The Ministry of Defence’s latest quarterly service personnel statistics reveal a significant decline in the number of personnel in the British Army and other branches of HM Armed Forces.

The report provides a overview of the strength, intake, and outflow of military personnel across the UK Armed Forces, including the Royal Navy (RN), Royal Marines (RM), and the Royal Air Force (RAF).

The total strength of UK Forces service personnel stands at 183,230, marking a decrease of 5,590 personnel, or 3%, from 1 April 2023. The combined full-time trained strength (FTTS) of the RN/RM and RAF, along with the full-time trade trained strength (FTTTS) of the Army, has decreased by 3,800 personnel (3%) to a total of 129,760.

Despite the overall decrease, the number of new recruits joining the UK Regular Armed Forces increased slightly by 2% (210 people), totaling 11,300 new recruits in the past 12 months. However, the outflow of personnel, those leaving the forces, was higher at 15,730, albeit a decrease of 780 personnel (5%) compared to the previous year.

The strength of the trained Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) also saw a decline, with a 3% drop (790 personnel), bringing the total to 29,570. On a positive note, recruitment for the reserves increased by 10% (360 people), although the number of personnel leaving the reserves also decreased by 6% (360 people).

Breakdown by Branch:

  • British Army: The Army’s full-time trade trained strength (FTTTS) has declined by 3.1%, dropping from 74,830 to 72,510 personnel. The total strength, including reserves and other personnel, stands at 110,300, a decrease of 2.8%.
  • Royal Navy/Royal Marines: The RN/RM experienced a 1.7% decrease in their FTTS, reducing their numbers from 29,350 to 28,840 personnel.
  • Royal Air Force: The RAF saw a 3.3% decrease in its FTTS, now at 28,420 personnel, down from 29,380 the previous year.

The report underscores the ongoing challenges faced by the UK’s Armed Forces in maintaining their personnel numbers. The reduction in personnel across all branches, especially the Army, raises questions about the UK’s ability to meet its current and future obligations, including those related to NATO.

The changes in personnel numbers are influenced by several factors, including the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) of 2015, which initially set out to reduce personnel.

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Lisa has a degree in Media & Communication from Glasgow Caledonian University and works with industry news, sifting through press releases in addition to moderating website comments.
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Dern
Dern (@guest_823181)
1 month ago

Outflow and retention are big problems, bigger than perceptions about people “not wanting to serve.”

Grizzler
Grizzler (@guest_823213)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Yep – sort out the issues – rather than trite “bring back the draft’ electioneering bullshit-but we know whats harder – and therefore won’t get done.

Last edited 1 month ago by Grizzler
Kevin Gunn
Kevin Gunn (@guest_823228)
1 month ago
Reply to  Grizzler

Very true

Dern
Dern (@guest_823252)
1 month ago
Reply to  Grizzler

Yup. Sadly you are right I believe.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823226)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Very true, I am sure.

I had a look at CAS for 2023.
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/64c26738331a65000d934cc9/AFCAS_2023_Main_Report_Accessible_FINAL_ContxtUpdtd.pdf

It made shocking reading.

CAS for 2024 should be published within a few weeks.

Tommo
Tommo (@guest_823237)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Retention has always been a problem for serving personnel after Corporate a lot of lads went “F this for a game of Sailors ” but at the same time a lot of youth wanted too join up the same is happening again with the Army and yet people from the Commonwealth would like too join the British Armed Forces Retention could be a lot of different issues Pay Housing length of deployments or lack of the list is ad infernitum

Dern
Dern (@guest_823250)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Can you please use punctuation?

Tommo
Tommo (@guest_823255)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I do apologise Dern ,I’m going too have to go to Sec savers .

MT1
MT1 (@guest_823182)
1 month ago

Shocking and I have zero confidence that even after the election anything will change. Despite the warnings over China and more than 2 years of war on our doorstep people in this country still don’t rate defence spending as a priority. I haven’t even read or seen anyone even mention defence when asked by media for their views.

