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Iqbal Ahmed

A carrier without an adequate escort of properly equipped and manned ships is pointless. If I fixates that these carriers were built for symbolic deployments and political grandstanding pretending we are still a ‘great power’.

Silent Majority

Ah, the spirit of spirit of Lord Haw Haw is alive and well.
Anyone would think we have one of the largest economies in the world, host the world’s premier financial centre, hold a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, poses arguably the largest navy in Europe, have global cultural, financial and defence alliances and interests, give away £15b a year in aid, have a government that spends £772b+ per annum, are one of a handful of countries with the skills and infrastructure to design and build carriers, plus nuclear subs and complex warships, and are a nuclear power with a permanent at sea deterrence.
Oh hang on a minute that’s right isn’t it?
Next people will be claiming we have always had aircraft carriers since their creation and that we scrapped three light carriers to build two heavy ones.
Oh hang on another minute that is right as well isn’t it?
Still never mind, we always have endless people like you to deride all our (many) achievements and bring us all down to earth, thanks very much, otherwise we might be in danger of regaining our national pride and self respect.


I’m with silent

Steve R

I’m DEFINITELY with silent – Jeremy.. sorry Iqbal, has been spouting his nonsense on a number of threads lately, about time he gave up as a lost cause. Don’t know about the other services, but his derogatory and insulting attitude to the Navy is becoming particularly tiresome.


And no one to crew them

Ian Willis

Right wing cabal striking back.
Bitching and moaning on every discussion about lack of escort ships on top of the carriers and nuclear subs they want the taxpayer to cough up for. Now that’s ‘nonsense’ because its coming from someone else.

Steve R

Our armed forces are a bit like an insurance policy – you hope you never need it, but when you do, invariably you wish you’d spent more and got better cover! Yes, many of the suggestions on this site are pipe dreams, but a relatively small increase in spending, coupled with a concerted recruitment drive would make a massive difference to capability. A balanced fleet is all that is required, the carriers being its focus. No one would realistically expect a Royal Navy big enough to fight a war against Russia or China unaided, but a Falklands’ style conflict to protect our national interests should be within our capabilituy if required and the deterrent effect of a carrier task force could prevent war and save lives. Not nonsense, common sense!

jon livesey

There is no pretence. If you deploy the military equipment of a great power then militarily, you are one. I don’t think that anyone would deny that Russia is a military great power, despite having an economy quite a bit smaller than that of the UK. How you act is who you are.

Iqbal Ahmed

Britain is an affluent, medium sized country, that has been managing economic and geopolitical decline since WW2, at a time of a rising Asia. This decline will accelerate with withdrawal from the EU, which was our only way of having influence anything like on a par with the US or China.
The decline of the UK can be seen by both the covetousness over trinkets like Trident (even NK has nukes and Israel has subs with nukes but nobody calls them a great power) and carriers (even India has a carrier and they can’t provide toilets for half their people). The loss of the financial services industry and loss of access to the EU market will be the final nail in our economic coffin because we don’t make stuff anymore like the Germans. This whole Brexit nonsense is just the last spasms of Imperial hubris.
Britain is moving away from foreign interventions, given the abysmal outcomes of Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan and the electorate is more worried about domestic travails like funding public services and cost of living. This is why all these articles asking for ‘just a little more’ money for new ships and weapons is so inappropriate in a ‘great power’ where we have food banks aplenty, old people dying from the cold as they can’t afford heating, massive social inequality (second worst in the OECD) where you have to go to £30,000 a year public schools to get a good job and where the armed forces deliberately recruit young people from poor working class backgrounds in economically deprived areas because most people no longer value military service as in previous generations. The officer corps are of course from a different social demographic.
There isn’t anything wrong with decline in geopolitical terms. You love your country for what it is, not what some people pretend it to be. This is still the country that invented the English language, NHS and the BBC. We still have a certain moral clout in the world when it comes to human rights and parliamentary governance.

Steve R

I never went to public, but have a good job, as do all of my siblings. Higher education is no guarantee of a job, and there are not droves of elderly people dying from cold. As for food banks, I saw an interview with a woman claiming food, holding a smartphone (Samsung I think) in one hand and a cigarette in the other, so where we’re her priorities? Most of the people on this site just want to see our country properly defended in a dangerous world. Strong defence is a deterrent to aggression, as Russia and China and even India’ which all have massive social issues, seem to realise. If you want to extol about social injustices, fine, but this is a Defence forum, you’re barking up the wrong tree!


Iqbal… put forward an argument from your point of view, but when you find a public school for £30000 let me know…..they cost more than that!

