My own military experience was a brief and very junior period back in the era of the Leander-class frigate and the L1A1 rifle and my only distinction a haunting suspicion that I may have been responsible for the sinking of a submarine - a British one. No lives were lost. So my comments on the latest defence review are not those of the experienced soldier, sailor or airman but rather of an historian.
I feel comfortable with an army of 100,000 and a Navy of 50 surface ships. For the Navy, the ability to 'be there' is in most cases more important than having a necessary whole fleet of warships with a carrier at its heart moving nervously around great waters, fearful of attack and vulnerable, with more time and effort given to self-defence than offensive capacity. So frigates for the oceans and corvettes for fisheries protection (after the 'leave' vote) and the RFA to evacuate Europeans from whatever third-world shithole in which the Islamists are currently slaughtering foreigners.
Using Typhoons for ground attack seems to me like using an Aston Martin to pull a plough. Why not cheap and cheerful Tucanos and Hawks? That is, if we need piloted aircraft at all for combat zones - drones are cheap, cheerful and ubiquitous. Watching Russian aircraft ineffectively tackling 4km long lines of fuel tankers last week with guided bombs one longed for a genuine WWII Typhoon with cannon blazing moving along the column - it would have made a glorious mission.
And as for army battle units based around our new IT-smart armoured scout vehicles ... I recall when the RNLI began equipping lifeboats with PC-based navigation systems. The hardware was rugged, the charting software well proven. The only problem was that it ran under MS Windows which rumour said took so long to boot-up that the lifeboat was often at the scene of a 'shout' before the chart had loaded, and then crashed on the way back to the boathouse. The vision of lads inside these scout vehicles trying desperately to send a picture of an enemy emplacement to a distant 105mm via bespoke army software and Bowman doesn't bear thinking about; and I predict it will take about five minutes before they start using Twitter and Instagram instead to communicate targets rather than endlessly watch a little spinning wheel on their MoD screen.