Carrier Enabled Power Projection: Delivering for Britain or Papering over the Cracks? Exerting Influence in an Age of Austerity
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT FORCES STAFF COLLEGE
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At the end of the decade the UK will realize a new carrier strike capability with the arrival into service of the first of two Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers and the Joint Strike Fighter, the F35B. As the largest ships ever built in Britain for the Royal Navy, the future carriers are at the heart of the British Governments aspirations for power projection and to exert influence strategically, while tackling threats at distance and upstream. Delivered through a concept known as Carrier Enabled Power Projection CEPP, the UK seeks to put the future carriers at the heart of a comprehensive air, sea, and land capability to meet the national aims. But, in a severely resource constrained environment, is too much emphasis being placed on the carriers to the detriment of the other capabilities that come together to make CEPP Are the carriers being seen as a panacea for Defences contribution to UK influence CEPP, and specifically the future carriers, will never realize their full potential if the UK lacks the ability to effectively deliver ground forces and transition to land operations. The escalatory utility of carrier strike within the CEPP concept is lost if the threat of force to win the clash of wills on the land lacks credibility. The UK must ensure sufficient investment is made in the amphibious navy and not rely solely on the carrier to be able to deliver all the elements of the CEPP concept sub-optimally rather than its specialist role well. Done correctly, the CEPP concept will deliver for Britain, offer a just return on the investment, and be a true statement of British power and influence.
- Government and Political Science
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