Lord Adonis has incorrectly proclaimed that “Britain’s navy is now smaller than Italy’s!” in a now viral Tweet.

This article is part of our effort to correct online misinformation, we believe that no matter the party, organisation or individual making the incorrect claim, the claim must be challenged.

So, what’s the issue? It’s simply wrong and as a result it’s misleading.

There are over 184 vessels in service with the various branches of the UK’s Naval Service and supporting organisations, including; 75 commissioned ships of the Royal Navy, 33 landing craft of the Royal Marines, 63 auxiliary vessels of Marine Services and 13 auxiliary ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

The Italian Navy meanwhile maintains approximately 181 ships in service, including minor auxiliary vessels.

While on the surface, the numbers are broadly similar it is important to remember that unlike the Italian Navy, the Royal Navy is a blue water navy capable of prolonged and significant global deployment with high end assets like large aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and an extensive logistics, amphibious and sealift fleet.

Ocean going Italian ships include 2 light aircraft carriers, 3 small 8,000 tonnes amphibious transport docks, 4 air-defence destroyers, 3 general-purpose frigates, 9 anti-submarine frigates, and 8 conventional attack submarines. Patrol and littoral warfare units include one light patrol frigate, 10 offshore patrol vessels and two corvettes. In support of the fleet there are 10 mine countermeasure vessels, 4 coastal patrol boats and a small number of auxiliary ships.

For the Royal Navy, 23 are major surface combatants (6 guided missile destroyers, 13 frigates, 2 amphibious transport docks and 2 aircraft carriers), and 10 are nuclear-powered submarines (4 ballistic missile submarines and 6 fleet submarines). In addition the Royal Navy possesses 13 mine countermeasures vessels, 22 patrol vessels, 4 survey vessels and 1 icebreaker. In addition there are 13 ships belonging to the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, 6 tankers, 3 replenishment vessels, 3 large Bay class auxiliary landing ships and 1 aviation training & primary casualty receiving ship.

Both navies are designed to do very different things and comparing them is of course like comparing apples and oranges but let’s make sure we get the number of apples right first.

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Bloke down the pub
Bloke down the pub
7 months ago

Adonis is not one to let the facts get in the way of a good story. I had to laugh at his tweet. He asks if the size of the fleet is the reason UK defence minister didn’t attend Munich conference, before admitting that it was due to the re-shuffle being in progress. Put the lie in people’s mind and they’ll forget the truth.

Lee1
Lee1
7 months ago

Well the Government is doing this perfectly so why not the Lords too?

(Obviously it would be nice if all our politicians actually stuck to facts though)

David Flandry
David Flandry
7 months ago

He is wrong,but not by very much.

maurice10
maurice10
7 months ago
Reply to  David Flandry

I think we will be getting some defence news in the coming months about the need to address the needs of a global Royal Navy? The current plans are based around Britain in the European Union, which as we know, is no more and our thoughts and plans need to change towards a truly global fleet.

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Our armed forces should be focussed on the balic Scandinavia north sea and the north Atlantic. If we can support Australia and New Zealand, so much the better. We can help in the gulf, but not on our own.

So I would suggest that leaves us some way from being global.

maurice10
maurice10
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

WTO is where the UK is bound, and that means the RN needs the assets to protect UK interest globally. More ships will be inevitable once the trade situation becomes clearer.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

We don’t need warships to protect cargo ships. The trade routes are open and doing fine today.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Robert, the point of having a defence force is to, 1) deter war &, 2) should war occur be able to defend our vital national interests. At the moment we have peace and therefore our trade routes (piracy aside) are secure but that could change. Without a substantial fleet of escorts this country would inevitably suffer economic collapse and famine, not something to gamble upon.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

All countries rely on trade routes open, litrally thousands of vessels are sailing our oceans daily, a few more Frigates is not going to make much difference. We live in a global economy, we are not going to suddenly find ourselves cut off.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Don’t agree. It’s a bit of a Neville Chamberlain attitude, everything is OK now so it will always be fine. A few more frigates will make a great difference. Actually having a small navy makes a nuclear war more likely because if a conflict broke out we could either starve or nuke them – no other options.

SoleSurvivor
SoleSurvivor
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

“Actually having a small navy makes a nuclear war more likely because if a conflict broke out we could either starve or nuke them – no other options.”

I have seen some crazy sentences on here over the years but this takes some beating, wtaf

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
7 months ago
Reply to  SoleSurvivor

😄🤣 well said sir. Folks on here need to get there heads out of Tom Clancy novels

SoleSurvivor
SoleSurvivor
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I know Robert gets a bit ridiculous on here sometimes

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
7 months ago
Reply to  SoleSurvivor

It sure does, the fantasy fleets, and the fantasy wars against China, and the Russian fleet of hypersonic dog shite gets a little waring. 😆

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I think you mean me. Anyway you have your views and I have mine. Hope your confidence doesn’t result in a lot of people suddenly swimming around in the North Atlantic saying ‘what war?’ or ‘where did that missile come from?’7

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

After serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Invincible class carriers for 14 years in operations around the world , I am more than confident we won’t find ourselves swimming in the Atlantic, or starving to death, or suddenly loosing a warship to a phantom anti ship missile. The Navy knows a hell of a lot more a about defending it vessels then blokes on the internet.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  SoleSurvivor

That is probably one of the most uninformed strategic comments ever made on here. Of course having limited conventional capability means we need to rely on ‘ultimate weapons.’ Also, as an island nation – you know ‘global Britain’ and all that – we will be even more tied to our Navy for our very existence in times of conflict. Failure to plan for adversity ensure failure in adversity. It’s OK, keep laughing, until it’s too late.

SoleSurvivor
SoleSurvivor
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

What on earth are you talking about it’s a deterrent! We won’t be relying on “ultimate weapons” if this imaginary blockade to starve an imaginary country in this imaginary war of yours So for arguments sake Iraq miraculously repelled our invasion in 2003, should we then of Nuked Baghdad? Because our conventional weapons did not win Our nuclear deterrent is a strategic asset it does not support or make up for anything in our conventional forces you sound like Putin ffs I have always said on here that I want more spent on defence in all areas The problem with… Read more »

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  SoleSurvivor

1. All defence planning is based on imaginary wars, that’s what future planning is about. 2. Not arguing for 50 ships. We need 25. 3. If you have nuclear weapons and less conventional weapons then obviously the room for manoeuvre is smaller. 4. Being an island the priority, obviously, should be the Navy 5. I haven’t mentioned Brexit but you obviously have a button pressed here. If we trade more with far away countries, nothing wrong with that, we need to be able to protect our trade. 6. What imaginary war? You know the Russians & Chinese, building all those… Read more »

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

What war? Our role is as part of NATO. Who is going to start a war?

David Flandry
David Flandry
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

A question asked in 1914, 1939, 1950, etc.

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Trevor – The World today is a very uncertain place – were you aware that yesterday Soldiers from NATO were killed in a Russian Airstrike ?.

Nick
Nick
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Robert, let me remind you about the Straits if Hormuz right now.

maurice10
maurice10
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

I was going to add a comment but Rob says it all….end of.

