Open Thread 20

The open threads are not going to be based on Week Numbers but on number of comments.

This thread is about SDSR speculation.

Will the Army actually get reduced, promises notwithstanding?

Will Successor actually navigate Main Gate with 4 boats, promises notwithstanding?

Type 26, 13, 12, 8 or some other random number?

How about the RAF, will they get the P8 or some other combination?

Gurkhas, Army Reserve, Amphibious Capabilities, RAF ISTAR and mine countermeasures all have question marks against them.

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!


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I gave up try to figure out British Navy Ship Typing. But as far as P-8A Poseidon, earliest delivery day might be (BIG "IF") September 2015...


First 'official' pre-SDSR rumour:

Don't read the Sun so I don't know what it says, although I can guess.
The bigger question for me as cynic/realist (delete as applicable), is what goes to find that £2 billion?


@ ChesherCat.

If you Parliament is as Screwed-Up as our American Congress, Then "Robbing Peter, to Pay Paul" out of the Defense Budget...


P-8 numbers will be small in exchange for more Merlin Mk2s.

Tony Williams

There is of course the small problem that in the frantic pre-election bidding, Cameron committed himself to loads of unfunded extra expenditure. Presumably he believed that he could just abandon these promises in any coalition negotiations, but now he's lumbered with them...


The thing is, now CMD has only one set of masters- I think the other departments may well start circling over the welfare budget- easing the pressure off defence...


How does it work that a little carrier bird , the F35B , cost as much as the huge MPA ,P8A, with its trans Oceanic range , 8 hours + flight time, ability to be kept flight ready and refueled by its own crew from ANY 737 capable airport globally, control its own drones , etc. Just asking.


Or put it another how does a low observable supersonic vertical take-off aircraft cost the same as a converted airliner. 2b pounds may get you 12 large paperweights certainly won't get you 12 operation mpas.


The increased cost of the F35 will be something to do with slightly more demanding operational environments.


Interesting point, is that speculation or based in fact/rumour?
To be honest, 12 is at the higher of my expectations, particularly as Nimrod had got down to 9 by it's demise.
Clearly much less than 9 and you're into the realms of self licking lollipops!
Regenerating the 8 stored HM 1's is a no brainer, you only need to look at Ebola and the Med to see that the grey Merlins are in high demand.


@Mark and Mr Fred
I know just stirring the soup to see what floats :-)
I think monies for the MPA/DRONE has been costed in for some time , hopefully as an UOR type re Putins activities rather than from the core budget. I personally think DC will push for the 2% he asked others to meet in soon to be iWales while he can . George Osborne has reiterated his desire for the tax base to be no more than 35% of GDP so all this 0.7%, 2% etc start to get a little tight etc rather than real numbers. On the 0.7% we really really should get a more ' flexible' return on that in terms of long term resources. The EU accountants won't let us offset 6 containers full of dried tapioca sitting on an £1bn Air defence destroyers deck anymore so we need to get inventive and buy some brown envelopes and an card for an ATM in Brussels to fill them (Swiss bank accounts being out of favour ATM , get it :-)


P-8A Increment 2's are being purchased by the USN for $150m.

F-35B's in LRIP 8 were purchased by the Project Office for (under) $130m.

Both in FY14 money. Both flyaway costs. Use your own conversion rates for forex. Add in your own program, training and operation costs.


I think our present ongoing costs on the F35B are going very well. The embedded RN/RAF staff are doing great learning from the ground up as it were with their USMC compatriots. As I said I was getting the big wooden spoon out to stir debate over relative costs. We are onto a massive massive winner with the F35B , both financially and technologically. It will give us a missing LO option and all the things to learn both maintenance and operationally and a financial boost to a very high tech sector our own , be it unmanned, LO programme can use. The huge aspect we can learn from is the sensor/sharing info step change with the F35 series I read about a generation ago on the now Typhoon and the F22 which only now seems to bear fruit. We are not the only ones in the game but we are keeping pace at least.


Can we equip the F35B with dipping sonar? They might have some limited utility in that case.


@ monkey

Up to 10,000-pounds with internal ordnance and 14,000-pounds with external ordnance. Cannon Pod carried internally...


I propose a Swap, You (the UK) need Fighters and We (the USA) need Frigates...


@ Red Trousers.

Only if that Dipping Sonar is capable of withstanding a 350-knots towing through the water...


Secundius - OK; scrap the range-and-bearing dipper, make it side-scan...


Very astute observations. Based on the Crosby Textor pattern, expect to find out some promises are 'aspirational' or 'non core'


I think you will find they are mostly in pieces- as a low cost spares source.


@ Chris.

According to Thales, for Side-Scanning Sonar to work effectively. it has to submerge to a depth of ~200-meters...


Pure speculation, but as the new initial number of F35Bs stated to operate from the CVF in 2020 is 9, does this mean a shift from 12 a/c sqds to smaller ones? If so, will our 48 a/c order result in 2 FAA and 2 RAF sqds plus a OCU / training sqd.


You're right. It's pure speculation.

Can't remember when the last FAA squadron to have 12 cabs was. Probably 899 in the 90s. AE for 800/801 was eight or nine, similar when JFH stood up and eight was the number on Herrick for each JFH sqn IIRC.


@NaB: since you have stated before that to maintain a pair on CAP, 8 cabs are required, it seems to me that 8 is a better squadron size than 12 anyway.


Sqns don't have to send all their a/c away with them when going on the boats (or anywhere else) when they deploy. We don't know the final number but 48 won't end up in what is 6 sqns (you forgot about the OEU). It would seem to be stupid unless there's a drive to increase the amount of posts for middle ranking officers...

I wouldn't worry too much about the exact construct of the sqns. 2 or 3 would be a better number although that depends on a number of factors.


If only maintaining 2 cabs on CAP was all a squadron had to worry about.......

Topman has it right. We don't know the final number. Everything else is generally speculation....


Well, if we're allowed to speculate. 48 gives us 16 in sustainment, an OEU of 8 cabs and two squadrons of 12.

How we build up to that is anyone's guess.


Worth noting that even the "base-line" number of twelve F-35B's being discussed for a CVF is triple the number of Harriers that we were deploying on Illustrious leading up to the fleet retirement.


Like ORBATS with Brigades, Battalions and Squadrons, aircraft squadrons don't really tell you anything about operational deployments because when deployed, pretty much most of the organisation is operation specific.

Flexible, as it should be

The Other Nick

The Israelis signed a second contact for the F-35i (first buy 19 a/c) in February 2015 for an additional 14 at a cost of $2.82 billion. Stated as $110 million each, so necessary training, maintenance, simulators cost $1,280 million, so to be operational talking of approx. $200 per a/c. Note that US offered Israelis a special price for the the F-35's.

Assuming F-35B price is as you state $130, you are looking at total cost for first UK squadron of 14 a/c plus necessary additions at total contract value of approx. $3.3 billion, $236 million per a/c / £157 million.
Lots of unknowns but these are ballpark figures as though maintenance is mentioned in Israeli contract no spares mentioned.



Presumably some of the expensive electronics will be removed from the I model and replaced with Israeli kit, which would be costed separately (integration/assembly costs for Israeli sourced equipment might also be a separate charge) ?


@Repulse, I think we could squeeze 3 active squadrons out of the 48 plus OEU / OCU with say 9 per squadron. Its all a bit notional but I have no issue with a 9 cab 'flight' being the routine load on CVF. Was worried we might go as low as 6 but if 9 gives a margin over the minimum for decent CAP then that will be good. Might need to buy a few more to give 4 active squadrons - the max I feel we should have. Five Typhoon squadrons (assume 12 or 14 active airframes), plus an FI flight plus 4 F35 (9) squadrons is probably just about enough, and allows room to develop UAVS / drones for future CAS and long range strike. I think other assets are equally important and give us the broad capability. ISTAR / AEW / MPA / Airlift / Tanker etc should be given equal weight in the sustaining of our air capability. I have visions of some near future desert conflict where european nations send half a dozen FJ each and we send a few C!7s / A400's and offload the drones


Taranis, or an iteration, has some time left to run - the £200m FCAS deal signed last November funds both UK and French (presumably nEUROn iteration) UCAV before a decision on how to proceed at the end of next year (2016).

Really do agree with the chaps at ID who want the UCLASS to target contested strike above an ISR platform. The Taranis planform suggests that's the route we're taking. Hope we tackle it aggressively.


@ wf.

There's an American Aphorism, made in 12 November 2012 by Chicago Cubs First Baseman Mark Grace. "If your not cheating, your not trying hard enough".

Don't sell yourself Short on Air Power. On of the Reason's the Burn-Out Rate was so high with Harrier and Sea Harrier Pilots. During the Falklands War, because they were required up to 1/2-dozen sorties a day. Lack of Sleep and I-N-I, will Screw-Up any Performance Rating...


We could squeeze out a few more airframes if we tied more deeply into the USMC fleet replenishment squadron (effectively join in their OCU much like how we train our C-17, E-3 and RC-135 pilots).

Sol atm is rather convinced that we - the whole British people - are about to do some nefarious scheme to claim the CVF is the worlds best heli-carrier ;)


TD and others are right in saying that squadrons sizes, like all other ORBATS only tell you so much.

On the one hand 8 or 9 F35B to a squadron would seem more likely because that's how all Harrier squadrons operated for years. However the figure of 12 has been quoted a lot so even though all numbers should be taken with a pitch of salt it could be a good an indicator to the direction the F35 fleet structure will be heading.

Seems that 48 F35B either gets you 3 8/9 air-frame squadrons or 2 larger ones, with possibly either slightly leaner or more well provisioned OCU/OEU's and reserves depending on the outcome.

