In a recent, and quite charged, Defence Committee session, Minister James Heappey MP was subject to intense scrutiny, particularly from Kevan Jones MP, who pointedly accused the government of ‘window dressing’ due to a lack of substantial military resources.

Chaired by Robert Courts, the committee looked at the issue of the Armed Forces being overstretched.

James Heappey MP contended, “We are asking them to do more with what they have” but acknowledged the military’s resource limits: “We have a finite number of infantry battalions.”

The dialogue took a more critical turn when Kevan Jones MP accused the government of creating a facade of military capability. He stated, “For the UK to try to say it will have a presence now in the eastern Mediterranean because of the Gaza crisis when we cannot even sustain it for very long is not very credible, is it?

It might make a headline to give the impression that you are doing something, but if you have only got it there for 18 days and seven missions, with a Type 45 which possibly is coming to the end of its tour, and you cannot deploy a similar Type 45 in that theatre, that is window dressing rather than having capability, is it not?”

The chair added:

“It is the point made to us by Justin Bronk. If the Government are constantly saying they need to reassure this alliance and tick off this need, you are constantly running everything far too hot and not leaving enough space for training and refocusing on the tasks you have to do, and it is just fundamentally unsustainable.

If you won’t accept my characterisation of doing more with less, then it is doing more with what is available to the point that it is unsustainable. That is the point, is it not?”

In response to the ‘window dressing’ claim, Heappey said:

“There has been no complaint about that as a premise. I volunteered in my very first answer that we are asking the force to do more than we designed it to do. I would offer that that is the inevitable consequence of a period of great geopolitical uncertainty and instability.

It is inescapably the case that no one platform can be in two places at one time—that is a statement of the blinding obvious—and so we try to work the force as hard as we can. Dauntless will be a great example. It was rushed out of refit successfully to go and furnish a non-discretionary task to be available to the Overseas Territories during hurricane season.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office rightly pushed us on that. Dauntless successfully met the requirement. While she has been there she has been able to do all sorts of great stuff, working with partners in the region doing counter-narcotics and, more widely, flying the flag for freedom, all very valuable. She will come back, refurbish and will be ready again for operations. The tempo at which she has been doing all of that you won’t find in any handbook, and the First Sea Lord would rightly say to you that some risk comes with that.”

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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. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Nick C
Nick C (@guest_770156)
5 months ago

At last we have had a government minister say that no platform can be in two places at once, a statement of the blindingly obvious. So now we have an acknowledgment that the armed forces are running far too hot, and we all know what the consequences will almost certainly be. Worn out materiel, and worn out soldiers and sailors, who will vote with their feet. Roll on a change of government, at least we will be able to take a stick and beat the other lot for a change.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_770158)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

Please explain how a change will change anything for the better? I suppose we could cut ALL overseas commitments and withdraw onto our own little island and let the EU control our forces for their own ends🙄(BCWYWF)

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770212)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

What’s this got to do with the EU, other than a car crash of an economy caused by the Cons which is deluding the public purse of funds?

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_770218)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

You obviously haven’t been paying attention to the defence treaty they are trying to suck us into! Noticed what the economies of our EU ‘friends’ are doing? Not exactly stellar are they?

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770257)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

Counter factual, sorry. Fail.

Matt
Matt (@guest_770334)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Would not trust Labour to run a bath. Also cannot vote for a divisive and hateful party. Tories only a bit better but still better.

Steve R
Steve R (@guest_770414)
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Are they, really?

They’ve run the economy into the ground, more than doubled the national debt, has the NHS on its knees and the armed forces cut to the bone.

I can’t see how that’s better in any way, shape or form.

David Owen
David Owen (@guest_770418)
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt

What planet are you on ?cos it certainly isn’t this one

Nick C
Nick C (@guest_770214)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

It could be argued that a change is as good as a rest, at worst it will just be more rhetoric and no action. At best, and we can live in hope, we might get a reasoned view as to what UK should actually be doing and with what resources. Personally I think that the tilt to the Indo Pacific is the right thing to do, but it has to be backed up with the necessary tools and people to make it viable. If a different idea is taken, fine, but let’s see some thinking that looks logical and can… Read more »

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_770233)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

I think the politicians should be reminded that it is they who carry the responsibility for all this

FieldLander
FieldLander (@guest_770373)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

But they will not. Over the last 50 years we have had; a blood scandal, a potentially unnecessary war (GW2), Grenfell and CoVID-19 (they did not start it, but could perhaps have done better). Despite some uncomfortable moments in a witness chair, no one will be held to account for any of these.
Defence is the same. Note that it is not 20 years of dithering that is blamed for the lack of platforms (and crews) but instead a period of ‘great geopolitical uncertainty’.
let’s hope the balloon does not go up in the next 15years.

Paul.P
Paul.P (@guest_770393)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

There can be little improvement in defence without more money. We are committed to eye wateringly big ticket items like CASD, future Astute, QEC with F-35 which make it hard to fund a bigger, better equipped navy and army. I think there is a pattern of sensible spending decisions with the money available which add significant capability e.g. NSM, P-8 with Mk54 transitioning to Sting Ray, T31 + Mk41 and so on. Labour have more or less said they will not borrow and they will not raise taxes; fiscal discipline etc. So the question is – where is the money… Read more »

Steve
Steve (@guest_770424)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

I wouldn’t cut all overseas deployments but I would cut all ones are there only for media stories and focus the finite resources we have in areas that directly impact our economy and safety as a nation. We are not the US and can’t be everywhere and get involved in everything.

MattW
MattW (@guest_770169)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

But unfortunately with all the rest of them he is presiding over cuts in defence expenditure.

And there is no indication that investment will be forthcoming to replace the heart he is ripping out of our armed forces.

Short-Term-Rishi and the Shysters act as if we were all born yesterday.

Last edited 5 months ago by MattW
Andrew D
Andrew D (@guest_770201)
5 months ago
Reply to  MattW

👍

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_770234)
5 months ago
Reply to  MattW

Sunamk has enough to buy a frigate for the navy

andy a
andy a (@guest_770438)
5 months ago
Reply to  MattW

and before them labour presided over the largest gutting of the forces in my life time.
If you think labour will be better you are mistaken, seen it all before on both sides

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_770170)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

I wouldn’t get your hopes up Labour will do anything new with defence.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_770232)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

It should be reminded that all of this is a result of governments accepting cut after cut that is the reason for the overstretched forces that we DO HAVE are in the position they are. Two types of aircraft tornado and harrier gone. Even though they could still have performed a serious role. A fleet two thirds smaller than the one that was mustered in 1982 an army the size of the one at the time of the Boer war.

Nick C
Nick C (@guest_770268)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Indeed, death by a thousand salami slices.

Stc
Stc (@guest_770283)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

Don’t disagree with your Nick C , but I would be interested to learn what you think Labour would do better. The basic problem is lack of money. Agree the Tory pledge of 2 and half % has been sunk by Hunt, but all Labour has ever done is cut defence. With Russia threatening us with retribution and Houtis firing missiles at British ships today, it’s clear the Tories nor Labour are” fit for purpose” when it comes to defence and security.

Nick C
Nick C (@guest_770320)
5 months ago
Reply to  Stc

I’m not sure any of us will know what they might do until they actually get into power, if they do. I speak as a long standing Tory who left in disgust when the Buffoon Johnson was put in place in 2019. But the rot goes much deeper and much longer than him. I’m not saying that Labour will do better but I think we need a change in direction and attitude, if only to give the Tories the opportunities to clean house and get the head bangers out.

MattW
MattW (@guest_770580)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

That’s fair comment.

I’ve observed a gutting of the public realm under this administration since 2010, a short-termism which is horrific, and a self-serving dishonesty which I think has become congenital.

The Conservatives need at least a decade in opposition to clear out the shysters.

Nick C
Nick C (@guest_770584)
5 months ago
Reply to  MattW

And if you look at today’s articles on this site what do you see, £17bn that needs to be spent on equipment, but which is uncosted. There is simply no long term view from government.

