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What if: 2007 UK Military Expansion


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What if the UK finally decided that the downsizing of British forces have put Her Majesty's subjects in peril as the UK cannnot project power in remote places as strongly as it could in the old times. Without busting the budget and assuming that you could increase defense spending up to about 4.5% of GDP (about $100 billion) which is close to double of current spendng. So how you would invest the new funds:

 

-New Long-range bombers?

-A Nimitz-type Carrier?

-More C-17s?

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Rumour has it Tony Blair is authorising the MOD to aquire a rolled up newspaper for the marines deployed to combat zones and preparing the Battle of Britain memorial flight to deploy to Qatar...

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Common wisdom would be to invest into more shooters...be it troops, weapons or ships. Unfortunately increased spending tends to go into totally different areas... :angry: And I don't mean logistics, which are vital.

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Apart from what Stuart said, I doubt we could recruit enough troops to man the number of shiny new toys you could buy with that much money.

 

Naah. What we need is a relatively modest increase, to

1) bring what we have up to spec. Maintenance, troop accomodation, medical services, personal equipment, comms, etc., fully manned units (easier to recruit if troops have better conditions), maybe a little pay boost, especially for lower ranks.

2) fund what we're already supposed to be buying, without having to cut elsewhere or do funny financial tricks like PFI (just buy the bloody tankers!).

3) some gap filling: more helicopters for the army, then maybe a few more C-17s, a few spec ops transports to replace recent losses & their soon-to-give-up-because-overworked old Hercs - C-27J?

4) R&D uncut, so things like CAESAR stop languishing on the back burner.

 

No 100K ton nuclear carriers, no indigenous B-2 clones (though I did once have a fantasy about a modern Vulcan clone, modified to be LO, with nice new efficient turbofans & lighter structure to give it much greater range :lol: ), no doubling of spending.

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What if the UK finally decided that the downsizing of British forces have put Her Majesty's subjects in peril as the UK cannnot project power in remote places as strongly as it could in the old times. Without busting the budget and assuming that you could increase defense spending up to about 4.5% of GDP (about $100 billion) which is close to double of current spendng. So how you would invest the new funds:

 

-New Long-range bombers?

-A Nimitz-type Carrier?

-More C-17s?

 

the Nimitz type : the CVF is about the size of of a of a Forest fire or a kitty hawk so the carriers are closer to reality

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Well If I ever make it to Defence secretary, I know who my number 2 man is going to be. ;)

 

pfcem, I dont disagree, but Its worth pointing out the UK had a job achieving that figure even during the cold war. Unless the French suddenly start beheading their noblemen again, I dont see it happening under this Government. Probably not under a Tory one these days either.

According to my handy-dandy CIA World Factbook , you Ukians spend 2.4 % of GDP(2003) on mil while we USians spend 3.3% of GDP(2004).

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, no indigenous B-2 clones (though I did once have a fantasy about a modern Vulcan clone, modified to be LO, with nice new efficient turbofans & lighter structure to give it much greater range :lol: ), no doubling of spending.

 

 

I see I am not the only one who has a soft spot for the Avro Vulcan. It was already a LO for its age. If the B-52s are still soldiering on, I don't why, other than budget cuts, the RAF could have kept the Vulcan in service, with new ECM, avionics and glass-cockpit. Given new advances in weapons systems, a Vulcan carrying a full load of 1000 lbs. JDAMs would be even more formidable than before. Such aircraft, would have given the RAF a strategic reach that it is sorely lacking now.

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If I were MoD, I would develop the modern-day version of the M42 Duster (Quad .50 caliber MG), but instead of the MGs, 2 CIWS Phalanx chain guns mounted on an M113.

 

Or better yet, put the pair on patrol boats. Let's see how those Iran-ants do against Her Majesty's guns.

 

konev

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According to my handy-dandy CIA World Factbook , you Ukians spend 2.4 % of GDP(2003) on mil while we USians spend 3.3% of GDP(2004).

 

Ours has since gone down slightly as a share of GDP (2.2%?), & yours has risen a bit (3.7%?). You're spending almost 1% of GDP on Iraq & Afghanistan, IIRC.

 

The problem is, UK defence forces are so hollowed-out from cost-cutting that you could double the existing defence budget and have no visible effect - the money'd be soaked up by providing hot water in barrack blocks, fixing roofs, maintaining adequate stocks of ammo for the two wars already underway, etc, etc.

 

No, seriously: that sort of thing isn't hugely expensive. The reason it's been neglected is because we've been trying to do more than the budget allows, e.g. going to war without any money being provided to pay for it. Better management of assets (MoD is awful at it) & a few percent extra on the budget would enable the backlog of neglect to be whittled away quite quickly. Unfortunately, we're still getting declines in real terms, even with Gordie releasing a little bit from reserves for Iraq & Afghanistan.

Edited by swerve
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I see I am not the only one who has a soft spot for the Avro Vulcan. It was already a LO for its age. If the B-52s are still soldiering on, I don't why, other than budget cuts, the RAF could have kept the Vulcan in service, with new ECM, avionics and glass-cockpit. Given new advances in weapons systems, a Vulcan carrying a full load of 1000 lbs. JDAMs would be even more formidable than before. Such aircraft, would have given the RAF a strategic reach that it is sorely lacking now.

