Wednesday 29 May, 2024
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UK to increase defence spending to 2.5% GDP amid rising global instability

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that the UK will increase defence spending to 2.5% by 2030 in response to what he called a steadily deteriorating international environment.

During a visit to Poland, Mr Sunak announced a plan to gradually increase defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by the end of the decade. This will result in a total of £87 billion per year in 2030. Mr Sunak has also declared the “biggest strengthening of our national defence in a generation” to face the challenges of an increasingly dangerous world.

To ensure that the UK remains the second largest defence spender in NATO after the US, an additional £75 billion will be allocated to defence over six years. The extra funding will be used to put the UK’s defence industry on a war footing, provide state-of-the-art technology, and support Ukraine in its confrontation with Russia.

Mr Sunak said: “In a world that is the most dangerous it has been since the end of the Cold War, we cannot be complacent. As our adversaries align, we must do more to defend our country, our interests, and our values.”

“That is why today I have announced the biggest strengthening of our national defence for a generation. We will increase defence spending to a new baseline of 2.5% of GDP by 2030 – a plan that delivers an additional £75 billion for defence by the end of the decade and secures our place as by far the largest defence power in Europe.”

“Today is a turning point for European security and a landmark moment in the defence of the United Kingdom. It is a generational investment in British security and British prosperity, which makes us safer at home and stronger abroad.”

The UK Government has today published a 20-page document titled “Defending Britain: leading in a more dangerous world” in which it outlines immediate areas of focus such as firing up the UK defence industrial base, including a new munitions strategy; accelerating investment in new technology for defence; and guaranteeing support to Ukraine for the long-term.

It also mentions the Integrated Procurement Model which was announced in February and aims to deliver critical military capabilities to the UK Armed Forces faster and more efficiently helping avoid previous challenges where programmes have been over-complex, over-budget and over time.

In support of this, a newly created Defence Innovation Agency will manage increased investment in research and development with the aim of bringing together the previously fragmented defence innovation landscape into a single responsible organisation.

This includes research and development in new weapons systems such as Directed Energy Weapons or Hypersonic Missiles, as well as space capabilities and other emerging technologies.

Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie
Neil Ritchie is the founder and editor of Neil is also the editor of other online publications covering military history, defence and security. He can be found on Twitter: @NeilRitchie86.

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