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Telegraph: "The Royal Navy Can Still Be Fighting Fit Despite BAE Job Losses"

soleil

War Hero
"Will this week’s decision affect the Royal Navy, or Britain’s ability to project power – hard or soft – in support of British foreign policy? No, it will not. And it is perhaps timely to restate the importance of the Royal Navy to Britain’s security and its ability to influence and shape our world. The Navy might be small now, but it is still vital in giving politicians options rather than policy dead-ends."

The Royal Navy can still be fighting fit despite BAE job losses - Telegraph
 

Rigsby

Lantern Swinger
If the following extract isn't worthy of being engraved on the headstone of the RAF's fighter command role then i dont know what else could be

"The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier project is now estimated to cost about £6.2 billion – this for a pair of mobile airfields that will be in service for at least 50 years. Meanwhile, the RAF’s share of the Eurofighter Typhoon project will be, according to the National Audit Office in 2011, at least £37 billion for around 100 aircraft. The Eurofighter Typhoon can only be deployed to distant trouble spots at significant cost, as the Libya campaign demonstrated, with tanker support (another £12 billion or so for the RAF’s new tanker aircraft) and only if someone else will let them fly across their airspace and also let them use an airfield. With the ability to carry between 36 and 40 aircraft each, the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers represent not just a very significant proportion of Britain’s deployable air power, they are better value for money than land-based air assets, and they do not need fixed and vulnerable bases in other people’s territory."

sums the situation up quite nicely methinks
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Which is why the RAF are so keen to get in on this act, as, otherwise, when it comes to expeditionary warfare they could be out of business.
 

jaggers

Lantern Swinger
All told I think it was the right decision if a painful one, small price to pay if it helps to preserve the union and better for folks to be employed in the increasingly properous south than relatively less well off north
 

Jamesb

Banned
1. I don't vote and wasn't old enough to vote anyway I think all the political parties are the same, they care about power more then they care about the people.
2. Not yet but I know a close relation of mine served a tour in Helmand
 

Ageing_Gracefully

War Hero
Moderator
Review Editor
Book Reviewer
Code:
If the following extract isn't worthy of being engraved on the headstone of the RAF's fighter command role then i dont know what else could be

"The Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier project is now estimated to cost about £6.2 billion – this for a pair of mobile airfields that will be in service for at least 50 years. Meanwhile, the RAF’s share of the Eurofighter Typhoon project will be, according to the National Audit Office in 2011, at least £37 billion for around 100 aircraft. The Eurofighter Typhoon can only be deployed to distant trouble spots at significant cost, as the Libya campaign demonstrated, with tanker support (another £12 billion or so for the RAF’s new tanker aircraft) and only if someone else will let them fly across their airspace and also let them use an airfield. With the ability to carry between 36 and 40 aircraft each, the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers represent not just a very significant proportion of Britain’s deployable air power, they are better value for money than land-based air assets, and they do not need fixed and vulnerable bases in other people’s territory."

sums the situation up quite nicely methinks

A few bits missing there methinks.

What about the billions spent on ships protecting said carriers plus the fleet of tankers and resupply ships.

What about only being able to put into port when needed, only if the country agrees, similar to an RAF aircraft flying over their territory.

Lastly, when the RAF runway is bombed it can often fill in the holes fairly quickly and normal jogging carries on. Bombing, or torpedo, can often really spoil a floating thing like a carrier, hence the billions spent on escort boats :happy6:

I am not normally one to take the side of the crabs, as their main purpose in life is to have the pish ripped out of them, but a one sided piece which is pish needs pricking also.
 
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Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
Regrettably, Dr Redford is not a particularly neutral commentator. Cheap point scoring by comparing the costs of QE without an air wing with that of an aircraft programme is apples and oranges and spectacularly shallow analysis.

Aside from the costs of naval escorts, AAR assets are also used in my experience as much - if not more so - by carrier aircraft as those from land bases. Plus of course, RAF Voyagers and Tristars are used for several other tasks, notably strategic transport. Indeed, as well as AAR, carrier air - even those of the USN - have historically relied almost entirely on land based provision of combat support such as ISTAR, AWACS (E-2 has a relatively limited C2 capacity), SIGINT, EW etc.

