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Defence: Public ignorance, the media, and cutbacks

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Defence: Public ignorance, the media, and cutbacks

Old 18th Aug 2019, 16:34
  #941 (permalink)  
 
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Well he could just look at the Carrier thread on here where quite a few people (including me) bewail the distorting effect of the Carriers on the RN.

But as you say that is going to be a tough sell - maybe they 'll buy F35A's instead of B's to save some cash..................... but it's still hard to see one that will generate significant savings... and of course "savings" suggests that the money will come out of the Military Budget and be spent on bribes to those hit by BREXIT
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Old 18th Aug 2019, 18:06
  #942 (permalink)  
 
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I have to say Cummings worries me. Just as I get a sense that McDonnell is the puppet master in Labour, Iím starting to wonder who is pulling the strings in Government. He would do well to remember he is an appointed functionary not the anointed Messiah.

But frankly I too am at a loss as to what might be cut, if nothing else given Borisí apparent statements about ensuring the Forces are appropriately resourced and funded. All the major projects are well into their gestation with contracts signed and billions spent; like it or not they canít simply be cancelled without cost. And if we really are going global, then we will need all those capabilities.

Not that facts or the reality of the situation seem to matter for much these days. An encouraging turn of phrase and invoking some Churchillian spirit seems to be all thatís required of our political leadership, the rest just have to repeat the approved lines. Iím not getting a good feeling about the next few years for Defence.
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Old 18th Aug 2019, 18:22
  #943 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WE Branch Fanatic View Post
Why did you bring BREXIT (officially EU EXIT) and fisheries protection onto this thread?
Perhaps he failed to grasp the democratic principle somewhere along the line.
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Old 18th Aug 2019, 20:54
  #944 (permalink)  
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A56

Exactly what operational tasking you think the RN is unable to achieve because of the carriers? Use real examples....


Melchett

Agree. He strikes as a complete [censored]. Driven by convictions rather than provable facts, and not accountable in the same way as an MP or Peer. I thought we were leaving the EU as people were fed up of unelected power mongers?

Defence took a hammering from the Commons Committee for poor decision making - such as the SDSR 10 carrier debacle, committing to Helmand province without knowing who made that decision, or why, or what our forces were meant to achieve.

See: Decision making in defence policy

Poor record keeping, and making assumptions that people would have the same knowledge (eg the reason for preferring STOVL and F-35B was not adequately documented), and doing new things seemingly for the sake of it has not helped. The part of the Nimrod review that deals with organisational issues is also damning,

I fear that other Government departments suffer from the same malaise. Ministerial accountability and proper cabinet Government would help.

weemonkey

Not sure - some have promoted fishery protection as a growth industry.
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Old 19th Aug 2019, 08:14
  #945 (permalink)  
 
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The RN is short of destroyers, frigates, patrol vessels and submarines - that is a fact

they are also very short of men

the carriers have soaked up billions in cash and hundreds of men to man them

they will require a diversion of ships currently patrolling elsewhere to defend them

They look great but for British interests they are an overblown luxury that badly skews every other naval option


PS "not accountable in the same way as an MP or Peer." - when were THEY ever accountable???
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Old 19th Aug 2019, 09:42
  #946 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by weemonkey View Post
Perhaps he failed to grasp the democratic principle somewhere along the line.
Nope

It is highlighting as per the thread starter the public ignorance that is out there. RN has not got enough vessels to do another South Atlantic escapade like 1982, yet we are told that come Nov 1 there will be lots of vessels to protect UK fishing areas where in reality there will be no additional ones.

Even accounting for a couple of billion put into it, it would take 3 yrs to get even close to full protection and great you have the vessels but there is not the crew there and unlikely there would be either.

Icelandic Cod war would be a childrens Tea party in comparison because Spanish fishermen using 6-7 boats in a group enter Uk Fishing areas, this is done 15 times at same across a huge area and you have to try and police each one. Some will fish, some will just transit etc etc.

Come November the shock will be about how UK PLC cannot protect fishing areas, how it has happened, when it will be put right with the usual Right wing media asking can't we just send aircraft to sink these fishing vessels.

It is symtomatic of the malaise that RN will be blamed because UK Govt underfunds everything unless it is a mega capital project that sucks up billions as a bottomless pit.
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Old 19th Aug 2019, 18:38
  #947 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by racedo View Post

It is symtomatic of the malaise that RN will be blamed because UK Govt underfunds everything unless it is a mega capital project that sucks up billions as a bottomless pit.
Yes, its relatively easy to find CapEx funding, as its largely one-off, it's also sexy and high profile, is often used as a political bribe, creates "new" jobs, and can be career defining. Hence the commonly used term of vanity project.

OpEx or "run" funding is a different matter. Who cares about keeping the lights on, ensuring that carrier you just spent $X Bn on is fully manned, or if Typhoon pilots are achieving required currency? There's no prizes for this dull stuff, so just keep chop, chop, chopping until you eventually have to make the "hard decision" to retire due to obsolescence or some other such guff, bought about by years of chronic underfunding.

