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  • UK Defence spending boost

    Notwithstanding that UK debt to GDP is now above 100% and rising with a current account deficit of £21.1bln in the first quarter of 2020 Boris Johnson's Government has decided to splash out on defence spending as this will apparently "extend British influence." Johnson says he wishes to make the UK the 'foremost naval power in Europe', a laudible aim no doubt.

    So how much? £16.5bn in the next four years. This is on top of the Government's pledge to keep defence spending at 0.5% ahead of inflation (currently at 0.7%) during the life of this Government.

    "He said the government would seek to "develop the next generation of warships, including multi-role research vessels and Type 32 frigates".

    Mr Johnson also outlined plans to focus the expanded defence budget on "technologies that will revolutionise warfare", such as "directed energy weapons" that employ "inexhaustible lasers".

    He told MPs of a £1.5bn investment in military research and development, a new centre dedicated to Artificial Intelligence and a new RAF Space Command that will launch British satellites and "our first rocket from Scotland in 2022".

    https://news.sky.com/story/boris-joh...udget-12136302


    UK Defence projects have a history of coming in late and overpriced... the two new carriers were originally cost at £3.5bln and came in at over £6bln.

  • #2
    Originally posted by snapper View Post
    in the first quarter of 2020 Boris Johnson's Government has decided to splash out on defence spending as this will apparently "extend British influence." Johnson says he wishes to make the UK the 'foremost naval power in Europe', a laudible aim no doubt.

    So how much? £16.5bn in the next four years. This is on top of the Government's pledge to keep defence spending at 0.5% ahead of inflation (currently at 0.7%) during the life of this Government.

    "He said the government would seek to "develop the next generation of warships, including multi-role research vessels and Type 32 frigates".

    Mr Johnson also outlined plans to focus the expanded defence budget on "technologies that will revolutionise warfare", such as "directed energy weapons" that employ "inexhaustible lasers".
    What is the motivation here ? UK already spends the required 2%+ of GDP on defense

    Keeping up with the times so latest & greatest ? or is there something else

    What is the threat perception

    Originally posted by snapper View Post
    UK Defence projects have a history of coming in late and overpriced... the two new carriers were originally cost at £3.5bln and came in at over £6bln.
    I think this impression exists around the world too for any defense project

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
      What is the motivation here ? UK already spends the required 2%+ of GDP on defense

      Keeping up with the times so latest & greatest ? or is there something else

      What is the threat perception
      Independence. The UK and France still needs to project power around the globe. Only three powers can ship a brigade to every continent on earth: the US, the UK, France. All 3 powers need such capabilites not necessarily to fight wars but to scare the other side into backing down.

      Chimo

      Comment


      • #4
        I can see the argument for France to do so as they have overseas territories and in the Indian Ocean. They sense China wants to push them out of Caledonia.

        But what argument is there for the UK to project power over and above what they do currently ?

        Note that i'm not in the slightest bit against, mind you

        For a change I've always wanted a UK that would get out of the Euro backyard they seemed to have relegated themselves for the past few decades.

        Notwithstanding that UK debt to GDP is now above 100% and rising with a current account deficit of £21.1bln in the first quarter of 2020 Boris Johnson's Government has decided to splash out on defence spending as this will apparently "extend British influence." Johnson says he wishes to make the UK the 'foremost naval power in Europe', a laudible aim no doubt.
        Almost a hint of sarcasm in snappers opener here.
        Last edited by Double Edge; 20 Nov 20,, 22:47.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
          But what argument is there for the UK to project power over and above what they do currently ?
          1961 Kuwait. Falklands War. Kuwait War. Iraq War.
          Chimo

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by snapper View Post
            UK Defence projects have a history of coming in late and overpriced... the two new carriers were originally cost at £3.5bln and came in at over £6bln.
            Seems like an Indian defence project.
            Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Oracle View Post
              Seems like an Indian defence project.
              Big difference. Countries like India and Canada got to beg, borrow, steal for even $100K over budget. The Americans didn't even blinked for $100mil over budget.

              Chimo

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                What is the motivation here ? UK already spends the required 2%+ of GDP on defense

                Keeping up with the times so latest & greatest ? or is there something else

                What is the threat perception

                I am not sure anyone can exactly say what specific single motivation causes a Government to spend in this way. Generally it is conglomeration of issues rather than a single cause that lead to such policy decisions. Doubtless the Defence Secretary will claim some credit; the Government may hope that such an investment will act as an economic stimulus in the post Covid economic doldrums; with the UK leaving the EU on January 1st that particular vehicle for "extend British influence" will close and perhaps the increased military clout is seen as a partial replacement for that. I find it ironic that this increase and the bluster about British naval power is expressed in a European context; the 'foremost naval power in Europe' when the same Government is hell bent on diminishing British European influence via the EU. Again arguably if they plan to operate both the new carriers in conjunction (ie at the same time) then further naval escort/support vessels would be useful if the regular Black Sea/Mediterranean/Atlantic tours are also to be maintained... There are 101 possible 'motivations' and without being in on the decision process nobody can say which occured to the Ministers who decided this.

                I have long argued for the maintenance of the RN, not just as a military measure but as an 'influence spreader'. The RN still has added prestige around the world as you can see whenever a British destroyer pulls into Odessa for instance (the last being HMS Dragon last October). I know it may seem small in the greater geo political framework of keeping the world oceans open for trade but to see a RN ship in Odessa is a tangible and real support to Ukraine and as such it is a big deal. It's not that the RN has to do anything as such... there are usually some training operations etc with Ukrainian and Romanian vessels, but just seeing the physical presence of the much lauded RN, an ally, passing through disputed waters to a Ukrainian port has an enournous moral impact. I note that UK - Ukraine free trade deal is under discussion and while the RNs partnership with the Ukrainian Navy (such as it is) and regular presence in the Black Sea cannot be said to pivotal in this regard it certainly does not hurt the fostering of such commercial ties.


                Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                I think this impression exists around the world too for any defense project
                As regards other UK defence projects that have been mis-handled leading to large over spend see; Blown budgets and delays: a recent history of UK defence spending (msn.com)


                Of course one could be cynical if one wished and suggest they were spending money to benefit 'cronies' (as has been found in recent PPE procurement contracts) but in general I for one welcome this move. Maybe they could send a ship on a 'courtesy visit' to Hong Kong...
                Last edited by snapper; 22 Nov 20,, 23:39.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm curious about how much (and what type) of assets the extra money will buy i.e how many frigates & 'survey' ships how many/what type of laser of weapons etc. It seems to me that when it comes to defense (and most other areas of funding Governments of all types tend to over-exaggerate the impact of an increase in spending while ding their utmost to minimize the impact of decreases. Case in point - the defense 'reforms' initiated by Whitehall after Britain's withdraw form Afghanistan.

                  I mean really, how much (if any) of the potency and reach lost during that round of spending reductions is going to be regained now?
                  If you are emotionally invested in 'believing' something is true you have lost the ability to tell if it is true.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Until the production line has been paid for, don't count on anything. You and I have lived through countless re-orgs and re-tool. Don't know much about Police reform history but old Army buddies say re-orgs and re-tools are only slightly less hair pulling but only because we have no hair left after leaving the army. Of course, you got to cover more area since you're in a cruiser and not on foot ... but ignoring the fact that you still only got a single pair of original issue Mk1 eyeballs that has degraded over time Still remember the day I decided I need prescription eyewear.

                    Just how many hoops did your police dept jump through to get body armour?

                    In all honesty, Afghanistan and Iraq saved our armies. Canada, at least, was looking to disband the guns and tank regiments. In their place, we were to expand to mortar companies and two tank killer (LAV-105) coys. Instead, we used emergency funds to buy used M777 Howies and LEO-2s to deal with Afghanistan. Before Afghanistan, we were seriously looking into shifting artillery into the reserves just to keep a semblance of gunner experience. The LEO C1s were good as jnuk before they were sent to Afghanistan.
                    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 23 Nov 20,, 06:59.
                    Chimo

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                      Big difference. Countries like India and Canada got to beg, borrow, steal for even $100K over budget. The Americans didn't even blinked for $100mil over budget.
                      That is called budget dust, Colonel
                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                        That is called budget dust, Colonel
                        I'm calling it envy.

                        Chimo

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                          I'm calling it envy.
                          Colonel, just this morning I was on a video conference where we were discussing a $75 Million cut for this fiscal year....and no one really blinked.
                          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                          Mark Twain

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                            1961 Kuwait. Falklands War. Kuwait War. Iraq War.
                            Then we should see it as maintenance of that fighting edge instead of an increase ?

                            Originally posted by snapper View Post
                            I have long argued for the maintenance of the RN, not just as a military measure but as an 'influence spreader'.
                            That's what it is but its being dressed up as something more grandiose. Because there is a history and one wants to be great again.

                            Originally posted by snapper View Post
                            IThe RN still has added prestige around the world as you can see whenever a British destroyer pulls into Odessa for instance (the last being HMS Dragon last October). I know it may seem small in the greater geo political framework of keeping the world oceans open for trade but to see a RN ship in Odessa is a tangible and real support to Ukraine and as such it is a big deal. It's not that the RN has to do anything as such... there are usually some training operations etc with Ukrainian and Romanian vessels, but just seeing the physical presence of the much lauded RN, an ally, passing through disputed waters to a Ukrainian port has an enournous moral impact.
                            Same applies when a Canadian destroyer goes through the SCS.

                            The more that do so the better.

                            Originally posted by snapper View Post
                            Maybe they could send a ship on a 'courtesy visit' to Hong Kong...
                            Was told over a year ago that once the carrier was done being kitted out in the US it was heading there with its F35's on board.
                            Last edited by Double Edge; 24 Nov 20,, 03:43.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                              Then we should see it as maintenance of that fighting edge instead of an increase ?
                              It's an absolute increase when compared to the force before. The Falkland Task Force would stand no chance agains the HMS QE II. But only a slight relative increase vis-a-vi the other powers, ie Russia and China whose land based force could swamped the QE II if with nothing else than missile magnets.

                              Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                              Was told over a year ago that once the carrier was done being kitted out in the US it was heading there with its F35's on board.
                              Not going to happen. It's a Chinese port that can refuse the entry of a foreign warship ... and you can bet there's no invitation coming.
                              Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 24 Nov 20,, 03:52.
                              Chimo

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