Monthly Archives: April 2021

2006:THE YEAR AHEAD

first_imgAcrylamide, which is formed in low-protein, high-carbohydrate foods cooked at high temperatures, could become a health issue, particularly with well-fired breads. The World Health Organization is now looking at it. There is a feeling that the research that is being done will show that very high levels of acrylamide intake will be classed as cancer-inducing – a geo-toxic in the same class as Sudan 1.I think the market should feel optimistic about 2006. The move back to healthy bread, wholemeal bread and the revival – I hope – of the artisan baker is going to be very good news for both retailers and manufacturers. For companies like ourselves which has set itself up for artisan breads, rather than industrial plant, we see that as a major growth area for supermarkets and small independents alike. I think there’s room for everybody in the marketplace.I think we’re going to see more independent people coming back into bakery. We are getting enquiries from people looking at buying equipment and setting up their own small- to medium-sized business specialising in artisan breads. We are also seeing more restaurants serving bread before the meal. France, Italy and Spain have never lost that.last_img read more

Bakery Services woe

first_imgBakery Services has revealed “disappointing” results, with its six-month statement to 30 September 2006 showing pre-tax losses of over £80,000.Bakery Services operates the in-store bakeries business Inbake at Co-op shops as well as Don Millers’ franchise and company-managed cafés.Turnover was up from £1.588m (2005) to £1.598m (2006). But pre-tax losses were up from £57,814 (2005) to £83,679 (2006).Bakery Services said Inbake’s in-store concession business performed satisfactorily and gross margin improved slightly from 37.5% to 37.7%.Following the closure of the units at Loughborough and Birmingham, Don Millers only has one managed unit in the Victoria Centre, Nottingham.”The overall results for the period are disappointing,” said Richard Worthington, non-executive chairman and financial director.”However, the loss for the period includes £54,882 relating to the managed unit at the Victoria Centre, Nottingham (closed for refitting during part of the period) and £33,154 relating to rentals and other costs for the closed unit at Temple Row, Birmingham.”Without these costs the group would have been close to breaking even.”last_img read more

The cult of the toaster

first_imgWe appear to have stumbled across a whole subculture dedicating their time to toasters. At www.toaster.org you’ll find toaster art, toaster merchandise and toaster-themed e-cards. The Toaster Museum Foundation proclaims: “We are a non-profit organisation dedicated to toasters – yes, that’s correct, the kitchen appliance. Since our origin in the Pacific Northwest in the 1990s, our organisation has dedicated itself to educating, entertaining, and enlightening people about the history and cultural importance of the bread toaster.” It puts paid to the notion that we’re all ‘time poor’ these days.last_img

Finsbury looks to claw back decline in cake sales

first_imgFinsbury Food Group is banking on a return to growth for premium cakes as it tries to bounce back from a tough financial year in which sales fell for the first time in the company’s history.The group’s cake operation, which accounts for 74% of revenue and includes Memory Lane and Lightbody, saw sales plummet by 9.7% in the 52 weeks to 3 July, due to an overall decline in the cake market and a decision to exit low-margin business.The £1.5bn cake market declined by 2.6% over the period, but Finsbury was hit much harder because of its focus on premium and healthy cakes segments that suffered disproportionately as retailers launched value ranges and heavy discounting during the recession. However, CEO John Duffy told British Baker that he was optimistic sales of premium cakes would pick up. “At some point in this financial year, we will see a step-change in the availability of premium ranges in the grocers. We’re out of recession and they [the supermarkets] have to respond to that.”Total group revenue at Finsbury for the 52 weeks to 3 July 2010 was £168.3m, down 5.9% year-on-year, although the firm increased profits before tax by 7% to £5.4m and reduced net bank debt by 11% to £36.5m. The company was helped by internal efficiencies, including restructuring of distribution and shift patterns, and the strong performance of its bread and gluten-free arm, which posted sales growth of 14% to £43.7m.Duffy added: “Success for this business depends on trading through the present period, paying off a proportion of our debt, building a financial position that is less leveraged and returning to growth in an expan-ding marketplace.”last_img read more

