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

Old 6th Feb 2023, 23:17
  #981 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/l...rces-qmtw0npkv

Labour’s plans to overhaul armed forces

Britain should concentrate its armed forces in Europe instead of pursuing military expansionism in the Indo-Pacific, the shadow defence secretary will argue in a speech.

Labour would prioritise defending parts of the world “where the threats are greatest, not where the business opportunities lie”, in a sign that Sir Keir Starmer plans to abandon the Indo-Pacific tilt, the foreign policy strategy announced by Boris Johnson in 2021.

Setting out Starmer’s approach to defence in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute, John Healey will commit the party to a wholesale review of British defence policy in the first year of a Labour government.

Labour would scrap plans to shrink the overall size of the army to 72,500 troops, and implement a “stockpiles strategy” to put the UK on a war footing in response to warnings that at present troops would run out of ammunition in a matter of days in a Ukraine-style conflict with Russia.

Healey will also call on the government to concentrate British resources in Europe amid an agonised debate in Whitehall over the weakened state of the armed forces.

“The first priority for Britain’s Armed Forces must be where the threats are greatest, not where the business opportunities lie,” he is expected to say. “This is in the Nato area — Europe, the North Atlantic, Arctic. This is our primary obligation to our closest allies. After Ukraine, the US will rightly expect European allies to take on more responsibility for European security.”….


In a stark warning to the Treasury before next month’s budget, Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, condemned the “hollowing out” of the military after decades of underfunding as he said that the army was unable to field a warfighting division. To compound matters, a senior US general has recently warned Wallace that the British army is no longer considered a top fighting force, according to Sky News.

Healey is expected to say that Wallace’s statements are an “admission of failure over 13 years of Conservative government” and to call on the government to ensure that Britain remains Nato’s “leading European nation”.

He will say: “We need to shift parts of our defence industry and MoD procurement on to an urgent operational footing, both to support Ukraine for the long term and to replenish UK stocks for any future conflict.”
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 08:07
  #982 (permalink)  
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Sounds like Labour have had an attack of common-sense................
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 08:21
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
Sounds like Labour have had an attack of common-sense................
Undoubtedly. Despite the shenanigans of Labour's 'all things to all people' misgivings, the Tories have continuously screwed us over year on year based on company-led profiteering opposed to any strategic need for the UK and it's time it was rebalanced. That said, Defence and industry need to embed earlier in order to break down the mistrust of failing contracts and work more openly to a strategic capability delivery.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 08:52
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Originally Posted by ORAC
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/l...rces-qmtw0npkv

Labour’s plans to overhaul armed forces

Britain should concentrate its armed forces in Europe instead of pursuing military expansionism in the Indo-Pacific, the shadow defence secretary will argue in a speech.

Labour would prioritise defending parts of the world “where the threats are greatest, not where the business opportunities lie”, in a sign that Sir Keir Starmer plans to abandon the Indo-Pacific tilt, the foreign policy strategy announced by Boris Johnson in 2021.

Setting out Starmer’s approach to defence in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute, John Healey will commit the party to a wholesale review of British defence policy in the first year of a Labour government.

Labour would scrap plans to shrink the overall size of the army to 72,500 troops, and implement a “stockpiles strategy” to put the UK on a war footing in response to warnings that at present troops would run out of ammunition in a matter of days in a Ukraine-style conflict with Russia.

Healey will also call on the government to concentrate British resources in Europe amid an agonised debate in Whitehall over the weakened state of the armed forces.

“The first priority for Britain’s Armed Forces must be where the threats are greatest, not where the business opportunities lie,” he is expected to say. “This is in the Nato area — Europe, the North Atlantic, Arctic. This is our primary obligation to our closest allies. After Ukraine, the US will rightly expect European allies to take on more responsibility for European security.”….


In a stark warning to the Treasury before next month’s budget, Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, condemned the “hollowing out” of the military after decades of underfunding as he said that the army was unable to field a warfighting division. To compound matters, a senior US general has recently warned Wallace that the British army is no longer considered a top fighting force, according to Sky News.

Healey is expected to say that Wallace’s statements are an “admission of failure over 13 years of Conservative government” and to call on the government to ensure that Britain remains Nato’s “leading European nation”.

