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  • Liger30
    Armed Forces supporter
    • Jul 2010
    • 901

    A squadron of Wildcats or Merlins covering the Vanguards as they transit is more than enough.
    Yeah, well. Overlooking the fact that this doesn not exist and never will exist. At the most, the RN can offer ONE merlin based on ONE frigate, trading a current standing commitment with the North Sea.
    AKA: we retire from... say, drug patrols in the caribean, and provide a frigate to the security of the vital garden of the country and to Trident protection instead.

    But since at least one standing commitment is already going to be past the Navy's reach from next year thanks to the drop in escort numbers, i guess the RN will have to retreat out of not just the Caribean, but from another area as well.
    Not the Falklands for obvious reasons.
    Not the Gulf.
    But withdrawing from piracy-contrast would be a major setback too.

    No, what is most likely to happen is that the Trident will move around on its own, with no overlook.
    Unless of course France really uses old Atlantic planes to "cover" Uk-relevant waters...

    To say it is embarrassing is still being very, very generous.
    As to the long range SAR, there's an international treaty that in theory binds nations to provide a coverage. I don't know exactly the terms, but it seems like the UK is going to respect the treaty just like it'll likely respect the 2015 date for retiring single-hulled oil tankers...

    As to russian subs being not a threat, it was truer in the 1990 than it is now. Now actually the submarines, just like the russian bombers and all the rest, are getting back on line at the most of their capability.
    Russia launch-tested succesfully 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles, (one land based ICBM and 2 models of Sub-Launched missiles) no later than yesterday too, firing them at their missile range in Kamchatka. http://www.defensenews.com/story.php...84&c=EUR&s=AIR with further test launches of the new Bulava to follow.
    Oh, just came out: a Bulava was test-fired this morning exactly. http://www.defensenews.com/story.php...65&c=EUR&s=AIR
    So i don't really agree with the "no threat at all" thing either. I've a quite different idea over that all.

    But then again, UK is also about to retire the Coastguard's tugs, regardless of the oil rigs and of the works for the offshore wind farms which could both pose a lot of troubles and need for tugs.
    And two days after you announce the tugs are to go, HMS Astute runs aground and one of said tugs is called on the scene...! No comment...
    It looks like the first "1981-flashback". Back then "Carriers to be sold" was followed by "Falklands invaded".
    Now "Tugs to be scrapped" is followed by "submarine runs aground".

    Yeah, it promises to be another lucky and smart strategic review, all things considered...
    Last edited by Liger30; 29th October 2010, 13:45.
    "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

    • Phelgan
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Nov 2006
      • 277

      Originally posted by nocutstoRAF View Post
      Thanks Jonesy for the correction - but beyond the sour grapes in the press from "sources" at Kinloss, do you know why the US decided to operate two P-3 from Kinloss after a recent exercise ended for at three days and possibly as much as week after the exercise ended.

      Also I am interested in your take on how well the UK will cope without a dedicated MPA.
      This last bit is possibly the bit of the SDSR that annoyed the hell out of me the most (even more than harrier, which was my first "idiots" response) . Given that our ship numbers are so few, I cannot see a frigate providing any sort of remotely comparable ability. I accept a helo maybe more durable on station, but you have to get the helo to the station - how many helo platforms to give the same/similar response time?

      Not enough helos available to be detatched from the surface units I would have thought, and then how far out would they operate?

      It annoyed me so much, I couldn't sleep, and I actually got up at 3am and wrote a snot-o-gram to Department and local MP! *. I know it won't make the blindess bit of difference, but it got it out of my system and I could sleep again......




      * my first political posturing outside of the pub ever

      Comment

      • nocutstoRAF
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • May 2010
        • 954

        Firstly an open question, when the Vanguard's exit Faslane, at what point are they safe in their transit. The reason I ask is I am wondering if 6 or so land based Merlin's or Wildcats could cover them as it seems the RN is going to end up with many more Wildcats than escorts to operate them

        Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
        At the most, the RN can offer ONE merlin based on ONE frigate, trading a current standing commitment with the North Sea.
        AKA: we retire from... say, drug patrols in the caribean, and provide a frigate to the security of the vital garden of the country and to Trident protection instead.

