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Implications of Scottish Independence

This is a discussion on Implications of Scottish Independence within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by RobWilliams Is there much call for 155mm artillery batteries for UN peacekeeping missions? In any case, IIRC ...


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Old October 21st, 2012   #76
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Is there much call for 155mm artillery batteries for UN peacekeeping missions?

In any case, IIRC there's been nasty cutbacks in the Royal Artillery so I expect there'd be plenty of L118 105mm light guns up for grabs for Scotland pretty cheaply - if such a capability was required.



I wouldn't bother, may as well stick with the Marte as intergration for it is already being funded by other nations anyway. If I were on a budget (and had no worries about existing air launched ASuW missiles anyway) it'd go for the Marte just to save the cost of footing the bill for intergration alone.
They might only want to do UN engagements, but they have just voted to be members of NATO, and they would be unwise not to plan for a bit more anyway. M777 is not cheap but for the money worth it, mobility/range/hitting power(c3 x times the L118) and access to broader range of guided rounds. We would hardly be talking a lot of guns (c12), and the planned budget is not that low. They would not be buying this all in year 1, L118s would do for now. Yes HIMARS probably overkill and agree a Wildcat would be more flexible than Apache.

Yes Marte could be an option, ASM not a priority.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #77
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we've got a fair few AS-90's laid up as is - they can have pretty much as many as they want, same with CR2.

My earlier point on the lack of any logistics train to get that stuff anywhere and support it on a remote deployment still stands. No point in buying stuff you expect to use overseas if there's no method of reliably getting it there.

I expect the Scots to form up some light infantry and to donate that to UN peacekeeping ops in return for disbursements from the UN - a number of the poorer UN members make money this way and the Scots would be in demand as a disciplined, well trained and reliable force. Adding in the battlefield helicopters to move artillery around and resupply it with ammunition etc, it's more strain on the tail end.

The heavier stuff? It can be done but trying to get and keep the entire sea and air lift capability to do this is expensive. I'd avoid it like the plague if I were the SNP as it won't win a lot of votes (the average punter looks at a transport aircraft and shrugs)

My 2c worth.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #78
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They just don't have any need or desire for Typhoon (hi performance fighter with limited bombing capability?) and the running costs would restrict opportunities for other things even if they are leaving RAF service. .
So . . . you reckon Scotland, as an independent NATO member with a huge, largely maritime air space subject to frequent probing by Russian long-range aircraft, would copy the Irish model & not bother with any air defences at all & air policing only of slow prop-driven aircraft near the capital, hoping that the people they've just thumbed their noses at would provide air defence for free, as we (implicitly) do for Ireland - except that Ireland is much better placed. Or would Scotland try to get other NATO countries to rotate air defence fighters, as the (much poorer) Baltic states do?

Not very likely, IMO.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #79
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Yep - plus, they've got a solid commitment to keep the airbases open - and I think all of the first term the SNP got as an independent Scottish government would be based squarely on trying to minimise any job losses incurred as a result of independence.

Taking the Tranche 1's with either a follow on order of AIM-120 or with updates for Meteor gives them a homogeneous fleet of about the right size, of a type they're institutionally familiar with, and training/conversion facilities would be just down the road - funded for by providing continued access to the training ranges in Scotland plus offsets I'd guess.

Awkward thought - would they be able to get AIM-120 ? How will the US regard this newly derived country in terms FMS clearances?
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #80
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Rob. It was you who mentioned the type 45 and suggested the Scots had better not demand one .....and that you wouldn't let them have one. I was merely pointing out it may not be as simple as letting (or not) Scotland have such asset. However, I tend to agree with you. I don't believe they will want a type 45, especially if they have a small fleet of batch 1 typhoons. Type 23.....and 26 may be different.

On the financing of future projects, there is a revenue stream that doesn't currently get captured under most Scottisheconomic analysis. The royalties from Oil production gets booked directy to HM Treasury and doesnt get compared alongside the revenues generated onshore. Such oil revenues ihave become insignificant to a 60m UK population, relative to where it was a couple of decades ago. However, to a 5m population in Scotland the royalty revenues that will be generated for the next 10 to 15 years will be significant and has the potential to extend for further decades as extraction techniques improve.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #81
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Rob. It was you who mentioned the type 45 and suggested the Scots had better not demand one .....and that you wouldn't let them have one. I was merely pointing out it may not be as simple as letting (or not) Scotland have such asset. However, I tend to agree with you. I don't believe they will want a type 45, especially if they have a small fleet of batch 1 typhoons. Type 23.....and 26 may be different.
So me making a throw away comment about a Type 45 (which they could potentially be annoying over) can then be extrapolated to mean nuclear submarines + aircraft carriers?

