Assault ship HMS Bulwark was to replace her sister ship this year, however, it has now been revealed that the vessel will be “maintained so that she can be ready to deliver defence outputs if required“.

The information came to light in a statement from James Cartlidge, Minister of State at the Ministry of Defence, when asked about the future of the vessel.

In response to a question posed by Shadow Secretary of State for Defence John Healey MP, Cartlidge said:

I can confirm HMS BULWARK will be regenerated from extended readiness and maintained so that she can be ready to deliver defence outputs if required.”

However, the Ministry of Defence had previously promised “HMS Bulwark will remain in dock to complete phase 2 ahead of her final phase 3 recertification package, before returning to fleet in the summer of 2023.”

This commitment outlined a clear timeline and specific steps for the maintenance and upgrade of HMS Bulwark, with the anticipation of the ship returning to operational service.

The latest statement from James Cartlidge, however, suggests a very different approach to HMS Bulwark’s operational status. By stating that HMS Bulwark will be “regenerated from extended readiness and maintained so that she can be ready to deliver defence outputs if required,” it introduces a conditional element to the ship’s return to service. This phrase implies that the ship’s future deployment is not as straightforward or guaranteed as previously communicated.

Instead of a firm commitment to reintegrate HMS Bulwark into the fleet by a specific date, the emphasis is now on maintaining the vessel in a state of readiness, contingent upon the need for its deployment.

An anonymous source within the Royal Navy told me:

“What we’re actually seeing with HMS Bulwark is extended readiness, just under a different name. Despite previous announcements about returning to service, I think most people knew that was unlikely. The reality is that the ship is unlikely to be deployed for any significant operations. The notion of being ready ‘if required’ subtly but unmistakably points to this being the case.”

Both HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark made headlines when leaked plans suggested the one or both of the ships would be axed but after a period of outrage from within defence, the media and the public, it was announced that both vessels would be kept, although one would have assumed, operational.

In short, HMS Bulwark’s return to sea is contingent upon an apparent necessity, indicating that the vessel will be maintained in port in a state of readiness without a definitive plan for regular deployment.

Avatar photo
George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

289 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Moonstone
Moonstone
15 days ago

So not enough service personal available to crew her then?

Jim
Jim
15 days ago
Reply to  Moonstone

Yes exactly, 15 years of Tory defence budgets will do that to a navy.

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

I mean don’t get too excited about the next party’s budgets either lol

Michael Hannah
Michael Hannah
14 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

It is nice political get out to blame the previous party or peg it to the economy but it ignores the realities of an increasing dangerous world. Even if the budget was increase suddenly to north of 3% they could not spend it. Everything about the modern military is long lead. Whether it is fighter, ships , tanks sub or men. What I hope to see is a un treasury led honest defence review with a legally enshrined road map of how defence spending will increase , year on year to meet the defence spending target. That way the procurement… Read more »

Rob N
Rob N
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

You wait until we get the Labour ones….

Expat
Expat
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Yep but its on Labour to, they failled to stand up a credible opposition. Its not like my vote for Jeremy would have been better for the armed forces. Cause and effect my friend, we have Tories because Labour failed to be credible.

Ironically its now he other way around we’ll now have Labour for the same reason, not because we actually want them but becuase the other party is so bad.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Hello Jim, sorry for not answering, It’s just that you might think I’m insulting you or Trolling and i don’t want to hurt your feelings, so i’ll not answer…. hope that’s ok Hun ?

Jim
Jim
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

I reported your comments, let see what the moderator says.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Really ?….. how sad is that…. 🙄

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  frank

So is Jim really x from NL?
Will he admit to it?

Last edited 14 days ago by Meirion X
frank
frank
14 days ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Hmm, lets think about that….. “they” both post prolifically, they both like to talk down to others, they both post stuff that’s factually incorrect and they both fail to provide answers when asked to explain, preferring to call others Trolls …. and they both report others to admin when they can’t …

I’m still waiting to see Jim’s explanation of his comments that China has no Raw Materials and that if a war with USA started, 600 million Chinese would die of starvation in one year….. 🤔

klonkie
klonkie
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

classic Frank !😆

klonkie
klonkie
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Andy, your prediction is likely to be 100% spot on. I cant see things improving.

Steve
Steve
15 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

There is no question that the current government has left both the public services and the economy is completely mess and appear to be operating a scorch earth policy. Not sure any government could fix things in a single parliament, it will likely take a decade or more to even start turning the ship. In the meantime I suspect a lot more bad news is to come as that under investment is only starting to show its impact (hospital falling down on a doctor and patient last week because the hospital was past its expected useful life for example). A… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Steve
klonkie
klonkie
14 days ago
Reply to  Steve

cheers Steve -good analysis

Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Steve

I watched Rachel Reeves deliver the Mais lecture last evening. I’m not an economist but she took the UK economy since the 1970s, and the efforts of Chancellors of both parties since that time apart like a badly built Lego and put it back together as it ought to be! That’s not saying there won’t be defence cuts under Labour but I have to say I would put her in No11 in a heartbeat. Her mastery of the subject was total.

Steve
Steve
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

She from a knowledge and vision perspective is light years ahead of all the recent options, but what I’m less sure on is if she is a political operator. Getting anything done will require a huge amount of playing the game, against a very Conservative biased media and no doubt plenty of PMs in her own party that will be looking to get ahead on her expense. We will see, assuming labour wins.

DB
DB
14 days ago
Reply to  frank

Oh please great one, what do you base this on?

What is the fountain of your inherent , wondrous, wisdom?

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, assuming Moonstone is right, and there is a crew shortage where would be the least damaging area which could be mothballed. T45, T26, Carriers or this ship which has little purpose in peacetime. It is dead easy to blame the politicians (of all flavours) however less young people see the military as a career nowadays and unless you are suggesting conscription I’m not sure what can be done about it. I severely doubt a simple pay bump is going to get a flood of recruits. Ministers are just (generally) people like us making difficult decisions on the recommendation of… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Surely no mlitary hardware has a purpose in peacetime.

Jon
Jon
14 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Apart from deterrence, and patrols to ensure the country is not attacked, and surveillance to ensure we know what’s going on in danger spots, military equipment enables counter piracy and counter smuggling, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, help in remote search and rescue, evacuation of civilians from other people’s warzones, medical help during epidemics (not just Covid, also think back to Argus and Ebola), colourful tattoos and parades, diplomacy and flag-flying, mine-clearance and bomb disposal, VIP transport, trade deal signing venues, providing photexes for us to marvel at on this site, Antarctic resupply, military advisors and trainers (although I realise… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Deterrence? Either Nuclear or Conventional. How many wars have never happened because a potential opponent looked at your hardware, soldiers, training etc. and thought better of it.

You need a big enough military to deter but not too big that you bankrupt yourself.

Will
Will
12 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

It seems to me that significant mileage could be gotten from at least a few pieces of COTS “kit”. This would have to be carefully chosen and employed since it is not made to milspec, but: the big advantage would be that since–for example–Airbus or Boeing or some Big Commercial Shipyard has already paid for their own R&D, there would in theory be major savings for MOD. Again this is just thinking out loud, but consider the US Navy’s “afloat forward base” vessels, which are moderately modified Alaska-class oil tankers, or the USAF’s proposal to convert 747s into cruise missile… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

yes Jim -straight off the shoulders of Labour proceeding 13 years of rolling cuts. In particular, Blair’s “defence review of 2004” were deep

DB
DB
14 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

Missing the context; fail.

Klonkie
Klonkie
14 days ago
Reply to  DB

didn’t realise it was a test, perhaps you can enlighten me ?

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
13 days ago
Reply to  Klonkie

I doubt it.the inside of his head is as dark as a black cat in a coal sack

Jon
Jon
13 days ago
Reply to  Jim

bang that baggy old drum, Labour and its tools wont help, if you think they will you need care in the community

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
15 days ago
Reply to  Moonstone

I suspect so. As with all armed forces lack of personnel, this is the consequence of Tony Blair’s and subsequent Governments of all colours, social engineering of the UK with mass immigration and no sense of championing the indigenous culture and history. Many young people are in the UK who would not fight for the country, have a more globalist view, and either do not share UK values or chose to ignore world events and the harm done to others by dictators.

