Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has outlined the result of the ‘Defence Command Paper’, a white paper outlining the shape and size of the British military over the years to come.

You can read ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘ for yourself here, below is a brief summary of the main points broken down by service.

Royal Navy

British Army

  • The British Army will be reduced in size, to 72,500 regular personnel by 2025, with no change in reserves.
  • 77 Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks will be retired, with the remaining 148 upgraded to Challenger 3.
  • The planned Warrior upgrade will be cancelled, and instead the vehicles will be retired upon the introduction of Boxer in the mid-2020s.
  • £250 million will be invested in Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS).
  • £800 million will be invested in a new automated fires platform.
  • The Infantry will be restructured into four new administrative divisions.
  • A new four-battalion Ranger Regiment will be formed, from the Royal Scots Borderers; 2nd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment; 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment; and 4th Battalion, The Rifles. The new regiment will sit within a newly-formed Army Special Operations Brigade.
  • A new Global Readiness Force will be formed, consisting of a newly formed 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, and 16 Air Assault Brigade, the latter of which will be reinforced by a further infantry unit.
  • The British Army will be re-organised into 7 self-sufficient Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) – two heavy, two light, one deep strike, one air maneuvre, and one combat aviation.
  • The 1st and 2nd Battalions of the Mercian Regiment will be amalgamated.
  • Security Force Assistance Brigade will be formed to assist and train partner nations.
  • Manning will increase in the areas of electronic warfare, air defence, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
  • 23 Gazelle, 20 Puma, and 5 Bell 212 will be replaced by a new medium-lift helicopter.

Royal Air Force

Other

  • £200 million will be invested in enhanced electronic warfare & signals intelligence capability.
  • £6.6 billion will be invested into space over the next 4 years.

You can read greater detail from the Ministry of Defence here, including the paper.

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Steve
Steve
6 months ago

In summary, cuts across the board with no real new capability confirmed beyond vague promises.

It’s not entirely clear how this is aligned with the statement last week that the UK is facing growing threats from Russia and China.

farouk
farouk
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I’ve just read that Boris has done a deal with a mate of his in Moscow to purchase a load of T34-85s in which to bolster the Army. Apparently it was a steal.

Yovi
Yovi
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I have very mixed feelings over this whole review, if the promises prove to be true then the much needed modernization of armed forces would be good, but and its a huge but or rather buts I have a strong suspicion this is nothing more the hot hear to hide savage cuts, being 1. will any of this actually happen, i cynically suspect not, rather i fear this is just an excuse for cuts 2. why do we ‘have to’ cut to upgrade as Boris fervently asserted the other day, surely the financial costs, huge though to a private citizen… Read more »

Yovi
Yovi
6 months ago
Reply to  Yovi

‘i meant hot air, ‘ should have read comment before posting

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago

My Summary.
Vast amounts of virtue signalling waffle.
Firm on cuts.
Weak on future kit, a vague talk about buying it rather than serious timetable & numbers.
Overall, a disaster.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

That’s global Britain for you John, little more than a very bad joke.

As I mentioned in another thread, all smoke and mirrors.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

I’m not saying your wrong but are forces are based on Cold War and we need to modernise for future as Azerbaijan showed recently.

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Im not sure much can be gained from studying a brief War ( admittedly in a long standing Conflict ) where parallels might be hard to draw, and basing your whole Defensive Strategy on its outcome.Think of how the US Army changed its doctrine on one isolated event ,and ended up with the Stryker Brigades,In an ideal world you would prepare for the Next War that you predict will most likely happen but History always has a habit of throwing a spanner in the works,we haven’t got the Mass or Strength in Depth to recover from another Dunkirk.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

No but technology is changing exponentially faster in one year now equivalent to 10 years in Cold War so having outdated forces is fool hardy, in no way have I said base everything on this but nearly everyone in industry realises our forces are behind curve compared to Iran China Russia on electronic and cyber and long rang fires. You tell me what we should do? We ain’t getting 3% on defence? If they try you will get government that does far worse like 2010. We need to modernise and they have picked capabilities they think we can afford to… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

The Azerbaijan conflict showed the lethal effect of airpower on ground forces. Yet we have cut UK combat air power to almost token numbers with no definite plan to rectify this until Tempest is brought into service.
Placing so much reliance on Tempest is a huge risk not least because like F35 it will take years and gobble up resources.

David Flandry
David Flandry
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Tempest will never happen.

David
David
6 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

Totally agree…

Nate m
Nate m
6 months ago
Reply to  David

have a little faith. after all we are the country who was outnumber and out gunned but won both world wars. i am sure our boffins will figure it out.

Last edited 6 months ago by Nate m
Michael Breslin
Michael Breslin
6 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

Will we have to rely upon a lot more F-35Bs and then future off-the-shelf US aircraft.

Yovi
Yovi
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

This is one of the reasons why this whole this makes is suspect, why cut key capability’s before the new kit is ready, its then all too easy for Gov to change its mind later, when attention has shifted to drop plans to get the new kit. its just too convenient for my tastes, smoke and mirrors

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

The pc waffle is the scariest bit- I think they actually believe it. You’re right that the cuts are specific and dated whilst the upside is much vaguer. To be fair ( its an effort!) the RN future is mapped out pretty clearly apart from what motherships will replace the minehunters. The RAF cuts of some older platforms makes some sense but cutting Typhoons without replacement is hardly enhancing our combat air power. The army just seems a continued disaster. 148 upgraded tanks with no reserves is absurd. The plan to reduce numbers whilst dispersing them more widely is idiotic.… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

There is much waffle on R&D, Cyber, AI, Digital. What they are missing is UK production. How do you have Cyber security if your computer chips/laptops are made in China? Look at 5G. Much of the research was done in British Universities, yet the products are made in China. There is no point the UK spending on R&D, unless we have the factories to make those products here.

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Yes. Yet one of the buzzwords that actually means something is resilience. Covid is showing the importance of sovereign capability. The same should apply to defence.
It is more important to regenerate UK afv manufacture than devote silly money to an exquisite German made upgrade.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago

This is nothing but cuts, in a very if thin disguise.

Farouk
Farouk
6 months ago

Well looking on the bright side just chuffed to F . I no longer serve.

Last edited 6 months ago by Farouk
captain p wash
captain p wash
6 months ago
Reply to  Farouk

Ha…. That’s what I said 30 years ago…..

geoff
geoff
6 months ago

So we arent going to get 24 frigates & destroyers then ?
All not a lot of specifcs – no numbers on F-35Bs, ship-to-ship of Aster BMD
Herc and Chinook loses – disaster
And the Type “83” destroyer – what a PR gimmick
Disastrous review….again…

Yovi
Yovi
6 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Every Gov , at least since the start of the 1990’s has run down the armed forces, yet even after the disastrous 2010 SDR, a low i thought would wake up the establishment, yet we see continue to see a pattern/trend of cuts with no real end in sight. I wonder if the UK will be the first major nation to effectively divest itself of much of its conventional armed forces. Certainly the politicians seem to have no care or concern over our growing weakness and its consequences. Just have to hope they do what they say and replace the… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 months ago
Reply to  Yovi

Agree. In essence the UK is now sub contracting defence out to Ameruca. If America cant or wont help us. We will very soon lose a war.

Zach
Zach
6 months ago

A complete and utter fudge.

captain p wash
captain p wash
6 months ago

MASSIVE CUTS….. end of.

dave12
dave12
6 months ago

Conclusion ? a retreat from the world stage with troops being overstretched by being sent all over the world to confirm Boris Johnson catch phrase goblal Britain when in fact its the era of little Britain, well done Boris you nut job.

captain p wash
captain p wash
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

“Goblal Britain” exactly………..

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

You can’t really retreat from the world stage by sending troops all over the world – its an oxymoron.

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Very true lets say Britain can only offer infective token forces .

