General Sir Patrick Sanders has said that the British Army is not mobilising to provoke war – it is mobilising to prevent war

The Chief of the General Staff General Sir Patrick Sanders’ speech at the RUSI Land Warfare Conference 2022 can be found here, below is an excerpt.

“I stand here as the first Chief of the General Staff since 1941 to take up this position in the shadow of a major state on state land war in Europe. As I do, I’m reminded of the words of a man in whose footsteps I tread. In relative obscurity, and recognising the impending danger the nation faced, the then Brigadier Bernard Montgomery wrote this in the pages of that magnificent publication Royal Engineers’ Journal of 1937:

We have got to develop new methods, and learn a new technique…. There is no need to continue doing a thing merely because it has been done in the Army for the last thirty or forty years – if this is the only reason for doing it, then it is high time we changed and did something else.

For us, today, that “something else” is mobilising the Army to meet the new threat we face: a clear and present danger that was realised on 24th February when Russia used force to seize territory from Ukraine, a friend of the United Kingdom. But let me be clear, the British Army is not mobilising to provoke war – it is mobilising to prevent war.”

The steps to do this were outlined later in the speech.

“To mobilise the Army I intend to drive activity across four focused lines of effort:

First, and most importantly, boosting readiness. NATO needs highly ready forces that can deploy at short notice for the collective defence of alliance members. Deterring Russia means more of the Army ready more of the time, and ready for high-intensity war in Europe. So we will pick up the pace of combined arms training, and major on urban combat. We will re-build our stockpiles and review the deployability of our vehicle fleet. And having seen its limitations first-hand as the Commander of the Field Army, I think we need to ask ourselves whether Whole Fleet Management is the right model given the scale of the threat we face. The time has come to be frank about our ability to fight if called upon.

Second, we will accelerate the modernisation outlined in Future Soldier. NATO needs technologically advanced modern armies able to deploy at speed and fight together. They must be able to integrate effects across the domains, all stitched together by a sophisticated and robust command, control and communication network. We will seek to speed up the delivery of planned new equipments including long range fires, attack aviation, persistent surveillance and target acquisition, expeditionary logistic enablers, Ground Based Air Defence, protected mobility, and the technologies that will prove pivotal to our digital ambition: CIS and Electronic Warfare. Most importantly, this will start now – not at some ill-defined point in the future.

Third, we will re-think how we fight. We’ve been watching the war in Ukraine closely and we are already learning and adapting. Not least to the help of RUSI, Many of the lessons are not new – but they are now applied. We will double-down on combined arms manoeuvre, especially in the deep battle, and devise a new doctrine rooted in geography, integrated with NATO’s war plans and specific enough to drive focused, relevant investment and inspire the imagination of our people to fight and win if called upon.

And Fourth, I am prepared to look again at the structure of our Army. If we judge that revised structures will make the Army better prepared to fight in Europe, then we will follow Monty’s advice and do “something else”. Now of course adapting structures has implications for the size of the Army – and I know that there will be questions on Army numbers locked, loaded and ready to fire from the audience! Put simply, the threat has changed and as the threat changes, we will change with it. My job is to build the best Army possible, ready to integrate with fellow Services and Strategic command and ready to fight alongside our allies. Obviously our Army has to be affordable; nonetheless, it would be perverse if the CGS was advocating reducing the size of the Army as a land war rages in Europe and Putin’s territorial ambitions extend into the rest of the decade, and beyond Ukraine.”

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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JamesD
JamesD
1 month ago

I’m assuming he knows a budget increase is coming how else does he plan to increase the speed of any procurement or stockpiles otherwise. Anyway nice to see things being taken seriously for a change

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

Sound like he’s laying the groundwork for politicians to say “things have changes since the last review so we need another asap” which will then result in a budget bump.

Nicholas
Nicholas
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

You’d have to hope so. I notice Ben Wallace is talking about an increase which must be aimed at the Chancellor. I’d prefer them to sort this out behind closed doors but perhaps this is the best way to secure additional funding when most departments will be after the same.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Think I’d rather keep it quiet too but it’s a double edged sword. Keep it too quiet, then the public care less and less about it. ‘Squeaky wheel gets the oil’ so to speak… make a couple of carefully placed murmurs & if it gets traction in the press, swings the cabinet in your favour. Then you all come out as ‘we collectively decided this’.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Why keep it quiet, if they were going to increase the budget Bojo would have been all over it at the start of the NATO conference.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Not saying they made the decision yet bud.
Saying Army & Wallace want one, lay ground work with this statement & “leak” from Wallace, then press build pressure on cabinet, PM goes with it because his Mrs read something on Twitter and ta-da! Budget bumped.

All pure speculation of course. I’m no better informed than anyone else here. Just what I think kinda makes sense.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

From what I read the ship has sailed, the vast debt mountain the Troys have built as the UK economy drops off a cliff has given the Treasury all the excuses it needs. Russia’s abysmal performance and European NATO increasing budget has not helped matters. The UK is now rocking the third largest defence budget in the world hard to argue for an increase in the climate.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

You mean the debt mountain that was racked up keeping the country employed and businesses going due to the global pandemic?

Im sure if Labour had been in and let everything go bankrupt but had no mountain of debt that wouldnt be a moaning point.

George Parker
George Parker
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

It’s a pity Sanders didn’t get up on his hind legs and make some noise earlier. It’s only taken 8 years persecution and killing in Eastern Ukraine, with a few months of actual combat. For the useless ______ (insert your own swear word) to see the bloody obvious. Senor officers are the spokesmen of the armed forces. When they fail to take politicians to task over damaging budget cuts. It’s no good blaming them now. Quote from the song. I’m gonna say this now Your chance has come and gone And you know, It’s just too little too late Seeing… Read more »

windsor-davies-05.jpg
Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Time to move from 2% to What Is Required? If the economy contracts due to recession, then of course 2 / 2.5% ends up as less equipment and manpower. Then there’s this:
https://www.forces.net/politics/johnson-faces-defence-spending-row-nato-leaders-gather

Nicholas
Nicholas
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

In the early 80’s defence spending was around 4.5%. The world is just as, if not more, dangerous now. I would go for 5%, but that I suspect would be pie in the sky.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Aware, Nicholas. It’s the cart before horse aspect that’s looking dodgy to me. What’s needed for the threat ‘within reason’? Afterwards, it can be calculated in percentage terms, if that appeals.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

1000% sir! Been saying the same for so long, it’s a relief to see someone else saying it (thought I was going potty!).

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Thank God you’re not a shit stirrer.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

😆

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

👍

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

I can remember when the army shed 27000 jobs over 3 years 91 – 93 I even took redundancy myself as I only had 2 years left to go, but it seemed like madness to me at the time and the start of a very slippery slope that has continued over several defence reviews since. I always get so pissed off when the top brass have uttered the party line of ‘Leaner and Fitter’ who the hell falls for that crap, no one. Time to get those recruiter’s into schools with that old message ‘Join the Army and learn a… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Limited knowledge on how figures are arrived at, thought generally default to their being more available funding spin than what’s sensible for defence. In a crisis, the speed with which we’d commit the regulars and then reserves – both of whom have the required mindset at least – and then start looking at youngsters who did not see that as their way ahead, will prove an unnecessary handicap in my opinion. It’s not like the path we’re on isn’t writ clear. Not denigrating our youth as they will answer the call to a great extent, but the public would know… Read more »

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

GG, The point I was trying to make is simply that the army has been cut too far, I’d have thought that 100k would be an absolute minimum for a country our size. Obviously if they went that way it would take some innovative recruiting as lets face it, its probably not the most attractive career path these days, but to have that truely professional army people have to join because they want to. When I left school I started at the gas board working in the Hire Purchase dept It didn’t involve much training and I was no futher… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Morning, I can see that one or two phrases may have mislead. No disagreement with you, just government policy. Certainly at this time, don’t get rid of more professionals that will need supplementing soon enough.
Started as Gas Board as well.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicholas

In the 80’s the Soviet Union had several millions soldiers poised to cross in to Western Europe and it had the largest defence Budget in the world. What about today is anything close to that?

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Definitely pie in the sky. 5% would be approx. £100 billion per year.

While it would be nice I can’t see it being palatable, especially at the moment, trying to justify a tax increase or cuts to other services in the current climate.

