Defence Exports to Global Allies

Defence – in the House of Commons at on 15 May 2023.

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Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Conservative, Eastleigh

What steps his Department has taken to support defence exports to global allies.

Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

What steps his Department has taken to support defence exports to global allies.

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The UK scores highly in the global rankings for defence exports, which create jobs and prosperity across the country, building the industrial resilience and capacity we need for our national security. Through the defence and security industrial strategy, we and the industry are strengthening our position by diversifying our exports and target markets, and by collaborating more closely.

Photo of Paul Holmes Paul Holmes Conservative, Eastleigh

I welcome the Department’s announcement that both Germany and the United Kingdom will work together on the development of advanced armour-piercing tank ammunition. Given that these new rounds will be able to be fired from both British and German tanks, supporting compatibility within NATO, what export potential does this new capability have?

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who is right to highlight this important collaboration with one of our major allies. Enhanced kinetic energy munitions are a key part of the Challenger 3 and Leopard 2 main battle tanks programmes, and will deliver battle-winning capabilities to UK and German armed forces. I am confident that their advanced performance will be recognised as world-leading, and their export potential to NATO and other allies will be promoted by the MOD, as ever in close partnership with the Department for Business and Trade.

Photo of Marco Longhi Marco Longhi Conservative, Dudley North

I congratulate the Defence Secretary and all Ministers past and present who may have played their part in securing the £1.9 billion export deal with Poland for missiles. Does he agree that significantly strengthening our defence and security relationship with Brazil can increase exports to that country, too?

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, and he is absolutely right to celebrate a great British success story. The MBDA British-designed common anti-air modular missile is the latest-generation air defence system in service with the Royal Navy and British Army; it can engage targets up to 25 km away and is capable of hitting a tennis ball-sized object travelling beyond the speed of sound. It is already deployed in Poland to protect its airspace following Putin’s barbaric invasion of Ukraine. We work closely with the Department for Business and Trade in supporting Energy UK’s export campaign through dedicated teams. This network is supporting delivery of numerous CAMM campaigns, and I can confirm to my hon. Friend that we have a positive defence relationship with Brazil: he makes a very good point, and the MOD continues to work with the Brazilian Ministry of Defence and armed forces on how we and UK industry can support their equipment capability shortfalls and development requirements.