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Tell that to crews of ships transiting the Strait of Hormuz, or off Somalia.

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

I do not where you get that from. Are we convoying merchantmen all over the place?
The gulf is a tricky place, but other warships are there beside us.
Otherwise than that it is absurd to suggest we are swanning round all the place to need to clear away the sea lanes.

Robert Blay
Robert Blay
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Australia trades on WTO rules, do they need 50 Escorts to protect it’s trade routes . No, no it doesn’t.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Robert Blay

Mmm. The Australians are building a new fleet of quiet SSKs and planning a substantial fleet of Hunter Class T26, a gold plated ASW design. They are also buying significant numbers of Poseidon P8, complete with underwing AShM, so it is not true to say they are not protecting their regional trade routes and contributing a policing presence to support the international rules based order which Chinese expansionism might put at risk. Remember China is a country where your organs are at risk if you are in prison, where the authorities will burn down your church if you are Christian… Read more »

David
David
7 months ago
Reply to  maurice10

Don’t expect any good news. The government’s budget is under pressure, and a defence review is always about saving money.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago

Lord Adonis is a very easy target and I get that people like to bash anti Brexiteers. The real truth is, whatever the comparison with Italy is, the Royal Navy is too small.

The escort fleet of 19 is too small, too old and not being replaced soon enough.

HF
HF
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Very true

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

I think we’ve thrown the P2000’s into the ‘patrol boat’ numbers too which can be a bit um, ‘misleading’.

If the UK wants to have a smaller Armed Forces I’m cool with that, if they want to prioritise the health service or whatever, fine but if the UK Government are wanting to be all ‘Billy big baws’ about our Armed Forces then they need to put the money in. This ‘death of a thousand cuts’ does nobody any good.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Billy Big Baws! :O)

Christopher Allen
Christopher Allen
7 months ago

Yes, he is technically wrong, but what he is trying to imply isn’t incorrect. The Royal Navy is too small, especially if we are looking at involvement in the South China Sea.

Trevor
7 months ago

It is not clear to me why we should be swannning around in the South China Sea.

HF
HF
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Lots of UK trade goes through there, surely ? Also, you have to show willing or Trump will throw his dolly out of his pram.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Hi Trevor, That’s because it isn’t clear, mate. In fact one reason for us supporting the US (a key reason for being there i of itself) is that the West is desperately trying to hold up the rules based geopolitical structure because there is nothing else to replace it as yet. It is increasingly difficult and dangerous given the Grey Zone issue (see the related post on here recently). Also, for the UK there is the ghost of Neville Chamberlain’s ‘Peace in our Time’ Munich deal which sums up the misunderstanding of events in Europe in the late 1920’s and… Read more »

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

We can support Australia and America, we are allies. Our immediate defence needs are the north Atlantic and Baltic. And… A frigate in the gulf. A frigate supporting Australia. We do our turn in the black sea. There are limits to what we do.

But why should China block sea lanes.

The main activity that involves China is Taiwan and the US 7th Fleet is there.

expat
expat
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

I guess it would depend on how any possible China/US conflict over Taiwan panned out, as NATO members an attack on one the other NATO countries have obligations to defend. If China knows that the US would come to Taiwan’s aid then a preemptive strike on US bases could be something they would consider. Certainly letting China know that NATO nations have the capability to support the US in the far East is a good deterrent to a future conflict. Wars occur when one side believes it has the upper hand and there would be limited response from opposing side.… Read more »

Lee1
Lee1
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

I think you have forgotten that China has essentially annexed the entire South China sea and is rapidly militarising it.

the_marquis
the_marquis
7 months ago

Lord Adonis might be wrong in his figures, but he might be right in drawing attention to the shrunken size of the Royal Navy at present.

Then again, his grand plan for HS2, worked out on the back of a fag packet is now going to cost us three times over what he initially promised: enough for 3 Royal Navies at current numbers!*

*this is an exaggeration for dramatic and comic effect; I have not attempted to work out exactly how many ships could be built for the HS2 overruns 😀

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  the_marquis

The offcial estimate for HS2 is £106bn.
Inflation adjusted purchase cost of the Navy (2 QECs, 6 T45, 13 T23, 3 Astutes, 3 Trafalars, 2 Albions, 3B1 + 3B2 Rivers, 13 MCM, 17 Archers, 2 Scimitars, 2 Echos, 1 Scott, 1 Protector, 1 Magpie, so excluding RFA, RM and nuclear deterrent) £31bn.
So three times is no exaggeration, unless you wanted to include to hyper-expensive nuclear deterrent submarine programme, that costs as much as the rest of the fleet put together.

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Jon

Once the HS2 (irrespective of what the actual cost is) stops then so does the money. What ever we commit to in defence is ongoing.
Whatever we spend in investment we hope to get a return of some kind. Without a growing economy we will struggle to support defence and other services.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Spot on!

Jon
Jon
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Of course the money stops. The trains run on fairy dust and the high-tech UBTs (unmanned buffet trolleys) never break down. So the money stops after HS2, just like after Crossrail, because the £40bn Crossrail 2 is a myth. And after HS2, there’ll defnitely be no HS3. Rail costs to buy, to maintain, to operate, to update and to replace. Annual train subsidies have fluctuated between about £5bn and £7.5bn a year since 2005. If rail was a one-off purchase, the existing track from London to Birmingham wouldn’t need enhancing. So feel free to argue we need the new rail-links,… Read more »

the_marquis
the_marquis
7 months ago
Reply to  Trevor

Hi Trevor, my reference to HS2 was tongue in cheek, and it wasn’t a discussion about whether it should be continued to be built. My point is that it was poorly thought out in the beginning when Lord Adonis was SoS for Transport, and that has led to the cost estimate ballooning from £36bn in 2010 to £106bn in 2019. I was therefore using it as an example of Lord Adonis’ poor judgement to show why he should not be taken too seriously. I could also have used university tuition fees as another, as he was the principal policymaker at… Read more »

expat
expat
7 months ago
Reply to  Jon

I don’t think the official estimate is 106bn its a cost that we could incur. That would be the amount if all risks materialised.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  the_marquis

I believe most of the ‘overun’ results from government insistence that the constructors insure against delays etc. The real ‘overrun’ versus the original £50b budget is much smaller. Chapter and verse here.

Bottom line….we should build it. As with defence contracting the real problem is vendors having to account financially for government indecision ….

