Defence Review.UK w/c5th September 2022

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New Prime Minister Truss commits to additional £147 billion Defence spend over next 8 years

  •  Britain’s defence forces are at a historical low
  • Royal Navy needs more submarines & surface &,
  • Royal Air Force needs more F-35Bs, Typhoons, and tactical lift aircraft,
  • Army is short of everything; currently reducing another 9,500 troops to a total of 72,500.

In the Navy

  •  Officer suing Navy claims he’s victim of religious discrimination by being made to work on Trident
  • £3 billion aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales to return to dry dock indefinitely!
  • Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, hints future of Navy may depend more upon submarines than ships

Ukraine “Counter-Offensive”

  •  Ukrainians trying to isolate Russian forces from the city of Kherson
  • Signs that Ukrainians regaining the initiative in Donbas
  • But Autumn brings rains and mud rendering impassable hampering both sides
  • War will last through coming winter and well into 2023.

@peoplemattertv @509298

New Prime Minister Truss commits to additional £147 billion Defence spend over next 8 years

  • Britain’s defence forces are at a historical low
  • Royal Navy needs more submarines & surface &,
  • Royal Air Force needs more F-35Bs, Typhoons, and tactical lift aircraft,
  • Army is short of everything; currently reducing another 9,500 troops to a total of 72,500.

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, has committed her government to up Britain’s defence spending to 3% of GDP by 2030.

Currently the defence budget is just over 2.1%. According to the Royal United Services Institute in London this increase will equate to an additional £147 billion being spent on Britain’s defence over the next eight years, so it is a significant uplift.

And it is urgently needed. Britain’s defence forces are at a historical low level across all three services, and the main lesson from the Ukraine war is that numbers count. The Royal Navy needs more submarines and surface warships, the Royal Air Force needs more F-35Bs, Typhoons, and tactical lift aircraft, and the Army is short of just about everything; currently it is in the process of reducing by another 9,500 troops down to a total strength of just 72,500.

Years of poor leadership by politicians and military figures alike have led Britain to where it is, and Ukraine and to a lesser extent the Taiwan stand-off have been a wake up call. What is not clear yet, however, is where the money for such a dramatic rise in defence spending will be found. The broad options would seem to be either cuts in other public services (but which?) or an increase in taxation, or possibly both.

Meanwhile the signs are that the UK might be facing a snap General Election in 2023. No part relishes entering an election campaign on the promise of increasing taxation or cutting public services, so it will be interesting to see how Prime Minister Truss will square this particular circle.

@peoplemattertv @509298

Ukraine “Counter-Offensive”

  • Ukrainians trying to isolate Russian forces from the city of Kherson
  • Signs that Ukrainians regaining the initiative in Donbas
  • But Autumn brings rains and mud rendering impassable hampering both sides
  • War will last through coming winter and well into 2023.

 By the time you read this we’ll be over a week into the much acclaimed Kherson counteroffensive being implemented by Ukrainian forces against the Russian occupiers in that part of the south of the country. This military action has been telegraphed by the Ukrainians for weeks now, and many of us were waiting for it to start. Now apparently it has.

Progress appears to be slow, however, and it looks as if it won’t be that it won’t involve the open-terrain manoeuvre of columns of armoured fighting vehicles that some people may have been expecting. Instead we’re likely to see a slow, grinding ebb and flow of a battle with much use of artillery and long-range missiles. Ukraine still lacks the numbers, the training and experience, and, crucially, the air superiority to allow combined arms manoeuvre in the classic sense.

It’s pretty clear that the Ukrainians are trying to isolate and squeeze out the Russian forces occupying the city of Kherson itself, situated as it is on the west bank of the Dnipr river which separates them from friendly forces on the eastern side. From a tactical point of view, it would seem to make sense for the Russians to evacuate the city, drop the bridges connecting it to the eastern bank, and defend from the major river obstacle. But this may not be acceptable politically, as it would be seen as a major Ukrainian victory.

Elsewhere in the Donbas there are signs that the Ukrainians may be regaining the initiative and are increasingly on the front foot. But the same caveats about numbers, training, and air superiority apply here too. Autumn is fast approaching and with it the rains and mud which might render all non-metalled roads more or less impassable, hampering any war of manoeuvre further. It looks at the moment like the war will last through the coming winter and well into 2023.

In the Navy

  • Officer suing Navy claims he’s victim of religious discrimination by being made to work on Trident
  • £3 billion aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales to return to dry dock indefinitely!
  • Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, hints future of Navy may depend more upon submarines than ships

Last week saw two major events affecting Britain’s Royal Navy. On the good news front, HMS Anson, the fifth of the Navy’s Astute Class nuclear-powered attack submarines, was commissioned at Barrow-on- Furness. The latest of the planned seven submarines in the class, she cost over £1.4 billion and is one of the most advanced submarines of her type in the world. Armed with up to 38 Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes she is a welcome to the Royal Navy’s sub-surface fleet.

Interestingly, at the commissioning of HMS Anson the Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, hinted that the future of the Navy might depend more upon submarines than ships as he announced a review to assess the Royal Navy’s balance between its surface and sub-surface fleets. Amongst fears that modern high velocity anti-ship missiles make warships more vulnerable, he has asked the question whether the UK’s submarine inventory is big enough. The review is expected to take no longer that six months and may be part of a wider Spending Review examination of Britain’s defence posture.

Sticking with submarines, also of interest was the news that a Royal Navy officer was suing his employers after objecting to being assigned to the nuclear Trident missile armed HMS Vanguard. It appears that, on being posted to the submarine’s crew, he stated that he objected to nuclear weapons on religious grounds. Thereafter he claims he lost his security clearance, was removed from the submarine, and was forced to spend a year working onshore in Portsmouth after making his beliefs clear.

He has since resigned and launched legal action, taking the Ministry of Defence to a tribunal and claiming to be the victim of religious discrimination. We await the outcome with interest.

Back on the surface, however, there was not so good news about the Navy’s aircraft carried HMS Prince of Wales. No sooner had the £3 billion aircraft carrier set off from Portsmouth Naval Base for a voyage to the USA than it was forced to stop because of a mechanical issue. It appears that there are problems with the starboard propeller shaft which forced it to abort the trip.

It now looks like rectifying the problem may require the ship to return to dry dock at Rosyth in Scotland, and there is no indication yet how long such repairs may take. In a masterclass of understatement Admiral Sir Ben Key, the First Sea Lord said: “This is not at all what we would wish. It’s extremely unfortunate. It’s very disappointing.”