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Baexecutive
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Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:03 am

Just wondering, if Scottish independence gets the green light, what would the new Scots Air Force look like and what other world Air Force would of be comparable to, any ideas?
 
Confuscius
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:06 am

Here's what the pilot's wings might look with Gkirk as Air Marshal.

http://www.art-reaction.com/DSC00776.JPG
Ain't I a stinker?
 
FrmrKSEngr
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:20 am

They would gather up all of the old Scottish Aviation Bulldogs and fly those.
 
11Bravo
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:48 am

Quoting baexecutive (Thread starter):
Just wondering, if Scottish independence gets the green light, what would the new Scots Air Force look like and what other world Air Force would of be comparable to, any ideas?

An independent Scotland would have a population just a bit larger than New Zealand. I would guess something like the RNZAF.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
columba
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:52 am

Quoting baexecutive (Thread starter):
Just wondering, if Scottish independence gets the green light, what would the new Scots Air Force look like and what other world Air Force would of be comparable to, any ideas?

Maybe a VIP plane for the Scottish Prime Minister just to show off to his London counterpart
Air Berlin - gone but not forgotten
 
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moo
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:19 pm

Its an interesting question, and one that requires a lot more in-depth thinking than you would initially conceive of.

Splitting assets is easy enough - an independent Scotland takes x% of the RAFs capability. Same goes for the Royal Navy.

So a Scottish Air Force would probably look very much like Austria's - a half dozen or so Eurofighters for offensive capability, with several support aircraft.

But what about personnel? This is less of an issue with the Army (but still an issue) than either the RAF or the Royal Navy - how do you split the RAFs human assets in such a way that Scotland ends up being able to use the physical assets that it received during the break up?

You can't really say "well, you there, you are now serving a different government than you signed up for" (government in this context meaning the establishment, not the component that gets voted for every 5 or so years).

The British Government is very strongly suggesting "independence is independence", so there would be little talk of a combined military falling under a cooperative purview.

So what happens? Ask for volunteers? Recruit afresh? Temporary detachments north of the border?
 
mwhcvt
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:21 pm

6 x Cessna 172  

To be totally honest if and it's a big IF right now, I'd say it would likely modelled closely on the Irish Air Core with minimal offensive capabilities it would be more a SAR Force IMO
Must think up a new one soon, slow moving brain trying to get into gear ;)
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:32 pm

Probably like the Irish Air Corps. A bunch of Cessnas for training, some Pilatus P-9s, a few maritime patrol / transport aircraft for SAR and fishery protection and some helicopters for SAR and transport. And, of course, a VIP Gulfstream for the president.
Claiming that they don't have enemies anyway and relying on Rest UK to provide fast jet supprt should somebody stray into their airspace.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
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kanban
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:57 pm

Don't forget 3-5 P-8s for shore patrol and 20 F-35's to ensure a high initial national debt.
 
GDB
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Sat Aug 16, 2014 6:52 am

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 3):
An independent Scotland would have a population just a bit larger than New Zealand. I would guess something like the RNZAF.

The SNP want, rather demand, 12-16 Typhoons, some C-130J's, some choppers.

But if the latest polls are anything like what will happen at the vote, a moot point, recently the gap between the Yes to 'independence' (same money, most UK wide institutions intact - odd independence if you ask me), has grown - even in some polls outstripping the 'don't knows'.

Last week, the UK government placed a firm order for three large patrol ships for the RN with the shipbuilders on the Clyde.
Despite the policy being no orders there - including the vital for that shipbuilders one for 13 Type 26 Frigates - until the vote and result was known.
This it is said reflects the increasing confidence that the SNP will lose.
 
bilgerat
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Sat Aug 16, 2014 8:22 am

A Scottish Air Force has to be looked at in the wider context of an independent Scotland. One of the main arguments for Scottish independence is the belief that Scotland contributes more financially to the UK than it gets back (aka "The English are stealing our money"). The last lot of figures I saw (I think it was 2012) had Scotland raising over £1bn more in taxes for the UK exchequer than the UK Government granted back to the Scottish Government for spending in Scotland. This however doesn't take into account the services and spending that Scotland has access to at a UK level - the biggest example being defence spending, but there's also other stuff like the diplomatic service, border control, issuing of passports and visas, vehicle registration and driver licensing, air traffic control, intelligence and security services and the umpteen other things that are paid for at a UK level.

