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3 mars 2015 2 03 /03 /mars /2015 12:30
Defence Secretary thanks UK military personnel tackling ISIL

Michael Fallon speaks to UK military personnel during a trip to RAF Akrotiri [Picture: Corporal Lee Goddard RAF, Crown copyright]

 

1 March 2015 Ministry of Defence and The Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP

 

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon today thanked UK personnel directly involved in the fight against ISIL during a trip to RAF Akrotiri.

 

During his second visit to Cyprus, Mr Fallon met RAF personnel from 903 Expeditionary Air Wing who are providing the UK’s contribution to coalition air operations against ISIL.

He discussed the campaign and spoke to the pilots who are flying twice daily missions as the UK continues to make the second largest contribution to coalition airstrikes in support of Iraqi forces.

The Defence Secretary also met troops from 2nd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, and received a briefing on the key role they are playing in the training programme to build the capacity of the Iraqi Security Forces.

So far over 1000 Kurdish Peshmerga have completed training and the UK will lead the Coalition’s counter-IED training programme which is due to start this month.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

I am proud of the work the 400 personnel based here are doing to help the Iraqi Government to defend their country against the ISIL ‘cancer’.

While this fight will take time, the coalition’s airstrikes are having a direct effect in supporting Iraqi ground operations against ISIL.

In the North, areas around Mount Sinjar have been retaken, bringing relief to the local Yazidi population and applying pressure to ISIL forces in Mosul. In the South, Iraqi forces operations are beginning to push back ISIL.

Britain’s contribution is playing to our strengths. By leading the counter-IED training this month our troops will be using their expertise to give Iraqi forces a vital capability in taking the fight to ISIL.

The RAF base has been home to extensive air capabilities since coalition air operations began last year.

These include:

  • Tornado GR4s which have conducted 90 strikes (as of 2nd March 2015)
  • Reaper Remotely Piloted Aircraft which have conducted 70 strikes (as of 2nd March 2015)
  • Voyager which has played a crucial role in refuelling UK and coalition aircraft
  • C130 transport aircraft which have delivered both humanitarian aid and military support
  • and finally the recently deployed E3-D Sentry which has enhanced the coalition’s airborne control and surveillance capability.
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3 mars 2015 2 03 /03 /mars /2015 11:50
Arrivée du second A400M à Brize Norton - Photo : Steve Lympany - RAF Brize Norton

Arrivée du second A400M à Brize Norton - Photo : Steve Lympany - RAF Brize Norton

 

3 Mars 2015 defens-aero.com

 

C'est dans une courte annonce, publiée sur la page Facebook officielle de la base aérienne anglaise de Brize Norton, que l'information a été divulguée : La Royal Air Force vient de réceptionner son deuxième A400M "Atlas".

En effet, selon le communiqué publié hier Lundi 02 Mars dans la matinée, le Royaume-Uni a réceptionné son second avion de transport dans l'après-midi du Vendredi 27 Février, sur la base aérienne de Brize Norton, là où est stationné le premier A400M "City of Bristol". Ce second aéronef, construit par Airbus Defence & Space, est immatriculé ZM402.

 

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2 mars 2015 1 02 /03 /mars /2015 17:30
RAF Strike on ISIL 27 February



2 mars 2015 defenceheadquarters

 

In the early hours of Friday 27 February, an RAF Tornado GR4 patrol conducted reconnaissance to the north-west of Haditha. An ISIL armoured personnel carrier was located, and destroyed with a Brimstone missile.

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27 février 2015 5 27 /02 /février /2015 08:50
Lightning II, Spitfire and Camel

 

2/19/2015 Strategy Page

 

To mark the centenary of the formation of RAF 17 Squadron a unique line up of aircraft was assembled at Edwards Air Force Base. Seen here are a Sopwith Camel (replica), Supermarine Spitfire XIV and Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, three of the types flown by the squadron during the past 100 years.

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25 février 2015 3 25 /02 /février /2015 18:50
photo Armée de l'Air

photo Armée de l'Air

 

25/02/2015 Armée de l'air

 

Du 13 au 15 février 2015, l’École de l’air (EA) a accueilli à Salon-de-Provence une délégation du collège de la Royal Air Force de Cranwell (Royaume-Uni) pour la 19ème rencontre sportive bilatérale.

 

Emmenée par l’Air Commodore Chris Luck, commandant le collège, les élèves britanniques se sont mesurés aux élèves de l’EA. Au programme : rugby, cross-country, natation, volley-ball, futsal et dash (nouvelle activité en relais organisée sous forme de petits ateliers sportifs).

 

Malgré la pluie, la cohésion était au rendez-vous. Les deux écoles se sont illustrées dans plusieurs épreuves : les Français ont remporté le futsal, le cross et le volley, tandis que les Britanniques ont brillé plus particulièrement au rugby, à la natation et au dash.

 

La prochaine rencontre est déjà programmée : les deux écoles se retrouveront à Cranwell en 2016!

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24 février 2015 2 24 /02 /février /2015 17:30
RAF Strike on ISIL 18 February (video)


19 févr. 2015 Royal Air Force

 

Royal Air Force aircraft have again struck at the ISIL terrorists in Iraq, hitting a mobile rocket launcher that had fired on Kurdish troops north of Mosul.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 18 February, two RAF Tornado GR4s from RAF Akrotiri conducted an armed reconnaissance mission over northern Iraq to provide close air support to the Kurdish peshmerga, who have conducted a series of successful offensives to liberate their countrymen from the terrorists. The Kurds reported coming under rocket fire, and after an intensive search the GR4s were able to locate an ISIL truck-mounted rocket launcher, and attacked it, scoring a direct hit with a Brimstone missile. The Kurdish peshmerga are also receiving infantry training from a team of coalition instructors, including British military personnel.

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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 13:30
Air strikes in Iraq (updated 9 February 2015)

 

9 February 2015 Ministry of Defence

 

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

 

Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft operating in support of the Iraqi government have conducted further successful attacks on ISIL terrorists.

