Author Topic: British Military Current Events  (Read 1005464 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3025 on: May 01, 2019, 15:28:16 »
The British Army Is Cutting a Third of Its Tanks

The news, first reported by the The Times of London earlier this week, is grim, if you’re the sort who likes big British militaries, because of “empire” or whatever. Citing costs, the Royal Armoured Corps will only upgrade 148 of 227 Challenger 2 main battle tanks.


https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-british-army-is-cutting-a-third-of-its-tanks-1834302166

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Offline CBH99

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3026 on: May 01, 2019, 15:54:41 »
Given the nature of what we anticipate will be future peer-on-peer conflicts, I believe the UK would be better off investing in a more robust Royal Navy and RAF.

Yes, armies have a place & in a land war against Russia, tanks are absolutely crucial.

However, in my humble & outdated opinion, having enough capable ships at sea & aircraft in the air is more important.  Ships can engage targets on land, sea, and air - and the air force can do the same, and travel there a bit more quickly.  In the UK sense, a strong RN and RAF would be a better use of dollars if those dollars are stretched.  (And with Brexit, those dollars very much will be)
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3027 on: May 01, 2019, 16:46:52 »
Given the nature of what we anticipate will be future peer-on-peer conflicts, I believe the UK would be better off investing in a more robust Royal Navy and RAF.

Yes, armies have a place & in a land war against Russia, tanks are absolutely crucial.

However, in my humble & outdated opinion, having enough capable ships at sea & aircraft in the air is more important.  Ships can engage targets on land, sea, and air - and the air force can do the same, and travel there a bit more quickly.  In the UK sense, a strong RN and RAF would be a better use of dollars if those dollars are stretched.  (And with Brexit, those dollars very much will be)

No tanks + No artillery = Dead Infantry. Simples....
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3028 on: May 01, 2019, 17:52:05 »
From RUSI:

Britain’s declining tank numbers highlight a wider problem
 (Royal United Services Institute Comment (London))

By Dr Jack Watling (Research Fellow, RUSI)


The current debate about Britain’s shrinking numbers of main battle tanks obscures the need for a much deeper discussion about the country’s strategic choices. Britain’s tank fleet is set to shrink by a third with only 148 out of 227 Challenger 2 (CR2) Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) to be upgraded via the Life Extension Programme (LEP) which aims to extend its out-of-service date to 2035.

The news sparked lamentations in the press naturally, rejoicing in the fact that Britain will have fewer MBTs than, say, Cambodia. Yet there is a lot more to tanks than counting chassis, and the headline figures do little to elucidate a wider debate that needs to be had over the future of UK heavy armour.

Not all tanks are equal. The 72-ton CR2 is one of the world’s most formidable tanks. To continue using the analogy made in the media, it is generations ahead of Cambodia’s worn out T55s which, at half the weight, have correspondingly limited protection, sensors and firepower. Whereas the only CR2 to date to be destroyed was by another CR2 in Basra, while one Iraqi unit I visited in 2016 had lost no less than 12 of its T55s to a mixture of rockets, recoilless rifles and mines. Of course, modern MBTs are not impervious. Turkey lost several Leopard 2A4s, a comparable tank to the CR2, to anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) in Syria. ATGMs are one of the threats which the CR2 LEP is intended to address by the addition of an active protection system. Still, no one should be under any illusions that 148 CR2s are a formidable formation which goes beyond just sheer numbers.

Following the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review the British Army sought to maintain one deployable division comprising one to two Mechanised Infantry or Strike brigades, and two Armoured Infantry brigades, each with a tank regiment. At 56 tanks per regiment, the envisaged deployable force includes 112 CR2s. With a proportion of the fleet invariably requiring repairs and maintenance, 148 tanks will make keeping 112 ready to go a serious challenge. It also leaves no significant reserve to replace destroyed platforms.

