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Budget cuts in European Navies

This is a discussion on Budget cuts in European Navies within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Dear all, budget cuts are affecting almost all European Navies > the well known cuts in the Royal Navy from ...


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Old April 25th, 2006   #1
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Budget cuts in European Navies

Dear all,

budget cuts are affecting almost all European Navies
> the well known cuts in the Royal Navy from 12 to 8 SSNs, from 12 to 8 DDGs, several Type 23 sold abroad, etc
> the French Navy cutting the number of DDG horizon from 4 to 2
> the Dutch Navy cutting its frigate size from 12 to 6 (4 LCF, 2 Doorman)
> the Danish Navy eliminating its entire submarine force
> the Swedish Navy cutting subs to 5
> the German Navy cutting subs from 12 to 6 U212 by the mid-2010s
> the Italian Navy cutting subs from 8 to 4 U212 and from 12 FFGs to 10 although more powerful FREMMs
> even the Greek Navy is not replacing yet its CF Adams ex-USN DDGs even if it is building 4 new submarines

The only European Navy currently growing in size seems to be the Spanish one, with one huge LPH building, 2 more planned to replace the old ex-USN LSTs, a 5th new AEGIS FFG, 10 more OPVs...

The lucky Spanish apart, given the cuts in fleet size it would be just about time the major European governments got their act together to revive joint procurement, as the defunct Nato NFR frigate in the 90s so that we don't end up spending billions in R&D for a production series of ....... 2 ships
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Old April 25th, 2006   #2
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Europes not the only one.
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Old April 25th, 2006   #3
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Originally Posted by contedicavour
Dear all,

> the Dutch Navy cutting its frigate size from 12 to 6 (4 LCF, 2 Doorman)
> the Danish Navy eliminating its entire submarine force
I think the Belgian Navy took over two of the Doormans, so in real terms the Belgians expanded. These form a joint structure with the Dutch if my memory serves me right.

The Danish Navy has effectively traded the sub sqn, dedicated minelayers and a FAC sqn for two Support Ships (previously known as Flexible Supports Ships) with frigate qualities to them. They will also get three powerful multimission frigates that will replace three smallish, shortlegged Niels Juel class frigates.

That less money is spent is not the only explanation, as a transition from territorial defence to expeditionary operations is also a factor.

Cheers


Last edited by Grand Danois; April 25th, 2006 at 03:17 PM.
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Old April 25th, 2006   #4
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what about Turkey?
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Old April 26th, 2006   #5
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Expeditionary forces... and the answer on Turkey

It is true that navies such as the Dutch or the Danish ones have increased their "expeditionary" potential by trading in frigates (Dutch) or subs (Denmark) for LPDs, but the overall defense capabilities are decreasing and an LPD (even the powerful Danish Absalon half-LPD half-frigates) costs much less than a modern SSK or FFG.
Besides, being able to send a LPD to far away waters is a real plus for a country with an "independent" foreign policy, but the navy still needs to ensure the LPD has escorts with significant AAW and ASW, so I still feel we are creating a new gap while we fill an old one.

On Turkey, their navy is powerful enough, with 12 SSK, several OH Perry ex-USN frigates and German-designed Meko-200 frigates. However, after years of new orders for ever larger ships, even Turkey is slowing down with only OPVs and FACs on order.
However, from a capability standpoint, Turkey has according to me more than it needs to protect its interests, especially since relations with Greece have become much more cordial.

cheers
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Old April 26th, 2006   #6
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The Norwegian navy is getting a major boost in capability with the the first ship of the new Nansen class frigates delivered and 4 more being delivered within 2008-2009 to replace the ancient Oslo class firgates.

http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/nansen/
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Old April 26th, 2006   #7
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The Norwegian navy is getting a major boost in capability with the the first ship of the new Nansen class frigates delivered and 4 more being delivered within 2008-2009 to replace the ancient Oslo class firgates.

http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/nansen/
Yes, that can at least be considered a 1:1 replacement.

