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DSEI 2021: UK defence industry policy risks strategic incoherence (Opinion)

8th September 2021 - 17:00 GMT | by The Clarence in London


UK-based F-35 component manufacturer Meggitt is set to be bought by Parker-Hannifin. (Photo: Meggitt)

The UK has a globally regarded network of defence and security companies — but industrial sovereignty is being eroded by a steady stream of bids from overseas.

Key parts of the UK defence industry appear to be up for sale to speculative US investors that are keen to swoop, secure a bargain and reap the rewards. 

At the same time, UK steel company Sheffield Forgemasters has been effectively nationalised to protect critical parts of the UK defence supply chain.

These two events highlight what is best be described as growing strategic incoherency in the UK approach to protecting its sovereign defence industrial capabilities. There are potentially significant ramifications for these actions, yet no clear sense that the UK government has a plan on how to address …

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