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Author Topic: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?  (Read 24423 times)

Offline uk 75

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Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« on: February 28, 2015, 04:19:07 am »
The usual crew of retired military and political types are warning that the UK is not able to meet its defence requirements with the present budget and kit.


Given the collective expertise on this board what advice would you give the Prime Minister who takes over in May after the election?


I find the present situation eerily similar to that in the 60s when we were having to balance our Continental NATO commitments with the various crises out of area.  Then it was a no-brainer, NATO dictated what we spent money on in the 70s and 80s.  Today I am not so sure.

Offline zen

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2015, 10:40:30 am »

I think the idea we have to revise the BAOR into the BAOV (V for Vistula) is a thorny one. On the one hand our contribution should properly be dwarfed by the US and Germany, and frankly the likes of Poland and Romania.
On the other hand we have to show we're all in it together and ready to fight and die with them on the frontline.


Problem is this distracts us from the real support we can and have to give. Which is essentially "we've got your back Germany" in dealing with threats external to Europe (with the likes of France) and in securing the western side of Europe. Which is mainly a naval mission.


We have to remain the bridge that binds the USA and Canada into NATO.


So in this light, while we can and should improve the Army and certainly expand it beyond it's current scale.


Above all this means the Deterrent, keeping our enemies from risking nuclear weapons use and our allies from betraying us.
Beyond that more SSN, and an increased Frigate fleet would help secure the sea (with attendant increases in helicopter forces).
We can produce a third variant of the Type 26 aimed at AAW, rather than try to build more Type 45's and fund the further development of Aster missiles with France and Italy. Both for AAW ships and I think it's time to regain that sort of SAM capability on land.


A return to maritime patrol aircraft is also needed, curious rumbles about looking at Japan's new machine.

Offline JohnR

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2015, 05:09:17 pm »
I believe the most urgent need is to renew our maritime patrol capability; my knee jerk preference is for the Kawasaki PX.
 
Next we need to improve our air defences. Firstly we need more AWACS; I do not believe that six is sufficient to offer proper coverage of the UK, undertake overseas deployments and allow for maintenance and upgrades. Secondly, deploy additional fighter squadrons (achieved by not retiring the Tranche 1 Typhoons).  Thirdly, by procuring a long ranged SAM system, either the Aster 30 based system or equivalent US system.
 
For the navy I agree that there is a need of additional AAW escorts, but I believe it makes more sense to produce additional T45's rather that waste time and money on designing a T26 variant.  We should also return to a force level of 12 SSN.  I also believe there is a case for acquiring a number of smaller SSK's for use in the North Sea and Channel.
 
For the Army, I would like to see the cuts in manpower reversed, keep the BAOR, and bring all the Chally 2's back into service. FRES and the Warrior update seem to be covering all the other tracked vehicle needs to date.  I would also suggest that there is a need to improve the army's air defence capability.  Although they are due to replace Rapier with CAMMS, I believe they should also have a medium range system. The system that would appear ideal to me is NASAM which could be purchased largely off the shelf (my choice for the chassis would be the one developed for Shielder.
 

Offline GTX

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2015, 06:28:00 pm »
I believe the most urgent need is to renew our maritime patrol capability; my knee jerk preference is for the Kawasaki PX.



I would think the USN/RAN solution of Tritons/Poseidons would make more sense.

Offline Geoff_B

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2015, 12:43:46 am »
I believe the most urgent need is to renew our maritime patrol capability; my knee jerk preference is for the Kawasaki PX.



I would think the USN/RAN solution of Tritons/Poseidons would make more sense.

Yeap Japan has touted the P-1, but the MOD preference is P-8/GlobalHawk mix as shown by the fact two thirds of Project Seedcorn intended to retain MPA crew skills are embedded in the USN programme. I suspect they are looking at the Australian package as a basis for a similar UK deal should the SDSR2015 and new govt sanction it.

Offline alertken

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 12:52:45 am »
zen: your thoughts are compelling. A stronger Army and Navy, for our Western Approaches/flank Tasks could only be fitted into a 2-3% of GDP (beyond that, those running for Office will stumble) if we rethink the big ticket items. Successor,  Astute SSN, CVF, T-26, FRES, F-35. We can't do all of this. Choose, wisely, and role-share. We do this, Ally does that. We now appear to have an identity for the nominal rogue-Formed Force Threat.

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2015, 01:09:32 am »
I suspect that the real need is simply for more money.   Money for primarily manpower and secondarily for equipment for them to use.  Without the political will to spend you won't get much...

Offline zen

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2015, 03:11:12 am »
Points.


1. The simplest expansion of the Deterrent is increasing the supply of ready to use warheads. Anything else is a whole order of magnitude in terms of costs.


2. It will be difficult (expensive) now to increase the drumbeat of SSN production to include even one more Astute. So we should look at how we can extend one or more of the older SSNs lives. But we can increase the speed of Successor's arrival and reduce the gap before more SSN's are run off the line.


3. Japan's approach is speculative, but it does share a similar set of requirements. Prior to this, P8 was 'it' in the aftermath of Nimrod MRA4. Certainly I'm agnostic on which machine is best, but the rumble was proprietary elements of Nimrod MRA4 are considered something to retain and applicable to either machine. Though it's going to be harder leverage that onto P8, so the rumour suggested.


4. To my memory the limits of production capacity and the design preclude a 'cheap' increase in Type 45 numbers. At this stage is simpler to increase the production 'drumbeat' of GCS (Type 26)


5. The strongest case in the Army is fielding precision guidance kits on the large rocket systems. Ideally we'd gain this for ATACMs as well as MRLS.

Offline Michel Van

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2015, 04:23:52 am »
first get Royal Navy some planes for there Aircraft carrier*

while the F-35 is get more delayed and more expensive and less capable on this demands
it better Britain canceled the F-35 contract completely

Goes into UK museum and archive to get a Bristol Siddeley BS.100/9 vectored-thrust turbofan engine. (that was for supersonic VTOL Hawker Siddeley P.1154)
build with modern materials by Rolls Royce and get BAE build fuselage mabey based on older projects like Hawker Siddeley P.1216


* in the Alternate History.com Forum
was long running Joke about a independent Scotland with fleet of Aircraft carrier without airplanes.
in alternate timeline they buy the British WW2 carriers, but not look close into the contract small print,
UK so sell them the Carriers only... 
Unlit in real 2014, Great Britain put second larges Aircraft Carrier in world to Service without Aircraft...
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2015, 09:36:37 am »
As I mentioned in the 'Bundeswehr' sister thread, one can not be said to be seriously rearming if you don't re-establish your land mine and cluster munition capabilities as one of the very first orders of business.

As for a MPA, the P-8, even in it's P-8I guise, may be a dead end that you don't want to waste scare resources on. But licence production of the P-1 even as a interim measure presents it's own set of procurement challenges, especially given a rapidly deteriorating operational outlook together with British aerospace & defence industries that frankly have seen much better days.

If Great Britain is really desperate, the option discussed here might be a option, but, it is literally a desperation option, IMHO.
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Offline GTX

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2015, 10:11:33 am »
while the F-35 is get more delayed and more expensive and less capable on this demands
it better Britain canceled the F-35 contract completely



Any facts to back this up?

Offline GTX

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2015, 10:12:00 am »

As for a MPA, the P-8, even in it's P-8I guise, may be a dead end that you don't want to waste scare resources on.


Why?

Offline GTX

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2015, 10:13:24 am »
if you don't re-establish your land mine and cluster munition capabilities as one of the very first orders of business.



How about you first define the threat(s)/operational needs before jumping onto one weapon system or another...

Offline Michel Van

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2015, 12:50:49 pm »
while the F-35 is get more delayed and more expensive and less capable on this demands
it better Britain canceled the F-35 contract completely


Any facts to back this up?

So far i know the Aircraft carrier had to be equipped in Mai 2012 with F-35
but do problems with F-35 program delay in USA and British economy measure
the Aircraft carrier completion was delay to 2014, the date for the F-35 test on HMS Queen Elisabeth is now for 2020...

Source: Wikipedia, BBC, the telegraph and this forum.
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Offline zen

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2015, 02:17:01 am »
We have two 'neighbour' located threats of differing natures.


1. is the general Islamist trend that is raging along the south and eastern Med coastlines. In a military sense this can be dealt with 'expeditionary' forces as we have seen.  In this europe is still reliant on the US, which could be rectified.
Should something ever be done about Syria, it is Turkey that must lead.


2. The rise of Russian Nationalism and the Putin doctrine. We see a lot of revamping military forces and the stirring up of ethnic Russians in other states.


In hardware terms, Russia's surface fleet is deteriorating and their capacity to replace it is severely hampered.
Not so their submarine forces, which are being (albeit at lower numbers) sustained with new vessels.
However in terms of their doctrine of degrees of deniability the submarine is an ideal instrument for causing trouble.


We see their airforces are being developed and they have obviously worked hard on their army after Georgia.


In essence this is less like the 1930's and more like the century before.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2015, 04:02:31 am »
Concentrating on the Russian threat for the moment, the likely worse case scenario would be that under provocations real or imagined Russia abandons it's current 'salami slicing' strategy and goes all out in settling old scores & removing NATO from it's backyard. A full scale invasion of Eastern Europe in other words.

