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Britain Sending Air Defense Ship to Falklands

by John Reed on January 31, 2012

Well then. An already turbulent 2012 is getting even weirder ina geopolitical sense. Britain just announced that it is sending one of its most sophisticated warships, HMS Dauntless, to the Falkland Islands in March.

Not only is the pride of the Royal Navy on its way south, the Type 45 destroyer (rumor has it the 8,000-ton Type 45s have the radar signature of a fishing trawler) can demolish any gaucho pilots who dare disrupt tea time, reports the UK’s Telegraph newspaper:

Dauntless will set sail for the Falkland Islands in the coming weeks armed with a battery of missiles that could “take out all of South America’s fighter aircraft let alone Argentina’s,” according to one Navy source.

The Type 45 destroyer is the most advanced anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world equipped with 48 Sea Viper missiles and the Sampson radar, which is more advanced than Heathrow air traffic control

The ship is in a league of its own in air defence able to track dozens of multiple targets

“It can shoot down Argentine fighters as soon as they take off from they bases,” said another Navy source. “This will give Buenos Aires serious pause for thought.”

Well then.

This comes after Argentina banned any Falklands registered ships from docking in its ports. In response, the Brits decided to send the Argentine government a message:

Admiral Lord West, the former First Sea Lord and Falklands veteran, said the Type 45 has an “amazing anti-air warfare capability.”

He also sent a warning to the Buenos Aires government. “Should there be any foolish nonsense from Argentina, Dauntless can sit just off the airfield and take down any aircraft coming in. It’s a game-changing capability.”

Hopefully, the Royal Navy can afford to send Dauntless on patrol with enough weapons to actually defend herself.

I’ve got to admit I haven’t been paying a ton of attention to the Falklands recently in light of events in Afghanistan, Iran, the European economic mess, etc. But hey, it looks like Britain and Argentina want to get all upset again over some sheep ranching territory. Right. Moving on.

Yes, I know there might be oil nearby.

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

blight January 31, 2012 at 10:51 am

Comical.

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Copper January 31, 2012 at 10:56 am

I'm beginning to think the UK should let America pick their fights for them.

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dimeck January 31, 2012 at 11:06 am

Margret Thatcher naked on a cold day! History does repeat itself.

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tiger January 31, 2012 at 6:51 pm

Lady Thatcher is not exactly Playboy material…..

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EJ257 January 31, 2012 at 11:10 am

Interesting Argentina should pick now to start something with GB. Now that the Royal Navy is without a deployable aircraft carrier. Do they think they have a chance this time around?

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nraddin January 31, 2012 at 11:08 am

No. I think we all went over this a few weeks back. The British are in a better over all military position in the Falklands now than they where then (Even more now with a picket ship on station). The only thing Argentina had going for it last time was better air cover because they could fly from the mainland. Today they loose that advantage to surface ships and the air wing already stationed on the islands. Unless Argentina is stupid they are just saber rattling.

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EJ257 January 31, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Oops, I must have missed that episode :D

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Fluoro Ninja February 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Same reason as last time – political problems at home.

'Ooh look at the Malvinas! What corruption/economic problems…?'

Flag waving nationalism works as well in Argentina as it does in any other country in the world.

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morty January 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

The Argentinians also have out dated aircraft, by the time this hppens the brits might have some f-35's

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dimeck January 31, 2012 at 11:39 am

So you predict a conflict in 2022? You're probably right.

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Mike January 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Brits won't have any 35's for several years, surely not next month.

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chris January 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm

We allready have one!! some very nice chaps in Wilts are playing with it.

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Tom January 31, 2012 at 11:50 am

Who knew the Telegraph could be such a government mouthpiece!

"Most advance anti-aircraft and anti-ballistic ship in the world" … I seriously doubt it's better than the latest Aegis, if for no other reason than the Aegis has had so much more development and testing time, not because the EU can't develop something good.

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BIWmeister January 31, 2012 at 11:28 am

Type 45 is very sophisticated and shares many engineering systems with the upcoming US DDX destroyer. One Type 45 has the same capability as 5 older type 42s. Should be a wake up call for Argentina that the Brits are serious about staying in the Falklands.

