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Defence review: Are the plans fair?

13:49 UK time, Tuesday, 19 October 2010

David Cameron has confirmed defence spending is to be cut by 8% in real terms over four years, as he unveiled the first strategic defence review in 12 years. What is your first reaction?

He denied it was simply a "cost saving exercise" as he opened his statement and said there would be no cuts to support for troops in Afghanistan.

He confirmed HMS Ark Royal will be decommissioned four years early and the UK's Harrier jump jets will be axed.

Did you listen to David Cameron's announcement? Are there any alternatives to cuts? Which cuts do you agree or disagree with?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.


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  • Comment number 1.

    I blame the banks, the immigrants, the condems, labour, single mums, the education system, the NHS, Nimbys, DM readers, benefit scroungers, tax dodgers, people with kids, people without kids & the Trumpton fire dept.

  • Comment number 2.

    1. At 3:25pm on 19 Oct 2010, RubbishGirl wrote:

    I blame the banks, the immigrants, the condems, labour, single mums, the education system, the NHS, Nimbys, DM readers, benefit scroungers, tax dodgers, people with kids, people without kids & the Trumpton fire dept.


    Sounds a pretty good list there. Dont think you missed anyone out (impressed).

    If the button existed this would have a recomendation

  • Comment number 3.

    I'd rather see cuts in the defence budget than in the science and research budget.

  • Comment number 4.

    Nothing this government says or does has any credibility.

    The proposed cuts to any public services (including defence) are ideologically driven.

    Unless you are a rich member of Cameron's Notting Hill Elite, you have much to fear from this shower of a "government" - they want to wreck the welfare state, education and now defence.

  • Comment number 5.

    Are the plans fair?

    How can a defence budget be 'fair'. How does the concept of 'fairness' apply to a government budget?

    Anyway, there's not much for the government to decide, pretty much everything they've not cut they were contractually obliged to keep under the terms of the contracts signed by the last government.

    PS. Rubbish Girl you could have had the Looney Left or the Nasty Right for a bonus point...

  • Comment number 6.

    Defence cuts like other cuts are all well and good but it does not take a genius to notice that job loses in the defence sector mean wider job loses to local the old saying goes you need to spend money to make money..

  • Comment number 7.

    The sums involved vis-a-vis Defence is staggering! How can we be sure that it is not for Offence & War?

  • Comment number 8.

    The scrapping of the the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, is one one the daftest idea's I heard of. The Argentinian Generals must be busy drawing up plans for another go at the Falklands. Thatcher made the same mistake in the early 80's, which had the Argentinian delay their attach until 1983, would have meant they'd may still be there now because we'd not have been able to combat them at such a distance.

    Really, it seems the Tories are intent on making Labour look good with their recent daft, needless and utterly stupid decisions.

  • Comment number 9.

    Whatever the rights and wrongs of the decisions - and it has to be said that large aircraft carriers with no aircraft is quite a biarre prospect - the ConDems should at least be honest.

    This is not a Defence review. It is a spending review. Both carriers go forward because the cancellation penalties are worse than the building costs. That they will have no aircraft doesn't seem to be a great concern. Other items - such as improved Nimrod - are cancelled presumably because they have weaker cancellation claw-back clauses.

    Pre-election Cameron boasted the armed forces would get whatever they needed to do their job - it seems that after years of deriding labour for not buying enough equipment Cameron has now realised that what the armed forces actually need is a lot less equipment.

  • Comment number 10.

    The biggest mistake the PM has made today is to say that the Typhoon is the mainstay of our ground attack, wrong! it is the Tornado. The Typhoon is a fighter and is not used in Afghanistan because it is 'too dusty' out there. (Still he got the start of the word right).
    Having been in the RAF for 37 years I feel justified in saying that the worst idea is to cut Nimrod 4. The Nimrod 3 airframes are clapped out and are full of many bodges that have been carried waiting for properly fitted out Nimrod 4s. (Had labour not procrastinated on the 4s in 1998 we wouldn't have lost the Nimrod, and eighteen servicemen, that we did!)
    So it looks like we are stuck with two new carriers and the additional expense of buying F-35 a/c, from the Americans, because we won't have any of our own. (I wonder if this was Labours plan all along).

  • Comment number 11.

    As I have previously stated, I'm betting the Argentinians are going to be laughing all the way to the Falklands.

  • Comment number 12.

    DC looked convinced in his, not many others did!!!!!

  • Comment number 13.

    What are they actually trying to achieve?
    If we are going to support troops on the ground they need close support aircraft not intercetors so what do we cut - close support aircraft.
    Or do they thinkwe are going to war locally - well, hands up anyone who thinks our forces could match Russia? We would be overwhelmed within hours. We might do OK against Germany or France - are we likely to be fighting them? Perhaps they are for global air supremacy - oops we haven't got anything for them to fly from to take them far.
    Well, in ten years we will - providing of course the cost overruns for coverting the carriers to take such aircraft can be met.
    We will get our forces better kit - unfortunately there will be fewer to use that kit when it eventually come through.
    An absolute mishmash which acheives tries to do too much without considering the practicalities and therefore acheives nothing except significantly reducing our military capabilities without significantly saving money.
    Yet another example of monetary dogma over common sense.

  • Comment number 14.

