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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Where is the Royal Navy going?

Just what is the purpose of the navy? is it to defend the UK and its off shore interests, defend the nations supply lines, or support the USA in naval opperations?

Both the shape and size have change over the last two decades, partly for economic reasons, but there is also a change in the role the navy sees for itself, just what is that role? with fixed wing aircraft carriers on a huge scale, assult ships and amphibious back up from the RFA, plus HMS Ocean, it looks like quite an assult force, but does the navy really think the few type 45 destroyers they expect to get will be sufficent to replace all the frigettes they will lose.

I get the impression that they belive a few state of the art ships is better than a larger number of less sophisticated ones, so while we are all pondering the pros and cons of modern naval design, can anyone tell what new technology has been developed to enable a ship to be in two places at the same time? if the reason cited to increase millitery spending during peace time is the threat of terrorism, then should we not be spending the money doing that which we claim we need it for, defending the nation, unless I am mistaken, the UK coastline has not shunk to any great extent, and the navy is supposed to be its first line of defense, how are the ever decreasing number of ships going to perform this task? no matter how smart thier new ships may be, thier deminishing numbers will make this an ever more difficult task.

Why oh why did the UK stop building patrol boats like the Brave class? they would be a much better and cheaper coastal defense, and lets not forget these vessels can pack as much punch as a modern frigette, ask the Israilies, when every other military branch is designing smaller, faster more responsive forces, how come the Royal Navy seems to be heading in the opposite direction?

Oppinions gentleman.

Mike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LEEJ said:
Whats' Trident all about??!! (Cloud)
Hiding your weapons of mass distuction where hopefuly no one else can attack them, certainly not about reducing the number of missiles aimed at the UK.
 

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ROBOTSKI,from the time i joined the R.N,a good 30 years ago,the navy was laying up more ships than they were replacing we had sold off singer,s and only left with hong Kong.
as you said ,if it were not for the R.F.A to bale us out ,we could end up in deep *****.
we all need to pay our insurance and it looks like the goverment is failing to do the same .
as in the middle east ,they give us a job to do ,and then it turns out bigger than they expected.
the same will be with the navy.
 

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I think the classic case for ships being over sophisticated was the Falklands, when the realisation dawned that guns not missiles were still needed for air defence and shore bomdardment.
I also heard a theory put forward not so long ago, that the Navy is suffering all the cutbacks because of the over-stretch that has been caused by the deployment of so much of the Army and RAF in the Middle East etc. Seems there is only so much money that the politicians will make available for the Armed Forces and as it is not enough to go around somebody has got to suffer. As the role of the Navy in these conflicts is limited it is obviously seen as the soft option.
Mind you this is not new, you have only got to look back to the RN at the start of the 1939-45 War. It might have been the largest navy in the world on paper but how many of those ships had actually begun life in the First World War.
Peter4447
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I take your point Peter4447
and with ever increasing costs, there are bound to be casualties, but if you took the cost of say a type 45 and its crew, then redistribute that over 5 patrol boats of simpler design, they could cover a lot more ground (sea) than 1 large ship, they could cruise more cost effectively and still cover the coast, but when needed, could out run the type 45, and should the worst happen and the ship was lost or damaged, the maximum loss with the patrol boats is 20%, sort of not putting all your eggs in one basket.

it would not be effective to convert the entire navy, but some part of it would enable a more effective coastal force to be deployed, after all, if that is all the UK can afford now, then thats what we should have, it was considered to be the most effective method of operation by the Chinese untill they had the sort of money to expand thier larger ships, but even now still represents a considerable part of thier naval strengh.

I think part of the UK's problem is historical, keeping up with tradition is desireable but expensive.

And what is the Royal Navy going to do next, lets not forget the type 82 was only the first of a group of ships that were planned, they were cancelled because they were built to escort conventional carrier groups, which the Royal Navy no longer had, with the construction of two new "conventional" carriers, will they deem it nessacery to reactiveate that plan, surley if they cant afford the frigettes they have in service now, nothing like that is going to get built.

No one says it is an easy problem to solve and whatever they do there will be critacisum from some area, but as an island of limited budget, I question the need and wisdom of investing so heavily in assult forces, at this point, we should adopt a more defense orientated force.

