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If Ireland spent half the EU average of defence...

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  • 06-03-2015 10:02pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭


    Current Irish defence spending is €885 million and according to the Expenditure Allocations from the Department of Finance is set to remain at that level for 2016 and 2017.

    Given the current GDP figure for Ireland that works out at 0.39% of our GDP on defence. The current average for EU countries is ~1.5%. If Ireland made the decision to increase its percentage spend to half that level, i.e. 0.75%, gradually over 10 years Ireland would spend an extra ~€4.5 billion during that period on defence.

    This assumes zero GDP growth which is unlikely to be the case (I hope) so the real figure would be higher.

    If somehow this was government policy, how would you like to see the money spent by the DF?

    My own suggestions would be -

    A larger Naval Service with a mix of more OPVs, some Corvettes, and at least one MRV along the lines of the HDMS Absalon or the HMNZS Canterbury which would give scope for a greater range of missions including UN mission support and humanitarian missions.

    Greater maritime patrol capability for the Air Corps, e.g. the P-8 Poseidon, more helicopters to support both Army and Navy, greater tactical and strategic lift capability. Purchase of Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master jet trainers to laid the foundation for later purchase of Dassault Rafale or Eurofighter Typhoon. On top of things like the Cessna replacement which I'm assuming will have to happen even without extra spending.

    IFV's like the Puma or CV90 for the Army. I don't think they'd want Leopard 2s even if they were offered.

    I know this is all fantasy but I'd like to read what others think.

    Below are the figures for spending in each year.

    Current 0.39% €885
    Year 1 0.426% 967
    Year 2 0.462% 1048
    Year 3 0.498% 1130
    Year 4 0.534% 1212
    Year 5 0.57% 1293
    Year 6 0.606% 1375
    Year 7 0.642% 1457
    Year 8 0.678% 1538
    Year 9 0.714% 1620
    Year 10 0.75% 1702
    Total 13342
    -8850 (i.e. 10 x current spending)
    Excess 4492


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,319 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Two important points.

    It is widely recognised that Ireland's GDP is artificially bloated.

    We are surrounded by sea. This much reduces the risk of invasion, but increase the cost of doing business, i.e. we don't need and can't afford the defences.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 2,152 Mod ✭✭✭✭Oink


    I'm no expert, but methinks any serious defence system needs to include some serious anti-ballistics should Putinski decide to lob a few nukes towards Northern Ireland. Also, do we need a serious upgrade of our radar capabilities to go with our fancy new Rafale?


  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭Boreas


    Victor wrote: »
    It is widely recognised that Ireland's GDP is artificially bloated.

    We are surrounded by sea. This much reduces the risk of invasion, but increase the cost of doing business, i.e. we don't need and can't afford the defences.

    I'd like to hear more about the artificially bloating of the figure for GDP. Do you mean the figure is inaccurate or that the GDP is high but based on poor economic underpinnings?

    Ireland faces little chance of invasion of course but I would suggest we have a responsibility as part of the international community to do our part. Ireland is, relatively speaking, a rich country and benefits from international trade but contributes very little to it's maintenance. That is not in anyway to disrespect the contribution Irish troops have made to UN peacekeeping but it's not the same thing.

    We're an independent nation and should be able to police our own airspace and sea lanes without having to rely on the UK or others. Spending 0.75% would still make us one of the smallest spenders in the world and is less than Ireland has spent in the past. I know there is little support in Ireland for defence spending and it's unlikely that any politician will even mention the issue at the next election.
    Oink wrote: »
    I'm no expert, but methinks any serious defence system needs to include some serious anti-ballistics should Putinski decide to lob a few nukes towards Northern Ireland. Also, do we need a serious upgrade of our radar capabilities to go with our fancy new Rafale?

    A ballistic defence system might be a bit outside the budget. As for Rafales or similar we'd likely need to spend more to afford them and I think there are other priorities but at least a more modern trainer would give Ireland the option to more quickly introduce the capability if it was needed in the future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭househero


    Why waste money when we are no target and defense is a non productive part of the economy. (It costs billions and generates nothing) we don't need to put more of our young people at risk of serious mental illness after experiencing combat.

    Invest your blood money in to education, tourism and business infrastructure for a better future for our children.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,094 ✭✭✭househero


    O and by the way...

