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My gut feeling is that one isn’t enough, I think you really need at least two based in the Gulf (or any other region) if you’re going to achieve anything. That way you’ve got a bit of redundancy, a bigger centre of mass to justify a local holding of stores etc., and someone to learn from with an experienced crew and a new one. But that then starts to eat into the major selling point of this idea which is that you can have a permanent Gulf commitment with 1 FF rather than 3.


I agree fully that at least one more frigate is needed in the Gulf, but the cupboard is just too bare for that. Perhaps an OPV could augment the FF to flesh things out a bit?


The problem is OPVs as currently configured have no AAW capability and I wouldn’t want to be sailing around that area without any.


While crew rotation.might be seen as an innovative move by the RN it is the default for the majority of the world’s sailors and is proven to work.

The merchant marine often works on ships that are equal/if not more complex and larger (think of some of the lpg/oil mother’s ships) and rotate with only a couple of days hand over.

The problem is that the RN has a bit of a not invented here syndrome and hasn’t adapted it’s crewing/training structure to meet modern methods. I believe the RFA uses the normal rotation system with success; without requiring UK training ships.

Perhaps it’s time the military to follows the good practice of their civilian counterparts?


I don’t think you could necessarily argue merchant marine ships are more complex, the myriad sensors and weapons systems on-board a warship don’t really compare directly with a fuel pumping and pressurisation system. The issue with training is that you want the crew to be trained as a team to deal with multiple failures while still fighting the ship, which goes beyond just having a competence in your core role.
The RN have had ships based overseas before so it’s not new, however when retention is already an issue they have to be careful not to introduce schemes that will drive people outside. Certainly the crew rotation trial they carried out on a T42 based in the Falklands wasn’t the raging success you’d have thought it would be if you’d just gone by the civilian experience.


This a a non sensical waste of time. A purely delusional attempt at posturing by an out of date and obsolete navy


haha…..listen to him. What a navy-hater traitor.


Every time a Type 45 tries to operate in the Gulf it breaks down. Let the Type 23 take the permanent station and leave the 45s to deal with the Russians.


No there’s a lot wrong with your statement sir. First of all the type 45’s have operated in the gulf without ‘breaking down’ but even then it wasn’t a fault flaw it was just an issue with the gas turbines which were brand new, so of course their would a few issues. Secondly the type 23’s would be much better suited to deal with the Russians as their surface fleet is very capable but their submarines are the bigger threat to the uk.


The Daring broke down twice in 2010 and 2012, the Dauntless lost power in 2014, the Duncan had to be towed back in 2016 and the latest was HMS Diamond with a broken propeller. Until the PIP is complete not a single T45 can be counted on in hot latitudes. The best hunter of submarines is another submarine and in order to stop the wave of Russian supersonic missiles the Aster is the only answer.


Yes they have had issues, but we understand what’s wrong with the propulsion systems and short term fixes have been put in place so that they can deploy in warmer waters. Also we will have 3 or 4 type 45’s available at a time 2 will most likely will be escorting the carries. Leaving 1 or 2 left to either be deployed eles where. We don’t have any where near enough subs to deal with the Russian threat so the extra ASW capabilities will be needed from the type 23’s/type 26’s or MPA. Aster is a great missile but the CAMM is still a good air defence missle and would be able to defend a ship from a attack


3 to 4 type 45s available at a time?Absolutely no chance ,they hide them behind the ferry port, there are quite often 5 of them there.


Maybe there is a role to add a River class OPV in the Gulf/Indian Ocean. Many of the duties will include constabulary, mine hunting and anti piracy patrols. Pity they don’t mount a 57mm gun.


I worked on a T45 that spent the whole deployment in the Gulf area without a single incident . No black outs or partial blackouts. The reason why? Confidence in the system and that the software mods and recouperator issues have for the most part been fixed. That particular vessel spent almost 90% of its time happily steaming around on its GTAs using its DGs only for standby back up.
As for Diamond she actually never left the Med before the stern seal (not the propeller) failed.
Supersonic missiles? We have been dealing with them since the cold war. THe AS4 Kitchen is still in service …thats nearly 60 years …a number of well worked and known countermeasures existed previously and exist now for ASMs…they are nothing new.

