Financial Times: "Royal Navy: Debate Centres on Carriers"

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
#2
Re: Financial Times: "Royal Navy: Debate Centres on Carriers

How disappointing, the FT thread title implies there are going to be designated centres onboard to conduct debates.

I thought is was a new title for a messdeck, following-on from the penchant to call things by different & confusing titles.

(Well done FT in making the item unreadable/vanish after the annoying pop-up is closed.)
 
#3
Re: Financial Times: "Royal Navy: Debate Centres on Carriers

Royal Navy: Debate centres on carriers

Published: February 2 2010 23:41 | Last updated: February 2 2010 23:41

The navy’s case The navy pitch is that investment in maritime power ensures that Britain can deter enemies and prevent engagements onshore.

Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the first sea lord, argues that this flexibility relies on a fleet that can operate worldwide with full capabilities; a prudent assessment of future threats must therefore look beyond the example of Afghanistan. In 1981, the navy was hit hard in a defence review – meaning it was only by “luck†the UK had the resources to deal with a threat in the Falklands it had not envisaged.

“We will always require our forces to be flexible, and you have to invest in them, plan and build that flexibility into your people and your platforms from the start,†Sir Mark said last week.

Moreover, expensive equipment is a joint requirement, not an exclusively maritime capability. “The carriers are about supporting effect ashore, not protecting the fleet as at Jutland,†he argued.

Britain’s maritime power also preserves its wider interests – from trade routes to alliances – and is a force for stability. This power also increases the political options for ministers should they need to exercise power overseas.

The critique The navy’s commitment to expensive aircraft carriers is hampering its wider evolution. It is a less effective platform than in the cold war, and it replicates a capability the US military has in abundance. Abandoning carriers would be a cost-effective way to allow the navy to set out a more radical vision of Britain’s role on the seas.

This, for example, could involve acting as a more light-touch presence with smaller ships as a form of global constabulary that could prevent crises. Instead, fidelity to cold war platforms is hampering change.

The Army: Shape of warfare to come

The army’s case General Sir David Richards, head of the army, argues that the nature of future conflicts has changed – and the armed forces must change with it.

Future wars will look more like Afghanistan, with British forces facing “asymmetric†threats, where political influence and “boots on the ground†have more impact than expensive cold-war weapons platforms.

“Operating among, understanding and effectively influencing people requires mass [numbers] whether this is ‘boots on the ground’, riverine and high-speed littoral warships, or UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], transport aircraft and helicopters,†the general said in a recent speech.

Greater emphasis is needed on intelligence gathering and cyberwarfare. Less money should be spent on expensive kit such as large warships, heavy tanks and fighter jets. He said: “Our defence establishment has not yet fully adapted to the security realities of the post-cold war world and this complex and dangerous new century. If one equips more for this type of conflict while significantly reducing investment in higher-end war-fighting capability, suddenly one can buy an impressive amount of kit.â€

The critique The army is winning public support, but reconfiguring the military to fight in Afghanistan would be to make the mistake of “fighting the last war†rather than anticipating the nature of a future conflict.

Given the costs, the political appetite for fighting long, grinding insurgencies is dwindling. Severe budgetary constraints mean Britain must learn how to deploy its power more smartly, with a greater focus on preventing wars and coercing foes through projecting power.

Without the expensive platforms such as fighters and carriers, the army may find it is ill-equipped to fight a more sophisticated enemy.

The Royal Air Force: Dogfight over priorities

The RAF case
Ask the RAF why spending on air power is important and it will point you to comments made by Karl Eikenberry, a former US general and now ambassador to Afghanistan. Without air and space power, he said in 2008, 10 times as many troops would be need in Afghanistan to achieve the same effects. “Air and space power,†he said, “provides the asymmetric advantage over the Taliban such that no matter where they choose to fight, coalition forces can bring to bear overwhelming firepower in a matter of minutes.â€

Air vice-marshal Timmo Anderson, assistant chief of the Air Staff, admits that convincing the public has proved more difficult, particular given the army’s sacrifices. “The problem is that I can’t put Ross Kemp in the back of a Tornado. That is the challenge of people who operate five miles up. It makes it hard to explain to people what we are up to.â€

The service says it is already making efficiencies, simplifying its range of aircraft, and expanding other technological areas such as unmanned vehicles and cyberwarfare. Further cuts would be a false economy.

The critique While the RAF probably doesn’t receive enough public credit for its involvement in current operations, it has had plenty of public funding. Critics argue the MoD has wasted more than £18bn on buying Eurofighter Typhoon jets, a relic of the cold war. The MoD plans to compound its mistakes by spending billions more on F35 Joint Strike Fighters, they say, claiming it is also ill-suited to future operations.