On the morning of Friday 6 February, an RAF Tornado GR4 patrol worked closely with a coalition surveillance platform to provide overwatch for Kurdish peshmerga, who were engaged in close combat with ISIL – also known as Da’ish – terrorists near Mosul. When an ISIL mortar position opened fire on the pehsmerga, the GR4s were able to respond with a Brimstone missile which scored a direct hit.

Early on Saturday morning, another Tornado pair patrolled western Iraq, near Al Qa’im, close to the Syrian border. Two heavily armed ISIL trucks were identified and attacked with Brimstone missiles. The GR4s also located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier and conducted a further Brimstone attack; initial analysis indicates that all three vehicles were destroyed.

An armed reconnaissance patrol by a Reaper on Monday morning over western Iraq spotted a checkpoint manned by ISIL, denying the local population any freedom of movement. Having checked the area for any risk to civilians, the Reaper’s crew attacked the checkpoint with a Hellfire missile.

 

Previous air strikes

2 February: Early on Monday, Tornado GR4s provided close air support to Iraqi army operations approximately 70 kilometres north west of Baghdad, and dropped 2 Paveway IVs on ISIL positions engaged in a firefight with the Iraqi troops.

4 February: In the afternoon, a pair of RAF Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol to assist the Iraqi armed forces in their offensive operations against ISIL around Bayji. Two ISIL armoured vehicles were identified in a building and were attacked with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, scoring direct hits.

Military support is just one part of the UK Government’s contribution to the global coalition strategy to defeat ISIL – we are also taking action to counter the terrorist network’s finances, are restricting the flow of foreign fighters and have provided vital humanitarian relief to help those affected by ISIL’s brutality. The RAF contribution includes Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, which, like the Tornados, provide reconnaissance and close air support to the Iraqi ground forces; a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker; a Sentry airborne surveillance and command aircraft; and air transport aircraft as necessary. British military training teams continue to teach infantry and first aid skills to the Kurdish peshmerga, and liaison teams are embedded within Iraqi and coalition headquarters. Having previously provided military equipment to the Iraqi forces, Britain plans to gift Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detectors to help the Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers protect themselves against the numerous improvised explosive devices on which ISIL are increasingly relying as they are forced back by successful offensives. In the Gulf, the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless is operating in direct support of the US Navy’s aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, which provides a significant part of the coalition’s air effort.

Details of previous airstrikes can be found here.

For more information see ISIL: UK government response page on GOV.UK

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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 12:20
17 (Reserve) Squadron begin UK F-35 testing


10 févr. 2015 Royal Air Force

 

The arrival of the UK's first F35 Lighting II Stealth Fighter Aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base in the USA on the 13th Jan 2015. The Aircaft was flown in to Edward's by Wing Commander Jim Beck ,Officer Commanding for 17(R) TES Squadron.

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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 08:50
UK’s First A400M Aircraft Named “City of Bristol”

 

09 February 2015 Royal Air Force

 

The UK’s first A400M Atlas has been named “City of Bristol” by the Royal Air Force in a rare honour to highlight the important role industry in the city has played in the delivery of the aircraft.

 

The wings of the next-generation military transporter plane were designed and manufactured at the Airbus factory in Filton, Bristol, with a number of other businesses in the city, including Rolls-Royce, GKN Aerospace, and Atkins, demonstrating a range of high quality aerospace skills which support the A400M programme.

A total of 22 A400M Atlas aircraft have been ordered by the Ministry of Defence’s procurement arm, Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S), which is also based in the city at Abbey Wood.

The naming of the aircraft is a special privilege for Bristol, since it is unusual for the RAF to name an individual aircraft in this way.

Speaking at a ceremony at the Airbus site to mark the event, Defence Minister Philip Dunne said:

“The A400M programme has created or secured work for around 900 people at companies based here in Bristol and is providing skilled jobs in manufacturing, engineering and supply chain roles. Many of these jobs require training to acquire specialist new skills needed to help keep the UK aerospace sector at the forefront of this high technology industry.

“The MOD is playing its part in contributing to our long-term economic plan and this A400M programme will become an important contributor to the defence supply chain, here in Bristol, for years to come”

To mark the honour, the “City of Bristol” A400M Atlas recently completed a fly-past of the Clifton Suspension Bridge which also served as a reminder of the engineering history of the city.

Chief of Materiel Air, Air Marshal Simon Bollom said:

“The naming of the Royal Air Force’s first A400M aircraft as City of Bristol reflects a continuation of historical ties between Bristol and the Royal Air Force. Bristol is at the heart of the UK aerospace community which has progressed through time and industry from the Bristol built engines like Jupiter - the most successful aero engine of the 1920s - through to the famous jets such as Concorde.

“This tradition continues with state of the art work being carried out at Airbus’s Filton site on wings for the A400M, supported by complex work packages from GKN, Rolls-Royce and Atkins and this rare naming honour is recognition for the long and entrenched affiliation between the City of Bristol and British aviation.“

Manufactured by Airbus Defence & Space the A400M Atlas will replace the existing fleet of C-130 Hercules and represents major advances on its predecessor, with it capable of flying considerably faster, twice as far and able to carry almost twice as much cargo.

UK’s First A400M Aircraft Named “City of Bristol”
UK’s First A400M Aircraft Named “City of Bristol”
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10 février 2015 2 10 /02 /février /2015 08:35
Kabul Cabs – The Chinook Force In Afghanistan

Photo Cpl Andrew Morris - RAF

 

06 February 2015 Flt Lt Henderson- RAF

 

Royal Air Force Chinooks are continuing to make a significant contribution towards Afghanistan’s future security and stability following the end of the UK combat mission in the country on 31st December 2014.

 

Three Chinooks helicopters from RAF Odiham in Hampshire are currently deployed to assist the servicemen and women remaining in Afghanistan supporting the Afghan government and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in non-combat roles. The focus of the UK’s efforts in the country has evolved from leading combat operations to training, advising and assisting the ANSF, this includes leading the training at the Afghan National Army Officers Academy (ANAOA).

