posted on Nov, 23 2015 @ 12:48 PM
So yet another promise from the indy referendum blown out of the water. The government & No campaign promised us thirteen Type 26 destroyers to be
built on the Clyde ... "the Union protects Scottish defence jobs" ... now the UK Government are ordering only eight Type 26 destroyers plus five
"lighter ships" (corvettes ?). Replacing destroyers with corvettes is just yet more short termism. And who's to say they won't cut the numbers still
further ? I wouldn't place a bet on the numbers.
There's a loss of a third of the MoD's civilian jobs, many of which were de-centralised to Scotland a few years ago. There's a reason why the MoD
needs civilian staff, they're less expensive and concentrating the staff in regional centres is more efficient. The administration of HR related
matters for the Army, for example, is conducted in Glasgow at Kentigern House. There they also plan the deployment of troops, promotion boards, health
assessments & all the usual background stuff which greases the wheels and makes things easier for the Army. Those tasks won't disappear, they'll just
get Army servicemen to do it themselves, effectively tying up front line troops in admin work. Another false economy.
The announcement of the new anti submarine aircraft is welcome, but it just points out the stupidity of not having ordered them earlier. Last week the
MoD had to haul in a French aircraft to hunt for a Russian submarine off the Scottish coast, it's currently operating out of Lossiemouth ... what an
embarrassment for an island nation to have to rely on others for such essentials. I'm not against the decision to scrap the Nimrods, though, they were
a pile of junk, one of the worst procurement decisions ever was to "upgrade" those aircraft. But they shouldn't have scrapped them without something
else being in place.
The F-35's decision appears to make sense, until you realise that they're getting the aircraft earlier but stretching the whole programme out still
further. That won't save money, it'll make it more expensive. We should've built cats & traps aircraft carriers instead of these 70,000 ton jump jet
ships. Even the US is baulking at the cost of the F-35 programme, looking to buy more 4th generation aircraft instead.
And the ever rising costs of the Trident submarine replacements ... another £6 billion down the plughole. In 2006 the UK government estimated the
four new submarines would cost £20 billion, today it's £31 billion with another £10 billion set aside for "contingency". It's not unreasonable to
think that each new submarine could come in at £8 to £10 billion pounds each, that's USD $12 billion to $15 billion ? And that doesn't even include
the warheads, the anti submarine protection required on the Clyde, the personnel, the infrastructure etc. Yet we're currently fretting about
terrorists armed with nothing worse than tuppeny ha'penny AK47's and suicide belts.
The Typhoon fighter aircraft will have to struggle on another 10 years to 2040 before they get replaced. And because police numbers are being whittled
down, the Army will have to be called upon in the event of a major terrorist incident.
It's a dogs dinner of a Defence Review, as per usual.