British Armed Forces

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
13 Royal Navy vessels and a submarine are deployed over the holidays
December 25, 2017

The Royal Navy will have a total of 13 vessels and one of its four Vanguard-class submarines on deployment overseas and in home waters over the holiday season, according to the Royal Navy.

What is missing from the list of deployed assets are any major warships as no frigates or destroyers are currently underway.

The absence of major surface combatants overseas was described as unprecedented and an indicator of a hollowing out of UK defense by Vice-Admiral John McAnally, national president of the Royal Naval Association.

The Royal Navy however noted that more than 4,000 sailors and Royal Marines are deployed across the globe or on heightened readiness to respond to anything that may come their way.

They all end the year with a big ‘thank you’ from the man in charge of the Royal Navy, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones.

He said: “I am immensely proud of the efforts of the entire Naval Service as we enter this Christmas period. It has been a relentlessly busy year as the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Royal Fleet Auxiliary have reached all corners of the globe to deliver humanitarian aid, protect the UK’s economic interests, and keep Britain and her people safe.

Minehunters HMS Middleton, HMS Bangor, HMS Ledbury, and HMS Blyth plus their support ships RFA Cardigan Bay and RFA Fort Rosalie, are on maritime security patrols east of Suez.

RFA Mounts Bay on patrol in the Caribbean, having been part of the successful mission to render aid to the stricken region after a devastating hurricane earlier this year.

In the South Atlantic, offshore patrol vessel HMS Clyde is providing support and reassurance to British citizens overseas while HMS Protector has been taking part in the search mission to find the missing Argentine submarine ARA San Juan and next will be surveying uncharted waters around the South Atlantic.

Fast patrol boats HMS Sabre and HMS Scimitar are protecting Gibraltar and HMS Enterprise is acting as the flagship of the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2.

HMS Echo working as part of counter migration operations in the Aegean.

One Type 23 frigate, HMS St Albans, is on standby to conduct Fleet Ready Escort duties if required and RFA Wave Knight is on standby to support the Fleet Ready Escort.

Royal Navy frigates and destroyers are set to start deploying at the start of 2018.

Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan will be the first ship to deploy in 2018, sailing early in the new year to first lead a NATO task group and then safeguard the UK’s economic interests in the Gulf.

Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland will become the first British warship in four years to head to the Far East and Pacific Rim, leaving Plymouth in early January. Later in the year her sister ship, HMS Argyll, will also head to the region.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is set to resume her trials and later in the year, F-35B Lightning II jets will have flown on and off the 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier for the first time. Around the same time, her sister ship HMS Prince of Wales is due to welcome her first ship’s company aboard.

https://navaltoday.com/2017/12/25/13-royal-navy-vessels-and-a-submarine-are-deployed-over-the-holidays/?uid=1067
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
Royal Marine engineers test amphibious support skills
January 12, 2018
royal-marine-engineers-test-amphibious-support-skills.jpg

A squadron of Royal Marines engineers took to the shores of western Scotland recently for an exercise that tested their ability to provide support to an amphibious unit in the field.

On paper, the boat group from Plymouth’s 539 Assault Squadron should be able to deploy two hovercraft, eight ORC raiding craft/gunboats, and eight inflatable raiders with all their supporting kit and caboodle in five days.

Exercise Raging Torrent sought to put that to the test in the wilds of the Highlands.

It took the team of 13 engineers – a mix of commando vehicle mechanics and Royal Navy marine and weapon engineers – two days to reach the Kyle of Lochalsh and neighbouring Loch Kishorn in their military convoy of trucks, vehicles, a mobile workshop – a container on the back of a truck quipped with a lathe, pillar drill and various hand tools – with its own power plant, and a newly-introduced specialist crane to launch and recover the craft.

They set up camp on the shore at Kishorn, just ten miles away as the crow flies, but a two-dozen-mile trek by road thanks to the winding roads and inlets of Scotland’s west coast.

And a good thing they did because the beaches of the western Highlands proved to be troublesome for the craft.

Rather than sand, the foreshore on Loch Kishorn consists of large pebbles, stones which were sucked into the jet drive intakes – causing the ORCs, normally with a top speed of nearly 40kts, to run much more slowly; the engineers and their mobile workshop fixed the problem.

And some of the beaches and landing sites proved to be unsuitable for the hovercraft – in Royal Marines terminology, LCACs (‘el cacks’ or Landing Craft Air Cushioned) – one of which became stuck and needed rescuing.

