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A very honest analysis of a very shallow command paper.


I think it may be viewed more generously in years to come. Although it can’t make commitments on growth, that is not MOD’s fault – they fought and lost a battle for more resources – and maybe had political pressure not to rub it in by demonstrating that fact in the DCP. However it is full of excellent reforms which are designed to address deep seated malaise in our forces.:

  1. Campaigning as a strategic approach
  2. Investment in people
  3. Reform of procurement and MOD support services
  4. Rebuilding stocks and the industrial base we will need when inevitably we will have to rearm
  5. Investing in the science and tech which will allow us to compete at that time too.

It reminds me of the Defence Requirements Analysis commissioned from the Committee for Imperial Defence (ancestor of the NSC) in 1933, after the Geneva Disarmament Conference collapsed. The Baldwin government was fiscally austere and would not up the defence budget, despite Hitlers rise to power, yet that report set the UK on a course which meant we were at least partially ready in 1939. Out of it came investment in new technologies and armaments which led to Spitfires, Hurricanes, 25 pounder guns, ASDIC, radar, as well as the programme to build new battleships and refurbish old ones. All was done on a shoestring, but created a context in which a budget uplift in 1937 could lean on an open door.


It seems that they are making the best with what they have. Some of it may yield something. On the other hand, given the track record, future cuts seem more likely.

But any paper with such inflated rhetoric and the endless use of buzz words (“cutting edge”, “battle winning”), yet so short on any substance (and with no benchmarks) is clearly covering for something. What it is covering for is that it can’t, in fact, promise anything and that what was outlined in 2021 may already be obsolete.

I think the analysis above illustrates that well.


JamesF appreciate your intelligent analysis. Unlike the writer, you seem to live in the real world. The economy has just gone through two huge shocks. To expect Father Christmas in the midst of these events is naive at best and stupid at worst. We have an ample budget compared to any peer service. What we need is faster more intelligent spending and better human resource management. From this perspective the paper is good news. Can we put this into practice and match up to best practice, the juries out. But to sneer and fantasy fleets, I’m with the MOD on that one, sorry JR.


The paper is from the UK Government and this is what UK government committed to: Talk

Supportive Bloke

Doing things like investing in the frigate sheds and adding lines to the ammunition manufacturing facilities are obviously good investments in baseline manufacturing.

In a similar way RADAR2, ARTISAN, SAMPSON, CAMM and NLAW are domestically produced and do keep genuine cutting edge knowledge and capabilities going in a cost effective manner.

Typhoon and F35 manufacturing also keep a vital array of skills alive which will feed in with Tempest which, hopefully, doesn’t get over thought.

Subsidised wheel reinvention is not a good use of resources. So there are some areas where UK doesn’t have established R&D where buying CORS/MOTS makes more sense.

Supportive Bloke

I have to agree.

It was a massive come-down reading it.

I’d expected that BW would want to cement a better legacy.


Thank you for the insight. Just a couple of points.
1] To quote another military twitter …Ultimately, any defence review that generically describes our aspirations, without providing details of the balance of investment, headcount distribution, force structures, capability enhancements, and an equipment plan that will deliver the desired changes, is just waffle.’ [Nicholas Drummond; 19th July 2023]
2] ‘Britain, an insular state located off the coast of the European mainland, armed with a potent nuclear deterrent, does not need to do the same [*build the same force posture as mainland European nations]
And yet we can not stop the illegal migration of thousands of individuals in small boats…

I despair for my nation…


Simple, war and law enforcement aren’t the same thing. About the only thing they have in common is that they are often settled by politic/diplomatic action.
The small boat problem will need an agreement with at least France and preferably the EU. This would have been easier to do as part of Brexit if BJ hadn’t been such a dick wit. Now an agreement will involve compromises in other areas.


I thought we had signed numerous agreements with France. All involving us paying them millions to deal with the problem ? Yet we still have the problem.

Stephen Boraston

True, we give France millions so they can purchase more boats, engines and life jackets to get more leaving France and ending up on our shores, this country is a disgrace, its lost contol totally, the legal system has taken over and has increased our working life to 66yrs, will be 70 in less than 10yrs to pay for these blunders. We have no export industry, cars , steel etc, our North Sea gas should have made all our nation Rich, like Kuwait, it was squandered. Crime wins in ????????, there is little deterrent and our country is filling up fast with foreign criminals. I’m no longer proud to be British. I did 22yrs in the Army, its basically a Brigade now, forget the 4 divisions comprising our Army , its under staffed and over committed. We never had enough ammunition, some years I probably shot less than 50 rounds, savings!!!!


“We have no export industry, cars”
Seriously have you never heard of Nissan’s plant in Sunderland? Their most productive plant outside of Japan? It’s only been around 40 years.
(There’s plenty other car factories, I just chose Nissan as I’m a Geordie.)

Retirement age is increasing because people are living longer.

