Gunboat Diplomacy 1919–1979: Political Applications of Limited Naval Force

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The Future of Naval Conflict and Lessons From History

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Can I borrow this item? Due to this, a specific type of vessel has not so much appeared as navies have always fulfilled the role with other vessels as evolved as the areas required to be patrolled have expanded. That however is long past the point of debate, what is not though is the role that these vessels fulfil for the nations which operate them.

These factors are of course dictated primarily by their projected mission profile.


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However, whether or not the nations possess vessels other than the OPVs, for example as in the case of Australia, Britain, France and Japan with frigates and destroyers; their OPVs do not need to be as well armed as nations for which OPVs constitute the primary surface vessel type. Furthermore, there can also be factors of internal or inter-governmental politics which can have an impact as to how a ship is designed — for example depending upon whether the vessels are domestically constructed, equivalent of the foreign ministry might well have influence as to where they are constructed.

Beyond these factors are can also be things like tradition possibly better termed habit. These are all things which factor into a design, many are not entirely relevant to the question as they have no direct bearing on what OPVs do. There is though, an impact on design which must be discussed, for both its negative, as well as positive impacts — and that is the matrix planning system. Terrorist outrage — may be multiple, internal or external in origin. Piracy, hijack, kidnap and ransom — may be multiple. Terrorist threat from abroad — may be multiple, currently from fundamentalist tinder points of Islamist extremism and their fault-lines with the UK.

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Imperative to contribute to international peace-keeping or stabilisation. Serious interference with shipping. Serious interference with airways. Imperative to help defend an ally under attack by a third party. Major airborne attack on UK from sea or another land-mass. Serious threat of nuclear attack on UK by another nation.

Credible threat of invasion of UK.

Gunboat Diplomacy 1919-1979: Political Applications of Limited Naval Force

Everything looks so neat and ordered in matrix, the world is nicely divided up and in many ways it as excellent representation of what is needed for what missions — unfortunately there is a problem with it. The world itself is not so neatly divided up. There is no way of factoring what a government wants to be able to do in comparison to how much it is willing to pay. Why is this a specific problem for OPVs? However, while an event might only be predicted to happen just once in a hundred years, will it happen in year 19 or year 99 of that year span?

What was the likelihood that the next World War would take place a little over two decades after the first? The reality is though with procurement cycles taking twenty plus years before equipment enters service this can have a big impact, as something as complex as a warship cannot be procured overnight.

This is an impact most visible when considering vessels at the opposite end of the spectrum of naval warships. In , when the British government again decided that an aircraft carrier capability gap was necessary without taking the precaution of arranging cover ; who would have predicted the Arab Spring, Syria, the rise of the Islamic State, the Ebola Crisis, and Russia acting up?

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These though are concepts which are readily understood, the concept and role of an OPV is less understood, because unlike the police officer walking his patrol, or the security guard at the entrance, people see them every day — they are the familiar shapes, a recurring presence, that makes many feel safer. Unfortunately for OPVs much of their work is not only beyond visual range, it is so far over the horizon that many lack any comprehension of what they do; a situation compounded by the fact that much of what they do is definitely not eye-catching or dramatic enough for modern revenue driven news media to pick up and put on television, the news-stands or online.

When discussing the bounty of the sea, the first thing which will occur to most people is fish, and fishery protection, i. This is therefore a mission which requires an OPV to maintain very good situational awareness of its patrol area, and the ocean beyond that.

To do so it will probably need to be able to receive and process large volumes of data from external sources, i. Finally of course when they do find vessels which are contravening the rules, or look suspicious they need to be able to deploy and support ship search teams in order to examine that vessel more forensically than is possible by radar.

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That this might induce repercussions and copycat actions in other parts of the world, is something that nations can only discount at their own peril. Design Requirements of Fishery Protection Items not previously mentioned in bold type. Fish though are not the only bounty of the sea, oil, gas, as well as many other minerals and ores are all to be located and extracted from it[13].

storage2.sibro.xyz/qekew-maduritas-mil-anuncios.php With the modern understanding of the environmental impact of such activities, and combined with their sometimes great distances from land mean that for governments the mission of oversight is both very important and very complex. OPVs and other naval vessels will often be a principle methodology of government in keeping over watch over these activities. There has also been in recent years, growing examples of nations using Rigs, as well as fishing fleets, to try to expand or strengthen their claims to watery territory. The fact is once rigs are in place they are very difficult to remove without damaging that which a nation would wish to preserve or causing an all-out conflict; therefore the best method of dealing with these threats is by prevention — which requires presence.

