By Laura Hawkins
Two 5,000-strong ‘strike brigades’ are to be created for rapid response operations to help the UK respond to ‘diverse’ threats.
The Prime Minister has announced that the 10,000 troop rapid response force and almost 600 AJAX armoured vehicles will be ready for deployment at short notice anywhere in the world by 2025.
In the unveiling of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, David Cameron gave details of an additional £12bn of equipment spending over the next 10 years, taking the total to £178bn.
The extra funding will include nine new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft and the extension of Typhoon jets' lifespan by 10 years to 2040, creating two extra squadrons of 12 aircraft.
In an article for the Daily Telegraph, David Cameron said:
“Not one of these capabilities is an optional extra or an act of vanity. These investments are an act of clear-eyed self-interest to ensure our prosperity and security.”
Mr Cameron has said that the priority is to tackle state-based threats and terrorism, including so-called Islamic State.
Writing in the SDSR's foreword, he said the government was trying to prepare the UK’s defences for threats from traditional nation states and borderless terror operations.
“At its [the strategy's] heart is an understanding that we cannot choose between conventional defences against state-based threats and the need to counter threats that do not recognise national borders……..
"Today we face both and we must respond to both. So over the course of this Parliament our priorities are to deter state-based threats, tackle terrorism, remain a world leader in cyber security and ensure we have the capability to respond rapidly to crises as they emerge.”
He added the importance of a strong economy in defence policy, arguing “national security depends on our economic security, and vice versa”.