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What do the Armed Forces do now? watch

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    I say we try and beat the USA at their own game.

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    (Original post by JackCliff)
    Now we're no longer in Afghanistan or Iraq, what do the British Army, RAF and Navy actually do?

    Aside from disaster relief, humanitarian aid and peacekeeping.
    Wait around on a Friday till half one just for rounds.... Fml
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    (Original post by Schleigg)
    TBH that doesn't sound far off what the RAF does nowadays anyway (apart from the Taranis-type stealth UCAV part.) It just so happens that all the high-profile stuff has been Army related or popping vehicles.
    Taranis is probably a signal example of what I'm talking about; the planned 2030s entry into service seems incredible to me, the idea it will take another 20 years takes it a long way over the horizon.

    I am a bit more positive about the F-35 than most people; it's fairly impressive in terms of its networked and co-operative engagement capabilities, the spherical electro-optical array, it's radar and the hinted-at ECM capabilities. It had had its issues, but I think it will be like the F-111 in that respect; troubled development but an absolutely superb platform once in service.

    I don't think the RAF is doing very much on long-range insertion; it can certainly airlift, but I think there's a bit of a gap between what we can airlift to a runway, and what we can airlift in a helicopter (range being the issue in the latter). The kind of capability I'm thinking of would be an Osprey that could airlift an SF detachment into an area where we don't have basing or runways.

    And I think the RAF is pretty much out of the offensive electronic warfare game. Do we have any escort / stand-off jamming capabilities? I haven't checked but I don't think we're buying any MALDs. On the cyberwarfare side of things (which I think it absolutely vital), it is a highly classified area but from what we can see at least publicly in terms of investment, we aren't ploughing in money like we should.

    Ultimately, it's a question of priorities. I do think we have a capable air force and navy, I just question whether they are really thinking about what kind of capabilities we will need in this century, and how to get to there from where we are now.

    Anyways, I am aware that one can't just snap their fingers and acquire the kind of things I'm talking about, but I have a fairly specific vision for what I think the armed forces should be doing and so every chance I get I bang on about things like stealth UCAVs, cyberwarfare, electronic warfare, special forces, nanotechnology / biological toxins, long range airlift / SF insertion, HUMINT, the nuclear deterrent, hunter-killer SSNs at every opportunity I get. I think those will be the really valuable capabilities in this century. By contrast, I don't rate carriers, tanks and manned fighter aircraft as much
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    We may be treading a fine line in terms of what is acceptable for a public forum however:


    (Original post by young_guns)
    Taranis is probably a signal example of what I'm talking about; the planned 2030s entry into service seems incredible to me, the idea it will take another 20 years takes it a long way over the horizon.

    The thing about unmanned aircraft is the fact that it's still a very new technology and isn't fully trusted. It's all very well flying Predators and Reapers around a conflict zone where you are controlling the airspace and you can assure deconfliction. Trying to fly a UCAV from the UK to somewhere across the other side of the planet and we suddenly start getting issues with flying near passenger jets and flying armed military hardware over other people's countries.


    I am a bit more positive about the F-35 than most people; it's fairly impressive in terms of its networked and co-operative engagement capabilities, the spherical electro-optical array, it's radar and the hinted-at ECM capabilities. It had had its issues, but I think it will be like the F-111 in that respect; troubled development but an absolutely superb platform once in service.

    F-35 will be just like any other defence procurement project. Typhoon, Tornado and Jaguar were the same.

    I don't think the RAF is doing very much on long-range insertion; it can certainly airlift, but I think there's a bit of a gap between what we can airlift to a runway, and what we can airlift in a helicopter (range being the issue in the latter). The kind of capability I'm thinking of would be an Osprey that could airlift an SF detachment into an area where we don't have basing or runways.

    Ospreys are pretty poor in terms of range and load. C-130s are better, though I may be biased

    And I think the RAF is pretty much out of the offensive electronic warfare game. Do we have any escort / stand-off jamming capabilities? I haven't checked but I don't think we're buying any MALDs. On the cyberwarfare side of things (which I think it absolutely vital), it is a highly classified area but from what we can see at least publicly in terms of investment, we aren't ploughing in money like we should.

