Strategic Defence and Security Review
The Strategic Defence and Security Review was announced by the newly formed Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition
United Kingdom coalition government (2010–present)
The ConservativeLiberal Democrat coalition is the present Government of the United Kingdom, formed after the 2010 general election. The Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats entered into discussions which culminated in the 2010 coalition agreement, setting out a programme for government...

 government of the United Kingdom in May 2010, and published on 19 October 2010. The last review of United Kingdom defence posture was the Strategic Defence Review
Strategic Defence Review
The Strategic Defence Review was a British policy document produced by the Labour Government that came to power in 1997. Then Secretary of State for Defence, George Robertson, set out the initial defence policy of the new government, with a series of key decisions designed to enhance the United...

, published in 1998, and updated in 2003 by the Delivering Security in a Changing World
Delivering Security in a Changing World
The 2003 Defence White Paper, titled Delivering Security in a Changing World, set out the future structure of the British military, and was preceded by the 1998 Strategic Defence Review and the 2002 SDR New Chapter, which responded to the immediate challenges to security in the aftermath of the...

 white paper
White paper
A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and are often requested and used in politics, policy, business, and technical fields. In commercial use, the term has also come to refer to...


As well as wishing to see an updated security policy, both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties wanted the £38 billion overspend in the Ministry of Defence's (MOD) procurement budget addressed. Given that this coincided with the new government being committed to deficit reduction, the Treasury asked the MOD to prepare options for a 10–20% real terms reduction in its budget. However, the final figure was an 7.7% reduction over four years.


All three services will take cuts in manpower (see below). Overall, this will mean the largest overseas deployment possible will be 30,000 troops. This compares to the 45,000 involved in the invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...


British Army

  • Personnel will be reduced by 7,000 to 95,500.
  • The British Army
    British Army
    The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

     presence in Germany
    British Forces Germany
    British Forces Germany , is the name for British Armed Forces service personnel and civilians based in Germany. It was first established following the Second World War as the British Army of the Rhine ....

     will end by 2020.
  • The number of Challenger 2 tanks will be cut by 40% to an estimated number of just over 200.
  • The number of AS-90
    The AS-90 is a lightly armoured self-propelled artillery piece used by the British Army. It was first delivered in 1993...

     heavy artillery will be cut by 35% to an estimated 87.

Royal Air Force

  • Personnel will be reduced by 5,000 to 33,000.
  • Nimrod MRA4 project, after spending £3.2 billion and the first aircraft being completed, to be scrapped. RAF Kinloss
    RAF Kinloss
    RAF Kinloss is a Royal Air Force station near Kinloss, on the Moray Firth in the north of Scotland. It opened on 1 April 1939 and served as an RAF training establishment during the Second World War. After the war it was handed over to Coastal Command to watch over Russian ships and submarines in...

    , where the aircraft were to be based, will close.
  • Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft
    Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft
    Future Strategic Tanker Aircraft is a British project to procure aerial refuelling and air transport for the Royal Air Force to replace VC10 and Lockheed TriStars then in service. After evaluation of bids the RAF selected the AirTanker consortium who had offered the Airbus A330 MRTT. AirTanker...

     procurement will go ahead, as will the Airbus A400M
    Airbus A400M
    The Airbus A400M, also known as the Atlas, is a multi-national four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities. The aircraft's maiden flight, originally planned for 2008, took place on 11 December 2009 in...

    . These aircraft, along with the current C-17s, will form the future air transport fleet. The VC10
    Vickers VC10
    The Vickers VC10 is a long-range British airliner designed and built by Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, and first flown in 1962. The airliner was designed to operate on long-distance routes with a high subsonic speed and also be capable of hot and high operations from African airports...

     and TriStar
    Lockheed TriStar (RAF)
    |-See also:-References:* Prothero, R.M. "Tristar:The answer to an operational requirement". Air International, March 1991, Vol 40 No. 3. pp. 128–134....

    s are approaching the end of their service lives and the C-130 fleet will be retired 10 years earlier than planned.
  • 12 Boeing Chinooks will be added to the current fleet, a cut to the original order for 22.
  • The Harrier GR9 will be withdrawn during 2011.
  • The RAF's future fast jet fleet will be based on the Typhoon
    Eurofighter Typhoon
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...

     and the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The latter, which will also be flown by the Royal Navy, will be the more capable and cheaper F-35C version. The UK had originally planned to buy the F-35B, a Short Take Off and Vertical Landing
    STOVL is an acronym for short take off and vertical landing.This is the ability of some aircraft to take off from a short runway or take off vertically if it does not have a very heavy payload and land vertically...

     aircraft. The F-35C has longer range, greater payload capability and the MOD envisages life cycle costs to be 25% cheaper than the F-35B.
  • The Sentinel R1
    Raytheon Sentinel
    |-See also:-References:* Winchester, Jim. "Aircraft of the RAF Part 5 - Raytheon Sentinel R1". Air International, Volume 75 No.3, September 2008. pp.54-57.-External links:* * * *...

     will be retired once it is no longer required to support forces in Afghanistan.

