INDIA DEFENCE CONSULTANTS
ROYAL NAVY FACT FILE -- AN IDC ANALYSIS
New Delhi, 24 June 2001
HMS Ark Royal
rates the Royal Navy to be the most professional Navy in the world. Our
IDC correspondent now in London reports that the present First Sea Lord
Admiral Nigel Essenhigh, when he was C-in-C Fleet the most
important operational job in the Royal Navy had written a
confidential report on the state of the Royal Navy and the lack of punch
and technical support in many sectors like submarines, missiles, dockyard
facilities and the need for more resources. He used consultants to get the
report prepared and the main theme was shortage of pilots and technical
manpower. It may be recalled that Admiral Essenhigh had attended IFR in
Mumbai in February 2001.
report has been leaked to the media and far from embarrassing the First
Sea Lord, the bureaucrats, official spokesmen and the media have been
unanimous and supportive in analysing, that in a security related scenario
where new systems and weapons are being introduced there will always be
lacunae and these should be dealt with and not swept under the carpet.
Admiral Boyce the CDS has taken this maturely and the three services have risen as one. In fact the RAF flies with the Royal Navy at sea. (We hope the IAF and MOD are reading this!)
There are lessons here for the Indian media and our
bureaucrats, who love to run down the Indian Armed Forces even if the
slightest lacuna comes to light.
We need an integrated MOD.
We need defence consultancies and consultants and retired
officers must be made to take the oath of secrecy and assist, to see that
we get the maximum bang for the bucks spent. IDC offers this service.
We need an effective CDS System.
Finally, defence agents must be permitted legally not
middlemen as they now operate illegally.
In order to illustrate our analysis we give below some extracts from
The Royal Navy Fact File. The full details may be seen at
Navy Fact File
Royal Navy is not solely a defence team. Over the past 6 years the Royal
Navy has participated in 3289 search and rescue operations around the UK
and between 1994 and 1998 the Royal Navy Fishery Protection Squadron
(operating within British fishing limits under MAFF contact) have boarded
9,769 vessels resulting in 138 convictions.
Royal Navy Budget
£22.38 Billion defence budget for 1999/2000 is distributed as follows, (%
£22.38 Billion allocated for defence budget represents 2.7% of GDP. This
compares with 5.3% of GDP in 1984 which would represent £44 Billion
today. Spending by other nations on defence (% GDP in 99) include: France
3%, Germany 1.5%, Sweden 2.3%, USA 3.3%, and Greece 4.8%.
Departments for comparison are: Health, 6.6%, Social Security, 11.8%,
& Education, 4.6%).
of the Royal Navy
government's recent Strategic Defence Review (SDR) recognised the crucial
contribution of the Royal Navy to achieving a peaceful environment in
which the UK's foreign policy and trade would flourish, along with the
assured security of the UK & her Overseas Territories.
maintain this, the SDR confirmed the need for a powerful and well balanced
front line, capable of rapid deployment and sustained operations of an
expeditionary nature wherever the UK's national and international
interests demand. The review considered the UK's strategic environment,
the global nature of the UK's interests, and recognised that the UK's
peace and freedom was indivisible from her European Partners. As a result,
the SDR confirmed that NATO remained the cornerstone of the nation's
a result, today's Royal Navy is a force of discrete and highly capable
units that are effective when operating on their own, yet able, at almost
immediate notice, to play a significant part in a large multi-national
task force anywhere in the world. Their role is very much to contribute
towards preserving the peaceful environment in which our foreign policy
and trade can flourish. To do this, we must be able to deter aggression,
which means that we must have, and continue to develop, forces which can
be rapidly adapted to changing circumstances. With a powerful, well
equipped Navy, consisting of aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines,
amphibious forces and the rest of the supporting ships, we have the
essential elements in our armoury to contribute to the United Kingdom's
joint operational capability.
are always looking for new ways to make the Navy more effective in working
with potential allies and other Services; nowhere is this process more
apparent than in coastal regions where developing our links into land
operations could prove decisive. And so we strive to make our platforms
ever more compatible with those of other Services, to enhance the overall
utility of Joint Rapid Deployment Force assets.
is the Royal Navy Doing?