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

i would say we will be able to provide pinpricks across the middle east and far east whilst losing critical mass and relevance in continental europe. the only real winner is RN. I would say that NATO will be pissed off with us, on land at least

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Except for type 26 , type 31, type 32, type 45 upgrade that people on here have been demanding for years.plus type 45 replacement.
Plus forward deploying which ain’t retreating.
Look as much as I don’t trust big govt, labour or liberals would do far worse and have done in last 10 years. They would slash cash to balance books same as bank crash. We need to be affordable and modernise. The population see defence as wasted cash and they will never up to the 3% during covid

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Ships are a great shield to hide behind. They take years to develop and the big money comes latter in the line. So this government can invest modest amounts in the RD to pretend to support the military, all for a latter government just to cut the project a few years down the line when the cost begging to occur.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Possibly true but our forces need huge investment and we are technologically outmatched due to neglect, we need to modernise and be realistic, there will never be the cash for defence most of us would like. We still have more capabilities across board than everyone but usa. Our population need to realise it doesn’t come free and up to 3% but till it does this is best can hope for. It ain’t 2010

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

No this has nothing to do with modernization this is just cost cutting. 8 C130 have just received upgrades and the type is praised by the SF community. So you cant use “modernization” to justify their retirement when we have nothing to replace it in a very important role. Same with Warrior since no wheeled APC can replace a tracked IFV which now mean these new heavy brigades are a unpleasant mix of both armoured and strike brigade, losing the benefit of both and keeping all the negatives. At least with 2010 the assets we did keep where usable. Seriously… Read more »

Callum
Callum
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Wow, perhaps a tad overdramatic to brand him a traitor? Get a reality check. The threats facing the UK are more diverse than ever, we’re in the middle of the biggest economic downturn ever, and yet somehow BoJo is still delivering a defence review that is broadly positive. Do you understand how rare that is? Yes, we’re losing a lot of older platforms, some of which we’d prefer to keep. Yet new procurement hasn’t been touched, and has in fact been expanded to better meet the threats of the future. Do you actually remember the 2010 cuts? New development was… Read more »

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  Callum

I wouldn’t be calling him a traitor if he was honest and upfront about this cost cutting. Instead of openly lying about it both before hand and now. So far as I can see there is nothing positive about this. 2010 may have cut development but at least it provided weapons to fight with in the hear and now. Flashy 3D animations of dreams are all well and good, but there not able to fight a war.

Last edited 6 months ago by Harry Bulpit
expat
expat
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Well space investment is a positive, you can have as many troops tanks etc as you like but if you can’t communicate with them, tell them where the target is, tell them where they are or get them intel they’re at best useless worse sitting ducks. Space will become more contested and ensuring you have assets in space that provide comms, gps, and surveillance will be critical.

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  expat

Doesn’t matter how much we invest in space, Russia can still shoot are satellites out of the sky. Also satellites cant take and hold ground, or even deliver ordinance. Space and cyber are all important domains. But they are in addition to and not a replacement for physical fighting. As much as people thought so in the 30s, the presence of aerial warfare did not mean an end of ground warfare.

expat
expat
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

I didn’t say it ended ground warfare but these days without space based technologies your other assets will be of limited use or even at risk. Its about balance. Your also making a rather large assumption that the UK investment in space would not allow for defence or evasion of the enemies space denial weapons. Tanks had armour which has evolved, planes chaff and decoys, everything evolves to counter an enemy. I fully understand seeing reduced numbers is frustrating but keeping the same numbers and not investing in future domains would also be folly and cost lives imo

Last edited 6 months ago by expat
Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  expat

I would agree with in investing in future technology, but unfortunately are conventional assets will become almost meaningless. Also as far as I’m aware there are no system conceptual or otherwise to defend satellites, especially against radar guided systems. On top of this space is so congested that manavouring isnt really practical either.

Callum
Callum
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

The budget hasn’t been cut, and has in fact increased, which is the opposite of what happened in 2010 (I think that was something like 8% cut in budget?). Having weapons to fight with here and now is great when you’re actually at war, but the point of this review is to prepare us for future conflicts. You may have noticed, but as it already stood the army was undermanned and underarms for a traditional armoured battle. The money doesn’t exist to simultaneously get 3rd division ready for a conventional land war at the same time as modernising and procuring… Read more »

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Then why pretend to be something we’re not? If we can’t afford a conventional fighting force then why waste money on a token one? America can afford to have a wide range of capabilities but we cant if we ever intend to be good at at least one of them. Every aspect of our armed forces is under equipped. We’re talking about space but still intend to share assets, we talk about ISTAR assets and have barely enough aircraft to protect are own skies, We talk about carrier strike and still require foreign aircraft to complete it, we talk about… Read more »

Harry Bulpit
Harry Bulpit
6 months ago
Reply to  Callum

I wish I could share you optimism and enthusiasm. But as far as I can tell yesterday was nothing but a dark day on Britains miltary, and one for which I fear it will never recover.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 months ago
Reply to  Harry Bulpit

Agree Harry. That is the crux of the problem. You fight a war with the weapons and personnel you have in hand. Not what you are going to deliver by 2035. If ever.

John Stevens
John Stevens
6 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Interesting comments.. Well said

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Andy. For the record. Type 26: only 3 have been actually ordered and funded. Type 31s steel not yet cut on a programme that will deliver frigates of moderate size but mediocre fighting capacity (at launch). Type 32. No firm design or funding only BoJo stating the RN will become the most powerful in Europe. Type 32 weapons fit??? To be decided Type 83 destroyers. Pie in sky. If there was funding and a firm plan to start construction by a given date. Fair enough. But this is just another announcement in a deluge of announcements to distract from real… Read more »

Tim
Tim
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

How you get a retreat while troops being sent all over the globe only you would know the uk isn’t going anywhere 1000 years of people either trying to take our islands or saying we are going down the pan and yet here we are we are still one of the most powerful country’s on earth and Europe still is a mess

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago

have to say I am really disappointed, but not surprised given Gen Nick Carter is involved in this. The UKDF is smaller than the USMC – the latter has a single command structure, the UK has a myriad of commands. So point 1: merge everything into a single force that works together and has one single set of accountable commanders. At the end of the day there are specialists in each force already, so that can’t be used as a real argument. Secondly, with a smaller force – all of them need to be mechanised to make up for the… Read more »

Damo
Damo
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Yeah calling them Rangers seems a touch daft and too much of an Americanism. Also, not sure all of the regiments involved are up to scratch let alone halfway para standard yet

Callum
Callum
6 months ago
Reply to  Damo

Can’t say I’m fond of the American terms like Ranger Regiments or Brigade Combat Teams either. Personally would’ve brought back the Green Jackets (nice parallels with the US Green Berets and our own Commandos) and stuck with the old battlegroup terminology.

Yovi
Yovi
6 months ago
Reply to  Callum

Yep my thoughts exactly, was embarrassing and smacked too much of a weak country, that lacks any real military tradition of its own by trying to gain some shallow kudos by borrowing the name of a prestigious US elite Unit. I wonder whose bright idea it was to call them Rangers, surely the Light infantry-Green Jackets would have been an ideal Regimental name to bring back from the recent past to fit this new unit, after all Uk’s have fine personal and many great historical Regiments that could have been used , much better then ‘Ranger’s , the name would… Read more »

Tim
Tim
6 months ago
Reply to  Damo

Rangers were originally British and fought on the side of the loyalists through the revolution and halfway para standard lol tell me what secret special training do the paras get that the rest of the infantry don’t get (apart from jumping out of a plane really useful in the modern world )

peter wait
peter wait
6 months ago
Reply to  Tim

If you you see the results of Paras wrecking a NAFFI or bar it will show why they are crack troops lol

Paul42
Paul42
6 months ago

What was it Boris Johnson said? ‘No more cuts’ and yet here we are with another round of damaging defence cuts reducing our already pitiful capabilities even further. Sadly the UK must now step off the world stage and crawl away into a cave somewhere……the only individuals pleased with this are the Russians and Chinese.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Really how many countries spend more or have more “real” capabilities with real blue water navy and deplorable capabilities. Yes not perfect but better than any democracy except USA. Lot easier in China! Can spend what u want

expat
expat
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Exactly who else military is spending £6.6 billion on space over 4 years?

