Author Topic: Scottish Armed Forces GB  (Read 14154 times)

Offline Weaver

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Scottish Armed Forces GB
« on: April 15, 2013, 12:44:47 AM »
Scotland is due to have a refererendum in September 2014 about whether or not to leave the United Kingdom and become a separate country. Apparently the pro-independence party plan to have fully separate armed forces, and there was an interesting article in Air Forces Monthly about what an independent Scottish air force might look like.

I don't want us to get into the politics of this (see FAIR WARNING below), but from a purely hardware point of view, it's an interesting and timely GB possibility:

What would you buy for your armed forces if you were in change of an independent Scotland?

What do you see as your strategic and tactical roles?

Would you want to contribute to international operations overseas or just do national defence?

What resources would/could you devote to it?

Would you "buy British", based on proximity, interoperability and the fact that most of your personnel will be ex-UK armed forces, or would you seek to avoid that to develop a distinctly different character for your armed forces?


For non-political reference (true as far as I know but I'm not the expert so by all means correct me if neccesary):

1. The nationalists see an independent Scotland joining the Commonwealth, the EU and NATO.

2. The nationalists see Scottish air-defence (and presumably land and sea too) as being separate, not shared with or contracted out to the rest of the UK, and with "fast jet capability".

3. According to the RUSI (Royal United Services Institute) report which prompted the article, an air force of around 2,500 with a total of about 60 aircraft (all types) is achievable. The article didn't go into Army and Navy issues. RUSI's figures may be contestable, and there may be other analyses out there.


Of course, we don't have to take things too seriously in Whiff World, so if you want to let your imagination roam free then by all means do so. This might extend from simply inventing and putting Scottish markings on a favorite but unlikely type, to giving the country and entire defence industry and building/drawing an entirely original type. Another possibility might be to retcon it: what if Scotland was always independent, going back to whatever era you fancy in military history (the avoids excluding those who think the only "proper" aeroplanes are the ones with propellors....)

Spinners did a few Scottish Air Force and English Air Force profiles over on What If Modellers in early March: http://www.whatifmodelers.com/index.php/topic,18821.120.html (reply 1061 onwards).


FAIR WARNING:

This is a highly contentious political issue in the UK, with increasingly strident and harsh language being employed on both sides, so:

1. PLEASE keep the politics out of this thread or the Mods may well shut it down,

2. By all means go looking for plans, figures and budgets, but bear in mind that there's hardly anything that's been said on this subject that hasn't been immediately challenged by some other party. I therefore strongly advise against taking any real-world article or proposal as "gospel", including the RUSI study I mentioned earlier.

To give you a flavour of the debate, and the difficulty in establishing credible figures and plans, see this article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/14/scottish-military-fantasy-defence-secretary

« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 12:56:09 AM by Weaver »
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2013, 02:47:03 AM »
There is an argument to stick with common equipment to the rest of the UK at least initially, so that could result in Typhoons etc.  I do however like the idea of going to something such as the Gripen E/F or maybe even the F-35.  Maybe A400s/C390s for transport.  Something such as EMB 145 in Maritime patrol/AEW&C roles.

Will provide a more comprehensive response later on
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2013, 04:20:24 AM »
I can't see an independant Scotland being any better off than Ireland, which would mean something along the same lines for it's Armed Forces.

Offline Dr. YoKai

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 04:46:59 AM »
I can't see an independant Scotland being any better off than Ireland, which would mean something along the same lines for it's Armed Forces.

 I expect most of you fellows are better informed on the subject than I, but doesn't Scotland have a substantial amount of
North Sea Oil revenue to draw on?

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 05:20:45 AM »
The Scottish nationalists are planning to spend a higher proportion of their GDP on defence than Ireland, but still a lower percentage than the UK. What they'd get for that money is hotly debated.

The RUSI report suggested that MPA would be very important and suggested three or four 2nd hand Orions as a solution. Given that Scotland has 6000 miles of coastline with hundreds of close islands, I'd suggest that a few smaller, simpler coastal patrol types would be a useful addition to that, allowing their Orions to concentrate on the oil fields and the sea lanes to the distant islands. Something like the BN Islander or a Beechcraft twin would seem to fit the bill. Pilatus PC-12 maybe?

