Tuesday 19 December 2017

Abandon Hope Now!

As omens and metaphors go, it's hard to beat this one:  HMS Queen Elizabeth is shipping water at 200 litres per hour!

Bloody typical.  A crass decision by Gordon Brown to hobble the nation's defences in order to curry favour in his own constituency - curried pork-barrel, no less - leaves us with a legacy of two entirely useless floating targets monstrosities that, due to the budgetary constraints caused by their own extravagant cost cannot be either (a) equipped with the aircraft they are designed for or (b) set up in carrier-groups of adequate capability to make them viable.

I say 'floating' but even this may be getting ahead of myself because the first one has sprung a serious* leak.  Already.

So, let's just spell out the full metaphorical beauty of this situation:
  • very bad, very expensive decision
  • taken by a self-interested politician for shoddy reasons
  • with long-lasting and baleful strategic consequences
  • butt of mockery around the world
  • not even executed properly
  • everyone tries to be supportive, pretends to be proud, but ...
  • set to be a source of embarrassment, not to mention damage, for years to come
Remind you of anything?  The cartoonists will not be far behind.


* OK, not serious - thanks, Raedwald


James Higham said...

Time for North Korea to launch.

Anonymous said...

>> Remind you of anything?

But I thought you were pro-Brexit?

Thud said...

It's leaking less than my roof.

Bill Quango MP said...

All of us on here thought they were a bad idea the moment they were announced.
I can recall us just doing the payslip numbers for the crew of the main carrier. Far in excess of MOD budget. That was without the training crews of the second one and all the support ships required to put to sea. And it was signed up to in the middle of the financial crash.
When only a brooding, one eyed, lumpen moron would have thought that a sensible use of about yo become extra scarce resoursces.

I think at the time we agreed the Navy was delighted. But also knew it would get a severe kick in the funding further down the line.

Carriers are very useful. Better than armour, which has no role outside of war.

But all along every armchair admiral asked, why not More of a helicopter carrier ? Those helicopters would be damned handy in Afghanistan or Iraq if there were no naval wars going on.
And very useful for the sort of non military work the rum drinkers usually do. Anti piracy. Immigration med rescue. Surveillance. Humanitarian aid. Disaster relief.
But larger than a support ship. So 4-6 vtol fighters could be loaded on? Have " some" air superiority capability.
Or get one for helicopters and one for planes?

But none of us thought two large carriers were a viable proposition without USA style commitments to defence spending.

Raedwald said...

Leaky stern gland is no great problem and 200l / hr is a bare dribble for shaft tunnels that size. All my new stern glands used to leak until they'd had a few million shaft revs and a retightening.

But spot on with the rest of it. Sigh.

Electro-Kevin said...


A great country ruined by politicians and its civil service. And no. We were never really given a choice which ones we could vote for.

We did nothing to deserve this.

Scrap Parliament, the Lords, the BBC and the Monarchy.

If we are to be ruled by Brussels then let's do it properly.

rwendland said...

But aren't all govts trapped by the perceived need to keep our yards from going bankrupt? Witness the ordering of amphibious warfare ships HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark in that tail end of the Major govt. These were a) not really for defence but for "power projection" b) pretty useless without aircraft carrier cover c) one essentially mothballed[*] after six years of operating both.

Seem basically built to fight the last embarrassing war (Falklands) or to attack Iran (but they had loads of shore based Silkworm missiles so in the event they probably wouldn't be used in the way planned).

[*] one in "extended readiness" and the other in "high readiness"