back to article Even more warship cuts floated for the Royal Navy

UK Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has denied that vital British warships may be quietly sold to South American nations as part of the ongoing defence review, according to reports. Helicopter carrier HMS Ocean, already earmarked for sale to Brazil when she is withdrawn from the Royal Navy next year, may be joined by Type …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But...

    Our good buddies, the USA, will help us if we ever get into trouble, surely!?

    Except those times they didn't, like the Falklands

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Except those times they didn't, like the Falklands.

      The US has a long-stated policy of not helping Britain retain or regain it's empire. Roosevelt made it a condition of entering WW2.

      This is why pacific islands the US recaptured were liberated - and why there was an almighty bunfight between the US Navy and Royal Navy after VE day to try and retake as much as possible.

      Something Brexiteers might want to be aware of. In fact, it's far to say that if the US had a mission statement from 1776, it was "dismantle the British Empire".

      I suspect that a "sovereign" Britain will find itself under great US pressure to dump the remains of Empire before they start talking.

      1. Lars Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: RE: Except those times they didn't, like the Falklands.

        AC seems to still believe Britain is not sovereign to day, nice work Farage, Boris and Mogg. I can guess what else he also still believes.

        Tricky word that "believe" though, I have tried to tell die-hard believers that to believe is not to know and that religions are about believing while science is an attempt to know, but still I believe they don't believe me.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: RE: Except those times they didn't, like the Falklands.

        "The US has a long-stated policy of not helping Britain retain or regain it's empire"

        Source, please. Not opinions. K-thx. Roosevelt making "that" a condition of entering WW2? He was looking for an *EXCUSE* to enter the war! Lend-Lease and supporting things like the Flying Tigers was all part of that. Our Congress must declare war, and so he was doing what he could without them. But yeah, the USA should've declared war against Germany the day they invaded Poland, hindsight being 20:20, and against Japan when they invaded Manchuria. Maybe then, things would've ended a lot quicker...

        I'd really like to see the evidence that suggests that Roosevelt, or USA foreign policy in general, seeks to undermine the British Empire, either in the idea of rebuilding it, or in the idea of dismantling it.

        Some of the attitudes ca 1776 and 1812 might have been like that though. I'll accept that one. But wasn't most of that fixed in the latter half of the 19th century? If you consider the history between England and France over the last many centuries, it hasn't been so nice either, until the mid to late 19th century, anyway. [it's one of the reasons that France helped out during the revolutionary war, and why the USA helped Napoleon by purchasing land on the American continent for such a high price].

        Yeah, some of our histories, long since acted out by people who are all dead, hasn't been so nice. I don't think this kind of thinking is still in play. I'd really need to see some real evidence to believe it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Source, please.

          US foreign policy since 1900 ? Sorry it'll require a bit of reading for you.

          http://american_almanac.tripod.com/lkffdr.htm

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Keith Sware

          Re: Re: like the Falklands. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202588

          Hi Bob, like some of your comments, it’s difficult to accept some of our history, the rights and wrongs of it, history is tricky. Following the money is one strategy to help figure out some of the motivations past / present.

          On another tack - It’s not America’s fault that British politicians are often short sighted (2-4 years) and have little understanding of commercial opportunities in manufacturing or in business in general. If they had a better business sense, then the UK would still be supplying countries around the commonwealth with ships, submarines …

          What is really infuriating is the lack of foresight, thinking and planning in the UK civil service who advise politicians. If the Falkland’s taught the British one thing, it’s that attrition played a major part in winning the Falklands war; 7 warships lost and that’s only the half of it (I’m not forgetting the military lives lost) If the john Note SDR in 1981 had not announced the royal navy reduction of 6 warships, then the invasion by the Military Junta (who were throwing civilians out of herky birds {you call them C130s} – 30 miles out to sea), then the Military Junta invasion would never have taken place, because the UK would not have appeared to have been weak, and would not have appeared to have lost interest in the Falklands.

