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X

It is a good design as long as it has enough weapons etc. We shall see.

Sonik

I think Babcock have a fair chance to win this, it looks like the T31 bid is highly competitive, compared to what else is on offer. Cost and local development benefits will no doubt be key issues for Greece. The only weakness for UK offer is the interim solution.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

You can hear it now can’t you, a conversation between a Greek matelot serving on the ex HMS Montrose and a British matelot visiting Piraeus onboard the brand spanking new HMS Glasgow. “Once upon a time the Greek navy used to get the worn out useless warships and the Royal Navy got the state of the art, though admittedly usually under armed, latest bits of kit, haven’t times changed”

Brian Aitkenhead

HMS Glasgow is a Type 26 frigate, it will be superior to this type

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

Thanks Brian, my mistake. I did of course intend the British warship to be a Type 31 but I have forgotten the names of this woeful class already.

borg

I think one is called Arthur and one might be Bill but apart from that, I’m at a loss for Inspiration.

David Broome

Woeful? The only thing woeful are comments like this and a lack of armament like at least 32 seaceptor; a towed sonar array (Captas-1 even), ASW torpedoes and SSGW. That’s not the fault of the ship, it’s a failure of the Ministry to build for but not with.

Meirion X

Yes the T32 has the potential to be an ASW platform for taskings, if equipped properly with a decent hull sonar and etc.

borg

T32?

Meirion X

A mistype, should be T31, sorry.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
CIZUK

Well, no, not really.
The HMS Montrose will by then be even more worn out than it is now.
The HMS Glasgow, on the other hand, will be brand new, with cutting edge sonar, sound insulation, CIWS, better PDMS, better systems and other bonuses such as Mk 41 cells, lower crew, more space and the multi-mission bay. Yes, it might lack AShM, but maybe it will have the IASM on board.

stephen ball

Guess it depends on which kit they’ll want to keep that can be refitted to the T31G.

Which make’s me think we got sale’s for Chile and New Zealand.

Sonik

Indeed both good prospects.

Due to geography both need proper ocean going vessels (rather than OPVs), both have long ties with RN, have limited budget and are already Sea Ceptor users.

Makes A140/T31 an attractive proposition.

Duker

Geography means both need and already have OPVscomment image

Sonik

Yep of course, all navies have OPV. My point was both Chile and NZ have huge, open-ocean EEZ, with crazy high sea states and very large distances to cover. So both have requirement for frigates too, even just for regional constabulary operations. T31 is ideal really.

Duker

OPVs as well as Frigates. But modern large ( 1900tons, 80-90m ) properly designed OPVs with efficient diesels can handle the distances (4000nm) and sea states. ( Which many navys have now realised) Even frigates need replenishment on those very longer voyages

Last edited 3 months ago by Duker
David Broome

The NZ ones were a design disaster that led to the icebelt being below the waterline that leaves very little top weight allowance. Rarely do they carry Seasprites and there’s no Unmanned Air System in the RNZN. The Type-31 would appear to be an ideal ANZAC replacement with the RNZN arming them in a similar way to what the RN proposes.

D J

I very much doubt NZ would have any interest in a T31. The A140 though, is a different matter. You only have to look at their present ANZAZ frigate, which is much better armed than the T31. 127mm main gun, 20 CAAM (top weight limited missile numbers), hull mounted sonar, torpedoes, ASW helicopter, AShM, CIWS, high end radar. Why would they want to go backwards? There are good reasons Babcock is offering Greece the A140 & not the T31.

Meirion X

Chile has desires to start their own warship building industry by end of the decade.

Meirion X

A first T31 hull for Chile maybe built in the UK to gain experience of warship building.

donald_of_tokyo

So, locally built, as expected. Arrowhead 140’s Indonesian bid is the same.

Rosyth is not going to be building it, the same to RAN and RCN’s T26s not to be built in Clyde. Not clear for me is, what component from Britain does this ship carry? What contribution to UK industry this contract will provide?

Armaments, zero.
Propulsions, zero.
Radar/Sensors, zero.
CMS, zero.

Actually, its design is also imported from Denmark, OMT. So, design, no.
Integration of CMS will be done by Thales-Netherland, not Babcock, I guess?

So what Babcock is “exporting” is the modernized (from IH class to T31 class) version of the detailed design of the ship (may be CAD-based?) and “recent” know-how of building and integrating a ship. What else?

This proposal may be good for Greek. Also it will help Babcock design team and project management team. But, it will not contribute to the steel/welding workers, and also not much of the electric systems integration engineers nor CMS systems integration engineers.

Yes, if succeeded, getting export is good. But, this program does not have large British share.

Sonik

Yes it’s fairly limited in terms of UK export – even less so than Hunter/CSC which has significant UK high value content, even if hull build is elsewhere.

BTW Indonesia is OMT bid does not involve Babcock at all.

For Rosyth, I think greater possibility is for RN vessels to be sold/exported after 10-15 years and needing replacement. Pricing, for quality second hand warships, will increase, because cold war surplus, is now all gone. Second hand T31, will be attractive to many nations, because it’s simple to operate, and cheap to start with.