That was a job for the new Support Vehicle Recovery and its powerful crane… except that first a line had to be connected to the hovercraft, forcing L/Cpl ‘Tuppers’ Tupman to struggle for 80 metres through knee-deep mud to attach the wire to the stranded craft. Once lifted to safety it was quickly repaired and back in the water in two hours.

After ten days in Kishorn, the team moved 50 miles down the coast to set up a second forward support base on golden sands south of Mallaig… where it was the turn of an ORC to get stuck on a particularly inaccessible part of the beach.

Thanks to permission from the landowner, removal of a stretch of fence, some skilful driving to manoeuvre a 30-tonne truck down a narrow track and on to the beach at low tide, the stricken craft was hauled to safety.

So as well as proving that 539’s boat troop could deploy to a remote location with its mobile support team and vehicles at short notice, the grandly-titled Exercise Raging Torrent also proved that the Support Vehicle Recovery does exactly what was expected of it.

https://navaltoday.com/2018/01/12/royal-marine-engineers-test-amphibious-support-skills/?uid=1067
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
Army bids farewell to Lynx helicopter with flypast tour
16 January 2018

The aircraft has been decommissioned after almost 40 years in service.

Four remaining Mk9 Lynx left from RAF Odiham in Hampshire shortly after 09:00 GMT on an aerial tour, taking in military bases and locations associated with the helicopter.

The flight culminated in a V-shaped "air procession" along the River Thames in central London shortly before 16:00.

Commanding Officer of 657 Squadron, Maj James Peycke said the army was saying "farewell to the iconic machine".

"It is hugely emotional saying goodbye to the Lynx after six years of flying, and it carves out a big chunk of your heart."

Maj Peycke, who was flying in the lead Lynx, called the aircraft "hugely manoeuvrable".

There is "never a dull day when you are flying", he added.

_99621733_lynx2.jpg


Described as a primary battlefield utility helicopter, over the decades the Lynx has also destroyed tanks, evacuated wounded personnel, gathered intelligence and provided humanitarian support.

The British-made aircraft entered service in 1978 and has been used during military deployments to Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.

It is set to be replaced within the British Army by the Wildcat, which has more powerful engines and can operate at a higher altitude.
The Lynx aircraft were led by a Chinook helicopter during their formation over the Thames in London.

The Royal Navy mounted a similar tour in March last year to say farewell to its Mark 8 Lynx before decommissioning the aircraft.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-42663383
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
UK to create strategy for long-term air power
By: Andrew Chuter  
22.02.2018

LONDON — Britain is to map out an industrial strategy to maintain long-term combat air capabilities, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson told the parliamentary Defence Committee during a hearing.

“The strategy will examine the operational capability needed in the future and the skills and resource required to deliver it. The work will take new and emerging technology into account, as well as export potential, whilst testing British industry’s ability to deliver our future requirements. It is expected to be launched in the summer,” the Ministry of Defence said in a statement.

Williamson told lawmakers that Defence Procurement Minister Guto Bebb was meeting BAE Systems executives on Feb. 21 to discuss the strategy initiative.

“We want to use this as an opportunity for some of our world beaters, whether it be BAE, Rolls-Royce and others, to have a real say in how we develop the strategy going forward. We want to build a close collaboration with industry to ensure we have the technology,” Williamson said.
“The strategy will set out the U.K.’s future requirements in this important area and seek to secure an enduring and strategic relationship with U.K. industry,” the defense secretary told the committee.
That was a view endorsed by Paul Everitt, the head of ADS, the British defense and aerospace lobby organization.

“The announcement signals the vital need for industry and government to work together to ensure the U.K. remains a world-leading military air power and a highly competitive and capable option in the export market,” Everitt said. “The strategic threats faced by the U.K. and its international partners and allies require long-term thinking and close collaboration between industry and government.”

The decision on whether to launch an air-combat industry strategy was given renewed urgency last year after BAE announced big job losses in its military air sector in the face of declining work on the Typhoon fighter and Hawk trainer jet.
The decision to roll out an air-combat strategy follows on the heels of a similar move by the government last year in adopting a road map for the future of the naval shipbuilding sector. Defense industrial policy was also updated last year.
The decisions made in the air-combat strategy will be fundamental in determining the future of Britain’s industry, according to Doug Barrie, the senior air analyst at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank.