At present however, it is difficult to see how the CR2s would make it to the fight. During the Cold War, when British armour was based in Germany, the prospective front line was comparatively close to the barracks, with all necessary combat service support on hand to get the tanks into combat. Today, an escalation on NATO’s eastern border would take place 2,000 kilometres away.

In 2001 the British Army entered a Public Finance Initiative arrangement with Fasttrax, a subsidiary of KBR, an American engineering, procurement, and construction company, to supply 92 Heavy Equipment Transporters (HETS) to move its CR2s. Three of these HETS are recovery variants, and a further 18 are supporting the US Army in Europe. It is therefore difficult to see how 112 tanks can move 2,000 kilometres on the remaining 71 HETs, especially since these same transporters would be needed to move the army’s AS-90 self-propelled artillery, as well as bridging and recovery assets.

Current projections suggest a 60-day deployment period for Britain’s heavy forces. The HETS contract runs out in 2023, and it is not yet clear that it will be renewed. But rather than purchasing HETS to move lighter systems, to allow for dual-use, the British Army currently is pursuing Modified Light Equipment Transporters for its AJAX vehicles to reduce costs.

While preserving chassis numbers maintains the capability, the utility of Britain’s heavy armour is only assured by retaining sufficient logistics and enablers to deliver a fighting force. If Britain is serious about deploying heavy armour it would need to upgrade its CR2s, and replace or upgrade its Warrior and AS-90 platforms. Moreover, it would likely need to forward-base these units in say, Poland if they are to be closer to where they may see action. The problem is that doing these things is exceedingly expensive and would be likely to be undertaken at the expense of several army modernisation programmes, and the new Strike Brigade concept.

Fully upgrading Britain’s heavy forces and forward-basing them, also would fix the British Army to a rigid deterrence posture with limited resources to address other contingencies. For while a high-intensity conflict in Europe is the most dangerous threat; it is far from the most likely. There is also a severe risk that if the army fully upgrades its existing heavy armour at the expense of modernisation it would begin to fall behind emerging critical capabilities, from autonomous systems to long-range precision fires.

The alternative would be to fully fund the next generation of platforms, and embrace lighter and more adaptable vehicles. At present, the army is trying to sustain both tracks and there is a risk however, given fiscal constraints, that this approach falls between two stools:
•   maintaining too few tanks to be credible, without critical enablers,
•   while developing medium forces that lack sufficient lethality.

Ultimately the choice is political. The critical question is what the British government expects to call upon the army to deliver, and whether the army is sufficiently funded to meet that requirement. The prioritisation of heavy, medium or next-generation platforms can only be made with a clear steer from policymakers as to the role Britain thinks it is likely to have moving forwards. Without that steer, the army will likely continue to lose platforms piecemeal.

Unfortunately, as Parliament votes down all options on Britain’s future relationship with Europe, clarity over Britain’s global posture is sorely lacking.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3029 on: May 01, 2019, 18:40:42 »
"The alternative would be to fully fund the next generation of platforms, and embrace lighter and more adaptable vehicles. At present, the army is trying to sustain both tracks and there is a risk however, given fiscal constraints, that this approach falls between two stools:
     •   maintaining too few tanks to be credible, without critical enablers,
     •   while developing medium forces that lack sufficient lethality."

Definitely crappy options.   :D

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Offline FJAG

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3030 on: May 01, 2019, 19:45:55 »
Meanwhile Russia is not putting all of it's eggs into the T-14 Armata but instead is also massively modernizing its T-90, T-80 and even T-72 fleets.