You know, I wish there was a spell checker on this computer (Cloud) it would make this a whole lot more readable (*))

Guys your input has been wonderful, keep it coming

regards

Mike.
 

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wonnder what it cost to build and maintain the old HMS Vanguard? .. and she never fired a shot in anger either. Never mind lads, the Royal Air force will bail us out same as last time! ... lol. (wonder if they still make Brylcreme these day)
 

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Gents,

What would happen today if the Argies invaded the Falklands.?

We'd have HMS Endeavour and little else...including soldiers who are all in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

The only solution I feel would be to "borrow" back all the ships we flogged to Chile.!

The Argies are making louder rumblings about reclaiming the Islands, and so far have taken a legal approach. They must be biding their time and waiting for their moment Mk II to arrive.....can't be long now.

Rushie
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Now thats a good point, the RN was in the worst shape it had been in since the Armarda, if it had kicked off a few months later, there would have been no Hermes either as she was being scrapped that year.

We now have less frigettes and destroyers and our troops are deployed elseware.

Its all very well saying we have three Invincible class, but two are laid up at the moment, the only area we can say there is any inprovement in since 1982 is the assult ships, with Albion and Bulwark being excellent repalcements for the aging Fearless and Intrepid.

What should worry us the most however is the airpower situation, it is fine to say Argentina is having maintainance problems with its airforce, but we are not in exactly in great shape either. (egg)
 

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The UK likes to sit at the top table in world affairs. If our Navy and armed services in general were limited to a self defence force then we wouldn't have much influence in the world today. (You may say that would be a good thing).

The problem is that we want to be there at the table with the US and others but we under invest in our forces. This is causing all sorts of problems for the people at the sharp end of all this.

During the 70's and 80's when I served, defence cuts were rife and it took the Falklands to refocus the state of the armed services. The defence budget will always be cut in favour of more pressing needs at home but our politicians have let us down very badly by not scaling back our commitments. In fact we are very seriously over stretched all over the globe.

Rgds
 

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Hugh
Entirely agree with your remark about being seriously over stretched but when its backs to the wall its the men and women who man them. They have never let us down in the past and will never in the future-there a special breed like our MN.
 

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Gdynia,

Yes, that's for sure, our people have never let us down. Wish I could say the same about our politicians.

Rgds
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You have to agree with that, our service personel are exceptional, but as you say, its a pity we dont give them the tools to do the job, I dont doubt the quality of what we have, but trying to keep up with the big boys is streching it too thin.
 

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With the threat of terrorism and the need to protect our oil and gas rigs, illegal immigration, drug trafficking etc I cannot understand why the RN has never invested in a simple, gun armed (with something more than the standard 20/40mm single Bofors) General Purpose Frigate that could also operate a helicopter and could carry a specialised Royal Marine unit, that could also be used for Fishery Protection and supporting the work of HM Coastguard and HM Customs. I am sure they would be a good investment if they were used in home waters but I don't think it will ever happen. It is all very well for politicians to want to be on the world's centre stage but as Mike so rightly said what about our own shores?
It was only a couple of years ago that an incident occured off Torbay involving a supertanker that was at first thought to be a terrorist attack, it would have beern comforting to know that the right ship for the right job was immediately available and on hand to deal with such a threat.
Peter4447
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think the Castle class were intended to fill the role you discribe Peter, but as usual it really was the poor relation, undergunned and only two were built, are the River class taking over this role?
 

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Peter, I tend to agree with what you say. I served on minesweepers towards the end of my time and we were utilised in some other roles ie fishery protection.

With all the oil rigs off our shores you would think that they would invest in a patrol boat rather than use vessels that are not built for that purpose.

Mike, the Castle class were again mainly used on fishery protection duties. As you say they were a poor substitute for a patrol vessel.

The River class vessels are replacing the Island class OPV and, as far as I know, will be on fishery protection duties.

Rgds
 

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Canadian Military

robotski said:
You have to agree with that, our service personel are exceptional, but as you say, its a pity we dont give them the tools to do the job, I dont doubt the quality of what we have, but trying to keep up with the big boys is streching it too thin.
I have to agree and over here in Canada we buy your old submarines that were no good in the first place and expect our navy to do its job!!
 
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