“The outcome will be crucial in deciding whether U.K. remains in the combat-air business at the industrial level beyond building the Eurofighter Typhoon and eventually the F-35, in which it is a major industrial contributor,” he said.
Barrie said the British face two main challenges.

“The first challenge is finding the money. The second is trying to cast a national strategy against a background where the U.K. has to develop a next-generation combat aircraft in an international partnership,” he said.

“Is it going to do this in collaboration with the French-German-led initiative to build a new European fighter, which is now being discussed in Paris and Berlin? It might be difficult to see where the British fit in on that program.

“Alternatively, do they look to craft a collaborative program with partners looking to break into the fighter market? For example, Turkey, with whom they are already aligned on a fifth-generation program.”

Britain is already collaborating with France on building a unmanned air-combat vehicle demonstrator.

Barrie said the third option could be a reprise of a deal similar to Britain’s involvement with the U.S. in F-35 development.
“The challenge from a trans-Atlantic perspective might be reconciling the diverging needs of the type of aircraft both sides might be looking for. With China pacing the threat in many ways, the U.S. could look for an aircraft that has very low observability, is quite large with a big internal weapons carriage capability and [is] long range. That may not be what the U.K. is looking for, although that’s not to say there might not be opportunities for some form of collaboration,” he said.

https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/02/21/uk-to-create-strategy-for-long-term-air-power/
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
UK safety watchdog highlights Watchkeeper UAV shortfalls
Tim Ripley, London - Jane's Defence Weekly
18 April 2019

A British Army Watchkeeper on force protection operations out of Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, in September 2014. Subsequent Watchkeeper operations in the UK have met with less success. Source: Crown Copyright



Key Points
  • The British Army is still having issues operating its Watchkeepers, despite the UAVs having received their ‘release to service’ certification
  • Three Watchkeeper UAVs have crashed in recent years while on UK-based training sorties
UK safety investigators have identified significant technical problems with the British Army’s Thales Watchkeeper tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Shortfalls in the UAVs’ flight-control system and cold weather operations capability were revealed in two reports by the UK’s Defence Safety Authority (DSA) into two Watchkeeper crashes in 2017.

Lieutenant General Richard Felton, former director general of the Defence Safety Authority, criticised Thales, the manufacturer of the Watchkeeper, and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) for “not fully understanding how the Watchkeeper works, not making the most of simulation or the exploitation of data, and providing a disproportionate level of complexity to those who fly Watchkeeper”.

The two service inquiry reports, focusing on accidents on 3 February and 24 March 2017 by Watchkeepers flying from West Wales Airport at Aberporth, were released on 11 April. The cause of the first crash was determined to be icing in the UAV’s pitot head that eventually confused its flight-control systems, resulting in it stalling. The next crash was believed to be caused by a computer failure in the Watchkeeper’s flight-control system that meant a back-up component was not working.

A service inquiry into another crash on 13 June 2017 is expected to be published soon, but Lt Gen Felton said there were common themes in all three incidents as each resulted in a Watchkeeper air vehicle being lost beyond repair. The reports recommend more than 50 modifications to the Watchkeeper system, improvements in operational processes, and changes to flight procedures.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
The Black Hornet became indispensable. Now the UK is ordering more.
By: Kelsey D. Atherton   19.04.2019

The tiny drone, used by UK forces abroad since 2011, was retired from service in 2017. A new order suggests the Black Hornet is about to be reintroduced into the UK Army. (Daniel Wiepen / Ministry of Defence)

Haphazardly stored, the 30 sparrow-sized robots could easily fit into a bucket. Seen inert, the minuscule drone looks like a sophisticated toy, a novelty item from a forgotten sci-fi romp. It is one of the most persistently fascinating little machines of war. And with a new purchase order, the newly FLIR-owned Black Hornet will be back in service with the armed forces of the United Kingdom.

The reintroduction of the Black Hornet into the armed forces of the United Kingdom follows a decision to cut the nano-UAV from its inventory in 2016 and 2017 as part of an overall reduction in unmanned systems. But, as the purchase order suggests, there isn’t quite anything else in the inventory, or even made by another manufacturer, that can do for the UK what the Black Hornet did.