Irregardless i'd say whether CVF regularly deploys with 6, 8, 9, 12 or more F35B isn't as important as having the provisions in place to be able to add more if necessary, which means a large enough overall fleet and enough larger 'surge' exercises occurring to make sure CVF can seamlessly operate more jets for long periods of time.

Power is important, but so is stamina, and as frustrating as deploying only 6-12 in peacetime is i'd say it's acceptable if we know they can double or triple that number in wartime.


The two planned operational F-35 squadrons are expected to have 12 F-35 each. What we're talking about here however is only 9 being available for QE in 2020. That is because things have been pushed back, and we will have less F-35 delivered by 2020 than initially planned. We simply wont have a full strength squadron by 2020.


I hate technology

Little problem tonight which means I have unplugged the new comment system (and the old editing system) until a few issues are resolved

Bear with me :)


That maybe optimistic whitestelhant probably closer to 6a/c available in 2020 for short periods. I suspect we may an increase to 6 typhoon sqns thru 2020 to take up the shortfall in f35 readiness.

Anyway it would appear are Nepal chinooks are somewhat stranded.


S'alright TD - I like the older one better anyway. Its the Luddite in me...


@TD much cleaner appearance, Just tried to register not yet working.


@ Nick.

The "Scuttlebutt" on my Side of the Pond is, that the Raytheon AN/APG-79 AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar or APAP (Active Phased Array Radar) is to be integrate into the F/A-35A/B/C's airframe...


As others have stated, deploying only 6 - 9 F-35Bs on the QE routinely is not a problem, as long as personnel are regularly rotated to ensure there is a pool available to easily increase the number embarked when needed. So in principal, 48 airframes should be sufficient to cover most operational scenarios for a single carrier. Where I have issues is how we intend to use the new carriers. The MoD and Government are very vague on this, preferring to talk about the flexibility and size of the Queen Elizabeth class. Surely these ships primary role in wartime should be as CARRIERS, with their primary weapon system being between 24 and 36 F-35Bs supported by CROWSNEST. What we seem to have built though are two very large HMS Ocean replacement with the ability to operate STOVL platform, more akin to the USNs Wasp class amphibious ships than a real carrier. Yes they will be able to carry our secondary roles, but we must focus on the core role and ensure at least one of the new carrier is able to operate as a carrier with the right assets.

Given the size of the F-35 fleet, initially the work of the OCU/OEU should be dovetailed into the units the USMC has stateside. In fact if the fleet remains around 50 a/c setting up a UK based OCU and OEU would be a waste of resources. Having a limited number of airframes stateside and operating in a combined manner with the USMC seems to be a win win.

As for Squadron sizes, I am more in favour of the wing system where a base operates a pool of airframes. Given the small size of current squadrons, do we need the admin/support tail for each one! I know this runs into the same "Cap Badge", issues the Army has when combining or deleting regiments, but in the case of the RAF, paint and decals would allow a wing to display the colours of 2 to 3 squadrons even if they are actually the same unit in practice.

Finally a P-8 purchase will need funds form other departments. This shouldn't be to complicated, just look at which departments benefit from regaining a MPA capability. As for numbers, ignore anything related to the Nimrod. At the end it was a case of a fixed pot of funds and try to work out how many we could get as the price kept going up and up. Little or no consideration was really give to operational needs etc, the RAF simply wanted the new shiny plane in whatever quantity it could.


@ Lord Jim

' setting up a UK based OCU and OEU would be a waste of resources.'
Not neccesarily, if you base them where the rest of the fleet are then it's not a really a waste. Don't forget keeping that many (enough to man a OCU sized Sqn) servicemen out in the US will be very expensive. Alot of the resources would be shared across the fleet and can reduce costs.
The OEU is slightly different and wouldn't be a surprise if it stayed out there.

'As for Squadron sizes, I am more in favour of the wing system where a base operates a pool of airframes. Given the small size of current squadrons, do we need the admin/support tail for each one!'

Not really the same as army cap badges at all. We are well used to adding and removing the Sqns as required, no-one notices. No press outrage, no retired officers letters to print in the Telegraph.
The wing idea has been knocked about a few times and trialed once (that I know of) it just doesn't work. Sqns are the basic building blocks of the RAF, to better liken it to the Army, it would be like having no battallions sized units and just have brigades instead. Admin/support per FJ sqn is minimal there are some functions you could (try to) centralise but you'd lose more than you gain in very minimal manpower savings.


Oh dear - Rory Stewart has been given a role in DEFRA - does that mean he will no longer do his Defence Committee work?


So if and when the RAF or in reality Mr Osbourne gives the MOD the Green light for a MPA purchase. Where are we going to base them. Is it to late to reactive to RAF Kinloss.



Kinloss is now an Army base, and i'm guessing Lossiemouth is getting pretty full. Could put them at Waddington seen as the rest of the ISTAR fleet is already centralized there and any MPA will probably share the current 54/56 OCU/OEU squadrons, but it is of course quite far away from the North Sea-North Atlantic-Irish Sea area of primary operations.

Does anyone know how far Leuchars transfer has gotten? Wiki says it was only handed to the Army in April of this year.

The Other Nick


Ref. the cost of Israeli equipment specific to the F-35i , they talk about a $3 billion for the 14 F-35i, but contact is only for $2.82 billion so maybe that is the difference or it could be their equipment is less expensive than the US gear it replaces. The deal requires Israeli weapons to be integrated into the aircraft.

They have negotiated an offset procurement deal of $5.3 billion, so far 810 wingsets to be manufactured by IAI and the the most expensive, trouble prone and complicated piece of headgear ever constructed, the F-35 Helmet Mounted Display System (HMDS), manufactured by Elbit and Rockwell Collins 50/50.

As the F-35i's are paid for out of the US foreign military aid budget, and as far as I know no Israeli development funding it makes the MoD negotiating skills look limited as the UK investment £2 billion in development funding for the F-35 has resulted so far as I know only in the contract placed is with BAE.

Please note that LM has been pricing the F-35A, and therefore F-35I, as 'competitively' as possible, because the US Airforce is by far their main customer. The pricing by LM on F-35B and F-35C is under less pressure due to the US Marines have no other option and US Navy are not that keen, (recently reduced F-35C numbers) would prefer to continue with the F-18, so am surprised the F-35B is quoted at only $130 million, knowing that the $110 price for the F-35i was a 'special' price granted by Hagel.

The Aeroweb gives the cost of the F-35B at $183.41 which sounds more realistic than the $130 million previously quoted as the NAO quote £5 billion as UK total cost to first squadron IOC including the £2 billion development.

“The unit cost of the F-35B is $139.87 million (recurring cost) or $183.41 million including non-recurring (flyaway cost) in FY 2015. The airframe costs $83.04 million, the F135-PW-600 engine (coupled to the Rolls-Royce LiftSystem) costs $32.49 million, the avionics cost $21.59 million, while non-recurring and other costs make up the remaining $46.29 million.”


Cant see them being based anywhere but waddington if purchased they would be classed as multi mission istar aircraft of which maritime patrol would be one mission they would undertake..


On that very point, I have a horrible feeling that Sentinel will be sacrificed to get P8's, on the basis that it will be a MMA that can replace it and Nimrod in the same airframe.


I don't think there is a problem with replacing Sentinel and then Sentry, Shadow Seeker etc with the P8, if it can do the job with a few modifications then great, why not get our moneys worth out of an expensive platform.

The issue is numbers isn't it. 8-9 for MPA and 4-5 for ISTAR would be more than reasonable, but i fear as i think you do that instead we could see a paltry 5-6 P8 ordered to fulfill both roles with the usual 'it can do more so we need less' spiel.


Yes indeed cheshirecat and part of the flight profile reasons for choosing that platform for sentinel would be lost as a result. one opinion is that trying to cram multiple istar roles onto a single aircraft can lead to very expensive high value critical points of failure that take some time to get to work.

It leads to larger aircraft than is required for a specific task which is at least in part how the U.S. Navy ended up with the p8 based on a larger 737 than was initially the case. ( more cynical minds may point to the severe downturn in commercial aircraft production and Boeing really needing an order as to why 737 was chose at all).

On the whole having fleets of aircraft dedicated to a specific task in the istar game based potentially on a similar aircraft type that can all talk to each other to see a common picture and transmit that to a relevant ground station for interpretation can lead to smaller planes with smaller crew and potential to integrate unmanned options.


How do the range and altitude compare Challenger?


What happened there I went to edit a comment which I thought I did but it appears it was deleted instead


Yes, exactly that!
I don't have a problem at all with commonality across the ISTAR platforms, but it can't be a one size fits all, dropping capabilities here and there, and in ever reducing numbers
Look what's happened to the RN!


Mark, just done a series of comments from different browsers using a load of made up username and email address combinations. Edited each a number of time without issue

Had a look in the trash bin and your comment was there, have restored it

The only thing I would say is that the delete and edit buttons are pretty close together



Thanks for that TD, yes on looking at the editing button it is entirely possible that fat fingers and or poor eyesight may have played a role in the posts deletion. Hope you didn't waste to much time testing the system.


On the Mistrals potentially going spare. I know we can not justify an increase in vessel numbers but would be a shame to see them cut up or sunk. How about a deal with the French: scrap Diligence and allocate one of the Bays as a permanent replacement support / repair vessel. Scrap Argus and purchase the two Mistrals into the RFA with a day job of HADR, aviation training and second tier presence and support with a wartime role of amphib support, auxiliary carriers and PCRS. 50:50 cost split (acquisition and running) with DFID, modifications limited to 'anglicising' and base comms / radar defensive kit commensurate with other RFAs rather than full RN spec. Just an idea.


