Defence Analysis has a general assessment to make about the defence budget in so far as it affects procurement:
There is little or no room for manoeuvre, and if the budget is to become truly balanced, there is a school of thought that an extra major programme is going to have to get cut, so as to ease the pressure on the whole. There will, of course, have to be many “wish list” programmes cut, scrapped, and the like, but the core budget is, to put it mildly, over-heated. Nimrod MRA4 might have only been the first such programme to get cut ….
The key issue here, as far as Defence Analysis can see, is simple: there will be one of the largest “slants” in procurement towards one particular Service, one of the largest ever seen over the past 30+ years of defence in the UK. This slant will be towards the Royal Navy, and even if the data is compelling for this contention for this decade, it will stretch into next decade too. Defence Analysis has stated that the Army –especially – and the RAF have misunderstood how the procurement spend has been tilting the RN’s way – the data Defence Analysis provides should put some meat on the bones.
For a more detailed look at the evolution of the budget see