The Ministry of Defence is preparing to request £4bn of extra funds over the next two years as well as a full strategic defence review, according to The Times.
National security adviser Mark Sedwill is currently undertaking a National Security Capabilities Review, which includes defence within its remit, but the MoD wants to launch a full defence review which it – rather than Sedwill and the Cabinet Office – would run.
The £4bn extra cash would be used not only to relieve budget pressures but to fund efficiency measures such as reforms to the maintenance and support systems for ships and jets.
The Times quotes a defence source as saying that Downing Street must be convinced of the need for a review “as a full defence review would need to be commissioned" for it to have any meaning.
But, the source added: “Interest levels there are low and ‘distractions’ not welcome. Gavin [Williamson, the defence secretary] now needs to earn his spurs."
The security review was commissioned in July and includes security services, overseas aid and border control among its 12 strands of work.
The Telegraph reported last month that Sedwill was planning to recommend an increase in funding to fight cyber attacks at the expense of military spending.