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Royal Navy to cut fleet by half?

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posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 07:17 AM
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Initial press reports suggest major cuts to the RN will be enforced to balance the books / pay for the war on clutter.

Although some of this may be worse-case scaremongering by an RN pitching for budget it does seem that our days as a naval power are over




Royal Navy commanders were in uproar yesterday after it was revealed that almost half of the Fleet's 44 warships are to be mothballed as part of a Ministry of Defence cost-cutting measure.

Senior officers have said the plans will turn Britain's once-proud Navy into nothing more than a coastal defence force.

The Government has admitted that 13 unnamed warships are in a state of reduced readiness, putting them around 18 months away from active service. Today The Daily Telegraph can name a further six destroyers and frigates that are being proposed for cuts.

A need to cut the defence budget by £250 million this year to meet spending requirements has forced ministers to look at drastic measures.

MoD sources have admitted it is possible that the Royal Navy will discontinue one of its major commitments around the world at a time when Sir Jonathon Band, the First Sea Lord, has said more ships are needed to protect the high seas against terrorism and piracy.

News of further cuts to what was once the world's most formidable fleet comes as critics say failings across the Services are becoming increasingly apparent.

* SNIP **

The six warships to be mothballed are the Type 22 frigates Cumberland, Chatham, Cornwall and Campbeltown and two Type 42 destroyers Southampton and Exeter.

It is likely that they will eventually be sold or scrapped. There are also fears in the Admiralty that two new aircraft carriers, promised in 1998, might never be built.

Meanwhile the French navy, which will be far superior to the Royal Navy after the cuts, will announce before the April presidential elections that a new carrier will be built.

Two of eight advanced air defence Type 45 destroyers on the Navy's order books will not be bought, defence sources said. The order is already six months behind schedule and £157 million over budget.

A senior officer, currently serving with the Fleet in Portsmouth, said: "What this means is that we are now no better than a coastal defence force or a fleet of dug-out canoes. The Dutch now have a better navy than us."

Defence sources said it would be unlikely that the Navy could now launch an armada of the kind that retook the Falkland Islands in 1982.

Steve Bush, editor of the monthly magazine Warship World, said the MoD was bankrupt following the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


www.telegraph.co.uk.../news/2007/01/05/navy05.xml

Once Britannia ruled the waves - now we'll struggle to police our own coast.

The true price of Bliar's incompetence

[edit on 5/1/2007 by Strangerous]




posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 08:20 AM
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Personally I think this is not the right way to go. Britain struggled in 1982 to project power (against Argentina mind you) with the Navy it had at the time, which was considerably larger than the current one and the future planned RN. Should the need arise again to fight near foreign shores against a more capable foe the UK might not be able to…

I found these two revelations to be quite worrying...


There are already reports that ships on operations are ignoring faults to weapons systems in order to save money but will spend cash if it is a health and safety issue.

Adam Ingram, the defence minister, admitted in a Parliamentary answer last month that 13 ships were at sea with 18 in port at 48 hours notice to deploy. The decision to tie up another six frigates will mean the Navy has just 25 warships left.



[edit on 5-1-2007 by WestPoint23]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 10:16 AM
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The military budget cut's under the previous tory goverment went right down to the bone, but under this goverment they have started doing complete amputations. by mothballing the sea harriers we will have aircraft carriers without aircraft ( their are still roumers floating around that this goverment may even cancel the aircraft carriers as well) this goverment has also disbanded numerous army regiments as well leaving them badly overstreched, and to top it off they expect our troops to live in damp mould infested homes as well


[edit on 5-1-2007 by solidshot]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 11:21 AM
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Press reports are trailing the cancellation or rethinking of the carriers (maybe 2 more mini carriers instead) - if we haven't enough ships to make up carrier battle groups what's the point?

Westpoint is correct: A 25 ship navy now looks to be on the cards

On the army it was actually only an overall reduction of 4 battalions, but many units were merged / restructured which will remove the vital regimental nature of the Army.

It's not the restructure causing the overstretch - it's the gung-ho joining of every crusader operation going, increasing commitment / reducing 'down time', and the resulting fall in recruiting numbers that's doing it.

