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Britain Launches Innovation Fund to Support Ukraine

£25+ Million for Rapid Delivery to Battlespace

The brightest minds in Britain’s defence industry are being encouraged to continue developing more battle-winning ideas to help Ukraine, as the MoD calls on industry to accelerate development of innovation and deliver the same rapidly to the battlespace. At least £25 million ($32 million) of funding has been allocated to the programme, the MoD announced on 30 May.

The competition will be focused on bolstering existing provisions for artillery, coastal defence and aerial systems. The government believes UK expertise, especially from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), could provide winning solutions for the Ukrainian forces.

Recent months have shown the ingenuity and innovation of the UK defence sector. We want to ensure ongoing creativity is harnessed and directed at key requirements and all companies with a capability that can help are aware of the challenge,” explained Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin.

Some innovative ideas have already arrived in-theatre quickly: notably a heavy-lift UAS solution, anti-tank loitering munitions and the adaptation of the Brimstone missile for ground launch.

The current requirements fall into four categories:

  • Artillery – procurement and manufacturing proposals to support resupply of ammunition and maintenance of Soviet-era 152mm and 122mm systems;
  • Coastal defence – support for deterrence of hostile naval forces, persistent surveillance, and long-range strike, including from autonomous or remotely-controlled vehicles;
  • Logistics and resupply – maintenance and development of infrastructure for supply lines by sea and land, including waterways, overbridging and general Ukrainian engineering capability;
  • UAS – provision of UAS capabilities across a broad spectrum of applications, from lethal effects to surveillance, EW and heavy lift.

The UK has already committed more than £2.8 billion (3.5 billion) to support Ukraine through humanitarian aid and grants, as well as military equipment, including 120 armoured vehicles, air defence systems and more than 6,500 anti-tank missiles.

Industry will need to submit proposals by 10 June, when a sift will take place to access the funding. The initial focus is on equipment that can be sourced and supplied in the next four months, with longer-term capability development in scope where applicable.

Tests had already been conducted for ground launch of Brimstone, but the UK accelerated the process in order to provide Ukraine with the capability. (MBDA)

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