UK Unveils ‘Future Soldier’ Military Modernization Plan
British defense secretary Ben Wallace has announced that the UK will radically reorganize its military to address next-generation threats around the globe.
Dubbed the Future Soldier program, the military reconfiguration would see the nation spending an additional eight billion pounds ($10.6 billion) for new high-powered equipment and a new ranger regiment that could help counter extremist organizations and hostile threats.
Furthermore, the program will seek to transform the British army into a more agile, lethal, expeditionary, and modernized war-fighting force with improved capabilities for various military missions.
“To keep pace with the changing character of warfare our army must be forward-looking, adaptable, and embracing of new ways of working as much as new weapons and technologies,” Wallace told The Guardian.
The new ranger regiment will be integrated into the newly established army special operations brigade in December. A new “deep recce strike brigade” combat team will also be established by mid-2022.
More Soldiers, Equipment
In addition to new combat teams, the British army would also acquire more state-of-the-art military equipment to support the multibillion-dollar reconfiguration program.
Equipment introduced to the country’s armed forces will include Boxer armored vehicles, Challenger 3 tanks, AH-64E Apache helicopters, long-range precision missiles, and several unmanned aerial systems.
An experimentation and trials group will also reportedly test new technologies that could bolster the UK’s defense capabilities.
The British military plans to increase its troop numbers to 73,000 and army reservists to 30,000 by 2025, for a total force of more than 100,000.
“For too long the historic infantry structures have inhibited our army’s transformation,” Wallace explained. “We cannot afford to be slave to sentiment when the threat has moved on.”