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PM: UK and Germany open ‘new chapter’ in defence partnership



  • Prime Minister and Chancellor Scholz to hold talks in Berlin on security, trade and shared issues like illegal migration
  • UK and Germany to launch new joint industrial programme to develop artillery systems
  • German companies announce investments into the UK of more than £8 billion

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin today [Wednesday] to deepen our defence and security cooperation. 

As an initial step, the UK and Germany will announce plans for a joint endeavour to develop Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155mm Wheeled Artillery Systems (RCH 155), which will be fitted to Boxer vehicles. 

The joint programme is expected to create hundreds of British and German jobs, while equipping our armed forces with battle-winning capabilities for future ground warfare.

It follows the Prime Minister’s visit to Poland on Tuesday, where he held talks with Prime Minister Tusk and the Nato Secretary-General and announced a historic uplift in UK defence spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

The UK and Germany are European powerhouses. Together, we are stronger – whether that is defending against Russian aggression or driving economic growth and technological advance.

Today we are opening a new chapter in our relationship, one that will make us safer and more prosperous. At this dangerous moment for the world, the UK and Germany are standing side by side to preserve security and prosperity at home and across our continent.

The leaders are also expected to discuss collaboration on energy and renewables, including on the export of green hydrogen from the UK and Germany, and joint efforts to tackle organised immigration crime. 

The UK and Germany are the two largest economies in Europe and Germany is our largest trading partner on the continent, with bilateral trade worth £147.7 billion last year. 

The Prime Minister will meet leading businesses in Berlin to drive further economic cooperation, as German firms announce £8 billion worth of new investment today into the UK.

German energy company RWE have confirmed their intention to invest more than €8 billion (£6.9 billion) in the UK by the end of this decade, and E.ON energy will be investing £1bn in the UK over the next 5 years to help drive the green energy transition.

RWE CEO Dr Markus Krebber said:

The UK has been one of RWE’s most important core markets for decades. We are committed to continuing to contribute to the UK’s ambitious renewable energy and decarbonisation targets. We intend to invest a further €8 billion in the UK by the end of this decade into commercially viable projects.

Uniper, another leading German energy company, has also committed to invest a further €8 billion in green transformation projects in its main markets in Germany and the UK through 2030, including in gas-fired power plants, solar and wind parks, energy storage systems, and hydrogen production units.

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Constructed on a Boxer armoured vehicles chassis, the RCH 155 is able to fire up to 9 rounds of 155mm artillery per minute and possess a powerful blend of tactical and operational mobility.

Rounds can reach distances of around 40 kilometres, and the RCH 155 is the world’s first howitzer that can fire on the move, meaning it is more versatile in avoiding counter-artillery fire.

The programme has the potential to bring significant economic benefits to the UK, including component construction creating hundreds of British jobs across more than 100 separate UK-based subcomponent suppliers that support the wider Boxer programme.

The full list of investments announcement into the UK today from Germany companies is:

RWE (Energy Investment)

German energy company RWE has the intention of investing a further €8 billion in the UK by the end of this decade.

E.ON (Energy Investment)

German energy company E.ON will continue their track record of significant investment in the UK by committing £1bn over the next five years.

Siemens Healthineers (Life Sciences Investment)

Siemens Healthineers is announcing plans for a new biomarker production facility in Bedfordshire, bringing more than £20 million investment and a home for up to 40 highly-skilled jobs.

Patrizia (Real Estate Capital Investment)

German real estate investment manager Patrizia will invest an additional £140m in urban logistics in Greater London in the next 18 months. The investments will lead to further job creation and contributing to the modernisation of London’s urban infrastructure.

HyImpulse (Space Investment)

German space startup HyImpulse intends to invest up to €50m in the UK over the next 3 years. The investment will create 70 jobs at a new engineering office in Glasgow and develop the company’s launch capabilities at Scottish Space Port Saxa Vord.

Siemens Healthineers (Life Sciences Investment)

German life sciences company Siemens Healthineers is announcing plans for a new biomarker production facility in Bedfordshire, bringing more than £20 million investment and a home for up to 40 highly-skilled jobs.

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