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BigRick January 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Hey BiW, think about this for a minute

The type45 can only hold 48 missiles (48 cells), either Aster 15 or Aster 30, after the 4.5 in. gun and couple of (self defense) Phalanx mounts, she has no offensive weapons. So if a Argentine ship came her way all she could do is fire the 4.5 in gun

For an 8,000 ton ship she is lightly armed and one dimensional

The Arleigh Burke destroyers have 96 cells, the actual load out may be much higher then 96 since ESSM is quad packed, 4 to a cell.

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blight January 31, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Which has been the caveat of any unit. It's tempting to pack a VLS full of anti-ship or anti-air missiles, but it makes said vessel fairly defenseless if operating alone.

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SJE January 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe this ship has little to fear from the Argentine Navy. There is almost certainly a British sub near by, and there are Brit fighters on the islands, and so I cannot see much risk.

Chuck February 1, 2012 at 12:46 pm

The Type 45 will have 8 Harpoon missiles, but this would only really provide an anti-ship capability, as if they were used for land attack (which would be a very limited attack to say the least) they would then be defenseless to a surface ship except for their gun.

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Chuck February 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Agreed, while there are probably several features the Type 45 ships have that are excellent for anti-air/ABM warfare, the latest Burke's far out shine them. TLAMs alone would allow the Burke to smash most Argentine aircraft even before they take off. The Burke's also carry 96 missiles, while the Type 45 can only carry 48. Finally, the SM-2 missiles have a range of 90 miles while the Aster 32 has a range of only 65 miles. Of course, the Aster missiles shorter range would mean that it is less capable against ballistic missiles, and has not demonstrated the ability to knock down a realist ballistic missile target that I am aware of. While I can't compare the radars on the two ships, it is hard to imagine the Sampson being significantly better than the latest Aegis variants.

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brain0 June 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm

btw the brits have their own missiles systems that even outclass our aegis system, look up the specs uk is like a world leader in that sort of weaponry. who would have thought…

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Rob January 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm

This is just a routine deployment, as far as I’m aware we’ve had either a frigate or destroyer in the South Atlantic at all times since the Falklands War. It was just a matter of time until a T45 got posted there.

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dimeck January 31, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Akin to the "routine" deployment of a Nimitz carrier to the Persian Gulf near Hormuz. Argentina has been sent the same message as Iran.

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dimeck January 31, 2012 at 12:10 pm

I mean a third Nimitz carrier.

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Ross January 31, 2012 at 12:20 pm

little dig at the falklands there man. what happened to the sheep rancher's rights? they are british, wish to remain so. they fall under british sovereignty and as such the british government are obliged to protect them, regardless of what lies under their feet.

Argentina's posturing is easy to predict; usually comes to the fore during elections.

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Mike January 31, 2012 at 1:04 pm

What do you want to bet that our communist president (who hates everything colonial e.g…… Dreams from my Father) would side with the Argentinians over Britian?

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kim January 31, 2012 at 3:06 pm

Communist president? Didn't know any North Koreans followed this blog….

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hoowah January 31, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Ah.. another stupid Retardlikkan commenter.

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Powers January 31, 2012 at 3:36 pm

hooway sounds like and odumbo nutsucker…

Mark January 31, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Obamunism: Comunism you can be proud of!

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the britist bird February 6, 2012 at 9:04 pm

you are so right mate.heck with those buggers.

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Lightbringer January 31, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Speaking as a Brit, I do think that a lot of this sabre rattling on both sides is unnecessary. One suspects that both UK and Argentinian Governments are playing to the dumber parts of their respective galleries with this nonsense…

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Ian January 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Speak for yourself, as another Brit I say this is a clever move. Our mistake last time was to withdraw forces thereby suggesting an invasion would not be met by counter-force. By sending an unambiguous message we make our position clear this time so we don't have to deal with the consequences.

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MEK January 31, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I think the Brits have 4 Eurofighters Typhoons stationed at the Falklands permanently (and I assume more could get there fast). I think those 4 planes could take out the entire AAF unless AAF has some new planes I have not heard of.

But funny that they choose now where Britain is without a carrier fleet just like they did before the Falklands war (yes they quickly converted some helicopter carriers to use sea Harriers).
But maybe one of the existing carriers that have no planes could borrow the test F-35B's that have been built. What a PR boost that would be if the F-35B's could be fly around the Falklands :-)

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Mike January 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm

More likely a lend/lease of Harriers that we just bought from them.

