Engaging Strategy wrote:Equally I'm opposed to farming out the helicopter training role to a private firm (AKA Serco Marine Services) because we'd, frankly, end up paying for a (relatively) big new aviation training ship and it's crew anyway through the contract.
I wouldn't write off the idea so quickly, the other capability the Royal Navy acquired through a PFI is arguably one of the most successful programs for the MOD, The Point Class were delivered on budget and 18 months early, and have been operating very efficiently through life. All indicators point to this being one of the governments more successful PFI's, and it does look to be cheaper than doing it our self.
It would be highly desirable if we could follow that model with an aviation training ship.
Shedding non core assets is a good way to improve efficiency, the MOD just pay for training hours, and don't need to be concerned about maintenance, and crew, which would be a welcome relief for the RFA.
At sea training is going to be very important if these tailored air groups are going to work well, as well as the Navy pilots, Army and RAF pilots are going to require lots of at sea training. That makes we lean towards a dedicated platform that can provide lots of availability to keep skills sharp.
The French do a very similar thing, which a very simple cheap platform, also used for boarding an searching training. I suppose we would want one with a largest flight deck for Chinook operations. ^sea owl aviation training (vn partisan)
Engaging Strategy wrote:Mate that with the role 3 hospital facility (as per Argus) and the workshop/stores space provided by Diligence until very recently.
This option does sound attractive, however there is one consideration I yet to solve; If we are involved in a naval conflict, it is likley we will need both the hospital and recovery capabilities at the same time, but probably not in the same place. How do we get around this? or is it ok to just accept it?
From a humanitarian response perspective however it does make sense to have medical, stores and engineering facilities in once package, and would work as an effective sea base strengthening our soft powers.