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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 20th Oct 2020, 08:19
  #441 (permalink)  
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https://www.defensenews.com/global/e...r-adversaries/

Britain unveils strategy to gain a technological advantage over adversaries

LONDON — British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced a new science and technology strategy aimed at competing with potential adversaries.

“We are in a very real race with our adversaries for technological advantage. What we do today will lay the groundwork for decades to come. Proliferation of new technologies demands our science and technology is threat-driven and better aligned to our needs in the future,” Wallace said Oct. 19 during a visit to the British Army’s Salisbury Plain training ground in the west of England ahead of a war-fighting experiment there.

The latest strategy launch comes weeks after the MoD rolled out a new integrated operational concept to shape how Britain adapts its future military effort to the changing security threat posed by the likes of China and Russia.

With the rollout of a defense and security review fast approaching, the MoD has been revealing busy some of the key supporting strategies that will likely underpin what is being touted as Britain’s most fundamental military shakeup in generations......

Future military development would focus on five emerging technology areas that have posed the most significant enduring capability challenge, according to the new S&T strategy document. Technology areas listed are:
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  • Pervasive, full-spectrum, multidomain intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.
  • Multidomain command and control, communications, and computers.
  • Improvement of the U.K.’s ability to compete against adversaries below the threshold of conventional conflict while addressing vulnerabilities, especially in the information environment.
  • Develop systems to target adversaries in new ways across all domains.
  • Generate affordable, survivable capabilities that can rapidly address evolving threats and can operate within a denied electromagnetic environment.
“They have been recognized as the key drivers for science and technology and research and development within the MoD," the document read. "The Department will continue to have an enduring requirement to maintain investment in science and technology capabilities and programs beyond these.”

The country noted it isn’t dismissing other equipment areas; it has also pledged to invest in the areas of cyberspace; chemical, biological and radiological technology; novel weapons; and system of systems integration.......
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 11:05
  #442 (permalink)  
 
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and system of systems integration.......
I recall about 20 years ago the DPA Executive Board approving the establishment of 'MoD Integration Authority'. DG (Finance) told me, proudly, that they'd uncovered this new thing called 'systems integration', and appointed a professor from outwith MoD and given him funding for 63 staff. I asked her if she realised that aircraft don't fly, ships don't sail, her kettle doesn't work, etc. without her new-fangled wheeze, and that her XB mandated a procedural Defence Standard on the subject in every aviation contract (the assumption being that nobody would be allowed to work in DPA without actually knowing what integration was). A few weeks later, and she was off to No. 10 to head up some financial department.

When this was explained to the good professor, he replied that as he was now the 'Authority', henceforth only he would be seen to approve such procedures, and they must bear his signature as author even though written long ago by a few of MoD(PE)'s most junior plebs. (I recall him being thoroughly confused between 'interface' and 'integrate'). I know of one consultancy that was handed a 6-month contract, the only output being to tell the IPT Leader what 'systems integration' was, and the pretty pictures had to be large, and in colour. He was then promoted to Brigadier, and became the Army's lead on integration. And still hadn't read the Def Stan. No, you couldn't make it up.
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 11:24
  #443 (permalink)  
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But its amazing how many people don't understand the term "environment" though, particularly the legal, regulation and political aspects.

IIRC the T91(?) radar was delivered with a trailer that had a turning circle which wasn't UK road legal.

So every time it had to go to a new site or detachment it was booked in for an MOT somewhere halfway, which made it legal to drive there. Each time it duly failed the MOT, and was allowed to drive to its new site.

When the time came to go home or relocate the exercise was repeated...

Last edited by ORAC; 20th Oct 2020 at 13:19.
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 11:57
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Actually that was probably cheaper than getting an exemption or changing the rules................
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Old 20th Oct 2020, 18:42
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Originally Posted by ORAC
But its amazing how many people don't understand the term "environment" though, particularly the legal, regulation and political aspects.

