I'm always amazed at how ignorance can be passed off as realism.
So to save a few pennies (for afghanistan? (ffs)) we're going to renege on contracts and hence incur more costs in defaulting than in completeing the CVF project, we're going to drop escorts from the RN's fleet having already proven the tech (steel is the cheap part in shipbuilding these days), and the RN is going to revert to ''River class corvettes''?
.... all to support an infantry campaign in a relatively small geographic area of a multinational mission (which is already provided with a seperate budget). I guess back during the Balkan campaigns, we should have dropped all warship procurements in favour of mass producing baton-guns - peace-keeping and all...
Gentlemen, find a wall, introduce it to your noggins.
Stop wasting our time with idle gutter-press nonsense that even my increasingly paranoid, senile and grumpy grandfather would struggle to take seriously.
Having possible problems down in the Falklands would be a good reason to update/grade the current RN, Afghanistan or not... isn't it?
...and no. If you can only afford one CVF then you shouldn't be in the Carrier game.
Happyslapper. Lets lift our heads outside the narrow world of defence which is something service men and women aren't very good at. During an economic recession the govenrment need to save large ammounts of money to pay for things across government. Like Health, Education, Social security,transport etc etc etc. The British public will expect them to do that so that frontline services will remain as they are now. Getting efficiency savings out of all govt departments apart from defence is nigh on impossible. MoD has consistantly delivered efficiency savings as service people are good at obeying orders.
If the Govt try to rebuild the Royal Navy there would be a public outcry if at the same time hospitals, schools and colleges were being closed as the public do not have the connection they once had with the Navy they don't see them on the ground in Afghanistan. The operations they are carrying out are out of the public eye and perceived to be ineffectual look at the somali pirate issue. Look at what happened in th 80's when Thatcher tried to rebuild the British armed forces, 1981 Nott defence review which if implemented would have reduced the navy to the level it is today except for the submarine service (All stopped by the Falklands war). As money was diverted into defence budget from the NHS, Education etc CND and the left went bananas to quote a popular song of the time "It's the kidney machines that pay for rockets and guns" (Going under goround the Jam) Labour under GB Or who ever takes over will have a field day and Cameron or whoever will not have the balls to ride out the storm for long term gain. The Navy has been its own worst enemey keeping the media at arms length.
The only thing that would change this perception is someting like a Falklands war but we don't have the troops or support assets to carry out this type of ops because the are all tied up in Afghanistan. Also look at articles in the British media eg how many units are suddenly deploying to the Falklands for pre Afghanistan field training? The power struggle for the Falklands has started reminders to the Argentines oh yes we've increased the Garrison with Battle hardened troops!
I would love the RN to get its act together and go back to what this country needs but it isn't going to happen in the short term. Anyway where will the T26 be built as the only show in town effectivly is now BaE following the shotgun weddings under Brown. If the new govt is willing to spend billions on increasing shipbuilding capicity maybe it'll happen.
40% of CVF has already been paid for. To put it into context, we're paying £12bn for 12 RAF Tankers lifetime costs!! We may not even be in afghanistan when it enters service.
If you want to be able to project power you cannot do it without naval air unless the county you wish to land troops on is a friendly one. I actually think it's the way to go - do we want this countries forces to be endlessly locked in land wars of someone elses choosing or do we want elite troops who can get anywhere in the world and exert force if necessary at a time of our choosing? Either we accept that we have 14 overseas territories & Antarctic territory that may in future be part of energy resource wars or we give them up.I don't see what purpose a large RN with Carrier capability serves anymore.
If the powers that be think that this island nation should have a continental style larger army ready to fight more afghanistans (god forbid) then I accept the RN would become secondary and the carriers would go as part of restructuring of force. I think it would be a grave error but i'd accept it.
The carriers are such a huge red herring. They cost 5bn - that's less than half an olympic games or not much more than our fleet of 60 apache helicopters cost.We'll be giving away £13bn in foreign aid!! If anything is cut it will be the amount of F35 that are procured.Can UK Defence budget handle a modest increase let alone sustain current expenditures given the current economic difficulties? The recovery process will take time. Instead of blathering on about the might of the RN and days gone by, how about realistic assessment based on how things stand and whether keeping such a largish fleet is feasible let alone desirable.
Some people dont seem to understand how procurement works. These new T26 wont come out of this years defence budget but 2016's! Similarly CVF has already been 50% paid for already by previous years defence budgets.
The big problem for the MOD is that a lot of heavy ticket items need replacing all at once. CVF, T26, new fighters etc. This is where the defence blackhole comes from, in a few years that blackhole wont exist as there will be no need for big ticket items in future defence budgets because we wont need them, we'll have them.
