The news of an injection of £16.5 billion over four years for Defence is the largest military investment in 30 years.

The announcement made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the end of last year will fund a generational modernisation of the Armed Forces so they can defend the UK against future threats while cementing Britain’s role as a leader in NATO and stimulating thousands of highly skilled jobs across the UK.

A radical program of innovation and modernisation will create up to 10,000 British jobs a year, and support thousands more livelihoods as the nation builds back better from the coronavirus pandemic.

An additional £1.5 billion will be poured into military research – including for the Future Combat Air System – allowing the Armed Forces to tackle the threats of tomorrow.

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Meanwhile a new £2.4bn munitions contract has been handed to BAE Systems in a move that could sustain about 4,000 jobs in the UK over 15 years, including more than 500 in Wales.

The Next Generation Munitions Solution (NGMS) will comprise the manufacture of 39 different munitions for the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Strategic Command to use on the front line, including small arms ammunition, mortars, medium-calibre gun rounds and large-calibre artillery and tank shells

An estimated 1,260 people will work on NGMS, in engineering, operations and supporting roles across five BAE Systems UK sites, including 550 at Glascoed in South Wales.

Defence minister Jeremy Quin said, “Defence underpins hundreds of thousands of jobs across all four corners of the nation, and ongoing investment is crucial as we work together to build back better and stronger from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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