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Author Topic: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?  (Read 19537 times)

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #105 on: February 05, 2018, 07:34:17 am »
True, but last October the MOD was trying to shrug off such claims as "pure speculation". Of course until the review is published this summer it still is speculation, but it is the most likely headline axe to save expenditure.
This 'new' review (new in that its been hived off from the National Security Capability Review) announced by the relatively new Minister, Gavin Williamson, is labelled the Defence Modernisation Programme and seems to be couched in non-cutting speak but its hard to see a way out other than some form of cuts to make ends meet.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #106 on: February 05, 2018, 07:58:12 am »
It's important to understand the process. What was happening last year was the department trying to match its programmatic spending with its top-line spending allocation. To do that a range of options was developed- most of which included removing a significant chunk of amphibious capability. However, no final decision was made so the MoD could (just about) rightly claim that no decision had been made and it was just speculation. Without a revised spending settlement the new review just kicks the can a few months down the road. 

the role of the parliamentary defence select committee is interesting in all this, between that and the NAO the MoD is getting a level of scrutiny it hasn't seen for some time. It doesn't change the fundamentals of a treasury set budget but it is a chink of light in the darkness.

Offline Foo Fighter

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #107 on: February 07, 2018, 12:56:08 am »
There are a lot of areas where spending is being reviewed and probably the biggest winner will be cyber warfare, the traditional aspects of conflict seem to be vulnerable.  When for instance, aircraft carriers are having to wait years for a complete air wing and are restricted in ability due to overly conflicting financial interest you have a scenario where the military are already on the point of being toothless.  One example among many and I do not think those carriers are the sole harbingers of defence capability being reduced too far.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #108 on: April 18, 2018, 05:10:27 am »
The armed forces are still short of manpower. The National Audit Office has identified 102 trades that do not have enough trained regulars to carry out operational tasks. Most of these were in; engineering, intelligence, logistics, pilots, communications and medical. For example, 2,400 engineers (the largest shortfall being Royal Navy weapons technicians), 700 intelligence analysts and 800 pilots.
The NAO are critical that all three armed forces have separate intelligence organisations, especially when they are also competing for analysts against other government agencies and private companies.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/18/armed-forces-facing-biggest-shortfall-in-staff-for-a-decade-report

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #109 on: May 14, 2018, 02:33:48 am »
Some mixed news for UK defence spending.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson has approved £2.5bn for the UK’s submarine programme, including a £1.6bn contract for the last Astute Class (HMS Agincourt) and other contracts worth £906m for the next phase of the Dreadnought programme covering the next 12 months.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/14/defence-secretary-gives-go-ahead-for-25bn-spend-on-submarines

On the other hand just last week the Public Accounts Committee warned that the MOD “simply does not have enough money to buy all the equipment it says it needs” and accused it of not being clear with politicians or the public about the financial risks.
The PAC inquiry's most conservative estimate of the funding gap is £4.9bn, rising to a worst-case scenario of £20.8bn more than the 10-year £179.7bn equipment budget. The PAC’s 2017 review had found a budget shortfall of £7bn.
Some of the increase is due to Dreadnought costs being brought forward but the PAC also noted that the MOD had not included the Type 31 frigate in the original spending plan, plus another £9.6bn of "additional costs", although the MOD were unable to say where they were.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/11/mod-faces-21bn-budget-shortfall-warns-spending-watchdog

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to BAE Systems' Govan site last Friday called for navy shipbuilding contracts to remain in the UK and that the contract for three new RFA ships should remain in the UK. He has come under fire from the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) for making the speech in Glasgow when BAE's yards at Govan and Scotstoun are already at capacity and so isn't tendering for the ships, instead of at Rosyth where  Babcock Marine is making a bid. (In any case the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had also made the same mistake and Govan is her constituency!)
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2629915/jeremy-corbyn-glasgow-shipyards-mocked-snp/

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #110 on: May 17, 2018, 01:02:09 am »
The Defence Committee inquiry into amphibious forces published their report in February 2018 and concluded that reductions to the amphibious fleet would be “militarily illiterate” and “totally at odds with strategic reality”.  It emphasised that the specialist nature of amphibious capability and that cutting it would end its status as one of the UK’s leading strategic assets. The Committee also concluded from the evidence obtained that that amphibious operations require specially configured warships manned by amphibious specialists and that not doing so would expose the vessels and the personnel to an unreasonable level of operational risk.
At the moment however, the government is sticking firmly to the line that the carriers can take on the role.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/queen-elizabeth-class-aircraft-carriers-cannot-take-the-place-of-specialised-amphibious-vessels-say-defence-committe/