UK to buy Iron Dome command & control system for the Falklands

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The United Kingdom is to spend £78 million (€ 81,9 million) to purchase a missile defence shield based on Israel’s Iron Dome to protect the Falkland Islands, British media reported Wednesday. According to a report in the Daily Mail, the UK will install a Sky Sabre system, which employs the command and control system used by Iron Dome missile defense system. The command and control is system is produced by Mprest for Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

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Date: Nov 23, 2017, 04:48 PM

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LONDON —The United Kingdom is to spend £78 million (€ 81,9 million) to purchase a missile defence shield based on Israel’s Iron Dome to protect the Falkland Islands, British media reported Wednesday.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the UK will install a Sky Sabre system, which employs the command and control system used by Iron Dome missile defense system. The command and control is system is produced by Mprest for Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
An UK Ministry of Defense spokesperson said: ‘Following an open competition, we selected Rafael for a £78m contract to provide the main computer system which will link our state-of-the-art radars and new Land Ceptor launchers together to boost our defence of the Falkland Islands.”
Natan Barak, chief executive of Mprest, told the Daily Mail that the system “can protect any area worldwide”.
“You have to identify, as fast as you can, which object is in the air, whether it is Great Britain’s or something else, and see if it is a threat,” Barak said. ‘It also has to be capable of integrating with launchers and missiles. Our system is capable of doing this very fast. We are going to be part of the NATO network and we are going to integrate our system with Britain’s command and control system. They will be able to operate and activate our system to fire on threats.”

 

Source: http://www.ejpress.org/article/UK-to-buy-Iron-Dome-command-control-system-for-the-Falklands/23696

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Weather-beaten Falklands memorials restored in time for season of remembrance

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19/10/2017
Sailors in the Falklands have been restoring memorials to the 1982 conflict in time for veterans returning for the 35th anniversary remembrance period.
It’s the duty of Royal Navy personnel permanently based in the South Atlantic – the Naval Engineering Falkland Islands (NEFI) detachment who maintain ships based or operating from the British territory, and the crew of guardship HMS Clyde – to ensure the widely-scattered monuments and memorials to the 255 Servicemen killed in the six-week war are in pristine condition for the November ceremonies.
The NEFI engineers are responsible for maintaining the monuments to HMS Fearless’ sunken landing craft F4 at Bertha’s Beach, destroyer HMS Sheffield on Sealion Island and frigate HMS Alacrity at Port Howard; she survived nearly a dozen air attacks.
Clyde’s sailors look after the memorials to frigates Ardent and Antelope, both lost during the San Carlos landings, 3 Commando Brigade Air Squadron at Port San Carlos, and the SAS and HMS Coventry memorials on remote Pebble Island.
“The weather in the Falklands is the main cause of damage and deterioration – the memorials suffer punishment from extreme winds and freezing temperatures, particularly during the winter months,” explained WO1 Ian Gorman, in charge of NEFI.
HMS Clyde

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Weather-beaten Falklands memorials restored in time for season of remembrance

Despite the memorials’ remote locations, it is not unusual to have an audience – the local wildlife populace often takes a keen interest
Lieutenant Matt Ivory, HMS Clyde’s marine engineer officer
“The harsh weather also makes any renovation work challenging, as even the simplest task such as sanding or painting can suddenly become very difficult in 50mph winds or in temperatures below zero,” continued Ian.
“And just getting to the memorial sites can be logistically challenging, with many only accessible by helicopter or a combination of ship, sea boat and a long yomp.”
The remoteness of many monuments also makes it impossible to remove sections and carry out a thorough restoration process in the engineering workshops.
Instead, most of the repair and conservation work has to be done on the spot, with the limited tools and materials that have to be carried by the sailors.
“Despite the memorials’ remote locations, it is not unusual to have an audience – the local wildlife populace often takes a keen interest,” said Lt Matt Ivory, Clyde’s marine engineer officer.
“They keep a watchful eye on the standard of work and seize any opportunity to steal any unattended tools or lunches – especially the mischievous local bird of prey, the caracara.”
In addition to honouring the memory of those sailors lost during the conflict, today’s naval guardians of the Falklands are also extremely conscious of the importance of maintaining strong links with survivors from the ships which never made it home.
NEFI’s shipwright CPOET(ME) Phillip Hughes has kept various veterans ‘groups, such as the Type 21 Association, updated on the work carried out and offered to lay wreaths on behalf of the former frigate crews.
In addition HMS Clyde is hosting survivors from HMS Coventry this month for a service of remembrance over the site where she was lost.

