Thursday, July 29, 2010

Briefings : Talent, Marines, Hawk

  • RN submarine HMS Talent is taking part in war games with the Indian Navy. The Telegraph is reporting that the RN are furious at this leak of details as the whereabouts of Royal Navy ships is usually not disclosed... apart from on the many news stories published on the MOD's own website of course.
  • The Royal Marines of the Fleet Protection Group has also been in training in a variety of vessels including jet-skis in rather less warm waters, the Clyde to be exact.
  • Part of the RAF's Hawk trainer fleet has been grounded following problems found with the elector seat on one aircraft during an inspection. All aircraft with a Mark 10 ejector seat will not be cleared to fly until they have been inspected.
  • Part of the latest Astute submarine Audacious has been moved between different parts of BAE Systems facilities in Barrow. The 800 ton section had to be moved along the road, as you can imagine it had right-of-way.
  • Flight tests for the STOVL JSF fighter, which the UK will buy, are behind schedule because of a higher than expected failure rate of components.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Briefings : Trident cuts, RN cuts, CVF

Monday, July 26, 2010

Briefings : Army cuts, Arms sales, Co-op

Afghan War Leaks

The big news today of course is the leak of thousands of documents on the Afghanistan War by Wikileaks. The leaks detail the hundreds of civilian casualties caused by NATO forces in unreported incidents and the rise in Taleban bombs against NATO troops. 90,000 records were released by Wikileaks and a number of newspapers were given access beforehand so they could produce reports like this.

The leaks detail how the Taleban are using SAMs to shoot at NATO aircraft, US special forces embark on missions to capture or kill leaders in the insurgency and that Pakistan's intelligence agency is backing the Taleban. It has also been reported that the UK's GCHQ is helping the US pinpoint Taleban and al-Qaeda leaders for attacks by drones.

Much of the information dates from earlier in the war and many details were perhaps already assumed but this will be a torrent of bad press for the Allies.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

RAF offer to scrap Nimrod and Tornado

The RAF have offered up the new Nimrod MRA4 and the Tornado GR4 fleets as a sacrifice to save billions of pounds over the long run. The cuts were offered by the RAF as part of the government's strategic defence review and would hit Scotland hard with the closure of a base and the scrapping of an expansion of another. It is thought the RAF are playing the game though as one of the Nimrods' major roles is to protect the Navy's Trident submarines and it is likely the Navy would oppose such a cut. The Tornado cut, which would be within 5 years, is more likely however as the planes would be nearing the ends of their lives by then anyway. Although their official withdrawal date is 2025 it is thought they will be out of hours some time before that.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Video : Farnborough Air Show 1950

With Farnborough now on lets go back to a slightly earlier time...

Briefings : Gripen NG, Canada JSF, CVF

Friday, July 16, 2010

Briefings : Trident costs, Anglo-French Co-op, Gripen-NG

Monday, July 12, 2010

Taranis revealed

The BAE Systems Taranis stealth UCAV demonstrator has been rolled out ahead of a planned first flight in 2011. Part of Taranis' purpose is to prove the UK can develop a stealth UCAV and if the UK decides to go ahead with Taranis a production version could be in service before the end of the decade. That will depend on a number of factors however such as money.

Briefings : Bomb disposal, M51, Sky Warrior

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Briefings : UK Afghanistan kit, Tejas, CH-53K

Friday, July 2, 2010

Briefings : Brimstone, French defence cuts, Military blogging (updated)

MOD signs contract for ASCOD SV

The MOD have signed a £500 million contract with General Dynamics UK for the development phase of a new Scout armoured fighting vehicle. The Scout is derived from the ASCOD SV which is already used by some NATO armies. The MOD contract will result in 7 development vehicles, eventually the Scout will replace the Scimitar in Army service.
In related news the awarding of the armoured vehicle contract to General Dynamics UK has led BAE Systems to close it's Radar Road plant in Leicester after they were unsuccessful in bidding for this contract.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Briefings : Drug haul, Mantis, B-1B

  • BAE Systems has completed a successful flight test programme with it's Mantis MALE UAV demonstrator in Australia and has now been returned to the UK. It will be rebuilt ready for some further ground based testing. Its not known if it will fly again. BAE will roll out it's Taranis UCAV demonstrator later this month.