• Rob C,

    I wonder if the UK government will even read this report. They seem to care only about their status verses the state of being of the UK Fleet. Their in trouble and no one seems to move on it with any real earnest.

  • Curtis Conway

    I don’t pretend to understand all the issues and remedies, but it sure looks like the MoD is struggling with some of the same issues with which the Department of Defense, and Dept of the Navy struggle.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0

    Wait…… there’s a strategy?

    Now that is news!

  • OSCM(ret)

    Sad. Remember when the song said, “Rule Britannia!, Britannia rule the waves, Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.” The Royal Navy was preeminent.

    • El_Sid

      In the long term, military strength is linked to economic strength. The RN is no longer preeminent because the UK is no longer the biggest economy in the world, as other countries have become richer. That is a good thing. A more multipolar global economy also means that the USN will no longer be the preeminent navy at some point in the near future.

  • John B. Morgen

    What the British government needs to do is stop with the defense cuts; especially, with the Royal Navy. No more cuts or decommissions of British warships; the government must change its direction, and show [FULL] support for the Royal Navy which it really has not done. The Royal Navy is down to four SSNs, which it needs submarine levels be at the 1970’s level. If the Royal Navy is going to have a good naval deterrent. The government is killing the Royal Navy, and it needs to stop; in order from putting both NATO and the United States in awkward position.

    • El_Sid

      Err – 7 SSNs actually, pro-rata to the economy the RN has more than the USN, let alone compared to the relative defence budgets. Surface ships have been explicitly sacrificed to procure more Astutes. And the UK is the only NATO member other than the US to be building carriers and SSBNs.
      Comparisons with the 70s are ridiculous – what’s the threat, and what is needed to counter that threat?

      • John B. Morgen

        The threat is coming from Russia’s new SS, SSN, SSGN and SSBN classes, if you have [NOT] notice. Russia is known of building and deploying large numbers of submarines, more than the Royal Navy can handle by today’s Fleet’s standards.

        • El_Sid

          But the RN isn’t acting alone. Even ignoring any contribution from the US, Western Europe has more subs than the Northern Fleet, Baltic Fleet & Black Sea Fleet put together – both in SS and SSxN’s. European navies are better set up with ASW frigates than the USN too.

          Obviously one can never have too many subs and ASW assets, but it’s not like Western Europe is outgunned on that front, in fact the maths is probably more favourable than in most metrics.

          One also has to be a bit realistic about the Russians’ ability to deliver new vessels to the fleet, both on a logistical level in the shipyards and in budget terms. Putin talks big, but delivery has always been a problem, and cutting the defence budget over the next 3 years by >14% is not going to help. (per the current budget going through Parliament at the moment)

          • John B. Morgen

            President Putin is rebuilding the Russian Navy, and some people in the British government may shunt their eyes for now, but things are known to creep-up and they have in the past. What the Royal Navy has in its submarine fleet is not enough to protect Britain’s Trade, if the British government wishes to ignore this threat then that is their business, but don’t pass the burden over the to the United States. The United States is mainly watching the PLAN’s developments.

          • El_Sid

            You’re the one ignoring my point – Europe outnumbers the Russian western fleets, without any call on the US. And in terms of numbers, the likelihood is that the Russian navy will be losing numbers, although improving somewhat in quality.

          • John B. Morgen

            Most of the NATO’s submarines have limited range for Atlantic operations than the Russian submarines, and this is why I didn’t brought them up. Although, Germany’s (AIP) submarines may have good range for Atlantic operations, but there’s only a few of them in numbers, and the same for the France’s small SSN fleet.

          • El_Sid

            France has 6 SSNs, the UK has seven. The Northern Fleet only has 10-12 SSNs so there’s hardly a vast disparity – plus the geography favours the West.