About The Author

Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Simon
May 8, 2012 8:16 pm

Can someone explain why the LRIP8 for F35 states an airspeed of 700 (knots I presume) for A/C and 630 knots for F35B and a mach of 1.6?

Saw it on a powerpoint on another forum (think it may have been Gabby’s).

Mark
Mark
May 8, 2012 8:31 pm

Most likely different kcas speeds at different altitudes and at different design points for each a/c. They aren’t all the same. The overall global numbers are rather meaningless to an a/c operations.

On the cost thing you posted elsewhere if that’s from the Japan article that is inclusive of thru life cost not just acquisition.

And thanks for the help with the it issues it is 3G on the phone that works and wireless on the pc that doesn’t will attempt some refreshes.

May 8, 2012 8:32 pm

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/senior-official-raises-fa-xx-doubts-while-retired-usmc-generals-question-usns-f-35-commitment-371442/

An interesting article on the USN’s goal for a F/A-XX contender, ‘bypassing’ the F-35C – further rumblings and also musings on the ‘revolving door’ policy the USN has with Boeing.

Simon
May 8, 2012 8:37 pm

Mark,

So you mean that there is no relationship between the numbers?

What made me ask was that 700 knots is supersonic but no where near M=1.6.

Could it be supersonic dash speed on a hi-lo-lo-hi or something like that? i.e. max sea level speed???

Mark
Mark
May 8, 2012 9:06 pm

Simon

As your aware 700 knots at 35000ft is different than at 1000 just cause it m1.6 means little on its own. I don’t know the context so am guessing

Simon
May 8, 2012 9:12 pm

Mark,

Page 15, LRIP8+ column, on the following PDF…

http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_download-id-15330.html

Middle of page 4 is odd too (general features).

Simon
May 9, 2012 11:37 am

Mark,

Eventually got round to reading the “Bold Alligator” doc you linked the other week. I must say, I remember reading something like that in a doc called, I think, “Marching From the Sea”.

I had the same response to both of the docs… isn’t that what we already do?

I ended up having a discussion with Observer about the methodology of an assault. I advocated movement by aviation with the beach being taken merely to offload heavy equipment, he explained a few realities which I didn’t know about copters, landing spaces, etc.

So, CVF as an LHA is okay, but you’ll notice a “proper” carrier sits nicely out-of-reach in the Bold Alligator exercise, a level of “cover” we’re extremely unlikely to get now.

Simon
May 12, 2012 6:50 pm

One of TD’s wonderful new links suggests that HMS Ocean will be open to the public on particular days this summer (2012).

Is there anyone here that can verify that fact and list the dates?

Mark
Mark
May 13, 2012 10:05 am

Thought you may like these simon
There a few years old but give the general idea

CVF ski-jump ramp profile optimisation for F-35B
http://aerosociety.com/Assets/Docs/Protected/Subscribers/AeroJournal/3324_COLOUR.pdf

The role of drag prediction in combat aircraft design and development
http://aerosociety.com/Assets/Docs/Protected/Subscribers/AeroJournal/3280.pdf

x
x
May 31, 2012 8:42 pm

From Gallimaufry & Chips

The AirTanker PFI is indeed far too expensive. The RAF should buy the China Eastern trade-in A340s and ask Marshalls of Cambridge to zero-hour and convert them to the RAAF specification (probe, reinforced floor and big cargo door). Then walk away from the PFI. Set a precedent.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
May 31, 2012 9:26 pm

Wonder what the get out clauses look like for the Air Tanker PFI? Shame, that’s one of the few key things about the contract that we don’t know and it’s probably one of the most interesting right now.

The Other Chris
The Other Chris
June 1, 2012 11:43 am

Re: @TD’s photo for the Future Heavy Lift helicopter.

I have my doubts as to whether these future platforms will be a conventional main+tail rotor arrangement.

Main reasons for this are:
– Power wasted in diverting to the Tail Rotor (Piasecki was onto something…)
– Rotor speed required for shifting enough air for heavy lift conflicts with maximum never-exceed speeds

To transport heavy items fast, the most promising platforms are an evolution of the Chinook [1] to preserve power-to-weight, albeit still limited by rotor speed problems, or find ways to lift the weight without increasing rotor speed.

For this, either wings [2] or a coaxial arrangement with slowed rotors acting as a disc-shaped wing-form [3]. Note when you use the rotors as a wing-form, you will need a form of propulsion, such as a pusher or puller.

[1]
[2]
[3]

x
x
June 2, 2012 1:16 pm
James
James
June 2, 2012 2:38 pm

TOC,

a Chinook with some high-mounted shortish “wings” (i.e. not extending beyond swept area of the two main blades) was an idea i’ve seen a Powerpoint slide of – I think a US concept. Idea being that the extra weight is much more than compensated by the extra lift, and you can suspend “some” stuff below the wings for increased capacity. Not weapons, as Kevin the Chinook pilot is coming from the tag end of the aircrew selection process and probably can’t be trusted with dropping ordnance, but instead some things like 200 litre fuel or water bladders, 200 kilos of spare ammo for the boys, extra Javelins, scoff for an extra month, etc. The loggies would like all of that. Just need to design some form of polypropylene coffins to carry the stuff, and a small hand-cranked winch operable by some soldiers under the Loadie’s supervision to lift it from and lower it to the ground.

The polyprop coffins are shaped to be a section of wing, and go up and down on a couple of strong enough wires. Winched up and locked in place, they are the wing. When detached, all that is left is a couple of metal spars which don’t affect flight very much.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 2, 2012 3:19 pm

What you boys want is one of these;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mi-26

Damn near 20 ton cargo capacity. Won’t carry it very far, but still.

paul g
June 2, 2012 3:34 pm

Damn near 20 ton cargo capacity. Won’t carry it very far, but still

upgraded version can carry 24 tonnes (mil26T2)

2×14,000shp engines!!

tsz52
tsz52
June 2, 2012 3:55 pm

I always loved this daft, beautiful beast:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mil_Mi-12

‘Twas always the USS Nimitz-style doomsday card to get when playing Top Trumps Helicopters, back in the day.

Gareth Jones
June 2, 2012 4:14 pm

Chinook with wings…

Gareth Jones
June 2, 2012 4:16 pm
Gareth Jones
June 2, 2012 4:38 pm
x
x
June 6, 2012 12:50 pm

LHA7 USS Tripoli, the next in class to the new USS America, will cost £1,488,405,222. A mere bagatelle.

Simon
June 6, 2012 1:13 pm

These new “America” class do seem interesting in so much as they lack the well deck. Seems odd that the UK has been using separate LPH and LPD for years and just when everyone else (Spain, France, Australia, etc) are building LHDs the USMC go off on build San Antonio and America, effectively splitting the functions again.

My rationale for this is that with F35B and V22 they can stand off further than the horizontal assault ships. However, looking at Bold Alligator and speaking to a few here it seems that is not the consensus.

One last thing… why is America considered an LHA and Q.E. a CV?

x
x
June 6, 2012 1:31 pm
x
x
June 6, 2012 1:42 pm

LHA vs CV

Well from the get go LHA was quite literally designed to optimise the operation of assault helicopters…..

Well CV was designed to optimise fixed wing aircraft……..

The main difference is speed which is a function of how the ships will be fought (and air group operation.)

The CV needs speed to launch aircraft and needs to generate wind across the deck this helps even the STOVL planes. Carriers need to turn into the wind to launch aircraft meaning they zig zag. (More CATOBAR than STOVL) The CBG will be the tip of spear. It will need to get there quick and manoeuvre in theatre.

Once sea control and (limited) air superiority has been achieved the ARG will be able to move into theatre. They don’t need high speed but endurance so don’t need as complicated an engine fit out.

Rather like a SPG looks like tank but they are completely different vehicles so it is with flat top amphibs and true aircraft carriers.

Bit rushed that. I am excited it is TT; even though it appears there will be no racing today. :(

Simon
June 6, 2012 2:10 pm

x,

From what I understand America simply uses the “dock down” tanks as extra fuel tanks for the massively hungry V22s and F35Bs. So, although the well deck is there it’s a bit useless.

I guess they’ll have to fit “proper” temporary tanks in the vehicle holds on future models… or, or, operate F35B from the Nimitz’ offshore?

Thanks for the LHA/CV thing. Still not sure. If you look closely the Wasp/America class can do 22 knots which is only 3 knots slower than CVF will manage! Therefore I don’t really see a massive difference in operational performance. In addition, with only 12 jets “routinely embarked” CVF is hardly a jet-only carrier ;-)

x
x
June 6, 2012 3:40 pm

Well the speed of CVF isn’t optimum. But it was designed for STOVL operation from the get go. Remember we are doing this on the cheap. Compare speed of CVN to LHD and CVF to Ocean. None of this stuff is written in stone.

x
x
June 6, 2012 3:41 pm

Well the original air group for CVF was much larger.

Observer
Observer
June 6, 2012 3:59 pm

Since this is an open tread, I spotted something fairly interesting on Google Satellite Maps yesterday.

When X brought up foilage in Singapore, I got curious as to how much of that green stuff is there, so I went to take a look, and found something.

http://www.maplandia.com/singapore/singapore/singapore/

Look at the extreme bottom right of the island, high zoom.

Guess someone was visiting when the photo was taken :)

Simon
June 6, 2012 6:48 pm

Observer,

Never realised those Endurance class were so skinny!

Old George is looking as huge as ever!!!

Observer
Observer
June 6, 2012 7:52 pm

@Simon

No idea if it’s George Washington or not, no time stamp on it. However it is a nice look at a “typical” CVBG and from an angle not usually seen, satellite!

I count 40? F-18s, 3 E-2s, 4 CH-46 Sea Knights and 2 Seahawks I think. I wonder if the 2 subs parked there are US or local forces? Might be interesting to know if the US doctrinally deploys subs as part of the group.

