Atlantic Future Forum - and NATO/Euro Atlantic defence

Yokel

LE
Today at 1300 GMT - NATO Challenges and Britain's Integrated Review

Policy exchange invites you to ‘NATO Challenges and Britain’s Integrated Review’:

with

General Curtis Scaparrotti (USA, Ret.)
former Supreme Allied Commander Europe

in conversation with

Rt Hon Lord Robertson of Port Ellen KT
former NATO Secretary General and UK Defence Secretary

Chaired by

Larisa Brown
Defence Editor, The Times


Or you could just wait until it is on YouTube...
 

Yokel

LE
Talking of Atlantic First, this is the silly season in the run up to a defence review. There has been a drive to get more warships to sea, and to support this naval recruitment has been increased - increasing naval manpower by 3000 over three years.

Our naval contribution to NATO has increased, yet the Daily Mail et al are reporting rumours of cuts to frigate numbers. What sort of message does that send to our allies or indeed Moscow, Tehran, or Beijing?
 
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Yokel

LE
Atlantic security matters!

As I said on an earlier page: Remember the Euro Atlantic region is where we live and subject to geopolitical tensions with Vlad and even Xi on our doorstep, and the Atlantic gives us access to the Northern coast of Europe, Eastern coast of the Americas and beyond the Panama Cana; or Cape Horn, and the East coast of Africa and through the strait of Gibraltar or around the Cape of Good Hope..

The Atlantic is still economically and strategically vital to the United States. It provides access to the Atlantic coast of Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East via the Mediterranean and Suez Canal.

Admiral Robert Burke US Navy….. presence and influence in the Atlantic and the Arctic oceans. Admiral Burke presented a different perspective compared to the tensions in the INDO-PACOM region and the Pacific Ocean.

In the pre-recorded webinar hosted by CSIS and presented solely by Admiral Burke, Burke said that he is responsible for “104 countries, 23% of the world’s population, 14 million square miles of land, about 30% of the land mass of the Earth, and more than 20 million square nautical miles of ocean, [and] 67% of the Earth’s coastline.”
 

Yokel

LE
Russian Submarines Test NATO In Icy North Atlantic - WSJ (July 2010)

Late last year, 10 Russian submarines slipped out of their bases on Russia’s Arctic coast and set an underwater course westward toward the North Atlantic.

Deployments such as this, one of the largest exercises since the Cold War, are a demonstration of the strength and ambition of the Russian Navy not only to defend its homeland but also to project power into the Atlantic, say NATO military officials and analysts.

Russia has spent billions of dollars in recent years upgrading an aging submarine fleet inherited from the Soviet Union with quieter, faster vessels that can evade detection and travel for longer at greater depths. Russia’s Northern Fleet, based on the Kola Peninsula in the Arctic, is the main submarine force traditionally used to protect maritime approaches to the Russian north and the fleet’s ballistic-missile submarines.

Naval commanders from the U.S. and allies say that Russia is now deploying more submarines for longer periods in the Atlantic, where they could threaten North Atlantic Treaty Organization militaries’ ships and critical U.S. infrastructure as the Russians patrol the U.S. East Coast.

Russian military officials say that they have increased the frequency and range of their submarine exercises and that they must boost their capabilities to counter what they call increasingly aggressive moves from NATO.

The resurgence of Russia’s submarine fleet, and its forays into the Atlantic, are a concern for NATO, which would rely on swift reinforcement of its forces in Europe by the U.S. via the Atlantic in case of a conflict with Russia. That strategy would grow in importance if the U.S. fulfills President Trump’s order to withdraw more than a quarter of U.S. troops based in Germany.

“We see it routinely now: more submarines, further away, for longer periods of time,” Vice Adm. Keith Blount, commander of NATO’s Allied Maritime Command, said in an interview.

U.S. Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the U.S. Second Fleet, said in February that U.S. ships leaving the East Coast were entering a contested space and could no longer expect to cross the Atlantic unhindered.
 

Yokel

LE
In addition to increased Russian submarine activity, activity by long range aircraft from Russian Naval Aviation has been more active in the Atlantic - such as in last March.

Russia continues its long-range operations and training activities.

In parallel with the increasing Western activity in the Arctic Region, Russian air elements also increased their activities in the region. In the past days, Russian maritime patrol aircraft conducted a series of training on the GIUK (Greenland, Iceland and the United Kingdom) Line, the door of the Russian Navy to the Atlantic. The Russian platforms performed flew further south than usual, the activities included the Tu-142MK and Tu-142MRM relay aircraft. Tu-142MK, one of the platforms accompanied by MiG-31s, spent approximately 2 hours off the southwestern coast of Ireland, while Tu-142MRM performed relay activity in the north of Scotland.