Shane Ramshaw
Shane Ramshaw (@guest_823190)
1 month ago

No operations and being stuck in a super garrision like Tidworth, Colchester or Catterick after closing everything else down and bringing them home is not exactly an exciting prospect.

pete
pete (@guest_823235)
1 month ago
Reply to  Shane Ramshaw

Cameron is responsible for bringing the troops back from Germany taking the joy out Army lol

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823198)
1 month ago

Don’t worry, Labour will sort it….won’t they.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823209)
1 month ago

I would suggest you don’t , the nhs is hard pressed enough as it is.
To quote the great Sid James from Carry on up the Kyber.” Do something, We are British, we won’t do anything until it is too late.”
I doubt politicians even begin to realise the lead time for a new frigate, tank or Typhoon. They still live in la la land where we can bang tanks, planes and ships out by the dozen

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_823247)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

NHS hard pressed…haha. Almost everybody is sucking at NHS teat.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823254)
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yah think, you clearly don’t have much knowledge of the NHS or the people that work in it.

Jason Hartley
Jason Hartley (@guest_823301)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

He right , a lot of my family work in the NHS and they say it’s so badly mismanaged and wasteful. People getting stupid salaries for very little return. The NHS needs a huge shake up and pruning back ..it gets too much money for what it does ..not fit for purpose.

DB
DB (@guest_823322)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason Hartley

Yes, but, we’re not allowed to say that!

Can someone now convert that 3% into financial savings for the MoD?

And can someone now do the numbers on the crapita contract for recruiting +/- 300 people!

The NHS does have wastage but so does the MoD.

Caspian237
Caspian237 (@guest_823342)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason Hartley

I’ve never been able to reconcile the fact that the NHS is one of the largest employers on the planet while simultaneously always being understaffed. I can’t figure if the NHS is simply trying to do too much when compared with similar international health services or whether it really is comparable with them and we’ve just turned bi***ing and moaning about the NHS into a national hobby.

James
James (@guest_823424)
1 month ago
Reply to  Caspian237

Seriously the Somali army even would kick the British army butt because they are battle hardened and fight an insurgency that defeated armies of multiple countries. They may not be as armed as the British army 🪖 but certainly have no woke issues or soft military age young men like we do have now.

Dern
Dern (@guest_823494)
1 month ago
Reply to  James

Out of interest, have you worked with the Somali National Army?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823345)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jason Hartley

I can imagine contracted management consultants, very senior clinical consultants, very senior managers and agency (bank) staff getting ‘stupid salaries’ – but not the vast majority – that’s why there have been protests, disputes and strikes.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823276)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Don’t believe there is anything fundamentally deficient w/ British military, which a serious infusion of funds over time wouldn’t remedy. Problem is that a military is somewhat equivalent to insurance, everyone always bemoans insurance premiums, are grateful for coverage if/when a calamity happens, and is impossible to secure retroactive coverage. Hmmm, that line of reasoning seems vaguely familiar. 🤔 Politicians, please read and heed.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823277)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Better phrasing:…and find impossible to secure retroactive coverage. 🤔😊

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823279)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I disagree, defence goes further than insurance, fundamentally it is a deterent policy. When country A knows that if it attacks country B it will at worst loose at best take a sound beating leading to a stale mate. Country A will think twice before it makes a move on Country B.
Fundamental a strong defence is a deterrent to war and ultimately far cheaper than a weak defence leading to an expensive war in men and material.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823289)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Deterrent value (insurance policy)limits) is in effect as long defence spending (insurance premiums) is appropriately indexed to threat level and inflation. Sorry, most analogies are not perfect.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823290)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

…(insurance policy/limits)…🙄

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823317)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Apology not required. We were having a discussion about the added value of defence spending

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823356)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

👍

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823368)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

To have a spirited but interesting exchange of ideas and debate makes a pleasant change.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823445)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

😊

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823328)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

The trouble is that for a nation our size, our Defence budget is large, 6th biggest in the world, largest in Europe.
Politicians trade on that all the time.

But we don’t get as much bang for the buck as we should – France spends less and has more military manpower and platforms. There is alot of mismanagement, particularly of procurement projects.

We do need to spend more though, as we are in a pre-War era, according to Shapps. Our forces are far too small.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823346)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

UK has just gone back up to being 5th biggest spender on defence in the world for 2024.

