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dick van dyke

China, (who we’ve just poked with a big stick) are building the equivalent of the RN, every 4 years. (allegedly) Let’s hope the powers that be are awake to this.

eclipse

In quantity, yes. In capability, definitely not. That’s not to say I think our navy is sufficient in size; just saying that while the situation is bad it’s not THAT bad. We need more subs and destroyers urgently. And HMS Ocean replacements.

Pmichael

Yes, in quality as well.

Boris

Wake up, take your head out of your ass for once and look at the real world

Armchair Admiral

Aspiration, may, if, capability not a platform, aims..potential….
Sorry unsure as to what “digital twin technology” is exactly?
Absolutely not keen on the concept of “smaller type 83 as sensor control ship” as this then relies on the vast fleet of FSS and so on to provide the teeth, whilst in itself being small and weedy with minimal armaments when operated alone.
As mention in another thread, I like the current workboat procurement and would like to see more of them purchased to act as minesweepers etc. Not perhaps as minesweepers per se, but as “local motherships” or on more independent operations. The larger ones appear to be quite seaworthy to stand in as patrol vessels?
AA

X

Type 83 as a ‘sensor control ship’ sounds like more rhubarb doesn’t it?

We should just hook into the Italian program and start decommissioning T45 early.
comment image

Helen Back

That would upset the Picts.

X

We shall just have to subsidise their wode.

DaveyB

There is another option, where they are hoping to get a hull in the water by 2028, which is the US Navy’s (USN) future DDG(X) program. This will be initially replacing the Ticonderoga cruisers and the Batch 1 Arleigh Burkes (AB). The USN have stated that the require the ship to have at least a similar missile cell count to the outgoing Ticos (122 cells). They have also said they probably won’t be going with the tumblehome design of the Zumwalts, but will incorporate more stealth to reduce the ship’s radar cross section. They have also said that they may need a missile cell bigger than the strike length Mk41/57. This is to possibly house a hypersonic missile and its booster. From these few facts alone the ship is going to be big. A Tico is some 173m long and the latest Batch 3 ABs are 155m long.

X

Yes. Perhaps.

AlexS

We are almost in 2021 and there is not even any DDG(X) program launched.
If instead you say 10 years…

AlexS

Seems HMS Diamond is down again per UKdefencejournal. But “not related to propulsion”.

Deep32

She is perhaps a tad unlucky to be ‘down’ again. She hasnt had the propulsion upgrade yet either. Probably the last thing they need given what went before.

Gavin Gordon

Digital Twin is an exact computer model of the vessel that can be the initial ‘trial vessel’ for potential build issues and subsequent ‘insert’ of new IT, sensor and weapon systems, broadly.

Gavin Gordon

And is subject to ‘in service operational’ stresses. Sorry.

Duker

CAD of ships has been around since the late 60s and further developed into full 3D versions and then augmented reality to assist in building and maintenance
Hardly anything new…except a rename to Digital Twin

Jon

I read an article on digital twinning here

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2021/10/digital-twins-in-defence/

It might help crystalise it for you. I’m still a little hazy even afterwards and was planning on a reread. I was minded of “As above, so below”. Although it’s supposed to work both ways around. Changes in the digital model alter the physical asset as well as changes in the physical asset being reported via the digital model.

For example, if you swap a NavyPOD container, the POD will automatically report it to the ship’s digital twin, which will be updated with the status of the new POD. The POD’s digital twin (which can manipulate its physical capabities) can be made available inside the ship’s twin. The ship’s twin will also know if embarked specialists are available to use the POD.

I’m guessing the sensor and control ship comes when you plug the ship’s digital twin into that of a flotilla or group. Elements of the group’s twin are available to the control ship’s twin, allowing it to fire the weapons of any ship in the group.

I wondered if this was also an aspiration to have ships and weapon systems report on damage and even just wear and tear in real time through sensors, as well as reconfigurations.

Given the issues the F-35 has with ALIS, having even a lightweight system of interoperable twinning throughout the military might be a tough ask.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Armchair Admiral

Thank you Jon for that link. I am still a bit flummoxed to be honest.
I will re-re read that.
AA

Peter

There should be another strand, for ferries and similar vessels. Caledonian Macbrayne alone have over 30 ships. many of which are ~30 years old and will need replacing in the timeframe in the chart. The UK’s exit from the EU could allow Britain to influence new ferry construction towards UK yards.