    We have very little responsibility in UN peace keeping

    The biggest UN contributors are the colonial arse 0s that went off invading half the world, stealing resources, killing innocent people, destabilising country's by overthrowing stable leaders and generally fekin things up for other people.

    We do more than our fair share as a peaceful NEUTRAL state without a modern history of invading other countries


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  • Site Banned Posts: 40 shooterjay


    Oink wrote: »
    I'm no expert, but methinks any serious defence system needs to include some serious anti-ballistics should Putinski decide to lob a few nukes towards Northern Ireland. Also, do we need a serious upgrade of our radar capabilities to go with our fancy new Rafale?

    if that happened, wind patterns would drag the fallout across denmark and norway. so uus southies would be ok.


  • Registered Users Posts: 425 ✭✭daithicarr


    Boreas wrote: »
    I'd like to hear more about the artificially bloating of the figure for GDP. Do you mean the figure is inaccurate or that the GDP is high but based on poor economic underpinnings?

    As pointed out in this article in the link below our GDP is about 20% bigger than our GNP due to a lot of multinational corporations operating in Ireland. If you read further articles on that site you will see how a lot of them are just moving money through Ireland, all it provides is a massive distortion of our national accounts. GNP is not accurate either as it also hides a lot of similar activity of money just "resting in the account". http://www.finfacts.ie/irishfinancenews/article_1028148.shtml If you look at our GDP per capita we are ranked between 10th and 12th highest in the world. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28nominal%29_per_capita A more accurate measurement of household final consumption has us at 24th. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_household_final_consumption_expenditure_per_capita This distorted GDP effects a huge number of measurements, such as debt sustainability, debt interest to GDP, borrowings to GDP, EU contributions, spending on Defence, education, health etc. It actually makes it really hard to get an accurate picture of how our economy preforms.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,618 ✭✭✭Feisar


    Without getting to technical, would the additional spending actually make much of a difference?

    Out GDP is so small anyway doubling the percentage if it spent on our military wouldn't change our ability to defend ourselves all that much.

    So for example who can we defeat on paper right now? Does doubling our expenditure push us up the rankings?

    First they came for the socialists...



  • Registered Users Posts: 78,319 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Feisar wrote: »
    So for example who can we defeat on paper right now?
    Isle Man, Jersey, Guernsey, possibly Iceland, but there would be obvious issues.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,942 ✭✭✭✭Del2005


    Victor wrote: »
    Isle Man, Jersey, Guernsey, possibly Iceland, but there would be obvious issues.

    Are the first 3 not part of the UK and therefore have the UK armed forces defending them?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 78,319 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Del2005 wrote: »
    Are the first 3 not part of the UK
    No, they are crown dependencies, not part of the UK.
    and therefore have the UK armed forces defending them?
    Hence, the issue.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,891 ✭✭✭prinzeugen


    Victor wrote: »
    No, they are crown dependencies, not part of the UK.

    Hence, the issue.

    The IOM is unusual as its a independent country (uses the oldest system of government in the world, pointless info but comes in handy for pub quizzes!), is not a member of the EU or UN.

    There was talk of Ireland leasing ex Dutch F-16's once they get F-35's. (Was disscussed in the Dail).

    Ireland would only pay for them while they are actually flying (think it was 12,000 Eur per flight hour, per plane and that includes maintenance).

    It would mean Ireland could intercept Russians or highjacked planes comning in from the Atlantic without relying on the RAF.


  • Registered Users Posts: 411 ✭✭Hasschu


    Any war between Ireland and the six biggest countries in Europe would last less than 24 hours.
    Realistically we should be looking at likely threats such as a collapse of the UK government followed by lawlessness in NI. The ability to impose order in NI would become highly necessary.
    One solution would be a core ground force of 6,000 (full time paid soldiers) with reserves of 18,000 (volunteer weekend soldiers).
    When the UK pulls off its Brexit and Scotland separates from England, Wales and N.I. there will be a major disruption to the English economy as they lose established markets. It could lead to a serious decline in England's economy. Subsidies to N.I. would dwindle to nothing with their export markets also declining. A spark would then set off mob rule in what is an already fractured society.
    For example Canada's biggest threat is a civil war in the USA which would result in millions of armed refugees invading Canada.


  • Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭Boreas


    Feisar wrote: »
    Without getting to technical, would the additional spending actually make much of a difference?

    Out GDP is so small anyway doubling the percentage if it spent on our military wouldn't change our ability to defend ourselves all that much.

