Scottish independence would "weaken" the effectiveness of the Royal Navy and damage "the very heart" of Britain's maritime defence forces, the First Sea Lord has warned.
A Yes vote would harm "the security" of Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom, Admiral Sir George Zambellas told The Telegraph.
He said an independent Scotland’s claim on the Royal Navy would "greatly weaken the carefully evolved 'whole', as bases, infrastructure, procurement, spares, personnel and training face a carve up”.
“I believe that independence would fundamentally change maritime security for all of us in the United Kingdom and damage the very heart of the capabilities that are made up of the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and the Fleet Air Arm," he added.
The UK's nuclear deterrent, Trident, will not be got rid of "quick and easy" if Scotland votes for independence, the Defence Secretary is expected to say.
He (Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond) also wants to dictate the timescales for removing our nuclear deterrent within the first term of Parliament following independence.
But Alex Salmond knows, as I know, that the future of our naval base at Faslane would be just one of many defence issues that would be the subject of long and protracted negotiations if there were to be a Yes vote in the referendum.
Because if they insist that it has to go, there would have to be complex talks about the costs and timescales involved. Any notion that it would be quick and easy is just plain wrong.
There will be "long and protracted negotiations" over the future of Britain's defences and armed forces if Scotland votes to become independent this September, according to Philip Hammond.
The Defence Secretary will outline his argument for Scotland remaining in the union in a speech at electronics company Thales Optronics in Glasgow, touching on issues like Trident nuclear weapons.
He will say that defence "provides the security and the peace of mind that underpins almost every single other area of this debate".
He will add: "What we have is precious... It is our shared history, our common values and our unity of purpose which makes us what we are today. It is Scotland which makes the UK united, and adds the Great to Great Britain.
"Drawn from the four corners of these islands, nothing epitomises more the strength we derive from being a United Kingdom than the men and women in our Navy, Army and Air Force, coming together with a common purpose, to keep our country and our people safe and secure."
A treasure hunter has appealed to trace the relatives of a World War One veteran after unearthing a couple of precious medals.Read the full story ›
The sister of a former soldier who's been in prison in India since October said the family are 'elated' he's been released on bail.
Nick Dunn, from Ashington, was arrested on weapons charges after a security ship he was working on was stopped.
He left the jail in Chennai this morning along with four other British men.
But they must remain in the country while they fight to get the charges against them dropped.
Dave and Carole Edmonds, Ray Tindall from Hull's step-father and mother, speak out about the moment they found out he was being released on bail from prison in India.
A man from Chester has been released on bail after being held in an Indian jail on weapons charges since October.
Ray Tindall is one of five British men who left prison this morning, but they must stay in the country while they fight to have charges against them dropped.
Meanwhile Paul Towers from Bootle remains in custody along with the captain of the ship they were working on.
Two former soldiers from the region held in an Indian prison since October have left jail this morning after a long battle by lawyers and their families to free them.
Nick Dunn from Ashington and Nicholas Simpson from near Catterick have been released on bail but must stay in India while they fight to have charges against them dropped.
A third man, Paul Towers from near York, remains in prison along with the captain of the ship they were working on. He was the most senior member of the six British men on board.
They were imprisoned almost six months ago after what they thought was a routine paperwork check aboard their security vessel Seaman Guard Ohio turned into them all being arrested.
Their company AdvanFort has always insisted the men were working to provide protection to other ships from pirate attacks, but the Indian courts have pressed weapons charges on the Brits.
Five of the six Britons were granted bail on Wednesday March 26 but have only just been released.
One of their bail conditions is that they can't leave the country. They could only return to the UK if charges against them are dropped.
Restructuring the Army is "one hell of a risk" that will weaken the armed forces, one of Britain's most senior generals has warned.
The Government is cutting the regular Army from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2020, while the newly-renamed Army Reserve - formerly the Territorial Army - is being expanded from 19,000 to 30,000.
In an interview with the Sunday Times (£), General Sir Richard Shirreff said: "The sort of defence cuts we have seen... have really hollowed out the British armed forces and I think that people need to sit up and recognise that."
“I wouldn’t want to let anybody think that I think that Army 2020 is good news, it’s not.”
The family of a World War One soldier, whose body has been found in France, say he can finally rest in peace, 100 years after his death.
Private John Brameld was one of ten men, serving with the York and Lancaster Regiment whose remains have been found close to a battlefield. Rachel Townsend reports.