          The MPs need to learn and understand that warships have a long lead time to design; they have a short life time in the salty corrosive ocean. Russia is deploying one new warship every year, considering the life time in salt water, this leads to a navy of 30 ships, if the jobs are sustained, if the training and education is sustained, if the R & D is sustained and if the commitment and backing is sustained, then the royal navy will have something that’s credible and will to stand up to http://russianships.info/eng/today

          Otherwise the UK has to go cap in hand to others who, I say, politely, cannot always be trusted to act in good time. And this history of, British MPs sending the military to Iraq, Bosnia ,Kosovo ,Sierra Leone Civil War, Afghanistan, Libyan Civil War, Syrian Civil War is a testimony to how short sighted and irresponsible are these 600+ British MPs. Who are more interested in media comments and what’s said on social media, then they should be, in supporting the military to do their job.

          https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202588 Prevent the cuts, please re-post this link, prevent MP group think that cutting assets is sensible or sustainable

        3. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: RE: Except those times they didn't, like the Falklands.

          Source, please. Not opinions. K-thx. Roosevelt making "that" a condition of entering WW2? He was looking for an *EXCUSE* to enter the war! Lend-Lease and supporting things like the Flying Tigers was all part of that.

          Errm... sorry, but there needs to be a bit of correction here. Yes, FDR was trying, hard, to get into the war, USS Reuben James was sunk on 'armed neutrality patrol', a.k.a. convoy escort, off Iceland in October 1941, and the US actually relieved British forces occupying Iceland, allowing those troops to be used elsewhere. But he wasn't trying so hard that he didn't put the screws to HM Gov. The destroyers for bases deal, for example; for 50 clapped-out surplus destroyers FDR got basing rights in numerous British possessions, mostly in the Caribbean. The main airports on many of the small islands in the Eastern Caribbean are ex-USAAF or ex-USN bases. The US _still_ has basing rights on some islands (Antigua, for one, Jamaica for another. The Chinese wanted to build on a certain spot in Jamaica and found out that they couldn't, 'cause Unc Sugar has a lease on it for 99 years starting in 1941... This was a surprise to the Jamaican government, too, as HM Gov had forgotten to tell them at independence, and Unc Sugar hadn't used the place since 1945.). Britain was desperate for anti-submarine ships and took what they could get, but it was by no means a fair trade. Lend-Lease was all very good... but the stuff being lent/leased had to be hauled across the Atlantic and there were a _lot_ of U-boats in the way. The Flying Tigers didn't start operations until _after_ Pearl Harbor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Tigers

          As it was, if it wasn't for the fact that Adolf der Aryan was an idiot, FDR _still_ wouldn't have gotten into the war in Europe after the Japanese hit Hawaii; ol' Dumkopf Dolf went and declared war, making things simple. And the Japanese action was in direct reaction to something FDR had done: he locked off their oil supplies. He told the Japanese that either they got out of China or he'd turn off the oil. They didn't. He did. The nearest oil to Japan was in what was then the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia. In order to get to it, the Japanese would have to go right past the American-owned (Dugout Doug MacArthur was running the local army!) Philippines. The Japs were pretty sure that they could grab the oil from the Dutch, no problem. They were also sure that the US Navy would object. The objective of the Pearl Harbor attack was to ensure that there was no more US Navy to object. If Dumkopf Dolf had kept his big yap shut, then the US would have been all in in the Pacific, and Japan would have been really truly cooked... once the Navy was rebuilt. As it was, the US put the main effort into Europe, and Japan was only somewhat cooked.

    2. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: But...

      'Except those times they didn't, like the Falklands'

      Apart from intelligence, missiles, back-filling our NATO commitments, that sort of thing you mean?

      1. Matthew Smith

        Re: But...

        Yes. The US was a great help. The harriers fired the latest sidewinders (It was the sidewinders that made the air cover so deadly to the argies, not the venerable but slow harriers) and the fleet was powered by US supplied oil.

        Now the french engineers working to keep the exocets available, thats another story.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: But...

        Which missiles would those be? The alpha-ready FIM-92 Stingers given to the SAS (still a lot better than the bloody Blowpipe with its sellotaped fins) or the already-delayed shipment of Sidewinders that was 'hurried up' and then made to look like a special exception, by delivering to Ascension within 48 hours of Maggie getting on the phone to Reagan?

      3. Keith Sware

        https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202588

        Public Lip service that’s all we got from the Americans in the Falklands, a few poor satellite photos of an airfield. If we had put money down and purchased Mk3 stinger missiles, then we would have had real help. I hate to say this, but America is all about the money FIRST. They are always happy to sell kit (to support American jobs), they are even happier when the UK gives up its research and development to favour buying American replacements e.g. Nimrod / Harrier etc. America wanted to be the broker between the UK and Argentina; they were not very keen about pushing the Argentinians off the Falklands though. 3 Falkland Islanders were also killed when our previous friends the Argentinians stabbed the UK in the back; can’t trust anyone on the international stage. Who were helping to service exocets and Etendard fighters – the French although they denied it at the time, but their technicians working in Argentina were found out after-the-fact.

        https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202588 Prevent the cuts, please re-post this link, prevent MP group think that cutting assets is sensible or sustainable

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. SkippyBing Silver badge

        Re: But...

