Debating Defence and Naval Policy (XXIII)

The obvious answer to this problem is the high/low fleet mix that I proposed at the CFPS conference two years ago. Gold-plating by the navy (and coast guard) results in these astronomical costs. Norman Friedman said it best at last year's Maritime Security Conference. There is absolutely no point in committing to big buys of the latest technology (SCSC) when we are in an era of radical technological change that will drive the theoretical constructs about how we fight (which is real transformation, not the organizational sham that passes for it nowadays).

We need only very few advanced warships to 'keep up with the Joneses' and large numbers of low-end cutters (and I mean LOW end and small!) to attend to the myriad of domestic constabulary duties and low end naval tasks that are relevant in this age of littoral joint warfare. My article on "Expeditionary Warfare" in Canadian Naval Review stated that the CPF is too small to be an effective superior ship and is too big to do either the domestic constabulary job or the joint littoral job; they are neither fish nor fowl - designed for long range ASW operations in the Cold War, they are not what we should be basing the future of our navy upon. We should also be putting more resources into operational logistics support that will serve as a huge force-multiplier when we need to be effective through persistent presence. Without a peer-competitor in the offing for at least 20 years and the world's only super-power as our closest ally, anything else is an unaffordable impossibility.

Share