Developed in partnership with ourselves, Loughborough and colleagues from the Universities of Cranfield and Leicester, the facility can assess how to cool the electronic systems within an aircraft most effectively. This is known as thermal management.
Based at Loughborough’s Holywell Park, it has been created by PhD student Andy Jones from the University’s Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering as part of his our BAE Systems sponsored studies at Loughborough.
Thermal management is an important consideration in the design and operation of high performance aircraft. With industry moves towards More Electric Aircraft (MEA), global operations and, within the military environment, low observability the requirements on an aircraft’s thermal management system are increasing beyond current capabilities.
This is why the work being done by Loughborough, which has the potential to lead developments in this field, is important to us. Initially the laboratory will be enabling greater understanding of the complex fluid dynamics and heat transfer of thermal management systems and beyond that it offers a potential platform for testing novel system architectures and future technologies.
Mike Wiseman, Head of Flight Systems Engineering, BAE Systems said: “What Andy has managed to put together is really impressive and it has been great that BAE Systems has been able to support Loughborough by providing actual aircraft equipment. By making the facility as representative of in-service systems as possible means the potential transfer of learning back into current aircraft development is enhanced. Hopefully the success of this activity will lead to further opportunities for collaboration with Loughborough in the future.”
Andy Jones added: “Working with BAE Systems on this project has been fantastic, and I am delighted that they are happy with the unique test facility I have created here at Loughborough.”
The visit was attended by our senior representatives, including Mike Wiseman and Steve Harris, BAE system’s University and Collaborative Programmes Relationships Manager. Attendees from Loughborough included Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Chris Linton, Professor Jon Binner, Dean of the School of Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering and Professor Rui Chen – Andy’s PhD supervisor – from the Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering.
HMS Illustrious is due to retire from service with the Royal Navy in 2014 and it is the Disposal Services Authority’s (DSA) intention to host an Industry Day in January 2014 to establish the level of interest in purchasing the vessel for ‘further use’ only, ensuring bidders are aware of the following:
the vessel must be retained intact in the UK
all or part of the vessel must be developed for heritage purposes
All interested parties wishing to attend the viewing day will need to complete an industry day application form.
The closing date for returning the industry day application form to the DSA is Tuesday 10 December 4:00pm GMT.
BAE Systems has equipped its Hawk advanced jet trainer (AJT) aircraft with new tablet computers to enable trainees to readily view technical publications, landing trajectories, conversion applications and weather forecasts.
The training pilots would earlier view the information on reference cards and maps kept in their flight suit pockets.
Four tablets have been already delivered to the South African Air Force (SAAF) for testing last month, after completion of a comprehensive evaluation programme, which included trials against rapid decompression and analysed system interference from an electromagnetic compatibility perspective.
Hawk Product Development Engineering head Lee Franks said the tablet integration represents the latest in a long line of developments for Hawk that are focused on making the aircraft the best for the customers.
"They are an additional resource available to the pilot, they do not replace anything, only add to a truly world-class aircraft."
''Now we have handed over the first of these tablets, we want the South African Air Force to try them out; part of the beauty of them is they can be tailored to carry whatever information is needed by each customer,'' Franks said.
''They are an additional resource available to the pilot, they do not replace anything, only add to a truly world-class aircraft.''
Additionally, the tablets' compass effects were validated prior to hand-over to SAAF.
In addition to tablets, the company also manufactured six sets of gloves to help the pilots use the computers.
Franks added, ''Their traditional flying gloves were not suitable, so we immediately looked in to what was available on the market and then tailored the gloves to what would be needed by pilots.''
BAE is now manufacturing more tablets for trial by the UK Royal Air Force (RAF), the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which are among the 18 countries to have acquired the aircraft.
MOD is looking for ideas on how best to preserve the legacy of the Royal Navy's Invincible Class aircraft carriers.
The last of the ships, HMS Illustrious, is due to retire in late 2014 after 32 years of distinguished service that has seen her involved in operations around the world.
Following the announcement last year that the 22,000-tonne ship will be preserved in some form, MOD is now inviting private companies, charities and trusts who are interested in buying her to come forward with ideas for her future use.
HMS Illustrious is currently the UK’s high readiness helicopter and commando carrier, able to deploy Merlin, Chinook, Sea King, Lynx or Apache helicopters. She is currently in the Mediterranean as part of the Royal Navy’s Cougar 13 deployment of the UK’s Response Force Task Group.
The ship, which is 210 metres long, the equivalent of 18 double-decker buses, was involved in the First Gulf War and the conflict in Afghanistan in 2001, and supported evacuations from Sierra Leone in 2000 and Lebanon in 2006.
MOD wants HMS Illustrious to remain in the UK and bids for her future use must be viable and include plans for part or all of the ship to be developed for heritage purposes.
HMS Illustrious, like her 2 sister ships Invincible and Ark Royal, has provided an invaluable service to this country over more than 3 decades. This competition will provide the opportunity for organisations to put forward innovative and viable proposals to honour the role and history of this iconic class of ship and all those who served on board them.
Once proposals are received, an industry day will be held next year to discuss the ideas further. It is expected a final decision will be made after the ship is decommissioned and handed over to the Disposal Services Authority.
The UK’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, which will replace the Invincible Class ships, are currently under construction. HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is almost complete, will begin sea trials in 2017 before undertaking flight trials with the F-35 Lightning II aircraft in 2018.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a multi-million pound contract to Thales UK for delivery of additional STARStreak short-range surface-to-air missile systems.
Announced by the UK Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech to the Northern Ireland Investment Conference in Belfast, the contract covers supply of additional 200 STARStreak missiles, which represent a critical component of the UK's ground based air defence (GBAD) capability.