Construction to begin on Dunlap, Cleveland EPL branches Wednesday

first_img By Brooklyne Beatty – January 15, 2021 1 224 Pinterest TAGSbranchesclevelandclosedConstructionDunlapElkhartElkhart Public LibraryIndianaJanuary 20renovation Two of Elkhart’s Public Library branches will be renovated this year.A $4.5-million investment is underway to upgrade both the Dunlap branch on County Road 13 and the Cleveland branch on County Road 1.Both branches will close on Wednesday, January 20 and are expected to reopen by the summer.Renovations include the addition of new study and collaboration spaces, expanded spaces for children’s events and an easier way to browse collections of books and movies.Guests can still visit the Osolo and Pierre-Moran locations during this time.For more information, visit myepl.org/branches. WhatsApp Google+ Google+ WhatsApp Construction to begin on Dunlap, Cleveland EPL branches Wednesdaycenter_img Previous articleSouth Bend to launch new utility billing service TuesdayNext articleMichigan State Police: Be ready for winter roads with a few simple tips Brooklyne Beatty Pinterest Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook IndianaLocalNewslast_img read more

News story: Home Office Minister visits Tunisia

first_imgDuring the visit, Mr Wallace held a series of high-level meetings with senior members of the Government of Tunisia including the Ministers of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Human Rights as well as the Secretary General of the National Security Council.The Minister also met the tour operators and hoteliers who will be accommodating UK package holidaymakers due to return to Tunisia later this month and and was shown some examples of the security improvements Tunisia has made, including some that the UK has supported.Following his visit, Mr Wallace said:“My first official visit to Tunisia comes at an important time for both our countries ahead of the imminent return of British holidaymakers this year. I was pleased to be able to visit some of the areas where tourists will stay and to see for myself the security improvements.“I was delighted to meet a wide range of ministerial counterparts from the Government of Tunisia. A central theme of my meetings was our strategic security partnership in the fight against global terrorism. Countries around the world must work together by sharing information and expertise in order to combat this scourge and to mitigate the risks against all our citizens.“I also made clear that the UK remains a steadfast partner in support of Tunisia’s remarkable democratic transition. We will continue to work hand in hand with Tunisia in the years ahead to support economic growth and prosperity as well as stability and security.”last_img read more