So after sale, possibly RN can get new, updated ships, for a little more than cost of a refit. I think this is the plan. I think a similar scheme (export second hand, to support home market demand) worked to support Japanese car manufacturers?

But regarding Greece, IIRC Thales are moving all Tacticos integration to the UK, so any A140 project will support that base. And the use of T31 team keeps design and project skills alive, which can help sustain T31 program and support further export bids. So for UK as a whole it’s much better than nothing. Anything like the Greek bid, is just a bonus.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ben Robins
donald_of_tokyo

Thanks.

1: You are correct. Indonesian bid did not include Babcock, Janes report on 11 March was self-corrected on 20 April, thanks (https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/indonesia-engages-german-turkish-firms-to-customise-frigate-design).

2: Thanks for TACTICOS. I checekd it. Those for UK and T31e is covered by Theles UK, so T31H for Greek will be integrated under Thales UK (not sure). But, Netherlands Thales remains to work on TACTICOS. For example, see “https://thales-group.prezly.com/damen-and-thales-to-build-the-german-mks-180-frigate-of-the-future#”

# I was wondering how can Rosyth survive in future, after T31 and possible T32 = after 2035 or so. Similarly, I’m start wondering how can Thales UK survive …

Nick

As understand the Netherlands Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Thales Nederland developed/developing a completely new gen CMS from the ground up based on their experience with TACTICOS the Above Water Warfare System (AWWS) for the Royal Netherlands Navy for use in the new Damen Belgium/Dutch M-class frigates and will also be used in the much larger Damen German MKS-180 frigate, now renamed the F126.
 
Thales has also renamed the AWWS as TACTICOS though expect completely different product/software. 

https://youtu.be/mHq_hFaVDsk

Glass Half Full

TACTICOS may be supported out of the UK according to past Thales PR.

“The UK Combat System Centre of Excellence will extend technical capabilities at our sites in Bristol and Crawley. This will establish a sovereign UK capability within the TACTICOS product line that will provide direct support to the RN and also the export initiatives for the Type 31 platform.”

https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/united-kingdom/news/thales-announces-new-naval-combat-management-centre-uk

Selling services for design, build and integration is important though, maintaining and building knowledge and capability. Babcock seem to be doing that in a number of countries on a number of different solutions.

Realistically there aren’t many big ticket headline items that the UK can provide even if a ship is built in the UK, if the ship not using MT30, Sea Ceptor, Artisan/Sampson or Thales sonar. Even then, many parts for the nominally UK labeled equipment may come from off shore sources. Its just the way of the world, no country does everything. MT30 seems to now be the turbine of choice for most naval designs around the world, MTU dominates diesels, major gun systems are mostly BAES or Leonardo, etc etc. One opportunity is naval radar, but it seems competitive and BAES don’t seem to want to compete. There may be scope for less glamorous components, if there aren’t Greek suppliers of similar solutions.

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks. On TACTICOS, thanks for your info, and please refer to my answer to Sonik-san above. (to avoid double post).

On British industrial items, to my understanding;
MT30 yes, CAMM/SeaCeptor yes, Artisan/Sampson yes, part of CAPTAS4 yes, electric motor for ASW frigates yes, BAE CMS-1 yes, and (main part of) T31’s TACTICOS CMS yes.

But, MTU is still Germany-based, just owned by RR. (like Swedish Bofors 57 mm gun nor US 127 mm gun are NOT of British, although it is surely of BAE).

In this point, T31H apparently lacks British things. In T31 for UK, OMT is the design house, Babcock-UK is the prime (project control), Babcock-UK Rosyth is the ship-hull builder, and Thales-UK is the CMS integrator, with BAE-Swedish guns, MBDA-UK SAM, and Thales-Netherland’s radar, and RR-MTU diesel generator, Renk the gearbox.

In T31H for Greek, OMT is the design house, Babcock is the prime, and Thales UK is the CMS integrator, with Italian and BAE-Swedish guns, US RAM/ESSM SAMs?, Thales-Netherland’s radar, and Hellenic yard is the ship-builder, diesel and gearbox, as well.

Getting design export order is nothing bad. But, this is a bit pitiful situation… BAE controlling (financing) several USA defense industry and getting USA order is NOT normally considered as “export”. For me, T31H is sitting in the middle of export and financing…

Sorry, anyway just a personal impression…

Glass Half Full

Sorry, I probably didn’t make my point clear in my earlier post. MTU, BAES and Leonardo are examples of companies that dominate certain naval sectors on a WW basis, not that they were British or had British content.

In other words, its hard today for most countries to produce a warship with a lot of domestic content apart from manufacturing the ship itself, when the big ticket items that go in and on it are dominated by a few WW players.

Also when tendering for foreign contracts, what is fitted to a ship may be largely determined by the customers. We see that with the T26 in Australia and Canada, and the Constellation class in the US, but it also applies at the lower end of the market. In the Greek competition France with the FDI seems to be pushing Sylver, Aster/Mica, which would align with your strategy of a company promoting national content. But Greece is an ESSM Consortia member, so we’ll have to see if the French strategy takes Greece down the path of French armaments. I’d bet against it because it seems Greece has other tendering options in the form of T31, Meko, Sigma, F110 and Lockheed MMSC that are based on Mk41/ESSM.