    So for example who can we defeat on paper right now? Does doubling our expenditure push us up the rankings?

    If Ireland doubled its spending that would mean roughly €900 million extra per year, or if you had a 10 year plan an extra €9 billion over that period.

    If half of that was used for infrastructure and a gradual increase in personnel, possibly an over estimate, then you'd have €4.5 billion for capital spending.

    So what could be bought for 4.5bn?

    7 larger more capable OPVs for the Naval Service to replace all pre-Roisin ships and expand the fleet to 12 @€;150m each = €1050 million

    3 general purpose frigates similar to the FREMM produced for Morocco @€;500m each = €1.5bn

    1 LPD similar to the Enforcer derived ships used by Spain, U.K., Netherlands = €500m

    3 maritime patrol aircraft, similar to Bombardier CL-605 MPA @€;50m each = €150

    200 tracked IFVs, eg CV90, to upgrade one of our light infantry brigades to a mechanised brigade. €5m each = €1bn

    The remaining €300m could be used to expand AC rotary wing capabilities and properly integrate that service into Army and NS missions.

    That's just a top of my head list and reflects my own bias towards increasing the Naval Service's prominence, we're an island nation and I think it should be the lead service not the Army.

    Other people would have different priorities, leasing or buying Saab Gripens for example.

    In terms of 'moving up the rankings' I'd see it more in terms of enhancing Ireland's ability to contribute to joint international missions.

    Right now Ireland has no military capability, consider this, Montenagro has two Kotor-class frigates which carry enough anti ship missiles to sink the entire Irish Naval Service, no Irish ship has a CIWS that could defend against such an attack. Obviously no such attack will take place but if you want to rank Ireland's military capability that gives you an idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    I was wondering why the Moroccan Navy's version of the FREMM was so much cheaper than the French/Italian versions.....
    There is actually very little on them.

    Curious choice by the Moroccan's.
    I would instead do what their Algerian neighbours did & go for a smaller 'Valour Class' frigate.

    Actually if anyone is in a wikipedia frenzy, the Algerian military is turning into something quite powerful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Also, this would be the BoJack 'mitty-stravagansa' shopping list for a decade long programme:

    Navy:
    4 x Becketts ~€300m
    3 x Holland Class large patrol vessels ~€450m
    2 x Valour Class Frigates ~€800m
    1 x [URL="file:///C:/Users/Joseph%20&%20Julie/Downloads/Product_Sheet_Enforcer_8000_LPD_series.pdf"]Enforcer-8000[/URL] LPD ~€400m
    6 x NH90-NFH ~€250m

    Army:
    Enough to equip 1 mechanised brigade, along the lines of a US Stryker brigade ~€1.4bn

    Air Force:
    3 x KC90s (2 x transport, 1 x Aerial refueling) ~€300m
    2 x C-295-MPA ~€100m
    2 x C-295 light transporter ~€50m
    4 x NH90 TTH ~ €140m
    16 x Gripen-NG ~ €1,500

    Total: ~€5,700m


    And then.... to bring it up to an even €6bn.. some monies for munitions & support.

    And even with that shopping list, we would still have one of the weakest (if not the weakest) military in the entire continent


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Also, this would be the BoJack 'mitty-stravagansa' shopping list for a decade long programme:

    Navy:
    4 x Becketts ~€300m
    3 x Holland Class large patrol vessels ~€450m
    2 x Valour Class Frigates ~€800m
    1 x [URL="file:///C:/Users/Joseph%20&%20Julie/Downloads/Product_Sheet_Enforcer_8000_LPD_series.pdf"]Enforcer-8000[/URL] LPD ~€400m
    6 x NH90-NFH ~€250m

    Army:
    Enough to equip 1 mechanised brigade, along the lines of a US Stryker brigade ~€1.4bn

    Air Force:
    3 x KC90s (2 x transport, 1 x Aerial refueling) ~€300m
    2 x C-295-MPA ~€100m
    2 x C-295 light transporter ~€50m
    4 x NH90 TTH ~ €140m
    16 x Gripen-NG ~ €1,500

    Total: ~€5,700m


    And then.... to bring it up to an even €6bn.. some monies for munitions & support.

