British Chinook helicopters have now completed 2000 hours of flying in support of the French military counter insurgency operation in Mali, West Africa.

Chinooks began operating in Mali with the French military during July 2018 and since then have moved over one-thousand tonnes of freight and over twelve-thousand passengers, say the Royal Air Force.

“Currently, the CH-47 Chinooks are being flown by aircrew drawn from 18(B) Squadron and are supported by ground-based personnel drawn from across the Army and RAF who carry out three to four-month tours. The current detachment this year has flown three-hundred and forty hours, lifted two-hundred and forty seven tonnes of freight and transported one-thousand one-hundred and fifty passengers since arriving in January.  During this time the detachment has operated in temperatures up to forty seven degrees centigrade which have been accompanied by frequent dust storms.”

Image Crown Copyright 2020.

Wing Commander Si Elsey said in a release:

“We have not lost a sortie due to COVID-19 and the French have maintained a high tempo of operations throughout.  Once their troops are in the field, we re-supply them and can lift vehicles in and out as required

The Chinook helicopters bring a unique logistical capability to the operation, allowing French ground forces to operate more effectively across the region.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
119 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Chrisjs
Chrisjs
4 months ago

Why?.

Jas
Jas
4 months ago
Reply to  Chrisjs

Supporting an Ally br my guess.

Chrisjs
Chrisjs
4 months ago
Reply to  Jas

Why do the RAF seem to be continuously supporting the French armed forces?. Heavy lift with the C-17 and CH-47’S. What has happened their lift capability?.

Jas
Jas
4 months ago
Reply to  Chrisjs

Its what you do when an ally asks for some help.

Paul T
Paul T
4 months ago
Reply to  Chrisjs

Have the French amongst others provided MPA coverage to the UK to return the Favour ?.

BB85
BB85
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes they do

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Yes, often.

John Pattullo
John Pattullo
4 months ago

care to cite an example cause i cant think of any – they do some joint nato stuff and take part in exercises but cant think of them deploying operationally to help a british operation

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  John Pattullo

Nope. Only NATO to be fair, with the MPA gap.
Cannot think of others at the mo.

Maybe that’s because one we are able to mount ops alone, two its us and the US. And three they did not get involved in the Middle East like we did.

In effect no ops to support.

Benjamin Rule
Benjamin Rule
4 months ago
Reply to  Chrisjs

Most of the thread seems to be a ‘why help France’ discussion. But I’m interested in why France chooses not to have heavy lift helicopter and strategic air transport capability. You would have thought they would prioritise this given their desire (like ours) to retain the ability to deploy and fight globally.

julian1
julian1
4 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Rule

No heavy lift helicopter is a mystery but with A400M and now their joint Herc force with the Luftwaffe, they appear to be closing the gap. I guess they have similar budget constraints to us and choose to focus on other areas. With the joint cooperation pact with UK, between us, most areas are covered

Levi Goldsteinberg
Levi Goldsteinberg
4 months ago
Reply to  julian1

A400s and C130s can’t lift anything over 30tonnes. They only have medium air lift, not heavy air lift like us with our C17s

Trevor
Trevor
4 months ago

It’s worth remembering that some (many?) want to see us have more infantry… and all their inevitable equipment … but all that would be pointless without all the extra inevitable costly air transport.l of all sorts.

dan
dan
4 months ago
Reply to  Benjamin Rule

Same reason the Germans invest so little in their own defense. They know other countries will pick up the slack and help them.

dan
dan
4 months ago
Reply to  Chrisjs

Didn’t the French finally put in an order for a few CH-47Fs last year?

Herodotus
4 months ago
Reply to  dan

Yes, I believe they did Dan!

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Chrisjs

The British and french (Lancaster house I think) agreement means we british and French will work far more closely and even form up a joint expeditionary force for everything upto full on war. We will have Navy, army and Air Force assets from both nations.this is just that on a tiny scale I supose.

julian1
julian1
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

absolutely. partners with similar interests

Liam
Liam
4 months ago
Reply to  Chrisjs

I live in France. I know, despite the stereotypes, that we are a valued ally.

