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19.08.2019

WESTMINSTER NEWS

UK Joins International Maritime Security Mission in the Gulf

The United Kingdom has reaffirmed its commitment to freedom of navigation and safe passage through the Gulf by playing a leading role in a new international maritime security mission, announced by the MoD. The mission will see the Royal Navy working alongside the US navy to assure the security of merchant vessels in the Strait of Hormuz.

Events in the Gulf over the last four months, including attacks on four tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and the illegal seizure of the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, have seen the threat to commercial shipping rise. The Strait of Hormuz is the busiest narrow shipping passage in the world and a vital transit zone with 20% of the world’s oil passing through it every year.

Following constructive discussions at an international conference in Bahrain (31st July), the UK has agreed to join an international mission which will largely draw on assets already in the region to increase inter-state maritime cooperation. The UK has also offered to lead one of the mission’s Maritime Task Groups.

While exact operational details are being determined, the mission is intended to improve coordination between different countries’ militaries and commercial shipping. Both the UK and US are committed to working with allies and partners to encourage others to join and broaden the response to this truly international problem.

The UK has dedicated to doing all it can do defend freedom of navigation, which is crucial for the global trading system and world economy. This new coordinated effort will bolster the work the UK has already being undertaking to this end, including through HMS Duncan and HMS Montrose accompanying UK-flagged ships. At the same time, the Government remains committed to working with Iran to reduce the current tensions and to the Iranian nuclear deal as the best means of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.  Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:

"The UK is determined to ensure her shipping is protected from unlawful threats and for that reason we have today joined the new maritime security mission in the Gulf."

"Upholding international maritime law and freedom of passage is in all our interests. We are seeing, across our seas and oceans, too many incidents that seek to challenge such freedoms. The UK is proud to be partnering with other members of the international community to uphold the rules based approach. The deployment of Royal Navy assets is a sign of our commitment to our UK flagged vessels and we look forward to working alongside the US and others to find an international solution to the problems in the Strait of Hormuz."

First steel cut for HMS Cardiff

The first steel has been cut for HMS Cardiff, the second ship in the Royal Navy’s next generation of Type 26 anti-submarine frigates. Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan cut the steel for the UK’s newest warship at a ceremony at BAE Systems’ shipyard in Govan on the River Clyde today.

Marking the official start of build on the second of eight City Class vessels, it also represents another significant milestone for the Type 26 programme, the Royal Navy, UK Defence and shipbuilding in Scotland. All eight Type 26 frigates will be built on the Clyde, with the work sustaining some 1,700 jobs in Scotland and 4,000 jobs across the wider UK maritime supply chain for decades to come.  Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

The Royal Navy’s new world beating Type 26 anti-submarine frigates are truly a UK-wide enterprise, supporting thousands of jobs here in Scotland and across the UK. These ships will clearly contribute to UK and allied security, but also make a strong economic contribution to the country. With 64 sub-contracts already placed with UK-based businesses, there will be new export opportunities for them to tender for through the selection of the Type 26 design by Australia and Canada too.

£350m Typhoon engine support contract

The MOD has signed a contract worth almost £350 million to support the engines that power the UK’s fleet of Typhoon fighter jets. The £346.7 million contract, signed with Rolls-Royce, will provide maintenance support for the EJ200 engine up to 2024 as the Typhoon continues to form the backbone of the RAF’s fighter jet fleet.

Already this year, RAF Typhoon jets have led the fight against Daesh in Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Shader and undertaken Baltic Air Policing mission with NATO partners, with further NATO policing missions planned in Iceland later this year.  Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

Not only will this contract help to maintain our world-class jets, it secures 175 jobs across the UK and boosts the skills base our world-leading defence industry relies upon.  Together with our multi-million-pound upgrade programme, this contract will ensure our Typhoon fleet continues to dominate the skies in the decades to come.

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

Warships: Repairs and Maintenance:  asked Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the cost of repairing Royal Navy ships currently unfit for action, Baroness Goldie, Minister of State, Ministry of Defence stated: 

All Royal Navy (RN) ships rotate through planned operating cycles involving maintenance, repair, training, deployment, leave and upgrades. This results in individual ships being at various levels of readiness at any one time in accordance with the long-term operating schedule and operational needs; they remain in service during these periods. These periods are necessary for any highly complex system maintenance and are essential to ensure ships are fit for purpose in the most hostile of operational environments. In addition, the periods provide an opportunity to complete modifications and to fit essential upgrades to systems.

Repair work on individual ships and their systems takes place during both planned maintenance periods and operational deployments. It is our policy to not disclose the readiness state of individual ships as this would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces. However, currently the following RN ships are undertaking routine docking or their deep refit period and are therefore unavailable for operational tasking:

HMS RICHMOND; HMS DAUNTLESS; HMS PEMBROKE; HMS LANCASTER; HMS SOMERSET; HMS PORTLAND; HMS MIDDLETON; HMS IRON DUKE; HMS DARING

Maintenance of Royal Navy warships is funded through an In Service Support allocation of Naval funds through a Maritime Support Delivery Framework contract.

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Military Airlift Conference

RAF Typhoons Scramble from UK and Estonia to Intercept Russian Aircraft

Please ensure you visit the NDI stand at DSEI, 10 – 13 September at the Excel London

It’s now less than 4 weeks’ until we exhibit at DSEI, the world leading event that connects governments, national armed forces, industry thought leaders and the global defence & security supply chain on an unrivalled scale. Please remember to visit us on stand S10-100.

NDI Discount Code If you have yet to register to attend please feel free to use the NDI code which is 0EE556 and will give you access to the exhibition for £50 during August, from 1st September the cost will increase to £175. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

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