CVF and Carrier Strike thread

A2_Matelot

LE
Book Reviewer
Forgive me. I am a civilian and ignorant. It just seems to me, that nowadays, far too much emphasis is being put on quality, and not enough on quantity.

It doesn't matter how brilliant an individual ship, or plane, or tank is - if you've only got a very small number of them, they won't last long in a war, as they'll all soon get destroyed. Then you're forced to surrender.
So, the rationale in the West is and has been for a long time to use tactics, doctrine and the best equipment we can to make up for a lack of mass. Smarter weapons, smarter intelligence and smarter operating.

Quantity only gets you so far until a better adversary has more rounds, longer range and better targeting.

You are right in so far as a smaller number of units is an absolute disadvantage but I believe it's utterly pointless equipping the forces with 90s technology and aiming for higher numbers. Firstly because our adversaries are rapidly getting better technology and secondly because we'd never have sufficient personnel to manage the mass you envisage. We are capped at our approximate manning levels and we struggle to recruit now as it is.
 
So, the rationale in the West is and has been for a long time to use tactics, doctrine and the best equipment we can to make up for a lack of mass. Smarter weapons, smarter intelligence and smarter operating.

Quantity only gets you so far until a better adversary has more rounds, longer range and better targeting.

You are right in so far as a smaller number of units is an absolute disadvantage but I believe it's utterly pointless equipping the forces with 90s technology and aiming for higher numbers. Firstly because our adversaries are rapidly getting better technology and secondly because we'd never have sufficient personnel to manage the mass you envisage. We are capped at our approximate manning levels and we struggle to recruit now as it is.
Unfortunately political leaders seem to be getting dumb and dumber. Mind you that is not new, the US Defense Secretary McNamara tried to fight a war of attrition against the North Vietnamese who were always happy to throw more bodies into the fight.
 
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He's not, but given that the DCOS of the CSG is a decorated Marine, who's flown GR9 and F18 operationally and has F35 experience I'm tempted to suggest that they have solid insight into what can/should be achievable with the carrier and its aircraft.
Therein lies the point. Conceptually the F35 is not analogous to GR9 or F18, and neither will the UK be able to operate its carrier in the same way as the US does theirs. You would hope CSG get that...
 
Therein lies the point. Conceptually the F35 is not analogous to GR9 or F18, and neither will the UK be able to operate its carrier in the same way as the US does theirs. You would hope CSG get that...
I imagine they are fully aware aware of what the F-35B can do, along with other aircraft (eg Merlin) borne by the carrier, and the other components of a task group. A carrier is not all about jets.

 
I struggle to understand whey the RAF need the F35 at all yes the Tornadoes are running on borrowed time but are the Typhoons almost ready to be duel roll.

Do we need the stealth that the F35 provides after all we have never had it before.
In my tiny mind I would prefer to see the Navy have the F35 buy completely with enough planes to go max load on the carriers with an OcU plus combat replacements.
 
I struggle to understand whey the RAF need the F35 at all yes the Tornadoes are running on borrowed time but are the Typhoons almost ready to be duel roll.

Do we need the stealth that the F35 provides after all we have never had it before.
In my tiny mind I would prefer to see the Navy have the F35 buy completely with enough planes to go max load on the carriers with an OcU plus combat replacements.
Countries never had S400 SAM Systems before now? But the Navy Cannot afford the whole F35 buy. So its had to get into bed with the RAF for the purchase, which isnt the terrible thing people think it is.
 
I struggle to understand whey the RAF need the F35 at all yes the Tornadoes are running on borrowed time but are the Typhoons almost ready to be duel roll.

Do we need the stealth that the F35 provides after all we have never had it before.
In my tiny mind I would prefer to see the Navy have the F35 buy completely with enough planes to go max load on the carriers with an OcU plus combat replacements.
This has been discussed ad nauseam in several threads.
 
Another reason for an 'All weather capability' although I think if it would have to be extreme emergency for them to fly during a Hurricane / Typhoon type of storm.

OKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Military aircraft enthusiasts in Tokyo got a surprise treat over the weekend with the arrival of some of America’s most powerful and stealthiest jet fighters at the headquarters of U.S. Forces Japan.

Eighteen F-15 Eagle fighters and 8 F-22 Raptor stealth fighters flew into the Japanese capital from Okinawa’s Kadena Air Base to escape Typhoon Maria, which was on track to reach Okinawa Tuesday morning.

The unexpected sight had drivers doing double-takes as they navigated Yokota’s south overrun, which crosses the base runway. Many were surprised to see Raptors lined up on a nearby ramp, a rare occurrence on mainland Japan.

By LEON COOK AND HANA KUSUMOTO | STARS AND STRIPESPublished: July 9, 2018
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Case in point, for one of the more extreme examples: this is a carrier built with its own organic long-range anti-ship missiles, multiple SAM systems, medium-calibre guns et cetera so she wouldn't need escorting.

Half right... She was built in the Black Sea hence had to be able to be classed as a battle cruiser to get out of it due to treaty commitments.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Coupled with the perception by Healy that CVA01 was a ‘gold-plated’ solution, was poorly aligned to the then Labour Party’s desire to withdraw from East of Suez and RAF arguments against carriers, and the FAA were only heading in one direction. However, the cancellation of the carrier certainly then acted as a disincentive for careers in the FAA.
Like moving Australia, discounting the ability of carrier based aircraft to operate from land bases and fiddling the accountancy figures to make out that carrier based air was three times the price of land based. Even if land based.

