SINGLE carrier may prove to be unaffordable.

Discussion in 'Strategic Defence & Spending Review (SDSR)' started by sunnoficarus, Jul 7, 2011.

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  1. Well, some us DID tell you so!

    Defence review 'flawed by drive to cut costs' - Telegraph

    NAO: Carrier delay costs 'still unknown' - Defence Management

    "…The NAO report also disputed the government's assertion that a Terms of Business Agreement (ToBA) signed between the previous government and BAE Systems meant that buying both carriers would be cheaper than cancelling one. The NAO report said that cancelling one carrier would have saved £200m, while cancelling both £1.2bn. The unavoidable costs introduced by the ToBA were said to total £3.2bn.…"

    Cue the carrier fanatics and co to explain how we can actually afford loads of carriers with hundreds of planes.
  2. Should the question not be, "Can the UK afford not to have carriers?" Or is the RN going to be nothing more than a coastal force (subs notwithstanding)?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. I particularly liked:
    "It's not my fault that nasty man Brown made me do it", is wearing a bit thin.

    This government came in obsessing on the deficit. The SDSR was very clearly linked to a general program of similarly hasty and frankly ideological driven austerity. Choices were made on Mr Fox's watch, bad choices that left the UK without an expeditionary capability, time to man up about it.

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer


    See CVF threads, multiple. We need carriers to recapture the Falklands/destroy China/rescue flood victims/project power into Uzbekistan/give the Navy something to do. No we don't, yes we do, no we don't etc for about a hundred pages.
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  5. "The SDSR was very clearly linked to a general program of similarly hasty and frankly ideological driven austerity"

    Show me the money?
    • Like Like x 3
  6. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Never mind the arguments about whether we need or don't need the carriers; Britain is a very rich country - OK we have a lot of debts but sustainable ones IMO. As a country we spend only about 2% of our GDP (I think - those in the know please correct) what ever the amount it is not a huge figure % wise. On the other hand we spend much larger amounts in 'aid' to 3rd world countries, benefits to foreign nationals who move here to get those benefits (economic migrants), expenses for MPs & Lords :).

    UK is still, to the best of my knowledge, classed as a First World country, yet we can't seemingly afford a couple of boats and their upkeep.

    What we have is a spineless government (and that has been the case for decades) who find the MoD an easy target to hit financially yet also find it extremely difficult to fund properly when they, the politicians, decide to give Johnny Foreigner a spanking.
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  7. The mad thing is though that we could afford it if our spending priorities changed.
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  8. A2_Matelot

    A2_Matelot LE Book Reviewer

    Oh please

    More appropriately, how about someone comes up with reasonable proposals for how the UK can maintain its commitments under current planning assumptions without having a credible Maritime capabilty that can offer true global projection, that doesn't have an organic air component? We know the RAF can't offer that - not enough soverign bases and the cost of the infrastructure and support for Ellamy has demonstrated how much extending the RAFs reach costs and that has HMT twitching. Capability erosion and inter Service t'internet chatter may well be an amusing sport for armchair strategists but at some point we (UK) have to make a grown up decision, do we have global security policies that the MoD is to support and hence do we want a blue water Navy - if the answer is yes then lets fund the damn thing and move on, otherwise lets fold the Navy up such that it is capable of providing and sustaining Ready Task Group with a limited set of specific/niche capabilities that can be used either as a component of wider coalition operations or solely in support of very limited National commitments.

    Broadly the same questions will at some stage be asked of the RAF, it's only a matter of time. Joint Force Command - an enabling command - hmm, Air Transport, Refuellling, ISTAR provision..........FJ to FAA, AH/SH to AAC, SAR to contractor in UK [air crew loaned for currency]. The RAF do seem in an indecent hurry to grab anything that has C4ISTAR/CYBER attached to it at the moment, maybe the hierarchy can see the writing on the wall ;-)
  9. The only realistic UK need, (rather than the latest Vanity War® wish), to provide airpower in far away places?

    That would be the Falklands, that now comes with a rather nice air base.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Oops. sorry if I've re-opened a can of worms here.
  11. A2_Matelot

    A2_Matelot LE Book Reviewer

    But thats not the only planning assumption is it?

    I have an odd feeling we are sitting yards apart.........

    FORMER_FYRDMAN LE Book Reviewer

    Be assured you bear a fearful responsibility.
  13. Well they plan to have a carrier with some sort of jets upon it in a decade or so, so it seems the great and the good and Dr Fox have decided it essential obviously not as essential as the ability to commit a minor genocide from a nuclear feathery hat at sea but still essential.

    That nothing was going to happen where the bloody thing would be handy until then was always an odd assumption. It seems strikingly bizarre after Dave started our strange little billion quid coastal war with Qaddafi were the Frogs have a status enhancing carrier to tow around magnificently and the Brits don't just a few ships about to be scrapped by Dr Fox, a spectacle shaming every Rosbif worth his salt.

    Now it seems the austerity crazed buggers have got their math wrong and there's may not be enough tax dollars to add JSF catapults or whatever in the carriers they are building making them multi-billion quid white elephants. Forgetting any care for actual defense arguments about flexible power projection if I was a British tax payer I'd be hopping mad at the dearth of competence this displays.

    Defense is a low priority with the British voter, it seems with Tories as well judging by the lack of outrage. It is way behind pensions and healthcare strained by a graying population and liable to drop back further. The miserable tranche of the budget that is spent on defense should at least not be frittered away by idiots.
  14. Wordsmith

    Wordsmith LE Book Reviewer

    There appear to be three intertwined fcuk-ups here.

    First, a dysfunctional leadership at the MOD sanctioned a project that was neither properly funded nor meet a clear strategic purpose. (The RN obviously went for it because 2 Carriers = task groups + support ships + air groups + supporting infrastructure). See the report commissioned by Liam Fox to see just how dysfunctional the leadership was/is...

    Next, Gordon (no boom or bust) Brown gave a contract to the Govan shipyard to boost Labour in Scotland at the expense of the SNP. In order to ensure the contract couldn't be cancelled, he allowed 'poison pills' to be written into the fine print. To end up building two carriers and them immediately mothballing one is stupidity of the highest order.

    Finally, Call Me Dave ducked out of carrying out a proper SDSR and pushed it through as a fig leaf for cuts in the defence budget. (The budget needed to be brought under control - but he could have taken 6 months longer and done a proper review). There might have been a contract, but governments can apply pressure - BAe could have been told that other contracts could be trimmed back to compensate for HMS Order and Hope & HMS Mothball if they held HMG to the letter of the contract.

    The carriers in their present form are going to be white elephants - and probably unaffordable when all the supporting costs are added into the equation. (Those task groups, etc...) If only one carrier is fitted with the requisite catapult systems any hostile nation is just going to look at the refit schedule before (for example) invading the Falkland Islands. And anyway - its going to spend about one year in five out of action undergoing major maintenance or refits.

    Who thought of this idea - Baldrick?

  15. Considering that a very large % of this earth is made up of seas and oceans and that the UK is an island nation whos trade is done primarily by sea not to mention that all of Britian's overseas's territories are islands, then wouldn't it be a nice touch to be able to have some aircover at sea?

    I grant you that most British overseas territories and commitments have airstrips but then again, crossing your fingers and hoping your enemy can't or won't knock out you airstrips is hardly the way forward is?

    For all the hysterical behaviour from both sides of the argument, I believe Britian needs Carriers if it is to defend its territories and trade. We are not as out of pocket as some would like to beleive so I refuse to believe that the RN can not field these two carriers?......unless certain idiots keep having their pants pulled down over the price.