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Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 08 Dec 2019, 14:34

Jake1992 wrote:I keep seeing talk of NATO and it’s relevance to our place in the world and our defence strategy going forward, but one of our main contributions to NATO not only because of who we are but our geographical location is the reinforcement of the norther flank.

How will we do this if we strip the amphibious force and RM down to not much more than raiding set ups ? I am genuinely interested to know how others on here would conduct this role in the future with how they see the replacement of the amphibious force ?


All three services provide units to train in the artic. Exercise trident juncture was to test reinforcement of NATO’s northern flank.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 08 Dec 2019, 14:57

SW1 wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I keep seeing talk of NATO and it’s relevance to our place in the world and our defence strategy going forward, but one of our main contributions to NATO not only because of who we are but our geographical location is the reinforcement of the norther flank.

How will we do this if we strip the amphibious force and RM down to not much more than raiding set ups ? I am genuinely interested to know how others on here would conduct this role in the future with how they see the replacement of the amphibious force ?


All three services provide units to train in the artic. Exercise trident juncture was to test reinforcement of NATO’s northern flank.


The whole idea about reinforcing the north flank is if shit hits the fan we can send mass there with the RMs taking the lead. If there is no real way to transport those by ship then it really weakens our ability to preform this NATO task IMO.

Please tell me how you see the RM and the UK as a whole preforming this role of the amphibious forces are reduced to just raiding. I am genuinely interested to see your point of view on this and are not being sarcastic.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 08 Dec 2019, 15:39

Jake1992 wrote:
SW1 wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I keep seeing talk of NATO and it’s relevance to our place in the world and our defence strategy going forward, but one of our main contributions to NATO not only because of who we are but our geographical location is the reinforcement of the norther flank.

How will we do this if we strip the amphibious force and RM down to not much more than raiding set ups ? I am genuinely interested to know how others on here would conduct this role in the future with how they see the replacement of the amphibious force ?


All three services provide units to train in the artic. Exercise trident juncture was to test reinforcement of NATO’s northern flank.


The whole idea about reinforcing the north flank is if shit hits the fan we can send mass there with the RMs taking the lead. If there is no real way to transport those by ship then it really weakens our ability to preform this NATO task IMO.

Please tell me how you see the RM and the UK as a whole preforming this role of the amphibious forces are reduced to just raiding. I am genuinely interested to see your point of view on this and are not being sarcastic.


Exercise trident juncture did just that as have the clockwork exercises historically. If your deploying mass then you use the point class to move vehicles fwd.

The army airforce and navy have been regular visitors to bardufoss as there artic operating centre for many years.

Being a raiding force does not preclude the RM being involved in fact the opposite it’s what required along the Norwegian coast using hovercraft and raiding craft.

https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/y ... l-vessels/

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 08 Dec 2019, 23:23

Going forward we will nearly always have a battle group based around one of the two Commandos available for rapid deployment north and this will probably combine with the Dutch Marine Force including the German Army's sea Battalion and all be under the Brigade Headquarters of 3 Commando. These force bring with them substantial assets like at least two of the RNLN three amphibious platforms and one of the German Navy's support ships. Add to this the aviation support likely to come long ranging from Dutch AH-64e Apache Guardians to German NH-90s and the common vehicles used by all such as the Wiking and you have an extremely effective Brigade.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Dec 2019, 09:33

SW1 wrote:Being a raiding force does not preclude the RM being involved in fact the opposite it’s what required along the Norwegian coast using hovercraft and raiding craft.

https://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/y ... l-vessels/

The linked article's sources (as listed in it) were quickly followed with the RUSI publication, which shared many of the same premises, like this one:
"traditionally, naval leaders think of how Marines influence the land component of a sea battle, not the sea. But if they can have effects on sea access and deny enemies movement, then he, as a naval commander can think differently about how to employ his ships."
... a case in point with the country (that is wholly within Europe, and) that holds the longest shoreline, when you count it all; namely Norway
- while their SF (Jaeger) force is being concentrated up North and is in the process of getting their own dedicated helicopter force, it is the Coastal Jaegers that will operate, as needed, along the whole length of the coast. There could be a lot to be learned from how they operate, incl. moving ship-killing missiles to key choke points very quickly on fast boats. A preparatory recce for a landing cannot detect unprepared positions for the simple reason that they do not exist yet, at the time.
- all this kind of "stuff" could be counted as defensive flanks ops (to somehow fall under the generic raiding header), while noting that the Russian marines train for the exact opposite:offensive ops on the flanks of the main force. Fight fire with fire, and old saying that I think, has lately been practised also in the more concrete sense.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 09 Dec 2019, 10:20

