Categories
World News

PM to splash £24billion to kit out Royal Navy ships with ‘inexhaustible lasers’

The Royal Navy will soon be one of the foremost naval forces in the world with "direct energy weapons and inexhaustible lasers", Boris Johnson claimed as he unveiled a huge £24billion defence spending splurge.

The Prime Minister said increased defence spending would help protect "hundreds of thousands" of jobs and create 40,000 new ones.

He told the Commons: "The returns will go far beyond our armed forces.

"From aerospace to autonomous vehicles, these technologies have a vast array of civilian applications opening up new vistas of economic progress, creating 10,000 jobs every year – 40,000 in total – levelling-up across our country and reinforcing our union."

The Navy will be kitted out with a host of modern warships, Johnson claimed, in a move that should revitalise the shipbuilding industry across the country.

He later added: "Our plans will safeguard hundreds of thousands of jobs in the defence industry, protecting livelihoods across the UK and keeping the British people safe."

And the PM insisted that a "once-in-a-generation modernisation" of the armed forces is required to extend British influence, claiming that emerging technologies "visible on the horizon" will make the returns from defence investment "infinitely greater".

The Prime Minister told MPs: "The latest advances will multiply the fighting power of every warship, aircraft and infantry unit many times over, and the prizes will go to the swiftest and most agile nations – not necessarily the biggest."

Mr Johnson sought to explain the plan to forge the UK's military assets into a single network.

He said: "A solider in hostile territory will be alerted to a distant ambush by sensors or satellites or drones, instantly transmitting a warning using artificial intelligence to devise the optimal response and offering an array of options – from summoning an airstrike to ordering a swarm attack by drones, or by paralysing the enemy with cyber weapons."

  • 'Spy boat’ worth £300,000 found near UK submarine base – and no one is claiming it

The Prime Minister also said UK warships and combat vehicles will carry "directed energy weapons" to destroy targets with "inexhaustible lasers".

He told MPs: "For decades, British governments have trimmed and cheese-pared our defence budget and if we go on like this, we risk waking up to discover that our armed forces, the pride of Britain, have fallen below the minimum threshold of viability.

"And once lost, they can never be regained. That outcome would not only be craven, it would jeopardise the security of the British people, amounting to a dereliction of duty for any prime minister.

"So I refuse to vindicate any pessimistic forecasters there may have been by picking up the scalpel yet again. Based on our assessment of the international situation and our foreign policy goals, I have decided that the era of cutting our defence budget must end, and it ends now.

"I am increasing defence spending by £24.1 billion pounds over the next four years.

"That's £16.5 billion more than our manifesto commitment, raising it as a share of GDP to at least 2.2%."

But Labour boss Sir Kier Starmer branded Thursday's news "a spending announcement without strategy".

Source: Read Full Article