The defence industry briefing

The news, views and numbers you need to know about this month

News in numbers


Increase in defence spending pledged by non-US NATO members


The US Department of Defense’s projected budget for 2019


Number of years the INF Treaty lasted between US and Russia


Cost of 15 new surface combatant ships for the Royal Canadian Navy


Year the recently retired Panavia Torpedo aircraft  entered service with the RAF


Projected UK MOD equipment budget shortfall by 2028


The number of F-35 aircraft expected to be sold by 2035, despite delays

Quotes from the industry

“Emirati forces receive billions of dollars’ worth of arms from Western states and others, only to siphon them off to militias in Yemen that answer to no-one and are known to be committing war crimes.”

Amnesty International arms control and human rights researcher Patrick Wilcken on a report investigating movements of Western arms in Yemen.

 "We are heading into a direction we have not been in in 40 years: no arms control limits or rules that we are both following and that is very dangerous."

Lynn Rusten, vice-president of Nuclear Threat Initiative, on the possible collapse of the INF Treaty.

“The fear is that these job losses at Rosyth could turn into a flood and the industry left with a yawning skills gap, unless the UK government starts supporting UK Plc by delivering on a shipbuilding strategy that guarantees the Royal Navy’s new auxiliary ships are block built in UK shipyards using British steel, in addition to bringing forward work on the Type 31e frigate for export around the globe.”

Unite manufacturing assistant general secretary Steve Turner on the proposed job cuts at Babcock’s Rosyth shipyard

"We will bring every tool to bear against them in every corner of cyberspace.”

Howard Marshall of the FBI’s cyber division on a joint US and UK response to alleged Russian cyber attacks.

Around the world

Virgin Group founder and CEO Sir Richard Branson met with US Air Force leaders last month to discuss the capabilities of Branson’s small rocket company, Virgin Orbit. Branson also met the US Air Force’s head of acquisitions, Dr Will Roper, who described the space industry as a "ripe area" for the air force.

Source: CNBC

Airbus and Dassault Aviation have won a joint concept study contract for France and Germany’s Future Combat Air System (FCAS) programme, which will identify preferred concepts for the next-generation jet fighter to replace the existing Eurofighter and Rafale jet models.

Source: Shephard

Two US warships have sailed into strategic waters in the South China Sea, conducting freedom of navigation operations despite calls from Beijing to limit operations at a time when the US and China are engaged in tense trade talks.

Source: Reuters

The British Army has deployed its Apache attack helicopters to the Arctic Circle for a six-week training exercise in Norway, which has never been done before. The Army Air Corps 656 Squadron, together with the 4 Regiment and the Commando Helicopter Force, have been conducting training operations in -27°C temperatures.

Source: BBC

For the first time since the mid-17th Century, the UK is projected to become a net importer of defence and security equipment in as soon as 2024, according to a new report by IHS Markit, confirming long-held concerns that the UK’s manufacturing industry is in significant decline.

Source: FT

The UK MOD has revealed plans for new littoral strike ships to be used by the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines. UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said the new ships will form part of two new littoral strike groups comprising escorts, support vessels and helicopters.

Source: Naval Technology

Share this article