AlbertStarburst
AlbertStarburst
15 days ago

…On a small island with limited resources and a post-war stable population of around 52-million, the UK is now probably officially more like 70-million. However, sewage records and the vast number of undocumented people make it probably closer to 85-million. Yet our armed forces struggle to recruit and the UK has a standing army of only around 70,000.

Caspian237
Caspian237
15 days ago

Perhaps, with most folks living longer and our pensions being held from us so that we have to work till later in life the armed forces should consider increasing the maximum age that people can enlist? Get people up to 45 or even 50?

Angus
Angus
15 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

You go try a life at sea in your late 40’s early 50’s and come back to us. For most it is simply not doable OK. I talk from experience. the Military is for the young not pensioners and todays youth struggle as they simply are not made of the same stuff of past generations.

Defence thoughts
Defence thoughts
15 days ago
Reply to  Angus

The youth have never been good enough, going all the way back to 5000BC. They’ll still die for you and your freedom when the time comes.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
15 days ago

Yes

Something Different
Something Different
15 days ago

Good point well made

Caspian237
Caspian237
15 days ago
Reply to  Angus

I don’t doubt that for most it wouldn’t be suitable but, with generally improved health to a later age these days, I would guess that many now in their 40s are as healthy as those in their 30’s forty years ago. Even if only a small percentage are fit and healthy enough it would still be a decent number out of a population of nearly 70 million to help solve the navy’s staffing problem. The RFA seems to not have the same age restrictions as the navy proper. I agree that it would not at all be good for pensioners… Read more »

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

That is the thing – increasingly people in their 50’s and 60’s are as fit, if not fitter, than 30 year olds.

It is mostly about not accepting physical decline and doing simple things like weights.

The statistical muscle mass loss is more to do with increasingly sedentary behaviour than anything else.

A lot of the statistical susceptibility to other afflictions and diseases is more to do with the follow on from the loss of muscle mass than the other way round.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago

The majority of 18-21 year olds are “invincible”. No mortgage. Little in the way of outgoings, no kids or family. Get older and your outlook becomes (though not literally…well maybe! ) more sober. Commitments increase, less disposable income, you quieten down, you look after yourself. I was in my 40s and regularly beating 18-25 year olds in bleep tests. I ran, did weights, didn’t smoke, watched what I ate and didn’t drink as much as I did as a lad. I sailed through every medical I took. I am 60 this year and will have been a strawberry for 9… Read more »

klonkie
klonkie
13 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi GB, I just hit 60 on 29 February (leap year kid). I still manage 50ish kms a week running, knees starting to go now though.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
13 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

Keeping yourself fit and healthy is a state of mind and it does help.

As opposed to the state of my mind the day after the ridiculous amount I drank at a brunch last weekend during a 12 hou sesh. 2 days to recover… And doing it again tomorrow. I love the holy month!

klonkie
klonkie
13 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Good for you Mate, at 60 you’ve earned the right to a few 12 hour sessions. Enjoy the journey!

DB
DB
14 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

You’ve a career in being prize A cockwomble with some of your posts; now to get it monetized, can you get a job on GB News?

DaveyB
DaveyB
14 days ago
Reply to  Caspian237

It all depends on the role you do within the services. For example as a clerk in the RAF, RN and Army a person over the age of 45 can easily do the work required. However, as Leg Infantry, if they are carrying injuries and are not keeping on top of their fitness, they will struggle.

Doing 10 to 25km marches with full kit does take a strain on the body. When you hit 45, you become more susceptible to injuries, especially the knees, hips and lower back. The mind might be willing, but the body is screaming at you!

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Angus

That is rubbish. Who was on the T45 and T23 loosing missiles off? It wasn’t all over 40s.
It was lads and lasses born after 2000.
Oh and I was at sea in my mid to late 40s on an LPD. Its very doable.

Redshift
Redshift
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

My Dad served throughout the second world war from the age of 35 to 41 from a Periwinkle class corvettes at the beginning to a Bangor class minesweeper towards the end, I’m glad that my life has been a lot easier.

Redshift
Redshift
14 days ago
Reply to  Redshift

Lol Flower class corvette HMS periwinkle!

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
15 days ago

Blame is mostly due on the tories cutting 5000 people from the navy in 2010. Labour cut 1500 in 2003

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Let’s just blame it on the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the cold War then the rise of Social media with its Influencers deeming serving your Country is hateful too those oppressed blah ,blah ,blah .And of course bloody short sighted. Governments who think if they close their eyes problems will go away and other services that the taxpayer funds are more important than National security All MPs should have gone to Spec Savers

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

I don’t so much blame it on the fall of the Berlin Wall..I blame it on our political classes ( and publics) slavish following of the paradigm promoted by “the end of history and last man” never was there such a completely bollox idea..that the west had won history and every nation would follow the west into happy liberal democracy….maybe it was forgivable for our political classes and voting public to believe that crap up until about 2010…but by 2010 we had entered a new multi polar world in which the west had enemies and dicking around with 2% GDP… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

That’s why all those blind politicians should have gone to Spec savers because they can’t see anything that is happening outside of the Westminster bubble

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

I blame it on politicians who espouse the virtues of the free market… until it comes to giving competitive pay and benefits to the armed forces and public sector workers.

Recruitment would be easier if it weren’t so hard to sell.

Last edited 15 days ago by Tomartyr
Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

Yes the only thing they don’t seem to accept market forces being paramount in is the crappy difficult end of the public sector workforce…I was just checking the workforce figures in my system…I knew I have a massive hole in my qualified clinical workforce for urgent and emergency care but I now also have a massive hole in my healthcare assistant workforce for urgent and emergency care….( like around 50% vacancies) because who wants to work shifts in ED see death, pain and risking violent when Tesco pays better and had better terms and conditions as well as no night… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Jonathan
Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Are your staff delivering the service they should despite being 50% gapped? (Ignore the harm from overwork and stress on the existing staff) If the answer is yes then why do you need those extra jobs that have been gapped for months or years? Thats how its done in the military. Cut the gaps out so reducing the manpower requirement for recruiting. Ignore the overwork everyone else has because of “Can Do” attitudes. It sucks and I was one of the people who ended up triple hatted for a time because of gaps and got no recompense for the additional… Read more »

Jonathan
Jonathan
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

It sort of depends on what you consider delivery gun…in my view most/ all nhs systems are no longer delivering safe adequate emergency and urgent care….but because the service will always be delivered, it difficult for people to really get what that means.like the forces our emergency care services never stop and never say no…we just slowly buckle and bend getting worse and worse…but we never ever say we are sorry we cannot do that or we are closed. But what changes is outcomes and in emergency care that’s measured in how many hours of suffering we accept, how many… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
13 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

“essentially we are burning our staff and harming our patients…but we still put the foot forward.”

Sounds very familiar. Its become the norm and it shouldn’t have.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
15 days ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

I see the MPs have voted themselves a 5.5% pay rise, so the most junior MP is now on £91k!

geoff.Roach
geoff.Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Probably unintended but you forgot the seven destroyers and nine frigates decommissioned plus the six SSN’s or was it seven? Sold a few modern frigates of course, cancelled half the T45’s, scrapped Invincible, but hey…who’s counting? You would think there was an election coming up. I have a simpler answer. Don’t expect anything for defence from any politician of any party and you’ll not be disappointed. 😥

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

😂

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

It was 6, we had 13 S & T boats and planned for 8 T2s (which was about right TBH), that got delayed and developed into the Astutes. They cut number 8 before ordering any, and a few years later tried to cancel the contract for number 7 as the unit costs had increased. That’s when the consequences of their intended action was spelled out to HMG in Industrial, Monetary, Political and Strategic terms by industry and so they went away to save the money elsewhere. Oh and FYI they didn’t cut half the T45 order. 12 were never ordered… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I know the 12 weren’t ordered but the plan in 2000 was for twelve, reduced to eight in 2004 and then to six, all under a Labour government.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Yes I know, but the decision to run the fleet down was taken and just keep the T class, to be replaced with the Astutes. The great tragedy was the decision to gap design & production for 7 years post Vanguards. I watched a lot of friends and colleagues go during that period and it was a scary time. I was lucky as I was up in the far North so out of sight. But in fairness the PWR1 was pretty long in the tooth by the 00’s and there were quite a few incidents. Just wish they had authorised… Read more »

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
15 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

Well seeing as they aren’t personal and that’s what’s was being discussed no I didn’t include them🤦🏼‍♂️.
I also didn’t include the RAF, British Army, cuts to nurses training or the reduction of bus conductors on the route 34b

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
15 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

What happened on the 34b then. You’ve got me intrigued now .🚎🙂

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Not a Tiff then!

