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Title: U.K. so broke its military is considering selling 3.5 billion aircraft carrier to India
Source: [None]
URL Source: https://www.womensystems.com/2024/0 ... s-military-is-considering.html
Published: Mar 10, 2024
Author: Mike Rivero
Post Date: 2024-03-10 23:37:36 by Horse
Keywords: None
Views: 21

Persistent funding problems could result in the British military having to sell off its second aircraft carrier to shore up more operational cash.

Reports indicate that HMS Prince of Wales, which cost a whopping £3.5 billion (about $4.44 billion) to build, might end up getting sold to India or some other "friendly" nation since the United Kingdom's latest budget does not include any substantial increase in defense spending.

Rather than sell off the empire's flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth, the British military's Royal Navy is contemplating this other major offload as soon as 2028 if defense finances in Great Britain do not improve.

Members of the Maritime Enterprise Planning Group, which develops future considerations and strategies for the British military, have reportedly been in discussions about the matter as of late.

"There's an awareness in the group that the Navy is struggling to maintain operational commitments and has to expand the fleet as rapidly as possible," a Royal Navy source is quoted as saying about the matter.

"The second carrier is an asset that is held in reserve and is a very expensive piece of rarely-used equipment. So, if we want to address balance sheet issues, disposing of her or sharing her with say an AUKUS [Australia, U.K. and U.S.] ally, is an option."

Is the U.K. broke?

While the Royal Navy says it remains committed to keeping both carriers, "changes in government and budgets" could force its hand. In order to convince the U.K. Treasury to increase the empire's military budget, military top brass must "spend better," top U.K. ministers said.

In an attempt to address the matter more urgently before the new budget is unveiled, MP (Member of Parliament) for Portsmouth North Penny Mordaunt held an emergency meeting with Jeremy Hunt. Mordaunt wrote online about the meeting:

"Met the Chancellor to reiterate what Portsmouth's families and businesses need to hear in the Budget. Our first duty is to protect our nation and its interests."

In related news, former defense secretary Ben Wallace claims the U.K. has been "lying" to NATO for the past 20 years about its alleged military capabilities. This was demonstrated most recently by the U.K.'s failure to engage in the Red Sea crisis.

"If I was a carrier skeptic, and there are plenty, I would be gunning for one of them right now," said Ret. Royal Navy Commander Tom Sharpe. "It does not help their cause that when a near-perfect opportunity to use a carrier presented itself in the Red Sea, we didn't take it for political reasons."

"We must recognize the threat to the second carrier, that is the unpleasant reality: the nuclear deterrent is the U.K.'s only ring-fenced capability."

It is widely recognized in the U.K. today that without both carriers in operation together, the British empire will not be able to defend itself, nor will it be able to operate one carrier independently of the other – meaning it might as well sell off both carriers and give up its military presence in the world entirely.

To make matters worse, the British military only has one solid stores ship, the RFA Fort Victoria, in its arsenal and she is due to be retired in 2028.

Almost 700 crew are needed to operate just one of Britain's carriers, which is a challenge in and of itself at a time when recruitment and retention are at all-time lows.

"For the last 20 years, the U.K.'s Armed Forces have not been able to deliver to NATO what they have claimed," Wallace said. "Either we fund the Armed Forces properly or future prime ministers need to admit to the public that they want Britain to be a follower, not a leader, on the world stage."

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