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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

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UK Strategic Defence Review 2020 - get your bids in now ladies & gents

Old 26th Aug 2020, 06:36
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Originally Posted by Lyneham Lad
Is it not MRAF Stirrup, I thought he promoted on retirement?
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 08:13
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This mornings leak in the Times is that they are planning to cut the order for F-35's in half "maybe"

Expect the Navy to get their piece of Good News tomorrow...............
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 08:16
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ORAC has posted detail on the F35 thread - apparently we're moving from an "ambition" to buy 130+ " to "the lower end of expectations"
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 11:27
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For those who might be interested, a new job has appeared on the MOD website.

New Director of diversity and inclusion. In fact, the role is so 'mission critical' that the successful candidate will be paid at least £110,000.

Maybe they could be called political officers.
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 13:19
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Lord Dannatt in the Daily Telegraph today lays the blame for all this throwing conventional military posture out the window stuff already at Cummings' door step!?!?

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Old 26th Aug 2020, 16:41
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REALLY!!! ... wow , if he read this site more often he would have been forewarned

Well we know what the RAF won't be getting and we know what the Army are likely to lose - - eyes down for the Navy contribution.............
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Old 26th Aug 2020, 19:08
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
REALLY!!! ... wow , if he read this site more often he would have been forewarned

Well we know what the RAF won't be getting and we know what the Army are likely to lose - - eyes down for the Navy contribution.............
General Sir Richard Barrons apparently is favourably disposed toward this radical shift. The current service chiefs are broadly said to be driving things. Personally, I think we're becoming quite unique as a nation, given our military past. A comprehensive defence posture is not something which has either support or even understanding by many who will make the final decision, they all work in the Treasury apart from Wallace and Cummings. Those who think its all quite outrageous include, Col Richard Kemp and Lord Stirrup alongside Lord Dannatt.

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Old 26th Aug 2020, 19:39
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
REALLY!!! ... wow , if he read this site more often he would have been forewarned

Well we know what the RAF won't be getting and we know what the Army are likely to lose - - eyes down for the Navy contribution.............
Three T23, at least one class of MCMV and an LPD.
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 07:56
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Random Thought - how will the UK meet its commitment to the NATO 20% equipment target if it slashes current programmes across the board?
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 08:17
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 09:22
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Random Thought no.2 - IMO these briefings/leaks are happening for one of three reasons:
1,.These are what is proposed and individuals are trying to stop it - if so Cummings will be after them.
2. These are "worst possible case scenarios" and someone thinks like the Nott review they will turn out to be the proposals.
3. They are being released to make the actual proposals generate a sense of relief - my personal belief (or perhaps I am just indulging in wishful thinking).
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 11:25
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy
General Sir Richard Barrons apparently is favourably disposed toward this radical shift. The current service chiefs are broadly said to be driving things. Personally, I think we're becoming quite unique as a nation, given our military past. A comprehensive defence posture is not something which has either support or even understanding by many who will make the final decision, they all work in the Treasury apart from Wallace and Cummings. Those who think its all quite outrageous include, Col Richard Kemp and Lord Stirrup alongside Lord Dannatt.

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​​​​​​"General Sir Richard Barrons apparently is favourably disposed toward this radical shift."

"The current service chiefs are broadly said to be driving things.​​​​​​"

"..who will make the final decision, they all work in the Treasury..."


Finningley Boy,

Make your mind up!

You can't have it all ways...

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Old 27th Aug 2020, 12:27
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Excellent comments by the thinpinstripped line.

Usual comments about fixing the URL or doing a search.https://thinpinstripedline.blogsp*t .com/2020/08/tanks-for-nothing-british-army-and.html

Tanks For Nothing? The British Army and the Integrated Review

The Times has revealed that the MOD is considering plans to scrap or mothball the entirety of the British Army’s Challenger 2 force of main battle tanks and possibly its Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicles as well. These cuts form part of options under consideration for the current Defence Review, and if accepted would be arguably one of the most fundamental changes to the British Army in the last 100 years......

