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ATH

I wonder how much of what this ship can have you get for 250M. I bet it not anything like the full set unless it’s 250M of new money and all the bits off a T23 you want for free.

Fedaykin

Agreed, with BAE Systems now going all half hearted over the project I wonder where that puts things. Babcock are in an interesting position, they are going on the current map in a strong place to be assembling whatever wins out. I know there are RN officers very keen on the BMT Venitor concept and apparently had some hand in scoping it out.
Barely a year from program launch to main gate and first steel cut, this is going to be a fascinating time for us Arm Chair admirals.

David Stephen

That is exactly what it should be. There should be at least five sets of recycled equipment from Type 23s including Artisan radar Type 2050 hull mounted sonar, Sea Ceptor, 4.5 inch gun, DS30 remote guns, navigational radar, ECM and decoy fit and even torpedo launchers. The only weapons and sensors not available are whatever VLS you choose and the deck launched ASMs. They would not all need Phalanx as we move that between ships at the moment but maybe a couple extra could be added to the overall pool to increase availability. Given all that £250 million might just be enough for a 4000 ton diesel powered hull with decent range 16 MK41 VLS cells and 8 deck launched ASMs. Fingers crossed.

Fedaykin

Personally I would prefer the MK8 4.5″ be consigned to history and Type 31 gets MK45 5″ or an OTO 76mm. The RN needs to stop buying or sustaining into unique weapons.

Jeff

The problem with the OTO 76 is the lack of capability in the Naval Gunfire Support mission. That means a cheap recycled Mk8 or an expensive new Mk45. I am quite sure the minor concern who have been manufacturing ammunition for the former (albeit under a different name) since 1938 or thereabouts can continue to do so although no doubt they would love to sell the RN the “new” gun.

ANDREW

Does anyone know what happened to the Phalanx CIWSs that were fitted to the 6 Type 42s that weren’t replaced? Not to mention the surplus Goal Keeper CIWSs that were fitted to the Type 22 B3s?

RobC

They’re in a shed in Guzz! Being brought up to the latest specification I believe.

Fedaykin

Very interesting, light on information but credible. There has been some last minute tweaking to match mentioned features with the Core and adaptable put forward yesterday in the road map. The aviation facilities are bang on with the Core and adaptable requests. The weapon and sensor fit out mirrors the road map and the crew set at 80 with space for 80 more sits exactly at the lower figure set.
They wouldn’t have time to update the image but the picture shows an OTO Melara 76mm Super Rapid up front in its stealth turret. It should be noted that Babcock are the UK partner for OTO Melara, I wonder if they can arrange an attractive package including support for the weapon (refurbished mounts maybe?). Still the issue that it involves inducting a new gun system into the budget but on the flip side they could drop Phalanx from the class.
Building up Babcock as a credible rival to BAE Systems sits well with me, A&P specialising in support vessels even better.

Geoffrey Hicking

Credible?!?
250m is a pie in the sky figure. It WILL increase!
We just need to accept that we will get less than 5 ships, very high-spec, costing more than 250m.
That is the way things are done. Fantasising about its weapon sets or ways to improve procurement will do no good at all. Can we please just accept that the Civil Servants have it in hand? Please!?!?!

Fedaykin

Calm down and stop being patronising! I was talking about this design in generalisations, I agree £250million per ship is unrealistic. I was saying it is credible in respect of the general requirements laid out the previous day.
You are developing a habit of berating over commenters on this site, why don’t you try constructive input instead?

Geoffrey Hicking

You are correct. I was extremely arrogant and patronising. I apologies for my unpleasant remarks.
I would not normally explain why I act in an idiotic manner, but I have to now, otherwise the apology I have just written would just look insincere. I had some stupid ideas for expanding the RN, involving more money and more ships. It was arrogant, ignorant and uncalled for. I thought that reading Sir John Parker’s report and other things would allow me to understand. One read-through of the Pinstriped Line’s dismissal of such ideas led me to become angry at my prior ignorance/arrogance. I have been proven wrong on so many other things in other spheres of knowledge that I realised how worthless my thoughts are, and I took out my anger and inadequacy on you. I’m am sorry for such unacceptable behaviour.
I know nothing on weapons types or anything else, and reading up on it would just lead to me making more uninformed judgements. 7 years of hard experience have taught me that. If I believed I could offer constructive criticism then that would just be arrogance in me part. I have nothing else useful to say and so I shall not post again.
Again, I am sorry for my arrogance.

Geoffrey Hicking

To whoever just commented on my comment below: I can’t see your comment except on my email and I can’t see who it is. All I can do is write here.
I understand your anger. Trolls like me are the reason that the internet is so unpleasant. I understand that you are angry that I kept posting- I thought trying to contribute would make my apologies seem sincere. In hindsight that has just dug me deeper. It is frustrating that this will seem insincere, but I shouldn’t have done all this in the first place anyways.
I shall leave, I have forfeited the right to make any contribution.

