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05 Feb 21. Shocking state of the British Army exposed: Secret MoD report reveals 32 out of 33 infantry battalions are dangerously short of battle-ready soldiers
- Leaked Ministry of Defence report lays bare the appalling state of Britain’s army
- All but one of 33 infantry battalions are dangerously short of battle-ready troops
- The 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, has only 339 troops ready for operations
- Recruitment crisis pinned on private firm Capita, who received £1.3bn contract
The calamitous state of the British Army is revealed today in a leaked briefing.
All but one of its 33 infantry battalions are dangerously short of combat-ready troops, according to the alarming Ministry of Defence report.
Marked ‘Official: Sensitive’, it shows that key frontline units have barely half the manpower needed for operational deployment.
A former defence minister said it brought into question whether the UK could still meet its obligations as a leading member of Nato.
Despite the shortfalls, a number of infantry battalions face the axe in a review of defence expenditure and long-term strategy.
The manpower crisis was blamed last night on years of poor pay and conditions and on the decision to outsource recruiting to a private firm.
Colonel Richard Kemp said the £1.3billion contract handed to Capita had proved ‘disastrous’, with bureaucratic hurdles putting off potential recruits.
The officer, who commanded forces in Afghanistan, added: ‘The Army is already too small to adequately protect Britain in an increasingly dangerous world.
These further cuts are dangerously irresponsible.’
The MoD document – titled ‘Infantry Battalion Soldier Strength Summary, January 2021’ – lists how many soldiers each of the 33 battalions needs.
The 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, one of the Army’s most prestigious regiments, ranks worst. It has a working requirement for 603 troops, yet only 339 are available for operations – a deficit of 264.
Scots ‘to be spared cuts’
Sparse Scottish battalions are set to be spared at the expense of English regiments to avoid giving more ammunition to the SNP.
Defence cuts are due to be announced before local elections in May – with the Army’s total headcount set to be slashed by thousands.
Three of the five lowest-manned infantry battalions are Scottish – including the 1st Battalion, the Scots Guards, which is just 56 per cent ‘fully deployable’.
However, those north of the border are reportedly deemed ‘untouchable’ within the Ministry of Defence.
A source said spending cuts were ‘likely to be based on political priorities’ – but the MoD last night insisted no final decisions have been made.
The infantry as a whole needs 14,984 soldiers but has only 11,301 who could be sent to the battlefield, according to the report.
The only battalion with a surplus of soldiers ready for operations is 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles, which is ‘103 per cent fully deployable’. This means soldiers who are not prevented by illness or absence from participating in frontline operations.
Tobias Ellwood, a former defence minister who chairs the Commons defence committee, said: ‘Our infantry is getting smaller. We all want Britain to stand tall and lead in a fast changing world.
‘This cannot be achieved if soldier numbers are cut and if we cut any more infantry battalions.
‘Losing so many personnel would effectively remove ourselves from significant participation in major Nato operations.
‘Britain’s role on the world stage is at stake and our relationship with the US. Cutting our forces at the very moment President Biden is regrouping the Western resolve to counter growing threats will compromise our ability to step forward as a valued and trusted ally.’
The Army signed the ten-year recruitment contract with Capita in 2012.
This decision was called ‘naïve’ by the Commons public accounts committee and led to thousands of would-be recruits deciding against joining the Army because the process became too long and complicated.
Applications fell by 25,000 in 2017.
Surveys of troops have confirmed that they complain of poor living standards and sub-standard accommodation.
Fewer than half those questioned were satisfied and even though quality of food provision varies, soldiers are often banned from cooking in their own facilities because of the risk of fire.
Colonel Kemp added: ‘Outsourcing recruiting to Capita was a disastrous decision, potential recruits faced months of unnecessary delays and struggled to meet a real soldier in the process.
‘This contributed significantly to the current manning crisis. On top of that soldiers signed off in droves due to poor pay and appalling living conditions.
‘While recently the Army has taken major steps to resolve undermanning, the damage of the previous decade is so serious they face an uphill struggle.’
Army recruitment has improved significantly over the past year and applications to join the ranks are at a five-year high.
The Infantry Training Centre at Catterick, North Yorkshire, is also running at full capacity.
Last night the MoD said in a statement: ‘The Army achieved its target for infantry recruits in 2020 and continues to actively recruit today. We are confident that the Army has the numbers and talent required to protect the United Kingdom.
