The UK Government has launched the 2023 Integrated Review Refresh (IR23) that will provide an additional £5bn of funds to support the British Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) operations.
An upgraded version of the 2021 Integrated Review, IR23 aims to strengthen the country’s capabilities to meet the growing global defence and security challenges.
Under this IR23, the sanctioned amount will be provided to the UK MoD over a period of the next two years to replenish the country’s vital ammunition stocks, as well as enhance national nuclear enterprise.
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The investment will also support the next phase of the AUKUS submarine programme, a trilateral Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) security pact.
The new announcement comes ahead of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to San Diego to meet US President Joe Biden and his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese to finalise the AUKUS project’s next phase.
Sunak said: “By investing in our armed forces for the long-term, we will be ready for the challenges of today and of the future. As I will discuss with our American and Australian allies in the US today, the UK will remain a leading contributor to Nato and a reliable international partner, standing up for our values from Ukraine to the South China Seas.
“We will fortify our national defences, from economic security to technology supply chains and intelligence expertise, to ensure we are never again vulnerable to the actions of a hostile power.”
According to the UK Government, this move comes in response to the growing geopolitical threats, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s ‘economic coercion’.
In the long term, Sunak is also expected to elevate defence spending to nearly 2.5% of the UK’s gross domestic product.