Indeed, the costs involved make the RAF vulnerable to calls for cuts. A case can be made for it to focus less on the skills of its top brass, with its experience of fast jets, and more on capabilities that are in high demand, such as transport aircraft, UAVs and helicopters.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#4
It will not be recalled, because it is inconvenient, that between the Gulf Wars during one of the Saddam upsets it was intended to send Tornados to the Gulf .... but this could not be done because of problems over over-flying rights. So, surprise surprise, we sent a carrier instead.
 
#5
Re: Financial Times: "Royal Navy: Debate Centres on Carriers

The British do not have the economic muscle to continue with the carrier builds. Cyclops has tried some political posturing by saying that they will be built, but this is purely to put the next government on the spot and give NuLiebour a stick to beat Cameron with when he makes the inevitable announcement that the carriers will be cancelled.

The EU won't mind this at all; it will prevent the UK setting unilateral foreign policy and that British seat on the UN Security Council will devolve to the EU in the near future.

The dire economic situation that the Brits are in is bad - but it could be even worse. I can just picture Liang Guanglie the Chinese Minister of National Defence talking with Xie Xuren and explaining that it would be in China's interests that Britain has no expeditionary capability. A little squeeze here, a little shorting of sterling there and the British economy slips a little more. The 99% certainty of the carriers being cancelled becomes 100%.

Far better to sink them on the drawing board than to have to face them at sea.

RM
 
#6
Re: Financial Times: "Royal Navy: Debate Centres on Carriers

Bergen said:
The British do not have the economic muscle to continue with the carrier builds. Cyclops has tried some political posturing by saying that they will be built, but this is purely to put the next government on the spot and give NuLiebour a stick to beat Cameron with when he makes the inevitable announcement that the carriers will be cancelled.
RM
Agreed, and the Scotsman is reporting that the announcement by Bob Jobsworth to "ringfence" the carriers is great news for the RN and Scottish jobs :? So all those North of the Border will have even more reason to hate the Tories when they are forced to announce the cancellation.
 

Blackrat

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#7
Whatever battles we may be facing in the future, one thing is certain. Air support is crucial. It may not be practical to send in the SAS/SBS/SFSG/Pathfinders to secure an airfield for planes to be flown in to operate from there. A carrier is a different thing altogether. Armour & Infantry do a great job, but do an even better job knowing they can rely on fast air if things get a bit iffy. My opinion? We need carriers just as much as we need "Boots on the ground". It doesn't matter anyway as the Military will end up getting shafted as usual.
 
#8
Blackrat said:
Whatever battles we may be facing in the future, one thing is certain. Air support is crucial. It may not be practical to send in the SAS/SBS/SFSG/Pathfinders to secure an airfield for planes to be flown in to operate from there. A carrier is a different thing altogether. Armour & Infantry do a great job, but do an even better job knowing they can rely on fast air if things get a bit iffy. My opinion? We need carriers just as much as we need "Boots on the ground". It doesn't matter anyway as the Military will end up getting shafted as usual.
Several defence commentators are likening the possible amalgamation of the three services into a unified structure as producing something like the USMC.

This seems like a splendid idea to me and one that is long overdue. The Royal Navy becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies sea transport and boaty things. The Army becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies land transport, long range snipers, cooks, bottlewashers and all manner of things that Perce is good at. The RAF becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies air transport, CAS and brylcreem supplies.

The Royal Marines re-form all of our missing Commando Units and in turn supply the three new support arms with tradition, esprit de corps and very importantly - something to aspire to. Perce in particular will love this; the opportunity for them to become lean, bronzed gods, with chiselled good looks, supernaturally fit and utterly attractive to any female on the planet will be irresistable to the average Tom. Couple this to being taught how to wash and shower on a regular basis and the Army is in a deffo win-win situation.

This might work out very well after all :lol:

RM
 
#12
Re: Financial Times: "Royal Navy: Debate Centres on Carriers

off_les_aura said:
Bergen said:
The British do not have the economic muscle to continue with the carrier builds. Cyclops has tried some political posturing by saying that they will be built, but this is purely to put the next government on the spot and give NuLiebour a stick to beat Cameron with when he makes the inevitable announcement that the carriers will be cancelled.
RM
Agreed, and the Scotsman is reporting that the announcement by Bob Jobsworth to "ringfence" the carriers is great news for the RN and Scottish jobs :? So all those North of the Border will have even more reason to hate the Tories when they are forced to announce the cancellation.
From what some doom-mongers are saying, anyone would think that the UK has become a third world country instead of the 5th or 6th (depending on source) richest economy on earth. We may only have around a fifth of the USA's GDP but, proportionally, this should see our Armed Forces three times the size they are. All that is being asked is that those we have are properly resourced.

