis paper on Defence, published today, highlights the extent to which an independent Scotland would no longer benefit from the £34 billion annual UK defence budget, one of the largest in the world.

 

The complex and integrated nature of the UK’s defence capabilities mean that an independent Scotland would have real difficulties trying to replicate a similar but smaller force from scratch.

 

The paper, launched by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond during a visit to Edinburgh, contains detailed analysis and concludes that ‘an independent Scotland would face an immediate and pressing challenge to establish Armed Forces capability and supporting defence machinery’.

 

The paper highlights the employment and economic benefits the defence industry brings to Scotland that would be threatened should Scotland leave the UK.

 

The paper mentions the thousands of skilled jobs in Scotland that are reliant on the UK’s defence industrial base, which plays a key role in providing the Armed Forces with the state-of-the-art equipment they need to defend the country against attack. It also sets out the economic benefits throughout Scotland for communities who contribute to the defence of the UK.

 

Under Future Force 2020 Scotland will be home to one of 3 Royal Navy main bases, including all its submarines, one of the British Army’s 7 adaptable force brigades and one of 3 Royal Air Force fast jet main operating bases.

 

Although the overall number of Regular Armed Forces personnel across the UK is decreasing, by 2020 the number in Scotland is set to increase to 12,500 (8.8% of the UK total).

 

And, as a part of the UK government’s plans to increase the size of the Reserve Forces, by 2018 there will be an estimated 4,250 trained Volunteer Reserves in Scotland.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond [Picture: Crown copyright]

The Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, said:

The Scottish people deserve to know what the impact of independence would be on the jobs and livelihoods of the many thousands of people in Scotland that are employed in the UK Armed Forces or in the defence industry that equips and supports them.

Less than a year before the Scottish people go to the ballot box to take one of the most important decisions in the history of Scotland, the Scottish Government’s plans remain insultingly vague – a 2-page wish list that is neither costed nor credible.

The security of the Scottish people is too important to be ducked and dodged.

 

As part of the UK, Scotland has access to the full range of UK defence capabilities, defending against both natural and man-made threats.

 

MOD’s future plans for equipment also ensure that Scotland, as part of the UK, will have defence capabilities of a scale and sophistication enjoyed by few other countries.

 

This includes the 2 brand new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, 6 Type 45 destroyers, 13 Type 26 frigates, 7 Astute Class submarines and the fast jet force of Typhoon and the Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

 

From a defence perspective, it is clear that the transition to independence would be extremely complex, raising serious questions over how an operational capability for an independent Scottish state could be managed.

 

The Scotland analysis programme is a series of detailed publications produced by civil servants, including those in Defence, explaining the benefits Scotland brings to the United Kingdom and the benefits for Scotland in being part of the UK. Earlier papers have covered topics such as currency, financial services and the economy.

 

The defence paper is the first in a sequence of papers that will analyse Scotland’s place in the world.

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24 octobre 2012 3 24 /10 /octobre /2012 16:21

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/terre/terre-images/albums-photo/albums-facebook/en-direct-de-l-operation-franco-britannique-corsican-lion/2041344-1-fre-FR/en-direct-de-l-operation-franco-britannique-corsican-lion_article_pleine_colonne.jpg

 

24/10/2012 Ministère de la Défense

 

Jean-Yves Le Drian, ministre de la Défense de la France et le Rt Hon Philip Hamond MP, son homologue Britannique, se rendent, ensemble, à bord du Charles-de-Gaulle et de HMS Bulwark en Méditerranée ce vendredi 26 octobre 2012.

 

Ils prendront part aux dernières manœuvres de Corsican Lion, débuté le 17 octobre dernier. Corsican Lion marque la première concrétisation du volet maritime du concept de Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF) 1, né de l’accord signé le 2 novembre 2010 à Lancaster House par la France et la Grande-Bretagne.

 

 Avec la CJEF, la France et le Royaume-Uni en 2016 disposeront d’une vraie capacité à mettre en œuvre, à partir de la mer, une puissante force franco-britannique interarmées.

 

Réalisé à proximité du littoral corse, le scénario fictif de Corsican Lion prévoit l’intervention sous mandat international d’une force amphibie franco-britannique dans un État politiquement affaibli, en proie à l’insécurité et à la recrudescence d’actes de piraterie en mer.

 

Il déploie 5000 militaires des deux pays, répartis en deux groupes. L’un amphibie, formé autour du HMS Bulwark de la Royal Navy et du BPC Mistral de la marine nationale sous leadership britannique. L’autre est un groupe aéronaval, formé autour du porte-avions Charles-de-Gaulle dont l’escorte est franco-britannique.

 

 Il est  dirigé par un état-major français. Corsican Lion marque une étape importante dans la coopération de défense entre la France et le Royaume-Uni ; c’est la démonstration que les Français et les Britanniques  détiennent une capacité opérationnelle commune, s’appuyant sur un double socle aéronaval et amphibie.

 

1 : Combined Joint Expeditionary Force ou force franco-britannique interarmées projetable

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