Defence – in the House of Commons on 15th May 2023.
What steps his Department is taking to help support Ukraine’s military defence against Russia.
The UK, our allies and partners are continuing to respond decisively to support Ukraine as the conflict evolves. We have trained over 15,000 recruits and provided £2.4 billion of support, including artillery ammunition, as well as leading the world on the gifting of vital capabilities, such as multiple-launch rocket systems, Challenger 2 tanks and now Storm Shadow missiles.
I again congratulate my right hon. Friend on the announcement of the delivery of long-range Storm Shadow missiles to Ukraine. I am proud that the UK has been able to provide this vital capability to the Ukrainians ahead of their long-expected counter-offensive. Given that the Ukrainians will need all the support they can get for that, can he reassure me that the second spending round of the international fund for Ukraine is proceeding at pace? When might we expect to see contracts placed with the remaining £300 million?
My hon. Friend will be glad to know that the second spending round was launched last month. It is seeking expressions of interest in a phased approach, beginning with the needs for air defence, long-range strike and mobility support, and it is open to huge numbers of SMEs to apply for funding. Submissions are being assessed right now and more requirements will be launched in the coming weeks. Successful companies will be chosen by the UK, alongside our IFU partners, and contracting will begin as soon as possible.