The regions where the training activities are also NATO's choke point for Soviet in the past; andfor Russian Navy today where the Atlantic route will be cut.

In the event when the Norwegian F-35A Lightning IIs intercepted Tu-142s first, Russian aircraft were also accompanied by the Royal Air Force Typhoon FGR4s near the United Kingdom.


@Archimedes - do you know if there is anything in the public domain about increased Bear activity in the GIUK gap and Atlantic?
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Yawn, Russians coat trail a bomber from time to time in a desperate attempt to appear still relevant.

....the futures East of Suez, securing the SLOCs for 90% of U.K. bulk and energy trade, not talking pictures of Bears over the Atlantic.
 

Yokel

LE
Yawn, Russians coat trail a bomber from time to time in a desperate attempt to appear still relevant.

....the futures East of Suez, securing the SLOCs for 90% of U.K. bulk and energy trade, not talking pictures of Bears over the Atlantic.

Is it from time to time or is it more often?

What about NATO reinforcement in time of crisis? Also how exactly do vessels transit between the UK and the Middle East or Far East without spending part of the journey in the Atlantic and Mediterranean?

Choke+Points.jpg


That was from the US Naval War College in 2011.

SUEZ1.jpg


This a Turkish one from 2014.

Guess what? Russian submarines and Bears are active in the Mediterranean too!

Is the Bear still counted as a bomber or does it carry cruise missiles for anti ship roles, and provide reconnaissance and long range targeting for submarines and submarine launched missiles?

Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran are allies and hold joint exercises.
 
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Is it from time to time or is it more often?

What about NATO reinforcement in time of crisis? Also how exactly do vessels transit between the UK and the Middle East or Far East without spending part of the journey in the Atlantic and Mediterranean?

Choke+Points.jpg


Guess what? Russian submarines and Bears are active in the Mediterranean too!

Is the Bear still counted as a bomber or does it carry cruise missiles for anti ship roles, and provide reconiasance and long range targeting for submarines and submarine launched missiles?

Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran are allies and hold joint exercises.
Russia is a Pacific Ocean country too. If they want to interrupt shipping in the Pacific or Indian Ocean they can start from their Pacific ports, which have much better access to the open ocean than they do anywhere else.
 

Yokel

LE
Russia is a Pacific Ocean country too. If they want to interrupt shipping in the Pacific or Indian Ocean they can start from their Pacific ports, which have much better access to the open ocean than they do anywhere else.

Yes - but would that tie in with Putin's objectives - standing up to the West and bringing the ex Soviet republics and former Warsaw Pact countries back under Moscow's influence and control? Causing trouble inside the NATO area would.

Imagine something like this - but far out to sea?

There will be significant NATO exercises in the Atlantic - very much needed to deter Vlad.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Is it from time to time or is it more often?

What about NATO reinforcement in time of crisis? Also how exactly do vessels transit between the UK and the Middle East or Far East without spending part of the journey in the Atlantic and Mediterranean?

Choke+Points.jpg


That was from the US Naval War College in 2011.

SUEZ1.jpg


This a Turkish one from 2014.

Guess what? Russian submarines and Bears are active in the Mediterranean too!

Is the Bear still counted as a bomber or does it carry cruise missiles for anti ship roles, and provide reconnaissance and long range targeting for submarines and submarine launched missiles?

Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran are allies and hold joint exercises.

right, now plot all the U.K. sovereign base areas, overseas Bases and BOTs

and viola, we have bases on all those maritime choke points bar South Africa
 
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PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Russia is a Pacific Ocean country too. If they want to interrupt shipping in the Pacific or Indian Ocean they can start from their Pacific ports, which have much better access to the open ocean than they do anywhere else.

their Pacific ports are capable of being interdicted by US/Japanese bases.
they are also mahoosively overmatched in the Pacific.
And they have a huge strategic limitation, the same one as hampered them during the Cold War. Their Far East bases are supported via a single point of failure, the Trans Siberian, which can be closed with a missile strike.
 

Yokel

LE
right, now plot all the U.K. sovereign base areas, overseas Bases and BOTs

and viola, we have bases on all those maritime choke points bar South Africa

So what? Has anyone ever thought of attacking or threatening merchant ships or indeed warships away from a choke points? Napoleonic Wars? First World War? Second World War? Cold War? Falklands War? Tanker War?

Look at the thickness of the line representing transatlantic traffic, or in the Mediterranean.

