Happy Thanksgiving to our American readers from OoL.
Meanwhile, over here, The figures look quite iffy and the underhand way Cameron went about it is worse.
£16bn overseas aid. Billion, not million.
Meanwhile, as one commenter explains:
The ‘Defence Review’ is a confidence trick – the ‘announcement’ of an extra £12 billion defence expenditure is nothing of the sort.
Yes, the P.8 Maritime Patrol Aircraft are new but paid for at the expense of 5 Frigates for the navy who now will be getting only 8 new ships to replace the existing 13, a reduction in the frontline strength of the fleet of some 30%.
The ‘retention’ of two squadrons of Typhoons only covers the slowdown in the procurement of the F-35’s, the original planning for which called for two operational squadrons by 2020, that will now be deferred until 2023 (by which time it will be 8 years old) and the combat aircraft strength of the RAF is still going to fall to 120 (from the current 220) aircraft by 2020 as the Tornados are phased out.
Regarding HMS Ocean, she was designed to have a service life in excess of 25 years, which could be extended to over 30 years if required. For the MoD to say it has a 20 year life only confirms their real intentions toward the UK’s armed forces.
The Harriers were getting outdated, true but the issue should not be the retention of outdated craft, naval and air but their replacement – their planned replacement in good time. It looks mighty like short-termism and dodgy practice from Blair, Brown and Cameron, three peas from the same pod.