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hptmurphy
10th September 2005, 23:25
It has been reported in warships IFR . that the carrier HMS Invincible and the OPV HMS Leeds castle have been decommisioned
.....some of the type 23s are also on the way out but these are not as important as they are not living links with the Falklands war

...where the RN are reputed to have learned a lot of lessons that have been factors in the development of the current fleet
...we are now coming close to the end of the classes that served in that war
...and have the lessons been forgotten with the rundown of the current fleet. :mad:

http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/static/content/data/[(1130)-12-09-2003]invinc.jpg

moggy
11th September 2005, 17:21
Hms invincible was de-commissioned about 3 weeks ago, was live on sky news too much money
to keep her going, saw her going to the falklands war when i was on emer many years ago

Goldie fish
13th September 2005, 22:38
Contender Bezant is still in service.

RFA Argus to the rest of us.

GoneToTheCanner
19th September 2005, 12:09
Hi all
Given that the RN are scrapping their Sea Harriers,maybe they have forgotten how close they came to losing the Falklands for real. It might take another small war to emphasise the need for a serious carrier-borne fighter fleet.
regards
GttC

Aidan
19th September 2005, 12:14
Well, given that they have two medium sized carriers on the way (40kt), to be equipped with F-35s, I think they know ...

ias
19th September 2005, 16:12
But when, the "Maingate" on these is 2007.

Is it not, that the expectation is, they'll not fight a conventional air war again, that they'll have air superiority and will only need ground attack assets?

IAS

Aidan
19th September 2005, 16:38
The F-35 will be a lot more capable than then Sea Harrier ever was at air to air ( LPI-AESA radar, Aim 120s, stealthy, much better payload/range/speed), and will also bring a lot more A-G capacity to the table. Combined with AEW Merlins (most likely), the new carriers will drastically improve the situation regarding air defence, rather than the inverse.

Then theres the Type 45 Frigates, (Aster 30, anyone?) together with the long range of the E-3Ds. Very few countries can field that kind of hardware.

hptmurphy
19th September 2005, 18:12
seeing these are still along way off...are they not a bit premature about getting rid of the current vessels,,especially the Type 23s....does it not make more sense to remove vessels after the new ones ahve been accepted than remove the current ones on the grounds that they may build the entire order..after all contracts have been cancelled in the past.

As for the Invincible ..the wording seems to state that she may no longer maybe entitely sea worthy!..and not in reference to the extensive refit she recieved two years ago..seem like a lot of money was spent..and the payback time was never met.

Aidan
19th September 2005, 18:44
Premature? Probably, but theres a lot of politics involved also - the 'through deck cruisers' are all mechanically dubious at this point from what I hear, it might be more advantageous for the RN to start retiring them to hurry up the CV project (first one will probably be ready after 2012). One thing is for sure, they've run (over the last 10 years) into a fairly serious funding crunch.

The RAF are in the middle of the Typhoon purchase, which is sucking up a lot of defence expenditure, as is the minor matter of Iraq. Discretion may be the better part of valour when it comes to making a point to the MoD (if you don't give us money, you start losing valuable deployable assets). They have plenty of amphib capacity coming on line though, which is the major concern right now. They are going to be even more dependent on the US (or the French :redface: ) for air cover for a few years though. And they is betting a lot on the F-35 working out.

Good thread here, mainly on the Sea Harrier, but verges into the RN debate as a whole

http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=98152

hptmurphy
19th September 2005, 22:21
Its great to be making statemnets at command level given the politicians raely react any way but if there was to be a change of government in the UK before these ships were actually built chances are the order could be cancelled as part of a political parties election promises on cutbacks...it has happened before.

The only positive angle is the Ivincible is merely being laid up...not being scrapped immediately so you could theoretically end up wit a Fearless repeat that she could be recommissioned if needs be...on the other hand the sale of the newer assets such as the type 23s is irreversible...

Goldie fish
19th September 2005, 22:30
Irreversible, and premature. Their replacements are a long way off, and the Type 42 replacements are barely at the plate cutting stage.

Lordinajamjar
20th September 2005, 10:42
Irreversible, and premature. Their replacements are a long way off,

I don't remember them but I'll take your word for it. They must have been great ships. :biggrin:

andy
20th September 2005, 11:28
Hi all
Given that the RN are scrapping their Sea Harriers,maybe they have forgotten how close they came to losing the Falklands for real. It might take another small war to emphasise the need for a serious carrier-borne fighter fleet.
regards
GttC

I think that was the last day of empire. Britan doesnt have the military might to act alone ever again. They can barely run the Basra operation let alone a full war. Any future war will probably invovle the USA.

Aidan
20th September 2005, 14:28
Britain hasn't had the military might to act alone against a first rate military power for over 50 years, this is nothing new.

