When we leave the EU we will need to convince the world that the United Kingdom is a serious player on the world stage to ward off any change in perception. We need to hit the ground running.

This article was contributed to the UK Defence Journal by Geoffrey James Roach.

Our allies and potential trading partners will want to see that the UK is serious about it’s desire to play a leading role, both politically and economically, in all regions of the world. We will  need to retain and build on the goodwill that already exists in many regions and maintain and  sustain our capabilities in the future.

This article is about the UK’s ability to carry out Amphibious Operations in the 21st  Century and how suggested and so far theoretical defence cuts impact our capabilities, is there a better way forward?

OPTION ONE

The defence cuts take place. In addition to HMS Ocean, already gone, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark are sold off. Effectively this removes all maintenance work normally undertaken by Devonport Dockyard and redundancies follow, adding to the problems faced by a city with some of the poorest wards in England.  There are now no amphibious warships available so why keep the Bay class support ships so they are sold. This hits other ports such as Falmouth and redundancies follow. RFA crews? Next, with no landing ships what is the point of landing craft? Disposal which leads to the closure of RM Tamar with a knock on effect on local towns like Saltash and Torpoint. More job losses ensue.

Whilst these cuts are taking place 1000 Royal Marines are made redundant. This leads to another 1000 families  applying for unemployment pay and tax credits adding to an already high welfare budget.

Remaining marines feel let down and demoralised and their families are anxious so they look for alternative careers and start to leave. Recruitment slumps. Why would anyone apply? The Special Boat Squadron is put at risk as traditionally the unit recruits from the RM Commando’s.

Our allies and trading partners already concerned, look on in disbelief. Is this the same United Kingdom that is calling on the free nations of the world to support it when it leaves the EU and yet inflicts so much damage on itself? The nations entire capability to carry out Amphibious Operations has been scrapped and for what? Can it defend itself, never mind it’s allies? Can it be trusted? It has run down one of the finest fighting forces in the world. The Royal Marines, like the Dinosaur, now face extinction.

OPTION TWO

The commissioning of HMS Queen Elizabeth into the fleet, soon to be followed by the Prince of Wales, transforms the United Kingdom’s capability to project power around the world. The Queen Elizabeth carrier battle group is a formidable sight. No other nation, other than the United States, is able to provide such a force

The battle group embarks upon it’s first world cruise ‘showing the flag’. The centre piece is of course, HMS Queen Elizabeth. With her squadrons of Lightning stealth fighter jets she is capable of achieving local air superiority anywhere in the world. With her escorts of destroyers and frigates she can engage multiple targets simultaneously, protecting an area in excess 500 Square miles over both land and sea. The carrier with supporting amphibious assault ships, HMS Albion, (£60 million refit in 2014), and RFA Lyme Bay is able carry out offensive land attacks deploying a full Commando force of over 800 troops and their armoured vehicles supported by fighters and attack helicopters. A nuclear powered attack submarine is thought to be present.

During the cruise the Battle Group will carry out a number of joint exercises. Of particular note, under the auspices of the Five Power Defence Arrangement, the Royal Navy amphibious force will be joined by similar vessels from the Royal Australian Navy. With New Zealand, Singapore and Malaysia providing additional escorts the aim is to build up a capability enabling the projecting of ground and air power onto a hostile shore at brigade level. Further exercises in the area will include Japan and South Korea before the battle group passes into the Atlantic where it will be joined by units of the Brazilian Navy. During it’s cruise north the group will visit Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia in the United States and Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. In the West Indies Albion and Lyme Bay will detach to take part in a major disaster relief exercise, an important peacetime role for both ships.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I believe, of course, that only Option 2 is relevant. If the United Kingdom is serious about becoming a serious ally and trading partner it needs to show it’s determination to play a significant role in the world. All the country’s mentioned in this paper, along with many more, are looking to sign Free Trade Agreements. We must show that we are powerful, solid, dependable, a force for the future. We must be Dynamite.

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DaveyB
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DaveyB

I totally agree, Option 2 must be the only course of action on the table. Further, the Future Ships Project Team at DE&S must start laying out the requirement for a dedicated replacement for HMS Ocean (LPH/D). Even though the Carriers will be awesome force multipliers, they can only carry out helicopter support as part of amphibious operations. The carriers will have to operate closer to shore to minimise the sortie duration of the helicopters, placing them at a greater risk of harm. The ships will still have to maintain a sustained air defence CAP as well as providing fast… Read more »

Ben P
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Ben P

That is why a single squadron is only for peace time deployments to provide self protection. 2-3 Squadrons would be on board in a combat situation.

Also the RN do not envision a single carrier operating in the strike and amphibious role at the same time. If it came down to it, HMS QE would be rolling with 3 squadrons for CAP and strike and HMS PW would be rolling with 1 squadrons for amphibious support, while fulfilling the helicopter assault role.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

sack the successor submarine project and retain what we havei.e. stop the cuts.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

cancel astutes and build, under licence the german t214 conventional submarine which is half the price of an astute. sell prince of wales to the french, with the lease and an option to buy a mistral, bin the f 35 replace it with a jet powered sopwith camel.finally carry out a full investigation into the merger of all our armed forces, the canadian defence force is 40 years old this year. slash the foreign aid by half. (have you seen where it goes to?)£200 million per year to india, the most booming economy in the region and the same to… Read more »

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

Nice rant. Never going to happen. Buying German is the last thing we want, have you saw their submarine fleet, sitting in dock.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Some of this made me laugh, some I actually agree with ( only a bit though ) and other parts are plain bonkers! But I guess in the rant you were joking on much of it. Wish people would stop knocking the Carriers and Astutes. They are our two Ace cards few others possess. POW will not and should not be sold. Espirit de corps priceless in HM forces, never merge them. Yes the FAA should be separate from the RAF, not merged. And for that matter the RN should be operating its own F35B but that is another story.… Read more »

andy reeves
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andy reeves

is a sopwith capable of carrying an exocet?

farouk
Guest
farouk

“Cancel astutes and build, under licence the german t214 conventional submarine which is half the price of an astute.” We have 3 out of a planned 7 Astute Subs in the water, the next is undergoing testing with a on service date of this year and another 2 are been built. So from a financial POV that will never happen. The beauty of the Astutes are they are really long range assets which can travel around the world without having to surface. They also carry the tomahawk CM . The 214 whilst a good design are unable to mirror the… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

not buying german. procuring a licence to build ourselves.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the 7th astute will be a victim of the cuts and will be cancelled

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P
Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree Paul. P. Good find.

