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  • Geoff_B
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jul 2010
    • 507

    Any talk of smaller carriers depends on if the F-35B is still the preferred JCA option or if the F-35B actually enters service. If not then all these smaller ships are just LHA's limited to Helicopters.

    BTW Philbob most of the delays with CVF stem from the last Govt as they committed to the carrier replacements but then held back main gate, the actual order and then reset the delivery schedule to delay the program and increase costs.

    Comment

    • benroethig
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Aug 2010
      • 487

      Originally posted by flanker30 View Post
      It seems as if the Falklands War has been a disaster for the Royal Navy. The war itself was won, but the requirements of that particular war and the deficiencies it exposed seem to have dominated fleet planning and ship design in the navy since then, with the unfortunate result that there are too many largely single-purpose big ships. This type of fleet can be sustained only by a wealthy superpower, which Britain no longer is.

      The Royal Navy would be better off, IMHO, aiming for a fleet of 3 to 6 ~30,000 ton capital ships that are multipurpose carrier/LHA/LHD type ships, along the lines of the BPE/Canberra class. They may not have the 'sortie generation rate' of the CVFs, but (a) they would not be as expensive; (b) there would always be at least two available; and (c) if you really need to invade some serious opponent's country, then send two or three of these ships to provide the required air power.

      Just a thought....
      On the contrary, it showed the opposite. The cost cutting measures led to a situation where lives were lost and despite the perception as some kind of grand victory, the argies were a few unexploded bombs away from essentially decimating the combat capability of the royal navy. If the less than stellar capabilities of the SHAR weren't there, it would have been a blood bath. No matter how good you think your AAW ship is, it will never be as good in defending against an air attack as a fighter...and whatever you do don't send those AAW ships into service with an obsolete radar in order to save money.

      Comment

      • Liger30
        Armed Forces supporter
        • Jul 2010
        • 901

        Originally posted by benroethig View Post
        On the contrary, it showed the opposite. The cost cutting measures led to a situation where lives were lost and despite the perception as some kind of grand victory, the argies were a few unexploded bombs away from essentially decimating the combat capability of the royal navy. If the less than stellar capabilities of the SHAR weren't there, it would have been a blood bath. No matter how good you think your AAW ship is, it will never be as good in defending against an air attack as a fighter...and whatever you do don't send those AAW ships into service with an obsolete radar in order to save money.
        That's the same reason why observations like "but Trident has never been used" make me shiver.

        Trident IS being used, and it is the MOST EFFECTIVE WEAPON EVER: because its existance ensures that we don't have to use it. A weapon capable to destroy the world, and people goes saying smart things like "it never is used..."

        Trident has been effective in granting the Cold War would stay COLD. As it is, it has been the best investment EVER.
        You can't expect it to prevent any small war, it can't prevent the Falklands (good carrier-borne air power does that better), but the atomic bombs granted europe 70 years of peace.

        People still don't get it.
        The truth is that Trident, just like the carriers, work TOO WELL.
        As soon as the Royal Navy announced it was going to scrap its carriers, Argentina moved. Too good deterrence the carriers had been, preventing any attempt of Argies to move! "We don't need them. We never use them!"
        How much did the Falklands war cost? Retain decent military power is always the less expensive way to go, at the end of the day, since it can prevent the start of a conflict.

        Europe forgot this lesson long ago. One of the last examples of people who knew this concept was that one German minister that, answering to people bitching about the noise of Tornado planes flying low, said "Love this sound, because it is the sound of Peace."

        Peace works in a room full of men armed with guns. But if one or a few of them aren't armed and the other ones are... Well, you can imagine.
        Bullying doesn't quite describe it.
        "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

        Comment

        • nocutstoRAF
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • May 2010
          • 954

          Just to be controversial - but as far as I am concerned having nuclear weapons is good but it does not matter if you need to launch 10 nuclear missiles to score one guaranteed hit or 2, the value is in possessing them. Therefore I much rather have less capable nuclear deterrent and have the money pumped into conventional forces, quite frankly the RN is too small and personally I feel a lot happier if they used the $5 billion of the $20 billion for Trident replacement, moved away from a continuous deterrent, to ensure the two CVF's are built and they can field two whole air wings
          If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

          Comment

          • Liger30
            Armed Forces supporter
            • Jul 2010
            • 901

            Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
            Just to be controversial - but as far as I am concerned having nuclear weapons is good but it does not matter if you need to launch 10 nuclear missiles to score one guaranteed hit or 2, the value is in possessing them. Therefore I much rather have less capable nuclear deterrent and have the money pumped into conventional forces, quite frankly the RN is too small and personally I feel a lot happier if they used the $5 billion of the $20 billion for Trident replacement, moved away from a continuous deterrent, to ensure the two CVF's are built and they can field two whole air wings
            Me too, to a degree. But just because the government once more betrayed the armed forces and forced an "Or this or that" situation upon the services.