How about doing what the Italians did with their third San Georgio and get other agencies to purchase one of the Mistrals as a disaster relief platform with the "Secondary" role as amphibious warfare vessel?


Returning to squadron sizes etc, my concern is maximising the number of airframes available for operational deployment. Gone are the days of a large reserve pool to help manage fleet airframe hours, these are the majority of Typhoons we are no longer getting. Especially with the F-35Bs, all airframes must be available for deployment, with even the OCU and OEU available if we need to deploy both carriers, and so we would need those aircrew to be deck qualified.

I seem to remember that a few years ago the RAF dramatically downsized the number of airframes that were needed for operational deployments form over thirty to a dozen or so. Was the reasoning for this anything but financial?

Is it me or have the MoD decided that in the age of PGMs where a single platform can hot multiple targets, they have decided that the number of platforms can be reduced by the same ratio with no regard for capacity or redundancy?


@The Other Nick

Thanks. I think it remains fair to say that the actual cost of the F35 (in all variants) remains unclear and that LM is pricing in these sales on the assumption that full scale production delivers the decreases in unit production cost they claim (but have not yet delivered).

I wonder if the US will consider giving us some F35A on a similarly priced cheap deal. As the only European (or elsewhere) partner to actively support them they may miss our absence in the future.

For all the talk of 48 F35B acquisition, let's remember we have actually announced we will purchase 16 aircraft (if I recall correctly on a 4,4,4,4 per year basis) in addition to our 4 test aircraft and of those only 4 (for delivery in 2018 ?) are actually on order.

By 2020, the RAF will be Typhoon only with a small "squadron" of F35B, which will (probably) not yet have met full operating capability as originally designed.


@TD for what its worth, on the version of explorer we use at work (8 I think?) there is no edit or delete button at all. Only reply and share. Maybe I have to subscribe ?


@TD I take that comment back. Edit function has now reappeared.


As per the link by Repulse, the make-over of UK's image on the other side of the pond has begun:

""Cameron Attempts to Put Britain Back on the Map
The prime minister has a lot of ground to make up in restoring his country to its traditional leadership role.
May 11, 2015 1:39 p.m. ET
Trying to put Britain’s slouching status as a world player behind him, a second-time-around David Cameron now gets described from up-close as an “interventionist” comfortable with the use of “hard power.”


Goes for Chrome, as well!


Events have overtaken the comment: Does not go for Chrome as well... i.e. there is no EDIT button in sight



What you say above about putting all your eggs in one basket and that basket getting very, very expensive is an interesting one.

I personally agree with you. But we always tend to go for "fewer more capable" assets.

It's a bit like rejecting an OPV sonar tug as useless and putting it onto an all-singing, all-dancing ASW destroyer platform. There's no redundancy in the system and the ASW ship becomes ever more complicated.

Is it possible that, like with the RN, we simply can't afford to have all these distinct platforms?



It seems you have to "hover" over "Time remaining | 30 min." in order to see the edit and delete button.

Since you can't hover with a touch screen, I'm not sure how it works in that environment.


On Android and iOS touchscreens you can tap the "Time Remaining" text once to reveal the Edit/Remove links.


first thing this morning, the "time remaining" bit wasn't there either. It is now.


I am curious to know what others think about the fact that 'two (RAF) Hawk jets,... are providing air support alongside US A-10 “tank buster” aircraft' in Estonia

Is this a sensible use of resources (we have plenty of Hawks and fewer and fewer pilots needing to be trained so get some mileage out of the aircraft), or a proportionate response (scare the russians off with a red arrows type acrobatic display), or they have armed the Hawks (a lot of armchair commentators have advocated this), or a sign that we are really scrapping the barrel for available assets ...

The same question could equally be applied to the use of Border Force Cutters sent to the Mediterranean



The very same questioned occurred to my yesterday when I read the article.

The optimist in me says that it is probably 100 Sqn who has provided the Hawks and as they routinely train JTAC's they are probably the right people to send in this instance, with Uncle Sam providing their experts in the shape of the A10's.

However, the realist/pessimist in me says that's all we've got and in days gone by we would have sent a couple of Jags/Harriers/Tornados as well as the Hawks.

Can't imagine Putin is actually shaking in his boots, the two major (currently in our case) powers in Nato sending a couple of Hawks and an aircraft destined for the scrapheap!


The release talks about UK and Norgie supersonic fighters securing the airspace ( a lot of that would involve BVR in reality).

The Estonian airspace is so small that you can't afford the chance of (with a touch of reality inserted into the exercices) a NATO fighter straying into the Russian airspace, while taking avoidance action. Further, you would need all element of airpower present in a realistic exercise:
- A-10 doing the CAS bit
- the Hawks chasing away hostile AHs and low flying sub-sonic A2G jets

What these three elements, by way of a/c, would be in a real situation is one thing, but on an exercise a Hawk will do nicely.


@ Lord Jim

'maximising the number of airframes available for operational deployment.'

Yes, the key here is to pay for it and avoid the fleets within fleets. As to the exact number the depends on how much we can afford to throw at it and it won't be cheap. Shuffling around a few people around on a sqn or creating a 'flying wing' won't do this. It needs serious money putting into it. Without opening a can of worms with regard to a/c carriers, have the navy decided they can man and deploy both at the same time? If so will there be a need to max out on F35 on both. Those sorts of decisions (and plenty of others) will drive how many a/c we will pay for to be deployable, both in terms of the a/c and the support required.


Yuck! BBC reports Kim Jun-un fell out with his Defence Minister who according to the text dozed off while the Supreme Leader was talking. To show his displeasure the Minister was taken to a weapon test range, put on a dais and in front of a packed audience totally obliterated by concentrated anti-aircraft fire from 8 or so multi-barrelled AA guns.

The report suggests that the increasing brutality of the reaction to minor annoyances is indicative that Kim's authority is fraying at the edges and he is looking for ever more violent ways to prove his power.

All I can say is that such barbarity is very unlikely to reduce any underlying dislike of the leader.


Not so much SDSR news as long term resourcing, but hope springs anew for a new generation Harpoon.


The EU Commission on migration today gave a press conference today outlining their plans to deal with the burgeoning migrant crisis , testing the water as it were before they consult the individual nations over the next month. They target accepting 20,000 genuine asylum seekers over the next 2 years across Europe at a cost of €50 million . Are they for real ? That's 10,000 per year at €2.5k each !



It's been interesting following the developments. They're really in a battle against Kongsberg now, with tube and VLS launching for JSM on the roadmap. Big question is whether the guidance/seeking/autonomy planned for Harpoon NG is going to be effective enough to compete with that on NSM/JSM and its inbuilt low observability given that the intended targets, range and warheads will be in the same ballpark? Can't help but feel Boeing needs to move forward with the warhead development and demonstrate the package fully themselves rather than wait for serious interest.


Not just the warhead (which ideally should be a derivative of the multi-effects warhead being trialled to offer both a penetrating and pure blast option) but the seeker. The battle between Harpoon and JSM is active radar seeker vs. IIR seeker (both having INS and GPS, presumably GAINS) - both very different. If Boeing is canny, they'll add an IIR seeker to the substantially larger Harpoon to give a true multi-targeting capability. An imaging laser would be even better - try defeating that with soft-kill!



On the use of the EU ,one arm I find that generally has bite is the Monopolies Commission. Compare the following list to the fine imposed on Egg Bank for deliberately miss selling the now infamous PPI by the then regulator FSA ( yes they new way way way back about it ) 40,000 customers were deemed miss-sold PPI and Egg were fined £721,000 ( that's seven hundred and twentyone thousand ) or £18 per customer who the made 5 times that profit on.


Britain's warning for Putin: UK troops take part in Estonia's largest ever military exercise yards from the border with Russia.


RAF Typhoons scrambled to intercept Russian spy plane in latest high tension flashpoint.

The Russians are making everyone's lives very busy at the moment.


as - ref Estonian exercise - I bet the British contingent and their political masters are stinging a bit after the Estonian defence minister slammed NATO's commitment to defence: "Mr Mikser also blasted the British government for failing to commit 2 per cent of GDP to defence spending, saying that while NATO had decreased spending by 20 per cent, Russia had increased it 50 per cent"



If you don't meet your annual quota of container information supply, TD gaps your capability.


Sorry guys but the CMA CGM Kerguelen is about as British as the Kia Cee'd owned by François Hollande.

I'm embarrassed, but then again, I suppose I should have been embarrassed when the Cee'd was used as the "reasonably priced car" in that top British BBC export.

Now, if I were Dictator, sorry I mean Prime Minister, I'd have had this built on the Mersey with Sheffield steel and Cornish tin - not sure what I could use the tin for but I'd use it all the same. I'd also try to incorporate some tungsten, antimony, and tellurium somewhere ;-)


British flagged = £1.5M per hour of revenue for the UK taxpayer. Who gives a **** where it was built?


According to the Smithy at a local museum (real work a chartered surveyor I think) something over 99% of all steel is from recycling. A tiny fraction is from new mined ore. So this big ship will have bits of our old broken up ships, bean-cans, glorious steam locos, and long-gone Morris Marinas embedded in its hull. What could be more British than that?


Perhaps there is some bits of Nimrod MRA4 in there :)



On a Sandy Bottom theme, Trinidad and Tobago have now ordered 6 x Damen 5009's in two flavours and 6 x DI 1002 interceptors.


Thanks ToC, interesting stuff isn't it


Sounding like the potential sale of 3 x Scorpène with tube-launched MBDA MdCN cruise missiles from France to Poland that's been discussed for a while has been authorised at the French end:

Russia won't be happy and has already threatened action.

Would be the second operator of the MdCN missile with France deploying them from A70's on their FREMM's so far.