Riga
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Riga

Do you feel better now?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

is it near the time when we look properly into the feasibility of a u.k defence force(u.k.df)or u.k armed service(UKAS)?

Ben P
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Ben P

Its called the British Armed Forces.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

initials are for plaques on buildings its what they can deliver is what matters

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

I believe we need a unified defence force, where all the parts work together. Seems to me that the military is less about front line force these days and more about everything else.

We are failing unless we can put a Brigade (lets say 7500 people max) into field within 24 hrs. There are just too many gaps between too many different forces and commands when actually the whole military should revolve around its front line force (which considering our budget – is ridiculously small).

andy reeves
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andy reeves

it was when we had them

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

WAS

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

I worked with Canadians during a stint with a NATO headquarters. They stated categorically that a joint unified armed forces with the same uniform was the worst decision ever made. No esprit de corp and a massive hit to morale. Little if any buget savings…all the money went on the reorganization. The best decision ever made for the Canadian armed forces was I am told the reversal of it.

a
Guest
a

france is desperate for a de gaulle replacement prince of wales a mistral in return

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the inter service bickering has to be stopped.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

Lastly we have the third tier of threats, the least serious. The first is “a large-scale conventional military attack on Britain” by an unspecified other state. The second, somewhat desperately, is terrorism again, the third is crime again. The authors clearly ran out of threats, but had to fill their threat quota. We are also threatened by immigrants and smugglers “trying to cross the UK border”. We are “threatened” by an accident at a nuclear site; by a conventional attack on a Nato ally, and by an attack on a British colony. Finally, we face a curious bundle of threats:… Read more »

andy reeves
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andy reeves

if it hapened, we’d all need something new to complain about

Barry White
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Barry White

Option 1
That would be a disaster for the present government as almost all RMs are based in that part of the world and of course that part of the world is traditional non labour voting areas apart from the big cities (i know there are RMs in other parts as well but the main area is the SW)
Option 2
Sounds brilliant if and only if it would happen then i would be happy but in all honesty i think it will only be a pipe dream

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Why?

If the RN retains the amphibious force that is what we will have.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

we can always paint the torpoint, gosport ferrys grey.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

put a steward on the pointy end with a bag of conkers and a catapult light frigate type 31? sorted.

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Ha!

I was coming to the end of that article thinking “whoever wrote this is BANG ON” and look who it is.

Well done mate.

andy reeves
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andy reeves

agreed, take note M.O.D pass to your local m.p and ask him to forward it to the cabinet. i’ve done this before and actually got replies. your local m.p isn’t just for show he’s there to represent. so put him to work.

marc
Guest
marc

Or her.

a
Guest
a

either if they are awake

marc
Guest
marc

Or interested.

Fat Dave
Guest
Fat Dave

Option 3 – sell the redundant carriers (to Brazil or the USMC) and reinvest the money (and manpower) into a balanced force, which includes the RM and amphibious vessels.

Buy the land-based and far superior variant of the F-35.

Accept the embarrassment of selling both carriers but acknowledge it is the right decision, if only because the UK doesn’t need them and because modern warfare makes them far too vulnerable.

Paul
Guest
Paul

So the Navy stays totally dependant on land based air cover, correct?

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

it was in 1982 and as a participant of that i can tell you the availability of a proper carrier back then may have picked off the sheffield attacker before it reached firing distance. same too a few more aircraft in the area may have saved coventry. the task force back then was dependent and if hermes or invincible had been lost or incapacipated, the whole result of the conflict may have been different. i’d sooner have kept ocean,operated her, until she fell apart, sold prince of wales to the french in exchange for a mistral.

DaveyB
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DaveyB

Andy, we would be doing a massive dis-service to our Nation if we traded PoW for a Mistral. Perhaps if they gave us three this would be about right exchange.

Ben P
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Ben P

You should read the article. Carriers are by far the most power surface vessels in the world and a task force built around them is capable of reaching out far away from home and dominating a large stretch of the ocean. They offer nearly unrivaled military hardpower and softpower. You comment shows you have a complete lack of understanding of how warfare works. Carriers are not redundant, they are very relevant and still the most powerful vessels on the ocean. Warfare is never without risk, saying we dont want carriers because they are vulnerable is incredibly stupid, not to add… Read more »

Evan P
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Evan P

I believe we should have carriers, but more because they are vessels for diplomacy, not war fighting. Ben, tell a submariner that carriers are hard to sink and they will laugh at you. They aren’t. Read up on the story of HSwMS Gotland “sinking” the USS Ronald Reagan and part of its strike group without even being detected if you want evidence of this, or listen to what “Jive Turkey”, an ex US Navy sonar operator, has to say on YouTube. Ballistic missile submarines are the most powerful naval vessels, because they can do both diplomacy and leave a country… Read more »

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

I said most powerful “surface vessels”.

Submarines are always going to be a threat, it does not take away from the fact that a carrier, surrounded by a task force is a powerful force, and one of the hardest vessels to sink.

Any vessel in vulnerable to a submarine. From your statement, I guess we should not build any naval vessels because they will be immediately sunk by a submarine.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

we wanted carriers for years, now we’ve got them people are bitching on about not bothering withemEND OF; we’ve got them, learn how to use them, and keep them going no point building a carrier if its not going to be used as one.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

they get to where they can be of use sooner than a ferry with a few assault boats on them. amphibious assets are slow, ponderous ships albion and bulwark, klike the carriers should be fully armed warships in their own right.an albion with torpedo vls would be a formidable asset.