He will say: “We need to shift parts of our defence industry and MoD procurement on to an urgent operational footing, both to support Ukraine for the long term and to replenish UK stocks for any future conflict.”
Soundbite as opposed to strategy.

Wallace is already all over the stockpiles issue - something that originated with that nice Mr Brown and his refusing to uplift defence funding essentially for a decade while simultaneously conducting two operations at a scale and duration way above the assumptions in SDR98.

At no point does Healey (not necessarily a good name for an SoS) explain what he intends to do with the expanded army that he hints at - although doesn't actually explain what he means.

Believe these chimps at your peril.

Last edited by Not_a_boffin; 7th Feb 2023 at 14:27.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 09:01
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I seem to remember that last time we “ focused on Europe” we ended up fighting in the Falklands (ah well, that was a one off) and ten years later in the Gulf. I’d hoped we had learnt that you can’t really predict when armed force will be required.
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 12:47
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Originally Posted by Timelord
I seem to remember that last time we “ focused on Europe” we ended up fighting in the Falklands (ah well, that was a one off) and ten years later in the Gulf. I’d hoped we had learnt that you can’t really predict when armed force will be required.
TEN YEARS!!! Man - that's several political lifetimes..........................
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Old 7th Feb 2023, 18:05
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
TEN YEARS!!! Man - that's several political lifetimes..........................
The last time “we” focused on Europe was a policy announcement in the 1968 Defence White Paper!
Then, amazingly, 14 years later, Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands….

Then, 23 years later, came the Gulf War.

All because of a policy change in 1968 eh?

Who’d a thought it.
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Old 8th Feb 2023, 08:01
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Hey - I thought the Argentinians did pretty well to get themselves ready to invade in only 14 years. We've been trying to get a couple of dozen F-35's into the RAF for longer than that...................
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Old 8th Feb 2023, 11:08
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Originally Posted by pr00ne
The last time “we” focused on Europe was a policy announcement in the 1968 Defence White Paper!
Then, amazingly, 14 years later, Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands….

Then, 23 years later, came the Gulf War.

All because of a policy change in 1968 eh?

Who’d a thought it.
So adversarial!
My point was simply that in defence planning, expect the unexpected is a pretty good maxim.
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Old 8th Feb 2023, 15:19
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But how do you budget for it? All you can do is to make sure what you do spend is spent on flexible platforms and training
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Old 8th Feb 2023, 16:06
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Originally Posted by Timelord
So adversarial!
My point was simply that in defence planning, expect the unexpected is a pretty good maxim.
But that’s not what you said.
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Old 15th Feb 2023, 19:54
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Originally Posted by Timelord
So adversarial!
My point was simply that in defence planning, expect the unexpected is a pretty good maxim.
The whole of our defence structure has now been reduced to the point where all I suspect we an do is remember the old mantra 'When in danger or in doubt run in circles scream and shout'
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Old 16th Feb 2023, 15:20
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Originally Posted by Prangster
'When in danger or in doubt run in circles scream and shout'
Can’t do that, it might melt the snowflakes!

Mog
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Old 16th Feb 2023, 15:59
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So as we take the rail out of Wildenrath, kick the Civi's out of Laarbruch and move the refugees out of Bruggen, what are we going to do with the carriers? Sail down the Rhine and enjoy the fireworks and wine festival?



Maybe it is a cynical ploy, the smaller the patch we have to play in, the less boats etc we need

Until you have the infrastructure in place to actually build armaments again, we will be forever beholden to the whims of foreign powers, if and when we can use our military capability, something that has shown up how badly that can effect a countries ability of late.

It amases me that the likes of Turkey are fielding new home built designs and UAV designs by the dozen while the UK is still scratching around trying to patch up Hawks and not looking to the future types, and as for the new fighter, I hold my breath as to when that will ever fly.

https://www.defensehere.com/en/turke...the-first-time

And Embraer can bring out the likes of the C-390 when the UK hasn't produced a worthy design and put it into production probably going back to the Belfast

https://www.defensehere.com/en/embra...ero-india-2023

But al of those require the plants and infrastructure to produce them, and let's not even think about new tank designs.

.