 

In November 2014, three of the eight heavy lift support helicopters previously assigned to operations in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan relocated to Kabul in support of the NATO-led mission, Operation Resolute Support. Sqn Ldr Hannah Brown, Officer Commanding Op TORAL Aviation Detachment said,

 

“The British mission in Afghanistan, known as Operation TORAL, is to support the institutional development of the Afghan government and the strengthening of the Afghan Security Forces. For us [the Chinook Force] this involves flying diplomats, UK and coalition military and freight around the capital.”

 

“The primary difference we’re making is that we’re keeping people off the roads. By far the highest threat at the moment in the capital are road side bombs and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devises. By using air we can transport people quickly and more safely to various locations in the city.”

 

“We’re not the only aviation assets here, there’s a large presence from the americans but we’re having a disproportionate affect with just our three aircraft. We’re a small detachment but we’re currently providing up to ten hours flying a day moving troops and equipment around Kabul.”

 

“I’m particularly proud that even within our first month here, we were already achieving a hundred percent of the flying task we were asked to do. That equates to roughly 2400 people being kept off the roads. When you consider how many convoys that haven’t had to happen, that is really rewarding.”

 

Later this spring the Chinook Force in Kabul will be replaced by three RAF Puma HC 2 helicopters from RAF Benson, they will remain in Afghanistan until the mission is complete.

 

Sqn Ldr Brown said, “There are people on the Chinook Force now who don’t remember a time when we haven’t been in Afghanistan. After 14 years it will be a big step change for us but also a chance for a reset back at RAF Odiham.”

 

“We will have the opportunity to start supporting other exercises and contingency operations as required and we will also be able to focus on training in other environments that we haven’t been able to concentrate on while our main effort has been flying in Afghanistan.”

 

Engineers from 1310 Flight, normally based at RAF Odiham get to work on a Chinnok while it sits on the pan at Kabul.

 

“The Chinook has become synonymous with Afghanistan, every time you see an image of troops in Helmand, chances are you will see an RAF Chinook in the background.”

 

“We’re extremely proud of the support we provided to operations in Afghanistan so it will be a sad day when we leave this country but I think we’re leaving it a better state than when we arrived and it’s a chance for the Chinook force to look ahead to new things.”

Kabul Cabs – The Chinook Force In AfghanistanKabul Cabs – The Chinook Force In Afghanistan
Kabul Cabs – The Chinook Force In Afghanistan
Kabul Cabs – The Chinook Force In AfghanistanKabul Cabs – The Chinook Force In Afghanistan
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8 février 2015 7 08 /02 /février /2015 08:30
photo UK MoD

photo UK MoD

 

5 Feb 2015 By: Beth Stevenson - FG

 

The UK Defence Select Committee has criticised the government for conducting a mere 6% of the air strikes that are being carried out against Islamic State militants in Iraq. The Royal Air Force has been contributing aircraft and personnel to the effort since parliament authorised British air strikes in September, but the committee has claimed in a new report that with consideration of the expertise and resources at its disposal, the UK could and should play a much larger role. Although this is one of the “most extreme threats” facing civilisation in some 20 years, Rory Stewart, chairman of the committee, says that the UK’s role in combating it is “strikingly modest".

 

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5 février 2015 4 05 /02 /février /2015 17:30
Air strikes in Iraq (updated 5 February 2015)

 

5 February 2015 Ministry of Defence

 

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

 

British forces have again struck at ISIL, as part of the international coalition’s efforts to support the Iraqi government in its fight against the terrorist organisation.

On the afternoon of Wednesday 4 February, a pair of Royal Air Force (RAF) Tornado GR4s conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol to assist the Iraqi armed forces in their offensive operations against ISIL around Bayji. Two ISIL armoured vehicles were identified in a building and were attacked with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs, scoring direct hits.

Military support is just one part of the UK Government’s contribution to the global coalition strategy to defeat ISIL – we are also taking action to counter the terrorist network’s finances, are restricting the flow of foreign fighters and have provided vital humanitarian relief to help those affected by ISIL’s brutality. The RAF contribution includes Reaper remotely piloted aircraft, which, like the Tornados, provide reconnaissance and close air support to the Iraqi ground forces; a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker; a Sentry airborne surveillance and command aircraft; and air transport aircraft as necessary. British military training teams continue to teach infantry and first aid skills to the Kurdish peshmerga, and liaison teams are embedded within Iraqi and coalition headquarters. Having previously provided military equipment to the Iraqi forces, Britain plans to gift Improvised Explosive Device (IED) detectors to help the Iraqi and Kurdish soldiers protect themselves against the numerous improvised explosive devices on which ISIL are increasingly relying as they are forced back by successful offensives. In the Gulf, the Royal Navy’s Type 45 destroyer HMS Dauntless is operating in direct support of the US Navy’s aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, which provides a significant part of the coalition’s air effort.

 

Previous air strikes

2 February: Early on Monday, Tornado GR4s provided close air support to Iraqi army operations approximately 70 kilometres north west of Baghdad, and dropped 2 Paveway IVs on ISIL positions engaged in a firefight with the Iraqi troops.

 

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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 07:50
photo Royal Air Force

photo Royal Air Force

 

3 février 2015 par Jacques N. Godbout - 45eNord;ca

 

Mercredi dernier, deux bombardiers russes, susceptibles de transporter des ogives nucléaires, ont été interceptés par le Royaume-Uni au dessus de la Manche.

 

Deux TU-95, des bombardiers lourds lanceurs de missiles russes, ont été repérés au large de la Norvège. Plusieurs avions F-16 norvégiens ont alors décollé pour vérifier que cette flotte ne violait pas l’espace aérien norvégien.

Les bombardiers ont poursuivi leur route vers la Manche, à une quarantaine de kilomètres des côtes britanniques. Cette intrusion n’avait pas été annoncée dans les plans de vols et les transpondeurs, qui permettent d’être repérés par l’aviation civile, étaient débranchés.

Les avions civils ont été détournés de la zone par précaution et des chasseurs britanniques ont finalement intercepté les deux bombardiers, rapportent les médias britanniques.

