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The Future of Britain.

This is a discussion on The Future of Britain. within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by swerve Not invariably. The UK sent Churchill & Valentine tanks & Hurricanes to the USSR, for example. ...


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Old November 24th, 2011   #16
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Not invariably. The UK sent Churchill & Valentine tanks & Hurricanes to the USSR, for example. Our first aid convoys sailed before the USA started providing any lend-lease aid for the USSR (it shipped some stuff in summer 1941 - but was paid in gold). We'd delivered a few hundred free Hurricanes before the USA had even agreed to send anything without cash payment, & kept shipping them - and tanks, & anything else we could spare & they could use.

In summer 1941 the UK had aircraft & tanks to spare, & limited opportunities to use them. The Mediterranean war was limited more by our ability to deploy forces than our overall strength. With the Wehrmacht headed east, there was no threat of invasion of Great Britain. So we gave stuff to the USSR.

Overall, of course, most of the aid sent to the USSR was provided by the USA - but not all.
I don't think I was implying all, but certainly the bulk of equipment redirected to the soviets was lend lease material.

IIRC the shift of lend lease material happened as early as the first murmansk convoys (initially intended for GtBritains use and was a decision that did not entirely sit well with the cabinet.
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Old November 24th, 2011   #17
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lets not perpetuate the myth of the US participating in WW2 and making plenty of money.

lets show some respect.

count the US war dead in the two theatres of WW2.

britain sending arms and supplies to the russians invariably involved the lend lease gear provided by the US in the first place. churchill made strategic and tactical decisions to redirect it to the russians for a number of reasons.

jingoism needs to be checked in threads like this as it doesn't serve the debate
I would never show or have shown any type of dissrespect to the war dead of any country i dont know were you got that from, myself and my family know the cost of war very very well, and the contribution of the US,Austrailia,Canada,Russia and all countries involved in ww2 as never been or has been questioned or played down in any of my posts and never will, and the rest was what you decided to read into it not what was said.

Firstly britain had no money to prop up greece. yes thats true because we had not long come out of the second world war in 21 years so , i gave some reasons were the money went and what it was been used for at the time so
Secondry i said the US came out of ww2 100% stronger economical and military and had the money to prop up greece, which yes they did and the fact the US thought greece might come under the influance of communist Russia at the time made this bale out more important,

Were you got the rest from i dont know

Last edited by Astute; November 24th, 2011 at 02:48 PM.
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Old November 24th, 2011   #18
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I would never show or have shown any type of dissrespect to the war dead of any country i dont know were you got that from, myself and my family know the cost of war very very well, and the contribution of the US,Austrailia,Canada,Russia and all countries involved in ww2 as never been or has been questioned or played down in any of my posts and never will, and the rest was what you decided to read into it not what was said.

Firstly britain had no money to prop up greece. yes thats true because we had not long come out of the second world war in 21 years so , i gave some reasons were the money went and what it was been used for at the time so
Secondry i said the US came out of ww2 100% stronger economical and military and had the money to prop up greece, which yes they did and the fact the US thought greece might come under the influance of communist Russia at the time made this bale out more important,

Were you got the rest from i dont know
my comment wasn't a salvo at you - it was intended as a general remark that when there are comments about a US late entry into WW1 and/or WW2, or that they generated benefit, that the comments often ignore the thousands and thouands of dead americans who fought because they believed it was a right cause.

they were volunteer soldiers, and people need to remember that when they talk about US contribution - it went beyond bankrolling the allies - or bankrolling by proxy.

there were some americans (like all other nationalities) that made a profit from war that were altruistic - in fact the US can be held thankful for the creation of insider trading laws due to the corrupt behaviour of Joseph Kennedy (JFK's father).
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Old November 24th, 2011   #19
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If I might weigh in a bit here, back on topic too, I am a firm believer that if the UK wants to have any kind of influence, be it political, military or otherwise, then the future is the EU.

I know that I'll come under a lot of flack for saying that, but it makes sense and it is realistic. The EU doesn't work at the moment because all the big member countries, especially France, Germany and the UK, are clinging on to agendas that were outdated and unrealistic a long time ago. No country in Europe can be great any more, not alone at least, as no one has the economic power to, but as part of the EU we are the biggest economic power in the world. Of course, that doesn't automatically transfer into military power, but it is a step along that road. If military pooling were introduced in Europe by the time the UK has it's carriers we could have a sizeable carrier force (the two QE's with Charles de Gaulle, plus Italian and Spanish assault carriers among others as compliments), if Airbus were given some sort of subsidisation we could create a reasonable sized force of air tankers and troop transports, with which the burden could be shared between all EU member states similar to the way in which NATO assets are shared. Those are just basic examples, but if the EU had greater economic unity imagine the sort of force that could be produced from it as far as the military is concerned. Look at the sucess had with the Jaguar, Tornado and Eurofighter for starters.