    And even with that shopping list, we would still have one of the weakest (if not the weakest) military in the entire continent

    Couple of questions for the fantasy list, first why the KC 390? I mean it's still a development aircraft whose schedule has already slipped 2 years due to Brazilian budget issues, so even if testing is complete by say 2020 and unit production happens it could be well into the decade long if we selected that. I mean you have the C 130's coming in at $100 million (and I'd expect the unit cost of the KC 390 to rise from it's current projections). We could take advantage of the RAF ending their fleet around the same time and get spares from them.

    Given the size and scale of our waters and the potential for long term needs say in the Med or elsewhere I'd expand the MPA order, get at least 4 to allow for more deployment operations.

    The NH 90 has had a troubled development, with I think every user having some issues with it, perhaps the Caracal might be a better option to consider? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocopter_EC725

    In terms of budget however I think you are off, you are looking at the hardware but you are ignoring the manning costs, the Navy and Air Corps would probably need significant increases (the 2 Valours alone would take up the current sea going crews for example).

    In the broader aspect of fantasy wishlists, to be honest I'd look at some different options. 2 Frigates don't make much more difference to EU defence capabilities overall (huge for us but I'm looking at broader terms), however the purchase of say 2 JSS hulls would be. For example the Nordic Battlegroup currently lacks much in terms of sealift or replenishment. For say an Anti-Piracy operation, which would bring greater value to the operation, 1 Frigate or a Force Multiplier like a supply Ship? Again in terms of the Air lift/Tanker, might be worth seeing how desperate some of the European nations are to unload the A 400's that they don't want (both Germany and Spain are going to have to sell some of theirs), they are more prices than the C 130's but might get some inter EU kick backs?


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    sparky42 wrote: »
    Couple of questions for the fantasy list, first why the KC 390?
    Not sure why I never considered the US versions....
    I was looking at the A400m as a possibility and it seemed very pricey for something that is not setting the world on fire wrt reliability either.
    Given the size and scale of our waters and the potential for long term needs say in the Med or elsewhere I'd expand the MPA order, get at least 4 to allow for more deployment operations.
    Fair enough
    The NH 90 has had a troubled development, with I think every user having some issues with it, perhaps the Caracal might be a better option to consider?
    It did... but seems to be ironing itself out?
    I looked at the EC725 but it seemed very pricey, the only order currently in production is for Poland which is topping €50m per unit.
    In terms of budget however I think you are off, you are looking at the hardware but you are ignoring the manning costs, the Navy and Air Corps would probably need significant increases (the 2 Valours alone would take up the current sea going crews for example).
    Of course, but Walter Mitty cares not for HR concerns!
    I'd assume there would be a few billion needed to triple the navy & Air force & rebuild Haulbowline etc.... but 10 years of a doubled defence spend can manage that.
    sparky42 wrote: »
    In the broader aspect of fantasy wishlists, to be honest I'd look at some different options. 2 Frigates don't make much more difference to EU defence capabilities overall (huge for us but I'm looking at broader terms), however the purchase of say 2 JSS hulls would be. For example the Nordic Battlegroup currently lacks much in terms of sealift or replenishment.

    I didn't consider it at all...
    Especially when the Nordic battlegroup doesn't really exist anywhere other than on paper & the occasional small training exercise.

    Plus, the Baltic sea is more or less a puddle... traversing it takes about 12 hours, there is no need for the battlegroup to require a large sea based logistical footprint..... especially for a formation just 3 battalions strong.
    Though my inclusion of a smaller LPD does offer some transport ability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Not sure why I never considered the US versions....
    I was looking at the A400m as a possibility and it seemed very pricey for something that is not setting the world on fire wrt reliability either.
    The A400 is certainly pricey, the only reason I suggested it is as I said Germany and Spain are going to be looking at offloading nearly 20 of them out of the orders they legally have to take (kind of like how the RAF offloaded the early Eurofighters), so they might be selling them below the current unit price. Also there's considerations about deep maintenance, the KC 390 isn't getting picked up in Europe I don't think, whereas either the A400 or the C 130 has other nations that we could leverage off of if needed.
    It did... but seems to be ironing itself out?
    I looked at the EC725 but it seemed very pricey, the only order currently in production is for Poland which is topping €50m per unit.

    So far some of the "fixes" seem to be more "do this to stop that", without actually fixing the underlying problem, I think it's also still restricted from certain ocean flight paths due to concerns. In terms of hte Poland order given that nearly half the costs are expected to be training and support costs I think that's inflating the price, and there's more than just Poland with France and Brazil being users and other nations on order or potentially like India.
    I didn't consider it at all...
    Especially when the Nordic battlegroup doesn't really exist anywhere other than on paper & the occasional small training exercise.