Ian Willis

We have no business deploying ships to the Gulf to prop up the assorted weak, illegitimate and capricious Kings, Sultans and Emir’s of the Gulf against their own people. Politically, this is the sort of action that breeds hatred of the West in so many Muslim countries. Militarily, one frigate is militarily insignificant. Our ship would become a hostage to local political situations. We shouldn’t let imperial nostalgia rule our military strategy.


Ever lived or visited the Gulf?
I am currently sat looking out of my window at a flottila of western warships in a Gulf country. I can say I am not hated by the local guys I work with because of it .

Anthony Morgan Davies

It’s nothing to do with imperial nostalgia. It’s a trade choke point that affects European trade. Many different countries cooperate to police this area. Accepting other regimes’ right to exist is hardly imperialistic. Regardless we have to work with those countries. We can’t ignore them because they don’t live up to our present day notion of what right is.

Gerard Riordan

Great idea keeping a prescence about the globe or potential hot spots…russia is also gaining ports of convenience… we must continue with the strategy.


The idea of eventually using a T31 in the Gulf depends what it ends up as. If it gets the minimum equipment (57mm, Phalanx and a Wildcat plus a whole lot depends “fit for but not with” no one will be impressed.
Even a T23 GP with Sea Ceptor will not be helping defend a US carrier. Ideally as the air / missile threat is the main one in the Gulf / North Indian Ocean you would deploy a T45. But they will be totally committed to defending the two QE class in a few years.
The question then is is it better not to do anything or do something even if it’s a bit half arsed?


Iran has the only missile threat in the Gulf. It has little in the way of an air force but it does have an asymmetric threat from small boat swarm attacks.
None of the Gulf states are going to attack a western warship so you don’t need a T45. A T23 is ideal for doing work in the Gulf and IO area. Slow speed loiter capability, Helo, gun, AAW and room for RM and sundry others…


The war in Yemen has resulted in a number of ships being attached with anti ship missiles. As these water are very important for world trade my guess is that the “Gulf” Frigate will spend significant time in this area. It would not in my opinion be reasonable for the RN to sent any warship to this area without protection. Either on board of from an area defence ship. A T23 or T45 is totally suitable a River is absolutely not. As for the T31 who knows, it depends what sort of ship it ends up as.

Michael Watson

Might it be a better idea to station one of the new batch 2 River class OPV instead of a Frigate which would be more useful doing escort duties for our Aircraft Carrier’ s and anti submarine work in the North Atlantic.
I know the Navy is not keen on building a sixth batch 2 OPV, but the case for it is getting stronger, what you guys think?


I don’t think sending a patrol ship with no real anti air or missile defences to this area is a good idea. The minesweepers can be justified as they do an important job, but probably need protection in some areas.


The problem here is overstretching…….for one someone has admitted 2 of our 19 escorts are mothballed….. We struggle to manage commitments with all 19! It’s all very well coming up with all these deployment ideas, just give us the ships we need!!!

Iqbal Ahmed

I have no idea why we are gearing up to fighting Iran on behalf of the Gulf Arab states. One frigate is a sacrificial lamb. How much oil money is worth the lives of our soldiers and sailors?

Do we make a net profit in selling arms to the Gulf region compared to the money we have to spend on Police and Intelligence services and programmes like Prevent to counter the inevitable blowback on our streets? What about all the impact on political tensions and community relations?

Cost-benefit wise, are we in the black or the red (literally the blood of our forces personnel or civilians in Britain) with this type of latter day Imperialism?


Bla bla bla reduce the navy bla bla bla cut back onoverseas comitments bla bla bla turn britain into a non-entity for my overlords, we’ve heard it all before from you.

Anthony Morgan Davies

A lot of good points made for and against this deployment. I think the context that is missing is the international flavour of the security missions in trade choke points like the gulf. We won’t be operating in isolation, which would make a single 23 vulnerable. It’s a big area though and it can’t be policing off the horn of Africa, containing Iran and escorting carrier battle groups.

For me the future looks like 26/45s focusing on escorting carrier strike and standing NATO groups in European waters, with OPVs, RFA, mcms and 31s stationed abroad for constabulary and defence engagement. It may require more than five 31s but if they could take containerised MCM and hydrographic functions then the MCM fleet could be phased out without replacement to help buy and crew more 31s.

In terms of deployments, a bharain, Singapore and Falklands squadron sounds about right.


Don’t ask for more ships or overseas deployments too loudly mate, Iqbal above you might have an Aneurysm if you do. XD