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European Navy

This is a discussion on European Navy within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Hi everyone. I'm new but i've been lurking for a good long while now so hopefully i wont come across ...


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Old March 18th, 2008   #1
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Question European Navy

Hi everyone.

I'm new but i've been lurking for a good long while now so hopefully i wont come across as a complete noob.

I'm going to pose a question that pops into my mind quite a lot; it definitely is not fully formed and there are probably many holes in it so forgive me.

the question is IF a european navy was formed, most likely in the case of a major threat from a resurgent russia or something of the like; what would it look like ? i.e. what countries would be best suited for operating which units? which countries designs for ship classes would be the best (present or future)? what balance of units would you like to see?

anyway thanks a lot

i hope to weigh in with my thoughts too later on
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Old March 18th, 2008   #2
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In theory it would make sense, but in practise only Britain and France spend proper amounts of money on their navies.

Until the rest of Europe starts spending what they should on defence then there is not point going further. We must not put the cart before the horse.
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Old March 18th, 2008   #3
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i realise that with todays spending by european countries it could never happen. however in a hypothetical situation which my come true in the future due to either a combined eu military or combined foreign policy due to a number of different scenarios id just like to know peoples opinions on those questions. this is what if question at the core i guess thats why i think its fair to involve future or proposed units or even recently canceled ones. however i dont think that this question is complete fantasy as i can see it happening sometime in the future
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Old March 18th, 2008   #4
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My fear is the the governments would see it as an excuse to cut money rather than increase capabilities.

But, in a fantasy world:

UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain to each build and equip two CVF style aircraft carriers.

Britain (with the Dutch) and France to also concentrate on amphibious ops.

Britain and France to concentrate on nuclear submarines.

The other EU countries to provide destroyers, frigates and patrol ships.

There will never be a truly combined navy until there is political union and a common language (English biensur!).

Last edited by Miles; March 18th, 2008 at 01:59 PM. Reason: Typo.
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Old March 18th, 2008   #5
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In theory it would make sense, but in practise only Britain and France spend proper amounts of money on their navies.

Until the rest of Europe starts spending what they should on defence then there is not point going further. We must not put the cart before the horse.
Against resurgent Russia the current and planned navies are more than adequate. In fact, should EU fight anyone but USN or PLAN, the navies are more than adequate although joint purchasing would make the euros better spent. If EU plans to fight USN or PLAN then spending should naturally increase.

As for standardization I'd think that having different equipment might be even beneficial, but interoperability should be top goal, so more important than standardization of weapons or hulls is the standardization of datalinks. English is the best candidate for joint communications language.
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Old March 18th, 2008   #6
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Against resurgent Russia the current and planned navies are more than adequate. In fact, should EU fight anyone but USN or PLAN, the navies are more than adequate although joint purchasing would make the euros better spent. If EU plans to fight USN or PLAN then spending should naturally increase.

As for standardization I'd think that having different equipment might be even beneficial, but interoperability should be top goal, so more important than standardization of weapons or hulls is the standardization of datalinks. English is the best candidate for joint communications language.
English is technically the joint language in NATO and maritime and air communications [if im wrong im happy to be corrected]
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Old March 18th, 2008   #7
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English is technically the joint language in NATO and maritime and air communications [if im wrong im happy to be corrected]
Yup, various NATO methods would probably form the backbone of EU naval co-operation.

Just to add on my point of having various kind of equipment might be beneficial, imagine what would happen to a USN CSG defense in the near future if the adversaries found out a good electronic hole in AMRAAM seeker? The AMRAAM is sole long range AAM of USN carrier aircraft while SM-6 will use AMRAAM seeker head technology. It's also possible that ESSM could be replaced by sea launched AMRAAM's (or am I a victim of Raytheon propaganda?).
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Old March 18th, 2008   #8
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Found this spreadsheet (in German but with american acronyms), and i wouldnt be too scared of a potentially hostile, evolving russian navy.

Last edited by Rythm; March 18th, 2008 at 07:51 PM. Reason: forgot the link :(
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Old March 18th, 2008   #9
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Hmmm, that again.

