Subscribe
Notify of
guest
104 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Grubbie

Still no clue given as to what it might actually be used for.

SilentMajority

Only in your mind evidently.

Fantastic scenes yesterday, very proud of the RN and all those that are delivering these magnificent vessels and capability.

Watching the live feed as it happened without any MSM babble, ignorance and thinly disguised negativity was wonderful.

The RN is right to draw a line in the sand to avoid mediocrity and irrelevance, and they have drawn that line high. Some here think the carriers threaten resources for the escort fleet, I maintain that without the carriers as the core, the RN would be far less high profile, and the resource case for the escort fleet would consequently be much weaker. When looking to balance the fleet, for decades it has been cut and then balanced downwards with further cuts, however now with the carriers at the core, there is a manifest and high profile case to balance it upwards for a change.

Anyway, it is obviously Dreadnought that is the scourge of the budget, not carrier strike, and it should go back to central Treasury funding where it belongs, along with pensions etc.

ObjectinSpace

The escort fleet is important, but, in reality is not insurmountable. Certainly, a more perfect world would see the UK wake up a bit and realise that we all (not just a semi-mythical 1%) need to pay a bit more tax. For health, education and, of course, for the armed forces. Particularly the navy. That extra funding could be used to add a couple of frigates and/or subs.

In the real world, the escort solution comes from inter-operability with NATO/other allies. Not necessarily the US (though they’re the obvious one). Two examples: (i) a North Atlantic / North Sea / Baltic Sea conflict with Russia might see a ‘core’ RN task force of QE, Type 45, x2 Frigates and an Astute (fingers crossed), plus a French sub, a German frigate and a Danish frigate; or (ii) S. China problem would see the same RN force accompanied by x2 Aussie destroyers + 1 French built Aussie sub (in time a Hunter or two) and/or Japanese equivalents.

Of course, that leaves us relying on those countries. But, in essence, what could be deployed in either of those scenarios is not negligible. Cross navy training, of course, then becomes key.

SilentMajority

Tax aside (the issue IMO is endemic waste and feckless expenditure, at almost £800Bn per annum, not the tax take, which would be degenerative to the economy to increase), I agree.

Defence is a complex web of international partnership and engagement, primarily within NATO, but far beyond. It is about what you can bring to the table, and what can be done with one’s partners for defence, security, diplomacy and prosperity.

In that vein, the two carriers are powerful, super high profile assets that will be greatly in demand from our friends and allies, who will be most eager to work with us in areas of mutual interest. The whole “we can’t generate an entire UK task group so we shouldn’t bother” argument is redundant, as it is of much more benefit to leverage the good will and prestige offered by such cooperation and engagement opportunities. Just as we have routinely provided escorts for US and French carriers on NATO taskings.

Furthermore, although highly unlikely, of course we can go it alone. The problem then is not a question of providing escorts and sub(s), which we have, but of backfilling the duties they would otherwise be undertaking. In this scenario either some of those duties could be safely temporarily neglected, and/or the good will generated by precisely the types of aforementioned deployments, would make the rest of NATO and other allies more likely to plug these gaps.

Dave GC

Yes totally agree just like during the Falklands the RNZN provided a fully operational frigate which was I think tasked into the Indian Ocean to free up an RN escort to race West.
Fingers crossed for a big success with Type 31 and the escort force growing to 24 hulls.

Grubbie

You are all very good at voting this down, but you haven’t got an answer have you?

Paul Bestwick

What was the Invincible class used for?

Grubbie

Total waste of time and money,except for one killer app fighting one far away non peer adversary.We were very nearly defeated, and would have been had the Argentinean armourers and torpedo technicians done their job properly.
The RN once made great play in the Portsmouth evening news of sending HMS illustrious to support operations in Afghanistan!
It would be impossible to repeat the Falklands task force as we no longer have have enough ships to defend the fleet and absorb losses,never mind any other commitments.
There is talk of sending a carrier to enforce navigation rights in the south China sea, this would rely on the Chinese sense of politeness to not sink it.

Peter

You have nothing of value to say.

Grubbie

You can’t even think of anything to say.

Dave GC

Grubbie so the Falklands was a waste of time!? You would have been happy leaving the islanders in the hands of a military dictator responsible for killing 25000 of his own citizens?

