Numbers not everything.

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by onions, Jan 23, 2007.

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  1. Well, there you have it straight from the horse's mouth. The C-in-C, Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent has said that he has command of ONE HUNDRED ships! Can anyone name them? He also stated that "Numbers are not everything (where have I heard that before?) but capability is."
    He was attending the launch of HMS Dauntless.

    Keep Striving.
  2. From people that have served with him, he is a chimp of the highest order!!! One hundred ships. Must include URNU's picket boats, motor whalers, RIB's and Landing Craft
  3. Wonder how many of these ships he commands are in his BATH?
  4. Once again a fine example of the grip that CINC lot have got on the state of the Fleet these days... :roll:
  5. He is counting the ones that have been sold off as well.
  6. I can't find anything in the News about his speech or the launching - do you have a link?

  7. Not a sausage on anything other than BAeS and Sky websites. Disgracefully, the MOD's own website makes no mention whatsoever, although they do redeem themselves by mentioning that 800NAS are back from kandy and list some of the achievements. BZ lads & lasses
  8. yes technically B-N may have 106 ships under his control but how can you say that 16 P2000 are ships is beyond me.

    i think it is also a bit of a stretch for the head of the Royal Navy fighting force to include the survey ships.

    i think you could take it a bit further and say that the ships in

    """""""extended readiness""""""""""

    should count either.

    so how many does that leave - definitely not over 100
  9. Looking at your Bridge Card list and My copy of Janes Fighting Ships 2004/5 to make sure I had the ships class correct then I estimate we have 44 ships capable of fighting. This is of course discounting the 4 bombers who if they were at sea would hide until the time for Armageddon arrive.

    Now if we are talking about who can take a non active part, a bit like they told us back in the days of yore that the Royal Yacht would, sadly missed in the South Atlantic, wrong fuel was it?, then yes over 100. But HMS Endevour, HMS Scott, RFA's various fighting ships? you are having a laugh are you not.

    Yet another Admiral/Politician playing fast and loose with the truth of the matter.


    PS Karman I await your input with interest to find out the MOD line on this.
  10. I agree with the header - Numbers are not Everything. For instance you wouldn't, sorry correction, shouldn't send a CVS into a warzone on its own. It needs escorts, an RFA, etc and we're getting thin on the ground with ships of the escort variety. Whilst I don't dispute the value of P Boats in terms of training aids and a little inshore patrolling, they would be more suited to the task of cannon fodder than escorts.

  11. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Nutty wrote with his quill

    When did you go outside?

    If you mean HMS Endurance cast your mind back to the Falklands and the damage the previous Endurance did to Santa Fe. Have helo(s), have offensive weapon.

    The asymmetric warfare we face and will face doesn't include battlewagons on the high seas knocking lumps out of each other. RFAs have been Force Multipliers for a while and (I've said before here) quite capable of undertaking an independent op with booties and air assets embarked where there is no conventional threat or requirement for NGS. All the ships listed above are under Fleet Command so the Admiral is correct. He didn't say 'I have >100 warships'.

    Yes, we should have more escorts ready to meet emerging threats and submarines for really sneaky stuff.

    (There have been HMS Endevours since Captain Cook's command)
  12. I find the whole argument of justifying a reduction in numbers by an increase in capability to be misleading and dangerous. For a start, we currently have no increase in capability, the 45s haven't been built yet. We're reducing numbers already, however.

    Secondly, let's say a single Type 45 is as capable as two Type 42s, just for the sake of argument. Let's also say we have 10 Type 42s and we replace them with 5 Type 45s, again, just for the sake of argument. One well-aimed strike on a 42 takes out 10% of our capability. The same strike on a 45 takes out 20%. The whole argument works both ways. Not only that, but it's hard to see how the 5 Type 45s are going to cover the 10 jobs the old 42s were expected to cover, unless they have ship's boats with a hell of a lot more endurance than the current crop of RIBs.

    No, numbers aren't everything. But they sure help.
  13. As Stalin used to say, "Quantity has a quality of its very own."
  14. NOw then, Ribs with a couple of SAM missiles on them.. That is a credible force mmultiplier!!
  15. In terms of sheer numbers B-N was correct, in terms of military value it's a lot less, but I'd agree that the P2000s are good opportunities for junior officers to get some responsibility and sort the wheat from the chaff in terms of future development.

