A Royal Air Force Atlas A400M transport aircraft flying over the Severn Bridge in the West of England.

The Atlas Airbus A400M is a multi-national four engined turboprop military transport aircraft. Designed by Airbus as a replacement for older transporters such as the Hercules C-130 it can perform additional roles including electronic surveillance and aerial refuelling. 

This particular A400 is called "The City of Bristol" and is operated by 206(R) Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton photographed over the city and surrounding areas of Bristol, Gloucestershire. Its called the "The City of Bristol" due to the ties with the city, the wings are made in Filton, Bristol.

Thales and Royal Air Force Air Transport Synthetic Training Systems

DS is once again grateful to Howard Wheeldon FRAeS for granting permission to reproduce one of his informative articles. This one is based on Howard’s recent visit to RAF Brize Norton and covers the sophisticated government funded contractor operated Synthetic system in place for the training of RAF air and ground crew on the A330 Voyager and A400M Atlas. We are pleased to publish it because it is one of those rare unqualified UK Defence ‘Good News’ stories but was not covered in our earlier commentary. Who knows, there could be more. (more…)

The Royal Guard and street liners on-board HMS Bulwark practice their drill before the ship heads to the Orkney Islands to commemorate 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Jutland.

Image shows saliors rehearsing in the Royal Guard.

The Battle of Jutland took place between the British Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet on the 31st May 1916 in the North Sea, off the mainland of Denmark.

Although it was the only major naval battle of World War I, it became the largest sea battle in naval warfare history in terms of the numbers of battleships and battlecruisers engaged, bringing together the two most powerful naval forces in existence at that time.

DS Commentary: Defence Good News

Finding unqualified Good News about UK defence is not impossible but, beyond the professional and dedicated service of our hard pressed personnel and the sterling work of the Defence Medical Services, it is harder to define. This short DS Commentary examines the problem.



Howard Wheeldon FRAeS – Failed Army Recruitment and Retention Policy

DS is pleased to publish the following commentary, by Howard Wheeldon FRAeS, on the subject of British Army Recruitment and Retention. The piece focuses upon a critique of HMG/MOD policy in respect of the setting and implementation of plans for the re-brigading of the Regular Army and Army Reserve. DS endorses this view but is concerned that the issues raised regarding force numbers, recruitment, retention, redundancy and terms of service impact morale across all of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces  HERE

The flag of NATO.

The flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) consists of a dark blue field charged with a white compass rose emblem, with four white lines radiating from the four cardinal directions. 

Adopted three years after the creation of the organization, it has been the flag of NATO since October 14, 1953. The blue colour symbolizes the Atlantic Ocean, while the circle stands for unity.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation – Article 5 and the Strategic Dilemma that Dare Not Speak its Name or How the West has got Mr Putin just where he wants them.

DS has pressed the issue of NATO (read across UK) unpreparedness in the face of a revanchist Russia, most especially in respect of the threat to the Baltic States. A lack of funding – many NATO States not meeting their obligations to spend at least 2% of GDP – a dearth of logistic enablers to transport large armoured and heavy formations, and a reluctance to forward base substantial NATO forces in the Baltic or Poland for fear of upsetting Mr Putin, all call into question European resolve.


david pic


DS has long been concerned at the ‘hollowing out’ effect of HMG policy across the British Armed Forces. The paper below is a personal view and chronology of the effect upon the Royal Navy of successive Strategic Defence and Security Reviews from 1998 to date. It has been written with professional commercial and service insight by a former RN Officer. (more…)

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