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Barry Larking

Wishing all concerned the very best. A truthful article despite the gloss placed on some uncomfortable facts. On the bright side the direction of travel is proceeding and we have a lot of hard working people making up for mistakes they had no part in.


All a very half cocked deployment. No real seaborne logistic support, lack of home nation escorts, a few planes, a couple of helicopters and a remit to scare Russia. Time we grew up and realised we, the UK, are under resourcing our armed forces and every time we do a ‘harry-black-maskers’ gig, the politicians will believe they can get us to do it for less!


I missed the declaration of Crowsnest IOC a couple of months ago, excellent news, and it’s good to read that their capability will be steadily expanded.

While it’s a shame about Sommerset and the lack of UK frigates, it would always have been difficult to provide two destroyers to QNLZ, simultaneously having another in the Caribbean waiting on PWLS and one tasked in the Med. There’s only so much you can do with six destroyers. Let’s hope Fort Vic will be in good fettle in ’25.

I’m a little surprised that we’ll have 24 F-35s on CSG25, and a bit worried that the mistakes of CSG21 might be repeated. Will we have sufficient trained flight crew for the deployment and to maintain training schedules? Putting 24 on the decks for a 3 month work up would be good, to show we can, but might an eight month deployment that soon be pushing it?


We have 3 x Type 45 at sea, what’s happening with Daring? Returned to Portsmouth in Jan this year to complete refit after PIP installation completed at Cammell Lairds, is she still not ready for sea trials???


PIP wasn’t the end of it. According to MOD, maintenance and rectification should be complete the end of this year and plans are for Daring to return to operations late next year.


Good to see and she looks stunning coming out of Portsmouth. However we really need to admit that we are not where we wanted to be with F35 by now. In my humble opinion for the sake of national prestige we need to have as many cabs moving around on deck for this deployment as possible and take lots of photos. Hell lets get that mock-up F35 from launch day and get it on there, who would know the difference? Its all very well talking the talk about how many cabs we COULD deploy but we really need to walk the walk in these difficult times with potential adversaries looking on. I remember when the talk was of 12 cabs being the absolute minimum she would deploy on a peacetime/flag waving exercise.


Must admit although I get there have been delays in building up the F35 fleet and they don’t want to disrupt the training and maintenance cycles it would be great if they could surge to 16 or so jets for a small portion of the deployment. Would be great optics and very useful practice for all concerned!


Presumably at least one SSN will deploy during QE’s stint in the North Atlantic….


allegedly an Astute class sailed from Faslane a week ago.


An Astute class SSN sailed earlier in the week!!!!

Hugo Barrington Smythe

I saw an F35b fly over in the small hours…..

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Nice to see progress on Crowsnest.


I see they are still missing their 30mm mounts.

Is it any wonder our armed forces have recruitment issues when our bean counters treat service members with such contempt?


Or in the professional opinion of the RN they aren’t worth the trouble and will never be carried.


I noticed that too. With the proliferation of seaborne and airborne drones it seems odd that our carriers are very light with CIWS. The escorts could overwhelmed.

Gunter Batten

Notwithstanding very high-capability force hard-kill weapons and ECM, et al, in any swarm-attack by a variety of high-capability missiles etc. there will be, in all probabilty, leakers into the close-in zone around the HVUs – we certainly cannot guarantee that this could never happen.
And if we should lose a carrier, or even have one seriously damaged, we will, in all probabilty, also lose a significant percentage of the UK’s precious fast jet assets, not to mention Crow’s Nest contributions.

Currently, these very high value units have negligible hard-kill self-defence capabilty – and that will be obvious even to the most casual observer. This potentially singles-out any UK carrier as the obvious ‘first target of choice’ in a multi-national Task Group.

Yes, dedicated Close-In Weapon Systems equipment will require additional maintainers, plus ammunition outfits & practice allowances etc., but, in the great scheme of things, it’s a very small price to pay to protect such high value assets – as a cost-benefit analysis would quickly identify.

The issue of their fitting is a nettle that needs to be grasped;

Last edited 9 months ago by Gunter Batten
another russian troll

Someone said on this site that the reason no 30mm is carried is to minimize salt corrosion maintenance by not carrying unnecessary equipment, lol.


Does not the QE class have any torpedo or missile defense systems?
Nulka, Seagnat, IDS3000, SSTD, Nixie, SRBOC, etc.