Simon
June 6, 2012 8:05 pm

Observer,

I saw number 73 on the bow of the Nimitz – I think this is George.

Dunno about the subs but think that they are usually part of a Carrier Strike Group.

I count:

40 F18
3 E2
5 E6
6 Sea Hawks

Alan Garner
Alan Garner
June 8, 2012 5:14 pm

Anyone know if it’s possible, assuming future budget improvements, to fit the A70 sylver launcher to T45’s giving them the ability to launch the naval Storm Shadow (Scalp Naval)?

It’s pretty obvious the 45 needs to be multi role and the A70+SCALP seems to be a good solution if it fits the size envelope. Also a good off the shelf bit of kit too that could go in during a refit perhaps? Could also share maintenance with RAF Storm Shadows. By my (very basic) maths that would be much cheaper than Harpoon+TLAM as SCALP can do both jobs.

x
x
June 8, 2012 5:26 pm

Strike length Mk41 launcher will fit so in theory I think A70 (about 6.5m deep isn’t it?) should fit. There is plenty of fresh air above if there isn’t slack below.

SCALP-N is expensive. I don’t think there would be much of a saving.

tsz52
tsz52
June 8, 2012 5:57 pm

I looked into this a while ago – unfortunately there isn’t as much commonality between Storm Shadow and SCALP-N as you’d hope.

A70 will only be a better choice if the Euro economies stop tanking and a range of large missiles are developed to compete with the US ones (BMD/ABM Aster and a Euro-ASROC-type would be things of greatness) – won’t be happening any time soon, sadly.

Alan Garner
Alan Garner
June 8, 2012 6:48 pm

I’m sure one of the great leaders must have identified a VLS Harpoon replacement, and they must have looked at adding a TLAM capability to DD’s. Think the saving would come in having both with one missile that’s smaller than a Tomahawk.

The A70 in my 45 would have Aster’s (already in service) and SCALP-N (already in French service) or a Brit version. Even if the Euro economies don’t invest in general naval missile development, by the time this got into British service it would all be relatively mature off the shelf kit.

x
x
June 8, 2012 6:48 pm

tsz52 said “BMD/ABM Aster and a Euro-ASROC-type would be things of greatness”

How so? The European countries that get the most bang for their defence buck buy American. The French and Italian have a complete range of naval weapons but that is more about protecting their domestic industry. Would you rather us be like the Germans, Dutch, Danes, Norwegians, and Spanish, or more involved with the French and Italians? Who got their fully armed destroyers into the water first, and who stitched us up like a kipper. I only advocate FREMM because of base commonality/lineage with Horizon/T45. In a few months time there may not be a “Europe”, but I know there will be a USA for a good while.

tsz52
tsz52
June 8, 2012 8:54 pm

x: I’m talking about from where we are now, without using hindsight and backwards time-travel (as always, in these kinds of discussions), where we have heavily invested in, and committed to, the Euro-missiles path… though in that usual UK way of sort of committing and sort of not which leaves us hanging in the air, with not much return for our enormous investment.

In hindsight, we *might* have been better off with US missiles and APAR (certainly not SPY-1!), but we didn’t so we are where we are. From here, more investment in Sylver-compatible Euro-missiles would be great for the usual economic, industrial and sovereignty reasons. Also to throw a bit of an extra wild card at any potential adversaries (some of whom may use or know all about, and have countermeasures against, US systems). And don’t forget all the spin-off tech and components that have come from our choice, and are yielding fruit in other related areas (reducing costs and increasing commonality).

“Would you rather us be like…?” It’s a bit hindsight again, but as it became apparent that the RN budget was going to get mercilessly sliced and diced forever; if we’d stopped trying to be a mini-USN and focused more on being like the better-balanced high-medium Euro Navies, we’d be in a much better position now. Whether we like it or not, our budget and naval global commitments do make us more like France than any other nation on Earth. Maybe one day we’ll both stop playing silly buggers and sort it out, instead of keeping on talking about it then failing because of some stupid tiff. This will become increasingly likely as further cuts make pragmatism/survival trump silly BS, and the US continues to distance itself from this neck of the woods.

Please note: I’m not suggesting any exclusivity here – we should expand on all of our significant alliances as much as possible (so we should be working with who’s best at what for our particular needs, eg the US [not France] with Successor). Big subject – they’re just the headlines.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 8, 2012 9:31 pm

On reflection, if it were me I’d want the Mk.41. Consider as well the amount of different nations that use them and could potentially develop new weapons for them vs Sylver.

Challenger
Challenger
June 8, 2012 10:52 pm

What launcher will the Norwegian NSM use?

Also forgive my ignorance on this but what exactly are the choices here? If we discount the current A50 because of its limitations then that surely only leaves A70, because you still need something to stick Asters in?

With the Mk.41 just how big is it? Would it be a direct and therefore fantasy replacement for the Sylver variants of can it work alongside one of them?

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 8, 2012 11:06 pm

@ Challenger,

The Type 45 is sized to take an additional 16 Mk.41 cells between the current cells and the main gun. I’m fairly sure you could adapt Mk.41 to accept Aster, for a price. Then we have SeaCeptor (god I hate that name) that should quad pack in most silos, including Mk.41.

Challenger
Challenger
June 8, 2012 11:29 pm

So the NSM has it’s own launcher and isn’t in a VLS?

So correct me if i’m wrong but are these the choices?

A mix of A50 and up-to 16 MK.41 with something like Tomahawk.
Or a big A70 to take both Aster and Scalp.
Or just an A50 and then something like NSM in addition?

Is that about right?

tsz52
tsz52
June 8, 2012 11:31 pm

Chris.B. 21:31: I can see both sides:-

1 APAR/SMART-L/Mk 41: Access to a huge catalogue of weapons, and a tonne of commonality with allies (which is both good and bad). NATO ship-based ABM standard looks like it’ll be SM-3 linked with SMART-L/SPY-1 for the Euro types, so we could have just jumped on board all that;

2 UK/French/Italian route with Sylver: Some (though not great) evidence that Sylver is a superior VLS (higher RoF, safer if something goes wrong with a launch), all the industrial (and other) benefits that come with developing your own missiles, competition can only ever be a good thing (keeps everyone honest), and for the first time in decades Euro tech was edging ahead of US tech in these key areas, and economies were booming (re development funds and exports). And in Naval terms/requirements, we have far more in common with France than we do the Aegis/APAR lot.

I think that #2 was the right choice then, though wouldn’t have argued too strenuously with a #1 advocate. Main problem being that we wanted new AAW DDGs, which are complete ships, and for the whole package Horizon was the closest fit for us (the Euro-Aegis and APAR programme frigate hulls were too small). The Horizon programme was bad enough, but imagine if we’d also tried to be part of the APAR/US missiles programme too, along with all the bespoke kit that we did actually need (automation, IFEP and WR-21/ICR).

From where we are now, there are still benefits that came from our choice of going the non-US route. The new generation of missiles (not just ship-launched) all share bits and bobs, saving costs (development, and using now-OTS components and software).

Likewise, a lot of Artisan came from Sampson development, and shares a lot of the components in the mast and software.

Seeing these things as complete programmes and systems that you can’t just cherry-pick the good bits out of (historically), then the extra investment in the whole UK/French/Italian route added a lot of cost to the Darings but will be being recouped in having much cheaper combat systems for the Duke upgrades/Type 26s.

There isn’t really anything else out there that’s as cost-effective as the Artisan/CAMM combo, which is the only thing that’s giving us a fighting chance of having 13 new frigates in the nearish future.

If we’d gone the US missiles route, then we’d be wedded to ESSM; so would need to be adding the cost, mass and complexity of some sort of TI radar to our super-austere new frigates (plus MK 41s, rather than just the CAMM boxes that we might be able to get away with installing into the ships with no external VLS in addition).

So in the long run, it might have saved us some money, and at least gives us a chance of being able to export our version of the ‘GCS’ to whomever we like (rather than needing US approval).

Just a few thoughts chucked out: I’m not particularly married to any opinion here, and am happy to discuss but certainly don’t want some stupid row about it. I’m happy enough with how it all went in the end – stonkingly good AAW DDGs, and that opened the door to getting the possibility of a semi-decent number of cheap FFGs, via cheap upgrades to our existing FFGs, when the crunch and butchers’ knives came.

I’d be interested in how folks see the cheap frigate timeline if our Darings had been Type 45 hulls with APAR instead of Sampson and Mk 41s full of US missiles rather than Sylvers with our investment in Euro missiles.

Challenger
Challenger
June 8, 2012 11:32 pm

Also if NSM has both land attack and anti ship capabilities then surely that is a great advantage?

Could both 2xquad Harpoon and something else like a MK.41 be fitted to a Type 45, or is their not enough room?

Observer
Observer
June 8, 2012 11:38 pm

TD, was that a “Naval Strike Missile” in the pic? It didn’t look like a Tomahawk, Tommys don’t have an external engine pod unit.

@x

European stuff isn’t THAT bad, the RSN used Italian torpedos for decades, and the ASTOR isn’t something to be sniffed at. TBH, our ships are a bit like Frankenstein’s monster, bits and pieces from everywhere, but hey, it works, we’re happy.

As an example of how Frankenstein, our corvettes have a German hull, Italian torpedos and main gun, American AShM, Swedish radar, Israeli jammers and AAMs.

It’s a bloody miracle that thing stayed in one piece. :P

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 9, 2012 2:37 am

@tsz52

You can use Mk.41 cells without going full on AEGIS. I think BAE originally proposed just that, because I believe they had (or have) a stake in Mk.41. We could have used Mk.41 on Type 45 and still gone Artisan + SeaCeptor for T26. I’m guessing though that we would have had to stump alone the money to integrate Aster into Mk.41.

