The French Defence White Paper

I am going to keep a running link list for information relating to the French Defence White Paper.

[browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10026084/France-to-cut-24000-defence-posts-by-2019.html”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.gouvernement.fr/gouvernement/le-livre-blanc-2013-discours-du-ministre-de-la-defense”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.gouvernement.fr/gouvernement/livre-blanc-2013-de-la-defense-et-de-la-securite-nationale”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2013/04/29/defense-la-france-prepare-les-guerres-de-demain-avec-des-ambitions-reduites_3168164_823448.html”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2013/03/28/le-budget-francais-de-la-defense-est-il-en-baisse-depuis-trente-ans_3149927_3224.html”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2013/04/29/atlantiste-calamiteux-le-livre-blanc-sur-la-defense-concentre-les-critiques_3168423_823448.html”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/infographie/2013/04/29/l-armee-francaise-a-l-horizon-2020_3168245_823448.html”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://theatrum-belli.org/livre-blanc-de-la-defense-et-de-la-securite-nationale-2013/”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.marianne.net/blogsecretdefense/Defense-34-000-postes-supprimes-d-ici-a-la-fin-2019_a1021.html”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130429/DEFREG01/304290010?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/france-whitepaper-livre-blanc-012462/”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.acus.org/natosource/france-releases-defense-white-paper-hollande-cut-24000-military-jobs”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.lefigaro.fr/conjoncture/2013/04/29/20002-20130429ARTFIG00357-defense-les-cinq-elements-marquants-du-livre-blanc.php”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.lefigaro.fr/international/2013/04/29/01003-20130429ARTFIG00343-l-armee-de-terre-principale-victime-des-restrictions-budgetaires.php”] [browser-shot width=”550″ url=”http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/29/us-france-defence-idUSBRE93S0JW20130429?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co”]
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WiseApe
April 29, 2013 6:51 pm

First!

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/france-whitepaper-livre-blanc-012462/

“The building of a second aircraft carrier is shelved for good”

Simon
April 29, 2013 7:11 pm

Is it just me or do I see the Anglo French with…

3 carriers
3 LHDs
3 LSLs
40 escorts
8 SSBN
13 SSN

Pretty well balanced for three expeditionary groups rotating 2-3 battalions each.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
April 29, 2013 7:20 pm

15 fregates de premier rang
15 patroulliers
06 fregates de surveillance

apologies for the atrocious french, but does anyone want to break that down?

Simon
April 29, 2013 7:29 pm

15 frigates (5 La Fayette, 2 Horizon, 2 Cassard, 6 Georges Leygues or new class?)
15 patrol ships (various)
6 surveillance frigates (Floreal)

All guesses!

Phil H
Phil H
April 29, 2013 7:31 pm

Deleted because it was a question that had already been answered

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
April 29, 2013 7:42 pm

something smells here:

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

they say 15 first rate ‘frigates’, but, they have:

2x brand new Horizons
2x ancient Cassards
11x potential new Fremms
01x ancient Georges Leygues class
01x middle aged Tourville

17 total, but four of those on their way out.

It reads more like they are mothballing two immediately without mentioning that they have no intention of replacing the other two when they leave service?

I would also be surprised if they built all eleven Fremm!

Then it gets really messy when you get down to light-frigates, sloops, and patrol vessels…..

Jeremy M H
April 29, 2013 7:48 pm

I think you have to seriously question if the French will refuel their carrier next time it comes due which won’t be that far away as it had to get fuel 6 years after starting operation and it has been about 7 years since they did it. My guess is that around 2018 they elect not to refuel and refit the ship.

Repulse
April 29, 2013 7:49 pm

Been posting on the open thread. Think this means jyst 8 ASW FREMM, the other 3 ciukd be leased to Greece as per recent reports.

WiseApe
April 29, 2013 8:01 pm

@All re: FREMM – The last I heard the French were building 9 FREMM and proposed 2 FREDA (AAW to replace 2 cancelled Horizons). They built one FREMM for Morocco – is that one of the 9?

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
April 29, 2013 8:15 pm

“I think you have to seriously question if the French will refuel their carrier next time it comes due which won’t be that far away”

Agreed, scrapping plans for the second carrier is basically saying that carrier operation is a non-core activity for the french military.

Repulse
April 29, 2013 8:18 pm

: don’t think Morocco’s FREMM was from the batch, but as a lease of 2 to Greece was reported then it adds up. Bet the French wish they had gone for EMPAR radar now like the Italians.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
April 29, 2013 8:22 pm

@ Repulse – Cross posted from LSAIII – “Think the 6 Floreal class are the surveillance ships. Therefore, it does look to be 8 FREMM replacements for the older classes. I make that down 3 from the expected 11. There are 2 Horizons.”

Ah, that answers a lot.

They count LaFayettes as first-rates, which is dubious, but if that’s the way they want to play it:, rather suggests the two old AWD and two old FFD are due for the chop pronto.

In which case the first rate element is down to ten units; two horizons and eight FREMM.

Makes sense if carriers are due to become a legacy capability (at the next refuel?) and their ambitions are limited to coalition operations with the Mistrals.

x
x
April 29, 2013 8:41 pm

Now is the time to scrap DfID budget, plough it into defence, and we will be in Berlin by Christmas. :)

jackstaff
jackstaff
April 29, 2013 8:51 pm

@JBT,

Yup — I suspect that, in terms of construction schedules and jobs that is what it means (to grind an axe for a moment we often deride French defence as a jobs programme, and when that degenerates towards a spoils system as defence spending inevitably does that’s a problem, but a critical mass of decently-paid jobs making actual stuff is crucial to national security in any state, which is why so many financial-services types, who hate both nations and states because they get in their way, are inclined to support pollies of all parties who look the other way and collude with folk like the Eurocrats.) No FREDA, unless a miracle occurs (or France decides to back Les Grecs in an eventual Greco-Turkish conflict and sell them as export), one FREMM already in fitting-out stage for Morocco per contract because the Moroccans can afford it. And the other eight for Le Royale. I also suspect a number of the patrol vessels will go by the wayside and they will be lucky to get four SSN. The fleet has always been the poor relation (with rare exceptions like the 1850s and 1930s) compared to La Grande Muette and the armed wing of Dassault.

I don’t think CdeG will disappear; despite the putative Indian order they’re invested in Rafale M and from their own (French) perspective having the one carrier has been sufficient for them over the last decade. They will refuel and push her on until she falls apart (which, being the CdeG, could happen in a stiff crosswind…) but whether to replace, that’s an entirely different question dependent on the tenor of the times fifteen or so years from now since they’ve kicked this into the long grass. But they’ll slough off the Foudre and go down to three phibs, all about cloth-cutting around the either/or of “send a frigate to fly the Tricolor” or “assemble a task force around De Gaulle and a Mistral or two.”

Back during the last renovation when TD knocked through to the conservatory out back (didn’t misplace the biscuit tin, did he? We could lose our deposit with QnetiQ) I lost a comment in another thread which I wish I’d not done because it would allow me to be smug about the Armee de l’Air numbers. So they will indeed push through with Rafale (38-40 for the MN to generate a maximum count of 2×12 on CdeG at full push, the other 160-162 for the air force) and keep a smaller number (c. 25) of Mirage 2000N chuntering on by cannibalising the other nine, so you maintain options for the Force de Frappe. About right, and frees up some funding for the other priorities cross-listed in several of these articles after “Whoops, Mali” revealed the need.

Also not surprised wrt Army to see a bit of shuffling (hope that doesn’t mean they’re downsizing the Chasseurs Alpins too much, they have turned out to be useful again since the early Nineties) and if they’d held the line a little more on the Leclers (maybe they will in the end) simply a return to the Type 53 regts (4×13 in sqdn, 1 x OC) they toyed with during the late-90s reforms with all those listed in service committed (*ahem*, Royal Armoured Corps….) and a few of the leftover spares rotated for training. Likewise with the light “cavalry tanks” until their replacement by SPHINX or equivalent. I do however keep feeling they’d be better off concentrating back to something like a beefed up Division 77 model: fold in the Regts du Train et du Transmission from the pooled support command back to the actual “brigades”/smaller divisions they work with, and model each of four divs with 1x Leclerc regt, 1x AMX-10RC, 2x VBCI, 1x VAB plus arty and engineers (sound familiar? :) ), plus a division of paras (it’s a French thing), and an alpine division.

An independent deterrent will keep costing them but, bless ’em, they are determined to have it. I suspect more of the fiddly presence bits on which they have relied for decades (having retained an empire on the sly in the overseas dependencies, not much square footage but global placement and a hell of an EEZ) in favour of mounting expeditions when required a la Mali. Something to be learned on both counts? ;)

jackstaff
jackstaff
April 29, 2013 8:53 pm

@x,

Cheek :) Although much of the 20th Century can be explained by two French military victories (snide commentary from Yanks aside): the first that did happen, at the Marne in 1914 (and yes it was a French victory despite the BEF’s sectoral contribution), and another that did *not* happen, the abortive Saar Offensive in autumn 1939. I hear Saarbrucken’s lovely this time of year ….

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
April 29, 2013 8:58 pm

@ X – if only we had a “like” button here, i’d be all over that like a bad rash!

@ Jackstaff –

agreed on the naval stuff, but i would be surprised if CeDG lasted beyond 2020.

the army stuff makes sense in so far as i can understand it with my little mind.

and finally, yes, france is definately leaning in the direction of ongoing presence rather decisive intervention.

might very well be right for their priorities (little choice with that expensive force de frappe and aerospace commitments), but i’m glad we didn’t go down that route.

x
x
April 29, 2013 9:00 pm

Jackstaff said “Marne in 1914 (and yes it was a French victory despite the BEF’s sectoral contribution”

I have no trouble with that statement. I said something to that effect elsewhere here recently and got jumped on.

