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Thread: ADM Woodward says Britain cannot defend the Falklands

  1. #61
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave lukins View Post
    Mitterrand did indeed get his revenge. The Chunnel allows thousands of illegal out of France and into the UK. 950.000 is a government conservative number.
    Dunno, dont live there thank god, would like to visit . The Brits have never been short on determination to carry out their will though. And besides according to Pink Floyd "Desperation is the English way" eh Tankie.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  2. #62
    Military Professional Deltacamelately's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chunder View Post
    Sir - Why not?

    Look at it from this perspective:

    The Eurofighter has the potential to win MMCA and with it improved defence ties.

    All the the RN has to do is seriously moot the idea to exercise occasionally from DG - it doesn't have to base there, it just needs the capability.
    It makes overtures to exercise with the IN whilst there (The RAN does with the Chinese, why can't the IN with the RN).
    The equivelent of RIMPAC occurs.
    The U.K allows IN Ships to Berth at DG at regular intervals.

    Why wouldn't that affect politics on the sub continent? Especially with Indian concern with a Chinese Naval base on Marao. The Chinese are proposing to deploy nuclear subs there.

    To put it into perspective - the U.S Sends the occasional sub to DG. the U.S has further mooted joint basing options at Fleet Base West in Western Australia. The RAN's sub fleet is projected to double there in the next 25-30 years. Thats without RN involvement. What Maroa gives the Chinese is an escape of it's virtual black sea in which to operate. Both India and the UK / US have reason to make overtures to one another.

    I reiterate that there is much potential to be able to create a GUIK gap if the will is there (lest DG be mothballed) - because the hardwear capability is there. The U.K is often willing to strike a tech deal where the U.S isn't. I can't see why that wouldn't be of interest to India. I see a lot of potential - at least, worth speculating at.
    Chunder,

    Note that I mentioned, keeping the US aside.

    I concur with everything else here. But you are commenting from a geo-strategic POV, whereas whatever I wrote was from a strictly stand-alone militaristic locus.

    The Diego Garcia lease is getting over by 2016 with an ongoing legal battle already in place for the return of about 5000 indegenuous people, illegaly uprooted from their ancestral archipelago. Further, under the US-UK treaty, the base (island) is leased to the US for a period of fifty years ending in 2016. This can be renewed on an ad hoc basis as needed for the defense of both nations.

    Given that the US considers Diego Garcia one of its most strategically important pieces of real estate coupled with the current issues in the Middle East, it is highly likely that the land lease will be extended indefinitely. This in essence negates any near term chance of the RN eastablishing any meaningful individual/cooperative presence in Diego Garcia.
    You probably wouldn't need a carrier for that....
    Chunder,

    Look at the co-ordinates 50 Years or more down the line and tell me, which other country would need carriers and a lot of them for that?
    And on the sixth day, God created the Field Artillery...

  3. #63
    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    The culmination of forces still using the airfield upon Iwo Jima comes to mind as this is used currently by both US forces and the Japanese as the island was returned to them and renamed its original Iwo To by the original inhabitants not long ago.

    It was returned to them even after all of those US Marines (and others 1 in 3 dead approxiamtely 6,800 dead and over 25,000 wounded) and Japanese lives (estimated at 22,000 dead) were lost in one of the most grueling battles of WWII. The US in their stategy had to have that island at all costs and the Japanese tried to reclaim it at all costs.

    Perhaps maybe this provides hope DG can work out as well in the future.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 18 Jul 11, at 16:25.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

  4. #64
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowman View Post
    Not so, Admiral Woodward.

    It would be much easier to defend and re-take the Falklands now. Four typhoons supported by a rapier detachment and a missile destroyer - probably Type 42, though - would offer a credible immediate air defence. On the ground, a reinforced company of Grenadier Guards (500+) would make it difficult for the Argentinians.

