The Army has become the 400th member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme for employers it was announced today, Monday 14 July 2008. The Army will now work with Stonewall to promote good working conditions for all existing and potential employees and to ensure equal treatment for those who are lesbian, gay and bisexual.
General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, said:
"I am delighted that the Army has become a member of Stonewall’s Workplace Programme. One of the Army’s six Core Values is ‘Respect for Others’ and it is therefore our absolute duty to treat our fellow soldiers as we would wish to be treated ourselves.
The demolition work is paving the way for the construction of brand new homes for the officers and airmen who will operate and support the next generation of RAF transport and air-to-air refuelling aircraft.
Ministry of Defence contractors began work yesterday, Monday 14 July 2008, pulling down flats on Upwood Drive; over the next six months they will also be demolishing blocks in and around Northwood Crescent and Stanmore Crescent. In all around 70 flats will be demolished in 2008. The flats were built in the mid-1960s, and are now assessed to have reached the end of their useful life.
Support for the Seawolf air defence missile system, which equips Royal Navy Type 22 and Type 23 frigates, is to be radically revamped under contracts worth around £300M, Minister for Defence Equipment Support Baroness Ann Taylor announced today.
The MoD today signed contracts with industry to build the two future aircraft carriers. The contracts, worth in the region of £3 billion, were signed with the newly-formed UK maritime Joint Venture, BVT Surface Fleet, and the Aircraft Carrier Alliance onboard HMS Ark Royal, one of the Royal Navy’s existing aircraft carriers and currently the Fleet Flagship.
Holographic quantum technology and acoustic sniper sensors may sound like the stuff of science fiction films – but they are actually new defence technologies which could soon be destined for the battlefield.
They were just a few of the gadgets and technologies on show at the Future Soldier event, held today at London’s National Army Museum to coincide with National Science and Engineering Week (7-16 March).
The event demonstrated how UK defence firms and the Ministry of Defence are drawing on science and engineering to develop cutting edge equipment for the Armed Forces. Some technologies are already providing troops with a battle-winning edge on operations; others will need further development and some may be overtaken by new technologies before they make it to the field.
The event was opened by Baroness Ann Taylor, Minister for Defence Equipment and Support, who said:
"All around us we can see how advances in science, engineering and technology affect our everyday lives. Defence is no exception. Members of the Armed Forces are increasingly interacting with ever more sophisticated technology as part of their job.
"There is already a huge difference between the personal equipment a British infantryman used in Kosovo back in 1999 and what they are using now in Afghanistan. We have come a long way – largely because we are working closely with the defence industry to exploit new technologies to protect and empower our people on the frontline. The threats they face are continually evolving and we have to continue to meet the challenge of keeping one step ahead."
The Future Soldier event is one of a number of events being held by the UK defence sector to mark National Science and Engineering Week.
The latest version of the Royal Navy’s Tomahawk land attack missile (TLAM) has been declared operational – three months earlier than planned.
Used to arm submarines, the new Tomahawk Block IV missile is considerably more capable than its predecessors. It has a significantly reduced response time and can fly further, striking land targets from the sea up to one thousand miles away with even greater precision. They are able to re-target or safely abort in flight and can relay images en route. The missile was first successfully test fired from a Royal Navy submarine last June.
Source : MoD/GNN
The MOD announced today that a Public Inquiry will be held into the death of Baha Mousa, who died in British custody in September 2003.
The Defence Secretary, Des Browne, said:
"A Public Inquiry into the death of Baha Mousa is the right thing to do. It will reassure the public that we are leaving no stone unturned in investigating his tragic death. The Army has nothing to hide in this respect and is keen to learn all the lessons it can from this terrible incident."
Source : MoD/GNN
Armed Forces Minister, Bob Ainsworth, visited Sierra Leone this week where he saw first hand the progress that has been made by the UK-led International Military Advisory and Training Team (IMATT) in assisting the transformation of the country’s armed forces.
Royal Marines from 40 Commando have destroyed a drugs factory in the Upper Sangin Valley along with 1.5 tonnes of morphine base – the precursor of heroin.