Our geography, our history, and past experiences of wars and conflicts should inform us of the necessity of having a well armed, well funded military with primacy placed on our Royal Navy for protection of the realm, but also to nurture and build upon relationships with our allies.  

The last NATO operations against Libya has proven why Britain desperately needs an aircraft carrier capability to be able to project power and influence across the globe.  

I sincerely hope the introduction of the the HMS Queen Elizabeth as well as her sister ship the HMS Prince of Wales will do much to reverse this perception of decline, and also help encourage the UK to place primacy on rebuilding our maritime strengths and capabilities.  But we should also consider the advantages of having greater bilateral relations with our neighbours, notably France. 

A measure of a nation’s strength is the application of its maritime power globally to project its power and capabilities.  With transnational terrorism, renewed Russian power in Eastern Europe, a nuclear North Korea, and the rise of China and the security dilemmas it presents, we can no longer be dependent upon the United States in order to guarantee our collective security.

European military forces need to become more self-sufficient in terms of its operational capabilities, its material strength, and funding. However, that does not mean that nations should not cooperate. On the contrary, despite these geopolitical challenges, this presents us with unique opportunities to build upon.

Historically Britain and France for over a 100 years have had a ‘special’ military relationship termed the Entente Cordiale which was a series of agreements signed on 8 April 1904 which helped improve relations between the French Third Republic and the United Kingdom. It also meant that at the outset of the First World War, the British sent an expeditionary force to France to meet the German offensive.  

The same was said during the beginning of the Second World War, before the establishment of a pro-German Vichy Government.  However, during the free French leader De Gaulle was a prominent ally during the Second World War, and helped free France along with allied forces from Nazi tyranny.  

Fast forward to the 21st century, and France is a global military power, comparable in operational scope and capabilities to the United Kingdom, and has relatively similar sized economies and population size. Its proximity in terms of geography makes it a very good candidate to strengthen defence ties, including sharing military technology, intelligence and also operational duties.  France has access to the Atlantic and Mediterranean, is an independent nuclear power, and has an advanced and sophisticated Army, Navy and Air Force.  

It makes sense to develop greater ties.

As we have seen in the latest hurricane disaster, disaster relief vehicles and equipment for the French military have been delivered to Pointe-à-Pitre on the French Island of Guadeloupe aboard a Royal Air Force C-17. This demonstrates that Britain has an advantage in heavy lift aircraft. Furthermore the Royal Air Force has provided heavy lift capabilities in French counter-terrorism operations in Mali.

This is because the French do not have the military assets to lift large vehicles such as trucks and armoured vehicles in one aircraft and to take them long distance.  While Britain has good relations with the United States, it does not mean it should neglect other allies. Collaboration with our European counterparts has already produced the Eurofighter, and the heavy lift Airbus A400M.

In my own opinion, as an international security scholar, and a graduate in international relations I believe this relationship of shared capabilities should be broadened out further to include sharing of troops, maritime assets, aircraft, and also technology and armoured units.  

The only limitation in this military relationship I could foresee is the language barriers, but these could be overcome.  Some may argue that NATO holds the best possible security architecture, but joint operations between nation states are still common, and having the best possible alliance with your neighbours in bilateral functions is still a necessary component.  

Since 2017, the Royal Navy has now got an fully operational aircraft carrier, with helicopters already been successfully deployed and tested on its desks.  This ship could easily support the inclusion of French aircraft if necessary to be deployed at times of an emergency, or French marines for that matter.

In comparison, the French still possess an independent aircraft carrier and have invested in a new generation of Mistral class amphibious warfare ships.  With the decommissioning of our own amphibious warfare ship the HMS Ocean planned for 2018, the Mistral platform could provide an alternative to our needs.  While it is mandated that British ships have to be built in British ship yards, I can see no reason why the Royal Marines, or our Apache helicopters could not use one of their amphibious warfare ships if an emergency were to arise.   

