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Defence Review Project 2020 (Welsh History Post Glyndwr)

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On 01 Dec 2011 the YLAG and Defence Council published its recommendations for the Defence Budget. Cuts would be made across the board.

The Navy

The Navy was reviewed as part of the Project 2020 plan. From these proposals the fleet was to be reduced and restructured. The costs involved in running a serious blue water fleet were crippling the Welsh military budget.

1) The Carrier Force would be retired without replacement. The Hydd Gwyn and Baredd Du are to be retired from service in 2016.

2) The Destroyer Sqn would be retired along with the carriers. LPM Diflin and Disglair would be phased out with the two old carriers in 2016 with the Dug and Daionus retained until 2022.

3) The Dosbarth Priff ships would all be retired from service as of 2012. These were old ships and had already been partially replaced by the Prince Class ships. 4) The Prince Class would be retained in the interim with the Navy pursuing new frigate options. The Navy in 2012 commissioned 3 new frigates which would be built in the shipyards of Caerodor.

5) Working jointly with the Norwegian Navy to develop the Palace/Skold Class these ships would be retained to form close shore protection in Welsh waters

6) A new corvette class of ship would be developed by the Welsh Navy as the Navy switched from a Carrier Group Navy to a Frigate Navy. These corvettes would complement the new frigate force, whilst the Marcher Class fast attack boats would work in the Palace class corvettes in providing the inshore squadrons.

7) The Welsh Submarine flotilla would be reduced to five submarines with the remaining five submarines having an extensive upgrade program to extend their operational life.

8) As a result of the loss of the CAG the Naval Air Squadrons flying fixed wing aircraft will be disbanded along with the carriers in 2016. 771 & 777 Sqn will be disbanded completely with 778 Sqn converting to helicopters. 773 Sqn will also be retained but flying purely from shore establishments. 775 Sqn will also be disbanded. A number of coastal defence establishments will also be closed.

Ysgafyn Llong/Ffreigad) - Frigates

The Welsh Navy currently operates the Tywysog or Prince class of frigates, all of which were built in Wales under licence from the United States. The Prince Class are originally Oliver Perry Class frigates, the rights to build five of which were bought by the government in 1981 with the lead ship (LPM Owain Tywysog Gwynedd) being launched in 1984. Two of these ships are to be retired under the Project 2020

Dosbarth Tywysog (Prince Class)

  • YL01: LPM Maredudd Tywysog Powys
    Prince Class Frigate

    Prince Class Frigate

  • YL05: LPM Briallen Tywysoges Powys
  • YL09: LPM Cystennin Tywysog Morgannwg

Dosbarth Gaer (Fortress Class)

As part of Project 2020 the LFG has commissioned three new generation frigates. These will be designed and built in partnership with Wales’ European partners. These new ships also deviated from the previous frigates by using the new hull classification Ff rather than YL

  • FF01: LPM Penfro
  • FF02: LPM Caerfilli
  • FF03: LPM Harlech
FF01 - LPM Penfro

Fortress Class Ship: LPM Penfro

Fortress Class Frigate

Fortress Class Frigate

Cawell Llong - Corvettes

The Welsh Navy operates two classes of corvettes for its close-to-shore protection and in support of the frigate squadrons. The Welsh Navy purchased from the Norwegian Navy the Skold Class corvette to provide close shore support. The first of the new ships came on line in 2007. The Navy has also commissioned a new more mission flexible corvette class of ship, the Beast Class.