IIRC the T91(?) radar was delivered with a trailer that had a turning circle which wasn't UK road legal.

So every time it had to go to a new site or detachment it was booked in for an MOT somewhere halfway, which made it legal to drive there. Each time it duly failed the MOT, and was allowed to drive to its new site.

When the time came to go home or relocate the exercise was repeated...
I think it was the T91 ORAC ... back when we ran radar convoys with multiple sites and the exercise of transporting them across the country was fundamental to the capability. However, I am not sure it was the turning circle which was a problem, but the brakes. Certainly it was normal to see radar X off line for a 'rolling brake test'. I thought they must be the most tested brakes in the world until someone explained the reasoning! Oh and yes Asturias 56, it was much cheaper than fixing the actual problem!


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Old 21st Oct 2020, 16:36
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Today's Times has an article that Sunak is fighting to delay spending on" infrastructure and defence projects" in next months spending round.
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Old 21st Oct 2020, 16:38
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Looks like the review is now on the back-burner...
Sunak scraps three-year spending review to focus on Covid-19

In The Guardian:-
Rishi Sunak has cancelled the UK government’s three-year spending review for the rest of parliament to allow Treasury ministers more time to focus on coping with the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.The chancellor said he would set out a one-year spending plan that would focus entirely on dealing with the budgeting needs of departments and the devolved governments during the pandemic

The move is a blow to Boris Johnson’s ambition to reclaim the economic agenda with an upbeat outlook for the UK and the government’s investment plans once the coronavirus has been brought under control.

Officials at the Ministry of Defence are also understood to be disappointed after commitments from No 10 that the prime minister would back a long-term strategic plan for military investment.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 16:04
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They did exactly the same last year, replacing a three year spending review with a one year equivalent.

Lyneham Lad

The Chair of the Defence select committee tweeted earlier that he had just had a 1 to 1 with the PM and was reassured that the review is continuing as before.
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Old 22nd Oct 2020, 20:35
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Bearing in mind that UK GDP has collapsed. Is the Military budget going to get capped down to 2% of GDP ?
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Old 27th Oct 2020, 13:53
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Lengthy & interesting article in the Comment section of today's Times.
Attack of the drones shouldn’t kill off tanks

Intro:-
In 1932 Stanley Baldwin warned that “the bomber will always get through”. Mercifully, it was not so. The invention of radar and speedier fighters yielded victory in the Battle of Britain. But a new breed of bombers is arousing similar alarm. Over the past year cheap Turkish drones have mauled enemy tanks and weapons in Libya and Syria, smashing through Russian arms that cost ten times as much. “Even if half the claims are true, the implications are game-changing,” acknowledged Ben Wallace, Britain’s defence secretary, in July.

A war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian-held enclave, seems to support that case. By the end of last month independent estimates suggested that Azerbaijan had destroyed or disabled more than 160 Armenian tanks using a combination of inexpensive Turkish-made drones and Israeli-produced loitering munitions (essentially missiles that roam the battlefield). On one day this month Armenia and its proxy forces in Nagorno-Karabakh appear to have lost 50 armoured vehicles. These are staggering figures for a small country.

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Old 29th Oct 2020, 11:04
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RAF 'Personpower'

Heard a rumour that RAF may go down to 29,000 post Review.

(Not sure if I can say 'Manpower' these days!)
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 12:12
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Sounds more like a forecast than a deliberate action. Full time trained strength has been drifting ever-downwards for years, despite the targeted measures. Dipping below 29,000 by summer of next year is already baked into the manpower plan. Arguably the RAF would have been below 29k earlier this year, if the external job market had not taken a hit due to covid:

07/17 - 30,650
07/18 - 30,280
07/19 - 29,930
01/20 - 29,800
04/20 - 29,690
07/20 - 29,610

The hard statistics under this is the percentage leaving the RAF as Voluntary Outflow, rather than reaching the end of their current engagement. In the last year of statistics 64% of those leaving the RAF did so under VO terms. Only 25% of those leaving had managed to reach the end of their engagement. The missing 10% are for things like medical, disciplinary, changing service etc.

