In 1965 a callow youth left a grey Britain on a 24hrs-with-stops adventure “across the British Empire” aboard a Bristol Britannia turboprop airliner that cruised at a stately 357 miles per hour.
In those days propeller powered airliners provided [relatively] spacious [and quaintly named] Gentlemen’s Dressing Rooms and Ladies’ Powder Rooms.
The Bristol Type 175 Britannia was a British medium-to-long-range airliner built by the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1952 to fly across the British Empire.
The Model 102 began scheduled service on 1 February 1957 with a BOAC flight from London to Johannesburg, flights to Sydney following in March and to Tokyo in July.
Britannia Airways was the largest charter airline in the United Kingdom.
The name Britannia Airways was adopted on 16 August 1964 to coincide with re-equipping with the Bristol Britannia turboprop airliner.
The last Britannia 102 was withdrawn from service in December 1970, and the airline became an all-jet operator.
They were also the days of refuelling stops where passengers would disembarked to stretch their legs in exotic locations that seemed a million miles away from a drab and dreary Britain.
Royal Air Force Station Gan commonly known as RAF Gan, is a former Royal Air Force station on Gan Island, the southern-most island of Addu Atoll which is part of the larger groups of islands which form the Maldives, in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The airfield is now Gan International Airport.
Needless to say these were the fag end days of the British Empire when the “wind of change” was transforming “territories” into independent nations.
Macmillan gave a speech in Cape Town, South Africa in February 1960 where he spoke of “the wind of change blowing through this continent“.
To the three colonies that had been granted independence in the 1950s – Sudan, the Gold Coast and Malaya – were added nearly ten times that number during the 1960s.
Paya Lebar Air Base (IATA: QPG, ICAO: WSAP) is a military airbase of the Republic of Singapore Air Force located at Paya Lebar, in the central-eastern part of Singapore, the airbase goes by the motto of “Strength Through Readiness”.
Originally built in 1954 as Singapore International Airport to replace Kallang Airport, control of the airport was transferred to RSAF in 1980 when it was renamed Paya Lebar Air Base, following the relocation of the civilian airport to Changi.
When I returned to the United Kingdom in 1966 the British Empire soon became a distant memory.
The 1966 FIFA World Cup Final was the final match in the 1966 FIFA World Cup, the eighth football World Cup and one of the most controversial finals ever.
The match was played by England and West Germany on 30 July 1966 at Wembley Stadium in London, and had an attendance of 96,924.
The England Winners stamp was a fourpenny commemorative stamp issued in 1966 to mark England’s victory in the 1966 World Cup.
By 1981 the process of decolonisation was “largely complete”.
In 1980, Southern Rhodesia, Britain’s last African colony, became the independent nation of Zimbabwe.
The New Hebrides achieved independence (as Vanuatu) in 1980, with Belize following suit in 1981.
The passage of the British Nationality Act 1981, which reclassified the remaining Crown colonies as “British Dependent Territories” (renamed British Overseas Territories in 2002) meant that, aside from a scattering of islands and outposts, the process of decolonisation that had begun after the Second World War was largely complete.
And 1997 marked the “end of Empire” when Hong Kong was returned to China.
On 1 July 1997 Hong Kong was handed over to the People’s Republic of China by the United Kingdom.
The handover ceremony in 1997 marked for many, including Charles, Prince of Wales, who was in attendance, “the end of Empire“.
But in an ironic twist of fate the Empire of Chaos rose to power in 1997 with Tarnished Tony at the helm.
The Empire of Chaos began interfering in British Politics after the Second World War and eventually took power in 1997 after the untimely death of John Smith.
And within two years the Empire of Chaos was bombing Yugoslavia “without the approval of the UN Security Council”.
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s (NATO) military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) during the Kosovo War. The air strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999.
The bombing killed between 489 and 528 civilians, and destroyed bridges, industrial plants, public buildings, private businesses, as well as barracks and military installations.
It was the first time that NATO had used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council.
It’s been down hill ever since with the Empire of Chaos creating [mostly] failed states.
Since the end of the Cold War, an increasingly international role for the armed forces has been pursued, with re-structuring to deliver a greater focus on expeditionary warfare and power projection.
This entailed the armed forces often constituting a major component in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions under the auspices of the United Nations, NATO, and other multinational operations, including: peacekeeping responsibilities in the Balkans and Cyprus, the 2000 intervention in Sierra Leone and participation in the UN-mandated no-fly zone over Libya (2011).
Post-September 11, the armed forces have been heavily committed to the War on Terror (2001–present), with lengthy campaigns in Afghanistan (2001–2014) and Iraq (2003–2009), and more recently as part of the Military intervention against ISIL (2014–present).
Britain’s military intervention against Islamic State was expanded following a parliamentary vote to launch a bombing campaign over Syria; an extension of the bombing campaign requested by the Iraqi government against the same group.
In addition to the aerial campaign, the British Army has trained and supplied allies on the ground and the Special Air Service (British special forces) has carried out various missions on the ground in both Syria and Iraq.
Currently, the UK Government admits to spending about £43,000,000,0000 per annum on “defence” although it’s likely that [something like] half as much again is being spent on covert operations, subversion, intelligence gathering and propaganda for the Empire of Chaos.
The UK Government also admits it’s committed to some very major “defence” investment projects whilst simultaneously implementing “austerity” aimed at reducing the welfare state.
MoD cost estimates for major projects are contested but some figures put the F-35 program at £1.5 trillion, while the tab for replacing the Trident nuclear submarine fleet is estimated at £205 billion and the forthcoming Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers are expected to cost up to £9 billion.
Britain May Not Be Able To Fight A War Because Weapons Are Too Expensive
RT.com – 26 Apr 2017
The United Kingdom government austerity programme is a fiscal policy undertaken in response to the Great Recession.