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  expat

Excuse the pun but what on Earth would you spend £1.65 billion PA in Space on ?.

Steve R
Steve R
6 months ago

Christ, what Cameron and Osborne started, Boris has finished. These cuts are so deep it’s like a Jeremy Corbyn wet dream!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

For perspective. Tory 2010 – 2021 – 12 Fast Jet Squadrons to 8. becoming 9. Labour 1997 – 2010 – 22 Fast Jet Squadrons to 12. Tory 2010 -2021 – 23 Escorts to 19, now 17 temporarily ( hopefully ) Labour 1997 – 2010 – 35 Escorts to 23. 12 SSN to 7. Only reason Army manpower numbers were not cut in 1997 – 2010 was because of Afghan and Iraq conflicts. Labour actually started well army wise in 97 when a 6th Armoured/mech bde was formed and 5th Airborne/24 Airmobile became 16AA. Meanwhile during FAS “Future Army Structures” throughout… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
6 months ago

Hi Daniele, “Concerning defence neither Labour or the Tories have a leg to stand on.” Couldn’t agree more. We need a proper cross party approach to defence similar to that in Oz. Until we get that long term planning, so important given the timescales and cost of defence programmes, will remain impossible and the waste will continue. I’m going to reserve my judgement until I have read the paper and seen what else gets published about future programmes as I think more will emerge over the next year in that regard. The T83 intrigues and concerns me in equal measure.… Read more »

Lee Cook
Lee Cook
6 months ago

I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say about the Army’s vision for armoured warfare with the announcement for warrior/challenger (Boxer was mentioned it what seemed to be an allusion to succeeding warrior’s role), and what sort of new hybrid track/wheel superformations are in perspective. + Global ambitions with decreasing airlift. The C130s are old(er), but it seems wierd to remove lift capability with all these forces stationed all over the show! when’s your next article out?!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Lee Cook

Lee.

Article? Not me mate. I think you mean Gabriele over on UKAFC. We both have Italian names, but I’m very much British. He is Italian, though knows more than most on the armed forces of a country he has taken as his own. I respect that.

Lee Cook
Lee Cook
6 months ago

Sorry about that! well, now’s always a good time to start, so get your pen out!

Steve R
Steve R
6 months ago

Vote for me in 2024, I’ll increase defence funding to a nice round £60billion a year…

And lower tax on beer!

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

The British Army will reorganise into seven brigade combat teams, two heavy, one deep strike, one air manoeuvre, and two light, plus a Combat Aviation Brigade. A newly formed Security Force Assistance Brigade will provide the skills and capabilities to build the capacity of partner nations. The UK will establish an Army Special Operations Brigade built around the four battalions of the new Ranger Regiment. This new regiment will be seeded from 1 SCOTS, 2 PWRR, 2 LANCS, and 4 RIFLES. I make that 9 Bdes. So basically they are merging the Arty Bde & Surveillance Bde and scraping Strike in… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Yes, I was wondering where 1 ISR Bde was. Sp Ops Bde is the SIG under a different name. Surprised me as I though SIG would be the SFAB as that is their role now, mentoring and training others. SFAB is not a deployable formation in my view. In fact at present no one knows what it is other than will be drawn from “across the army” I only count 5 as I only include the 2 armoured, 2 light, and 16AA, the GRF. Basically those that are actual deployable formations with CS and CSS assets. And in the case… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Daniele Mandelli
Grant
Grant
6 months ago

Everyone says the Army is the big loser but from what I see its the RAF… fewer then 100 aircraft in combat air (with 30 or so front line F35bs to be shared with the RN fewer transport aircraft and of the ‘jam tomorrow’) just 3 E7s and whilst the promise of Tempest maybe some consolation its a very very long way off.

Paul42
Paul42
6 months ago
Reply to  Grant

Cutting the E7 order to 3 is incredibly foolish. How exactly are we suppose to manage AEW? Rely on NATO and the US like we did for Maritime patrol? Plus Setinnel is gone with no additional P8s to fill the gap…..as for retiring C130J, if we were buying 6 MC130Js off the US for our special forces it might be understandable, but its just cut cut cut…..

Last edited 6 months ago by Paul42
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

Protector maybe for some of those roles?
Agree on E7.

expat
expat
6 months ago

Daniele people are missing the investment in space, having assets that cannot communicate or get targeting data are useless. Space is the key to a global presence.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  expat

Will be interesting to get details though, beyond mentions of a constellation of Artemis and Oberon alongside the Skynets. When and how many.

Paul42
Paul42
6 months ago
Reply to  expat

In your dreams maybe, the harsh reality is the here and now, and the money simply squandered on an ongoing basis…… prime example – C130J fleet, 8 aircraft have had new wing boxes fitted, but of course that doesn’t matter, just axe them anyway….money poured down the drain yet again….until such time as this kind of stupidity is stopped things will just continue to get worse….

Michael Breslin
Michael Breslin
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul42

I am under the impression that the three RC-135W Rivet Joint aircraft were taking up the Sentinel’s duties – not the P-8

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago
Reply to  Grant

Agreed. Any reduction to combat air power is insane. Even if Tempest goes well, it won’t be in service until 2035. Meantime, we should keep the Typhoon production line open by ordering at least another 40/50 over the next decade. A no risk option.

Grant
Grant
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Yes I dont know if more F35s or more Typhoons are the best way forward (or indeed a few more of both) but it is madness to have so little combat air. The hawks going is another blow.

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Its not a no risk option, 40/50 Typhoons would have a major impact on Tempest manned platforms.

Assume 250 manned Tempest platforms over program life, which is probably the high end of what we might assume, then 50 Typhoons would be ~20% of that. If we instead assume more like 150 manned plus additional unmanned platforms over program life, then 50 is a third of the Tempest build. Basically you would kill the Tempest program and the UK’s fast jet industry and exports to boot.

Peter S
Peter S
6 months ago

I don’t see this as an either or. Germany is ordering more Typhoons to replace Tornadoes so there is life in the design. Looking at the length of the F35 programme and the development costs, an in service date of 2035 for Tempest looks realistic. An order of Typhoons to maintain current numbers in the meantime won’t cost so much as to damage Tempest. Given the stated aim of maintaining 7 Typhoon squadrons, I don’t see how the current fleet minus 24 T1 can last until 2035. Seeing how modern airpower can deliver decisive effects, cutting it from already small… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

It really is either or though. Whatever the RAF have in mind for total jet numbers becomes a zero sum game. Any reduction in Tempest manned platform numbers undermines their cost reduction, so the goal has to be to maximise that number. Any additional aircraft in the interim are going to be F35B, because there is clearly a rationale for going beyond 48, if only to more adequately support an organic UK carrier capability, loyal wing-men notwithstanding. But its more than that, given how F35B as the leading sensor platform would be used in combination with Typhoon as the trailing… Read more »

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 months ago

That concept of jam today to fund meat tomorrow has been uk defence lies since 1990s. 12 type 45s to just 6 to fund type 26 programme. Type 26 reduced from 13 to 8 to fund a general purpose frigate programme the type 31s. Type 32s to be built to make theRN the most powerful navy in Europe. Tornado scrapped to prioritise and keep typhoon. Typhoon numbers then reduced. With tranche 1 aircraft going (probably to be sold to Romania at rock bottom prices, with UK supplies and support probably meaning we will be paying the Romanians to operate our… Read more »

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

Take a breath. Everyone except China cut their defence expenditures over previous decades and that includes Russia. We are not directly facing off against China as Japan, S. Korea or the US might do, so we don’t need a navy at the same scale or with a similar composition as those countries; we also operate as part of NATO when countering Russia. What we do have is SSBN, SSN and large carriers that neither ROK or Japan have. You and others list T45 and T26 cuts as if they exist in isolation. Who else in Europe has 6x AAW destroyers,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter S

Remember UCAV. LANCA. Loyal Wingman will augment those.

