United Kingdom

Presently, the United Kingdom is the only industrialised country in the world which is simultaneously aiming to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of the GDP on defence and the UN target of spending 0.7% of the GNI (Gross national Income) on foreign aid, while at the same time increasing investment in security and intelligence, as well as in counter-terrorism agencies. According to data derived from the UK Government Defence report 2015, the United Kingdom spent £34.4 billion on Defence in 2014/15, accounting for 2.2% of the GDP. This brought the UK to the 5th position worldwide in Military Expenditure for that year. More specifically, 31.7% of this amount was spent on Personnel (civil and military manpower), 19% on Equipment Support Costs, 5.3% on Inventory and 2.9% on R&D.

During the last five years, Britain’s Armed Forces have been reconfigured, so they are able to efficiently deal with modern and evolving threats. Nowadays, UK Regular Forces comprise of full time personnel in the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force. Their main tasks are: the defence of the UK and its overseas territories, the provision of strategic intelligence and nuclear deterrence, the support of civil emergency organisations in times of crisis, the defence of the UK’s interests by projecting power strategically and through expeditionary interventions and finally the provision of defence contribution to UK influence as well as of security for stabilization.

Source: https://www.gov.uk

In fact, in order to support the aforementioned, according to the new National Security UK Strategy, reviewed in 2015, a new Joint Force 2025 will be established. This will incorporate, amongst other items, Joint Headquarters, Forces and Enablers, such as Special Forces squadrons (Special Reconnaissance and Support), Defence Intelligence (Joint Cyber Group), Secure IT & Communications systems (SKYNET 5 Space Operations Centre), as well as Defence Medical & Dental Services (including 3 Field Hospitals). In line with the Government’s objectives (reduction of costs and more civilians being employed within the UK MoD), domestic defence needs in the future, will be satisfied to a larger extent by the private sector, as well as through the close cooperation with UK’s allies.

In October 2015, the Military and Civilian personnel of the UK’s Defence Forces, consisted of 198,260 people. Of these, 141,390 staff consisted the “Full Time Trained Strength”, while the remaining 56,860 were employed by the Civilian body of the MoD. In addition, in April of 2016, the UK Armed Forces’ equipment incorporated 87 naval vessels and submarines, 4,137 Key Land platforms and 1,539 Fixed/Rotary-wing aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

According to earlier data (April 2015), 9.1% of the UK Military Forces were located in Europe (exc. the UK), with the majority placed in Germany and Cyprus.

Outside Europe, as for the 3d quarter of 2015, the British military contribution against ISIL included 900 UK personnel and 1,162 flight missions with 16 jets, transport and reconnaissance aircraft. Since 2001, the United Kingdom has participated in operations in Afghanistan with more than 150,000 military personnel, as part NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). During these years, UK has vitally helped in developing and training Afghan security forces, as well as establishing a more viable state in the country; British presence in Afghanistan today (even though significantly reduced compared to the past) is imposed by the need for maintaining security in the area.
 
In response to the crisis in Syria, UK has committed over £2.3 billion in humanitarian support since 2012. In addition, £9.5 million from the UK Conflict, Stability and Security Fund has been allocated through the Department of International Development (DFID) to support local capacity and build stability. Moreover, UK naval ship “Mounts Bay” and a Wildcat helicopter have been deployed to the Aegean Sea as part of the first NATO intervention in the migrant crisis.

The United Kingdom in collaboration with France, are supporting the planning work for the 3d mandate of the EU military mission in Mali (EUTM Mali), beyond May 2016, as well as for 2-year training programmes, operations training and strategic advice, for a future EU military mission in Central African Republic (EUTM CAR), whose launch is expected by the 3d quarter of 2016 -following the end of the transition in the Central African Republic. These EU Missions and Operations in the Horn of Africa and off the Coast of Somalia, provide strong support to the Somalian authorities in the field of security and defence.
 
In order to support cooperative efforts of EU Member States to develop defence capabilities, a code of Pooling & Sharing in Member States’ planning and decision-making processes has been developed the last few years in the EU, in line with defence policies of Member States.

Under this context and in continuity to the Franco-British St. Malo Declaration (in 1998), the UK and France agreed in November of 2010, a Defence Co-operation Treaty, relating to a joint nuclear facility and a package of defence initiatives, such as sharing of aircraft carriers for training purposes and possible military operations and shared resources on training as well as Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) of A400M transport aircraft.
 
The treaty also provided the regulatory framework for the establishment of the Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (CJEF), whose concept validation took place during the Exercise 'Griffin Strike' in April 2016. Following this, the UK and France will be able to jointly conduct a broad range of military intervention tasks, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) to high-intensity warfighting. Under CJEF, the two countries are determined to build a common architecture for IT and communication systems, increase their intelligence exchanges, and also coordinate more effectively their national strategic planning mechanisms. The related multi-annual training programme will take place between 2017-2022, while taking into consideration associated requirements and examining the conditions for a possible opening up to other allies.