It might also help if the politicians stop ballooning project costs by constantly interfering in them for political ends and deferring/cutting them to meet short-term objectives.
 

Blackrat

War Hero
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#13
Bergen said:
Several defence commentators are likening the possible amalgamation of the three services into a unified structure as producing something like the USMC.

This seems like a splendid idea to me and one that is long overdue. The Royal Navy becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies sea transport and boaty things. The Army becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies land transport, long range snipers, cooks, bottlewashers and all manner of things that Perce is good at. The RAF becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies air transport, CAS and brylcreem supplies.

The Royal Marines re-form all of our missing Commando Units and in turn supply the three new support arms with tradition, esprit de corps and very importantly - something to aspire to. Perce in particular will love this; the opportunity for them to become lean, bronzed gods, with chiselled good looks, supernaturally fit and utterly attractive to any female on the planet will be irresistable to the average Tom. Couple this to being taught how to wash and shower on a regular basis and the Army is in a deffo win-win situation.

This might work out very well after all :lol:

RM
Say again all after "Several.." (Apart from the bit about the crabs. I'm with you on that one!)
 
#14
Blackrat said:
Bergen said:
Several defence commentators are likening the possible amalgamation of the three services into a unified structure as producing something like the USMC.

This seems like a splendid idea to me and one that is long overdue. The Royal Navy becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies sea transport and boaty things. The Army becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies land transport, long range snipers, cooks, bottlewashers and all manner of things that Perce is good at. The RAF becomes part of the Royal Marines and supplies air transport, CAS and brylcreem supplies.

The Royal Marines re-form all of our missing Commando Units and in turn supply the three new support arms with tradition, esprit de corps and very importantly - something to aspire to. Perce in particular will love this; the opportunity for them to become lean, bronzed gods, with chiselled good looks, supernaturally fit and utterly attractive to any female on the planet will be irresistable to the average Tom. Couple this to being taught how to wash and shower on a regular basis and the Army is in a deffo win-win situation.

This might work out very well after all :lol:

RM
Say again all after "Several.." (Apart from the bit about the crabs. I'm with you on that one!)
BR - Was it something I said? Tell me it isn't so :angel9:

RM
 
#15
Re: Financial Times: "Royal Navy: Debate Centres on Carriers

I have come to the conclusion that the Navy and RAF( especially the FAA) are more or less one force now anyway. I don't know where the Army Air Corps. comes in to this? Funnily enough I was thinking marine corps as well.
The government needs all party talks to sort out just what sort of defence we need/want. If they still want to have an effective world presence then they need to project that power by giving the forces the equipment/vehicles/ships/manpower it needs. If they don't(or it is too expensive) then stop messing around and let's just have a UK defence force.
I know it all comes down to cost but when you see the amounts spent on other things defence is way down the league but as usual it is an easy target for the politicians.
For years I have thought that it is time we started buying off the peg. B.A.E. etc now own a lot of U.S. defence companies so surely it would make sense?? UK companies could then be used in support roles,servicing etc. and there must be lots of surplus that could be bought at a reasonable cost?
I believe we were offered a Blackhawks package that the government turned down in favour of the Chinook mods! Then there is the SAAB Gripen(with Bae input already) and dare I mention Rafael??? We have bought plenty of U.S. stuff in the past but then spend a fortune modifying it to protect British jobs but it comes at great cost and delays. If you go out to buy a car you look around for the best deal and try a few until you get the one you want,you don't take it home then rip it apart and fit british stuff. I wish the government would sort out what they want and don't interfere once ordered!!!
I remember the problems in Lebanon a few years ago when some people had to be evacuated and the papers/public at the time kept asking where the Navy was? The truth is we no longer have a world navy capable of being everywhere at short notice.Remember the various fleets we used to have eg Home,Mediterranean,Atlantic,Pacific,China etc. Probably any one of them was bigger than the whole fleet today!
By the way does anyone know what the size of the ACTIVE fleet is? Not the theoretical stuff we are supposed to have at short readiness only vessels seaworthy or could be got ready in days?
Phew didn't realise I had all these thoughts,no need for the psychiatrist now. Thanks rum ration :?
 

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