    I suppose the question should really be "who are our enemies now and who do we believe our enemies will be in ten even twenty years time?" We are fighting enemies now who are a guerilla force, an insurgency, where much of our large scale war machine is not required.. we need small scale high tech specialists and machines. Who is to say that this will be the case in ten years time.. Will we still be fighting counter insurgency and anti terrorist operations? Probably.. But who is to say that in ten years time China is not our enemy where full scale monster war is brought down upon us and the world again and where massive war machines and human flesh is required on a grand scale to survive.. In my opinion we should invest heavily in counter insurgency and anti-terror.. These are the new world wars, where nations fight by proxi, but where a clash of the titans is less likely. So no need for squadrons of fighters, trident and other war machines and units required to fight Russia and China. If that fight occurs......... God, who ever you perceive him/her/it to be, have mercy on our soles

  • Comment number 15.

    Carriers with no planes, so what are they carrying ?
    God help us if we get into another conflict and god help the poor Armed forces personnel having to defend themselves.
    Perhaps we should just get rid of the Armed forces altogether and prepost our surrender in case of attack.
    So much for the Condems bumping their gums about shortages !!

  • Comment number 16.

    seems a bad time to be scraping your aircraft carrier just when
    Argentina and the rest of the countries around the Falklands have started to rattle their sabours because a bit of oil has been found

  • Comment number 17.

    So what have we got now with the Nimrod MR2 retired and the MRA4 scrapped?

  • Comment number 18.

    Typical government responses to our brave armed forces , thanks for the effort and putting your lives on the line but off to the dole queue now.
    Camerons reply to the Harrier pilot was disgusting answer the question and not give us a worthless sound bite.
    When will we see some real action against the tax dodgers and the banks and not the hard working and brave. Its time to stand up and be counted and that goes to the Lib-Dem cowards who have sold their values for a chance of power, the voters will remember you lot as traitors

  • Comment number 19.

    As a resident of Lossiemouth I have waited the whole day for David Cameron to say what is happing to the bases and all he can do is say that both the tornado and the nimrods will be cut. Does this translate as closure??

    Hopefully our MP will be able to get a better answer. I'd like to know sooner rather than later if Moray is about to loose everything.

  • Comment number 20.

    There are Euro fighter jets stationed on the falklands now so they would have an aerial deterent anyway without an aircraft carrier.

  • Comment number 21.

    The daftest decision ever is to leave the UK without a viable Carrier and the ability to deploy combat aircraft to any theater in the world.

    What will we do if there is a requirement, go begging to the USN or the French.

    GET A GRIP CAMERON we need a viable Armed Services!

  • Comment number 22.

    I am most concerned about the plans for the RAF Kinloss and Lossiemouth bases. I moved away from the area a few years ago but my parents still live there and closure of the bases will be disastarous for the economy there. Both my Dad and my older sister have their own businessess in that area so they are extremely worried about their future. My Dad was hoping he would be able sell up and retire in a few years time but this is now looking very improbable

  • Comment number 23.

    It is high time that both the Labour government and the people of the Uk realised that the dynamics of capitalism has changed and that it is no longer a Western dominated economic model.

    The model is now being modified and is used by emerging economies to great advantage. A result of which the UK and many of its Western partners are fast becoming a new 2nd world economy. The sonner we size down to that fact and re-evaluate our business model to compete out there in the market the better

  • Comment number 24.

    Do we even need an RAF? Can't this role be easily taken up by the Army and Navy?

  • Comment number 25.

    We've had an emergency budget and now a spending review and noone has stated why Trident must stay.
    we seem to have;
    banks that are too big to fail,
    an NHS too big to fail,
    education system too big to fail,
    Trident* too big to fail.

    Now apparently we have AIRCRAFT CARRIERS TOO BIG TO FAIL.
    It's a joke of a spending review.

    M Rifkind(Tory) says Trident must stay because, ''theoritically, a xenophobic, nationalist Russsian President might be come to power in 20 years time''.

    *Why such a person would want to invade other countries is unclear.
    If he/she is xenophobic they won't want to move out of Russia.
    If he/she is nationalist they won't want to build up other countries.

    Apparently it takes 17 years to 'design and build (new)Trident''.

    17 years eh ?? Really ??

    If the country is threatened, it will take 17 years to build Trident.
    Some useless defence system that.

    If you believe that, you believe anything.

    Aircraft carriers too big to fail. Really ??
    We're be selling them to the US,France,Germany,Japan,China,Middle East...second hand then, as soon as they are completed.

    Mind you, since G Osborne has said ''we were on the brink of bankruptcy'' we won't get much of a price of sale.

    ...the foolocracy remains.

  • Comment number 26.

    We now have no Navy.....let's pray that a humanitarian crisis does not happen or any of our people overseas need re-patriation,throughout modern history the RN has been for more than just fighting wars!

  • Comment number 27.

    What do you call an aircraft carrier with no aircraft? Thats it....a target. Ludicrous decisions all round. When can we expect Argentina to start a bit of sabre rattling again?

  • Comment number 28.

    These defence cuts will undoubtedly place this country in the same position we were in prior to WW1 and WW2.
    I feel dismayed with the education system in this country that places History so low on the curriculum. Or is it simply that a persons lack of History is a prime requirement for becoming a politician.
    I understand that we need cuts, but to allow the Armed Forces to be so seriously degraded is tantamount to treason.
    I also find it insulting that Parliament dishonours those that have paid the ultimate price by placing this country at greater risk than it already is.

  • Comment number 29.

    4. At 3:37pm on 19 Oct 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    Nothing this government says or does has any credibility.

    The proposed cuts to any public services (including defence) are ideologically driven.

    Unless you are a rich member of Cameron's Notting Hill Elite, you have much to fear from this shower of a "government" - they want to wreck the welfare state, education and now defence.

