Defence Management: "The RN Needs A Radical And Coherent Vision For The Future"


War Hero
Book Reviewer
The only strategic thinking the RN can ever do is in planning its future fleet, i.e. on a timescale starting BEYOND the delivery of those units that are already committed, bearing in mind the lead time on new ship and weapon designs. At sea in the meantime it will (as ever) cope as best it can with whatever happens to be to hand - as we saw off Libya, stripping existing commitments to meet the new, stretching everything until it nearly breaks, people included.

Step ONE is for the FCO to identify our future enemies from (say) 2025 onwards (because that is the earliest we can have anything at sea that we start to design now), a process in which one's confidence is based on the clear way the FCO gave ten years' notice each time of Iraq, Afghanistan, Somali piracy and Libya. Step TWO is for defence intelligence to identify the ships and weapons systems those states can array against us, for instance Chinese maritinme Air in the S China Sea. Step THREE is where the RN can then say what ships and weapons systems it needs to meet those threats. Step FOUR is the Treasury refusing funding and the Govt telling the RN to make do on the day with whatever it has, and so back to the ever-familiar ground of Square One and going to war in our socks.

Personally I don't think the RN has had a clear and prescient strategy since the days of Jackie Fisher spotted what Tirpitz was up to over a century ago, and in those days ships could be designed and built rather more quickly.


War Hero
Had a reply by a guy on the above article Stating..... In fact flight deck crew,including all the branches you mention( chockheads FDOs Badgers AED etc) are already embedded in and being trained by the USN. I do realise it may come as a shock but even the MOD knows that you need more than pilots to operated a carrier successfully. Is that correct?????