What kind of military defense does England have?

I was wondering what sort of military defense system they have? Just in case Iraq choose to attack them.

Um, a fairly good-sized standing army, a not-half-bad air force, some really good special ops types?

I think they’d do OK in a pinch.

Um, why would it matter what forces we have?

How is Iraq going to attack us? :confused:

The land route could involve Turkey, Russia + Norway but then they’ve still got to cross the North Sea. :eek:

I suppose Iraq could launch its ‘famous’ navy, but I think we would have time to prepare as it would take them weeks to arrive. :smack:

Our main problem would be whether to ask the US or NATO for support.

In what sense? Iraq is quite incapable of attacking any European country directly. At best they can snipe at British shjipping in the Gulf.

I believe Britain currently has in the neighborhood of about 100 warships and submarines, a little under 300 combat aircraft, and a standing army of a little over 100,000 ( not including the territorial guard and the like, which might add another 40-50,000 ). Google should bring up exact numbers, but I think those are fairly close.

  • Tamerlane

Scotland, Wales and Nothern Island also have a good defence network or are you thinking that Iraq will only attack England and leave the rest of the UK alone? :wink:

I reckon Saddam Hussein is thinking of invading the UK, and has asked Handy to investigate how possible it is…

According to Geographyiq.com the Uk has the fourth highest military budget in the world (though that isn’t really the best assemnt of military capabilties), but otherwise the UK is recognized as having pretty capable forces in all areas (i.e. navy, army, airforce).

The United Kingdom has a proportionally small force (under 800.000, I believe) and less than 1500 of their Challenger Main Battle Tanks, thanks to the latest defense cuts. However, the British army is particularly well trained. In any case, the UK relies on not being attacked, since its physically isolated and surrounded by allies.

You might as well count in the US military as well, as I can not imagine a situation in which England/UK would be attacked and the entire might of the United States would not fall like a ton of bricks on whoever was dumb enough to do it. In terms of their own defense England really might as well be the 51st state. (No offense intended of course, but when it comes to mutual defense the UK and US are about as close as two countries can be)

I think Canada and the States are closer! :stuck_out_tongue:

Iraq can’t attack the UK in conventional military terms but, for the hell of it, NATO kicks in automatically if one member is attacked - “An attack on one member is an attack on all …etc, etc.” The Three Musketeers deal.

If you mean a biological attack, I believe stocks of the obvious vaccines are being augmented. Not something you can really plan for, though - best defence to any non-conventional attacks is quality Intelligence. The UK’s HUMIT is probably the best out there, its tech ability is not as comprehensive as that of the US.

It’s still generally thought the Foot and Mouth epidemic a while back wasn’t artificially created.

The UK’s military has long had a reputation as being very well-trained and highly-skilled. As for their anti-terrorism measures–well, they’ve had more experience than any other Western nation with terrorists active in their own territory–the IRA.

The UK’s military is arguably the second-most advanced in the world after the US.


The Army’s Land Command has around 70,000 personnel for combat operations (supported by the Adjutant General and Quartermaster General commands). Forces are either Regular Army or Territorial Army (TA).[ul][li]6 regular armoured regiments (battalions), using the Challenger II tank;[/li][li]6 regular armoured reconnaissance regiments, using Scorpion and Scimitar light tanks;[/li][li]4 TA (reserve) armoured regiments;[/li][li]6 helicopter regiments;[/li][li]4 air defence regiments, using Rapier SAMs;[/li][li]2 heavy artillery regiments, using the MLRS rocket launcher;[/li][li]1 artillery surveillance regiment;[/li][li]6 medium artillery regiments, using the AS90 self-propelled gun;[/li][li]6 TA (reserve) artillery regiments;[/li][li]2 light artillery regiments, supporting airborne and Royal Marine units40 regular infantry battalions;[/li][li]15 TA (reserve) infantry battalions;[/li][li]13 engineer regiments;[/li][li]3 SAS special forces regiments (one reserve) - I can’t confirm this, though.[/ul]The main fighting formation is 1 Armoured Division, based in Germany, consisting of three brigades. Alongside them is the rapid-response heliborne 16 Air Assault Brigade. UK-based units are nominally organised into 2 Infantry Division and 3 Infantry Division for command purposes. [/li]
Note that in the UK a regiment can either be a battalion-sized combat formation (e.g. armour, artillery, SAS, engineers) or an administrative parent unit to multiple infantry battalions.

