Defence in the media: Saturday 15 July 2017

In today's defence related news there is positive coverage of the Royal Navy's largest warship HMS Queen Elizabeth, criticism of the Ministry of Defence's approach to dealing with the media, and reporting on the announcement of contracts worth £120 million which will sustain 330 British jobs.

HMS Queen Elizabeth

'Tougher than your average supercarrier" - filmmaker Chris Terrill, who has spent the last 18 months embedded with the ship's company of HMS Queen Elizabeth reveals in The Daily Telegraph what life is really like on the world's most modern warship.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said:

HMS Queen Elizabeth is an enduring example of British imagination, ingenuity, invention that will help keep us safe for decades to come. She is built by the best, crewed by the best and will deliver for Britain. For the next fifty years she will deploy around the world, demonstrating British power and our commitment to confronting the emerging challenges from a dangerous world. The whole country can be proud of this national achievement.

MOD media engagement

Writing in The Times, Defence Editor Deborah Haynes claims that a Royal Navy conference at Chatham House was postponed with two days notice over concerns that journalists would be present. The article also goes on to describe restrictions on media access to the recent Air Power conference, although acknowledges these were later lifted and accredited journalists were allowed to attend for free, and claims that a number of requests from The Times to interview senior military officers and officials have not been approved.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said:

The military regularly undertake media engagements as we saw last week when the Chief of the General Staff conducted interviews with a number of national newspapers. We also regularly facilitate media access to operations and deployments such as embedding a Times journalist on navy destroyer next week.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said:

The Royal Navy is prioritising the Defence Security and Equipment International 2017 exhibition as a better opportunity for discussion about the new era of maritime power.

£120 million contracts in UK air power

The Scotsman and The Herald report on the announcement of a £120 million investment in UK air power which will ensure the Armed Forces have the best equipment and training available.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, said:

These contracts demonstrate our commitment to supporting the UK’s air power, through maintaining battle proven aircraft and training the next generation of fast jet pilots. This substantial investment will ensure our Air Force can continue to perform at its very best. Backed by our rising defence budget and £178 billion equipment plan, these contracts will sustain high skilled jobs in Britain and ensure that our Armed Forces have the best equipment and training available to keep the UK safe.

Image of the day

Each year in July a Belgian Parade takes place at the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms from both sides of the Channel. It is a strong symbol of the fraternity that existed between the British and Belgian soldiers during and after both world wars, and confirms the close ties that continue to unite both countries today. The annual tradition dates back to 1934 and was born from the friendship between the British King George V and the Belgian King Albert I.
Photographer Sgt Paul Randall RLC

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