Like I said, I'm sure I'll come under some flack for saying that, but I am British myself and it is because I want Britain to suceed that I want the EU to suceed. We seriously need to wake up and smell the coffee and stop living in the 1930's. We're not the empire we used to be and if we want to have any influence on the world stage it will have to be done in the future through the EU, like it or not. We are, after all, just a tiny island off the coast of Europe. It's a miracle we ever had the sort of power we did, we should be grateful for it, but move on and not try to cling to it in desperation.
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Old November 26th, 2011   #20
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If I might weigh in a bit here, back on topic too, I am a firm believer that if the UK wants to have any kind of influence, be it political, military or otherwise, then the future is the EU.
No, I understand where you're coming from. But as you go on to say, the EU is divided and rudderless. The problem is that the French can't accept that they don't run it anymore and the Germans don't want to pay for it. An EU that accepted a military policy largely run and planned by the UK might get somewhere. But given that would mean many member states actually spending more than 0.01% of GDP on defence it isn't going to happen.

To be honest I think the UK is doing ok all things considering. It still punches way above its weight and is a top-tier power (the US aside, as it's in its own class). Complaints that things are otherwise are down to harking after the "glory" days of ruling a large chunk of the world and shooting brown or black people that wanted independence.
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Old December 1st, 2011   #21
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European leaders need to revisit the words of "Teddy" Roosevelt, "talk softly and carry a big stick". Seems to me that Europe's soft policy protagonists do exactly the opposite
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Old December 1st, 2011   #22
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Britain is now in a difficult process concerning to defense, the royal navy has been cut to operational limit, without carrier strike capability, the 2 carriers are being built simply because cancellation contracts make totally unaffordable the cancellation of the project but this was the original idea of the coallition government and with 19 escorts and counting down is totally impossible to keep the sea lanes open in a conflict.
In 2014 only hms ocean will be the only big platform for embarked helicopters.
The number of fighters to be embarked in the 2 carriers remain uncertain, I think that 1 carrier finally will be sold simply because will have no enough number of squadrons for the F.A.A. and because if during 11 years carriers strike have been deleted what is the problem to maintain only 1 carrier, even it will sound as a progress, better 1 carrier than nothing as in the previous 11 years. Brazil, India or even China maybe candidates to buy the carrier at a very reasonable price.

The raf with only 200 operational fighters is totally overstretched and the army with only 150 challenger tanks and after the heavy cuts Royal army have less firepower than spanish or Italian armies.

By comparison France wich has finantial and economic problems too have not cutted the armed forces practically nothing in the last 2 years, even they have improved the amphibious capability with 3 new Mistral class ships.

Italy and Spain close to the bankrupt have done soft defence cuts and nothing compared to the heavy and massive cuts Britain have done.

The difference in my opinion is that british politicians of 2011 are not interested in defence and consider it like a secondary matter.

Spain with 23 % unemployment will not put for disposal any of the 2 operational carriers because these are red lines not possible to pass, the same as Italy, Britain with the last massive cuts have overpassed the tolerable and acceptable red lines reducing british military capability.
Can you imagine France scrapping the carrier Charles de Gaulle ??, french politicians are much more sensible to defence matters than british counterparts as is being demostrated with acts.

France is now a more balanced armed forces than Britain and especially without so heavy pressure on defence budget as Britain.
Morale in the british armed forces is not the best simply because they don,t know if in the near future more cuts will be introduced.

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Old December 1st, 2011   #23
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Spain has stopped paying suppliers. It owes a few billion at the moment. That can't go on forever. Deliveries will stop, if the suppliers aren't being paid. They can't afford to keep making and delivering weapons, spares, fuel, munitions, food, uniforms, & everything else without pay. Such 'soft' cuts end up with armed forces with no training, no stocks of munitions, fuel, or spares, old weapons worn out & no new ones - no operational capacity. The only ways to avoid that are either turn the money tap back on, or make some 'hard' cuts, to bring the size of the forces in line with the budget.

