The Royal Marines amphibious role ?

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Yokel

LE
In the next war, we’ll need the Royal Marines

Proximity to the sea lanes that define global trade has become something worth fighting for. The war of the 2020s is thus likely to be both naval and amphibian. And yet Britain struggles to keep up. A whole flotilla of admirals moaned about this in The Times this week. “Our fleet,” concluded the signatories, “is the smallest in two centuries relative to the tasks it must perform.”

Either the fleet has to be intelligently expanded or those tasks have to be abandoned. It’s a stark choice. And it applies to the Royal Marines too. If ever there was a case for boosting the number of marine commandos it is being made in these months and weeks. It’s not just the Gibraltar and Hormuz missions. Across the globe there are chokepoints on maritime trading routes which are under challenge. The Malaccan straits, through which 80 per cent of China’s imported oil passes from the Indian Ocean into the South China Sea, are likely to become a hotspot in the rivalry between Washington and Beijing.

The entire force of the Royal Marines makes up barely 6,500 men and there are repeated rumours that they will be scaled down further. Landing craft and amphibious vessels are often viewed as easy cuts. Morale is low. Tobias Ellwood, the junior defence minister, recalls a visit to one dilapidated barracks where the showers were broken and marines were living eight to a room.

Everyone else is scaling up. The US has 187,000 marines and treats them as the country’s primary expeditionary force. China is training intensely for a future land-and-sea assault on Taiwan. Russia regards its marine infantry as a fighting elite. But the Royal Marines who helped Nelson to victory at Trafalgar, who shed blood in Normandy and who played a key part in the liberation of the Falklands are being treated as poor cousins. There is nothing sentimental about bigging up the marines: they have to be part of the war of the future.
 
Agreed.

Unfortunately, as the current political situation in the UK plays out, it'll all boil down to what is affordable under a shrinking budget.

In addition, if in the next general election the Marxist-Leninist party (currently masquerading as Labour) gets voted in, then I can see massive politically orientated cuts in defence spending occuring.
 
U
In addition, if in the next general election the Marxist-Leninist party (currently masquerading as Labour) gets voted in, then I can see massive cuts in defence spending occuring.
If Labour get in they will massively expand the newly named Peoples Loyalty Army, they will have to, in order to patrol the ports and beaches to stop people leaving the country. They will also create a new Commissars Unit to help commanders and troops to think correctly.
 
Agreed.

Unfortunately, as the current political situation in the UK plays out, it'll all boil down to what is affordable under a shrinking budget.

In addition, if in the next general election the Marxist-Leninist party (currently masquerading as Labour) gets voted in, then I can see massive politically orientated cuts in defence spending occuring.
Harsh but fair!

Thankfully, I sense that the prospect of a Corbyn govt is receding slightly. However, I’d agree that if - god forbid - he got in, the implications for Defence are enormous.

Regards,
MM
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Back to amphibious capabilities - how many years has it taken Australia to get to this point?


On a related note, is the new NATO amphibious force going to be UK led on a permanent basis?


So much for the future being land locked. Does anyone have any first hand knowledge of the amphibious activities in Sierra Leone, such as Operation Silkman or the 2006 Vela deployment?
There hasn't been a war of national survival driving them has there!
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
Harsh but fair!

Thankfully, I sense that the prospect of a Corbyn govt is receding slightly. However, I’d agree that if - god forbid - he got in, the implications for Defence are enormous.

Regards,
MM
Horrendous is a better word.
 

Yokel

LE
HMS Albion returns from Baltic deployment | Royal Navy

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt said at the conference: “A year on from signing the memorandum of understanding we have provided reassurance, we have also shown that we are aligned and we are ready.

"Russia is becoming more assertive, we see her deploying more forces and new weapons and you can imagine the scenarios that may play out. It is important and right we stand together with our allies.

"That gives us an adaptable force, the ability to deploy more than 10,000 people on a whole variety of missions, independently or as part of NATO operations as we saw in Exercise Baltops. The UK is very proud to be part of this.”

The Minister for the Armed Forces, Marl Lancaster, best summed up the deployment when he said: “From Denmark to Lithuania, from Sweden to Estonia, Baltic Protector will leave potential adversaries in no doubt of our collective resolve and ability to defend ourselves.

"This force is a key component of European security, a force of friends that complements existing structures and demonstrates that we are stronger together.”

Some facts and figures:

HMS Albion passed several significant milestones in her two months away:
  • The first instance of her class controlling fighter jets in air-to-air combat simulations.
  • The first embarkation of a Main Battle Tank in eight years.
  • Some 16 amphibious assaults and raids in five different countries.
  • Hosted 68 distinguished VIP visitors in a clear commitment to regional security in the Baltic.
  • Steamed 8555 miles.
  • Her chefs prepared 90,000 meals and crew/Royal Marines ate 10,000 sausages… enough to cover the length of 17 football pitches.
  • At its peak, close to 4,000 sailors, marines, soldiers, airmen and civilians, 19 naval vessels and numerous land units were directed by Cdre Parkin and his staff.
 

Yokel

LE
Surely there would have been no point in simply taking a Challenger 2 aboard the LCU, and then landing it again? The way it reads is that the MBT was carried in Albion, then loaded into the LCU, and landed....

Likewise demonstrating that the LPD can control fighters is important.

Here is a little video:

 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Likewise demonstrating that the LPD can control fighters is important.
I'd have thought most ships would be able to communicate with friendly aircraft. Surely thats nothing new?
 

Yokel

LE
I'd have thought most ships would be able to communicate with friendly aircraft. Surely thats nothing new?
Communicate with is one thing. Control is another - and is normally done by carriers of Type 45 destroyers. It is using your radar (997 fitted during Albion's refit I presume?) to maintain a picture of what is going on in the air, and then directing friendly fighters against hostile aircraft.

In constricted waters, It makes sense for the high value unit to control the jets herself.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Ok, as in a floating air traffic control as opposed to forward air control?
 
...directing friendly fighters against hostile aircraft...
Where does it say the LPD is conducting fighter control?

...In constricted waters, It makes sense for the high value unit to control the jets herself.
Why?

It should be the most capable asset, whether that be a ship, land-based radar or AEW asset. If that happens to be an LPD, fine. However, I struggle to see why it would be in Albion’s case.

Regards,
MM
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer

Yokel

LE
Where does it say the LPD is conducting fighter control?



Why?

It should be the most capable asset, whether that be a ship, land-based radar or AEW asset. If that happens to be an LPD, fine. However, I struggle to see why it would be in Albion’s case.

Regards,
MM
The page from the RN site said Albion had controlled fighters. There were no AEW aircraft (as far as I though) or suitable destroyers there, and the LPD does have the advantage of antenna height. With radar 997 fitted throughout the fleet, including the QEC, this is potentially very significant.

It may have been a one off with the Typhoons, and I expect the Spanish LHD to have controlled her own Harriers.
 
The page from the RN site said Albion had controlled fighters...
It would be interesting to know if it was a control service being provided or if it was just procedural support; there’s a difference.

...There were no AEW aircraft...
I think NATO AWACS were playing.

Regards,
MM
 

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