Aircraft Carriers eclipsed

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by kfz, Jul 7, 2009.

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Is the Aircraft Carrier is an effective and essential part of a modern defence

  1. Yes, the carrier is an essential defence system

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No, its a nice to have luxury, but lets buy helicopters instead

    33 vote(s)
    100.0%
  1. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    I would be interested to see what the house thinks about future armed forces structure. The UK to most peoples surprise recently announced that it was to build two full sized fixed wing aircraft carriers. Now its obvious that goverment wants to do a big U turn (a very big one when you weigh 65000 tons!) and is fosterring debate to the effect that the carrier has had its day and is about to go the way of the big gun warship into the history books. Though Im not quite sure what replaces them and no one seems to be able to comment on the folly of basing spending on the last five years.

    Id be verry interested what everyone thinks (not just the pommeys/limeys). Should the Brits build 2 big ships or buy more Apaches instead, or maybe body armour or skis or packed lunches, or a decent rifle instead?

    Kev
     
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Let's stop sticking our noses into other people's wars & troubles then we wouldn't need a carrier to 'project our power' around the world.
    Don't replace Polaris either that would save the country a few Billion quid.
    Spend all that money saved on 'defence' on getting this country back on track with a strong economy & descent infra-structure.
    Oh yeah, merga all the Infantry into one big regiment.
    Get rid of the Paras & ditch Eurofighetr too.
    It's all a waste of money.
     
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Let's stop sticking our noses into other people's wars & troubles then we wouldn't need a carrier to 'project our power' around the world.
    Don't replace Polaris either that would save the country a few Billion quid.
    Spend all that money saved on 'defence' on getting this country back on track with a strong economy & descent infra-structure.
    Oh yeah, merga all the Infantry into one big regiment.
    Get rid of the Paras & ditch Eurofighetr too.
    It's all a waste of money.

    Bad day at the office? :unsure:
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    The two Aircraft Carriers have been on the cards for many years in fact I think they were originally first spoken about in the 80's on the back of the Falklands and more so after Gulf War 1 and the early stages of the Balkans conflict.

    To understand the need for a Carrier you need to apprciate what it does. In short it is capable of putting a airfield anywhere in the world which then can provide a whole host of flexibility to operations in the area be it Combat Air Patrols (CAP) Ground Support to boots on the ground or in these Carriers case and the smaller HMS Ocean already in service valuable helicopter support in way of casualty extraction, re-supply and putting troops on the ground.

    Anyone who says no to Carriers, I would remind them of what potentialy was nearly a military and political disaster for this country in the 80's. (And a credit to the British Military for pulling off what looked an impossible task) - The Falklands Conflict.

    Shortly before the conflict HMS Invincible was due to sold off to Australia and Hermes was on the verge of being scrapped leaving the Royal Navy with a fleet of Destroyers and Frigates as far as surface fleet went. The carrier force was so run down HMS Invincible limped out to sea from Portsmouth on her way south to war with only one of screws turning due to engine trouble (I think she had a cracked prop shaft). The Fleet Air Arm was ready to be disbanded. They too were so under funded RAF Harrier crews had to be trained in Carrier operations on the way south.

    So regardless of your views on foriegn policy if you want British troops protected on the sea, land and air you need carriers to do it amongst a whole host of other kit.

    Cheers

    Something worth considering:

    The Commander in Chief/ Head shed or whatever he is called rotates every so often (XYZ amount of years) betwen the three services and they have overall say over the defence budget so its no surprise at the moment that its the Navy in charge and they are getting new ships and the other two services are suffering.

    I think the Army gets next dabs in the hot seat so I'm sure they will get all the helicopters and vehicles they are short of when the transition takes place.

    I believe the RAF bought shed loads of Chinooks that don't fly and Eurofighter when they were in the hot seat.
     
  5. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Ok, Drew; I could follow your arguments - you shall have your carriers!

    Personally I guess that the carrier's role as it was defined in the Pacific theatre of WW2 or as an escort to supply convoys in the Atlantic and North Sea is over since long. You will not have to cope with a big enemy fleet in this times - but as Drew said; to have an airfiled available in short time at any place in the world, you definitely need a carrier.

