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Russia has the momentum in Ukraine right now, so is it time for a radical rethink of how we help? James Heappey, who served four years as Armed Forces Minister, tells Sitrep we should be thinking about putting a training mission into Western Ukraine along with air defence support. Professor Michael Clarke explains the potential risks and benefits o…
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For more than half a century the C-130 Hercules was the backbone of the RAF. It’s played a key role in daring special forces and counter terror mission, supported combat operations from the Falklands to Afghanistan, delivered disaster relief, and carried out evacuations in some of the most challenging of environments. Named after the mythological G…
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Sitrep looks at the future shape of the Navy as the government talks of a new ‘golden era in shipbuilding’ and assesses what it can learn from current conflicts. Expert analysis from Commodore Steve Prest who’s just left the service and former Naval warfare officer Professor Peter Roberts from RUSI. Sitrep’s Simon Newton reports from Poland on Exer…
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The cyber-attack which potentially exposed names and bank details of more than 270-thousand people is certainly embarrassing, but what might a “malign actor” do with that information? The founding Chief Executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, tells Sitrep the hackers haven’t got any “crown jewels”, but that statements of “no…
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Sitrep goes on board a Royal Navy P2000 patrol boat, on exercise Tamber Shield, off the coast of Norway. David Sivills-McCann gives us an insight into the action, and Professor Michael Clarke explains why these boats, some of the smallest Royal Navy vessels, are key to defending the UK. A prototype of the RAF’s next generation fighter jet, Tempest,…
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Tempest will be the RAF’s next generation fighter jet, and the heart of the new Future Combat Air System. After a decade of conceptual development work is now underway to turn it into reality, with a first prototype due to fly in around 3 years. Will it really be equipped with laser weapons or brain scanners in the pilot’s helmet? That’s still secr…
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Rishi Sunak has pledged tens of billions of pounds to spend 2.5% of GDP on defence by 2030, but how much will it improve our military capability? Professor Michael Clarke explains why the extra cash will probably be used to firm up our forces rather than making them bigger, and we fact check how much of the £75m figure given by the Prime Minister i…
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RAF Typhoons fired in defence of Israel as part of a multi-national operation to stop Iran’s onslaught with ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones. A former fighter pilot tells Sitrep about the threats posed to pilots. The Armed Forces put a lot of effort into leadership training. But what about the other side of the coin – followers? The C…
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The Armed Forces put a lot of effort into leadership training, but have they lost sight of the people who are led? The Army’s been researching the concept of followership, how it could benefit the service become part of its culture. But what is followership, is it really different from the results of good leadership, and can it be part of an organi…
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Defence Procurement minister James Cartlidge tells Sitrep the history of armed forces having “kit that let them down” keeps him awake at night. But he has a plan to fix the problems. He tells Kate Gerbeau about the changes aimed at delivering equipment on time, and on budget, while Professor Michael Clarke assesses whether it will give troops what …
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British servicemen and women rely on having the right kit to do their jobs, and protect their lives at the front line, but MPs says the process of buying that equipment is broken. Sitrep talks to Defence Procurement Minister James Cartlidge about his new plan to fix long delays, multi-billion pound overspends, and hopelessly overoptimistic ideas. A…
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Troops and hardware which Russia’s been holding in reserve have been moved to the 600-mile-long front line, and handful of local armoured offensives point to the start of a wider push. Sitrep’s Professor Michael Clarke explains how Moscow wants to exploit Ukraine’s ammunition shortages, while Kyiv tries to keep the initiative by forcing Russia’s ha…
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Sitrep hears from Kupiansk, celebrated as a significant victory when it was liberated a year and a half ago, but in Russian sights once again as Moscow tries a new push forward. Ukraine’s troops trying to hold firm are hampered by artillery shortages, they’ve been rationing shells for months, but have turned to small drones to fill at least some of…
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From submariners at sea for months at a time, to soldiers living and working on Russia’s doorstep, the new Wider Service Medal is intended to recognise “crucial operational impact” without the risks to life faced in combat. Some say it’s long overdue, others call it a medal for “just turning up”. We ask a former head of the Army, General Lord Danna…
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Emergency calls from any vessel under attack in the Red Sea are handled thousands of miles away, in Portsmouth, by a Royal Navy supported control centre. Sitrep’s Tim Cooper is one of the first ever journalists to visit the UKMTO, where calls have soared by 475% as missile and drone attacks from Yemen are launched on average once every two days. Al…
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Wargaming is about as old as war itself, but in a time many describe as “pre-war” how can it help us be ready for the worst, if it happens? Sitrep talks to the UK’s Assistant Head of Defence Wargaming, Captain Eugene Morgan, who’s charged with building British wargaming capacity and capability “to make better decisions for defence” He explains how …
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Russia has published the recording of a meeting between senior German air-force officers, revealing military and political secrets about British, French and German support to Ukraine. Former Army intelligence officer Colonel Philip Ingram tells Sitrep it comes down to people being the weakest link, and that we shouldn’t dismiss it as “just a German…