Other Government depts are no different, hundreds of millions can be found for new road schemes, but we refuse to maintain the ones we've got!
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 07:07
  #948 (permalink)  
 
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Exactly!!! But you rarely hear an SO writing to the "Times" about store levels TBH
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 10:19
  #949 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Exactly!!! But you rarely hear an SO writing to the "Times" about store levels TBH
You do when they run out of missiles or bombs and blame everybody but themselves.
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 22:47
  #950 (permalink)  
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A56

So are you saying that because of the carriers, the RN has no ships committed to NATO, none in home water for Fleet Ready Escort, and none in the Middle East? How was HMS Kent rapidly generated and deployed in response to recent events?

racedo

When did this running out of 'bombs or missiles and blaming everybody' take place?
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Old 26th Aug 2019, 23:32
  #951 (permalink)  
 
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It appears that while Britain has to reset its strategy and its commitments in a post Brexit world, there has not as yet been much serious discussion of the alternatives.
The country has a nuclear deterrent which will be expensive to renew and overseas alliances and territories that entail obligations.
A 'Little England' strategy focused on fisheries protection does not address those budget drivers. Are those up for discussion now?
Is there any sign of any coherent debate on future military priorities? At this point, can anyone discern where Labor and the Tories actually differ in their position?
So small wonder the public is indifferent and/or confused.
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 06:59
  #952 (permalink)  
 
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"So are you saying that because of the carriers, the RN has no ships committed to NATO, none in home water for Fleet Ready Escort, and none in the Middle East? How was HMS Kent rapidly generated and deployed in response to recent events?"

Would you care to say how many ships are committed to NATO, how many are Fleet Ready Escort and how many are in the ME? And how many occur in more than 1 category??

On July 22nd the total active RN destroyer frigate force available world-wide was 9 vessels - those of us who are unconvinced by the carrier argument believe the RN could have had a larger, and more useful, force of other warships.

You profoundly disagree - that's your privilege

As etudiant says there is a total lack of any sort of clear strategy - just a constant chipping away at numbers and continued stretch of the what remains
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Old 16th Sep 2019, 12:21
  #953 (permalink)  
 
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Enjoy!

Follow the link given on screen!!! unfortunately..

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Old 16th Sep 2019, 21:16
  #954 (permalink)  
 
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weemonkey,


WoW!!
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Old 23rd Nov 2020, 07:26
  #955 (permalink)  
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One of the underlying themes of this thread has been the question of whether defence and security planning should be based on known threats or known vulnerabilities. I hope that the unexpected good settlement marrks a move towards the latter.

I hope that there balance between efficiency and resilience is reconsidered by every Government department, public organisation, and major companies.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 21:59
  #956 (permalink)  
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I once heard the phrase "less war - less peace" - very appropriate for these odd times.

From last December: New MI5 chief says UK facing 'nasty mix' of threats - BBC

Russian, Chinese and Iranian espionage and disruption is all growing in severity and complexity, said Mr McCallum.

The threats are to people, the economy, infrastructure, academic research and democracy.

MI5 has an operational role in investigating certain individuals and disrupting their activities, and a protective role building up UK's resilience in the cyber and physical spheres.

Dealing with China requires a complicated balance, he said.

He said there is a need to work with China on issues like climate change, but at the same time to be robust in confronting its covert activity.

New legislation is expected to make a big difference in bringing the law up to date in criminalising what foreign espionage agents get up to inside Britain.

Mr McCallum used a meteorological analogy, saying Russia was like bad weather but China was a far greater challenge in the long-term and more like climate change.



More recently: Into the Grey Zone - Sky

Covert Attacks
Proxy forces
Stealing vaccines
Crafted lies
Influencing voters
Supressing debate
Energy as power

All things we can expect from certain regimes.
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Old 27th Feb 2021, 18:20
  #957 (permalink)  
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I wonder if these proxy forces being though about will include thing such as attacks on international shipping - such as these, or the use of anti ship missiles by proxies of Iran? These have required the deployment of frigates and destroyers. Likewise will interference with air transport by potentially hostile aircraft getting in the way be considered - with a need for protection by Typhoon etc?

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Old 28th Feb 2021, 07:13
  #958 (permalink)  
 
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"These have required the deployment of frigates and destroyers"

Correct - but as you are aware some people are trailing CUTTING the number of both as the RN can't man the whole fleet now they have 2 carriers
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 09:54
  #959 (permalink)  
 
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The reason for the inability to crew these ships is much more complex than saying because the RN has two large aircraft carriers.
The RN has a huge problem retaining people. That has nothing to do with carriers and everything to do with Conditions of Service. I work with the RN every day, my son is a serving RN engineer so I think I may be reasonably qualified to comment.
In the job I do, I have seen multiple CPO engineers up and leave at the 15-19 year point. Some of which have been highly motivated individuals who the RN should be actively trying to retain, but the apathy that comes from the lower end of the leadership scale (round and about SO2 level) is breathtaking.
Another factor is the change in pensions. Staying till the 22 year point is no longer worth it, as there is no benefit; especially with a vibrant job market on the outside. When these changes were made, it sent a signal to many (me included) and leaving was absolutely the right thing to do.
Any Service is only as good as its people, leaders should be aware of this.
But donít blame the Aircraft Carriers, the rot set in long before they were on the scene.
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 11:23
  #960 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
"These have required the deployment of frigates and destroyers"

Correct - but as you are aware some people are trailing CUTTING the number of both as the RN can't man the whole fleet now they have 2 carriers
You do have a been in your bonnet about that? The story goes that in 2015 both the RN and RAF expected a manpower uplift, but doing this would have involved cutting 'troop' ie Army personnel numbers, and Cameron was afraid of upsetting back benchers. This had caused problems, but has coincided with update projects that have meant ships have had to spend time being refitted and upgraded. A couple of years ago the Government decided that the priority was to put as many RN ships to sea as possible - I presume that has meant buying more spares, and hopefully more aircraft spares for Merlin. But the main requirement has been for people, hence the reforms to cut senior personnel from HQ type roles, and to recruit more junior personnel.

Recruiting has been stepped up, and more recruits are being trained than before.

The base is meeting a surge in demand to join the Fleet due to Covid and plans to grow the Navy by 3,000 sailors over the next three years, starting with 1,000 extra personnel in 2021.



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