 

IIRC, the airframes were already way past their design life (dontcha love over-engineered kit?) when retired. But I can't help hankering after a modern version. As you say, it was already pretty LO. Some subtle re-shaping, detailing, & judicious application of RAM could cut its RCS tremendously. The airframe could be significantly lightened. New avionics would be smaller & lighter, as well as more effective, & should permit cutting the crew from 5 to 2. All that weight & space saving, & newer engines, with lower sfc & much better T/W ratio, would permit the carriage of more fuel & an enormously increased range.

 

Never mind the 1000lb JDAMS: stuff a load of 125kg CBEMS-BANGs or SDBs in 'er & whack 40 targets at once.

 

Good strategic recce platform, too. But a pipe-dream, sadly.

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I see I am not the only one who has a soft spot for the Avro Vulcan. It was already a LO for its age. If the B-52s are still soldiering on, I don't why, other than budget cuts, the RAF could have kept the Vulcan in service, with new ECM, avionics and glass-cockpit. Given new advances in weapons systems, a Vulcan carrying a full load of 1000 lbs. JDAMs would be even more formidable than before. Such aircraft, would have given the RAF a strategic reach that it is sorely lacking now.

 

Isn't XH558 just about ready to take to the air again? IIRC the "Vulcan to the Sky" project was supposed to have her ready to be the star attraction at the Falklands 25th Anniversary flypast over London.

 

Might send a nice little message if they were to hang HARMS (edit: er, ALARMS ...) off of one of the wing station pylons, and put a TIALD on the other.

 

--Garth

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the Nimitz type : the CVF is about the size of of a of a Forest fire or a kitty hawk so the carriers are closer to reality

 

Actually, I think the CVFs fall in somewhere between a post SCB Essex and a Midway in terms of displacement.

 

But I also think they are going with civvie hull/construction standards, getting a lot more deck acreage for their diplacement.

 

--Garth

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If I were MoD, I would develop the modern-day version of the M42 Duster (Quad .50 caliber MG), but instead of the MGs, 2 CIWS Phalanx chain guns mounted on an M113.

 

Now you're going to give Sparky ideas. :D

 

Besides, why use the M113 when the Brits have their own version of the Ultimate-in-APC-and-Tracked-Vehicle Almighty Gavin?

 

 

BTT, with that money, I'd spend it on cruise missiles of various versions (nuke, cluster, etc etc) and start lobbing them at Iran, etc. :D

Edited by TomasCTT
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I can't see why the Nimrod MRA-4 can't be adapted to serve as a long range bomber and cruise missile platform. That might also help justify more than the tiny number we're procuring (16 but with a hint that 12 might be enough). It might add another decade to the ISD though.

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I can't see why the Nimrod MRA-4 can't be adapted to serve as a long range bomber and cruise missile platform. That might also help justify more than the tiny number we're procuring (16 but with a hint that 12 might be enough). It might add another decade to the ISD though.

 

Stand-off only: it's not designed for operating near air defences. There has been talk of fitting Storm Shadow.

 

I think it's more than a hint: AFAIK the number's been officially cut to 12. I've also heard that surveys of the airframes to be converted have revealed that the original figure (ca 20, IIRC, before it was cut to 16) was probably unachievable without even more making of new parts. Dammit, they should have just built new from the start! They're mostly new anyway, & I reckon it would have been cheaper. Saved all the design, re-design, re-re-design.

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True. Personally I wish we could work with the french and build an entirely new airframe (perhaps based on Airbus components) and have all that built in from the start. I love the Nimrod, but with the recent accident in mind, I cant help but think that as an airframe its had its day.

 

The MRA4s have so little original structure in they're virtually new-build. But a new airframe would have had advantages. There's an EADS proposal for an A320-based MPA.

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Stand-off only: it's not designed for operating near air defences. There has been talk of fitting Storm Shadow.

 

It wouldn't need to be stand-off only if, like B-52s over Afghanistan, the enemy had no fighters and no high level AD. There are lots of potential enemies like that. It also depends on your definition of 'stand-off'. Even enemies with only low-medium level SHORADS (ie the British Army) would be unable to respond to attack from weapons like EPW, PW, JDAM, WCMD etc. which aren't normally considered to be standoff weapons.

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It wouldn't need to be stand-off only if, like B-52s over Afghanistan, the enemy had no fighters and no high level AD. There are lots of potential enemies like that. It also depends on your definition of 'stand-off'. Even enemies with only low-medium level SHORADS (ie the British Army) would be unable to respond to attack from weapons like EPW, PW, JDAM, WCMD etc. which aren't normally considered to be standoff weapons.

 

True. I just have trouble adapting to the thought of a Nimrod MRA4 being used as a bomb truck. It doesn't seem right!

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XH558 is coming back on line soon, maybe then can hand a couple on the Skybolt pylons. Behold Derka Derkists, your end is nigh. :lol:

 

Would it be feasible to use surplused airliners for the role? I know that 747s for example had a hardpoint built in to carry spare engines to far flung spots. And it was mooted to hang Hawker siddley Gnats on pylons under the wings of a BAC111.

 

Wasn't that a VC-10? Wouldn't a BAC111 have been a bit small?

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Besides, why use the M113 when the Brits have their own version of the Ultimate-in-APC-and-Tracked-Vehicle Almighty Gavin?

 

 

in true British style it would be called Trevor. Or something equally uninspiring .

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in true British style it would be called Trevor. Or something equally uninspiring .

 

Actually it's called Bulldog. Which is a bit of an improvement on its old name, FV432 (which sounds like a bad sci-fi movie).

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