In addition, British naval architects working alongside their French counterparts could design the next generation of Amphibious helicopter carriers based on the Mistral design, which would be both cost effective, and suit both of our national interests.  

On another level, both the French and the British are looking at decommissioning their old assault rifles, with the British wanting to replace the old SA-85A2 bullpup assault rifle, and the French want to replace the FAMAS bullpup design. Both designs were innovative and allow for troops to operate within confined spaces.  It would make sense if the French and the British were to collaborate in small arms developments, as both nations are looking for a replacement. There could even be an establishment of a joint small munitions production between the two countries, creating weapons platforms and munitions for the military and security services for the respective two nations. 

So in conclusion, there is a historical, operational, technological and also logistical reasons to encourage the long held military co-operation between the United Kingdom and France.  I promote the idea that we should extend this cooperation into joint operational duties in times of crisis, and also sharing of technology including that of small arms developments, and sharing of maritime assets as well as air and  ground operations.  

While both France and the United Kingdom are NATO members, bilateral military relations should still be considered in our respective national interests, and through cooperation we can build on our capabilities.  

As the world is becoming increasingly multipolar, the United States is in decline internationally, and NATO will have to increase its defence spending and become more self reliant.  It is only logical that France and Britain enhance its military relations and become more self-sufficient.   

79 COMMENTS

  1. Few things, France doesn’t have the Eurofighter and the French military have already selected the HK417 as the replacement for the FAMAS.

    The idea of Royal Navy using a Marine Nationale Mistral reminds me of a plan floated around 10 years ago whereby the Queen Elizabeth Carriers could be shared with France instead of France building her own version. Ultimately, though France didn’t build a QEC and we’re never going to see a French tricolour on the back of QEC or POW.

    • The French supporters of their military are no doubt just as frustrated with their goverment as we are with ours. Both cut, cut, cut but expect their ared forces to do the same amount of work and maintain the same capability.

  2. The article is full of errors.

    As noted above the hk417 replaces the FAMAS and the French do not operate the eurofighter typhoon.

    And relationship with the French should be treated with caution. In the past they stitched up the UK in the Anglo French helicopter deal ( they refused to procure the Lynx for the french army), AFVG (they were given full access to our extensive VG research the went on to develope the mirage g8), jaguar ( they overpriced jaguar then underpriced mirage f in export markets, plus they tried to sabotage the jaguar India deal) and the horizon frigate project (where they said they insisted on design and manufacturing leadership despite only having a requirement for 2 warships).

    It would seem the French cannot be trusted on defence industrial matters.

    • Its the same the VBCI deal, they wanted the UK to purchase it and they would purchase watch keeper which is made by Thales, they will do the same with the neuron project. Get a large work share agreed promising to buy hundred of units then later placing a token order. a400 is an obvious example, Germany are no better.

      • You can apply that to everything involving them. France and Germany only pay lip service to EU rules but they force the UK to abide by them to the letter. If we did half the stuff they did we would be crucified. Thats why we’re trusted internationally, people know the UK will follow the rules we sign up to.

    • The French are not ideal. In a perfect world we’d design and build our own weapons but it hasn’t been possible for a very long time now. For all the criticism of the French I’d ask people to consider our experiences with the US. The F35 is only the latest but is a warning to anyone with illusions in that direction. Out of all the potential partners the French are the least worst. They’d probably say the same about us.

      • The F35 where the UK received a 15% work share even though we will barely order 10% of the planes and will be exported to every major country? I would take that deal every day of the weak ahead of collaborating on a European defense project. Look at how many duplicate missiles MBDA produce because countries have to build their own which means they never get enough orders to bring the costs right down it’s a complete farce. The UK got screwed on the Aster setup when they ordered more ships than France and Italy combined and still don’t produce any of the missiles. The whole thing is a joke.

      • What has gone wrong for the UK wrt the Lightning?

        £3bn in R&D in return for 1/7th of the value of a production run of over 3,000 aircraft!

        Run the sums there and tell us how bad that is for Britain.