People are voting with their feet and review periods do little for stability - they tend to increase outflow.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 12:25
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Originally Posted by Just This Once...
Sounds more like a forecast than a deliberate action. Full time trained strength has been drifting ever-downwards for years, despite the targeted measures. Dipping below 29,000 by summer of next year is already baked into the manpower plan. Arguably the RAF would have been below 29k earlier this year, if the external job market had not taken a hit due to covid:

07/17 - 30,650
07/18 - 30,280
07/19 - 29,930
01/20 - 29,800
04/20 - 29,690
07/20 - 29,610

The hard statistics under this is the percentage leaving the RAF as Voluntary Outflow, rather than reaching the end of their current engagement. In the last year of statistics 64% of those leaving the RAF did so under VO terms. Only 25% of those leaving had managed to reach the end of their engagement. The missing 10% are for things like medical, disciplinary, changing service etc.

People are voting with their feet and review periods do little for stability - they tend to increase outflow.
The other thing to note is that, even for those leaving at the end of their engagement, this implies (for some) that they are choosing not to re-engage for longer. It's only people at retirement age that the RAF wouldn't keep on, so someone leaving at age 40 is choosing to do so.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 12:36
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Originally Posted by racedo
Bearing in mind that UK GDP has collapsed. Is the Military budget going to get capped down to 2% of GDP ?
It shouldn't. There's a double lock in play at present for defence spending - at least 2% of GDP but also a commitment that spending will rise by 0.5% above inflation at least for the next couple of years. The PM is on the record in the last couple of weeks as saying that the govt will maintain the 0.5% increase commitment.

Of course a degree of cynicism may be justified about the value of such commitments but the fact remains it would now be politically very difficult to backtrack on that, and apart from anything else the Tory back benches wouldn't wear it.

The main pressure may come from the need to incorporate additional fancy cyber commitments etc within the existing funding envelope, even allowing for a 0.5% increase. Some "legacy" elements will doubtless be sacrificed to enable that repackaging, the govt has already said as much. The question of course is what those will be.

There is also a problem in that there will now only be a one year spending programme instead of multi-year, due to Covid, which may act as a bit of a dead hand on the review outcome. The Times has reported that the PM and the Chancellor are currently at loggerheads over that.
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Old 29th Oct 2020, 13:49
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https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news...ry-of-defence/

I've just found the above snippet regarding Leuchars.

FB
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Old 31st Oct 2020, 10:31
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"Times" this morning saying Boris and the Chancellor at loggerheads over a 1 year v 3 year settlement for defence

Of course I don't think Boris can afford to lose his Chancellor whereas..................
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Old 31st Oct 2020, 11:07
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The full Monty...

Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson clash over defence cash

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Old 31st Oct 2020, 19:36
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Lyneham Lad, your link is hidden behind the Murdoch Paywall.......
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Old 31st Oct 2020, 21:47
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Originally Posted by pr00ne
And as for your snipe at the F3, it was NOT a fighter designed to mix it with Migs and Sukhois, it was a long range autonomous interceptor designed to loiter 400 miles off the UK coast at low level at night or in a snow storm and take out Regimental sized Backfire raids heading for the UK. NO other aircraft of the day, with the possible exception of the AIM-54 equipped F-14, came anywhere near meeting that requirement. It wasn't the fault of the F3 that the world changed in 1989.

The Americans had specifically requested the F3 be deployed during the beginning stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom, because it was more capable than anything they had in countering a High Fast Flyer threat, in the form of the Iraqi MiG-31 Foxhounds. More so than the F-14.