 

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Argentine teenagers travel to Falklands in high school graduation trip

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Saturday, October 14th 2017 – 08:10 UTC

 

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The Ensenada group of students who are scheduled to arrive in the Falklands this Saturday.


Eighteen Argentine high school graduates from a Catholic institution in the port-town of Ensenada, next to La Plata should be arriving in the Falkland Islands this Saturday after connecting with the LATAM flight in Rio Gallegos. The trip was planned and agreed two years ago and since then they have been collecting funds with different activities to make possible a lifetime’s dream.
According to local media reports the group is chaperoned by three teachers, the sister of a soldier from Ensenada fallen during the 1982 conflict, plus three Malvinas Veterans from La Plata’s grouping, Antonio Reda, Eduardo González and Claudio Guzmán.
The graduates will try to capture the significance in situ of the conflict and its consequences, which happened when none of them was born.
“For us it is not a graduates’ end of the year visit, it’s an institutional trip which belongs to an institutional project. It was born out of the necessity for the new generations to be protagonists” explained Karina Seibane who is the pastoral coordinator of the week long trip.
Apparently among the many tours and activities, the students will honor the only three Islanders, civilians, killed during the conflict during a British bombardment in Stanley, They are carrying a rose from silversmith Pallarods, made out of cartridge cases, for the ceremony.
The teenagers will keep their community and friends informed of their visit and experiences in Facebook, “De Ensenada a Malvinas”, where they have also been reporting about their efforts to collect the trip’s funding and expectations.
“I’m very excited and want to know more about history”, said Mateo Quaresimale, who added “hopefully we will understand, but also I’m sure I’ll come back far more mature”. His mother who went to see him off admitted that when the project was presented originally, “it was really something very strong”, but “we supported them all along”.
“I think it’s going to be difficult at first because here we are accustomed to say that the Islands are Argentine, but when we arrive we’ll be seeing a different flag” Lautaro Reyes was quoted. “But we are not on a hate program, it would be great if we could meet boys and girls of our age, to find out how they feel about something that is so important for us”. He hopes they can establish some sort of friendship with the Islanders.
Argentine high school graduates normally celebrate with an end of year trip, obviously depending on parents’ pockets. Those who can afford it like to experience Disneyworld, Mexico or even somewhere in Europe, but for the majority it is to Bariloche, the mountain resort in Patagonia. And now it seems they have added the Falklands to the options.

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Falklands’ Swearing in Ceremony for Governor Phillips on 12 September

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Saturday, September 2nd 2017 – 19:16 UTC

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Designate governor Nigel Phillips served in the RAF from 1984 until 2000, and has since then worked in a number of defense attaché roles in British Embassies.
The Falkland Islands elected government, Gilbert House, has announced that the Swearing in Ceremony for the Governor Designate, Mr. Nigel Phillips CBE will take place in the Court and Assembly Chamber, Stanley, on Tuesday 12th September 2017 commencing at 09:00 hrs.
The ceremony will be followed by a parade at Victory Green. A Guard of Honor consisting of a tri-service detachment of Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force and a detachment from the FIDF will form up at 09:50 hrs.
At 10.00 hrs the Governor will arrive and the inspection, parade and 17 gun-salute will commence. The Parade will end by 10:30 hrs.
Members of the public are cordially invited to observe the Parade.
Mr. Nigel Phillips CBE succeeds Mr. Colin Roberts CVO who left the Falklands in July to another Diplomatic Service appointment. The designate governor served in the RAF from 1984 until 2000, and has since then worked in a number of defense attaché roles in British Embassies.
Since 2016 Phillips has been at the UK Permanent Representation to the European Union, in Brussels, Deputy Military Representative. Between 2014 and 2016 he was head, Russian Strategic Studies/Wider Europe Policy and 2013/14 Member of Royal College of Defense Studies.

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Chancellor Philip Hammond DOESN’T mention the future of the Falklands on trip to Argentina

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Chancellor Philip Hammond DOESN’T mention the future of the Falkland Islands on trade trip to Argentina (though he does remind his hosts that Britain gave them football)

  • Philip Hammond became the first cabinet minister to visit Argentina in 16 years
  • His historic meeting with President Mauricio Macri was primarily about trade
  • He had been urged to stand up for Falkland residents but islands not mentioned
  • But he did stress evidence of previous trade with Britain, including football

Chancellor Philip Hammond did not raise the thorny issue of the Falkland Islands during his visit to Argentina.

Mr Hammond became the first British Cabinet minister to visit the South American country in 16 years this week.

The Chancellor met with President Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires for trade talks during the historic visit.

He had been urged to stand up for the people of the Falkland Islands during the visit, but the issue was not raised by either side during the meeting, local sources said.