The Izumo class has both Phalanx, SeaRAM and SRBOC, Anti-torpedo mobile decoy (MOD) Floating acoustic jammer (FAJ)


Can someone tell me why the QE class does not seem to have any torpedo or missile defense? No freaking money?

Seagnat, IDS300, SSTD, Nulka, SRBOC, MASS, C-GUARD, etc


So to summarise
8 f35
5 merlin 3 asw 2 crows nest
3 wildcat

1 merlin asw?

1 wildcat

1 wildcat vert rep?

That makes 17-19 aircraft across the group

Very good. Its responsible not to put the entire fleet on the carrier especially as the entire deployment will be within ferry range of the f35 from Markham should they need to surge the carrier

John S C Lewis

Did someone forget to grease the lift-chains, or is the “deterioration” a basic design flaw?

Supportive Bloke

If I took a running guess at it I would guess that the automatic lubrication system automatically did very little.

Essentially a glorified grease gun is supposed to meter out a certain amount of grease each time the lift is cycled. Not a lot: so the chains don’t get caked and not too little so they corrode.

Either that or it wasn’t set up right.


A new type , no longer chains but those synthetic/rubber ‘belts’. An innovation but maybe not as reliable yet – or ever?

Steptoe and Son

How about telling us about how SpaceX Starlink works?

SERVICE DESCRIPTIONStarlink provides two-way satellite-based internet service (“Services”), receivable with a Starlink user terminal, Wi-Fi router, power supply and mount (“Starlink Kit” or “Kit”). The Starlink Kit and Services are novel, under development, and subject to change. Starlink performance goals will be amended by SpaceX from time to time based on experience and innovation.

PERFORMANCEStarlink users typically experience download speeds between 25 and 220 Mbps, with a majority of users experiencing speeds over 100 Mbps. Upload speeds are typically between 5 and 20 Mbps. Latency ranges between 25 and 60 ms on land, and 100+ ms in certain remote locations (e.g. Oceans, Islands, Antarctica, Alaska, Northern Canada, etc.). These speeds make Starlink suitable for streaming, video calls, online gaming, and other typical household internet use.


Mactaggart Scott the builders call them ‘chains’ as they are belts of interlinked segments rather than wire ropes as before
I thought they were made of high density polypropylene, but cant find a source for that
Despite exhaustive shore testing by the manufacturer (MacTaggart Scott) before going to sea, the chains on one of the aircraft lifts failed, probably due to exposure to the harsh marine environment (or not being adequately matelot proof!). Having both aircraft lift working is obviously critical to operational capability, PWLS has donated a set of chains to her sister ship but they will be replaced’

Malcolm O'Sullivan

Once again a group goes out without enough aircraft or screen ships or support vessels. Just one big barely defended target.




Did you not see the Phalanx in the header photo?


If it was 1983 that would be awesome….


You’re here being a sad troll as well as UKDJ!


Is this really needed? Do you feel better?


Make an effort at reading his other posts and his offensive trolling then come back! It may make you feel better!


People are allowed to have different points of view, That is the reason for this forum, isn’t it?

What should people call you?


‘What should people call you’?
Airborne, sounds pretty catchy to me!


Why is it trolling? Phalanx was actually a bit shit when it was introduced (I was serving then), it may have been upgraded with longer heavier barrels, and better optics but 20mm is still “pee shooter” territory. Yes lots of navies still use it, but two wrong’s don’t make a right as the saying goes. 🙂

I would think it would be a good anti-cheap drone gun, but that’s about it as it doesn’t have range or hitting power for much else. Pointing this out isn’t trolling, its just point out the RN being the RN, or rather its budgetary master the MoD conducting business as usual. If QE was French it would be 4 x 40mm RapidFire, if she was Italian it would be 4 x 76mm OTO with guided rounds, etc…..


And who will pay the extra taaxes for your additional aircraft, ships and support craft?

This deployment is just Willy waving for the cameras at s time of cost of living crisis. In a real war, NATO would provide escorts and additional recon capabilities. The days of Britain leading a deployment eg in Suez, are long gone. Thankfully Ukraine shows us that Russia is s paper tiger.


