UK Ministry of Defence launches innovation fund to support Ukrainian armed forces
The brightest minds in the UK Defence industry are being encouraged to continue developing more battle-winning ideas to help Ukraine. Defence Ministers are calling on UK industry to accelerate the development of equipment for the Ukrainian armed forces, launching a £25 million campaign fund for the design and delivery of equipment to the country across the coming months.
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One of the four requirements concerns artillery: Procurement and manufacturing proposals to support the resupply of ammunition and the maintenance of Soviet calibre 152mm and 122mm weapon systems.(Picture source: Kyiv Post)
The competition will be focused on bolstering the existing provision for artillery, coastal defence and aerial systems. The British Government believes drawing on UK expertise across the defence industry, including from innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), could provide battle-winning solutions for the Ukrainian forces.
Defence Procurement Minister, Jeremy Quin said: ‘’Since Russia’s brutal invasion UK defence suppliers with active support from MoD and DE&S have taken equipment from desktop ideas to the front line. This £25m+ fund is designed to capture ongoing work and support innovative ideas to meet Ukrainian defence requirements. 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. Working closely with the industry, we have already seen innovative ideas quickly reaching Theatre. This includes capabilities such as heavy lift Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and anti-tank loitering munitions, as well as adapting existing weapons systems such as integrating Brimstone for use as a ground-launched weapon’’.
The requirements fall into four categories:
• Artillery - Procurement and manufacturing proposals to support the resupply of ammunition and the maintenance of Soviet calibre 152mm and 122mm weapon systems.
• Coastal defence – Supporting the deterrence of hostile naval forces, persistent surveillance, and delivery of attacks at range, including from autonomous or remotely-controlled vehicles.
• Military logistics and resupply – Maintenance and development of infrastructure for supply lines by sea and land, including waterways, overbridging and general Ukrainian engineering capability.
• Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) – The provision of UAS capabilities across a broad spectrum of capabilities, from lethal effects to surveillance, electronic warfare and heavy lift.
The UK has already committed more than £2.8 billion to support Ukraine through humanitarian aid and grants, as well as a military kit including 120 armoured vehicles, air defence systems and more than 6,500 anti-tank missiles.
Industry organisations will need to submit proposals by June 10th, when a sift will take place to access the funding, with at least £25 million available. 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. Industry organisations looking to submit proposals should visit the Defence Sourcing Portal.