Overstretch is also increasing the numbers leaving - this has impact on training before deployment and overall quality of our forces.

All this has been known since the days of Hoon (AKA T.C.H.) but ignored.

Labour wants our forces everywhere doing everything GWB tells us to do but won't pay the price for it.



[edit on 5/1/2007 by Strangerous]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 12:25 PM
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Guess the falklands wasnt enough of a lesson for them, or mabye the government now has this "air mobile" idea and wants to use the RAF more, sure makes a lot of sense since there spending so much money on aircraft and land forces.



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 01:35 PM
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Originally posted by devilwasp
Guess the falklands wasnt enough of a lesson for them, or mabye the government now has this "air mobile" idea and wants to use the RAF more, sure makes a lot of sense since there spending so much money on aircraft and land forces.


The navy is still an important branch of Britain's military. Especially since it serve the country for centuries. No matter how they view that somehow the air and ground forces seems to take on the load. Remember that many people thought that land warfare seemed to be obsolete based on recent success on the 78 days of bombing of Serbia. And look at the Iraq war where ground troops are still needed, instead of aircraft.

Same thing for the navy, they are still needed. Have people stopped reading "The Influence of Seapower Upon History." by Alfred Mahan?

[edit on 5-1-2007 by deltaboy]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 01:53 PM
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Damm the cost and go back to the old measurement for the Royal Navy.

As big as the second and third largest navies in the World.


It is sad to see that the British Military is a shadow of what it was and our Government (Not just the current one but every Government since the 1950's) have not the intelligence to see that to project global influence we need to have the military to support.

The British Navy does not have any aircraft carriers in the true sense of the word. We have some assault ships. One of the bright spots is that we did develop the Harrier.



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 04:08 PM
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you can add Thatchers incompetence

mod edit: removed huge un-needed quote

[edit on 5-1-2007 by UK Wizard]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 04:26 PM
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Just another 'cost' of this moronic war....now they truely will be dependant on the "Yanks to back us".



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 06:52 PM
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i can't see this happening to be honest, if the source came from a newspaper they are always the first to say the worst case scenario to stir the wooden spoon


labour and the government have already embarrassed themselves by lack of funding to protect our troops in iraq, i doubt they will make the RN 3rd rate (in a military sense), especially when Britain's a world leader on global issues and when we still have territories overseas to protect.

I refuse to believe they are spending billions on our navy (type45’s/carriers/f-35/subs/£20 billion on a new nuclear deterrent ), but ordering LITTLE, therefore not having us not having substantial naval :/ if things were that bad we wouldn’t be upgrading trident, that would be the first thing to be scrapped not ships.

also if they scrap ships = more cuts in manpower and i can't see that happening, not again - the govenment got battered left/right and centre for the last lot, people already say our armed forces is too small.

[edit on 5-1-2007 by st3ve_o]



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 10:06 PM
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Originally posted by st3ve_o
if things were that bad we wouldn’t be upgrading trident, that would be the first thing to be scrapped not ships.


What? Sacrifice your nuclear deterrent for navy ships?
You may not have the same force projection capabilities with less ships but at least you have an effective and overwhelming response should anyone too big for you to handle ever crosses the line.

The way I see it if things continue this way the UK will have no choice but to retire the older ships which will be replaced (not on a one to one basis BTW) and ships in need of extensive and expensive refit. They have already all but reduced the future buy of the Type 45, one also needs to remember a navy does not consist of destroyers and frigates alone...



posted on Jan, 5 2007 @ 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
[What? Sacrifice your nuclear deterrent for navy ships?
You may not have the same force projection capabilities with less ships but at least you have an effective and overwhelming response should anyone too big for you to handle ever crosses the line.


no offence here dude but for me that is a typical cowboy response and the kinda reply how many americans look at things, reading your posts though in the past id think you should know better than that
- i will reply to it though, the lifespan of the current trident doesn't expire while 2040's.

the RN needs naval ships now (or next 10 years), what happens if argentina decide to invade the falklands again, do we threaten them with ALL 3 destoryers (if that article is true)?
so what happens if they manage to sink those? last option NUKE EM?
yeah man niceone, should make britain quite popular shouldn't it?


spain are wanting gibraltar back aswell - 3 warships are not going to warn them off.

projecting a substanical force around the global is essential for a country like britain and its something we must maintain.