            Trident SHOULD NOT and WAS NOT expected to be paid by the defence budget, as it is a POLITICAL instrument for the nation more than it is a weapon.

            That's why normally the nuke budget is SEPARATED from the defence budget (USA docet) and why it was expected to be separated in the UK as well.
            The truth is that the government does not want to give in the privileges and advantages that come with Trident, but don't wants to pay for them either.
            A shameful trick that puts defence in a disasterous situation.
            "It is upon the navy under the providence of God that the safety, honour and welfare of this realm do chiefly attend." - King Charles II

            Comment

            • Jonesy
              Neo-conversative
              • Jan 2000
              • 5097

              The Royal Navy would be better off, IMHO, aiming for a fleet of 3 to 6 ~30,000 ton capital ships that are multipurpose carrier/LHA/LHD type ships, along the lines of the BPE/Canberra class. They may not have the 'sortie generation rate' of the CVFs, but (a) they would not be as expensive; (b) there would always be at least two available; and (c) if you really need to invade some serious opponent's country, then send two or three of these ships to provide the required air power.

              Just a thought....
              Do we have to go through this again Flanker?.

              3 to 6 ships?. Bit of a range there isnt it?. If we accept that we need 3 BPE's to generate similar effects on target as 1 CVF then you must accept the need for at least 4, more likely, 5 hulls to sustain that capability.

              Its simple logic if, to cover the potential of one CVF, we need to deploy 3 BPE's then we have to send, and escort, not only three ships instead of one, but, 3 full crews instead of one. Why have the duplication in engineering, comms, logistics, sparing of all those LHD's when it can all be done with one CVF hull that is actually specced to perform the mission required of it?.

              Sorry but its just an absurd idea. We know what the sortie generation requirement is to generate the kind of effects on target we need to achieve. Its been studied in great detail. We know how to achieve that sortie generation rate with a hull that has future-proofing built in to eliminate the possibility of obsolscence if STOVL falls flat on its fanbay doors!.

              Building the ships is an economic generator all on its own and, with STOVL (on the off chance it does confound all observers and actually work!), allows for the costs of the airgroup to be shared between RN and RAF.

              CVF is the right ship at a very attractive price for the capability. STOVL is the right choice for the mission requirements, and the current economic climate, as it gives the widest possible mission capability with the minimum number of airframes and the lowest up-front and operational costs and it lets us leverage the most pull-through from our current resources. CVF was designed, from the outset, to give the absolute maximum return on the investment. It still represents best value.....it really is that simple.
              Last edited by Jonesy; 14th September 2010, 14:24.

              Comment

              • nocutstoRAF
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • May 2010
                • 954

                Well over on Think Defence the suggestion is that the decision to move Trident into the core defence budget is a cunning way of filling the Liberal Democrats pledge to avoid a like for like replacement of Trident while stopping the more right wing Conservatives from rebelling.

                http://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2010/0...r-disarmament/

                Personally I think it is slightly more clever than that - Conservatives know if they win the next election they will do so without the Liberals, and at that point their own back benchers will expect Trident replacement to go ahead and then the Treasury will cover the costs.

                However saying all that I think it certainly worth looking at who is deterred by the nuclear deterrent and what their capabilities will likely be over the next 20 years to decide what is the best system. For example will the French and German policy of engagement with Russia pay off, will Russia eventually become a key ally of EC - who knows (I think it is unlikely, but maybe we will see Dassault and Sukhoi team up for French-Russian 6th Generation fighter project in the future).
                If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                Comment

                • Jonesy
                  Neo-conversative
                  • Jan 2000
                  • 5097

                  Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
                  However saying all that I think it certainly worth looking at who is deterred by the nuclear deterrent and what their capabilities will likely be over the next 20 years to decide what is the best system. .
                  The nuclear deterrent question is the easiest one to address of all. The cost of the missiles themselves is actually quite limited compared to the design, build and ops costs of the submarines. So we let the govt declare that we will be scrapping the subs and installing the missiles in landbase sites at the bottom of deepwater sea lochs in Scotland.

