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British armed forces operational capability in the future ?

  • 08-07-2012 3:47pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 6


    Hi , read this forum for a while and know theres a few lads on here that are either with the BA or were ..
    im very interested in joining , one of the reasons an irish lad joins across the water is to go on operations in conflicts around the world and i guess to see action ,
    ive been reading up on whats happening with the cutbacks and their lack of choppers and air carriers but i really cant make heads or tails of what this means for the future of the british armed forces
    my question is will the cutbacks , downsizing and lack of vehicles and all that will that stop them from being deployed in the next few years ???
    how does all this affect units like the paras and the royal marines ??? their the rapid reaction force so what does this mean for them as their supposed to be first in and that ?
    im just asking because you would hate to join up go through all that training and go no where with it you know ?
    anyone with decent opinions or with experience over there please post as this could end up affecting me joining or not
    thanks


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Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭DipStick McSwindler


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 vegan ezra


    no need to apologize , i prob shouldnt have said that as my mind is made up and im just waiting to start now so ill be going regardless i just want to know what people think this means ? and how it will affect across the board ; BA/PARAS/ROYAL IRISH , RAF , NAVY/MARINES ? ..
    ive heard some units will be untouched some wont ..
    but basically what i want to know is will they be able to go overseas the way they did pre Iraq if they have to or are needed ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭DipStick McSwindler


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,194 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    vegan ezra wrote: »
    my question is will the cutbacks , downsizing and lack of vehicles and all that will that stop them from being deployed in the next few years ???
    Has any army complained it has too much equipment?

    Let's exclude the right kind of equipment and maintenance arguments.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,364 ✭✭✭golden lane


    rapid reaction....which will be the thing of the future......will have mixed eu forces i believe.........there are eu forces in the uk at present......

    the army doesn't need to be so big.....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6 vegan ezra


    cheers for the link feeney ,really ??? your buddy said they re goin in 2015 ? you keep hearing they re done in 2014 dont you .. who knows

    i just said it because they keep saying they dont have aircraft carriers etc to protect the falklands so thought it tied in but ya fair enough

    mixed eu forces ? theres eu forces in the uk at the moment ?
    what do you mean ? sorry i know nothing about that so if you could fill me in


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,460 ✭✭✭DipStick McSwindler


    This post has been deleted.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,332 ✭✭✭cruasder777


    vegan ezra wrote: »
    Hi , read this forum for a while and know theres a few lads on here that are either with the BA or were ..
    im very interested in joining , one of the reasons an irish lad joins across the water is to go on operations in conflicts around the world and i guess to see action ,
    ive been reading up on whats happening with the cutbacks and their lack of choppers and air carriers but i really cant make heads or tails of what this means for the future of the british armed forces
    my question is will the cutbacks , downsizing and lack of vehicles and all that will that stop them from being deployed in the next few years ???
    how does all this affect units like the paras and the royal marines ??? their the rapid reaction force so what does this mean for them as their supposed to be first in and that ?
    im just asking because you would hate to join up go through all that training and go no where with it you know ?
    anyone with decent opinions or with experience over there please post as this could end up affecting me joining or not
    thanks



    Lack of choppers ?

    They have over 700, the largest fleet outside the US, around 80 chinooks.

    The reorganisation is about the army being more of a rapid reaction force, in and out quickly, instead of boots on the ground for long periods.

    Hence the two Royal Navy helicopter carriers.


    With the Middle East and Africa more unstable then ever, without doubt rapid reaction type operations will happen far more frequently then in the past.

    In the coming years soldiering will get more and more high tec. With helmet mounted computer displays, soldiers will have a global positioning systems, a dead reckoner and map displays to increase his situational awareness, helmet displays, wrist-mounted displays, hand-held and laptop computers and communications systems etc.Clothing which will reduce the soldier's visual, radar and infrared signatures as well as providing personal temperature control and environmental protection.