Anyway got to go. I have an invasion to plan…….

x
x
April 29, 2013 9:21 pm

@ Jedibeeftrix

Bless your little cottons socks.

jackstaff
jackstaff
April 30, 2013 1:38 am

@x,

Sorry for the confusion — that comment (re: First Marne) was aimed at the general audience rather than yourself, I know you are entirely fiar to Les Froggies (and I have to remember to stop by the Comedy Grauniad thread with the unfortunate reminder that we can lay a big chunk of the Rhineland remilitarization on Anthony Eden’s lap….) Please do let me know which corps commands are open for your little escapade, and realising that RT and GNB will be much better dressed for the occasion, one can’t argue with a decent hunting tweed….

@JBT,

Also a syntax error, that I’ve just now noticed in the long comment I made: I think actually the French are, discreetly, going to let a good deal of their small-scale presence capabilities wither quietly in order to preserve an expeditionary core, sallying out to do things like Mali and reassuring the UAE.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
April 30, 2013 5:35 am

ah i see,

well, i suppose with the focus on airlift and intelligence, as well as enough escorts for the three mistrals, that well be the case, but it is not as ’emphasized’ as ours. the one-carrier-as-long-as-it-lasts strategy isn’t exactly a firm indication of future intent.

if we had produced this result I would have called it a fudge.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
April 30, 2013 7:04 am

RE ” in order to preserve an expeditionary core, sallying out to do things like Mali and reassuring the UAE”
– 2.300 strong force fully deployed within 7 days at 3.000 km distance… that’s their metric. Wonder which one came first: the metric, or Mali?

It came as a surprise to me that in addition to the half sqrn and some ships, they also keep a demi-brigade in the UAE desert. Must be the same one that used to be in Djibouti (before the Americans set up camp) as there isn’t an endless number of them (in the Foreign Legion).

BTW, wasn’t Joint Warrior a prelude to the joint Anglo-French intervention force being declared operational this year? Anyone know; and also, what might be under that umbrella?

McZ
McZ
April 30, 2013 7:32 am

Wonder if this white paper exists for long. The socialist gov is already under heavy pressure, and lost jobs on the military-dependent yards may be one bridge to far.

If it persists, I hope it sets no precedent for the UK. We seem to have slightly lower numbers than France’ policy, called ‘efficiency’.

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts
April 30, 2013 7:39 am

A couple few of questions:

The French standing Army: Do the numbers [still] include Gendarmes (as I believe that they fall under their MoD)…?

UAE: If reports that they are going to go Tiffy this autumn, does this effect French ambitions within the Trucial States…?

Five-brigades: I thought that we were going bigger? Why is France limiting it’s expeditionary abilities…?

Fifty Euro-Turkies (A400M): Sustainable or alternate tankers…?

Waddi
Waddi
April 30, 2013 9:59 am

I agree with McZ, this is very dangerous stuff for the RN, our numbers and capabilities always seem to benchmarked against the French, if they have one carrier and 8 frigates then the probability of us ending up with the same has just gone up significantly.

ChrisM
ChrisM
April 30, 2013 11:04 am

It all makes that German fellow look even more stupid as the EU will become even more reliant on the UK for any kind of military credibility to back up their diplomatic big talk!

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
April 30, 2013 11:41 am

@X & Jackstaff – I’m assuming you will have a Cavalry Division; in which case with a Father and Great Uncle in the Yeomanry, I feel well qualified to serve as RT’s ADC…

I should add that I have been to the French War Cemeteries and wept every bit as much as I did at our own…and the only person I don’t blame for the 1940 Debacle is Churchill,,,

With you all the way on the Cousins though…I like them a lot, but they were very late to arrive at both parties…

Jeremy M H
April 30, 2013 1:06 pm

@GNB

Understanding the US position on WWII necessitates understanding how the nation reacted to WWI. In short, had the German’s been smart enough to leave the US alone, I am not sure there was any pressing national interest in getting involved in the 1st war. Once it happened the problem for the US going forward were that Wilson sold the war one way (and no one publicly contradicted him from the allied camp until the thing was basically over) and then the peace treaty went another way entirely.

As a result the US populace at the time responded by saying to hell with it. I am no fan of isolation as it was in the 20’s and 30’s but I can understand why many people felt that way. The treaty talks to end the 1st war were not well handled by anyone (Wilson gets a portion of blame at least equal to the other allied powers) and it set the stage for some really bad things that followed.

The Other Chris
The Other Chris
April 30, 2013 1:26 pm

“This is not a peace. It is an armistice for twenty years.”
– Marshal Ferdinand Foch, 1919

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
April 30, 2013 1:36 pm

@- Jeremy MH – I understand that, and certainly didn’t mean to offend you, or indeed any other Cousins who visit this site and know the real history. However, as I hope you understand, it is a slightly grumpy reaction to the numbers on your side of the Pond who believe you won the Great War as opposed to sending a useful Expeditionary Force who helped us to win it in 1918 (by which I mean the Anglo-Sphere as a whole, including yourselves)…and that without you we would be speaking German (not possible after October 1940, which secured us against existential defeat and left the way open for eventual victory)…or that the War started in December 1941(when it was over two years old)…or that D-Day was US Operation, when three of five beaches and much of the shipping were British or Canadian…or indeed that odd operations like the one to capture Enigma seem to have been carried out by the US, who were not then in the war…or indeed that Mel Gibson is allowed to make films in which all Brits are inbred and cowardly sadists…

I might add that if any Ivans pop up I will cheerfully acknowledge their war-finishing role – but not without mentioning the Partition of Poland, Katyn, or the deliberate abandonment of the Warsaw Ghetto to the SS, or their shameful conduct in Berlin…

For any Poles present, thanks for getting us the first Enigma, for your help in the RAF, in the Desert, Italy and Western Europe…and sorry about what came after; although i personally think Churchill (no fan of the Bolsheviks, he) might have accepted an unconditional German surrender working systematically from West to East given even half a chance.

Apologetic but hopefully accurate, and thus less Gloomy.

Martin
Editor
April 30, 2013 1:52 pm

@ Chris M

I think you are right. This now makes EU defence policy with out the UK a total wet blanket.

On the face of it I think this could be a winner for us. France has obviously given up any pretence of being the European military leader which leaves the role wide open for us. WE should be raiding an extra £4 billion a year out of the DFID piggy bank and using it to enhance our ability to be a medium sized European coalition enabler with out US support.

Not to bothered if the French pull out of the JEF. I think nations like the Dutch and Italians have more to offer and if we played our cards right we could be the sole back bone of this concept. Lancaster house seems dead but its seemed that way from Two minutes after sarkosy was out of office.

did anyone read the comment in the Telegraph about the UK still being able to operate aircraft of CDG. Can’t imagine the CDG lasting more than thirty seconds with the hot exhaust from F35 b on its deck.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
April 30, 2013 1:55 pm

“Can’t imagine the CDG lasting more than thirty seconds with the hot exhaust from F35 b on its deck.”

In your own time, justify that statement technically based on teh thickness of the flightdeck, under deck insulation and on-deck paint system.

Crack on….

Martin
Editor
April 30, 2013 1:55 pm

Do we think the French government are paying royalties to call me Dave and Osbourne. They have obviously lifted major parts of this white paper from SDSR 2010. (More emphasis on cyber security and intelligence and we can still .punch above our weight bla bla bla) Could me a money spinner for us peddling bullshit across the channel.

Martin
Editor
April 30, 2013 2:01 pm

Was joking NAB. it’s a TD tradition to make fun of the state of CDG :-)

F35 B is obviously never going to operate from CDG so not really an issue.

Paul R
Paul R
April 30, 2013 3:14 pm

Any updates on the UAV front?
Remember we had signed an agreement regarding uav, but Hollande went and invited the Germans. I’ve not heard much since.

x
x
April 30, 2013 3:36 pm

“Can’t imagine the CDG lasting more than thirty seconds with the hot exhaust from F35 b on its deck.”

The French have a word for it, flambé. I believe CdeG’s wine cooler/cellar is a masterpiece of industrial scale catering and worked from the get go. Unlike other less vital systems…. :)

WiseApe
April 30, 2013 4:48 pm

“It all makes that German fellow look even more stupid as the EU will become even more reliant on the UK for any kind of military credibility to back up their diplomatic big talk!”

Spooky:

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx?plckBlogId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7&plckPostId=Blog:27ec4a53-dcc8-42d0-bd3a-01329aef79a7Post:84022ee2-9b2c-4e05-ad9a-a7e25bbfa11f

jackstaff
jackstaff
April 30, 2013 7:34 pm

@ WiseApe,

Ja, mit chips. And it’s not simply a collective EU matter (although I give the collective EU until the end of the decade barring root-and-branch changes; the current language about the inevitability of closer European integration at all levels is exactly the sort of thing people say about a project right before the wheels come off), because in the broader context of European nations that still have interests, if the Germans really want to try and dominate the continent (I think of it, in fairness to them, as a Second Zollverein rather than a Fourth Reich, but the Zollverein of course was spokes round a hub, then Prussia and now Germany) then they have to disarm in the process. Such is the paradox. But in an increasingly unstable Europe (that “stable backwater” stuff is headed out the window, too, God help us — no continent whose southern corners are enduring near-30% unemployment on a long term basis is stable) part of the job of being head-of-whatever (governments, confederations, treaty bodies) is providing security or at least leading the way. And the German paradox is they simply cannot, people don’t trust them for two very good reasons: 1) the first half of the Twentieth Century for fCUk’s sake, and 2) because Germany does still, very definitely, have interests and favourites throughout the regions of Europe and those lesser nations calculate this in turn. They are stuck dominating something they cannot actually lead, except on issues like banking where the old image of German care and probity in fiscal and lending matters has taken a quite justified beating lately. Turns out that, like Victorian morality, German economic probity can be shed discreetly at the border ….

