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So if Scotland do go......


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Not wishing to get embroiled in the Scottish independence debate, I'll keep it to aircraft deployment.

I've been thinking about the QRA situation. I gather the Tu-95 Bears are frequently coming down past Norway and probing UK airspace. I gather Typhoons are sent up from either Conningsby or Leuchars depending on how the Bears are moving and are monitored/turned back.

If the Scots go independent, will Scotland actually have an airforce? (Could they actually run one independently?) Will London simply draw everything back to the UK. If this were the case, would the TU-95s be sightseeing up and down Loch Ness, the Scots having nothing to turn them back and the UK having no jurisdiction. Has this actually been addressed by anyone, especially in the light of heightened tensions with Russia? Just curious...

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it is political and to answer it quickly all the military items the uk currently has and will have up to the point of full indepence if it happens would have to be divided up equally .. and as a scot i havent even decided yes or no ..

thomas

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So I suppose Scotland could get enough Typhoons to maintain QRA.

I do wonder if the Russians would go on a learning curve and begin probing just to see if any force is still viable.

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Military aircraft wouldn't generally enter airspace of a foreign nation without diplomatic clearance. Not unless they want to cause an international incident.

When Bears have probed down the North Sea they have remained outside UK 'territorial' airspace. QRA aircraft shadow and don't really turn them back. Its often a case of probing to see how fast NATO react, don't forget that the Scandanavian arm of NATO will often take on shadowing before the intruders get close to the UK.

Peter

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IF.... Scotland break away that does not mean they are too small to have an Air Force, and it would be in Scotland's interest to combine security duties with the remaining parts of the UK...

russia (as we all know) are no respecter of international boundaries and are no doubt already planning ways to breech the sovereign airspace of the current UK let alone a diminished and fragmented one (post any Scottish independence).

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...and if this is kept solely as a practical appraisal of what will happen regarding defence of the realm, it'll remain open. Once the political squabbles start, we'll be voting NO to leaving it open :shrug:

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Scotland will struggle to maintain a QRA force.

The UK has about 95 typhoons in service. Scotland has about 8% of UK population so it will be entitled to 7 or 8 of them. Not even a squadron's worth. Maybe they'd buy some more? But I can't see that happening - Austria has a population 60% bigger than Scotland and yet it can barely afford to fly its 15 Typhoons at all (indeed it is rumoured the Austrians will give up having an air force at all).

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...and if this is kept solely as a practical appraisal of what will happen regarding defence of the realm, it'll remain open. Once the political squabbles start, we'll be voting NO to leaving it open :shrug:

Agreed! It's all tangled in politics by its very nature so discussing it is tricky but doable. Thing is, the country(s) will need to sort something out regarding our collective airspace.

An independent Scotland would almost certainly be fostered by NATO one way or another, so other member states would be obliged to help out if the other was threatened. Russia will almost certainly muck about and test resolve so they need to be shown firmly. If Scotland get 5 Typhoons then clearly that's not an air force. They may get a tanker or two but if the Bears come trundling in from different directions and say two the Typhoons are out of action (one unserviceable the other being serviced), the Russians will have a field day with 4 aircraft.

Independent or not, the best way to solve this number game is to have a common policy and possibly reappraise links with fellow NATO member Norway. That's up to the population and politicians and so that's where I finish on this bit.

Meanwhile, looking around our neighbours, does Iceland have an air force? Can Denmark protect the Faroe Islands from home soil?

EDIT: Can't spell....

Edited by HP42
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But surely if a foreign power decides to send military aircraft into an independent Scotland's airspace, why should that concern the rest of the UK? They wont' pose any more of a threat to the rest of the UK than they have done on those occasions that Russian Bears have flown down the N Sea as far as the Wash.... allegedly.

Peter

Edited by dambuster
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But surely if a foreign power decides to send military aircraft into an independent Scotland's airspace, why should that concern the rest of the UK? They wont' pose any more of a threat to the rest of the UK than they have done on those occasions that Russian Bears have flown down the N Sea as far as the Wash.... allegedly.

Peter

The problem is the Russians could simply torment both nations. Fly over a defenceless Scotland and turn at Carter Bar to avoid UK airspace. The RAF might not have access to intercept in Scottish airspace. Extreme scenario perhaps, but pick something similar, fly within sight of Berwick etc. It would cause friction and diplomatic rows, which is the whole point of the exercise and appears to be Ivan's current modus operandi.

A sensible and proportionate shared approach to QRA that is seen to be robust would be required. If Scotland goes, both nations will be relentlessly probed and tested to locate any weakness. The shared approach is down the politicians etc....so that's the end of the post! :-)

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Hmmm as mentioned a tricky subject that could go either way IF Jockistan went independent.

One scenario is that "UK" forces stay put and offer a form of defence funded by some form of financial paymet from Scottish government.

Another version is that Alex salmond gets a tad bulshy over seperation negotiations and upsets Westminister enough that they just tell him in political speak to go forth and multiply leaving Scotland to sort things themselves and start from scratch with their own armed forces.

Or as Mr Salmond has insisted scotland gets their "fair proportionate share of all things UK" which would say give them 10 Typhoons, which with the inevitable finacial strain that a "new" country goes through (yes i know Scotland has been around for years but i use the term new to describe the emergence of an independent nation) would be tough to fund. But once funded 10 Typhoons really isn`t enough to meet operational, training and maintenence obligations leaving the Q do they try for my first scenario or buy more jets?

Thats a simplified three options but as said before its really a hard one to call with politics and individuals emotions undoubtedly high as well.

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They would be wise to concentrate on maritime patrol a/c and armed trainers, in a similar manner to the Irish. A squadron of CN235s, a squadron of Hawk 100s and some helos.

Farm out training to the RAF and join NATO's strategic transport programme. Norway and Britain can provide air defence as part of a NATO agreement.

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The problem is the Russians could simply torment both nations.

Why would they 'torment' us? They have enough problems elsewhere and i believe that they are not perceived as a military threat to the UK at this time. Unless you know otherwise?

Peter

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"Will London simply draw everything back to the UK."

London? Back to the UK?

I think that nicely encapsulates the underlying issues!


Why would they 'torment' us? They have enough problems elsewhere and i believe that they are not perceived as a military threat to the UK at this time. Unless you know otherwise?

Peter

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russian-general-calls-for-preemptive-nuclear-strike-doctrine-against-nato/506370.html

Hmm.

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I'm no expert in the topic but I think the RAF is planning to retire the tranche1 Typhoons as they're only air defence. It'd be logical to give scotland those Typhoons but I'm not sure how many exist, I'd guess there'd be enough for a squadron.

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An Independent Scotland would be applying to join NATO I believe, I don't see NATO saying "No" as the North Atlantic gap would still need to be covered and the north of Scotland is strategically positioned to do just that.

I would expect that a new Scots state would be more in need of a maritime patrol aircraft as the RAF doesn't currently have the capability to patrol the UK coast (hence why a Russian cruiser was able to enter UK waters recently and was so close it was visible from the shore).

Duncan B

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NATO would be a wise move but the head of NATO a few months ago said no to an independent Scotland being part of NATO. I don`t know why or for what reason whether its that you have to tick certain boxes or maybe the view of getting rid of the nuc subs at Faslane didn`t please people i really couldn`t say but i found it interesting to have heard it.

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