Computer generated image of a concept Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAS) Defence cooperation between the UK and France has been strengthened following agreements signed at the Farnborough Air Show today. Philip Hammond and Jean-Yves Le Drian agreed to bolster cooperation relating to the acquisition and support of military equipment for both the UK and French Armed Forces. The agreement follows on from the communiqué that was signed by Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande at RAF Brize Norton in January, which set out plans for closer ties between the two countries. As part of the deal signed today, the UK and France agreed a £120m Feasibility Phase with six industry partners for the joint development of Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle concepts and technologies. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the SCALP/Stormshadow programme with MBDA that continues our cooperation on this important cruise missile capability.

Sourced: France24

France on Wednesday announced plans to boost defence spending by more than 40 percent, bringing it into line with NATO targets after complaints from US President Donald Trump that Europe is not pulling its weight.

European NATO members have come under pressure from Trump to relieve the burden on the US, which currently accounts for about 70 percent of combined NATO defence spending.

The French government unveiled a bill that increases spending on the armed forces from 34.2 billion euros ($42 billion) in 2018 to 50 billion euros in 2025, taking the defence budget from 1.82 percent of GDP currently to a NATO target of two percent.

Nuclear-armed France and Britain are the biggest military powers in the European Union.

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