The U.K. is the 11 largest exporter globally by value. We tend to do higher value, more complex things that other countries can’t do, eg jet-engines, rather than cheap low-value in volume.

Maybe you need to check your facts before jumping to conclusions?


Yes, all is fine.

Government debt was equivalent to 100.8% of GDP at the end of June 2023. It last exceeded 100% of GDP in March 1961.

Public sector net debt (PSND ex) at the end of May 2023 was £2,567.2 billion

No tax cut for you.


Our nation debt to GDP is lower than every other G7 nation bar Germany. If it we were an outlier then the U.K. would be punished by the markets with crippling interests for its debts, which often ironically causes a nation to default. Instead the markets see the U.K. as a safe place to their money and are happy to buy government bonds/ gilts.
The debt only becomes an issue if the interest on servicing them becomes burdensome. That’s simple economics.


So, it is like living off the credit card, then why not borrow more, and how are you going to pay the money back?
You will pay more tax tomorrow?

That is bloody simple economy.


Its beyond what you call simple economics that a ordinary person or small to medium sized company would use.
Its called macro-economics and similar names


It’s not at all like living off a credit card. The U.K. government can only borrow if creditors believe it is safe to loan to. (The U.K. is seen as so safe that during the pandemic creditors were paying the U.K. to borrow money from them!)

Part of that analysis is whether the U.K. is borrowing money to keep going (OPEX) or whether it is borrowing for capital investment (CAPEX) which could then result in a larger GDP – making the payment of loans easier.
Ultimately if a country’s GDP is not shrinking, there isn’t a problem with debt.

Or to phrase it in your personal finance analogy having revolving credit card debt only ever becomes an issue when there is a change in circumstance such as redundancy and income (ie GDP) drops.
You’re being hard on yourself, I wouldn’t call you ‘bloody simple’ just for trying to use a personal finance analogy. But macro economics and personal finances are two completely different beasts.

Last edited 6 months ago by Sean

When we were in the EU we could send people back to Europe. Now we have to find out where they are from and send them back there if their country will take them. The agreements with France are reducing the numbers in small boats and on trucks but can’t eliminate the problem. Rwanda is just an expensive PR stunt to placate the Tory membership.

Last edited 7 months ago by ATH

The Tories make a lot of noise about 50,000 people in small boats arriving so that no-one asks questions about the 1.2m who moved here legally over the same period…..


Yea, and those 1.2m legal immigrants have been contributing to the income of the Challenger of the Exchequer and hence paying the RN budget.

Any volunteers, to pay more tax?


It’s really quite simple. You can’t physically stop the boats because as soon as you do, the occupants will bail out, at which point (whether we like it or not) the intercepting craft – and more importantly, it’s crew will have the legal responsibility under UNCLOS and SOLAS to rescue them. Now some of the more excitable among us will suggest that they should just motor off, but those people will not be the ones that the lawyers come for. So they are being “brave” with other peoples livelihoods.

Similarly, the excitables will suggest that we just violate the territorial waters of France and land those rescued, which ignores the reaction we would have if the French did that to us.

The only solution to the boats is a legal one, that results in inevitable deportation t Rwanda or elsewhere. Once that is in place and the migration industry has been defeated in the courts, then it will stop. Right now, solely because the migration industry lawyers hold all the cards, it doesn’t. You don’t fix the problem with the RN (or even the Border Force), you fix it with lawyers.


The reason people are crossing the Channel in small unsafe boats is because there is no safe and proper way for them to get here. The easy solution is to ferry those that want to be in the UK direct to an immigration centre in the UK (which is where they end up anyway, indirectly and expensively), and spend the currently wasted money we are giving to France on processing them and on their eventual settlement or deportation. The use of a cross-channel ferry to ferry them across the Channel should be a no brainer. Except successive brainless Home Secretaries have shown that it isn’t.

This is not a military problem and it doesn’t require a military solution. The Navy’s short sojourn in the hot seat was yet another waste of taxpayers’ money.

Andy W

I disagree. There is a safe and proper way to arrive on this country’s shores; those on small boats choose not to use it.


Could you enlarge on that, please? Say someone’s fleeing their wartorn homeland in North Africa or Syria. They are at least partially Anglophone and want asylum in the UK. They make it as far as France. Why would they choose to pay people-smugglers hundreds of pounds to cross the Channel dangerously if they could buy a ticket on Eurostar or P&O, saying I’m a UK-bound asylum seeker? What is their safe and legal route?


No? It’s open to anyone else if they want to enlighten me.


Quite true. A big pull for migrants is the UK job market , which in French eyes is low unemployment , no identity cards and non existent controls on working illegally- indeed I see today a whole industry around beating any legalities by lawyers themselves
4% unemployment in Britain while France is 7% – and even higher for the age group of most migrants.


As Frenchman, I see your are right: we, France, pocket the dough and do nothing.