4 weeks basic in Fisgard
10 months Fisgard
12 Months collingwood
1 year sea time as apprentice
18-24 months Collingwood.

6 months short time promoted to PO then your first Sea Draft as a POWEA.

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

Dear Geoff.

I have tried everything. I have no expectations of anyone and I think all politicians are lying b******s. Yet I am still continually disappointed. No matter how low my opinion of politicians falls, they still manage to drop below it. We pay their wages as they play ethical limbo, and my jaw drops watching how they always worm their way below even the lowest bar.

How can I stop being disappointed in our democratic representatives and somehow feeling that as an elector it’s all my fault?

Yours in angst,

Jon of Hendon

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
13 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I know what you mean. Political sense is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. There is nowhere to go. The Tories march on towards oblivion, Labour will promise everything that cannot be afforded and the others don’t matter. Just for good measure my boundary has changed.

klonkie
klonkie
15 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

Excellent commentary Geoff, you beat me to it it! May I add the RAF lost 4 of it 20 front line squadrons as well during the 2004 defence review.

Post the GFC, a couple of Tornados sqns were quietly disbanded by Labour before 2010. People have short memoires.

DB
DB
14 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

We don’t have short memories, we gave context, something several posters are missing.

Klonkie
Klonkie
14 days ago
Reply to  DB

my comment stands DB. I don’t disagree with you. My point is that both Tory and Labour have badly cut UK defence. They are all cut from a similar cloth.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
13 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

They certainly do. They say a week is a long time in politics and we get years! 🙃

Sooty
Sooty
15 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

Sad but true.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
13 days ago
Reply to  Sooty

👍😕

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

Who recommended implemented the defence white paper entitled Delivering Security in a Changing World which proposed cutting three Type 23 frigates, three Type 42 destroyers, four nuclear submarines, six minehunters and reducing the planned purchase of Type 45 destroyers from twelve to eight? West, the worst 1SL ever and that’s saying something, who is now a labour lord. See the gem from him below “We must continue the shift in emphasis away from measuring strength in terms of hull numbers and towards the delivery of military effects… I am confident that these changes will leave the Navy better organised and… Read more »

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
13 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

It worked out well for him. He spent years convincing his masters they he should have a peerage, presumably for allowing the fleet to disappear. Talks a lot, says nothing.

Frank62
Frank62
14 days ago
Reply to  geoff.Roach

“but hey…who’s counting?”

Russia, China, Iran, N Korea etc plus our allies who note our dwindling resources to assist them if ever needed. We’ve had over 40 years of cuts, cuts & more cuts(in national, economic & governmental services, plus across industry) where the motto “do more with less” has been followed too long. We inevetably get less with less, but the rich have prospered relatively exponentially while most of us & the state has withered.

Meanwhile we are drastically weak militarily.

Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
14 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

I was being ironic. No argument from me. Generally I agree with you.

Frank62
Frank62
14 days ago
Reply to  Geoff Roach

Yes, sorry, I got that Geoff. It just led me to point out generally that while HMG lives in the delusional world that it’s fine to minimise forces beyond all reason, our enemies see our weakness as a great opportunity.

Last edited 14 days ago by Frank62
Geoff Roach
Geoff Roach
12 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Delusional world is right, like something out of the Wizard of Oz.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Not exactly true.

They cut a lot of already existing billets that where or had been gapped long term. The shortages in people where already there hence the gaps.

If nobody has been in that job for 5 years, why is it still on the manpower plot…so they get rid of it and cut the manpower requirement without cutting manpower.

Something Different
Something Different
15 days ago

You make a lot of assumptions and stereotypes which are not rooted in fact but provide the comfort of a simple explanation to a complex problem. Each generation has always complained about the ‘youth of today’, look at the 1970s shown’Warship’ which did same thing about that are now termed boomers. Also, in terms of mass immigration versus ‘indigenous people’ it’s worth remembering the millions of imperial and commonwealth subjects who served the crown in two world wars. Also there isn’t one homogenous British culture, the Gaelic speaking parts of the Western Isles probably on paper don’t have much in… Read more »

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago

Plenty of Commonwealth crew on RN vessels now.

Declan
Declan
15 days ago
Reply to  Moonstone

No one to crew …

George Amery
George Amery
15 days ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
I suppose we have to wait to use her when faced with an actual war to protect our interests. The cost of keeping in a state of readiness must be very expensive!
Why not have her deployed to support other exercises if appropriate? It simply does not make any sense. If the issue is s a shortage of crews, then how would that change in the event of an emergency?
As usual over to you experts on this subject.
Cheers
George

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

Well Reserves would be called and up probably conscription applied in a war. But certainly wouldn’t be as simple as getting people aboard and sailing it away, crew will need weeks if not more of training.

Expat
Expat
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

I’m more optimistic, look at what we did in a few months when the Falklands kicked off. Yes there were failings but these were due to other key decisions like lack of AEW not getting ships converted or ready to sail.

Mind you the country had more spirit back then.

Rob Young
Rob Young
15 days ago
Reply to  Expat

Yes, but the ships used then had available crews!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

There were a lot of people in blue suits, a lot of dockyard workers…..oh and safety standards were close to non existent…..you could never, rightly, take the ‘82 approach to fleet deployment again.

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

Well unless there was a major war and I suspect all bets would be off.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

The question is at what point parliament needs to pass a war powers act suspending H&S and resonating crown immunity etc

Mind you the COVID acts got passed…

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago

Indeed, I suspect that a world war ( conflict with china and or Russia) would see a sudden raft of powers..that would probably include anything goes ( it would be an existential fight for survival) and there would be very similar hits to civil liberties…as anyone who has studied chinas strategies for the next war knows that terror acts, sabotage and insurrection would be part of its standard political warfare toolkit

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Rob Young

Of which how much was used?

Frank62
Frank62
14 days ago
Reply to  Expat

We had a 60+ escort fleet back then as well a massive manning c.f. today. But it was proposed cuts that actually triggered the war by planning virtually withdrawing from the S Atlantic. If the Argies had waited a year they might have succeeded. Defence sec John Nott resigned exactly because his cuts resulted in invasion.

George Amery
George Amery
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Thanks Hugo

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Six weeks basic training things such as marching,drill physical training even washing ironing cleaning small arms instilling discipline Do’ and Don’t respecting authority after basic you gone on to your trade / branch training on completion pass out so time spent in training could amount too over 6months Hugo

Andy reeves
Andy reeves
14 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

National service get the hoodies and knives off the streets and into uniform

Hugo
Hugo
14 days ago
Reply to  Andy reeves

Recruiting thugs won’t do any good.

Jim
Jim
15 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

In an emergency you cancel leave, training and draft in extra crew, even call up reserves. Nothing wrong with this approach for some ships but not our only operational LPD.

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

It’s disappointing though at this point I’m not sure the Marines even have the resources to justify and LPD, landing craft raids are just not an option, there’s no funding for new raiding craft, they’re not going to get a platform which can perform an airborne assualt. I guess crewing priorities are elsewhere.

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

That wouldn’t fix anything. Also which 2 frigates are we talking about because Argyll is the only one being retired due to lack of crew, the rest were beyond refit.

And while yes the survey ships were retired early, drones are capable of replacing their role.

