The UK will provide another £1 billion of military support to Ukraine, the Prime Minister has announced at the NATO Leaders’ Summit today (Thursday 30th June).
This uplift to funding will herald a new phase in the international community’s support to Ukraine.
It will go towards capabilities including sophisticated air defence systems, uncrewed aerial vehicles, innovative new electronic warfare equipment and thousands of pieces of vital kit for Ukrainian soldiers.
It represents the first step in enabling Ukraine to go beyond their valiant defence against the illegal Russian invasion to mounting offensive operations against Russian ground forces in order to restore Ukrainian sovereignty.
The UK is leading the way in providing vital military assistance to Ukraine. Today’s announcement brings the total UK military support since the outbreak of war to £2.3 billion – more than any country other than the United States. Support so far includes more than 5,000 NLAW anti-tank missiles made in Northern Ireland, long-range multiple launch rocket systems, artillery systems, including 155mm self propelled guns, and rapid design and production of short to medium range persistent loitering munitions by a UK start-up company.
Last week the Prime Minister also announced the UK was offering a comprehensive new training programme to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, helping them build long-term endurance in the face of continuing Russian barbarism.
The UK’s support to Ukraine represents the highest rate of UK military spending on a conflict since the height of the campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Speaking at a special meeting of NATO leaders addressed by President Zelenskyy yesterday the Prime Minister called on allies to step up their support to provide the strategic resilience Ukraine needs.
The Prime Minister said:
Putin’s brutality continues to take Ukrainian lives and threaten peace and security across Europe.
As Putin fails to make the gains he had anticipated and hoped for and the futility of this war becomes clear to all, his attacks against the Ukrainian people are increasingly barbaric.
UK weapons, equipment and training are transforming Ukraine’s defences against this onslaught. And we will continue to stand squarely behind the Ukrainian people to ensure Putin fails in Ukraine.
As well as bolstering and sustaining the Ukrainian Armed Forces, UK military support is supporting the thriving UK defence industry. Last week the Defence Secretary gathered representatives of the UK defence sector in Downing Street to discuss how to boost production in response to the increased demand created by the conflict in Ukraine.
UK defence companies are stepping up to provide the vital support Ukraine needs. We have provided £100 million worth of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles through a company based in Berkshire. These orders have allowed the company to significantly upscale their production and have used the lessons from the conflict in Ukraine to inform development of their products, advancing several years of development which will directly benefit both the UK and the defence industry.
The MoD has also launched a £25 million innovation fund to harness niche technologies within UK small & medium size enterprises. The fund will accelerate the development of equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces with the competition focusing on bolstering the existing provision for artillery, coastal defence and aerial systems.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said:
Britain’s commitment to Ukraine is real and constant and we will stand by them until Russia changes course. This military assistance will help them intensify their fight against Russian aggression and ensure they have the defence capabilities they need.
The UK’s military support for Ukraine is in addition to the £1.5 billion of humanitarian and economic support provided to the country since February.
This support for Ukraine is in addition to the new commitments the Prime Minister announced to NATO’s collective defences at the Summit yesterday.