I’d be happy with a bump to 2.5% (£50 billion/year)

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

As much as it would be nice its also not affordable at all, tax increases are vote losers and cutting services is the same, plus the country cant take any cuts to most services currently.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Said this below but I’ll post it here too as I think we’re on the same page bud. It’s a synopsis of a larger idea & quite simplified but; ‘Before we spend another penny, it would make sense to make some reforms about defence spending & the MoD. I’ve argued for an age that we have funding a**e-backwards. We (the UK) currently have a budget each year & the branches then argue for their programmes to be funded. Some are then delayed or slowed to spread to cost (increasing total cost & leading to capability gaps!), some cancelled just before… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Shame China and Russia will only give us the shorter term. Oh, well WTF.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

+ 100% your last paragraph.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Don’t be crazy, no one has done anything like that since labour in 1998. Better just to work out the minimum defence spending you can get away with without getting bashed by the Americans then cheat on that level by adding in pensions and aid spending or any other grey areas you can get away with while talking about punching above our weight. Meanwhile turn a defence review into a defence and security review so you can add in cyber security and boarder protection and a host of other things that have nothing to do with the military but make… Read more »

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Let’s not get to bashing one party or another. They’re both a shower of *******.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Agreed, both absolutely bloody useless……

dan
dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

EU nations were crying when Trump told them to do at least 2%. Most just ignored him. Now most of them are rushing to increase their defense spending. LOL

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  dan

Love him or loathe him, he was right about a lot of stuff…

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

No, just defence spending. That was it.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

🥱

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

Maybe Borders too.

dan
dan
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Very true. The US economy was doing great, low inflation, gasoline less than half the cost it is now, ect. He told EU countries over and over again to start doing more for their own defense. They just laughed and ignored him like the old hag Merkel did. Enter the Biden era. American economy tanking, stock market down over 25%, inflation higher than it’s been in 40 years, ect. Putin invades Ukraine for the 2nd time while Biden is at the White House. Biden removed all the sanctions Trump put on the Chicoms. I could go on and on. Yet… Read more »

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  dan

Not the forum and I’m no die hard Trump fan, but you’re 99% correct bud. If I may; Inflation. It’s clearly been exacerbated by the current administrations slowing of drilling permits adding to a rise in fuel price, which has knock on effects on… well, everything. The primary cause (in my opinion) isn’t Biden, it is the Fed & it’s infinite money printer. This was happening before, during and after Trump. Getting worse now though I believe. Sadly we’re doing similar things. You don’t need to be Adam Smith to understand that more money in circulation = less value. Media:… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Stu
Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  dan

Lot could still be talking not walking, including out lot.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

It might be that his heard an increase is possible and his putting the case publically, in hope it will push the policticans over the edge on the yes/no question

JohnG
JohnG
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

He’s hankering after the inflation plus 0.5% which I’ve just read the government isn’t going to honour. They are blaming the 400billion they wasted on lockdowns as to why they will break a manifesto pledge

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  JohnG

Notice the different interpretation of ‘2019’. Ordinary folk would say ‘3 years ago’, politicians a ‘different age’. Really? Where there is a bona fide different age, it’s called Putin. But that’s not what’s referred to.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  JohnG

What do you mean by ‘wasted on lockdowns’?

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohnG

Weird, most people wouldn’t categorise saving hundreds of thousands of lives (by locking down) as being a waste of money, but then socialists have never valued human lives.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Not the forum but; Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Florida, Texas. No lockdown but similar casualties per 100,000 pop didn’t they?

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Completely wrong. If you’re going to “do your own research” as the conspiracy fruitcakes parrot, then you need to do it properly. Every country records Corvid-19 deaths differently, in the early days different nations in the U.K. recorded/counted deaths differently. Eventuality the home nations standardised, but the 52 states in the USA never did. Both Texas and Florida under counted deaths, and they should also have way fewer deaths because they were hot weather states – the virus doesn’t survive long in hot conditions. Finland, Norway, Sweden, are extremely similar with regard to culture, demographics, wealth, climate, etc. they should… Read more »

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

I wrote a rebuttal – including references to research and links to the CDC and other sites detailing numbers & how they were counted but I appear to have crossed some unknown line & the post was removed. Not really the forum for it here though. Point was, I know how to validate data. I’ll keep it simple to avoid it again – Finland & Sweden, Sweden was 2.14 x more deaths per million, not 10. Their pop density is higher too (25p/km to 16). Other US states avoided lockdown & numbers pretty similar according to CDC. Have to agree… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

Yeah, he’d be using entirely different language if he was trying to explain to journalists how the British Army would respond to the Ukraine situation on the same budget!

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

I was wondering the same thing. Lesson from Ukraine is that the British army is not fit for purpose by any means. And it will take a substantial and sustained wedge of cash to get it there, including making some unpalatable decisions such as do we persist with Challenger 3 or just go out and buy leopards or Abraham’s ?

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Panther KF51?

Rob Young
Rob Young
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley
Phil
Phil
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Would make sense – so that won’t happen – they’ll demand a “Buy British Variant” at three times the price, 10 years late and batteries not included.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil

Regrettably I agree. The whole fiasco with the Ajax vehicle being a case in point

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil

Absolutely, let’s go the Wildcat/ Ajax route and piss away our defence budget against the wall!

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Panther gets my vote, looking to be an excellent tank….

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

All I look for is reasonably on time and on budget. There will always be something better in the offing, but stick to the plan. Tragically, we’re not getting that basic requirement with Land Forces major equipment right now.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Whether the British Army is fit for purpose or not doesn’t change the fact that the main threats to the UK will come by Air or Sea – we are in the fortunate position of being an Island nation surrounded by friendly nations.We can choose to an extent where and how to deploy our Land Forces,that is the luxury Ukraine didn’t have.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

We defend ourselves by defending western Europe, hence, having troops in Germany or wherever.
I am astounded at your comment

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

That’s true but Western Europe has 400 million people in it with sone of the best military technology in the world and the US army and air force helping it out. Do they really need a massive contingent from us. Better for us to concentrate on the north and the sea.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

If you want to be sidelined as a bit player and have no say in any peace treaty, then sure.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

We have always contributed significantly to the defence of western Europe with air and land forces. Nowadays it could not be said that our contribution is massive though.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

We historically have defended Western Europe and will continue to do so but that is through choice not absolute necessity -1066 was a long time ago.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

And also air defences away from our shores.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

The UK has almost exclusively fought wars of choice in its history and these have generally involved Army’s. It’s hard to argue that an increased army size is ever a need for UK defence relative to air and sea.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

The UK doesn’t do well in wars where it has to rely on it’s moat. They tend to be completely ruinous. Having an expeditionary army that can win a war outright is a must.

Darren hall
Darren hall
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

”The UK doesn’t do well in wars where it has to rely on it’s moat.” But that Moat and the boats on it stopped the Spanish, French and Germans… more than once… And then we went on (with allies) to win those wars!! It could be argued back that the Army expeditionary Forces did not do well in the Flanders campaign, and in 1914 and 1939… That the Moat protected this country after the BEF failed and was rescued in 1940!! The fact remains, The British Army has always been smaller than our rivals in Europe, because of that moat…… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren hall

Ho boy. Okay, skippping over what I wrote to argue against something you want me to be saying (even though I only wrote two lines): Britain relying on the Moat is a bad thing: Yes it’s a backstop when it comes to it, but when that happens it’s always BAD. Yes, I am completely aware that the Army didn’t do well in 1914 and 1939 THAT IS THE POINT. The “well the channel will protect us” and investing heavily in the navy and airforce while short changing the army lead to two very long, very damaging wars that drained and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
Darren hall
Darren hall
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I responded to your post, not a strawman. You pull points from history, and get upset when someone has a different POV… Hey that’s life… 787’000 men in 1914 vs 1’193’000 men in 1914… In 1914 we (the western allies) out numbered the Germans… and no, I am not including TA, reserves, or Empire forces… But still the war lasted how long!!! We allies also out numbered the Wehrmacht in 39!!!… How long did that last… The 20 years of ”starved” resources was because our combined bigger armies could not stop the Imperial army in 1914… So we are left… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren hall

Sorry, no you responded to a strawman not a me. You saying otherwise doesn’t change that. Not a single point in your original reply was addressing anything I said, just a position you wanted me to have. In fact you’re still arguing against a strawman because you’re acting like I’m just arguing for a “big” army. Oh, and look, an ad hominem to round it out. You really have all your bases covered. In the vague hope that someone else reading this will see the point I’m making: -I’m not arguing for a “big” army. I’m arguing for a properly… Read more »

Darren hall
Darren hall
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

No Dern, I responded to you. BTW, Strawman also means… ”a person regarded as having no substance or integrity.” Hmmm perhaps I am responding to a strawman!!! Regardless… The moat is there… it is physical… it exists… you being blind to that fact does not change that fact. And love the Sarcasm… Yes I am fully aware of RORO and the Channel tunnel… Are you aware of the logistics in calling up from trade, organising and loading said transport? Are you aware of interdiction of supply routes? As to numbers, No I am not wrong, I took the standing numbers…… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren hall

A straw man (sometimes written as strawman) is a form of argument and an informal fallacy of having the impression of refuting an argument, whereas the real subject of the argument was not addressed or refuted, but instead replaced with a false one -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man There is no point in reading beyond your first paragraph because you Strawmanned the strawman fallacy. Come back when you’re actually interested in arguing against my points instead of a mythical version that you’re dreaming up. (I’m sure if I kept reading there would just be more straw manning and ad hominems so I won’t bother).… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Oh look, more nastyness from the man who can only bring fallacies and ad hominems.