Royal Navy

  • Personnel will be reduced by 5,000 to 30,000.
  • The Royal Navy flagship aircraft carrier, , will be decommissioned "almost immediately" rather than in 2014. The Joint Force Harrier
    Joint Force Harrier
    Joint Strike Wing, previously known as Joint Force Harrier, was the British military formation which controlled the STOVL Harrier aircraft of the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm...

     aircraft will be retired. Both of these measures will save money for the purchase of the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.
  • One of the Albion class
    Albion class landing platform dock
    The Albion class is a class of landing platform dock, and are the newest amphibious assault vessels in the Royal Navy fleet. The class consists of two vessels, and and they were ordered in 1996 under a programme known as LPD to replace the aging Fearless class...

     landing platform dock ships will be placed at extended readiness.
  • Either or to be decommissioned, whichever is least capable as a helicopter carrier
    Helicopter carrier
    Helicopter carrier is a term for an aircraft carrier whose primary purpose is to operate helicopters. The term is sometimes used for both ASW carriers and amphibious assault ships....

    . This was decided in December 2010, Liam Fox stated "HMS Ocean should be retained to provide our landing platform helicopter capability for the longer term. HMS Illustrious will be withdrawn from service in 2014".
  • One of the Bay class landing ship dock vessels (later identified as ) would be decommissioned. Subsequently sold to the Royal Australian Navy GBP100m as an interim replacement until the 2 proposed RAN Canberra Class Helicopter Landing Decks are commissioned.
  • The number of warheads carried on each Vanguard class
    Vanguard class submarine
    The Vanguard class are the Royal Navy's current nuclear ballistic missile submarines , each armed with up to 16 Trident II Submarine-launched ballistic missiles...

     submarine will be reduced from 48 to 40, and the number of operationally available nuclear warheads is to be reduced 'from fewer than 160 to no more than 120'.
  • Replacement of the UK's nuclear deterrent, based on the Vanguard class ballistic missile submarines, will be delayed by four years, deferring £500 million in spending. Changes to the size of the missile tubes will save £250 million.
  • 7 Astute class
    Astute class submarine
    The Astute-class is the latest class of nuclear-powered fleet submarines in service with the Royal Navy. The class sets a new standard for the Royal Navy in terms of weapons load, communication facilities and stealth. The boats are being constructed by BAE Systems Submarine Solutions at...

     submarines will be built as previously planned.
  • The surface fleet of frigates and destroyers will be reduced to nineteen ships; the current thirteen Type 23 frigate
    Type 23 frigate
    The Type 23 frigate is a class of frigate built for the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. All the ships were first named after British Dukes, thus the class is also known as the Duke class. The first Type 23 was commissioned in 1989, and the sixteenth, was launched in May 2000 and commissioned in...

    s, the three active Type 45 destroyer
    Type 45 destroyer
    The United Kingdom's Type 45 destroyer is an air defence destroyer programme of the Royal Navy which will replace its Type 42 destroyers. The first ship in the class, HMS Daring, was launched on 1 February 2006 and commissioned on 23 July 2009. The ships are now built by BAE Systems Surface Ships...

    s, and the three Type 45 destroyers currently under construction. The remaining Type 22 frigate
    Type 22 frigate
    The Type 22 Broadsword class is a class of frigate built for the British Royal Navy. Fourteen of the class were built in total, with production divided into three batches. With the decommissioning of HMS Cornwall on 30 June 2011, the final Type 22 of the Royal Navy was retired from service...

    s and Type 42 destroyer
    Type 42 destroyer
    The Type 42 or Sheffield class, are guided missile destroyers used by the British Royal Navy and the Argentine Navy. The first ship of the class was ordered in 1968 and launched in 1971, and today three ships remain active in the Royal Navy and one in the Argentinian Navy...

    s are to be disposed of. "As soon as possible after 2020", the Type 23 frigates will be replaced by new Type 26 frigates.
  • The Wildcat (Super Lynx)
    AgustaWestland AW159
    |-See also:-External links:* * . Flight International, 29 March 2005.* ., 9 Oct. 2007.* . Flight International, 12 Dec. 2008....

     will be the main helicopter in the future .
  • There will be a UK Response Force Task Group
    Response Force Task Group
    The Response Force Task Group is a new initiative announced in the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review and is the heart of the UK’s maritime contingent capability, held at very high readiness to respond to unexpected global events...



There has been much criticism about the SDSR, for example, coming from the The Phoenix Think Tank. As of 03 August 2011, the House of Commons Defence Select Committee
Defence Select Committee
The Defence Select Committee is one of the Select Committees of the British House of Commons, having been established in 1979. It oversees the operations of the Ministry of Defence and its associated public bodies, including the armed forces.-Membership:...

published a critical review of the SDSR.
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