The Government has set out its plans to prioritise investment in science and technology, in order to ensure that the UK’s Armed Forces continue to have state-of-the-art technology, equipment and support.
The newly published Government White Paper National Security Through Technology states the Government’s intention to sustain Science and Technology spending at 1.2% of MOD’s total annual budget.
This new policy paper sets out how the Government will provide the best equipment for the UK Armed Forces and Security Services and achieve best value for money forUK taxpayers. It provides clear principles that will underpin the relationship with industry as the MOD invests more than £150bn in military equipment over the next decade.
The White Paper follows a commitment in the Strategic Defence and Security Review to outline the Government’s future approach to working with the defence and security industries. It has been developed jointly by MOD and the Home Office, following extensive consultation, and includes plans to:
- protect the essential science and technology budget – to ensure the UK Armed Forces continue to have state-of-the-art technology, equipment, and support.
- provide support for exports – the defence sector is vital to the success of the UK economy.
- encourage small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) – these are currently awarded 42 per cent of MOD’s equipment contracts (worth almost £1bn per year) and many more contribute to defence and security programmes as subcontractors.
Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Peter Luff said: “Our Armed Forces must continue to have innovative, high-technology equipment to give them a battle-winning edge, so we will support the development of defence technology directly and protect the amount we spend.
“We had to take tough decisions to tackle the £38bn black hole this Government inherited, but we are now close to achieving a sustainable and balanced budget for the first time in decades.”
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