Ministry of Defence

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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is the govt department responsible for implementing the defence policy set by Her Majesty's Government, and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces.


ToDo: link

Defence Board

Defence Council

The Defence Council is the body legally entrusted with the defence of the UK and its overseas territories and with control over the British armed forces. In practice, the Defence Council is a formal body, and almost all its work is conducted by the Defence Board. The 3 Service boards (the Admiralty Board, the Army Board and the Air Force Board), which are sub-committees of the Defence Council, meet annually for each service chief to report to the Secretary of State on the health of their respective services. Defence Council of the United KingdomWikipedia-W.svg

Committees of the Defence Council

Admiralty Board

ToDo: Admiral Sir Philip Jones, the First Sea Lord (head of the Royal Navy)

Army Board


Air Force Board

The professional head of the RAF is the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS).[50] The CAS heads the Air Force Board, which is a committee of the Defence Council. The Air Force Board is the management board of the RAF and consists of several high-ranking officers.[51]
Authority is delegated from the Air Force Board to the RAF's Air Command, headquartered at RAF High Wycombe.[52] This command is headed by the Chief of the Air Staff himself.

Executive Agencies

  • Defence Electronics and Components Agency, Webpage
  • Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, Webpage
  • UK Hydrographic Office, Webpage

Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies

  • National Army Museum, Webpage
  • National Museum of the Royal Navy, Webpage
  • Royal Air Force Museum, Webpage
  • Single Source Regulations Office, Webpage

Advisory Non-Departmental Public Bodies

  • Advisory Committee on Conscientious Objectors, Webpage
  • Armed Forces' Pay Review Body, Webpage
  • Defence Nuclear Safety Committee, Webpage
  • Independent Medical Expert Group, Webpage
  • Nuclear Research Advisory Council, Webpage
  • Scientific Advisory Committee on the Medical Implications of Less-Lethal Weapons, Webpage
  • Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees, Webpage

Defence Nuclear Organisation

Defence Nuclear is the 7th Top Level Budget in the Ministry of Defence, alongside the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, British Army, Joint Forces Command, Head Office and Corporate Services, and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.[1]

The DNO oversees all defence nuclear business, excluding operations. Its mission is to:

  • continue work on the Dreadnought submarine programme;
  • maintain the UK's nuclear warheads and plan for the future;
  • continue to build the Defence Nuclear Organisation and develop nuclear skills across its teams.

Atomic Weapons Establishment

Oddly, there is no webpage, or even mention, of this body on - despite it having existed since 1987. One or two passing mentions of permits being issued, but that's all. search link

Jam every day: AWE plc is wholly-funded by the taxpayer; The Atomic Weapons Establishment Act 1991 provides parliamentary funds to the Secretary of State for Defence to pay for its operations.ref Overview, Business Model, CH, todo, AWE @ National Archives, AWE West Berks, ONR todo, DDG1, DDG2, DDG3. See also the Nuclear Information Service, a not-for-profit, non-govt information service working to promote public awareness and foster debate on the risks and costs of the UK's military nuclear programme.

  • Sept.29.2019: Atom bomb factory AWE pays out £82m in dividends. The Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) at Aldermaston in Berkshire, is run by AWE Management Ltd under a lucrative 25-year contract. AWE Management paid the dividend to shareholders Serco Group plc, Lockheed Martin Corporation (USA), and Jacobs Engineering Group Inc (USA) in 2018. Payouts increased from £70m in 2017, after pre-tax profits rose 15% to £101.4m. The National Audit Office has said that projects to upgrade the facilities were in trouble. Pegasus, a £634m plan to replace a tired building that handles and stores enriched uranium, has been suspended. Mensa, a facility being built at the nearby AWE Burghfield site to assemble and dismantle nuclear warheads, has ballooned in cost from £734m to £1.8bn. It was due to open in 2017 but has been delayed to 2023. John Collingridge, The Sunday Times.

