Express: "‘National Disgrace!’ Britons Furious As Royal Navy Declared Smaller Than Italy's - Poll"

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
We don't know, though.

One thing we do know is that "majority opinion" is suppressed and unreported if it does not coincide with the agenda of the progressive liberal elite, particularly their views on how to buy votes - more money for our angelic NHS, etc.
That's only one side of the political divide. The other side doesn't ask the question simply because it doesn't want to find the money.
From anecdotal evidence (ie the same and only type that predicted the true Brexit opinion), UK having credible and powerful defence is actually quite important to people.

It would not surprise me at all if an overwhelming majority of the electorate turned out to support large increases in defence spending (and borders, policing, prisons, et al) at the expense of reforming and restricting an out of control welfare commitment.
Yes to this.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
First question is whether the nation wants a survivable nuclear deterrent with a very high probability (otherwise its not a deterrent) of delivering a bucket of sunshine to potential nation state adversaries. If the answer is yes, then SSBN it is, plus whatever is needed to assure exit from base port to patrol station unmolested. So some MCMV and ASW assets (air, surface and subsurface). If the answer is no, then no SSBN or supporting assets. It also means no made-up fantasies about cruise-missile-armed submarines or aircraft as deterrent, as neither are sufficiently high-probability of delivery against the nation states we would like to deter. There's a reason pretty much all the declared (and undeclared) nuclear powers have submarine-launched missiles with buckets of sunshine, irrespective of whatever other assets they have.

Next question then becomes whether your interests are local or global. If local only, then some MCMV and OPV to keep your ports clear and your EEZ free of trespassers are on the list. You could argue for some SSK to provide actual active defence against an aggressor at the bottom end of that scale.

If you want to protect your interests and assets more globally, then you're straight away into carriers, surface combatants and probably SSN. You may also wish to consider the ability to threaten your adversaries economy, home base etc, which might mean the ability to land troops or lob conventional missiles into his country. The capability and number of ships all depend on what level of protection you want to provide, how far from your operating bases you want to go, who your allies are and how reliant you want to be (and they are prepared to be). Aside from uppity wog-bashing against the vicious tribes of Umbhoto Gorge, you get into multi-spectrum threats pretty quickly.

This is where most navies either pretend to maintain a capability with a handful of warry-looking surface combatants and the odd tanker - or adopt the Homer Simpson defence strategy aka "why can't somebody else do it?" Both work well until they are either challenged by a peer threat (usually bluff called), or the somebody else decides that they don't want to pay your bills for you and decline to die bravely on your behalf. It's also worth noting that "protection" needs to be both sustainable (ie persistent) and able to be applied passively. Pro-actively brassing up your potential adversaries facilities because he looked at you in a funny way and/or called your pint a puff is often frowned on by the international community and attracts opprobrium, sanctions and other penalties, which politicians tend not to like.

The higher the potential threat capability, the more capable you have to be. The more capable your potential adversary, the fewer real allies you will find unless you bring significant capability yourself. Which takes you right back to carriers, surface combatants, SSN - and crucially, support shipping. Due to a combination of UNCLOS and Mr Archimedes, shipping tends to be the most persistent and passive protection (active measures become available very quickly!) option.
And if it does - and I suspect the answer is yes - then the sole burden should be taken back out of the RN's budget and someone should punch David Cameron for a, frankly, ridiculous change.
 
And if it does - and I suspect the answer is yes - then the sole burden should be taken back out of the RN's budget and someone should punch David Cameron for a, frankly, ridiculous change.
I suspect that this is actually an urban myth and Cameron is not guilty as charged. I don't think the deterrent budget has actually been ring-fenced since Polaris. I'm fairly sure the V-boats and Trident came out of the navy's budget and while there was some sort of campaign that tried to get Successor funded at centre-level, I'm fairly sure it never became policy.

Happy to see evidence to the contrary obviously.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
People forget the Andrew has some very black, stealthy delivers of death, but they aren't sexy like Grey targets, especially ones with very expensive but limited use airplanes on the deck....
 
Last edited:

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Per my previous. And how we treat people has to be got right.

I was at a mate’s for a gathering the other weekend. We were on the same intake and his son is now in. His son was describing a diversity course that they had to sit through. Calling a collective group ‘guys’ is now out, apparently.

The whole room was sat rolling its eyes - because, here’s a thing: it is all bollocks. It panders to a politically motivated minority and it‘s used as a stick to beat people with.

The pendulum in society needs to swing back and some VSOs need to be making a stand for sanity.

...and also stop treating people like idiots.
Off topic for which I apologise, but in the same vein, on an ED and I course, where the DS had stated "you can say what you like in the classroom as it is a safe environment"; I got told off on day 2 for referring to my female colleagues as 'girls' as it was demeaning. I told the DS to fork off, after all, their rules were I could say what I like, so I did.
 