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oakervee-review-of-hs2

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Typically politicians will kick any difficult decision down the road if they can, if they can’t they’ll allow their optimism to drive the business case delay as much as they can and make sure they have moved onto bigger and better things when everything comes shambling home to roost. Preferably in the private sector and for big bucks… I’m sure they play ‘kick the can’ in the back yard of No.10! He or she who kicks their can the shortest distance has to step up and make that days difficult decision! The Doomed Ones! The smartest kicks their can just… Read more »

the_marquis
the_marquis
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Hi Paul P, I believe the original forecast was £30-36bn in 2010. Agreed, a lot of the overrun is linked to HMG putting the risk on industry. But also as highlighted in the Oakervee Review, HS2 Ltd greatly underestimated the cost of the works and how much would be needed to be spent at the beginning. Whether they did so deliberately to win the contract or were just plain wrong it is not possible to say. In fairness to govt I would say that there has never been any official wavering over HS2, unlike most defence projects, if anything there… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  the_marquis

Well, lots of pertinent observations m’lord. I am happy to believe your hypothesis that Labour party support for HS2 was driven by a desire to garner votes in the North. For what it’s worth it is my view that our issues with EU freedom of movement arise from the fact that Labour and Conservative conspired in an unholy alliance to accelerate EU immigration; the former because they anticipated more supporters, the latter because they anticipated more profit based on low wages. Both took the view of I’m alright Jack but screw the longterm interest of the country as a whole.… Read more »

Gavin Gordon
Gavin Gordon
7 months ago
Reply to  the_marquis

Yet for an Upper House lord, the substance of the whole tweet is silly. Say something sensible for your expenses, or I’ m more than willing to see the vast majority of them pastured.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Gavin Gordon

Difficult in this day and age to justify an upper house populated on the basis of patronage. House of Lords should be an elected upper chamber whose members are elected by PR to represent major cities and regions.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago

“While on the surface, the numbers are broadly similar it is important to remember that unlike the Italian Navy, the Royal Navy is a blue water navy capable of prolonged and significant global deployment with high end assets like large aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and an extensive logistics, amphibious and sealift fleet.”

According to Wikipedia Italy is classed as having a blue water navy?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-water_navy#Examples_of_blue-water_navies

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel, the argument between the RN & Italian navy is just weiner waving and isn’t an argument that we, 1) need or, 2) is helpful. What is important is the question – does the current structure & size of the Royal Navy match our global ambitions? The answer is obviously not so we need a significant uplift in spending and capability and this must be delivered by the new government. Anything less is a big fail.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Agreed, we either need to climb back from using the Navy as a way to demonstrate global ambitions (since realistically it doesn’t really matter, trade is based on what you have to sell and the price, not what ship you have packed in what dock) or we have to build more ships, spreading so thin means that if the worst did happen, we would have real problems as we would take months to get the navy back together and equipped, to create any meaningful taskforce.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

I get your point about a task force but that is really only a fraction of the problem. Imagine a war where a task force (carrier strike and amphibious group is needed – a bit like the Falklands). We would still need to do:

Nuclear deterrent
Counter Russian nuclear deterrent (that’s attack subs)
Convoy protection in the North Atlantic
British overseas territory protection / policing
Fishery protection
UK maritime patrol
etc…

As Well! A fleet of 19 escorts doesn’t cut the mustard. Either 1) dispose of the blue water navy ambition or 2), fund it properly.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Even at the time of the falklands, we received support from NZ to help with the standing roles. In 2020, a task force would be a struggle, for sure standing duties would need to suffer, which in theory is what the river2s are for, but clearly they are only useful in peacetime.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Agreed Rob, let’s hope a solution can be found to increase the number of hulls required in order to do so!

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

There is a solution: more money. The problem is the government won’t allocate it. 19 is far too few. We should work our way back up to 25 as a realistic number to reach. This is achievable with Type 31 as it will cost a fraction of Type 26. Hopefully we’ll be able to build more of them and these can take some of the less fighty roles, freeing up the Type 26s and Type 45s purely for fleet defence. Ideally we might even get some export orders, increasing the number of ships built and driving down the cost further,… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Steve R, its not just the initial cost of the platforms though, we need to crew them and equip (and fuel) them….. it all adds up. I’m not arguing against you by the way, I see 25 escort platforms as a minimum too and agree with your logic of using the 31’s ‘on station’ to free up the more capable platforms. It will take will power from Government and its not very headline grabbing unfortunately.

Then there’s the problem of where we’re going to get all the extra matelots from, plenty of options for kids these days.

HF
HF
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

‘Then there’s the problem of where we’re going to get all the extra matelots’ – better pay & conditions (more money of course) and more emphasis on the privilege and honour of serving.

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  HF

I’m going to go out on a limb here HF and say cash goes a lot further than some nebulous “privilige and honour”… I didn’t know anyone who joined up for noble reasons, we all do/did it for our own ends, whether that was the ‘adventure’ side or because there weren’t a lot of options or whatever. I can honestly say I never served with anyone who joined up for ‘Queen and Country’. I could go on a rant about what I think would help recruitment and retention and the two are linked but I’ll try and limit it. Guys… Read more »

HF
HF
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

You’ve broken my heart and shattered my illusions…. I did say pay and benefits first, though.

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  HF

🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I know people who will take any ‘nobility’ kudos going, but that’s people for you I suppose. Nah for me it started off as the ‘Commando Comic’ stuff, then became the ‘one of the lads’ stuff, work hard, play hard, then became a slugfest hanging in there for the pension. I’ve got mates who are still in basically because they’ve reached a level of seniority and pay that they would struggle to get outside and are also institutionalised largely. Even the ‘golden handcuffs’ stuff only works to an extent, you trap people into staying, a… Read more »

Dejango
Dejango
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Wikipedia clearly states that the Italian Navy is a Regional Blue Water Navy. They have Amphib, Naval Aviation et al but limited to the Med

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Dejango

Blue Water Navy, that’s correct. This article tends to suggest otherwise which was my point. It says further down: 51 Today the navy possesses two aircraft carriers (Cavour and Giuseppe Garibaldi) as well as a modern fleet of surface combatants and submarines. The Marina Militare routinely deploys to the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf as part of multinational anti-piracy missions such as Operation Ocean Shield and Operation Atalanta and is capable of deploying a carrier battle group in support of NATO or EU operations such as during Operation Enduring Freedom (2001) and EU Navfor Med (European migrant crisis). in 2015… Read more »

Steve H
Steve H
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

Nigel, note where it says “regional blue water” Navy, the Royal Navy is Global……..always has been, always will be…….

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve H

That’s correct Steve H, but you seem to miss the point I’m trying to make!

“While on the surface, the numbers are broadly similar it is important to remember that unlike the Italian Navy, the Royal Navy is a blue water navy”

The point is, the Italian Navy is classed as a “BLUE WATER NAVY” and the article tends to suggest otherwise.

The fact that it is a regional blue-water navy and the RN is Global is irrelevant.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago

I believe he was responding/reacting to another post that i saw somewhere, which was talking about the reduction in hull numbers thanks to the delays in the t31. Although he slightly misinterpreted it to talk about today rather than in a few years time. Currently the RN has 19 destroyers/frigates with 2 in extended readiness (mothballed effectively), so practically 17. The Italian navy has 17. So if 1 or more t31 go out of service before the corresponding t31 comes (which i understand from the current delays its likely 2), we will be less vessels than the Italian navy. Clearly… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Hi Steve and everyone,

Here is an article on Save the Royal Navy about progress on the T31 programme and how Babcock plan to deliver all of the T31 by 2028! Looks like they’ll build them 2 by 2…

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/britain-gets-a-new-frigate-factory/

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

If all goes to plan!

“Manufacturing will commence in 2021, and the hull of ship 1 must be in the water by 2023, although she will not be fully operational until May 2027.”