One of the other main arguments for independence is that by various socio-economic measures - e.g. child poverty, drug and alcohol abuse, heart disease rates - Scotland is the worst place in western Europe. The argument is an independent Scotland can better tackle these problems. Scotland already has the highest level of public spending per capita of any region in the UK. Alex Salmond has made some grand promises with regards to public pensions, welfare, education and public healthcare. Public spending in an independent Scotland is already going to be sky high before we even consider defence, which let's be fair is pretty far down the list of priorities for most Scottish voters.

Some people have advocated a basic asset split based on Scotland's percentage of the UK population (around 8%). They think that the starting position for negotiations should be Scotland gets 8% of everything - including defence hardware. That's obviously very impractical and unworkable. GDB correctly points out the Yes Campaign published its independence white paper in which it stated the core of an independent Scottish military would be made up of one squadron of Typhoons, a number of C-130J, a number of utility helicopters, 3-4 frigates, a number of offshore patrol vessels and a mechanised infantry brigade.

I've already outlined why the financial situation in an independent Scotland is going to be pretty tight even before Alex Salmond has had to pay for all the public spending promises he's made. Exactly how Scotland will be able to fund such a military as was outlined in the independence white paper is open to some very serious question.

Perhaps the most telling thing about the Yes Campaign's defence plans is how they have totally failed to even address the personnel question. As moo points out - are there enough Scottish pilots in the RAF to form a Scottish AF? Are there enough avionics maintainers? Are there enough marine engineers in the RN to form a Scottish Navy? Enough naval warfare officers? Enough infantry officers?

Are there enough Scottish personnel in the UK Armed Forces across the huge range of jobs, roles and skills required to form an independent Scottish military? More pressingly, are enough of them prepared to transfer to an independent Scottish military? I know a guy who is a cavalry officer in the British Army and he says none of the Scots he knows are interested in joining a Scottish military because the career prospects will be very poor compared to what they have in the UK military. An independent Scotland may very well find that young men and women minded to join the military will head south to join a world class military where they actually have a pretty good chance of doing the job they have trained for (remember Alex Salmond says an independent Scotland will NOT engage in the kind of military interventions the UK has in recent years).

Finally, there's the question of support contracts, all of which an independent Scotland will have to re-negotiate and fund for itself, and training. Scotland will either have to build its own training establishments, or (far more likely) send its recruits to rUK training establishments - which of course won't be free and neither should it be.

So it's not hard to see the dream of an independent Scottish military (and indeed independence as a whole) doesn't necessarily match up very well with the reality. An independent Scotland will be very much like Ireland and have no military of any real value but will instead continue to rely on rUK to guarantee its security.
 
GDB
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:05 am

Quoting bilgerat (Reply 10):
A Scottish Air Force has to be looked at in the wider context of an independent Scotland.

Yes and there is also the question of allies.
Aussie PM Tony Abbot went further than most in his comments, however more to the point was the US response.
Obama did not intervene in the debate, as he should not, however he went as far as possible without seeming to do so in his comments. But the meaning was clear enough. The Union works. Not perfectly - but what is perfect?

But it's not even about who is President right now, so far, the only real interaction that the SNP as the government of the current devolved Scotland has had internationally, was when they released the man convicted of the PA103 bombing on the grounds that he was about to die.
Which he did not.
The reaction from the US was to put it mildly hostile, Presidents come and go but the State Department and the Pentagon are not likely to forget this saga.

Same applies to the EU, the last thing nations like Spain or France want is anything that is a spur to nationalist elements in their own countries.

On Faslane, the UK sub base that is a major employer in Scotland, do the SNP really think that they can get the Trident subs to go but keep the rest of fleet, nuclear powered though conventionally armed, to stay?
It would make no sense to split the long standing basing arrangements up.
If Trident goes, so does Faslane.
Not that Salmond and co would ever admit this.