    35,000 sets of FIST kit are expected to be procured and the systems will be deployed by the British Army, the Royal Air Force Regiment and Royal Marines. FIST will enter service between 2015 and 2020.


    ......This stuff costs money.


    http://www.army-technology.com/projects/fist/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭Donny5


    Lack of choppers ?

    They have over 700, the largest fleet outside the US, around 80 chinooks.

    522, of which 46 are Chinooks, according to Wikipedia.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,332 ✭✭✭cruasder777


    Donny5 wrote: »
    522, of which 46 are Chinooks, according to Wikipedia.

    That does not include those in storage.


    Wiki is wrong.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/2009/12/15/british-army-in-afghanistan-to-get-22-more-chinook-helicopters-but-not-until-2013-86908-21898887/

    THE Ministry of Defence today announced plans to buy 22 new Chinook helicopters to increase air support on the frontline in Afghanistan.
    The announcement came hours before a statement to the House of Commons in which Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth is expected to unveil deep cuts in other parts of the military budget.

    Mr Ainsworth said the first 10 Chinooks would be completed in 2013, and the procurement would increase the UK's fleet of the heavy-lift helicopters from 48 to 70.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭Donny5



    Well, that article is out of date,I'm afraid. The current fleet is 46, because they've lost two in Afghanistan since that was written, and the order for 22 more Chinooks has been reduced to 14. So we're left with 46 now, probably increasing to 60 starting sometime in 2014.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭Donny5


    I would rather trust what the previous head of the MOD said rather then wiki thanks.

    The article I linked to is the MOD's own site. I think you can trust its articles about the SDSR cut-backs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 vegan ezra


    cheers for the replies
    the only reason i really mention choppers was because of that time the royal marines bungeed themselves to an apache coz there was no other choppers around .. apologies


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭OS119


    vegan ezra wrote: »
    ...but basically what i want to know is will they be able to go overseas the way they did pre Iraq if they have to or are needed ?

    they will be able to go overseas in the future, just in a slightly different way.

    very roughly, the capability is being shifted from a 'Heavy', armoured force that can fight tank battles, to a lighter, infantry focused force. there is however, a loss of permanancy - its very unlikely that Force 2020 could, as an example, maintain a 10,000 man force in Afghanistan for 10 years. that is, to my eyes, a deliberate political decision. British politicians have had their fill of long-term, large scale ground operations.

    there are a number of reasons for the change in capability: firstly that on the balance of probabilities, the enemies of the next 20-30 years will be non-state actors rather than something akin to 3rd Soviet Shock Army, secondly that even if a state with large armoured capabilities does become an enemy, the UK's geographical position means that the homeland isn't threatened by that armoured capablity, and that while the best thing to kill a tank is a heavier, more powerful, more mobile tank, an AH-64 also sems to do quite well.

    Force 2020 will be more deployable, and in my view more likely to get involved in numerous, small, short term operations that do not encompass nation-building - it will, interestingly, be less reliant on coalitions to help it fight wars. the C-17/A-400M/A-330 fleet will be better at airlift than any previous RAF airlift capability, and the 2 QE class carriers will be better at providing strike and CAS than any RN capability in the modern era.

    i would not be that surprised to see a slow-down in overseas operations between the end of Afghanistan and 2020, for both political and capability reasons, but it'll be a slow-down, not an end, and when the new strategic capabilities come online, and the Army has been re-built/rested - both at about 2020 - i expect the RN and the Army to be blowing crap up, worldwide, in good fashion.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭Donny5


    OS119 wrote: »
    tthe 2 QE class carriers will be better at providing strike and CAS than any RN capability in the modern era.

    The one QE Class carrier, assuming it's commissioned and that their are aircraft to fly from her - both big ifs at the minute.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭tac foley


    vegan ezra wrote: »
    mixed eu forces ? theres eu forces in the uk at the moment ?

    There are NO mixed EU forces in the UK - anywhere.

    The last time a large number of foreign troops came over to UK was in September of 1066.