Risk reduction contracts for JSTARS replacement given green light:

Thought the RAF/USAF officer exchange already included Sentinel operators for risk reduction? ;)

Shall we open a book?

- New build behemoth based on a four engine commercial airliner?
- Boeing built cut-down "I'm not a USN P-8 in disguise honest" USAF only 737?
- BizJet as specified, but based on a 605 to make it look different enough compared to a Sentinel to justify a completely new design program?
- USN manage to sell P-8's to the USAF (or to Congress) with an AAS
- Global Hawk gets the gig ($4b investment and U-2 tech transfers now approved)


Not defence related exactly, but an opinion piece from someone who seems to have travelled fairly extensively in Russia. Interesting context in which to consider Putin's current and future actions in.

We used to consider knowing your opponent to be an important factor.


TOC, thanks for that Poland piece.

Russian IADSs, with their reach, can turn the whole of the Baltic (save the non-relevant northern tip of it) into a no-go area, so a sub-launched cruise missile (stealthy?) is a logical counter.

Russia deployed their long-range artillery missiles into Kaliningrad. Poland got air-launched cruise missiles. Russia now pushing their air defences further forward, not only IADS but a base in Belorussia. Poland doubles up on the countermeasures
... this is starting to sound like an arms race; and very close to the heart of Europe. But we are an island, so never mind


Thanks Nick, quite accurate, in my view, that article.

At the bottom of it there is a link to the Nemtsov report, too, about the casualties of Russian regular forces in Ukraine.


Talking of Russia's new armaments, its interesting to look a bit closer at the T-14 that was on display earlier this month.

The first point is that there is a coverplate over the mantlet that limits elevation to something between 10 & 15 degrees. you have to believe that was a bit of dressing up for the world's press - covering up a ballistic weakness is the obvious reason, but maybe its not that. Next is the extreme height of the turret, not just along the centre where the breech would swing but out to normal turret width. But its not to make a good armour solution as the skirt of the casing stops maybe 250mm above the hull and what may be large bore smokes are fitted in the gap. But they are horizontal, not angled upwards, so not much use for sending smoke grenades a long way up-threat. Then there are deep recesses around the casing currently seemingly not occupied. The bustle is not high in itself but spaced a long way off the hull. Taken with the undercut on the flanks, were the casing primary armour then an opponent would have little difficulty targeting the turret ring. And to top it all off - literally - the remote sight is both big and high.

I am beginning to think that maybe the hull is representative, but the turret is a mock-up? Moreover a deliberately non-representative mock-up.

Especially since many arty images had been circulating that show essentially the same configuration (for example ) - note that the hull in these images is remarkably like the vehicle that was on parade. Maybe the real turret then would look more like the artists impression than like the gawky thing that we all saw on TV?



If the design wasn't finished, I could see why they might do that, but surely you'd chose to put something more impressive looking on display, that would seem to be a real hi-tech advance in design to get us all going. It seems to me that historically we (in public anyway) over-estimated the technical capability of Soviet tech. Even as a complete lay person, nothing in this design gives the impression that this is state of the art tech that would make you consider that our current tank force (such as it is) needs replacing.

I expect that they will have used the results of studying actual US equipment from Iraq or else where although, with espionage support. Perhaps they have found that Russian manufacturing equipment just cant make use of these materials without creating such a boxy design.

Apart from survivability (?), putting the entire crew alongside each other at the front seems particularly perverse choice to me.


Dynamic Mongoose

Underwater drones are for the future.
But for now one of the most important assets in any nation's armoury to conduct anti-submarine warfare is the long-range maritime patrol aircraft.



Nick - ref "nothing in this design gives the impression that this is state of the art tech that would make you consider that our current tank force (such as it is) needs replacing" - well there's one reason why the mock-up might have been intentionally unimpressive...



I wonder if its a Double or Triple bluff then (ie this is so 1980s, that I'm going to make you think my real secret design is so much better that you should really worry - followed by - but this is my real design, so more fool you).

I feel the need to add LOL and a :) for some reason !

I guess we'll have to wait until one turns up in Donets.



This could all be utter Russian propaganda balls, the truth or something in between - I read it on some another forum a week ago, but I've forgotten quite where - but...

What you've suggested are "large bore smokes" are apparently the (some of) the launchers for the tank's extensive active protection system and again, apparently, the projectiles of the protection system do not launch out of the flat, circular front of the "large bore smokes", but out of a small slot toward the front of the curved cylindrical face. The cylinders, apparently, can rotate to elevate the protection system's shot and each cylinder contains multiple rounds of protective shot.

Again, apparently, the sensors the active protection system relies on are radar transmit and receive modules that are the trapezoidal and rectangular objects housed in the recesses on the turret just above the protection system's launchers.

There is also apparently a separate set of sensors and projectile launchers on the top of the turret to defend against threats from the front and from above. I don't recall there being an explanation for the huge recess on the front of the turret behind the driver's head though. To house a classified optics package that was removed prior to the parade, perhaps?


Sorry guys, I feel I've been too hasty with my critique of CMA CGM Kerguelen.

You wise people have educated me that it actually supports British engineering. I'm a little surprised however that the RAF chose a 175,000 tonne MPA :-)


Before people get to excited about hawk doing close air support I suspect these Hawks maybe from 100sqn

"100 Squadron now operates in a mixed target facilities role along with exercise and training support which include WSO training, and dedicated aircraft to support the Joint Forward Air Controllers Training and Standards Unit."


First one looks a bit twitchy but after that it's steady as she goes:


In the noble aim of educating the young, the BBC have a series of lightweight information pages on various subjects. Here is one on WW1 submarines: Its very thin on detail, even by banal webpage standards, but what caught my eye was the silhouette of Astute in section 2 - my how much like the Soviet Typhoon (real name Akula) it is! Clearly the BBC use really informed people to produce the stuff educating our kids. On the same image it states the 'battery engines' produced hydrogen - wrong on two counts; they are motors not engines, and its the batteries not the motors that gas. But it does include the mandated reference to double deck buses so its met the BBC style guide. Bless.


Slightly more up-to-date, here is a piece on how the Russian media is casting Putin as an ordinary guy from the suburbs, no different from any other Russian citizen:

Clearly part of the media angle is to make the population warm to an ordinary person working hard rather than portraying him as an ex-KGB head with control over the Russian state that is absolute and verging on tyrannical. I think Stalin used the same 'just an ordinary Joe' image in the post war period? Just saying, like.

One of the facets of the re-branding is that to the Russian people their leader is the image of reasonableness, and in comparison the NATO states will be being portrayed as threatening and militaristic and 'on a march' towards Moscow having - um - taken? the ex-Warsaw Pact states and the Baltic states. Footage of the RAF bullying poor Russian aircraft going about their lawful business in international airspace will no doubt be regular items on Russian state TV.


Textron Scorpion has had test flight comparisons with an AT-6 by USAF Students with an average turnaround time of 31 minutes, flown a long leg down to South America:

Will debut at the Paris Airshow next month and then go on a European tour, including the UK.


Date for diary: Request for Proposals for AETD engines expected in June.


TOC - as GD have a major AFV manufacturing plant in Spain my money's on Piranha getting the contract. Because unlike UK, all other EU countries seem to manage to buy locally made kit even complying with EU free competition rules. Strange how the UK is the only state that doesn't value? trust? like? its own defence sector manufacturers more than those of other nations, and how as a result the UK no longer has strong defence exports.


Russia's unveiled a new destroyer design, Project 23560E Shkval:

Why have one integrated mast when you can stack three on top of each other?


' the UK no longer has strong defence exports.'

The UK still exports plenty of defence equipment, figures vary from year to year but it's consistantly in the top 5. We might not be knocking tanks out of factory gates left, right and centre but still have a strong export in defence sales.


Topman - I applaud all UK exporters, defence or otherwise, for trying to keep the nation's finances healthy. I would be interested to see how many companies in the defence sector exporting goods are UK owned and UK based - a UK based facility owned by another nation will create employment and generate a modest amount of revenue for the Chancellor, but the profit goes offshore and so does much of the business tax if I understand the Amazon model right. A UK owned business with production contracted out to cheaper foreign production plants will be taxed on profit but the employment and related income tax stays abroad. There are a few companies that are wholly UK (apparently) and doing well - RR aircraft engines and that fine bunch at Supacat for example, but the majority I can think of are incorporated in far off states.

I suspect the difference from our EU neighbours is a matter of commitment. I'm pretty sure you'd find in France that SNCF only have Alsthom built trains, and in Germany the DB only have Siemens built ones. Our new InterCity trains are? Hitachi. It seems to me other Governments have policies to buy from their own nation's businesses where the UK goes for cheapest windscreen sticker price even if employment, exports and tax revenues suffer because of it. I think the holistic approach is called 'investment'.


I'm not sure tbh, if it seems that way or is a matter of perception. Off the top of my head, Air France for example do buy boeings and I'm sure there are plenty of other examples. TD covers quite often smaller companies that are UK based and owned. As to the exact construct of many of the UK defence companies I can't say I've researched it but'll I bet it's far better than most think.

Just as a general point I think we as a nation do tend to look on the worse side of life*, I think it's a nationwide mentality.

*That's nothing at all personnal to you Chris, just a comment on people in general in the UK.


In defence of Hitachi, the 800 has involved UK design teams and the folks being hired in Durham to build them are British. Think we can proud of their move.

Similar story with Siemens Green Port in Hull and Nissan battery design and production via NMM (UK) in Sunderland. The companies may not sound British but the HQ's, teams and manufacturers here are.