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Nessuno January 31, 2012 at 2:31 pm

4 Typhoons….

And reality is that you’d be lucky if 3 are in flying condition at any given time, while surely a max of 2 are on any sort of alert status.

And so without the naval air cover, Argentina need only believe they can launch an attack on the airfield before those 2 get off the ground or get in position to defend themselves. There’s a pretty decent chance they could do that, or at least convince themselves that they could do that.

In other words, 4 typhoons is not nearly the deterrent you think it is. This new ship, thankfully, makes war much much less likely.

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LEP1 January 31, 2012 at 5:57 pm

The Royal Navy possessed aircraft carriers equipped with RN Fleet Air Arm Sea Harriers BEFORE the 1982 Falklands War even started. These Sea Harriers had exercised in vectoring-in-flight air combat maneuvers with French Armee de l' Air Mirage III/5s fighter aircraft prior to their deployment in the Falklands. Despite the bravery of the Argentinian Fuerza Aerea pilots, the Argentinian Dassault Mirage IIIs and Neshers (Israeli version of the Mirage III) were clearly outclassed in close air combat against the RN Sea Harriers and their pilots.

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elizzar February 1, 2012 at 8:07 am

there was also a couple of factors in the harriers favour (not to try to take anything away, they were heavily outnumbered and fighting for their lives and country in a very real sense). the argentinian aircraft were at the limits of their fuel endurance so were limited in their on-station / dog-fighting time, and the harriers were freshly equipped with the brand new sidewinder missile (AIM-9L?), which by all accounts worked very well. of the three services, supposedly the argentinian airforce was the most dangerous, professional and brave that the british faced, with the navy the worse – even though an admiral had launched the invasion …

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Nicky January 31, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I don't think the Argentina has the capability to take the Falklands because their military is still using the old 1980's stuff. At the same time they don't want to risk losing their Major Non-NATO ally status as well. Which would piss off the United states and even larger Nato community as well. I think Argentina should just do what Canada did for Saint Pierre and Miquelon that the French own and offer a truce.

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Jarman January 31, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I was very happy when I went home at Christmas because from my parent house at the north end of Portsmouth Harbour I could see five T45s sat in the water along side. Yes 3 or 4 of those are still being fitted out, but at £1bn a piece it's nice to see at last that we're getting ships that are world class. Now we just need more ships full stop

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JSIII January 31, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Even if it was as good as an AEGIS ship, I wouldn't be sending one alone anywhere. I hope they at least send a sub along with it. Maybe they should base some Typhoons in the falklands too so this ship is a little better than a sitting duck.

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tiger January 31, 2012 at 3:03 pm

They have a flight of Typhoons on the islands. A type 23 Frigate HMS Monrose is currently on South Atlantic patrol; Plus A ice patrol ship in Antarticia. The Army has about 1,200 troops on the ground.

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JSIII January 31, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Not so much worried about an invasion, I wouldn't put it past the Argentines to lob a few anti ship missiles her way though. Really a few well placed air to surface missiles could knock the runways for the Typhoons out for a while, then you swarm the destroyer. Or you just try to sneak some subs up on the destroyer, though with subs probably in the area that is probably a suicide mission.

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Ben February 1, 2012 at 4:22 am

Unlike AEGIS , Duntless is designed for swam attacks, reputidly being able to engade and destroy 6-10 supersonic targest every 45 seconds. It has no need to "illuminate" targets once the missle is fire. A deficiency in the AEGIS system in my opinion.

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TonyC January 31, 2012 at 2:27 pm

The submarines will be close by, just in case this destroyer needs some backup.
The movie Iron Lady comes out and now the Falklands are back in the headlines.
Maybe the UK thinks Argentina needs a reminder, the oil fields off the Falklands are worth fighting for.

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tiger January 31, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I think it is notworthy the UK is sending HMS Dauntless just in time for Prince William's 6-8 week tour in the Falklands. Perhaps the extra firepower is for him?

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kim January 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Somehow I always liked the Falklands conflict: No communism, no doctrine, no terrorism involved – just a good old war over a piece of land. They wanted it, we wanted it. And we got it.

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crackedlenses January 31, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Strips war down to it's most basic and primitive form; after all, war never changes…..