‘The Integrated Review is not yet complete and any reporting about Army force structure is merely speculation.’
A target of 82,000 full-time troops was set for the Army in the 2015 strategic defence review.
Figures for October last year put strength at 80,040, the highest recorded total since early 2018.
The Army is broken up into working parts such as the infantry, artillery, engineers and signals.
Of the working requirement of 14,984, a total of 13,436 are fully trained, according to the January summary.
The figures drop considerably when those troops who due to illness or official absence could not be mustered are removed.
The ‘fully deployable’ figure represents those troops who could be called up to serve on the front line at short notice and fulfil any manner of arduous physical duties.
According to official figures the infantry has just 11,301 ‘fully deployable’ troops – a rate of just over 75 per cent.
The infantry also has 900 officers who could accompany these troops into the battle zone.
We already knew Britain’s strength had plummeted to a historic low, with the Army able to muster fewer soldiers than at any time since the Napoleonic Wars.
But the confidential figures starkly reveal the full sickening reality: barely more than 11,000 infantry troops are ready for the battlefield, leaving Britain faced with an existential question over our future international standing.
While the 21st century will be more and more about new technologies, we also need adequate troop numbers to maintain combat effectiveness and credibility.
What the figures reveal is that we are now very close to the point of being barely able to function in a conflict or major operation despite the unrivalled fighting spirit of our troops and their commanders.
Yet the Army is facing severe cuts to frontline troops forced upon them by the Government. It looks like the infantry will again take the biggest hit.
Yet it is always the infantry that is at the forefront when there is a crisis, as seen in recent years in Afghanistan and Iraq and in humanitarian disasters around the world, as well as at home, most recently proving vital to the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
For political reasons the Government is unlikely to countenance cuts to the Scottish regiments despite the fact that they have the worst manning levels in the infantry. I do not want to see any of them cut.
But surely in a matter as serious as national defence it makes sense to target regiments that are historically less able to sustain themselves rather than buckle to blackmail by the Scottish National Party.
My own regiment, the Royal Anglians, is a prime target, despite strong manning levels and one of its battalions being deployed in Mali on the UN’s most dangerous peacekeeping operation to date.
The Government must reconsider this disastrous plan.
Money spent on retaining the few thousand troops they plan to cut would save any battalion from the axe and avoid fatally weakening our national defences.
The Army is already too small to adequately protect Britain in an increasingly dangerous world. Further cuts are dangerously irresponsible and must not go forward.
And if harsh choices are to be made, they must be made on a sound military basis – not for short-term political gain as a sticking plaster for the Union.
Colonel Kemp is former commanding officer of the 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment, and commander of British forces in Afghanistan (Source: Daily Mail)
04 Feb 21. German Defence Ministry punts key US defense-cooperation projects to the next government. The German Defence Ministry will leave planned air defense investments and other high-profile programs involving U.S. vendors unresolved in the final months of the Merkel government, officials have told lawmakers.
A Feb. 3 list of “important” but unfunded programs, as officials wrote, includes several trans-Atlantic defense efforts that have been simmering for some time. As a result, American contractor behemoths Lockheed Martin and Boeing are left to wait until a new government re-litigates Germany’s defense acquisition posture sometime after the Sept. 26 election.
Lockheed Martin, along with MBDA Deutschland, has been gunning for a contract on the TLVS missile defense program following more than a year of negotiations and several years of German-American co-development. The program’s prospects turned dimmer last fall, as new requirements drove up costs. Unsurprisingly, TLVS now officially appears on the to-do list for the next chancellor.
Notably, a project aimed at defending against short-range aerial threats, like drones or mortar fire, is also lacking a budget, defense officials wrote to lawmakers.
Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer late last year reframed Germany’s air defense requirements as needing greater focus on drone threats, as evidenced by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. She said a wholesale evaluation of the entire weapons portfolio would determine the way ahead, including what systems the Bundeswehr needs to counter threats of different sizes from various distances.
Whatever happened with the review, it appears it did not spur an appetite to start something new soon. That leaves Germany’s fleet of Patriot systems, along with a limited order of counter-drone systems made by Kongsberg and Hensoldt aimed at fulfilling Germany’s commitment to NATO for 2023, as the baseline equipment for the time being.
