Tuesday, 21 August 2012

British submarines without crews?

British submarines without crews?

We saw the decommissioning of plane carriers that effectively left Britain without a task force but there is more in the pipeline regarding British defence or the lack of it. Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, published an article today under the headline ‘Navy’s running out of sailors to man submarines’.

Russian Akula submarines have already obtained the signatures of British nuclear submarines based in Faslane, Scotland. If this wasn’t enough, officials of the British Ministry of Defence have reportedly indicated that Britain’s nuclear deterrent is at risk because the Navy does not have enough sailors to man its submarines.

The British Navy, according to the news, has a fleet of six attack submarines and four Vanguard boats that carry the Trident nuclear missile that due to staff shortages could not be deployed.

Some time ago, when Tony Blair was Prime Minister, the House of Commons debated about the British Nuclear Deterrent and it was said that there were several alternatives when it came to upgrading nuclear resources in terms of types of submarines and missiles. It was also said that the mere process of replacing outdated units would take more than ten years and that nobody knew if there were going to be financial resources and technical resources to make the necessary changes

Well, talking about replacing submarines and missiles might be absolutely unnecessary if we don’t have the necessary qualified personnel to man the said submarines.

This is a classical situation, something we have become accustomed to. In ten years time, we might have two new plane carriers and by then we will not have the proper jets able to operate using the said plane carriers. Why not? Because they planned the construction of the plane carriers but they forgot to think about the air units taking into account that today’s air units will be completely outdated.

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