National Shipbuilding Strategy

Contains threads on equipment developed by the UK defence and aerospace industry, but not in service with the British Armed Forces.
bobp
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

The job of the defence committee went by the wayside when the Treasury effectively took over the Defence Budget cutting it to the bone.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

You just formulated probably the biggest reason why take time to be on these blogs (at least on my part):

"For example, how much money did the MoD ask for in year XX and what did they want to spend it on?

I think the UK is almost unique in Western governments in that the spending plans of the MoD (and all the other ministries) are never published for information, debate or any other purpose. It would be a mighty good thing if they were. But no, everyone has to learn after the event and then only in stratospherically high level of detail.

The UK does not have an open form of governance. Not in the slightest."
- luckily we copy some things from the US, like FoI
- wouldnt be happy, though, if we copied everything from the US. Gordon did a good job on "pork-barrelling"
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Gabriele
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Gabriele »

Defence Committees are all-powerful only in the US, i think. I know all too well that the british one is particularly limited. But it is not like the italian commission was that much more powerful, yet De Giorgi did his goddamn job and got a good deal out of it. And a share of the committee was and is actually hostile because the 5 stelle party representatives are opposed in principle to any serious military spending.
It is not so much the commission in itself, but everything that would follow from the chief of staff AND the committee taking a position together, for once, out in the open. If doctor Lewis goes in the house to say that there is a problem but the Sea Lord agrees only when he is retired, it is way too easy to completely ignore doctor Lewis. Or sneer at Lord West, for that matter.
If the press goes on a rampage about the RN left without an anti-ship missile and within 7 days the RN lives the most humiliating peacetime week in its history but the only reaction from the Sea Lord is to meekly listens to the phone call from an embarrassed HMG and come out with an early Christmas message to say "all is good, the government is treating us well, here is a reminder of some good things completely unrelated to the problem at hand, which you should really ignore", there is no hope of ever seeing a change.
The RN needs a narrative of its own, and a convincing one. It must say what it needs and formulate a plan that sounds enticing enough to gain the support of the press and of politicians. If it fights only behind curtains, or worse not even there, leaving the "campaigning" to outsiders who have the best intentions but not the means to compile an achievable plan, it will rarely, if ever, obtain anything.

There is a fearsome lack of long term vision. And yes, by the way, the MOD needs a more open budgeting process. The Equipment programme is a joke, it has nothing to say about what are the requirements, the aims. It does not even list the single programme lines but provides only a wide-area graphic. Programme data then suddely comes out of the blue when a contract is signed or close to being signed. Up to that day, everything is constantly hanging by a thread and constantly subject to delays, changes, de-scoping, cancellation. It seems the forces have pretty much given up on planning anything other than the immediate.
No wonder that the results are invariably a disaster.
You might also know me as Liger30, from that great forum than MP.net was.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Quite a good description:

"And yes, by the way, the MOD needs a more open budgeting process. The Equipment programme is a joke, it has nothing to say about what are the requirements, the aims. It does not even list the single programme lines but provides only a wide-area graphic. Programme data then suddely comes out of the blue when a contract is signed or close to being signed. Up to that day, everything is constantly hanging by a thread"
- may be even over-optimistic (the part in italics; could be that I just dont follow a broad enough collection of sources?)

As Capability Directors are part of the DE&S (but typically, perhaps always, from the military. And often - underwater warfare being a visible exception - cutting across more than one branch of defence), they should each put out a one-pager about major prgrms and their aims... can't be that secret, at that high-level?
- NAO is running more than one year behind the facts, much of the delay, I believe, coming from the need to pre-broker al the expressions used so that it becomes "smooth sailing" after the publication
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

Well to be honest I think the US has just as many problems as we do in the UK. The recent LCS program being one, and the Zumwalt class another. Some one forgot to tell the Pentagon, that the shells for the Zumwalt would cost $850,000 each. Both the LCS and Zumwalt have had multiple teething problems similar but not the same as our T45. We may be building 5 River Class ships, that no one seems to want, but at least we have kept the shipyards going. Lets hope that from lessons learned our T26, T31 are world class.

It struck me the other day when visiting Grimsby how few fishing boats we have these days. And then I realised no one builds Trawlers and fishing boats anymore. The UK shipbuilding industry is pretty bad at the moment.

I think its time that the Treasury come up with the pennies to enable the Parker report and secure the long term future of British Industry.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Ron5 »

Wishful thinking.