In such a scenario, the Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova would likely be abandoned immediately by the West, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary; just trying to defend NATO's Baltic members will take everything they have, the operative word here being 'try'. And don't even get me started on places like Serbia/Kosovo. That's of course assuming NATO doesn't fall apart like a rotten fruit at the first shot, with individual members attempting to make their own accommodations with the Russian Bear.

The use of tactical nukes even as a bluff seems to be out of play for the moment, given the state of NATO inventories (both weapons & delivery systems) and the current administration in the United States.

With the cupboard being so empty, there won't anywhere near enough assets to mount a mobile defence based on classical moving engagements, much less anything like the old NATO style 'Flexible Response'. Therefore, resistance will likely have to be based around interlocking fixed lines of defence, with fortified strongpoints at critical locations. With regards as to interdiction of enemy forces, use of deep strikes along with the associated FOFA concept will not be an option for the immediate future given the aforementioned empty shelves, with the possible exception of a few isolated cruise missile strikes. So the so-called 'Shallow Strike' school of thinking will be in session, though somehow I doubt that even in their worse nightmares proponents of that philosophy ever imagined that there would be a situation where there is so little to work with.

On the defensive side, landmines and cluster munitions would have two primary roles in the short term; the first to block, funnel and delay advancing enemy forces long enough for NATO forces (including British elements presumably) to hopefully be able to throw together something resembling effective defence lines. The second to help maintain those same lines against extremely unfavourable odds. The problem is, that even if sanity was to suddenly size those NATO leaders who have supported the Oslo & Ottawa Treaties right this minute, rebuilding the huge stockpiles that will be needed in the short time window likely available is a nigh well impossible task, given the deliberate general neglect by NATO members of their defense industries in the last 20 yrs or so. Nonetheless, the attempt must be made IMHO, and soon.

Deterrence has been allowed to fail, all NATO can do now is prepare for the consequences whatever they may be.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 05:01:53 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline zen

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2015, 05:04:18 am »
Russia is unlikely to drop it's salami slicing approach. Maskirovka Ops are a feature not just of Ukraine now, but due to the political environment inside Russia, almost certainly the method of choice for any future operations.


They cannot sustain a mass armoured drive into Eastern Europe without grinding to a halt in the face of the response.


What we can and will see is a test of Article 5 of NATO possibly in one of the Baltic states, and likely being quite controversial due to their treatment of ethnic Russians.
Expect also something in Transdnistria and Moldova.


The most likely full scale military op, would be in Byelorussia, as we now see the 'dictator' there trying to manouver away from Putin enough to maintain his independence.

Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2015, 08:24:23 am »
Gentlemen
 
Thank you as usual for the excellent and informative contributions.
 
I would sum up the missions for the UK Armed Forces as follows:
 
Defence of UK sovereign territory
 
Contribution of forces to NATO that add advantage and do not duplicate the efforts of other member states
 
Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions and limited actions in support of Coalitions of the willing outside the NATO area
 
The UK national deterrent should be renewed at the lowest effective level necessary to cooperate with United States  ( 3 vessels with basing possibly partially in the US)
 
RAF Air Defence Assets should be increased to a full comp of Typhoons and supporting tankers and AWACS.  Patriots should be leased if ASTER is too expensive.
 
Naval General Purpose Forces to be reviewed to increase levels to meet Russian threat to reinforcement of NATO area
 
Army forces to be organised to permit deployment of 1 Brigade to Eastern Europe (Royal Marine Commando to Baltic)
 
More anon
 

Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2015, 08:36:43 am »
Sorry the computer booted me off in the Library
 
Ground Forces seem to be to be the big problem for the UK.  We simply do not have a good track record postwar in putting together large units which compare favourably with big players like the US, Russia, Germany (or the Israelis).
 
I think the poor performance of the British command structure (at the top) in Afghanistan and Iraq must lead to an intense review (perhaps by a US senior officer) of where we want wrong and of course what we do well.  The review should be no holes barred and be direct to the new PM.
 
A Royal Marine Commando or two exercising in the Baltic full time (like we used to do in Norway) would act as a tripwire for larger US and German formations to build up. We could also develop our special forces and counterintelligence support.  The Baltic States are the new West Berlin.
 
Outside Europe it is difficult to see how British forces can again serve in the Islamic world given the political climate at home. Divisive and unpalatable come to mind. However, allies like Jordan  deserve whatever support we can give behind the scenes.  I for one would turn a blind eye to mercenaries fighting the likes of Boko Haram, Al Shabab, IS with methods that the Media and Human rights lawyers would not approve of. However, who the mecenaries would be and whether they might end up being just as dangerous (Mujahideen?).

Offline Hot Breath

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2015, 09:16:37 pm »
There is nothing wrong with the UK's present military equipment.  What is needed is more money and more men and women to man them.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2015, 04:11:11 am »
The UK national deterrent should be renewed at the lowest effective level necessary to cooperate with United States  ( 3 vessels with basing possibly partially in the US)

4 boats are generally accepted as the minimum number to meet the requirements of a practical strategic deterrent. Also, even partial basing in the CONUS would be a political nonstarter for what is still supposed to be an independent deterrent. You could though drastically reduce overall development and procurement costs on the new SSBN class by using it as the basis of a much larger in numbers SSGN class, to be built and put into service well ahead of the boomers.

While we're still on the issue of nuclear weaponry, the UK also needs to rapidly re-establish her tactical nuclear capability. She still does have the Atomic Weapons Establishment, though the government may need to renationalise it in a hurry in order to pre-empt certain issues, potential and otherwise. The first order of business after dealing with organisational & logistical matters would be to restore the AWE's production competence by producing a small initial batch of WE.177A warheads, say around 40 (the Royal Navy could certainly use some nuclear depth charges). Then move onto production of similar warheads for a new RAF free fall tactical weapon (at least between 100-200 examples).

While that is going on, the UK should purchase the plans for the ASLP missile from the French, for the basis of providing a stand off tactical nuclear & sub-strategic capability for the RAF. Perhaps also getting the plans for the S-45 (Midgetman equivalent) missile from them at the same time with a view to increasing the options for the strategic deterrent. As for the ASLP warhead, digging up the plans for the US W70-3 warhead (ERW) may be a very good idea indeed. Immediately starting work on a W91 equivalent warhead with a mind as to other new nuclear weapons for the British armed forces would also seem highly prudent.


EDIT: One warhead design I forgot to mention that the AWE could (in theory at least) manufacture large quantities of fairly rapidly is of course the W33 warhead used primarily in the old M422 8-inch artillery shell, though delivery systems for a modern version might be a bit of a problem.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2015, 10:04:00 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2015, 02:29:35 am »
Peter Hennessy has a good book about the British Nuclear Deterrent (I forget the title) which explains the ins and outs of the arguments of 3-5 boats.  As you say the 4 boat option was considered the minimum necessary to deter the Soviet Union.  It is also true that the savings are not that great.
My mention of the US option was based on the political reality that a majority of voters in Scotland want the submarines gone from Faslane and the military reality that alternative facilities in England will not be easy to establish. The US has more than ample facilities and we now regard the deterrent as a part of our relationship with the US. The argument that we could independently use the deterrent from the US was lost many moons ago.
Of course Mr Putin is doing an excellent job of reminding us why we need the Deterrent. Although the subtlty of the threat to NATO posed by Maskirovka and political/economic pressure on vulnerable members does outflank the deterrent somewhat.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2015, 07:42:56 am »
I'm surprised no-one has yet mentioned the final collapse of the CFE treaty yesterday.
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Offline Hot Breath

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2015, 11:34:22 pm »
I'm surprised no-one has yet mentioned the final collapse of the CFE treaty yesterday.

Your link doesn't link to anything except the FT's front page.

Offline Ifor

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2015, 02:52:31 am »
I've read this thread with interest and thought I'd stick my oar in. I wrote a post a few days ago about who we are, and what we have but deleted it as I thought it would cause an avalanche . My opinions concern our nuclear deterrent and other major weapon systems recently procured
What's caused me to put pen to paper, is a piece I heard on the Today programme where they interviewed a member of the Greens and Bob Steward. He put the Ukraine forward as an example as to why we should continue to have  nuclear weapons stating that Russia wouldn't have assisted the 'pro-Russian' rebels if the Ukraine still had nukes. Playing devils advocate would that not logically suggest  we should therefore arm the Baltic States with said nukes, how about Hungary, Romania? My issue is, at what point would a country press the button?

I can not see any scenario in which the UK would launch a nuclear strike. From what I can gather(I am no expert only an ex serviceman), the two concerns put forward are a rogue state or a terrorist  nuclear attack. In either case the amount of international pressure applied  to not react would be truly immense, would we/could we seriously ignore such pressure? If we did strike back, what would we hit? It wouldn't be a population centre, so infrastructure? Military? One of the problems of locking ourselves into international organisations like NATO or the UN is that we would not be able act unilaterally.
If we take a case like Russia. They have shown that Maskirovka and 'salami slicing' works(Zen posted the same). Putin tested the ground in Georgia and he's stepped it up with the Ukraine. He doesn't have to go as far as a nuke attack, and seriously can you see any of the nuclear NATO countries launching? I'm sorry I can't.