There is a world of difference between building a ferry and a Type 26 frigate, but having a larger pool of workers and a more even drumbeat can only help RN ship procurement

Last edited 1 month ago by Peter
X

That’s a problem for Scotland. We English will pay for it. But it is a problem for Scotland.

Wigan G

The problem with your post is that you are playing into the hands of Sturgeon as she wants to create an atmosphere of disconnect between England and Scotland which Putin will relish in.

X

There is no problem with my post it is the truth. The Scottish Parliament doesn’t raise its own revenues it all comes from Central Government.

The Russians don’t care about the UK.

Should I ask the site owner to check your IP address?

Callum

Yes, clearly the Russians don’t care about the UK. They just like to spy on us and complain loudly whenever a UK asset is near them for the fun of it…

Duker

They care more about Ukraine Belarus and Germany.- and thats just Northern Europe. Then theres Turkey , Iran, Syria , yes that Syria. Theres all the ..stans in Central Asia. Then there is China and North Korea ( they share a short border)
What were you saying about UK again?

Callum

Belarus is basically little Russia in both name and deed, Germany is at their mercy already because of its Russian fuel dependence.

Ukraine they definitely care about, but wait, which major European nation is currently involved in several defence agreements and forging closer ties with Ukraine…?

As for the rest, you’re mostly listing their allies or friendly nations, not countries they’re interested in.

N-a-B
Supportive Bloke

The script for a new Ealing comedy?

Trevor G

Sadly after all the fuss from the SNP government re RN orders for Scotland, the next 2 CalMac ferries will not be built in Scotland (or even the UK) because no such yards have even been invited to bid.! Go figure….

X

Not the first time that has happened. SNP never speak about the EU and MPV Hirta,

In The Bin

There are new vessels for Caledonian MacBrayne out for tender at the moment. Tellingly they have not issued the tender to any UK yard, especially the Scottish Govt owned Fergusson Marine. They still haven’t completed the two small vessels they started building about 6 years ago.

David Graham

This is all well and good. However, we have a PM and cabinet wedded to a green renewable economy. As a result, they do not seem to see the steel industry as strategic, nor do they appear to understand that such an industry is an intensive user of energy. Thus as an example, UK steel labours with electricity which is 80% more expensive than Germany. Ships are built from the stuff. Where, for example, is it going to come from? If British steel is very expensive due to the government ignoring its production cost, how is a UK shipbuilding industry going to be competitive? Are we going therefore to import steel for shipbuilding, thud driving another nail into the coffin of UK manufacturing, and also deprive people of skilled jobs, etc, etc?

The above is but one aspect of manufacturing which the current cabinet simply do not seem to understand. Meanwhile, it managed to spend £37bn on an NHS test and trace app. which has never really worked properly.

Mark

Not true they’ve just invest a huge wedge to Sheffield forgemasters to purchase the world’s largest drop forge from Japan to make reactors for the new class of subs and maybe the Rolls Royce mini reactors for domestic use. This probably ties in with the AUKUS pact we’ve just signed and also the announcement that steel plants in Sheffield and Rotherham are to be restarted and kept open…

N-a-B

UK steelmakers produce around 7M tonnes of steel per annum, of many different grades, thickness and configurations. We already import shipbuilding grades, because there’s insufficient demand to make it economic to produce in the UK – and you’re correct, energy costs don’t help.

However, UK shipyards would consume around 15-20000te of steel per annum, again of varying grades, thicknesses etc. That’s less than 1% of output. It’s not even in the noise.

It’s probably also worth noting that the “£37Bn” on T&T was the budget, not the spend and the vast majority of the money that was spent, went on creating a testing capability (including genomics and supply chain) capable of testing millions per day. From scratch.

Last edited 1 month ago by N-a-B
David Graham

Thanks for the information on the quantity of steel usage per annum. [I understand UK production is circa 7m T per annum.].

I have two friends from boyhood whose sons are NHS consultants. Neither of them believe the £37bn, irrespective of how it was allocated, was well spent.

N-a-B

Not sure being NHS consultants makes them any more or less qualified than anyone else to comment on how well “it” was spent. the very fact they still use the £37BN figure in conjunction with “spent” suggests that they weren’t that well sighted.

