Subscribe
Notify of
guest
63 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
ATH

I wonder if any of the other ships planned to leave the fleet in the next few years will get extended until closer to the ISD of their replacement.

Jon

Scott perhaps. The new surveillance ship(s) has/have an earliest planned date of 2024, and Scott is OOS next year. But if there’s doubt about the MROSS delivery dates, they might mothball it instead.

Cam

Like HMS Scott, going without a replacement, same with all 7 Sandown MCMVs, luckily the Hunts have a few more years though. And RFA Argus, a ship well worth what she cost. We could do with two…

X

Makes sense.

Supportive Bloke

Yes keeping something in service that works and is within shelf life.

I would guess that this was

a) a quid pro quo for abandoning lifex on the two T23’s; and

b) politically necessary as we need some mid weight coastal guard boats / escorts.

Sunmack

I’d rather see them sold and replaced by the Batch 2 Rivers for UK home water patrols. The operating cost and crew savings could then be used to retain some of the MCM fleet in-service.

With their lack of an embarked helicopter, the Batch 2 Rivers are swanning around in the Far East and Caribbean achieving no military purpose other than showing the flag. I’d far rather see crews used on MCM vessels which are of real military value.

ATH

It’s clear the RN has no interest in operating “man in the minefield” sweepers any longer than absolutely necessary. They are going unmanned as fast as equipment is proved out. Showing the flag as in presence and defence engagement is what HMG has instructed the RN to do. Until the T31 comes on line the B2’s are the best available tool for the job. In low risk areas like the Caribbean and Falklands they will still be the best toll after the T31’s arrive.

Sunmack

I agree with you that the decision to move away from manned MCM’s has been taken. However, I’d refer you to the excellent article on here a few months ago as to why it’s a very poor operational decision which is why other navies are not going down that route.
The decision is driven entirely by operating and manning costs hence why I’m proffering the opinion that I’d rather transfer those resources from the B1 Rivers to the MCM force.

ATH

Problem is if the RN did get rid of the B1 the last place they would put the money is maintaining the MCM force.
The B1’s provided the opportunity to develop officers and senior NCO’s before they move up to senior posts on an Escort. If the B2’s weren’t showing the flag HMG would insist on escorts doing the work even at the expense of sea time training for their primary roll.

Spoz

Actually, both the RAN & USN are going down the unmanned sweeping/hunting route – and there may well be others.

Phillip Johnson

True but the RAN is also planning to replace it current fleet of 4 Manned minehunters with 4 MCM mother ships, derived from its new 80M OPV design, to carry the un-manned systems around.
Unmanned is plainly the way people want to go but the same people are likely under estimating the need to transport and support unmanned MCM systems in an area of operations.
tying up an 8000T frigate in that role would be just plain dumb.

Sonik

people are likely under estimating the need to transport and support unmanned MCM systems in an area of operations.
tying up an 8000T frigate in that role would be just plain dumb.”

Not sure I agree, global operations need legs and contested areas need escorts for MCM anyway, so why not just put the MCM on the escort?

X

Because it ties up the escort when it should be doing other things. It is sort of obvious. You are not thinking about scale. Handling of the drones. Amount of work. Confusing the role for its force protection. In fact practically everything.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
Sonik

Still not sure I get your point.

If MCM needs an escort anyway, then what’s the problem with deploying the capability from the escort? If the operations area is benign, then deploy the capability from land or a chartered civilian vessel.

It’s not tying up additional escorts either way.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ben Robins
X

All I can then is you have little to no understanding of naval warfare.

X

What you have to consider is that most who push drones don’t understand how dumb these systems are or what it takes to manage them. They think these are torpedo sized vehicles plopped into the water that pop up a few hours later having found and neutralised any threat. And they are far from being like that and if we had that technology we wouldn’t need ships.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
Sonik

Its obviously not that simple.

It does introduce new challenges with command, inter-working between capability teams and hosting vessel crews etc.

That’s not an insurmountable problem with the right SOPs etc. Also, it will help spread understanding of the workings of different branches, which can only be a plus.

X

You should ring up the RAF and tell them to scrap everything apart from A400m. It is big and does it all.

Jonathan

No but there are some very significant jumps in heuristic learning systems as well as quantum communications that are going to transform sub surface drones in a relatively short time frame.

Cam

We do need these boats..,ships lol

stephen ball
Last edited 1 month ago by stephen ball
X

Rolls Royce has a 1000 tonne design with a Merlin capable flight deck, davits amidships, and a design speed of 25 knots.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
ATH

Is this the design or do RR have others?

https://ares.global/vessels/patrol/rolls-royce-skadi-70-opv

X

Yes! 🙂

Note the generous flight deck. And the optimum position of the davits. And then compare with the Batch 1 Rivers.