    I believe we are bringing back Anti-Radiation munitions for SEAD/DEAD. Jamming-wise I don't think we have anything, as you say. MALDs are in the pipeline and they do exist, though it's still an experimental capability and hasn't been properly considered (IMO) by the RAF.

    Ultimately, it's a question of priorities. I do think we have a capable air force and navy, I just question whether they are really thinking about what kind of capabilities we will need in this century, and how to get to there from where we are now.

    Anyways, I am aware that one can't just snap their fingers and acquire the kind of things I'm talking about, but I have a fairly specific vision for what I think the armed forces should be doing and so I bang on about things like UCAVs, cyberwarfare, electronic warfare, special forces, nanotechnology / biological toxins, long range airlift / SF insertion, the nuclear deterrent, hunter-killer SSNs at every opportunity I get. I think those will be the really valuable capabilities in this century
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    (Original post by Schleigg)
    Trying to fly a UCAV from the UK to somewhere across the other side of the planet and we suddenly start getting issues with flying near passenger jets and flying armed military hardware over other people's countries.
    You have a point there, and I think Taranis is supposed to involve some very sophisticated avionics and artificial intelligence, so I can certainly see that it's no simple matter. But 20 years? That's mad. That's how long it would take to design and build an SSBN from scratch. And we've been working on Taranis for years, we already have a flying prototype (which, I might add, is an absolutely splendid aircraft; as sleek and beautiful as the B-2)

    Ospreys are pretty poor in terms of range and load. C-130s are better, though I may be biased
    From my perspective, the three really important aspects of the Osprey are basically that it can land like a helicopter, it can do aerial refuelling and it can fly reasonably fast; having them in the same platform is what gives you that flexibility. C-130s are superb aircraft though having a suitable runway somewhat limits that flexibility. Even if not the Osprey... maybe acquire some Pave Hawks? Though they have refuelling drogue, they lack the speed to really punch through and get from point A to point B quickly in the way an Osprey can (buggy and flawed as they are)

    I believe we are bringing back Anti-Radiation munitions for SEAD/DEAD. Jamming-wise I don't think we have anything, as you say. MALDs are in the pipeline and they do exist, though it's still an experimental capability and hasn't been properly considered (IMO) by the RAF.
    In my mind, it's extraordinary the RAF hasn't been more emphatic in demanding stand-off / escort jamming capabilities. Even with the Tornado, the RAF didn't even bother to acquire any of the ECR electronic warfare / recce variant and just stuck some ALARMs on another variant (the air-ground variant iirc) for the SEAD mission.

    I really believe there's a lot of scope for a platform like the EA-18G Growler (Australia is acquiring a squadron of them, in addition to their other Super Hornets and F-35s); these kind of platforms are amazing insofar as they have considerable intelligence gathering capabilities alongside their primary jamming / ECM role. And even then, they are perfectly capable combat aircraft that can be assigned to A2A or A2G missions. Imagine if you acquired 24 of them; you could put them at Leuchars and Coningsby. When they're not doing SEAD / Strike / ECM role, they could very capably carry out air defence work for which they are perfectly well equipped.

    And there are other areas where I'm not well informed and find it difficult to get information in the public domain. For example, the Skynet satellites. Do the forces have access to high bandwidth, low latency, jam-resistant data links? Is it any good compared to the US/Australian wideband satcom system? I suppose in areas like that I have to trust that the MoD got it right

    Anyway, it sounds like we are on the same page in a lot of ways. I would be really happy to see a considerable increase in defence spending but I fear it would be used to buy things like aircraft carriers, tanks and so on, things that make the generals and admirals feel important but aren't contributing a whole lot on top of what we can already do.
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    Trust me quite a bit of money is going into Cyberwarfare, Communications, SIGINT, Electronic Warefare etc... I don't know about the RAF but the Royal Signals and GCHQ are investing quite a bit into it now.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    You have a point there, and I think Taranis is supposed to involve some very sophisticated avionics and artificial intelligence, so I can certainly see that it's no simple matter. But 20 years? That's mad. That's how long it would take to design and build an SSBN from scratch. And we've been working on Taranis for years, we already have a flying prototype (which, I might add, is an absolutely splendid aircraft; as sleek and beautiful as the B-2)



