British Minister of the Armed Forces James Heappey and US Secretary of the Army Ryan D McCarthy have signed an MoU on joint modernisation of their respective armies.
The agreement seeks to formalise a number of ongoing initiatives between the two services, boosting opportunities to co-operate effectively as modern warfare continues to evolve. Key cutting-edge capabilities have been identified for closer collaboration to help narrow gaps between UK and US forces so they can operate seamlessly together in future battlespaces. This will involve developing innovative solutions together to tackle shared threats and operational challenges that affect both nations.
“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,” said the Minister. “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.”
The initial plan aims to cover complementing capabilities from 2023 to 2027, and will focus on:
- Networks – the shared development of digital infrastructure to support UK/US operations
- Long Range Precision Fires – improving the bi-lateral capability development
- Future Vertical Lift – creating closer affiliation in the development of helicopter capability
- Soldier and Ground Lethality – building on the existing collaboration to improve the effectiveness of Land forces
- Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing (APNT) – providing greater coherence in the development of Multi-Domain technologies
“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 [position] 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 modernization priorities,” added Secretary McCarthy.
The agreement is in line with the ambitions of the upcoming Integrated Review, with modernisation and pioneering capabilities at its core, protecting the UK and its allies against future threats. The review will look at modernising military equipment and improving the capability of the British armed forces and intelligence agencies, alongside those of allied powers.