My other issue is something which increasingly affects militaries across the world.  In our current state, we are not, and haven't been for quite sometime a  military power that can carry out sustained military intervention for any length of time due to cost. I think Iraq and Afghanistan highlighted our weaknesses. So my second contentious point is why  are we buying systems that cost such prodigeous amounts but supply so few units. We have two aircraft carriers with currently no aircraft to put on them, and then we are only buying 43 F35sti kit them out. What I'm trying to get at is, weapon systems are becoming increasingly expensive,  so what happens when we lose them. How would we be able to afford to replace the aircraft losses in a war situation? The same goes for ground and naval assets.

I am a believer a in strong military, but I think we need to look to the very near future. More and systems are going to become autonomous due to pressure to keep casualties down and fiscal needs. We still need boots on the ground but I do believe we are spending our money unwisely.
I know that the things I've written are a bit contentious and might cause some people to pop a gasket, I don't mean to offend just perhaps to pose one or two points to discuss.
 

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2015, 05:11:09 am »
I'm surprised no-one has yet mentioned the final collapse of the CFE treaty yesterday.

Your link doesn't link to anything except the FT's front page.

Sorry Hot Breath, I should have mentioned that you might have to register to see that story. Here's another link, this time from the Associated Press: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/E/EU_RUSSIA_ARMS_TREATY?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Ifor, some reasonable points there. However, with regards as to tactical and sub-strategic nuclear weapons, I wouldn't be so sure that they won't be ultimately used if things really fall apart. Desperate times summon desperate measures, and two of the actors in this mess, Russia & France, have nuclear release policies that amount to default 'First Use' if certain conditions are met. If NATO countries still had Chemical Weapons stockpiles, the situation might be less likely to escalate that far, at least in the shorter term. Unfortunately though...

For example, if Obama ultimately stabs NATO in the back and refuses to fulfil the United State's obligations (including the 'Nuclear Umbrella') in the event of a full scale conflict, then use by France of it's sub-strategic 'tripwire' becomes all but inevitable. The question then being, where will said tripwire be triggered; the Polish/Ukrainian border? The German/Polish border? The old Inner German border? The outskirts of Brussels?

On the issue of automated defenses versus major call-up of manpower to shore up defences, I would actually say the latter will be far more prevalent in the short to medium term, in part because of the generally dire state of the defence industries in the various NATO members, but also because the most effective automated defenses are currently denied to most NATO countries because of idiotic treaties mentioned elsewhere in this thread. In the short term then, even the most casualty shy NATO countries are going to have to either accept said casualties, or else surrender off the bat by reaching an accommodation with Russia & withdrawing from NATO.

So, urgently rebuilding industrial infrastructure and scrapping restrictive (read insane) treaties would seem to be among the most immediate priorities re. shoring up NATOs defences in a hurry (read yesterday).
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Offline Hot Breath

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2015, 07:43:31 pm »
I am still unsure why everybody seems to want to concentrate on nuclear weapons all the time.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2015, 03:01:25 am »
I'll use that as a cue to concentrate for a moment on something I mentioned in passing in my last post: Chemical Weapons.

The CWC is yet another zombie treaty that needs to be put down by the UK yesterday. Assuming that happy outcome is completed in a timely manner (not assured with the current government alas), a short term expedient as a cheap and cheerful area denial weapon might be to use the British chemical industry (such as it is these days) to manufacture large amounts of an old reliable, Lewisite. Mix it with some Prussic acid to degrade suit and vehicle NBC filters (ironically an old Soviet trick) and use it as the filler for command/signature detonated chemical mines that will be emplaced at suitable locations on potential lines of advance.

You'd have a weapon that will be able to hopefully raise the threshold for the use of chemical weapons, and if the worse comes to the worse, effectively block and slow down advancing enemy forces. Though there may be some teething problems regarding the design and manufacture of said mines in the first place, after so long a pause on practical R&D on such weapons systems in the UK.
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Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2015, 03:04:32 am »
The Chemical Weapons treaties are necessary to try and ensure we don't see the widespread (mis)use of chemical weapons.   They are treaties which appear to be working, why withdraw from them?   ::)

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2015, 02:50:20 am »
In a rational world, that theory would hold at least some water; unfortunately this is not such a world. To paraphrase an old saying: Those without swords will die on the ones of those who do. Countries with NBC weapons have a massive advantage over those ones who don't, even if the latter hadn't already allowed to wither or indeed enthusiastically scrapped practically all of their conventional capability. The arms control treaties they often used as a convenient excuse for doing this are now falling apart at a fast clip, not to mention that they were seriously flawed in the first place both in theory and execution.

In practice, the only way to reliably deter an attack against oneself with NBC weapons is to have an at least equal retaliatory capability in at least one of those weapon categories yourself.

The moral high ground isn't really an advantage anymore when you're being shelled with Sarin on it.   
« Last Edit: March 14, 2015, 02:53:56 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2015, 03:42:12 am »
Slightly OT for the moment:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/matt/
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Offline steelpillow

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2015, 01:11:14 pm »
What are the threats? In no particular order:

1. A resurgent Russian bear  -->  Trident replacement. Mass-produce drones to **** them off every time they try to get some sleep or find a real target.

2. Cyber attack  -->  Recruit the Free and Open Source Software geeks who create and maintain the modern Internet. Offer them free beer and a chance to share last year's code with the enemy.

3. Overseas counter-terrorism and aid  -->  Drones for every role, transport helicopters and medium-sized assault ships with ski-jump bows (nice for the supersonic drones but see also 4.).

4. Renewed attack on the Falklands, Gibraltar, etc.  -->  Cheap, subsonic STOVL jets (Harrier III - but make it maintainable this time!) able to operate from the assault ships.

5. S*** rations --> 3-D printed pizzas. In fact 3-D printed everything so if your boots get hidden in that giant warehouse next door, you can darn well print your own. Just don't use the same printer for pizzas afterwards.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 01:14:31 pm by steelpillow »
Cheers.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #32 on: April 23, 2016, 08:29:15 am »
Looks like the GIUK gap is in dire need of plugging: https://blog.usni.org/2016/04/20/once-more-unto-the-gap
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Offline moonbeamsts

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #37 on: August 27, 2016, 05:03:46 pm »
Loosing repair ship,truly death by 1000 cots for the RN!

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2016, 04:18:49 am »
Makes you wonder how long it is before we can no longer meet our NATO commitments.
Cheers.

Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2016, 05:00:59 am »
One thing that puzzles me about naval procurement at the moment is that all navies seem to have problems knowing what ships to
produce and then have difficulties introducing them into service.  The USN has only just got its Zumwalt and the LCS programme seems
to lurch from crisis to crisis.
Most West European navies have been reduced to a mixture of high end air defence ships, usually about 4 and some corvette designs.
It was so much easier before 1989 when we had a clear enemy fleet in being!

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #46 on: November 21, 2016, 05:55:33 am »
I like how the MOD spokesman says "We are also developing new class of lighter general purpose frigate so that by the 2030s we can grow the size of the fleet." As though being a 'lighter' ship is ever going save any money! It shows though that there is little hope of building more Type 26 and the Type 31 will be the main filler.

I find the Type 31 worrying because it seems so nebulous, as we've discussed before, it seemed to pop up from the politicians (probably from the spurious kind of thinking the spokesman reflects) but the MOD is still studying what it might be. It's going to be tricky to define what general purpose is if it has no air defence, surface-to-surface or anti-submarine capability. A warmed over OPV with a big gun and a couple of drones on the back probably isn't going to be of much use in most in most general purpose situations, or at least those in high threat environments.

The worst scenario that could happen is that they simply build a few more River derivatives and re-number the existing Batch 2 ships as Type 31 to meet the numbers game and save even more cash on the side.

Online marauder2048

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #47 on: November 21, 2016, 12:13:38 pm »
why Harpoon is going without replacement

How is the RAF planning to arm the P-8 for ASuW? Or are they?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 12:17:19 pm by marauder2048 »

Offline TomS

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #48 on: November 21, 2016, 07:38:05 pm »
The RAF is getting P-8s unmodified from the USN standard, at least initially.  That means they could hang Harpoon, but only if the RAF buys some, which seems unlikely.  If they kept any of the Maverick stocks after Harrier went away, those would also work.

Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #49 on: November 22, 2016, 02:38:32 am »
The problem it seems to me is that "general purpose" means a basic gun, a helicopter deck and space for a point defence system.

If you want something more like the old Type 22 you would need to have a new long range ASW weapon.

As for surface to surface missiles, have I missed something. Harpoons are still in service with the USN. If we keep the launchers, the USN could
provide us with the canister rounds in the build up to a crisis.

As for the Type 45s. They seem to spend most of their time on duties for which a "general purpose" ship would be more suitable:  guard ship, drug, anti-smuggling, patrol duties.
In anything short of a war, the SAM system and its radars are just ballast. Oh sorry, forgot the b~~~~dy Falklands.

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #51 on: December 28, 2016, 08:01:34 am »
WHY does the UK need any kind of nuclear weapon systems?  We cannot go up against another nation that has them because the military and political situations mean It would not be feasible.

Save the money for conventional systems and make those as good or better than available elsewhere.