UK Defence Equipment, Support and Technology minister Philip Dunne said: ''This contract for 200 extra STARStreak missiles will not only provide our armed forces with a highly capable weapon, but it also secures hundreds of highly skilled defence jobs in Northern Ireland and should provide confidence to the export markets of the STARStreak system.'
Thales managing director David Beatty said: ''It demonstrates very clearly to our export customers the ongoing importance and trust that the UK MOD places in the STARStreak system and our design, manufacturing and support capabilities.'
"It secures hundreds of highly skilled defence jobs in Northern Ireland."
Expected to sustain 475 jobs at the Thales' facilities in Northern Ireland, the unspecified contract will increase MoD's STARStreak stocks as part of the government's transformation agenda for the armed forces to equip both the regular and reserve forces with the missiles.
Fired from the shoulder, from a lightweight multiple launcher or from the Stormer armoured vehicle, the STARStreak is a high velocity missile (HVM), designed to counter threats ranging from very high performance, low-flying fighter aircraft and fast strikes by attack helicopters.
The missile system, along with its air defence alerting device, was used by the UK Army to ensure a safe and secure 2012 London Olympic Games.
Deliveries under the contract are scheduled to complete by June 2014.
Thales UK (la branche britannique de l’électronicien français) a annoncé le 7 octobre dernier qu’un certificat de type STDA (ou Statement of Type Design Assurance en anglais) lui avait été délivré par l’autorité de l’aviation militaire du Royaume-Uni (MAA) pour son système de drone Watchkeeper. Ce certificat signifie que le système drone de Thales a atteint un niveau de sécurité et d’intégrité acceptable, ouvrant la voie pour le MOD britannique vers la délivrance de l’autorisation de mise en service initiale. Le Watchkeeper est le premier drone à recevoir un certificat de type de ce type accordé par la MAA. On a compris, il s’agit d’une étape importante vers l’acceptation des drones dans l’espace aérien.
Aujourd’hui, Thales a déjà livré 28 plateformes Watchkeeper à l’armée britannique et deux autres devraient être livrées très prochainement – sur un total de 54 plateformes commandées. Neuf stations sol sur les 15 ont également été livrées. A ce jour, environ 600 vols ont été réalisés, représentant plus de mille heures de vol.
Rappelons également que dans le cadre de la coopération franco-britannique, le Watchkeeper pourrait intéresser la France, notamment l’armée de Terre, comme l’un des successeurs potentiels du SDTI (système de drone tactique intérimaire). Dans le cadre de cette coopération bilatérale, en juillet 2012, une Task Force Watchkeeper a été mise en place par les deux chefs d’état majors des armées de terre française et britannique.
Du 7 au 17 octobre 2013, dans le cadre de l’exercice JOINT WARRIOR 13-2, qui se déroule au nord du Royaume-Uni, quatre Mirage 2000N de l’escadron de chasse (EC) 2/4 « La Fayette » de la base aérienne 125 d’Istres sont engagés. Cette participation tend à renforcer la technicité des équipages et maintenir leur haut niveau d'excellence.
JOINT WARRIOR 13-2 est un exercice interarmées et interallié qui s’inscrit dans le cadre d’un entraînement opérationnel bilatéral. Il vise à maintenir la coopération militaire franco-britannique. Parmi les moyens français mis en œuvre, quatre Mirage 2000N de l’EC 2/4 « La Fayette » sont déployés sur une base aérienne projetée, située à Leeming.
L’escadron de chasse 2/4 « La Fayette » a pour principale mission la dissuasion nucléaire. Néanmoins, ses moyens permettent également de réaliser des missions conventionnelles. À ce titre, les équipages s’entraînent quotidiennement, de jour comme de nuit et prennent part à de nombreux exercices. Ce qui rend les unités des forces aériennes stratégiques réellement polyvalentes.
La participation de l’EC 2/4 « La Fayette » au sein de l’exercice JOINT WARRIOR 13-2 a pour objectif l’entraînement dans un environnement réaliste. Les équipages sont confrontés à différentes phases tactiques d’une mission aérienne. Parmi pilotes et navigateurs présents, dix d’entre eux effectuent leur première mission à l’étranger. Elle intervient dans le cadre de la formation à la mission dite « conventionnelle ». Cette participation est essentielle à leur qualification et va leur permettre d’améliorer sensiblement leur travail en équipage constitué.
Outre l’engagement des plus jeunes au sein de l’exercice, une autre spécificité s’ajoute. Trois aviateurs du personnel navigant (PN) intégrés au détachement sont qualifiés Forward Air Controler (FAC – contrôleur aérien avancé), dont un FAC Supervisor. Le rôle du FAC est de guider, depuis le sol, les avions de combat dédiés à la mission de CAS (Close Air Support – Appui aérien rapproché).
La détention de cette qualification au sein même des équipages permet d’améliorer le dialogue PN-FAC de façon significative et donc de gagner en efficacité.
Fort de cette complémentarité, l’EC 2/4 « La Fayette » fait preuve d’un engagement entier. Afin d’assurer le bon déroulement de cet exercice, pas moins d’une cinquantaine de personnes, parmi les 270 que comptent l’escadron, œuvrent sur la base aérienne opérationnelle projetée (BOP).
Corporal Oliver Bainbridge has been recognised for his brave actions after his patrol vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
Corporal Bainbridge’s troop had been ordered to move into position to watch over 2 Brigade Reconnaissance Force units as they began to move towards a patrol base.