Reepring
Reepring
4 months ago
Reply to  Chrisjs

Because we have a mutual defence pay with France where both our military’s work together. This is separate room Nato

Ian
Ian
4 months ago

Is it the same 3 Chinooks get worn out or do they rotate …? Back home not the blades….

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian

They are rotated (blades included)

Ian
Ian
4 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Thank you DaveyB

David Barry
David Barry
4 months ago

Good operational training, supporting France and returning their multiple MPA help.

Good drills

Frank62
Frank62
4 months ago

Great to see our boys supporting the fight against Al Queda in this practically forgotten theatre.

DaveyB
DaveyB
4 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

As expected, those that managed to make it out of Syria and Iraq, can now be found in Libya, Mali, Chad, Nigeria and in may countries around the Sahara. They have not seen the error of the ways, instead exporting their dogma to these other countries. The support given to OP Barkhane was supposed to only be two years, but has now been extended. Both Chad and Niger have had large number of their security forces killed in vehicle borne IEDs. The various Nations involved in Mali, led by the French have been going across the borders into these countries… Read more »

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

Over time there will need to be some significant rethinking by the western countries on how to fight wars, as Iraq/Afgan now Mali has demonstrated that conventional thinking doesn’t work in a modern warfare scenario.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I hooe you don’t mean to tailor our armed forces to fight these kind of wars, as that’s what has vasically happened over the past 19 years abd the result is our frigates and destroyers are underarmed and our planes cannot launch any anti-ship missiles.

In tailoring our military to fight terrorists we have left ourselves vulnerable against hostile states.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Which nation threats are you thinking about? We can’t stand up against China, and Russia has proven in Ukraine that old school wars are outdated, little green men insurgency tactics are far more effective. This lesson should have been learnt in Vietnam but was forgotten. My feeling is traditional warfare ideas of the cold war are now outdated and would be ineffective should a realistic war happen. Our problem is we are holding on to the high end gear to fight low end wars, and so wasting a huge amount of money. Using a 100m typhoon to fire 100k missile,… Read more »

dan
dan
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Germany needs to pull their finger out of their arse and start providing for their own defense because in the future the U.S. will be occupied in stopping Chicom expansion.

Andy
Andy
4 months ago
Reply to  dan

Plus the US is an unreliable ally with Trump in charge, I’m sure he would have no hesitation in stiffing Germany or us for that matter.

Andy
Andy
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

It’s not the Toyota they are taking out.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Russia is the most likely adversary in a state vs state fight that we would be involved in, yes. Whilst we’ve been fighting the likes of the Taliban for the past 19 years Russia has started to exert more influence. They are getting bolder and it is a matter of time until they take one course of action or another that will result in conflict with the West. Russia hasn’t proven anything of the sort in Ukraine. Look also at their involvement in Syria; the Syrian rebels are all but defeated, numbering perhaps in their hundreds and holed up in… Read more »

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Russia won’t attack Europe for one simple reason, it would be flatterened by UK/french nukes. Syria was a proxy war between the west and Russia, that Russia appear to have won, but neither did any season heavy work, they both geared the respective sides and gave some support but not full out and this is no different than the wars of the cold war era. Realistically we can’t stop Russia if it decided to take one or a handful of the eastern European nations, as we wouldnt be able to mobilise fast enough and don’t have the raw numbers (not… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Being prepared to fight the likes of Russia is most certainly not a waste of money. And your proposal is basically gearing the armed forces purely to fight insurgents. That’s not an effective military force, if a different kind of war happens. When the First World War happened the British and French armed forces’ main experience was largely fighting primitive native populations armed with primitive weapons, then we were unprepared to fight in the slaughter that was WW1. Beginning of WW2, we were well prepared to fight WW1-era battles, static-defence in trenches etc. The French Maginot Line is a perfect… Read more »

Trevor
Trevor
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

You are basing your ideas on the Blackadder version of history.
It’s one that ignores the Boer War for a start! Someone should write a letter to Richard Curtis and tell him we had some 500,000 troops in south africa.
And the Mad Mahadi and his troops did have rifles, not just pointy sticks, although to be fair we “had the Maxim and they had not”

Haldane created BEF and several territorial divisions well in advance of WW1.

It took the Germans days to get through the Ardennes and we … not least the French … were inept.