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Yeah the impact of the First World War on the UK beyond the battlefield seems to get overlooked in favour of the impact of the Second, possibly because the human cost was so great that to talk about money seems grotesque, and perhaps because the socio-economic impact of the Second World War was more visible, more tangible? But the economics of sustaining total war ruined us in the sense that we would never be the force we had been since Waterloo, despite the Empire being at its largest extent after Versailles. We didn’t have the war chest to carry on… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  the_marquis

I think it’s because the impact of WW2 effects us more directly to this day. WW1 has plenty of impacts (ahem middle east) but the fall out of the Cold War is something people have been keenly aware of, while the socio-political changes brought in by WW1 have a) been swept away by the changes brought in by the 2nd one, and b) become so ingrained we don’t even think about it (eg young women dancing with young women in public only became socially acceptable in the 1920’s). I think there’s more to it than how you’ve characterised the BEF… Read more »

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren hall

The Old Contemptables did rather well in 1914-1915, they stopped the Bosche over-running the Frogs. They got wiped out in the process but stopped the fall of Paris and then France.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave Wolfy

Exactly. WW1 and WW2 almost have opposite problems; where the WW1 army was tiny, but pretty high quality, and thus lacked the mass send the Imperial Army back across the border in 1914, while the WW2 army had plenty of Mass, but lacked the modernization and doctrinal advances that investment over the inter war years would have given it.

In both cases the result was long grueling wars as we slowly developed a large, capable army, that could win the war.

Dave Wolfy
Dave Wolfy
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

That then resulted in a drop in army effectiveness for a number of reasons- duff polititions, a skint country or, all of the relevant people being killed off or going back to civvy street.
We were a bit better off after WW2 because the Korean War gave us a kick.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Defence of our homeland is top priority and arguably does not need a large army for that, but is only one of many defence tasks for the army.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

To be fair Graham, even in the very teeth of the last Cold War, the Army never exceeded 170,000.

That’s still a relatively be small army. The options for change decided on 116,000 post Cold War and that was probably a sensible and sustainable size.

Today, pushing back to a balanced force of 100,000 plus should be the aim, so that ‘overstretch’ isn’t the default position….

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

It’s strange now to reflect that a 170,000 strong regular army was once considered small – but I see where you are coming from. Back in the day, little Belgium committed a Corps to NORTHAG – as did the UK.

I thought Options for Change gave us a 120,000 strong army. No matter – the point is that this was decided to be the size of the post-Cold War army and that was before any thought of Gulf War 1 or 2.

I see no logic for ever having reduced below the above figure.

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Absolutely Graham, an army strength of about 120,000 is in the right land to enable us to put more than the current token force in Europe and to deliver some out-of-area capability. 120,000 is not an arbitrary figure, the CFE agreement between NATO and WARPAC at the end of the Cold War specified a 25% reduction in in-theatre forces, which reduced the army from 152,000 to 120,000. The Blair-Brown governments kept defence spending at 2.5% of GDP, but the backlog of elderly equipment needing replaced led to a cut in service personnel, with the army being reduced to 105,000. That… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Cripes

Thanks Cripes. I used to say that the army has been cut once or twice per decade since the end of the Korean war but few believed me or considered it an issue. The cuts in recent years are ever more frequent and I remember the Tories saying repeatedly that they would not cut the army below 82,000 – then they did. The TA (now Army Reserve) was also cut over the years – in the Cold War it was over 60k. When you mention 4 deployable combat brigades, we could never deploy them simultaneously, except for an existential war… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

If General Patrick makes too much ‘noise’ Graham, he will promptly be presented with his carriage clock and fishing hat and sent on his way…

I would imagine ( as the government clearly has no intention of doing anything of substance) he’s already been told to shut his trap in no uncertain terms…

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

totally agree mate…

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

This has been gone over Budget for the Chally 3 upgrade gives you 150ish and possibly more to follow on. OR 25 Abrahams or Leopards. which is the same age. Chally 3 might not be perfect but will take the army through to the Future MBT. and £ for £ is better value than paying it to Germany so they can buy gas and oil from Russia.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

The issue Johan is that you can guarantee it will go ‘way over budget’ and arrive late.

Then you have a bespoke laughably small fleet of 150 tanks, that no one else operates, so support costs will likely be extremely high, all future upgrades will have to be entirely UK funded also. ££££ goes the cash register, happy days for shareholders I guess..

It’s another bloody job creation scheme, only coming online when new tanks like Panther and the next Gen US tank will already be in service!

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Not fit for what purpose? It’s only potential adversary just lost all its vehicles and a big chunk of its personnel while proving that its tactics and weapons are largely useless. Meanwhile virtually all the recent defence assumptions seem to have held true for once. Armoured warfare is on the way out and precision fire and deep recon are the way to go.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Only a fool would think that the Russians will not learn the lessons from Ukraine. Both structurally and materially.
However I think the equipment issues will be more easily corrected than the fact the don’t have a competent Non commissioned officer cadre or competent lower officers and the endemic corruption that seems to be rife in the country and military

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

I don’t think any of it is easily corrected Mike, the Army structure is all they have ever known and in many ways mirrors Russian society.

Rebuilding a similar military system to Western nations, with complex capable Command and Control, well trained professional personal,plus advanced and capable systems, is utterly beyond their ability, both physically and financially.

If they managed it (by some miracle), their Army would be a quarter of the size for the budget … And you just can’t rape, loot and murder your way around Europe with an army that small….

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Can it be corrected , I think yes. How long, I agree it is a very tall order and not something that can be done in a short or even medium period, especially without western help which they most certainly will not get.

Jonno
Jonno
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

The Russians are cruel and uncivilised they can only operate on that level and have since Lenin.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonno

Then the arrogant conclusion is that a well armed trained and coordinated NATO battle group of a fraction of the Russians forces size will chew through them like mince however taking a lesson from WW2. The German forces knew what they were doing and failed to break the Russians .
In short regardless of the training, coordination and force structure of the Russian. They are a force not to be under estimated.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

The Ukraine war has only shown that armoured warfare as practiced by the Russians with poor quality, poorly supported tanks manned by poorly trained, badly led and demotivated conscripts as well as being tactically mishandled – does not win wars.
You cannot extrapolate to all of the world’s tank-owning nations.

Are the Ukrainians exemplars for precision fire and deep recon?

Blackavar
Blackavar
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

It looks like it could be just words. It seems there’ll be no splurge on defence spending…

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-poised-ditch-key-27346696

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

Sounds like he’s just making another speech, being head of the army it’s easy to make speeches and never follow up. No doubt more four letter acronyms to follow with a rejigged army force 2040 diagram and nothing else. The army is trying to jump on the Ukraine banned wagon for more funding and nothing else. We are not sending an army to fight Russia on the ground period.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

There has been too much politics in defence and procurement at the expense of budget and capability. We don’t have a tank factory any more so we are going to have to buy foreign. Regenerating tank building capacity will take too much time and too much money. The army will certainly be happy with either a modern variant of Leopard or Abrahams. The Ajax is now years behind and no chink of light at the end of the tunnel. Any sensible project management review would indicate it is time to pull the plug and seek an alternative, preferably off the… Read more »

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

If the army was being smart like the navy or air force it would make sure to have a vehicle manufacturing facility with a steady flow of work to keep it going. In this way it would have political weight and be able to make a credible political and economic argument to the treasury for funding long term. Instead it desperately tried to maintain cap badges while moving from crisis to crisis never knowing what it wanted from its vehicle fleet and always chasing concepts that could never be delivered often because they broke the laws of physics. It would… Read more »

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

In fairness, it wasn’t the Army’s fault that armoured vehicle manufacturing in the UK died a death, it was politicians who launched the Army into conflicts it wasn’t prepared for, diverting cash towards kit that was needed in the short term (MRAPs, etc), and then pushing back on long term projects to make up the shortfall (CR3, Warrior, FRES and its spawn, AS90 upgrade), to the point where the factories closed due to lack of orders. At the same time, the Navy and RAF are hardly whiter than white. RAF aircraft across all fleets are arguably well below sustainable numbers,… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  the_marquis

Min Def Procurement, Philip Dunne, said in 2016: “In addition to the 250 jobs being created at the Merthyr Tydfil facility, the Ajax build programme is sustaining 300 jobs at General Dynamics in nearby Oakdale, and a further 2,250 jobs at more than 210 companies across the UK supply chain. Maybe that is a lot of jobs for the UK workforce? You are totally right that many core programmes (and their engineering support) were pushed to the right during the years of Afghanistan and Iraq. I saw that myself at DE&S in 2009-2011. Just one reason fo the army’s mess… Read more »

the_marquis
the_marquis
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I thought I read a while back that the number of UK jobs involved in Ajax assembly/construction had diminished compared to what was promised when GD pitched for it though, but could be wrong!

It will take a long time to sort it all out, even if off the shelf solutions were chosen…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

The army does not have an ability to ensure that private companies in the UK build tanks or any type of military vehicle. Usually an AFV fleet is procured over a 4 or 5 year production run and that fleet serves for 20-35 years. There are usually no incremental orders of the same type to keep industry ticking over to a drumbeat. The army has not desperately tried to maintain historic cap badges, and at the expense of efficiency or effectiveness. Indeed it has not been very successful at that over the years. Many capbadges of today, especially infantry and… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

I wouldn’t mind betting that we could build tanks in Telford where RBSL is producing CR3 or in the GDUK factory in Wales which is set up to build AFVs. Maybe the VSEL facility at Barrow could be resurrected where they built Abbot and AS90. So we don’t have to buy foreign. We are buying CR3, so why do you suggest we buy Leo or Abrams? The tank after that is another story and it certainly won’t be Leo or Abrams. Chally 2 (and 3 in the future) is not the only very heavy tank out there CR3’s eventual successor… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Well, actually, we are. Should Russia enter Estonia (slim chance at the moment) we would engage them… on the ground and thankfully we now have Sweden at our back and Canada and Finland, our flanks.

