Defence Spending – a RUSI Review

Post-General Election Defence spending has recently received significant media coverage and has sparked a public debate about our defence priorities. RUSI have contributed to this discussion by publishing a report which examines the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) budgetary challenges for the next Spending Review and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). A copy of the full report can be found here.

Some of the key projections include:

  • Current MoD planning assumptions anticipate spending in 2016/17 to fall to £36 billion. This drops short of the 2% NATO target at 1.85% of GDP.
  • By 2019/20, in order to maintain 2% of GDP on defence spending, the MoD would need to be provided with an additional £5.9 billion in annual spending.
  • Even under RUSI’s most optimistic scenarios the share of GDP spent on defence will have fallen from 2.6% in 2010 to 1.75% by 2019.
  • Looking at the forthcoming SDSR, RUSI outline two plausible scenarios:
    1. The pessimistic prediction is comparable with the previous SDSR which found £74 billion of savings in the MoD over ten years.
    2. In an optimistic scenario the amount of net savings needed to be found from the MoD would be around £35 billion over ten years.

ADS understand that the next government will face a challenging financial environment and is therefore committed to working with the UK Defence and Security Industries to help government:

  • Work with industry to identify, develop and deliver capability requirements. Industry can help government improve the efficiency and effectiveness of capabilities to meet national security risks.
  • Prioritise government investment in defence and security R&D. Investment in R&D provides the future work that is necessary to sustain a national skills base that protects the UK’s operational advantage.
  • Invest in national economic strengths that enhance our national security. SDSR is an opportunity to establish an understanding of what equipment and support solutions are required to safeguard UK national security.

For further information on ADS’s SDSR priorities please click here.