Royal Navy's Vanguard Class submarines are on patrol, maintaining the
strategic nuclear deterrent at this very moment. Closer to home, Northern
Ireland patrols and Fishery Protection duties are being undertaken, whilst
our commitments to NATO, Standing Naval Force Channel are being met.
ships are conducting exercises and training to keep their capabilities up
to scratch. In the South Atlantic two ships and an RFA tanker are at sea
on patrol and, in the Gulf, the Armilla patrol, now in its 18th year
continues to be conducted to reassure British flagged shipping and
demonstrate UK's commitment to this region of strategic importance. Over
in the West Indies, our guardship is currently on counter drugs operations
in company with its RFA tanker, an operation which has been spectacularly
successful in recent months. Details of all this activity can be found on
the Operations page of the website.
general, The Royal Navy's capabilities are designed around 3 core assets,
carrier borne aircraft, submarines and amphibious forces, supported by
escorts and other vital enabling units. Looking at carrier borne aircraft
first, Bosnia was a good example of what aircraft carriers can offer. It
took just 10 days to have an aircraft carrier in the Adriatic, operating
and able to put aircraft over Bosnia. Once on station, the aircraft
carriers were able to provide almost continuous cover, operating back to
back for over 3 years with FA2s flying many thousands of air defence and
ground attack sorties without failure to meet their task.
the end of March 2000, traing and operation of the Royal Air Force Harrier
GR7 ground attack aircraft and the Royal Navy Harrier FA2 air defence
fighters will be combined to create Joint Force Harrier, creating a force
capable of operating anywhere in the world and greatly increasing the
operational capability of the aircraft carriers.
are the nuclear attack submarines, the SSNs, which are highly capable
platforms with relevance throughout the course of a crisis. Their
flexibility, mobility and sustainability make them powerful instruments of
Government policy. Able to sustain high speed, they can cover 600 nautical
miles per day with no need to refuel, they may be first on the scene,
overtly or covertly, where they are then available for SF insertion, early
denial of the sea to an enemy or to gather critical intelligence. They
can, furthermore, remain at sea independent of outside support, for up to
capability, as part of the UK's Joint Rapid Reaction Force, provides the
only means by which the UK can insert troops with the necessary heavy
battle winning equipment into a hostile and defended area in tactical
fighting order. To achieve this an Amphibious Task Force (ATF) comprises
three essential elements; the amphibious ships, the landing force and the
escort ships to defend the task force. HMS OCEAN, the new LPH, has
restored a much needed component of our maritime projections capability,
in that it enables amphibiuos assault from sea to shore objective to be
conducted in the air, the third dimension of naval warfare. Helicopters
play a crucial role in providing this depth of assault, considerably
widening the deployment options for the assaulting force. The ability to
embark the recently procured Apache Attack Helicopters will also greatly
increase this capability. In addition to this the orders for the two
landing ships (LPD( R )'s) HMS ALBION and BULWARK will restore our full
amphibious capability, given their capability of carrying some 650 troops,
vehicles and heavy equipment whilst providing the vital command and
control facility. Once ALBION, BULWARK and HMS OCEAN are in service
together with the 5 Logistic Landing Ships (LSLs), our specialist shipping
capability will be very impressive.
outlining the capabilities of amphibious forces, carriers and nuclear
submarines, it is important to remember that destroyers and frigates,
mine-countermeasure vessels and afloat support ships play key enabling
roles. These ships are essential assets in any maritime conflict in
providing layers of defence, and destroyer also has a Lynx helicopter
which, as well as providing an ASW torpedo capability, is fundamental
particularly for ships taken up from trade like the Canberra during the
Falklands campaign. They are also crucial in sea control tasks upon which
all reinforcement and amphibious operations depend.
pages set out to answer these questions objectively, realistically and
honestly. In so doing it also aims to introduce the greatest single factor
in our ability to defend the United Kingdom's interests world-wide, the
men and women who go to sea and make the Royal Navy one of the most
powerful forces in NATO.
is the Royal Navy Managed?
The First Sea Lord known, as 1SL, is the professional head of the Royal Navy. The First Sea Lord is responsible to the Secretary of State for Defence for Military Capability and the current and future fighting effectiveness, efficiency and morale of the Service. He is also the senior advisor to the Secretary of State and the Chief of Defence Staff on maritime strategy and policy, and as a member of the Defence Management Board (DMB) he advises the Permanent Under Secretary on resource allocation and budgetary planning. As a member of the FPMG he has a collective responsibility for its decisions."
the full report visit www.royal-navy.mod.uk/content/207.html)