Having the best available technology and equipment is essential when it comes to defence. We must be prepared to adapt to new challenges and invest in the next-generation military capability in order to defend our country from evolving threats. It is extremely welcoming to see £16.5 billion being invested in defence over the next four years, particularly in space and cyber defence. This is the largest increase in spending on defence in 30 years.
Threats posed are regularly changing and adapting, so we must be prepared to change and adapt too. By investing we will be able to modernise in order to defend the United Kingdom, our allies and the worlds most vulnerable people. Though traditional defence capabilities remain vital, threats are now evolving and operating in more sophisticated ways, this includes cyberspace.
We have recognised this changing threat and so will be investing in the latest cutting-edge technology. Threats are not confined to battlefields it is also prevalent as those that seek to do harm, manipulate technology such as phones and computers. We have already increased spending by 0.5% above inflation but this extra funding, bringing an overall increase of £24.1 billion will enable us to be global leaders in cyber and space, demonstrating our global influence.
Artificial Intelligence is also a critical part of our investment and is key to be able to adapt and lead. To do this a new National Cyber Force will be created to protect our people from harm and it will also see a new “Space Command” capable of launching our first rocket in 2022. This will be underpinned by a record investment of at least £1.5 billion extra and £5.8 billion in total on military research and development and a commitment to invest further in the Future Combat Air System.
I welcome these investments and fully support the strengthening of our defence, it is also pleasing to see that 10,000 new jobs annually to be created across the UK. This will also help in our aim to level up the UK as we will see the creation of high skilled jobs.
This is a fantastic opportunity and an ambitious agenda. I look forward to seeing the creation of a new National Cyber Force, building on our strengths, adapting for the future and leading the way in an ever-changing world.