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More proposed cuts in the Surface Fleet

polariod

Lantern Swinger
Having left the Mob many years ago now I have been remiss in keeping up to date with RN matters but I'm learning a lot from this great Forum.

Although not being up to speed I can't help be get a feeling of Day Ja Voo about the current situation as I perceive it. In between WW1 and WW2 the Brit Governments slashed spending on the services and allowed the armed forces to stagnate and diminish drastically. During the 30s it was obvious to a blind man that Hitler was fudging the re-armament rules imposed on Germany after WW1 by the building of the Pocket Battleships and having U Boats built in pre fab style in other countries such as Holland amongst other things. He was being aggressive!! The budget controllers of the Brit governments ignored the advice of the experienced Serviceman then serving as to the fact that the possibility of war was a distinct reality and carried on trying to polish their own inflated egos by negotiating from a position of weakness.

When the sh*t did hit the fan the RN was woefully hampered by cut backs and had to rely on WW1 vintage ships in many cases to defend our shores. Without the Septics giving us the 40 Lend Lease old four stacker destroyer we may have been starved into submission and all be speaking German today.

The Falklands situation in more modern times also springs to mind with shortages of everything from Carriers and Amphib ships to suitable boots for the lads on shore.

Once again the brown stuff is flying and our servicemen and women are on the receiving end but everyone who signs on the dotted line would be stupid not to accept the being malleted is a possibility. Having said that I believe that the Government of the day has a reponsibility, after ordering the aggression to start, to give the servicemen and women involved the means to fulfill their (the Governments) wishes and if this involves allocating money that may or may not be used, so be it. I cannot understand why we have Armed Forces if they are so underfunded that they have to struggle to fulfill their lords and masters wishes and at the end of the day, DIE!

Maybe I'am being oversimplistic but can we not learn from history? Who knows where trouble will flare up next but you can bet your cotton socks that Britain will be asked to contribute its service people.

Pol
 
Where you are going wrong, Polaroid, is that you haven't realised that, as far as New Labour are concerned, history started in 1997.
 
Pol

You are right. Equipment and capability doesn't grow on trees overnight. We don't know what the threat will be in, say, 15 years time. We can look at the capability of others, though. Yer man Page has definitely got his teeth clamped around the tribal skirmishes we've currently embroiled ourselves (yes, the Nation did vote for the parliamentary space wasters) in.

The bottom line is that the Budget is too small and being pushed to become yet smaller. Our present Society isn't interested and understands it even less. If there was a choice between buying body armour for a squaddie and treatment for an AIDS sufferer, the X-Factor, Celebrity Factor etc fed Public would vote for the latter.

While I'm at it; a few words for the "everyone else's kit and off the shelf is best" protagonists out there. For short term get-around solutions, it may sometimes be right. British kit, on the whole is brilliant and if the specification isn't continually sodded around with, good overall value. Defence equipment is one of the few things we still export at a net profit. See how long we will find foreign kit affordable when we stop earning foreign money. I am aware that nobody cares about balance of payments figures these days, though. I also remember that in the early '60s the deficit nearly bankrupted us!

PoL
 
D

Deleted 493

Guest
Passed-over_Loggie said:
Pol

You are right. Equipment and capability doesn't grow on trees overnight. We don't know what the threat will be in, say, 15 years time. We can look at the capability of others, though. Yer man Page has definitely got his teeth clamped around the tribal skirmishes we've currently embroiled ourselves (yes, the Nation did vote for the parliamentary space wasters) in.

The bottom line is that the Budget is too small and being pushed to become yet smaller. Our present Society isn't interested and understands it even less. If there was a choice between buying body armour for a squaddie and treatment for an AIDS sufferer, the X-Factor, Celebrity Factor etc fed Public would vote for the latter.

Concur with most of that.

While I'm at it; a few words for the "everyone else's kit and off the shelf is best" protagonists out there. For short term get-around solutions, it may sometimes be right. British kit, on the whole is brilliant and if the specification isn't continually sodded around with, good overall value. Defence equipment is one of the few things we still export at a net profit. See how long we will find foreign kit affordable when we stop earning foreign money. I am aware that nobody cares about balance of payments figures these days, though. I also remember that in the early '60s the deficit nearly bankrupted us!