    As a non-British I may dare to ask, if Britain really has to participate each operation the US are doing all over the world ...
     
  6. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Ok, Drew; I could follow your arguments - you shall have your carriers!

    Personally I guess that the carrier's role as it was defined in the Pacific theatre of WW2 or as an escort to supply convoys in the Atlantic and North Sea is over since long. You will not have to cope with a big enemy fleet in this times - but as Drew said; to have an airfiled available in short time at any place in the world, you definitely need a carrier.

    As a non-British I may dare to ask, if Britain really has to participate each operation the US are doing all over the world ...


    Kuno. Of course you can ask mate.

    Good question. A point not made is that these ships will allow us to cross deck with US aircraft. I recently came accros some pics of Eagle with US aircraft on board, so betcha your bottom dollar they wil try it.

    Kev
     
  7. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Especially when we come to the F-35 both nations will have.
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The Carriers I can understand far more than most other ships.
    Be nice if we had some useful aircraft to stick on them, which it seems we don't really yet. F35 hasn't exactly run smoothly so far, though it looks like it'll be a good 'un eventually.

    Eurofighter does strike me as a complete Joke - very pretty, but what does the cost per aircraft work out at so far for an unfinished system? Why are we ordering so many? Buy cheap from the Yanks could likely have saved us a few quid (millions? billions?) and given us machines that actually work from day one.

    I think the Army gets next dabs in the hot seat so I'm sure they will get all the helicopters and vehicles they are short of when the transition takes place.
    Don't bank on it...

    My cynicism is currently sharpened by the interesting 'Lions, Donkeys & Dinosaurs' - Waste & Blundering in the Armed Forces by Lewis Page. Haven't quite finished it so still not entirely decided what to make of his long rant against British procurement and force structure, but as he says it's to provoke at least some wider thought on this stuff it's certainly worked for me so far.
    I don't object to spending on defence one bit, but there's a strong case that we've hardly had value for money for decades.
     
  9. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Adam is he chatting about the 2003 SDR debacle they called 'Delivering Security in a Changing World' ?
     
  10. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Personally Im with Andy on this one. I think you still need them. I think we made a big mistake in WW2 we had far to many Big guns and not enough usefull carriers. We ended up with converted freighters and unsuitable aircraft, it was mistake we should learn from. I reckon the aircraft carrier is one of the most flexable systems there is, we should do it. Who knows what the next war will take us. I think the goverment is taking a big chance sidelining the Royal Navy.



    Kev
     
  11. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The Navy was largely sidelined by events.
    The Frigates, Cruisers, and to some extent submarines appear to have little real role now the cold war's gone. Carriers and RFAs look like the remaining genuinely useful large military ships.

    (Again, blame that book for my cynicism, I'm happy to be persuaded otherwise.).
     
  12. Mullet94

    Mullet94 Senior Member

    Better to have the capability in your arsenal rather than either being caught short like we almost were by the Argentinian's or relying on the Yanks to always bail us out.
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I think Submarines have a major role in any effective modern day military navy including the Royal Navy as a stealth strike platform using Tomahawk Cruise Missiles or in the more conventional role of using torpedoes. Although the later has only been used twice since WW2.

    As for Polaris I'm not a fan and think it's purpose is now out dated.
     
  14. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    The Frigates, Cruisers, and to some extent submarines appear to have little real role now the cold war's gone.


    There's a pretty big assumption there ;) given this weeks' "things are as bad now as they ever were during the Cold War" rhetoric from points East...:lol: I know a certain amount of that was to be expected , the "setting out your stall ahead of negotiations" rhetoric...but it's the AMERCIANS that are negotiating - but BRITISH airspace the buggers are buzzing!
     
  15. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    There's little likelihood of a vast fleet the size the SU could field now thundering down from the East, the Russian fleet will take a long time to rebuild, if it ever wanted to.
    The RN's role even then was likely to be eliminated to the last rowing boat in an attempt to hold them off until the yanks could get here. Even in that role it seems the hunter subs were the main effective weapon. Aircraft carriers (with useful Jets & Helicopters... presuming we ever get those sorted. Aircraft essentially being primary ship-killers.) at least have some validity in a far wider range of roles than a theoretical mass-conflict?
     
