Atlantic Future Forum - and NATO/Euro Atlantic defence

Yokel

LE
The second of our carriers will be assuming a flagship role as part of the NATO response Force from early next year. I thought that she was going to be the R2 carrier (held at five days notice to move), and the thirty days thing was part of the NATO 'four thirties' thing?



I imagine that intercepting aircraft and tracking submarines will be high on the agenda.
 

Yokel

LE
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From STATE OF THE UNION SUMMARY OF BRITISH DEFENCE PRIORITIES - Nicholas Drummond

What are the threats we must counter? The principal concern is China. Its increasingly aggressive pursuit of political and economic hegemony have resulted in a clear shift in its status from partner to potential adversary. Ongoing efforts to reinforce its superpower status through increased military spending, have resulted in a return of greater power competition. This mirrors the Cold War NATO / Soviet Union stand-off that took place from 1949 to 1989; however, the risk posed by China is centred on the Indo-Pacific region, not Europe. While Britain should be mindful of China, it needs to focus on threats closer to home, something reflected by the integrated Review which describes our emerging strategy as a “tilt” towards Asia, rather than a “pivot.”

Within Europe, deterring Russia continues to be the key challenge. Its activities below the threshold of conflict demand a response, but this should be based on the effect of hard power, rather than information or proxy warfare. Indeed, allocating scarce resources to “grey zone” activities could not only trigger a confrontation, but dilute the critical mass we need to counter real aggression.
The threat to the Baltic States is real as shown by the conflict that continues to play-out in Ukraine. Separately to this, and in response to sanctions, Russia continues to conduct cyber attacks as well as testing UK defences through regular aerial and maritime incursions. Russia’s closeness to China also poses a problem.

Iran continues to sponsor terrorism and may seek to support the Taliban financially as it exercises greater control over Afghanistan. The threat posed by Iran’s ongoing atomic weapons programme could trigger a regional conflict that might include a nuclear exchange. North Korea also seeks to acquire WMD and perceives the USA to be weaker under Biden than Trump. It could test the USA by overtly threatening South Korea again. The spectre of Islamic extremist terrorism has not gone away. Terror groups continue to operate in the Middle East, Africa and at home.

Many of the threats we face coalesce in Africa with both Russia and China supplying local armies with military equipment as they seek to wield greater influence and to unlock economic opportunities across this continent. China’s “Belt & Road” strategy seeks to secure access to and control of scarce resources. The risk of coups in lesser developed African countries paves the way for corrupt governments, extremism, civil war and humanitarian crises. Britain’s current mission in Mali is a recognition of the dangers that exist in this region.

The indeterminate success of recent deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan suggest that nation-building is no longer a viable tool of foreign policy. Diplomacy and international development programmes may be a better approach. But we have yet to define the circumstances that would justify a similar UK intervention. In any event, we are unlikely to resort to the use of force independently. The most likely scenario is a deployment in partnership with key NATO allies or under the aegis of the United Nations. We may decide to fight discretionary wars in future, but these cannot distract us from the need to be prepared to fight wars of national survival. Cold War 2.0 requires us to prepare for high intensity warfare against peer adversaries, rather than low intensity skirmishes against asymmetric enemies.

When it comes to predicting future conflicts, we have a perfect record – we have not been correct once. This means we need a range of flexible capabilities and forces able to respond across multiple scenarios. As post-Brexit Britain looks beyond Europe for trading opportunities, the need to protect national interests internationally implies forces that are expeditionary by design.
 

Yokel

LE
Interesting snippet from this USNI news article:

At the same time, since World War II, Washington has relied on freedom of navigation and overflight across the globe to prevent the rise of a hegemonic power in Europe and Asia that threatens the global order. To Washington’s mind – in presidential directive and Navy policy – a strait is “not just a transit route.”
 

Yokel

LE
I am sure that this is not suspicious at all - grey zone you say?

Norwegian Undersea Surveillance Network Had Its Cables Mysteriously Cut

Undersea sensors off the coast of northern Norway that are able to collect data about passing submarines, among other things, have been knocked out, the country’s state-operated Institute of Marine Research, or IMR, has revealed. The cause of the damage is unknown, but the cables linking the sensor nodes to control stations ashore are said to have been cut and then disappeared. This has raised suspicions about deliberate sabotage, possibly carried out by the Russian government, which definitely has the means to do so.