    Plus, the Baltic sea is more or less a puddle... traversing it takes about 12 hours, there is no need for the battlegroup to require a large sea based logistical footprint..... especially for a formation just 3 battalions strong.
    Though my inclusion of a smaller LPD does offer some transport ability.

    Considering we've deployed with Finish troops for UN operations I wouldn't ignore it, and I wasn't talking about needing it for EU waters like the Baltic. I was talking more about out of EU operations like the Anti Piracy patrol off Africa right now. 2 Frigates might mean 1 available to operate for a period with other Frigates, a supply ship means that the entire operation would be able to be supported (along with extra helicopters, supplies etc). Something like the JSS offers both transport and Logistical supply which as I've said in the European context is lacking outside the Big navies (for example Portugal for it's larger navy has only 1 second hand RFA hull that's only 10K tons, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy has only 3 small ones that are being replaced/going out of service). Your suggested force mixture means like a chunk of the EU navies we could handle affairs in Europe, but would need UK/French/US supply support for anything further out than that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,586 ✭✭✭4068ac1elhodqr


    Surely the 2020+ future points towards one directional emphasis, which primarily includes drone flocks, automation, 3d-replication, ai-robotics, information and cyber electronic aspects.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    sparky42 wrote: »
    Considering we've deployed with Finish troops for UN operations I wouldn't ignore it, and I wasn't talking about needing it for EU waters like the Baltic. I was talking more about out of EU operations like the Anti Piracy patrol off Africa right now. 2 Frigates might mean 1 available to operate for a period with other Frigates, a supply ship means that the entire operation would be able to be supported (along with extra helicopters, supplies etc). Something like the JSS offers both transport and Logistical supply which as I've said in the European context is lacking outside the Big navies (for example Portugal for it's larger navy has only 1 second hand RFA hull that's only 10K tons, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy has only 3 small ones that are being replaced/going out of service). Your suggested force mixture means like a chunk of the EU navies we could handle afairs in Europe, but would need UK/French/US supply support for afnything further out than that.

    Fair point....
    I dismissed the JSS simply because of it's behemoth size & opted for a smaller LPD instead.... if also because the LPDs have better troop carrying capability, something the JSS lacks.

    Damen also do smaller logistics ships that perform a somewhat similar job to the JSS, just smaller.... especially wrt aviation.

    Also, when I was 'mittying', it never crossed my mind for Ireland to be a water carrier for bigger nations unwilling to build their own capability.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Surely the 2020+ future points towards one directional emphasis, which primarily includes drone flocks, automation, 3d-replication, ai-robotics, information and cyber electronic aspects.

    Maybe...
    But why?

    remote-contol helicopters everywhere isn't a fix all.
    And AI doesn't yet exist, and if it did would never be anywhere near the capability to control a weapon of war.

    Things like automation sound fine when stripping down crew sizes, but when it comes to a fight is not smart.
    Human redundancy is vital when the shooting starts & people start to get injured.
    One of the reasons why US warships seem to have a disproportionately high crew size compared to European vessels.
    It isn't because they can't do automation..... its because a ship with 120 crewmen can't function if sustaining fire and taking casualties.

    *I should qualify by saying that automation has it's role.... and it's a very important role.
    Quite possibly the largest AI & Automation project in the world right now is the F-35 & ALIS projects.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,586 ✭✭✭4068ac1elhodqr


    Maybe...
    But why?

    Not a maybe. Not why. But rather when...

    ...and to what extent future technological adaption will take place. An expensive diesel-powered shopping list from the 1980's mightn't be the best, nor cost-efficient consideration of available and future developments.

    In terms of ships, the Zumwalt will focus on things such as lasers, electromagnetics and $1 directed energy units rather than quantity of personnel. It's weapons will be the use of technology and speed, not mass.

    ai-cars will become the standard between '20-25, whether we like it or not. Of course human decision making will as always be available also, if desired.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    An expensive diesel-powered shopping list from the 1980's mightn't be the best, nor cost-efficient consideration of available and future developments.
    What is in development currently that you would suggest as an alternative?
    No sign of a solar powered Mach-2 jet fighter yet!
    In terms of ships, the Zumwalt will focus on things such as lasers, electromagnetics and $1 directed energy units rather than quantity of personnel. It's weapons will be the use of technology and speed, not mass.
    Laser weapons have already been development for many years.... but again, what is your point?
    You can't sail a laser & one is only as useful as the vessel it's attached to.
    Plus the practical use for one is rather limited.
    So.... you'r still going to need a ship.