Referring to the drones as PRS, or “Personal Reconnaissance Systems,” the order says that the 30 Hornets are needed to “maximise exploitation within the STRIKE experimentation.” The STRIKE experimentation is a force organization posture adopted by the UK Army in late 2017, with the goal of forming a workable Strike Brigade by 2020. In 2018, observers notedthat the reorganizations for the Strike Brigade concept, combined with the loss of Black Hornets, combined to leave units without any unmanned reconnaissance capabilities.

However, since its retirement from UK service, two new versions of the Black Hornet have been introduced, one with night vision, and another that is modular, capable of adding components for missions as needed. FLIR, which acquired original Black Hornet maker Prox Dynamics in 2016, also introduced a drone housing-and-charging unit that can be mounted on vehicles, enabling ground robots and armored personnel carriers alike to launch their own small fleet of scouts.

The cost to equip the UK Army with 30 Black Hornets is just shy of £1.4 million (U.S. $1.8 million). That’s about $60,000 apiece for the drone. It’s compact form and military-specific design may make it such a good fit for the UK that they found it indispensable after two years without it. Irregular forces and nonstate actors could get much of the same capability, in a large package, for a few hundred dollars from hobbyist quadcopters.

Still, for a military-grade and military-certified product, it appears the Black Hornet is the only drone of its type and class readily available for nations at the moment. In a section explaining why the Ministry looked outside the European Union, the order states that “FLIR are the only company which can produce the number of nUAS demanded in the timeframe” to the required specifications.

The Black Hornet became indispensable. Now the UK is ordering more.
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
How the UK’s Joint Forces Command is about to change - and why it won’t be easy
By: Andrew Chuter and Aaron Mehta   3 hours ago
25.04.2019

British Army soldiers prepare for a training exercise in a 2018 file photo. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

LONDON — When Britain’s Ministry of Defence announced last year it planned a make-over of its Joint Forces Command as part of a wider defence modernisation program, it revealed few details.

Now, the country’s vice chief of the defence staff has lifted the lid a little on what changes it has in mind: A revamped Joint Forces Command with new levels of authority to drive through coherence into Air Force, Army and Navy programs; more focus on generating strategic capabilities; and the ability to to better control its own personnel requirements.

Those changes were outlined by Gen. Gordon Messenger during a recent Defense News interview in Washington.

Joint Forces Command was created in 2011 when the MoD decided to link the fighting commands of the Air Force, Navy and Army by standing up a new office, known as Joint Forces Command. In essence, JFC has the lead on areas of interoperability between the three services.

All four commands control their own budgets, and are known as top line budget (TLB) holders. But that layout doesn’t quite fit JFC the same way it did the three military branches, Messenger said, which provided some the impetus to change how JFC is laid out.

“What we found was JFC wasn’t homogeneous. It wasn’t the same sort of TLB as the three services because it had a remit to deliver pan-domain, pan-service enabling capability, and therefore we need to view it more as an agent of the Ministry of Defense, of head office, and give it the right levels of authority to drive coherence into the army, navy and air force programs” Messenger said in a March interview. “Getting the JFC in a place that is separable from the single services, and acting as an agent of head office, driving coherence and interoperability is where we’re trying to move it to."

However, the proposed changes to the JFC are not driven solely by budget issues. They are also driven by a desire for JFC to generate what Messenger called “strategic capability,” comparable to how the services generate operational capability.

"So our Special Forces are force generated through JFC. Our cyber capability is force generated through the JFC, and we’re looking to deepen our ability to deliver defensive cyber capability, which will be a Joint Forces Command responsibility,” said the Royal Marine General.

“We are examining certain other aspects of what that [capability] would be, so there’s some further studies that are going into that, but essentially it becomes your force generator for strategic effect,” he added.

Messenger said that the upcoming revamp of JFC would also address issues around personnel and acknowledged, albeit diplomatically, that in the past the Command may have come off as second best at the hands of the other services when it came to staffing priorities.

“It’s [JFC] tended to be a little bit of a poor cousin in terms of personnel priorities. Single services are quite sort of, for justifiable reasons, keen to career manage and work force plans. JFC tends to sort of be a bit of an adjunct to that, and what we’re trying to do is to improve the ability for the commander of JFC to manage his or her workforce in a slightly more autonomous way than currently,” he said.

Challenges ahead
The changes outlined by Messenger come months after defence secretary Gavin Williamsonflagged up the MoD’s intention to further empower the JFC when he announced a defence modernization program last December.

“A major new step will involve improved JFC that will be in a better position so that defence can play a major role in preventing conflict in the future and improve our cyber operations and capabilities across the armed forces but also across government as well,” he said.

