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Thread: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

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    RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    I just saw this:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...t-carrier-sale

    TBH,I never understood why we were going for such huge carriers especially with cuts in the numbers of frigates,submarines and destroyers in the RN. Carriers need protection too. Even our new Type 45 destroyers are being fitted with the minimal amount of equipment. Why couldn't the RN have had two smaller multipurpose carriers in 40000 to 50000 tonne weight range like the US WASP class?? Wouldn't these be better for the type of overseas operations our forces are involved in currently??
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-11-2009 at 12:49 AM.

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    This is going to sound a tad naive but I'm gonna go ahead with it anyway.... Do we really need a new state of the art fleet of anything for the conflicts we're currently involved in? If America wants to pour money into policing the world that's their business, we still have one of the biggest fleets in the world despite the cuts if my memory serves so if there's something we need that badly why not upgrade or retrofit some of our existing ships with whatever that might be and put some of that money elsewhere where it could do more good?

    Please correct me if I'm wrong but as I see it we already have the ability to effectively hold the enemy at arms length and kick them in the nuts with very little trouble and it's unlikely we'll end up going to war against an enemy that's technically superior to us any time soon so why pour money into new ships when there's other things it could be spent on....

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    The aircraft carriers are actually one of the very few naval assets that *are* useful in the wars we find ourselves fighting at present. Particularly if anything flares up in the Middle East again. The air cover they provide is particularly vital in securing a land base early on, and can continue to provide ongoing protection to supply convoys coming into the area.

    The biggest problem with them at the moment is that we lack the aircraft to actually fly from them. Due to cost cutting, the carriers won't be equiped with a system to launch traditional planes and we're relying on the US developing a jump jet, namely the F-35B (IIRC), which at present isn't 100% working.

    I'm hoping that the rumours of the sale are just that, a rumour that's been released to drum up public support for the project, as if we're going to continue to provide an active military force on the world stage we need these carriers. Otherwise our influence will further diminish until we get absorbed into this stupid Federal Europe idea!

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Upgrading old ships is not necessarily the best way forward as newer ships are quieter,have more automation and have lower IR and radar signatures which can cannot be easily incorporated during a refit. As anti-ship weaponry evolves, detectability of a ship is becoming a more and more important aspect of naval warfare and older designs do not do well in this case. Also as ships get older it costs more and more to maintain them as critical systems start wearing out.

    The thing the reduction in the number of frigates and destroyers in the RN(combined with the fact that many won't be outfitted with their full weapons compliments) means that we probably won't have enough ships to protect both these larger carriers at any one time.

    IMHO, we should have gone with carriers more along the lines of the Wasp and America amphibious assault carriers which are increasingly be used as normal carriers by the USN:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasp_cl...s_assault_ship

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...s_assault_ship

    These ships are more flexible than traditional carriers and tend to have heavier ship based weaponry too. These types of ships would expand on the ability of our current ships when they need to be retired due to their age.

    Smaller carriers like this can be used not only for actual wars but also for use in humanitarian and disaster management and in support of peacekeeping missions too. Many countries around the world are going for these smaller carriers for these very reasons too. These include many European nations. Even Japan has two smaller vessels and Australia is going to build two. Large carriers OTH are more expensive to maintain,build and require more crew. Also their size precludes where they can operate also whereas smaller ships have more flexibility in where they can go and even where they can dock.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-11-2009 at 03:14 AM.

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Thanks guys, I asked for that to be fair

    CAT I think you're right on the money, if we're going to spend billions on new ships smaller more flexible ones similar to those would have been a better way to go, cheaper to build and definitely cheaper to staff and maintain as well. What I'm getting at is do we really NEED these new state of the art ships? Who are we likely to end up fighting that we couldn't defeat with what we have?

    I get that it's always better to have better tools for the job than your opposition and that there are some things you just can't modify cost effectively (if at all) but most of the conflicts we're involved with, or may be involved with in the future when we're not scuffling with pirates or playing war games are taking place in the middle east. I can't think of a country in that region that could give a multinational task force a run for its money in a naval conflict other than possibly Iran and no doubt if we went after them we'd be part of more than a large group.

