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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graylion View Post
    If the UK started having actual competition and stopped feeding BAe whatever they wanted they might be able to afford more ships.
    Conversely, if the UK didn't buy any ships from BAES for 10 years or so BAES would close the shipyards, make the design teams redundant and then when the UK was looking for bids for its next class of frigates, destroyers or aircraft carriers the only people bidding to design and build them would be foreign yards - meaning that the availability, timescale, cost and capability of those ships would be something within the gift of those foreign government rather than things set by the UK government.

    At which point, the leech that is the effectively nationalised BAES shipbuilding industry no longer looks quite so bad...

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  3. #102
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    Well, there are other builders in the UK and other companies to design - BMT for instance. And more ships would support more shipyards - and maybe even exports if stuff all of a sudden is competitively priced.

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  5. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by ropebag View Post

    At which point, the leech that is the effectively nationalised BAES shipbuilding industry no longer looks quite so bad...
    What is so sacred about RN hulls given that a large part of the Uk defence assets are of US origin .

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  7. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    What is so sacred about RN hulls given that a large part of the Uk defence assets are of US origin .
    In terms of ship building, outside of the SSN/SSBN, what's US origin? The missile systems, Sonar systems, Radar Systems, engines aren't.

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  9. #105
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    Naval ship building processes

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky42 View Post
    In terms of ship building, outside of the SSN/SSBN, what's US origin? The missile systems, Sonar systems, Radar Systems, engines aren't.
    Irrespective of who or where a ship is built , the supply and origin process for all metals , items and systems that go into the ship have to be sourced and approved by RN , MOD, and any security/ fiscal rules emanating from Nato membership, EU membership, and the national entity supplying the service. Then as they begin to obtain the ship bits and bobs they are faced with swingeing costs with bid inflation driving original budgets out of sight.
    The origin of equipment is determined by availability , first of all , in the Home market, then a Nato/EU supplier, then a non-EU approved supplier if that is the only source. For example when TWT radar was introduced to the RN, it was built in Philips Signaal, and some of it's computerised components came from an electronic company in Galway. Obviously British origin equipments are prioritised but in the end Needs Must dictate.

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  11. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky42 View Post
    In terms of ship building, outside of the SSN/SSBN, what's US origin? The missile systems, Sonar systems, Radar Systems, engines aren't.
    In terms of high end assets the AH64 and F35 come to mind.

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  13. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    In terms of high end assets the AH64 and F35 come to mind.
    And those are related to ship building how? The UK never built something like the AH64 so there was no industrial base to protect there, and they've been doing part builds/joint projects since what the Tornado? Those aren't "historic" areas. Where as the Ship building is rightly or not.

  14. #108
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    May I thus take it that the obsession with homemade hulls is down to nostalgia/sentimentality and industrial protectionism?

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  16. #109
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    The day Britain no longer builds ships for the RN is the day it ceases to be a power of any kind and retreats to join the ranks of Belgium and Portugal.
    The British Army is an afterthought. Historically, merely a bullet fired by the royal navy. It has often purchased major equipment abroad, as has the RAF. The fact that the UK no longer has a tank worthy of the name is, however, a matter of some embarrassment. The RAF has a history of purchasing foreign aircraft and UK industry is in fact directly involved in the development of the F35. Yet the decline of the aviation industry is a palpable sign of decline.
    Remove shipbuilding, and there is nothing left.
    If you buy your defence from abroad, you are not a power. You are a power's customer.

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  18. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    The day Britain no longer builds ships for the RN is the day it ceases to be a power of any kind and retreats to join the ranks of Belgium and Portugal.
    The British Army is an afterthought. Historically, merely a bullet fired by the royal navy. It has often purchased major equipment abroad, as has the RAF. The fact that the UK no longer has a tank worthy of the name is, however, a matter of some embarrassment. The RAF has a history of purchasing foreign aircraft and UK industry is in fact directly involved in the development of the F35. Yet the decline of the aviation industry is a palpable sign of decline.
    Remove shipbuilding, and there is nothing left.
    If you buy your defence from abroad, you are not a power. You are a power's customer.
    Exactly right. The critical input to a rapid decline is the high cost of war fighting over the past, almost 30 years. That coupled with political bean counters taking fright at high unit costs in Defence Capital spending, coupled with hasty decisions, like terminating the capacity of the RN to project airpower. This has resulted in a dependence on others to assist, although the lucky geographical position of Cyprus close to Syria and Iraq is an example of the benefit of a large CVN elsewhere. You cannot be lucky as to location all the time. Overall I think world wide deployment for the RN surface elements is gone and it will become a reaction force requiring friendly supports and ports.

