UK launches Defence Arctic Strategy to address emerging threats

2 October 2018 (Last Updated October 2nd, 2018 12:50)

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has launched a new Defence Arctic Strategy to address the increasing opportunities and threats present in the region.

UK launches Defence Arctic Strategy to address emerging threats
Royal Navy submarine HMS Trenchant breaks through the ice at the Arctic. Credit: © Crown copyright.

UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has launched a new Defence Arctic Strategy to address the increasing opportunities and threats present in the region.

The change in natural environment in the Arctic and High North makes the region more accessible, significantly changing the security environment and increasing the need for military defence.

The new strategy will help enhance the focus of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) on the Arctic region, and will put the Arctic and the High North central under the security of the country.

Williamson said: “As the ice melts and new shipping routes emerge, the significance of the High North and Arctic region increases.

“Russia, with more submarines operating under the ice and ambitions to build over 100 facilities in the Arctic, are staking a claim and militarising the region. We must be ready to deal with all threats as they emerge.”

“Russia, with more submarines operating under the ice and ambitions to build over 100 facilities in the Arctic, are staking a claim and militarising the region.”

As part of the Defence Arctic Strategy, British Royal Marines will carry out cold weather training in collaboration with Norway.

The strategy will be integrated into the defence plan of Norway, providing British troops with an opportunity to train alongside a major allied nation.

Furthermore, the defence plan has also been designed to complement the country’s NATO commitments.

Next year, four Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets will be deployed by the UK Royal Air Force (RAF) for the first time to patrol Icelandic skies, enabling the country to work in close collaboration with allies to deter aerial threats to Euro Atlantic security.

In 2020, a new fleet of P-8 Poseidon sub-hunting aircraft will be deployed to help combat a wide range of emerging threats and address the increasing submarine activity in the Arctic.