Such a prescient, beautiful sentiment.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Sir Francis Drake Would So Chuckle.

Of Ships And Men And Toys.

I was taken with this aircraft carrier story this morning. Some of the, to date, mismanagement so far  here. Add into the mix this little gem of a story,  Monsieur  and the stage is set fair for the next round of tax payer revenue pissing up the wall contest.

I note in both articles The Boy appears as an expert in procurement, design, tactical requirements, piloting techniques, arms deals and just about everything else you can think of. Well, except a dose of self awareness, humility and common sense!

Whilst wrangling over which aircraft to use, with whom to share the toys when, if ever, they are available the more glaringly obvious questions go completely ignored. For instance technology in the later part of this decade.

Let me give you an instance. Not withstanding the vulnerability of these beasts afloat, from submarine detection and destruction, what about the rapidly developing unmanned fighter aircraft and drones? I would suggest these relatively inexpensive methods of airborne weapons delivery will dominate strategic planning and operations in the very near future.

Furthermore such capability will be readily available to many countries unable to afford other more expensive "toys".  If we cast our minds back to the Falklands conflict we were very vulnerable at sea then.  I really don't think the enormous costs we are now making are very well thought out.

Now my concerns about the technology obsolescence argument are not even considering the usual cock ups our pathetic Governments are now so consummate at.  The discussions taking place with The French, the manufacturers' varied interests, the military jockeying  for who gets to play with the hardware. As ever, The Sir Humphreys desperation to garner kudos and staff into their Whitehall fiefdoms beavers away endlessly, as well.

So, my poor tax payer friends, just the unholy mess and disarray is costing billions. The eventual outcome will be another  TSR2.   If these carriers are ever completed, some idiot will suggest they be employed in Afghanistan, or Central Africa, well away from those pesky drones and subs!


  1. If Cast Iron & Boy George had had one iota of common/financial sense between them those carriers would have been the first bit of nuLabor profligacy pruning on taking office.

    Instead they are going to be a festering demand on the defence budget probably long after they have gone for razor blades themselves.

    Perhaps we should petition they be renamed, HMS Buffty (home town Kirkcaldy) & HMS Hoon (home town Derby).
    Or, just get both of them launched on a Friday 12+1th.

  2. I suppose we'll never learn the real story.
    First of all we were getting 2 Carriers with STOL/VTOL capability.
    Then we had to accommodate the French aircraft which don't have STOL/VTOL capability and need arrester hooks and catapults.
    This would have cost £1Bn each to modify the Carriers to arrester hooks/ catapults.
    So we'd build 2 Carriers and keep one in reserve with no hooks/catapults.
    Now we're getting the Carrier with no hooks/arrester cable.
    Have we fallen out with the French or realised the Rafale isn't up to the job ?
    What about the EU Common Defence policy ?
    Maybe this means we can now afford to operate both Carriers ?

    In other news we learn that we should have kept a couple of the Nimrod MR4's as we no longer have a sub / maritime patrol capability and are having to buy a couple of aircraft from Boeing in the US.
    Cutting up the Nimrods on the day of the coagulations first day in office now looks suspicious.

    1. Joe, back in the mists of time I felt the TSR2 cancellation was an expedient mistake. Now we have this nonsense. Why do we never learn?

    2. It's not 'we' that never learn OR. It's 'they'. We're kept in the dark until it's too late and all we can do is moan.
      Joe Bloggs would say just build the Carriers with catapults as back up. End of. We've got a history of building them with the Phantoms being the last to be sent off into the air from catapults and the Sea Harriers being the last to do the STOL ( used successfully in the Falklands War).
      Same with our armoured cars and tanks etc. Joe Bloggs would say that we need V shaped hulls to protect us from IED's. Generals just pile more armour onto conventional hulls. All pointless and sends hundreds to their death every year.' Ye cannae polish a turd' as we used to say. Well our leaders have been polishing turds for years at our expense. Mk3 Nimrod anyone ?

    3. Our politicos and their military sycophants seem to feel they can polish anything, Joe.

  3. I would give a great deal to see Mrs. Cameron's little boy impaled on the wintry gaze of 'Winkle' Brown as a few home truths regarding the use of aircraft carriers were conveyed in a suitably nautical manner.

    What is it with politicians and defence procurement? Cameron, Osborne, Hammond (bloody Hammond?!) - what the hell do they know about the military needs of this country? If a thunderflash was to go off anywhere near them, they would soil themselves. And then blame it on the previous Labour administration.