25 Nov 15. Spending Review & Autumn Statement: Publication. The Chancellor of the Exchequer presented (25 Nov 15) a Spending Review for the years to 2019/20 (and partially for 2020/21). The MoD Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL) settlements are as shown in the Table below, together with the MoD share of expenditure:-
2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
Resource DEL 27,200 27,800 28,500 29,200 30,000
Capital DEL 7,100 7,300 7,500 7,800 8,100
Total DEL 34,300 35,100 36,000 37,000 38,100
Percentage 9.9% 9.8% 9.9% 10.1% 10.2%
The MoD’s budget for 2020/21 is forecast to be £39,600m (an increase of £5,300m from 2015/16). £1,900m is also to be spent on cyber security over the next five years, including a new centre for the protection of the UK against attacks. Counter-terrorism expenditure is to increase by 30%, including the provision of 1,900 additional intelligence staff.
Comment: ‘Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015’ was published as Command 9162 and is available to download on the HM Treasury page of the Government web portal (www.gov.uk/). The document pledges the Government to “protect the UK.s national security by investing in Defence, policing, intelligence, counter-terrorism, cyber security and international aid [while] protecting British citizens at home and projecting British influence abroad.” (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/47, 30 Nov 15)
23 Nov 15. Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR): Publication. SDSR 2015 was published on 23 Nov 15; coinciding with a speech on National Security & Defence by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. The SDSR forecasts nine new maritime surveillance patrol aircraft; two new Army Strike Brigades; an increase in the number of F-35 aircraft and an extension of service of Typhoon aircraft until 2040. The SDSR also forecasts the advent of an “expeditionary force of around 50,000 based on a land Division, a maritime task group and an expeditionary air group.” The MoD claims that: “Joint Force 2025 will be a more capable force to meet the challenges of today and ready for those of tomorrow.”
Comment: ‘National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015’ was published as Command 9161 and is available to download on the MoD page of the Government web portal (www.gov.uk/).
25 Nov 15. Iraq: OP SHADER. British Forces have continued to conduct air Operations to assist the Iraqi Government in its fight against ISIL. On 25 Nov 15 two Tornado GR4 from RAF Akrotiri patrolled near Mosul and conducted three precision attacks with Paveway IV guided bombs on groups of terrorists. The Tornados then flew West to an area near Sinjar and
destroyed a heavy machine-gun position. A second Tornado patrol supported Kurdish ground Operations. A Reaper remotely piloted aircraft provided overwatch for Kurdish troops.
On the ground, British military instructors continued to play a significant role in the large coalition programme to
train and equip the Iraqi Security Forces.
Comment: The Prime Minister responded (26 Nov 15) to the Foreign Affairs Select Committee’s Report on ‘The Extension of Offensive British Military Operations to Syria.. Included in the Prime Minister.s Response is an
Annex listing the 63 States and two International Organisations (the Arab League and the European Union) forming the ‘Global Coalition to counter ISIL.’ (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 15/47, 30 Nov 15)
23 Nov 15. RAF Akrotiri: Support to French Operations. The MoD confirmed (23 Nov 15) that the UK has offered France the use of RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus; in support of the aircraft carrier FS CHARLES DE GAULLE and as an emergency diversion airfield if required.
Comment: The above announcement forms part of the UK.s bilateral offer to support France (under Article 42.7 of the Treaty of the European Union), invoked followi