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Every single country in the world allows women to serve in at least some military roles, but only one has a woman at the very top of its Armed Forces. Jamaica’s Chief of Defence Staff, Rear Admiral Antonette Wemyss-Gorman, was appointed in 2022 and is only the second woman in history to hold such a role (Slovenia appointed a female chief of defence…
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Six NATO submarines, accompanied by ships and aircraft, are playing a giant military game of hide and seek in the Mediterranean. NATO’s Commander Submarines, U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Thomas Wall, tells us more about exercise Dynamic Manta, and Sitrep’s Claire Sadler explains what life is like onboard one of those subs. Vladimir Putin claims Russia no…
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Britain has spent seven billion pounds over the last two years, equipping Ukraine’s armed forces to help keep them in the fight against Russia. On the second anniversary of the full-scale invasion Sitrep talks to Major General Anna-Lee Reilly and Andy Start from Defence Equipment and Support about how that’s been done, and what lies ahead. Denmark’…
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For the second time in a row a Royal Navy test firing of an unarmed Trident missile has ended in failure. The government says it was an “anomaly” and that it has “absolute confidence” in the nuclear deterrent, but it hasn’t explained why the missile failed. It’s called the ultimate insurance policy, but can it still deter Russia after two very publ…
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Donald Trump’s talk of telling President Putin to “do whatever the hell he wants” to NATO allies who “don’t pay” has been called unhinged, but he could be President again. So Sitrep examines if Europe could defend itself against Russia without American support, if it really came to that. Professor Michael Clarke and Simon Newton explain how Europea…
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Sitrep gets unprecedented access to the heart of the UK’s military spying operation. Sian Grzeszczyk tells all, including the crashed Russian drones being disassembled by Defence Intelligence, how its analysts uncovered an arms-for-horses deal between Moscow and North Korea, and why it really does all look like a James Bond lair. As MP’s say we mus…
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Boris Johnson has called for the UK to bring back National Service. Sweden did just that seven years ago to solve its military recruitment crisis, and Germany’s looking at the idea. Sitrep talks to Swedish defence expert Elisabeth Braw and former Welsh Guards officer Nicholas Drummond about whether it’s the answer for the UK’s depleted Armed Forces…
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Strategic command, like the three single services, is deemed important enough to our defence to merit its own Chief of Staff. General Sir James Hockenhull tells Sitrep about the organisation that he leads and its mission to help the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force be the best they can be. From medical services to digital networks, cyber to int…
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Tens of thousands of people around the world have seen the moment one Royal Navy minehunter reversed into another in Bahrain, doing millions of pounds worth of damage. Former Royal Navy Commodore Alistair Halliday talks us through the range of technical and human factors which could explain why HMS Chiddingfold went backwards instead of ahead. The …
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Sir Iain Duncan Smith has been a Conservative MP for more than 30 years, and led his party from 2001 to 2003. In parliament he’s a vocal contributor on defence, security, and international issues. His criticism of China’s government is so vocal the country has placed sanctions against him and his family. He tells Sitrep why he believes China is a t…
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The Defence Secretary warns of tough times ahead...we look at those warnings but also hear from another of Britain’s most senior military chiefs who has a more hopeful message. The Head of Stratcom rarely speaks to the media, but we hear his take on the state of the world. Also on Sitrep Is diplomacy still a thing? Does it achieve anything? We spea…
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The First Sea Lord has been asked for a plan to “take forward” the work of the Royal Marines, as ministers effectively confirm they’re again reconsidering the future of the corps’ two amphibious assault ships. Professor Michael Clarke explains what’s going on, and former Royal Marines Commandant General, Major General Buster Howes, tells Sitrep the…
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Under the sea, in charge of a multi-million pound boat, and the safety of your crew, there is a lot that can go very wrong. Ryan Ramsay has lived it all, then trained his successors both in how to avoid those disasters, and to cope if they do strike. In his new book ‘A View From Below’ he shares the inside story how submarine captains are trained, …
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Could more British troops be sent to Eastern Europe, or as peacekeepers in the Middle East? Will Donald Trump return to the White House, and would it guarantee defeat for Ukraine? And where in the world might the next war break out? Kate Gerbeau and Professor Michael Clarke take on the big questions about what’s in store for our defence and securit…
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The Defence Secretary has called the Army’s ban on beards for most soldiers “ridiculous and outdated”, as the Chief of General Staff reviews the rules. Kate and Mike are joined by former Chief of Defence People, Lieutenant General James Swift, to discuss whether facial hair really matters to recruitment, discipline and operational effectiveness. Th…
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HMS Diamond has been sent to the Red Sea after missile and drone attacks against British owned cargo vessels, and RAF spy-planes have been deployed to search for hostages held in Gaza. Professor Michael Clarke and former Royal Navy commander Tom Sharpe explain what these assets and personnel can achieve, the limitations & risks of their missions, a…
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Sitrep’s Simon Newton has just returned from Ukraine - he reports for Sitrep from a drone testing centre where new models are trialled before being used in combat. Sitrep also hears from the former Champion Boxer, and now Mayor of Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, on his country’s will to resist. Also on Sitrep, as tensions remain high in the Middle East, Br…
