CDS - the Royal Navy needs to get bigger in future...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jim30, Dec 21, 2012.

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  1. CDS gave a speech at the RUSI on 17 December, where he made some very interesting and pertinent points about the state of the UK defence and our future policy.

    A key part of the speech focused on the fact that the Royal Navy is probably too small, and needs to grow in future, but does not necessarily need more high end ships. At the same time, he noted that the Army is going to be spending its post HERRICK future working on regional engagement in the Gulf and Far East, so get ready to revisit your old haunts gents!

    I strongly recommend reading the full speech, over at think defence (Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards speech to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), 17 December 2012 | Think Defence) as its a bloody good read and very illuminating thinking about the way that the SDSR 2015 may shape up.

    Finally, I shamelessy want to plug the old blog as a site where I've put up a more detailed analysis of what was said - comments are always most welcome!
    Thin Pinstriped Line: General Richards speech to the RUSI - Will the Royal Navy really get larger in the future?
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  2. msr

    msr LE

    By larger, did he mean tumescent?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Hmmmm, isn't there a thread about "large" naval types somewhere already....
  4. No problem with a larger Royal Navy.

    Could you manage to maintain the number of Admirals or would you need to get some more braid?

    Actually, could you cull several admirals?

  5. Having just completed a Counter-Piracy patrol (CP), I would offer the following. If you are going to do Oceanic CP (such as Somalia), you need the following: long endurance, an ability to conduct long range target acquisition, sustained high speed capability, C3I infrastucture and the right type of people to do something about it all when you find the buggers. Whilst you may be able to find some of those traits in a ‘sloop’, they only really come together with a ship that is frigate size, with many (if not all) of the characterisitics one would associate with a modern Frigate or Destroyer. If oceanic range is not your thing (either you run from local bases, or are willing to only influence a relatively small piece of sea) then you can reduce the endurance and sprint requirements, but not the others.

    I would suggest that this would lead to a requirement not for small vessels, but rather much bigger vessels than a FF/DD. The USN are currently procuring a further 5 Afloat Support Bases (modelled on the USS PONCE) for operations around the world. An AFSB is large (i.e. not much smaller than OCEAN), can carry lots of enabling units and can support others. If we are to accept CDS’ premise that these are not war-fighting vessels (which I fear will be quickly forgotten if we go to war), then a large ‘flat-top’ could be built to civilian standards and then painted “haze grey and got underway”. Modern MVs are designed for a reduced number of personnel to run them (but the RN would probably triple or quadruple that!), and we could ensure the supported units bring their own CSS/CS personnel.

    There is also a point to be made about very small vessels. Operations inside the Gulf require a specific skill set, one that could make use of the very short lines of support (assuming Bahrain remains our “stone RFA”) and thus change our entire CONOPs. What say you to a combination of Cyclone class patrol vessels and SOC-R Riverine Craft/CB-90s to dominate the cluttered and congested waters of the Gulf?

    Lots of the TEPID OIL questions haven’t be answered, but the ‘sloop’ concept (which is a masterful piece of intra-RN posturing written by an Officer not qualified to Command anything apart from P2000s) is not the way we should be heading.
    • Like Like x 4
  6. Guns

    Guns LE Moderator Book Reviewer
    1. The Royal Navy

    A-T-G. Good points and something people forget. Having small Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) style vessels will boast the numbers but they are no use for modern Maritime Security Operations (MSO). Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) needs good Command, Control, Comms, Computers (in essence networks to exploit information) Intelligence Surveillance and Recon (C4ISR) facilities to conduct Information Exploitation (IX) within the Information Domain. Radar needs height and it needs power. Something a FF/DD can give you but OPVs struggle with. Maybe use of UAVs to extend range but downlinks and bandwidth come in to play.

    You need endurance to ensure your time on task remains high as this feeds your search re-visit times and ensures any Recognised Maritime Picture (RMP) is valid. It is useless to DETECT something if you do not ID and then TRACK it.

    You need crew endurance to ensure all of this is a 24/7 operations. In essence double the manpower to just sail the ship.

    By dumbing down your fleet you reduce the ability to react to what on land is the Three Block War. A FF/DD gives you options, within a timescale, that having lots of smaller units does not. If we had only OPVs around we would still need FF/DD to do the shit kicking bits but now you have to decided where to put them (numbers reduced to accommodate the new OPVs) or build in time lines of weeks not days to respond to events worldwide.

    I am much more in favour of the mission module T26. Steel and air are cheap. Power trains for ships are getting cheaper. The expensive bits you stick in modules and take what you need when you need it. Your manpower can be pre-positioned or even at home.

    T26 on MSO in the Indian Ocean. Mission fit is boarding, Surface Warfare and Aviation. Does what it needs to do but things hot up. Ship in modules swapped around and now you have ASW added. Personnel have been in the UK doing quality training and fly out to join.

    For what it is worth.
  7. Guns, what you forgot to mention was there will clearly be a need for a sharp increase in the number of three-letter-abbreviations (TLAs) acronyms and staff buzzwords to accomodate this.
  8. msr

    msr LE

    I nominate this post for the ARRSE lingo-bingo award 2012. Well done sir!
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  9. We could sack all of our Admirals and save all of the money we'd be paying them. In about 140 years we could probably afford to buy a Type 45 destroyer with it all.
  10. msr

    msr LE

    That says more about your Type 45s than about your admirals...
  11. Of course... an abilty to deploy medium range organic / maritime based weapons platforms with VTOL capability...

    There...said it before someone else did!
  12. msr

    msr LE

    Ah, but you have failed to ask the single most important question: Do they come equipped with SLRs?

  13. Trans-sane

    Trans-sane LE Book Reviewer

    Well I'd like to claim that you stole my thunder re-TLAs but I only read Guns' post at 0120. But even pissed I to think he went over the top with the ****-word bingo.
  14. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Something like this then: UXV Combatant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  15. Not that I know anything but if you are suggesting a T26 for the Indian Ocean, it should be built for and fitted with everything - and that includes ASW. China is pushing into the Indian Ocean now and both her and India are creating blue water navies with both carrier and submarine ability. Pakistan also have submarine ability. And the times they are a changing...