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Her Majestys Royal Coast Guard

#1
David Axe reports: http://warisboring.com/?p=1727

Under current plans, the Royal Navy circa 2020 will be a very strange force. There will be just six high-end warships to protect two 65,000-ton super-carriers, plus a mixed flotilla of old Type 23s and FSCs numbering just over a dozen. It’ll be a top-heavy force with too few destroyers to escort the carriers into a shooting war, and too few frigates to perform day-to-day patrolling during peacetime. It’s a fleet optimized for nothing.

For the past few decades, Her Majesty's Armed Forces have steered away from the preservation of empire and colonies, instead configuring themselves in such a way that they can provide a solid bulwark to the US Armed Forces, while operating independently in a single theater, Falklands style scenario.

But, the backbone of any British strategy -from the pre-Victorian age all the way up until the Labour Party victory in the mid 1990s- has always been a powerful Royal Navy. The fleet's demise over the past several years has been one of the great tragedies in recent memory. There was a time when the Union Jack protected every major sea lane and trade route on the globe -- today the British can barely protect their own coastline. That's a terrible fall for what was once a mighty sea-faring empire.

What's troubling about this report, to me at least, is that the Brits are shaping their fleet in such a way that it will be largely reliant on American protection. Instead of existing as a powerful, independent ally that can operate jointly or independently with its US counterpart, the Royal Navy is becoming a welfare case -- where supporting it with anti-sub and anti-air protection becomes more of a drain on our own resources than a benefit.

Watching the British lose confidence in themselves, the oft-lamented "Suez Syndrome," is terrible. But, as much as it pains me to say so, perhaps it's time we look for new, stronger allies for our special defense relationship -- perhaps in the Aussies or Japanese.

--John Noonan
http://www.defensetech.org/archives/004714.html?wh=wh

Ouch.
 
#2
Surely Aviation assets are better suited for attacking warships than other surface ships. Why wait until you are both within missile range? I'd much rather use air launched exocet / Harpoon than the ship launched one.

WRT to the frigates- why wait until you are within missile range, why not use Lynx / Merlin with an anti-shipping missile?

It's just a shame we won't be getting more carriers.

T C
 
#3
The_Cheat said:
Surely Aviation assets are better suited for attacking warships than other surface ships. Why wait until you are both within missile range? I'd much rather use air launched exocet / Harpoon than the ship launched one.

WRT to the frigates- why wait until you are within missile range, why not use Lynx / Merlin with an anti-shipping missile?

It's just a shame we won't be getting more carriers.

T C
Because we are getting rid of both. Carriers have to travel in a protective bubble otherwise they are just big targets.
 
#4
Surely it was the white ensign that protected the sea-lanes not the union jack.

Can't be arrsed to even look up who this Knob-jockey is and what is his agenda.
 
#5
I'll get my teeth into the article later. I suspect the author doesn't know what FSC is. Even if we had the money and the industrial capacity to build the fleet armchair admirals want, are we going to flash up the press gangs too?

As for stronger alliance partners and the suggestion that Australia would be a good one, we already have an arrangement with Australia (since 1971 IIRC). So while I agree that more ships would be all very well and employable, the article smacks of fairly typical ignorance.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#6
Maybe it's the peace dividend or something - the gobment trashes our forces to such a degree that they aren't fit to be used by Mugabe, let alone going on a US regime change op. Thus, we don't go to war.
 
#7
Sadly its pretty much true.
We can go through all the debates again about how much of a Navy we need (personally I think a pretty big one) but the simple fact of the matter is the Royal Navy has been deliberatly dismantled to the point it is just about incapable of defending the shores of this country.

We can blame that on whatever you like, as far as I am concerned it is Treason on the part of those who have set out to do this.
 
#8
rickshaw-major said:
The_Cheat said:
Surely Aviation assets are better suited for attacking warships than other surface ships. Why wait until you are both within missile range? I'd much rather use air launched exocet / Harpoon than the ship launched one.

WRT to the frigates- why wait until you are within missile range, why not use Lynx / Merlin with an anti-shipping missile?

It's just a shame we won't be getting more carriers.

T C
Because we are getting rid of both. Carriers havehttp://www.arrse.co.uk/cpgn2/Forums/posting/mode=quote/p=2461509.html to travel in a protective bubble otherwise they are just big targets.
I understand what you mean with this, however why not use carrier aircraft to provide that bubble?

I could never see the logic in relying on carrier escorts for protection. It doesn't matter how good the radar is on the new Type 45's, it's approx 30 Feet off the water so the furthest away it could pick up a exocet is just under 12k. Traveling at 1130 Km/h that gives you just under 40 seconds to detect it and then shoot it down or seduce it away from you.

I'd rather they spent the money on a decent AWACs type aircraft (like the E2 Hawkeye) instead of relying on retrofitted Sea Kings.

