Live updates

MoD's £3.2bn deal to support naval bases and sustain 7,500 jobs

The Ministry of Defence has made a "huge investment" after awarding £3.2 billion of contracts to support the management of the UK's naval bases and help sustain more than 7,500 jobs.

HMS Ocean arrives into the docks at Royal Naval Base Devonport Plymouth. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Archive

BAE Systems, which manages HMNB Portsmouth, has been awarded a £600 million contract while Babcock, which manages Devonport and Faslane, has been given a £2.6 billion deal.

The Royal Navy's warships and submarines will be maintained and repaired as part of the deal, the MoD said.

This huge investment in our naval bases will directly sustain more than 7,500 jobs and skills across the UK and ensure that the Royal Navy's fleet of 56 warships and submarines are in the best possible condition and available for operations.

– Defence Secretary Michael Fallon

The contract will secure around 1,500 jobs at Faslane on the Clyde, up to 4,000 posts at HMNB Devonport and more than 2,000 at Portsmouth.

Advertisement

PM pledges 1,000 troops to multinational Nato force

British soldiers will make up a quarter of the special Nato force Credit: Friso Gentsch/DPA/Press Association Images

The Prime Minister has pledged 1,000 British troops to a "high readiness" Nato force, Downing Street has said.

When the force is ready, in late 2015, it will be capable of deploying within 2-6 days.

British troops will make up a substantial portion of the multinational force, which will total 4,000 troops.

Royal Navy to get £48 million helicopter missile system

The Ministry of Defence announced today a deal to buy new £48 million state-of-the-art missile system for Royal Navy helicopters.

The defence minister Philip Dunne said the system made in east Belfast by the defence company Thales UK "will help win battles."

A display model of the new LMM (lightweight multi-role missile) Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Mr Dunne said coastlines represented areas of growing concern to armed forces around the world and this new technology would provide greater protection.

A cross section of a Starburst Missile warhead Credit: PA

The system will be used to target small ships and fast attack craft and be designed and built by Thales UK's Belfast plant.

Rory Stewart elected Defence Select Committee chair

Conservative MP Rory Stewart has been elected the new chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee, taking over from fellow Tory James Arbuthnot.

Tory MP Rory Stewart will be the new chair of the Defence Committee. Credit: Bob Collier/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Mr Stewart, who represents the Cumbria constituency of Penrith and The Border, has served in the army and the diplomatic service, along with running a charity in Afghanistan.

Advertisement

Govt: HoC 'should debate' before committing troops

The Government has dodged criticism that it is not clear enough on its military intervention policy, saying it will allow the House of Commons to debate before sending troops to overseas crisis.

A Government spokesman said:

The decision to use UK armed forces overseas is among the most significant a Government can make.

That's why the Government has stated that it will observe the existing convention that says the House of Commons should have the opportunity to debate before UK troops are committed to conflict, except in cases where the urgency of the action required makes this impossible.

Military intervention as a course of action can of course be contentious and contested but the Government is clear that it remains an important last resort when all other means of dealing with threats have been exhausted.

– Government spokesman

Non-intervention has 'implications for UK's place'

Opting out of military intervention in international crisis has "implications for the UK's place in the world," MPs have warned.

A report from the Defence Select Committee said:

We understand and acknowledge the current lack of appetite for military operations given the experiences and tensions of the past decade for operations in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

However, it is also necessary to understand and acknowledge that there are consequences to decisions by the UK and the international community not to intervene in humanitarian or non-humanitarian situations.

Non-intervention decisions have implications for the UK's place in the world and its influence which are as profound as a decision to undertake an intervention operation.

– Defence select committee

Calls for 'realistic vision' of military intervention

The Government should set out a "realistic vision" of the circumstances which would force the UK to join military intervention abroad, a committee of MPs have recommended.

Failing to intervene in Georgia and Syria may have "emboldened" Russian President Vladimir Putin, the committee said. Credit: PA

The cross-party Defence Select Committee called on the Coalition to set clear parameters for the kind of behaviour which would force them to send troops abroad.

MPs also called on David Cameron's Government to clearly define the UK's place in the world.

Committee members warned the implications of not joining some crisis were just as profound as sending troops abroad.

The MPs suggested Russia may have felt empowered to intervene in Ukraine because the UK and other countries had failed to act in Georgia or Syria.

Load more updates