    With no harrier replacement, ships leaving without full compliments of weapons as you say and soldiers on the ground lacking equipment I was thinking that money might have done more good elsewhere if what we have now isn't underperforming. If it is though, or we've got ships that really need retiring then fair enough, I'll happily stand corrected
    Last edited by Knoxville; 22-11-2009 at 05:03 AM.

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by Knoxville View Post
    ... What I'm getting at is do we really NEED these new state of the art ships? Who are we likely to end up fighting that we couldn't defeat with what we have?
    Yes, we need these carriers, you forget the timescale involved with military resource aqusition, in the 5-10 years needed to complete this project our exsisting assets will be falling apart and as I previously stated, if we loose our carriers, we give up our position on the world stage.

    The UK is in a fairly unique position, that given our size, population and lack of natural resources, we can still maintain one of the most active armed forces.

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    a smaller carrier would not really be any cheaper to make. Steel is cheap, it is the systems (electronics etc) and labour that cost.

    A the royal navy already have a large amphibious capability, aircraft carriers are faster, can carry a larger and more varied mixture of planes and launch and recover planes more quickly. Plus those american ships you linked to cost just as much if not more than the Royal Navy carriers.

    Why do we as a nation need these aircraft carriers. Well firstly the wars we fight at present often require power projection, which a carrier gives you. Also we will not always be fighting such an asymetrical war as we are now. The existing royal navy carriers are too small and getting on a bit now and need replacing.

    Remember as well the the UK is an island, we are not self-sufficient and also have overseas possessions that need defending (e.g. Falklands, Gibralter). We need a strong navy to protect those sea lanes, not just from piracy but if anyone thinks in a world with shrinking resources (not just oil, but also water - water control will be a major source of conflict in the future) as well as preserving Britain's role as a world power then we need this ability.

    Remember Britain is the 6th largest economy in the world. Of those above the UK there is the USA, Japan, China, Germany and France. Of those Japan and Germany cannot politically contribute massively to their military or give it a major expeditionary capability. France already has this capability, as does the USA. Do you really want China, a dictatorship, becoming the world's policeman? I doubt it, see how they police Tibet, student protest and religious groups.

    Britain's defence spending is at the lowest level since the 1930s in terms of % GDP spent. Its also smaller than who knows when, despite fighting several wars in the last ten years. If anything spending on defence needs to rise, cutting carriers etc has several problems including loss in military capability, loss of the capability to build such ships, the damage the loss of highly skill engineers etc and the fact that it loses Britain's ability to shape the world, put forward its views and if necessary intervene.

    btw from what I have seen elsewhere the carrier being sold to India story is very much a 'last resort' option.

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by YorkieBen View Post
    a smaller carrier would not really be any cheaper to make. Steel is cheap, it is the systems (electronics etc) and labour that cost.

    A the royal navy already have a large amphibious capability, aircraft carriers are faster, can carry a larger and more varied mixture of planes and launch and recover planes more quickly. Plus those american ships you linked to cost just as much if not more than the Royal Navy carriers.
    Smaller carriers will do the job and still be cheaper to maintain,equip and build. Even the Russians are thinking of building smaller carriers than their existing one they have.

    Also the US WASP and America classes are far more flexible vessels than normal carriers and TBH, I am sure that(as usual) the UK would do a more efficient job of building even those types of carriers. The Harrier for instance was developed on a relatively small budget compared to equivalent programmes around the world IIRC. The HMS Ocean needs replacement in around 10 years time since it was built to commercial standards too. It would have made more sense to replace our 4 existing carriers(three Invincible class and one Ocean class) with 3 to 4 40000 to 50000 tonne carriers of the same type. This would not only mean ships with expanded capability over our existing vessels but reductions in building costs and running costs. It also gives as spare capacity in case of problems with a ship or damage during combat.
    These sorts of carriers tend to be more heavily armed than standard carriers too and hence you would not need such a huge surface group in the first place. Look at the Cavour class for example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian...vour_%28550%29

    An enlarged version of this makes a lot of sense. The money saved should be either put into acquiring some more frigates or destroyers or even to the army or RAF.

