Telegraph: "New Aircraft Carriers 'White Elephants With Dinky Toys On Top'"

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by soleil, Dec 30, 2012.

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  1. Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  2. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

  3. White Elephants?

    "White elephants"? I suspect these particular "Royal Navy insiders" are neither "Royal Navy" nor "insiders". It looks as though someone has trawled a few Defence 'thinking' website forums and lazily assumed that the most vociferous critics have some sort of bona fide connection.

    The Times and Telegraph headlines certainly bear no relation to Chris Parry's paper which paints the carriers in a favourable light even in their bastardised form; just not as capable or versatile as a CTOL version.
  4. Seadog

    Seadog War Hero Moderator

    Just thinking aloud here:
    1. You must be very senior or connected to know what he was saying and to whom in private.
    2. There are rules & permissions required for speaking to the press, especially for 2* up. Like it or not, politicians and other civilians have primacy.
    3. When CP was active, CVF was in a different place.
    4. I may be wrong but I don't recall C&D -whatever their brief- being any more influential in procurement decisions than the Gosport RNA uckers team.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  5. He might have a point???? When I last saw all the mighty through deck cruisers, at various ports, before two of them departed to Turkey. They had little or no cabs onboard, sometimes 5 harriers, or other times just 4 Merlins and a couple of Lynx, or no CAG at all?? She is just in commando role now !! .:\\\\\\\') They were the days before the recession hit us and Dave C and Mr Hammond came along ^_~
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2012
  6. Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE happens to be one of the sharpest "tools" in the box. Go back and read the article in its entirety. Don't be swayed by the ludicrously misleading headlines or the gratuitous addition of an incongruous soundbite by some fictional "naval insider".

    In fact, he was vocal to the point of ruffling quite a few feathers; his frustration was one of the reasons for his premature departure from the RN which resulted in the sad loss of a refreshingly reforming character with stacks of talent.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Those of an older vintage might enjoy reading the following pocket biography of Rear Admiral Parry's father, written at the time of his unexpected death in October 2006. It goes some way to explaining his son's dedication to the Royal Navy and its historic role in ensuring the nation's security, together with his questioning attitude, lust for challenge and classical interests:

  8. An excellent article (the full pdf one, not the Telegraph misrepresentation) I thought. The main thing for me is that it reminds us of what we 'could have', "if sustained with adequate resources and innovative conceptual development". As neither 'adequate resources', nor 'innovative conceptual development' can be taken for granted in today's RN, I think that the article should be made compulsory reading for everyone in Leach Building.

    As for Chris Parry. I worked for him when he was COMATG. He has, some faults (as we all do), but his intellect and willingness to speak out and be controversial, even when serving, are/were not among them.
  9. 'Dinky Toy' carriers unfit for sea battle

    Article in the Sunday Times where Chris Parry, former director of doctrine at the MOD warned that the lack buddy/buddy refueling would restrict the usefulness of the upcoming carriers. He published a longer article criticising them in the RUSIJ.

    Now I always thought the beauty of carriers was you could actually move them closer to the target if necessary. I don't think lack of buddy/buddy restricted Harrier in the Falklands although I know Argie Skyhawks found it useful
  10. See previous RR thread Telegraph: "New Aircraft Carriers 'White Elephants With Dinky Toys On Top'"

    1. The gratuitous headline, allegedly quoting some "naval insider", totally contradicts the gist of Chris Parry's article and does the Telegraph no credit.

    2. Although I would have preferred the CTOL version, even the STOVL F-35B has much greater capabilty and longer range than any of the Harrier derivatives.
  11. .

    Whilst "multi-role" the CVFs were really biased towards littoral warfare.

  12. Threads merged.
  13. Financial Times

    Military at loggerheads over carriers

    By James Blitz, Defence and Diplomatic Editor

    Even as the first of Britain’s two new aircraft carriers rises from the dry docks in Rosyth, debate over how they will be used and whether they are needed continues to rage among military chiefs and experts.

    The Royal Navy has long argued that the new ships – Queen Elizabeth and Prince of Wales – are essential if the UK is to project military power against potential adversaries.

    But in the run-up to the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review, some senior figures inside the Ministry of Defence questioned what purpose was served by having these mammoth vessels.

    Critics argued that the two carriers were an out-of-date symbol of cold war power, at a time when the world was moving to a new era of conflict that might be dominated by counterinsurgency, terrorism and cyber warfare.

    They argued that the vessels would be increasingly vulnerable to attack from specially designed anti-carrier missiles being developed by the Chinese.

    They pondered, too, whether the UK really needed these ships at a time of serious austerity in defence spending. After all, the US – with whom Britain would be allied in almost any conceivable conflict – has 11 carriers of its own.

    Yet, in the past two years, the argument has swung decisively in the Royal Navy’s favour.

    “Now that both ships are in build, the debate is not so much about whether we need them” says Lee Willett, of the Royal United Service Institute, a think-tank. “Instead, the argument now is about other issues, such as whether or not both should be fully operational, how many aircraft they should have on board and how many different roles they can undertake.”

    The carriers won the day in 2010, partly because there was no alternative. BAE Systems, the main contractor for the ships, warned David Cameron ahead of the 2010 strategic review that thousands of jobs would be lost and three shipyards closed if the government scrapped the previous administration’s plans to build both ships.

    But other factors have since boosted support for them. The absence of a British carrier in the 2011 war over Libya was widely judged to be a military weakness. The RAF had to fly its jets out of southern Europe bases. This meant longer flying times, higher fuel costs and greater aircraft attrition.

    Moreover, carriers are clearly back in vogue among the world’s defence ministries. Many leading military powers – China, India, Brazil and Russia – are investing in them. In part, this reflects an assessment that a new era of state-on-state warfare – for example in the South China Sea – may be around the corner. It also reflects a belief that carriers – far from just flying aircraft – can also be used effectively for a wide variety of other functions such as carrying troops and helicopters.

    Many experts believe the next big challenge for the Royal Navy will be to define far better how it can use its carriers on a wide range of operations.

    “These extremely large ships have a range of potential uses beyond that of simply being a launch-and-recovery platform for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft,” Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a former naval commander, wrote in a recent article for RUSI. “Carriers can operate throughout the spectrum of crisis from combat operations to humanitarian relief, as demonstrated admirably in recent years by the USS Abraham Lincoln off Indonesia in 2005 and the USS Carl Vinson off Haiti in 2010.”

    In his view, naval commanders must now clarify the wide ranges of potential uses to which the new vessels should be put.

    Military at loggerheads over carriers -

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