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Government confirms multi-year £16.5bn increase in Defence spending

The Prime Minister has announced a significant four year investment in Defence, focusing on AI, Cyber and Space capabilities

Ahead of the conclusion of the government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy (Integrated Review), the Prime Minister has announced the largest uplift in Defence spending since the end of the Cold War. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) will receive an extra £4bn a year over the next four years, representing an increase of around 10% on the MOD’s annual budget of £40bn.

Combined with the government’s manifesto commitment of a 0.5% uplift in Defence spending, the total increase for the MOD is around £24.1bn and equates to 2.2% of the UK’s GDP.

As part of his statement to the House of Commons, the Prime Minister announced that this new investment will include:

  • An investment of £24.1bn over the next 4 years from the Government in Defence and Security, representing an uplift of £16.5bn and equating to 2.2% of GDP
  • A new Space Command led by the RAF, to be established next year with the intent of launching UK satellites and rockets by 2022
  • The creation of a new joint GCHQ and MOD National Cyber Force to transform the UK’s cyber capabilities
  • A new agency dedicated to the development of Artificial Intelligence
  • Conformation that the Royal Navy will order 8 new Type 26 and 5 Type 31e Frigates
  • Conformation of the building of Fleet Support Ships, the next generation of Type 32 warships, and research vessels to be built in Britain
  • £1.5bn investment in Defence research & development (R&D), with a commitment to invest further in the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme
  • A new fighter system for the RAF, which exploits artificial intelligence and drone technologies
  • An estimate that up to 10,000 new jobs a year will be created, supporting the estimated 400,000 existing skilled jobs within the UK defence sector

Commenting on the announcement, techUK’s Head of Defence Programme Fred Sugden said:

“techUK welcomes the substantial commitment made by the government to invest in new technologies to transform and modernise the UK’s military capabilities. Ahead of the conclusion of the Integrated Review, it is encouraging to see the government prioritise new investment in key areas such as AI, Cyber and Space, all of which are fundamental to safeguard the UK’s national security. techUK’s members are world-leaders in the development of next generation and generation-after-next technologies, and we look forward to working closely with the MOD as it works to secure and extend the UK’s technological advantage into the future”

Further details on the announcement can be found in the Government press release here.

If you have any questions or comments please contact techUK’s Head of Defence Programme Fred Sugden at fred.sugden@techuk.org  

Channel website: http://www.techuk.org/

Original article link: https://www.techuk.org/insights/news/item/18856-government-confirms-multi-year-16-5bn-increase-in-defence-spending

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