Supplementary written evidence from the
Ministry of Defence |
STRATEGIC DEFENCE AND SECURITY REVIEW CAPABILITY
The SDSR announced a new set of Defence Planning
Assumptions, which envisage that the Armed Forces in the future
will be sized and shaped to conduct:
- an enduring stabilisation operation at around
brigade level (up to 6,500 personnel) with maritime and air support
as required, while also conducting;
- one non-enduring complex intervention (up to
2,000 personnel); and
- one non-enduring simple intervention (up to 1,000
- three non-enduring operations if we were not
already engaged in an enduring operation;
- for a limited time, and with sufficient warning,
committing all our effort to a one-off intervention of up to three
brigades, with maritime and air support (around 30,000, two-thirds
of the force deployed to Iraq in 2003).
The Forces available to deliver this include:
- Royal Navy: the deterrent;
a new carrier strike capability, routinely operating a mix of
aircraft including 12 Joint Strike Fighter fast jets; three Commando
specialist high readiness brigade and amphibious shipping which
can land and sustain up to 1,800 marines from the sea; 19 frigates
and destroyers, and maritime helicopters that can operate from
them; seven hunter-killer submarines; 14 mine countermeasure vessels;
ISTAR and logistic support vessels.
- Army: one specialist
high readiness brigade; five multi-role brigades (one at high
readiness) for intervention and stabilisation operations; a new
range of medium weight armoured vehicles including the Scout reconnaissance
vehicle and in due course the Future Rapid Effects System Utility
Vehicle; Precision Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System; Army
helicopters including Apache and Wildcat. A range of ISTAR capabilities
including Watchkeeper unmanned aerial vehicles; and a range of
capabilities to counter explosive ordinance and Improvised Explosive
- Royal Air Force: a
fast jet fleet of the most capable combat aircraft based around
Typhoon and Joint Strike Fighters, armed with a range of sophisticated
air launched weapons including the Storm Shadow cruise missile;
a modernised transport and tanker fleet based on C-17, A400M and
A330; support helicopters including Chinook, Merlin and Puma;
a range of manned and unmanned aircraft for ISTAR tasks; and RAF
Regiment Force Protection squadrons at high readiness to protect
deployed aircraft and personnel in hostile areas.
- Service Manpower: by
2015, the Royal Navy will have c.30,000 personnel, the Army will
have c.95,000 personnel and the Royal Air Force will have c.33,000
1. The Deployed Force: The
Deployed Force consists of those forces engaged on operations.
Today, this includes the forces deployed in Afghanistan from the
High Readiness Force. It also includes those forces which conduct
permanent operations essential to our security. These include,
for example, the aircraft providing UK air defence, our maritime
presence in the South Atlantic and the nuclear deterrent.
2. The High Readiness Force: The
High Readiness Force allows us to react rapidly to crises. This
could include the UK's contribution to a multinational operation.
But the forces are held principally to allow us to respond to
scenarios in which we act alone to protect our national security
interests, for example to conduct hostage rescue or counter-terrorism
operations. The force includes a balanced range of highly capable
land, air and maritime capabilities able to meet our Defence Planning
3. The Lower Readiness Force: The
Lower Readiness Force includes those forces recently returned
from operations which are focused on recovery and those preparing
to enter a period of high readiness. These forces support enduring
operations and can provide additional flexibility, including where
we have discretion over the scale or duration of our contribution
to multinational operations.
ON MPR PROJECTS
Astute: The Submarine
Enterprise Efficiency Programme will improve commercial arrangements
and efficiency across the whole submarine construction programme,
including Astute, over the next decade, delivering substantial
savings. The numbers of Astute submarines remains unchanged.
Joint Strike Fighter:
We have decided to change JSF variant from the Short Take Off
Vertical Landing model to the Carrier Variant. We will plan for
up to twelve of these aircraft to be routinely embarked on the
future carrier at any one time.
Future Carrier: We will
complete the construction of the Future carriers (CVF) but will
plan to operate only one. CVF will be fitted with catapults and
arresting gear, delaying the in service date from 2016 to 2020.
Tornado GR4: A reduced
Tornado GR4 fleet will be retained, and the commitment to Op HERRICK
will be maintained.
Nimrod MRA4: The Programme
has been deleted.
Airborne STandOff Radar (ASTOR): The
ASTOR system and the Sentinel aircraft which carries it will be
withdrawn from service once no longer required for Operations
The above capability and programme changes form part
of the agreed SDSR package and are being taken forward as part
of the Planning Round. It is possible that the precise terms of
the measures will change during the formal costing process. The
SDSR announcement included no other measures with direct impact
on MPR programmes, although additional measures will be raised
during the remainder of the Planning Round in order to meet the
savings targets set in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR)
and these may include additional impacts on MPR projects.