Defence & Security

Defence and Security:

The Strategic Defence and Security Review was announced by the newly formed Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government of the United Kingdom in May 2010, and published on 19 October 2010. The previous major review of United Kingdom defence posture was the Strategic Defence Review, published in 1998, updated in 2003 by the Delivering Security in a Changing World white paper.

As well as wishing to see an updated security policy, both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties wanted the £38 billion overspend in the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) procurement budget addressed. Given that this coincided with the new government being committed to deficit reduction, the Treasury asked the MOD to prepare options for a 10–20% real terms reduction in its budget. However, the final figure was an 7.7% reduction over four years.

All three services would take cuts in manpower. Overall, the largest overseas deployment was expected to number no more than 30,000 personnel, including maritime and air force units. This compares to the 45,000 involved in the invasion of Iraq.

Replacement of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, based on the Vanguard class ballistic missile submarines, to be delayed by four years, deferring £500 million in spending. Changes to the size of the missile tubes to save £250 million.

Carrier Strike:
The Harrier GR9 was retired in order to maintain the Tornado as the RAF’s main strike aircraft until the Typhoon matured. The latter and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II would constitute the RAF’s fast jet fleet in the future.