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Subject: Utterly depressing Beedal editorial
EssexBoy    12/21/2006 2:32:19 PM
RB has produced his 2006 review. Grim reading. Hope his inside info is wrong. http:navy-matters.beedal.com
 
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Yimmy       12/21/2006 7:00:35 PM
Perhaps we should rename the Royal Navy, "The Army Fishery Protection Squadron", or somesuch...


 
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EssexBoy    Future of the RN?   12/22/2006 1:38:51 PM
Yimmy
 
Do you think it's worth having the sort of RN RB thinks the Mod are planning?
 
Just to re-cap: we're down to one small carrier with no air defence fighters, two small LPH (with one going into refit) and obsolete AAW destroyers (until the T45s come in). If the rest of RB's rumours are correct (see below) then in my opinion we might as well not bother having a navy. Would it be worth it even if we got two decent carriers? Perhaps we should give up, equip the RN with OPVs and corvettes, and keep our heads down. (Uncle Sam's a bit busy at the moment, but I'm sure Uncle Jacques will look after us).
 
It makes me laugh that the Blair still talks about the need for the UK to replace Trident, to maintain out position in the world, when our conventional forces are in such a state. Talk about the emperor not having any clothes. Has anybody told these f**ckwits that we live on an island?
 
If the government is not willing to fund the armed forces so that they can meet their commitments, then they need to reduce our commitments. This is ofcourse something they won't do as Blair likes to pretend we're still a major player so that he can go swanning off around the world playing the statesman.
 
Oh and btw I have absolutely no confidence that Tories would be any different if they got in.
 
Excerpt from the Navy-Matters editorial (hope RB doesn't mind).
 
"The RN related options now apparently being considered by the MOD include:
  • Formal cancellation (long expected) of plans to build the seventh and eighth T45 destroyers (twelve were originally planned).   The budget of about £1.1 billion is apparently significantly less than BAE Systems has bid
  • The additional cancellation of the sixth (HMS Duncan) and even fifth (HMS Defender) Type 45 Batch 2 destroyers – possible sale of the bare hulls to BAE Systems for completion for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Reducing the escort force by six units, from 25 to 19.  This would apparently be achieved by the removal from service of Type 22 Batch 3 frigates and Type 42 Batch 2 destroyers, and possibly a T23 frigate.  Saving about £150 million a year
  • Reduction of the Assault Ship (LPD) HMS Albion to extended readiness (i.e. reserve)
  • Closure or significant down grading of a naval base – probably HMNB Portsmouth
  • A cut of 2000 in RN manpower (from 32,000 to 30,000, excluding Royal Marines).  Direct pay and allowances saving of about £60 million a year plus indirect savings
  • Conversion of some of the RN’s 41 Merlin HMA.1 ASW helicopters to a troop carrying 'Commando' role.  This would allow the rejection or reduction of some of the costly alternative tactical transport helicopter procurements currently being considered as a high priority
  • Cancellation of the Shaman Communications ESM system.  Saving of up to £140 million
  • Transfer of command of the Royal Marines Corps to the Army.  Financial savings from standardisation, economies of scale and eliminated duplication"
And all this at a time when the government wants to spend billions on a hideously invasive ID scheme that won't make us more secure, won't reduce benefit fraud, and will definitely cost far more than planned. Seriously, I don't know why they don't just tattoo a f**king bar code on our foreheads and have done with it.
 
Rant over.
 
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Herc the Merc    Frankly UK has no enemies   12/22/2006 1:43:06 PM
So whats the fuss--who would want to attack a cold muggy cloudy country where the only flavorfull dish is curry chicken.
And barring some great musicians there is nothing worthwhile to warrant another Battle for Great Britain.
 
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Yimmy    Essexboy   12/22/2006 2:46:16 PM
I do rather like the thought of the RN throwing their toys out of the pram spo to speak, and telling Blair to go poke his navy, while selling off everything in favour of River class fishery protection vessels - but the sad fact of life is, after a few months for the fuss to die down, we would just see more cuts according to the status quo of the day, and we would be counting OPV's rather than Frigates.

