Telegraph 'Future of Defence' Merged Threads

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by soleil, Aug 7, 2010.

Welcome to the Navy Net aka Rum Ration

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial RN website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Re: T'graph: Loss Of Big Boys' Toys Will Change Forces For Ever

    Oh the hideous irresponsibility of presenting our military hardware as toys or in any sense optional luxuries. If our Govt realised WHY people have govts in the first place, which is for collective defence, they would be raping the really optional budgets, particularly the ghastly waste called Social Security, and the ridiculous 'ring-fencing' of our overseas giveways [fancy borrowing millions just to give it away!] to ensure we and our island are properly defended and able to ensure that any conflict is an away match.
  2. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    That will be no problem as long as we're facing Zeppelins :wink:

  3. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    2000 sailors to be slashed! when does the redundancy start!
  4. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    if there slashing 2000 personel out of the navy take it they wont be taking new ones on.
  5. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    Nope, Navy is full at the moment, Thats why it takes so long to get in, the problem is the man power is not in the right places, like at sea!!!!
  6. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    tell me about it been waiting 12 months now looks like i have got another 12 to wait and thats before the security review
  7. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    "In addition, the Navy will lose two submarines, three amphibious ships and more than 100 senior officers, along with 2,000 sailors and marines."

    Now the loss of the submarines is not a shock; they are probably talking about the oldest two of the Trafalgar class boats, so I personally have no problems there if that is what they intend to do (but this is all speculation on my part).
    What I am failing to really understand is why they would seek to write off the amphibious ships; Ocean, Albion and Bulwark. It was my understanding that these are some of the Navy's newer vessels (being comissioned in 1998, 2003 and 2004 respectively) and they actually contribute a lot to its ability to conduct expeditionary warfare, and project power cheaply, worldwide when combined with a contingent of Royal Marines and possibly HMS Ark Royal.

    They go on to say:

    A senior Whitehall source said: "These are not Tory cuts"

    No, this is the government's new schtik; by taking absolutely no responsibility for their actions so far and blaming absolutely everything on the previous government whilst george osbourne gleefully grinds his axe. Which will no doubt deliver the coup de gracé to our already overstretched armed forces.

    However we shall have to wait and see what the actual cuts will look like, seeing as up to this point it seems to be a lot of press speculation and not a lot of hard fact.
  8. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    Exactly - And all getting more bites than from the midges whilst off duty in Faslane. :wink:

    We will just have to wait and see the REAL Defence Revue outcome, rather than flash up on the buzzes and counter-buzzes :evil:
  9. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    Well, actually, it's fairly obvious. The RN had to choose between LitM and Carrier Strike, and like any Navy, it went for Carrier Strike. Especially as Raids can be carried out from HMS PoW using air assets. The RM have played their hand quite badly, as opposed to the USMC, and having talked for so long about Iq/Afg, and not reinforcing their Amphib ability (yes, I know TAURUS was supposed to do that, but just look at the manking from the lads in the TV series!), they have lost their defining reason. SO, it makes perfect sense that, if the RM want to concentrate on their LAND skills, to transfer them to the Army, loose the expensive Amphib shipping and save HM Ships QE and PoW. Simples.
  10. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    It seems to me that the problem with transferring command of the RM over to the regular Army is, aside from the fact that the bootnecks have spent considerable time and effort distancing themselves from the Army; so there could be some integration problems. Also who would then provide fleet protection and close inspection details? The RN? If so wouldn't that lead to the expense of the training of a new organisation within the RN which would cover some of the jobs the Marines do today.

    Another thing is will the Marines remain a primarily amphibious force, only using lighter army-controlled riverboats and landing craft? Or will HM forces lose this almost unique skillset for good in favor of an enlarged elite force comprised of the parachute regiment as well as some really good regular infantry in the form of the integrated RM?

