The British Army currently has 36 "in role" infantry battalions and 9 "in role" armoured regiments.
These units are divided into a mixture of subtypes.
Armoured regiments can be either heavy tank units (effectively armoured horse artillery) or formation reconnaissance units (effectively light cavalry).
Infantry Battalions can be armoured infantry (effectively medium cavalry),mechanised infantry,light role infantry,air assault infantry.
As it takes 5 units to maintain 1 unit deployed it makes sense to have the army's units and formations to be divided into multiples of 5.
These 45 battalions and regiments can be formed into 5 divisions each of 9 infantry battalions or armoured regiments.
A division of 9 battalions can be organised into 2 brigades of 4 battalions with 1 battalion as the divisional reconnaissance unit.
Alternatively the division may have 3 brigades,each of 3 battalions with 1 battalion in each brigade being reconnaissance roled.
In either case the army will have 5 divisions each of 9 battlions and regiments.
An army of 5 divisions should be able to sustain 1 division on operations indefinitely or surge several divisions for short term major warfighting operations.
This supply profile is well matched to the historic demand for British ground forces in wars since 1945.
However,sustaining divisional deployments will require some changes to how overseas non combat postings are dealt with with regard to harmony guidelines.
Currently the British army has role specific brigades such as 16 Air Assault Brigade and 7th armoured Brigade but is lacking in role specific divisions.
This is despite having sufficient assets to maintain such formations.
Consequently the capabilities of the different types of unit within the army cannot be exploited to the full.
A particular situation might best be dealt with by the deployment of a light infantry/air assault division,for example:Kosovo 1999;Afghanistan 2001;Northern Iraq 2003.
The British Army has sufficient light infantry units to deploy such a division but it does not have suitable lightweight divisional support assets as its divisions are effectively general purpose structures.
Similarly there may be situations which require an all heavy armoured division,such as the liberation of Kuwait in 1991,or an all medium division.
This deficiency may be corrected by reorganising units into type specific divisions.
The 9 in role regular Royal Armoured Corps regiments may be formed into a single armoured heavy cavalry division.
A single light air assault division may be formed from 9 light infantry battalions.
The remainder of the infantry may be formed into 3 medium infantry divisions of 9 infantry battalions each.
These divisions may be mixed at all levels as the situation requires but their role specific divisional assets permit the deployment of homogenous formations when needed.
At present divisions are made up of 2 types of armoured regiments (tank and formation reconnaissance) and 4 types of infantry battalion (armoured,mechanised,light role,air assault).
The divisional reorganisation suggested above requires only 3 types of unit:armoured heavy cavalry;medium infantry and light air assault infantry.
With all armoured formation reconnaissance regiments being consolidated within the heavy cavalry division,there is a need to equip them with heavier vehicles more suitable for the higher threat density they will operate in,such as the Warrior.
Within the infantry division the formation reconnaissance role will be taken over by reconnaissance roled infantry battalions equipped with the same vehicles as the division they are supporting.
This completely eliminates the need for any role specific "reconnaissance vehicle",such as the Future Rapid Effects System Specialist Vehicle (F.R.E.S. S.V.).
It also ensures that each type of division has a reconnaissance capability best suited to the level of threat density and terrain density it is most likely to encounter which is not possible with the present homogenous light cavalry formation reconnaissance regiments.
The following new vehicles would be required in the long term to equip the three new division types:
A new heavy cavalry vehicle to replace Warrior and Challenger II in the heavy cavalry division.
A new medium armoured personnel carrier to replace the FV432 Bulldog (Nee Trojan),Scorpion series and others in the medium infantry divisions.
A helicopter portable,front engined 4 and 6 wheeled vehicle to replace Landrover,Pinzgauer,Supacat H.M.T.,Panther and M.A.N. HX within the light infantry division.
In the interim the armoured cavalry regiments in the heavy cavalry division would be equipped with Warrior and Challenger II vehicles pending development of a new heavy cavalry vehicle built around an internal footprint shared with the medium infantry carrier.
The medium infantry battalions in the medium division would be equipped with a mixture of FV432 Bulldog (Nee Trojan),Scorpion series,Mastiff and others pending the arrival of the new medium armoured personnel carrier with a shallow vee hull,non hull penetrating Horstman Hydrogas suspension and capacity for up to 2 pallets or 8 dismounts in addition to a 2 man crew.
The light infantry units in the air assault division would be equipped with Landrover,Pinzgauer and Supacat H.M.T. pending the arrival of new front engined 4 and 6 wheeled helicopter portable vehicles,the latter with the same internal capacity as the medium infantry's armoured personnel carrier.