UK Military News, Reports, Data, etc.


Yesterday at 9:13 PM
UK destroyer HMS Diamond aborts deployment due to propeller issues
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you don't me to comment do you
the blogger did:
Type 45 Destroyer issues continue – HMS Diamond breaks down on Gulf deployment
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"The £280 million Power Improvement Package (PIP), which should provide a permanent cure for the engine troubles, promised in the 2015 SDSR will not begin until 2019."
quarter of a bil is one F35 Marvel: Yesterday at 1:52 PM
only now I noticed ... it wants me to register to see the rest of the article, but I think I'm seeing enough:
1.33*9100/48 is about 252
Defence chiefs unable to answer questions on jets
October 18 2017
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"The cost of the next generation of fast jets is unknown and Britain has yet to work out how they will talk to other aircraft and remain hidden from the enemy, it was revealed yesterday.

Harriett Baldwin, a defence minister, told a committee of MPs that a programme to deliver the first 48 F-35B Lightning II warplanes, including support and infrastructure, would be £9.1 billion by 2026 but “beyond that obviously we have not gone”. Britain has pledged to buy 138 of the aircraft."
 
Today at 7:02 AM
Yesterday at 9:13 PM

the blogger did:
Type 45 Destroyer issues continue – HMS Diamond breaks down on Gulf deployment
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"The £280 million Power Improvement Package (PIP), which should provide a permanent cure for the engine troubles, promised in the 2015 SDSR will not begin until 2019."
quarter of a bil is one F35 Marvel: Yesterday at 1:52 PM
and here's a good one: "As the only Level 1 partner, the United Kingdom has garnered tremendous economic benefits from the F-35."
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Wednesday at 8:24 PM
Sep 20, 2017

now though UK defense review delayed by leadership shakeup
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related opinion:
Former Defence Secretary warns current review ‘is really a review about money’
November 25, 2017
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A former Defence Secretary has warned that the current defence review has no relation to strategic threats.

Lord Hutton was speaking during a debate on British defence forces in the House of Lords where he said:

“My Lords, I, too, thank my noble friend Lord Soley for giving us the opportunity today to have a very important conversation about the future of our national security and Armed Forces. Like my noble friend Lord West, I think there was probably a broad consensus in 2015 about the outcome of that security review. It recommended Joint Force 2025, an expeditionary force of nearly 50,000 people, with significant land, sea and air elements. It embarked on a hugely significant programme of defence equipment procurement across land, sea and air, and contained a promise to keep spending on defence at 2% of GDP.

But there was obviously major concern at the time, confirmed now by the Public Accounts Committee, the Select Committee on Defence in another place, the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, senior retired officers and think tanks—pretty well everyone—that the MoD would not be able to sustain the ambitions of the 2015 SDSR. There was and remains no clear path to realising the significant efficiency savings on which all that spending was predicated, other than continued pay restraint for members of the Armed Forces—and that is perhaps not a brilliant recruitment and retention tool over the long term. Since then, we have had to add into the equation the significant impact of Brexit and the dramatic fall in value of sterling—the pound is 30% down against the dollar and the euro—when so much of that defence budget is spent in dollars and euros.

Two years on, we have the announcement of a new security capability review. Every Defence Minister learns the mantra that everything is kept under review, which can sometimes get them out of trouble. On this occasion, it has probably got them into a little more trouble. There are probably two principal justifications, two years after a significant SDSR such as the 2015 report, for having another look at things. One would be any significant or material change in the threat situation facing the UK. By common consensus, that has got worse, not better. The other would be any significant change in technological development and science—technology that might allow us to think again about how we equip our Armed Forces and where we want to spend our money. Neither of those justifications is plausible for this midpoint review of the SDSR. There is only one obvious conclusion for us all to reach: this is really a review about money.”
 
LOL sometimes I'm wrong on the SDF, as with the Poseidons here (I insinuated the UK would never get them, retracted
Mar 27, 2016
Nov 3, 2015

but, yeah, later I realized the RAF would get the Poseidons, and it's time to admit to this :) as UK's Boeing P-8 purchase gets US tick of approval

source:
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now had to pull this quote LOL)
UK aims to certify P-8 by early 2019
UK military aviation safety authorities hope to certify the Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft by early 2019, on time for it to enter Royal Air Force (RAF) service later that year.

