The British Army and an Integrated Review

The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy is due any time soon and I have no doubt it will reflect the hard work and smart thinking of its contributors. There will be much discussion after its publication as everyone digests the decisions and implications. Various rumours and leaks have already hinted at the outcome for the British Army, we will see how close to the reality they were. Whilst we are all waiting, this is my view of a possible alternative for the British Army, how it can change and what it might change into, although I

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FBE Bridge, IWM

Folding Boat Equipment (FBE)

Folding Boat Equipment (FBE) was the name given to a portable bridging system that could be used as a floating bridge, a raft, ferry or general purpose boat. Introduced in the late twenties, FBE was continually developed and remained in service throughout WWII. Having seen service in all theatres, it played an especially vital role alongside Bailey bridges in the liberation of Europe. The history of British military bridging is awash with success stories and innovation, yet the Folding Boat Equipment is perhaps one of the most successful that very few have ever heard of. FBE was a modular system,

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SPEAR Missile System

Selected Precision Effects at Range (SPEAR) Capability 3 is the name given to a Category A project (>£400m) to deliver a weapon described as; A new 100 kg class weapon being developed to be the primary air to ground armament for the Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) from 2021; and optimised for internal carriage. SPEAR Cap 3 will provide the capability to destroy/defeat a wide range of targets at range, including mobile and relocatable targets, in all weathers, day and night, in all environments under tight rules of engagement. SPEAR 3 is designed to provide the UK’s F-35B fleet with

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Chinook underslung Land Rover HMS Ocean

Helicopter Transportable Vehicles

Usually seen as the sole domain of special forces, helicopter transportable vehicles provide a mobility advantage for all land and amphibious forces. They extend the range over which personnel can operate once on the ground and increase the amount of equipment that can be carried. Helicopter payloads and internal dimensions are relatively modest compared to contemporary defence vehicles so compromises in all areas have to be accepted. The proliferation of modern air defence systems means slow-moving helicopters may have to operate at stand-off distances from the objective, vehicles will be needed to cover this distance. Introduction The British armed forces

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Boxer Armoured Vehicle Details and Variants

Boxer is described by Artec as BOXER is a truly modular vehicle providing multiple functions for its users, several communication interfaces for participation in network-enabled warfare and diverse mission relevant capabilities. The flexibility of its modularity allows BOXER to be easily adapted to meet diverse mission requirements, in rapidly changing circumstances and global environments. BOXER has impressive integral growth potential so that future emerging military roles and changing requirements can be met, without degrading the vehicle’s capabilities such as mobility. Vehicle Details Boxer is an eight wheeled multi-role armoured wheeled combat vehicle available in a number of variants. Boxer is

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Multi Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P)

The Multi-Role Vehicle – Protected (MRV-P) is defined by the British Army as; A Category A project intended to meet the requirement for a protected deployable platform employed by all Force Elements, at all scales of effort, in a wide range of environments, and on all parts of the battlefield except for the direct fire zone. The MRV-P should bring commonality to the fleet and reduce the logistics footprint for utility vehicles by 2020. In common with the majority of British Army vehicle programmes, the Multi-Role Vehicle (Protected) has a long and complicated backstory that is worth understanding in order

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Towards the Integrated Review

The UK Government is currently (September 2020) working on the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy that will set out a plan of action for the next several years. I don’t claim any great insight or special knowledge, neither do I have a deep understanding of strategy or foreign policy theory. This is just a personal opinion of the direction I think it should take, no more, no less. Before the publication of the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, there are well-established rituals to be observed. First, everyone agrees it is the most

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Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle

The Warrior combat vehicle is the mainstay of the British Army’s armoured infantry force, a solid and capable vehicle with a long and successful service history. Currently subject to a controversial upgrade programme, it is set to remain in service for another 15 or 20 years. The British Army describe Warrior as; The Warrior infantry fighting vehicle has the speed and performance to keep up with Challenger 2 main battle tanks over the most difficult terrain, and the firepower and armour to support infantry in the assault. The Warrior family of seven variants of armoured vehicles, which entered service in

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A UK Hospital Ship

A UK Hospital Ship has been a recurring theme in the media and over the years, accompanied by much online discussion, but it has never really gained much traction in Government. Comments from the Secretary of State for International Development (Penny Mordaunt MP) reported in the Daily Mail would seem to have improved its prospects. Tens of millions of pounds in foreign aid money could be used to build ships to provide humanitarian relief – and help the Royal Navy. International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt believes this dual role will quell concerns about Britain annual £14billion foreign aid budget. Critics

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The British Army – Transformation in an Age of Complexity

The British Army is always transforming, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. Society, politics, culture and technology change, old threats evolve and new ones emerge. Transformation, therefore, is nothing new or unusual. In 2018, the main driver of change for the British Army is the transition from counterinsurgency operations in the Middle East and South Asia to countering a resurgent threat from Russia. Bisecting this is Brexit, the emergence (or perhaps more accurately, increasing prominence) of what is often termed hybrid warfare, and the ever-increasing role of technology in modern ‘connected life’. The British Army thus finds

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Easibridge – Lightweight Tactical Bridging Innovation

EasiBridge offers the world’s first truly man-portable, long-span rescue/assault bridging system. Exploiting the inherent flexibility of the EasiBridge systems, a further eight engineer/infantry “Super-Kit” capabilities can be used. Key benefits include; Portability; weighing just 4kg/m the EasiBridge sections can be easily carried by dismounted personnel and handled without mechanical assistance, Span Length; gaps of up to 18m can be installed by a single person, with access from one side only, Low Cost; EasiBridge is significantly lower cost than comparable infantry assault bridges, Versatility; using common components a wide range of demanding requirements can be addressed. EasiBridge components are 85% lighter

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The Boxer Armoured Vehicle and the British Army

The ARTEC Boxer 8×8 armoured vehicle will meet the British Army’s Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (MIV) requirement that will equip the new Strike Brigades. Boxer and the British Army go back much further than widely known, this will be third time lucky for the British Army and Boxer. There are three broad stages of the UK’s involvement with Boxer, starting in the late eighties/early nineties and this is how I am going to structure this article, a separate article (linked at the end) will cover the vehicle details and variants. Round 1 – The Multi-Role Armoured Vehicle (MRAV) Era The international

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