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Royal Navy has “less to fear from the strategic defence & security review” – Rear Admiral Terry Loughran (RT’D)

“If the Strategic Defence & Security Review (SDSR) focuses on efficiencies, the Royal Navy has less to fear.” That was the recent ringing endorsement from Rear Admiral Terry Loughran (Rt’d), Royal Navy in response to the UK government’s forthcoming review of defence capability, procurement and spending plans. Indeed, in anticipation of Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox’s proposed Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) – an objective process designed to shape the Armed Forces as required by the end of the decade – Rear Admiral Loughran (Rt’d) was ebullient in his praise of the Royal Navy.

In an interview with Defence IQ, Rear Admiral Loughran (Rt’d) explained that spending cuts in wake of the recent recession were inevitable. However, with manpower and technical expertise running, in his opinion, at efficient and effective levels, the Royal Navy was currently in a healthy state. “I’m more confident than you’d expect,” he proclaimed with his confidence lying predominantly in the shift of thought process amongst key naval decision makers away from correcting the shortfalls created by the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and geared more towards preparing the UK to “fight the next war”.

Regarding defence as an “insurance policy” and professing, “You only get the risk that you pay for,” Rear Admiral Loughran (Rt’d) went on to claim that the broader inefficiencies of the procurement process would need to be addressed. Indeed perhaps controversially, the highly respected former Rear Admiral suggested that that issue would be best served by removing a whole capability rather than “salami slicing” current capabilities. The reason behind this, he claimed, would be to burden less an already burdened Navy unilaterally with widespread spending cuts.

The outcomes of the SDSR remain to be seen but the thoughts of Rear Admiral Loughran (Rt’d) will be viewed with interest by the naval community. In particular, the glowing endorsement of the Royal Navy’s current modes of action will be received warmly and as a source of encouragement by Rear Admiral Loughran’s (Rt’d) successors as the await the full SDSR in the months to come.

The interview can be viewed in full at the OPVs Download Centre ( along with a variety of other complimentary reports, articles, interviews and presentations.

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