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Defence in the media

Defence in the media: Sunday 03 March 2019

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Today's defence related news includes coverage of the £11m boost to chemical defences.

Boost to chemical defences

The Defence Secretary has announced an allocation of £11m of additional funding to bolster the UK’s response to chemical attacks. This will help fund a range of measures including developing plans to deploy drones and robots into potentially hazardous areas and investing in new technical capabilities boosting Dstl’s ability to analyse substances.

The Sun, Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times all carry coverage of the announcement. Most of the reporting is focused around the potential use of drones and robots in hazardous areas, a move that will cut risks to personnel and help identify threats faster. All note that the £11m has been allocated in response to an evolving threat and will ensure the UK remains a global leader in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defence. The reporting also links this announcement to the anniversary of the Salisbury Novichock incident which military teams spent over 13,000 hours on the clean up effort.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

After the Novichok attack in Salisbury a year ago, the nation turned to the Armed Forces and expert scientists. From the investigation to the clean-up, the military and everyone involved in the operation have worked tirelessly to decontaminate the streets of Salisbury.

Britain and its allies have also demonstrated that they will take a stand against the use of chemical weapons, from the sanctions enforced on Russia following the reckless use of Novichok to the strikes against the chemicals used by Syrian regime.

We recognise we need resilience to face evolving threats which is why we have invested £11million into ensuring we have a world-leading capability.

Military personnel aiding the cleanup operation in Salisbury
Military personnel from the Army and the Royal Air Force working in support of DEFRA and the civil authorities with the recovery operation in Salisbury, Wiltshire in the aftermath of the nerve agent attack in March 2018. Crown copyright.

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