Personally I am of the opinion that asking for more resources to be put into additional large offensive amphibious platforms will be ultimately unsuccessful until the mid 2030's.Repulse wrote: looking at the next 10 years, and how the RN (and UK) maximises it’s influence
In my view to give the amphibious fleet the additional capacity it requires, a different approach will be needed but first things first what extra capability does RN actually need?
If we had 2 30,000t LHD's rather than the Albion's, would additional capability really be necessary?
If Ocean had of been retained would the capacity of the Amphibious fleet have been adequate?
Will the current Amphibious fleet survive the upcoming MDP?
Lots of questions and the MDP is the great unknown, everything will hinge on its conclusions.
Overall I think the Amphibious fleet is in a very good place. Much better than the escort fleet or to a certain extent the submarine flotilla but as ever it's not perfect. Losing Ocean is a blow but getting POW in the water is a massive upgrade in capability. The vehicle transportation aspect is easily replaced most likely by the MARS FSS vessels and the aviation capacity can be easily handled by POW. The ability to lily pad the troops ashore in a timely fashion using the current platforms is were the current fleet is weakest in my opinion. If the Albions are not going to be allowed to come inshore before the beachhead is totally secured it will take a long time for the Assault force to be moved from vessels with only one or two landing spots.
So how does RN convince HMG to provide funds to build a vessel(s) with a large troop carrying capacity along with some aviation facilities when it's unlikely an LHD's will be built before the mid 2030's?
Pretty simple in my mind. HADR
At present what assets is RN going to send to areas hit by natural disasters such as hurricanes, severe flooding, earthquakes and major disease outbreaks?
The Bays and the Albion's could help but with minimal aviation capabilities that are not ideal as multipurpose HADR vessels. The only vessel with combined large scale aviation and PCRS capabilities is Argus, currently going through a major refit and due for decommissioning in 2024. If Argus can be replaced with one or possibly two multi role vessels with decent aviation capacity, large scale accommodation for embarked troops and a large flight deck the amphibious fleet would have all it needs.
These vessels need not be overly costly if adapted from, and added too the FSS order. I see no reason to cut Frigates to pay for these vessels, they are fully justifiable for HADR missions and would be an excellent advert for Global Britain doing some good in the world.
Basically, solve the HADR problem and the Amphibious capacity issues solve themselves.