Quote
The T-90M MBT is an upgraded variant of the export version of the T-90MS MBT, developed and designed by Russia’s largest tank maker, Uralvagonzavod. According to Russian media reports, the T-90M will be fitted with an upgraded turret, protected by Relikt explosive reactive armor, and feature new mission systems including the latest version of Russia’s most advanced fire control system, Kalina.
...
The T-90M’s main weapon system remains the 125-millimeter 2A46M-5 smoothbore gun capable of firing standard ammunition but also the 9M119M anti-tank guided missile (ATGM).
...
As I reported previously, the Russian MoD plans to upgrade 350-400 T-90s to the new T-90M standard. There are also plans to upgrade the Russian Ground Forces’s fleet of T-72B3 MBTs and T-80 MBTs.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/03/russias-t-90m-main-battle-tank-to-complete-state-trials-in-2019/

Perhaps if one can only afford to upgrade 148 of it's Challenger fleet, the UK shouldn't scrap the remaining 79 but keep them "in reserve" with the "reserves" until they can afford to upgrade. When will we learn that once gone, they're gone for good. My current battle-cry is "Remember the M109s!!"

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3031 on: May 01, 2019, 19:58:22 »
Meanwhile Russia is not putting all of it's eggs into the T-14 Armata but instead is also massively modernizing its T-90, T-80 and even T-72 fleets.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/03/russias-t-90m-main-battle-tank-to-complete-state-trials-in-2019/

Perhaps if one can only afford to upgrade 148 of it's Challenger fleet, the UK shouldn't scrap the remaining 79 but keep them "in reserve" with the "reserves" until they can afford to upgrade. When will we learn that once gone, they're gone for good. My current battle-cry is "Remember the M109s!!"

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Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3032 on: May 01, 2019, 21:14:29 »
WRT to the T90M 125mm 2A46M smoothbore and firing a rocket out of that thing, did this prove it’s worth with the Shillelagh on the Sheridan tank?
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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3033 on: May 02, 2019, 11:23:52 »
Haven't heard much about them, likley to expensive and not as good as they would like. Plus the need to defeat top notch armour has not been there.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3034 on: May 08, 2019, 13:23:25 »
WRT to the T90M 125mm 2A46M smoothbore and firing a rocket out of that thing, did this prove it’s worth with the Shillelagh on the Sheridan tank?

The Sheridan was regarded as 'a bit of a failure', and the US Army is looking for a new light tank.

https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a25619083/us-army-light-tank-bae-general-dynamics/

If you google around you'll likely find a description of why the blended missile/gun concept failed...
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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3035 on: May 24, 2019, 11:08:36 »
Having crawled around both the AGS and the Sheridan at littlefields, I think the Sheridan is a bit more useful. The 152mm acts as DF artillery and the tank is amphibious, plus not as tall as the AGS. I suspect armour values are roughly the same. You could achieve the same effect as the missile system with a Milan ATGM (or similar) on the turret top. To be fair the Shillelagh missile packed a good punch (15lb warhead). The main problem appeared to be that the recoil from the HE, often knocked the missile alignment system off. So it was a either or situation. In Vietnam I don't think they used the missile at all, but packed HE and Canister.

Offline GK .Dundas

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3036 on: May 24, 2019, 23:01:48 »
Having crawled around both the AGS and the Sheridan at littlefields, I think the Sheridan is a bit more useful. The 152mm acts as DF artillery and the tank is amphibious, plus not as tall as the AGS. I suspect armour values are roughly the same. You could achieve the same effect as the missile system with a Milan ATGM (or similar) on the turret top. To be fair the Shillelagh missile packed a good punch (15lb warhead). The main problem appeared to be that the recoil from the HE, often knocked the missile alignment system off. So it was a either or situation. In Vietnam I don't think they used the missile at all, but packed HE and Canister.
They pulled the missile guidance system box(es)from the tanks deployed to Viet Nam.
Funny thing about the Sheridan is that it's biggest problem was that it was about 30-40 years ahead of it's time.
Hell! At one time I thought it would have been a good choice for both the regular force and PrRes.
Drop the missile capability entirely ,keep the 152 gun on say half and pull the turrets on roughly 1/4 of the vehicles and drop a LAV 25 turret. The rest you convert to recovery vehicles ,bridgers etc.
 Gordon
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 13:41:01 by GK .Dundas »
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3037 on: May 27, 2019, 22:51:33 »
I served in Northern Ireland. It’s clear that there should be no amnesty for veterans