  19. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    May I thus take it that the obsession with homemade hulls is down to nostalgia/sentimentality and industrial protectionism?
    no, you can't.

    it is down to military protectionism and a realistic understanding of the strengths of the UK economy and industrial base. we accept that we aren't going to get foreign orders for our ships/designs because the only people who either want or can afford the kind of high end warfighting capabilities we require in our ships have their own warship building capabilities and wish to preserve them for the same strategic reasons that we do. in aviation however we meet two different realities - which is why we can safely purchace military aircraft from overseas in a way that we can't do with warship building: firstly that the UK has a sufficient military, civilian and space (the UK has the third largest space sector in the world..) aerospace industry to be able to cope quite happily wth not getting every MOD order thats going, and secondly that the development/design/build of (for example) a new fast jet is a process so buttock-clenchingly expensive, with a good chance of very limited overseas sales to help spread costs (for the same reasons as with our warships), that its simply not something an economy of the UK's size should do except in the gravest emergency.

    with regards to the F-35 purchace, you'll note that around 15% of every F-35 (not every F35 the UK buys, or every F-35B sold...) is built by a UK company, primarily in the UK, and a majority of that 15% is in the most technologically advanced warfighting elements of the F-35. the materials science and fabrication, for example, of the F-35's exterior surface (the stealthy stuff...) is BAES property, not LM or any other US company. that knowledge is used in other UK systems like the StormShadow ALCM and Tiranis, and may well play a 50% role in the proposed joint UK-Japanese 6th Gen fighter currently being discussed - with Japan actively seeking the UK as its prefered partner...

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  21. #112
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    A credible parallel view would put it down to aspirations to be a world power and a realistic understanding of the weaknesses of the UK economy and industrial base. It is not credible to insist (at some expense) on retaining welding and cutting skills when it may be possible to assemble F35s in the UK much the same as the AH64. The skills so nutured would be vastly more relevant, useful and a far greater addition to the technological capability of the economy.
    The input of BAE into the F35 project is a fine example of where the UK should be in as many aspects of weapon R & D as it is the effective creation & use of leading technology that will define a countries economy and hence its ability to equip its defence forces.
    A ship is a weapon platform and it the weapon & sensor fit that that defines its combat role rather than the shipyard of origin . It is getting difficult to avoid reaching a somewhat inescapable conclusion that vanity may also be at play.

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  23. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    ...It is getting difficult to avoid reaching a somewhat inescapable conclusion that vanity may also be at play.
    Alternatively, psychology is at play - that you are a 'power' because people think you are a power, and if one of the things that makes them think that is that you are one of the few countries that builds its own warships, then building your own warships makes you a power.

    Being 'a 'power' isn't a vanity thing, its a vital strategic asset - if people think you are a power to be reckoned with, they are less likely than otherwise to go out of their way to offend you, and indeed go out of their way to avoid offending you.

    In 1982 Argentina believed that for all the top trump statistics - 20 SSN's, 2 aircraft carriers, 40 escorts and 50 intercontinental nuclear strike bombers - the UK was not a power. That was a judgement based on psychology alone, nothing whatsoever to do with capability - psychology starts, ends and forestalls wars, that makes it important.

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  25. #114
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    Comeback Verlohme, all is forgiven.