Still, hope the Challies are amphibious 😉

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

I cannot see Putin launching a physical cross-border attack in a NATO country for many reasons, most of which should be obvious.

Sorry, I don’t get the Chally amphibious joke!

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Britmil Int types said that Adazi was not suitable for tank training; they also said Estonia lacked and forces pushed back into Baltic… hence, amphib challies.

Finland joining NATO completely changes the equation.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

I am guessing that Adazi is a training area somewhere in the Baltics?
I’m very glad that Finland and Sweden are joining NATO even if they paid a price to mollify Turkey. Putin’s masterplan has backfired badly.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Sorry Sir. Adaźi is just north of Rīga, Latvia.

Snake Island abandoned by Opfor. Changes the situation for Odesa.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Martin, Clearly you don’t know General Patrick!

It has long been said over many years that our biggest threat is from Russia. We should react to that. Even if we do not fight Russia we will end up with an army configured and equipped to take on the threats that do materialise.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

Issue being the only thing he will get in a Hurry is Uniform and Paperclips. wont get any decent kit that quick, and just proves he has no idea how the kits arrive. bet he thinks the nice man in his Harrods van delivers it.

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Harrods?? Pickfords surely

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

You obviously don’t know this man. He is the hardest, grittiest senior officer we’ve produced in a long time. If he’s given the freedom to do it, he’ll be the 21st Century Slim. This is he officer who told a BBC reporter live on air that they were talking ‘bollocks’.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Do you know General Patrick? I do. He is not naive about Procurement. He will do his utmost to improve the British Army in the ways he describes but can’t achieve miracles of course.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

https://news.sky.com/story/ukraine-news-live-zelenskyy-kremenchuk-putin-12541713?postid=4089663#liveblog-body

If you’ve not seen the link on Sky news of the actual missile strike on the shopping centre its on this link. The only thing I could say is bloody horrific.

rmj
rmj
1 month ago

Great start from Sanders. Begs the question, what are the other heads of sheds doing (CAS/1SL)?

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  rmj

The others are getting on with the job and not contemplating a fourth reorganisation in a decade.

rmj
rmj
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

ouch!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Sanders does need to do a reorg as the other reorgs were so poor.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago

“accelerate the modernisation” – Are we getting C3 before it’s obsolete in 2030?
I won’t be the first to say the “A*** Word” today but it could/should be impacted.

Whole thing sounds great – a fresh look at what we actually ‘need’. Hopefully we can reverse some of the shrinkage from the past.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

I don’t rate C3 or think that it’s really need in the timescale it’s planned. Just keep the gun it has, perhaps update the sight if they really need done and any other bits that cause big issues. Keep the numbers as they are. Start the new tank project with the money saved. Team up with Germany/Poland or any other like minded country that are also Looking to make new tanks by 2030. Challenger 3 is going to come into service just as some other forces are looking to replace. Do they really want challenger serving in 2050/60 when other… Read more »

Bobble
Bobble
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

All great points, common sense even, that is why it will never work.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago
Reply to  Bobble

Still forging ahead with future soldier. Let’s have no more fitted for but not with nonsense.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Agreed bud.

Don’t rate “C3” (or C2 mk2) myself & as you say, timescale is all wrong. By the time it comes in, it’ll be obsolete.

C2 could do with an upgrade (gun, commanders sights etc.) so they can call it “C3” if they want, but let’s have it in 18 months – then we can get 7-10 years out of it before the replacement comes in. This was what I was meaning.

Numbers – 100% agreed! ‘Quantity has a quality all of its own’

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Obsolete is a strong word. Cutting edge maybe not, but it will still be perfectly viable for many years. How they use it will however have to change as stronger potential opposition tanks come onto the market.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Fair point & you are right. “obsolete” is too strong. Much like C2 now – there’s kit out there with better this or that but still very potent.
Need to fish out my thesaurus & improve my vocab!

Last edited 1 month ago by Stu
David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the dog in the fight…

How Chally will be fought is how it will win.

Too few? Yep. Obsolete if fought alone? Yep. Combined with infantry, support arms and GBAD she’ll be difficult to beat.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Issue is the prime replacements Leopard and Abrams will both be looking down that same barrel.
But easier to Place 150 into a secondary role, and source a New Build MBT.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Replacement won’t be either of those. T14 and KF51 are showing the way. It’ll be a clean design, weighing a bit less, integrated defence suite, network with drones (probably carry a few) etc etc.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Yes, you are right. Tanks after CR3 have to be revolutionary, not evolutionary.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

As I’ve pointed out many times over the past year or so, a lighter-weight tank (120mm smooth bore) that fits in with Boxer (tracked) which is also modular would be the best bet for us. Making up the numbers of troops we currently lack can be addressed by some of the new tech arriving on the market. “At the Kongsberg pavilion, the THeMIS was exhibited with an integrated RS6 Protector remote weapon station (RWS) and a Metravib PILAR gunshot detector system. Norway’s Kongsberg first revealed the RS6 Protector in 2021, and it is equipped with a 30 mm cannon and… Read more »

boxer-tracked-image04.jpg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Plenty of options are available.

maxresdefault.jpg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Yet another example of a Boxer Variant.

MBDA_New_concept_of_mobile_air_defense_missile_system_based_on_Boxer_8x8_armored_925_001.jpg
Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

👍

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Not sure where I saw it, but I’ve seem a Themis with a 30mm mounted RWS, it also had a 7.62mm GPMG mounted coaxially. The gun was an adaption of the one fitted to the Apache.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Correct, I posted the images on here at some point this year in another post.

Another very useful tool with plenty of available options! We could transform the way we fight with something like these and Boxer, a real game-changer for the British army in my opinion.

download (2).jpeg
Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

At last, a replacement for CVR(T) Striker and also Spartan MCT!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I still can’t get excited about Boxer, particularly as a WR IFV replacement, unless it has a 30-40mm stabilised cannon on each section vehicle and has virtually the same mobility in snow, ice and glutinous mud as a tracked vehicle has.
The design is ageing, they have a large signature and are ridiculously expensive. They can’t be transported in a A400M.
Good that they have modularity, though.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hi Graham, the beauty of Boxer is that it comes in two versions, wheeled and now tracked with twenty modular versions to choose from. Compared to a MBT like Challenger I would have thought their signature would have been less? They can be transported on the A400 and a 30-40mm option is available. “A loading inspection is necessary here so that the transport of the armoured vehicle Boxer can be approved. The 8×8 vehicle weighs a total of around 35 tons. However, only 32 tons are allowed to drive over the opened ramp of the A400M. The Boxer consists of two… Read more »

German_Air_Force_62_Transport_Squadron_tests_loading_of_Boxer_armored_vehicle_in_A400M_1.jpg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Boxer with Lockheed Martin’s 40mm CTA cannon on a Boxer mission module.

DxnxQeGWkAE4br3.jpeg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The new variant of Boxer 8×8 armoured fitted with RT60 turret

New_variant_of_Boxer_8x8_armored_fitted_with_RT60_turret_for_Middle_East_customer_925_001.jpg
Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Bover IFV

RMV-Boxer_CRV.jpg
Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

At least the CT40 turrets won’t be wasted. Looks like a pair of ATMs added too.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Endless possibilites now that a tracked base has arrived.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Hi Nigel, I love your enthusiasm for Boxer and wonder if I am wrong in being critical. It is new info that there is a tracked Boxer. Certainly compared to a 72 ton MBT, tracked Boxer has a lower signature. My comment on the high signature was that they are a large vehicle for an Infantry section carrier. I was disappointed that the module needs to be removed for A400M carriage to get below the 32t door restriction. I prefer Warrior wirth WCSP over Boxer particularly if not all Infantry section Boxers have a stabilised cannon, preferably 40mm. I am… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Id advocate a kzv51 panther. If uk made or just rush C3 into service but get whole fleet done so all 224 C2s and set 2025 as the target deadline for entire fleet completion. I think Russia will have finished Ukraine off by end of 2023. Will of refitted and rearmed by end of 2024 and then be making new territorial demands in 2024/2025
In the 2030s either go Franco/ German new MBT or better still get whatever the US Army replaces Abrahams with.
Economies of scale would indicate the Abrahams replacement will likely have a lower unit price.