@all,

I think (depending on what does or does not shake out of the White Paper based largely, as someone said upthread, on the jobs impact) that France will aim, as France always would have aimed, to maximise the utility of their military for France and France alone, based on what they can manage in the budgets. They will continue to be a principal (not the principal) military power in Western Europe because it’s in their interests to be one, and the core capabilities they choose to value through this period of cuts will be the ones dearest to them, not to a general balance of EU resouces and certainly not to the much-debated-and-feared Amalgamated EU Defence Forces PLC. This may be another one of those periods in time where, given a quiet corridor with nobody listening in, we all say “thank God for French nationalism” for a little while, as they navigate the coming instability with their own logic rather than a bunch of fluffy ideals that serve only as cover for the banksters and the EUrocrats.

@The Other Chris,

Foch was one of the wisest men there. It is also worth looking back at Moltke the Elder’s valedictory in the early 1890s (‘im wot got more credit than he deserves for the German Wars of Unification, thanks to the modesty of Kaiser Bill’s excellent father, whose tragically early death became, over the next decades of his incapable son’s reign, a global catastrophe.) Old Moltke warned even then that “the age of cabinet wars is over, now we have only peoples’ wars” which could be “Seven Years’, or even Thirty Years’, Wars.” Of course the latter missed the mark only by about nine months.

@GNB,

Of *course* there will be a Cavalry Division. Even the French and the Poles (who now have more heavy armoured forces than Germany and an army near as large if these possible Bundeswehr cuts go through) can firmly agree that Operation Laissons-Nous Bollock Cettes Boches would go down better after a brisk morning trot.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
April 30, 2013 9:02 pm

@x – Excellent – put my name down without hesitation…last one to the Brandenburger Tor buys the beer…

GNB

Mark
Mark
April 30, 2013 9:30 pm

On the French carrier have they perhaps decided the cost involved with doing conventional operations is quite high and to do it effectively you need to almost dedicate an airforce to it and build ships and infrastructure that its only really the preserve of the usa. And that in the vast majority of cases for France work arounds are available and that money could be better spend on other capabilities.

Could you have all he classified support systems for f35 installed on the French carrier? I think that maybe an area of concern for the cousins.

Sir Humphrey
April 30, 2013 10:06 pm

The challenge now is to balance the requirement to replace Rafale, Leclerc, CDG and the Force De Frappe (air and maritime component) plus all the supporting requirements in the next 20 years, where at least half that time is going to see a maximum of 1% PA growth in the budget.

I’ve always felt the French military was something of a potemkin force, and this will only get more pronounced as things get tougher.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
May 1, 2013 6:49 am

It was announced a year ago that the Bundeswehr will be cut by 30%. I read it that the financial measure has by now been worked through, to produce the future head count? Sven could perhaps advise on this?
” parliamentary secretary of state for defense Christian Schmidt is reported to have said only 140,000 Bundeswehr posts are financed. As the Bundeswehr has 195,000 military and civilian personnel, this means 55,000 posts are not financed”

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
May 1, 2013 7:24 am

I have to make an exception to my normal agreeing with Sir H.

Permanent presence and intervention (capabilities) as for France have been contrasted here when in fact they maintain separate forces to do both. ” the 11e DP became the 11th Parachute Brigade in 1999″ and has the same strength as 16AA.

Then you have almost the same strength in the Foreign Legion, tasked with presence, together with lighter Gendarmerie. This view counts a bn ( (2e REP, French Foreign Legion Parachute Regiment) twice, but leaves the marines and their armoured cavalry out of the picture. So the Legion strength equates to our RM in head count, and all of these elements put together easily equal our intervention brigades.

What is likely to become defunct is heavy armoured forces (is that in any way different from us?). More of a combination of threats analysis and the transition from conscription (Europe only) to a volunteer force (can be used anywhere). However, the medium armour formations do exist (not just in plans), and rely more on wheels than tracks – something that we have had a lot of debate about here, whether it is the way to go or not.

225 first line planes? Is that bad when you take 107+48 as a benchmark?

Lots of synergies, because of differing capability profiles
-more vertical lift from the sea vs. more over the beach
-more first wave of amph. ops vs. more 2nd and 3rd wave follow-thru
– more presence in or near potential flash points vs more heavy airlift
Could go on, but as someone pointed out Poland will soon outmatch both Germany and France in land forces, but that alone will not make it a principal military power in Europe.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
May 1, 2013 7:48 am

interesting post AAC, i’d like to see it expanded and focusing on what their objectives are, and how they complement our own.

i rather doubt that their will be a plan to replace CdG and Leclerc with local industries in the timeframe sir H mentions.

they will have their hands full with drones, complex weapons, and forces de frappe.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 1, 2013 10:07 am

Assuming this white paper represents the plan that will be executed (far from certain), the crucial elements for France between now and (say 2030) will be :

1. Decide whether the airborne component of the FdF is retained (probably dependent on stand-off missile development)
2. Decide whether there will be an indigenous design and build aircraft beyond Rafale
3. Decide on retention of carrier capability and if required, design and construct a new CV/CVN.

Their SSBN force is relatively new with a modern design able to be constructed if required and their missile is also relatively new. I suspect they will do with LeClerc what we are doing with Chally (upgrades rather than replacement).

The biggy is the decision on what comes after Rafale and that will largely determine the future shape and capability of the entire French defence industry. If they’re smart, they will aim for a more modern version of Rafale good multi-role performance to replace the Mirage 2000 export versions around the world, shoot at F16 operators who don’t fancy F35, carrier-capable with an eye on Brazil and India (post MiG29) and potentially elsewhere. It’s the only way they’ll get the export numbers to retain the viability of their industry.

Assuming that CdG can be sustained out to 2030, design and build ought to be relatively straightforward, unless there is a radical departure in either propulsion or airwing. They do seem to be very keen on using their ship and certainly have managed to sustain the capabilities required for the airwing through judicious use of joint (Rafale) and combined (E2) training and support. There don’t appear to be too many logistical and infrastructure challenges to date. What they appear to have decided is that near-term spend on the second ship is beyond them and they will “muddle-through” with a single ship.

x
x
May 1, 2013 1:05 pm

I could see CdeG being replaced with something Wasp like in configuration and size. Perhaps even 2 there of. I can’t see the French without a “grand” national flag ship. Especially 2 there of if they can’t go CTOL FJ. With shale oil and gas easing supply in the near future no reason to go nuclear. And they have access to systems like SCALP for strike and ESA to fly recon birds. Um. I also speculate that keeping the North African coast in check will stay a driver in security terms. Horizon and AAW FREMM would be more than a match for anything fielded against them especially if FJ can be provided from the Mediterranean islands. Though that will be thin because of distance and requires tankers. So……..

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 1, 2013 2:23 pm

Sorry X, for the foul and most foreign to go down the Wasp route they’d need to :

1. Decide that they no longer needed to do Fleet AD and could live with a handful of CAS jets
2. Sh1tcan their entire aircraft industry in buying F35B – essentially admitting they could not afford a replacement for Rafale – you’d need STOVL because getting an LHD hullform to accommodate an angle and the required hydrodynamic performance will be a bit tricky.
3. Bin their three shiny new Mistrals, which will only be 20yrs old(ish) when the time comes for CdG to be replaced..

Alex
Alex
May 1, 2013 2:37 pm

The general belief that aircraft carriers are too big strikes, and some major improvement could be made by cutting bits off, strikes again. CDG is 42,500 tonnes full load, Wasp is 40,500, America is actually bigger (45,700) than CDG.

If the French wanted cheaper, they could do STOBAR and build something like a Mistral but bigger, but we’ve been around this buoy before.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
May 1, 2013 2:50 pm

Is that ” a build something like a Mistral but bigger, but we’ve been around this buoy before”
a Juan Carlos, then?

– have not checked the tonnage

Simon
May 1, 2013 3:32 pm

…or just use Mistrale with long-range anti-air missiles (Aster40?) targetted by ASaC copters.

200km sea control + assault?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 1, 2013 3:37 pm

“Is that ” a build something like a Mistral but bigger, but we’ve been around this buoy before”
a Juan Carlos, then?”

No. No it isn’t.

Challenger
Challenger
May 1, 2013 3:50 pm

Seems like the argument of the French Navy being bigger and better than the Royal Navy which has persisted over the last few years may soon be put to sleep once and for all. Assuming that the RN doesn’t see any further reductions in the near future it will having a larger escort fleet of similar quality, one additional SSN, a comparable amphibious fleet and (hopefully) the all important extra carrier!

Also wasn’t the French Air Forces plan until recently for 300 fast jets? It seems that until recently our continental friends had even more ludicrous ambitions and delusions of grandeur than we had up until the 2010 SDSR.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 1, 2013 3:54 pm

Having spent some time in and around MB, I can’t recall any instances of comparing our c0cks with les francais during Defence capability assessments / reviews. Tends to be the media and “retired” that go there….

Martin
Editor
May 1, 2013 4:01 pm

@ challenger

hopefully we will be spared any further cuts however even with Hammond viciously fighting his corner and a threat of a Tory back bench rebellion I can’t see the MOD coming out of the next budget unscathed.

French cuts may be the green light that Osbourne has been waiting for to cut more. hile comparing c**k size with the French matters little to us its a big driver in the media and the current governments concerns seem to begina nd end on the sheets of the telegraph.

Hope to god I’m wrong.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
May 1, 2013 4:03 pm

Would it not be inconvenient to launch, just when you’ve got everyone mustered to board their assualt helos, as in
“Mistrale with long-range anti-air missiles (Aster40?) targetted by ASaC copters. 200km sea control + assault”

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
May 1, 2013 4:09 pm

I quite agree “Tends to be the media and “retired” that go there”
– the context is different, too. A marvellous job the Italians seem to be doing with their navy and maritime capabilities, even though the whole budget is the disappearing grouse… just like ours

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 1, 2013 4:26 pm

“or just use Mistrale with long-range anti-air missiles (Aster40?) targetted by ASaC copters. 200km sea control + assault?”

