Investment in defence
Johnson unveils plan for ‘Space Command’
Boris Johnson: investing in defence
Boris Johnson is to unveil a ‘Space Command’ as part of a £16.5bn pledge to boost the UK’s defence capabilities.
The programme is expected to include rockets being launched from Scotland, Wales or Cornwall, and a commitment to expand naval ship building on the Clyde.
Space Command, to be based at the Space Directorate at RAF High Wycombe, will give the UK the capability to deploy weapons and military satellites without relying on other nations.
Mr Johnson called it the biggest investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War and is expected to create 10,000 jobs annually across the UK.
However, it may see historic regiments axed as part of a scaling back of conventional forces. An RAF order of 138 F-35 fighter jets will be halved.
The Prime Minister will also announce a new Artificial Intelligence agency and a National Cyber Force.
Scotland will benefit from eight Type 26 and five Type 31 frigates, which are currently being constructed on the Clyde, creating thousands of jobs. There is also a commitment to the next generation of warship, the Type 32.
Mr Johnson said: “I’ve taken this decision in the teeth of the pandemic because the defence of the realm must come first.
“The international situation is more perilous than at any time since the Cold War.”
The Prime Minister is expected to confirm his plans in the House of Commons on Thursday afternoon.