Skip to main content
25 Mar 2024

Defence Contracts Digest: Top Reads 21/03

Defence Contracts Digest: Top Reads 21/03
US Air Force/ Jill Pickett

Top reads from last week's edition of the Defence Contracts Digest, published 21.03.2024.

UK signs new defence pact with Australia | NATO doubles down on DIANA | EU could use Russian profits to fund equipment for Ukraine.

NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) has announced that it will be more than doubling the number of defence accelerator sites and test centres, across 28 member countries. NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, reiterated DIANA’s mission to solve “some of our biggest defence and security challenges and sharpen our technological edge”. This is focused on capabilities such as Artificial Intelligence and cyber, to 5G, hypersonics, and autonomous systems.

The UK has signed a new defence pact with Australia, in a move to make it easier for their security forces to work together. The Defence and Security Cooperation Agreement came as Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, and Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps, met with their Australian counterparts for annual talks. In other UK news, Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak announced measures to cut red tape for SMEs, allowing them to hire more apprentices, and establish a new taskforce to boost private investment in women-led businesses. On top of this, further deregulatory measures could save thousands of UK companies around £150 million per year. 

European Union (EU) plans to channel profits from Russian assets into Ukrainian war funds are set to be voted on by EU ministers. Meanwhile, the European Council has approved the ‘Critical Raw Materials Act’ which is designed to sustain the supply of crucial materials to multiple industries, including defence. The act is intended to reduce dependencies and bring about “strategic autonomy”. Last week, after three years of deliberations the EU’s AI Act was passed. The legislation will make it more obvious when you are interacting with an AI system, citizens will be able to raise concerns about AI-related harms, transparency will be increased, and some uses of the technology will be banned. 


Top Contracts last week:

USAF awards $3.8 billion upgrade of strategic missile and aircraft test site - Airforce Technology

The US Air Force (USAF) will upgrade the Arnold Engineering Development Complex, headquartered at Arnold Air Force Base, and home of some of the US military’s most advanced missile and aircraft test sites, in a programme of work due to last for more than a decade.

Read full article 

Bahrain’s $2.2 billion order of 50 Abrams tanks approved by US - Breaking Defense

The island nation, which is a close ally of the US in the Middle East and hosts the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, has requested 50 of General Dynamics’ M1A2 SEPv3 (Systems Enhanced Package) Abrams variants as well as combat recovery vehicles, assault bridges, among other equipment.

Read full article

SpaceX developing $1.8 billion Spy Satellite Network for the US - Forbes

A US intelligence agency has contracted SpaceX to develop a network of spy satellites in a deal worth $1.8 billion, seemingly confirming reports that billionaire Elon Musk’s company is becoming more involved with the US government.

Read full article


Defence Contracts Digest

View all Knowledge