@jrwlynch perhaps you can say something to @PhotEx and other Doubting Thomas types that the Atlantic is of economic and strategic importance to the countries either side of it. Also I wonder if he could be educated that it is important for NATO reinforcement and resupply, and that potential adversaries will seek to interdict and attack
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
So what? Has anyone ever thought of attacking or threatening merchant ships or indeed warships away from a choke points? Napoleonic Wars? First World War? Second World War? Cold War? Falklands War? Tanker War?

Look at the thickness of the line representing transatlantic traffic, or in the Mediterranean.

@jrwlynch perhaps you can say something to @PhotEx and other Doubting Thomas types that the Atlantic is of economic and strategic importance to the countries either side of it. Also I wonder if he could be educated that it is important for NATO reinforcement and resupply, and that potential adversaries will seek to interdict and attack

you need to stop running off to the others every time you dig a hole. Try argue your own point.

top tip, we, as in NATO, own the North Atlantic, the Russians stick their noses out at our pleasure. If push came to shove, they’d be stopped dead in their tracks.

You seem transfixed by a once a month maximum effort Russian ‘look at me! Look at me!’ with a Russia RT film crew aboard Jolly.
Hint, every time a Russian ship ventures more than a few miles out of port, it does so with a rescue tug in attendance. Guess why that is?
the First time the Russians can deploy a battle group into the north Atlantic for a month without something catching fire or breaking down, get back to me.
And as for their handful of operational submarines? I’ll give the crews top marks for courage, so many Russian submariners die in accidents and cock ups, war would be a welcome relief.

ditto the occasional coat trailing flight round the coast of Ireland.... BFD.
if it was serious, we’d have shot it down north of the Orkney’s.
guess why it’s only the odd plane once in a while?
Its because that’s pretty much all they can manage. As soon as I see Regiments of Backfires on a daily, weekly basis flying nuisance flights, I’ll be interested.

The Russians are not a blue water Navy, they are a small green water Navy of desperately old ships; that has only managed to build a handful of frigates and corvettes in the last 30 years - they don’t dominate the North Atlantic, nor could they.

As Secretary Lehman observed in 1982...’In a confrontation with the United States Navy, the Soviet Navy would have a short, but very exciting war’.

Now the Chinese, they are a far bigger and far more credible threat, one that needs countering, especially their Belt & Road initiative that will give them naval ports along our main SLOC from the Far East.
 

Yokel

LE
Other people may be more patient than me, and better at explaining. They may have experience of things I do not, such as sonar systems, mathematical modelling, wargaming, shipbuilding, Cold War NATO naval activities...

The Russians would not need to control the Atlantic, merely deny NATO freedom of movement. They are a land power so their naval mission is one of sea denial. Being able to sortie a force of ten submarines into the Atlantic suggests that we should pay attention. Money has also been put into Russian Naval Aviation and its anti ship capabilities.

As many keep pointing out, Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran are allies.
 
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@Archimedes - do you know if there is anything in the public domain about increased Bear activity in the GIUK gap and Atlantic?

Not seen anything specific in the public domain about this. I imagine that some enterprising soul assembling snippets of OSINT could come up with something at a push.
 

PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
Other people may be more patient than me, and better at explaining. They may have experience of things I do not, such as sonar systems, mathematical modelling, warranting, shipbuilding, Cold War NATO naval activities...

The Russians would not need to control the Atlantic, merely deny NATO freedom of movement. They are a land power so their naval mission is one of sea denial. Being able to sortie a force of ten submarines into the Atlantic suggests that we should pay attention. Money has also been put into Russian Naval Aviation and its anti ship capabilities.

As many keep pointing out, Moscow, Beijing, and Tehran are allies.

a maximum effort of 10 elderly submarines! Gosh!

now count up how many NATO SSN’s, FFGs, DDGs and ASW aircraft are available to counter this mighty Russian flotilla.

you seem to predicate your doom laden assumptions on the basis that everything NATO has will be asleep in port or in its hanger while this mighty armada gets out to sea, then will go have to go looking for them from first principles. One presumes all the US intel assets have a holiday too and don’t notice Severomorsk is emptying out?
just because the Russians claim they were cruising undetected up the Potomac, doesn’t mean they didn’t just sit under the ice for six weeks then came home.

while they might get some submarines out into the Atlantic unobserved, anything on the surface wouldn’t make it out of the Barents Sea without a running plot. As as to their bombers? Do NATO air forces take the week off too?

