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

    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!
    You say it yourself: ONE MONTH. What happens here is setting the sight lower. You just lower the upper threshold of the level of opponent you can take on (and where temporarily limited military action solves the problem, I might add). But that's not good enough I say. In any future conflict that is worth sending a surface battle group and/or an amphib group, e.g. about resources in XYZ, you will face a major opponent, or a proxy'd opponent that has been enabled by a major power to stand up to your forces. The world is becoming a smaller place, and the only major power block that has sofar been unable to formulate its interests and act on it is Europe. It's not like I'm that huge Euro-fan , but I try to be realistic. The European nation states will get their asses kicked politically, economically, &c if they don't assemble a joint/unified military might that is able to defend its interests. (Of course, for the UK if it's not Europe, it will be the U.S., but no way to do it alone).

    And as Philbob says, Yankee Station is not dead, it's the "Arab Station" now. Power projection requires PRESENCE. Anything else is just piracy.

    Agree on the nuclear aspect: Both strategic and tactical capabilities are vital.
    Last edited by Distiller; 15th September 2010, 07:14.
    "Distiller ... arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming"

    Comment

    • swerve
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Jun 2005
      • 13612

      Originally posted by ppp View Post
      ...load up a Vanguard to treaty limits then sail it out to sea, in under hour it can take any country .
      Not quite. Its missiles don't have global reach. You'd have to sail for days to bring Sydney within reach, for example. And while its warheads could do a great deal of damage, it wouldn't be enough to destroy a large country. Nuke the USA, for example, & the UK could cease to exist.

      But pretty near.
      Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
      Justinian

      Comment

      • Jonesy
        Neo-conversative
        • Jan 2000
        • 5097

        Originally posted by Distiller View Post
        You say it yourself: ONE MONTH. What happens here is setting the sight lower. You just lower the upper threshold of the level of opponent you can take on (and where temporarily limited military action solves the problem, I might add). But that's not good enough I say. In any future conflict that is worth sending a surface battle group and/or an amphib group, e.g. about resources in XYZ, you will face a major opponent, or a proxy'd opponent that has been enabled by a major power to stand up to your forces.

        And as Philbob says, Yankee Station is not dead, it's the "Arab Station" now. Power projection requires PRESENCE. Anything else is just piracy.
        We are not looking to replicate the USN though - we are intending to deploy low-key patrol assets backed with a carrier group to deploy as necessary. Our tripwire presence will be a C2 'stabilisation escort'. IF we see events escalating we can choose the level of response necessary. An SSN dispatch has, historically, proven a deterrent - we retain that ability. If we need a greater response then we have the option of dispatching the duty carrier with a pick-up taskgroup and start bringing the second carrier to readiness if the scenario warrants it.

        The fact is also very clear that CVF isnt a Fleet Carrier and isnt, therefore, the right kind of vessel to be stood in the middle of the Persian Gulf on a giant genitals waving exercise!. Its a strike carrier intended to deploy combat power against targets ashore. Gulf station just isnt something we would ever want to do therefore.

        1500 sorties over a month period is a lot of targets serviced. This isnt the old days of alpha strikes and sorties-per-target, rather, the paradigm now is targets-per-sortie. In context of the Falklands campaign 1500 sorties, with 70% strike-oriented, even giving just a single target hit per sortie and a 30% miss-rate would still have put a precision weapon on every SAM launcher, AAA piece, artillery piece, AFV, jeep, truck, crew-served weapon emplacement and logistics site on East Falkland twice over!.

        Once again look at the Falklands, look at Enduring Freedom these were actions instigated predominantly with naval air, but, with the long-term intent to prosecute them from a shore FOB as necessary. With the Falklands the victory came before the lodgement plan became necessary, but, that plan still existed.

        Comment

        • Geoff_B
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jul 2010
          • 507

          Originally posted by Jonesy View Post
          Once again look at the Falklands, look at Enduring Freedom these were actions instigated predominantly with naval air, but, with the long-term intent to prosecute them from a shore FOB as necessary. With the Falklands the victory came before the lodgement plan became necessary, but, that plan still existed.
          Wasn't most of the matting & equipment still onboard Atlantic Conveyor when it was destroyed by the Exocet along with the Chinooks & Wessex helicoters ?