  16. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I believe the Royal Navy's Submarine on station in the Persian Gulf was the first on all the coalition forces to launch an attack on Iraq by way of a cruise missile.

    All the subs are in the process of being replaced with a new class (Back to the navy being in charge again). One was launched a few years ago.

    In short carriers give you air capability anywhere in the world, submarines give your fleet protection and firepower, destroyers and frigates give you what I like to call in non nautical terms 'boots on the ground' (After all I am a land luver) by way of anti-aircraft capabilities and the like.

    Within the next ten or so years we will have a rather powerful navy compared to standards of the last 10 years.
     
  17. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Be interested in non UK residents point of view on the worthwhile investment a fixed wing carrier requies.

    Kev
     
  18. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    the problem really appears to be that no one quite knows what sort of "next event" to plan for. Is it Iraq or Iran, Israel or Muslims or what? We need a flexible way to respond, but anything seems to cost billions before it comes into service, takes years or decades too long to come into service and the equipment is never right. We need simples solutions, like an Air Force of Gnat MkII, small, nimble and cheap (not Grobs!!) that can get to a threat fast and have sufficient punch to thwart and return. We don't need a Eurofighter which is allegedly all things to all men yet has too much surplus kit to do on basic task well. Similarly the Navy needs to have a large force of small effective anti submarine craft, size of minesweepers with anti aircraft missiles to defend themselves and a fleet of 20 or so larger ships the size of tankers capable of embarking fleets of helicopters, attack and troop carrying. put nuclear deterrent into subs and we ahve all the bases covered. big stick to scare aware bullies, and sufficient ships and aircraft to defend in depth or deploy without reducing cover elsewhere. oh, and pay a good rate for the job, honours and adequate death in service benefits. If all school leavers had 4 years at either Further Education or military service, then unemployment wouldn't get hit with school leavers adding to the pile, the surplus manpower could be taught and trained to think and do things of benefit, not stand around street corners demanding "Respect" and stabbing each other.
    And I'd insist that ALL MP's who claimed "incorrectly" have to stand down. Then we can get a fresh bunch in, who understand what they can do for the good of the country, not just themselves - Yes, I DO mean you, Tony Blair. Middle East envoy - how many visits and what have you solved?
    Grr!! Does anyone do anything for anyone else because they want to, not for what they can get?
     
  19. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    We don't need a Eurofighter which is allegedly all things to all men yet has too much surplus kit to do on basic task well.


    This was how the USN's Hornet started out - a "cheap" and cheerful fighter-bomber....that steadily got crowded with more and more systems and capabilities until it became just another monstrously expensive aircraft

    We need simples solutions, like an Air Force of Gnat MkII,


    The REALLY stupid thing is the modern concentration on speed vs manouverability...though modern aircraft like the Typhoon and Rafael are starting to address this with vectored thrust...given that the vast majority of air combat will be at stand-off ranges of 5-10 miles or more by missile. Yes an aircraft should be able to dogfight and be armed appropriately - but they don't dogfight at Mach 2!!! :lol: Look how popular the Hawk trainer armed as a light fighter and ground attack aircraft has been for export ;)

    What we need is cheaper aircraft, so that we can simply have more of them. Because THAT will grow the RAF ground and support establishment, create jobs etc. We simply CAN'T expect the armed forces to protect us if there is no "depth" to them, if it's a secondary or tertiary spending concern - look at the projects crying out for defence spending NOW to save the lives of service men...and we're in the middle of a war! :unsure: - if the armed forces simply aren't a large part of the life of the nation.

    Maybe this is the government way...if the armed forces continue to over-perform compared to the amount of investment spent on them...then they encourage any government to make savings! :huh: "They can do so well with so little in real terms...then they can do it with even less"!
     
  20. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    What we need is cheaper aircraft, so that we can simply have more of them.

    Right, so exactly which aircraft types do you suggest? May I remind you that you may be confronted by a variety of different tactical and strategic situations, and unless you have a one-size-fits-all, you will have to have a variety of cheaper aircraft to handle I won't say which one but at least several similar envelopes. And it is not written that your opposition will come with an equally simple solution.
     

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