Defence in the media: Tuesday 8 November 2016

Today’s coverage of defence news includes yesterday’s announcement from the Defence Secretary on the Defence Estate.

A Better Defence Estate

There is widespread coverage of yesterday’s announcement from Defence Secretary Michael Fallon on the Defence Estate.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

We have been spending billions maintaining a defence estate that doesn’t meet the needs of our Armed Forces. This plan delivers an estate fit for our forces and their families. By putting money where it is needed, we will provide better facilities to train our Armed Forces and deliver more stability for military families.

You can read more about the Better Defence Estate Strategy here.

F35 global repair hub

Broadcast and print media reported on the announcement that the UK has been chosen to be a global repair hub for European based F35 aircraft. The Sun reported that the £2 billion deal is ‘as big as Nissan was for car manufacturing’ and will see the UK become the 'global hub' for servicing new F-35 Lightning fighter jet components, pumping hundreds of millions of pounds of revenue into the economy. The work will be centred at the UK Government-owned, DECA, based at MOD Sealand, in North East Wales.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

This establishes Britain as a hub for all European F35s and is hugely positive news for our high-tech and innovative defence industry.  It is an endorsement of the skills and capabilities the UK offers; will help create hundreds of high-end jobs, safeguard thousands more and be a substantial boost to UK exports.

Building on the strong foundations of Britain’s pre-eminent and enduring defence partnership with the US, this decision supports British jobs and helps keep Britain safer and more secure.

You can read more about the announcement here and in this video.

Sentry issue

A number of papers, including the Times and Telegraph report on a technical issue affecting the UK’s fleet of E3D Sentry aircraft.

An RAF Spokesperson said:

As a result of routine technical Inspections on RAF E-3D Sentry aircraft, an issue has been identified relating to the integrity of some electrical wiring and cabin conditioning systems. Safety remains our paramount concern, therefore, the UK Sentry fleet will only fly again once the on-going rectification work is complete.

Picture of the day

An F35 Lightning B, pictured here on its flight to the UK in June 2016
An F35 Lightning B, pictured here on its flight to the UK in June 2016