03:43 GMT22 January 2021
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    The United Kingdom is to sign a 300-million-pound ($463 million) contract with the European arms company MBDA for the purchase of missiles for its Typhoon fighter jets, the UK Defense Ministry announced Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to the ministry's press release, MBDA will build a new version of the Advanced Short Range Air-to-Air Missile (ASRAAM), incorporating new systems into the existing design.

    "ASRAAM missiles provide our Typhoon jets with battle-winning technology on combat missions, and these upgrades will help to make it a missile for the future, ready for use on our new Lightning II aircraft. This contract is part of our £160 billion equipment plan, supported by a rising Defence budget," UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said, as quoted in the press release.

    The eight-year contract will create around 400 jobs in Britain, according to the minister.

    The Conservative Party, headed by David Cameron, won a landslide victory in the general elections in the United Kingdom on May 7. In the pre-election campaign the Tories promised to invest some $242 billion in new military equipment over the next decade.

    In July, the UK government announced that it would meet the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) defense spending requirement of at least 2 percent of annual GDP over the next five years.


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