As they moved into position, the lead Jackal vehicle, of which Corporal Bainbridge was the commander, struck an improvised explosive device (IED), disabling the vehicle and engulfing it in debris and dust:
It really threw us about,” he said. “It blew the whole vehicle forward.
Corporal Bainbridge’s driver, who had a suspected broken femur, was semi-conscious and in shock. Quickly seizing control, Corporal Bainbridge conducted effective first aid before reassuring his gunner, who had been blown from the vehicle and was disorientated, and ordering him to safety.
As a medic moved forward to assist, their position came under heavy machine gun fire. Corporal Bainbridge grabbed his injured driver, dragging him to a crater caused by the blast while simultaneously instructing the Vallon (IED detector) team and medic to seek cover.
Corporal Bainbridge lay on the driver, shielding him with his own body while exposing himself to the incoming fire for several minutes. He said:
I just wanted to protect him because he was vulnerable and couldn’t protect himself, so I had to help him.
He then took up a rifle, his own had been broken by the blast, to suppress the firing point before personally co-ordinating the extraction of his driver to the relative safety of a Warthog armoured vehicle:
At the time I just had my mind set on one thing and that was making sure there were no more casualties.
With his crew safe, and with the light fading, Corporal Bainbridge returned to his vehicle to remove all mission-essential equipment, a task that took 2 hours to complete as everything hand been bent and mangled by the blast:
I said I’d do it because the fire was so accurate and I didn’t want people standing there making a bigger target,” he said. “When I’d stripped enough equipment off to make a load I’d call guys forward to get it then they’d drag it back and wait until I’d stripped another load.
Corporal Bainbridge then moved with his troop to a defensive position 100 metres north of the stricken vehicle and, at first light, he led a 3-man team back to oversee its recovery by a Warthog, under small arms fire.
Despite the risk to his own safety, Corporal Bainbridge returned for a third time to ensure nothing could be exploited by insurgents in a display of personal courage, selfless commitment and inspired leadership:
I’ve been asked why I went back, but it was my vehicle, so it was my responsibility. How can you ask somebody else to go in your place?
This action typifies Corporal Bainbridge’s character; during his military career he has been struck by IEDs on no less than 3 occasions. He said:
Seeing the damage an IED can do, it’s always in my mind. I wouldn’t say it makes you more cautious, but it means you don’t take unnecessary risks.
Corporal Bainbridge was enjoying a break at Bovington Camp when he was called in to see the Colonel:
I thought, oh no, am I in trouble?” admitted Corporal Bainbridge. “And then, when the Colonel told me I was getting an award, I was speechless for ages and then I must admit I swore, and the Colonel said ‘yeah, that would probably have been my first word too!’
Le 07 octobre 2013 a marqué le coup d’envoi de l’exercice Joint Warrior 13.2 dans le ciel britannique, concrétisant la coopération franco-britannique établie en 2010 par la signature du traité de Lancaster House. Pendant 10 jours, la France et le Royaume-Uni participent avec sept autres nations (Allemagne, Australie, Canada, Danemark, Etats-Unis, Italie, Norvège) à un exercice centré sur des manœuvres aéromaritimes, dans lesquelles une quarantaine d’aéronefs et une quinzaine de bâtiments sont engagés.
L’exercice Joint Warrior 13.2 s’inscrit dans le cadre de la montée en puissance de la force expéditionnaire interalliée et interarmées (Combined Joint Expeditionary Force - CJEF). Pilier majeur de la coopération militaire franco-britannique, la CJEF doit permettre de disposer, d’ici 2016, d’une force franco-britannique interarmées ayant la capacité d’entrée en premier et rapidement activable. Cette force pourra être engagée dans le cadre bilatéral ou interallié (OTAN, UE, ONU).
Depuis 2011, les forces française et britannique conduisent chaque année un exercice majeur centré sur la CJEF. L’objectif est de valider successivement les concepts d’engagement de chacune des trois composantes. Ainsi, après les exercices Flandres en 2011 et Corsican Lion en 2012, respectivement centrés sur les composantes terrestre et maritime, la composante aérienne est au cœur de l’exercice Joint Warrior 13.2. Celui-ci constitue l’entraînement opérationnel tactique conjoint le plus important de l’année pour les armées de l’Air française et britannique. Joint Warrior 13.2 couvre l’ensemble du spectre des opérations aériennes de haute intensité, allant de la défense aérienne aux manœuvres d’attaque au sol ou à la mer. Pour planifier et conduire ces missions aériennes combinées, l’accent est mis sur le C2 (Command and Control), notamment avec la mise en œuvre d’un Joint Force Air Component Command conjoint (JFACC: centre de planification et de conduite des opérations aériennes). Par ailleurs, les moyens aériens opèrent depuis une DOB (Dispersed Operating Base- Base aérienne projetée) qui se trouve en zone soumise à la menace air-sol ennemie dans le scénario de l’exercice. Située à Leeming, cette DOB constitue le lieu de stationnement des moyens aériens « chasse » français et britanniques et assure leur soutien.
Joint Warrior 13-2, 1 - briefing général
Pour l’armée de l’Air française, les moyens engagés sont: quatre Mirage 2000N de l’escadron de chasse 2/4 «La Fayette» ainsi qu’un C135 du groupe de ravitaillement en vol 2/91 «Bretagne» de la base aérienne 125 d’Istres, un Super Puma de l’Escadron de Transport, d’Entraînement et de Calibration 65 de la base aérienne 107 de Villacoublay, déployés sur différentes bases britanniques et quatre Mirage 2000-5 de l’escadron de chasse 1/2 «Cigognes» engagés depuis la base aérienne 116 de Luxeuil.