    Finally I find the paralells drawn with the USMC to be misleading. The USMC is the real-world example of what Edward Grey's famous quote: "The Army should be a projectile to be fired by the Navy." looks like when applied. However whereas the Spam are able to maintain this large autonamous power-projecting tool as well as their regular army we, sadly, are not. If Britain wishes to maintain its status as a world military power I think that maybe we could learn some lessons from the USMC, and do what they do; only better. This would allow HM forces to project significant expeditionary power anywhere in the world at short notice but unlike the US who have this as a single arm of their forces this would BE our forces.

    This really does pose the question: should we sacrifice our ability to participate in a high-intensity war for extended periods but instead have the ability to project power and influence as well as the USMC, if not better?

    Anyway thats just some hokem to get the debate as to the future aspirations of the forces going...
  11. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Re: Telegraph 'Future of Defence' Merged Threads

    The Commissar wrote
    You forget the RFA's LSDAs. That takes the total to and the choices out of 7. However the Telegraph's hard copy graphic 'speaks of' 3 out of 12. WTF do they get 12?

    That said, I've yet to be convinced that the Telegraph's 'scoop' is anything more than a self penned fishing exercise. A spokesman said.....
  12. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    Right, lets start with this: I quite like Royal, indeed I was on Commando Course at the beginning of the year. I have no particular animus with them, however, if as a Dark Blue Officer I had to choose between Carrier Strike and LitM, in toto, CS would win every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Why? Because CS is the sine qua non of seapower; amphibiousity provides lots of options, but cannot survive without Carrier Air on a "Day 1" scenario. I would love to maintain both capabilities, but the strategic point seems to have been made we can only keep one.

    It's true, they have. But they've also spent their time distancing themselves from the RN. However, they've shown their ability to be anyone's equal in Afg in the Light Inf role, whilst reducing their Amphibious footprint, in spirit, if not body. Right now, if we asked them to do a Bde level Amphib operation they would struggle. And that is a result of HERRICK, but it also shows that for all our desire to keep the capability is, at best, limited. (I'll also note that exactly the same could be said for CS!)

    Well, lets be honest, a lot of the stuff we get Royal to do could be done by the RN. Indeed, it could be the very definition of "grit". If you gave me (or anyone of about my age and inclinations) a 100 blokes (whose line numbers could come from the LPH, 2 x LPD and 2 x SSN) and 6 months, I could produce a boarding capability that approaches our current standard. At a push, 3 months would give us IOC and another 3 for FOC. P Sqn would be the basis for this. Protection of the Deterrent is the kicker, but frankly the Army win the "dry side" (a Coy at a time) and the RN can provide the "wet side". This doesn't replicate what we have now, but then that's what the SDSR is all about.

    As a side note, the French Fusiliers Marins (Fusiliers Marin) or our historic Naval Brigades show what a well trained sailor could do.

    If the Ship's are gone, Amphib capability is gone. Full Stop. We could maintain some riverine capability, but that would first mean we have to develop it. I would suggest that what the Army do with the RM is up to them, but I suspect some kind of uber-Bde would be the result, 3 x Battalions of RM, 3 x Para, 2 x AH/SH, bob's your quick intervention force...

    I think the parallels should and will be drawn. The USMC for all it's hoorah bull is a thinking organisation, and have already started carving out a post-Afg role for themselves, leaving the Army foundering in it's wake. As for the force numbers, then frankly it's never going to be a starter, and that wasn't my intention.

    Well, that's the entire kicker for the SDSR. What do we want our Security and Foreign Policy to be? And at that point, I will bow out of the argument, as it is purely political.....
  13. Re: Telegraph: "RAF To Shrink To World War One Levels"

    The problem with this suggestion is that if you no longer have amphibious capabilities you begin to dramatically lose the ability to both project power and deploy your "quick intervention force". Because it doesn't matter how many soldiers you have if none of them can come ashore because you've got so few dedicated landing craft left to mount a successful assault on a harbour or similar installation where the bulk of your forces can come ashore.
    We cannot continue assuming that there will be friendly airbases or ports in the area where we can deploy our force. Occasionally you do have to "kick in the back door" and force your way onto their land.
  14. I agree. This is absolutely a massive loss in capability; indeed one of the two core competencies we have identified time and again in our planning documents. I'm not saying it's nice, but if these rumours are true, then that's the way it'll go.
  15. Hmm. Well I posted this over on ARRSE, and it sort of got lost in the general sh!tstorm over carriers going on in the sister thread, so if I put it here because i'm genuinely curious to hear a few thoughts on the ramblings...