The UK Military Aviation Authority (MAA) announced on 22 November that it expected experts collecting evidence for the nine P-8As’ Military Type Certification (MTC) process to have completed that work by late 2018.

According to the MAA, the bulk of this work will involve studying data and certification documents already collected by the US Naval Air Systems Command’s (NAVAIR’s), airworthiness regulator, the 4.0P Division.

This is a new way of working for the UK military airworthiness authorities, which until 2014 usually conducted some of their own live ground and flight testing for both UK and foreign built aircraft.

...
... and the rest is behind paywall at Jane's (dated 24 November 2017)
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Wednesday at 8:24 PM
Sep 20, 2017

now though UK defense review delayed by leadership shakeup
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while Ministry of Defence braced for 'brutal' cuts in security review
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MoD has compiled list of options, including marines and amphibious vessels but Trident replacement seen as untouchable

The
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is bracing for what one Whitehall official has described as “brutal” cuts in a security review scheduled to be announced early next year.

The scale of proposed cutbacks in the army, navy and air force has created alarm within the MoD and poses a major headache for the new defence secretary, Gavin Williamson.

The Times reported that Tobias Ellwood, the minister in charge of personnel and veterans and a lieutenant-colonel in the army reserve, is threatening to resign if the army, which has already been reduced to 82,000, is cut back further.

The Cabinet Office review is looking at 12 different strands of UK security including the intelligence services MI5 and MI6 and the surveillance agency GCHQ, as well as the MoD. Against a background of increased terrorist attacks this year, the intelligence agencies appear to be escaping lightly while the armed services take the brunt of the cuts.

The MoD has drawn up a list of options for cuts, resultingfrom a budget squeeze and a planned shift to projects judged to be more relevant to modern warfare. One of the key planned changes is to devote more resources to cyberwarfare given the threat posed by hackers to essential supplies and to an increased use of drones, robots and artificial intelligence.

The MoD is also looking at ways to better combat the kind of hybrid warfare that Russia has engaged in in eastern Ukraine, a mixture of irregular forces and psychological operations.

Areas vulnerable to cuts are the marines and amphibious vessels. Other budget-saving measures could include delays in building frigates or reducing the number of F-35s bought for two new aircraft carriers. An ambitious army plan to be able to deploy a new 30,000-strong division by 2025 could be in jeopardy.

The two new aircraft carriers, regarded by some within the MoD as vanity projects, would have been high on the list for axing at an earlier stage. The replacement for Trident nuclear programme, including our new submarines, is one of the costliest parts of the £36bn defence budget but is viewed by the MoD as untouchable.

The Cabinet Office exercise began as a mini-review that has since turned into a major defence review even though the last one was only completed in 2015.

Recently-retired senior officers, giving evidence earlier this month to the Commons defence committee, expressed concern that the armed forces are
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and the army is 20 years out of date.

Gen Sir Richard Barrons, who retired last year as commander of joint forces command, said the armed forces were close to breaking point, with the navy underfunded and the air force at the edge of its engineering capacity.

The review is being headed by Mark Sedwill, a diplomat who served in Afghanistan and is now the national security adviser at the Cabinet Office.
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
The 2nd is now arrived in UK IIRC

UK's Royal Fleet Auxiliary welcomes First MARS Tanker RFA Tidespring to the fleet

Honorary Commodore in Chief of the RFA, HRH Prince Edward the Earl of Wessex KG, GCVO, was in Portsmouth today to welcome RFA Tidespring to the operational fleet. The new 37,000 tonne ship, one of the four biggest tankers to be purpose built for the RFA, recently arrived at HM Naval Base Portsmouth in preparation for her official acceptance into operational service. Once in service with the RFA, she will provide fuel, food and stores for Royal Navy warships all around the world.
RFA Tidespring is the first of class of the Military Afloat Reach & Sustainability (MARS) Tankers and together with her three sister ships Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce, are flexible, state-of-the-art double hulled vessels, which will provide key future support to the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers.

Head of the RFA Service, Commodore Duncan Lamb, said:
“Tidespring’s arrival into the Royal Fleet Auxiliary today is an exciting milestone in the history of the RFA. She is a tangible demonstration of the success of the MARS Tanker project which is delivering first-class global support for a first-class global Royal Navy.”
The Tide Class tankers are replacing the RFA’s single-hulled vessels. Significantly larger than their predecessors they are an advanced capability, specifically designed to provide fuel water and stores to the Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers. They can also operate; Chinook, Merlin or Wildcat helicopters from their flight decks.

