Monday, November 28, 2016

Strike Brigades, the short version


"You know the tank, that we invented and we just finished to celebrate? We are going to cut a third of them so we can use Ajax out of role instead, converting a tank regiment into a "medium armour" thingy."

"We're going to leave the armoured brigades without recce cavalry so we can pretend Ajax is a medium tank and put it in an otherwise wheeled brigade, because we don't have the money to put the 40mm gun on MIV itself. We used to plan a Medium Armour variant of Ajax armed with a 105 or 120 mm gun, but we cancelled that and there is no money to resurrect it now. Instead we have ordered 245 Ajax in recce configuration and sub-variants, plus supporting variants. No problem: we build Ajax to be the reconnaissance element of armoured brigades, but we can just squeeze it into another role instead. But don't worry, we won't use it as a tank. Well, yes, we will, but only if there is no enemy MBT around, i guess. If there is, surely the air force can think about it, or Javelin, perhaps...?
Our Medium Weight force will be half tracked and with a firepower deficit, but these are details.

Direct Fire / Medium Armour variant: one of the Ajax variants that did not make it into the contract. 
Ajax Medium Armour might still see the light, but it will be on the other side of the Atlantic. The Griffin, based on the Ajax hull and armed with a 120mm smoothbore, is GD's entry for the US Army Lightweight Protected Firepower requirement. If the British Army could change the Ajax order to include a number of these, the Strike Brigade would make at least a bit more sense. 

Maybe, just maybe, we will do something for the Royal Artillery. Something very innovative. So innovative that the Royal Artillery has tried to do the same things for more than a decade, without ever getting the money for them.
In the meanwhile, we are probably going to cut a regiment's worth of AS90 self-propelled howitzers.



General Sir Nicholas Carter: Yes. The strike idea is designed to meet two outputs. The first output is what I described earlier: being able to project land power in a self-deployable fashion over greater distances, up to, say, 2,000 km.The second thing that strike is designed to do is to be able to dominate a battle space that is increasingly larger and perhaps has more population on it, that is more complex and is also able to concentrate and disperse rapidly within that battle space. The capability is being built on a vehicle piece of equipment—

 Phil Wilson: Is that the AJAX?

General Sir Nicholas Carter: Yes, it is. It is being constructed in south Wales. They start to roll off the production line, not in south Wales, but initially in Europe, come next year. We are building the capability in a methodical and deliberate fashion over time, as this equipment rolls off the production line. Rather like we did in the 1930s, the idea is to test it to destruction and to experiment with it, in the same way we did with the mechanisation of force in the 1930s, so that we get the doctrine and the concept right at the forefront and so that we understand what the structure should look like. We test it and we veer and haul from it, so that, come 2021, we have an initial operating capability. I know that may sound a long way away, but that is the rate at which these vehicles are rolling off the production line.                

Phil Wilson: How many vehicles in total will you be looking for in the end?

General Sir Nicholas Carter: Well, a regiment equipped with AJAX will have around 50 to 60 AJAX vehicles within it. Each of these brigades will have two AJAX regiments and probably two mechanised infantry battalions as well.
[...] 

General Sir Nicholas Carter: Well, it (AJAX) is a completely different capability. We initially felt that we needed to buy it to replace what is called CVR(T)CVR(T) had the Scimitar, and the Spartan series of vehicles, which was a tracked reconnaissance vehicle. Of course, what we have now discovered, because technology has advanced significantly, is that it is a much more capable platform than just simply a recce platform and therefore what we are now looking for is something that can fill a capability gap at the medium weight. Although weight is a bad way of describing things, it puts it into perspective for you.

"Then we are going to do stuff with these new half tracked and half wheeled and lightly armed brigades. I have no real idea what, but we'll call it "joint land strike", because i like the sound of that and it makes us sound like the air force."

Video of Nick Carter talking of the Strike Brigade to the Defence Committee, June 2016. 14:52:00 onwards.