If they want fast jets then 2nd hand F-16s would seem the cheapest default solution. Probably wouldn't be able to afford many upgrades beyong the strictly neccessary, but then with maybe only a dozen, they'd be pretty much limited to national air defence anyway. Are there any of those Block 15 ADF ones spare at Davis Monthan?
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline kitnut617

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 05:24:45 AM »
I can't see an independant Scotland being any better off than Ireland, which would mean something along the same lines for it's Armed Forces.

 I expect most of you fellows are better informed on the subject than I, but doesn't Scotland have a substantial amount of
North Sea Oil revenue to draw on?

Well!  as we know here in Alberta, you can't rely on that.  Slightest hiccup in the economy and the energy companies shut everything down real quick.  But my bro-in-law is a Scot, but lives and works in the Liverpool area, he tells me that unemployment is at the highest it's been for a number of years, effecting Scotland more so.  I can't see that just the energy sector alone actually being able to support all or any of an economy --
« Last Edit: April 15, 2013, 08:52:36 PM by kitnut617 »

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 05:57:55 AM »
North Sea oil is a declining asset, and the proportion of the revenue that an independent Scotland would "inherit" is as yet undecided.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
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Offline AGRA

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2013, 07:20:38 AM »
If you want a reason to boost a Scottish Defence Force from token Irish style force to Fighting Scots glory just have them embrace private military contracting at a state level. In order to boost their economy and cut unemployment the Scots could offer their armed forces for UN missions and state to state contracts. Including a fleet of combat boats and corvettes built and manned by the fishing communities restrained by EU environmental quotas. The European Gurkhas.

Offline deathjester

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2013, 07:28:41 AM »
April's Air Forces Monthly has a good section on this issue.  The consensus is that the Hawk would be the best bet for a Scottish Air Force, with Britain paying to keep open a base in Scotland running a distinct second!

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2013, 07:57:00 AM »
Quick'n'dirty: Scottish F-16:

"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2013, 10:09:08 AM »
Found the RUSI article: http://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/End_of_an_Auld_Sang.pdf

Note that the article talks about the SNP (Scottish National Party) having an anti-NATO membership policy that might change in the near future. This is already out of date: SNP leader Alex Salmond has said in the last few days that an independent Scotland would definately want to be a NATO member.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2013, 01:34:07 PM »
I'm tempted to throw a profile together quickly but I doubt it'd go over without creating a crapstorm so I won't bother... :P
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2013, 04:42:01 PM »
If you want a reason to boost a Scottish Defence Force from token Irish style force to Fighting Scots glory just have them embrace private military contracting at a state level. In order to boost their economy and cut unemployment the Scots could offer their armed forces for UN missions and state to state contracts. Including a fleet of combat boats and corvettes built and manned by the fishing communities restrained by EU environmental quotas. The European Gurkhas.

I love this idea.
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2013, 10:13:15 PM »
Honestly, I was reading that Pakistan and Bangladesh basically do that for the UN.  They're a major source of revenue for the nation's military.

Cheers,

Logan

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 02:05:17 AM »
Honestly, I was reading that Pakistan and Bangladesh basically do that for the UN.  They're a major source of revenue for the nation's military.

Cheers,

Logan

There's a difference between having Professional Private Military Companies and the simple revenue earning that the likes of those do...
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2013, 03:45:05 AM »
I'm tempted to throw a profile together quickly but I doubt it'd go over without creating a crapstorm so I won't bother... :P

Oh go on, go for it..... >:D
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 05:16:34 AM »
I'm tempted to throw a profile together quickly but I doubt it'd go over without creating a crapstorm so I won't bother... :P

Oh go on, go for it..... >:D

I second that!

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 09:59:40 AM »
As an alternative to the F-16, how about Scotland buys a squadron of second-hand Mirage 2000s? Brazil has bought second-hand French air force ones and one presumes that more will become available due to Rafale deliveries. Also, a deal to sell the Rafale to the UAE is allegedly conditional on Dassault buying back or finding a buyer for the UAE's Mirage 2000 fleet.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline deathjester

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2013, 08:29:14 PM »
IIRC, the French are soon to retire their Mirage 2000N's - they'd be pretty good for a Scottish Air Force.  BTW, any educated guesses as to what the markings might look like?  I reckon I could do a sheet of them if they're not too complex!

