FACTBOX-Britain’s Strategic Defence Spending Review – details

LONDON, Oct 19 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain unveiled its first
comprehensive military review since 1998 on Tuesday, detailing
cuts to the defence budget, manpower, equipment and strategic
capability.

Here are some of the key points in the Strategic Defence and
Security Review:

BUDGET

* The Ministry of Defence’s budget of 36.9 billion pounds
($58.2 billion) will be cut by eight percent in real terms over
four years, but defence spending will meet the NATO target of
two percent of national output.

AIRCRAFT CARRIERS

* Two aircraft carriers will be built at a cost of some 5.2
billion pounds, but only one will be operational and the other
held in reserve. One of the carriers may be eventually sold off.

* Britain’s Ark Royal aircraft carrier will be retired.

* At least one of the new carriers will be modified to allow
U.S. and French aircraft to use them.

* The number of Lockheed Martin-built (LMT.N: ) Joint Strike
Fighter jets to be carried on the operational new carrier has
been cut to 12 from an initially envisaged 36.

COMBAT JETS

* No decision has yet been made on the total number of Joint
Strike Fighter and Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets Britain will
buy. One government official said that decision could be put
back to another military review in 2015. Typhoons are made by a
consortium of three companies: Italy’s Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI: ),
Britain’s BAE Systems (BAES.L: ) and EADS (EAD.PA: ).

* Britain’s Harrier jets will be retired, but enough Tornado
jets will be retained to bolster UK forces in Afghanistan.

HARDWARE

* An order for nine Nimrod surveillance planes, made by BAE
Systems (BAES.L: ), will be scrapped.

* Navy frigates and destroyers will be cut to 19 from 23.

* The purchase of six Type 45 destroyers from BAE Systems,
as well as seven Astute-class submarines, will go ahead.

* The Sentinel airborne surveillance platform, made by
Raytheon (RTN.N: ), will be withdrawn once it is no longer needed
in Afghanistan.

* An order for A400M transport aircraft, built by EADS, has
been scaled back to 22 planes from an original 25.

* Numbers of Challenger 2 tanks, built by BAE, will be cut
by 40 percent, heavy artillery to be reduced by 35 percent.

TRIDENT NUCLEAR MISSILE SYSTEM

* A decision on the Trident nuclear weapons system will be
delayed until 2016.

* Nuclear warheads at sea will be cut to 40 from 48.

* The nuclear missile stockpile will be cut to “fewer than
120” from “less than 160”.

* The number of submarines used in Trident may be scaled
down from the current four.

PERSONNEL

* Army personnel will be cut by 7,000 to around 95,000.

* Royal Navy personnel will be cut by 5,000 to 30,000.

* Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel will be cut by 5,000 to
about 33,000.

* Half of the 20,000 forces personnel in Germany will be
returned to the UK by 2015 and the remainder by 2020.

* Three brigades — with maritime and air support — of
around 30,000 could be committed to one-off intervention.

* A maximum of 6,500 personnel will be committed to
“enduring stabilisation operations”.

BASES

* Three bases are no longer required by the RAF, including
one at Kinloss, and could be closed or converted for another
military use.

* The army may close some bases, while infrastructure at
others may be reduced.

AFGHANISTAN

* Extra resources will be provided for the Afghanistan
campaign.

* The Tornado fleet will be retained, as will some armoured
vehicles, transport and attack helicopters, equipment to counter
roadside bombs and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance
systems.

CYBER SECURITY

* Some 650 million pounds will be invested over four years
in a national cyber security programme.

* Cyber threats are seen as likely to significantly increase
in next decade.

TERRORISM

* Threats emanating from Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia are
seen as posing the greatest risks to UK interests. Britain will
boost aid to some fragile states, including increasing aid to
Yemen to 50 million pounds from 12 million pounds.

* The most significant terrorist threat to the UK comes from
Al Qaeda’s senior leadership in Pakistan and their “affiliates
and supporters”.

* The current threat to the UK from international terrorism
is judged to be “severe”.

* Counter-terrorism elements of policing will continue to be
a priority.

For more on Britain’s defence spending cuts, click
[ID:nLDE6720PZ] and [ID:nLDE69I009]

For a story on political impact, click [ID:nLDE69017D]

For stories on austerity era Britain, click [ID:nLDE6720PZ]

FACTBOX-Britain’s Strategic Defence Spending Review – details