Military Review

Reduction and savings. Prospects for the development of the British Armed Forces

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MBT Challenger 2 with upgrades for urban combat


Great Britain intends to maintain the high combat effectiveness of its armed forces, for which it implements modernization programs for all branches of the military. Some of the desired results have already been obtained, while others will only appear in the future. At the same time, some of the modernization programs provide for reductions, write-offs, etc. It is expected that as a result of all these processes, the armed forces will more fully meet modern requirements.

Improvement through reduction


Due to the regular cuts in the defense budget and other factors, the ground forces in the past decade have been regularly subjected to one or another reduction. So, in 2010, the total number of personnel reached 113 thousand people, and now there are slightly more than 79 thousand in the service. Also, various divisions and their material part fell under the reduction.

The Strategic Defense and Security Review 2015 set new goals for the modernization of the armed forces over the next 2015-5 years. The plans for the ground forces were compiled into the Army 10 Refine program. Most of its transformations were required to be completed by 2020, and some were postponed until 2020.


HMS Astute - the lead ship of the project of the same name

The plans provide for maintaining the size of the army at 82 thousand people. and a reserve of 35 thousand. Reconstruction of some of the connections is proposed. So, two motorized infantry brigades are converted into shock brigades with different equipment and other tasks. These or those transformations will affect ground units, army Aviation, logistics and management outlines.

Initially, the Army 2020 Refine plan provided for the maintenance of the main tanks Challenger 2 with resource extension. Now the army has approx. 230 of these machines, two-thirds of which are in line divisions. Now the issue of complete abandonment of tanks in favor of equipment of other classes is being worked out, which, as it is believed, will save on operation, as well as ensure an increase in combat capabilities when solving the proposed tasks.

It is noteworthy that plans to purchase new equipment will lead, at least, to a numerical reduction of the army. As part of Army 2020 Refine, they plan to purchase 589 vehicles of various types from the Ajax family. They are intended to replace the Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, some samples of the CVR (T) family and, possibly, the Challenger 2 tanks. It should be borne in mind that the Warriors alone have more than 760 units, and the Ajax cannot become a full-fledged replacement for them. numerically, not to mention the other technique.


Frigate HMS St Albans (F83) - the last ship "Type 23"

Naval successes


Development of the Royal Naval fleet on the whole is going according to plans, incl. taking into account the 2015 Review, a number of ships of the main classes are under construction, including strategic missile submarines and multipurpose nuclear submarines. There are also plans for surface ships of the main classes and are being implemented. Two aircraft carriers of the new project were built and commissioned; their aviation groups are being formed. Replacement of other ships is expected.

However, as it is now becoming clear, the modernization of the surface fleet faces significant problems. In the coming years, the KVMF intends to decommission the oldest Type 23 frigates, which were commissioned in the early nineties. In the future, this process will continue, and it is proposed to replace the old ships with modern ones. To replace the "Type 23", promising PLO frigates Type 26 (8 units) and Type 31 (5 hulls) are being built.

New ships turn out to be quite expensive - the Type 26 will cost £ 1bn ($ 1,3bn) and the Type 31 will cost £ 250m ($ 330m), so two series of 13 frigates will cost the Navy 9,25 billion pounds (more than 12 billion dollars) The lead ships of the two projects will be transferred to the KVMF in the coming years. Serial construction will stretch almost until the end of the decade.

Reduction and savings. Prospects for the development of the British Armed Forces

The expected appearance of the Type 26 frigate

In late August, the British press reported problems in the frigate building program. The possibility of premature write-off of the old Typ 23 is being considered with the transfer of the construction of the serial 26 and 31 to the right. Due to this, it is planned to reduce the costs of operating and building ships, which will redirect money to other programs. However, this result will be obtained at the cost of a sharp drop in combat effectiveness.

By accepting such proposals, the KVMF will reduce the number of ships in service, worsen its anti-submarine capabilities, and also complicate the organization of combat services. Such prospects look especially interesting in the context of the threat of Russian submarines, which the British command regularly talks about.

Air force problems


The RAF is also facing challenges of some sort. Their main plans are related to the purchase of F-35 fighters. In the coming years, the first formations using such equipment will reach their initial operational readiness. At the same time, due to financial restrictions, KVVS and KVMF buy the same equipment.


Multipurpose fighter Eurofighter Typhoon

Eurofighter Typhoon fighter-bombers will continue to operate until 2040. Now there are 160 such aircraft in service. According to the Strategic Review, by 2025 the number of squadrons for such equipment will be increased to seven and will be maintained at this level until the end of the operation of Typhoons. However, the fleet of such aircraft is already facing technical problems. According to various sources, no more than two-thirds of the fighters are in operational condition.

