Defence Cuts

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Glider, May 23, 2010.

  1. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Like it or not (and I am sure it’s a not) these are on the way. The service chiefs of nearly all our countries are going to have to advise their political leaders as to what they should do to reduce the defence budgets.

    It’s easy to sit on the outside and complain, it’s quite another to have to make the recommendations. So the question I would ask is, what would your advice be?
     
  2. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    Nuclear weapons work very well (as a deterrent) against other nations with nuclear weapons, they are of little value against an enemy that hides among us; cancel the nuclear submarine program. Give the Trident missiles back to the US who are far better financially disposed to maintain them and at least they don't need permission from themselves to fire them.

    With most of the colonies now handed back and the Falklands properly garrisoned, it's not always clear why we need two new aircraft carriers, what's the argument for UK force projection? The US already has a well defined capability in this area; trying to have the same toys as the big boys just seems to me like an expensive folly.

    The Typhoon is a great aircraft that turned up for work on its first day to find its job had gone but what do you do with something that's already fielded?

    The money saved could be used to upgrade existing keels for the RN and properly equip troops for the Army. The RAF's a bit of a grey area but I'd be looking to get the best out of the Tornado for the remainder of its service life for ground target support, rather than the Typhoon for air combat.
     
  3. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Colin,

    I wholeheartedly agree it's time too get rid of the UK's independent nuclear deterrent - too expensive and of no practical use.

    Re the carriers, there are a host of operartions that require air support but which, for reasons various, cannot be supported by ground-based aicraft. Non-combatant evacuation missions are a classic example. Also, just 'cos a location is garrisoned doesn't mean it can't be overrun by a determined enemy with superior numbers. Force projection remains a vital component of defence.

    As an AD fighter, I agree Typhoon is expensive and largely irrelevant in the current political climate. However, a true multi-role capability would make Typhoon a much better option than keeping the Tonka alive for longer (much as I adore the GR version of The Fin).

    Just my two penn'orth!

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  4. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    We will going not to have that problem, the budget is already nearly zero.

    Now talking seriously I think the defense cuts ( in this case Britain but could be any nother place) should be subjected tom to vote like the governorts, presidents,etc, I say this becaused ( at list in the argentine case) some short times politicians took several action to reduce military expendings without any political support of the population and caused catastrophical geopolitical consecuenses, and not only in the military terrain but also in the social one, unemployment beeing most preeminent.
     
  5. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me When it comes to defense cuts it's always OK unless the project is located in your district, then it's important to keep those jobs.


    Wheels
     
  6. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    I completely agree re the Trident replacement, if only we can get over the the idea of France having a weapon we don't (surely our prime motivator for having nuclear weapons, whatever we might say publicly, a thousand year rivalry is not easily dropped :)

    The carriers are surely only there to allow us to play at being a world power still, I WANT to justify the purchase, but am struggling, its a very expensive way to reinforce the Falklands, and I will be sorely disappointed if they do get axed. They do allow us to show solidarity on our terms with our Commonwealth partners if needed so I'll go with that one.

    I think you have misread the Typhoon though, it is equally adept at precision strikes as the F-16 and F-18 etc are and this is much more relevant to modern needs than a low fast mud mover like the Tornado, The Tornado fleet is also desperately running short of airframe hours, thanks to overuse of individual airframes brought on by previous fleet cuts. My choice for the RAF would be a force consisting of the Typhoon, Lightning II and a UCAV, possibly Taranis based, for future needs.
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    #7 Glider, May 24, 2010
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
    I would keep Trident as its a cover that will be the ultimate deterrent for decades to come and looked at in that view is pretty good value for money.

    For the RAF I would drop the F35 purchase and increase the number of Typhoons. The savings in support costs would be huge and the unit costs for the Typhoon would be reduced due to the larger number ordered. In addition it would protect the RAF against the potential increased costs of the F35 as the Typhoon is in production and the costs are known.
    As everyone has commented the Typhoon is a multi role fighter and can be as accurate as any other aircraft when dropping bombs.

    For the USAF the first suggestions I have are as follows. Some of these are probably underway but I am not really up to date on what the status is.