    Like it or not in the modern world, all high intensity war fighting scenarios WILL BE DONE IN COALITION. What this means to us is that we need to become useful, experts at something... The way to DO this, is to bring a speciality to the table. I'd suggest amphibiosity. It is something we are generally the best in the world at doing in part thanks to the Booties, and in part due to the decent investment in amphibious shipping we've had. Before anyone begins bouncing about pointing to threats of invasion to the UK, and such, well that is why we have trident, with ICBM's at our disposal, our sovereignty becomes pretty safe IMHO.

    To this end, a force structure based around the two new CVF's we have in build, capable of transporting a force (the RM) close to a shore, using the strike assets (be in F18 or F35) to open up the shore, "kick the door down" as the cousins so quaintly put it and establish the beachhead not only do we have a way to re-secure the small number of states still under our protection but we have a genuine capability to bring to whichever war that the UN or NATO has dragged us into. Any Army based around this need not be heavy armoured. To be honest, something akin to the Brigade Combat Team formations the yanks have floated, 3000-4000 strong, deployable as a single element with one core vehicle (in their case Stryker, our case possibly FRES if they get their act together) would be ideal, as these fast 'float like a butteryfly etc etc' units could flood into that gap made by the RM and on to the objective. I don't believe heavy armour is very relevant nowadays. The future for vehicles is a V shaped hull and 'hard kill' systems based upon lightweight fast well armed vehicles (not getting into tracks/wheels), modern anti tank weaponry making heavy armour rather more of a hinderance than a help. Another crucial point would be a reformation of doctrine - see the 'Doctrine' thread here on ARRSE for more info on that... As for an Air Force, well yes they are still technically needed, but in the strategic airlift role, and in the defence of the states airspace - for which we do NOT need 107 Typhoons, but thats an argument for another thread i'm not discussion kit here...just like they don't really need to operate the Nimrods. Or the SH force, which in my little fantasy would be a split between the medium lift for the RN to assist the Marines initial assault, and the AAC who would then go on to support the breakout.

    All just thoughts, I realise the cost of adjusting the force like this is prohibitive, but thats just where I think we should have taken the British Military in the years when we could have. I'd also to top off this mammoth post, put forwards another theory of mine, simply to stimulate discussion...

    I do not believe that terrorism is the greatest threat that the UK Armed Forces should be set up to deal with. I'm a student of military history, and Borneo aside, what example is there, in the past 60/70 years where conventional forces have won a 4th generation conflict? ie counter insurgency? I'd argue there isn't, and i'd ALSO argue that they cannot simply by dint of their structure, and rules of engagement they have to work under, and their methods. Regardless of the military, regardless of the weapons and all that guff, they have no won.

    So, the only kinds of conflicts an Armed Force needs to be equipped for is for medium to high intensity war fighting against another state actor or minor police actions on the high seas such as in the NAG and off Somalia. Conventional Forces taking and holding ground doesn't work, and costs billions to achieve little. A better model for success is the use of Special Operations Forces, and Intelligence agencies, the successes of which are clear for all around - the triumph for the USA in South America, NI for ourselves, Malaya for ourselves again. You have to fight like with like and militaries are generally too cumbersome to fight a 'War amongst the people'

    Terrorism is a huge threat, but we are fighting it the wrong way. We are effectively trying to get rid of a wasps nest by hitting it with a hammer. We have other better methods with which to deal with them...
  16. Why not become experts at Air Assault? Or Carrier Strike? We could probably put enough lift on HMS PoW to carry 2 Coy, and back that up with a half decent COMAO package (especially if this F18 rumour is true) from HMS QE. That offers a fairly hefty raid capability (done by Para's or Royal), and in keeping with the fact we are unlikely to become embroiled in long term warfare for a while (s/fast the draw down from Afg).

