segunda-feira, 9 de junho de 2008

Europeans Struggling With Navy Force Costs

Monday, June 9, 2008

Europeans Struggling WIth Navy Force Costs

High oil prices have hit the French Navy in the wallet, and as a result the French are canceling a few exercises. IHT has the story.

The French Navy has canceled three summer missions, including an exercise with the United States, because of soaring fuel prices, a Navy official said Monday.

"All of our missions are important, but we had to cut those that were least crucial," said Navy spokesperson Pascal Subtil.

The most significant of the canceled missions involves a training mission in the United States. French ship De Grasse had been slated to sail alongside American ships in an exercise off the east coast and take part in a drug-trafficking prevention mission.
The De Grasse exercise profile included participation in JTFX08, which will also involve French Naval aviation. The naval aviation aspect of the exercise will continue as planned. However, the part of the article that really got our attention came several paragraphs later.
NATO spokesman James Appathurai said he was unaware of any discussions on the impact of rising fuel costs on missions of the military alliance.

"I don't think there is a general concern in NATO about this," he said.
Say what? There should be general concern in NATO, high energy prices are a serious problem and can have rippling economic effects globally. The world has spent the last decade discussing the possibility of global war due to resource shortages and competition, and NATO isn't much concerned?

This has us wondering what short of global nuclear war would raise NATOs concern in the post cold war environment, because we sure as hell know a massive attack on a member doesn't count for much, 9/11 and Afghanistan tell that unfortunate story all too well.

The Royal Navy is also suffering from cost problems, and to compensate for the problems, the Navy will operate some Type 42s without primary defense systems while they wait for the Type 45s. Only in the 21st century Royal Navy would you see this...
Two Royal Navy warships have been left all at sea - after their missiles were removed to save cash.

The destroyers HMS Exeter and HMS Southampton have been working without their Sea Dart guided-missiles since Christmas.

Hms Exeter has since sailed to the Mediterranean twice and joined a NATO-led operation. The situation has provoked anger from defence sources who claim the Navy is suffering from short-term cost-cutting.

Rear Admiral David Bawtree, former Commander of Portsmouth Naval Base, said: "It seems to be a sign of the times that there is a lack of willingness to spend money."

Local MP Mike Hancock said: "You cannot have ships deploying without important equipment."
Actually it appears you can Mike. This reminds us a bit too much of how the Clinton administration took the one armed bandit off the Perry's. Understandable? Yes. Wise? Not even.

It wasn't smart when the US did it in the 90s, and it is even less so when the Royal Navy does it. At least when the US did it in the 90s, the US had 50 other surface combatants armed to the teeth with the most modern naval kits in the world. In the case of the Royal Navy, these are Type 42 destroyers, the most important air defense warships in the fleet, on deployment, without missiles. This would be like taking the cannons off HMS Victory, unless of coarse you can point to another surface combatant in the Royal Navy operating today bigger than HMS Exeter (D89) and HMS Southampton (D90).

Does anyone else see a future Royal Navy with 2 aircraft carriers that can't put to sea because money isn't allocated to deploy them? Every sign we have seen this year suggests that the CVF will be too expensive to operate without a serious change in the politics of Great Britain.

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