ATH

The B1 Rivers were classic “Design and Build” where everything was secondary to achieving the minimum performance spec at the absolute minimum cost. Not even their mothers would call a B1 pretty but they made Vospers money on the lease deal. There B2 cousins have their issues but I my opinion are very nice looking ships.

Ron5

Rolls Royce sold off its ship design business some time ago

ATH

Bet whoever bought it would be interested in selling the rights to build if the RN wanted a ship like this. If for some reason the new owners didn’t want or weren’t allowed to do a deal someone like BMT could work up a design with similar characteristics without excessive difficulties.

donald_of_tokyo

Good to see River B1 be retained until 2028 (age 25).

I understand the frigate plan is as;

  • On 2025, RN will be “delivered” 1st T31 (T31-1) and 1st T26 (T26-1), with 10 T23 remaining. (12 frigates on list, 10 operational)
  • On 2026, T31-2 delivered, with 9 T23. (12 frigates on list, 9 operational)
  • On 2027, T31-3 and T26-2 delivered, and T31-1, T31-2, and T26-1 will be operational, with 8 T23. (13 frigates on list, 11 operational)
  • On 2028, T31-4 and T26-3 delivered, and T31-3 operational, with 7 T23. (14 frigates on list, 11 operational)
  • On 2029, T31-5 delivered, and T31-4 and T26-3 operational, with 6 T23. (14 frigates on list, 12 operational)

So, 2028 is the timing on which

  • frigate number on list exceeds 13 (to be 14)
  • and three T31 become operational.

I agree decommission of three River B1s at this timing is a good match.

stephen ball

Border force 42m vessels are going to be about 30 year’s old about that time too. Could national ship building be included for new replacement’s?

Something like the Aussie Cape Class.

Last edited 1 month ago by stephen ball
Jon

Would make sense. There’s a bigger one too, so 5 in all.

Perhaps Priti Patel would pay for cats and traps. Traps to grab hold of illegal immigrants and catapults to fire them back to France. [Just don’t tell her we can’t really do that.]

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Jonathan

There is no chance our Home Secretary would actually sign off on launching human beings of the front of a ship ?……umm well….scrap that in not betting money on it.

William Pellas

Heh! ^^^^

X

The Capes are awesome boats.

What we need desperately is something to fit between the Rivers and those smaller boats.

Jon

I was reading on Janes that the new “evolved” version of the Cape class are designed to operate up to sea state 4. Can that be right? Might not be a good fit for UK if so. Even the new Gibraltar patrol boats are all weather.

stephen ball

NEW CAPEability – YouTube 0:44 it’s the rib.

Jon

Ah. That explains it. Thank you.

X

As Stephen has said that’s the RIB’s. That’s the limit for boardings.

Grant

The US Coast Guard Sentinal Class look like the perfect sort of thing….

X

They are Damen design like our current Border Agency craft. And that means they will be a solid design.

I am talking about something, well two somethings really. A class 500 to 700 tonnes and then 900 tonnes to 1200 tonnes.

Zale

These Taiwanese catamarans seem like a good fit for the Border Agency to be honest – the corvette that formed the base design is supposed to be able to operate up to sea state 7 as well.

Anping-class offshore patrol vessel – Wikipedia
Taiwanese coast guard receives second Anping-class patrol boat (janes.com)

Last edited 1 month ago by Zale
X

They are very interesting ships.

You don’t need speed for all patrol work.

But in a perfect world a couple of hulls with a fair turn of speed to not only chase down law breaking ships but also get there before their own navy does would be useful……. You can’t arrest a ship with a drone taking photos.

Jon

How do you see the difference between the 1000 ton and the 600 ton boats/ships being used?

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
X

Have a look at the patrol patterns for the Marine Scotland ships. Imagine the RN using the smaller hulls in the Irish Box, upper Channel, and North Sea.

https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/factsheet/2019/11/marin-scotland-topic-sheets-general/documents/marine-protection-vessels-new-november-2019/marine-protection-vessels-new-november-2019/govscot%3Adocument/marine-protection-vessels.pdf

The Rivers have been good value for the RN. But they are a large design that isn’t particular modern or ‘feature rich’. A 1000 ton design with a flight deck would have been better. These would be used in the Western Approaches, lower Channel, and Rockall. This is 960 tonnes…….
comment image

Finally another larger ship with aviation facilities in support (and for aviation training) and for the Falklands Islands and other overseas territories. (The image is viewable if you click on it.)
comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by X
Jon

Thanks for the response.

I can understand the case for dropping to four smaller, say 1000 tons, cheaper OPVs from B1 for fisheries. Or seven if you include Scottish marine protection replacements. Although I’m not sure the point of a flight deck if they are to work in UK waters. Isn’t S&R usually done from the mainland?