Herodotus
4 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

‘Never forget that we have got
the Maxim Gun and they have not’

Hah…the good old days immortalised by Hilaire Belloc! (Not what we called him at school)

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

My point to the other Steve still stands: we cannot tailor our armed forces to fight the past wars, or think that the current wars are how it will always be. That’s been the line of thinking pretty much since 9/11, that state vs state is a thing of the past, but it never will be.

Our wars will not always be against insurgents, going forward. We need to be prepared to fight a state enemy, and a peer one at that.

Andy P
Andy P
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Steve, you’re probably right that if Russia cut its way across Europe both the UK and the French would take the nuclear option. What about if Russia just took another bite out of Ukraine, or Estonia, do you reckon we’d start lobbing nukes at them ?

Personally, I’m not sure we would.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

and did we send our military to stop them the last time? Clearly no and we won’t the next time either.

We need to be realistic, we don’t have the armed forces to take on Russia and neither does Europe without the US involvement, and gearing for all possible conflicts means we don’t have enough of anything to fight any conflict successfully.

We need to dump old thinking of being a super power and start specialising in a type of conflict that we could fight and win.

Andy P
Andy P
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Not sure we can afford to specialise as such any more, while we have a number of allies, there doesn’t seem to be the same ‘cohesion’ that was there when we were all lined up to keep the communist hordes at bay. The UK navy (and elements of the air force) were extremely specialised in ASW warfare, we had more vessels (and aircraft) for starters and we weren’t off fighting ‘Johnny Foreigner is warm sandy places. The world has changed and we have to accept that we’ll try and cover as many bases as cheaply as we can. Its all… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

We did nothing to stop them but Ukraine is not a NATO member. If this happened with Lithuania or Poland, for example, then yes, we would have to get involved. Also, Europe doesn’t have the armed forces to take on Russia without US involvement? Maybe during the days of the USSR but not the case now! This is nothing to do with being a superpower but we do have interests abroad. What if we scale down to a purely counterinsurgency force and then Argentina decides to have a crack at the Falklands? What if Iran decides to close the Strait… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

I’m maybe biased Steve R but as an island nation you’d think our primary focus would be naval. Hopefully now that we’re not in a land war the focus can shift back to more maritime but I think its just a case of which of the Forces ‘High heidyins’ shout the loudest.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Hopefully it will shift towards maritime. With the investment in recent years of the QE carriers it certainly seems that way. We need to invest properly though and have a fleet worthy of the name.

We don’t need a massive land army. Royal Navy should be where we specialise, with RAF as a second.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I beg to differ. The Russian forces are a paper tiger. At sea the surface and sub surface Fleet is a shadow of what was available. They are starting to modernise but they are struggling to complete even basic refits and have concentrated for the most part on building corvette vessels for use in the littoral.
They are geared to the Bastion principal for the Barents and Artic seas to keep their few Bombers safe. The days of the red banner fleet sending out a hundred subs and surface vessels and aviation brigades launching regiments of backfires is well gone.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

You are looking at their navy, which realistically isn’t Russia’s main priority, as they only need it to attack the US and their ability to do that has long gone. It would probably not use it if it decided to attack a European nation or two. Their man power is still significantly bigger than most of the European countries combined, and they still have significant numbers of tanks/artillery / sam / jets / attack helo etc to make taking on Europe, a pretty straight forward task, even if all of Europe joined in, which they have no history of doing.… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Actually no, you’re significantly overestimating the strength of the Russian armed forces. Their total regular military strength is 900,000 men. Their ground army numbers 350,000. A significant amount but nowhere near enough to cut swathes across Europe, especially considering that in any operation less than half that would be deployed. And in terms of air power, Europe has the qualitative edge, and combined has the numbers to take on Russia. They indeed are a paper tiger. Their military is geared towards defensive action and taking on smaller, weaker nations. Even against the UK, France and Germany, fighting over an Eastern… Read more »

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

350k is still over 4x the size of the UK ground army (ok if you include France/Germany/Italy/Spain as well then europe wins on numbers but that assumes they all support and none of Russia allies support them) and that is before you consider that massive amount of heavy fire power they have both from tanks (2.8k active and 12k reserve) and artillery perspective and attack helicopters. That is before you consider the million reserve force they have. European allies have a stronger air force, but that was also true in the cold war, the difference is Russia has a much… Read more »

Trevor
Trevor
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Nust when are the UK ground army going to invade Russia all on its own??? Or vice versa??