Jon
Jon (@guest_823376)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We are the 6th biggest economy in the world, down from 5th last year (India is having a high growth year and we aren’t) The stats I read say we are the 6th biggest defence spender, so for a nation our size we don’t overspend on defence. Much of the spend is on things we didn’t used to call UK defence spending. There are some big headline procurement mismanagements, nobody can disagree with that. Some of that is down to trying to spend less per annum and making procurements last longer. I wonder how much is down to restricting the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823434)
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Very true that we don’t overspend on defence. Within the defence budget is the military aid to Ukraine which should really be from the FCDO budget or from the Treasury’s Contingency Fund. Also the nuclear deterrent which many consider should be directly funded from HMT and a lot of non-Defence Intelligence is funded by MoD. There are so many reasons for MoD procurement cock-ups. Your point is interesting and not generally considered but certainly the number of civil servants in DE&S today compared to its predecessor organisations is much reduced. SRO is an interesting one. I am not at all… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823442)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Were there not relatively recent official press releases re a reorganized (new & improvised) procurement process? Only true cynics would consider it equivalent to reorganizing the deck chairs onboard RMS Titanic. 😉 Hope springs eternal…👍

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823443)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Sorry…intended to write:… rearranging the deck chairs…🙄

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823529)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Sorry:…(new and improved)…🙄

Hereward
Hereward (@guest_824260)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Spending a lot is meaningless if there is little to show for it either in training or kit

Tommo
Tommo (@guest_823233)
1 month ago

Hope your good at holding your Breath Daniele

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823358)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Hi know mate! I wouldn’t trust them with defence, ever. Not after last time.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823280)
1 month ago

They are making encouraging noises but noise is easy when you are in opposition.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_823349)
1 month ago

Nope. Labour’s only move is to cancel everything they can. Their only commitment is to 2% which will not cover the cost overruns etc. They will be under extreme pressure to give out inflationary pay rises – lots of people will be on strike.

Their only serious move is to increase house building which is the normal free method of increasing GDP. However exports will likely drop as companies move their companies abroad. Unemployment will increase and we still wont have a solutions to the problems in the NHS etc.

Generally things aren’t looking good.

Tommo
Tommo (@guest_823409)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

More Houses will be built, probably on the green belt due too the vast increase of mass migration . Under cutting wages for Brits increasing welfare for the newcomers . The era of ” I’m Backing Britian” has long gone.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_823522)
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommo

Migration from Africa, South America etc.is something the world as a whole needs to address. Modern tech could probably make Africa habitable again. Perhaps we should just invade, sort it out and perhaps the inhabitants might want to stay put plus we might even make a profit. Risky strategy but we can’t go on like this.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823528)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I find it fascinating how the left leaning posters are suddenly silent. House building? Ah, all over the green belt for the unlimited mass immigration that new Labour started because they thought they’d vote for them.
And just a few years ago, Corbyn wanting to close all immigration detention centres and give the vote to all, even non UK citizens!
More blatant social engineering.
And God help us they’re in again next….

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_823595)
1 month ago

Yes. Well I had the joy of a by-electiom recently and Labour were openly advocating restricting the RN to a coastal defence force. Most of the existing MPs are Corbyn’s bunch so I can see many of his policies being implemented. Not sure if Kier will go with the flow or simply be dumped. We could all be in for a tricky time …..

John
John (@guest_823201)
1 month ago

I have great faith in our village militia. We practice shooting clays and rabbits every week. Many veterans involved who cannot wait for a crack at Ivan’s paratroopers 😂

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823272)
1 month ago
Reply to  John

Always greatly enjoyed episodes of Dad’s Army. 😁👍

Is there a modern equivalent of the Gone Guard?

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823274)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

…Home Guard. 🙄 (I blame autocorrect feature for that glitch)

John
John (@guest_823287)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

We had a Home Service Force in the 90’s ( many of us joined from the TA when “older” ) Mainly to guard key infrastructure, but we got to shoot for free 😅 Sadly disbanded. Pity as many marriages stayed together because of it lol!

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823288)
1 month ago
Reply to  John

😁👍

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823292)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

BTW, never realized before that a British movie was released in 2016 w/ same title and theme. Any movie reviews available from site participants, either positive or negative?

Dern
Dern (@guest_823306)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I was doing a Radio Stag in BATUS in 2016 and someone left an iPad in the tent with the “Dad’s Army” movie on it. I got about halfway into it, before I switched it off and decided spending the rest of my stag sitting in the darkness of the unlit tent was the better option.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823309)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Thanks, guess the rights to some sequels should not be exercised. 🤔😁

Dern
Dern (@guest_823496)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

It’s less “sequel” and more “soft reboot” but yes.

