Slightly ashamed that I missed the publication of this:…
Important as the first sentence states:
"The Ministry of Defence (the Department) spent £4.6 billion on its estate in 2019–20, around twice the annual cost of maintaining the UK’s nuclear deterrent."
Anyone in any doubt as to the importance of this just needs to ponder the amount spent on the Defence Estate. And then to consider the rest of the report, cutting to the chase, as ever from @CommonsPAC.
"The Department’s estate is too large, and its scale, nature and location have failed to evolve to meet the Armed Forces’ needs. By retaining unneeded estate, the Department wastes resources that could support frontline personnel and develop new military capabilities."
"The Department could not tell us the ‘right size’ for the estate. Instead, it is still accountable for progress against a meaningless target to reduce the ‘built’ estate by 30% by 2040, which it knows it cannot meet."
"In fact, if the Department achieves all its planned disposals, the estate would be reduced by just 16% and it has no targets to reduce the size of the whole estate, including its overseas holdings."
"It has been more than four years since we last looked at the Department’s plans to reduce the size of its estate, since then it has made little progress. The Department has reduced the size of its built estate by just 2% since 2015–16..."
"...and it missed its targets to raise £1 billion in sale proceeds and release land for 55,000 houses by 2020–21. This constant cycle of delay and internal re-organisation is not helped by the fact that 11 years after this Committee first identified problems..."
"...with the lack of estate data and 10 years since it established the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, the Department is still several years away from having sufficient data on the condition and running costs of its sites to inform decisions on optimising use of the estate."
"Finally, the Department’s forecast of savings in running costs from the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio—its main estate transformation programme—has fallen to just £0.65 billion by 2040, compared with an original forecast of £2.4 billion."
"Even this forecast is highly uncertain and there is a very real risk of savings melting away completely. While the Department says it is now in a better position to deliver its disposal programme, we remain to be convinced..."
"..., particularly after the Infrastructure and Project Authority graded the programme as Amber/Red (successful delivery of the project is in doubt) in its 2020–21 Annual Report."

All this is "just" from the Summary!
Normally covering the mess of procurement, it is almost refreshing to find a sub-department in a worse state than @DefenceES! And, to bring back to relevance, the mess that is the Defence Estate has an impact on recruitment/retention: get barracks wrong, and it's lose-lose.
Luckily, having been majoring on Excel inputting for European defence budgets, I've put this together, comparing infrastructure spending of the UK, France, and Germany (the French data, I suspect, might not be as complete):
And, along the same line, the data for deterrent spending, which is pretty close (although France breaks down its data to a degree that the UK just doesn't, so is believable). Interestingly, French spending is slightly lower than that for the UK.
Which is strange, as one might normally think that by opting to go for Trident, piggy-backing on US reactor technology etc, the UK gets lower deterrent costs. Well, doesn't seem to bee the case...

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More from @FTusa284

13 Oct
Nice scoop by @larisamlbrown about making the new Royal Yacht (or whatever it's called now...) designated as a military/naval vessel, so it has to be built in the UK. However... let's look at why the RY is going to be designated as military:…
It will have a mil-spec secure comms suite, of a standard that the vessel can be designated as military, avoiding the thorny issue of guns etc.

But let us now transfer this to Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships. The following from a 2018 Industry Briefing day:
Read 7 tweets
4 Oct
Hearing that some alarm bells are starting to ring @BritishArmy that the ability to generate and declare a high readiness (Armd/Mech) brigade to NATO in 2024 is looking less likely.

Now, should it be "difficult" for a 75,000-person Army to train and equip "a mere" 5-6,000 unit?
Well, as regards personnel, there should be no problem whatsoever. But as regards equipment, there lies the rub... Look at it this way:
1. The UK can barely, and not sustainably, generate a single regiment of Challenger 2.
2. It is the same for AS90.
Read 20 tweets
17 Aug
@larisamlbrown @SheridanDani @helenwarrell @jeromestarkey @bealejonathan @BFBSRadioHQ @DefenceOps @DefenceHQPress @UKStratCom @ArmyCGS @VAdmBenKey
Seeing footage of Taliban press conference(s?) in Kabul, they've now held more, and more open (ie not restricting access) in 3 days
Than UK MoD has held in more than 3 years.

So, basically, the Taliban has a greater understanding, greater grasp and knowledge of so-called "Information Operations" than pretty much the entire UK MoD.

For those who think info ops are a real something, ponder this...
A theocratic insurgency has a greater understanding about giving as wide access to its message as it can, than a supposedly (wannabe) digital-savi western military.

Will anyone at the MoD learn? Simple answer? Not a bat in hell's chance.
Read 4 tweets
4 Jun
Vibration, and what it is doing to the programme.

"The Terms of Reference asked us to consider two questions, readiness of IOC and likely readiness for deployment of the Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) in 2023."
"In terms of IOC, the Capability Drop 1 vehicles are in the hands of the Army in trials and with HCR. There remains significant concern both in relation to noise and vibration in the vehicles and the variation in levels of vibration across the fleet."
Read 21 tweets
3 Jun
I'll go back to something that only really just "jumped out" of the IPA Ajax report:

"Given there is no alternative supplier or platform option..."

@cabinetofficeuk IPA report: did they come up with this assessment on their own? Or was it what they were told by the Army? Well..
Read these to the "Vision On Gallery Tune" (Showing my sadly inevitable age)...
Read 12 tweets
3 Jun
Another @BritishArmy AFV thought. I'm told that the process of buying a replacement for AS90 has kicked off. Now, the "favourite" at this stage seems to be the Hanwha K-9 - tracked.
But here's one thought: if Ajax does get canned, then the overwhelming number of AFVs that the Army will have will be wheeled. So, what are the issues of coherence of trying to mix-and-match wheels and tracks.
OK, it'll have to be rationalised for CR3/Boxer, c'est la vie. But what are the implications for Boxer Brigade Combat Teams if the main AFVs can move at 50mph down the motorways, but their artillery has to follow at 15mph on low loaders?
Read 6 tweets

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