George Amery
George Amery
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Thanks Jim as always.
George

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

🙄

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Don’t know if they still do this but my oppo only did a 9 year and when he left he had too do 3 years as a reservist didn’t do any Seatime would just turn up at Nelson with his kit checked over and given a cheque for 100 quid

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Reserves back fill shore drafts releasing shore side personnel to ships. They also back fill sea jobs in less critical billets. They can also fill Op billets for specialist jobs. A good example is Doctors, Nurses. Thats what happened in 82. It also happened in Herrick when the RN/RM had battle groups, helos, Hospitals and JF Harrier to man up. Nearly 7000 RN /RM and Army Green hatted Commando forces where in country whilst the RN and RM where still doing stuff at sea. We had reserves onboard back filling billets to release people for the higher commitment that was… Read more »

Angus
Angus
15 days ago
Reply to  George Amery

The RN will do as they have always done, manage to get the numbers from ashore and quickly put her to sea. All her basic systems will be maintained so they work. Even when the Fleet was many times larger we only ever operated one and the olds ones where is a far worse state than these units. Needs a different operation method to employ them better. Lets see if the replacements will ever hit the waves? The RN is not the service it once was sadley. 🙁

George Amery
George Amery
15 days ago
Reply to  Angus

Many thanks Angus
George

Mike
Mike
15 days ago

Yep that sums it up, more recruiting and growing of the RN needed.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Mike

Put Careers office back with Naval personnel and also have them going into Schools on Career evenings

liam
liam
15 days ago

Well that’s another ship gone……. how long untill they scrap the carriers do you think?

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  liam

The carriers will be the last thing to get scrapped, this is down to recruitment issues seeing as they’re not actually scrapping the LPDs.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Spot on. The LPDs will be sacrificed for the carriers. Extended range Chinook order confirmed a few days ago. Join the dots. I await interest the number and design of the joint LSS with the Dutch.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Going to be interesting finding the design of the MRSS. The Dutch seem to want a smaller, more fighty “raiding” style vessel (it’s replacing two of their larger OPVs) but we want to replace the Albions, Argus and the Bays, all large, lightly armed ships predicated on getting troops ashore in quantity/ having a giant flight deck. I find that Ellida variants lean more towards our requirements but the best solution would be one of Damen’s new Enforcers, with the budget deciding which one from 130m up to 180m.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I note Mark Ayscough’s post; that the Dutch have just ordered half a dozen small (9000ton) Enforcers for their requirement for a kind of hybrid OPV / LPD. I don’t know how the RN is thinking. Seems to me that River 2 and the Bays are viewed as successful: economical, useful, flexible, available, global presence. Gives a whole new meaning to ‘patrol frigate’. What’s not to like? Does that mean you should combine the roles / designs….a crane, a flight deck, a well deck and a small gun? Dunno…above my pay grade.

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Just to clarify on the Dutch news that came out 7 March (article was called; Dutch Navy To Replace OPV And LPD With A Single Class Of Ships), cannot post links so if you google the above it will come up. It isn’t clear what the makeup of those 6 purchases will be and there is quite a big gap in the cost depending on what they go with, the article quotes the cost at between 1 billion (for 6x the smallest type) and 2.5 billion euros (for 6x the largest type), but in my opinion it makes more sense… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

Thanks for the link. It looks as though the Dutch are looking to build on the Holland class (110m 3750 tons ) by adding a crane and a well deck. A Bay class is 176m and I think we will want to at least 4x Chinook capable flight decks as replacements for the LPDs and LSDs. That said I can definitely see the atraction of ordering a mixed fleet: ‘Holland ‘ sized hybrid OPV/LPDs could be the batch 3 River class?

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

You’re misinterpreting the article.
We knew at least a year ago that the Dutch would replace their LPDs and the Holland’s; they’ve signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the RN to investigate the requirements for a joint ship. It isn’t at all certain (though very likely) that enforcer will be chosen, and no decision has been made.
It’s not a matter of comparing RN with RNLN, we are in the early stages of a joint programme.

Tim
Tim
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

I agree. A 10k ton ship with a well deck and two LCUs is fine. Even if it could only carry 300 troops with their vehicles and kit, they would be very useful and offer great flexibility.

Thing is though, 4 ships like this would need more crew than 2 Albion sized ones which carry more stuff. So the Treasuary as usual gets the deciding vote.

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
14 days ago
Reply to  Tim

Depends on the size of the Enforcer being bought but if you go for maximum crew efficiency you could go for the 11500 t to replace Albion/Bulwark and the 3 Bay class at 95 crew each for a total of 475 crew (compared to the current 830 crew between the 2 Albions and 3 Bays), albeit with a significant reduction in tonnage (87,600 -> 57,500) and carry capacity, which is why I suggested we go up to 8 and scrap the 3 oldest river class giving us about the same total tonnage Though someone suggested I was sick for saying… Read more »

David
David
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Rumours making their way around media circles say that one of the carriers (PoW) will be sold by 2028 to the RAN at a knock down price, if there is no uptick in defence spending as the cash-strapped RN will not be able afford to run her any longing.

Not sure if this is real or rubbish, or some Admiral’s way of getting attention to force more money to the RN but I know there are people in the know on this forum – is there any truth to this??

I for one, sure as hell hope not!

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  David

I would think that would be a strategic political decision involving the US plans for containing Chinese expansionisn. Frankly it makes more sense than Indo Pacific tours every 2 years! It would ease the RN budget and facilitate reorientation to the Atlantic, which is where the US say the RN should focus.
More T26 frigates and MRSS become affordable.

grizzler
grizzler
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

So we didn’t need two then?

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

Two was the right decision at the time. Of course it would be nice to keep both now if we can afford it, but times have changed. The UK is poorer and the US fleet is stretched. The US concerns about China are going to influence the size and structure of the RN. Maybe they see ‘forward basing’ of QEC in Darwin with USMC F-35B as an attractive idea.

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Depends on how much the Australians are willing to pay to be honest, it would be a hard sell to the public/navy if it was 50% the build cost or something insulting. The ship is not exactly that old and you could argue we soldiered through the growing pains for them. I agree with the concept of bolstering allies strategically. I would be more supportive of such a move if A) We actually make the remaining carrier STOBAR and eventually CATOBAR (and buy some Gripens or something efficient so we don’t blow our budget flying F35Bs!), and B) we commit… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Mark Ayscough
Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

At the inception of QE there was a suggestion that we might go in with France, who were also trying to avoid the ongoing cost of 2 carriers. In the event I think BAEs influence and business interest in the the F-35 program won out over what might turn out to be where we could end up. If the French could overcome their obsession with nuclear propulsion, take the QE design and add cats and traps, we could then add cats and traps to QE and fly F-35C with the ability to cross deck Rafale. All of these things require… Read more »

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Cooperation with the French is a near impossibility as their defence industry is highly protected with government partial ownership. Joint projects with France are doomed from the start. I was reading a Japanese forum focused on defence that was responding to the recent interview with The Guardian from the Airbus CEO that the GCAP and FCAS fighter programs should merge and the Japanese comments were quite scathing of the French which as a Brit I cannot help but get a giggle out of. I imagine the Airbus CEO comments stem from FCAS negotiations going about as well as you would… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

Agree we should fly US if QE ever goes CATOBAR. At some point the French are going to have to work with others on a trusting peer to peer basis. I’m not holding my breath. Having lost our empire I’d say we are doing better at controlling our ego; Ms Truss and Mr Johnson being notable exceptions of course. I see Macron has added to right to abortion to the French constitution in order to show the US where it is going wrong. That was just before he advanced the proposal to put French boots on the ground in Ukraine.… Read more »

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  David

Ressurecting David Cameron is one thing, John Nott quite another!

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

If it hadn’t been for a certain Gen Galtiari We would of had no Landing ships The remaining 2 fearless and Intrepid would have gone by the end of 82 with Mr knotts swipe of the pen

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
14 days ago
Reply to  David

Or, maybe some co-share UK, AUS, agreement, even with US? If sold/shared to/with the RAN maybe an Aus F35B purchase might follow? But hope it stays with the RN and the UK is not disempowering itself uncessarily.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

5 more T26 and 5 new Bays sounds ok to me.

Jon
Jon
15 days ago

So even with QE in dock and a large number of sailors potentially available it’s not even worth a single deployment to brush the rust off? I’m afraid the next time we see Albion and Bulwark at sea again, they will be on the way to the breakers.

