Cash boost for cadet organisations?

Interesting to hear the former Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff say on Radio 5 Live that the cadet forces have been chronically underfunded for years, and that, as the future, some of the new £16 billion announced today by the PM should go towards those groups!

Will it happen?

From a lot of what I’ve read, this ‘cash boost’ is only going to just about cover what has already been lost over the last 10-20 years. Also a lot of talk that the majority of the excess is going towards a ‘cyber force’, which makes a lot of sense in todays world!

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Space command aswell

We will see none of it… Not a priority


Ah yes, and apparently launching out own rockets by 2022. Good luck with that. Even if all £16.5bn went into getting us into space by 2022, I still don’t think it’s doable.

Then again, just re-reading it, it doesn’t specify anything, just “capable of launching Britain’s first rocket as early as 2022”. Maybe it’ll be one of these!

It won’t be the first either. The first from Britain. Prospero was launched from Black Arrow in 1971 (from Oz I think). Disappointed MOD forgot that!

A politician bearing gifts? Is it Christmas?

I have a sneaky feeling that a fair % of this “allocated” budget was already earmarked / spent before this announcement. A chunk is probably going to cover increased pension contributions? Some put towards the Dreadnought class ballistic missile submarine? There is a potential funding gap in MOD’s rolling ten-year Equipment Plan. What else? Bet there will be a quiet SDSR in the next 3 months…

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Looks like the integrated review’s being pushed out to next year. Maybe they need DC to post the draft back to them.

On a more serious note there is:
New Trident warheads
Challenger 2 LEP
Warrior LEP
JLTV purchase (gone v quiet but slated to replace Landrover/Snatch, some Foxhound and Jackals)
Completion of AJAX and purchase of BOXER

MOD announced a new frigate, Type 32 yesterday.

The RAF is fairly well placed though there are questions about the size of the final buy for Wedgetail AWACS and the F-35.(*)

Beyond that the Army needs upgraded long range fires and SHORAD, and ideally a direct fire variant of Boxer and / or Ajax. The Navy needs a surface to surface missile and to sort out Crownest, and get its fleet solid support ships. At some point the RAF will need a replacement for the Puma fleet, then there is Tempest.

That is before anything goes on AI, cyber, robotics, space… or sorting out the actual number of service men & women.

With a 13bn hole in the equipment budget I can’t see us getting more cash soon, unless it comes from DCMS/Education or a contingency like the LIBOR grant.

  • if Mrs WS let me place bets I’d bet on a tranch 4 Typhoon buy similar to Germany’s recent announcement rather than the full 100+ F-35s, or F-35As rather than all Bs.

Isn’t the pot for nuclear deterrence separate to the general defence budget or is that something I’ve imagined?

It was, it was taken into the main budget though (I think under the 2010 SDSR though possibly earlier). It’s now on the RN’s mess tab.

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Also interesting if speculative article in the Economist about impact of Scottish independence in on the nuclear deterrent.


Subscription required.

Summary: it would be a mess.

Others have suggested we might not be able to maintain the SLBMs after that point. Alternatives could be ship or air launched cruise. Thinking out of the box maybe a Sqn of the new US long range bombers?

Sorry this is a bit off topic, though a summer camp at a bomber squadron would be a win for Cadets!


Germany is also buying Super Hornets to replace tornado. Be interesting as it’s one of the countries not buying F-35 or investing in that generation of jets. With the F35B being 110 - 120 million per unit. Would Super Hornet at 65 million per unit and being an established platform for multi roles not be a better buy for the RAF.

Camps at Marham and Lossie haven’t actually had a lot of activities on the base. Think we spent a day and a half in total. Where as Benson, Odiham and Shawbury I fealt were a lot better for the cadets with 2.5 days on base and flights in aircraft.
Valley did result in 1 cadet getting into a hawk for a flight .

Off topic I know, but, when was the last time a cadet flew in a fast jet? They normally make a big thing of it on social media when it happens, but not seen or heard anything for years.

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They flew a bunch of cadets into RIAT in the back
Seats of hawk.
The trouble is all the front line jets are single seater.

Nah, SH is no better at anything than Typhoon or F-35 is - as well as adding another training and logs tail. The Germans are buying a small number of SH because they are plumbed for the NATO pool of US B-61 nukes.

Tornado was plumbed for them from first build but not Typhoon, and the US has made clear that it will be expensive, time consuming, and you’ll be at the back of the queue to retrofit the sub-systems - the political imperative for Germany was that if it walked away from the nuclear role within NATO it would lose what limited credibility it has on European defence.

Nice thought, but this will all get consumed by things a long time before we get a look in.

Is this actually more money for the MOD, or is this like that 50,000 more nurses lie, where 18,000 of them are just nurses we already have but won’t lose?

The trouble is, when goal posts get moved (as in this report about NCSC - GCHQ - new building), then budgeted costs go out of the window, & the excess dosh has be saved from elsewhere.

It’s happened time & time again for many MoD projects.

One of the reasons for this funding increase is the economic stimulus it will provide, you don’t get that if you then buy abroad.

Possibly or the F-15EX which is now in production for the USAF. Though the projected cost of the 35 is falling. Lot 14 of the As is about $78m which is favourable on paper at least to the €90m for a Tranche 3 ‘Phoon. The B is still over $100m. Running costs are an issue with the F-35. The F-15 carries more payload further and as a 2 seater might be closer to the Tornado operationally. The EX is costed at $88m.