Meirion x

Not as bad as you say it is, for the steel industry!
Liberty Steel are going to restart Rotherham and Stocksbridge plants and re-employed the workforce there.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
X

Mine Countermeasures Logistic Support Vessel? Wow.

BB85

The number of complex warships over the next 20 years is a big concern. Are we really going to go as low as 14? If so why would we bother going anywhere near Asia. I agree China needs checked but not with token gestures. Imagine when they deploy a carrier group of their own to the North Atlantic with more ships than the entire RN.

Jon

Interesting article. I think they need to classify by per annum build cost as well as complexity.

We can’t afford a fast dumbeat on complex warships so we slow it down. But the Parker report gave the cost of slowing the drumbeat. Slow the drumbeat by 50% and you pay nearly 20% more per ship. Halve the drumbeat and pay 40% more per ship. Instead of getting 10 ships you get 7 for the same overall price.

So for our £10bn we build 7 ships over a 14 year cycle at £1.4bn a ship (£700m pa) instead 10 ships at £1bn each over 10 years (£1bn pa, a cashflow we can’t afford).

There’s an alternative to slowing the drumbeat. Intersperse each batch of complex/expensive warship production with a batch or two of cheap ship production in the same yard, while maintaining the rate of production. If you build destroyers/frigates at 12 month intervals, instead of 24, and alternate each batch of five escorts with a batch of cheaper ships, say five OPVs and five MRSS, it will take maybe 15 years for a full cycle of 10 warships and 10 simple ships, but you’d get more of everything for the same price, without increasing the average cash flow requirements over the cycle by very much.

For our £10bn together with say another £1.5bn for the 10 cheaper ships, we get 10 destroyers, 5 OPVs and 5 MRSS, in a comparable period, at about £760m pa. And if you really have to delay production to reduce the average cash flow spend further, reduce the speed of the cheap ships, not the expensive ones. TOBA (in the middle of the last decade) required £250m pa for the shipyard. By agreeing a mixed ship contract and staging payments accordingly, average payments can be used to ensure the viability of the shipyard.

If you give only complex warship production to any yard, and obviously we are talking about BAES on the Clyde, you can’t get good value without considerably increasing cashflow, and that’s not going to happen.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Ron5

The author of the article seems to be unaware that the speed at which the Type 26 are being built was set by the Treasury under their dear departed leader Geo Osborne. Bae wanted to build them faster.

X

a cashflow we can’t afford

UK Plc can easily afford a £1 billion pa.

HMG decides to spend money elsewhere.

Jon

That’s £1bn to one shipyard. There are 4 major shipyards to support, excluding Appledore/H&W etc.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
N-a-B

How do you get four?

Clyde, Rosyth, Birkenhead and ?

Barrow (rightly) isn’t covered by the NSBS. There’s more than enough money in the submarine pipeline for that.

Jon

Barrow was what i meant. it’s still covered by the MoD budget. I was thinking about lessons to be learned going forward, when the submarine drumbeat has to be sustained because of lessons from Astute.

I’m not sure what will happen after Dreadnoughts. Will there be a gap before SSNR?

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
X

See as NaB said.

Jon

I did, and as I said to him, it still comes out of the same MoD annual spend. Nobody put £41bn aside in 2015. They just earmarked it from future annual spending. That’s why it affects T26 cashflow and why it looks as though SSNR will affect T83 cashflow.

Of course you are completely right when you said we could afford £1bn pa on complex warship build; we (HMG) simply choose not to.

X

All I said was is that UK Plc can afford a ship building program. But the government decides to waste the money elsewhere. Your defence vote comes out of my total GDP.

Deep32

No there shouldnt be a gap between Dreadnought and SSN(R), given that Astutes OSD is 2035 There should be no reason for any gap between the two.
The issue will be what do we build after SSN(R), given that the Dreadnoughts are scheduled for a 40 year service life, with the first due around 2030.
But then, who lnpws what we will need by 2050ish, so it might not be a problem!

BB85

We will need to up the number of ssn’s we order. There was originally supposed to be 10. 7 is far to low to cover our commitments in the north Atlantic, ssbn protection, carrier group protect, South Atlantic and middle East. We are cutting corners somewhere.

Deep32

I wouldn’t disagree about upping the numbers of SSNs. I have seen that the MOD are looking at no more then 7/8 replacements for the Astutes, but don’t know how true those comments are? Personally I believe we should build at least 12, who knows.
As a general rule, SSNs don’t protect SSBNs, they use their Stealth to do that, as they are generally quieter then a SSN. With our current extra committment to ops East of the Indian Ocean, we will require more assets, or have to give up other SSN tasking to cover it. 7 is too small a number now, it will be far to small a number when SSN(R) is in service.