Agree on general thrust though, the RAF cuts boil my p**s.

Klonkie
Klonkie
6 months ago
Reply to  Grant

good on you for calling this out Grant The retirement of the 24 tranche 1 typhoons is extremely bad. So I imagine a reduction of front line sqns from 7 to 5? 3 wedgetail seriously?

Grant
Grant
6 months ago
Reply to  Klonkie

Im sure the savings will be very small as well in relation to the size of the loss. A lot of headlines about the Challengers but the E7s (and combat air) is equipment which is used daily. Hopefully LANCA will deliver something usable….

Something different
Something different
6 months ago

Will boxer have anything larger than a machine gun? No more true IFVs for the Army?

Interesting they there is an aspiration for more than 48 F35s while first time I’ve seen anything concrete about a type 45 replacement.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago

What is more important – a battlefield taxi with a 40mm pop-gun or a mass of long range fires like Spike NLOS, Brimstone, Loitering Drones and GMLRS? How many armies were defeated by IFVs recently? We need real long range precision firepower not hanging big machine guns on APCs. With our limited resources we need the biggest bangs our bucks can buy. We have plenty of AJAX for force protection.

Last edited 6 months ago by James Fennell
Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Agree totally challenger 3 is best minimum capabilities just incase, let’s use boxer and Ajax, will do 95% of what we need but let’s up arm with a few smart investment on already existing fire power instead of designing our own. Buy of shelf. Maybe could we re use warrior guns plus modern missles??

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago

I have read it twice now and I think its good. For some reason it does not give any numbers on new kit which is annoying but might be a way of incentivising MOD and Chiefs – keep your costs down and you get more sort of thing. And may suggest some decisions are yet to be made. There are several interesting innovations and new capabilities however. Most we have already had trailled, but a few more include: A Deep Recce and Strike Brigade – find and destroy with Ajax and long-range fires from GMLRS and Swarming Drones, I presume;… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by James Fennell
Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

At least I’m not only person seeing glass half full. We need to modernise and navy needs basically replacement so was never gunna be good for army. Chances are IFV and rangers/commando will get far more use.
As long as we sort artillery and lethal long rang fires I don’t think this at all compares to 2010 cuts

Glass Half Full
Glass Half Full
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I suspect at least one reason not to specify numbers is that it weakens MOD’s negotiating position for purchases. If I know as a salesman what numbers have been publicly stated then that allows me to push the pricing limits, knowing that a govt committing to less will create negative PR for them.

pete
pete
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Spear 3 is a must for the non stealthy Typhoon and is good news. However, hope Spear 3 for Typhoon doesn’t mean block 4 F35 upgrades are off the shopping list for some time ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Agree. I too see the plus sides.

This Recc Deep Strike Bde intrigues me. Is it 1 Art Bde with a new name and Ajax shoved into it?

There are lots of details still to emerge.

Sean
Sean
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

I also see this as all good, a transition to more automation meaning less servicemen being put in the line of fire.
Investments in the new war theatres of cyber and space.
Plus a refocus of the U.K. as a naval power rather than trying to prepare for some future re-enactment of the Battle of Kursk against hordes of Russian tanks.

The traditionalists who want a return to Battle of the Somme style battles with tens of thousands of troops thrown forward as cannon-fodder will probably hate the direction this goes in.

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago

Well,its Sad to Say but entirely Predictable, but i don’t think Messrs Putin and Xi Jinping will be losing any Sleep tonight – Cuban Cigars anyone ?.

Renown
Renown
6 months ago

So they are cutting 10,000 soldiers and but only 1 infantry battalion, so who else is being cut? Those 10,000 soldiers have to be cut from somewhere and all this is doing is making the British Army even more infantry heavy then it already is. Are they going to logistics, training, EW, Cyber, and signals to keep all the light role battalions around? A bolder policy would have dealt with this problem and freed those posts so they could be used in the brigade combat teams or in cyber, signals, EW, logistics, ect. Regarding the brigade combat teams this is… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Renown
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Renown

Agree. I worry the CS and CSS are going to be hit again by forming these CSS Battalions.

Remember the 10,000 is actually less, that is aspired total trained headcount. We do not have 82000, around 75,000.

No excuse I know but all is not as literal as it seems.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
6 months ago

A little gem that I think will be lost in the furore of this revelation is the further investment in Tempest.

It’s very nice to see how our effort is smoothly progressing whereas the French, German and Spanish FCAS effort has already hit the rocks big time as well as predicted it would. French have already floated the idea of pulling out

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Lots of talk about the biggest losers in this review. Well I wouldn’t want to be in the Yorkshire Regt Btn that is going to become the ‘experimental force and act as enemy to all BCTs.’ Basically you are going to be bashed around every training area in the Anglo-sphere being beaten up by all comers.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

They will get lots of cool kit like loitering drones to play with. Idea will be to see if the forces actually work against tech enabled competitors. Great idea in an era where warfare is rapidly changing. Hopefully will inform future structure.

farouk
farouk
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

comment image

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Touché

farouk
farouk
6 months ago

The real scary thing here is not this defence review , but the next one which the new government will knock out when this bunch are kicked out (I don’t say that from an anti tory view, but from watching the fallout from their C19 handling)
If it is a Labour/green/liberal coalition expect Nukes, all the subs (they are nuclear powered) the Tempest program, a cut in ships and the entire UAV fleet gone simply as the greens and libs will demand them

Last edited 6 months ago by farouk
John Stevens
John Stevens
6 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Hi Farouk.. I think the Tories will stay in power until the end of this decade. They have a 80 seat majority.. So even if they lose some seats, probably will still remain in power. I guess if this administration does stay in power for that period, at least it might allow for some of the new equipment programmes to take place.

expat
expat
6 months ago
Reply to  farouk

I agree, but on the plus side an increase in paper spending to send some very strongly worded letters. Of course the greens will insist its recycled paper.

Dern
Dern
6 months ago
Reply to  farouk

I think Labour needs to work out how to win Scotland back from the SNP if they ever are to stand a chance at defeating the Tories again.

Sean
Sean
6 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Given the approval rates the Tories are gaining from one of the most successful vaccination programmes in the world – and Brexit being justified simply by not being in the EU’s disastrous vaccine scheme – I can’t see them losing the next election. With the way the 3rd wave is hitting Europe the U.K. will end up with a lower death-rate than most major EU nations. Which will further the perception they did well by comparison. Even if Labour regained their Northern seats they still aren’t seen as a credible party in Scotland, where people vote SNP because they are… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
6 months ago

I see no evidence of the increased budget. Any upgrades to our capability have been paid for by cuts elsewhere. Looks like all that extra cash was needed to fill existing budgetary black holes

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Some of the annoucements in the paper
£6.6bn on R&D
£3bn extra Army kit
£2bn Tempest
£1.6bn Space Force
£1.4bn childcare
£1.3bn accomm
£1.3bn Challenger upgrade
£800m Automated Mobile Fires
£500m EW weapons
£250m GMLRS
£120m Rangers Rgt
£50m Bay Class to strike ship
£40m Future Commandos
£25m digital records

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Yes James they are the spends. Now how about the saves / cuts?

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

If Warrior failed upgrade was £430m what you can really achieve with some numbers there?