Pro-actively brassing up your potential adversaries facilities because he looked at you in a funny way and/or called your pint a puff is often frowned on by the international community and attracts opprobrium, sanctions and other penalties, which politicians tend not to like.

Oi vey my Goy!
 
We don't know, though.

One thing we do know is that "majority opinion" is suppressed and unreported if it does not coincide with the agenda of the progressive liberal elite, particularly their views on how to buy votes - more money for our angelic NHS, etc.

From anecdotal evidence (ie the same and only type that predicted the true Brexit opinion), UK having credible and powerful defence is actually quite important to people.

It would not surprise me at all if an overwhelming majority of the electorate turned out to support large increases in defence spending (and borders, policing, prisons, et al) at the expense of reforming and restricting an out of control welfare commitment.
The electorate probably would support large increases in defence spending so long as someone else was paying for it.
 
I think that you are underestimating both the impact of losing control of the G-I-UK Gap and the impact that would have on the Atlantic SLOCs, and the amount of capability that a single CSG has.
My two-penneth, is your laymens thinking is incoherent, but what they're seem to believe is we lack a properly constiuted coastal force(sub/FAC/Mines) to protect the nation littoral, if things went badly for the carrier. Where I accept, that is a different kind of money wastage, I suppose it can't be denied, that our close in protection is largely dependent on our european friends denying the north sea..
 

woger wabbit

War Hero
“Fifteen surface ships means only five on task, as a third will be in maintenance and a third will be training.

“For a great nation like ours, just five frigates on task is a national embarrassment and disgrace.”"


OK, this is where I am fully prepared to admit my ignorance, I am not a sailor and my maritime experience doesn't extend beyond getting the Heysham ferry, but only one third of the ships are available for duty at any one time?

Is that an acceptable level of performance? Is there any other organisation where only a third of plant and equipment is available for actual use at any one time?

I get it, I get it, training and maintenance are important, of course they are, very important, but at any one time 66 percent of the hugely expensive stuff they are given to do their jobs on is laid up for some reason?

Would a car factory, or an airline or even a commercial shipping fleet experience that sort of shortfall due to training and maintenance? What do they do differently and maybe they could explain how they do it to the Senior Service.
Could it be that there is not the manpower to crew all the ships due to crew requirements for two aircraft carriers, not enough to go round??? :(
 

bob231

War Hero
To add to the fantasy fleets question: I think SDSRs have not had the moral courage to address what we actually want our Navy to do. The Type 45 is a fantastically capable warship, but it's immensely expensive, involves a great deal of intricate technology and (like most ships) lacks the capability to be in two places at once. The Type 26 design seems to be an attempt to move from "pure" ASW (the original Type 23) to a generalist frigate that happens to be quiet good at ASW*.

This to me is missing the point. Running a small number of hulls and flogging them to death to cover a wide breadth of commitments wrecks the hulls but more importantly is very hard on the crews. The reduction in lower-tempo operations to support ships dashing between vital Defence commitments doesn't help either: the RN doesn't so much have a recruitment problem as a retention problem, aggravated by sea drafts that are either really hard work or pointless and soul-crushing (depending on whether the ship you're drafted to is routinely capable of going to sea). The advertising campaigns have broadly been pretty successful: the disillusionment sets in when Junior Rates realise that the adventure and travel simply isn't there any more.

To fix that - and fix burning literally tonnes** of fuel on making every ship race around at top speed - my view is that we need more, significantly less capable hulls. The Type 31e is a step in this direction; IMO we could remove vertical launch systems and other aspects of the high-end warfighting fit. The RN is exceptionally bad at communicating how much we do day in, day out, doing utterly unglamorous maritime policing tasks around the world. These do not require the capability of Type 45 or the enormously expensive design and manufacturing requirements of an ASW hull. That, and they allow you to put less heavily manned ships to sea to reduce the operational tempo and give the crews a bit of a chance to enjoy life.

I'm aware that these look rather like the Type 21 concept and would die equally quickly if involved in a Falklands style scenario: my counter-questions would be a) do we now expect warships to take hits and survive them in the way they did in the Falklands (design ATM suggests no); and b) can we afford, as a nation, to design a fleet around fighting surface combat in a way that we have done once since 1945?

*ASW imposes particular design considerations: Type 23 and Type 26 are designed and built quite literally from the keel up to minimise noise signature. This is wholly wasted if not fighting submarines.