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mpower6428 January 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm

its aint about sheep. its about oil and natural gas. SUPRISE SUPRISE.

they aint gonna do nothing, neither side.

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SJE January 31, 2012 at 8:19 pm

And Squid. There are huge fisheries there.

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StJohnTheSlackest January 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm

I doubt Admiral Lord West used the term 'foolish nonsense' in 1982 – the Argies sunk his ship and killed 22 of his crew. I hope that if it kicks off again the missiles on Dauntless work better than the Sea Cats did on Ardent.

I wonder whether she has a sub escorting her as without any Harpoons installed, and with the Typhoons having no ASuW capability, she would be vulnerable to enemy shps.

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elizzar February 1, 2012 at 8:10 am

i kind of know what you mean stjohn, but doesn't the helicopter on board provide basic asw capability, plus anti-ship with sea skua missiles etc? saying that the type 45 should have the extra money spent and mount both harpoon and tomahawk missiles (it was built with suitable space for both systems if we ever find the cash in future!), and organic asw of some form (i think it has the defensive decoy system).

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blight January 31, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Prince William is going down to the Falklands around this time. It might be why they are diverting an additional ship that way?
http://www.webcitation.org/648aDsPBp http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/prince

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John Moore January 31, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Screw u all for being so disrespectful to your most loyal ally how quickly you show your true colors.

I say good on the UK, Argentina wants to make another show of it try it.

And this time the USA should back there ally like the UK did for them in Iraq and afgan.

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Tim January 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Iraq was actually more powerful -militarily- than Argentina, which hasn't fought a real war for who knows how long… and whose economy been in tatters for many years. The UK should have no problems dealing with Argentina alone.

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Reacher January 31, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Yeah… The US was running aerial refueling and recon missions constantly for the Brits. Americans also shelled out some bucks for the fight.

It's not all about physical power. What you see is what you get. What you don't see is what bites you in the ass.

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John McClish February 2, 2012 at 1:51 pm

We backed our British allie in the Falklands forget the US Navy transfer to RN all aspect Sidewinder AIM-9L AAMs and KH-9 Recon.

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Isaac Newton February 13, 2012 at 10:02 am

We could send a military presence southerly ways, goodness knows we can afford it. But we don't want to one-up the Brits. They get feisty when angered.

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Conor September 11, 2012 at 11:02 am

you can afford it? wtf you talking about ? 16 trillion dollars of debt and you think you can afford to do anything, thats precisely the reason why your in the situation you are in at the moment

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Black Owl January 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm

The British are saying: "You up for round two?"

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Lance January 31, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Aww while Briton thumbing its nose at Argentina is always cool one Destroyer verses over 100 planes well the destroyer can shoot down alot of planes but one of those planes could sink the destroyer.

While politically comical its doesn't make military sense.

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blight January 31, 2012 at 4:41 pm

All it takes is a golden exocet. I imagine the Royal Navy knows this rather well. As for the Argentinian Navy…?

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DhuntAUS January 31, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I would imagine the island has more defenses than this one ship.

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SJE January 31, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I imagine that the Brits have improved their technology to counter anti-ship missiles a lot, and I doubt that the Argies have updated much since the 80s.

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Waylander February 12, 2012 at 8:20 am

Argie airforce has 15 fighter aircraft & about 26 strike aircraft in service, all 3rd gen 60s/70s vintage.
Flight Typhoons & HMS Dauntless would shoot them down like pigeons.
Also there is a TLAM armed SSN usually on patrol in the South Atlantic, and there are SAM Rapier batteries defending RAF Mount Pleasant on the Falklands.
The UK could also reinforce the islands within 24-48 hours, eg more Typhoons, Tornado GR4s & Globemasters with a battlegroup, then a full brigade within a week.

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rob January 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm

im pretty sure if the faulklands was american obama would park a carrier battle group or 2 on argentinas door step.however its not so as much as we would like to wave a big stick at them we will make do with a type 45.its pressance is as much political as tactical.lets hope it along with the tomahawk equipped nuclear attack sub,4 euro figthers,and the land based defence's can convince the argies that maybe its not worth the hassle.also there is always a few mongs that have to bring up the old my toys better then yours.please as far as aegis and t45 is concerned they are both world class systems and both operated by world class organisations!

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major.rod January 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Don't bet on it.

