This guest post by the DefenceSynergia (DS) RN Editorial Team looks at the history of cuts, compromise and decline experienced by the RN in recent times and hopes for better strategy and policy to inform the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).
Lack of warship orders and the Government’s ‘lassiez faire’ attitude is damaging the industrial base that the navy will need in the long term. This is clear to see in the likely consolidation of all Royal Navy warship construction on a single site.More
The 2010 defence review required the Royal Navy to reduce its personnel numbers from 36,000 down to around 31,000. The salaries, benefits and pensions for serving and former RN personnel amount to a significant cost, making naval budget manpower cuts an attractive naval option for the Treasury. After 3 waves of redundancies, the RN was down to 30,310 trained personnel by April this year. More
Nuclear submarines: the key UK defence asset
The submarine force is the arguably most important of the RN’s assets. Not only do the 4 Vanguard class subs (SSBNs) carry the UK nuclear deterrent but the attack submarine force (SSNs) are the only vessels able to launch the Tomahawk land attack missile. Of all the problems facing the RN at present, the recent rapid decline in SSN numbers is the area for greatest concern.More
This year marks the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines – the Royal Navy’s soldiers, an elite fighting force with a proud history of successful operations almost continuously around the globe.More
A recent rise in tension between Spain and Britain over Gibraltar is a cause for concern, although the dispute is very unlikely to escalate into a military conflict. Spain and the UK are both part of the EU and NATO and anyone with a grain of common sense can see that it is in both countries interest to remain firm allies.
The seas and ports around our coast are vital to our economy and require policing for our safety and to ensure international law, treaties and agreements are upheld. With 17,820 Km of coastline and the world’s 5th largest Exclusive Economic Zone, one of the UK’s greatest natural resources and environmental responsibilities, is the sea. While high-profile controversies about aircraft carriers are important, the RN’s less glamorous but key role in UK maritime protection should not be forgotten.
On 30th September the Royal Navy announced the 1,020 personnel to be made redundant in the first ‘tranche’ of 5,000 redundancies that the government has forced on the RN. At least 350 of those leaving will have been thrown out against their will as here have not been enough volunteers for redundancy.More