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Collins

“If all goes to plan” 🙂

Give’m a break, mate. They’re at the enthusiastic stage of the project all rushing around excitedly getting stuff done. They’ll get to the “blaming the innocent” and rewarding the “uninvolved” sooon enough, about 2025 and 2030 respectively, I’d say… 🙂 It’ll be here before yer know it 🙁

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Thanks for the link CR.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

You’re welcom. Joking with Nigel aside I hope Babcock cut a lucky break and get a couple more orders, one from the RN to take fleet numbers to 20 or 21 would be a good if modest start.

As I have said elsewhere I do not see Babcock or HMG supporting this type of investment without something in the wind. Might be letting me optimistic streak to be getting better of me on this one but I think we might get a modest batch 2 T31 order – provided nothing goes too badly wrong in the meantime…

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

I hope you’re right CR, I know governments have a tricky job trying to juggle where to spend the cash but I think we’re at the point where we as a nation either need to pull our heads in defence-wise or properly fund what we’re looking to achieve. As ‘we’ seem keen to run with the CSG(s) I guess it’s ‘full steam ahead’ as opposed to reducing our defence footprint. It brings it down to robbing Peter to pay Paul, what else is going to have to give in the defence budget, or which of the 3 services has the… Read more »

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

There are a couple of good articles over on the Thin Pinnstriped Line at the moment. One arguing for an Army based strategy and another arguing for a Naval strategy. They are a good way of laying out the options, risks and impacts and worth a read.

https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2020/01/fortress-britain-is-it-time-to-rethink.html

https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2020/01/doing-more-with-less-argument-for.html

I hope people remember he is playing the devil’s advocate which can be a tough thing to try on the interweb!

Sean
Sean
7 months ago

As yes Lord Adonis, the guy who proposed HS2 and told Brexiteers he didn’t want them to vote Labour… He’s a walking, talking example of why the House of Lords should be scrapped.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

I would have thought that he would be very popular on this site. Strange world we live in!

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Well he did change his mind on the ‘Brexiteer votes not wanted by Labour’ point after it was pointed out to him it was political suicide: I suspect he probably got a call from Labour Party HQ too 🤣

Steve H
Steve H
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Adonis has no credibility and is about as popular as a dose of gonorrhea. He has no right to even make comments on defence, let alone criticise the current governments defence policy. I use less polite language but I won’t.

Martin
Martin
7 months ago

The real question we should be asking is how Italy gets so much on a third of our Budget. The standard answers is always nuclear submarines and weapons but these take up less than 5% of the defence Budget we are told.

Paul42
Paul42
7 months ago
Reply to  Martin

Very good point, one which is conveniently ignored…….how do we get so little for so much?

Trevor
7 months ago
Reply to  Martin

The Italians are about to pay off a number of ships aren’t they? Their escort numbers are to be reduced to 12 in due course.
I think everyone needs to keep out of the Fake News stakes.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Martin

I am not sure Italy has more capability. Their army and airforce do not compare. They do not take part actively in combat overseas, just a token force to say they are onboard. Their navy seems to be better equipped than their other services with Fremm, Horizon and OPV, but that is about it. Their “carriers” are nothing more than LHDs and not close to QE class, very little in amphibious or capacity to project power anywhere, very little in terms of AWACS or Maritime patrol aircraft, subs etc… there are many capability gaps, so Italy cannot do what the… Read more »

RobW
RobW
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

It has never been the intention to equip 2 carrier groups at the same time, the RN has always stated that having 2 means we have 1 in active service. In conflict we would of course build up a second group but with the help of our NATO allies. It would be great to have 2 fully equipped CSGs but in reality we do not have the hulls or the budget, so it has never been the plan to do so.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  RobW

I am not saying the contrary. But having a second carrier which will spend its time docked is not without cost. That money could have been better spent on something more useful like a few more type 26.
My 2 cents

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Having a 2nd carrier enables us to have one available at all times. Otherwise we are like the French navy; their carrier Charles de Gaulle is only available half the time.

With 2 carriers we are ready for war at any time. With 1 carrier we have to hope that if war comes it’s not while it’s undergoing maintenance.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

CDG has 85% operational rate, it had just had an extensive midlife refit. I know french bashing is a national sport but 50% is not even close to reality. The UK has had no carrier for a decade since the Harriers were retired in 2010. And the QE is still not really operational since it still awaiting deliveries of F35B aircraft. Has the world ended? Anyway my argument still stands. You have approx 85% carrier availibility. The lack of 15% avalability can be counterbalanced by Nato or accelerating the repairs if need be. But £3B for the 2nd carrier could… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

I’m not French bashing, but ships need time in maintenance just like aircraft do. I think 85% is high, probably exaggerated somewhat. Even if true that’s more likely due to just having an extensive refit. And that’s the whole point of having 2: if one is in refit we still have another. That’s just for planned refits and maintenance, to say nothing of things going wrong. What if a system goes kaput on our one and only carrier? We have zero power projection capabilities while it is undergoing repairs. These are complex ships and things can and do go wrong… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

Not True, only about 60% availability Max, with only 1 carrier!

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

I Only Wished this Fact would Sink In!

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Not a fact. It has undergone 2 overhauls in maintenance of 15 months each (refuel + modernization), and a couple of shorter repairs (transmission and resurface of landing deck). 3 years for almost 20 years of service, that is approx 85% operational

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

That doesn’t count standard maintenance in port after coming home from deployment. The ship doesnt just sit idly in port with nothing being done to it, waiting and ready for the next trip out. There will be months between deployments and a fair bit of that time will be in standard maintenance.

Even with that it would be hard to get ready quickly. In 1982 we scraped together a fleet with 2 carriers in a rush, and we had 4. If we had only 1 or 2 at the time we would have been screwed.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

True but QE class are not nuclear so do not need long and delicate refuel operations, so they should have better availability than nuclear carriers. Anyway even if the QE operational rate was a low as 50% (which i highly doubt) in case of emergency, the work could be postponed accelarated. And you don’t just send a carrier into battle without planning and preparation of all navy assets, so it wouldn’t just set saio the next day. RE Falklands, 2 carriers were sent, but they were much smaller carriers with a lot fewer planes. The QE can carry more aircraft… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

They are not nuclear but that only affects during a midlife refit where they remove and replace the nuclear fuel. The QE ships, conventionally powered, will still have to undergo plenty of maintenance. No, you don’t just send a carrier into battle on a moment’s notice, but the Falklands fleet was put together rapidly and shipped out. That couldn’t happen if it was a single ship halfway through a maintenance cycle. Otherwise, we would have sent 3 or even all 4 carriers. We couldn’t do that however. Ignoring France, let’s look at another navy with a single carrier: Russia’s Admiral… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Lordtemplar

You Need to include standard maintenance and port leave of crew on top of the Overhauls!

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Martin

I would have thought that those who support a larger Royal Navy would be only too glad of Adonis’ comments. Mind you, if I remember correctly, I think it was Adonis that negotiated the PFI deal for RAF tankers 🙁

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

No such thing as a free lunch. The NHS budgets are having to pick up the PFI hospital funding scam. Ask yourself who benefited? Adonis social circle I’ll bet you .