Ad-Hoc Advisory Groups

  • Central Advisory Committee on Compensation, Webpage

Other Bodies

  • Advisory Group on Military Medicine, Webpage
  • Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Webpage
  • Defence Sixth Form College, Webpage
  • Fleet Air Arm Museum, Webpage
  • The Oil and Pipelines Agency, Webpage
  • Reserve Forces' and Cadets' Associations, Webpage
  • Royal Marines Museum, Webpage
  • Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Webpage
  • Service Complaints Ombudsman, Webpage
  • Service Prosecuting Authority, Webpage
  • United Kingdom Reserve Forces Association, Webpage

Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre

The Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre is the Ministry of Defence's think tank. DCDC helps inform defence strategy, capability development, operations and provides the foundation for joint education.
Oddly, the DCDC is not listed as one of the bodies with which the MoD works.

Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee

Defence and Security Media Advisory CommitteeWikipedia-W.svg

The Defence and Security Media Advisory (DSMA) Committee oversees a voluntary code which operates between the government departments which have responsibility for national security and the media.

Defence Infrastructure Organisation

The DIO looks after the military estate, both in the UK and overseas. It is responsible for planning, procuring and managing the contracts that maintain the govt's Military Estate. Over the last 5 years DIO has been focussed on reducing the cost of maintaining its estate. In 2016 MoD published “A Better Defence Estate”, a strategy to reduce the footprint of the military estate in the UK by 30% by 2040. That strategy now forms the centrepiece of our programme of work – a programme that will reduce the size of the estate to one that is better suited to modern military need, improves the day to day experience for those who live, work and train on the estate, and that is affordable.ref So why aren't they selling the land to local authorities for housing? They're giving it away at rock-bottom prices!


UKSF: United Kingdom Special Forces

UKSF is an MoD directorate, that provides a joint special operations task force headquarters. See United Kingdom Special ForcesWikipedia-W.svg.

Exceptionally, UKSF is not subject to parliamentary oversight, unlike MI5, MI6 and GCHQ. However, pressure is building to bring them into line with the rest of the military and the intelligence services.[2]