Many consider the requirement for those frigates a relic of the Cold War. I am of the opinion that with the proximity of the Murmansk Naval Base in mind, it makes sense for Norway to keep a tight picture of what is going on, not only on the surface, but especially in the submarine environment.

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Old April 26th, 2006   #8
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Originally Posted by contedicavour
It is true that navies such as the Dutch or the Danish ones have increased their "expeditionary" potential by trading in frigates (Dutch) or subs (Denmark) for LPDs, but the overall defense capabilities are decreasing and an LPD (even the powerful Danish Absalon half-LPD half-frigates) costs much less than a modern SSK or FFG.
Besides, being able to send a LPD to far away waters is a real plus for a country with an "independent" foreign policy, but the navy still needs to ensure the LPD has escorts with significant AAW and ASW, so I still feel we are creating a new gap while we fill an old one.
I think the nations that have the need and ability to send off independent amphib groups to do overseas ops still retain the ability to defend these.

Added to that, is that such deployments are joint these days. Think of the Anglo-Dutch cooperation wrt amphib warfare. Also consider the Franco-British joint carrier groups with a RN Type 23 (HMS Lancaster) currently being an escort for CdG and the French Surcouf currently being an escort for HMS Illustrious. Both groups currently deployed to the Indian Ocean.

You mention of that sub forces are being cut are right, and my impression is that it is that they're being cut to the minimum operational number per country.

So, it is the countries that have the skill and ability to build SSK's that retain their sqn's. This begs the question if there are enough to go around?

Using your numbers, as they are readily available I see that the nmumber of SSK's are:

Sweden 5
Germany 6
Italy 4
Netherlands 1 sqn
Norway 1 sqn
Spain 1 sqn
Greece 1 sqn
Turkey ?

Feel free to correct

So there will be at least 30 modern SSK's in Europe. Taking into account that the battlegroup shotgun mission is taken care of by the SSN's. So there is a reasonable number to go around for surveillance and other stuff.

I think the important thing is that the subs are modern. Rather than counting the number of hulls it is important to keep the subs up to date as a high end capability. Added to that, I really hope that the nations that are prioritising the retention of their skills are focusing on the UUV aspect. This will be what defines a modern capability SSK in the decades to come.

This makes it difficult to gauge what capability has actually gone, as it is difficult to benchmark or compare hidden UUV programmes or subsystems.

To some extent I suspect that SSK development and building is awaiting some of this technology to come online.

Cheers

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Old April 26th, 2006   #9
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It is simply a reflection of a Post-Cold war Europe. You can see the trends among all NATO countries.
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Old April 27th, 2006   #10
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Post Cold war reorganization

Yep indeed you are all right : most NATO countries' navies suffer from budget cuts and some ship classes' procurement such as SSKs may also suffer from fast evolving technology.
This furthens strengthens the point that I don't see any sense anymore in so many different types of ships and subs in Europe. We're becoming navies made of prototypes . Only Germany and Italy have effectively merged their requirements and are building almost identical U-212A subs, and France and Italy the FREMM frigates (still with a load of differences, Italian ones having better AAW radars and potential to launch Aster-30).
I still find 2 types of SSNs (Trafalgar, Rubis), 8 types of SSK (U-212, Sauro, Agosta, the 2 Swedish types that I have trouble spelling correctly , Greek T-209, Norwegian Ula, U-206) for a total of approx 40 operational subs !!
We should consolidate into 1 or 2 competing models, say U-212 and Scorpčne, leaving SSNs to the Astute which could be extended to France if they are affordable enough.
Same on surface escorts : why on earth did the Royal Navy leave Horizon consortium with France and Italy only to develop Type 45 DDGs with the same AAW than French and Italian DDGs ?? Why did Dutch, German and Spanish navies build at the same time very similar large AAW FFGs (Alvaro de Bazan, F124 and LCF classes) but each one with different radars and non-AAW equipment ?? The FREMM design is probably the best for modern multi-purpose frigates, why can't it be the base for the future German F125 or the UK's future replacement of the Type 22 Batch 3 or Type 23 FFGs ??
This would all slash R&D expenses and lower unitary costs for each ship and sub, allowing European navies to field cost-efficient navies comparable to the US Navy (at least if you take CVNs and SSBNs out of the picture)