Après avoir participé, au printemps dernier, à la première séquence essentiellement maritime de Joint Warrior, la Marine Nationale engage une frégate anti-sous-marine (la FASM «La Motte-Picquet»), un hélicoptère embarqué Lynx de la flotille 34F ainsi qu’un Atlantique 2 (avion de patrouille maritime). Il convient de noter qu’un des objectifs de la CJEF est d’être en mesure d’engager, d’ici 2020, un groupe aéronaval franco-britannique.
Le 7 octobre 2013 a marqué le coup d’envoi de l’exercice Joint Warrior 13.2, concrétisant la coopération franco-britannique établie en 2010 par la signature du traité de Lancaster House. Pendant 10 jours, la France et le Royaume-Uni participent avec sept autres nations (Allemagne, Australie, Canada, Danemark, Etats-Unis, Italie, Norvège) à un exercice centré sur des manœuvres aéromaritimes, dans lesquelles une quinzaine de bâtiments et une quarantaine d’aéronefs sont engagés.
L’objectif de Joint Warrior est de fournir aux bâtiments et aux aéronefs un entraînement tactique sous de multiples menaces en perspective de leur potentiel emploi dans le cadre d’une force aéromaritime interarmées et interalliés (Combined Joint Expeditionary Force - CJEF).
Après avoir participé, au printemps dernier, à la première séquence essentiellement maritime de Joint Warrior, la Marine Nationale engage pour cette deuxième édition la frégate anti-sous-marine La Motte-Picquet, un hélicoptère embarqué Lynx de la flotille 34Fainsi qu’un Atlantique 2 (avion de patrouille maritime).
L’armée de l’Air engage, quant à elle, quatre Mirage2000N, quatre Mirage 2000-5, un C135, un Super Puma.
Les phases de préparation opérationnelle Joint Warrior sont les héritières des entraînements Joint Maritime course (de 1970 à 2005, 3 éditions par an) puis Neptune Warrior (de 2006 à 2007). Il s’agissait d’entraînements multi menaces de niveau supérieur impliquant de nombreux bâtiments des pays de l’OTAN . Leur objectif : développer la capacité des unités à évoluer et agir en groupe maritime constitué.
BAE Khareef Corvette - Al Shamikh photo BAE Systems
09/10/2013 by Paul Fiddian - Armed Forces International's Lead Reporter
The Royal Navy of Oman has received its first Khareef-class corvette from contractor BAE Systems Surface Ships. Named Al Shamikh, it's the lead ship of three such vessels being built within the Project Khareef programme.
Al Shamikh was first launched in July 2009 and entered sea trials the following year. The two other Khareef-class corvettes, Al Rahmani and Al Rasikh, were launched in July 2010 and June 2011 respectively.
Al Shamikh's inauguration into the Royal Navy of Oman took place during a ceremony, in the presence of the British Ambassador to Oman and various defence officials including Sayyid Badr bin Saud al Busaidi - the nation's Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs.
"Today we celebrate the arrival of Al Shamikh into the waters of the sultanate, the first ship of Project Khareef, which would contribute to the strengthening of military capabilities and capacities of the Sultan's Armed Forces (SAF) which enjoys the Royal care and attention of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces", he was quoted as having said in BAE Systems' Omani corvette delivery press release.
The Khareef-class corvette construction programme has been taking place at BAE Systems Surface Ships' shipyard, located at Portsmouth Naval Base. Each is 325 feet long and displaces 2,660 tonnes of water.
Power is supplied by a pair of MTU diesel engines, giving a maximum speed of 28 knots, while their maximum range is 4,500 nautical miles and their endurance, 21 days.
The Al Shamikh, Al Rahmani and Al Rasikh can each accommodate a single medium-sized helicopter on their decks and are armed with a single 76mm Oto Melara cannon, a pair of 30mm MSI DS30M 30mm cannons and eight MM-40 Block III Exocet surface-to-surface missiles.
Omani Navy Corvettes
The new Omani navy corvettes will be tasked with numerous roles including designated sea-zone protection, long-endurance surveillance patrols, search and rescue, humanitarian aid and special operations.
The three corvettes all represent part of the Royal Navy of Oman's future procurement policy. Ultimately, they'll be joined in service by a new research vessel and four Al-Ofouq-class patrol vessels.
Warships, combat aircraft and armed forces personnel have arrived en masse in and around Scotland for the latest edition of the Joint Warrior military training exercises programme.
Joint Warrior 13-2 started on 7 October and runs until 17 October. Involved are a host of Royal Navy ships and examples from France, Norway and Denmark, RAF and NATO air force fast jets and various maritime patrol aircraft.
These air and sea-based assets will participate in multiple joint scenarios - among them, terror response operations, counter-insurgency work and anti-piracy campaigns. Other focus areas include electronic warfare training, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and logistics/support training.
Exercise Joint Warrior is one of many such military training exercises carried out at locations the world-over. It and its counterparts exist to reinforce already-present international ties and give armed forces the chances to swap tactics and training knowledge.
One element of this edition is Exercise Capable Eagle, within which Royal Air Force Typhoons will fly alongside French Air Force Mirage 2000s. "This is the first time that the British and French air forces will have conducted a combined end-to-end exercise", Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford, the Chief of the Air Staff, commented. "Recent operations have demonstrated the tangible benefits of French and British airmen and women working closely together, at all levels, and I know that this exercise will provide the opportunity to further enhance the ability of two of NATO's major partners to take a leading role in future multinational operations.
Joint Warrior 13-2
Other participating Joint Warrior 13-2 assets include Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 strike aircraft and Hawk T1 jet trainers and a French Air Force KC-135 tanker.