"Cutting a tank regiment and stripping of heavy armour all supporting units as we downgrade an armoured brigade is not going to save enough money and manpower on its own, but i really want the MIV. We have too many small and unusable infantry battalions, but government doesn't want to get bashed about the loss of capbadges so we can't disband any.
So we are going to turn 5 infantry battalions into "Defence Engagement" units of just about 300 to 350 men each, and put them in Aldershot, so we can move some men out of them and into the Strike Brigades.
Mechanized Infantry battalions are 709 strong, and we have 3 of them right now. We need to reinforce another battalion for the same role, and make adjustements elsewhere too, in some supporting elements. New Gurkha sub-units worth more than 600 men are already planned; Gurkhas are handy because you are pretty much guarranteed to meet any recruitment target you set."



General Sir Nicholas Carter: Putting that smartly to one side, what it actually means goes back to when I talked about specialised infantry battalions in answer to the very first question. These creatures, which will only be about 300 strong, allow me—because they will be built from battalions that are 550 strong—to be able to reinvest over time the 250 saving which you make into the other infantry battalions around them to make them more resilient.


Mrs Moon: They are very small though.


General Sir Nicholas Carter: But I want them to be small; I want 300-man battalions, because I want them to conduct these very specialised tasks. I want them to have more non-commissioned officers and officers. I want them to be linguists. I want them to have cultural expertise. I want them to have very professional skills, so that they are able to perform a number of outputs. I want them, for example, to be able to go into the heart of Nigeria and be able to train a Nigerian division to go into the fight against Boko Haram. I want them to be able to train the Kurds to go and fight against Daesh in Iraq. I want them to be able to train the Ukrainian armed forces to be able to provide an effective deterrent to Russia. I want them to do tasks that are at the higher end of risk, and to be able to really do something that is quite specialised. I won’t be able to create that many. I don’t want them any larger than they actually are. Oddly enough, they look very similar to some of the things that other nations have and I think that is probably a case in point.

[The above quote was the origin of the press stories a while back that described these "specialized battalions" as the british answer to the US's Green Berets. Whether they will actually be that ambitious, considering the costs of such a venture and the recruitment difficulties that come with specialists, is anybody's guess] 
General Carter oral evidence to the Defence Committee




"But that won't be enough either, so we are going to dismantle 102 Logistic Brigade. Forget about a 2-division ambition, we'll be perfectly fine with a one-shot, six-month best effort structure of a single division. The "Adaptable Force" will continue to contain a whole bunch of orphaned infantry and light cavalry formations that we aren't really able to use because we are lacking in support elements for them. We'll just say that it is a wonderful example of "golf bag approach", and that they can be "pieced together" as needed. Yes, that sounds good."


General Sir Nicholas Carter: Yes, by 2025 I want to be able to field two manoeuvre brigades—armoured infantry brigades, as we call them—and, ideally, a strike brigade. I would like to have some manoeuvre support—as you know far better than I, basic infantry to be able to protect things and guard prisoners—and, of course, all the combat service support necessary to represent the full orchestra.


Bob Stewart: Which brings in the sustainment thing. You used the term “one-off” there, so we deploy up to three brigades in a war-fighting division for a one-off campaign of probably six months, but we cannot replen, as it were, or we might be able to cobble together a brigade but we would not be able to put together a division to back it up. We could not replace it.

General Sir Nicholas Carter: No. You would not be able to replace the full division. You would probably be able to find a replacement divisional headquarters at readiness and you would probably be able to have a brigade there on an enduring basis, but if you had to go larger than that, it would be challenging.
General Carter oral evidence to the Defence Committee


"We need a gucci name for this whole thing. We'll call it "Integrated Action". Yes, that will do."

"All our doctrinal studies since 2010 have said that we need deployable Division HQ for strategic handling and we have again and again concluded that mixing tracks and wheels is bad. But we will ignore our own findings again, because i really want the MIV."




And Army 2020 Refine, or Army 2025 if you prefer, is born.

