U.K. Launches $5.69B Investment into Drones

Born from lessons learned in Ukraine, the strategy will facilitate the rapid experimentation, testing, and evaluation of uncrewed platforms.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 06:25 AM, February 23, 2024
  • 1159
U.K. Launches $5.69B Investment into Drones
Armed RAF Reaper

The U.K. has initiated a £4.5 billion ($5.69 billion) investment in drones under the Defence Drone Strategy, with the goal of establishing a standardized approach to uncrewed systems in the British military.

Stemming from insights gained in Ukraine, the strategy is designed to enable swift experimentation, testing, and evaluation of uncrewed platforms.

“The conflict in Ukraine has been an incubator for new ways of war and we need to learn and implement those hard-fought lessons…. Rapidly being able to develop and upgrade uncrewed systems will be key to gaining battlefield advantage and we must seize this opportunity to grow and sustain such skills and capabilities in the U.K.,” Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge said.

The Ministry of Defence claims that this substantial investment will expedite the deployment of drones across the British Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force, encompassing applications in intelligence, reconnaissance, surveillance, strike, and logistics.

The immediate focus is on the successful implementation of the Ukraine-U.K. uncrewed systems initiative, building upon the U.K.'s contribution of over 4,000 drones to Ukraine. As part of the £2.5 billion allocated to support Ukraine in the upcoming financial year, more than £200 million will be dedicated to supplying uncrewed systems, including the expansion of the Drone Capability Coalition's 'first-person view' (FPV) drone provision.

Among the drones already in use by British forces are the 7.7 kg Evolve Dynamics Sky Mantis and the Reaper MQ-9A, utilized by the Royal Air Force for surveillance and attack missions.

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