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  27. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    A credible parallel view would put it down to aspirations to be a world power and a realistic understanding of the weaknesses of the UK economy and industrial base. It is not credible to insist (at some expense) on retaining welding and cutting skills when it may be possible to assemble F35s in the UK much the same as the AH64. The skills so nutured would be vastly more relevant, useful and a far greater addition to the technological capability of the economy.
    The input of BAE into the F35 project is a fine example of where the UK should be in as many aspects of weapon R & D as it is the effective creation & use of leading technology that will define a countries economy and hence its ability to equip its defence forces.
    A ship is a weapon platform and it the weapon & sensor fit that that defines its combat role rather than the shipyard of origin . It is getting difficult to avoid reaching a somewhat inescapable conclusion that vanity may also be at play.
    It's about more than welding and cutting skills, the UK does after have a ship-building industry even without warships. It is very much about strategic assets. These do not have a place on an accountant's spreadsheet; indeed accountants and economists may be fundamentally ill-equipped to understand the very concept. But they are real. Consider the setback to the Russian navy of the cancelled Mistral sale. Russia could not construct ships of this class and the lead time to developing the skills to do so was considered unacceptable, so they went to France. France then cancelled the deal. There you have a tangible example of the strategic loss involved in not having the capability to produce the ships you want.
    Someone, somewhere in the power structures of a country that has worldwide interests, needs to consider how those interests can be maintained.

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  29. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    It's about more than welding and cutting skills, the UK does after have a ship-building industry even without warships. It is very much about strategic assets. These do not have a place on an accountant's spreadsheet; indeed accountants and economists may be fundamentally ill-equipped to understand the very concept. But they are real. Consider the setback to the Russian navy of the cancelled Mistral sale. Russia could not construct ships of this class and the lead time to developing the skills to do so was considered unacceptable, so they went to France. France then cancelled the deal. There you have a tangible example of the strategic loss involved in not having the capability to produce the ships you want.
    Someone, somewhere in the power structures of a country that has worldwide interests, needs to consider how those interests can be maintained.
    So you steal someone elses ship building industry, i mean invade crim...i mean liberate the crimean peninsula.
    "He is an enemy officer taken in battle and entitled to fair treatment."
    "No, sir. He's a sergeant, and they don't deserve no respect at all, sir. I should know. They're cunning and artful, if they're any good. I wouldn't mind if he was an officer, sir. But sergeants are clever."

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  31. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    It's about more than welding and cutting skills, the UK does after have a ship-building industry even without warships. It is very much about strategic assets. These do not have a place on an accountant's spreadsheet; indeed accountants and economists may be fundamentally ill-equipped to understand the very concept. But they are real. Consider the setback to the Russian navy of the cancelled Mistral sale. Russia could not construct ships of this class and the lead time to developing the skills to do so was considered unacceptable, so they went to France. France then cancelled the deal. There you have a tangible example of the strategic loss involved in not having the capability to produce the ships you want.
    Someone, somewhere in the power structures of a country that has worldwide interests, needs to consider how those interests can be maintained.
    There is the nub of fighting/defence forces readiness and availability. You are ultimately in the hands of often divergent politicians troubled by balancing books and solve spending problems by deletion or omitting "expensive" kit. " Easy Company" last night was an example of poorly kitted frontline troops under attack for 55 days by the Taliban and eventually relieved by the good offices , and transport of their Taliban enemy, who must have recognised bravery when they saw it. Always follow Order of Battle with fully equipped troops and NOT ad hoc arrangements to suit expediency and it will be all right on the night philosophies.

  32. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by morpheus View Post
    So you steal someone elses ship building industry, i mean invade crim...i mean liberate the crimean peninsula.
    The deal was cancelled because of the invasion.
    And a bloody good thing too. Ukraine's most important shipyards are outside the Crimea and Russian control. So far.

  33. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    It's about more than welding and cutting skills, the UK does after have a ship-building industry even without warships. It is very much about strategic assets. These do not have a place on an accountant's spreadsheet; indeed accountants and economists may be fundamentally ill-equipped to understand the very concept. But they are real. Consider the setback to the Russian navy of the cancelled Mistral sale. Russia could not construct ships of this class and the lead time to developing the skills to do so was considered unacceptable, so they went to France. France then cancelled the deal. There you have a tangible example of the strategic loss involved in not having the capability to produce the ships you want.
    Someone, somewhere in the power structures of a country that has worldwide interests, needs to consider how those interests can be maintained.
    I've tried to explain this to danno before...but he keeps coming back to the 'sure its only bits of steel and a bit of welding chesnut'.
    'History is a vast early warning system'. Norman Cousins

