Army ‘to be cut by 20,000’ if No 10 plan is approved

What is it that Ajax is good at? Who has said so? Shiny, fast and technically cool gun for sure. Question is whether it is a useful reconnaissance platform, which we won't know until it's been on proper instrumented exercise or to war.

I doubt that Boxer can replace Warrior - size, protection and XC mobility for a start (tracks beat wheels, end of) and it would be even bigger with a turret.

40mm CTA on WR is folly - and an expensive one. Any stabilized sub 30 mm cannon would do - and there's an argument for just a chain gun. IFVs have no business getting into AFV on AFV combat (outside of an encounter battle - and even then they should be protected by MBT).

More RA firepower - well yes, but remember that it's less useful in operations other than full on war. Smart / autonomous MLRS sub munitions are vital. Logistics of RA are significnant, which means that when you send a shiny strike brigade off to war on it's wheels (presumably with Ajax on transporters) it's going to be there some time without arty. Military history is not kind to scenarios like that.

Which is why it will need AH. But of course AH also comes with a huge logistic burden.

Which is why strike is a flawed concept. Or rather, logistic light strike (which is the cheap version with all the shiny toys but no depth) is bollocks. And we've been here before, when we were looking at the French FAR (Force d'Action Rapide - or, as the French Army called it Faire Avec Rien).

Well, it seems at least someone in the States knows what we want from the Integrated Review.

'The most contentious decision is on the size of the army, which is widely expected to be cut from a notional force of around 82,000 to something closer to 72,000. Even though the Ministry of Defence secured an unexpected £16.5bn spending boost from the Treasury in the autumn, the department is still seeking savings to reduce a £17bn budget black hole and fund better cyber defences and new military capabilities in space.

'US military officials say privately that while they value UK special forces and are impressed by Britain's growing cyber expertise, troop numbers still matter. Washington has traditionally relied on the UK to field a heavy division, which means an army of roughly 100,000 personnel. Michael Shurkin, a security expert at the Rand Corporation, insisted that the US’s historical default to military co-operation with the British is based on a recognition of its quality, rather than troop strength. “It’s not just that we expect the British to show up when we call — we really want the British to show up when we call, because they're good,” he said. However, he made clear that “it becomes a real problem” if suddenly a trusted ally can no longer provide the troop numbers it once could.

'The challenge for ministers is how to present cuts to the army without causing alarm in Washington and NATO Headquarters. “How well it goes down with our allies depends very much on how honest we are about what we’re doing,” said Jack Watling, a land warfare specialist at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank. He argued that if the UK offers to provide attack helicopters, long-range precision rocket artillery and reconnaissance troops to assist other nations, this could help compensate for a reduction in overall personnel. “If we set out a credible roadmap that admits it’s going to be rough for the next decade but by 2030 we will deliver something that is clearly defined, then the US will probably respond positively,” Watling said.'


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JCC

LE
From todays Telegraph:

"The Royal Navy is seeking a catapult system to launch drones and jets from aircraft carriers as a possible “Plan B” for the F-35.

The MoD has asked industry for ideas about future “aircraft launch and recovery systems” that could be fitted to ships in the next five years.

The document issued by the MoD says it “wishes to assess the availability of electromagnetic catapult, and arrestor wire systems for the launch and recovery of air vehicles”."

and,

"It is anticipated that the forthcoming Integrated Review (IR) will reduce the total number of F-35 jets from 138 to the 48..."

and,

"General Charles Q. Brown [US Chief of the Air Staff] hinted that supporting F-35 operations was so expensive they should be used less as a multi-mission fighter as originally envisaged, and more for special missions only."


I don't see any suggestion in the article that F35B will be abandoned nor that the "cats 'n traps" will necessarily be used, or be powerful enough, for future manned fighter aircraft (Tempest?).
 
The RFP for the catapult did the rounds a couple of weeks ago and the weight it's meant to launch is enough for a light F-35 but not for a fully laden one so...Tempest? Some sort of drone?
 
From todays Telegraph:

"The Royal Navy is seeking a catapult system to launch drones and jets from aircraft carriers as a possible “Plan B” for the F-35.