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 12:02:29 AM »
IIRC, the French are soon to retire their Mirage 2000N's - they'd be pretty good for a Scottish Air Force.  BTW, any educated guesses as to what the markings might look like?  I reckon I could do a sheet of them if they're not too complex!


I don't think anything's been decided officially yet - that'd be getting a bit ahead of themselves.

I had a pop at some lo-vis ones in my F-16 profile below.  Faded out Saltire with "clear" white stripes on the tail (i.e. the underlying grey shows through, and grey thistles as the wing "roundels".
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 01:00:44 AM »
My personal thoughts are there wouldn't be a Scottish Armed Force, I can see them leasing bases out to the UK so that there's an income from them.  Most of the money made would be to support social programs etc ----  does Scotland have a product that they can sell ?

Offline Jeffry Fontaine

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 01:06:15 AM »
does Scotland have a product that they can sell ?

If the demand for haggis somehow increases they may well have that market covered ;)

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Offline Litvyak

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 01:13:17 AM »
does Scotland have a product that they can sell ?

Scotch.

As for the roundels... give it a few years, and you'll have a blue disc with a ring of gold stars inside, or something similar, maybe a St Andrews Cross flag on the tail to show that the given plane is from the EU Province of Scotland...
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Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 02:31:42 AM »
does Scotland have a product that they can sell ?


Scotch.



Don't laugh either - that is one of the key 'manufactured' products and is actually one of the key contributors to the overall UK economy...
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 02:40:52 AM by GTX_Admin »
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2013, 02:43:07 AM »
Well, if they ever got a Firefox-style fighter that required you to think in Scots, I think they'd find them impervious to theft.

<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>


Cheers,

Logan

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2013, 02:48:36 AM »
 ;D
All hail the God of Frustration!!!

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But you can make the Bastard work for it.

Offline Litvyak

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2013, 02:52:45 AM »
ROFL!

But that said I need to stop thinking about this subject for a while, it's getting me far too agitated. So... I'm going to go make some food and be happy for the Kiwis! :)
"God save our Queen and heaven bless the Maple Leaf forever!"

Alternate Canada - http://altcan.webs.com

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Offline kitnut617

  • Measures the actual aircraft before modelling it...we have the photographic evidence.
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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2013, 03:12:56 AM »
LMAO ----

just sent that to my bro-in-law --- ;D

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2013, 06:56:39 AM »
Well, if they ever got a Firefox-style fighter that required you to think in Scots, I think they'd find them impervious to theft.

http://youtu.be/5FFRoYhTJQQ

Cheers,

Logan



Blocked in the UK..... :(
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2013, 07:03:10 AM »
My personal thoughts are there wouldn't be a Scottish Armed Force, I can see them leasing bases out to the UK so that there's an income from them.  Most of the money made would be to support social programs etc ----  does Scotland have a product that they can sell ?

The SNP have gone out of their way to say that they definately want armed forces and have specifically mentioned fast jet capability. They've also just said that they want to join NATO. Whether the former is actually affordable depends on what kind of separation settlement they can negotiate, and whether the latter (or EU membership) is automatic or not is debateable, and being debated.

Having said that, it's been pointed out that they also want the SSBN base gone from Faslane, but that moving it, and the warhead storage facility down the road, is a non-trivial exercise. England might therefore press to keep it operational for anything up to a decade while an alternative is organised, and that the price for that might be to "cover" the setup problems of the Scottish armed forces with things like air patrols and the like.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Logan Hartke

  • High priest in the black arts of profiling...
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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 07:52:33 AM »
Blocked in the UK..... :(


How's this?