Naval participants include the Royal Navy's Type 23 frigates HMS Monmouth, HMSPortland, HMS Somerset, HMS Sutherland, and HMS Northumberland. Hunt-class mine countermeasures vessels HMS Cattistock and HMS Brocklesby and the Sandown-class minehunter, HMS Bangor. The Royal Danish Navy's HDMS Absalon leads the international maritime contingent while host bases include HM Naval Base Clyde, RAF Leuchars and RAF Lossiemouth.
La Syrie, l'Iran et l'Afghanistan sont au centre d'une rencontre des chefs d'Etats-majors russe et britannique, Valeri Guérassimov et Nicholas Houghton, qui a débuté mercredi à Moscou.
Selon Valeri Guérassimov, les entretiens porteront sur certains aspects de la coopération militaire russo-britannique et la situation dans plusieurs régions du monde, avant tout en Syrie et en Afghanistan.
"J'espère que notre discussion nous permettra d'améliorer notre compréhension mutuelle et d'intensifier notre coopération", a pour sa part indiqué Nicholas Houghton au début de la rencontre. Il a aussi souhaité évoquer la situation en Syrie et en Afghanistan, ainsi qu'en Iran.
Valeri Guérassimov a rappelé que le ministre russe de la Défense Sergueï Choïgou avait invité en mars dernier la Grande-Bretagne à participer aux compétitions de biathlon de chars d'assaut prévues en Russie pour 2014. "Nous vous remettrons prochainement des documents sur les prochaines compétitions par le biais de l'attaché militaire britannique à Moscou. En attendant, vous pouvez avoir un dépliant sur les épreuves de biathlon de chars que nous avons organisées cette année", a indiqué le responsable russe.
Nicholas Houghton a remercié son homologue russe pour son accueil chaleureux et s'est dit impressionné par sa visite à la base de la 2e division d'infanterie motorisée d'Alabino, dans la région de Moscou. "J'ai apprécié mardi le niveau de formation au combat et l'état des équipements et matériels de la 2e division d'infanterie motorisée", a noté le général Houghton.
From helicopter assaults to dealing with public disturbances, the British Army's rapid reaction force is ready for action.
Exercise Active Eagle has seen the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) battle group undergo demanding and varied training at the Stanford Training Area (STANTA) in Norfolk.
The exercise saw the Air Assault Task Force (AATF) deploying to extract European citizens from a fictional country with long-standing frictions along sectarian lines, and dealing with a terrorist threat.
The 2 PARA battle group is based around the airborne infantry of 2 PARA, with the attached artillery, engineering, signals, aviation, logistics and medical support from 16 Air Assault Brigade needed to conduct operations.
The 2 PARA battle group is currently serving as the AATF, which is ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice to conduct the full spectrum of military operations, from non-combatant evacuation operations to war-fighting. Active Eagle helped to provide a run out for the battle group, ensuring it is ready to deploy, and provided refresher training on key skills.
The battle group converged on Rock Barracks in Woodbridge to mount for the operation before being inserted into STANTA by parachute and helicopter. Scenarios the troops had to deal with included protecting an embassy against a rioting crowd who bombarded them with abuse, petrol bombs and missiles, and assaulting a village to free local police under siege from insurgents.
The 2-week-long training concluded with live fire battle runs that saw troops manoeuvring across hostile countryside by day and night, with fire support from 105mm light guns, 81mm mortars and Apache attack helicopters, and surveillance from RAF Tornado GR4 fast jets.
Lieutenant Colonel Adam Dawson, Commanding Officer of 2 PARA, said:
This exercise is designed to corral within 1 scenario the multifaceted challenges that the AATF may face. It gave the opportunity to run out the planning team’s functions within the headquarters and access a broad range of assets. Combined with challenging and enjoyable training, it has resulted in a confirmation of our readiness for any challenge that may require our intervention.
Corporal Dan Bradley, aged 27 from Droitwich, is a member of the Patrols Platoon which parachuted in to set up covert observation posts to monitor movement at an insurgent position.
Corporal Bradley said:
We work ahead of the main body of troops to establish where enemy forces are and what their pattern of life is to inform the commander’s planning. Our role is all about seeing without being seen and is a real test of the basic soldiering skills of living in the field and camouflage.
I’ve been on 2 tours of Afghanistan and this is a very different style of working – we move on foot carrying all our kit and supplies – but the experience of operations has put us in a good place to adapt.
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.
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.
Thales UK annonce qu’un certificat de type (STDA ou Statement of Type Design Assurance en anglais) lui a été délivré par l’autorité de l’aviation militaire du Royaume-Uni (MAA1) pour son système de drone Watchkeeper.
Ce certificat de type confirme que le drone Watchkeeper est conforme aux normes de conception approuvées par la MAA et que le système dans son intégralité (cellule, stations sol et logiciels systèmes) a atteint un niveau de sécurité et d’intégrité acceptable. Il représente un élément clé du processus de certification, ouvrant la voie pour le MoD britannique vers la délivrance d’une autorisation de mise en service.
Watchkeeper est le premier drone à recevoir une certification de ce genre de la part de la MAA. Il s’agit-là d’une étape importante vers l’acceptation des drones au sein de l’espace aérien. Cela sous-tend la possibilité de vols militaires dans un espace aérien approprié partout dans le monde.
Four weapons testers were rescued from a bunker by an armoured vehicle after an explosion at a Ministry of Defence (MoD) site. Although MoD Shoeburyness is a military testing site there are civilians who live within its perimeter.