        'I think the whole world should have sided with the Argentinians on this one'

        What by giving territory it didn't have a claim to*, to an aggressor country against the wishes of the population of that territory? That couldn't possibly send the wrong message...

        *The Falklands have never been under Argentine jurisdiction, being on the same continental shelf isn't really much of a claim.

        1. JLV Silver badge

          Re: But...

          not to mention that the islands were invaded by the then miltary Junta, whose performance was probably a big factor in them losing power a few years later.

          Not a cuddly lot, those.

          In fact, I really struggle to see what claim Argentina has, given that the only time their ancestors had anything to do with the islands, it was pre-Bolivar, ie it was Spain doing it.

          But when you have a tinpot govt, looking at you, oh Kirchners, what fun external issues are.

          p.s. this whole QE + F35 thingy is really starting to look like a Chinese military planner's wet dream, innit? Given thats the only adversary remotely justifying that white elephant. shoehorn your opponents spending in unproductive directions, straight outta Sun Tzu.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But...

          Unless you are the Australian government trying to steal the oil from the impoverished East Timor.

          Essentially, the fields being on the same continental shelf is the Australian government's argument as to why it should control the fields. Seriously.

        3. Keith Sware

          You need to learn some history - https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202588

          There are only British grave stones in the Falklands before the Falklands war because no Argentinian has ever stepped onto the Falkland’s and lived there before the war.

          Now there were 3 convicts who escaped from Patagonia (why do I say Patagonia? Well because the country called Argentina did not exist), they murdered one local British subject and stole food, the navy captured two of the murderers and hung them (one was never found – presumed died).

          How do I know this, because it is part of the history of Charles Darwin and Captain Fitzroy who sailed HMS Beagle and charted the Falklands and Patagonia (did I say Patagonia, yes that’s right, that’s the place where according to Charles Darwin, the mass genocide took place by murdering civilians in Patagonia who slaughtered many of the native population). So when did Argentina come into existence – it was after the mass Germicide and Charles Darwin did see and did write about it.

          The take home for you is, that apart from the fact that Port Stanley is approx. 400 miles away from Argentina, it’s not really credible for a country to lay claim to a piece of someone else’s territory that was owned before that country was ever born! The UK has owned the Falklands over a 100 years before Argentina came into existence and has fought and conquered Spanish and German and Argentinian attempts to steal it (conquered and won and paid the price in blood to keep the Falklands).

          https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202588 Prevent the cuts, please re-post this link, prevent MP group think that cutting assets is sensible or sustainable

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        You do realise that this "colony" overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining British?

        "On a turnout of 91.94%, an overwhelming 99.8% voted to remain a British territory, with only three votes against."

        1. JimmyPage Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: You do realise that this "colony" overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining British?

          *shrug*

          So ?

          What about the people of Diego Garcia who wanted to stay in the homes they'd had for generations ? They got told to get fucked. In fact they were evicted and told to get fucked.

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge

            Re: You do realise that this "colony" overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining British?

            'What about the people of Diego Garcia who wanted to stay in the homes they'd had for generations ? '

            I've always thought that was shameful, but your argument seems to be that because we've done the wrong thing on one occasion, we shouldn't do the right thing on another. Which is the opposite of what I'd like to see happen.

            1. Tom Samplonius

              Re: You do realise that this "colony" overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining British?

              "I've always thought that was shameful, but your argument seems to be that because we've done the wrong thing on one occasion, we shouldn't do the right thing on another. Which is the opposite of what I'd like to see happen."

              Aka the Chewbacca defense. Or Ignoratio Elenchi. Or just plain old just MIssing the Point.

          2. x 7 Silver badge

            Re: You do realise that this "colony" overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining British?

            "What about the people of Diego Garcia who wanted to stay in the homes they'd had for generations ?"

            Not that many generations....they only moved there to service the ships of the East India Company

            Prior to that the islands were uninhabited. They were only ever there as a temporary workforce

          3. JCitizen
            Meh

            Re: You do realise that this "colony" overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining British?