<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>


Cheers,

Logan
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 01:09:34 PM by Logan Hartke »

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2013, 08:39:00 AM »
Nope - still won't play, but this one does;

Burnistoun - Voice Recognition Elevator in Scotland


Good find!  ;D
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

  • Skyhawk stealer and violator of Panthers, with designs on a Cougar and a Tiger too
  • Chaos Engineer & Evangelistic Agnostic
Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2013, 08:34:33 AM »
Okay, so what could be afforded? Getting consistent, comparable figures in a hurry is a bit of a nightmare, and the economy of a Scottish State is somewhat speculative, however these seem to be in the right ball park. North Sea oil is a HUGE unknown factor. If Scotland were to get all the oil and gas that's geographically inside it's territorial waters, it would get 90% of UK production. However if the oil and gas were split up by relative population, they'd get 9%. I can't see Westminster agreeing to the former, so something in between is more likely. However, let's take a "best case" (for Scotland) scenario.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP):

Netherlands : $770 billion
Switzerland : $633 billion
Norway : $500 billion
Belgium : $480 billion
Austria : $400 billion
Denmark : $315 billion
Finland : $250 billion
Portugal : $212 billion
Ireland : $211 billion
New Zealand : $170 billion

Scotland : around  the $220 billion mark, assuming they get all the oil and gas in their waters.

So the comparisons being bandied about between an independent Scotland and "small" countries like Norway and Belgium are spurious. Even on a highly optimistic figure, Scotland is more in the ball park of Ireland. Furthermore, this takes into account neither the short-term economic disruption caused by a declaration of independence, nor the long-term consequences if large companies, particularly defence ones, elect to move south of the border to service the larger UK market.

Next question is what might their defence budget be? Well that's a political choice, but given the politics and society of the country, it's likely to fall within European norms of between 2.6% (UK) and Ireland (0.6%). The SNP are also committed to expensive social programs and there isn't much public perception of a threat, so I think it's unlikely to be above 2% in practice. However, best case:

Defence Budget:

Netherlands : $11 billion
Norway : $7.1 billion
Belgium : $5.4 billion
Portugal : $5.2 billion
Denmark : $4.6 billion
Switzerland : $4.4 billion
Finland : $3.7 billion
Austria : $3.5 billion
Ireland : $1.4 billion
New Zealand : $1.35 billion

Scotland : between $3.3 billion (1.5% GDP) and $5.5 billion (2.5% GDP)

So on the face of it, Scotland could have armed forces of somewhere between Austria and Belgium in size. HOWEVER, what that doesn't take into account is start up costs. Scotland is lacking a great deal of the infrastructure neccessary to run armed forces that other states have built and paid for long ago. It has no defence ministry, no defence procurement system, no general staff, no military headquarters, no staff college and no logistics system. 

Note that the RUSI report figures are rather lower (£2 billion: about $3.1 billion) but they're for a hypothetical 2010 Scottish defence budget, and remember, the GDP figure I've used is top-end.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 09:05:24 AM by Weaver »
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline AGRA

  • Took the opportunity to tease us with a RAAF F-82
Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2013, 09:43:49 AM »
HOWEVER, what that doesn't take into account is start up costs. Scotland is lacking a great deal of the infrastructure neccessary to run armed forces that other states have built and paid for long ago. It has no defence ministry, no defence procurement system, no general staff, no military headquarters, no staff college and no logistics system.   

But Scotland is not a breakaway province it is a currently constituted state in Union with England. Just like the breakup of the USSR the forming of an independent Scottish state would be via the breakup of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. So while certainly the junior partner compared to England it would be like the Ukraine compared to Russia in the break-up of the Soviet Union. Scotland could have a reasonable expectation to acquire their share of various Union enterprises including the armed forces and of course all the facilities on their territory. Especially since they would have to negotiate a nuclear weapons solution with England. Of course England would reasonably expect to absorb 100% of the UKís nuclear arsenal but all of it is located in Scotland. They would have to be generous in return to retain this base otherwise absorb the complete cost of relocating it southward before dis-union day.

Devolving Scottish recruited and based army and air force units would be pretty straight forward with a reasonable force going Scotlandís way:

Scottish Army: 1 x armd regt (CR2), 2 x mech inf bn (WR), 4 x lt inf bn
Scottish Air Force: 3 x ftr sqn (Typhoon), 1 x ground defence sqn at RAF Lossiemouth

The Royal Navy is more complex HMNB Clyde is the primary nuclear weapons and submarine base. These assets and the co-located MCM and RM security capabilities would remain under English control in exchange for a Scottish allotment of the surface fleet.