Ok, here's my take... and trying to do something "doable" here.
  • 8-10 DESRON-style surface warfare and escort groups. Mixed AAW and ASW assets, ocean-capable (destroyer/frigate-sized). Should contain around 5-6 ships ea, with subdividing possible. Most would have a national-only composition, maybe one or two "combined".
  • 8-10 CSW-specific surface warfare groups. Smaller corvettes, FACs, some patrol boats / gunboats, some multi-purpose boats for support, especially in aviation. 5-6 large/medium boats (250+ ton) per squadron.
  • 8-10 MIW squadrons, 2-3 of these inshore.
  • joint amphibious/tactical-sealift flottilla pooling dedicated assets of all members; assets within this split into 6-7 ARGs (3-4 ships ea, national composition) with some specialization between groups. No organic escorts, assignment from DESRONs.
  • joint auxiliary flotilla pooling dedicated assets of all members, split for replenishment, logistics/transport, support/repair. standardization in gear and protocols already present.
  • joint "forward-deployed patrol force" for overseas territories with about 6 groups. Combining OPVs, patrol boats, command/auxiliary ships.
  • 2 strategic force groups (SSBNs). one British, one French.
  • 8-10 attack submarine squadrons, including 3-4 of these nuclear, and 1-2 conventional fleet submarine squadrons. 4-6 units ea, mostly national composition within squadrons.
  • 4 "large" CSGs. CTOL carrier, 3-4 organic escorts, 1 auxiliary. National composition (British/French). Strategic application possible (nukes).
  • 3-4 "small" CSGs. VSTOL carrier, 2-3 organic escorts, 1 auxiliary. National composition (eg Italian/Spanish, maybe one other).

Over the long! term there would then be the attempt to standardize among these squadrons first, then between them.

Above would mean in units...
  • Carriers: 3-4 VSTOL, 4 CTOL
  • Amphibs: 6-7 LHD/LHA, 15-20 LPD/LSD, 10-15 LKA/LPA/LPH, 10-15 LST/LSM
  • Submarines: 8 SSBN, 12-16 SSN, 25-30 SSK
  • Escorts: 15 organic in CSGs, 50-60 in DESRONs (1)
  • Small Combat Units (2): 80-100, mostly in CSW groups
  • MIW Units: 15-20 inshore, 35-40 larger units
  • Overseas: 25-30 units of varying type.
(1) DESRON include specific AAW, ASW, LA assets.
(2) SCU include ASuW, ASW, some LA assets, AAW self-defense only.

Perfectly doable within the current EU national navies.

Want a national breakdown of the above too?

Last edited by kato; March 18th, 2008 at 09:01 PM.
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Old March 18th, 2008
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Old March 18th, 2008   #10
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Yes, please. Always a joy to read your posts, Kato.

But what does DESRON mean? Destroyer-something?
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Old March 18th, 2008   #11
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Hmmm, that again.

Ok, here's my take... and trying to do something "doable" here.
  • 8-10 DESRON-style surface warfare and escort groups. Mixed AAW and ASW assets, ocean-capable (destroyer/frigate-sized). Should contain around 5-6 ships ea, with subdividing possible. Most would have a national-only composition, maybe one or two "combined".
  • 8-10 CSW-specific surface warfare groups. Smaller corvettes, FACs, some patrol boats / gunboats, some multi-purpose boats for support, especially in aviation. 5-6 boats per squadron.
  • 8-10 MIW squadrons, 2-3 of these inshore.
  • joint amphibious/tactical-sealift flottilla pooling dedicated assets of all members; assets within this split into 6-7 ARGs (3-4 ships ea, national composition) with some specialization between groups. No organic escorts, assignment from DESRONs.
  • joint auxiliary flotilla pooling dedicated assets of all members, split for replenishment, logistics/transport, support/repair. standardization in gear and protocols already present.
  • joint "forward-deployed patrol force" for overseas territories with about 6 groups. Combining OPVs, patrol boats, command/auxiliary ships.
  • 2 strategic force groups (SSBNs). one British, one French.
  • 8-10 attack submarine squadrons, including 3-4 of these nuclear, and 1-2 conventional fleet submarine squadrons. 4-6 units ea, mostly national composition within squadrons.
  • 4 "large" CSGs. CTOL carrier, 3-4 organic escorts, 1 auxiliary. National composition (British/French). Strategic application possible (nukes).
  • 3-4 "small" CSGs. VSTOL carrier, 2-3 organic escorts, 1 auxiliary. National composition (eg Italian/Spanish, maybe one other).

Over the long! term there would then be the attempt to standardize among these squadrons first, then between them.

Above would mean in units...
  • Carriers: 3-4 VSTOL, 4 CTOL
  • Amphibs: 6-7 LHD/LHA, 15-20 LPD/LSD, 10-15 LKA/LPA/LPH, 10-15 LST/LSM
  • Submarines: 8 SSBN, 12-16 SSN, 25-30 SSK
  • Escorts: 15 organic in CSGs, 50-60 in DESRONs (1)
  • Small Combat Units (2): 80-100, mostly in CSW groups
  • MIW Units: 15-20 inshore, 35-40 larger units
  • Overseas: 25-30 units of varying type.
(1) DESRON include specific AAW, ASW, LA assets.
(2) SCU include ASuW, ASW, some LA assets, AAW self-defense only.