Just because the RAF tried to use the F.3 in a role for which it was not designed, as you say, does not mean it was an ineffective platform. It was amazing at doing the job that it was designed to do.
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Old 1st Nov 2020, 15:39
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Originally Posted by BEagle
Lyneham Lad, your link is hidden behind the Murdoch Paywall.......
Odd, they usually do work. Ah well, copy & paste it is then:-
Boris Johnson has told Rishi Sunak that he wants a £15 billion multi-year settlement for defence in a clash over the scale of spending to strengthen Britain’s place on the world stage after Brexit.

The prime minister met the chancellor on Tuesday to discuss the issue and has demanded he guarantee defence spending until 2025 to underpin a defence and security review.

Mr Sunak wants a one-year settlement for defence worth £1.9 billion as part of the spending review.


A source said: “The prime minister and Dom [Cummings, Mr Johnson’s adviser] think that the issue is pivotal to Britain’s place in the world after Brexit.”

Another source said Mr Cummings, who has worked intensively on the review, is “***ing furious” about the decision for a one-year settlement. He and Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, are pushing for a multi-year settlement.

A Whitehall source said that Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak were still “miles apart” after their meeting on Tuesday. A meeting between Mr Johnson, Mr Sunak and Mr Wallace scheduled for the following day was cancelled.

It leaves Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak with only weeks to resolve their differences on the issue before the comprehensive spending review on November 25. One government source raised concerns that the Treasury is attempting to “run down the clock”.

There are differences but it is not thought to be a “stand-up row”.

“That’s not how Rishi and Boris work,” a source said.

There are concerns that the review will be “pointless” without the funding to underpin it. Mr Wallace told a conference: “Our adversaries will not halt [in] the absence of our strategies, and the UK’s defence can never be paused in the face of financial uncertainty.”

The Ministry of Defence is facing a black hole of up to £13 billion in its ten-year budget for equipment. Defence chiefs believe urgent investment is needed in new technologies, including offensive cyberweapons, space capabilities, electronic warfare, swarming drones and stealth materials.

Analysts warn that without a cash injection agreed now for the early years of the sixth-generation “Tempest” fighter jet programme and the future nuclear warhead, the lifetime costs of these initiatives will soar and they could be delayed until the 2040s.

However, defence economists said that a four-year settlement of about £15 billion would help solve the most pressing financial concerns.

The government confirmed this month that it was replacing a planned multi-year spending review with a pared-back round next month that will give most Whitehall departments one year’s cash for day-to-day spending.

“In the current environment it’s essential that we provide certainty,” Mr Sunak said. “So we’ll be setting budgets for next year, with a total focus on tackling Covid and delivering our plan for jobs.” Funding for the NHS, priority infrastructure and schools are multi-year.

Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said that Mr Sunak was right to press for a one-year settlement. “Normally it makes sense to give departments the certainty of a three or even four-year settlement but not this time. We don’t know where the economy will be in a year’s time.”


The integrated review is central to Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit “Global Britain” vision (Lucy Fisher writes).

He is keen to avoid delaying the overhaul, which will flesh out the nation’s military presence “east of Suez” from next year.

Defence chiefs were left with underfunded, over-ambitious plans by the previous two reviews. The Ministry of Defence has a funding black hole of up to £13 billion in its ten-year kit plan, and deferring investment tends to push up lifetime costs. A degree of certainty, derived from a multi-year funding settlement, would let it grasp the nettle on cancelling some initiatives and press on with others.

In the shorter term, Britain risks falling behind in the global technological arms race. MI6, MI5 and GCHQ are calling for new software. Conventional military capabilities, which underpin the UK’s Nato contribution, also need updating. A multi-year settlement is needed to work out what cuts and new capabilities are required.

Modernising the military chimes with No 10’s plans to boost the science, space and technology industries, which underpin high-skilled jobs. The appeal of ticking off a manifesto pledge to modernise the armed forces is also obvious.

Yet the case for delay remains strong. With the deficit at £350 billion and the pandemic far from over, a multi-year settlement would be a painful promise for Rishi Sunak to make.

Coronavirus is also reshaping geopolitics. Until the dust settles the strategic context that should form the foundation of a review remains unclear.
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