I hope it dies soon, because the cost of those MIVs is going to be a great burden on the rest of the army. Fast forward to a new chief of staff and a new SDSR, please. There are better ways to use the money.




43 comments:

  1. Funniest, saddest and truest thing I've read for a while. It is such a mess that the only thing to do now is laugh/cry.

    - Giles Nahal

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  2. Oh fuck off back to Italy you prick!

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    1. Constructive comment.

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    2. I'm in Italy already, if it can comfort you. And i would be all too glad to have nicer things to write about the british armed forces, but this, unfortunately, seems to be the current situation. We will see if and how much i'm in error in january, maybe. But what has emerged this far all goes in this very direction.

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    3. An what the fuck would you know about the British Army forces given the fact that you have never served in them?? You trawl the internet pulling together snippets of information to support your ill-informed, ill-educated opinons. Then just for good measure you parade yourself as some sort of SME on the matter. The Britsh forces have, and will continue to adapt to a series of ever changing task requirements. Our CoC has far more tactical, operational and stratgic expierence than you can ever hope to have. Opinions are like arseholes, everyone has one. AN YOU MY LITTLE WANNA BE FRIEND ARE A FUCKING ARSEHOLE.

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    4. Steady on Anonymous ...

      At least this 'Italian' cares enough about HM Armed Forces to maintain a blog that offers insights to interested people, like myself, who fear for the future of a once proud nation. It's true we might not have served in the military but where else are we to go to get analysis, have you looked at the MOD site lately? Smiling handshakes with the latest empty treaty we have signed ...

      How many of our UK politicians actually believe the first duty of government is to defend the nation, too few. I ask my local MP about her views on the demise of the Royal Navy, and she is too busy trying to eradicate FGM, but I don't call her an A******, she don't give a f**k about the armed forces but her party are happy to suggest an air drop into Aleppo.
      But then little Sebastian and Olivia aren't serving in the front line, they are behind a laptop in a coffee shop writing for the BBC and Guardian... so is that where I go and get some analysis?


      Why are so few protesting about the 'managed' decline of our forces to such a point sending one hundred and fifty troops to Poland warrants an announcement by the PM? Not a division [we dont have any], not a brigade [the armoured ones, we have left, are being returned to UK; the so called 'strike' ones, that will steal from Paul to pay Peter, will be here in 2025, so lets hope the Ruskies will wait...] Not even a battalion [dare not mention regiment as we end up arguing about cap badges while and what colour kilts should be worn]

      I may not agree with all the conclusions our Italian friend arrives at, but with other blogs like Think Defence and Thin Pinstriped Line closed, it shows how time consuming and expensive such dedication requires and we should applaud his efforts, not reduce ourselves to language and abuse that no Englishman should use in a public place.

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  3. Our army is slowly being turned into a Mickey Mouse army. Too small, under equipped and disjointed to do anything. All we can manage now is the odd battle group sent out to Estonia for publicity purposes and soldiers in wellies building sand bag walls to prevent flooding . The majority of our infantry have no vehicles and cannot be used in any scenarios . An Ajax is no match for any enemy, total waste of money.

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  4. Gabrielle you have just met the brains of the British Army. Don't criticise, don't question, don't think, in fact join the army and throw your brain away.
    The simple fact is anybody who has read, studied and done any research can simply see that by reading the Armies own output that everybody decrying the "Strike" Brigade knows that it is an absolute pup. It should be taken outside and shot.
    But as shown in the Chilcott Enquiry the British Army is nothing if not stubborn when its killing its own troops.

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    1. Do you actully know the ORBAT of the propsed Strike Bdes yet? Have you been privy to any of the research studies examining their potential combat effectiveness? Do you have a detailed understanding as to the task demands likly to be placed upon such a formation? Have you even served in the Forces? Or are you just another wanna be cunt???

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    2. The idiot posting outraged comments on here has less knowdledge of the british army than me, you, or anyone else. I don't care about his demented comments, and most people, once they get to read his posts, tweets or comments, soon realize what an idiot he is. So, that's the last of my worries.