Au même moment, rapportait de son côté la presse française, un Rafale a décollé de la base aérienne de Creil et a franchi le mur du son près du Havre, ce qui pourrait être lié à cet incident, ce que n’a toutefois ni confirmé, ni infirmé le ministère français de la Défense.

Londres a pour sa part convoqué l’ambassadeur russe, qui n’a pas donné rapporte le Financial Times.

D’après le Foreign Office, cet incident illustre bien «l’augmentation croissante des opérations hors-zone des avions russes». Le porte-parole a confirmé que les bombardiers n’étaient pas entrés dans la zone aérienne britannique mais dans sa zone d’intérêt, ce qui a provoqué le détournement de plusieurs avions de ligne.

Les intrusions des avions russes dans l’espace aérien de l’Otan se multiplient ces derniers mois alors que l’UE a pris des mesures drastiques contre la Russie après l’agression russe dans l’est de l’Ukraine et que, semble-t-il, les Russes testent les capacités de défense de l’Alliance atlantique.

Et les Russes ont aussi fait de même de ce côté de l’Atlantique.

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4 février 2015 3 04 /02 /février /2015 07:30
La Royal Air Force déploie un E-3D Sentry AWACS au-dessus de l'Irak et de la Syrie

 

3 Février 2015 defens-aero.com

 

Le Royaume-Uni, ou plus précisément la Royal Air Force, est l'un des pays européens qui participe à la coalition internationale qui frappe quotidiennement l'autoproclamé Etat Islamique en Irak et/ou en Syrie, selon les choix politiques réalisés par les gouvernements au pouvoir.

Depuis le 26 Septembre donc, le contingent britannique, stationné sur la base aérienne d'Akrotiri, est composé de huit Tornado GR.4, d'un C-130J Super Hercules, d'un ravitailleur A330 MRTT, d'un avion de reconnaissance RC-135W, et de quatre MQ-9 Reaper. Dorénavant, il faut y greffer un E-3D Sentry AWACS, appartenant au 8 Squadron, et habituellement stationnée sur la base aérienne anglaise de Waddington.

En effet, dans un communiqué publié Vendredi 30 Janvier, la Royal Air Force a officialisé le déploiement d'un E-3 Sentry, toujours sur la base aérienne d'Akrotiri, à Chypre, aux côtés des autres aéronefs britanniques. L'appareil, qui a atterri sur la base anglaise deux jours plus tôt, le Mercredi 28 janvier, est intégré dans l'opération Shader, qui est le nom choisi Londres pour cette opération.

 

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2 février 2015 1 02 /02 /février /2015 18:50
Field Hospital 'Parachuted' into Norfolk - 27.01.15

2 févr. 2015British Forces news

A field hospital has been 'parachuted' into action for the first time in a decade.

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30 janvier 2015 5 30 /01 /janvier /2015 12:30
Update: air strikes in Iraq (UK MoD)

 

29 January 2015 Ministry of Defence

 

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

 

Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft continue to take action against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists in Iraq.

As part of the international coalition’s efforts to support the Iraqi government in its fight against ISlL, RAF Tornado GR4s last night conducted an armed reconnaissance patrol over north-west Iraq, where the Kurdish peshmerga continue to press ISIL hard with a series of successful offensives.

Near Baa’j, the Tornados investigated a reported ISIL checkpoint, which was being used to prevent the local civilian population from being able to move freely.

The checkpoint, which included a guard room and an equipment storage area, was destroyed with Paveway IV precision guided bombs.

Nearby, the GR4 patrol also located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier, and successfully attacked it with a Brimstone missile.

The Tornados, based at RAF Akrotiri, were as usual supported by a Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker, and continue to operate alongside Reaper remotely piloted aircraft.

The RAF contribution to the coalition air campaign has also now been strengthened by a Sentry surveillance and command aircraft, while a British military training team continues to work in northern Iraq, teaching infantry and first aid skills to the peshmerga volunteers.

Previous air strikes

 

25 January: a Reaper was once again on patrol over northern Iraq on Sunday, providing top cover to the peshmerga as they consolidated their latest successful offensive against ISIL. One Hellfire was used to attack an armoured personnel carrier, then a further 2 missiles were used against 2 ISIL positions near by.

23 January: another Reaper flew on Friday morning to support the Iraqi army in the west of the country and observed ISIL fighters loading rockets into a truck. The vehicle was kept under close observation and then was successfully attacked with a Hellfire. A further attack was then conducted as the terrorists attempted to salvage equipment from the damaged truck.

22 January: an RAF Reaper, patrolling over northern Iraq, assisted Kurdish peshmerga who were under fire from a group of terrorists with a heavily armed pick-up truck. The vehicle was destroyed by a Hellfire missile.

21 January: early on Wednesday, a pair of Tornado GR4s flew in support of Kurdish troops, a Brimstone missile struck a heavily-armed ISIL truck and a Paveway IV guided bomb was used to target a terrorist observation post. Initial reports indicate both attacks were a success. On Wednesday evening, a Reaper provided further surveillance for the peshmerga, and in a series of engagements used Hellfires to attack a number terrorist vehicles and a fighting position.

20 January: RAF aircraft have been on hand to assist the latest Kurdish offensive operation; a Reaper was able to conduct a successful precision attack with a Hellfire missile on a terrorist group.

19 January: RAF Tornado GR4s were active in the early hours of Monday morning, flying armed reconnaissance in western Iraq, close to the Syrian border. An armoured personnel carrier was identified near Al Qaim and hit by a Brimstone missile. Continuing their patrol to the north east, the GR4s caught another group of ISIL vehicles attacked with a Paveway IV bomb. Meanwhile, British Army advisers continue to provide training and mentoring to the Iraqi security forces, particularly the Kurdish peshmerga in northern Iraq.

18 January: Reapers continued to provide support to the Iraqi army on Sunday – in the afternoon a Hellfire was used to strike a heavy machine-gun position that threatened Iraqi soldiers nearby, then during the night a further 3 missiles were used to target a large terrorist group as they began an attack on an Iraqi position.

