Thursday, January 05, 2012

UK's defense centered on carrier aviation???

Check out this story from Defence Tech but check out this blurb...
“We are committed to purchasing the carrier-variant and the regeneration of our carrier strike force is at the heart of our defense strategy. We believe it will bring a big gain for NATO and potentially be a big relief to U.S. efforts in the European sphere. We’ve worked with the French to ensure that we will have a European carrier capability [that’s] always available. But of course, we are concerned that any slippage in production or any reduction in U.S. numbers will have an impact [on cost] and with budgets very tight, we’ll be watching very close any movement in the predicted unit costs.”
My take away's...

1.  The UK is solidly behind the F-35C despite public pressure.
2.  The UK appears to be going back to its maritime roots.
3.  The costs of the F-35 is a concern on both sides of the Atlantic and the Pacific...probably less in the Pacific but a concern none the less.
4.  Delays are going to be fought by partner nations.  This will become a sticking point.
5.  Looks like Loren was right.  Weapon sales are part of the new diplomacy.


  1. I always do a little dance at the thought of the UK actually getting back some maritime power. If only it happened in sufficient quantity and with the right support units in place.

  2. well i'm just surprised by the comment. i read Think Defence daily to get the pulse of thinking in the UK specifically and Europe generally and i always get the feeling that the Royal Navy is the stepchild of the services.

  3. The problem with this is there is no current plan to actually convert the 2nd QE to operate the F-35C. One carrier and one part time air wing presents a lot of operational challenges.

    As a long term admirer of the RN it's really rather sad to see them reduced to a flotilla. They're down to 19 destroyers and frigates and 7 SSN's with maybe one carrier operating aircraft again by the end of the decade. Twenty years ago they had 49 escorts and 29 SSN/SSK's and were operating 3 small carriers. Those old numbers are around what Japan operates today.

  4. Sol, The RN is the senior service in the UK and has served us very well through its history. Many in the UK would like to see it better funded (I hesitate to say it but i'd put its funding ahead of the RAF, and to some extent the army once we leave Afghan), TD would disagree, I have occasionally felt a twinge of anti-navy bias in his postings.

    @Lane: The massive drop in numbers has been shocking, in part due to a reduced need and better capabilities per ship, but i'd agree it has gone too far. My wish list after getting both carriers fully operational would be too increase the Type 26 buy (if there really is an anti-air version planned) by as many units as possible. If 6 anti-air type 26's were built in addition to the anti-sub and GP versions, then Type 45 could be upgraded to use BMD and focus on the very high end tasks while Type 26 in all versions does the rest. An 8th SSN would actually have been cheaper than stretching out the build of seven too :/.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.