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

The UK has 117,000 in the Army including first active reserves, or close too, or more like should have after the gov comited to that number.And we have second reserves who are liable to be called up, I’m sure we would use them if we went to war with russia, so that’s 200,000 in the Army alone. I’m not sure if we could get them kitted out but we would have that number or over after people join up to fight, like me.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Finally someone who knows russia isn’t as strong as everyone thinks! Europe has a massive millitary, and russia couldn’t defeat it. I’m sick of people saying we need USA to protect Europe that’s bullshit, USA bases are located in Europe for American interests not europes. I love USA and I’m so glad they are the worlds only superpower, imagine if it was russia or china.

Trevor
Trevor
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Lets not forget that Russia has to to watch out for China.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Why? Is china invading Russia now? Granted Russia did actually take chinese land and it’s still part of Russia but even china’s not that retarded. It makes no sense for any nation to invade any other modernish nation. It’s lose lose.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Do you realise how huge europes millitary is? It’s not far of America and actually surpasses America in some areas.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I don’t think they would. No one is launching nukes for that.

Say Russia invaded Estonia and Europe went to war to push Russia out, and Europe was winning, I can’t see Russia pushing the nuke button, even tactical nukes on the battlefield or against air bases etc; they’d know that if they did that then British or French nuclear weapons would be pointed squarely at them and may be launched, and then the whole thing escalates.

I reckon if Russia was losing such a war they’d pull out. No one wants to risk being nuked.

Andy
Andy
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

No way ie why a detterant needs to be both nuclear and non. Otherwise unless the infringement is massive they know we would never use nukes.
Unless maybe it’s trump!!

Daveyb
Daveyb
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

There is a problem with nuke option, in that we no longer have any WE177s, only Trident’s MIRVs. Why is this a problem? Because the MIRVs are strategic weapons not tactical where their primary use is city killers. One of the WE177 predicted uses would be to smash a Warsaw pact thrust and the wipe out their reserves. Unlike France with their TN81s we cannot stop an armoured thrust with nukes. The Trident’s MIRVs are only supposed to be used against fixed targets. Germany would have the option of using US B61s, but both the US and German Governments must… Read more »

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

We wouldn’t launch any nukes unless nukes are launched on us! This is a widely known fact.

Andy P
Andy P
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Certainly a widely known opinion.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

People tend to forget how huge the EU millitary is, the Navy alone has hundreds of high end warships. And many thousands of heavy tanks and light tanks. Army numbers in the million, millitary multiple millions. It’s dam huge, and the uk and France are the Nuclear missile holders with 8 balistic submarines and hundreds of nukes, enough to destroy every major city in any nation. Europe alone is very very strong, second only to america, why do people forget this and think USA protects Europe when Europe does the vast majority of the work.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

I know the EU don’t have a so called millitary!, but I can’t see it being a bad thing for Europe to work together in a joint force to protect us all if they need to. The uk and France alone have a pretty dam powerfull combined force, I’m glad we will work together more often in future it makes total sense.

Paul T
Paul T
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

While on paper the Military Assets of the EU Nations look substantial there isn’t the Political will or enthusiasm to do anything with it.Remember the mess in Yugoslavia in the 1990’s,Europe took the lead with little success,only the involvement of the USA under the NATO umbrella as a counter to Russian backing to its Serbian Allies gave a bit of bite to the EU’s bark.Regarding the UK and French Nuclear Deterrent I doubt if that would pose much of a barrier to Russian interference in the Baltic States ,their view of them post Cold War was of insignificance.If Russia mobilised… Read more »

Andy
Andy
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Really you think?if Russia grabbed 20 miles of a minor country, then told the world it had stopped and wanted peace talks, no nato member (led by donkey politicians) would do much because of our lack of non nuclear forces, lack of backbone. All Russia have to do is not cross a boundary big enough for nukes. Most experts agree nukes are no detterant with out conventional too.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Why are frigates and destroyers underarmed
During the good old cold War we had Leander armed with sea cat and 30kn range exocet, T22s with sea wolf and exocet and T42s with Sea Dart. With frigates and destroyers armed as they are now with Viper, Harpoon and Ceptor along with extended range base bleed rounds on 4.5 guns, Merlin and Wildcat Helos they are much better armed.