ArmChairCivvy wrote:- while their SF (Jaeger) force is being concentrated up North and is in the process of getting their own dedicated helicopter force, it is the Coastal Jaegers that will operate, as needed, along the whole length of the coast. There could be a lot to be learned from how they operate, incl. moving ship-killing missiles to key choke points very quickly on fast boats. A preparatory recce for a landing cannot detect unprepared positions for the simple reason that they do not exist yet, at the time.


Something like spear 3 on a rapier mount might be interesting in this regard or even mounted on one of those bomb disposal “wheelbarrow” bases.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 09 Dec 2019, 19:35

Lord Jim wrote:Going forward we will nearly always have a battle group based around one of the two Commandos available for rapid deployment north and this will probably combine with the Dutch Marine Force including the German Army's sea Battalion and all be under the Brigade Headquarters of 3 Commando. These force bring with them substantial assets like at least two of the RNLN three amphibious platforms and one of the German Navy's support ships. Add to this the aviation support likely to come long ranging from Dutch AH-64e Apache Guardians to German NH-90s and the common vehicles used by all such as the Wiking and you have an extremely effective Brigade.


Now, I don't think for a minute that Russians either have enough forces to do something meaningful against Norway ( secondary theatre at best, in case of any real conflict with NATO ), nor that they have any real will to do so.
Having said that, I really don't think that two or three battalions of UK/NL marines have what it takes to serve as some serious deterrent. Not that I don't think all the best about these men, but "quantity has a quality of it's own". On the other hand, two or three marine brigades- that's something different.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Dec 2019, 21:57

Any multination 3 Commando Brigade would only be part of NATO forces operating in theatre. Besides the obvious Norwegian contribution, there is a Canadian Brigade and a USMC MEU or whatever this size of force is called. To that you could also possibly add French amphibious or Airmobile forces as well as follow on forces from the UK, the Netherlands and so on.

But the name of the game going forward is to get troops in place to prevent and/or deter the operations of the "Little Green Men" in disputed areas. Having 3 Commando rapidly deployed to northern Norway to bolster the Norwegian does make a clear statement to any wrongdoers to cease and desist or you will cross the line. The opposition will then either have to turn around or double down and start a full blown conflict that in now way can be spun to the domestic or international audience.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Dec 2019, 04:26

Lord Jim wrote:But the name of the game going forward is to get troops in place to prevent and/or deter the operations of the "Little Green Men" in disputed areas.
Quite; RUSI aptly labels it "bite and hold"... let's see what will happen with the latest "chunk" that will be the Normandy meeting topic.
Lord Jim wrote:and a USMC MEU or whatever this size of force is called
It is a whole bde, as they have kit pre-positioned ( a MEU sails with all that it needs, for whatever period... never seen that stated; for 3 Cdo the sizing of shipping was based on 30 days of supplies)

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 11 Dec 2019, 06:26

Lord Jim wrote:Any multination 3 Commando Brigade would only be part of NATO forces operating in theatre. Besides the obvious Norwegian contribution, there is a Canadian Brigade and a USMC MEU or whatever this size of force is called. To that you could also possibly add French amphibious or Airmobile forces as well as follow on forces from the UK, the Netherlands and so on.

But the name of the game going forward is to get troops in place to prevent and/or deter the operations of the "Little Green Men" in disputed areas. Having 3 Commando rapidly deployed to northern Norway to bolster the Norwegian does make a clear statement to any wrongdoers to cease and desist or you will cross the line. The opposition will then either have to turn around or double down and start a full blown conflict that in now way can be spun to the domestic or international audience.


The vaunted Green Men are actually terrorists and should be dealt by local SWAT team. The fact they suceeded in Ukraine/Crimea speaks volumes about chaos and political status of Ukraine at the time. Not too likely to be repeated elsewhere.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Dec 2019, 09:32

abc123 wrote:The vaunted Green Men are actually terrorists and should be dealt by local SWAT team.