    From my perspective, the three really important aspects of the Osprey are basically that it can land like a helicopter, it can do aerial refuelling and it can fly reasonably fast; having them in the same platform is what gives you that flexibility. C-130s are superb aircraft though having a suitable runway somewhat limits that flexibility. Even if not the Osprey... maybe acquire some Pave Hawks? Though they have refuelling drogue, they lack the speed to really punch through and get from point A to point B quickly in the way an Osprey can (buggy and flawed as they are)



    In my mind, it's extraordinary the RAF hasn't been more emphatic in demanding stand-off / escort jamming capabilities. Even with the Tornado, the RAF didn't even bother to acquire any of the ECR electronic warfare / recce variant and just stuck some ALARMs on another variant (the air-ground variant iirc) for the SEAD mission.

    I really believe there's a lot of scope for a platform like the EA-18G Growler (Australia is acquiring a squadron of them, in addition to their other Super Hornets and F-35s); these kind of platforms are amazing insofar as they have considerable intelligence gathering capabilities alongside their primary jamming / ECM role. And even then, they are perfectly capable combat aircraft that can be assigned to A2A or A2G missions. Imagine if you acquired 24 of them; you could put them at Leuchars and Coningsby. When they're not doing SEAD / Strike / ECM role, they could very capably carry out air defence work for which they are perfectly well equipped.

    And there are other areas where I'm not well informed and find it difficult to get information in the public domain. For example, the Skynet satellites. Do the forces have access to high bandwidth, low latency, jam-resistant data links? Is it any good compared to the US/Australian wideband satcom system? I suppose in areas like that I have to trust that the MoD got it right

    Anyway, it sounds like we are on the same page in a lot of ways. I would be really happy to see a considerable increase in defence spending but I fear it would be used to buy things like aircraft carriers, tanks and so on, things that make the generals and admirals feel important but aren't contributing a whole lot on top of what we can already do.
    Jamming is an expensive game to get into and is only relevant in a day 0 scenario which were only ever likely to get involved in with the Americans. You either do it properly or don't do it at all. gW1 showed us that our 'lets fly low to avoid the need to jam' opens you up to serious losses through ground fire. The safest place to fly is above 12000 feet inside the SAM envelope with effective jamming. But as I say the yanks do the day 0 stuff to gain air superiority. However we do have relevant jamming equipment but electronic warfare is always changing and the air war in Yugoslavia showed that even the most effective EW measures can be overcome. That's where UAVs and stand off weep art come in handy. Why jam against a threat when you can blow it away before the threat materialises.

    The Australians have gone for the hornet, but it's an oldish airframe with limited scope for upgrade. Buy it and you may get 15 to 20 years out of the fleet. Go down the F35 option and your looking at 30 plus.

    Data links are pretty secure and safe. But no matter what you do to improve them you'll never get around the issue of taking the satellite out.
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    I addressed that above. I realise bomber command hasn't existed for decades, it was an idiomatic quip viz the obsolete, glory-seeking mentality that exists amongst the higher ranks of the RAF, and the mentality that saw Air Marshals telling us in the early 1960s that Skybolt and V-bombers were indispensable when Polaris was just around the corner.

    In fact, the same people were telling us that Blue Streak was indispensable, the same kind of people were telling us in the late 1930s that battleships were indispensable. It is that "refighting the last war" mentality I was criticising
    Fine. Provide the government and MoD with a fully functioning crystal ball.

    Those opinions represented the best minds of the time. Until an ability arises to see into the future you can never pin your hopes on something that hasn't materialised.

    Remember, in the early 30s the cutting edge of aviation was still a biplane, and planes had only really existed for 20yrs.
    Just 15 yrs later they were virtually in space.

    Are you suggesting you could have predicted that?
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Fine. Provide the government and MoD with a fully functioning crystal ball
    It doesn't require a crystal ball, simply a rational assessment of how technology is developing, which is entirely possible.

    What's astounding is that you are asking whether I have a crystal ball, while taking precisely the same hidebound position that was proved wrong last time around!