X

We have / will have 7 Astutes because of the hiccup in production; though I can see the number dropping to 6.

The number I have seen mentioned for SSN(R) is 8 to support 1 in the North Atlantic and 1 in the Indian Ocean.

Yes SSBN’s primary ‘weapon’ is stealth. But there still a need to know what other submarines are coming and going. Ideally we would have an SSK sitting off Northern Norway.

We need 12 would be better off with 16.

The way things are going surface ships are going to become more vulnerable. Plus we will need to counter SSN’s of other states if there is a sudden race to build them as seems to be very likely now.

William Pellas

Another option would be to replace the 7 Astutes with 8 SSN(R) while also building, say, 6 AIP SSGK’s for use primarily in home waters, the North Sea, and perhaps the Mediterranean. Meanwhile the nuclear “boats” can sail far and wide, and with their unlimited range are ideally suited to upping UK / RN presence in the Pacific (in concert with Australia of course). All of this without really compromising the UK’s undersea warfare capabilities closer to home.

Last edited 1 month ago by William Pellas
Deep32

Yes, I have seen 8 mentioned for SSN(R), we shall have to wait and see. As I have said above, if we don’t get at least 7/8 then something will have to give I imagine. Like you say anything above 8 is likely to be a bonus for us.

The inclusion of a smallish SSK force (5-6) always raises its head when SSN numbers are discussed on various sites. Whilst I believe their introduction would be an asset for us, I cant really see the MOD having the desire/money to push that one through, never mind were we might build them with all this shipbuilding that is planned.

Going down to 6 Astutes!! Work has begun on Agincourt, so unless they retire Astute early, I’m not so sure on that one, I would like to think not.

Roy Simmons

Appledore

X

No.

Roy Simmons

Chatham being reopened. Closed by the Heseltine clown.

Supportive Bloke

There isn’t anything useful there to reopen?

All the facilities were small by current standards you’d have no chance of fitting Astute or T45 in anywhere.

If you wanted to set up an AUS style production line then you would be better off elsewhere.

Ian

SB…… Portland??..::::reopen some of Portsmouth??))

Supportive Bloke

The problem is that nobody made a strategic session to safegauard, in planning law speak, and of the huge old shipyard areas so they could be developed into proper efficient production lines.

Lack of space is the enemy of efficient working.

ASH

.

Last edited 1 month ago by ASH
Challenger

Good to see a mine-warfare support vessel and the P2000 replacements included on that graphic, even if it’s currently only an aspiration rather than a firm commitment.

Ron5

I bet those long unsupported prop shafts give trouble in service.

rec

It’s good to see a plan, which includes MCM support and Amphibs as well as frigates., This plan on the face of it actually may keep all of the remaining yards in business.

My main concern would be making sure the T26s and T31/2 have adequate weapons including shipbourne ASW, then maybe 8T26s + 10 T31/2 will just about do. . It would be good for a faster drumbeat T26, given the age of T23s, but the money may not be there for that. My biggest concern is the shortage of Merlin HM2s and too few Submarines, but that is beyond this post.

donald_of_tokyo

The graphic shows three lines of ship build, but I’m not sure if the order list is enough to support three builders. For example, the current list looks like providing big gap of ship build in early 2040s, for all the three categories. (commercial ship building? Good to try, but never be granted. UK is betting all of its shipbuilding industry on such risky trial?)

Personally, I would rather make it fit within 2 companies,

  • one leading “complex escorts”
  • and another leading “semi-commercial warships”.
  • and all another ships shared in between them

In other words, I would like to see

  • BAES Clyde building T26 and T83. And, “ALSO involved in T31/32 build” or “simply increase the number of T26 to 10 hulls” (happy to sacrifice many of the “5 T32” in place). Teamed with Cammel Laird, it can be also involved in Mine Countermeasures Logistic Support Vessels, Multi-role Ocean Surveillance ship, and P2000 replacements.
  • Babcock shall move to FSSS after/alongside T31, then multi-role support ships, and then Wave-class replacements, and going on. It can also bid for MCLSVs, Multi-role Ocean Surveillance ship, and P2000 replacements.

