The Modernising Defence Programme, a review of the military capabilities and spending, has now been made public.
According to the report, The Modernising Defence Programme:
“The Modernising Defence Programme continued the Defence strand of the NSCR, aiming to further strengthen and modernise Defence in response to the more complex challenges that we now face. We have reinforced our Armed Forces, and paved the way for bolder and more substantial progress to be made in the year ahead.
This report describes how our progress in implementing SDSR 15 and our achievements under the Modernising Defence Programme have made Defence stronger. It sets out where we need to build on our plans and policies to maintain our competitive advantage.
It describes how we intend to invest the significant additional sums the Autumn Budget provided to Defence this year and next, in addition to the uplift agreed in 2015.
It sets out a vision for the further adaptation and modernisation that we will explore alongside other national security priorities in next year’s Spending Review.
It describes how we intend significantly to transform Defence to deliver these ambitious plans.”
The 2015 Strategic Defence & Security Review established a central ‘planning assumption’ for Defence, that if called upon by Government the Armed Forces should be able to deploy a highly capable expeditionary force of around 50,000, including:
- A maritime task group centred on a Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier with F35 Lightning aircraft
- A land division with three brigades including a new Strike Force
- An air group of combat, transport and surveillance aircraft
- A Special Forces task group
This planning assumption remains unchanged, and according to the report, the government say it has “made good progress” in turning it into reality.