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Internationalism and the Death of the Navy

March 25, 2009

We consider budget cuts as vital to bring sanity back to defense spending. By forcing the services to prioritize, we may yet see the end of weapons little different than their Cold War ancestors, forced to fight a new kind of warfare in a new era where giant aircraft carriers, air superiority fighters, and main battle tanks are less vital. Concerning the Navy however, blogger David Axe at War is Boring notices how the Big Ship advocates might circumvent any impending loss of revenue:

The presence of American and French warships in the task force hints at one possible answer: In the future, the U.K. might provide heavy specialty ships to multi-national naval forces, while other nations provide escorts. That would jibe with the U.S. Navy’s concept of the “1,000-ship navy” comprising mixed-and-matched vessels from all over the world.

The “task force” mentioned concerns a rather sizable foray of the British Royal Navy into the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. Back to the 1000 ship navy concept, we noticed something similar to Axe’s view earlier:

There is a very real possibility that the defense establishment (counting the Congress, Pentagon, and Industry) would circumvent any decline in revenue through “international alliances”. Britain is already doing this by keeping 2 giant and budget busting aircraft carriers in production even while her operating forces decrease rapidly. America is seeking a similar alliance with her “1000 ship navy” plans, allowing the USN to continue deploying very large carrier and amphibious ships, in ever declining numbers, while smaller but urgent threats multiply worldwide. Meanwhile, at least in theory, poorer navies would be called on to do the actual “dirt work” of escort and patrol duties with their smaller frigates, corvettes, patrol ships, and minesweepers.

Well, at least America will still have her Coast Guard doing vital work in littoral waters, with a much more relevant fleet of ships.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2009 10:53 am

    no mike, its as the Level C, supplementary escort, and principle presence

    no. the replacement or rather the next 6 destroyers will be type 46 General Purpose – Electra class…link hopefully to be posted soon

    yours sincerly


  2. Mike Burleson permalink
    March 26, 2009 9:01 am

    As a Type 45 replacement? Wishful thinking, I know!

  3. March 25, 2009 6:02 pm


    you might be interested to hear that the RN is looking at Project Khareef, considering ordering and inital class of 6 based on it with slight improvements; at £75million a pop, they will have a single ciws (possibly goalkeeper), but carry Aster 15, harpoon, BAE Mk110, Two DS 30B 30mm AA guns, some torpedoes + SSM yet to be decided, apparently it will carry a single lynx and UAV.

    not sure how it go, and have it will probably hit 90 million, but if they end up building 2 or 3 classes thats 12-18 more escorts.

    yours sincerly


  4. Mike Burleson permalink
    March 25, 2009 3:47 pm

    Or maybe the Army can step in with their own Navy, West? Those high speed vessels…

  5. Mike Burleson permalink
    March 25, 2009 3:46 pm

    Not sure I agree, Sven. the Old and the New World haven’t been on the same page lately on how to deal with the threat of Islamic terrorism.

  6. Mike Burleson permalink
    March 25, 2009 3:44 pm

    The price paid for the hi tech military. Very impressive but weak where it counts, for fighting dirty wars, as we are in the Middle East.

  7. March 25, 2009 2:26 pm


    please note we are supplying the two subs (Trafalgar class SSNs), and the two frigates (Type 23 Duke class), unfortunatley HMS Daring was not ready for deployment, otherwise we would have provide 3 of the 5 surface escorts. As it is America and France are providing a destroyer each…not the major quantity of escorts as the quote from war is boring would seem to suggest, those ships are in fact the only foreign vessels permanently attached to the task force. The RN is supplying all the auxilaries, and the LPH/LPD combo which makes up its core.

    this operation is going round the world and will be joining with other navies for exercises, ect; as a demonstration in a way for the 1000 ship navy.

    Whilst I support those carriers, apart from liking 3 and them to be nuclear powered, I think personally the british defence budget should be increased to allow for more army units, ground attack aircraft, and a decent destroyer/corvette based escort force for the carriers and amphibs we are building/employing.

    yours sincerly


    p.s. I would argue that the process of salami slicing which has come about due to the restircted funding of the british forces has undermined Britain both as a nation and as a world presence.

  8. March 25, 2009 1:21 pm

    I already calmed down some RN doomsayers by pointing out that the Dutch and German navies are basically comprised of capable escorts and SSKs as only real combatants and could be added to the Type 45s in escort/CV calculations.

    To think in terms of alliances instead of mere national inventory makes sense (and excuses some serious capability gaps everywhere).

  9. west_rhino permalink
    March 25, 2009 1:09 pm

    Let me see, USCG handles the littorials, though USCG answers to Homeland Security… something jsut doesn’t work in this scenario. How soon does the USAF opt to bring its own CVN onto the blue water?

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