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This blog entry has a pretty solid argument against reserve fleets for the modern British Navy.

 

https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com/2018/05/the-utter-pointlessness-of-reserve.html

 

Final paragraph

 

 

...it is incredibly difficult to see what possible value the RN would gain from spending scarce resources to keep elderly ships in reserve. It would absorb significant amounts of funding that could be spent on brand new ships. It would take sailors away from billets they could fill to ease gapping in the active surface force, and it would take so long to recommission the ships (which would be a shadow of their former capability) that the crisis would long have passed by the time they put to sea in an operational condition.
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The better idea is to build 2 extra of the same class but with no weapons and major electronics. since those are the significant costs of a warship, that means you have two new hulls that can be brought into service quickly. Some of the weapon systems like guns and missile launchers can be built slowly and stored ashore, where they not be subject to the elements. If your fleet has a unforeseen accident *cough Norway cough* then you can start bringing one of the hulls online.

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The better idea is to build 2 extra of the same class but with no weapons and major electronics. since those are the significant costs of a warship, that means you have two new hulls that can be brought into service quickly. Some of the weapon systems like guns and missile launchers can be built slowly and stored ashore, where they not be subject to the elements. If your fleet has a unforeseen accident *cough Norway cough* then you can start bringing one of the hulls online.

 

Another take on the old "fitted for but not with" principle, perhaps more sensible.

 

I think the Danes went for that with their StanFlex system.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/StanFlex

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The better idea is to build 2 extra of the same class but with no weapons and major electronics. since those are the significant costs of a warship, that means you have two new hulls that can be brought into service quickly. Some of the weapon systems like guns and missile launchers can be built slowly and stored ashore, where they not be subject to the elements. If your fleet has a unforeseen accident *cough Norway cough* then you can start bringing one of the hulls online.

There was an RN frigate ,can't remember which one, that was designed to be prefabricated, and the parts stored. Kind of akin to an emergency design.

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Unfortunately you're assuming the point is to get hulls cheaply, efficiently and quickly to the war fighters should the need ever arise.

That has very little to do with what the military industrial complex is for. Perpetual low rate production secures jobs and skillsets and greases the money just fine.

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Japanese MoD minister says he has no plan to dispatch the SDF to the escort commercial shipping.

OKYO (Kyodo) -- Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said Tuesday he has "no plan" to send the Self-Defense Forces to the Middle East to join a military coalition envisioned by the United States to safeguard commercial shipping from Iranian threats in the region.

The U.S. plan follows attacks on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz last month, with one of them operated by a Japanese shipping firm. Iwaya said there have been no more similar attacks and that threats against Japan in the area are deemed to be "in a temporary lull at present."

Due to restrictions by its pacifist Constitution, the hurdle remains high for Japan to send troops to the region. The Strait of Hormuz is a key corridor through which major oil exports flow to the world.

The minister declined to comment on whether Washington has sounded Tokyo out about the coalition plan. "We have been regularly communicating closely with the U.S. side, but we should refrain from divulging specific exchanges," Iwaya said at a press conference.

He underlined the importance of continuing diplomatic efforts to ease tensions in the Middle East, where U.S. forces were on the verge of taking military action against Iran following the downing of an unmanned American drone by the country's paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in late June.

U.S. President Donald Trump expressed frustration in June, questioning why his country is protecting shipping lanes for oil-dependent countries like China and Japan, suggesting that countries should be protecting their own ships.

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have increased with the United States stepping up its pressure on Iran over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program, claiming that it is destabilizing the region.

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20190716/p2g/00m/0fp/060000c

Edited by JasonJ
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An interesting gambit by Tehran would be to invite the Japanese Navy to the gulf as a show of both force and flag for de-escalatory global good, and to act as a layer between the rawness of tensions between Iran and the United States.

 

A single warship bearing the naval ensign of Japan on patrol in the gulf would be a beacon to all parties in various ways.

 

Unfortunately you're assuming the point is to get hulls cheaply, efficiently and quickly to the war fighters should the need ever arise.

That has very little to do with what the military industrial complex is for. Perpetual low rate production secures jobs and skillsets and greases the money just fine.

 

Absolutely, with the economic hit being mitigated by sales to those nations that are unable or unwilling to master the economic possibilities.

Edited by Nobu
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An interesting gambit by Tehran would be to invite the Japanese Navy to the gulf as a show of both force and flag for de-escalatory global good, and to act as a layer between the rawness of tensions between Iran and the United States.

