News story: Defence Secretary praises RAF role in Fallujah liberation

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  1. Speaking at the Royal United Service Institute’s (RUSI) annual airpower conference in London, Mr Fallon said the RAF had not operated at such a sustained operational tempo in a single conflict for a quarter of a century.

    Last week, the RAF used precision munitions to strike over 120 targets in the city, including bunkers, tunnels, weapons factories, sniper teams and artillery.

    RAF pilots have now flown more than 2800 missions in Iraq and Syria, striking 865 times in Iraq and over 50 times in Syria.

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:


    The RAF has not operated at this sustained operational tempo in a single theatre of conflict for a quarter of a century.

    Our tempo and commitment to the operation – our precision targeting, our Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and our overall support to the coalition – shows no sign of abating.

    Our aircraft played a key role in the liberation of Fallujah. I pay tribute to the outstanding work of all RAF personnel involved.

    Last week also saw the first use of the Storm Shadow missile in Iraq. Speaking at the conference, Mr Fallon announced a £28 million contract to maintain the missile. Storm Shadow is currently being integrated onto RAF Typhoons and is already in service with Tornado aircraft.

    Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:


    Today I can announce a contract worth approximately £28 million to maintain our state of the art Storm Shadow missile for the next year five years.

    This long range precision cruise missile is able to target everything from buildings and missile sites to bunkers.

    Last week it was deployed for the first time in the current conflict, destroying a bunker containing a Daesh ammunition dump.

    Storm Shadow is already a combat-proven missile system, deployed in previous campaigns in Iraq and Libya and operated by some of our close NATO allies. This new contract will ensure the RAF can continue to deploy the missile in the fight against Daesh, giving them vital deep-strike capability and allowing them to hit ground targets at long range.

    The MOD has committed £95 million to support Storm Shadow since it was brought into service in 2003. This latest support contract with MBDA will sustain 15 jobs in the company’s Bristol and Stevenage facilities, in a variety of roles including software and systems engineering.

    The full speech by the Defence Secretary can be read [here] (https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/defence-secretary-speech-to-rusi-airpower-conference)

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