LONDON, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced an $18.2 billion increase in defense spending, focusing on military equipment procurement.
The budget totals at approximately $269 billion, including the uplift in equipment spending, nine new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft and two new strike brigades by 2025. The 5,000-strong strike brigades will be tasked with rapid deployment missions.
The government announcement follows Cameron’s meeting with French President Francois Hollande, which focused on security cooperation and intelligence sharing in light of the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris, which killed 130.
The Islamic State — also identified as Daesh, ISIS and ISIL — has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“This is vital at a time when the threats to our country are growing,” Cameron said of the plan. “From the rise of ISIL and greater instability in the Middle East, to the crisis in Ukraine, the threat of cyber attacks and the risk of pandemics, the world is more dangerous and uncertain today than five years ago.”
Procurement plans include nine new Boeing-made P8 maritime patrol aircraft, designed for surveillance, and anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare. The British Defense Ministry says the aircraft will boost protection of new aircraft carriers and the country’s nuclear deterrent, a role officials add requires aircraft capable of carrying torpedoes and advanced sensors.
Cameron’s plan would also extend the life of Typhoon multi-role fighter jets for an additional 10 years through 2040, allowing the creation of two additional squadrons. This will bring the number of frontline squadrons to seven.
“At [the strategy’s] heart is an understanding that we cannot choose between conventional defenses against state-based threats and the need to counter threats that do not recognize national borders. Today we face both and we must respond to both,” Cameron added in his statement.
By Ryan Maass