BTW, there is no such thing as the "Royal army". It's the British army.
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Old December 1st, 2011   #24
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Spain has stopped paying suppliers. It owes a few billion at the moment. That can't go on forever. Deliveries will stop, if the suppliers aren't being paid. They can't afford to keep making and delivering weapons, spares, fuel, munitions, food, uniforms, & everything else without pay. Such 'soft' cuts end up with armed forces with no training, no stocks of munitions, fuel, or spares, old weapons worn out & no new ones - no operational capacity. The only ways to avoid that are either turn the money tap back on, or make some 'hard' cuts, to bring the size of the forces in line with the budget.

BTW, there is no such thing as the "Royal army". It's the British army.
The budget is by no way what you can call "big", the next spanish goverment will cut from education or social security but no from the armed forces.

You will be surprised to know how really well optimized is the military budget in Spain, plus Spain cant afford to loose the remainig capabilities of its armed forces, the carrier is a must for the Armada, the same with the Marines... or the Leos for the Army, they are not negociable at this point, the politicians cant afford loosing all the votes from the shipyards and the workshops

BTW what is the matter with the spanish armed forces? they are pretty small, with a low budget and they are not deployed too far from Spain, we have an small army, a small air force and a medium/small navy... why should them become ever smaller?
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Old December 1st, 2011   #25
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Britain is now in a difficult process concerning to defense, the royal navy has been cut to operational limit, without carrier strike capability, the 2 carriers are being built simply because cancellation contracts make totally unaffordable the cancellation of the project but this was the original idea of the coallition government and with 19 escorts and counting down is totally impossible to keep the sea lanes open in a conflict.
In 2014 only hms ocean will be the only big platform for embarked helicopters.
The number of fighters to be embarked in the 2 carriers remain uncertain, I think that 1 carrier finally will be sold simply because will have no enough number of squadrons for the F.A.A. and because if during 11 years carriers strike have been deleted what is the problem to maintain only 1 carrier, even it will sound as a progress, better 1 carrier than nothing as in the previous 11 years. Brazil, India or even China maybe candidates to buy the carrier at a very reasonable price.

The raf with only 200 operational fighters is totally overstretched and the army with only 150 challenger tanks and after the heavy cuts Royal army have less firepower than spanish or Italian armies.

By comparison France wich has finantial and economic problems too have not cutted the armed forces practically nothing in the last 2 years, even they have improved the amphibious capability with 3 new Mistral class ships.

Italy and Spain close to the bankrupt have done soft defence cuts and nothing compared to the heavy and massive cuts Britain have done.

The difference in my opinion is that british politicians of 2011 are not interested in defence and consider it like a secondary matter.

Spain with 23 % unemployment will not put for disposal any of the 2 operational carriers because these are red lines not possible to pass, the same as Italy, Britain with the last massive cuts have overpassed the tolerable and acceptable red lines reducing british military capability.
Can you imagine France scrapping the carrier Charles de Gaulle ??, french politicians are much sensible to defence matters that british counterparts as is being demostrated with acts.

France is now a more balanced armed forces than Britain and especially without so heavy pressure on defence budget as Britain.
Morale in the british armed forces is not the best simply because they don,t know if in the near future more cuts will be introduced.

Yes the current defence cuts are reshaping the the UK armed forces but i dont think there is any reason to panic ( YET), Firstly the Uk is an Island so does it really need a big army for defence look at are location is there a threat of invasion or a conflict on are door step no we are surrounded by the sea and allies its different if you are located on the main land of Europe like Germany,France etc the threat is different a large army is seen as a must, but even they are cutting there armed forces ,
The future British army will be a very different looking force not the cold war relic it as been ,it needs to be rebalanced , firstly the cuting of regulars so the armies make up is about a balanced 70% regulars and the TA being at 30% will bring us inline with the current US,and other allies armies make up,
The British army will be better armed more deployable and able to fight more effectively in any future conflicts and if needed the army can grow again but at this time i really dont see the need , by 2014-15 the 10.000 troops will be all but home from afganistan and the redeployment home of the 20.000 troops from Germany will be starting,
The loss of some heavy armour isnt the end of the world many countries are cutting there heavy armour as well, i would say its had its day, it takes time to deploy heavy armour unless you are fighting close to home which isnt the case for the british army, and the fire power of attack helicopters, and infantry AT teams means its not the force on the battlefield it use to be, But the tanks we do have are one of the best in the world,and so are our Attack helicopters 67 Apaches


The Royal Navy is still one of the best Navys in the world, yes i agree the current number of ships is low for the deployments the navy is asked to do,but the capabilities of the navy is improving all the time by 2012 the first 3 new type 45s will be ready for deployments,the other 3 are flying through there first sea trials or fitting out ,the type 23s are going through a very good upgrade process which will greatly improve there capabilities. The uk is still spending big on defence the problem is we never get value for money, and there are gaps in capabilities which need to looked into and sorted.