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭OS119


    Donny5 wrote: »
    The one QE Class carrier, assuming it's commissioned and that their are aircraft to fly from her - both big ifs at the minute.

    both now - both are now 'funded', and both will, under current plans, be commissioned. the point about what will fly off them is well made - F-35B is still a technical, and more pointedly, a financial risk.

    obviously, if it falls then we have a problem - we can open up both fully built carriers, fit cat and traps retrospectively, and buy F/A-18E/F instead of F-35B at an astonishing, eye-watering cost, or operate two 60,000 ton helicopter carriers.

    my own view is that F-35B will muddle through, it will be much more expensive, and less capable than 'C', but its cost will still be less than buying 'C' and retrospectively fitting Cat and traps to the carriers in 2018 or so - and more politically acceptable than two carriers with nothing to carry.

    i'd lay reasonable money on a smaller F-35B buy than desired, with a mixed airgroup of marinised AH-64, troop carrying Merlin, ASW Merlin, and an AEW/AWACS Merlin - with TLAM capability on the Astutes being enhanced to make up the shortfall of F-35B in the strike role.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭Donny5


    tac foley wrote: »
    There are NO mixed EU forces in the UK - anywhere.

    The last time a large number of foreign troops came over to UK was in September of 1066.

    tac

    Well, on the last day of 2011, there were 9,317 American Troops alone in the U.K., and that doesn't include Diego Garcia.
    OS119 wrote: »
    both now - both are now 'funded', and both will, under current plans, be commissioned. the point about what will fly off them is well made - F-35B is still a technical, and more pointedly, a financial risk.

    obviously, if it falls then we have a problem - we can open up both fully built carriers, fit cat and traps retrospectively, and buy F/A-18E/F instead of F-35B at an astonishing, eye-watering cost, or operate two 60,000 ton helicopter carriers.

    my own view is that F-35B will muddle through, it will be much more expensive, and less capable than 'C', but its cost will still be less than buying 'C' and retrospectively fitting Cat and traps to the carriers in 2018 or so - and more politically acceptable than two carriers with nothing to carry.

    i'd lay reasonable money on a smaller F-35B buy than desired, with a mixed airgroup of marinised AH-64, troop carrying Merlin, ASW Merlin, and an AEW/AWACS Merlin - with TLAM capability on the Astutes being enhanced to make up the shortfall of F-35B in the strike role.

    Both carriers are now funded, but they're easy targets and there's a lot of budgets between now and their expected entry into service. As for the F-35B, it's almost guaranteed that it will be entered into service because the U.S. has eleven very expensive amphibious assault ships that can't fly the C model. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the U.K. doesn't buy it, as there are currently no orders for B models outside the USMC. I also wouldn't be surprised if 2020 rolls around and the UK's carriers have been quietly forgotten.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭OS119


    Donny5 wrote: »
    ...but they're easy targets...

    not anymore - imv - the publicity over the carriers (and the very public nature of the political posturing over the C&T/V/STOL argument), and the more complete they become, makes them harder and harder to cancel.

    barring something dramatic i think they are safe. of course, 'safe' does not mean that both will sail the seven seas for the next 50 years with 36 F-35's apeice, but it does, imv, mean that both will be be completed and both will commision into the RN.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭tac foley


    Donny5 wrote: »
    Well, on the last day of 2011, there were 9,317 American Troops alone in the U.K., and that doesn't include Diego Garcia.

    Ah, partly correct. Here in East Anglia I live surrounded by many of them, too, in fact, there are two off-duty guys sitting here in my living room drinking my coffee as I write this - they live across the street from me. Ty and Pat say hello, BTW :D

    However, the question was how many mixed EU troops are there in UK right now. The answer still has to be none - the US of A is not part of the European Union.

    There are what you might call EU troops here in UK in minute numbers - members of staff at our military colleges and in certain intelligence-related units but they could not be described as being part of any mixed EU unit, just serving in their own nationally-interested focus groups of around four or five personnel or acting as instructors as noted.

