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Anonymous

Dear Heavens, there are people who actually want to command?

Callum

Always great to get the perspective of someone who’s been in a similar situation before

James Harrington Law

I had an idea what it would be like, but then after reading this I know I really had no idea what it would be like. “Jesus”. Thank goodness for our armed forces and RN crews like onboard Montrose today. Everyone of us needs to be behind them. Thanks for the very informative article. Boris Strawhead needs to read this before he makes a massive mistake as PM. I understand he doesn’t like to read!

Iqbal Ahmed

Why oh why are we letting the Americans push us into a confrontation in the Gulf? Seizing their tanker is a provocative act. You don’t see France or Germany clicking their heels due to US orders and jumping into the fray against Iran, do you?

Politically, we are still officially trying to salvage the JCPOA. So sending a couple of frigates to act as target practice for Iranian Fast attack boats, mines and anti-ship missiles doesn’t seem like a great idea. The Iranians are likely to try something against ‘little satan’ Britain rather than ‘big satan’ America because they know that we don’t have effective tools/assets to escalate nor the political will to carry through any retaliation to their provocations. Enfeebled as we are by Brexit. The article also highlights the tight margins and risk of an accidental incident that lights the fire.

David Graham

The tanker is, if delivering oil to Syria, in breach of EU sanctions. YES, EU sanctions. Great support the UK gets from EU partners, who are large on talk, but miniscule on action. It has been made clear to Iran that if assurances can be given that the oil is not destined for Syria, the ship will be allowed to leave Gibraltar.

Having been in the Gulf many times in the past, I don’t envy ant CO of a frigate or destroyer their present task.

DaveyB

Does make you think how we and times have changed compared to how we would of acted in the past. A good example is the bombardment of Algiers in 1816 to stop the slave trade and free christian slaves. This is where the Dey of Algiers had his Navy wiped out to make the point and force him to make concessions. Not sure we have the means or will to do the same today?

Bob

In reference to oil, EU sanctions against Syria state that no EU nation,or citizen of an EU nation, can trade in oil to/from Syria or provide infrastructure to the Syrian oil industry. As a non EU nation, how do EU sanctions effect Iran trading oil with Syria?

Is it simply, that their ship entered Gibraltar’s water on route, and therefore could be inspected by Gibraltar’s police etc? But as stated in the above article, international trade should be allowed free passage through the Gibraltar straight.

You do make a good point about other EU countries. Post the event, Spain had an issue in that the Gibraltar police boarded a vessel in waters that they believe are Spanish. If EU rules state that the Iran vessel was in breach of its sanctions, then Spain, as an EU country, should have stopped the vessel themselves.

David Graham

Yes, it is an offence for EU nations , legal entities within these nations and EU citizens, irrespective of where they are based to trade in hydrocarbon products of Iranian origin and bound for Syria. However, it is my understanding that the sanctions also are in force to prevent oil from Iran going to Syria at all.

The SBS boarded the Grace 2 in Gibraltar territorial sea. As you point out, owing to the Spanish claim on the rock, they do not recognise the existence of the Gibraltar Territorial Sea. So much for EU sanctions, but then although they complain about UK and USN SSNs berthing in GIB, one must ask what about the USN facility at Rota? This hosted USN SSBNs for decades during the Cold War.

Callum

“So sending a couple of frigates to act as target practice…”

We’re not. Montrose was already based there, Duncan is going there to cover the first stint of Montrose’s refit, then Kent is relieving Duncan until Montrose returns to service. There’s no escalation there whatsoever, it’s just sustaining the same continuous presence we’ve had for decades.

The fundamentals of the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz are that, unless you’re already on a war footing, EVERYONE is vulnerable to surprise attack, because there are so many threat vectors. We still have to operate there though, because if we didn’t then ships like the tanker Montrose protected would end up in Iranian custody, and then we’d be in a significantly worse position to aid them. The point is to force potential hostiles into the role of aggressor, where the burden of escalation rests on them. 9 times out of 10, they won’t pull the trigger, and the uneasy peace continues. It’s the same logic behind local policing, behind nuclear deterrents; the knowledge that, if you do something aggressive, there’s a force waiting to return the favour.