Numbers of financially weak, small in size, less technical shipyards will never make it possible to fight in merchant ship export, regardless of it being having some expertise.

Ron5

Amen

Callum

The current list shows the future as far as it’s practical to really be planning. The early 2040s should theoretically have plenty of ships to build; the last T83s, tankers, OPVs, replacements for the T31s. This far in advance, it’s not possible to plan accurately, but there are lots of vessels to replace.

As for condensing everything else to just two yards, your “like to see” list features 3 yards, the Clyde, CL, and Rosyth?

I certainly wouldn’t be against the 5 T32s being axed in favour of +2 T26s and +3 T31s, but that would need an acceleration of the T26 build schedule.

Grant

Is there too many concurrent projects here? I’m not a shipbuilding expert but in most industry the challenges come when you try and launch too many projects at once as your focus is spread and then you end up with a bunch of subpar products. I assume as eye catching as jobs in dockyards may be the real ‘crunch’ in skills is the people who know how to design such complex vessels and then the engineering skills required to actually start building them rather than those people with more manual construction level jobs at the bottom of the chain?

Rather than new vessels like a Type 32, new multirole ships, survelience ships and the national flagship; isnt whats required is a really strong execution of the Type 26, Type 31 and FSS programmes and – if we want to build more ships for a steady drum beat – build a few more of those….(i.e. an AAW variant of T31/26)

X

There is no need for T31 as envisioned. Just build T26 and accelerate T83.

Grant

I fully agree; but accepting they are in train lets not also design and tender some T32s… lets focus on the two types and get all the procurement and engineering brain power onto getting some FSS designed.

Going forward lets do what the Americans do and iteratively develop proven capabiliies on a continuous basis (not that the T26 is proven of course….but all indication is that it should be world beating).

Oh and instead of the National W*nkship lets spend that money on another squadron of Merlins.

X

T32 is nothing but a number.

Yes more helicopters.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
ATH

I’m all for cancelling BJ’s gin palace, but it’s budget won’t buy anything like a squadron of Merlin. The ASW version cost well over £50m each.

N-a-B

There may be trouble ahead.

There seems to be a view in DE&S that liberally sprinkling the word “digital” everywhere will somehow overcome the skills chasm that exists at present. Whisper it quietly, but digitisation actually costs you more up front and can result in some rather expensive mistakes if not done appropriately.

Get the basics of the ship design right early, using an appropriate level of detail, with a relatively small but competent team. Then, once you’re confident you’re in the right place in capability and cost you can throw buckets of CAD monkeys at it. Do it the wrong way round and you’ll find yourself with what happened to T26 eight years ago. Highly developed digital product model created by spending the vast majority of the Assessment Phase cash, only to discover that there were a couple of aspects requiring major redesign. Strangely, this doesn’t just get fixed with the click of a mouse despite what the salesmen say.

There’s also a view in DE&S that the National Flagship is such a prestige project that companies will be falling over themselves to self-fund the design phase (contrary to the original plan and feedback). They may be about to get a nasty shock.

Last edited 1 month ago by N-a-B
Armchair Canadian

Crazy question. Would the National Flagship not be better built by Princess or Sunseaker? I have them make some very big ships. Maybe not big enough? Plus is the flagship not more in the wheelhouse of the lux yacht builder. They have have a problem going though defense purchasing depts.

Last edited 1 month ago by Armchair Canadian
AlexS

Princess owned by France Louis Vuitton and Sunseaker by China Dalian group…

N-a-B

Everyone has a problem self funding what MoD are asking for in a competition. The ITN response rate could be VERY interesting…..

High six figures just to generate the tender package, let alone the actual design if you win the competition.

Last edited 1 month ago by N-a-B
ATH

Odds on the political leadership won’t allow BJ’s pet project to be embarrassed by the terms resulting in a lack of interest from industry. I bet they will “hold the program to allow more time to best deliver value for tax payers money” only for it to come back as a number of funded design exercises a few weeks later. All in I’d be surprised if the ship including internal fit out comes in under £400m.

Callum

Can you imagine the bad press that would attract? “BoJo spends defence cash on gold toilets and oak panelling”. At the bare minimum, the National Flagship is a chance to prototype a new propulsion system and secure strategically important jobs at a major yard.

In The Bin

Neither of them have the facilities to build a vessel of that size. Pendennis in Falmouth does have a covered 150 x 24m drydock, so they are a possibility.