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

This ‘dawning’ has been coming for some time however, Putin’s aggression simply lubricated the cogs of rearmament, for that is what is bringing suggested in the speech. Catastrophic management of Ajax and the lack of CH2 and AS90 investment means very little can be done domestically to repair the damage other than rapid procurement, of replacements, from overseas. The lease of 300 M1s in combination with the purchase or lease of Leapoard 2 may be one way to bolster the UK MBT fleet in a matter of six months to a year, with a rapid training package included. Using tanks… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

The Government decided that the army should go from 386 CR2s to 227 and now to 148 CR3s. I don’t know what it would take to persuade the Government that the army needs more than 148 tanks, so I don’t think much of the chances of leasing 300 M1s. In my experience it is highly unusual for the British Army to operate foreign tanks with World War II being the exception. The operation of 2 foreign fleets is even more hard to accept. If there are relatively few CR2s being lost to the CR3 programme in a given month, why… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham, the plain truth is we simply don’t have enough MBTs and there is growing acknowledgment of that situation. We have already placed MBTs in border states and more will be promised. The current pathetic fleet numbers will frustrate ministers as more pressure is put on Britain to increase its heavy armour assets in theater. I don’t want to get into the merits of the MOD’s logic about winding up MBT production but it was crass, and it leaves us with no option but to seek tanks from abroad. My numbers may be a little unrealistic but at least 100… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Maurice, thanks. I served from 1975-2009 so remember the time when we had 900 Chieftains, a fleet size commensurate with opposing 3 Shock Army, a huge Soviet army in the Waraw Pact headquartered at Magdeburg. I then saw us buy just over 400 CR1s and run a mixed CR1/Chieftain fleet, and then to purchase 386 CR2s and run an all-CR2 fleet from the late 90s. I cannot recall when we went down to a 227 fleet and whether it was defence cuts or to comply with a CFE treaty. But to me that seemed to be ‘bare minimum’, allowing 3… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Graham, thanks for the info on the halcyon days of a mixed fleet of British made machines. The sooner we get the smooth bore 120mm gun in service the better as it broadens our choices of supply rather than the current narrow options for gun shells. Taking around 100 Leopard tanks could enhance training for CH3 and offer more flexibility for the MOD in terms of deployments. With two new members joining NATO and Sweden’s huge border with Russia, a considerable force will be needed from fellow members to patrol this theater. What better weapon than a MBT for such… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

I don’t think we have ever had a problem with the supply of rounds for our rifled cannon, so far. I doubt the politicians/Treasury would favour buying or leasing 100 Leo2s and the huge infrastructure that you need when you introduce a new equipment. Not sure how that would enhance training for CR3 – please explain. Patrol tasks are not usually done by MBTs – we tend to use patrol vehicles or recce vehicles. I doubt money is being spent on refurbishing the out-of-use CR2 fleet at Ashchurch. It seems that no extra equipment is being made ready at all.… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Leopard would enable tankers to get used to smooth bore rounds and establish logistics before CH3. If you believe 200 CH2 will be enough to support the UK’s efforts and commitments within NATO then fine, and my suggestions to enhance the fleet should be waved as unnecessary. However, Boris and his ministers may quickly get frustrated when constantly informed, that there are not enough MBTs to fulfill promises of support across a growing number of fronters.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Tanker? You must be from the USofA. For us a tanker is a vehicle that contains fuel! I really don’t think we need to introduce 100 Leo2s to give our tankies a chance to get used to smooth bore – it really is not that complex to cope with a different type of round, and to rejig your logistics. We are spending a lot on the CR3 programme; it would cost a fortune to also find money to buy/lease 100 Leo2s and all the infrastructure. We bought 386 CR2s from 1998 but only have 227 CR2 tanks in service at… Read more »

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

UK is signed into the USA future MBT program. Franco/German will never agree, and UK Opted out of that program.
we may not like it But USA at least they will have paid for a decent development

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Are you sure that UK is signed into the US programme – I had not read that. UK has been an observer on the Franco- German programme since 2021.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Nah. “We’re going to win this one!”

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Russia may not finish off Ukraine in the next 18 months – Putin may just seize and hold Donbas and the corridor to Crimea and withdraw other troops – or he may be relieved of his command by coup, ill health or assassination! Would he really take on further conquests as his Ukraine adventure has been so lengthy and costly in blood and treasure? Where? Not a NATO country surely. I don’t see that more than a couple of years could be shaved off the CR3 project ie FOC in 2028 at best. Our tanks after CR3 should be collaborative… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

The main issue with either the Boxer MGS using the 120mm gun or the Lynx using the same gun. Is that it uses the shorter 44 calibre barrel. The Stryker and other vehicles that use the smaller 105 gun are next to useless against a modern MBT. Even the shorter 120 gun will struggle to penetrate the frontal glacis and turret of a modern MBT. The Abrams using the same gun, gets around this problem by using a one piece cartridge that contains a propellent that generates a very high gas pressure, more so than the German equivalents. So my… Read more »

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

A very good point, the ability to have one tracked and one wheeled version with a choice of twenty interchangeable weapons modules depending on the terrain makes a great deal of sense to me plus spare parts and transportability of course.

The gun displayed is the 120mm KMW’s RCT120 unmanned turret mission module if that gives you a clue to the type of rounds it can fire?

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Looking into the future,presuming the British Army intends ( or is allowed ) to keep it’s MBT capability some hard choices will have to be made- go with the Franco/German EMBT Project or go another route altogether and go with the USA and it’s M1 replacement.Poland is now a serious player in regards Heavy Armour in Europe today but has decided on a two Tank Fleet -their legacy T72/PT91 fleet being gradually withdrawn,the Leopard 2 being bought as a stopgap but ultimately they will have an M1 and K2 Black Panther derivative based Armoured Corps.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

No reason why the UK would lose its MBT capability in future.
The UK is an observor on the Franco-German project since 2021.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I agree, in the current climate, having Challenger 2 upgraded so it can be fielded as a Challenger 3 in 2027 to 2030 is too late! However, the problem with the current L30 rifled gun, is that we cannot be sure how it performs against the uparmoured T90M (ignoring the mythical T14 Armata). The CHARM3 “should” be capable of penetrating the uparmoured front of a T72 and T90A, but we can’t be 100% sure. Plus, there is the issue of supply. BAe still manufacture the CHARM3 round, whilst the HESH has to be imported from Belgium. The HESH shell, although… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Well they should know if it can penetrate pretty soon. The knocked out T90m in ukraine must be a top priority to get there hands on to test it. I get the new gun would be great it’s just is it worth £1.3 billion(which by 2030 will be £2.5billion. We are looking at £10million an upgraded challenger minimum. If it doubles £20m a tank! Also the reduction from 50 odd shells to 25-30 is massive. Could buy at least 50 brimstone/javelins to do the same job. So would it be better to just keep challenger 2 and get new tank… Read more »

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

That’s the million dollar question, boom, boom! I wouldn’t touch KF51. Like the Leopard 2 is uses torsion bar suspension. Which as any engineer will point out, if they get bent (from a land mine explosion for example) are a bugger to remove. As it means the turret comes off, to gain access to the floor plate. The floor plates then need removing, so anything sitting on them needs removing. Then you need any oxy-acetylene torch to burn through the torsion bar, so that you can then remove it. Even after removing the bearings might be knackered and the hull… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I’m sure can ask the nice Mr Zelenski to send us the remains of a T90 for a bit of testing.

I’d be surprised if we haven’t already.

Swap you a knackered tank for some nice new ammo……and maybe a big gun or two….

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago

I agree, with the number of Russians abandoning their vehicles. A significant number have been reused by the Ukrainians. I don’t know if Ukraine have acquisitioned a T90M yet? There have been a number destroyed so far, catastrophically judging by some of the videos seen. But I would certainly bet on the US etc, asking Ukraine for any captured equipment, even if it is destroyed.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

According to this site, they captured several T90A’s. Only one confirmed T90M destroyed, none captured but several unidentified tanks abandoned/captured.

They only list those with photo confirmation & they’re usually a week or two behind so there could be others.

https://www.oryxspioenkop.com/2022/02/attack-on-europe-documenting-equipment.html

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

From videos seen on twitter I’ve seen two of the newer T90Ms destroyed. One definitely from a Javelin top attack. The other was using the Ukrainian Skif missile. Both tanks suffered the catastrophic carousel ammo explosion that flipped off their turrets. If this war drags on as it’s likely to for quite some time. Then there’s a greater chance that a T90M may be captured intact.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  DaveyB

I doubt you could shave more than a couple of years off the CR3 delivery programme.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Chally 3s and their timescale fits in with another Program that the UK is signed into the Future MBT with USA, Germany and France have a similar program. MBT is seen as a Dinosaur in the Modern Mobile Army, as the Ukraine’s have proved. there is no suitable option considering timescale

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

The army really is in bad timing for tank replacements. I think challenger 2 is a great vehicle. My main concern with challenger 3 is:
Is it too late with 2027-2030 service?
Is it worth the cost?
Are the reduction in numbers worth it over retaining all challenger 2.
By 2030 the army should have a replacement MBT prototype for 2035 service entry.
Hopefully the army can get a one off boost of £10 billion to speed up challenger 3 and increase the numbers get a tracked IFV, artillery ASAP.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

I despair that FOC for CR3 is likely to be 2030 – such a long time for such a programme to be delivered (I worked on it in 2016 for Rheinmetall when it was CR2 LEP).
It will be very good but no doubt behind what the US, France and Germany will have in service or mature development at the time (FR/GE should start building MGCS in 2035).