I had very little understanding of events in Northern Ireland while studying for my A-levels at a state grammar school in Guildford in 1972. My subsequent time at Sandhurst left me none the wiser. Entering military academy later that year, I assumed that I was embarking on a well-worn trail in the relationship between ethics and military duty. Of this I was quickly disabused.
A young ‘tom' was a witness, a prosecutor, jury, judge, and if required, executioner, all in a matter of a split second

As officer cadets we trained in internal security drills, which usually ended with direction to shoot dead the “demo” Gurkha soldier, ringleader of a rioting mob – conveniently wearing a red T-shirt. This was taught doctrine at that time and was repeated in later training. Small wonder, perhaps, that some soldiers may have been under the impression that killing rioters was accepted army doctrine.

My first tour of Northern Ireland as a second lieutenant with 2 Para (2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment) in June 1973 was quite an eye-opener. As a young officer I swallowed whole the regimental line that soldiers from our first battalion had been under attack during a civil rights march in Derry in 1972, on what became known as Bloody Sunday, and responded accordingly with lethal force. I had no knowledge at all of a previous incident in Ballymurphy in August 1971 – later referred to as a massacre – in which 10 civilians were shot dead allegedly by paratroopers in the small west Belfast neighbourhood during disturbances prompted by the introduction of internment without trial.

In more recent times these events have been the focus of greater media and judicial interest. I have read both the Widgery and the Saville reports into Bloody Sunday, and for reasons not well explained the responsibility of the army chain of command seems wholly absent.

In fairness to the army, most officers and soldiers, for most of the time, have performed commendably in very difficult circumstance between 1969 and 2007 – the formal end of British forces’ operations in Northern Ireland. Some have not. And in the event that a command ethos of brutality and murder takes over, we should not be all that surprised at the consequences. This to me is the essence of Bloody Sunday, where specific orders were ignored, an officer opened fire above Rossville Flats – contrary to law – and then the “Derry effect” of those gunshot echoes probably convinced other soldiers that they were indeed under fire. I am not blaming the then commanding officer, alone, for this insubordination .

As a young officer, having got quite a lot of Northern Ireland experience under my belt, I decided, in the absence of any guidance, on my own “doctrine”: I talked to my various platoons, my company and then, from 1994-1997, my battalion, about ethics and military duty. At each level I attempted to make clear that the authority and power in the use of lethal force, at just 18 years old, was awesome. In situations where life was endangered or lost, a young “tom” was in effect a witness, a prosecutor, jury, judge and, if required, executioner, all in a matter of a split second.

In recent times quite a few veterans, especially from the Parachute Regiment, have argued that their actions under duress should not be subject to legal scrutiny. The usual line is about their age, memory, time, witness reliability – if still alive – and that these issues are best left in the past. I do not share that view – and the government has rejected previous claims of amnesty.

Charles Townshend, a leading historian on British counterinsurgency, writes in Britain’s Civil Wars (1986) that the country has never accepted anything other than that complete legal responsibility at all times underpins the morale and discipline of our armed forces. Take this away in the context of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it would be akin to the US forces in Vietnam. That we should not go down such a hazardous road is, to me, all too obvious. This year we are commemorating the centenary of Amritsar, where so clearly Colonel Reginald Dyer did in every respect abandon our common-law heritage. We can never, ever, risk such a repetition.
The recent government white paper on these issues seems to me to cloud all this – offering the notion that legal accountability can be applied in Northern Ireland but nowhere else. The connection between Bloody Sunday, the Falklands war and Afghanistan is the extent to which senior officers did their best to cover up incidents of serious crime when committed by soldiers – a manifest failure of legal and ethical standards expected of serving officers of all ranks. “Put up, shut up, cover up,” is the unofficial doctrine.

