Britain’s Ministry of Defence is understood to have dropped a £2bn plan to buy a fleet of US-made submarine-hunting jets for the Royal Air Force. The proposed purchase of up to nine P-8 Poseidon aircraft was expected to be the centrepiece of the government’s forthcoming defence review, but sources say the project has been shelved … Read more Ministry of Defence sinks £2bn sub-hunter jet deal
British and Chinese security engaged in a tense stand-off during the state visit of President Xi Jinping after a Beijing-based “spy” tried to get too close to the Queen. The Chinese official was intercepted by members of the diplomatic protection squad when he posed as an official interpreter, according to documents circulating in Whitehall. British officials … Read more Chinese ‘spy’ tried to get into Queen’s coach
High-powered British sniper rifles made by a Portsmouth-based company, Accuracy International, are being used by marksmen loyal to the Syrian dictator, Bashar al-Assad, to attack opposition rebels. Footage of the regime’s marksmen using the weapons, which each cost £4,500 and have a range of just under a mile, appeared last week on Russian television as … Read more British sniper rifles used against Assad rebels
Defence officials are considering the appointment of an American contractor to run the construction of Britain’s four new nuclear missile submarines. The Ministry of Defence confirmed last week that it was looking to shake up the procurement process for the planned £20bn project, which is highly contentious politically. • Read my article on The Sunday … Read more Americans in frame to build new Trident submarines?
The number of fast-jet squadrons is expected to double, amid fears that years of deep cuts have left the RAF too small to tackle the twin threats of Isis and Russian aggression. Senior defence sources say the RAF’s senior commanders have made increasing the number of fighter and bomber squadrons from six to 12 a cornerstone … Read more RAF squadrons will double to face Isis and Russian threat
A mass formation of nearly 50 Spitfires and Hurricanes — about 70% of the iconic fighters still flying worldwide — will take to the skies over southern England next month to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Hundreds of thousands of people will see and hear the Second World War aircraft on September … Read more Battle of Britain scramble will be largest since 1945
A multi-billion pound deal to build a new generation of Royal Navy combat ships on the Clyde has hit stormy waters. Shipbuilders at Scotstoun and Govan yards are poised to begin work on 13 Type 26 frigates but the £4bn deal is mired in delays because of a dispute over costs between the Ministry of … Read more Dispute threatens to capsize £4bn Clyde warship deal