Williamson’s rollout of the modernization program came just days after he announced Gen. Patrick Sanders as the new Commander of JFC. Sanders, previously the commander of the field army, takes up his new post May 9.

Peter Roberts, the director of military sciences at the Royal United Studies Institute think tank in London, said Sanders faces a “formidable challenge to deliver what so many people want, but few people understand.”

“For a commander to have his head into the detail of military education, offensive cyber capability, communications, electronic warfare, satellites, a huge array of things, its a massively difficult problem,” he said.

“It is down to the commander and his infinitely small staff to deliver on a myriad of projects, all of which are difficult and exceedingly complex and cannot be cohered between the competing demands of the three fighting arms," Roberts continued. “It is an insanely difficult group of projects to run together and the staff there really have a tough job ahead of them.”

Few would dispute the importance of a British joint forces command in today’s complex, data driven, military environment, but Roberts said that while JFC is a great idea, it won’t work without the right resources.

“It’s perfect as a theory. The problem comes when you don’t resource it correctly, nor have sufficient expert people to manage it correctly. JFC is a tiny command with a massive swathe of responsibility,” said Roberts.

The analyst said the shortcomings in the JFC are well known and not just related to financial or manpower resources.

“The manpower issues, the resources, the priority they get, or don’t get, is widely understood and is at the heart of some of the change programs Gen. Nick Carter, the Chief of the Defence Staff, is implementing,” said Roberts.

“One of the key problems is that while JFC is providing services to the three front line commands, the fighting arms, it is also delivering on major programs for the MoD, like the joint force cyber group,” he said.

“JFC is a very disparate organisation involved in cyber, space, communications, novel weapons, electronic warfare, education, doctrine, logistics, joint training; all those problem child projects that none of the other front line commands really wanted to take on in the first place. Unsurprisingly it has found it exceptionally hard to deliver on the lofty aspirations that were placed on it when it was first formed,” said Roberts.
The analyst said the MoD had to be more selective in what areas of military responsibility the JFC took on.

“The MoD needs to take some brave decisions. For example, it would be wise to pass something like space systems to one of the single services, like the RAF, to deliver on it. It may be wiser to push electronic warfare back to individual front line commands … simply because the coherence they aspire to have in JFC is not being delivered and nor is there a process of delivering it in a cost effective way.

“In order to get the best out of it rather than lumping all the difficult projects into JFC, the Command needs to be more selective and realistic about what it can deliver on and pass the rest back to the other commands who have far more staff and expertise to deal with it," he concluded.

How the UK’s Joint Forces Command is about to change - and why it won’t be easy
 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
RAF stands up 9 Squadron as latest Typhoon unit
Gareth Jennings, London -
02 May 2019


The RAF has stood up 9 Squadron as its latest Eurofighter Typhoon unit. A final operational unit will follow in the guise of 12 (B) Squadron. Source: Crown Copyright


The UK Royal Air Force (RAF) stood up 9 Squadron as its latest Eurofighter Typhoon unit on 2 May.

A re-activation ceremony held at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland marked the return of the former RAF Marham-based Panavia Tornado GR4 squadron as the RAF's sixth front-line operational Typhoon unit. The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Steven Hillier, first announced the return of 9 Squadron in July 2018. Speaking at the Air Power Conference 2018 in London, ACM Hillier said that 9 Squadron and 12 (Bomber) squadron would be stood up at RAF Coningsby at a later date and would be populated with Typhoons that were slated for retirement but were spared during the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2015.

Jane's had previously been told by then (now retired) Deputy Commander of Operations Air Marshal Greg Bagwell that these 24-early model Tranche 1 Typhoons would be fielded as a separate air defence force, with the later and more capable Tranche 2 and Tranche 3 aircraft used in a multirole capacity. "The issue was how to operate the Tranche 1 alongside the Tranche 2 and 3 as there is very little spares commonality between them, so it was decided that the plan [should be] for two new squadrons of Tranche 1 Typhoons," AM Bagwell said in April 2016.