The IMR, one of the biggest marine research institutes in Europe, described “extensive damage” to the outer areas of the Lofoten-Vesterålen (LoVe) Ocean Observatory, putting the system offline. LoVe, which was only declared fully operational in August 2020, consists of a network of underwater cables and sensors located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, an area of strategic interest for both Norway and Russia.
 
I am sure that this is not suspicious at all - grey zone you say?

Norwegian Undersea Surveillance Network Had Its Cables Mysteriously Cut

Undersea sensors off the coast of northern Norway that are able to collect data about passing submarines, among other things, have been knocked out, the country’s state-operated Institute of Marine Research, or IMR, has revealed. The cause of the damage is unknown, but the cables linking the sensor nodes to control stations ashore are said to have been cut and then disappeared. This has raised suspicions about deliberate sabotage, possibly carried out by the Russian government, which definitely has the means to do so.

The IMR, one of the biggest marine research institutes in Europe, described “extensive damage” to the outer areas of the Lofoten-Vesterålen (LoVe) Ocean Observatory, putting the system offline. LoVe, which was only declared fully operational in August 2020, consists of a network of underwater cables and sensors located on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, an area of strategic interest for both Norway and Russia.
That's very interesting, when added to other events: the border issues in the Baltics and Poland; Russian aircraft active over Belarus and responding to the presence of an RAF surveillance aircraft over the Black Sea; Russia pulling levers to reduce gas supply to Europe ; and a perception that a Russian build up close to Ukraine is probably nothing to worry about as it has happened before.
 
That's very interesting, when added to other events: the border issues in the Baltics and Poland; Russian aircraft active over Belarus and responding to the presence of an RAF surveillance aircraft over the Black Sea; Russia pulling levers to reduce gas supply to Europe ; and a perception that a Russian build up close to Ukraine is probably nothing to worry about as it has happened before.
Is there any evidence, that those that should be doing so, have joined together all the "dots" as you have done @Red Hander ?!

Not that I know :( .
 
Is there any evidence, that those that should be doing so, have joined together all the "dots" as you have done @Red Hander ?!

Not that I know :( .
All I have done is read the news, to be honest - as well as info here on Arrse - so there must be a wider level of awareness. The Telegraph says that the Government is concerned about events and that there is a 'twitchiness' and 'anxiety' among officials.
Perhaps (all speculation on my part) Russia/Putin takes the view that it can risk action in Ukraine because whether there will be a united European response is very much open to doubt? (would, for example, Germany risk its energy supply situation at the start of winter?).
 
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All I have done is read the news, to be honest - as well as info here on Arrse - so there must be a wider level of awareness. The Telegraph says that the Government is concerned about events and that there is a 'twitchiness' and 'anxiety' among officials.
Perhaps (all speculation on my part) Russia/Putin takes the view that it can risk action in Ukraine because whether there will be a united European response is very much open to doubt? (would, for example, Germany risk its energy supply situation at the start of winter?).
Bad time of the year for a "set-to" with Russia . . . but, if needs must !!

You would like to think, it would provide an opportunity, distraction, for us to implement a concerted effort repatriating the unwanted, uninvited migrants . . . but, with now THOUSANDS of the buggers here, all well-fed, medically checked and fully rested, it would be a difficult choice . . . the Eastern Front, or the English shantytowns/Stansted :( .
 

Yokel

LE
Here are two videos that may be of interest. Firstly one from Sky, dated 1 November 21, in which mention is made of Russian jets being intercepted by F-35 Lightnings from HMS Queen Elizabeth when she was in the Mediterranean - and the report also mentions that she had jets ready to intercept Chinese jets. The report mentions they was the strike group's frigates worked with helicopters to keep track of Chinese submarines.



The second video is from Forces TV and talks more about those interceptions.

 
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Yokel

LE
There is going to be a major exercise in the Mediterranean led by the Marine Nationale very soon - with real relevance to NATO.

POLARIS 21

The realistic scenario of POLARIS 21 aims to test the multiple capabilities of an air-sea force, made up of the French carrier strike group, with nuclear-powered aircraft carrier ‘Charles de Gaulle‘ at its centerpiece, against a credible opposition force (OPFOR), gathered around the Mistral-class LHD ‘Tonnerre‘. The latter will be reinforced by an air-land system to provide an anti-access / area denial zone. The density of the French and foreign assets involved will enable modern know-how to be put to the test in high-intensity air-sea combat, covering all areas and fields of conflict in a coordinated and synchronized manner. It will help strengthen the ability of the French armed forces to assume framework-nation responsibilities within a coalition.
 