  3. Yeah other than the few things Patrick pointed out a superb and well thought piece Oliver.

    I cannot see any argument against this, as a country we don’t have the population or resources to be a superpower and compete with some independent American and Chinese kit, but as the Eurofighter has proved, a collaborate European effort can be a world beater.

    We have to start taking this approach more, look at the Boxer armoured fighting vehicle, we were part of that then pulled out, and in hindsight it was a mistake.

    There are large capability gaps coming that I think only through collaboration we can fix, amphibious warfare could be that. We don’t have the money to design and replace Ocean.

    Going even further, LHDs are getting bigger and bigger, an LHD that would be sufficient enough to land a brigade of our Marines is going to cost, so perhaps in the future maybe a joint run family of NATO Amphibious Assault ships, to be used when needed by any member, and shared for training use.

    Just an idea.

    • That will be the boxer armoured project that France pulled out of in 1999 because they didn’t get the majority of the manufacturing?

      Where as the UK pulled out because we could fit in c130 in 2003.

        • What’s the point? France cannot be trusted as a reliable partner thats the point.

          Time and time again they throw their toys out of the pram when they can’t get their own way.

          Are you French Kieran?

          • If you read and understood what I said the thought was not just about France.

            “A collaborate European effort can be a world beater.”

            Keep up mate.

          • Still not your mate.

            You raised boxer as an example, obviously not knowing the french bailed out of the project.

            The french cannot be trusted as a reliable partner. It’s not that difficult to understand.

          • As an example of what?

            To me it looks like an example of a potential successful European project.

            So I’ll ask again, what’s you’re point in arguing about France with this?

        • I never mentioned France in my whole first comment, you’re the one mentioning France that’s exactly why I said what’s your point.

          A bilateral European project could be with anybody, it’s not that difficult to understand that is it?

          • You raised boxer as an example of European cooperation, a project France did not wish to be part of if did not design and manufacturing leadership.

            So yet another example of France being an unreliable partner on defence.

            You see kieran it’s the detail and the facts that matters sadly your comments lack both

    • Mike, he is talking about Europe in general, not France. So, making a point about France is irrelevant. There are still another 26 countries. Ok, France is unreliable, but he is talking about Europe. It’s that simple.

      • Evan am I still a CIA operative in your opinion?

        The article is about a a UK French relationship, no good changing tack half way through because you have lost the arguement.

        By the way Europe has way more countries than 26 plus the UK and france, over 40 in fact.

        Again best do some research before posting.

        • “But as the Eurofighter has proved,a collaborate European effort can be a world beater”

          We have to start taking this approach more, look at the Boxer armoured fighting vehicle, we were part of that then pulled out, and in hindsight it was a mistake.”

          The words are there Mike plain and simple, you can try twist it as much as you want but the proof is there.

          You’re just embarassing yourself massively starting arguments over anything you can.

  4. I do not disagree with the sentiment but I think history has proven that France is not a reliable partner for joint ventures on military procurement. Look at the manner in which, liberal, pro-business Macron has suddenly pulled the drawbridge up over Italian ownership of a key French shipyard.

    Herein lies the problem with European collaboration. When France or Germany talk about common European defence and procurement they actually mean – “we will design and build – the rest of you will buy from us”. They have a significantly divergent conception of what European collaboration means: France and Germany see the EU as a vehicle to promote their cultural and economic reach, whereas the rest of the EU see it as a means of promoting the common good and a shared vision – not a specifically Franco-German one. I believe this is one of the key reasons why we have Brexit.

    The only way to get round this successfully is common and near equal ownership of consolidated and independent business activities, such as MBDA. One should not use Eurofighter as a model – that was a complete Euro-farce and proves exactly the point I made above.

    Pooling resources however and coordinated action is another matter and something that we can certainly do and which we should certainly promote further.

    • Perhaps maybe not on everything, but there is hope future collaboration with France could be fruitful, we are already pooling resources into drone and missile tech, as people have said they do have a patchy record but they are not the only ones who pull out of projects.

