UK

Chief Of The Defence Staff Denies Army Cuts Reports

General Sir Nick Carter denied reports that the size of the Army may be reduced to 50,000.

The Chief of the Defence Staff is the latest figure to deny reports that the size of the Armed Forces could be cut.

General Sir Nick Carter was called by MPs on the Defence Select Committee to answer questions on a range of issues on Tuesday.

When he was challenged about whether he would be looking at reducing the size of the Army to 50,000, he said: "No, I won't be."

While the findings of the integrated review are expected in Autumn, General Sir Nick Carter provided some information about what the future of defence might look like.

"We will trade, probably, reduced physical protection for increased mobility," he said.

"They will include a mix of manned, unmanned and autonomous platforms. They will be integrated into ever-more sophisticated networks.

"We anticipate them being much less dependent on fossil fuels, for obvious reasons, and we think they will employ many more non-line-of-sight fires", he added.

General Sir Nick Carter said it has been a joint effort between the heads of all the Armed Forces.

However, the Chair of the Defence Select Committee raised some concerns.

ANONYMOUS A Royal Scots Dragoon Guard takes a break in the turret of a Challenger tank after a long night of fighting in Southern Iraq during Iraq War 24032003 CREDIT PA.
General Sir Nick Carter denied reports that the size of the Army is going to be cut (Picture: PA).

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood said the committee has yet seen a policy setting out what the country's defence vision and ambitions are.

"We would expect the Armed Forces to being used, and being used in forward presence and forward-deployed type [of] way," the Chief of the Defence Staff explained.

Questioned about the potential threat of China, General Sir Nick Carter said: "At the moment, I think, it is premature to describe it as a threat. It is a challenge and we should recognise that as we adopt our strategic approach."

The Government’s integrated review which was set up in February to consider the future of UK defence, described as the deepest review of British foreign, defence and security policy in 30 years.

Earlier in the week, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also denied reports that the size of the Army may be reduced.

Cover image: General Sir Nick Carter during the Defence Select Committee meeting.