Defence in the media: Monday 3 September 2018

This week’s defence related news includes coverage of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s visit to Afghanistan and a report on the UK’s Combat Air Strategy.

Defence Secretary visit to Afghanistan

 The Defence Secretary visited British troops in Afghanistan last week to see their work as part of the NATO train, advise and assist mission. The Defence Secretary had the chance to visit the main sites where UK forces are present, including the Afghan National Army Officer Academy.

During his visit the Defence Secretary warned of the threat that Islamic State posed in Afghanistan and that they had established ‘direct links’ with British terror groups, provoking fears about new ‘ Manchester-style attacks.’

The Times, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Press Association and The Sun all cover the Defence Secretary’s visit to Afghanistan. Sky News also ran coverage on their 2200, 0600, 0700 and 0800 news programmes.

Combat Air Strategy

The Financial Times report on the UK’s Combat Air Strategy, in particular, the Tempest programme that was revealed by the Defence Secretary earlier in the summer. The Combat Air Strategy aims to leave no doubt over the UK’s ambitions to remain a world-leader in the next generation of air power. The work has already been backed up by £2bn of funding and has been developed in parallel with the Modernising Defence Programme.

An MOD spokesperson said:

Our fleet of F-35 stealth fighter jets and Typhoons are central to our Combat Air Strategy and will be the cornerstone of our combat capability for decades to come. With rapid advancements in technology and an increasingly complex air environment, we need to remain a step ahead of our adversaries to counter future threats. The Combat Air Strategy, including concepts such as Tempest, will allow us to exploit emerging technologies and ensure we remain world-leaders in the air.


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