Additionally, the United Kingdom participated since 2006, in one of the longest-running projects undertaken by the European Defence Agency (EDA), the Maritime Surveillance (Marsur) project -a technical solution that allows dialog between European maritime information systems- aiming to improve a recognised maritime picture, by facilitating exchange of operational maritime information and services such as ship positions, tracks, identification data, chat or images.

Moreover, the United Kingdom has been a participant since 2009, to EDA helicopter initiatives in an attempt to confront the urgent need for helicopter use in crisis management operations. These include the pooling and sharing of skills, knowledge and experience through multinational exercises, annual symposiums, synthetic training, “Train the Trainer” (helicopter instructor training), platform-specific workshops and multinational formations. Finally, the UK participates, since 2013, to the conduction of a Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD), through numerous simulation nodes –based on the VBS2 software and normal internet connections and protocols. In addition to this, the UK participated in the multinational Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP), as of the 2015 summer, held in Italy.

Today, the UK produces the Eurofighter (Typhoon), along with Germany, Italy and Spain and is part of the European efforts to support the manufacture of the A400M military aircraft. Being also a leading partner in the transatlantic consortium that builds the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft and through EDA, UK takes part in the exploration of further common procurement programmes.

Presently, the United Kingdom is the only industrialised country in the world which is simultaneously aiming to meet the NATO target of spending 2% of the GDP on defence and the UN target of spending 0.7% of the GNI (Gross national Income) on foreign aid, while at the same time increasing investment in security and intelligence, as well as in counter-terrorism agencies. According to data derived from the UK Government Defence report 2015, the United Kingdom spent £34.4 billion on Defence in 2014/15, accounting for 2.2% of the GDP. This brought the UK to the 5th position worldwide in Military Expenditure for that year. More specifically, 31.7% of this amount was spent on Personnel (civil and military manpower), 19% on Equipment Support Costs, 5.3% on Inventory and 2.9% on R&D.

Within wider austerity measures of the UK government, a modest cut to the 2015-2016 Defence Budget was to be carried-out, dropping related military spending below 2% of GDP, for the 1st time since before World War II. This trend is expected to continue in the coming years, with associated spending projected to reach the 1.5% of the GDP mark, by 2020.

As announced by the government, the Full Time Trained Military & Civilians Personnel of the country is expected to decrease to 231,460 people, while the defence budget will increase by 0.5% per year until 2020. Also, an additional £1.5 billion a year will be committed to military and intelligence operations.

With respect to the modernization of the UK’s Armed Forces, the Defence announced in March of 2016, £642 million of investment for the Successor submarine programme, replacing the Vanguard class from 2030 onwards. The funding will help towards the development of new parts and facilities, as well as further design work, and will incorporate £225 million of investment for new facilities, at BAE Systems at Barrow-in-Furness.

Furthermore, £163 billion expenditure on equipment and support has been planned over the next 10 years (2015-2025), of which £29.5 billion will be spent on naval assets (e.g. submarines, T45 destroyers, T23 frigates, Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers), £28.3 billion for aerial assets (e.g. Typhoon, Tornado, Lightning II, Voyager, A400M, C130, Merlin, Apache, Chinook), £6.9 billion for land equipment (e.g. armoured fighting vehicles, personal equipment, etc.), £4 billion for weapons and £2.8 for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance & Target Acquisition capabilities (e.g. Marshall air traffic management and multiple smaller programmes).

 

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This booklet offers a snapshot of the UK’s defence capability in numbers. Its overall annual defence budget is the fifth largest in the world. A £163 billion investment plan for equipment, will be provided in UK defence.

Source: https://www.gov.uk

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Following a foreword by the Prime Minister, Government’s vision for a secure and prosperous United Kingdom, with global reach and influence, is analysed within this document. The following chapters set out how UK will deliver its vision and strategy, through the National Security Objectives.

Source: https://www.gov.uk

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In June 2014 the ADS Group (the trade body of the aerospace and defence industry in the UK) commissioned a report into the size, shape and future priorities of the UK’s Aerospace, Defence, Security and Space sectors. The resulting Aerospace Industry Outlook, included analysis undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and the results of survey of 900 ADS members responding to questions on employment, investment, exports and growth.

Source: http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk

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The Government’s vision is for a secure and prosperous United Kingdom, with global reach and influence by strengthening the UK Armed. SDSR 15 sets a new headmark for the UK’s Armed Forces: Joint Force 2025. Joint Force 2025 will be equipped with a range of new and enhanced capabilities that will be capable of taking on a broader range of missions against demanding scenarios.

Source: https://www.gov.uk

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This is an annual publication which provides information on the numbers and types of equipment and formations of the UK Armed Forces. Equipment and formations statistics have been presented based on the UK Armed Forces components: land, maritime and air. Also provided are data sourced from the Department for Transport (DfT) on militarily-useful British-registered vessels.

Source: https://www.gov.uk

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