    Remember, in the early 30s the cutting edge of aviation was still a biplane, and planes had only really existed for 20yrs.
    Just 15 yrs later they were virtually in space.
    And the point there is that the only way they got into space was by really pressing down hard on innovation and following where the technology was taking them.

    In the postwar period, there were many in the US Navy who opposed the development of large rockets and intercontinental bombers for the delivery of nuclear weapons, and insisted that they should build large aircraft carriers that would carry the nuclear deterrent.

    Of course that was idiotic, and anyone who wasn't totally partisan could see which way the wind was blowing. And that kind of situation exists today.

    There is absolutely no way that we wouldn't use the capabilities we derived from heavily investing in UCAVs, special forces, cyberwarfare, electronic warfare, long-range airlift etc. There's simply no question we'd use these capabilities and that they will be vital to the future of warfare. And yet some people, you perhaps, insist that instead of spending money on those vital capabilities, we should be buying more flintlock muskets

    How will carriers protect us from a cyber pearl harbour?

    Anyway, I'm not really up for a debate now. I think you're stuck in history and refighting the last war, and usually all you can do is wait for that generation to die off before you can really start making the necessary changes to defence policy
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    Anyway, I'm not really up for a debate now. I think you're stuck in history and refighting the last war, and usually all you can do is wait for that generation to die off before you can really start making the necessary changes to defence policy
    I'm 'stuck' in the area of flexibility.

    I want our forces -my friends and colleagues- to be well equipped to face every possible threat that the future may bring, not just the one that seems trendy right now.

    In the age where defence budgets are shrinking but our use of force is varied, it makes little sense to have a narrow focus, leaving capability gaps that cost lives.

    Wanting to be able to fight the next war perfectly is absolutely fine. But no-one knows for certain what that fight is, so by far the best option is to be able to fight a number of different scenarios, not just one.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    I'm 'stuck' in the area of flexibility.

    I want our forces -my friends and colleagues- to be well equipped to face every possible threat that the future may bring, not just the one that seems trendy right now.

    In the age where defence budgets are shrinking but our use of force is varied, it makes little sense to have a narrow focus, leaving capability gaps that cost lives.

    Wanting to be able to fight the next war perfectly is absolutely fine. But no-one knows for certain what that fight is, so by far the best option is to be able to fight a number of different scenarios, not just one.
    I'm all for doing both, if governments were willing to spend the money. But realistically, I don't think the money will be available. The carriers are the perfect example of the confused mindset at the MoD. Up until a couple of months ago, they were genuinely considering the possibility of only taking the first and scrapping the second. That in itself demonstrates that it's primarily a vanity project; when it comes to naval acquisitions, if you can't afford two, you can't afford one (given you wouldn't be able to guarantee having the carrier available when you actually need it).

    And then the decision to acquire the B versions of the F-35 to fly on a large, catapult equipped carrier; that makes no sense. If we're going to buy the B version, we should take advantage of the cost savings and flexbility that would come from building two or three smaller carriers. Or if we're serious about having a top tier carrier capability, we should acquire the C model.

    In respect of what's trendy, I hate to say it but what's trendy tends to point towards what's going to be important. It reminds me a bit of web 2.0 and smart phones and video on demand; around 1996/1997, people could see how things were developing in that direction. By the early 2000s, people thought "Well, it hasn't happened and it's not really happening. That was just trendy *******s". All they had to do was wait a few more years and the predictions were absolutely right. I remember that it was said, "People will never watch videos on a screen that small"

    There is no question that if we want to have a capable military force that can engage both conventional and unconventional enemies, then the things I keep banging on about (stealth UCAVs, cyberwarfare, electronic warfare, special forces, SSNs) will be vital either way; they're the capabilities that play to our industrial strengths, our advantages in research and development, in technology.

    As I said, I would be happy to support considerably increased defence spending to allow us to do all of it, but realistically that's not going to happen, and so I question whether we should be tooling up for a massive blue water battle in the North Atlantic or preparing for the Soviet Army to push through the Fulda Gap. As it is, the "flexibility" seems to go all in one direction, that is, towards refighting the last war and not preparing for what the next one might be like
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    (Original post by young_guns)
    In respect of what's trendy, I hate to say it but what's trendy tends to point towards what's going to be important. It reminds me a bit of web 2.0 and smart phones and video on demand; around 1996/1997, people could see how things were developing in that direction. By the early 2000s, people thought "Well, it hasn't happened and it's not really happening. That was just trendy *******s". All they had to do was wait a few more years and the predictions were absolutely right. I remember that it was said, "People will never watch videos on a screen that small"
    The problem is people forget all the technological revolutions that didn't happen.

