Saturday, October 16, 2010

Swapping Budgets of the Army and Navy

Until recently I had no idea that the Army's budget was so much larger than that of the Navy. In this post I want to look at what we could have if we were to give the Navy the Army's budget and the Army the Navy's budget.

Present Budget's

Navy £7,945,340,000

Army £13,684,869,000

The present Army budget is almost double the Royal Navy's Budget

What type of Navy could we get for the Army Budget ?


3* Queen Elizabeth Class

Air Group

3* Carrier Air Group 69* F35C  4*E2D Hawk-eye


12* Type 45 Destroyer

12* Type 26 Combat Ship

12* Type 23 Frigate

Amphibious Task Force

4* Juan Carlos LHD

4*  Albion LPD

8* Bay Class LPD

Minor War Vessels

12* C3

12* Khareff Class Corvettes

12* River Class OPV


12* Astute

4* Vanguard

Royal Marines

3* Commando Brigades

1* Deploy able Divisional HQ

What Kind of Army Could we have with the Navy's Budget?

The Army could field 5 medium brigade's as well as it's special forces such as 22nd SAS regiment. This would allow the Army to deploy and sustain a single brigade.

On this budget we could sustain 3 reservists brigades constituting the bulk of the UK's armoured capability.

While the Army would be slimmed down dramatically the extra Commando Brigades as well as the Reservists in the Armoured Division would give the UK almost the same capability as at present.

 Which structure is Better?

In the modern environment of asymetric warfare fought on distant battle fields faster lighter forces are what we need. A Commando Division would give us the ability to not only respond in force but sustain a brigade much more easily than the present force structure can. With the Army budget the Navy would be comfortably the second biggest and most capable in the world.


  1. Hi, interesting post however I think

    3 x CVF (+ 207 embarked F35C's)
    4 Juan Carlos
    4 Albian
    8 Bay class

    is a little over the top and provides more amphibious capacity than we can use.

    With 4 Juan Carlos size ships plus the Albian and Bay class assets we could create a huge beachhead but then find that there was only the dental corps and the WI not involved in the initial landings! :-) Especially as Dave is planning to cut even more boots on the ground. Surely a better approach would be to have assets in place to land a division in the first 12 hours followed by another 15,000 in the next 7 days.

    How about -

    - 2 x CFV (+ 2 x 40 F35C's, 4 x E2D's, Merlin for ASW etc)
    - 2x Juan Carlos (embarked with Apache, Chinook and 2 x 18 F35 B's) to be stationed wherever we come ashore in forward opp bases)
    - 3 x Invincible class or something similar. Great of flag waving and humanitarian efforts without risking the crown jewels of CVF in coastal 3rd world waters. These can also carry the full mix of F 35B's, Chinook, Apache etc, depending on the mission. This would allow them to serve as landing platforms, small carriers or even convoy escort platforms should the situation demand it.
    - 4 x Bay class

    Anyway, thanks for the article. Definitely food for thought.


  2. Hi Steve,
    My rational behind 3 CVF's was being able to keep one permanently at sea possibly in the Indian Ocean. The rest of the Amphibs were aimed at the ability to launch an entire marine expiditionary force in the way the US can. However I accept your argument about the follow up forces. I would love a few small Invincible types for flag flying, ASW and sea control though. Doubt it would costs to much either depending on the aircraft fit.

  3. PS the airgroup number are including spare, trainers and maintainence aircraft the embarked number would be 36 per carrier.

  4. Mmmm' your adding quite a few hulls and tripling the size of the RM - do you really think double the RN budget could pay for all that ?

  5. Current cost for the Royal MArines is only £600 million per year. The Amphib fleet comes in at another 400 million. In comparison to the costs of escorts and submarines the RM and Amphibs are pretty cheap and I am sure we could accomadate a trippiling. That being said this budget is based on not cut backs from the current SDSR.