Today’s defence related news includes coverage of HMS Westminster and the Type 31e frigate programme.
HMS Westminster escorted Russian warships in the English Channel
There has been widespread coverage of Type 23 frigate HMS Westminster escorting two Russian warships and their support vessels through the English channel yesterday, including in the Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, the Herald, Daily Star, Daily Express, Metro, Evening Standard and the Sun. Coverage notes that HMS Westminster was sent on Friday to shadow the Russian ships and is the third Royal Navy ship to escort Russian vessels since Christmas Eve.
Commander Simon Kelly, Commanding Officer of HMS Westminster, said:
HMS Westminster’s role as the Royal Navy’s Fleet Ready Escort is to be at very high readiness to respond to anything the British government requires. While today most people are returning to work for the first time in the New Year, HMS Westminster’s ship’s company has been at sea and at readiness as part of the Royal Navy’s commitment to keep Britain safe at all times. The English Channel is an absolute lifeline for the UK, and it is very important HMS Westminster and the Royal Navy maintains a watchful eye on this key strategic link.
The Type 31e frigate programme
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson paid a visit to Babcock’s Appledore shipyard yesterday, as the company announced further details of its bid to help build a new class of warship. This was reported in national, local and specialist media including The Times, Western Morning News, Belfast Telegraph, Business Insider and Jane’s Defence.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
The South West is crucial for our military, with a particularly special connection with our Royal Navy and Royal Marines, and it’s good to see Babcock seeking to strengthen that even further with this bid.
Increase in civilian casualties from explosive weapons
The Guardian reports on an increase in civilian casualties in 2017, according to a new global survey compiled by the advocacy group Action on Armed Violence.
An MOD spokesperson:
We’ve not seen any evidence that we have caused civilian casualties. We do everything we can to minimise the risk to civilian life from UK strikes through our rigorous targeting processes and the professionalism of the RAF crews. Reports of civilian casualties are and will continue to be taken very seriously and we will investigate all credible claims.”
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