    Even during the Cold War the RN had small carriers. Even the CVA-01 never was built and build cost and maintenance were the major issues along with the limited pot of money available at the time.

    The fact is that the number of frigates and destroyers are being drastically reduced, They are being replaced with a fewer number of more capable ships no doubt but like I said before the ships are not being fitted with all the necessary equipment for cost cutting reasons too. Large carriers need surface groups to protect them and it would mean virtually no vessels would be left in the UK if we despatch both carriers.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-11-2009 at 01:21 PM.

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucio View Post
    The UK is in a fairly unique position, that given our size, population and lack of natural resources, we can still maintain one of the most active armed forces.
    At great cost to the tax payer. Maybe we should consider scaling back our armed forces and investing the money in education, industry and health like other countries of similar size and importance rather than clinging on to the last remenants of a long dead imperial past.
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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by Salazaar View Post
    At great cost to the tax payer. Maybe we should consider scaling back our armed forces and investing the money in education, industry and health like other countries of similar size and importance rather than clinging on to the last remenants of a long dead imperial past.
    Like France? France,Germany and Italy have bigger armed forces in terms of personal employed. France spends more than us too.

    The NHS already spends 110 billion quid a year from the budget and it would be nice to get some more cash for research though.

    I wonder how many of the people claiming for any possible benefit they can get costs the country??

    Benefit fraud and errors alone costs the UK taxpayer 3 billion pounds a year!!

    That money alone invested into research and industry would be a substantial boost.

    OTH,most of the defence equipment the UK buys is built and designed here so it keeps something like 300000 people employed in defence industries which are among the few still doing well in the UK.

    For example the BAe Hawk was developed for the RAF which has just under 200 IIRC. OTH,we have sold 900 of them worldwide.

    Scaling back arguments have to be thought through very carefully. It is never that simple!

    Also why should the people in our armed forces have to use sub-standard equipment when they are putting their lives on the line for our country?? Maybe we should buy all our military equipment from China and Russia since it is far cheaper and then we can even have more people unemployed and less people doing engineering and related subjects!!

    Cut out the slack and make sure there is better financial management of military programmes makes most sense and delivers the best value for money for the military, however giving them the cheapest crap makes little sense in the longterm.

    If anything history proves this.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 23-11-2009 at 12:31 AM.

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    In short, it's The Guardian vs The Sun.

    And no, I'm not referring to intelligence.

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    <--snip

    It would have made more sense to replace our 4 existing carriers(three Invincible class and one Ocean class) snip

    --->
    You can't really compare the Ocean Class (LPH) with the Invincible class (CVS). The LPH is designed for amphibious assault operations, and littoral warefare, along with the two LPDs (Bulwark and Albion) and while the LPH can carry the Harrier, she can't operate them - she is a helicopter operating platform, with a secondary rol;e as aviation training.

    Of the three CVS, one (Invincible) is laid up, leaving Illustrious and Ark Royal, but the shortage is in aircraft to operate from the, The CVF (Future carrier) is designed to provide support for the fixed wing Joint Strike Aircraft.

    As a method of power projection, without a land based operating base, the carrier is pretty much unequalled. Apart from the role as a carrier, they also act as a forward campaign HQ. While they are (seemingly) expensive the real cost is in the aircraft to operate from them, and the through life cost in terms of personnel.

    Refurbishing the older hulls appears attractive, but the hulls themselves have a finite life, beyound which the cost of refurbishment outweighs the value of the hull, and the hull itself is too small to operate next generation aircraft like the JSF.

    Defence is expensive, but it is like an insurance policy - while it may seem expensive, history shows that we run down our armed services at our peril. While current operations in Afghanistan focus on land and airforces, Naval forces have played an important role in both Gulf conflicts, and as an Island Nation, control or our sea lanes is in our vital national interest, aln although our global influence has decreased compared with even 30 years ago, we still have overseas dependancies where we have obligations for defence.