    Battleships were going to be replaced by:

    torpedo boats
    battlecruisers
    [diesel/periscope] submarines
    aircraft carriers

    Only one of those actually happened, and the people saying it wouldn't in 1920 or 1930 were broadly right given the technology of the day.

    Indeed, as you argued before, even today most people don't seem to have noticed that the pure battleship role of destroying enemy capital ships has mostly be taken over by a ship type that didn't exist in the Second World War: the nuclear submarine.

    As I said, I would be happy to support considerably increased defence spending to allow us to do all of it, but realistically that's not going to happen, and so I question whether we should be tooling up for a massive blue water battle in the North Atlantic or preparing for the Soviet Army to push through the Fulda Gap. As it is, the "flexibility" seems to go all in one direction, that is, towards refighting the last war and not preparing for what the next one might be like
    Another problem is that Iraq/COIN/terrorism is becoming the last war. Is it more likely we will fight Russia or that we will invade another Islamic state? While I doubt either are likely, I think Russia has the edge again. Since 9/11 the Islamic world has not kept hitting us. It has flopped. There has not been a major terrorist attack in a Western country for many years; in Britain not for almost a decade. At what point do we declare this war won? Or at least a matter for immigration policy and the police, not the military. In the lack of clear threat, and high cost and discomfort of the wars, it seems very unlikely that we would repeat the military policy of the 00s.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The problem is people forget all the technological revolutions that didn't happen.

    Battleships were going to be replaced by:

    torpedo boats
    battlecruisers
    [diesel/periscope] submarines
    aircraft carriers

    Only one of those actually happened, and the people saying it wouldn't in 1920 or 1930 were broadly right given the technology of the day.

    Indeed, as you argued before, even today most people don't seem to have noticed that the pure battleship role of destroying enemy capital ships has mostly be taken over by a ship type that didn't exist in the Second World War: the nuclear submarine.

    All four happened there. Torpedo boats resulted in destroyers needed to deter aforementioned torpedoe boats.

    Battle cruisers, or cruisers, became the more cost effective and flexible alternative to battleships.

    Submarines even in ww1 and 2 sank capital ships I.e battleships,

    Aircraft carriers sank battleships.

    Submarines, be they nuclear or diesel have the ability to sink battleships, but battleships never work alone.

    Interestingly though, the Us WW2 vintage battleships were modified and reused in the 70s and 80s in order to counter the Kirov class cruisers.

    Try not to fall into the trap of one weapon system is better than another. They complement each other.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    All four happened there. Torpedo boats resulted in destroyers needed to deter aforementioned torpedoe boats.

    Battle cruisers, or cruisers, became the more cost effective and flexible alternative to battleships.

    Submarines even in ww1 and 2 sank capital ships I.e battleships,
    As did frogmen with limpet mines but they too did not replace battleships. The aircraft carrier is the only one of those that was able to replace the battleship in new construction of capital ships. Though the battleship continued to be utilised in some roles, it had become an escort, and ceased to be a capital ship.

    Yet the same success was predicted for torpedo boats, battlecruisers, and pre-nuclear submarines; these ideas, though not entirely useless and employed effectively in certain niches, all failed to displace the battleship, despite the support of eminent, knowledgeable and powerful people.

    Aircraft carriers sank battleships.

    Submarines, be they nuclear or diesel have the ability to sink battleships, but battleships never work alone.

    Interestingly though, the Us WW2 vintage battleships were modified and reused in the 70s and 80s in order to counter the Kirov class cruisers.
    They weren't at all; they were reactivated partly to carry Tomahawks, but mostly because Reagan was giving the USN money faster than it could be efficiently spent.

    [Though interestingly for carrier fans, HMS Vanguard was decommissioned the same year the submarine HMS Dreadnought was launched, nearly twenty years after Taranto. I suggest that the submarine's name was chosen for a reason.]

