New P-8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft arrives in Scotland – UK Defence Journal

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RAF Lossiemouth have welcomed their newest Poseidon MRA Mk1 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, ZP806.

The submarine-hunter, named ‘Guernsey’s Reply’, is the sixth Poseidon aircraft to arrive at the Moray base and will operate as part of the re-established 201 Squadron.

The Royal Air Force say here that the aircrafts name honours the close bond between 201, the island of Guernsey and Jurat Herbert Machon OBE who named his Mk XVI Spitfire ‘Guernsey’s Reply’ during World War II.

Wing Commander Smolak, Officer Commanding 201 Squadron, was quoted as saying:

“I am thrilled to welcome Guernsey’s Reply to RAF Lossiemouth.  Not only does this mark a further increase to our maritime air capability here at RAF Lossiemouth but it is also a fitting tribute to the association between 201 Squadron and Guernsey. 

Everyone on 201 Squadron is very proud of this long-standing association and the history which it represents. As we move forward, we must continue to foster the links which brought us to where we are now, and I am personally grateful to be able to play my small part.”

Poseidon is equipped with sensors and weapons systems for anti-submarine warfare, as well as surveillance and search and rescue missions. It features an APY-10 radar for high-resolution mapping, an acoustic sensor system, an electro-optical/IR turret and electronic support measures.

Nine Poseidon MRA Mk. 1 aircraft have been ordered.

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Scottish shipyards to build 24 warships between 2015-2035 – UK Defence Journal

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With the recent news that Rosyth will build a warship for Ukraine, the total number of warships being built in Scottish shipyards between 2015 to 2035 now stands at 24.

In addition to the now built 5 Offshore Patrol Vessels, there are plans for 8 Type 26 Frigates, 5 Type 31 Frigates, 5 Type 32 Frigates and 1 Ukrainian warship to be built in Scotland.

Ukraine previously signed a memorandum with the UK to secure £1.25 billion in funding to build new military vessels for the Ukrainian Navy, the first ship will be constructed in the UK and the remaining 7 vessels will be built in Ukraine.

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NATO Secretary General praises UK role in alliance – UK Defence Journal

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hailed the UK as a key ally in talks with Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, focusing on preparations for the NATO Summit on the 14th of June.

The Secretary General said:

“It’s great to be back in London and thank you so much for your strong personal leadership on strengthening our transatlantic bond. The bond between Europe and North America. And the United Kingdom is really a staunch and highly valued NATO Ally. You invest a lot in our common security. And I had the pleasure of visiting the HMS Queen Elizabeth off the coast of Portugal last week and that is really an impressive aircraft carrier, demonstrating the commitment of the United Kingdom to our common security, to our collective defence.

And we need that commitment because we live in a more unpredictable world, with more global competition and therefore we need to strengthen our Alliance and that is exactly what we are going to do when I’m looking forward to welcoming you and all the other NATO Leaders to our Summit in Brussels in June in two weeks time where we will demonstrate our strength, bold and forward looking agenda, and demonstrate our commitment to standing together. The transatlantic bond, not only in words, but also in deeds. So once again, thank you much.”

He also thanked the UK for showing leadership on defence investment.

Looking towards the NATO Summit, Mr Stoltenberg stressed that the gathering of Allied leaders will demonstrate the Alliance’s strength and transatlantic unity at a time of increased global competition.

New figures reveal Faslane directly employs over 6,000 people – UK Defence Journal

New figures unearthed by Diedre Brock, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, reveal that just over 6,000 people are directly employed at Faslane and Coulport.

The figures came to light after Member of Parliament Diedre Brock asked a series of questions relating to employed at HMNB Clyde.

Deidre Brock, MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, asked via a Parliamentary written question:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of uniformed Royal Navy personnel based at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport are Scottish taxpayers.”

James Heappey MP, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Ministry of Defence, responded:

“At 1 January 2021, 3,624 uniformed Royal Navy Service personnel were stationed at locations in Argyll and Bute, comprising the Faslane and Coulport sites. Of these, 1,393 personnel were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 38.4% of the total.”

Brock also asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of civilian employees who are not contractors based at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport are Scottish taxpayers.”

Heappey responded:

“At 31 December 2020, 1,015 civilian employees who are not contractors were employed at Faslane. Of these, 925 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 91% of the total. At 31 December 2020, 475 civilian employees who are not contractors were employed at Coulport. Of these, 425 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 89% of the total.”

Brock also asked:

“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many and what proportion of uniformed contractors based at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport are Scottish taxpayers.”

Heappey then responded:

“At 31 December 2020, 535 uniformed contractors were employed at Faslane. Of these, 470 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 88% of the total. At 31 December 2020, 419 uniformed contractors were employed at Coulport. Of these, 370 were Scottish taxpayers, which translates to 89% of the total.”

The figures show that of the 6,068 civilian and military personnel working at Faslane and Coulport, 4,583 are Scottish taxpayers.

New nuclear submarine HMS Anson rolled out – UK Defence Journal

The submarine is named after 18th Century Admiral George Anson who delivered an impressive victory over the French at Cape Finisterre in 1747 and went on to reform the Admiralty.

Anson will enter the water shortly – there’s a basin next to the Devonshire Hall not only large enough to accommodate her, but also to allow a practice dive which almost allows the boat to completely submerge.

Her punch, say the Royal Navy, will be delivered by Tomahawk cruise missiles and the newly-upgraded Spearfish torpedoes being introduced to the Fleet from 2021.

Anson is due to remain in Barrow for completion until 2022 before leaving for sea trials and joining her older sisters at HMNB Clyde, while BAE finish the final two Astute-class boats: Agamemnon and Agincourt, completing the programme in 2025 after a quarter-century of work on the entire programme, say the Royal Navy.

US report ‘UK likely to continue to punch above its weight’ – UK Defence Journal

The U.S. National Intelligence Council has released the seventh edition of its quadrennial report ‘Global Trends 2040: A More Contested World’.

The report is an unclassified assessment of the forces and dynamics that the NIC anticipates are likely to shape the national security environment over the next 20 years.

“States will face a combination of highly destructive and precise conventional and strategic weapons, cyber activity targeting civilian and military infrastructure, and a confusing disinformation environment. Regional actors, including spoilers such as Iran and North Korea, will jockey to advance their goals and interests, bringing more volatility and uncertainty to the system.”

As for ‘other major powers’ besides the USA and China, the report says that Russia is ‘likely to remain a disruptive power’; while the UK is ‘likely to continue to punch above its weight internationally given its strong military and financial sector and its global focus.

“The United Kingdom is likely to continue to punch above its weight internationally given its strong military and financial sector and its global focus. The United Kingdom’s nuclear capabilities and permanent UN Security Council membership add to its global influence. Managing the economic and political challenges posed by its departure from the EU will be the country’s key challenge; failure could lead to a splintering of the United Kingdom and leave it struggling to maintain its global power.”