Defence in the Media: Saturday 2 December 2017

In today's Defence news there is coverage of 617 Squadron - the Dambusters, and HMS Queen Elizabeth.

617 'Dambuster' Squadron

The Daily Telegraph and The Press and Journal report that the historic 617 'Dambusters' Squadron has been reformed to fly Britain’s new stealth fighter jets next year. Both papers quote Wing Commander John Butcher, Officer Commanding the new squadron. He said the original Dambusters would have been “quite amazed” by the new warplane. He added that the new technology would “really chime” with his predecessors: “they were formed nearly 75 years ago for a very special purpose, and that was to bring cutting-edge technology into service for a very special mission.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth

To mark Small Business Saturday and ahead of the commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth next week, the Ministry of Defence has highlighted the contribution that small businesses from around the UK have made to the Carrier Project. The Plymouth Herald reports that Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin has praised the role of Westcountry businesses in building the Royal Navy’s largest ships, which would never have been possible without the essential work of small and medium sized enterprises from around Britain.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said:

On behalf of Defence, the government and the whole of the United Kingdom, I would like to thank the hundreds of businesses around the country for the millions of hours they’ve spent equipping our ships in what has been an immense nationwide enterprise.

Their Herculean efforts showcase our great British talent and saw HMS Queen Elizabeth complete her 2017 sea trials with flying colours as she prepares to project our interests right across the world.

Image of the day

The new Officer Commanding Number 617 Squadron, Wing Commander John Butcher, has taken his first flight in an F-35B Lightning, the UK’s new multi-role stealth combat aircraft. 617 Sqn ‘Dambusters’ is designated as the first front line UK F-35B Lightning squadron and will return to RAF Marham next summer.

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