    Have you read Seapower by Prof Till?[1] You are suggesting we become a "Post-Modern Navy" vs a "Modern Navy"?[2] Again, a political call as a result of the Defence and Foreign Policy review I would suggest!

    I've got my own "post-SDSR" force package in my head, and it isn't that radical to be honest. And I could probably do it for less than £50 Mil(ish!). (and my radical option could be done for an extra £150mil(ish))....

    [1] Seapower - Prof Till

    [2] See Ch2 of Seapower. In essence, a Post-Modern Navy seeks to be expeditionary, only able (willing?) to act as part of a coalition for combat operations - both due to political and fleet composition issues, and seeking to maintain global order instead of purely national interests, primarily by using expeditionary forces. A Modern Navy remains concerned with more traditional Sea Control issues, a narrower view of power projection (limited to strike/raiding operations) and a balanced fleet built around SSBNs and CVs.
  17. I do have to disagree with some elements of whizzbangdai's opinion here; the British forces should not be geared towards a specific role to the extent that without a backing coalition they are made somehwat impotent if their conventional allies leave them in the proverbial lurch ala the Falklands where the USA said an invasion would be impossible and left Britain to deal with its own problem.

    However I do also think that playing up our strengths should be a top priority for the SDSR. We have to accept that we are no longer the superpower we once were HOWEVER we are still one of the most powerful military nations in Europe, we should be seeking to re-organise our forces to ensure that our most elite troops, the Royal Marines and Parachute Regiment, are well catered for and remain able to successfully deploy by air and sea in force to conflict zones worldwide at short notice. This is why (in my opinion) the new CVF carriers are essential to our continued future of successful force projection and allow us to make the most of our most potent assets, some of the most highly trained and battle-hardened soldiers, sailors and airmen in the world.

    In this planned re-organisation much of our existing armoured forces will not be needed, however it is imperative to be able to use armour where it is required. A reduced armoured force with more focus on the rapid movement of troops, supported by a reduced fleet of MBTs and mobile artillery, accross long distances once deployed either from the sea or the air.

    Also we have to accept that the 3rd shock army is no longer going to come pouring through the Fulda gap and on into mainland Europe. Its not going to happen. A fleet of 107 Eurofighter Typhoon high performance fighter aircraft is superfluous and unnecessary. Half that number would be sufficient to defend the United Kingdom when combined with the deterrance of Trident. The RAF should not be looking at high-performance single role aircraft but at an all-round workhorse aircraft, able to mount and deploy Air to Ground, Air to Air and Anti-Ship missiles successfully.

    So in rapid summary:
    -Reduce and reorganise the Army's heavy armoured units and withdraw them from Germany when this becomes feasible. Put more emphasis on highly-mobile elite infantry; possibly expanding the Parachute Regiment or creating another similar rapid-deployment force at the expense of some of the regular infantry formations.

    -Completely reorganise and reduce the size of the RAF; with more focus on a transport and support role, look into a successful multirole combat aircraft for the next 50 years to replace the aging Pavania Tornados, this may be the F35 or it may not be.

    -Expand the Navy. The two CVFs should go ahead as planned, they should also be in the CATOBAR configuration. The F18 should be the Primary aircraft for air defence with a smaller number of F35Cs to provide close ground support to amphibious troops. Two more T45 destroyers should be built, expanding their total to eight, and the existing T45s should be fully equipped with the equipment that they are fitted "For but not with" thus providing sufficient air defence for the two Carriers. The T22 and T23 frigates should be gradually phased out around 2025-2040 as they are replaced with a more able Future frigate type, there should be the same number of this new frigate class as there are T22s and T23s in service now; around 18.
  18. The big argument should not,in my opinion,be about which ships/regmts/aircraft to get rid of,but rather to decide what role we as a nation wish to play in the next fifty years.Get that bit sorted the you can tailor the Services to fit.
    If we have to save money,pull out of Afganistan now..we are not achieving anything and are wasting good peoples lives for no good purpose.

Share This Page