                  Realistically, in concert with a tactical nuclear option to provide a mobile capability that we'd obviously lose with 'Fixed Trident', we would need relatively few missiles actually deployed - perhaps as few as a dozen with full-MIRV - so the costs would be fractions of sub-deployment. If we wanted to keep a covert nuclear delivery option perhaps we pay the French to develop sub-ASMP for us and we get Aldermaston to knock up some tactical-range warheads to fit the weapons out of the old 177 physics packages!.

                  The absolute furore of the 'cheap option' of landbasing and the political ramifications of distributing tactical nuclear weapons across our conventional platforms should be enough to steer the Trident replacement back out of the defence budget to where it belongs!.

                  Comment

                  • nocutstoRAF
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • May 2010
                    • 954

                    In all seriousness are we not more likely in the future to need either different or, even better, an additional nuclear deterrent? Iran's slow, sure and likely unstoppable acquisition is going to open the door to everyone having them.

                    At that point I would like the option of having a deterrent we can wave in our foes faces (yes it would be on the basis of my one is bigger and better than yours), submarines invisibly deployed under the Artic ice sheet are not quite as impressive (though a lot surer) than the PM ordering the Nuclear Strike Squadron to embark on QE to rain hot nuclear death on any jumped up dictator with a modified scud with a crude nuke attached who thinks that one of our overseas territories would make a nice addition and that we will not defend them as “the tin pot dictator” has managed to scrape together a kilo of weapons grade uranium wrapped in plastic explosives and ballistic missile system from the 70’s to launch them.

                    While this is an argument for why we still need a continuous deterrent at sea, it is also an argument for the UK to get its own version of ASMP because unless you are Russia (or possibly China) you are not necessarily going to be able to verify that our subs are at sea.
                    If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                    Comment

                    • Bager1968
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • May 2005
                      • 3635

                      Originally posted by philbob View Post
                      The UK built 4 ships of the Invinivible class and one slightly larger derivative so the size and scale are not outside the realm of possibility.
                      No, they didn't!

                      The UK built 3 Invincible class ships, and that "slightly larger derivative" came 13 years after the last of those 3!
                      Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of the pub, when Serbia bumps into Austria, and spills Austria's pint.

                      Comment

                      • philbob
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Mar 2008
                        • 308

                        sorry when i wrote that it was 4 in the morning and i was tired. the point i was making was that there were 4 ships built on the Invicibles design, one of which was slightly larger. But again what is important is that the designing a cheap high speed multimission aviation ship can be done. I also said I agreed that the CVF should be completed as is but its the rest of the fleet that needs to be rethought out.
                        Last edited by philbob; 14th September 2010, 21:08.

                        Comment

                        • Distiller
                          Talent on Loan from God
                          • Oct 2003
                          • 4760

                          LOL folks. Face it! With the individual European nation state defence & security budgets alone you will not achieve a satisfactory solution any more!

                          Talking about the CVF: With only two surface groups an opponent just has to rattle his sabres every few month and the RN sends a group - for how long? What's that called? Strategic attrition? Of course you can always keep them at home - call it "Home Fleet" - so both are available if the SHTF somewhere in a strange faraway land and you have to take back an island or something. Not what I call "power projection", btw. Philbob is right with his 5 carriers, as 5 is the absolute minimum overall number necessary to keep a "Yankee Station" style presence over a longer period of time.
                          "Distiller ... arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming"

                          Comment

                          • MisterQ
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jan 2008
                            • 475

                            Originally posted by philbob View Post
                            sorry when i wrote that it was 4 in the morning and i was tired. the point i was making was that there were 4 ships built on the Invicibles design, one of which was slightly larger. But again what is important is that the designing a cheap high speed multimission aviation ship can be done. I also said I agreed that the CVF should be completed as is but its the rest of the fleet that needs to be rethought out.
                            The rest of the fleet doesn't need thatmuch thought, frankly you can do the math on the back of a fag packet. The only thing that gives pause to building a 21st century navy that could put the fear of god into anyone on earth in like for like engagements is the price.

                            Comment

                            • Jonesy
                              Neo-conversative
                              • Jan 2000
                              • 5097

                              Originally posted by Distiller View Post
                              LOL folks. Face it! With the individual European nation state defence & security budgets alone you will not achieve a satisfactory solution any more!
                              You cant replicate a superpowers capability set true, but, you can have enough for independent power projection.

                              Talking about the CVF: With only two surface groups an opponent just has to rattle his sabres every few month and the RN sends a group - for how long? What's that called? Strategic attrition? Of course you can always keep them at home - call it "Home Fleet" - so both are available if the SHTF somewhere in a strange faraway land and you have to take back an island or something. Not what I call "power projection", btw. Philbob is right with his 5 carriers, as 5 is the absolute minimum overall number necessary to keep a "Yankee Station" style presence over a longer period of time.
                              To which I would respectfully point out that the last time a carrier presence had to be sustained indefinitely probably was yankee station in the vietnam war!.