That conflict was a remarkable achievement for the RN, to bring a Cold War ASW focused fleet 8,000nm and retake the islands on Argentina’s doorstep, and face an enemy then boosting a large modern air force and powerful navy.

As a note the RN could retake the islands again especially with the likes of tomahawk in the arsenal able to hit targets deep inland. Though this discussion is irelivant as Argentina’s military is a shadow of its former self and the islands are very well defended.

Also the only enemy torpedo to come close to a British ship was seduced by a towed decoy belonging to one of the Type 21’s so not sure what your on about there.

Your South China Sea comments seem strange as you must be quoting the ex foreign secretary who has little idear for complex diplomacy and to say that it would be Chinese politeness not to sink her is just plain tosh, a fully worked up CSG has large amount of defensive power and would never be risked in right of navigation cruise (the USN send single surface escorts to perform this not whole CSG’s).

Why are you so negative about the new carriers? Their deterrence value alone could save countless lives in the future.

Grubbie

There is no magic deterrence effect, it relies on a genuine capability to physically change you opponents actions.Othewise it would be described as bluffing. If we could bluff China into behaving it would be a wonderful thing, but they’re not stupid.

Dave GC

I would a strongly argue that when full carrier strike is achieved a QE CSG will have first rate capability which will be able to deter and change adversaries minds, for sure China is not going to change anything in the South China Sea because the UK had built a couple of big flat tops (they plan a fleet of around 10 I think) but we are adding powerful credible platforms to NATO and our wider allies and will be able to take a little more of the burden off the US who currently provide a disproportionate amount of the worlds maritime security.

Iqbal Ahmed

Dave, the South China Seas are in China’s backyard. We have no business flying the flag there. Leave the Chinese to negotiate with the likes of Malaysia, Vietnam abd Indonesia. The US will aid Japan and protect Taiwan.

The Chinese call the shots there. China’s blue water navy build up, artificial islands, air bases, supersonic & hypersonic missile bases and political will to project power will render our white elephants, HMS High Value Target and HMS Puching above our Weight tempting targets and a burden.

China needs to be accommodated so that changes to the post WW2 ‘rules based status quo’ can be changed by adding Chinese priorities and interests as well. There is no other way of dealing with a rising China.

Grubbie

The problem with that idea is that there ain’t no negotiation. China just dosnt see why it should.

Jassy

Of course the Chinese won’t change face on their expansion in the South China Sea cause the UK has built two new carriers.. But what it will do is keep them at bay for maybe 10 more years when they see the UK is back in the game and has reconstituted two fully armed and ready battle groups, and are regularly deploying them on patrol in the South China Sea along with their allies. That alone sets back China’s aspirations. And is that well worth the expense if you look at the cost of a real conflict with China that may very well come. The Chinese don’t yet have the confidence or the experience of real life naval operations like the UK US Japan and Austraila which are the countries building up their naval forces to counter precisely that threat..

Anthony D

The world isn’t just China grubbie. Iraq was poised to invade Kuwait in the 60s (can’t remember the year) and the swift arrival of auk task force deterred it. Same in Belize. Similar in seirra Leone but civil war that time. Of countries know we have it and will use it then that will deter all but the most powerful states.

Grubbie

“The only enermy torpedo “THAT WORKED .”Would never be risked”.”ASW focused fleet”lost 2 AAW destroyers.You are quite right that the Argentineans are unable to threaten the Falklands at the moment and couldn’t have invaded in 1982 had we put any thought into defending them. So no use there.
The UK cannot provide a viable CBG for any worthwhile mission.Deterrence cannot work unless its viable.
No one has been able to suggest a use here,I am now even less convinced. Tosh about national pride,power projection, impressiveness,etc,just won’t cut it.

Airborne

There’s no rocket science here pal, any CBG will consist of a core RN group with associated NATO allies to flesh out the escorts. The RN and allies train for it now and always have. There is no longer any countries aside from the US that can put together a real CBG using it’s assets alone. You are just showing your lack of lateral thinking and have a narrative to push, which is quite embarrassing really. Every military in the world wants more money and assets, and the RN certainly need that, but to continuously nay say about the carriers is becoming laughable, my god in the 30s you would be moaning about those clunky armoured things with tracks, as they will never be useful and will never replace the horse.

