UK Prime Minister David Cameron has detailed a plan to invest £1.1bn in the armed forces’ capabilities during the ongoing Farnborough International Airshow in the UK.

The investment includes £800m for an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) package to help extend the range and flexibility of Special Forces capabilities in responding to global terrorism and hostage taking threats.

The remaining £300m is expected to be invested in existing capabilities, including acquisition of a new E-Scan radar for Typhoon fighter aircraft and the purchase of ice patrol ship HMS Protector.

Cameron said that the availability of modern, technologically advanced and flexible armed forces is vital to the protection of the UK and its interests.

"Because of the difficult decisions we have taken to tackle the deficit we are able to make these vital investments in our defence capabilities," Cameroon added.

"We are also taking action to sustain our thriving defence industry, as part of our long-term economic plan to back business, create jobs and secure a brighter future for hardworking people."

Some of the initiatives of the Defence Growth Partnership between government and industry include establishment of a UK Defence Solutions Centre in Farnborough to bring together industry for development of futuristic defence technologies, identify future market opportunities and collaborate to ensure availability of the products and solutions that will be in demand.

The UK also intends to spend £4m on the launch of a Centre for Maritime Intelligent Systems in Portsmouth, to bring together academics, engineers and naval specialists to develop technology for autonomous unmanned boats, submarines and other vessels.

A new Defence Apprenticeship Trailblazer scheme is also being planned to attract new graduates to the industry as well as up-skilling the existing workforce.

Image: UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

Defence Technology