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

The issue there would be that carrier sailors don’t have the expertees needed to operate the amphibious element of the ship. And it’s certainly not worth retraining and reassigning them for a shakedown cruise.

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Isn’t it worth retraining crew for a shakedown? If it’s that difficult, there can be no “if required”. Without trained crews or the will/ability to train them within weeks, the LPDs are already dead. They will slowly rot to the point where it will take longer to get them back up to speed than their out of service dates. Look at Daring — laid up for lack of crew for two or three years and now it’s taking stupid amounts of time to get it seaworthy and regenerated. 2017 to probably 2025. Longer than Vanguard. And longer than the period… Read more »

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Seaman are seaman on any RN vessel no need too retrain anyone

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

The amphibious and well dock capabilities are what i was talking about specifically. Not all sailors are trained to operate those

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Booties do the lcvps

Hugo
Hugo
15 days ago
Reply to  Tommo

Who operates the docking down of the ship? I assumed it was navy personnel. Anyway, I don’t think they’ll reassign the Qnlz crew, the ship won’t be in dock for a huge amount of time

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

Docking down as when coming alongside that’s a Seaman’s job looking after the ship then that’s departmental Stoker’s (L &M ) machinery spaces Vent and Lighting Greenies look after All electrical components of Comms Weapon systems Ops room equipment internal and external communication Ops department muntions ,Seamanship small arms things such as painting Seaman just do part of ship work not really alot whilst alongside where as all other departments do alot of maintenance work on machinery and electrical equipment haven’t mentioned Catering ,stores and stewards

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

RM do the LCU/LCVP. Mooring is done by JRs from all depts manning up the walkways for boat ops.
STOM is RM manned.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Hugo

You need to be SQEP.
LPDs have diesel Gensets and HV propulsion. Completely different command system fit compared to the Carriers.

OK, A Chef is a Chef. A dabber is a dabber. They don’t change.
Without qualified watchkeepers and system maintainers you are not going anywhere. That sort of training takes months to achieve.

Frank62
Frank62
14 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I bet China would love one!

dc647
dc647
15 days ago

Even if she is kept in a state of readiness it means absolutely nothing. If she is to be kept along side, with out actually been put to sea or at least moved periodically they won’t know what problems will happen once she is active, been protected in a harbour is not the same as sea duty. Look at both aircraft carriers both have had problems leaks imagine an old ship like this. QE prop shaft problem was known before she was even launched that it was not running true but was is tolerances. They should operate both Albion class… Read more »

grizzler
grizzler
15 days ago
Reply to  dc647

Now don’t be stupid – That would mean them actually spending money and time and effort to actually have it certifiably ready instead of just saying it is ready.
Think of all that opportunity for failure if they did it that way….

dc647
dc647
15 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

I honestly think they’ve forgot who’s money it is The TAXPAYER they’ll waste it on vanity projects but forget the essentials the nations security, national health service, border security.

Last edited 15 days ago by dc647
dc647
dc647
14 days ago
Reply to  dc647

Because it was discovered when it was fitted but thought it would be OK because it was within tolerances.

dc647
dc647
14 days ago
Reply to  dc647

When the props were fitted they used a laser guide to check the trueness that when they found out they don’t run 100% true, the props are normally fitted before launch or they have a tendency to let in water through the big holes if not fitted. Oh look Prince of Wales are having a prop issue as well.

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
15 days ago

The Dutch Navy recently announced they were buying 6 of the latest of the “Enforcer” family from Damen, which are half the size (9000t), and the UK apparently are signed up to a cooperation agreement in this area with the Netherlands, so there is a good chance the RN will also buy this class of ships when the purse strings are loosened. Hopefully that is sooner rather than later, or the old ships will be retired without replacement or go through expensive refits if decisions are delayed. The thing that is interesting with the latest Enforcer is that it is… Read more »

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

Just to clarify, I doubt the Enforcer itself will be chasing drug smugglers and guarding fisheries etc in the North sea but it can launch smaller patrol craft as a sort of mothership.

FormerUSAF
FormerUSAF
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

Thanks for the clarification. Difficult to envision a hybrid LPD/OPV design 🤔😳

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

A bit of speculation on my part but looking at the designs for the Enforcer there are several patrol boats in what looks like lifeboat positions so I imagine you could park the Enforcer somewhere and have a number of smaller craft do the OPV work in a given locale. The river class had success with a big drug bust earlier this year but I think having faster patrol boats is more suited to this role. Plus a big ship will allow for rapid response to humanitarian issues in a given region. The Enforcer comes in 6 different sizes, the… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
15 days ago
Reply to  FormerUSAF

I think instead they are replacing OPVs with LPDs. The Holland’s do a lot of pootling around the Carribbean, with the occasional launch of a RIB to chase drug smugglers. An LPD would be able to carry more humanitarian aid, more helicopters and more RIBs all round so not such a stretch.

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

Have they announced they’ll actually be buying Enforcer? I thought we signed an MoI with the netherlands to sort out they key requirements for our MRSS and LPX so that we could build the same ship? It would be a bit presumptuous for them to go over our heads and decide on a design already. We’re definitely not using it to replace the Rivers; the Holland class have a hangar, mission bay, and 76mm at nearly 110m long. I think one of the 150-160m enforcers would be ideal, with 2 heli spots, full hangar and proper CIWS fitout (57 and… Read more »

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
15 days ago
Reply to  SailorBoy

I posted this above, but there was an article 2 weeks ago quoting a Dutch MoD statement to the Dutch House of Representatives; Article name: Dutch Navy To Replace OPV And LPD With A Single Class Of Ships Then again, it is just a “plan” and stops shy of the actual order, being that there is still speculation of the cost and what types are under order. Replacing the River class is a long shot and pure speculation, but the article mentioned the Dutch were doing so to their own OPVs and the batch 1 of the River class were… Read more »

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

I’ve read that article. Enforcer is the favourite; it’s a joint programme with the RN and there’s no other real competitor beside BMT’s ELLIDA, which is much more of a bay class replacement than a true LPD; lots of emphasis on lanes and dock ramps rather than shore connectors.
As I said, the rivers and Holland class aren’t in the same league as OPVs. It’s much more than the difference between the Holland’s and T31.

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

What they are used for; they can be used as an LPD if there is a conflict, but as the Bay class has proven they can be used for force projection on the cheap, being that they are very cheap to run and do not need 325 crew like the Albion does. As for the cost, it is not clear exactly but probably north of 150m, cheaper than a Type 31 to be sure. What the Enforcer is, is a theoretical replacement for all active Bay and Albion class ships (5 ships) that are slated to go out of service… Read more »

Geoffi
Geoffi
15 days ago

So we were lied to. Quelle Surprise.
I said a month ago that despite the statement made in the HoC that neither would ever set sail under the White Ensign again.

They wont even bother assigning a crew.

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
15 days ago

You have to give the Tories credit they have since 2010 dismantled the 2nd most capable and best trained amphibious force on the planet. They can add it to their exceptional record of degrading the country’s overall defence capability and every public service.
There are some that say this country has now got an enemy within well I can see it quite clearly.
Whilst I will never vote Labour or have done you can be sure the Tories are going to be annihilated at the next election and they need to be. Being out of touch doesn’t do it justice.

John Clark
John Clark
14 days ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

Totally agree….

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Sjb1968

Ok, with the now changed strategic situation in the Nordic countries with Sweden and Finland now in NATO does the primary need for LPDs to fight their way into Norway to reinforce the Northern Flank with RM and their equipment still remain? I would say no. It doesn’t, With the primary reason gone why are LPDs needed? Thats the argument that will be put forward and to be honest it’s hard to counter it with…”well… because…” And I served on Bulwark for 3 years and did plenty of exercises in the North. What we did then isn’t needed now. The… Read more »

Sjb1968
Sjb1968
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

First of all i do enjoy reading your comments on here and respect the knowledge you have from your experience serving. I can’t argue about the changing situation on the northern flank but a few counter arguments if I may. The most recent SDSR made no mention of fundamentally removing the country’s amphibious capability so why so shortly afterwards has this decision been made. That Sweden and Finland were joining at the time was then known about. Despite the change in circumstances Albion was in very high demand in the new wider theatre. The Swedes and Finns in particular worked… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Sjb1968
frank
frank
15 days ago

Just how the hell we ruled over the biggest empire ever known, is beyond me…..