PoL

So, why are we so bad at driving the cost of contracting down? As Page mentions in Lions, Donkeys and Dinosaurs, we ar building Apaches over here for twice the cost of buying them in. We could buy them in and pay off every Westland worker handsomely. Why do we trust people to negotiate the future navy when time after time (as you say) the spec gets fucked about with and the knock-on costs soar? Why do we not insist that contactors buld in allowable margins for spec growth and stop kidding us that because it is MoD kit the kit x 3 + VAT is the price?

Got nothing to do with MPs and Civil Servants future aspirations, has it? Michael Portillo?

Levers
 

stumpy

War Hero
There is also the issue of industrial capacity. Page is very wary of spending a fortune on such capacity to build 2 (and possibly a French 1) carriers... only for the companies then to go bust anyway. If other countries can build them lets look there. If the yanks can build Nimitz's then they could surely knock a CVF out in half a dog watch!
 

polariod

Lantern Swinger
stumpy said:
There is also the issue of industrial capacity. Page is very wary of spending a fortune on such capacity to build 2 (and possibly a French 1) carriers... only for the companies then to go bust anyway. If other countries can build them lets look there. If the yanks can build Nimitz's then they could surely knock a CVF out in half a dog watch!

Maybe we don't have the industrial capacity anymore to build modern warships in British yards out of British steel which in turn is made using British coal or perhaps we don't have the skills left in British industry because successive British governments trashed them!!!

Ask your question on Tyneside,Teesside,Merseyside or Clydeside.

Pol
 

stumpy

War Hero
True, and if they had been invested in then maybe we could be making billions out of our shipyards just like the South Koreans.

But, is the government's decision more to do with the remaining shipyards being in Scottish Labour seats, possibly at risk from the SNP. If they were in safe Tory seats in the South... then I wonder if they would be giving them the contracts or getting them built abroad...? In Pages book (I can't give you a direct quote as I have lent my copy to a friend) he talks about the local Labour MP for the yard saying something like "...the priority decision over CVF procurment is that they should be built in her consituency..." Personally I think that the priority should be that they are the best ships the RN can get, and if they are built in the UK as well then that is a bonus.
 

polariod

Lantern Swinger
stumpy said:
True, and if they had been invested in then maybe we could be making billions out of our shipyards just like the South Koreans.

But, is the government's decision more to do with the remaining shipyards being in Scottish Labour seats, possibly at risk from the SNP. If they were in safe Tory seats in the South... then I wonder if they would be giving them the contracts or getting them built abroad...? In Pages book (I can't give you a direct quote as I have lent my copy to a friend) he talks about the local Labour MP for the yard saying something like "...the priority decision over CVF procurment is that they should be built in her consituency..." Personally I think that the priority should be that they are the best ships the RN can get, and if they are built in the UK as well then that is a bonus.

I'am taking that we agree that Govermental ineptitude by all colours of the political spectum has screwed up our production capacity to produce our own War Canoes etc.

If we take your last point further, of course our Service people should be issued with the best kit available but if our supply industries continue to be obliterated by cut backs and bugetry constraints could not the scenario emerge where all the kit is sourced oversea leaving us with jack and totally dependent on foreign powers.

To me this is an If not When situation but Politicians are weasles at best and given a government with a half decent majority the When aspect may become a reality sooner than later. To achieve the majority they will of course throw some of the dogs in their safe seats the odd bone such as an occasional Destroyer of RFA vessel but in their eyes best is cheapest not best is best. Any Government with the power will do as it pleases and not be to bothered about the consequenses. At the moment the British Serviceman is high in the esteem of the man in the street and Joe Public is quite vocal about shortages of manpower and kit but wait till things go quiet and Jack, Perce and Crab are off the front pages. Then I think the shafting will begin and the welfare of Service personnel will slip down the agenda while their political destruction climbs.

Pol
 
"At the moment the British Serviceman is high in the esteem of the man in the street and Joe Public is quite vocal about shortages of manpower and kit" I think you will find, though, that Joe Public doesn't want to pay for it. As I said, they'd rather spend on Health and Education than on the Services. Their preferred solution seems to be "bring our boys home" and "stop spending money on other people's stupid wars".

