Plans announced today will see major shake-ups at Army Headquarters in Andover, with further details expected next week.

The Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, published today (March 16), will see the armed forces deployed more often and for longer periods through a policy of “persistent engagement” across the world.

A modernisation of the military will also take place, with details to be set out in a Defence Command Paper next week. It is expected to see the size of the British Army slashed by 10,000 troops, with the number of Challenger 2 main battle tanks reduced and the Warrior infantry fighting vehicle set to be scrapped as the military focuses on disrupting threats “below the threshold of war” and in new arenas such as space and cyberspace.

Addressing the House of Commons, Boris Johnson told MPs that the integrated review will make the UK “stronger, safer and more prosperous”.

He said: ““Our international policy is a vital instrument for fulfilling this Government’s vision of uniting and levelling up across our country, reinforcing the Union and securing Britain’s place as a science superpower and a hub of innovation and research.

“The review describes how we will bolster our alliances, strengthen our capabilities, find new ways of reaching solutions and relearn the art of competing against states with opposing values.”

However, Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer criticised the plans, saying: “The British Army is already 6,000 below the minimal level set out in the last review, it’s been cut every year for the last decade, and it’s been reported that the Army will see a further reduction of 10,000 alongside fewer tanks, fewer jets for the RAF and fewer frigates for the Royal Navy.”

While the Army will likely see to cuts to its manpower, there is more positive news for Porton Down, which will receive a share of several billion pounds in research and development funds for “advanced and next-generation” projects.

The review states: “We will invest at least £6.6 billion over the next four years in R&D in areas including space, cyber, quantum technologies, engineering biology, directed energy weapons and advanced high-speed missiles.”

Elsewhere in the area, a next generation of naval vessels are planned for the docks at Portsmouth, with carrier strike capabilities to be progressed and new jets to be developed for the RAF.