Royal Air Force
[ul][li]10 ground attack squadrons (60 Tornado GR.4 strike aircraft, 39 Harrier GR.7 strike aircraft, 22 Jaguar GR.3 strike aircraft);[/li][li]4 fighter squadrons and 1 fighter flight (68 Tornado F.3 fighters);[/li][li]2 early warning squadrons (6 AWACS aircraft);[/li][li]3 maritime patrol squadrons (17 Nimrod MR.2 aircraft);[/li][li]5 reconnaissance/strike squadrons (24 Tornado GR.4a aircraft, 4 Canberra PR.9 aircraft, 12 Jaguar GR.3 aircraft, 3 Nimrod R.1 aircraft);[/li][li]7 transport squadrons (44 Hercules aircraft, 10 VC-10 C.1K aircraft various models, 4 C-17 Globemaster aircraft);[/li][li]2 refuelling squadrons (7 VC-10 aircraft, 8 TriStar aircraft);[/li][li]6 transport helicopter squadrons (33 Chinook HC.2 helicopters, 22 Merlin HC.3 helicopters, 33 Puma HC.1 helicopters);[/li][li]4 search & rescue helicopter squadrons (various helicopters, including 16 Sea King HAR.3);[/li][li]7 reserve squadrons (26 Tornado GR.4 strike aircraft, 8 Jaguar GR.3 strike aircraft, 9 Harrier GR.7 strike aircraft, 20 Tornado F.3 fighters, 5 Hercules transports, 3 Nimrod MR.2 maritime patrol aircraft and 3 Sea King HAR.3 helicopters);[/li][li]11 RAF Regiment base defence squadrons, including infantry and Rapier SAMs.[/ul]The RAF also has a large number of training aircraft, including 69 Hawk T.1 fighter trainers that can easily be used as operational strike fighters, and a number of aircraft evaluation units with combat aircraft. Total aircrew numbers are around 1,300.[/li]
The RAF has two major upgrade projects in process. 232 Typhoon multi-role strike fighters are due to enter service in the next few years to replace the Tornado F.3 and Jaguar aircraft (in 4 fighter, 2 multi-role and 1 strike squadrons). Additionally, the RAF and RN are planning to replace all Harriers with 150 Joint Strike Fighters, which will also be entering service with the US military.

Royal Navy

[ul][li]3 light aircraft carriers;[/li][li]1 amphibious assault ship;[/li][li]11 air defence destroyers;[/li][li]20 multi-role frigates (16 of which are new Type 23 designs);[/li][li]4 nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines;[/li][li]12 nuclear-powered attack submarines;[/li][li]Numerous patrol vessels, minesweepers etc;[/li][li]12 anti-submarine and multi-purpose helicopter squadrons;[/li][li]3 fighter/anti-shipping squadrons (Sea Harrier FA.2 aircraft).[/ul]The Royal Navy has several future changes planned:[ul]4 landing ships;[/li][li]2 amphibious landing ships;[/li][li]2 conventional aircraft carriers (60,000 tonnes, 48 aircraft);[/li][li]12 new advanced air defence destroyers, with an all-new missile system (and some great names - the first will be HMS Daring;[/li][li]6 advanced nuclear-powered attack submarines (Astute-class);[/li][li]Replacement of the Sea Harrier with the US JSF.[/ul]Royal Marines[/li]
The Royal Marines’ combat formation is 3 Commando Brigade, consisting of three RM Commandos (infantry battalions), plus assault landing units and supporting artillery and Special Boat Service (SBS) special forces troops.

Um… no.

I can’t imagine a situation where England would be attacked and not the UK.

If you mean the UK then why not say the UK, instead of this non-existent hybrid state? When does the Texas/US army plan to attack Iraq?

Obviously any Iraqi attack would have to be land based, which means they have to go through the French first!! :slight_smile:

If any force attacks the UK, I imagine the US personnel over here will have something to say about it. So that’s at leastsquadron of F-15s (at Lakenheath) and a shedload of B-52s (currently at Fairford). I’m sure there are more but these are the ones I know of (unless you count a transport base at Mildenhall).

“Obviously any Iraqi attack would have to be land based, which means they have to go through the French first!!”

I don’t think the French would mind :slight_smile:

Hey Crusoe, that’s quite a list, thanks.

Nice list, Crusoe, to which I might add, as a final cherry on the top, the United Kingdom’s nuclear arsenal of 195 strategic nuclear warheads.

Anyway, as others have pointed out, the point is moot, because:

  • Iraq has no plausible means of attacking the UK directly
  • in accordance with Article 5 of the NATO charter, such an attack would be met with a fairly uninhibited response from all NATO members- in which case we may as well multiply Crusoe’s list by a factor of ten at least.

Surely Saddam’d just ask his buddy Osama to attack the UK?


Ah! I had a nasty feeling I left something out, but to lose 195 nuclear warheads was a little careless – I shall submit myself to the UN for inspections immediately!