Few other things as well but it's a long time since I looked at the cabinet papers.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
It doesn't matter how brilliant an individual ship, or plane, or tank is - if you've only got a very small number of them, they won't last long in a war, as they'll all soon get destroyed. Then you're forced to surrender.
Basically Lanchester's theories. Which don't appear to play much role in defence planning
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
I bet you probably think that if we were to buy £50m fighters that we could afford twice as many of them as if we bought £100m ones.
If both of those two had similar costs per flying hour then no. At the end of the day whatever you pay upfront is dwarfed by the costs in service. A £50 million fighter with £50,000 per flying hour would cost you £450 million over it's service life. And you can almost both buy and run a frigate for that.
 
Like moving Australia, discounting the ability of carrier based aircraft to operate from land bases and fiddling the accountancy figures to make out that carrier based air was three times the price of land based. Even if land based.

Few other things as well but it's a long time since I looked at the cabinet papers.
Was it Australia, Guam, Diego Garcia, Gan or the IoW? I've heard most of those cited but understand that nobody has ever been been able to find any conclusive evidence to support that particular urban myth!

@Archimedes is a bit of an authority here. Ultimately, I don't think that anyone would suggest that there was no nefarious activity that went on. However, both sides were guilty and I strongly suspect some aspects have been exaggerated considerably.

Regards,
MM
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Countries never had S400 SAM Systems before now? But the Navy Cannot afford the whole F35 buy. So its had to get into bed with the RAF for the purchase, which isnt the terrible thing people think it is.
Yeah... My take on 2% would be that every carrier based dart is worth it's weight in gold but entirely land based ones for the RAF less so. Not that the crabs shouldn't have any, they will be a very valuable force multiplier.

But it comes down to cost. Even should you ignore the realities and accept LM's pricing every F-35A at ( *cackle*) $85m plus 8000 hours at £60k per hour is well north of half a billion quid. And even the most rabid of crably crusaders who've qualified from their school of PR propaganda would have difficulty justifying fewer frigates and more A's after the first few.

Was it Australia, Guam, Diego Garcia, Gan or the IoW?
It was Australia and mentioned in the cabinet papers re F-111 so yes.

Be proud of who you are dude, if you think the RAF's reputation for inter service politicking despite the consequences is unjustified then.... You should probably read some of your own posts!

Take above example. Assume cutting 2 F-35As, should your lot's more recent politicking bear fruit, equals one high end frigate down the line. Which plugs the gaps and provides the best bang for buck given our current problems?

Let's assume the RAF wants 68 A models. How many at a ratio of 2:1 would you personally trade in?
 
Was it Australia, Guam, Diego Garcia, Gan or the IoW? I've heard most of those cited but understand that nobody has ever been been able to find any conclusive evidence to support that particular urban myth!

@Archimedes is a bit of an authority here. Ultimately, I don't think that anyone would suggest that there was no nefarious activity that went on. However, both sides were guilty and I strongly suspect some aspects have been exaggerated considerably.

Regards,
MM
I heard it was Tracey Island...
 
...Be proud of who you are dude...
Don't worry, I'm quietly chuffed with what I've achieved throughout my career as a comprehensive school lad with no university education thanks. I'm also proud that in my view I stick to my principles which has not always been promotion positive but I have no regrets.

...if you think the RAF's reputation for inter service politicking despite the consequences is unjustified then.... You should probably read some of your own posts!...
You do seem to have a bit of an issue with me personally @Flight old chap. However, I'm more than content for my Service's and my own posts to stand up to scrutiny.

...Assume cutting 2 F-35As, should your lot's more recent politicking bear fruit, equals one high end frigate down the line. Which plugs the gaps and provides the best bang for buck given our current problems?

Let's assume the RAF wants 68 A models. How many at a ratio of 2:1 would you personally trade in?
I've stated several times that in my view both the RN and RAF are too equipment focused. That results in sometimes having excellent hardware, but no depth to the capability in terms of spares, associated equipment and - most importantly - SQEP personnel. For instance, we could have 150 F-35s of whatever variant. However, if the RAF can't retain sufficient engineers to spanner it because they're all living in dilapidated, unheated and sometimes even dangerous accommodation with no hot water, it's an entirely empty capability.

Therefore, I've previously stated I'd willingly trade in an entire sqn of F-35s if it fixed our infra and personnel issues. I also stand by that as a broad principle for the RN as some of their accommodation is equally poor.

More broadly, despite your claims that I am 'political poster', I've stated several times here on ARRSE that the UK should have a Maritime centric defence and security policy. Therefore, right now, I'd personally sacrifice some F-35s for a minimum of 5 additional T26 FFGs. However, as suggested above, the question is far more complex than merely chasing Top trumps 'stuff', that's why people such as @sunnoficarus/@SOI/@meerkatz/@PhotEx are, in my view, part of the problem. For the RN to be able to exploit extra anything, they - like us - need people.

Equally, I believe that the RN needs to sort some of it's accounting out and the question of the UK maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent should not be a foregone conlusion.

Given that people remains in my view the primary challenge to Defence, if I was going to chase savings anywhere, it would still be in Land. The priorities for people and equipment should then be the RN, RAF and Land in my view.

As ever, balance is everything and I would suggest that the UK has insufficient depth in a variety of Maritime, Air and Land capabilities.

Regards,
MM
 
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I would suggest if moving Australia undermined the arguments for the carrier, then Their Lordships were using the wrong argument. Why not use a North Atlantic NATO scenario? The Buccaneer had been designed to counter major Soviet warships, the Phantom and other fighters were designed with fleet air defence in mind, and ASW needed a platform for multiple helicopters..... It was this need for a platform for ASW helicopters that kept the UK in the game.
 
If both of those two had similar costs per flying hour then no. At the end of the day whatever you pay upfront is dwarfed by the costs in service. A £50 million fighter with £50,000 per flying hour would cost you £450 million over it's service life. And you can almost both buy and run a frigate for that.
Precisely, not to mention the costs of personnel (both aircrew and support), basing, weapons...
 

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