Graham
Graham
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

They spent that sum on the design, development and testing, The actual upgrade for the 275 vehicles was extra. But it would still be better and cheaper to have proceeded than run on with outdated Warriors for several years and then spend enormous money on replacing with Boxer with a cannon.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Hi James, I’m going to pitch in here, having read through the the document I’m still relatively glass half full. It appears that all the block 2 Typhoons will be upgraded too, with the new radar and Spear3 … Possibly to a new block4 standard with new cockpit displays etc. This will dovetail nicely into the Tempest development programme, with a lot of this technology going into that platform That and the F35b is one hell of a door kicking force, even a small deployed force will be highly capable. The ‘Challenger 3’ decision was a predictable mistake, 148 makes… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Completey agree. The new vision of the future is lost on many. The just want ‘numbers’

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

Agree mate. I’m not happy with the cuts, who is, but I can see the overall picture. Defence is more than numbers of ships, planes, tanks.

The Herc cut pisses me off most.

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago

I’m glad Puma is staying, and a replacement is on the cards for Puma & Gazelle with a new medium life helicopter. I really did think Puma would get the chop early.

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

Puma is going isn’t it – they identified dropping 20. I think the fleet is not that many more than that.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Think it will be replaced from 2025 with a new medium lift helicopter, unless I’m wrong, it was a lot of information to take in yesterday ?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

They did? Where? The future force graphic shows a medium helicopter.

John Stevens
John Stevens
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

‘Well said’

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  John Clark

why would we struggle to deploy only 30 of 148 Chally 3 tanks? That number seems absurdly low – 20%. I don’t believe it

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

If the Regiments are split one in each Armoured Brigade and one Brigade is high readiness as previously identified then that is a regiments worth deployed, 56?
More than 30. Best effort both Brigades but the shit has seriously hit the fan to deploy the whole Division…what is left of it!

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

The two most welcome in that list:

£1.4bn childcare
£1.3bn accomm

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Not really we were 10-20 billion in hole with no investment for ten years. With out new cash you would be suing worst cuts since end of world war one

Andrew
Andrew
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

I know. As I said it looks like the extra cash went into filling the financial black hole. Which is a great shame…when the extra money was announced I was hopeful it was a big enough increase to fill the hole and some left over for genuine expansion.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Wish we could have 3% for defence but we are in time like early 1930’s. Everyone from last war is out of power, there won’t be any more war so defence is waste and vote loser. Until history repeats. 1914 1930-9 1982……

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

when the nurses get tiny pay rises when they have been on the front-line for the last year, it is difficult to justify. The NHS were the armed forces of 2020/21, lets not forget that

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Not at all, nurses are salt of earth , all my local govt team were told to stand down and volunteered to work face to face for whole year. We had pay freeze for five years and now same again. Times are gunna be hard but with out national security the rest doesn’t matter

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Agree not all nurses are patient facing or have been on the frontline. I would give a pay award to all those staff that have risked their lives by caring for covid patients. With inadequate or non existent PPE. At the start of the pandemic. However as there would be an outcry about who does or doesnt deserve a pay award it has to be whole health service or none at all. Bear in mind it is ONLY by the actions of the NHS and the joint vaccination committee that we are ever going to leave lockdowns and return to… Read more »

Rob Collinson
Rob Collinson
6 months ago

What about the JLTV? Not a single mention in the document, despite Ben Wallace’s obvious criticism of the Snatch Landrover.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob Collinson

Hardly priority against artillery, frigates f35 boxer Ajax cyber space. Let’s face it we can re role all protected vehicles from sand box

Rob Collinson
Rob Collinson
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

I couldn’t disagree more. Boxer and Ajax are heavier protected mobility assets. JTLV was for the light protected mobility programme. These are two very different requirements. Without this upgrade our precious few and getting smaller soft assets will remain in a wholly unsuitable transport. Lunacy beyond all lunacy. The government has already been taken to court due to them knowing the Snatch was not suitable or fit for purpose but they sent these to modern warfare situations and brave soldiers lost their lives unnecessarily. The sad definition of culpable homicide. Disgusting penny-pinching. We MUST continue this upgrade, benefitting from the… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob Collinson

That’s something I hadn’t thought of but don’t we have over 1000 protected vehicles left over from sandbox. Panther husky wolfhound mastif ridgeback wouldn’t it be cheaper to re task these and spend cash on one of other needs?

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Likely true. Take the train from Salisbury to Bath and around Trowbridge you’ll whizz past presumably an army storage depot; rows and rows and rows of Mastiffs, Foxhounds etc just say about doing nothing, still in their desert camo with bar armour attached

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago

That sounds like Warminster and the Land Warfare Training fleet. Sits next to the railway line on Imber Avenue.

The biggest site is DSDC Ashchurch, thousands of vehicles there.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Panther is going, or gone.
Foxhound is retained.
Mastiff and Ridgeback were retained in core but I believe will be disposed of now sadly. Hoped CS&CSS elements could use them.
MRVP will replace most of them hopefully.

Mike O
Mike O
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob Collinson

I agree Rob. MRV-P will be key to any deployable unit. Large numbers will be needed and not a word was mentioned. I hope it means they will be developed as part of a UK industrial strategy. UK design and build.

BB85
BB85
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike O

I don’t understand why there was so little mention of MRV-P in the review. Surely its as big if not bigger than the C2 LEP.
If it is to form part of the UK industrial strategy it must mean JLTV will be canned possibly for GDUK to manufacture the eagle 4×4 and 6×6 once the ajax deliveries are complete.

Last edited 6 months ago by BB85
AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago

Watchkeeper drone is to be upgraded. Will it be armed?

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Does it even work? Serious question? Thought was huge failure

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Well they retain it in this review despite widespread cuts and it was in use i think in Cyprus so i don’t think it is a failure.
I also don’t understand how can be a failure, several countries use its baseline model Hermes 450.

AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

From wiki The Hermes 450 is the basis of the British Army’s Watchkeeper WK450, development of which started in July 2005 in conjunction with Thales. In September 2013, the Hermes 450 reached 70,000 flight hours supporting British troops in Afghanistan, the equivalent of 8 years of non-stop flying. The British had flown the Hermes 450 more than any other country in Afghanistan.[20] As of January 2014, British Hermes 450 air vehicles flew over 86,000 hours over Iraq and Afghanistan. Up to nine aircraft operated from Camp Bastion and conducted five flights per day, accumulating a combined 70 hours of surveillance… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yep but it’s cost between £1 to 1.5billion depending who you ask the reaper at £50 million each for airframe gcs and all bits so we could have bout 3 complete squadrons with radar, and offensive abilities and maritime software to work with new Boeing’s. No comparison

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  AlexS

I don’t know much about it but I heard was huge money pit and we could have bought squadrons of protector for 1/10 of cost with actual kinetic affect

Last edited 6 months ago by Andy a
AlexS
AlexS
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

It seem Watchkeeper have a radar beside the optics.

BB85
BB85
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Isn’t it cheaper than Protector? I thought most of its issues where around qualifying it for UK airspace but that wouldn’t be an issue for Afghanistan. I assume the upgrade will include LMM integration which is a game changer especially if is saves us using brimstone to take out terrorists traveling on the back of a pick up truck.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  BB85

Yep but it’s cost between £1 to 1.5billion depending who you ask the reaper at £50 million each for airframe gcs and all bits so we could have bout 3 complete squadrons with radar, and offensive abilities and maritime software to work with new Boeing’s. No comparison

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

5 have crashed right?

James H
James H
6 months ago

It’s a really good review but there is simply not enough money to pay for it, which has resulted in lots of cuts to capabilities which just seems what happens in every review. They are asking the army to do so much more but except losing 4,000 troops, how much does that save? Is it fair to compare our military to the Syrian and Armenian forces used to justify these changes, instead of cutting them, why not add capability to protect them from drones/missile attack? And furthermore why are we not adding a fleet of cheap armed drones if so… Read more »

Yovi
Yovi
6 months ago
Reply to  James H

its a justification for wholesale change which happens to conveniently allow gov to yet again cut conventional defense whilst promising future upgrades that i fear we may well never see come true and that they will never be held to account for.