Junk systems that are compromised and FFS do NOT get caught up in the rhetoric of other nations, allow the US, the E|U and anyone else who wants to, talk until TEHY are blue in the face for a change.  We could do a better job but the chances are we will not.  Someone in this thread was talking about the word WE when they really meant SOMEONE ELSE in terms of being willing to fight and die in conflict.  Talk is cheap so if you are not on that front line and willing to die, just stop talking.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #52 on: February 05, 2017, 12:09:05 pm »
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-warships-type-45-destroyer-drones-defence-spending-a7563471.html

Quote
Britain’s Type 45 destroyers – which have been plagued by engine problems – are “as noisy as hell”, a former director of operational capability for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Rear Admiral Chris Parry told The Sunday Times

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/05/british-warships-noisy-russian-submarines-can-hear-100-miles/
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Online marauder2048

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #53 on: February 05, 2017, 03:18:46 pm »
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-warships-type-45-destroyer-drones-defence-spending-a7563471.html

Quote
Britain’s Type 45 destroyers – which have been plagued by engine problems – are “as noisy as hell”, a former director of operational capability for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) Rear Admiral Chris Parry told The Sunday Times

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/05/british-warships-noisy-russian-submarines-can-hear-100-miles/

Surely the ESM mast on an attack sub detects the radar emissions from an AAW destroyer long before
its acoustic emissions are of any use.

Offline TomS

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2017, 03:31:00 pm »
Depends on what the convergence zones look like.  They could hear a noisy target from well beyond the ESM mast's detection horizon.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2017, 02:07:47 am »
Seems the papers have got bored and trotted out some defence stories this weekend. The Independent has the Type 45 and the Guardian has the F-35, the latter being an odd article that tells us nothing we don't already know, the F-35 is expensive, the UK contributes to the cost and we might pay a bit more but no-one is saying how much more. The problem is no journalist bothers to even think before they write these articles, do they think in a major war a Type 45 is just going to be sailing around on its own doing "battleshipy" things? The whole point of having the Type 23s and 26s is to hunt down those pesky Russkie subs before they get too close with their towed arrays and Merlins. If anything this should make the Type 26 even more important.

Acoustic measures cost a lot of money, as they found out with the Type 23s. I suspect some of the requirements were toned down for what is essentially an air-defence platform, lets just hope they cut the same corners in the Type 26. I'm surprised they are that noisy as I would have thought the electric generator drive would have been quieter than the traditional COGAG set-up, though I guess the WR-21 and diesel generators must be producing most of the noise. I assume the carriers using essentially the same powerplant would have the same flaw. I don't doubt Rear Admiral Parry's claim though that the Navy has taken its eye off the ball, with so many different scenarios and postulated future potential conflicts since 1991 it probably has been hard to adapt to new threats whilst retaining what was done pre-1991.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2017, 03:14:50 am »
There has been a lot of defence bashing this weekend, the F-35 and Ajax stuff seems nonsensical but the Type 45 criticism perhaps has a bit more substance. The comments about noise come from Rear Admiral Chris Parry, apparently a former director of operational capability at MoD. Based purely on the quotes attributed to him it seems that the ships were simply not designed with any significant noise suppression characteristics due to a perception that the submarine threat lessened to the point whereby it was no longer that relevant. This rings true because I recall the same reasoning being given for other decisions around the time T45 was being developed/procured.

The MoD response that "stealth" was not a "premium requirement" would be more effective were it not for the seemingly considerable efforts that went into reducing radar signature (yes I know underwater noise suppression and topside RCS reduction serve different purposes).

As a side note, there seems to be a philosophical debate going on in the RN at the moment about the importance of the ASW mission in Europe versus the power-projection mission.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #58 on: March 06, 2017, 12:41:53 pm »
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Offline Pioneer

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #61 on: April 18, 2017, 01:03:35 am »
One thing that puzzles me about naval procurement at the moment is that all navies seem to have problems knowing what ships to
produce and then have difficulties introducing them into service.  The USN has only just got its Zumwalt and the LCS programme seems
to lurch from crisis to crisis.
Most West European navies have been reduced to a mixture of high end air defence ships, usually about 4 and some corvette designs.
It was so much easier before 1989 when we had a clear enemy fleet in being!

Agree 100%
I would think with the 'hats on/hats off' rollercoaster attitude of continuous British government's, and a Royal Navy who has never excepted it no longer rules the world's seas, that it focus its destroyer and frigate designs around a true 'General Purpose' philosophy. The fact that the hard learnt naval lessons of the Falkland's have seemed so importantly forgotten, leaves me bewildered!

The fact that the British government/RN decommissioned all its Invincible class carrier's, let alone its Sea Harrier's years before their replacements were completed, let alone in operational service is just insane!!

Regard
Pioneer
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 05:22:52 am by Pioneer »
And remember…remember the glory is not the exhortation of war, but the exhortation of man.
Mans nobility, made transcendent in the fiery crucible of war.
Faithfulness and fortitude.
Gentleness and compassion.
I am honored to be your brother.”

— Lt Col Ralph Honner DSO M

Offline Grey Havoc

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« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 10:24:06 am by Grey Havoc »
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Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #64 on: July 21, 2017, 02:25:51 am »
The Typhoon total availability enterprise (Tytan) seems to be making inroads in saving support costs already and the aim is to reach F-16 operating costs.
Also, the some of the Tranche 1 Typhoon's seem to have been reprieved to form two squadrons for air defence, so far around 10 Tranche 3 are actually in service at the moment.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uk-to-drive-down-typhoon-operating-costs-to-match-f-439514/

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #65 on: September 12, 2017, 05:28:06 am »
Its a possibility that the MOD will look into acquiring CH-47G Block II airframes to replace the remaining original ex-HC.1 Chinook airframes to extend the life of the fleet. The plan being to possibly re-use the current Thales cockpits.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uk-plots-fresh-chinook-helicopter-acquisition-441025/

Offline NeilChapman

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #66 on: September 13, 2017, 11:20:44 pm »
So here are some thoughts.

The UK has the 5th largest economy in the world.  It's commonwealth relationships are world-wide.  It's impact is nearly unprecedented in the modern era.  It's important for its power projection be seen as a first responder globally to natural disasters and violent crisis areas - and that requires mobility, not a large army.

The UK has a very special relationship with the United States.  Apart from political and social dynamics the UK has worked very closely with the US in military matters. 
They've purchased the F-35. 
They fly the C-17 and C-130 as well as the P8
They're considering the purchase of 2700+ JLTV's. 
There's a very close relationship in the submarine force including cooperation on the boomer tubes as well as Electric Boat helping on the Astute issues.
The list goes on and on.

So here's my heresy. 

I'd like to see the UK refocus from a large(r) army to "lighter" amphibious and special forces power projection.  Out of 153k active duty personnel and a £48B budget, 83K personnel are Army.  I'd like to see some part of that 80k+ army personnel number redirected to ship acquisition, O&M and the corresponding Royal Navy manning requirement.  O&M can be minimized by forward basing of ships.

Perhaps the model is the Amphibious Ready Element Landing Force (ARE-LE) used by Australia or the ARG/ATF concept the US uses. Put resources into the Royal Marines, Navy and Air Force and reduce the Army to special forces and what's required to "hold" existing territory.  British mobile power projection could use three Amphibious Task Forces forward based.  One each in the Pacific (forward homeport in either Brunei, Sembawang, Australia, New Zealand or even Guam), Atlantic (Gibraltar Based) and one roaming between the two as required - say the Middle East or Indian Ocean (Bahrain or Diego Garcia Based). 

The ATF would consist of a QE-class or light carrier, two LPD's and an dock landing ship.  Destroyers and fast attack subs could be added if the mission requires their support otherwise they can be deployed separately. 

The UK will likely either fight with the US against a near peer, in which case they'll fight alongside a CSG, or be used against lesser threats in which case the F-35B and destroyers provide air cover.  For natural disasters the ARE-LE/ARG concept is ideal.

The UK has two new light carriers.  I'd suggest three more.  That would allow three forward home ported at any given time.

UK has six Type-45 destroyers.  This quantity could be marginally sufficient if they're forward based.

UK has two Albion-class LPD's.  They need to plan a replacement.  The US has a hot production line of San-Antonio or LX(R) amphibs.  Perhaps they can make a deal on exporting the design and subcontracting work or even lease them.  There's plenty of room on the LX(R) for missiles.  I'd suggest the Canberra-class but no hot production line.

They've got three Bay-class dock landing ships.  Perhaps additional LX(R)s.

UK has three fast attack subs and four are under construction.  The UK may want to forward deploy subs to the Pacific wherever possible.  I suspect they'll continue to coordinate with the US quite a bit.





« Last Edit: September 13, 2017, 11:23:57 pm by NeilChapman »

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #67 on: September 14, 2017, 02:20:17 am »
The dream sounds good but the reality is somewhat more sobering.

I've attached here the Thirty Year Shipping Plan as currently outlined in the latest shipbuilding plan.