      There are bright minds in the British Army, thankfully. But too many corners are being cut, and in this case specifically way too much is being sacrificed to pursue an half-formed fantasy.

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  5. Also the latest news about the wonderful deployment of 150 members of the Light Dragoon Guards that will be deploying to Poland in Jackals, I wonder A) How many will be coming home early with frostbite in -20c temperatures in open vehicles and B) Exactly what are they supposed to do with their 12.7mm machine guns if Russia does the unthinkable and come in to Poland in armoured IFV's with 40mm cannons. Suggestions on a postcard please.

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  6. Anonymous, gabi clearly cares a lot more about our armed forces than you, it's people like you (this isn't general Carter is it?!) apologising for the disgraceful mismanagemen of our forces that have helped leave us in a such a shit state. Glad we've got people like gabi at least trying to get word out so that our brave personnel aren't shafted this badly.
    Gabi - what the hell is going on with our Chiefs of staff? Jones seems to want to defend every cut the govt make to the RN (if he was a forum poster I'd think he was a Putin bot!) and Carter just seems outright clueless. Things are bad enough with the chronic underfunding, the last thing we need is those running the services messing it up worse...
    CKY7

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  7. The only "cunt" is you Anonymous. You throw a lot of shit Gaby's way but at least he has the balls to advertise who he is. He also makes no pretence of why he runs the blog and without people like him "who trawl the net" and then present the information so succinctly to others, there is no public accounting. I don't usually take the time to reply to wankers like you but as I have followed this blog for over 3 years I for one think that Gaby is doing an excellent service.

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    1. I bet you suck him off too?

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    2. Ok boy, there is a limit to how naughty you can be and still be tolerated. Insults add nothing to the discussion and will be mercilessly deleted.

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  8. Gabriele,
    I have to agree with all of your article.
    I must apologize for the Mr Anonymous,
    or Carter who ever he is.
    Both seem to have about the same IQ.
    My thoughts are with the serving soldiers,
    who if they have any sense must know that the British army as a deployable fighting force, (apart from small battle groups)is sadly finished.
    Phil (the cynical ex pongo)

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  9. Thanks to all of you who are expressing appreciation for what this blog is about. I do my best to provide information of how things actually are, and occasionally venture into how i think they should actually go. The latter part, i might get wrong at times. But the first part, i think i can say i'm doing well. Unfortunately, since it makes me feel like a prophet of disaster, these days. I would be all too glad to be proven wrong more often, but that is not the case at the moment.

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  10. Gabriele has greater insight into how our forces should be structured and more common sense than the entire British government and the Chiefs of staff combined . It's so depressing seeing our forces slowly whittled away and every wrong decision being taken .

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  11. If he had the strength of his convictions or even the intellect to back them up (doubtful) he wouldn't need to hide behind anonymity. Whoever he is is a pathetic individual, jealous of the hard work of another. Ignore him Gabrielle. The rest of us, the silent majority who read, are enlightened and educated by your site salute you. Keep it up. God knows someone should.- Giles Nahal

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  12. Just read the comments on this particular thread for the first time and utterly stunned by the garbage being thrown Gabriele's way.

    First time I have read troll comments like this on here. I can only echo others comments that if British politicians cared half as much for HM forces as Gabriele who shows such a passion and is not even British they would be in better stead.
    He is more British to me than the PC infested prats riddling our political class, like Corbyn, the loony liberals and the poisonous SNP who are against their own country-GREAT Britain than in doing anything useful.

    And I always post my name, unlike others.

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. You are a persistent annoyance, but surely you can see that spending time writing insults only to have them promptly deleted is a waste. Go sulk in the corner or whatever else it is that you normally do.

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    1. Mature. Real mature. I don't see you presenting an evidence based, factual and logically argued counterpoint. What I see embarrasses me. I hope your not British. I would feel ashamed to call you my countryman. Perhaps you should go awa and come back after either puberty or your medication has taken full effect.- Giles Nahal

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  14. Well, Gaby, it would appear that you have attracted the real intelligentsia to your site. Seems to me living proof of the idea propounded in George Orwell’s “1984” that narrowing the vocabulary narrows the range of thought!

