British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has denied reports that the British Army intends to mothball all its tanks. Following a month from The Times newspaper last month, speculation was rife that military chiefs were planning to radically modernise the Army. As part of the rumoured modernisation plans, it was said that all tanks operated by the British Army would be mothballed. However, in recent comments made to the BBC, the Defence Secretary insisted, “the idea that tanks won’t be there for the Army, upgraded and modernised, is wrong,” categorically denying the suggestion. During the comments, he added that, while a government review means “letting go” of some military equipment, it will not completely remove tanks from the equation. Discussions have abounded regarding the British Army’s moves towards cyber, space and other state of the art technologies, which the Defence Secretary also confirmed. He revealed details of further plans during a visit to the Middle East.
According to the report featured in The Times last month, it was rumoured that the entire fleet of two hundred and twenty-seven Challenger tanks was to be mothballed. According to Mr Wallace’s latest comments, the review, that is described as the most important defence review since the end of the Cold War, will entail “letting go of some equipment that isn’t serving any purpose or overmatched by adversaries.” During his Middle East visit, Mr Wallace mentioned, “We’re going to make sure we have an armed forces fit for the 21st Century and meets our obligations to Nato and elsewhere… We are not scrapping all the British army’s tanks and we will make sure the ones we maintain are up to date, lethal and defendable.” As part of the new approach, new equipment will be made available to the RAF, Royal Navy and the Army.