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  • #31
    Originally posted by ancientmariner View Post
    Sweden hinges it's stance on an "Armed Neutrality" and is also a " Partner of enhanced Opportunity" with it's flank Allies in NATO. While Sweden is a Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons country, it accepts that the time is not yet ripe to shut down deterrents, and continues to strengthen it's Baltic conventional capabilities.
    Of note regarding Sweden is that it in 2018 it signed a trilateral security coordination agreement with Finland and the United States to share common interests, increased exercises between them, develop interoperability, and co-ordination of "communications" between them - which basically means sharing intelligence and crafted messaging.


    • #32
      Admiral Sir Tony Radakin: ‘We check every day that the line to Russia works — but there isn’t a chat’

      A build-up of troops on the Ukraine border is just one challenge facing Admiral Sir Tony Radakin as chief of the defence staff, he tells Larisa Brown

      Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, state-school educated and the first head of the navy to be made chief of the defence staff in two decades, says diversity is still an issue
      Larisa Brown
      , Defence Editor
      Friday January 07 2022, 10.00pm GMT, The Times

      Two days before Christmas, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin — a state school-educated boy from Oldham who is now head of Britain’s armed forces — picked up the phone to General Valery Gerasimov, Russia’s chief of the general staff. Tensions were high, with fears of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on the orders of President Putin, who had amassed up to 100,000 troops on the border.

      Days earlier Gerasimov — the longest-serving occupant of the post since the collapse of the Soviet Union — had argued that Moscow was free to deploy its troops wherever it liked on its territory and called the claim of a possible Russian invasion “a lie”.

      “You take it for granted you’re going to have calls with your fellow Nato chiefs of defence and your allies . . . but with the current tensions it is very important to have that military-to-military relationship with Russia,” Radakin says from his office on the fifth floor of the Ministry of Defence.

      At the time he was less than a month into his job as chief of the defence staff after being chosen by the prime minister for his “radical” thinking. Behind Radakin, formerly the first sea lord, is a gigantic map titled “view from Moscow” — in case any visitors are uncertain about his concerns. On his table is a set of juggling balls used for stress relief.

      The call, which was initiated by the UK, was the first between Gerasimov and his British counterpart since 2019. The pair chatted for an hour and ten minutes via interpreters on an insecure line (there were no concerns about the Russians listening in). Radakin was in the dining room of his family home in Winchester.

      The conversation ended with an agreement to keep the nature of the chat private, although it was “very useful and respectful”, Radakin says matter of factly. Following the call, Radakin, who is married with four sons, returned to his domestic duties and chopped wood in the garden.

      Gerasimov is viewed by some academics as the mastermind behind “hybrid warfare”, which fuses conventional threats with others such as subversion and cyberattacks. Such tactics are exactly what keep western military leaders up at night. The deployment of Wagner — a shadowy Russian mercenary group — to Africa, the spread of disinformation and the hunt for undersea cables that carry 99 per cent of international communications are all areas of concern for Radakin, who was in the Royal Navy for more than 30 years.

      “Russia has grown the capability to put at threat those undersea cables and potentially exploit those undersea cables,” he adds.

      He is continuing to “watch” developments on Ukraine’s border, which he says are “deeply worrying”, with talks to take place between the US and its allies and Russia next week. Radakin, like his Nato counterparts, has given the British government military options for how to respond to an invasion, although they are too sensitive for him to share. Sending in troops to defend Ukraine has already been ruled out but cyberattacks could be an option.

      Such high stakes phone calls are a world away from Radakin’s upbringing in Lancashire, where he was raised as a Catholic by his father, who was a computer salesman, and mother, who was a waitress before becoming a nurse.

      When he was four or five, the family moved to Bristol, where Radakin attended state schools, one of them a grammar. At the weekends Radakin, a keen footballer, earned money delivering newspapers or washing pots in the pub. When he was older he started selling oil paintings from China out of a van — something he acknowledges sounds a bit “dodgy”. Family holidays were camping in the UK or France.

      His older brother, Chris, left school at 16 and joined the Royal Navy as a rating rather than an officer and was a radio operator during the Falklands conflict. Radakin, on the other hand, was sponsored through university by the navy, studying law at the University of Southampton and graduating in 1989. It is where he met his wife, Louise, who is a lawyer.

      “I never expected to be chief of defence staff, I never expected to be first sea lord,” he says, wearing a more casual navy work dress and occasionally slipping out terms such as “shit” and “bugger”. He refers to friends as “mates”. He only just scraped through his time at Dartmouth naval college, describing himself as “particularly ordinary”.

      Radakin says he had “as many opportunities as anyone else” and wants the servicemen and women under his command to feel the same.

      “You don’t need to have gone to a super smart school. I genuinely think the modern military is a great example of meritocracy,” he adds, although he recognises there is work to be done in making the armed forces more diverse. In his office is a long line of portraits that show his all-male, all-white predecessors. He has not had time to properly decorate yet.

      Under new rules announced before Christmas, the future head of the army could now start life as a private soldier rather than an officer. The idea is that talented troops can be promoted into senior leadership roles irrespective of their educational background. Radakin’s four sons — aged 23, 21, 19, and 16 — all went to state school.

      “We will be better by being more diverse. That’s the same in terms of not having a particular class of people at the top and the same in terms of having men and women and people from different ethnic cultures,” Radakin adds.

      The army has come under criticism in recent weeks for issues relating to “culture and conduct”, with the army board being summoned for a dressing down by Ben Wallace, the defence secretary. Concerns were raised about bullying, harassment and the treatment of women, with sources saying issues were brushed under the carpet to protect reputations.

      Radakin, 56, believes those issues are resolved. “I think what you’re seeing is that doesn’t exist now. We are all comfortable and proud that those things don’t get swept under the carpet,” he says. Army officers have also faced allegations of falsely claiming money for their children’s boarding schools, something Radakin is clearly deeply uncomfortable with.

