LONDON — Britain is to invest £180 million (US $268.7 million) over the next 10 years strengthening its military presence on the Falkland Islands and has already started looking for a contractor to build a key element of a ground-based air defense (GBAD) system.
Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon outlined plans to deploy helicopters and upgrade port facilities along with the GBAD system to boost Britain’s military on the islands.
Two Chinook support helicopters will be operational by the middle of next year along with communications capabilities for the British headquarters at Mount Pleasant airfield.
A number of projects to replace some of the aging infrastructure are also included in the long-term capability plans, including the refurbishment of Mare Harbour.
Fallon said the introduction of the Chinooks is a “significant capability which will provide reactive, 24/7 tactical mobility, in order to allow a swift and decisive response to any emerging incidents. The helicopters will also bring a heavy lift capability and will enhance the training opportunities available to the resident infantry company.
Read More:UK Seeks To Update Falklands Air Defense.