What the First Sea Lord said....

Discussion in 'Royal Navy' started by Yokel, May 16, 2011.

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  1. Yokel
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    Yokel LE

    Loss of Carrier Strike Capability Top Concern of Royal Navy Chief - Defense News

    Giving evidence alongside the heads of the Army and Air Force on the impact of last year's defense review, Stanhope said that retaining HMS Ark Royal and its fleet of Harrier strike aircraft would have been his top priority if the government's strategic defense review and associated four-year defense spending plan could be revisited.

    Later...

    Withdrawing Ark Royal and the Harriers earlier this year was by far the most controversial element of the defense spending cuts. Stanhope later indicated he would not oppose resurrecting the Harrier force if possible and if money was made available to support the aircraft.

    Stanhope and Air Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, the chief of the Air Staff, were asked by a defense committee member whether returning the Harrier force to service had gone beyond the point of no return.

    Dalton said it had. But Stanhope responded that while Dalton's statement was correct, he would "like to think that should a decision [be made to reassess the Harrier force, we could], look again. It all comes down to money."

    Stanhope said the Royal Navy is faced with the task of regenerating the carrier force in the latter half of the decade as a new aircraft carrier and the F-35C fighter become available. Rebuilding an aircraft carrier force around 2019 could only be done with the assistance of allied carrier operators France and the U.S., he said. Such a program is now being developed, Stanhope said.


    U.K. Warns Military Is 'Stretched' - WSJ.com

    Navy chief sounds carrier warning - East Hampshire - The News

    You can see 1SL, CGS, and CAS talking to the select commitee here: Player

    Many of the same arguments* can be found here: Decision to axe Harrier is "bonkers". - PPRuNe Forums

    Edit - 16 August 2012

    Since the decision in May 2012 that we would purchase F35B as originally planned, and that future CVF operations would be STOVL ones, the issues of retaining STOVL skillsets amongst both aircrew and ships' personnel are more relevant than ever. The issue of whether of not the UK needs a fixed wing carrier capability in the next few years is brought into focus by talk of possible conflicts which may involve UK forces, for example possible hostilities in the Gulf or international action over Syria.

    Potentially all of these things could be sorted out. We have STOVL capable ships, STOVL trained pilots and carrier crews, have a STOVL future to prepare for, and STOVL aircraft do exist. The politicians could make this into a success.

    See this post from a later page, written long before the switch back to F35B:
    Comments about possible options

    *Comments on the PPRuNe thread regarding skills are now more relevant than they were a few months ago.
     
  2. Yokel
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    Yokel LE

    Not that it stops Big Dave waving his arms around and demanding that a task force be sent...
     
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  3. Yokel
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    Yokel LE

    His French counterpart comments were similar: We should share aircraft carrier, say French - Telegraph

    Admiral Pierre-Francois Forissier also disclosed that the French navy was amazed by the swath of cuts last year that severely reduced the Royal Navy with the axing of aircraft carriers and Harrier jump jets alongside warships.

    “From a French standpoint, I have to say that we were really stunned because the Royal Navy has always been a model for us and it is now faced with a very difficult situation,
    ” he said.

    He also highlighted the shortcomings of the weakened British fleet, suggesting that the Libya campaign could have been “more efficient” if there had been a second aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. At present there is only the Charles de Gaulle. Its aircraft are responsible for more than a quarter of all attacks but soon it will need to dock for maintenance.

    “If the UK did have another aircraft carrier in the Libyan theatre that would have been a support for the RAF because they would need less hours of travel and they would have been more efficient,” said the admiral.

    “When you only have one carrier that means you don’t have permanent availability because of maintenance issues and, of course, it would be better to have two carriers.”


    On the skills issue:

    “To run a carrier to its full capacity you need 10 years [of training]. The challenge is to prepare ourselves during this 10 years so that when the Queen Elizabeth [the first 60,000-ton carrier] is ready it can be operable in a very short time.”
     
  4. Yokel
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    Yokel LE

    Wonder if CMD is capable of listening?
     
  5. Yokel
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    Yokel LE

    Analysis: NATO first to blink in Gaddafi's war of nerves | Reuters

    ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

    "The elephant in the room is the imminent departure of the French carrier, given it has been flying 30-40 percent of all NATO strike sorties," said Tim Ripley, of Jane's Defense Weekly.

    "It's a looming problem, so sustaining this operation, particularly if it's going to grind past September or October, is going to be a problem."

    In the absence of other allies coming forward with strike aircraft that could be flown from land bases -- which would necessitate a fleet of refueling tankers only the United States could provide -- one radical solution would be for Britain to redeploy decommissioned Harrier aircraft to its carrier HMS Illustrious, which was designated for conversion into a helicopter ship in Britain's defense review.