Supportive Bloke

I couldn’t agree more.

Small very experienced team to thrash out the bones of the design -> skeleton digital model -> final fully digital model.

Honestly, with what I do, design is faster with a pen and paper – jobs go to die with CAD.

Jonathan

Yes sometimes digital solutions actually slow you down. I had this discussion with my chief exc once in regards to why we still used a white board in my department to represent what was going on ( what needed doing when and by who) when the trust had invested in a new IT system. Trying to get across that in complex dynamic systems with a constantly changing picture you need an easy to use and see physical picture can be difficult if people are not use to working a pace with complexity.

Ron5

But (productively) spending more up front is good thing. It’s a lot cheaper to fix errors with a few mouse strokes than later when they’re embedded in steel.

Pacman27

i would like to see 2 things happen ASAP

make T26 an AAW asset by adding in Sampson mk2 radar and also change the Seaceptor silos to a quad pack design, which given that it is far simpler than any other VLS shouldn’t cost the earth.

I have read that the T26 can be built for £600m each (vessel cost not inc through life support costs) and this would seem to be very good value. So let’s just get on and order a further 8 and create a UK version of the Burke class and do away with t83 altogether (like Canada and Australia).

we have sunk a load of time, effort and resources into T26 and should build as many hulls as possible to get the value of it. If it hadn’t been so badly managed BAE would probably have built the proposed frigate factory and has Glasgow would probably have been with the CSG. It is not always BAEs fault, they have been clear and transparent throughout imo.

we can recover this situation as T26 seems to be an exceptional design, now we need to extract every last bit f value we can out of it.

I do think we need a corvette class of ship around the 100m size that will start to replace the rivers, this will be part of the command progression chain but offer far more capability than the current rivers.

all ships need far better armaments than the currently have and even the rivers should have the 57mm as std.

we could and should adopt the stanflex approach if we are really concerned about ease of upgrade etc..

Paul Bestwick

I think you are barking up the wrong tree. Making the T26 an AAW ship in addition to ASW is asking to repeat all the issues the Aussies are having with their version of the T26. I think the T83 will be much bigger than most people expect (bigger than an AB) these will be a truly multi-room.

X

The problems are more about getting disparate elements to come together more than the hull. There are AAW variants of FREMM too. A combat ship that doesn’t have area capability for both above water and subsurface won’t survive. I don’t think an AAW capable of T26 is impossible, far from it.

William Pellas

It’s definitely not impossible. I read something a couple of years ago to the effect that consideration is being given to replacing the T45 with a “T4X” variant of the T26. While perhaps not ideal for this purpose, the 26 is still a sizable ship and if a destroyer variant had a good deal of commonality with the frigate version, there would be additional benefits in terms of maintenance. Meanwhile the 83 could then be built as its own thing, ideally as a sort-of modern version of a strike cruiser. That said, I also like the idea of the RN saying “the heck with it” and going full on with the Arleigh Burke model and just build as many 26s as they need and have done with it.

Last edited 1 month ago by William Pellas
Meirion x

I was in also going to say the same about the Hunter Class, delays are already creeping in due to the Australians desires for an ‘all singing and dancing’ vessel!
And at double the cost.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
AlexS

T26 should have been AAW capable from start.
I don’t understand why there is need of 8000t to do what RN T26 do.

eclipse

Type 26 is already pretty heavy, doubt it would be possible to mount a SAMPSON so high up without compromising its stability. Also, Type 83 will have many more VLS cells and there just isn’t room for them in the Type 26.

X

Exactly how do you class ‘heavy’?

Spurance class 8500 tons full load………..
comment image

Nobody knows what T83 is going to feature.

It is planned that T26 will have a Mk41 with 24 cells. I can’t see them being full all the time. Just as I doubt, well I know, that T45’s VLS is far from full.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
ATH

One of the big drivers in volume is crew accommodations. If you look at the conditions on say a T42 or a US AB and compare it to that on the QE or T26 you see a huge difference. The RN obviously, and I think rightly believe that very good living conditions are vital to keep people in the service.

Supportive Bloke

Too true.

Some of the older classes were not pleasant in that regard.

AlexS

That don’t explain why a FREMM and its American version Constellation have AAW capability with respectively Aster 30 and Standard missiles while T26 is restricted to a CAMM and an inferior radar.

