Wondrous logic isn’t it?

Drones caused havoc at Gatwick, so why are governments still spending billions on tanks and aircraft carriers?

Dunno really, perhaps the ability to deliver tonnes of ordinance is still valuable? Or that 100 tonnes of tank does more to take ground than 2 kg of drone?

The disruption caused by reports of drones flying over Gatwick airport in December 2018 was a magnificent illustration of the uselessness of the UK’s big-ticket defence spending.

Hmm.

33 comments on “Wondrous logic isn’t it?

  1. No. It was a magnificent demonstaration of the ineptitude and lack of constructive imagination of those PC-bound individuals nominally “in control” of the emergency services and armed forces.

  2. It’s very hard to argue with the substance of that article. As the noble peer points out, above. All that expensive kit is in the hands of the pepple gave you the Gatwick drone fiasco.

  3. Question for Tim. What exactly’s the purpose of a main battle tank on UK soil? Being as the UK military does’t have the amphibious capability to put it on anybody elses.

  4. The Gatwick fiasco was either
    a) a demonstration of how inept the emergency leadership is

    b) a cunning ruse to make everyone think the emergency leadership is inept while hiding the true capabilities of the anti-trade systems we have.

    I’m leaning towards option a personally. How it took that long is a mystery. Jeez, why didn’t someone just go to the nearest store, buy a big drone, hang a net under it and catch the other one?
    See Tokyo police in 2016.
    Or buy another drone and just slam it into the pest drone…

    Instead we have them running around thinking about shooting it down, but then saying about collateral damage being too risky. And we look daft on the international stage.

    Typical.

  5. What exactly’s the purpose of a main battle tank on UK soil?

    The way everything is going at the minute, we’ll need them to keep the EU army at bay…

    What with EU Armoured vehicles being used against the yellow jackets in Paris, wouldn’t be surprised to find a few here if Brexit goes tits up…
    (comment intended as a bit of a joke in case not clear)

  6. Was the drone thing real? Rumours that they had other reasons for closing the airport for an hour or so, some bright spark in the press office thought of the drone excuse, but the other operation took a lot longer than expected, leaving them looking like complete prats.

    Alternatively, it was real and they just are complete prats who panicked over a couple of drones. Since it’s a government operation, that’s perfectly possible.

  7. The EU tanks will have to queue alongside all the Eddie Stobart lorries on the M2, causing the illegal immigrants clinging to the underside to drop off. (comment intended as a bit of a joke in case not clear)

  8. What Richard said. Plod at first tried to row back the drone sightings, before (presumably) being leaned on by someone.

    The whole fiasco says a lot. But it says nothing relevant about military spending.

  9. Well, to be fair, technology needs to be regularly re-evaluated, especially when so much is at stake.
    At the beginning of the Second World War you would have been labelled insane if you had said that within a couple of years the big battleship would be rendered virtually completely obsolete.by a handful of bi-planes.

  10. For the sake of the argument, assume the drone story is true. I’m fairly sure that protecting Gatwick Airport against nutters (Plane Stupid, drones, Michael O’Leary, whoever) is not a military task?

    Therefore has as much relevance to the MBT debate (which is a valid one) as to what assault rifles are used by Sussex Police for their armed patrols at Gatwick has to do with the “wtff to do with the SA-80 / L85 A3” (another valid debate.)

  11. I’ve never seen the point of the two aircraft carriers, beyond bringing heaps of moolah to the constituents of the Rt Hon Gordon Brown.

    The tanks can presumably be lined up along the English south coast and be used for sinking invaders in small boats.

  12. dearieme said:
    “The tanks can presumably be lined up along the English south coast and be used for sinking invaders in small boats.”

    Bloody expensive way of doing it. Much more fun to use trebuchets. People would probably pay for the privilege.

  13. An article so fatuous it does not deserve a response

    I see BTL many have pointed out the logic fail

    Given Putin’s activities in the Crimea why are we spending public money on Christmas trees?

    See, I can do it too

  14. I’m sure trying to fly drones around and active military airfield would result in a much quicker and more direct response

  15. “What exactly’s the purpose of a main battle tank on UK soil? Being as the UK military does’t have the amphibious capability to put it on anybody elses.”

    We do have amphibious capability for short term dispatch of small to medium armoured forces, including MBTs. For larger conflicts with more notice and planning (e.g. Gulf Wars I and II) we’d use commercial shipping along with this established network.

    https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/ship-to-shore-logistics/uk-amphibious-assault/

  16. “I’ve never seen the point of the two aircraft carriers…”

    So you can nearly always have one aircraft carrier available (for always you need three).