Press release: New projects see UK space firms tackle Southeast Asian challenges

first_imgThe harmful effects of tropical forest fires affect over 20 million people in Southeast Asia, having a negative impact on people’s health as well as contributing to global CO2 emissions. Many fires occur over drained peatland areas and this project in Indonesia and Malaysia will use satellites to map peat conditions, even when under a forest canopy. Monitoring water levels in this way will enable the risk of fire to be significantly reduced.The second project being funded will see earth observation data being used as a dengue outbreak early warning system in Vietnam. Early detection will enable public health authorities to mobilise resources to those most in need. The project will also provide forecasts of dengue fever under a range of climate change scenarios. By linking earth observation data with climate forecasting and a land-surface model the impacts of various elements (such as water availability, land-use, climate), on the likelihood of future dengue epidemics can be predicted for the first time.Satellite technology and data will also be used to help the Philippine government tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in its waters. The work aims to support the sustainability of the fisheries sector and the 4 million people who rely on it for their livelihood. The project will use a wide variety of data sources, including satellite data to understand the location, time and behaviour of specific vessels at sea.Nicola Willey, South East Asia Director for Science and Innovation at the British High Commission Singapore, said: “Tropical fires, dengue outbreaks and illegal fishing are problems affecting countless people across this region. It’s great to see that the UK’s world-leading research and technology is being used to positively impact on so many people’s lives through working with partners across Southeast Asia.”About the International Partnership ProgrammeThe UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme uses UK space expertise to deliver innovative solutions to real world problems across the globe. This helps some of the world’s poorest countries, while building effective partnerships that can lead to growth opportunities for British companies.The successful projects, worth £38 million in total, are led by a diverse range or organisations from the UK’s growing space sector, from large companies such as Inmarsat and CGI, to start-ups such as Guildford-based Earth-i. The UK Space Agency and industry are working together to grow the UK’s share of the global space market to 10% by 2030.UK Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:“The UK’s space sector is going from strength to strength. It pioneers new technology and provides jobs for 40,000. Today I can announce that the space sector’s capabilities are being put to use to tackle some of the world’s biggest challenges.“The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme will help developing countries tackle big issues like disaster relief and disease control, while showcasing the services and technology on offer from our leading space businesses.”The International Partnership Programme is part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF): a £1.5 billion fund from the UK Government, which supports cutting-edge research and innovation on global issues affecting developing countries.First round projectsThere are 22 existing projects already delivering benefits, including a partnership between Inmarsat and the Philippine government to reduce the impact of natural disasters using satellite communications, which was called into action in December and January when tropical storms killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of thousands more to evacuation centres. The project used British technology and expertise to help relief workers get information in and out of the disaster zones which greatly increase the effectiveness of the response effort, helping them save lives and restore critical infrastructure.Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat, said:“Inmarsat was originally founded to save lives at sea and we are proud that, almost 40 years later, our robust, reliable satellite communication services are deployed throughout the world to assist following natural disasters and humanitarian crises, wherever they occur.“With the invaluable support of the UK Space Agency, we have been able to pre-equip disaster response teams in the Philippines with vital satellite communications solutions. This meant that when two deadly cyclones hit the country over a two week period, resulting in loss of life and serious damage to terrestrial communications infrastructure, Philippine authorities were able to utilise Inmarsat’s mobile connectivity services to assess the damage and identify the needs of those regions most affected.”All IPP projects are match-funded by consortium members and international partners to ensure maximum value for money. The programme is fully compliant with Official Development Assistance (ODA) with the Independent Commission for Aid Impact recently reporting that the UK Space Agency had developed robust procedures for ensuring ODA eligibility and was thorough in its ODA compliance screening.Details of all ten global projects announced today can be found here and here.More information about the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme can be found at this link.last_img read more

News story: First year celebrations for the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network

first_imgGp Capt S J Dharamraj from Commandant Royal Air Force Central Training School said: Speaking at the event, and discussing the impact of the network since its launch during National Apprenticeship Week 2017, Helen Grant MP said: You can find images from the event on the National Apprenticeships Service Flickr page. Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service concluded: The event concluded with news that the new parent’s apprenticeship information leaflets are now being produced in Polish and Punjabi. The event also highlighted developments to show the Disability Confident logo on apprenticeship vacancies on find an apprenticeship, the service for searching and applying for apprenticeships. This will help support Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LLDD) by giving them the facility to search for appropriate apprenticeship opportunities and will be fully functional by April 2018. National Apprenticeship Week 2018 – themed ‘Apprenticeships Work’ – is the 11th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships and during the week employers and apprentices from across England will come together to showcase the success of apprenticeships whilst encouraging even more people to choose apprenticeships as a pathway to a great career.New members of the ADCN were also announced today – including Channel 4, Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, and ITV.center_img The 11th National Apprenticeship Week is well underway and it is magnificent that we can recognise the employers committed to apprenticeships diversity as part of our week long celebration of all things apprenticeships. It is important that workforces reflect the community they serve and these employers are working to ensure that the reach of apprenticeships is extended to diverse groups. Apprenticeships work – for individuals, employers, for local communities and for the economy – and the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network is working hard to make sure this message is being spread to secure a more diverse workforce for the future. Diversity is of absolute paramount importance to the RAF, and indeed to our apprenticeship programme. Greater Diversity in our workforce allows us to draw on a range of different experiences, select the best recruits, irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation, and better reflect the society we seek to protect. Improving diversity and inclusion is in itself a challenge but are working hard through our outreach programmes and our own diversity champions to ensure we inform communities of what an apprenticeship provides to the RAF and the benefits that apprenticeships can bring to them – in sum, what it means to be an RAF apprentice. We are proud to stand up as a champion, and work with other members of the network to ensure we deliver lasting and positive change. The event, held during National Apprenticeship Week 2018 at the House of Commons, welcomed Helen Grant MP and Chair of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN) along with existing and new member employers and apprentices. Addressing the audience alongside Helen Grant were Neil Bentley from WorldSkills, Jodie Williams from Yorkshire Water, Gp Capt Steve Dharamraj from the Royal Air Force and Mike Thompson from Barclays, Elaine Billington from United Utilities and Claire Paul from the BBC, alongside Sue Husband, Director of the National Apprenticeship Service. It is wonderful to celebrate the impact of the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network over the past 12 months. We now have over 50 employers in the network who are all committed to ensuring that their workforce includes apprentices, from all backgrounds, as well as pledging to tell other employers about the powerful impact apprentices can bring. I am delighted that the hard work we have undertaken to increase the number of apprentices from diverse backgrounds is making a difference and our impact report, launched today, highlights this success. Having so many ADCN members in the room, alongside new members, is great for the network and for apprenticeships and it’s great to celebrate our success as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2018.last_img read more