The Chancellor (right) met with President Mauricio Macri (left) in Buenos Aires for trade talks during the historic visit. But the matter of the future of the Falkand Islands did not come up 

The Chancellor (right) met with President Mauricio Macri (left) in Buenos Aires for trade talks during the historic visit. But the matter of the future of the Falkand Islands did not come up.
Pictured: Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Faurie (right) shakes hands with Chancellor Philip Hammond in Buenos Aires 

Pictured: Argentine Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Faurie (right) shakes hands with Chancellor Philip Hammond in Buenos Aires 
Mr Hammond had been urged to stand up for the people of the Falkland Islands during the visit, but the issue was not raised by either side during the meeting, local sources said. Pictured: The Chancellor with Foreign Affairs Minister Faurie

Mr Hammond had been urged to stand up for the people of the Falkland Islands during the visit, but the issue was not raised by either side during the meeting, local sources said. Pictured: The Chancellor with Foreign Affairs Minister Faurie

Relations between Britain and Argentina have historically been dominated by the issue of the Falklands, which has been a British overseas territory since 1833.

Argentina continues to claim sovereignty over the islands.

The visit, part of a four-day trip to South America, was designed to revive trade links that never recovered after the 1982 Falklands War.

The Chancellor led a trade delegation including representatives from the London Stock Exchange, Crossrail International and the Bank of England.

No British Cabinet minister has visited Argentina since 2001, when Tony Blair made a symbolic stopover at the Iguazu Falls on the border with Brazil.

The visit, part of a four-day trip to South America, was designed to revive trade links that never recovered after the 1982 Falklands War. Pictured: The Chancellor with Foreign Affairs Minister Faurie

The visit, part of a four-day trip to South America, was designed to revive trade links that never recovered after the 1982 Falklands War. Pictured: The Chancellor with Foreign Affairs Minister Faurie
In a 2013 referendum Falklanders voted overwhelmingly to remain a British overseas territory. Pictured: The Chancellor with Foreign Affairs Minister Faurie

In a 2013 referendum Falklanders voted overwhelmingly to remain a British overseas territory. Pictured: The Chancellor with Foreign Affairs Minister Faurie
Mr Hammond did, however, stress how strong relations between the two countries once were - and included the transmission of football to Argentina. Pictured: President Macri and Chancellor Hammond

Mr Hammond did, however, stress how strong relations between the two countries once were – and included the transmission of football to Argentina. Pictured: President Macri and Chancellor Hammond

Relations have thawed following the election of President Macri, who has adopted a less confrontational stance over the Falklands.

The Falkland Islands are internally self-governing, but Britain is responsible for their defence and foreign affairs and came to their aid during an invasion by Argentina in 1982.

In a 2013 referendum Falklanders voted overwhelmingly to remain a British overseas territory.

In a speech clearly designed to placate his Argentine hosts, Mr Hammond said: ‘We can recapture the spirit of the age when the UK was Argentina’s primary trading partner.

‘The evidence of that time is still all around us: in your schools, in your railways, in your universities, in your football teams. There, I said it.’

How Britain brought the beautiful game to Argentina in the 1800s

The beautiful game was brought to Argentina by British immigrants at the end of the 19th century.

The first league in the country was inaugurated in 1891, which makes it the fifth-oldest league among FIFA members in the world – after England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands.

There was a well-established British community in Argentina by the 1860s, with many coming to work on the railways – owned by Britain – that were operated in the South American country.

As the British had a habit of doing everywhere else in the world, they brought their sports with them.

Though cricket does not seem to have appealed to the Argentine heart, many pastimes did – including rugby, horse riding, tennis and, of course, football.

In 1867 Thomas and James Hogg established the Buenos Aires Football Club, which was allowed to play on the cricket field used by the Buenos Aires Cricket Club.

In the 1880s, a Glaswegian schoolteacher named Alexander Watson Hutton began teaching football at St Andrew’s School in Buenos Aires.

Known as the father of Argentine football, in 1884 he founded the Buenos Aires English High School and persisted in teaching the ways of the kicking game.

Later, in 1891, the Association Argentine Football League was established by Alex Lamont – and it was only a matter of time before other arrivals in the country, particularly the Italians, became hooked.

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Huge iceberg breaks free from the Antarctica Larsen C ice shelf

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Thursday, July 13th 2017 – 08:53 UTC

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Larsen C is about 1100 feet thick and rests at the edge of West Antarctica, blocking the glaciers that feed into it.

All of the region’s ice shelves, including Larsens A, B, and C, impede the movement of Antarctic glaciers, which, if they float into the ocean, can hasten sea-level rise.