 

A single warship bearing the naval ensign of Japan on patrol in the gulf would be a beacon to all parties in various ways.

 

Unfortunately you're assuming the point is to get hulls cheaply, efficiently and quickly to the war fighters should the need ever arise.

 

That has very little to do with what the military industrial complex is for. Perpetual low rate production secures jobs and skillsets and greases the money just fine.

 

Absolutely, with the economic hit being mitigated by sales to those nations that are unable or unwilling to master the economic possibilities.

Good idea in theory, but it misses the fact that some of these waters are disputed.

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What about if you lose 3 or 4 ships, as we did during the Falkland's campaign, and you lack the industrial capability to make good on them inside of 5 years? I seem to recall it took long enough to built a replacement for Sheffield.

Given our tiny force structure, the loss of three or four ships would be pretty catastrophic. The government of the day would fall and there would be no appetite for getting into the kind of situation where that kind of disaster could happen again for decades. It could well force a rethink of the inherent vulnerability of surface ships and the way we fight, or better still avoid fighting wars.

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Chris, we lost 6 ships in the falklands. Did it stop us going to sea? No. And personally, I dont think the size of force matters.If you have a requirement for a force at sea, you are going to keep doing it. Losses just underline how important is is you retain the capability, because there is clearly a threat to shipping.

 

Once gain, you still think its possible to avoid all wars. Sometimes they sail right into you, despite any efforts to avoid them. When I about 6 years old, my father showed me a plate at Heston service's on the M4, showing where Neville Chamberlains airliner stopped and he got out waving a piece of paper promising peace in our time.

 

You might say, its left an indelible impression about unavoidable some wars are.

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Stuart, it's not 1982, We had LOADS of escorts back then (something like 48 frigates and 13 FF/DDGs) and a bunch more (Tribals for example) in reserve. The reason was we had to maintain those numbers to escort convoys across the Pond. This was preparing for existential warfare stuff - we don't face an existential threat now. If you extrapolate from the 19 or so total escorts we have now from 61 back then, losing four now would be the equivalent of losing approximately 12 destroyers/frigates in 1982. Had that happened NO WAY would we have retaken the Falklands, and the Thatcher government would have fallen. You wouldn't have seen people (other than nutters) clamouring to build a bigger better fleet to have another go.

 

No, I do not think it is possible to avoid all wars. I just think it's idiotic to go out actively looking for them - particularly against giant, technologically advanced, unscrupulous enemies at the other side of the planet. If we are going to deter Russia, much closer to home, we really need to have a national conversation about whether that is an objective we nationally want, what is necessary to achieve it and what expenditure in cash and changes to how we live our lives we are willing to accept to do it credibly. I think you and I both know there is zero chance of that happening because there is very little perception of Russia as a genuine threat (and, let's face it, it really isn't an existential threat in the way the Soviet Union was, as you yourself have previously acknowledged). If we are not going to have that debate and make the necessary sacrifices, then we are presumably going to go on sending ludicrously small, poorly equipped, contingents to the Baltics to basically annoy the shit out of the Russians and give their anti-Western commentators, and Putin more material to justify their paranoid nationalistic agenda.

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Stuart, it's not 1982, We had LOADS of escorts back then (something like 48 frigates and 13 FF/DDGs) and a bunch more (Tribals for example) in reserve. The reason was we had to maintain those numbers to escort convoys across the Pond. This was preparing for existential warfare stuff - we don't face an existential threat now. If you extrapolate from the 19 or so total escorts we have now from 61 back then, losing four now would be the equivalent of losing approximately 12 destroyers/frigates in 1982. Had that happened NO WAY would we have retaken the Falklands, and the Thatcher government would have fallen. You wouldn't have seen people (other than nutters) clamouring to build a bigger better fleet to have another go.

 

No, I do not think it is possible to avoid all wars. I just think it's idiotic to go out actively looking for them - particularly against giant, technologically advanced, unscrupulous enemies at the other side of the planet. If we are going to deter Russia, much closer to home, we really need to have a national conversation about whether that is an objective we nationally want, what is necessary to achieve it and what expenditure in cash and changes to how we live our lives we are willing to accept to do it credibly. I think you and I both know there is zero chance of that happening because there is very little perception of Russia as a genuine threat (and, let's face it, it really isn't an existential threat in the way the Soviet Union was, as you yourself have previously acknowledged). If we are not going to have that debate and make the necessary sacrifices, then we are presumably going to go on sending ludicrously small, poorly equipped, contingents to the Baltics to basically annoy the shit out of the Russians and give their anti-Western commentators, and Putin more material to justify their paranoid nationalistic agenda.