    All political parties are ideologically driven so why should this government be any different from all the previous ones?

  • Comment number 30.

    I think that the Government should sell HMS Ark Royal, along with the Harriers, to the Argentinians and ask them, politely, to protect the Falkland islanders.

  • Comment number 31.

    6. At 3:43pm on 19 Oct 2010, nikkimabs28 wrote:

    Defence cuts like other cuts are all well and good but it does not take a genius to notice that job loses in the defence sector mean wider job loses to local the old saying goes you need to spend money to make money..

    That very much depends on what you spend the money on.

  • Comment number 32.

    I've not made my mind up on the actual cuts, but the BBC reporter in Portsmouth this morning should certainly be cut - she kept referring to "The HMS Ark Royal". Would someone please explain to her that 'HMS' is an abbreviation, and putting 'the' in front of it makes no sense - "the Her Majesty's Ship Ark Royal".

  • Comment number 33.

    I’m a former RAF officer. These cuts are fundamentally depressing, leave a bitter taste in the mouth, but they are unfortunately unavoidable.
    The carriers are a fait accompli. They were signed up to by the last government and can’t be cancelled. However, the JSF should be scrapped….we could build F18s under licence or convert Eurofighter.
    Scrapping Ark Royal makes sense, as does scrapping the GR9, which is simply not a credible air defence fighter, with no radar and short-range missiles. It’s not a ‘fast jet’ either. Ground attack can be undertaken by submarine-launched Tomahawks. Air defence is provided by quite capable T45s and the Sea King AEW Mk 7.
    Scrapping the MRA4 was inevitable. This is the legacy of a disgraceful procurement decision aimed mainly at lining the pockets of BAE Systems. The kit should have been fitted to a 737 airframe. Instead, some vintage airframes were completely refurbished and didn’t work.
    Delaying Trident is the least that Cameron could have done. This white elephant keeps the US defence industry in business. It should be drawn down to the minimum credible capability, and replaced in the long term by something far cheaper – nuclear cruise missiles.
    We need Eurofighter Typhoon and it’s too late to scrap it anyway. There is a potential air defence threat to the UK which we are reminded of every time there is a scramble against the Russian Air Force. This is low key, but could escalate in the event of scrapping the air defence deterrent.
    Future wars are likely to be low intensity, contrary to the massive investment in high-intensity war-fighting capabilities. We need more troops, more ships and more helicopters, plus the submarines and aircraft that are long-term capabilities. Our kit needs to be off-the-shelf and interoperable at the cheapest price, ideally tested already by other armed forces, rather than white-elephant procurement which flies in the face of common sense.
    Finally, Cameron appears to be handling these cuts with some integrity, other than the standard leaks which raise worst expectations (2 Scottish RAF bases closing instead of one). He addressed the troops at PJHQ, and took questions, which is more than happened when the axe fell in 2004, and when the Sea Harrier was scrapped, someone (we can guess who) concocted a letter of support from two fictitious officer. This needs to be the subject of honest and urgent debate.

  • Comment number 34.

    Once again the Tories slash and burn the forces. Exactly the same as they did in "Options for Change" and just as devestating.

    It is a disgrace to the men and women who have stood, fought and died in the the name of the government of this country. Cameron should hang his head in shame.

    It makes no sense whatsoever to dispose of Harrier when it's replacement will not be in service until at least 2020. That is of course if the USA give us operational sovereignty of the aircraft and not keep the source code to the avionic software under wraps.

    Tornado is a flawed machine, the jack of all trades, but unfortunatly the master of none, even after it's mid life update it is still not up to the job it was designed to do. The problem is that we are stuck with it, after all it was only the llegitimate offspring of TSR2.

    Maybe they should look at other ways of saving money, like getting some of the wastrels who sit at home with their 60" plasma TV's who refuse to work off their lazy backsides.

    Perhaps national service could make a comeback for the spongers, make them productive, rather than a drain on the treasury.

  • Comment number 35.

    the Invincible class carriers aren't useful now for defending the Falklands anyway. The Harrier GR9 has no air-to-air radar, so it wouldn't be able to offer any realistic chance of air defence for the fleet anyway. Ark Royal and Illustrious are only useful in theatres where there are no air threats, i.e. counter-insurgency air strikes, ASW work, humanitarian relief, and helicopter assault in support of an invasion. We already have Ocean and Illustrious for that stuff, so decommissioning Ark Royal (four years early) makes sense.
    It also makes sense to cull the Harrier, as it's got no gun and operating in hot and high conditions in Afghanistan is taking it's toll on the airframe.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    If we dont need aircraft on our carriers for the next ten years, how can we possibly need the aircraft capability in ten years time. I hope Argentina don't decide to invade the Falklands any time in the next ten years because without the carriers we do not have the capability to defend them.

  • Comment number 38.

    this is just another round of cuts which in the long term will reduce our capability. Until we find another crisis which requires a larger, more mobile, better equipped force then the govenment will continue to target these areas as the majority of the british public dont appear to believe there is a need for a large defence force.
    The Falklands, Iraq 1 and 2 and currently Afganistan are all examples of over committed, under equipped British troops being deployed and then a rush to 're-equip' them

  • Comment number 39.

    I'm not a military buff, neither am I up to the minute in matters Argentinian, but my understanding is that the Falklands conflict was won largely thanks to Harriers launched from sea.

    Perhaps the Government has no anxieties about now-democratic Argentinian intentions, but given the conspicuous absence of US backing for the UK position, and the interest in oil, I think this is, on the face of it, an odd time to be losing that capability.