    However, even if such a tricky political decision were taken by British Prime Minister David Cameron, it would be up to four months before the ship was ready for action, Ripley said.

    A senior NATO commander conceded the extent of the worry on Tuesday. French General Stephane Abrial said the Libyan crisis had come as "a surprise" and if it were to last a long time "the resources issue will become critical."
     
  6. leveller
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    leveller LE

    Don't Harriers like the rest of their sea launched bretherin, need to be refulled just after take-off if they are fully tooled up?

    Also didn't the US have a major carrier group in the area, but choose to de-camp the aircraft to a hard runway? Why was that?
     
  7. sunnoficarus
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    sunnoficarus LE

    Yes, now repeat carrier advocates mantra after me…

    'It is cheaper to fly aircraft off a 100,000 ton carrier escorted by frigates, destroyers, tankers and stores ships, than to fly them off 1,000ft of concrete just sitting there'
     
  8. A2_Matelot
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    A2_Matelot War Hero Book Reviewer

    To allow the BG to proceed with other roles whilst NATO cracks on with Ellamy, their landed a/c are their contribution to NATO, the BG is on national tasking and no doubt has other poisson to fry.
     
  9. A2_Matelot
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    A2_Matelot War Hero Book Reviewer

    Not a carrier advocate but the over simplification of that is just stunning.

    Let's all pile into an airbase, that isn't set up in any way shape or form for what is now being conducted from it - let's build whole new infrastructures. Let's send 90SU [TCW] out to Italy and a host of other regional locations to build, install and order varying CIS capabilities, including a numerous amount which have been ordered in country and don't quite work. Let's install a colloborative mission CIS system on a host of platforms and locations where it previously didn't exist. Let's establish resupply convoys, both land and air, to get stores/spares out to the JOA. Let's buy up huge quantities of fuel from our NATO brethren at a stunning rate, let's. Want to speak to everyone, I know lets demand high quality VTC services get installed and it goes on............Then there's the allowances for those enduring the hardship of Italy....

    And to start the whole thing off with a bit of a spectacular, let's commence with a good old long legs strike to drop.....3 weapons - just to show the good old RAF can still fly a plane when its needed - ignoring the obvious of cracking off 3 more TLAMs? Service politics over operational planning, classic.

    Yup - it's a freebie, there's no doubt about that, and the 10s of millions we've spent installing "essential" infrastructures are of course not an issue and the fact we'd not have needed them if we'd have used a CVS as a Command Platform are moot?
     
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  10. Dunservin
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    Dunservin LE

    I wonder if General Abrial was summoned by French Premier François Fillon for an interview without coffee?

    Apart from a few frenetic weeks in Toulon at the end of February/beginning of March, Charles de Gaulle and her air group have been conducting air operations almost continuously since she deployed last October to provide CAS (Close Air Support) for ground forces (mostly Brits) in Afghanistan, her fifth such mission in nine years.

    She was even escorted over Christmas and the New Year by HMS Cumberland (link) which has since evacuated civilians from Libya and helped enforce a naval blockade before returning to the UK in mid-April and being decommissioned earlier this month (link). HMS Cornwall, her last surviving Type 22 frgate sister ship, was decommissioned today (link).

    At this rate, Charles de Gaulle might even beat HMS Invincible's still extant world record of 166 days continuous carrier operations at sea (link).
     
  11. A2_Matelot
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    A2_Matelot War Hero Book Reviewer

    Keen not to get involved in a tit for tat trail of endless posts but...

    "The detachment of around 200 personnel at Trapani, on the Italian island of Sicily, is playing a key role in the RAF's contribution to Operation ELLAMY, the UK operations over Libya. While locations such as Camp Bastion or Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan look like small cities, the RAF deployed operating base at Trapani has the feel of a village, with just a cluster of prefabricated buildings, tents and storage containers covering an area about the same size as a football pitch. But it provides most of the same facilities as its larger cousins and hosts the VC10 refuelling aircraft and the E-3D Sentry AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft that are both vital capabilities for NATO's Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, the operation to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 and protect Libyan civilians at risk of attack. The critical role of Trapani is illustrated by one MT task - the logistics drivers from the section refuel the VC10 aircraft which in turn refuel UK and coalition aircraft. So the fuel pumped into the aircraft by UK personnel at Trapani will sustain operations not only by UK Tornados and Typhoons but also French Rafales, Canadian F-18s and other partner nations' aircraft. It's not just the aircraft that need fuelling though. Aircrew, groundcrew and supporting personnel need feeding, and that task falls to a team from 3 (Mobile Catering) Squadron (3 MCS). As well as providing mess tents, they also provide inflight catering. The E-3D will fly a nine- or ten-hour mission, co-ordinating the whole NATO air operation over Libya and controlling hundreds of aircraft, in a role that demands sustained intense concentration. Making sure that the crew have the energy needed to do the job is therefore important, and the catering team ensure the aircraft is well-stocked. Food is not the only life support required however. Corporal Nicola Prewitt from 3 MCS explained: "They need somewhere to lay their heads and they need clean clothes." She combines the roles of accommodation manager and laundry manager, operating the first RAF Operational Hygiene Unit (OHU) to deploy on operations. The OHU is a deployable laundry, in an adapted shipping container, which can easily handle the demands of the detachment personnel. Inside the next building, supply, movements and a ground equipment section share a combined office and stores. Boxes of aircraft spares and equipment are neatly laid out on the floor, ready to keep the aircraft flying.It may be a small detachment but in every part there's another small team or a single person carrying out one particular function or another, all working to support RAF aircraft which deliver capabilities that underpin the whole NATO mission."

