How far inland are the targets that NATO is striking in and around Misrata?
How far offshore are NATO surface combatants?
How much is it costing to mount continuous air operations to interdict low-value targets like rocket launchers and technicals?
How long between target acquisition and strike using land-based or even sea-based aviation, assuming it is not hanging around 24×7?
How much would this solution cost?
1. A navalised UAV that could provide persistent coverage over the target area for target acquisition and designation, launched and recovered from a frigate, amphib or similar
2. A non-navalised UAV flying from land bases and able to offer the same as 1
3. A weaponised combination of 1 and/or 2
4. A navalised version of the 70km GMLRS or 300km ATACMS or simply parking the land version on a flight deck
Why does the UK not have this because when the total bill is totted up, it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than Harriers and carriers or Tornadoes and airbases?
Are we in danger of pricing ourselves out of the market?