£1.1bn armed forces boost announced by PM

Prime Minister David Cameron has handed the UK’s armed forces a £1.1bn funding boost as part of the government’s Defence Growth Partnership.

Designed to boost the economy and provide new equipment for the army, navy and air force, the investment will see £800m allocated to improving counter-terrorism defence, as part of an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance package.

The MoD confirmed the remaining £300m will towards a new E-Scan radar for Typhoon and the purchase of Ice Patrol Ship HMS Protector.

The PM, writing in The Telegraph, said the investment was necessary for a country that “cannot defend the realm from the white cliffs of Dover.”

Business trade organisation the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) backed the spending proposals.

“The Ministry of Defence has had to make some tough decisions to get its budget back under control, and the UK defence industry has actively worked with the Government to help this process. It is right that the resulting underspend, worth £1.1bn, be re-invested to support the important work of our armed forces and intelligence services,” said CBI director-general John Cridland.

Mr Cridland added: “This long-term strategy, with collaboration between the Government and industry, has the potential to help boost defence contracts overseas at a time when spending is particularly constrained domestically. We need the whole of Whitehall to get behind this.”