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01 Apr 2024

Defence Contracts Digest: Top Reads 28/03

Defence Contracts Digest: Top Reads 28/03

Top reads from last week's edition of the Defence Contracts Digest, published 28.03.2024.

UK's Shapps suffers "massive defeat" over defence budget | US averts budget shutdown with $1.2 trillion plan: $824 billion for defence.

In a House of Commons Defence Committee hearing on Tuesday, Mark Francois MP said that the Defence Secretary has “suffered massive defeat at the hands of the treasury” after failing to secure more funds for defence in the recent budget. Raising his own concerns about the strength of the UK’s military capabilities, Armed Forces Minister, James Heappey MP has resigned, after calling for 2.5% of GDP to be spent on Defence. Heappey will be replaced by Leo Docherty MP. 

The US has averted a budget shutdown with the signing of a $1.2 trillion deal. Overall, defence spending will increase by more than 3%, with $824 billion in funding. $172 billion is earmarked for procurement, with $148.3 billion for R&D.
The UK nuclear industry is to receive a £200 million boost, amid concerns about skills, spending, and heightened geopolitical tensions. This follows another failed Trident missile launch last month, which prompted calls for the RAF to obtain a nuclear capability as a back-up to Trident. Also this week, the MOD released its 'Defence Nuclear Enterprise Command Paper', which confirms the development of a replacement sovereign nuclear warhead.

France has threatened domestic defence manufacturers with new measures which could see defence orders prioritised over civilian ones. The urgency is especially critical around the production of missiles and artillery shells, with particular reference to the MBDA's Aster Air-Defence Missiles.


Top Contracts last week:

BAE Systems secures $318 million contract for “King of Battle” Howitzers - Army Technology

The contract is to cover technical and sustainment support services for the M109A6 and A7 Self-Propelled Howitzers and their companion, M992A3 carrier, ammunition, and tracked (CAT) vehicles.

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​​​​Patria orders Kongsberg Protector’s for common APCs - Shephard

The contract is worth $111.2 million and deliveries will begin next year lasting into the 2030s. The Protector RS4 allows soldiers to operate from a protected position using stabilised precision optics and laser to observe and detect targets. More than 20,000 Protector have been delivered to 28 nations.

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EU boosts Rheinmetall with €130 million to ramp up artillery production in Europe - Army Technology

With more than €130 million earmarked for Rheinmetall under the EU Act of Support in Ammunition Production (ASAP), the move reflects a strategic alignment between the private and public sectors in fortifying Europe’s defence infrastructure. 

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