Speaking the Commons during a defence debate, Bob said the Government must look more closely at procurement and look to buy from abroad, but also develop world-class kit over the next 50 years.
“I will seek a meeting with the Minister in the near future to discuss the need for a complex radar technology demonstrator at the BAE site in Cowes in my constituency,” he told MPs.
“The BAE radar factory in Cowes produces all the radars for the carriers and the Type 45 destroyers. If we want our own indigenous radar capability, we need that technology demonstrator soon.”
Having the demonstrator could help expand technological excellence and highly-skilled jobs on the Island.
During his speech, Bob also paid tribute to Island reservists who had saved their unit. He told MPs he is now a reservist and was a soldier who had taken part on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We need reservists, but let us also support them. The reserve unit on the Isle of Wight was saved, not through the MOD’s wisdom, but thanks to the remarkable work of Captain Richard Clarke and the continuing leadership of Acting Sergeant Matt Symans…It is individuals punching above their weight who are saving units from closure.”
He also added that the government needs to focus on many different forms of power, including aid, to have a good defence strategy.
“We need soft power, hard power and cyber power, but most of all we need an attitude of smart and integrated power,” he told Parliament.
“We need to study and understand how to project that smart power at a strategic, operational and tactical level. From what I have seen on operations and here at home, we still lack that, but it is not unachievable if the Government have the ambition.”