Dosbarth Plas (Palace Class)

LPM Garth Celyn - Palace Class Corvette

Palace Class - Inshore Defence Ship

  • CL 114: LPM Garth Celyn (Commissioned 2007)
  • CL 116: LPM Montgomery (Commissioned 2008)
  • CL 118: LPM Dinefwr (Commissioned 2010)
  • CL 120: LPM Sycharth (Commissioned 2012)
  • CL 122: LPM Cwm Hyfred (Commissioned 2013) 


Dosbarth Bwystfil (Beast Class)

  • CL 220: LPM Llew Du
Beast Class

Beast Class Corvette

  • CL222: LPM Griffwn
  • CL 224: LPM Llamrai
  • CL 226: LPM Hebog
  • CL 228: LPM Llew Aur

Ysgubwr Mwnglawdd - Minehunters

This is a class of ship built and designed solely in Wales. It is similar to the Sandown class of the Royal Navy. Currently the Welsh fleet operates four of these ships and was unaffected by the defence review

Dosbarth Sir (County Class)

  • YM301: LPM Ceredigion
  • YM305: LPM Gower
  • YM302: LPM Kidwelli
  • YM304: LPM Ergyng

Ympryd Ymosodiad Cwch (Fast Attack Boat) - Helicopter Patrol Vessel

This is a small class of boats, designed in conjunction with the Royal Dutch Navy. The "Holland Class Patrol Vessel" designed for close support with the Royal Welsh Coastguard is top of the range and brand new. This class was purchased as part of the conversion from a blue water fleet to a brown water fleet (High Seas to Coastal). The ships operate the NH90 marine Helicopter as well. After purchasing the vessels the Welsh Navy renamed the class "Y Mers" or Marcher Class. Under the review another two ships of this class was commissioned.

Dosbarth Y Mers (Marcher Class)

  • YYC 601: LPM Y Mers (Commissioned 2010)
  • YYC 602: LPM Henffordd (Commissioned 2012)
  • YYC 603: LPM Llwydlo (Commissioned 2013)
  • YYC604: LPM De Braose (Commissioned 2014)

Auxiliary Vessels

The auxiliary ships were also unaffected by the defence review.

  • LPM Henrietta (Fleet Oiler)
  • LPM Elen (Oil Recovery Ship)
  • LPM Lennox (Troop Transport Ship)
  • LPM Glyndwr (Sail Training Ship)
  • LPM Mortimer (Sail Training Ship)
  • LPM Bren (Training Ship)

Llong Danfor - Submarine Flotilla

The submarine fleet was reduced under the Project 2020 to five boats. The remaining boats were placed under a massive upgrade to enable them to serve until at least 2030.

Dosbarth Marchog (Knight Class)

  • LDK 26: LPM Lancelot
  • LDK 27: LPM Cai
  • LDK 29: LPM Bors
  • LDK 30: LPM Pellinore
  • LDK 31: LPM Galahad 

The Air Force

As part of a bilateral defence agreement with the Anglo-Scottish State, the Welsh Air Force took full responsibility for the defence of the western approaches to the British Isle. This was a departure from previous agreements as well as disagreements with the Anglo-Scottish State which had seen both Wales and England-Scotland duplicating in the provision of the western approaches. Scotland would maintain its defence of the northern defence zone; with England maintaining the south and east zones, but for the first time Wales would be solely responsible for the western zone. This resulted in a small surge in defence spending for the Air Force, largely allowed by the scrapping of the naval carrier force and its combat units. The Admiralty and the Air Ministry co-operated in regards to the cancelled Caledfwlch project and the Air Force took on the Navy’s commitment to purchase the F/A 18E Super Hornet and outfitted two squadrons with these aircraft. Two fighter units are to be disbanded, Nos. 9 and 12 Squadrons stood down on 5 Dec 2011. The F16s and Mirages were sold to Croatia and The Republic of Congo. Further purchases of Gripen fighters have been stopped in light of the F/A18E coming into service, though the Air Force did commit to the purchase of the Apache helicopter system to complement its Army Air Wing.

The Army

The Army came though the Defence Project 2020 with an amended mission. In the 21st Century, the majority of its missions would be either UN or NATO led missions and it was recognised that the United States and the Anglo-Scottish State in most of these engagements would be providing the majority of the fighting forces. As a result the Welsh Army was restructured to provide more support to these forces. Mechanised Infantry regiments would be reduced with the Mae Catrawd Frenhinol Gorllewin – The Royal Western Regiment and the Y Ffiwsilwyr Brenhinol - The Royal Fusiliers being disbanded and the Army main force being restructured to a three Brigade army (two Combined Arms and one Infantry). The Welsh Cavalry units were reduced with the reconnaissance units gaining increased emphasis. The Army Medical Corp, the Royal Engineering Corp would see the biggest increases to their budgets, with the Peirianneg Frenhinol Corfflu - Royal Engineering Corp being enlarged to four battalions. The proposed purchase of new Stryker and Ariete AFVs has been approved as well as the replacement of aging utility vehicles. The Welsh Army however has returned a number of colonial bases to their sovereign countries control.