    I really like the Zumwalt but it is also a €20bn-for-3-ships programme that has been cancelled and with no role to play in the US navy.

    It's only use will be as the worlds most overpriced test-bed.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Not a maybe. Not why. But rather when...

    ...and to what extent future technological adaption will take place. An expensive diesel-powered shopping list from the 1980's mightn't be the best, nor cost-efficient consideration of available and future developments.

    In terms of ships, the Zumwalt will focus on things such as lasers, electromagnetics and $1 directed energy units rather than quantity of personnel. It's weapons will be the use of technology and speed, not mass.

    ai-cars will become the standard between '20-25, whether we like it or not. Of course human decision making will as always be available also, if desired.

    Pretty much all current and future ships are Diesel powered to some degree unless you are suggesting Nuclear power, the only difference is the way the generator systems are used and even that has pit falls, (see the RN having major issues and now needing a refit of the Type 45's).

    The Zumwalt program has been a debacle that will end up as test beds, note the USN has restarted DDG 51 construction as they now want more BMD capable ships than the Zumwalt's. Most likely Rail Gun tech will be something as well but again that's going to be only a small number of navies for many decades to come, a 127mm with Volcano guided munitions would be much more sensible a spec for Ireland


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Maybe...
    But why?

    remote-contol helicopters everywhere isn't a fix all.
    And AI doesn't yet exist, and if it did would never be anywhere near the capability to control a weapon of war.

    Things like automation sound fine when stripping down crew sizes, but when it comes to a fight is not smart.
    Human redundancy is vital when the shooting starts & people start to get injured.
    One of the reasons why US warships seem to have a disproportionately high crew size compared to European vessels.
    It isn't because they can't do automation..... its because a ship with 120 crewmen can't function if sustaining fire and taking casualties.

    *I should qualify by saying that automation has it's role.... and it's a very important role.
    Quite possibly the largest AI & Automation project in the world right now is the F-35 & ALIS projects
    .

    Yes and look how well those projects are going...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,586 ✭✭✭4068ac1elhodqr


    Agree the F35 is a manufacturers wet dream for a cash cow, poorly managed, test-failed, limited AI/technology and already outdated.

    Future power sources will likely derive from hydrogen (as will cars, post-electric). Ships will become smaller and require less personnel. Drones will replace jets, they'll be 3d printed/repaired on-board, they won't need a pension, training or sleep neither for basic tasks.

    Speed of technological progress may well mean pre-2025 rather than 2050 for lasers and cost-negligible energy devices.

    Zumwalt looks to be the current F1 of boats, like many consumer cars today, their technology usp's hail from previous prototypes and patents on the F1 race/test tracks. 1st adaption would naturally be expensive but next generation costs would drop quickly and significantly with economies of scale.

    Imagine you could buy thousands of drones (adapted for whatever task you want) for the cost of a single $125m Gripen.

    In summary, any shopping list should include considerations from educated futurologists alongside old sea dogs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    Agree the F35 is a manufacturers wet dream for a cash cow, poorly managed, test-failed, limited AI/technology and already outdated.

    Future power sources will likely derive from hydrogen (as will cars, post-electric). Ships will become smaller and require less personnel. Drones will replace jets, they'll be 3d printed/repaired on-board, they won't need a pension, training or sleep neither for basic tasks.

    Speed of technological progress may well mean pre-2025 rather than 2050 for lasers and cost-negligible energy devices.

    Zumwalt looks to be the current F1 of boats, like many consumer cars today, their technology usp's hail from previous prototypes and patents on the F1 race/test tracks. 1st adaption would naturally be expensive but next generation costs would drop quickly and significantly with economies of scale.

    Imagine you could buy thousands of drones (adapted for whatever task you want) for the cost of a single $125m Gripen.

    In summary, any shopping list should include considerations from educated futurologists alongside old sea dogs.

    I find it highly doubtful a warship is going to go to a Hydrogen fuel supply anytime soon, don't think it would react well to people shooting holes in it.

