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Jason

Whatever the specifics a major problem remains ; defense vessels should be built only in Britain.

Barry Larking

Defence. All spellcheckers are American. Happens all the time.

Andrew Bates

It was one of the excuses put to the Scottish people during the independence vote, in that they would not be given a navy ship to build as they would not be given to a foreign country.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Bates
4thwatch

The Idea that Navantia are out to Disrupt the UK Shipbuilding Strategy just about sums it up. Its business is to decapitate a possible emerging rival. Spain has shown itself adept at unfairly subsidising takeovers against EU rules using money they don’t have. Make no mistake they are a formidable rival. Witness their takeover of Heathrow, Banks, Energy companies and British Airways.

This now is a bid for a takeover of British shipbuilding before it even gets restarted. There is more to this than meets the eye. Its about settling a lot of old scores.

james

Right, but add in the Gib. issues, then who stops off to be refueled at Spanish ports, fishing violations in UK waters, and other political events internal to Spain and you have the best industrial partners you could get.

Fedaykin

Navantia are in the business and selling ships, the requirements for the Solid Stores ship stipulate build in UK so this is the only way in for them.

Harland & Wolff lack the facilities or knowledge to bid on this alone, they need the support of a third party like Navantia. Navantia have experience transferring knowledge to other nations yards.

In the end this is a pretty good deal for the UK, H&W get to stand up ship building again with the support of a credible foreign yard offering a UK design.

N-a-B

There is no requirement that says build in the UK. Some people in NCHQ have a cunning plan to make it so, but reality is likely to bite them.

Gavin Gordon

But then again the Gov attempted to pull the wool over our eyes by effectively stating RFAs had to be offered to EU tender. There is no such requirement for any military use vessel.

N-a-B

They interpreted the relevant article in the directive that way. Not least because there is no credible capacity to build these ships in the UK in the timeframe required. The Team UK (Babcock, BAES and Laird’s – not RR by the way) has been conspicuously quiet since Babcock got T 31. I wonder why?

Stephen

Couldn’t Cammell Lairds, A & P Tyne and H & W build blocks to be assembled at H & W?
This is how I would do it, and keep as many British shipyards going and British people in well paid jobs as possible.

N-a-B

Given Laird’s are in a competing team, that might be difficult. Still doesn’t get over the bubble issue either.

Fedaykin

I thought there was with FSS, happy to stand corrected.

Darren

Or from Team UK FSSS as in BAE.

Ron5

Isn’t Navantia the company that built the Norwegian frigate that recently sank after a collision because of faulty design and build?

Isn’t Spain the country that continues to harass Gibraltar?

Fedaykin

Isn’t Navantia the company that built the Norwegian frigate that recently sank after a collision because of faulty design and build?”

Yes and? Pretty much any modern warship of that size would have sunk under those circumstances.

Isn’t Spain the country that continues to harass Gibraltar?”

Spanish domestic politics require that, it is hardly going to change any time soon.

Duker

USS destroyers, both of them in collisions that were similar ( and for the same reasons!) didnt sink. It was beached with stern half sunk and yet it still sank completely mainly because of slow leaks through (hollow) propeller shaft and stuff boxes into other compartments.

N-a-B

Which ought to raise issues for the Norwegian navy and DNV as well as the builder……

Fedaykin

I am still of the opinion that this point is unfair to Navantia and the F100 base design. For me it is the Norwegian navy and the bridge crew of the Frigate that are most to blame for that debacle.
 
Bouncing your frigate at speed into a tanker is not the wisest of exercises, the US Arleigh Burkes barely got away with it!

4thwatch

I think part of the problem is that Navantia didn’t build the F100 to the same standards the RN, for instance, would require.
Damage control as a result of hard lessons learned in World Wars and the Falklands are an essential prerequisite for any Warship.
 
Lets not pretend FFS aren’t Warships; often they and other RFA’s are nowadays in the front line. I think Navantia should have done a better job on the F100 built from the keel up as a front line warship. HMS Southampton the T42 destroyer was the last RN warship to suffer catastrophic damage and she survived.

Fedaykin

I just don’t agree, people are being deeply unfair to Navantia and the F100 design in this one. If there is an issue with the level of damage control in the variants built for Norway then that is Norways fault for not picking up on it or under specifying what was needed.
 
Other countries understand the need for appropriate damage control and what was learnt in the Falklands was widely studied by other nations.
 
In the end the Norwegian crew charged into a restricted shipping lane at night at speed and bumped something far larger than themselves, that is where fault lies!
 

Ron5

You should read the official report of the accident. You clearly haven’t.

Fedaykin

I have read it still think people are being unfair to Navantia. The crew charged into a restricted waterway at night and bumped their ship. Navantia have been open about rectifying any issues with build or design by their part.

N-a-B

True. There were some deficiencies in the WT integrity of the design, which should have been picked up by RNoN and DNV during design assurance and in build. They weren’t. Partly Navantia fault, partly assurance process.

I’m reasonably sure the RNoN design to a comparable standard to RN. Both apply ANEP77.

D J

Also when comparing these accidents, it should be remembered that the Norwegian ship is a mid sized frigate (around 5,400t) & similar size to a T23, where as the US ships were 8,300t destroyers, some 20m longer & 4m wider. The ships the US destroyers hit were also considerably smaller than the 110,000t tanker involved here.

Sam

Just read about the prop shafts letting water flow forward around the water tight compartments…..jesus thats a major flaw. Its pretty much Titanic bad :O how would this class of ship be expected to handle battle damage is beyond me.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam
N-a-B

Because of a detail design issue that was not picked up by the designer or the RNoN or Class. It happens – as more people believe computer model assumptions than check those thoroughly against the actualite.

She was also subject to taking damage and extent in probably the worst possible place on the ship. I doubt an RN ship subject to that same damage would do much better.

Geo

It wouldn’t be the first time an “offical” report written by Party A has exonerated Party A and placed the majority (or all) the blame on Party B. Not necessarily what happened here, but the same degree of critical analysis needs to be applied when reading offical reports as when reading other kinds of reports. Does this sounds accurate, balanced, substantial, supported (by the evidence), … or have I just been the victim of a sales pitch? <- that is the kind of thinking you need to read with.

Duker

Read the report . It doesnt exonerate the RNoN at all. The collision was entirely their fault.
https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/11/12/safety-report-slams-the-norwegian-navy-for-training-safety-shortfalls-in-the-runup-to-frigate-sinking/
I dont yet know if they have completed the ‘official’ report on why the watertight bulkheads werent anything of the sort.
Further findings about the actions after the collision will be released as part of a second report to be released later.”
I understand your concerns however.

4thwatch

Spanish domestic politics may require it, but it is still wrong. Gibraltar was Spanish for less time than it has been British.

Gavin Gordon

At the time the MRSS had everyone baffled, so good that the logical focus is back on FSS. It will go ahead, I’m sure. However, as the article says, the conflict of interests between H&W versus Cammell Laird is one almighty political headache. The pros and cons are virtually mutually exclusive. Would that we could accommodate both, but not likely.

4thwatch

Please don’t do it. I cant bear to see- anywhere but England again. These should be re-designated FFS ships. Lets see ship building in Northern England. They deserve it. Thanks.

Gavin Gordon

Not sure any of us ‘deserve’ anything in the overall scheme of things 4th; although I’d concede that the Polituro deserves nothing.
In the UK, I feel that Cammell Laird should get next priority majoring on shipbuilding, though they evidently have organisational and quality control issues that need resolving before they get the nod. That said, seeing an erstwhile icon like H&W prosper again would be high on many peoples commercial bucket list, if possible. Northern Ireland ought to be in line for focused investment post Brexit/Covid, and H&W feels a natural, politically.
The current clamour is for a new world order with reshored manufacturing and a green agenda, though I’ve no doubt the vested interests will lobby for the wealth creation sources they’ve grown personally comfortable with. We’ll see, but should there be such a move then there could well be room for a diversified constructor along GHF’s lines.
We live in interesting times.

Darren

I’m tired of buying a British branded kettle made in the far east for forty quid that is guaranteed to leak after six months or so as buying from the far east is actually more expensive in the medium to longer term. Give me the opportunity to buy a UK made kettle that should last 6 years and more. I’m not fan of vested interests and China. The China-19 virus has changed many ideas and peoples thoughts away from all the badly made goods from abroad.

Fedaykin

Do you want to pay £300 for that UK made kettle?

Darren

How would it cost £300? Please tell me. You picked this figure so tell me. We average 2 kettles per 1.3 years at around 30-40 quid. Our UK made kettle (two of them are back ups) are still working but not fashionable, but get wheeled out when the far east crap leaks. Tell me why it would cost £300 over your Chinese-19 covid kettle.

4thwatch

My kettle is made in Canada and works like the day I bought it over 5 years ago.

Darren

I’d rather buy a higher priced higher quality Canada Kettle that lasted years for double or quadruple the price of a kettle that lasts months from crappy China-19 (it’s the regime I hate and so should not buy from them).

Darren

K2 Auto Kettle from the 1970s would now cost 109 pounds and last ten years (albeit a few elements that cost nothing) . That using the production processess from the 1960s too, so how much using modern techniques?

Tanaka

The brand new UK made 3000 million kettle carriers are leaking pretty bad, switching off and so on..