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

Wrong party Paul.,,,that is very much Tory territory!

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Nope it was Blair that pushed PFI funding the most, particularly with regard to the NHS and hospital buildings. I had a friend at the time working for Rabobank who said they were rubbing their hands with glee at the profits they were going to make on the hospitals.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Ummmm, I think that you will find that Adonis did the PFI deal with the RAF tankers!

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Then that’s something else he cocked up… 🤦‍♂️

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I’m not sure we can add the PFI Tanker deal to his list of crimes… though proposing both HS2 and Tuition Fees is probably enough to condemn him.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

HS2 is a much needed infrastructure programme…..you either want Britain to move forward or remain in the C19th with shit on the tracks! Tuition fees is another issue….few people like the idea, but give me a reasonable alternative if you want to increase participation in higher education.

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

What will make far more difference to the travelling public and economically to the regions is better commuter services in each area, rather than long distance services you might use once or twice a year. Yes there is a capacity problem on the West Coast mainline, thanks to Beeching axing the Central Mainline – the last to be built and virtually on a straight path to the Midlands. But we don’t need a line that can handle trains of 400 km/h – especially when the trains for the foreseeable future can’t reach that speed. Too many people now go into… Read more »

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

The point is Sean that by removing intercity services from the west coast line allows for more commuter and freight services. It isn’t a matter of massive transference capacity but more a freeing up of slow vs fast services. As far as HS2 is concerned, it seems to me that it only makes sense if it is part of a larger network stretching to Scotland. If you are going to build a new railway why would you build a slow one…you build for the future. I agree that the Great Central line should be reinstated and that would help provide… Read more »

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I don’t believe they’ll remove InterCity services from the West Coast Mainline, so commuters wont see any benefit. The speed of the line simply makes Birmingham a possible commuter dormitory for London!! I think massively expanding the coverage of the Tyne & Wear Metro, building high speed commuter lines between Northern cities (York, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool), the metro system on Merseyside, etc would have greater economic benefit to these areas than a 400km/h HS2 line between London and Brum. And the 400kmh will only be possible on the first stretch to Brum, after that the line meanders too… Read more »

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

Your last point is spot on….poly’s and higher education establishments were directly connected with the educational needs of the country. Becoming 3rd rate universities was a poor move by many of them…and the government (Labour) was sucking on its own anus in approving it!

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

“Tuition fees is another issue….few people like the idea, but give me a reasonable alternative if you want to increase participation in higher education.” Herodotus, my preferred way to spend the ‘graduate money’ would be to issue bursaries for needed qualifications. X thousand maths, Y thousand physics etc etc, its not a hundred percent fair right enough, there might be a lot of unhappy kids who weren’t able to get one of the 3 media studies bursaries. I suppose those with rich enough parents could pay for them, those who can’t might have to apply for a bursary in something… Read more »

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

Some interesting information from someone that half understands the present situation. As it happens, I have a 1st class degree in history from Bristol University, I understand that this is not a bollocks degree. As a teacher in further education can I point out that we only teach to level 3. We do offer some undergraduate courses but they are increasingly rare. As for funding non-mainstream courses, that ended many years ago under New Labour. Everyone has an opinion about education….go teach for a while and then tell me about it!

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Apologies if I’ve touched a nerve Herodotus, all I can say that as a teacher in higher education, you might have a vested interest in the status quo. It certainly doesn’t mean your opinions are right and others are wrong. Take a couple of marching paces and reread what I wrote, nowhere did I say that some subjects were worthless, I used a ‘catch all’ expression of “bollox”, which I didn’t clarify, I did allude to Media Studies but you’ve got to give me that one. We’ve got gazillions of them bless. Funnily enough ‘the artist formerly known as Mrs… Read more »

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

You haven’t touched a nerve, just vocalised some common misconceptions. As I pointed out, I teach in Further Education not Higher Education. If you don’t understand the difference ask the Mrs. As for my opinions not being any more relevant than anyone else’s ….well, what’s the point of experience. The trouble with education is that everyone has an opinion regardless of how uninformed it is!

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

“The trouble with education is that everyone has an opinion regardless of how uninformed it is!”

…..So the same as every other aspect of society. I’m sure you have fairly strong views on things you’ve no direct experience of, we all do. If you choose to appoint yourself as an expert on a subject, that’s up to you, don’t be surprised if the rest of the planet doesn’t fall in three deep behind you.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Andy P

I haven’t appointed myself, I happen to be an experienced teacher in the post 16 sector and therefore informed about the subject that I am commenting on. You, are an arrogant know all that always has to have the last word on every topic….regardless of whether you know stuff all about it.

Andy P
Andy P
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Oh Herodotus, sorry if I’ve stolen your thunder on the last word…. Is a nurse an expert on the NHS or is she an expert on nursing, is a soldier/sailor/airman an expert on the Armed Forces…. is a lecturer an expert on Education….. You keep telling us how clever you are (and have a good line of condescension) so you figure it out. Its just possible that just because you’re part of the system, it doesn’t make you an expert on that system. That you can get drawn into an online spat on it with an “arrogant know all” suggests… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

To be honest I don’t think we need to increase participation any more. Approx 1/3 of kids go to uni now and the value of a degree has dropped.

I graduated from university in 2006 and couldn’t find a decent job after. I was stuck on a checkout in Sainsburys for 5 years. Didn’t help I failed application to join the army on medical grounds.

Problem is that there are only so many graduate jobs around, and when every man and his dog has a degree their value goes down.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

Yes Steve…..I sympathise with your viewpoint. Of course, a university education is, hopefully, more than just about getting a good job. But it would be nice to think that there are jobs out there that are appropriate. Many graduates are now finding that the degree itself is not so useful and undertake post graduate training of some sort. A degree itself is no longer the passport to a successful career as it once was. Apprenticeships are the way forward….including graduate apprenticeships!

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I agree, i think apprenticeship is the way forward for a lot of the young now.

With regards to the forces I think maybe they need to start showcasing the training they provide, free of charge whilst also being paid.

In a world where the cost of a degree can now put you in close to £50,000 of debt, the military should be more visible in offering a debt free career path and chance to learn a trade and skills.

julian1
julian1
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I agree H, who really cares if his assertion has arguable accuracy (many on this thread have already justified what he said.) Whether you spin it pessimistically “The RN is smaller than the Italian navy” or “The RN is second only in NATO to the USN” – both can be argued to be accurate. The fact is a senior politician is stating the RN is too small and bringing attention to the fact. And that from a member of the Labour Party. It’s good news…now lets increase the size of the RN!!

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  julian1

Indeed….I have recently re-joined the Labour Party in order to take part in the next leadership elections. We need someone that is electable…..only Kier Starmer, of the options available, can bring Labour back to the centre ground of Social Democracy!

