Today’s Defence-related stories include a speech by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson at the Atlantic Council think-tank and build-up to the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Amiens.
Defence Secretary Atlantic Council speech
The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail and The Sun were among the outlets to report on the Defence Secretary’s speech in Washington DC. Coverage largely reports on the main thrusts of yesterday’s speech in terms of the UK’s commitment to playing a global role, its membership of NATO including meeting defence expenditure targets and the capabilities of the UK Armed Forces. The Daily Mail pays attention to the Defence Secretary’s remarks on Russia’s recent behaviour which he deemed as ‘increasingly aggressive’.
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
For more than a hundred years our Armed Forces have fought in defence of our common values and interests. From the turmoil of the Great War, through the dark days of World War II. From the heat of Korea, to the chill of the Cold War. From the mountains of Afghanistan, to the deserts of Iraq today.
Our two countries have developed the deepest, broadest and most advanced Defence relationship of any two nations. The United States has never had nor will have a more reliable ally than the United Kingdom. Others may pretend, but you will find no greater ally than us.
The I runs a story on preparations for Amiens100, the centenary of one of the most significant battles of World War I that helped pave the way for Allied victory. The I featured Amiens on a small section of their front page and reported on historical events. The Scotsman provides a Scottish element to today’s proceedings with comments from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter said:
The Battle of Amiens marked the beginning of the end of the First World War. It was a remarkable achievement over the course of the War to expand the military, moulding a new citizen based force into a very accomplished fighting force, against a backdrop of rapid technological change.
Dreadnought missile tubes
The Times and The Daily Telegraph report that the UK’s £31 billion next-generation nuclear deterrent could be delayed after the discovery of a welding defect in ballistic missile tubes designed and built in the US.
An MOD spokesperson said:
We are aware that a welding quality issue on submarine missile tubes manufactured by US company BWX Technologies is under investigation, but our Dreadnought Programme remains on schedule and within budget to deliver the first boat in the early 2030s.
Our US counterparts are working aggressively to minimise any impact, whilst early reports from the other two missile tube suppliers suggest they are not having the same problems.