Fedaykin

Further from my previous point just noticed that whilst their brochure image clearly includes the OTO-76 it does not include Phalanx. They instead mention it as a capability option along with a long rand anti ship/land attack missile system.
Fit them with OTO-76 plus DS30M from the retiring Type 23 and you have just a credible CIWS solution that can perform NGS and anti piracy/suicide boat work as well. Interesting…

craig

Surely they’d just use the Mod 1 Mk8 114mm guns from the T23s? Better from a cost and commonality perspective, else the RN has to support a new gun and resupply different shells etc from the rest of the fleet on 4.5″ or 5″

Fedaykin

Yes that is an option, I mentioned as such on another thread. The thing is the Mod 1 MK8 114mm is an orphan system. Once Type 23 is gone then there will be six mounts left in service and the general rumour is Type 45 will get the MK45 MOD4 5″ during a midlife update. Nobody makes ammunition for the gun any more and I get the impression as Type 23 draws s down the RN will husband what stocks they have left whilst it has shelf life.
So mention of a 76mm is interesting, is the RN now saying that they are prepared to accept the through life costs of another system if industry can make the right offer. The specification lays out a medium calibre gun is the preferred solution which means unless OTO and Babcock can pull out a an offer including the OTO-127mm or a sustainment program for the MK8 that makes financial sense it is the MK45 MOD4 or nothing really.
As somebody else has stated they appear to have made the specification vague enough to allow industry to surprise them!

Challenger

I thought i’d read (can’t remember where) that the T45’s probably won’t ever get the MK45 given the cost and the fact that the T23’s will continue to operate the MK8 into the mid 2030’s, by which time the T45’s will be approaching the end of their service life’s?
I agree though it doesn’t make sense to migrate the old MK8’s onto the T31 (even if it saves a bit of cash initially) if the system is no longer supported and ammunition is no longer produced.
It’d be strange to see one part of the fleet finally getting a larger 127mm gun and at the same time see another part go the other way with the 76mm. What’s the difference in cost?
I guess it’ll be a choice between more money up front for commonality or bearing the through life costs of running 2 (perhaps briefly 3!) systems.

David Stephen

That was my understanding also regarding the Type 45s guns. The money could be much better spent anyway. The 5 inch gun is about £25 million a pop and that is about the same cost as fitting the ship with the CEC. The Type 45 would benefit from the latter way more than the former and if there is ever £25 million a ship spare to spend on the class it won’t go to the gun upgrade. MK 41 VLS fitting and integration plus Aster 30NT and the associated ABM software upgrades to Sampson are also an ambition coming before the gun and probably everything else.

Grubbie

Eye-watering £183 million for 3 reconditioned mk45 for type 26. There are a few extra bits and pieces for that

Steve R

Just a thought, but why can’t we retain the existing 4.5 Mk8 but develop improved ammunition.? The gun may not be cutting edge, but is reliable, robust and until recently, considered acceptable for all our ships, including the Type 45! There are adequate numbers available, and they have been refurbished relatively recently by Babcock. The old adage “better is the enemy of good enough” can sometimes be true…

4thwatch

Yes more evidence of BAE monopoly extortion.
NEXT UP will be an announcement (Just came close today) that BAE are reconsidering building surface ships for RN due to finer margins than they are used to. They should have thought of this when they costed the Type 26 and River batch 3 OPV’s. BAE bullying must not be allowed to succeed.
The PIPS are squeaking.
What is needed now is to set up a plant for making the highly sophisticated sound deadening warship hull panels which could then be sent to whoever is assembling part hulls. This would be a centrally owned asset which would be leased out to any successful bidders. It could for instance be the old VT yard in Portsmouth where the RN could keep a close eye on things.

ATH

If there is to be re use of the 4.5 I would swap the money about and put it on the T26 and the 5 on the T31.
Which one is more likely to go inshore to do fire support, your top of the line ASW frigate or your budget GP frigate?

Grubbie

This is just common sense, but you’ll find it hard to get many people to agree. This is why there was no gun on batch 1 type 22,although that was going a bit too far. Glamorgan almost lost on 2 occasions by venturing inshore for bombardment. Type 26 should be busy doing other things anyway.

Fedaykin

An interesting point considering how escorts were forced to be deployed in the Falklands. Nevertheless the T26 contracts have been signed and steel is being cut too late to make a change.

Don

Plenty of options for operating UXV’s plenty of mission space
Plenty of space for extra personnel
If you could get this kitted out with the 5″ Gun and 16 cell VLS for £250M it would be great or is that too ambitious for the price?
I would go for FFBNW cannister launched
AShM as these can be added later as and when the RN / MOD decide on how to address this capability gap across the fleet.
There should be spare TAS tails at some point as 3 additional sets are to be procured. How would they perform on the Arrowhead? How much noise suppression in the design is there? Could she operate on electric only at slower speeds for short durations to reduce noise and allow better TAS performance?
Got to be a front runner for Type 31e IF the price is right.

