The chairman of the independent review into Britain’s National Ship Building Strategy is advocating a ‘cheap and cheerful’ Royal Navy. However, Sir John Parker is unlikely to face action on the unsuitable ships he is proposing.
The Ministry of Defence recently allocated £7.6 million to a ‘soft kill’ active protection system for armoured vehicles, being tested by QinetiQ. This article examines the potential place of such capabilities within the armoured concepts outlined in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review.
Britain’s Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is toying with the idea of asking Parliament for permission to expand Britain’s campaign of airstrikes from Iraq into Syria. His impulse should be tempered with a sense of strategy.
It is reasonable to assume that there will be a real-terms increase in the defence budget now that the Conservatives have full control of the government. However, commitments to future military interventions are less certain.
A curious thing is happening in continental Europe: defence spending is rising. The United Kingdom may soon be among only a handful of nations with fewer resources for defence at a time of increasing commitments.
The Conservatives have historically touted themselves as the party to be trusted with the UK’s defence and foreign policy, arguments which were duly repeated during the current electoral campaign. However, in practice, their record may diverge from such claims.