      The Eurofighter had a number of problems yes but looking at the end product, you cannot class it as as a total farce, if the end product was a dud then yeah you could, but the Typhoon is a world leading aircraft no question.

      “Pooling resources however and coordinated action is another matter and something that we can certainly do and which we should certainly promote further.”

      This definitely.

  5. Also France pulled out of NATO when they couldn’t get their own way on a number of key issues.

    France is not a reliable or trustworthy partner.

    • “when they couldn’t get their own way on a number of key issues.”

      He wanted France and Britain to have equal say in NATO policy making, and he didn’t like the Idea of America being the sole country to authorise nuclear action on European soil.

      That was Charles De Gaulle, and Macmillan was supportive of him and French actions, we were stuck between two allies.

      They therefore developed their own nuclear weapon and kept their seat on the security council.

      “France is not a reliable or trustworthy partner.”

      What a stupid statement, stick to guns and ammo mike, when it comes to geopolitics you’re embarassing mate.

      • Kieran your lack of knowledge on defence matters both current and historical is poor.

        Always do some research prior to posting comments.

        • Why don’t you correct me then Mike.

          Or is this part when you’ve been made to look silly so you move onto the next article.

          ……

          • When did the UK and France procure independent nuclear weapons?

            Since when has the USA had the authority over our and French independent nuclear weapons?

            According to you only the USA had the authority to use nuclear weapons in Europe that is simply not true, that’s why they are called independent.

            I visited RAF scampton in the 1970s, bunkers full of free fall nuclear bombs no US control of the weapons just British.

            France left NATO, because it considered it a US UK club and decided to leave. France wanted a European club where it was it was in the driving seat.

          • Oh god, do you ever actually read what a person posts on here?

            “Since when has the USA had the authority over our and French independent nuclear weapons?”

            “According to you only the USA had the authority to use nuclear weapons in Europe that is simply not true, that’s why they are called independent.”

            Are you serious? We are talking about NATO before France left, that’s what this particular thread is about.

            “America being the sole country to authorise nuclear action on European soil.”

            Read the words Mike…

            We didn’t have independent nuclear capability for the first 10-15 years of NATO, only America did, European security was still under allied command except Americas nuclear weapons, although they were obviously very much in play but only under American command.

            Do you know anything about the length we went to get them because of this, project e? UK/USA agreement.

            Eisenhower 1957

            “The United States Government welcomes the agreement to coordinate the strike plans of the United States and United Kingdom bomber forces, and to store United States nuclear weapons on RAF airfields under United States custody for release subject to decision by the President in an emergency.”

            Not until the first Polaris Sub became operation in the late 60’s did we have a proper independent nuclear capability. Still with American missiles of course.

            👍

          • In April 1954 a Vickers Valiant unit was the first to integrate the UK designed and built Blue Danube nuclear weapon into RAF service.

            You knowledge of the subject is a joke.

            The USA never had control of UK nuclear weapons, however US nuclear weapons were stored at RAF bases for use by the USAF such as RAF lakenheath.

            A tip for the future, when your in a hole stop digging.

          • No Mike it really isn’t, blue Danube and red beard were glorified science experiments, they were not properly designed for service life of any sort and were poorly designed and dangerous to operate, why do you think project E was started? Why do you think we went to the Americans?

            Can you tell me where I said the USA had control of UK nuclear weapons please?

            Do you struggle to understand at times mike?

            The original comment

            “The Idea of America being the sole country to authorise nuclear action on European soil.”

            You have somehow turned that comment into saying the USA had control over British and French nuclear weapons 😂

            Now do you see how silly you look?

            That’s what happens when you don’t understand or read, you make yourself look like a fool.

            Even now you’re main argument is over something I didn’t say, not for the first time.

            This is becoming easier and easier.

  6. When someone writes an article saying the French operate Eurofighter typhoon, you have to question the value of such an article.

