Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Former UK Chief Of Defense Staff hates their carrier buy...

Army vehicles are being neglected while the Royal Navy is getting new aircraft carriers, a former Armed Forces chief has warned.

General Lord Nick Houghton, who was Chief of the Defence Staff from 2013 to 2016, blasted the decision to spend £6.2billion on two huge carriers.

Outlining the state of Army vehicles, the ex-soldier told peers and MPs: “We should not be having those in the inventory still of a Tier One nation.”

He added: “It’s not a national disgrace but it needs urgent attention.”

Top brass and ministers are “neglecting” vital refits of vehicles, said the peer.

Comparing investment in new equipment between the Army and Navy, he added: “To an extent, the Army should be in a better condition with its armoured fighting vehicle fleet than it is, and the Navy has done reasonably well out of the programme of late.”

Pride fuelled the move to splash the cash on HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales - and continue with the projects even when costs spiraled and cuts were needed, he suggested.

He told Parliament’s National Security Strategy Committee that in 2010 he warned: “I think this is a bad idea. We will rue the day - we can’t afford these things.”

The warships - the Navy’s biggest ever at 65,000 tonnes - would be “the totemic capabilities of Empire”, he told ministers.
Story here. 

This guy is voicing some of the same issues as I have.  Replace the F-35 with the Queen Elizabeth (with regard to this discussion) and you have my concerns with Marine Corps procurement.

The last highlighted line is a bit stunning.

He thinks that this is just a symbol of a dead empire...a struggling nation...not smart defense spending.

Could that possibly be true?

Are the Brits going for symbolism over substance?  The General makes a good argument for the idea of the nation being better served with more destroyers and frigates. 

In essence he argues that two 65K ton carriers are more for show than go.

Side note.  Expect the debate to pick back up and probably intensify when they come to the US to embark USMC fill in for aircraft they don't have yet.

Many are pushing that as interoperability.  Others are saying its a dog and pony to keep the ship in action and also serve as F-35 propaganda.

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