I think having some even smaller at 600 tons won’t save much money and will be too limiting. The French are reportedly going with ten 1500 tons 90m OPVs for home waters at a cost of a billion euros, not that much cheaper than the B2s.

I can’t see the case for yet another GP frigate, especially not the old and slow Thetis class.

X

The reason why the RN had the Castles built was because of the importance of the helicopter in the maritime environment. It was chopped from B1 River for costs. You don’t always need a hangar, but you can never have to many flight decks. I find it odd you say ships can be too small and then decide that a useful and cheap way to use all that volume is not warranted. Not very consistent thinking. But the RN did the same.

The French POM’s are going out to their overseas territories.

Yes lastly the Thetis is a ‘patrol frigate’; but the Danish navy is small and everything that is not an auxiliary that is escort size is now a friaget. I am not advocating for that particular ship the picture was given as an example of a long range OPV, but still small, for work in distant waters like the South Atlantic with very good rane. It isn’t a line warship. It might have sonar but it lacks even a PDMS system. It is ice strengthened though which would probably be more use in policing foreign trawlers, or more accurately foreign navies protecting their trawlers.

All RN frigates have been ‘general purpose’ since the first Type 12(M) rolled down the slipway. Removing 2087 from a T23 doesn’t magically make a T23 with a 2087 less general purpose. General purpose being the ability to act against an air, surface, or subsurface target and provide limited tactical air control. And a T23 without 2087 is still a first rate ASW FWIW. The term ‘general purpose’ can’t be applied to T45 with its poor to non-existent ASW fit out, unlike its peers. And the term cannot be applied to T31 which will have no ASW fitted. It is a bugger’s muddle. Waffle on pages like this by those who don’t know the difference or seemingly have read anything about the development of RN escorts post-WW2 doesn’t help.

ATH

Re the French. I think Jon is referring to the planned PO class rather than the POM. The PO’s are designed for domestic service, the the attached for more info.

https://www.navalnews.com/event-news/euronaval-2020/2020/10/euronaval-first-details-of-the-patrouilleurs-oceanique-po-platform-unveiled/

Jon

Thanks ATH. I hadn’t read that particular account which seems more detailed than most. They only just started the detail work a week or so ago and reports over the last year on the possible displacement seem to vary.

Jonathan

I generally agree, there needs to be more planning on what each type of escort actually does and is it an escort or more of a ship that will be deployed as a single.

I would not say a T45 with its bow sonar and if it had a merlin on the flight deck would not be a non existent ASW asset. Less good that a T23 without tail which is less good than a T23 with tail and wild cat, with the best surface ASW In the world being a tailed T23 paired with a Merlin.

To be honest I think the biggest problem is lack of numbers, to few Merlins, to few T45s etc.

But in general escorts are becoming more muddled to be honest and I think it does depend very much on what each navy needs, thinks it needs or can get past the political system.

If your going to be a task group based navy, like the RN is becoming then more focused escorts is fine as you want your specialist ASW ships off doing their ASW thing and as high end AAW dashing around doing theirs. You don’t want your AAW ships dashing off to hunt a sub contact and In a task group there will always be anti surface warfare options so as not to distract your escorts (escorts trying to kill a ship are not going to be in the right place and you want to kill that ship far far away).

Ships sent on single deployments or as economic escorts/disrupters in war need a different and wider set of capabilities and probably less speciality as well as a need for strike and other effects. These can become expensive, the Burke’s are classic example, great at everything but to expensive to be everywhere. The RN has went this way with the T26 ( it was planned more as a global cruiser and ASW escort) that could do everything, the problem is it became to expensive and now we will have lots of capabilities ( MK41s, mission bays, space for marines etc) that would make a great a great ship for single deployment but will probably always be shacked to a carrier or amphib support group. The question is should the RN have spent a lot of time and cash on these capabilities for its ASW platform ( when it all it really needed to be good at ASW and have some AAW capabilities and a medium gun). The cost of going all singing T26s have lead to T31s that are going to be used as single deployment ships, but without the well rounded fit that the T26s will have…..not sure thats sensible really.

Ron5

You are very mistaken in thinking the Type 26’s will not be sent on singleton deployments.

Jonathan

I’m not sure Ron, 8 hulls is not a lot to cover a carrier group and 2 amphibious groups as well as protection for the nuclear deterrent. I’m not seeing much capacity for singleton deployments.

Ron5

Incorrect.

The Royal navy definition for “General Purpose” is that the ship is not specialized for ASW or AA. The definition says nothing about its capabilities.

You are confusing the Royal Navy’s “general purpose” with your own definition of “multi purpose”.