They also have highly improved crew accommodations.

ATH

In a large. Part because the RN chose to dedicate a lot of space and budget to the multi mission bay. It and the equipment to support it takes up a large part of the centre of the ship. They could have put a much more expensive radar on the ship but chose to spend the money elsewhere. Navy’s all make choices about what mix of ship numbers and equipment levels they believe will best fulfil their mission.

AlexS

Thanks ATH, multi mission bay might be an explanation.

Is it cut out from the AUS and CAN T26?

Meirion x

Four of the MN FREMM ASW variant are only fitted with 16 A43 cells that can only launch Aster 15 missiles, like CAMM.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
AlexS

“Four of the MN FREMM ASW variant are only fitted with 16 A43 cells that can only launch Aster 15 missiles, like CAMM.”

So?

Meirion x

I always wondered why USN warships have substandard living conditions compared to RN vessels?

Meirion x

ASW vessels need volume to give good sea keeping abilities in rough seas, like the North Atlantic. Type 26 are getting Mk.41 so they could be equipped with the SM-6 missile.

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion x
ATH

If the RN planed to add a long range SAM they would have fitted Sylver VLS. It would make no sense to add a second and completely different long range SAM. The Mk41 is more likely going to host the Anglo French anti ship/land attack cruise missile and possibly an anti sub missile.

Ron5

An improved radar on the Type 26’s sounds an excellent idea.

Glass Half Full

Some speculative options.

  1. The T45s might well support a slightly longer lifetime before starting T83 replacement, given their relative light use to date along with PIP and the Sea Ceptor up-arming, perhaps with speculative Aster and radar upgrades to stay relevant. This might allow 1-2 additional T26, if threat analysis, manpower and build costs support the extra hulls. So instead of T26 B2 of 5x we might see two batches of 3+3 or 3+4 or some variant of same. If there is any cost reduction benefit from the WW T26 build then B2 and B3 should see it, which might help enable the additional hulls. Particularly if increased hull numbers enable a more efficient build at a faster rate, which avoids pushing out T83 too far.
  2. We plan to use dual crewing on the River B2. If that continues through the 20’s and 30’s then these ships will be ready to sell on to other lower op tempo nations after 15-20 years of high RN usage, as anything from OPV to corvette platforms. Even if we pull them back to home waters as T31 deploy, we will still need them and their replacements for fisheries etc, where we currently still use the 3x River B1s that were supposed to have gone by now.
  3. If HMS Montrose is any indication, then we also expect to dual crew the T31s for a similar 15-20 year life to the River B2s, with a similar early sale to other countries.
  4. MRSS at 6x only replaces the Albions, Bays and Argus on a hull for hull basis. We might instead go for smaller, more flexible platforms, in greater numbers. Particularly if we can roll the Point-class role into the same platform. Thus we might have at least 10x just on a hull-for-hull basis and perhaps 15x+ given a significantly smaller size and modern efficient manning.

Even if option 1 doesn’t eventuate then 2H30’s and mid-40’s may see the start for replacements for Rivers and T31’s respectively; this early replacement being one of the concepts in the original NSS. Option 4 for MRSS might drive a 30-year production cycle just on its own with the higher numbers.

ASH

The UK yeah? What about England then, we haven’t got any work coming our way. Should’ve just titled the article “Scottish shipbuilding” it’s a sacrilege what’s happened.

ATH

True that there’s lots of HMG shipbuilding in Scotland.But also true that all the combat aircraft production is in England. Is that also sacrilege? Given the size of defence industry in the U.K. it’s likely that different parts will be concentrated in different parts of the U.K.

GlynH

“a ‘distributed lethality’ approach, possibly placing weapon silos onto several platforms (such as the FSS) with a modest-sized Type 83 as the sensor and control ship”

Oh Deary Me, this sounds like the naive nonsense that was circulating around in the 80s regarding the Type 23s and the Forts. It was a terrible idea then and it is now.

X

Yes. And arsenal ships too.

Supportive Bloke

Or is the cooperative engagement system rearing its head again?

There is sense in have one system cue the most appropriate missile to fire.

However, the risk is that if the system fails then nothing shoots anything.

The Forts/T23 idea was rather different in that the Fort would have Wolf and all the radars to throw an umbrella over the flock. Realistically Wolf was too short range to do this properly.

