BLUFThe British Defence Review opts for a smaller but technologically advanced force that, with less equipment and fewer people—can better deal with current and future threats to UK security.
In March 2021, the UK Government released the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. See also Integrated Review 2021: Summary. Note that the UK plans to focus more on the Indo-Pacific region. UK Defence spending is predicted to be 2.2% of GDP—In 2019 Australia spent 1.9 % and the USA 3.4%. The main points of the UK Review are:
- Acquisition of new vehicles.
- Long-range rocket systems.
- More drones, electronic warfare and cyber.
- Forces to spend more time overseas to support allies.
- The Royal Marines to become a new Future Commando Force, assimilating many SAS and SBS functions.
- Development of a Future Combat Air System and building a ‘digital backbone.
- Significant investments in Space.
- Possibly more nuclear weapons.
The aim is to increase the deployability of UK forces and to provide them provide with a technology advantage. Consider the implications for Australia of the UK's Defence Review.
- Mar 2021 ASPI What does the UK’s integrated review mean for the Indo-Pacific?
- Mar 2021 GOVUK The Integrated Review sets out the future for defence
- Mar 2021 House of Commons Integrated Review 2021: Summary
- Mar 2021The Economist Britain’s foreign and defence policy shake-up focuses on technology
- Mar 2021 Guardian UK army, navy and RAF all to be cut back, defence review confirms
- Mar 2021 Guardian Why Britain is tilting to the Indo-Pacific region
- Mar 2021 Defense News Who are the winners and losers in Britain’s new defense review?
- Mar 2021 Flight Global Typhoon, C-130J and Puma retirements, FCAS investment headline UK defence review
- Mar 2021 RUSI The UK’s Integrated Review: Seeing Through a Glass Darkly