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Cameron announces £1.1bn investment in defense spending

Published time: July 14, 2014 14:14
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.(AFP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron.(AFP Photo / Kirsty Wigglesworth)

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is to unveil an increase of £1.1 billion in defense spending, to fight “unseen enemies” including cyberattacks and terrorism.

Cameron’s office said that he will announce the spending package Monday at the Farnborough Air Show, one of the defense industry’s biggest events usually attended by high-ranking military officers and aerospace executives.

According to a Downing Street statement, £800 million ($1.4 billion) will be invested into intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, while a further £300 million ($500 million) will be used on military technology, including unmanned drones and next generation radars for Typhoon jets.

The money will come from savings made as a result of the government’s austerity measures.

Eight percent of the UK’s defense budget has been cut since the coalition government came to power in 2010. The cost-saving measures resulted in the sell off of Britain’s Harrier jet force and thousands of army officers being made redundant.

The announcement comes following warnings from the US that a terrorist attack could happen in the West, conducted by European and American foreign fighters being radicalized in Iraq and Syria.

Writing in the Telegraph on Monday, Cameron said: “Terrorist plots hatched thousands of miles away threaten to cause harm on our streets. When fragile and lawless states fracture, migration flows can affect us right here. But the plain fact is that in the 21st century, you cannot defend the realm from the white cliffs of Dover.”

Touring the airshow, Cameron will also outline plans to set up a center to develop new defense tech in Farnborough, along with apprentice programs to train new engineers.

“Having modern, technologically advanced and flexible Armed Forces to protect us and our interests is vital,” Cameron is to say in his speech, a copy of which was released ahead of the event. “We are also taking action to sustain our thriving defense industry, as part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure a brighter future for hard-working people."