  • Comment number 40.

    The plans seem entirely reasonable given the circumstances we face.

  • Comment number 41.

    8. At 3:46pm on 19 Oct 2010, Kuradi Vitukari wrote:

    The scrapping of the the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, is one one the daftest idea's I heard of. The Argentinian Generals must be busy drawing up plans for another go at the Falklands. Thatcher made the same mistake in the early 80's, which had the Argentinian delay their attach until 1983, would have meant they'd may still be there now because we'd not have been able to combat them at such a distance.

    Really, it seems the Tories are intent on making Labour look good with their recent daft, needless and utterly stupid decisions.

    I can't really see the Argentine government using force. Anyway, isn't it time the UK let go of all its overseas territories?

  • Comment number 42.

    OMG this is a bad idea on top of a very bad idea.

    the last time we had deep cuts in defence was before WW2, which my grandad (RIP) served and survived. He said that he had a wooden gun and had to shout BANG...

    We need the Harrier as it is still a state of the art aircraft (though it is 30 odd years old.

    we also need a navy with the ability to deploy fighter planes so getting rid of the Ark Royal is a very bad move (nelson is spinning).

    last point - our current crop of polititans have not served in the forces (except Bob stewart) so they can not know what is needed by the brave men and women who lay their lives on the line day in an day out.

    If cuts are needed cut over seas aid - as russia, china pakistan india do not need it as they are all nuclear Powers.

  • Comment number 43.

    Sounds like the MoD should be outsourced!

    Having worked for the MoD in the past, it is top heavy with people, a case of too many chief's and not enough Indians! There is terrible waste and I'm glad that the government is now taking a long overdue look of how the MoD works.

  • Comment number 44.

    Surely time to replace the forces with the more efficient private consortiums.
    I can just visualise the S&S adverts...............

  • Comment number 45.

    dont know what the snp are rattling on about with closures of kinloss. the people of that area vote snp, and they dont want to be part of the uk anyway. if that was the case, the base would be moved anyway. scotland would not have an air force. well maybe a couple of hang gliders.

  • Comment number 46.

    Now then, back in 1981 the then Tory government branded HMS Invincible a white eklephant and sold it in principle to Australia, and was preparing to get shot of HMS Hermes. What happened next? Well it was a clear signal to the Argentine Junta that the coast was clear to invade the Falklands. the mistake they made is that they should have waited a few more months! Have lessons from history not been learnt? Want to save money. Now then, let me see. I earn areasonable wage but can only afford to run a clapped out 9 year old Mondeo. Yet down teh street there are all sorts on benefits, living off the taxpayer, running not fortds and vauxhalls but BMWs and Audis. Don't tell me that is esential. I agree that money needs to be saved but if you want to save money save it there and not on some short sighted policy.

  • Comment number 47.

    Oh hell, I missed out the nazi's, can't believe I had a chance for a Godwin at post 1 & missed it. *hangs head in shame*

  • Comment number 48.

    David Cameron states no base closures are being announced yet has also just said that the new Nimrod order is cancelled. Therefore a whole base that's sole purpose was for the operation of Nimrod's becomes obsolete. If that isn't a base closure then what is it? Are all personnel based there going to continue to be based there? No. Will there be a need for staff? No. So it's a base closure then.

  • Comment number 49.

    14. At 3:54pm on 19 Oct 2010, PoliticalChindit wrote:
    "... if that fight occurs......... God, who ever you perceive him/her/it to be, have mercy on our soles."
    Well I'd certainly expect plenty of running, too.

  • Comment number 50.

    Goodbye U.S allies, Goodbye NATO support. Hello China nucleaur warfare.

  • Comment number 51.

    In the issue of the defence of the falklands with no carrier deterent the falklands now has an operational airbase which is more than sufficient to deter and stop a hostile force.

  • Comment number 52.

    There are no members of parliament serving in the cabinet with any form of military experience and as a result, their understanding of the forces, their role and their requirements is extremely limited. It is extremely sad to see such wastage of equipment that is needed for future defence and for the current conflict in Afganistan. The Harriers and the Nimrods being the example here. Although as a nation we need to economise, we need to be pragmatic as well and so stupidities across the rest of the government and the associated wastage need to be addressed first and the necessary time needs to be taken for a meaningful defence review before destroying the forces for good.

  • Comment number 53.

    Why cut the Nimrod MRA4 when it's been paid for and is about to come into service?! We have nothing in service currently that can match its capabilities in Search and Rescue, anti-submarine warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Let's just wait now for a Russian submarine to sail up the Clyde and wave hello! Or the insurgents in Afghan to really kick off. RAF Kinloss is vital to the Moray economy, (as is RAF Lossiemouth nearby). This cut of the MRA4 and closure of Kinloss signals disaster for the region and it's people. What a shambles.

  • Comment number 54.

    Oddly enough this is probably ok given that we have lately been more OFFENCE than DEFENCE...? However it is rather odd we are looking at getting capabilities to use Both USA and French platforms on a carrier. Does this mean that we are aquiring USA AND French hardware, or is it being modular (May as well have Italian, Russian etc.)?
    Shall we totally out-source our military capability and therefore limit our own control?

  • Comment number 55.

    Political chindit wrote, 'God have mercy on our souls' I doubt if he will on a such an amoral country like Britain where cassino capitalism can waste hundreds of billions and we then blame public services like Defence and housing.

    Let there be NO doubt. While WE pay a price the tax havens go on as if nothing has happened. Do you REALLY think that after Iraq and this brutal brutal governments attitude and actions, God will favour Britain?

