United Kingdom pitches 'global Britain' by flexing military muscle - defence minister

Elias Hubbard
February 12, 2019

To increase the ability to resist those who despise global law, the defense secretary proposed plans to modernize and boost combat capability of the British armed forces, including investment in the Royal fleet and rapid reaction forces, cyber forces, as well as "swarm squadrons" of drones, aimed to to overwhelm enemy air defenses.

He will also say that the United Kingdom has its "greatest opportunity" to redefine its position on the world stage after Brexit.

The report said Williamson will highlight close military ties between Washington and London and will support U.S. President Donald Trump's call for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries to increase military spending in the face of what he called Russian provocations. "A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality, and increase our mass", Williamson will say.

He announced that the first mission of the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier will include work in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Pacific regions, and the vessel would carry British and U.S. F-35 jets.

Mr Williamson is to use his speech to outline how cyber forces will be reinforced thanks to a "very significant investment", which will be used both to defend and launch attacks.

Britain's defense minister says the country should bolster its military capabilities after Brexit and warned that Russian Federation should be aware that actions deemed unacceptable by the West will "come at a cost", according to a text seen by Reuters.

He will go on to say: "We have to be ready to show the high price of aggressive behaviour".

"To talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger", he will add.

The UK is to field "swarming drones" to confuse and overwhelm enemy air defences by the end of this year, the Secretary of State for Defence said on 11 February.

"The Conservatives have slashed the defence budget by over £9bn in real terms since 2010 and they are cutting armed forces numbers year after year".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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