Clearly Osborne, Cameron & the Treasury decided to cut defense as a way to balance the UK books. No other dept had a big enough budget or was protected from cuts. I don't have a problem with that. The UK is a democracy and a democratically elected government made that choice.

What I criticize is the barrage of lies around the cuts. Again and again the UK electorate have been solemnly told defense isn't being cut, wasn't cut, the defense budget is increasing and the UK is going to spend 180 billion on new equipment. All of these are naked falsehoods.

And there doesn't appear to be a effective UK mechanism to challenge their statements.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

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Forum signature removed. - Miss Armchair Soldier

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by shark bait »

There is a mechanism to challenge it, it's just the opposition are all so pathetically weak on defence there is no one to make that challenge.
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Little J »

Quick question, while chatting to a friend he said that we cannot buy warships from abroad (i.e. its written in law). I know that we've tried to keep sub production here and that some RFA ships have/will be built abroad, so where do we stand on frigates and destroyers?

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by shark bait »

Doesn't make sense that it's written into law. We buy all other kit form abroad, what makes warships unique?

We do it natively because it's strategically important to be able to build our own weapon's.
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Little J »

That was what I was thinking, but he was adamant and my knowledge of that sort of thing is non existent, so thought I'd ask.
Cheers SB.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Spinflight »

It struck me the other day when visiting Grimsby how few fishing boats we have these days. And then I realised no one builds Trawlers and fishing boats anymore. The UK shipbuilding industry is pretty bad at the moment.
A proper defence industrial strategy would take our fishing industry into account, and our offshore industry, however that would mean unravelling decades of deception.

Politically the actual cost of our EU membership has always been a hot potato. As seen recently with the referendum where you'll still see very boring people arguing over the figure.

Merely looking at the fish you'll find that our fleet lands about £2.5 billion worth a year, but we also import about £3.5 billion. This however does not take into account the fiscal multiplier which for a primary resource like fish is huge. Take those fish, process cook and can them and they are worth 7-8 times more. This part of the chain however is labelled as food processing industry, removing any obvious connection to our own fishing waters. Canned fish, fried with chips, pre-cooked in ready meals or restaurant meals or whatever also generates VAT and generally at much higher fiscal multipliers.

So that £2.5 billion actually equates to well over £20 billion, the vast majority of which generates VAT. If we didn't have to import fish ( it isn't clear how much of the £3.5 billion import relates to raw) then it could be as high as £50 Billion.

Taking the lower figure though you are still looking at £4 billion a year in VAT tax, and that from about 23% of the total catch within our waters. Of course there's also the other taxes on salaries, profits and whatnot.

As we've seen from SJP's paper though the £1.4 billion spent per year on our naval forces generates a fiscal multiplier itself of greater than 2.

Of course there's also the ports, marinas, yacht sales and everything else connected to the sea.

In other words, especially if you valued in oil and gas, merely funding the Royal Navy from the immediate economic effects of the environment it protects, would result in a fleet far larger than what we now have.

Of course pointing out such would require a De Giorgi rather than a Jonesy.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

"Primary industries"... that is a dirty word, and not to be mentioned.

"the fiscal multiplier which for a primary resource [like fish] is huge."

We pride ourselves in the fact that the share of the population engaged in such activities is the lowest in Europe (and we have done away with everything that has with coal to do - as we have so much of it. Guess where the most of imported coal comes from ? From Russia!).
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

Back to the Fishing Industry, most of the factories in Grimsby used to be companies such as Birds Eye, Youngs Sea Foods, producing Fish Fingers and Fish Cakes all for the fast food market. The Birds Eye Factory which once employed over a thousand people is no longer there. Its been flattened. We have lost so much over the years its hard to see there ever being a recovery. Hopefully when we depart the EU our Fishing grounds will be returned to UK control.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

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We have lost so much over the years its hard to see there ever being a recovery. Hopefully when we depart the EU our Fishing grounds will be returned to UK control.
There's masses of factories that have left our shores to basically follow where the fish are landed. Whether they would be economic to run by importing fish from us is rather debatable.

The biggest fleet is the Spanish though they have little in the way of productive fishing themselves. It's so important to rural Spain that the EU subsidises it to the tune of a billion a year. Don't think that mere coastline means large fishing grounds, it's the continental shelf that gives you productive fishing grounds.