    The Argentinian air force currently deploys 64 fast jets - about half the number they operated in 1982. They still fly A-4s, Mirage sub-types and Super-Etendards, although many have been upgraded and they will have fixed the fuzing of their bombs. They still do not have significant air-refueling capability.

    Their Navy has lost its ageing carrier and its Type 42s. It possesses four modern frigates, 3 SSKs and some corvettes.

    The army has no more conscripts. Let's assume that the 2011 invasion would include the placement of some TAM medium tanks on the islands, and the deployment of the same number of troops that were landed in 1982.

    We should assume that the the initial defence is effective enough to cause the loss of 12 jets and 1500 infantry. The resulting morale hit offsets the increased fighting capabilities of the professional infantry force.

    So, to the re-take. Sailing from the UK come HMS Ocean, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark loaded with Royal Marines, a few Apache helicopters and several Challenger 2 tanks. Two Type 45s and a force of eight Type 23 frigates provide escort. An Astute and three Trafalgars also sortie. A second group of troop ships and replenishment ships follow, defended by two Type 23s and a Trafalgar.

    The first group of ships surrounds the Falklands and creates a virtual no-fly zone. The Type 45s make re-supply of the Argentinian garrison a dangerous affair. All of the Type 23s carry VL Seawolf and have much larger magazines than the two Type 22 Batch 1s available in 1982. The apaches go to work on the Argentinian armour. The subs use land attack cruise missiles to devastate argentinian air assets on the ground, artillery batteries, communications and supply areas. The SAS lends a helping hand. The argentinian navy doesn't even sortie due to the presence of the SSNs. The marines land but the plentiful supply of helicopters means that they don't have to "yomp" for days to get to the fight.

    That's (broadly) how it would go down. It would be easier than in 1982 because of the current prepared defence and the vastly improved air defence capabilities of the fleet. No Sea Harriers required and not a Queen Elizabeth in sight.

    My greatest concern is our meagre SSN fleet. In the absence of carriers, we really need those new Astutes.
    What lends you to believe that 2 AntiAir ships can isolate the islands?

    Where do this "Plentiful supply of helos" come from?

    What 2d group of troop ships? The three ships you mention are all the Amphibs in the RN. And you are about to get rid of one of the Albion's

    I think Adm Woodward knows exactly what he is talking about

  5. #65
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    I think he's making sensational statements.

    During the '82 war, the Argentinian fast jets operated at the limit of their effective combat radius. The FAA has not taken any great steps to improve its air-to-air refuelling capabilities. Therefore, I'm supposing that the (smaller) group of slightly more capable jets would have to come in along a fairly narrow axis towards the islands.

    If you read closely, I wrote that a force of two Type 45s and eight Type 23s would be tasked with creating an exclusion zone around the islands and defending the initial landing force. Given the narrow axis of approach, I'm assuming that two Type 45s and three or four Type 23s would be able to make it suicidal for the fast jets to approach the islands.

    If you remember, the first time round the operation was completed with a depleted supply of large helicopters. This was primarily due to the loss of the Atlantic Conveyor which was transporting six Wessex helicopters and five Chinooks. Assuming that they are not deployed elsewhere, the RAF can currently field 48 Chinooks, 34 Pumas and 22 Merlins. That's a fair amount of heavy lift capability. I have to think that many of these helicopters would accompany the fleet, even if loaded aboard civilian transport ships. Of course, some of the 67 Apaches would also be sent - nothing like the Apache was available last time.

    If you remember, in 1982, most of the troops were moved to the south Atlantic aboard two large cruise ships - the QE2 and the Canberra. Of course, they were accompanied by the regular RN amphibious ships. I don't see why we couldn't do something similar again.

    I mean no disrepect to Adm Woodward or yourself; I just think you are both off-base on this one.

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    As a footnote, the fourth Type 45 (HMS Dragon) is due to be commissioned in September. According to press reports, one Type 45 is as capable as five Type 42s. If that is anything close to being true, then three or four Type 45s, seven or eight Type 23s, and (let's say) two of the three currently active Type 42s ought to be able to "isolate the islands". I appreciate Admiral Woodward's sentiments, but fifteen ships with significant anti-air capability would surely suffice against Argentina's air force.