Simon
Simon
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Mostly by also treating 90% of the population of the UK like dirt. It was the only way to afford it.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Simon

So what’s changed then ? Jim, sorry, I meant Simon….🙄

Jonathan
Jonathan
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Let’s not go to the 19th century and very early 20th century living and working conditions…where the average life expectancy was in the 40s for the working classes…whatever we may feel the reality is 21c westerners have the most privileged lives and we have no real way to comprehend the suffering and misery our near ancestors lived through.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

😆

Simon
Simon
15 days ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Pretty much covers it

Simon
Simon
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Not quite sure what the “Jim” bit is about ?

Will Smith
Will Smith
15 days ago

Aren’t there replacements being discussed for Bulwark and Albion? I can remember reading an article recently where the UK and, I believe, the Dutch, are exploring a joint project.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Will Smith

Might want to come back here in 15 years time mate…. ( bugger, I just answered a question, hope you don’t get upset with me ! I’d hate to be thought of as a troll …. It appears I have upset a few Karens here lately ) 😂

Jim
Jim
15 days ago
Reply to  Will Smith

Yes it’s the MRSS, there are suppose to be 6 to replace the Bays, Albion’s and Argus. It’s one of the vulnerabilities in the current LPD fleet is that the LPD concept is due to be removed in the early 2030’s so the argument at the treasury and MOD is why not just get rid of it now and keep the Bays and Argus for strategic raiding style missions.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Will Smith…. be careful how you reply….. you might get reported to admin…. just sayin….😉

Jack
Jack
15 days ago

I used to be so proud of the RN, its fallen a long way.

Tom
Tom
15 days ago

So the headline should really read as… HMS Bulwark unlikely to return to sea, flying the UK flag.

frank
frank
15 days ago

Way off topic but…. There is a Hunter flying around the Thetford area with a Mk2 Hawk and a Typhoon…. just thought I’d mention it for anyone interested.

Tom
Tom
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

On their way to Ukraine, to join the 1496th FLFW (foreign legion fighter wing)

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Those Australians and their ships! What are they like, huh?

frank
frank
14 days ago
Reply to  Jon

😂…..

Farouk
Farouk
15 days ago

Reminds me of the saying:
“Whiteman speaks with forked tongue”

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

It all sounds so plausable in Political Speak but it pretty well guarantees they will never sail again, except behind a tug.
Both these ships use IEP propulsion and if it isn’t used it deterioiates and when we are talking HV equipment in a salty environment then its bloody dangerous when you try to reactivate it.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

They discovered just that bringing Albion back to life in 2009/10. My opposite number on there had a nightmare with WE Kit.
They learned a lot and later hibernations had a lot less issues with bringing kit back up.

However STOROBs to keep bespoke LPD specific kit going is a bigger issue.

Paul
Paul
15 days ago

Just so very sad to have to read someone put fancy words instead of sorry folks we just can’t crew our ships… saw a documentary last year were a sailor said I didn’t really join to go to war, well that finished me

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  Paul

War is a failure of deterrence. Who joins up to fail?

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

👌

SailorBoy
SailorBoy
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Absolutely right, like with Trident.
The one time armed forces truly fail is the moment they enter a fight.

Dave
Dave
15 days ago

So the hacking at the military while we are facing a major threat from Russia, from Iran and shortly i am convinced china, Pakistan and quite possibly Putin’s best pal innl India. Can’t afford it is bullshit. We should be spending at least 20percent of GDP to put ourselves back to operational readiness with conscription and opening armed forces to recruitment from any age, after all driving doesn’t require fitness, operating a drone doesn’t require fitness, lots of jobs don’t need ultra fit 20 year olds, even though many 50 and 60 year olds are probably fitter than today’s 20… Read more »

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Hello Dave, good to see you back again… hope the keyboard is fixed now….. Looking forward to tonight’s interactions here, it always seems to attract a fair few Newbies when you turn up…. 🙄

Dave
Dave
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Thanks, hopefully less keyboard trouble but we will see. Guess there will be those that like to believe we are safe and secure in our sandcastle with the ruskies chucking bombs around

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Will belong to the Russians? ROFLMAO. We need to survive the death throes of the recently restored but unsustainable Russian Empire. Fifty years from now Russia will have transformed or it will have become a scaled-up Hoxha-age Albania.

Sorry, Frank, but there are days where only feeding the troll will do.

Dave
Dave
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Well sorry pal i am neither a troll nor wrong.we are spending a lot less on defence than the Russians are on their offence. We know from experience the USA is not a reliable partner, never had been, never will be. Whatever NATO commitments have been made the USA will not stand by them, they didn’t stand by Ukraine, Afghanistan, us at the Falklands, us at Suez, hell all they did in ww2 was make a shed of profit from the sidelines staying out of it until Japan and Germany declared war, if the Russians and Chinese don’t declare war… Read more »

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Physically invaded by Russia? We aren’t talking Salisbury tourist style invasion, or London property market invasion? Real, genuine invasion?

If you win I won’t pay you in shit, I’ll pay you in Roubles. In my cannon there’s no huge difference.

Dave
Dave
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Yes I do, I mean what have we got to defend ourselves?an army outnumbered by this year’s in flux of illegals (probably anyway, not that we will ever know the true number of illegals, government admits to detecting 52000)

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Sorry, I should respond to the meat of your post, not just the hot sauce. “USA is not a reliable partner” I’m in two minds over this. The political classes are not reliable partners, true, but the rest of America, including their military are. Our relationship with the US and the rest of the five eyes countries are a central pillar of NATO. It’s a gem that we shouldn’t devalue. “Don’t forget they also have Georgia, Belarus and others. India eats out of their hand…” Belarus, yes, Kazakhstan, possibly. Georgia?? They hold Georgia to ransom. Not the same thing. India?… Read more »

Dave
Dave
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

Sadly.its politicians that control the armed forces so how ever much they might ant to help they won’t be allowed. India disengaging? Phoning Putin to congratulate him is not.disengaging. and Georgia, well that’s a mess getting closer to Russia and further from us

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  Dave

These are politicians and their phone calls are irrelevant. By the money ye shall know them. India is not ordering Russian arms any more. Most of today’s Russian “arms exports” to India consists of India paying licencing fees for the indigenous production of Russian designs. Next generation, that too shall pass.

Trev
Trev
15 days ago
Reply to  Dave

Wow that’s the most stupid statement I’ve ever read, congratulations

Dave
Dave
14 days ago
Reply to  Trev

What part is wrong or stupid? The UK has an army of what 60k the known illegals from last year are more or less equal, there are many who made it we didn’t find

Simon
Simon
14 days ago
Reply to  Dave

I find it very unlikely that North Korea is producing more shells then the USA and Europe combined. There is also a big question mark over the quality of what they produce.

Dave
Dave
13 days ago
Reply to  Simon

It’s difficult to be sure for lack of numbers, European production of shells is supposed to reach 2 million shells per year next year, that’s quite a hike, the eu promised a million and delivered 300k. The USA manages 300k per year and is ramping to 800k a year. So between us sub 3 million a year after 3 years ramp up. South Korea reckons the north is already churning out 2 million a year and building capacity. So I might be wrong next year, might, but I am right 2 years into a war for our very existence

Simon
Simon
13 days ago
Reply to  Dave

there is also a report that says half of the 1.5 million shells sent to Russia by North Korea don’t work and the rest often require inspection as they were produced in the 1970s & 1980’s.

