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Thread: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

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    Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    A paragraph of sarcastic refusal to answer a simple question.

    The question was whether HMS Queen Elizabeth, one of the two aircraft carriers on order, will actually be handed over to the Royal Navy for sea trials this spring as promised.
    “What I can’t give the committee is the specific days of the week because no-one knows exactly what day of the week she will move from where she is currently into her sea trial process and then sail down to Portsmouth.”
    She wasn't asked for the day of the week, nor the week, nor the month. She was asked for the quarter. She was, I suspect, asked whether the date had slipped from March 20th. Perhaps she should have been asked for the year, at this rate.

    When it's actually handed over to the Royal Navy for sea trials we can bump the thread and comment on the obfuscation she gave.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    It's now a serious question whether we can afford her planes, or to run her.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    The whole notion of buying F-35s for these carriers is lunacy. If we don't build them, what's the point? Where's the benefit? Whose defence contractors and engineering capability gets supported?
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    I agree with your criticisms. I'm guessing the Eurofighter is not capable of carrier operations and the F-35 is apparently very good.

    The horrible thing is that despite my comment about not being able to afford her, we may actually need her. And her sister ship.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    Need in what sense? Can you describe any scenario in which an aircraft carrier - any aircraft carrier - can be used in a defensive role, where land-based facilities couldn't do exactly the same job?
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    Deterrence against Russia and protection of sea lanes, especially in the N. Atlantic, but yeah, I agree they are not in themselves defensive units. Unfortunately I think we entering a time where we need to boost Armed Forces (naval and air mostly) and keep a nuclear deterrent. Traditionally we have not done so, and it will be expense we maybe cannot afford at all but I think the times that dangerous.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    Surely if you retain the nuclear deterrent then you can reduce the Armed Forces to coastguard and civil insurrection protection. There's no role for a deep-sea capability, none for the RAF, the army could come down to 30,000 infantry based in the large cities. If the country is attacked by a foreign power then there's a nuclear response, if it's attacked by criminals then there's courts for those who survive the firefight.

    The middle ground, deploying armed forces other than Trident beyond the nation's frontier, is an offensive capability. It's always been used as an offensive capability since the end of conscription. It's never once been used as a defensive force when deployed abroad and I can't see how it could be - can you?

    Northern Ireland is not abroad, sadly - maybe Brexit will let them join Eire, retain the benefits and avoid a customs border through Puckoon.

    The times are dangerous because we keep on killing foreigners in their own countries. That's the cause, and retaliatory asymmetrical pinprick terror attacks back here are the natural and obvious consequence - quite possibly the desired outcome, Western governments being what they are. It gives us an excuse to expand our military while being, in itself, comparatively inconsequential.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    Quote Originally Posted by Clodhopper View Post
    Deterrence against Russia and protection of sea lanes, especially in the N. Atlantic, but yeah, I agree they are not in themselves defensive units. Unfortunately I think we entering a time where we need to boost Armed Forces (naval and air mostly) and keep a nuclear deterrent. Traditionally we have not done so, and it will be expense we maybe cannot afford at all but I think the times that dangerous.
    What do you mean we haven't done so we clung on to the trappings of empire and large armed forces when bankrupt after ww2 through the fifties and sixties to the point that come the seventies we were totally bankruopt and going hand in hand to the IMF for a bailout and crwling to the eu to let us in. Trident is bugger all use against terrorists and the cost means we have no money left for conventional forces even thye americans have scaled down their submarine fleet - one reason they are so keen on us keeping at least some semblence of a nuclear fleet. If it's used we are all dead so what's the point? After the fall of the soviet union there might have been a chance of disarmament but it was blown away in the demented realpolitik of the last thirty years or so. They might be useful against the argentinians again past experience would tend to suggest we can't count on our so called special relationship if it might harm commercial interests elsewhere.

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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

    Well, we will probably need more coastal patrol and fishery protection vessels as well. But the carriers are built (or nearly so) and the planes partly bought. It's not the ISIS threat that concerns me here - quite correct that Trident and carriers are irrelevant to that issue. It's Putin that mainly concerns me, especially if the EU crumbles.

    Traditionally, going back hundreds of years, we have always massively cut Armed Forces after conflicts. Keeping such a big force and conscription after WW2 was the exception (and shows why traditionally the forces were cut to the bone after conflicts!) However, we are an island and our Navy has practically ceased to exist. That doesn't seem too great an idea to me in dangerous times, given it takes at least three years to build a big ship. Point is we don't know what's round the corner let alone what we will face in 2 years when we actually brexit and Trump has had time to do real damage.

    Hope they've plenty of cold weather gear. I suspect they were built with an eye to intervention in hot climates and in fact they'll spend a lot of their time close to the Arctic Circle.

    edit: And while I agree the Army can go down to very low numbers (though it pretty much is...) Naval and Air power is important, I think. I consider it a vital strategic interest to be able to protect our own airspace and the N.Atlantic sea lanes to the US and Canada. (Food). I don't think the threat of the nuclear option is always appropriate. And Trump is no-one's ally but his own.
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    Re: Minister for defence procurement Harriett Baldwin

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    This is to deter Russia from what?
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    From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane End of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror.
    When the flowers want to oxygen and nutrition, or you’re a wedding or party planner, I will help you too much.
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