Grubbie

Quite the reverse, the carrier in this form is as dead as the battleship.
We won’t have enough aircraft to fill the hangers.Theres no point in having an independent carrier capability if you can’t from an independent CBG ,you might as well just support the yanks who can.The amphibious forces and escorts have been cut down beyond a credible level to pay for the carriers. I notice that, along with everyone else, you cannot come up with a viable and worthwhile mission.

Grubbie

I’m not on my own here.Even the architect of this disaster, Admiral West has said that he wouldn’t have built the carriers for this size of fleet.

Andy

Lord West is on record saying that he was happy for the surface fleet to be cut to pay for the QEC program and the image was more important than its capabilities.

We have 2 white elephants and a surface fleet incapable of protecting them unless we abandon our standing commitments.
I know people say our allies will help , but is the German navy who latest warship was listing and had to be returned to the builders and had no operational subs ? Or the French who needed our heavy lift helos in Africa and navy is in a worst state than ours? Or maybe the Canadians who fleet is confined to harbour due to budget constraints.

I am all for the QEC program but not what it has morphed into and the huge cost to the navy and RAF.

Rick

Alright already Andy, you’ve made your point over and over.
Your not getting any “Thumbs Up” on your ongoing commentary.

Andy

And I will keep saying it , the truth is never popular but it is the truth .
We have paid for a cple white elephants as taxpayers for the sake of image .

We could of built for the same money 2 catobar carriers with all there flexibility and equipped them with a flexible airwing and not be locked into buying the dog F35B at a cost of 15 billion and the treasury is already saying they will not pay for any more after the first 38.

The French Rafale would have been a excellent choice and far cheaper.

I mean who in there right mind spends 6 billion on 2 carriers only to designate one as a helicopter assault ship .

And now Lord West admits they are the wrong type of carriers for the navy.

In 5 years time both will be in laid up because of insufficient manpower and money.

csm

Purchasing £15 billion worth of aircraft, whilst producing approx £47 billion …
Refusing to purchase more than the first 38 from low rate initial production …
Its designated an aircraft carrier (R09) …

Honestly, the greater issue is people’s inability to read.

Grubbie

So how are you going to form up an independent Falklands task force with no allies prepared to join us?

4thwatch

Grubbie you’re not listening are you? ‘You are quite right …………’ So destroy your own argument. We very soon we will have a deterrent which we didn’t have then, that would have been viable had we had our Fleet carrier in 1982.
We would always for preference have defended the Falklands with seapower. Cheaper, Flexible and has the element of surprise.
In this unstable world UK has many overseas commitments to defend. It has responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Nato and friends overseas. This can’t be done sitting on your ass at home as you suggest.

Harry Nelson

HMS ILLUSTRIOUS fully supported operations in Afghanistan.

David Graham

As indeed did USN CVNs. Good operational common sense. Aircraft were safe from attack when not flying, could be maintained in a safe environment, and air crew could spend down time without having to worry about attacks by the Taliban.

As to the Falklands campaign, had we still possessed Ark Royal IV, we would have been in a much better position to deal with the Argentine air force and navy pilots. Don’t write off these people either; they operated right at the edge of the envelope a long way from their airfields. Any country that can produce a driver of the class of Fangio, is highly likely to produce good airmen as well, which they did.

Rick

Had Ark Royal and Eagle or their proposed successors (CVA01 program) been in commission in April 1982, Argentina would never have invaded.

Grubbie

You can’t sink an airfield

Rick

Don’t you mean; you can’t move an airfield!

Andy

Well the RAF moved Australia 500 miles east to get the CVA 01 project cancelled.

So according to the RAF you can move a airfield.

We won the Falklands with a lot of help from the yanks who neglected to tell the Argentine armourers how to adjust the bomb fuses correctly , who supplied the latest sidewinders and took up a few of our standing commitments.
And believe it or not the French were very helpful in a round about way.

Plus if the argies had held out for another month the task force would have had to withdraw due to logistics and wear and tear.

Rick

Andy where do you get all this information? I’ve never heard any of this.

