Chancellor Jeremy Hunt on Defence during his Autumn statement: “… it is necessary to revise and update the Integrated Review, written as it was before the Ukraine invasion.”

NATO task group on an anti-submarine exercise in the N. Atlantic. Photo: Royal Navy.

SoFFAAM_Falklands40

In the meantime UK “will continue to maintain” Defence budget “at least 2% of GDP to be consistent with our NATO commitment.” Prior to that Hunt said that he and the P.M. “both recognise the need to increase defence spending.”

Two per cent is NATO minimum required of Alliance members, not the target to aim for (and some of them currently fail to manage that level, while others exceed it). There was a push for three per cent of UK GDP devoted to Defence prior to the Truss economic calamity. Btw: Sunak in 2017 wrote an important report on undersea threats; Hunt is an admiral’s son, so they have level of naval awareness that perhaps other politicians lack, with the exception of SoS for Defence Ben Wallace. He this week announced orders for the second batch of (5) Type 26 ASW frigates and three new RFA fleet support vessels.

Seafarers UK

Wallace also recently announced money previously assigned to a new Royal Yacht is now being invested in one of two maritime surveillance ships, to protect the UK’s critical undersea infrastructure (such as the seabed cables that are fundamental to the functioning of the Internet).

• Analysis on this topic in a future edition of Warships IFR

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