In this specific case, an open attack on a British warship by a foreign entity would trigger NATO Article 5. With tensions between the US and Iran so high, you’re daft if you think Trump (a professed Anglophile, for all his other flaws), wouldn’t readily assist a retaliation strike.

David Graham

Callum,
You need to look at the rights of innocent passage through a State’s territorial sea, particularly when there is an internationally recognised traffic separation zone contained therein. [ie the Hormuz Strait]. Iran signed the treaty in 1982, but refused to ratify it because of the clauses referring to warships and innocent passage. [see Articles circa 30 of UNCLOS]. Ref Montrose, she is simply going into maintenance, and not refit, so I think you can take it that Kent is a force multiplier. What must be a serious threat is that of mining. Even the “we have mined” scenario is enough to close the strait. Would you take a 150,000 tonne VLCC into these waters in the hope that it was a bluff?

Callum

From what I’ve read, and what this article states, international shipping has every right to transit the relevant part of the strait without harassment by Iran. Was there something specific in my previous point that was incorrect or you have an issue with?

Apologies for the confusion, I tend to use the term refit as short hand for any period of maintenance. Duncan is going to the Gulf to replace Montrose while she’s out of service, and Kent is specifically going to relieve Duncan later this year. It depends on how long Montrose’s maintenance period is going to be, but to me that sounds more like maintaining a presence while Montrose is unavailable.

Regarding the “we have mined” scenario, Iran would have to be truly desperate to do that. It’s economy is heavily dependent on the export of oil, and uniting the world against it by making such an aggressive and heavy handed move would be very counter productive to it’s goal of working around US sanctions. Short of an all out war, the downsides outweigh the potential gains

Tom

Callum, Duncan was due back in the UK from deployment at the end of July. She was diverted from the Med to the Gulf because of the increase in tensions and is an extra presence. Yes, Kent is relieving Duncan but is still providing that increased presence. I agree with your comments reference the “we have mined” scenario and the UK has 4 Minehunters based in Bahrain as well as the Middle Eastern Countries assets (EG: 2 x Saudi Al Jawf) in case of any such event.

Tom

Callum,

Duncan was due back in the UK from deployment at the end of July. She was diverted from the Med to the Gulf because of the increase in tensions and is an extra presence. Yes, Kent is relieving Duncan but is still providing that increased presence. I agree with your comments reference the “we have mined” scenario and the UK has 4 Minehunters based in Bahrain as well as the Middle Eastern Countries assets (EG: 2 x Saudi Al Jawf) in case of any such event.

Tom

Callum,

Duncan was due back in the UK from deployment at the end of July. She was diverted from the Med to the Gulf because of the increase in tensions. Yes, Kent is relieving Duncan but is still providing that increased presence. I agree with your comments reference the “we have mined” scenario and the UK has 4 Minehunters based in Bahrain as well as the Middle Eastern Countries assets (EG: 2 x Saudi Al Jawf) in case of any such event.

Tom

Callum,

HMS Duncan was due back in the UK from deployment at the end of July. She was diverted from the Med to the Gulf because of the increase in tensions. Yes, HMS Kent is relieving HMS Duncan but is still providing that increased presence. I agree with your comments reference the “we have mined” scenario and the UK has 4 Minehunters based in Bahrain as well as the Middle Eastern Countries assets (EG: 2 x Saudi Al Jawf) in case of any such event.

Tom

Callum,

HMS Duncan was due back in the UK at the end of July. She was diverted from the Med to the Gulf because of the increase in tensions. Yes, HMS Kent is relieving HMS Duncan but is still providing that increased presence. I agree with your comments reference the “we have mined” scenario and the UK has 4 Minehunters based in Bahrain as well as the Middle Eastern Countries assets (EG: 2 x Saudi Al Jawf) in case of any such event.

Tom

Callum
HMS Duncan was due back in the UK at the end of July. She was diverted from the Med to the Gulf because of the increase in tensions. Yes, HMS Kent is relieving HMS Duncan but is still providing that increased presence. I agree with your comments reference the “we have mined” scenario and the UK has 4 Minehunters based in Bahrain as well as the Middle Eastern Countries assets (EG: 2 x Saudi Al Jawf) in case of any such event.

Meirion X

Iqbal(momentum-Mob)#
You momentum-Mob type people, are Dim and naive!!