Andy

The RAF moving Australia 500 miles is from the 1970 defence review.
They wanted the F1-11 but to get the money they needed the CVA-01 cancelled so they moved Australia in there briefing documents.
And Admiral Woodward in his book spoke about the yanks negelecting to explain how to adjust the bomb fuses for low levelling bombing and how the French quietly adjusted the fusing sensor on the exocet so it did not explode correctly.

Rick

Okay fair enough.

JayC

No but you can make it useless..

Grubbie

Wish I hadn’t started that, but you can easily move to another near by airfield or create another one if you have vstol.As we know only too well building a carrier seems to be a 20 year project.

4thwatch

We wouldn’t have bought VSTOL F35B without carriers. Why dont you read some of the excellent articles on this site which explain the purpose of the Carriers?
Without them our navy would be reliant on the FS Charles de Gaulle and the USN.

4thwatch

But you can destroy its infrastructure and the planes on it and not remove it from harm’s way. Game, Set and Match!

Airborne

You moan but say nothing productive. I will answer the question you tried to answer in regard to Invincible, the Invincible class were designed and built to operate as the flagship of an anti sub operations in the Atlantic. It was to carry mainly helicopters with a small number of Harriers to keep snooping long range Russki bears away. They then developed into small carriers, and although cramped and not ideal, they did sterling service and were the right ships in the right place at the right time throughout it’s career. Surely you should know this as you post a lot on a RN site, and a basic subject matter knowledge should at least be there.

Anthony D

We could deploy Queen Elizabeth with for type 45s and 6 type 26s (type 23s for now) and 4 astute at best effort I should think. These vessels are thought to be far more effective than predecessors so we don’t need as many. Plus the f35 cap and crows nest will make the air umbrella significantly more effective. Not to mention the awful state of the Argentinian forces that they would face.

Rear Admiral

Look at the Falklands conflict, that’s what their used for 🙂

Anthony D

Carriers have previously been used by the UK to deter two invasions, intervene in Sierra Leone and Kosovo and libya, participate in Korean war and recapture a British overseas territory, and of course ww2. NATO trained extensively to forward deploy carriers in Norwegian fjords during cold war to deploy aircraft in support of the northern flank, attack russian artic naval bases and keep russian submarines pinned in artic and North sea. These are just British examples. Many of these scenarios are likely to reoccur in the next 50 years. I know seirra Leone was HMS ocean but the carriers are going to fulfil the lph role going forward.

Paul B

I think the answer is in the history. Try reading this sites article ‘What have aircraft carriers ever done for us’. It answers your question in just a few paragraphs. Nobody sees the next conflict until it happens, and historically, since the Second World War, it always requires AirPower and always at a distance. Only a carrier can give you instant AirPower almost anywhere on Earth. The RAF can’t. The army can’t. RN carriers can, and have and will again. Look at the debacle of UK involvement over Libya. Air refuelled jets from Cyprus averaging 2000 miles per sortie. Now do the maths!

Alan Reid

Hi Paul, During the Libyan intervention in 2011, RAF attack missions by Typhoons and Tornados were mainly flown from the Italian air-base at Gioia del Colle – not Cyprus. (RAF Akrotiri was used by Nimrod and Sentinel units).
I’m a supporter of carrier-strike, it’s a useful capability to have – but let’s not overstate the case. The UK has not needed carriers since 1982, and even after the QE class is introduced, the last forty years suggests most offensive air-operations will still be conducted from air-bases.

David E Flandry

You really have no idea what an aircraft carrier is used for? And you are posting on this site?

Grubbie

Answer the question then. Without using vague concepts.

Meirion.X

The QE class will be used just as HMS Illustrious was in Sierra Leone in 2000 under Operation Palliser. Please read up about it. There will be similar military interventions in conflicts of a similar nature in the future. I also think another important role of the carriers is to support ‘Freedom of the Seas’ petrols, with allies as well.

Grubbie

Are you mad,F35bs vs the west side boys ?

Meirion.X

It was not just the west side boys that was the problem, it was the whole Revolutionary United Front(RUF) that the UN was up against, committing numerous war crimes of amputation of limbs, of thousands of people.

Deployment of Apache- AH64’s are very useful in Sierra Leone type of conflicts.

The Royal Marines should be equipped with their own Apache AH64 squadron.
A number of Apaches could be carried by QE class on each deployment.

