Thursday, 11 January 2018

The New Army Recruitment Advert

There's been much outcry over the new army recruitment advert, so I thought as something different I'd give it a watch and relate my first impressions.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Something, something, 2018 Strategic Review, Part 1: The Royal Navy

The other day I laid out a few of my general thoughts on where UK defence is headed, what with all this talk of possible cuts on the horizon. I'm sure that in time the government will come up with a staggeringly good management speak term for it all, something like "a strategic reshaping" or "resourcing refinement". For now though I thought I might do a series of three posts taking each service in turn and expanding a bit on my thoughts, as it's been a while since I last mused about the services in such a way and "fantasy fleet" type posts are allegedly a good cash cow. The fact that I'm still using blogger would imply this either a) isn't true, or b) I just don't do enough of them ( so keep an eye out for the forthcoming weekly series "SDSR; Week x").

Saturday, 23 December 2017

A cup of Christmas cheer. Or not.

Tis the season to be jolly and all that, so in the spirit of the Christmas season I'd like to say a mass remembering the birth of our Lord and Saviour...

Ha, no. Just kidding. Christmas is of course about generating massive amounts of revenue for retailers, squeezing a budget to its absolute limits, and teaching kids about how to manage disappointment. What better subject then to encapsulate the true meaning of Christmas than UK defence. With a national strategy seemingly birthed in a stable - long before the three wise men ever showed up - the defence nativity should make some interesting reading.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

A smaller, sleeker army?

So I've been fairly busy of late which has put back a post that I wanted to rustle up last week (or was it the week before? How time flies) when it seemed the wolves were beginning to circle around the British army. With all this talk of a possible "SDSR 2017" etc it seems the knives are out and everyone is after a slice of the budget pie currently tied up in the land domain. Some articles I've seen have been quite interesting, thought provoking and reasonably balanced. Others... less so, shall we say. All though seem to share a similar theme; now that Afghanistan is over and done with we can raid the army for cash for the other two services, justified on the premise that the army is a) a bit knackered equipment wise and b) apparently lacking in strategic relevance all of a sudden.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

SDSR 2017?

As parliament broke for its summer holidays this year, so began the normal cycle of government trying to slip out all the bad news and controversial decisions that it has up its sleeve, while opposition parties got into a frenzy about how terrible it all is while conveniently forgetting it's the exact same thing they used to do when in power and pretending that they would never do something so underhanded themselves if given the chance. Except this year's round of "Have I Got Bad News For You" got tongues really wagging as it was announced that the Cabinet Office is implementing a review of national security policy, including in its scope the progress of the commitments set out in the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR).

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

France, Germany, five generations and a Typhoon replacment

This last week saw the announcement by France and Germany that they plan to collaborate on a new European 5th generation fighter aircraft, much to the amusement of everyone except France and Germany. The level of amusement was enhanced by a comment from a German official - with absolutely no sense of irony - saying that such a partnership would benefit from not having UK involvement delaying the project.

This apparently overlooks the fact that the two prime culprits for causing delays in the Eurofighter project which ultimately produced the Typhoon were... France and Germany. A side culprit in the Eurofighter debacle was Spain, who jumped in and out at various points. Spain and Germany also happen to have made a joint announcement not that long ago about exploring options for a new fighter, so if France and Germany could get them on board for this project then that would finally complete the holy trinity of European defence collaboration misfits.

Friday, 7 July 2017

Preferred vs Imposed position

In my last post I talked about the Type 26 vs the proposed Type 31(s). Some might have found it odd reading that article and seeing me arguing in favour of more Type 26 at the expense of Type 31, only to seemingly reverse directions in the comment section and agree with a poster who bemoaned the Type 26. This apparent contradiction - coupled with a rather interesting chat I've been having on Twitter with some folks about aircraft carriers - offers me the opportunity to talk about something I've been meaning to get around to for a long while; the difference between the 'preferred position' and the 'imposed position'.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Type 26 vs the Type 31

This week the Royal Navy proudly heralded the first sailing of its latest warship, the impressive Queen Elizabeth class carrier. And yet as this promising new era in the Royal Navy's history begins, the questions are already starting to turn to the future of the ships that will escort her onto the high seas, as well as carrying out the sundry other security and assurance tasks demanded of the Royal Navy by the government. 

The next ship in line for construction is the Type 26 frigate, designed primarily for anti-submarine warfare but also slated to be able to carry weapons like the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM). I don't think anyone would argue against the need for Type 26. Rather the question is how many, and if the answer to that question is only 8 then what is going to fill the gap to keep frigate numbers at 13, which would represent a like for like replacement of the outgoing Type 23s?

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Why so negative?

One of these days I'll actually get back to writing about defence. Ah, those happy times! But for now I want to talk about that tired, worn, endlessly repeated subject that appears to dominate the daily headlines, the conversations by the water cooler, the conversations down the pub, the conversations with the family, and just about every conversation two or more people seem to have in the UK today. 

I may be exaggerating the impact of the subject on modern conversation slightly, but it does seem like a day cannot pass without someone talking about it, so I intend to basically stuff out some of my current thoughts on the subject for you to read/ignore at your leisure and be done with it for the next few months at least, while I instead go back to talking about ships and planes and things that get blown up or blow other things up.

The subject in question is of course brexit, which dominated the Queens speech.