In summary, carrier and land based air power are complimentary and neither is superior overall to the other; for every advantage of carrier air, I'll provide a negative and vice versa for land based.

Regards,
MM
 

scratching

Midshipman
Regrettably, Dr Redford is not a particularly neutral commentator. Cheap point scoring by comparing the costs of QE without an air wing with that of an aircraft programme is apples and oranges and spectacularly shallow analysis.

Aside from the costs of naval escorts, AAR assets are also used in my experience as much - if not more so - by carrier aircraft as those from land bases. Plus of course, RAF Voyagers and Tristars are used for several other tasks, notably strategic transport. Indeed, as well as AAR, carrier air - even those of the USN - have historically relied almost entirely on land based provision of combat support such as ISTAR, AWACS (E-2 has a relatively limited C2 capacity), SIGINT, EW etc.

In summary, carrier and land based air power are complimentary and neither is superior overall to the other; for every advantage of carrier air, I'll provide a negative and vice versa for land based.

Regards,
MM

I think if you have a close look at the USN's carriers you will find that everything you list is generated organically from the carrier itself, including AEW and control, AAR, ESM etc. Look us the Hawkeye, the Prowler, the variants of the Hornet, etc, etc. They lack strategic lift, but that's what support ships are for.

Sheesh, and I hate woos!
 

Magic_Mushroom

War Hero
Nope.

As stated, the E-2 has a relatively limited C2 capacity and the older E-2Cs had a negligible overland capability. As a result, they're typically limited to secondary roles (eg AAR control) on major ops such as Bosnia, OIF and OEF.

Organic AAR (even in the days of the S-3) is limited to top up of small numbers of aircraft and are not incorporated into the larger AAR plot. The EA-6B and EA-18G are effective in an EA role but require support from EC-130H.

Similarly, CVNs have had no credible SIGINT capability since the demise of the ES-3A and lack key modern enablers such as wide area SAR/GMTI and other persistent ISR.

An examination of Vietnam, the Balkans, GW1, Afghanistan, GW2 and Libya shows that USN assets will be launched and may top off gas from an organic tanker, possibly even under the C2 of a Hawkeye or Redcrown. However, they then chop to AWACS C2 and rely on the support of land based AAR (the RAF AAR fleet being particularly heavily utilised over Afghanistan by the USN), SIGINT and other assets such as MQ-9, JSTARS and Sentinel etc.

Regards,
MM
 
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scratching

Midshipman
What you are describing is the wonderful way in which naval aviation assets can integrate seamlessly into a joint and combined operation, and vice versa. Makes you proud, doesn't it?

I wasn't saying that the assets you list are not bigger/better/more capable on the larger land based aircraft that you mention, I was saying the capabilities (other than the couple of niche ones you rightly highlight) are not absent from US carriers. You are are, of course, quite right that the older the platform (you mention the E2C, for example) the less capable it is, and I guess that's why improvements are constantly sought. It's probably also wise to bear in mind that superficially comparable platforms - for example the E2 and the E3 - were not necessarily originally designed to do the same job.

I also agree that in larger operations it makes abundant sense to use all the assets available, whether they are launched from carriers, airfields, or both. It would be folly to refuse to use an AAR asset simply because it's land based, and folly to use a sea based strike asset as in the AAR role in the presence of a much larger and purpose built land based aircraft. Similarly, if a Joint asset generates intel of some sort, it would be daft to refuse to use it out of some version of the doctrine of 'not invented here'.

It's surely about achieving the aim and delivering the effect, whatever that happens to be, not worrying about whether the airfield floats or not...
 
Interesting exchange when the House of Commons Defence Committee questioned General Sir Nick Houghton, Chief of the Defence Staff last month:
House of Commons 16 Oct 2013 said:
Q24 Ms Stuart: Let me take a concrete example. If your analysis is right, the Navy is disproportionately more important to us in terms of our national immediate interest than the Air Force or the Army, in a sense. By the way, I am happy to make parliamentary risk our problem - in the sense of taking people with us - rather than yours. We will take them with us provided that you have the capability, so I am more worried about your capability actually to do anything. In that context, would you say that restoring our full maritime surveillance capability would be something that would be in the pocket of "must have" rather than optional?

General Sir Nick Houghton: Just as an aside, I did not instantaneously make the same mental leap that what I had said made our Navy more important than our Army (sic - what happened to the RAF?).