Iqbal Ahmed

As could have been easily predicted, matters have now escalated further as Iran has just now seized a British flagged tanker, the Stena Impero, in the Straights of Hormuz. Regardless of the number of RN frigates in the vicinity, they cannot provide safe passage of the Straights.

This will soon become a hostage negotiation.

It would seem that dim and naïve would better describe the Rule Britannia Brigade who have lead us to this sorry state.

So much for punching above our weight.

Meirion X

Momentum-Mob Iqbal#
It is defeatists , and appeasers who have lead Britain to a sorry state of a run down Armed Forces. Supporters of the RN have been arguing for years, some incident will happen, with Not enough forces to respond!

Time to rearm!

John Clark

Absolutely, pressure needs to be put on Boris the moment he is crowned to increase defence to at least 3% GDP and the next SDSR needs to return the RN back into a global first rate Navy, with serous assets forward deployed.

A frigate/ destroyer mix of about 40 is actually required:

12 T45 (probably 6 T26 AD variants with Sampson or equivalent)

16 T26

12 T31 (at least as capable as T23 GP)

12 SSN’s (this one is difficult, further Refit
or rebuild Trafalgarr class if possible, or perhaps, look to the US, as we don’t have the capacity to build the numbers quickly.

2 QE class, both fully operational, with the full 136 F35B buy in place.

2 Helicopter Carriers and the helicopter numbers needed, the current RM sea lift capability maintained.

An RFA and other RN surface support
(patrol, mine sweeper etc), sized to support the above globally.

Up to date UK support facilities and built up support and repair capability abroad east of suez.

The above isn’t a fantasy fleet, it’s a simple opinion analysis of what’s needed to protect our global trade routes in the 21 century.

The above could be realised by 2035 if the money and will was there.

Callum

“The above isn’t a fantasy fleet…could be realised by 2035”

It most definitely IS a fantasy fleet, and it most definitely could NOT be realised by 2035.

We’ll start with the obvious: money. Just as rough estimates for each class, a T26 or AD variant is ~£1bn, T31s are £250mn (actually more because this batch are getting GFE), an Astute is ~£1.65bn, and a helicopter carrier could be anything from £500mn to £2bn, so we’ll be generous and call it £1bn. So far, that’s £27.25bn. Plus the very vague “RFA and other RN surface support”, easily over £30bn. That’s the equivalent of more than three quarters of an entire yearly defence budget, just on new ships. I lack the figures for calculating things like lifetime running costs, ammunition, maintenance, crew, aircraft, etc, but I feel safe saying they’d be monumental.

The next pressing issue: capacity. We currently have two yards actively building warships (Clyde and Rosyth), another two competing to participate in future construction (Cammel Laird and Harland & Wolfe), and a single yard for nuclear submarine construction (Barrow). The Clydes current schedule is 8 T26s by the late 2030s; you’re saying they could reasonably produce a total of 22 (16xT26, 6xT46) by 2035? Assuming CL got the T31, that COULD be feasible assuming no slippage. That would mean Rosyth got the auxiliaries and helicopter carriers, which is possible but I doubt they’d be able to deliver enough ships to basically double the size of the RFA. Barrow is already at full capacity with the Astutes and Dreadnoughts being behind schedule, and it’s highly unlikely they’d be able to produce another 5 submarines by 2035 (but it’s not completely impossible). H&W has no real building experience anymore, but could potentially be relegated simple patrol craft or some auxiliaries to relieve pressure on Rosyth. More likely that not though, this sort of building plan is going to either take over 2 decades, or require massive investment in the industry, which takes us back to the monetary issue.

The last issue, and the hardest to fix: manpower. Even accounting for a 15 year period, this sort of increase would need manpower to more than double, possibly triple. That’s asking a lot from a peace time force that struggles with retention.

Suffice to say, it is VERY much an unattainable fantasy. Realistically, best case scenario, by 2035 we could be looking at an increase in the escort force to roughly 24-30 ships, with a mix of T45:T26:T31 of about 6 : 8 : 10-12, with maybe small increases in auxiliaries, patrol ships, MCMVs, and aircraft.

John Clark

I appreciate your opinion Callum, the money is in the economy to do this already, it’s a case of priority s isn’t it.

