The Reaper drone of the RAF in 2013Copyright of the image
MOD

Legend

The drone squadron would have a projected cost of £ 7 million

"Swarm squads" of drones will be deployed by the British armed forces to crush enemy anti-aircraft defenses, the defense secretary said.

Gavin Williamson said the specially adapted drones could be operational by the end of 2019.

He also warned in a speech that the United Kingdom needed stronger and bolder armed forces ready to use "hard power".

The Labor Party said the role of the military on the international scene had been "completely undermined" by conservative cuts.

South China Sea

Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute, Williamson said Britain should resist those who "flout international law."

In the latest budget, Williamson said Brexit has given the UK its "greatest opportunity" to strengthen its global presence.

He added that the computer capabilities of the army will be strengthened to defend themselves and launch attacks.

The "networked" drone squadrons would cost about 7 million pounds, he added.


Analysis

Copyright of the image
AFP / Getty

Legend

Mr Williamson said the UK needed bigger and bolder armed forces

By Jonathan Beale, BBC Defense Correspondent

Gavin Williamson will struggle to match his global ambitions to the realities of an already overburdened defense budget and a diminished British army.

MEPs say that there is already a growing black hole in the Defense Department's equipment plan of 180 billion pounds.

But instead of making cuts, Mr. Williamson is adding more and more to his shopping list.

He hopes that two new "multi-role ships" will support the Royal Marines in various operations ranging from humanitarian support to combat.

He thinks that this could be achieved at a lower cost by converting civilian cargo ships, but there is still no cost or mention of who will equip them – the Royal Navy certainly does not have the hand-over. necessary work.

Mr Williamson is talking about introducing squadrons of drones to overcome the enemy 's air defenses.

The Ministry of Defense thinks that the technology could be bought "off the shelf" but, in reality, the concept has not been tested or tested yet.

The Defense Ministry still insists that these plans have all been costed, but its financial history will give many a reason to doubt.


Detailing plans to modernize the Armed Forces, he said they needed to increase "its mass and lethality" – revealing plans for two ships that could be deployed for crisis support and military operations.

He said that they would be able to answer "anytime" to support the Royal Marines.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the UK could buy and adapt cargo ships or ferries with existing hulls to create the new vessels.

The defense secretary also confirmed that the new HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy was deployed in the Pacific region, where China was taking part in an attack. dispute over land claims in the South China Sea.

The carrier will participate in the mission with F-35 jets from the United Kingdom and the United States.

Copyright of the image
Reuters

Legend

Royal Navy's HMS Queen Elizabeth is deployed in the Pacific region

Williamson said that Britain and its allies should be ready "to use the hard power to defend our interests".

He told people gathered for his speech that "competition between states is coming back to life".

The defense secretary said that Russia is "reborn" and rebuilding its military arsenal, adding that China is also developing its modern capabilities and commercial power.

"We must be ready to show the high price of aggressive behavior, ready to strengthen our resilience."

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Defending interventionist politics, he said the cost of inaction in the face of global crises had often been "too high" and that Western powers could not "miss out when others are in the need".

"Speaking but not taking action may mean that our country is little more than a paper tiger," he added.

Mr Williamson said that Brexit offered an "unprecedented opportunity" to reflect on how the UK could maximize its influence around the world.

He said the UK would build new alliances and revive old ones, and shared his belief that Britain "should be the nation to which people will turn when the world needs leadership."

Nia Griffith, phantom defense secretary, said the UK's ability to play such a role had been "completely undermined by eight years of Conservative defense cuts."

"The conservatives have reduced the defense budget by more than £ 9 billion in real terms since 2010 and they are downsizing the armed forces year after year.

"Rather than just getting into a new battle, Gavin Williamson should tackle the defense financing crisis that is going on under his watch," she said.