Lockheed also must wait for what happens next in the Bundeswehr’s heavy transport helicopter program, which is meant to replace the fleet of CH-53G models. The Defence Ministry effectively halted the acquisition process last fall after Lockheed and Boeing went over budget with their custom offers of the CH-53K King Stallion and the CH-47 Chinook, respectively.
German defense officials recently requested information from the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency about buying more standard, and presumably cheaper, versions of the desired aircraft instead.
In response, Lockheed launched a formal protest, which is now on the docket of the Federal Cartel Office, as newspaper Die Welt first reported. Company officials said they want to get a ruling of whether Berlin walking away from the purchase altogether was in line with fair-competition rules.
German acquisition laws make it difficult for companies to protest when the government chooses not to award any contract at the end of a competition, said Christian Scherer, a public procurement expert with the law firm CMS Germany in Cologne. “Generally speaking, you can’t force the government to buy anything,” he said. “But bidders might have compensation claims.”
Judging offers as economically unfeasible, for example, could qualify as a valid reason for the government to withdraw, Scherer told Defense News.
At the same time, there is a legal path if companies suspect abusive implementation of the rules, especially if the government’s requirements remain the same, he added. Those rules exist to protect offerers against favoritism and other forms of manipulation. “You can’t go ahead and compete the same thing with the intention to award the contract to your preferred bidder.”
Finally, Germany’s long-term campaign of replacing its fleet of Tornado combat aircraft will remain untouched during the final months of the Merkel era, according to the Defence Ministry. Defense officials last spring settled on a mixed fleet of mostly Eurofighters plus a smaller number of Boeing-made Super Hornets for electronic warfare and nuclear missions.
The decision has morphed into something more akin to a mere recommendation that would require years to play out, leading Eurofighter maker Airbus to hold out hope that U.S. manufacturers can be entirely kept out of the business when all is said and done.
Tobias Lindner, a Green Party member of the Budget and Appropriations committees in the Bundestag, said the list of unfunded programs is “almost more interesting” than the acquisitions considered doable by the time the Bundestag session ends in late June.
With so many big-ticket programs in limbo (15 overall), Kramp-Karrenbauer could move to set priorities and cut needless projects. “Unrealistic announcements and promises weaken trust within the armed forces and with our allies,” Lindner said. (Source: glstrade.com/Defense News)
04 Feb 21. US Army Europe commander says theater needs a multidomain task force. The European theater “absolutely” needs a multidomain task force, according to Gen. Christopher Cavoli, who is in charge of U.S. Army Europe and Africa. But while the intent to deploy such a unit has existed for several years, little progress has been made.
The Army is a few years out from converting its Multi-Domain Operations war-fighting concept into doctrine. The concept addresses great power competition and potential conflict with near-peer adversaries across air, land, sea, space and cyberspace.
The service stood up one multidomain task force, or MDTF, unit that is now based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. It has been active in prominent exercises in the Pacific region and will likely show up at the Army’s Project Convergence campaign of learning at Yuma Proving Ground, Arizona, in the fall of 2021. The MDTF was specifically created to assess the war-fighting concept through exercises, but MDTF units will likely become operational as the MDO doctrine solidifies.
The service plans to stand up a second MDTF unit in the Pacific region in fiscal 2021.
This year, shortly after the Army released its FY21 budget request, the service issued an unfunded requirements list to Congress that included a need for $151.4m for enhancements to MDTF units intended for Europe and the Indo-Pacific theaters. According to the list, the extra funding would sustain, restore and modernize building renovations as well as provide adequate housing for personnel and headquarters for MDTF elements and the second and third MTDF units.
“The capabilities that the multidomain task force are going to bring and help us integrate, the expertise that it will bring, are going to be very, very important to updating the way we plan to operate on the European continent,” Cavoli said at a Feb. 3 Association of the U.S. Army virtual event. “And we will be able to extend that to the African continent as well when we get those capabilities.”
Recent exercises proved the importance of an MDTF unit in theater operations, Cavoli said. The first Defender Europe exercise, which was scaled back in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, showed the need, as did the Joint Warfighting Assessment that brought in the Multinational Corps Northeast from Szczecin, Poland, and the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps together with the U.S. Army’s European headquarters.
The exercise attempted to plan “against the hypothetical scenario of large-scale combat operations” in 2035, Cavoli said.