But the force planned for the Royal navy in the future force 2020 concept will give the Royal Navy a real punch ( 6 Type 45s ,13 type 26s, 1 (may be 2) aircraft carriers with jsf, 7 Astute class Attack subs and of cause a new nuclear deterent planned ,(we will know in 2015) ,YES YES i know the carriers , is it 1 or 2 who knows but yes they will be well over budget i would say only a few at the top really knows all the rest is hear say im afraid i would say 1 deployed 1 at extended readiness. ( sell one to China really i dont think so )
I cant see the problem that the faa will not have the aircraft to deploy an airwing which i would say will be 6-12 ,inlarged to may be 24-30 if needed as the RAF and the FAA will be using the same model jsf f-35c so im sure the raf pilots will be multi trained ,so can build up a carriers air group if needed ,
But with a planned increase to the defence budget from 2015 onwards (Britain even now with the cuts is still one of the biggest defence budgets in the world) who knows the planned 13 type 26s may increase to 16 may be a batch 2 type 45s and bae might get a pig to fly we just dont know.......

The Raf is still a powerful force typhoon,tornado, f-35 jsf in the future,as well has unmanned aircraft,like reaper,predator etc new transport planes, new refueling aircraft starting to be delivered (Voyager) a heavy lift helicopter capability soon to be 60 chinooks, its not how many strike aircraft you have its the capabilities of the aircraft you have and how you use them,
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Old December 1st, 2011   #26
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Spain has stopped paying suppliers. It owes a few billion at the moment. That can't go on forever. Deliveries will stop, if the suppliers aren't being paid. They can't afford to keep making and delivering weapons, spares, fuel, munitions, food, uniforms, & everything else without pay. Such 'soft' cuts end up with armed forces with no training, no stocks of munitions, fuel, or spares, old weapons worn out & no new ones - no operational capacity. The only ways to avoid that are either turn the money tap back on, or make some 'hard' cuts, to bring the size of the forces in line with the budget.

BTW, there is no such thing as the "Royal army". It's the British army.
Sorry about the expression, concerning to Spain the new conservative government has declared that the cuts in defence will be a 10 % of servicemen and nearly 30 % of civilian workers but NOTHING of military power, the 2 carriers will remain untouched, the number of escorts will increase from 11 to 12 with the addition of the new F100 frigate and the strenght of MBT Leopard and artillery of the army and the number of military aircraft will remain unchanged, another example that british politicians are the less concerned of Europe in defence matters, no other major country will be able to make such heavy even dangerous defence cuts in my opinion
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Old December 1st, 2011   #27
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BTW what is the matter with the spanish armed forces? they are pretty small, with a low budget and they are not deployed too far from Spain, we have an small army, a small air force and a medium/small navy... why should them become ever smaller?
You misunderstand. I did not suggest that the Spanish armed forces should be cut. I pointed out that the current spending level is not enough to maintain them - hence the unpaid bills. That situation is not sustainable.
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Old December 1st, 2011   #28
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Yes the current defence cuts are reshaping the the UK armed forces but i dont think there is any reason to panic ( YET), Firstly the Uk is an Island so does it really need a big army for defence look at are location is there a threat of invasion or a conflict on are door step no we are surrounded by the sea and allies its different if you are located on the main land of Europe like Germany,France etc the threat is different a large army is seen as a must, but even they are cutting there armed forces ,
The future British army will be a very different looking force not the cold war relic it as been ,it needs to be rebalanced , firstly the cuting of regulars so the armies make up is about a balanced 70% regulars and the TA being at 30% will bring us inline with the current US,and other allies armies make up,
The British army will be better armed more deployable and able to fight more effectively in any future conflicts and if needed the army can grow again but at this time i really dont see the need , by 2014-15 the 10.000 troops will be all but home from afganistan and the redeployment home of the 20.000 troops from Germany will be starting,
The loss of some heavy armour isnt the end of the world many countries are cutting there heavy armour as well, i would say its had its day, it takes time to deploy heavy armour unless you are fighting close to home which isnt the case for the british army, and the fire power of attack helicopters, and infantry AT teams means its not the force on the battlefield it use to be, But the tanks we do have are one of the best in the world,and so are our Attack helicopters 67 Apaches


