British Army Restocks: Supporting Deliveries To Ukraine

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The United Kingdom has signed the acquisition for 280 million pounds of ammunition from BAE Systems, pending the publication of its new Defense strategy.

It is a symbolic order that the British government has just placed with BAE Systems. The United Kingdom has signed the acquisition for 280 million pounds of ammunition from the British arms manufacturer, in order to replenish stocks after deliveries to Ukraine.

“This order will significantly increase vital defense stocks such as 155mm artillery shells, 30mm medium caliber shells and 5.56mm ammunition,” BAE said in a statement.

2% of GDP target

The order, which could optionally be increased to 400 million pounds, should create 200 jobs in the North of England and South Wales, the company said.

It comes at a time when the NATO summit in Vilnius must send a firm message of support to kyiv. The opportunity for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to once again invite his allies to go further in their military spending and for each of them to meet the spending target of 2% of GDP set there almost two decades ago.

Only nine out of 30 nations in the alliance have reached this target by 2022. Two-thirds of them could be there by 2024, London estimates. “Achieving this commitment – which must be a minimum, not a ceiling – will be crucial to NATO’s ability to deter and defend against the type of tactics Putin has used in Ukraine,” Downing Street said in a statement. .

Risk of shortage

During the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the NATO countries mobilized to send munitions and military equipment. But their own military forces now risk running out.

This is why the United Kingdom announced in its last budget an extension of 5 billion pounds for its military budget, which should thus increase from 45.9 billion pounds in 2021-2022 to 51.7 billion in 2024-2025. . It should be noted that, once adjusted for inflation, this extension corresponds to an increase of 1.1 billion pounds. A majority of this funding must be devoted to investments in new equipment and projects.

Lean years

Several parliamentary reports have highlighted the need for investment in the British army, after several lean years. Until the end of the Cold War, UK military spending exceeded 5% of GDP.

Defense Ministry data shows that by the time the war in Ukraine broke out, capabilities had declined since 2016 in terms of armored vehicles, fighter jets and helicopters.

In the latest foreign policy review, the United Kingdom set itself the ambition of eventually increasing its military budget to 2.5% of GDP, from 2.1% today, but did not specify by how much. horizon this objective must be achieved. The country must soon update its defense strategy in a long-awaited document, the publication of which, initially scheduled for June, has been postponed.

This article is originally published on lesechos.fr

 

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