We shouldn’t be thankful to Ukraine. Russia has more “paper” than we have and their crews are considered expendable. As an independent, sovereign state we have a duty to protect our security and freedom of movement. Without hiding behind NATO. There are many countries that wouldn’t hesitate to compromise that and see us fail. Our contribution to NATO should be second only to the USA.

David James

Pathetic, weak,irrelevant, insignificant, That’s the Armed forces of today! All thanks to inept and dishonest also corrupt ministers of the British government’s past and present ! Nothing to crow about.


Carrier strike group sounds fantastic. Its a shame the Torpoint ferry can’t be fitted with longer chains. Then they could have claimed an Amphibious Assault Group for good measure.

Mike B

A great example of our hollowed out armed forces.


QE class is a magnificent logical warship – not getting into its insuficient self defence – but i don’t like that giant bow wall including the one that covers the sky-jump. I wonder if that is not enough to reduce speed of at least 1kt due to aerodynamic resistance..


I wondered about that, but also if the shape is designed to give a bit of extra lift on take off. Anyone know?


Not sure, well some flow will be up, but an HMS Hermes sky jump appears more logical for that function and more aerodynamic too.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

A product of the ‘VTOL / CTOL conundrum’ so it isn’t structural. I doubt it impacts much. And remember the QE’s have an efficient hull with a bulbous bow. So no need to worry.

Wasp class LHD manage to launch Bravo without a ramp on a deck 27m shorter.

And the much bigger and blunt QM2 manages 30kts on the same sort of power.

No need to worry.

This site tweeted this graphic.

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thank you

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Bless. 🙂


The ‘extra lift’ comes from the plane itself .

Firstly catapult launches mean the plane doesnt ‘rotate’ like they would on a normal runway take-off. The rotation means the angle of the wings is changed quickly which does mean extra lift. The horizontal tail pushes it with a down force which is opposite to lift.
The ski jump solves all that , by rotating the plane for extra lift from wing angle of attack, as the tail horizontal surfaces arent pushing down they can be angled for positive lift too.
The F35B has a rotatable jet nozzle for vectored thrust that helps as well, luckily all this is controlled by the fly by wire system

The ramp – primary job is to ‘point the plane’, there is very little or none lift as the velocity of the plane means the wings lift most weight off the wheels by the time its reached to the point its completely airborne


Compare with this USN F-4 Phantom like the RN used ready for cat launch
Notice the front landing gear with hydraulic extension- gives better angle of incidence of wing for lift
Also note the rear horizontal tailplane a different reverse angle to that of F-35B- is this way so it pushes the tail down at end of deck for climb out -. This reduces lift a small amount which isnt ideal but its how all planes rotate on takeoff ( except for tandem undercarriage Harrier or B-52) unless the ski jump and vectored engine thrust does it for you.


The ramp is designed to give an extra push up for an aircraft taking off. It does this due to the relatively flat front section, which causes high pressure when facing in to wind. This high pressure forms a bubble of air that travels upwards that helps push an aircraft off the ramp.

The design on Hermes with the round front section of the ramp will increase airspeed over the ramp. Which is good for producing additional lift. However, the Queen Liz design helps generate a push up moment just as the aircraft leaves the ramp, which is a bit more advantageous.


That doesnt add up, there is airflow over deck like all carrier takeoffs, but no ‘bubble’ that lifts, more likely vortices that peel off the ramp edges
Its the wing that lifts

not quite the expert

Good deduction,
A flat surface moving against air current will create turbulence and shed vortices at the edge, much like wind blowing against a tall building’s flat side and vortices coming off the edge,

How vortices can help take off is questionable.

Anthony Thrift

Did I see POW leave Pompey without any CIWS Phalanx system?


You did, just amazing isn’t it! Whose idea was that?

Anthony Mackay Pike

The Russian,


I have not seen an image of a ‘Tide” with CIWS either, have they been removed for good? I did see a single image of a “Tide’ with a pair of 30mm on the rear/stern of the upper superstructure. Anyone know more? A concerned reader.


Over the past 10 plus years RFA’s only get Phalanx when going to high risk areas. I think the Tide that went on the Carrier trip to the Indian and Pacific had guns fitted.


My daughter was the operator maintainer of the Phalanx on one of the RFA’s a couple of years ago. That one wasn’t in a high risk area.


Do you know who is escorting her?


