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Former Air Vice Marshal: Technology Funding Is Top Challenge for UK Armed Forces

Former Air Vice Marshal: Technology Funding Is Top Challenge for UK Armed Forces

Funding the technology to maintain proper munitions stockpiles outlined in the UK Defence Command Paper 2023 is the biggest challenge facing the British armed forces, Gary Waterfall, retired Royal Air Force air vice marshal, told Defense News.

Deterrence before enemy threats occur, also cited in the document, has to be available at the military’s moment of choice, he added. According to Waterfall, the defense force is now undertaking “a lot of work” to enhance readiness in all of its capabilities.

In the DCP23, the British armed forces also explained how it will invest in strategic enablers and needed infrastructure to make the United Kingdom’s defense capabilities credible and resilient. In addition, the paper announced the creation of a Global Response Force as one way for the British military to make its global operations more coherent.

Waterfall, a military adviser of the defense tradeshow DSEI, noted that ties with small and midsize enterprises will dictate the evolution of the defense forces’ relationship with industry. An SME can provide a solution “a lot quicker” than a big prime contractor with a “process to go through,” he said.

The next DSEI defense tradeshow will be held in London from Sept. 12 to 15, featuring all 20 traditional prime contractors for the first time. More than 2,800 defense and security suppliers are expected to participate in the biennial event.

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