cheers
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Old April 27th, 2006   #11
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Originally Posted by contedicavour
Yep indeed you are all right : most NATO countries' navies suffer from budget cuts and some ship classes' procurement such as SSKs may also suffer from fast evolving technology.
This furthens strengthens the point that I don't see any sense anymore in so many different types of ships and subs in Europe. We're becoming navies made of prototypes . Only Germany and Italy have effectively merged their requirements and are building almost identical U-212A subs, and France and Italy the FREMM frigates (still with a load of differences, Italian ones having better AAW radars and potential to launch Aster-30).
I still find 2 types of SSNs (Trafalgar, Rubis), 8 types of SSK (U-212, Sauro, Agosta, the 2 Swedish types that I have trouble spelling correctly , Greek T-209, Norwegian Ula, U-206) for a total of approx 40 operational subs !!
We should consolidate into 1 or 2 competing models, say U-212 and Scorpčne, leaving SSNs to the Astute which could be extended to France if they are affordable enough.
Same on surface escorts : why on earth did the Royal Navy leave Horizon consortium with France and Italy only to develop Type 45 DDGs with the same AAW than French and Italian DDGs ?? Why did Dutch, German and Spanish navies build at the same time very similar large AAW FFGs (Alvaro de Bazan, F124 and LCF classes) but each one with different radars and non-AAW equipment ?? The FREMM design is probably the best for modern multi-purpose frigates, why can't it be the base for the future German F125 or the UK's future replacement of the Type 22 Batch 3 or Type 23 FFGs ??
This would all slash R&D expenses and lower unitary costs for each ship and sub, allowing European navies to field cost-efficient navies comparable to the US Navy (at least if you take CVNs and SSBNs out of the picture)

cheers
I agree in the most part, the issue is which country will supply the systems, build the ships etc...for each combat system that is installed 2-3 are not and that means jobs, and that leads to politics.

Also different navies build for different doctrine, of the european navies I think that the UK and France are closest in their doctrine, but are still a long way apart.

I think Europe will get there eventually but it will be a long ugly road before they do.
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Old April 27th, 2006   #12
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Same on surface escorts : why on earth did the Royal Navy leave Horizon consortium with France and Italy only to develop Type 45 DDGs with the same AAW than French and Italian DDGs ??
Great concept but sadly flawed by national interests as shown by the UK taking the T45 route; yes, PAAMS might be the same missile package but the SAMPSON multi-function radar is quite different to the French/Italian requirement with EMPAR MFR.

In the end the RN required a larger platform with differing operational requirements - as is often the case in multi national programmes such as this.

The reality is choice / cost of the weapons & sensors fit is probably more significant than the platforms they are based on.

Last edited by mark22w; April 27th, 2006 at 07:33 AM.
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Old April 27th, 2006   #13
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Industry consolidation

I agree with all posts above.
Key to getting politicians aligned in Europe on common procurement programmes is to preserving employment in defense industries.
We need more industry consolidation, of the sort that has been started in the shipyard sector with the Germans owning the Swedish and Greek submarine-construction sectors.

cheers
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Old April 27th, 2006   #14
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mulit nationanal or joint programes tend to work better on paper than practist due to people differing requerments
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Old April 27th, 2006   #15
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YOU WANT TO SEE REAL CUTS!

Soviet union 1991: 572 submarines 91 of which SSBN's
Russia 1995: 245 submarine 32 of which are SSBN's
Russia today: 119 submarines 16 of which SSBN's

United states navy have roughly:
44 los angeles SSN's
3 seawolf SSN's
2 virginia SSN's
14 Ohio SSBN
4 Ohio conversions


in 2020 russian navy is aimed to have:

12 - 14 SSBN's
32 SSN's
12 SSK's
4 special purpose submarines.
________________
40 Years ive been at sea, a war with no battles,a war with no monuments just casualties.
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