New figures from last week have shown Ministry of Defence (MOD) expenditure with industry and commerce in Scotland in 2020/21 was £1.989 billion, equivalent of £360 per person in Scotland. For the whole UK, the figure was £20.5 billion, working out at an average of £310 per person.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said, “These figures show that defence not only plays a crucial part in the security of the United Kingdom but also contributes significantly to delivering high-skilled jobs and investment in Scotland, not least through shipbuilding. The prosperity generated by defence employment in Scotland and around the UK, alongside our Plan for Jobs, is helping us build back better from the pandemic.”
Defence investment in Scottish shipbuilding will see order books full until the 2030s. Over the last 15 years, Scotland has delivered six Type 45 destroyers, two aircraft carriers, five offshore patrol vessels and already has orders for eight Type 26 frigates from BAE Systems at Govan and five Type 31s from Babcock’s just-completed Frigate Hall at Rosyth.
Last year, steel was cut on two more ships for the Royal Navy (HMS Belfast in Glasgow and HMS Venturer in Rosyth). Defence’s footprint in Scotland also includes the Ministry of Defence directly employing around 4,000 civilian staff.
The Future Soldier programme announced a £335m investment in the Army’s Scots estate, which is expected to unleash £1bn in wider economic benefit and last week, the ninth submarine hunting Poseidon aircraft – vital to maintaining the security of the UK and our NATO allies – arrived at RAF Lossiemouth.
Lossiemouth will also see its ranks rise by around 500 in preparation for the arrival of the E-7 Wedgetail, the RAF’s new early warning and control aircraft.