By Andrew M. Dorman (auth.)
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Extra info for Defence under Thatcher
123 It sought to contribute aircraft to the entire range of NATO activities and dismissed any suggestion that the navy could take over any of the maritime functions performed by the air force, or that the army should take control of the air force’s support helicopter ﬂeet. 124 The RAF’s strike aircraft composed a mixture of Jaguars, Vulcans and Buccaneers. 126 While the Vulcans and Buccaneers had better range and all-weather capabilities they were both showing signs of age. Their replacement, the new ground-attack version of the Tornado (GR1), promised to transform the strike capability of the RAF through its advanced avionics and the various weapons programmes that were planned to equip it.
105 In wartime its role on the Central Front was to ﬁght an attritional delaying action as part of NATO’s Northern Army Group (NORTHAG). Its divisions were to be deployed with two forward on the Inner-German border and the other two behind. 107 Consequently, the expedient of introducing task force headquarters between the division and battalion/regiment levels of command in wartime to cover for the lost British Defence Policy in May 1979 23 brigades was quickly adopted, although this solution was far from satisfactory.
161 It was not until the 1981 reshufﬂe that the Cabinet began to be dominated by those with a greater political afﬁliation to her. 164 His move to defence, rather than to the Foreign Ofﬁce, was a clear demotion from what he might have expected. ’165 For Thatcher this move had two advantages. Firstly, it kept Pym in the Cabinet and therefore subject to the rules of Cabinet which prevented public dissent. M. Dorman, Defence under Thatcher © Andrew M. 166 This chapter will examine Francis Pym’s time in ofﬁce.