In contrast I've been worried about RR for a while. The Qatar Trent deal is a much deserved shot in the arm, but if you look at supersonic engines they saw the F136 cancelled and have been on the fringes or frozen out of ADVENT and build up to AETD so far.

Hoping they have something up their sleeve for the anticipated AETD RFP mentioned above, a home-built advanced adaptive/hybrid engine being talked about in the F135 class is just the kind of endurance and performance that would take the likes of Taranis up to truly fearsome levels.


The Russian 'destroyer' seems to be covering all the bases' on one hull similar to the Arleigh Burke class. The mast seems to endeavouring to combine stealth with capacity with two 'bridge' window levels showing. At 15-18,000t it comes back to this definition thing of tonnage does not equate designation purpose does but still :-)


a "Global Surface Combatant" a la russe?


Whatever the Shkval is, a "destroyer" it ain't. That's a surface action group centrepiece, a bit like the Kirovs, or more likely the old Slava's.

Someone in their design bureau has been looking at too many old Japanese battleship pictures...


Spaceship Yamato was my first reaction too...


So Shkval is really quite tall with a large faceted structure in the middle, and T-14 Armata is really quite tall with a large faceted turret in the middle - seems the designers got the same memo.

Or is it this?


What the new "Arleigh Burkeski" will likely be escorting: The new Russian Super Carrier has been unveiled in more (model) detail:


NaB, how so on the Shkval? With that huge radar and I suspect an equally huge space for VLS in front of the bridge, I'm sure it can work as an air-defence destroyer as well. It might look like a WWII battleship, especially with the red paint job, but my gut call is air defence. Huge ass radar.


Delayed Hercules C-130J update underway but look how long it will take.
The Block 7 update will be rolled into the Block 8.1 to be completed by 2019?
Does this mean we will keep some for Special Forces and how many. Hard to save money if we retain Herc and move to A400M.



How much will the Raytheon weapon cost when they make it a powered weapon to compete with spear.


The clue is in the huge numbers of both SSM/LA missiles (60-70) and SAM (128) she carries which are in the article - you don't have to suspect them. That is a primarily offensive platform for the centrepiece of a SAG, not a ship whose role is primarily to screen other forces (eg a destroyer). That's why she's comparable to Kirov and exceeds the capabilities of Slava (or USS Long Beach for that matter).

That carrier is a bit ambitious as well. A lot of ship for a 20-cab strike package. The mini-ramp at the end of the angle will give them problems too.



A good point well made. Offset by adding a tri-mode?


How are they going to build a 100,000 ton super-carrier when they had to look to France to build them some Mistrals?



Don't know what's the tri mode do that the brimstone 2 seeker can't?


Good point. Think they can cram 60 anti-ship missiles in? Even the old Kirovs had 20(?) tubes of Shipwrecks I think? IIRC most of the Kirov's loadout was SAMs.


The Russians do have a big hill to climb to get a supercarrier and all that entails operational . And what's the use of one ? To maintain a constant availability at least two per theater of operations , so two in the Pacific , two out of Murmansk for Atlantic ops and a spare? So 4 to 5 at $5bn each plus $5bn of aircraft ( assuming Russian assembly costs not Western) so $40 to $50bn plus the support infrastructure . Its not to say they can't achieve it but is there a will? The Gerald Ford supporters in the US will be pleased anyway showing the 'obvious' need for global reach super carriers ;-)
They would do better building a lot of PAK FA/DA and getting their version of the Variable by-pass engine to work the built in the eighties for the Mig 1.44 prototypes giving them the over ocean range to project influence , it'll happen a lot sooner than these carriers being operational in what 20years time?


@ Challenger re "how"

The same as before, have them built in Ukraine (even the one for India was refurbed there, even though it was a Russia/ India deal).

On that topic, how many of the heavy airlifters were actually built in Russia (rather than in Ukraine)?



Just infrared alongside the MMR and laser options.


x3 Chinooks are on their way back to the UK from India.



Very disappointing that the country's population seems in desperate need chinook would of been ideal. Rumours of Indian and Chinese political involvement.

Toc thanks


@ Mark

TBH no inside info on this one, but something is amiss when it was cleared with them beforehand. Now we are sending them home. I can understand their concern about downdraft from them, but they would still have a role, limited but still useful. Sad especially when there is so many in need.


Top, IIRC the first responder teams are all on their way back, our Civil Def teams came back from Nepal on Wed or so. More likely that they think they got all that can be saved and are handing over to the NGOs for longer term rebuilding.


What's the point of Russia having a Navy?
They're not going to be invading anyone by sea.

Still, let them waste their money.


A relic of the Great Game, the Russian Navy used to be pretty decent, ranked 4th in the world until they bumped into the Japanese. These days, it is used more in the hope of keeping US carriers away from their shores than foreign adventures. Defensive tool and prestige. And there is Russia's Far East coastline which IMO is where most of the Russian Navy should be based, if the facilities there were up to par, which I suspect is not. Russia is huge, even bigger than China, but a lot less developed.


They only need a submarine fleet, for power projection. Much like we only need a submarine fleet. A few thousand sailors, scrap the surface floating targets.


Osborne says to spell out new plans for economy on July 8

'That means deep savings will have to be found in welfare spending and public services as they pursue their plan to fix Britain's still-weak public finances.'

Is there any point in a new SDSR?


"(even the one for India was refurbed there, even though it was a Russia/ India deal)."

Errr. No. Gary Google "Severodvinsk". It's a little bit north of Ukraine.......

Their big ships were however traditionally built on the black sea.


@David Niven
So long as Osbourne by the North , the Barnett formula already favour Scotland at 115% per capita compared to England 97% per capita.


@ Observer

I was just talking about the a/c that got sent but never used.


Top I know. Technically, they never reached Nepal, but look at the timeline. They were sent last week, but the first responders were all packing up to come home by then. I think it was both due to the airport damage and that they were sent late when everyone was packing up.


UK Seeks To Turn Soldiers Into Businessmen

Known as the Acquisition Support Partner (ASP) program, the deal could be worth up to £30 million (US $47 million) for the successful company, as the Ministry of Defence rolls out a plan aimed at improving the business skills of military and civil personnel newly tasked with controlling the individual budgets of Britain's four frontline commands.


Prince Harry offers opinion that conscription would be good for the country and its youngsters:


Chris, I'd have to agree with that, beyond the personal character building aspects, the army also lets people travel overseas where you get a broader worldview as well as being a bonding process for any new immigrants to integrate into society. I also noticed that people that finished serving tend to be a bit less wild. I suspect they learned to cope better with boredom while in the service.


IS are using Libyan migrants as cover to smuggle terrorists into Europe:

As if we hadn't worked that out already. Apparently IS are both operating trafficking cells and running a protection racket on those it doesn't run to increase their funds, also using their control to insert their terrorists into the human cargo desperately fleeing IS oppression.

A while back when the large fishing vessel sank right next to the merchant vessel trying to help with the loss of several hundred refugees I suggested that the Captain (who was local Libyan or Algerian) may not have had control of his vessel and the Syrian 'first officer' who might well have been IS may have deliberately scuttled the vessel and killed the refugees just to ensure Europe reacted with more rescue capability and wider open doors to all the refugees - and to all the stowaway terrorists, which would have been the primary reason.

There is no good answer. IS is a cancer; its a danger to all fair-minded good people but it cannot be easily detected as it looks exactly like the ordinary law-abiding folk from which it recruits. Moreover much recruiting is through smartphone and internet without any knowledge of the nearest in the community. If the cancer does not recede due to targeted measures (cyber-intelligence, CT monitoring, destruction of key enablers) then the fair-minded good peoples in the world might turn to blunt surgery to cut the threat from their midst, and that would be violent and bloody and a lot more than just the cancer would be destroyed. Let's hope and prey the targeted measures succeed.


Heck, the cadet organisations do a pretty good job with the young, surprised youth organisations aren't pushed harder.


WiseApe - I like the idea of airships but the use of Helium is (in my opinion) not the way forward. Helium is now quite hard to come by - lots already lost to the upper atmosphere as a result of industrial processes, airships. weather balloons, and millions of Hen Night party balloons. So its already an expensive and dwindling resource. I suggest there would be better value in determining how to safely use Hydrogen as the buoyancy mechanism. It can't be beyond the wit of engineers to create lightweight buoyancy tanks that are robust enough to withstand a brief whoompf should a neighbouring tank go pop?


@Chris - Yes an odd choice given that these are intended as cargo carriers so no need to pander to the fears of Joe Public. Perhaps the investors are sitting on a helium stockpile?


Well this should liven the trident debate up

that security and safety procedures around the Trident nuclear submarines are inadequate.
The investigation was launched after the claims were made by a submariner who has since gone on the run.


worth a quick read. It implies the UAE deal isn't dead (with a big IF) and Saudi might want more Typhoon.


Well Able Seaman McNeilly has well and truely put the cat amongst the pigeons.


Tyler's pulled together a nice overview of the High Velocity Projectile being developed for Railguns, 155mm artillery/AGS and 5" guns.

Coming to a Type 26 near you soon. Maybe.


Has anyone seen any pics of the Border Force Cutters in the Med?


Not strictly defence related, but Sir Anthony Bamford has declared the UK would be no worse off outside the EU: (This mirrors a statement by a business organisation last week who said something like "Whether we are in the EU or not, Britain remains a fantastic place to do business".)

The defence aspect I suppose is that our foreign policy would look different and our national interests might swing to new parts of the globe, requiring new tasks from our military?


USMC MV-22B crashed yesterday with one fatality and twenty-one injuries. Not a good month for US rotary craft operators:


TOC - now the V22 is getting a bit older I begin to wonder about the carbon-fibre durability issues voiced when it was still in development. All sorts of fears about fatigue in high-stress laminates, issues made much worse by impact damage with the edges of any hole suffering delamination in buffeting airflow. I trust wood; I trust metal. I'm not so trusting of brittle laminates...