However, when he announced the reformation of 9 Squadron ACM Hillier said that it is no longer intended to separate the Tranche 1 and Tranche 2/3 fleets in this way, and that 1 (Fighter), 2 (Army Cooperation), 3 (Fighter), 6, 9, 11 (Fighter) and 12 (B) squadrons would field a mix of standards. The CAS did note that the Tranche 1 aircraft would make "superb air defenders" while the Tranche 3 aircraft would be saved for high-tempo multirole operations.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
LEONARDO'S BRITECLOUD DECOY FLIES TOWARD SERVICE ON RAF TYPHOONS

Rome 23/05/2019

Leonardo's BriteCloud decoy flies toward service on RAF Typhoons

  • Leonardo will support UK MOD trials with its BriteCloud Expendable Active Decoy in the UK and US. The decoy is expected to go into service on Typhoon later in 2019
  • BriteCloud is a drinks-can sized decoy which protects combat aircraft from the latest radar-guided threats. It went into service aboard the RAF’s Tornado GR.4 fleet in 2018
  • Leonardo is the largest supplier of aircraft protection technology to the UK MOD

Leonardo has been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defence to support a series of trials in which the ‘BriteCloud 55’ Expendable Active Decoy (EAD) is being trialled for operations with the Royal Air Force (RAF)’s fleet of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. BriteCloud was cleared for service last year on the RAF’s fleet of Tornado GR4 aircraft and Leonardo has delivered a quantity of the countermeasures to the RAF for operations.

The first trial with Typhoon took place in April in the UK. At this trial, 33 BriteCloud rounds were dispensed from aircraft flown by the RAF’s 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron against a range of representative threats.

Made in Luton, UK, BriteCloud is a breakthrough technology which packs digital protection from dangerous radar-guided missiles into a package the size of a drinks can, fitting into the same launcher as a standard 55mm flare. Leonardo is currently the only company in the world which has managed to sufficiently miniaturise Digital RF Memory (DRFM) countermeasure technology to the point where it can be launched from a standard chaff and flare dispenser. In 2018 the RAF became the first Air Force to field this new protective technology.

Prior to accepting BriteCloud into service on Tornado, the UK MOD conducted extensive testing to validate the performance of the decoy, ensuring it could be launched safely from the aircraft and developing operational tactics for its use in battle. It is intended that this work will be used to support the agile delivery of BriteCloud into sevice on Typhoon.

A range of BriteCloud variants are available. As well as the ‘BriteCloud 55’ variant, named for its compatibility with 55mm flare dispensers such as those on the Typhoon and Gripen E, Leonardo also produces ‘BriteCloud 218’ (2”x1”x8”) which is compatible with ‘square’ format countermeasure dispensers such as those seen on F-15 and F-16 aircraft. In addition, Leonardo offers the BriteCloud 55-T, a more powerful version of the BriteCloud 55 which can generate jamming signals strong enough to protect larger aircraft such as the C27-J, C-130 and A400M. Designed and produced in the UK, BriteCloud is readily exportable.


 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
Britain's Royal Air Force tests miniature missile decoys on Typhoon jets
By Allen Cone
MAY 28, 2019

Royal Air Force Typhoon fighter jets have been testing a missile decoy device that is the size of a soda can. Photo by Senior Aircraftsman Cathy Sharples/British Royal Air Force


May 28 (UPI) -- Britain's Royal Air Force has been testing a miniature missile decoy device on its Typhoon fighter jets, Defense Minister Stuart Andrew announced.

The BriteCloud, which is roughly the size of a soda can, is designed to protect combat jets from the latest radar-guided missiles. They utilize powerful radar emissions to disrupt the targeting system within air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, drawing them to a safe distance from the targets

Upon completion of successful trials, the devices will be available for frontline aircrews by the end of this year, according to a British government news release.

"Britecloud offers the RAF a powerful and cost-effective way to keep our pilots safer than ever on the frontline," Andrew said at the Typhoon Ministerial Meeting in Germany on Thursday. "These trials show UK industry is once again at the heart of defense innovation, providing our Armed Forces with state-of-the-art capabilities and creating high-tech jobs across the country."

The testing began in April aboard Typhoon aircraft. In Britain, 33 BriteCloud 55 rounds were dispensed from aircraft flown by the RAF's 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron against a variety of threats like those those faced on the battlefield.

"The initial flight-trial of Bright-cloud from RAF Typhoon aircraft was a key milestone in moving closer towards a viable and extremely valuable capability for the warfighter," said Pete Ward, a wing commander on the Typhoon. "Trials will now move to operational testing and validation before the initial operating capability is declared."

Further trials include ensuring the decoy launches safely from the aircraft.

