We're rounding up some of the biggest security cleared stories of the past few weeks. In July, the MoD awarded contracts to ensure the future capabilities of the RAF and Royal Navy, while the Police Federation called for a reset of relations with the government following a zero per cent pay increase.
MoD awards £250m contract for future Combat Air System
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a contract worth £250 million to BAE Systems to help develop the next generation of UK combat aircraft. The funding is part of its Future Combat Air System, which is set to include uncrewed aircraft and advanced data systems intended to enter service from the mid-2030s.
Known as Project Tempest, the group also includes Rolls Royce, Leonardo UK and MBDA UK, and the new contract formally marks the start of the Concept and Assessment phase, which will define the needs of the future combat air system, secure digital and physical infrastructure and invest in the skilled workforce needed to deliver the project.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: "Boosting our already world-leading air industry, the contract will sustain thousands of jobs across the UK and will ensure that the UK remains at the top table when it comes to combat air."
Type 45 destroyers to benefit from £500 million firepower upgrade
The Royal Navy's fleet of Type 45 destroyers are set to receive a major upgrade to their firepower capabilities, as the MoD has awarded a new contract for the development of advanced missile systems.
An 11-year contract worth £500 million has been given to MBDA UK to integrate the Common Anti-Air Modular Missile (CAMM) programme, often referred to as Sea Ceptor, into the Type 45 destroyers' existing Sea Viper weapon systems. This will support over 100 highly-skilled jobs in Bristol, Stevenage, Gosport and Bolton and ensure the Navy has world-leading air defences.
The work will involve adding a new 24-missile CAMM silo in front of the current 48-missile Aster 30 silos on each of the Navy's six Type 45s, bringing the total capacity to 72 anti-air missiles per destroyer. Work on the first ship to receive the upgrade is expected to be completed by summer 2026.
Police Federation highlights anger over pay
The Police Federation, the union representing police officers in England and Wales, has delivered a letter to Downing Street expressing the organisation's anger over a proposed pay freeze and a new Beating Crime Plan proposed by the government.
It follows a recent vote of no confidence in home secretary Priti Patel and calls for a "complete reset" of relations between government and the police focusing on treating officers with respect and developing a "new and fairer system of remuneration", as well as reversing the zero per cent pay award decision.
National chair John Apter stated the anger of his members is about "much more than money", though the pay decision has been the "final straw" for many officers. He also said of the Beating Crime Plan: "We don't need old ideas presented as new, we need genuine investment for the whole of the Criminal Justice System and genuine consultation over new ideas. Without that, this is just another ill-thought out initiative."
Over 150 jobs created to support RAF maritime patrol aircraft
A new contract for the maintenance and support of the RAF's new fleet of maritime patrol aircraft and the training of its crews is set to create 153 jobs in the UK, with around 100 roles at RAF Lossiemouth and 46 more jobs spread across sites in Bristol, Yeovil and Gosport.
The £233 million deal has been awarded to Boeing Defence UK for work on the P-8A Poseidon aircraft, which specialises in anti-submarine warfare. Nine of the aircraft, which are based on Boeing's 737-800 airliner, have been ordered by the RAF, with five delivered so far. They will operate from a new, £100 million facility at RAF Lossiemouth, which has so far supported 300 jobs during the construction and includes a three-bay hangar, accommodation for squadrons, training, mission support and two flight simulators.
P-8A Poseidon team leader at Defence Equipment & Support Malcolm French said: "This contract helps enable the full range of capability that Poseidon brings to be realised, sees our modern aircraft fully supported, and our personnel being trained from state-of-the-art facilities."