Don

Does the specification not say greater than 76mm for NGS.
Based on logistics and manpower the 5″ is the best option. Up front cost is higher but over the ships life will be more cost effective and capable.
Failing that as suggested by other posters a Bofors 57mm would meet the core spec offering Anti air/missile and Anti surface.
http://www.baesystems.com/en/product/57mm-naval-gun-system

Jonesy

Its good to see that the design is more oriented to frigate than OPV and its also reassuring to see the emphasis given to the offboard systems.
That mission bay right at the point of minimum pitch, to ease davit deployment/recovery ops, shows some thought has gone in. The bay scaling to fit the ARCIMS boats depicted as well is impressive. That one step opens up options for MCMW, Route Survey and potentially even standoff ASW per mission and retasking on deloyment options. Fantastic to see that someone is thinking that way.
Somehow Arrowhead doesnt quite look as well thought-out as the Venator though. Almost like a basic design that has been adapted to fit RN requirements grafting on the bay etc. Not sure it would be as exportable as the BMT design on those grounds…and we’ve seen that BMT are already offering Venator on the global market. Wouldnt be disappointed seeing these built for us though.

Fedaykin

“Somehow Arrowhead doesnt quite look as well thought-out as the Venator though. Almost like a basic design that has been adapted to fit RN requirements grafting on the bay etc. Not sure it would be as exportable as the BMT design on those grounds…and we’ve seen that BMT are already offering Venator on the global market. Wouldnt be disappointed seeing these built for us though.”
Funny you should mention that Jonesy, Babcock had a hand in the design of the new Heritage Class Coast Guard Cutter for the USCG. Squint your eyes when you take a look at that design and then look at the Arrowhead 120 and you can see some common themes:
http://navaltoday.com/2017/03/21/babcock-to-support-design-work-on-us-coast-guards-new-offshore-patrol-cutters/
https://news.usni.org/2016/09/15/offshore-patrol-cutter-award-bests-biw-bollinger
The Heritage class is surprisingly comparable to the specification for the T31e, not exactly the same but certainly comparable. I think Babcock are pulling through from the work they are doing for the work they are doing for Eastern Shipbuilding.

Steve R

May be a big plus for them, adapting a design that’s already in production. It also looks to be a bit larger than the other competitors, which means more space for the add- ons which will be required if conflict arises. It does seem, though, that WW1 is back in fashion. First USS Zumwalt and the new French light frigate offering have a ‘ram’ bow, now Arrowhead, which has a ‘cleaver’ bow shape , as HM battleships Erin and Agincourt, and light cruisers!

sparky42

In terms of the Arrowhead, perhaps there’s a chance she was designed for something else? Other than being 10m shorter, she aligns closely with the Irish Navy’s planned “EPV” (in terms of speed, armament, possible helicopter usage). This had a RFP back in ’06 before the Crash, at which point Babcock had already built the P50 class, and just happens to be the next hull on the replacement list for the INS around the early 2020’s. Could it be that the Arrowhead might have been related to that?

Shades

Looks like Babcock is keenly pitching to the US market (https://news.usni.org/2017/09/13/dsei-royal-navy-wants-pitch-type-31e-frigate-design-u-s-export-market) what with their USCG experience an’ all. The article shines light on the flight deck (V22 capable) and hangar (Seahawk capable) size, which better fits the specs than the RN as the Merlin won’t fit in the hangar.
If they think they have a sniff at that project they might well put in a bid for the RN that really tries to squeeze as much capability into the £250m. As industry input is going to be key to the success of the T31 for the RN, the more Babcock believe they can win big export orders the better for the RN. Whether it works or not is another question. I see Babcock are also looking to expand into diesel-electric submarines, so they’re looking pretty ambitious at the moment. Good luck to them.
They are really looking like leading contenders for T31 at the moment for me: (1) as they appear super-keen (see above); and (2) as they have their own dockyard; BMT and Steller (if they’re serious) don’t and will have to negotiate with CL, H&W, Babcock or BAE to come up with a bid making it that bit harder.

Jonesy

That sounds like extraordinary wishful thinking on someone’s part.
Truth is that their existing upgunned NSC hull designs offer a lot more, for their needs, than any of the T31 designs.
My view to be honest is the best fit for FFGX is T26. They’d just need to order enough to start getting some cost savings built in.

John Baxter

Just been watching a football transfer debate on tv and it just occured to me that the price of JUST 2 players would buy an extra type 31… How the hell has this happened??? I know it would need crewing and maintaining but my oh my just 2 players transfer fees…. How can this be happening…

Ed Unger

Misplaced priorities I’d guess, and ignorance of maritime reality by many. Why interfere with ” important” things like sports, telly, etc? 1938 redux.