MoD budget cuts: how can troops do more with less?

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Run out of bullets? No problem, you still have a data terminal to throw at the bastards

Following reports yesterday that the Ministry of Defence is facing budget cuts along with other government departments as part of the Treasury’s 2015/2016 spending review, there is concern that the UK’s defence capabilities are being put at risk with threats to both equipment and manpower.

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ASDNews

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While the MoD has been granted a partial exemption from the ten percent budget cuts being asked of most other departments, Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander has said he will allow the defence equipment budget to rise by one percent, but that the department must find savings of five percent in other areas, according to Vislink International, the global provider of video communications technologies, these cuts are likely to have a significant impact on troops out in theatres of war.

 

“Cuts to the MoD’s budget will be felt across the department, but particularly in those areas where troop numbers have already depleted such as Iraq and Afghanistan. In these theatres of war, the military is increasingly having to do the same amount of work with less people – a situation that looks set to continue with the biggest cuts in this spending review set to come from service personnel and manpower,” said Ali Zarkesh, Business Development Director at Vislink. “This means that the MoD needs to provide those on the ground with the right equipment to get the job done, and get it done quickly and safely.”

 

“What’s more, while the defence equipment budget is set to rise by one percent, this is unlikely to cover the expensive bespoke military equipment that forces have traditionally been used to purchasing,” continued Zarkesh. “We’re already seeing a growing trend towards off the shelf equipment that can be retro-fitted and adapted to meet specific needs, and this looks set to continue with this new round of cuts. Fortunately recent technological advances mean that in areas such as satellite communications, bespoke military grade portable equipment is now available for the price of off-the-shelf equipment, enabling the military to better meet budget cuts without compromising on technology, results or safety.”

 

Vislink points out that modern satellite data terminals can operate effectively in high temperatures or inhospitable conditions, to satisfy the increasingly varied environments found on today’s battlefields. In addition, technology such as the Mantis MSAT, the world’s smallest and lightest satellite data terminal at just 12.5kg (27.5 lbs), can be deployed by just one man within minutes to provide high bandwidth voice, video and broadband data communications, allowing high-definition visual assessments to be delivered quickly, without the need for existing infrastructure.

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