Scotland

Scotland is pivotal to UK defence, Chief of the Defence Staff says

During a visit to Edinburgh, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said the country is a crucial part of the nation's defence.

The head of the UK's Armed Forces has been outlining Scotland's 'pivotal' role in the nation's defence.

Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) Admiral Sir Tony Radakin has highlighted the important function the military community in Scotland plays in keeping the UK safe.

He was speaking during his first visit to Edinburgh since he was appointed to the top defence role.

As well as being present at Edinburgh Castle to see the One O'Clock Gun being fired, he met members of the Army in Scotland before being briefed on the Headquarters' contribution to life in Scotland.

The Chief of the Defence Staff emphasised the importance of Scotland, saying: "It is the home of our nuclear deterrent. It's the home of all of our submarines and that's a crucial part of UK defence.

"It's also got an incredible industrial base, not just the shipbuilding, which is incredibly strong, but also some of the high-tech industries.

"The radar for our fast jets, some of the high technology that goes into the land systems, the Boxer vehicles, again, there are components that are being made here in Scotland."

He added: "And then if I carry on, it's about the fabric of the nation. This is over 10,000 servicemen and women, it's 4,000 reservists it's 4,000 civilians, and supporting a further 12,000 jobs with industry, all directly involved.

"The UK defence spends about £2bn a year here, so Scotland is pivotal to the whole of the UK's defence."

The head of the UK's Armed Forces highlighted the important role Scottish military personnel played during the pandemic and in the aftermath of Storm Arwen.

He added: "I think it's really important that we serve the nation as a whole throughout the UK... and that's very strong in Scotland."