In Britain announced massive reductions in military budgets and armed forces - the most popular since the end of the Cold War. Vzglyad conducted a detailed analysis of the announced cuts: apparently, the power of the British military machine as a result of reduced quality.
Speaking in parliament on Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans for a major reduction of armed forces of the United Kingdom. For the sake of reducing the budget deficit, which now amount to about 155 billion pounds, the British are willing to sacrifice an aircraft carrier, nearly half of tanks and heavy artillery, and besides national pride in the aviation industry - such as fighter aircraft Harrier.
The full version of the budget presentation to Parliament to be released late Wednesday. In this case, the scale of reductions in the army will be considerably less than in other public institutions, say the British media, placing it in the merit of the traditionally pro-war "of the Conservative Party, to which the current British prime minister.
However, Cameron said that the planned measures in no way affect the defense of the royal armed forces, defense spending since the UK will be consistent with NATO standards.
He explained one of the reasons for declining the fact that the previous government had left him a legacy of "tear" in the defense budget by 60 billion dollars. And tried to appease the U.S., assuring that the costs of the Afghan operation will not be reduced - in fact, involved in fighting with Taliban troops will reinforce the additional technical equipment.
Decrease the military budget will affect even the forces of nuclear deterrence. Ballistic missiles, sea-based Trident be replaced with new ones. Here are just a warhead will be less than: 40 charge on every SSBNs instead of 48 now. The total number of nuclear warheads in the UK (including zaskladirovannye) will be limited to 180. The question of replacing the four strategic submarines of the "Vanguard" is postponed for four years - until the next government.
Introducing the report on the outcome of a five-month review of the defense strategy of the United Kingdom, Cameron suggested that an 8% reduction in total military spending of the country over the next four years. In addition, the coalition government of the Tories and the Liberal Democrats decided to reduce the size of the armed forces by 42 thousand, informs BBC.
Noticeable reductions expected the Royal Armoured Corps. The number of Challenger 2 tanks will be reduced by 40% (Photo: wikipedia.org)
Thus, according to the document entitled Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), Army (Army) to be reduced from 102.5 to 95.5 thousand people, the BBC - from 38 to 33 thousand people, the Navy - from 35 to 30 thousand people. Civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence will drop from today's 85 to 60 thousand people. Moreover, until 2020 there is still a number of cuts.
What does this mean in practice? Of the 17 Army brigades available today, six of which are equipped with a rapid response teams ("forwarding") to remain five and 10 territorial reduction "survive" eight. In this case, the 16 th air-assault brigade (16th Air Assault Brigade), which structure also includes three Army Aviation Regiment, touched until.
Noticeable reductions expected the Royal Armoured Corps. The number of Challenger 2 tanks will be reduced by 40%. The exact numbers remain in service vehicles is unknown: the British did not disclose the number of its armored forces. We only know that from 1993 to 2000 plants Alvis Vickers was built just over 400 such machines, and 38 of them - for export, by order of the Kingdom of Oman.
It is believed that the Challenger 2 are among the most protected tanks in the world: during the second operation against Iraq, reported the British sources, one tank was kept in part fighting ability, even after being hit by the 1914 cumulative grenades and a RPG PTRU Milan.
Given the high cost per unit (approximately 5.59 million euros), to put under the press 100-120 almost brand new tanks would be a luxury. But also to sell the "Challenger" to just anyone British could not: they are very proud of their multi-layered composite armor type Chobhem "and reluctant to share their secrets, even with allies. Most likely, the formidable fighting machines awaiting conservation, which allows to quickly bring them into line.
Probably share the fate of the tanks and 155-millimeter self-propelled howitzers AS-90. Of the 179 cars in service will remain 116. It is noteworthy that in this way the Royal Regiment of Artillery (actually composed of several regiments) will be reduced to a minimum number in history, as AS-90 - is today the only type of cannon artillery system of modern Britain, not counting the 105-mm light towed howitzer L118. The basis of artillery island nation are now missile systems of volley fire (MLRS).
