Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
Letís get real here for a moment. These proposed carriers are going to cost an awful lot of money and for that reason they will be binned as soon as the idiots in Downing Street can find an excuse. Letís face it; we are not a world power any more. The empire is gone and we are merely a subsidiary of USA global enterprises Inc. Any war we get dragged into by our cousins across the pond will not require British carriers as the Yanks have more than they know what to do with. Far better to spend the cash, as somebody has already mentioned, on kit we need. Boots, rifles that work and decent warm kit being just a few examples. Big shiny British carriers.........dream on
The Empire...Gone ???? Good God Carruthers. whatever next ?
However, I totally concur with dogfish. We don't need aircraft carriers, we have plenty of them in the shape of CVN's. and coupled with the CVN 21 programme, there will be plenty of them for many more years.
We are a tiny nation with a small Armed Force - Manchester United get more people to watch them every weekend than there are people in the Navy, the RAF and even the Army's meagre 110G is looking sad. (In fact.....even Chelsea get more people to watch their weekly diving competition than there are people in the RAF)
We have to admit it and stop trying to be some sort of world policeman and marching across foreign lands wealding our swords.
We should be concentrating more on defence of the homeland and in particular littoral manoeuvres.... scrap the CVF and buy 40 brand spanking new LCS's.
Instead of looking at the PROJECTS we should cut why dont we look at THE PEOPLE... 1/ RAF - 1 officer to 2.5 men 2/ RN - 1 officer to 4.5 men 3/ Army - 1 officer to 8 men
... Its about time we had a management weed out in the RN and RAF I think. i'm sure one or two of you out there could think of others.
Methinks althenick is fishing - sorry, gotta bite.
The RAF ratio is so high because (in the main) it is our officers that fly. In the current climate of manpower cuts, any fat is being trimmed and that means all the support etc is being civilianised wherever possible. What will not change is the number of crews, because that is directly linked to capability. Hence, the supporting trades/branches where most of the airmen reside will reduce and the aircrew numbers will remain static. This ratio is likely to get worse in your eyes, but is the way we are headed.
The Army are different because their capability is all about eyes/boots/SA80s on the ground and hence the ratio needs to remain high.
I do agree that there is scope for a little bit of a senior management cull tho....
Cancel CVF???!!! Gents, the world has moved on considerably. We are now structuring our Armed Forces around an expeditionary, littorally capable, mission-tailored force. The whole shebang has to be self-sustaining (so no plan to rely on the US to provide top-cover - yes we all know we wouldn't be fighting a major theatre war without 'em but that's a different story) in the round. Hard to produce that OC without your own go anywhere strike - ie a carrier, etc. You can't always rely/plan for Host Nation support for those fancy Typhoons, so I guess those mates may have a sore back after an 8 hour flight to the scene and then back (or maybe they won't get used - wouldn't that be a bugger? Another thread possibly!)
In case people have got a bit dumber lately; we only need 2 carriers because there's always a lead-in time to a conflict/crisis. This allows the players to position if not in advance then fairly soon after startex. No-one's claiming the Brit's are a world superpower, but we (along with the French) are a big influence in that bad ol'world. Therefore even our iddy biddy CV fleet can be in the right place at around the right time. Once there, you shouldn't underestimate the influence/effect these ships will have. Against most opfor the CVF and associated tailored battle group will have few real competitors (standfast China/N.Korea/Russia?) - although I'm not talking about "liberating" an entire country here.
As ever, it's not usually the military capability that is found wanting, it'll be the politicos dithering that gets everything FUBAR'd. That's the element of the military that needs some money spending on it. It took NATO an excrutiating 30 days (ie standard time) to get into Pakistan post earthquake - not much help if you've been hanging on by your fingernails waiting for assistance. Likewise if the Rwandans are chopping each other to bits then it's not normally spontaneous. Someone knew about it but did jack le cack.
What we actually need is political cojones, much more than stealth fighters who will never actually fight a remotely similar enemy. (Think I may have gone a bit off-thread here!)
Last edited by scottishbeefer; 13th Apr 2006 at 20:30.
