This article first appeared on the BBC News website and is reproduced here with permission.
A military surplus has been a fixture of Britain’s military for centuries, with the country’s army boasting over 100,000 tanks and fighter jets, as well as the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and air force.
But as the UK leaves the European Union, it is also leaving behind many of its own military hardware, including its vast military surplus.
Here are the items you may have missed: – £12.7bn worth of British-made tanks and aircraft – £1.8bn worth to keep Britain in the EU military bloc – £30bn worth worth of ammunition – £5.2bn worth for UK warships – £13.4bn worth in artillery – £3.5bn worth on ships and submarines – £4.7m worth of helicopters – £2.2m worth in submarines – A further £300m worth is earmarked for UK bases around the world – £50m worth for aircraft and warships that will be retired by 2025 – £9.3bn worth is expected to be transferred to the European Investment Bank.
The bulk of the £3bn is earmarked for the Royal Marines, which has been given the largest proportion of the UK’s weapons and equipment by a country other than Britain.
In its final years in the European military bloc, the UK has been unable to use all of its remaining surplus equipment.
It has a stockpile of armoured vehicles, which the country relies on for protection against Russian aggression, as the US has a large stockpile of tanks and helicopters.
There are also huge amounts of weapons and munitions, including fighter jets and helicopters that Britain will need to keep the UK in the bloc.
The remaining £3,400bn worth, according to the Office for National Statistics, is earmarks for the Armed Forces, the British Overseas Territories and Overseas Contingencies (OCTC).
The rest of the surplus will be for the civilian sector.
Britain’s largest military surplus in terms of total value has been the Royal Navy, which was the largest single-discipline army in the world until it was decommissioned in the 1980s.
Its £7.2tn of weapons, aircraft and supplies, worth more than £50bn, includes the Royal Fleet’s aircraft carriers, which it will be retiring by 2025.
The Royal Navy has also received £8.5tn worth of equipment, including helicopters and ships, as part of the Defence Investment Fund (DIF).
Britain has also enjoyed a steady stream of surplus military hardware that it is now taking out of the country.
The UK’s Defence Equipment Fund, which is responsible for buying equipment for the army and navy, received £1,300m in cash from the EU last year, according to the Office of National Statistics.
“We have the largest stockpile of weapons in the western world and the UK military has been doing quite well in that regard,” said Peter Goggins, a retired Royal Navy officer and retired Army brigadier.
“But we have a lot of weapons that are no longer needed and there are lots of things that are going to be retired.”
Britain also has the largest military-to-civilian transfer of military surplus, which includes tanks, planes, helicopters, artillery, and communications equipment.
Britain also has an overseas military procurement fund, which received £2bn last year.
However, it also has its share of other items of military equipment that it can no longer rely on.
The £2,700m worth worth in military surplus of the Royal Army that is expected by 2020 is earring for new equipment.
Britain’s military is also being sold to other nations.
This is the first year that the UK will be sold arms to Australia, a country that is in the process of exiting the European Economic Area (EEA), a union that excludes the UK.
Australia is also selling British-built weapons to countries like India and Israel.
Despite its military surplus being the largest in the west, Britain’s defence export market is relatively small, with just £300 million worth of weapons sold to Britain last year alone.
This is partly due to the UK being one of the only countries that is not part of Nato.
In 2014, Britain was the only country that was not a member of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the body that vets and approves export licences for weapons to other countries.
With the UK leaving the EEA in 2019, Britain will have to decide whether to stay or go.
There are other issues that will come up in the negotiation process that will influence Britain’s decision on whether to remain in the EASE or leave.
The UK is the largest arms exporter in the UK and it is a big market for weapons, with Britain exporting £838bn worth last year to countries around the globe, according the Office For National Statistics (ONS). In