John
John (@guest_823311)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Did you know 170,000 civilian weapons were donated by US citizens to the UK in 1939/40? The British Government had them collected in 1945, along with all of the ammunition. Then quietly dumped them all in the Atlantic. Various theories abound but my favourite is they were scared of a revolution by veterans and others. Imagine, just if….

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823355)
1 month ago
Reply to  John

No, but quietly pleased the American public was presumably years ahead of its government in foreign policy realm during 1939/40.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823295)
1 month ago
Reply to  John

Google searches occasionally yield astonishing info. Learned from one that from humble beginnings in 1940 the Home Guard grew into a well-equipped and reasonably well-trained Army of 1.7 million men, before being disbanded in Dec 44. That is a little less than 4% of the entire population of WW II population of UK. Entirely separate organization from regular Army. Impressive! Confirms my view that you Brits are slow to anger, but when finally pissed off, function like a stoked boiler-something inevitably is going to move.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823313)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Let’s try this again:…total population of UK during WWII. 🙄 Excuse? Long day.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823973)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

It’s true.
Our alert level goes-
Miffed.
Peeved.
A bit cross.
Pissed off.
In that order.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823982)
1 month ago

😂😁👍

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_824010)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I got that from this: The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada. The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s Get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have… Read more »

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824083)
1 month ago

🤣😂👍 Especially appreciate the Scottish threat levels!

John Wedmore
John Wedmore (@guest_823203)
1 month ago

Our military isn’t up to strength ,Sunaks constant sabre rattling against Russia is pitiful

Brian Dee
Brian Dee (@guest_823207)
1 month ago

I find it disgusting that MPs visit troops with smiles and cringey small talk. Oh for them to be honest for once. How many times have we heard that “we plan to have the most sophisticated army with the newest and best equipment being at the forefront of armed forces excellence” etc etc,then a few years down the line you hear of various projects being cancelled or numbers halved of whatever was originally spouted, the MOD procurement department are a disgrace, lots of equipment well past it’s sell by date, yes it’s obviously about money that these numbers are why… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T (@guest_823219)
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Dee

The relationship between Politicians and our Service personnel is a strange one in my book,but ultimately it is their ( MP’s ) call on where and how our Forces are used so it has to exist.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_823275)
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Dee

Brian the last Defence Secretary was ex forces. Many MPs come from the forces. Not too sure what you are driving at when you start talking about the BBC staff. They are paid from the licence fee. At the end of the day it is the public who decide how much they are preparared to be taxed and broadly what they want it spent on. At the moment people are anti imigration, pro NHS etc. Generally they don’t have an opinion on defence. Mainly becuase the only time they experience it is when there is a war and until recently… Read more »

DB
DB (@guest_823324)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

He was a tic toc who did what he was told and was capable of misleading Parliament. What was your point?

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_823351)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Ben Wallace was a tic toc. What tripe is that?

DB
DB (@guest_823352)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

You’re right, the worst tripe.

Ex-RoyalMarine
Ex-RoyalMarine (@guest_823517)
1 month ago
Reply to  DB

Ben Wallace was far from Tic Tok. He popped into our place often as it’s only up Millbank. He struck me as being very well informed. Easy to talk to with a keen eye to detail. The only time I saw him angry was when failings from our side affected serving forces personnel or their establishment. We had a briefing once where he and the minister in charge of our department were present. Upon hearing of a failing he got straight onto his phone to sort it out. Our minister did nothing, she sat there twiddling her pearl necklace. In… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823607)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-RoyalMarine

👍

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823446)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

OK, sadly need assistance w/ translation of post. Obviously from text context, tic toc is a pejorative idiomatic expression, but clueless re interpretation. Reference to time, play on Big Ben clock in Parliament? 🤔

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_823511)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

😂I think this is a reflection of the state of politics in the UK at the moment. Speaking positively about the conservative party or anyone or anything they have ever done is a point of ridicule as the left wing parties seem to be gaining ground. Oddly I can’t see anyone less likely to be found on Tic-Toc (the social media app) promoting himself. In my view he was probably the best Defence Secretary the UK has had, probably ever, and I suspect he can take much credit for thwarting the invasion in Ukraine. But that’s just a personal view.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823532)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Many thanks for the explanation! The social media app is spelled “TikTok” in the US; therefore discounted any potential interpretation of presumed idiom in that context. Baffled and bewildered by spelling differences–rookie mistake. 🙄