Put another way, if possession is nine-tenths of the law[16], and it is possessing the sea that a nation can draw sustenance from the sea, the presence is how a nation shows and maintains that possession. Design Requirements of Resource Protection Items not previously mentioned in bold type. Trade protection is a mission set which is both larger than Fishery Protection and Resource Protection, but at the same time more narrow. Furthermore, unlike the previous two mission sets there are just as definite advantages to using larger ships than OPVs for some operations, as there are definite advantages to using OPVs for them[19].

Before examining the capabilities required though it is probably best to define three of the missions, as whilst piracy and its resulting counter-piracy missions regularly make the press, counter-interdiction and Freedom of the Seas missions are not so frequent. Interdiction and Freedom of the Seas could be confused as the same mission, as both involve disruptions through trade — however, whilst Interdiction refers to undue checks being imposed or a targeted mission by a nation on a specific merchant vessel i. Due to these differences though the level of justifiable response or proportional response[20] and international response can be very different as after all a Freedom of the Seas situation would most like generate a multi-national task force response and therefore require different things from the nation, so obviously require different things from its ships.

In the end for such operations it might well be in the future, depending upon the threat level judged sensible to have the OPV do the actual Freedom of the Seas demonstration or Counter-Interdiction while a larger vessel probably a destroyer as that would be most suitable due to its area air defence capability stands off to provide support.

This though is not the only role for which there are advantages on both sides. Counter-interdiction is arguably the most complicated mission, and one which has been a far more frequent occurrence than Freedom of the Seas. In the case of each of these nations, the policy has been weighed up and found to be advantageous — the problem though for other nations is how to prevent interdiction. Just as counter-interdiction is a role for OPVs, so is interdiction itself; primarily from the perspective of counter smuggling operations — the smaller size of an OPV in relation to other naval ships allowing it to get closer to shore to support its boats if a smuggling vessel tries to make a dash for it through shallow water.

These though are principally or worst case scenario in terms of interdiction state-on-state issues, the other two pillars, navigation and counter-piracy, are of course non-state in origin. Figure 3 HMS Clyde on patrol in the South Atlantic[xxviii], often her and her crew are the only British presence for hundreds, if not thousands of miles; this is not an unusual situation for an OPV to find itself in and therefore has to be a principle consideration in their design.

Navigation, could seem a strange addition in the age of satellites capable of providing accurate measurements of a ships position down to the nearest meter anywhere on the globe. Unfortunately, not all ships have that technology; although such a state is becoming increasingly rare.

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This might seem strange but in the oceanic choke points like the English Channel, Straits of Gibraltar, Strait of Malacca and Strait of Hormuz, there are so many ships that that the effect of leaving their lane would be much the same as a car driving the wrong way on a busy road — mayhem. Whether it is down to inaccurate navigation equipment, engine malfunction, steering difficulties or human factors, much the same as with cars on the road, the authorities have to resolve the issue.

This mission is exacting on a ship, it requires it to be powerful and strong so it can act as a tug if necessary, it needs to be able to operate in all weathers and sea states and its needs to be reliable so will need to have perhaps even more redundancy built into it that normal ships. Whether on the East or West Coasts of Africa, the Singapore Straits or further up into the Straits of Malacca or in the Caribbean[29] piracy impacts on not just the way ships are operated, but costs of shipping insurance is increased, some shipping lines are turning to armed guards others using naval architecture — and all these costs will inevitably be passed on to consumers.

The role of OPVs in this is course obvious, they are not about tackling the causes of piracy whether that is economic weakness, greed or politics , but about providing a cost effective presence to deter potential pirates by raising the potential cost for them. Furthermore, OPVs are due to their more limited equipment, considerably less expensive to acquire, so for those nations which wish to not rely upon other nations to provide counter-piracy cover in their waters, they represent a more viable option than even perhaps a more war orientated small vessel such as a corvette.

Design Requirements of Trade Protection Items not previously mentioned in bold type. Border patrol, just as with land borders and air space, a nation has to patrol its maritime borders; such an action is enshrined in Fishery and Resource protection roles, but in reality is its own set of missions. Figure 5 Chinese Type Corvettes,[38] the Chinese answer to the problems of maritime border patrol, well-armed, produced in large numbers and soon to feature ASW versions. Design Requirements of Border Patrol Items not previously mentioned in bold type.

Presence is about demonstrating a visible and most importantly ongoing commitment to a region, with the aim of promoting stability and protecting national interests. This is a mission which all naval ships are required to carry out, because by the nature of the presence mission, quantity becomes a quality of its own[40].

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