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

I think everyone on here understands that the fleet is too small and that is the important thing. Now defence spending is never popular until it is actually needed, by which time it is too late. Politicians (of all parties) need to get the message across to the public that as an island nation our Navy is very important and that an uplift is now necessary. I’m not advocating breaking the bank or taking large amounts away from the NHS or education but rather a small correction towards 2.5% of GDP, a figure which is well below Cold War levels.… Read more »

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Sure, I agree with most of what you say! But we desperately need a cross party consensus on defence issues. Defence cannot continue to be a political football when the modern world demands a long-term strategy. We have wasted billions on political dithering….it can’t go on. The people of this country need to know the absurdity of some of the decision making. Perhaps the Daily Heil could do something useful for a change (supporting fascist dictators must be out of vogue by now) and promote a better understanding of the issues amongst the general public!

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

Yes a cross party consensus is desperately needed, trouble is we need this in defence, social care, NHS spending, university education (not to mention the B word), etc, etc but all they want to do is take swipes at each other.

The SDSR must be realistic and not completely treasury led. The defence select committee need to make sure the MOD & FO are kept ‘honest’ throughout – I’m not holding my breath though because money, with all the things we have going on in the country just now, isn’t going to be easy to secure.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Yep…I agree with most of that. But a consensus should be deliverable as long as it based on the strength of the economy. Their is no point in massive capital projects if they are not sustainable. I have yet to be convinced about the efficacy of large carriers. I think we would be far more effective militarily if we concentrated on our regional responsibilities….most of which could be covered by land based aircraft.

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

My money is on Kier Starmer, and if he becomes Labour leader I could see myself voting Labour in 5 years time.

That said, no idea what his views on defence are.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

I have no idea either….but the battle at the moment is to wrestle the party out of the hands of the left and make it electable again. I would like to see factions like momentum expelled from the party and Labour to become a true social Democratic Party. Momentum is nothing more than a frontage for the SWP…….if those bastards want a neo communist party then they should bloody well start their own…I’m sick of them trying to hijack the Labour Party.

Joe16
Joe16
7 months ago
Reply to  Martin

That is only the operational running costs (now being stated as 6%), which the government like to throw around to make it seem like a small amount. That is, but it hides the numbers, which the MOD is very good at (11th worst department out of 18 for transparency, Treasury and HMRC are the worst). It is entirely unclear what is included in that 5-6%, and it definitely doesn’t include for conventional security for the deterrent. It may not include base maintenance costs and other associated costs. The Dreadnaught programme and Trident replacement are coming out of the MOD’s core… Read more »

MrSatyre
MrSatyre
7 months ago

You have a Lord named Adonis? That’s awesome. Too bad he sounds inept.

Bob Hodges
Bob Hodges
7 months ago
Reply to  MrSatyre

His brother is called Baron Hercules and their Dad was The Duke of Olympus.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  MrSatyre

His father was a Greek-Cypriot…his real name is Andreas Adonis. The Lord bit is a courtesy title for those that have been elevated to the second chamber. He, like most of the House of Lords, is not a British aristocrat…..his father was a waiter!

geoff
geoff
7 months ago

Comparing Navies in terms of number of hulls or total tonnage is of course but a crude tool. Clearly if one factors in firepower, reach, the general capabilities of crew and equipment and of course the nuclear deterrent then the RN remains up there.However I agree with the general opinion here that numbers are too few. Factoring in the certainty that a ship or aircraft can only be in one place at a time, no matter how modern and powerful, then on a relatively fixed budget you have only one option to increase numbers and that is to sacrifice capability.So… Read more »

expat
expat
7 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Geoff I was scanning down the comments to see if someone was going to make the observation that its not just hulls and tonnage. For instance I believe at surge capacity with 2 carriers we could deploy close 90 5th Gen Stealth Strike fighters and conduct 220 sorties per day. Only the US could actually beat that. Others can deploy 3 carriers but with 4th gen aircraft atm.

geoff
geoff
7 months ago
Reply to  expat

Very good point Expat-puts a proper perspective on it!

Ron
Ron
7 months ago

I watched an intresting documentry on You Tube the other day ‘1400 Zulu’ looking at the ships and fleet operations in the mid to late 60s, basically when I was a kid. They were explaining the role of Fleet headquaters and how they commanded and dispatched over 400 thats right 400 ships on world wide operations whilst explaining that they did not always have enough to carry out the tasks of Government. The smallest they were speaking about were minesweeprs not landing craft as is mentioned in this article. So in my life span we have gone fro the second… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

150-ship Royal Navy isn’t realistic though, we would have to quadruple the defence budget and then some.

Realistically with some more investment in the navy we could get up to 24-25 frigates and destroyers. If we went up to 3% of GDP maybe peak at 30. That would be the best we could hope for.

Ron
Ron
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve R

I know, its just a pity. What I would hope for is an increase as you said to 30 destroyers and frigates, possibly two flotillas of SSKs and some say four flotillas of fast attack missile boats (Hamina class style) over a ten year period build period. Its wishful thinking but with the UK creating a new future for itself in the world possibly the RN could be at the forefront of Global Britain.

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Back in the 80’s the government commitment was to a 50 ship navy. But that was the days of the Cold War when defence spending was over 5% of GDP before falling to 3% after John Major blew a fortune trying to keep the U.K. in the ERM 🤦‍♂️

Ron
Ron
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

When I was done south in 1982 we had 2 baby carriers, 2 LPHs 8 DDGs, 15 FFGs, 6 subs, 10 RFA tankers, 6 RFA logistic ships, 5 RFA supply ships, a whirlybird support ship, minesweepers, survey vessels and a complete fleet of STUFF. Plus we still had ships for out NATO commitments and home waters. I think the biggest issue for the Royal Navy and in fact for all UK forces is the collapse of the Warsaw pact. No one thought that there would be any further future threat. So defence was not only cut it was butchered. Now… Read more »

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

Politicians bought into the narrative of them peace dividend’ with. The collapse of the Warsaw Pact, they stupidly believed there’d be no more opponents.
Funding should return to Cold War levels minimum.

Ron
Ron
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

I agree, I think that the defence budget should be somewhere around 3.5%GDP or 3.2% without the SSBNs in the budget.

Steve R
Steve R
7 months ago
Reply to  Ron

The number of ships you suggest being built is perhaps too ambitious. I’d say build at least two batches of Type 31 frigates. 5 each. Make Batch 2 more fighty – 24-32 Sea Ceptor, main gun, and 8 NSM in canister lainchers bolted onto the deck wouldn’t cost a bomb but would give them significantly increased capability. I like the idea of a fleet of SSK. Even 6 would do. Bolsters our sub numbers dramatically and unless we’re talking deployments in the South Atlantic or in the Pacific then range isnt too much an issue. We could always base one… Read more »

Paul Corcoran
Paul Corcoran
7 months ago

Lord Adonis is correct if you take into account that we are meant to be a “blue water” navy whilst Italy isn’t. It will be interesting to see how we get on with forming/manning our Carrier Strike Group and yet commit to operations elsewhere in the world.

Also, I am pretty sure it was a humorous tongue in cheek dig at the Tories. No need to take it too seriously.

Lordtemplar
Lordtemplar
7 months ago

Agree that it not fair to compare with the Italian Navy. But the RN needs more ships in my humble opinion, yet still operating as if it were the 90s.
The Berlin wall fell and peace was at hand, however since then we have seen powers around the world get very assertive and remilitarize, Russia, China, Iran, N. Korea, Turkey, Saudi etc…

rec
rec
7 months ago

To me the question really is, how do the likes of Italy, Japan and France get so much more and spend less in real terms, both in terms of number if hulls and weapons fitted? Let aline faster build rate?

