Monday, February 13, 2017

The "Peace Dividend" bites back

The Royal Navy has no operational attack submarines.  All are laid up for maintenance or under construction.

5 comments:

genericviews said...

And yet, nothing bad is happening. So evidently, 7 subs in maintenance is exactly the right number.

William Newman said...

Nothing bad was happening, so evidently the Oroville dam spillway maintenance policy was just fine.

Old NFO said...

And we're not in much better shape, even as we cover for them with our assets...

scipioamericanus said...

Wow, genericviews, I guess that means that since I haven't gotten sick in a while I don't need health insurance.

More seriously, the Brits are getting ground between two stones. one: they spend less on defense now than they used to (peace dividend, etc.). Two: the unit price of any category of warship (destroyer, frigate, etc) inevitably increases over time due to improving technology and capabilities. Navies respond to this latter phenomenon by either decreasing numbers, changing fleet composition in favor of less capable ships (e.g. replacing destroyers with frigates), or a combination of both. This is why you see navies first going to smaller carriers, then dropping carriers altogether, then swapping out destroyers for frigates, etc.

Modern SSNs are much more expensive than ones from 40 years ago. They're even more capable than they are more expensive, though. Give it another tech generation and, assuming GDP remains stable, the UK will no longer be able to afford SSNs at all.

For anyone interested in the dynamics of this cycle, and the general economics of naval acquisition, and the effects of advancing technology on such, I strongly suggest "The Cost of Seapower: The Influence of Money on Naval Affairs from 1815 to the Present Day" by Philip Pugh. It's by far the best book ever written on the topic.

selsey.steve said...

The British Military are being offered the chance to opt-out of combat duties!
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4215714/Soldiers-offered-three-day-week-no-line-combat.html