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Lessons for Canada in shockingly bad state of British military

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  • Lessons for Canada in shockingly bad state of British military


    Several months ago, Britain announced steep cuts to its military. As part of their austerity program, Britain’s nuclear arsenal is being slashed. Five thousand men have been cut from the roster of both the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy. An old aircraft carrier was immediately retired, as were Britain’s Harrier jets, while a new carrier will be built, but immediately put in mothballs. Britain cut its order of F-35 jets by over two-thirds and plans to retire 40% of the Army’s tanks while cutting 7,000 men.

    These are punishing cuts, and reflect the end of Britain’s global power ambitions. For those who have studied the U.K.’s military history, it’s a sad thing to see the island that stared down Napoleon and Hitler laid low by its own budgetary recklessness. But the immediate, real-world impact is already being felt, sooner than anyone would have guessed. The Royal Air Force has deployed jets to contribute to the coalition operating against Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi … but doesn’t have enough pilots to sustain that presence there for long.

    From The Telegraph:

    Since the conflict began, a squadron of 18 RAF Typhoon [jet] pilots has enforced the Libya no-fly zone from an air base in southern Italy. However, a shortage of qualified fighter pilots means the RAF may not have enough to replace all of them when the squadron has to rotate in a few weeks. The situation is so serious that the RAF has halted the teaching of trainee Typhoon pilots so instructors can be drafted on to the front line, according to air force sources. The handful of pilots used for air shows will also be withdrawn from displays this summer … Out of 69 qualified RAF Typhoon pilots, including instructors, 18 are in southern Italy flying missions over Libya. Of the rest, 24 are committed to the Quick Reaction Alert protecting Britain’s air space and 12 are in the Falklands in a similar role. That leaves only 15 to replace [the 18 already] based in Italy.
    .The article goes on further to note that the aircraft carrier that was retired last year, with its Harrier jets, would have been in a position to deploy to Libya and reduce the strain on the Typhoon jet pilots were it still in service. It’s almost inconceivable that the country that proudly stood alongside the United States in Iraq only eight years ago, deploying a massive military force on a sustained combat mission, is struggling to sustain an 18-plane squadron today.

    While the British example is start, Canada is not immune. Each time Canada upgrades its military equipment, it does so in far fewer numbers. Canada originally purchased 140 CF-18 jets, but intends to replace those with only 65 F-35s … and the order of 140 CF-18s was only a third the number of aircraft that they were replacing. Due to Canada’s enormous landmass and assorted international obligations, without a large air fleet and sufficient pilots to operate the craft, we too could soon find ourselves in a situation where the government of the day is inclined (or obligated by treaty) to send warplanes abroad only to find there’s no one able to fly them.

    National Post
    mgurney@nationalpost.com


    http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/...tish-military/


    Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

  • #2
    i'm just going to leave this thread alone Goldie and let it become a playground for Tim Horgan.

    i'm sure he will come along soon and you can play with him then.

    for the record i hate to see our military cut and yes it is wrong but we still pack a pretty mean punch.

    it just goes to show how a military can suffer due to political decisions and cutbacks.

    have fun...
    Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 29 March 2011, 23:42.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

    Comment


    • #3
      It isn't my opinion RGJ, its from a canadian publication.


      Catch-22 says they have a right to do anything we can't stop them from doing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
        ......
        While the British example is start, Canada is not immune. Each time Canada upgrades its military equipment, it does so in far fewer numbers. Canada originally purchased 140 CF-18 jets, but intends to replace those with only 65 F-35s … and the order of 140 CF-18s was only a third the number of aircraft that they were replacing. Due to Canada’s enormous landmass and assorted international obligations, without a large air fleet and sufficient pilots to operate the craft, we too could soon find ourselves in a situation where the government of the day is inclined (or obligated by treaty) to send warplanes abroad only to find there’s no one able to fly them.

        National Post
        mgurney@nationalpost.com


        http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/...tish-military/
        But that ignores the much greater 'effects' that each modern combat aircraft can achieve, so mere numbers are no longer the primary criterion. Of course there has to be a certain minimum number of aircraft, but each one is so more much precise and powerful these days that the massive numbers of fighters and bombers employed in WWII, or even in Vietnam, are simply not needed. Plus they have become ridiculously expensive, to the extent that many countries simply can't afford modern aircraft. And there are other weapon systems, such as SAMs, UAVs, cruise missiles etc., that are effectively doing some of the jobs done by piloted aircraft in the past.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Goldie fish View Post
          but doesn’t have enough pilots to sustain that presence there for long.
          Sure they got rid of a lot that were in training

          Originally posted by easyrider View Post
          But that ignores the much greater 'effects' that each modern combat aircraft can achieve, so mere numbers are no longer the primary criterion. Of course there has to be a certain minimum number of aircraft, but each one is so more much precise and powerful these days that the massive numbers of fighters and bombers employed in WWII, or even in Vietnam, are simply not needed. Plus they have become ridiculously expensive, to the extent that many countries simply can't afford modern aircraft. And there are other weapon systems, such as SAMs, UAVs, cruise missiles etc., that are effectively doing some of the jobs done by piloted aircraft in the past.
          Assuming you want precision, what if you need carpet bombing (eg the Iraqi trenches in GW1).

          It is the same as ships, they can't be in 2 places at one time. They are maintenance intensive and unless they are actually swing-role you are going to have major problems, you also have to take account of aircraft for training to type & role.

          Comment


          • #6
            Carpet bombing is a late-WWII concept that arose from (a) the inaccuracy of 'dumb' bombs, and (b) loads of bomber aircraft available with nothing better to do. If you want to do it these days, you'd need B-52s, but a better area-saturation weapon is something like MLRS. Precision-attack is so much more efficient and there is much less collateral damage and risk of hitting friendly forces.

            Comment


            • #7
              Except MLRS is now precision as well

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