Navy Couldn’t Fight Another Falklands
This according to Britain’s retiring First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Alan West:
Sir Alan, who retires as First Sea Lord next month, warned that the Royal Navy’s fleet of 25 destroyers and frigates is too small to carry out the tasks now demanded by the Government, with six warships being sold or scrapped to save money.
The Navy, he said, would be unable today to fight a war such as the Falklands “without some sort of solid enhancement to the surface fleet”. The Admiral declared: “Maybe I’m just a silly old bastard but I’ve got 41 years experience of these things and I can tell you we need 30 destroyers and frigates for what the Government wants us to do”.
Like America, Britain is discarding many still useful warships to pay for new big ticket items:
Britain is building two super carriers to replace its present three aircraft carriers — HMS Invincible which fought in the Falklands War and her sister ships, HMS Illustrious and HMS Ark Royal. The new carriers will be much longer and three times heavier than the Invincible-type trio, which operate short take-off and vertical landing Harriers, which proved so effective in 1982, and helicopters.
But the new carriers will not come into service at the earliest until 2012 and 2015, several years after the Harriers will have been phased out. Defence experts have criticised this gap, without dedicated air defence Sea Harriers, as leaving Royal Navy ships unprotected against missiles such as air-launched Exocets which proved so deadly in sinking British ships in the Falklands War.
It seems that both Navy’s always build what they don’t need, then during wartime try desperately to compensate at the cost of lives and ships. Need I say, remember Pearl Harbor?