Sunday, December 20, 2009

Army to get new uniforms

The British Army is to adopt a new uniform style using MTP Multi Terrain Pattern which is designed to be as effective in temperate areas as well as desert zones. It is hoped the uniforms will be effective in Afghanistan where troops can find themselves in totally different kinds of terrain within minutes. The camouflage design was originally developed by MultiCam for the US military though they decided not to adopt it in the end, the final MTP style was developed in conjunction with the MOD and incorporates some elements of the old camouflage. It will be rolled out to units from 2010 to 2016. Of course it was made in... China.

More photos and information.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Roebuck and Walney to be cut

The Royal Navy's share of the defence cuts is to lose a survey ship and a minesweeper, we should just assume the threat of mines hitting expensive ships or them running aground has been reduced somewhat. Survey ship HMS Roebuck will be retired next year (4 years early) and HMS Walney, a Sandown class mine hunter will also go. It could be worse. In the current environment the saddest fact of UK defence is that "it could be worse" is the best we can hope for.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

If the Afghan war is to be funded properly then it will be so the MOD says, but at a cost. Money will be taken from elsewhere in the defence budget from "low-priority projects" to afford extra equipment for the front line including 22 more Chinook helicopters. The RAF seems to be going to bear the brunt of the cuts elsewhere according to reports with an air base to shut and the Harrier, Tornado and Nimrod fleets to be cut. MOD jobs could also go. Though the rumours about one of the Queen Elizabeth carriers being sold to the Indians won't go away. A survey ship and minesweeper will be retired early.

Update 10:38 : RAF Cottesmore is the base to be closed according to the BBC with a Tornado squadron being cut and Harriers retired early.

Friday, December 11, 2009

A400M to fly today

The Airbus A400M is due to take off for it's maiden flight today (within minutes of writing this if i have my times right). The first test flight will be from Airbus' factory in Sevilla in Spain. To rather dampen the joy Airbus have said the price of the plane has increased by 3%  which customers "have to accept".

Update : its up! Check out the video.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Typhoon could link up with Baracuda

The Barracuda UAV demonstrator could link up with the Typhoon fighter in a ground-attack demonstration. In the demonstration the Barracuda will illuminate targets and provide targeting data to the Typhoon. If the contract is signed then the demonstration could take place in 2011.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sea Viper fails

The Sea Viper, the principle weapon of the new Type 45 destroyers of the Royal Navy, has suffered a setback after a failure in what was supposed to be it's last qualification test firing. Sea Viper (a.k.a. PAAMS) failed in a two target engagement, for reasons not yet known, which is likely to mean the T45 will be basically crippled for some time yet. Though in happier T45 news the second ship, Dauntless, has now been delivered to the RN.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Britain under cyberattack daily

Britain is under constant cyberattack mostly coming from China and Russia it has been reported. GCHQ's Office of Cyber Security works around the clock to defend government computer systems and vital parts of the national infrastructure. Over 300 attacks have been recorded on public sector systems over the last year. MI5 believes the attacks are state-sponsored and as well as gathering information they could also be attempts to infect key infrastructure like the national grid with computer viruses to shut them down.