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US Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan discussed a variety of issues in a phone call with Harriett Baldwin, Under Secretary of State for Defence Procurement.

According to a statement issued by the Department of Defense:

“The leaders discussed defense issues, including NATO, bilateral exercises, changing technologies and procurement innovation. They also spoke about the restructure of the Department of Defense’s acquisition, technology, and logistics and chief management officer organisations.”

Shanahan reportedly lauded the value of the close US-UK security partnership and he noted that bilateral capability cooperation will be instrumental in enabling their forces to better confront current and emerging threats.

In addition, Shanahan conveyed the high value the US places on British investment in strong defence capabilities, including its two aircraft carriers and F-35B aircraft.

The two leaders agreed to maintain regular dialogue on shared security interests and the bilateral defence agenda, she added.

9 COMMENTS

  1. In other words, the US reminded the UK MOD of it’s obligation to spend atleast 2% of GDP on defence amid rumours of yet more significant cuts to the UK’s defence budget.

  2. Be interested to see the ‘review of the (defence) review’. The UK has recently placed a $1billion order for over 2700 US Joint Light Tactical vehicles. Is this a sign of things to come? Can the US ‘help’ the MOD to spend our defence budget and get better value for money by buying US kit?

    • Works for me Paul – right now we are getting a terrible ROI for our money. Throw in some industrial share ref. prior Apache deal and I think we would get more bang for our buck – no pun intended :-).

      • The question was rhetorical of course. The work share element would for me be a must have. As would sovereign skills in key technologies. The Aussies are insist on their radar for RAN frigates for example. When I think misty eyed of Vulcan, EE Lightning, Buccaneer and TSR2 it kind of sucks from the point of view of national self esteem but we have to be realistic. I am hoping the defence review- review is the US suggesting how we might dovetail into US forces ( and world view?) and by the way there are some good deals in it for you if you go with our suggestions.

  3. Can the US ‘help’ the MOD to spend our defence budget and get better value for money by buying US kit?

    In a word Paul, yes, I used to be an absolute defender of buy British with regards to Defence, but now our Military branches have shrunk to a point were it just doesn’t make any sense.

    So much money is spent designing and procuring relatively small numbers of equipment, that has to be subsequently upgraded after only 10 years of service due to obsolescence encroachment at enormous cost (Merlin for one), the UK tax payer has to foot the full cost

    We end up with admittedly superb equipment that sucks the defense budget dry and rarely reaches its full potential due to the stretched finances.

    Procuring systems like the AH64E and the P8 off the shelf is absolutely the right thing to do for our country today ….. I don’t have to like it mind you…!

    • I would like to see a 3rd party scrutinize the entire structure of our Army, Air force and Navy and then give recommendations on restructuring. I think we are long overdue a revolutionary change and need to be more like the US Marines corp, there also needs to be a massive cull of the top brass aswell as the army of civil servants.

      • There needs to be open competition between ship designs and then built by competing ship yards.

        The ships would be ordered and built as part of a National Ship Building Strategy which sets out timescales for when ships are built, delivered, decommissioned, sold / scrapped.

        Steel makers would have years notice of what steel types will be required. Weapons system’s life cycles would also be factored into the National Ship Building Strategy so we avoid the lack of a Harpoon replacement situation again.

        Older ships could be used for fisheries and securing our borders where possible.

        Similar strategies could be employed for the Army and Airforce.

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