MattW
MattW (@guest_770606)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

Yep – incapable of looking further than the end of their nose, incapable of longer term planning, and incapable of tackling even slightly difficult questions without sloping their shoulders. For examples, consider: – that the Post Office scandal is still dragging on 13 years into the administration, – their stance is still that people wrongfully imprisoned should not be adequately compensated (until recently they were still taking “accommodation costs” out of compensation FFS) -Prison population at nearly 100%. Out of 85k prisoners, 15k are innocent people not yet proven guilty on remand. The fix for that was to increase court… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_771087)
5 months ago
Reply to  MattW

good piece of commentary there Matt, thank you.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker (@guest_770344)
5 months ago
Reply to  Stc

If we go by defence spending since 1990 it’s shrunk during the conservative governments until 2019 but was stable and had increases under labour government.
Now none are a great example of sorting defence out but it’s wrong to suggest labour cut more than the tories.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_770355)
5 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

As I posted above Mr Spanker. National Audit Office The Equipment Plan 2023 to 2033Report – Value for money Date: 4 Dec 2023 “The MoD acknowledges that its Equipment Plan for 2023–2033 is unaffordable, with forecast costs exceeding its current budget by £16.9 billion. This is a marked deterioration in the financial position since the previous Plan in 2022, which the MoD judged to be affordable. In part, this is because inflation, which we highlighted last year as not being fully reflected, is now showing its effect. But more importantly, the costs of delivering major priorities have increased significantly as the… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_770372)
5 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

The last line is key, they may not cut more than the Tories but they may cut just as much. My biggest concern with Labour is not how they will cut or even increase. Even Corbyn promised 2% but it would have been largely a humanitarian and peacekeeping defence posture. Labour are very much looking like they are going against the Tories on the global policy and going to focus on Europe. That may mean we cut capabilities and become a force that is focus only on tis back yard. They do appear to have a poor grasp of geography… Read more »

Martin Turay
Martin Turay (@guest_770446)
5 months ago
Reply to  Stc

To be fair, Russia has been threatening to visit nuclear hell and damnation on lots of people recently; and the houthis Houthis have not shirked from firing their missiles at the mighty US navy. Still I agree that in regards to the defence and the energy sector both the parties have been performing poorly since the beginning of the century.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_770324)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

I am no lover of the Tories, they have hollowed out our defence capability. However I remain to be convinced that Labour will be any better given the dire state of the countries finances and the competing priorities that it forces on the government.
Everyone acknowledges we need to spend more, even 3% is now looking too low with Russian, China and I will not be surprised if that little b*st*rd in North Korea doesn’t take advantage of the situation.

Andrew Climo
Andrew Climo (@guest_770330)
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

A cut of useless contracts and non value added outsourcing would be an easy win under Labour. At least the cake would go a little further. Of course, a real terms increase in spending would be way better.

Expat
Expat (@guest_770374)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Climo

Not if its plough back in to prop up overpriced defence kit purchases from the UK Apache is a great example where a US purchase made sense as the price per unit was so low. If any a new government is going to buy UK no matter the cost then any increase or saving will just get consumed elsewhere. You also have to remember a vast number of those contractors are ex service personnel.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins (@guest_770354)
5 months ago
Reply to  Nick C

It’s not looking promising.National Audit Office The Equipment Plan 2023 to 2033Report – Value for money Date: 4 Dec 2023 “The MoD acknowledges that its Equipment Plan for 2023–2033 is unaffordable, with forecast costs exceeding its current budget by £16.9 billion. This is a marked deterioration in the financial position since the previous Plan in 2022, which the MoD judged to be affordable. In part, this is because inflation, which we highlighted last year as not being fully reflected, is now showing its effect. But more importantly, the costs of delivering major priorities have increased significantly as the MoD has sought… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770157)
5 months ago

Well will Labour stand up and commit to

5 x T32
3 x T26 (more T26 that is not a cut)
3 – 6 additional P8
Changing 4.5” to 5” on all new ships and retrofit for T45
VLS load out program and deep inventory
Deep inventory of 5” shells.

a general increase in defence spending to hold at over 2.5% ramping to 2.75% so that isn’t paid for by more cuts/fantasy eminent…..

Thought not.

Back to reality.

So it is all hot air from both sides.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770159)
5 months ago

Labour won’t commit to anything any more, any commitment just looses then votes and they are quite happy to just let Rishi destroy the Tory’s.

There won’t be any new money for defence under labour and their won’t be any cuts.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_770237)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

And labour will have already blown what money the nation has.

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_770345)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

A sweeping statement considering the billions that have been syphoned off to Tory donors.
Right now Labour is going to inherit a hell of a mess. Their no 1 priority is to get the economy off its knees and repair the damage that has been done.
They would be nieve to not recognise the world is a more dangerous place .

Expat
Expat (@guest_770387)
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

Their no 1 priority is to get the economy off its knees and repair the damage that has been done. The problem is Labour have no cooking clue how to do that. Starmer quite literally endorsed the damage done to the economy during the pandemic, in fact he wanted more spent and longer lock downs. Which = more money pumped in the economy and further reduced supply due to inactive business which any economist will tell you are major driver of inflation. Tories have screwed things up but there no indication Labour would have done better. Ask any Labour politician… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_770425)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Labour is not weighed down by the self imposed lunacy of Brexit or the nutters of the far right. Rachel reeves is a trained ex BoE economist rather than someone who can balance his cheque book. I remain open minded but as a Scot my priority is to do max damage to the SNP and I will be tactically voting to do that . My message is if you don’t like it leave. But I guess from your screen name, you already have. I hope and pray that Labour understands a simple fact. A strong defence although costly is a… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_773119)
5 months ago
Reply to  Michael Hannah

You make a very big and incorrect assumption based on my screen name. Why should I leave my birth country, what because the political class is incompetent? We live in a democracy so I’m optimistic that the majority will ultimately see sense, challenging seeing as more and more people live it their bubble which supports their confirmation biase. I don’t think quoting that Rachel was trained by the BoE gives any credibility. BoE has done appallingly forecasting where the economy will be and setting rates. And she stood by Starmer who endorsed printing money and shutting down supply massive inflation… Read more »

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah (@guest_773136)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Happy for you on all counts.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_770270)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Won’t be any cuts?? That’s a bold statement, it will go something like this… SDSR 2025 ” Making Britain secure in a changing world” Of course other tag lines are available…. While I doubt they will reduce the Defence budget, they will have different priorities than the outgoing government, so anything is possible. Any increases in force structure, or equipment under order will mean something else has to be reduced or deleted of equivalent value to counter it. I personally think the Puma replacement will be reduced to a minimum force ‘rolling lease’ of a suitable type and Albion and… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_770292)
5 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

2% of GDP is guaranteed by all UK apolitical parties, that’s why I can say no cuts, we are already at the bone.

Expat
Expat (@guest_770396)
5 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Borrowing to sponsor low productivity growth is not good idea. Best way to grow is do more with what you have, that means endorsing change in the work place and automation, Labours outdated mentality means they struggle with these concepts. When you hear Labour mulling a robot tax again I can only shaky my head with my head in my hands. Not that the Tories are any better, investment in the UK has never been worse.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_770404)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Totally agree, Labour were droning on yesterday about properly funding the NHS etc, when we all know that funding is only one of the problems. Structural reform is also needed, coupled with state contracted Private health care, is the only solution at our price point, and it simply won’t ever happen. I had a really interesting chat with Jonathan (of this parish) a while ago on this subject. Forgive me for para phrasing Jonathan, but it went something like this, Germany has a similar State funded Health system, all be it with a larger (but not significantly so these days)… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_773101)
5 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

I’ve had similar exchanges with Jonathan. I do disagree with him that German health care is entirely state funded. They have mandatory health insurance which is not supplied by the state. The big difference is Germanys health care system started out as a voluntary private system that’s been made mandatory so work differently. Great example is doctors are paid by volume of patients they treat. That drives throughput and would be a very difficult conversation to have here in the UK. It may be our system needs to fully collapse then something better will rise from its ashes.

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_773152)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Sadly Expat, I think it will. There is simply no way to reconcile the fact that the NHS can’t do what we want / need it do do on its budget, with its current structure. That’s all folks! It would require a fundamental bottom up reform, using best practice from health systems that work, that will mean a place for the private sector to be dove tailed together. This and about £100 billion a year extra. The political classes know exactly what has to be done to the NHS, but simply won’t do anything bar rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_770377)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yep people are going to vote Labour because of the Tories not because Labour have anything new to offer. Sad for the British public we have really zero political choice other than the least worse option.