3% GDP into defence now, would provide billions of additional funds for my proposal each year.

The manning issue is a real one, again delt with by increasing wages (and bonuses for key people) and much improved living conditions.

Industrial capacity is a problem, but with the required orders, it would be up to the companies who tender, to expand capacity to make it happen, or subcontract, the same as any corporate bid.

The real sticking point would be SSN’s, the number should never have been allowed to fall below 12, but it has unfortunately.

Is it possible to rebuild Trafalgar class boats??

If not, then perhaps we could turn to the Americans to build a batch of 5 SSN’s for us..

It’s either that, or a batch of SSK’s off the shelf, with a long term plan to build 12 SSN’s.

Callum

With warnings of a recession on the horizon, it’s a bit bold to claim the money is in the economy for a level of rearmament that hasn’t been seen since the Second World War.

3% would certainly allow a lot of your proposals to take place, but remember new construction only makes up a very small percentage of the actual budget. One of the reasons we remain a top tier power is because we spend a relatively high percentage on maintenance and training. Plus, if your solution to the manpower crisis is simply up wages, a very large percentage of that new budget is going to be spent just paying sailors.

You’re right regarding industrial capacity, but that’s not the sort of thing that changes overnight. It’ll probably be about 2030 before capacity actually reaches the level needed.

Definitely agree regarding the SSNs. At conception, the Astutes were meant to be replacements for the Swiftsures, not the Trafalgars. It was only because there was so much time wasting and so many fuck ups that we got to current situation where the Trafalgars are at end of life as well. 12 is really an operational minimum.

The Trafalgars are unfortunately done. They use a reactor design that was originally developed in the 60s, and they’re suffering a lot of age-related fatigue. Refitting them is a non-starter. As for asking the Americans, remember we’d be losing millions, if not billions in tax revenue that we get back building domestically. Also, they only have two submarine builders, both of which are busy churning out Virginias. It’s doubtful there’s any spare capacity, given that SSNs aren’t export items.

SSKs have been bounced around as a potential solution. They offer a cheaper, less potentially crippling option for training new crews, and for home defence they’re pretty perfect. Plus, BMT has several concept designs it’s been developing for years. However, we’d either be setting up a brand new skill base, or importing from Germany (which looks appalling politically). There’s also the logistics and basing situation to sort out. My personal view is I’d rather have 8-9 SSNs than 7 SSNs and 4-5 SSKs (based off a rough estimate, the next Oz subs are about £2bn+, but we could probably build them for under a billion)

John Clark

Great points Callum,

The SSK route is probably our only real option for submarines in the medium term.

They would certainly do the job for ‘domestic use ‘ near North Atlantic and Med.

We need (excuse the pun) to turn the ship round regarding the RN and start growing it again with some urgency as the current Iranian situation shows how naked we really are.

It was used as a whipping boy for our 10 year long sandbox wars and stripped to the bone.

Cameron

I hope we double the type 31 numbers soon on the back of the Iranian problem, that’s the best I’m hoping for. Can’t see any more submarines be acquired anytime soon so seven Astutes will have to do for the near future. A cheaper to run than Hms QE helicopter carrier makes sense and ocean should have been kept, we were using Argus as a helicopter carrier recently for gods sake!

GlynH

I’d rather look to Japan and the Soryu class if we went down the SSK route.

Cameron

We have built submarines all over the uk, it’s the skilled workforce that’s the problem.

Meirion X

The RN needs SSKs for shallow waters, instead of more SSNs.

Rick

As I posted before, I like the German SSK design for realistically increasing sub numbers with a cost effective (only 27 person crew) scenario that is affordable. I’m sure BAE could design an all British SSK based on the German sub. As for fantasy navy, well that’s what we do here.

John Clark

The trouble is BAE Systems would be reinventing the wheel at enormous expense.

As previously discussed, we simply don’t have any reserve capacity to build anymore boats.

The only real option, would be to buy an SSK design off the shelf.

Airborne

Yaaaaaaaaaawn

Airborne

Oh yawn, here we go again, Iqbal is waffling and talking crap as ever. Same repetitive chuff with no subject matter knowledge or experience.

