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British Armed Forces

From Academic Kids

Military of the United Kingdom

The tri-service badge: Royal Navy, British Army
and Royal Air Force.
Military manpower
Availability
(males age 15-49)
14,943,016 (2004 est.)
Fit for military service
(males age 15-49)
12,393,785 (2004 est.)
Military expenditures
Sterling figure
(FY04/05)
£32.6 billion
Dollar figure
(FY04/05)
$61.3 billion
Percent of GDP
(2004)
2.6%
Military strength
British Army
Main Battle Tanks 386 Challenger 2
Infantry fighting vehicles 575 Warrior
Armoured Personnel Carriers 4,000+
Artillery 400
Aircraft 290
Personnel (Regular Army) 112,700
Personnel (Territorial Army) 40,000+
Royal Navy
Ballistic Missile Submarines 4
Fleet Submarines 11
Aircraft Carriers 3
Helicopter Carrier 1
Destroyers 11
Frigates 20
Patrol boats 26
Amphibious Assault ships 2
Minesweepers 22
Survey vessels 4
Aircraft 210
Personnel (Regular) 40,900
Personnel (Royal Naval Reserve) 3,250
Personnel (Royal Marines Reserve) 600
Royal Fleet Auxiliary
Tankers 9
Resupply ships 2
Tanker/Resupply ships 2
Aviation training ship 1
Repair ship 1
Amphibious Assault ships 5
Strategic lift vessels 2
Royal Air Force
Aircraft 942 (including helicopters)
Personnel 53,400

The armed forces of the United Kingdom are known as the British Armed Forces or Her Majesty's Armed Forces, officially the Armed Forces of the Crown. Their Commander-in-Chief is the Queen and they are managed by the Ministry of Defence.

The British Armed Forces are charged with protecting the United Kingdom and its overseas territories, promoting Britain's wider security interests, and supporting international peacekeeping efforts. They are active and regular participants in NATO and other coalition operations.

The British Army had a reported strength of 112,700 in 2004, including 7,600 women, and the Royal Air Force a strength of 53,400. The 40,900-member Royal Navy is in charge of the United Kingdom's independent strategic nuclear arm, which consists of four Trident missile submarines, while the Royal Marines provide commando units for amphibious assault and for specialist reinforcement forces in and beyond the NATO area. This puts total active duty military troops in the 210,000 range.

Along with France and Russia, Britain fields one of the most powerful and comprehensive military forces in Europe. Despite Britain's wide ranging capabilities, recent defence policy has a stated assumption that any large operation would be undertaken as part of a coalition. Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq (Granby, No-Fly-Zones, Desert Fox and Telic) may all be taken as precedent - indeed the last true war in which the British military fought alone was the Falklands War of 1982.

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