On the budget and no cuts, the devil is in the detail, I can spend 2% painting curb stones at barracks and get shot of some capability and still be spending 2%.

Sooty
Sooty (@guest_770163)
5 months ago

And restore Wedgetails to the original 5.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770167)
5 months ago
Reply to  Sooty

Good point

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_771088)
5 months ago
Reply to  Sooty

It’s vital Sooty and needs to be a front and centre priority

russ
russ (@guest_770175)
5 months ago

I would like to think so…..😧

Andrew r
Andrew r (@guest_770207)
5 months ago

Why should labour commit to anything? They aren’t the government. Rishi and his morons are the ones in control. Labour will make its stance known when the government call a general election.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770228)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew r

I agree if there was a grown up cross party commitment to defence there wouldn’t be an issue.

If there was it would be incredibly hard not to increase spending.

The only reason it is sooooo depressed is the football nature of the argument that lead to defence being used as a piggy bank to balance budgets.

The issue in every area of politics is the adolescent level of debate in the House of Commons. Cheap point scoring on all sides……

Jim
Jim (@guest_770259)
5 months ago

There is a cross party commitment to defence. Everyone agrees on 2% of GDP and that’s it, everyone agrees to NATO. Since the late 70’s there has barely ever been a disagreement between labour and the Tory’s on defence.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770260)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

That isn’t really true as the drumbeat of shipbuilding was interrupted by both parties.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770293)
5 months ago

Want drum beat did labour interrupt please? They continued with all Tory fleet building plans form 97.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770298)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Cancelling T45 7&8 in favour of GCS which didn’t get ordered.

Or I should say allowing it to be cancelled?

Ordering QEC so there was a gap from T45 #6 -> QEC #1

This then meant that surface combatant skills atrophied as building a River isn’t the same as building a large first class ship.

And it only provided work for part of the workforce some of whom took the ‘hint’ and worked elsewhere.

BAE etc then had to painfully build up workforce for QEC.

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_770332)
5 months ago

SB – and let’s not overlook Labour cutting the fleet by 7 frigate/destroyer and RAF fast jet (4sqns) in the 2003 defence review.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770336)
5 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

That is very true -selling the 3 x T23 and reducing T42 -> T45 by six was a big stress to the fleet or are you talking about the un-backfilled drawdown of T22?

In which case the hull numbers are worse…..

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770390)
5 months ago

You forgot the big one ! The 7 year gap in Submarine design, development and build post Vanguards. One day someone will actually reveal just how close we came to losing the ability to build them, due to breaking the supply chains. Getting it back up and running cost billions and not just at Barrow,
Admittedly the US fell into the same trap post Cold War, we gapped because we had to redesign the Trafalgar B2 and then Yanks when they had to abandon the Seawolfs as unaffordable.

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_771089)
5 months ago

God help us all Mate!

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_771090)
5 months ago

and on a more positive note . merry Xmas Mate. Hope 2024 treats you and family well.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker (@guest_770347)
5 months ago

Those time scales are wrong. There was work for the Clyde shipyards at 2010 when labour left office.
The type 45 finished and carrier work was at the shipyard. There was no gap until the carrier bits were finished and there was no new frigate orders from the conservative government. The rivers were the gap filler until the frigates were ordered.
Labour unfortunately won’t issue commitments until an election is called.

Expat
Expat (@guest_770397)
5 months ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

They will issue policy statement in the manifesto as will the Tories. Labour and Tory in the Manifesto will commit to a defence review within months of forming a government which will be focuses on delivering that policy. Problem is no one will be able to determine what that policy really means. But nature the policy statement will be deliberately worded so they are difficult to interpret. Those with confirmation bias towards their preferred party will read them overly positively and defend them in debate and discussion. Those with confirmation bias against that party will read them negatively. We can… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770211)
5 months ago

I expect Labour to do nothing on defence, not something I’m proud of, but they will focus on the social side of the nation with perhaps a nod to fiscal prudence, unlike previous Labour administrations.

As I wrote before, retrenchment to Atlantic and near abroad focus.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770227)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Thing is: social side is well enough funded.

Just the money ends up in a range of the wrong places. Throwing more cash at it doesn’t help.

Fortunately even Labour has admitted that more money to the NHS is not the solution.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770391)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Have you seen the pre briefing notes on Starmers upcoming speech, it looks like he is perfectly aware of the mess the economy is in and is prepping Labour to forget “Happy Days are here again” spending.
Which given the level of debt, taxes and zero growth is pretty sensible.
And the NAO says there is an unfounded 17.5 billion black hole in the MOD equipment plan over the next 10 years.

So if Defence budget gets a tiny bit extra to fund that it will be a bloody miracle.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770428)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thxs for that, do you have a link to Starmer’s notes?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770454)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Just Google Keir Starmer speech to the Resolution Foundation.
Weird these days they leak the briefing notes so the press know what’s going to be said.🤷🏻

Expat
Expat (@guest_770399)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I would agree they will focus on jobs in the UK funded by the defence budget, if done right its a good thing. Will it be done right, well this is politician we’re talk about so the odds are against them.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_770235)
5 months ago

Stuff T32, double the T31 order

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770238)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

I think that was Plan A.

However, BAE cried foul and so it opened it up again.

So Plan B was a more complex warship that looked a lot more like a midpoint between T31 and T26.

Trouble was the cost was midpoint between T31 and T26.

So it has gone back in a new specification circle.

Anyway that is what I smell from the aromas permitting out of Whitehall on this one.

Jon
Jon (@guest_770365)
5 months ago

Time to get the T32 concept work out in the open, I hope with another tight price cap. A variant of T31 is extremely likely to win any competition, and the social value element will see it built in Rosyth whatever the design because it’ll be the only place with capacity.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770382)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Well…..the issue is cost competition on T83 ……if Babcock get T32 then only BAE are really bidding for T83……so it isn’t a competition to reduce price and improve value? So while I’d love Babcock to run a hot line of mid priced frigates and get the efficiencies up and up and the costs down and down so it is an export opportunity and we can sell new or pre loved frigates off the line. There is sense in a 25 year design life but sell on at 12 yrs so avoiding the mess that is midlife refits. Doesn’t work for… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770458)
5 months ago

That was the original idea with T23, lifetime set at 18 years so that would avoid the costs incurred with the Leander refits. Problem was no one ordered the replacements, for a short term saving, followed by an extension, followed by a change in what we wanted, followed by a delay, followed by a rethink of the numbers and finally them falling to bits before their replacements arrive. Terrible Grammer but you get the drift. But Moral is that they have a published NSBS and equipment plan so hold their feet to it. It’s the best we can hope for… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770462)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I’m suggesting a 25 year hull life so they are saleable to allies. Difference in cost is peanuts.

But RN sell before mid life refit.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770552)
5 months ago

£17 billion shortfall on the 10 year MOD equipment plan and the biggest lump of the overspend is the Navy. We have no pennies ☹️

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770560)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I’m struggling to understand that. Something doesn’t quite add up here. T31 and T26 are fully funded Solids Support went a bit over but not a lot. So what they are actually saying is the T83 is not funded. Assuming similar project costs to T45? But why is T83 fully funded in the next 10 years as OOS for T45 isn’t until 2032 for Daring at the earliest? So the end of the tail won’t be until 2038 if there are six on a yearly drumbeat? I accept the R&D is front loaded and this may be the issue as… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_770400)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Best not it’ll only make us see what we could have had as its going to be canned.

Andy reeves
Andy reeves (@guest_770236)
5 months ago

And gun up those rivers, do the same thing with echo and enterprise.task them to operate in the littoral them back to the fleet look into ways to reopen the shipyard in Sunderland get back to the innovation that we. Renowned for in the past. Get that HLP that the navy craves for from a ship bought from trade. That is what WE CAN DO. and do quickly crack the whip on the fitting out nonesense of getting Glasgow into the fleet replace the doddering old F wits at the MOD that are a real hinderance to progress. Drag Cameron… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke (@guest_770239)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

I really don’t see how up gunning Rivers helps.

All that will do is push follow on from T31 further down the agenda.