By the way, Britain can afford it. We 'choose' to spend our money on other things like welfare spongers. Defence spending over the last 10 years has come down as a % of GDP and welfare has shot up. A 0.5%-1% increase in the defence budget per year would solve these problems, basically we've been fighting 2 wars on a shrinking % of GDP peacetime budget.
I refuse to believe a government will give up its global influence & military power for the sake of a 3,5bn shortfall per year whilst still giving 4 times that money away in foreign aid.
I largely agree with Sasman73, there is no need to be overly pessimistic but at a the same time we need to remain realistic. I think we've come to a point where even our politicians have noticed that we have cut our armed forces to the point where we can't cut any further without jeopardising our capabilities and our ability the carry out the tasks we have set ourselves in the world. I seriously doubt that the carriers are at risk, even Liam Fox said recently he was pretty much sure that they would go ahead, and any fool can see that once you have carriers you need the escorts and planes to be able to use them efficiently, otherwise what's the point?
I see the coming years as a rough patch to go through where there will be a squeaze, but I am reassured in a sense to see how much fat and waste can be trimmed to spare the frontline: wasn't it recently revealed in a parliamentary report that we were wasting close to £2 billion a year by simply tampering with defence procurement (delaying programs, changing requirements, cutting numbers of items to be procured...)?
I was surprised by the figures Liam Fox was citing in the video posted earlier in this thread, hearing how much was being spent on the back-office when compared to other nations. Hell, even Nu Lab are trimming the defence budget by £700 million in consultancy and communication costs this year alone!
We have a dual problem of general mismanagement and underspending in our armed forces, and while I don't personally see the latter issue being adressed any time soon (increasing the budget to 3% of GDP for example), simply solving some of the issues of the former will already have a significant and positive impact. I simply hope our politicians have the will to do so.
There's some fine crack being smoked in this thread. The carriers are already being built, there's no way they won't be completed. The real expence of them is Avgas and the planes to fly off them. So expect them to spend lots of time with helicopters on the deck rather than jets and don't hold your breath for FAA fast air to be around much longer or for F35s with roundels on them much before 2020-22.
But if you're seriously suggesting the next gov will scrap CVF? Go give your heads a wobble.
I agree Sheep, infact just 10 F35's and a mix of Helicopters is a generations leap above what our current capability is.
It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the RN chief bods have said to ministers they aren't bothered what flies off them for the next 10 years, just get them built!
There was talk a month or two ago about using one as a true carrier, and the other as more of an air assault carrier to cut down on the JSF burden. I assume this was bollocks though as have heard nothing more about it than the one article.
Basically the RN intention was always to have 1 aircraft & 1 heli carrier available at all times and have 1 naval air wing that will go on the available carrier whichever it is. The RN was never going to have 2 carriers roaming the seas with 36 F35 on each.
Where the mainstream (rather than specialist defence) media got it wrong is that both CVF are intended to operate as an assault carrier in a secondary role. What they didn't grasp is that both of them will still be built to exactly the same spec, even if one of them occasionally performs the role currently undertaken by HMS Ocean.
Nice looking boats.
I think most people actually enjoyed reading the articles posted, if not, then move on to something else.
How exactly it might be considered a ''fanboi pipe dream'' that I posted..... from the Ministry of Defence website... is beyond me. Perhaps really I ought only to have endulged in my own ill-gotten pessimism that you merchants-of-doom come out with. You don't see what purpose the Navy might serve for an island nation, which has several overseas territories, 10 million citizens living abroad, and is reliant on the sea for 95% of trade? Wow.
Nobody here, or in the quoted Government and analyst literature, is suggesting that we sacrifice everything for warships. All that is happening is a rolling replacement programme for vessels reaching the end of their service lives. The ship building, the contracts, and the costs, are spread over approximately 3 decades in the case of FSC. When you consider that it is being based on technology already proven on the T45 and other ships, is supporting our struggling ship-builders, is using commercially available materials wherever possible, and has exportability as one of it's 4 core requirements... the cost is not as much as you seem to imagine. Consider that later units of the Type 23's cost just £60 million.
This programme has cross-party support. They're not a luxury for the forces, they're an absolute necessity - something that defence politicians recognise more now than at any point in recent history.
If all you can think of is a ''Falklands Round 2'' scenario, then it only proves your ignorance. Perhaps you're an expert on something else, I don't know, but your comments on here are proposterous.
By the way Mark, the troops ''suddenly deploying to the Falkands for pre Afghanistan field training'' are not suddenly deploying. 1Yorks are providing the Roulement Infantry Company based in the Falklands for six weeks. It's just that they will deploy to Afghan with 12 Mech at some point, and are making the most of their time in the Islands.
Perhaps this is too much to ask, but do you think maybe we could get back to discussing the subject of this thread, and not your out of touch merchant-of-doom political opinions? Thanks.