Army shrinks to its smallest size since the 18th century as £ 23bn invested in technology as part of new defense plans UK news
The size of the British Army will be reduced to 72,500 employees and the RAF’s air cargo and personnel transports will be drastically reduced as part of the largest overhaul of the armed forces in decades.
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace plans to shrink the army to its smallest size since the 18th century, but reorganize it to meet modern threats and be equipped with new technology.
A newly created special unit called Rangersis regularly deployed to embed itself with foreign military personnel to prevent conflict, and a new brigade to support the security forces is established to train international partners.
A total of £ 23 billion will be invested in army technology, including upgrades to the Challenger tank and boxer armored combat vehicles.
Money is also spent on small surveillance drones, cyberspace technology, and electronic warfare.
In the preface to the report, Mr. Wallace wrote: “We have placed at the center of this Defense Command Paper a mission to seek and understand future threats and invest in the skills to defeat them.
“Those of us in government charged with protecting and defending have a duty to enter new domains and continue to invest in traditional ones, but always adapt to the threat.
“History shows us again and again that disregarding irrelevance and defeat harbors the danger.
“When the threat changes, we need to change and think clearly about what skills we are retiring, why we are doing so, and how they are being replaced.”
Speaking to MPs in the House of Commons, Wallace said the Army’s “enhanced operational capability and technological advantage” means “fewer people can make a greater impact.”
“I have therefore decided to reduce the size of the army from the current 76,500 trade-trained employees to 72,500 by 2025,” he said.
“The army has not reached the established strength of 82,000 since the middle of the last decade.
“These changes do not require layoffs and we want to build on the work already done to use our reserves to ensure that the entire force is more integrated and more productive.”
He told MPs not to play “Top Trumps” with Force numbers, adding, “There’s no point in boasting about the number of regiments sent to war in hijacked Land Rovers, or simply count the number of tanks as our opponents develop new ways to defeat them. “
:: Subscribe to Into The Gray Zone’s Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
The entire RAF C-130 Hercules fleet will be retired in 2023 and nine Chinook and 20 Puma helicopters will be decommissioned without replacement.
In addition, the Second Battalion of the Mercian Regiment is merged with the First Battalion.
The Defense Minister said “no major deletions of additional units will be necessary”.
Robert Clark, defense researcher at the Henry Jackson Society, said: “The reduction in the British Army to 72,500 staff by 2025, coupled with the cuts in the Army’s nondescript but essential workhorses in terms of air and medium-lift logistics capabilities, is leading Serious Consequences Questions how the army will be able to meet EU commitments Integrated review. “
He added, “The decisions by Puma and Chinook in particular could undermine the Integrated Review’s vision for a more advanced British military presence.”
The Defense Command Paper has confirmed the UK will buy more than the 48 F-35 stealth fighter jets it already has, but has not given a number.
Two billion pounds will be invested in the development of a successor aircraft that will include manned and unmanned aircraft as well as swarm drones.
Two of the Royal Navy’s oldest frigates will be retired over the next 24 months, bringing the number of frigates and destroyers to 17 for a short time.
Former Chief of Staff Lord Dannatt welcomed the review cautiously. He said, “There is good news as well as some related to things.
“Money is moving the right way, but we also need to recognize that threats must change and the armed forces must change to accommodate those changes.”