Jules, did he just say 'game changing space'

The Other Nick

USMC MV-22B crash

Hawaii News Now video of actual crash


Start of an EU Navy? Built around two Mistrals by any chance?


Chris, isn't plywood itself a form of laminate? :) It worked fine in WWII.


Obs it is, except the layers are organic flexible tough matrices of fibres - nature has a way of making things that we ever-so-slightly arrogant humans think we can do better, except we can't. Like I said above, I can and do trust wood, I can't trust highly stressed resin-fibre laminates.



Mobile changes cracking on Android. Speedy and readable.

The Other Nick

A400M Crash 8th May

If my interpretation of Google translation of report is correct the software shutdown 3 of the 4 engines.


TON - odd they should describe it a quality problem, as if someone failed to torque a nut down, when its a software issue? I put all software problems down to 'design' as there is rarely an issue reproducing the designed software accurately. Interesting if a bit scary that the engine controllers shut down when sent contradictory command data (presumably on separate buses from separate FMCs?) where I would have thought the most benign reaction of the FADEC (if still an appropriate label) would be to carry on doing what the last trusted command demanded.


More Russian fantasy fleeting. Hot on the heels of their next carrier comes plans for their next AAW Destroyer. They're hoping for 12 - I wonder how many they'll have to make do with:


Not sure if this video has been posted before - it's Sea Venom, the "heavy" one:


I've posted it before, and I'll post it again. This general election result is near as damn the best result for defence spending, that we could have dreamed of.

Maintaining 2% / adequate defence spending is ingrained in a Tory backbencher's DNA. Because the majority government is so small, (only an informal 8 seat majority) the Backbenchers are going to have alot of power over the next 5 years. Look at John Majors final term in office for the precedent.

Following this, because the Tories can be trusted to get the economy going, and with defence spending remaining at around 2%, we would be forgiven for 'confidently hoping' that defence spending will actually increase over the next term. I aren't saying that it will increase enough to fund a purchase of 150 F-35, but it will be enough to ease the amount of tough decisions that we would otherwise have had to of made.

Whether the money get's spent on gold plated equipment, or bringing army manning back up, who know's?


WiseApe, wonder if you could fit a booster to it to make it as long range as say a Harpoon.

Does anyone know if it rail or drop launched, could you fire it from inside an aircraft rather than Pylon i.e. the F35B bomb bay


Indeed, they are constructing the HMSS (Humongous Misguided Space Ship) Sturgeon, just North of the Border in a secret location marked only by two rather large Scottish Mafia horses heads. It is said to be powered by PSSSD (Political Seizmic Shift Stealth Drive), which allows it to completely isolate itself (Make itself invisible) or appear so small and insignificant that it will be deemed by the rest of the universe not worth bothering with...



Jane's confirmed it will still be drop launched, however I've not seen anything to suggest it can be dropped into a high subsonic or supersonic airstream yet.

Couple of edits.

Drop-launch source:


Some light reading a few may be interested in.

USA heavyweight air defence (GMD program) investment:

ST Kinetics to go into production with the (Gibbs) Humdinga amphibious 4x4:

BAE bidding the SuperAV 8x8 for the revamped USMC Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) program:


"...make it as long range as say a Harpoon." - That would also make it as long ranged as Exocet and, since it's part paid for by Les Blues, sod all chance of that.

What's this about a Russian spy plane overflying Lancashire today? Apparently allowed under the "Open Sky Treaty" three times per year.


Treaty on Open Skies 2002

Low-flying Russian spy plane spotted just miles from top secret NATO monitoring station and British warplane factory - and it has UK permission to do so!

Read more:

The Russians seem to be taking full advantage of the treaty.


As are we, performing our own flights over Russia.


Out of interest what do we perform our own Open Skies flights in since the Andover was retired?



I don't know, sorry. Topman may be the best to ask?


@ChesireCat lucky for you I happened to have the same thought the other day and dug this up;

We're borrowing them basically.


Andover. From a civvie point of view they looked quite useful - sort of airborne 4-tonners. Once A-400M takes over from C-130, what will do the general delivery work that the light cargo planes did?


Thanks Chuck . . . another capability we're relying on somebody else to provide then!


That's good news on many fronts.


@ChesireCat:Yup not being able to get our own planes into Russia even with an invite is a bit of a shambles.

I'm sure someone will argue it's cheaper just like the pipeline we just sold for 80 mil(to Spain) then rented back for 20mil a year. :goddammitIneedarolleyesemote:

@Chris: Same people who do it now. Local contractors and ridiculously sized, highly exposed and predictable RLC convoys.


Interesting development in Australia's Collins-class replacement (SEA 1000). ThyssenKrupp willing to buy the Australian ASC shipyard if they're selected:


Chuck - strange how a BAe ATP upgrade wasn't performed to keep Andover sweet for a couple more decades (until the 90t payload anti-gravity aerostat that RT has in his garage enters service).


I'd normally say something sarky about common sense and procurement but I think that it came down to timing this time.

When the ATP line closed in '96, Britain was at peace and of course would forever remain at peace it also had a functioning MPA. So the important but unglamorous cargo plane and it's nice economical MPA version never got a look in.


@TD: Having trouble seeing new comments on this page I think it's a pagination(or lack there of) problem. It's acting like the comments are being posted to the next page but there's no link for it.

Changing the sort order seems to fix it. Even if you change it back.

Comment count is 50 off as well, not sure if that's related.

Quick Edit: Last comment always shows as the 150th(as listed over the avatar).


Need to remove:


From the url when comments exceed the page count.

Difference in comment number looks to be due to spam/deleted comments.


The total resources allocated by the State to the defence budget over the period 2015-2019 amounted to € 162.41 billion. € 3.8 billion more compared to the initial trajectory of the LPM 2014-2019. Jean-Yves Le Drian has obtained a supplementary budget of € 3.8 billion during the updating of the LPM, a date originally scheduled end of the year but has been advanced due to the high level terrorist threats.

However the ministry has already won his bet to export the Rafale, a gamble that weighed € 4 billion on LPM and the FREMM program. France has materialised in export orders from Dassault Aviation combat aircraft to Egypt and Qatar and soon in India. Similarly, the delivery of a FREMM to Egypt in 2015 to optimize the charge of relevant projects and alleviate the budget. After € 4.7 billion of order intake in export in 2012 and 6.9 billion in 2013 and finally 8.2 billion in 2014, we could exceed € 15 billion in 2015.

The Ministry of Defence with the supplementary budget of € 3.8 billion will spend € 2.8 billion to the downsizing of 18,750 posts on the 33,675 initially planned. This amounts will be devoted to staffing and operating costs associated with these jobs. In addition, the new contract "Protection" involves the deployment for at least one year 7,000 men from the land forces in the country, and can reach up to 10,000 people for a month.

Furthermore, additional € 500 million will devolve on the 2016-2019 maintenance of equipment, experienced by many external operations. Currently, 9,000 men and 25 combat aircraft engaged in external operations, against 7,000 men and 12 aircraft initially planned. Finally, € 500 million, which must be added € 1 billion budget redeployments due to favorable economic indicators (inflation, for example) are provided for the purchase of new equipment.

With this budget of € 1.5 billion, armies have already planned to purchase seven additional attack helicopters Tigre and increased delivery speeds NH90 for ground forces (with the purchase of 6 additional NH90) to accelerate the adaptation of the fleet of helicopters to the requirements of air-land operations in the Sahel-Saharan particular. In addition, the ministry will forward the delivery of the last three MRTT tanker aircraft for deliveries staggered between 2018 and 2025, in order to control the risk of a crash of a current fleet of KC135 whose average age is 51 years.

The ministry is currently studying the provision of four C130, including two equipped to refuel in flight helicopters. They must respond to the increased need for mobility in the theaters due to excessive trading and strong elongation of the Sahel-Saharan strip. There are also plans for two armament C130 (air-ground missile Griffin Raytheon). In addition, the Air Force program to purchase 25 new laser designation pods TALIOS for Rafale and Mirage 2000 pursuant to strengthen its response capacity.

Moreover, this envelope will help to advance the midsize Frigate program (FTI), complementary of FREMM, with a target of first delivery in 2023 to the Navy. In the transition phase that will accompany the delivery of these new frigates, stealth frigates FLF will be renovated over their technical shutdowns. This renovation will include the addition of a sonar.

The Navy also got delivery of a fourth type of ship B2M (multimission ship) to strengthen the capacity of France to enforce its sovereignty in the south-east of the Indian Ocean and to be based in Reunion. Finally, it is expected the acquisition of four BSAH ship in total (Building Support and Assistance Hauturier) in support of the action of our naval resources in monitoring our maritime approaches metropolitan.

The information is not forgotten. The resources will be strengthened to deal with the current threat. More than 650 additional people will join the intelligence services while nearly 520 people reinforce staffing in cydersécurité activities. This recruitment of the 2014-2019 period is an amplification of our efforts in cyber defense, to monitor the practices of our opponents in the digital space and strengthening organisations and analytical and monitoring capabilities.

France is strengthening its space observation capabilities with the acquisition of a third satellite, in cooperation with Germany in the MUSIS program. It will acquire a ROEM payload (Origin of Electromagnetic Intelligence) to strengthen the capacity of Reaper drones. Which will strengthen the support of the soldiers in operational theaters.


@TOC: That work around works too. I don't think it's a spam thing. There are 200+ actual comments, it's just only showing 150.


testing testing testes.


@TD: Sorted. TYVM.