News story: Unlicensed medicines busted in Bolton

first_img Office hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm. For real-time updates including the latest press releases and news statements, see our Twitter channel at https://www.twitter.com/mhragovuk A total of 4 people were arrested yesterday following morning raids in Bolton after MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) investigators searched a series of addresses.Officers executed searches at 5 locations across Bolton after a tireless investigation into a suspected network of illegal activity potentially running into the millions of pounds.Investigators seized a large variety of prescription only medicine, including erectile dysfunction medication, hair loss medication, narcolepsy medication and steroids.The suspects were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to supply medicines, class C controlled drugs and money laundering. The suspects have been taken into custody to be questioned by MHRA investigators.MHRA’s Head of Enforcement, Alastair Jeffrey: During office hours: 020 3080 7651 (08:30 – 17:00) Email [email protected] News centreMHRA10 South ColonnadeLondonE14 4PU Out of office hours: 07770 446 189 (17:00 – 08:30) Media enquiries It is a serious criminal offence to sell potent unlicensed or prescription-only medicines. Today’s arrests are a result of a determined investigation by teams dedicated to protecting public health. We work relentlessly with regulatory and law enforcement colleagues to identify and prosecute those involved. Those who sell medicines illegally are exploiting vulnerable people and have no regard for their health. Prescription only medicines are potent and should only be taken under medical supervision. MHRA is currently running the #FakeMeds campaign to educate people about the dangers of buying potentially dangerous or useless unlicensed medicines sold by illegal online suppliers.Visit www.gov.uk/fakemeds for tips on buying medicines safely online and how to avoid unscrupulous sites.last_img read more