        No, what is most likely to happen is that the Trident will move around on its own, with no overlook.

        Unless of course France really uses old Atlantic planes to "cover" Uk-relevant waters...

        As to the long range SAR, there's an international treaty that in theory binds nations to provide a coverage.
        I think its the International Convention of Maritime Search and Rescue (I wait to be corrected as I am 99% likely to be wrong about which of the IMO treaty's covers this) obligates the UK a very large area with the map on page 16 of this link giving an idea of the range: http://www.mcga.gov.uk/c4mca/mcga-uk...k_document.pdf
        If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

        Comment

        • Liger30
          Armed Forces supporter
          • Jul 2010
          • 901

          Firstly an open question, when the Vanguard's exit Faslane, at what point are they safe in their transit. The reason I ask is I am wondering if 6 or so land based Merlin's or Wildcats could cover them as it seems the RN is going to end up with many more Wildcats than escorts to operate them
          Don't say it too loud, because it is not exactly true, but at the same time there were already rumours that the Navy Wildcat could be cut to an even smaller number... Don't give them ideas!

          As to where Trident is safe... well... i guess the best answer is everywhere, and nowhere.
          The Vanguards are very silent and hard to be picked up, but lately the reports are that one and recently even two russian Akula submarines where trying to get close to the SSBNs to register their noise signature. (Which is something the RN tries to dissuade them from doing, since if you have the noise track of a sub, you know what to search and your work at the sonar is one hundred times easier than it would otherwise be).

          We don't know WHERE the russian subs were exactly found, but we can safely assume that in peacetime no russian commander would dare going too close to the coast, since the entrance to Faslane is said to be a bit of a nightmare even for UK boomers, and a russian one, far less practical and expert of the area, wouldn't want to risk running aground somewhere on the Uk coast, for obvious reason.
          Then again, the russian subs most likely try to come as close as possible to Faslane's entrance, probably at the very limit of the deep water, to pick up the Vanguards as soon as they leave to then try and shadow them on their route.

          With Nimrod, these submarines could be found and signaled a lot before they could make it so close to Faslane, and thus intercepted by a british SSN a lot earlier, and dissuaded from wandering too close to the SSBNs.
          We could argue that 9 Nimrods were too few anyway, but i still say that they were a massive help: now there is absolutely NOTHING between russian submarines and SSBNs, unless a Trafalgar accompanies the SSBN in and out of Faslane and escorts it in its cruise, to pick up "enemy" SSNs and lure them away from the silent Vanguard, which can so escape silently and hopefully unseen.
          In this sense, a definite "thumbs-up" to having the Astutes in Faslane with the SSBNs.

          Sounds like the Cold War...? Yeah, it is Cold War. But there was never a real, definite end to these games.
          Sure, they aren't as frequent as back then, but it still happens.

          Thank you for the SAR document, though. It is quite awesome, and it is most likely tied to the treaty i'd heard talking of.
          Without Nimrod, though, that massive area is effectively uncovered, now.

          And HMS Ocean had to make a dash to answer to a call for help on her way back home in the Atlantic.
          Luck she was close! She had to recover a patient from a ship, a work Nimrod cannot do, nor can a helicopter because of range, so for this time it was a luck and a situation Nimrod wouldn't have solved...

          But it is not drama. The possibilities of people dying in the future because of the loss of Nimrod are high and real.
          Last edited by Liger30; 29th October 2010, 14:32.
          "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

            Liger,

            Bit of an aimless ramble that one wasn't it!

            Shore based Merlins can provide delousing support for the bombers. Along with the home waters towed array ship (which isn't going to be gapped for very obvious reasons!) and SSN coverage that is plenty. Nimrod missing wont effect the deterrent in any meaningful sense.

            Your point about Russian SSBN's evaded me completely. They haven't deployed their missile boats into the atlantic for more than a decade so what relevance they have to Nimrod I dont know?.

            As to the Russian SSN fleet the game seems to have changed recently. Twice in a few months stories have run in the media of submarine tracks. IF they are genuine stories we are giving away intel on our capabilities very cheaply. Unless there is a purpose to it. The only obvious one being to let the other team know not to bother anymore!.
            Seeing as the threat to shipping lanes in the Atlantic basin has gone in political and physical terms it could well be someone's saying enough is enough!