Geo

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but outside the UK most of those far eastern manufactured kettles would be considered higher quality that a UK manufactured one. When most people think of “Made in Britain” they think of British Leyland levels of quality control. Unfair, I know, but it it what it is and anything made in the UK faces an uphill battle to be seen as “good” in the medium to longer terms. Labels like “Made in Germany, “Designed in Italy”, “Designed in Sweden” – these will move products, “Made in the UK” will not. Note that the Swedes and the Italians have a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses here and have adjusted their strategies accordingly.

Darren

British leyland was back in the 70s. That is the past.

Geo

Yes, I know it was in the 70s, my exact words were “When most people think of “Made in Britain” they think of British Leyland levels of quality control. Unfair, I know”. The perception is there today though and thats something that needs to be overcome, the first step is overcoming it is recognising that it’s a real problem, telling me that it’s in the past is the exact opposite of what needs to be done. 

Darren

Yes exactly! Yipp pee!

Darren

Wrong! Brand Britain and designed and Made in the UK is one of the top manufactured brands!

KiwiRob

I have a Dualit toaster which is made in the UK, it is expensive but there isn’t a better toaster on the market than the Dualit. My parents have one which is nearly 50 years old, it’s had a few replacement elements but it’s a good as a new on. I also only buy Crocket & Jones dress shoes made in Northampton, they are also a world class product.

Gavin Gordon

I’m no fan of the Chinese Polituro, but most of the cost we pay on Indo-Pacific goods consists of the mark up by the Brand holders in the West, a mark up further enhanced by some of these Brands insisting on manufacturing down to a price and therefore quality that the country of manufacture would not countenance for its own consumption. In essence here the biggest value-added component that our companies contribute to the actual price is their profit margin – a quick buck that ‘informs’ Executives what income they can then reward themselves. In the slightly longer term they can lose their intellectual property to counterfeit items that can in fact be as good as their own product – made excess to contract in the exact same factory, of course.
All of this is ‘our’ own fault, but I would not hit the IndPac area in general, just China whilst it’s under the thumb of the latest Imperious Court.
Come what may we must return more production to these shores, particularly where we maintain a large traditional market, as well as cooperatively engage with other countries both near and far when our intellectual property is less likely to be compromised.
Discuss!

Geo

Such as joining a trading block with common rules on standards and the factors of production?in order to get goods and services manufactured and shipped as efficiently as possible?

Gavin Gordon

Waiting for that. I used to work for Europe, partly the background to the above. Many of the commercial standards, laws and customs controls were suggested and contributed by the UK. At no time have we needed to be educated by Brussels in order to harmonise such standards. The UK overall voted to leave the EU, a political construct as you’re aware. A common market is a different beast and was all we voted for in the seventies.
Regards

Geo

In many ways that illustrates the problem perfectly: The UK will now be accepting the “commercial standards, laws and customs controls” set by outsiders with zero input themselves, it remains to be seen if they are European commercial standards, laws and customs controls or American commercial standards, laws and customs controls but it’s largely irrelevant at this point, Brexit paradoxically means giving up control, what makes it most galling is that, as you say, as a member of the EU the UK did quite a bit to set those standards.
 
In terms of judging the campaigns on the merits of the campaigners the Leavers deserved to win the referendum, “Project Fear” was a masterful strategy and the execution was superb, it’s just a pity that like most things in government the relationship with the EU was (and is) counter intuitive, not intuitive and the Leavers were wrong on almost every count. I’m sure the increased migration from the Caribbean and the Sub Continent that will inevitably replace immigration from Europe will make them feel validated, as will the wholesale adoption of American standards, I’m not sure about the rest of the country. It’s stupidity on that level that came very, very close to opening the door for the likes of Corbyn.

Gavin Gordon

Kindly stop conflating the EEC with the EU.
I repeat, the UK joined the Common Market/EEC and contributed to the commercial laws and standards. Our customs controls were amongst the most sophisticated at the outset so we aided where appropriate on that front also, and never stopped henceforth.
A lot of noise has been generated on the immigration issue, but this country has welcomed all and sundry for very many years not least because of our empire/commonwealth history. Granted, these movements don’t always run smoothly to begin with (and tend not to in Europe, as elsewhere).
Shutting immigraton down from wherever is not the issue, unless factors wished to make it appear so. It is reasonable control of migration flows that all states aim to achieve.
The simple issue is that the EU is a political contruct i.e. effectively a State in its own right (though some Eurocrats have candidly admitted they see its ultimate destiny as an Empire – honest at least and very familiar, though when announced at a recent Liberal Democrat election rally you could hear the cheers transform into choked coughs). That is why it wants increased centralised control of all decision processes; and that is not what the UK electorate have ever voted for. Neither is it necessary in order to maintain cordial and mutually beneficial relations with our european peers, and that desired outcome is eminently achievable if thst is the true objective of all parties.
Please note, if the Brexit vote had gone the other way, then that would naturally have been accepted by the general electorate in accordance with our traditional respect for due democratic process.
Regards

Geo

Trying to live in the year 2020 and not the year 1973 is not the same thing as conflating the EEC with the EU. Someone (I actually can’t find the who the quote is properly attributable to although I have looked, I’m sorry) said that “the UK would spend five years trying to get out of the EU and then the next ten trying to get back in”. It’s my grave fear that those words will be prophetic, and what I’m really worried about is the damage that will be done not just in the reentry process but in those ten years in the wilderness.

Gavin Gordon

Hello, Geo.
I supect we’re both concious that we are somewhat abusing a site not set up for our discussion.
Your fears are in no way remote, and either way we will experience a financial hit. This outcome will not have been unknown by many, if any voters during the referendum.
If I’m any judge i.e. as good as but no better than anyone else (and believe me, this has been a subject for discussion in that font of all knowledge, the local pub – you may need to check the historical records to recall that folks used to visit these in the good old days), then I think the following is perenially relevent, not one date or another:-
What is fundamental to the the general electorate is that they are canvassed over significant issues of governance. As you fully appreciate, naturally, not having lobbying access to parliament we all of us invest a great deal of belief in the democratic principal evinced either by an election or, more common of late on profound issues though familiar to the Ancient Greeks, a referendum. In short where Europe is concerned, we voted, whether wholeheartedly or with reservations, for the EEC. Until recently we were never given the chance, though we always had the moral & democratic right, to vote for the EU – THE most profound change to our constitution. In short, our representatives were given a thoroughly deserved kick up the backside.
With regard to the future, and as previously stated, there is absolutely no reason why harmonious peer relations should not exist to the mutual benefit of all, if that is indeed the honest desire of both the UK and mainland Europe.
p.s. last time out I hestitated over the spelling of Guy Verhofstadt.
Regards

Darren

Yeap! That’s why I do not see a Russell Hobbs is a Russell Hobbs anymore. Could not agree more!

Stephen

I agree, like you I think Cammell Lairds has been overlooked for too long in R.N./R.F.A. shipbuilding and, with a bit of investment would make an ideal shipyard for these type of R.F.A. ships (with R.N. ships going to the 2 Scottish yards). C.L.s already has the facilities, workforce, experience, etc.
 
Possibly C.L., A & P Tyne and H & W could build blocks and assemble them at C.L. or H & W.?

N-a-B

Laird’s have had a very bad experience with SDA. That seems to be affecting their appetite for build. It’ll be interesting to see how Dauntless PIP goes.

Darren

Or Inchgreen?

N-a-B

A hole in the ground in the middle of a wasteland. Not docked a ship in decades, very attractive….

Darren

Possilby not. But holes in the ground are important for future development which does not mean marinas.

N-a-B

Future developments of what? Fantasy shipyards, using graving docks that were never used for building ships, to service a market that does not and will not exist? Ooookay……

Darren

You sarcastic undertones do you no favour. Your lack of vision is frightening. What non existent markets are you thinking about?

Darren

A hole or many holes in the ground was Rosyth but for a big crane. You are only looking at the present with no investment. It comes from somewhere and Sir John Parker highlighted this. if you fell frigate and subs are the UK’s future in shipbuilding, them may be the UK ashould forget about this too and out source it? Complex warships include far more international suplliers than more pure shipbuilding! Don’t forget tax back to the exchequer!

Darren

Forgot to say. Rosyth had just holes in the ground until CVF.

N-a-B

The substantive difference between Rosyth and Inchgreen was (and is) that Rosyth was an active site with workforce familiar with military ship refits and security requirements. No build expertise, but they got that from BAES and also a few selected former Tyneside employees.
 
It’s always the people.

Darren

So will continue so. Facilities get investment from what?

Darren

It should be H&W united with Cammell Laird.

N-a-B

Very difficult given they’re on different teams.

Darren

So?

N-a-B

When one party is an integral part of a team bid, allowing it to provide a price for the competing team tends to undermine the team ethos somewhat.

Darren

None of this is integral. The competition idea is total cobblers anyhow. If we take this to it’s conclusion, we could have Cammel Laird teamed with someone from abroad, Babcock (main assembley shipyard) teamed with someone from abroad, A & P (owned bt Cammell laird, but to hedge their bets) teamed with a foreign firm, BAE Barrow teamed with some one from abroad Dell Trotters inc UK teamed with someone from abroad and Team UK, oh, we have no facilities… For Gods sake!

N-a-B

You do realise Barrow is going nowhere near any of this, despite the fantasies of tiny little pressure groups? They are going to have enough trouble completing what they have on contract.
 
Right now, Team Resolute is integral. That’s BMT, Navantia and H&W. Team UK is Babcock, Lairds and BAES.
 
When FSS comes back out, it will be run by the same team that ran the T31 competition. You may recall that competition had teams –
 
Team Leander (BAES and Lairds).
Team 31 (Babcock, BMT, OMT, H&W and Fergies)
Team Atlas (Atlas, TKMS and H&W)
 
H&W got and will get nowt from T31 – a source of significant angst in Belfast. Fergies will get nowt and neither will anyone else not in that team.
 
