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British Army details Future Soldier army transformation programme

The British Army published the Future Soldier Guide on 25 November on the service's transformation programme. (British Army)

Accompanying UK Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace's announcement in parliament on 25 November that the British Army would be reduced to a planned strength of 73,000 troops by the mid-2020s was the publication of a 53-page document detailing the Future Soldier army transformation programme.

Field Army commander Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddisse stated when the document was announced, “Future Soldier is the next step in the evolution of the British Army; it is the most radical change for the British Army in 20 years. It will change the way we fight and operate and make us more lethal, agile and lean. It will be underpinned by changes to structure, technology, and workforce. Future Soldier is fundamentally about ensuring the British Army is a competitive and resilient organisation able to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, wherever they may be.”

Future Soldier foresees the British Army operating in a volatile strategic environment characterised by great power competition, the proliferation of technology, globalisation, the information age and climate change. The UK's Integrated Operating Concept defines a model of protecting, engaging through a forward deployed posture, constraining through force if necessary, and in the last resort warfighting, according to the document. Future Soldier no longer assumes that the UK will have technical superiority on the battlefield, with it becoming increasingly difficult to move and hide from more powerful enemy sensors and surveillance systems and longer range, more accurate weapons.

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