Dimi

France not being flexible on what weapons/sensors to put on their FDIs is one of the main reasons for failing to get the contract.

In The Bin

the lights are British designed and manufactured, Babcocks decided not to use the Glamox/aqua signal package supplied to the original Danish design.

RichardIC

Donald, you keep banging on about Type 31 being designed in Denmark. OMT sold the IH intellectual property to Babcock who have modified it. it is now a British design. Type 31 is not designed in Denmark.

Last edited 3 months ago by RichardIC
donald_of_tokyo

RichardIC-san

Thanks.

1: But Indonesian bid does not include Babcock, looks like? (see https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/indonesia-engages-german-turkish-firms-to-customise-frigate-design)

I myself is not clear what is a proposal based on Iver Huitfeldt class and what is a proposal based on T31.

To date, I see no such announcement as “OMT sold the IH intellectual property to Babcock”. To my understanding, Babcock says, it has brought the right to modify the design and build it for UK, as well as export as T31e. If you have any info about “sold”, which means OMT does not have any right anymore”, I am very interested in to see.

2: And also, “having T31 design” is only a part of the key point. “How can Babcock grew a British-based escort design team?” is important. To date, Babcock just bought the design. No one in the Babcock can design escorts with similar level maturity.

To enable this, I agree the simplest way is to buy foreign successful design (like IH class), build it (like Inspiration class), and what is more, design and build modified version based on its experience. This is exactly what the Indian shipyard did with T12M Leander frigate design. So, on T32, we will see the outcome of Babcock’s investment/power/strategy.

Sonik

Regarding the T31/A140 design, I think you are probably right, the base IP is still owned by OMT, but BMT/Babcock own the IP for their modifications and have secured the right to sell the complete design, presumably with OMT earning a commission.

What’s less clear, is the extent of the Babcock/BMT modifications and how this affects value, Vs the base IH design. It appears that the basic hull and propulsion are essentially the same.

But there are various changes/updates to the systems, which is perhaps the more difficult/valuable part of the design. These are the things I can gather:

1) The basic propulsion scheme is the same, but has been updated, with newer engines, new controls and emission limits to latest standards
https://www.navylookout.com/rolls-royce-mtu-engines-selected-for-type-31-frigate/

2) CMS, sensor and weapons fit is obviously different. Tacticos has been selected to allow flexibility of ‘open architecture’ which will appeal to export market.

3) There are minor structural modifications, for RN requirements. Notably new bridge wings and rearrangement of the boat bays.

4) There are updates and modifications to electrical and mechanical systems:
https://www.defenceprocurementinternational.com/news/maritime/type-31-frigate-babcock-awards-eriks-major-contract-for-actuated-valves-and-ancillary-equipment
with particular focus on automation and asset management:
https://www.babcockinternational.com/case-study/ifrigate/
The scope of these modification is not so clear; base IH design does include automation (to reduce crew/watch requirement) but A140 can use newer technology. Digital asset management is also an area of significant expertise for Babcock, through their support work for RN.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ben Robins
donald_of_tokyo

Thanks. On item-2.

Iver Huidfeldt class itself uses TACTICOS. But, of course, it is vastly simplified in T31, for sure.

https://www.thalesdsi.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/thales_tacticos.pdf

Nick

I’m confused as the OMT/DALO (Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization) presentation says IH uses the “Terma C-FLEX command, control, communications, computers and (C4I) systems, link 11 and 16, commercial and military SATCOM” with no mention of TACTICOS

RichardIC

Donald – you’ve been supplied with evidence of this on the UKDF, and your response was to deny the words that were being spoken actually meant what they mean.

donald_of_tokyo

Sorry if I missed something. Babcock never said OMT lost the design right?
Did they?

And also Indonesian bid is continuing with OMT = Team Denmark lead?

Last edited 3 months ago by donald_of_tokyo
Meirion X

We may sell the Greeks, the hull sonar 2150, or a restricted version, of it. But still small fry.
It is now being tested on HMS Portland.

Sonik

There is perhaps an opportunity to sell Sea Ceptor to Greece. One of the main problems with the French bid, is the very high cost of Aster.

Ceptor is clearly not in the same league, but it does have active seeker and AD capability, and the Greeks may conclude it’s range is sufficient in the confines of the Aegean. They can purchase many more sets for the same budget.

And of course, regardless of the Greek bid, the integration of Ceptor with the popular Tacticos CMS on T31 opens up a much wider market for the missile. Besides interoperability, this also opens up the possibility of sharing CAAM stocks between countries, which can benefit both the UK and others who join the pool.

All speculation of course but you can see the possibilities. If it’s successful, we will start to see how the RN’s economy drive can pay dividends in interesting ways.

Last edited 3 months ago by Ben Robins
Bob

Similar to the T31 but up gunned, bean counters strike again!

Bloke down the pub

<i>Details of how the Greek frigates could be equipped are unclear but would seem be more heavily armed than the Type 31. </i>

I’m shocked I tell you, shocked. A foreign vessel more heavily armed than the RN equivelant? Whatever next?