Army Structure Post Project 2020 – 23,000 personnel

  • 2 Combined Arms Brigades
  • 1 Infantry Brigade
  • 8 Infantry Units in total
  • 3 Mech Infantry Regiments
  • 1 SpecFor
  • 1 Airbourne
  • 1 Household (Ceremonial)
  • 1 Marine Infantry Regiment
  • 1 Air Force Guard Regiment

Arfau Brwydro yn erbyn - Combat Arms

Fecanyddol Troedfilwyr - Mechanised Infantry

1. Catrawd y Mers - The Regiment of the March (Single Bttn)

2. Y Gatrawd Gogledd Cymraeg – The North Welsh Regiment

  • Bataliwn 1af (Powys) Y Gogledd Cymraeg – 1st Bttn (Powys) The North Welsh
  • 2il Fataliwn (Gwynedd) Y Gogledd Cymraeg – 2nd Bttn (Gwynedd) The North Welsh

3. Y Gatrawd Ddwyreiniol – The Eastern Regiment

  • 1af Battlion (Reifflau) Catrawd Dwyrain – 1st Bttn (Rifle) The Eastern Regiment
  • 2il Fataliwn (Tan Belenydd) Catrawd Dwyrain – 2nd Bttn (Grenadier) The Eastern Regiment

Lluoedd Arbennig - Special Forces

4. Y Catrawd Llwyd - The Grey Regiment (Single Bttn) Special Forces

5. 2il Llyngesol Cwmni Mor-Filwr – No 2 Naval Marine Company

  • Based at Pembroke Dock Naval Base

6. Mor-Filwr Ysbeilio'r Sgwadron, Llyngesol Troedfilwyr - Marine Raiding Sqn, Naval Infantry

  • Based at Pembroke Dock Naval Base.
  • Elements deployed aboard Y Mers and Henffrdd on CT duties and in Afghanistan.

7. Rhif 2 Asgell Amddiffyn Tir - No 2 Ground Defence Wing – LFAG

  • Based at the Llanilltyd Fawr Ganolfan Awyr (Llantwit Major Air Base)

Drosglwyddir Drwy'r Aer - Airbourne

8. Y Gatrawd Reifflau Ffin – The Border Rifles Regiment

  • Bataliwn 1af (parasiwt) Reifflau Ffin – 1st Bttn (Parachute) The Border Rifles
  • 2il Fataliwn (Brenin Hun) Y Reifflwyr Ffin – 2nd Bttn (Kings Own) The Border Rifles

Is-Adran y Cartref – Defodol - Household Division - Ceremonial

9. Y Catrawd Gwarchodlu – The Guards Regiment

  • Bataliwn 1af (Cartref) Gwarchodlu Catrawd – 1st Bttn (Household) Guards Regiment
  • 2il Fataliwn (Llewod Du) Gwarchodlu Catrawd – 2nd Bttn (Black Lions) Guards Regiment

Catrodau Wahân - Detached Regiments

10. Catrawd Morol Llyngesol – Naval Marine Regiment

11. Catrawd Gwarchod Llu Awyr - Air force Guard Regiment

Unedau Arfog a Gwyr Meirch Cyfredol - Current Armoured and Cavalry Units

Trwm Gwyr Meirch - Unedau Prif Brwydr Tanc - Heavy Cavalry – Main Battle Tank Units

1. 1af Frenhinol Marchfilwyr Gwarchodlu Dehubarth – 1st Royal Dehubarth Dragoon Guards

2. 3ydd (Hun Iarll Iago yn) Gwarchodlu Marchfilwyr – 3rd (Earl Iago's) Dragoon Guards

