Given the size of the UK National Debt an overall cut in the Defence Budget for the UK by 8% would seem reasonable.
The cessation of use of the Harrier Jump-Jets is the cause of much consternation but they are an airplane that is past sell-by date and although it saw sterling service in the Falklands War that was in the 1980s and the Jaguar Ground Attack/Fighter is a much better aircraft and more up-to-date and already in service.
The problem for me is the Two Aircraft Carriers which have been given the okay to be built because the cost of cancelling the second Aircraft Carrier would actually exceed the cost of continuing to build both of them. That is quite bizarre but, in a way, epitomises the fact that a Strategic Defence Review was not only overdue it was essential to stop – and stop immediately – the Ministry of Defence’s wasteful and profligate waste of public money in haphazard defence procurement.
That said we do have a serious problem with the two new Aircraft Carriers. They will be introduced into service but only able to host British Helicopters for 9 years until the now-planned Aircraft Carrier aircraft will be made available. That is even more bizarre.
There is more trouble in this arena than that though.
We now have two Aircraft Carriers already in service that can carry aircraft but they are the Sea Harriers which are about to be discontinued. The real problem is that the ability of the Royal Navy to protect the Aircraft Carriers is non-existent.
As a result the British Royal Navy has just become entirely dependent on being assisted in conflict by allies (a) to provide Aircraft borne aircraft if required and (b) to protect the British Aircraft with anti-submarine screening ships. That is something that would be unsustainable if the UK is ever required to mount an operation such as recovery of The Falkland Islands where the British Armed Forces were pretty much isolated by Europe and helped surreptitiously by the USA.
That is a risk of this Defence Review and leaves a serious problem should the same circumstances that led to The Falklands War recurring.