16 January: Friday saw another Tornado patrol supporting the Iraqi army in its operations near Bayji. Three positions were identified and were struck simultaneously with Paveways. A fourth Paveway was used shortly afterwards against a further ISIL position near by. That evening, an RAF Reaper, operating elsewhere in Iraq, identified another group of terrorists who had just attacked an Iraqi unit and conducted 2 successful attacks with Hellfire missiles.

13 January: a pair of Tornado GR4s flew a reconnaissance mission ahead of Kurdish forces as they continued to strengthen security in the area east of Mount Sinjar, from which ISIL – or Da’ish as they are known to the Iraqi and Syrian people they abuse – was driven out in December. The aircraft spotted the terrorists constructing a fortified position; a Paveway IV precision guided bomb successfully destroyed the vehicle they were using.

9 January: late at night, 2 RAF Tornado GR4s, on an armed reconnaissance mission in northern Iraq, were summoned to assist the Kurdish peshmerga. Da’ish terrorists, who have lost a significant amount of territory to the peshmerga recently, were attempting to mount a local attack on a Kurdish unit. The GR4s delivered 4 precision strikes using Paveway IV guided bombs to disrupt the attack.

8 January: in the evening a Reaper remotely piloted air system (RPAS) worked in close conjunction with other coalition aircraft to provide air support to Iraqi troops in Anbar province, western Iraq. The RAF Reaper provided targeting assistance to the fast jets in strikes against ISIL positions, and conducted a successful attack using its own Hellfire missiles.

6 January: At the request of the Iraqi government, British forces took further action against ISIL terrorist targets.

5 January: Reaper and Tornado missions were also flown in the morning. Tornados again patrolled the Al Qaim area, where they destroyed an ISIL excavator vehicle, used to construct fortified positions, with a Brimstone, while a Reaper, scouting ahead of Iraqi troops, spotted an armoured vehicle being moved by ISIL on a heavy equipment transporter. A Hellfire missile scored a direct hit on the armoured vehicle, another Hellfire destroyed the transporter itself, and a third missile struck an ISIL position nearby.

4 January: an RAF Reaper, working in support of Iraqi army units, identified an ISIL vehicle and engaged it with a Hellfire missile. Shortly afterwards, the Reaper discovered an ISIL position close by, and attacked this with another Hellfire.

2 January: in the early hours a RAF Tornado GR4 armed reconnaissance patrol located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier to the east of Al Qaim, and conducted a successful strike with a Brimstone missile. Later in the day, a coalition surveillance aircraft observed ISIL positions concealed within woods north-west of Ramadi and another Tornado mounted an attack with 2 Paveway IV precision guided bombs.

Details of previous airstrikes can be found here.

For more information see ISIL: UK government response page on GOV.UK

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28 janvier 2015 3 28 /01 /janvier /2015 17:50
Airbus chief Enders promises action on A400M

 

28 January 2015 By Craig Hoyle - FG

 

Airbus chief executive Tom Enders has promised “management and organisational consequences” as a result of the production and delivery problems that are affecting the company’s A400M tactical transport programme.

“We have problems – I admit that,” Enders said while addressing an Airbus Group reception in London on 27 January. “We have additional delays and I very much regret that we are unable to meet the commitments made to our customers several years ago.

“We are taking corrective action as fast as we can,” he says, adding that the issue will have “management and organisational consequences”.

 

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27 janvier 2015 2 27 /01 /janvier /2015 21:20
A RAF Typhoon FGR4 aircraft taxiis out at Nellis air force base, Nevada, US. Photo RAF

A RAF Typhoon FGR4 aircraft taxiis out at Nellis air force base, Nevada, US. Photo RAF

 

27 January 2015 airforce-technology.com

 

The US and its allied air forces have started the multi-national air-to-air combat training exercise, code-named Red Flag 15-1, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, US.

 

Hosted north of Las Vegas on the Nevada Test and Training Range, the three-week exercise involves participation from the air, space, and cyber forces of the US and its allies, as well as more than 125 aircraft.

 

Apart from fighter jets, bombers, reconnaissance aircraft, air-refuelling tankers and air traffic control aircraft from 21 US Air Force and Marine Corps squadrons, Red Flag 15-1 also features aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and the UK Royal Air Force (RAF).

 

With 1,900 possible targets, realistic threat systems and an opposing enemy force, the drill aims to provide participants with valuable training in planning and executing a wide-variety of combat missions.

 

RAF Red Flag commander group captain Mark Chappell said: "This is the culmination of months of hard work and preparation for the squadrons and for many, this will be their first taste of what real world operations will be like.

 

"Typhoon will be operating in a multi-role capacity and this will be the first operational test of its P1Eb upgrade.

 

"It's also the first time Sentinel has participated in Red Flag and in addition we have a team from 1 Air Control Centre who will provide essential tactical command and control for the whole exercise, supported by experts from the space and cyber domains."

 

Exercise Red Flag Australian C-130J Hercules Detachment commander wing commander Darren Goldie said: "For air mobility crews, this is one of the best exercises to train and test ourselves against the pressures witnessed on real-world operations.

 

"At Exercise Red Flag, we'll be flying on flying tactical air mobility missions into a hotly contested airspace.

 

"This demands cooperation between crew members, and cooperation with 'friendly' aircraft, to achieve the mission and get home unscathed."

 

Red Flag 15-1 is scheduled to conclude on 13 February.

 

Red Flag is held four times annually. It is a US Pacific Air Forces Command-led large force employment exercise designed to train pilots and other flight crew members from the US, Nato, and other allied countries for real air combat situations.

 

Divided into two teams, namely Blue Forces and Red Forces, the participants perform counter air, precision strike and offensive air support in packages of up to 100 aircraft during each exercise.

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20 janvier 2015 2 20 /01 /janvier /2015 17:50
£112M Typhoon support contract extension sustains 650 jobs

 

20 January 2015 BAE Systems

 

BAE Systems have been awarded a £112M contract by the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) to extend the Typhoon Availability Service (TAS) for the in-service support of the Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Typhoon fleet by 15 months.

