“The era of austerity has passed.” Thus, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the end of the era of reducing military expenditures in Britain, and the start of the largest spending phase in the country’s history, with the British government adding 16.5 billion pounds to the Ministry of Defense budget over the next four years.
This historical plan comes under a broad title, which is “modernizing the British army.” The British Defense Minister, Ben Wallace, expressed his satisfaction with the amount of money that will be pumped into the army’s budget, stressing that it is capable of developing the army and giving it a new face.
According to experts, this procedure is no longer a luxury for the British army. It is a necessity imposed by global changes, especially after the British Army Chief of Staff warned of the possibility of a third world war.
It has emerged recently, through statements by military and security officials in Britain, that there is a sense of a decline in British military capabilities over the past years, in favor of China and Russia.
For his part, Defense Minister Ben Wallace admitted to the leaders of his country’s army that the Russians and the Chinese studied British military tactics and developed methods that surpass British military capabilities.
The British Ministry of Defense identifies 3 dangers to British interests that must be dealt with quickly, namely, Russian activities in Europe, especially attempts to spy and penetration, and to confront terrorism in the Middle East and the Sahel region, and finally to besiege Chinese activities in Asia and the Pacific.
Scarcity of soldiers
The British Army faces a great dilemma represented in the annual decline in the number of soldiers. Due to the resignation of approximately 10 thousand soldiers every year from the ranks of the army, bringing the number of British soldiers in 2019 to about 72 thousand soldiers.
In the event that the resignations continue in this way, it is expected that the number of soldiers will reach 62 thousand during this year, which makes the Kingdom’s army the least in the number of soldiers among the major European countries, and for this the new plan aims to employ 40 thousand additional soldiers in the army.
The Statika Institute for Statistics explains this decline in the number of soldiers for several reasons, the first of which is the decline in the geographical scope of what was known as the empire, on which the sun never sets, and then the British army was not involved in many military conflicts.
Earlier, the Ministry of Defense set in 2010 the goal of reducing the number of jobs created by the British army, within a decade, with the aim of compensating them with the robotic soldier, in which Britain invests heavily.
The British Army plans to make the robot soldier an essential component of its composition, by bringing 30,000 of them into the ranks of the British Army by 2030; To constitute a quarter of the combat capacity of the British army.
According to the British Chief of Staff, the task of the robot soldier will be to participate in the battles in the first ranks, in order to avoid the human losses, which are embarrassing for the major armies.
The British army is also working on developing an unmanned aircraft “I9” (I9), which, if produced, will be considered the most intelligent and sophisticated drones, and it will be used to storm buildings, and is relying on this aircraft to be a lethal weapon in street wars.
Pirates and space
In this regard, the British army will allocate an important part of the new budget to build an electronic warfare unit, which includes an army of thousands of cyber pirates, despite the launch of this unit in 2017; However, it was always asking for more capabilities.
The task of the new electronic army will be to lay down an offensive plan for any possible electronic war, especially with Russia, in light of the ongoing British accusations against Moscow of hacking and espionage attempts, the last of which was the attempt to spy on the “University of Oxford” team, which is developing a Corona vaccine. .
The army is also financing the artificial intelligence unit, a project that the British government is surrounded by a lot of secrecy and shrouded in mystery. But it is certain that the British Ministry of Defense is investing artificial intelligence in its military operations in the coming years.
On the other hand, it does not appear that Britain has the desire nor the capabilities to compete with the United States, Russia and China. Therefore, since the establishment of the “Space Command”, which is based in the Air Force Command in 2019, the overt goal has been to ensure the security and safety of the satellites, on which Britain relies Secret communications and intelligence.
The British government aims to develop its space missile launch capabilities by 2022, in which the United Kingdom is expected to launch a new space missile.
Given Britain’s possession of the second largest nuclear arsenal in Europe, with a number of nuclear warheads of 215 missiles, the British army is setting its sights on renewing the country’s nuclear deterrent capabilities, driven by the frantic global race to test nuclear missiles between Russia, China and the United States.