Long term planning and an industrial strategy perhaps?

Fat Dave
Fat Dave
7 months ago

The Navy is too small is because they have prostituted themselves over the past years in order to finance and man 2 obsolete aircraft carriers. We would all, I assume, want to see more money spent on Defence? But there isn’t any extra money nor will there be much extra, if any, from the Integrated Review. Defence has to cope with existing resources, so the Navy wants to grow, it has to find the money itself – by selling one or both carriers – or money has to be taken from the other two Services. It’s “sacred cow” time, as… Read more »

The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
The Artist Formerly known as Los Pollos Chicken
7 months ago
Reply to  Fat Dave

The carriers are not obsolete other wise why would everybody want them? The yanks are still building , the Chinese , the Indians , the Russians would love a decent one France relies heavily on the CDG, Japan is building them in all but name cos they know the name of the game .Over a 50 year lifespan I’d say 6 billion quid cost of build is pretty good value for money especially when you consider how lean manpower intensive they are with a 5th less crew needed than any of Joe Blows carriers. Scrap scrap scrap you sound like… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  Fat Dave

“Scrap Strategic Command, sell the carriers, reduce the size of HQs, move Defence Establishments from to the south to north, reduce the size of the army, scrap the Red Arrows, scrap the Para Regt, scrap the Marines, scrap the RAF and only have RN and Army or scrap the Army and only have RAF and RN.” Good Lord. I could write several paragraphs on each of those points. “2 obsolete aircraft carriers.” So if they are obsolete how come so many nations wish to have them? “Scrap Strategic Command” What, completely? Do you know the joint assets it comprises, and… Read more »

George
George
7 months ago

Spoot on Daniele,, irritating to read in factual posts.

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Fat Dave

Would you consider yourself a radical Dave? Not much chance of any of that happening, although the future of the carriers remains a concern. But there again, General Ludendorff became a pacifist towards the end of his life….anything is possible! 🙂

SoleSurvivor
SoleSurvivor
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

“Would you consider yourself a radical Dave?“

😂

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Fat Dave

SOME MOTHERS DO AVE EM!! You Know What I Mean, Do You?

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Fat Dave

Fat Dave’s comment is Not Compatible with the Aims and Values of this Site.
Please Editer, remove it!

SoleSurvivor
SoleSurvivor
7 months ago
Reply to  Meirion X

Calm down snowflake

DaveyB
DaveyB
7 months ago
Reply to  Fat Dave

Pull the pin and roll in the grenade, then stand back and see what happens…..

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  DaveyB

By reading Fat Daves comment I seriously doubt the following, firstl,y his knowledge of the existance and use of grenades, and secondly, the ability to locate said pin!

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  Fat Dave

I’m surprised you didn’t finish with invest in white flags!! The carriers won’t be sold. Even if HMG wanted to, all the nations that can afford to run them are busy building their own. Zero market for them, especially with them limited to flying the F35B only. I’d certainly pull all land forces out of Europe, where they help the local economies, and instead garrison them in the north. You wouldn’t scrap elite units like the Paras and Marines, if anything you’d expand them while reducing regular forces. When it comes to expeditionary actions it’s the elite and special forces… Read more »

The Big Man
The Big Man
7 months ago
Reply to  Sean

He’s baited you and you have all been hooked.
As Meirion X said, the comments are not compatible with the values of this site.
Ignore.
On another matter, I do think the fact that all the tickets for POW went in a couple hours shows the public desire for Navy Days to be reinstated. What better way of inspiring our youngsters to grow up and play with great bits of kit, being part of something meaningful.

Sean
Sean
7 months ago
Reply to  The Big Man

That’s great to hear re the tickets – even considered travelling from London to Liverpool for the day to try and see her.
The RN needs to up the public relations like this if it wants to convince the politicians to spend more.

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  The Big Man

Thank You Big Man!
He is the Same on Another Site. Just Sprouting Ignorant Nonsense!

Airborne
Airborne
7 months ago
Reply to  Fat Dave

Wow, defence matters and capability projection not your strong point Dave.

Mark
Mark
7 months ago

I seem to recall a similar incident some time ago, when it was pointed out that Hoseasons, had more boats afloat that the RN. They have nearly 300 in the Norfolk Broads. The are also a “blue water” fleet, as I believe that the water is very clear as it is filtered by all the Reed Beds. I would have posted this on Twitter, but I don’t have an account 🙂

Joe16
Joe16
7 months ago

A few of us have been batting around the costs and benefits of different weapons systems to arm UK aircraft and vessels, and a lot has come down to cost. I thought some might find this piece interesting, basically a breakdown of missiles and bombs with their pricing based upon US military proposed budgets for 2021.
I know that a lot of the items we’ve talked about (Mk41 VLS for instance) aren’t on there, but it does include JASSM and LRASM, which we certainly have.
https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/32277/here-is-what-each-of-the-pentagons-air-launched-missiles-and-bombs-actually-cost

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago

“While on the surface, the numbers are broadly similar it is important to remember that unlike the Italian Navy, the Royal Navy is a blue water navy capable of prolonged and significant global deployment with high end assets like large aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and an extensive logistics, amphibious and sealift fleet.”

Nothing more needs saying other than he is at least right to highlight that the RN is too small.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
7 months ago

Yup! Very Succintly summing up mate! 🙂

peter french
peter french
7 months ago

Why let facts get in the way to make a political point.
I despair when a so called responsible source make a statement that he hasnt bothered to research , he should join the SNP to join with fellow hucksters.
Adonis however has always been a man of limited intellect promoted to levels beyond his capability.

Lazarus
Lazarus
7 months ago

LPD’s are not major surface combatants, nor are aircraft carriers. The numbers are pretty close and given that many fit more into “naval service” (not combatants,) the error is negligible.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago

The Italians have been making sensible decisions quickly. Since time =money they have got good value. They teamed up with France on Fremm, took the basic design, customised it to Bergamini and built it in numbers in Italian yards. Good work. Plus two light LHDs with F35B ski jumps and now PPA, the Italian big hull capable of being fitted out as an offshore patrol ship or a GP frigate. Type 31 anyone? Adonis is right to draw attention to their strategy. What’s ours?

RobW
RobW
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

To try and be all things to all men without the budget to pay for it. Basically heads in sand until something goes wrong, sadly.

Paul.P
Paul.P
7 months ago
Reply to  RobW

My two pennyworth. Britain is finally finding a post WW2 role. We have lost the Empire but while Scotland and Ireland prefer to see themselves as culturally ‘European’ nations, England does not. Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe says it all. The spirit of the England Christened in the North by Bede and built and defended by Alfred, Aethelfaed and Athelstan is still alive, despite centuries of oppressive post Reformation state control from London and latterly Brussels. The economic reality is that Scotland ( and to a great extent Ireland) are joined to England by history and geography. As England finds Herself they… Read more »

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul.P

How poetic…linkages back to Bede, Alfred and the Danelaw. Topped by Dean Acheson 1962 speech about Britain having ‘lost an empire but not yet found a role’. How comforting history can be….looking back is so much easier than planning for the future….too much guesswork involved. To be honest, I really thing we would have been better off with a couple of Garibaldi style ships rather than the QE class. I wonder what Alfred would have made of it….perhaps he would have favoured Boris’ ‘get it done’ attitude?