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As winter sweeps across Ukraine the ideal window for its counter-offensive is now closed, with seemingly minimal gains from five months of hard fighting. So what happens next? Sitrep assesses whether Ukraine has another chance for a significant fightback next year, and if so how it could do that. Professor Michael Clarke, Ukrainian researcher Marii…
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Cyber-warfare was is no longer simply science-fiction, it is now a military fact that hits hard. Military communications, power systems and nuclear processing plants have all been taken offline in recent years by purely digital attacks. The UK’s capability for this domain sits in the National Cyber Force, created three years ago as part of Strategi…
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The Army’s future is built around the new Ajax armoured fighting vehicle. After years of delays, faults, and even injuries to troops, ministers say the Ajax programme is now ‘in recovery’. We take a look for ourselves, from the production line to training on Salisbury plain and hear from soldiers using the first of the vehicles. Another cold-war tr…
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Every single country in the UN is signed up to the same laws of war, but Israel’s military campaign in Gaza is reminding us interpretations of those laws often differ. In this extra Sitrep podcast Kate Gerbeau talks to Rev. Nicholas Mercer, who was the British Army’s top legal adviser in Iraq 20 years ago. He explains the key principles that govern…
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He’s been called a strategic and tactical genius – but he also abandoned tens of thousands of his soldiers to their deaths. Sitrep goes behind the Hollywood gloss of the new Napoleon film to assess his true military legacy, and Professor Michael Clarke explains how Napoleonic innovations are still used in wars today. Japan is on a massive military …
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Japan is one of the world’s third biggest economic power, but until now its military power has come nowhere close to matching that. That’s changing though, with a 5-year defence-spending spree to include new counter-strike capabilities which will enable Japan to fire on enemy land for the first time since World War Two. Kate Gerbeau talks to the au…
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Russia is planning a new naval base in territory it occupies on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, because of Ukraine’s strikes against Russian ships near Crimea. Sitrep hears from the Georgian capital about worries it could make their country a target for Ukraine. Professor Michael Clarke and Simon Newton share their assessments, and examine how we can im…
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Israel’s mission to destroy Hamas has some parallels with the battle to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State terror group – tens of thousands of fighters among a densely packed population of around two-million citizens. Major General Rupert Jones, who was deputy commander of the anti-IS coalition, shares the lessons from Mosul, and Professor Micha…
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British ships, planes, and personnel have been sent to Mediterranean, tasked with waiting and watching as war rages between Israel and Gaza. Professor Michael Clarke explains how they could be used, to stop weapons smuggling and gather intelligence, with the aim of preventing a wildfire spread of the conflict. Sitrep hears first-hand about the chal…
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General David Petraeus commanded multinational forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, wrote America’s handbook on counter-insurgency, and went on to lead the CIA. Now he wants to help those who follow him learn the lessons of the wars he fought, and many others since World War Two. General Petraeus and acclaimed military historian Andrew Roberts tell Kate…
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Israel declared war because of a Hamas terrorist atrocity, invading from Gaza, killing more than a thousand people, and seizing more than 150 hostages. But what was Hamas hoping to achieve? Is Israel doing exactly what its enemy wants by launching a war, and did it have any other choice? Professor Michael Clarke and former senior intelligence offic…
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Iron Titan is the Army’s largest land exercise in more than 20 years, involving 8000 troops across more than 40,000 square miles of South-West England and Wales. Sitrep hears from some of those taking part, and Forces News reporter Rosie Laydon explains how its using the lessons of Ukraine to test the deployment of the UK’s warfighting division. Vi…
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Ukraine has punched a new hole through Russia’s minefields, ditches, and ‘dragons teeth’ in Western Zaporizhzhia, but is it enough to start taking back big swathes of land? Professor Michael Clarke explains why this is halfway to being a turning point, and Forces News reporter Simon Newton explains what obstacles are still in the way of Ukraine’s t…
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When Shaun Pinner left the Royal Anglian Regiment, after 9 years as a soldier, he had no intention of ever returning to military life. Two decades later he was fighting in Ukraine as one of the country’s marines, besieged in the city of Mariupol as it was battered and starved by Russian forces. When he was captured Shaun was beaten, tortured and ev…
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The Army’s about to test software which, with the help of tiny drones, can give soldiers a 3D model of their battlefield on a phone or tablet in minutes. The ‘Farsight’ system eliminates the need for network connections, big servers, and long waits. A former US special operations commander who’s helped develop the software tells us what it will mea…
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This week Sitrep focuses on how the British military and defence industry are learning lessons from the war in Ukraine. Rear Admiral Andrew Betton, Director Joint Warfare at UK Strategic Command, says the way warfare has evolved in Ukraine is a wake-up call. Sitrep also explores how the defence industry is responding to the conflict in terms of new…
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