If you put together all the elements from this one, from the events across two different, but neighbouring countries, any such SWAT teams (if they exist) might be 'decapitated' for the lack of command chain
- invite the 1st in command for talks
- invade the ministry where the 2nd in command is in-situ
- take over broadcasting facilities and serve a version of truth establishing a fait accompli
https://www.theguardian.com/world/1991/ ... u.politics

Comes back to the topic of this thread as for the importance of the speed with which a tripwire force can be on its way (like the 82nd was flown in, to sit in the desert for 6 months and shielding Kuwait, while the 'real' force was being built up behind them).
- actually, a RM Cdo sitting off Kuwait prevented the previous incident from happening at all

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 11 Dec 2019, 13:47

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
abc123 wrote:The vaunted Green Men are actually terrorists and should be dealt by local SWAT team.

If you put together all the elements from this one, from the events across two different, but neighbouring countries, any such SWAT teams (if they exist) might be 'decapitated' for the lack of command chain
- invite the 1st in command for talks
- invade the ministry where the 2nd in command is in-situ
- take over broadcasting facilities and serve a version of truth establishing a fait accompli
https://www.theguardian.com/world/1991/ ... u.politics

Comes back to the topic of this thread as for the importance of the speed with which a tripwire force can be on its way (like the 82nd was flown in, to sit in the desert for 6 months and shielding Kuwait, while the 'real' force was being built up behind them).
- actually, a RM Cdo sitting off Kuwait prevented the previous incident from happening at all


I agree, I said that Ukraine was in huge chaos 2014 with one half of popularion ready to defend her, and other not so ready.

Deterring Iraq in 1960s and Russia in 2020 isn't quite the same thing..
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 11 Dec 2019, 17:42

abc123 wrote:The vaunted Green Men are actually terrorists and should be dealt by local SWAT team


You might want to class them as terrorists, but they were mostly either Russian Airborne and Spetznaz, so the local SWAT team might be in for a shock. These and the Wagner Group in Syria are Russia's take on providing low key high impact if required forces at the beginning of any action. The Wagner group as we know came a cropper when they attacked the wrong target, who happened to know who and what they were and were under no illusion of what was needed to resolve the threatening situation.

It is this exact scenario where a rapid deployment of Royal Marines would have an impact. However their ROE will need to be robust enough for them to take action. I hope we have changed ours form those brought in during Afghanistan as they have proven to be totally unsuitable for modern warfare, where during exercises by the time our troops had been through the check list as to whether they could engage an enemy force, they were declared "Dead" by the umpires.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 21 Dec 2019, 12:46

Obviously the priority instruction from Ben Wallace about “get what you have working” was aim towards the T45 and Astute programmes, but could it also be the same the argument to get the 2nd LPD back into active service (before buying any FLSSs)?
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Phil Sayers » 22 Dec 2019, 17:24

Repulse wrote:Obviously the priority instruction from Ben Wallace about “get what you have working” was aim towards the T45 and Astute programmes, but could it also be the same the argument to get the 2nd LPD back into active service (before buying any FLSSs)?


There was an article in the Sunday Times today saying that the RN have drawn up plans to transfer a lot (almost half) of the personnel at the Navy Command HQ on Whale Island back onto ships and submarines. Unfortunately some redundancies (at Admiral level) are also planned.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Opinion3 » 22 Dec 2019, 23:41

How does the RN's "availability" compare to the commercial sector. Would a cruise ship be out at sea for more days than a warship? Could TQM and 6 Sigma approaches be adapted to improve availability? It seems to me that Ben Wallace is asking the right questions. Afterall, I am sure "you are over budget" is sleep inducing and this new approach might get the brains clunking away.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Dec 2019, 00:35

If the RN are moving service personnel out of the HQ and back t the Fleet we are repeating the exercise carried out in the mid 1990s where civil servants were brought into the HQs of all three services to free up service personnel and/or reduced the wage bill as a civil servant costs a lot less the military personnel, and I mean a lot less. Someone is going to have to replace the personnel mover out of the HQ and I am pretty sure they will not be wearing any type of uniform.

From experience when I joined the MoD/DLO I has the responsibilities that would have been allocated to a Flight Sergeant but was on a salary of just under £12k a year in 1996!!!