In my eyes, the problem is the RAF.  Quite simply they hog far too much of the defence budget, while we don't need them anymore, they are filling an obsolete requirement.  Possibly what amazes me the most in that article, is where it states we are actually cutting down F35 numbers from 150 to 132, while we are still buying 232 of a vastly inferior, shorter ranged and non-carrier capable aicraft.

To be honest, the only way I can see the RN being given the priority and according share of the budget it deserves, is if some kind of tragedy were to strike one of our warships, and give the mass-media something to latch onto and bitch to the government about.  Given how our Type 42's don't have a working sonar, or ship launched torpedos anymore due to cost cutting, any old rust-bucket Iranian submarine could sink it without so much as trying.  The first the ship would know about it would be when the torpedos were impacting the hull.


 
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Padfoot       12/22/2006 9:13:19 PM
I think Beedall is a bit of a masochist, it seems he enjoys the negative a bit too much. "The RN related options now apparently being considered by the MOD include:..."  Bad journalism that, he could get a job at the The Sun or some other prestigious rag with the sort turgid reporting.

 Isn't it fair to say that he isn't telling the full story, after all numbers aren't everything in a modern navy, are they? Having 50 or 60  escorts and 29 nuke attack boats to defend against what exactly, another cold war? surely this would just be wasting money?

Beedall also likes to compare defence budgets, yet he doesn't compare Britain's with her peers, only the USA. Bit silly that, don't you think? I have it that the 2005 defence budgets were as follows:(USD)  France $41.6 billion, Germany $30.2 billion, Japan$44.7 billion, UK $51.1 billion.

Personally, I would rather have the RN of 2015 with her far more reaching role than the monolithic cold war fleet, large on numbers, but limited as to what she could actually achieve.


 
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Yimmy       12/22/2006 9:46:54 PM

Personally, I would rather have the RN of 2015 with her far more reaching role than the monolithic cold war fleet, large on numbers, but limited as to what she could actually achieve.


But we need numbers to achieve our current and future commitments.  Indeed, the head of the Royal Navy recently mentioned the likely need to sacrifice on quality, in favour of quantity.  As it is, we simply do not have enough escorts to undertake our taskings.

We need carriers and amphibious assets to project conventional fighting capabilities onto enemies shores.  Thankfully the SSBN's protect themselves, but the carriers and amphibs need escorting.  This is while we need our escorts hunting for drugs in the Americas, or patrolling North Korean waters, or the Gulf etc etc.  Escorts can not be in two places at once.

It is interesting to compare our budget to Japans.  In turn it may be interesting to compare our navy to Japans.  I believe they have 45 escorts at the moment to our 19 - while it is not as though we have much more in the way of carriers or submarines as it stands.

As for wear the RN is being allowed to improve itself - the Type 45's look like they will be fantastic ships.  But only six in the class? And why only 48 missiles when contemporary air-warfare destroyers have as many as I believe 89? And why arn't they being fitted with land attack missiles, which is possibly the best way in which the RN can support land campaigns other than carrier air-power?

As I see it, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their expense, are risking damaging the RN to a huge degree, and a degree which will never be repaired.  At the rate we are going, in the near-future our armed forces will be spent, and will not be combat effective, unless we throw some serious amounts of money at them.

 
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EW3    Yimmy    12/22/2006 10:00:25 PM
 "And why only 48 missiles when contemporary air-warfare destroyers have as many as I believe 89? "
 
Is that launchers or missiles?   
To a degree the 4x ESSM cell actually makes our VLS ships almost overarmed if that is possible.
 
BTW - really enjoyed your countryman Nicholas Patrick on this shuttle mission. He did a bang up job there.  We has very skilled at his jobs and did some delightful interviews.   Hope he's getting the press he deserves over there.
He really needs to get some more education and spreuce up these credentials though 
 
EDUCATION: Harrow School, London, England, 1978-82.
B.A., Engineering, University of Cambridge, England, 1986.
M.A. Cantab., Engineering, University of Cambridge, England, 1990.
S.M., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1990.
Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1996.