Last edited by NutLoose; 16th Feb 2023 at 16:17.
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Old 21st Feb 2023, 16:11
  #995 (permalink)  
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https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/m...anks-gxmdfh65f

Ministry of Defence told to pay £1.4 billion for faulty Ajax tanks

The Ministry of Defence is facing mounting financial pressure ahead of the budget after being told it must pay £1.4 billion for the disastrous Ajax armoured vehicle programme…

The Ministry of Defence signed a £5.5 billion contract in 2014 with General Dynamics to deliver 589 light tanks. Wallace halted the payments two years ago after troops suffered hearing loss during trials of the armoured vehicles with some soldiers discharged from the army and paid compensation.

General Dynamics claims the noise and vibration problems have been resolved and wants payment to restart by the end of March. The American company is demanding £1.4 billion….


Soldiers are yet to receive a single working vehicle more than 13 years after the programme began. But despite speculation that Wallace could cancel the contract altogether, ministers are increasingly satisfied that noise and vibration problems have been fixed….

“Ajax is starting to get back on track,” a defence source said. “It has successfully passed its User Validation Trials and is a few weeks into its next stages. The Ministry of Defence has been firm with General Dynamics and the army to ensure we rectify any faults and also to ensure that both parties abide by the terms of the contract.”

However, Mark Francois, a former armed forces minister, said: “After ten years and over £4 billion of UK taxpayer’s money we still don’t have a single Ajax vehicle in front-line service. There is no way the company should be paid a further penny, unless and until they can guarantee a date on which Ajax would be completely safe to enter operational service. No firm date, no cash.”….

David Williams, the permanent secretary at the MoD, said ministers would shortly announce when Ajax would be delivered to soldiers. Appearing before the defence select committee, he said that the government would restart payments only once the date was announced.
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Old 22nd Feb 2023, 05:39
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Originally Posted by ORAC
he said that the government would restart payments only once the date was announced.
I hope he meant "achieved".
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Old 23rd Feb 2023, 21:21
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https://www.theguardian.com/politics...id-funding-row

Defence review at risk of delay amid funding row

Original review published in 2021 but Ukraine war demonstrates need for investment
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Old 24th Feb 2023, 07:24
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remarkably even handed for the Grauniad
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 07:49
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Today's Times says MoD will only get £ 5 Bn extra in the budget settlement
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 09:47
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/l...rces-qmtw0npkv

Labour’s plans to overhaul armed forces

Britain should concentrate its armed forces in Europe instead of pursuing military expansionism in the Indo-Pacific, the shadow defence secretary will argue in a speech.

Labour would prioritise defending parts of the world “where the threats are greatest, not where the business opportunities lie”, in a sign that Sir Keir Starmer plans to abandon the Indo-Pacific tilt, the foreign policy strategy announced by Boris Johnson in 2021.

Setting out Starmer’s approach to defence in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute, John Healey will commit the party to a wholesale review of British defence policy in the first year of a Labour government.

Labour would scrap plans to shrink the overall size of the army to 72,500 troops, and implement a “stockpiles strategy” to put the UK on a war footing in response to warnings that at present troops would run out of ammunition in a matter of days in a Ukraine-style conflict with Russia.

Healey will also call on the government to concentrate British resources in Europe amid an agonised debate in Whitehall over the weakened state of the armed forces.

“The first priority for Britain’s Armed Forces must be where the threats are greatest, not where the business opportunities lie,” he is expected to say. “This is in the Nato area — Europe, the North Atlantic, Arctic. This is our primary obligation to our closest allies. After Ukraine, the US will rightly expect European allies to take on more responsibility for European security.”….


In a stark warning to the Treasury before next month’s budget, Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, condemned the “hollowing out” of the military after decades of underfunding as he said that the army was unable to field a warfighting division. To compound matters, a senior US general has recently warned Wallace that the British army is no longer considered a top fighting force, according to Sky News.

Healey is expected to say that Wallace’s statements are an “admission of failure over 13 years of Conservative government” and to call on the government to ensure that Britain remains Nato’s “leading European nation”.

He will say: “We need to shift parts of our defence industry and MoD procurement on to an urgent operational footing, both to support Ukraine for the long term and to replenish UK stocks for any future conflict.”
So how does this sit with our treaty commitments under the Five Power Defence Agreement to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand?
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