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Defence in the media

Defence in the Media: 29 June 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Army 2020, Equipment, Ministerial comment, Operations, Royal Air Force

Today's defence-related news includes the Defence Secretary's announcements of the uplift in UK troop numbers to Afghanistan, that Daesh faces its endgame in Mosul and a £48m Apache training contract.

UK Troop uplift in Afghanistan

Media today report an uplift in UK troop numbers to Afghanistan. The increase, by around 85, will highlight Britain's role in combatting terror around the world, as well as our enduring commitment to Afghanistan.

Coverage is carried in The Times, Daily Mail and referenced in The Sun, BBC News and The Mirror. Reporting reflects that the uplift will be around 85, joining the 500 already there, who are being sent following a request from NATO. The Defence Secretary will confirm the uplift at NATO’s headquarters today. Articles say their role will be non-combat, and will include mentoring Kabul’s army, air force and police, and supporting security forces.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

Keeping Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for transnational terrorists helps to keep our streets safe too.

That’s why we’re stepping up our support to the Government of Afghanistan and its defence forces, helping them to expand security and develop their armed forces.

Our extra personnel will remain in a non-combat role, supporting the 500 UK troops already in country to mentor the future generation of Afghan officers, develop the Afghan Air Force and advise the security ministries.

Endgame for Daesh in Mosul

Three years on from the proclamation of the caliphate in Mosul the Defence Secretary has announced that Daesh faces its endgame in the city. Coverage is carried in The Sun, BBC NewsMirror and Press Association that the destruction of Daesh is now inevitable, according to Sir Michael Fallon. The article references that RAF jets and drones have ‘hammered’ 700 targets in support of ground forces in Mosul, and 70% of territory once held by Daesh in Iraq has now been liberated.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

Three years on from when Daesh declared its so-called caliphate in Mosul, this evil death cult faces its endgame in the city.

In Syria, there is now irreversible momentum and progress towards Daesh’s defeat in Raqqa, with the SDF already controlling nearly 15% of the city.

£48m Apache contract

The Defence Secretary announced a £48m contract extension to train air and ground crew on the Apache AH64-D at the RUSI Landwarfare Conference. The contract will support around 70 jobs, and the reorganisation of the Royal Signals and Intelligence Corps to better meet current and future challenges. Coverage is carried in the Daily Mail, which reflects that the new generation of around 50 Apache attack helicopters is entering service with the Army in the early 2020s. The article links the announcement to reporting this week that the US has tested a laser cannon on an Apache helicopter, posing the question whether the UK will have something similar.  Separately, The Mirror picks up Sir Michael Fallon's comments at the RUSI conference that the Armed Forces must “reach out to the brilliant brains of tomorrow” to combat hackers.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

This £48 million contract will support UK jobs and provide world-class Apache training for our personnel. The Apache is a vital part of the British Army’s fighting force that is helping to keep this county safe.

We are also preparing our forces for the battlefields of tomorrow in an era of complex global challenges by ensuring our formidable Signals and Intelligence Corps are ready for the information warfare of the 21st Century.

This investment is only possible thanks to a rising defence budget and a drive for efficiency and innovation which will help our Armed Forces stay at the cutting edge.

Image of the Day

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon today announced a six-year £48 million Apache helicopter training contract at the annual Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Land Warfare Conference.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon announced a six-year £48 million Apache helicopter training contract at the annual Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Land Warfare Conference.

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