            Comment

            • Liger30
              Armed Forces supporter
              • Jul 2010
              • 901

              For me it is everything but not aimless.

              Seeing as the threat to shipping lanes in the Atlantic basin has gone in political and physical terms it could well be someone's saying enough is enough!
              It is gone in peacetime, but that's all. Unless you believe the fables of the russians SSNs being unable to wreck havoc to merchant shipping in a war, and i'm hoping you are not so hopelessly optimist...

              Shore based Merlins can provide delousing support for the bombers.
              When the UK will deploy helos in Scotland to hunt subs, we'll value that. Until they are in Culdrose, they are as relevant as they didn't even existed, when it comes to THIS particular problem. And it does seem that the Merlin Flights are all preparing for deployment with the Type 23s, but none is going north.
              So unless you refer to the couple of SAR Sea King at Lossiemouth...

              Your point about Russian SSBN's evaded me completely. They haven't deployed their missile boats into the atlantic for more than a decade so what relevance they have to Nimrod I dont know?.
              Nothing strange. They have missiles with enough range to be used from their own home waters, where they are easier to defend. It is an obvious procedure and not at all a sign of weakness.
              More than point out a need for Nimrod, which would have an hard time trying to hunt them in Russia's garden, it was to point out that the russian fleet is far from dead, and the need for a nuclear deterrent is more than real, regardless of "Cold War is over" junk.

              Twice in a few months stories have run in the media of submarine tracks. IF they are genuine stories we are giving away intel on our capabilities very cheaply.
              Most likely, the russians knew already all too well that they had been picked up by UK SSNs and shadowed. It is rare that one of the two parts do not notice it at some point. Trafalgar subs come home with photos of the Akula's hulls, but you can assume that Akulas go home with their own shots most of the time. Unlikely that any real information on intel capabillities of the UK were given away.
              The news came out on the news to help the RN score a rare point in its favor in a battle for funding that the Senior Service is losing by at least 20 years in a row. (not that RAF and such laugh that much, but the RN has been axed horrendously)

              The only obvious one being to let the other team know not to bother anymore!.
              The kind of plea the other can just ignore...?
              What are you going to do when they come again, torpedo them...? Of course no.

              Fact is: the "dead" russian navy comes spying on british SSBNs. British SSNs do not go wandering outside Murmansk. Who's more "dead"...?
              Last edited by Liger30; 29th October 2010, 14:50.
              "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

              • Grim901
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • May 2009
                • 1143

                Fact is: the "dead" russian navy comes spying on british SSBNs. British SSNs do not go wandering outside Murmansk. Who's more "dead"...?
                Not the most well reasoned argument i've ever heard. British SSNs are usually quite busy and have little need for shows of strength against a country who no longer is any threat to the UK. The Russian's however are trying to regain their military credibility and flex their aching muscles by flying bombers near to NATO and putting SSNs into the Atlantic. Perhaps that just shows the Russians have more time on their hands.

                Comment

                • Liger30
                  Armed Forces supporter
                  • Jul 2010
                  • 901

                  Maybe. And maybe not.
                  Then again, Russia does not send its submarines all around the world like UK does because it does not need to. It has a different policy and far different global commitments and approaches to those. And also three different fleets covering the deployments and areas, too. They have grow small compared to the past, but it is still quite a lot of stuff.

                  It did instead secure a foothold in Georgia before the country could join NATO, indeed. And then placed S300 missiles in it and planned reinforcements for the Black Sea Navy to say "we don't move from here, no matter what you guys say".
                  Different policy they have, but complexively better results if you ask me.
                  Want to bet with me that Georgia now will NEVER be allowed into NATO, despite being so close and despite wanting to join...?

                  I'm ready to put money on 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

                  • mrmalaya
                    Generation 4.75+++
                    • Jan 2010
                    • 4664

                    Liger, my friend.

                    tell me a subject (aviation related of course) that makes you happy and i will go to the relevant sub forum and post a topic on it right away!

                    You appear to have a severe case of SDSR fatigue.

                    Comment

                    • Liger30
                      Armed Forces supporter
                      • Jul 2010
                      • 901

                      It is called reasoning, around here.

