THE NAVY TODAY, IS REALLY NO DIFFERENT FROM
THE NAVY OF YESTERYEAR, IN THAT IT IS MANNED BY ULTRA PROFESSIONALS SEEKING A
NOBLE CAREER. YOU CAN BET YOUR 'BOTTOM DOLLAR' THAT ALL WHO ARE CURRENTLY
SERVING ARE PROUD TO DO SO AND ARE CONSCIOUS OF THE TRADITION THEY HAVE
THEY HAVE NO PUBLIC VOICE, NO UNION POWER,
NO RIGHT TO INTERFERE IN POLITICS AND FOR THESE TIME HONOURED REASONS, WE, AS A
COUNTRY NEVER HAVE TO FEAR A COUP OR MILITARY RULE.
ON THE OTHER HAND, THE COUNTRY CAN ALWAYS
GUARANTEE A RAPID AND PROFESSIONAL RESPONSE FROM ITS NAVY ASSUMING THAT IS, THAT
THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB.
IF THEY ARE AT ALL LIKE ME, THEY MAY HAVE IT
IN THEIR MINDS AND THOUGHTS, THAT THEY FIRST SERVE THEIR SOVEREIGN, THEN THEIR
COUNTRY AND LASTLY PARLIAMENT WHICH DOES NOT NECESSARILY TRULY REPRESENT THE
WISHES OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.
ON MANY ISSUES, PARLIAMENT AND THE WASP'S OF
THIS COUNTRY, IS A 'THEM' AND 'US' SITUATION.
MORE AND MORE WE ARE BEGINNING TO UNDERSTAND
THE NEW MODUS OPERANDI OF THE NAVY WHICH IS NOT WHAT A MARITIME COUNTRY
SHOULD BE DOING WITH ITS NAVAL FORCE. IT WOULD APPEAR THAT WE ARE GOOD AT
BUSTING DRUG RUNNING CARGO; AT PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO CIVIL AUTHORITIES; AT
PROVIDING AND ASSISTING IN [SAR] SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS; AT MAINTAINING
THE NUCLEAR DETERRENT AND OF COURSE, AT SHOWING THE FLAG ALTHOUGH NOT WORLD WIDE
AS IT USED TO BE. WE ARE ALSO LEARNING OF THE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY PIRACY AND
HOPEFULLY, WE ARE ADOPTING PROCEDURES TO CIRCUMVENT THESE ACTS, AND WHEN NOT
POSSIBLE, TO RAPIDLY APPREHEND THE PIRATES. WE DO ALSO INVOLVE OURSELVES
IN EXERCISES DESIGNED TO HONE OUR COMBATANT SKILLS, BUT WITH SO FEW SHIPS AND
ASSETS THESE PAY LITTLE MORE THAN LIP SERVICE.
ALL OF THIS, IN SOME FORM OR OTHER, WAS DONE
BY THE ROYAL NAVY, CERTAINLY POST WW2, SO NOTHING REALLY NEW HERE. WHATEVER THE
'VALUE ASSET' OF THESE OPERATIONS ARE, AND THERE WILL BE MANY, THEY SHOULD BE
SEEN AS SIDE ISSUES AND NOT AS PRIMARY ROLES.
OUR ROLE IS FIGHTING AT SEA AND TO DO THIS,
WE HAVE TO HAVE SHIPS AND FACILITIES AND THE PERSONNEL TO MAN/USE THEM. ALTHOUGH
AN OVER SIMPLIFICATION, THOSE THREE REQUIREMENTS ARE PREREQUISITES, AND WITHOUT
THEM, WE DO NOT HAVE A NAVY BUT A COASTAL FORCE, OR A BUNCH OF KIND
PARAMEDICS, OR AN INTERNATIONAL POLICE FORCE.
ALL THREE REQUIREMENTS REQUIRE A 'POT OF
GOLD' AND PROBABLY THE MOST DIFFICULT TO PROCURE IS THE PERSONNEL REQUIREMENT;
THE RIGHT NUMBERS OF THE RIGHT PEOPLE. I AM RELIABLY INFORMED THAT WHILST
THE MORALE IS GOOD, THERE IS A GREAT DEAL OF FRUSTRATION IN THE NAVY BECAUSE OF
THE HUGE AND ONGOING STATE OF FLUX IN RECRUITING, TRAINING, RETENTION,
CONDITIONS OF SERVICE, PROMOTION PROSPECTS, MISSED PERSONAL TARGETS ETC.
