The UK Government has set up a fully-funded Defense Equipment Plan, allocating £160 billion to equip the Army, Royal Navy and Air Force over the next decade, the MoD published earlier today.
The publication follows the Defense Secretary’s announcement of a balanced defense budget for the first time last year, and indications that the defense ministry will take a new approach to financial planning.
The equipment plan, details some major investments in military capabilities and includes a £35.8 billion allocation for submarines, including seven Astute Class attack vessels and the Vanguard Class ballistic missile submarine replacement, and £17.4 billion on ships, including Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers, six new Type 45 destroyers and the Type 26 Global Combat Ship development.
An amount of £18.5 billion will be used for air combat including Lightning II, Typhoon fast jets and UAV’s and £13.9 billion for air-to-air refuelling, passenger and heavy lift, such as Voyager and A400M.
Armoured fighting vehicles such as the Warrior, Scout and other land equipment get a £12.3 billion budgetary allocation and £12.1 billion is for the Chinook, Apache, Puma and Wildcat helicopters. Missiles, torpedoes and precision guided bombs are the weapons systems that have been allocated a £11.4 billion budget.
The £160 billion equipment and support budget also includes a £4.8 billion contingency allocation to manage varying costs, and protect existing projects. An additional £8 billion which is currently unallocated will be used as new equipment priorities, to be decided by the AFC, and only after the MoD confirms that they are affordable and deliverable.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, said, “The £160 billion sustainable equipment plan will ensure the UK’s Forces remain the world’s best equipped, and will increase the military’s confidence in their fully funded equipment.
“Successful operations rely heavily on proper equipment programs based on sustained future funding and this has now been made possible through the AF Committee, showing that Future Force 2020 is affordable and achievable”, stated General Sir David Richards, UK’s Chief of Defense.