A

Grubbie

Far better 3 mistrals then.I wouldn’t disagree with that.Then you would be able to structure a viable fleet.

Meirion.X

The Mistral Class carriers would only offer the Royal Navy, deployments limited to small/ medium helicopters only. Even a Chinook looked very big on HMS Ocean. Even if the UK got back some Harriers, deployments of Mistrals would not have air cover, strike and C.A.S only.

The QE class offer the Royal Navy far greater flexibility across the spectrum of deployments to intervene in range of types of crisis.
Sorry to disappoint you.

Grubbie

But we can’t afford any viable task force package.Sorry.

Meirion.X

Yes, the UK can have a viable task force.
We need more escort destroyers, so reconfigure 6 type 26 frigates as general propose destroyer, lengthen a bit at the bow end, equipped with VL-41 silos further away from the bridge. Maybe cancel 2 type 26?
Build more type 31 frigates as backbone of the frigate fleet, some optimize for ASW.
US Navy uses their desttoyers for ASW role.

Grubbie

Type 31e will be a death trap full of canon fodder.Fills a gap that doesn’t exist, too expensive for OPV duties, far too cheap for any serious action. All the money and manpower is committed to the carriers, which are themselves half arsed.

Meirion.X

Cost of the QE class carrier is insignificant compared with other procurement projects, like Deadnought and Typhoon projects, or compared with the latest US Navy supercarrier at $16 billion each.
So No, not all the money and manpower is committed to the QE class carriers, as you said it does.
So why do you bother to comment in a total oppositional manner on this website?

Meirion.X

Maybe I am wrong, on the issue of the Type 31 procurement project, as you said ‘far too cheap for any serious action’.
But I still think the Type 26’s are too large for a ASW frigate.

Iqbal Ahmed

The saying ‘two bald men fighting over a comb’ cones to mind.

The carriers were only green lighted by Labour to ensure work in core Labour Party constituencies and to shore up pro Union sentiment north of the border.

They serve no reasonable military purpose. Not only do we lack escort ships but also trained crew, sufficient air power beyond symbolism and political will to project power.

Anthony D

Rubbish, the navy had been trying to regenerate carrier strike since ark royal was decommissioned. Nothing to do with politics. SSNs are the modern day dreadnoughts but in most international crises a carrier will be a powerful influence. Even if it is sunk, we’ve got another and anyone who sank it would know it meant all out war with the UK and probably the rest of NATO.

Jassy Spik

If you even have to write that, then you know nothing about naval air operations and this site is definitely not for you..

Dern

Jassy if you say something like that you don’t actually frequent this site. Iqbal and his alt accounts have never a good word to say for the RN, and will always talk down the navy, advocate cuts and generally try to sell the narrative that Britain should let Russia do whatever it wants.

Iqbal Ahmed

Deen: ‘Iqbal and his alt accounts’

Yeah, I’m Grubbie and Andy as well lol

‘Will always talk down the navy’

I’ve said many times that I care about the onshore wellbeing of forced personnel and families. The Human element ahead of hardware.

Also, I care about our navy enough that I don’t just bray continuously about additional capabilities and increases in Hull numbers like 90% of posters on here while thinking the Treasury can somehow be coerced into additional funding of ‘peripherals’ like trained crews, ammunition and proper offensive and defensive weaponary before inevitable deployment to combat zones by greedy headline grabbing politicians.

David Stephen

So my suspicions are confirmed 😏

Dern

Yes you have, when it’s fitted your narrative of reducing Britains global standing. And only then.
Otherwise it’s “cut this cut that” “less funding now!”

You don’t actually care and nobody here is fooled, you just want an excuse to bleat your propaganda.

Bloke down the pub

It was noticeable that the mainstream media, who were probably in the same briefing as you, took the same words from captain Kyd but their take-away message was that he was scared of the Russians. It seems that even outlets such as the Telegraph, that would once have been pro-forces, now only seek to belittle them at every opportunity.

Stephen

The media is filled with anti British/anti white propaganda, watch as little of it as possible.

Iqbal Ahmed

Lolz I bet you voted for Brexit, didn’t You?

How’d you like your country back now?

In between the currency devaluation, economic slowdown, interest rate rises, flight of foreign investors and panic over no Brexit, things must be going swimmingly.

The navy, like all other govt departments must ‘do more with less’.

