LONDON, (BM) – BAE Systems has announced that it has obtained a long-term contract from the British Ministry of Defense for the supply of various types of ammunition to the British armed forces. The contract was concluded for a period of 15 years and concerns 39 types of ammunition, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.
In total, the £ 2.4bn contract for the British military covers the supply of ammunition over the next 15 years. The new contract replaces the existing one, it is to be officially concluded at the end of 2022, with the expiry of the old one, which will allow the maintenance of ammunition supplies and the manufacturer’s support in this regard.
The announcements from BAE Systems and the Ministry of Defense do not provide details of the ammunition obtained [although it is known that the contract covers 39 types of ammunition of various calibers, including artillery and tank, and covers about 50% of the value of all types of ammunition obtained by the British]. However, detailed data on jobs that will be allowed to maintain the implementation of the 15-year contract are provided.
The contract also allows for the maintenance of approximately 4,000 jobs in Great Britain. BAE Systems directly employs 1,260 people who manufacture or test and evaluate ammunition at five UK sites; Glascoed in Monmouthshire, Radway Green in Cheshire, Washington in Tyne & Wear, Bishopton near Glasgow and Ridsdale in Northumberland. The agreement is also expected to help maintain a further 1,500 jobs in the UK supply chain and support a further 1,300 jobs at local retail and service outlets.
The agreement is expected to allow BAE Systems to invest £ 70 million in the renovation and modernization of production lines, with 75% of this value being invested by 2026. The company will also spend up to £ 350m on the purchase of raw materials and machine components from UK companies.
“This key multi-billion pound contract will provide our troops with firepower at the front for many years, while guaranteeing investment in UK industry, local jobs and national infrastructure. Defense underpins hundreds of thousands of jobs in all four corners of the country, and continued investment is critical as we work together to become better and stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic” the UK Defense Minister Jeremy Quin said.
“This contract secures the future of a highly technical and immensely important industry industry that represents thousands of jobs in several regions in the UK. By investing in new technologies and skills to further develop our knowledge, we can continue to provide the armed forces with the necessary sovereign capabilities at competitive prices” BAE Systems president Charles Woodburn said.
The implementation of the contract called “Next Generation Munitions Solution” [NGMS], is to start in January 2023 and will replace the current contract called Munitions Acquisition, the Supply Solution [MASS], which started in 2008. Both contracts are part of a permanent partnership between BAE Systems and the British armed forces, especially the ground forces.
Robot soldiers will join the British army, said General Sir Nick Carter
The world’s military industry is no longer what it has been and what we have known in recent decades. The development of new technologies in the field of autonomous weapon systems and artificial intelligence is reaching new levels almost every day, and the world’s largest powers are competing to overtake their competitors. We are talking about Russia, China, the United States, and even India and Pakistan.
Britain’s long silence in this area has already been broken by British Army Chief of Defense General Nick Carter. According to him, quoted by the British newspaper The Guardian, in the coming years and in the near future, unmanned aerial vehicles and robot soldiers will become an integral part of Her Majesty’s forces. It is about tens of thousands of robot soldiers to replenish the constituent military units of the British Army, to balance and reduce the reduction of conscripts in the army on the one hand, and to ensure the protection of human life on the other. But General Carter made a very important remark: “after all, the future of such robot soldiers is uncertain at the moment.”
A slow but sure reconstruction of almost every unit of the British military is currently underway. We are talking about experimenting with the introduction of modern aircraft and integrating their functionality into the daily tasks of soldiers. Something that other major military powers have been developing and doing for a long time.
However, the general believes that the “new robotic recruits” could become part of the British army around 2030, and according to him they will represent 25 percent of the entire British army. In concrete terms, out of 120,000 troops, 30,000 of them will be robot soldiers. However, it should be noted that General Carratr later emphasized that all these data were speculative and should not be considered reliable, at least at this stage.
BulgarianMilitary.com has been writing for a long time about the various weapon systems of the future that are currently being developed. From autonomous autonomous drones, kamikaze drones flying in a swarm, submarines and artificial intelligence ships, to the construction of a radio telescope in the crater of the moon and the deployment of reconnaissance satellite satellites in low orbit around the earth. Even recently, we published extensive material on the US Army’s new augmented reality goggles, which in autonomous mode provide a complete visualization of the entire battlefield of a soldier who is not even there at the moment.
“It’s a risk, and we need to be aware of it,” General Carter concludes, referring to the fact that “playing” with artificial intelligence can lead to an out-of-control human situation, and to our otherwise familiar “film war” – machines against man. With the development of new technologies in the field of artificial intelligence and the possible participation of robotic soldiers, a war can start quite by accident, even without a necessary reason.
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