James H
James H
6 months ago
Reply to  Yovi

My issue with it is that past reviews has expected too much from the money available but this one expects too much from what is left after the cuts. You can’t do a long term deployment of a E7 to Cyprus or the Falklands with only 3 planes. How many Protectors could you assign to the P8s when you only have 16. How can you make the carriers the centre piece of your policy yet not provide enough planes for them. Upgrade typhoons but not enough of them to really be credible There is so many examples like and like… Read more »

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago

There no longer is any justification for the UK to retain its traditional role as NATO’s Deputy Supreme Allied Commander. It simply does not bring sufficient force to the table.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

What apart from still having biggest blue water navy apart from usa, one of biggest fast jet forces and fairly big army. Nuclear deterrent only one in nato except USA. So who exactly do you think is better in the role????

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

The UK’s nuclear deterrent is of absolutely no significance to NATO. And apparently you aren’t aware that France has a nuclear deterrent and is part of NATO. Compare the RAF with the Hellenic Air Force. Compare the British Army with the Polish Army. And Sacre Bleu, consider the French.
The biggest threat to NATO is still Russia, the reason for its founding. The winner is Poland, only because you can never trust the French.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

I’ve noticed your troll like ignorant statements before. I merely didn’t mention France as I know France at one point removed there weapons from nato and had them as an independent deterrent. I’ve noticed your inflammatory left wing statements before. It’s funny that America doesn’t seem to agree with you. They apparently laughed in the pentagon when France pushed to replace us as allies after brexit. As the power behind nato I’m glad they don’t.
Why do you permanently run down the uk and it’s military and great people when in my experience they are so respected round the world

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Speaking of ignorance, France rejoined the military wing of NATO but apparently you missed that. Left wing statements? Boy, do live in some kind of weirdoville world, or what? Speaking realistically about the now rather Lilliputian British Armed Forces have become is hardly left wing. Lamenting the fact that proud British Armed Forces have an army smaller than Poland’s is hardly left wing. The problem is that, like many Brits, you just can’t face reality when it comes to the British Armed Forces. There was no push by the French to replace the UK and there was no laughter in… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Well that’s funny because source in the pentagon disagree with you in major newspaper but suppose they are lying. There is no point discussing anything with someone so closed minded to debate. I usually say nothing on here and just read but sometimes but god you debate nothing. It’s like your child with your fingers in your ears shouting blah blah blah.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Oh, a newspaper anonymous source. That’s your source? That’s where you get your news? No wonder you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Dern
Dern
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

The Hellenic Airforce which has deployed in support of NATO how many times?

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  Dern

…and just retired the……Phantom!

John Hartley
John Hartley
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Look at French, German, Turkish fast jet numbers. Outside NATO look at S Korea & Japan.

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Lol was waiting for you PK to come in on your high horse ,but you right on the land forces side of things ,but its pretty hard to ignore the UK with its navy being the second largest in NATO . little Britain era it is though.

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

Compare the Greek Air Force with the RAF. Greece has orders in for new Rafales and is asking the US for F-35s. And Greece has some damn good pilots. A country with 10 million people.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

With respect to Greece are u seriously comparing the uk vast capabilities to them. With respect that is the stupidest comment I’ve ever heard

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

And yours is the most ignorant comment I have ever heard.

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Just sick of god damn apologists like you. I refuse to be proud of the forces or my friends still serving or the country.
Yes the situation isn’t great but unless you have a plan for coungering up 20billion quid at least this keeps nearly all main capabilities and if it’s trying to modernise which needs doing cos our Cold War capabilities are useless in modern world. Things have changed.

Last edited 6 months ago by Andy a
pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Yes, things have changed and most of the commentators on this blog just absolutely refuse to recognize that that change means that any claim to the UK being a “global power” are just absolutely fallacious given the size of the UK’s Armed Forces and the state of its kit. They attack me because I recognize reality and demand that they recognize the same reality. I also recognize that neither the Tories nor any other party has the stomach to admit this and come up with the funds over the next decade to make the UK relevant again on the world… Read more »

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

It’s typically Republican american that a public health service “the NHS” is considered a waste of money. You only have to see the millions without health insurance who are left to die in the US to see how that plays out. Why bother with a military at all if you couldn’t give a flying [email protected]*% for your own people. Republican america went to war for 3,000 in the twin towers yet seems quite relaxed for approaching 600k dead through Covid. And let’s not start on the 2 huge gun massacres in the last few days. America will kill itself at… Read more »

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Yes but PK the Greeks don’t have nuclear capability to pay for like the UK which is a big chunk on the UK defence budget, that’s a very big point that you have missed in your logic.

Airborne
Airborne
6 months ago
Reply to  dave12

He has no logic, just a sad dislike for anything UK military! Its a chip on that shoulder and I can only imagine why he has it! I do find it amusing though, as he seems to disregard anything that is going, or has gone, pear shaped in the States…..and at the moment the states is one giant pear!

dave12
dave12
6 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

He is a trump supporter so to me that explains his lack of logic.

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

‘asking’ for F35s – they’ll be expecting you to pay. They are totally bankrupt and have been for years. You’d be doing them a disservice by taking the money….but there again US companies..

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

I would tend to agree, but that is if you consider NATO’s role being largely traditional as facing off the Russians on the western european plains. If you look to the sea though, retreating ice caps, northern trade routes and under-ocean shannanigans, then I think the UK is still very much a major player. Arguably you can say UK is looking forward like no other NATO member too…apart from the US of course

pkcasimir
pkcasimir
6 months ago
Reply to  julian1

The problem with that reasoning is that the Royal Navy is just too small to be a global player. Four (even seven whenever that occurs) Astute Class subs, assuming all are available, is not even sufficient to handle NATO waters which include the Med, never mind the Pacific. The carriers won’t have their full complement of airplanes for years and, I would argue, are sitting ducks without US ISR support. That said, how do you escort these carriers and still have enough destroyers/frigates to make a significant contribution? The UK just refuses to be truthful. Boris Johnson speaks out both… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Correct and thats only because Poland is currently the tip of the spear, or as most say, the trip wire, and in fact expendable when it comes to the US. Simple. And for the record, I love the fact you never comment in a positive way on positive news, you just love to degrade others efforts and get all shakey and excited when a bad news story comes up, where you can get all supreme and all American on “our ass”. We know where we lack capability, but we also know where we provide assets most others dont have. So,… Read more »

julian1
julian1
6 months ago
Reply to  pkcasimir

Polish forces will only ever be used for NATO if Poland is invaded. A large army and armour yes, a small and modernizing air force with no expeditionary capability and no navy. UK forces will be used deployed globally and in peace time. In what way is Poland more important to NATO? Would that be fighting terrorist in their training camps, hunting Russian subs or escorting trade in the gulf/indian ocean. Oh yes and then the intelligence – GCHQ, ISTAR, MI6 – get a grip!

RobW
RobW
6 months ago

As I said in a different thread, it’s too soon to judge this. Clearly there are some aspects that aren’t great, tank numbers and C130J retirement being stand outs for me. However, the success of so much else relies on what happens over the coming months and years. RN – what the T32 is, the interim ASM and how many ships get it, surveillance vessel and the actual number of F35Bs we get. RAF – success of alternative pilot training scheme, how soon Tempest and the loyal wingman project gets going, how many Typhoons get the upgrades, availability of Wedgetail,… Read more »

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Yep could be great if boris follows through with investment

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  RobW

C-130J was interim until A400 came along always. They are now in service. Protector/Guardian drones can pair with P8 and E7s – expect to see them augmenting those capabilites. UGVs can add mass to armour, 3-4 per tank – to identify targets, and distract and decieve incoming fires, UCAVs will partner fast jets soon and 80% of airpower will be unmanned. So we need to understand that some capabilites are not being ‘cut’ they are being superceeded.