Evan P
Guest
Evan P

Apologies about the misreading on my part. A carrier strike group is powerful, but I’d say that they are powerful more because attacking one would mean war almost certainly, rather than because they will be able to defend themselves easily and hit back. So, we should still build vessels, but I disagree with the idea that a CSG is quite so formidable.

Leigh dawes
Guest
Leigh dawes

Oh dear, your comment does show your total lack of knowledge in military matters at both the tactical and strategic level, and your rather limited understanding of UK defence requirements. Never mind, everyone has an opinion no matter now I’ll informed that may be.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

lets respect each others comments, mister dawes, and not fall out.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

mr. leigh dawes bollocks pal. i’ve been there and done it. have you? or like everyone else on here, got the information from the press or you tube.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

agreed, take note M.O.D pass to your local m.p and ask him to forward it to the cabinet. i’ve done this before and actually got replies. your local m.p isn’t just for show he’s there to represent. so put him to work.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Very wrong in my opinion. A navy is not for show with lots of pretty escorts sailing about. A navy projects power, both hard and soft if need be, i.e humanitarian, thus carriers and amphibs can be used for that. RAF helicopter assets and in future UAV could also be used from the carriers. If you want to close a sea you need carriers and carrier air and you need SSN. We will have both. If you want to power project from the littoral onto land you need carriers, aviation and amphibious forces. Both these roles need concentrated support from… Read more »

Ben P
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Ben P

Well said. People who call the carriers a waste completely lack any understanding of power projection.

a
Guest
a

the R.N needs a clear idea of what it wants and how to do it. india for example are showing ambition, and are delivering it. the u.k should be able to match india in any way

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

apologise to brazil and tell them we’re keeping ocean, with the intention of operating her until she actually falls apart.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

When she falls apart hope she is not underway with crew on board. Would not look too good.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i was interested to see while googling jump jets, that a vtol version of a raptor has been tested. with all the politics around the f 35. its the dismally low production rate that needs to be addressed locheed has already confirmed it failed to hit its own production figures for the last 12 months.

Callum
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Callum

It would definitely be a potent reminder that, despite recent struggles, the UK is still a major player. It would essentially be the modern version of the Special Service Squadron’s world cruise in the 1920’s (which also happened to contain the RN’s current most powerful vessel, HMS Hood). The only downside is that it would require most of our Lightnings and escorts to be off cruising the world on a publicity tour. We’d be leaving both the UK and our standing deployments abroad dangerously short of warships. Unless the manpower crisis gets sorted magically in the next year or so,… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Which is why T31 is needed in numbers to keep the T26 and T45 for roles such as this.

a
Guest
a

i’d like to see the t31 as the admiral class nelson, blake, anson, fisher, beattie e.t.c

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I like that.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Either that or the territories class. Gibraltar, Falklands, Ascension etc.

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

A peacetime carrier deployment would most likely only include a Type 23, a Type 45, an Astute and a Tide. We would have less available assets, but it would not cripple us.

Callum
Guest
Callum

As it currently stands, the RN usually have about 6 escorts at sea at any given time, 2 destroyers and 4 frigates, give or take. Of those, one is for Op Kipion, one is for SNMG2, and one frigate is permanently on hand as the Towed Array Ship for the nuclear deterrent. Assuming we cheat and downgrade the FRE to an OPV, that leaves a single destroyer and maximum 2 frigates. For a credible CBG, we need at least all three of those warships need to be with Queen Elizabeth. That leaves no margin for unexpected emergencies, T45 engine breakdowns… Read more »

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

Yes, we have roughly 6 operational at any one time, but there are also on average at least several escorts around the UK conducting training or workups. Both the French and the US deploy carriers with 2-3 escorts in certain situations, the French the majority of the time. There is no need to pile escorts on to a carrier when conducting peace time deployments, you scale the escort to the threat level. We are also part of NATO, and can expect other nations to contribute ships to our carrier group in dangerous areas. For example, we have on many occasions… Read more »

a
Guest
a

one ship needs to be available for first response duties such as channel escorting.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the french are desperate for a replacement for the de gaulle carrier, offer them P.O.W and fund the retentions. not hide the cuts

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

It cannot fly Rafale without extensive modifications and the whole point of the UK having 2 is so 1 is available at all times with the possibility of deploying the second with notice.

That the second might only have helicopters as we may not have enough F35B to furnish one at a time bothers me not a dot as even this capability is far in excess of most others.
We are not the USN. RN is their closest ally and should be able to operate with them and be relied upon to do so with cutting edge equipment.

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

Selling POW to France is not even feasible. They operate different aircraft and want only nuclear carriers.

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

They also cant afford to buy another carrier at the moment.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

remove the silly ramps fit a catobar/emals system and they can operate the rafales they already have.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

13.1 billion foreign aid? enough said, looking at where it goes, it could be halved, but nobody in our fickle chicken coop of a government would be brave enough to do it

Albion
Guest
Albion

As a former RM, I would of course go for Option 2. My main concern is strength in depth, (excuse the pun). Operational availability and attrition, (loss of hulls in any conflict) come to mind. It is all very well having computer images of possible future ships, but the reality is we just don’t have enough hulls in the water. This Government, (indeed any future government), needs to decide whether we are going to have a true blue water navy or not. If yes, then capital expenditure on a major ship/submarine building programme needs to be undertaken, with adequate on-going… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

i thought we already did.

Albion
Guest
Albion

Further to my previous: Was it not Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, (the father of the post war Soviet Navy and author of ‘Sea power and the State’ ), who stated:
“The next naval war will be fought by ships whose hulls are already in the water.”

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

That is how it works, modern ships take at least 5 years to build and that is only if their program is setup and running. A modern war would be over in a short period, so fighting with what we have would be how it is.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

modern ships take so long to build because the prices for them keeps going up. the insistance on having the latest piece of junk B.A.E are putting forward. if adequate systems are out there and cheaper we should go for them, and save money that way.replace the astute with the t214 german conventional submarine which, is over half the price of an astute and is faster to build. if we are up for modular building then get every yard with facilities to build sections put them in direct competition with each yard to get best price, faster build, cheaper.