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2013, 10:14:00 AM »
There is no legal consensus about the appropriate framework for Scottish independence, the division of assets or the nationality status of the (very mixed) populations, except to say that in practical terms, it will be a political decision rather than a legal one.

The point about infrastructure is that many of those assets are located in the rest of the UK and can't be easily split: you cannot, in a practical sense, "give" Scotland 1/12th of Sandhurst or the MOD Procurement Executive. Even if you assessed the value of those things and gave them 1/12th of the value, it would still take years to get their Scottish equivalents actually up and running. You also don't know how what will happen with the critical personnel. How many key people in the British defence establishment would be elegible for Scottish citizenship and how many of them would actually want to take it up?

Where do you get 3 squadrons of Typhoons from? The UK has a total of 6 Typhoon squadrons and 6 Tornado squadrons. Scotland has roughly 1/12th of the UK population, so on that basis it only gets one squadron of anything, and it doesn't get to "cherry pick" the latest and best. Trading it's share of things like C-17s, Sentries and Voyagers might get it up to a full squadron of Typhoons, but that would be it.

Then the next question would be are they going to take on 1/12th of the support infrastructure for those Typhoons (much of which is indivisible) or remain dependent on the UK infrastructure and just pay their share of it? The latter might be sensible, but it would also call into question how independent they really were, which might make it politically unacceptable.

And again, the personnel question: how many RAF pilots and ground staff would be elegible for Scottish citizenship, how many of them would actually want to make the move, and what about their existing contracts? Independence is by no means universally popular in Scotland itself, let alone amongst people of Scottish descent living in the rest of the UK, in fact the latest polls suggest that the SNP might struggle to win the referendum at all.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #35 on: April 28, 2013, 07:59:53 PM »
Some thoughts on an affordable Scottish air force, based on the economics tending towards the optimistic and a desire to avoid UK hardware in order to "look different" for political reasons:

Fighters

12 x 2nd hand F-16A/C* plus 6 flyable reserves**
4 x 2nd hand F-16B/D plus 2 flyable reserves

*The choice of model would depend upon what's available on the 2nd hand market at what price
**The flyable reserve system lets you get better availability from a limited number of operational airframes: you're only paying full operational costs for 12, but you can quickly swap one of those that goes u/s for a good one from the reserve.

Fast Jet Training : contracted out to NFTC Canada (not worth maintaining a trainer fleet for so small a force).


Maritime Patrol

4 x CN-235MPA Persuaders (long range ops)
4 x Cessna Caravan or similar* (coastal patrol)**

*I'd prefer BN-2T Islanders if their "Britishness" can be overlooked. Another interesting option might be the PZL Skytruck.
**Scotland's got a lot of wriggly coastline and islands to patrol for which a full MPA type would be OTT and a small fixed wing type would be much more economic to run than a helicopter.

Air-Sea Rescue Helos : contracted out. It would make sense to buy into the same contract with Bristows already in place for all of the UK, possibly with modifications to meet Scottish concerns.

Fixed and rotary wing transport for the Army depends entirely upon perceived missions. If Scotland wants to do UN/NATO worldwide peacekeeping, then it's hard to see a case for a tiny fleet of strategic airlifters when other countries with bigger, more efficient fleets can provide that service as-needed. On the other hand, a fleet of modern transport helicopters would pretty much be a neccessity. It's hard to argue with the Blackhawk's C-17/C-5 transportability in that case.






"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #36 on: April 28, 2013, 08:00:25 PM »
Here's an opportunity for the Scottish Navy: the US Coastguard is slowly replacing it's Hamilton class high-endurance cutters, and they're obviously willing to export them, because 4 have already gone to Nigeria, the Phillipines and Bangladesh. These are ideal ships for Scottish requirements: the sort of thing you'd design from scratch for them. They have long range, excellent sea-keeping (Scottish waters can be vicious), a light armament (76mm, Phalanx & 2 x Bushmasters) which can be augmented if required (Harpoon & torpedoes), and a helicopter pad that can take a Dauphin. Yes they're old, but they've been extensively re-fitted and well-maintained. If a suitable deal could be struck, I'd be biting the USCG's hand off for these.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline Claymore

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2013, 02:48:20 AM »
North Sea oil is a declining asset, and the proportion of the revenue that an independent Scotland would "inherit" is as yet undecided.