Expat
Expat (@guest_770401)
5 months ago

We should be looking at the US concepts of containerising missile systems, this could mean the T31 or a River can be ‘up gunned’ depending on deployment. What’s more these system can also go ashore.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42254/video-of-ghost-fleet-ship-firing-an-sm-6-missile-from-a-modular-launcher-is-a-glimpse-of-the-future

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770392)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Andy do yourself a favour read the NAO report on the Defence equipment budget that came out today. Over the next 10 years the cost of what we have already ordered or committed to is £17.5 billion more than the present budget can pay for. Which means 2 things they have to increase the annual budget by the £1.75 billion pa for the next 10 years (equivalent of an SSN and a T31) just to buy what we already have on order. Secondly any equipment diverted from one hull to another isn’t going to be provided by extra funding so… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_770314)
5 months ago

Morning SB, I like your list, need to add a few more subs even SSKs. With T31 in build, a few more of those while going cheap is a no brainer especially if suited to Gulf, Indo-Pacific Ops. We still don’t know the emphasis for the T32, extra ASW is always useful. Upgrading the 5″ on the T45s, especially if they’re going to be around for another 10-15 years. I think the RAN down here might be looking for extra/smaller ASW corvettes and extra AAW /uparmed Hunter/T26s, all stuff the UK can do for the UK too. Extra P-8s, what… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Quentin D63
Ryan
Ryan (@guest_770545)
5 months ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Don’t think diesel electric subs are the right idea for us. Better having a couple more Astute or their replacement and a half dozen or so XLUUV to back up allies who do operate them like Germany or Sweden.

Tom
Tom (@guest_771713)
5 months ago

No they will not. No politician on planet earth, is going to stand up and give specific promises, prior to an election.

To do otherwise, would raise false hope, which in most cases turns out to be bare faced lies.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770160)
5 months ago

I suggest this point is spot on. The current Tory government is very amateurish, indeed it’s becoming quite similar to many far less serious governments where MOU’s on defence and cooperation are signed at the drop of a hat with zero consideration to resourcing commitments. We now have for the first time defence cooperation agreements with Israel for god knows what reason and we are offering to patrol South Koreas seas with ships we don’t have while real UK areas of interest in the North Atlantic and gulf are going without. I believe one benefit that will come from the… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_770192)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

You see that as a benefit, others don’t. Global instability requires global thinking and global alliances. If you think this country won’t be substantially wrecked financially by a China/US war over Taiwan, however limited, you are sticking your head in the sand. It will create a global financial crisis that will dwarf what ensued from Ukraine. Do we really want to leave our future totally in the hands of others? Withdrawal is a terrible option.

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770209)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

‘Global thinking and global alliances’ risk being seen as political posing and hot air if they are backed by global military capability. Other than the Carrier Strike Group, short of escorts and with a very small air group, all we can deploy globally for longer than a tabloid headline memory are penny packets of troops. A couple of Typhoon flights of 3 or 4 aircraft, 8 half-battalions of infantry, but they are already all tied up training African allies or tackling ISIS. A trio of underarmed patrol vessels of marginal political value and even less military value. And one day,… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770215)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Line 4 should read ‘if NOT backed by military capability’.

Must find out how to edit posts. And drop into Specsavers…

Jon
Jon (@guest_770246)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

I knew what you meant.

Jon
Jon (@guest_770254)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Boris himself mandated the primacy of the Navy. He declared we were to be the foremost naval power in Europe and appointed Wallace as Shipbuilding Tsar. You can’t blame the Navy for taking Boris’s money and saying yes, thank you. The idea that Navy could rack up a budgetary overspend on ships last year of £5.4bn is crazy. The whole of Defence has a projected overspend of £4.3 bn over the next 10 years. And that’s only against plans. Not an actual overspend. “The financial pressure on the Department has increased since last year. Its total forecast costs exceed the… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_770369)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

And guess what was published today! We may well have been reading different reports after all if you’ve had a preview of the 2023 to 2033 report. I’ll read and digest it over the next couple of days.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770264)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

As Ukraine has show you can build a 1 million man army in a year, train it and have an effecting fighting force in 2 years. You can build an Airforce with a couple of hundred fast jets in two to three years. How many naval vessels have been added to the Ukrainian navy since the start of the war?

Navy’s take decades to build so if you think you will be squaring of a Chinese super power in 2050 you put your investment today into the navy.

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770403)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

It takes 3-7 years to train an RAF air combat pilot. It used to take 8-12 years to reach platoon sergeant, don’t imagine that has changed much. It will take about 10 years to get the Puma replacement into service and more like 15 for Tempest. We are 8 years into Ajax and only now is production underway. And so on. This to say that all three services would seriously struggle to gear-up for a war, across training, equipment, munitions and supplies. The Royal Navy is not a special case. The shipbuilders will be turning out two escorts a year… Read more »

Expat
Expat (@guest_770419)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

The US think it’ll be 2028. Some think 2025.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_770221)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I agree though n reality what happens with us for the most part depends upon whatever policies the US follows after the next election. If they withdraw from areas of the World it will completely dictate as and where we apply our limited resources. If they back out of Europe we will have to totally commit to local matters just to survive, if they back out of the East ( though I can’t see it, loss of Taiwan would as said be a total disaster for the West that even inward looking right wing Americans can see) then we won’t… Read more »

Chris
Chris (@guest_770256)
5 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Why should the USA commit to defending European countries that won’t even commit to defending themselves?

John Clark
John Clark (@guest_770311)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Absolutely spot on, why should the US tax payer pay the lions share….

Jim
Jim (@guest_770266)
5 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Yes I agree, we can afford to deploy forces far and wide if we know the US has Europes back but if the US retreats back in to isolationism which has been its stance for most of its history then we need to refocus our efforts in Europe and the ME. Good thing is Russia is a joke now and the UK/EU can easily take it and China is very far away and probably not a very expansionist power outside it’s own region. European NATO has 4 times the population and 20 times the GDP of Russia. It only has… Read more »

Chris
Chris (@guest_770284)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I doubt you could even get the EU to collectively agree to fight Russia. Too many smaller countries act out in their own self interests to undermine the bloc. If the US wasn’t around and the Russian army invaded the Baltics, there would be a rush to see who can negotiate a “ceasefire” aka surrender first.

Europe is not a serious place right now.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770295)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris

JEF countries would probably be enough on their own. I think when you get down to it European countries are far more aligned than anyone expects.

Look at COVID, Europe was massively more coherent and aligned than the USA.

Chris
Chris (@guest_770325)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Clown shoes. The USA has donated more than double the military aid to Ukraine than all the EU countries combined. More than 2 million artillery shells. Europe combined has donated 350,000. the US provides almost all the targeting intelligence, ISR, ELINT, EW. 80 years of being allies with the US has Europe lost in the sauce of it’s own bravado. Most European countries have very little capability to fight, and even less willingness to do so.

FieldLander
FieldLander (@guest_770379)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris
Simon
Simon (@guest_770548)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris

In total monetary value the EU has donate more

Steve R
Steve R (@guest_770423)
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Good job you don’t need the entire EU to fight Russia, then.

Poland alone would maul Russian forces. Add British and French aircraft to the mix and the mangy Russian bear would be little more than a bearskin rug.

Expat
Expat (@guest_770427)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Its really chicken and egg, the more we retreat from the rest of the world the more factions in the US use it as an argument to abandon us as we have nothing to offer them. If the EU could credibly deploy to help the US in the pacific those discussions would be non existent. China not expansionist? China is gradually getting as many governments in its pocket as possible through loans and trade agreements. Its strategy includes dumping goods on markets to push local manufacturing out of business and thus becoming pivotal to that countries economy. Militarily China now… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_770366)
5 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I’ve been thinking a lot about this post and our policy dependence on US decisions. I think you are mostly right, which is a bit depressing. There may be areas of leadership that we could show, as we did in arming Ukraine, but I think that requires a DefSec or Prime Minister who is committed to making forceful pro-defence arguments in Cabinet. With all government eyes on the election what isn’t decided by the US will be decided by pollsters (not even the polled, as it’s the pollsters who fix the questions).

Expat
Expat (@guest_770421)
5 months ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

US is more likely to abandon Europe if countries like the UK no longer have to capability to support the US globally. We currently doing the work on behalf of parts of Republican party who like exit NATO by talking about retrenchment.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770261)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Yes but so is strategic over reach. The UK learned that the hard way in 1941 and 1942.