Robert Blay
Guest
Robert Blay

And watch our ship building industry vanish over night, with a few thousand redundancies and buy a German submarine that is only a fraction as capable as an Astute class. Yeah great plan.

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

The reason it takes so long to build ships in the UK is because we order them in small amounts, and no longer have the capacity to build them in bulk. Stop blaming BAE and do some research.

German submarines are junk.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Conventional submarines and nuclear submarines have a completely different role. One is regionally mobile area denial platform, the other a strategic weapon system with global reach and impact. The early announcement of the 1982 total exclusion zone around the Falklands was made possible because we had hunter killers, that very credibly have gotten to the area in the time frame. They can travel a distance in days to destinations that are not really possible in conventional subs. Brown water/regional navy’s invest in conventional subs as they are very good at area denial, they have very little role in blue water… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

only a fraction as capable? what have you been reading? a catalogue? i don’t see how you come to the idea of the shipbuilding industry vanish overnight? i seem to have heard that warships are being built in the uk. on the clyde and at barrow.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

based on what?

Steve
Guest
Steve

a modern war wouldn’t be over quickly. What would be over quickly is the high end part of it. Once the high end equipment has been removed from the battlefield, with both or one running out of it, it will come down to boots on the ground to win or lose the war, and that comes down to numbers.

This is the constant flaw in our defence strategy. It doesn’t give enough importance to raw man power needed to win a real war situation.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

during a recent south korea u.s navy exercise a conventional submarine pierced a whole carrier escort got near enough to have launched a torpedo attack. group without detection, and slipped away unseen nuclear hunter killers are not the be all, and end all.

Tim sinnett
Guest

Option 3: to rise create more bullshit excuses and gradually wind down all elements of our armed forces under the guise of austerity whilst payment of exorbitant sums to the wealthy elite for the pleasure of doing so.
Option 4: start design work on Mars sss with the view to design a large flexible platform that can replace all current RFA and amphibious platforms. Capable to be enabled for modest amphibious landing with scale achieved from number of hulls 8-12.
Option 3 probably knowing our lot

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Option 4 is surely the way to go if you can make it work. Karel Doorman style 30,000 ton replenishment ships with well dock and RAS kit. I’mmsure that’s why the defence review postponed to next year and the FSS project is taking its time. Not sure about the C3 role of the LPDs and how best to provide force protection for a vessel which spends most of its life wearing an RFA replenishment hat.

Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

“whilst payment of exorbitant sums to the wealthy elite for the pleasure of doing so.”

Literally what? God I wish I lived in the world that lefties think they live in

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

Some people like him like to rant.

Nathan
Guest
Nathan

And in other notes, Russia is about to field hypersonic weapons that will make all existing air deference void.

Unless we develop a viable counter to this threat the age of the aircraft carrier could be coming to an end.

Paul
Guest
Paul

At the speeds talked about (mach 5), I would have thought a small cloud of half inch (maybe bigger) ball bearings in its flight path should do the trick.

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

There are many other countries working on hypersonic weapons include the US. The same things apply to lasers, railguns and nukes, we will have them long before we can defend against them.

Farouk
Guest
Farouk

I’d take the news about Russian and Chinese hypotonic Weapons with a pinch of salt. Funny enough whilst the media loves to big up Russian, Chinese and Iranian military equipment. They tend to knock back or remain silent on our own equipment. I mean it was not that long ago,where all the media Defence experts were knocking the British for not getting rid of the Challenger 2 and replacing them with the older, ( funny how they left that snippet out) Leopard 2, which as we have seen hasn’t done that well inside Syria. ( Granted Turkish tactics have been… Read more »

Stephen G.
Guest
Stephen G.

The media is anti British/anti white propaganda, it is why I watch as little of it as possible.

Farouk
Guest
Farouk

A few years ago , I would have questioned that statement but even I a non white person can see that a vast majority of the British media does indeed promote a somewhat polarised negative POV about these Isles and I for one havent forgotten how the BBC informed Argentina their bombs weren’t fused properly in SAN Carlos water or how Goose Green was the next target for the Paras allowing them to reinforce the place.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Farouk I recall that too. Scandalous. Today I feel they are far far worse.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

the 1000lb that hit my ship(antrim,) had made in sheffield on it!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Spot on. Depressing isn’t it.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

it hadn’t been the victim of defence cuts!

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I first read that as “hypnotic” weapons.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Hypersonic missiles can be stopped, the main priority is early detection! Even a slow SeaCeptor can intercept a hypersonic missile its all a question of trigonometry and expected point of interception. This is the reason why a lot of missiles these days jink about as it approaches the target. Both the SeaCeptor and the SeaViper should be able to engage hypersonic missiles that appear over the radar horizon. The problem they will have is in the giving chase interception. The last layers of defence either CIWS or countermeasures should cope with leakers.

Tim sinnett
Guest

Hypersonics are causing a big headache from what I’ve read. Because they travel so god damn fast it’s on you by the time defences have spotted and reacted. CIWS are all but useless as their effect range is only a couple of Km’s leaving 2 seconds before the missile hits. It then has to fire and hit in the terminal phase where the missile will be snaking unpredictably. The best we can hope for is a last minute kill spraying the ship in hypersonic fragments. Still going to hurt. Long range radar and medium long range intercept missiles only real… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Actually finding and hitting something is the thing, hypersonic missiles sound great, just like supercavitating torpedoes. A present from what I understand they are a great way to miss stuff really really fast.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

finding the source and neutralising is needed.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Hyper-sonic vehicles are not going to snake. At mach 5+ any movement left , right , up or down will put massive g forces on the air frame and in all likely hood move the target out of the homing head look basket due to the high distance over ground speed. They are straight line bullet like weapons on the terminal phase.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

There is another key point about all of this – not just our amphibious capability. Some areas of our country are in a truly shocking state and need investment in jobs in order to give people hope for a better future. Post Brexit (in fact now before it hits) our Govt needs to start stimulating areas of strategic importance to provide those jobs and skills. We have an opportunity to stimulate the shipbuilding areas of the country (some of the most deprived areas), Steel communities and I think we can get back into the heavy engineering game (trains and military… Read more »

