Britain 'must have two aircraft carriers to be global player'

Discussion in 'U.S. & Europe' started by layman, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. layman

    layman SENIOR MODERATOR Staff Member

    Britain must have two working aircraft carriers if it wants to be a global military player, a Foreign Office parliamentary aide has said.

    Mr Ellwood said: "The UK either needs a carrier capability or it does not."

    A Government cost-cutting proposal to mothball or sell one of two carriers being built would be a poor use of public money, Tobias Ellwood MP said in a report for a military think tank.

    Trying to rely on a single carrier would also undermine the UK’s ability to cope with international crises.

    Mr Ellwood said: “The UK either needs a carrier capability or it does not.

    “If it does, then a minimum of two are required in order to have one permanently available.â€

    Running both carriers would cement Britain’s position as “a global player with a military power of the first rank,†he said.

    The Government has yet to decide the fate of the two 65,000 ton Queen Elizabeth class carriers currently being built, but the 2010 defence review proposed selling one or keeping it mothballed to save money.

    Mr Ellwood, in a report for the Royal United Services Institute, said: “A £3-billion carrier waiting in ‘suspended animation’ in Portsmouth to be activated has political consequences, as does the selling of a ship at a loss.

    “Neither option is a sensible use of taxpayers’ money. Indeed, the latter should be firmly disregarded.â€

    He said the lack of British carriers during the 2011 Libya campaign had meant that RAF Tornadoes and Typhoons had been forced to fly a 3,000 mile round trip from the UK to hit Col Gaddafi’s forces.

    Even when a base became available in Italy, he said air raids were still four times more expensive than if they had been launched from a carrier in the Mediterranean.

    Mr Ellwood, a former Army officer, said: “The carrier’s agility and independence means it is likely to be one of the first assets deployed to any hotspot around the globe.â€

    He said a single carrier would only be available around 200 days per year because of maintenance work.

    Last week backbenchers on the Public Accounts Committee warned the aircraft carrier programme faced further spiralling costs.

    The project remained a “high risk†because technical problems had not been resolved and there was potential for “uncontrolled growth†in the final bill.

    The committee also said a decision to change the type of planes to fly from the carriers had wasted tens of millions of pounds.

    The Ministry of Defence had originally opted for jump jet versions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, then switched to the carrier variant, only to return to the jump jets again last year when costs soared.

    Philip Hammond, Defence Secretary, said no decision would be made on what to do with the two carriers until the 2015 strategic defence and security review.

    But money saved by reverting to the jump jet F-35s meant there was the possibility of having two operational carriers.

    He said: “Of course there are operational cost implications of holding two carriers available rather than one, but we will weigh very carefully the benefits of that and the costs of that in the review.â€

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  2. ricky123

    ricky123 FULL MEMBER

    sell one to india :) ... india should buy it if thry selling
  3. layman

    layman SENIOR MODERATOR Staff Member

  4. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. Staff Member

    we rejected this offer back in 2009 but we should re-consider this...having brand new western carrier will increase our capability.
  5. ricky123

    ricky123 FULL MEMBER

    yes we should hurry if they trying to sell in loss lol
  6. jonas

    jonas FULL MEMBER

    Too late now,you can't have it.You missed out when you carried on being fleeced by Russia who couldn't believe their luck.
  7. Eddie


    Seems the "little island's" influence is shrinking day by day.:troll:
    2 people like this.
  8. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Don't get mad, get even. Staff Member

    yes we missed.... no doubt about that and that too on a russian promise.. pathetic
  9. omya

    omya FULL MEMBER

    chill down guys :achmed: we dont use stuff made out of a looted money anywazzz :troll:
    1 person likes this.
  10. jonas

    jonas FULL MEMBER

    Yea,but the 'little island' can still build first rate ships on time and on budget,does not have to buy them from other countries,and does not have to sink to the depths of renting them.

    Still the old chip on the shoulder,sad really but I suppose you need someone to blame for your shortcomings.

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