Just generally it strikes me as another example of where we tried the whole “spread the costs by finding European partners etc” type job, and then ended up doing our own thing anyway. I don’t know what it is about the UK but we seem incapable of making these kind of joint projects work properly and should probably stop getting involved in them.

tsz52
tsz52
June 9, 2012 3:50 am

Aye, if you’re talking about integrating Aster into Mk 41 then that’s a different story. Dunno, I’ve looked into this, but to say how simple a VLS is compared to what’s fired out of it, hard info on the former’s really hard to come by.

It *seems* that Sylver was the better choice for the core AAW role, especially for a ship with a single VLS nest (higher RoF vs saturation, and less likely to suffer catastrophic, widespread damage due to a bad misfire). Add to that the extreme reliability that Type 45 needs to have, and its better to further minimise the chances of anything going wrong by avoiding adapting the singularly-important munition to a different launcher than the one intended.

As to your second point, yeah; really should work, on paper, but rarely does, does it? :( It’s tempting to go, ‘Them bloody French!..’ but Italy doesn’t seem to end up being too badly done by in these programmes, and some of the French demands did turn out to be correct (eg Rafale having a CATOBAR variant).

It’s mostly that wilful and competitive siblings thing we’ve got going on, coupled with the fact that we (the UK) never really seem to know exactly what the eff we actually want going in to a project, and then never stick to whatever we do vaguely decide. It’ll work out eventually though, because it’ll simply have to one day (zero pi$$ing about money for either of us, and if we don’t sort it then neither of us gets anything, including anything else to plug that capability hole).

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 9, 2012 4:36 am

To be fair on Typhoon/Rafale, we had no need for and didn’t envision a future need for, a carrier variant. At the time the deal was struck it really was a case of those bloody French!

Then it was our turn with Type45/Horizon. We all had the same basic need; to provide a close in defensive frigate to protect out carriers against air attack/missile attack. It was us that rocked the boat by wanting a ship for much wider area defensive coverage. Whoops!

As long as all parties can agree early on what they want, work share etc, then it’s all good. The trouble is that rarely happens, and anytime one party pulls out it all goes down the drain again. Given how many of these projects have stunk it up so far, I suspect we’d be better just going it alone from hence forth.

tsz52
tsz52
June 9, 2012 5:48 am

“Given how many of these projects have stunk it up so far, I suspect we’d be better just going it alone from hence forth.”

It’d certainly seem that way, but then you’re up against the dreaded ‘defence inflation’ as we all keep going forward – there will come a time when major programmes will just have to be funded by pairs of countries minimum, then a few countries, then entire continents, and so on.

Hopefully that whole ‘plug and play’ modular malarkey might make the process easier in future projects? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 9, 2012 5:59 am

Well, once you extract political delays, we don’t actually do too bad for our money. For example, I’m not exactly a fan of the CVF program but remove the political issues from that and the rest of the program isn’t too bad. Sort of.

Observer
Observer
June 9, 2012 6:34 am

One question I would like to know is “Can a viable warload of Tomahawks be carried on such a small platform?”

No point intergrating it all only to find that it can only fire 2-4x the whole campaign.

tsz52
tsz52
June 9, 2012 7:13 am

Observer: It’d be 16 TLAM, assuming that we could ever afford something so extravagant. IIRC, the thing that’d be lost within the ship, by installing the two additional Mk 41s, would be the officers’ gym.

x
x
June 9, 2012 9:19 am

European stuff isn’t that bad. SeaViper is awesome. Mk41 doesn’t need Aegis. RSN frigates are an example of how things should be done. We just always back the wrong horse. But what makes it worse is our horse is often beaten by tin of cat meat.

x
x
June 9, 2012 10:49 pm

From Solomon’s site,

http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/combat-reconnaissance-armoured-buggy.html

It is still the same weight approx as CVR(T)

x
x
June 16, 2012 4:17 pm

On his page Sol has a piece about Mv22 ITV,

http://snafu-solomon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/us-military-miht-field-3-different-v-22.html

The General Dynamics Flyer at the bottom caught my eye as it seems to address to me all what was wrong with LSV.

http://www.gd-ots.com/Flyer/FlyerVideo.html

http://www.gd-ots.com/2011%20Brochures/Flyer%20(Unarmored).pdf

http://www.gd-ots.com/2011%20Brochures/Flyer-(Armor).pdf

It is light enough to be lifted by Merlin. And 2 will fit inside the Chinook.

Observer
Observer
June 16, 2012 5:32 pm

What was wrong with the LSV? (Besides the fact that LSV is a type of vehicle, and that the “Flyer” is a LSV too. :) )

Gareth Jones
June 16, 2012 6:37 pm

I posted a link about the Flyer in another thread. A shrunk HMMV I believe…

x
x
June 16, 2012 6:54 pm

When I say LSV I mean this,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_Strike_Vehicle

Basically compare the layout of this with the Flyer and tell me which seems more sensibly laid out.

x
x
June 16, 2012 7:00 pm

@ Gareth J

Looks like more like! :)

I have this love hate thing with Hummers. I remember the first time I sat in one. There was this huge vehicle and they had seemingly removed all the internal space. From the driver’s seat the passenger seemed to be about two fields away. The driving position has more in common with an SJ than a Land Rover. I do like the chassis though and the engine. We had one fitted to a Range Rover. You could drive around in third all day, it would accelerate in fifth. The Range Rover has gone but we still have the engine.

Gareth Jones
June 16, 2012 7:53 pm

Interesting link TD. This caught my attention – “Both parts of the Army will share resources from a new element called Force Troops And Logistics Support.This will include one artillery, an engineer, a surveillance, a medical, two signals and two logistics brigades – many of these made up of reserves.”

Gareth Jones
June 16, 2012 7:59 pm

@ x – ” The Flyer is a Non-Developmental Item (NDI) containing 80% COTS and HWMVV platforms. The Flyer has a state of the art diesel 1.9L 150 Hp six-speed power train, cooling, brake and fuel systems with a low fuel consumption rate of 24mpg when traveling at 40mph.The Flyer maximizes the use of HWMVV NSN parts such as: differentials, steering rod ends, tie down rings, light system, alternator, suspension ball joints, air compressor and tires.”

http://www.gd-ots.com/flyer.html

x
x
June 16, 2012 7:59 pm

Do they really mean armoured when they say mechanised here?

“The airborne brigade and one mechanised brigade, armed with Warrior fighting vehicles, will be capable of deploying inside three months. ”

That is bigger stick of rhubarb than Multi-Role-Brigades. It seems the Army just love their tanks as much as the RAF love fighters and the RN love CVF.

That is so piss poor I can’t believe it. Well I can. It is the MoD.

What the fudge do we need 3 armoured brigades for? Wow.

x
x
June 16, 2012 8:04 pm

@ Gareth J said “differentials, steering rod ends, tie down rings, light system, alternator, suspension ball joints, air compressor and tires.”

Commonality of parts doesn’t make it a mini-Hummer. Especially those parts. Differentials in an off road vehicle are consumables, well nearly. Did you know VW have every part that goes into their cars catalogues on to a database so that industrial designers can order bits they think will be useful? Every from rubber grommets upwards.

The tires on a Hummer are interesting too in that they are an odd size not available for civilians vehicles. Stops the tyres, sorry tires, being pinched…….

Observer
Observer
June 16, 2012 8:16 pm

IIRC, the LSV was designed in a way where there is minimal superstructure above the body to reduce the profile for being targetted. It was a fad in that time period, complete with a “laser tag” trial of LSV vs MBT. Not sure of the validity of methods, but they found that for every 1 time the LSV got “tagged” it usually “tagged” the MBT back twice (simulating ATGMs).

This even led to the development of a flat tank, I can’t remember the designation now.

So the LSV layout wasn’t an error, it was a fad which passed. Just FYI. It was a weird time.

paul g
June 16, 2012 8:22 pm

i would think the foxhound with it’s open top “pod” would be the next LSV type vehicle. Although not exactly light in the true sense of the word the days of a ¼ tonne landie bombing about are gone.

x
x
June 16, 2012 8:25 pm

Observer said “So the LSV layout wasn’t an error, it was a fad which passed. Just FYI. It was a weird time.”

You say tomato, I say, well, tomato. :)

Gareth Jones
June 16, 2012 8:54 pm

@ x – I wasn’t claiming I was right, just providing info. In reality I’d say we were both partly right. It’s the bastard love child of a LAV and a Hummer.

James
James
June 16, 2012 9:07 pm

A recce wagon needs something where the commander’s head is out, unrestricted vision for him, and 360 degree traverse on whatever weapon system you have. Hearing is also important, which adds to the “head in the open air” need. Our vehicle commanders only ever wore soft hats as well, to make it much easier to take your staff user headset off and to listen. Gunners and Drives had to wear the bone domes for elf’n’safety. I had real difficulty with adapting to MBT when I had to close down and wear a bone dome for the BG attacks – just felt weird looking at life through fag packet vision blocks and unable to hear much. I’d rather have taken my chances with the head out, but there had been an Israeli study showing commanders being targeted by snipers, so we had our orders.

Ideally, it should be low and quiet, and have the Gucciest optics known to the MoD budget. Lots of dismountable toys as well like LRFs. Being low and lightweight, it will probably have decent cross-country performance and on road speed.

So, anything like a LSV, DPV, Jackal or even a stripped down WMIK LR. If you step up the scale to a proper armoured box, it must have a turret to give you the same heads out capability.

A vehicle with an enclosed cab and the commander being unable to see to the sides / rear or to hear the direction of sound from outside is not a recce wagon, it is a liaison vehicle. It may be OK for something like ATGW overwatch, but I’d still prefer the open aspect for that as well as commonality.

