The future for the MoD?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by jimnicebutdim, May 17, 2009.

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  1. Sitting in the smoking area last night, me and another fella got chatting about the state of UK defence (as you do). He brought up he belived the new carriers were a waste of money, I argued that I disagreed. I believed as an island nation a strong navy is vital. However, if we had to look at losing one of our large scale projects I believe we should bin Nimrod MRA4 and buy the new US 737-based MPA.

    Now with our current monetary issues, it's only gonna be a matter of time before something is cut from the Budget. My question to you lot is: What?

    The way I see it we have three choices.
    1)We should we look at binning a large project (FRES,Nimrod, CVF, Astute, Typhoon, Trident Replacement), and instead buy off-the-shelf.

    2)We should reduce our operational commitment. End our involvement in 'ganners. Become an defence force

    3)Reduce manning across the board. Decrease the size of the three services, using the money saved to fund the new projects.

    All three to me are unpleasant options, however, I believe that (regardless of the party) cuts to MoD are inevitable. You don't win votes by having shiny warplanes and big ships, you win them by giving kids nice schools and ill people nice hospitals.

    So what do you guys think will happen?
     
  2. I agree with you - that the Government needs to cutback on big projects such as those you've mentioned.
    By doing this we could free up funds to properly supply our operational needs abroad.
    I don't think we should reduce our operational deployments because we lead well in this area. With the US we started this war in Afganistan and I think we will have to follow through.

    With regards to reducing the services I agree to some extent.
    Firstly, I don't think we really need an RAF anymore. Harsh to say it, but really, it could be put together with the Navy. The best way for us to have air superiority on the type of expeditionary deployments our forces are more and more involved in - is by having carriers with carrier aircraft.
    But we most certainly don't need trident replaced. We have America for Nuclear deterrence.
    Overall though all three arms of the forces need cut backs on certain pieces of kit and people.
    The Navy could do with getting rid of all the pointless Frigates and Destroyers it has and invest in more ships like HMS Ocean and more helos.

    Another way of saving a hell of a lot of money would be to cut the jobs of all the desk wallers and shut down all the pointless bases around the country that are longer needed. The forces are so top heavy with fat cat bureaucrats it's ridiculous.

    Will any of this ever happen though..?
    It needs to happen soon and what better time! But it'll never happen though, not in the next two decades anyway. Politics and the people of this country need to become much more involved in how money is spent on our defence.
     
  3. Apart from the sensible option of taking the money we give to fat people in disability benefits and using it for defence instead, then I suppose the best option is to minimise commitment abroad; effectively cut loose from Herrick. Any more cuts and we might be the best army in the world but we'd be too small to do anything.

    The Navy is in rag order regarding fleet size and needs every new ship it can get. Abolishing our nuclear deterrent would relegate us to the ranks of second-league nations.

    Possibly we should look at off-the-shelf options for procurement. Why design a brand new helo if we could buy the UH60 for a fraction of the price? Make savings on non-essential costs; the MOD gets ripped off for things like IT supplies and wastes a fortune on fripperies such as art, take more care of outgoings.
     
  4. The country can have what it likes no cuts needed as soon as we get rid of
    the labour scum and every one back in work
     
  5. Whilst i agree with some of your comments epsecially the larger scale projects. But by cutting troop numbers espcially within the Army we would find ourselves spending even more time away than we already do. Buying off the shelf do we not become more reliant on more american style systems than we already do.
     
  6. Yes, this is true. But the argument is not applicable for aircraft carrier. For example, if the army were to become a purely defensive force as you suggest we would launch our aircraft from our Island. Your argument is of course correct for every other type of battleship other than aircraft carrier.

    Regarding your suggestion of buying "off-the-shelf", we already do when it comes to nuclear missiles. We do not operate an independent detterent like France, we buy off the shelf from the USA.

    Regarding funding, you need to win over civvies so that they vote for political ideologies that suport appropriate funding of the military.

    Your argument regarding becoming a purely defensive force is intelligent and logical, the UK punches above its weight purely driven by the vanity and ego of the politicians. They like dancing about on the world stage as it appeals to them more than merely adMINISTERing and making the buses run on time. Isn't going to happen.

    No nuclear detterent or beefy military means out seat on the permanent security council and NATO influence would deminish, as happened to Africa when they dumped theirs. Politicians vanity wouldn't allow that.

    For what it's worth I think you're correct. The cost in terms of lives, cash that can be spent elsewhere on improving citizen's quality of life would be more worthwhile.

    But, and it's a specious but, Antartica? Britain still has a claim to a significant section of that land mass. We often forget that there is still a whole continent on this planet that is under no internationally recognised legal ownership. Perhaps we should keep our military and nuclear deterrent to defend that claim to land should the need arise?
     