You haven’t got your head round the idea that you can’t do Fleet AD with missiles yet, have you?

Different subject – for warship concept design there aren’t any easily available textbooks I’d recommend. You might try the US Naval Engineers Journal and the RINA “Warship” conference series for some ideas. Even then you get some old b0llocks – “trimaran aircraft carriers” and the like……

DK Browns “Rebuilding the Royal Navy” also gives you a good idea of what was done in the 60s to late 80s from one who was there and did that. Usually quite cheap from those “warehouse” book shops as well

x
x
May 1, 2013 5:01 pm

@ NaB

Whoa! :) When I say “Wasp” I don’t mean the actual American USN class I mean a ship of similar style, style, and function. And I never mentioned them buying F35b. Actually perhaps I have should have said “naval fast air” instead of being specific with what the French currently use. I think canning plans for the second carrier have probably done for their naval fast air aspirations post CdeG anyway. Wasn’t the hope of a second deck that kept that alive more than anything? And how does it stop them developing Rafale land variant follow on? And what about Airbus? French defence revolves around defending France and her overseas “departments”, contributing units to EU stunts, UN adventures, and then lastly joining in at a distance any sponsored US jaunts. I would suggest Rafale next gen plus AIrbus tankers would keep more of French industry going than worrying about a Rafale next gen with a tail hook flying off a carrier that has been cancelled. Securing overseas departments means soldiers and marines, not nothing have them invested in Mistral. Securing the Med’ can be done with Rafale (next gen) and Airbus tanker working with the Italians and Spanish. For were we not told during the Libyan affair that aircraft carriers were a luxury, weren’t really needed, and to ignore sortie rates, geographical proximity etc. etc. and so on and just forget that the two nearest participating states had carriers in play? * As for UN adventures and playing with Americans well a large flight deck is a large flight deck; why shouldn’t France play the “Let somebody else bring that which we do not possess ourselves!” Also isn’t there always an convenient airfield in theatre? ** Let’s compare where France sits to say Germany in terms of naval units. Or let’s compare them to South Korea and Japan. The former has no large naval units; in fact a mantra that used to be heard a lot here is “A, B, and C countries don’t have this, that, or other naval capability yet have better economics, and don’t seem bothered, why should we?” Often a veiled reference to Germany and Japan. While talking about Japan and Koreaare both building helicopter carriers. As are the Australians. Building two large 40,000 ton-ish ships would keep French yards in work. And them ordering more AAW escorts would also help work flows. As would buying all the other systems domestically. Not of that EU competition rhubarb when it comes to keeping French industry going. And that leaves us with one more thing, national prestige. Forget the Mistrals. Just because we look at them with our cold Anglo-Saxon eyes and seem them assets to be squeezed I think our French cousins would look at them differently. They would want a big ship or pair of big ships to satisfy Gallic pride. They would need a real world capability; the French are that stupid. Something like a “Wasp” would be no smaller than CdeG, and buying two would address the loss of face of loosing naval FJ. The Mistrals could be sold, put in reserve, or used to keep numbers up. Buying something like Wasp would mean they get more lift and more speed. They could even host FAA F35b. As I say often the modern naval helicopter isn’t to be sniffed at a sea control asset. They could have a squadron of pingers and a flight of ASaC/AEW helicopters and still be an asset to a Western coalition. Nothing would cheer me up than the French planning to buy 2 or 3 CTOL carriers. Don’t believe into much allied integration with the French; a la joint navy as it wouldn’t work. But a well rounded RN fleet working with a strong French fleet with good all round capabilities is a different matter. It is a French problem. We will have the world’s best AAW ships accompanying a good sized carrier with a good number of modern jets when needed flown by great pilots and some RAF bods, and hopefully a good AEW system….

x
x
May 1, 2013 5:12 pm

Forget these,

* No I don’t believe it. But that is what I keep getting told.

** see *

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
May 1, 2013 5:25 pm

” What they appear to have decided is that near-term spend on the second ship is beyond them and they will “muddle-through” with a single ship.”

i’ll be pleased if it does remain a core capability longterm, rather than just the medium.

WiseApe
May 1, 2013 5:29 pm

@X – “They could even host FAA F35b.” – Nicely done.

I have a horrible feeling the French are going to put a cheeky bid in for PoW. Someone said CdG is due a refuelling in seven years – won’t that roughly coincide with PoW finishing sea trials?

I have often wondered what France will do after Rafale (and Germany after Typhoon for that matter). Perhaps they’re hoping to prise India away from Russia to finance their next gen jet.

x
x
May 1, 2013 5:41 pm

@ WiseApe

And we would be stupid enough to go along with it too. :(

Forget DfID. There is that other drain on our finances the EU. So we would sell them our carrier, probably for a pittance or some favourable to them lease terms, and still be paying subs to their “Tie Germany to the rest of Europe to save us from the evil Hun” Club when the Germans are about as much threat militarily as the Dagenham Girl Pipers. Gosh.

Peter Elliott
May 1, 2013 5:52 pm

Cheer up @X depending on what happens at the next election and the ongoing Euro-shambles we could be out of the EU by 2020.

Now that is a cheering thought…

x
x
May 1, 2013 6:04 pm

@ Peter Elliot

Hopefully yes. But I think it is going to get worse before it gets better. I see a Labour government in 2015. I see Euro elites chugging on while the periphery burns.

Peter Elliott
May 1, 2013 6:09 pm

2015 depends how the whole UKIP schermozzle pans out.

They might succeed in pulling the Tories into a more sceptical position, or they might just split the blue vote and ao let Labour in. Cameron is a pretty astute politician (that’s not a compliment) so I suspect he will manoeuvre a way to avoid the latter outcome.

But its actually not down to us at all. The impetus will come fromt he Euro17 who will be forced into a level of fiscal centralisation that we won’t be able to tolerate – whichever government is in power here at the time.

Simon
May 1, 2013 6:41 pm

NaB,

Thanks for the book pointers.

“You haven’t got your head round the idea that you can’t do Fleet AD with missiles yet, have you?”

Of course you can, it’s just you’d choose not to, whereas many nations probable don’t (and won’t) get much option soon… this could include both the French and ourselves the rate were all going.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 1, 2013 6:57 pm

“Of course you can, it’s just you’d choose not to, whereas many nations probable don’t (and won’t) get much option soon”

Except you really can’t – and those nations aren’t – they’re doing point defence.

Simon
May 1, 2013 7:10 pm

USN fleet air defence is provided by Aegis, not Hornet or SH.

Obviously, I’m missing something here?

JS
JS
May 1, 2013 7:18 pm

Speaking of UKIP, I see they are calling for scrapping Trident for nuclear cruise missiles, and building 4 more type 45s.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
May 1, 2013 7:25 pm

So, the next election (as for defence issues) will be framed as ‘shopping in Poundland’?
– for the first time I’m glad that most people don’t care

Repulse
May 1, 2013 7:41 pm

Bung a few more quid in the joint UK / French complex weapons programme and we could have some nuclear tipped cruise missiles also :)

WiseApe
May 1, 2013 7:49 pm

UKIP: “The 2016 defence budget, excluding foreign military aid, will be £50bn in 2012
terms.”

They also propose passing Tornado GR4s onto a UK Air National Guard once the RAF have done with them. Shame that, for a second there I thought they might be sane.

x
x
May 1, 2013 8:00 pm

Now I have time to think about it I am even more concerned about PoW being sold to France.

Anybody with a Tory MP who wouldn’t mind getting them to ask a question in the House?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
May 1, 2013 8:05 pm

JS,

I think that (along with most other UKIP policies), this one is a bit half-baked.

leaving aside the “nukes are good / a complete waste of time and money” argument, I suspect that buying an extra 4 T45s is not a good use of £5 billion. We already have 6, so we could reasonably expect 2 to be available for any nautical contingencies / warfighting etc. Those 2 can between them cover an area of 20,000 square kilometres, or just about 120 miles by 80 miles. Adding a further 4 T45s means 150% coverage is available. You might get 130 miles by 130 miles in a triangle.

You have to ask, what possible enemy has the sort of airforce or ballistic missile capability that can fight past 2 T45s, but not 3 and a bit T45s? I’d rather take that minimal risk and have a few biggish troop carriers for the same £5 billion. At least then you can put a Brigade ashore to actually win the conflict. You can’t do that with 3.33 one trick ponies.

You can still do the nautical diplomacy / presence stuff with an Albion replacement that T45s can do.

x
x
May 1, 2013 8:31 pm

@ WiseApe

One more thing….

I got another “one” in there somewhere towards the end. Your mission is to seek it out……………. :)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
May 1, 2013 8:36 pm

X,

you probably want to get an email, containing some background detail, explanation of where you are coming from, and a suggested loaded question to Graham Hook, who is the more suggestible of Spreadsheet Phil’s two “Special Advisors”. You can find his contact details easily enough with some Googling.

If it’s worth it, the question will find it’s way easily enough to a compliant backbencher to ask at PMQs or Def Qs, along with a fully worked up answer (plus appropriate joke / note of sincerity) to the PM or Sec of State.

On the other hand, if you are making a complaint the Government would rather not hear in public, try Jim Murphy’s office in the Labour Party in Victoria Street.

Funny how Whitehall works.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
May 1, 2013 8:39 pm

RT

Unfortunately invading countries seems to lead to death by a thousand cuts rather than victory.

However I sort of agree with your priorities so my mythical 5 billion is spent on 4 T26 and a 35/40k LHD with capacity for 2 cdos and brigade staff.

Repulse
May 1, 2013 8:50 pm

@RT: where did the 5bn come from? Swap the 4 SSBN for another 7 SSNs which would mean 1 permanently attached to the RFTG, 1 in the Atlantic, 1 in the Indian ocean and one in the Far East. 14 sub launch platforms rather than 4, plus 2 CVF flying F35s plus the first rate surface fleet. That’s real influence.

