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Subject: Its 2009...
Armchair Private    5/2/2007 4:32:30 PM
Iraq has wound down in terms of UK commitment, Afghanstan is still on going. 2CVFs are on order due for 2014ish, this at the expense of a large proportion of the surface fleet. 4 T45s are guaranteed, with hulls 5 and 6 going to the Saudis, along with 70 Typhoons from the UK's alotted 232. 130 F35s are on order but concerns are mounting over delays in the programme and massive cost over runs. Rumours are that the democratic President may cancel the STOVL F35B to trim the budget. FRES still appears to be a set of requirements looking for a solution. A new Conservative Govt scrapes in on the back of public weariness of Labour. Unexpectedly they offer the armed services an extra £3bn a year. What should it be spent on?
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Yimmy       5/2/2007 4:57:15 PM
Housing, pay, and barracks facilities for serving army soldiers.
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Herc the Merc    F22s or F-35s   5/2/2007 6:57:33 PM
We can give u some neat subs too. We will throw in an extra tent and beer for Yimmy. Deal??
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perfectgeneral       5/3/2007 7:11:58 AM
The two CVF, if ordered straight away would be ready in 2014 and 2017. Let's have a third one for £2bn ready in 2020. The F-35b cancelation would be awkward, but not insurmountable. They can always be finished off as CTOL carriers, equipped with 150 F-35c and 8 E2-d Hawkeye. These would cost less than £10bn and the money could come out of several year's budgets. The French have ensured that the plans are ready for a CTOL version of CVF.

By 2009 the production line for Type 45 hulls is winding down. There would be no cost saving in re-opening it. A new design, longer, 10,000t  Type 46  light cruiser should be ordered. The larger flight deck and hanger allowing three ASW Merlin to be moved from CVF to each of these dedicated AAW escorts.  A batch of six ships, contracted for all at once would be ready from 2014-2020 at a rate of one a year.

Leaving Iraq will save a billion pounds a year, while staying in Afganistan will cost about the same. Cuts in ground troops will have to be reversed to cope with long term stretch eating into training time. A forth manover unit for the RM would allow the First Rifles Bn to branch off into One Commando (army) along with three new Bn. The extra air assault and mountain warfare specialists will be useful in 'Stan. The engineers, RA and dog handling section would also be expanded. Three thousand extra boots on the ground all told.

We need more Chinooks and Merlins now, let alone in 2009. These are the FRES that has learnt lessons from Iraq and Afganistan. The more you travel in the air the less roadside bombs you meet. If the C-17 production line is still going then order seven more.

Any money left over from these procurements should be aimed at training and easing the stretch.

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perfectgeneral    232 Typhoons is writen in blood on stone   5/3/2007 7:56:03 AM
There is no way that the Typhoon purchase can be reduced (bit of a liability I know). The penalty clause for not ordering all 232 for the RAF would cost as much as ordering them. So why not have them?
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Yimmy       5/3/2007 11:19:31 AM

There is no way that the Typhoon purchase can be reduced (bit of a liability I know). The penalty clause for not ordering all 232 for the RAF would cost as much as ordering them. So why not have them?

But why not sell them off in a "Late end of the Cold War car boot sale"?
A short range air-defence fighter of their caliber would be excellent for Israel.
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Armchair Private       5/3/2007 1:34:58 PM

There is no way that the Typhoon purchase can be reduced (bit of a liability I know). The penalty clause for not ordering all 232 for the RAF would cost as much as ordering them. So why not have them?

we can have them, avoid the penalty charge and still sell some on.
Though i wouldn't go as far as Yimmy and leave the UK without an air superiority fighter....
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flamingknives       5/3/2007 2:10:15 PM
It might be worthwhile to draw a comparison between tanks and planes, bear with me:

The M1 Abrams and the Leopard 2 are vastly more successful than the Challenger and Leclerc when it comes to export sales. I can't help but think that this is due to the quantities procured for the cold war and then sold off cheap at the end of it. Perhaps one could swing the Eurofighter the same way? Although jet aircraft don't age as well as MBTs.
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flamingknives       5/3/2007 2:28:45 PM
Note to self: read whole thread before posting:

Item 1: The US wouldn't sell us F22 or give us the necessary software codes to have full authority over our own aircraft. I don't now and probably never will understand just how paranoid the US can be about military technology. As a case in point, there are few to no RAF Phantom IIs in museums in the UK, due to US-stipulated rules about disposal. They will, however, sell almost anything to Israel who seem to pass it on to the Chinese five times out of ten.
That goes for the submarines too.

Item 2: The production line for the T45 might be winding down, but it would be vastly, vastly, massively and utterly cheaper to produce more of a proven design than to develop a new, different and untested design to do things that the T45 can do already. Perhaps fit some of that "for-but-not-with" kit. BTW, what is a light cruiser in modern terminology anyway? IIRC the original distincation was 6" guns rather than 8" Most of the problems we have is lack of ships. more small ones would be better than some ruddy great big targets. You would, I think, get better career progression, better coverage, less timidity and a better manufacturing base with more smaller ships.

Item 3: You can't produce soldiers in a factory. More of what Yimmy is after to improve recruitment and retention is what you would need to bolster the troops you have.

Item 4: C17s are strategic transport. They wouldn't help avoid IEDs and roadside ambushes. C130s and A400M would be better suited. More helicopters would be sensible, although some LUHs capable of operating hot-and-high would be better than using a Chinook for casevac. But of course you need pilots.
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perfectgeneral       5/16/2007 6:06:11 AM
Putting the C-17 procurement in the same paragraph as the Helo/FRES comments muddied the water somewhat. It was the Merlin/Chinook that I expected to replace FRES. Although some new C130J would be good too.

New barracks and greater support for families will help retention as well as recruitment. I believe that some of this is already in the pipeline. I had assumed that obsticles would have to be overcome to recruit (and train) 3000 extra.

The Light Cruiser is a design that is based on the T45 (stretched). Yes it could have a 155mm gun (ex AS90 spArty - common ammo and cheap, but I don't think a carrier escort needs one as a priority. Yes we need lots of hulls, but why should they all be smaller? Carrier escorts need to be big to keep up in rough sea states. These would also make good convoy escorts (if a little over qualified).

I've heard a lot of arguements for a C3/OPV/corvette/sloop but I think that they are a poor compromise. A light frigate of 3000 tonnes is about as small as is useful to the RN. By all means kit this out with containerised mission packs and flexible deck space, but don't fritter defence budget on 30-odd coast guard cutters.

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flamingknives       5/16/2007 1:51:45 PM
I was questioning the designation of "Light Cruiser" rather than the T45-relatedness.
I suppose that technically it would be a light cruiser, if it had a 155mm (about 6") gun. But being as guns aren't how these things are measured these days, and there are no heavy cruisers anyway, it seems to be a bit of a meaningless distnction. Make it a Cruiser or not.

Why go smaller? Smaller hulls cost less to make, run and crew. Maybe corvette class is too small, but something bigger than 6,000 tonne class seems too big. Save the crew and the gear for carriers and more smaller vessels that you can use rather than a limited and costly run of large ships that are too expensive to commit. If you want something in the 6000 tonne class, some of those Danish multi-role ships look like a clever concept.

Regarding FRES and air transport, you still need the pilots, and there is a line of argument that would suggest that giving up on the roads basically cedes the battlespace to your enemy. For all the airplanes and shiney things, the only way to secure ground is to put someone on it directly. That's what FRES is for and what helicopters and Hercules cannot ever do.

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