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

Nice list, but never going to happen. That would require an insane uplift in defence spending, which our leaders will never do.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Pacman, we might build 25 T31, we will not have 25 in service. To me T31 is a proof of concept for industry to deliver to a budget. It is my hope that a second batch could be ordered around the mid 2020’s which would improve the capabilities of the T31, for a modest price increase. maybe £400m per hull in todays money. Are you sure an AAW version of the T26 is the way to go? I would have thought a new design would have been appropriate by then, which is 16 years from now. Unless you propose to… Read more »

Harry Bulpit
Guest
Harry Bulpit

I like the sound of that. But I think in my mind there could be some changes. If you’re spending that money you might as well make a dedicated LPH, I also don’t feel the type 31 is the way to go. Instead it should be classified as a corvette with the type 26 being a cruiser. And instead build a fleet of 10 frigates similar in shape to the current type 23. Also I see no need to replace the type 42 which will be fine after the engine issues are resolved.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

To be able to fulfil this desire, you will have to break up BAE Systems. This is because BAE is now a global consortium and not just a UK manufacturer. It would be nice however if the Royal Ordinance Factories, as we now have to buy the majority of our ammunition abroad. This should be seen as a strategic necessity and not as a profit making company, unless we can also export some of the products. I think the time is right to include a aircraft and land vehicles in a national building strategy. We shouldn’t be in a position… Read more »

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

gents – understand all your concerns and wasn’t trying to be prescriptive – just saying that the decision about amphibious is a really big one and that actually we need to be using an enhanced military budget to kick start our economy and do some good. We seem very willing to commit 0.7 GDP to other countries – but will not commit 0.7GDP to defence equipment manufacturing (not maintenance or support – but kit). I think we should commit 1% to UK manufacturing and how we do that I leave to others, but it must support our political ambition and… Read more »

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

its sad that the married quarters have been left out of defence priorities, some of the estates are in a right mess, imagine coming home from a deployment for her indoors to present you with a list of jobs on the home that need sorting out. servicemen/women are leaving because their families are being treated as second class citizens.

Derek Green
Guest
Derek Green

I give you one word – Capita – responsible for MOD estates and surely the most incompetent Company in the UK in terms of delivery of its contracts and yet it wins contract after government contract …. who owns shares in it, I wonder?

Lewis
Guest
Lewis

Any sane person would obviously see option two is the better option. But British politicians aren’t sane people. They see option one and salivate at the money they can save and throw into the budgetary blackholes of the health and welfare budget for some easy votes. They never see the bigger picture and they don’t think long term.

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

Spending 3% on defence is peanuts compared to healthcare, social and pensions. And without the peanuts one, none of the others matter, because what good is healthcare if your hospitals are getting bombed.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Ben P – As a Pensioner can I gently disagree with your throwing my pensions in as some sort of liability. The pensions I now get have been paid for by me over 52 years hard graft. And yes even my State pension has as well. Having said that yes 3% is the bare minimum for Defence and the sooner we realise we should be using that defence spending here in the UK to regenerate manufacturing and engineering skills and trades the better. Some things need to be imported but we buy far too much from abroad (IMHO). Last comment… Read more »

Stephen G.
Guest
Stephen G.

The foreign aid budget needs to be reduced to free up money to improve our own country.

John G.
Guest
John G.

The foreign aid budget is peanuts compared to what defense really needs 5% of GDP this is what we spent to do the Falklands. The are 3 budgets with that money are the state pension, old age health spending (the spending on under 65 is not very big) and education. Cutting education by the amount needed means we won’t have the people with the skills required. so you are down to hitting voting pensioners to fund defense the pensioners also vote so the politicians will not do it.

Paul
Guest
Paul

I understand that both main parties have a commitment to the 0.7% of GDP to foreign aid. Assuming that is not going to change, how that money is spent could be amended. DFID could pay for the upkeep, manning and maintenance for a Bay Class LSD for half a year, given that one is posted to the Caribbean for 6 months a year on Hurricane watch. Purchase and upkeep of a couple A400m (would have said C-17, but the production line has closed I believe) along with a few helicopters, not sure on the mix, would help considerably in providing… Read more »

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

I am not dismissing pensions. I am merely saying that we spend so much on other areas, yet we are not even willing to spend a small amount on the defence of our country.

a
Guest
a

the cold war was won because the warsaw pact could not keep up finanancially. the west should employ the same dogma again and raise defence spending to the 5% it briefly was after the falklands conflict.

farouk
Guest
farouk

Lewis wrote: “But British politicians aren’t sane people. They see option one and salivate at the money they can save and throw into the budgetary blackholes of the health and welfare budget for some easy votes. “ Since the early 70s, our young have been taught that the British Empire was evil and that the British must pay compensation for hurt feelings. This has since filtered down to our younger MPs (And some a bit older) who think that Aid is the way to go in which to apologise. The Tory party after years of character assassination is currently going… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

The Health budget is not a black hole, it not a luxury item, it’s also the most efficient spend of any public service. spending money on not being dead is the most important investment we make, as is we spend around £1000 per person per year less than the EU peer average on health ( that’s 82-84k per lifetime) and around 5000k per person year than the US ( which admittedly is a mad system Which spends more public spending than we do as well as the same again in private health cover, a true black hole).

farouk
Guest
farouk

“The Health budget is not a black hole, it not a luxury item, it’s also the most efficient spend of any public service. spending money on not being dead is the most important investment we make, as is we spend around £1000 per person per year “ Valid point, however that rewriting of history in which to make the British guilty of past indiscretions has resulted in a mindset that isn’t cost effective, when we have doctors (the only ones in the world) refusing to bill health tourists, spending millions on non-medical items, a system where fraud is rife (Like… Read more »

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Oh I think there is always, room to improve any system, anyone that thinks otherwise is a bit dangerous. Like some of most complex systems health and defence need proper discussions on what we (as in the UK want them to deliver) and how much it actually costs. The simple truth is we know the cost of adiquate armed forces and we know the cost of an appropriate health system. The problem is we delude ourselves that somehow because we’re British ( NHS full of angles working every hour without overtime in sight, no family life and no need to… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Good post. Ever wondered why our roads are too narrow for cycle lanes, or why the ceilings in your modern house are oppressively low? The UK government has a parsimonious outlook. Its part of our sad culture. The Treasury sees its job as funding public services to the minimum required to prevent an action replay of the French revolution. Thankfully those of our citizens who work in the armed services, the NHS and other public services do take pride in their work, and rightfully so.