The MoD has asked industry for ideas about future “aircraft launch and recovery systems” that could be fitted to ships in the next five years.

The document issued by the MoD says it “wishes to assess the availability of electromagnetic catapult, and arrestor wire systems for the launch and recovery of air vehicles”."

and,

"It is anticipated that the forthcoming Integrated Review (IR) will reduce the total number of F-35 jets from 138 to the 48..."

and,

"General Charles Q. Brown [US Chief of the Air Staff] hinted that supporting F-35 operations was so expensive they should be used less as a multi-mission fighter as originally envisaged, and more for special missions only."


I don't see any suggestion in the article that F35B will be abandoned nor that the "cats 'n traps" will necessarily be used, or be powerful enough, for future manned fighter aircraft (Tempest?).
I find it very funny that when I suggested there was a possibility we would stick with the 48 I was howled down by the so called experts, who for some strange reason no longer post on here.

There is more press speculation here:

 
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The RFP for the catapult did the rounds a couple of weeks ago and the weight it's meant to launch is enough for a light F-35 but not for a fully laden one so...Tempest? Some sort of drone?
My mo ey would be on a RPAS, for strike, loyal wingman, AAR etc. Tempest is going to be heavier than F35.
 

JCC

LE
I posted the article here rather than the Carrier thread because I think it asks bigger questions. If we have two gas powered carriers without sufficient aircraft, escorts etc. would we be better to cut our losses, flog them off and start again with a blank sheet and design a coherent RN? A coherent military?

But that would then beg the question what are the three main missions of UK armed forces in order of priority? Until that is hammered out all I can see is further thrashing around.
 

JCC

LE
Have you seen the size of Tempest? I can’t see it being lighter than the Lightning F-35.
So the launch system for the Tempest, if carrier based, is going to need sufficient grunt to lift it off the deck. I thought one of the issues was that the gas turbines didn't provide enough power?
 
So the launch system for the Tempest, if carrier based, is going to have to have sufficient grunt to lift it off the deck. I thought one of the issues was that the gas turbines didn't provide enough power?
I think that will be solved by the carriers being essentially RN badged USMC assets used as the Flagships of NATO maritime deployments.
 

TamH70

MIA
So the launch system for the Tempest, if carrier based, is going to have to have sufficient grunt to lift it off the deck. I thought one of the issues was that the gas turbines didn't provide enough power?
I'm not sure that they do either.

EMALS was supposed to sort that out, but I think that the main mistake was not to outfit our carriers with the World's Biggest Kettle, to begin with. Having nuclear power on your carriers makes them far more versatile, and gives them the grunt to stick whatever kind of launch technology you want to equip them with into the hulls.

There are reasons why no American super-carrier has a fossil-fuelled power train, even with the much-increased population of menkalist tree-hugging hippies in that country who detest the very thought of nuclear power.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
So the launch system for the Tempest, if carrier based, is going to have to have sufficient grunt to lift it off the deck. I thought one of the issues was that the gas turbines didn't provide enough power?
Hang on, where are you going with this? Gas turbines?

The problem was that development of EMALS, the electromagnetic catapult, was lagging (older-generation cats use steam).

We were already down a path with STOVL and the F-35B. We switched briefly to CTOL, when Cameron thought he could save money, to the -C. Then it was realised that the design for a launching/recovering a conventional aircraft was far from mature. We then went back to the -B and a ramp.

Going with the -B and a ramp precluded CTOL aircraft and drones. If we're going to get those off the CVFs, we need a catapult. It was always recognised that the -B and a ramp might have to change in the future.

In the first instance this is about drones. It's not about giving the -B more oomph. But now it transpires that we're potentially not getting the 138 -Bs, let alone 138 F-35s of all descriptions. We need a catapult solution, otherwise we just have some very large and expensive helicopter carriers.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
Casualties?
Casualties buys a political commitment to a war in a far of country about which we know little...

Echos of a French General who was asked before 1914 how many British soldiers the French wanted in France. His answer "Just one and we will make sure he is killed"
 

JCC

LE
Hang on, where are you going with this? Gas turbines?