Last edited 6 months ago by James Fennell
RobW
RobW
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Indeed, I think many of the comments on here are OTT. To a large extent the review appears to be delivering on its aims. The issue I guess is that there are immediate cuts but the jam isn’t clear in its timing or really what it is in some cases.

This will be one to judge in 5 to 10 years when many of the new systems are coming online.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

Correct. I broadly agree. Though I don’t think in case of A400 putting the DSF role 14 Hercs are needed for into a fleet of just 22 is a good idea.

Last edited 6 months ago by Daniele Mandelli
Renown
Renown
6 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Going forward with the desire for a global Britain I wonder if increasing the A400m order or buying surplus planes from others might make sense.

John Stevens
John Stevens
6 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Agree with you you.

John Stevens
John Stevens
6 months ago
Reply to  John Stevens

oops, sorry about the spelling mistake

Daviddadinraf
Daviddadinraf
6 months ago

what is a type 83 detroyer?

Paul T
Paul T
6 months ago
Reply to  Daviddadinraf

Look at the separate thread to make your own mind up.

Martyn Parker
Martyn Parker
6 months ago

This is what you get when you lock a country down for over a year, the same people that are outraged by the cuts are the same people that have advocated for lockdown, well guess what, you reap what you sow, if you think this is bad just wait for the cuts to come in other government spending and all this because of highly gerrymandered death rates that do not hold up to scrutiny, so vent your spleens and then go put your facemask on have a walk to the shop and spend your furlough money, I hope it was… Read more »

Damo
Damo
6 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Parker

Back in your box. Your ridiculous sweeping statements are offensive to me

Martyn Parker
Martyn Parker
6 months ago
Reply to  Damo

Which of those facts I’ve put down do you find offensive? That’s the problem with the truth, it cares not one jot for your feelz

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Parker

Well, as I live and breathe, a real life tin foil hat wearing individual….

You are quite right Martyn, we shouldn’t have bothered with lockdowns, social distancing and facemasks …. We would probably have lost 250,000 by now, but hay ho, I suppose you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs….

I’ll assume you are just trying to get a rise out of people … If not, I feel sorry for you, as you are clearly detached from reality and living with the pixies at the bottom of the garden.

Something different
Something different
6 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Parker

And how many people do you think actually died because of COVID in the UK? Do you have any peer reviewed scientific journals, universities or other credible evidence to support the figure you have in mind?

Martyn Parker
Martyn Parker
6 months ago

Let me ask you, what other European nation uses the same counting method? None, this is a widely known fact and as such it does gerrymander the numbers to look bad in comparison to the other European nation but feel free to believe what you are told just because you are told it because governments don’t lie do they?

Steve R
Steve R
6 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Parker

And you feel free to believe what you were told by your idol Donald Trump.

Idiot!

Martyn Parker
Martyn Parker
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

What do you think I am? Some sort of moron who believed that an American President would have UK’s best interests at heart? No, I’ll sycophantism to you

pete
pete
6 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Parker

but…..the daily published 28 day numbers ignore people dying of ‘respiratory’ problems 29 days after a test. With improved treatment and many more people dying beyond the 28 day period the daily public headlines are significantly underplaying the death toll. The quietly published ’60 Day’ figures and the ‘With COVID mentioned on Death Certificates’ data provide an alternative perspective to the 28 day figures look at this data analysis from the CEBM when the reporting method changed !! Public Health England has changed its definition of deaths: here’s what it means – The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (cebm.net) real issues,… Read more »

John Stevens
John Stevens
6 months ago
Reply to  Martyn Parker

Talking total nonsense. What do you mean by gerrymandered death rates. I guess you’re one of those idiots that have been involved in the Anti lock down march. Bunch of nutters !!!

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago

So for the army the paper is specific – ‘ £3bn in new Army equipment on top of the more than £20bn planned. Investment in new vehicles (including Ajax, Boxer and, Challenger III); modernised longrange precision fires (including multiple launched rocket systems and Apache); new air defences; tactical surveillance drones; and new electronic warfare and cyberspace capabilities, will transform the Army’s equipment over the next decade.’

Does not look like a cut.

Adam
Adam
6 months ago

Capacity of Wembly Stadium = 90,000. UK army by 2025 = 72,500.
size isn’t everything but …

Palaboran
Palaboran
6 months ago

When Gordon Brown declared that the two Elizabethan class carriers would have a disproportional effect who thought then that the remaining armed forces would be so diminished, especially considering the numbers f-35B planes aboard the carriers. Get rid of nuclear armed missiles for which no country of any consequence fear as , hopefully, only one sub on patrol in a vast ocean. Target choices are ME and Russia or N Korea or China. Both targets are many days sailing distant, besides no prime minister will ever press the button.n Forget global power. history has moved on. Time the UK accepted… Read more »

Derek
Derek
6 months ago
Reply to  Palaboran

I’m very sympathetic to the argument against Nuclear weapons but, there are 2 facts that need to be accounted for when considering the concept of a deterrent:

1) Nuclear weapons have only been used once (2 bombs) by a country that had them – against a country that didn’t.

2) The country that didn’t immediately and unconditionally surrendered.

if nobody fears them, why has no-body used them since?

Andy a
Andy a
6 months ago

Wonder wat happens to 250 cta 40mm canons we ordered for warrior? Upgrade entire Royal Navy fleet?
I think best option would be upgun boxer?

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Andy a

Yes – i’m sure a module will be created for the LM turret.

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
6 months ago

I’m a bit late in the day. Things to do. I’ve just read the post here. For reading tonight could I suggest “Summary of the UK Defence Review” which a good number of people have obviously not read yet. Along side a number of upgrades it mentions seven,maybe eight projects that will really improve our war fighting capability. I recommend it.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
6 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Could you link to it please? I’d like to see a positive take on this

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago

A new deployable medium range air defence capability… could it be CAMM ER?comment image

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Defence is about what if. Sounds strange but in the 1930s everyone thought a vanquished country, like Germany, wanting a war was unbelievable. Now, most probably, the Russian Gov don’t want a war but what if they did? What if they thought they would win? What if an aging President thought it was the only way to prevent being strung up by his own people? Dictators have to retire sometime. It has happened before. Now obviously people will say that the nuclear deterrent makes that impossible. However the same was true in the 1930s; most defence thinkers thought that general… Read more »

Annoyed
Annoyed
6 months ago

Why are we getting so wound up about all this.
We are spending billions to try and help protect Europeans who don’t really like this country, why bother,let’s have a proper review about defending our country and let them get on with whatever they want to do.

Something different
Something different
6 months ago

In strategy games there is often a ‘human/conventional side with heavy weapon art akin to BOAR in the 80s and an alien/unconventional force with lots of niche capabilities that if employed correctly can be effective but which is hard to pull off

OldSchool
OldSchool
6 months ago

I’m not as disappointed as some with the cuts – many of which make sense – at least to me. In many cases – Warrior for example, its time to draw a line and cut the financial losses, as large as they are. With MBT’s a modest upgrade for Chally 2 is what’s required to tide us over until a new tank in the 2030s is considered. What more concerns me is MOD managing the new program given its appalling performance over the last few decades. We can but hope but it woukd be nice to get a few things… Read more »

pete
pete
6 months ago
Reply to  OldSchool

Would be good to understand the basis of budgeting by the MOD. Im used to a world where you consider three forms of budgeting across and within your organisation for any individual project. . P90 (best possible outcome. 90% certain that that amount will be spent as a minimum but no more. P50 (the probable / expected outcome..may be over…may be under subject to realisation of risks) P10 (the worst case forecast – 10% chance the minimum amount spent might be as much as #xx) The firm budget for the org as a whole then becomes the sum of all… Read more »

David Flandry
David Flandry
6 months ago

Well, this does it. No amount of verbiage, window dressing, and fancy new terms will obscure the fact the the Army is being reduced. 72, 0000 troops cannot do what 80,0000 can do, which could not do what 102,000 could do.. No new submarines, no net increase in air power. The UK has admitted its done as a great power. It will be a sort of larger version of Denmark. The project started by the laughable Cameron has been completed by the equally laughable Boris.

