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World

UK to unveil global focus in defence modernisation plans

  • The ministry also noted ongoing naval operations with NATO allies in the Baltic, and the deployment to Asia later this year of a carrier strike group led by the country's new aircraft carrier.
Published March 22, 2021
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LONDON: The UK government will on Monday unveil much-anticipated military modernisation plans, vowing to bolster its defence of British interests "across multiple domains and in all corners of the globe".

The long-awaited proposals, detailed in a report entitled "Defence in a Competitive Age", focus heavily on boosting the country's navy and global footprint, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

It promises more ships, submarines and sailors and the transformation of the Royal Marines into a new unit called the Future Commando Force.

The force will be deployed on "an enduring basis" to help secure shipping lanes and uphold freedom of navigation, according to the MoD.

The army will create a new special operations Ranger Regiment which would "be able to operate discreetly in high-risk environments and be rapidly deployable across the world," the ministry said.

It highlighted the armed forces' continued global activity, including launching strikes against the Islamic State group in Iraq and drugs busts in the Arabian Sea, ahead of the report's release.

The ministry also noted ongoing naval operations with NATO allies in the Baltic, and the deployment to Asia later this year of a carrier strike group led by the country's new aircraft carrier.

"In the coming years, we will broaden the spectrum of this worldwide engagement even further," Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement.

"Across a vast global footprint, we will be constantly operating to deter our adversaries and reassure our friends, integrating with our allies, and ready to fight should it be necessary."

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