United Kingdom Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said that April first marks the beginning of a new financial year, but above all a remarkable turnaround: “a major milestone for Defense with our budget increasing for the first time in six years in real terms”.
Since 2010 we’ve not only put our finances back on track, but we’ve committed to NATO’s target to spend 2% of GDP on defense for the rest of the decade and to increase the defense budget every year by 0.5 per cent above inflation until 2021. This year we'll have £35bn to spend and by 2020/21 that will grow by almost £5bn to £39.7bn pointed out Fallon.
The Defense Secretary then enumerated the plan of action to make Britain safer in a more dangerous complicated global scenario.
First, we’re kitting out an expeditionary force of 50,000, buying F35s more quickly, new armored vehicles, two new aircraft carriers – the most powerful ever and built in Britain – as well better equipment for Special Forces and more on cyber.
Secondly, we're investing in the British brains behind our kit. We lead the way in avionics, systems and sensors. Soon we’ll be launching an £800M innovation initiative to keep ahead of the curve. It means taking a new approach to risk, testing out new ideas and tapping into talent. It’s a new era of opportunity for industry.
Thirdly, we’re strengthening our international partnerships. In the face of global danger we must stand together. We’re already playing a key role in the fight against Daesh flying day and night, providing critical intelligence and training local forces. This month we‘ll take charge of a joint maritime force in the Gulf to tackle terrorism and piracy.
Over the next decade, we’re investing £500M in expanding our global footprint and last week I announced new Defense Attaché posts and associated Defense Sections in Finland, Senegal and Albania.
Finally, the increasing budget sends the clearest of signals to allies and adversaries that this government puts security first.