 

The contract extension means the Company will continue to work alongside the RAF in meeting Typhoon’s operational requirements until early 2016. The extension will help to sustain around 650 jobs for BAE Systems’ personnel based at RAF Coningsby and RAF Lossiemouth supporting the Typhoon fleet.  Under the contract, BAE Systems is responsible for delivering Typhoon aircrew and ground crew training, maintenance of the aircraft, along with providing technical support and managing spares, repairs and logistics.

 

Nigel Davey, BAE Systems Director for Military Air Support said: “This agreement is a continuation of a strong partnership with the MOD and RAF to support its Typhoon fleet.

 

“Over the past six years we have worked hard to develop a service which ensures the RAF is able to meet its operational requirements while providing the best value for the UK’s taxpayers.

 

“BAE Systems is proud to support the fleet at RAF Coningsby, RAF Lossiemouth and in the Falkland Islands as it continues to perform its vital role in safeguarding our nation both at home and overseas.”

 

Defence Minister Philip Dunne added: “This contract will deliver vital aircraft maintenance to the RAF Typhoon Force, ensuring the availability of the Typhoon fleet to meet its operational commitments. The new contract incorporates best practice and lessons learnt during the first six years of service, improving the way the RAF is supported and making sure we can continue to keep the UK secure, both at home and abroad.

 

“Alongside recent announcements for weapon capability upgrades, this contract demonstrates our continuing commitment to maintain the aircraft’s status as a world class multi role combat aircraft of choice now and in the future.”

 

BAE Systems’ work on the TAS contract has delivered tangible savings for the MOD. For example, from 2013, through increased efficiencies and continued improvement in aircraft performance, the Company has been able to increase the amount of time between Typhoon’s maintenance intervals from 400 to 500 hours. This initiative followed a detailed analysis to ensure the changes could be implemented without compromising safety. The result of this change generated a saving to the MOD of more than £100M and has increased availability of the jets to the RAF.

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18 janvier 2015 7 18 /01 /janvier /2015 12:50
Typhoon - F-35 - Tornado photo UK MoD

Typhoon - F-35 - Tornado photo UK MoD

 

January 14, 2015 A guest post from AndyC - Think Defence

 

January 9th 2015 is an historic day for the Royal Air Force as it marks the first increase in the number of frontline combat squadrons since the mid-1980’s.

 

In a dangerous world where putting ‘boots on the ground’ is increasingly politically difficult the RAF is inevitably thrust to the front row of the UK’s force projection.

The increased assertiveness of Russia has led to the return of their aircraft to probing our air space as well as the need for a higher presence in Eastern Europe, especially in the Baltic States.

The success of IS in Iraq and Syria has led to the deployment of Tornados to Cyprus while the Afghanistan mission has finally drawn to a close.

All of these commitments have put strain on the RAF when it has fewer fast jet squadrons than at any time in its history. No amount of training or having the latest equipment can always make up for the stretch caused by multiple commitments occurring at the same time.

The question we face is: does the RAF have enough aircraft to do all the things the government and the international situation require of it?

 

Read more

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13 janvier 2015 2 13 /01 /janvier /2015 16:30
RAF Reaper and Tornados have provided further air support to the Iraqi military against ISIL in Iraq

13 January 2015 Ministry of Defence

British forces have continued to conduct air operations to assist the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIL.

The terrorist organisation ISIL, known to its Iraqi and Syrian victims as Da’ish, has suffered further losses thanks to Royal Air Force (RAF) air strikes conducted in recent days.

On the evening of Thursday 8 January, a Reaper remotely piloted air system (RPAS) worked in close conjunction with other coalition aircraft to provide air support to Iraqi troops in Anbar province, western Iraq.

The RAF Reaper provided targeting assistance to the fast jets in strikes against ISIL positions, and conducted a successful attack using its own Hellfire missiles.

Late on Friday night, 2 RAF Tornado GR4s, on an armed reconnaissance mission in northern Iraq, were summoned to assist the Kurdish peshmerga.

Da’ish terrorists, who have lost a significant amount of territory to the peshmerga recently, were attempting to mount a local attack on a Kurdish unit.

The GR4s delivered 4 precision strikes using Paveway IV guided bombs to disrupt the attack.

In the early hours of Tuesday 13 January, an RAF Reaper was once again providing air support to the peshmerga in the north of Iraq when an ISIL vehicle was identified being used to reopen a terrorist communications route previously damaged by an attack.

The RPAS hit the vehicle with Hellfire missiles and initial analysis suggests that the vehicle was successfully destroyed.

6 January: At the request of the Iraqi government, British forces took further action against ISIL terrorist targets.

5 January: Reaper and Tornado missions were also flown in the morning. Tornados again patrolled the Al Qaim area, where they destroyed an ISIL excavator vehicle, used to construct fortified positions, with a Brimstone, while a Reaper, scouting ahead of Iraqi troops, spotted an armoured vehicle being moved by ISIL on a heavy equipment transporter. A Hellfire missile scored a direct hit on the armoured vehicle, another Hellfire destroyed the transporter itself, and a third missile struck an ISIL position nearby.

4 January: an RAF Reaper, working in support of Iraqi army units, identified an ISIL vehicle and engaged it with a Hellfire missile. Shortly afterwards, the Reaper discovered an ISIL position close by, and attacked this with another Hellfire.

2 January: in the early hours a RAF Tornado GR4 armed reconnaissance patrol located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier to the east of Al Qaim, and conducted a successful strike with a Brimstone missile. Later in the day, a coalition surveillance aircraft observed ISIL positions concealed within woods north-west of Ramadi and another Tornado mounted an attack with 2 Paveway IV precision guided bombs.

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12 janvier 2015 1 12 /01 /janvier /2015 20:20
Exercise Red Flag 1 (Fighter) Squadron crosses the Atlantic

 

12 janv. 2015 Royal Air Force

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9 janvier 2015 5 09 /01 /janvier /2015 17:20
A UK F-35B Lightning II taxiing off from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, USA.  photo Harland Quarrington UK MoD

A UK F-35B Lightning II taxiing off from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, USA. photo Harland Quarrington UK MoD

 

09 January 2015 Royal Air Force

 

RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk will become home to the first 2 US F-35 fighter jet squadrons in Europe.