“After we had MDO capability and we experimented with how we would operate with those capabilities and inside a joint and combined force that was using those capabilities, it was a very illuminating exercise; very, very, very challenging both intellectually as well as just in terms of sheer workload and manpower to try to achieve convergence across multiple domains in a combined context at tempo,” Cavoli said, “so I would be very eager to get a multidomain task force.”
The MDTF in the Pacific, he said, has given the Army “good things to think about and to emulate,” adding that the service plans to continue “to build MDTFs, and we are very much looking forward to the day when the Army stations one here.”
Over a year ago, the Army in Europe was in the nascent stages of introducing the MDO concept into its training routines and exercise planning, but amended its structure to establish additional intelligence, cyber, electronic warfare and space capabilities in Europe. It was anticipated at the time that a task force would be introduced at Defender Europe in 2020.
In an interview with Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville in October 2020, he told Defense News that the intent is to have two MDTF units in the Pacific and one in Europe — or “one that supports Europe.”
The Army was “still working on the posturing of forces in Europe,” he said at the time, which included considerations of then-President Donald Trump’s mandate to dramatically reduce troops in Germany. Those plans have been put on hold.
The chief said the exact positioning of the MDTF for Europe had not been decided.
In a separate interview last fall, Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Martin, told Defense News that the European MDTF had not been stood up due to a whole host of reasons.
“We’ve got structure baked into our total Army analysis process, we’re not concerned about that, but it’s making sure we’ve got the right location for the experimental task force and the timing of it is — it’s an outcome based on a whole host of different factors that we’re considering,” Martin said.
Cavoli also advocated for the need for increased fires capability in Europe. “We’re also excited about proposals for something called a ‘Theater Fires Command,’ which would develop and curate, hold custody of targets during the competitive phase, and then execute during a potential conflict,” he said. “That Theater Fires Command will also bring enormous capability with it, and it will put us into — it will help us, as MDO promises, to push away out of a close fight and be able to fight a little bit more at a standoff so that we, when we do engage in a close fight, it would be under much more advantageous circumstances.” (Source: Defense News)
03 Feb 21. US European Command chief: Germany drawdown is ‘on freeze’ amid review. All planning related to the Trump administration’s reduction of troops from Germany is on hold while new Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin reviews the idea, according to U.S. European Command chief Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters.
The announcement follows hints by the new Biden administration that the decision to pull up to 12,000 troops out of Germany would be scrutinized by the new Pentagon team. Leaders in Berlin were caught off guard by the move last summer, as was the U.S. military chain of command, and officials here took being kept out of the loop as much as an affront as the actual drawdown itself.
All of the moves already put in to motion under the Trump plan, which includes relocating the headquarters of EUCOM and U.S. Africa Command from Stuttgart to Mons, Belgium, are “on freeze,” Wolters told reporters in a phone press conference Wednesday.
To be sure, it isn’t clear that any moves have taken place at all. Some observers have privately remarked that the military chain of command appeared to be slow-walking the implementation of the Trump administration’s surprise decision, which the then-president himself had admitted was hatched partly out of anger toward Germany.
Wolters today portrayed the planning thus far as such a convoluted process that measuring progress was near impossible.
“There were so many pieces and parts to the plan, we could probably sit here for weeks and guess on the depth and how far along we were,” he said when pressed on the matter. “In all cases, there were branches and sequels with multiple options.”
Wolters had previously tried to put a positive face on the Trump plan, as did other Pentagon leaders when they announced details last year.
“At the time, based on the guidance given, the options that were addressed in the public domain were the ones that we thought most clearly addressed the advantages,” he said today.
During their first phone conversation late last month, Austin and German Defense Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer discussed the U.S. force posture in Germany, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
“What I would tell you is that the secretary made clear that he wants to take a look globally at force posture,” Kirby told reporters, referring to the two leaders’ conversation. “What he did assert to the defense minister was that whatever decision we make, we’ll do it in consultation with her and her government. There won’t be any surprises.”
Meanwhile, the EUCOM plans to proceed with the Defender Europe 2021 exercise later this year amid consideration for coronavirus safety measures, according to Wolters. The drill will see 30,000 allied forces from 26 participant nations exercise in about a dozen countries, spanning from the Baltics to Africa, he said. The idea is to “lift and shift” forces over long distances, he explained. (Source: Defense News)
02 Feb 21. Companies seek end to haggling over FCAS rights with fresh offer this week. Airbus and Dassault executives hope to finalize their offer for the next phase of the Future Combat Air System by the end of the week, putting to rest a dispute over the handling of intellectual property rights that has been simmering between partner nations Germany, France and Spain.