For at least 1000 years we’ve known each other, you still trust us… How shocking.
What’s more, you should know that salt water and the open sea aren’t our thing.

I can think of a few solutions. Two have some interest:
1-You declare Calais an English city and territory. You’re used to that.
2-You repatriate all the restraint equipment to Kent. By doing so, you admit that the UK land border is on your beaches and not on our coastline.

My opinion: I strongly dislike being turned into a jailer. It’s a thankless role which, in this case, meets with no gratitude from you or your prisoners.
The French officials who signed these detestable agreements should be dismissed.

Sorry to be too frank.


The simple solution is immediate deportation to the Falklands (lovely place). See how many lawyers will turn up there for the court case. Boats will stop in a week.


Perhaps I misread it as I got the impression the Littoral Response Group South was being paired back to a semi-frequent deployment rather than a group of permanently forward based ships. I guess my confusion speaks volumes to how ambiguous and non committal the whole document is. Full of waffle and spin with very little substance.

Personally I think it’d be better to have 1 properly resourced amphibious group that can deploy East of Suez in-between the CSG rather than trying to scrape together 2 threadbare LRG’s. Like the ‘Global Response Force’ it’s all just an exercise in rebranding and fluff.

As the article states you can’t miss a target that’s not set and doing more with less still seems to be the order of the day.

I’m sure our allies will be thrilled when we turn up with platoon and single warship!


The LRG strikes me as a bargain basement imitation of an amphibious force. There is still a lot to admire in the RN but right now its either Carrier Strike OR credible Amphibious Group. We can’t do both.


So the subtext is to start paying more attention to what Rachel Reeves and John Healey have to say than what the new SoS says about things beyond the immediate.


Excellent analysis.. for me, the Slow degradation of the military over the last 26 years is as a result of politicians havjng an eu/globalist vision of the UK’s military. We provide the heavy lift air assets to the eu, with some fighter protection of the UK. We provide the ‘teeth’ army/RM forces to advance force a situation, and for naval protection, we provide the eu with a carrier.. eu nations provide follow up forces or escorts!
Cheers, fools!


France and Italy have strike carriers. Turkey has a helicopter carrier. Theres various issues with the current naval strength but not at all how you present them


Larger fleets win… historical analysis shows that out of 28 maritime battles, all but three were won by the bigger fleet.” Rr Adml James Parkin, RN Director Develop
Not at Trafalgar old boy 😉

The Government would rather waste money on 5 million layabouts than defending our country, not really news. ‘Cyber and Drones’ obviously not as effective as ships, munitions, submarines, aircraft etc.. Dressing up the replenishing kit gifted to Ukraine as a budget increase is laughable, then again we fought two wars on a peacetime budget.

Being positive, we still have 2 cutting edge carriers, 6 to become 7 cutting edge submarines 1.5 LPDs, T26 should be a world beating platform, and real fleet numbers will increase as PIP is completed. And t31 should be the worlds most advanced OPV

Last edited 7 months ago by Grant
The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

And t31 should be the worlds most advanced OPV

Not even close. 🙂

comment image

Thaon di Revel-class offshore patrol vessel


Its a frigate class in 3 types of fitout

Offshore patrol [Pattugliatore Polivalente d’Altura] is just the way things are ‘branded’ now ( compare how meals are over described on a menu)
See how ordinary things are called innovation hubs, or centres of excellence, even local councils are in on the ‘world class’ library or such.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

The Italian word for frigate is fregata.

Do you think if the Italians classed it as a fregata that word would appear in its name or not?


He cannot read the Italian menu, lol. let alone Fregata and Frittele

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Marina Militare call them OPV’s so we must call them OPV’s too.

I don’t see why once again there is need for somebody to start a disagreement just for the sake of it.


See an OPV with planar AESA 360º radar and the full will have C and X Band for Aster 30 BNT missile for offshore hits against pesky seagulls.


yes. This is an actual Italian navy offshore patrol vessel,1500 tons

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Italians have style. What can I say?


I was quite surprised that the RN River class don’t have helicopter hangar. with worse weather in North Atlantic.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

I was surprised the B1 Rivers didn’t have a flight deck considering they were replacement for a class purchased because their predecessor had no helicopter capabilities.

Yes to a hangar. On the understanding that doesn’t mean a helicopter needs to be embarked all the time.

OPV’s staying inside our EEZ don’t really need one.

At the best part of 2,000 tonnes they are robust ships but not the best package. Not enough features for such a large tub. Too many for the basic task at hand.


If only the RN had the Helo’s to go on them! Which it doesn’t


I didn’t realise the Italian Navy was quite so big. They will have 22 frigates and destroyers by the late 2020s, two aircraft carriers and they are building 2 20,000 tonne LPDs… that will make them bigger than the RN, but with less budget. As much as people say more money is the answer….. not sure it is (aware our nuclear subs skew the budget debate).