 

The US Department of Defense has announced that RAF Lakenheath will become home to the first 2 US F-35 squadrons in Europe with the first aircraft due to arrive in 2020.

 

The announcement is part of the US Government’s review into the American military footprint across Europe.

 

The basing of US F-35s at RAF Lakenheath confirms the American military presence in the UK for the foreseeable future. It also means that for the first time in decades the US Air Force and the RAF will have operated the same type of aircraft from the UK.

 

The US has also decided to end its presence at nearby RAF Mildenhall. The precise timing for their final withdrawal has still to be determined, but it is expected to correspond with the period in which the US plan to increase their presence at the adjacent RAF Lakenheath.

 

Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon said:

"This resounding vote of confidence by the US is great news for the UK. Our historic relationship with the US remains as strong as ever, and their decision to base their first F-35 squadrons in the UK clearly reflects the closeness of our partnership, as well as the American commitment to NATO and Europe.

"I am delighted that the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and US Air Force will be operating this superb aircraft alongside one another from bases in the UK. It is an indication of the strength of our continuing shared commitment to transatlantic security.

"Of course, the US decision to drawdown its presence at RAF Mildenhall is disappointing. However, we recognise that in these challenging times of austerity, the US is not immune to the need to make efficiency savings across US Defence."

 

US Assistant Secretary of Defense, Derek Chollet said:

"The UK is an extraordinary ally and supportive host to US forces. Our decision to base US Air Force F-35s at RAF Lakenheath is a testament to that special relationship and a sign of the decades of co-operation to come."

 

The basing of the US Air Force F-35 squadrons in such proximity to the RAF’s F-35 Lightning II jets – to be based at RAF Marham in Norfolk – will allow for the 2 forces to work even more closely together.

 

The build up of US capabilities and subsequent increased investment at RAF Lakenheath is particularly welcome as it will lessen the impact of the base consolidation decisions also being announced by the Department of Defense today, 8 January. However, the investments the US is making at RAF Lakenheath, and the advance notice given, will reduce any local impact of the Mildenhall drawdown.

 

Additionally, the US facilities at Alconbury and Molesworth will be returned to the MOD, with associated US roles and missions being completed within a single facility at RAF Croughton.

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8 janvier 2015 4 08 /01 /janvier /2015 17:20
Heading to Exercise Red Flag, a four-ship of RAF Typhoon FGR4 muli-role fighters

Heading to Exercise Red Flag, a four-ship of RAF Typhoon FGR4 muli-role fighters

 

8 janv. 2015  Royal Air Force

 

Typhoon FGR4's from 1 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF Lossiemouth Scotland as they see land below in the shape of the united States of America. The Typhoons will participate in Exercise Red Flag the largest and most complex air war fighting exercise in the World.

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8 janvier 2015 4 08 /01 /janvier /2015 08:30
Air strikes in Iraq (updated 6 Jan. 15)

 

6 January 2015  Ministry of Defence

 

At the request of the Iraqi government, British forces have taken further action against ISIL terrorist targets.

 

In the early hours of 2 January, a Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 armed reconnaissance patrol located an ISIL armoured personnel carrier to the east of Al Qaim, and conducted a successful strike with a Brimstone missile. Later that day, a coalition surveillance aircraft observed ISIL positions concealed within woods north-west of Ramadi and another Tornado mounted an attack with two Paveway IV precision guided bombs.

On 4 January, an RAF Reaper, working in support of Iraqi army units, identified an ISIL vehicle and engaged it with a Hellfire missile. Shortly afterwards, the Reaper discovered an ISIL position close by, and attacked this with another Hellfire.

Reaper and Tornado missions were also flown on the morning of 5 January. Tornados again patrolled the Al Qaim area, where they destroyed an ISIL excavator vehicle, used to construct fortified positions, with a Brimstone, while a Reaper, scouting ahead of Iraqi troops, spotted an armoured vehicle being moved by ISIL on a heavy equipment transporter. A Hellfire missile scored a direct hit on the armoured vehicle, another Hellfire destroyed the transporter itself, and a third missile struck an ISIL position nearby.

On 23 December, Royal Air Force Tornado GR4s, operating out of RAF Akrotiri, conducted an armed reconnaissance mission near Al Qaim, close to the border between Syria and Iraq. 4 ISIL armed pick-up trucks were identified, widely dispersed, near a quarry. They were successfully engaged using a combination of Brimstone missiles and Paveway IV guided bombs. Wednesday saw both Tornados and Reaper aircraft providing support to the Kurdish peshmerga, as they consolidated their recent victories over ISIL. A Tornado patrol identified an ISIL armed vehicle at a large former Iraqi military compound, and attacked it with a Brimstone missile. Meanwhile, a Reaper provided overwatch to a US air strike that destroyed a truck which had been converted into a large suicide bomb vehicle, then fired a Hellfire missile at a pick-up truck being used by ISIL to build a road-block of burning tyres.

On Christmas Day, a Tornado patrol returned to the Al Qaim area, tasked with investigating a checkpoint used by ISIL to stop the local civilian population from moving around freely. 2 Brimstone missiles were used to attack a fortified position and a shipping container which had been converted into a guard room. A second pair of GR4s operated further east, and located two armed ISIL vehicles concealed amidst trees on farmland close to the Euphrates, south of the Hadithah Dam. Both vehicles were struck with Brimstones. On 28 December, an RAF Reaper again provided support to the Kurdish peshmerga in the north of the country. Having conducted overwatch for a coalition air strike on 3 ISIL buildings known to have been fortified as heavy machine-gun positions, the Reaper then mounted 2 strikes of its own using Hellfire missiles against enemy fighting positions.

These air operations have been supported throughout by an RAF Voyager air-to-air refuelling tanker, whilst a British Army training team has continued its work, alongside coalition partners, to provide infantry training to the peshmerga volunteers.

