Been reading a little about British naval forces and logistics in the Falklands conflict and I was interested in the concept of operations of deploying a naval task force to sail down to the South Atlantic, prosecute an air war, launch an amphibious assault and recapture the islands. It led to me thinking how this might be done differently in the near-term, given changes in size, structure and capability of the forces.
Clearly, a like-for-like comparison is difficult because the situation has evolved (Argentina's forces have withered, we now have the largest military airbase in South America and St Helena's airport might also be available) but it'd be interesting to discuss how a similar effort - fighting a near-peer at range and deploying land forces - might be achieved today.
Select factors that have changed between 1982 and 2026:
- PJHQ for centralised command and coordination of effort
- task force has far greater sensing, tracking, shooting range
- only one full-time flat-top available for both carrier strike and amphibious assault
- 2 FJ squadrons available
- fewer escorts, but far greater shooting capacity (VLS beds)
- fewer amphibious assets, but far greater lift capacity
- fewer auxiliaries, but far greater shipping capacity
- greater helicopter/battlefield mobility capacity
So, given a counterfactual where Argentina's forces aren't as emaciated and somehow, magically, Mount Pleasant disappears, how does the RN go about sending a task force to recapture territory from a near-peer adversary 8000 miles away?
Thoughts and trolling welcome.