Phil
June 16, 2012 9:23 pm

Christ that’s very different from what we were all expecting. 11 smaller brigades. Interesting. Adaptable brigades. What the hell are they? Fascinating. Seems like as I predicted(!) the brigades will get their logistic support from pooled resources. I wonder if these adaptable brigades are nothing more than the regional forces? So we’d basically have four real brigades and 7 reserve ones that would be mobilised for an enduring operation.

x
x
June 16, 2012 9:23 pm

@ Gareth J

Sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it.

@ James

Are both you and the gunner heads out then 90% of the time? Or just the commander? And what can you hear above the vehicle engine? (CVR(T) isn’t quiet if memory serves.) Or is it drive, stop, shufty, drive, stop, shufty? All Flyer would need is for the commander to sit on a raised seat where the back seats seem to be positioned. I thought it seemed to be an ideal vehicle for FRR and as weapons carrier for light infantry.

Gareth Jones
June 16, 2012 9:30 pm

@ x – No, I was worried I’d offended you!

@ James – Something like this?

James
James
June 16, 2012 9:32 pm

X,

SOP was Gunner down when in reasonable expectation of contact. Commander 100% heads up, except when firing. In my second troop I had a gunner who could load RARDEN by himself from the centre bin, so even that problem went away a bit, except for the coax that he couldn’t reach.

Yes, it is drive fast, slow down to crawling speed, stop, stand up to look over ridge (“sights down” in RAC parlance) or often dismount to approach on foot, engine off, then rinse and repeat. I often used to wear a man pack VHF radio full time so that I could jump out and go 100 yards from the wagon and still be able to report on the Squadron net (but I was more of a slimster in those days – not sure I’d be able to do that now and still slip in and out of the turret like a greased up thing).

CVR(T) was not that loud, but could have been quieter. You could often hear the suspension and track slap further than you could hear an engine, especially in fog (something about low frequency sounds carrying further).

Any recce vehicle commander who has his arse welded to a seat needs his arse kicking.

James
James
June 16, 2012 9:46 pm

Gareth Jones,

it’s a Toyota. Far too reliable, at least if Top Gear are to be believed (viz their “indestructibility” tests of a Hilux). It’s also silver….

But yes, at a pinch, something like that. You’d want (well, at least I would) to appoint a decent LCpl as the vehicle 2IC and navigator / radio operator / BV operator in the passenger seat, and the commander up top. It would be better if the top was more open so you didn’t have to stand up to get in and out.

It’s odd how some seriously skinny Africans reinvented the concept of the “Technical” from a back street welding lash up shop in Mogadishu about 15 years ago, some 30 years after Pinkies and Dingoes were last in service, and now western defence contractors are churning them out, far too over-engineered and costing a million apiece, as though they are the newest military idea going.

x
x
June 16, 2012 9:53 pm

James said “Any recce vehicle commander who has his arse welded to a seat needs his arse kicking.”

If you were the kicker and not the kickee wouldn’t that hurt your foot?

Any how so I am right about how you operated then? So I think Flyer would do. Solomon has a Polaris video on his site with tacticool ATVs where the crew are even more exposed….

@ Gareth J re offence

Nowhere near. I might throw a wobbly here every now and again but that is more to do with my mental state and not anything really real…

Phil
June 16, 2012 10:18 pm

Prediction on The Agile Force: 2 of the 7 brigades will be larger and can be mobilised at notice to back up the three armoured infantry brigades in an enduring operation. 1 or 2 will be designated as reinforcement pools for the other 5 brigades (3 AI and 2 AF ones) and the other 4 or 3 will basically be regional brigades that the Army will pretend could be part of an expeditionary force.

x
x
June 16, 2012 10:27 pm

Have the RA been shafted? It all seems to be tanks and infantry. What of the gunners?

It is cods wallop.

Phil
June 16, 2012 10:34 pm

How can you call it cods wallop when the details haven’t been given yet? It’s obvious the Army is trying to maintain a combined arms manoeuvre capability and a pool of further forces that can be cobbled together for enduring operations. There are 3 brigades because that’s a minimum needed to rotate them through HR state in an enduring manner.

x
x
June 16, 2012 11:03 pm

I reserve the right to prejudge everything the MoD does in a poor light. :)

It’s that phrase again “Enduring Ops”. So what sort of war will the armoured brigade be fighting? Are you envisaging high-end Cold War armour tasks? Or Afghanistan style OPS? Surely in the first one brigade wouldn’t last long against a (near) peer enemy? And in the second wasn’t Warrior of limited use in Afghanistan once the locals started building IEDs? Did a solitary Challenger ever get East of Iraq? Or do you think the MoD sees war against somebody who isn’t a pear, but can’t impovise explosives devices? A medium enemy as it were? Perhaps we need medium, not heavy or light, brigades then?

Concentrating on armoured formations is the wrong way if “enduring ops” or “wars amongst the people” or to use that distasteful phrase “wog bashing” is still seen as the future. And those were infantry heavy operations so if 4 battalions couldn’t cut in Afghanistan how will 2 do it in the future?

The only thing they have right is the airborne stuff. Now will 16ABB retain the 2 line regiments or loose them and become an all maroon affair? Also will the new 16AAB, the light formation, remain at 4 batts while the heavy will be light on infantry? And isn’t that lopsided?

Finally you know bugger all about what the MoD intend to do as well. So if I can’t comment on scant information perhaps you shouldn’t either?

James
James
June 16, 2012 11:08 pm

X,

possibly. I remember giving my squadron (or more specifically the vehicle commanders) a shock when I scheduled a 4 day tactical exercise for Mon-Thurs of one week, when on the Friday we had our annual REME PRE exam of the vehicles. Massive complaints tactfully delivered by the SSM as everyone expected that all of the boys would spend all of the time bulling up the wagons and making sure the paperwork was all OK. On Monday morning, we paraded for the exercise, then I took only the vehicles commanders only with me for a four day dismounted exercise, and left the boys under the gunners to get on with the wagons. Result – four days of good training, and we passed our PRE. Some of the vehicle commanders had been in my Troop years before when I was a young Troop Leader, so knew of my penchant for getting down into the mud and making use of the legs God gives you, but some were slightly outraged at the idea.

I do recall the CO however telling me that I was in for a sacking if we failed PRE. He was quite generous later on and addressed the Squadron, telling them that he fully expected every Squadron to react to the unexpected, and be good at the barracks bullshit, and that we’d more than passed his test. Bought me a bottle of fizz in the Mess as well, which was decent of him.

Phil
June 16, 2012 11:20 pm

“So if I can’t comment on scant information perhaps you shouldn’t either?”

You’re so chippy.

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/98670ABC-0F28-4893-8081-8F2912D84407/0/20120607jcn_2_12_floc_2.pdf

“Are you envisaging high-end Cold War armour tasks? Or Afghanistan style OPS?”

I’m not envisaging anything. The Army wants to be able to undertake all types of mission since it hasn’t any more of a bloody clue what it might need to do tomorrow than anyone else.

It is maintaining a core manoeuvre combined arms capability that can be used from high end to low end interventions and it wants an adaptable pool of forces to bring up the rear and do enduring operations if they are needed. So we can do small complex interventions (ABTF, the VHR BG in the AI Bde), larger complex operations (HR AI Bde at 3 months notice) or single effort complex operations (3 AI Bdes and a divisional HQ), or enduring complex operations (AI bdes + the Adaptable Force), smaller non-complex operations (UK Contingency Bn) and standing military tasks (MACA, FI, Cyprys, Brunei and Public Duties).

So it is keeping at its centre the hardest thing to do and the hardest thing to re-generate because nobody knows what it will be doing. Makes perfect bloody sense to me. You don’t cut the forces that are hardest to re-build when you don’t know if you’ll need them tomorrow or in a decade.

Clue is in the name, Adaptable Force. I imagine that a lot of those units in the AF will have a core peacetime task but will be capable of taking pooled equipment and using it so for example a Recce Regiment in the AF could ramp up to use CR2 if it needed. Or a Light Role unit to an AI unit. Essentially crystallising and organising for what happens now with HERRICK.

James
James
June 16, 2012 11:56 pm

Phil,

with you entirely on the main thinking, but as an observation, but no criticism, of your examples, it’s more complex. Having myself gone from FR to MBT, it is an entirely different skill set, and more one to do with people and thinking than kit and training. Having also done the NATO Unit OPEVAL for a MBT Regiment that went to FR, it’s a longer process, so FR to MBT is more of a ramp down than a ramp up.

My instinct: takes 2+ years to go from MBT to FR, 1+ year from FR to MBT. In each case, the kit conversion takes about 2-3 months, so that’s not the problem. Unscientific, but I’m sure I’m not wrong.

A Squadron of my Regiment went from MBT to recce for a tour in Afghanistan – they did very well in the role, but I don’t think any of them thought they were FR, as opposed to crewing recce wagons. It’s a whole different mindset.

Observer
Observer
June 17, 2012 2:08 am

“The enemy IFV has spotted us!!! Run!!!!”

“You’re in a Challenger, idiot.”

“Oh…”

:P

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 17, 2012 6:34 am

From Phil’s linked document, page 4-13
“Combat power should be concentrated in the force to
match high threats from the outset, as opposed to reliance upon a modular approach that dilutes the combat power across the force. Rapid deployment of a robustly configured force …will be critical.”

Together with the 11 “dwarf bdes” is exactly what Wall and Carter said when the former gave the task to the latter:
-to be able to fight also a more conventional enemy in a high intensity environment
– maintain expeditionary capabilities
– configure into about ten, smaller than the MRB-construct (in the above, read: modular across the force, diluting fighting power)units to be able to have enough readineness for being rapid, when required

I guess there will be some more concrete announcement, the predicted emphasis on battlefield networking will only come through in the detail

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 17, 2012 8:02 am

Cheers for the link TD, and to Phil for the doc which i suspect has more detail. Will get to that.

