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Delivering Security in a Changing World
The 2003 Defence White Paper, entitled Delivering Security in a Changing World sets out the future of the British military , and builds on the 1998 Strategic Defence Review (SDR) and the 2002 SDR New Chapter which responded to the challenges raised by the War on Terror.
The White Paper, following on from the Strategic Defence Review, outlined the following posture for the UK armed forces:
- The ability to support three simultaneous small to medium scale operations, where at least one is an enduring peace-keeping mission (e.g. Kosovo). These forces must be capable of acting as lead nation in any coalition operations.
- The ability, at longer notice, to deploy forces in a large scale operation while running a concurrent small scale operation.
Most of the reforms listed below were announced as part of the Delivering Security in a Changing World: Future Capabilites review, published on July 21 2004.
- British Army
- Manpower reduced by 1,000.
- Restructuring will cut four battalions otherwise tasked to Northern Ireland, and the manpower redistributed elsewhere.
- Army High Velocity Missile fire units to be halved, which would lead to the re-role of two Territorial Army regiments.
- The re-role of a Challenger 2 regiment into an armoured reconnaissance regiment and several AS-90 batteries to a light gun regiment, into what would become 19 Light Brigade (see Future Army Structure).
- Withdrawal of seven Challenger 2 squadrons and six AS-90 self-propelled gun batteries (approx. 84 tanks and 48 AS90s).
- Infantry battalions to be incorporated into new, large, multi-battalion regiments.
- Will equip three artillery regiments with the Lightweight Mobile Artillery Weapon System (LIMAWS) when it enters service.
- Creation of three light armoured squadrons that will support development of the next generation of armoured vehicles, the Future Rapid Effect System (FRES).
- Royal Air Force
- Manpower reduced by 7,000.
- Early withdrawal of the 41-strong SEPECAT Jaguar force by 2007 and closure of Jaguar's operating base, RAF Coltishall.
- Current Nimrod MR.2 maritime patrol aircraft fleet to be reduced from 21 to 16.
- Reduction in the purchase of remanufactured Nimrod MRA.4s from 18 to 12 aircraft.
- Reduction of Tornado F3 force by one squadron (16 aircraft) in preparation for replacement with Typhoon.
- Reduction of 6 Puma helicopters of No. 230 Squadron RAF based in Northern Ireland.
- Reduction in Rapier missile launchers from 48 to 24 and transfer to the Army Royal Artillery, and the disbandment of four RAF Regiment squadrons which operated Rapier.
- Additional procurement numbers of Hawk 128 training aircraft above an initial batch of 20 to be decided upon in 2005.
- Typhoon purchase confirmed, with Tranche 2 contract to be signed when cost/capabilites have been negotiated.
- Purchase of 4 Boeing C-17s operated by the RAF at the end of their lease period including one additional aircraft for a force of 5.
- Royal Navy
- Manpower reduced by 1,500.
- Reduced purchase of Type 45 destroyers from 12 to 8 vessels.
- Reduced force of Type 23 frigates from 16 to 13 vessels by March 2006.
- Reduced force of nuclear attack submarine fleet (SSNs) from 10 to 8 boats by December 2008.
- Reduced force of mine countermeasure vessels from 19 to 16 by April 2005.
- Northern Ireland patrol fleet of three reconfigured Hunt class minehunters to be paid off by April 2007.
- Early retirement of the three oldest Type 42 destroyers.
- Royal Navy Future Carrier (CVF) purchase confirmed.
- A summary of warships to be paid off, as planned or early, without replacement as detailed in the review:
- HMS Cardiff Type 42 destroyer.
- HMS Newcastle Type 42 destroyer.
- HMS Glasgow Type 42 destroyer.
- HMS Norfolk Type 23 frigate.
- HMS Marlborough Type 23 frigate.
- HMS Grafton Type 23 frigate.
- HMS Superb Swiftsure class nuclear attack submarine.
- HMS Trafalgar Trafalgar class nuclear attack submarine.
- HMS Brecon Hunt class minehunter.
- HMS Cottesmore Hunt class minehunter.
- HMS Dulverton Hunt class minehunter.
- HMS Bridport Sandown class minehunter.
- HMS Inverness Sandown class minehunter.
- HMS Sandown Sandown class minehunter.
Financially, in a Treasury spending review announced the week before, the budget would rise by 3.7bn pounds, from £29.7bn in 2004/2005 to £33.4bn in 2007/2008. The review also mentions £3bn to be invested into procuring new helicopters over the next ten years.
Future Army Structure
- Conversion of an armoured regiment to formation reconnaissance
- All single-battalion infantry regiments to be merged into existing or new regiments.
- Conversion of 4th Armoured Brigade to a mechanised brigade
- Conversion of 19 Mechanised Brigade to a light brigade (19 Light Brigade).
- Conversion of a single battalion of the Parachute Regiment to a tri-service specialist special forces support battalion.
- Reorganisation of the Territorial Army into 14 battalions that are attached to regular regiments of the British Army.
- Reduction in number of British infantry battalions from 40 to 36.
- Reduction in number and size of military bands across the Army.
- Reduction in numbers of Army Air Corps helcopters based in Northern Ireland.
- Creation of the Defence HUMINT Unit.
- Creation of a new commando engineer regiment.
- Creation of a new signals regiment
- Structure of the British Army
- Options for Change (1993)
- Strategic Defence Review (1998)
- European defence procurement
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