Dave
Dave
13 days ago
Reply to  Simon

In truth i can’t imagine the ruskies examining anything and they seem to have a fair number that don’t actually blow up, that said if a shell of that size lands on your head you probably dont care if it goes bang or not, you will have a headache. Don’t put 2020s western care and health and safety thoughts on to the ruskies, they frankly don’t care and by not caring they will have won the war before we have sorted out which risk assessment forms we have to fill in

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon

I think I’m done here now……. way too many posters get things confused …. Even DM seems to get me totally wrong….. Farouk seems to be a God despite all the Racist comments…. Jim creates Trolls from his single brain cell and the Multiple account holders seem to fool virtually every other poster here….. UKDJ deletes perfectly normal posts and the whole site seems to be inhabited by folk with no actual forces related experience….. just huge Ego’s and rather rubbish Knowledge……. Looking at you Jim for one….😶

Peter S
Peter S
15 days ago

The main role of the LPDs is beach landings. A senior RM officer recently expressed doubt that an opposed beach assault could be undertaken against modern defences. Add to that the plan for the RM to return to a raiding role and it’s questionable how useful the LPDs will be. If the future is insertion by air, (Chinooks?), the Albions don’t really have enough flight deck capacity to facilitate this fully with only 2 landing spots.

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

It’s all about which Country these landings are to be made though…. a couple of Albions might make a difference in Sierra Leone if called upon … (again). but it’s hard to see how they could make any impact on say, Russia or China…. or for that matter, any other country to be brutally honest.

Chris
Chris
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Haiti..

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Chris

Cool…. Is that a UK Thing then ?

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

We mixed in a bit, historically (where didn’t we?), but the French, Spanish and Americans mixed in more. if you want to trace back which colonial power messed the place up the most, we can truthfully say, it wasn’t us!

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

It is more about a strategic insertion rather than repeating D-Day?

As we have seen in Ukraine getting bogged down in trench warfare is a bad thing. Having the Albions + Bays + ?? allows for manoeuvre warfare using the maratime domain.

frank
frank
15 days ago

Well that’s good then…..

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago

Where in NATO are we going to do that now? The Northern Flank bit has changed with Sweden and Finland being in NATO.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Isn’t that the point?

These give additional options that can surprise others at theatre and strategic levels?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago

LPDs primary task and its reason for its existence was delivering RM for Northern Flank reinforcement
The primary task which was essential for NATO is gone
Secondary, nice to have tasks will be sacrificed because the primary isn’t needed. Nice to haves are a bonus but not essential.

Dave
Dave
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

They would also make a helpful contribution if our friends Argentina decide on another venture to the Falklands

frank
frank
15 days ago
Reply to  Dave

With what will they make said venture mate ?….. I’m keen to learn what it is you know ?

Dave
Dave
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Frankly a few fishing boats would do it given how little we have, our entire royal navy wouldn’t make the force we sent last time. The level of defence is now so low we might as well scrap it all, even our nuclear deterrent is a feeble laughing stock more likely to destroy the launching platform than anything more than a hundred yards away

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

By buying 2 lpds formally the Albion and Bulwark a cut price

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  Dave

They were rather designed with that in mind as they were dreamed up by people with ‘82 experience.

They are crackingly good platforms.

Dave
Dave
15 days ago

Yes, needed and good but then this government seems to be preparing us for our fate under the Russian regime they have already given in to, not I expect labour have more of a clue, we need to vote for a new party, any new party

Peter S
Peter S
15 days ago
Reply to  frank

Yep. Interesting that in the recent Nordic Response exercise, RM units went ashore from Mounts Bay. Albions not involved.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

And also used pre-positioned kit from their permanent base in Norway.

Paul.P
Paul.P
15 days ago
Reply to  Peter S

Glad someone has pointed out the key problem with the LPDs; the flight deck is not big enough. Remember all the discussion a while back about Mistral LHDs. Given where we are the sensible thing to do is to replace them with a Bay Class / Enforcer type design which has more (Chinook sized) landing spots.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  Paul.P

LPD has 2 chinook spots. A Bay has one. LPD vs LPH is a balance between how much heavy ish kit you can land. Ocean had a very small vehicle deck and nothing bigger than a Coyote could be moved. Sustaining that force would be an issue without road tanker support which Ocean couldnt do. LPDs could do it using the LCUs to move kit ashore. However with raiding being the new thing, its a simple an in and out tasking with the need for sustaining ashore no longer an issue. You go in. Mallet everything in sight and leave.… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

LPD Chinook landing spots duly noted; also the profile of raiding versus amphibious led settlement. Mistral was just the first LHD that came to mind; I’m sure there would be more suitable designs. That said in entering into the joint design program with the Netherlands it does look like the RN has pretty much decided that we will be going for ships on the Enforcer/ Bay model rather than a thru’ deck LPH or LHD. Notwithstanding any rumours to the contrary, to me that would imply we retain both carriers; notionally one for sea control / strike and the other… Read more »

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
15 days ago

So after all the spin its now all but official – we will never see Albion or Bulwark at sea again under the white ensign. Also the end of LRG(N) and a black day for the RM’s. I presume that Bulwark will be retained in reserve and nominally available to be recommissioned for a prolonged period – perhaps until 2030? Clearly Albion will not now get the final refit that was planned. The question now is whether she will be sold immediately whilst buyers (India?) will stay pay a reasonable amount, or be kept as a source of spare parts… Read more »

frank
frank
15 days ago

Ermmm, Who knows really…. I see a lot about Labour on here….. about how they will be in power again soon….. God forbid ! ….. Who knows just how bad defence will be in their tenure….. NHS Sucks the life blood out of the UK’s Taxation…. Defence even given current and UTERLY APPARENT THREATS.. seems to be ignored by all but Reform….. Vote Labour at your own disgression..

Last edited 15 days ago by frank
ABCRodney
ABCRodney
15 days ago

I can’t see anyone buying these ships except for scrap value. Unlike most Amphibious ships these ones have IEP propulsion. And it doesn’t react well to not being used, HV Electric Motors and Switch gear all sat in a salty environment.
I seem to remember some hair raising srories about when Albion was being recommisioned after extended stand by.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

Argentina may purchase them through a third party

Richard Beedall
Richard Beedall
14 days ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

The ships aren’t that old and were built to military standards for a hard working 30-year service life. Since completion they have only been lightly used, although sticking them in to reserve for many years does allow undetected problems to emerge and fester. However, a potential buyer should easily get another 20 years of service out them.

The main problem will be the C3I systems, a lot will be removed before any sale and what left’s will be very dated. But India (the most eager potential buyer of the ships) may not regard that as a problem.

Aj
Aj
15 days ago

This what happens when you think the peace dividend can continue for ever . This is what happens when you cut defence spending every year for the last 35 years . It doesn’t matter who wins the next election unless either party is ready to actually invest in a sustainable increase in the defence budget going forward and not cook the books so as to appear to meeting the Nato aspirations of 2% of GDP then things will only get worse. I am not sure if everyone realises how monumentally Gordon Brown and Gideon Osborne cooked the books in reference… Read more »

Micki
Micki
15 days ago
Reply to  Aj

This is the goal , better to spend money paying social salaries to inmigrants and teaching lgtb and woke doctrine to children.

Tommo
Tommo
15 days ago
Reply to  Micki

Yep 8 year old not old enough too serve their country but old enough too change their Gender what a sick world we live in

Jon
Jon
15 days ago
Reply to  Aj

Gideon huh? Of course I knew about the book cooking, but not Gideon. Always learning new things on this site.

Micki
Micki
15 days ago

One of the Carriers Will follow sooner than later.
Russia, China and Argentina are Happy with tbe Scrap of British armed forces.
Welcome to British ministry of defence alias ministry of cuts.

Micki
Micki
15 days ago

Britain is no longer a trusted partner for the United States or tbevrest of NATO since its forces and weapons are being scrapped without limit and this does not look like it will end.

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago
Reply to  Micki

Rubbish. Nothing is being scrapped.

Micki
Micki
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Oh no, just compare the armed forces 20 years ago and now, better not to see the reality, isn,t ?
Open the eyes.

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
14 days ago
Reply to  Micki

People do not realize how big the RN was in as recent as 2004 (Iraq war 2), with 31 Destroyers/Frigates, and that was down from 37 in 1997, 51 in 1990 (Iraq war 1). Obviously, our credibility is low with such a drastic reduction. You can blame the peace dividend, but that is done!

You can say we have no money, but we had enough to blow on Covid and GDP/Debt ratio is the second lowest in the G7 after Germany, we need to invest and defence goes right back into the economy.

Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

We didn’t blow the money we put it on the national credit card. It was one of those (hopefully) once in a lifetime events (like wars) which means expenditure to survive. We can’t borrow much more without the creditors wondering if we might not be able to pay the money back. Expanding the economy is a good move and brings in more funds but going bankrupt is not a good move. Remember currently Russia is unlikely to be giving us a problem as it can’t handle Ukraine. So we have a little time.

Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Micki

20 years ago we had no aircraft carriers or Type 45s. Type 26 or 31 was just a dream. Yes we had a load of older stuff which was next to useless compared to say a T45. True we lost the Tornado which was an excellent machine but old age was its problem. We have too few replacements as yet. F35 has not really delivered. The Army is the biggest problem but probably the last on the military list. Are we still anticipating being front and centre in a land battle in central Europe. Probably not. Are we planning on… Read more »

Micki
Micki
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Don,t you see the situation ? , no news about new orders or replacements , only cuts, cuts and more cuts, without de facto LPD,s, with only 120 tanks , 130 fighters and only 16 escorts, if as I suspect one of the Carriers is going to be sold in the next years, with Russian agression in Europe and China preparing to take Taiwán by force this is a very bad and dangerous situation, if you don,t want to see this is your problem.

Last edited 14 days ago by Micki
Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Micki

Bulwark has gone into extended readiness. It has not been scrapped. The Government as not scrapping everything as you suggest they are increasing spending. However a type 26 costs 10 times the amount of a Type 23. Also we haven’t even tried a type 26 or type 31 out on the open seas. You want us to blindly commit to more without checking they work first? Pointless to commit anyway as there is (I believe) insufficent build space to get anymore started. Investments in NLAW or similar are far more important at this time than ancient tank designs. True more… Read more »

Martin
Martin
15 days ago

Better on stand by than sold or scrapped, just not sure the Navy could fully crew her any way.

Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Martin

I suspect if we need her desperately we will find a way

Martin
Martin
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

True its the British way, good under pressure crap up until then.

Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Martin

Absolutely. People expect the UK to have sufficient kit to fight a world war (on its own) in peace time. It’s not realisitic. Balwark is (of all the RN kit) the least likely to be useful today. Park it up, keep it ready, so it can be used if necessary. Good move in my book.

Martin
Martin
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

Yes some or most people think we will fight Russia etc on are own. No nation can fully man all its kit every military is under maned to some degree. We are never expected to field every single bit of kit once.
Large numbers of kit looks good on paper, it in its self is a paper tiger look at Russia lots of kit but most below average.

Ian
Ian
15 days ago

I was discussing our military with my Sons in the pub recently, following the conscription debate mentioned in the media, I was shocked by their reaction… why would anyone fight for a country that hates you…. and their mates are of the same opinion…

grizzler
grizzler
15 days ago
Reply to  Ian

If they were conscripted they wouldn’t have a choice surely?
However I get the spirit of the post – and yes I do wonder why anyone would choose the military these days- although not necessarily completely due to that reason but the underlying gist of that would be one of the considerations.

Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Ian

Did you point out that they effectively are the country – if only a small part of it.

It certainly isn’t like Russia. He is clearly not afraid to critisise the Government and he can vote and that will overturn (or confirm) the party of his choice in power (provided enough other people like him do the same).

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
15 days ago

How long would it take to go from extended readiness to active? It seems to be an excuse to make up for lack of equipment and man (sorry people) power for both of them! Yet more capability decline, that is very costly and slow to recreate.

Last edited 15 days ago by Nick Cole
Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Getting the kit ready should be really easy. It is the fully trained crew which would take the most time. Some experienced plus some on the job training would probably be the most likely scenario. I’m guessing Bulwark would manage to sail with any task group should the need arise.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
13 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

As long as we can find enough sailors to crew it!

Mark B
Mark B
13 days ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

When and if the time comes I doubt that will be a problem.

Mark B
Mark B
15 days ago

If we have fewer recruits for the RN then the future has to be autonomous systems for all future ships. Smaller crews and UAVs etc. Let’s stop thinking it’s a choice. It is a reality.

grizzler
grizzler
15 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

it doesnt have to be a reality though does it – only if you accept it.

There is a choice to be made here, decisions can be made to change that trajectory.

Autonomous systems shoud be built/used to augment men not merely to replace them because we cant be arsed to develop and fund a cohesive military strategy.

Still its the easiest and cheapest solution so …. crack on.,

Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  grizzler

It’s not easy grizzler it is very very difficult and expensive. However, like a missile, there are some things kit can potentially do better than people.

Other countries will build ships with less and less crew members. We live in a society where less people want to do the job and we don’t want to put anyones life at risk. It’s a win win situation.

Mark Ayscough
Mark Ayscough
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I think it is better to have uncrewed ships in drydock that can be deployed in an emergency by acquiring crew by some means, be that drafting retired sailors, pulling from merchant shipping crews or conscription/training. It can take years to build these ships so in a pinch it would be hard to rapidly build. Better to have no crew and ships rather than no ships but the ability to find crew. Japan is building 24 new frigates by 2028 and Japan has had recruitment issues for decades, even if the ships have crewing issues it’s better than being caught… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark Ayscough

Totally true. The path to crewless ships will be long and hard. Your solution satisfies the truth of the situation we curently find ourselves in. A pragmatic point. Better to order that stuff which takes the longest to arrive first.

Jon Hanney
Jon Hanney
15 days ago

If we sold a QE carrier to Oz we may well lose many of the crew who might choose to go with it. However, a swap of a QE class for a Canberra class, plus some cash, would be interesting. It would keep the RM’s happy and could carry a few F35’s when the remaining carrier is in for repair.

Trev
Trev
15 days ago
Reply to  Jon Hanney

😂

Meirion X
Meirion X
14 days ago
Reply to  Jon Hanney

What Nonsense you speak!
For starters, a Canberra carrier would Not take the weight of a F-35 without massive reinforcement of the deck, and to protect deck from holes being burnt into it, all just to carry only a few F-35’s! A totally uneconomic proposition! The RAN is also struggling with crewing, so very much doubt they could crew even one QE!

Last edited 14 days ago by Meirion X
Mark B
Mark B
14 days ago
Reply to  Jon Hanney

I suspect, for example, the T23 crews will enjoy the T26 much better.

Having not long had the carriers we would be daft to get rid of them. They are highly useful.

Bulwark is also highly useful in extended readiness.

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
15 days ago

Maintained in extended readiness is OK by me for the time being.
This when the security situation absolutely does not warrant scrapping capabilities hard learnt & hard financed by a long standing & undoubtedly maritime nation, situated at both a prime littoral and deep ocean crossroads – but where decisions upon which surface & subsurface assets are most urgently required on the front line now, both in offensive scalability & unit numbers, are still being resolved.

John Clark
John Clark
15 days ago

Hands up who surprised by this…..

It’s irrelevant anyway, Bulwark will sit alongside until SDSR 2025…..

klonkie
klonkie
15 days ago

Andy, I think it’s likely we’ll see Labour cancel the type 32 project. We’ll be lucky to land on 19 surface warships. They’ll probably place one the QE carriers in extended readiness as well. The Bay class vessels in the RFA are likely to be at risk and I would not be surprised if the one (or both) o the Wave class tankers are retired as well.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
14 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

Bays wont go. The RN gets a lot out of them for a low operating cost

klonkie
klonkie
14 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

thanks Gunbuster – good insight. 👌

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
13 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

I spend a lot of time working on the ones out here. They are in a very very good condition.

klonkie
klonkie
13 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks Gunbuster. I had a question the Albion class, that I hope you can assist me with.

Given they have no onboard hanger, how do they manage to maintain helo ops? I imagine the aircraft take a bit of a beating exposed on an open deck.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
13 days ago
Reply to  klonkie

They stay outside parked as close to the front of the FD as you can get them. Cover them up with covers. If embarked for a period the Woos do what they can. They can stl do most things just not in a hangar. No worse than deploying into the field.

klonkie
klonkie
13 days ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

That is interesting Gunbuster, thanks for clarifying.

Micki
Micki
15 days ago