Us being in the Indo pacific makes sense if the USA and to a lesser extent Japan and Australia are committed to European defence. However the current front runner of the Republican Party is a adamant he is pulling out of Europe and Ukraine so we will have to step in and we won’t be able to make any commitments to support the US against China. Indeed we will probably along with Europe have to come up with a reproach with China.

Dokis
Dokis (@guest_770333)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Honestly Russia is pretty gone. They save their axx with millions of mines, WWI style. What could or would they do against European countries? Nothing. Truth is that Ukraine has secured Europe, no stress about commitments in Europe

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_770352)
5 months ago
Reply to  Dokis

I don’t think Russia’s going away anytime soon. They have there relationships and replenishments with Iran, North Korea, maybe China, maybe some others too. They’re still showing willingness to draft 10s of thousands of fresh conscripts into their army, have ample supplies of muddiest, shells and drones. You’d hope they’ll wear themselves out. Funny how their top men look after themselves and never seem to visit or participate on the battlefields and not even sure how much military experience they actually have between them all yet they are ordering this war. Hope Ukrainian’s can shove them out of their territories… Read more »

Jon
Jon (@guest_770368)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I agree there could well be an issue of strategic overreach if war comes; it’s almost certain if we tried to fight hard in the Pacific. However, global thinking isn’t primarily about winning a war, it’s about winning the peace. In particular deterring a war in the first place. There are other ways to show solidarity and support in wartime as we have seen in Ukraine: political, financial, industrial. A couple of OPVs and second-tier frigates are visible reminders of such support rather than instruments of war in their own right. Although I wouldn’t entirely discount an Australian based Astute.

Expat
Expat (@guest_770432)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon

The biggest mistake in Ukraine was the lack of solidarity. The West and Biden in particular literally told Russia there would be no military consequences and only political and economic. Effectively gave Russia the green light to invade. We only had to be vague to deter Russia, the west leaving some training troops in country and suggesting there could be a military response would have likely saved 100ks of lives.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770395)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

I sometimes think the Politicians need to be informed about what happens when they send overstretched forces off on a flight of Fancy.
Churchill, Greece, Crete, Singapore, Repulse, Prince of Wales.

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770456)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

… and pressing Wavell then Auchinleck to make early attacks in the Western Desert, despite shortage of tanks, fighter aircraft and trained troops and against the Generals’ crystal- clear advice.

Both attacks were of course premature and were roundly defeated by Afrika Corps.

PMs and powerful politicians should never be allowed to interfere in military operations, By and large they don’t, Churchill and Eden were probably exceptions to the rule.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770559)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

The reason I left that bit out was because it was only a problem because of the Greek / Crete diversion. In Jan and early Feb 1941 General O’Conner (under Wavell) had the Italians beaten on the retreat and was on the point of invading Libya. Which would have meant no Afrika Korps intervention in April. Unfortunately Churchill got one of his “soft under belly of Europe” moments, stopped the offensive and striped off the best parts of the Army. At that point Greece had quite happily smashed the Italians and the Germans were busy getting ready for Barbarossa. Greece… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_771094)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Excellent well written piece ABC Rodney . The ill fated BEF in Greece had a major strategic implication for ww2 , overlooked by historians. Due to Germen intervention in Greece, Ops Barbarossa’s start was delayed by circa 5 weeks,

Who knows how events in 1941 might have played out if that was not the case -Moscow captured? The Wehrmacht re grouped and re supplied (and prepared for winter) before the Russian offensive of 5 December?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_771162)
5 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

Re it causing the delay of Barbarossa until recently when Historians gained access to Russian and German records in Moscow that was the generally held convention. More recently those commonly held opinions have changed as we now have access to the other side of the equation We now know that the decision to delay had actually been made by OKW before BEF ever deployed. The Germans were all ready to go and desperately needed it to be a quick decisive Blitzkrieg followed be a Peace and partial demobilisation. Unfortunately Romania and Finland couldn’t be ready till June, Italy was useless… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_772642)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Thank you ABC Rodney – a really interesting read.

Expat
Expat (@guest_770406)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

You are aware the biggest player in NATO has a very large Pacific coast from Alaska to Mexico and a state in the middle of the Pacific, you do no article 5 could see us fighting in the Pacific. The MAGA bunch in the US are already anti NATO, we’re probably the only NATO country that could offer something serious to assist. However I guess there’s parts of the political spectrum in the UK and EU that would be happy to the anti NATO retoric in the US and for the US to pull away from NATO, essentially leaving an… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770469)
5 months ago
Reply to  Expat

Actually you really need to read Article 6. It precisely defines the area or actions that trigger Article 5 to Europe, North America, Mediterranean,Baltic and North Atlantic North of the Tropic of Cancer.

Which is why Iran’s attacks on the USS Stark and the Pueblo incident didn’t trigger it.

So if China were say to sink CSG24 in the Indian Ocean or Pacific then it doesn’t Trigger Article 5.

And SEATO is long dead.

Expat
Expat (@guest_773122)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

North America includes Alaska Hawaii so if those land masses are attacked and fought over we are obliged to assist as its a territory specified in article 6. Which would see us fighting in the Pacific.

Sooty
Sooty (@guest_770162)
5 months ago

Gosh! Things must be grim for the Armed Forces if even politicians have noticed . . . Maybe we’ll see some action to put things right. But probably not.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon (@guest_770177)
5 months ago
Reply to  Sooty

Notice you’re using the generic term ‘politicians’, rather than this / that Party, which is commendable in my view. Hypothetically, let’s say, it could benefit a party in power to increase the number and frequency of commitments the closer it approaches an election *, where two immediate options are available:- a) Loses said election, and can therefore bray from the opposition benches about how the Government is reneging on these critical defence commitments, b) finds itself back in power & resorts to the standard dilution of exactly these commitments. * an indicator could be whose appointed a Secretary of State… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Gavin Gordon
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky (@guest_770224)
5 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Spot on, I think in Europe the policy has been don’t be seen as a threat, effectively disarm (while having the American big stick available if needs be) and all that will be enough to stop Russia becoming full on hostile whatever some hot headed mouthwash being issued occasionally as necessary bluster. Instead it has been seen as weakness and an opportunity that is anything but the expected cosying up to the West while the accusations that Europe was an imminent threat has gone through the roof. Yet you still get the useful idiots like Corbyn who will claim our… Read more »

Sooty
Sooty (@guest_770248)
5 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Thoughtful and perceptive comment, much like my own line of thinking. Very well put.

PeterS
PeterS (@guest_770168)
5 months ago

Only two solutions- more resources or fewer commitments. Even if more resources were agreed, it would, at current rates of construction,take years to deliver extra ships, aircraft, armoured vehicles etc and the personnel to make use of them. So the only short term solution is to reduce commitments, starting with those that have the least direct benefit to the UK. There is no good reason for UK taxpayers money to be spent providing assistance to nominally British overseas territories that make no contribution to the cost and in many cases actively undermine the tax system that funds defence. Frittering away… Read more »

John
John (@guest_770171)
5 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

More common sense in what you wrote than a hundred other comments on here this week.

russ
russ (@guest_770176)
5 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Do you know what “soft” power is? One definition might be “better than nothing”?

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770185)
5 months ago
Reply to  russ

Soft power should come primarily from the overseas aid budget. Bluffer’s ‘global Britain’ is hot air although Graham will be along shortly to dispute the point: the armed forces need retrenchment and sunshine postings with attendant shore support may probably be on the chopping board. However, it has been suggested that HMCR weaponised tax collection by buying an algorithm from BAES to catch tax evaders costing an eye watering amount. When will weaponise the patient records of the NHS and eliminate the paper chase and create one national database? In Cumbria, the GP in Millom could not communicate with one… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_770267)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

The overseas aid budget is largely gone. Outside of the minimum UN commitments most of its getting spent in the UK now on housing refugees.

PeterS
PeterS (@guest_770241)
5 months ago
Reply to  russ

I’m not against joint exercises with Japan or Korea, for example, but they.are really only a PR exercise because there is little to back them up. In the context of the overall defence budget, the costs are modest but the expansion of areas of interest/commitment does risk wearing out scarce assets and asking too much of our personnel.