In addition to their supply duties in support of the RN, these state-of-the-art vessels will also provide a flexible capability to undertake a wide range of maritime operations, such as constabulary patrols policing shipping lanes and humanitarian relief, as well as providing support to NATO and coalition allies.

David Farmer, Head of the Commercially Supported Shipping Project Team at Defence Equipment and Support, said “The service of dedication is an occasion of immense pride for the dedicated and professional project team at DE&S who, working closely with the RFA, have overseen the construction and customisation of these world-class tankers which will support Royal Navy operations all over the world. We look forward to seeing Tidespring’s three sister ships, Tiderace, Tidesurge and Tideforce, join her in active service over the coming months”.

The MARS Tanker programme has an extensive domestic supply chain involving around 27 UK companies.

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Oct 27, 2017
Oct 10, 2017

related:
BAE cuts could light a fire under Britain’s combat air strategy
20 hours ago
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and BAE testifies to lawmakers on Saudi interest in Typhoons, recent workforce cuts
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Talks over an order for a second batch of Typhoons for Saudi Arabia are ongoing, BAE Systems’ head of government relations has told British lawmakers.

“We are still talking to our Saudi customer about the next set of requirements,” Bob Keen told the Defence Select Committee on Tuesday. “There are a raft of issues that surround that, including our continuing commitment to the Vision 2030 agenda and investing in Saudi Arabia, where we already employ 6,000 people. I wouldn’t want to put a date when we would secure more business, but we are working absolutely flat out to make sure that is as soon as possible.”

The executive didn’t expand on issues surrounding Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, a Saudi government plan to wean the country off its dependence on oil and diversify the economy into high-tech sectors like aerospace; but it may be connected with the amount of work the Saudis expect to be undertaken locally on any new Typhoon order. The original Saudi deal for 72 aircraft included a commitment by BAE to undertake a degree of local assembly, but that plan was eventually shelved.

The Saudis have 72 Typhoons and have been in talks for several years now over a further batch of about 48 jets.

Magic wand

BAE executives also gave evidence to the committee on the company’s decision in October to ax nearly 2,000 people from its U.K. workforce, the bulk of them in its air business.

At one point, Chris Boardman, the managing director of BAE Systems’ military air and information business, was asked by one of the parliamentarians what he would wish for the business if he had a magic wand.

Boardman said it would be for the government to provide some vision of where Britain’s combat air sector would be heading once the Typhoon era comes to a close.

“The key thing is to come to a specific decision on the post-Typhoon era because that is a big issue, and I worry that we are applying our investment in a speculative way rather than specific work for a specific effect,” he said.

The Conservative government in Britain has talked about a long-term defense air strategy for a while now, but it has shied away from launching a review as part of its industrywide manufacturing strategy rolled out Nov. 27.

France and Germany are already jointly exploring a possible sixth-generation manned fighter program, and the U.S. is pursuing a similar program.
 
Amphibious futures: the UK controversy and beyond
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Potential scalebacks to the United Kingdom’s amphibious ambitions come amid a growth in countries investing heavily in amphibious assault ships. Date: 27 November 2017

now I read it, so I post:
There is again uncertainty over the future of the United Kingdom’s amphibious capability, at a time when both the utility of and the challenges to such forces are in the spotlight. Indeed, recent natural disasters have underscored their usefulness across a range of missions, but the proliferation of sea-, air- and land-based anti-ship missiles is raising the bar for delivering actual combat power from the sea.

There is speculation of a possible cut of 1,000 Royal Marines (out of about 6,600), and the withdrawal of the Royal Navy’s two specialist amphibious assault ships (LPDs), HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark, with their bespoke command capabilities. This comes against the backdrop of a defence-budget squeeze, strains in naval-service personnel numbers and a broader national-security capabilities review. The UK Ministry of Defence says no decisions have been made, but the amphibious forces have been looking increasingly vulnerable for some time.