  7. "Possibly we should look at off-the-shelf options for procurement. Why design a brand new helo if we could buy the UH60 for a fraction of the price? Make savings on non-essential costs; the MOD gets ripped off for things like IT supplies and wastes a fortune on fripperies such as art, take more care of outgoings. "

    A question often asked, but one which doesnt have a great answer. Buying off the shelf is great if you happen to use all the kit already in the helo and it can integrate into your armed forces with no modifications. However, given that any helos we buy would be deployed to the Stan, we'd have to make a lot of changes to them to get them to Theatre Entry Standard.

    This means putting in radios, communications gear, defensive aids suites, ECM etc to make the helicopter comply with current UK Forces standards. This isn't to give it bells and whistles, this is to put the airframe at the most basic level to which HM Forces have mandated it would need to be capable of safely operating in an operational theatre.

    We'd need to integrate the airframe into our doctrine, train crew and mechanics on how to support it, and set up a supply chain for it. All of these things cost time and money. The average time to put a new COTs helo into service, assuming we use UOR principles would take upwards of 3-4 years to get into squadron service, where it could be used by the troops safely.
     
  8. I think a strong navy is essential for the long term prosperity/survival of the UK. Almost everything we consume as a society comes here by sea. Lose the ability to protect shipping and some day someone will exploit that to our disadvantage.

    The navy has to be balanced and needs all types of vessels to carry out its role. Without carriers we cannot project power in a meaningfull way. Without the frigates/destroyers/subs the carriers are vulnerable.

    We could cut the army and turn it into nothing more than a defence force. It would mean a lower status in the world for Britain though.

    The RAF are still needed to protect our airspace. I suppose it would be possible to put that responsibility in the hands of the Navy but it is probably not a good idea.

    Personaly I think the government should concentrate on cutting the welfare budget and use that money for NHS/Education/Defence etc.
     
  9. And again I find myself disagreeing with you on some points. My bold

     
  10. So you think that in say 15 years time we will still be able to rely on the US Nuclear Forces?

    You sound awfully confident!
     
  11. Re carriers.....

    Our last true Carrier was HMS Hermes. The three Invincible Class Carriers we had were actually"Sea Control Ships"... as Admiral Elmo Zumwalt USN called them.

    A mini-carrier designed for sea operations using aircraft as their weapons, not a Carrier which can actually "project" it´s presence in to an area with an airwing of some 80 odd aircraft.

    Perhaps we should look at building a "Super Carrier" pref Nuclear for the expeditionry part... and tell the RAF they WILL be flying of this mobile RAF/RNA Station. Let´s be honest, an 80 aircraft supercarrier will probably be able to carry our entire RAF anyway.

    With this "Expeditionary Airfield" in place, we can project power with out fcuking about with permissions to base ourselves in a location. Couple Her with a descent "Commando support ship" think HMS Fearless on steroids or a bigger Ocean andwe can mount a fair few upport features in them too... ie hospitals.

    Then use the "Sea Control Ships" for what the Russians developed them into... Aviation cruisers. The Moskva class was merely a destroyer with a massive flight deck.... the Kiev was a Cruiser with an angled flight deck.

    Hopefully the developments of the Trimaran, RV Triton, could help us to realise Destroyers and Cruisers with a lot more punch than our current boats.

    With a beefed up Blue Sea capability, we could then turn to our litoral capabilities.... and come up with some Coastal Parol vessels that can perform more tasks than our current crop of grey lifeboats and Mr Bean in a life raft.

    Money could come from culling the RAF, giving CAS and Tactical Transport to the AAC, and allthe rest to the RN. Then having a bit of a cull on the spare stars we have.
     
  12. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    The US taxpayer funds their nuclear deterrent to defend the United States - NOBODY ELSE.
     
  13. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Oh, and if you look at the proportion of our public expenditure that is spent on defence it's miniscule, We could fund a competent defence budget out of savings on money currently wasted on those who could work, but won't.
     
  14. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    I agree with current security issues in the Red Sea/Somalia, West Africa & the South China Sea, it is time we examined the case for fleet expansion.

    Maybe VT should look into updating these:

    http://users.nlc.net.au/bernie/D_Class_Fairmile_708.jpg[​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Resurect the Old West Africa Squadron based out of Freetown, with 2-3 fast littoral vessels modelled on the Triton concept supported by 6 or more heavily armed fast patrol boats like the old MGBs.

    A second Squadron based out of Kenya, or Bergazi, for the Red Sea, and a third in the South China Sea

    Gunboat security.

    Edited to add: Throw in a fourth based in the Caribbean while we're at it.
    Admittedly it means increasing the defence budget, but that is necessary even if we just consider our current commitments.
     
  15. Er, just how many do think the [Royal] Navy has? And exactly which ones are currently surplus to requirements? From your clearly profound knowledge of all matters maritime, do please enlighten us...