The 2 aircraft carriers are not comparable. Italian ones are much smaller.
But yeah for what UK spends on defence it seems the output do not appear to fit the spending and there are some bad choices.

Last edited 6 months ago by AlexS
Supportive Bloke

A very strange beastie.

If you think how long an A50 cell is and how shallow the draught of a 1500t vessel is then it becomes very clear that most of the VLS is in the upper works.

I’d be interested to see if these pass NATO BDR and stability tests.

The radar plates cannot be the full fat versions as they weight far, far too much for such a small vessel. Metacentric weight and all that.

The budget per unit seems extraordinarily high compared to T31 which is a proper sized platform that could take A50 or A70 cells.

What are these really for? They are for Med use: they are not blue water sized.

But then it seems strange to put full BMD potential onto them? When if they are trying to protect the Italian landmass they would be better off with ASTER ashore which is already (becoming) a thing.

If they are trying to protect a Med based CSG then there is more of a need for a better radar. But they have dedicated HORIZON frigates to do AAW….OK only two(?) so only ever realistically one in service at any one time.

Don’t get me wrong numbers count but legs also count as does BDR which these will lack as they are 1/3 the mass of T31 or T26 just based on the level of separation and compartmenting.


SB you are mixing the ships the 1500t have the 76mm gun and the helicopter and some other minor weapons like 25mm and non lethal stuff is the Comandanti Class.
Instead the Thaon di Revel class is at 4500t standard displ. with 127mm gun Patrol Ship and one particular of that ship is the height of the hangar to be able to replace Merlin engines.and rotors.
They will have planar 360º X and C band. In picture there is only one band antenna since it is not the full version and Aster. They are equivalent to T31 but better armed.
All 1st Class Italian combat ships except the carriers have BMD capacity:
2 Horizon
8 soon 10 FREMM
6 PPA Thaon di Revel
2 next 10000t “cruisers”.

I think all fleet ships having a large aerial area denial is very important. USN thinks the same.
This is my main criticism to the RN T26. It is a too big ship for RN version with limited capabilities it does have.

Last edited 6 months ago by AlexS

T26 is too big with limited capability? Remember what people here have said about weapons on RN ships?

Exposing weapons to salt spray just increases maintenance costs.

Weapons on RN ships are more for a show,

Russians navy has guns and missiles crammed into every bit of deck-space… hasn’t helped them one jot.

Of course, some will argue that T26 is already well-armed, too well-armed.

The meaning of the words “deterrent and strength” has long been forgotten.


I see you’re adept at misquoting others out of context to push your arguments.

The point that someone else made was why have weapons aboard a ship exposed to sea-spray when they’re not needed because the ship is transiting between a repair shipyard and its home port.

BTW you’re clearly not aware the major reason why the Moskva was lost is that the Ukrainian missiles hit the ridiculously placed SS-N-12 launchers Sandbox missile containers placed along the sides of the deck.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Everything on a late 20th century warship is exposed as they are all mostly thin metal. Even armoured boxes can be hit resulting in sympathetic detonation of the contents.

I have started at the bottom of this thread and slowly worked up.

If you don’t think misquoting others is a way to push arguments then Russophobia as a basis for arguments isn’t a valid method either.


Pointing out the laughable inadequacies of the Russian military is not Russophobia as you put it… in fact their hilarious inadequacies eliminate any possible fear of their ability to do any harm to the U.K.

You clearly don’t know that a phobia is based on fear. At the moment the Salvation Army invokes more fear than the Russian Army!


Ukrainian missiles hit the ridiculously placed SS-N-12 launchers Sandbox missile containers—-

Have you any proof of how the Moskva was sunk? Or is it your way of misquoting others?

And how was HMS Sheffield sunk by one AShM? With or without any warhead exploding?


I’m not responsible for your failure to keep up with news reports from the Ukraine War.

You obviously haven’t bothered following reports on HMS Sheffield either. The 2015 reassessment of the attack using the latest damage analysis tools showed that the warhead exploded.
The big difference is Sheffield only lost 20 of its 281 crew – in the galley and the computer room.
Whereas the Moskva due to the fire appears to have lost around HALF of its 485 crew.

Last edited 6 months ago by Sean

So you have been reading the Sun lately for your intelligent information, page 3 was it?


No I haven’t, but I’m guessing you do as words are clearly not your strong point.


T26 is too big with limited capability? 

Compare it to the capabilities of Australian and Canadian versions.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Grant was having a dig quite rightly at T31. All I did was carry on the joke on.

I am not sure how a 4500 tonne warship isn’t suitable for blue water work. The Med isn’t always calm FWIW.

Yes fixing a missile system to the land instead of to a moving platform is always the better option, not.

Supportive Bloke

I was commenting on the 1,500t version, illustrated, not being blue water.

