British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has given a huge incentive to UK-based military equipment firms to produce weapons that can be sold overseas by saying his Government would support their marketing and sales efforts.
Speaking at the Defence Security International Exposition he said if UK defense firms wanted to raise their bottom line, they had to make sure they could sell their products overseas, and in return the Government would “lead on key, strategic export campaigns” globally.
“As a government, boosting our export successes in what is an increasingly competitive marketplace has to now be the priority,” he said, citing the Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jet and other “complex weapons” as projects the British government would promote.
“These are areas where my department is best placed to offer unique benefits, such as the exchanges, advice, doctrine and training that can enhance the long-term capabilities of our partners and increase the interoperability that they are seeking.”
Fallon said British security and defense exports earned $18.5 billion last year, urging companies to think export markets.
“In the past, we at MoD have contracted for highly bespoke products at great expense,” he said. “But we’ve then found that such high specifications have proved a hard sell in the international marketplace. Only later, perhaps too late, have we considered how such capabilities could meet the requirements.
He also said modularity and open systems should be first priority in future planning.
“This crossover from defense to the civil sector needs to become more commonplace,” he said.
The minister also announced his ministry had completed a deal for a $450 million contract with MBDA UK for a new Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missiles for its fighter jets to be built in Britain, adding 400 high tech jobs for the country.
“These weapons will allow the pilot to engage multiple targets with several missiles simultaneously,” he said.