On the subject of ASMs its a fair point though. The loss of cold War era Martel and Sea Eagle has left a capability gap that smart bombs are supposed to fill.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Apologies, I meant to say lack of offensive weaponry. Namely the anti-ship missiles but also lacking a land attack capability too.

Type 45s are well armed but with defensive weapons only. It can’t hit back at another ship if it had to.

I think all our frigates and destroyers, as a minimum, should have launchers bolted onto the deck to give 8 anti-ship missiles, NSM or Harpoon Block II.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

I really think the land attack capability is over rated here, as a sub launched tomahawk would always be far more effective, simply because it is easier to protect a sub closer to shore through not being discovered and element of surprise really matters when launching sub sonic missiles.

Also we don’t have the missile numbers to arm them even if they had the silos.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Fair point on the land attack. We should definitely arm all pur frigates and destroyers with anti-ship missiles though. It’s criminal that our sole anti-ship offensive capability is in the hands of a few submarines.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Agreed, but also remember that the US had the same problem (pretty much fixed now as they have the budget to do it), both countries didn’t see the risk a naval warfare and so didn’t invest in it. Unfortunately when your operating on an finite budget, some capabilities have to be let go to invest in others.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

We still have harpoons though, they Atleast might be a deterrent .

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Harpoons are fine as long as there is no neutral/civilian shipping anywhere near where the battle is taking place.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

We wouldn’t want to have martyrs like Iran!

Helions
Helions
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

It would have been ideal if the River IIs had been built to this proposed standard. Long endurance patrol mission hulls but with decent armament and capabilities. The French keep their older patrol frigates out in their overseas territories much as the RN does with the Rivers but with a good deal more capability built in.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/05/15/spain-joins-european-patrol-corvette-program-in-which-nations-can-customize-ships

Cheers!

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Helions

I don’t mind the River class not being heavily armed as they aren’t meant for combat per se, but if we use the Type 31e as the minimum standard for armament then I was thinking the following:

– main gun
– 24 x Sea Ceptor
– 2 x quad canister launchers with 8 NSM or Harpoon block II.
– 20mm guns.

None of which should cost a fortune and even if it’s 10 years or more before we can increase hull numbers, at least all our surface escort ships are fighty.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

I do, we paid extra to have various upgrades to ensure that they could fight, like armored magazine area etc. It seems a waste of money to do half the job and not the other. Additionally we badly lack numbers and the rivers being able to do some low intensity work beyond anti-piracy/smuggling (which they are not suited without a hanger) would help ease the pressure a bit.

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

When I said not meant for combat I was talking about high-intensity operations; ship-to-ship combat, for example.

I wouldn’t want to put a River Class on the front line up against the likes of a frigate, destroyer or enemy submarine. But yeah, if you mean anti-piracy/drugs/smuggling then they should definitely be used more for that.

The armament I listed in my previous post would be what I’d fit a Type 31e with, allowing it to also do those roles but also be more fighty if the need arose and could still contribute as a surface escort to the carriers.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

The problem is they are suited as hulls for piracy/drug/smuggling, but without a helicopter they are not suited as a platform, as it is a big ocean and chasing down small crafts isn’t easy without one. To me they are a platform without a need, everyone keeps pointing at fishing protection, but as i have pointed out so many times but being ignored, fishing brings so little to the economy and even if 100% of the fish caught by EU ships was instead caught by UK boats (and ignoring that UK boats would lose access to EU waters and more… Read more »

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

The vast majority of Royal navys ops are anti piracy or drug smuggling. So these rivers will be great and free up destroyers and frigates. But even two more 30mm on each side of the bridge are should happen to give extra punch and we probably have a few lying around from older ships RFA ect

Helions
Helions
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

I understand that the Rivers are designed with a sentinel and patrol mission in mind, however, with the RN so short of battle fleet hulls it’s just opinion that anything larger than a rowboat should have some considerable punch to them. Lord knows the USN’s debacle with undergunning the LCSs stands to mind but at least there are concerted ongoing efforts to add offensive firepower to them with bolt on NSM launchers, short range Hellfires, and more guns. The Rivers should have been built and armed to at least a corvette standard with a telescoping hanger at a minimum. Then… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
4 months ago
Reply to  Helions

Helions – Hopefully with the EPC Programme it wont be the case of ‘Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth’ , France and Italy have proved they can deliver a Finished product together,lets see how this one goes.