And who’s providing the targeting for these submarines if things get kinetic? Do they go chasing around the Atlantic looking for random 25kts box boats trying to get a firing solution? Setting on fire MSC Mina and her cargo of cheap Chinese clothing and toys might affect stock levels at Walmart, but it’s not going to rock NATO back on its heels, and now you know where one of Vlads submarines is. And It’s not as if it wouldn’t occur to NATO to shoot down the handful of lumbering Bears as they try to get out into the Atlantic.

Here’s a hint - just because NATO doesn’t go haring off over the horizon with everything it’s got at the sight of the first Russian submarine doesn’t mean it’s been caught flat footed.... it just might be it’s well aware it’s just another jolly and watching/following it quietly.
It’s not as if NATO is going to call a press conference and display the ship/sub/aircraft logs/charts to disprove the latest Russian claims of Super secrets not observed mission for make Great patrol Imperialist Atlantic waters, is it?
 

Yokel

LE
a maximum effort of 10 elderly submarines! Gosh!

now count up how many NATO SSN’s, FFGs, DDGs and ASW aircraft are available to counter this mighty Russian flotilla.

you seem to predicate your doom laden assumptions on the basis that everything NATO has will be asleep in port or in its hanger while this mighty armada gets out to sea, then will go have to go looking for them from first principles. One presumes all the US intel assets have a holiday too and don’t notice Severomorsk is emptying out?
just because the Russians claim they were cruising undetected up the Potomac, doesn’t mean they didn’t just sit under the ice for six weeks then came home.

while they might get some submarines out into the Atlantic unobserved, anything on the surface wouldn’t make it out of the Barents Sea without a running plot. As as to their bombers? Do NATO air forces take the week off too?

And who’s providing the targeting for these submarines if things get kinetic? Do they go chasing around the Atlantic looking for random 25kts box boats trying to get a firing solution? Setting on fire MSC Mina and her cargo of cheap Chinese clothing and toys might affect stock levels at Walmart, but it’s not going to rock NATO back on its heels, and now you know where one of Vlads submarines is. And It’s not as if it wouldn’t occur to NATO to shoot down the handful of lumbering Bears as they try to get out into the Atlantic.

Here’s a hint - just because NATO doesn’t go haring off over the horizon with everything it’s got at the sight of the first Russian submarine doesn’t mean it’s been caught flat footed.... it just might be it’s well aware it’s just another jolly and watching/following it quietly.
It’s not as if NATO is going to call a press conference and display the ship/sub/aircraft logs/charts to disprove the latest Russian claims of Super secrets not observed mission for make Great patrol Imperialist Atlantic waters, is it?

In other words, you are saying that the potential naval threat in the Atlantic is kept in check by the constant vigilance of NATO navies and air forces? This implies that if those warships and aircraft were not there then it would be a danger zone.

Thank you - we got there in the end. Yes frigates, SSNs (and European SSKs), and ASW aircraft - including shipborne ones - matter. Likewise fighters to deal with the Bears, including carrier based ones.

Keep the peace - keep NATO strong at sea.

One point though. Ten elderly submarines? Who knows? Vlad has put serious money into modernising the Russian armed forces - including submarines.
 
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PhotEx

On ROPS
On ROPs
In other words, you are saying that the potential naval threat in the Atlantic is kept in check by the constant vigilance of NATO navies and air forces? This implies that if those warships and aircraft were not there then it would be a danger zone.

NATO does - NATO stuff!

Keep the peace - keep NATO strong at sea.

You mean the NATO that massively overmatches, both in numbers and capability, the Russian Navy?

One point though. Ten elderly submarines? Who knows? Vlad has put serious money into modernising the Russian armed forces - including submarines.

'Serious money'?
You mean most of their naval budget - The 'Russian Navy' is now a fairly good analogue of the Kreigesmarine in 1944 - A submarine service with a handful of barely used surface ships.
And despite that, nearly all their nuclear submarines are 25-40 years old - They are tarting up SSN's older, and less capable, than the last of our T boats we're paying off, one their SSBN's is 40 years old. A new coast of paint and some bells and whistles doesn't make a geriatric submarine any less geriatric.

Despite all the Russians Blue Water bluff and swagger, their cunning plan if things get 'exciting' is to hide all their SSBN's under the pack ice, and defend the northern bastion with their SSN's/SSK's
 

Yarra

War Hero
Not seen anything specific in the public domain about this. I imagine that some enterprising soul assembling snippets of OSINT could come up with something at a push.
UK Def Journal and the likes would probably be best open source sites. Whatever the level of activity, Bears stooging around the GIUK gap is great practice for the QRA and it's Crab Air attendant coterie.

Anyways, Yokel should just wait out for the IR... when the curtain opens and all is revealed.
 
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