After months of waiting, the full details of the swingeing spending cuts facing the UK’s armed forces have finally been revealed.
Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament defence spending would fall by eight per cent over the next four years:
“Mr Speaker, Iraq and Afghanistan have shown the immense financial and human costs of large-scale interventions. While we must retain the ability to undertake such operations, we must get better at treating the causes of instability, not just dealing with the consequences.”
The RAF and the Navy will lose 5,000 jobs each while 7,000 will go from the Army.
The Ministry of Defence will also say goodbye to 25,000 civilian staff.
The Ark Royal, the aircraft carrier and Royal Navy flagship, will be decommissioned four years early and its iconic Harrier Jump Jets axed.
As for Trident, here money and politics are involved.
Cash will not be splashed out on a replacement for the nuclear deterrent until after the next election, keeping the cost-conscious Lib Dem junior coalition partners happy.