The Warship Acquisition team think they have a good approach. Time will tell – particularly when the combined lightship of the five t31 on order is in the same ballpark as a single FSS.

Sunmack

This sounds a more expensive process than just building the ships in Spain and something that will lead to a longer build time as a UK workforce has to be recruited and trained.
I don’t mind the defence budget being used for job creation provided that the Treasury takes the additional cost of building in the UK from the Business Innovation and Skills Department and adds it to the defence budget. But they won’t. Instead the additional costs will be borne by descoping capabilities of the ships or cutting numbers or capabilities in other programmes.
There’s sense to keeping jobs in the UK up to a point but £1bn wasted on Nimrod AEW and £3.4bn wasted on Nimrod MR4 show that trying to self build in the face of poor economies of scale, higher technical risk and spreading R&D budgets too thinly isn’t always the right thing to do.

4thwatch

You are missing the point of the National Ship Building Strategy. It was to build on the success of the QNLZ class carriers and expand British Ship building industry. Not to pour money into Spain. If we’d wanted to do that we’d have gone on Holiday in the Costas or something similar.

Sunmack

Is that the success that came from the QE ships being late and overbudget due to the build programme being stretched out to maximise shipyard work?
I am actually happy for us to preserve UK shipyard jobs and skills even if that means more expensive ships or £500m to build 5 largely useless patrol boats. There are some good economic arguments in favour of keeping expenditure in the UK.
The proviso for being happy with that though is that it isn’t done at the cost of fewer ships with less capability in order to cover the additional cost of building in the UK. Sadly that’s exactly what happens all to often.
Use a job creation budget for job creation (Business Innovation and Skills Department) not the defence budget.

Gavin Gordon

Must give ourselves some credit. Ignoring the early prevarication which is a different issue, in terms of how complicated carrier builds are we’ve performed as well as any country and better than most.
Regards

4thwatch

To say that the QNLZ Class were late and overpriced is any way connected with being built in the UK is untrue. Lets accept was 90% due to incompetence in political circles and in the MOD in particular.
I’m not saying the NSS will solve everything at a stroke but to have a 20 year plan with RN shipbuilding is a necessity.
You need a steady drumbeat of orders or as you correctly point out you waste money on yards building overpriced OPV’s.
Neither am I against foreign neighbours building less important ships like work give to the Irish!
In fact I would be happy to see the FSS built in H&W as long as Navantia or whoever else could or were able to give us and were paid for showing us how to build ships competitively. I would n’t see Navantia having a role beyond that; not for RN warships.

Darren

That’s not correct. The delay of two years came from wanting to slow down payments which in the longer term cost more. Also cost increases came from looking into a smaller carrier than back to the big carrier, but without items (for the time being), such as armour etc. Those carrier real cost were 4 billion quid for two ships built at a pace that is impressive and even more so if the two years extra caused by officials is taken into account. They should and are a great advert for UK shipbbuilding working against useless climbing the ladder MoD individuals who come and go and leave a mess in their wake.

N-a-B

Big Vs small? Resolved long before contract was let. Armour? In there if you know where to look.

MoD individuals actually fought the programme though against the pollies. The “officials” you refer to were in fact the senior service chiefs who had to live within Treasury budget spend profiles. And fight a couple of wars.

Darren

Well that’s good then. There was still a cost in this study that ran int 100s of millions. Politicians as we know are good at shifting the blame. The officials who slowed the program down that increased the cost. I spoke to some chiefs who fought those wars. They were frustraited by it all. Much of the problem came about because of a certain 2007/08 meltdown. Lets not forget the time we were in then.

N-a-B

All of us involved in the CVSG(R)/CV(R)/CVF/QEC story from 1994 onwards were frustrated at one stage or another. In actual fact, the worst era for frustration was the years between 2002 and 2007 when the ships were finally contracted. That was the period when a certain chancellor pulled every trick in the book to avoid committing to the ships.
 
As you say, there was also a minor financial crisis in 07/08, for which “officials” can hardly be blamed for presenting options to live within budgets.

Darren

Officials are not just in uniform and cause problems. Just carrying on with these contracts may have caused a stimulus for industry to ride these problems. But no, delay causes cost increases including design changes or look at’s. They ran into 100s of millions of pounds while the price kept on going up along with nigh on two billion pound slow down. Read Sir John Parkers pre strategy report and in post (MoD) shipbuild strategy review. Cost over runs. People in suites who were not part of the production process caused much of this increase. Instead of carying on and being positive, officials gave a contract to South Korea right in the middle of this crisis and it was far more expensive to build there than here!

N-a-B

Your last statement is utter hoop and not borne out by any facts, however much wibbling about taxation you include I’m afraid.

Darren

Politicians with other officials made them late to not save two billion quid, if that makes sense. Two years 1.6 billion pounds, plus delay on delay and design re runs, all caused not by the shipbuilders!

Fedaykin

Harland & Wolff lack the knowledge or facilities for modern ship building. For them to restore that will require the support of a third party yard. Navantia has credible experience doing that kind of contract work.

If not Navantia who else then?

sparky42

Is it viable to restore H&W to the level of modern ship building? I mean even if they did get this contract, what else is to come after? The rest of the RN orders are already doled out and there’s not a huge demand on UK yards from foreign Navies. At absolute best they might get the Irish Navies EPV contract or it’s maintenance (given Cobh is too small potentially for it).

Fedaykin

I’m with N-a-B on this one, it probably isn’t viable in the long term. It will be feast for a few years then bust again.

Unless something like the replacement for Albion and Bulwark is pulled forward but current economic events do make that rather unlikely.

sparky42

Agreed, as I said while the new owners might be talking themselves up I have some “doubts”to put it mildly about that, hell how long would even take to build up the labour force?

N-a-B

DSME did exactly that for NASSCO in the states. They also provided the built to print info that Navantia used for the last ships their Puerto Real yard built.

Fedaykin

Noted and aware of that, my point was more that if H&W want to return to the ship building business they would need credible outside support.

Darren

BAE within the Team UK FSSS.

Darren

Cammell Laird were said to lack that with the QE build in terms of fit out etc. But now have built the RSS ships with a little help from A&P Tyne.

N-a-B

RSS singular. Has it been delivered yet? No. How late is it? Well over 18 months. Is that all Lairds fault? No. Would a larger technical department have mitigated some of those issues? Certainly. Is late delivery and a stonking loss sustainable? No – and I’m a Lairds supporter.

Darren

And who’s fault is it?

N-a-B

Mixture – allegedly.
 
Designer. Class. Subbies. All of which is largely irrelevant when you’re the shipbuilder and responsible for delivery and have contracted some or all of the above. That’s why a technical and commercial department that can see these things coming and avoid them – or at least mitigate the effects – is vital.

Darren

We have just built two 72,000 ton super carriers, those ships had up to 90% UK content from stee section plate pipe tube etc, to wiring etc all with a large UK tax clawback to number 11. Do you see where I am coming from? Totally overlooked is the tax back which other bation do not overlook.

N-a-B

Timeline is wrong. JMUC did not withdraw in May 2019.

BMT and Navantia were exclusive from Jan 2019.

Biggest issue is what H&W do after FSS. Not enough military work to support a build yard, no chance of commercial build work.

Big bubble for 6 years, then lots of redundancies.

Rocket Banana

Isn’t all this supposed to be sorted with the national shipbuilding strategy?

Surely we can generate a TOBA for RFA, capital and escort ships? Three yards!?

One that actually gets used according to a strategic plan rather than penny-pinched by governments keen to NOT oncreases taxes.

N-a-B

Not enough work for Govan, Rosyth, Laird’s and H&W.

Meirion X

I am still wondering what’s Scotstoun
Yard will be up to, now that the fitting out of River OPVs are nearly completed?
It seems Scotstoun will have No work to do for about a year until it accepts the first T26 at end of 2021.

Last edited 1 year ago by Meirion X
N-a-B

Scotstoun had its fabrication facilities demolished and is now primarily and outfit manufacture and commissioning facility now.

X

Are there any similar projects underway elsewhere? I know the RAN want an oiler.

N-a-B

Already in build by Navantia I believe.

Glass Half Full

“Big bubble for 6 years, then lots of redundancies” assumes that all the site would do would be naval shipbuilding. Seems there are additional non-ship building business opportunities?

Naval servicing and refit contracts and particularly for QE refits, where the UK doesn’t have many options regarding suitable dry docks. Commercial vessel servicing, accepting that new build commercial shipping is a tough market, where success would be a challenge. Off shore energy related work for oil, gas, and increasingly wind farm construction and servicing, where the UK has some of the best resources in the world likely to drive significant future investment.

InfraStrata certainly didn’t have to pay much for H&W facilities at ~£5.5M, so they aren’t carrying a lot of ongoing costs from that and as a commercial example seem to be pursuing a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) Project near Barrow that would presumably use H&W to build the platform?

https://www.insidermedia.com/news/north-west/infrastrata-lines-up-barrow-acquisition

The aim of the NSbS as I understood it is to help build and support companies that are engaging in a diversified marine business that includes shipbuilding but isn’t necessarily exclusively shipbuilding.

Gavin Gordon

For H&W, the Master of Many concept does seem the only realistic long term option, Glass – short of war, of course. Quite surreal, being that would normally be the least preferred scenario.

N-a-B

Nope. NSBS was exclusively about warships (wrongly IMO).