    I am ashamed to be British under Cameron, this brutal rightwing ideologue whose ONLY interest is to his Rich paymasters and protecting cassino capitalism.

    Clegg spoke about Fairness, HE IS A BRAZEN LIAR. He like Cameron is protecting the Bankers, the Mega Rich and the tax evaision etc costing us housing, defence, jobs, police, teachers and soon healthcare.

  • Comment number 56.

    2. At 3:31pm on 19 Oct 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    1. At 3:25pm on 19 Oct 2010, RubbishGirl wrote:

    I blame the banks, the immigrants, the condems, labour, single mums, the education system, the NHS, Nimbys, DM readers, benefit scroungers, tax dodgers, people with kids, people without kids & the Trumpton fire dept.


    Sounds a pretty good list there. Dont think you missed anyone out (impressed).

    If the button existed this would have a recomendation

    Obviously HYS newbies. There is only one person to blame: Margaret Thatcher

  • Comment number 57.

    You cannot concentrate on Afghanistan at the expense of everything else. If they want us to remain a world player, then keep the carriers and make sure they have jets. Get rid of Eurofighters if anything, they're a Cold War relic.

  • Comment number 58.

    Out of interest. Why on earth do we bother to keep bases in Germany open?! Surely their purpose is now pointless as we are their allies and might as well use the money spent to keep them open, spent on keeping bases in the UK open? We have moved on from the cold war.

  • Comment number 59.

    I know the cold war is over,but the Russians are still a threat and this morning they sent 2 of there TU95 Bear Bombers into NATO/UK airspace which had to be intercepted by Dutch F16's and RAF Tornado F3's with Tanker and AWACS support. With the scapping of the Nimrod and fewer Royal Navy ships how are we going to detect Russian Submarines and other suface ships. So we still need a credable defence.

    The best of it all is the building and putting into service Aircraft Carriers with NO Aircraft to fly off them.

  • Comment number 60.

    'It is high time that both the Labour government and the people of the Uk realised that the dynamics of capitalism has changed and that it is no longer a Western dominated economic model.'

    Its is also high time you realised there was an election in the Uk in the spring and we now have a Conservative government!

  • Comment number 61.

    Does the PM know he is duty bound to ensure the defence of the UK and overseas terrority and its people world wide is his responisbility? With these cuts he will be putting the likes of the falklands at risk

    Lets get this straight we spend billions on challenger 2, AS90's, the aircraft carrier Ark Royal just to waste the investiment and scrapping it all.

    The very idea of having 2 aircraft carriers with no aircraft is just crazy & stupid...why bother building them?? Cameron is clearly either stupid, asleep at the wheel of the country or just simply reckless.

    And what about the thousands of job losses? who do I blame? the people that actually voted this weak and useless govenment.

    No wonder the american armed forces nickname the British as the borrowers.

  • Comment number 62.

    Clearly the Carriers are only being built because the in built penalties mean that there is no saving in scrapping them and ultimately two finished Carriers have a greater value than a pile of scrap metal.

    So while 5 Billion is being spent on construction the £35 Billion anticipated to buy the F35 is put on hold and the POW is to be fitted with Cats to make it a Flight Deck for Hire.

    This could be all it ever is, used as a spare deck for the US who may be having to cut their own Carrier fleet before long, but never operating actual UK fixed wing aircraft. As for QE I bet it will be sold off asap.

    In short it is cancellation, but done rather more intelligently and with a prospect of at least recouping some of the £5 Billion liability.

  • Comment number 63.

    In case of the threat of war or terrorism, let the clever ones magic away the threat as they did our money. Let them use their un-earned, un-deserved gross bonuses, to pay for it. Come on you bankers, you screwed and are still screwing us all, now is the time to "Do you bit" for this country, magic away the trouble you have caused, in the same way that you magicked up our loss and your gain. Who knows, maybe you would regain some restpect. Sorry, just dreaming.

  • Comment number 64.

    44,300 in the RAF at the moment due to be cut by 5000. But we have 60,000 Air cadets, lets just use them to provide any cover when we commit ourselves to futher conflicts, that we can't meet.

  • Comment number 65.

    No one will lose there jobs whilst in Afghanistan, well how commendable. Perhaps we could ask them to take voluntary redundancy, then they could clear their desk and walk home? What a way to treat the men and women of our armed forces.

  • Comment number 66.

    Hmmm, I remember a time when, back in the late seventies early eighties the RAF said they could support a naval force anywhere in the world...
    Oddly enough when it came to 82 and a certain south American country had designs on a bit of old blighty there was much Umming and Arhhhing.

    Isn't that why one of the Carriers sailed on only one engine and had to stop at one point mid voyage to carry out major repairs?? It may have looked impressive sailing from the south coast, but there was furious mechanical repairs going on below decks.

    The real fly in the ointment was when the good old Fly Boys did get the 'kite' up in the air it was in the form of one of the old 'V'bombers (the Vulcan) which took several tankers and mid air refueling to get there at massive cost. The end result was that only one of the load of bombs did any damage at all. After all that and, dare I say it, a couple of medals too, the job could have been acheived at a fraction of the cost had the carrier air group had the authority to drop a few bombs and probably earned the medals to boot!

    Cariers without Harriers? Pathetic!

  • Comment number 67.

    'So no need for squadrons of fighters, trident and other war machines and units required to fight Russia and China. If that fight occurs......... God, who ever you perceive him/her/it to be, have mercy on our soles'

    I think this depends on how the future of the EU evolves. The future of battles may well be as an EU force with combined GB, French, German, Spanish etc forces.