Speech: First Sea Lord speech at the RUSI Sea Power Conference

first_imgIt was hard to know where to start when you think about how to conclude this conference such a valuable day of debate on the future of Naval Warfare.And while I was thinking about what words to use and where to draw inspiration from and I promise you this is true I was looking through the latest RUSI Journal. And came across an excellent review by Christian Melby of Lawrence Freedman’s new book The Future of War: A History. And that title struck a chord because of what we’re talking about today.Now I’ll confess straight up that I haven’t yet read Lawrence Freedman’s book, more often than not these days in this job I spend most of my time outside of leave periods reading briefs and papers rather than reading interesting books. But I will try to read it in due course.But the review was excellent. And if it’s accurate, then the approach that Lawrence is taking in that book is not just what the future is, but how to look at it. And I think that offers real food for thought to how we try to culminate our work here today.The key theme is that the study of war should not be separated from the context of what you’re looking at the ‘concerns of the time’ as he calls it in which a war occurs.Nor can we constrain ourselves to the facts and figures of war, so often the focus of analysis over the last century. Attempts to quantify and measure wars will perhaps never quite tell the entire picture of the conflict.The world of fiction can make the point really well. The 2015 novel Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the Next World War demonstrates that a rigorously researched story can actually prove sufficiently thought provoking such that it can help to prevent the war it describes. A powerful piece of modern deterrence.By focussing on the issue of context, Freedman managed to steer clear of predicting the incidence and form of future wars. And I think that’s the key component of today it struck me that his reminder to us is not to try and do that.So maybe instead of trying to predict the incidence and form of future conflicts, maybe it’s better instead to consider the context of the maritime environment in 2035, a context that will provide the setting in which future naval warfare may be conducted. So that’s what I’ll try and do.We’ve heard today already about the well-established importance of seaborne trade which dominates our country’s economy today and shows every prospect of doing so out into the future. And not just for us but for all maritime nations. 90% of all intercontinental and regional trade by volume; with an estimated global value of $4 trillion per year.By 2045 it’s estimated that Asia will account for 75% of global consumers and this shift in the customer base to that region will only serve to increase our reliance on seaborne trade.Furthermore, by the middle of this century, we think 70% of the world’s population will be concentrated in cities, and most of those cities are on or near the coast. So this urbanised littoral environment will link to a maritime domain that is going to become more congested, more cluttered and more contested.And with a growing demand for, and dwindling supply of, basic resources, this is going to lead to increased competition over energy, food and water, and that competition will surely play out on the seas.These are some of the global strategic trends that define the maritime environment as we look out towards 2035.Britain’s access to the global commons that is the sea is arguably the predominant factor behind our place at the top table of the international system. It has been for hundreds of years and I would contend it still is today.And as we look forward, that global commons will continue to provide the same opportunities both for access and freedom of manoeuvre that has for so long assured our national prosperity and our national security.But challenges in that area also abound. Whilst the seas are governed broadly by international law and conventional norms, for the most part the adherence to those laws is reliant on common consent.It’s hard to police them everywhere upon the seas. The sheer size of those oceans and seas makes policing them a nearly impossible. And whilst further regulation would probably risk constraining our own freedom of manoeuvre upon which our trade relies, we must therefore accept that the sea is going to be, increasingly, an environment open to exploitation.Our interests are not just restricted to activity on the seas either, but also under the sea is just as vital to our prosperity and security.And then Information, the new global resource, the new global commons. We’re going to operate in an increasingly information-dominated battlespace. It’s no longer just the enabler to warfare that it used to be, it’s now a fully-fledged national lever of power in its own right.We are increasingly connected; information and the internet pervades every aspect of our life; fiscal, social and cultural.As I reflected back on a previous event here at RUSI this week, the space conference where my Royal Air Force counterpart Steve Hillier focussed rightly on the intensifying threats to our satellite network on which we depend, which could also impact on our life, it’s hard not to conclude that we’re looking at challenge from satellites to the sea bed.And when it comes to the flow of information, 97% of data transfer occurs now not by satellite but by underwater cables. And should that underwater network be compromised in any way it is assessed that satellite networks would only have sufficient bandwidth for about 7% of what currently passes on those cables.So that international infrastructure is as vulnerable as it is critical. Commercially available unmanned underwater vehicles can already, now locate, photograph and survey undersea cables. And if this is the case, how easy could it be to disrupt the digital network or compromise it with a bespoke military capability that can get at it?Many of you will know of the existence of the Russian Ocean Reconnaissance