Helions
Helions
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Heck, the USN seems to be doing a fine job of “too many cooks cooking” all by itself… 😀

https://breakingdefense.com/2020/05/no-shipbuilding-plan-but-navy-works-on-new-ships-to-counter-china

Cheers!

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Helions

Yeah the French do keep older ships out patroling it’s territorys, should we keep 5 type 23s for those duties? It would also give us ship maintenance work for our yards.

Helions
Helions
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

At least 1 based in the Med (Gib), 1 in the Carib, 1 rover for the S. Atlantic, 2 spares… JMHO

Cheers!

Steve R
Steve R
4 months ago
Reply to  Helions

I wonder: would it be possible to arm a River with Spear 3 missiles? Could put a dozen on a River, pretty cheap and not take up a mass of space; gives them a bit more fightiness, but a smaller missile like Spear3 could also be used to destroy drug boats and the like (presumably after arresting and removing the crew, I don’t mind either way!)

And yeah, at the very least a retractable/extendable hangar for a helicopter.

Helions
Helions
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Lots of heavily armed corvettes out there. There has to be SOMETHING the RN can afford to add to the Rivers armaments wise…

https://www.naval-technology.com/features/featurea-class-in-stealth-the-worlds-best-navy-corvettes-4177250/

Cheers

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Eh I thought they had Harpoon taken from the T22’s so not sure why you think they don’t have an offensive surface to surface capability? I agree though they could be better armed .

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

The Egyptians strap Humvees armed with anti air missiles onto its boats! Maybe we should too 😆

Helions
Helions
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Heck, so does the the USMC! They strap LAVs and Stinger missile carriers to the decks of the LHAs and LPHs when they transit high risk areas such as the Straits of Hormuz. Good way to add additional firepower that’s already being carried by the ship.

Cheers!

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Helions

Much cheaper If we already have the gear, it just looks funny.

Helions
Helions
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Hey! MODULAR WEAPON SYSTEMS! 😀

Cheers!

Daveyb
Daveyb
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

The problem, as per Iraq and Afghan is the number boots on the ground versus the population density and area required to cover. For example, because Afghan was sparsely populated, there were vast areas of country were nobody lived, making it easy for insurgents to move around unhindered and unnoticed. To counter this you need lots and lots of surveillance. UAVs like Predator are supposed to be cheap, yet there are very few of them in service with the UK. We also have Reaper and soon to be Protector, but again there are so few of them to make a… Read more »

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

But this is the problem, too much money is spent on high end gear, whilst the basics like man power is left to get cut. We could get a multiple protectors per f35b and in realistic warfare situations they would be way more useful, but it won’t happen as the military is stuck past thinking and you have the 3 services competing against each other rather than working on a common goal of protecting the national interest. Afgan/Iraq were unwinnable, as there was no measure of success defined, but we could have done a lot better job with lower tech… Read more »

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Steve

We are doubling our armed drone numbers though.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Daveyb

All of Africa need a combined force to defeat the insurgents in Africa, we are training lots of Africans for these duties but not anywhere near enough.

Paul T
Paul T
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Cam – such a Force already exists under the auspices of the African Union.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

I know, but it needs to better trained and equipped and larger numbers, Africa’s huge.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Last thing we need to be doing is arming african states, have lessons not been learnt.

With a few exceptions, most African states are extremely unstable and chances are those arms will fall into hands of insurgents/warlords in the future and be used against the people.

JohnG
4 months ago

Would like to understand the cold hard why behind this. I don’t support the you scratch my back now and I may do the same in the future. If France has done us a favour and this is us paying them back then fair enough, would love to know what that favour was…

Chris J
Chris J
4 months ago
Reply to  JohnG

The French have done us a favour many times in recent years by helping out with maritime patrol aircraft when we needed to check if anyone was poking around where they shouldn’t.

dan
dan
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris J

The French and the Brits are going to have to take a much larger role in NATO as the U.S. will be rightly shifting more resources to the Pacific where China has gone mostly unchecked up until now. Would be nice if the Germans would defend themselves for once.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago
Reply to  dan

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next five to ten years.