GlynH

Valid points Sir, times have changed, true; its not the 80s but as you allude to, we introduce a SPOF. A warship needs to be able to stand alone, fight alone. It will perform better with interoperability and integration etc. of course. But, nonetheless be a self contained unit of war fighting.
Just some random thoughts since my first post. FSS top speed? Noise? Huge lumbering target? The doctrine of the 80s 23 fort etc was flawed, maybe it still is but looking forward, battle space integration is the key. think Link16 in aviation.

Meirion x

Yes, It took the Falklands War to change that idea!

Jonathan

Although there is nothing that says the sensor and control ship will not be armed as well just that they would be the centre of a network. I would imagine it would mean a reduced loadout on the T83 but with a wider number of vessels ( type 26 etc) having long range AAW missiles. The only issue would seem to be what sort of mast height you could get for the radar on a smaller vessel. But then by the time the T83 comes out they many be think of it as being at the centre of a network of sensor drones, who knows 20 years is a very long time.

William Pellas

Assuming that a truly sufficient expansion of the RN is never going to happen due to political factors, a modest but real expansion which would give the service 1) more teeth, and 2) at least a little bit of ability to absorb battle damage and losses IS achievable even in the current climate.

The next class of destroyers should number at least 8. This may or may not be the Type 83, which (I have a sneaking suspicion) might actually be small-ish guided missile strike cruisers. If this is the case, and 6 or even just 4 of the T83s ultimately take to the water, the T45s could be replaced separately on a 1 for 1 basis without compromising anti-air and anti-missile protection for the QE’s too badly. In other words, in this scenario, the real expansion would be the reconstitution of the RN’s cruiser force (for lack of a better term), with 4 T83, while the DDG numbers would remain the same at 6, meaning that the actual replacement for the 45 would be the “T4X”, a separate class from the 83. In an ideal world, it would be 6 T83 and 8 T4X, but I’m not holding my breath.

So, for this thought exercise, let’s assume 4 T83 quasi-cruisers, and 6 T4X to replace the current T45s. With the currently projected T26, T31, and T32 frigates, that would give the Royal Navy an “escort fleet” of 28 major surface combatants. Not bad, particularly if the 83’s end up at least some of the time in the traditional cruiser role of task group flagship and/or roving raiders. If a final (that is, final for the current round of shipbuilding) purchase of 4 or 5 “Batch 2” 31’s or 32’s are added to the mix—or maybe even more 26’s given how many will be built for Canada and Australia, which will bring the price down—NOW you’ve got a Navy fit for Global Britain. This would all be in the water, hopefully, by 2040 at the latest. So 32 or 33 major surface combatants, plus the QE’s, the amphibious landing ships (Albion replacement), RFA, submarines, and autonomous / unmanned equipment. I’m not including a replacement for Ocean in this scenario because by the end of this hypothetical cycle, it would be time to start preparing for a QE replacement class, assuming the RN will decide to continue building and operating traditional flattops.

Last edited 1 month ago by William Pellas
Jon

The announced out-of-service dates for Type 45s are between 2035 and 2038. That’s ambitious from a financial point of view (but laudable); unless you build at least six replacements at the same rate, why decommission that fast? Given a 9 year gap between contract signing and the first ship going operational [10 years for Darings, 7 years for Type 23s, don’t ask about Type 26], you’d want the contract signed by early 2026 at the latest. That’s four and a half years away.

It took about four and a half years between the 2015 defence review identifying the need for the Type 31 and the contract signing at the end of 2019, and that for a far less complex ship than the Type 83 (or indeed a Type 4X). We haven’t got a concept yet.

We are already running out the clock on the Type 83. Unless the MoD gets a huge kick up the rear, they might as well put the order in for the Type 45 LIFEX right now. Working dates backwards on the Type 32 if it’s to be a drumbeat maintainer for Rosyth, is just as salutary.

I write this as an answer to your post to illustrate how long these things take. The idea that we can build both a Type 4x and a Type 83 in your timeframe needs a more flexible MoD than we currently have. Even if the money is there. The best hope is that the Type 32 turns out to be an AAW frigate along the lines of the Iver Huitfeldt. That would give us 5 pocket destroyers and as close to a Type 4X as I think it will be possible to get.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
AlexS

Out of services dates will be changed as always.

Colin114

It seems the T83 might take the “fitted for but not with” strategy to a whole new level. H.M.S.Laptop might be appropriate.