Challenger
Challenger
May 1, 2013 9:10 pm

@Not a Boffin

‘Tends to be the media and “retired” that go there’

Oh I completely agree! The decision makers and services seem to broadly get Britain’s relative strengths and weaknesses in comparison to our European friends, it’s the media, the retired and the laymen that obsess about who has the biggest dick in defence terms and tend to only tally up the numbers in a simplistic form, failing to take into account the relative quality of kit and spectrum of capabilities.

The intention of my earlier point was to say that perhaps now the French our also demonstrably cutting back on defence spending the above mentioned kind of ‘they take their defence seriously, we don’t, look they have a bigger navy than we do’ nonsense will if not cease then at least quieten down a bit.

‘hopefully we will be spared any further cuts however even with Hammond viciously fighting his corner and a threat of a Tory back bench rebellion I can’t see the MOD coming out of the next budget unscathed’

Sadly nor can I, but I am trying to remain hopeful that any further cuts are as thought out and considered as possible and not equal reductions across the board. Even if the RN is affected I would like to optimistic in thinking that certain elements of the fleet and it’s level of capabilities won’t be further reduced, both because the cupboard is pretty much bare and because an expeditionary stance for the 2020 structure should make maritime presence and blue water power projection it’s centrepiece.

x
x
May 1, 2013 9:20 pm

@ RT

Thanks for that.

Challenger
Challenger
May 1, 2013 9:20 pm

P.S

On the specific comparison of French and British maritime power I think that in certain respects Frances larger EEZ and it’s size/spread of overseas territories with their population of 2.6 million people means that they will always want and perhaps justifiably need a larger amount of low-end patrol vessels, surveillance ships and light frigates than the RN does (as far from satisfactory as it itself may be) to provide ‘presence’ and security to these far flung commitments.

Mark
Mark
May 1, 2013 10:02 pm

All that money to spend and no one mentions correcting the supposedly most difficult and dangerous of capability gaps opened in sdsr. Well if is my money spend the whole 5b on lrmpa/mma not more floaty boat or pointy jets.

x airbus tanker conversion line is in Spain not France. Airbus keeps the whole European aerospace sector ticking over.

x
x
May 1, 2013 10:10 pm

@ Mark

My point was more that French aerospace industry and indeed the Fifth Republic wouldn’t collapse for the want of building 50-odd smallish fast jets with tail hooks. To be honest South West Europe all looks the same to me anyway. After Jersey it is a cultural desert until Gibraltar. ;)

You may have 2.5billion for some MPA. What do you intend to buy? :)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
May 1, 2013 10:51 pm

Repulse,

unless I’ve got the wrong figures from t’internet (always possible), 4 x £1.2B per T45 = £5B all up, thereabouts.

Cancelling “Successor” class yields savings of about £20B, but that money is not Defence-allocatable. Building 4 extra T45 gives the figures of about £5B. The extra £15B no doubt goes to housing benefit in Tipton, or some Tory tax scam.

So, in shorthand, UKIP want to spend £5B on defence, and specifically another 4 one trick ponies. My view is that if the money’s in the ring, let’s spend it on something worthwhile.

Of course, it is abso-f**king-lutely guaranteed that the moment a binding contract is signed for 4 more T45s, the next shindig breaks out somewhere unpredictable and yet again, the Andrew with their shiny new CVs, short-legged F35Bs, and super-stealthy Astutes find out that the real requirement is for putting infantry boots on the ground, there is zero air threat, and bugger all need for the ESM capabilities of ASTUTE****.

**** This state of affairs is getting repetitive. After all, Korea, Borneo, Suez, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Kuwait, Iraq (twice), Afghanistan… The only blip is the Falklands, and even then, the job was only done with boots on the ground delivered by civvy ferries and STUFT. Maybe the least drunk Admiral might spot a pattern? The only proper role of the Andrew should be to stop escorted ships from being sunk. Spend the minimum amount on AD and ASuW to get the job done, and everything else on floating troop carriers. Everything else is froth.

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
May 1, 2013 11:25 pm

– sounds attractive, but my understanding has always been that a major part of the CASD cost is not the “At Sea” bit but looking after all those Nukes ashore, keeping them safe, preventing bad people from swiping them, moving them about. Would the Cruise Missile option actually significantly reduce that? That said, I would like to see us get conventional value out of CASD if possible – do any of our more expert contributors have a view on CASD SSBN’s tubed for conventional missiles? Would that approach justify a production run of six not four, especially if we also reduced numbers of both missiles and warheads…work out the maximum number of cities we might need to obliterate in a single salvo, double that number for luck, and purchase accordingly?

On the bigger picture, with the EU in it’s current shape this all seems to me to be smoke and mirrors…and will remain so until either the Euro gets fixed or the EU itself hits the buffers at a very considerable rate of knots…until then, I simply can’t see any Government whose fate is tied to both those Quixotic enterprises knowing what it might do between now and the August Bank Holiday, much less now and 2020.

The Bullingdon’s finest might be in a slightly better place, but not by much; and I reckon our best hope is a close Labour Win in 2015, followed by a swift Milliband Collapse by 2017…with so much in-fighting in the eighteen months of office he secures that no lasting harm can be done. After that, who knows? Probably Boris and his brother Jo…but the Johnson Family at least seem to love their Country, know their History and are collectively as mad as a (very large) barrel of frogs…all of which seem to me to be a major bonus in crisis PM’s.

@x How’s the Invasion Plan coming on? Stohwassers and Sam Brown Polished, 1912 Pattern Honed, Mark IV Webley Oiled…

GNB

Gloomy Northern Boy
Gloomy Northern Boy
May 1, 2013 11:40 pm

@RT – All of which will work beautifully until we want to put boots on the ground somewhere with a functional Navy of their own, or one they can borrow from a friend…at which point air cover might be quite handy, or we aren’t going…

@x – Can you find me another job for that invasion malarkey? I think I just resigned from my last one..!

Martin
Editor
May 2, 2013 1:54 am

@ RT I agree about the extra four t45’s six is enough with one East of Suez and the other attached to the JEF. Can’t see the benefit of an extra 4.

UKIP is full of waste of time policies not unlike the lib Dems. Easy to make promises when you know you never need to back them up.

Cammerons latest move to introduce referendum legislation before 2015 may be enough to split the coalition. The lib Dems need to find an excuse to leave soon so they can blame everything on the Torries before the next election.

UK leaving the EU may be the catalyst to push scotland out of the UK as well. I think independence from the EU would be a much bigger issue for Scotland than independence from the UK.

lts very dangerous notions largely being popularised by the press who think nothing of making up economic figures and failing to point out that the UK has a pretty poor track record on granting assaylum, pays less benefits to EU migrants than many other EU countries and that net contributions to the EU budget are only £5 billion per year (less than 1% of government spending)

Repulse
May 2, 2013 6:55 am

@RT: T45 production cost was £650mn per unit excluding R&D costs which have already been spent. Though I accept it is likely to be higher than this given inflation and the need to restart the production line £1.2 per unit plus another 200mn for good measure seems a bit excessive.

Having said all that I agree the need for dedicated AAW ships is limited and a nice to have, better to get a smaller number of T26 all rounders like the US Burkes in ky view.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 2, 2013 6:59 am

“USN fleet air defence is provided by Aegis, not Hornet or SH.

Obviously, I’m missing something here?”

US Fleet AD is provided by E2 + FA18, then Aegis/SM2 and then ESSM/RAM/Phalanx. Without the outer bit you don’t have Fleet AD, you have (an admittedly) large missile engagement zone.

Repulse
May 2, 2013 7:04 am

Quick question, apart from Sierra Leone, when haven’t the UK fired cruise missiles from SSNs during a conflict? There is of course Libya, where SSNs were used but no boots on the ground bar SFs.

Mark
Mark
May 2, 2013 8:24 am

x

Well 50 jets is about 5 years worth of work for there fast jet production line. If we took 5 year out of uk surface fleet ship building what effect would that have?

As for mpa 2.5b would be to acquire 16 p8 would require a further 1.4b for thru life support and log. The remaining billion for an extra 11 king air for the coastal overland and choke point surveillance and there thru life support. Total requirement 5b

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
May 2, 2013 8:35 am

Mark, As you are in the industry, you may have some insights re:the Typhoon line(s)

RE “50 jets is about 5 years worth of work for there fast jet production line”
– the Rafale line has been throttled down to the bare minimum to keep it ticking over (11/ yr, pending the outcomes of the India and Gulf deals)
– the F35 final assembly line will soon start, but the confirmation of the Dutch order being assembled there is pending (and the Italian order has been cut down)

Mark
Mark
May 2, 2013 8:53 am

Acc

Typhoon fal at warton is low 20’s a year. Italian and Spanish fal almost finished.

F35 in Italy is there for MRO more than anything, facility is built I think.

x
x
May 2, 2013 9:51 am

@ Mark

Yes but what about Rafale-next-gen for the Armée de l’Air? All I said was not buying 50 aeroplanes with a tail hook, I never said the French couldn’t buy an additional 50 FJ f sans tailhook or the Armée de l’Air did I? French FJ numbers would then remain the same, non? :)

Remember that always convenient aerodrome in theatre……….

I think P8 is OK. What do you make of all that stuff about endurance and wasn’t designed to flow etc. etc. ?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
May 2, 2013 9:59 am

Hi Mark, yes, the facility is ready. I just read an interview which I probably misinterpreted (as putting on a brave face as the orders are shrinking or in doubt) on the MRO,s part … would we be using it, too?
” there for MRO more than anything, facility is built I think.”

The support graph for Asia Pacific looked interesting. A half moon stretching from Alaska to N. Australia… facilities being kept at the far ends, presumably to reduce their vulnerability?