At issue is whether countries participating in the development of mainland Europe’s futuristic weapon system are free to use the technology to make adjustments of their own later on, said German Air Force Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ingo Gerhartz.
“It should be clear that if we’re developing a European system, there can be no black boxes,” he said at an virtual press conference organized by German aerospace industry association BDLI. The term “black box” refers to technology purchased as-is, with no means by customers to understand, replicate or modify it.
“It must be possible to hand intellectual property rights from branch of industry to another so that it’s possible for all partners to make their own developments in the future,” Gerhartz added.
The tri-national FCAS program aims to replace the German Eurofighter and French Rafale fleets by 2040. As envisioned, it will consist of a next-generation manned jet and a series of drones, dubbed remote carriers, that can be tasked to work in concert on anything from reconnaissance to strike missions.
Germany’s Airbus and France’s Dassault are the primary contractors for the program. As Europe’s most ambitious weapons project ever, it is estimated to have a price tag in the hundreds of billions of euros. Spain is meant to be a full participant, with Indra as national lead, getting access to a third of the overall work share.
Next up for the program is additional development work culminating in the presentation of a demonstrator aircraft and remote carriers by 2026 or 2027. Those could be simple, throw-away drones or more elaborate unmanned planes in the style of a “loyal wingman” to the human pilot, said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space, at the same event.
An agreement on intellectual property usage is needed both on the government and industry level before submitting an offer for the upcoming program stage. The idea is to find a compromise by Feb. 5, have the Berlin government submit the documentation to the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, for approval over the next few months, and get the green light to spend additional money before the summer break, Hoke said.
While Airbus is used to sharing its intellectual property rights when selling to the German government, partner nations, France and Spain handle those occasions differently. “I’m confident that we can find a common solution,” Hoke said.
Reinhard Brandl, a lawmaker of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union who sits on the Bundestag’s appropriations committee, said he shared the optimism but singled out IP rights as a continuing sticking point. “We will look at the agreement very carefully,” he said. “We don’t want to see unfavorable concessions just for the sake of an agreement.”
Brandl belongs to a faction of German lawmakers who fear that domestic companies could lose out in a cooperative program with France. That is especially the case, following that logic, because Airbus, as the German lead contractor, is partly French to begin with.
The French, meanwhile, have at times become frustrated with Germany’s piecemeal approval process for FCAS funding, a dynamic that could become even more pronounced if money gets tight as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
Thomas Jarzombek, the point person for aerospace policy at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, said the program remains crucial for German industry, describing it as a recovery activity for companies post-COVID. “It’s become even more important than before,” he said.
Brandl said he still worries about spending cuts in the future, especially during development, as the defense ministry may seek opportunities for more near-term fixes to lagging readiness rates across the force. He proposed anchoring FCAS funding elsewhere in the federal government other than under the auspices of the Bundeswehr, at least until the program gets close to showing actual military utility. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
29 Jan 21. European defence spending hit new high in 2019. Today, the European Defence Agency (EDA) published its annual Defence Data report for the year 2019, detailing defence spending by the 26 EDA Member States. In 2019, total defence expenditure stood at €186bn, marking a 5% increase on 2018, and making it the highest level ever recorded by EDA since it began collecting data in 2006. EDA’s report also finds almost all Member States increased their overall defence spending in 2019, with significant increases on procurement of new equipment.
Highest defence expenditure in 15 years
At €186bn, total defence expenditure corresponds to 1.4 % of the 26 EDA Member States’ gross domestic product (GDP) and marks the fifth year of consecutive growth. The 5% rise in spending recorded in 2019 represents the strongest increase since the general trend of defence spending was reversed in 2015 following the financial crisis.
EDA’s Defence Data report also finds strong variations in growth in defence spending among Member States, ranging from increases of 0.01% to 125%. Of the 26 Member States, 23 raised defence expenditures compared to 2018, four by more than €1bn, with only three decreasing their spending in 2019.