Frank

For once in your feeble little existence, try to be positive. I know that will be difficult coming from an anonymous observer, on an online forum, but please do try.

DOCKYARD DAVY

I met Captain Kydd a few times at Rosyth during the Q.E. build and before,I think that he is what any naval officer should aspire to be, He has done a great job with H.M.S Queen Elizabeth and I wish him all the best with his promotion and his future career,The Navy need’s More like him

Pen men

I saw her off yesterday and it was brilliant. We need to get behind this project and support them. Wishing the ship and crew all the best for the next 11 weeks. I’m no naval expert but from what I saw this will soon become a serious naval asset to the nation.

Richard B. Roodman

Three cheers for the Queen !!!

Iqbal Ahmed

Nobody voted for her Maj and her greedy grasping scrounging hangers-on family.

David Stephen

Nobody voted for you spouting crap and all over this forum either but here we are.

Dern

Quite right, it’s a shame that the Navy Lookout isn’t a democracy because we’d have voted a “Ban Iqbal” bill in ages ago.

Rick

Piss off Iqbal

Anthony D

Really. Who would want to be a royal. Having to spend your life serving and being scrutinised, never saying what you really feel. Yet on behalf of us exerting huge soft power, attracting millions of tourist income and representing conditional continuity over centuries of change. The family and hereditary privilege is how human society in the form of inherited wealth and family owned companies work. Why shouldn’t our democratic state have an equivalent counter point. They also know if they misstep, they’ll be gone. So no downside for me.

Dern

Hip Hip Huzzah!

Jassy

If anything I see these two carriers as a strategic god send for the UK and the Royal Navy, why? cause now that we have them the people won’t stand for anything less then for the UK to acquire enough ships to protect them and still be able too fulfill its NATO obligations.. The successive incompetent governments have given them no other choice then to arm twist there acknowledgement to that fact. Yes I do expect the defence budget to go to 3% if not more in the coming years, for we have left them with no choice as they have proved that, they have been incapable of making the right decision for over 40 years, and have left this country. The United Kingdom a laughing stock of it’s former self. Brilliant maneuvering I must say so myself.. Keep on the pressure guys.. “England expects that every man will do his duty.”Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson”

Andy

No votes in defence, you only have to look at how the coalition SDR 2010 barely caused a ripple amongst the electorate.

Plus we have a Primeminsters who is on record as questioning if we should remain a tier 1 military power.

There is no political will in any party to increase defence spending more of a will to manage the decline of the military budget .

Grubbie

Ah, the lunatic Admiral West strategy. Or before the 1st world war, we want 8 and we won’t wait battleship mania.

Iqbal Ahmed

Steady on there Jassy. We live in a democracy and any step toward a massive hike to 3% spend on defence as part of our GDP would require cross party blue and red concensus. At the moment there is no such demand by the populace or consequent political consensus.

In fact, any attempt at such an increase in expenditure will affect spending on ring fenced areas like education and health and would be enough for Labour to come to power. Politics is the art of the possible.

We ought not even try to remain a ‘tier 1’ military as there is no credible threat to our island nation and as part of NATO, we would expect assistance if required. If terminating Trident makes the Scots happier and helps secures the Union, it’s worth it. As for unilateral military adventures, Afghanistan and Iraq has largely cured us of such pointless grandstanding.

Finally, the British public are unlikely to want to spend blood and treasure over minor anomalies of history such as the Falklands and Gibraltar. Body bags on tv would turn people off. These regions have lived off UK subsidies anyway. And in any case these are secure unless we give them up for political reasons eg. Co-sovereignty of Gibraltar in return for a good Brexit deal that essentially keeps us in the EU in practice, if not in name or Co-sovereignty with Argentine in return for sharing any commercially viable petroleum deposits, if ever found.

Grubbie

Look what happened last time we tried to fudge sovereignty, it’s all or nothing.
Large amounts of oil and gas have been found off the Falklands, but you only have to look vidio of the task force being wacked by a storm after the Argentinean surrender to see how difficult it would be to extract it and why it hasn’t happened yet.
For reasons of international politics and simple logistics Argentina is going to have to be involved. Perhaps the islanders would be better off ignoring any oil.

