Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

Nice TV piece on HMS Bulwark visiting London as she take over the role of RN Flagship. Speaks volumes for the shocking state of our armed forces that the Flagship and “pride of the fleet” is an LPD that entered service a decade ago.

Anyway, she puts on a good display as you would expect and is a very capable ship at what she was designed to do. Which is amphibious operations.

What she cannot do in any serious way is protect herself, or her battle group, or project power far inshore, or maintain a combat air patrol, or launch any serious ground attack. In fact the RN have pretty much given these roles up as they consigned the Carrier and Fixed wing assets to the scrapheap.

Good job the French are here to enforce a no fly zone just over 1000 miles from the nearest British territory (Gibraltar).

So everyones favourite retirement home for poorly terrorists continues to descend into a quagmire of chaos and lunacy courtesy of Middle East Peace Envoy, Tony Blairs favourite north African hugging partner.

Meanwhile, one of the worlds largest producers of bullshit, the UN, continues it’s apologist handwringing debacle as to whether it should do anything other than write a terse note asking the resident African nutjob fascist dictator and ex-chair of the Human Rights Commisson to please stop killing his population?

Dave C and his buddy Billy Hague wade into the fray, casting themselves as defenders of liberty and open democracy (as long as you don’t want to see their expenses thank you so very much), except their keenness to show the big boys in the US that we can still come out to play in the proposed no-fly zone is somewhat hampered by the fact that WE DON’T HAVE ANY CARRIERS OR CARRIER AIRCRAFT CAPABLE OF DOING THE JOB, and it’s quite a long way to the nearest friendly airfield.

In fact like everyone in the public services the Nimrod R1s are going to have to work a little bit longer before they can retire just so we can take pictures of Gadaffi murdering people.

You fucking idiots.

Sorry, but it needed saying.

They are just pouring salt into a festering wound today aren’t they?

It must do. It made Libya the chair of the Human Rights Commission.

They voted that Libya should champion the cause of human rights globally, and chair the most important toothless talking shop and bullshit production factory on the planet. yet now the hypocritical bastards line up to condemn their erstewhile friend. For the love of Dawkins even Blair gave the plastic faced bunker loving plane bombing old bastard a sloppy kiss in exchange for allowing us to release their terrorist, I mean drill for oil, oops I mean let Prince Andrew play golf there, bugger I mean become a democracy loving peaceful nation.

As Gadaffis son said to the Beeb in between plagurising essays at the LSE

“The Middle East has a generally bad record on human rights and this is an opportunity to embarrass middle eastern governments into improving that record”.

How prophetic was that? Bet he didn’t quite mean bombing his own population though.
Sod the politicians, they had their chance. Hopefully the people will get to solve their own problems and that lamp-posts and piano wire are still in fashion…

I hadn’t quite anticipated world events proving my point quite so quickly. But it appears north Africa and large parts of the Middle East are sick and tired of being run by dictatorships who syphon off most of the countries revenues for themselves and their cronies.

Reading a few comments on national newspaper websites you’d think we need to start evacuating British citizens, and it appears from todays reports that the FCO are slow off the mark to plan for this eventuality – but in any case exactly how? We have all but lost our strategic airlift capacity (and that relies on sevicable runways allowing aircraft to land) and our entire rotary wing force is otherwise occupied. And evacuate to where exactly? HMS Ocean, Albion or Bulwark are the only remaining RN vessels capable of a sustained operational airlift, and the current response is to send HMS Cumberland. To do what exactly? A Merlin or a Lynx helo is an impressive piece of kit, but wholly unsuited to moving large numbers of people quickly. We are seeing to results of the neglect to maintain an independant organic Navy.

If you are in any doubt have a look at the RN website. From the Fleet today you can see just what 2 decades of neglect has done. There is desperation to give the look of a large modern navy, but the fleet listing is economic with the truth at best….