    As for ships getting smaller, the inverse is actually true, we've seen decades of tonnage creep, with the Zumwalt being the high point, a Destroyer displacing more than a WW2 Cruiser, The Burkes have grown, the Type 45's etc, the EuroFrigates are now Destroyer size. There's reasons for that, power/height/stability needs for Radar systems (particularly as BMD missions are coming online for most of the major Navies), along with range weapon loadouts, crew requirements (for example the Asian navies get away with more basic crew quarters than American/European ships). The Zumwalt's dispersed missile system for example I don't see them reusing, nor the 155mm guns either, the 127mm Volcano with long range guided munitions is a much better animal.

    Automation has a path to play but at the same time BoJack is right about there being an absolute limit to that for many reasons. Just look at the LCS designs, planned for a crew of 50 plus their "Mission crews", but that was found to be totally inadequate for basic operations without even being capable of basic maintenance. They've now doubled the crew and yet they still have fatigue issues due to operational demands, not too mention the LCS is another car crash of a project.

    Also 125 million for a Gripen? Unless there's major inflation for the NG variant that price tag is double what the C variant goes for in 2014, and when you compare it to the Avenger Drone (Predator C) is 12-15 million I don't see how you get Hundreds, let alone Thousands of Drones. Then you get into the question of getting C&C for such drones. Also there's the issue that we are still decade plus (more most likely) from Air to Air Drones.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,248 ✭✭✭✭BoJack Horseman


    Imagine you could buy thousands of drones (adapted for whatever task you want) for the cost of a single $125m Gripen..

    I can imagine they should deploy handjobs and lollypops.... imagining is the easy part.

    So, taking your example.... a drone costing €50k that can destroy 2 x SU-30 'flankers'...
    Should be easy?
    One only has to "imagine"!
    A €100m Gripen-NG in the 'thousands of drones' ratio buys you one of these, an RQ-11 'Raven'.
    That little styrofoam bad-boy should be able to fend off Ivan... shouldnt it? It only takes imagination!

    The thing about the future is, we already know what it is.
    The pace of innovation has slowed down over the decades....
    Any given new product is taking over 20 years to bring to maturity.

    So, the ideas we read about today are the products that might exist in 20-30 years time.... there really is no point planning for sci-fi weapons 6 decades away.

    examples being:
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is still in development & its first flight was 22 years ago.
    The F35's first flight was 10 years ago.
    The weapon all of Europe's (and half the middle-east's) airforces will rely on, the 'Meteor' began development 14 years ago, but was already in planning for years before that & still has not seen operational use yet.

    As I said, things move so slowly nowadays, dismissing what works now for a star-wars future that may never come seems futile.
    And a 10-year procurement white paper, merely just for sovereignty security has no need for Ireland's own version of L. Ron Hubbard to gaze into the future of nano-bots & temporal vortexes etc.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,891 ✭✭✭sparky42


    I can imagine they should deploy handjobs and lollypops.... imagining is the easy part.

    So, taking your example.... a drone costing €50k that can destroy 2 x SU-30 'flankers'...
    Should be easy?
    One only has to "imagine"!
    A €100m Gripen-NG in the 'thousands of drones' ratio buys you one of these, an RQ-11 'Raven'.
    That little styrofoam bad-boy should be able to fend off Ivan... shouldnt it? It only takes imagination!

    The thing about the future is, we already know what it is.
    The pace of innovation has slowed down over the decades....
    Any given new product is taking over 20 years to bring to maturity.

    So, the ideas we read about today are the products that might exist in 20-30 years time.... there really is no point planning for sci-fi weapons 6 decades away.

    examples being:
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is still in development & its first flight was 22 years ago.
    The F35's first flight was 10 years ago.
    The weapon all of Europe's (and half the middle-east's) airforces will rely on, the 'Meteor' began development 14 years ago, but was already in planning for years before that & still has not seen operational use yet.

    As I said, things move so slowly nowadays, dismissing what works for a star-wars future that may never come seems futile.
    And a 10-year procurement white paper, for socereignty security has no need for Ireland's own version of L. Ron Hubbard to gaze into the future of nano-bots & temporal vortexes etc.

    I'd agree, I mean Tier 1 nations may move to more exotic weapons like Rail/Laser but the vast majority won't and we certainly won't. Besides which at the same time it will be the current/upgraded SAM's (Standard/ESSM/Aster) families that get more development.

    Also agree with the timeframe of weapons development as well, I mean look at the troubled timeframes for the UK and US ground vehicles, 20+ years and still 5-10 from operation...


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