H&W were doing refit, offshore and wind work prior to collapse. There’s not enough work to support them and the offshore oil & gas market is about to get worse.

Naval servicing means they’re competing with Portsmouth, Rosyth, Devonport, Birkenhead, Falmouth and Hebburn. Not enough work to support all those.

Glass Half Full

I didn’t express myself well in that last sentence. I should have said the expectation underlining NSbS was that “to be successful, both the shipyards and the supply chain need to develop their global competitiveness for military and civil work.” Those exact words with the emphasis on the AND were used in the MoD 2017 publication on the topic. Perhaps I read too much into it, but it seems unrealistic to me to have an expectation for multiple competing UK shipbuilding companies doing nothing but UK and export naval business. In other words Babcock is a closer proxy for additional viable suppliers than is a BAES model.
 
I don’t think we can look to the previous H&W business and just assume Infrastrata is constrained by the same limits. Time will tell if Infrastrata will be successful with Islandmagee and the Barrow projects, but with most of the UK’s nuclear power stations ageing out over this next decade with no affordable or timely nuclear options for replacement, the UK will be pushed to much greater renewables investment along with gas. The Barrow project is for LNG imports.
 
Regarding naval servicing and refits, we still need viable options for QE/POW.

N-a-B

The commercial marine market is in serious trouble. Major overcapacity in both ships and shipyards. Not a good time to try and re-enter from scratch.

QEC has existing options. A docking every three years isn’t a business case.

Glass Half Full

Not to be argumentative, but I had already discounted commercial shipbuilding. Ref QE there are existing options in Rosyth and CL but they aren’t ideal. The point here is that a Belfast based operation has a number of diversified options that may in aggregate enable a viable business. It will however take time to develop.

Darren

Yes, but Sir John Parker touched on Commercial in his report and after the MoD official report. The fact this came from MoD says it all. It remains a rubbish strategy.

Pete

H&W didnt collapse they had a full order book and were the busiest they had been in decades. Their parent company dolphin drilling went into liquidation and sold the profitable component at H&W to raise equity

sparky42

Given how small the workforce is in H&W at this stage and the timeline since they last built a RFA hull I imagine this would be a costly and time risk to regenerate that amount of labour, presuming of course you could, think right now at least some of the workforce flys in from GB for example.

At least the chances of a repeat of Fort Victoria’s incident.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

Just exactly how did Rosyth Dockyard manage to go from building two of the worlds biggest and finest warships to building absolutely nothing at all for the foreseeable future? Surely, once both the carriers have been back for the post-commissioning dry dock inspection then the dockyard with all that expertise to hand and an invaluable fully trained workforce should be given the order to proceed with the construction of the first of three Solid Supply Ships for the Royal Navy. If either carrier did need a dry dock in this time then the United States Navy would probably oblige.This is the Astute and Type 26 frigate disaster all over again plus something suddenly smells nice between our politicians and their Spanish opposite numbers who regard a subsidy as a good way of doing business. Just what will the Spanish agree to if Navantia get the contract. Will our gullible lot in Westminster really fall for everything that is promised ?

N-a-B

Except Rosyth didn’t build the carriers. They assembled major blocks built by other yards, two of which are now defunct.

Rosyth had never but a ship before.

Duker

Wasnt one of the yards for the blocks Rosyth where Babcock Marine built the side sponsons and centre blocks 5&6.

N-a-B

The sponson blocks were assembled there, but the actual steel units comprising them were fabbed at Appledore and shipped up by coaster every few months. Got interesting finding enough quayside to unload once QNLZ was parked by Lowden bldg. From memory the centre blocks were all done at CL or A&P.

Duker

Could be so . I used a standard source..wikipedia but didnt check the references

N-a-B

Tis so. Saw the steel being fanned in Devon and unloaded at Rosyth for myself.

Darren

But could come back with the FSSS and other contracts.

N-a-B

No. They couldn’t. Appledore was going to die anyway, too small and too many restrictions to build anything sizeable, leaving it in competition with the 800lb gorilla that is Damen.
 
Portsmouth has been stripped of all relevant machinery and more importantly, the majority of the shipbuilding workforce has long gone.
 
The majority of the QEC blocks by work content were built in Portsmouth and Govan. One is gone and one is at capacity with T26.

Callum

“Building absolutely nothing for the foreseeable future” what are you on about? Babcock and Rosyth won the T31 bid, they’re in the process of expanding facilities in preparation for what’s hoped to be the first batch of 5.

N-a-B

And as such will be utterly incapable of building FSS in parallel. With the best will In the world, they’ll struggle to hit the T31 delivery schedule – and I wish that were not so.

Callum

Oh that’s almost guaranteed. Construction of the frigate factory with have been severely hampered by Covid-19, with knock-on effects for the T31 delivery. Wouldn’t be shocked if we were looking at a year delay at least.

N-a-B

Which frigate factory? The one that hasn’t been part of anyone’s plan for over three years?

The one that was always a ploy to recapitalise Scotstoun prior to closing Govan? Which didn’t go ahead because it was not an economically viable plan? That one?

Callum

No, the facilities being built at Rosyth to facilitate the construction of T31. In hindsight the phrase frigate factory was a poor choice due to its association with the Clyde, but it’s an apt description.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

Yes the almost mythical frigate factory is finally being assembled at Rosyth but it could equally have been assembled on any patch of any redundant shipyard anywhere in the country depending on the local politics not the urgent need for supply ships. The dry docks, facilities and infrastructure still exist at Rosyth to build large ships, one of the very few places left. Navantia’s proposal is to re-create a ship building facility in Northern Ireland. If they weren’t just trying to cause mischief why didn’t they select Rosyth?

N-a-B

Err, because Babcock’s were leading the Team UK consortium. One of their two competitors.

Nor does the infrastructure exist to build large ships. They were built elsewhere in blocks and assembled at Rosyth. Those other yards are now defunct or at capacity. Rosyth could not build from scratch without much more investment.

Last edited 1 year ago by N-a-B
Callum

Generally speaking, I’m all for competitive bidding, but in this case there’s only one real practical option: Cammel Laird.

A commercially successful yard with an experienced existing workforce that already partake in RN and RFA refit, that’s exactly the sort of success story we should be capitalising on.

The two superyards on the Clyde and Rosyth are the right move long term, but right now there’s no spare capacity at either to build large ships to schedule. For what could potentially be a one-off gig, CL is by far the better site.

As harsh as it is, H&W is just a s**t investment.

Cam

Unless the Spanish firm actually mean what the say and after the RFA ships are built Belfast will get more work maybe even future ship building work from them, who knows

Callum

Even if we’re being generous, that’s highly unlikely. Navantia doesn’t own H&W, they’ve merely partnered with the yard to make the bid credible.

They’re a nationalised ship builder, any ships that can be built in Spain will be built in Spain. The only interest they’d have in a UK yard would be for future Royal Navy contracts, which is already an overcrowded market.

T.S

We seem to be building a batch of ships in isolation yet again, which will likely mean boom then bust for H&W. I am all for a renaissance for them, but we need to get to a point where we have a 25 year ship building plan that supports 3 yards. One for 500 to 3000 tonne vessels, one for frigates and destroyers, and one for all the big stuff. H&W have the dry docks to do the big stuff, but if we are going to train a new workforce and probably pay extra to do this for the first batch of ships, then we want to be able to benefit with a competitive yard for the next batch of ships. We need competition in the design side to get the best designs with the yard being separate to this and being hired out by the winning designer imo.
Any Spanish input should purely be for this first batch of ships to aid the learning curve, and government should invest in the facilities of the yards to make them first rate and competitive in the 21st century. Then a timeline of approximate build requirements with allocated budgets for the full 25 years should be created to give confidence of continuous build and allow the yard to also invest, recruit and train heavily and start tendering for commercial works on a better footing.
From what I can see, we will need the following large ships: 3 FSS, 2 LPDs, at least 4 amphibious support ships, hospital ship, 4-6 tankers, possible LSS types ships, and potentially an LPH and some sort of autonomous mothership type ships in the future.
That’s potentially over 20 ships over a 25 year time line, so almost one a year. Allocate an average yearly budget of say £300 million and that is the H&W yard secure for the foreseeable future.

N-a-B

Only FSS has an endorsed requirement. The remainder are a wish list and heavily dependent on operating concept for the RM.

T.S

No, Im saying that all of our current platforms will need replacing with equivalents or new concepts within a 25 year time frame. The bays, Albion’s, waves etc etc. There are only a couple of nice to have in my list.

T.S

And no, we may not replace the Albion’s like for like, but we will still need some form of capability to land troops. That may be be a smaller platform in higher numbers but still something that will need to be built by a yard somewhere.

N-a-B

A more realistic list would be :

T26 ships 4-8.
FSS ships 1-3
New AAW ship X 6 (2035 onwards)
LPD or LSS max four ships (2033 onwards)
New tankers ? A couple at back end of 30s, maybe?
No hospital ship requirement exists.
Possibly up to four “motherships” but again, no extant requirement or budget.

Sadly, just because we have something does not mean we always get to replace it.

That lot has a lightship total of about 220 to 250000 te, but over the period 2022 to 2045. So about 10000 te per year. That’s barely enough to keep Govan and Rosyth working.

Glass Half Full

MCMV? The role is going to a mission module operation but it seems there might be 2, or perhaps 3 different types of platform to consider.