The defence secretary, Penny Mordaunt, is attempting to strengthen legal protections for troops facing investigation over alleged historical offences – but veterans of Northern Ireland won’t be covered by this. General Lord Dannatt claims he is serving the interests of the army by challenging the plan in the House of Lords: he argues that Northern Ireland should also be exempt from the law because all theatres of war need to be treated the same. Surely the argument of a former chief of the general staff should be that all cases of serious crime committed by our soldiers be investigated and, if need be, prosecuted – without exception. Only on this basis can high morale and good discipline be ensured.

A comparison with supposed amnesties regarding terrorists is simply missing an obvious point: the armed forces are intended to represent the law in situations where law has been absent through usual means. The problem here is that a prevalent ethos of “regimental loyalty” can supersede all other considerations, and that exposing wrongdoing is thus disloyal – historical accounts of the British army during the Troubles have made this clear. This can only be countered by investing in an ethical education for all ranks of the armed forces. Defence humanists can only agree with this cause.

• Colonel David Benest was commanding officer of 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment, from 1994 to 1997

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/22/northern-ireland-no-amnesty-veterans-amritsar-bloody-sunday?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR1KwmEn6SfPWRZo1mhq6-zW_Z1KQvORBrQKwS0fTNPb03zCCbakIgsjnV0
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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3038 on: June 16, 2019, 05:30:23 »
Meanwhile, in Canada ...
Quote
A British army officer has been summoned back from a training exercise in Canada over the alleged "unsafe" use of military equipment.

The Commanding Officer of The Royal Dragoon Guards has been temporarily suspended from his position whilst an investigation is conducted.

The officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ben Watts, has been flown back from Exercise Prairie Storm and will be have to explain himself to the Commander of 20 Armoured Infantry Brigade. His position will be filled by the unit Second-in Command for the duration of the inquiry.

The investigation is looking into the inappropriate use of smoke dischargers that are used to simulate explosions. 

These items are normally placed around the training area in Canada - seven times larger that Salisbury Plain - and are designed to be manually set off by training staff. The Telegraph understands some modifications may have been made to the smoke dischargers which could have made them unsafe.

Lt Col Watts will be asked if he knew of, or directed, the alleged equipment modifications. The probe is not expected to last more than a week.

An Army spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a Commanding Officer has been suspended whilst an investigation takes place, in line with normal practice.” ...
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3039 on: June 23, 2019, 13:46:09 »
Happy Birthday to The Parachute Regiment.

Strength through suffering since June 22nd, 1940.

Oh, and no cake for you, you f*cking Crow, take another milling session....  :)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3040 on: July 05, 2019, 18:20:50 »
Royal Marines from 42 commando seized an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar. It was thought to be in violation of the UN sanctions.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-48882455

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: British Military Current Events
« Reply #3042 on: July 11, 2019, 05:32:06 »
Former paratroopers sue army over 'years of racism from soldiers'

A black former paratrooper has said he and a colleague had to endure years of racism in his army unit, with fellow soldiers decorating the barracks they shared with Nazi flags and pictures of Adolf Hitler.

Racial slurs and racist language were also regularly used by colleagues in 3 Para, according to Hani Gue, who is bringing a discrimination claim against the Ministry of Defence (MoD) at an employment tribunal in central London.

In a statement, Gue said: “During the course of my employment I noticed that there were Nazi, Confederate and SS flags, and photographs of Hitler displayed in A Company’s accommodation, which is a stone’s throw away from the battalion headquarters.”

The former soldier said he had to walk past this “on a regular basis” and this situation was “not a single incident … it happened several times”.
 
Both Gue and L/Cpl Nkululeko Zulu, a South African, have taken the MoD to a tribunal alleging they suffered racial discrimination and harassment and no reasonable steps were taken to prevent it.

It is the latest in a series of controversies that have engulfed 3 Para. In April, four members of the battalion were seen shooting wax bullets at a poster of the Labour party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, on a target range in Kabul. The video leaked online, prompting an investigation.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jul/02/former-paratroopers-sue-army-over-years-of-racism-from-soldiers
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon