Military Review

An expert on the future of British amphibious assault forces

The size of the Royal Marines can be reduced from 6600 troops to 5600, in addition, both amphibious helicopter carriers can be withdrawn from the Navy, leading bmpd an article by the British International Institute for Strategic Studies Nick Childs.

An expert on the future of British amphibious assault forces
Landing helicopter carrier L12 Ocean

Such a decision can be made against the background of a reduction in defense spending. According to the UK Ministry of Defense, no final decisions have been taken so far. However, the British amphibious assault forces have become increasingly vulnerable over the recent period, Childs writes.

The author notes a certain paradox in the development of the world landing forces.

“Recent hurricanes in the Caribbean have demonstrated the importance of landing fleet and airborne forces in humanitarian relief operations and in the aftermath of natural disasters. France, the Netherlands, and the United States deployed large landing ships in the Caribbean, while the United Kingdom deployed the Ocean landing helicopter carrier and Mounts Bay landing transport dock. The aforementioned missions in themselves take on new significance, which is especially for the Asia-Pacific region, however, to accomplish them, full combat airborne capabilities are not required, ”the article says.

At the same time, given the growth in the proportion of the population living in coastal areas, and, consequently, increasing security concerns, the ability to project military force at sea, as well as be able to direct or divert it if necessary, becomes more popular.

“An increasing number of countries are investing heavily in these needs. However, due to the presence of the so-called A2 / AD threat (anti-access / area-denial), which is a challenge even for the US Marine Corps, few people seek to deploy these forces anywhere other than safe areas (permissive environment). Britain was one of the countries with the most developed amphibious forces, second only to the United States. Now this is a dilemma that the country has to face, ”the author notes.

According to him, “the last significant investments in the amphibious capabilities of Great Britain took place in the 1990's - early 2000's and were sent to the Ocean's new helicopter carrier, two amphibious assault ship-dock and four amphibious transport-docks”.

However, later the country's ambitions in the field of amphibious forces were reduced: the goal was to deploy an incomplete 3 Brigade of Marines. One amphibious assault ship dock was put into reserve, and one amphibious assault dock was sold to Australia. It is noteworthy that the landing helicopter carrier Ocean should be decommissioned as early as next year.

“It is argued that with the growing threat of A2 / AD, as well as the risks associated with the descent of heavy equipment from dock landing ships, a more realistic and appropriate scenario is the use of new British aircraft carriers to provide landing forces aviation at a distance and landing transport docks for the implementation of support and delivery of supplies, ”writes Childs.

Although the traditional “Storming of the beach” tactic is no longer taken seriously, opponents of this new formula believe that Britain will lose its valuable ability to project power from the sea. "The use of new aircraft carriers of the Royal Navy for amphibious tasks will not replace specially built amphibious assault ship dock ships and at the same time threatens to reduce their ability to perform full-fledged aircraft carrier strike functions," the article notes.

Given the pressure factors present, changes in British amphibious assault forces appear inevitable. The main problem, apparently, lies in the extent to which the country's ambitions in this area will decline, the author concludes.
Photos used:
British Navy
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  1. ImPerts
    ImPerts 30 November 2017 14: 32
    Lord islanders, do not strain ...
    You can now only follow in the wake of your offspring, an overseas partner.
    Or pretend to be a smart wife, who willingly takes on the role of the neck, but does not climb into the head.
    1. Leeds
      Leeds 1 December 2017 10: 00
      Ha! But we already have a wooden model of the first aircraft carrier, which has no analogues in the world, by the way! The expert is right, im lid)
      1. ImPerts
        ImPerts 1 December 2017 14: 15
        I do not know what you have and how you have the whole world)))
        But everything can be, good luck!
  2. Herculesic
    Herculesic 30 November 2017 14: 39
    Do not discard the ship - give it to ukroine! wassat And we will take a beer, and we will follow the sea ogony ogony! !! wassat
  3. san4es
    san4es 30 November 2017 16: 59
    Royal Marines may be reduced

  4. Zaurbek
    Zaurbek 30 November 2017 17: 02
    Britain will lose its valuable ability to project power from the sea. "The use of new Royal Navy aircraft carriers for amphibious missions will not replace specially built dock landing helicopter ships, and at the same time threatens to reduce their ability to perform full-fledged carrier strike functions," the article notes.

    Only the US Navy is now capable of depicting a landing ... The British Navy is not capable of anything against a more or less serious enemy .. But it’s quite enough to attack sea communications, fight against submarines. Their fleet is quite serious. Just aviation and anti-ship missiles divorced a lot and diesel-electric submarines are the same.
  5. First iron-faced
    First iron-faced 1 December 2017 07: 02
    They probably decided that the landing ships did not need the fleet - for a long time, inoperatively, in the presence of military transport aircraft. Moreover, of the heavy equipment and weapons they only have completely aero transportable articulated transporters (APCs) and 105-mm light howitzers. For landing on the coast or inland, there are enough commando vehicles of small commando vehicles (the same military transport vehicles, submarines, helicopters, boats and inflatable boats) from other surface ships.