It is widely acknowledged that to do BMD – a ship has to stay in a tight box – that makes its location better known and makes it more vulnerable. Is that a good use for a ship? Or are you better off with a series of distributed mobile launchers with 4-6 shots each that are dispersed well away from any radar and control systems. The radar and control systems being systems of systems so there is no single point of failure. Why are the Italians and French investing is A30(derivatives) ashore if they think it is so useless?


Every armed forces branch wants their pie. The naval ABM have the facility of speed, mobility. The land systems have the facility of being more difficult to detect. So they complement.


The UK needs a better way of managing our long term foreign policy and defence strategy.

Frequent Defence Reviews lead to arbitrary short-term decisions that pay little regard to the long-term needs of either the country or the armed services. Large projects can take a decade or more to deliver, and service lives for major assets can be 40-50 years, far longer than the lifetime of any government. The constant chopping and changing of policy leads to inefficiency and waste.

We should try to build a long-term cross-party consensus about Britain’s defence policy. Given the tribalism seen in our politics, this will be difficult. However other countries can do it. In Australia (which has similar highly tribalised politics to the UK) the government of the time sought endorsement from the opposition before entering into AUKUS, as they recognised, rightly, the long duration of the commitment.


The current Australian PM , when opposition leader, said he only heard about AUKUS the day before even though there was a few months of actual government to government negotiations.
Political party Tribalism for Defence is the same in US , Australia etc and its not the biggest UK problem as the NL lead article demonstrates. I see the tories as worn out and run out of any ideas after 10 years of austerity as dictated by Treasury – who last beyond any minister or PM.


How this website isn’t the ‘go to’ criteria for any MOD defence minister I do not know. I’ve no idea if NAVY LOOKOUT is a one man mission or if a team of operators hide behind the keyboard delivering us some of the fairest, objective and real status of the Royal Navy out there. This site is second to none on original content and inside Intel on all avenues of Navy. You must have a wide souce of contacts to feed on, and some very gold braided shoulders to tap for updates.

Is the defence minister team completely oblivious to the actual status of the fleet and the goings on of procurement, or are they very aware but fuzzing the edges of reality to deliver a ‘were in charge’ spin that paints a much more optimistic view for the daily mail?

Incidentally, is there an Army and RAF equivalent of this website out there, that speaks with the same knowledge, professionalism and fairness in those quarters?

Phillip Johnson

This whole thing smells of hard decisions kicked down the road. With Wallace gone you can pretty much guarantee that nothing new will happen until well after to the next election.
Hard decisions really need to be made, the RN (and indeed the whole MOD) simply does not have the mass to claim a ‘global’ role.
It is really time the pretense stops and the UK concentrates on Europe and parts of the Middle East with the intent of allowing the US to redeploy forces to Asia.


The U.K. is mostly concentrated in Europe and the Gulf. 5 OPV’s (2 of which cover British territory), a carrier force deployment every 4 years and maybe eventually 2/3 T31’s “out of area” is a very small part of the U.K. defence effort.


While I’m sure that the purse strings have a lot to do with it, I’m guessing that much of the thinking behind the latest DCP is now essentially ‘wait and see’

Thanks to Ukraine, Russia is basically hobbled for the foreseeable – for all their aggression, they are actually not too far off from total economic collapse.

China have their own major structural problems brewing on several fronts, and as well recent events will likely be giving them pause with any ‘ambitions’

So while we are currently living in very interesting times, it’s probably not considered the best time to get drawn into a major arms race/global power play, that might yet not happen.

All while trying to keep plenty options open, just in case. Without making too many new commitments, because the future threat landscape will likely turn up things unexpected.

And as others have noted, the rest of it is all sensible stuff that needs to be done.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Yes the Russian economy is suffering. A national debt of 20% mostly in Roubles held by Russian institutions. A currency backed by trillions in commodities. Sales of those commodities continue to rise. The world’s largest food producer. Petrol at .5p per litre.

That’s the trouble here constantly. Ignorance of the enemy.


Do not worry, Russian warships do not work…

Yes the Russians navy has guns and missiles crammed into every bit of deck-space…
hasn’t helped them one jot.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Russia is a land power. Their navy is a secondary concern for them.

The MoD though is doing all it can to help with their submarines by hobbling the fleet’s ASW capability.

As I said……..

That’s the trouble here constantly. Ignorance of the enemy.

Supportive Bloke

Not much evidence of them working as intended.

That is what happens when you fudge essentially 70’s or 80’s systems along in the digital age.

They don’t have a centralised CMS, unless you count chinograph, so overall threat awareness is poor.

It is like a BI County Class fighting today: really.


So Slava class had these combat systems but no centralised CM despite various overhauls . really ?
SS-N-12 Sandbox – anti ship
 S-300PMU Favorit (SA-N-6 Grumble) long range AAW
(SA-N-4 Gecko) surface-to-air missile system short range
130mm gun and 6 CIWIS 30mm gatling
two RBU 6000 rocket launchers anti submarine mortars
and 2 types of air search radar

Was it done by speaker tubes ?
The reality is an unexpected anti ship missiles catch them out
Sheffield, Stark are examples of CMS caught out.

