The Times reports that George Osborne will announce an investment of £100 million in a Royal Navy base at Portsmouth today before a decision is made on a new generation of warships. Mr Osborne is expected to outline a new “national shipbuilding strategy” during a visit to Portsmouth.
Elsewhere, the Portsmouth News reports that the Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has announced the 3 companies shortlisted to move into the Portsmouth ship halls. Mr Fallon said: “The short-listing of 3 companies is a significant step forward in getting the ship halls back to work. It offers the opportunity to open up the shipyard to more firms providing high skilled jobs. This is an exciting time of regeneration for Portsmouth Naval Base, with the Ministry of Defence investing £98 million over the past year. This will help ensure that Portsmouth retains its maritime engineering expertise and traditions.”
There is widespread reporting this morning on the news that the Russian ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Office after Russian military aircraft flew so close to UK airspace that they forced civilian flights to be diverted. Coverage discusses the RAF’s response on Wednesday which saw Typhoon jets scrambled to intercept a pair of Tupolev 95 “Bear” planes.
We can confirm that Russian planes were escorted by the RAF until they were out of the UK area of interest and that they at no time came into UK sovereign airspace is widely carried.