    1 Get control of the purchasing process.
    As I understand it Congress can force the USAF to buy aircraft that the USAF haven't asked for. Where is the logic in that?.

    2 Reduce the number of types of Heavy Bomber
    Do the USAF really need the B2, B1 and B52. Retire either the B1 or the B52. The B2 is unique and should be kept

    3 Retire the F16 and A10

    4 Merge the USN and Marine Air assets
    I cannot see any situation where the Marine Air assets would go into action without the USN or USAF. A case could be made for them to retain attack and transport helicopters but not strike/fighter aircraft.
     
  8. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I must agree with the other Brits here that Trident needs to go - it's simply too much money for too little strategic benefit. If we still need a nuclear capability, go with cruise missiles - I'm thinking something along the lines of a nuclear-tipped Stormshadow or Tomahawk.

    The carrier program should be scrapped - we can launch S/VTOL aircraft from HMS Ocean, so why have the carriers? IMHO, both should be sold off as soon as they're completed, and we should get out of the F-35 program as it is already very late and massively over budget.

    Likewise, cut back the Typhoon program, and get more out of Tornado - it's old, but it still does the job we ask of it.

    The savings made could be re-invested in the Army to ensure they have all they need for Afghanistan - I don't see us leaving any time soon (notwithstanding Liam Fox's verbal diarrhea over the weekend), so we should make sure we are kitted out for the long-haul.

    The remainder of the money saved should go straight into paying down the deficit and supporting social programs like the £10000 income tax threshold - I believe that is a much better use of the money in the present circumstances.
     
  9. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The canadian military is probably going to have to spend more now that the Ice Cap is melting and the NW Passage will become more of a reality . So we will have to focus more of our naval and land forces to the north and equip the navy most of all to deal with this threat
     
  10. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    'Fraid I disagree, Glider. Who's it deterring? Certainly not a terrorist organisation with a dirty bomb (and who would you retaliate against if such a weapon were employed?). Would any nation, even unstable ones, consider launching nukes in this day and age? And even if they did, would they obliterate any one nation's ability to retaliate with non-nuclear force? The entire world would be turned against the protagonists of a nuclear launch. I think there's a much stronger case for the long-time nuclear "haves" (ie US, UK, France, Russia) to agree to eradicate all nukes, take the moral high ground and eliminate nuke weapons as a symbol of national status.

    BombTaxi,

    Unfortunately, you can't sustain air operations from Ocean. She just isn't equipped. If you're talking about providing air superiority over a hostile area while extracting Brit and other foreign nationals, then you need sustainable air power for which you need either a land-based runway or a carrier. If the former isn't available and we scrap the carriers then we have to go cap in hand to the US or (egads!) the French for the latter. Now, I would recommend taking a long hard look at the carrier requirements - fit them with catapults and purchase only the CTOL version of the F-35 (the Harrier Mafia has driven requirements that are simply no longer affordable) - we'd get more capability (longer range, greater weapon load) and reduce much of the structural complexity of the current carrier design.

    Per my previous post, Typhoon actually makes much more sense in the long-run rather than the dear old Tonka. The Tiffie can provide air superiority and ground attack, it's a generation newer platform and so has a longer operational life ahead of it. Finally, it doesn't have a naggivator so you have a 50% reducion in aircrew costs per squadron.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Almost agree...

    Congress can force the USAF to buy equipment it doesn't need but these days those in congress doing that are under a lot more scrutiny. Additionally those in the USAF have no problem "parking" new hardware saying that there was never a budget to operate these aircraft. Again it falls back on the politicians who try to make decisions for the military. the media is all over that.

    Agree about the B-52. The B-1 can be configured to carry a heavier bomb load than the B-52. I'd retire the F-16 and the A-10 as the F-35 comes on line, but I would also examine the need for a close air support aircraft like the A-10 as it is being phased out, and that would depend on world events.

    As far as merging USN and USMC air assets - technically they already are - well sought of.

    The difference is the mission. Even if you merged the air assets you would just navy personnel supporting USMC personnel on the ground. Money wise it comes out to the same thing.
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I would not want to get rid of either of those. Why would you want to retire them?
     