Aircraft Carriers

HMS Invincible 1977
HMS Illustrious 1978
HMS Ark Royal 1981
These are effectively mothballed and useless given the lack of carrier capabale aircraft for them. 100% Capability shortfall in fleet defence for at least 8 years.

Assault Ship
HMS Ocean 1995

Landing Platform Dock
HMS Albion 2001
HMS Bulwark 2001

Type 45 Destroyer
HMS Daring 2006
An impressive looking vessel that still
has no functioning primary weapon system

Type 42 Destroyers Batch 2
HMS Liverpool 1980

Type 42 Destroyers Batch 3
HMS Manchester 1980
HMS Gloucester 1982
HMS York 1982
HMS Edinburgh 1983
Capable ships that are now 30 years old, and starting to be retired

Type 23 Frigates
HMS Argyll 1989
HMS Lancaster 1990
HMS Iron Duke 1991
HMS Monmouth 1991
HMS Montrose 1992
HMS Westminster 1992
HMS N’umberland 1992
HMS Richmond 1993
HMS Somerset 1994
HMS Sutherland 1996
HMS Kent 1998
HMS Portland 1999
HMS St. Albans 2000

Type 22 Frigates Batch 3
HMS Cornwall 1985
HMS Cumberland 1986
HMS Campbeltown 1987
HMS Chatham 1988
T23’s and T22 B3’s remain the workhorses of the fleet, but with reductions there are now just 17 to cover a supposed global remit

Vanguard Class Submarines
HMS Vanguard 1995
HMS Victorious 1995
HMS Vigilant 1995
HMS Vengeance 1998

Swiftsure Class Submarines
HMS Sceptre 1976
Decommisioned Dec 2010

Trafalgar Class Submarines
HMS Turbulent 1982
HMS Tireless 1984
HMS Torbay 1985
HMS Trenchant 1986
HMS Talent 1988
HMS Triumph 1991

Antarctic Patrol Ship
HMS Endurance 1991
It speaks volumes that a vessel that was condemned following a catastrophic accident over 6 months ago remains on the Fleet List

River Class Patrol Vessels
HMS Tyne 2003
HMS Mersey 2003
HMS Severn 2003
HMS Clyde 2007

Ocean Survey Vessels
HMS Scott 1996

Coastal Survey Vessels
HMS Gleaner 1983
A small harbour launch type vessel, cannot accomodate crew overnight

Multi-Role Survey Vessel
HMS Echo 2002
HMS Enterprise 2002

The following are classed as minor war vessels – although they do an important job!
Sandown Class Minehunters
HMS Walney 1991
HMS Penzance 1997
HMS Pembroke 1997
HMS Grimsby 1998
HMS Bangor 1999
HMS Ramsey 1999
HMS Blyth 2000
HMS Shoreham 2001

Hunt Class Minehunters
HMS Ledbury 1979
HMS Cattistock 1981
HMS Brocklesby 1982
HMS Middleton 1983
HMS Chiddingfold 1984
HMS Hurworth 1984
HMS Atherstone 1986
HMS Quorn 1988

The following are taken from the Fleet List but are either small day running patrol craft or University Unit training craft
Archer Class P2000 Fast Training Boats
HMS Archer (Aberdeen) 1985
HMS Biter (Manchester) 1985
HMS Example (N’umbria) 1985
HMS Explorer (Yorkshire) 1985
HMS Smiter (Glasgow) 1985
HMS Blazer (S’ton) 1988
HMS Charger (Liverpool) 1988
HMS Exploit (Birmingham) 1988
HMS Express (Wales) 1988
HMS Puncher (London) 1988
HMS Raider (Cambridge) 1998
HMS Ranger (Sussex) 1988
HMS Tracker (Oxford) 1998
HMS Trumpeter (Bristol) 1988

Cyprus Squadron – Archer Class P2000 Fast Training Boats
HMS Dasher 1988
HMS Pursuer 1988

Gibraltar Squadron 16m Fast Patrol Class
HMS Sabre 2003
HMS Scimitar 2003

So we can see that the RN has tried to bolster it’s size by including defunct, decomissioned and just plain unseaworthy craft to create the illusion of a significant force.