Porton Down


  • Apr.15.2018: Ministry of Defence faces fury over cost of Dreadnought subs. Britain is in danger of another defence spending blow-up after a complex part of the new Dreadnought submarine fleet soared in price. Engineers have told officials that a stability system for the nuclear submarines will cost more than an entire warship. The government is desperate to prevent the £41bn Dreadnought programme joining the long list of defence projects that have blown their budgets. Ministers have created a new arm’s-length body, the Submarine Delivery Agency, in an effort to control costs. The project has a £31bn budget and a £10bn contingency fund. Linkback: BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce. John Collingridge, The Times.
  • Mar.12.2018: British soldier kept terrorism manual by Anders Breivik, court told. L/Cpl Mikko Vehvilainen, an army trainer, is accused of membership of National Action, along with private Mark Barrett and a 23-year-old man who cannot be named for legal reasons. Vehvilainen, 33, and Barrett, 24, were both serving members of the Royal Anglian Regiment. National Action "engaged in a campaign of virulently racist, antisemitic, and homophobic propaganda, through which it sought to stir up a violent race war against ethnic minorities and others it perceived as ‘race traitors’". the manual, entitled A European Declaration of Independence, contained “both ideology and methodology of his own attacks” and items on “funding, recruitment, training and armoury for acts of terrorism”. Josh Halliday, The Guardian.
  • Feb.15.2018: Internal Discussions Between Ministry of Defence and Regulators on Flying Predator Drones in UK. Details of discussions between the Ministry of Defence and the Civil Aviation Authority on plans to allow the RAF’s upgraded version of the US Predator drone to be flown within the UK have been released following a Freedom of Information request by Drone Wars UK. In Oct.2015, David Cameron announced that a new version of the Predator was to be purchased (re-named 'Protector'). The current armed unmanned aerial vehicle, the Reaper, cannot be flown due to safety issues; the new version was purchased, in part, to enable the RAF to fly its large armed drones within the UK for training as well as security and civil contingency purposes. There is no discussion about the need for proper parliamentary or public debate on the implications or impact of flying large military drones in UK airspace. Once Protector drones are flying within the UK, it is possible that they could be used by what is discreetly called ‘Other Government Departments‘ for security operations within the UK. Reaper drones operated by the UK currently undertake surveillance and reconnaissance operations against terrorist suspects overseas. It is not that much of a leap to imagine them being used in that way here in the UK. It is surely right that the implication of this – and what the limitations are – should be openly discussed and debated. Chris Cole, Drone Wars UK.
  • Feb.01.2018: Ministry of Defence not fit for purpose. The National Audit Office described in a withering report how the Ministry of Defence was up to £4.2bn worse off by selling married quarters to the private company, Annington Property. The MoD seriously underestimated the likely rise in house prices when it made the sale and leaseback deal with the company managed by Guy Hands' Guernsey-based Terra Firma group. The MoD was paying rent on more than 7,000 empty houses at a cost of more than £30m a year and some homes had been receiving "the minimum acceptable level of maintenance". The MoD has an appalling record of "outsourcing" work to private companies. It emerged on Wednesday that one of those companies, Capita, was in serious trouble. (more...) Richard Norton-Taylor, OpenDemocracyUK. See also MoD lost up to £4.2bn through sale of military homes, says NAO
  • Jan.23.2018: Gavin Williamson wins new defence review and five months to make case for military funding. Gavin Williamson has been given another 5 months to make the case for increased military funding and avoid sweeping cuts, after Downing Street announced a new defence review. The Ministry of Defence will now take control of the new review, in a move likely to be seen as a victory after lobbying by the Defence Secretary. Ben Farmer, The Telegraph.
  • Also see W: Deep Cut Barrack Deaths
  • HMS Ocean undergoes a refit, then sold for just £84m. Govt have refused to engage on issue of amphibious capability for months, Tories talk a good game but they're consistently hollowing out our defence capabilities, @NiaGriffithMP
    • In 2015 we reported that HMS Ocean underwent a £65million refit the previous year, @CarlEveCrime (lots more in this thread on defence spending cuts)
  • Feb.15.2017: Dispatches: The Great Housing Scandal. Land sold off at silly prices for luxury hotels + marinas with a massive loss to taxpayer; govt promised to sell off enough land for 100K homes; MoD negotiated with the local council for 15% (instead of 35%) affordable housing = 480 fewer houses. More than 50% of the MoD sales between 2011-2015 will have fewer affordable homes than the local council target, overall, less than 25% of homes on former public land will be affordable. The MoD has planned for 2,400 homes on the Prince Philip Barracks, but who is going to build them? Meet Sir Tim Lawrence, he's married to Princess Anne. Sir Tim ran the MoD's vast property empire until 2010. When he left, Sir Tim stayed in the property world, getitng another job at Capita. In 2011 Sir Tim became a non-exec director. He also got a 2nd job as advisor to PA Consulting. Sir Tim's 3rd job is non-exec chairman at property developer Dorchester Group. In 2014, another co. in Capita won a tender to help run the MoD's property empire. In 2015, Dorchester was 1 of 2 cos which won a tender to develop the Prince Philip Barracks, 3/4 bn $s. Conflict of interest. Govt counted land which had already been sold. Have any homes been built? Found some... but defo not affordable. Of all the land the MoD has sold since 2011, we've found 64 homes actually built, costing 3.5m each. (go thru this again + check.) YouTube, Channel 4 Dispatches.


  1. ^ About us. Defence Nuclear Organisation, Accessed Aug.25.2020.
  2. ^ Special forces need to face scrutiny from parliament, say MPs. Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian, Apr.24.2018.