BERLIN (Reuters) - Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday, a long-awaited trip to Berlin the British leader hopes will deepen security cooperation after he announced London's move to increase defence spending. 

The two will announce plans to develop Remote-Controlled Howitzer 155mm Wheeled Artillery Systems (RCH 155) and discuss collaboration on energy projects, including German energy investment, according to the British government.

Just a day after Sunak announced he would raise defence spending to 2.5% of GDP a year by 2030 in what he suggested was a challenge to other European countries to follow suit, he will try to forge closer security ties with Germany.

"The UK and Germany are European powerhouses," Sunak said in a statement. "Together, we are stronger - whether that is defending against Russian aggression or driving economic growth and technological advance.

"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."

Sunak has not visited Germany since he became British prime minister in October 2022.

    The British leader has cut back his international travel, handing much of Britain's diplomacy to his foreign minister, the former prime minister David Cameron, while he focuses on trying to improve his Conservative Party's electoral fortunes by concentrating on domestic policy ahead of an election this year.

    But he used his return to the international scene to announce a large increase in defence spending, saying the British arms industry must be on a "war footing" when the world is at its most dangerous since the Cold War. 

He will also discuss investment with Scholz. The British government said German energy company RWE would invest more than 8 billion euros (£6.9 billion) in Britain by the end of this decade, while E.ON energy will be investing 1 billion pounds in the UK over the next 5 years to help drive the green energy transition.

(Editing by Mark Heinrich)

By Elizabeth Piper