Amphibious plans seem quite nebulous. HMS Ocean is about to be sold to Brazil (the hurricane Irma response will be her swansong). You'll note a new LPD and LSD(A) capability to replace the Albion and Bay classes isn't scheduled until the early 2030s. To "replace" Ocean, Prince of Wales is meant to act as an LHA (I'm not sure if she has any landing craft capability added or if she is totally reliant on helicopter lift) but as she's meant to operate in rotation with Queen Elizabeth there will be periods when there are no major amphibious support vessels, though I think it has been planned to refit QE with the commando carrier changes later. The carrier fleet will share around 48 F-35Bs, probably only around 20 will be carried at any one time, again swapping from QE to PoW in rotation. Helicopter lift will continue to be the Merlin HC.4 and probably the Chinook until the early 2030s at least.

As to escorts, the Type31e glorified OPVs should begin arriving around 2023-27, the Type 26s IOC being almost a full decade away from today (2026-27). During the mid/late 2030s the Type 45s will be retired (sold) and replaced with new AAW destroyers. Presumably the MOD are keen to offload them onto an export buyer (probably Brazil who seem to buy up all surplus RN ships!) to recoup some hard cash rather than refitting them and using them until they wear out like the Type 42s. Interestingly,. despite the overlap between the Type 31e and the Rivers the latter don't seem to be planned for replacement before 2047.

By the mid-2030s there should be a new RFA replenishment fleet in place and new mine countermeasures vessels, which are already overdue. The current Hunt fleet will be upgraded, the Sandowns will be updated but they lack the flexibility for serious upgrading.

The only omission on the Thirty Year Plan is any mention of submarines. This suggests that either this is being kept secret from public publication or that simply the Astutes will not be replaced before 2050, although realistically planning work will probably start once Successor is well underway. The SSN fleet does go 'East of Suez' (these longer voyages started in the 2000s) and of course there will be a major harbour at Bahrain to support Gulf operations.

Manpower is the big problem across all the armed forces, there isn't enough now let alone enough to make any large-scale expansion possible.
Not to stray too much into politics the big unknown is the future economic performance of Britain which will impact on how much future governments are able, or willing, to spend. I can't see the purse strings being loosened any time soon.
Publicly the Navy is pointing to the new carriers as power projection but MOD seems to have troubling figuring out what is proportionate. A carrier with relatively weak defensive supporting forces isn't awe-inspiring unless your bullying gunboat navies, yet using a full scale carrier for disaster relief would be needlessly expensive and tie up assets that could be used elsewhere. Likewise the Type 31e is meant for "constabulary" duties that the Rivers should be performing (though I suspect the 31s are meant for Gulf operations, the Rivers to keep at home or for overseas possession use like in the Caribbean) but disaster relief implies a more flexible-role vessel than a frigate, but a mission bay and large heli deck are only 'adaptable' features and not likely to feature on the ships as completed.


Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #68 on: September 19, 2017, 05:17:11 am »
Fascinating information.
I think the Navy only has itself to blame for not getting across a clearer message of what it does with its
assets and what plans it has.
The contrast with the Italian Navy which has a flat top and a series of disaster relief ships is marked.

Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #69 on: September 19, 2017, 05:33:13 am »
Got cut off before I could continue with my ramblings.

The Nuclear Deterrent is understood by most people as being necessary in a world where Messrs Putin and Kim
wave their missiles around at the drop of a hat.
The British Army is understood by the Public to be good at providing infantry but not so good at fielding kit. A smallish army
built round home based infantry with some light international roles fits the public mood.
The RAF benefits from the popular love of fast jets. Typhoons are easy to understand, especially if they are seen escorting
wayward Bears or lost charter jets.

The Navy has not had any successful publicity since 1982. It involvement in our various dirty wars since then has been overshadowed
by the RAF and the Army.

In the 70s a popular BBC TV series called WARSHIP focussed on the adventures of a Leander class frigate.  These ships were seen in the Cod War
or chasing pirates/smugglers or supporting our allies in interesting places.  Their modern equivalent the Type 22 was most famous for losing its sailors
to the Iranians.

The nuclear submarines have fared similarly badly. When not running aground in Scotland or having crewmen shot at base they are only shown flying a few Tomahawks
in support of multiple US strikes with the same missile.

Aircraft Carriers are associated in the public mind with Top Gun and the big US flat tops. Once the Navy told people it would only be operating helicopters on QE it lost the public interest. F35 makes Typhoon look sexy by comparison.

If you add to this mix, the least informed generation of politicians in our history and the most dogmatic media, I don't rate the RN's chance of getting much more out of
this Zombie goverment

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #70 on: September 19, 2017, 10:51:07 am »
Ocean's LPH capability is being replaced by QE and PoW, not just the latter. As the ships go through maintenance periods the LPH capability will be enhanced in both ships. Ocean has to go to man QE. QE and PoW will operate in rotation, the RN has effectively had a single flat-top rotation policy since 2010 and that isn't changing.

The five new rivers were only procured to fulfill the TOBA whilst sustaining the Clyde workforce prior to T26, in notional planning the escort uplift will be achieved by replacing at least one with a T31e sometime in the 2030s.

Submarines aren't mentioned simply because everyone knows the build schedule anyway and the National Shipbuilding Strategy is for surface ships.

Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #71 on: September 19, 2017, 12:19:01 pm »
JFC
Always interesting to read your info.
The combination of QE, Albion, the remaining
Bay class plus in extremis Bulwark and
P of W working closely sometimes with
the US Marines is quite a decent force.
Despite their age T23 with Merlin or Wildcat
compare well with most NATO escort
ships.
The T45 is a capability which US commanders
visibly like having in a Task Group.
T and A nuke sub's are a unique asset.
Its just a shame the Navy is not as good
as it should be on PR. Bring back WARShip!

Offline Triton

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #72 on: September 19, 2017, 12:43:47 pm »
"Britain's new aircraft carriers to test Beijing in South China Sea "
by Ben Doherty

July 27, 2017

Source:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/27/britains-new-aircraft-carriers-to-test-beijing-in-south-china-sea



Offline Foo Fighter

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #73 on: September 20, 2017, 12:14:09 pm »
Pity he seems not to know they have only built one of them.  Poor sole.

Offline TomS

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #74 on: September 20, 2017, 12:49:02 pm »
Pity he seems not to know they have only built one of them.  Poor sole.

Or that Full Operational Capability for QE isn't scheduled until 2020 (and F-35 FOC for the RN not until a couple of years after that).  These ships will not be doing FONEXs in the Pacific during Johnson's tenure as FM.

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Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #76 on: September 21, 2017, 05:26:28 am »
Poor old Bojo
On a Thursday afternoon I drink a few Staropramen beers with a friend after which I imagine squadrons of
TSR2s at Singapore and Akrotiri while P1154s and HS 681 stage into Kuwait and Oman. Meanwhile a CVA 01
battlegroup is moored in Hong Kong harbour and Mach 3 transports howl overheard from Brize Norton, a
few miles away. Then I fall off the bus and am back in the land of (Basil Fawlty 1970s)

Offline NeilChapman

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #77 on: September 21, 2017, 10:47:25 am »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/14/royal-navy-laughing-stock-three-quarters-warships-action-struggling/


The Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Recovery (HA/DR) mission for the UK requires amphib capability - period.  Defending British subjects does not mean only from submarines.  Either the US ARG model or that of the Australians. 


Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #78 on: September 22, 2017, 01:45:27 am »
I think overall I would have been happier had they build two new amphibs like the Navantia Juan Carlos I/Canberra design or even (if it was unavoidable to keep BAE Systems in the game) a home-grown LHA design. Trying to get back into the flattop game probably sounded good in the late 90s when even second-tier nations like Brazil and India were furthering their ambitions with second-hand kit but I doubt anyone in the MOD really sit down and analyse how useful the Illustrious Class was compared to how much a drain the strike carrier fleet was on manpower, escorts and resources even in the 1950s and 60s.

Manpower and money are key. There's no point politicians pointing at shiny new toys when they're tied up with nobody to man them and no fuel to put in them.
Still, how many other navies are in a similar situation.

One piece of slightly better news, RAF Saxa Vord on the Shetlands will re-open to increase radar coverage to the north.
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/raf-reopens-shetland-radar-site-saxa-vord-to-sweep-for-russia-threat-k032r68d3
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 01:51:54 am by Hood »

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #79 on: September 22, 2017, 06:00:04 am »
An Ocean replacement programme existed until at least 2005 and possibly later.

The RN doesn't need a Juan Carlos as Albion, Bulwark and the Bays provide a floodable dock capability.

The carrier strike (and fleet air defence) capability offered by the QE/Crowsnest/F-35B is more than worth it. A QE will only have about the same manpower drain as an Invincible anyway.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #80 on: September 22, 2017, 07:15:16 am »
The RN doesn't need a Juan Carlos as Albion, Bulwark and the Bays provide a floodable dock capability.

That is true but I wasn't saying a floodable dock was essential but rather that the Navy might have got more use from two multi-purpose ships.

The new carriers offer the ability to airlift troops but its not logical to expect, for example, Prince of Wales being able to deploy a couple of companies of Royal Marines and be a fully effective air defence/strike carrier at the same time. Both roles are exclusive in terms of airgroup required and where the ship operates. Having a dozen of F-35s on board for self-defence alongside the Apaches, Merlin 4s and Chinooks is probably not go to be enough for an effective CAP. While PoW can carry troops it is totally reliant on airlift, it has no landing craft (even in davits) and no capability to offload vehicles directly onto pontoons. Helicopter assault even with Merlin and Chinooks would mean being placed relatively close to shore, which means dragging the whole battle group inshore.