Airborne

And he had to have a tenuous link to Brexit! Same russki troll as ever

Grubbie

So,what are you going to do now? Seizing British flagged ships is not actually in iran’s interest,but like it or not,they have their foot on the throat of the straits.

Armand2REP

They will send in the carriers… oh wait.

GlynH

What I’m about to say is contrary to my previous thinking on the Type 31s, but . . One can’t help but think that the 31s might now be better focussed as low end brawlers, bristling with 57mm 3P, 30mm, Martlet & Surface-to-Surface BrimStone. Basically have five of them on rotation for this kind of close quarters / knife fight in a phone booth warfare. But, I would want one or two additional 26s to take up the slack caused by removing any open-ocean capability from the 31s portfolio.

Grubbie

What a lot of people forget is the astonishing corruption of the republican guard, a lot of this behaviour can be explained by extortion and simple theft.

Simon

If a swarm of small boats were to attack a T 23 would the Phalanx be able to stop? Not that anyone would like to see this happen.

Challenger

They aren’t fitted with Phalanx….so no! Beyond 2x 30mm the T23’s anti swarm defence is limited to rail mounted machine guns.

Cameron

Phalanx would run out of bullets rather quickly

Challenger

A Littoral Strike Ship (stupid term for basically a merchant ship converted into a sea base) with a sizable number of Wildcat’s bristling with missiles and Royal Marine’s equipped with fast patrol boats like the CB90 would be the ideal reaction to a situation like we’re seeing with Iran.

Shame that Littoral Strike Ships are still wishful thinking, the RN has just 28 Wildcat’s, Marlet and Sea Venom missiles won’t be in service until 2020 and the RM’s haven’t got any boats to deploy with…..

We seem to be very good at planning for yesterday’s wars and the RN in particular has become such a gold-plated / top-heavy service that it has lost a lot of it’s flexibility and almost all of it’s mass.

Yes we need world beating anti-submarine and anti-air platforms and i believe carriers, amphibious assault ships and nuclear submarines are valuable assets that set the UK apart from most of our contemporaries, but the RN needs balance and the critical mass to respond to events.

Light frigates (for want of a better name), fast patrol boats, surveillance UAV’s, anti-surface attack helicopters, diesel electric submarines etc may not be as useful in blue-water operations against peer adversaries….. but then again they aren’t meant to be.

Protecting trade as well as engaging in soft power through presence, training, intelligence gathering and so on are unglamorous but equally important jobs which a gradual erosion of budgets coupled with increasing overspend on bespoke equipment have consistently undermined pretty much since the end of the Cold War and the ‘end of history’ attitude that we may now finally be waking up from.

Don

Should thought be given for T31 to be able to deploy a couple of fast patrol boats like CB90.

Cameron

Not heard much about those littoral ships recently, where are they being built or converted? When are they planned to enter service ect ect

jon livesey

Taking on the Iranians at sea isn’t how you handle a major escalation. If it’s a couple of fast boats that are ready to back down when a UK frigate approaches, fine, but there is nothing to be gained by conducting a massacre of tens of small boats and still losing because there are another two thousand behind them. You don’t take actions that must fail because then you lose the action and your own credibility.

For a serious escalation of piracy on the part of the Iranians, you completely cut them off from the World Banking, Energy, Trade, Diplomatic, Scientific and Transport systems, and if Russia and China choose to support them, you include them in the blockade. And make sure the blockade is “sanctions” times ten.

Then, Iran being a deeply divided country at the best of times, you wait for the rash and the moderate parts of the country to battle it out behind closed doors. Iran seems puzzling and unpredictable because the public face of the place is just whichever clique happens to be on top at a given moment.

Do serious damage to the Iranian economy, and do it for months or years, and be willing to pay the price of Iranian oil going off the market, and eventually the crazies will lose to the moderates because of the damage they are causing to Iran..

Iqbal Ahmed

Jon, this exactly.

This should be a nominated post.

Naval half measures by an under equipped force and nostalgia for a bygone era should be eschewed in favour of diplomacy and use of economic and soft power.

Britain needs to act in concert with as many powers as possible. Iran’s anxious neighbours for a start. Make the Iranians come to the table. Their economy is their Achilles heel.