Fish exports are becoming more important as the developing world starts consuming more protein.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

As for:

"Whether they would be economic to run by importing fish from us is rather debatable."
- Thailand is the worlds biggest exporter (not much of it caught by themselves)



"Fish exports are becoming more important as the developing world starts consuming more protein."
- global commons free for all has brought a free for all and rapidly dwindling stocks... and eagerly watched continental shelves, to have some sort of management to avoid totally depleted stocks
- so we will all have to learn to eat pork (!) and chicken, instead of beef, like the Chinese did yonks ago
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by dmereifield »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:As for:

"Whether they would be economic to run by importing fish from us is rather debatable."
- Thailand is the worlds biggest exporter (not much of it caught by themselves)



"Fish exports are becoming more important as the developing world starts consuming more protein."
- global commons free for all has brought a free for all and rapidly dwindling stocks... and eagerly watched continental shelves, to have some sort of management to avoid totally depleted stocks
- so we will all have to learn to eat pork (!) and chicken, instead of beef, like the Chinese did yonks ago
More seafood is farmed now than from wild catch, and the farmed volume is increasing significantly each year

bobp
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

I found this old video about fishing boats and Dunkirk. Hope the link works.


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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Does not answer the scenario that bobp brought up: having a more diversified ship building industry, ie. an ecosystem supporting constant output volumes, rather than what we have left: a few monoline producers, who at times stand on hollow legs (when those particular kinds of orders dry up periodically, as they do)

"More seafood is farmed now than from wild catch"
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Spinflight »

- global commons free for all has brought a free for all and rapidly dwindling stocks... and eagerly watched continental shelves, to have some sort of management to avoid totally depleted stocks
Yep, they've certainly plundered our national treasure quite effectively.

Provided they brexit properly however the relatively small size of our fishing fleet should see stocks improve fairly rapidly. Basically there'll be a third as many ships and if they're wise they'll make sure the huge factory ships are minimised or banned from our shores. There's a single Dutch vessel, false flagged, which eats up about 20% of our quota. Yes, our quota, despite operating from and landing in the Netherlands.

Have no doubt that the EU fleets won't give up the ghost easily. Despite nicking all our fish the EU still imports about $60 billion a year from abroad. A rejuvenated industry though would mean smaller boat builders should be in an excellent position. Which all adds to the expertise and economy in the more rural parts of the UK.
- so we will all have to learn to eat pork (!) and chicken, instead of beef, like the Chinese did yonks ago
How dare you Sir, we are British. Fish and chips with a roast on Sundays is our birthright.
More seafood is farmed now than from wild catch, and the farmed volume is increasing significantly each year
More than previously but wild catch it still the vast majority as I recall. Farmed Salmon in particular is skyrocketing, mainly through Chinese demand.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

This would go better under the Brexit headers, but as a continuation (though off topic):

Before the "Norwegian model" got its finishing touches, farmed salmon from Norway got extra tariifs slapped onto it by the UK

... I got to enjoy it at rock bottom prices in Spain over several years as the surplus was directed thereto.

End result: the Norgies are not short of cash, so the whole (most?) of Scottish fish farming passed into their hands, inside the tariff wall
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Spinflight »

Before the "Norwegian model" got its finishing touches, farmed salmon from Norway got extra tariifs slapped onto it by the UK
The EU controls tarifs through the customs union. Are you talking pre 1972 here? There's a large and growing farmed Salmon industry in sweaty sock land.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

Yes my point was not so much about fishing per se, it was about the lack of Businesses that could produce small ships, fishing boats, trawlers even small cargo ships. Shipyards need to diversify to keep in business. Relying on the MOD to order River Class OPV to keep a yard open is plain stupid and pricing themselves out of the market in the process.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by dmereifield »

More seafood is farmed now than from wild catch, and the farmed volume is increasing significantly each year
More than previously but wild catch it still the vast majority as I recall. Farmed Salmon in particular is skyrocketing, mainly through Chinese demand.[/quote]

Farmed seafood volume surpassed wild caught volume a few years back, likewise, it surpassed beef production a few years back too. It's a massive industry

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Spinflight »

Farmed seafood volume surpassed wild caught volume a few years back, likewise, it surpassed beef production a few years back too. It's a massive industry
Not in the UK no, nor Europe. I remember seeing projections that it would overtake marine fishing by 2025 or so...

Aquaculture is a big thing in the far East, only represents a fairly small percentage of our own ( about 10% from memory).

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