Simon
May 2, 2013 10:14 am

NaB,

From what I’ve read Admiral Arleigh Albert ’31-knot’ Burke was the chap who pushed through the creation of a missile defence system to provide fleet air-defence. This has ended up with 84 Aegis ships (currently) in the USN. I appreciate that outer layer air defence can be provided by a 380km visibility E2 and that a CAP station “up threat” could enage and defeat an incoming threat further out…

However, if you drop back to copter based AEW (200-240km with Merlin) you can engage a detected low-level threat with an improved Aster (purely theoretical new version). You don’t need the jet for air defence. In addition, a Mach4.5 missile will intercept the threat further out (time to target) than any scrambled jet so unless you happen to have you CAP station in the right place you’re not gaining anything.

So, my point is that you can provide fleet air defence with missiles. In fact that’s what we do now with T45. This is from the Royal Navy website…

“Britain’s six Type 45 destroyers…Their mission is to shield the Fleet from air attack using the Sea Viper missile…”

…I then infer that with missile based air defence you can then afford to use your jets for either a projected air-defence screen over landed troops (for example) or, task your jets for strike duties and call your carrier a “strike carrier”.

Given your apparent greater knowledge on such matters I can only presume I’m missing something fundamental. Semantics? The only thing missing with missile based air-defence is the ability to “eyeball” a potential threat, which I’d hope to do with ASaC or UAV technology nowadays.

x
x
May 2, 2013 10:43 am

@ Mark

Not flow, I meant “fly low”.

Sorry.

Mark
Mark
May 2, 2013 10:51 am

x

Well that a big question. Considering the thousands of western non us fast jets still flying round the world I would hope the European manufacturers are going to just offer that all up to the yanks.

As for p8 concerns well the amount of rework to these aircraft for military purposes is bigger than many realise and to me would not be a concern. The wing is optimised to high altitude cruise but extra fuel tanks have prob been fitted a uk company does that for Boeing in general.

Acc im not sure where we are doing ours but having experienced Italian aerospace over the past year I’d rather send our planes to Japan for service pretty much anyone but.

x
x
May 2, 2013 11:18 am

@ Mark

Competition is a good thing. We shall see.

As for P8 well I have wondered for a while why some though the USN would purchase a plane that didn’t work in its intended role. Aircraft that make it into production these days are seldom complete lemons.

Topman
Topman
May 2, 2013 11:40 am

@ Mark

‘but having experienced Italian aerospace over the past year I’d rather send our planes to Japan for service pretty much anyone but.’

My experience is, I’d rather send them to Kwikfit…

On a more serious note, plans afoot to do it at Bae Marham, no doubt some LRI will go to Italy, but I doubt the jets will.

Simon
May 2, 2013 12:02 pm

TD,

Thanks. That doc brings everything together neatly.

I understand the layered approach and the relative benefits jets bring. My point is that you can provide area defence with missiles. It’s essentially how much of Russia is/was defended. There’s certainly little OCA a missile based system can provide, but Aster paired with TLAM (or equivalents) yields no requirement for fighter sweep or escort duties.

Without jets you are limited, but not useless.

I think I understand where NaB was coming from with “Point Defence” though, so thanks for that.

Who’s going to get the Royal Navy website spiel change then ;-)

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 2, 2013 12:23 pm

1. You are generally not allowed to run round with your missile system in full auto – see USS Vincennes for details. What that means is that irrespective of your detection range, unless your radar contact initiates a “hostile act” you can’t do jack in most cases until it is positively ID’d as hostile. A problem magnified by the increased likelihood in recent years that any conflict will take place in areas where there is “white” air traffic, as opposed to the open ocean large scale maritime battle that Aegis was designed to fight.

2. Arleigh Burke did many things, pushing through Aegis was not one of them, although he most probably pushed the development of Tartar, Terrier and Talos. Aegis was developed to deal with the significant number of “leakers” that were expected to get through an air defence screen faced with regimental Backfire and Badger raids, loosing off As4 and AS6 at great range, plus the variety of SSN3, SSN12 and SSN19 missiles that the Soviet Navy (as was) was designed to deliver in a co-ordinated attack. USN carrier wings were designed to both attack the ship and submarine launch platforms ( with A6 and S3), the targetting aircraft (Bears – with F4, F14 and F18) and the launch aircraft themselves – again with F4, F14 and F18. The point of attacking the launch platforms was twofold – for each launch platform you kill multiple missiles (thereby reducing the load on the Missile Engagement Zone (MEZ) and more importantly those launch platforms and their crews will not be launching subsequent attacks.

Back then, the threat was much larger in terms of attack weight and stand-off than it is at this precise moment. However, the battlespace was much less cluttered – you could pretty much shoot at anything you liked. See point 1 above. It’s also worth considering that a war is a series of sequential battles over time, rather than one engagement where if one thing outranges another, it wins. You can use jets to carry AAM, bombs, cannon, recon pods and use them again and again. SAMs are a one-shot deal which may or may not kill it’s target and to the best of my knowledge, not a single VL SAM system can be replenished at sea. Not. One.

3. Your idea of long-range AAW is unobtainium-based – it relies on things (missiles, track quality data links) that are not yet fielded and may not be feasible. Just because a radar can see something, does not mean that the TEWA function can be put on the airborne platform which is where a lot of the OTH stuff falls over. It is also highly dependent on hi-bandwidth comms, which I’d suggest have not been tested against a capable opponent yet.

4. There is a science to placing CAP stations (or indeed working a deck-launched posture). Part of that science suggests that you don’t leave your “surveillance asset” to ID unknowns, whether manned or unmanned platform. They are completely vulnerable to a number of forms of attack.

5. The statement on the RN website is the usual vanilla . They have to say it’s there to do something and having larged it on shooting down cricket balls and the like, they’re unlikely to say “it can do part of Fleet Air Defence, but we’re missing a bit” on the website. More telling is the interview that Alan West gave back in 2003 regarding the looming retirement of SHAR, when the plan was still for 12 T45.

Warship IFR “What’s your opinion of the so-called ‘air-defence gap’ that will occur with the FA2 being withdrawn in 2006, six years earlier than expected?

West – “We come back to balancing the investment in present day resources with finding the funds for increased future capabilities.

As you know the RAF and Navy pilots in Joint Force Harrier will move to the GR9, which gives us an enhanced power projection capability but is not a dedicated air-defence fighter. In a perfect world I would love to have the resources to do the modifications that will get the FA2 to 2012. But, we will hopefully have the Type 45 from 2007 and there will be some capability in the GR9, which will help close the air-defence gap. They will be palliatives for the risk factor. You need a lot of Type 45s to give the same coverage as a naval air-defence fighter. However, I am sure it is the right decision despite the risk.”

WIDR – But what will happen if there is another Falklands-style situation, where the Royal Navy finds itself having to fight a war far from the nearest land-based UK fighters, and without the US Navy to fill in the gaps?

West – “If we had to do an operation without the US Navy in that risk period, and without shore-based air cover from the RAF, I may have to tell the Government of the day that the RN cannot do it.””

6. Even AM Jock Stirrup – the capability mgr who offered up the SHAR for retirement – recognised this in his evidence to the HCDC in May 2002, even if it had to be dragged out of him…

” (Air Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup) I would not claim that and I do not think I have claimed that. As I say (repeating myself, I know) I would rather be able to keep a viable Sea Harrier capability in service until it is replaced by the Joint Combat Aircraft. I do not see the Type-45 as a direct replacement for its capability. What I do say is that given the nature of the likely operational environment and the demand that is going to place upon defence and the need for highly reactive, short-range systems, the strengthening of that particular layer of the air defence system represented by the anti-air warfare destroyer is a very valuable addition to our capability.

232. I would understand if you could not answer this, but how many Sea Harriers are needed to tackle the number of simultaneous air threats that it is projected a Type-45 could deal with?
(Air Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup) It is impossible to say because the Type-45, for example, could deal with very fast, low-flying missiles. The Sea Harrier just could not deal with those at all. However, of course, it might, depending on how they were launched, have been able to deal with an aircraft which launched such missiles. So it really is not possible to draw a direct comparison between the two.”

People have allowed themselves to forget just how contentious that decision was and just how much risk was involved. The phrase “taking risk against capability x,y,z” stems from that very debate.

7. There is a reason the US (who have Aegis up the yin-yang) are pursuing F/A XX.

Have just noticed TD’s contribution and your response. Would only add that Russia did not depend on SAM for area AD. Suggest you look up Su15 Flagon (1300 built) , MiG25 Foxbat (1100 built), Mig31 Foxhound (400 built), Tupolev Tu28 Fiddler (200 built) for starters. All are air defence aircraft for waht was PVO Strany.

Simon
May 2, 2013 12:42 pm

NaB,

I owe you an internet beer or at least a bowl of water to dip your fingers in after all that typing.

Thank you.

Observer
Observer
May 2, 2013 1:28 pm

To be fair, the USS Vincennes didn’t have its missile defences on auto, the final launch was manual, remember reading an interview on that incident.

Simon, the problem with point defences is that they engage the enemy only after missiles have been fired. In the case of Backfire bombers IIRC they have a 6 shot “revolver” type missile magazine, which means instead of turning one bomber into junk to keep yourself safe, you now have to hit 6 which are smaller and much faster on more elusive flight profiles.

Another advantage of a CAP is what NaB brought up, non-combatant aircraft in the area. With a CAP, you can actually go out to the contact and interogate or wave him off or even force him to land as opposed to having to wait for him to get close before figuring out if he is an enemy or just a civilian pilot being an idiot. I know of at least two incidents in Singapore where this happened, mostly idiots who do not believe in filing a flight plan AND having non-functional radio.

wf
wf
May 2, 2013 1:39 pm

@Simon: remove the CAP, your enemy can line up an MPA at high level 200km away, and any old aircraft, ship can rain missiles on you until you rapidly run out of SAM’s. Nothing you can do about it :-(

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 2, 2013 2:26 pm

“To be fair, the USS Vincennes didn’t have its missile defences on auto, the final launch was manual, remember reading an interview on that incident.”