We rightly expend a lot of effort on winning hearts and minds in sundry World sh**holes. We really need to put at least as much effort in winning hearts and minds at home.
 

copenhagencup

Lantern Swinger
Passed-over_Loggie said:
"At the moment the British Serviceman is high in the esteem of the man in the street and Joe Public is quite vocal about shortages of manpower and kit" I think you will find, though, that Joe Public doesn't want to pay for it. As I said, they'd rather spend on Health and Education than on the Services. Their preferred solution seems to be "bring our boys home" and "stop spending money on other people's stupid wars".

We rightly expend a lot of effort on winning hearts and minds in sundry World sh**holes. We really need to put at least as much effort in winning hearts and minds at home.
Look the government let Rover go bust, so why not certain UK defence companies go bust, I`m all for buying something with a made in the UK sticker, but 28 million extra for each UK Apache, times by 67 the number we bought. that would allow us to have the same amount of kit be better supported( more spares, some training(might help)) and the NHS debt paid off, and little johnny some new school books.
 

polariod

Lantern Swinger
Passed-over_Loggie said:
"At the moment the British Serviceman is high in the esteem of the man in the street and Joe Public is quite vocal about shortages of manpower and kit" I think you will find, though, that Joe Public doesn't want to pay for it. As I said, they'd rather spend on Health and Education than on the Services. Their preferred solution seems to be "bring our boys home" and "stop spending money on other people's stupid wars".

We rightly expend a lot of effort on winning hearts and minds in sundry World sh**holes. We really need to put at least as much effort in winning hearts and minds at home.

People I have spoken to recently seem to put the welfare of our Services up with the NHS and Education at this time and yes as you rightly say "bring our boys home". It will be interesting to see the perception when the Boys are home. As for winning hearts and minds at home I'm with you 100% but I can't help thinking of the old adage of "out of sight out of mind"

Pol
 

Clouseau

Banned
copenhagencup said:
Passed-over_Loggie said:
"At the moment the British Serviceman is high in the esteem of the man in the street and Joe Public is quite vocal about shortages of manpower and kit" I think you will find, though, that Joe Public doesn't want to pay for it. As I said, they'd rather spend on Health and Education than on the Services. Their preferred solution seems to be "bring our boys home" and "stop spending money on other people's stupid wars".

We rightly expend a lot of effort on winning hearts and minds in sundry World sh**holes. We really need to put at least as much effort in winning hearts and minds at home.
Look the government let Rover go bust, so why not certain UK defence companies go bust, I`m all for buying something with a made in the UK sticker, but 28 million extra for each UK Apache, times by 67 the number we bought. that would allow us to have the same amount of kit be better supported( more spares, some training(might help)) and the NHS debt paid off, and little johnny some new school books.

Ah - but Rover is/was not an instrument of foreign policy.

The effect of bringing the boys home - (in response to media inspired misinformation and casualty averse hysteria) would be a recognition of failed foreign policy.

Loggie is right about the dichotomy of the use of military force - we want the boys to do well but we don't want to pay for it. It could be expanded further - we want the UK to be a significant player in the world (to mean something - a force for good?), but we don't have the stomach for the true cost of it (cash for development and lives for security).

Anyway - the weekend approaches....Whoo-hoo!
 
copenhagencup said:
Passed-over_Loggie said:
"At the moment the British Serviceman is high in the esteem of the man in the street and Joe Public is quite vocal about shortages of manpower and kit" I think you will find, though, that Joe Public doesn't want to pay for it. As I said, they'd rather spend on Health and Education than on the Services. Their preferred solution seems to be "bring our boys home" and "stop spending money on other people's stupid wars".

We rightly expend a lot of effort on winning hearts and minds in sundry World sh**holes. We really need to put at least as much effort in winning hearts and minds at home.
Look the government let Rover go bust, so why not certain UK defence companies go bust, I`m all for buying something with a made in the UK sticker, but 28 million extra for each UK Apache, times by 67 the number we bought. that would allow us to have the same amount of kit be better supported( more spares, some training(might help)) and the NHS debt paid off, and little johnny some new school books.