23 December: The ISIL terrorist organisation has suffered further losses in Iraq thanks to Royal Air Force air strikes delivered at the request of the Iraqi Government. In Anbar province, where the Iraqi army is conducting a number of offensive operations, RAF Tornados GR4s on an armed reconnaissance mission were tasked to investigate a group of vehicles near Ar Rutbah in the early hours of Saturday morning. Four ISIL armoured personnel carriers were identified and successfully attacked with Brimstone missiles.

19 December: Remotely piloted Reapers flew armed reconnaissance missions over Iraq in support of both the Iraqi Army and the Kurdish peshmerga. One Reaper patrol was tasked to locate a group of ISIL terrorists who had fired on advancing Iraqi troops. The Reaper spotted the terrorists planting a number of improvised explosive devices and successfully attacked with a Hellfire missile. In northern Iraq, the Kurdish peshmerga, trained and equipped by a British Army training team, have had notable success in a major offensive across a wide swathe of territory. They are reported to have broken ISIL’s long-running siege of Yazidi minorities on Mount Sinjar.

18 December: In recent weeks, Iraqi ground forces have made a number of successful advances against ISIL. The Kurdish peshmerga, trained, equipped and supported from the air by the international coalition, has liberated several key towns, including Rabiyah on the Syrian border, and Zumar. On Friday, 2 RAF Tornados used Paveway IV precision guided bombs to attack a fortified ISIL compound. The early hours of Wednesday morning saw UK Tornados join other coalition aircraft as the peshmerga mounted a further offensive. The same Tornado patrol then flew 150 miles south to provide support for an additional offensive against ISIL in Anbar province. sts to deny local people any freedom of movement along a major road.

12 December: RAF aircraft operating in support of Iraqi ground forces have seen further action against the ISIL terrorist network. A RAF Reaper conducted armed reconnaissance in northern Iraq, where ISIL are facing increasing pressure from the Kurdish peshmerga. The Reaper’s mission focused on engineering equipment being used by the terrorists to construct defensive positions to hold up peshmerga advances. The remotely piloted aircraft was able to locate 2 of these engineer vehicles, and attacked them with Hellfire missiles. Further south, another Reaper identified an ISIL armed pick-up truck and engaged it with a Hellfire missile. RAF Tornado GR4s were also providing surveillance for the Iraqi army in Anbar province, and were able to assist Iraqi soldiers engaged in a firefight with terrorists near Ramadi. Paveway precision guided bombs and Brimstone missiles were used to deal with ISIL fighting positions and 3 vehicles, including 2 armoured personnel carriers.

10 December: Iraqi troops fighting the ISIL terrorist organisation have received further air support from the international coalition, including the RAF. Early on Wednesday RAF Tornado GR4s attacked an ISIL storage compound near Rawah in Anbar province with a Paveway IV precision guided bomb. In northern Iraq, a British Army team, working with other coalition partners, continues to provide infantry training to the Kurdish peshmerga, who have already succeeded in liberating a number of areas from ISIL’s control, including the towns of Rabiyah and Zumar.

9 December: Military support to the Iraqi government in their fight against ISIL continues, with RAF aircraft conducting further strikes overnight. In the north-west of the country, a patrol of RAF Tornado GR4s was tasked by coalition air controllers to investigate an ISIL site near Mount Sinjar. The aircraft identified an observation tower and guard room in use by the terrorists at a checkpoint controlling a road junction. These were being used to deny the local population any freedom of movement and both were attacked with Brimstone missiles. Elsewhere in Iraq, a RAF Reaper providing surveillance for Iraqi ground forces observed a hostile armoured personnel carrier and successfully attacked it with a Hellfire missile.

8 December: RAF Tornado GR4s have struck further ISIL targets over the weekend while flying in support of Iraqi ground forces. On Friday, an armed reconnaissance patrol of GR4s investigated a reported ISIL position near Rawa in western Iraq. An observation tower and nearby equipment were located and attacked with Paveway IV guided bombs. In the early hours of Saturday morning, a further GR4 patrol in the same area also successfully attacked an ISIL armoured personnel carrier using a Brimstone missile. On Sunday, 2 Tornados were on reconnaissance when Iraqi troops reported coming under fire from terrorists in the vicinity of Bayji. The RAF aircraft responded rapidly, and when they arrived on the scene were able to spot the ISIL position. Since the target was in a built-up area, a very careful assessment was made in cooperation with another coalition surveillance aircraft, and the aircrew used the small and extremely precise Brimstone missile to carry out a successful attack which struck the enemy position. Early this morning, a fourth Tornado patrol operating in north-western Iraq, around Mount Sinjar, located 2 ISIL armoured personnel carriers and hit them with Brimstone missiles.

3 December: RAF aircraft struck a large concentration of ISIL vehicles last night as the UK continued its work as part of an international coalition in the fight against terrorism. Two RAF Tornado GR4s were tasked to investigate reported ISIL activity near Fallujah. A group of ISIL vehicles, including armed pick-up trucks and lorries, was identified and, having confirmed that there were no civilians or friendly forces in close proximity, the jets dropped a cluster of Paveway IV precision guided bombs on the vehicle group. A single truck appeared to survive the initial strike, but was accounted for by a Brimstone missile. A Reaper remotely piloted aircraft also saw action over Iraq, attacking an ISIL vehicle with a Hellfire missile. Combined with the targeted military action in northern Iraq, a British Army training team continues to provide infantry training to Kurdish peshmerga.

1 December: A Tornado GR4 patrol investigated a reported ISIL compound near Tal Afar in north-western Iraq and found a group of armoured personnel carriers. These were successfully attacked using Brimstone missiles. A further pair of Tornado GR4s came to the support of Iraqi forces engaged in a major firefight with ISIL near Tikrit. Two terrorist positions were identified and the precision of the Brimstone missile system allowed both targets to be engaged without risk to friendly forces. Meanwhile, an RAF Reaper remotely piloted aircraft on a separate patrol was able to attack 3 ISIL positions with Hellfire missiles. Another Reaper conducted a reconnaissance patrol in northern Iraq. Two ISIL positions and a vehicle were located by the Reaper’s crew, allowing coalition fast jets to conduct strikes on each in turn. The Reaper then identified a further ISIL position and engaged it with 1 of its own Hellfire missiles.

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