The capacity offered by the 'carriers' is slight, mainly because their CAP airframes are old, underpowered and difficult to maintain (and are being retired). JFH, which will be all Gr.7s and 9s now will do what is needed, but only close to the shore. Theres a definite advantage to retiring at least one to free up some resources.

As for acting alone, they still can against many opponents and in many situations. A pair of 60,000 tonne (my mistake earlier) carriers is quite a punch. And remember, this is force projection from the sea. Their Ef-2000s and E-3D, and whatever the FOAS is going to be, is a serious force to be reckoned with. Globally, there aren't many forces with that much capability. I wouldn't write them off just yet.

Lordinajamjar
20th September 2005, 20:29
Britain hasn't had the military might to act alone against a first rate military power for over 50 years, this is nothing new.

It's new to me.

Aidan
21st September 2005, 12:02
Hmmm, let me see, they had help at Suez (French), Korea (US), GWII (US, France etc), Bosnia/Kosovo (US,France etc) GWIII (US). The only conflicts they acted alone in of late (if you exclude the likes of Palestine in the late 1940s and Aden/Oman later) were the Falklands and Sierra Leone. The Argentinians were hardly a first rate power, now were they?

The Brits still have, and look like retaining, one of the better armed forces on the planet. But they haven't been a super power (or equivelant) since the end of the WWII.

Lordinajamjar
21st September 2005, 20:44
Aidan, I picked up on your comment because if Britain isn't a first rate power then who is?

The examples you gave are a bit of mixed bag. Against Egypt they mucked in with the French not because they couldn't do it alone but simply political expediency. Korea was a UN effort, Britain had no interests there but N.Korea were no first rate power but they were backed up by two. GWII again Iraq was one of the more emerging modern powers but still not first rate. Again that was follwoing UN mandate supporting Kuwait. Bosnia/Kosovo a quasi UN/NATO peace keeping operation against third rate opposition. GWIII yeah yhey could could have got to the same level up to their eyeballs in shite with or without the US. Still a military victory would have been achieved.

They may lack the quantity of a few big powers but they do still have the quality.

Your point is well taken they would not be expected to achieve military dominance over Russia, China, India or their good friends the US just to name a few. But every single one of them is fully aware of Britains nuclear capability which is what classes Britain as a first rate power today.

Laners
21st September 2005, 21:36
Hms invincible was de-commissioned about 3 weeks ago, was live on sky news too much money to keep her going, saw her going to the falklands war when i was on emer many years ago
We were on the Emer at the same time as well? our little trip to the Med with Paddy Cavanagh as skipper. And by the way I have moved back from the States and living in Celbridge Co Kildare, I can see the Air Corp flying in and out on rare occasions, from the house.

hptmurphy
21st September 2005, 22:23
Welcome home Laners! place hasn't been the same since you left in'87!

Turkey
22nd September 2005, 00:11
jasus , another one moved into Celbridge, I am movin back to Maynooth, Leixlip, Rathfarnham, wherever, if I ever get rich...................

Aidan
22nd September 2005, 11:52
Ljj, traditionally the UK has been a naval power first and a land one second. The problem they are facing now is that the capital assets involved in projecting power at and from the sea (carriers and aircraft) have become very expensive to own, run and protect. The odds of them taking on any first rate powers in the immediate vicinity of the UK are slim. Given the forces available to them, even in the nightmare scenario of another European war against France or Germany, you'd be talking about a 18th/19 century style UK 'win', where the loser was bottled up. After that, they have to be able to project power away from the island of Britain. And they haven't been able to do that convincingly since the end of WWII. True, they could take on most countries armed forces through out that period, but conducting a major war off their own bat against any regional power (India, Iran, Iraq) or superpower on their own turf has been beyond them. Its also beyond every other armed force in the world bar one or two (US unreservedly, and the Russians once upon a time).

Are they first rate themselves, by all accounts and by any reasonable assessment, yes. Can they take on and defeat a first rate power, anywhere on the planet. no, they can't.

As for Still a military victory would have been achieved. against Iraq, I'm not so sure, simply because of the scale of the place and the numbers of troops and support the UK had available. True, they could take on any individual unit, or indeed probably all units of the Iraqi army at one time, but could they really fight their way across all of Iraq, meeting resistance all the time? Sometimes, quantity has a quality all its own ...

DeV
22nd September 2005, 13:31
The problem they are facing now is that the capital assets involved in projecting power at and from the sea (carriers and aircraft) have become very expensive to own, run and protect.

The American and in time the Brits are moving forward expeditionary warfare (having to bring everything to the party, so to speak), this requires force multiplers (eg carriers, amphibious shipping, air transporters, air to air refuellers, etc). Carriers, air transport and air-to-air refuellers are all to be cut. They want to play the role of a mini-super power but at low cost. If the bought a bit wiser, they could get more "bang for the buck" (then again the DF could learn a lot from them).