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  35. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    It's about more than welding and cutting skills, the UK does after have a ship-building industry even without warships. It is very much about strategic assets. These do not have a place on an accountant's spreadsheet; indeed accountants and economists may be fundamentally ill-equipped to understand the very concept. But they are real. Consider the setback to the Russian navy of the cancelled Mistral sale. Russia could not construct ships of this class and the lead time to developing the skills to do so was considered unacceptable, so they went to France. France then cancelled the deal. There you have a tangible example of the strategic loss involved in not having the capability to produce the ships you want.
    Someone, somewhere in the power structures of a country that has worldwide interests, needs to consider how those interests can be maintained.
    Are you suggesting Russia is bereft of any meaningful warship construction capability/capacity/competence.

  36. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by expat01 View Post
    It's about more than welding and cutting skills, the UK does after have a ship-building industry even without warships. It is very much about strategic assets. These do not have a place on an accountant's spreadsheet; indeed accountants and economists may be fundamentally ill-equipped to understand the very concept. But they are real. Consider the setback to the Russian navy of the cancelled Mistral sale. Russia could not construct ships of this class and the lead time to developing the skills to do so was considered unacceptable, so they went to France. France then cancelled the deal. There you have a tangible example of the strategic loss involved in not having the capability to produce the ships you want.
    Someone, somewhere in the power structures of a country that has worldwide interests, needs to consider how those interests can be maintained.
    Are you suggesting Russia is bereft of any meaningful warship construction capability/capacity/competence.

  37. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    Are you suggesting Russia is bereft of any meaningful warship construction capability/capacity/competence.
    None that are not ice bound for a large portion of the year. The fall of the iron curtain put an end to much of the Russian naval shipbuilding abilities.
    What remains is located in St Petersburg, Murmansk, Severodvinsk or Vladivostok (currently closed for upgrade).

    If United Shipbuilding Corporation (OCK) isn't building it, it isn't being built.
    Well, there's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Neil will be taking over both branches, and some of you will lose your jobs. Those of you who are kept on will have to relocate to Swindon, if you wanna stay. I know, gutting. On a more positive note, the good news is, I've been promoted, so... every cloud. You're still thinking about the bad news aren't you?

  38. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    Are you suggesting Russia is bereft of any meaningful warship construction capability/capacity/competence.
    Didn't they have to sell some brand new frigates due to issues with engines or gearbox as they were built in the Ukraine?

  39. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by na grohmití View Post
    None that are not ice bound for a large portion of the year. The fall of the iron curtain put an end to much of the Russian naval shipbuilding abilities.
    What remains is located in St Petersburg, Murmansk, Severodvinsk or Vladivostok (currently closed for upgrade).

    If United Shipbuilding Corporation (OCK) isn't building it, it isn't being built.
    We bought ships from a shipyard that's mud bound for most of the year
    Everyone who's ever loved you was wrong.

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  41. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    Are you suggesting Russia is bereft of any meaningful warship construction capability/capacity/competence.
    We are suggesting that Russia is bereft of the kind of warship construction capability/capacity/competence that would have enabled them to build a vessel of the standard of a Mistral class - a standard they wanted. Further, that the Russian warship industry informed their government that it would take them ten years at least to develop such a capacity and so they went to France. This is in the public domain.
    This should tell you that warship construction involves more than welding steel. If why that is so is a mystery to you, that's alright - you really have no choice but to accept that Russian shipbuilders declared this was a task beyond them and there is clearly some complexity to the issue which, though it eludes you, is real.

    The deal would have seen four warships, at least one mostly constructed in France in partnership with Russian design teams and finishing with at least one fully constructed and fitted in Russia as they gained experience - the detail of that was a point for negotiation.

    This is also why China bought an unfinished Soviet aircraft carrier and spent a decade figuring out how it was built - and why - before finishing it and putting it into service - so they could actually build more by themselves. It's also why China bought and learned to construct, then gradually modify, 1960s era Soviet spacecraft before trying to get creative rather than try the painful route of trial and error by themselves. Rocket science isn't really science, it's Engineering. Engineering is what we are about here, and that's about more than welding.
    Last edited by expat01; 19th August 2016 at 07:30.

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