  7. #67
    Military Professional wabpilot's Avatar
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    First, fifteen ships mean five are available to deploy, no more. Perhaps two or three could be made ready for deployment within a couple of months.

    Second, while the Type 45 can adequately protect the fleet, they need airborne radar to see beyond the horizon. That means HMS Ocean has to give up considerable space to carry four Sea King AEWs. That reduces your airlift capacity considerably.

    Third, five escorts, even Type 45s might be able to protect the fleet, but they cannot establish air superiority over the battle field. You are dooming your troops on the ground to continuous air attack and ultimately total attrition.

    Woodward is correct, you could not take back the Falklands today.

  8. #68
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowman View Post
    As a footnote, the fourth Type 45 (HMS Dragon) is due to be commissioned in September. According to press reports, one Type 45 is as capable as five Type 42s. If that is anything close to being true, then three or four Type 45s, seven or eight Type 23s, and (let's say) two of the three currently active Type 42s ought to be able to "isolate the islands". I appreciate Admiral Woodward's sentiments, but fifteen ships with significant anti-air capability would surely suffice against Argentina's air force.
    Quote Originally Posted by wabpilot View Post
    First, fifteen ships mean five are available to deploy, no more. Perhaps two or three could be made ready for deployment within a couple of months.

    Second, while the Type 45 can adequately protect the fleet, they need airborne radar to see beyond the horizon. That means HMS Ocean has to give up considerable space to carry four Sea King AEWs. That reduces your airlift capacity considerably.

    Third, five escorts, even Type 45s might be able to protect the fleet, but they cannot establish air superiority over the battle field. You are dooming your troops on the ground to continuous air attack and ultimately total attrition.

    Woodward is correct, you could not take back the Falklands today.

    Classic example of that old adage: "Amateurs talk weapons....professionals talk logistics"

  9. #69
    Rickshaw Professional Senior Contributor Pedicabby's Avatar
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    Mitterrand did indeed get his revenge. The Chunnel allows thousands of illegal out of France and into the UK. 950.000 is a government conservative number.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doktor View Post
    But it is UK fault to prevent them. One million sneaked to your law enforcement in a pipe? C'mon, really?
    Given that most people I encounter in London can't speak English I find that believable.

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    @ WabPilot:

    Your points don't appear to be consistent with the National Audit Office's analysis of the Type 45's capabilities. Perhaps you can help me understand this better?

    Here's the link to their analysis:Providing Anti Air Warfare Capability: the Type 45 destroyer - National Audit Office

    If you go to the link and read the full report, it explains the Type 45's ability to do more than just protect a fleet. It says:

    "The introduction of the Type 45 destroyer is planned to provide a much superior capability to that of the Type 42. The Type 45 destroyers’ anti-air warfare capability allows the ship to operate in a hostile environment, either to provide a protective umbrella over a force of amphibious ships, an aircraft carrier or a group of merchant ships, or to conduct a wide range of other tasks such as maintaining a United Kingdom presence, embargo operations or supporting forces ashore. In particular, the SAMPSON radar being procured as part of PAAMS project can track over 1,000 airborne objects out to 250 kilometres and can engage several targets simultaneously."

    The Journal of Electronic Defence actually gives the range of the radar as 400km. I appreciate that the radar's ability to detect targets at sea level would be considerably reduced. Is it impossible for a seaborne radar to detect a sea-level target beyond the horizon? What is the area that a Type 45 could deny to sea-level targets? What I'm trying to do is assess whether three or four first-rate AAW ships like these, working in conjunction with a half dozen less capable ships like the Type 23s and 42s could deny the axes of approach that the Argentinian fast jets would have to fly. I appreciate that airborne AWACS would be preferable. Is it critical to this task?