Jon

General purpose seems to be modern double speak for unspecialised, cynically seen as “can’t do much”, but I hope that once they’ve proven themselves not to be a lemon, the Type 31s will get upgraded gear.

I’m cheered by the recent trials of the KraitArray small-diameter towed array which could increase the ASW sensor capacity of autonomous systems, OPVs and — dare I say it — general purpose frigates. “Just” add Merlin. Still no bow sonar though.

I have stopped fighting against this type of double speak as there’s too much of it. An occasional whimper is all I can be bothered to muster.

donald_of_tokyo

Dear X-san

Just a small fact correction.

1: Flight deck on OPV

Two Castle class OPVs (with flight deck) were replaced by (single) HMS Clyde, Batch 1.5 River class OPV, with a flight deck.

Three River B1s were replacing the Island-class patrol boats (7 of them?). So, not having a flight deck on coastal EEZ/Fishery protection Patrol Vessels is continuing.

2: Meaning of “General Purpose” frigate

Your usage of “General Purpose” is more “multi purpose”, very different from the usage of “General Purpose” by RN.

As “GP frigate” is a class defined by RN, not us, here “GP frigate” means, a patrol frigate. For example, LaFaylette class frigate is surely a GP frigate in RN standard. If its internal classification meets the frigate standard, French Floreal class is also GP frigate.

So, if you rip-off all the AAW capabilities from T45, then it become a GP frigate easily.

James William Fennell

There were only 3 RB1s as the Scottish Fishery Protection Service took over fishery protection patrols north of the border as part of devolution (HMNB Rosyth closed as a result), and the Rivers were designed for higher availability with two crews when compared to the old 1970s built Islands and Castles. Also during the ’70s the fishing fleet was a lot larger and engaged in Cod Wars with Iceland. Brexit has created new demands, although mostly further south. The RB2s in the Med and Indo-Pacific will probably be replaced by Type 31s, freeing them up to replace the RB1s from 2028 in UK waters. HMS Severn is also used as a navigation training ship, and that remains a critical role.

Last edited 1 month ago by James William Fennell
Cam

That’s great, these are fishery patrol boats yeah?, why’s our oceans getting raped by the Europeans then? And we should have one in the channel to help collect then return the illegal migrants! Some of which will rape and murder British Citizens!!..One Afghan recently collected was caught trying to meet a 13 year old girl for sex!! These ppl don’t share our values and their cultures aren’t exactly good for UK!

Anyways when these opvs are retired will they be replaced? Or will the new type 31 frigates take over? I think these batch 2 opvs are perfect for constabulary duties n tue caribean and Gibraltar ect and don’t need a huge frigate to take over, I hope the batch ones get another OPV replacement as these opvs will be vital to get captains and crews experience as all mcmvs are going that gives the RN very few vessels… we should have a Royal Navy of 90/100 vessels, we will be getting in to the 60s number soon and that’s far too low and a third of them are tiny patrol boats!! And we are even cutting their numbers with the shimitar boats up for sale, I’m sure we could use them somewhere even Cyprus? Even the Caribbean? But that’s another two boats out the RN

RichardIC

I definitely don’t share your values.

Jon

Nor do I, but I agree with him about not wasting frigates on constabulary or presence roles, for which the OPVs are better suited.

ATH

True

Jonathan

I second that. Why do people insist on trying to demonise whole cultures due to one persons actions. Look the biggest mass murderer in the U.K. was a general practitioner but we don’t dam all GPS as mass murderers.

sticking to comments about ship numbers and capabilities is why we are all here.

James William Fennell

Geez, leave the boody Afghans alone, they have suffered enough. There are plenty of domestic paedos too, as you well know, so why single out other cultures to blame for a global problem. Controlling illegal immigration by unarmed civilians is not a military problem, needs to be left to the civil authorities unless there is a CT dimension.

Last edited 1 month ago by James William Fennell
Fedaykin

“The current expectation is that the Type 31s will gradually replace the OPVs on station overseas.”

The one exception will probably be the Falklands, I would expect UK Gov and the MOD will not want to be seen to escalate the military presence in the South Atlantic as that will be diplomatically awkward in South America and undermine the idea that the UK maintains the minimum credible military presence to deter aggression by Argentina. Moving from an OPV to a frigate would be quite an escalation in capability.

Sonik

Not so sure about ‘minimum credible deterrent’!

Have you seen Mount Pleasant? Also, apparently the Falklands is the only place where the locals complain when the Army stop doing live fire exercises…

Last edited 1 month ago by Ben Robins
ATH

Plus the Caribbean where the military threat to British interests is very low, but maritime law enforcement is important. The Caribbean also needs a relief cover during hurricane season, but neither OPV’s or escorts are anything like optimum for those tasks