I have several North Sea Oil types who are Reservists in my unit.  The general opinion in the business is that far from being a declining asset, North Sea oil is booming.  Several very large new fields have just been discovered without tapping the very deep fields to the NW of Scotland and it would seem that new extraction techniques can now retrieve more from the existing fields.  A recent BBC Scotland news article stated: "The North Sea has almost as much oil left as has already been extracted... Experts believe between 25 and 30 billion barrels could still be recovered over the next 40 years".

I guess this whole oil issue is probably going to turn out to be much more of an 'issue' than first thought.   ;)
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2013, 07:18:59 PM »
Okay, fair comment: I'm out of date on that one. However don't those new extraction techniques have higher overheads, which means the actual revenue-per-barrel is lower? I'm not suggesting that the one offsets the other 100%, just that it might take the edge off it a bit.
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

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Offline tsrjoe

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2013, 04:36:27 PM »
If you want a reason to boost a Scottish Defence Force from token Irish style force to Fighting Scots glory just have them embrace private military contracting at a state level. In order to boost their economy and cut unemployment the Scots could offer their armed forces for UN missions and state to state contracts. Including a fleet of combat boats and corvettes built and manned by the fishing communities restrained by EU environmental quotas. The European Gurkhas.

actually this is the most sensible suggestion iv read since the whole 'debate' began,  hmm, methinks il pass this over to a Holyrood colleague for comment, cheers, Joe

Offline deathjester

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2013, 06:44:15 PM »
If you want a reason to boost a Scottish Defence Force from token Irish style force to Fighting Scots glory just have them embrace private military contracting at a state level. In order to boost their economy and cut unemployment the Scots could offer their armed forces for UN missions and state to state contracts. Including a fleet of combat boats and corvettes built and manned by the fishing communities restrained by EU environmental quotas. The European Gurkhas.

actually this is the most sensible suggestion iv read since the whole 'debate' began,  hmm, methinks il pass this over to a Holyrood colleague for comment, cheers, Joe
I like this idea!  Would it be likely to be the case that Scotland supplies the manpower, and the 'clients' the equipment?  All sorts of different Whiffie goodness there!
Or would they be like the set up in the 'Sky Captain' film, with a PMC effectively being the major fighting force of a nation, basically 'garrisoning' the country?

Offline ChrisF

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2013, 07:40:11 PM »
As this was originally a group build is it too late to pop my hawk in for consideration ?  :D

Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2013, 12:17:39 AM »
Well so far it's only a group build idea, so it hasn't even started yet and may never do.

I suspect that if it goes ahead at all, it will be next year, which will make it "topical"....
"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith

Offline ChrisF

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2013, 10:14:56 PM »
I'll keep something back just in case then ;)

Offline GTX_Admin

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #44 on: July 06, 2013, 03:10:23 AM »
Well folks, since there seems to be a lot of support/interest in this one, we have decided that this will provide a good trial of our concept of a short notice GB (see here for discussion).   The Scottish Independence GB can start roughly after the "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" Group Build so that will give you a little time to formulate your ideas.  It will also give time for the volunteering of a Moderator...PM me if interested.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Scottish Armed Forces GB
« Reply #45 on: July 09, 2013, 08:03:24 AM »
The Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency already operates the nearest thing to an independent Navy and Air Force: 3 x decent-looking (but unarmed) FPVs and 2 x Cessna 406s with radar:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Fisheries_Protection_Agency



"I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others" - Thucydides

"I've jazzed mine up a bit" - Spike Milligan

"I'm a general specialist," - Harry Purvis in Tales from the White Hart by Arthur C. Clarke

Twitter: @hws5mp
Minds.com: @HaroldWeaverSmith