IMO the insistence on using 'harrier carriers' (i.e. Ski Jump) is a far bigger problem. We've not even built the things and we're already limiting the aircraft we can use on them. If we would allow ourselves to use a decent AEW radar then we wouldn't have to rely on Sea Wolf in the first place, but rather use it as a last resort.

T C
 
#9
"John Nott was Britain’s Defence Minister when the Falklands War broke out in April 1982. Nott, along with Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, was criticised for the invasion but kept his position despite hostility shown towards him the media. This hostility towards John Nott was based around the belief that it was Nott himself with his proposed naval cuts that had seemingly encouraged Argentina to think that Britain was no longer concerned about her overseas possessions. This primarily involved the planned scrapping of the ‘Endurance’, a ship that was a play a vital role in the re-taking of South Georgia."

1982. so that would be the Tories.
 
#10
Author doesnt know what FSC is, while he makes no mention of the Amphib force that is qualitively and quantatively the 2nd largest in the world for projecting power beyond a coastline. Also don't forget that most other countries are reducing their escot fleets too - nowadays you have 2 real choices - lots of cheap expendable escorts that are no use at all once missiles fly, or high end expensive vessels with the sensors and C4I to match. We've gone for the latter, as thats what enables us to integrate into USN battlegroups. They don't want numbers, they want capability.
 
#11
"Watching the British lose confidence in themselves, the oft-lamented "Suez Syndrome," is terrible. But, as much as it pains me to say so, perhaps it's time we look for new, stronger allies for our special defense relationship -- perhaps in the Aussies or Japanese.

--John Noonan"

This sort of Yank crap annoys me. What has the decision of the Enemy Within to scrap most of the RN got to do with losing confidence? It is more a result of:

a. We have run out of money and therefore cannot afford a real navy
b. It is part of the wider agenda of the Enemy Within to destroy the forces and run them down to the point where we have no option but to join an EU Navy etc.

No lack of confidence here, just the result of having the scum of the ZaNuLabour Party in power.
 
#12
spuddles said:
"John Nott was Britain’s Defence Minister when the Falklands War broke out in April 1982. Nott, along with Foreign Secretary Lord Carrington, was criticised for the invasion but kept his position despite hostility shown towards him the media. This hostility towards John Nott was based around the belief that it was Nott himself with his proposed naval cuts that had seemingly encouraged Argentina to think that Britain was no longer concerned about her overseas possessions. This primarily involved the planned scrapping of the ‘Endurance’, a ship that was a play a vital role in the re-taking of South Georgia."

1982. so that would be the Tories.
So? Are you suggesting that because the Tories fcuked up Defence then the current shower of sh1t should do the same?
 
#13
i dont understand why we cant rely on the US navy... we are afterall "special" allies...

i mean lets be honest... who has the power to attack our navy anyway? beyond the US and maybe some of the EU countries... only russia is left and the US would help us there...

the army and airforce are now the most important... the sea stopped being important long ago in warfare, the coast guard, coastal defenses, and the remains of the navy would stop any concievable threat... afterall, theres no one left with a decent navy barre the afore-mentioned ruskies.

correct me if im wrong please.
 
#15
the_seraph1m said:
i dont understand why we cant rely on the US navy... we are afterall "special" allies...

i mean lets be honest... who has the power to attack our navy anyway? beyond the US and maybe some of the EU countries... only russia is left and the US would help us there...

the army and airforce are now the most important... the sea stopped being important long ago in warfare, the coast guard, coastal defenses, and the remains of the navy would stop any concievable threat... afterall, theres no one left with a decent navy barre the afore-mentioned ruskies.

correct me if im wrong please.
The people who have the power to attack our Navy are the ones you don't know about yet. Who knows what the world be like in 10 years time? You can't just rattle togther a Navy in a couple of weeks.

Answer - cut the welfare budget in half and you could build the Armed Forces we need. No votes in that though, particularly from the scrounging classes.
 
#16
the_seraph1m said:
i dont understand why we cant rely on the US navy... we are afterall "special" allies...

i mean lets be honest... who has the power to attack our navy anyway? beyond the US and maybe some of the EU countries... only russia is left and the US would help us there...

the army and airforce are now the most important... the sea stopped being important long ago in warfare, the coast guard, coastal defenses, and the remains of the navy would stop any concievable threat... afterall, theres no one left with a decent navy barre the afore-mentioned ruskies.

correct me if im wrong please.
I can see where you are coming from but any future conflict will need the Navy, even if it's just so that they can drop of the Army / Marines and their equipment. The RAF can't get us there (no offence lads, but you can't!) so we'll always need the dark blue jobs!

T C
 
#17
the_seraph1m said:
i dont understand why we cant rely on the US navy... we are afterall "special" allies...

i mean lets be honest... who has the power to attack our navy anyway? beyond the US and maybe some of the EU countries... only russia is left and the US would help us there...

the army and airforce are now the most important... the sea stopped being important long ago in warfare, the coast guard, coastal defenses, and the remains of the navy would stop any concievable threat... afterall, theres no one left with a decent navy barre the afore-mentioned ruskies.

correct me if im wrong please.
I totally agree...

