Hood

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Opportunistic Minnow

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Time to reconsider SSN numbers, SSBN numbers and further expansion of sustainable warheads.

Now in many circles, I would be considered a hawk but as much as I'd like a fifth bomber "just in case", I really do fail to see any justification for increasing warhead numbers. How/why are current numbers inadequate?
 

zen

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Time to reconsider SSN numbers, SSBN numbers and further expansion of sustainable warheads.

Now in many circles, I would be considered a hawk but as much as I'd like a fifth bomber "just in case", I really do fail to see any justification for increasing warhead numbers. How/why are current numbers inadequate?
In a word....China.
 

Opportunistic Minnow

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Trying to chase China's numerical advantage(s) is a hiding to nowhere. If 100 nukes (say) are no deterrent, I don't see 200 being any more-so. The deterrent should ward off any existential threat to "home" but it isn't going to curb or contain anyone's *adventurism* elsewhere. Anything more than nominal increases is of little worth IMO.

More Astutes I can get behind however!
 

uk 75

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During the Cold War the Soviet Union was a relatively easy driver for the shape and size of the UK Armed Forces
Nuclear Deterrent able to remove Moscow
Forces in Germany able to stand on the North German plain and keep the nuclear threshold as high as possible.
Forces able to support the US in getting its reinforcements across the North Atlantic.
After 1991 the Balkans and the Middle East shaped a much reduced defence budget.
In 2021 with a post Covid return to 1970s problems like inflation and menaces ranging from Russia and China to terrorist groups all over the world including homegrown nutters of various stripes.
We probably will keep little bits of every capability we can. Despite its political instability the US is the only game in town as our essential big ally. It's still a lot better than say France in 1939.
 

zen

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I think the topic of how many nukes we need on what delivery systems is.....after a bit of musing on the topic. One that really needs it's own thread.

Because there is a debate to be had over the matter. Not just in the usual yes/no to nukes.
 

Grey Havoc

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uk 75

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I remaim nostalgic for the 70s Airportable Infantry Brigades with their light artillery and simple Scorpion/Scimitar family. Easily moved by air to the NATO flanks.
Freed from the clunky kit required by BAOR the Army can do what it does best provide decent, professional infantry.
 

Pirate Pete

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I know this discussion is more aligned to the current ‘real’ world, but in the opening statement of this thread, there was reference to the 1960’s when a lot of the problems with budgets and revenue available was REALLY highlighted.
Try NOT to get embroiled in the age-old the RAF moved islands and cheated in their arguments for air cover capabilities out East, the attached is an extract from a book/article I read in the Portsmouth Central Library (as it was then) Naval Reference Section, and it proposed a so-called ‘affordable’ fleet structure.
I appreciate that it was wishful thinking, beating in mind the prevailing political and economic climate at the time, but, and it had been said on these boards previously, HOW money was allocated/spent could have been done differently and dare I said more logically.
Anyway, this could give a starting point, or even, tweaked so that a modern version of the ‘wish fleet’ could be achieved.
Wish I had a note if the original publication details!!
 

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Pirate Pete

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Of course, the preceding, with the obvious exception of the suggestion of nuclear power for the aircraft carriers is not quite so ‘pie in the sky’ as the proposal by the Director of Plans for a possible 1965 fleet as ‘suggested’ in the mid 1950’s.
This is from Norman Friedman’s’Postwar Naval Revolution’.
 

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Hood

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An interesting study, pity that you don't have the source as it would be interesting to know who made the study.
Certainly a heavy EoS influence in the force planning, it doesn't seem to quite align with NATO priorities. What classes as affordable is different in everyone's eyes, it doesn't feel like a fleet that Britain could afford in the 1960s, it might have been hard pushed to do all that even in the 1950s when the funding taps were briefly turned on and US funds obtained too.
Even the 'Simple Frigate' seems at odds with what the Navy wanted then, they were leaning to simple but fast, partly to align with RAN needs but certainly closer to 45kt than 25kt!! But Type 21 would seem remarkable similar to this concept.
Likewise the nuclear-powered carriers seem to completely overlook CVA-01 but the build dates more or less align. In fact the construction times look very realistic for a study like this. For costs I'd need to do some cross-checking but presumably in terms of 1965 prices they were fairly realistic (pity inflation was rampant in the 60s and 70s).
 