Originally posted by WestPoint23
They have already all but reduced the future buy of the Type 45


all but reduced, 6 are already ordered man!

ok acording to to this site the planned 8 are in doubt:-

news.scotsman.com...

but again IMO thats not going to happen, orginally we supposed to be having 12 - after g.browns cut-backs document 'of the changing world' was brought forward in 2004, the type45's went from the planned 12 to 8 and they dare not cut-them back again to 6 IMO or the other partys will rip labours balls off.

[edit on 5-1-2007 by st3ve_o]



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 12:10 AM
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Originally posted by st3ve_o
no offence here dude but for me that is a typical cowboy response and the kinda reply how many americans look at things...


Huh? Please elaborate, and do try to stay clear of unnecessary insults and stereotypes while you're at it.
IMO strategic deterrence is vital, it is one of the most valuable assets a county can have. If forced to choose between the two I would sacrifice power projection in order to have such a capability.


Originally posted by st3ve_o
i will reply to it though, the lifespan of the current trident doesn't expire while 2040's.


Try more like 2025.


Originally posted by st3ve_o
...so what happens if they manage to sink those? last option NUKE EM?
yeah man niceone, should make britain quite popular shouldn't it?


Hypothetically, you'd be worried about popularity when your country's future depends on using nuclear weapons or not? For past historical examples see Cuban Missile Crises, perfect example of what a powerful navy combined with a nuclear deterrent can do.

As for your other points I wholeheartedly agree, I think we all do, this decision does not make sense, which is why military leaders are rightly outraged. But then again few government decisions do, especially if you're talking about the UK's track record (ever since post WWII) of canceling crucial defense projects and systems.

As I said they have cut the Type 45 force by four ships (33 percent) from the original order of twelve, it would not surprise me if they reduce that even further to six due to economical problems. The UK is stuck between a rock and hard place, in terms of budget. You have the Iraq war, other commitments overseas, large programs in the RAF and RN, something has give if they do not significantly increase the budget while insisting on continuing these current commitments. Unfortunately the UK has apparently decided that something will be the overall size of the RN.



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 12:28 AM
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Well as an American, I have no problem with suggesting we cut whatever billions we are suppose to fund (again) into Iraq and giving some instead to Britain as a show of support to maintain your fleet. This is ridiculous if the Iraq war is going to threaten an ally's defenses based partly on Bush's mismanagement of this war.

I don't pretend to know anything about the status of those ships or how much is required to maintain them, but what we both don't need is having the US coming in to defend the Falklands or other British possessions. It'll stir up more political BS on both sides of the water than we need. I have no problem supporting Britain if they asked for the American military's help, but I've got a feeling some nuts in Congress would bog it down in speeches and pander to the media. I also don't know how much your government's accounting is to blame, but I would hope someone would contact Senators like McCain or Biden and say "You guys are pro-military and pro-ally, how about chipping in?". Better to ask for the money now than wait for the war to cool off...and really I'd wish my government would just step up and offer it if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are to blame.

Not trying to kiss ass on this, just being reasonable (I think) that it benefits both sides for Britain to have a solid Navy.



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 12:30 AM
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While I am proud to be descended from the Union Jack, I just do not see the point in the UK having an overwhelming Navy anymore, any country for that matter.

I know that the military history of Britain was written by the sail but there is no reason that in todays military, a huge Royal Navy is necessary.

British Armed Forces still have more than adequate force projection. Someone used the example of Falklands-II. What is more effective...those few destroyers... or (I do not know the British equivalent) transports with para-troopers to seize a landing zone.

One of the proudest traditions in military history, but at the same point it is not necessary in the battlefield of today.



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 12:39 AM
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So whats going to happen to the war on drugs in the caribean seas? whats going to happen to the navy prescence off of the falklands? Gibralter? ... are we going to go cry to the USA each and every time we need naval support? or are we being led by the nose into the new european super armed forces and its being done on purpose to make us dependant on the EU?