    Try not to fall into the trap of one weapon system is better than another. They complement each other.
    Some do, others are just superior. The magazine rifle does not complement the musket; it buried it.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    As did frogmen with limpet mines but they too did not replace battleships. The aircraft carrier is the only one of those that was able to replace the battleship in new construction of capital ships. Though the battleship continued to be utilised in some roles, it had become an escort, and ceased to be a capital ship.

    Yet the same success was predicted for torpedo boats, battlecruisers, and pre-nuclear submarines; these ideas, though not entirely useless and employed effectively in certain niches, all failed to displace the battleship, despite the support of eminent, knowledgeable and powerful people.


    They weren't at all; they were reactivated partly to carry Tomahawks, but mostly because Reagan was giving the USN money faster than it could be efficiently spent.

    [Though interestingly for carrier fans, HMS Vanguard was decommissioned the same year the submarine HMS Dreadnought was launched, nearly twenty years after Taranto. I suggest that the submarine's name was chosen for a reason.]


    Some do, others are just superior. The magazine rifle does not complement the musket; it buried it.
    Submarines play an important part, but even nuke boats are still hunting relatively slow prey. Even an SSN has great difficulty keeping up with a fast moving carrier battle group or amphibious group.

    Vanguard was decommissioned through budget cuts. Then, as now, the biggest overhead for any military is the coat of manpower, and a battleships were too costly to man.

    You're right that tomahawks were put on the us battleships but the threat of the Kirov was one of the main driving factors for keeping them. That and the USMC wanted naval gunfire support for amphibious ops.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa-class_battleship

    1980s refit section.

    Why put tomahawks on a ship when you've got land, air and sub based launch platforms nearer to the target?
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    Submarines play an important part, but even nuke boats are still hunting relatively slow prey. Even an SSN has great difficulty keeping up with a fast moving carrier battle group or amphibious group.

    Vanguard was decommissioned through budget cuts. Then, as now, the biggest overhead for any military is the coat of manpower, and a battleships were too costly to man.

    You're right that tomahawks were put on the us battleships but the threat of the Kirov was one of the main driving factors for keeping them. That and the USMC wanted naval gunfire support for amphibious ops.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iowa-class_battleship

    1980s refit section.

    Why put tomahawks on a ship when you've got land, air and sub based launch platforms nearer to the target?
    It's going a bit off on tangents now.

    But on the one relevant point, what could a gun-armed ship possibly do against a Kirov, which was designed to fire large missiles from hundreds of kilometres away? This belief seems to be based on nothing but the semantic choice of the Western observers to call the Kirovs battlecruisers. They had no relation to WWI gun-armed battlecruisers.
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    (Original post by tim_123)
    Wait around on a Friday till half one just for rounds.... Fml
    agreed!!

    my boyfriend is in the army and i know several others who are. unless their on tour or training or courses then they dont really do anything except that their told to do by their bsm's!!!

    as an example, my boyfriend today was cleaning tanks
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    It's going a bit off on tangents now.

    But on the one relevant point, what could a gun-armed ship possibly do against a Kirov, which was designed to fire large missiles from hundreds of kilometres away? This belief seems to be based on nothing but the semantic choice of the Western observers to call the Kirovs battlecruisers. They had no relation to WWI gun-armed battlecruisers.
    I don't know what a ship that could fire out to 38km without the need of radar acquisition that could also fire missiles out to a range of 1000km with organic or inorganic ISTR support that could absorb huge amounts of battle damage, that would take a fraction of the cost to modify an existing hull rather than build one from scratch could do countering another big ship that would relied on unreliable, vulnerable Inorganic ISTR or would immediately give away its position if it turned on its radar.

    Basically. Big fast moving ship needs big fast moving ship to counter it when nothing shirt of an air launched nuke would stop it and submarines wouldn't be able to keep up with it.
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    (Original post by MatureStudent36)
    I don't know what a ship that could fire out to 38km without the need of radar acquisition that could also fire missiles out to a range of 1000km with organic or inorganic ISTR support that could absorb huge amounts of battle damage, that would take a fraction of the cost to modify an existing hull rather than build one from scratch could do countering another big ship that would relied on unreliable, vulnerable Inorganic ISTR or would immediately give away its position if it turned on its radar.

