You don't need MBTs for low-tech enemies, but there is nothing to say that these will exclusively be the UK's military enemies for the future. It is worth training and preparing for overseas policing actions, but not at the neglect of our first-line forces developed to face peer enemies. We went down that route in the late C19th and the result was seen in Belgium in 1914. We then went down the same route in the 1920s and 30s, and 1939/40 showed what happened. We have wandered down that same old avenue again, and should the British Army be called upon to deploy, we better hope that the enemy are even worse equipped than we are.
Whilst trawling files in the UK archives at Kew, I came across a press clipping attached to a file. It was an announcement that Britain should never allow herself to be caught unprepared for war by letting her military forces deteriorate in peacetime. The announcement was by Queen Victoria in the late C19th.
Every single time we neglect the expensive forces intended to face peer enemies, the result is that we are caught on the back foot when war against such an enemy breaks out. Tanks aren't something you can suddenly re-introduce at a moment's notice. They need training and integration, logistical practice and experience. That takes years to attain. Worse is the neglect of the domestic tank industry. By allowing it to wither to a token rump f what it was, Britain is in real danger of not having a replacement for Challenger 2. The tank is already obsolescent (but not yet obsolete), and there are no replacement designs in the pipeline. We will either have to collaborate on a new design (and all efforts in that field have historically failed) or buy a foreign design 'of the shelf'. That will be the final nail in the UK tank industry's coffin, as well as becoming reliant on a foreign power for licences, support and training.
Yup, totally agree. I was shocked too at the announcement of cutting one of the tank regiments. Even at three regiments that's too small a force. Once you're at two regiments, then people can make the argument of what is the point of continuing to have any at all.
Even here in the US there are voices beginning to be raised about getting rid of tanks altogether. The Marines have already made this decision. The Army OTOH has added another armored brigade to the force, and the A5 version of the M1 is still pretty potent. But the exponentially increasing lethality of ATGMs is pushing tanks into extinction.