    Can’t help feeling that the British Army has been degraded to such an extent that what Phil (the ex-Pongo) says about it is just about right:

    “My thoughts are with the serving soldiers, who if they have any sense must know that the British Army as a deployable fighting force, (apart from small battle groups) is sadly finished.”

    Surely it is better to get the heavy Armoured units right first of all (new gun and ammo for Challenger; fund ABSV properly, so that it can act as the base for variants (mortar carrier, ambulance, recovery and repair etc.); get MRV(P) into service ; purchase an Overwatch version of AJAX, etc. etc. and then, and only then, look at MIV for Strike. Moreover, I think that we could make do with only one, not two Strike Brigades. The vehicles for such brigades will be hideously expensive. In a recent “Defense News” item , the idea was mentioned that the Army would like to make a government-to - government move (as opposed to holding yet another competition) in order to obtain Boxer from Germany. The price of Boxer is quoted in some circles as being over £4 billion and the article was talking about over 500 vehicles being procured. That would be over £2 billion. What we couldn’t do for heavy armour with that kind of money!

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    1. It is what i've been saying for a while: i see no reason to rush into spending billions (plus a lot of nasty cuts) into MIV for little to no gain. Money should be used to finish the job on the Heavy Armour element, for once. Finishing one job is better than starting two and half-arsing both.
      The Strike Brigades can begin to take shape using Jackal, Foxhound and Mastiff first, and eventually evolve later on, if and when such an evolution will be achievable and affordable. Half-arsing it is not going to help anything.

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    2. An how often is heavy armour likely to be deployed in the future?? Furthermore, I would strongly argue that a medium wt bde based upon Jackel, Foxhound and Mastiff would be half-arsing it of epic proportions. MIV must take priority over all other programs - Nick

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  15. "The price of Boxer is quoted in some circles as being over £4 billion". That should read £4 million! Would have to be some vehicle to cost £4 billion!

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  16. Keep up the great work Gaby and ignore the troll I sincerely hope he's not British, anyone can see that the army's fleet strategy is a mess. I remember a cynical manager at Bae land systems once told me the biggest problem with British defence procurement was two year job rotation and long distance business class, generalist civil servants like running endless comparisons to keep up the air miles and while continuously renaming all the requirements.
    Looking forward to your thoughts on Sir John Parkers shipbuilding report, seems like a great outbreak of common sense to me.

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  17. Ah Gabriele are your crying over your keyboard that someone has finally sounded you out for the full of shit turbocunt which you are???

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    1. I'm actually laughing at how miserable your life must be for you to have this much time to waste in such ridiculous fashion.

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    2. It's Billy no mates sock puppet now. Carter was a back stabbing snake on the way up and he still doesn't impress. Read his bio. You are doing a fine piece of work Gabi on this blog, keep it up.

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  18. Years coming on here and now the trolls have surfaced.:-(
    Sorry Gabriele.
    Keep strong and head up.
    And as for the topic. Lets just hope things don't go as bad as they look. Cuts tarted up as progress.

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  19. I think what is unfortunate is that you've mixed up the quotes from General Carter's testimony with statements about heavy armour being cut that are not sourced and basically just speculation.

    What General Carter has said:

    1. five Infantry Battalions are going to lose 250 soldiers each

    2. these smaller Battalions will then join a new Specialist Brigade

    3. the 1,250 soldiers over time will be re-deployed to strengthen units to support the new structure - I would speculate 3 regular Light Cavalry Regiments, one Infantry Battalion (which will re-equip with MIV) and another Infantry Battalion (that will become Air Mobile). All five of these units will switch from the Adaptable to the Reaction Force