  7. In my own opinion, as an international security scholar, and a graduate in international relations ……. The only limitation in this military relationship I could foresee is the language barriers.
    What did you study when you reviewed historic international relations between Britain and France? With the exception of the Falklands (and ever then there are doubts) Anglo/France co-operation has been a 1 way street.
    Even De Gaulle turned his back on the UK as soon as it was in his own interest and blocked its membership from the EEC, that’s how grateful he was for the UK’s huge economic sacrifice to liberate Europe. At least on the F35 project the UK actually got a fair deal out of its honorable commitment tp purchase 100 plus F35, Italy will likely stop at 20

    • “With the exception of the Falklands (and ever then there are doubts) Anglo/France co-operation has been a 1 way street”

      Thats not true, we had loads of Anglo/French cooperation in the 19th century, Crimean war, second opium war, and most of it was to our benefit the most as we were the larger trader.

      Suez crisis? We owned more of the canal I’m sure.

      “Even De Gaulle turned his back on the UK as soon as it was in his own interest and blocked its membership from the EEC,”

      It just didn’t happen like that, we’re talking about complex issues involving nuclear weapons and countries trying to keep their empires, it’s never black and white with politics.

    • So where are we going to have to send our F35’s if we want them repaired ? I can’t remember if it’s Italy or Turkey but it’s definitely not here. Who do we have to ask, beg ? Permission of if we want to update them ?

      • For the F35 there are repair centers in the UK, Italy and Turkey all specializing in different parts of the plane. I think the UK got software lol, at least it should project the planes from hacking.

    • Why bother with history or facts BB85, clearly some are determined to share everything including toothbrushes with France and refuse to entertain any logical trepidation some of us might have based on past experiences. With French German and other European attitudes and behaviour displayed towards the UK in the last 18 months why anyone thinks this is viable or desirable I don’t know.

  8. The massive sacrifice made by British forces to liberate France in two wars has (with the exception of the good people of Normandy and Brittany) only ever been grudgingly alluded to by successive French Governments.

    Could France be depended on if the Charles De Gaulle was needed by the RN for an operation that didn’t involve French interests … ?? I don’t think we could rely on them unfortunately.

  9. Hallo, hallo.I think this post with all it’s ” bon hommie” only goes to prove how easy it is to get a Frenchie to get along with a Brit. We spakt the sim loongridge and lake at the stoot were in!

  10. Can anyone detail the support the French have us in the Falklands conflict?

    I know the French permitted dassault staff to remain in Argentina to carry out work on Exocet missiles and super ententard aircraft without which they would have been unable to use, but how did they help us?

    The USA supplied us with satellite intelligence, sidewinder aim9L missiles, Stinger missiles, laser guided bombs and so on, but what about the French?

        • There was some evidence of military co-operation, although maybe not much, I grant you! But certainly French Mirage and Super Etendard units flew DACT sorties with the Harrier GR3s of No. 1 Squadron and the second batch of Sea Harriers before they went down to the South Atlantic. (From memory, I think Jerry Pook writes about this in his excellent book on GR3 operations during the conflict).
          I think Mitterrand did also offer Thatcher some high-level political support.
          There may also have been some collaboration in espionage, as the British tried to prevent Argentina buying more Exocets on the open market. Anyone read Nigel West’s book for more details on that subject?

    • The help we got from the US during the Falklands was down to Sir Casper Weinberger the US defence sec. The White House and State Dept wanted to back Argentina until he confronted them with a fait accompli.

  11. Oliver,
    As a scholar I would have thought that you would be aware that the first part of the 19th Century was rife with Anglo French rivalry and the E.C. of 1904 probably had more to do with the Franco Prussian wars and France’s fear of the rise of a united Germany than anything much to do with helping the U.K. The First World War was a tragedy that may never had happened and we could have escaped if it weren’t for the stupidity of Europe’s leaders. The Second World War really could have been avoided completely if it weren’t for the Treaty of Versailles and the French desire to bury Germany in shame and debt. As for de Gaulle the man was reportedly disliked by almost every one he came into contact with. I could go on but I think my fellow posters have taken care of bi lateral defence deals to date.

