Of note for Defence news today is coverage of Typhoon sales to Kuwait, and reporting on the launch of the UK team competing at the Invictus Games 2016.
Articles are carried in The Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail following up yesterday’s announcement that Kuwait has become the eighth country to invest in Typhoon combat aircraft. The papers write that Kuwait has agreed to buy 28 Eurofighter Typhoons in a boost to British manufacturing.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
This is very positive news. The UK and Kuwait enjoy a long, historic and close relationship. Kuwait’s decision to select Typhoon represents a vote of confidence in this world class aircraft and will further strengthen our defence and security cooperation over the years ahead.
This is also very positive for jobs across the British aerospace and defence industry. Typhoon aircraft have already been purchased by seven nations around the globe and play a vital role for the RAF in defending UK interests across the world: striking against Daesh, securing British skies, protecting the Falkland Islands and helping to guard Baltic air space.
Army field hospitals
An article is carried in the Daily Telegraph that the Army has unveiled a new rapid reaction field hospital that can be flown anywhere in the world and put up to start operating on battlefield casualties in only 16 hours. The paper writes that the 'vanguard' hospital fits in the back of two transporter planes and provides the same level of care as an NHS trauma care, adding that medics have practised setting up the new hospital as part of a logistics war game in the Jordanian desert.
An Army spokesperson said:
Exercising in Jordan has allowed the Army to validate a very high readiness field hospital capable of deploying to any environment in the world to provide cutting edge battlefield medical care to large scale forces.
Exercise Shamal Storm
There is coverage of Exercise Shamal Storm in Jordan, with pictures carried in the Daily Express and Daily Telegraph that show British soldiers lighting up the desert sky with a stunning display of flares. It is reported that the troops firing them were from the Royal Logistic Corps and are among 1,600 members of the Armed Forces out in the Middle East taking part in the biggest exercise in a decade.
The Daily Mirror writes about the Army's Warthog armoured vehicles, suggesting that the fleet will be disposed of for cost reasons. The paper notes that the £1m vehicles saved scores of Army lives against Taliban roadside bombs. The MOD's full position can be seen below.
An MOD spokesperson said:
Warthog was delivered in 2010 to replace Viking and was designed specifically for use in Afghanistan. A number of protected mobility vehicles have been brought into the core fleet; it was decided that the capability required from Warthog could be delivered by other vehicles, therefore Warthog was withdrawn from service in 2015. The Army has a fleet of other protected mobility platforms still in service delivering this capability.
A short article is carried in The New Day which looked ahead to Prince Harry today attending the unveiling of the UK team competing at the Invictus Games 2016 in the US in May, also referencing that the 110-strong squad of wounded, injured and sick military personnel and veterans would come together for the first time this morning on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
Everyone selected for the UK team can be proud of what they have achieved as they prepare for success in Orlando. The MOD is once again backing this superb event and I look forward to being there to see our personnel and veterans demonstrate their fighting spirit.
All papers report that Lucca, a US military dog who lost a leg when sniffing out a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, has been awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross. She was yesterday given the PDSA Dickin Medal at Wellington Barracks in London, reports say, becoming the 67th recipient of the highest honour for military animals.
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