    I think people are ignoring this, they may not like it, but Britain is increasingly going to be represented as part of the EU on many issues on the world stage.

  • Comment number 68.

    It seems fairly ridiculous to be making such heavy cutbacks to the already stretched Armed Forces and the Education system, when we willing give billions of hard earned cash to the EU often without knowing what it's being spent on! I just hope these measures won't be to the detriment of our brave servicemen and women's - or our national - security and safety.

  • Comment number 69.

    I hope that Angus Robertson MP can get a reponse from Liam Fox

    Its not good leaving the whole of the Moray in suspense

  • Comment number 70.

    This is ludicrous, I never liked MAggie but how the hell will we defend the Falklands now which she herself sent our hero's retake. What a kick in face to all our hero's, roll on next election.

  • Comment number 71.

    Oh well - I guess we should all start learning a foreign language.
    Weren't we fighting our European brothers and sisters not so long ago?
    Does DC and LF really think that a foreign country is really going to let the UK land on it's aircraft carrier. A shrewd ploy by Johnny frenchie.

    I wonder how long it will be before they start their take over bid?

    This is nothing more than saving pennies - there's no real long term plan.

    I guess whatever is 'saved now' will only make the future masters of this land richer.

  • Comment number 72.

    How long does Tony Smith from Tatsworth think that the 30+ year old Tornado should be kept in service as our front line jet? What does he suggest replacing it with when they start dropping out of the sky if the Typhoon is simply a "hobby"? It seems he has assumed a maintenance cost of £0 for an out of date jet, an additional cost of £0 for adding new capabilities and a development cost of £0 for its replacement. Was it his idea to have a carrier with no aircraft too?

  • Comment number 73.

    The plans show faults of past goverments.Instead of nimrod we should of bought the awacs and instead of the euro fighter we should of bought F16`S.Our nuclear weapons are not a deterent.The words of the director of the cia during 911 is on record saying,the usa nuclear deterent is worthless if terrorists explode a nuclear bomb on usa soil.
    As we know with iraq,any nuclear attack by terrorist would result in a nation state being blasted to the stone age.
    i hope we don`t follow the usa into such a miss-adventure.We should not be projecting the military might of the uk,others don`t and why should we.We should have a prime minister announcing a plan for long term peaceful space exporation of space as if we had our own nasa.

  • Comment number 74.

    Like everyone else I understand the need for cuts and money saving, but to take away the only plane that can fly from our carrier seem stupid to me.

    The Falkland islands was invaded last time when the navy was cost saving and stop the last ship patrolling the seas around the islands and now they like me would have heard that they are now taking away what amounts to be our carrier force with the decommissioning of HMS Ark Royal but are now saying that our new carriers will not have any planes on them at all! If the Falklands get invaded again or another smellier style conflict our troops will not have the same close air support that would be required and it will cost the life of our troops.

    don’t get me wrong putting helicopters on the carriers is a good cheap idea, but they simply can not fill the void left when our harriers are decommission.

  • Comment number 75.

    This is hilarious - Air craft Carriers with no planes to fly from them. Why the hell do we need Trident though ? - maybe some secret cold war is going on ? Inter - what with the French ? - they got their own air craft carriers haven't they ? - keep our Navy British. We don't want joint forces with the French or anyone else - next thing you know we will be merging country's too.

  • Comment number 76.

    The goverment need to be answerable to factors of great concern! If on average the goverment receive nearly 1 Billion pounds in Council tax per month and on a weekly basis just looking at the type of tax return they earn, may I stress just on taxes and national insurance on a weekly basis just from the average earners without supertax and VAT they have an income of nearly 5 Billion pounds per week. Doing the maths thats near 21 Billion pounds per month gross profit going into goverment funds on a monthly basis, including the council tax.

    Then you have the supertax, then the VAT,company taxes and VAT, inheritance tax, fuel charges, roadtax, insurance return percentages, share returns invested with public money and the list goes on. Where are the income account sheets and can we the General public see these? I would love to see the expenditures, the conservatives bench with pay and luxuries would front another frontline army including RAF and marines. What cuts are the front bench making? Perhaps that would save a couple of billion in its first year!!!

    The conservatives will deffinately make the Britsh pound stronger because the ecconomy will only have public incomings and no outgoings.

    There should be an IQ test to vote because I tell you now people with the slightest hint of intelligence would never have voted them in. If they had reviewed the Thatcher reign,they would've have realise the hardships and the lack of compassion for mainly the elderly..There are no middle-classes in the conservative goverment your either going to be born rich or poor and by heck lass you'll die rich or poor. The first cuts were the future of the poor kids futures, its not their fault their parents are drunks it was their lifeline for a better future but hell no the conservatives can't have the poor making a better life for themselves.

    Who will fill the low paid jobs and empty their bins and make their beds etc. Its absolutely laughable.

    David Cameron lets see your P&L sheet I reckon the profit is on track to a good 70% profit it would be 95% but we have to pay for your childrens private education, and your tailormade suits and Oh yeah, that cheesy smile and lets not forget the gym membership. I rest my case. I'm lucky enough to be able to leave the country, because I tell you now its been a struggle snce the conservatives came into power with their no-say buffer stock oh yeah the lib condemned. The hardships will get worst and the poor kids will look at a very severe future.

    Now all you idiots who voted the conservatives in if you were not already rich, give yourself a pat on the back and take a walk back to the eighties and early nineties and enjoy. Let the nightmares begin!!!!

  • Comment number 77.