Around 22lb (10kg) of explosives were involved in the blast at a weapons testing centre at MoD Shoeburyness, near Southend-on-Sea, Essex, according to Essex Fire Service.
The weapons testers were freed by MoD officers in an armoured personnel carrier, but there were no injuries.
Five fire crews attended the incident, which happened at around 11am on Saturday.
A spokesman for QinetiQ, the private defence contractor that runs the Blackgate Road munitions centre, said: "No-one was hurt in the incident at our environmental test centre and we are conducting a full investigation into what happened as is part of our standard safety procedures."
Although Shoeburyness is a military testing site there are civilians who live within its perimeter. There is also a pub and a village shop.
Warning signs alert motorists that ordnance tests are carried out and roads through the site are closed to civilian traffic when tests are in progress.
In August 2002 Terry Jupp, a Government scientist, was killed when a secret bomb-making experiment left him with extensive burns.
An inquest held in 2010 found that the tests – intended to discover more about al-Qaida's bomb-making capabilities – had been poorly planned and organised.
Jupp, 46, who had worked for the Ministry of Defence for more than 20 years, was a member of a joint Anglo-American team conducting the experiment on the island of Foulness, part of the MoD's weapons testing site at Shoeburyness.
The jury at the inquest concluded that planning and risk assessment had not been appropriate.
It found that a small scale test could have been carried out in advance; adequate regard was not paid to personal protective equipment; and communication and organisation at the trials appeared inadequate.
The flight deck of the first of the Navy's new aircraft carriers is now finished, with the last 2 sections added to HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The sponsons, each weighing just under 500 tonnes, roughly the same as a Sandown Class minehunter, have been carefully inched into place in Rosyth in Scotland.
The mighty Goliath crane lifted the sponsons – the sections protruding from the hull which give an aircraft carrier its unique shape – to join the remainder of the ship in her dry dock.
By the standards of the Queen Elizabeth, the segments are relatively small; the larger sections weighed in at more than 10,000 tonnes (heavier than a Type 45 destroyer).
Now physically complete the flight deck is the size of 60 tennis courts or just a bit smaller than 3 football pitches.
To accommodate the F-35 Lightning II jets, which will land and take off from the ship, a ski ramp will be installed next month – mirroring the feature which propelled the Harrier skywards on the Invincible Class of carriers.
The Queen Elizabeth Class project is probably at the peak of effort, with around 10,000 people involved in building the 2 leviathans, or providing equipment and systems to be installed on them.
While almost all the media attention is focused on the future flagship, there’s also an all-out effort across the land to build her younger sister, the Prince of Wales, which is around 2 years behind Queen Elizabeth.
Sections of 3-quarters of the Prince of Wales’s hull are under construction in Portsmouth, Govan, Merseyside and Tyneside.
Royal Marines from 42 Commando have travelled to NATO ally Albania for a week-long exercise with the country's armed forces.
Hot on the heels of last month’s large-scale exercise Albanian Lion, which was the first set-piece for the UK’s Response Force Task Group on Cougar 13, elements of 42 Commando have returned to the Balkan country for a further week.
The Royal Marines are the nation’s on-call commando unit, ready to deploy anywhere in the world at short notice should the government determine their presence is required.
The week-long Exercise Dragon Hammer with the Viking amphibious vehicles of the Royal Marines Armoured Support Group saw the green berets train mainly around the bay of Vlorë – also the setting for Albanian Lion.
Lima Company used night-vision technology to practise moving through an underground tunnel complex at Porto Palermo, near Himarë, which once served as a base for Cold War submarine operations in the Adriatic.
Their week of Dragon Hammer concluded with a company-level attack on the small island fortress of Sazan, just off the Vlorë peninsula – also the focal point for an assault during Albanian Lion.
Meanwhile, Juliet Company carried out various exercises with live ammunition – including firing the new lightweight Glock pistols being introduced across the Armed Forces – and engaged in close quarters battle. Their week drew to a close getting to grips with working side-by-side with the Vikings.
The Vikings deployed on Cougar 13 hoping to show the rest of the Corps what the all-terrain armoured vehicle, which is based in Dorset, can offer on the battlefield.
Major Chris Samuel, Officer Commanding Juliet Company, said:
The story of close co-operation between Juliet Company and the Viking Troop is one that needs to be read throughout our Corps.
Put simply, during this exercise, my commanders at all levels were exploiting the Viking’s capabilities in ways that they would not have envisaged or thought possible even 3 months ago.
The green berets completed Dragon Hammer delighted at the unique training environment offered both by Albania’s landscape and its military facilities.
Lieutenant Colonel Neil Sutherland, Commanding Officer of 42 Commando, said:
Dragon Hammer was an excellent opportunity – and one that the Commando fully exploited. Arduous, complex terrain and a challenging environment provided some fantastic training opportunities.
Live firing with Viking fully integrated into one of my manoeuvre companies and close quarters battle in a complex sub-terrain cold war submarine facility, where we fully utilised black light, are but 2 examples of the excellent training we were able to run. Overall, it proved to be superb training for 42 Commando.
Cougar 13 is the routine annual deployment of the Royal Navy’s very high readiness Response Force Task Group (RFTG). Elements of the RFTG deployed to the Mediterranean and east of Suez, demonstrating their ability to project a highly effective UK maritime component anywhere in the world.
The deployment includes a series of demanding exercises with partner nations throughout the region which will ensure that the Task Group is ready to respond to any contingencies as and when they arise.
The RFTG ships have now passed through the Suez Canal and are carrying out further exercises with partner nations.
Army reserve soldiers from the Royal Wessex Yeomanry are this week training with Challenger 2 tanks on Salisbury Plain.
