US and UK sign Army Modernisation agreement

Harry Lye 14 July 2020 (Last Updated July 14th, 2020 16:34)

The US and the UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the joint modernisation of both countries’ armies that covers networks, Future Vertical Lift and long-range precision fires.

US and UK sign Army Modernisation agreement
Ministry of Defence Main Building Headquarters in London. Credits: MOD Crown Copyright.

The US and the UK have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the joint modernisation of both countries’ armies that covers networks, Future Vertical Lift and long-range precision fires.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the agreement shows a signal of intent to ‘formalise a number of ongoing initiatives between the two armies, boosting opportunities to co-operate effectively as modern warfare continues to evolve.’

The agreement identifies several areas as subjects of crossover, where the two countries can close the gaps between each other’s forces and maintain close cooperation in the future.

The plan aims to cover capabilities entering into service between 2023 to 2027 and covers networks, long-range precision fires, Future Vertical Lift, soldier and ground lethality, and Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing (APNT).

The agreement was signed by Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey and US Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy at the Ministry of Defence headquarters, where the pair discussed the modernisation plans and capabilities of ‘shared importance’.

The agreement will see the UK and US ‘developing innovative solutions together to tackle shared threats and operational challenges that affect both nations and help protect and defend peace and security across the globe.’

Commenting on the agreement Heappey said: “In an age of great power competition and constant conflict, there is an even greater onus on us to work together with our greatest allies.

“This agreement signals our shared determination to develop the novel capabilities that will give us that battle-winning edge and opportunity for the defence industry on both sides of the Atlantic. It is a reminder that, in a more challenging and uncertain world, global Britain remains the United States’ partner of choice.”

This sentiment was echoed by McCarthy who said: “The United Kingdom, one of our strongest allies, has helped secure our shared interests and values since the World Wars of the last century.

“Today, we continue to rely on our allies to posture ourselves for future threats, project power, deter and, if necessary, defeat our adversaries. This partnership allows costly and complex problems to be distributed and helps protect the industrial base through enabling faster innovation and cost-sharing towards achieving our modernisation priorities.”

The MOD said the agreement was in line with the upcoming Integrated Review, of which ‘modernisation and pioneering capabilities’ is seen as a core focus.