“Under plans drawn up by Lieutenant General Nick Carter the regular Army will number 82,000 by 2020. Reserves will be expanded to 30,000. It will be split into Reaction Forces and an Adaptable Force. Reaction Forces will be made up of a division of three armoured brigades, each with a tank regiment and two armoured infantry regiments plus an airborne brigade.”

Interesting, seems like the notion of permanent ability to intervene / persistent ability to sustain have now become official canon. Been wittering about tha for ages.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 17, 2012 9:04 am

Hi jedi, RE “permanent ability to intervene / persistent ability to sustain”
– for the former, there is a healthy recognition that that the BGs by air/landing are just lead elements, and to be able to bring the army into play at all may require going in heavy right at the beginning (rotation for readiness: 3 Cdos excl. Fleet protection even though 4th in the name, restructured AAB will also probably have 3 infantry elements… and 3 heavy bdes)
– ability to sustain; well, the detail is coming I guess. The interesting mention is that Logistics Rgmnts will be equipped so that they won’t tie up too many combat units when operating in or through contested territory

x
x
June 17, 2012 9:19 am

@ Phil

I am not chippy. I was speaking my mind. Free speech and all that.

As for “Adaptable Force” I read compromise not because they think they need to cover all threats, more because they aren’t sure what to do.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 17, 2012 9:23 am

Can on one of the Army types perhaps illustrate how this new structure would have supported recent Ops. For instance GW2 H hour, enduring Ops Afghan etc. That would make it much clearer for this “land blind” sea dog.
Cheers.

Phil
June 17, 2012 9:27 am

“As for “Adaptable Force” I read compromise not because they think they need to cover all threats, more because they aren’t sure what to do.”

Well precisely. The Tea Leaf Reading Regiment was cut in Options for Change.

Phil
June 17, 2012 9:33 am

James

I am sure you are right when converting from FR to MBT on a regiment basis. But what I meant was a squadron sized uplift as I imagine there’s trouble if we need a tank regiment still in an enduring operation. I know units for HERRICK were (I imagine every unit who is going now knows it) being warned off NLT 12 months before so I would have thought 12 months would be enough time to train up to CT3 on CR2 and then do whatever OPTAG they’d need to do when there’s virtually a blank cheque for training and priority for training stocks, mileage, ranges and driving courses.

paul g
June 17, 2012 12:19 pm

picture of the “commando” version of foxhound. It’s plus points over the flyer for me are, an in service vehicle (almost!) so all the support is in place, v shape hull and no sitting over the wheels. as thi is a module vehicle, james’s points could be taken and adapted for slightly more armour and a commanders hatch up top. (BTW i can’t believe i passed your sqn in fally, must’ve been bought beers in the copper kettle!!)

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 17, 2012 12:33 pm

@ ACC – “for the former, there is a healthy recognition that that the BGs by air/landing are just lead elements, and to be able to bring the army into play at all may require going in heavy right at the beginning (rotation for readiness: 3 Cdos excl. Fleet protection even though 4th in the name, restructured AAB will also probably have 3 infantry elements… and 3 heavy bdes)”

Sorry, i’m not quite following your short-hand! :)

“BGs by air/landing”

Are you referring to the readiness elements in both 16AAB and 3Cdo?

“rotation for readiness: 3 Cdos excl”

Why are they excluded? I mean; of course intervention forces need to be out of regular rotation, but surely no different to 16AAB which has a similar intervention role (other side of the coin effectively).

“Fleet protection even though 4th in the name, restructured AAB will also probably have 3 infantry elements… and 3 heavy bdes”

Are you suggesting that the plan is to shift all intervention forces to a one-in-three roulement, therefore:
3Cdo = 3x Commandos as the principle elements
(16?)AAB = 3x Battalions (Para) as the principle elements
3x Heavy brigades (with Arm/BR/ArmInf/ArmInf)

Makes sense, a permanent ability to intervene is not the same as a persistent commitment to stabilise, so one-in-five is not necessary.

All strangely reminiscent of my previous attempt to define permanence and persistence:
http://jedibeeftrix.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/983/

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 17, 2012 12:34 pm

@ Paul – re commando foxhound

tremendous, can we buy thousands of the foxhound family please?

x
x
June 17, 2012 12:37 pm

Phil said “Well precisely. The Tea Leaf Reading Regiment was cut in Options for Change.”

There is making pragmatic choices based on recent conflicts and potential future likely conflicts and just returning to the out moded and familiar because you are bereft of ideas and/or are giving into vested interests within.

As for your mantra of “force generation” well as I said we have been deploying formations based on 4 battalions into the field in Afghanistan. Formations using MRAPs and light vehicles, rarely Warrior and no Challengers. We have fought 2 armoured wars in the last 30 years, 3 COIN campaigns, and one conventional light infantry war. Seeing as Warrior and Challengers aren’t suitable for the infrastructure in Third World and if they were suitable for COIN we wouldn’t have bought all those MRAPs. Nor are they suitable for rapid deployment and heavy logistical train (the bit we are cutting back on). How long do you think the British armoured brigades in GW1 would have lasted if the war had gone for much longer against a (near) peer enemy? 2 days? 3 days? Do you know how much a struggle GW1 was logistically for the Army?

So I am sorry if heavy formations that are infantry light in a time we are cutting back on logistics are suddenly going to be core of the army, basis for “force generation” or not, seems illogical.

Challenger
Challenger
June 17, 2012 2:15 pm

I really need to get my head around this new Army structure, just when we think 5 MRB’S is the deal they throw this new idea out there.

So we end up with 11 brigades, and I think I’m right in saying that it won’t be a mix of regular and regional anymore?

So 16th AAB and 3rd Commando stay relatively the same, as rapid reaction ‘kick in the door’ units.

Are the 3 armoured brigades full strength, intervention units? Capable of short, sharp conventional operations at short notice?

If this is the case then does it also mean that the 7 infantry brigades are a mix of regular and territorial, primarily there for home duties and only deploying if they had enough notice and it was on a lengthy, rotational deployment like Afghanistan?

I would appreciate clarification from anyone who knows. They don’t make it easy!

Phil
June 17, 2012 3:28 pm

“So I am sorry if heavy formations that are infantry light in a time we are cutting back on logistics are suddenly going to be core of the army, basis for “force generation” or not, seems illogical.”

It’s not, TAF (adaptable force) will be able to reinforce and support the reaction forces it seems from what I am reading and hearing now. The Army peacetime structures have never been determinstic, they have never limited our options, if we need to deploy a different mix of force elements then we do. The whole point behind this is precisely that. To have an adaptable force!

The 3 brigades simply concentrate capabilities that are hardest to re-generate into 3 formations that can then rotate around the force generation cycle on a day to day basis with convenience. If the balloon goes up TAF can reinforce and bespoke the force.

In my mind its very simple. And its simply the recognition and planning for what we have been doing since Op Banner.

Phil
June 17, 2012 3:35 pm

“So we end up with 11 brigades, and I think I’m right in saying that it won’t be a mix of regular and regional anymore?”

Yes this is looking certain now.

“So 16th AAB and 3rd Commando stay relatively the same, as rapid reaction ‘kick in the door’ units.”

16X will be “modified” I suspect by loosing a battalion. I suspect 3X will lose The Rifles too. 16X will provide ABTF and 3X will provide the ARG Cdo.

“Are the 3 armoured brigades full strength, intervention units? Capable of short, sharp conventional operations at short notice?”

The brigades will cycle around the force generation cycle with one brigade at High Readiness (HR – 90 days) with one BG within that brigade rotating through as Very High Readiness. They can do short and sharp, or they can go there and rotate through like in Bosnia or Iraq as each Bde hits the appropriate point in the force generation cycle.

“If this is the case then does it also mean that the 7 infantry brigades are a mix of regular and territorial, primarily there for home duties and only deploying if they had enough notice and it was on a lengthy, rotational deployment like Afghanistan?”

It looks this way. Each brigade is going to be of a “varying” size so I imagine some will be at a higher state of readiness and require less preparation and some will provide units to augment the reaction forces and the remainder will maybe have a core mission like doing Public Duties or providing the 3 overseas Bns (2 Cyprus, 1 Brunei). They will absorb the role of the regional forces and it seems certain will be at extended readiness.

“They don’t make it easy!”

To be fair they haven’t made the announcement yet. They have been waiting since May to get the political authority to announce it, it has been signed off internally for some time.

x
x
June 17, 2012 5:38 pm

@ Phil

Well of course the Army always sent what is needed. But that still doesn’t explain why the Army believes the core of the mid-21st century needs to built around 3 armoured brigades. Basically you are saying that they, your former superiors, have no need to specify what equipment or weight a brigade has. But you also saying that they are completely correct with this proposed structure. Which one is it? Are you really saying less than one months total armoured warfare outweighs Afghanistan, Iraq (after the war ended), the Balkans, Sierra Leon, Ulster, and the Falklands? Heck not including Aden, Borneo, Malaya, Cyprus, really all of Suez and Korea too? You can’t say we will send what is needed and then advocate specialisation is needed (which it is) for high end armoured warfare and that has to be core to keep a capability that really died the day somebody pressed a button in Neveda on July 16 1945. And then compound it by saying we will use the back-up division to form what we want?

Make your mind up. Then again you thinking on military matters has been formed by the same organisation that influenced who ever came up with this new model so up surprising that you don’t see any flaws.

Phil
June 17, 2012 6:01 pm

“But that still doesn’t explain why the Army believes the core of the mid-21st century needs to built around 3 armoured brigades”

Because it is the hardest capability to re-generate and it can conduct a wide swathe of the spectrum of likely operations.

“Are you really saying less than one months total armoured warfare outweighs Afghanistan, Iraq (after the war ended), the Balkans, Sierra Leon, Ulster, and the Falklands? Heck not including Aden, Borneo, Malaya, Cyprus, really all of Suez and Korea too?”