            @JimmyPage ----- There are no real natives to that island, only contract workers. How do we even know if those homes were privately owned? Maybe they were company housing. Yes they were there for generations, but about now they'd be starving because the economy dried up for their only product long ago.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But...

          On a turnout of 91.94%, an overwhelming 99.8% voted to remain a British territory, with only three votes against.

          Soviet-style electoral (ROFL) process, maybe ?

          1. SkippyBing Silver badge

            Re: But...

            'Soviet-style electoral (ROFL) process, maybe ?'

            Depends, did international observers declare Soviet elections free and fair?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But...

              Depends, did international observers declare Soviet elections free and fair?

              Of course - many times. Just not all international observers.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: But...

          "You do realise that this "colony" overwhelmingly voted in favour of remaining British?"

          And also worth noting there was no native population to be subjugated or ousted. The place was uninhabited apart from a few short lived temporary occupations until Britain moved in permanently and, as someone pointed out further down, before Argentina existed as a State.

    4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "Except those times they didn't, like the Falklands"

      Not to worry, by flogging these to the Brazillians (the other great regional power in the area) the UK addresses the mistake it made flogging off the aircraft carrier to the Argentinians pre 1982.

      And it puts some spare cash in the Treasury bank account should they need to bung the British electorate a "sweetener" or two to get the "right" (or far right if like Jakob Rees Mogg) decision in the next election.

    5. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: But...

      I was in the Navy at the time of the Falkland war. You guys handled it _SO_ well, I think it was more of a 'sit back and wait' approach. It was refreshing to see someone fight back so WILLINGLY against the kind of crap that the Argentinian Junta was trying to pull. Keep in mind, we'd just elected Ron Reagan because of the Iranian Hostage crap, and all of the domestic problems, caused by Carter and the Demo-Rats. There was a lot of 'malaise' and the fog was starting to lift. We in the USA were all VERY tired of piss-ant dictators and 'dog with no teeth' governments making LOTS of noise and pushing everyone else around.

      We should applaud you guys for helping to reverse "all that".

      But yeah UK needs a strong Navy, just like the USA needs a strong Navy. Otherwise, you end up with problems like PIRACY. Oh, wait, that's been happening, hasn't it?

      And there are still some of the same players, piss-ant dictators (Kim 'Fatass' Un) and 'dog with no teeth' governments [Iran] making LOTS of noise and *TRYING* to push everyone else around. Again.

      So ya might want to reconsider some of those budget cuts, and MAYBE cut some "austerity" stuff instead. And cut tax rates. And so on. [we're kinda working on that on this side of the pond right now]

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But...

        Well, I was in the South Atlantic conflict. Things I learned IIRC:

        1) Finding your mum put 3 sets of thermal underwear, 10 pairs of thick socks and a load of Kendall Mint Cake in your kit is a blessing.

        2) Don't try and break the ice in the bottom of a trench you just spent 1 hour digging out of frozen bog - it only makes everything smell of sheepshit.

        3) The weird cracking noises tend to be an enemy sniper firing at you from long distance.

        Don't know anything about whose missiles did what to who or when, apart from seeing poor HMS Sheffield blow up, all that mattered to us was keeping warm, getting warm grub whenever you could and tabbing through the filthiest weather I have ever encountered.

        The Falklanders are welcome to the place.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But...

      So the good ol' USA didn't assist a desperate PM prosecute a colonial war to save her political arse... except when they did. Remember they lent on the exocet manufacturers to break their support contracts to the Argies. If the support was provided, then the RN would have had a much more difficult time getting to Las Malvinas...

      1. Keith Sware

        Re: But...

        I don’t remember the Americans leaning on the exocet manufacturers - sorry, but that’s expletive; the French were denying any involvement - which was not true - the Americans were leaning on / against the British trying to get the UK to agree to not sink Argentinian ships, and to come to a negotiating table, to be chaired by the Americans. There was a period of several weeks where Britain was quite isolated, there was a lot of politics. Behind the scenes France were rubbing their commercial hands at the advertising value of being able to sell a weapon that had been battle tested.

        I remember when HMS Sheffield got hit, it knocked the stuffing out of the whole country, but then, as ship after ship got hit, the country soldiered on and endured and endured and endured

        Meanwhile the Americans had all their best sales people out trying to make a buck

        https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/202588 Prevent the cuts, please re-post this link, prevent MP group think that cutting assets is sensible or sustainable

  2. 27escape
    Facepalm

    ah the costs of buying abroad

    Rather than helping out UK ship and airframe builders

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

      Well apart from a handful of tankers no UK yard bid on, all the RN's ships are built in the UK. As for airframes, it's still going to be cheaper buying Apache's from Boeing than Westlands even with the exchange rate change.

