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19 Feb 2024

Defence Contracts Digest: Top Reads 15/02

Defence Contracts Digest: Top Reads 15/02

Top reads from last week's edition of the Defence Contracts Digest, published 15.02.2024.

Spend, Spend, Spend – Europe braces for Trump, as global defence spending hits $2.2 trillion

Global defence spending has reportedly hit $2.2 trillion, a 9% rise on last year, amid conflicts in Ukraine, Israel, the Red Sea and with heightened tensions in the Indo-Pacific. Among those driving the overall increase are several NATO members, the majority (18 of 31) of which are set to hit the alliance’s 2% GDP spending target in 2024. Additional incentives fuelling the spend are the fear of further Russian aggression, and Donald Trump’s recent comments that called into question America’s role in the future of European security. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that his country would be meeting the target, and that European industry must commit to the mass production of arms. 

UK defence spending topped £25 billion for the first time, with the South East receiving the most funds, followed by the South West. Scotland led investment outside of England with over £2 billion being spent, with increased expenditure seen in Wales and Northern Ireland also. MOD SME spend by region was the highest in the North East (12.5%), followed by Yorkshire and the Humber (11.2%) and the West Midlands (10.7%). 

Finally, the US Senate has approved $60 billion in support for Ukraine this week, as part of a wider $95.3 billion national security package. This comes after a halt in equipment shipping to the country almost two months ago. 


Top contracts from last week:

US approves Polish purchase of Aerostat AEW systems in $1.2 billion deal - Airforce Technology

Poland will employ these aerial reconnaissance assets as airborne early warning systems to defend against incoming regional threats. The US State Department has given the go-ahead for Poland to purchase Airspace and Surface Radar Reconnaissance (ASRR) Aerostat systems and related equipment in a deal worth $1.2 billion (4.8bn zlotys). 

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Australia pours $400 million into Loyal Wingman drone programme - Airforce Technology

Australia has injected $400 million (A$616 million) into the MQ-28A Ghost Bat programme, marking a milestone in the nation’s military aerospace capabilities. The MQ-28A Ghost Bat, developed in collaboration with Boeing Defence Australia, represents an achievement as the first military combat aircraft designed, engineered, and manufactured within Australia in more than five decades. 

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US Air Force chooses 17 companies for $499 million anti-tampering tech contract - Washington Technology

The Air Force has awarded 17 companies positions on a potential six-year, $499 million contract vehicle to develop products that work to prevent military program information and technologies from adversarial tampering efforts. Anti-tampering also refers to the deterrence, prevention, delay or response to reverse engineering attempts that may lead to an unintended technology transfer or alteration of a military system. 

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