1 Carrier but more Frigates

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by Paddingtonbear, Oct 6, 2010.

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  1. Hmm - place you aircraft carrier into mothballs until you need it. Which means you never exercise with it, you never find it limits. If it's needed at short notice you have to draft essentially an entire ships company and work it up, ironing out all the faults that have developed while its been in mothballs. I wonder how long that would take.

    Don't forget that two was the cost-cutting measure. Three would have been the preferable option to always guarantee an aircraft carrier was available. If we do ever go into a UK only (or led, eg under FPDA) maritime shooting war again that's going to be one almighty valuable asset to protect.
     
  2. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Forgive me for being cynical but I'm trying (and failing) to read between the lines bearing in mind who the author is.

    Seems quite sensible, has all the "pro army in charge" whispers of discontent started to hit home?
     
  3. Ideally two carriers would be much better, - however we have no fast jets other than Harrier and JSF is a long way off completion.

    We also desperately need more surface ships for anti piracy, drugs, etc. The ship yards are full on carrier work. If we build 1, then build some frigates, then build the 2nd when conditions improve we would save a whole load of cash.

    It's still a compromise but not bad considering the cuts the RAF will face.
     
  4. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Dont worry about the RAF, they're only an experiment.
     
  5. It is clearly far from ideal but the argument is logical and not without merit, especially from a Pongo. I think in these current climes we need to recognise that we are not going to get the full Christmas List and compromises are going to have to be made.

    There will almost certainly need to be a trade-off between our ability to conduct Expeditionary Operations (including power-projection from a carrier) and the far more pressing and immediate requirement (IMHO), as an island trading nation with global interests, to protect the Sea Lanes of Communication.

    Someone is going to end up crying into their beer post SDSR but given some of the recent reporting suggesting that Percy Pongo General Staff were selling the RN down the proverbial, this article makes a lot more sense and is considerably more reassuring that at least some sort of balanced thinking has been taking place.
     
  6. Don't get me started on land-focused short-termist Generals (and Max Hastings) intent on reducing the RN to little more than a maritime constabulary force vulnerable to any enemy with a modicum of anti-ship air capability. These generals are now occupying all the uniformed billets driving SDSR and they are totally fixated about Afghanistan. Apart from them, it seems, no one knows what global threats to UK interests will arise after that.
     
  7. Seems quite sensible to me
     
  8. wet_blobby

    wet_blobby War Hero Moderator

    Sussed it. What he's saying is:

    "Right, we've buttered you all up with scare stories so let's throw you some scraps and you'll lap them up. The Marines, the Navy can keep them...and pay for them (Like the army wanted that financial burden). the Navy get's to keep the Amphib stuff as well because it would be unseemly to sell it off to say, Argentina. We'll let you have one carrier because let's face it, the last lot have already paid for it, you cant use it though. The savings we haven't made by this wonderful purple gesture will actually be further cuts because we can say we're paying for it so No, you cant have anymore money. We've scared you sh1tless about having no surface fleet so we are going to have to maintain a bare minimum what ever we do, we'll scrap the second carrier and use that as an excuse to build what we have to anyway."
     
  9. Give that man a coconut...
     
  10. Agreed. The real problem is skill fade. The assumption is that the carrier will remain in mothballs for perhaps years. Unless all aspects of aviation operations from a carrier deck are practiced routinely (flying, handling, maintenance, support facilities, airspace control, etc) it soon becomes very dangerous. This has been seen in recent years when NSW were routinely deployed to HERRICK and struggled to re-integrate back into carrier operations.

    And for my money we should be buying off the shelf MEKO frigates/corvettes. Proven design, available now, used widely in NATO and cheaper than Type 26 which is still in the design phase and still years away.
     
  11. But which would defeat the object of the proposal which was to avoid penalty charges from not building the 2nd aircraft carrier until further down the line
     
  12. Unless, of course, it's a British Overseas Territory or Commonwealth commitment.

    A fairground huckster would be proud of that. Take a big chunk of our DD/FF strength away to pay for the Carriers, then having at least halved the Carrier asset, give us a few FFs back and call it an increase. That, of course, still leaves us with a worldwide DD gap. I'm forgetting, though, that the DDs aren't ever supposed to leave company from the Carriers. [​IMG]
     
  13. It's smoke and mirrors set to soften us up. Think how many almost new ships have been sold off recently? And that's without the full cost of the carriers kicking-in. We will never see those frigates - or that second carrier.
     

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