We couldn't have won the Falklands without the help of the US Navy... oh wait.
And on the point that there is no threat now, agree totally again. I mean, Germany in 1933 could never have been a threat after Versailles. So what if they've got a bit of a shouty leader now? If they start building their military portfolio again, we would surely have plenty of time to react, lets face it, we can design and build new tanks within 10 years... and theres no way they would be ready to start WW2 before 1940!

If we rely on US Navy to support our military expeditions all the time, we will become slaves to their forein policy, making us effectively the 51st state. I don't see the point in going to all the trouble of maintaining an independant Nuclear deterrant if the rest of the navy only works when providing auxillary support to the US Navy.
And the point that there is no concieveable threat is very naive... at the moment we still are world leaders in Naval terms, we loose that initiative and it will be virtually impossible to regain it.. the french still havent managed to recover that lead since Trafalgar, seriously.
 
#18
For all the criticism and outright denigration that politicians of all stripes receive on this forum, it is clear that they are - and always have been - masters at manipulating the armed forces, time and again able to successfully pit each service against one or both others for their own ends and letting long-standing rivalry, prejudice and sometimes plain dislike do the job for them while they loftily peer down into the bear pit. ********* they may be, but perhaps they understand the military mind, if only in a purely self-serving way, better than anyone might comfortably admit.

The mention of the Falkands situation 1982 is a good one. Imagine if Mountbatten's efforts to create a nuke sub fleet in the late 50s had been thwarted by infighting or political sabotage - what would the 15 or so 6in guns of the Belgrano done in the NGS role at, say, Goose Green? Or, more pertinently, fast jet strikes from a Venticinco de Mayo supporting the invader's garrison rather than hiding behind the sofa in Puerto Belgrano? Conversely, think of the capability that the old Ark Royal and Eagle would have brought on our side - Bucc, F4, and crucially AEW even if it was in the form of Gannet. It's likely the invasion would not have happened at all - remember that had the Argentines come a few months later Hermes would be being chopped up at Cairnryan and Invincible would have been in the hands of the Australians! And given the (often decisive) effectiveness of gunline support from the relative popguns on our frigates and destroyers, how might Blake or Tiger with their automatic 6in (equivalent to a whole battery of AS90) have done?

My point is that the navy in the Falklands wasn't fighting its own little private war against the Argentines - almost every effort was ultimately in support of the land contingent. They were let down only by failures in capability, both of weapon systems and ships, that stemmed from decisions taken decades prior and usually for reasons of economy. Not to mention the odd prod from the RAF who, unlike the poor bastards in green, rarely pay for lack of naval support in lives or materiel. Further examples can be found all too easily - the crippling neglect of naval aviation in this country after WWI, giving up our enormous lead over the US and Japan. How might Singapore have turned out had a truly effective Force Z of Repulse, Prince of Wales and effective carrier support been able to strike at the Nip task force and help defend the island? A good many soldiers, my great uncle one of them, would not have spent years in horrific confinement feeling that they had been abandoned. Likewise, the Norway campaign may have been different, the Med too...the "what ifs" are myriad and tragic to think of.

Sorry to type up such a screed, but history is replete with examples of how underfunding and neglect of the RN has a way of hurting the army as much as it does the Senior Service. Putting the squeeze on the fleet simply because they are - for the time being - third-stringing it in a two-front American conflict will certainly damage the navy today, but the consequences for UK servicemen and -women of flying, swimming and crawling varieties in decades to come may be very grim indeed.
 
#19
the cheat wrote
I could never see the logic in relying on carrier escorts for protection. It doesn't matter how good the radar is on the new Type 45's, it's approx 30 Feet off the water so the furthest away it could pick up a exocet is just under 12k.
Much higher and much further. Why mix your imperial and metric?
 
#20
Seadog said:
The_Cheat said:
I could never see the logic in relying on carrier escorts for protection. It doesn't matter how good the radar is on the new Type 45's, it's approx 30 Feet off the water so the furthest away it could pick up a exocet is just under 12k.
Much higher and much further. Why mix your imperial and metric?
And as the Goalkeeper CIWS is reckoned to be able to destroy a missile incoming at twice the speed of sound within 5.5 seconds, in 40 seconds you could destroy a missile or two and still have time to start getting a brew on. :)

CrownImperial said:
...at the moment we still are world leaders in Naval terms...
The septics have more nuclear plants in their Navy alone than we do in our whole country. USS Nimitz has a complement of 5600, two nuclear reactors, 90 aircraft and a displacement of 88,000 tons; it is the lead ship of the Nimitz-class of carriers, there are nine others. That's one ship. I would be very surprised if we are still the naval world leaders.
 

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