Defence data 2019 key findings
EDA’s report, based on data provided by Ministries of Defence, also finds that total defence expenditure represented 2.9% of total government expenditure. In 2019, EDA Member States:
- Spent €41.4bn on defence investments (equipment procurement and research and development) which corresponds to an increase of 19% compared to 2018;
- Reached the benchmark of spending at least 20% of total defence expenditure on defence investment for the first time since 2010 with 22% overall;
- Allocated 83.1% of defence investments to procure new equipment, whereas funding for defence R&D remained limited to 16.9%.
EDA Chief Executive, Jiří Šedivý said: “European defence spending reaching a new high is a positive development and clear response to Member States’ threat perception. Despite this progression, defence budgets remain vulnerable, with the economic impact of Covid-19 yet to be felt. Increased spending on defence is a positive trend that should be sustained and enhanced going forward with the additional benefit of the EU defence initiatives. The regular review in the CARD framework and the fulfilment of the PESCO commitments should contribute positively to better spending and ultimately to the cooperative development of innovative, interoperable and effective capabilities.”
Worrying fall in collaborative defence spending
Despite the rise in total defence expenditure, collaborative defence spending has gone backward. In 2019, Member States spent a total of €7bn on the procurement of new equipment in cooperation with other Member States, representing a fall of 6% compared to 2017. Member States conducted 20% of their total equipment procurement in cooperation with other EU Member States in 2019, falling well short of the 35% collective benchmark and marking a significant drop off since of the relatively high 27% recorded in 2017.
Defence Research & Technology investment continues to lag
In 2019, defence Research and Technology (R&T) spending amounted to €1.7bin, marking an increase of 13% compared to 2018. However, unlike total defence spending which now surpasses 2007 levels, investment in defence R&T is much slower to recover and remains roughly €380m below its 2007 high.
Investment in defence R&T remains insufficient and Member States fall collectively short of reaching the collective benchmark of spending 2% of their total defence expenditure on defence R&T. Although 2019 saw a modest rise with 0.9% allocated, up from 0.8% in 2018, no Member State achieved the 2% benchmark with only four nations spending more than 1% of their total defence expenditure on defence R&T.
EDA collects defence data on an annual basis, and has done so since 2006, in line with the Agency’s Ministerial Steering Board Decision of November 2005. The Ministries of Defence of the Agency’s 26 Member States provide the data. EDA acts as the custodian of the data and publishes the aggregated figures in its booklets.
All data is collated (“total incorporates 26 EDA Member States”), and it has been rounded. Defence expenditure figures are provided in constant 2019 prices, in order to take inflation into account and allow for a comparison across years.
Following the exit of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union, this year’s figures no longer include the defence expenditure data of the UK. (Source: EDA)
27 Jan 21. Defence impacted by variety of EU rules on chemicals/waste, study finds. A new study commissioned by EDA has found that, in addition to the well-known regulations on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) and the Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP), at least six other pieces of chemicals and waste-related legislation have the potential to impact the defence sector and, therefore, need to be closely monitored.
Following-up on the 2016 EDA Study on REACH and CLP, the Agency last year outsourced a study to evaluate the impact of the following six pieces of EU legislation on chemicals and waste might have on EU defence capabilities:
- Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR)
- Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulation (POP)
- Ozone Regulation regarding ozone depleting substances (ODS)
- Fluorinated Gases Regulation (F-gas)
- Directive on the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS)
- Revised EU Waste Framework Directive (WFD)/SCIP Database.
The overall aim of the study was to provide detailed information on the impact of the six EU legislations on the defence sector and to propose recommendations on how defence stakeholders, mainly Ministries of Defence (MoDs) and the Armed Forces, could implement these in a more coherent way, in view of mitigating such impact.
A broad consultation was carried out with key stakeholders, including the MoDs of EDA’s participating Member States and Norway (which has an Administrative Agreement in place with the Agency), the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) as well as EU defence industry stakeholders, including the Aerospace and Defence Industries Association of Europe (ASD) and the National Defence Industry Associations (NDIAs).
Based on impact assessments of the first five of the afore-mentioned pieces of legislation (BPR, POPs, Ozone, F-gas, RoHS), the study’s main conclusion is that, by reducing the availability of products leading to a reduction in performance, reliability, or longevity of defence equipment, those regulations have a significant impact on European defence capabilities during the whole lifecycle of defence equipment (design, manufacturing, in-service use and maintenance, disposal) and therefore on the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base (EDTIB). Moreover, potential defence exemptions (similar to those foreseen under REACH and CLP, if/when foreseen within the legal texts for these legislations), would not guarantee the availability of the chemicals necessary to maintain defence equipment in the long term, the study concludes.