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 23 Dec 2019, 12:13

Whilst not directly linked to Amphibious capability the following does ask some good questions on what the requirement is in the new world.

https://warontherocks.com/2019/11/avoid ... t-china-2/

Given A2/AD advances, perhaps large scale (areal and amphibious) strike is a thing of the past, and rather than trying to do it (using new technology/techniques) regardless perhaps the best way is to go back to the Blockade + limited raids approach of old.

The focus in the future could well be on sea control and targeted air / SF raids.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Dec 2019, 18:34

Repulse wrote:The focus in the future could well be on sea control and targeted air / SF raids.


Agreed with one major caveat, that being the commitment of the UK/Netherlands amphibious force to the defence of northern Norway, with the UK land contribution being Based around a reinforced Royal Marine Commando, and the assets needed to get it into theatre and support it.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 23 Dec 2019, 18:56

why the caveat. If we are to provide reinforcement to Norway then it better be more than light battlegroup. The reinforcement from the UK to Norway or anywhere else within NATO should be at brigade strength and capable of operating against peer forces in essence a properly constituted strike brigade. This could be framed as the uk’s main contribution to the nato land forces under a reconstituted Allied command Europe mobile force land.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 23 Dec 2019, 20:58

SW1, completely agree. A forward based battlegroup in the Baltic’s and Norway would be a strong contribution to NATO alongside the back-up of a Strike Brigade via RFA Points.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Dec 2019, 21:08

Unless our readiness level are increased, in a future conflict we will probably have one "Strike" Brigade and possible one Armoured Infantry Brigade available to move to Europe. However these two formations are going to be dependant on each other and will be far less effective on their own. Also shipping a "Strike" Brigade is more a case of sea lift to a friendly port rather than an amphibious assault operation. Sending the ready "Strike" Brigade north will also delay the deployment of the Armoured Infantry Brigade until the second "Strike" Brigade can be made ready to deploy.

In Norway the UK/Dutch amphibious forces will constitute a reinforced Infantry Brigade, with troops from the UK, the Netherlands and Germany, equipped with specialised all terrain AFVs and other assets including Apache attack helicopters. Also NATO has a USMC Brigade and an Canadian Brigade earmarked for rapid deployment to Northern Norway.

Moving forward the UK is going to be very limited in what we can deploy, to where and how fast. We need to increase readiness by higher tempo when it comes to training and greater logistics and support. Most importantly our four Army combat Brigades must be fully manned and have a reserve available.

With regard to amphibious shipping available for an operation to reinforce Norway, our ready Albion and two Bays should be enough to lift the Reinforced Commando and its logistics for a certain period of operations. For operations further afield and the raiding forces required for both NATO and out of area operation we need new platforms and ship to shore connectors, none of which are funded or in the Equipment plan despite the Governments aspirations.

Also Norway does not permit the forward basing of foreign troops though it does allow the prepositioning of some kit.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 23 Dec 2019, 21:29

On 2% of gdp the army can’t afford armoured brigades and strike brigades its one or the other logistics were stretched getting 7 armoured from Kuwait to Basra a mere 100 miles and we’ve done nothing but cut logistics and engineering since.

The strike brigade properly configured being more mobile is therefore a more logical area to invest in particularly as units will have to move from the UK and quickly. To maintain the brigade at high readiness the army will need at least 3 brigades this being the primary land formation and as such are main contribution to nato.

The marines should not be tied up in jobs primarily land based their utility is in littoral sea control, interdiction, and recon.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 24 Dec 2019, 00:56

Regarding the Royal Marines. We will have two Commandos available so it would be possible to have one providing detachments for raiding and support of SF whilst the other is available for their NATO role up north. Both would use support elements from 30 Commando plus the latter would have the support of the Army units assigned to their support also. This is going to mean that one Commando is effectively on operations whilst the other is held at high readiness. This is going to mean their operational tempo is high and may have a major effect on their work life balance which in turn may affect recruitment and retention. I wonder if their might be a upscale of basic pay before addons for units such as the Royal Marines and other high value and high skill units?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Dahedd » 24 Dec 2019, 11:01

When was the last time NATO practiced a Reforger exercise? That could be an interesting thing to see.


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