- The RAF suspended all flights by its fleet of Typhoon fighters because of problems with their ejector seats. This is following the death of a Saudi pilot during the crash of a Typhoon in Spain last month when a fault was discovered with the harness in the investigation. All Typhoon operators restricted operations and now modifications have been made to the ejector seats to allow flights to resume.
- The RAF's latest Reaper has arrived in Afghanistan to support operations there. With this extra UCAV the RAF can now have multiple Reaper operations at any one time over the country.
- The Royal Marines have been conducting joint-exercises with their Brazilian counterparts off the coast of Brazil. The bounty of this co-operation could be a big order for British warships by the Brazilians who may buy the Type 26 according to some reports. France and Italy are also trying to get a piece of Brazil's plan to modernise its surface fleet.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
- The SDR mayhem continues with the RAF now apparently under threat, according to the mainstream media anyway. Seems like the sort of arguments i read in Warship World last year. According to some sources the UK is preparing to give up having a continuous nuclear deterrent and go for a "cheaper alternative". How many times must we have these arguments?
- HMS Ocean has arrived off Rio de Janeiro to take part in an amphibious operation with the Brazilian Navy and Marines. Ocean will also be taking part in a UK-Brazil trade & industry exhibition. I wonder if they'll try and flog the helicopter carrier off to the Brazilians while they are at it.
- A $60 billion arms deal between the US and Saudi Arabia has been proposed which would include F-15s, Apaches, Blackhawks and all sorts of other gear.
- Portugal could buy 6 of the new KC-390 tactical transport from Embraer. Brazil, Chile and Columbia are also likely to buy the type.
- A recent computer virus is said to have been created by a Jihadist group. A new front in the "War On Terror"?
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
The Royal Navy's Antarctic patrol ship HMS Endurance, which was badly damaged in 2008 off the coast of Chile following an accident, is to be replaced by a Norwegian icebreaker according to reports. The icebreaker will be bought or leased from next year to save the estimated £30 million cost of repairing Endurance.
- The RAF has unveiled its newly reformed 6 Squadron which is equipped with Typhoons. 6 Squadron's job will be to provide quick reaction alert cover for the north of the UK from next year.
- 820 Naval Air Squadron has deployed to East Africa. The squadron's Merlin helicopters are embarked aboard RFA Fort Victoria and will carry out anti-piracy operations.
- Royal Navy submarine HMS Talent has returned home following an extended spell East of Suez.
- A rare German bomber from WW2 is to be restored by the RAF Museum after being recovered from the Goodwin Sands. The Dornier Do 17 had lain in the sands for 70 years after being shot down in 1940 and is said to be in good condition, the tyres are even still inflated!
- France is still confident it can sell helicopter carriers to Russia despite the Russians throwing the tender open.
- The Chinese media is calling for more anti-carrier weapons like the DF-21D though there are doubts being raised as to the effectiveness of weapons like these.
- Making sense of Anglo-French defence rumours.
Friday, September 3, 2010
So Britain and France won't share a pool of aircraft carriers, well it was always going to have been unlikely (but may have been fun from a twisted outsider point of view). Instead the UK and France will be looking at how to share their respective fleets of A400M transports (does that mean they'll be able to get away with buying less?)
Thursday, September 2, 2010
- The Strategic Defence Review tittle-tattle continues. The Gurkhas are the latest in the firing line (so to speak) with suggestions they could be cut completely. One reason being they are no longer as cheap because of recent pension rights reforms.
- HMS Gloucester has intercepted a yacht in the mid-Atlantic carrying an estimated £4 million in cocaine. The destroyer was en route to the Falklands when it was called upon to assist authorities off the Cape Verde islands.
- Could the Royal Navy and Marine Nationale end up sharing a pool of 3 carriers? Neither side will confirm the report. If it did happen though it would mean the Queen Elizabeths going CTOL surely, which wouldn't be a bad thing. Nelson spinning in his grave et cetera.
- Taiwan's F-CK-1C/D fleet will receive radar upgrades following the US releasing a block on the export.
- Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) development is set to explode as these vehicles begin to play a major role in naval warfare.
- Was the meeting of 2 Chinese satellites in orbit a sign of a sophistocated space warfare programme? SJ-12 and SJ-06F are thought to have performed "non-cooperative robotic rendezvous" which could allow for an array of military applications such as inspection or sabotage of foreign satellites.
Friday, August 27, 2010
- HMS Ocean has begun an anti-drugs deployment in the Caribbean. The assault carrier will also be on hand to provide assistance to British territories in the area during the hurricane season (unless its bought home early to save a few quid).
- The uncertainly about the Vanguard replacements and the continuation of Britain's nuclear deterrent is concerning some British defence companies especially how it may effect other defence spending.
- Denmark has turned down a request by NATO to send F-16s to Afghanistan saying they have already done enough. Indeed unlike some other countries in the alliance the Danes have contributed a lot to the fight there.
- A Eurofighter has crashed in Spain on a regular training flight. The fighter was being piloted by a Saudi Air Force pilot who died in the crash though a Spanish pilot also aboard managed to eject.
- Israel is pressing ahead with its JSF purchase after getting approval to install Israeli equipment and support Israeli munitions. The F-35I will also have its EW suite kept up to date by the US to IDF requirements.