    4. in the pre-SDSR15 the Reaction Force was made up of 18 units - 2 Para, 3 Armoured, 3 Armd Cavalry, 6 Armd Infantry, 3 Heavy Protected and 1 Air Mobile. Adding 5 new units from the Adaptable Force plus the Specialist Brigade increases the regular deployable force by 42%

    5. SDSR15 increased the size of the deployable force from 35,000 to 50,000 - a 42% increase

    6. as we know that you can't get rid of any cap badges that creates a regular deployable Reaction Force of 2 Para, 3 Armoured, 6 Armd Cavalry, 6 Armd Infantry, 4 MIV and 2 Air Mobile

    7. that breaks down to 5 Brigades made up of in total 5 units each:
    - two Armd Inf Brigades made up of 2 Armd Regiments (one of which will be a Reserve unit in one of the Brigades), 1 Armd Cavalry and 2 Armd Inf each
    - two Strike Brigades made up of 2 Armd Cavalry, 2 MIV and 1 Armd Inf and
    - one Air Assault made up of 3 Para (one reserve) and two Air Mobile Battalions

    8. ah, but you're going to say there aren't enough Ajax on order to equip 6 Armd Cavalry Regiments. Well that all depends on your definition of Ajax. If you just mean the 245 IFVs with 40mm cannon then you can't get 6 Regiments of 50 to 60 vehicles. But, if you mean the larger class of Ajax including the Ares and the Argus vehicles then you can get 52.5 vehicles per Regiment if you just add in the former or 61 vehicles per Regiment if you include both

    9. or there aren't enough Warrior upgrades on order - well that depends on the ABSV programme.

    Is it also really a problem that one of the Logistic Brigades is going? After all in anything but a national emergency we're not going to deploy anything more than a Division for six months or an enduring deployment of a Brigade. I thought that was accepted.

    A national emergency would be different. Deploying all of the Army/Marines to Eastern Europe and Norway would take time and be way beyond the current two Logistics Brigades so a whole new structure would need to be created by the Army Regular Reserve.

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    1. I hope you turn out being more close to the mark than i am, but i continue to doubt of it for many reasons. Regarding the manpower shift, as i said some 642 are already committed for the expansion of the Gurkha brigade through new Signal and Logistic squadrons. Which are indeed desperately needed as there is a deficit there.
      The logistic regiment of the Strike Brigades will have to be large, very capable and probably include an "escort squadron" like in the restructured french army if the brigade is to move back and forth over the large battlespace. Again, i'm very skeptical about the feasibility of the whole thing, but let's assume Carter truly means it: we'll see if he provides the bare minimum needed to give it any chance to happen.

      Ajax numbers: you cannot count in the Argus. The Ares is most obviously to be counted, but Argus is a very, very specialized platform that is meant for Combat Engineer Reconnaissance. Removing it from the engineer regiments will only be a fudge, and it won't change what it can and cannot do.

      Is the logistic brigade going a fatal blow? Perhaps no, but it entirely depends on what happens to its units.

      Warrior and ABSV numbers: if ABSV is to fill the Warrior gap it means creating mixed companies / platoons formed half by IFV and half by simple APCs. It might be doable, but ABSV is about replacing FV432 in a wide range of roles, and there are only so many Warrior hulls still workable. Either you fit the numbers, or you need to cover some of the roles with something else.

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  20. Gabriele, as one of the vast number of (usually) silent readers who rely on the insights from your fantastic blog please do not be in any way discouraged by that vicious and brainless troll. Your efforts are crucial in informing many people of serious issues, and some of these people might very well be able to help effect suitable change which saves lives. I'm sure, although I cannot prove, that serving officers and members of the MOD read your blog. I know for a fact that some conservative party activists with a justified concern for military affairs read it, even if that is a small start. If the troll is British or from any friendly nation he has disgraced himself and his nation, and clearly every sound-minded poster and reader will only hold such a troll in total contempt. All the best.

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  21. I'm not usually the type to post comments, but I am gonna voice some appreciation for this site as I have probably seen every article on here, 99.99% of us love your work Gabi, don't listen to that cretin!