    I assume that you actually know where Diego Garcia is located? I think that you'd agree that it is nowhere near Europe, and is NOT part of the UK either.

    tac


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,827 ✭✭✭Donny5


    tac foley wrote: »
    However, the question was how many mixed EU troops are there in UK right now. The answer still has to be none - the US of A is not part of the European Union.

    I didn't say there were or it was. I took issue with:
    tac foley wrote: »
    The last time a large number of foreign troops came over to UK was in September of 1066.
    tac foley wrote: »
    I assume that you actually know where Diego Garcia is located? I think that you'd agree that it is nowhere near Europe, and is NOT part of the UK either.

    Of course, which is why I was sure not to include it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭OS119


    technically, there are EU troops in the UK - JPHQ at Northwood acts as one of three(?) European operational HQ's for the EU Battlegroup programme, so yes, there are a small number of non UK, EU 'badged' personnel in the UK on a permanent basis.

    there is also continuous EUBG work being done in the UK, to which non-UK EU 'badged' personnel are seconded - the UK forms the bulk of one of its two allocated BG's with the Netherlands, and from vague recall the next UK lead BG will involve some of the Baltic States.

    certainly the Dutch did a big exercise over here with 3CdoX that was a work up for the last BG...


  • Registered Users Posts: 6 vegan ezra


    have a much better idea of it now thank
    on the subject of eu troops in the uk maybe tac could answer this one for me .. have the royal marines or paras ever gone peacekeeping with the un ? and if they have did they wear blue berets and helmets covers ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,364 ✭✭✭golden lane


    tac foley wrote: »
    There are NO mixed EU forces in the UK - anywhere.

    The last time a large number of foreign troops came over to UK was in September of 1066.

    tac

    of course the usa kept all their troops for the invasion of europe....at home....

    german army trucks on salisbury plain, italian troops stationed in gloucester........my imagination, i suppose.....2012...


    the free french troops were stationed in paris ????

    the free polish troops were stationed in warsaw..??????


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭OS119


    vegan ezra wrote: »
    ...have the royal marines or paras ever gone peacekeeping with the un ? and if they have did they wear blue berets and helmets covers ?

    yup, the last Blue Helmet job the UK did was Bosnia, lots of RM and PARA over the whole of the Op - not in large units because Bosnia was an Armoured Infantry op, and PARA and RM are light role - but lots of bodies on specialist tasks and reinforcement Coys.

    i think one of the PARA Bn's did the Rhodesia PK job, but i may be wrong...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭tac foley


    of course the usa kept all their troops for the invasion of europe....at home....

    Sarcasm is not required - the question was about EU troops. When the Americans were last here in very large numbers, WW2, there was no EU.

    german army trucks on salisbury plain, italian troops stationed in gloucester........my imagination, i suppose.....2012...

    Temporarily based in UK for exercise purpose? Mixed? Please show me how they were mixed with British troops?

    the free french troops were stationed in paris ????

    [I]WW2 again. Not EU.[/I]

    the free polish troops were stationed in warsaw..??????

    WW2 again, and not EU.[/I]

    There are NO mixed EU/UK troops here in UK.

    There are NO EU troops permanently based here in UK.

    If in doubt about the meaning of the word 'troops', please look it up.

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,232 ✭✭✭neilled


    Essentially the brits have decided that the next war they are going to fight isn't going to be the full on first rate power vs first rate power with armour clashing on the battle field supported by fast air..... the threat is more likely to be from non state actors such as ethnic or nationalist separatists rather the the third shock army.

    As such their armoured capacity has been mothballed in comparison to what it was. If your thinking of becoming a tankie, its a declining profession right now. Thats not to say it won't be expanded again in future, but it looks increasingly unlikely. Indeed, the UK cavalry are moving towards what the Irish cav do - and thats recce, moving ahead of the main force, parking up, dismounting and finding out where the enemy are so that they can be crushed with a combined arms attack. However, with the emergence of ever more high tech UAV's some think the day of armoured recce is over......