      “It’s really embarrassing that you have senior officers that are being locked up for fraud. We should be really clear that if you break the rules, it doesn’t matter about your rank. The same rules apply to everyone.”

      As well as making the military “more lethal” by equipping troops with more advanced weapons and having more of them deployed on overseas missions, also on his mind is China, which was described as a “systemic challenge” in last year’s integrated review outlining the UK’s future policy on defence and security. He compares China claiming 80 per cent of the South China Sea to Russia’s threatening behaviour towards Ukraine.

      “Russia and China is more than just Russia amassing on the border of another country. It is the fact this line that is supposed to be the sovereign territory of another country might be infringed by someone else.” He says deep inside the MoD there is a line to Russia’s situation centre that is tested by a retired military officer every day to make sure that if urgent talks were needed to de-escalate an incident, the option would be there.

      “We ring each other up to confirm that it works. It is to avoid miscalculation, that you’ve got a tried-and-tested communications line with Russia and that’s it,” Radakin says, adding that there is no such protocol in place with other countries such as China. The retired officer is typically a captain, colonel or group captain. They are chosen when they retire because they tend to be more experienced and able to stay in the job for longer — sometimes sticking at the same role for seven years.

      Exactly what they say to each other is unclear, although it is kept brief. “There’s not a morning dialogue. ‘How’s the world looking to you today, are you going to attack?’ ‘We are not, are you?’ ” he laughs.

      Curriculum vitae
      Born November 10, 1965
      Education Law degree from Southampton University, MA in international relations and defence from King’s College London
      Career Started as a barrister. Commissioned in the Royal Navy in 1990. Operational tours included countering smuggling in Hong Kong and the Caribbean and Nato operations in the Adriatic. Chief of staff of Joint Forces Command 2016-18. Appointed first sea lord and chief of naval staff the following year. Appointed chief of the defence staff in November, the first head of the Royal Navy in two decades to take on the post.
      Family Lives in Hampshire with his wife and four sons.

      Quick fire
      Battleships or Risk? Battleships
      F-35s or Harriers? F-35s
      Fry-up or avocado on toast? Fry-up, definitely
      Pearl Harbor or Dunkirk (the films)? Dunkirk
      Horatio Nelson or the Duke of Wellington? Nelson
      James Bond or George Smiley? James Bond
      Beard or clean shaven? Clean shaven (but no problem with beards)
      Whisky or rum? Whisky
      Sunset or sunrise? Sunrise
      Surface ships or submarines? Submarines
      Admiral Sir Tony Radakin: ‘We check every day that the line to Russia works — but there isn’t a chat’ | News | The Times
      For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.


      • #33
        France Unveils New Seabed Warfare Strategy

        A new "Seabed Warfare Strategy" was unveiled by French Minister of Armed Forces, Florence Parly and Joint Chief of Staff, General Thierry Burkhard on 14 February. The strategy aims at broadening the capabilities of anticipation and action of the French Navy (Marine Nationale) up to 6,000 m depth.


        • #34
          UK to build second vessel to monitor undersea cables:

          The 'Multi Role Ocean Surveillance Ship' project was originally for one ship to protect the UK’s critical underwater infrastructure. Two ships are now planned.


          • #35

            Ciara is joined by Cathal Berry TD, Alan Farrell TD, Mick Barry TD and Political Editor Daniel McConnell to discuss Ireland's naval defences.
            For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.


            • #36
              The redtops are reporting a private contractor is doing the job


              • #37
                How to Destroy (and Protect) Underwater Pipelines? [ANALYSIS]



                • #38
                  Major operation launched in Irish Sea to protect subsea cables from attacks - IMO Discussion Board (

                  Save ye having to see the comments on
                  For now, everything hangs on implementation of the CoDF report.


                  • #39
                    Years ago my parents gave us clear plastic sweet boxes to see the "seabed" to see where the crabs are. I hope that we can draw them from stores again to see what attached to the cables.


                    • #40
                      The State owns two very capable research vessels to view undersea cables and pipelines the question is what can we do if something suspicious was detected, and if they did detect something it would be after the fact.
                      Don't spit in my Bouillabaisse .


                      • #41
                        In all fairness, you’d need an extremely large ASW fleet (air, surface and probably subsurface) to protect the submarine cables (including the gas and electricity interconnectors). I doubt any country could guarantee protection.

                        We need the Co-operation of those we are connected with, the owners and probably other agencies too).

                        That is not to say that we shouldn’t be capable of surveillance, monitoring and deterring actions.


                        • #42
                          Issue the see through plastic buckets.


                          • #43
                            Interestingly the U.K. announced last month they are going to purchase a 2nd ‘Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance Ship’


                            here’s an article from 2017 from a Conservative MP about Britain’s vulnerable submarine cables
                            We must do more to protect the indispensable yet insecure internet infrastructure provided by undersea cables, urges Rishi Sunak MP in a new report published by Policy Exchange, Undersea Cables: Indispensable, insecure. 97% of global communications and $10 trillion in daily financial transactions are transmitted not by satellites in the skies, but by cables lying deep beneath the ocean. Undersea cables are the indispensable infrastructure of our time, essential to our modern life and digital economy, yet they are inadequately protected and highly vulnerable to attack at sea and on land, from both hostile states and terrorists.

                            spoiler - the author is the current Prime Minister


                            • #44
                              The Ireland interconnectors are flagged in this OSINT tweet
                              "Why am I using a new putter? Because the last one didn't float too well." -Craig Stadler


                              • #45
                                An option for ASW (utilising the ARCIMS USV that can also be used for MCM).

                                Potentially operated from the MRV, or more likely, ashore