All the revolutionary bluster will be out the window when the economic sanctions bite hard enough for the ordinary person to start blaming the government and then wanting a change in their aggressive policy in the region or failing that s new government.

Dern

Bla bla bla, typical anti-British Iqbal Rant, bla bla nostalgia *YAWN* luckily you showed your true colours long ago and we know to disregard this tripe.

King Fox

So UK is going to blockade (which is in itself a declaration of war) Iran, Russia & China? Anyone else while you’re at it? You are either 11 years old or a senile 97.

Will O

The trouble is there are no moderates within the regime, there’s only extremists vs other extremists, & none of them can be trusted.

Edd

One wonders what things might have been like had the Harrier GR9 or the mighty SHAR still been around fully armed with twin Aden gunpods together with a carrier(s) to operate from.
Getting rid of them was stupid stupid STUPID.
The RAF should hang there heads in shame. The Tornados they preferred to save needs a long runway which says ‘overhere’ to any foe while the Harriers can operate from the bush if need be . Wipe the mud off with the sleeve of your BDUs and spool up the Peggy turbofan and off you go. Will the fragile bird that is F35 be able to stand up to that?

Jake

Interesting reading. How many tankers would you say one single frigate could convoy if they would sail close together? 2, 3 or more?

Are there any other realistic options to protect British shipping in the Strait of Hormuz from a new Stena Impero scenario besides convoying them with warships? Airlifting a team of Royal Marines on to each British tanker for protection when they approach the Strait?

David Graham

Jake,
Royal Marines on each tanker makes sense. During the days of the Armilla Patrol, which commenced in mid-1980, there were three destroyers or frigates in the Gulf at any one time. Leanders, Type 21s Type 42s most of the time, plus an RFA. HMS Alacrity was the first ship in the Gulf, having been detached from a group deployment to the FES.

Maybe a new Tide as a base for the helos and Marines; she could also RAS the Type23s/Type45s into the bargain by standing off round the corner in the Indian Ocean when required to RAS the escorts.

Number of ships: I have an image of Alacrity with two tankers in company, but numbers etc really depend on current circumstances.

Cameron

Can’t the tides only hold 1 helicopter and fort Victoria 3 or 4? Argus can hold more is it 7?

Cameron

Why not just don’t do what the Iranians say to do like don’t turn the tanker and head for Iran, but as I understand the recent tanker was taken in Oman waters or was it? And that’s illegal.

John Clark

There are routes for immediate protection Jake, without dangerous escalation.

It seems to me that since the Nuclear deal fell apart, Iran sees no point in playing nicely as they are now locked into crippling sanctions, with no apparent way out.

This sort of behaviour plays well to a domestic audience in Iran, so we need to walk the line between robust action and measured response, that dosent accidentally trigger a disaterous shooting war in the gulf.

The RN dosen’t have the assets to protect our shipping ( that needs addressing as discussed), we have different goals to the US in the area, so the only real option is to convoy British flagged tankers (with at least two warships) and place Royal Marines on each ship as they transit the straights of Hormuz.

The Iranians being clearly told that any futher attempt at state piracy will be robustly engaged.

The transits being filmed by UN observers.

That’s proportional and places the ball back with the Iranians, in the full glare of international observation.

It’s in not in anyone’s interests to start a conflict with Iran, it has powerful isometric warfare connections and will lead to a spike in worldwide terrorist attacks against Western targets.

We certainly don’t need yet another unwinnable war in the bloody sandbox!

This needs to be de-escalated and Iran somehow brought back into the international fold in the coming years.

Gunbuster

The piece was spot on.
Having served on RN vessels during the tanker war (just after the Iran airliner was downed) and having done a few other Gulf deployments and a couple of “conflicts” in the area (and other places) I cannot fault it.

From my personal perspective when managing a team of maintainers and operators of weapon systems on-board you are trying to ensure everything is working and at immediate notice for use. Its not just the big stuff that goes Woosh! and Bang! that needs looking after its all the mundane stuff as well, things that mostly people would not think about , things of such as :

Wind speed Anemometers- You need the info from them to safely launch and recover a very heavy tooled up helo. Its also essential for the Decoy systems so you deploy chaff correctly to decoy any missile attacks away and not onto you.