No, it didn’t. But that incident really brought home to all concerned the implications of shooting on incomplete or misinterpreted information, let alone enabling auto!

Jeremy M H
May 2, 2013 2:30 pm

@X

Regarding the P-8 there was a pretty involved discussion of its range vs the P-1 here.

http://warships1discussionboards.yuku.com/topic/22638/Kawasaki-Heavy-Industry-delivers-mass-produced-MPA-P1?page=3

The long and short of it is that the thing will have as much range as anything else in its relative weight class. The only real concern is the low altitude performance in my view but I think the USN was honestly getting away from MAD detection anyway. Some of the new sonobuoy developments should really improve target localization from altitude and staying at altitude lets the P-8 take advantage of its very good radar(s) to provide a broader awareness of the battle space.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

Obsv/Nab/Simon

Vincennes was a cluster, they fired upon a commercial airliner in following an airlane having read the warnings on the wrong frequency.

A purely SAM based system is defensive only but can provide protection within the MEZ.

You are not waiting for the enemy to commit a hostile act as you would then have the inherent right of self defence.

What you generally need is for the contact to demonstrate hostile intent. Not always simple and is ROE dependent.

What exactly is required to order an
engagement depends on ROE. However an initial air investigate will look at such things as speed( is it a fast mover) course (is it closing the force) height if ship can without using fc radar, is it following an airlane, is it squsking iff, is it emitting.
The AAWO on a single unit or the AAWC ( anti air warfare coordinator of a tg) must listen to all that info in seconds few, add in the other circumstanced, has the force been probe, is their a hostile MPA in the area possibly vectoring the raid, what is the threat, e.g level and capability.
He then will classify the contact/contacts and reccomend an action.
So unknown 1234 now suspect 1234 based on course speed no airlane and no iff. AIr threat warning now red read suspect 1234 warning 3.
No response warning 3 sir, roger suspect 1234 now at 55 miles and continue to close, read warning 5 (you can skip warnings).
No response warning 5 sir suspect 1234 now at 45 miles, AAWO air picture compiler suspect 1234 now 2 contacts redesignated 1235 and 1236 ( flying in formation is a combat indicator). Sir suspects 1235 and 1236 now hostile 1235 and 1236 due to flying in formation no answer to warnings and continue to close the force. Missile Director(MD) cover hostiles 1235 and 1236.
Sir recommend take hostiles 1235 and 1236 with our birds, they will be in launch range in 10 seconds.
Now that is over simple and ignores some reactions for various reasons, ranges are also made up but that can all happen in seconds few.
The CO/TG commander has to know his ROE inside out before he gives the order to engage. Is this a probe or an attack without CAP you do not know if they are clean or dirty, have there been previous attacks etc.
Big decision.

Observer
Observer
May 2, 2013 3:59 pm

APATs think what we were on here is air CAP and layered air defences, and an air CAP helps a lot by forcing the contact to demonstrate intent before it reaches a critical zone. If a fighter confronts the contact, it has a lot of advantages, for example, in the Vincennes case, a simple visual check would have confirmed it was an airliner not a missile armed fighter. Visual range also allows you to “wave off” a target, with the gun pod if need be. This forces the target to either obey and veer off, or force their hand to demonstrate hostile intent by continuing to close in with the HVU, a very big red flag.

No CAP reduces the commander’s options to those you outlined above. Always nice to have options.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 2, 2013 4:06 pm

“The CO/TG commander has to know his ROE inside out before he gives the order to engage. Is this a probe or an attack without CAP you do not know if they are clean or dirty, have there been previous attacks etc. Big decision.”

Exactly – RoE are everything. And against a sustained campaign of probes / harassment, very, very tiring.

A repeat of the famous “clatter, clatter, clang – whose f8cking birds are those?” “those are our birds, sir” tape might be a lot more likely with a much less happy ending……

Simon
May 2, 2013 4:19 pm

Why can’t the UK define a public RoE policy. For example “any vector that equates to a 1 minute impact is understood as hostile and will be engaged”?

Mark
Mark
May 2, 2013 4:33 pm

Topman

Interesting about marham sound rather too sensible!

x

You don’t even have to take my word for it here’s Boeing own brief overview.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
May 2, 2013 4:41 pm

“Why can’t the UK define a public RoE policy. For example “any vector that equates to a 1 minute impact is understood as hostile and will be engaged”?”

For the rather simple reason that it makes your reaction predictable, which is generally not a good idea and is likely to have adverse consequences elsewhere.

x
x
May 2, 2013 4:47 pm

@ Mark

Your word is good enough for me, even when I tell you it isn’t. :) ;)

How many would we need for 2 patrols per day, 365?

Simon
May 2, 2013 5:00 pm

Predicatably dangerous. Similar to the CASD concept: “touch me and you’ll regret it”.

WiseApe
May 2, 2013 5:09 pm

Has no one told the Cousins that any money saved by scrapping CASD will go towards tax breaks for the rich?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/defence-and-security-blog/2013/apr/30/defence-budget-trident

Don’t let me interrupt the discussion about how essential carrier air is. Assuming you’re out of range of a friendly airfield. Which is impervious to attack.

A point has just occurred to me – when Italy agreed to let UK and others use their airbases, did they impose their own ROE on their guests, or were each nation free to conform to their own? Handy to have a bit of your own real estate that can move about, isn’t it.

Mark
Mark
May 2, 2013 5:18 pm

x

That’s prob one for the end users rather than me but I would guess it would be 4-5 a/c depending on crews and aircraft maintainence ect for continuous airborne patrol

Jeremy M H
May 2, 2013 5:44 pm

@Mark & X

I think you are right it could be done with 4 to 5 aircraft. The 737 is about as reliable as one can make an airplane. Unless the avionics specific to its mission are breaking down I would guess the thing will fly day after day after day if you want.

That Boeing video (yes its a bit manufacturer fluff) does a very good job of breaking down what I would say are the main appealing points of the P-8 to anyone considering it. You won’t find something in that class that is cheaper to operate and you won’t find a larger spares pool out there either. An A320 based platform would be basically the same thing but I don’t see anyone fronting the cash to put one together. The Japanese solution will be more expensive to buy and to operate (unique engines and airframe). There are less capable solutions out there but I doubt one saves huge money going with any of them in the end if you look at the cost of running the thing through life.

Essentially this gives the military a chance to cash in on a product the airlines have badgered for efficiency and reliability for around 30 years. You are not dealing with military efficiency (which let’s be honest is usually a bit of a joke) but with market efficiency which is the most ruthless there is.

JJ
JJ
May 2, 2013 5:45 pm

Hmm not to start a thread drift here but does this very expensive P-8 take this into account?;
http://www.diehl.com/fileadmin/diehl-defence/user_upload/flyer/IDAS_07_2008.pdf

Pretty sure that a sub will hear a plane/helicopter before the ones in the plane/helicopter know there is a sub,interesting…

x
x
May 2, 2013 5:56 pm

@ Jeremy M H

Yep. I just couldn’t get over how some really believed that the USN, well the US Government, with its vast resources and backed up Boeing would “create” a dud.

Jeremy M H
May 2, 2013 6:14 pm

Actually the P-8 is well suited to dealing with that because for the most part it will employ itself at high-altitude, even in the ASW role. It will operate at an altitude where you won’t hear it and where a surface launched IRIS-T missile would likely struggle to reach it at any significant range.

Even better if someone did fire off one of these things at a P-8 or even a helo operating near to where a P-8 was the surface scan radar would likely pick up the launch point and you could drop a GPS guided torpedo with a wing kit on the datum point from 30-50 miles out if you wanted.

I think that tech has a real application against helo’s, particularly ones using dipping gear. But against fixed wing aircraft within the range of the thing the bearing will change too rapidly for targeting. You have a 20KM range for engagement (much less up high as you spend the energy to get up there) and the P-8 should be clipping along at 13KM’s a minute. Someone better at math than I could figure out the bearing change rates that would generate within those 20KM’s for anything other than a straight inbound shot. But with sonar you are likely to hear the thing as it is outbound than when it is inbound (sound is only marginally faster than a cruising P-8) By the time you hear it and compute a firing solution it is out of the engagement envelope. I just don’t see it against fixed wing assets unless the sub gets really lucky. I don’t see it against P-8’s if they get the high-altitude ASW working (which I think they will) at all.

Jeremy M H
May 2, 2013 6:26 pm

@X

Hell, I don’t put it past the US government and military at times to do exactly that. Money does not confer brains. But the P-8 concept in my view was a winner from the start. It should do the job more than well enough and be affordable to buy and operate. If they had started talking about tilt-rotors or hyper-sonic dash capability I would have been running for cover from the money that would have been falling out of the sky into giant holes in the ground. The P-8 program is great because they did something sensible as eschewed the military only thinking they often get into for no good reason.

The important part of this mission (other than endurance) are the radars, data links and sonobouys anyway. The High-Altitude components of the program don’t strike me as that risky as it is just adapting GPS stuff that already exist to work with sonobouys and torpedoes and will be more than paid for by the fact you can tap into a spare pool of some thousands of civilian aircraft for many things.

x
x
May 2, 2013 6:46 pm

@ Jeremy M H

I know what you are saying. But you can’t really hide a 737 doing stuff from pilots, observers in the plane, observers on the ground, etc. etc. I was more interested in the airframe than the gizmos because that was where the criticism was laid on the P8 “system”.

