Defining a Requirement
Having described both the changing port environment and the defence and development context, the requirement is defined by three things;
One; as I posited in a previous piece on the UK’s amphibious capability, we cannot afford to field the requisite systems for a realistic over the horizon capability at useful scale and must therefore adjust. Better to do something well than everything not so well. It would also be something unique to the UK.
Two; The changing nature of coastlines and ports
Three; An intelligent use of Overseas Development Aid to enable maritime security operations in support of counter narcotics/smuggling and fisheries management.
Tie these three together with the Strike Brigade concept and a high level requirement set emerges, one that has utility across a range of scenarios, is sustainable, and that can exploit ODA funds in an intelligent manner.
Requirement 1; a centre of excellence for port survey, design, programme management and contract delivery, including a rapid response survey capability.
Requirement 2; a means by which existing ports can be cleared, repaired and augmented for defence or disaster response purposes.
Requirement 3; a means by which shipping can access urbanised coastlines, thus expanding the range of accessible environments for defence and disaster response purposes.
Each one of these will be defined at a high level and then a general principle, compared to capabilities already in service.
A number of suggestions will then be made to fill the gaps.
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