Perfectly doable within the current EU national navies.

Want a national breakdown of the above too?

wow thats pretty comprehensive. it would be interesting to see who you think should operate which units and why.

Also i'm not personally afraid of a resurgent russia or anything like that, i'm just citing it as a possible reason for the creation of this navy in the future; its all hypothetical at the moment.
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Old March 18th, 2008   #12
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Totally agree with your setup. except for this one.

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joint "forward-deployed patrol force" for overseas territories with about 6 groups. Combining OPVs, patrol boats, command/auxiliary ships.
This one is probably best left for the national navies to perform, as a lot of sovereign authority, rights and claims are vested in this kind of work.

What about "the marine corps". There are already at least two joint MARFORs plus the loose change to build upon...?
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Old March 18th, 2008   #13
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Found this spreadsheet (in German but with american acronyms), and i wouldnt be too scared of a potentially hostile, evolving russian navy.
Huh? The Norwegian Nansen are considered DDD/FFG AAW, while the Danish to-be-built are considered DDG/FFG MR? Despite being quite similar (in the AAW aspect) to the German DDG/FFG AAW... Meh!
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Old March 18th, 2008   #14
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wow thats pretty comprehensive. it would be interesting to see who you think should operate which units and why.
Almost all of that is in existance in European Navies in similar composition.

4 "large" CSGs : British/French, with CVF and PA2.
3 "small" CSGs : Italy/Spain (PdA, GG, Cavour).
2 SSBN groups : should be clear why these stay British and French.

Escorts for the CSGs as current/planned.

DESRONs :
would operate similar to the current NATO SNMG groups and would contain, roughly, in ship numbers: France 8-10, Germany 8, UK 8-10, Italy 8, Spain 8, Greece 8-10, Netherlands 6, Belgium 2, Portugal 3, Denmark 3 (62-68 ships in above). Similar to the SNMG groups, these could be tilted a bit more towards AAW in some, a bit towards ASW in others.

CSG squadrons :
would form standing groups to control coastal areas. each of these would center around a large unit, with 6-7 small patrol units (as trained in joint EU maneuvers). Contribution in large ships would be primarily: Germany 4, Denmark 2, maybe Sweden 1, Greece 1-2 and so on. Small units in these would number around 60-70 total, and would primarily come from Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Greece. Examples for such units would be FACs, or small ASW corvettes like Finland has them.

MIW squadrons :[/b]
take it as it's there. 2 squadrons from Germany, 2 from Sweden, 2 from France, 2 British, 1 Belgian/Netherlands and so on.

Amphibious squadrons :
would have somewhat split focus, but could pretty much all be kept national. a number of groups centering around a LHD with 2-3 LPDs/LSLs (3x UK, 2x France, 1x Italy, 1x Spain), as well as at least one with LSTs/LSMs (Greece).
Maybe some mixing and new units (joint German/Netherlands squadron?).

Forward-deployed Forces :
Pretty much as-is as well. Spanish patrol ships for the Central Atlantic, Netherlands and British OPVs for the Caribbean and South Atlantic, entire French groups for ALPACI and ALINDIEN.

Attack submarines... same as above. Assemble national squadrons there, most nations with subs run squadrons of 4-8 boats.

edit: hmm, going through actual numbers, the DESRONs would have to be upped to at least 12-14 or so.

Last edited by kato; March 18th, 2008 at 09:26 PM.
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Old March 18th, 2008   #15
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This one is probably best left for the national navies to perform, as a lot of sovereign authority, rights and claims are vested in this kind of work.
Sure, although i see a certain use in "clustering" there, e.g. in the Caribbean - which has Dutch, British and French units deployed in "close quarters".

Of course this doesn't need to be such a "fixed" unit. Could be simply a coordination facility similar to what has been proposed for a "European Coastguard". Intelligence exchange, perhaps joint use of base facilities in the area, mutual auxiliary support at sea (towing, maintenance, logistics), pre-coordination for strengthening conflict points (e.g. preplanning redeployment of French ships from French Guyana to Aruba during heightened tension).
Similar arrangements e.g. for Djibouti.

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But what does DESRON mean? Destroyer-something?
"Destroyer Squadron", in the US Navy. There's one (with about 8-10 ships?) stationed in Japan for example, in addition/connection with the CSG there.
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