                      But truly happy subjects are all old glories, unfortunately, nothing of the new stuff. Spitfire, Tempest, adorable Mosquito, Lancaster, hell, even the Avro Manchester would be an happier discussion!
                      Even though Tornado could do.

                      Not my fault if the Defence Reviews of the UK by so many years are all Cut & Slash exercise with little-to-none reasoning on strategy and means to exploit the strategy chosen.

                      Last one clear strategic vision was 1998 SDR, but we all know how it was betrayed and ultimately all messed up...
                      "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

                      • Fedaykin
                        Fueled by Tea
                        • Dec 2005
                        • 5295

                        Well we are starting to get the trickle of information about what is required to change the carriers to CATOBAR:

                        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11648429

                        A nominal cost of around 500million and an open decision about what systems to go for reported in this article. I would also think they are probably inquiring with the French to see if any long lead items can be dovetailed in with French procurement for PA2.
                        Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

                        Comment

                        • Jonesy
                          Neo-conversative
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 5097

                          Originally posted by Liger30 View Post
                          It is gone in peacetime, but that's all. Unless you believe the fables of the russians SSNs being unable to wreck havoc to merchant shipping in a war, and i'm hoping you are not so hopelessly optimist...
                          Is this a joke?. Even if we ignore the fact that the Russians have no more than a handful of competent fleet subs left you must see that there is no context left for a military confrontation with Russia that would require them to disrupt the atlantic sea lanes?. Reforger was shelved a long time ago!.

                          When the UK will deploy helos in Scotland to hunt subs, we'll value that. Until they are in Culdrose, they are as relevant as they didn't even existed,
                          Once again you are clearly not being serious?. You are suggesting we keep a permanent Merlin det covering Fas just for delousing?. You do know the frequency of bomber deployments you are talking about here?.

                          The smart way to do it would be to pick up a few aircraft from whatever was around a day or so before the boat sorties. That way there is no ops tempo to watch in the mostly inactive Merlin detachment to give warning of an imminent departure!.

                          Comment

                          • mrmalaya
                            Generation 4.75+++
                            • Jan 2010
                            • 4664

                            Originally posted by Fedaykin View Post
                            Well we are starting to get the trickle of information about what is required to change the carriers to CATOBAR:

                            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-11648429

                            A nominal cost of around 500million and an open decision about what systems to go for reported in this article. I would also think they are probably inquiring with the French to see if any long lead items can be dovetailed in with French procurement for PA2.
                            i think perhaps more will be revealed with the general french cooperation annoucnement?

                            Comment

                            • Fedaykin
                              Fueled by Tea
                              • Dec 2005
                              • 5295

                              Similar story here as well:

                              http://www.defencemanagement.com/new...y.asp?id=14597

                              Looks like they are weighing up the choice between EMALS and EMCAT for catapults and AAG and DAX-II for arrester gear engines.
                              Because sometimes in life we need a bit of fun

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXNAp3mKepc

                              Comment

                              • Liger30
                                Armed Forces supporter
                                • Jul 2010
                                • 901

                                Is this a joke?. Even if we ignore the fact that the Russians have no more than a handful of competent fleet subs left you must see that there is no context left for a military confrontation with Russia that would require them to disrupt the atlantic sea lanes?. Reforger was shelved a long time ago!.
                                No, it is not. Norther Fleet Alone:
                                6 Akula, 2 Sierra, 3 Oscar, 4 Victor and 6 SSK Kilo submarines in the North Fleet plus a new Yasen (Graney for NATO) Akula-successor to be commissioned in 2011 with another being built with plans for other 6.
                                And a new SSK type to replace KIlo in the long term, the Lada, is also being built.
                                Explain to Russia that they should not retain all those "Cold War relics" will you...?

                                Add this to the fact that the suspect of a single SSN being at sea is enough to scare most navies into not even leaving port, and good luck in assuming that merchant shipping is safe.
                                Even just 4 Akula and a single Oscar fully operation would be a major pain in the ass to say the bare minimum.