What is so interesting about this particular set of options is the scale of the changes under consideration though. Heavy Armour and mechanised infantry sits at the very heart of the Army psyche, and has done for decades. The challenge is that the force is getting a lot older, and the Army, bluntly, doesn’t seem particularly good at buying replacements for it in a timely manner. This has led to the perfect storm where delayed upgrades, descoped life extension programmes and a sense that ‘we can fix this in the next planning round’ has come home to roost in a big way. Suddenly the Army finds itself looking pretty exposed in defence review terms, as it pushes for the continued existence of the deployable division capability, but with a fairly challenging shopping list needed to properly deliver it.......

The biggest question has got to be, what is it that heavy armour offers the UK in a world of coalition operations and is it the right thing to offer? By this, what are the benefits accrued by the UK of maintaining an armoured force and could it be done differently?

We are an island nation, and by definition our armoured capability needs to be sent abroad to fight. This immediately means we must assume that any operation involving our armour is going to require allies prepared to host and support us, and give permission for military equipment to be used as a launch pad on their soil, or in defence of it. Is the UK realistically and credibly going to be in a position to want to take part in an invasion of a foreign nation in the near future? If the answer is yes, do we need heavy armour for this? Alternatively, if we are doing policing actions, could we look to get support from allies to contribute to our forces by providing the armour instead?

One of the intriguing comments in the article was around how UK staff are sounding out NATO partners about the impact of options like this on their perspective about the UK’s commitment to the Alliance.

Trying to get countries to commit to alliances and bring mutually complementary kit and capabilities is always a challenge. Everyone wants to have and send Special Forces or Gucci stuff, but trying to persuade nations to support with logs, infra, signals and cyber and so on is more difficult – the less glamour involved, the harder it is to get interest. If the UK took an intentional policy decision that in future it would step back from providing the teeth of a deployable division, but instead focused on funding the enabling assets (e.g. the Divisional HQ, comms, ISTAR, logs and so on) then it would arguably be in a credible position with NATO partners to offer itself as a valuable player – essentially asking those nations with armoured capability to deploy in return for the enabling services offered by UK forces........

Stepping away from fighting at the highest levels of land armoured warfare may be deemed a politically acceptable outcome. There is seemingly little appetite across Westminster to go and engage in lengthy ground wars in the Middle East, and any operations in the Asia Pacific region do not seem to lend themselves naturally to heavy armour. This leaves the NATO eastern frontier as the main area of risk, and the question is perhaps whether the British Army should resume the BAOR mantle, but further east, providing a strong deterrence capability to deter Russian aggression, or if instead this can be provided via other means (e.g. enhanced infantry, more artillery, and better close air support to name but a few).

Are Challenger 2 tanks and Warrior IFV’s going to deter Russia from attacking the Baltic? Probably not by themselves, but step away from that commitment and NATO as a whole is weakened. Perhaps what is needed is something like the old Berlin Brigade – a force expected to exist in order to be wiped out, and in the process prove a point of allied unity. A small force with limited but useful capabilities and intended to hold until wiped out.......

Are UK national security interests better served by choosing to invest money that could be spent on armour and instead sinking it into more cyber defence? Stepping away from physical security and into digital security will not be popular – it is hard to show on an ORBAT table the cumulative effect of good cyber security measures in the way that an armoured division can denote industrial and offensive capability. Much easier to rank nations on what they possess in terms of hardware, not their PCs and software.

Striking this balance is going to be essential – the spectre of high intensity armoured operations may be at the more unlikely end of conflicts that the UK will be involved in. But if we are, then the absence of armour will be sorely noted, particularly if this is a move to save money and not enhance spending in other areas.

But equally if we don’t spend money on all the enabling issues like updated artillery (as Jack Watling of the RUSI pointed out last year), or we don’t invest in sealift, logistics, comms and so on, then having the best heavy armour in the world is no good if it is open to destruction or cannot reach and be supported in its operational theatre.......


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Old 27th Aug 2020, 12:57
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Originally Posted by pr00ne
​​​​​​"General Sir Richard Barrons apparently is favourably disposed toward this radical shift."

"The current service chiefs are broadly said to be driving things.​​​​​​"

"..who will make the final decision, they all work in the Treasury..."


Finningley Boy,

Make your mind up!