The situation with patrol aircraft looks optimistic and at the same time pessimistic. Since 2011, the KVVS were left without aircraft to search for submarines, which is why all the tasks of the ASW were assigned to the ships. In March 2020, KVVS received the first two Poseidon MRA1 (Boeing P-8) aircraft out of nine ordered. Thus, it becomes possible to resume patrolling, but the full restoration of patrol aircraft will take place only in a few years.

From negative to positive


In recent years, the British Armed Forces have faced various challenges and problems, as a result of which they acquired their current form - with all the advantages and disadvantages. One of the main difficulties was the constant reduction of the military budget. So, in 2010, approx. 45 billion pounds (almost 59 billion dollars), and by 2020, expenses fell to 39 billion pounds (about 50 billion dollars), although since 2015 they have remained at approximately the same level.


First F-35B for KVVS and KVMF of Great Britain

In such conditions, the army had to maintain the existing personnel and operate the available equipment, as well as conduct foreign operations, conduct exercises and implement programs with a reserve for the future. Naturally, some projects had to be sacrificed in favor of others. It was for these reasons that the tank fleet was reduced, the construction of ships was delayed, and patrol aircraft did not receive modern replacements.

Currently, a course has been taken to modernize the armed forces, and specific requirements are imposed on these processes. In fact, when drawing up plans, the Ministry of Defense is required to ensure a combination of high defense capabilities and a limited size of the army with the corresponding costs for its maintenance.

General plans for the development of the armed forces have already been drawn up, some of the programs are already being implemented. At the same time, the military department will have to determine the future of several important areas and launch new programs. The result of all these measures should be the formation of less numerous, differently equipped, but combat-ready and effective armed forces.

It is not yet clear when the UK will be able to overcome the accumulated problems of the past and ensure quality growth. As the events of recent years and well-known plans show, now and in the near future, we are mainly talking about reductions of one kind or another.
Author:
Photos used:
UK Department of Defense, BAE Systems
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  1. strannik1985
    strannik1985 15 September 2020 07: 12 New
    +3
    The funniest thing is that under the screams of a terrible, Russian threat, the British are actively reducing their Ground Forces.
    1. APASUS
      APASUS 15 September 2020 14: 09 New
      +1
      Quote: strannik1985
      The funniest thing is that under the screams of a terrible, Russian threat, the British are actively reducing their Ground Forces.

      So they are quite aware that they cannot defeat the Russians by military means. That is why the day is redistributed in favor of Tolikov Navalny, teleprojects (such as House 2), scribblers of various kinds (who praise the capture of the USSR by the Germans and offer to surrender), who are rewriting history. we have a new generation that will easily sell their country for a promise !!!
      Ukraine cost them only $ 5 billion
      Washington has spent $ 1991 billion since 5 to establish a "strong, democratic government" in Ukraine. This was stated by the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland in an interview with the American television company.

      So the game is worth the candle and not at all expensive
  2. Lara Croft
    Lara Croft 15 September 2020 07: 56 New
    +4
    In other major European NATO countries, things are much worse with combat readiness AT and B, take the same FRG ...
    It should be borne in mind that the Warriors alone have more than 760 units, and the Ajax cannot become a full-fledged replacement for them in numerical terms, not to mention other equipment.

    Of course they can, in the mid-80s and early 90s, the British famously and cheerfully re-equipped three armored divisions of the 1st AK (FRG) with the Challenger tanks and the Warrior BMP, the British armored industry is the most powerful in Western Europe and most its products are exported, fully covering the needs of the national Armed Forces ...
    plan to purchase 589 machines of various types from the Ajax family. They are intended to replace the Warrior BMP, some samples of the CVR (T) family and, possibly, Challenger 2 tanks.

    ... of course this is impossible ... the founders of tanks will not abandon them and new armored combat vehicles will never replace them, tk. this will be an incomplete replacement, currently there is a program for the troops to enter the updated version of the Challenger 2 tanks, they will become the basis of the armored fist of the British ground forces ...
    In the coming years, the KVMF is going to withdraw from service oldest frigates Type 23, commissioned in the early nineties.
    We can only dream of such "old" ships ...
    Ship program for the construction of frigates and destroyers URO, just at the beginning of its journey ...
    To replace the "Type 23", promising PLO frigates Type 26 (8 units) and Type 31 (5 hulls) are being built.

    In the best years of the Cold War, the British had 26 URO frigates, so the 13 newest URO frigates today, taking into account military technologies, is a good indicator ...
    Currently, a course has been taken to modernize the armed forces, and these processes are being presented specific requirements... In fact, when drawing up plans, the Ministry of Defense is required to ensure a combination of high defense capabilities and a limited size of the army with the corresponding costs for its maintenance.