    • Hi Geoffrey, I’m no great Francophile, but I would argue that German reparations paid to France (and Belgium) after Versailles were entirely justified.
      Just to recap, both countries were invaded by a Germany in 1914 that too often sought military solutions to diplomatic problems. France and Belgium endured a brutal occupation in WW1 which included civilians murdered, national treasures looted, industrial infrastructure destroyed, wells poisoned, and sections of the population used as slave labour.
      It would have been astonishing if Germany had not been asked to foot the bill for post-war reconstruction; particularly as German infrastructure was largely undamaged.
      Many would argue that the impact of these financial penalties has been exaggerated, and that modern Germany has paid more in recent EU bail-outs, than the Weimar republic did in reparations! Arguably, the origins of WW2 and the sudden rise of the Nazis is in the Wall St crash of 1929 – and not in 1919.

  12. “In my own opinion, as an international security scholar, and a graduate in international relations I believe this relationship of shared capabilities should be broadened out further to include sharing of troops, maritime assets, aircraft, and also technology and armoured units.”

    I think you need to go back to your twitter blog.

    • Indeed….. seems like one big demand for Junkers merged Euro-Army.

      All merged together, no allegiance or control by the nation, just the European super state.

  13. Share troops and armor units? No. A country should make alliances as a matter of course. But to actually share personnel whose oaths are to your nation not theirs no. Cooperative development of equipment yes. Giving away valuable equipment purchased at taxpayer expense to foreigners, not ever.
    A self proclaimed scholar of international relations and security. Let me guess no real world experience. No military experience officer or enlisted, no foreign ministry experience, no corporate experiences. “Those who can do. Those who can’t teach.” Showing itself alive and well. France has the most protectionist defense agency outside Japan, the States, and Russia. Not many contracts to be gained there unless you’re buying.

    • I will endeavor not to laugh hysterically. Charles de Gaulle their flag ship is a garbage scow. It only passed safety standards by lying about how much radiation it bleeds off. It has absolutely no ordnance storage worth mentioning. The only compliment I can give it is well at least it’s not Kuznetsov.

        • Really?
          Their La Fayette frigates where pretty and futuristic but virtually unarmed and thanks to James Bond they exported loads of them.

          They have 2 air warfare destroyers, and maybe 6 frigates, the scorpene submarines are great until you have to hunt in the ocean, their advertised 4 weeks underwater is at 1 or 2 knots, some use that is. The only aspect of their navy I would consider stronger than the RN is their Mistral class amphibious assault ships.

  14. Basically all international relations are base around the best interest of the individual nation, no international collaboration goes beyond this. It’s fine to work together to grow the pie, but remember another nation will always look to their own interest first. One of our biggest weaknesses geopolitically has been that our government has tended towards over support of neoliberal ideas of international free trade and movement of money before our own national interest.

  15. Well as Mike said, its a big “Non”, the craps already started with regards to the Anglo French UCAV demonstrator I see..
    Its been decided that it will use a variant of the Rafael’s M88 engine, an engine older and considerably larger than the
    more powerful and compact EJ200…. Arguably the most important project decision and a massive wrong turn.

    It appears to me this project is already being compromised with political meddling … Who wants to start a sweep stake betting this will end in very expensive tears and will be cancelled before it ever gets wind under its wheels!

    • I dont even see the point in collaberating on the ucav. All of the technology is already available to both countries and considering das, irst and othet expensive electronic aids systems wont be necessary for an unmanned stealth bomber they should cost well below 100mil to produce. Unfortunately government and industry always manage to blow costs out of the water

      • The complexity and therefore cost of an operational UCAV will end up just short of a manned aircraft, so any operational system coming from this will need 400+ plus orders to make it viable and affordable.

        That’s more than the UK and France in I’ll order, so serious “other” investors will be needed…

        • If they ate automous and programed before launch i dont see what they need to be anymore complex that a cruise missile with a bomb bay the returns home. I would like to see them build 500+ at a lower complexity than 100 of the most complex ucavs on the market

    • “Britain would find a more trustworthy development partner in Russia than France.