This article rightly highlights that Britain will only fight future wars as a part of NATO. Hence, NATO member ships can provide combat escort. Therefore, Britains lack of hulls does not pose as much of a problem.

We have to have a defence force that the country can afford to pay for. Britain is a middle power and not a Superpower. So we have to concentrate on fewer capabilities where we do well rather than full spectrum dominance. Only America and maybe China are trying for that.

Defence thoughts

The problem is that we are running out of hulls and the capital to pay for things. Each decade sees things get more expensive. If the competence in the state continues to slip then we won’t even be a regional power.

Accepting decline is a bad way to go.


I don’t think there is loads of shame in admitting that. Nato have plenty of escorts, but very few aircraft carriers.

With all the money our government does waste we could certainly do better with the money we do spend and indeed spend more money, but the will isn’t there. We can be somewhat thankful for Gordon Brown’s spending largesse that we have these wonderful aircraft carriers and we absolutely must keep them.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Nato have plenty of escorts, but very few aircraft carriers.

Compared to whom? The US has what 11 CVN in service. 10 or so LHx. The UK has two large aviation support ships. The Italians one LHD and one CVS. France has 1 carrier. Spain an LHD. Widen out the circle out a bit Oz has 2 LHD, Korea has some aviation hulls, and Japan has 4 flattops. How few is a few?

Gordon Brown was thinking of votes and his partner in crime Tony Blair was fantasying about EU carrier battle groups. It wasn’t done for the UK’s benefit.


Unfortunately for your argument, it was done for the UKs benefit. From the early work which pre-dates the Blair government, it was clear that having a carrier only capable of delivering a handful of aircraft was not going be approved. CVS didn’t bring enough to the party to be justified. Same generally applies to LHDs.

The US are going to need more of their 10 CVW (the important bit) in the Pacific, which leaves Europe and the ME with limited naval air.

Where we are struggling at this moment is in generating enough aircraft to routinely embark and operate. That will get easier as the f/w force builds up – it remains a challenge for the rotorheads.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Unfortunately no. Better than a decently funded escort program? More money for submarines? Replacements for the LPD’s?

We have gone from Invincibles supporting the fleet to QEs being the fleet. We struggled as you know to juggle those 3 in their service life.

It is ease to make arguments for carriers. We see them here every week. I say it often here myself that you cannot have too many flight decks.

Big deck naval aviation is what the USN. We needed to think about sea control and support for RM. We are heading for an air group roughly equivalent to that of a Wasp class LHD. And perhaps that is what we should have built. Something that fed into our established ares of excellence such as ASW and light amphibious warfare instead investing in this bizarre ‘carrier strike’ affair which gets everybody so frightfully excited.

No points for telling me that the RN was looking for the next ‘aviation ship’.

We still needed a second FJ family.

Not sure why we need naval FJ in Europe. We need more MPA and more ASW helicopters that is a certainty.

The ME is too complicated a subject for here.


Arguably there is no requirement for replacement LPD (or LHD) given what FCF is supposed to be. It certainly would not have passed scrutiny.

Would not disagree with need for more MPA/Dippers.

Naval air is needed for the reasons it always has been. You cannot get sufficient critical mass over a force from a land base at any significant distance at the required time.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

OK. I will be more specific. I am not sure the need for carrier based fixed wing fast air in Europe. Nothing that land based fixed wing fast air with tankers and appropriate weapon systems cannot do. I doubt if there was another conflict with Russia they would attempt to send surface hulls out in the Atlantic. I cannot see the USN going after the Koala in such a conflict now either.
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As I have said more than once here the mistake that was made (with hindsight goggles set to 11) we should have continued supporting our key Cold War strengths: ASW, MCM, submarines, and ‘light’ amphibious And for the latter it means specialist shipping like LPD. The geopolitical map of the world is changing, the West needs the ability to land forces across a beach,


Being privy to the approvals process, scenarios and force structures used to justify new equipment requirements back then, there was a specific value to a critical mass of combat naval air.


Who will be the recipient of these forces across their beach? German tourists in the Med?


There are air bases all over Europe. What the hell do you need a carrier for in the first place? It is annoying at best to have aircraft carriers bobbing around in the Mediterranean when it is basically surrounded by friendly airfields. It’s silly.


We don’t have Gordon Browns largesse to thank for the carriers. Far from it. He did absolutely everything he could to avoid committing to them, right up until the last minute when he thought allowing the order to proceed (had been stalled because he wouldn’t cough the money) might save his skin. Which thankfully it didn’t.