Marchoglu - Rhagchwilio Ffurfiant - Light Cavalry – Formation Reconnaissance

1. 1af (Y Brenhinoedd) Gwaywffyn Brenhinol Sir Benfro – 1st (The King's) Royal Pembrokeshire Lancers

2. 3ydd (Brenhinol y Frenhines) Hwsariaid – 3rd (The Queen's Royal) Hussars

3. 4ydd (Cystennin Tywysog) Gwaywffyn – 4th (Prince Cystennin's) Lancers

Cymorth Brwydro Arfau - Combat Support Arms

Magnelau Brenhinol – Royal Artillery

  • Rif 1 Batri - No 1 Battery: This is the ceremonial unit
  • Rif 2 Batri - No 2 HQ Battery: This is the unit based at the Army Headquarters in Caerfilli
  • Rif 3 Batri - No 3 Battery: This is the unit based in Caerodor
  • Rif 4 Batri - No 4 Battery: This is the unit based in Conwy

Byddin Cudd-wybodaeth Corfflu - Army Intelligence Corp

Is-adran Signalwyr Brenhinol – Royal Signals Division (3 Bttn)

Peirianneg Frenhinol Corfflu - Royal Engeeneering Corp (4 Bttn)

Gwasanaethau Ategol Brwydro - Combat Ancillary Services

Corfflu Logisteg Brenhinol - Royal Logistics Corp

Yr Is-adran Meddygol Frenhinol - Royal Medical Division – Tri Service

  1. Corfflu Fyddin Meddygol – Army Medical Corps
  2. Gwasanaeth Meddygol Llyngesol – Naval Medical Service
  3. Llu Awyr Corfflu Meddygol – Air Force Medical Corps

Corfflu Dirprwy Gadfridog - Adjutant General's Corps

Heddlu Milwrol Brenhinol – Royal Military Police – Tri Service

Corfflu o Fyddin Cerddoriaeth - Corp of Army Music

Strwythur Frigâd - Brigade Structure

Rhif 1 Brigâd Arfau Cyfunol - No 1 CA Brigade – Based in Llwydlo

• Catrawd y Mers - Regiment of March

• Bataliwn 1af (Powys) Y Gogledd Cymraeg – 1st Bttn (Powys) The North Welsh

• 1af Frenhinol Marchfilwyr Gwarchodlu Dehubarth – 1st Royal Dehubarth Dragoon Guards

• 3ydd (Brenhinol y Frenhines) Hwsariaid – 3rd (The Queen's Royal) Hussars

Rhif 2 Troedfilwyr Frigâd - No 2 Infantry Brigade – Based in Caernarfon

• 2il Fataliwn (Gwynedd) Y Gogledd Cymraeg – 2nd Bttn (Gwynedd) The North Welsh

• Y Gatrawd Ddwyreiniol – The Eastern Regiment

  • 1af Battlion (Reifflau) Catrawd Dwyrain – 1st Bttn (Rifle) The Eastern Regiment
  • 2il Fataliwn (Tan Belenydd) Catrawd Dwyrain – 2nd Bttn (Grenadier) The Eastern Regiment

• 4ydd (Cystennin Tywysog) Gwaywffyn – 4th (Prince Cystennin's) Lancers

Rhif 3 Brigâd Arfau Cyfunol - No 3 CA Brigade – Based in Aberhonddu

• Y Catrawd Gwarchodlu – The Guards Regiment

  • Bataliwn 1af (Cartref) Gwarchodlu Catrawd – 1st Bttn (Household) Guards Regiment
  • 2il Fataliwn (Llewod Du) Gwarchodlu Catrawd – 2nd Bttn (Black Lions) Guards Regiment

• 3ydd (Hun Iarll Iago yn) Gwarchodlu Marchfilwyr – 3rd (Earl Iago's) Dragoon Guards

• 1af (Y Brenhinoedd) Gwaywffyn Brenhinol Sir Benfro – 1st (The King's) Royal Pembrokeshire Lancers

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