    And of course, its all free, all using infra that was there before......

    So, avoiding the carrier debate, we just need to take a closer look at what are increasing amounts of time, money and equipment that are being deployed in support of Op RegimeChange. As time goes by, it may well turn out that having a handing maritime presence with organic capabilities might have been a more cost effective way of operating.

    Who knows....who cares....
     
  12. A2_Matelot
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    A2_Matelot War Hero Book Reviewer

    Keen not to get involved in a tit for tat trail of endless posts but...

    "The detachment of around 200 personnel at Trapani, on the Italian island of Sicily, is playing a key role in the RAF's contribution to Operation ELLAMY, the UK operations over Libya. While locations such as Camp Bastion or Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan look like small cities, the RAF deployed operating base at Trapani has the feel of a village, with just a cluster of prefabricated buildings, tents and storage containers covering an area about the same size as a football pitch. But it provides most of the same facilities as its larger cousins and hosts the VC10 refuelling aircraft and the E-3D Sentry AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft that are both vital capabilities for NATO's Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR, the operation to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 and protect Libyan civilians at risk of attack. The critical role of Trapani is illustrated by one MT task - the logistics drivers from the section refuel the VC10 aircraft which in turn refuel UK and coalition aircraft. So the fuel pumped into the aircraft by UK personnel at Trapani will sustain operations not only by UK Tornados and Typhoons but also French Rafales, Canadian F-18s and other partner nations' aircraft. It's not just the aircraft that need fuelling though. Aircrew, groundcrew and supporting personnel need feeding, and that task falls to a team from 3 (Mobile Catering) Squadron (3 MCS). As well as providing mess tents, they also provide inflight catering. The E-3D will fly a nine- or ten-hour mission, co-ordinating the whole NATO air operation over Libya and controlling hundreds of aircraft, in a role that demands sustained intense concentration. Making sure that the crew have the energy needed to do the job is therefore important, and the catering team ensure the aircraft is well-stocked. Food is not the only life support required however. Corporal Nicola Prewitt from 3 MCS explained: "They need somewhere to lay their heads and they need clean clothes." She combines the roles of accommodation manager and laundry manager, operating the first RAF Operational Hygiene Unit (OHU) to deploy on operations. The OHU is a deployable laundry, in an adapted shipping container, which can easily handle the demands of the detachment personnel. Inside the next building, supply, movements and a ground equipment section share a combined office and stores. Boxes of aircraft spares and equipment are neatly laid out on the floor, ready to keep the aircraft flying.It may be a small detachment but in every part there's another small team or a single person carrying out one particular function or another, all working to support RAF aircraft which deliver capabilities that underpin the whole NATO mission."

    And of course, its all free, all using infra that was there before......

    So, avoiding the carrier debate, we just need to take a closer look at what are increasing amounts of time, money and equipment that are being deployed in support of Op RegimeChange. As time goes by, it may well turn out that having a handy maritime presence with organic capabilities might have been a more cost effective way of operating.

    Who knows....who cares....
     
  13. eodmatt
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    eodmatt LE

    Yep, who cares. TBH I am a little punch drunk with all the talk of this could have been and that might have been. Fact is that the nation sees spunking away billions on khaki coloured kids, the faux sick, lame and lazy, fat sleazy lawyers, ****** bankers, political correctness, the human rights of millions who have no human rights but we give them some and (add your personal gripe here ...), as more important than national defence. Who am I to argue?
     
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  14. A2_Matelot
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    A2_Matelot War Hero Book Reviewer

    Christ on a bike, now you've mentioned lame and lazy, we'll have to merge this with Stackers tirade against fat biffs on Ops.
     
  15. eodmatt
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    eodmatt LE

    Basted aren't I?
     
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