Duker

Their strategic situation is more high risk, with Turkey and right on their doorstep . If it wasnt for both countries being in Nato they likely would have a war/armed conflict by now, but Turkey seems to be less interested in Nato. This is the reason Greece spends 10% of GDP on defence.
Once the UK was the ‘protector’ of Greeces independence and its internal strife , but recently Macron has put France firmly on Greece’s side with Turkey, while UK is nowhere to be seen, and that for France is an economic advantage in defence procurement and will happen again for their new frigates

Cam

Britain still helps protect Greek Cypriots and cyprus though.

Jack65

Perhaps we should cancel Type 31 order and negotiate to buy the proposed Greek Arrowhead export version instead! That way we might actually get a suitably armed warship……..

Ron5

Can’t afford it.

Cam

Britain can afford it. It’s just we waste the money we have.

Sunmack

Exactly. £3.4bn (in 2010 prices) on MR4A. We could have properly armed the T31, put hangars on the River’s, filled the VLS cells on the T26 and put the extra VLS 16 cells on each T45 for that money.

X

Imagine one year’s overseas aid budget. Money we have to borrow and then pay interest upon. Heck! At least we keep the Mercedes S-Class production going with it…….

Cam

Foreign aid p****s me off.. 14 billion every year.. it’s crazy…

X

For very little return if any.

Cam

I don’t mind helping starving Africans or in disaster zones, but from what I hear lots of foreign aid is wasted on s**t….

Meirion X

Every country In the world has had some Government project failures including defence projects, in the past, and Britain is No exception.
And I am Not trying to justify failure of public sector projects either, it is a gross waste of Taxpayers money!
The MR4A project failure was even a failure of preparation of the project in the beginning, with No proper survey on the Nimrod airframe, which should have revealed that the airframe was obsolete, and the project Not began.

Also there are other better priorities to have instead of steel hangers on OPV’s, which is unnecessary because No helo will permanently attached to a OPV.
If a temporary cover is needed a tent made of Kevlar could be erected held up with steel poles. All done at a fraction of the cost of a permanent hanger!

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
D J

Actually, hangars on OPV’s are very handy things, even if they never see a helicopter. It’s basically a large enclosed all weather space with a very large door to the outside flight deck. Exercise area, people holding area, temporary hospital area, recreation space, shipboard BBQ etc. If you are only away from port a week at a time, not as useful, but not all OPV’s are used that way.

Cam

Imagine a type 45 with tomahawk and the like… a real beast.

X

I would be happy with the same sensors, weapons, and duration of an Italian Horizon…

Meirion X

The T45 is really a air defence warship, needed to defeat air or missile attacks against vessels in a group. Their are only 48 cells on T45 as it is.

I did proposed Tomahawk as a anti-ship warpon a few weeks ago, but another poster pointed out to me because TLM is subsonic it can be defeated. So Tomahawk could become obsolete before the end of this decade!

I think the RN needs to be looking at Hypersonic missles for future vessels like T83 or T32. They will require a bigger VLS like Mk. 57 or it’s successor with nearly 30 inch diameter cells.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Cam

Yeah but surely our destroyers would be more useful having land atack capability… granted it would cost more but that gives us far more options than we have. We are almost an entirely defensive force, barely any offensive capabilty.

Meirion X

The T45 destoryers are much better at anti air. I am looking forward to what the new anti ship missile is going to be, it should have some land attack ability.

The Italian Horizons have No anti ship missiles! And same number of cells 48, and No A70 cells to launch land attack missiles! They may have better guns then T45, but still lack the ability to launch more missiles.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Paul T

The Italian Horizon’s are equipped for the Teseo Mk2A Missile and the French Ships obviously use Exocet.

X

As long as there is a spare VLS cell (plus some other gubbins) TLAM can be hosted. It isn’t a question of building a ship for land attack per se. A ‘first day’ capability would be useful for a carrier group. That is why for the last few decades the first pictures we see from any war are TLAMs leaving Burkes (and further back Spurances). By choosing Sylver the MoD (HMG) did their normal trick of straddling the RN between stools; knowing full well we end up with the US but wanting to be seen as good Europeans. I very much doubt T45 will receive Mk41. But there will be lots of capacity in the incoming T26’s. There is are often a lot of talk on sites like this about modularity and often the VLS (like the helicopter) and its contents are often over looked as modules (just like the helicopter.) In the future if some cooperative engagement capability is implemented we could have missiles launched from one ship cued from another.

Last edited 3 months ago by X
D J

From my point of view, T45 is more in need of ExLS standalone. 4 sets (12 cells) of CAMM or CAMM-ER (preferably both) where the mk41 was originally to go. This gives another 48 missiles. Fit 8 NSM & leave it be.

D J

Being subsonic is not the problem. It’s being detectable & the likelyhood of being intercepted. If you are very detectable, then you need some way of avoiding being intercepted. Speed is one way of making it harder. However, if you are not detected, it makes no difference what speed you operate at, unless you are relying on kinetic energy to succeed.