    I'd also say that the argument that the argument is neither ''capability better than numbers'' nor ''numbers better than capability''. We need enough ships of an appropriate class to service the various standings tasks we have, there is a thread elsewhere about the SSBN requirement for four hulls to maintain Continuous At Sea Deterrence and a similar argument applies to each of our commitments. Adding to that a margin for deep maintenance then numbers do matter. However if we can increase availability and become innovative about mannning then we can reduce the number of hulls required to service a task. Whilst it's a reasonable argument I'm not convinced that we can do that with the hulls we have now and I'm sceptical that the hulls in build and under development are likely to manage it either. The other aspect of that is that a more capable hull can do different types of job, which is handy if you're servicing a task on the other side of the globe and need to swing from one posture to the other. How many of us has managed a deployment without a programme change a week whilst we've been away?

    From a tactical standpoint, regardless of whether it's AAW, ASuW or ASW you get more effect from two hulls working in co-operatively than you do from two working separately; mutual protection, range enhancement etc. If you're doing Amphib work then you need hulls to protect the transports as well as provide gunnery support. So there is a good argument for greater numbers of hulls. The other argument is, if you lose one hull with lots of capability then you've lost all that capability. If you lose one of several hulls then you haven't lost the whole capability, maybe just part of it.

    Personally I lean towards the ''more hulls'' side of the argument.

    It's not simple, but he's come up with a simplistic soundbite. Those who appreciate that it's not simple realise just how that makes him sound, but for your average punter on the street.......
  16. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Whilst having no reason to doubt your expertise, qualifications or experience and having read your last post 3 times I would offer a word of caution! One statement in your post stands out to me and it is that regarding being innovative with respect to manning!! People are not a commodity, they are the crux of the issue. My branch and aircraft type have resulted in me personally experiencing considerable "innovation" in the past 4 years. In fact the trend is to innovate upon the innovation which is yet to be proved, I am not opposed to change at all but I am opposed to idiot sound bites and idiot management. We have pretty much weathered the storm for now, until the next innovation! but recently I have watched some of the best, most experienced Senior Rates and Aircraft Engineers I have known in 24 years walk away from the career which they loved and enjoyed but more importantly were good at. Just be careful you don't innovate the best people out!
  17. Chieftiff

    You assume I'm in a position to be innovative about manning, I'm not. It is a rabbit hole but I'll expand on that a little.

    If we can improve hull availability so that we can have hulls on task longer then we need to think about the Ships coy. Do we leave them on board during a longer deployment, or do we find ways to keep the ship in place and rotate people. If we rotate the people then how do we assure engineering standards, local knowledge since every ship is subtly different, cohesion etc.

    I don't know the answer to that, I can think of several possible approaches but each has their own benefits and problems; retention being the most important whichever side of the equation it sits on. There aren't any ''right answers'' from the side of the fence that you and I sit on, but there are lots of wrong answers.
  18. chieftiff

    chieftiff War Hero Moderator

    Fair one! Whatever imaginitive solution is used to man our future Fleet with the little manpower we will have left I would just like a reasonable trial carried out, one that is representative and if necessary reversible!

  19. Seadog working on your theory that if it can carry a helicopter and you can bolt an automatic weapon to the guard rail it becomes a warship then that made SS Canberra a warship along with HMS Endurance, plus other chartered merchant ships in the South Atlantic Task Force

    Asymmetric warfare, Force Multipliers more management speak. Cambridge Dictionary " adjective (ALSO asymmetrical)
    with two halves, sides or parts which are not exactly the same in shape and size; without symmetry:" So how has the warfare you face or will face changed since 1960 except that we possibly have more threats than the Eastern Block. A RFA can be changed into a warship by the use of the words "Force Multiplier". Lets get real here a warship is a vessel designed and constructed to fight in a combat zone. Not a merchant ship adapted in times of conflict or shortage to chase criminals. If the RN is going to do A Policeman's job in the West Indies why not the English Channel and Straits of Gibraltar, or High Street, Sutton Surrey etc. No the Admiral did not make a false statement but one meant to mislead the public as with your use of management speak in your posting.

    Let us call a spade a spade unless we are ducking and diving. However you dress it up we have about 44 ships built and designed as warships which are capable of going to sea and operating in combat zones.

  20. Quite right Nutty
    The man is just trying to pull the wool over our eyes (and seems to have succeeded as far as seadog is concerned).
    The man in the street doesn’t realise the role of support ships and so his statement is misleading, to say the least.


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