SW1 wrote:Purely in defence terms each area of the world we operate in, is tri service.
True, and forward Army bases and joint exercises are part of the strategy - the reason why I believe the RN has and should have a special focus is that
a) presence of a ship has a lower footprint/less antagonistic than boots on the ground and can be more mobile
b) there is an increasingly threat in key maritime areas such as the South China Sea, Horn of Africa or the Gulf - all of which impact UK interests.
SW1 wrote:We do have interests outside the Atlantic and Nato area, none off our overseas territories have or will have direct military threats to them, possible exception being Cyprus in so far as it’s right beside a region of the world that seems in constant conflict.
Agree with the sentiment, but would say each have a lower level threat from disputed ownership, illegal fishing, piracy, terrorism and environmental damage where a OPV/Sloop presence is justified. Cyprus should also have Sky Sabre and a RAF flight in combination to the Army and RN units.
SW1 wrote:Many years ago now the navy rightly or wrongly decided it combat power would be solely centred on the carrier group and in having 2 allows to an extent a constant deployable capability. 4 type 23 and 4 type 45 plus 2 tankers and 2 stores shipsare more than enough to support such a group in the highest form of conflict, that is an enemy able to attack simultaneously from air, surface or sub surface.
This is where I differ slightly in that I’d see the need for a CBG and an ARG, deployed or training in regional waters. This needs 3 groups, which is why a third aviation platform is required however limited (each with 2 T45s and 2 T23s/T26s). Combined with the “training” group on stand by, 4 T26s is a solid contribution to NATO.
Lastly, and relating to my comment above, I agree in the future the RN needs more motherships for the new toys and traditional HADR/Amphibious ops, but I would see these as mobile (except for one in the Gulf) with forward based OPV/Sloops at the BOTs plus a couple more strategically positioned, plus a T23/T26 in the Gulf.