  1. BMT Venari class of vessel/something similar to the Netherlands/Belgium solution
  2. Type 31, additive to the current 5 ship commitment. We clearly wouldn’t get 13 ship-for-ship replacements with the current MCMV fleet but the platform provides much more flexibility for a Govt/RN with increasing global operating aspirations
  3. Leveraging a larger multipurpose vessel, eg LSS

 
Could be a mix of such platforms. The RN can’t IMO continue to have a dedicated MCMV fleet with optional OPV functionality when its frigate/destroyer numbers are where they are and with the number of low end OPVs we already have.

Fedaykin

Oh Zardoz save us from talk of a ‘Hospital Ship’, it would be a waste of resources and manpower supporting a vessel that would spend most of its time alongside rusting much like the American Mercy class. The USN have been tried to get rid of those literal White Elephants for many years and haven’t changed their mind on that even with recent Covid-19 related events!
 
A Hospital ship is also a obscene misuse of the DFID budget that everybody is keen on raiding. Paying harbour and maintenance fees for a rusting Hospital ship is not a good reflection of its core goal to ‘promote sustainable development and reduce poverty globally’!
 
I see the calls for a UK Hospital ship much the same as those for a new Royal Yacht, back of a fag packet attempts to find things for British Shipyards to do. Reality is they are already busy with what they have got and throwing random one off builds of exotic ‘nice to have’ vessels is not sustainable.

Geo

I would give you more upvotes but sadly I am limited to one.

Ron

I agree, to build ships that cannot be flexible is a dead end. I wonder if the BMT ELLIDA and or AEGIR could be used as FSS, LSS, LPD, LSD and hospital ship. Same concept of hull but diffrent superstucture. As for your idea of a mother ship I keep thinking that if the government would order a replacement for Albion and Bulwark Albion and Bulwark could be used as motherships for UAVs and ROVs, they have the space for the command and control and lots of deck space for the extra kit.Instead of your 2 LPDs I would prefer 2 LHDs such as HMAS Canberra.

Cam

Britain has one of the largest merchant Marin fleets on earth literally thousands of huge ships and these ships need built somewhere and we should have one super yard building the big stuff just like how Korea does it in their super yard. Belfast or Rosyth or even an English yard we have plenty spare but we just need to spend the money, government loans should be available money’s cheap as they say.

N-a-B

No. We don’t.

N-a-B

Perhaps a little research next time before you post? This should be illuminating.
 
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/shipping-fleet-statistics-2019
 
Our UK flagged fleet is about 1% of the world total by tonnage and when you look at trading vessels (ie real cargo ships) we’ve got about 350 – which is somewhat removed from “literally thousands of huge ships”.
 
You should also be aware that trading ships are owned – and hence paid for – by private companies, which need to make a profit. Something which will be much harder in a post C19 world where there is already a surplus of ships and world trade to and from China may reduce. Onshoring activities can also mean that we don’t need as much seaborne transport……
 
All of which means that relatively expensive UK builds are unlikely to be attractive to the people who actually have to pay for the ships.

Grant

If we can get H&W up and running and keep CL in business it gives us the option to reduce ship building in Scotland. There appears to be no gratitude for the 13 ships we are building there. H&W could build a second batch of type 31s after the FSS and we could build an Argus replacement / hospital ship at CL (With DFID money)

Fedaykin

It would be an obscene waste of DFID money, building and sustaining British ship building isn’t even remotely related to the goals of DFID which is to sustainably reduce global poverty. Building a replacement to Argus does not meet that goal in any way or form.

Barry Larking

A ‘Spaniard in the Works’? I think so. Our ‘Stop. Go’ navy ship building policy continues on its merry way. But a lot of gloomy comments overlook the achievements. When I glance around the world I see other countries also have their problems. We are not doing so badly. We tripped up about sixty years ago and successive governments have vacillated, dithered and worse. Remember the Nott Defence Review? Robin Day – dislikeable in so many ways – got it right: ‘Why should we listen to a ‘here today gone tomorrow’ politician?” That’s been the problem, exacerbated by the dazzle of a vapid ‘peace dividend’ that made all politicians think ‘we’ (they) could spend defence money on afternoon gambling sessions in the City. As recently as the opening decade of this century press commentators described the Type 45 as a hugely pricey warship for a Cold War that was over. Well, the world changes more quickly than a ship yard’s fortunes.

Ron

After reading all of the comments it appears to me that the concept of H&W having a long term future is not very good. Then again. I’ll get back to that.

Do I want to see Navantia involvement, No, from what I am reading the design of the FSS is likly to be from BMT which is British, so with a British design and built in a British yard why do we or should we have Spanish involvement? What could be the advantage to Navantia? I’ll come back to that later.

So back to the first issue, is there a possible future for a rejuvinated H&W, yes. At the moment the UK is in need of 2-3 FSS ships this would give about 6 years work. Rosyth is not available due to the T31 construction so that leaves Cammell Laird and H&W. The work as some say might after 6 years dry up but somehow I don’t think so. The RN/RFA will in a few years need further large ships to be built. The first of these would be the replacements for the Bay class 3-4 at around 20,000 tons each, then would come the replacements for Albion and Bulwark, there is the possible 2-3 LSS ships again of 20-25,000 tons each, possibly two hospital ships and a possible replacement for Argus. Thats a potential 12 ship build each of which would be between 20-30,000 tons. All in all a 15 year building program at a cost of about £6 billion, with circa 50 % coming back to the treasury through taxes/ VAT etc and a potential 10,000 jobs created throughout the UK supply chain that is a reasonable return on investment. I have not included the 4 Point class sealift ships that would need to be replaced in 10-15 years time. Again these ships would be about 25-30,000 tons, so that could mean anything upto 20 years of work.

So no to the Navantia involvement, there is two reasons that they might want to get involved,

  1. With the UK coming out of the EU it would give Navantia a European base to work from that is outside EU control, meaning that they could sell to companies and nations that the EU does not want or does not have agreements with. So that would give them an advatage over other EU shipbuilders.
  2. If the UK Government replaces in a timely fashion the older ships with new build then there would be for a shipyard anything upto 20 years of work, So by utilising two BMT designs the ELLIDA and AEGIR then a real production line could be set up reducing costs even further. Again this would possibly create overseas sales outside the restrictions of the EU.

So it is in the interest of Navantia to have these possibilities however it has the disadvantage of a Spanish company getting the latest in British designs, profits will go back to Spain rather than being reinvested in the UK and a lot depends on the British Government being serious about defence and giving it the investment it needs to take it into the 2050s.

N-a-B

Firstly, H&W do not have the technical resources to conduct the detail design, project management, supply chain and build control activities necessary. These skills take years to develop. Neither BTW do BMT, their expertise is in front end design.

Nor do H&W have the right facilities to build efficiently. You need much more than a dock and a couple of cranes. Those facilities were all demolished in the early noughties and some now covered by the Titanic Quarter redevelopment.

Sadly, just because certain ships exist now, that does not guarantee their replacement. Let alone a budget. Like it or not, there is no requirement for two hospital ships. Replacement of the PCRC facility on Argus has failed to gain endorsement of that requirement over 15+ years. We do have a requirement to replace the MCM force, but that has no budget and whatever results will not be one for one ship replacements.

LPD/LSDA – if replaced – will be done so by LSS, if that requirement is agreed and funded, so it’s either/or, not and.

Not even H&W managed to make their two Points last more than 3 years, so I struggle to see how you get 15-20 years work, even if approved for replacement.

Lastly, you don’t count full load displacement for shipbuilding, it’s the lightship which represents the actual material and work content. That’s a much lower figure than full load.

Ron

In some ways I agree with you, H&W do not have the facilities or for that matter the skilled work force. I do think that CL would be better. The next issue which for some might be a problem but there is no security in NI. We do not know if in 20 years time NI will still be in the UK.
As for my comments on replacements, I did say that it would depend on the government of the day. Also what do we need, what do we want and what is nice to have. So for example soft power, two or three hospital ships is a good use of the international aid budget and a good projection of soft power. Even Spain has two hospital ships. Replacement ships for Albion and Bulwark, here I have argued that if I could I would have 2-3 HMAS Canberra type ships, useful in the assault role, useful in the escort carrier role, useful in the anti submarine role and useful in the disaster relief role especialy if combined with a hospital ship. Just think of a ASW Carrier with 8 F35Bs for CAP and 20 Merlins escorted by two ASW frigates, that will give any sub a bad day, or being able to land a armored battle group in one go, a thousand men 20 MBTs and all the supporting AFVs or in the escort carrier role escorting convoys from the US to Europe with 16 F35Bs and 16 ASW Merlins. It would leave the QE Carriers or the US Carriers to do there job of attack carriers.
With your either or LPD or LSS, they are two completly diffrent concepts, the LPD means you can put heavy equipment ashore the other is for raiding etc.these are complimentery, I suppose it is the diffrence of Royal Marines and Royal Marine Commandos. One is the light infantry of the RN the other go in seek destroy and get out. When I think of my time in the South Atlantic in 82 troops were transported to the LPDs and then sent ashore with kit. So its simple in this area we as an Island have two tasks with troops, send ashore complete units with there equipment some of which will be heavy, or just have raiding parties. When I think of Norway or Falklands you need heavy lift.
You seemed to have miss understood something when I was speaking about the Points, If HM Government is serious about defence and the correct large ship are built that would give about 15 years of work, with the repalcement of the Points at the end of this period would give a further 5 years so that is the reason for 20 years work.
Now to your final point, I agree there is a diffrence in launch wieght to light load. I always work in light load which includes engines, lubricant oils and one third fuel. The reason for the apparent increase in tonnage is simple 20 years ago a T42 was 4,200 tons, now a T45 is 8,000 tons. So it goes on, ships are bigger because crews want more space etc. I only gave an idea.
So overall with the correct investment and government orders a H&W or CL could have a good work load, I still however do not like the idea of Navantia taking the profit.