    The UK does not have a strictly defensive / deterrent military, and if you want to be a serious player in the force projection game then you need carriers.

  17. I wonder if our writer understands the concept of insurance.

    I pay a lot of money to insure my house, despite not expecting that it will burn down. Wasted money apparently.

  18. I’m sure trying to fly drones around and active military airfield would result in a much quicker and more direct response

    I would hope so, but I expect you would get an even quicker response if you stood outside the base with a placard saying “women shouldn’t serve in front line roles”.

  19. @bloke in spain January 8, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    UK MBTs – Same as WWII eg:

    – Gain & hold ground overseas to prevent/delay enemy gaining access to Europe side English Channel coast

    – Lead invasion force

    See ARRSE for debates on C21 MBTs

  20. @PJF
    But carriers need an air defence capability to protect them. And the UK can’t even put up a decent airborne radar aircraft The carrirs are just willy-waving..

  21. Bloke in Spain,

    The carriers have organic air defence (F-35B with AIM-120 and soon Meteor), cued by Merlin CROWSNEST – which has better performance, especially overland, than the US E-2 Hawkeye.

    They’ve then got Type 45 destroyers for AAW escort, which are good enough that the US are happy to trust their own carriers to their protection (been there in the Persian Gulf, with the USS Stennis protected by HMS Dragon and the nearest US warship forty miles north), and likely a Type 23 goalkeeping and providing plane guard.

    Oddly enough, the Navy have been planning and preparing for the carriers for a long time and have a decent idea of how to keep them safe while they’re doing… whatever they’re called on to do.

  22. As SE said, security of Gatwick is a police matter.

    The police should be queried, “Do you now have adequate defense against drones at airports? If a drone shows up, how quickly can you dispatch it?”

    This is relevant to Gatwick security. Talk of aircraft carriers is just bizarre.

  23. Oblong said:
    “Like what?”

    Unspecified. Intelligence of a terrorist attack? Major criminal or terrorist suspect thought to be trying to leave the country? Don’t know. Something where they thought they could grab the person / bomb / whatever quickly, but it turned out to take a lot longer.

    No idea whether it’s true. My money’s on “not true”, because in such a scenario why wouldn’t they just be vague and close it for “security reasons”?

    But I notice it’s just happened at Heathrow, which was closed for just an hour this afternoon, apparently because of a drone sighting.

  24. “if you want to be a serious player in the force projection game”: I don’t. I take it that it was force projection that led us to an unprovoked attack on Serbia, another on Iraq, one on Libya, and a narrowly avoided one on Syria.

    Plus the endless, pointless war of occupation in Afghanistan. Not that carriers would do you much bloody good in Afghanistan unless some state or other granted overflying rights.

    There’s only so much money, so many men: I’d rather see it and them used on safeguarding our island, our undersea pipelines, electric connectors, comms lines, and so forth, than invading or bombing countries where there is no vital British interest.

    If that would leave the Falklands unprotected let’s sell them. Perhaps China might pay a decent price. Just as it might for the ruddy carriers.

    If you can identify vital British interests that would call for carriers which will be available only some of the time, do sing out.

  25. For larger conflicts with more notice and planning (e.g. Gulf Wars I and II) we’d use commercial shipping along with this established network.

    “Thank you for choosing P&O Ferries for this Normandy mk.2 spearhead beach landing. Please wait until the Ferry is completely beached before returning to your MBT. Have you thought about visiting our Duty Free before assaulting the Forces of Evil?”
    😛

  26. I’d concur with dearieme on the force projection issue. Why I raised the question about whether the UK had a credible amphibious capability to utilise those MBT’s. In the sense those other than the military would regard an amphibious capability. The ability to put a credible military force on a hostile shore & kick some serious foreign arse. The answer to which is; probably not. “Force projection” in terms of MBT’s requires a friendly port to land them & their supporting logistics. Which basically means “force projection” is going to fight someone else’s war for them. Since, as far as most of the EU countries are concerned, the capability to fight their own wars is something they prefer not to pay for, WTF should the UK be doing it?

  27. “WTF should the UK be doing it?”

    Deterrence. The only way to avoid war is to be prepared for war. Argentina still wants the Maldives. I hope HMS Conqueror is still sailing.

    Russia still wants Western Europe.

    The EU is being decadent. They are absolutely dependent on the US for military security, yet they poke us in the eye. I love Trump’s assertion that the EU is an international organization, and not a country, hence it’s representatives are not diplomats and can be locked up for spitting on the sidewalk.

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