Today’s defence related news includes coverage of a new military G-force simulator and mental health in the armed forces.
High G training
Reporting this morning, including in The Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Record, BBC broadcast channels and BBC News Online, covers the opening of the new High G simulator which will be used by RAF and Royal Navy pilots. The new facility at RAF Cranwell will be formally opened today by the Chief of the Air Staff.
Reporting notes that the new £44m facility will enable aircrew to practice missions under high levels of G-force, as the new centrifuge accelerates from zero to 9 G in just one second, spinning at 34 times a minute. Coverage notes that the simulator will be used by pilots in both the RAF and Royal Navy and will replicate flight in a number of aircraft, including the Hawk, Typhoon and new F-35 jets. Journalists describe having a go in the simulator, describing the intense and physically challenging conditions pilots are required to endure.
In addition to print coverage, live broadcasts aired throughout the morning on BBC Breakfast.
Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal, Sir Stephen Hillier said:
I am delighted to see our new High-G Training Facility opened today and to be able to mark this step-change in how we train our pilots. By exposing our Typhoon, Lightning and Hawk pilots to High-G forces in a tailor-made and completely controlled environment, we are significantly enhancing safety in the air and making a major contribution to our operational effectiveness. Today represents another major milestone in the RAF’s impressive modernisation programme.
Armed forces mental health
The Daily Mail reports on the mental health of a company of the British Army which was involved in heavy fighting in Sangin, Helmand province in 2009.
In an article in the Express, the former Director of the Army Medical Services, Maj Gen Robin Short, comments on the Government’s mental health policies.
A Government spokesperson said:
Any suicide is a tragedy. We take the mental wellbeing of our serving and former personnel extremely seriously, and urge anyone struggling to come forward and access the care they deserve.
The MOD has increased spending on mental health to £22 million a year, and the NHS has committed to expanding specialist health support for veterans across the country.