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

You worked on it!? Awesome. This is why I love these forums; I get to learn/hear from guys with first hand experience.
I too despair.

Said it a million times but I’ll keep banging the drum; we have to revise how we go about defence. We keep stretching programmes to ‘secure jobs’ and spread the cost but we just end up paying more in the long run. 🤦🏻‍♂️

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

I was the advisor to Rheinmetall on Programme Management during their bid for CR2 LEP.
Politicians re-profiled the carrier spend, adding much delay and much cost to the programme.

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The in-service date for Challenger 3 is not an arbitrary figure. On the army’s equipment budget, it can only afford to build one class of AFVs at a time. The batting order is 1) Ajax (years late) 2) Boxer, from 2023 3) Chally 3, end of decade. Artillery is the same… 1) MLRS upgrade to GMLRS (in process) 2) Sky Sabre (2022-25?) 3) Replacement for AS-90 (end of decade) Ditto rotary: 1)Apache rebuild to AH-64 Guardian (2021-2024) 2) Replacement of Gazelle by Juno (underway, don’t know timetable) 3) Chinook ER purchase 4) New Medium Utility helo to replace Puma, Bell… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Cripes

So true that profiling of spend over a 10-year LTEP ‘is a thing’ – and the army can’t have everything simultaneously or in a hurry (except for UORs). In an ideal world, AFVs and artillery systems might have about a 25 year life from ISD – and therefore that all FV430s (not just ‘many’) should have been replaced from c.1988, CVR(T)’s replacement should have been fielded from c.1996, Lt Gun replaced from c.2001, AS90 replaced from c.2017, CR2 replaced from c.2023. That would have been good for the profiling – but none, absolutely none, of that happened. So we are… Read more »

Bulkhead
Bulkhead
1 month ago

Well it all sounds good, hell something positive might happen😎

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Lets hope he puts the 3rd Foot & Mouth on spearhead aka “the Devils in Skirts”. Evil bunch of Bs, killed my pet Nelly and her sister Karla

Last edited 1 month ago by farouk
Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Carry on Farouk.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

“there’s nothing to be scared of…….Oooh, I don’t know though”. Turns & runs.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

lol

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago

He sounds very hopeful for the future. The new heads always seem to give these great plans when they take up the post. Give it a few weeks after meetings at the MOD, treasury and see how he is. In all seriousness everything he says is correct. How it is going to be achieved will be the interesting part. For the artillery hopefully he looks at what Poland is going to do and join that program if it is quick enough. In the mean time get 24 truck mounted or M777 to fill gaps. If the army are going to… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

What stops Putin invading the Baltic states? The fact that they are NATO and Chapter 5 will kick in. That Putin has no reason to do that. That Putin’s army is exhausted, demoralised and short of kit.

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Meanwhile the Guardian is reporting this:

Opera Snapshot_2022-06-28_133645_www.theguardian.com.png
Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

I thought only the BBC & CNN read that these days….?

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

Doesnt matter who reads the Guardian. The question is are they right? Will they be proven right?
Its more important that living in a democracy that alternstive or conflicting views are able to be published and shared. Time will tell then if the journalist was telling the truth or not.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Didn’t say they lied.
Didn’t say they were wrong.
Didn’t say their views should not be permitted to be published and shared.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Well said. I suspect Johnson will only be interested in updating the smoke and mirrors on all our armoured vehicles so that they can be offered and operated in numerous engagements at the same time.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

You mean our Armoured Vehicle (singular) it is fitted for and maybe with the latest Schroedinger systems so it can be multi present……..

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

They’ll scrap the 0.5% above inflation increase and throw another £8ish Billion at this years/next years budget and kid everyone it is a massive additional boost when in fact it is bang on the 0.5% above inflation amount that they should get… Year on year with inflation how it is it would be 9.5% per year ish. Watch this space. All spin and bollocks. No confidence in this government regarding defence.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

We have all done it, spent a load of money down the pub buying rounds for your mates and then complain later in the month when you have no money.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

I wonder how Jefferey Archer enjoyed his porridge?

farouk
farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Stu

I subscribe to the POV that I have to be open to all sides of the argument including those I may not like. But to be fair the news reporting from the G is fairely neutral, its its opinions which have the left bias. My current read:

12.jpg
Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

t’was only a joke.
‘open to all sides’ – agreed.
Best not to start a debate on the pro’s & con’s of the Guardian. I do read some bits of it & as you say, many of their stories are fairly neutral, but (like any other media) they have a bias which slips into most things (including what they don’t report).
Such things only really bother me when an outlet tries to pretend they are 100% neutral though.

Nick C
Nick C
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Interestingly the BBC are trailing a speech that Wallace is due to give to RUSI later today in which he is going to say that defence spending has to match ministers ambitions. So far, so obvious. The early reports, since denied, were that he had told the PM that the budget should rise to 2.5% of gdp, however he is on record as saying that 2% should be a floor not a ceiling. I hold no brief for whichever cap badge should win, I’m a retired fish head, but it strikes me that an increase in the number of soldiers… Read more »

farouk
farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

The problem as i see it across the Uk, is that the vast majority of MPs are only in it for themselves, any sense of loyalty to the country is gone (unless of course you id as non English) decades of peace (since WW2) and the subsequent all of the Soviet Union has fostered in a mind-set that peace prevail all and that the only war mongers out there are all British, which if late has been replaced by NATO, and that the only way to stop the rot, is to curb Military spending . what is left is often… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

20k out of 75k isn’t so bad, when you look at Russia and how bad their logistics are and what has led to.

Getting the army to the field and maintaining it with the stuff it needs whilst there, is as important if not more so than the guys shooting stuff.

The question is what are our logistics actually like and more importantly how full are the warehouses, in other words in a big war situation how long before we run out of ammo/missiles.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

But have the Russians now not lost 35k+?

We need a bigger army with extra teeth, however, they’ll need an effective manned equipped CS and CSS.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

However many they have lost isn’t as important in the long run to how much equipment and morale they have lost. Most of their gear is heavily upgraded Soviet stuff, that they don’t have the capability to replace with new stuff or they would have done years ago. On top of that, the longer the war goes on and the more troops that don’t come home, the less likely the next generation will sign-up to serve for their country. There is currently no future where Russia comes out of this war as a serious miltiary threat to NATO, outside the… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Not my point. We need more than 20k+ teeth.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

The issue is you need a significant logistic and command chain behind any force, so to increase the 20k you need also increase the other 60k. In 2022 young people just don’t want to join the armed forces and so significantly increasing headcount would be very difficult. How much of the 60 is fluff however I have no idea.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Gurkhas are part of the answer along with high profile berets such as PARA Eng, Logs, Arty ditto Booties, just make sure they have plenty of missiles!

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

More Gurkhas would be the cheap option, the longer term one is to somehow highlight the value of the public sector final salary pension scheme to young people, so that the pay looks better. Value of a pension pot are not taught at schools nor is basic financie, which is stupid. Army pension is very good compared to private sector equiv and worth a significant amount of money, but private sector has better upfront salaries which is easier to understand for younger people. Who really thinks about pension until your in your 50s and sweating it. Another thing to improve… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

60k? You assume we have an 80k reg army yet I am sure it is less than that. Define ‘fluff’ please! I don’t think anyone in the army is not required.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

On any organisation there will be roles that are not being efficiently used. There will be a lot of command roles that are there for prestige rather than efficiency.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

effective manned equipped CS and CSS.”

😍

OkamsRazor
OkamsRazor
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

PM has already stated 2.0 is a floor not a ceiling, today intact.

Nick C
Nick C
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

And I believe every word he says!!

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Pointed out under current spending plans UK will fall below 2% of GDP again in 2025 fiscal year.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  OkamsRazor

Yep. Truth delivered in the Holy Grail.

Oh wait…

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

Think we have just over 19k reg infantry – it has always been about 25% of the total. Why do you think that is out of balance?

Nick C
Nick C
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

As I said I’m not a student of land warfare. On paper a layman might expect that everyone in uniform would be toting a rifle. As the Soviets have recently shown us logistics and artillery are immensely important, particularly in the type of attritional warfare they practice. Where would one look for a simple breakdown of the UK orbat, preferably with understandable acronyms.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick C

Nick, Not everyone in the RAF flies a plane! Similar for the army. Everyone in the army less Chaplains (and very senior officers who favour a pistol) do tote a rifle but only 25% are in the Infantry and use it offensively; for the remainder it is for self-defence (of yourself and your comrades if attacked). Daniele is great at Orbats but I suspect you want a breakdown by capbadge to understand why only 25% of the deployable army are Infantry. Best I can come up with, which unfortunately seems to mix 2015 figures with 2018 figures:http://www.armedforces.co.uk/army/listings/l0086.html and look under… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

They will always spin a negative. They loathe everything the UK stands for.

