By Marcus Leach
Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for Defence, has today announced a 1% year-on-year increase to the defence equipment programme.
Following the Strategic Defence and Security Review that addressed the £38 billion deficit inherited by the government, these new increases will give our armed forces the ability to remain a formidable fighting force for many years to come.
The budget increase will ensure the delivery of: 14 extra Chinook helicopters, the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier conversion, new Joint Strike Fighter fast jets, and major new investment in Unmanned Air Vehicles and other Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance assets, an area that has proven to be vital in conducting operations in Libya. The boost will also enhance the capability of the Reserves and allow a significant expansion.
"As we move out of Afghanistan and move to a more adaptive posture in our armed forces... we can almost certainly get a rebalancing. Countries like Australia, Canada and the United States have a very different level of balance between regulars and reserves," Mr Fox said.
"However, they are able to do that because they spend money and they have much greater capabilities, better equipment and training and that is what I want for the United Kingdom."