Simon
Simon (@guest_770250)
5 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

This could be useful peacetime cooperation between pro western nations, come hostility then all resources at full stretch and what ships can UK lend? Tend to think UK forces worked hard during peace time, good to maintain skills, but little reserves for war.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770269)
5 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

Depends on the strategy. In an all out shooting war we won’t be deploying ships and large armies to Japan we will be putting a fleet with other European nations in the Indian Ocean and south Atlantic and blockading Chinas access to oil, food and natural resources.

Even when we were a global super power we could hardly put a large army in the field as far away as the east pacific.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770274)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

General Slim?

Albeit, many Commonwealth nations were part of said Army.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770297)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think 14th army got within 3000 miles of the east pacific.

The barley got more than a few hundred miles from the Indian Ocean.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770305)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Flank operations supporting the USMC / US Army ops in the Pacific 😉

Sooty
Sooty (@guest_770249)
5 months ago
Reply to  russ

Possibly Jeremy Corbyn and his acolytes.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770179)
5 months ago
Reply to  PeterS

In fairness to the tilt to Asia, it’s has generated much in the form of GCAP, CTPP membership and AUKUS submarine deal while costing little so far. It was started before the Ukraine war as well.

However it’s time for review as we now face strategic overreach especially given the massive debt pile COVID has left us.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770275)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Please explain how signing up to a trade pact that opens our borders to goods manufactured to standards less than our own, food sold at lower standards, that rips the floor from under British farmers is a good call.

I’ll call it. Economic vandalism by a vacuous Con party that don’t give a toss about the ordinary person in the street.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770299)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Not saying it’s a good call but the UK tilt to Asia the reason we got membership so fast. China is still waiting.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770306)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

They saw us coming and creamed themselves.

Economic vandalism by a Party bereft of integrity.

Farouk
Farouk (@guest_770184)
5 months ago

For the UK to try to say it will have a presence now in the eastern Mediterranean because of the Gaza crisis when we cannot even sustain it for very long is not very credible, is it? You’d think that Labour MP Kevan Jones would have known that the U.K. has had a military presence in the Eastern Med for quite a few years complete with 2 inf regiments , a RAF base and a huge listening base ,and all a few miles off the coast of Lebanon and Israel, which in anybodies book would equate to a very sizeable… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Farouk
AlexS
AlexS (@guest_770186)
5 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

U.K. has had a military presence in the Eastern Med for quite a few years complete

Cyprus is Eastern Med, it was a colony until 1960 and UK still have 2 sovereign air bases territories there. Plus 50000 Brits live there.

Indeed it shows the fantastic ignorance of politicians and journalists.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770195)
5 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

One of my fears, that Labour will scrap the SBAs and capabilities within.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770253)
5 months ago

Hi M8 I don’t think the US would be very happy about us doing that.In fact I think they would go absolutely Ballistic ! I read Starmers bit in the Telegraph and I was actually pretty impressed, it was logical, well structured and just ever so slightly right of centre in a lot of what he wrote. Hell he even managed to P the leader of the SNP off for actually praising Mrs T. Which is always a good sign of some good sense. I’ve read all the comments and IMHO I’d not waste too much energy in the ME… Read more »

Jim
Jim (@guest_770272)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Agree the Mediterranean is a NATO lake with little if any threat from foreign powers and NATO airbases from Cyprus to Spain completely dominate it.

I think it’s much the same in the Baltic and the North Atlantic.

The gulf and Red Sea is a major concern however. I think we need to double down their and bring more from Europe with us while trying to ween ourselves off of Qatar gas as quickly as possible.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_771988)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

What about ballistic missiles for Heezbollah and Hamas.
Now you have to have large missile defence in Cyprus.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770271)
5 months ago

No chance, SBA not even been mentioned ever to my knowledge, few in the Labour Party even know they exist.

If Cyprus kicked off about hosting them then maybe but I never heard anything serious from Cyprus about this.

Diego Garcia would be the most likely candidate but now we are sorting out the Chaggos and doing the right thing I can’t see anyone too keen to hand over the largest nature reserve in the Indian Ocean to Mauritius to be systematically plundered by Chinese fishing fleet.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_770358)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

US would not like us to lose Diego Garcia. Anyway what would that save us?

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770473)
5 months ago

Hi M8 Regardless of which Nit Wit is pretending to be running this country in 13 months time, they have to live in the real world. The SB’s we kept are all in very strategic places, and geography never changes so I don’t think anyone is daft enough to give them up. Just take a minute or 2 to have a look at World shipping at present, the Panama Canal is in deep trouble due to a decade long drought. So it’s round the Capes, through Suez or over the Top. The US operates on 2 coastlines and the Falklands… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770474)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I know what you say is logical my friend, I just do not trust any of them to not be that daft.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770567)
5 months ago

I trust you are well ! You would have made a wonderful Elizabethan like Lord Walsingham, trust no one, especially Politicians. I actually believe the SBA’s and the UK Overseas Territories are safer now than they have been in decades. Simple reasons are their strategic locations and the fear the US has of who would gain control of them. Plus most of them are either sitting on huge natural resources or massive EEZ’s. The only one I can see threatened may surprise you, Gibralter ! Zero resources, a diplomatic pain the rear, too cramped for a modern Airfield or major… Read more »

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_770188)
5 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

😂not like a politician to worry about facts.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_770357)
5 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

That would be the Kevan Jones who was a Defence Minister under Gordon Brown, then a shadow Defence Mknister under Corbyn!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770196)
5 months ago

We are P5, which I support.
HMG like to Grandstand, while cutting.
Simple. The two don’t match.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770213)
5 months ago

And yet Labour advocate retrenchment which IIRC you disdained.

I’d suggest in the current climate, it is the most pragmatic solution.

What I would like to see is this Government order a further 3 T26 to cover for the T83/84 (?) programme which will be delayed; orders placed with huge cancellation costs – Labour won’t be happy, but then I’m not in the Labour Party 🙂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770230)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

My fear is retrenchment means goodbye Cyprus, Gib, Oman, DG, Ascension, vital intell places and other expeditionary stuff that sets us apart from other average European nations.
Others think AUKUS safe, I’m not so sure.
Retrenchment does not help deal with China either apart from may be releasing US CBG to be covered by ours….if Labour keep them. 🙄
You’re not in it but you are in heart, spirit, and soul, so not a lot of difference!

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770262)
5 months ago

Play the ball and not the man, Daniele, be nice, it’s nearly Christmas;) DG is de facto American. It won’t go. Cyprus has US personnel. ” Ascension. “. ” Oman. We get paid for that. ” Gib, second election win, absolutely, the majority of Brexiteers will have passed the pearly gates and we will be re-joining the EU. Great negotiation ploy for better terms. Now play the ball Daniele but for info, I’m not a Labour man, however, I am a European. (Ps, hope you are coping with your family issues – my mum is more up and down than… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770263)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Formatting didn’t work as planned… sorry.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_770281)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Mmm rejoin the EU! Would that be the EU that is steadily moving to the right with multiple countries thinking of having their own referendums on leaving?

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770285)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

The very same! Even more negotiating power and if we kick out Hungary, no worries; they’ll soon understand the loss of income that Orban brings them, much like the Welsh.

Jacko
Jacko (@guest_770288)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Slovakia,Italy,Netherlands,France if Le pen gets in Sweden not exactly happy! Happy campers indeed.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770290)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jacko

Fico – is a Russian loving populist; I was sat next to him at a cafe in Banska Bystrica – man is a total c@@t, best rid.

Sweden would be mourned. Not sure.

The French and Dutch don’t want to accept conomic reality – they need to come into the 21st C. I certainly don’t have the answer but if a Hanza league came out of the ashes, I’d be very happy.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_770359)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Does Cyprus have permanently based US personnel or just occasional use by US aircraft?