No luck, most likely, aircraft vertical takeoff and landing type Harrier - to be allowed to be scrapped next year, with both land and sea planes, which now is in service with three squadrons. And if in the Royal Air Force plan to replace their fighters Eurofighter Typhoon, a 800-squadron of naval aviation remain even without aircraft, at least until then, until they arrive fighter F-35C US-made.
The pride of the Royal VMC - aircraft vertical takeoff and landing type Harrier - be allowed to be scrapped next year
In this case, "Harriers" would be difficult to sell to third countries, such as sea Harrier FRS.2, who in their time willingly become India for its carrier-based air group. The fact that the resource airframes of these aircraft, even modifications GR.9, obtained by extending the lifetime of the aircraft older versions, will be exhausted within the next five-seven years. In addition, the buyer will have problems with maintenance and replacement parts for aircraft, decommissioned in the producing country. Will not save the situation and the fact that aircraft modifications AV-8B Harrier II in operation in the U.S.: the fact that it is somewhat different branch of the basic design with the features.
Thus, the former "mistress of the seas" for about a decade remains airborne deck aircraft: the reduction "vertikalok" will disappear and the merging of shock Air Wing (Joint Strike Wing, formerly Joint Force Harrier), which consisted of the Air Force and Navy units, armed with these machines . Land pilots while practicing on the decks of aircraft carriers, so if necessary to carry out combat missions and floating airfields, as was first demonstrated in 1982 during the conflict with Argentina.
As is clear from the document structure in the future of naval aviation is expected to build on a similar principle. It seems that the British finally abandoned the procurement of specialized maritime version of the fighter F-35B, having the possibility of short takeoff and vertical landing, similarly dismisses the "Harrier". Instead, the Air Force and Navy will receive a "single" somewhat cheaper aircraft F-35C, adapted for launch from a catapult ship and landing on the deck. At the same time with the new British aircraft carriers, as today, will fly as pilots and aircraft in the RAF. While the total demand is estimated at 48 copies of these machines. Meanwhile, the transfer of various structures for the preparation of marine pilots, maintenance materiel, and the like into the hands of the Air Force, while reducing parallel structures in the Navy promises some savings.
Accordingly, loses its meaning and content of the three shock carriers Ark Royal, Ocean and Illustrious. These ships are equipped with ramps starting system Sky-jump. And the alleged F-35C will not be able to fly with them full time: before each flight will have to sacrifice something - or the duration / flight range by reducing the mass of fuel, or reducing the combat load. In both cases, the efficiency of expensive multi-functional fighter will not be much longer than that of the Harrier.
That is why, as announced in SDSR, new British aircraft carriers with a displacement of 65 tons will be equipped with catapults. In addition, they are intended to equip a few systems that allow, when necessary, and release the French carrier-based fighter Rafale M.
Composition of the wing peace-time in a document is defined in 12 fighters F-35C, 12 heavy assault helicopters, Chinook and Merlin in the same troop or ASW variants and eight attack helicopters, Apache.
The first is expected to write off the "Ark Royal", to be followed or Illastries ", or" Ocean "and the last of them finally proklassifitsiruyut a helicopter, which he in fact is, though, and is capable of receiving aircraft.
Meanwhile, plans for a quick and decisive strike forces cancellation of materiel fleet causing criticism of the country. "They must be replaced with two" monster "with a displacement of 65 tons each, but on the ground even three years after commissioning in general will not be planes, and the second will have to convert for the French and American fighters. And despite the fact that the carriers will cost about one billion pounds (1.6 billion dollars) a year, and in case of actual conflict with the same China, they will, according to experts, quickly started up on the bottom ", - wrote on Wednesday, the London Guardian.
However, Britain as an island state, is not going to sacrifice too fleet. The said document envisages limiting the number of ships of ocean area, destroyers and frigates, 19 ships instead of the current 24. In the ranks remain six of the most modern destroyers, Type 45 (class "Darling") and 13 frigates, Type 23 (class "Duke"), and all four frigates Type 3.22 will be debited. Note that both the British destroyers and frigates in connection with the reduction of threats from submarines are a type of versatile vehicles with guided missile weapons. They are able to act against the sea, and against air and ground targets. Do not forget that the program of construction Type 45 destroyer continues, and by 2013 their number will reach six units, which compensates for with an excess of disabling the old frigates. In addition, after 2020 to replace the class frigates "Duke" come-the-art ships of type 26, developed as part of Future Surface Combatant.