      1. MrXavia

        Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

        "As for airframes, it's still going to be cheaper buying Apache's from Boeing than Westlands even with the exchange rate change."

        Except they never take into account the additional tax income, the reduction in unemployment benefits and general benefits of building in your own country vs importing.

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

          It's ~£1 Billion less buying direct from the US, you could literally give each AugustaWestlands employee in Yeovil £1 Million and tell them never to turn up for work again and still be better off.

          However, if you insist on paying more for UK based defence products, should that be entirely funded by the MoD? Would it not make more sense for the difference in cost to be funded by central government, otherwise you're preventing the MoD running its budget efficiently, in order to satisfy other departments priorities.

          1. Lars Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

            "cost to be funded by central government".

            Wow, and the MoD is funded by who, sailors selling Coke on the street, as one US joke went years ago.

            1. SkippyBing Silver badge

              Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

              'Wow, and the MoD is funded by who, sailors selling Coke on the street, as one US joke went years ago.'

              You appear to have missed my point, the MoD wants to get the best bang for its buck, literally in a lot of cases, however its budget is limited. If the Government forces the MoD's hand over a purchase leading to a more expensive UK sourced option, why should the MoD have its budget plans ruined to support other departments priorities? If it cuts the benefits budget employing UK workers to produce over-priced aircraft then surely the Dept of Work and Pensions should cross-subsidise the MoD a proportion of their saving.

              Otherwise MoD is penalised for being forced to make decisions that benefit another department.

              1. Lars Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

                @SkippyBing, Sorry, as they say sarcasm is not for kids, but as for budgets I have tried to tell my dear wife I have an other budget, still doing well, when it comes to beer and the occasional whisky. What a slow learner she is.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

            "give each AugustaWestlands employee in Yeovil £1 Million ...and still be better off."

            It works similarly with protectionist import tarriffs.

            One example: modems. New Zealand had _one_ domestic manufacturer, so the government put a 20% customs duty on imports.

            The local product was still the most expensive one on the market and ONE of the modem importers paid 5 times more in import duties each year than the local maker's gross reported sales volume. Even the smallest importer was paying more in duties than the local outfit's gross reported revenue.

            The ironic thing is that the local guys actually did have some innovation in their product, but they'd have been thousands of times better off financially by licensing that back to Rockwell at 20c per chip (Rockwell actually offered this and they turned it down) than doggedly insisting on manufacturing locally. Unsurprisingly, they went bust.

          3. JamesPond
            Mushroom

            Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

            The UK could never afford to develop from scratch anything as technologically advanced, cutting edge and costly in R&D as the F35. Therefore if we want this capability we have to either be in the consortium or buy off-the-shelf.

            However given that S.Korea can develop the most versatile destroyer on the sea with anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine capability, you have to ask why we Brits with 100s of years of experience develop a destroyer that is only capable of defending itself from air threats but only has a small number of VLS tubes. Which means we need capable frigates to defend the carriers from sea and submarine threats. Or as others have said, the carriers will have to stay in port.

            1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
              Pirate

              Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

              @jamespond

              The South Koreans used the U.S. Arleigh Burke-class hull and systems and then "nativized" it. So they started with a proven platform.

              1. JamesPond
                Unhappy

                Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

                @Marketing Hack

                Completely agree, so why did the RN either not go down the same route or develop a destroyer that is more than a one-trick-pony? The type 45's can't defend against or attack submarine or surface ships, so not only do the carriers need frigates to protect them, so do the destroyers. And the carriers will have planes with no anti-ship capability at the time of deployment.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

              The UK could never afford to develop from scratch anything as technologically advanced, cutting edge and costly in R&D as the F35.

              Excuse you, Mr JamesPond. Back in the early 1960s, British engineers were working on a design concept for the P1154, which would have been a supersonic version of the Harrier. But for the inevitable fuckwitted defence cuts (the same round that saw TSR-2 scrapped), the morons of the British government wouldn't need the miserable, poorly conceived F35, we'd just need a remake of a third generation P1154.