    Rather UK land forces are moving to a three tier structure

    The first we in laymans terms you could all the light or "elite" role. These guys will be the initial entry into a conflict zone and will probably be the ones crossing the border first. As such they will be considered "elite" infantry - harder training than a regular "line" soldier, and be expected to fight and survive against the odds with little support from the word go.

    The likes of your Royal Marines, Parachute regiment will be up there, with a few raf regiment thrown into the mix. however some of the other infantry regiments will be assigned this role as well. One of the battalions from "The Rifles" are commando trained. Basically if storming the beachhead, parachuting or choppering into battle are your thing, then this is where to go.

    The next crowd are your regular infantry - there's nothing wrong with these guys and they'll probably be busy, once the initial flurry is over, or the enemy are tooled up with armour, regular "line" infantry will be out in force. Line infantry comes a variety of formats - light infantry (which isn't, they carry most of their stuff), armoured (who operate from tracked armoured vehicles like the warrior, bradley or bmp) and mechanised (who typically use a wheeled less heavily armoured vehicle like the mowag in service with the Irish). Off the three, the light are the cheapest to run, getting more expensive with mechanized and then armoured with the level of firepower available increasing as well. Indeed, there's going to be scrap over which units get the mechanized slots, which infantryman wouldn't rather ride to battle in an armoured hide, or go there in canvas sided truck?

    Finally you have the supporting arms - your artillery, army air corps, cavalry, medics, logistics. Whilst derided by some "front line" troops as remfs, pogues etc, without these guys the "teeth" arms can't function, for every rifleman blazing away at the enemy theres any number of people needed to put him in the field. Apparently the unit that has been shot at most in afghanistan for the brits have been the Royal Logistics Corps. If you were a lightly armed insurgent, would you rather take on a heavily armed mechanised infantry unit, or have a pop at the poor old logistics unit trundling past in their trucks full of flamable materials?

    In the past, UK units in the infantry used to rotate between the different roles - now each unit is getting a fixed role so what someone looking for a career will have to decide is which type of unit has a role that will match their career aspirations. The thing is, even if you opt for an "elite" unit that is supposed to be an initial force, you might not end up in that scenario, your unit might be deployed on an exercise somewhere in the world when a crisis errupts and a regular unit goes instead, or because they need the clunking armoured personnel carriers that they have.

    However - politics will dictate as to what operations soldiers go on and whether the british government thinks its national interests and political skins are worth shipping you and your buddies off to get shot at. That said, i think the brits have been under hostile fire somewhere in the world most years since 1945.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭tac foley


    neilled wrote: »
    Essentially the brits have decided that the next war they are going to fight isn't going to be the full on first rate power vs first rate power with armour clashing on the battle field supported by fast air..... etc.

    Good post, apart from the 'brits'.

    Nationalities are capitalised, or they feel insulted.;)

    tac


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,332 ✭✭✭cruasder777


    OS119 wrote: »
    yup, the last Blue Helmet job the UK did was Bosnia, lots of RM and PARA over the whole of the Op - not in large units because Bosnia was an Armoured Infantry op, and PARA and RM are light role - but lots of bodies on specialist tasks and reinforcement Coys.

    i think one of the PARA Bn's did the Rhodesia PK job, but i may be wrong...

    The Paras were in Macadonia in 99 they were the spearhead unit first in, they took the high ground and the airport for the Irish guards battlegroup to then cross the border and head into Pristina.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,518 ✭✭✭OS119


    The Paras were in Macadonia in 99 they were the spearhead unit first in, they took the high ground and the airport for the Irish guards battlegroup to then cross the border and head into Pristina.

    not a UN, Blue-hatted job, which is what the bloke asked for.

    and that would be Kosovo, not Macedonia.


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