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Richard January 31, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I'm a Brit, the message is clear and required, but the hype is ungentlemanly. My concern is those pesky Exocets and their replacements if there are any.

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Martin Barrionuevo January 31, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Hi guys, I am argentinian and believe me no one here is buying this crap. There`s no possibility of a war for two reasons; 1 this time around, unlike the Thatcher days, there`s no dictatorship to do what argentinians do not want. Back then it was a red herring, in both sides, to put some counterweight in favor of both governments when things got messy. Now it is pretty much the same thing but only the british are talking about this as they head for the collapse of the financial sector. The second reason, and most obvious, is that WE DO NOT HAVE A MILITARY THAT CAN EVEN BEGIN A FIGHT WITH HONDURAS, much less England and its allies. Our military budget is a joke and we have no infrastructure. So, no one here takes this seriously and so should you. Argentinians despite whatever crap you`ve been fed are peaceful and educated people and, except in 1982, we never had a confrontation or supported a war in any way in the XX century . I guess you cannot say the same thing about Great Britain.

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blight January 31, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Good to hear. It takes a military junta to wage war for populist vote-grabbing reasons to permanently taint Argentina. I forget the country's stance on the Falklands though…

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Martin B February 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm

blight, Argentina´s stance when it comes to the Falklands is that it is rightfully ours and we believe that it was taken away from by the british empire and that using ONLY diplomatic means, time and the international community will support us.

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SJE January 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I think you have a short memory.

The Brits got hosed by Peron when they nationalized all those Brit-financed and owned companies. Similar actions in other countries has been considered an act of war. The Argentinians were also not very popular for their friendship with the Nazis.

Argentina has also had territorial disputes with all of its neighbors. Argentina and Brazil were in a fierce arms race for a long time, and there was concern that both countries would develop nukes to settle it.

In the end, it was the collapse of the last junta, triggered by the military defeat at the hands of the UK, and continued economic decline that disabled the Argentinian appetite for war.

So, I dispute your view that the Argentinians have been peaceful. Rather, they have been happy to push their weight around until they got their A** kicked.

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Martin B. February 1, 2012 at 8:09 pm

SJE, I understand your knowledge of Argentinian history and points of view maybe a bit off. But lets assume you are right about us being a pro-war nation and also that only after getting our behind kicked. Now, point by point.
1- Peron did indeed nationalized british banks, but not only british banks but all sorts of different foreign owned companies. But you have to take into account that Peron was immersed in a time when nationalism, not only in ARG was at its peak. ALSO YOU FAIL TO MENTION that this was done with the consent of the british government and not only that we paid off the billion dollar debt we had with british shareholders…the british ambassador signed the papes!!! read some more before you type..BTW I hate Peron.
2-The last territorial dispute was with CHILE and was settled via diplomatic means…again the only time ARG threatened with war was when the dictators were ruling, 1979, never before were we ready to initiate any kind of action against Chile, we signed quite a number of treaties throughout the 20 th century that are still in place.
3- Argentina and Brazil true were enemies for a long time, in the EARLY 19 century, when our borders were not clear, there was only a minor confrontation (from which Uruguay was born) , and from then on nothing. Even more , in the 1870s we were allies against Paraguay in a shameful war against a now brother nation. But I dare you to check these facts…

If I were you I would read some more before posting comments that would make you look like a fool. Kind Regards, Martín

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SJE February 2, 2012 at 3:02 pm

1. The British govt did not have much choice but to consent.
2 Argentina's tendancy to settle via diplomatic means is welcome, but does not explain other evidence of a willingness to use force.
3. If Brazil and Argentina had sorted things out in the 19th C, why the threat of nuclear escalation.

Look, I am not blaming the Argentinian people, and it is true that these problems were mostly under the various dictators. However, until the last dictator lost Las Malvinas, there were numerous incidents of Arg as an apparent aggressor. The lack of aggression does not mean that the polity is peaceful, but may be that they lack the means to enforce.

As evidence, since the Falklands war, the Argentinians have not renounced their claim and continue to put pressue on the issue. They have been more aggressive in asserting rights to Antartic territory that they were previously uninterested in. Finally, how do you explain the sinking of a Taiwanese trawler for fishing in Argentinian waters in 1986?

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@verrierm February 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

International Maritime Law Mate, simple ….