Silent Majority

I don’t recognise the country you talk about, this post reads like an undergraduate social studies essay.
We have a massive economy and the private education sector is tiny, so this argument is baseless and a gross insult to anyone who ever got of their backside to take responsibility for themselves and their families. Employers do not give a toss what your background is, or what your accent is, they care about you have done and what you are capable of.
Military service has lost a lot of the respect of previous generations, true, but this is due to political incompetence, the ever present threat of cuts or unpreparedness, the degenerative nature of the benefits system – but – it is mainly due to people like you who deride anything other than victim hood, making self-reliance or serving one’s country appear some kind of redundant anachronism, perpetually spreading the falsehood that we are weak and the people are weak.
As for the EU, every member state within has a strong ‘out’ movement, and every member state’s media tells its audience they are the only one that feels that way and everyone else loves it. Many member states have refused to pay into the EU as the EU is 200 billion Euro in behind in payments to member states. The EU is bankrupt, introverted, and responsible for the cultural and economic decline of its members. Europe is the only continent on earth, to have consistently declined economically.
We don’t make anything, yeah right, HMG spends almost £800b a year, but we don’t make anything. In 2015, the United Kingdom exported $425B. In 2015 the GDP of the United Kingdom was $2.86T and its GDP per capita was $41.8k. The top exports of the United Kingdom are Cars ($40.8B), Packaged Medicaments ($19.9B), Gas Turbines ($14.7B) and Refined Petroleum ($13.2B), but the list is endless. Anyone of these sectors is exporting more than the entire GDP of many countries.
As for social inequality, we create this ourselves largely due to the failure to control our borders (and the pervasive benefits system), illegal immigration is a tragedy of epic proportions, where large amounts of unknown people live in the shadows, often under the control of criminals away from the protections of the state. We have problems of slavery, sex slavery, witchcraft, human sacrifice, vagrancy, crime, people smuggling, generational racial and religious intolerance, as we are importing all the problems of the third world.
Food banks, what do you expect? They are giving away FREE food of course they are busy. I think the supermarkets would be a lot busier if everyone apart from shop lifters didn’t pay for anything.
As for the world stage, the BBC and the NHS are irrelevant, our multitude of partners require economic and cultural engagement, and defence engagement and assistance to help them develop, maintain, prosper and in many cases survive. The military, in particular the RN, is the primary diplomatic tool for the UK to do this and export our higher standards. We need friends, but friends who refuse to help their friends are no friends at all and go begging when they need something. If tell the world we are not prepared to defend our interests and those of our allies, then we will lose those interestsm, and war, death and economic devastation will result.
I will say no more now apart from this: government spending is dependent on the economy (including the NHS) is dependent on the economy, the economy is dependent on international trade, international trade is dependent on international security, international security is dependent on the MILITARY.
Please stop running down the UK, these self-hating attitudes are destroying the spirit and ambition of so many, before they have even started.
I look at this site to see how the RN is doing in serving us all, not to hear your pervasive, externalised self-hatred.
I look forward to reading the posts of knowledgeable people instead.


Good show, and well said! I can add nothing to that!

Michael Watson

Good news Prince of Wales has been named, there has been reports that the Prince of Wales is heavier than the Queen Elizabeth, if this is the case why?


I’m, definitely not a lefty, but in your desire for greatness you’ve built an empty shell. The armed forces are spending beyond our means. The carrier project is basically below the critical mass required, even if you think fleet carriers are a good idea these days. It’s not 6.2 billion, that’s the cost of the big steel boxes (and there’s plenty more to spend on modifications like the Ocean semi replacement bodge) it’s more like 10 times that amount. We don’t seem to have enough crew for the existing ships. Here again the enthusiasts are quoting 600 compliment, it’s much nearer 700 just to run the ship and that’s about half the full crew required to do anything. I believe that you need at least 3 times that again when you include training and leave etc. STRN and it’s contributors are the first to claim that RN ships are under equipped and all those PFI schemes will have to be paid for in the future just like some dodgy and extortionate Ocean finance home consolidation loan. I have yet to hear of a convincing application for the carriers, usually it just that it will impress our stupid enemies who won’t be able to see them for what they are.
There will be times none will be available nevermind 2. The RN is completely out of balance, as Admiral West always said it would be when he stated that ordering the carriers would force the acquisition of more escorts.

David Flandry

Its more correct to say the armed forces are under funded. There have been no reductions in threats, quite the opposite. More submarines in the world than ever before, more nuclear armed counties than in 1995, Russia is resurgent, and Imperial China is back. Argentina might not be able to take the Falklands, but they have been promised help from other South American nations. In 2003 the RN had 12 SSNs, today 6, in 2003,24 destroyers and frigates, today 17, and so on. Why give aid to two nuclear powers both with bigger army and air forces than the UK?


For the experts, does anyone know whether in an emergency or special tactical situation, an F35B would be capable of landing and making a short distance hop from a Chinnock capable escort flight deck
This was done by the harriers from cruiser flight decks. I imagine that the F35B would make a big mess.


Great ships for the RN .
Will be good to seem them operating together.


What if your aircraft lifts were designed to go all the way down to water level.
Vehicles stowed on deck or in the hangar could be lowered to water level then transferred to mexflote and hence transferred ashore.


I’ve often wondered about that as well. There must be a good reason why not. How about a deployable pontoon complete with a big scissor lift to bridge the gap. May be it would take up too much space on the hanger deck. Perhaps weight issues could be dealt with by using composites. Possibly an expanding catamaran or inflatable elements.