The RAF also wants to develop uses on the battlefield for the device, including on military helicopters and C-130 Hercules aircraft. In addition, they hope the decoys could eventually be used on the RAF's F-35s.

The device can be fired from an aircraft flare dispenser without modification to the aircraft, according to its manufacturer, Leonardo. The Defense Ministry has worked with the company on the devices, which are designed and made in Luton, England, since 2012 at a cost of $34 million.

"Our ongoing partnership with Leonardo continues to drive vital research and development that leads to the kind of innovation demanded by our RAF today," said Simon Bollom, CEO of the MOD's Defense Equipment and Support organization. "The trials of BriteCloud on Typhoon demonstrates how we are constantly striving to find a technological edge and protect our service personnel.

The fourth generation, twin-engine Eurofighter Typhoon, manufactured by a consortium of Airbus, BAE Systems and Leonardo, became operational in 2003.

"Although the Typhoon has flown precision attack missions in all its combat deployments to date, its most essential role remains the provision of quick-reaction alert for UK and Falklands Islands airspace," the RAF said on its website. "Detachments have also reinforced NATO air space in the Baltic and Black Sea regions."

The planes are based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and RAF Coningsby in England.


 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
The Royal Navy Has Big Aircraft Carrier Plans (Armed with F-35s)
June 07, 2019
by David Axe

View attachment 7638View attachment 7639

After deep cuts in 2010 the Royal Navy is down to just 19 surface combatants including 13 frigates and six destroyers. Not all of the vessels are operational at the same time. Mechanical problems and difficulty recruiting sailors in the recent past has compelled the navy temporarily to lay up several warships.

Penny Mordaunt took over after Prime Minister Theresa May in early May 2019 fired former defense secretary Gavin Williamson for allegedly leaking sensitive information to the press. Mordaunt on May 15, 2019 announced the Ministry of Defense would develop a new “National Carrier Policy.”
“We will have one carrier available at very high readiness at all times,” Mordaunt said.

The Royal Navy is building up a fleet of two, 70,000-ton-displacement carriers. HMS Queen Elizabeth commissioned in December 2017. Sister ship Prince of Wales is fitting out for commissioning as early as 2019. Queen Elizabeth could deploy with Royal Air Force F-35B stealth fighters starting in 2020.

Together, the flattops cost around $10 billion to develop and build.
“Nothing symbolises our intent and ambition for global Britain and has captured the hearts of our citizens more than our new carriers,” Mordaunt said. “Nine acres of sovereign territory that will give us the ability to project power from anywhere in the world.”

“And when Prince of Wales joins [Queen Elizabeth] in the fleet in the near future … we will have one carrier available at very high readiness at all times,” the defense secretary added. “And this will match our strategic nuclear deterrent with a conventional one. I want to make sure that we make the most of this incredible sovereign capability.”
Money as always is a problem. The U.K. armed forces have struggled in recent years to maintain the pool of forces from which the task force and at-sea deterrence would draw. Periodic cuts since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 have shrunk the British military roughly by half.

The most recent rounds of cuts starting in 2010 eliminated two aircraft carriers, two amphibious ships, four frigates, an army brigade, more than a third of the army's tanks and artillery and all of the air force's Harrier jump jets and maritime patrol planes. Uniformed manpower dropped by 30,000.

As recently as late 2017, there were rumors that the United Kingdom might try to offset the cost of the country's exit from the European Union by further cutting the military. Army brigades and amphibious ships appeared to be particularly vulnerable.

The army recently announced it would upgrade only 148 of its 227 Challenger 2 tanks.

British military spending has stabilized at around $55 billion annually, thanks in part to a transfer of funds from the $13-billion reserve account for the navy’s four new Dreadnought-class ballistic-missile submarines.

But even $55 billion a year might not be enough to maintain both carriers and their aircraft plus a robust fleet of naval surface combatants that, among other missions, escort the carriers during wartime.

After deep cuts in 2010 the Royal Navy is down to just 19 surface combatants including 13 frigates and six destroyers. Not all of the vessels are operational at the same time. Mechanical problems and difficulty recruiting sailors in the recent past has compelled the navy temporarily to lay up several warships.

Buying new aircraft carriers instead of frigates and destroyers was a “bad idea,” the Lord Houghton of Richmond, former chief of the defense staff, in May 2019 told a House of Commons committee.

The carriers were “affordable only to the detriment of the surface fleet,” Lord Houghton said, according to The Telegraph.

