Inflation might be running at levels not seen for a generation, but Western militaries are seemingly keen to spend or ignore their way through these difficulties, with the past month seeing multiple multi-billion-dollar deals across the land, sea, and air domains.  

The US unveiled its first B-21 Raider amid an enormous ongoing effort to recapitalise elements of its nuclear triad, while also signing on the dotted line in the FLRAA programme to deliver a new long-range assault aircraft to the US Army, providing the service with a tactical independence not seen since the inception of the US Air Force.  

The UK has been keen to spend too, focusing on the naval sector with billions spent in the run up to an Autumn Statement that outlined just how perilous the country’s finances look set to be over the coming 12-18 months. Deals for surface warships, support vessels, personnel training, and uncrewed submersibles scattered the Q4 seascape, while on land it looked to replenish stocks of anti-tank missiles with an order for thousands of munitions in replacement of equipment provided to Ukraine in its fight against Russia. 

Not that the support is limited to equipment and finances, with the UK taking a global lead with its training mission for Ukrainian recruits, dubbed Operation Interflex, that has provided tens of thousands of new soldiers with a stripped-back five-week crash course in infantry skills, complete with the cold weather equipment needed to sustain themselves on the eastern front during the Ukrainian winter.  

The US, naturally providing the most in terms of resources, appears to be embarking on its own replenishment campaign to build up munitions and reserve stocks once again. However, officials at the Department of Defense have been reticent to provide insight into a new proposed military assistance package for Ukraine that also included US-specific replenishment efforts, denying repeated efforts by media for any budget breakdown.  

All this, and more, is ready for you to read in this December edition of Global Defence Technology.  

Richard Thomas, editor-in-chief 

// Cover image: US and Western militaries are taking onboard lessons learned in recent conflicts on the need for increased lethality for its frontline forces. Credit: US Department of Defense.