A variety of Defence related news is featured across broadcast and print outlets today, including further Government investment in HMNB Faslane, calls for women to serve in the SAS, and a look at warships of the future.
Investment in HMNB Clyde
The Chancellor has visited HMNB Clyde at Faslane today, announcing more than £500m of funding for the Royal Navy’s submarine base. This work will secure 6,700 jobs and create thousands more. BBC Breakfast, Sky News and the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme have all highlighted the SNP and Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament opposition to the investment.
The Daily Telegraph suggests that the investement in the naval bases makes future of Britain’s Trident nuclear deterrent secure for the next 50 years. The Financial Times writes that the move will be seen as a further sign of commitment from the Government towards the full £23 billion renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent. The Times writes that this move will “be interpreted by the SNP as a provocative step”, and shows the government’s “determination” to retain nuclear capability.
In an Op Ed in the Sun, Chancellor George Osborne writes that the Government is one that puts security first - our national security and economic security – the two going hand-in-hand.
Speaking from Faslane, the Chancellor said:
Today’s announcement of more than £500 million demonstrates the UK Government’s commitment to investing in the infrastructure and capability to ensure that Faslane remains the centre of UK submarine operations for the next generation.
I’m proud to say that this government continues to recognise that our brave Armed Forces across Britain have always been resolute in defence of liberty and the promotion of stability around the world. That’s why I recently committed to meet the NATO pledge to spend 2% of our national income on defence every year of this decade. A strong and secure country is vital to both our prosperity and national security.
There will be thousands more jobs right here in Faslane, as well as across the UK supply chain. Across Scotland, around 12,600 people work in defence and my defence spending commitments will secure these jobs and provide huge opportunities for defence, security and technology companies all over the UK.
PRIME MINISTER BIOGRAPHY
There is further coverage and stories from Anthony Seldon’s biography of Prime Minister David Cameron, with the Daily Mail reporting that the former Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards is quoted in the book being “savagely critical” of the Prime Minister’s decision in 2012 not to back his plan to put “boots on the ground” in Syria. The Independent among others follows up on this claim,suggesting a “showdown” at a meeting of the National Security Council, where Sir David and Sir John Sawyers former head of MI6 “challenged” Mr Cameron’s motives for intervention, suggesting the Prime Minister acted for humanitarian reasons rather than those of British National interest. The Daily Telegraph reports that these claims have come amid speculation that the Government is planning another intervention in Libya.
You can read more about what the Government is doing to combat ISIL here.
In The Times today, Clare Miller, a woman who emerged victorious in the BBC Two series Ultimate Hell Week, which replicated grueling Special Forces selection processes, has called for the Army to open up the SAS to female soldiers. The article considers a range of positions on whether women should serve in Special Forces units.
After completing a review into Women in Ground Close Combat Roles, the MOD is currently undertaking further research into this area.
The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Express take a futuristic look on Dreadnaught, a vision of what British warships could look like in as little as 35 years. The papers write that with RAF jets already being replaced by drones piloted by men sitting at computer screens many miles away, the Royal Navy is now investigating how technology will change the fleet, suggesting that the answer could be a generation of largely remote-controlled seafaring beasts with 'speed of light weapons' and a hull that can make them invisible to the naked eye.