This week at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson gave a speech outlining the future direction of the UK armed forces.
Discussing how the character of warfare is changing, he outlined the increasing significance and regularity of cyber-attacks, subversion and information operations. This means that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) must better integrate its strategic capabilities allowing it to act more effectively and at greater pace to meet the demands of the increasingly contested environment.
Towards these ends, the Secretary of State (SoS) announced several initial investments from the Transformation Fund as well as reiterating current commitments around key future capabilities, including:
- Developing a new Littoral Strike Ship concept and accelerating delivery of these ships to form part of 2 Littoral Strike Groups complete with escorts, support vessels and helicopters;
- Funds to develop swarm squadrons of network enabled drones, capable of confusing and overwhelming enemy air defences;
- £100 million on a variety of initiatives to modernise how we do business in defence
- £60 million to invest in Typhoon’s next generation radar;
- £33 million to improve our anti-submarine warfare capabilities; and
- £24 million available through innovative Spearhead projects.
As well these spending commitments, techUK welcomes the renewed focus on emerging technologies as a vital part of developing future capability across MoD. Whether robotic fighting and logistic vehicles or doubling ISR capability these technologies will continue to be a growing part of MOD’s ability to operate in the changing warfare environment.
techUK believes it is vital to ensure that these technologies are adopted by MoD at pace, allowing the front line command’s (FLCs) to embrace transformation at an ever-faster rate, keeping pace with technological change now primarily driven by a wide array of industries and sectors. techUK looks forward to supporting MoD’s efforts to reach out and utilise these key emerging technologies going forward, both through the Transformation Fund and its wider innovation framework.
For a full copy of the Secretary of State’s speech click here.