It is the hardest capability to re-generate and it can conduct a wide swathe of the spectrum of likely operations.

“Then again you thinking on military matters has been formed by the same organisation that influenced who ever came up with this new model so up surprising that you don’t see any flaws.”

Check me out, the little indoctrinated robot.

Seriously, I’m sick of the little swipes just because I argue more about the Army because I know more about it than the other services. I leave all the debates about what radar such and such should have or how long a rotor blade should be because I know fuck all about it.

It is a simple concept, you keep what is hardest to make which also happens to be able to do most of the missions. It is really simple. Really simple.

The problem is you cannot grasp that peacetime organisation is not deterministic. You think that the brigade will just rock up organised to fight the Soviets when history tells you we generate bespoke force elements.

But whatever hey, I’m just a loyal little pooch fighting the men who like to mentally masturbate over the idea of a United Kingdom Marine Corps.

This was bought to you by the Chris B school of TD meltdowns.

x
x
June 17, 2012 8:39 pm

Apparently scrapping Nimrod netted the MoD £500,000. Or one hour of “fighting” in Afghanistan.

And Boeing have started building the new KC-46A tanker for the USAF. It is $30billion (£20billion) programme that should deliver 179 airframes up to 2028. They will have 18 by 2017. Um. That can’t be right. We have just leased 9 aircraft for £9billion…..

Chris.B.
Chris.B.
June 17, 2012 8:48 pm

How much will the support for those tankers cost though? Not a big fan of Voyager PFI, but the contract does include a lot in the costs that wont be included in the US tanker deal.

Topman
Topman
June 17, 2012 8:49 pm

@ x

Has the final negotiations been completed with BAE?

x
x
June 17, 2012 8:59 pm
All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 17, 2012 9:10 pm

X, that will be the compromise tanker the USAF rejected in favour of the more capable A330 but the bidding process was reopened after Congress interevened.

Topman
Topman
June 17, 2012 9:23 pm

I don’t which one was the best, but it was interesting Boeing offered a different built to the IAF. I know that the Italians had quite a few problems bringing it into service. Compare that to the Germans their Airbus tankers have been good, I understand they are very impressed with them and with Airbus. I can’t say that ours have been that great yet, still teething problems with ours, although they are different.

x
x
June 17, 2012 9:26 pm

Yes. Even with those costs Chris pointed they are still getting nearly 20 aircraft for every one of ours for twice the cost of our programme. If I understand the figures right because every time I see them I still think I am missing something because they just doesn’t compute. And it can’t be much worse than Voyager as a platform for that to happen it would have to be made out of wood, wire, and canvas.

Topman
Topman
June 17, 2012 9:31 pm

@ x

It’s all the running costs, it wasn’t the deal wanted by the RAF but that’s all in the past now. They pay for all sorts of stuff over the contract, running aircraft isn’t cheap, but no doubt they’ll make a killing still. I think the trick is to flog them to death, get rid of civ charters and get max use out of them.

x
x
June 17, 2012 9:41 pm

I know they aren’t cheap. But 20 airframes for our one?

Topman
Topman
June 17, 2012 9:46 pm

@ x

Bulk buying brings it down, biggest cost on anything is running it alot of it is now Airtankers cost. Not the best deal but it’s the one we’ve got.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
June 17, 2012 9:48 pm

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/the-usafs-kcx-aerial-tanker-rfp-03009/ Shows a price of $51 Billion for the programme. Still £35 billion for 179 works out better than we did.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 18, 2012 7:48 am

Hi Jedi,

This “Makes sense, a permanent ability to intervene is not the same as a persistent commitment to stabilise, so one-in-five is not necessary.” was the point I was making (badly, it seems!)
= we have to learn to count in threes, instead of fives
– it does not matter if the elements in readiness are bns/ BGs/bdes, obviously a bde to arrive in three months is in a different degree of readiness than the more permanently higher readiness of the lead units
– just that 3 of each is the minimum number to achieve that on-going, and it was unfortunate with the abbreviation that I used to try to exclude the propagandistic renaming of the 4th Commando, leading you to think that I tried to exclude the whole 3 Cdo Bde

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 18, 2012 8:14 am

A good summary by Phil:
“It is a simple concept, you keep what is hardest to make which also happens to be able to do most of the missions [perhaps not most, but those missions which with other force structures would be undoable, or too costly in terms of casualties and thereby non-starters?]. It is really simple. Really simple.

The problem is you cannot grasp that peacetime organisation is not deterministic.”

BTW, Phil, where do you get that one BG within the (rotating)readiness bde at higher readiness, to match the other intervention force elements? Analogy, or a source? If the latter, I’ve missed it and would be an interesting read

Observer
Observer
June 18, 2012 8:38 am

Maybe an extension of the “one in 3” force readiness operating procedure common to a lot of armies? “2 on standby, 1 in reserve” is a fairly common posture.

Phil
June 18, 2012 9:27 am

“BTW, Phil, where do you get that one BG within the (rotating)readiness bde at higher readiness, to match the other intervention force elements? Analogy, or a source? If the latter, I’ve missed it and would be an interesting read”

Source. It’s in this link and also in the CGS speech.

CGS Speech: ” three armoured infantry brigades – each with resilient peacetime establishments and equipped with upgraded Challenger tanks and Warrior infantry fighting vehicles, and the new Scout vehicle – to produce VHR and HR force elements at prescribed levels”

Sky News: “One armoured battle group and a parachute battle group would be on standby for immediate dispatch to a global emergency.”

So you have the HR Bde and the VHR BG within the Bde.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 18, 2012 9:32 am

cheers phil, it is finally starting to come together.

now just want to understand how these seven adaptable infantry brigades will work.

6x to work the schedule
1x to work the guards duties, and provide a high-readiness battalion

?

Phil
June 18, 2012 9:36 am

“perhaps not most, but those missions which with other force structures would be undoable, or too costly in terms of casualties and thereby non-starters?”

I’d say most. If we look backwards

1991 – armoured infantry needed
1992 – Bosnia – British forces were based around armoured infantry
1999 – Kosovo – Core of armoured infantry again with 4 Bde onwards
2003 – armoured infantry
2006 – in Afghan still a role for armoured infantry and the rest of the bn can dismount with little enough fuss.

They couldn’t do the Sierra Leonne rapid intervention and they couldn’t have done the operations in Afghan before HERRICK but we maintain the ABTF and ARG and UK Con Bn for such light roles now.

So not only are they hardest to regenerate by far, they can do most of the likely jobs, not all, but most.

Phil
June 18, 2012 9:43 am

Adaptable Brigades, my hunch is they will all be different sizes with maybe 1 having responsibility for public duties and one having responsibilty for the overseas standing tasks. The rest will be at various levels of strength, I predict some will generate augmenting forces for the Reaction Force should they be needed (light role infantry) and others will be at extended readiness (12 months) to generate a brigade for an enduring operation.

So you’d have 3 Reaction Force Bdes (that’s 18 months of deployment) and then 2 Adaptable Force Bdes at extended readiness to take over after 18 months and 2-3 Adaptable Force Bdes acting as a pool of augmenting reinforcements for the 5 brigade cycle needed to get the tour interval of 24 months we seem to be set on.

So the Adaptable Brigades I think most will have more in common with the regional brigades of now but we could generate something akin to the 11th Light Brigade deployment on H11 but on a more organised basis. We’e not intending to deploy to brigades at the same time so there’d be 12-18 months notice to mobilise the TA and work them up and integrate and work up the Bde (which takes 12 months for HERRICK).

Methinks that’s the plan. I doubt they will have much in the way of kit I imagine that TA formations will fall in on regular kit or already in place kit in theatre like now. So apart from perhaps a sprinkling of combat units held at a higher readiness the AF will mostly have training scales of kit and conduct lower levels of collective training.

Phil
June 18, 2012 9:54 am

“Can on one of the Army types perhaps illustrate how this new structure would have supported recent Ops. For instance GW2 H hour, enduring Ops Afghan etc. That would make it much clearer for this “land blind” sea dog.”

WARNING! Educated Guess.

GW2 – the Reaction Force could have deployed 16X and 7X under a divisional HQ along with the necessary Theatre troops from the new Theatre Troops organisation and they would probably be augmented by selected units from the Adaptable Force for missions like base security, prisoner of war guarding that sort of thing.

Afghan – the Reaction Forces using AF personnel would deploy to Afghan and start to conduct ops and the 2 remaining RF brigades would rotate through and after 18 months the AF Bdes would be worked up and would rotate through too. So you’d have a 3 RF 2 AF Bde cycle giving you the 24 month tour interval – the other 5 AF Bdes will augment, perhaps the 3 RF and 2 AF Bdes needed for the cycle will have a further shadow AF Bde to beef them up. The CGS speech does say that the AF Bdes will be of varying sizes so one assumes they will do different missions.

So it could be for enduring operations

1 RF Bde + 1AF shadow Bde
1 RF Bde + 1AF shadow Bde
1 RF Bde + 1AF shadow Bde
1 AF Bde + 1AF shadow Bde
1 AF Bde + 1AF shadow Bde

Or it might be

1 RF Bde
1 RF Bde
1 RF Bde
1 AF Bde (for enduring ops)
1 AF Bde (for enduring ops)
1 AF Bde (to augment the RF + augment enduring ops)
1 AF Bde (to augment the RF + augment enduring ops)
1 AF Bde (to augment the RF + augment enduring ops)
1 AF Bde (Public Duties aka London District)
1 AF Bde (overseas standing tasks)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 18, 2012 9:59 am

The reserve forces report declared an average 1/8th mobilisation as a planning target (the cycle must be indicated in order to be able to sell the new contract to employers?)