          I take it the idea was to off load the GR3s to have them cover the advance and use it as refuelling point for the SHARs so they could maintain cover over San Carlos water as the Carriers had to stay out of range of Argentine Aircraft limiting the Harriers CAP endurance somewhat ?

          With CVF they could be used anywhere, that why we want them as the flexible platform.
          I wouldn't be surprised if we did a stint along side a USN supercarrier on either the Gulf Station or Indian Ocean, but as only part of one of those long distance tours they like to conduct every few years. A CVF wouldn't take on an Amrilla Patrol

          If CVF do end up CATOBAR then you might see the USN cross decking and joint exercise, vise versa if STOVL then you would see similar with the USMC, although might prove interesting when they compare operating from USS America to HMS Queen Elizabeth.

          Comment

          • Frosty
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jan 2008
            • 334

            All this talk of cancelling CVF and building 3 or so light carriers is madness it's not an option it was back in 1998 but back then the MoD correctly recognised that what we needed is CVF and that hasn't changed.
            The only options on the table now are.
            • Build both CVF keep both

            • Build both CVF and sell one leaving a capability gap

            • Build just one CVF and save around 1 Billion with the total program still costing around 4 billion and loose skilled workers because there is no ships being produced causing extra costs in further programs such as T26

            • Cancel the CVF program leaving the UK without a power projection capability. This would mean a major change is foreign policy as the UK would no longer be able to carry out our defence commitments around the world or effectively protects it's overseas assets including oil that may be found in the South Atlantic.


            There is no option to scrap CVF and build light carriers instead it would end up costing more than CVF anyway and would not provide us with the capability or the future proofing that is required. The CVF program is said to cost a total of 5 billion over 1 billion of that is already spent in development work and at least another 1.25 billion has been spent on contracts. So even without any penalty clauses in the contract out of that 5 billion the UK government would only get at most 2.75 billion and no carriers while at the same time destroying UK ship building industry. Unless this government wants the legacy of destroying the Royal Navy and UK ship building it will not cancel CVF.
            Last edited by Frosty; 15th September 2010, 11:50.

            Comment

            • flanker30
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Sep 2009
              • 517

              Sunk costs (no pun intended)

              Comment

              • John K
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Jul 2010
                • 311

                Frosty is right. The "Strategic Defence Review" is a cost cutting exercise. Any cuts are just that, cuts, there will be no extra spending and no substitutes. If the CVFs are cancelled they will be cancelled without replacement.

                That's why I think the F35 purchase should be cut in half and allocated to the Fleet Air Arm. It is a naval aircraft and should be operated by the Navy. The Joint Force Harrier was a scam which stopped making any sense as soon as the Sea Harrier was stabbed in the back. The Navy would be mad to go down that route again, or we will end up with carriers setting sail without any F35s on them, and that really will be a scandal.

                Comment

                • MisterQ
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jan 2008
                  • 475

                  I don't think you get just how low the F35 purchase already is, 138 aircraft provides enough for 6 squadrons (72) plus OCU (24) and OE (4)and rotational reserves, IE enough to fill both carriers with 36 aircraft each in an all up emergency, now while reserve aircraft can be pushed to the right into cheaper build years the absolute number doesn't really have room for cuts.

                  Comment

                  • John K
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Jul 2010
                    • 311

                    I can't see 138 F35s being ordered at this time of cuts. To be honest, I can see only one CVF being in full commission at any one time, and that with two squadrons of F35s at best. Thus, 60 F35s ought to suffice.

                    If you think about it, with 138 F35s, we will have a "joint force", which means the RAF will have dibs on half the planes, which will only see a carrier very rarely if at all. You just have to look at the history of the Joint Force Harrier. So let's bite the bullet and accept that we should only order enough F35s for the Navy.

                    Comment

                    • Liger30
                      Armed Forces supporter
                      • Jul 2010
                      • 901

                      Unfortunately, i have to agree. The number of F35B will further be cut, regardless of the fact that 138 really are needed, since the F35B is going to be not just the carrier's power, but the whole UK strike fleet, replacing Tornado and Harrier as well.
                      Hopefully, though, at least around 80 will still be bought. 60 are seriously too few to build up an acceptable front line strenght.