 

As do I, the problem comes when those technologically advanced nations on the other side of the planet are the ones causing problems to ours security. How long is it going to be before China puts up a standing patrol in the Indian ocean or the Gulf of Aden, just to make the point they could strangle our supply any time they want? There is a word used during the cold war that is still relevant. 'Finlandization'. The toleration of a greater power because you believe yourself unable or unwilling to stand up to it.

 

I dont want to fight China, I dont personally think China wants to fight us. Between those two points is a cold war style grey zone where both sides jockey for ascendancy. We wont gain any measure of security by throwing our hands up in the air and giving up.

 

We are entitled to police the oceans as much as we can reasonably afford. Not doing so is just an invitation for China, or Russia, or any growing power to tighten the screws to gain whatever concessions they want. Iran is a perfect example of this.

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Stuart, it makes more sense not to be dependent on hydrocarbons that get here via the Indian Ocean than to put forces in there to contest the Chinese navy. If, however, you believe there could be a situation whereby the Chinese would attempt to mount a distant blockade in the Indian Ocean (about which India would apparently have nothing to say), the ships mounting it would be highly vulnerable to one weapon we have that does make sense - the SSN. Not only would their warships be vulnerable, but also the immensely long supply chain back to China.

 

China is actually heavily dependent on imports from that part of the World itself and on exports to places like the UK to fund them. It would make no sense for them to get into a fight with the rest of the world. Now, if you look at how many countries China has invaded or bombed since 1980 and compare them to liberal democracies, like, for example, the UK, who would you say was the most aggressive?

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Stuart, it makes more sense not to be dependent on hydrocarbons that get here via the Indian Ocean than to put forces in there to contest the Chinese navy. If, however, you believe there could be a situation whereby the Chinese would attempt to mount a distant blockade in the Indian Ocean (about which India would apparently have nothing to say), the ships mounting it would be highly vulnerable to one weapon we have that does make sense - the SSN. Not only would their warships be vulnerable, but also the immensely long supply chain back to China.

 

China is actually heavily dependent on imports from that part of the World itself and on exports to places like the UK to fund them. It would make no sense for them to get into a fight with the rest of the world. Now, if you look at how many countries China has invaded or bombed since 1980 and compare them to liberal democracies, like, for example, the UK, who would you say was the most aggressive?

 

China. At least WE arent building concentration and reeducation camps for Muslims. Nor are we building artificial islands to interfere with navigation. More to the point, your perspective overlooks PRC aggression against its neighbors from 1950 to 1980, or arming to the teeth regimes like Saddam Husseins Iraq. And forgetting Tianamen square. Or for that matter, events in Hong Kong of the past month. They are actually putting up OUR colonial flag! They would prefer to be our Colony than part of the PRC, is that some kind of endorsement or what? :D

 

Ask an Indian or the Vietnamese, or a Phillipino fisherman for that matter, to ask how peaceful the Chinese are and you will get a very stark answer. Im sorry Chris, the self flagellation of Britain that Jeremy Corbyn goes in for does nothing for me, and it does no more when voiced by a man of your evident intelligence.

 

 

 

Trump alleged to be in back channel talks with Iran via Senator Rand Paul.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/trump-iran-rand-paul-us-drone-republican-a9011506.html

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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Can add to the list of threat of war vs Taiwan, frequent territorial water violation of the Senkaku islands, the backing of DPRK, and 2015 military parade aimed at "making Japan tremble".

 

All carried out by a state whose goverance is single party control and has been for 70 years and shows no signs of changing.

 

Only the US has a GDP larger than thus country. How can anyone in the right mind feel comfortable about this regime becoming more and more powerful and influential?

 

 

If the UK wants to hang out here, they are welcome, but if the UK doesn't, do so if you must. But my view is that would be a betrayal to what it means to be part of the West, however broad or general it is characterized as. That is not a welcome to hanging out here by doing war. It is to just keep the balance of power tilted in a way that keeps China bottled up inside the first island chain. CCP China can do whatever they want inside their own borders. But standing up to them at the Senkaku islands, at Taiwan, at the South China Sea, at DPRK, etc., is the correct thing to do.

Edited by JasonJ
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