They won't want one, but what they may do is try argue they are justified to ask for one (seeming as Scotland helped pay for them) but won't in exchange better deals in other areas, that type of thing. They won't seriously request one but may use it as leverage for better kit in more favourable areas.

It won't be simple, there'll be large amount of negotiations about kit but I can 100% guarantee it won't be they get X% of every type of asset the UK has because that'd be a worse scenario for Scotland.

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On the financing of future projects, there is a revenue stream that doesn't currently get captured under most Scottisheconomic analysis. The royalties from Oil production gets booked directy to HM Treasury and doesnt get compared alongside the revenues generated onshore. Such oil revenues ihave become insignificant to a 60m UK population, relative to where it was a couple of decades ago. However, to a 5m population in Scotland the royalty revenues that will be generated for the next 10 to 15 years will be significant and has the potential to extend for further decades as extraction techniques improve.
The issue isn't how to finance it, they've got a rough idea of what the defence budget is going to be (+ how small it's going to be). But the issue is getting the right kit for what they want in the right numbers, most kit the UK could offer is VERY high spec and designed for operations which an independent Scotland won't/don't want to be operating in, meaning it'll be expensive to run + effectively have little to no use.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #82
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we've got a fair few AS-90's laid up as is - they can have pretty much as many as they want, same with CR2.

My earlier point on the lack of any logistics train to get that stuff anywhere and support it on a remote deployment still stands. No point in buying stuff you expect to use overseas if there's no method of reliably getting it there.

I expect the Scots to form up some light infantry and to donate that to UN peacekeeping ops in return for disbursements from the UN - a number of the poorer UN members make money this way and the Scots would be in demand as a disciplined, well trained and reliable force. Adding in the battlefield helicopters to move artillery around and resupply it with ammunition etc, it's more strain on the tail end.

The heavier stuff? It can be done but trying to get and keep the entire sea and air lift capability to do this is expensive. I'd avoid it like the plague if I were the SNP as it won't win a lot of votes (the average punter looks at a transport aircraft and shrugs)

My 2c worth.
The seaborne supply chain is easier for them, they just build ships at Govan. 2/3 Absalon class would be ideal....they just can't make heavy commitments in landlocked countries like Afghanistan! But best to avoid the really heavy stuff like the AS90, which is why suggested the cost of buying M777 and HIMARS.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #83
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There's the rub - the UK (as is) has a selection of capabilities that give us an all around global reach - trying to replicate that in a Scottish defence force is not going to be viable unless they want to start spending a *lot* of their money on small niche capabilities.

I'm thinking of the various connectors and enablers like cargo aircraft, AAR etc, plus battlefield elements like heavy armour and artillery. I guess they could put an airmobile formation of some size together based around some light arty like the 105's plus other kit but how to get that overseas? We'd stick it on board a series of C17 flights right now but how otherwise unless the Scots want to run 2-3 C17 or similar ?

I'm guessing not. It's hard to glean from the SNP's policies as expressed so far however - I don't recall much specifics about what they want to do militarily, but quite a bit about what they seek to accomplish in terms of guaranteeing jobs.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #84
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So . . . you reckon Scotland, as an independent NATO member with a huge, largely maritime air space subject to frequent probing by Russian long-range aircraft, would copy the Irish model & not bother with any air defences at all & air policing only of slow prop-driven aircraft near the capital, hoping that the people they've just thumbed their noses at would provide air defence for free, as we (implicitly) do for Ireland - except that Ireland is much better placed. Or would Scotland try to get other NATO countries to rotate air defence fighters, as the (much poorer) Baltic states do?

Not very likely, IMO.
I have mixed views whether they should have advance aircraft like the Typhoon but I can't see them doing so. If you look at their position its clear, they would join NATO just for votes, its as cynical as that, and only on a non nuclear basis. If they win an independence vote I doubt they will actually be able to join. Do the old Russian bombers come to threaten Scottish oilfields or to challenge a UK government stance on other matters.