Chris
Guest
Chris
andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

£200 million tin aid to the most booming economy which supports one of the fastest military growths in the word… india the same to pakistan, a nation which harbours and allows the training of terrorists being trained to attack us.. google where u.k foreign aid goes and you WILL be very angry indeed.

Steve M
Guest
Steve M

Surely we should be expanding/updating so as to enable ourselves to potentially defend against an expansionist China? That doesn’t mean we need to “keep up with them”, certainly not in terms of sheer quantity, that’s probably impossible.

Paul T
Guest
Paul T

Don’t waste your breath Steve. TH isn’t interested mate. Best ignore TH all together.

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

Yea, its a troll. Just ignore it.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

why would we need to? its not as if they’re massing a vast army on its korean border, or parking its navy off the american coast. we talk up a nation we’ve no reason to a war with china is as likely as a metior hitting my car. relax

Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

Considering that the UK is now operating at a budget surplus, is the scenario of further cuts taking place likely?

Chris
Guest
Chris
Levi Goldsteinberg
Guest
Levi Goldsteinberg

That is the first glimmer of good news from the DoD and Treasury I’ve seen in a long long time

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

THAT is GOLD if correct. PLEASE LET IT BE SO!

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

He was not committing to £2bn, that was her saying how much the increase should be.

I think it is pretty much guaranteed that the budget will increase, but by how much is the question. Hopefully enough to fill the hole. We might still expect cuts, be lesser ones.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Damn. Might still be something though.

Steve
Guest
Steve

The UK is not operating with a budget surplus, it did for 1 month, the month where all the self assessment cheques arrived.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Steve – Tax revenues cover all day to day spending for the first full year since 2001. The really sad thing is the BBC, Sky and all the other broadcasters sort of ‘lost’ this story last week because it doesn’t fit their anti-Tory and anti- Brexit ‘editorial view’. AKA ‘bias’.
Quote:
“This surplus, which excludes capital investment by the Government, came in at £3.8bn for 2017, the Office for National Statistics said”

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/03/01/back-black-uk-current-budget-surplus-imf-says-osborne-right/

I would add further links but that would delay the comment as it would be moderated.

Leigh
Guest
Leigh

Oh dear, there you go again, commenting on a subject matter way out of your comfort zone. Stick to the Jeremy Corbyn online calender club and let grown ups chat about reality.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

oh dear is it becoming one of those sites where all people do, is slag each other off.trying to ‘big up’ themselves. respect people or bugger off.everyones thoughts are valid the’armchair admiral should put fantasies of a world where jeremy corbyn is in a nuthouse along with the tree huggers as for people talking outside their comfort zone, show some respect some of us have actually been in a sea war. its not nice its not about shiny systems or ‘reds under the bed’. its scary and nasty when all you have between you and davy jones’ locker is poor… Read more »

Julian1
Guest
Julian1

just think we need to tax more to pay for this stuff, defence budget should be increased to 3%

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

I agree TH – we shouldn’t keep up with others or try and be something we are not, but the military can and should be a force for good at home and abroad and given its protected status in trade deals – it is an area we can be a bit protectionist with and provide jobs for those in poorer areas. The choice is do we ignore these areas and make them benefit dependant for generations or do we use the military to kick start some manufacturing/R&D or other employment/community opportunities, whilst giving those people who are willing to die… Read more »

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

The UK is not trying to keep up with China, our government hardly cares about them. What we are doing is trying to keep a capable force against Russia.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

“Penis Envy” ?

Agree no need to keep up with China and no one suggests that, but better to actually have a Penis ( of normal size ) than none at all as you constantly propose.

You just cannot handle the UK having a world role befitting its size, status and history.

dadsarmy
Guest
dadsarmy

This article actually made me laugh out loud because Option 1 is so patently absurd and comical it’ll never happen.

I SAID IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN

Ben P
Guest
Ben P

Until it does. You never know with a UK goverment.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

One of our own ( a regular contributor here ) wrote it which I think he did superbly.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Just made me laught….How many times have I heard that….generally after I’ve had to investigate why someone ended up being dead.

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

Dadarmy…If we all keep working at our MP’s and others it may never happen, even if you did think it was funny. Nothing would make me happier than for my option 1 to be made redundant.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Geoffrey

I agree and thank you for writing the article. 2 months ago this was a real possibility and it is only through websites like this (despite what TH thinks) and a core groups of MP’s saying enough is enough that there is now some form of dialogue with HMT.

Now the MOD has to deliver and I will be contacting Mr Williamson with my ideas.

Ws
Guest
Ws

There’s always a possibility we will get option 2 and then Corbyn gets elected and scraps it all!

Chris
Guest
Chris

Ws – I suspect that Option 1 is far more likely than Corbyn ever getting his grubby hands on the keys to No 10! Given his abysmal performance last June (just 4 more seats than Brown got in 2010 and then only because of some 750 voters in a few constituencies) I am mystified why some folks even think its a possibility…

For clarity that means I believe Option 2 (and more) will be the likely outcome of Gavin Williamson’s brilliant frontal attack on the Treasury …

JohnStevens
Guest
JohnStevens

I think if the Royal Navy is able to carry out it’s modernisation plans namely type 26 and type 31’s and the 7 Astutes and operating with our NATO colleagues escorts the RN will be able to manage it’s over sea’s commitments and carriers protection. If in coming years there were another extra 3-5 RN escorts that would be excellent! But there will not be any major increase in ships we have to be realistic about that, but what we will have as a nation is still a very professional modern potent navy.