Ship Yantar. It’s spent much of the last 6 months doing heroic and very demanding work looking for the lost Argentinian submarine in the South Atlantic and now it’s in the Eastern Mediterranean looking for their downed fighter aircraft. But it often operates on our continental seabed, and it often switches off AIS when it suits. And we know it has the capacity to get at those cables.And also Russian submarines which are often reported through open source to be ‘lurking’ in the vicinity of the underwater cables with an assessed capability to also compromise them.My Fellow chiefs have spoken on several occasions in the last 6 months about the nature of the Russian threat. Here at RUSI a few months ago, General Sir Nick Carter – the Chief of the General Staff and in two weeks’ time the new Chief of Defence Staff presented a very clear perspective of Russia through a land prism.I fully agree and support his assessment, but clearly you will expect me to make a corresponding maritime focus today.If you look at Europe from the perspective of Moscow, you would see a peninsular, and you see vulnerable maritime flanks for yourself from which Europe can threaten you. And also vulnerable maritime flanks in Europe that you can exploit.Indeed, it can be no coincidence that the Russian four strategic zones that the CGS described of the West, the Arctic, the Black Sea and the Far East are pretty much delineated by the bodies of water they lie adjacent to.In operational terms, we’ve seen Russia exploit in Syria a valuable proving ground for weapons, tactics and procedures, giving their current and future commanders critical operational experience in that theatre. This has been prevalent in the way they have colonized the Eastern Mediterranean, the Black and Caspian Seas.Some might have regarded, for example, the Kuznetsov carrier group deployment a failure. Everyone remembers the photographs of smoke belching from the funnel. They remember jets being disembarked to Syria on arrival, and two of them being lost during carrier ops in the Med. But knowing what they do I’m pretty sure they will have learned some hard lessons from that. And they will have thought long and hard about the message of presence and posture that deployment brought. I sense they will be better next time; they learn rapidly.And their proving of their capability to fire the KALIBR cruise missile from ships in the Caspian Sea onto targets in Syria was a groundbreaking moment of how maritime operations can influence the land.When you then combine that with a 10-fold increase in activity in the North Atlantic, as the Secretary of State mentioned this morning, particularly in the sub-surface environment, the inescapable conclusion is that we are facing significantly emboldened Russian Naval activity, which is continually testing our resolve.Perhaps even more challenging is Russian methodology they employ hybrid, ambiguous, deliberate and giving the advantage of having the initiative.It means that whilst an assessment of their military capability is increasingly able to be made, an assessment of intent is (as always) far harder, and that only serves to heighten the risk of miscalculation.That’s why alongside so many of our key allies here today we’re protecting own back yard in the North Atlantic as a pivotal national task. Because Failure to do so will define our national security situation for decades to come.Ours will be a joined-up response with our allies. NATO, for so long the cornerstone of our national defence that is being bolstered in our ability to protect those areas, not least by the recently re-constituted US 2nd Fleet, right in the grain of that thinking.So be in no doubt, the RN has no intention of playing merely a stand by bit part, we will be at the vanguard of this work.By setting out our stall now, by clearly demonstrating our resolve to defend our interests and uphold the international rules based system, we will set the conditions for the future, and that’s a future that we can, if we are canny, hold right the way out to 2035. That’s why I’m concentrating on it now.As we consider this challenge within the context of our future operating environment, rarely has it been more important to do so.The growing importance of the high north over the coming decades, both for indigenous resource and for trade routes, presents new opportunity. But these opportunities also open up a new arena for competition. Without an established rules framework to define our approach to this new environment the potential for escalation there is all too real.The North Atlantic will not just going to be the limit of our future focus. Many of the threats we face in that Joint Operating Area are deepening, of course, but they are broadening too.Much of the activity that we are currently engaged in across the world’s oceans serve as an indicator of what we can expect in the future. migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe to escape instability in Africa will probably be with us for some time the presence of strategic choke points threatened by proxy wars in the Middle East; the Houthis in Yemen threatening the straights of Bab Al Mendeb are not going to go away the potential for state on state competition in South China Sea None of these are direct pointers to the future character of Naval conflict in their own right, but they’re pointing to contested and congested waters.What they do demonstrate is an emergent trend, all of them are manifestations of global competition and the potential for a breakdown of a rules based system.Non-state players are ever-more present in the maritime domain, and they are empowered through the freedom of weapons proliferation which is arming them. And the resultant surge of investment by nations around the world in their Navies to counter that is only going to serve to increase congestion on, and above the seas.Nowhere is the rapid expansion of Naval forces more evident than in China.Only last week, their first domestically built, 50,000-tonne carrier put to sea for trials, a powerful embodiment of their