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Not just the media, we have an entire generation of adults (and now their children) who dispise everything about the country. We see that in Scotland, we are seeing it in Wales, then we have all the imported new British citizens who only love the tag british for the benefits they can receive.Can you imagine how they would react if Russia landed troops on British soil (Pound to a penny with the full support of the Scottish Nazis party) The only good thing if that happened is all the wonks would assume that dying their hair pink and waving LGBT… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Some of the “hard fruits” have seen the harsh treatment of LGBT in modern Russia & I think you would see them on the front line, like the previous generation did at the Stonewall bar in New York. The drag queens were the toughest fighters, I am told.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

It’s a global thing Faruok. We have a similar trend in New Zealand.
I feel more and more like a stranger in my own country.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

I think it okay to still believe the goodness in people is still there. I think we will all defend our fundamental freedoms when we absolutely have too and rediscover our “back bone”. We shouldn’t let the sacrifice of many men, women and civilians from previous and current conflicts be wasted by forgetting and neglect. Can’t imagine the horror of Ukraine but i sure hope that Ukraine is building up to knocking Russia’s lights out! And Britain, NATO and its allies need to stay strong.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Hi Quentin, completely agree with your commentary. I’m just a little over the constant battering of the past perceived wrong doing of colonists. Time to move on to a better future for all of us.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Yeh, I think its a global thing. A lot of countries are stuck trying to move forward to address the future because they haven’t reconciled themselves to their past. There are lots of groups who are deliberately trying to put the country on a guilt trip. To quote the Bard, what’s done is done and cannot be undone. Time to move on.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

You have my vote Paul, well said!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The UK can still be a force for good, democracy and human rights and be helpful to its former colonies and all countries, in building up their economies, promote trade relations and even their post colonial identities. Nearly every country in the world has been invaded and ransacked by someone else at sometime! Not condoning it and we did a fair bit of it but crikey those were the times. Hopefully more human good came from it than bad. We obviously have to be conscious of the not so good in our history. But right now, good on Britain supporting… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

The Commonmealth is diversifying. Mozambique and Rwanda were not British colonies. Gabon and Togo are joining. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-61967842?at_medium=RSS&at_campaign=KARANGA

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

As always, plenty of speculation at this point in time! Defence Secretary Ben Wallace is urging the prime minister to increase spending on the UK’s armed forces in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He already successfully pushed for higher spending in 2020, but will say in a speech later that the threat has now changed. The UK currently spends around 2% of its GDP on defence, matching the target Nato sets for its members. But Mr Wallace has reportedly asked the PM to increase that to 2.5% by 2028. He later denied the 2.5% figure but said defence spending… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

That is most alarming. Another broken promise from BJ in the offing.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

His job is not hard or complicated. He has got to end the never ending disaster that is Army procurement and equipment modernisation. Ajax, Warrior, AS90 etc etc. To build an Army that prioritises war fighting over cap badges. Whatever happens to the Defence budget if he doesn’t get those things right the Army will remain an effing disgrace and embarrassment. We’ll get the first clue if we start hearing squeals of ‘it’s not fair’ and doors being slammed from Army officers in the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

The UK needs to be able todeploy and support a brigade sized formation in Estonia. Then provide its share of the 300-400K rapid reaction force envisaged to be able to check an future Russian ambitionson NATO territorial claims. NATO has to have a not one inch policy. Not one inch of NATO terrotory to have a foot set on it by Russian forces falsestop. The only obvious fact coming out of G7 meeting is the army has to be increased in size. Has to go back upto at least 85,000 and we have to be able to deploy a light… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

You are right China is exploiting Russia as its attack dog/distractor and cannon fodder to test the ground for its own ambitions. It must have loved it when Russia effectively volunteered for this role under the delusion it could retain a sense of parity with them. To China their role is somewhat like Chechens are presently to Russia useful idiots who’s leaders can promote their self importance while being lackeys to a far bigger plan. I guess Putin in the hope of attaining personal glory along the way that he can present to and as status to his ill informed… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

China was forced to hand over bits of Siberia to Russia in 1858 & 1860. Now Chinese nationalists are saying they got Hong Kong & Macau back, so they should get back those bits of Siberia too. Some recent Chinese military exercises near the Russian border. Good time to snatch back, when Russian forces are in Ukraine & short of ammo, tanks, precision weapons, etc.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

“and we have to be able to deploy a light airbourne brigade sized force. A heavy armoured division. Retain at least 2-3 brigades for contingency and a further armoured division in reserve.” Too much mate IMO, the CS/CSS do not exist for another division, such a build up would take years and the costs beyond what I feel any uplift would involve save general war gloves are off economy on wartime footing. Last time we had 2 Armoured Divisions was pre 2010 and that was around 100,000. We have the Light Airborne force, that is 16AA, it can be improved… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Know where your coming from. Your talking about an Army that looks as lean n mean as the gold standard out there the USMC. But it’s gonna have to be baby steps. First sort out procurement then get everyone on board about what there job is and what we expect from them.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

PARA should increase to 3Bn and Bde enabled. Booties might see they have a different, they do, but, they also need a 3 Bn Bde enabled, PLUS, the units they need for other work.

Then, Bde of Gurkhas bumped back up and enabled.

Concurrently, RRA needs manning and equipping across the board to supply rounded support to the 3 three Bdes as well as the ‘regular’ Bdes.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Morning David. “PARA should increase to 3Bn and Bde enabled” It already has 3, and will move to a 4th Battalion as result of FS, plus 10 Para in reserve. It needs a few extra companies, batteries and squadrons in its CS/CSS that were cut in 2015 A2020R to flesh it out and is devoid of firepower. 3 Cdo to 3 battalions (Commando’s) is current set up but as you know they are now split as the brigade was dismembered as part of FCF. They would need considerable uplift in CS/CSS if you are thinking of reverting them to a… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

4 Para!! Not 10!!!

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

That’s a pretty coherent package and the right way to go without need for further ado and waffle from HMG. Increasing the army to 85,000 is long overdue, it should never have been cut below the 105,000 legacy of the last Labour government,. But I think it will be a major pplitical battle just to halt the current cuts and get back to 82,500, as Boris is clearly disinclined to change the flawed Integrated Review’s pathway. With a restored 82,500 troops, I estimate that we could field 6 combat brigades, up from the current hopeless total of 4. No apologies… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes
1 month ago
Reply to  Cripes

10 bns in the UK, not 20…

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Wallace and the senior management of the MoD (and our Armed Forces) are using the Ukraine war to demand an increase in the defence budget, primarily to pay for the current – and known – cock-ups, thinking that further cuts in capability can be avoided. The result will be that even more taxpayers money will be poured into the bottomless pit that is the MoD, but even less kit will be obtained. No Defence Secretary in living memory has been able to reform the MoD and so many now feel that the best solution is to disband it, in its… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by David Lloyd
JamesD
JamesD
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Why on earth would we buy an air defence destroyer from SK when the T45 is probably the best out there?? Why would we outsource warship construction anyway? What planet does that serve the UK and it’s industrial base

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

I agree with you!

Rfn_Weston
Rfn_Weston
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Off the shelf ADD? 😂 Big shelf pal.

T45 works perfectly fine with PIP and with the planned armament & ABMD upgrade is world beating. Fact. The 6 in service are enough to provide fleet protection for Carrier Strike and ABMD role if as I said upgraded.

We don’t need more surface escorts with T26 & T31in build & T32 in the pipe line. They simply need speeding up. Navy has been, and will continue to be fine, if it follows the NSBS as planned.

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

With respect ‘Type 45 works perfectly fine with PIP’ – HMS Dauntless is currently on sea trials so that statement cannot be true,when those trials are successfully concluded then the answer will be known but unlikely to be in the public domain at least for a while.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

The PIP is proving to be difficult and after 12 years only Dauntless has successfully received the power upgrade. So far all 6 have spent post of their lives alongside, or being towed somewhere

https://www.navylookout.com/the-royal-navys-type-45-destroyers-status-report/

This link gives the current situation. The people managing the PIP couldn’t organise a p**s-up in a rum brewery

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Rfn_Weston

I’d disagree. We should double the T31 buy, today. Ditch Tranche 1 Typhoon. And we have far too few T45 to deliver the defence we need. IMHO.

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

RN may struggle to crew 10 T-31.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion X

With Radakin in the top slot at the mo, strike while the iron is hot; T45 improvement plan doubled, anyone?

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Disagree with some of your points (T45) but in the main, I think I agree. Any increase now will likely just fill the holes… Before we spend another penny, it would make sense to make some reforms about defence spending & the MoD. I’ve argued for an age that we have funding a**e-backwards. We (the UK) currently have a budget each year & the branches then argue for their programmes to be funded. Some are then delayed or slowed to spread to cost (increasing total cost & leading to capability gaps!), some cancelled just before they bear fruit & some… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Apart from SK Destroyer can’t argue against any of that.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  David Lloyd

Does the CV90 recce version have the capability that Ajax was mooted to have?

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Oh Graham! Past tense?

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Sorry Ian, it looks like I have written Ajax off already. But I am not the only one.

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
1 month ago

A few interesting comments, and the one I think is perhaps the most important is his point about Whole Fleet Management. For those who don’t really understand it, it is the difference between having your “own” company car, or just using a vehicle from the car pool. Add to that, the fact that the MD will look at “your” company car every 6 months to make sure that it is clean, top-up with fuel and you have been servicing it. WFM was the worst thing to happen, as it meant the soldiers abdicated responsibility for maintaining their own equipment, leading… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Forsyth

Snap, I noted that too.

