Friday, February 10, 2017

What Do Canada's British Submarines and Britain's British Submarines Have In Common?

The RCN's Brit subs, like the RN's Brit subs, are rubbish. They don't work. They're Drydock Queens, the lot of them.

Canada's Upholder-class attack subs are the older boats the Brits got rid of to make way for their Trafalgar and Astute class boats. The newer Brit boats, like Canada's older subs, are now tying up dockyards.

Sources told The Sun the Trafalgars, the last of which was built in 1986, were “on their last legs”.

HMS Ambush, one of the newer Astute-class, made headlines last summer after it collided with a ship off the coast of Gibraltar and sustained damage to its outer hull. Its nuclear plant was not affected and no crew were injured.

The three Astute boats, of seven planned, cost nearly £4bn to build with construction delayed by more than four-and-a-half years and costs exceeding the original budget by more than 50 per cent.

Well fortunately we have the world's dominant sea power, the United States Navy, right next door. Only the USN is so cash strapped that nearly two-thirds of the F-18 fighters are unflyable, waiting for maintenance.

Additionally, there isn’t enough money to fix the fleet’s ships, and the backlog of ships needing work continues to grow. Overhauls — “availabilities” in Navy parlance — are being canceled or deferred, and when ships do come in they need longer to refit. Every carrier overall for at least three years has run long, and some submarines are out of service for prolonged periods, as much as four years or more.

The US Air Force is also struggling to keep its aging fighters airborne as F-35 purchases eat up an increasing share of the budget.  Similar readiness problems are spreading across NATO partners in Europe.


Anonymous said...

The cost of warfare is such that the taxpayer can no longer support the burden.
The USA , in part, caused the collapse of the USSR by making war in Afghanistan so expensive it collapsed their economy.
Those Americans don't learn do they.
Modern weapons costs are huge ; add to this the development period is so long and technical advances so quick they are often obsolete before delivery.
If Trump gives more money to the US military he could just bankrupt the USA.


Anonymous said...

Every dollar above the actual value of a lemon goes into someone's pocket. This is by no means in isolation. Lemon submarines. Lemon fighter jets. Lemon healthcare reform. Lemon economy. Lemon democracy. Lemon civilization.

Perhaps all the corp execs over at M & M Enterprises — who are tearing up the place and selling it off for parts — have a fleet of spaceships that will carry them off to another world to plunder when they inevitably destroy this one.

If you see a fleet of lemon spaceships falling out of the sky, you know the end is near.

Toby said...

I blame our military procurers who are over awed by the latest flashy toys. They ignore the basics like boats are supposed to float, submarines are supposed to be waterproof, airplanes are supposed to fly. The essentials are being sacrificed in favour of glitz.

Military hardware (and software) must be reliable above all else, no excuses.

Anonymous said...

Before we can discuss the procurement of weapons of war/defence should we not have access to a detailed foreign policy to discuss?
eg; the F35 first strike sneak bomber; who do we think we will be bombing and why?
Perhaps we are making decisions based upon the financial return for Canadian companies?


UU4077 said...

This is beginning(?) to seem a lot like the situation the Soviet Union found itself in before its collapse.

The Mound of Sound said...

British defence correspondent, Mark Urban, in his recent book, "The Edge," explores at length the manner in which Western militaries have become hollowed out. This extends across Europe where countries have respectable numbers of weapons systems - everything from tanks to jet fighters - on the books but have fallen so far behind on maintenance that only a shockingly small fraction are available for operations.

In December the US Navy had all of its carriers at home bases. Not a single carrier was at sea. Carriers are America's totemic weapon system and they were all in port.

China and Russia know what few Westerners ever hear about - our lack of preparedness and ability to rapidly deploy our notional forces. If you're running 10-20% serviceability on your fighter fleet it could take months to even get that up to half and, by then, the issue would be decided.

The great danger in this is that we still use our military prowess as an instrument of foreign policy. That's fine for Third World states but more powerful states aware of our actual capability can only be even more tempted to call our bluff. That's now nations can back into wars.

Danneau said...

I recall having this feeling when Chr├ętien first talked of buying used British subs, based on experiences I've had with other English technology, particularly of the automotive sort, this feeling that whatever we bought was likely to spend a lot of time in the shop. I had the occasion to ride an old Triumph motorcycle in the late '60s and learned from the local shop (which incidentally, serviced most of the Vincents in Northern California, that Lucas electric gear had earned Mr.Lucas the name of Prince of Darkness. I also had friends who chose to drive British Racing Green MGBs and it was a good thing they looked good parked in front of the house, given the number of days when they wouldn't move. In general, it looks as though the arms folks have managed to build so much sophistication into their gear that the whole establishment has become unstable and inoperable, a state that fits well with the brain-trust that runs the show.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ah, Danneau. Thanks for taking me back to the days of Lucas and Smith electrics, Bendix coils and all the technology that made motor touring such an adventure in the 60s. I had a BSA Lightning that I bought in England (virtually identical to the bike on my blog) that I rode through England and Wales, the western bits of Europe and even a one week jaunt into North Africa. It should go without saying that my travelling kit was burdened with tools, a full shop manual and strategic spares. Those were the good old days when you could travel light because no one had yet invented cellular phones, ATM machines, even credit cards.

Still that Beezer was the most beautiful bike I've ever owned.