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US News Defence chiefs plan to slash Army to its smallest size in a century and lend one of Royal Navy's flagship new aircraft carriers to the US amid fears of further budget cuts

14:06  24 november  2019
14:06  24 november  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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smallest size in a century and lend one of Royal Navy ' s flagship new aircraft carriers to the Sources said the army is pressing for an aircraft carrier to be leased to the US Navy chiefs are understood to be furious and want RAF numbers cut instead

Defence chiefs are discussing plans to slash the size of the British Army and lend one of the Royal Navy ’ s flagship aircraft carriers to the UK’s allies amid fears they may be forced into further defence cuts . The Tory manifesto, published today, will ditch an explicit commitment made just two

The Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales © Getty The Royal Navy's newest aircraft carrier, HMS Prince of Wales

Defence chiefs are planning to slash the Army to its smallest size in a century and lend one of the Royal Navy's flagship new aircraft carriers to the US, military sources have revealed.

The Tory manifesto's removal of a commitment to 'maintain the overall size of the armed forces' made two years ago by Theresa May has forced the top brass to consider its spending, The Sunday Times reports.

High-ranking officers are considering an army of just 60,000 to 65,000, shrinking it to the smallest force in centuries.

Despite a 2015 manifesto pledge the Army would maintain at least 82,000 soldiers, it has already shrunk to 73,000. 

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The carriers were described to me by a former chief of defence staff as “vulnerable metal cans”. The navy says that in a “high-threat environment” they will The cost of the US stealth aircraft has soared mainly because of serious technical problems. The cost of 48 the MoD has contracted to buy for both

Big cuts : Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned earlier this week that the Pentagon may be forced to cut the Army to its lowest point in over a decade if the sequester And the current plan to reduce the size of the Marine Corp to 182,000 from a high of about 205,000 could also be changed – cutting it to

Top naval officers are understood to be furious that army bosses are looking at leasing one of their new aircraft carriers to the Americans. In response they are urging the RAF should see their numbers cut.

One source told The Times: 'The army hates the aircraft carriers, which they have always seen as white elephants, but the Americans love them. They're cutting-edge because they can operate with far fewer crew than the US carriers.

'The army can't recruit or retain the people it needs. Both the army and the navy think that the job of the RAF will soon be done by drones.'

a group of military men in a field: Soldiers in action as the British Army demonstrate the latest and future technology used on operations across the globe on Salisbury plain training area on October 29, 2019. The army is looking to bring its numbers down to somewhere between 60,000 and 65,000 defence sources told The Sunday Times © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Soldiers in action as the British Army demonstrate the latest and future technology used on operations across the globe on Salisbury plain training area on October 29, 2019. The army is looking to bring its numbers down to somewhere between 60,000 and 65,000 defence sources told The Sunday Times

The army numbered 3.1million men at the end of World War Two and then shrank to 159,000 in 1980 and was at 102,120 in 2003, during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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MPs say defence chiefs must cut a staggering £9.8BILLION from budget The MoD plans to buy kit including F-35 Lightning fighters, at £65 million apiece, to go on its two new aircraft carriers We require greater clarity as to the difference between genuine improvements and efficiency and cuts in

At the beginning of the 1990 s the Royal Navy was a force designed for the Cold War. The main purpose of its fleet, based around three small aircraft carriers and a force of anti-submarine frigates

Defence sources told the Times, the direction and scope of the cuts would be down in large part to who takes the helm when General Sir Nick Carter steps down as the chief of defence staff next year.

Admiral Tony Radakin, the first sea lord, is most likely to cut back the army's numbers, while Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, chief of the general staff, would be more likely to flog the carriers.

Boris Johnson et al. wearing military uniforms: At the White-hall spending review earlier this year Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to pump £2.2billion in to the UK military. Pictured with Ben Wallace during a visit to Salisbury plain training area on Thursday, September 19 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited At the White-hall spending review earlier this year Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to pump £2.2billion in to the UK military. Pictured with Ben Wallace during a visit to Salisbury plain training area on Thursday, September 19

Considerations for military cuts remain at an early stage but have followed a directive by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that they must 'cut their cloth' according to the budget.

He has secured another £2.2billion for the military but said he wants better kit rather than an expanded fighting force.

In September, Mr Wallace revealed the money would go towards 'dilapidated not fit for purpose accommodation.'

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