Last edited 6 months ago by Duker

Ask the crew of the Moskva if Russian warships ‘work’…

The Whale Island Zookeeper

That’s rather like asking the crew of HMS Sheffield or HMS Coventry if British warships work is it not?

Your Russophobia Sean doesn’t excuse facts.


Indeed . Ask in WW2 how HMS Hood, Prince of Wales Repulse, Ark Royal worked? Or the ships caught at Pearl Harbour
No need to ask who won


Again you demonstrate your ignorance of what the term “Russophobia” means. I don’t fear the Russians, I find them both laughable and pitiful.

Last edited 6 months ago by Sean

Also ask the crews of
Battlecruisers IndefatigableQueen MaryInvincible
Armored cruisers Black PrinceWarriorDefence

And to misquote Admiral Beatty; there is something wrong with those bloody ships.


Pretty sure none of those were sunk by anti-ship missiles causing fires which then detonated missiles that they had laying all over the decks…
But don’t let details get in the way of your propagandising.


They all had the same cause- a chain of negligence no matter the type of attack
Pearl Harbour
Naval Battle of Malaya
Black Sea




What detonations on deck


The single issue for Putin is an unsustainable budget deficit combined with total isolation from foreign debt to cover the shortfall. Once their financial reserves run out in the next few months, they are toast. This much is now inevitable.

Meanwhile their war machine gets steadily chewed to bits in Ukraine. Most of this is built on a decades old soviet legacy, and they don’t have the financial resources to replace it all with new equipment, so once it’s gone it’s gone.

Supporting Ukraine is therefore the single most effective investment we can make in European defense at the moment. Beyond that, the future is very much uncertain and I think the DCP reflects that.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

How is 20% unsustainable? Mostly held in Roubles by Russian institutions? The world is still buying their hydrocarbons, agricultural products, and other commodities. Russia is awash with money. A Rouble backed by trillions in commodities. How is that failing?

Compare to most Western countries whose debt is greater than their GDP. Held by institutions outside their borders in a fragile fiat US Dollar.

According to the MSM the Russians have been running out of missiles and equipment since the second week of the conflict. Yet they appear to be still inside the territory of the Ukraine. The Ukrainians had deep reserves of equipment before this conflict started. Now they are being gifted penny packets of redundant Western equipment. What happened there? The Russians appear to have not only reserves but the capability to produce equipment. As I said it is self evident they are still in the Ukraine and they are still fighting.

How is destabilising the world’s premier nuclear power an investment in defence? If this war has shown anything about Russian capacity it that it doesn’t have enough to invade Western Europe. A task much greater than expedition into a bordering state.

I don’t know what to say.

Supportive Bloke


The Russians cannot make the digital electronics and are using dual use items.

I was chuckling at the idea of them reverse engineering some systems – they have zero industry that does that. Look at the cars they are making without an infotainment/nav system

The Whale Island Zookeeper

The Russian can make electronics and have access to China.

And no infotainment in their cars? Wow.

You will be telling me next they are going hungry because they don’t have McDonald’s.


For war your stuff do not need to be the ultimate CPU/GPU it might help in some circumstances but there is no absolute need. It is more important to have reliable code and EMP protection.


Its the deficit that’s the issue, not the debt. Due to the war, the Russian government is spending much more than their income and due to sanctions they don’t have access to finance to make up the shortfall. So once their reserves run out they will have to either drastically cut spending or print money, which will result in rampant inflation. Its a big problem for the economy because the government directly supports over 60% of the population, either through employment or welfare.

Last edited 6 months ago by Ben Robins

weapons win the battle but the economy wins the war.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

They are at war. So yes the deficit is greater. But sales of commodities are allowing them to manage the deficit.

All the sanctions have done little to Russia and harmed the US, EU, and the UK a lot.

Food and fuel prices will stave off inflation.

Financially Russia is better off than the West in structural terms.


In structural terms the Russian economy started the war on par with Italy and the only question is how small it will be by the end. That’s before the reparations to Ukraine for rebuilding – likely the forfeiture of its currently frozen foreign reserves.

Russia now only survives by selling raw materials for other countries to use. Africa has numerous examples of countries with such economies…

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Russia is one of the world’s biggest providers of commodities which the world needs. Russia in GDP terms may be the same as Italy. But Russia’s debt isn’t 135% of GDP like Italy. And due to EU sanctions on Russia Italy’s economy is shrinking.

I can’t see Russia paying the Ukraine any reparations.