Headsets- Operators always break them in the ops room. You have a maintainer constantly repairing them . No headset and the operators cannot talk to anyone in the ops room or external on the radio nets

Water temp Sensors- Essential for predicting/confirming the really carp sonar conditions that you find in the gulf.

Radio and sat com- VHF, UHF Sat coms all need to be up and running 24/7. if the CO needs to get on the bat phone to Fleet HQ he expects an instant connection.

Electronic Warfare- Probably the first heads up you will get of something happening. Surface search or Airborne radar or if its all gone wrong a targeting or homing head.

Gyro Compass- Its input goes into everything. Stability to weapon systems, bearing info to radars, compass repeaters on the bridge.

Preps for Firing- Oiled and greased up gun parts do not like wet sand laden air so you need to ensure everything is clean and checked as serviceable on every watch change. However you need to stagger the work so you dont take everything off the operators at the same time and leave them with nothing to fight the ship with.

Thats just a small part of the Weapon Engineering Dept…The Marine Engineers have the engines, gensets, fresh water, firemain , vent, damage control etc to manage . The Loggies are trying to cook for everyone in defence watches so that everyone gets fed going on and coming off watch. The flight are doing there bit with the helo at Alert 15 or Alert 5 ready to launch.

It sounds crass but it is a team effort from all involved from the CO down. He cannot do what he wants unless those below ensure he has the tools and info to make the correct decisions.

Do i miss it now I am outside?
Hell yes…its the ultimate job satisfaction. But to be honest i am getting to old for that S***

Does my missus miss it…No… she is quite happy with me doing what I do now and not being away for 6-9 months at a time.

4thwatch

We need the xtra 5 T26 originally planned plus xtra 5 T31. 29 escorts. Less is not good enough.

Cameron

That would be be great, shame we have ships tied up at the moment! Paying 5,000 sailors of in 2010 must be the cause.

Dern

Why? A RN Frigate was within an hour of the ship that was taken. It’s about as close as it could possibly be without actually escorting it. Extra Escorts would not have changed that unless you want enough escorts to pepper the entire Persian gulf at 15 minute intervals.

Cameron

Wouldn’t up armed batch 2 OPVs be ok for this role, or to expensive to put defensive aids onto them now? But surely allot cheaper to run

Dern

Depends? Would you rather have Batch 2 OPV’s as they are or scrap 1-2 Type 31s? I’d suggest it’s better to have the extra Type 31’s.

John Clark

Does anyone know if the RN paid the extra for The surface attack capability in Sea ceptor?

That should be able to ruin the day of a small boat smarm attack, as well as being the last thing that goes through the mind of the Iranian Mi17 pilot intent on illegally depositing heavily armed pirates on an unarmed civilian ship..

32 Sea Ceptors on a T32 is a potent capability.

Troy

Our Royal Navy IS unfortunately to small and depleted to deal with the unprecedented aggression shown by Iran and the….what can only be described as piracy, shown with the recent seizure of vessels sailing under the British flag!! Politicians in this day and age fail to realise that we are an island nation and our navy is our first and main line of defence!! Unfortunately lesser nations that shouldn’t cause us an issue, in this case Iran, are laughing through their teeth at us because they know that we are under equipped to deal with the situation from an equipment (number of ships) point of view but also our politicians have absolutely no backbone to use the navy that we have, that they boast is still one of the most advanced and up to date navies/weapons in the world. It is shocking!! The likes of Nelson, Rodney, Jellicoe, Beatty and Churchill would be spinning in their graves if they could see what the Royal Navy has been reduced to!! To make this Navy a capable force we need: 2 Carriers, 2 Helicopter carriers, 6 enlarged type 45 destroyers, 12 type 26 frigates, 16 type 31e frigates, 18 diesel electric attack subs and a class of 12 corvettes….and if you take into consideration that’s with the decommissioning of the type 23 frigates, in my opinion that’s still the bare minimum of what we need!! Oh and we need them ASAP, not in 10 years time!! That’s another issue that I can’t get my head around! Why is it that we take so long to build warships compared to other nations, especially when the Royal Navy is so desperately in need of them! I mean come on….1 carrier, 1 frigate, 4 OPVs and 3 SSNs in the next 10 years is an absolute disgrace to the fundimentals that this navy is built on!!!!