UK aims to downsize British Army to 73,000 soldiers

by Tim Ripley

UK defence secretary Ben Wallace told parliament on 25 November that the British Army would be reduced by 500 soldiers to a target strength of 73,000 by the middle of the decade. Pictured: soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment training in Oman in October. (Crown copyright)

Proposals to reduce the size of the British Army have been scaled back by 500 troops, UK defence secretary Ben Wallace announced on 25 November.

Wallace told the UK parliament that the British Army would now be reduced to 73,000 by the middle of the decade. When the Defence Command Paper (DCP) was published in March, the target strength of the army was set at 72,500 trained soldiers, down from the 82,000 hitherto planned.

Wallace revealed a series of changes to the organisation and deployment of the British Army's major units, confirming the new brigade combat team structure set out in the DCP in March.

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US Army pushes cloud expansion to regional commands

by Carlo Munoz

US Army document detailing the service's three-tier strategy to integrate the hybrid cloud capability into army operations. (US Army )

US Army officials are preparing to move out on a plan to expand the ground service's burgeoning cloud computing capabilities beyond the continental United States (CONUS), with service leaders anticipating integration of those capabilities into the regional commands, beginning with the Asia-Pacific region.

The plan is part of the army's plan to rapidly transition from legacy combat networking strategies to a mix of commercial and military cloud capabilities, as outlined under the service's Unified Network strategy issued in October 2021. Service-led efforts to adopt this commercial-military hybrid cloud strategy has shown early promise, Army Chief Information Officer Raj Ayer said in June.

Most recently, army officials were able to migrate 50 service-specific applications from the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)-hosted military cloud service provider to the army variant – known as the cArmy cloud – within 100 days, according to Ayer.

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Philippine Army sets up ATMOS battalion

by Jon Grevatt

The Philippine Army has formed a new battalion to operate its ATMOS 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled guns. The weapon (pictured above) took part in Philippine Army tests in April 2022. (Philippine Army)

The Philippine Army has established a new battalion to operate its newly acquired Autonomous Truck Mounted howitzer System (ATMOS) 155 mm/52 calibre self-propelled gun system, produced by Israeli firm Elbit Systems.

Philippine Army spokesperson Colonel Xerxes Trinidad told Janes on 27 June that the 10th Field Artillery Battalion will operate under the service's artillery regiment, which is headquartered in Fort Magsaysay, 120 km north of Manila.

Col Trinidad said the 12 new artillery pieces will boost the army's “mobility and range” and enhance its “indirect fire support capability”. The ATMOS is also intended to aid the Philippine Army's continuing efforts to support combined arms operations in tackling critical threats including insurgency.

The Philippine Army took delivery of the ATMOS units in December 2021, following the signing of a USD47 million contract in 2020. In service with the army, the gun is mounted on a 6×6 truck, although it can be incorporated onto 8×8 vehicles for enhanced speed and mobility.

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US Navy funding for Zumwalt CPS meets only ‘fraction' of overall need, programme official says

by Michael Fabey

The US Navy will need to provide substantially more funding to incorporate a hypersonic missile system on Zumwalt-class destroyers. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) will need to substantially increase the amount of future funding to incorporate the Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic weapon system in its DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyers, according to a senior programme official.

“The [Zumwalt] programme manager … stated that the funding provided constitutes a fraction of the total expected funding necessary for complete CPS integration,” the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in the major Pentagon programmes annual report.

“Integration of the CPS weapon system across all three ships was estimated in June 2021 at approximately USD900 million,” the GAO said in the report released on 8 June 2022. “The programme currently has USD15 million in funding to begin CPS incorporation design efforts and finalise requirements, and requested over USD100 million in fiscal year (FY) 2022.”

As noted by the GAO, the navy plans to install CPS on the DDG 1000 USS Zumwalt

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