                      Considering the eventual cuts to bring Typhoons to as few as 107 airframes, we have a RAF with well less than 200 combat planes available.
                      Is UK really ready for such a drastical reduction of its power...?
                      I don't see a safe future ahead, for no one. I hope economic considerations, as important as they are, don't take too much of a tool on defence needs.

                      Was it for me, defence, seen its unique relevance and already difficult position, would be ringfenced entirely from cuts.
                      Not from efficiency and savings, but cuts in frontline strenght would have been a no-no if it was for me.
                      "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

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

                        The UK, France, Germany as the strongest powers in Europe will each end up with max 180 tactical manned fighter/fighterbomber. Italy, Spain with a little over 100, the rest with just one group (ranging from small-ish to a little stronger), but there will be those with nothing (or nothing real, like Austria). Distiller's long term prophecy, first uttered couple of years ago.
                        And the French were right with Rafale all along. Oh my God!!

                        Agree with the thesis of just enough F-35 for a single RN carrier. Something like 65 airframes.
                        "Distiller ... arrogant, ruthless, and by all reports (including his own) utterly charming"

                        Comment

                        • MisterQ
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Jan 2008
                          • 475

                          Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                          Unfortunately, i have to agree. The number of F35B will further be cut, regardless of the fact that 138 really are needed, since the F35B is going to be not just the carrier's power, but the whole UK strike fleet, replacing Tornado and Harrier as well.
                          Hopefully, though, at least around 80 will still be bought. 60 are seriously too few to build up an acceptable front line strenght.

                          Considering the eventual cuts to bring Typhoons to as few as 107 airframes, we have a RAF with well less than 200 combat planes available.
                          Is UK really ready for such a drastical reduction of its power...?
                          I don't see a safe future ahead, for no one. I hope economic considerations, as important as they are, don't take too much of a tool on defence needs.

                          Was it for me, defence, seen its unique relevance and already difficult position, would be ringfenced entirely from cuts.
                          Not from efficiency and savings, but cuts in frontline strenght would have been a no-no if it was for me.
                          107 aircraft? Where did you pull that number from, that would give 5 operational squadrons, OCU, OE, Falklands AND ZERO RESERVE AIRCRAFT, which as anyone knows, would never, ever be done. Now last I heard the talk was to reduce squadron airframe numbers from 15 to 12 but maintain the original number of units meaning a reduction of aircraft active at any one time from 137 to less than 116 (nobody is sure how many can be cut from the 24 in the OCU) but this would still require a rotational attrition reserve pool of aircraft to spread flying hours to meet the out of service date.

                          Don't believe everything you read inthe telegraph.

                          Comment

                          • Liger30
                            Armed Forces supporter
                            • Jul 2010
                            • 901

                            Don't live in a happy world of light and colors where nothing bad ever happens either.

                            October's announcements are likely to shock us all. Deeply.
                            "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

                            • Colombamike
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Nov 2009
                              • 130

                              Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                              Don't live in a happy world of light and colors where nothing bad ever happens either. October's announcements are likely to shock us all. Deeply.
                              I agree
                              Visit my blog on news about all combat fleet of the world !
                              http://combatfleetoftheworld.blogspot.com/

                              Comment

                              • swerve
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jun 2005
                                • 13612

                                Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                                Considering the eventual cuts to bring Typhoons to as few as 107 airframes,
                                IIRC that number was originally put forward as a possible eventual operational number, i.e. excluding reserves. As Mister Q points out, it's the number needed for a five squadron force. It implies a significantly larger number in inventory.

                                Starting with the number bought to date, i.e. 150, there'd be precious little margin for selling any off to provide 107 front-line aircraft.

                                Coincidentally, 107 is exactly the same as the number bought so far less Tranche 1, leading some to suggest that it means we're intending to sell off all of Tranche 1.

                                The suggestion that we might end up with fewer than 200 fast jets is consistent with buying 160 Typhoon (i.e. current orders), & buying all the 138 F-35B planned. We'll never have 160 + 138 at the same time, because by the time the last F-35B is delivered we'll probably have lost a couple of the early ones, plus several Typhoons, & some of the early Typhoons will have been retired.