                                As to inexistance of a motivation for a conflict, well, then in peacetime we should totally dismantle the armed forces and rebuild them in time of conflict, shouldn't we...?
                                It worked when it was just about men with a shield and a sword, but now it wouldn't work too well.
                                Had the UK any realistic problem with Argentina that could justify them invading the Falklands...? No, but they did.
                                Had the UK troubles with Germany before the IIWW...? Not exactly: the UK had invested a lot of money into Germany and at the start a lot of people was actually pleased with Hitler.
                                Had the UK been directly attacked/provoked into the IWW...?
                                Had someone imagined in 2007 that in 2008 Russia would have rolled tank divisions into Georgia?

                                If wars were easy to foresee and we knew exactly who the enemy was and what capability it would have and what tactics it would use, we'd be unable to stage wars, because we'd be prepared and the costs would be too high to accept for any of the two sides to make the first move.
                                It was, ultimately, the Cold War scenario. And in fact there was no war.

                                I don't believe to people's blissful and wishful babbling. The world was safer when it all revolved around two enemies facing each other off than now that you don't know for what, where, against who or why and how long you will be fighting an eventual conflict.

                                Then again, i don't even know why i'm here explaining it to you, since you are just going to keep thinking of "rusty" russian navy and a happy world of friends with just a few evil-guys terrorists here and there no matter what i say and no matter what Russia actually does.
                                It is building new SSNs! Oh, it is irrilevant!
                                SSKs too! Yeah, but it needs replacing older subs!
                                It plans six aircraft carriers! Not a threat!
                                It is building 5 new amphibious assault ships and seeking up to 4 Mistral-class LHDs! Yeah, but they'll never be used for real!
                                It is building a fifth generation stealth fighter! No way, they haven't the money nor technology for it. (it was said for years and instead it is flying)
                                They say they have a fifth generation bomber too! And people says the same they said for years about the Su50. If next year the bomber comes out and does the first fly for real, "yes, it exists, but it is not a threat!"

                                We've shifted from irrealistic assessment of threats in the early 1900 with massive arms races to the total irrilevance of the weapon programmes and evolution of activities of one of the nations which still represents a likely enemy in the planning of defence needs. From one bad extreme to the other.
                                From rolling out tens of Dreadnoughts in an endless row to cheerfully deem as irrilevant the fact that in four years the Russia military budget is set to triple.

                                Bah. Keep thinking your way, but let me think mine. If people builds weapons, it is because they envisages for them both a peacetime relevance and a wartime effect.

                                Once again you are clearly not being serious?. You are suggesting we keep a permanent Merlin det covering Fas just for delousing?. You do know the frequency of bomber deployments you are talking about here?.
                                Not a permanent flight perhaps. Problem is, i'm pretty sure Merlins won't be sent north not even periodically for protecting the SSBNs operations, so it is useless to even babble about it. Also, ultimately what would the helicopter do??? It would still be task of the SSN to force the enemy sub away, and it would just be aided in the final work, not sent on meeting a russian subs in the North Sea, well far away, where a Nimrod's been reporting it, but dealing it just outside Faslane.
                                The helicopter can listen for the SSN and maybe locate it... and then??? Bombard it with active-sonar pings at the most to shout cheerfully "i got ya!". You can't throw a torpedo down on an Akula just because you find it lurking around during peacetime, so not very effective.

                                Either way, we are drifting out of topic now. I think i've clearly enough exposed my views as it is. Back to the latest CVF news!
                                Last edited by Liger30; 29th October 2010, 17:49.
                                "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

                                  Linking together the news about the CVF and the sub-thread on ASW - how easy would it be to create large UVAC's able to operate from shore bases and the CVFs designed for ASW?

                                  What sort of spec would they need? I would imagine they would need to be designed to have good endurance, fly at low levels over the sea, be able to carry a decent number of sonar buoys, plus offensive ordinance, be able to operate independently until its MAD or other sensors spots something amiss and then contact its base controller, and should be able to link its sensors to other ASW assets and F-35C's. Could the UK lead the way in this type of UVAC and if so how long do you think it would take to become operational?
                                  If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                                  Comment

                                  • Liger30
                                    Armed Forces supporter
                                    • Jul 2010
                                    • 901

                                    Similar story here as well:

                                    http://www.defencemanagement.com/new...y.asp?id=14597

                                    Looks like they are weighing up the choice between EMALS and EMCAT for catapults and AAG and DAX-II for arrester gear engines.
                                    The article also seems to suggest that BOTH carriers would be fitted with Catapults for 500 millions, which would confirm the expected price envisaged already some years ago of some 250-something millions expense for each ship.
                                    Also, it would be a good news if both were completed with Cats.