Q25 Ms Stuart: But if we go to essential national interests, probably our essential national interest is the fact that we are an island.

General Sir Nick Houghton: No, but our essential national interest might be the protection of our people who happen to be on land. It’s just that by not mentioning it, I don’t want to be deemed to be subscribing to the view that any particular element of our capability is fundamentally more important than another.

Q26 Ms Stuart: Oh, isn’t it? Are you really saying-

General Sir Nick Houghton: In terms of service level, I do not think it would be appropriate for me to say that one service was more important than another. In a given time and in a given operation, the capabilities that one service brings to bear might be more important than another, but that will change depending on the specifics of a given scenario...

Ms Stuart had CDS wriggling a bit (he does tend to say "Joint" while meaning "Army") but in general (pun intended) I agree with his sentiments, particularly his highlighted response to Q26. The withdrawal of Army, RN and RAF assets from the land-focused campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, discretionary wars we are unlikely to be repeating for some time, means that the capabilities of the Royal Navy to project hard and soft power worldwide have once more come to the fore. While most of the Army languishes in UK barracks and the RAF concentrates on providing QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) from its UK airfields (not forgetting our small but significant joint presence in the South Atlantic), the Royal Navy will continue doing its business of projecting hard and soft power worldwide, most of it out of public sight and mind...

...until another Libya turns up, of course. But next time it might not be on NATO's doorstep so let's pray we have a QEC carrier in operation by then. ;-)

It's a shame that maritime surveillance keeps being conflated with long range airborne ASW. However, there's much more of interest in the Committee minutes and I commend them to you.
 
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Mizzzz Stuart may have given the impression that she had Gen Nick "wriggling" but he did retain the capacity to string sentences together

Q24 Ms Stuart

By the way, I am happy to make parliamentary risk our problem - in the sense of taking people with us - rather than yours. We will take them with us provided that you have the capability, so I am more worried about your capability actually to do anything

I would imagine that any discomfort the Gen suffered was in suppressing an overwhelming urge to slap her.
 
Mizzzz Stuart may have given the impression that she had Gen Nick "wriggling" but he did retain the capacity to string sentences together

Q24 Ms Stuart

By the way, I am happy to make parliamentary risk our problem - in the sense of taking people with us - rather than yours. We will take them with us provided that you have the capability, so I am more worried about your capability actually to do anything

I would imagine that any discomfort the Gen suffered was in suppressing an overwhelming urge to slap her.

I had considered omitting that bit as irrelevant to my post but didn't want to leave myself open to any accusation of unfair editing. That said, I don't have a problem with what Ms Stuart said in the context of Gen Nick's previous statements, e.g.

House of Commons 16 Oct 2013 said:
General Sir Nick Houghton: ...You would make a deployment in a risk judgment that was about the imperative nature of that, the essential criterion of time and the level of risk that you were about to embrace. If you then go to something where your involvement from the perspective of national security is more discretionary, and therefore from the perspective of public and political support, your risk tolerance probably ought to be considerably lower than that...

The Armed Forces are subject to government direction and it's his job as CDS to present government with the risks associated with trying to match Armed Forces' capabilities to that direction, not temper his advice because of the risk of upsetting public opinion. That's the government's concern.
 

danny

War Hero
I wouldn't trust the Tories with anything, where's that military covenant Cameron promised?

Firstly James I'm not trying to carry on anything else here just making a few points.

Firstly details of the military covenant can be found here. https://www.gov.uk/the-armed-forces-covenant

Secondly Labour (the left) are by far the biggest enemies of the armed forces. It was not the torys who deployed men and women to Iraq woefully ill-equipped and then not realising the error they had in that theatre deployed british troops in to the hell that Helmand was. And I have served in Helmand and the first time it was truly disgraceful.
Despite what the press might say Cameron is not to blame for everything and has spent a lot of his time sorting out the mess the two Scottish idiots before him made.
 

danny

War Hero
Add to that if the union does break up it would be interesting what happens next. People say Portsmouth would open back up again, I'm really not so sure. Portsmouth despite what the press have said was not in the business of building 'warships'.
Barrow could be set up nicely for the future, must be big benefits for BAE if they could do all Naval shipbuilding from one site.
 
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