    Basically. Big fast moving ship needs big fast moving ship to counter it when nothing shirt of an air launched nuke would stop it and submarines wouldn't be able to keep up with it.
    The main armament of the Kirov has a range of 625km. Ship-board radar are limited by the horizon which is about 30km away. The missile was therefore intended to be targeted by a satellite system called Legenda, which never entered service due to the fall of the Soviet Union. The Kirov's main armament outranges the Iowa's gun armament by about twenty times. It would be fired without the Iowa itself ever detecting the Kirov.

    Now let us consider the effectiveness of Iowa's armour scheme. During WWII the Germans developed a glide bomb called Fritz X which was fired at two battleships, the Italian battleship Roma, which it sank, and the British battleship Warspite, upon which it inflicted severe damage that was never repair on economic grounds. Each battleship sustained only a single hit. Fritz X hit its target at a speed of 340m/s and carried a 320kg warhead. The P-700 carried by Kirov hit its target at a speed of 850m/s and carried a 750kg warhead. The Kirov carried twenty. Iowa's 40-year old protection scheme was helpless against this weapon.

    The Tomahawk missile has a longer range than the P-700. However, it does not have any means of terminal guidance. Tomahawk is designed to be fired at a fixed location that can be identified either by GPS or by terrain profile matching. Useless at sea. The US did make an anti-ship variant, called TASM, that was not carried by the Iowas. The US also did not have a corresponding satellite system for target identification. However, even if we grant that the Iowa had been equipped with TASM, and the US had a target identification system, this missile can be carried by a ship of 1/10 the displacement with no armour. So in what sense is a battleship necessary to counter the Kirov? None of the features that distinguish the Iowas as battleships were useful against the Kirov.

    The Iowa's most effective defence against the Kirov would be the limited availability of P-700s and the fact that it would be a relatively low priority target. I do not see that this should be a surprise. It is like the British deciding to counter USS Monitor by putting HMS Victory back into service, or finding out about the Me 262 and quickly rushing up a squadron of Sopwith Camels.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The main armament of the Kirov has a range of 625km. Ship-board radar are limited by the horizon which is about 30km away. The missile was therefore intended to be targeted by a satellite system called Legenda, which never entered service due to the fall of the Soviet Union. The Kirov's main armament outranges the Iowa's gun armament by about twenty times. It would be fired without the Iowa itself ever detecting the Kirov.

    Now let us consider the effectiveness of Iowa's armour scheme. During WWII the Germans developed a glide bomb called Fritz X which was fired at two battleships, the Italian battleship Roma, which it sank, and the British battleship Warspite, upon which it inflicted severe damage that was never repair on economic grounds. Each battleship sustained only a single hit. Fritz X hit its target at a speed of 340m/s and carried a 320kg warhead. The P-700 carried by Kirov hit its target at a speed of 850m/s and carried a 750kg warhead. The Kirov carried twenty. Iowa's 40-year old protection scheme was helpless against this weapon.

    The Tomahawk missile has a longer range than the P-700. However, it does not have any means of terminal guidance. Tomahawk is designed to be fired at a fixed location that can be identified either by GPS or by terrain profile matching. Useless at sea. The US did make an anti-ship variant, called TASM, that was not carried by the Iowas. The US also did not have a corresponding satellite system for target identification. However, even if we grant that the Iowa had been equipped with TASM, and the US had a target identification system, this missile can be carried by a ship of 1/10 the displacement with no armour. So in what sense is a battleship necessary to counter the Kirov? None of the features that distinguish the Iowas as battleships were useful against the Kirov.

    The Iowa's most effective defence against the Kirov would be the limited availability of P-700s and the fact that it would be a relatively low priority target. I do not see that this should be a surprise. It is like the British deciding to counter USS Monitor by putting HMS Victory back into service, or finding out about the Me 262 and quickly rushing up a squadron of Sopwith Camels.
    And yet the Americans still refitted them to counter the Kirov threat.

    You may want to double check the tomahawk Info. It was most definitely used as an ASM.

    It was even more effective when it was the block N types.
 
 
 
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