BAE Systems flying high after £16.5bn defence spending boost

Aerospace giant BAE Systems has welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of a £16.5bn increase in defence spending.

Saturday, 21st November 2020, 7:00 am
An impression of how the Tempest might look

Mr Johnson told MPs the UK will once again become Europe’s leading naval power, the RAF will get new hi-tech jets and the military will be modernised.

The plans include an additional £1.5 billion for military research – including for the Future Combat Air System – allowing the Armed Forces to tackle the threats of tomorrow .

At the heart of the Future Combat Air System is BAE Systems in Lancashire, where Team Tempest are working on the successor to the Eurofighter Typhoon.

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Mr Johnson also announced the creation of an agency dedicated to artificial intelligence, and a “space command” capable of launching the UK’s first rocket by 2022.

The announcements were billed as the biggest increase in defence spending since the Cold War

Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive, BAE Systems, said: “We welcome the UK Government’s increased investment in defence and security, which plays a key role supporting the prosperity of our nation through investment in thousands of highly-skilled jobs and cutting-edge technology.

“We look forward to working with the Ministry of Defence to understand and support the detailed programme implications.”

Defence Secretary and Wyre MP Ben Wallace said: "This is excellent news for Defence, and provides us with the financial certainty we need to modernise, plan for the future, and adapt to the threats we face.

"This settlement secures UK jobs and livelihoods, allows us to invest in our fantastic shipyards and aerospace industry, spreading prosperity to every corner of the UK."