Does anybody know what Prince of Wales' troop capacity is? I've seen a figure as high as 900 quoted by Defence procurement minister Philip Dunne back in 2015 but no concrete figure since then. Queen Elizabeth has accommodation for a company of Royal Marines (250 soliders).

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #81 on: October 06, 2017, 01:43:57 am »
Looks like most of that maritime lift capability could be lost. As part of another review the MOD (or rather the head of the Navy Admiral Sir Philip Jones) have suggested decomissioning both Albion and Bulwark as an option to reduce costs and free manpower for the carriers. Among other cuts envisaged are a reduction of 1,000 Royal Marines and early retirement of two MCV and a survey vessel. Other ideas include slowing down F-35 orders or cutting the number ("dozens") of AAC helicopters (which I assume would mean reducing Apaches and/or the new Wildcats).

If the 'senior MOD figure's' quote at the end is correct it seems the ministry's and other services patience with the Royal Navy has run out. There still doesn't seem to be any end of the turf wars and it raises questions why if the MOD really thought the Navy has been asking for too much (which I don't think it has) that they haven't put a stopper to their ambitions sooner.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41511790

Offline NeilChapman

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #82 on: October 06, 2017, 07:48:43 am »
Looks like most of that maritime lift capability could be lost. As part of another review the MOD (or rather the head of the Navy Admiral Sir Philip Jones) have suggested decomissioning both Albion and Bulwark as an option to reduce costs and free manpower for the carriers. Among other cuts envisaged are a reduction of 1,000 Royal Marines and early retirement of two MCV and a survey vessel. Other ideas include slowing down F-35 orders or cutting the number ("dozens") of AAC helicopters (which I assume would mean reducing Apaches and/or the new Wildcats).

If the 'senior MOD figure's' quote at the end is correct it seems the ministry's and other services patience with the Royal Navy has run out. There still doesn't seem to be any end of the turf wars and it raises questions why if the MOD really thought the Navy has been asking for too much (which I don't think it has) that they haven't put a stopper to their ambitions sooner.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41511790

I get a sense that the UK MoD is at a loss for a mission.  Other than the nuclear deterrent, what the government has decided are the priorities involves very little from a traditional military since NATO is the UK's primary defense.

From:  National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015

1.  Our vision is for a secure and prosperous United Kingdom, with global reach and
influence. Everything we do in the UK and around the world is driven by our determination to
protect our people and our values, and ensure that our country prospers.

==>  Huh?  This, in my mind of course, makes the case for the "HA/DR First" mission for MoD.  From an economic standpoint I'd be pushing for a joint deal between BAE, HII and LM to build a frigate.  If you can get a common hull design that three shipbuilders can build then you create economies of scale that will drive down costs, increase availability of overhaul facilities (US is sorely lacking), increase availability of labor pool and possibly create a ship that other countries would want to purchase.  Also could create commonality of ship systems that would benefit both countries.

2.  We will strengthen our Armed Forces and our security and intelligence agencies
so that they remain world-leading. They project our power globally, and will fight and
work alongside our close allies, including the US and France, to deter or defeat our
adversaries.

==>  Same case made above.  UK doesn't have the political will to carry both a large army and navy.  Choose one.  Since UK is an island the choice is Navy/Marine focus - back to HA/DR mission.

3. We will further enhance our position as the world’s leading soft power promoting our
values and interests globally, with our world-class Diplomatic Service, commitment
to overseas development, and institutions such as the BBC World Service and the
British Council.

==>  Nothing for MoD - Unless you consider "soft power" as being a global first responder to disasters - HA/DR Mission

4.  We will invest more in our current alliances including NATO, build stronger
relationships with growing powers, and work to bring past adversaries in from the
cold.

==>  How about working with US on a frigate?  UK needs to export build and export something.  Take advantage of the size of the US requirement to make money up front (build) and on the back end (forward deployed US fleet and major overhaul facilities).

5.  We will strengthen our domestic resilience and law enforcement capabilities
against global challenges which increasingly affect our people, communities and
businesses.

==> Nothing for traditional military - intelligence, SoF, etc but no ships and tanks required.

The rest of the document is similar.  Basically says "we'll participate in world order". 

The problem is articulated well in the following document.

http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1135&context=lib_fsdocs

"The 2010 SDSR was complimented and criticized from many quarters.
One analysis praised it for stressing the importance of reserve forces in British
military operations.  However, it was described as being seriously flawed
and dying over Libya during NATO military operations against the Qaddafi
regime due to this operation being in conflict with SDSR recommendations
favoring Britain place greater emphasis on conflict prevention; that it was
likely to fail like previous defense white papers due to mismatches between
strategic objectives and budget realities and failing to identify and anticipate
national security challenges as they evolve; and that non-British observers
must recognize that British policymakers still consider themselves an internationally
influential geopolitical and strategic player even with reduced
financial capabilities
when Whitehall formulates these documents."

===

Focusing on HA/DR (integrating the Army with the Royal Marines) will give the UK
the global reach and mission that will enable British policymakers to be "internationally
influential geopolitical and strategic players" even with the reduced financial capabilities.

HA/DR (providing for British Subjects in time of crisis) provides the political will which
enables the platforms for global reach.  Nothing breeds success like success.  How pathetic
that the UK couldn't assist it's subjects adequately during the last hurricane?  UK MoD can
be the provider of mercy, through strength and capability.  Influence comes by "being there".

HA/DR also requires forward basing and strategic airlift capabilities.  UK could consider
focusing Royal Air Force with the ~100 or so F-35's but with significant tanker and
lift capacity in support of HA/DR mission.  This would be a great way to recognize and
support the strategic relationship with the United States.  US does not have the lift and
tanking capacity that it needs to meet it's requirements either. Partnering with the UK
is an important enabler.

What enabled UK and US power projection in the 19th and 20th centuries had more to do with
strategic lift than anything else.  Being able to put more material in the battle, faster than your
opponent is the key making victory happen.




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Offline uk 75

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #84 on: October 28, 2017, 09:57:14 am »
Reading all the above, we do seem to have ended up
back at the Nott 1981 Review which left the RN as a nuclear submarine force with the minimum number of surface ships
that NATO would let us get away with.
The era of wars of liberal intervention had its last gasp in
Libya. China will dominate the world outside US and Europe
which at least saves us from having to do anything and we
can usevthe money to pay for the NHS and Brexit.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #85 on: November 08, 2017, 07:48:09 am »
An interesting article advocating increased support for a more balanced shipbuilding industry that includes commercial as well as defence shipbuilding.

https://theconversation.com/shipbuilding-in-britain-how-to-reboot-it-87031


Offline mrmalaya

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #87 on: November 23, 2017, 09:55:42 am »
The F35 bit isn't woe in my opinion. It was daft to think we would actually buy all of those.

It actually might be the start of a move towards other projects such as UCAVs and a Typhoon replacement project, both of which were very hard to justify with a multi-decade F35 order hanging over them like a RAM covered Sword of Damocles.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #88 on: November 24, 2017, 02:53:34 am »
138 always seemed an ambitious number, especially given how far the fast jet squadrons have been cut back in recent years.
I wouldn't be surprised though to see some F-35s saved at the expense of serious cuts elsewhere. The sword will fall somewhere, be it amphibious capability, carriers, Royal Marines, jets, helicopters, or Army. Its just a matter of what gets chopped off.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #89 on: November 25, 2017, 11:58:09 am »
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/11/25/defence-minister-tobias-ellwood-prepared-resign-army-cuts-imposed/

Nice to see that there are still a few people in political circles willing to put their careers on the line for the good of their country. Whether it will do any good though...
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

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Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #91 on: February 01, 2018, 01:55:53 am »
Efforts have now begun to find a replacement for the last few remaining Gazelles.
It sounds like a mixed UAV and helicopter replacement, with the UAV doing the reconnaissance and few light helicopters for the liaison/light transport role. Saying that, given the previously hinted cuts to the AAC fleet its possible there won't be any like-for-like replacement. 

Also in the article is an update on the likelihood of a further Chinook order. Its seems highly unlikely that another type will be acquired other than the 'Wokka'.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uk-begins-gazelle-helicopter-replacement-effort-445376/

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #92 on: February 01, 2018, 11:18:25 am »
Why not use the UAVs for the liaison/light transport role too? Self-driving cars? Ptui!

Just make sure you buy European avionics so they use Galileo not Russian-controllable GPS!
Cheers.

Online marauder2048

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #93 on: February 01, 2018, 07:39:34 pm »
Efforts have now begun to find a replacement for the last few remaining Gazelles.
It sounds like a mixed UAV and helicopter replacement, with the UAV doing the reconnaissance

I had naturally assumed that the UK purchased the AH-64E with MUMT-I kits for this reason.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #94 on: February 05, 2018, 05:13:32 am »
Lobbying to save the Royal Marines and the Royal Navy's amphibious warfare capabilities is continuing, the time by the Defence Select Committee.
They obviously want the government to increase defence spending but that seems unlikely. Evidently the Committee must feel that the cuts to amphibious warfare are being seriously considered.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/feb/04/royal-marines-cuts-undermine-security-mps-defence-committee

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #95 on: February 05, 2018, 07:34:17 am »
True, but last October the MOD was trying to shrug off such claims as "pure speculation". Of course until the review is published this summer it still is speculation, but it is the most likely headline axe to save expenditure.
This 'new' review (new in that its been hived off from the National Security Capability Review) announced by the relatively new Minister, Gavin Williamson, is labelled the Defence Modernisation Programme and seems to be couched in non-cutting speak but its hard to see a way out other than some form of cuts to make ends meet.

