British military to receive an additional £ 8 billion as part of sweeping reshuffle | british army
Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced a radical reorganization of the British military, with an additional £ 8.6 billion to spend on equipment and a new ranger regiment created to help counter extremist organizations and threats to ‘Hostile state.
The Future Soldier program would reconfigure the military to deal with next-generation threats around the world, positioning it as a modernized and globally engaged combat force, Wallace told MPs.
“To keep pace with the evolving war, our military must be forward-looking, adaptable and embrace new ways of working as well as new weapons and technologies,” he said.
Wallace said the additional £ 8.6bn of equipment over 10 years, bringing the total investment to £ 41.3bn, would create “a modern, innovative and digital army”. The military would operate on a “continuous basis” and would be “persistently engaged around the world”. It would be “as agile in new areas of cyberspace as it is in the field,” with state-of-the-art equipment, including improved tanks, he said.
The program would transform the military into a more agile, integrated, lethal and expeditionary force, with integration at its core, bringing together reservists and regular officials, Wallace said.
From December, a new ranger regiment will be part of the newly created army’s special operations brigade and will be regularly deployed around the world to counter extremist organizations and threats from hostile states. By mid-2022, a new “deep reconnaissance brigade” combat team will be formed.
New equipment such as Boxer armored vehicles, Challenger 3 tanks, Apache AH-64E helicopters, long-range precision missiles and unmanned aerial systems will be introduced, while a large portion of the combat forces will report to new self-sustaining brigade combat teams. An experimentation and testing group will experiment with new technologies.
There will be some restructuring and reorganization of the units over the next four years. The regular army will be 73,000 strong by 2025, which, combined with a military reserve of 30,000, means the army will number more than 100,000.
“For too long, historic infantry structures have hindered the transformation of our army. We cannot afford to be slaves to sentiment when the threat has evolved, ”Wallace said.
Each unit would be affected in one way or another by the changes, he said. By 2025, the regular staff of the Army HQ will be reduced by 40% and the integration of the reserve will be made more productive.
Reservists will play a central role in territory protection and resilience operations. A new York-based reserve brigade will ensure that crises on the home front, such as the Covid pandemic, are addressed at points of need.
There are changes in the promotion boundaries, plans for a soldiers academy to reflect Sandhurst’s prestige, and a new “digital age” career management system. A mental health team within the field army will support well-being.
Wallace said the changes will result in “a credible and relevant, relentlessly adapting force that will confront threats to the nation and meet the challenges of the future.”