Kski January 31, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Most advanced anti air wrfare ship. The Type 45 is comparalble to the Ticonderoga class cruisers and Burke class destroyers.

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Matt February 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

Seems like global politics is remixing the 80s… NATO bombing Libya, Brits sending ships to Falklands, etc. Though if it means America gets another Reagan, guess it's ok hahaha

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STemplar February 1, 2012 at 2:15 am

OMG! Not the dreaded Argentinian horde! Gimmee a break. Is Argentina looking for an excuse to get more of its military beat up by the UK? All I can say is there are going to start something they better make it snappy, in 6 years jolly ol England will be re-joining the carrier club in a real way and that will be the end of that.

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tiger February 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Let's not go overboard. The UK 's military power while well equiped, is very small.

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Juan Lopez February 1, 2012 at 6:02 am

ARGENTINA IS NOT INTERESTED IN RECOVERING THOSE ISLANDS BY FORCE

THAT´T PRETTY CLEAR.

ARMED FORCES INVENTARIES WERE NEVER UPDATED

UK HAVE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS AND NEEDS THE PEOPLE LOOK TOWARDS ANOTHER SIDE

THAT´S THE TRUTH

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Falklands February 1, 2012 at 1:35 pm

There is another weapon on the Type 45 destroyer everyone has missed out! The laser defences system!! It disables the electronics in aircraft/ships!? Was this supposed to be secret :-)

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pallsopp42 February 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm

I wonder what the US would do if China walked into Guam and said "Thanks, we'll take this over now – its only a small island with some palm trees and goats on it – you don't really care do you??"

I cannot imagine the US meekly saying "OK" lets have France and Russia broker a "peace accord".

Its good to see a Type 45 heading down to the Falklands.

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Nuts February 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm

The Argies want the Falkands back? Fine, as soon as we (Brits) get the USA back!

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blight February 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm

You sure you want it? NHS would explode overnight, you'd be stuck with ministers for four years and be introduced to American brand Faux News, the Tea Party and people who can see Alaska from their doorstep. You might just leave again.

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blight February 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Certainly, you need no introduction to the welfare state. You *are* the welfare state to us, by comparison. We have millions of baby boomers who are retired and millions more slated to retire in the next 20 years. Wait until NHS blows up or goes insane from the administrative burden. Alternately, your army is so small you'd never have a chance policing it…not without local Loyalists to the crown. There are no Hessians to help.

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Incitatus4Congress February 8, 2012 at 10:50 am

There won't be a battle because there doesn't have to be. Argentina will "win" the war simply by waiting us out. As other have said, the sabre-rattling is peanut gallery stuff, and admittedly it looks particularly riveting coming from a hot female premier (as opposed to just a female premier as in 1982).

As it is, neither this British government nor the last really has any great desire to keep the Falkland's – which oil or no we can never profit from without the consent of Argentina or Chile – beyond the fact that to release it would be a bit of a blow to the ruling party's electoral hopes. It doesn't provide Britain with income, and if anything it's a drain on our strategic influence because the islands are so far removed from the theatres in which we are actively militarily engaged.

As it is, the old school thinking about maintaining such areas for global strategic influence has largely been superseded by the US' strategy of using diplomacy and foreign aid to pepper the planet with bases instead.

One last comment on the outcome of an unlikely military standoff. It's unlikely we would be going to war with Argentina so much as S. America. And where Argentina lacks a good stock of military toys, several of her neighbours are not so disadvantaged. Britain might still have the technicalogical edge, but it would be pretty heavily outnumbered in terms of serviceable units (S. America is flush with F-16s for example), a substantial number of which are not necessarily inferior; e.g. Venezuela's ~30 SU-30s.

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Nameless Son February 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

I'm thrilled that we have this cute little navy on our side, it makes for a good newscast. Richard, I agree with that the hype is overdone and unneccesary, but it makes sure that Argentina knows it's on the global viewport.

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Allan Donaldson February 27, 2012 at 8:16 am

Good article

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guest February 27, 2012 at 9:13 am

Funny thing is – no argentinian has ever lived on the falklands.
At no time in history have they even tried untill the recent attack.
Every time you hear someone saying the argentinians "want the islands back"
you have to ask how they can have back something they've never had.
They have no claim whatsoever either historically or morally.
The trouble is they are brainwashed at an early age to believe this nonesense
about a mythical place called "malvenas" so they feel justified. Its quite sad really.