Next bug; as you might have just noticed when I tried; google integration isn't great. Edit profile just link's back to the front page. Which I'm guessing is where I need to go to change the display name from 'google user' Can't see anything in google's own option page.



Thank you for the update.

Any more news from your end of the Scorpène and MdCN deal with Poland?


Another test. Twitter this time. Same edit profile problem. See if I get a proper name. :P

Also I'm now an Englishman who is now envious of the French. I believe some form of ritual suicide is now required if I remember the rules.


@The Other Chris

Nothing new since March 2015 ! Poland has launched a tender between France and the US, we expect.


Thanks for that as. It's a shame the Ruskies didn't over fly Lancashire yesterday - they could have photographed unbroken grey cloud :-)


I don't know if this has been narrated on Think Defence?

Warsaw has selected Airbus Helicopters facing the US Sikorsky and AgustaWestland Anglo-Italian to manufacture 50 multi-role transport helicopter, for a market estimated between € 2 and 3 billion.

Is now open for a period of tests, Caracal, unless disaster, leading to the signing of the contract before the end of the year, according to local press.

To win, Airbus did not hesitate to promise to make Poland the fifth European pillar of the group, alongside France, Germany, Spain and the UK. The tender required the winner to assemble helicopters on site. Sikorsky, which already has a Black Hawk factory for export, thus leaving with some benefit from this view, as AgustaWestland, well established in the country where he had bought in 2010 the only manufacturer Polish helicopters.

Airbus therefore mobilize all of its resources, ensuring that if selected, the maximum workload would be transferred. Besides the assembly line, which will be established through a joint venture with WZL, Airbus will set an engineering office in Lodz, and enjoy the local mechanical know-how to integrate the Polish SMEs in the worldwide list of its subcontractors. Main supplier of its turbines, Turbomeca (Safran group), which is already well established, will strengthen its presence in the process.

By adding maintenance perspectives or civilian machine assembly, Airbus is on track to secure a manufacturing presence for decades. But, provides group leader, it is also because it met better than its two competitors to the needs of the Polish army that wants a device in several versions - land transport, naval, and rescue - the Caracal was retained.

The suite will be played in a few months because Warsaw wants to acquire 34 attack helicopters. The game looks very tight against the AH 64 Apache Boeing single machine with Airbus Tiger to play in the high-end search. The procedure is, for now, only at the request for information.

For MBDA and SAMP / T system, however, the game is over. Vying with Thales to modernize the Polish missile defense, the subsidiary Airbus, BAE and Finmeccanica lost to the American Raytheon and its famous Patriot. Bronislaw Komorowski, Polish President said that his country would soon finalize the tender valued at five billion dollars.

While MBDA and Thales have played their card fully, again promising significant industrial benefits, the game was very difficult, Washington has deployed Patriot batteries on site. For such a strategic armament, Warsaw would have been difficult to do without the US umbrella. By distributing the Americans and the Europeans, Warsaw has obviously made a very political choice.


@Frenchie: I note you are thinking about buying C130's for SF tasks...the multi-decade boondoggle that is the A400 just keeps giving and giving :-(

Too late now....


Yes Wf, the A400M can not refuel in flight helicopters. It is a pity.


There are massive arguments in favour of commonality but running against that is the risk of total fleet grounding and 'common' aircraft being used for the wrong purpose. I am strongly of the view that we should maintain a mixed fleet for strategic airlift of 30-35 C17 / A400m. We should then have a decent fleet of robust tactical transports for SF, utility stuff intra UK / theatre and MPA on BOTs at least - possibly add gunship / intel to that. The C130J is already in situ so is the obvious choice for that. The C295 is a decent aircraft but possibly too short legged / small for all those tasks (and we don't currently operate it). Open to other suggestions


No worries CChuck, you just committed "social" suicide with that confession. Repent ye sinner!


Regarding the reorganization of the french army, the objective is to find consistency, ease of operation, while keeping the strong principles that are the identity of the army: the division, the brigade, the regiment, the company remain.

The simplified command (3 level general officers), the model is strengthened and gaining weight two functions, air combat and special forces.

The new model is tightened with 6 brigades (the removal of one brigade), 7,000 soldiers each on average, 7 regiments each.

The heart consists of two combat divisions composed each of 3 brigades. One armored brigade will be dedicated to high-intensity combat; one median brigade for mobility, one light brigade : alpine or paratroopers.

Note the creation of a brigade ALAT (Light Air Army). The third dimension has become absolutely necessary to any commitments, whether in France or outside. This new brigade with its General Staff will be dedicated to aero-fight goshawks 3 functions: One for tactical transport, one for mixed operations, ie ground support and the last will be in charge of helicopters in the national territory.

A new brigade that makes sense, given that over the decades and needs, helicopters capabilities have greatly increased. The Army implements nearly 350 helicopters and is the largest employer in this sector in France. A raised time, drones remain Intelligence and ground to air artillery. The 3rd BLB (3rd Light Armored Brigade Clermont-Ferrand) should be dissolved, but could become the shell that will host this new brigade ALAT, ideally located in the heart of France.

As expected, the format will be 77 000 soldiers. Either a hard freeze deflations that touched the army, lowering it to 66 000 men. With unsustainable external operations (RCA, Sahelo-Saharan strip) and Sentinel domestic operation. The revision of the LPM Law shall enact the new format, fix the mistake of LPM 2013.

The reinforced earth first Recruiter France already 10,000 soldiers search a year. It will add 5000 more. Two dynamic will be implemented: conserve resources or retrieve soldiers under contracts who have left the army. Expand recruitment while maintaining quality, allowing the corps commander to conduct direct recruitment.

Gloomy Northern Boy

As Daesh continue to advance towards Damascus and Baghdad, that loud droning noise you can hear is the European political class sticking their fingers in their ears, covering their eyes and going "la-la-la-la..." in near perfect unison.

Even more depressing, my personal bucket list is about to be shortened by the imminent demolition of Palmyra, one of the most important archaeological sites on earth...which includes the Camp of the Emperor Diocletian...shame neither He nor the Legio I (Illyricorum) are still around... :-(

Quite remarkably Gloomy


@Gloomy Northern Boy
This is a tragedy, but we are in a period where we are unable to act, we have too guard down after the fall of the Iron Curtain.


Gloomy - that la-la-la-la is the sound of Political Correctness. None dare do anything for fear of transgressing some irrelevant invisible and as yet undefined boundary of human rights protocol. Much better then to let a godless barbarous hoard destroy all evidence of our common history so they might replace it with a fiction of their own making*. At some point you would think the free peoples of the world would man up, but that requires principles backbone unity and resolve. So as each horror stacks upon the last, the step is judged to be not quite enough to trigger a proper slap-down. We are back to the same set of arguments that were covered in the CASD thread - just what would be bad enough to press the nuclear button?

*And of course butcher all who disagree with them, dress wrong, pray wrong, or look a bit like they might just possibly in the dim future contemplate doing any such thing.

Gloomy Northern Boy

...gets better and better...according to the Torygraph, Finland have dropped 900,000 Reservists a post-card reminding them where they need to report should war break out...any Finns out there able to corroborate and indicate the significance of same?

Elsewhere in the T'graph on line, you can prioritise your favourite Tory Manifesto policy pledge...but unfortunately neither Defence nor Foreign Policy make the long list to select from.

The only bright spot on my horizon is that my local Barbours, tweeds and shooting outlet have a Webley Mark VI in the window...some sort of fancy air-gun apparently, but looks and feels surprisingly good...and I have a birthday coming up, and a twelve-foot wall at the bottom of the garden. :-)



Noticed the cover of the daily telegraph, the BoB anniversary Typhoon in formation with a BoB era Hurricane..."Spitfire and Typhoon in (sic) tribute"

Face palm a plenty. Even in today's media, over shadowed!

With Finland, assembling/motivating reserve forces is all well and good; but what if - like Ukraine, supported insurrection happens? That seems to be the "Russian way" of messing around atm. Any direct military action would be pretty damaging for them, although if they wanted to, they'd be in Helsinki within a week.

Its more posturing - note that a few months ago Poland did the same thing as the Finns are now; gotta hand it to them though, at least they have the capacity (Putin can't ignore that with reserves; they have about 1 million troops) and motivation to be proactive.



that Finland notification campaign has to be seen in the context of mobilisation strength having dropped by abt 200.000 over the last decade. Quite a few that do not get summoned to reserve formation rehearsals assume that they have dropped off the radar... when in fact they have been assigned to local defence units. The assault rifles (e.g) have been unchanged since the early 60's, so you will have to be over 70 to have lost "the knowledge" ... just joking ( they won't get called up)


mike, to support an insurrection, you must first have 1) an unhappy population and 2) a population that is used to change of government by force. Finland is hardly in a position to be at risk with these factors.

I don't see what is the big deal with mobilizations, it's only journalistic fearmongering that is imputing all these sordid motivations to something that is done so commonly. Every year, the million of us in Singapore get mobilized for refresher courses too but you don't see anyone making a big deal out of it.


Crowsnest winner announced by MOD ... looks like an upgraded version of the iconic 'baggers' from the current Sea King ASAC MK7 a mechanically scanned aradar rather than the Elbit electronically scanned radar...thoughts everyone?


Why have two Elbits when the solution can be achieved with one (radar)?


Shame. Limited growth and export potential.


@TOC.... Export from Israel i believe?... Always thought Thales UK would win - jobs, keeping UK tech and industry in radar development and research.
Any info on upgraded radar and why it has limited growth ?
Would it be possible to do an upgrade by replacing the front plate with an electronicaly scanned version ala Typhoon?
Sorry if talking obllocks just interested in pros, cons, and why they've arrived at this solution.