Yes Russia sells commodities. Unlike Africa though Russia is the beneficiary of those sales. Russia also sells food and hydrocarbons. America hardly builds anything now China is the world’s workshop. Germany is de-industrialising because it no longer buys Russia hydrocarbons directly. Australia makes money selling minerals and food stuffs. I don’t see why Russia doing the same is a reason for it to be scorned. Russia also has an industrial base that can service most of its needs. It might not make the latest and greatest items, but neither does the West as China and SE Asia does that for the West.


No Russia’s GDP is not on par with Italy’s. It was before the war, now it’s dropped several places below that of Italy’s and that just after 1 year… Sanctions really take several years for their bite to have real effect.

Russia will be paying reparations because it’ll be done whether it wants it to happen or not. The West has frozen $300 million dollars of Russian state funds. Moves are already in progress to to transfer these to the Ukraine for reconstruction after the war.

Not been following the news I see. With Russia killing the Grain Deal it’s going to be selling far less food in future.

Russia doesn’t have an industrial base to service its needs.
If it did Russian wouldn’t have stolen all the aircraft leased to its airlines, it wouldn’t be cannibalising them to keep them flying, and it wouldn’t be weakening it’s aviation safety standards to keep them flying. As for its own domestically designed and built aircraft, even its flagship Sukhoi SuperJet is totally dependent on Western parts.

Much to the Ukrainians annoyance, virtually every crashed Russian missile and drone (bar the Iranian ones) contain Western manufactured parts.
Russia’s industrial base is so backward it cannot even service its military.

Hydrocarbons are on their way out as a form of fuel, or are you a climate-denier too?

Last edited 6 months ago by Sean

Please do not measure pure GDP, measure by PPP GDP.

Data Calculation IMF.2023 GDP(PPP)

Russia 4,988,829
UK 3,846,931
Italy 3,195,548

For completion:

China 33,014,998
USA 26,854,599

Last edited 6 months ago by AlexS

Please do not quote PPP GDP as it is a purely notional figure that provides a crude figure assuming a country only ever purchases internally produced products, labour, raw materials, energy, etc. In reality even pariahs like North Korea, Afghanistan, etc, buy externally produced products and services, ie they have imports.

You’re deliberately misusing PPP GDP to support your propaganda.

(Of course Russia could achieve a truly stratospheric PPP GDP by the introduction of slavery for its general population. Given the pittance most earn and the lack of freedoms they have, it wouldn’t be a huge leap politically.)

Last edited 6 months ago by Sean

Every price GDP is an estimate.

You don’t have an argument you resort to ad hominem…

An AK 74 bullet kills as a M4 bullet but are several times cheaper.


So having had your disingenuous misuse of PPP GDP exposed you now decide that GDP doesn’t matter anyway because it’s “an estimate”…
Proves you knew how dishonest you were being.

An AK47 bullet will kill just as easily as an M4 bullet, possibly more likely to given the high calibre. But the bullet has to hit… And in a fire-fight between western trained professionals soldiers and a bunch of drunk convicts pulled out of a Russian prison the week before, it’s obvious the M4 bullets will be doing all the killing.


You seem to lack reading comprehension . All GDP calculations are estimates. Being PPP or not PPP do not change it.
It is you that were exposed that only one kind of GDP calculation is “estimate”

US health services are wildly expensive, that increases their GDP. But that do not mean you cannot have working cheaper healthcare anywhere in the world.

So for the bullet you now count the drunken Russians as part of GDP?


Dont forget that big seller of raw materials and basic agricultural products
Its thats poor backwater called Australia. I wont go there why Africa hasnt much to show for their products
getting your info from the The Daily Telegraph doesnt serve you well


And you’re forgetting the huge elephant in the room, Australia isn’t sanctioned. So there is no issue in companies buying its raw materials as its on Swift, there’s no issues with ships to transport the raw materials because shipping companies can get insurance, etc, etc, etc.

Africa is the closest equivalent to Russia – totalitarian regimes, underdeveloped nations with rampant corruption and incompetence.


government directly supports over 60% of the population’
Sounds like France, but more around the 50% level
Excepth France has more civil turmoil/rioting and opposition to its leader than Russia. Macron is just as dictatorial too- many recent law changes by passed the vote in the National Assembly and became law by Presidential decree


I see the MOD 2023 annual report ( the financials) that £4.3 bill was spent on UK shipbuilding and repair – out of the total spend £50.5 bill

The new funding cost for Ukraine capital spending(£1.98) and operations comes to £2.4 bill pa
One F-35B lost means £84.3 mill written off


And alcohol drunkenness-related treatment is estimated to cost the NHS in England £3.5 billion every year or about 40 F-35B in your money, cheers.


Its just informative to see an actual cost ( on the books but it was near new)
The 48 plane buy had an ‘all up’ cost of £10.5 bill which includes the proverbial kitchen sink. That was an average per plane of £218 mill each which is 2.5x what this plane cost.
Thats about the right multiplication factor from what a plane costs and how the MoD counts the additional service costs such as spares, maintenance, weapons etc as the system cost


Peanuts compared to the damage that alcoholism causes the Russian economy.