  13. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    I agree Adler. But with a caveat. Wait for F-35 to establish itself before retiring F-16. But keep the production lines open for foreign sales. But keep the A-10 in the C configuration and use F-35 as mini-AWACS to feed them. I see the A-10 as one of our more pertinent platforms in these changing times.

    With respect to UK, what is the %GDP spent on military? As I recall, it is in the 5% arena... not outrageous by any stretch. How quickly we forget 1939 and preparedness. Things could get ugly with all of our nations socially spending ourselves into crisis. What happens if the Germans get fed up bailing out EU nations? You've seen a peek of what happens in Greece. Spain is next. What happens if US collapses? Not likely, but possible if we don't get our act together.

    I would say dump the A400M. Make do with C-130Js, C-17s or leased An-124s. Keep your Typhoon and upgrade to Tranche III. If you are giving up force projection then I Hate to say it, but dump your F-35s. If you don't have carriers, you better damn well have some good attack submarines. Hell even Italy has a carriers. You woefully lack helicopter assets though.

    So in a nutshell, cut social programs.
     
  14. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

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    If somebody has spare A-10 of F-16 ...well think down south .

    It does, the Garibaldi and Conde Di Cavour, the Cavour is quite impressive actually, a beautiful ship.
    Apparently it was made bigger because the chianti store in the Garibaldi was woefully small :)

    By the way I read somewhere that the decomission of the ark royal in 1978 was a big mistake (according to some british authors the presence of that ship would deter any argentine invasion in 1982)
     

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  15. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Yeah, CB. Me thinks my Brit friends are looking to cut their budget in the wrong places. She is a huge island, you know. :toothy3:
     
  16. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Want isn't the correct phrase. The idea is that defence cuts are coming and if you have to make tough choices then that is an option.
     
  17. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    The decommisioning of the Ark Royal wasn't a mistake. I was on her for a short time in 1974 and she was pretty well clapped out then. The mistake was losing her capability.

    The Ark Royal would have deterred an attack for a number of reasons including:-

    1) she had the ability to strike against the mainland
    2) AEW aircraft were on board
    3) The F4 would have dominated the airspace.

    There is one caviet and its a big one. All Argentina needed to do was wait for the Ark to go say three months into a major refit and then attack.
     
  18. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Which is precisely why we need 2 carriers - one vessel just isn't enough to maintain presence or threat. Either that or the UK gives up the whole idea and ceases ship-based air combat operations. This latter course of action would not be a good thing, in my view!
     
  19. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    #19 Waynos, May 25, 2010
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
    If we were to take that course we may as well give up the Navy itself IMO, but maybe I'm being a bit extreme :)

    I wonder why it is that almost every independant observer/internet expert etc thinks, as I do, that we would be better off buying the F-35C, except for the MoD who are adamant that we buy the shorter ranged, more expensive and less capable version? Both carriers are already being built to be able to handle this model, plus the Rafale's and Super Hornets of friendly navies, so whats the problem?

    Oh yes, the UK's STOVL legacy, which is not actually utilised on the F-35B at all. :(
     
  20. buffnut453

    buffnut453 Well-Known Member

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    Waynos,

    Why the F-35B? Two words of explanation - "Harrier" and "Mafia".

    The FAA hasn't had a conventional fixed wing combat aircraft since the days of the old Ark (all together now "We are sailing...We are SAILING etc etc) while a large proportion of senior RAF leadership have a strong affinity for the plastic-puffer-jet.

    F-35B proponents argue that "We need the STOVL F-35 'cos we need to replace what we've got" but they disregard the fact that the operational role for which the Harrier was designed disappeared 20 years ago with the break-up of the Warsaw Pact. No more threat of 3rd Shock Army charging across the Inner German Border ('cos there wasn't an IGB any more!) so no need to hide aircraft in the woods.

    Don't get me wrong - I really like the Harrier. I think it's a marvellous design which does something no other combat aircraft has achieved (sorry but the Yak FORGER just isn't in the same class). However, its days are gone - time to let go of the Harrier legacy and recognise that we need more capability and less complexity.

    I'll get off my soapbox now!!!

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
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