Darren

The latest H&W facilities from the 70s were developed for massive capacity in tanker construction. Much of the facility was not needed or not seen as needed. Shipbuilding does need new ongoing investment. Yes, H&W still have their big Hugh Smith plate rolls and section bending, but no automated panel line facilties. That is where the invesment would be required, don’t you think? This is in terms of the production side. Planning and design are another issue.

N-a-B

“Planning and design are another issue.”
 
And by far the most important one, including project management, supply chain management, build scheduling etc etc. It’s not software either – it’s experienced people who will be in very short supply.
 
One more thing. When you’ve been in a shipyard that closed, had that P45 handed to you, there’s a limited number of times you’ll choose to do that again, unless you have no choice. Lots of people have left shipbuilding and most don’t come back.

Geo

Just as a matter of curiosity how easy would it be to get someone back in the saddle? Say they got out of the industry 10 years ago, how much has it moved along since then?

N-a-B

Aside from whatever software tools will have changed, unlikely to be too much difference – although that depends on how a yard has been set up. Principles are broadly the same, just the detail of what you do when and how you control it might be different.
 
However, the wider point would be whether people WANT to go back to a relatively insecure industry.

Darren

Like service, retail, airlines, bars, resturants, leisure, the contract things, banking (wealth extractors), all of which do not create wealth, unlike manufacturing! All are insecure and rely on what?

Fedaykin

Do I want to see Navantia involvement, No, from what I am reading the design of the FSS is likly to be from BMT which is British, so with a British design and built in a British yard why do we or should we have Spanish involvement? What could be the advantage to Navantia? “
 
As N-a-B has pointed out and I did earlier H&W lack the people, skills and facilities to start building ships again. To do that they will need outside help, if it wasn’t Navantia it would have to be somebody else.
 
Next to pick up on one of your other questions:
 
“With the UK coming out of the EU it would give Navantia a European base to work from that is outside EU control, meaning that they could sell to companies and nations that the EU does not want or does not have agreements with. So that would give them an advatage over other EU shipbuilders.”
 
Simpy no that is not what is going on here! Navantia is in the business of building ships in their own yards and they would quite happily do the same with FSS. That might be still what happens here and H&W end up doing pretty much what happened with the Tide Class doing some finishing work on vessels that have been built by Navantia. That being said Navantia in this deal have stated they are open to sharing knowledge with H&W which might lead to restoration of capabilities at H&W. They are certainly not doing this as a way to operate a yard outside EU regulation, it just isn’t in their interest to undermine their own yards in Spain.
 
“So it is in the interest of Navantia to have these possibilities however it has the disadvantage of a Spanish company getting the latest in British designs, profits will go back to Spain rather than being reinvested in the UK and a lot depends on the British Government being serious about defence and giving it the investment it needs to take it into the 2050s.”
 
Again no, Navantia has no nefarious interest in getting British designs. They have their own product portfolio and design capability that they wish to promote. They will operate with other design houses if that is a way into getting work.

4thwatch

Ask yourself whatever did the Spanish do for us? Somewhat bizarrely we let them build our AFV’s and Transport planes.
Really our Politicians and MOD should be tried for treason for allowing this sorry state of affairs.

Fedaykin

Strong words!
 
Join the modern world…

Duker

Like all Airbus products, various sections are made in the consortium countries according to work share. The UK built the carbon fibre wings ( in Filton) and a large part of the turbo prop engines through RR.
Spain was only the final assembly location of the pre built sections, of which part of the tail was ‘Spanish’

Gavin Gordon

Didn’t they build straight roads and sophisticated municipal centres. Oh no, my mistake. Sorry

Dern

Given that Iberia was part of the Roman Empire long before Britain was….. you’re not wrong.

RichardIC

Jeez – the fantasy hospital ships again. There is no requirement, they’re not going to happen. We can’t crew the ships we already have and we can’t staff the hospitals we already have. Make this nonsense go away.

Duker

The UK armed forces have 11,200 service personal(7,600 regular and 3,600 reserve) in Defence Medical Services, so its no problem to supply 150-200? for a hospital ship.

RichardIC

Defence Medical Services have that number of personnel because they need them. There aren’t a spare 150-200 standing around waiting to go on a cruise.
 
And when DMS deploy they’re heavily reliant on reserves – who have day jobs working in the NHS.
 
You also need non-clinical crew for a hospital ship. So you’d leave another warship or RFA tied up alongside if you use them for a hospital ship for which there is absolutely no requirement.

Duker

1.75% of their personnel cant be deployed on a ship for a month ? Its even easier than an overseas base or expeditionary deployment as they all sleep and eat on board an a/c ship with higher standards of hygiene under British control and dont even need Force protection. Even many of the active duty military personnel for primary and surgical care work in selected NHS hospitals to maintain their skills and can leave behind those civilian patients to their colleagues.
Whether or not they have such a ship isnt the same as saying they cant man with qualified medical personal.
 

RichardIC

They can “leave behind those civilian patients to their colleagues”?
 
So what you are advocating is abandoning tasks where there is a real and ongoing need in pursuit of a fantasy where there is not.

Duker

The NHS has to organise its own staffing and is responsible for its own patients.
As I said and Im sure you are aware regular force personnel work in NHS hospitals to maintain their skills but they can do that on deployments as well and do their primary duty which is to serve the armed forces , not various NHS hospitals.
You seem to be suggesting DMS personnel cant be deployed ever, as they are ‘busy within the UK’.
The reality is far different, and a hospital ship ( if required and if built, big ifs, not even a requirement at the moment) would be another deployment like any other to meet urgent needs . Not a cruise , it would be anchored or at a wharf.
 
Look at this, and this just a single army unit
3rd Medical Regiment
3 Medical Regiment is a Regular Army unit that provides front line medical support. It is held at high readiness to deploy as part of the Joint Expeditionary Force (Land) Light Brigade Support Group, commanded by 102 Logistic Brigade.”
https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/corps-regiments-and-units/army-medical-services/3-medical-regiment/
They deploy not only places that the army is but to support civilian emergencies

RichardIC

So if we’ve got 3 Medical Regiment that can deploy anywhere at short notice why do we need a hospital ship?
 
By the way, your 1.75 per cent of personnel figure above assumes that 100 per cent of DMS are available to deploy 100 per cent of the time.
 
Over a third of their personnel are reservists who mainly have day jobs with the NHS. Certainly at the moment there is no way they would be released and similar conditions could apply at any time in the future.
 
Unfit for duty typically accounts for 10 per cent across the forces at any one time.
 
Those in training or who form part of the training establishment couldn’t be counted.
 
Then you can also forget those whose skills wouldn’t be suitable for a hospital ship – occy health, community mental health etc. Would there be much need for dental hygienists?
 
And DMS don’t work in NHS hospitals to “maintain their skills”. They are an integral part of the workforce.
 
It’s established best practice for injured service personnel on deployment to receive emergency treatment in-theatre and then aeromed back to the UK for treatment in an NHS hospital, principally Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Brimingham where there’s a military wing. Ships don’t fit into the equation.
 
 

Duker

The current circumstances arent relevant, a once in a century health crisis.
Are you saying medical trained reservists cant be be taken from their day job to go on deployment ? Astounding and not based on any facts.
Clearly not all locations are suitable for a hospital ship , have you seen a map of Afghanistan. Plenty of other locations would be closer to the sea.
Not sure why you bring up non trauma, non acute medical care , hardly a requirement for a hospital ship. And as it suggests its for emergency care not convalescence or recovery, and would receive wounded direct from action like they do now.
As others have pointed out it could have a say 50:50 humanitarian role for disasters as well.
Guess what the UK Red Cross has 4000 staff and 1800 volunteers, some of which could join a hospital ship for a disaster operation, often they work overseas on a regular basis now.
DMS doctors working in NHS hospitals in trauma wards are keeping up their skills dealing with results of car accidents and people shot or stabbed etc. Any one knows the numbers of service personnel who require such care now is probably well down from peaks of previous years.
As it has been raised a hospital ship has many advantages over a field deployment in many circumstances. Such as a/c, power supply , water supply, food service better accommodation standards and then there is the protection of the field hospital. Do you have a military police or army company to provide a safe perimeter ? A ship still requires security but has a natural defensive perimeter , and the big advantage is if the local situation deteriorates very quickly it can sail to safety within hours. Try doing that with all the equipment and staff on a field deployed unit.
 
 

RichardIC

Ok, you’re not getting it. I could respond to each of your points but I’ll leave it there.

Challenger

Trying to revive major shipbuilding at H&W may be tempting but it’s surely spreading the jam very thinly considering the shipbuilding strategy was all about trying to invest in and nurture sustainable growth. With RRS David Attenborough and RFA support contracts already given to Cammell Laird and T31 to Babcock at Rosyth i’d much rather see CL as the lead yard for FSS.

Coupled with Spain’s behavior over Gibraltar and refueling Russian warships as well as the obvious economic benefits of keeping the project UK based i’d say it’s a bit of a no-brainer to give Navantia a wide berth.

4thwatch

Great summary. Spot on.

Glass Half Full

CL also has the T45 Power Improvement Program. Having built modules for QE/POW amd Astute programs its possible they may also build modules for T31.
 

Last edited 1 year ago by Glass Half Full
N-a-B

Not on current plans.