Mark
Mark
May 2, 2013 7:19 pm

Purely for the interest value and as TD posted recently about this company and I knew they did aux fuel tanks for the p8 when x asked about the aircraft here’s an overview.

http://www.marshalladg.com/products-and-services/aerostructures-products/auxiliary-fuel-tanks

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
May 2, 2013 9:52 pm

Ref the P8

I just cannot help but think that like the 767 tanker deal the 737 based P8 was offered to suit Boeing rather than offer the best platform.
The A400M can could a far greater payload further for longer and only slightly slower in an MPA config.

Martin
Editor
May 3, 2013 4:30 am

I’m sure the cousins would love us to scrap Trident. more reliant on them for defence lose our seat on UNSC and more troos available to support their wars. Sounds like a great deal. May as well sign up to become the 52nd state.

Martin
Editor
May 3, 2013 4:32 am

Why does the press always have to us the US opinion as an argument. These days they need us far more than we need them.

Brian Black
Brian Black
May 3, 2013 6:42 am

” Why can’t the UK define a public RoE policy. For example “any vector that equates to a 1 minute impact is understood as hostile and will be engaged”? ”

“Her Majesty’s Government now wishes to make clear that…
All Argentine aircraft, including civil aircraft engaged in surveillance of these British forces, will be regarded as hostile and are liable to be dealt with accordingly.”

[aimed at the Argentine 707 used to locate and track the taskforce]

JJ
JJ
May 3, 2013 6:52 am

@Jeremy;Torpedo’s with wing kits,that sounds interesting,thx for your answer.I had not considered the very high speed of the P-8 since I assumed that it would be circling at low speed low over the waves,if so it would be lunch for the Idas,because the speed of sound underwater is much higher(4.3 times) then in the air,but if it stays high up,well that is a different ballgame.

@all politicians;The japanese ShinMaywa would do a better job at lower weight than the A400,it will also expand the number of engament scenario’s against subs.A p-8 or A-400 can be heard down below,a ShinMaywa not,it just floats around in the water,all the subcommander will hear is a sound of a container floating in the water…With flying boats you could actually use a tactic were you would force a sub towards the sound of the “floating container”,one flying boat taxiing at high speed(ready to avoid the Idas)the other one just sitting in the water waiting launch a torpedo and start the engines.
Another advantage of a flying boat is that you do not need airfields,it can be refuelled by a frigate!(endurance?well how about a whole week if the crew has a BBQ and can camp out on the wing if the weather is good,think about it).In today’s cruise/ballastic missile environnment large airfields will be toast anyway within a couple of hours.I do agree that the choice for the P-8 is more suited to Boeing then the US navy,same could be said about the Jurassic C-130J.

The A-400 is a true military transport because of it’s turboprop engines and not an airliner designed to look like a military transport like the Kawasaki C-2,the C-17(which is not an stol plane,and try taking off with that thing from a gravel strip,it will cost an engine overhaul)or the new Brazilian KC 390.offcourse provided that the A400 will live up to its’s expectations and that it will be a plane wchich can rely on dirt strips and primitive fileds.
An advantage of the A400 over the P-8 and P-1(Kawasaki) and also the flying boat is that the plane could function as a cruise missile launch platform,If I am not mistaken there once was talk of a “non penetrating aircraft”,it showed a picture of a freighter launching a whole bunch of missiles,interesting…maybe you could launch and retrieve ucav’s as well in the future.
I do know that the C-130 was used in the way in the Vietnamwar,except that it carried it’s uav(or whatever they called it back then)under it’s wing.Today you could imagine ucav’s being launched,retrieved,rearmed,refuelled and relaunched from the freightbay of an A400….well so far my sales pitch for the A400..I wandered a bit off from the subject..sorry!

You all have a nice weekend!

Cheers,
JJ

Repulse
May 3, 2013 6:59 am

Having a UNSC seat in my view is fast becoming an irrelevance – money talks, natural resources talk and conventional military might (and be willing to use it) talks. Having CASD talks, but everyone knows it can never and will never be used. It can, by even by applying a little bit of nounce, be negated by never launching a nuclear strike on the UK – that simple.

That is why I believe in current times tactical nuclear weapons are a lot more of a influencer as you are much more likely to use them and the enemy knows that too. Plus it gets my 2nd batch of 7 Astute IIs :)

JJ
JJ
May 3, 2013 7:32 am

oops!offcourse mpa’s can also launch cruise missiles but not as many and offcourse the C-17 and all the other can do this all as well as the A400,perhaps a bit less or a bit more,but with more reliance on big luxury airfields with known locations…and that is what really worries me…

cheers again!

x
x
May 3, 2013 7:47 am

@ Repulse

One can of instant sunshine is much the same as another. They don’t really scale that well. A 16kt weapon dropped on a modern city like London would cause with more casualties than the a medical service could cope and cause trillions in damage. And once one is let off who is to say that more won’t follow? “Hello this is the other side sorry about that small tactical nuke. Won’t happen again! Promise!” “Hello this is the other side again. Yes I know we promised that we wouldn’t use another nuke. Just sort of happened. Not our fault your soldiers are so damned good and so numerous…….” Get the picture? If Iran tests one bomb CASD will be off the political agenda for two generations or more.

Simon
May 3, 2013 7:47 am

APATS,

Why would the P8 be based on anything other than a homegrown Boeing?

If Europe were to build an MPA it would be based on a homegrown Airbus. Similar to the Voyager project. The trouble is that the Americans are there first and reworking much the same systems into a different platform will take excessive time and money – similar to Sentry, I guess.

It just seems perfectly logical to me.

wf
wf
May 3, 2013 8:17 am

P8 is based on the 737 and not the C130/C17 because it doesn’t have a requirement for a massive rear ramp and will spend most of it’s time at medium altitude. Hence why A400 has never been a contender for dedicated MPA, because the expense of removing the rear ramp would make it pointless

wf
wf
May 3, 2013 9:00 am

@TD: I think the question you need to ask about MPA, and indeed Rivet Joint and E3 is more a practical one. We’re never going to buy more than 20 of the first even in an ideal world, and the numbers for the latter are even lower. The only beneficiaries of a Euro project will be companies who will probably fuck it up the way they did the A400 and Nimrod (although it should be noted that by insisting on a Euro engine, the politicians hold more than half the blame). Buy it off the shelf.

If we want to actually gain useful skills, I suggest we build Taranis as a national project. Avoid anything Euro, but accept anyone as a subcontractor and or risk sharing partner. Moaning about the Yanks getting the money is about as relevant as doing the same re the French and Germans

x
x
May 3, 2013 9:01 am

I have an idea!!!! Why don’t we build our own MPA? No? Ok……

All Politicians are The Same
All Politicians are The Same
May 3, 2013 9:09 am

Simon,

Sorry I was not clear. I did not mean that the US should use an A400M was merely thinking out loud about its capabilities vs a 737 based airfrcraft.

WF
The rear ramp has not been removed from the CN 235/295 MPA family have they?

Simon
May 3, 2013 9:48 am

APATS,

Oh, sorry.

Why would the A400M be a good choice for MPA? It seems to be a cargo plane to me, not a very efficient design for high-endurance ops. Granted, it looks good on paper, but it could be better. Surely an A319CJ would be a better platform?

wf
wf
May 3, 2013 10:07 am

@APATS: no, it has not. Can the CN235 drop torpedo’s or sonobuoys from internal storage? It will need a internal underside bay to hold a significant number… another fuselage penetration. Hence, for the big stuff, it’s a lot easier to convert an airliner rather than a cargo aircraft

Martin
Editor
May 3, 2013 10:45 am

I can’t see having a rear ramp on the back of an MPA as a bad thing. There are many MPA versions of the C130 and the ramp is useful for many things.

That being said if we ever do get a good MPA we need to go of the shelf with no f**king around so either P8 or CN235.

@ repulse

If scrapping CASD and trident ment 7 extra astute II with a nuclear tipped version of Perseus then I’m in but I have not seen this proposed by the lib Dems or anyone else. Scrapping CASD is seen as simply a way to cut the budget. No extra funds for anything else. Having the develop our own warhead and cruise missile would likely take away any potential saving anyway. I favoured an Astute batch 2 with 4 CMC tubes for either trident or TLAM with one sub carrying four trident D5 fully loaded with 8 MIRVs on each missile. More than enough detterent in the 21st centuary.

Martin
Editor
May 3, 2013 10:50 am

@ wf I am inclined to agree. If we are to embark on a national defence project on our own it should be Taranis as the industrial benefits are rather large. Mantis derived UAS would also be a winner in my mind. s for an MPA A320 or A400m it just seems like a waste of time.

airbus builds 40 or so A320 each month so an extra order of 8-12 won’t make much difference.

Let’s just hope Taranis first flight happened soon and we scrap any notion of collaboration with France.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
May 3, 2013 11:24 am

“If scrapping CASD and trident ment 7 extra astute II with a nuclear tipped version of Perseus then I’m in but I have not seen this proposed by the lib Dems or anyone else.”

Agreed.

SSN’s need to be kept, and we need enough nuclear cigar-tubes hitting the water in barrow in order to keep the ability to design and manufacture them alive.

Mark
Mark
May 3, 2013 11:26 am

TD yes the 737 would tie us to the airframe replacement for rc-135 and e3. Is that a bad thing? We’re already deeply integrated with those capabilities and the USAF to an extent that I can’t see it changing now. While I would like to see an airbus solution showing we can stand on are own two feet and based on the a319 I can’t honestly see the money coming forth to pay for it.

I would not go down the a400m route for an mpa replacement. The 737/a320 is cheaper to operate 2 engines as opposed to 4 and has a huge global supply network with repair facilities world wide. Perhaps more importantly the quietness and comfort of the cabin will be in excess of anything possible from a turboprop alternative for the systems required to be carried.

Martin

“airbus builds 40 or so A320 each month so an extra order of 8-12 won’t make much difference.”
Yeah it will the production lines are running at close to full production but the bigger problem is the parts suppliers to the fal are at max rate to support it. The only spare capacity may be at there new mobile fal plant in Alabama.

x