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  SoldierMod Volume 14 - December 2014
Volume 14 Articles

Country flagUK Announces Additional Defence Spending and New Contract

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Scout. Photo: © Courtesy General Dynamics UK.
Scout. Photo: © Courtesy General Dynamics UK.

In a 14 July Press Release, UK Prime Minister, David Cameron announced a plan to create a joint long-term plan between the MoD and industry to secure a thriving defence sector. While maintaining austerity under budget constraints the announced £1.1 billion investment includes an extra £800 million for an Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance package designed to “extend the range and flexibility of our options, including that of our Special Forces capabilities in responding to the threat of global terrorism and hostage taking, and an investment of £300 million in existing capabilities including a new E-Scan radar for Typhoon and the purchase of Ice Patrol Ship HMS Protector.”

The announcement was made at the Farnborough International Airshow, where the PM also outlined other details of the Defence Growth Partnership of industry and government which included:

  • Establishing a UK Defence Solutions Centre in Farnborough to bring together industry, with support from government, to develop the new defence technologies of the future, identify future market opportunities and work together to ensure they have the products and solutions that will be in demand. The global defence market is estimated to be worth around £82 billion a year to 2022
  • Launching a £4 million UK Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems based in Portsmouth. Government, industry and the Local Enterprise Partnership will bring together academics, scientists, engineers and naval specialists to develop cutting-edge technology for use in autonomous unmanned boats, submarines or other vessels
  • Building skills for the future through a new Defence Apprenticeship Trailblazer to attract new graduates to the industry as well as up-skilling the existing workforce. This Trailblazer will develop a new Masters level standard in Advanced Systems Engineering, a critical skill to deliver competitive advantage.

Said Cameron, “Having modern, technologically advanced and flexible armed forces to protect us and our interests is vital. Because of the difficult decisions we have taken to tackle the deficit we are able to make these vital investments in our defence capabilities. We are also taking action to sustain our thriving defence industry, as part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure a brighter future for hardworking people.”

Cavalry Upgrade

In September, the MoD announced it had awarded a £3.5bn contract to General Dynamics UK for the delivery of Scout Specialist Vehicle (SV) platforms to the national army. Under the contract, the company will supply a total of 589 vehicles in six variants to provide essential capability to the Armoured Cavalry within Army 2020.

The Scout SV will replace the British Army’s Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) family of vehicles, which have been in service since the 1970s. In a statement to the press, UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “This is the biggest single order placed by the MoD for armoured vehicles for around 30 years and is an important part of the investment we are making to keep Britain safe.”

UK General Staff Chief and Army head Sir Peter Wall said, [The Scout] provides advanced intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities, and will be the “eyes and ears” of commanders on the battlefields of the future. With digital links to all of our other systems it will be able to fulfil a wide range of combat roles.”

According to the MoD the vehicles are expected to be delivered to the British Army between 2017 and 2024.

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