                              War is not the same now as then. Carriers were the only, significant, source of tacair at the start of the afghan campaign. The carrier only phase only lasted a few weeks though and then forward basing was established.

                              CVF is designed along that principle. The ability to generate 1500 sorties over the course of a month, with precision weapons, is anticipated to be sufficient to service the heaviest target list we would run up against alone!. If we haven't done enough to secure an air-head ashore or attrited the hell out of the opposition after that sortie volume we are probably in the mire already!

                              Comment

                              • DaveF68
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jun 2004
                                • 1791

                                Re the nuclear deterrent. No-body ever mentions the elephant in the room - the Uk will maintain an independent nuclear deterrent as long as FRANCE does the same. There is no way UK politicos will allow the French to be the only uclear country in the EU. Indeed, the other EU countries would not be too keen on that either.

                                Comment

                                • flanker30
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Sep 2009
                                  • 517

                                  Originally posted by DaveF68 View Post
                                  Re the nuclear deterrent. No-body ever mentions the elephant in the room - the Uk will maintain an independent nuclear deterrent as long as FRANCE does the same. There is no way UK politicos will allow the French to be the only uclear country in the EU. Indeed, the other EU countries would not be too keen on that either.
                                  You mean a decision on the UK's nuclear deterrent is a matter for the French?

                                  Comment

                                  • ppp
                                    ppp
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Jul 2008
                                    • 1331

                                    Originally posted by Distiller View Post
                                    LOL folks. Face it! With the individual European nation state defence & security budgets alone you will not achieve a satisfactory solution any more!

                                    Talking about the CVF: With only two surface groups an opponent just has to rattle his sabres every few month and the RN sends a group - for how long? What's that called? Strategic attrition? Of course you can always keep them at home - call it "Home Fleet" - so both are available if the SHTF somewhere in a strange faraway land and you have to take back an island or something. Not what I call "power projection", btw. Philbob is right with his 5 carriers, as 5 is the absolute minimum overall number necessary to keep a "Yankee Station" style presence over a longer period of time.
                                    Well we can't afford 5 carriers, so we will do what we can with 2 carriers, as 2 carriers is still infinitely better than zero carriers. The fact we cannot afford 5 carriers does not mean we should surrender our defence to a "United Europe". I do not feel any more "European" than I do "Asian" or "German".

                                    Originally posted by Distiller View Post
                                    To which I would respectfully point out that the last time a carrier presence had to be sustained indefinitely probably was yankee station in the vietnam war!.

                                    War is not the same now as then. Carriers were the only, significant, source of tacair at the start of the afghan campaign. The carrier only phase only lasted a few weeks though and then forward basing was established.

                                    CVF is designed along that principle. The ability to generate 1500 sorties over the course of a month, with precision weapons, is anticipated to be sufficient to service the heaviest target list we would run up against alone!. If we haven't done enough to secure an air-head ashore or attrited the hell out of the opposition after that sortie volume we are probably in the mire already!
                                    Some people are never satisfied. As you say 2 CVF is a major improvement in capability, whatever way people try to twist it.

                                    Originally posted by DaveF68 View Post
                                    Re the nuclear deterrent. No-body ever mentions the elephant in the room - the Uk will maintain an independent nuclear deterrent as long as FRANCE does the same. There is no way UK politicos will allow the French to be the only uclear country in the EU. Indeed, the other EU countries would not be too keen on that either.
                                    Hopefully we will retain it as long as ANYONE has it, though the French are of particular concern politically.

                                    Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
                                    In all seriousness are we not more likely in the future to need either different or, even better, an additional nuclear deterrent? Iran's slow, sure and likely unstoppable acquisition is going to open the door to everyone having them.

                                    At that point I would like the option of having a deterrent we can wave in our foes faces (yes it would be on the basis of my one is bigger and better than yours), submarines invisibly deployed under the Artic ice sheet are not quite as impressive (though a lot surer) than the PM ordering the Nuclear Strike Squadron to embark on QE to rain hot nuclear death on any jumped up dictator with a modified scud with a crude nuke attached who thinks that one of our overseas territories would make a nice addition and that we will not defend them as the tin pot dictator has managed to scrape together a kilo of weapons grade uranium wrapped in plastic explosives and ballistic missile system from the 70s to launch them.