Astute - Leading the boat in a series of seven submarines, which should make the main striking force of the British submarine fleet. One of them - actually Astute - is being tested, the other three are under construction, and three more are planned to be built.
Not affect the reduction and plans for the construction of the universal class nuclear submarines Astute, plans to continue building a series of seven units. If by Wednesday the construction of the seventh submarine still doubt, then, after publication, they disappeared. Vzglyad already introduces the class submarines Estyut, the first of which is transferred to the Navy in August of this year. Recall that, depending on the type of mission, these boats can carry not only the torpedoes, and cruise missiles, produced from the torpedo tubes submerged.
As already mentioned, the RAF soon lose Harrier, which are currently the only aircraft close air support (according to our classification roughly correspond storming) in their composition. Nevertheless, the shock component will be cut even further by reducing the number of fighter aircraft - bombers Tornado GR.4 (in this modification of aircraft soon went into the class of bombers for the midget heights). How many of the 129 aircraft will be removed from the as yet unknown, probably it is a very old machines that are close to exhaustion of resources: we recall that the Tornado GR.4 obtained by the profound modernization of aircraft type GR.1 program "Modernization of the mid-life cycle" . In total, this modification was redone 149 aircraft, of which remain in active service 98. It is assumed that up to 2012 drums "Tornado" will replace the latest Typhoon FGR.4, however replacement is not complete, one-to-one reduction will undergo a minimum of three squadrons, largely due to reduced orders for the Typhoon.
However, it should be noted that to replace the multi-purpose "Typhoon", though capable of acting against ground targets, but comes primarily in air defense squadrons, from almost completely replaced the interceptor Tornado F.3. Only one, the 11 Squadron is currently focused on execution of shock problems while performing the functions of air defense.
Thus, RAF practically deprived of the shock components, at least until the F-35. Of the 10 existing today attack squadrons (three on the Harrier, four in the "Tornado" and one on the "Typhoon") in the near future, only five remain. In this regard, it no longer seems an insane idea to eliminate aircraft radar reconnaissance Sentinel R.1, intended primarily for the targeting of ground and sea targets of strike aircraft. Note that these very expensive machines accepted for service only in 2008.
Also reduce the sea scouts and anti-aircraft Nimrod simultaneously with the closing Kinloss air base, where they are located. According to Cameron, they will be replaced by cheaper drones.
Analyzing the reduction plan, it becomes obvious that the strategy of the UK is becoming more defensive, at least in the European theater of operations (TVD). Indeed, for obvious reasons, the emergence of a major war on the continent is becoming increasingly less probable event. In addition, the reflection of a military threat to Europe is seen in the West as a coalition war of NATO against a potential aggressor. In this case, cash, NATO is more than enough, because the Soviet tank armies, with the support of thousands of aircraft alliance is no longer threatened. Hence the reduction of tactical weapons: artillery, combat aircraft, and even tanks, which at present their numbers have ceased to play a decisive role in strategic balance of forces on the continent.
But on the other hand, despite the criticism in The Guardian and other media, Britain is still striving to be a valuable U.S. ally in the implementation of the latest global strategic plans. However, this role is largely assigned to a compact but powerful fleet of three dozen most modern ships of the universal ocean areas, can play an independent role within the continental theater and be a valuable part of the coalition forces outside it.
In other words, Britain no longer sees itself as a great military power. "British Prime Minister found the courage to admit that the country in the foreseeable future can not afford an expeditionary force of more than 30 thousand people, that is, Britain will no longer afford operations like the Iraq war in which at least initially , were involved in a third more troops ", - informs Guardian. Nevertheless, the British contribution to any of the Western coalition will continue to be very valuable and sometimes indispensable.