    UK has always been a Maritime Nation. Now without Maritime recce. Madness.

    Thats what you get when you have a Nation of Idiots who worship the tax havens and tax avoidance rather than think about defence, houses, jobs etc.

    I think the Brits are Ideologically MAD.(mutually assured destruction)

    No pun indented but if you grovel the the super rich the way British people do then expect chaos and its only begining.

  • Comment number 78.

    Graeme M. 25 years in the RAF and 4 years as an MOD Civilian and he moans about possible changes to his severance pay. I to did 25 years in the RAF and a few more years as an MOD Civilian. What are you moaning about? 25 years man service leaving with a considerable pension and lump sum payout and even with severance brought into line with the rest of the private sector you will get the equivalent of at least six weeks pay. I call that fair, stop your whinging.

  • Comment number 79.

    The plans are STUPID.
    a) With no air cover our Navy is USELESS, with no air cover you may as well scrap the whole surface 'fleet' (fleet implies a significant number of vessels, we already don't have enough).
    b) We can NOT rely on 'borrowing' air cover or ships if we need it - we have seen time and time and time again that this does NOT work - ww2 and American destroyers - eventually getting a few clapped out leaky bits of WW1 scrap.... the list of examples goes on.
    c) We can NOT rely on todays 'friends' being tomorrows 'friends' - 1930 and Germany was a friend, 1945 America was trying (fortunately not successfully) to have talks with Stalin about destroying the British Empire!!!! (So much for friends eh?)
    d) We know that wars erupt quickly - Argentina could invade the Falklands again, with no air cover we can not defend them. Its simple, it just would not be possible to retake them if Argentina walks in next week! They've done it before when we showed weakness.
    e) We know that surface ships with no air cover can not operate in hostile water - just remember what happened to HMS Prince of Wales off Singapore... and that was not the only ship... even with air cover how many ships did we lose to air power in the Falklands??? More ships than the RN has now!

    Without a Royal Navy actually able to protect our interests and supply routes abroad, able to protect landing sites for the army etc. we can NOT put the army anywhere. Its just not reasonable to transport any large (hic - I forgot the army is not even as big as the BEF anymore) army to fight anywhere by aircraft we need ships. Without being able to move the army to where it is needed then we don't really need it either.

    With no Royal Navy to ensure supplies, no Army able to protect our interests then there is no one to defend airfields for the Airforce.

    This stupid and ill thought through 'defence' review is nothing of the sort, its a hack and run destruction of our ability to defend ourselves leaving us wide open to any hostile force of any description from anywhere.
    It is a disaster on biblical proportions.
    This government can NOT blame the last one for this.

    True we need to save some money, but there are plenty of ways of doign that without throwing away our whole nation.

    If the government stopped all the foreign procurement and started buying British then we would INSTANTLY have a boost in employment, a fall in benefits an increase in taxation and some industry capable of exporting and earning the much needed income that would actually fix our problems. Cutting this aircraft carrier not only denudes our defence but sticks 1000 or so people (800 sailors + maintenance etc.) straight onto benefits - where they achieve nothing for anyone....

    Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid... these politicians and their advisors shoudl go to school and learn to write before thinking they can run a piss up in a brewery.

  • Comment number 80.

    11. At 3:53pm on 19 Oct 2010, suzie127 wrote:

    As I have previously stated, I'm betting the Argentinians are going to be laughing all the way to the Falklands.

    That would be the Malvinas....
    Two aircraft carriers with no aircraft(one with its picture in Auto-Trader already), the surface fleet reduced to 19 ships. 40% of the Army's tanks and heavy artillery gone, 7,000 soldiers sacked, the RAF losing aircraft and bases.
    What are these people up to. Are they going to out-source overseas operations to Sandline International?

  • Comment number 81.

    To leave the country without the ability to project force from our aircraft carriers for a decade severely limits our ability to protect our outlying regions.

    In simple terms; if Argentina invades the Falklands next year, there will be nothing we can do about it until 2019.

  • Comment number 82.

    Oh no! Early de-commissioning of HMS Ark Royal leaves us without the means to defend the Falklands from invasion. Its 1981 all over again. Do you remember, then we had to borrow an aircraft carrier from Australia.

    There are massive oil and gas deposits sitting under the Falklands, which belong to the UK. That is our future and the means to rebuild our country. As a supporter of the Condems, I think this is a big mistake.

  • Comment number 83.

    leave HM armed services personnel at least for the time being. The report that for every serviceman and woman there is an MOD civil service person would suggest that it is these admin staff are the ones to be severely reduced in numbers.

  • Comment number 84.

    I remember the phrase mutiny... I think it is time the entire Royal Navy mutinied on mass (well almost mass, theres barely enough off them for anyone to notice), still, the affect would be amusing. It would be good if the RAF and Army were to also join in. Sod Afghanistan and getting ourselves shot up just so we can rot on a dole queue.
    Who is up for a march on Saturday?????

  • Comment number 85.

    Why don't we cut the Indian defence budget instead? They are buying 300 fighter planes from the Russians. They have their own space programme too but we still send them £750 million a year.

  • Comment number 86.