    These are not specific requirements, these are the laws of economics, incl. military, do not overextend your economy with excessive military spending in peacetime ...
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 15 September 2020 18: 22 New
      +1
      Quote: Lara Croft
      We can only dream of such "old" ships ...

      laughing
      They and the brand new basic patrol aircraft are capable of using beer cans for the sake of "cutting costs"
    2. Sckepsis
      Sckepsis 20 September 2020 22: 31 New
      0

      armored industry of Great Britain is the most powerful in Western Europe

      Even 20 years ago, she was not suitable for German slippers, nowadays it is so easy for chickens to laugh.

      most of its products are exported

      What are you, and they exported a lot of their Challengers? And who did you get the ajax?
      1. Lara Croft
        Lara Croft 20 September 2020 22: 56 New
        0
        Quote: Sckepsis

        armored industry of Great Britain is the most powerful in Western Europe

        Even 20 years ago, she was not suitable for German slippers, nowadays it is so easy for chickens to laugh.

        Well, if it were not good, then the Bundeswehr would not have such a number of armored vehicles, incl. tank unusable ...
        Apparently you don't read periodicals in the military units of the NATO countries ... or you were banned in Google ...
        What are you, and they exported a lot of their Challengers?

        Not at all. As far as I know, they were delivered only to Oman. But you probably don't know, the British are not only releasing "Challengers" ...
        You are only right that most NATO countries and not only European ones are armed with German tanks ...
        However, it is the British "Centurions", "Chieftains", "Challengers", and not the "Leopards" that have more experience of combat operations in BV ...
        Before Israeli Jews had their Merkavs, it was British tanks that burned Soviet ones ... in almost all Arab-Israeli conflicts (until they were removed from service by the IDF) and precisely with British Challengers-2 (in the future with a German cannon, and now with the English) and American "Abrams", and not with the "Leopard-2" of the 6th OA of the ZVO of the RF Armed Forces (armed with T-72 of various modifications) will have to face in the Baltic States ...
  3. Alexey RA
    Alexey RA 15 September 2020 09: 29 New
    0
    At the same time, due to financial constraints, KVVS and KVMF buy the same equipment.

    Hmmm ... they were given such a discount that the cost of the F-35B KVVP became lower than the cost of the regular F-35A?
    1. Zementbomber
      Zementbomber 16 September 2020 11: 45 New
      0
      The author just wrote nonsense. F-35B buy by no means not for the sake of "unification" or "reduction of purchasing costs". There is simply no alternative to V-Lightning. Technically speaking.
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 16 September 2020 12: 21 New
        0
        Quote: Zementbomber
        The author just wrote nonsense. F-35B buy by no means not for the sake of "unification" or "reduction of purchasing costs". There is simply no alternative to V-Lightning. Technically speaking.

        The question is - why are F-35B (KVVP aircraft) bought for the ground air force? Wasn't it cheaper to buy regular F-35A for them?
        Or the British Air Force has phantom pains on Harriers and Falklands Syndrome: "Air Force equipment must also work from ships"? smile
        1. Zementbomber
          Zementbomber 16 September 2020 12: 46 New
          0
          So -35B-shki are only listed in the RAF squadrons. But these squadrons must work from the decks of the new aircraft carriers of the fleet. Purely an organizational moment - on the eve of WWII, there was also such a scheme. (I don't think it's smart - quite the opposite - but I'm just presenting a real picture) Well, + it is unprofitable and gemorno for the dough and the organization of logistics to have a department. training center for ISHA Navy, taking into account the limited fleet of aircraft carrier "Lightning".
          1. Alexey RA
            Alexey RA 16 September 2020 13: 43 New
            0
            Quote: Zementbomber
            So -35B-shki are only listed in the RAF squadrons. But these squadrons must work from the decks of the new aircraft carriers of the fleet.

            All 138 pieces? Well this is almost a double set of wartime.
            Partisan Bosniuk lived widely... © smile
            1. Zementbomber
              Zementbomber 16 September 2020 13: 52 New
              0
              48 actually. 138 is "both letters".
  4. The comment was deleted.
  5. Undecim
    Undecim 15 September 2020 12: 50 New
    +5
    The author writes: "Due to the regular cuts in the defense budget"
    That is, according to the author's version, Britain is constantly cutting its defense budget.
    The question is - do the British know about this?
    This is a table of British military spending over the past five years.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov 15 September 2020 18: 15 New
      0
      Quote: Undecim
      The question is - do the British know about this?

      Excellent observation.
      Increased costs while reducing the army. And all this accompanied by hysterical screams about the Russian military threat.
  6. Catfish
    Catfish 15 September 2020 14: 07 New
    +1
    "Rule Britain over the seas ..." - Everything is long in the past, no matter what "the prospects for the development of the armed forces have been outlined."
    1. Lexus
      Lexus 16 September 2020 02: 38 New
      +3
      Kostya, hello!hiNevertheless, their nominal GDP is 1,5 times higher than that of Russia.