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Defending Scotland.

This is a discussion on Defending Scotland. within the Military Strategy and Tactics forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; With the possibility of Scotland going independent again what can they afford to keep for defence. Let's assume that the ...


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Old March 15th, 2017   #1
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Defending Scotland.

With the possibility of Scotland going independent again what can they afford to keep for defence.
Let's assume that the break-up is amicable and the UK is willing to give Scotland the equipment it can afford to keep and effectively run but what exactly should they choose?

I'm assuming they will want a mainly defensive force but should they go with expensive aircraft which can give them a wide coverage or go with a cheaper option of naval assets?
What exactly could Scotland afford?
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Old March 15th, 2017   #2
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Last edited by Atasas; April 19th, 2017 at 08:45 AM.
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Old March 15th, 2017   #3
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If Scotland goes there will be multiple ramifications for the RN.
The biggest and most expensive of these will be the relocation of the nuclear sub base at Faslane.
The Scots have already indicated they won't allow nuc subs in their country however ther are over 5,000 people employed there and all that employment will transfer to England
It's not only the base but also the missile armaments depot and all other supporting services, further the two principal bases on the south coast are unsuitable for the bombers to operate from so where to put them is a further problem.

Next dilemma is shipbuilding. The Conservative govt. has already stated that no RN ships will be built on foreign soil and that includes Scotland. BAE on the Clyde would have to move and this could further delay the T26 programme and almost certainly mean that the T31s would go to a Southern builder.

Naturally the Scottish Chief Minister waited for the Bank of Scotland to be bailed out with a multi billion handout from the Bank of England before reintroducing her referendum.

What a cluster F.
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Old March 15th, 2017   #4
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It would have to aim to Irish model of defense forces. Medium sized units and heavy participation in NATO, with some of the own Air defense system, maybe even aircraft in double digits, but not any less and considering IRA involvement scenario, they'd need to get big part of near seized to exist UK sea vessels flotilla.
Ireland does not have any air defence system nor is it a member of NATO. Your last sentence is incomprehensible.
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Old March 16th, 2017   #5
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...Naturally the Scottish Chief Minister waited for the Bank of Scotland to be bailed out with a multi billion handout from the Bank of England before reintroducing her referendum.
Could you please expand further on what you mean?
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Old March 16th, 2017   #6
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Could you please expand further on what you mean?
I'm no qualified commentator but from what I have read the Chief Ministers timing was a matter for discussion at another place. It appears she waited for the Westminster Budget to grant the underperforming Bank of Scotland an allocation of GBP 350,000,000 before announcing her intention to call for a second referendum.
I believe this was not approved by PM May today so she has been somewhat thwarted.
Slip of the fingers, I previously wrote billions, should have written millions.
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Old March 16th, 2017   #7
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Scottish defence

This would be an interesting conundrum, even without the lurking Russian interest in testing an independent Scotland's naval defences. The First Minister has stated Scotland would apply to join NATO - which implies a concession re keeping Faslane, given NATO is a nuclear alliance.

However, absent a marked recovery in oil prices the increasingly elderly Scottish economy could not afford to purchase FFGs or MPAs - let alone an ACF - which suggests a phased agreement with RUK to permit the RN and RAF to maintain patrols for some years (all dependent on mutual goodwill in negotiations )

The Irish neutralist 'defence' model has previously been promoted by independence promoters (prior to the first referendum), however this can not be viewed as tenable given Scotland's more direct exposure to the Russian navy and airforce. A couple of Tu-22s streaking over a newly independent Edinburgh would change the (local) debate immediately.
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Old March 17th, 2017   #8
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I'm no qualified commentator but from what I have read the Chief Ministers timing was a matter for discussion at another place. It appears she waited for the Westminster Budget to grant the underperforming Bank of Scotland an allocation of GBP 350,000,000 before announcing her intention to call for a second referendum.
I believe this was not approved by PM May today so she has been somewhat thwarted.
Slip of the fingers, I previously wrote billions, should have written millions.
Thanks for the reply Assail.

Not sure where this came from, but I'm a little confused.