You can't have it all ways...
pr00ne,

I'm putting together all the different snippets being reported, it does all sound a bit contradictory, I'll accept the service chiefs better judgement for sure, but I'm stunned, and not for reasons of tradition, that Sir Nick Carter and Sir Mark Carlton-Smith, were genuinely driving a policy of putting all armoured vehicles into 'deep storage' only to be relied upon in an emergency???? That sounds more like an ill-informed strand of thinking if ever there was. Who would, in an emergency, be available, and at least broadly competent, to maintain and operate the Challengers and Warriors if an emergency occurs two, three, four years into the future?

I therefore, prefer to believe the comments, albeit of retire senior officers, who have reservations about such a drastic and near unilateral conclusion, should it be so of course. Near unilateral because I understand that the Netherlands is the only other NATO country to go down a similar route. I wonder if simply being progressive as well as more cuts to defence funding are more the drivers behind this eureka moment.

Incidentally, I suspect you're not a great Cumming fan. Given that he's quite possibly behind some of this, how would you rate him now? I personally don't understand how or why he carries the amount of authority he appears to do. An unelected advisor surely shouldn't be anywhere near a review of this nature. I certainly don't think it is in his field or something he thinks of in any efficacious sense.

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Old 27th Aug 2020, 13:12
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Near unilateral because I understand that the Netherlands is the only other NATO country to go down a similar route.
Its what the USMC are doing, as possibly most similar in role to the UK army role as far as armour goes....

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...entire-service

https://www.stripes.com/news/marine-...m1a1s-1.639355
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Old 27th Aug 2020, 15:53
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Originally Posted by ORAC
Its what the USMC are doing, as possibly most similar in role to the UK army role as far as armour goes....

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...entire-service

https://www.stripes.com/news/marine-...m1a1s-1.639355
I've heard that too, but I don't agree with this idea that HM Forces these days combine to nothing more than the USMC and their remit. The Marines after all, are essentially an Infantry assault force. I understand they have lots of unlikely heavier complex weaponry, they have a bigger tactical air force by far than the RAF. However, along with the US Army, the armies of France and Germany, we're expected to contribute toward the defence of Central Europe, not carry out light assault operations alone s some kind of specialists. None of the afore mentioned are giving up their armoured force. And anyway, what is the point, as I asked, of mothballing all the armour with the pointless caveat, in case its needed in an emergency? In this instance we've already admitted we're not relying on armour or making any such contribution to NATO. To say we'll quick as a flash trundle the whole lot out in the event of an emergency, the very reason it exists in the first place, is bone headed nonsense. Again, who's going to man the armour? who's going to give it all a quick service first of all? Who is going to maintain it all in the field when there isn't a soul apart from some crusty old Sergeant, now on Apaches, who used to serve with the RTR?

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Old 27th Aug 2020, 19:24
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" An unelected advisor surely shouldn't be anywhere near a review of this nature."

Have you seen the people we elected last time round? Pritti? Williamson? Hancock, - and that's just the Tories.

In fact of course the generals and Sea lords aren't elected either, nor are the Civil Service. Problem seems to be that getting any meaningful agreement out of them all has proven almost impossible - we finish up with cutting a bit here, extending the time frame there and underestimating costs everywhere

Cummings is very very bright I understand and can be quite pleasant personally - he does CARE about the country - which is why he seems to think it needs some big changes. My personal issue with him is it's all very well to go around kicking everything over but I'm not sure he has a fully developed idea of what will replace the current structures - saying "it'll be alright on the night" doesn't hack it IMHO
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Old 28th Aug 2020, 07:26
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The best thing we can say I suppose is we live in interesting times. November will be most revealing! I expect.

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Old 28th Aug 2020, 16:29
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Originally Posted by Finningley Boy
The best thing we can say I suppose is we live in interesting times. November will be most revealing! I expect.

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Well now the great unwashed are heading back to London I expect the leaks and off the record briefings will start to snowball as well.............
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Old 28th Aug 2020, 18:05
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
Well now the great unwashed are heading back to London I expect the leaks and off the record briefings will start to snowball as well.............
And whatever the leaks say before the report is complete never mind made public, the Shadow Defence Secretary will accuse the Government of incompetence, waste, incoherence and so on.

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