Gordon Brown urges aircraft carrier work at Rosyth – BBC News

Gordon Brown has used his first speech in the Commons since stepping down as prime minister to call for work on the UK’s two new aircraft carriers to be carried out near his constituency.


So after he’d been removed and two years after the build contract had been signed, he lobbied for some refit work. Not sure what point you’re trying to make?


Great news about 24 F35’s and 14 Merlin for CSG25. That will make PoW by far the most powerful conventionally armed warship in the world outside of the USN CVN’s. On the threats we face Russia has been shown to be the militaary equivalent of a potemkin village. All facade no substance. On the surface China seems to be formidable military power but two things should reassure all of us. One much of their hardware is either knockoffs of Russian designs that have shown how far behind the west they are and second the Chinese economy is admitted by Xi himself to be in catastrophic decline. The CCP has been warned to expect China’s economy to return to the level of output it last reached in the seventies. We have lots of problems to worry about but the potential opponents we face would be delighted to swap theirs for ours.


Yes. Chinas copying of Russian aircraft designs is legendary, they have even had upgrades of their copies. 9The Y-20 version of the IL-76)
A new recent one was the developed version of the Mig1.44 which never went into production in Soviet Union but became the J-20
The Mig 29K was copied for carrier aviation even though they never had that type in service . Ukraine sold them its Mig29K which were based in Crimea before the breakup.

The cheap and cheerful JF-17 started life as the Mig-21 ( J-7) , Grumman helped them convert from nose intake to side intakes and in later iterations had other changes ( diverter less bumps , also a Grumman thing from the 1950s F-11 Tiger)

Its no surprise to know that the ARJ-21 is a DC-9 derivative-( again Ukraines Antonov designed a better wing shape) or that for the larger C-919, wings are made in the same factory as the A320


Where will Iron Duke go after DSEI? Can we expect to see it alongside one of the carriers?


Crows nest is up and running that’s good. Many countries coming along that’s good.

Supportive Bloke

This is one of the best, most balanced, articles for a while particularly following on from the Astute article last week.

Nice to see you have found your stride again.


Balanced ?
All the earlier ones were too. Just they had some inconvenient facts about readiness/ refits and lack of effort on development of support ships


I will be impressed if they get 24 fixed wing on board next year…im guestamating that will be half the fleet by then.
As for merlin 0.28 of the total Merlin fleet thats both fleets …..wont be much left flying at home ….we shall see.
You do what you can with what you got……I guess thats roughly a third of total FAA assets on one tub ignoring the jointery


Not next year but for CSG 25’s trip to the Indian and Pacific oceans. Depending on the time of year they go it could be 27 months from now. But yes it will be an achievement to get 24 F35’s on the trip.

Andy Pryce

A show of UK force to Russia? Russia could destroy our aircraft carrier with one hypersonic missile!


Theoretically speaking, yes. But I don’t know that Russia actually has a hypersonic missile, and if it does that its operational, and that it works.

Ukraine doesnt have a policy of confirming successful hits

Steptoe and Son

To the skeptics, hypersonic missiles are just missiles traveling above Mach 5.
For comparison, ICBM re-entry at Mach 20.

The Silbervogel was the first design for a hypersonic weapon and was developed by German scientists in the 1930s

John Greenwood

Got any planes on board?

Commonwealth Loyalist

Sounds good except for the lack of aircraft or escorts for the aircraft carrier.As I mentioned in a previous post, sounds like the name of the website should be chnged back to Save the Royal Navy.


So we have 2 carrier’s but not enough plaines for them and not enough surface fleet to look after even just one of the and we not got enough fleet supply ships to keep them watered and feed.
Think it’s time to stop supplying Ukraine and start spending the money on our needs.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Where we perhaps should have gone………

comment image

Gutta percha

Sell it to Argentina? You lost me, give us a clue.


It is LHD Trieste

captain betroneli

What a mistake-a to make-a!


Italys previous LHD were how big ? San Giorgio was around 8-10,000 T. Trieste is 30,000 plus ?
So every one else is upsizing except the RN.

Even Algeria is doing it


The Algerian version is more like a swiss army knife. It is even have Aster.
Qatar bought another one.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

San Giorgio are LPD’s.

