Military Capabilities

Farnborough 2014: UK announces GBP1.1 billion in defence projects

14 July 2014
UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced GBP1.1 billion in spending on defence projects at Farnborough 2014, including a commitment to develop AESA technology for the Eurofighter Typhoon. Source: Eurofighter GmbH

UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced GBP1.1 billion (USD1.88 billion) in defence spending projects as he officially opened the Farnborough International Airshow 2014 on 14 July.

The most significant news includes a commitment to develop the Captor-E radar for the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter aircraft and the expected announcement to maintain the Royal Air Force's (RAF's) Beechcraft King Air 350-derived Shadow R.1 electronic intelligence (ELINT) and Raytheon Sentinel R.1 Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) surveillance aircraft in service until 2018.

Putting an active electronically scanned array radar (AESA) capability on the Typhoon has long been a goal for the UK and the other Eurofighter Typhoon partners, with AESA seen as a key selling point for export orders. The UK commitment refers to its share of a EUR1 billion (USD1.36 billion) development contract for the Captor E, which Nigel Whitehead, Group Managing Director of Programmes & Support at BAE Systems told IHS Jane's he hopes will be signed by the end of the year.

Whitehead describing Cameron's announcement as "brilliant", added: "It was a strong message that was heard by industry and our international customers."

Once development work is complete, it is expected to be followed by production contracts by individual Typhoon partner nations to buy radars for installation in their aircraft.

"We anticipate the UK's 40 Tranche 3 aircraft will receive the radar, that is our focus," Whitehead told IHS Jane's . "They are built with provision for the radars. Fitting it to Tranche 2 aircraft would involve additional costs."

The Captor-E announcement sits with a GBP300 million spending package that also includes new spending on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS - an Anglo-French unmanned combat aerial vehicle project, for which further details are expected to be announced on 15 July), and "improved protection and communications for our Armed Forces operating in the Gulf".

The Sentinel and Shadow service extension is driven by need to "respond to global threats" Cameron stated. Both systems were originally procured for use in Afghanistan, and had been scheduled to be retired when that conflict ended. Their extension forms part of a GBP800 million intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR) package. This package also includes additional funding for unspecified special forces equipment and new spending in the cyber domain.

According to Number 10, this GBP800 million spending package will "extend the range and flexibility of our options in responding to the threat of global terrorism and hostage taking".

Asked whether the spending represented 'new money', Cameron stated that it was. He clarified however, that the GBP1.1 billion in funding actually came from an underspend by the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) in its previous years accounts and instead of being automatically re-gathered by the UK Treasury had been re-assigned back to the MoD to spend on these new projects.

Writing in the Telegraph on 13 July, Cameron expanded further on the announcements: "Since 2010 we have been engaged in fixing this mess (the so-called MoD budget 'black hole'). Many difficult decisions had to be taken, but we have now balanced the defence budget and set out a fully-funded equipment plan of more than GBP160 billion over 10 years. The house that was built on sand is now built on rock, meaning that the so-called 'underspend' can now be re-invested. This is a crucial point; that money wasn't taken back to be used elsewhere, it was put back into kit for our Forces, as we are seeing today."

Cameron also announced the creation of two new UK defence centres of excellence, being formed under the Defence Growth Partnership - created at the 2012 iteration of the Farnborough International Airshow. The first of these will be located at Farnborough, and will focus on military aircraft, including engines, platforms, and systems. The second will be created in Portsmouth and be focused on maritime systems. The flagship project of the Portsmouth centre of excellence will be on the creation of concepts for a new unmanned underwater maritime reconnaissance vessel - billed by Cameron as a "high-tech submarine".

Click here for all Farnborough Airshow 2014 content

(676 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.


  • Indonesian Railways (Persero)

    PT Kereta Api Jalan Perintis Kemerdekaan, 1, Bandung 40117, Java Tel: (+62 22) 423 00 31 Fax: (+62 22) 420 33 42 e-mail: Web: Key personnel Gauge (mm) Route length (km) Electrification (route-km) Voltage Hz AC/DC 1,067 8,159 N/A N/A N/A

  • Philippine Army mortars

    Development Although reportedly produced at one time these mortars are no longer in service or manufactured. Description The Philippine Army is equipped with two mortars of local design and manufacture. The M75 60 mm uses a tripod and a thick-gauge circular, stamped and welded baseplate. It is

  • M29 and M29A1 81 mm mortar

    Development This 81 mm mortar was introduced in 1952 as a replacement for the Brandt-copy M1. It was originally given the service designation M29 and a development designation of T106. The baseplate M3 was developed by the Canadian Armaments Research and Development Establishment (now DRDC

  • OFB E1 120 mm mortar

    Development The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), formerly Indian Ordnance Factories (IOF), 120 mm E1 mortar was designed to provide heavy and sustained firepower in all phases of battle in various types of terrain. It can provide support to amphibious forces immediately upon landing and can be

  • FN Manufacturing M249 5.56 mm Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW)

    Development The 5.56 mm M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) was type-classified in 1982. Original plans called for 49,979 for the US Army and 9,974 for the US Marine Corps, but these totals were revised downwards during 1985, pending a number of necessary modifications. This led to the hurried


Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.