RECRUITING [UNLESS IN WAR OR EMERGENCIES] HAS ALWAYS BEEN A HEADACHE FOR THE
SECOND SEA LORD, AND I SUSPECT, WILL ALWAYS BE. THERE IS NO PANACEA AND
MONEY ALONE WILL NOT KEEP THE RIGHT TYPE OF PERSON IN THE NAVY, WHEN THE
OPPORTUNITIES ARE JUST NOT THERE TO BE HAD. THE PROBLEM WILL ONLY EASE
WHEN FEWER AND FEWER RECRUITS ARE REQUIRED COMMENSURATE WITH THE DOWN SIZING OF
THE FLEET. CONVERSELY, THE PROBLEM WILL BECOME ACUTE, IF, AND THEY SURELY
MUST BE, MANY MORE SHIPS ARE BUILT AND COMMISSIONED.
AS FOR THE OTHER TWO REQUIREMENTS, SHIPS AND
FACILITIES [MATERIEL], ALL THAT IS REQUIRED IS THE WILLINGNESS TO MAINTAIN A
STRONG NAVY AND THE FUNDS TO SUPPORT THAT STRONG NAVY. BOTH AFFECT EACH
OTHER, BUT I FEAR THAT IT IS THE FORMER, THE WILLINGNESS, WHICH IS LACKING.
MOREOVER, WHILST THE MONEY PROBLEM FLUCTUATES, THE WILLINGNESS CURSOR STAYS AT
THE BOTTOM OF ITS SCALE CONTINUOUSLY, AND IS ONLY RAISED, ALBEIT GRUDGINGLY,
WHEN WAR CLOUDS LOOM, AND THEN THERE IS UTTER PANIC AND MUCH BLAMING AND
SHAMING. AS AN ISLAND NATION, FED, CLOTHED, WATERED, OILED AND SHOPS
FILLED WITH DESIRABLE GOODS, WE RELY TOTALLY UPON THE SEA AS OUR SURVIVAL
CONDUIT. NOTWITHSTANDING THE WEAPON USE, WHETHER THE BOW AND ARROW OR THE
NEUTRON BOMB, SHIPS WILL USE THAT CONDUIT TO FEED US, AND THOSE SHIPS WILL HAVE
TO BE PROTECTED IN ORDER THAT WE MIGHT SURVIVE AND WIN THE DAY.
IT IS BLATANTLY OBVIOUS THAT OUR POLITICAL
LEADERS HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT LITTLE RHYME WHICH GOES LIKE THIS
"God and the Sailor all men adore
in times of trouble but not before
when the enemy's gone and the wrong is righted
God is forgotten and the Sailor slighted"
THEY ARE UNWILLING TO MAINTAIN A NAVY OF
WORTH, AND THE MONEY FACTOR [OR THE LACK OF MONEY] IS BUT A FOP TO THE LIBERALS
IN THE RANKS OF THE LEGISLATORS.
THE ROYAL NAVY OF TODAY MIGHT BE RENAMED THE
RHN [ROYAL HAPLESS NAVY] FOR THESE PROFESSIONAL MEN AND WOMEN ARE EFFECTIVELY
HELD BACK BY INSINCERE, INDIFFERENT, INCOMPETENT POLITICIANS FROM FULFILLING
THEIR ASPIRATIONS AT THE CON OF THE ROYAL NAVY. THE POLITICIANS APPEAR
HELL-BENT ON DESTROYING THE NAVAL KUDOS, WHILST INCREASING THE NOTION THAT THE
UK IS AN EASY TOUCH FOR A HAND-OUT, DEPLETING THE VERY FUNDS, WHICH GIVEN THE
WILLINGNESS, COULD BUILD MORE SHIPS.
IT IS OFTEN SAID THAT THE WARSHIPS OF TODAY
ARE SO FAR ADVANCED ON THOSE OF YESTERYEAR, THAT FEWER OF THEM ARE REQUIRED.