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770361)
5 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Think Int, Sir.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770476)
5 months ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Depends if you mean on the Akrotiri air ops side or the int side mate.
Akrotiri I do not think there are any permanent basing of personnel, just occasional dets.
In the intell places, they are run by the UK mil with GCHQ “elements” so I would guess not but I’m obviously unsure and there may well be NSA there like there are in other “GCHQ” places in the UK.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_770755)
5 months ago

I was keeping it broad. My point is that any US personnel in a SBA/enclave would unlikely to be in such numbers as to cause the US huge problems if UK shut the bases, unlike Ascension or Diego Garcia.
But the US would have an issue with the loss of a strategically well positioned British base that they can operate out of at small scale, occasionally.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770273)
5 months ago

AUKUS is safe becuse it’s probably going to be the UK biggest defence export. GCAP also for same reason. 2% of GDP budget is safe everything else up for grabs except Scottish ship building.

Tom
Tom (@guest_770282)
5 months ago

To be fair, I think we will just have to wait and see what Labour do.

Personally, I do not see them axing Cyprus, Gib, Oman, or Ascension. They are all way too important, and Labour realises and knows that.

DG however, again we will have to wait and see, as the UN have stuck their oar in, and sided with those who think the UK has no sovereignty over the Chagos Islands. (even though the English have been in control of the islands since 1814) (prior to which, the French were there)

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770286)
5 months ago
Reply to  Tom

Jim’s point ‘re Chinese plundering the waters regards DG was a good one.
Cyprus is my greatest worry.
Starmer praising Thatcher?! Politics to get Tory voters.
The Tories themselves said all the right things pre 2010. Words are meaningless.
I’ll wait to be convinced.

Tom
Tom (@guest_770350)
5 months ago

I think both you and Jim are bang on regarding China.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_770360)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

No, T83 is a replacement for 6 ships. Ordering 3 less capable ones would not begin to “cover” the requirement. T83 has the chance to be truly top-class. T26 hull just won’t do

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770362)
5 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Well, we could always order B3 OPVs to cover the dearth in T83 orders…

Or the Cons could order an additional 3 T26 – they can be upgraded as lessons learned from the Aus programme OR, we can enjoy popcorn as Labour have an inevitable Defence Review and T45 goes out of service with no replacement.

A T45 in the Caribbean is about presence not AAW ability; T26 can perform the same role.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_770371)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

The “T45 in the Caribbean” argument gets trundled out to support all sorts of things, especially cutting replacement numbers. As an aside, I believe that the best thing T83 could possibly be is a class of 4-6 air defence cruisers ring-fenced to escort the carriers, with ASW and ASuW capability as an aside. Similar to T82 for CVA01 in 1960s, a specialist escort. Then get a bunch of T31s with tails as an outer ASW picket.
The T45s need to be capable of the hardest mission they could be asked to fulfil, not the most common one

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770433)
5 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Can you reference when the argument was trundled out?

And let’s understand. Last time there was a dearth of ship building we got B2 OPVs until we were ready to build T26.

Apparently, T83 is behind schedule AND colour me cynical but Labour will have a Defence review which will delay it further.

Ordering an extra T26 would cover some of the taskings that T83 would cover. You have three choices:

Gap in shipbuilding?
Some B3 OPVs?
Extra T26?

Your choice.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_770551)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

My apologies.
I had inferred from your previous posts that your T26 would replace T83 rather than complement it. The latter opinion is something I have argued for in the past while waiting for the T83 design to mature
I think this was a result of mistaken assumption on my part due to our previous arguments.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770557)
5 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

No worries.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770197)
5 months ago

I’m looking forward to all the moans from those who supported cutting Hercules when the remaining Atlas start falling to bits as they “cannot be in 2 places at once”

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770300)
5 months ago

Moan

😉 😉 😉

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770338)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

Grumble….

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770343)
5 months ago

🙂

klonkie
klonkie (@guest_770329)
5 months ago

Absolutely D

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770442)
5 months ago
Reply to  klonkie

The MOD has to make billions in ‘efficiency savings’ aka cuts, n order to balance its budget. This is why the Hercs were taken out of service, they are being flogged off overseas to get some money back for the kitty. HMG has picked all the low-hanging fruit for disposal, Islander Defender, Sentinel, Gazelle, Sandown, Typhoon F2, etc, etc. The worry now is what will they cut next to raise a few bob from sale or from cutting service personnel? It is a dreadful policy, it means we will never have much kit in war reserve because we’ve sold if… Read more »

Klonkie
Klonkie (@guest_770794)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

and on it goes Cripes. Tory or Labour, we always lose.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach (@guest_770205)
5 months ago

IT’s the old, old argument constantly repeated and it’s been going on for decades. Foreign policy should decide what forces we need; then build the forces to serve that policy; fix the budget that is required to do so. If we can’t afford it it’s the foreign policy that needs changing. At the moment we are just pretending we can do everything and we can’t. As I, and others, keep saying we must choose four or five defence commitments and provide the people charged with carrying them out the absolute best, whether it be equipment or decent wages.

Tom
Tom (@guest_770223)
5 months ago

Wow… I cannot believe that the UK Government would actually do that…
Oh… they’ve been doing it for years, especially with the Army…
oh right… they’ll never stop doing it…

Cymbeline
Cymbeline (@guest_770229)
5 months ago

I did watch this on the Parliament channel on Friday. It was painful viewing, but you have to wonder where any extra money is going to come from to help fill some of the shortfalls in equipment and manpower. Couple of other interesting things brought up of interest were supporting arms and logistics which have been cut to the bone in the past and that work now contracted out. Mr Heappey now admits that was an error and these now need to be rebuilt so that our front line forces get the proper support that they need (blinding obvious to… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770303)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

I agree with KAPE, Millom is well recruited for the RN but no Sea Cadets and yet in my cousins I have a HM Coastguard and a CPO. Armistice was stolen by serving RN, former RN and ROYALS! No Sea Cadets. Very poor turnout by the Army, but, one Redcap was on parade. We do have Duke of Lancs Cadets but few in number. Why can we not get out to fairs and put the message out that even a short service career is a fantastic bedrock for future employment? However, then if they do decide to join, they hit… Read more »

Micki
Micki (@guest_770240)
5 months ago

After massive cuts Britain is no longer a military super power except maybe for the nuclear deterrent and carrier strike.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770255)
5 months ago
Reply to  Micki

Mmm I’d add our SSN’s not enough of them but they are very capable ! Why do you think we are design lead for AUKUS .

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli (@guest_770287)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

And the intelligence and cyber arena. And the SF. And ability to deploy and plenty of other areas.
Numbers. No.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770301)
5 months ago
Reply to  Micki

In 1914 when the UK ruled 1/3rd of the planet the Germans joked that they would send the local constabulary to arrest the British expeditionary if it landed in Germany.

The UK has never maintained a large peace time military outside of the Navy.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770317)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

And as an island with a simply enormous Navy that was perfectly understandable. From 1938 onwards Airpower nullified that advantage, but we had the resource’s, the will power and industrial strength to counter that threat.
Today we have non of these things and it takes decades from ordering anything to it being in service.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770381)
5 months ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

But now we have NATO, in 1939 was just us and the French.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney (@guest_770398)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Yep NATO is important but we have many commitments that aren’t covered by NATO. Hence why we France and the Netherlands maintain OOT capabilities.
And NATO has issues, there are way too many free loaders who make noises but quietly commit nothing or very little.
I suspect that in 10 years we will look back at 2014 and realise we missed the wake up call.
And I hope I am wrong.

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_770407)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

So – just us then…

DanielMorgan
DanielMorgan (@guest_770247)
5 months ago

The crux of the matter is that the UK Government and Establishment insist on portraying Britain as a global power when, in reality, the UK has neither the will nor the means to be one.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_770731)
5 months ago
Reply to  DanielMorgan

Daniel, A global power is not the same as a superpower. We are a global power, but not a superpower.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay (@guest_770278)
5 months ago

Another click bait article to get people arguing, that only shows a fraction of the conversation at the select Committee session.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770363)
5 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

And yet, t’other week in Session Mark Francois referenced UKDF… click bait, perhaps, is it read, absolutely.

If only Michelle Scrogham, the prospective Labour MP for Barrow in Furness would indulge. I’ll leave it there.

Bob
Bob (@guest_770279)
5 months ago

I enjoyed that hearing.
Jones was spot on, including the rowlocks Heappey was talking about the P8 to Sigonella.

Defence spending must rise to at least 3%GDP.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770302)
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob

The US spends 10 times what we do and they constantly complain about being under funded and over stretched even more than we do.

