Posted on June 29, 2011 by

Further cuts to defence will put our Armed Forces on the nation’s “critical list”

The UK National Defence Association (UKNDA) is sounding a “Red Alert” on the danger of further cuts to Britain’s already chronically-overstretched Armed Forces and says that the Coalition’s Defence policy amounts to “disarmament in all but name”.

The Association, which campaigns for a fairer deal for the UK’s military, is spearheading efforts to persuade the Government to recognise the need for a fundamental rethink of its whole approach to Defence.

The UKNDA’s “Red Alert” warning comes in the wake of an article in the authoritative and highly respected Jane’s Defence Weekly which claims that the Government is considering further sweeping cuts to the Armed Forces, in addition to the recent reductions and redundancies.

The options that according to Jane’s are currently being considered by the Government include:

Shrinking the Royal Navy’s surface fleet to just 12 frigates and destroyers (six of the new Daring Class and just six of the Type-23 destroyers).

Terminating the Army’s future AFV programmes and replacing these programmes with smaller efforts to buy mine-protected vehicles with limited combat capabilities.

Halving the order for 12 Chinooks to just six.

Reducing the number of RAF fast jets to “well under 100” from the force of 210 Eurofighter Typhoons and Panavia Tornado GR4s.

Disbandment of either the Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade or the Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade, or possibly disbanding both.

Commenting on these proposals, UKNDA Founder/Director Cdr John Muxworthy said:
“The Government has U-turned on its National Health Service policy but by sticking to its ill-conceived SDSR and ongoing Defence cuts, against the advice of the military experts, it looks like the next patient on the NHS critical list will be our nation’s Armed Forces!

“We already have the smallest Army since the nineteenth century and the smallest Navy since the sixteenth! Any further cuts to our Armed Forces, on top of those the Government have already imposed, will put the security of this country at very severe risk.

“The UKNDA, senior officers and many in the media have for months now warned that the reductions in Britain’s defence capabilities have gone dangerously too far. HMS ARK ROYAL and the Harriers have been cast aside. The strength of the Army has dropped below the 100,000 mark for the first time in more than 100 years. The RAF have already lost many of their Tornadoes and Maritime Surveillance aircraft, nine of the latter being crushed for no value at all – and at an utterly wasted cost of more than £4bn, which must be the most staggeringly short-sighted defence decision ever taken!

“And now we read of possible further swingeing cuts. This is more than a step too far – it would be a gigantic and irresponsible leap into insecurity and future insignificance. These latest proposals should be abandoned and earlier SDSR decisions reviewed, rejected and reversed. Once lost it will be well nigh impossible to restore these capabilities.

“Listen to the Service chiefs. Listen to the experienced voices of those, present and past, who have served their country and helped make it what it is today. Please don’t repeat the mantra that ‘we face difficult decisions’ – we all know that, but the choice, to save or to emasculate our Armed Forces, with all the inevitable consequences that will bring, is now yours to make, not dodge.

“You say repeatedly that ‘Defence is the first priority of government’ but when compared to the reality this statement looks increasingly hollow and almost laughable. Please have the courage to admit that the SDSR was rushed and wrong – just as you did with the proposed NHS reforms. Now, please, stop the rot and SAVE our Armed Forces!”


Some recent UKNDA press coverage:

Yours sincerely,

David Robinson
Secretary & Treasurer
PO Box 819
Portsmouth, PO1 9FF
023 9283 1728