MANY DOUBT THE WISDOM OF THIS AND POINT OUT THAT EVEN ONE SHIP WHICH HAD ALL THE
FIGHTING ASSETS REQUIRED WOULD BE PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE TO BUILD. THE
NEW TYPE 45 IS A GOOD EXAMPLE. IT IS CLAIMED THAT WHEN SHE IS STEAMING IN
THE ENGLISH CHANNEL SHE CAN SEE [OR HEAR] POTENTIAL TARGETS LEAVING NEW YORK
HARBOUR. WHETHER ONE BELIEVES THAT OR NOT, DOES SHE DO THIS WITH HER
SUPER-DUPER AIR RADAR, AND IF SO, CAN SHE DETECT SHIPS AND SUBMARINES OUT TO
SUCH GREAT DISTANCES WITH HER SENSORS ? UNLESS RADAR HAS BEEN REDEFINED, TO
DETECT IT, IT MUST FIRST TRANSMIT, AND WHEN IT DOES THAT, SHE HERSELF BECOMES AN
EASY TARGET. HER ELECTRONIC WARFARE KIT WILL ALLOW HER TO LISTEN FOR RADARS
TRANSMITTING, BUT THIS ALL SINGING DANCING MACHINERY OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T ADHERE TO A
RADIO SILENCE POLICY. DURING SUCH A PERIOD AFFECTING HER RADAR
FREQUENCIES, SHE WOULD BE 'BLIND'.
WHATEVER, THE POLICY OF HAVING JUST A FEW
ADVANCED SHIPS IS FLAWED IN SEA BATTLES, AND THE BEST EXAMPLE OF THIS, THOUGH IN
A DIFFERENT TECHNOLOGICAL ERA IS THE GERMAN BATTLESHIP BISMARCK. BISMARCK
WAS BRAND NEW [HER FIRST VOYAGE INTO DEEP SEA] AND WAS ALL SIGNING AND DANCING.
IT TOOK A FLEET OF SHIPS TO DESTROY HER, BUT DESTROY HER THEY DID, AND IN GREAT
STYLE TOO. HITLER THOUGHT THAT HE ONLY NEEDED TWO SUCH SHIPS, BISMARCK AND
TIRPITZ, TO SORT OUT THE BRITISH, BUT HOW VERY WRONG WAS HE. NOW BRITAIN
SEEMS TO THINK THAT HER ONE OR TWO SHIPS CAN SORT OUT OTHER GLOBAL NAVIES - I
DON'T THINK SO - IT IS NOT ONLY IRRATIONAL TO THINK THAT WAY, BUT DISASTROUS AND
UTTER ARROGANCE FOR OUR NAVY AND OUR COUNTRY.
DESPITE WHAT HAS BEEN SAID, THE TYPE 45 IS
VULNERABLE IN MANY AREAS, TWO OF THEM OBVIOUS, SURFACE AND SUBMARINE ATTACKS.
NOW COMES THE CRUNCH !
FOR MANY MANY MONTHS NOW WE HAVE BEEN TOLD
ABOUT THE TYPE 45 AND THAT THEY ARE THE MOST POTENT WEAPON PLATFORMS EVER.
WE HAVE SEEN HMS DARING, THE UGLIEST WARSHIP I HAVE EVER SEEN, AND WE HAVE SEEN
CREW MEMBERS CLIMBING INTO THEIR BUNKS IN THEIR SPACIOUS SUITES [AND THAT'S THE
JUNIOR RATES]. EVERYTHING HAS BEEN SO ROSY, AND SINCE THE ATTRIBUTES ARE
SO GREAT AND SO MANY, THERE HAS BEEN NO TIME TO TELL US OF ANY SHORTCOMINGS TO
THIS VESSEL AND HER YET TO COME SISTERS - SURELY THERE
ARE NO SHORTCOMINGS ?
HMS DARING REMINDS ME OF THE SAYING
"BIG HAT BUT NO KNICKERS"
USUALLY WHEN REFERRING TO A WOMAN WHO IS ALL OUTWARD SHOW.
IN THIS CASE, HMS DARING'S HAT IS HER
PRESENCE, HER HULL AND SUPERSTRUCTURE BUT HER KNICKERS ARE HER BIGGEST ASSET,
NAMELY HER PAAMS, HER PRINCIPLE ANTI-AIR MISSILE SYSTEM -
THE VERY REASON FOR THIS CLASS OF SHIP.