The problem was that development of EMALS, the electromagnetic catapult, was lagging (older-generation cats use steam).

We were already down a path with STOVL and the F-35B. We switched briefly to CTOL, when Cameron thought he could save money, to the -C. Then it was realised that the design for a launching/recovering a conventional aircraft was far from mature. We then went back to the -B and a ramp.

Going with the -B and a ramp precluded CTOL aircraft and drones. If we're going to get those off the CVFs, we need a catapult. It was always recognised that the -B and a ramp might have to change in the future.

In the first instance this is about drones. It's not about giving the -B more oomph. But now it transpires that we're potentially not getting the 138 -Bs, let alone 138 F-35s of all descriptions. We need a catapult solution, otherwise we just have some very large and expensive helicopter carriers.
Gas turbines was to contrast with Nucs and the amount of power available to run EMALS so how many gallons of electricity in the pipes was the query.
 

QRK2

LE
Casualties buys a political commitment to a war in a far of country about which we know little...

Echos of a French General who was asked before 1914 how many British soldiers the French wanted in France. His answer "Just one and we will make sure he is killed"
Well spotted, that was rather my point. Not much fun for the individuals concerned though.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
We have a battle group in the Baltic’s without credible heavy fires, the armour there is no way theatre entry level of protection, Mali it’s not a “true battle group” it’s a light reconnaissance force, with not a lot else.
CSG is the result of a lot of pain for the RN, to some extent the RAF.

How much has been wasted on evaluating armoured upgrades? How much is CR2 LEP costing, Warrior upgrades, AS90 upgrades?
A few years ago I was the SME for a battlefield study by a battlegroup due to deploy to Estonia. The topic was battlegroup operations envisaged against the WP in the late 1980s based on a main defensive line position on the GDP. My expertise was that I remembered the GDP as the MOD has kept no detailed records of how we planned to fight the red menace last time around. It was pitiful to compare the material assets of this battlegroup against the assets available to the 1989 mechanised battalion tasked with holding the same wooded feature. The biggest shortfall was artillery and anti-tank weapons. If artillery and tanks are obsolete no one has told the Russians. List of equipment of the Russian Ground Forces

There were also significant psychological barriers. No one seemed to have thought about operating under a hostile or contested sky. (Whats a cam net?) Furthermore, modern networked individuals seem incapable of thinking on their own without reference to their hive mind leading to chaos and indecision when denied mobile phones. The admin of the battlegroup nearly collapsed when ordered to stop using mobile phones on security groups and only restored with a command decision that WhatApp was secure.

I fear for the prospects of any expeditionary force. Staff Rides and Battlefield studies ought to focus on France and Norway 1940, Greece and Crete 1941, Malaya 1942.
 
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Without opening the can of worms that is nuclear v conventional, steam v EMALs, nuclear would've been a terrible decision for the UK.
 

Cynical

LE
Book Reviewer
He argued that if the UK offers to provide attack helicopters, long-range precision rocket artillery and reconnaissance troops to assist other nations, this could help compensate for a reduction in overall personnel.

This is the sort of expertise that has contributed to the clusterfeck that we are now in.

The US has AH, MLRS (and upgrades) and recce troops. Their recce troops are also in a sensible vehicle (one with a metal roof) not a top heavy cabriolet.

And the recce / deep strike battle is not where blue forces blood is shed in quantity. The US (like everyone) want allies to stand beside them and share the pain. That pain is physical in combat, financial in times of peace. The reality is that we are on the cusp of being the land forces partner that only a fool would want.
 
And the recce / deep strike battle is not where blue forces blood is shed in quantity. The US (like everyone) want allies to stand beside them and share the pain. That pain is physical in combat, financial in times of peace. The reality is that we are on the cusp of being the land forces partner that only a fool would want.
And the Army has had more than enough to upgrade their heavy armour. What gets cut to provide the required funds? For example the RAF cut Jaguar, Harrier, C130k and some of the J, Merlin went to the RN, Military SAR, Sentinel and shadow. Also MR4.
 

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