Re: £10m a year for a drone?
I have said it before, once the armed forces are cut below a level at which they are actually useful you might as well forget it and scrap them totally. We passed that threshold probably 30 years back. The current situation is stupid and pointless. Take the whole of the armed services and they couldn't successfully defend the Isle of White from a bunch of paintballers far less anyone with a real gun.
Its not the fault of the front line soldier or airman but equipment such as a huge aircraft carrier with only half a dozen aircraft that fall out of the sky in rough weather or run out of fuel 20 seconds after take off and present a radar footprint the size of an Americans backside on the way back to top up the petrol tanks is pointless - even more so when they are in bits all over europe for upgrades and repairs we aren't allowed to carry out. The airforce is so small it is pointless, tied to airfields because the one plane capable of not using an airfield is now sitting in a desert in USA in bits just means it will be wiped out in a single bombing raid by any intelligent enemy (in ww2 the Germans nearly succeeded before mistakenly turning to bombing London and the airforce in those days was actually big enough to call a force), and as for the army, a few tanks from Spain with German engines so they cant be replaced when they get shot up, not enough bullets to fight for more than 24 hours and not enough body armour for the less than Wembley stadium sized army.... for heavens sake the whole British army is less than a football crowd.
Pointless, a waste of money.
If I were PM I would be building 10 large nuclear carriers with catapults and arrester wires, 20 smaller Hermes size also equipped the same (including nuclear propulsion) because ALL of them can fly either Harrier or conventional planes (Hermes DID fly conventional jets before the addition of te ski jump), this would make 10 carrier groups for deployment around the world each group would need a selection of probably around 10 or so anti aircraft, anti sub and anti surface destroyer/frigate/cruisers. There would then be another 20 resupply fleets capable of dragging food, planes, fuel and consisting of supply ships and support/protection vessels. Resupply submarines and attack subs. All to be made and equipped in the UK with UK equipment including UK planes. Similar would add a few hundred heavy and light tanks , helicopter gunships and harrier squadrons to the Army along with upping its front line strength to 250k kitting all with British made uniforms (not the chinese shit they have at the moment) along with British guns and British bullets. The airforce would need new Harriers possibly extra speed, tsr2 reinvigorated and completed, a low radar tsr3, fuel tankers, large bombers (new vulcans/victors/valients), transport planes, drones and helicopters.
Yup total package would cost a lot, but it would mean we could actually defend ourselves and if we buy British it would provide us with short term jobs and then a longer term future as a nation able to produce and sell arms. I know its not to everyones taste to sell guns etc but we are happy to sell cars that polute and kill along with other dubious practices so why not sell something we have historically been very good at making?