No point calculating on the total TA manpower, but when we get to see the total bn/sqdrn/ battery count, then 12.5% (planning purports to be a precise science as opposed to the reality, which is the art of improvisation)gives a good indication of how much kit will be transferred from the regulars

When you look at the latest MoD plans, there seems to be a concurrency between upgraded Warriors, SV Scouts and “FRES UVs” all coming in c. 2018-2022
– so make and mend till then
– and no mention of Chally upgrade (maybe it is not a big enough item, considering the just 100 or so of them)

RE ” I doubt they will have much in the way of kit I imagine that TA formations will fall in on regular kit or already in place kit in theatre like now. So apart from perhaps a sprinkling of combat units held at a higher readiness…”

x
x
June 18, 2012 11:17 am

The Russians are sending 2 LSTs and a small landing force to Syria just in case there is a need to evacuate their naval base.

Surely their airforce could fly eveybody out? Just fly around all that closed air space dudes!!!

And I am sure all those central Asia states would quite happily let a Russian army column drive to Syria, make the evacuation, and then drive back.

You mad Ruskies using ships and marines!!!!!!!

Phil
June 18, 2012 11:22 am

Well I am sure 30 years ago they’d have driven an armoured infantry column through Iran, flown right through into Syria and sent a naval TF to their base all under the very menacing watch of the Strategic Rocket Forces and the threat of an enormous loss of arms deals if anyone so much as looked at them funny.

But in any case, to my mind, it does make sense to evacuate a naval base from the sea. Call me strange. If it was an inland airbase I’d imagine they’d have flown them out. But I guess this proves the concept of the United Kingdom Marine Corps.

Challenger
Challenger
June 18, 2012 12:16 pm

@Phil

Thanks for the information yesterday.

I’m not too bothered about 16th AAB and 3rd Commando losing a battalion each, of course people gravitate towards the ‘bigger is better’ concept but being rapid reaction ‘kick in the door’ units I’m happy to accept this loss of quantity as long as their quality isn’t diminished.

I am beginning to understand the proposed set up, 3 armoured brigades being the full strength and deployable elements (and as you say armour is the hardest to regenerate).

7 infantry brigades of various states and strengths, made up off different regular/reserve ratios. As you say perhaps out of these 1 could be focused towards public duties, 1 on standing overseas rotations and out of the others a couple that are earmarked to generate a deployable force after several months notice, with the rest being similar to the current regional brigades.

I understand what sort of structure they are aiming for now, but I still haven’t brought myself to agree with it.

I think I have a real problem with this because for the last 10 years (except for a couple of weeks in the Iraqi desert) we have been told that light infantry is the way to go, that they are the most useful element to bring to the table, that the current Army is far too ‘heavy’ for 21st century realities.

So why are they heading down the road of armoured in favour of everything else?

I was happy with the idea of 2 rapid reaction and 5 multi role brigades (id even be happy with 4 if they had trouble finding enough for a 5th). It seemed a far more sensible approach when thinking about long term rotation of assets.

Id keep 2 armoured regiments to provide a brigade of almost 120 Challengers for the very odd occasion that we may need them (keep a few more mothballed somewhere for regeneration if required). I wouldn’t slot them permanently into the brigade structure because 95% of the time flexible infantry units are the way to go.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 18, 2012 1:02 pm

@ AAC – “The reserve forces report declared an average 1/8th mobilisation as a planning target (the cycle must be indicated in order to be able to sell the new contract to employers?)”

Taking this with:

@ Phil – “Adaptable Brigades, my hunch is they will all be different sizes with maybe 1 having responsibility for public duties and one having responsibilty for the overseas standing tasks.”

I am wondering if we might not be moving to a 1/4 deployment (half the TA ratio) for regular forces, therefore:
4x Adaptable brigades for persistant duties
1x Guards
1x Foreign postings
1x HR/VHR
With the latter three rotating.

this tea-leaf business is entertaining at least.

Phil
June 18, 2012 1:28 pm

You’re missing an AF bde though there. But sounds plausible certainly. Aren’t we supposed to find out around today?

paul g
June 18, 2012 1:35 pm

changing direction slightly (well it is an open thread) it seems ATK have developed a “bolt on” GPS for 155mm, miles cheaper than an excalibur round and accuracy to 50m. Could be a game changer in the long range snipers world.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/ATKs-PGK-Turning-Shells-into-Precision-Artillery-07430/#more-7430

edited to add seems they can use same system on 105mm as well!
http://www.insidegnss.com/node/762

Mike W
June 18, 2012 1:36 pm

@Challenger

“I was happy with the idea of 2 rapid reaction and 5 multi role brigades (I’d even be happy with 4 if they had trouble finding enough for a 5th). It seemed a far more sensible approach when thinking about long term rotation of assets.”

Yes, I was more than happy with that concept too. I thought the British Army was light years ahead in its thinking involving Multi-Role Brigades. I just hope that the reactionary, conservative element within the Army has not had too great an influence. I certainly did not want to get rid of MBTs and heavy armour. They might well prove essential if another Gulf War type conflict were to blow up. However, the heavy armour/MBT elements within the MRBs could have trained together at times (e.g. in BATUS) and probably 2 regiments of MBTS would suffice to deploy and cope with most contingencies.

Was the change owing to a lack of CS and CSS resources to spread around the MRBs, do you think?

The Army might come to regret this decision. Ah, well, we shall just have to see what the Aussies make of their MRB experiment. I bet they’re successful.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 18, 2012 1:54 pm

Hi Mike, before I make my comment, I must say that for any defence force of 70k in all, they are down there in Oz doing a splendid job.

But RE “just have to see what the Aussies make of their MRB experiment” would you like to see
– SPG element cancelled altogether
– as the regular element then is short of guns (and the reserves are still equipped with antiquated pieces), reserves become mortar-only equipped

I guess the overall idea is the same as in Denmark, that in low intensity conflicts you can make up the numbers needed for rotation by having a heavier regular and a lighter reserves bn working side by side
– in a short and sharp, high intensity conflict you would not have the time anyway, so at least the regulars are ready to go (without undue dilution of combat power/ kit which could only be brought to bear through mobilisation, taking precious time)

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 18, 2012 2:11 pm

@ Phil – “You’re missing an AF bde though there. But sounds plausible certainly. Aren’t we supposed to find out around today?”

There are only seven infantry (adaptable) brigades in the new plan, are there not?

Gareth Jones
June 18, 2012 2:25 pm

@ Paul g – Interesting find. “Already proven on the 155-mm howitzer, the 105mm PGK incorporates 99 percent of the existing 155mm PGK design, ATK says. The only difference is a single mechanical part.” Very large degree commonality.

IXION
June 18, 2012 2:43 pm

Have been banging on for a while now about, How in effect the RM used to be called ‘Millets Marines’ coz they bought all their kit form said shop.

Nowadays Maplins Marines Might me more appropriate.

There is a lots of stuff now on Civvy street that makes super secret military stuff of 5 years ago look old.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
June 18, 2012 2:48 pm

It seems to me that the force structure as described is a way for the Army to prioritise the funding for its Armoured/Armoured Infantry formations after Afghanistan. I can see a two tier procurement plan evolving where the Reaction brigades recieve the bult of the planned procurement programme with the adaptable formations having to rely on UORs when committed to operations. It is as if the MoD wants to burn its bridges with any lessons from Afghanistan, being determined never to carry out such an operation for such a long period of time again. This new plan also reduces the number of new platfroms that were needed under the old MRB programme, making more use of existing ones.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim
June 18, 2012 2:48 pm

It seems to me that the force structure as described is a way for the Army to prioritise the funding for its Armoured/Armoured Infantry formations after Afghanistan. I can see a two tier procurement plan evolving where the Reaction brigades recieve the bult of the planned procurement programme with the adaptable formations having to rely on UORs when committed to operations. It is as if the MoD wants to burn its bridges with any lessons from Afghanistan, being determined never to carry out such an operation for such a long period of time again. This new plan also reduces the number of new platfroms that were needed under the old MRB programme, making more use of existing ones.

Phil
June 18, 2012 3:13 pm

“I just hope that the reactionary, conservative element within the Army has not had too great an influence”

Really I am thinking the opposite. I think the whole uniform brigade group thing was a very conservative idea. I know they were spun as MRB but as I have said (just to flog a dead horse) they were nothing more than infantry brigade groups. The army would have dismantled the hardest to regenerate force element yet in this model, we have Bde enduring operation model and a heavy force. You accept lower readiness in all other units but that is not such a big deal when you realise that the deployment levels are lower than the entire force by some degree.

I think its an innovative, kind of Germanic, solution.

Millets Marines?! Good God you’d not see a Marine in anything like that these days. And to be frank, a lot of the newer stuff is just fad. The blokes bought assault vests, the army issued assault vests, the blokes then bought man bags, the army issued man bags, the blokes then bought MOLLE plate carriers the Army issued MOLLE body armour, then the blokes went back to webbing and now the Army issues MOLLE belt kit to. It’s fashion. CS95 will be ally as fuck in 6 years you watch.

“being determined never to carry out such an operation for such a long period of time again.”

I don’t get it, its very clear the Army wants to be able to conduct a medium enduring operation in the future. The Army knows that the politicians are batshit, they’ll send them anywhere anytime any place and screw the force generation models. So this time, they seem to have finally twigged, just organise the bare minimum and leave the rest to be generated in due time with the plenty of notice you’d get before the 3 reaction force brigades go through their tour.

And jedi, you have 6 AF Bdes: there’s supposed to be 7 AF Bdes + 3 armoured infantry + 1 air assault. 11 in total. Although I suspect some AF brigades are going to be brigades in name only and just be admin HQs to work up force elements to augment the RF as I’ve said.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 18, 2012 3:58 pm

4x Adaptable brigades for persistent duties
1x Guards
1x Foreign postings
1x HR/VHR

Isn’t that seven? :D

Mike W
June 18, 2012 4:09 pm

ACC’

Sorry, have only just seen your reply.