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_823593)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I think it is spelled TikTok everywhere to be honest. I just carried on spelling it the way DB had spelt it so he would know what I meant. I was just hoping he understood what tripe was.😂 Not sure where DB comes from but I’m guessing English is not his first language.😀

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823974)
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Lancashire mate. He’s from “ooop north” and ex RMP. No Trolll.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824338)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

‘Tic Toc’ or perhaps ‘Tick Tock’ was occasionally used years ago as a mildly perjorative expression for an officer or soldier who served in the Foot Guards, as BW did. A reference to their focus on drill and marching. Nothing to do with a certain Chinese social media platform.

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham Moore
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_824378)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

GM,

Thanks, believe your explanation intuitively makes the most sense. 😊👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824403)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

It was an expression that I heard several times during my 34 years in the army, although it seemed to be dying out.
Worth you looking up ‘pace-stick competitions’ on You Tube – yes, it’s really a thing and one that the Guards excel at!! Gives you the sense of tick-tock.

Helen
Helen (@guest_823278)
1 month ago
Reply to  Brian Dee

A lot of the procurement problems are caused by the ordering system e.g. the RN need a new ship so the MOD put out a spec & shipyards put their bids in. One is chosen & building starts. Part way through MOD/RN make changes to the spec as something’s been missed out or they want an “extra” included. This usually happens several times during the build. The shipyard can only renegotiate the price once irrespective of how many changes are made & it takes longer to build because of the changes. In the US when their navy want a new… Read more »

Apoplectix
Apoplectix (@guest_823211)
1 month ago

It’s quite impressive that we are the 6th biggest military spender on the planet with one of the smallest armed forces. Something to be proud of I think.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823223)
1 month ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

I always remember ‘bang for the buck’ comparisons with France from a few decades ago.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823259)
1 month ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

I have often thought the same thing. Other seem to get better value for money.
I think part of the problem is our procurement rules, we are buying U.K. sourced equipment, when it frequently arrives over budget, late and when it is finally deployed , it is obsolete .
We should be sourcing much more off the shelf. Or the message should be sent to the U.K. arms suppliers. They will no longer tolerate late, over budget delivery. The U.K. tax payer will no longer pick up the tab.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_823263)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

That’s the issue with France they take 180 degrees the opposite approach and buy French whenever possible. Yet they get more bang for their bucks.
Your 2nd from last sentence is the key.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823270)
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I will take your word on it, but something needs to change because we are paying premium rate for second rate defence.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_823271)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

And the problem is, as the armed forces continually shrink, the cost of ordering ever smaller numbers of high end equipment grows… It’s a catch 22. Spend more and more, get less and less for our money. Great example Chally 3, a huge investment in an utter evolutionarily dead end, with zero chance of exports. = Money flushed straight down the pan. If we wanted to keep MBT’s as a neich capability i.e 148, we should have just bought off the shelf. Next enter Leonardo, with an order for a pointlessly small fleet of 25 medium helicopters, that will be… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by John Clark
FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF (@guest_823273)
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Although a significant fan of technology, tend to agree. At some point one does not need to exquisitely eliminate the opposition, merely killing them will suffice. 😉

Dern
Dern (@guest_823307)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

Careful, you’re starting to sound like the reformers who wanted the US to go into Iraq with M60’s and M113s because Abrams and Bradley where too expensive and high tech.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823364)
1 month ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

You are no fun at all, however I did think that the Storm Shadows guidance and targeting was overkill. I have been proven to be very wrong. storm shadow/scalp has been virtually unstoppable and proven to be exquisitely effective at killing Russian hard targets
I suspect they will be rigging all weapons that depend on GPS with inertial nav also commercial airliners. With modern piezo gyros I think it should be an easy fix.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823379)
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I don’t consider £800m to be a huge investment. If we had bought off the shelf we would not have got 148 tanks for £800m.

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_823334)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Agreed 👍

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823378)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

We don’t have a procurement rule that mandates ‘buying British.’

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823398)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Then the MoD needs to start being pragmatic. Better to have the pewter version delivered to uk forces on time and budget than the “platinium” version, delivered over budget and so late, it is obsolete .

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823486)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

With our very small armed forces you need very high quality, highly capable equipment to offset the numerical inferiority.

