The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has launched a £25m campaign fund to encourage the development of innovative defence solutions to support Ukraine’s armed forces.
As part of the new competition, UK defence industry organisations are being invited to design and deliver new equipment that can be quickly transitioned from desktop to theatre.
The government has also called on the industry’s small and medium-sized enterprises to submit proposals. It has set 10 June as the deadline to submit proposals.
The special campaign is initially seeking equipment that can be designed, procured, and delivered in four months.
Participants are required to focus their efforts on four categories, namely artillery, coastal defence, military logistics and resupply, and uncrewed aerial systems (UAS).
UK Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin said: “Since Russia’s brutal invasion, UK defence suppliers, with active support from MoD and DE&S, have taken equipment from desktop ideas to the front line.
“This £25m plus fund is designed to capture ongoing work and support innovative ideas to meet Ukrainian defence requirements.”
The UK has so far set aside nearly £2.8bn to offer humanitarian aid for Ukrainian. This also includes military aid in the form of 120 armoured vehicles, air defence systems, and 6,500 anti-tank missiles.
Earlier this month, the UK pledged a record £1.3bn in military support to Ukraine, nearly doubling the country’s previous commitments to Ukraine, reported Reuters.
The G7 countries recently agreed to provide $19.8bn in economic aid to the country.
In a separate development, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has announced its plan to train Ukrainian soldiers.
A 30-personnel artillery team of the NZDF will train Ukrainian soldiers to operate the 105mm L119 light gun in the UK. The team will be working with a UK team for the training.
The training will be held for two months starting in June. Over 40 dial sites and any ammunition required for the training will be provided to Ukraine.
NZDF has already deployed more than 60 personnel to the UK and Europe to assist Ukraine in self-defence.
In March this year, New Zealand pledged $3.46m in funds and non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine.