19 Oct 10. The outcome of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), which sets out how the Government will deliver the priorities identified in the National Security Strategy, Was been published on Tuesday 19 October 2010 on the MoD web site.
‘Securing Britain in an Age of Uncertainty: The Strategic Defence and Security Review’ details how our Armed Forces will be reshaped to tackle emerging and future threats.
There have been two main priorities in the review:
• to ensure that our mission in Afghanistan is protected; and
• to make sure we emerge with a coherent defence capability in 2020.
Afghanistan remains the MOD’s top priority and we will do all we can to ensure success.
Defence cannot continue on an unaffordable footing. The SDSR aims to bring defence plans, commitments and resources into balance so that we have a coherent defence capability and a sustainable defence programme for the future.
Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said: “The front line has been protected because Afghanistan is the Government’s top priority. “Tough decisions are required to reconfigure our Armed Forces to confront future threats whilst we also tackle the £38bn deficit that has accumulated in the 12 years since the last Defence Review.
“The MOD must become as effective and as efficient as possible. Lord Levene will help me deliver radical reform to streamline the Department.”
Dr Fox has issued a video message on the Review to all Defence personnel.
The Permanent Secretary, Sir Bill Jeffrey, and Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, together with the Service Chiefs and other members of the Defence Board, have been closely involved throughout the review.
There will be some major changes to force elements of all three Services to enable them to meet future force structures. The review will lead to reductions in manpower over the next five years across all three Services and the civilians in Defence:
• the Royal Navy will reduce by around 5,000 personnel;
• the Army by 7,000;
• the RAF by 5,000;
• civilians by 25,000.
No changes will be made to front line Army, Royal Marine or RAF Regiment units while operations in Afghanistan continue.
Other impacts on the three Services will include:
The Royal Navy will have a number of capabilities, including the Trident Force, based around the four Vanguard Class submarines, one of which is always on patrol.
The Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carrier will give the UK political and military flexibility in responding to crises. It will routinely have 12 Joint Strike Fighters, plus helicopters embarked for operations. The aircraft’s 700-mile (1,100km) range over land and sea will enable it to carry out a broad range of missions.
The Royal Navy will be equipped with 19 frigates and destroyers to protect a naval task group and meet our standing commitments at home and overseas. These will include six new Type 45 destroyers and new Type 26 frigates. This force, though smaller than currently, will provide military flexibility and choice across a variety of operations from full-scale warfare, through coercion and reassurance, to presence and maritime security (in particular protecting trade and energy supplies).
Seven new Astute Class submarines will contribute to the protection of our nuclear deterrent and naval task groups.
3 Commando Brigade will provide one element of our very high readiness response force.
The Royal Marines will be able to land and sustain a commando group by helicopter, and with protective vehicles, logistics, and command and control support from a specialist landing and command ship.
In order to meet this new structure the Royal Navy will:
• reduce Royal Navy Service personnel by around 5,000 to a total of about 30,000 by 2015, and with an assumption, for now, of a requirement of about 29,000 by 2020;
• decommission HMS Ark Royal immediately;
• decommission either the helicopt