Meanwhile, there is a paradox around global developments in amphibious capabilities. The recent hurricanes in and around the Caribbean showcased the value of amphibious shipping and embarked forces in the humanitarian aid and disaster relief (HADR) role. France, the Netherlands and the United States deployed large amphibious ships to the Caribbean, while the UK sent its helicopter carrier (LPH), HMS Ocean, and an auxiliary landing ship, Mounts Bay. The HADR mission is itself taking on a new significance, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. However, such missions do not necessarily require full amphibious-combat capabilities.

At the same time, with a growing proportion of the world’s population, and therefore security concerns, occupying littoral regions, the ability to position capable forces offshore, and to insert and if necessary withdraw them, has become increasingly sought after. A growing number of countries are directing significant investment into such capabilities. But because of the so called anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) threat, which is challenging even for the US Marine Corps, few aspire to be able to deploy such forces in anything other than a permissive environment. The UK has been one of those countries with a more robust amphibious capability, second only to the US. That is the dilemma it now faces.

In Europe, Italy and Turkey are both currently investing in large amphibious assault carriers (LHDs). In the Asia-Pacific region, China is rapidly building up its amphibious forces. Meanwhile, Australia is transforming its navy with an amphibious task-group capability built around two new LHDs, while Japan is establishing an amphibious rapid-deployment force. Other states in the region are procuring limited capabilities, both for the HADR mission and, given multiple local maritime disputes, to be able to deploy forces at range.

The last significant investment in the UK’s capability came in the 1990s and early 2000s with a new LPH (Ocean), the two LPDs and four auxiliary landing ships. However, the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) saw the UK’s amphibious ambitions reduced. The goal became not the deployment of the full 3 Commando Brigade but instead a lead commando group of 1,800 personnel. One LPD was put in reserve and one auxiliary landing ship sold to Australia.

For some, the latest potential cuts to the Royal Navy and Royal Marines are merely recognition of the fact that the UK cannot now deliver on even the 2010 SDSR’s reduced ambition for the country’s amphibious capability. Significantly, HMS Ocean is already due to be withdrawn next year. With the growing A2/AD threat, and the hazards associated with landing heavy equipment from LPDs, it is argued that a more realistic and relevant future capability is utilising the UK’s new aircraft carriers to provide aviation at range for an amphibious force, with the navy’s auxiliary landing ships providing support and supplies.

This arrangement looks like not just a different, but a more limited capability. But the argument is that such a capability, more akin in a contested environment to a raiding force, plus dispersed embarked forces around other ships in the fleet to carry out other maritime-security missions, is the way to go. However, while a traditional ‘storming of the beach’ may no longer be on the cards, opponents of this new formula say the UK will be losing a valuable capability – not least in a NATO context, particularly on what used to be called the Alliance’s northern flank – to be able to project a credible force from the sea. Using the Royal Navy’s new carriers does not replicate a custom-built LPH, the argument goes, and risks undercutting their ability to deliver a full carrier-strike capability.

Without the LPDs, the UK also risks losing the ability to command amphibious operations independently. And it will forego the broader utility of such ships for presence and defence-engagement missions, and as platforms for other niche capabilities such as special-forces operations.

Given the current pressures, change seems inevitable for the UK’s amphibious forces. The main issue appears to be to what extent there will be a step down in capability ambitions.
 

asif iqbal

Brigadier
To be honest it's hard to see RN hold onto amphibious assault capability using LHD/LPD when they just spent over £6 billion on two carriers

Those carrier are going to be used with Apaches and Chinnoks for littoral missions

That pretty much cuts off the LHD/LPD fleet

For obvious reasons keeping such a high value assets close to shores is a bad idea a carrier should be for fast sailing on the high seas in open ocean not for littoral missions

But money dictates that is not always possible and with Brexit payout UK is tight on cash
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
To be honest it's hard to see RN hold onto amphibious assault capability using LHD/LPD when they just spent over £6 billion on two carriers

Those carrier are going to be used with Apaches and Chinnoks for littoral missions

That pretty much cuts off the LHD/LPD fleet

For obvious reasons keeping such a high value assets close to shores is a bad idea a carrier should be for fast sailing on the high seas in open ocean not for littoral missions

But money dictates that is not always possible and with Brexit payout UK is tight on cash
You have almost 50 billions $ we have 32 billions € net without pensions etc... and fortunately cuts finished so how do you manage in fact your leaders ?
 

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