In a bid to fortify the country against terrorism and other security threats, the UK will be adding nine P-8 Poseidons and 24 F-35 stealth fighters to its repository of warplanes.
As part of the UK's increased spending on defence, the British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK will be buying nine P-8 Poseidon long-range patrol planes from Boeing on Monday at the National Security Strategy (NSS) and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, prior to the SDSR and NSS meeting, had announced that the country would also be expediting the acquisition of carrier-based F-35 stealth fighters.
The Poseidon is a long-range patrol plane made by Boeing. It was built as a replacement for US Navy's Lockheed P-3 Orion antisubmarine warfare patrol aircraft. The UK needs the Poseidon to take the place of the Royal Air Force's retired Hawker Sidley Nimrod.
The 'flyaway' cost of the Poseidon is $171.5 million per aircraft.
The 24 F-35, made by Lockheed Martin, are stealth fighters that will be divided among the two carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales. The original plan was to purchase eight F-35's.
"We are going to step up the aircraft carrier punch of the United Kingdom. We are going to make sure that when these aircraft carriers are available they are going to have planes that can fly from them in force," the BBC reported Osborne as saying. "By 2023, we will be able to have these jetsâ€”some of the most powerful in the worldâ€”the F-35, on the decks of these carriers and Britain, second only to the United States, will be able to project power abroad in order to defend ourselves at home."
Cameron has committed 2 % of the GDP for defence spending to fulfil a NATO target. The former colonial power is only second in defence spending, after the US.
Osborne recently said that strict austerity measures will be implemented in the UK and the country would face a budgetary cut of Â£20 billion so that the country's deficit is overcome by the 2020. Also, an extra Â£12 billion has been committed to defence equipment spending, which would affect the police force, the department of energy and climate change, and the department for business, innovation, and skills, reports Ars Technica.