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Subject: Interresting extractions from the Strategic Defense and Security Review
FCUS    10/21/2010 5:39:23 AM
As a frenchman, I found this review very interresting and promising for the future of both our armed forces. I extracted some parts of it and I would like to discuss them with british SP posters (though anyone can discuss them of course^^) 1- "We will also intensify our security and defence relationship with France. The UK and France are active members of NATO, the EU and the UN Security Council, are Nuclear Weapon States, and have similar national security interests. Our Armed Forces are of comparable size and capability and it is clear that France will remain one of the UK’s main strategic partners. [...] We expect the next UK/France Summit to develop ideas for closer cooperation in a number of areas, including:improved interoperability, information sharing, and logistics cooperation, developing joint military doctrine and training, extending bilateral cooperation on the acquisition of equipment and technologies, for example in the areas of complex weapons including unmanned aerial systems [...]" 2- "A single carrier needs to be fully effective. As currently designed, the Queen Elizabeth will not be fully interoperable with key allies, since their naval jets could not land on it. Pursuit of closer partnership is a core strategic principle for the Strategic Defence and Security Review because it is clear that the UK will in most circumstances act militarily as part of a wider coalition. We will therefore install catapult and arrestor gear. This will delay the in-service date of the new carrier from 2016 to around 2020. But it will allow greater interoperability with US and French carriers and naval jets" "In terms of the Royal Navy, we will complete the construction of two large aircraft carriers. The Government believes it is right for the United Kingdom to retain, in the long term, the capability that only aircraft carriers can provide – the ability to deploy air power from anywhere in the world, without the need for friendly air bases on land. In the short term, there are few circumstances we can envisage where the ability to deploy airpower from the sea will be essential. That is why we have, reluctantly, taken the decision to retire the Harrier aircraft, which has served our country so well. But over the longer term, we cannot assume that bases for land-based aircraft will always be available when and where we need them. That is why we need an operational carrier. But the last Government committed to carriers that would have been unable to work properly with our closest military allies. It will take time to rectify this error, but we are determined to do so. We will fit a catapult to the operational carrier to enable it to fly a version of the Joint Strike Fighter with a longer range and able to carry more weapons. Crucially, that will allow our carrier to operate in tandem with the US and French navies, and for American and French aircraft to operate from our carrier and vice versa. And we will retain the Royal Marine brigade, and an effective amphibious capability." => I read somewhere that they would only build the hull of the second carrier and probably sell it. I hope to France since we will never build a second carrier, but I also heard they would consider Brazil... 3- "Work in alliances and partnerships wherever possible to generate stronger responses. To deliver this we require: [...] greater sharing of military capabilities, technologies and programmes, and potentially more specialisation, working with key allies, including France, and based on appropriate formal guarantees where necessary" Please share! source: *ttp://
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Volkodav       10/21/2010 6:43:18 AM
Maybe the second carrier could be sold to Argentina?
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Armchair Private    The Economist's Bagehot   10/21/2010 5:46:12 PM
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FCUS    very good article...   10/22/2010 4:37:03 AM
....I especially liked this part, funny and straight to the point analysis:
"Asked by an MP what had changed to make Britain so keen to work with France, the prime minister said that (a) President Nicolas Sarkozy was very keen on this planned cooperation, (b) Mr Sarkozy had shown willing by putting France back into the military command structures of NATO and (c) that France and Britain were both determined to maintain and enhance their defence capabilities. To translate these cautious words into plain English, Mr Cameron was telling MPs: (a) France is a serious military power, indeed the only other serious military power in Europe (b) Mr Sarkozy is a radical pragmatist whose decision to rejoin NATO's military structures buried decades of Gaullist anti-Americanism and (c) like Britain, France is broke"
I agree with the author when he points out that such cooperation could only work if the two persons in office share the same view, or at least similar ones. I read that analysis on french blogs who also mentionned the reelection and Martine Aubry problem. However, that seems to be the only argument against this cooperation.
The military budgets are being torn apart in Europe, sadly, and if France and the UK (and also Germany) want to remain credible military powers, they have to work together.
In addition, interoperability between allies is essential! The SDR quotes that the carriers won't be available before 2020, and british pilots need to maintain their level and thus train on US of French carriers (maybe they already do, i don't know). Such trainings are rife between the US and France (eventhough we know France needs it more than the US...).
Thanks again for sharing your link, it was very informative. What the author points out is probably what british commanders think...
ps: i found one hilarious comment bellow the article, I had to share:
fordco wrote:
Oct 20th 2010 10:37 GMT

I'm slightly confused how this sharing aircraft carriers is meant to work.

What if - to pick an entirely random example - the French pilots want to surrender but the British sailors want to fight on?

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