Daily Defence Report

CMS Strategic Daily News Report May 26

by CMS Team on 26 May, 2021

May 26, 2021

DSEI 2021 defence exhibition to run as live event, First female admiral: I’ll put the Navy on an even keel by boosting number of women, US lifts missile restrictions on South Korea, ending range and warhead limits, Italy seeks new research vessels.

Ministry of Defence

Shipbuilding: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether the refresh of the National Shipbuilding Strategy is planned to include a commitment that Government-funded vessels will be built in the UK through a competitive process (Emma Lewell-Buck Labour, South Shields).
• Answer from Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

“The Defence and Security Industrial Strategy set out the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) policy that the procurement approach for each class of Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel will henceforth be decided on a case-by-case basis. As well as considering the specific capability requirements, we will consider the long-term industrial impact of different options, including delivering value for money for our overall programme and maintaining the key industrial capabilities required for operational independence. Overall, we consider that a regular drumbeat of design and manufacturing work is needed to maintain the industrial capabilities critical for our national security and to drive efficiencies which will reduce longer-term costs in the shipbuilding portfolio.
Other Government-funded shipbuilding programmes will be run in accordance with our international treaty obligations and the UK’s procurement regulations. The Government is also taking steps to continue the roll out of a minimum of 10 per cent social value weighting to defence procurement.”

Hawk Aircraft: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he has taken to make efficiencies in the Hawk UK programme (a) in the UK and (b) on Anglesey (Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn).
• Answer from Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

“It was announced in the Defence Command Paper that Hawk T1 aircraft would be retired from combat support roles reflecting improvements in synthetic training capabilities.
Work continues on the optimum drawdown profile and transition to new operational training capabilities. It is therefore too early to determine what efficiencies might be implemented for the Hawk fleet in the UK as a whole or on Anglesey.”

Armoured Fighting Vehicles: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2021 to Question 80, how many AJAX vehicles have been accepted in service by the British Army (Kevan Jones Labour, North Durham).
• Answer from Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

“A total of 14 non-turreted Capability Drop 1 AJAX vehicles are in service with the Field Army for experimentation and training use. A further 15 Capability Drop 1 turreted AJAX vehicles are currently going through General Acceptance Testing.”

Space Technology: Investment: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what investment his Department plans to provide to private space companies to help strengthen the UK’s space industry (John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence).
• Answer from James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

“Defence will invest an additional £1.4 billion over 10 years on space in support of the Integrated Review commitment.
We are also working closely with BEIS to develop the UK’s first national space strategy that will take an integrated approach and set out how we will support the UK space sector to realise the benefits from this dynamic market.”

Defence: Space Technology: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what investment his Department plans to provide to private space companies to help strengthen the UK’s space industry (John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence).
• Answer from Jeremy Quin The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

“The UK space sector as a whole directly employed 45,100 people in 2018-19. We do not hold information on how many personnel are working specifically in defence-related functions as part of the UK space sector.”

Reserve Forces: Training: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the average amount of training time given to the armed forces reservists each year between 2010 and 2021 (John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence).
• Answer from James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

“No estimate has been made of the average amount of training time given to Armed Forces reservists. The number of reservists varies throughout each year and, as a result, there is no fixed point in any year at which an average could be calculated.”

Defence: Space Technology: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when he plans to publish the Defence Space Strategy (John Healey Shadow Secretary of State for Defence).
• Answer from James Heappey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

“We aim to publish the Defence Space Strategy after the National Space Strategy later this year.”


DSEI 2021 defence exhibition to run as live event (UK Defence Journal)
• The biennial defence and security event, DSEI, will proceed as planned in September 2021 with a new digital offering running alongside the live exhibition.
• Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) has confirmed it will take place as originally scheduled from the 14th-17th September at ExCeL London. The decision to proceed follows close consultation and discussion with the UK Government and industry stakeholders.
• After a lengthy global shutdown of the exhibition sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, feedback from across the defence and security industry has shown a strong appetite to come back together in person at DSEI – an event that provides a critical and unmissable forum for many thousands of companies.
• The organbisation say in a news release:
• “A range of new online opportunities to complement the live event will be introduced. ‘DSEI Connect’ is a digital platform that will bring participants from around the world together with those attending the event in London to create a flexible and accessible “hybrid” format.”
• DSEI Connect will reportedly feature an exclusive series of live and on-demand presentations from guests, including keynote speeches from military figureheads outlining pressing equipment requirements and opportunities, in addition to podcasts and exclusive interviews with senior government officials discussing key policies and strategies.
• DSEI Event Director, Grant Burgham explains:
• “The DSEI team has been in constant communication with our customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the decision to run a live event reflects their feedback. We’ve taken into account the increasing confidence in the improving public health situation and we’ll continue to work closely with our partners to ensure we deliver a safe and valuable event for our customers.