I am sure a reasonable number of fixed wing MPA & logistic and helicopters would keep the air bases open.

I certainly could not see them replacing them operating them long term and replacing them.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #85
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The seaborne supply chain is easier for them, they just build ships at Govan. 2/3 Absalon class would be ideal....they just can't make heavy commitments in landlocked countries like Afghanistan! But best to avoid the really heavy stuff like the AS90, which is why suggested the cost of buying M777 and HIMARS.
They're not going to be buying new kit at all I should think - the existing 105's are light, air portable and they already have experience with them - and they're at no cash cost. The triple 7 may come later but I think every single decision will hinge on it not costing money and looking good for the papers.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #86
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There's the rub - the UK (as is) has a selection of capabilities that give us an all around global reach - trying to replicate that in a Scottish defence force is not going to be viable unless they want to start spending a *lot* of their money on small niche capabilities.

I'm thinking of the various connectors and enablers like cargo aircraft, AAR etc, plus battlefield elements like heavy armour and artillery. I guess they could put an airmobile formation of some size together based around some light arty like the 105's plus other kit but how to get that overseas? We'd stick it on board a series of C17 flights right now but how otherwise unless the Scots want to run 2-3 C17 or similar ?

I'm guessing not. It's hard to glean from the SNP's policies as expressed so far however - I don't recall much specifics about what they want to do militarily, but quite a bit about what they seek to accomplish in terms of guaranteeing jobs.
I think this is a problem for many countries. Trying to maintain balanced forces, of any size and quality must be a real challenge. They could probably get most equipment fairly cheaply (if not from the UK plenty of other hard up countries... Greece has U214 up for sale who knows in a few years even FREMM) but how do they maintain it. Look at NZ, Eire, Canada, Netherlands and many others. Complex MBT and tracked heavy vehicles are just to expensive to maintain & move about. But the rise of the IED is increase the weight of APC, all those MRAP are not light. Although heavy commercial freight is more cost effective if they don't have a regular requirement. The focus for small countries should be maritime logistics, cheaper although slower they normally have the time for such deployments. Even in relief operations, ship can act as useful mobile infrastructure with medical/helicopter facilities.

A Stanflex modular weapons approach would make sense, for all the ships in home waters little more than a 30mm, for the few ships that are outside, CIWS, CAMM/ESSM and a 76mm.

Just for clarity I was not suggesting Scotland buy or operate SSKs.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #87
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Interesting paper published under RUSI, written by a Scottish analyst, and former serving member of UK forces

http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets...s_Oct_2012.pdf

He's suggesting no to fast jets as well - but yes to frigates of some sort - I'm finding the idea of a country right under a number of international air corridors, with such a large EEZ trying to police that lot with some Hawks as being frankly less than credible however.

Interesting read, costs out a possible SDF at much less than 2% GNP (much less...)
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #88
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They're not going to be buying new kit at all I should think - the existing 105's are light, air portable and they already have experience with them - and they're at no cash cost. The triple 7 may come later but I think every single decision will hinge on it not costing money and looking good for the papers.
Yes, I think there would be a focus on making themselves look different at low cost. One think I bet they will do is drop the SA80 and go for the Steyr...even if it cost them.
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #89
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Yes, I think there would be a focus on making themselves look different at low cost. One think I bet they will do is drop the SA80 and go for the Steyr...even if it cost them.
Why? It works, and bloody well?
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Old October 22nd, 2012   #90
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Interesting paper published under RUSI, written by a Scottish analyst, and former serving member of UK forces

http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets...s_Oct_2012.pdf

He's suggesting no to fast jets as well - but yes to frigates of some sort - I'm finding the idea of a country right under a number of international air corridors, with such a large EEZ trying to police that lot with some Hawks as being frankly less than credible however.

Interesting read, costs out a possible SDF at much less than 2% GNP (much less...)
The loss of strategic bases to us could also be significant as it was in Eire...very said if it happens.

I fear Alex Salmond will now campaign for 2 years with solid focus, changing any unpopular policies and approach as surveys dictate. The No coalition of eveyone else, lead by an increasingly incompetent and remote Tory government, focused on other things 90% of the time....I could easily see a comfortable lead squandered ;-(
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