More than 100 soldiers are training to become crewmen on the armoured vehicles and this is the first time in several years that the unit has had the opportunity to train with Challenger 2 on Salisbury Plain.
The reservists are spending a week on the Plain taking part in Exercise Wessex Dragon, which is their annual training camp.
The exercise is also an opportunity for the unit to use and train on its new fleet of Wolf Scout Land Rover vehicles which were recently delivered to the unit’s squadrons as part of the government’s ongoing £1.2 billion investment to revitalise the Army Reserve.
Trooper Elliot Metcalfe said:
The training stands today have been very good and very informative on all different aspects of the Challenger 2, and I have enjoyed using the laser technology system which is fitted to our weapons so we can simulate firing and hitting a target.
Captain Damien Thursby said:
Since the Future Reserves 2020 announcement we are actually getting to see the tanks more and having more opportunities for all the guys to get out on exercise with regular units, which is great.
Corporal Nathan Howard said:
The is the first time we have been able to take the tanks out as a troop working under our own steam and it is very beneficial learning to live with our tanks out here for 3 or 4 days.
These reserve personnel are preparing to fulfil a vital role in the future British Army as, by this time next year, the Royal Wessex Yeomanry will formally become the only armoured reinforcement unit in Britain.
As a result, the Royal Wessex Yeomanry will be one of only a handful of reserve units to be part of the British Army’s reactive forces which are held at a state of higher readiness and are prepared to deploy anywhere around the world to protect Britain’s interests and national security.
This challenging and exciting new role for the Royal Wessex Yeomanry was bestowed upon them following the recent publication of the white paper ‘Reserves in the Future Force 2020’. This document detailed the restructure of the British Army and the creation of a new, well-trained, well-funded, well-equipped and fully integrated Reserve Force.
In order to successfully fulfil this enhanced new role, the Royal Wessex Yeomanry will work closely with the aforementioned regular regiments and, from now on, will train alongside them in preparation for any possible future deployment.
Lieutenant Colonel Chris MacGregor said:
Integration is absolutely vital so we have borrowed for this training 8 tanks from one of our paired regular units, the King’s Royal Hussars, and a crew from the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, which is another. We also have instructors from these units permanently based with us.
There is a desire on the part of regular forces to invest in their reservists and likewise the reservists want the best capability they can get and that comes through great training and opportunities like this.
BAE Systems delivered the first four ARCHER artillery systems to the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration, FMV, during a handover ceremony at the company’s Karlskoga, Sweden facility Sept. 23.
BAE Systems employees and representatives from FMV and the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation, FLO, attended the ceremony where FMV’s Director General Lena Erixon received the four systems from Lena Gillström managing director at BAE Systems’ Weapon Systems business in Sweden.
“ARCHER is an important program, for both the Swedish and Norwegian Armed Forces. Today is an important milestone in our partnership and it is very encouraging for us deliver the first systems to our Swedish customer,” said Gillström. It’s an immensely proud moment for everyone at BAE Systems and we now look forward to continuing our partnership with the Swedish and Norwegian customer in working on the delivery of all systems,” added Gillström.
In total, 48 systems will be delivered to the Swedish and Norwegian Armed Forces.
The ARCHER system is one of the world’s most advanced artillery systems with high mobility and precision. It’s based on proven subsystems and has an extensive ammunition portfolio.
British troops have handed over control of Patrol Base (PB) Ouellette to the Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP).
The base, which is situated on Route 611 in the district of Nahr-e Saraj, has been home to UK Armed Forces since July 2011. Its transfer is part of an ongoing base reduction programme which is expected to leave just 4 forward bases in central Helmand in addition to Camp Bastion by the end of October 2013.
The handover comes as British troops no longer routinely provide support to Afghan forces in Nahr-e Saraj and was marked by a ceremony held by Afghan officials in a demonstration of the increasing capability and confidence of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1 RRF) were stationed at PB Ouellette over the summer to assist the ANCOP in providing security on Route 611.
Security for Route 611 is now entirely conducted by the ANCOP who will retain the base as part of their force structure in the area. Base reductions are discussed closely with the local Afghan forces to ensure the best solution as part of the ANSF’s enduring presence in the area.
Route 611 is a crucial link between northern Helmand and the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah. Security along the route is key to the freedom of movement for locals, which in turn promotes governance and economic development.
Brigadier Rupert Jones, Commander Task Force Helmand, said:
The handover of Patrol Base Ouellette is another indicator of the progress of the Afghan security forces as a whole that we have seen across central Helmand this summer. This progress has enabled us to reduce our forward bases one by one.
As we come to the closing stages of what is typically the fighting season it’s a good moment to reflect on the reality that the Afghan National Security Forces have done exceptionally well. They have very firmly held the momentum in Helmand over the insurgent all the way through.
Lieutenant Colonel Jon Swift, Commanding Officer of 1 RRF, said:
Over the last 6 months we have seen a lot of development in this part of Nahr-e Saraj district. Until recently this was one of the most contested areas in central Helmand. The improvement in security is, in large part, thanks to the efforts of the ANCOP to reduce the threat to locals who use the road.
It has been pleasing to see that each time the ANCOP have developed they have taken on more responsibility for security in the area and that has led us to this stage where we can hand the base over to the Afghans as they provide security now and into the future.
Soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (2 SCOTS) who make up the Police Mentoring and Advisory Group have assisted with training and advised their ANCOP counterparts at PB Ouellette throughout Operation Herrick 18.
Lieutenant Simon Wright, 2 SCOTS, said:
Our mission was to advise, train and mentor the ANCOP and we have certainly achieved that. They’re a very tough bunch, particularly the commanders. They are not afraid to take on the insurgents.
