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Subject: wtfo
sofa    3/29/2007 7:33:15 AM
random sentence found at random blog: The British Navy is scheduled in July 2007 to become smaller than the French Navy for the first time in over 400 years. Is this true?
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Yimmy       3/29/2007 7:53:36 AM
Don't know.
I imagine it to be wrong however.  Maybe it is correct by number of hulls, but I can't see us being beatern by the French in tonnage due to our RFA's et al, ours being a true expeditionary, sustainable force.
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nominoe       3/29/2007 9:00:53 AM
Royal navy future seems to be pretty dark, just look here :


RN capability, according to this website, has been cut in two since 1990 and the recent wars have stretched it even more.

you can't just look at the number of hulls or the tonnage. but RN carriers groups seem to be in a pretty bad shape :

"With the RN hoping for a rapid lift-off of the revamped naval side of Joint Force Harrier, 800 NAS operated its newly acquired Harrier GR.7s for the first time from the carrier HMS Illustrious during Operation Aquila – a short deployment East of Suez.  Unfortunately exercises quickly demonstrated just how vulnerable to even a moderate air threat the carrier now was without its own embarked fighters  – a situation not helped by the RN’s lack of modern air defence destroyers.  It thus was depressingly confirmed that in future RN strike carrier operations could only be conducted under the cover of RAF land based fighters; or of French or American carrier based fighters – in either case the costs associated with the deployment of maybe 7 short-ranged Harrier GR7/9’s from an RN carrier task group lacking adequate self defence capabilities would seem disproportionately small compared to the likely benefits that they would bring to the “show”."

The fact that the french have not been involved in irak and that chirac has managed to save money for the military since twelve years, underlines that french navy do not suffer the same problem as the RN. You can make jokes about charles de gaulle but at least it is a very valuable plateform for western allies and have full potential for self defense and operating real fighters and bombers.

So, unless the UK find money to stop this infernal spiral, it's only a matter of time that french navy become stronger.

What is the point of having 13 tankers if you don't have battle ships to supply? even RN LPD capabilities are not so impressive now the french are operating Tonnerre and Mistral both 16 000 t (which has been very effective during lebanon). As for new type 45 Daring, french launched Horizon first frigate Forbin and Chevalier Paul is following.

Only the submarine fleet keeps an edge over the french navy, for now.

there is nothing to be proud of however, because if RN become smaller than French navy, it's not because a good situation of the french. it's linked to the disastrous situation and future of the RN which is a shame for the whole europe.
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