As much as it pains me to say it, we no longer have a Navy, we have a coastal defence force at best. We could not launch a serious fleet operation without total reliance on allied support. We cannot mount combat air patrols to protect our own Navy or shipping, we have little in the way of hydrograpghic survey capability and no dedicated Survey assets capable of independant operations (a subject dear to my heart obviously) and with inevitable maintenace downtime, crew rotations and unplanned incidents we simply have too few hulls to service our obligations. We cannot even rescue a few hundred british citizens without chartering aircraft. Even the masterpiece of spin and PR on channel 5, the “Royal Navy Carribean Patrol” will in future be downgraded to a civilian crewed RFA to cut more costs.

I know in this time of financial constraint every facet of the UK needs to address it’s costs. But we constantly elect politicians who expect our Forces to fight and win conflicts on a global stage. It’s that now we seem to be expecting them to do it with numbers and equipment from a landlocked 3rd world country.

As an aside i thought I would see if there was a trend to this. So although not a completely scientific comparison as it makes no allowance for size and complexity I thought I would look take a look the number of ships commisioned by year.

Click on the image above for a better look

It seems pretty damning evidence of the neglect to renew vessels. It is also pretty clear that during the 70’s and again from the mid 90’s to 2010 there was a reduction of investment in the RN. Even with the spikes ironed out you can see a build of 3 to 5 hulls a year compared to an average of less than 1 during those periods.

Now what was different then?

So from Wikileaks (via the Beeb) it now appears we released a mass murderer because it was politically and economically expedient.

That’s not what I find most distatseful about the affair, it’s that we all knew why they did it, yet they lied about the reasons,they lied about having 90 days to live, they lied it was basically all down to money, and they lied about capitulating to pressure from the paragon of human rights that is Gadaffis regime.

Weak willed sycophants.

… and counting. Shows what a scottish doctors forecast is worth.

So now they admit it was wrong to release a convicted mass murderer!

Abdel Basset al-Megrah was given 3 months to live by a doctor who depends on a government registration scheme for his livlihood. 3 Months. 90 days give or take.

So overwhelmed with compassion, and brown envelopes from BP, they released him into the marvellous state health care system of Libya. It must be fantastic because they have managed to keep alive a man given 90 days by the best scottish doctors…

Perhaps we should have asked them how to do NHS reforms? I’m willing to bet they can do it cheaper than us and they seem to have a knack for it so far…

So the Scottish government is getting upset because McDoom didn’t phone them now and again, and may have screwed them. Well, to be frank, join the club.

More disturbingly, should you trust doctors estimates? The Lockerbie bomber Al-Megrahi was given 3 months to live on the 10th August 2009 by an official medical report. We’re fast closing in on 8 months and counting. Anyone care to bet he lasts a year? The medical provision in Libya obviously puts ours to shame, can we not send some quacks over there for some training? It would be fantastic if we could treble the life expectancy of everyone else with a “terminal” illness…

Of course the other explanation is that a Doctor who relies on state accreditation for his rather lucrative career had a “suggestion” put to him, but that would never happen would it?

Further proof (as if any was needed) that living in hot places makes you a bit mental as long term nutter and friend of the Blairs, Gadaffi, threatens (of all places!) Switzerland!Damn their toblerones… Bit embarrassing for the UN, given that last year they were chair of the assembly!

…although they must have top notch health care. After all the Pan-Am bomber al-Megrahi was freed on compassionate grounds by the Scottish government on 20 August 2009 following doctors reporting on the 10 August 2009 that he had terminal prostate cancer and had less than three months to live and wouldn’t see christmas… so that’s 6 months and counting.

Now who still thinks that doesn’t smell of a cover up?