I think alot of the points mentioned are Valid. Tech Transfare could be used cancel the F35 with the knock on that the Carriers are cancelled for the royal navy but with the one then being built sold to France. The Euro Navy will then have France supplying the carrier force UK/Neth supplying the Amphib force and the rest supplying the escorts.
However with the UK shift to expiditionary/littoral warfare The carriers actually become more important to provide CAP and CAS to landing forces.
You can't always rely/plan for Host Nation support for those fancy Typhoons, so I guess those mates may have a sore back after an 8 hour flight to the scene and then back (or maybe they won't get used - wouldn't that be a bugger? Another thread possibly!)
And where is the Carriers AR support going to fly from? E3Ds? ASTOR? R1s etc? Where are aircraft with weapons 'hang ups' going to land?
A carrier is a detterent on it's own, but thats about it.
A carrier is a detterent on it's own, but thats about it.
FF - What a gross and poorly informed understatement. As you are probably aware, the same restrictions on hang-ups apply to the jets today and we've managed deepwater/no HN support ops perfectly well.
As to AR, MASC or some other coordinated battle space awareness asset will be well on the table by the time the CVF achieves FOC. The CVF is way more than a deterrent, it will be a genuine influence on events ashore.
However, no sensible commentator would say that the CVF is the be all & end all - it's merely a (significant) part of the whole shebang.
Nursey - although CAS/CAP are key elements of the any organic capability, it's the Strike bit (not always a jet with bombs) that will enable the battlegroup (not just the CVF) to influence events. The ability to drive an effect home from X miles away is something we simply do not currently have. We need to see the package as a whole...
...relatively safe Sea Base with activity to support whatever effect the Commanders want to achieve, including utilisation of the CVF's Strike a/c to zap whatever. It's too narrow minded to see this as a Royal Navy operation, the whole caper is totally joint (and probably combined - ie multinational).
To go back to the Typhoon dig - someone please tell me how that jet will play a significant part in an expeditionary operation many miles from a HN? Good to know it will be interdicting the skies over the UK for homeland security though. Mind you if they cancel JSF they could always take up BAe's offer to marinise the Typhoon right?!!! (Yes I know this has been done to death on several other threads!)
When was the last time a RN carrier operated indepedently against a credible force?
Apart from say, 1982? Which was, if I'm not mistaken, the last time since WW2 that any carrier had been under a genuine threat from ashore. (I guess some would argue Gulf 1)
What exactly is the nub of your argument? That we shouldn't improve our capability because you don't think the old CVS was capable enough? Presumably you subscribe to the moving Australia to justify the V-bomber force line of argument as well?!
Last edited by scottishbeefer; 14th Apr 2006 at 12:48.
Funny as the moving Australia act was, I'm not sure that the navy is above such tactics themselves.
I seem to remember an inside documentry of the SDR on BBC2 in around 1998 where the naval chappies were justifying the building of new aircraft carriers to some senior ministers. Two of their arguments were
a) you can close down a land based airfield just by driving a Trabant into the middle of the runway.
b) any given attack on an aircraft carrier only has a ten percent chance of sinking the carrier.
The counter arguments of a) move the Trabant, and b) attack ten times, never seemed to come up!
SAS - concur, but the US is keeping the peace on a global scale, whereas the Brit/French level of ambition is much lower. We know our place (sort of!).
JTIDS - absolutely!
But seriously, since the politicos want the global influence (independent of the US) the only way to achieve it is to drive the airfield (and all the other stuff) to the crisis. That is the salient justification for the CVF. If someone comes up with a better way to achieve the desired effects over an adversary then you can bet we'll go that way instead.
We need to bear in mind that the Brits cannot even conceive of doing anything major without US top cover - and we all know they don't need the hardware, just the political support. What we're talking about here is a Sierra Leone-plus style op within our OC.
the USN only has 11 Carriers and 12 airgroups right now (despite <I believe> a law saying they must have 12). The Queen Elizabeth, Prince of Wales, CDG, and PA2 will be most useful in boosting coalition carrier capabilities.
A quick question for all: Name the other coalition partners who had assets on site in Op Corporate in 1982?