All you are seeing is the full length flight deck.


It was an example how even smaller countries are upsizing. That was once what a major power like Italy ‘needed’, now they are 30,000 plus
Australia shows the same ‘need’ for a 27,000 tonner – indeed its 2x


I wonder which one will break first.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

What we needed…..
comment image


So twenty years after the 50K plus size was decided on , you are still going on about it

It seems that even the French had found their existing nuclear carrier was ‘too small’,[PANG is bigger again] even though it was a size jump from its earlier carriers

Arent you better off telling them – “you should stick to the size of existing CdG for the future ”
An image for PANG at 75,000 t

Mike B

With the world the way it is our carriers must start scheduling deployments with the Americans.
At the moment there isn’t a CV at sea on deployment in the Pacific.
I wouldn’t be surprised if CGSG 25 doesn’t have some USMC F35 as part of the air wing.


Is the at sea part relevant, CVN’s don’t put to sea permently.

The USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 is forward deployed at her homeport of Yokosuka, Japan with the Seventh Fleet (a powerful projection of approx 50 to 70 ships, 150 aircraft and 27,000 Sailors and Marines), other Seventh Fleet home ports include Yokosuka, Japan and Apra Harbor, Guam. USS Ronald Reagan is part of CSG 5.

USS Ronald Reagan recenty transitioned back to Japan after participating in exercise Talisman Sabre 23 the biennial, multinational military exercise led by Australia and the United States in the Indian Ocean off Australia. TS23 involved 30,000 personnel from 13 nations.

USS George Washington (CVN73) will relieve Ronald Reagan in 2024.

USS America (LHA-6) and her Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) are also forward deployed in Japan.

I think the only other CVN on deployment is USS Gerald R. Ford CVN-78, the big Kahuna in Carrier Strike Group 12 which is currently in the Mediterranean.

IMO the UK doesn’t have any serious business to conduct in the SCS or in the Western Pacific, its area of stratigic importance is the North Atlantic. That’s not to say that exercises with major allies in SE Asia and the Pacific; USA, Japan, Australia and the ROK are not important. The SCS / WP are not our domain.

Happy to hear other thoughts.

Mike B

The amount of shipping that transits The West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)is our business.
The semiconductor’s production in Taiwan is also our business.


Seems very odd to say:
“logistic challenge of feeding and integrating the influx of personnel is considerable”
when the ship is only carrying a fraction of its designed air wing. Surely it should make logistics easier to have fewer personal than a full air wing would need.

Peter (Irate Taxpayer)


It should be remembered that all large land-based airfields (both Russian and Ukrainian: either military or civilian) were all were key/choice targets at the start of the Ukraine War – and thus most were severely pummeled

To find out what might really happen with the next big war (i.e. the “quite-imminent” WW3) it is always useful to study what is really happening with air warfare during the ongoing war in Ukraine.

See this short clip from the Imperial War Museum

All in all, the current air war over Ukraine has turned out to be nothing whatsoever like what all of the expert pundits were forecasting would happen back in Feb 2022……….

Peter the Irate Taxpayer

Jack Dorset

Great RN PR job, I thought you were meant to be an independent news and analysis site – see the Telegraph on this deployment.

David Cook

Think it’s about time we bite the bullet and put one of those gash barges in strategic reserve/laid up we can’t afford it and besides we need aircraft and escorts.
Half a dozen Merlins….take out those on scheduled maintenance then those on unscheduled maintainence (u/s) and you are spliting two roles between not many aircraft.
Pingers used to ripple 3 cabs out of nine and AEW/ASaC was at least one out of 3.
We have 30 mk2s to go round …its all we have and frankly a bit embarrassing.
Still the lads and lassies will do their best….at least they get a run ashore.


Understanding the need for positive spin is fine but everything is dwindling year on year except money to waste…All 3 UK forces are short of EVERYTHING..Helos,jets,transport aircraft,RN and RFA hulls,armour,recon armour,ammunition,abilities realistically downgraded/hollowed out every year.Personnel diminishing in number by both design and normal happening.Recruitment issues.Are we still able to aspire to Tier 1 military status?Would MOD be willing to risk losing precious £1BN frigates by putting them in harms way?Maybe the shiny new kit is just a deterrent?But not enough of any of it to fool our enemies for long!!!