Think Defence has posted a portion of the Scottish Independence White Paper dealing with defence issues. This includes an outline view of what is thought to be required for Scotland’s (non-nuclear) military establishment at independence:
One naval squadron to secure Scotland’s maritime interests and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and contribute to joint capability with partners in Scotland’s geographical neighbourhood, consisting of:
- two frigates from the Royal Navy’s current fleet
- a command platform for naval operations and development of specialist marine capabilities (from the Royal Navy’s current fleet, following adaptation)
- four mine counter measure vessels from the Royal Navy’s current fleet
- two offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) to provide security for the 200 nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). However, as the Royal Navy only has four OPVs currently, a longer lead time for procurement might be necessary
- four to six patrol boats from the Royal Navy’s current fleet, capable of operating in coastal waters, providing fleet protection and also contributing to securing borders
- auxiliary support ships (providing support to vessels on operations), which could be secured on a shared basis initially with the rest of the UK
These arrangements will require around 2,000 regular and at least 200 reserve personnel.
An army HQ function and an all-arms brigade, with three infantry/marine units, equipped initially from a negotiated share of current UK assets, and supported by:
- a deployable Brigade HQ
- two light armoured reconnaissance units
- two light artillery units
- one engineer unit deploying a range of equipment for bridging, mine clearance and engineering functions
- one aviation unit operating six helicopters for reconnaissance and liaison
- two communication units
- one transport unit
- one logistics unit
- one medical unit
Special forces, explosives and ordnance disposal teams will bring the total to around 3,500 regular and at least 1,200 reserve personnel.
Key elements of air forces in place at independence, equipped initially from a negotiated share of current UK assets, will secure core tasks, principally the ability to police Scotland’s airspace, within NATO.
- an Air Force HQ function (with staff embedded within NATO structures)
- Scotland will remain part of NATO‘s integrated Air Command and Control (AC2) system, initially through agreement with allies to maintain the current arrangements while Scotland establishes and develops our own AC2 personnel and facility within Scotland within five years of independence
- a Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) squadron incorporating a minimum of 12 Typhoon jets based at Lossiemouth
- a tactical air transport squadron, including around six Hercules C130J aircraft, and a helicopter squadron
- flight training through joint arrangements with allies
In total this would require around 2,000 regular personnel and around 300 reserve personnel.
In addition to military capability following a vote for independence, the Scottish Government will establish core government capacity for defence functions, such as strategic planning, oversight and policy functions for defence and security. Given the importance of ongoing shared security interests between Scotland and the rest of the UK, we will ensure a partnership approach during the period of transition to independence.
Following a vote for independence, priorities for the Scottish Government capacity dealing with defence will be planning for the strategic security review to be carried out by the first Scottish Parliament following independence, based on the most recent UK National Risk Assessment and input from Scottish experts and academic institutions.
I linked to a couple of posts by Sir Humphrey on this issue that are also worth considering.