Gavin Williamson addressed employees and military personnel at the Rolls-Royce aerospace factory last week on 12 March 2018.
His speech focused mainly on the Modernising Defence Programme, an initiative that will provide the UK with “a more productive, more lethal, harder-hitting Joint Force”.
Learn more about the ‘Modernising Defence Programme’ and how it could influence future defence budgets below.
What is the Modernising Defence Programme?
Gavin Williamson has said that he wants a Britain that is “fit for the future” and during his speech last week, he outlined how he would do this with the Modernising Defence Programme.
He plans to deliver the “hard power to complement Britain’s soft power” as the new programme will tackle both conventional threats and modern challenges like cyber-attacks.
The Defence Secretary is confident that the plan will give British defence the “edge” when in combat, as innovative technology will be introduced when the plan comes into place.
- The creation of a “Joint Force” means that our defence strategy will be stronger and more efficient.
- The Government plans to invest in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.
- Further investment into “drones as well as stealth fighters and state-of-the-art anti-submarine ships”
Prioritising Military Investment
Gavin Williamson wants to take the UK to the “next level”, prioritising military investment.
Shortly after the Modernising Defence Programme was revealed, it was announced that Britain will spend £48 million on cutting-edge chemical analysis after the suspected nerve agent attack in Salisbury.
Numerous sources have speculated that thousands of British troops will be vaccinated against anthrax due to growing chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats from a range of countries, not just Russia.
The MOD will also invest in equipment designed for “hoovering up information from beneath the waves, from space, from across the increasingly important electromagnetic spectrum, finding out what our enemies are doing in high definition and providing artificial intelligence.”
Gavin Williamsonhas urged Russia to “go away and shut up” when asked how the Kremlin should respond to the expulsion of 23 of its spies. The defence secretary’s outburst came in a question and answer session after a speech in Bristol.
More Investment Needed
Prince Harry has also spoken out about the need for an increase in defence budgets.
Last week, as he returned to the Army centre where he learnt to fly Apache helicopters, he expressed his approval of the new initiative. However, he was critical that in “certain areas budgets are being shrunk”. He said that:
“The Modernising Defence Programme instigated by Gavin Williamson will have to come up with more funding for defence.”
The Prince’s comments have been praised by the former head of the Royal Navy, who also agrees that more money is required to move forward with plans to modernise Britain’s military.
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To cover all bases ahead of future attacks, a funding boost may be required. This will ensure the success of the Modernising Defence Programme and protect British troops and the public from foreign threats.
Military investment could lead to an increase in demand for the equipment, technology and innovation that will prepare the country for any future attacks.
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