The Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015

Here is a rundown of some of the key points that have been revealed in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 published today. Over the coming days there will be a more in-depth analysis of just how the British Armed forces will look over the coming years as a result of this review published on Defence of the Realm.


The Financial Figures

  • £178bn – the total defence budget for the next 5 years.
  • £31bn for the replacement of the Trident missile submarine fleet (an increase of £6bn over previous estimates).
  • £15bn invested in counter terrorism; an increase of a third over present.
  • £1.5bn “efficiency savings” from defence chiefs (i.e. cuts).
  • £2bn extra injected in to special forces to combat ISIS.
  • £1.3 billion to be invested in the conflict security and stability fund.
  • £500m for the “Crisis Reserve” to allow the UK to respond more quickly to global issues such as Ebola.


The Equipment/Personnel Figures

  • 4 new SSBNs (nuclear ballistic missile submarines) for the Royal Navy to replace the current Trident-missile armed Vanguard-class vessels.
  • 2 new RAF squadrons operating upgraded Typhoons with greater emphasis on the strike role.
  • 2 new rapid reaction strike brigades of 5,000 troops by 2025
  • 9 new Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol planes (contrary to an earlier report in The Sunday Times that this had been cancelled).
  • 1,900 more intelligence personnel for MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.
  • 450 new sailors for the Royal Navy (less than a quarter of what the RN asked for. See Royal Navy may have to recruit sailors from overseas to provide crew for aircraft carriers)
  • 42 F-35B Lightning II “stealth” V/STOL combat aircraft by 2023.
  • 13 new lighter, more flexible and cheaper frigates for the Royal Navy.

The Grey Zone

  • An undisclosed number of new surveillance drones.

17 responses to “The Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015

  1. Pingback: NEWS: RAF Poseidon acquisition axed | Defence of the Realm

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  4. Reblogged this on Fighter Jet News and commented:
    The Times had a big two page feature on this today, and it’s hard to know who truly is a winner. The big loser is the army, which, despite talk of ten thousand extra troops defending Britain’s streets, is seeing its personnel being treated as second-class citizens and, with the reductions in benefits, penalised for serving their country. As for the Navy and the RAF, their responsibilities seem to be overlapping.

    The Times reckoned the RAF was the big winner, but with the first tranche of F-35Bs earmarked for the carriers, I’d say it was the Navy. At the same time, and this could be a mistake in how the facts were presented, The Times had the Navy being given the new maritime patrol aircraft to monitor Britain’s coasts. Given that’s always been the job of the RAF from back in the days of Coastal Command, it’s hard to know what’s going on.

    At the same time, the cost of Trident has soared to some £31 billion, which is a hell of a lot of money for a system that relies on American missiles to work.

    The best news is that the number of Typhoon squadrons is being extended to seven, with a dozen or so fighters per squadron according to the Guardian. Given that the Navy is being favoured, with the new aircraft carriers heralded as Britain’s way back into the big league of military powers, I can’t help but wonder that the extra Typhoon squadrons are a sop both to the RAF, which won’t see much of the F-35Bs, and to the country, since our newest fighters will be spending much of their time overseas and only brought home for special visits.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great summary there Tony. Read the coverage in The Times today and was very worried. Seems to me the Navy is being favoured and then only so the Government can make Britain look a significant military power again. Strikes me as a case of form over function. Anyhow, I’ve reblogged this on Fighter Jet News with a bit of my own commentary.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It all sounds rather grand, perhaps if we hadn’t cut back so
    Much we wouldn’t have to spend so Much now. I appreciate that upgrades etc cost a fortune too, but I’m a cynic at heart. Let’s hope it all happens and we are a major force once more! Great summary – been waiting for this to come through!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Poseidon acquisition only remedies the Crazy Nimrod scrapping decision 5 years ago. We assumed the Russians were our friends . Shame about the Sub allegedly infringing our territorial limits

    I’m not sure about only 8 Type 26 Frigates but if we do seriously get a less expensive Frigate and maybe get more than 5 then I do get it. But a little cynical we will get a less expensive frigate, they usually end up costing more. Wasn’t the original genesis of Type 23 a less expensive Type 22 and the Type 26 a cheaper 23 etc. hands up all those who think 8 will be the final amount of frigates

    However overall it does seem a sensible plan . Increasing resources to Navy and Airforce, more drones , the army to protect at home and have two rapid reaction forces for protecting our interests abroad. Seems sensible. And if we get rid of a few Admirals, Air Chief Marshalls , Brigadiers that populate the MoD in the process through “efficiencies” even better

    Liked by 1 person

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