David Graham

Some facts about the Falklands. [I lived there from 1987-1990, as I was operations controller (I am a BSFO from RN days} of the FI Fisheries Protection Service: 2 90m OPVs and 1 Dornier 228-202 maritime surveillance aircraft]. As such, I often spent 14 or 28 day fisheries patrols in Falklands Desire during the high season Feb-June annually, therefore in the Austral autumn/winter.

Weather: Yes, it can be rough to very rough [roaring 40s; furious 50s], but usually not for long continuous periods. The area is known for very rapid changes of barometric pressure, so one can have flat calm in the morning, a full gale by noon, and calm and fog by nightfall. Only three times in four years were our OPVs and RN on station OPV hove too because of weather conditions. Fortunately, the prevailing winds are not from the Antarctic, so unlike Iceland, for example, there is no icing. As to logistics, while it would be sensible to do a deal with the Argentine, Chile is also a perfectly situated spot for logistic support in Punta Areanas, where our OPVs used to dock every two years for out of the water maintenance.

Oil and gas: Lots of gas, not so much oil as was hoped. Conventional rigs would find weather conditions difficult, and I understand that the thinking is now that most installations would require to be on the sea bed.

There is no appreciable deposits on shore [At one time it had been thought that there would be in Lafonia, a plain on East Falkland Island.

As to subsidies, yes, it was the case until the fisheries developed in the late 80s. FI residents were sheep farmers before the war, and there was little interest in local fishing of any kind. One also has to take into account the wishes of the Islanders, who have stated time and time again that they wish to remain British.

The most recent time when sovereignty was discussed seriously was in the late 70s, when the UK hoped to do a deal based on giving the archipelago to Argentina and then leasing back [a la Hong Kong new territories] for 100 years.

When I lived there, I spoke to Islanders who were involved/remembered these discussions, and I was assured [forcibly by some] that this was a non-starter.

Those involved in Corporate will recall that there were many days when the weather was bad to awful, but frankly, it was never such that the mission would have had to be abandoned.

Paul Bestwick

Iqbal since when did supporting an ally or paricipating in a Nato operation (as a successor operation to the only invocation of Nato Article 5) become unilateral?

Iqbal Ahmed

Paul, we’ve been in Afghanistan since 2001. We are way past 9/11 and any justifiable NATO presence in Afghanistan. Al Queda in Afghanistan is finished. The only way out is to negotiate with the Taliban. They can have a share of power but they would need to ditch some of their hardline policies like no education for girls and take part in elections.

NATO involvement outside its geographical area of responsibility is perceived as a unilateral move. Especially as not all NATO countries took part and the Spanish withdrew after the Madrid bombings.

Iqbal Ahmed

The only treason I see is the MOD frittering away our taxpayers money and then asking us for more.

It’s treason to send our soldiers, sailors and airmen into combat zones without proper basic equipment like underarnoured MRAPS, body armour, missiles on ships etc

It’s treason to send working class lads targeted for recruitment, from economically deprived regions, like where I grew up, to die in godforsaken places across the globe for no reason. What does a 16 or 18 year old know about the politics of Afghanistan? Where we can’t even declare victory, to honour their sacrifice, as in Helmand in Afghanistan.

SilentMajority

Always we, we, we with you isn’t it.

Like where you grew up? Ha!

There are no volunteers where you grew up – all involuntary conscripts for the glory of the state. All ready to get brutalised by an inhumane system, farmed out as slave labour, and/or starved to death as the officers haven’t been paid for three years and have sold all the food.

Unless they’re like you, lucky, and get sent to a spam farm instead, to drip feed your masters poison into western web sites and SM, to undermine democracy and make us doubt ourselves and our capabilities.

May be even worth an extra potato a month, who knows?

Dern

No the treason is the f****r whose every post is anti-british, anti-armed forces, anti-anything that doesn’t make us a tiny irrelevant island that can’t have an effect on global affairs.

We’ve seen you on this site enough, we’ve seen your posts, and how much you’re willing to contradict yourself to denigrate this nation.

David Stephen

Astonishing. The last part made me throw up in my mouth and really shows where you are coming from. I am also a little confused as you state “We ought not even try” but previously stated “how’d you like your country back”. Which is it, we or you?

Iqbal Ahmed

Stephen, isn’t it obvious?

