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UK troops conduct joint exercise in Poland

Around 1300 UK soldiers have been honing their war-fighting skills across south-west Poland in the largest armoured deployment to Eastern Europe for six years.

The King’s Royal Hussars Battlegroup is taking part in Exercise Black Eagle under the command of the 10th Polish Armoured Cavalry Brigade and alongside the 1st Polish Tank Battalion at the Zagan Training area

The training is designed to develop interoperability between the two Armed Forces and is a key demonstration of UK support to NATO reassurance measures in the region.

Credit: MinistryofDefence

Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon said:

Exercise Black Eagle has been a great success on several fronts. It has proved that the Army has the agility needed to cope with the demands of the 21st century.

It clearly demonstrates the strength of our relationship with the Polish Armed Forces. And it is a clear signal to our allies in NATO that we stand up to our obligations and will continue to do so.

– Michael Fallon
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Cameron: 'Prudence paid for £1.1 billion extra defence'

Prime Minister David Cameron has said the Government's economic prudence has allowed it to invest an extra £1.1 billion on "absolutely vital" defence.


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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.

Farnborough and Portsmouth set to benefit from Government defence pledge

In the announcement expected at Farnborough later today, the Prime Minister has set out new investment for defence projects in Farnborough and Portsmouth.

The statement sets out plans for establishing a UK Defence Solutions Centre in Farnborough to bring together industry, with support from Government, to develop the new defence technologies of the future.

Also outlined are plans for a £4 million UK Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems based in Portsmouth. Government, industry and the Local Enterprise Partnership will bring together naval specialists to develop technology for use in autonomous unmanned boats, submarines or other vessels.

PM announces new intelligence gathering funding for Armed Forces at Farnborough International Air Show

In an announcement from the Prime Minister's office, an extra £800 million of investment is promised for Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance. The intentnion is to extend the range and flexibility of defence options, including that of our Special Forces.

The statements says the money will be used to respond to the threat of global terrorism and hostage taking, with an investment of £300 million in existing capabilities including a new E-Scan radar for Typhoon and the purchase of the Portsmouth-based Ice Patrol Ship HMS Protector.

David Cameron will provide more details at the Farnborough International Airshow. The Prime Minister will also set out action taken by the Defence Growth Partnership of industry and Government to boost the UK defence sector.

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.”

– Prime Minister David Cameron


Ministry of Defence deal could save engineering jobs at Portsmouth dockyards

It's been reported this morning that BAE systems is on the verge of signing a £70 million deal which would safeguard 100 jobs at the dockyards in Portsmouth. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is said to have confirmed that the contract could be signed next week.

Mr Hammond told a local newspaper that the engineering jobs would be sustained for two and a half years while work is carried out on the Navy's newest destroyers. More contracts could follow.

In November last year BAE systems announced that it would be closing its ship-building division in Portsmouth with the loss of around 900 jobs. However the company's maintenance division will remain in operation and this latest announcement will be welcome news.

Video: 3,850 homes approved for Aldershot

Plans for nearly four thousand new homes on land at Aldershot Military base have been approved by Rushmoor Borough Council.

Building work on the first phase of 230 homes will start next year. The Aldershot Urban Extension, known as Wellesley, will also include two new schools, new link roads, play areas and community facilities.

Some of the town's historic military buildings, including the Cambridge Military Hospital will also become new homes.

Councillors approve expansion plans for Aldershot

Plans for almost four thousand new homes and facilities to be built in Aldershot have been approved by councillors.

The proposals passed last night by Rushmoor Borough Council will expand the town for the first time in almost a century. The Aldershot Urban Extension would be north of the town centre, on the former Aldershot Garrison site. The area is also known as Wellesley.

The development of up to 3,850 buildings will be phased in over the next twelve to fifteen years. The project is a joint project between the Ministry of Defence and Grainger plc.

“This is great news for Rushmoor. The development represents a huge investment in our borough, bringing more people to Rushmoor, providing much-needed new homes, new jobs and a welcome boost to the local economy. It is a powerful statement of the ambition of our borough – to be the best place to live and do business in the South-East.”

– Councillor Gareth Lyon, Chairman, Rushmoor Borough Council’s Development Control Committee

The army's newest vehicle the 'Terrier' is unveiled

The Army has order sixty terrier vehicles for use in the UK and abroad Credit: UK Crown copyright

The British Army's newest vehicle is being tested in Dorset. The "Terrier" is a remote-controlled armoured digger weighing 30 tonnes. The Army says it will be a key part of the Royal Engineers' capability for decades to come.

The 'Terrier' is an armoured digger Credit: UK Crown copyright

Sixty terriers have been ordered as part of a £360m project with BAE Systems. The firm has designed and built the diggers in the UK.

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