I suspect a fair whackof the extra cost of the UK Apache is to do with the specs the UK asked for and not any local assembly. The way the DPA buys things can often make the 'best value' seem quite expensive. With over 25 years experience in the UK defence industry I fear the DPA is incapable of buying best value for money, nor does it support UK industry in any way unless the polititians tweek it's tail severely.
 

Bisley

War Hero
To make it more miserable i have just read a Galaxy brief from the 2SL on how the they proposing cutting more manpower by 'Natural Wastage'. Easy sell a few ships and shut a dockyard and promote a few more admirals. piece of pi*s. It's about time OUR senior officers stood up to president Blair and said enough is enough or are they scared of not getting promoted. uhmm i wonder
 

safewalrus

War Hero
So what, exactly is this misnomer Great Britain about? Once we were Great and got all sorts of things from our vassals - and so it should be! What do we get now? sod all, thats what! The Royal Navy is, or was, there to protect the Merchant Navy, and let them go about their jobs in peace. Now anywhere they go they have a pirate problem that the Navy cannot reach; the fishing fleet is just about gone because we couldn't protect them against foreign intervention (most of those foreigners are now friends [they say]) so we can't defend against friends. We're to small to invade anywhere and pinch their gear/real estate so why bother!

so yes let us reduce the fleet to half a dozen corvettes and use 'em for fishery protection and Coast Guard duties; at the same time reduce the army to a couple of purely ceremonial regiments (they don't even help the police with riots anymore. Close the crabs down completly - ok we need a couple of air sea rescue helicopters and air ambulances, why not have a helicopter section for those purposes under the control of the Coast Guard and they could look after Customs as well (Oh anybody is allowed in, Ok we don't need the Customs, maybe they could be combined with the tax people its about revenue isn't it!) Well blow me look we've started......
 

stumpy

War Hero
safewalrus said:
So what, exactly is this misnomer Great Britain about? Once we were Great and got all sorts of things from our vassals - and so it should be! What do we get now? sod all, thats what! The Royal Navy is, or was, there to protect the Merchant Navy, and let them go about their jobs in peace. Now anywhere they go they have a pirate problem that the Navy cannot reach; the fishing fleet is just about gone because we couldn't protect them against foreign intervention (most of those foreigners are now friends [they say]) so we can't defend against friends. We're to small to invade anywhere and pinch their gear/real estate so why bother!

so yes let us reduce the fleet to half a dozen corvettes and use 'em for fishery protection and Coast Guard duties; at the same time reduce the army to a couple of purely ceremonial regiments (they don't even help the police with riots anymore. Close the crabs down completly - ok we need a couple of air sea rescue helicopters and air ambulances, why not have a helicopter section for those purposes under the control of the Coast Guard and they could look after Customs as well (Oh anybody is allowed in, Ok we don't need the Customs, maybe they could be combined with the tax people its about revenue isn't it!) Well blow me look we've started......

safewalrus, I think it is time to have a litle bit of a lie down in a darkened room...
 

jeffuk13

Newbie
:evil: well sorry to say this but to save our navy we need the Argies to kick off again, loss of lives, we get our arses kicked which nearly happened last time, (I was an mem when a 500lb went through our flight deck and didn't go bang on Brilliant along with 12 other hits that didn't go bang on other ships). this time they might go bang 13 ships sunk oh shit bye bye falklands, might kick the government in to the real world instead of being Bush's lap dog. Or how about a revoloution
 
When we go abroad at the mo for our holidays and take the car we get a sticker syaing GB. As we were once GREAT and now, thanks to all the ******* in Whitehall, a lot less so do we remove the G from GB.

If we do this we're left with B, which currently = Belgium. Having been to Zeebrugge, which is worse than being stuck in Faslane, and seen the small size of their Navy, that might be what the politicians are after.
 
Stripey_G said:
And just look at the guys on this forum who have asked many a question about joing the Navy.What sort of future do they have to look forward to?
Is it they join and no sea time, or just go ahead for the trade and be done with it. Britain rules the waves....yeah! :x


I'm hoping to apply and sit FATS/AIB sometime in the near future and it has crossed my mind recently whether or not it's such a good idea with news like this, in all seriousness do you think it will be as bad as the papers make out?

Ta.
 
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