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  Herodotus

A Garibaldi type carrier would Still Cost about £2 billion each to build, with less that a Quarter of an QE’s class capacity. The QE class is better value for money.

Harold
Harold
7 months ago

This story comes from the tabloid press. Reports there predicted the imminent loss of four Type 23 frigates with a long wait before replacement so bringing the frigate destroyer number down to 15 with that being smaller than the navies of Italy and France.

The navy has started using those little patrol boats of the Archer class to make up numbers when most of them aren’t even armed.

This country is indeed deluding itself if it considers itself a major naval player still. It isn’t.

Jonny
Jonny
7 months ago

Ok so we have slightly more ships, of higher quality, however our G.D.P Is much higher than Italy’s. So why don’t we have more?

farouk
farouk
7 months ago

Try againcomment image

farouk
farouk
7 months ago
Reply to  farouk

comment image

farouk
farouk
7 months ago
Reply to  farouk

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Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
7 months ago
Reply to  farouk

The French have an impressive fleet looking at this graphic?
Lots of Corvette type vessels, a Sigint vessel, and a DSV that I assume is Diver Support / Seabed Ops vessel?
We had such a vessel with Challenger, sadly gone.

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Some interesting facts in relation to both Italian and French FREMM’s can be found here, including armament.

http://www.dmitryshulgin.com/tag/fremm/

http://www.dmitryshulgin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/ITS-Emilio-Bianchi-F-589.jpg

Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins
7 months ago
Reply to  farouk

A more in-depth look at the Italian and French FREMM can be found here. Additional pages at the bottom 1-2-3

http://www.dmitryshulgin.com/tag/fremm/

Herodotus
7 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Is that our 60 gun frigate in the bottom right-hand corner? 🙂

Bob2
Bob2
7 months ago

It’s of interest to note that, like the UK and France, Italy is updating its destroyer/frigate fleet. By the mid to late 20s its navy will consist of:

2x AAW Horizon class
2x AAW FREMM-IT
4x ASW FREMM-IT
4x GP FREMM-IT
3x GP PPA frigate (with HMS and tails)
4x light PPA frigate
3x corvette-style PPA

I imagine the 10 PPAs will be able to cover most Med and Horn of Africa deployments, leaving the 12 FREMM/horizon for the blue water work.

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob2

Bob2 – The Marina Militare also has Two Durand de la Penne class Destroyers scheduled for replacement in the 2025-2030 timeframe with what could be Two 10,000 tonne Horizon + enhanced Ships.Also of note is that in the 2015 SDSR it was decided to reduce the Type 26 order to 8 and create the Type 31 Programme,roughly at about the same time the Italian PPA Programme started to get off the ground with funding etc.Next month the second PPA will be launched,with another in December – the difference in urgency is obvious for reasons we are all aware of but… Read more »

Bob2
Bob2
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Mike,

Thanks for the info on the Horizon+ destroyers. I was not aware. I think the 3-tier design PPAs should have been considered for T31. The average cost for the first 7 PPAs is about £470M (x2 full, x3 light+, x2 light). Maybe we should have just joined in with the Italians instead of t31.

Are you suggesting that the Italians need new ship more urgently than the UK, or that the UK needs A slow ship build rate for financial reasons?

If the later, I wonder how the Italians can afford such a fast build rate.

Paul T
Paul T
7 months ago
Reply to  Bob2

I cant answer how the Italian’s fund their programmes,but they have areas of responsibilities like many Countries,obviously the Med,North Africa and the Horn of Africa to name a few.The PPA would have made an interesting alternative to the T31 bid but it falls short on price (on paper at least) i will be curious as to what price the T31 comes in at once they are actually delivered,if its near £250 million each then fair play.But the PPA shows what can be achieved when you have three organisations (MM,Govt,Shipbuilder) working together in harmony to effect a Fleet Renewal programme.

Bob2
Bob2
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul T

Total price for the five t31 appears to be £1.98B, so the average PPA price is not to far out, especially as this is the average price for the three different types of PPA and that they all come with both 127 and 72mm guns.

The current t31 fit out is probably somewhere between the light and light+ PPA.

T.S
7 months ago

We need to decide who we are and what we want to do in the world, then build the forces to match. We will only get better value with long term procurement and build strategies and let’s just hope to God this point comes out in the upcoming assessments. I would look to identify a set of key defence technology areas that we have a requirement to have a sovereign requirement and/or a technological lead already in place to allow industrial success. The government then will need to put some money in for the short to medium term to allow… Read more »

Meirion X
Meirion X
7 months ago
Reply to  T.S

The issue is also the capacity to build, I don’t think it is possible to build more then 10 Type 26 frigates in future, without a significant increase in shipyard infrastructure.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  T.S

The issue is the government knows where they want to do in the world but cant’ afford to pay for it.

The national debt wont’ be cleared in our life time, assuming it ever starts getting cut, so we as a nation are paying huge interest payments on that debt which could go to hospitals etc or ships, but in the meantime our GDP makes us look a lot richer than we really are.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago
Reply to  Steve

Currently it stands at around 1.8t, an increase of almost 60b since last year.

Steve Martin
Steve Martin
7 months ago

Have a look at the below article. As it shows, it’s not about number of ships per se, it’s about how many are available, we won’t see much of an effect at all of it’s correct.

https://twitter.com/EngageStrategy1/status/1229857912903872513

Frank62
Frank62
7 months ago

Quite a few navies are bigger than our RN in terms of escorts. S Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Turkey, India off the top of my head; in addition to the obvious USN, PLAN & Russian fleets. Japan & India have over twice the escort force we do. Many near equal navies have better capabilities such as the Italian Merlins having anti-ship missiles where ours have none. Most other navies(& especially those we’re likely to encounter as enemies) OPVs have 76mm guns & some have SAMs & AShms as well. There’s a frightening amount of corvette sized warships that carry AShMs which… Read more »

r cummings
r cummings
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank62

By my counting, Adonis is actually correct. Italy has a marginally larger fleet. The RN currently has 56 warships – 4 big ‘uns, 10 submarines, 19 escorts and 23 minor warships. The Italian Navy has 59 warships – 5 big ‘uns, 8 submarines, 17 escorts and 29 minor warships (including 3 survey ships, which we include in the RN but they list in their auxiliary fleet). The two fleets differ because of their different roles but the Italian navy constitutes a core capability on NATO’s southern flank while we have very few ships to spare for our role on NATO’s… Read more »

Harold
Harold
7 months ago

Daily Express article: Royal Navy poll: Are you worried about defence now the Navy is smaller than Italy’s? VOTE https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1243416/royal-navy-news-uk-defence-news-frigates-destroyers-smaller-than-italy-poll