Paul.P

I really do hope this deal happens. It makes commercial sense. Belfast and NI have through the mill the last 50 years and deserve some good news. Harland and Wolff is an iconic ( and Unionist ) name so a deal with a Spanish (and Catholic) company would deliver a fitting symbolic recognition of the work the NI communities have done to break down sectarianism and make the peace process a reality, despite oftentimes the recidivist tribalism of their political leaders.

Grant

A lot of people are hung up on the Spain thing but Navantia have recent experience of building these ships and rebuilding ship build capability in disused docks, we could get 3 rather then 2 and jobs are in the UK there is a lot to like about it

Fedaykin

I think the best way to help Belfast and NI is to allow Irish Unification thus ending 100 years violating the result of a referendum that voted for Irish Independence.
 
Ireland should be one unified nation with a Federal system involving devolution for NI with their own Assembly/Parliament.

Paul.P

Good idea. So should the UK 😉

sparky42

At this stage, I really don’t want that burden of NI not unless it had seen massive reform and change before such an event. Between the divided society and the utter basket case of an economy the Republic would shatter itself having to carry NI.

Paul.P

I think every No 10 conversation between the UK PM and the Irish Taoiseach goes something like ‘When can you take NI off us? ‘ to which the reply is always, ‘No thanks, you keep it’.
Actually I think NI’s future is bright; inside the EU and inside the UK they have it made. 😉

sparky42

Nah, more nuanced, “we’d like it, but not right now thanks” covers all the options. As to NI’s future, it won’t change the structural issues that undermine the NI economy and society.

Fedaykin

Agreed, the Republic does want unification but is scared of the economic consequences. I think once they have fully setup direct links to the EU bypassing the UK that might change the situation. NI effectively in the Single Market with a customs border down the Irish Sea will start to see how their bread is buttered.

sparky42

When you look at the scale of the transfers that GB has to give NI just to keep the lights on there, even with such changes that Brexit might bring, NI is still a lodestone with an extremely limited economy, I mean they have about the same amount of Public Service workers as the ROI has even with difference in population for example.

4thwatch

The people are who count. if they want to stay they stay- Leave and they leave.

Duker

There was never a referendum for Irish independence in 1918. The general election of 1918 for all of UK, in which for first time all men 21 ( previously only those with property)or older and all women 30 or older could vote. The Sinn Fein won almost all the seats in what is now the republic,and other unionist parties in what is now Northern Ireland.
Sinn Fein only got 46% of the vote for the entire Ireland, which isnt a majority, but had 70% of the seats.( yes some seats in Munster were won uncontested by SF) The unionist partys both north and south got 53%.
The rest is history, but not by inventing it when a quick check can show what really happened.

Fedaykin

Splitting hairs really, many called the 1918 election a referendum on Independence.
 
My view is Irish Unification is only sensible way forward for NI even if it takes time to get there.

Duker

You did called it that. Compare Scotland where the actual referendum failed but the SNP then won 90% of the parliamentary seats shows the fallacy of that faux referendum approach.
The world map has lots of accidents of history, thats the least of them. Many of those are because someone originally thought it would be ‘tidier’ to draw the line somewhere that later proved problematic.

Paul.P

All options are possible for NI. The province has all the machinery for self government with a current setting to default to Westminster if that becomes paralysed, as it recently did. They could flip that provincial connection from GB to Ireland. They could decide to become part of a unified Ireland if the Republic agrees. They could decide to be an independent country, inside or outside the EU. They could decide to become an independent country in the Commonwealth, retaining the Queen as symbolic head of state, or even a British Overseas Territory I think. Its all within their control.
The current arrangement suits the people of NI pretty well. On the ground the religious divide is healing fast. The voters are way ahead of their tribal leaders in this respect. Both the Unionists and Catholics agree on one thing; they view the Dublin government as incompetent and the prospect of being governed from Dublin as a financial and also ironically a cultural disaster – NI Catholics do not want the Dublin liberal abortion regime; the important thing for them is recognition of their Irish cultural heritage. Formal recognition of the Irish language and the vast majority would be happy campers.
No change in the status of NI suits everyone in the British Isles vis a vis Europe after Brexit. Adherence to the Peace Agreement and a common economic area in Ireland means barrier free trade with Europe. It’s the UK’s trump negotiating card. No pun intended.

sparky42

Pretty much none of that is right.

Duker

Thats what I thought too, best to leave it for other forums

Waddi

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-43823506
 
If this is correct, then unification is a real possibility.

sparky42

Catholic doesn’t mean Republican/Nationalist.

Ron5

Build the BMT design in South Korea with military bits added in the UK just like the Tides. Announce some offset arrangements like Korea buying more UK gas turbines, helicopters or missiles. Announce money saved to be spent in the UK by adding another Type 31 to the order.
 
In other words, the usual smokescreen to cover buying the cheapest.

N-a-B

DSME pulled out of FSS for a reason. They got badly burned on Tide.

The only overseas yards that were serious were Navantia and JMUC.

Ron5

I was not aware of that. Shame.

4thwatch

I can see they underbid but that shouldn’t have prevented them bidding at all. Sorry to see them out of the race. However the UK needs to get its act together and relearn or simply learn excellence where we have forgotten.

N-a-B

Do you understand how much it actually costs a company to submit a bid? That’s just to conduct the paper exercise that MoD wants companies to undertake at their own expense to take part in a tender.
 
There is no off the shelf equivalent to FSS, which means you have to acquire a design, either through your own efforts or paying someone else to do it. That tender design is not developed to the level of being able to build, merely sufficient to allow the yard to quantify what it will cost to build, which means :
 
a) The design has to demonstrably reflect the requirement for assessment by MoD
b) Sufficiently define the design such that major risk areas (propulsion loads, electrical loads, structural loads, auxiliary system capacities etc) are de-risked to a point where either the shipyard can estimate the price and/or get a quote for equipment / system from equipment OEM (usually multiples)
c) Sufficient estimating information (joint length, FP areas, steelweight, pipe length, valve numbers, paint area etc etc) has been derived to allow the yard to estimate its material costs and labour
d) The actual design and assurance activities should one win the contract need to be specified, estimated and priced. Difficult with a client that demands multiple separate reviews and is prone to changing their minds on acceptance criteria…..
 
That is a multi-million pound effort to produce. More importantly, it’s a multi-million pound investment with absolutely zero guarantee of winning and no money back if you lose.
 
If you’re a yard with limited liquidity or capital to invest, how lucky do you feel? Does your board fancy punting that sum of money? The more MoD ask for in terms of tender activity, the fewer yards are likely to bid.

Darren

Which is what I said all along with the tankers. When your own government gives you no direction or believes in you because of unfounded reasons or what may have happened in the past, plus UK media saying this to the effect that the UK industry has no chance especially after the Andrew T…… removal of the UK industry/MoD alliance partnership and also eu rules dictating to what were anti manufacturing UK governments anyway. Was there any surprise?!

N-a-B

Not sure what relevance that has to anything I’m afraid.

DSME and Fincantieri chose not to bid
FSS because the costs required were significant. Are you suggesting MOD subsidise Brit bids but not others?

Lawyers will love that……

Darren

And here in lies the problem, we lose our industry over lawyers working for foreign firms over our money. Lawyers along with reports apon a report for a report tha hampers the UK. And foriegn firms do not subsidise thier firms? We do not play on an equal level field, Navantia is state owned and not doubt subsidised! I do no understand why you are so anti UK and as I say your lack of vision and sarcasm in being personal is why we as Country we will not grow. Brit buys a house in Spain for 350 thousand, 160 thousand within the bank was not subjected to tax, bank manager walked out the room. That happened. This eu empire thing would pay the diff until now OK. Wake up! Looking at this, you are part of the problem we face in the UK. You will down our own industry with no solution. I think you are possibly trolling, or may be devil’s advocate.

N-a-B

Firstly – remind me again who started the adhoms? That’ll be you then, including suggesting I was some sort of foreign troll at one point and repeating it above. But don’t worry, I think I can cope without counselling.
 
I am not anti-UK, far from it and certainly not pro-EU. However, I am part of the UK industry and only too well aware of what can and cannot be done – particularly for a one off class in a demanding timeframe. You on the other hand appear to be a well-meaning hobbyist.
 
If there was a downstream order book crammed with ships that demanded an expansion of facilities, then that’s a very different kettle of fish. But there isn’t – and there won’t be, however much fantasy fleetists would like there to be. It’s not just the money to buy the ships, you need to expand the navy to man them and guess which budget is going to take a hoofing in the next CSR? Nor is there a commercial market begging for the UK to jump in and provide for it’s needs. It is going to be absolutely brutal out there for a decade or more in the global shipbuilding market.
 
The buyers in that market are private companies. They do not care about tax returns to the exchequer or UK skills bases – nor should they. Their job is to make money transporting commodities worldwide and transfer that money to their shareholders, which include UK pension funds. Making a profit in the decade to come is going to be very difficult. They are not going to want to risk their scarce cash on a UK industry with very limited track record – a record which is not helped, sadly – by the issues with SDA.
 
There is no market for a hugely expanded UK shipbuilding industry. We could actually do with some consolidation, such that the facilities we do have could build more efficiently. But that will take cash to relocate people (or pay them off) and expand existing facilities. Cash is another of those things that will be in short supply over the next decade.
 
You may not like this, you may not agree with it, but be in no doubt, it’s what the world looks like.
 