    One might arguee if we still require a stragic nuclear deterrent with the cessation of the cold war - and that is probably a more important debate, although with more nations such as India, Pakistan, North Korea and possibly Iran gaining nuclear weapon capability, and the means of delivery, it could be argued that the need for a dterrent is as strong now as it ever has been.
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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    As a method of power projection, without a land based operating base, the carrier is pretty much unequalled.
    True, reminds me of a saying about Nimitz class carriers, "four and a half acres of sovereign American territory anywhere you want it". An idea the Chinese aren't too chuffed with according to this article I found earlier...

    China’s military is close to fielding the world’s first anti-ship ballistic missile, according to U.S. Navy intelligence.

    The missile, with a range of almost 900 miles (1,500 kilometers), would be fired from mobile, land-based launchers and is “specifically designed to defeat U.S. carrier strike groups,” the Office of Naval Intelligence reported.

    Five of the U.S. Navy’s 11 carriers are based in the Pacific and operate freely in international waters near China.

    Their mission includes defending Taiwan should China seek to exercise by force its claim to the island democracy, which it considers a breakaway province.

    The missile could turn this region into a “no-go zone” for U.S. carriers, said Andrew Krepinevich, president of the Center for Strategic and Budget Assessments in Washington.

    Scott Bray, who wrote the ONI report on China’s Navy, said China has made “remarkable progress” on the missile. “In little over a decade, China has taken the program from the conceptual phase” to “near fielding a combat-ready missile,”he said. Bray’s report, issued in July, was provided to Bloomberg News on request.

    China also is developing an over-the-horizon radar network to spot U.S. ships at great distances from its mainland, and its navy since 2000 has tripled to 36 from 12 the number of vessels carrying anti-ship weapons, Bray, the ONI’s senior officer for intelligence on China, said in an e-mail.
    Could systems like that eventually render carrier groups as obsolete as the enourmous battleships that preceeded them? There's only so much you can do to hide ships of that kind of size from detection after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    One might arguee if we still require a stragic nuclear deterrent with the cessation of the cold war - and that is probably a more important debate, although with more nations such as India, Pakistan, North Korea and possibly Iran gaining nuclear weapon capability, and the means of delivery, it could be argued that the need for a dterrent is as strong now as it ever has been.
    Speaking of nuclear weapons what kind of state is our submarine fleet in? I remember talk of new vessels to carry our tridents in the news some time ago but have heard nothing since...

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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by Knoxville View Post
    Could systems like that eventually render carrier groups as obsolete as the enourmous battleships that preceeded them? There's only so much you can do to hide ships of that kind of size from detection after all.

    Speaking of nuclear weapons what kind of state is our submarine fleet in? I remember talk of new vessels to carry our tridents in the news some time ago but have heard nothing since...
    Not sure about the first - the TASM (variant of the TLAM) and Harpoon have been in action for a while now and haven't really made any difference to carriers... I still think that the major powers aren't really prepared for modern warfare and missiles though, with shades of WWII still fresh. It's not like the Royal Navy stood up all that well to the missile strikes in Argentina.

    As for the submarine fleet, as long as people keep dreaming of this mythical (and imo ridiculous) nuke-free world there's always going to be massive resistance to any upgrade program being carried out. On the other hand, all they have to do is launch the missiles - once that job is done, there's sod all point to the submarine being at sea, so I'm not convinced that it's a particularly pressing matter. As long as they can launch rapidly, I'm not sure that anything else matters, considering that they're probably extremely stealthy already.

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    Moosing about! CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by snootyjim View Post
    Not sure about the first - the TASM (variant of the TLAM) and Harpoon have been in action for a while now and haven't really made any difference to carriers... I still think that the major powers aren't really prepared for modern warfare and missiles though, with shades of WWII still fresh. It's not like the Royal Navy stood up all that well to the missile strikes in Argentina.
    The newer generation of anti-ship missiles seem to be an even bigger threat:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-800_Oniks

    Regarding our subs people tend not to realise how long military development programmes take. Ships take years to build and debug effectively.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 22-11-2009 at 11:16 PM.

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    jim
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    Re: RN to sell one of their new carriers??

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    Ships take years to build and debug effectively.
    Yeah, it's pretty serious when a ship crashes .

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