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T22 takes civilians off Libya

BBC News - Britons flee Libya on navy frigate bound for Malta - firstly, BZ to ships company, and the CO for having a regional accent. ;)

Just a point, for all the naval nay-sayers (you listening WC? ;) ). Often, aircraft are indeed the most useful and cost effective method of removing civilians from a war-torn state. Egypt, for example.

However, sometimes it gets to the point when an aircraft simply is not good enough to do the job. It is not as well defended, nor as clear a statement. They also cannot take anywhere near as many civilians.

Yes, an LPD would have been good, but it would also have been big, vulnerable and to be honest the kind of states that would be subject to this kind of insurrection wont have THAT many of our own people in anyway and a T22 is perfect.

I think that this gives a better example of why the RN needs a proper, pukka general purpose fighting warship again. The T22 is the closest we've come in years, big, well armed, PLENTY of space inside. T45 could have been, but since we a) decided to arm her properly and b) spent over a billion per hull to make it stealthed, we've missed the ball.

Much as I hate to admit it, we need to take a leaf from the yanks. The Arleigh Burke, with its very powerful armament, 70tons of kevlar and double-rolled steel armour plate, and large capacity for non-crew is EXACTLY what we need as a patrols ship - and another thing, stealth sometimes isn't the best thing, sometime you WANT the opposition to see a **** off great radar contact hovering off their shore...

In this situation, if T26 comes anywhere close to its capability, with gun, CIWS, ASuW, ASW and both kinds of AAW and maybe armour we'll finally have the perfect ship to deal with exactly these situations - big, powerful, able to fight itself in and out and defend itself whilst there as well as take off as many poor defenceless civilians as we need to.

NB: I do not see however T26 as having anywhere near this capability. We'll be lucky to have 1 4.5, 8 harpoon from the old 23's, a 12 cell VLS for FLAAD and maybe a phalanx or two. Such is life.
To be fair, RAF C-130s alone have removed more people than Cumberland so far and ships won't help the oil workers sweating it down south. However, even a few years ago there would have been more RN assets available to pitch in in the first place and I do not dispute the fact that surface has a far greater capacity in this regard.

Swings and roundabouts.

What is interesting is that part of the reason the Govt has been embarrassed is precisely because the RN and RAF have been cut back so much.



Book Reviewer
Exactly. Whilst its nice to see Cumberland doing one final useful task she was only able to turn up in Libya because she's on her way back to decommission and be scrapped. Otherwise it seems the Med is clear of Royal Navy ships
MM - I thought it was 51 by C130, 100 odd on the fighting sausage, apologies if I got this incorrect!
Wasnt it 64 passengers and a dog on C130 but loads more by civilian charter and 207 by HMS Cumberland?

Hasn't HMS York also been tasked?

I don't think WC would deny the validity or usefulness of naval vessels in this scenario, I don't think any sane person would, as MM says, swings and round things. One might comment that the reason the RN and arguably RAF does not have enough general purpose transporty things is because of their respective obsession with expensive things, CVF, T45, JCA, Typhoon etc


However, even a few years ago there would have been more RN assets available to pitch in in the first place and I do not dispute the fact that surface has a far greater capacity in this regard.

Just to rub salt into the wound: a snap of just part of our former Mediterranean fleet based at Malta, as late as the 1960s...


This photo doesn't even show the cruisers and carriers...
Cumberland embarked 207 evacuees of 25 different nationalities.

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