                                    I keep fearing that it is all too possible that only one actually gets them...
                                    And this
                                    In Parliament on 26 October, defence minister Peter Luff said it had not yet been decided whether one or both carriers would be converted to use catapult and arrestor equipment.
                                    certainly makes the feeling stronger. Also, i wish they'd stop mulling the nonsensical idea of selling one...

                                    Still no news of HMS Endurance replacement, by the way...?
                                    I start getting the feeling that the Ice Patrol Ship promised by the SDSR is actually the un-repaired Red Plum languishing in port but not officially scrapped and thus "a part of the navy"...
                                    "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

                                    • Liger30
                                      Armed Forces supporter
                                      • Jul 2010
                                      • 901

                                      What sort of spec would they need? I would imagine they would need to be designed to have good endurance, fly at low levels over the sea, be able to carry a decent number of sonar buoys, plus offensive ordinance, be able to operate independently until its MAD or other sensors spots something amiss and then contact it’s base controller, and should be able to link its sensors to other ASW assets and F-35C's. Could the UK lead the way in this type of UVAC and if so how long do you think it would take to become operational?
                                      There's no money for such an enterprise, but in theory it is possible. A Mantis derivative could do the work decently enough, even if a greater endurance would be handy. Brimstones and Paveway IV would be replaced by Stingray torpedoes and other loads, included perhaps an anti-ship missile.
                                      A Searchwater radar would be handy, and a MAD would help too. And of course the sonobuoys, many of them, plus signal-sonobuoys and smoke-sonobuoys for marking and signaling positions.
                                      But it is a very wide-ranging work, and it would be a total first for a UAV... the UK could do it? For sure, had it the money and wanted to do it.
                                      Can the MOD dream such a requirement and programme...? NO. Definitely NO, unfortunately...
                                      "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

                                        While I might be inclined to agree that there is no money, I think that the MoD's going to be told to focus on UAV and UCAV's as the way forward.

                                        So I fully expect in the next five years to see something unusual come out of the MoD's R&D funding.
                                        Last edited by nocutstoRAF; 29th October 2010, 23:26.
                                        If having a little knowledge is dangerous then I must be bloody deadly

                                        Comment

                                        • Jonesy
                                          Neo-conversative
                                          • Jan 2000
                                          • 5097

                                          Liger,

                                          Even just 4 Akula and a single Oscar fully operation would be a major pain in the ass to say the bare minimum.
                                          Stop looking at the inventory and look at the big-picture capability. The capability reflects the force doctrine. With half a dozen boats deployable at any one time the strategic aim of the fleet is not Atlantic surge/sea lane interdiction. Simply put they aren't interested in that any more. The Atlantic is too big an ocean for a handful of boats to actually achieve anything meaningful....and a planner would figure in attrition from the starting number. Why should we spend precious resources defending something no one is planning to attack?.

                                          This is fundamental stuff that you need to understand here Liger. This isnt some nebulous case of 'well you never know where you will have to fight next'. Thats idiotic. You plan for the widest scope of action likely and attempt to bring in systems that have as much additional capability as your budget allows for in the hopes that you have enough for whatever suprises come along. Trying to make out that if we dont prepare to fight Tom Clancy's wars then we are, somehow, defenceless is a pretty long way divorced from reality.

                                          Nocuts,

                                          how easy would it be to create large UVAC's able to operate from shore bases and the CVFs designed for ASW?
                                          Again as earlier described the problem here is in the target set. Its not there to warrant the development of the capability. If there was a big ASW threat then MRA4 probably wouldnt be cancelled in the first place.

                                          Fixed wing for ASW has been overtaken by rotary with the shift to the littoral. FLASH dipping sonar has given even top drawer SSN's nightmares under NATO testing at AUTEC. Multistatic LFA sonobuoy capability is out there now, but, it is no substitute for the tactical flexibility of a hunting pair of pinger choppers.

                                          Comment

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