Defence in the media: Thursday 17 November 2016

Today’s defence-related coverage includes the news that Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has announced that Britain and France are to work together on cutting edge missile technology.

Franco-British Council

The FT carries an article about the Defence Secretary's visit to Paris today and reports that Britain and France will announce an agreement on missile manufacturing which will see MBDA’s British employees working on French national weapons programmes, and vice versa. The article leads with the fact that the countries will point to the agreement as a sign of co-operation - and proof that the UK’s decision to leave the EU has not weakened this.

The Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

To keep Britain strong, it’s vital we develop mutual security through innovation and co-operation. By securing a rising defence budget, working with allies and investing in Centres of Excellence, we can keep Britain at the cutting-edge of technology.

This Franco-British defence co-operation ensures high-skilled jobs through innovation and will help keep Britain safer and more secure.

You can read more about the announcement here.

Royal Navy war graves

The Guardian, the Times, Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail report that the UK has expressed serious concern at reports that three of its warships, that sank in the Java sea during WW2, have disappeared.

A Government spokesperson said:

The UK government condemns the unauthorised disturbance of any wreck containing human remains. We have contacted the Indonesian authorities to express our serious concern at this news and to request that they investigate the reports and take appropriate action to protect the sites from any further disturbance.

WW2 bomb in Portsmouth

The Guardian and the Independent report that a controlled explosion has been carried out on a 500lb WW2 bomb, which a Royal Navy spokesperson explains was dislodged from the seabed by dredging work preparing for the arrival of the QEII aircraft carriers. The Royal Navy’s Fleet Diving Squadron carried out the explosion.

Captain of Portsmouth Naval Base, Captain Bill Oliphant, said:

This is the third piece of historic ordnance found in the harbour during the dredging works since September. We worked closely with Hampshire Police and Portsmouth City Council to ensure we dealt with this incident in the safest way possible, at the same time causing least disruption to the city.

Picture of the day

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon speaks at the opening of the Franco-British Council in Paris.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon speaks at the opening of the Franco-British Council in Paris.