JohnStevens
Guest
JohnStevens

carrier protection*

Steve
Guest
Steve

a question. The armed forces are there to fight a war and do it in a combined manner. Based on this, why do we have a FAA separate from the RAF? seems a bit silly and historical considering they are both there to provide the same role of protecting the ground forces.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

The Fleet Air Arm is these days primarily a force of helicopters operating as ships flights in the ASW, surveillance or anti ship role, or as squadrons deployed for ASW or ASCS from flat tops. Only the helicopters of the CHF support ground forces, 3 Commando Brigade.

So it is not primarily to support ground forces. Aboard ship is a far cry from an RAF station and I for one do not want to see them merged. It’s as unrealistic as the Army Air Corps operating Typhoon or C17s.

Mr J Bell
Guest
Mr J Bell

There is no options to discuss here.
The QE class will no doubt save our bacon’s in the future. Especially if equipped with enough F35Bs.
There is no option to cutting amphibious capability. If we cannot afford to maintain this then as a nation we are doomed.
Best plan
Increase defence expenditure
Keep amphibious ships
Replace Ocean
Build 13 type 26s
Easy

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Agree.

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

china has ambitions, we don’t

andy reeves
Guest
andy reeves

£200 million tin aid to the most booming economy which supports one of the fastest military growths in the word… india the same to pakistan, a nation which harbours and allows the training of terrorists being trained to attack us.. google where u.k foreign aid goes and you WILL be very angry indeed.

Steve
Guest
Steve

It would be interesting to know what the current military thinking is around required escort numbers for a real combat situation. Obviously more is always better, but what is the minimum you could realistically get away with to cover a carrier along. My working assumption based on the Falklands etc, is that we would only have less than 50% of the fleet available, meaning max 3 destroyers and 8 frigates (assuming 4 ASW). Of the minimum required for the carriers, how many would be left over to protect the albions/supply ships, and if not enough, then the answer is more… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Remember most situations would involve NATO or other allied assets so RN would not be operating alone.

In a Falklands type scenario against any but a peer enemy a deployed Astute would have an opposing fleet heading for port.

Yes RN needs more escorts no doubt. But it also needs manpower.

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

Steve we gave up any pretence of acting alone when escorts dropped below 30 and you haven’t even mentioned the lack of subs. These are less than half the number required. The UK still has some nice kit but largely has an incoherent force structure across the board that would now struggle in a conflict where we had any meaningful opposition.

Steve
Guest
Steve

subs is a good point. if you consider 50% availability that leaves 3. 1 has to be in the SSBN and another I assume has to be in British waters, leaving 1 to protect any task group. Whilst you are right we would probably not act alone but if you follow that to it’s extreme we should drop some capability in full, since the carriers is something very few nations can bring and so it’s our part of the coalition and the others can bring the landing crafts. We try to cover everything, but so thinly that we cover nothing… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

“1 has to be in the SSBN”? Do you mean it’s standard deployment practice to always deploy an SSN with the active SSBN, essentially as its bodyguard? If not then I don’t understand that statement (and if yes then I’ve learnt something already today).

Steve
Guest
Steve

Yes that is my understanding. I am not sure if it is 100% standard practice, but in a war situation it would need to happen, to ensure our last line of defence in the SSBN was not taken out of the picture.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

I thought it differently. Only the commander of the submarine and the Flag Officer Submarines / Cos Ops at Northwood know the location of the SSBN.

If the Vanguard is cruising slowly at 5 knots and is all but undetectable as often stated by the RN ( and a few years back one collided with another silent french sub ) why does it need an escort?

Mr J Bell
Guest
Mr J Bell

Sadly sjb1968 is right. Hollowed out for with some exquisite kit just not enough of it. The RN and defence select committee have both said minimum level of escorts should be 26 just to match current commitments. Although May and Hammond et Al seem to add more commitments every bloody day as they rush around trying to prove we are a great Ally to the whole world, whilst overseeing a defence review whose sole intention is to cut our armed forces even further. 26 escorts should equal 6 type 45s upgraded with mk41 vl strike cells and power supply issues… Read more »

Julian
Guest
Julian

This article has the potential to be very dangerous. I don’t know about the rest of you but, as I was reading option 1, I couldn’t shake the image of some politician getting really excited as he/she read it, not really registering the references to the human impacts but just thinking … “OK, cut the Albions, I already knew about that but…. oooh, we could then cut the Bays, and wow, the we can sell the landing craft and cut marines too. This is even better than I thought”. By the way, I suspect anti-defence politicians could go even further… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

the job argument is also over done. the loss of jobs would be a few thousand which is a drop in the ocean compared to total jobs in the UK. These are also highly skilled people and so most, admittedly not all, will find new jobs fairly quickly, potentially by moving to other parts of the UK. Additionally if it is about jobs then the government could create many times the number of civilian roles for a fraction of the price of the military ones or gear.

Jonathan
Guest
Jonathan

Steve, like almost everything employment in local economies is a complex system. Those few thousand jobs will be the heart of a regional ecconmomy, with subcontractors and support services. You will then have a retail sector and service industry dependent on the wealth generated by that ecconmomy. It’s always way more than a few thousand jobs in the end.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

The jobs impact goes deeper into our competitive UK culture. The French attitude to defence is to go the extra mile to source equipment indigenously. To us they come across in joint projects as over protective of their own interests. In fact their attitude is quitr rational. It is we who too readily sell our skills and industries for a quick profit.

Pacman27
Guest
Pacman27

Steve Its not the total of jobs per se, but where they are located and the capability lost It is a matter of record that one of the reason Astute is behind and over cost is due to the fact we had lost the skills and needed to re-generate (another point – regeneration costs significantly more money and should be avoided at all costs). Stop building subs Barrow and the whole of the South lakes becomes industrially barren, it is already bad up their without this hanging over the town. I suspect the same for Devonport as I believe it… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

I can’t the Bays going. They are cheap to run and far too useful in humanitarian aid and mothership roles e.g. Gulf MCMV. And now they have a helo hangar they can enable a River 2 to do anti piracy off Somalia and anti drug running in the Caribbean. Very useful assets.