RobW
RobW
6 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

We will have 100 Typhoons, 48 F35Bs in the first order, then a follow on order of F35s. If that second batch is 24 or more, the Typhoons are upgraded as hinted, and we get all 16 Protectors, I’d say that was a pretty decent increase in air power from where we are. Spear 3 and Meteor will only increase that. Who ever said we were getting new submarines? It was always the case that any increase was going to be through the development of autonomous systems. The RN has taken delivery of its first system from which the future… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

They can when they have the right equipment.

Rob Collinson
Rob Collinson
6 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

A slight error in your numbers there, David!! We do not have even have 80,000 now. We only have 74,000 or so now in the Army. The reduction to the Army will only come from ‘natural wastage’, but most may stay active in the ‘reserve’ which is increasing in size. People are talking about this as a national scandal. This is not really a massive reduction, the talked about 10,000 reduction was in ‘possible size’ not actual size. People are talking about this as 72,000 as our total armed forces. This is wrong. It is the total serving ranks in… Read more »

sophie
sophie
6 months ago

uk dont have over 20ship?

Shane Ramshaw
Shane Ramshaw
6 months ago

Taking 4 regular Infantry Battalions and calling them Special Forces, doesn’t make them Special Forces. I would like to see the details on that one.

John Clark
John Clark
6 months ago
Reply to  Shane Ramshaw

They aren’t calling this formation Special forces Shane.

The Ranger force will receive specific equipment and extra training to allow them to function as Elite troops, SF support and out of area rapid reaction force operations etc.

It’s going to take a few years to fine-tune this formation, initially using units copied and pasted “as is” , but eventually streaming (and transfering) new recruits with the right aptitude into the Rangers.

It’s going to take a few years, I would expect it’s probably going to be much like Parachute Regiment training, without
the jumping!

Shane Ramshaw
Shane Ramshaw
6 months ago

Greece is bankrupt, yet it can afford 8 times the number of MBT and 800 IFV. Likewise with the Italians. It’s a sad day indeed when we need to concede the British Army would more than likely get their asses whupped by the Greeks and Italians if they came to blows. I think we just need to concede our Armed Forces are pretty much for show these days rather than intended to actually achieve anything. I thought the Carriers were a great idea. The whole “force projection” thing. Yet, just what force are they going to project? And how? All… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago
Reply to  Shane Ramshaw

And all those Greek tanks would be wiped out with Brimstone 2 and Spear 3 from over 60-100 miles away. 4 F35’s could fire 32 weapons in one pass without compromising stealth. Weapons the Greeks or any of our potential enemy’s do not possess.

Shane Ramshaw
Shane Ramshaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay.

And the other 1170 tanks would stream roll our defensive positions with the aid of the 150+ MLRS and 400+ 155mm SP howitzers, as opposed to our 25 and 90 respectively. And Greece are anticipated to start delivery of their own F35’s next or most likely the year after. The truth of the matter is that if we had to, we would struggle to take on the Hellenic Army in a peer to peer conflict. The only thing that may save our bacon is the quality of the soldier behind the weapon. Additionally, my main point is that if poorer,… Read more »

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
6 months ago
Reply to  Shane Ramshaw

Because Greece doesn’t have Typhoon, F35, AWACS, P8, E7 coming, Voyager, C17, A400, Airseeker, Shadow, Reaper/Protector, Chinook, Puma, Apache, Wildcat, Merlin, T45, T23, T26, Astute class nuclear subs and a nuclear deterrent. Greece doesn’t have any of that world beating kit. But it comes at a price. In conflict, Greece would be told to stay at home, because they simply don’t have the capability, regardless of troop or tank numbers.

Graham
Graham
6 months ago

How do we need Space Command in 2021 whereas we did not need it in 2020? Is this just a vanity project for the RAF and which provides some senior officer posts? It sounds expensive. Are we just copying the Americans?

AJH
AJH
6 months ago

Why are we wasting money on “space”? Surely that sort of thing could be a joint NATO force rather than trying to copy the US. £6.6bn could have kept pretty much everything they’re planning on scrapping in that list

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  AJH

Space is critical infrastructure now. Nothing works without GPS and satcoms, the internet will be space-based soon. We need to protect it. Most is going on a launch capacity for small low earth orbit ‘cubesats’, an ISTAR spy sattelite constellation and Skynet 6 secure comms. Expect to see more in future.

Last edited 6 months ago by James Fennell
Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago
Reply to  AJH

Kit that we don’t need. Cyber will be crucial in keeping us safe in the future. Just look at the effect covid has had on our well being and economy. No number of tanks or Hawks could prevent what’s happened over the last year.

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago

I’ve finally managed to devine from the byzantine DCP that there will be £1,7bn / year for shipbuilding. So £6.2bn over next four years.

Pacman27
Pacman27
6 months ago
Reply to  James Fennell

£1.7bn pa is not enough for shipbuilding, especially given the volume of ships we need.

A conservative shipbuilding plan delivering 3 ships pa needs circa £4bn as the cost of Successor alone is down at £30bn or £3bn pa, that leaves £700m for all other vessels.

Just goes to show this is poorly scoped – by simply using the governments own figures. 8 T26 over the next 10 years is £9.6bn at the Government £1.2bn cost estimate…

I could go on

James Fennell
James Fennell
6 months ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I don’t think it includes sucessor

Paul Gray
Paul Gray
6 months ago

Cuts when world threats are growing? Madness Our position at the top table for decision making MUST be in question. The UK armed forces were nicknamed ‘the borrowers” by many, now I reckon the response to ‘please’ will be ‘Who are you again?’ With our main armament cut back, air force, and navy capabilities cut on a promise of better to come. A commitment to sending troops abroad for longer and to more obscure places. Less doing more with reduced logistics and air support. Does that work for anyone? Some vague notion that a ‘Ranger’ type unit will be scary… Read more »

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
6 months ago
Reply to  Paul Gray

Comments like just say that you don’t understand what’s been announced in the review, and the modern world we live in. It isn’t 1985 anymore. Cyber capabilities will have a much more important role to play in keeping us all safe then any number of tanks and old tech.

geoff
geoff
6 months ago

Mixed bag. So..

Escort Fleet will be reduced to 17 for at least five years.
We are committed to buying more than 48 F35’s!? 49?
The Army will be reduced in size to 72 500. This is not merely the lowest since 1715 but the lowest EVER when one measures by the proper yardstick-pro rata to population size.
Lowest ever front line aircraft numbers since the formation of the RAF!

Plusses..More nukes?? Is this a plus?
Tempest to proceed apace
What else??

Mike O
Mike O
6 months ago

Not a single word on the MRV-P. This project has so much potential for industry. It is also fundamental to the future of the army and not a single word. That is concerning.

Patrick
Patrick
6 months ago

Overall it could have been a lot worse due to the economic issues from covid. At least the Army is finally getting a 21st Century tank and 100,000 strong army can still be fielded with reserves.
The RAF definitely took the biggest hit. The T1 Typhoons will be around till 2025, gives the RAF a bit more time to justify their need.

RobW
RobW
6 months ago

A lot of negative comments. I wonder what would make the majority happy and what they would plan to cut elsewhere to pay for it.

Details of new equipment and capabilities will filter through for a while yet so lets see.

James H
James H
6 months ago
Reply to  RobW

Yes the obsolete needs to go but we are spreading the money over so much which has always been the problem leaves us with not enough of anything to be credible.
How many deployments can the army or air force really commit to now, what is the point of the carriers with so few planes.
We should have accepted what we could afford and made that the best we could instead of cuts to make token gestures.