It is a deficit reduction programme consisting of sustained reductions in public spending, intended to reduce the government budget deficit and the welfare state in the United Kingdom.
Clearly, there is no “peace dividend” for the United Kingdom following the “end of the Cold War” in 1991 and the “end of Empire” in 1997.
Peace dividend is a political slogan popularized by US President George H.W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the early 1990s, purporting to describe the economic benefit of a decrease in defense spending.
It is used primarily in discussions relating to the guns versus butter theory.
The term was frequently used at the end of the Cold War, when many Western nations significantly cut military spending (such as Britain’s Options for Change defence review).
The USSR was declared officially dissolved on 26 December 1991.
However, it appears the British Armed Forces are in a state of total disarray because the BREXIT vote [implies] that the [quietly and] drastically restructured British Armed Forces will not now be integrated into the Synchronised Armed Forces Europe.
We have discussed this decision with the French Government and with the United States.
The French confirm that they are satisfied with our commitment to jointly planned carrier operations to enhance European-NATO capability.
The United States, on whose support we would rely in regenerating either type of carrier capability, has been highly supportive throughout the review and I would like to record my personal thanks to the Secretary of Defence, the Pentagon, the navy and the marine corps for their high level of engagement with us.
House of Commons – 10 May 2012
Synchronised Armed Forces Europe (SAFE) is a concept for an ever closer synchronisation of the European forces under the Common Security and Defence Policy.
On 20 Feb 2009 the European Parliament voted yes to create “SAFE” (Synchronised Armed Forces Europe) as a first step towards a true European military force. SAFE will be directed by an EU directorate, with its own training standards and operational doctrine.
There are also plans to create an EU “Council of Defence Ministers” and “a European statute for soldiers within the framework of Safe governing training standards, operational doctrine and freedom of operational action”.
We’ve been pointing out gross inadequacies in defence… this is talking about the criminal government regime we’ve got which is procuring defence…
What he is admitting is, of course, that under David Cameron carrier knowledge, ability, know-how, expertise utterly destroyed and of course the carriers we had, perfectly operational with perfectly operational Harrier aircraft, were simply sent to the scrapyard, ships to the scrapyard, aircraft sold off on the cheap. The whole capability destroyed and here we are now, as he says, having to recreate it…
The truth of the matter, at the moment, is that we don’t have the maritime patrol aircraft, we don’t have the frigates, we don’t have the air defence capability and we don’t have the nuclear submarine capability to protect those aircraft carriers…
We don’t have a carrier group unless we’re involved with the Americans and other partners.
Now we’re down to: we may be able to put one carrier battle group together.
We may be and of course the reality is we can’t. We’re not going to be able to.
The Navy numbers were reduced in order to lock us into the European plan for military unification and BREXIT has thrown the door open on this because, of course, the lies are now being exposed.
So now the United Kingdom is the proud owner of an aircraft carrier without aircraft.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the lead ship of the Queen Elizabeth-class of aircraft carrier, the largest warship ever built for the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and capable of carrying up to forty aircraft.
She was named by Queen Elizabeth II on 4 July 2014, and began sea trials on 26 June 2017.
Flight trials with the F-35B are planned towards the end of 2018.
A “full operational capability” will be declared in 2020.
Eventually, it should acquire some very expensive and “plagued with design flaws” F-35Bs.
Although each carrier can hold 36 F-35B stealth jets and four helicopters, there are concerns the defence budget won’t allow the Navy to put a full complement of fighters on board.
To meet the shortfall, the Royal Navy will allow the US Marines to fly their own F-35Bs from the carriers, though the number is still under discussion.
HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier sets sail for sea trials
The Independent – Samuel Osborne – 26 June 2017
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters.
The program is the most expensive military weapons system in history, and has been much criticized inside and outside government, in the U.S. and in allied countries.
Critics argue that the plane is “plagued with design flaws“, with many blaming the procurement process in which Lockheed was allowed “to design, test, and produce the F-35 all at the same time, instead of… [identifying and fixing] defects before firing up its production line”.
By 2014, the program was “$163 billion over budget [and] seven years behind schedule”.
At which point Britain will be the proud owner of an “easy naval target” and some very big bills.
What is the point of HMS Queen Elizabeth and her sister – what is the vision?
The former first sea lord Baron West of Spithead said in 2004 they were “crucial for expeditionary warfare”.
The present defence secretary, Michael Fallon, says they will enable the UK “to tackle multiple and changing threats across the globe”.
This week a spokesman for the Russian defence ministry, reacting to some boastful remark by Fallon, said that the HMS Queen Elizabeth amounted to “nothing more than a huge, easy naval target”.
Britain’s New Aircraft Carrier May Be A Vast Folly — But It Still Provokes Awe
The Guardian – Ian Jack – 30 June 2017
Critics have also claimed the carriers are too vulnerable to new high-speed missiles, such as the Russian Zircon missile.
HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier sets sail for sea trials
The Independent – Samuel Osborne – 26 June 2017
Zircon or 3M22 Tsirkon is a maneuvering hypersonic missile being developed by the Russian military.
Its last successful launch was on June 3, 2017, almost a year earlier than had been announced by Russian officials.
The missile can travel at speeds of Mach 5–Mach 6 (3,806–4,567 mph; 6,125–7,350 km/h; 1.7015–2.0417 km/s). S
Such high speeds have led to concerns that it could penetrate existing naval defense systems; the Royal Navy’s Sea Ceptor surface-to-air missile is only capable of intercepting targets flying up to Mach 3.
In April 2017, it was revealed that the Zircon had reached a speed of Mach 8 (6,090 mph; 9,800 km/h; 2.7223 km/s) during a test.
Just another everyday clusterfuck narrative from the Empire of Chaos.