I wonder where that £4.3bn value comes from. The accounts cite a different report against it, presumably as source: “MOD regional expenditure with UK industry and commerce and supported employment 2021/22”. However I can’t find that number in there and nothing at all like it for shipbuilding/repair. Given that the entire planned capital outurn for Royal Navy equipment for that year was less than £2bn it just strikes me as a suspicious number. (Not that these different numbers ever quite add up to a non-expert.)

Last edited 7 months ago by Jon

Here it is
Page 37
£4.3Bn of Defence expenditure was attributed to UK shipbuilding and repair in 2021-22
Theres a ref to where that came from
I used the print ready PDF for download


Thank you. My point is the £4.3bn is only in the accounts blurb. It isn’t in the document cited by the accounts as the source. Nor does it match the financial lines in the same accounts document.


Yes it is in the source it cites. Do you even read these things ? These are official sources so have to be relied on rather than from second guessing

Interesting the graph they use shows shipbuilding and repair rising since 2012 while aircraft build and repair costs fall

Commonwealth Loyalist

Sounds like time to change the website title back to “Save the Royal Navy”

Julian Edmonds

North Korea’s spies have copied the designs of America’s most advanced and powerful military drones – the Global Hawk and Reaper – and are now selling them to Putin.
We haven’t got decades to do procurement.
Ukraine has learnt to do it in weeks.
We must do likewise if we want the West to survive.


Evidence for this?
There’s certainly accusations that the Russia has offered North Korea to trade food for artillery, etc but no definitive proof yet. If there were proof, then North Korea would be classified as a co-belligerent under international law and liable for reparations.

North Korea may have built drones that look like US drones, but they certainly won’t perform the same. Neither the Russians or Chinese can produce jet engines that are on par with Western designs, and you can be sure North Korean domestic semiconductor production is decades behind the West’s.

The Whale Island Zookeeper

Neither the Russians or Chinese can produce jet engines that are on par with Western designs

True. But you need titanium to build a jet engine. Where does the West get that metal?

North Korean domestic semiconductor production is decades behind the West’s.

True. But China’s is ahead of the West. It all depends whether you think Taiwan is in the West or not I suppose.


The most advanced semiconductor design and fabrication is a western monopoly at the moment through a single Dutch-US company ASML which makes the colossally expensive hardware

Chinas importation of semi conductors costs about the same as its oil imports- its not getting them from Russia


Chinese semiconductor technology lags decades behind the west. I

count the Netherlands as being in the west… Taiwan’s TSMC, just like every other advanced semi-conductor manufacturer, relies on a Holland’s ASML Holdings for the photolithography machines required.

The West gets titanium for engines from the huge stockpile that engine manufactures have been building up since 2014.


No one is liable for reparations . International law rules it out – unless Russia agrees

Confiscating Russian state assets frozen by the United States and Europe could breach international law and set a dangerous precedent, experts say.

You are on a roll about what is international law . Its bizarre when theres speculation without any backup


I think you’ll find such confiscations have previously been made and legal moves are being made to make it easier.

Richard Beedall

I read it in an hour after it was published, and end up thinking “is that it?”. For a day I wondered if I had actually read the right document! In recent months I’ve got the impression that Wallace had lost his enthusiasm for the job after the double wammy of Sunak not backing his request for extra money for the MOD in order to at least standstill in real terms, and the failure of his bid to be next NATO Secretary General. No great surprise when he effectively resigned.


Could have quit with trumpets blaring and supported by the top military chiefs quitting too.
Instead its all very stiff upper lip as they know their after retirement gravy train is too important

Commonwealth Loyalist

I dunno about all that regarding guvmt retirement plans but very sad that Ben Wallace is resigning, probly his official reasons have nothing to do with the real ones, which I assume involve the present govt not being serious about increasing defense to anywhere near the needed levels.

As I mentioned before, it seems we need to change back to “Save the Royal Navy” rather than assuming it is all fine now, The supposedly pro-defense Conservative party is proving soft and wobbly again, worse than Neville Chamberlain, and even providing opportunitis for Labour to criticize its cuts.

But really both parties seem to prefer ignoring the warlike challenges of the outside world, a replay of the 1930’s. Nice that we are trying to help Ukraine, but we need to look to the future and the Govt’s first job of providing security.

Instead, both parties seem mainly focussed on fake issues like the “climate crisis”, that nobody with a knowledge of longer term history can find remotely credible. But due to the present mob and media enthusiasm we are shutting down reliable power sources, subsidizing windmills that impoverish the UK by increasing electricity costs, destabilizing the grid due to the resulting intermittency, and exporting jobs en masse to China and the Congo with their child and slave labor.

Instead of the untold and trillions planned to be wasted on non-issues such as that, please send at least a small portion of it to the MoD.