The budget is never enough unless you can quantify the threat. Right now NATO+ outspends it’s potential advisories 10 to 1.

Bob
Bob (@guest_770310)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

We live in the world, not just Europe.
Russia, China, Iran, N Korea. All potential flash points.

We are heading for WW3, snooze and you lose.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770385)
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Yeah 4 countries out of 196 causing issues. We are no longer the global hegemony, not our job to save the world solo again. We are just the deputy sheriff now. We can and should act but only as part of a broad coalition. Keeping strong public finances is just as important as maintaining a strong military capability.

grizzler
grizzler (@guest_770408)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

but we do neither

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_770412)
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim

So it’s alright if 4 countries out of 196 cause issues for 192 other countries? It’s not the cause that is the problem, but the effect

magenta
magenta (@guest_770313)
5 months ago

Interesting read regarding the French approach to defence and its defence budget from Wavellroom.

I strongly recommend reading this short article.

https://wavellroom.com/2023/11/22/how-is-france-setting-its-defence-posture-post-the-war-in-ukraine/

Jim
Jim (@guest_770386)
5 months ago
Reply to  magenta

I wish we were cooperating with France to produce our own SLBM to get away from trident II. No reason we could not have done a storm shadow style program with MBDA.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_770507)
5 months ago
Reply to  magenta

I like a lot of that- legally binding defence decisions and suchlike and sovereign defence manufacturing capability. Too bad that it’ll take a leadership stronger than either party can deliver at present to put those reforms through…

Andrew Climo
Andrew Climo (@guest_770327)
5 months ago

Window dressing, or perhaps meaningless tokenism with a side order of diplomatic smoke and mirrors seems be more accurate. A quick 18 day visit isnt a deployment. No rotations, no logistics support, and no follow up. What it is and isn’t seems pretty clear.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770364)
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Climo

Is that not the nature of Royal Navy deployments for the last few years? QEC did deployment to the, almost, South China Sea, but her escorts were tasked away to do other jobs.

An oil tanker can sail from England to Australia, and?

A fleet was not deployed, basically, a solitary ship was with window dressing and fools no one.

This tokenism should be reigned in and money spent more wisely.

Jim
Jim (@guest_770388)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

You think a Nimitz class sails every where with 5 Burkes and a Tico in formation? These ships also peel off for single tasking in same region.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_770420)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

The splitting off of ships for other tasks is spending money more wisely. The carrier achieves its goals nearly as effectively, when at peace, with one escort as with 5. All escorts are only needed when transiting narrow straits for photops or when closest to China/Russia/DPRK/delete as appropriate. The rest of the time it is better for the escorts to do useful jobs in the vicinity that they can leave at any time to return to the carrier.

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770429)
5 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

So in the documentary when is being closed down by a Chinese fleet and was all alone, you’d be fine with that, right?

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_770563)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

No, I’m saying that we need to manage so that escorts are available for the 10% or the time that there is a risk of escalation. Rest of the time, no need when at peace

SailorBoy
SailorBoy (@guest_770565)
5 months ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

Why is it that we keep arguing? Should we agree a ceasefire until, say, the New Year? So we don’t need to reply as often. Or we each post an essay on every problem with UK defence to each other and then stop.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63 (@guest_770409)
5 months ago

When is the Aster CAMM upgrade going to be happening across the T45s? It’s going to take time out for these ships again unless some are synchronised with the PIP upgrades?

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770422)
5 months ago

Picking up on the exchange above about the RN consistently ordering ships and equipments that it has no budget for, the National Audit Office’s report today on the defence equipment budget underlines the scale of the ruse. The NAO reports look each year at the forces’ equipment budgets and anticipated spend over the next 10 years. Their report is prepared for Parliament, to enable it to monitor and hold to account the Government’s departmental and overall spending. The nuclear budget is, yet again, the biggest culprit, at £7.6bn over budget. That is the equivalent of 7 or 8 new Astutes,… Read more »

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_770491)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

That’s an interesting take, but to be honest, I think that all the branches should be doing it the RN way; let the generals/ air marshals/ admirals be clear about what they think they need to do the jobs the government is asking of it. Only then should there be trimming down to budget. That’s the way that the US does it, more or less, and I think it works. Otherwise the government can get away with making big asks of an increasingly stretched military, with no evidence to the contrary that more resource is being asked for. Sure, a… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770516)
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Sounds fine in theory but is unworkable in practice. Parliament wants a report each year on what each department is spending, so that it can monitor Goverment expenditure. If everyone followed the RN’S tricksy route, Parliament would have more than 70 such pitches for additional funding, from the NHS, housing, police, prisons, schools, tertiary education etc., etc. Nothing would get done, there would not be parliamentary time for 24 debates and they would not resolve anything, as the reason you appoint Secretaries of State is to handle these issues. The Home Secretary will adjudge budgets and claims from the police,… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770437)
5 months ago

So, Labour have announced a Defence Review on BBC2 Politics.

Discussing the Defence overspend and how the parties will address it. T83 for the scrapping board then and more cuts.

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770447)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I wonder David. I was surprised by the MOD’s statement today ref the NAO’s report. It was obviously penned by a defence minister and said HMG was committed to a 2.5% of GDP spend as soon as the economy permitted. That is a clearer statement than Sunak’s unenthusiastic mumble on the subject and gives some grounds for optimism. The defence select Committee is also.pretty much unanimous on the need for 2.5 to 3.0% spend. Mark Francois is an important figure here, being chair of the right wing Tory mob. Kevin whatsit is also I gather a supporter of an increase,… Read more »

David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770512)
5 months ago
Reply to  Cripes

Francois has always been pro Defence, what wsit his voice will carry after the next election is anyone’s guess – will he keep his seat?

Labour announcing an immediate Defence Review is bad news for projects like T83 – after my run in with the prospective Labour MP for Barrow, Michelle Scrogham, I don’t hold out much hope.

Joe16
Joe16 (@guest_770485)
5 months ago
Reply to  David Barry

I’m not quite sure where that’s coming from- the stats show that defence spending has been treated as poorly by the Conservatives as it has Labour since the 60s. The only appreciable bump in that was the admittedly conservative Thatcher government in the 80s. The last 13 years of Conservative government certainly hasn’t borne out any great hope for Defence from an ideological (i.e. politically lasting) sense- it’s just necessity because we’ve been cut to the point the military is about to fall over. At this point, Labour is as likely to approve T83 on job creation grounds as anything… Read more »

Cripes
Cripes (@guest_770504)
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

I would say in Labour’s defence that the Blair government inherited a 2.5% of GDP spend in 1997 and under Brown, left it at 2.5% in 2010.

This despite the mega banking crash of 2008 and the mega tightening of government belts.

The moment the Tories got their hands on the controls in 2010, the budget plummeted to a supposed 2% of GDP, but actually to about 1.7%*, when you take out the pensions etc that Osborne switched into the defence budget.

Basically, Labour could hardly be worse than the current mob.

* Public Accounts Committee’s report, 2017.

Last edited 5 months ago by Cripes
David Barry
David Barry (@guest_770514)
5 months ago
Reply to  Joe16

Would that not depend on Labour sears gained in Scotland?

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall (@guest_771770)
5 months ago

The US is looking to expand CTF 153 to better protect shipping in the Red Sea. The UK has been asked to contribute. Given that Galaxy Leader (captured by Houthis from Yemen) was British owned it will be hard to say no. But where are the ships to come from? I can only assume that after spending a few weeks in the Arabian Gulf/Sea, Diamond will quietly move south to the Red Sea. The MOD will no doubt attempt to put a positive spin on the PR stating “British destroyer sent to protect merchant ships in the Red Sea”. Early in the New Year she… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Richard Beedall
Cognitio68
Cognitio68 (@guest_772118)
5 months ago

From my personal experience I get the feeling that our armed forces are pretty much hollowed out. The root cause is government policy of persistantly under funding defence over a long period. We have a nuclear deterrent and overseas bases to pay for. Both of these requirements don’t give a diddly squat about whether or not we’re meeting an arbitary 2% of GDP. Politicians who set such an arbitary, reality detached target and think they’ve done a good job need to grow up. They’re are the actual problem. The culture of the MOD has also been corrupted. The civil service… Read more »