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MoD: Very presence of aircraft over Iraq has an impact

The Ministry of Defence said the "very presence" of coalition aircraft over Iraq has "a significant impact" on Islamic State’s efforts to attack locally.

Royal Air Force Tornado GR4 aircraft have been flying over Iraq. Credit: RAF/MoD Crown Copyright 2014

"With no effective defence against air strikes, and knowing the precision with which coalition aircraft can hit them, the terrorists are forced to be much more cautious, keeping their forces dispersed and movement inhibited," a spokesperson said.

"They also know that should they concentrate to deliver an attack against Iraqi or Kurdish troops, aircraft are likely to arrive overhead very soon afterwards."

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Images show RAF preparing for aid drops over Iraq

The Ministry of Defence has released footage showing the successful airdrops of humanitarian aid by the RAF in northern Iraq last night.

Aid bundles ready to be dropped over northern Iraq Credit: RAF/Crown Copyright
The inside of a Royal Air Force Hercules transport aircraft Credit: RAF/Crown Copyright
An RAF airman prepares aid bundles to be dropped over northern Iraq Credit: RAF/Crown Copyright

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PM misses out as F-35 fighter jets remain grounded

Prime Minister David Cameron had been due to see the new American-built F-35 fighter aircrafts at the Farnborough International Airshow before their clearance was embarrassingly halted after a fire in Florida last month.

A full scale model of a Lockheed Martin F-35, billed as the world's most advanced fighter jet. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

The grounding meant the jet was also unable to appear when the Queen named the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth earlier this month, and missed a military tattoo at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire this weekend.

A spokesman for the Farnborough event said officials were "hopeful the F-35 will fly at the airshow by the end of the week".

Boeing and Airbus to lead Farnborough plane displays

This year's flying display at Farnborough, last held in 2012, will celebrate 100 years of aviation. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive

Boeing and Airbus will show off rival aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow, while vying for orders to supply passenger planes over the coming decades.

Boeing will present the new 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft, along with the P-8A, a military derivative of the Boeing 737-800.

Airbus will display the world's largest passenger plane, the A380 superjumbo, as well as the extra-wide bodied A350 XWB.

There will also be an announcement at Farnborough this week of a list of eight possible locations across the UK for the first British spaceport, which is hoped to be opened by 2018.

PM: 'We can't defend realm from white cliffs of Dover'

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the £1.1 billion military investment announced today will deal with global terrorism and cyber criminals rather than old-fashioned notions of border defence.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph, he said:

Today's investment demonstrates our approach to national security. There are those who believe we would be safer if we fundamentally retreated from the world. They see new warships and military investment and imagine a Government bent on foreign adventurism.

But the plain fact is that in the 21st century, you cannot defend the realm from the white cliffs of Dover. Terrorist plots hatched thousands of miles away threaten to cause harm on our streets. When fragile and lawless states fracture, migration flows can affect us right here.

Cameron: Modern armed forces technology 'vital'

Cutting edge technology is "vital" to the future of the UK and the armed forces, David Cameron will say.

The Prime Minister is expected to emphasise the role defence technology plays in the UK economy in a speech in Farnborough later today:

Having modern, technologically advanced and flexible Armed Forces to protect us and our interests is vital.

Because of the difficult decisions we have taken to tackle the deficit we are able to make these vital investments in our defence capabilities.

We are also taking action to sustain our thriving defence industry, as part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure a brighter future for hardworking people.

– David Cameron
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