Causing this uncertainty with strategic weapons, will not endear the SNP to NATO either - an organisation the SNP no so long ago wanted to leave but just like their previous enthusiasm for the Euro and denigration of the £ ('a millstone around Scotland's neck' according to Salmond, which he now seems not to believe), yet another issue they have u-turned on in an attempt to appear remotely credible.

It's not really enough for the SNP to lose this vote, it needs to be, hopefully may well be, by a significant margin.
(I'm liking Salmond's post debate trashing assertions that the SNP are the 'underdogs', one week the 'momentum is in our favour' all smugness and expectation, now the underdogs).
 
bilgerat
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:06 pm

At the risk of going political and OT for this forum...

Salmond plays the politics of division very well - he's tapped into latent prejudices against England and has used them as a vehicle for his own brand of demagogue politics.

The independence he's offering is nothing of the sort. It's a placebo independence that will cast adrift the Westminster parties in Scotland and leave the SNP as the only ones standing. Domination of Scottish politics for a generation is Salmond and the SNP's end game here.

The thing is the socio-economic problems Scotland faces are exactly the same as those in northern England. Breaking up the Union is not the solution. Instead the political representatives of these regions should be pushing harder for Westminster to cast its gaze further than the M25 and stop with the Londonomics. Decentralisation of power to local authorities (not national or regional parliaments, which are just another way to waste public money with yet another layer of government and politicians with their noses in the trough of public money), particularly the power to control and allocate public spending along with using more of the massive amount of wealth generated in London to help develop the north is what's needed.

The issue of Faslane, much like the split of the national debt, would become the subject of quite intensive horse-trading. There's even been the suggestion that Scotland could swap part of its share of the national debt for ceding some of the oil fields to rUK.

Speaking of oil, that's another subject that gets bandied about particularly by the Yes camp. You might remember last year Scotlands only oil refinery at Grangemouth was threatened with closure because it was operating at a loss of £10m per month. Perhaps indicative that all is not well in the (Scottish) North Sea oil industry. Does Scotland really want to be putting all its economic eggs in the North Sea oil basket? Basing your economy on a fickle and volatile commodity is perhaps not a wise thing to be doing in the medium or long term.

Then of course there's the issue of the Shetlands and Orkneys... Most people agree that under UNCLOS it would be Scotland that takes ownership of pretty much all of the UK's North Sea oil fields. It's known that the population of the Shetlands and Orkneys aren't overly enthusiastic about either the SNP or independence, and that they may start their own independence movement if Scotland breaks away from the Union. In which case the same UNCLOS that the Yes campaigners have used to make sure they get all the oil will now be saying that the oil belongs to the Shetlands and Orkneys. That's quite a can of worms you've got there.

However, this is all a moot point. It would appear that most Scots are too canny to fall for Salmond's pitch. Given the latest polls, even if all of the undecideds vote Yes, the No vote would still win.

However, looking at the various newspaper and social media outlets, this referendum has taken the lid off some very nasty sentiments both within Scotland between the Yes and No camps, and with Scotland's relationship with England. Hopefully the wounds won't be too deep and will heal over very soon after the referendum.
 
GDB
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RE: Scottish Air Force?

Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:42 pm

Quoting bilgerat (Reply 12):
The thing is the socio-economic problems Scotland faces are exactly the same as those in northern England.

Quite.
I find this 'only we suffered' pitch of the SNP offensive.
Yes it is true that Thatcher seemed to almost revel in offending much of Scotland, having them get the Poll Tax first comes to mind.
But the Scots got their revenge, by 1997 the Tories had no MP's left in Scotland, they only have one now.
In the 1950's they were a significant presence there, this was to decline but turned into a rout post the 1980's.

A Scottish airforce, assuming continued NATO membership, would be a token force that would not meet the actual needs of Scotland.
Why bother with Typhoons, what about maritime patrol aircraft and SAR choppers, more useful for those oilfields the SNP is so reliant on.
Same applies to C-130's, if the SNP pitch is 'no more Scottish involvement in UK military campaigns', what would they be for?

Some would mention QAR in the Air Defence / policing role.
That would be better covered and cheaper if the RAF retained the Typhoons and just based them in another NATO member nation - Scotland.

The actual SNP plans for Scottish defence are about as well thought out as the rest of their pitch.

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