Giving evidence to the National Security Strategy committee, Lord Houghton said that as vice chief of the defense staff in 2010 he was not in favor of buying two aircraft carriers and new F-35 stealth jets for the air force whilst also expecting the defense budget to include the nuclear deterrent submarines.
Spending on such expensive equipment “massively unbalances the amount of money to spend on capabilities in more active need of use,” he said.
Mordaunt for her part said she was “not going to be shy about asking for more money” to keep the carriers afloat while also buying at least 13 new frigates to replace older ships.

 

Eagle1

Senior Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 17, 2017
Messages
5,397
Reactions
2,423 237
The Royal Navy Has Big Aircraft Carrier Plans (Armed with F-35s)
June 07, 2019
by David Axe

View attachment 7638View attachment 7639

After deep cuts in 2010 the Royal Navy is down to just 19 surface combatants including 13 frigates and six destroyers. Not all of the vessels are operational at the same time. Mechanical problems and difficulty recruiting sailors in the recent past has compelled the navy temporarily to lay up several warships.

Penny Mordaunt took over after Prime Minister Theresa May in early May 2019 fired former defense secretary Gavin Williamson for allegedly leaking sensitive information to the press. Mordaunt on May 15, 2019 announced the Ministry of Defense would develop a new “National Carrier Policy.”
“We will have one carrier available at very high readiness at all times,” Mordaunt said.

The Royal Navy is building up a fleet of two, 70,000-ton-displacement carriers. HMS Queen Elizabeth commissioned in December 2017. Sister ship Prince of Wales is fitting out for commissioning as early as 2019. Queen Elizabeth could deploy with Royal Air Force F-35B stealth fighters starting in 2020.

Together, the flattops cost around $10 billion to develop and build.
“Nothing symbolises our intent and ambition for global Britain and has captured the hearts of our citizens more than our new carriers,” Mordaunt said. “Nine acres of sovereign territory that will give us the ability to project power from anywhere in the world.”

“And when Prince of Wales joins [Queen Elizabeth] in the fleet in the near future … we will have one carrier available at very high readiness at all times,” the defense secretary added. “And this will match our strategic nuclear deterrent with a conventional one. I want to make sure that we make the most of this incredible sovereign capability.”
Money as always is a problem. The U.K. armed forces have struggled in recent years to maintain the pool of forces from which the task force and at-sea deterrence would draw. Periodic cuts since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 have shrunk the British military roughly by half.

The most recent rounds of cuts starting in 2010 eliminated two aircraft carriers, two amphibious ships, four frigates, an army brigade, more than a third of the army's tanks and artillery and all of the air force's Harrier jump jets and maritime patrol planes. Uniformed manpower dropped by 30,000.

As recently as late 2017, there were rumors that the United Kingdom might try to offset the cost of the country's exit from the European Union by further cutting the military. Army brigades and amphibious ships appeared to be particularly vulnerable.

The army recently announced it would upgrade only 148 of its 227 Challenger 2 tanks.

British military spending has stabilized at around $55 billion annually, thanks in part to a transfer of funds from the $13-billion reserve account for the navy’s four new Dreadnought-class ballistic-missile submarines.

But even $55 billion a year might not be enough to maintain both carriers and their aircraft plus a robust fleet of naval surface combatants that, among other missions, escort the carriers during wartime.

After deep cuts in 2010 the Royal Navy is down to just 19 surface combatants including 13 frigates and six destroyers. Not all of the vessels are operational at the same time. Mechanical problems and difficulty recruiting sailors in the recent past has compelled the navy temporarily to lay up several warships.

Buying new aircraft carriers instead of frigates and destroyers was a “bad idea,” the Lord Houghton of Richmond, former chief of the defense staff, in May 2019 told a House of Commons committee.

The carriers were “affordable only to the detriment of the surface fleet,” Lord Houghton said, according to The Telegraph.

Giving evidence to the National Security Strategy committee, Lord Houghton said that as vice chief of the defense staff in 2010 he was not in favor of buying two aircraft carriers and new F-35 stealth jets for the air force whilst also expecting the defense budget to include the nuclear deterrent submarines.
Spending on such expensive equipment “massively unbalances the amount of money to spend on capabilities in more active need of use,” he said.
Mordaunt for her part said she was “not going to be shy about asking for more money” to keep the carriers afloat while also buying at least 13 new frigates to replace older ships.

 

Top