What examples do you have of “platinum” standard equipment that is obsolete when delivered?

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823490)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Ajax

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823519)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

What makes Ajax obsolete on fielding? Please don’t say you can use a drone instead!!

All armies have recce vehicles – no-one is phasing them out, so they are not obsolete.

Ajax, despite a bad history of some teething troubles, will have very good/excellent capability – of mobility, of sensors, of comms, of firepower. It has a secondary role as a Strike platform. What is not to like?

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823530)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

A decade late

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823572)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Yes, that’s bad, but its not Obsolete.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823581)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Ten years is an eternity regarding insolences.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823829)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Insolences?

Delay is not unusual in defence projects, especially the complex ones.

To take another equipment…Boxer was designed well over 20 years ago – by the time we have fielded the last one that design will be at least 35 years old.

The important thing is …can the kit still do the job? I am sure that Ajax will do the job, notwithstanding delayed fielding. It may even be the most advanced recce/strike tracked vehicle in the world.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823888)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I will take your word for it.
When it comes to getting up and over obstacles. I would prefer torque and power.
As for the Tank triangle. If you can fit a more powerful power pack with little or no cost ( probably decreased range) then why not. The ch3 has gained weight.
I am a big advocate of having the power there if you need it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824060)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

CR3 only gains 1 tonne over CR2.

Although the CV-12 9A is declared by RBSL as 1200hp, there may be a little more than that as it has some improvements over the version fitted to CR2.

I still dispute that CR2 is under-powered, but I explained all that before.

I have just read that the Perkins CV12 can achieve 1500 hp in ‘unregulated mode’. It is likely that reliability may dip and range be reduced when operated thus.

https://docs.tuyap.online/FDOCS/22431.pdf

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823347)
1 month ago
Reply to  Apoplectix

…now back up to 5th place in 2024. But the way the money is spent is poor in some areas.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_823366)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If you look at the MoD project portfolio a lot of projects are run very well but we make some spectacular screw ups.
As a senior project manager in the nuclear industry , I am simply gobsmacked at some of the mistakes made.
Labour claim they will do a security review asap once installed. Hopefully it will be an honest non treasury led and more importantly IMPLEMENTED!!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823431)
1 month ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

The vast majority of MoD projects are run well. The screw ups do sadly tend to be spectacular, as you say. MoD Project Managers are often not in post for very long, particularly military officers, and they are often not ‘masters of their own destiny’ – so many external factors get brought to bear and are generally of the highly damaging sort. The 1998 Labour SDR was genuinely foreign policy led and not Treasury-driven. It was also conducted over a reasonable period of time and was done well. I was one of many military officers who played a part in… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_823601)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I have to say that 1998 SDR is the force the U.K. should be aiming to get to today.
Obviously the make up of units may needs tweaks here and there but the overall numbers of equipment seemed to make sense. The goals of what was aimed to be accomplished seemed sensible aswell.
Just looking at the numbers in Ukraine is frightening. 1000s of tanks, 10,000+ artillery, rocket launchers, 100,000+ drones, 510,000 soldiers in the east and south with another 25,000 up north. Up north another 1000 artillery, 500 APC/IFV, 300 tanks, 50 aircraft

Simon
Simon (@guest_823217)
1 month ago

The national service thing while what people want is ok sunak should of scrapped the capita contract bring back army careers office take recruitment in-house

Victor Morris
Victor Morris (@guest_823225)
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

It takes almost a year to join the armed forces most youngsters won’t wait around that long, bring back the recruitment office in the high street

David Lee
David Lee (@guest_823236)
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

Totally agree scrap crapita reintroduce careers offices and show recruitment ads on tv before the nine o clock watershed

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_823335)
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lee

👍

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_823605)
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lee

Kids/young adults don’t watch much tv. Would need to be TikTok, YouTube, socials, Netflix, etc.
what most people want is things fast. Ask to join the forces it should start within days/weeks.

