Britain is already supplying Ukraine with drones. It said it would spend 200 million pounds on uncrewed systems out of a total 2.5 billion pound support package, and has already donated 4,000 drones to Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News
Britain will spend 4.5 billion pounds ($5.7 billion) to provide its armed forces with drones over the next decade after the Ukraine war showed the importance of uncrewed systems in conflict, the government said on Thursday.
Drone warfare has opened up as a key battlefront two years into Russia’s war with Ukraine and both sides are striving for the upper hand in technology.
Drones – or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – are cheap to produce and can surveil enemy movements and drop ordnance with pinpoint accuracy.
Britain’s Ministry of Defence said the new investment would speed up delivery of drones to its army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, for use in intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, strike and logistics.
“The conflict in Ukraine has been an incubator for new ways of war and we need to learn and implement those hard-fought lessons,” defence procurement minister James Cartlidge said in a statement.
“Ultimately, this is about learning the lessons from the Ukrainian frontline to procure drones at scale for the United Kingdom’s Armed Forces.”
Britain is already supplying Ukraine with drones. It said it would spend 200 million pounds on uncrewed systems out of a total 2.5 billion pound support package, and has already donated 4,000 drones to Ukraine.
Drones already in use by British forces include the Evolve Dynamics Sky Mantis, which weighs 7.7 kg, and the Reaper MQ-9A which is used by the RAF for surveillance and attack missions.
Of the £2.5 billion pounds to be spent on supporting Ukraine this coming financial year, more than £200 million will go towards supplying Ukraine with uncrewed systems. As the Defence Secretary announced last week, the UK will include work to scale up the Drone Capability Coalition’s provision of ‘first-person view’ (FPV) drones to Ukraine. This will help to scale the UK’s domestic drone industry across manufacturing and software development whilst giving Ukraine cutting-edge, battle-tested capabilities to defend their citizens and target the invading Russian forces.
Working with international partners and leading uncrewed systems designers, the UK’s ambition to be a world-leader in uncrewed systems will enable exports in a rapidly growing global market and create onshore investment opportunities, supporting UK jobs and backing the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy.
Commander of UK Strategic Command, General Jim Hockenhull said, “This strategy, backed by significant investment, offers the opportunity to transform our approach to the acquisition, integration, and exploitation of uncrewed systems. The partnership with industry will be vital to ensure we harness innovation and generate world-leading capability. Integrating advanced uncrewed systems into our suite of capabilities will protect the force, deter our adversaries and, when necessary, help us to fight and win.”