“China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy-Marine Corps (PLANMC) is being prepared and trained for a global intervention role before acquiring the full range of equipment it would need to undertake such operations, Chinese state-owned media have reported.”

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/2020/05/15/7bbbfe95-2cfb-4d3f-bdda-5ef0af5f04a9

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins
Andy
Andy
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

This is a pretty impressive howitzer, considering it weighs 25 tons and you can fit 2 of them in a Y-20.

While you point out their new marine corps, they are simultaneously creating an airborne force from scratch.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy

How many Boxer Remote Controlled 155mm Howitzers can fit inside the Airbus A400?

Mass Module: 12.5 tons, with MLRS hull 27 tons
Length 10.42 m (34 ft 2 in)
Width 2.97 m (9 ft 9 in)
Height 3.06 m (10 ft)

Andy
Andy
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

You are right Nigel, the A400M is awesome and I am really glad we have some.

Andy
Andy
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

And why shouldn’t they have a marine corps?

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
4 months ago
Reply to  Andy

They will have! Point being, when will we see a direct conflict between the US and China and will we be drawn into any future conflict?

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/14/politics/us-china-military-pressure/index.html

Steve
Steve
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

We won’t and for the same reason we never saw a direct conflict between Russia and the US, Nukes. What we might see is some proxy wars and probably more trade wsrs. I suspect what will happen is China will start countering the US constantly flexing its power off china, by them doing the same in reverse, which is what happened during the cold war. The US will have to learn that they can’t undertake activities in the South China sea without a tick for tat. Whether China has any desire to spend the levels required to really compete with… Read more »

BigH1979
BigH1979
4 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy-Marine Corps (PLANMC)”……haha that force nearly covers all bases!!

Bob2
Bob2
4 months ago
Reply to  dan

Hi Dan,

While Germany’s defence budget is only 1.35% of gdp, it does spend pretty much the same on defence as the UK and France (about $50B). Non of this goes on a nuclear deterrent. Germany also has one of the fastest growing defence budget with a 10% increase recently.

Their army may be slightly smaller than the UKs in number of personnel, but it is much more designed for home defence and retains two armoured divisions, plus an expeditionary light division.

Cam
Cam
4 months ago
Reply to  dan

Well the Germans will have allot more fighter aircraft than us soon. And their army’s not that far of our size.

Rudeboy
Rudeboy
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris J

They’ve done a few MPA flights, but the Norwegians and US have as well.

But they haven’t done 2000+ hours worth…and all the C-17 and A400 flights.

They’re stuck in a complete stalemate there at present, with no way out, hopefully we won’t get too drawn in.

Bill
Bill
4 months ago
Reply to  Rudeboy

Excellent continuous activity for our crews on a rotational basis. Helping an ally which l believe the French did withthrir MPA’s. Quid pro quo, as long as the French are reimbursing our ‘quids’ spent during this operation! Unless its payback/offset ofsome sort.

Herodotus
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Yes Bill, no doubt our lads wouldn’t mind a few French pros’ in return 🙂

Interested
Interested
4 months ago

During the Vietnam war ie the 60s the Chinook was flying up to a 140 hours a month.. each. I’m not sure this is the milestone we’re really touting it as.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago

Rotary related – 22 Squadron has been reformed, the old Sea King SAR unit.

Will now be the JHC OEU.

Another attempt at artificially increasing squadron numbers for uninformed public to my eye, as for years the Rotary Wing T&E Squadron has existed at Boscombe, albeit under the AWC rather than JHC.

Ian
Ian
4 months ago

Hi Daniele…..22 Squadron has been reformed but with helicopters from where?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
4 months ago
Reply to  Ian

It’s the JHC OEU. So coukd use any type in the command. These OEU often don’t have their own aircraft, but draw from the pool.

The F35 OEU and previous F3 and SAOEUs were exceptions.

Steve
Steve
4 months ago

Anyone know if France is still trying to charge us for the cost of transporting the spare parts to them?