global ambition.In 5 years, it’s reasonable to expect that wherever we are operating, the Chinese will be there too. And in 10 years, we think the Chinese submarine fleet will outnumber that of the United States Navy.This creates an interesting bi-lateral dynamic for us as a nation, striking a balance between our relationship with China as a valued trade partner, particularly valuable in the wake of BREXIT, yet also evaluating our relationship as a potentially capable Naval power. Which may not pose direct threat to our activity but our influence on behalf of global Britain could well see them contest our ability to conduct Freedom of Navigation operations, a pivotal maritime component of the Rules Based International System.And if we consider this context, the backdrop that will define our operations in the decades to come, one thing to me is clear.The responsibility for our national deterrent vested in the Royal Navy, both nuclear and conventional, overlaid on top of our continuing mission to secure our sea lines of communication and our critical national infrastructure, will need to draw on credible military capability with sufficient versatility to face the full spectrum of threats we face, and sufficient strength to win in a peer-on-peer contest should that be required, almost certainly in conjunction with our allies and partners.And that response of course starts with the Queen Elizabeth Class Carriers, which will soon sit at the head of a globally deployable balanced fleet.A fleet that comprises a self-contained force capable of operating under and on water, in the air, from the sea to the land, and with partners and allies through space and cyberspace.A fleet that is going to carry the heart of our nation’s expeditionary strike capability – the F35B Lightning jets around which the carriers are designed. But also to carry our Royal Marines Commandos – the only land force capable of credible, high tempo, high readiness intervention from the sea in all environments and in arduous conditions.A fleet that will bring a world-beating suite of capabilities, sensors and weapons like the Radars in our Type 45 destroyers, the new Sea Ceptor Missiles in our Frigates that have just been declared in service today as you’ve heard.As I highlighted earlier, the platforms that we are building now will be pretty much ones we will be operating in 2035.So we have to future proof that fleet. Nothing short of the full digitisation of our service will be sufficient as we head towards a new era of machine-speed warfare.Our new ships, submarines and aircraft are all designed to be cutting edge from the outset, but we must continue to explore new and evolving technologies to keep them in that place throughout their time in service.Capabilities like unmanned mine countermeasure vessels and unmanned rotorcraft, open architecture command systems, high energy weapons systems. All of these will complement and enhance our ships’ warfighting capabilities in response to new and evolving threats.We have to have the capability to bring all of that in with the current fleet and innovation will certainly be the key to doing that. The Royal Navy has a strong pedigree in this area which I’m proud of but we constantly need to challenge ourselves to do more. It’s the focus of significant investment already, with dedicated tech accelerators in the fields of Cyber, Artificial Intelligence, Information Warfare and unmanned air, surface and underwater vehicles.But technology alone will not win the conflicts of the future. We need to be innovative in the ‘how we do things’, not just the ‘what with’ – I think Nelson understood that and we still take the tempo from him.So as much as the future fleet will be increasingly automated, so too it will continue to be reliant on the best people to do the things that only people can do.The values that have defined our service for centuries – we define them now as courage, commitment, loyalty, integrity, discipline and respect; “C2DRIL” as we drum into our sailors – they will be the watchwords of a new generation. Millennials who have grown up in the digital era, young men and women with that innate freedom of thought to innovate and adapt in this modern, high-tech world. We have to get our fair share of them to make that Navy a reality.And in this interconnected future, and we will continue to operate closely with allies. This demands the compromises of interoperability, both in our equipment and through a better understanding of each other.So we can continue to build and lead alliances through active engagement, as we are doing right now with NATO forces in the Eastern Med.So as I conclude, there is no question that in the decades to come the character of Naval warfare is going to continue to evolve, perhaps at a greater pace than we have ever seen before.But I would like to return to another of the themes of Freedman’s book as I close.As much as the pace of technological change may define the future character of conflict, as he recognised, so too is the future of warfare also shaped by many elements of continuity. Not everything will change and working out which is which will be key.In 2035 there is little doubt in my mind that the security and prosperity of this island nation will still rest upon our access to, and our freedom of manoeuvre on, the global commons that is the sea.So we must protect our vital sea lines of communication. We must protect our vital national offshore and underwater infrastructure. We must protect our natural maritime resources.And we must deter those who would threaten our interests and seek to compromise the rules which govern the global commons, which are of such vital consequence to our nation’s future.We’ve got to continue to build alliances, working with our partners to the common good that will enable our national influence to be exerted around the world on behalf of our ambition for global Britain.And in the decades to come, in keeping with half a millennium of tradition, I’m convinced that’s exactly what the Royal Navy intends to do.last_img read more