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Defence in the media

Defence in the Media: Wednesday 13 July

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Today's defence related news includes coverage of the Defence Secretary’s speech at the RAF Air Power Conference in London, the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, the construction of the Type 26 Frigates and the military ceremonial role during the State visit of King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain.

RAF Air Power Conference

A variety of media report on the Defence Secretary’s speech today at the RAF Air Power Conference, in which he announced that from September this year, ground close combat roles in the RAF Regiment will be open to women, and that RAF Typhoon jets will get a fresh £40m investment in technology to improve their defences.

Announcing the opening of the RAF Regiment to women, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

A diverse force is a more operationally effective force. So I’m delighted that the RAF Regiment will be open to recruitment to women from September. Individuals who are capable of meeting the standards for the regiment will be given the opportunity to serve, regardless of their gender. This is a defining moment for the RAF, as it becomes the first service to have every trade and branch open to both genders.

More information on this announcement can be found here.

On the Typhoon investment, the Defence Secretary said:

Our Armed Forces face ever-evolving threats so we must invest in cutting-edge technology to ensure they can operate in hostile theatres. Our growing Defence budget and £178 billion equipment plan makes this possible; giving UK forces the defences they need to protect them, their kit and the people of Britain.

The RAF’s Typhoon jet is already a state-of-the-art combat aircraft that protects the UK both at home and abroad, but today’s announcement is a clear example of how it is being continually enhanced and upgraded so it remains as effective tomorrow as it is today.

More information on this announcement can be found here.

The Defence Secretary’s full speech can be found here.

Aircraft Carrier

The Daily Telegraph reports on a letter from four retired RAF Officers on the future protection of the Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier.

An MOD Spokesman said:

Our carrier strike group will be robustly protected by air and sea assets when it deploys around the globe. The UK's nine cutting-edge P-8 aircraft will be able to operate at long range without refuelling and will have the endurance to carry out high and low-level airborne maritime surveillance for extended periods.

Type 26 Frigates

The Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mirror, The Times and The Daily Record report on the amount of British steel being used in the construction of the eight new Royal Navy Type 26 Frigates. Coverage includes that British steel accounts for about 50% of the value of steel to be used in the construction of the ships.

A BAE Spokesman said:

The steel we procure must meet the very specific technical specifications for the complex warships we deliver, as well as meet our customers’ needs in terms of availability timeframes and budgets. We are pleased to confirm that, following an open competitive bid process, Yorkshire based Dent Steel UK has been selected to source steel for the first three Type 26 ships.

Steel for the Type 26 programme sourced by Dent Steel UK will come principally from mills in the UK and Sweden which can meet the very specific requirements for the warships. Approximately fifty percent of the value of steel for the first three Type 26 ships will be British; this equates to around 35% of the overall weight.

Image of the day

HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh will host the State Visit of King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain, at Buckingham Palace from Wednesday 12th to Friday 14th July 2017. The VIP Visitors enjoyed a military ceremonial welcome on Horse Guards Parade at the start of their three day State Visit to Britain. More than one thousand troops took part in the visit.

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