First female admiral: I’ll put the Navy on an even keel by boosting number of women (Telegraph)
• For nearly 500 years, the top ranks of the Royal Navy have been the preserve of men. Now the first female admiral has said she hopes to boost the number of women in the senior service.
• Commodore Jude Terry, 47, has been selected for Rear Admiral, the first woman in the Royal Navy to hold the rank. She will take up the appointment in August 2022.
• Women already hold the equivalent rank in the Army and Royal Air Force.
• Speaking exclusively to The Telegraph, Cdre Terry said: “There’s a plan to increase female representation in the service and make it more representative of society as a whole.”
• Women currently make up around 12 per cent of the almost 30,000 total headcount in the Royal Navy. Military chiefs expect that figure to rise to 20 percent by 2030.
• As Deputy Director for Personnel in the Royal Navy, Cdre Terry will also oversee plans to increase the numbers from ethnic minorities. The Ministry of Defence hopes ethnic minority representation in the Navy will increase to 10 per cent by 2025 and 15 per cent by 2030.
• Cdre Terry said she had never felt added pressure or expectation as a woman in the services.
• “I think the system has always allowed me to be Jude.
• “I’ve never ever thought about being female in the services. If you deliver, you get the credit for it. If you don’t deliver, you have to redeem yourself.”
• She added, however: “There’s been the odd moment when you turn up somewhere and there’s no female heads [lavatories] and everybody gets a bit excited about it but you know that’s only on occasion.”
• Cdre Terry hails from a naval family, and was born in Jersey when her father was away at sea onboard HMS Tiger.
• Since joining the Navy in 1997, she has spent the bulk of her seagoing career in Plymouth-based warships, including survey vessel HMS Scott and two spells with helicopter carrier HMS Ocean.

US lifts missile restrictions on South Korea, ending range and warhead limits (Defense News)
• South Korea can now develop ballistic missiles capable of reaching targets far beyond the Korean Peninsula, following the United States’ approval to lift a 42-year-old restriction on its ally’s missile development program.
• South Korean and U.S. leaders announced the termination of missile guidelines imposed on Seoul in 1979. At the time, South Korea wanted to acquire American technology to develop its own missiles, and in return, the Asian nation agreed to limit the range of its missiles to 180 kilometers with a maximum payload of 500 kilograms.
• In the face of increasing threats from North Korea, the guidelines have been revised four times. A 1997 revision allowed Seoul to develop a ballistic missile carrying a 500-kilogram warhead with a maximum range of 300 kilometers. Another revision was made in 2012 that extended the ballistic missile range to 800 kilometers with a 500-kilogram warhead.
• Following Pyongyang’s sixth nuclear test in 2017, Seoul and Washington agreed to scrap the limit on warhead weight, and another revision was made in 2020 to allow the development of solid-propellant space rockets.
• “I’m pleased to announce the end of the missile guidelines,” President Moon Jae-in said during a joint news conference at the White House in Washington on May 21, following his summit with U.S. President Joe Biden. “This is a symbolic and substantive measure to demonstrate the solidity of the ROK-U.S. alliance along with the conclusion of the bilateral defense cost agreement in the early days of the Biden administration’s inauguration.”

Italy seeks new research vessels (Shephard Media)
• The Italian Navy is inviting industry bids for feasibility and design studies in a programme for new hydrographic and oceanographic research vessels.
• The Directorate for Naval Armaments (NAVARM) in the Italian MoD has issued a tender for research studies into the potential procurement of three hydrographic research vessels.
• Bids are due by 28 June, according to a notice on the official EU tenders database.
• NAVARM intends to issue a risk-reduction contract in two lots: one for a feasibility study worth an estimated €1.45 million ($1.78 million) and the other for project definition (€1.35 million) with a basic design including platform systems, sensors and communications.
• The project envisages the construction of three vessels (one large and two smaller ships) tasked with hydrographic dual-use research activities for the Italian Navy Hydrographic Office in Genoa.
• The large vessel (NIOM) will perform hydrographic activities in oceans and is meant to operate widely, including in the Arctic. NIOM replaces the 1,744t hydrographic research vessel Ammiraglio Magnaghi.
• The two smaller vessels (NIOC1 and NIOC2) will operate closer to home in the Mediterranean.
• Financial backing for the €444 million programme will come from the European Investment Bank, which in July 2020 proposed €220 million support for construction costs until 2027.

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Dominic Cummings claims Boris Johnson is not fit to be prime minister (Telegraph)
• Boris Johnson is not fit to be prime minister, Dominic Cummings has claimed as he savaged the government over its “disastrous” handling of the pandemic.
• The prime minister’s former senior adviser said Johnson initially dismissed coronavirus as a “scare story” and no more serious than swine flu, highlighting the fact that Johnson went on holiday as the virus was spreading.
• He said the prime minister was so convinced that Covid-19 did not pose a threat, he suggested he should be injected with the virus live on television by Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer.
• Speaking to a select committee looking into the government’s handling of the pandemic, Cummings said: “There’s a very profound question about the nature of our political system that means we got at the last election a choice between Jeremy Corbyn and Boris Johnson.
• “Any system that ends up giving a choice between two people like that as people to lead is obviously a system that has gone extremely badly wrong. There are so many thousands of wonderful people in this country who could provide better leadership than either of those two.”
• Cummings added that he himself should not have had a place in “any sensible rational government . . . It is completely crazy I should have been in such a senior position, in my personal opinion. I’m not smart”.


Quarantine-free travel considered ‘in principle’ for islands with direct flights (Times)

• Islands to which there are direct flights, such as Mykonos and Ibiza, could be approved for quarantine-free travel in June, the transport secretary has suggested.
• Grant Shapps said he supported the idea of treating island destinations separately from mainlands “in principle” and that he was awaiting the latest data.
• It could mean Greek and Spanish islands being added to the green list from early June and therefore opened up to British holidaymakers without the need to quarantine.
• Shapps said the decision depended on data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), particularly on whether there is a threat from any new variants.
• “Of course it’s desirable, when an aircraft can fly direct to an island and that island is therefore accessible in a manner where you don’t have to go via a mainland, that you look at that differently,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
• “There’s a difference between the ‘in principle’, the way we want to make this work, and the actual data and what the Joint Biosecurity Centre are going to come forward to us with. That information I haven’t seen as yet,” he added.
• The JBC looks at a destination’s coronavirus infection rate, its vaccination data and its ability to sequence the genome to discover variants. “Sometimes that facility can be a problem in smaller locations,” Shapps said.


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