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT SHE IS SWANING AROUND [YES, SWANING]
The following article says it
all, and really, softens the punch of the Type 45.
Navy's new destroyers 'delayed'
The Royal Navy's new Type 45 destroyers
will be at least two years late, £1.5
billion over-budget, and will initially
set to sea without their crucial
anti-aircraft missile system, the
Whitehall spending watchdog has warned.
The National Audit Office said that
delays to the Type 45 programme meant
the Navy was having to extend the life
of its ageing Type 42s which were
originally designed for the Cold War.
It said that the problems with the
project had become so severe, there had
been a breakdown in the relationship
between the MoD and the shipbuilders,
BVT, forcing a complete renegotiation of
The NAO also warned that the decision to
halve the Type 45 fleet, from 12 to six,
meant the Navy would struggle to meet
its aim of always having five available
to protect its two new aircraft carriers
once they become operational.
The total cost of the Type 45 programme
is now estimated at £6.5 billion - a 29%
increase on the original budget of £5
The MoD is aiming to get the first of
the new ships, HMS Daring, into service
at the end of this year - two years
later than planned - although the NAO
said that meeting even this revised
target would be "challenging".
Even then, Daring will not get its new
principle anti-air missile system (PAAMS)
- which can shoot down multiple enemy
aircraft or missiles simultaneously -
until 2011, although the MoD believes it
could be deployed earlier in an
The ship's full communications system
will also not be ready until after 2009,
while the US-designed co-operative
engagement capability (CEC) - linking
weapons systems and sensors on a number
of ships, improving their ability to
fight together - will not be available
until 2014, after the last of the Type
45s had entered service.
The NAO acknowledged that the MoD had
always planned to install the full range
of capabilities "incrementally" as the
ships started becoming operational.
However, it pointed out that the Navy
was relying on the new technology, like
CEC, to make up for the fact that it was
now acquiring fewer Type 45s than
Liberal Democrat defence spokesman Nick
Harvey said: "Even by MoD standards this
is a colossal budget overspend and will
be met with genuine outrage. It beggars
belief that the MoD can blow so much on
poor project management while our troops
are risking their lives because of a
lack of armoured vehicles and
helicopters. The troops and the
taxpayers deserve far better than this.
We cannot go on with this catalogue of
Thus not only are modern ships UGLY [and Stealth is not proven
in battle so we don't yet know if this ugliness is worth it] but they are not
equipped for the job they were built for. HMS Bristol, a Type 82 [and the
only one of her type ever built] was built to look after our SPECIAL new
carrier[s], just like the 45's will look after the two royal named
carriers. The carrier[s] in Bristol time was/were never built, and it
could yet be, that the royal named carriers won't celebrate a commissioning
party either. Bristol was a lovely looking ship and at first she bristled with
weapons from her helicopter, to ASW Mortar Mk10 Limbo, Sea Dart missile, IKARA
missile and MRS3 4.5" gun - she was later modified. It was smart and functional, and not only wore
knickers, it had a most enviable knicker drawer full of changes - every colour
and size imaginable. The only difference between the Bristol/CVA01 carrier
issue and that of the Type 45/HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales issue,
was a man called David Luce. He was the First Sea Lord and was so
disgusted with the then Labour Party, that he resigned and so did all the other
admirals. Admirals today
lack that gutsy approach in dealing with crap civilian politicians and civilian
support idiots. Have a look here for that story
THE PROMISED TWO
NEW AIRCRAFT CARRIERS
Now before we part company, let me show some of you and remind
others, of what a pretty lady warship should look like. She was one of
three ships of the class built, but her career was cut short because she wasn't
selected for conversion into a Command and Control HELO Cruiser. Her sisters, the
Blake and the Tiger were converted and had a long life in service. Tiger arrived
in Spain on the 28th September 1986 for breaking up which saw the end of the 6"
gun in the Royal Navy. The
ship I have chosen as the Miss Navy Champion is HMS Lion. She looked like a
warship, was admired wherever she went, and she could perform like a warship.
Have a look at this picture.
Sailors of today, be proud of the Service and of the ship in
which you serve, but also be aware that when compared to yesteryear, your navy
PS. Is there any truth in the buzz that DCI's are being
withdrawn and in their place a weekly COMIC will be issued ?