starviking

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An interesting study, pity that you don't have the source as it would be interesting to know who made the study.
Certainly a heavy EoS influence in the force planning, it doesn't seem to quite align with NATO priorities. What classes as affordable is different in everyone's eyes, it doesn't feel like a fleet that Britain could afford in the 1960s, it might have been hard pushed to do all that even in the 1950s when the funding taps were briefly turned on and US funds obtained too.
Even the 'Simple Frigate' seems at odds with what the Navy wanted then, they were leaning to simple but fast, partly to align with RAN needs but certainly closer to 45kt than 25kt!! But Type 21 would seem remarkable similar to this concept.
Likewise the nuclear-powered carriers seem to completely overlook CVA-01 but the build dates more or less align. In fact the construction times look very realistic for a study like this. For costs I'd need to do some cross-checking but presumably in terms of 1965 prices they were fairly realistic (pity inflation was rampant in the 60s and 70s).
It certainly seems to align well with the EoS RN force studied in 62-63, as detailed in Ch 13 of Friedman's British Destroyers & Frigates: 2 CGBs and 1 ARG.
 

Hood

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Some naval updates: https://www.navylookout.com/royal-n...rSXrAsiJipypBIRQLm_SAbdA5QqADWAoQt2r36oxaIV0k

Take-away points:
- the Interim Surface to Surface Guided Weapon (I-SSGW) to replace Harpoon Block 1C will not go ahead.
- FASW seems to be the main bet for a new weapon.
- integration of SPEAR-3 on F-35 has slipped by another 4 years at will not achieve FOC until 2028.
- Type 31 frigates are being fitted “for but not with” (FFBNW) Mk41 VLS to allow future growth.
- Currently, 8 out of 12 Type 23s and 3 out of 6 Type 45s are available for operations, 80% availability is planned in the future but doubtful if can be reached.
- HMS Glasgow will replace the oldest towed array-equipped Type 23, HMS Westminster, Type 26 will replace the ASW Type 23s on a one-for-one basis.
- HMS Triumph’s refit in Devonport is well behind schedule and HMS Vanguard’s major refit and refuelling has over-run by more than a year. Sources say she is likely to leave the dockyard in early 2022.
- options are being studied to replace RFA Argus' Role 3 medical capability when she retires in 2024, either; extending her service for another 2 years to 2026, containerised/portable medical facilities (Role 2 only), adding medical facilities to one or more of the Fleet Solid Support Ships and/or the Multi-Role Support Ships
- options for autonomous mine warfare motherships are being considered, initially through modification of existing vessels. Autonomous minehunting systems will be deployed in the Gulf from 2023 onwards.
- Type 32 concept phase is underway and the vessel will be a general-purpose frigate. It could still be a “Type 31 Batch 2”, but its been named Type 32 as it's intended to be a significant technological advance over the Inspiration class. (The cynic in me thinks this will be a Type 31 but fitted "for and with", though the build dates might be after the bulk of Type 26 work so there might be a little more cash to splash.

On the RAF front, two additional Shadows are being acquired with the rest getting upgraded self-defensive suites.
Although the end of the article indicates a pivot away from terrorists and towards peer-states, bumbling about in a King Air to do your eavesdropping doesn't seem the most ideal solution.
https://www.flightglobal.com/fixed-...-two-aircraft-get-new-defences/146238.article
 

uk 75

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The UK finds itself in the most confused state for defence planning since 1933.
Between 1945 and 1991 we had the Soviet threat to focus on. Between 1991 and 2004 the focus moved to Iraq and Serbia.
Torn between the War on Terror and the increasingly belligerent Putin, the MOD has floundered around trying to balance the types of equipment it buys.
Since 2016 the situation has been confused further by Brexit, Covid and the US/China stand off.
There are echos of the 30s in the range of threats growing more than our capacity to arm against them.
 

