Photo of Douglas Carswell

Douglas Carswell (Clacton, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate his Department has made of the cost of adding an additional brigade to the army.

Photo of Nick Harvey

Nick Harvey (The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence; North Devon, Liberal Democrat)

At this time no estimate has been made within the Department of adding an additional brigade to the Army. To provide an indicative costing would be unrealistic since it would depend on what role any such brigade was designed for. There are significant differences in the composition of a Heavy Brigade as opposed to a Light Brigade or an Airborne Brigade in terms of manpower, training, equipment and accommodation. For this reason it is not possible to give an indicative figure.

The Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) will bring defence policy, plans, commitments and resources into balance, and produce over time a transformative change to British defence.

At the heart of Defence contribution to the SDSR will be a thorough examination of our force structure, looking at the overall shape, size and role of armed forces personnel and MOD civil servants, including the reserve forces. Depending on the outcome of the SDSR, some capabilities may be reduced in order to enhance others and provide the most effective suite of measures for defending the UK's interests.

This will not be a salami-slicing review but one which provides coherent long-term policy direction and takes the tough choices required to produce the armed forces and wider defence capabilities the country will need in the decades ahead.

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