Defence in the Media: Friday 25 May 2018

Today's defence news includes coverage of the Defence Secretary's speech at the RUSI Sea Power Conference and further coverage of the dispute between the UK and EU over access to the Galileo satellite programme.

RUSI Sea Power Conference

A number of today's national newspapers covered the Defence Secretary's opening speech at the RUSI Sea Power Conference, including the The Sun, Telegraph, Times, Daily Express, Independent and Financial Times. Many, including the Daily Express front page, focus on the Defence Secretary's warning of ‘increasing aggression from resurgent Russia’ and the increase in Russian naval activity in the English Channel. The Express also published images of an RAF Typhoon flying over the newly reopened £10million Air Defence Radar station at Saxa Vord in the Shetland Islands.


The ongoing dispute between the UK and EU over access to the Galileo satellite programme is covered as part of wider reporting of Brexit negotiations, with editorials in both The Sun and Daily Mail pointing out that the EU has much to lose from excluding the UK from the project, accusing Brussels of 'being willing to endanger millions to teach Britain a lesson'. The controversy is also covered prominently in The Times, Telegraph, Daily Express and Independent.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

Satellite technology is not just a crucial tool for our Armed Forces but vital to our way of life, whether that be access to our mobile phones, the internet or television. It is essential we protect our interests and assets from potential adversaries who seek to cause major disruption and do us harm.

Britain is a world leader in the space industry and our defence scientists and military personnel have played a central role in the development of the EU’s Galileo satellite programme alongside British companies, so it is important we also review our contribution and how we plan for alternative systems in this crucial area.

Image of the Day

A RAF Typhoon of Number 1(Fighter) Squadron from RAF Lossiemouth overflies the RAF’s newly installed Air Defence Radar at Saxa Vord, on the Island of Unst, Shetland. The radar will improve RAF and NATO understanding of the airspace north of Britain and further out across the Norwegian Sea, improving the UK’s sovereign capability at a time of heightened Russian military activity. It will see the island return to the role it performed during the 1960s and 70s, when the site was used as an early warning radar on NATO’s northern flank.

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