24 November 2015

Military boys and their toys

The main features of the newly announced defence spending plans are as follows:

  • Two 5,000-strong "strike brigades" sourced from existing Army numbers and equipped to deploy across the globe
  • New F-35 jets and maritime patrol aircraft
  • A reduction in the number of new Type 26 anti-submarine warfare frigates being built, from 13 to eight
  • More than 20 new Protector drones, more than doubling the number of Reaper aircraft they replace

  • It is said that the new strike brigades will be created by 2025.  Why this process should take 10 years is not explained.  Imagine if, in early 1939, the Ministry of Defence had advised the government that they would not be in a position to resist Nazi Germany until 1949.

    Similarly, the F-35 jets for the new carriers will not be available until 2023, which means that the carriers will be sitting idle for years after they are commissioned in 2019 or 2020.

    Furthermore, given the perennial and chronic inability of MoD to meet deadlines, it may be optimistic to assume that these arrangements will actually be in place by 2025.

    And who knows what threats we will be facing in 2025?  None of the above is likely to provide direct prevention against terrorist attacks of the kind we have seen recently in Paris, in the Sinai or in Mali.


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