Oh, and i'll dig the link up to the naval carrier being down sized and in line for the chop as well... I thought that was common news?



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 12:48 AM
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Something that all of you and the Telegraph has missed is that the Type-42's were being mothballed/sold ANYWAY. That's what is being replaced by the Type-45's.

As for the carriers not going ahead, thats bull too. We've spent hundreds of millions already and we're on the verge of laying the keels.

The Telegraph also winges about only 6 not 8 Type-45's. this has been known for several years and is not news and the planned amount was 12 and is actually now 8. Besides, one Type-45 is as capable as ALL the Type-42's put together.

We have the new Astutes in the pipeline too. Plus, the Paper has it's sums way off. To save £250 million (a paltry amount in the defence budget) they will axe over 20 ships? That would save Billions! Seeing as one ship costs between £200 million up too £600 million (I believe that is the going rate for a Type-45), or, in the case of the CVF £2 Billion.

I know once bought, they cost much less to run, but to get a saving of £250 million, you only need cut the Type-42's, which are going anyway. Refits alone cost 10's of millions each time they are done for one ship.

Scaremongering on a quiet news day. There is no way on earth the Government would slash the Navy by that much.



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 12:52 AM
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Originally posted by Baphomet79
While I am proud to be descended from the Union Jack, I just do not see the point in the UK having an overwhelming Navy anymore, any country for that matter.

I know that the military history of Britain was written by the sail but there is no reason that in todays military, a huge Royal Navy is necessary.

British Armed Forces still have more than adequate force projection. Someone used the example of Falklands-II. What is more effective...those few destroyers... or (I do not know the British equivalent) transports with para-troopers to seize a landing zone.

One of the proudest traditions in military history, but at the same point it is not necessary in the battlefield of today.


Seeing as we have the oldest Navy in world, dating from the 10th century, we are proud of our Navy. we need a strong navy as we are an Island nation.

As for the example about seixing the Falklands with paratroopers in Air transports, thats just not feasable. There is one strip in the FL and that is Stanley. Any enemy worth his salt would have it covered in SAMs and shoot down each and every one fo the C-130's or A-400's (depending on if/when it happens).

Simply put, I strongly (and I cannot emphasize this enough) doubt this story to the core. It's utter madness and BS...



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 01:32 AM
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Originally posted by stumason
That's what is being replaced by the Type-45's.


Not on a one to one ratio, besides, the article talked about several other types of ships that could potentially be decommissioned as well.


Originally posted by stumason
Besides, one Type-45 is as capable as ALL the Type-42's put together.


Stu, lets not buy into the hype, with only 48 surface to air missiles and one helicopter that statement is very bold indeed.

Anyway, can one Type 45 be at three places at the same time? Think about world commitments and ongoing operations. With six destroyers how many are going to be ready for deployment at any given time? Five at best? If a major conflict breaks out on distant shores you would have to commit your entire destroyer force and abandon other duties and commitment you may have. Think about defending shipping lanes, supporting on going coalition operation, defending UK waters, and fighting a distant war like the Falklands at the same time. Now you see why number play a key role, it good to have quality as well as reasonable quantity. Six destroyers is not enough for a country like GB unless you are ready to reduce your influence.

The same goes for the carriers, how many will be available for operation at any given time? Frigate numbers will go down as the Type 22 class will be decommission in the coming years, not to mention the older Type 23 boats. The UK is not building enough new units to make up for the ships which will be decommissioned, therefore current numbers cannot be sustained, the overall size will be reduced. And that's without any cuts mind you, should this report prove true the situation becomes even more dire.



posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 01:40 AM
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A strong navy is important to any country, especially Britain. Being an Island Nation, how are they to protect their shipping lanes in time of war should war break out on Europe ever again? I know there are alliances, but I would not rely on them as rock solid as nothing is 100% certain. One must be able to rely on themselves for survival if absolutely necessary and for Britain this depends on a strong combat ready navy. I hate to hear something like this from the country with probably the proudest naval tradition on Earth.



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