Geoffrey Roach
Guest
Geoffrey Roach

The object of the article Julian was to outline the stark choices available and to underline how vital the services are to the Plymouth area, in particular.
For your interest I have had very positive comments from the political world as this paper was also published in the Parliamentary Review. having been included as part the Defence Committee report released in February.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Excellent work.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Yes, I think it is helpful to present options as contrasting decision choices. Always good to ask yourself and our representatives how you would feel after making one choice versus another. Post imperial asjustment is one thing but I have no doubt that in most peoples mind that ditching the LPDs would be a kind of corporate hara kiri for the UK.

Julian
Guest
Julian

Yes, that is entirely obvious Geoffrey. I was being somewhat tongue in cheek in saying how I could envisage certain politicians reading option 1, which I am sure the author was presenting as the nightmare scenario, actually thinking “ooh, that’s a good idea”.

Lee H
Guest
Lee H

Morning

Question:
What role do you see the amphibious fleet playing in the context of “Global Britain”?

Do you believe the U.K. still has the ambition to be a global player and if so do you see the amphibious fleet as a display of that intent?

If you believe the U.K. still has the ambition to be a global player and as part of that role, utilising the amphibious fleet, why do you think people like Mark Sedwill and the senior management of the RN are willing to sacrifice it?

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Not so much ambition as responsibility to intervene in a joint force with the French in Africa most likely. Be interested to know how the US and France view the potential loss of the LPDs.

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

For me it is simple.

It is confused thinking by a MoD and government with no strategic plan.

We have procured the carriers.

They are power projection assets – hard or soft.

The LPD’s also power projection assets.

So HMG want to project power out there into the world.

The two go hand in hand and complement the other. Remove one and the whole is affected.

Escorts, MCMV, and the rest are extras.

These plus the SSN’s project military power.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Amphibiosity is a soft and hard power display of UK intent around the globe to various nations and especially to the far flung countries of the Commonwealth. As an example when on Bulwark we went to the far east for a number of exercises. In Bangladesh the Booties rocked up in their landing craft and came ashore. The locals thought it was Britain and the UN coming to rescue them from their Government. Ok not a great example …the country was probably the worst place I have seen for abject poverty but it shows what the local population think when… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

All good stuff but, and I am not saying it is , if it a choice between landing craft public relations demos and some more frigates….

Daniele Mandelli
Guest
Daniele Mandelli

Then it is Landing Craft for me. For the LPD’s, their varied Landing Craft and the RM Corps do something Frigates cannot.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

This is heart versus head thing. There is a value which attaches to the LPD’s (and more importantly to the RM) which it is hard to put a monetary value on – notwithstanding the jobs argument made in the article. It is more to do with identity and tradition. Traditions can be good or bad but identity is priceless.

Gunbuster
Guest
Gunbuster

Landing craft and LPDs it is then.
They are here now and in the water. Any extra frigates will not be realized from cutting the 2 LPDs for at least 5 years.
If ever.

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Instinctively I feel you are right. Albion class is what makes the RN unique. It is a matter of identity. They are big ships with a large crew so are expensove to operate. Could we reduce the costs of routine operation and utilise them for other roles when they are not needed as expeditionary ships? Some ideas in no particular order… How big could you make the gun? Could containerised Sea Ceptor be fitted? Could a helo hangar be fitted? Could they replace Argus? Do they need all the C3 kit now we have QE? What is the minimum crew… Read more »

Lee H
Guest
Lee H

Evening all You have to remember who is running the review. They see the employment of military capability as a failure of diplomacy, a failure to sufficiently deter the enemy from launching action. By culture they are risk averse, they believe in activity more than achievement and would like, at all costs to maintain a status quo. You only have to look at their views on Brexit to understand that they are stuck in a paralysis of denial, that the people decided democratically to leave an institution that they are intertwined. However they will adapt, it will take time –… Read more »

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Rather than parliamentary democracy alone you are asking for seemless working of government, legislature and administration. Good luck.

DaveyB
Guest
DaveyB

Unfortunately TH does have a very valid point, in that we in our present state (in or out of Europe) cannot compete commercially with China. China has finally got the ability to put money where its ambitions lay. It still faces the stigma of once being controlled/ruled by Western powers including Japan when it always has thought of itself as the primary civilisation. Because it is now in the position to throw its weight about, it is like a child testing its boundaries. The only way we can counter this, is being part of a a union/pact with other countries,… Read more »

Peder
Guest
Peder

Russia aren’t updating their aircraft carrier and are cutting back military spending. So who is the enemy? This is a big con again imo

Paul.P
Guest
Paul.P

Well they may not be updating their aircraft carrier but they are sponsoring a despotic regime in Syria, undermining the nascent sovereignty of Ukraine, intimidating the Baltic states, developing a new generation of sub orbital maneuvering MIRVS and are not above poisoning the NHS staff of the UK as collateral damage of Putin’s vindictiveness.

sjb1968
Guest
sjb1968

This is an interesting article and underlines the stupidity of UK defence policy. We have bought and paid for equipment such as the LPDs that are modern, relevant and have years of service left in them but there is serious discussion that they should be sold or scrapped. The same is said about PoW, Astutes and this list changes but the same fundamental problem remains. This is a massive waste of money and has lead to a significant reduction in capability. None of this equipment is obsolete or the roles they undertake but over the lifecycle of each capability and… Read more »

M Heron
Guest
M Heron

I think we should look at the potential applications of the Type 31e Arrowhead. But not the Iver Huitfeldt variant. But the potential “Batch 2 Absalon variant” (if funded & on budget). The Absalon variant would be a potent (yet temporary) stop gap measure to make up for current and potential future fleet losses. The adaptability of the “Batch 2 Absalon variant” will boost or compliment both naval & RFA fleets. Each ship (within a 24hr conversion process) has the potential of transforming to a troop transport (300 troops), vehicle transport (7 MBT or 55 vehicles), containerized hospital ship, humanitarian… Read more »