As regard the revised WFD/SCIP database (6th piece of legislation listed above), the study identifies specific impacts on Ministries of Defence from the implementation of the SCIP database in relation to the setup and management of defence exemption processes (where applicable) as well as potential security risks for MoDs in complex scenarios and the possible existence of a SCIP notification duty for MoDs in some Member States consulted.
Asked about the potential impact from their perspective, defence industry stakeholders consulted under the study expressed serious concerns in relation to the scale and complexity of the notifications they need to make, as well as about potential conflicts with the protection of defence-sensitive/classified information and/or confidential business information (CBI).
Considering that according to WFD Article 9(1)(i) and subject to national transposition, notifications by duty holders to SCIP are legally required as of 5 January 2021, thus have essentially just started, it is important to highlight that the final impact on MoDs is still widely unclear, and that the SCIP impact analysis under the EDA study has been an important first step of a long follow up process.
The study also put forward specific recommendations for follow-up actions/activities related to each of the examined EU regulations. It also recommends EDA and its Member States’ Ministries of Defence to exchange good practices in the implementation of the regulations in relation to procurement requirements, to monitor the substances used in defence applications and to raise awareness on commonalities and differences as well as interactions between the different chemicals regulations.
With respect to the revised WFD/SCIP Database, specific recommendations have been developed such as the setting up of a dedicated SCIP activity at the EDA level to further assess and elaborate solutions to mitigate the impacts of the evolving SCIP requirements for defence-related cases in the future, taking into account further experience gained in the meantime.
EDA will now further assess the study outcome, together with its participating Member States and in consultation with relevant stakeholders. Based on this assessment, specific EDA activities will be identified/initiated to support Member States mitigate the impact of the six pieces of EU chemicals and waste legislation.
- REACH (EDA project page)
- EDA Study on the impact of other (than REACH/CLP) European Chemicals/Waste Regulations on the Defence Sector – Final Report – Executive Summary – Annex IV – Annex V – Annex VII (Source: EDA)
01 Feb 21. Scotland sees increased defence spend for sixth year. Scotland is the only part of the UK to have seen an increase in year-on-year spending in each year since 2013/14 to £2.1bn, supporting around 12,400 direct jobs in Scotland according to Ministry of Defence figures.
Direct jobs supported by MoD expenditure in Scotland has increased by 22%.
Compared to the previous year, Scottish expenditure increased by almost 15% in 2019/20 and its regional total now accounts for a little over 10% of all MoD expenditure with UK industry.
Scotland sees increased MOD expenditure for sixth consecutive year.
The Ministry of Defence say that this was driven principally by increased in-year payments to BAE Systems Surface Ships Ltd relating to the manufacture and demonstration phase of the Type 26 frigate programme out of the company’s Glasgow shipyards.
“In the case of Scotland, and compared to the year before, total MOD expenditure in the region was substantially higher in 2019/20. The higher payments discussed earlier in the Shipbuilding sector accounted for an additional 1,300 MOD supported jobs in the industry. Meanwhile, provisions for P-8A infrastructure at RAF Lossiemouth and the replacement of the Glen Mallan Northern Ammunition Jetty has strengthened jobs supported in the Construction industry by a further 700 FTE jobs.
As a result, direct jobs supported in Scotland climbed from 480 jobs per 100,000 in 2018/19 to 590 jobs per 100,000 in 2019/20. These variations in estimated employee numbers and overall regional employment resulted in the only changes to the regional ranking positions for jobs supported per 100,000 people in FTE employment whereby Scotland overtook Wales to sit in third place.”
The total number of direct jobs supported by MOD expenditure has increased by 8,000. Matching the regional expenditure increases seen for 2019/20, this was mostly spread across four regions; the South West, the South East, Scotland and the North West. Much like with the expenditure figures also, the South East and South West account for over half of all the MOD supported direct jobs in the UK.
Interestingly, despite decreases in year-on-year expenditure between 2018/19 and 2019/20, both the East of England and Yorkshire and The Humber saw a rise in direct jobs supported. (https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/Pen & Sword)
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