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Dave Taskis

Nicely produced graphic summary of the most depressing year since the Dutch raided the Medway in 1666.

criss of tring herts

Considering the sorry and violent unstable state of the world today,
With the likes of Argentina – Syria , afghan , and north Korea
Somalia and others in lower Africa , the rise of the pirate problem,
China , and other miner problems, would it not at the very least be prudent,
Or worst very wise, to bring the carriers forward in the making, [i.e.24 hours a day perhaps]
Putting in advanced orders for new ships and subs for the navy,
More transport planes , and other planes badly needed for the R.A.F.
For intelligence gathering,
To be paid for if poss, on completion, in part, as we are expected to grow by 2015/18
Better to order it now, rather than later,
Just a thought, as we would not want to get caught with our trousers down AGAIN would we .

Womba

To round up this year I fear some of the new strategies of the defence review have serious shortcoming.The concept of a “Rapid reaction force” is a difficult one to achieve.Its trying to replace a carrier force which it does not have the capabilities of a carrier force such as air defence.Secondly Ocean is currently about to go into refit and Illustrious is old and is going to be hard going keeping running.Not to mention that many of are frigates are needed elsewhere.Another more looming issue is the fate of the RFA even before the defence cuts this website highlighted that government attempted to eliminate or reduce the RFA.The RFA is crucial in power projection particularly with the events of USS Cole and hostile ports the RN need to maintain long term sea borne capibilty. A pressing concern is the type 23 and 42 like the type 22 are at the point of cannibalising other ship to keep others going.We may be at the point when as the type 26 takes too long to build and commission .Instead we might buy cheaper MEKO frigates or older ships from the US Naval Reserve fleet (Not the fleets you see of mothballed ships in Norfolk and Sangin bay) .Another issues is air defence the Albino and Bay class ships in particular have only got short range air defence .Lessons have not been learnt from the tragedy of RFA Sir Galahad .Plus the type 42 air defence system in my personal opinion is outdated.

But there has been good news this past year.For a start we still retain a amphibious landing capability which the RN fought so hard for after the Falklands .The badly needed air defence capacity as well as the carriers are still on there way.Plus i believe are most lethal asset shown in the Falklands the attack submarine has been retained. the mine hunting force has managed to get out of defence review largely unscathed.Plus the alliance with the french is an asset we badly need a combined marine force could be a potent intervention force.Plus combined task forces may help cover are lack of anti submarine and anti air capabities. We must remember that although the french have a carrier many of there ships are not designed for high intensity operations like our our.Plus there fleet and subs size is to small to cover all there interests.

But i believe fat can still be trimmed off the military its a hard decision to make but I believe the Sea King rescue helicopters should be retired immediately or the ability privatised.I also think the hyrography ships of of HMS Echo and her sister should be mothballed frankly its a luxury we cannot afford.I would also scrap Endurance and protector we have a guard ship in the Falklands and the British Antarctic Survey have Ice breakers. Also the reserves in the RN and Marines severley and the entirety of the TA should be Disbanded.My logic for this is i would rather have a effective well trained and well armed force than paying for TA troops who refuse overseas deployment and most are not trained up to a acceptable capability.

For the Xmas list for next year for the RN and RFA I would like to see more frigates and logistics ships.A greater cooperation between the forces (even if this did mean the amalgamation of the Fleet Air Arm and RAF for logistical benfits).To rebuild the marines capability for alternate operations other than those in afganistan. Also to give the marines heavier equipment and make it a mechanized/light division. For example as warriors with TOW and Rapier missiles .This would mean that we could end this Standby infantry brigade which is constantly at active readiness and replace it with a heavier force that can operate on its own and a greater variety of scenarios. Operationaly I wish an end to the just leaving RFA supply ships to act as Guard ships in Caribbean its just risky with the events of USS Cole or or Venezuela where to suddenly attack with its F-16s the RFA ships would be defenceless.

David Tetley

Just an unbelievable decision to scrap the Ark Royal and Harrier fleet as the Arab spring was unfolding along with the Falklands situation, Iraq, Syria, pirates etc. The government could easily find themselves hauled over the coals for this rediculous effort to save a very small amount of cash. If the country suffers for it, or forces staff die for it dont ever let them forget their hasty decision and lay the blame firmly at their door

So Concerned

What is so worrying is the RN’s seeming inability to get its share of the funding compared to the RAF. Everyone knows about the publicity machine the RAF operates and the RN may be too much the gentleman to engage. They should not need to as the government ought to be able to distinguish between hype and reality, However, the government cannot so the RN senior staff are going to have to engage as they have a responsibility – regardless of the stupidity and short sightedness of the politicians – to provide for defence of our country.

We urgently need both aircraft carriers with working aircraft. We then need a third one so we can have two operational at any one time. We also need suitable escorts. The sad thing is that all this is so affordable if only the government adopted a sensible shipbuilding policy.Looking at it long term saves an enormous amount of money – roughly halving the cost of each ship.

Edward Philpott

Hers what I would do to get the british navy out of its mess-

Scrap 2 Trident subs and warheads.

Scrap Torando GR4’s and cease production of Typhoons upgrading those completed to Tranche 3 spec.

Cut foreign aid to india and africa by 90%.

Paycuts to all MPs (including that bottom lip sucking ,when hes thinking ,former public school boy)and MoD bean counters by 90%(pigs flew past in perfect formation by my window when I typed that one out).

Use savings to complete and keep BOTH carriers and embark either Super Hornet and Growlers or let the blondes of SAAB work their engineering genius for a Sea Gripen based on the Gripen NG airframe. In fact naval gripen might be better as you could embark more due to small size.

Construct more hunter killer subs and frigates.

Assault ships for the Royal Marines.

With this completed britain would have value for money . Instead of a trident sub prowling the depths awaiting doomsday to avenge London or Manchester a carrier strike force could bomb or send marines in to destroy any nuclear facillties of a hostile rogue power. Backed up by plenty of hulls above and below water.And claims by that buffoon in no10 could be taken a little more serisly when he says the navy are going to the pacific to stand by japan.

The big question is of course is britain worth defending still? Is the nation that gave the world radar , the jet engine and cricket past its best or can it pick its self up and go on to protects its law abiding citizens and maritime interests? Around 2020 we shall see……….