Offline Foo Fighter

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #96 on: February 07, 2018, 12:56:08 am »
There are a lot of areas where spending is being reviewed and probably the biggest winner will be cyber warfare, the traditional aspects of conflict seem to be vulnerable.  When for instance, aircraft carriers are having to wait years for a complete air wing and are restricted in ability due to overly conflicting financial interest you have a scenario where the military are already on the point of being toothless.  One example among many and I do not think those carriers are the sole harbingers of defence capability being reduced too far.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #97 on: April 18, 2018, 05:10:27 am »
The armed forces are still short of manpower. The National Audit Office has identified 102 trades that do not have enough trained regulars to carry out operational tasks. Most of these were in; engineering, intelligence, logistics, pilots, communications and medical. For example, 2,400 engineers (the largest shortfall being Royal Navy weapons technicians), 700 intelligence analysts and 800 pilots.
The NAO are critical that all three armed forces have separate intelligence organisations, especially when they are also competing for analysts against other government agencies and private companies.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/apr/18/armed-forces-facing-biggest-shortfall-in-staff-for-a-decade-report

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #98 on: May 14, 2018, 02:33:48 am »
Some mixed news for UK defence spending.

Defence secretary Gavin Williamson has approved £2.5bn for the UK’s submarine programme, including a £1.6bn contract for the last Astute Class (HMS Agincourt) and other contracts worth £906m for the next phase of the Dreadnought programme covering the next 12 months.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/14/defence-secretary-gives-go-ahead-for-25bn-spend-on-submarines

On the other hand just last week the Public Accounts Committee warned that the MOD “simply does not have enough money to buy all the equipment it says it needs” and accused it of not being clear with politicians or the public about the financial risks.
The PAC inquiry's most conservative estimate of the funding gap is £4.9bn, rising to a worst-case scenario of £20.8bn more than the 10-year £179.7bn equipment budget. The PAC’s 2017 review had found a budget shortfall of £7bn.
Some of the increase is due to Dreadnought costs being brought forward but the PAC also noted that the MOD had not included the Type 31 frigate in the original spending plan, plus another £9.6bn of "additional costs", although the MOD were unable to say where they were.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/11/mod-faces-21bn-budget-shortfall-warns-spending-watchdog

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during a visit to BAE Systems' Govan site last Friday called for navy shipbuilding contracts to remain in the UK and that the contract for three new RFA ships should remain in the UK. He has come under fire from the SNP (Scottish Nationalist Party) for making the speech in Glasgow when BAE's yards at Govan and Scotstoun are already at capacity and so isn't tendering for the ships, instead of at Rosyth where  Babcock Marine is making a bid. (In any case the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had also made the same mistake and Govan is her constituency!)
https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2629915/jeremy-corbyn-glasgow-shipyards-mocked-snp/

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #99 on: May 17, 2018, 01:02:09 am »
The Defence Committee inquiry into amphibious forces published their report in February 2018 and concluded that reductions to the amphibious fleet would be “militarily illiterate” and “totally at odds with strategic reality”.  It emphasised that the specialist nature of amphibious capability and that cutting it would end its status as one of the UK’s leading strategic assets. The Committee also concluded from the evidence obtained that that amphibious operations require specially configured warships manned by amphibious specialists and that not doing so would expose the vessels and the personnel to an unreasonable level of operational risk.
At the moment however, the government is sticking firmly to the line that the carriers can take on the role.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/queen-elizabeth-class-aircraft-carriers-cannot-take-the-place-of-specialised-amphibious-vessels-say-defence-committe/

Offline Foo Fighter

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #100 on: May 28, 2018, 01:19:28 pm »
Posit thus, the Japanese go for the F-22 with F-35 systems and sensors and the UK buys in to that, I know far fetched but, how many VTOL F-35's would we need if the RAF get the F-22/F-35 half breed for conventional roles?

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #101 on: July 24, 2018, 04:51:09 am »
The MoD have announced the closure of RAF Scampton and RAF Linton-on-Ouse as part of its plan to sell a one-third of its estate to make nearly £3bn of savings by 2040.
No news yet on where the Red Arrows will relocate to.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-44936234

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Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #103 on: July 30, 2018, 05:13:42 am »
Even more woe:
https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/hms-tyne-reactivated-due-to-issues-with-replacement-ship/

HMS Tyne has been recommissioned as her replacement, HMS Forth, the first of the River Class Batch 2s, is not ready for service due to several defects.
The source seems somewhat vague and the claims are unsubstantiated, but the claim is that there are over 100 defects to be rectified by BAE Systems before the RN can accept the ship.

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Offline kaiserd

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #105 on: August 27, 2018, 03:13:57 pm »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/08/27/row-brewing-boeing-wedgetail-jets/

Pity whoever wrote the article has no historic memory to challenge the apparent UK industry quotes.
Given the horrific record of previous British debacles at a next generation Nimrod and before that the AEW Nimrod, as well as the very small production run, those advocating a British solution have sort memories and/ or brass necks.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #106 on: August 28, 2018, 05:12:49 am »
I have to agree, it seems a rather odd way of looking at the MoD's decision. Given the tight budgets and the funding shortfall it makes complete since to buy off the shelf.
Given the lack of attributable sources its hard to figure who all these disgruntled industry insiders are. I'm sure BAE Systems already has kit aboard the aircraft anyway.
Australia, Turkey and Korea have all gone for local modification programmes for their E-7s, Boeing have only completed four of the E-7s built so far, so involving Marshalls and having UK-based maintenance seems a logical move in keeping with all the other E-7 operators. Surely a low-risk approach like this should satisfy the Select Committee rather than making them complain? But then I guess the MoD's track record does seed doubts regarding their abilities.
All in all it sounds a typical media storm in a teacup story.

Offline Kadija_Man

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #107 on: August 28, 2018, 07:25:46 pm »
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/08/27/row-brewing-boeing-wedgetail-jets/

I understood that Australia had paid for most of the R&D on the E-7 Wedgetail.  Am I mistaken?  Are we making a wedge of dosh out of this deal or not?

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #108 on: September 21, 2018, 01:51:31 am »
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Grey Havoc

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« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 02:45:47 am by Grey Havoc »
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #110 on: September 21, 2018, 04:51:37 am »
Some good news perhaps, though perhaps showing leaving Boxer was a mistake in the first place.
The CAMM-Brimstone hybrid looks an interesting project.

Sadly some not so good news:
The shortfall in funding for infrastructure is hampering the submarine fleet, in particular the deterrent facilities and dismantling the old nuclear fleet seems likely to take an age to complete. The the funding blackhole is still £2.9bn.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/21/uks-nuclear-deterrent-infrastructure-not-fit-for-purpose-say-mps

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #111 on: October 03, 2018, 12:51:23 pm »
The fact that no branch of the US military has purchased any examples of this says a lot I reckon.

UK in talks to buy Boeing E-7 Wedgetail Early Warning and Control aircraft

More on this here.

Australia wants to engage with UK on Wedgetail

« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 12:56:41 pm by Flyaway »

Offline TomS

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #112 on: October 03, 2018, 01:06:21 pm »
The fact that no branch of the US military has purchased any examples of this says a lot I reckon.

UK in talks to buy Boeing E-7 Wedgetail Early Warning and Control aircraft

More on this here.

Australia wants to engage with UK on Wedgetail

Why? The fact that no US service has bought Wedgetail isn't a comment on its capability in any way, positive or negative. The USAF already has a large fleet of E-3s that it is updating, and none of the other services have a requirement for land-based fixed-wing AEW aircraft. 

I'm not sure why the RAF isn't updating their Sentry fleet instead of looking for new airframes, but that's a separate question. 

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #113 on: October 06, 2018, 03:49:54 am »
Makes sense to have some fleet commonality with the P-8 fleet.

I wonder if there is an element of quid pro quo with the Australians as part of the Type 26 deal?

Offline mrmalaya

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #114 on: October 06, 2018, 09:04:14 am »
Whilst commonality is supposed to be fairly limited between the Wedgetail and Poseidon, even government types have been alluding to the refreshed defence links between the UK and Australia.

It could well be that something has been agreed  with Australia but regardless, the RAF are fairly clear that the E-7 fits their requirements and operational setup much more than any other potential system.

Offline Grey Havoc

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The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #116 on: October 23, 2018, 01:17:11 am »
It looks like up to 16 new Chinooks in extended-range configuration could be acquired. Some of the equipment to be fitted is that of the MH-47G.
Its not known when the delivery will be, earlier in the year the RAF was looking at waiting until 2023 when the Block II was ready.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-approves-possible-chinook-sale-to-royal-air-force-452889/

Offline CJGibson

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #117 on: October 23, 2018, 02:29:33 am »
Errrr...who's doing the avionics?

