Welcome to DefenceTalk.com Forum!

By registering with us, you'll be able to discuss, share and private message with other members of our community.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Defending Scotland.

Discussion in 'Strategy & Tactics' started by PeterCrisp, Mar 15, 2017.

Share This Page

  1. PeterCrisp

    PeterCrisp New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    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?
     
  2. Atasas

    Atasas Banned Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    .......
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  3. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Darwin NT Australia
    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.
     
  4. MrConservative

    MrConservative Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,968
    Likes Received:
    68
    Location:
    Behind a Desk
    Ireland does not have any air defence system nor is it a member of NATO. Your last sentence is incomprehensible.
     
  5. Nick underscore

    Nick underscore New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    Could you please expand further on what you mean?
     
  6. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Darwin NT Australia
    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.
     
  7. Kiwigov

    Kiwigov New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    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 :eek:nfloorl:)

    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.
     
  8. Nick underscore

    Nick underscore New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    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.
     
  9. PeterCrisp

    PeterCrisp New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    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?
     
  10. John Fedup

    John Fedup Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Vancouver and Toronto
    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.
     
  11. t68

    t68 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,876
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    NSW
    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.
     
  12. StobieWan

    StobieWan Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,929
    Likes Received:
    2
    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.
     
  13. t68

    t68 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,876
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    NSW
    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.
     
  14. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Darwin NT Australia
    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.
     
  15. t68

    t68 Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,876
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    NSW
    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
     
  16. ngatimozart

    ngatimozart Super Moderator Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,396
    Likes Received:
    39
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    If Scotland leaves the UK, then it will no longer be part of NATO. It will have to apply to join NATO and go through the process which will take years.
    They may have problems with Spain agreeing to their request as well, because of Spanish domestic politics and breakaway regions.

    Since that's the case then I think an independent Scotland would have to spend substantial sums upon its defence and the surveillance and protection of its North Sea oil and gas industry. It would need a comprehensive navy and air force with an army being the poorer relation. The army could be used on the southern border to keep the English Sassenachs oot. :lol2 Seriously though, both the Scottish navy and air force would need long legs and reasonably good C5ISR capabilities.

    How it's going to pay for this is another story and I can't see the English giving up the North Sea hydrocarbons easily. The Scots are going to have to restructure their economy big time and they will have to think outside the square. Any major structuring is going to inflict short - medium term economic and social damage on the Scots and that will be unavoidable. It happened in NZ in the from 1984 - the mid 1990s when we went through a massive economic restructuring.
     
  17. rjtjrt

    rjtjrt Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    248
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thinking outside the box, but if Scotland wants US, UK or NATO to do a fair bit of its defence for it, they just have to start to hint at making overtures/cosy up to Russia for help in defending North Sea oil and gas assets, and they will be offered all the help they need from UK, US and NATO.
    Even more if they hinted at letting Russia have access to a naval base in Scotland.
     
  18. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    2,121
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Darwin NT Australia
    Scotland has a current account deficit of 8.6% GDP and that is calculated including some GBP 14 billion revenue from North Sea hydrocarbons and this excludes funding defence.
    NZ is running surpluses on its current account, has an mature defence establishment including all training and command apparatus.
    NZ has a larger GDP even when oil and gas are included (NZ 240 billion USD v Scotland 233 billion USD incl.oil)

    Given the above I doubt that an independent Scotland will be sustaining a defence force at or above their NZ cousins.
     
  19. vonnoobie

    vonnoobie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Messages:
    852
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Melbourne
    When it comes to the economics this news article sum's it all up nicely.

    The five charts that show how economically risky Scottish independence would be

    Quick dot point's fom the article

    - Cost to produce north sea oil is $44 a barrel but only selling at $48 a barrel, very little profits literally under $100m per an annum

    - The deficit is actually 15 billion pounds and equal to 9.5% of the GDP

    - Growth rate is around .02 per a quarter compared to the UK's .06

    Add in that there solution to lower prices was to increase production says a lot about there fiscal capability.. Adding more capacity when it already exceeds demand will lower costs even more. Idiots.

    Add in flow on effects from various industries with Scotland breaking from the UK and Scotlands fiscal stupidity they wont be able to sustain any mentionable shipbuilding industry because they neither produce much of anything that is exported and any orders for a future navy and/or coast guard would be too few and far between. There would also be the job losses from UK bases shifting away, with Faslane in a worst case scenario estimated to lose up to 11,000 jobs, Not to mention job losses in the oil industry with Scottish policy actively driving the price down making the industry more volitile.

    Actually Scotland is to the UK what Western Australia is to Australia. When the prices on resources are high, The UK/Australia is stealing from us taking all this money.. Soon as the prices collapse and its hands out asking for money. Not any real independence move here though so there is that but those wanting it have no bloody clue about the long term impacts to there own economy. In fact on some level Scotland/WA leaving the UK/Australia would help the rest of the nations, in Australia's case has been found the high resource prices have caused more job losses in other industries then made in mining...

    Cut short, No way Scotland could defend it's self, Its economy is already smaller then NZ's, it's in a worse financial position and lack's decades of experience to guide it. Any military budget would be in the 1% or less range cause they couldnt afford anything more. A handful of basic frigates, some OPV's, No combat aircraft, hand full of ASW/maritime patrol aircraft, dozen or so helicopters, a single AOR, etc etc.
     
  20. StobieWan

    StobieWan Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2010
    Messages:
    2,929
    Likes Received:
    2
    Scotland post independence will have a massive deficit however - that's the point - their budgetary position will be very very bleak and to make ends meet, they'd be looking at cuts everywhere. Their last white paper on defence indicated they'd be seeking two frigates from the current fleet, which I think was worded to avoid being handed the Type 22's that were laid up awaiting disposal at the time.

    Realistically, Scotland's position will be very similar to that of the ROI - they'll have some light vehicles and small arms, they'll maybe deploy for peace keeping missions where they can rely on the logistics support of allies. If they get the two frigates they've stated they want, they'll be tied alongside with less sea days than the Argentine Navy get.

    They'd be much more sensibly placed to ask for the four OPV's that have just been built - cheaper to run, they'll have a homogenous and modern fleet of patrol vessels and four would give them a reasonable chance of keeping 1 at sea at all times, with the occasional tasking to the Carib to top up on tans as part of an international effort. They've also said they fancy about a dozen Tiffy - I suspect the chances of those aircraft being kept in flying condition with spares will be almost none.There's no point in looking at other countries of about the same size and taking guesses at what they might do - a post-independence Scotland will be a fairly Socialist affair with a poor financial position, a lot of inherited equipment that may or may not fit their needs, which doesn't break down sensibly into equipment that they can deploy with.

    Most of their budget will be consumed with salary and support costs with little left for modernisation and I suspect that recruitment will be an issue. Most of the Scots I know signed up to get out in the world - sailing to the end of the Clyde and back may not have the same allure.