Recently, the government announced a £24bn boost in UK defence spending. That announcement was welcomed as addressing a worrying shortfall.
However, the Telegraph newspaper is reporting that the British Forces have been instructed to cut expenditure in 2021/22 by £1bn.
In order to reduce expenditure the military the following steps are reportedly being taken:
The visit of the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales to the United States in 2021 is to be cut.
Army Reserve training is to be cut from 38 days a year to 32.
The E-3 Sentry Airborne Early Warning and Command & Control aircraft fleet is to be halved
Presently, the Royal Air Force's only three operational E-3 Sentrys and one used for training. It is not known whether halving of the fleet will therefore will leave the RAF with 1 or 2 such aircraft.
In addition to these cuts, other sources report that the Royal Naval Reserve will be stood down until April 2021 to save £7.5m and that the Royal Navy's workforce has been told to cease work for four months.
The UK Chancellor's Spending Review Report also states that there will be a 2.3% cut in real terms expenditure for the defence budget.
These cuts will clearly have a negative impact on UK operational capabilities, but also, predictably, on morale. The armed forces are already 12,000 personnel under strength.