Last edited 1 year ago by N-a-B
Darren

Why. Did they put in a net price (likely) hoping for thier SK Gov to sibsidize the rest of tax, or usual MoD fiddling about that has killed a few UK shipyards in the past, that could be competitive in the world shipbuilding markets in which it is said the UK can have far bigger market penetration, even with their backward facilities. Five hundred and million pounds just for the shipbuild and this South Koran yard got burned.Possibly because their real price could have been more like 800 million pounds or more just for the hull build (gross in the UK) and not even with the UK one hundred and sixty million pounds content with tax back to the UK exchequer. Total farce! There is no defence to this!

N-a-B

One of us has built ships for a living and works in the industry. One of us hasn’t.

Darren

I have been in the industry and seen p**s poor practices and see what is needed, people like you don’t see solutions but moan and down, so go. So one has done it badly and should retire as you are not up to it! The UK really does need new blood in this new industry. Out with the old…
 

Last edited 1 year ago by Darren Riche-Webber
N-a-B

For one who has been in the industry (suggesting you’re not now), your awareness of the actual market appears somewhat patchy. As does your knowledge of who’s doing what at the moment. Interesting extrapolation as to quality of work, based on opinions you don’t agree with as well. Never mind, I’ll get over it.
 
 

Last edited 1 year ago by N-a-B
Darren

You need to get over much as well as my crap joke. I don’t think you are good enough though. If you being in this industry, has not helped this industry, that is clear. You being personal does not help. I think you need to leave our industry.

Darren

And you must check every few hours. God give me strenght and plenty of it!

Darren

I hope that my computer that is on open processor chip surgery can stay alive to post this..
 
The whole idea is completely insane and a easy divide and conquer tactic which the UK Gov and MoD have allowed to happen with this daft competition idea as if it were like a game show. It in affect, allows UK shipyards to be neutralised in this process.
 
 
This would not really be a partnership, but a convenient set up to allow Navantia to build these UK taxpayer funded ships and assemble a little bit of it in the UK. This is a Spanish and minor UK subservient partner so as to give Spain the win, a Country along with her people who do not like us for starters and we already have a big trade deficit with too. Navantia is state owned. Make no mistake the UK will be the bit part player yet again in what is a pivotal time for the future of UK shipbuilding. I doubt if much will benefit H&W and they will fair just as well when invited to the UK camp. But as one commentator said, which is important, is the legal picture, but most things can be circumnavigated legally anyhow. Nothing is set in stone. We have to stop[ this being out maundered by foreign rivals who are out to get our business at our cost.
 
All steel and steel work will come from Spain and also the modules, only to be assembled in Harland & Wolff. This team may as well be called Team Rule Britannia. It means nothing.
 
There is no reason why the MoD cannot use some intelligence for once and look at BMT design with the UK build only, which it must be. There is also no reason why Harland and Wolff cannot be part of Team UK FSSS, it is the UK (with the ambition and wishes of the UK public) who call the shots. If BMT design wins, why would you then favour a more expensive foreign build, which is what this would be.
 
Harland and Wolff can be involved with the UK team, or will some say there wont be enough for UK shipyards, which makes the lack of UK capacity argument a poor excuse along with all the other excuses. Harland & Wolff could do better when with Team UK. But as they are, they are much the same as Rosyth as a final assembly shipyard facility with a little more in plate and section production. Harland’s needs modern steel working facilities and production lines etc. Originally the Carrier build was said to have contracts spread around to give many UK facilities a slice and nothing about lack of UK capacity. Other final assembly like Swan Hunters Wallsend facility wanted, with blocks mainly coming from their Port Clarence facility (now Wilton Marine).
 
On Navantia’s shipyard 4.0 system. BAE had and have a similar concept years ago and are building some shipyards around the world based on it.
 
Australia no longer and may be Norwegian and Turkish yards are not capable in terms of facilities and skills to build ships like these, but the UK is!
 
The UK supply chain for these ships can be far higher than the designated protected and so- called sovereign by government, frigates and subs. Team FSSS can be a real mainly UK based supplier enterprise that benefits the UK taxpayer.
 
Navantia have done a fair bit, but have not built huge complex super carriers that have been hampered so many times by UK politicians and officials adding their bit (officials are not just people in uniforms).
 
There are not many UK naval projects on the horizon, which is why during this foreign created downturn pandemic, UK shipyards must carry on and hopefully rivals fall ( I know this sounds unfair, but they wish it on us so don’t be shy about this fact) so we can survive as well as capitalize on this.
 
It’s always this capacity idea that works against us. One minute we don’t have capacity (never the case in reality) then next over capacity, so what is it to be.
 
Dutch JSSS, German support ships, Italian, French etc have all gotten on with their ships without all this farce we in the UK face which help to undermine our own industry. All are more expensive than if we built them too! But these Countries see the bigger picture and socio economic impacts along with tax claw back which this Country needs to get to grips with and no be lazy about because it is costing g us.
 
In order for Industry to invest, it needs too know it has the confidence of it’s own government. The actual Government National shipbuilding strategy came from the MoD and was really a international warship building strategy and did not take important bits in from the original Sir John Parker report and his review after the official Gov strategy in which he spoke again about the FSSS and commercial shipbuilding, he also mentions about long term investment in facilities and people as a condition of getting these contracts and how the MoD is lacking in areas.
 
Recently, we are having a report not disclosed to the public from the investigation that the then Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt ordered regarding the tide ships built in South Korea. There is something certain official in the MoD and UK Gov do not like. It needs to be disclosed.
 
Due to the virus, the UK economy contracted by over twenty percent in the last month and OECD say the UK economy will be worst hit of all in the developed Countries. One reason given is due to our lack of manufacturing industry and over reliance on imports and too big service sector etc. We were caught out with our trousers around our ankles with the 2007/08 financial meltdown that was inevitable and we have been caught out again, so when is the penny going to drop? Our economic model is all wrong and we still have not learnt anything. But the problem is that UK manufacturing has faced critics who cite lower wage economies and we cannot compete etc. This anti manufacturing climate has been around for along time and did not change in 1997, in fact it got worse with Labour governments not wanting this Country to make anything. But we have been found out and always when we need our manufacturing we lose out due to mothballing or eu rules energy costs, it is always something that wrong foots us. Building the new Forth bridge mostly with Spanish and Chinese made material while Dalzell Cumbuslang and Appleby was ignored and later mothballed due to dumping etc. We need our strategic industries to flourish and they need the fair conditions to flourish.
 
If we are not going to fund the military properly, we may as well not bother at all and we will be exploited by other Countries who are not real friends. If we go for face price, we will end up paying more in the reality. Jus like PFI contracts, delaying projects and quangos with no purpose etc.
 
To give any part of this UK taxpayer contract abroad would be total industrial suicide. All comments here all make valid points, but no one is looking at a real long term structure for future UK shipbuilding and how facilities can evolve. This means five, ten, twenty, forty years outlook instead of saying, it’s just a hole in the ground type of mentality we have at the moment. I sure Navantiia along with our other rivals take a long term approach with a view to new ship types in the future too. Shipbuilding will change and just like this virus, it will end, but we need to have firms and facilities to capitalise on this like other do. Looking for the now or next few years is short termism. Navantia also have (along with other foreign rivals) their teeth into our offshore renewable sector too and this is something to be ashamed of too.
 
I’ve no doubt a scheming UK government will try the value for the taxpayer excuse as one get out, or set a daft time schedule so as to undermine our builders even though as stated here, time of concept phase has been over two decades long. Totally ridiculous and how does industry gear up for this lack of direction? Also they will say that to have three ships we had to go with Spain or have only two if from the UK. If Spain can build these ships at fifty percent lower than the UK and after tax claw back from UK firms is taken into account (net cost), I would ask, who is subsidizing Navantia? Lack of capacity, we don’t build ships like these and the good old industry destroying eu rules that only we abide by will be used. We will have all the classics come out if they (MoD and UK government and certain vested interests) decide to ruin a new UK shipbuild sector potential.
 
 
Due to the virus, the UK economy contracted by over twenty percent in the last month and OECD say the UK economy will be worst hit of all in the developed Countries. One reason given is due to our lack of manufacturing industry and over reliance on imports and too big service sector. has been decades long.
Just as a foot note. RFA Fort George was built for around 132 million quid which is around 330 million pounds today and also GROSS (Harland and Wolff‘s build of Fort Victoria was not a true reflection and had many problems which should not reflect on Harland‘s today). A 32,000 ton Wave class ship would cost around 185 million pounds GROSS in today’s prices. That is with facilities less efficient than today etc. Spain’s Navantia built Cantabria at 20,000 tons in today prices in pounds would cost 242 million pounds. If the pound had been lower back during her built this price would be higher. The new JSSS HNLMS Den Helder is 334 million pounds and the Dutch revoked a certain eu regulation because of sovereign capability and intellectual property.
 
 
 

N-a-B

Let’s just say that your figures for Fort George are way off – one of us has the actual work content – and leave it at that…..

Darren

Oh Yeah, no, lets not leave it at that. Give me some of your made up figures then. You need to retire. Come on, go.

Teves

Hope they decide on common modular hull design drive train etc for all future FSS oilers, hospital, strike, landing ships and survey vessels. But more importantly equip them with at least one 57mm, one 40mm canon two mini guns and four machine guns plus capable of being fitted with at least 12 seaceptor as we keep using these vessels to project UK presents around the world due to fleet demands they need the capability to defend themselves but as the qe2 has no missiles on board every ship in the group should be equip to defend the carrier including FSS and oiler. Hope someone in the navy recognises our short fall in protection of these vessels.