UK to cut armed forces size, invest in high-tech rearmament

ANI
·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

London [UK], March 23 (ANI/Sputnik): The UK government announced plans on Monday to reduce the size of the army and cut back the number of planes and warships, while investing in high-tech rearmament to deal with modern threats.

"The army's increased deployability and technological advantage will mean that greater effect can be delivered by fewer people. I have therefore taken the decision to reduce the size of the army from today's current strength of 76,500 trade trained personnel to 72,500 by 2025," defense minister Ben Wallace told Parliament during the presentation of the five-year defense review for post-Brexit UK.

Wallace assured lawmakers that the changes will not require redundancies as they will be built on the work already done on utilizing the reserves "to make sure that the whole force is better integrated and more productive."

"The Government's commitment to spending £1.188bn ($1.6 billion) on defence over the coming next four years, an increase of £24bn ($32 billion) or 14 per cent, is an investment in the Prime Minister's vision of security and prosperity in 2030," he said.

According to the report, the new funds will be invested in army technology including upgrades to the Challenger tank and Boxer armored fighting vehicles and replacing the Trident submarine-launched nuclear missile system.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the publication of the "Defense in a Competitive Age" review, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the plans to modernize the armed forces was aimed at making them more valuable to UK allies.

"What we are doing is giving them the kit now that they will need to make themselves all the more useful, all the more, I'm afraid, lethal, and effective around the world. Therefore, all the more valuable to our allies, and all the more deterring to our foes," Johnson said during a visit to a BAE System factory in Lancashire on Monday morning.

The major overhaul of the armed forces was announced one week after the Conservative government informed that the UK will increase the limit of its own nuclear warheads from 180 to 260, prompting criticism from peace organizations and countries such as Russia, which have accused London of violating the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and inciting an arms race. (ANI/Sputnik)