Saturday, 24 July 2021
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(Editor's note : This post also contains the full Parliamentary exchange when the announcement was made)

By Nick Watts, Great North News Services

The decision, announced today, to press ahead with the purchase of the F35B is instructive. Coming as it does shortly after the MOD's White paper on Technology, Equipment and Support for UK defence and security it tells us much about the UK's ability to provide sovereign capability. The obvious headlines about U turns miss the wider point.


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A £60m deal has been made with Raytheon UK for extra Paveway IV precision munitions for the RAF. It is among the most advanced precision bombs in the world and considered the backbone of the RAF's bombing capability. The contract should sustain some 450 jobs in advanced weapons manufacturing at its plants in Glenrothes, Scotland and Harlow, Essex.

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Ground based air defence systems will be deployed at six sites in and around London for the duration of the 2012 Olympic Games. HMS Ocean will be anchored in the River Thames and Tyohoon jets will be on Quick reaction Alert at RAF Norholt. The plan - especially GBAD deployment, is described more fully below and was updated on 14th July

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