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Britain Expand Its Military Spending In Defense Against Islamic State
Amidst a growing threat from Islamic State terrorism, Britain strengthen its defense by spending more budget on defense and security.
According to CNN, Britain will beef up its security by purchasing nine new Boeing P8 maritime patrol aircraft for surveillance and anti-submarine warfare,with additional spending of £12 billion ($18 billion). It will also speed up the purchase of F-35 fighter aircraft and extend the life of its Typhoon Eurofighter jets. British finance minister George Osborne said that Britain is also increasing the counter-terrorism budget by 30%, but he did not give further details.
Government will reveal its five-year plan for the entire national budget on Wednesday. Britain has planned to cut budget on welfare, housing and policing in an attempt to balance the books. However, as the threat of terrorism grows, government had to increase defense budget. On Monday, the prime minister addressed the parliament regarding his strategic defense plan.
As Reuters reported, Prime Minister David Cameron said that Britain will boost spending on defense to combat the growing threat from Islamic militants. Prime Minister emphasized the needs for rapid reaction forces after the Paris terrorist attacks that kill 130 people. Cameron unveiled his plan to increase spending to £178 billion ($270 billion) over the next decade, as part of his government five years plan in defense and security. In his speech to parliament delivering his Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR), Prime Minister Cameron said "As the murders on the streets of Paris remind us so starkly Islamic State is not some remote problem thousands of miles away, it is a direct threat to our security at home and abroad."
Boeing P8 Poseidon is a military version of Boeing 737-800ERX. The aircraft is capable to conduct anti-submarine, anti-surface and maritime surveillance, equipped with Advanced Airborne Sensor surface search radar. One of its recent involvement in international event is the search of MH 370 missing airplane. While F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a multirole fighter made by Lockheed Martin, it is also known as one of the most advanced jet fighter with stealth and high maneuverability. Currently, Britain already has Typhoon Eurofighter in its air defense service. The aircraft is made by Britain's BAE System, Italian's Alenia Aermacchi and French's Airbus.
The Telegraph reported the purchase of Boeing P8 Poseidon is to protect the Royal Navy's nuclear missile submarines and new fleet of aircraft carriers. In SDSR plan, besides nine Boeing P8, Britain will also purchase 24 of F-35 by 2023 and add two more squadron of its Typhoon Eurofighter. However, the strategic defense plan of Britain will also cut the order of Global Combat Ship (GCS) frigates from 13 vessels to five to be bought.
Britain strategic defense plan is aim to strengthen its aerial defense system. The plan will start with additional purchase of advanced fighters and surveillance aircraft.