    On the availability of ships, I note that a fairly substantial portion of the fleet was sortied for the first Falklands operation. However, it took several weeks to assemble the task force. According to the MOD, all five remaining Type 42s could be made ready within three months. I have to believe that the four brand new Type 45s could be made ready within a similar time frame. I was making the assumption that half of the sixteen Type 23s could be made ready within a similar timeframe. So, why is my suggestion of a fifteen destroyer/frigate task force so unreasonable?

    @ YellowFever

    I'm trying to contribute some well considered opinions to the discussion. You're not. Don't forget, the 1982 operation provided something of a blueprint for re-taking these islands. My comments regarding the helicopters, the cruise ships and the numbers of frigates/destroyers available (according to the MOD) are my feeble attempt to consider logistics.

    I still have not heard a convincing reason why my amateurish plan wouldn't work.
    Last edited by Bowman; 25 Jul 11, at 02:24.

  11. #71
    Idiot Mode [ON] OFF Senior Contributor YellowFever's Avatar
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    Don't take it so seriously, Bowman.

    It was a statement I heard once and it happened to fit your coversation to a "T".

    My quoting that adage is in no way a reflection on you.

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    OK - Sorry for taking it too seriously.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by wabpilot View Post
    Woodward is correct, you could not take back the Falklands today.
    Commander,

    Not that I am going to disagree with the Admiral but I have serious questions. At no time during the British march to Stanley did the British fell under Argentine air attack despite being in the open and according to you, Argentine air assets have declined since.

    In fact, I have serious question if even Argentine pilots can even distinguished grassland from still lying camo'ed British soldiers. I know my pilots and yours cannot distinguish between our guys and the Taliban until they see the direction of fire.

    I will even go further, the Argentine Air Force have absolutely no history of deciding a ground action whatsoever.

    I will state that for a two week foot march, the British came under no air threat whatsoever. What has changed for you to state what that a British ground incursion would be unattainable?

    Commander, I am not seeing what you are seeing? I am asking you to cover my lack of knowledge.
    Last edited by Officer of Engineers; 25 Jul 11, at 08:54.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deltacamelately View Post
    Chunder,

    Look at the co-ordinates 50 Years or more down the line and tell me, which other country would need carriers and a lot of them for that?
    Sir, Thought about this in the last few weeks - and havn't drawn any conclusion past the Status quo.

    Although a lot of that is just my thoughts as a pleb. Politically speaking, it's the bloke with the big stick who actually matters when it comes to things like Iraq/Libya/Afghanistan i.e force enablers. If your going to mouth off as a permanent member on the UNSC - the subject of your attention should be in no doubt that you can go where you want to - to some extent...

    In doing so I am not discounting the UK as a force, contrary with it's tech links/agreements/bases it's still the only navy outside the USN with the ability deploy in most of the worlds major oceans - if it wanted to... that want is a political context want. If it really doesn't, then perhaps it should give up it's exulted status on the UNSC.

    Finding that want is something they need to do a bit of soul searching for - otherwise the carrier capability for it's external territories is rather extravigant.

    Unfortunately sir, I can't tell you who else needs Carriers (or whether the Poms actually need them, since they seem to lack so much direction) I just find it particularly interesting the demise of the Royal Navy.
    Ego Numquam

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    Thinking about the AEW problem, Wabpilot, couldn't that be solved by the RAF flying No.8 squadron E-3Ds from Ascension? I appreciate that the logistics would be challenging. Tanker support would be necessary. Also, eight Merlin helicopters are being fitted with the radars from the old Sea King AEWs. If the Type 45s were paired with Type 23s in a reincarnation of the old "Type 64" arrangement where Type 42s were teamed with Type 22s, the Merlin AEWs could operate from the Type 45s while the Type 23s provided their aircraft for anti-submarine cover. The bottom line is that British ingenuity was a major factor in the re-taking of the Falklands the first time around. I don't think much has changed.

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