The Royal Navy is still one of the best Navys in the world, yes i agree the current number of ships is low for the deployments the navy is asked to do,but the capabilities of the navy is improving all the time by 2012 the first 3 new type 45s will be ready for deployments,the other 3 are flying through there first sea trials or fitting out ,the type 23s are going through a very good upgrade process which will greatly improve there capabilities so things are not that bad. The uk is still spending big on defence the problem is we never get value for money,


But the force planned for the Royal navy in the future force 2020 concept will give the Royal Navy a real punch ( 6 Type 45s ,13 type 26s, 1 (may be 2) aircraft carriers with jsf, 7 Astute class Attack subs and of cause a new nuclear deterent planned ,(we will know in 2015) ,YES YES i know the carriers , is it 1 or 2 who knows but yes they will be well over budget i would say only a few at the top really knows all the rest is hear say im afraid i would say 1 deployed 1 at extended readiness. ( sell one to China really i dont think so )
I cant see the problem that the faa will not have the aircraft to deploy an airwing which i would say will be 6-12 ,inlarged to may be 24-30 if needed as the RAF and the FAA will be using the same model jsf f-35c so im sure the raf pilots will be multi trained ,so can build up a carriers air group if needed ,
But with a planned increase to the defence budget from 2015 onwards (Britain even now with the cuts is still one of the biggest defence budgets in the world) who knows the planned 13 type 26s may increase to 16 may be a batch 2 type 45s and bae might get a pig to fly we just dont know.......

The Raf is still a powerful force typhoon,tornado, f-35 jsf in the future,as well has unmanned aircraft,like reaper,predator etc new transport planes, new refueling aircraft starting to be delivered (Voyager) a heavy lift helicopter capability soon to be 60 chinooks, its not how many strike aircraft you have its the capabilities of the aircraft you have and how you use them,
Believe me I would like to see that in 10 years Britain is finally a well balanced military power with 2 carriers (I think that the price thay can get for the sale of 1 of them will not compensate the sale of it, in the worst situacion extended readiness will be the best solution but salami slicing is always present in british politicians for defence questions)
Thyphoon and enough numbers of f35,s.
The army as you have mentioned is not necessary to maintain so may tanks in service but a minimum number is required mainly to be deployed outside Britain in a medium scale operation or an allied mounted deployment.
The world is becoming more and more uncertain and in this context I would like to see a decent military british military capability as it will be necessary for the european stability and the protection of our european way of life.
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Old December 1st, 2011   #29
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You misunderstand. I did not suggest that the Spanish armed forces should be cut. I pointed out that the current spending level is not enough to maintain them - hence the unpaid bills. That situation is not sustainable.
As Jhom mentioned the new spanish governemt will have to cut in many matters before to cut the military capability, reduction in civilian manpower and around 10
% servicemen are the only proposed cuts in defence budget but military capability will remain untoucched in the medium term.
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Old December 1st, 2011   #30
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Believe me I would like to see that in 10 years Britain is finally a well balanced military power with 2 carriers (I think that the price thay can get for the sale of 1 of them will not compensate the sale of it, in the worst situacion extended readiness will be the best solution but salami slicing is always present in british politicians for defence questions)
Thyphoon and enough numbers of f35,s.
The army as you have mentioned is not necessary to maintain so may tanks in service but a minimum number is required mainly to be deployed outside Britain in a medium scale operation or an allied mounted deployment.
The world is becoming more and more uncertain and in this context I would like to see a decent military british military capability as it will be necessary for the european stability and the protection of our european way of life.

I agree the sale of one carrier would be a good idea but there would be billions lost and who could we sell it to South American countries are changing the way they look at the UK i would say most are becoming more anti than pro and not just the usual suspect and China wow there would be a political mess if ever there was one that deal would never happen or would ever be on the table we would never sell a capability like an aircraft carrier to a country like China a protential foe of are biggest allies no way but i bet they would fall over them selfs and pay big for it , I would say France maybe at a discount with maybe a few Mistral class ships in with the deal, this would fill a few gaps in the uks defence needs and more hulls in the water,

I totally agree we must co-opperate with are European allies this would cut the costs of getting the very best tec and equipment but there are always politics involved in such projects and that is why most break down and fail,
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