The biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War will be announced today by the Prime Minister.
In a speech to the House of Commons he will set out a £16.5bn increase in spending later today.
In a statement from the government, it read: “Our defence forces are operating in a rapidly changing world. This spending increase recognises the need for them to undertake a generational modernisation programme in order to defend the UK, our allies and the world’s most vulnerable people.
“Since the Cold War the threat from our adversaries has been evolving. Our traditional defence and deterrence capabilities remain vital, and our Armed Forces work every day to prevent terror reaching the UK’s shores. But our enemies are also operating in increasingly sophisticated ways, including in cyberspace, to further their own interests.
“Rather than being confined to some distant battlefield, those that seek to do harm to our people can reach them through the mobile phones in their pockets or the computers in their homes. To protect our citizens, UK Defence therefore needs to operate at all times with leading, cutting-edge technology.”
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “I have taken this decision in the teeth of the pandemic because the defence of the realm must come first. The international situation is more perilous and more intensely competitive than at any time since the Cold War and Britain must be true to our history and stand alongside our allies. To achieve this we need to upgrade our capabilities across the board. This is our chance to end the era of retreat, transform our Armed Forces, bolster our global influence, unite and level up our country, pioneer new technology and defend our people and way of life.”