There are plenty of blogs that drone about the rise of UAVs and their impact upon defence forces. With straitened budgets and increased capabilities, Philip Hammond's announcement that Nimrods would not be replaced by manned aircraft was unsurprising. This has left a gap in Britain's ability to maintain submarine surveillance around our coasts in the short-term. Critics of the Nimrod programme's cancellation were quick to point this out (though they were quieter about the mishandling of the entire upgrade programme: another Ministry of Disaster special).
Whilst Hammond clearly acknowledged the gap in capabilities, he anticipated a new generation of drones that would achieve more than NImrod at lower cost and less risk to the crew. No doubt further programmes will be cut as the drone revolution begins to take effect.