**Rather, thousands if not tens of thousands of tonnes of diesel per year.

Could it be that there is not the manpower to crew all the ships due to crew requirements for two aircraft carriers, not enough to go round??? :(
As I understand it, the RN has been less stupid about this than you might think. It's not just straight manning numbers, too: you need the senior rates and persons in particular trades to fill out a watchbill.
 
One thing we need to invest in is coastal patrol vessels, especially in the wake of the B word and the return of territorial fishing waters.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
If there was no Royal Navy, and you decided to start one from scratch to fulfill the UK's realistic current, as opposed to historic, maritime needs and within a reasonable budget, what are first principles and what are the ships you would build?
Or more to the point what would the RN have look like if we didn't rely upon the USN and the other NATO forces...

The answer is fairly simple as Japan has a similar geographic location and reliance upon seabourne trade. Though would also rely upon the USN to a great degree.

So that would be 4 escort carriers, about 50 assorted Destroyers, Destroyer Escorts and Frigates, 70-80 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, about 20 submarines, 35 minesweepers and OPVs plus support shipping. More importantly about 51,000 bods... If they have a retention problem then it isn't one I've heard anything about.

Regardless of our strike carriers and nuclear deterrent I'd far rather be in their shoes than ours. I've never seen a breakdown for the actual budget of their Navy though they seem to spend far less on their armed forces than we do overall.

Then again the Japanese MoD isn't considered to be just as funny as Benny Hill worldwide.
 
The answer is fairly simple as Japan has a similar geographic location and reliance upon seabourne trade. Though would also rely upon the USN to a great degree.
Yes - and no. There are some significant differences. Until very recently, Japan was constrained by law from doing anything other than self-defence (hence moniker of JMSDF). Their force structure was all about defending the home islands and maintaining shipping lanes into their ports against the Soviet Pacific fleet. They now have a more aggressive neighbour (and his retarded and unstable "special" cousin) to deal with. Their posture however is still primarily local and their force structure doesn't need to change much to swap the threat it was designed for a similar one. What they're not doing is trying to defend their interests beyond Japan itself. Nor are they P5 with all that that brings (no, it's not nookular).
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Worth noting that the Soviet Pacific fleet was and is a relatively small percentage... Dozen SSNs plus a squadron or so of Destroyers?

Their force structure hasn't changed that much that I've seen... Other than announcing a squadron of Daves on their 'definitely not carriers which are definitely quite small' Izumo.
 

Niamac

GCM
"Britons have expressed deep concern about the shrinking size of the Royal Navy amid shocking news it is now even smaller than Italy's.
Same thing didn't seem to put the Navy off in the Med during the last major unpleasantness.
 
“Fifteen surface ships means only five on task, as a third will be in maintenance and a third will be training.

“For a great nation like ours, just five frigates on task is a national embarrassment and disgrace.”"


OK, this is where I am fully prepared to admit my ignorance, I am not a sailor and my maritime experience doesn't extend beyond getting the Heysham ferry, but only one third of the ships are available for duty at any one time?

Is that an acceptable level of performance? Is there any other organisation where only a third of plant and equipment is available for actual use at any one time?

I get it, I get it, training and maintenance are important, of course they are, very important, but at any one time 66 percent of the hugely expensive stuff they are given to do their jobs on is laid up for some reason?

Would a car factory, or an airline or even a commercial shipping fleet experience that sort of shortfall due to training and maintenance? What do they do differently and maybe they could explain how they do it to the Senior Service.
It's about manpower. Whenever you read some headline announcement that the government is recruiting 1000 police, nurses, miltary or whatever, remember that at any given time in a 24 hour period one third will be on shift, one third asleep and one third either recently finished or getting ready to start again. Then subtract those who are sick, injured, on courses, on holiday, in training etc etc etc.
Suddenly the big announcement looks a little bare.
 
Last edited:

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
If you went from base principles as to how large the RN should be then one might start with being able to protect convoys a la everytime there is some unpleasantness on the continent. Last two times they almost won based upon this alone...

So it seems there are about 116,000 cargo ships dock at UK ports every year ( 2017 data). Half of these are Roro, lets assume they are magically immune.

So of the remaining 58,000 lets also assume we only have to convoy and escort our non EU traffic, which is about 55% Rotterdam not withdtanding.. So about 26,000 ships or 71 per day left.

As a massive simpification lets say that one convoy per day of 71 ships which is escorted for the last week of it's journey. Warships then exit back out to convoy the next one, so 50% of the time ( no leave, maintenance or losses) are actually escorting 71 ships.

How many warships would you need to escort 70 ships? Clearly even if the answer were one we wouldn't be able to come even close to doing it.

The opposite end of this would be how much more effective would a modern submarine be at killing merchantmen? Guided torpedos, radar, sat recon etc...
 

Latest Threads

Top