                                Back when the F-35B delivery schedule called for us to start receiving them last year, we were expected to receive 11 in 2027. That's now been moved to the right a bit, & we could have some 27 or 28 year old Typhoons when the last F-35B arrives.

                                You see? It isn't a simple x Typhoon + y F-35B bought = x+y in service. We have to include reserves, & take into account delivery dates & service lives.
                                Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                Justinian

                                Comment

                                • swerve
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jun 2005
                                  • 13612

                                  Originally posted by John K View Post
                                  I can't see 138 F35s being ordered at this time of cuts. .
                                  The delivery schedule for those 138 F-35B shows deliveries spread over 19 years. We haven't got any yet, & have ordered exactly three. We could (as has always seemed likely, & has been talked about by the MoD) order them in batches.

                                  This post assumes that everything happens at once, & that current conditions are permanent. It fails to take into account time. It reminds me of one I saw which added up the entire Saudi air force purchases of F-5E, F-15C/D, F-15S, Tornado & Typhoon, added the proposed purchase of new F-15s, & said "Wow, look what a big air force Saudi Arabia will have!". The flaw is obvious in that case, but the same flaw in reasoning is being applied here. Things aren't static.
                                  Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                  Justinian

                                  Comment

                                  • Liger30
                                    Armed Forces supporter
                                    • Jul 2010
                                    • 901

                                    Yeah, but can we assume the SDSR doesn't accept reducing even more the number of frontline Typhoons squadrons and possibly their numeric consistence to cut on total numbers of airframes?
                                    I'd like to say it is impossible. But i fear we can't assume so with that much confidence. I don't think Typhoon cuts are probable (save for the certain cancellation of T3B) in the amounts suggested by the press, but if Oman was to be happy with buying RAF standard T1 planes, we could see 24 Typhoons leaving the RAF for Oman, for example.

                                    An hope against this scenario is offered by the fact that apparently there's a gentlemen agreement with the Eurofighter consortium on trying to assure that the T3B planes that the UK does not buy are compensated by export orders.
                                    Thus, selling T1s would not fullfil that commitment, unless the UK buys part of the T3B to replace the planes it sells.
                                    This last case should allow short term savings more immediate than simply cancelling an order that, at the end, is merely an intention: there's no effective contract in place for T3B planes, thus no money really committed to them.

                                    If it was possible to sell abroad some of the T1, there would instead be a consistent immediate saving, ideally with new buy in future years of newer, more modern airframes of the T3B. Which wouldn't be that bad at all for the RAF.

                                    Ultimately, though, we'll probably know only in October.
                                    "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

                                    • swerve
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Jun 2005
                                      • 13612

                                      No, we can't assume that, but neither can we associate such possible cuts with that specific number.

                                      I'm not at all confident that T1 sales are possible in the near term, & the near term is what matters for our current fiscal crisis. Oman, for example, has been reported to be interested only in new aircraft. Other possible customers don't want them yet, or can't afford them yet, because they have their own fiscal crises.

                                      We are faced with the likelihood that by the time we can save money by selling off some T1, the urgency has gone.

                                      Yet again, time. Also, the assumption that something can be sold, without taking into account the market (or lack of one) for it. I reckon that even if we can sell some T1, we'll get very little for them, with most revenues coming from after sales support, weapons, etc - and not only is most of that income not immediate, but it doesn't accrue to the Treasury, so doesn't do anything for our current budget deficit.
                                      Last edited by swerve; 16th September 2010, 08:52.
                                      Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                      Justinian

                                      Comment

                                      • Liger30
                                        Armed Forces supporter
                                        • Jul 2010
                                        • 901

                                        Sensible.
                                        But then again, it is no cuts then. T3B is no real cuts since it is not even contracted for and anyway it would be years away still in any case. And there's likely no way to recede from current contracts for the planes the RAF is receiving (thanks god!!!).
                                        At the most, they can... mothball more T1 as reserve planes and have less active airframes, i guess. Reduce flying hours or something. I don't see other ways to achieve relevant savings over Typhoon at the moment, sincerely.
                                        "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

                                        • swerve
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Jun 2005
                                          • 13612

                                          Nor do I.
                                          Juris praecepta sunt haec: honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere.
                                          Justinian

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