BobA
BobA
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Forsyth

bingo – that shows how much he is willing to shake things up. We whole fleet manage everything from Vehicles to Radios. I remember being shocked during a very painful 9 months as RSO that we actually only had a Coy’s worth of Bowman for the Bn. The uplift came from WFM BOWMAN or by redistributing or cycling kit from other Bde units.

Mark Forsyth
Mark Forsyth
1 month ago
Reply to  BobA

BobA, and there in lies the issue. A project I am currently working on needs some Radios to supply as GFE. The issue being, so I am informed, that there are apparently nowadays subsets of radios dependent on the “software” fill, but the NSN is the same. Hence you don’t know what you have got from the Bowman Team until you switch it on, because you can’t designated exactly which sub-set you want on the paperwork to order it.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Forsyth

True. It also meant drivers/operators, commanders, MT/Sigs staff and first line REME had a lot less to day day-to-day, and were in danger of geting bored!

FOSTERSMAN
FOSTERSMAN
1 month ago

I read somewhere that the budget will go up 0.5% by 2028!.
All well and good these plans but what about now?
Considering we’ve emptied our reserves Its going to need some uplift all right. I personally think we should be closer to 3%, now I know it’s probably not feasible with current issues but if we could get our equipment programs back on track and spent the majority of it within the UK then the government can at the very least claim job creation.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  FOSTERSMAN

In other words go up, after the next election and towards the following one, just in time to be replaced by another promise after the election, aka not going to happen. Let’s hope not true

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

Having read all that, what sticks out for me is “Whole Fleet Management” The regiment/battalion deploying for ops would receive its proper complement and the others of that type would have minimal numbers for day to day stuff, training, and so forth. Sceptics, including me, have always thought it a neat trick to have less of everything. If they are looking at that again then surely more REME will be required in units LADs/Wkshps for daily maintenance of a bigger inventory? Lets not get carried away wanting unrealistic increases like more armoured divisions and brigades, tens of thousands more people,… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago

So much this – “Lets not get carried away wanting unrealistic increases like more armoured divisions and brigades, tens of thousands more people, and big increases in kit. Lets fill capability gaps.” There’s way too much focus in the comments on the crude metrics of Army headcount and percent of GDP, when we should be focused on ensuring we support/put in place appropriate capabilities for a relevant force. Throwing money at the problem is likely to be a sure way to waste it. The last 30 years have clearly demonstrated that we lack an ability to accurately forecast the types… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

People want more brigades!! Some of the ones we have are devoid of CS/CSS, firepower, EW, Air Defence, and will have infantry in Boxers with a machine gun, and artillery out ranged by our potential enemy.

We need to sort WHAT WE HAVE before going fantasy fleets and rebuilding BAOB British Army of the Baltics.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago

👍 Spot on!

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Yeh, you are right, but its going to come down to money and urgency. Couple of sample questions…would you sacrifice the C3 upgrade of it meant you could buy lots of HIMRS and Archers, say? Would you accept Boxer with RT60 as Warrior replacement if it was cheaper, faster and we could have more of them? Would you accept a Boxer module as the Ajax replacement?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

“would you sacrifice the C3 upgrade of it meant you could buy lots of HIMRS and Archers, say?” Yes! Immediately! Bite the hand off. Is warfare not becoming an affair of stand off, precision fires, with smaller units more mobile under a comprehensive AD umbrella and EW umbrella? With lots of drones. Yes, Tanks have a part to play but we don’t need several hundreds of them. For a quick expansion of the RA, not forgetting including the rounds like Excalibur, I’d keep Ch2 as is. I’d like to squeeze Trophy APS on all though. “Would you accept Boxer with… Read more »

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago

But not ambulance Daniele, Yes, there are quite a few (112) ATHENA (C2) variants on order though.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

I know mate, there are Boxer Ambulance variants. Indeed not on Ajax side of things. I’m lumping my points into one piece where I could have been more precise and split them, sorry.👍

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago

Absolutely nothing to be sorry about Daniele, keep up the intelligent analysis and interesting posts!
Cheers
Ian M.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Is the difference between Ajax and Athena just different electronics and the cannon?

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul.P
Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Simply put, AJAX has a turret + 40mm CT cannon, full ISTAR suite, crew of 3. ATHENA is a modified ARES. It has a raised roof line and space inside to accommodate extra comms and C2 stuff, signallers etc.
cheers

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian M

Got it I think. I need to educate myself on the difference between ‘full istar suite’ and ‘ Comms and C2 stuff’.
Are the levels of armour protection comparable?

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

As all the platforms are based on the ARES armour levels are very similar and are role dependent. An ISTAR fit is to detect, identify and target and then pass on that information to whomever requires it. AJAX has a comprehensive optical/IR sighting system enabling a hunter/killer operation with detection levels out to 10Km plus and indentification out to 5Km plus. This is coupled to acoustic sensors and CBRN detection and indentification equipment. All of this information flows around several networks and is integrated with Bowman. Comms and C2 stuff is just what you would imagine; senior Ruperts, radios, maps… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Agree about Trophy. And take your point about the number of C2 variants. Its tempting to take another look at the overall order profile and offensive and/or ISTAR potential capabilities of Boxer and Scout variants. Once you drop the CT40 lots of ( good enough?) possibilities open up with technology like RT60, Spike…..have to ask do we actually need another chassis such (CV90)?

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
1 month ago

Oh I agree, except possibly wrt “People want more brigades!!”, where judging by many comments, most don’t even go to that level of thought and simply look at total headcount, often referencing irrelevant historic manning levels. Perhaps I’m being too cynical.

Per your points made in other comments, its unfortunate that the MRV-P program seems to be missing in action. Vehicles resulting from that program should complement Boxer for many roles including CS/CSS. Points that have been made well by ThinkDefence and Gabriele Molinelli.

Ukrainepolis
Ukrainepolis
1 month ago

Mobilisation of this 300,000 force could be a sign of things to come and very soon- this is beyond the trip-wire!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Ukrainepolis

All this talk of mobilisation, let’s hope the big wigs actually arm the Army with something decent and plenty of it.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

What are we mobilising? Army Reserve haven’t been called up and the Regulars are still being cut. Maybe they mean we are replacing obsolete equipment but that isn’t going too well either is it. Chally 3 only 148 and that is in a few years time. Also it’s not really a new tank. Ajax – well that is a fiasco. K9 SP 155mm – still an ambition rather than a funded reality. GMLRs – we are short of hence we could only supply 3 to Ukraine. No replacement for Warrior other than a Boxer with a Gimpy. Sky Sabre –… Read more »

Marked
Marked
1 month ago

Speeding up new equipment? Is it april 1st already?

andrew danks
andrew danks
1 month ago

Hope we get C3 quicker and more new Artillery systems’ of some kind ,but most put a stop to Ajax and troop cuts and maybe take a look at CV90 no time to waste more money .Hate to say it but more money from HMG..OH dear I hear you all say.

Mark Franks
Mark Franks
1 month ago

Mmmm, please H M Treasury can we have some more! I hope they are listening and whatever he said was not for Putins ears only. It flies in the face of the recent planning assessment that was published earlier on this year.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Franks

Sun seems pessimistic.
Says Boris is resisting any more for defence beyond £1bn more for Ukraine related expenses and thus we will slip below 2% of GDP again in 2025.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/politics/19023996/boris-johnson-defence-spending-promise-inflation/

farouk
farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Getting sick of fat boy the other day he handed Africa £160 million to provide for Hydropower
comment image

also the other day the Uk handed Afgnaistan €2.5 million after the recent earthquake, the EU as a whole handed over €1 million.

The fat twat simply cant stop giving money away to anybody or any cause which isnt British, I personally would like for him to go

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

He loves giving to virtue signalling things that Carrie tells him to. Can we get some fit young soldiers, sailors, airmen, to do a chippendales pole dancing routine for Carrie & her chums? Then Boris might be told to spend more on Defence.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Pole dancing? Call the Marines! Apparently, they do kinky so well, they have their own police.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Look at it as an investment against Chinese influence. Wherever we release a toehold in Africa, they take it. Investing in Africa is one small way of containing China

AV
AV
1 month ago

Spot on 👍

Ian
Ian
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

Hi Farouk
Boris is a Green Socialist….. not a Tory……he hands out money like there’s no tomorrow….

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Ian

Boris is like all politicians that succeed ie get elected. He know fine well the only way is to appeal to the opposition. See T Blair here or H Kissinger in China.

DaveyB
DaveyB
1 month ago

Yes, finally a CGS who has finally got some balls! He admitted that due to the changing threat, i.e. Russia in Ukraine. The Army’s manpower level and cuts will be reviewed, duh! If the Ukraine War has shown us anything, is that you MUST have mass even in a technically led World. I think politicians in particular have forgotten what a true war looks like and the number of casualties and dead it generates. Iraq and Afghan were not a true reflection of what a near peer or peer conflict looks like. Ukraine is admitting to having around military 500… Read more »