The last 15 years have seen British forces deploying on expeditionary warfare in Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Lordinajamjar
23rd September 2005, 05:20
The problem they are facing now is that the capital assets involved in projecting power at and from the sea (carriers and aircraft) have become very expensive to own, run and protect.

The purchase and maintenance of Battleships drained the exchequer before both world wars. The extreme cost of maintaining capital assets is nothing new. The biggest difference today is that Britain no longer has overseas territories and commerce it needs to protect. It's vastly different world today compared to 50 years ago. The advantages that Britain enjoyed as major industrial power have pretty much vanished and all the emerging nations (there are many) are enhancing their armed forces.

However if the need were there then British military spending would increase and then they would have quality in numbers too. Israel proves that need and knowhow plus having some really BIG friends can raise a country's power standing far beyond its economic and numerical might.

Aidan
23rd September 2005, 12:52
The extreme cost of maintaining capital assets is nothing new.

True, but the cost per unit is. At the end of WWII the FAA had approximately 59 Aircraft carriers in service. Today they have 2 (if you count HMS Ocean as a carrier, given that one of the 2 'through decks' left is more or less always going to be tied up). Sooner or later, the maths of that mean that you find it more and more difficult to put one vessel to sea. This is why the new carrier are so important to the RN. If they don't arrive, it could be the end of fixed wing naval aviation in the UK.

combatlogo
23rd September 2005, 13:34
Ljj, traditionally the UK has been a naval power first and a land one second. .


Britain has never been a continental power, second, third or fourth, for the simple reason that it didn't have to be. Being an island nation with the best Navy in the world and relying on continental allies to do the land fighting and the strength of their trade has always been the British way of warfare.

1914 was a complete aberation in British policy, although the Army had been endeavouring to create something of a continental committment through its discussions with the French General Staff from around 1906 onwards. The problem was the huge amounts of men volunteering, given the nationalistic fervour which greeted the outbreak of the war - they had to do something with them, sending them to France seemed the best option.

Aidan
23rd September 2005, 14:00
I'm not so sure that 1914 was that much of an aberration, the Britain had been involved in major European wars throughout its history, mainly with the express intention (to this day) of ensuring that no single power became powerful enough to challenge its security*.

As for shipping troops off to France as a means of dealing with them, I'm sure it was part of the issue, but the fact that the BA were involved in a shooting war with the German Army who were steadily advancing into France were might have had something to do with it also.

*We should be thankful that they've been so successful.

Lordinajamjar
24th September 2005, 12:23
Today they have 2 (if you count HMS Ocean as a carrier, given that one of the 2 'through decks' left is more or less always going to be tied up). Sooner

Hmm. Do you know something I don't?

R05 HMS Invincible - Retired

R06 HMS Illustrious - Active
R07 HMS Ark Royal - Active

That would leave 2 carriers and I'm not counting HMS Ocean.


See mission roles here: http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/static/pages/148.html

combatlogo
28th September 2005, 13:35
I'm not so sure that 1914 was that much of an aberration, the Britain had been involved in major European wars throughout its history, mainly with the express intention (to this day) of ensuring that no single power became powerful enough to challenge its security*.

As for shipping troops off to France as a means of dealing with them, I'm sure it was part of the issue, but the fact that the BA were involved in a shooting war with the German Army who were steadily advancing into France were might have had something to do with it also.

*We should be thankful that they've been so successful.

It was an aberration in that never before had such a proportionally high number of British (no German mercenaries this time) been sent to fight in a land war on the continent. Large standing armies weren't the British way (no need for them plus a distrust on the part of the politicains).

Aidan
28th September 2005, 14:05
Agreed that the scale of the involvement was new, but the involvement in European affairs, and the popular (and populist) support for it was not new.

As for the carrier issue, one of the British carriers (ie one of three) has been permanently in refit/maintenance for the last number of years (10 years?), leaving two active at most times. It meant that the RN could reduce crewing, and keep operational readiness. That hasn't changed, they will still have one in refit much of the time.

At the moment, for example, Illiustrious is the only carrier in service (just back from refit), as the Ark Royal is still in refit. That will be back next year (probably), so the RN will have two in service for a while, and then Illustrious will have to go back in. They picked this moment to retire Invincible because they can boast high readiness for the next few years, before both vessels will start to require more maintenance.

Maintenance will still be scheduled so that one will be operational at all times, but there will only be short periods when both are available.

Rooster
28th September 2005, 19:32
.....some of the type 23s are also on the way out but these are not as important as they are not living links with the Falklands war


The MOD spent the best part of the late 80's building some of the finest ASW frigates in the World to meet the threat of Russian submarines coming through the Norway Iceland gap and as soon as they hit the water the threat collapses with the Berlin Wall!!! Great value for money.