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United Kingdom

Defense

The defense is based on NATO membership. Britain's territory is part of NATO's Northern Command, whose naval staff is located in Northwood, London. The United Kingdom is a nuclear power and, in addition to airborne nuclear weapons, has four modern strategic submarines with a maximum of 200 nuclear warheads.

Military of United KingdomA discussion was held in 2003 within the EU on a common European defense and security policy in the formulation of the EU's new, yet to be adopted, constitution. Germany, France and others states stated that the transatlantic ties are of strategic importance to NATO and thus to Europe's defense. The United Kingdom is still strongly opposed to a common defense but positive to its connection to the United States.

The UK's defense (2009) comprises approximately 160,000 personnel recruited. Large parts of these forces are located outside the UK. The reserves amount to 200,000 people. The army comprises about 90,000 men and has 360 modern tanks and 160 combat helicopters. The presence in Germany has decreased from 56,000 men to 22,000. Most of the UK's ground forces are organized in two mechanized divisions. To see related acronyms about this country, please check ABBREVIATIONFINDER where you can see that GBR stands for United Kingdom.

The Navy consists of 30,000 men. The fleet has 13 submarines, of which four are nuclear weapons, and 27 are larger fighter ships, of which two are aircraft carriers, as well as 23 smaller fighters, seven amphibious vessels, etc. The naval infantry of 7,000 men is organized in a command brigade, etc. The Air Force consists of 33,000 men with 340 fighter aircraft. 114 Tornado and 62 Harrier.

Military of United Kingdom

In addition to the forces in Germany, Britain has smaller forces in other NATO countries: 1,600 men stationed in Cyprus, 550 men in Brunei, 1,500 men in the Falkland Islands and 340 men in Gibraltar.

In Iraq, there were 11,000 men in connection with the 2003 war events. Following a decision in March 2009, all combat tasks have been completed, and a remaining force of about 4,000 people is undergoing long-term settlement.

The strong ties with the United States remain under the Barack Obama administration. A decision is made to continue operations in Afghanistan within the framework of the UN-sanctioned ISAF mission. There are 8,300 people in Afghanistan. This strength may increase depending on developments in Afghanistan after the 2009 elections.

The United Kingdom participates in a number of UN peacekeeping operations, in addition to the forces in Afghanistan. 160 people in Serbia and Montenegro (KFOR), 260 people in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and in addition observers and advisors in some 25 countries. The United States has approximately 11,000 men, mainly air combat forces, stationed in the United Kingdom.

Defense costs fell from 5.2 to 2.3% of GDP in 1985-2007.

Britain's defense overview

The UK's defense is based on enlisted personnel. The total personnel force for Britain's armed forces is 148,350 active personnel, with a reserve of 80,000 personnel (2018, IISS).

The United Kingdom is a member of NATO.

The United Kingdom has strategic nuclear forces that include four submarines with 48 ballistic missiles and up to 160 nuclear warheads.

The United Kingdom has a joint helicopter force for the Army, Air Force and Marine (Joint Helicopter Command), which includes 50 Apache combat helicopters, 55 multi-use helicopters and 122 transport helicopters, 12 light transport aircraft and seven medium-duty drones.

Army

The army has a staff of 83,500, including 3100 Ghurcas. Army heavier material comprises 227 tanks of a Challenger 2, 623 armored carriages of a warrior and 1291 armored personnel. In addition, three landings vessels.

Air Force

The Royal Air Force has a staff of 32,500 active personnel. The equipment includes 154 fighter aircraft (137 Typhoon and 17 F-35B Lightning II), 59 training and light fighter aircraft (Hawk), six AWACS aircraft (E-3D Sentry), 12 reconnaissance aircraft, 14 tanker and transport aircraft (Voyager), 61 transport aircraft, 149 training aircraft, eight helicopters and nine heavy combat drones.

The Navy

The naval forces (Royal Navy) are 32,350 active personnel, including 6600 Marines (Royal Marines). The fleet includes 10 nuclear powered submarines (of which four strategic of Vanguard class), one aircraft carrier of Queen Elizabeth class, two dock landing ships of Albion class, six destroyers of Daring class (Type 45), 13 frigate (Type 23), 22 patrol vessel, 13 minesweepers and four relief vessels.

Also under the navy is the civilian manned Royal Fleet Auxilliary, which has around 1950 personnel, three Bay-class docking vessels and 12 auxiliary vessels.

The Navy has its own Fleet Air Arm. Materials include 12 Hawk training and light fighter aircraft, four light transport aircraft and 58 helicopters.

Strategic nuclear missiles of the type Trident D-5 are deployed in four submarines of the Vanguard class.

Forces abroad

The UK had forces in 2018 including Ascension (20 personnel), Bahrain (160 personnel, naval base), Brunei (1000 personnel (Ghurkas), three helicopters), Cyprus (2260 personnel, 12 fighter aircraft, four helicopters), at The Falkland Islands (1,200 personnel, four fighter aircraft), at Gibraltar (570 personnel, two patrol boats), in Nepal (60 personnel, Ghurka training center) and in Germany (3750 personnel).

International operations

In the United Kingdom, 2018 participated in NATO operations in Afghanistan (Operation Resolute Support) with 1100 personnel, in Kosovo (KFOR) with 24 personnel, and had deployed 1015 personnel in Estonia and Poland (Enhanced Forward Presence).

In addition, the United Kingdom participated, among others, in the UN operations in Cyprus (UNFICYP) with 278 personnel, and had 450 personnel and combat drones deployed in Iraq and Kuwait (Operation Shader).

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