Entire units may vanish after Britain’s defense ministry enacts draconian cuts, in keeping with the government’s austerity budget.

Defense Secretary Philip Hammond warned that difficult decisions lay ahead as the army scales back, suggesting that part-time reserves and private contractors will become more prominent in the UK military in the near future.

Under plans proposed in the Strategic Defence and Security Review, the British Army will see its manpower to 82,000 soldiers by 2020 from the current 102,000 level.

 The Future Reserves must be structured to provide, as they do today, some niche specialists capabilities that aren't cost-effective to maintain on a full-time basis -- for example in areas of cyber, medical or intelligence, Hammond added.