Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/14/2014 -- The United Kingdom is one of the most significant defence spenders in Europe and the wider world. BMI calculates that the country will spend US$71.4bn on defence in 2014. This is a significant increase from the US$65.9bn that the UK spent on defence in 2013. By 2018, we expect the UK to spend up to US$95bn on defence.
As regards procurement and defence modernisation, in February 2014 the British Army completed the preliminary design review for its Warrior infantry fighting vehicles. The British Army plans to upgrade all 643 of its vehicles with a service entry for these upgraded platforms scheduled for 2018.
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As of January 2014, the RAF had received seven of its 14 A330-MRTT aircraft. A further two will be delivered in 2014, taking the total fleet size to nine. Meanwhile, it was announced in January 2014 that the RAF has taken delivery of the first of three Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavylift helicopters from a total eventual fleet size of 14 aircraft. Finally, the last of the Royal Navy's Type-45 'Daring' class air defence destroyers HMS Duncan entered service with the fleet in late December 2014.
In early 2014, the Ministry of Defence announced that it had commenced the procurement of long-lead items for the next-generation of nuclear ballistic missile submarines that will supersede the Royal Navy's current 'Vanguard' class boats. The first of the four Vanguard vessels are expected to be replaced from 2028. Moreover, the UK has signed a contract for the conversion of up to 25 of the Royal Air Force's AgustaWestland AW-101 helicopters under the Merlin Life Sustainment Programme to configure them for use by the Royal Navy.
Regarding exports, the UK will export 120 tracked armoured vehicles to Latvia. The deal is estimated to be worth US$96mn, although the model of vehicle to be acquired by the Baltic nation has not been revealed. Both the UK and France have agreed to move forward on the joint development of an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle commencing a US$198mn joint feasibility study. In addition, both countries have agreed to combine development of a new anti-ship missile and naval mine countermeasures equipment.
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