Yokel

LE
NATO cooperation in the Mediterranean: Difesa: conclusa esercitazione di nave Cavour con velivoli F-35B di Marina e Aeronautica

Sadly I cannot speak Italian, but Google Translate helps.

Rome, 21 Nov 18:40 - (Agenzia Nova) - It ended today, in the central Mediterranean, in the presence of the Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, accompanied for the occasion by the Chief of Staff of the Navy, team admiral Enrico Credendino, and by the chief of staff of the Air Force, air squad general Luca Goretti, an important international activity that involved the Italian naval group led by the Cavour aircraft carrier, operating with F-35B aircraft of the Navy and of the 'Air Force, and a British naval group led by the Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, also operating with F-35Bs. This was reported today in a press release from the Ministry of Defense.

The aerial activity on board the Cavour aircraft carrier, carried out in full synergy between the Navy and the Air Force, represents a milestone in the development of the national ability to project the potential offered by the new fifth generation aircraft, the F-35Bs, from the sea. Nave Cavour, fresh from a recent campaign in the United States where it carried out an intense training activity and aimed at certifying its flight deck for new aircraft, has shown that it can develop, together with its embarked air component, a niche capacity in not only in Europe.

Admiral Cavo Dragone, complimenting the Navy and Air Force personnel involved in the activity, highlighted how "in addition to the excellent capabilities already achieved by the Air Force F-35As, both in the operational field and in real operations, the Today's exercise represents a strong impetus in the process of developing the national air projection capacity from the sea, with the integration of fifth-generation joint aerotactic multirole aircraft, allowing our country to be the only one able to guarantee this contribution within the Union European ". In conclusion, "the synergies between the Navy and the Air Force in the use of F-35Bs on board the aircraft carrier will also be achieved in use from the ground, operating jointly in operational situations where suitable landing strips for conventional aircraft are not available".

In the interaction with the British aircraft carrier, thanks to the high level of interoperability achieved, two Italian F-35Bs are docked on the Queen Elizabeth and at the same time two US Marine Corps F-35Bs, embarked on the English ship, are docked on the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour. The interaction also saw further training in flight with the involvement of F-35Bs that took off from the two aircraft carriers, which carried out a demanding air combat mission. In addition to the success of the joint activities carried out by the Navy and Air Force aircraft on board Nave Cavour, today's interaction with the British aircraft carrier group has made it possible to successfully test the joint technical-operational procedures aimed at achieving full interoperability between the two Marines.
 

Yokel

LE
Here is a recording of the late Professor Eric Grove giving a talk at the International Institute of Strategic Studies regarding NATO naval planning in the 1980s.



Since the talk NATO has established its Maritime Command at Northwood in the UK and Joint Forces Command (Norfolk) in Virginia. We have restarted transatlantic reinforcement exercises.
 
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Yokel

LE
USNI News: Russia’s Growing Secret Submarine Fleet Key to Moscow’s Undersea Future

Tensions between Washington and Moscow are rising with a marked increase in competition in the undersea domain, as Russia continues to invest in a fleet of specialized submarines.

Russia is the only country with a fleet of special mission subs for seabed warfare and espionage and is expanding the capability. Other countries, like the U.S., also work well in this arena and have specialist capabilities, but these capabilities reside on multi-mission platforms.

Russia’s fleet includes two massive submarine motherships that each carry one or two deep-diving submersibles. These can be employed for covert seabed missions, including wreck plundering. The largest of these is BS-64, a stretched DELTA-IV-class submarine. This is one of the largest submarines in the world – bigger than the U.S. Navy’s Ohio-class nuclear ballistic nuclear submarine. It will be joined by an even larger mothership, Belgorod, which conducted sea trials in June. This is second only to the 30,000-ton Typhoon class in terms of size.
 

Yokel

LE
The CSG21 deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her group is coming to a close in the next few days. A not inconsiderable part of the deployment was spent operating in the NATO theatre, starting with the transatlantic reinforcement exercise Steadfast Defender 21 and then NATO activities in the Mediterranean.

Russian aircraft were intercepted and Russian submarines were identified and tracked.

 

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