Bank of Scotland is a PLC and owned by Lloyds Bank and the UK Gov (~2.95% down from 43%).

Sturgeon asking May for money against BoS, just doesn't make sense to me.

Two days ago CEO Antonio Horta-Osorio said: “Today’s announcement moves Lloyds another step closer to full private ownership, and we are pleased that the group’s strong financial performance has kept us on track to return more money to taxpayers than was put in.”

All UK banks have 'turned the corner' - As an example in this case, Lloyds purchased MBNA just in Jan/Feb this year.
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Old March 17th, 2017   #9
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Could Scotland go with pretty much no navy (only small coastal defence and fisheries protection stuff) or air force and just have ground based anti air and ship missiles and the rest spent on having a half decent army?
This would obviously give them zero offensive capability but could it maximise the defensive effect of the money they have? Is such an ultra defensive strategy viable against modern long range weaponry?
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Old March 19th, 2017   #10
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It's almost like the Canada/US situation, an attached neighbour that will likely be deficient in all defence capabilities and won't or can't contribute properly towards mutual defence. In Scotland's case it is more the the latter case whereas it is all the former in Canada's case. Regardless, the UK, like the US, will be picking up the slack.
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Old March 19th, 2017   #11
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It's almost like the Canada/US situation, an attached neighbour that will likely be deficient in all defence capabilities and won't or can't contribute properly towards mutual defence. In Scotland's case it is more the the latter case whereas it is all the former in Canada's case. Regardless, the UK, like the US, will be picking up the slack.
Agree only if they have in place certain treaty obligation something like NORAD, but that would also imply that Scotland would have to come to the party in a robust defence force aswell, think NZDF as a minimum but with an ACF.
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Old March 19th, 2017   #12
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If Scotland goes there will be multiple ramifications for the RN.
The biggest and most expensive of these will be the relocation of the nuclear sub base at Faslane.
The Scots have already indicated they won't allow nuc subs in their country however ther are over 5,000 people employed there and all that employment will transfer to England
It's not only the base but also the missile armaments depot and all other supporting services, further the two principal bases on the south coast are unsuitable for the bombers to operate from so where to put them is a further problem.

Next dilemma is shipbuilding. The Conservative govt. has already stated that no RN ships will be built on foreign soil and that includes Scotland. BAE on the Clyde would have to move and this could further delay the T26 programme and almost certainly mean that the T31s would go to a Southern builder.

Naturally the Scottish Chief Minister waited for the Bank of Scotland to be bailed out with a multi billion handout from the Bank of England before reintroducing her referendum.

What a cluster F.
No need to delay type 26 - just build one or two in the lead order at the Clyde and have the incoming rUK shipyard (and there are plenty of facilities capable of taking the work on) to shadow and train. The remainder of the order can be completed in the rUK and all the Type 31 orders would never see Scotland, simples.

Relocating Trident on the other hand, that's much much more problematic.
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Old March 19th, 2017   #13
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No need to delay type 26 - just build one or two in the lead order at the Clyde and have the incoming rUK shipyard (and there are plenty of facilities capable of taking the work on) to shadow and train. The remainder of the order can be completed in the rUK and all the Type 31 orders would never see Scotland, simples.

Relocating Trident on the other hand, that's much much more problematic.
If the Scots are so worried about shipbuilding they too can follow on with 2/3 Type26 and a few OCV etc after all they would not need to buy the design as they have technically already contributed to it.
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Old March 19th, 2017   #14
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If the Scots are so worried about shipbuilding they too can follow on with 2/3 Type26 and a few OCV etc after all they would not need to buy the design as they have technically already contributed to it.
There is no way and independent Scotland could fund and sustain a 7,000 tonne Frigate navy.
Look to Ireland for model to be copied.
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Old March 19th, 2017   #15
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There is no way and independent Scotland could fund and sustain a 7,000 tonne Frigate navy.
Look to Ireland for model to be copied.
I was using NZDF as a template as they have a slightly larger demographic and have more near threats, I believe NZ should be able to sustain 3x T26
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