David Lee
David Lee (@guest_823720)
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Yes shorter recruitment time if I remember when I joined the army in 1978 the flash to bang was about three months if that

Nic
Nic (@guest_823303)
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon

100% Agree! Glad someone said it. Capita are the biggest waste of time and money. They are running the recruitment process like they are god. They’ve made up their own rule book JSP950 and even the army top brass aren’t allowed to go against it. Utterly ridiculous. I’ve known people classed no fit for service because they might be allergic to a specific type of cranberry only found in chile. I’m sure we’ve all have something we might be allergic to. However if you’re a recovering addict of any description, fill your boots as you can go in after two… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_823229)
1 month ago

So the 2021 Defence review is on plan then. To quote Boris Johnson this is no doubt making us ‘match fit’.

Lloyd
Lloyd (@guest_823232)
1 month ago

I applied as a reservist, didn’t hear anything further despite being an officer elsewhere and speaking a few languages. I’d suggest big problems if they can’t get me through the door!

Ian Bradley
Ian Bradley (@guest_823238)
1 month ago

It’s to hope that the drone army is up to the job of defending the UK, as we now have a secret lack of soldiers! It’s no wonder the US no longer rates the UK as a tier one fighting force….

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_823336)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Bradley

Absolutely it’s very sad but true 😟 🇬🇧

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823348)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Bradley

I always wanted the detail of that comment. Who made it and about what were they most concerned?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823495)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian Bradley

Thanks Ian. I am not sure I agree with the unnamed US General that the British Army could not defend the homeland (obviously against enemy ground forces). Also, which allies are we supposed to be defending? – we are in NATO and play a contributory role alongside 31 other nations. There is no agreed definition of Tier 1, but I would consider that it means that we have forces with capabilities across the spectrum of armed conflict and can deloy them anywhere in the world. Of course I consider that the British Army is understrength and is currently equipped with… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham Moore
Ian Bradley
Ian Bradley (@guest_823513)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

For me, I just wish the government would dump Trident and spend the billions we’d save, on conventional forces. I think many countries still look to the UK as a reliable ally, but our forces are spread so thinly now, especially the RAF. As many countries are rearming, we seem to be going in the other direction. I truly hope I’m wrong, I really do.

Ex-RoyalMarine
Ex-RoyalMarine (@guest_823538)
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Well, that article turned into the usual political Rhubarb, Rhubarb. a “hollow force”, with insufficient personnel, not enough money to train and arm those still on the books, out-dated weapons and depleted stockpiles of ammunition and spare parts. It has long been a concern, but Mr Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has created an added sense of urgency – though seemingly not yet inside Number 10, according to General Sir Richard Barrons, a former senior commander. The last paragraph is the key to all the problems. It’s Number 10. The occupants of that place are willfully endangering the citizens of the… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823823)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-RoyalMarine

Thanks mate for your thoughts. I have slightly more faith in Healey – he does at least do his research and knows what is wrong with our Forces – but things often change when in Government.

Ex-Military
Ex-Military (@guest_823282)
1 month ago

It will keep falling because the commitments won’t stop yet less and less people equals those who remain doing more and more which leads to half jobs, shortcuts, more time in work and not at home ontop of trying to remain fully fit and organise pointless mess do’s and functions, babysitting juniors and get pulled up for MACA taskings like the poor 500 doing Borders this summer while people they know in real life are working in civvie street doing static jobs ,9-5, getting overtime for working late/weekends and in general more money and flexibility. Not to mention the state… Read more »

Dern
Dern (@guest_823308)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-Military

In fairness, it’s generally not SLA that gets picked up as unfit for asylum seekers to be housed it, it’s generally transit accommodation.

Doug S
Doug S (@guest_823291)
1 month ago

The draft proposal was simply bonkers and classic political electioneering. The 2.5 billion a year that national service would cost could instead be used in two simple ways; 1) improve and upgrade military quarters and 2) a pay rise with junior ranks as the priority. Maybe this would have not covered quite everything but it would have been a step in the right direction as opposed to the PM’s ridiculous suggestion. My rant for the day.

Bob burns
Bob burns (@guest_823293)
1 month ago

Nothing to do with outsourcing recruitment to Capita then…

Bill
Bill (@guest_823310)
1 month ago

How many potential recruits are lost in the rediculously long recruitment process? That is the first place to start. Capita is a rediculous money making scheme and costing MOD too much,both in terms of manpower and money.

Cognitio68
Cognitio68 (@guest_823321)
1 month ago

This is not an unsolvable problem.
1. Improve the processes that restrict the flow of new recruits into the services. Spend more resources if required.
2. Improve the career propositions of those currently employed in the services so retention improves. Spend more resources if required.