      Concorde, Gazelle, Puma, Jaguar, Storm Shadow, PAAMS.

      I can’t find one positive thing regards UK and Russian links. Mind you Russian partnerships with India regards Aircraft carrier, Su-57, T72/90, shows the Russians have a nasty habit of increasing the price when they feel like it. Funny enough exactly like they treated the Ukraine with Gas prices when they were friends.

      • PAAMS, what a great work share that is, French VLS, French and Italian Missile and lots of British money, and France and Italy forgot to order the Samson radars built specifically for it.
        Gazelle was another great partnership where we buy French Gazelle but they forget to order the British Lynx.
        Jaguar, the low cost training aircraft that France did their best to ensure didn’t win any export orders over the Mirage.
        Concorde was an engineering success but failed commercial (down to the Americans)
        Storm Shadow is probably the only joint project they haven’t screwed us on although the UK order a hell of a lot more than the French and its probably another 50/50.

        • PAAMS, what a great work share that is, French VLS, French and Italian Missile and lots of British money, and France and Italy forgot to order the Samson radars built specifically for it.

          BB45,
          You left out the salient fact about how the UK walked away from the Horizon program and went their own way with the Type 45. The French did agree with the radar, however they wanted all the ships to be built in France. As for Samson, that is one strange radar, its AESA, yet it mechanically rotates ..why??? Anybody got an answer?

          • The 4 fixed plane aesa radars on the burkes are much heavier have to be mounter lower. Samsun has 2 rotating planes allowing it to heplaced much higher giving it better earlier detection of sea skimming missiles. France wanted to build 4 frigates compared to 12 uk and wanted to build them in france is it any wonder the uk left.

          • The idea was to have the highest possible mounting to push the radar horizon further out. Fixed planar style arrays would have to be mounted lower, as 4 would be required for the same area coverage. The Franco/Italian ships have much the same configuration, but with a significantly less capable radar. The decision to quit the Horizon project was correct, the work share was so heavily weighted to France as to be unacceptable (as usual!). It’s only sad we didn’t quit earlier, as the Mk41 launcher could have been used rather than Sylver, being far more adaptable, and saving space and money.

  16. Since 2017, the Royal Navy has now got an fully operational aircraft carrier, with helicopters already been successfully deployed and tested on its desks. This ship could easily support the inclusion of French aircraft if necessary to be deployed at times of an emergency, or French marines for that matter.

    The QE cannot utilise any French strike aircraft as the QE does not have cat and traps fitted (hence the F35B)

    With the decommissioning of our own amphibious warfare ship the HMS Ocean planned for 2018, the Mistral platform could provide an alternative to our needs.
    The French have 3 Mistrals, the RN has 2 Albion-class landing platform docks and 3 Bay class landing ships all of a roughly similar size and capability as the Mistral.

    As the world is becoming increasingly multipolar, the United States is in decline internationally, and NATO will have to increase its defence spending and become more self reliant. It is only logical that France and Britain enhance its military relations and become more self-sufficient.

    Look up The Lancaster House Treaties of 2010

  17. T45 was the right thing for us to do. Horizon is optimised for French/Italian requirements, while T45 fits the bill for RN global blue water operations, once the kinks are worked out of the design anyway.
    At least with 6 units we should be able to guarantee 4 are operational at any one time.

    it would be interesting to see how much the French paid for buying the grand total of two ships and what their availability is like, can they guarantee one is always available to protect CdG, doubt it ….

  18. Probably not a problem, as CdG is unavailable half the time, either refit/refuelling or breaking down! The decision to opt for nuclear power was a distinct ‘one up-manship ’ ploy and a conventional Powerplant would have been far more reliable and less operationally restrictive. All of which means despite its ‘paper’ strength, the Marine Nationale has at best a part time carrier capability, and an ageing fleet of escorts of dubious capability compared to their RN equivalents.

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