agreed gtx the UK is just to small for a major war against let,s say china but it still has great stuff and a fairly good military for small wars.
The problem is that small wars are no longer simple affairs. In the Red Sea debacle, you have novel threats which are currently unmatched in Western arsenals. That’s not to suggest that small anti-ship ballistic missiles and cheap prop driven “cruise missiles” are especially effective or worthy of emulation, just that a “near peer” level of capability might be needed any operation, no matter how small. Sierra Leone in 1998 was a low risk endeavor. In 2028 or 2038, a similar humanitarian intervention might require naval escorts against USV, UUV, drone and missile threats and forces ashore would need C-RAM and C-UAV protection.

It also goes without saying that small wars can build public confidence in armed forces. But it’s very much a double edged sword. I think we can all agree that the 2010 Defence Review wouldn’t have been nearly as severe if the “small wars” ongoing at the time hadn’t been so very “controversial,” to use a very diplomatic term for the public mood at the time.
that is true but still having a larger force is always good to have
Not if you can't get them trained to your appropriate standards.

I mean, it takes the US 2 years to get a modern infantryman from boot camp to ready for first combat deployment. Most of 1 year just to get the individual up to "ready to go to a combat unit" and most of the second year to get the unit ready for combat.
David TC Davies, MP for Monmouth, said the explosion occured "in a remote part of the site that had been set aside to take apart shells".

"I am told there is always a small risk involved in this particular operation, which is exactly why it is carried out with remote control in a restricted area of the site. There were no risks to any members of the public," he added.
Crossing over from the QE-class discussion.

I can make a case for the UK to buy on the order of 90x V22 Ospreys. Totally replacing the Merlins 1:1, and about 20 more for extra missions not currently done at all.

RAF has a stated need for about 12 for CSAR, they've been farming that out to the USAF PJs. The need is for 8 aircraft, based on availability you need 12 Ospreys to have 8 available for use at a moment's notice. IMO, every nation should have their own CSAR community, it's part of the cost of being a nation. But I don't see Treasury coughing up money for it until there's an event where USAF was not available at all or at least in time to get the British troops/individuals out alive, and now there's a huge public outcry about how the Government is not able to protect its subjects abroad.

Ospreys are the same size as Merlins, so it'd be a 1-for-1 replacement there. 44x ASW/AEW plus 28x for Commando transport makes 72x airframes. Add 6-8x Ospreys as COD (~2-3 per carrier plus reserves), that's the other mission not currently being done.

No Ospreys to replace Chinooks, Chinooks are bigger and carry more weight. You'd need a completely different craft for that job, either a quad rotor tiltrotor or an H47G/H53K class helicopter.

Yes, this would be screamingly expensive and Treasury would have conniptions. It's also not likely to happen for 15-20 years, when it's time to replace the Merlins anyways. Barring an early event to pry money out of Treasury, of course.

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