EXPERIENCE: While at university, Dr. Patrick learned to fly as a member of the Royal Air Force’s Cambridge University Air Squadron, and spent his summers as a civil engineer in New York and Connecticut. After graduating from Cambridge, he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as an engineer for the Aircraft Engines Division of GE. He then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he was a teaching assistant and then a research assistant in the Human-Machine Systems Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests included telerobotics, aviation psychology, decision theory, optimization, and econometrics. While at MIT, he worked as a flight instructor at Hanscom Field and as a statistician and programmer for a medical and robotic products company. Upon completion of his doctorate, Dr. Patrick joined Boeing’s Commercial Airplane Group in Seattle, Washington, where he worked in Flight Deck Engineering as a systems and human-factors engineer on many of Boeing’s commercial aircraft models.

Dr. Patrick has logged over 1,900 hours as a pilot in more than 20 types of airplane and helicopter, including over 800 hours as a flight instructor in the Boston, Seattle, and Houston areas.

 
 
 
 
 
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Padfoot       12/23/2006 4:09:13 AM



But we need numbers to achieve our current and future commitments.  Indeed, the head of the Royal Navy recently mentioned the likely need to sacrifice on quality, in favour of quantity.  As it is, we simply do not have enough escorts to undertake our taskings.

We need carriers and amphibious assets to project conventional fighting capabilities onto enemies shores.  Thankfully the SSBN's protect themselves, but the carriers and amphibs need escorting.  This is while we need our escorts hunting for drugs in the Americas, or patrolling North Korean waters, or the Gulf etc etc.  Escorts can not be in two places at once.

It is interesting to compare our budget to Japans.  In turn it may be interesting to compare our navy to Japans.  I believe they have 45 escorts at the moment to our 19 - while it is not as though we have much more in the way of carriers or submarines as it stands.

As for wear the RN is being allowed to improve itself - the Type 45's look like they will be fantastic ships.  But only six in the class? And why only 48 missiles when contemporary air-warfare destroyers have as many as I believe 89? And why arn't they being fitted with land attack missiles, which is possibly the best way in which the RN can support land campaigns other than carrier air-power?

As I see it, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their expense, are risking damaging the RN to a huge degree, and a degree which will never be repaired.  At the rate we are going, in the near-future our armed forces will be spent, and will not be combat effective, unless we throw some serious amounts of money at them.

Japan has 45 escorts to our 19? Where did you get 19 from, Yimmy? The Royal navy has 25 escorts. Furthermore, a cursory glance over the Japanese fleet - even to an untrained eye, doesn't leave one green with envy. Besides the Kongo class destroyers, the Japanese fleet ain't much to write home about.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Maritime_Self-Defense_Force )

 
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Lawman       12/23/2006 7:03:59 AM
I seem to remember reading that the Type 45s were already capable of taking another 24 VLS cells for land attack missiles. What I would love to see would be the UK adopting the ESSM missile, but with the seeker from the Meteor AAM, which would give a truly impressive missile capability - e.g. 32 Aster 30, 64 UK-ESSM and 24 Tomahawks!
 
Lets just hope that Gordon Brown gets hit by a bus, and defence spending actually rises to meet the requirements. If that happens, lets just hope the RN actually get some more ships - even just building more Type 45s, replacing all the other types in service (unit cost would fall if it were built in larger numbers).
 
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EssexBoy    Toys and prams scenario   12/23/2006 7:21:54 AM
I think you might be on to something there Yimmy. I wonder what the effect would be if the heads of the Army and Navy (I doubt the head of the RAF would join in) went to Downing street, handed in their resignations, walked out to meet the media and said something along the lines of:
 
"We have today resigned because the government has made it impossible for the armed forces to do their job. We are being asked to do too much with too little. The army is stretched to breaking point and our problems with retention and recruitment are becoming critical. Our lack of equipment, in particular of battlefield helicopters and armoured vehicles, has resulted in unecessary casualties. The Royal Navy is now unable to defend itself from air attack and is incapable of projecting force independantly of the USA or France. For example, we would not now be able to re-capture the Falkland Islands were Argentina to invade again. Finally, the RAF is committed to buying 232 obscenely expensive fighter jets which are wholly unsuited to the tasks they are most likely to be called upon to perform in the foreseable future. In short, the government has, through their short-sightedness and incompetence, betrayed the men and women who have volunteered to serve their country. We can no longer serve such a government."
 
Got to be worth a go?
 
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