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Thread: Sir Richard Barrons: Military 'Unable' To Protect UK From Attack

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    Default Sir Richard Barrons: Military 'Unable' To Protect UK From Attack

    Sir Richard Barrons: Military 'Unable' To Protect UK From Attack

    Former Joint Forces Command chief warns that the situation "could matter a very great deal" if the UK faces a full scale attack.

    September 17, 2016

    Britain's Armed Forces are unable to protect the country from a full-scale attack, the former head of the Joint Forces Command has warned.

    General Sir Richard Barrons, who retired in April, said that civil servants are focused on "skinning" budgets rather than tackling "profoundly difficult" strategic challenges.

    In a memo to Defence Minister Michael Fallon, Sir Richard added that the Ministry of Defence has worked to "preserve the shop window" but the Armed Forces' capability had been "withered by design".

    The warning comes despite the Government's decision to increase spending by nearly 5bn by 2020/21 and to meet NATO's target to spend 2% of GDP on defence for the rest of the decade.

    Sir Richard said: "There is a sense that modern conflict is ordained to be only as small and as short term as we want to afford - and that is absurd.

    "The failure to come to terms with this will not matter at all if we are lucky in the way the world happens to turn out but it could matter a very great deal if even a few of the risks now at large conspire against the UK."

    The memo, seen by the Financial Times, singles out Russia as a possible threat to British defences.

    Sir Richard said: "UK air defence now consists of the (working) Type 45 (destroyers), enough ground-based air defence to protect roughly Whitehall only, and RAF fast jets.

    "Neither the UK homeland nor a deployed force - let alone both concurrently - could be protected from a concerted Russian air effort."

    The former Joint Forces Command chief also raised concerns that Britain's Armed Forces are reliant on small numbers of expensive equipment, such as new aircraft carriers, which "we cannot afford to use fully, damage or lose".

    The warning comes a day after the MoD announced that it is finalising a 30m deal to develop a hi-tech laser weapon.

    In a statement, the MoD said: "Our defence review last year put in place a plan for more ships, planes and troops at readiness.

    "That plan was backed by a rising defence budget.

    "And, crucially, it was backed by all of the service chiefs."

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    Default Re: Sir Richard Barrons: Military 'Unable' To Protect UK From Attack

    Royal Navy A 'Laughing Stock' With Three Quarters Of Its Warships Out Of Action And 'Struggling To Protect British Citizens'

    The cuts have also delayed assistance to British territories hit by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean by a week

    September 15, 2017

    The Royal Navy can barely protect the UK, it is claimed.

    Cuts have left the force “a laughing stock” with three quarters of warships out of action.

    The belt-tightening has also severely hampered our response to Hurricane Irma.

    Thirteen out of 19 Type 23* *frigates and Type 45 destroyers are unable to take to sea due to a lack of manpower, fuel and supplies, military sources told The Daily Telegraph.

    Engine problems have delayed flagship HMS Ocean by a week in its bid to help Irma-hit British territories in the Caribbean.

    Senior sources described our response to the hurricane as lacklustre.

    They added: “The armed forces have been reduced to a level where they struggle to protect British citizens.”

    Lord West of Spithead, a *former First Sea Lord, added: “What is clearly happening, despite what the Defence Secretary (Michael Fallon) says, is a hollowing out of defence.”

    The Navy’s manpower was reduced by 4,000 to 30,000 in a 2010 Government review and was badly hit in a recent wave of cuts. Julian Lewis, chairman of the House of Commons defence committee, said:

    “The size of the Navy has been massively cut in the past 20 years.

    “Having one ship in the right place at the right time is creditable but not sufficient.

    “Barely two per cent spent on defence is way too low and defence is far too far down the scale of our national priorities.

    “Obviously this is bound to affect our ability to react at scale to crises as they arise.”

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    Default Re: Sir Richard Barrons: Military 'Unable' To Protect UK From Attack

    Britain Has No Warships Deployed Overseas In 'Unprecedented' Move Blamed On Defence Cuts

    December 20, 2017

    Britain has no major warships deployed on operations beyond home waters in what has been described as an "unprecedented" absence of the vessels on the world stage.

    All six of the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyers are docked in Portsmouth, while 12 of 13 Type 23 frigates are either at Portsmouth or Devonport.

    HMS St Albans is the only Type 23 on duty as the fleet ready escort, which protects home waters.

    A dearth of major naval warships overseas has been attributed to cuts to the defence budget, raising concerns over Britain's ability to project power internationally.

    Vice-Admiral John McAnally, national president of the Royal Naval Association, told The Times that the scarcity of frigates and destroyers overseas was unprecedented and indicates the fleet is too small.

    "I am distressed and alarmed. I do not see that it is easily remedied," he said. "The only answer is an increase in the defence budget.

    "It is too small to meet what government want the armed forces to do."

    A Royal Navy spokeswoman said it is "deployed globally on operations and will be protecting our national interests throughout Christmas and New Year".

    "There will be 13 ships and submarines deployed away and in home waters, as well as the at sea nuclear deterrent," she added.

    The frigates and destroyers are said to have returned to port for a combination of maintenance and crew needs.

    The UK's only aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, is not due to enter active service until 2020.

    It emerged on Tuesday that the vessel, the largest and most expensive in the Royal Navy's history, has a leak.

    Helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, the fleet's flagship, is due to arrive back in Devonport after its final deployment before being decommissioned in 2018.

    HMS Protector, a Royal Navy ice patrol ship joined the search for the missing Argentinian submarine, the ARA San Jan Juan, in November.

    In early 2018 HMS Sutherland, a Type 23, is due to depart for the Far East and HMS Duncan, a Type 45, will also be deployed.

    Most powerful warship ever built by the UK

    At 280m (918ft) long and with an estimated half-a-century working life, the behemoth is the biggest and most powerful ever built by the UK.

    However, it is understood the vessel has been leaking for some time.

    A Royal Navy spokesman said: "An issue with a shaft seal has been identified during HMS Queen Elizabeth's sea trials; this is scheduled for repair while she is alongside at Portsmouth.

    "It does not prevent her from sailing again and her sea trials programme will not be affected."

    10,000 people worked on construction of ship

    The aircraft carrier weighs 65,000 tonnes and has a top speed in excess of 25 knots.

    Several ship-building yards around the country were involved in the build.

    These include Govan and Scotstoun in Glasgow, Appledore in Devon, Cammell Laird in Liverpool, A&P on the Tyne in Newcastle and Portsmouth.

    Around 10,000 people worked on construction of the ship, made up in sections at yards around the UK and transported to Rosyth, Fife, where it was assembled.

    Building aircraft carriers 'not for the fainthearted'

    Speaking ahead of the ship's commissioning on December 7, Captain Jerry Kyd described it as a "major milestone".

    The ship's commanding officer said: "Building aircraft carriers is not for the fainthearted. There are very few countries who can do this around the world."

    He later added: "Putting together an aircraft carrier and all its facets and all its bits and pieces is quite a complicated business, (but) one we are looking forward to.

    "This (the commissioning) is a major milestone now, it is all systems go really."

    The aircraft carrier was delivered by ship building partnership the Aircraft Carrier Alliance (ACA).

    An ACA spokesman said: "HMS Queen Elizabeth has been accepted into Her Majesty's fleet.

    "It is normal practice for a volume of work and defect resolution to continue following vessel acceptance.

    "This will be completed prior to the nation's flagship re-commencing her programme at sea in 2018."

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