AlexS

https://twitter.com/DefenceHQPress/status/1401200464658567170

The MoD does not know what is a frigate…

Erik

The T31 only has a chance if they improve the offer with a better radar such as the Thales SM-400 radar. They should also offer a CODLOG propulsion system and not a CODAD one. You can use CODAD on an OPV but not on a frigate.

D J

Perhaps someone should tell Denmark. They seem to be under the impression that they have two existing classes of frigates utilising CODAD.

Erik

These are useless when it comes to ASW. The Belharra has the same propulsion system. The Greek navy wants a multirole frigate. A top of the line frigate does not use a CODAD propulsion system.

D J

Denmark have decided to designate their Absalon frigates as ASW frigates & are adding a towed array. While I agree, there are are better ASW frigates out there (T23, ASW FREMM etc), this does not mean that they cannot be reasonable ASW assets. Both Danish frigate classes meet minimum NATO ASW requirements. There also things you can do to diesels to help, including acoustic enclosures & rafting of engines, plus there is the basic hull design. It also depends on what you want a frigate to do. Denmark’s IH frigates are heavy AAW frigates in the main. The UK T45 is an AAW destroyer. Of the two, the IH class seems the better at ASW (by a huge margin).

Erik

The Absalon class is not really a frigate. It is a poor man’s frigate. It is basically a RoRo ship with guns.

The Danes have no choice , they do not have any other options.

But the fact remains that you need an electric drive system to be effective against the new generation stealth submarines. A CODAD drive system is just not silent enough.

The Danes plan to install the towed sonar array in 2026. So it will take them an other 5 years to get the system operational. At that time the “frigate” will allmost be 21 years old.

Last edited 3 months ago by Erik
D J

So they will get around 10 years of experience before moving on. Towed arrays can be reused.

Robert`

Then you might as well use a tugboat. That wasn’t the point. The main question was whether a CODAD system should even be considered for an ASW frigate.

D J

There is a lot more to ASW than if you are using CODAD or not. Hull shaping, location & mounting of pumps, valves etc etc, ability of the sonar to compensate, the design & type of propellers & of course whether the diesels are rafted or not.

CODAD is not the preferred option & will not match the likes of T23, T26 etc. But an AB destroyer can’t match them either & it’s not CODAD & it’s all the US has till the FREMM’s come online. T45 is an electric drive but ASW useless. How close you can get using current technology & CODAD will be shown by the Danes. It’s been decades since anyone has seriously tried on a frigate in a modern navy.

Re the time line for the Danes towed array – is it possible they are planning to raft the engines? That’s a big job if you do it after the fact & would normally only do it when replacing the engines.

Robert`

True, not only the propulsion systems is important. It is a mix of the hull shape etc. However the best ASW frigates do not use a CODAD configuration. They simply don’t.

The French however decided to use CODAD on their new FDI frigates. This is probably a cost cutting measure.

It will also take them even longer than 2026 because they have no recent experience with VDS. But we will have to wait and see how succesfull they can be.

D J

Robert

I already indicated that a CODAD powered frigate will not match a T23/T26/ASW FREMM etc. These are highly regarded ASW specialists. How good can you get a modern CODAD though is the question. There are only a handful of navies that utilise specialist ASW frigates/destroyers. Most use non specialists eg AB destroyer, F100 frigate, Fridtjof Nansen frigates etc. While they are not specialists, the designers knew that ASW operation was likely, so they did what they could. If the Danes can get AB ASW performance, will they have succeeded?

Robert`

We will have to wait and see if the Danes will be able to overcome the drawbacks of a CODAD propulsion system. But we will probably never know, they are certainly not going to publish that it is not working.

D J

While the Danes may not say publicly, most navies will know soon enough & the general vibe will leak out. I notice that the French FTI is also CODAD & is expected to get a towed array (CAPTAS-4).

AlexS

Indonesia selects Italian FREMM over an improved version of Damen Sigma 10514 that they already have, Babcock Arrowhead 140 and Japanese 30FF frigate.

Order is 6 FREMM and 2 upgraded Maestrales.

Erik

Damen did not offer an improved Sigma frigate to Indonesia. They offered their new Omega design. This design is simular to the MKS-180 design for the German navy. It baffles me why they choose the FREMM.

Dimi

price?

Erik

Probably because the Americans choose the FREMM hull design as well. The reason however baffles me because they are already using the Tacticos CMS. Now they have two different CMS systems. It would have made sence if they either choose the Omega or the Iver Huitfeldt (Type 31) design. But maybe the Italian incentives were more favourable……. 😉

Last edited 3 months ago by Erik
AlexS

Italian ship is better.

AlexS

I think i have read that in Jane’s. Thanks.

What drives the growth in “frigates” also drives the choices countries do. The ” AAW defensive” ship that can only defend itself against the weapon and not the vector so cannot hit the 30000 ft drone or fighter bomber dropping missiles above ship defensive missiles is dead.
Anyone wants long range AAW range missiles because area denial is crucial capability.

Second Indonesia is a 270 million country, they want to be pair with other similar countries. It is inevitable when tensions with China are growing with them too..

