THE Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the biggest investment in the UK’s Armed Forces since the end of the Cold War, confirming an injection of £16.5 billion over four years.
Combined with the manifesto commitment of a 0.5% uplift, the total increase for Defence is a substantial £24.1 billion.
The announcement funds a generational modernisation of the Armed Forces so they can defend the UK against future threats, while cementing Britain’s role as a leader in NATO and stimulating thousands of highly skilled jobs across the UK.
A radical program of innovation and modernisation will create up to British 10,000 jobs a year, and support thousands more livelihoods as the nation builds back better from the Coronavirus pandemic.
The investment will underpin the revitalisation of shipbuilding, funding a significant expansion of Royal Navy vessels to create the biggest surface fleet of modern warships in Europe.
An additional £1.5 billion will be poured into military research – including for the Future Combat Air System – allowing the Armed Forces to tackle the threats of tomorrow and to make sure the UK can stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies across the globe.
For the Armed Forces, the funding will go towards improving their day to day lives – whether through wrap-around childcare offer or improved living conditions, the aim is for their health and wellbeing to be protected.
Southport MP Damien Moore said: “I am delighted the Government has made this commitment to our armed forces and our national defences at such a critical time.
“This investment will create 10,000 jobs per year in the defence and related sectors, with record investment in research and development. With this increase, the UK will become a world leader in cyber and space defence. Crucially too, the spending will revitalise the Royal Navy with a focus on shipbuilding.
“This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our Armed Forces, bolster our global influence, unite and level up our country, pioneer new technology and defend our people and way of life.
“It is also good news for many of my constituents in Southport who work at BAE systems bases across the North West, which plays a key role in supporting the prosperity of our nation through highly skilled jobs and cutting-edge technology.”
Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, added: “This multi-year settlement is very welcome for the Armed Forces. It funds a pathway to modernisation and the digital force we need for the 2030s, integrated across the domains of maritime, air, land, cyber and space.
“It allows us to adapt in the near-term to deter the range of complex threats we face. It secures the defence of our country, gives meaning to the vision of Global Britain, and sends a powerful message to our allies and opponents.
“Thanks to the cash injection, other technologies including autonomous vehicles, swarm drones, and cutting-edge battlefield awareness systems will be developed for military use.
“These developments will be underpinned by a strong R&D pipeline, which will contribute to the already over 400,000 skilled jobs supported by Defence.”