The biggest mistake was failing to eradicate their entire forces the first time round.
Lets hope when it kicks off again -as it certainly will- the mistake isnt repeated.

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Robert Collins March 20, 2012 at 8:40 pm

What we can say about Argentina is no they do not have any wars, just like in WW2 when they stayed neutral whilst the world was fighting to stop Germany and Japan. Just like Southern Ireland except for a few soldiers with decency, the Jews, disabled, Gypsies etc were being exterminated, had Hitler won they would have been dealt with in the end. Argentina never had a chance of winning the Falklands war in the first place, it was a foolish move and cost both sides lives, pointless, if the island had been Argentinian then they would have been living there already.

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Jim Brunton April 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I read that the 'Dauntless' has been sent there without a full compliment of various types of missiles.Surely this is crazy.A sophisticated ship like that-which is incapable of defending itself never mind the Falklands.I do not wish to be extra harsh to Me Cameron, who inherited this military cost mess from the previous Labour Govt-ie Blair and Brown.Its Britain's latest and best warship.But without missiles-it is nothing.The only real opition now, is to send one of the latest 'Astute' class subs, with a huge extra ,hull module built in-with sufficient missiles to take out an entire Argentinean Fleet, plus aircraft,But he'll need to hurry before the last ones on the building stocks completes.,No Argentinean has EVER lived on the islands, so their claims on them are farcical.And ALL residents WANT to be British.So get stuiffed Argentina.We don't need you to cry for us.Best wishes from Australia, Jim Brunton.

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elizzar January 31, 2012 at 4:22 pm

indeed- as enshrined in the founding articles of the United Nations, the right to self-determination. hence why david cameron calling the argentinians wannabe colonialists is factually correct, if not the best word to use necessarily. i would further point out that argentina is a country built on european colonialism (don't see many natives in charge …) and that the falklands population (of which there was never any form of 'indigineous' peoples) have been british longer than texas has been part of the usa. ta-ta for now! :)

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Reacher January 31, 2012 at 4:44 pm

I agree. Arg hasn't screwed with the Falklands because of what is already on tap for the Brits. While probably just a small task of fighters and extremely light land defenses, they have subs and ships within a week of travel. Plus you've got America on tap. And we wouldn't even need to lift a military finger.

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hoowah February 1, 2012 at 11:21 am

Powers sounds like a closet gayman

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Matt Sturgeon February 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for that vital information on your opinion, Generic. It is a beautiful thing that you are allowed to express your institutionalized American hatred learned so well from your government and your cartoons in whatever 1st or 2nd world area it is that you are currently posting online from, most likely primarily or secondarily benefiting from the American security umbrella and specifically benefitting from American lives lost in combat.

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Matt Sturgeon February 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm

While you hate Americans and literally generalize us all (per your name) in response to a comment that you obviously misunderstood, it provides us with a vibrant and crystal clear window into the soul of the world from outside our borders. We can see that it is a cold, hateful, ungrateful, confused, and cynical place. We know you, and the billion or so like you. Your country sucks but its just the "soft suck"… youre not getting shot in the streets or anything or locked in the gulag but your taxes are 75% of your income to pay for the socialist government and inherent corruption in your society, you have no national pride, probably rolled over when the Nazis came thru, and now you literally have nothing, no past, no future, and certainly no present. No sense of self, or accomplishment, all you can do is look out at the world, at America, and project your hate and frustrations onto her. We see that and we understand. We know you are lost and we are your light.

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@matheusdias_uk February 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

The Falkland Islands are a British Overseas Territories. If there are any kind of threat above them, the UK must act. With or without our allies help.

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Falklands February 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Well said matt lol love it :-) jelousy will not get you any where generic

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crackedlenses February 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm

+100…..

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Martin B. February 1, 2012 at 8:24 pm

elizzar, I agree with you 100%. I am argentinian and this is 1980s all over again but this time there´s a difference, technology communicates ideas in a different way and the propaganda will not work in the expected way.

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@verrierm February 7, 2012 at 10:48 am

Wrong, read some history mate. They were occupied by the brits in 1833 by forcing out an argentinian settlement. Previously there were Spaniard there (Argentina won its independence in 1816, therefore all the previous colonial territories were from there on Argentinian.

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