Second Lieutenant Zahir Khan, ANCOP platoon commander, said:
We really appreciate that ISAF were here to provide security when we needed it. Now that they are leaving we will do our best to continue to provide the same security as ISAF forces did. Before this camp was built people felt threatened by the insurgency in the area but now they are safe.
Major Steve Dallard, 2 SCOTS, Officer Commanding PB Ouellette, said:
Challenges still remain for the ANSF in the area but the ANCOP here have proven themselves to be well-trained, well-resourced and well-led, and more than capable of maintaining security on Route 611.
They have established lots of checkpoints along the route and have a much better awareness of the local area and population than we have had.
The handover of PB Ouellette comes as the ANSF take the lead for security in central Helmand, allowing British forces to draw down from Afghanistan.
Britain will host next year’s Nato summit as the military alliance draws up plans for Afghanistan after combat troops pull out, David Cameron has announced.
The summit will be the first time the biennial gathering of alliance leaders has been held in the UK since 1990.
Downing Street said that the dates and venues would be announced later, but Mr Cameron confirmed the agenda would be dominated by the lengthy Afghan campaign.
He said: "It will be an opportunity for leaders to recognise the contribution and the sacrifice made by our service men and women as the [international] mission in Afghanistan draws to a close, and as Nato draws down its forces and looks to help Afghanistan in different ways.”
The Nato-led international coalition is quickly withdrawing the more than 80,000 troops it still has in the country. Nato has said all combat troops will leave by the end of 2014 and fully handover security duties to Afghan forces.
American and British commanders believe Afghan forces will not be ready in time to stand on their own against the Taliban though, and want to keep a force of military trainers and special forces troops in the country.
Gen Sir David Richards, former head of the Armed Forces, said having the summit was “excellent news” for the UK.
He said: “It confirms the leading role the country continues to play in Nato and on the world stage. In terms of combat effectiveness UK armed forces are the second most powerful in Nato. Given other nations’ defence cuts this will still be the case well into the 2020s.
“I am delighted that the UK will play a leading role in devising alliance strategy in the post Afghanistan era. In what is a very troubled world, working closely with allies and friends will be as important as at any time in our history".
The Defence Secretary has announced that Britain will build a dedicated capability to counter-attack in cyberspace and, if necessary, to strike in cyberspace.
As part of MOD’s full-spectrum military capability, Philip Hammond has announced that the department is set to recruit hundreds of computer experts as cyber reservists to help defend the UK’s national security, working at the cutting-edge of the nation’s cyber defences.
Mr Hammond confirmed the creation of a new Joint Cyber Reserve which will see reservists working alongside regular forces to protect critical computer networks and safeguard vital data. He said:
In response to the growing cyber threat, we are developing a full-spectrum military cyber capability, including a strike capability, to enhance the UK’s range of military capabilities. Increasingly, our defence budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe.
The Cyber Reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyberspace. This is an exciting opportunity for internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.
The creation of the Joint Cyber Reserve will represent a significant increase in the number of reservists employed in cyber and information assurance, and members of the Joint Cyber Reserve will provide support to the Joint Cyber Unit (Corsham), the Joint Cyber Unit (Cheltenham) and other information assurance units across Defence.
Recruiting for the Joint Cyber Reserve will commence in October and target 3 sectors: regular personnel leaving the Armed Forces, current and former reservists with the necessary skills, and individuals with no previous military experience, but with the technical knowledge, skills, experience and aptitude to work in this highly-specialised area.
All personnel applying to join will be subject to a security clearance process.
Members of HMS Duncan's ship's company line up on the dockside at the ship's commissioning ceremony (Picture: Leading Airman Maxine Davies, UK MoD)
27 September 2013 Ministry of Defence and Defence Equipment and Support
HMS Duncan, the sixth and last of the Royal Navy's new-generation Type 45 destroyers, has been formally commissioned into the fleet.
Hundreds of guests, including families of the 190-strong ship’s company, attended a ‘christening’ ceremony yesterday, 26 September, at Portsmouth Naval Base to mark the ship’s transition into front line service.
The event marks a significant milestone for the fleet of Portsmouth-based Type 45s – the most powerful ships ever built for the Royal Navy.
The first Type 45, HMS Daring, was commissioned in July 2009 and has been followed by her sister ships Dauntless, Diamond, Dragon, Defender and now Duncan.
Principal guests at the commissioning ceremony included Lady Marie Ibbotson – the ship’s sponsor who launched the vessel at BAE Systems’ Govan shipyard on the River Clyde in October 2010 – and First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas. Dignitaries from the ship’s affiliated cities of Belfast and Dundee and veterans from the last HMS Duncan – a Type 14 frigate in service between 1957 and 1985 – were also present.
Commander James Stride, Duncan’s Commanding Officer, said the event was a proud moment for all personnel serving on the ship:
The commissioning ceremony marks a major milestone in the life of HMS Duncan. We are delighted that it can be shared with so many distinguished guests, friends, family, affiliates and former Duncanites.
The hour-long ceremony was rounded off in traditional Royal Navy fashion with the cutting of a commissioning cake. Performing the honour was the commanding officer’s wife, Emma, along with the youngest member of the ship’s company, Logistician (Steward) Clancey Welford, aged 18.
The first 4 Type 45s have already experienced life on operational deployments and the fifth, HMS Defender, is due to deploy for the first time next year.
Now commissioned, HMS Duncan will continue an intense period of trials and training around the UK lasting well into next year before being ready to undertake operational tasking along with her sister ships around the globe.
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