Monday, 20 September 2021
Up-to-the-minute perspectives on defence, security and peace
issues from and for policy makers and opinion leaders.

     |      View our Twitter page at     |     


Recently, an unremarked but remarkable answer was given to a UK Parliamentary question about aircraft carriers. After the multi-site celebration of progress of the JV and the carriers last week, no action is likely. But there is certainly an underlying reality to ponder on.

That reality is the oil price used when the decision was made on propulsion - $19 a barrel....

Now it maybe either the grey matter isn't what it was, or incipient laziness which ruled out an Internet search, but this correspondent is hard put to remember how long ago it was that oil was at such levels. Apart from wondering if the original analysis was ever revisited during the extensive competition and design phases (if not, why not? Who's afraid of nukes in the Navy?), the big thought is what else?

What other programmes have been analysed and through-life costs estimated based on hopelessly unrealistic future energy cost forecasts? What is the impact on running costs which come out of the fixed "pie"? How much live training will have to be foregone in order to try to balance the books? And so how much will this affect combat readiness?

Some commentators in the USA have already started to think about how such mundane matters as energy consumption in the military (The UK Defence Forum for instance has recently published an abridged version of a series of editorials by the President of the National Defense Industries Association, Laurence P Farrell Jnr [GR173 Energy security and the U S Military] ). An enquiring MP might care to follow up these thoughts with the UK Ministry of Defence.....

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Defence Viewpoints website. However, if you would like to, you can modify your browser so that it notifies you when cookies are sent to it or you can refuse cookies altogether. You can also delete cookies that have already been set. You may wish to visit which contains comprehensive information on how to do this on a wide variety of desktop browsers. Please note that you will lose some features and functionality on this website if you choose to disable cookies. For example, you may not be able to link into our Twitter feed, which gives up to the minute perspectives on defence and security matters.