AN/AWW-14(V)

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wp-elbit-_1636517809.jpg


Babcock International Group Awarded Elbit Systems UK a contract worth nearly $100 million to provide the Royal Navy with new Electronic Warfare capabilities under Increment 1 of the Maritime Electronic Warfare (EW) System Integrated Capability (MEWSIC) Program.
The contract will be performed over a period of 13 years and will include in-service support.

Under the Program, Elbit Systems UK will design, manufacture and deliver maritime Electronic Warfare (EW) suites comprised of fully digital full-spectrum Radar Electronic Support Measures (RESM) and EW Command and Control (EWC2) systems. These latest generation technologies will enhance the situational awareness and anti-ship missile defense of front-line platforms and improve their capability to exploit the electromagnetic environment.

 

zen

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Hmmmm...
I never knew that Oman had terrain like Poland and Ukraine!!!
 

uk 75

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This is interesting.
The UK seems to have decided to leave defence of the Continent to France and Germany.
If this is the case, moving the Suffield training area to Oman means that UK forces may be assigned to ops as diverse as Korea and Africa. It also commits us to confronting Iran.
Not sure how stable either Oman or Saudi are going to be in the coming years.
 

Foo Fighter

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Not the first time this has been suggested, last time the move was to Western Oz, obviously nothing came of it so, if it happens I will believe it.
 

PMN1

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Sure I saw on twitter a few weeks ago they were lready moving equipmnet out of Canada.
 

robunos

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Oh Gawd !!
Haven't HMG learned yet that the Middle East is Toxic ?
Keep away, or get dragged in, with all that that will entail . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 

Hood

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Well it looks safe until at least 2023.

If the Army is worried about having 22 tanks in Canada then maybe shrinking the armoured force to 148 was idiotic in the first place?

Also, how does having 22 tanks in Oman make any difference to getting tanks to Poland or the Ukraine? Still have to ship them via Suez and then overland via Greek or Italian ports unless the Army really thinks that a ship load of tanks will make it into the Black Sea unscathed?
Of course the article does mention “If they are training in Poland or Duqm, the logic is that they are having a more operational and deterrent effect" so that seems to indicate there will be access to Poland's ranges at least.
 

Opportunistic Minnow

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I think people may be in danger of misinterpreting this. I see it as exchanging one large, empty area (a sandbox if you will) for another. The change in venue/terrain isn't necessarily a statement of strategic intent. The "position closer to potential adversaries" is editorial fiat not necessarily fact.

It doesn't particularly matter what terrain the tanks are rolling on as long as there is plenty of space to make things go boom.

I suspect the Canadians simply charged too much. :)
 

Hood

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More details have now been announced in the new 'Future Solider' plan, looks like the plan is to have regional training centres in Germany (going back just as we left!), Kenya and Oman.

New stuff: a new Ranger Regiment (I won't bore you with the "transformational" kit like Apaches and Ajaxes - well it might transform your jawline if nothing else).
Some personnel cuts so the Regular Army will stand at 73,000 strong by 2025 and combined with an Army Reserve of 30,000.
Some tweaks to progression so privates could one day become generals.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/british-army-unveils-most-radical-transformation-in-decades

In his statement Ben Wallace stated
"I would have stayed in the army if it had looked like this. But I was in an army that I think was hollowed out. Equipment didn’t quite work. The greatest adventure you had was probably every two years going to Northern Ireland, but that was about as far as it went. Hong Kong had closed. And there was a lack of sense of purpose, in my view, and a lack of clearly-identified adversary that we were setting ourselves against. That was really important.... The determination to be out and about around the world - the one thing soldiers don’t want to be is stuck in a barracks, in the UK, sometimes doing not very much. They want to be out. I was in Oman only the other week seeing them exercising with the Omanis. They couldn’t stop talking about how exciting and fun it was. I was in Poland last week, watching the United Kingdom forces live firing alongside Polish, United States, Croatian forces, doing a live firing exercise in Poland. That’s what I want our army to do."
Not sure what he was doing in the Scots Guards during the 1990s... the Army has been out of barracks non-stop since the late 1990s and firing off live ammo all over the Middle East and Western Africa. I'm not sure many squaddies felt Northern Ireland was an adventure... and of course he might have mistaken Camp Bastion for Aldershot maybe?
 

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