“But RE “just have to see what the Aussies make of their MRB experiment” would you like to see
– SPG element cancelled altogether”

No, I would certainly not like to see the SP Gun element cancelled. I know that the Aussies are not certain whether they can afford to place SP Guns alongside their light guns in the MRBs but surely in the British Army we still have 90 plus AS90s in service, in addition to well over 100 Light Guns. Plenty to go around five MRBs, I would think.

The Danish idea seems an intriguing one.

Phil
June 18, 2012 4:09 pm

No the HR/VHR brigade is from the Reaction Force pool of 3 x armoured infantry brigades.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 18, 2012 4:13 pm

Guessing past the first layer (3+1, and not to forget 3 CDO) will not take us far,
as in:
” jedi, you have 6 AF Bdes: there’s supposed to be 7 AF Bdes + 3 armoured infantry + 1 air assault. 11 in total. Although I suspect some AF brigades are going to be brigades in name only and just be admin HQs to work up force elements to augment the RF as I’ve said.

jedibeeftrix says:
June 18, 2012 at 15:58
4x Adaptable brigades for persistent duties
1x Guards
1x Foreign postings
1x HR/VHR”

There will hardly be a bde to look after just three company-level ceremonial postings.Would also be strange if there was a dedicated “garrisoning” bde so while back in the UK they could asleep at the barracks for 2-3 years?

What I found interesting is the emphasis on not rolling out any new major AFVs (as in numbers) before 2018: has the army taken a hit on investment monies, or are there other categories that have been speeded up?
– we’ll soon find out

In the above “3+1” some commentators talk about AAB as light. Sure the infantry element is light. But as for numbers it is bigger than any other bde, and also the Apache may not weigh the same as a Chally2, but in this comparison “punches above its weight”
– can also be flown in easier than any meaningful number of Challies and accompanying IFVs

Phil
June 18, 2012 4:18 pm

“There will hardly be a bde to look after just three company-level ceremonial postings.”

Public and London duties take up 3 Bns.

“Would also be strange if there was a dedicated “garrisoning” bde so while back in the UK they could asleep at the barracks for 2-3 years?”

There’s going to be no regional brigades anymore so these AF Bdes are also going to have ADMINCON of a lot of units and will be busy doing that. Some of them are going to be nothing more than the old regional brigades with a different name and number.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
June 18, 2012 4:30 pm

“No the HR/VHR brigade is from the Reaction Force pool of 3 x armoured infantry brigades.”

I was thinking more of the ready-battalion (some jargon name?) as desired for the FF2020 outputs.

“Public and London duties take up 3 Bns.”

Yes

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 18, 2012 4:32 pm

Hi Mike,

This is how I have read it (overnight, our visitors from Oz can correct), RE
” the Aussies are not certain* whether they can afford to place SP Guns alongside their light guns** in the MRBs but surely in the British Army we still have 90 plus AS90s in service, in addition to well over 100 Light Guns***.”
==============
* cancelled altogether

**probably because they were sensible enough to get the LW 155 pieces that the RA also wanted; however, my reading is that all their other pieces will be replaced by mortars now

*** if you take away the RM & AAB specialist support, that is close to a 1:1 ratio, and if it is true that the crews are cross-trained (or will be), then it is possible to take whatever matches the task & the terrain (a good thing; if they only could provide some lighter GMLRS platforms as well; tactically it is very mobile, but strategically could be more so)

Phil
June 18, 2012 4:42 pm

“I was thinking more of the ready-battalion (some jargon name?) as desired for the FF2020 outputs.”

You know as much as me but I had interpreted it as the BG coming from one of the RF brigades otherwise you’d need another 3 BGs to rotate. Hmm, they should just tell us!

Mike W
June 18, 2012 6:12 pm

@Phil

“I know they were spun as MRB but as I have said (just to flog a dead horse) they were nothing more than infantry brigade groups.”

Yes, Phil, you argue very persuasively and admittedly there is a strong similarity between the proposed MRB formation and that of a Mechanised Brigade (I have made that point on this site more than once). However, the point surely is that a Mechanised Brigade would lack Light Infantry (often the hub or essence of any intervention force (“boots on the ground”, remember)and the light artillery and other units to support that element.

As for the latest proposed force composition being innovative and Germanic (do you mean original/ingenious in thought by the latter adjective?), I see nothing ground-breaking in retaining the same balance as has been present in the British Army for the last God knows how many decades. In recent wars there has been a marked emphasis on drones, helicopters, protected patrol vehicles, mine and IED clearance kit etc. etc. The latest plan does not seem to allow the balance to move towards these things. “Janes Defence Weekly” has just reported, for example, that Fire Shadow will not be deployed to Afghanistan (a precursor to its being cancelled outright?)and in another article I read that Watchkeeper might never deploy to the same country. If you are going to cancel or not use such forward-looking equipmemt, we might as well all remain in a state of mental stasis.

Mike W
June 18, 2012 6:22 pm

ACC

Yes, sorry, ACC. You must have read a more recent report than I have. I did not know that the Aussies have cancelled th use of SPGs in their MRBs. They’ve got M777s now, haven’t they? About time the British procured them as well, then maybe they could afford to drop the AS90s.

Your point about the crews being cross-trained, and that making it possible to take whatever matches the task and the terrain is a very good one, as is the point about the need for lighter GMLRS platforms.

Phil
June 18, 2012 6:52 pm

Light infantry can be attached from the AF I imagine.

I think it’s imaginative because finally it integrates reserves and employs focus. I’m a big fan of focus, think of all the effort we’ve diffused into maintaining structures and formations that have been useless in their primary role, I’m talking especially about the ARRC framework and more than one complete division when we never had any plans to deploy more than one in a warfighting conventional manner.

It’s Germanic because for some time German Army units have been divided into reaction forces (light) intervention forces (heavy) and stabilisation forces (mechanised, mountain, jäger).

Mike W
June 18, 2012 7:10 pm

Phil

Good point about structures and formations which have proved useless in their main role.

Hoiwever, I still have reservations about whether we can a) recruit enough and b) fully integrate reserve forces. I know that you believe that we can but there have been an awful lot of knowledgeable doubters expressing their thoughts in the media recently.

However, I do sincerely hope that you are proved right.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 18, 2012 7:15 pm

Hi Phil,

Are you sure this “It’s Germanic because for some time German Army units have been divided into reaction forces (light) intervention forces (heavy) and stabilisation forces (mechanised, mountain, jäger).” is a parallel?
– light = to screen & fall back
– intervention = counter-strike
– stabilisation = hold territory, once the heavy, initial blow has been thwarted?

I think we might be dealing with a translation error here? Anyway, that piece you wrote on the restructuring of the Danish forces (to fall in line with the new mission) was both very informative and enjoyable.
– I can’t say I could make much sense out of the next piece on TA
– at the same time, the official report was also very difficult to decipher
– how about Take Two; when the detail on the army restructuring comes out… to make sense of the TA/ reserves part (will take to 2015/2018 to even start to look like it)

Phil
June 18, 2012 8:17 pm

ACC

I think I’m right on the German Army it’s a force that’s interested me for some time and I have some very detailed ORBATs. The post Cold War force from about 2000 or so split into the light forces like the airborne and airmobile forces, the intervention forces were meant for forced entry – say the first stage of Kosovo should it have happened and the stabilisation forces were just there for peace enforcement like Bosnia. I think we kind of agree though.

The TA piece was just a thought exercise and has been shown to be bollocks now! If they reveal the details I could certainly write about it.

Mike: can the TA step up to the plate. Potentially. Will it? I’m not as certain it can but I hope it does. Improve the leadership, stiffen units with more permanent staff and keep instituting the Whole Force doctrine.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
June 18, 2012 8:51 pm

Hi Phil

I know absolutely nothing about it (that’s why I am interested), but surely this “stiffen units with more permanent staff and keep instituting the Whole Force doctrine” would be the key

RE: Germany, I think there have been many transformations, and most of them have not happened:
” light forces like the airborne and airmobile forces”
– a whole division!
– all those dinky Wiesels ( a chartered 747, with a stiffened up floor kit, taking seven)… and many 747s going to??
– was soon cut to a bde

Then, taking the force away from Somalia, after the Mogadishu disaster, gave *an* impetus to a ship that could insert and extract such a force
– been on the designers’ board ever since (even costed!)
– may be funded and entering service around 2035!

Sounds a bit like us?

x
x
June 18, 2012 9:11 pm

Do we know if HMG as ever done study into TA retention? I would say that everybody likely to join the TA probably has. But how many do they loose in the first year and why? Until there is some work done collecting such information all this enlarged TA stuff is pissing in the wind.
Also a set of comparison studies needs to be done in NATO states collecting similar information for comparison.

Phil
June 18, 2012 9:35 pm

The statistics won’t reflect true wastage because a lot leave before they get a service number. I doubt they can be tracked. But then you can argue that it’s perfectly reasonable for blokes to turn up on drill nights for a few months and decide no thanks. TA will almost certainly have a higher turn over as its simply more accessible. Joining the regs means jumping through some big hoops, joining the TA is simply a matter of keep turning up and pass security and not be a cripple.

Lots of tiny little things need to be done. Send all TA candidates to Litchfield for regular selection, have the same medical standards (TA medicals whilst not as bad can be less rigorous) this will weed out the ones who are likely to jack or just don’t fancy it.

There’s so many little things like that. And you need decent leadership to grip it all and make sure it happens.

I don’t know if the Army has this but there also needs to be an inspectorate of TA courses over and above the corps inspectorates to make sure the courses are fit and proper for the TA.

Money will solve a lot of problems that stem from simple resource shortages but the devil is in the detail and in the leadership. And as I bang on constantly about, the same goes for any human organisation.

wpDiscuz
↓