    This Defence Review is no different from its predecessors in that it is a cost cutting exercise, pure and simple. We are a nation that is reliant on imports for much of its essential energy and raw materials and food. Securing and protecting the home base and the routes along which those vital materials enter this country should be the cornerstone of our Defence Policy. Because we have become so obsessed with and therefore dependent on all aspects of technology, we have effectively created our own vulnerability. Our society, now increasingly urban, is dependent on a fragile and vulnerable food supply and distribution network that can easily be interdicted by terrorists, piracy and industrial action. This is another major vulnerability we have inflicted on ourselves. But none of these core issues appear to have been considered by this so-called Review. Instead, for purely political reasons, we appear to be persisting with a nuclear deterrent that will not reduce the very threats now top of our list of priorities and our claims still to be a sea power are now an absolute sham. Two things must now happen. (1) a programme of building nuclear power stations to render us as independent as possible of imported energy supplies and (2) a major expansion in agriculture to reduce our dependence on imported food. Otherwise, we will remain a small, overpopulated island on the NW fringes of Europe that is vulnerable to a whole range of threats with little ability to counter them. Finally, beware of a resurgent and powerful Russia, the owner of a large slice of the world's critical raw materials and with a Navy (Northern Fleet) that now knows no real opposition other than that of the US.

  • Comment number 87.

    More admirals than ships
    More Generals than batallions
    More Air Commodores than planes - actually that's not true, including the red arrows there are two planes for each air commodore.
    The top brass have large salaries, large pensions, and all the benefits, yet we only need a fraction of them.
    Have we got rid of these empty mouths?

  • Comment number 88.

    My family moved to Scotland when I was 5, my Dad worked on the Nimrods. Have been in Scotland ever since, and although I do not live in Moray any more I cannot help but be concerned about the effect this closure will have. The nearby town of Forres will deteriorate even further than it has over the last few years. It will be such a shame to see the base and the many service personnel houses just fall into disrepair. At least all the vandals will have plenty of empty buildings to trash, which may keep them away from occupied houses!

  • Comment number 89.

    A cut in defense budget was expected whilst no cuts were expected in the contingency spend for the Afgan campaigne..clearly it makes sense to preserve capital spend whilst cutting headcount..however these cuts should be balanced with higher TA training..Clearly a greater impact will be felt by cuts in civil servant headcount and closure of non essental services like job centres

  • Comment number 90.

    So we are cutting (among other things I know) the defence budget. We are not only engaged in a war, but one which is being funded from MoD operational expenditure budgets, not the Treasury contingency funds as the case for past conflcts.

    Are Cameron, Osborne and Fox thinking that it is only the lower orders who serve in the Armed Forces and so it doesn't matter how many of them die or are maimed in a pointless exercise in Afghanistan? Or in any other adventure that they might lead us into? I know Blair took us in there but Brown and Cameron have both signally failed to get us out. The continued waste, and the continued contempt shown by the political class for people who are risking their lives out of a sense of duty, sickens me.

    And to add to the continued waste of the Afghan adventure, we now do this on the cheap by reducing defence expenditure even further in order to subsidise Cameron, Osborne and Clegg's public school chums in the banks.. who got us into this mess the first place.

  • Comment number 91.

    Of course such cuts are unreasonable, 8% is no where near enough, we should be looking at 98% cuts as a minimum.

  • Comment number 92.


  • Comment number 93.

    Should be cut by 80%.

    Get rid of Trident and the useless brigadiers that sit on their backsides in Whitehall.

  • Comment number 94.

    #1 RubbishGirl

    If ever there was a HYS item to be closed down after the first comment your effort should win everytime. I have pasted it in my magical scrap book....

    DC be enlightened.

  • Comment number 95.

    I often feel that military procurement is on the basis of cost plus, with any scheme the salesmen then come along and say "we can fit this for a few million" and the government say yes, and suddenly we are over budget. On the original price for these aircraft carriers, we should be able to build 5! Instead we get 2 at the bloated inflation of the price.
    And let's not forget the helicopters the tories brought in 1995 that still don't work.

  • Comment number 96.

    Sgt Murdock needs to listen closer, the Prime Minister congratulated 8 members of the house who had served during this engagement.

  • Comment number 97.

    The once powerful & magnificent British navy is being reduced to the fighting capacity of the Jungle Ride boats at Dusneyworld. My heart goes out to the brave sailors, past & present, who deserve better.

  • Comment number 98.

    If you have a big army you're tempted to use it for all the wrong reasons (aren't you, Tony Blair). Why do we, a nation of just 60 million people, have the 4th largest 'defence' force in the world (which of course is currently being used more to attack than to defend)? We don't need it. We're not that important any more. So I'm delighted to see the army, navy and RAF trimmed down. I'd like to have seen it cut back more and the savings spent on growing our economy instead. I do of course sympathise with those losing their jobs, but it's a long overdue structural change.

  • Comment number 99.

    What does scrapping the ark royal and harrier squadrons mean?

    Does this mean mothballing?
    cutting up for scrapp?
    selling on to another buyer?
    Why can't the harriers operate from the new carriers?
    Will we see P and O converting the ark royal into a cruise ship? or a prison ship?
    Can we Use the fittings in the new carriers from Ark royal?
    Will all the ship and fittings be produced in the UK or will we be exporting more jobs?

  • Comment number 100.

    All three main parties want the UK to be assimilated into a federal Europe, but daren't admit it, because they know the overwhelming majority of the UK public oppose the idea. Their solution is to ensure that the UK cannot exist as an independent country, so that we have no choice but to be assimilated into a federal Europe. Odd, how France can afford a bigger Navy than us; a better healthcare system than us; an earlier retirement age, and a significant independent Nuclear deterent. Why is this? Maybe it's something to with the fact that their welfare system isn't as generous as ours, they don't religously enforce the European human rights act, they have no health and safety executive, they ship their asylum seekers on to the UK and, (I never thought I'd say this) their political elite are not as self serving and financially corrupt.


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