However I think the continuing decline in the number of service personnel probably serves a purpose. Essentially It saves money and keeps the treasury happy without the MOD having to announce official defence cuts.

It’s proof of a failed defence policy caused by chronic and persistent defence underfunding.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823436)
1 month ago
Reply to  Cognitio68

career propositions? what’s that mean? Promotion prospects?

Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_823338)
1 month ago

Over the years you hear on the news channels and social media about governments cuting back forces ,specially the 2010 cut .This gives our youngest the wrong impression,for me HMG got them selfs to blame.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_823344)
1 month ago

It would be interesting to find out how many deployable troops this amounts to, for a single large scale (one-shot) operation, and for a single enduring operation.

John Jones
John Jones (@guest_823353)
1 month ago

I always thought that because our troops are treated so badly that reducing the Army would not be an issue. The problem is whether or not the MoD can hold on to the almost 73000 remaining. I doubt it

Veteran
Veteran (@guest_823363)
1 month ago

Its all blah blah blah from Westmonster. They knew they would struggle to maintain a fighting force because of all the cut backs, which started with Phase 1 redundancies back in the late 80’s early 90’s. As well as supplying cheap personal kit and the up and coming sub-standered married quarters/singlies accomodation and. pay as you eat, if you run out of money before next pay day, then its visits to the paymaster for advance of pay, who then tells your boss, and you get dragged infront of the old man to explain where all your measly pay was spent… Read more »

Dave
Dave (@guest_823425)
1 month ago

Join the army, get shot at without any protection because we can’t afford it then if you shoot back having never fired a shit in training because we can’t afford that we will find the money to prosecute you for shooting at the enemy….. No wonder people want to join

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_824340)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

I can’t see much appealing about joining the army today or about staying in long-term for those who are already in. Everything about current service life (as perceived by a now-outsider) seems rather dire.

Be interesting to get Dern’s take on what motivates folk to soldier on.

Ex-RoyalMarine
Ex-RoyalMarine (@guest_823514)
1 month ago

I have a friend whom I worked with when he was seconded to my department. I was invited for dinner at his family home on an Army base along the M4 and was taken aback by the poor condition of his house. Despite holding the rank of Major, his home was in a state of disrepair that shocked me. There was black mold in two rooms, several double glazing units were blown, and the kitchen cabinets’ laminate was peeling off. The bathroom also left much to be desired. Although he and his wife kept it clean, the wear and tear… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823524)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-RoyalMarine

Ah, Hermitage I assume. Always wondered why that place has been kept, it’s quite a small site.

Ex-RoyalMarine
Ex-RoyalMarine (@guest_823555)
1 month ago

😉🤫

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823558)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-RoyalMarine

GCPD. 👍

Ex-RoyalMarine
Ex-RoyalMarine (@guest_823571)
1 month ago

Let’s just say Gotham City Police Dept.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_823579)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ex-RoyalMarine

Understood. Moving on.🙏

Con
Con (@guest_823591)
1 month ago

No incentives to stay. They removed the commitment bonuses… practically the only financial incentive to do more time. Replaced it with – nothing. The castrated pension isn’t accessible unless you do a full career. So people have a dilemma of “do I have a full career in me or not” if the answer is no as it is for most people, then why stay? No reason to do half a career or longer than the bare minimum. Sure you get resettlement but that’s minimal Tracksuit soldiers and “downgraded” personnel getting paid the same but often MORE than soldiers doing their… Read more »

Ex-Military
Ex-Military (@guest_823727)
1 month ago
Reply to  Con

That’s one of the real unspoken about costs of this whole dilemma we essentially have a lost generation of NCOs with combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq who have been forced to call time on their careers early with the dilemma of being financially stable or continuing service at below inflation pay. It’s a cost because it’s happened/happening at rates unseen since post WW2 and yet Russia is at the door and when one of those NCOs walk they are taking 12-15+ years experience with them and you can’t just hire someone else overnight with that level of experience to… Read more »

Dave
Dave (@guest_834179)
7 days ago

Because the Army has gotten smaller. Those that are left have to pick up the slack. Doing second,third and fourth extra roles on top of what they are paid to do. Roles like D&I advisor, Health and Safety manager. Because the MoD wont employ separate people to do it. Even though soldiers haven’t joined to do those jobs and it’s not in their job description and no extra pay.