Defence in the media: Monday 6 August 2018

Today’s defence related news includes further F-35 coverage.


A number of outlets, including The Sun, The Times, the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Daily Express follow up on the Mail on Sunday’s story which claimed that a member of the RAF's Tinder account was hacked, with the perpetrator aiming to get information on the F-35 fighter jet.

Today’s articles are more balanced than the original piece, with the incident being described as a suspected but unsuccessful effort to get information on the F-35. The MOD’s statement, that no sensitive or classified information was lost, is widely carried.

The Times quotes the MOD as pointing out that the Mail on Sunday’s headline was inaccurate. The same article features quotes from Air Marshal Greg Bagwell, a retired RAF commander, who said ‘the armed forces have a number of policies and guidelines that are linked to potential espionage… This [espionage attempt] sounds fairly amateurish to me’. In the Daily Telegraph, Dr Julian Lewis, chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee, says he thinks ‘that the RAF have acted rather smartly to use this as an opportunity to remind people who are close to sensitive military affairs to always be on their guard’.

An RAF spokesperson said:

No F-35 secrets have been stolen, as the headline inaccurately claims. No F-35 information of a sensitive or classified nature has been disclosed via a dating site. The member of RAF personnel involved is not even associated with the F-35 programme.

HMS Albion 

The Independent features a picture of HMS Albion being opened to the public for two days in Tokyo, Japan, as part of their ‘picture of the day’ section.

Image of the Day

A Royal Air Force crew from 84 Squadron based out of RAF Akrotiri assisted the Cypriot Government in controlling a large wild fire northwest of Yermasoyia, Limassol district.