              If the appalling mismanagement of MoD programmes were controlled, not only could we afford to develop something this advanced, we came fairly close almost half a century ago. Now, somebody will say, ah, but it wasn't a stealth jet, but (ignoring the dubious credentials of "stealth" against modern military radar) who designed the original stealth bomber? I think you'll find that Roy Chadwick has reasonable grounds for that claim without even trying.

              We have more than enough engineering talent in the UK, we certainly have the money if our government can afford to waste £13bn every year on "foreign aid". But as per this article, it isn't that we can't can't do it, or can;t afford it, the problem is 650 PPE graduates sitting on their flabby, workshy arses at a fully taxpayer funded gentleman's club adjacent to Westminster bridge.

              1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

                Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

                @Ledswinger +1

                British Engineers/P1154... the precursor being the P1127.

                Geek's Guide to Britain -

                Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

                Sir Thomas Sopwith's suburban Surrey hub

                "That VTOL aircraft was the Hawker P.1127, which evolved into the Harrier. .... Harriers were also ordered by US forces, normally served by their own defense contractors. "

                https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/24/geeks_guide_sopwith

                P1127 and Harrier is covered from page 4

                https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/24/geeks_guide_sopwith/?page=4

              2. x 7 Silver badge

                Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

                The P.1154 was a non-starter

                John Farley has gone on record (on PPRUNE) as stating he would have refused to fly it as he regarded the use of plenum chamber burning as being a deathtrap. It would have effectively required the use of afterburner while hovering and would have melted the aircraft through the reflected heat

            3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

              he UK could never afford to develop from scratch anything as technologically advanced, cutting edge and costly in R&D as the F35.

              No - we'd prefer to make something that works and is fit for purpose..

            4. EnviableOne Bronze badge

              Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

              The other option was BAe would navalise the typhoon or re-engineer the Harrier which based on the numerours cost overuns and software/hardware malfunctions on the F35 project, would have been a decidedly easier and cheaper job.

              Afterall the US attempts at stealth anything have all been white elephants that are bearly useful in a handfull of situations, Rapier can pick up both the F-111 and B-2, the F-22 isnt as capable as the planes it was to replace. The Zumwalt cant stay afloat, and ... are there any that succeeded

        2. JLV Silver badge

          @ MrXavia Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

          >building in your own country vs importing.

          a.k.a autarky, which has a brilliant track record.

          I hate to break it to you, but military hardware is too expensive to develop all in-house these days. We're not just manufacturing ships, rifles, howitzers with 50 year obsolescence cycles. If you add up attack choppers, transport choppers, transport aircrafs, SAMs, AAMs, fighters, tanks, IFVs, you probably end up with about 2 dozen types of weapon systems that each costs a huge amount to develop, require specialized engineering expertise and can easily go irremediably wrong on any given design. That all to produce relatively small unit volumes for each country, thus driving up R&D costs per unit.

          Building it all in-country is a daft undertaking, much as your resident military industrial complex would have you believe otherwise. And in the long term, you are not even doing the workers much of a favor, since the plug will be pulled sooner or later.

          If you lump in the friendly Western countries, like France, UK, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Itally, etc... you could probably have each specialize in 3-4 weapon systems and cross-buy the others. Develop centers of excellence for certain types of systems. Buy from the US as well, when it makes sense.

          Another benefit from not buying all locally is that when your local dudes build a dud, you shop elsewhere. That happens fairly often - it's not uncommon for a weapon system to be unsuitable, so it is important to preserve competition and alternative suppliers, again not something easy to do when you can barely give enough work to your local industry to build one weapon system of each type.

          In the case of the F35, no, it doesn't make sense to buy it, at all. For Apaches, yes, it probably does.

          Simplistic thinking looks good for jobs for the boys, but it doesn't balance a budget or keep soldiers alive during wars. i.e. you need to export your weapon systems to keep their manufacturing viable and not every country can export all its stuff without importing anything (the USA tries). It's gotta be give and take.

          Case in point: Canada's enduring love affair with the Arrow, a plane whose interceptor design was obsoleted about 5-6 years after it would have gone live. Remember the, similar, F106 and F104? no? That's because their mission - intercepting nuke bombers - was superseded by ICBMs. We all love to cry about losing the Arrow, but reality was it wasn't viable.

        3. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: ah the costs of buying abroad

          didn't the USA buy a lot of HARRIER planes too?

          I have a suggestion: COMPETE. Build a better plane. Then we'll buy 'em too, no doubt. Everybody wins.

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