Of course FREMM fits much better with that vision than competition.

Robert`

I don’t think it’s a better ship. The FREMM itself is a good ship, but when it comes to weapons and sensors, it’s mediocre at best. The Italian FREMM version has only 16 VLS cells for Aster 15 or Aster 30 missiles. During a saturation attack, it is a sitting duck after it has fired its 16 missiles. It will never survive such an attack. For example, the 11515 HN frigate proposal for Greece can launch 128 ESSM Block 2 missiles or a combination of SM2/SM6 and ESSM-2.

The Kronos radar on the FREMM has a range of 300 km. This rotary AESA radar is slightly better than the NS110 on the Type 31, but inferior in range and capabilities to the NS200 radar. The SM-400 radar proposed for the 11515 HN frigate and the Omega frigate has a range of 400 km and is much more capable than the NS200 and therefore the Kronos radar. Moreover, they are stuck with two different CMS systems. For Indonesia it will be better if they sell the Sigma frigates.

AlexS

FREMM can have 32 VLS for Aster 30, CAMM is also possible to fit with Aster and increase the numbers. Aster/CAMM is better than ESSM/SM-2

Most countries have more than one CMS.

300km vs 400km is irrelevant and those are instrumental ranges and i don’t know what radar would be choosen.

AlexS

Where you got the 128 ESSM? i only have 64 ESSM or 12 SM2+16ESSM

Erik

The renewed 1515 HN proposal is for 4 Mk.41. The ESSM Block2 are quadpacked. Therefore it will have 32 cells, each cell will have 4 ESSM missiles. This comes to a total of 128 missiles plus 21 RAM missiles for a grand total of 149 missiles. The Italian FREMM will only have 16 cells, not a single cell more. It will therefore only be able to fire 16 missiles. The ESSM block 2 is not inferior to the Aster 15. It also has a longer range.

The SM-400 has 4 fixed flat AESA panels. It has already demonstrated, during excersises, that it is superior to the radar of the type 45. It has also demonstrated that it is superior to rotating AESA radars. Range is relevant, why else do they want to increase the detection range? Longer range means more reaction time.

Last edited 3 months ago by Erik
D J

FREMM can go to 32 cells (even the current Italian ones), it just means loosing some crew living space (just like the T45 has room for more cells). See the Italian FREMM offerings to Australia & Canada – both came with 32 cells from the outset. I gather these Indonesian ones are based off the GP variant. There is some suggestion that the OMT IH frigate has not gone away & that we may be looking at 2 AAW frigates (IH) & 6 GP frigates (FREMM), with 2 gap fillers while they are being built.

As to the Italian’s, while their FREMM’s currently carry only 16 cells of Aster 15/30, they are also the ones paying for the development of the CAMM-ER, which is quad packable with an ESSM type range. They also have the option of fitting the optional 16 extra cells the design allows for. Even shifting 8 cells of Aster 15 to CAMM-ER would give you a load out of 32 CAMM-ER & 8 Aster 30 without adding any cells.

Erik

That is what they call “fitted for, but not with”. But the Italian FREMM class does not include this option to fit more cells. This would require a major refit. Refits are usually only done during a midlife update. Theses refits are also extremely expensive which Indonesia really can not afford.

Besides the CAMM-ER is not even operational yet. Also the CAMM-ER requires a different launcher. It can not be fired from the same VLS cell as the Aster 15 is fired from. It is also impossible to launch different missiles from these CAMM VLS cells. They are basically a one trick pony.

The ESSM BLOCK 2 also has a longer range than the CAMM-ER and are a lot faster. They also provide a medium range defence. The RAM missile will provide short range air defence. All in all this will provide a layerd air defence around the ship.
The Mk.41 launcher is also more versatile. You can fire different missiles from these VLS cells. This includes: ASROC, Tomahawks, SM-2 / 3 / 6, ESSM, Aster 15 / 30.

As far as I know the Indonesian version will not be equiped with CAMM-ER but with 16 VLS cells for Aster 15 / 30.

Also it uses the Leonardo Athena combat managemt system. It is not like the TACTICOS CMS. It is not an open architecture CMS. The Indonesian navy uses Chinese SSM missiles. It will be difficult and expensive to incorporate the algorithms to be able to fire those missiles.

Therefore my conclusion is that it will be very expensive for Indonesia to acquire these ships and they will only provide a very limited AAW capabilty with a mediocre radar system.

D J

Erik

While fitting extra missile cells to the Italian’s own FREMM frigates would definitely require a refit, in the case of Indonesia, they have the option of fitting them at build if they want. As I said above, both FREMM designs offered to the Australian & Canadian competitions were for 32. In fact both of these offerings were mk41, as that was the competition requirement.

According to MBDA, CAMM systems can be fired from both Sylver & mk41, not just CAMM specific launchers. If you are referring to the drop in systems such as used for the mk41 cells, they are not fixed & you can’t reload at sea anyway. CAMM-ER (aka Albatros NG), is not yet fully operational, true, but CAMM itself is & besides these ships are not even built yet (it will be a while before they even cut steel). MBDA have announced its first sale of CAMM-ER for a naval customer to be operational in 2024. My mention of CAMM & CAMM-ER was more about potential options if they did only go for 16 cells, as these are both quad packable. ESSM would also be an option if it’s mk41, but not if it’s Sylver.

