Defence in the Media: 28 July 2015

This morning’s news bulletins have led on the resignation of Lord Sewel from the House of Lords and the Prime Minister’s announcement of new anti-corruption measures to stop luxury homes in the UK being bought with “plundered or laundered cash”.


Most of this morning’s papers including the Guardian, the Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Times and The Independent cover the outline plans agreed by Turkey and the US to drive ISIL out of a strip of land along the Turkish-Syrian border. According to reports the landmark deal will draw Turkey further into Syria’s civil war and increase the intensity of the US air war against ISIL. Some papers also report that Turkey has been accused of also attacking the Syrian Kurdish Defence force. The Sun, Express and the Mail also carry comments from the Prime Minister who said that Britain will carry out "immediate" air strikes against ISIL anywhere there is an imminent threat to British lives.

Defence industry

The Telegraph reports that Britain is considering changing its tactics in the international Defence market after “losing out to rivals” on big deals, with the Government poised to take a more prominent role. The paper says this comes after BAE Systems and its partners in the Typhoon fighter had no success in selling the jet abroad after 2012, during which time French rival Dassault took orders for 84 of its Rafale aircraft. The Telegraph reports that unless more Typhoons are ordered, BAE's productions line is scheduled to close in 2018, potentially resulting in redundancies and the removal of hard-won skills from Britain's industrial base.

The article carries part of the following statement from the Government:

The UK is the second biggest defence exporter in the world with only the United States ahead of us and exports worth £8.5 billion last year. The Government continues to work closely with the UK Defence sector in pursuit of export opportunities, providing wide-ranging and effective support.

Mediterranean migrants

The Guardian reports the Ministry of Defence has confirmed that HMS Enterprise has yet to rescue any migrants since taking over from HMS Bulwark.

HMS Enterprise and the Royal Navy Merlin helicopter form part of the EUNAVFOR MED force which is contributing to the European Union's overall approach to saving lives in the Mediterranean. The operation has been designed in line with the decision taken by the European Council on 23 April to disrupt the smuggling business model that put lives of migrations in harm’s way. The focuses of the operation are the smugglers, their criminal activity and vessels – targeting these will contribute to preventing the loss of life at sea. The operation will be conducted in four phases, consisting of:

 Phase 1 - a deployment and assessment phase (current phase)

Phase 2 - an operational/seizure of smuggled vessels

Phase 3 - an operational/disruption phase

Phase 4 - mission withdrawal and completion phase

The MOD’s statement is not carried but can be found below:

HMS Bulwark played a vital role in the Mediterranean, saving around 5000 lives, but we’ve been clear that to tackle the migrant crisis we need to address the problem at source, going after the gangs, smugglers and boat owners who are making money out of this trade in misery. We continue to play a full role in the mission with the survey ship, HMS Enterprise, our Royal Navy Merlin helicopter as well as headquarters staff who are helping to coordinate the wider international response.


The Telegraph reports that Iran's deputy foreign minister, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, says his country and America will have "opportunities" for greater cooperation in tackling terrorism if the recently agreed nuclear deal is implemented successfully.


The Independent writes that the UK is helping to arm Saudi planes attacking rebel targets in Yemen as an Oxfam report says that more than six million people have been pushed to the “brink of starvation” by the four-month war. The paper reports that Paveway IV bombs, which were originally earmarked before the RAF, have been provided to the Saudi forces. The MOD’s statement that confirms the UK is not directly involved in the operations is carried in part.


Russia says it will guarantee a permanent naval presence in the Mediterranean and boost its strength in the Atlantic and Arctic under a strategy to counter "unacceptable" NATO expansion, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Robot wars

The Guardian writes that fears over the creation of artificial intelligence could be used for malicious purposes has spurred more than 1,000 researchers, experts and entrepreneurs to sign an open letter calling for a ban on developing AI for military use and the building of autonomous killing machines.

Image of the day

2 Squadron RAF Regiment and their Indian counterparts exit a RAF C130 aircraft over Stanta Range as part of Exercise Indra Dhanush 15
2 Squadron RAF Regiment and their Indian counterparts exit a RAF C130 aircraft over Stanta Range as part of Exercise Indra Dhanush 15


Follow us on Twitter and don’t forget to sign up for email alerts.

Share this page