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UK to mothball Challengers and Warriors?   General Army topics

Started 25-Aug by autogun; 1003 views.
autogun

From: autogun

25-Aug

The Times newspaper reports today that:

Military chiefs have drawn up plans to mothball all of Britain's tanks, as the cost of upgrading the 227 Challenger 2 tanks, and the 388 Warrior AFVs that support them on the battlefield, has soared.

The argument is that the changing character of warfare demands more investment in cyber capabilities and other cutting-edge technologies.

The budget for army kit is already squeezed and the ministry is preparing for its funding to be cut owing to the economic fallout from the coronavirus.

While options remain on the table to upgrade the Challenger 2 or buy the German Leopard 2 tank, Britain is already sounding out NATO partners about the proposal to give up heavy armour and overhaul its military contribution to the alliance. The new offer would focus on taking a leadership role in attack aviation, offering all 50 Apache helicopters to allies along with heavy-lift refuelling and battlefield reconnaissance helicopters, plus training and support facilities.

There are considerable concerns about the future military budget* and this article may be seen as an early salvo in the ferocious battles to come. 

*The UK does just about meet its commitment to spend 2% of its GDP on defence, but the GDP recently dropped by 20% - it has since recovered to some extent, but no-one expects a full recovery for some time.

stancrist

From: stancrist

25-Aug

Sounds reasonable to me.  There doesn't seem much sense in a small, island nation having a tank and IFV force, if they're not planning to invade other countries.

autogun

From: autogun

25-Aug

stancrist said:

Sounds reasonable to me.  There doesn't seem much sense in a small, island nation having a tank and IFV force, if they're not planning to invade other countries.

That's true, but there are wider implications. Since WW2, the great majority of British Army armour has been based in Germany, and dedicated to NATO. So while most of the forces have returned to the UK in recent years, the main reason for the existence of the heavy armour has been to support NATO. Any withdrawal of this support is politically sensitive, which is why alternative means of support e.g. combat helicopters, are being suggested instead.

  • Edited 25 August 2020 3:54  by  autogun
Farmplinker

From: Farmplinker

25-Aug

Probably there will be complaints by countries who expect the UK, like the US, to defend them for free. "Helicopters are easier to withdraw than tanks!" and other comments will be made.

Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)

25-Aug

Seriously defend from whom? If anyone thinks US is defending Europe from Ivan he is deluded, threat siezed to be with the fall of USSR. 

At present US and British adventures only endanger Europe via milions of muslim imigrants they generate from the warzones in past decade or two. The other thing is these adventures also cost money and lives in the EU that plays willing idiots in these adventures.not to mention Nato Europe buys lots of US gear while US does not buy anything not made in US.

Force reductions are part of cost-cutting to facilitate both F35 and 2 carriers.

stancrist

From: stancrist

25-Aug

autogun said:

That's true, but there are wider implications. Since WW2, the great majority of British Army armour has been based in Germany, and dedicated to NATO. So while most of the forces have returned to the UK in recent years, the main reason for the existence of the heavy armour has been to support NATO. Any withdrawal of this support is politically sensitive, which is why alternative means of support e.g. combat helicopters, are being suggested instead.

Yeah, I understood that.  What they want to do still seems reasonable to me.

stancrist

From: stancrist

25-Aug

Farmplinker said:

Probably there will be complaints by countries who expect the UK, like the US, to defend them for free.

What countries expect the UK or US to defend them for free, and from what other nation(s)?

roguetechie

From: roguetechie

25-Aug

Exactly.

Oh no, what tragedy, the Germans have to pay for their own defense!!!

stancrist

From: stancrist

25-Aug

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

Seriously defend from whom? If anyone thinks US is defending Europe from Ivan he is deluded, threat siezed to be with the fall of USSR.

Totally agree.  Except, even though I spent a few years of my life training to fight the hordes of Russian tanks pouring through the Fulda Gap, I came to doubt if that threat was ever real.  Yes, the USSR had a large army on their western border, but they had good (defensive) reason to do so: They had recently been invaded by Germany -- a western European country -- with devastating consequences.  Considering their history of being invaded by other western European nations, like France, preparing to defend against invasion from the west was perfectly sensible.

Mr. T (MrT4) said:

The other thing is...Nato Europe buys lots of US gear while US does not buy anything not made in US.

Right.  The requirement to spend 2% of GDP on "defense" looks rather like the real intent is to keep a steady flow of money to the manufacturers of military weapons.

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