I can’t find anyone who can say for certain what the armament, sensors or CMS that was put forward. Indonesia may even want changes to these from whatever was originally offered anyway. It’s highly unlikely that it was an exact replica of the Italian GP FREMM in any case.

Robert`

You can bolt almost anything to a warship depending on its size, that is not the point. If you want to bolt a Mk. 41 to a FREMM frigate is of course possible, you end up with the American Constellation class, the American variant of the FREMM. However that means you have to completely re-design the ship and that is wat the Americans did. They basically used the same hull but all the rest of the equipment is replaced by American made equipment.

This was also the case for the Australians, it would have meant a completely different radar system, combat management system and weapons. That constitutes a completely different ship. All these changes are hugely expensive, countries like Australia and the US have the funds available to implement these changes. However Indonesia does not. Janes (look it up on janes dot com) already has questions if Indonesia has the funds available to purchase these ships. Especially in the light of the recent purchase of 36 Rafale fighters from France. Therefore it is very likely that like Egypt, Indonesia is going to buy the same frigate configuration as the Italians. They simply do not have the funds to make these very expensive changes to the design.

The radar and CMS are really inseparable. You cannot benefit from the best radar in the world if your CMS is lacking, and vice versa. The CMS is a Italian built system called Athena. Which they claim is an open architecture system but in fact is a closed architecture system designed to work only with Italian / French systems and weapons. Hence, integrating things like ESSM, STRALES, VL-ASROC etc is a problem. SIGMA on the other hand comes with TACTICOS. An open architecture CMS already integrated with anything the Indonesian navy can ask to arm its frigates with. A very popular and easily upgradeable / configurable CSM already in operation with the Indonesian navy existing frigates and corvettes (Sigma10514 etc.).

The radar of the Omega frigate in the proposal by Damen is the new S/X suite consisting of the SeaMaster 400 fixed panel S-band radar suite and the APAR Block II X-band multi-function radar, both using gallium nitride technology. According to Thales, the new fixed panel S-band radar APAR Blk2 defends against saturation attacks in the highest threat scenarios by supporting many simultaneous AAW and ASuW engagements with both active and semi-active guidance using ICWI. Thales SeaMaster 400 offers a range of 450km while APAR Block 2 can replace illuminators to directly provide guidance for ESSM and SM-2 missiles. A radar fare more capable than the Kronos radar the Italians are offering. So clearly, the SM400/TACTICOS combo of the OMEGA wins over the Kronos / Athena combo of the FREMM.
 
Because no single radar can beat the curvature of the Earth, tracking low flying targets below the horizon (~20km) can be achieved by linking the CMS of multiple assets that will exchange information with each other. In this way, a TNI-AL Sigma corvette can track a Chinese ASM flying past it and relay the information to the frigate that is a 100km away. Then the frigate can launch an Aster-30 or SM-2 to destroy the threat well before it will appear on its own radar.

Sounds simple, yes? Well, no. For this to happen both ships (or helicopters, UAVs, AWACS, whatever asset carries a radar) you need more than just the secure connection (Data Link 16/22). You need the Combat Management Systems that will ultimately fire a weapon to speak the same language.

And herein lies another great disadvantage of the Italian proposal to Indonesia. The Italian Athena CMS is not only incompatible with the rest of the TNI-AL systems. But the rival Omega frigate is offered with TACTICOS, the same CMS currently found in the TNI-AL’s major surface units. 

Essentially this means that the new frigates that will come with TACTICOS, on top of all its virtues, will enjoy network centric warfare capabilities out-of-the-box. This is a game changer for naval warfare. And a point which, in my opinion, should have deemed any proposal without TACTICOS integration unacceptable for Indonesia. This same also applies to Greece.

Last edited 3 months ago by Robert`
D J

Robert

I actually agree that it would be stupid for Indonesia not to go with Tacticos & preferably, in this case, a Thales radar. The existing new Damen frigates & potential IH frigates are so configured. Indonesia though, like Philippines, are somewhat unpredictable.

If all you are changing is radar & CMS, then for the likes of FREMM, a Thales system would be one of the cheapest alternatives. Thales owns 25% of NG who are 50% of the FREMM design. There is not much on the standard FREMM that is unusual to Thales. Not saying any of this matters when it comes to Indonesia. Due to existing ships, Thales has already integrated existing Indonesian weapons & is familiar with both mk41 & Sylver launch systems. All that other work on other bids, even if they lost, gets recycled & reused, if it’s of any use.

6 ships of this sort of class is a reasonable order in anyone’s language. Even if they get it badly wrong, it will be a step up from UK T31. I am looking forward to the details. That’s if it doesn’t fall over at the financing hurdle. Unlike the Austal / Philippines OPV deal (6 ships – finance backed by Australian government), this is not pocket change. BTW, I gather this is a preliminary contract – subject to finance, so a bit of a way to go still.

