Defence news today includes reporting about a new radar facility in Shetland, and further coverage of the Defence Secretary's Russia-focused interview in yesterday's Daily Telegraph.
Saxa Vord radar station
Newspapers today cover the visit of Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier to the site of the new £10m Remote Radar Head facility, at Saxa Vord, Unst, Shetland, to inspect its progress. Articles feature in The Sun, Scotsman, Daily Record and Press and Journal. The radar will improve RAF and NATO understanding of the airspace north of Britain and further out across the Norwegian Sea.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
We will always protect our skies from Russian aggression. This radar is a vital part of the UK’s defences as we react to intensifying global threats and reinforce our ability to tackle them. Russia’s actions are not limited to Europe’s eastern borders – the threat to British livelihoods is severe and real.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, Chief of the Air Staff, said:
The radar system at Saxa Vord is an important part of ensuring that the RAF can fully protect both the UK’s airspace and that of our NATO allies, in the face of increasing pressure from Russia.
Right at the tip of Shetland, Saxa Vord is a very remote site, so I’m extremely grateful to the team who have been working hard through the cold of winter, with snow and 120 mph gales, to ensure that the construction has remained on schedule.
Read more on this here.
Defence Secretary interview
Following an interview reported yesterday by The Daily Telegraph, there is widespread follow-up in today's print, including The Times, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail and Daily Herald, as well as another story carried in the Daily Telegraph. Articles reflect Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson's comments on the possible threat posed by Russia on the UK's critical infrastructure.
The Daily Mail today carries an article on Afghan interpreters, reporting the case of interpreter Fardin, who worked with UK Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and wants to live in the UK.
A Government spokesperson said:
More than 390 former Afghan staff and their families have been relocated to the UK and we expect to relocate over 40 more and their relatives families.
We have expert teams in both the UK and in Kabul who ensure that former Afghan staff who feel threatened are properly supported.
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