Uncharacteristically the MOD secured IP rights to Crowsnest. Also think Elbit were looking at UK manufacture (in Wales?).

Can't see the USMC, or anyone else, running a baggie (V-22 MASC/TOSS the only other half-reasonable configuration). The side rack is quite bespoke to an AW101 when compared to a milspec external stores pylon reducing the number of potential platforms further.

Unit numbers will therefore remain in the single digits with no demand other than from a sole customer to push the solution further.

Searchwater is a cracking piece of kit mind, lower risk, well established, known way of "doing things", lower cost (but not really in grand scheme of things). CERBERUS and Searchwater might be able to handle an antenna switch to an AESA, but only if the back ends have moved on significantly from where it was in the Project 2000 days.

Utterly understandable MOD choice, I'm happy we will have have a top notch solution moving forward as this was always a WIN-WIN competition for the UK regardless of direction, but a missed opportunity I feel. Think we're too cautious at times.


Sign-off on decision allegedly achieved the week before the election.

Suspect the main drivers were risk (or rather risk-aversion) and quite probably one eye on the proven overland capabilities to secure extra (tri-service) support.

As for export, I wouldn't rule out the Italians. The Japanese also operate Merlin, although not as a pinger. They might fancy something to operate off those oversize "destroyers" of theirs, also opening up a common pinger/bagger fit.......


@TOC ... Cheers for that info... interesting comment on Cerberus, is it a spiral development of software and/or hardware (eg by increasing processing power) allowing it to process and disseminate greater volumes of information particularly to F35 and back to the carriers via LINK 16/22 or is it fixed at the current standard ?


Always thought the Italians were married to their fixed domes and wouldn't countenance anything asymmetrical!

Been told over lunchtime that the Thales rotating rail isn't as bespoke as I thought and does run off the existing services.



Large number of trimarans on display at IMDEX. Do know why they're so popular in Indonesia and surrounds?


Probably because they didn't get the memo......

More seriously, if you want high speed, lots of deck area, relatively small size and are prepared to operate close inshore for relatively short periods, tri's (or other other high-speed forms) come into their own. If on the other hand, you're less fussed about high-speed, need to operate in the deep ocean (or far from home) for extended periods, you tend to need to take kit and people with you. Which (particularly with Western accommodation standards) means below deck space - at which monohulls of a certain size bring much more easily than multihulls once you get above a certain length.

Which is why T26 has the correct number of hulls.......


Heh heh. Grateful for the insight, thank you.



Apologies for 20 questions. What are your thoughts on BAE preserving both Govan and Scotstoun? Right move from your point of view?


Suggests to me that the RoI on £200M was insufficient and they've gone for a halfway house. Depends what that halfway house looks like in detail I suppose. Govans advantage is that it can build larger units and launch larger ships, compared to Scotstoun, but it can't erect units on berth under cover, which means your outfitting and coatings prep and application can suffer.

Scotstoun has most of the outfit workshops and offices, but is very limited in its ability to build large units, move them around and erect them. Hence the idea for the large covered dock, which was the major part of the "Frigate Factory", but that would be a major civ eng investment.

I could see Govan becoming a steel manufacturing facility, shipping sub-units to Scotstoun for erection into units and outfitted blocks, with subsequent consolidation in Scotstoun. MIght even be via covering their existing dock.


Not sure if this has been posted yet....

Good to finally see some movement, with a planned in-service date of 2018 it really has to be full steam ahead to meet the deadline.

What they really need is those 8 HM1's upgraded and added to the fleet. Is it too late to utilize them?

30 HM2's to provide 9 air-frames for CVF, individual ones for the frigate fleet, clutches of 3 or so at the moment for humanitarian work in West Africa and now the Med as well as maintenance, training etc is too much, all that pressure will run a very specialized and expensive fleet into the ground.


Indian defence minister draws line at 36 Rafales

In multiple interviews to TV channels to mark the completion of the government's first year in office, Parrikar said the money India had saved by acquiring 90 fewer Rafales would be diverted to buying 200-odd indigenous Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).


Despite the Tejas having around 53 performance deficiencies requiring waivers for IOC, half of which won't ever be corrected?

And I'm not even being facetious this time.

EDIT: 53 waivers, 20 permanent:


An insight into the kind of exchanges going on in the South China Sea region and an interesting look at a limited number of systems onboard a P-8:


Recce by big trucks. Must be the new version of stealth - using something so wildly inappropriate that the opposition refuse to believe it could possibly be true.

A Caribbean Perspective

"A HUGE Wigan army truck has been grounded after blackbirds took up home in it"

Wigan has it's own army?



Regarding Rafale and Tejas.

Is the decision to buy only 36 due to the Indians wanting Dassualt to sign off the airfcraft manufactured in India and Dassualt (rightly) refusing? Maybe they should bin Tejas and MMRCA altogether and see if they can get an arrangement with SAAB to assemble Grippen from kits to build up their aircraft industry?


I hope the programme goes well along with the Bell V-280. It would be interesting to see how these technologies compare against each other.


Another arms non-deal of the century... the constant factor seems to be India in them. The only unusual circumstance seems to be bribery (or alleged such) not being part of the story.

Imagine how many Tejas more they can buy by binning the PAK-FA two-seater (Indian) version?

I have held before that one of the reasons for going Rafale is that it is nuclear capable (something which is being neutered from the ones headed for Egypt, but never even mentioned in the India context). This only comes third in the list from 2012 (by, excerpt below) analysing why Rafale won. However, as insurance against the PAK joint prgrm going nowhere it may have risen in the priorities since. Purchasing only 36 (albeit sharing kit with the refurbed Mirage 2000s) sounds like a low number, without a special reason. And that reason is not the Indian carriers:

" the Eurofighter partner nations posed an even thornier problem: in case of war, German law prohibits deliveries of weapons and spares, Italian law and public opinions would demand an embargo, while Spanish legislation is murky. What would happen, Indian politicians must have wondered, if after buying the Eurofighter they went to war? Would spares and weapons be forthcoming, or would they be embargoed? The political risk was obviously too big to take.

Weapons also played a significant role in persuading India to opt for Rafale: not only is its weapons range mostly French-made, and thus not subject to a third-party embargo, but so are all of its sensors. Eurofighter, whose air-to-air missiles include the US-made AIM-120 Amraam and the German-led IRIS-T, and whose primary air-to-ground weapon is the US-made Paveway, was obviously at a competitive disadvantage in this respect.

Furthermore, the Rafale is nuclear-capable and will replace the Mirage 2000N in French service as the carrier of the newly-upgraded ASMP/A nuclear stand-off missile; it is also capable of firing the AM-39 Exocet missile, giving it an anti-ship capability that its competitors do not have. India is also interested in fitting its BrahMos supersonic missile to a wide range of its combat aircraft, and Rafale could apparently carry it. "


ACC - a good summary of the downsides of multi-nation defence products. Everyone gets a veto, no-one gets authority.



The nuclear/maritime strike aspect is interesting and could explain the reason for going ahead with a purchase of just 36 after the initial desire to obtain a fleet of 126 with 90 locally produced.


An article from RUSI on the state of MBT's in Western Europe ( as opposed to Russia)
Germany had over 5000MBT's now in the low hundreds , we were never so blessed but wow !


I'm curious about what Dr Akaltin thinks are the fundamental flaws with the Leclerc and the Ariete that are not evident in the Leopard 2 and Challenger 2.
He has a point, although he seems fixated on the air portability requirement that has bedevilled other AFV programmes over the last few years. I would think that it would be enough if you could bring the vehicle down to a transportable weight rather than limiting the combat weight to something that fits on an aircraft. After all, the Puma in maximum combat weight doesn't fit on an A400M


"Accordingly, one of the core functions of any future European MBT or heavy-weapons carrier will be the support of infantry forces on the battlefield."
- curiously, if you make a comparison between the main MBTs in the West, Chally2 is starting to approximate the Matilda in the relative line up... So, the man says we are on the right path


Seems a bit backward to me, tying down MBTs to the slow infantry instead of using them as the fast hard hitters that they are. That is why armour units are separate from infantry units, to play to their strengths, not combine their weaknesses.


An interesting little article.

For NATO, a Cloudy Future

'WASHINGTON — The future of European military power isn't in a next-generation jet or a specialized unmanned system, according to a pair of top incoming NATO officials. Instead, the future is in that nebulous, if crucial, technology commonly referred to as the cloud.'


So it finally becomes the non-deal of the century that it was always destined to be?
Indian Polotics and MOD makes ours look really very good, pleased the French did not cave in and pander to all of India's demands out of desperation to sell. Despite my Typhoon bias, the Rafale is a good plane and deserves to sell on it's own merits, Knowing as I do that there is not really a defence deal done these days that does not include some under carpet shenanigans...


I'm not sure that the intent is that the tanks are restricted to moving in support of infantry on foot, at foot speeds, but that the tanks are as part of an armoured formation, providing direct support to the infantry when they dismount. A combined arms approach rather than the cavalry misconception


Tejas is a failure in my opinion but of such national importance, cannot be allowed to go under in the same way that the F35 cannot, they are not the same scale but F35 has it's problems too but no doubt they will all be corrected or swept under the carpet, not so Tejas, basically they've made a light Mirage 2000 but not well...


I'd agree with that but I would worry about India getting such a good plane and how by probably crashing it a lot do it a dis-service! I used to work in retail and learned early that it's better to have "Some" people not be customers anymore...


Lord Dannat calling for discussions on deploying a fully supported Brigade as part of an international coalition to start turning IS back:

Can we still sustainably deploy a fully supported Division any more?


Lord Dannat might want, but he might not get:

Comments are closed.


Open Thread 20

by Think Defence time to read: <1 min