FYI, there are radars that can beat the curvature of the earth. They are just too big to fit on ships.

Robert`

However, this is the Italian FREMM version and not the French one. They share only about 20% of all parts used. The Italians want to use their own radar system and CMS system. They have no experience integrating other combat systems.

If the customer really insists, they may want to switch to the TACTICOS system. The TACTICOS system is a typical Dutch development and not a French one. The French don’t want to use it. For obvious reasons, they only want to use SETIS, their CMS system. Again, this will be very expensive for the Indonesian Navy to redesign the FREMM frigate.

The Type 31 was not actually offered to Indonesia. OMT offered the Ivar Huitfeldt version. A Turkish company was hired to adapt it to Indonesian specifications. I’m not really sure if they are still going through with this development. They probably can’t afford extra Huitfeldt frigates.

“BTW, I gather this is a preliminary contract – subject to finance, so a bit of a way to go still.” True, it is not a done deal yet. They also signed a contract with OMT. We have to wait and see.

Yes, there are radar systems that can see beyond the horizon, they are called OTH (over the horizon radars). Like you said, they’re way too big to fit on a ship.

D J

Robert

Some commentary seems to suggest that there is/was two competitions. One for 2 x AAW frigates & one for 6 x GP frigates. If this is correct, then Babcock could definitely have put forward the A140 (T31 is unsaleable) in the GP competition & OMT the IH in the AAW competition.

As regards TACTICOS, the Italians can utilise the same people as Damen & OMT. I am sure the Italians can manage. Even BAE can do TACTICOS.

Robert`

I doubt very much that the Italians will use Tacticos. But you’re right, if they use the same team, they can get it to work. However, this will likely be more expensive. Switching to a CMS other than what it was designed for will incur additional costs.

This is the first time I hear that there are two competitions. It is also not mentioned on any Greek naval site. However, you can also configure the T31 in an AAW variant. It all depends on what kind of radar and weapon systems the Greek Navy wants to put on the ship. The T31 has enough space to use the same equipment as the Damen 11515 HN. It all depends on the available budget.

D J

Robert

We seemed have got mixed up between Greece & Indonesia here. I know the article is about Greece, but part of the commentary thread wandered off into Indonesia.

Robert`

Sorry, I thaught you were talking about Greece 🙂 . I have no information either about the Indonesian desire to aquire AAW and GP frigates. Again this all depends on the available budget. But yes, they could have offered the Arrowhead 140. Allthough Indonesia wants to spend billions on new ships and aircraft, it is doubtfull if they have enough money to buy it all.

D J

Indonesia has supposedly budgeted for the IH frigates. The FREMM’s are subject to finance. If Italy was prepared to supply government backed finance, then maybe. But neither are set in stone. Really, the only SE Asian country that you can take 100% at face value is Singapore.

In saying that, amazing amounts of money is being spent on defence in the Asia/Pacific. Indonesia is part of the SCS equation. There are reasons to spend money.

AlexS

“!Therefore my conclusion is that it will be very expensive for Indonesia to acquire these ships and they will only provide a very limited AAW capabilty with a mediocre radar system.”

Now i see you are disingenuous at best or outright dishonest.

“Besides the CAMM-ER is not even operational yet.”

Well the Damen ship is not operational yet while FREMM is.

FREMM can have 128 cells of CAMM-ER or mixed with cells for Aster 30.
The “mediocre radar system” since 2019 tracks ballistic missiles.

And from Formidable Shield 2021

“For Leonardo, the systems developments on board Nave Marceglia, the eighth FREMM Class frigate (European Multi-Mission Frigate) of the Italian Navy, were tested. Capable of locating, classifying and tracking ballistic threats with extreme precision in a radius of 250 km , the Kronos MFRA (Multi-Function Radar Active) 3D radar, in an experimental configuration, has shown that it can follow the target right from the initial phase, in which the ballistic missile reaches speeds of over 1,800 m / s and accelerations over 6G, to then keep track over 200 km of altitude and acquire the target. “

And that is not even the best Leonardo can offer.

AlexS

Leonardo CMS and Chinese/Russian weapons from 2018

https://www.monch.com/mpg/news/naval-channel/4397-leocms.html

Robert`

It’s, like I said, my personal opinion. How can that be dishonest? You are absolutely free to disagree. And you do 🙂

As I said before, you can bolt anything to any warship. It all depends on the available budget, but adding VLS cells will make it more expensive. I was talking about the current configuration, the same as the Italian Navy uses. The Carlo Bergamini only has 16 VLS cells, therefore it won’t be able to fire more than 16 Aster 15 or 30 missiles. That is why it has a limited AAW capability.

The Kronos radar is a rotating AESA radar. A descent radar but certainly not the best radar out there. It only has a range of 250 km. Being able to track balistic missiles within a 250 km range is not all that impressive. The Smart L mm/n can track ballistic missiles at a range of 2000 km (Formidable Shield 2021).

What could be a gamechanger is that Fincantieri is going to offer the US Constellation class to Greece. Anyway that is what I have read on a Greek navy website. Again, what is the Greek government willing to spend on their new frigates.