More admirals than ships indeed

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by hobbit, Oct 22, 2006.

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  1. Very difficult to accept this report as one who was in the service when it was still a powerful fleet of great ships and good crews. Unimaginable to think that something so great could change so much in such a short time.

    UK will be forced to rely on France and America
    Drastic cutbacks in spending on the Royal Navy during the past decade means commanders are struggling to assemble a task force to participate in the UN-sanctioned blockade of North Korea. Navy chiefs have also expressed deep concern about their ability to defend their ships against a hostile missile or fighter threat after a decision was enforced six months ago to scrap the Sea Harrier fighter. Ships will be entirely reliant on the American or French navies to provide "beyond visual range" air defence with aircraft carriers.

    The Navy has been cut by almost a third since Labour came to power and commanders believe that any British contribution would amount to one or two ships. While the Navy has operational experience of interdicting drugs and arms smugglers in the Gulf and Caribbean, its resources are severely limited.

    Since 1997, the number of frigates and destroyers has shrunk from 35 to 25 warships, one of three aircraft carriers has been taken out of service and the hunter killer submarine force has been cut by two boats to 10. There are 38,000 sailors in the Navy. The Government was publicly warned that 25 frigates and destroyers were inadequate for the demands being made on the Fleet by the recently retired First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Alan West.

    A frigate would be able to carry out stop and search missions with its helicopters and armed boarding parties. A Trafalgar or Swiftsure class submarine could also be used to covertly gather intelligence off the North Korean coast. But without the Sea Harriers the ships will be vulnerable to attack if there are no US Navy Aegis class ships in the area. "Without Sea Harrier we are screwed and we cannot really protect ourselves adequately from the missile threat," the Navy officer said. The Fleet will not have adequate air defence until the first Type 45 destroyer enters service in three years.
  2. Serious stuff hobbit and all true. When I joined the RN there were 16 Aircraft Carriers in commission as well as a multitude of surface and sub-surface ships as well. Anyway, things have changed but I do agree that we are seriously undermanned and under-resourced - as is the Army and, to a lesser extent, the RAF. The solution is clear, boot out the current government who underfund us whilst expecting us to do wondrous things in support of Tony's oppo in Washington DC.
  3. I read in the press a number of weeks ago that the Argentinians are making some more noises over the Falkland Islands. Should they decide to try again to capture them I think they'll probably succeed. I honestly don't believe that we have the capacity and capability to recover them whilst we are fighting two wars in the Middle East. If the government cannot/will not provide the resources to enable the job to be done properly there, then where will we find them to eject the Argies? We don't have the aircraft, either fixed wing or rotary, and we know what state the fleet is in. As for the army, they're all tied up with Afghanistan & Iraq and a few in the Balkans. They are either out in theatre or coming back for a bit of R&R, to do some more training prior to be being sent back.
  4. My problem with the suggestion to boot out the current government is that the Tories want tax cuts so they would probably spend less on the Navy.

    The real problem therefore is the public at large, they do not see the need for a larger military (they want more spending on health and education and don't care where the money comes from).

    The military we have, have to be seen more, and their role explained so that more people will pressurise governments of all persausions that cuts in military spending are dangerous.
  5. I would suggest that anyone who doubts the demise of the RN should take in the sights and sounds of a harbour cruise, in either Plymouth or Portsmouth, and witness the spectacle for themselves! There is now, sadly, a distinct lack of operational hulls to see…. but this is more than compensated for by the multitude of mothballed hulls that are tied up in and around these once great ports. From a distance its quite hard to figure out which is which - mothballed or operational - which is more than likely why the Government is not unduly concerned at present. Promises of future build programmes to maintain current hull numbers at today’s levels are pure fiction.
  6. I had a chat with the Brazilian CinC Fleet a few years ago which went along the lines: "When I joined the navy 43 years ago it was 35,000 strong and now its 70,000 strong".

    "Well, when I joined the navy it was 70,000 strong and now its down to 35,000"

    Guess which navy was which.................

    Incidentally a very professional navy with smart ships which go to sea regularly, not to be under-rated.

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