FT Sees no Case for Carriers

#1
Carriers are an expensive way of providing a modest amount of air power. Like all forces, they have limitations. They are more vulnerable than airfields and harder to repair after damage, even if not sunk. Against serious opposition much of their effort goes into defending themselves, and they need a protective entourage. Even then, a single carrier is at severe risk within range of enemy air power (or missiles, or submarines). It cannot give much if any support if the operational theatre is deep inland. Two carriers cannot guarantee, as a basis for political commitment, the timely availability of one in the right place. A distinguished admiral has said that there is a case for three or none, but not two.
Financial Times
 
#2
3 or none? OK lets make it none and we can all have a huge pay-rise.
When we get caught short we can get the Yanks to send one of there portable islands of a carrier.
 
#5
Unless something changes drastically, I reckon we are looking at dark times ahead. I believe that we are dependent on imports for almost everything important to sustaining society; food, power generation and mobility.

With World demand for raw materials about to go through the roof as the 2 most populous countries on Earth (aprox 1/2 of the human population between them) industrialise. We are probably just starting to see the early effects with rising food, fuel and material costs.

Having a depleted navy is very dangerous IMO. Meanwhile the government seems to be just throwing money (and therefore resources) away.
 
#6
I see no case for The Financial Times but that also will change nothing.

If you are going to stay at home then you don't need carriers. if you are going to join in playing world police and protecting global interests then you need them in some form.
 
#7
Even if our armed forces do stay at home we still need a strong Navy.
Everything we brig in or out of the country comes in ships, without a capable Royal Navy we are at the mercy of the next tinpot idiot with half a dozen submarines.....
 
#8
Can't support ops deep inland? I must have been mistaken when I saw fast (navy)air over the Septics in Baghdad / Kurdistan.

If you can get fuel to them (and the Septics can), they can fly wherever they want. AAA allowing.
 
#9
Heedthebaw said:
Can't support ops deep inland? I must have been mistaken when I saw fast (navy)air over the Septics in Baghdad / Kurdistan.

If you can get fuel to them (and the Septics can), they can fly wherever they want. AAA allowing.
IIRC most of the missions flown during the initial fighting in Afghanistan were from American aircraft carriers. Shore bases are fine, provided the host nation wants you there.

I think that it was 1998 or 1999 when Saddam was about to kick off, and the ~Gulf states refused to allow access to their airfields, so the Americans sent two of their carriers, and we sent one of ours, and Saddam backed down and war was avoided (delayed?).

Without aircraft carriers you don't have a navy, just a glorified coastguard, and you can't deploy the Army.
 
#11
The Carriers will go ahead if only to preserve Cyclops constituency, FRES is more likely to go as itÂ’s an estimated 14 Billion to BAE to milk while off the self solutions are being bought NOW to fill holes in capability.
 
#12
Carriers are about power projection. Indeed the actul term should be Carrier Groups as they should operate within a protective bubble of submarines, escorts and top cover with a Marine Expeditionary Force close by.

The article also states "If the US is engaged (and the government does not plan for big intervention operations without that)". Scary stuff - so now we are linked to the Septics if we need a bundle somewhere.

So how do we pay for them? Easy - bring back some of the cash we forked out on Northern Rock - oh and cut Social benefits across the board except for the needy - they are a safety need not a career option, stop hiring consultants and if anybody mentions PFI kill them as enemies of the future State.

"Chardonnay - its your sprog - you look after it"

You OK Sven - I can hear the steam building up!
 
#13
rickshaw-major said:
Carriers are about power projection. Indeed the actul term should be Carrier Groups as they should operate within a protective bubble of submarines, escorts and top cover with a Marine Expeditionary Force close by.

The article also states "If the US is engaged (and the government does not plan for big intervention operations without that)". Scary stuff - so now we are linked to the Septics if we need a bundle somewhere.

So how do we pay for them? Easy - bring back some of the cash we forked out on Northern Rock - oh and cut Social benefits across the board except for the needy - they are a safety need not a career option, stop hiring consultants and if anybody mentions PFI kill them as enemies of the future State.

"Chardonnay - its your sprog - you look after it"

You OK Sven - I can hear the steam building up!
Could not agree more.

Just a thought - are we likely to see more "Blackadder" Type operations once the Carriers are in Place? You know, projection of massive power against a grass skirt wearer / fruit weapon holder in deepest Matabeleland or some such.

Based purely on the "Well now we have them, It seems a shame not to use them" philosophy.

I can think of one or two deserving cases, starting with a nice red LTD dot on Mugabes Forehead.
 
#14
Can we afford NOT to?

As our Armed Forces slip further backwards in the financial stakes and therefore percieved as less able to take on a full and active roll and with the EU Armed Forces only just around the corner, does it really matter?

The Armed Forces have no money, so what's new under ANY Labour government?

Perhaps we should ready ourselves to put out our White Sheets when the day comes to surrender to the EU. Or better send Broon and Broon THREE White Feathers! .. :x :x :x
 
#15
The clue's in the name, folks: Financial Times.

No surprise that a load of financial journalists don't see a case for spending money with no immediate fiscal reward. It's not as if we have journalists capable of in-depth analysis anymore.
 
#17
Lets face it, we can afford it, we are a wealthy country, open the treasury coffers and the NAvy could have 3 carriers complete with escorts, we can have FRES etc and the RAF can keep their Typhoons and buy JSF, all it needs is a small increase in spending say 10% of what they spent on Northern Rock.
 
#18
Sir Michael Quinlan actually has a very strong argument, however hard we can try to dismiss it.

The planned 2 x 65,000T carriers give us precisely what? It means some of the time we will be able to to a little better than we can now, but no radical change in our ability to project power - and that is what it's all about isn't it: power projection.

Unless an intervention has such a long lead in that we have the opportunity to ready (and crew!!!) BOTH carriers AND Ocean AND all of the assault vessels AND all of the escorts, all a single carrier will be able to do is support a single BG sized force in relatively benign circumstances. We can do that already. If EVERYTHING is afloat at the same time, we could maybe support a Bde sized force against weak opposition. That would prove a problem now. But is that really likely to happen?

All these planned carriers will do is mean we can offer a bit more strike power within a US naval battle group. They will give us precious little additional independent power projection. Is the cost worth it: financial and opportunity?

On the other hand, these 2 carriers would allow us to look pretty nifty if we were invited to lead an EU naval task force. :D :D
 
#20
These carriers can put ALOT more planes in the air than what we currently run.

If each of them does run with 30 or so JSF's thats alot better than the 9 or so Harriers we usually run off what we have now.

Still I cant see the logic in two carriers, with only three Type 45's to defend each of them.
 

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