Offline Foo Fighter

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #118 on: October 23, 2018, 05:01:32 am »
Given everything else on the to do list, Radio shack?

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #119 on: October 24, 2018, 05:48:28 am »
More developments on the Sentry replacement.

SAAB are opposing a non-competitive selection for the E-7. SAAB is planning an offer which would integrate the Erieye radar and SAAB ESM onto the current A330 Voyager fleet.
Israel Aerospace Industries is also pushing for a competition, with Elta Systems promoting a Gulfstream G550-based conformal AEW.
It seems the MoDs choice of the E-7 comes down to it being a proven platform, commonality with P-8 and its greater internal space for more operators.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/saab-voices-opposition-to-uk-wedgetail-buy-452945/

The SAAB A330 concept seems to rather neatly come back round to the 1980s BAe proposals for an Airbus-based multi-role AEW/MPA/Tanker platform. Strange how history repeats itself. I can't imagine however that the RAF would be keen to combine roles even if it is short of cash. Tanking and AEW would seem to be mutually-exclusive profiles and if the small fleet is split further between roles then it just adds to the overstretch.

Offline Moose

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #120 on: October 24, 2018, 08:18:48 am »
The UK won't even pay to put booms on their tankers, so I guess there would be some poetry in choosing a "lowest cost" AEW&C solution that involves adding AESA panels to their boom-less refuelers.

More seriously, I don't think their Voyager + Erieye ER solution is as straightforward nor economical as they are attempting to portray. Offering to swallow costs does not immunize a program to difficulty, look no further than KC-45, and no matter how rosy SAAB's numbers I would want hard data on integrating Erieye ER panels into A330 before I weighed it against the in-service and proven 737 AEW&C configuration. I think it's fair to say "this alternative deserves consideration," but people insisting that this is obviously superior to Boeing's plane or that the only reasons to choose E7 are non-technical don't live in the same reality as me.

Offline CJGibson

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #121 on: October 25, 2018, 12:13:10 am »
It's AST.400 all over again!

Hood is spot-on, this combined tanker/transport/MR/AEW platform has been looked at before with the MRSA (Multi-Role Support Aircraft) and appeared to founder as soon as priorities were discussed. Should have called it the BAe Camel - a horse designed by a committee.

Also, like MR types, there is an optimum airframe size for AEW. I'd expect the Voyager would be too big now that the kit has shrunk.

As for the lack of booms on the Voyagers. When they were ordered, the RAF didn't need boom refueling capability (The RAF did not intend to refuel their C-17s in flight) and that need only arose when the Rivet Joints arrived. Now they're looking at three, maybe four types.

When it comes to Voyagers, there are far bigger questions that need answered before we get to the lack of booms. 

Chris

Offline red admiral

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #122 on: October 25, 2018, 11:43:13 am »
SAAB are opposing a non-competitive selection for the E-7. SAAB is planning an offer which would integrate the Erieye radar and SAAB ESM onto the current A330 Voyager fleet.

Don't need a  competition to say that paying to put a much much smaller radar on a much bigger platform isn't as cost/effective as buying off the shelf.

I'm not sure why so many of the uk defence commentariat want a competition.

Offline CJGibson

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #123 on: October 26, 2018, 01:32:45 am »
Of course, the MoD will quite probably put the SAAB kit in a G550 rather than the Global Express and flog the Sentinels.

Or am I being cynical?

Mind you, they could do the usual British 'leapfrog' and put the kit in a HALE UAV. 

Chris

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #124 on: October 26, 2018, 05:28:01 am »
The Sentinel fleet is only scheduled to survive until 2021 (who knows if another reprieve will come in), but I guess rebuilding them into AEW configuration would be complicated and expensive.
Would a business jet really have enough endurance and internal space for the role? The MoD seem keen on having lots of operators and its not beyond the realms of fantasy to see them taking on some of the Rivet Joint/Airseeker role.

I think the desire for a competition is partly from the mistaken assumption that such contests are 'fairer' and provide 'value for money' etc. (yawn), partly because of the large amount of business that seems to be honing Boeing's way lately, and partly because the various oversight bodies have no faith in the MoD to spot and execute a good deal.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #125 on: November 03, 2018, 04:32:39 am »
Looks like the E-7 is more or less a done deal for the U.K.

Quote
“Final assembly of the E-7 aircraft and radar combination would be undertaken in the UK and Boeing have confirmed that it intends to use the same facility to meet any future E-7 sales opportunities for other customers. Through-life, we anticipate that support and training would be undertaken within the UK, directly leading to UK jobs.”

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/final-assembly-of-e-7-aircraft-and-radar-combination-to-be-undertaken-in-the-uk/

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #126 on: November 05, 2018, 07:35:42 am »
The National Audit Office is still warning of an up to £14.8 billion shortfall in the MoD equipment budget over the next ten years.
It wants the MoD to be clearer about which programmes its actually going ahead with or dropping, the tendency to delay acquisitions adding additional costs for no benefit.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/nov/05/mods-potential-14bn-budget-shortfall-may-make-equipment-unaffordable

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uk-watchdog-concerned-by-defence-funding-shortfall-453465/

EDIT: added Flightglobal link. Of interest is that the E-7 acquisition is still unfunded at the current time.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 05:01:49 am by Hood »

Offline Foo Fighter

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #127 on: November 10, 2018, 07:17:46 am »
The MOD likes to prevaricate and 'update' specs at whim it seems and has done for longer than I have been on the planet.  Get it done and PLAN for updates once in service, or go back to wasting more money as is the current/past practice.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #128 on: November 10, 2018, 07:30:08 am »
To be fair, the Treasury is a major obstacle to any sane defence policy at the best of times.
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline steelpillow

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #129 on: November 11, 2018, 03:49:39 am »
Military procurement
A morality play in one (interminable) act.

MOD: We want the moon - on a stick.
Treasury: Well, you can't have it.
MOD: Can we have the moon on  its own, then?
Treasury: No. We'll let you have the stick, though.
MOD: Can we have a stick with a sort of moon-y bit on one end?
Treasury: Actually, we have just had to cut back. You can have one end of the stick only, for now. We'll fund the other end in five years time.
MoD: Dear Industry, please quote for a one-ended stick.
Industry: That's not possible.
MoD: Then you don't get the order.
Industry: OK, we've had a rethink, If you order a stick and specify one end, we'll deliver what you ask for.
MoD: OK
Industry: Here it is, then.
MoD: This stick has two ends. We only ordered one end.
Industry: We always told you a one-ended stick was impossible.
MoD: But you accepted our order.
Industry: That was on an unspecified basis for the other end, you never said /not/ to include it.
Treasury: This stick fails to meet our strict instruction. The other end will have to come off.
Industry: That will cost, and we give no performance guarantees of the result.
Treasury: How much?
Industry: [Whipser]
Treasury: HOW MUCH??!?
Industry: Take it or leave it.
MoD: We are getting desperate.
Treasury: Well, OK then, but just this once.
Industry: here you are, then.
MoD: It still has another end.
Industry: Yes, but it's not the same other end, we sawed that off.
MoD: And it's still useless, the moon-y bit is hopeless.
Industry: We can fix that - at a price.
Treasury: How much?
Industry: [Whipser]
Treasury: HOW MUCH???!!!?
Industry: Take it or leave it.
MoD: We are getting increasingly desperate.
Treasury: Well, OK then, but just this once.
ad nauseam...
« Last Edit: November 11, 2018, 03:55:31 am by steelpillow »
Cheers.

Offline Grey Havoc

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The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #131 on: February 06, 2019, 02:27:37 am »
The MOD is conducting an operational analysis study to establish the size of its future helicopter inventory and capabilities.
Speculation is that a high-speed helicopter could be acquired to replace the Puma and Merlin fleets and may affect the planned buy of further Chinooks.
It would seem the FVL would be a logical contender (similar language of "urban canyons" being used as a justification), although I would be surprised if the MOD went entirely towards US-buys for the entire helicopter fleet given the industrial base Leonardo have in the UK.
Of course this could well be hints of an Osprey purchase too, which has been rumoured for some time.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/uk-military-studies-high-speed-helicopter-benefits-455543/
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 02:29:15 am by Hood »

Offline Hood

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Re: Rearming the UK: What equipment? and how much?
« Reply #132 on: February 12, 2019, 02:03:30 am »
The latest announcements are somewhat out of the blue.

Two ferries or container ships will be converted into amphibious warfare vessels to operate alongside Bulwark and Albion. This seems to indicate a change of heart given both ships were slated for the axe (the cynic in me foresees the two merchant conversions taking their place in reality - the political wag could have fun with this, given the Conservative's problems with ferries lately).
Also, for £7m a squadron of anti-radar swarming drones which will be acquired by the end of the year.
Neither concept seems fully fleshed out yet though.

https://www.ft.com/content/4ee70c9a-2df6-11e9-ba00-0251022932c8?fbclid=IwAR032mKapJD9cwS8JCJ9a2m-ntRWaV47Qr16h0wVudsM0QMsvoONP-sDQKU
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/feb/11/uk-will-deploy-drone-squadrons-after-brexit-says-defence-secretary-gavin-williamson