The Larsen A ice shelf collapsed in 1995 and the Larsen B shelf suddenly crumbled in 2002 after a similar rift developed.
An iceberg the size of Delaware has broken free from an Antarctic ice shelf, leaving the rest of the shelf vulnerable to collapse and serving as a harbinger of future sea-level rise that could pose a serious threat to coastal communities such as the Falkland Islands.
The break in the Larsen C ice shelf , the most northern major ice shelf in the region occurred Wednesday, according to Project MIDAS, a UK-based monitoring group.
Ice shelves are the thick, floating ice at the edge of the continent, and they serve as buttresses, keeping onshore glaciers from sliding into the sea. Researchers have been monitoring the rift in the Larsen C shelf for years and became alarmed in December when the breach widened dramatically. At one point this spring, the rift grew by 11 miles in less than a week, leaving only eight miles left and raising fears that a complete break was imminent. More than six months later — in the middle of the Antarctic winter — the break has occurred.
“The situation with the Larsen [C] ice shelf is a combination of fascinating and troubling, a tangible piece of a larger slow-motion disaster unfolding in front of our eyes,” said Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University. “We are seeing a microcosm of the future… a future that may already be inevitable and, if not, will likely be so if we transgress the 2º C warming target.”
Larsen C is about 1100 feet thick and rests at the edge of West Antarctica, blocking the glaciers that feed into it. All of the region’s ice shelves, including Larsens A, B, and C, impede the movement of Antarctic glaciers, which, if they float into the ocean, can hasten sea-level rise.
The Larsen A ice shelf collapsed in 1995 and the Larsen B shelf suddenly crumbled in 2002 after a similar rift developed.
“One of the processes causing the disintegration of the Larsen… is also implicated in the rapid changes in the Amundsen Sea area of West Antarctica — Thwaites glacier, Pine Island glacier,’’ said Oppenheimer, a long-time participant in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. When land-based ice goes into the ocean, it causes sea-level rise.
“There is a relatively small amount of ice behind the Larsen, so even if it all disintegrated, the contribution to sea-level rise would be modest, a few inches,’’ he said. Still, even a few inches of sea-level rise is meaningful, especially when combined with storm surge in low-lying areas.
And what is happening with Larsen C is not an isolated problem. Cracks in other Antarctic ice shelves also have developed.
“There is several meters worth of ice behind the other ice shelves and more behind vulnerable ice shelves in East Antarctica. So what we are seeing is a vivid demonstration of what warm water and warm air can do to an ice shelf and the land-based ice sheet that the shelf has been restraining,” Oppenheimer said.
With the break, Larsen C lost more than 10% of its area, leaving the ice front at the most retreated position on record, according to Project Midas.

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Change of Governor of the Falkland Islands

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Friday, June 30th 2017 – 16:49 UTC

 

Mr Nigel Phillips CBE new Governor Falkland Islands and Her Majesty’s Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
Mr Nigel Phillips CBE has been appointed Governor of the in succession to Mr Colin Roberts CVO who will be transferring to another Diplomatic Service appointment. Mr Phillips will take up his appointment in September 2017.

As announced by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office today, Mr Phillips will succeed Mr Colin Roberts CVO in the position of Governor of the Falkland Islands. Mr Phillips served in the RAF from 1984 until 2000, and has since then worked in a number of defence attaché roles in British Embassies.

Chair of the Legislative Assembly, Gavin Short MLA, said “On behalf of the Members of the Legislative Assembly and the people of the Falkland Islands, I welcome the appointment of Nigel Philips as the next Governor of the Falklands. He will join us at a juncture in our country’s history when having good communications with both the British Government and FCO will be extremely important. I look forward to his arrival and to working with him.”
Curriculum Vitae
2016 – present Ministry of Defence (MOD), UK Permanent Representation to the European Union, Brussels, Deputy Military Representative
2014 – 2016 MOD, Head, Russian Strategic Studies/Wider Europe Policy
2013 – 2014 Member of Royal College of Defence Studies
2012 – 2013 Language training (Russian), Defence Academy
2010 – 2012 Warsaw, British Embassy, Defence Attaché
2007 – 2009 Defence College Communications Information Systems, Deputy Commandant and Garrison Commander
2003 – 2007 Stockholm, British Embassy, Defence Attaché
2001 – 2003 Defence Communications Services Agency, Senior Staff Officer Communication Operations Planning
2000 – 2001 Defence Academy, Advanced Command and Staff Course, Student
1984 – 2000 Member of the Royal Air Force (RAF), various appointments
Mr. Phillips is married with  Emma Phillips  and they have one daughter

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