                                    While this is an argument for why we still need a continuous deterrent at sea, it is also an argument for the UK to get its own version of ASMP because unless you are Russia (or possibly China) you are not necessarily going to be able to verify that our subs are at sea.
                                    Oh I'm fully in favour of making some gravity bombs as well. We've made an infrastructure investment in a new warhead production plant at Aldermaston, so lets make use of our investment and get some extra warheads.

                                    Originally posted by flanker30 View Post
                                    You mean a decision on the UK's nuclear deterrent is a matter for the French?
                                    No. Nukes are the daddy of all weapons, load up a Vanguard to treaty limits then sail it out to sea, in under hour it can take any country and wipe out pretty much everything it has worth bothering with, leaving it sewer like shell. The UK does not want the French to have this awesome power, with the UKs most potent power being a handful of conventional cruise missiles on an attack submarine, the same goes for the Americans, Russians ect. Its completely irrelevant whether anyone is going to use the stuff of not, its the fact that they would have the capability to ultimately stand up to a superpower and command that respect.

                                    Comment

                                    • philbob
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Mar 2008
                                      • 308

                                      Originally posted by Jonesy View Post
                                      You cant replicate a superpowers capability set true, but, you can have enough for independent power projection.



                                      To which I would respectfully point out that the last time a carrier presence had to be sustained indefinitely probably was yankee station in the vietnam war!.

                                      War is not the same now as then. Carriers were the only, significant, source of tacair at the start of the afghan campaign. The carrier only phase only lasted a few weeks though and then forward basing was established.

                                      CVF is designed along that principle. The ability to generate 1500 sorties over the course of a month, with precision weapons, is anticipated to be sufficient to service the heaviest target list we would run up against alone!. If we haven't done enough to secure an air-head ashore or attrited the hell out of the opposition after that sortie volume we are probably in the mire already!
                                      Then why is there always a carrier in the Persian gulf that doesnt leave until being realved by another carrier. that sounds like a modern day Yankee station to me

                                      Comment

                                      • verbatim
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Aug 2010
                                        • 261

                                        ... Its completely irrelevant whether anyone is going to use the stuff of not, its the fact that they would have the capability to ultimately stand up to a superpower and command that respect.
                                        The real question is: are your big allies (U.S. like a straightforward example) going to let you take such a stance?

                                        Or like in Suez '56 will they open the gates of hell to you, if you just try to take it?

                                        Because when you talk about nuclear deterrent, you have to walk the whole path until the very end, that's a global nuclear war, involving almost any place around the world and first and foremost the more prominent countries around the world, such as U.S., Russia and so on.

                                        There are far more ways to bring you to your knees than even the least military menace, and I would have an hard time imaging any country waging a nuclear war because a bigger country (and a far bigger nuclear power by herself) defeated her by financial or diplomatic means.

                                        Otherwise in the last eighties, URSS would have just to open its nuclear silos asking western countries to open themself to commerce with Warsaw Pact' countries and to stop unilaterally and w/o conditions any balance shifting military program such as stealth fighters and precision weapons.

                                        Comment

                                        • benroethig
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Aug 2010
                                          • 487

                                          Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                                          That's the same reason why observations like "but Trident has never been used" make me shiver.

                                          Trident IS being used, and it is the MOST EFFECTIVE WEAPON EVER: because its existance ensures that we don't have to use it. A weapon capable to destroy the world, and people goes saying smart things like "it never is used..."

                                          Trident has been effective in granting the Cold War would stay COLD. As it is, it has been the best investment EVER.
                                          You can't expect it to prevent any small war, it can't prevent the Falklands (good carrier-borne air power does that better), but the atomic bombs granted europe 70 years of peace.

                                          People still don't get it.
                                          The truth is that Trident, just like the carriers, work TOO WELL.
                                          As soon as the Royal Navy announced it was going to scrap its carriers, Argentina moved. Too good deterrence the carriers had been, preventing any attempt of Argies to move! "We don't need them. We never use them!"
                                          How much did the Falklands war cost? Retain decent military power is always the less expensive way to go, at the end of the day, since it can prevent the start of a conflict.

                                          Europe forgot this lesson long ago. One of the last examples of people who knew this concept was that one German minister that, answering to people bitching about the noise of Tornado planes flying low, said "Love this sound, because it is the sound of Peace."

                                          Peace works in a room full of men armed with guns. But if one or a few of them aren't armed and the other ones are... Well, you can imagine.
                                          Bullying doesn't quite describe it.
                                          Exactly.

                                          Comment

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