A series of military options are being actively considered as the war of words over the islands intensifies.
It is understood that additional troops, another warship and extra RAF Typhoon combat aircraft could be dispatched to the region ahead of the March referendum on the Falkland Islands’ future.
The options being proposed by planners at the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood, north-west London are also said to include a “show of force” such as conducting naval exercises in the South Atlantic.
These could involve the deployment of the Royal Navy’s Response Task Force Group, a flotilla comprising destroyers, a frigate, a submarine and commandos.
Alternatives include deploying elements of the Army’s 16 Air Assault Brigade — the airborne task force which includes members of the Parachute Regiment — which has just completed a series of demanding exercises in Spain preparing for “general war”.