The Ministry of Defence have announced a £178 billion investment in defence equipment, including the purchase of 9 new Boeing P-8 maritime patrol aircraft.

The £178 billion investment in defence equipment over the next decade includes:

  • £12 billion uplift in equipment budget
  • 9 new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft
  • 2 New Strike Brigades by 2025 for rapid deployment missions both of which will be up to 5000 strong

Further details of the investment will came as then Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled the Government’s five year National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security review in the House of Commons.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the £12 billion uplift in funding will be focused on investments that will “help to ensure the UK can respond to diverse threats in an increasingly dangerous and uncertain world”. This will include:

  • 9 new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft for maritime surveillance, anti-submarine and anti-surface ship warfare, increasing further the protection of our nuclear deterrent and our new aircraft carriers. These roles require an aircraft that can carry torpedoes, as well as being fitted with a broad range of sensors, including radar and sonobuoys, which are operated from the rear of the cabin by a team of specialists. These aircraft will also provide maritime search and rescue and surveillance capabilities over land.
  • We will be extending the life of our multirole Typhoon for 10 extra years through to 2040, meaning we will be able to create 2 additional squadrons. This will give us a total of frontline 7 squadrons, consisting of around 12 aircraft per squadron. We will also invest in their ground attack capability and fit them with a new Active Electronically Scanned Array radar to ensure they can continue to operate in hostile environments in the future.
  • Create two new ‘Strike Brigades’ by 2025 to be rapidly deployable, able to self-deploy thousands of kilometres, and with a much lower logistic footprint. They will use the new Ajax family (previously known as Scout) range of vehicles, comprising 6 variants and almost 600 armoured vehicles.



  1. But unfortunately it looks like the escort fleet will lose out again and if the rumour of decommissioning a T45 down to a fleet of 5 is true that’s pure madness.

    • Please read up about nimrod, especially the issue with the new wings on the MR4, ie: they didn’t fit! Nimrod is gone, a thing of the past, let’s move on and be thankful we will now have a modern MPA to patrol our shores 👍

    • My point was not that it was a ‘better’ aircraft. Just that we should stop shopping out and look at the development of our own platform. The mistake with the Nimrod is the same as has always been the case with British defence equipment. ‘Making do’. My issue is with the decline in development of ‘British’ platforms

      • Those days are past. UK can’t afford to develop it’s own major projects any more. There’s a long history of UK developing ‘world beaters’ that end up with minimal export sales and such small production runs that the cost per plane becomes insane. UK has never successfully made a real military export winner (Hawk and Harrier sales weren’t bad, I suppose, but nothing on the scale of say, the F-4 or F-16). Civilian projects suffered from the same problem – Comet and Concorde both technically stunning but financial flops propped up by Government.

        When money is tight, the MoD has to stop trying to single-handedly prop up the UK defence industry and instead pick the best product for the job (which includes the best through-life cost and lowest risk, not just best capability).

        Nimrod was certainly a fantastic, world-class platform thirty years ago, but it’s still basically a re-manufactured Comet and by all accounts had to have all its spares hand made for each aircraft because they were all slightly different. Just not a realistic proposition.

    • In what way was Nimrod better, you ask – well, it was BRITISH for a start, with British parts. Should there (heaven forbid) be another major war, with Boeing aircraft, or any other ‘outside’ builder, we have to ship in spares to keep them flying. Boeing aircraft are designed for civilian use, and can’t take the wear and tear of heavy military activities.

    • If I understand the previous discussions about this procurement, the P8 is going to have a lot of the more modern kit originally destined for the Nimrod, and BAE will have a role in not only the maintainance of our P8’s, but any bought by other European countries, and in addition, will be on the inside for new development on this airframe

      • The 737 800 (P8) isnt a 1980s plane, its essentially a brand new aircraft with 30 years of technical and safety innovations incorporated. Its an 80’s plane in name alone. Not a single part from the original jet would fit the new one. The Comet on the other hand actually was a tarted up 1950s jet. 🙂

  2. Hope they still commit to building the full compliment of Type 26 frigates. All accounts a total of 13 will get sanctioned after 2020 and the go ahead for 8 at the moment.

    • UK Defence Journal The PM did announce that, in place of the 5 x T26 frigates that now won’t be built, there would be other less capable General Purpose frigates built in lieu (presumably on Clyde Bank). Nevertheless this SDR is still a retrograde step for the RN because not only are they getting a reduced warfighting capabilty, because of these less capable vessels, but also because the increase in personnel to man the carriers was announced today as 400 total, when the combined ships companies should number 1360 basic (2 x 680 – not including those in training at any given moment). What will that do for the sea-shore ratio of the surface fleet as a whole? What will it do for future manpower retention? Is there any truth in the rumour that Ocean will go for disposal to provide the requisite manpower for the carriers?

  3. Not so much related to the p08 but it says will have 7 squadrons of 12 typhoons. That’s only 84 aircraft (of the top of my head, maths ain’t a strong point of mine). I thought we had over a hundred. Is 84 really a good enough number considering we remove tornado in 2019 and that about three squadrons, and it wouldn’t be intill 2023 or so that we have a reasonable f35 force. Meaning we will be short of aircraft for some four years.


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