    Cheers Rob

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  22. Hi Gabriele and guys,
    Unfortunately, I think the army 2025 will look like this;
    2 armoured brigades, each 1 Challenger 2 regiment, and 2 warrior battalions.
    1 ‘strike brigade’ 2 Ajax, 1 MIV battalion.
    1 ‘air assault’ brigade, 1 parachute battalion, 2 airmobile battalions.
    Carter has already said that only one ‘strike’ brigade will be operational at anyone time.
    He also said, 2 Ajax and one maybe two MIV battalions for these brigades.
    As the army has to beg for paper clips at the moment, (increase in defence spending a joke).
    I think we have to look to the worst case scenario, and one MIV battalion for these brigades.
    Carter’s original army 2020, was a total of 10 units in 2 armoured brigades, supported by 16 AA brigade.
    Now Carters 2025 force is 9 units, in 3 brigades supported by 16 AA Brigade.
    Moving on to what are these ‘Strike’ brigades for?
    The British infantry has been training with both the US and French army, working with there strike brigades, which our version was supposed to be able to slot in with.
    Both the US and French armies strike brigades are wheeled and can self deploy over long distances.
    Our strike brigades will be unable to do this as they have heavy tracked vehicles.
    When our strike brigade comes up against an enemy with tanks, what are they supposed to do?
    With h 40mm cannon as there main weapon, not much. The infantry in the MIV’s should have javelin,
    But that’s it.
    In my humble opinion, strike brigades are medium wheeled formations that can self deploy, can be used for counter insurgency operations and for rear area security as part of a larger heavier formation.
    Carter’s version of a strike brigade is in my view, a total waste of what little there is left of the army.
    Taking the Ajax regiment away from the armoured brigades is a dangerous and misguided move, leaving these brigades blind without any recce.
    If there is any money for any new vehicles it should be spent on replacing the FV432 that are over 50 years old.
    Mastiff, Foxhound and Jackal are proven counter insurgency vehicles, and can also be used for rear area security for the armoured division. Some of these vehicles could be fitted with heavier weapons; the Panther can be fitted with a 12.7mm weapon if required for instance. We have those, lets not waste the money spent already and use them, there not perfect but its better than wrecking the whole army, what’s left of it anyway for a single brigade of limited use.
    Phil (The cynical ex pongo)

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  23. Cheers for the article Gabriele. I apologise for the troll.

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  24. @ Anonymous (9.05 am)

    Like Gaby, I hope that you are more close to the mark than he is. However, like him, I am more that slightly dubious. Yours is a highly ingenious plan for the future structure of the British Army and I hope that something like it comes into being. However, there are one two details that cause me to pause.

    First there is Gaby’s point about manpower (i.e. that “some 642 are already committed for the expansion of the Gurkha Brigade through new Signal and Logistic squadrons.”)

    Then there is your conjecture that in each of the two retained Armoured Infantry Brigades, each Brigade would contain two Armoured Regiments (“one of which would be a Reserve unit in one of the Brigades”). It would be re-assuring to know that the British Army would still be able to field three armoured regiments of Regulars (and all 168 MBTs), plus one Regiment manned by the Reserve). However, how does that square with a report in “The Times” that the Army is to lose one regiment of tanks? Maybe you believe that such reports are, in your own words, “not sourced and basically just speculation.”?

    Then there is the suggestion that the two Strike Brigades should each contain: “2 Armd Cavalry, 2 MIV and 1 Armd Inf”. Wouldn’t the extra armoured Infantry regiment (based on Warrior 40mm?) in each further exacerbate the problems caused by the very unusual mix of wheeled and tracked vehicles, so ably disparaged by Gaby?

    Still, I enjoyed reading it. Very interesting.

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Everybody can comment on this blog without needing a Blogger account. It is meant to keep the discussion free and open to everyone. Unfortunately, anonymous accounts keep the door open for spammers and trolls, so i'm forced to moderate comments and approve them before they appear. Apologies for the inconvenience.