My post you’re quoting was about Brexit. Wanting their country back was a Brexiter slogan. Post referendum this is their country; including all the problems caused that I outlined in that post.

As a remainer voter, I eagerly await reality to make a rude landing as the divided Tory government adopts all the EU rules to save our economy from self inflicted harm but without any democratic input any longer from the UK. Then all the howls of ‘betrayal’ will ensue from the type of people who are usually pro defence budget hikes and rule Britannia mindset more suited to the 1950s.

It’s funny that I get called a traitor when alleged Russian financed Pro Bexit types like Aaron Banks get off Scot free. When Nigel Farage can get away with the £250,000,000 a week lie and Reed-Mogg admits we won’t see any economic positives from Brexit for 50 years. You guys do know that will lead to slashing the navy budget along with the NHS, schools and police etc? That our EU and also NATO partners won’t be as close to us as before?

David Stephen

It’s David or Mr Stephen.

David Stephen

I don’t think your a traitor, just wrong about a great many things.

Dern

That’s a shame David.
Go back to some older posts and read some of his comments. You’ll realise he’s not “wrong about a great many things.” He doesn’t stand by any particular point of view unless that point of view is “Britain is wrong” or “Give the Royal Navy less funding.”

Iqbal Ahmed

David, I agree that it’s unconfortable to think that terrorist violence can influence democratically elected governments but it clearly can.

As a result of the Madrid train bombings, and the 139 dead, the Spanish elections were won by the Socialist Party (also currently in power), who decided that discretion was the better part of valour and withdrew from Iraq. The decision getting made within hours of the government being sworn in.

So we have to be smart about making sure that deployments have achievable objectives, are properly resourced and have clear beginning, middle and end. So as not to be giving terrorists a narrative and grievances to recruit, if we can avoid it.

Andy

The problem with the Afghan campaign is we failed to learn from history .
If Alexander the Great failed to conquer Afghanistan and the various empires including the Russian and British Empires and then Communist Russia failed to control the country ,the coalition intervention was doomed to failure.

We should never have got involved in the bush campaigns , they have only achieved instability across the who middle East.

One of the greatest acts of destruction done by New Labour in the form of Robin Cook was his instruction to destroy the foreign office library which contained the lineage of the Afghan tribes and which ones took the British Empire gold and who was related to who and would had given us a opening into local Afghan politics.
New Labour obsession with cool Britannia led to the loss of 200 hundred years of collective information about the tribes of Afghanistan.

SiilentMajority

Since when do you live in a democracy? Your day job is undermining ours.

“petroleum deposits” brilliant. I see your defence acumen is exceeded only by your knowledge of the petrochemical industry.

What next for you then ey?, maths lessons from Dianne Abbot?

Grubbie

Treason is building using up our finite resources for the greater glory of senior naval officers and the military/industrial complex.Thus leaving the nation with an unusable financial sink and lacking the ability to defend ourselves.
We should pray that no one is foolish enough to actually deploy the carriers with the current fleet structure.

Anthony D

Firstly, I’m for the carriers. They are an effective strategic but conventional deterrent, highly versatile, etc. But we should allow that an argument can be made for using the money on other equipment. Not more escorts because what would they escort and why can’t OPVs do constabulary rules. But definitely more astute for instance. These could cripple economies reliant on shipping, decimate navies and strike ashore. None of the detractors in this thread a making this sound argument.

Meirion.X

I agree with you on the QE class carriers Anthony, but I seriously think UK needs more GP destroyers to escort the Carriers.

Anthony D

Hi meirion. In terms of specialist air warfare destroyers I’d like to see two in a low threat routine environment with some back up from the frigates but four in a high threat environment with additional back from the frigates. The UK could probably surge four type 45s for a solo job and otherwise use allies, particularly if the NATO or juat USA or Australia or potentially Japan are involved. In terms of anti sub frigates around five sounds right in high threat environment and two for low. As we deploying carrier strike, we may have enough high end escorts for that. The number of low end type 31 frigates that are produced will determine if we maintain ad hoc, semi permanent or near permanent presence in every theatre.

Fred George McCann

Does she still uphold the tradition of only having one chair on the bridge, that of the captains?

Luis Pellegrino

Very high tech camera onboard from that you will see nothing.