Subscribe
Notify of
guest
135 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Challenger

‘This situation could have been avoided if the MoD had been able and prepared to award the FSS contract to the Aircraft Carrier Alliance’

Won’t a lot of the workforce in Rosyth shortly start on the T31’s? The problem is not just a lack of a steady drumbeat now but also the failure to get on a replace multiple classes of aging vessels since the early noughties.

Reckon the Resolute proposal may be palatable if Navantia commit to helping expand the Harland & Wolf workforce and infrastructure so they can undertake the bulk of the work on boats 2 & 3.

Team UK would be lovely but what capacity will BAE & Babcock have to undertake any of the work? Seems only Cammell Laird may have a gap but you’d think they’d be the natural choice to do MROSS.

Callum

Most likely it’ll be BAE providing the design, both BAE and Babcock providing expertise and additional staff, and Cammell Laird obviously doing the bulk of the build.

From what we know about MROSS, it’s likely not going to be a particularly large or complex vessel with a crew of just 15. CL may still build it in one of the smaller dry docks, or it may simply go elsewhere.

N-a-B

Lairds don’t build in dry docks – and I’d take everything you “know” about MROSS with a degree of circumspection.

Callum

Then blocks may be fabricated elsewhere and assembled in one of the smaller docks. Same principle applies.

As for what we “know” about MROSS, from the RN itself we know the aim is for a 15-man crew, primarily drone based systems, and an in-service date of 2024. All that points towards a smaller, relatively uncomplicated platform, although I fully accept that’s subject to potential change.

N-a-B

Why build in a dock (with all the attendant issues) when you have a nice slipway, next to your construction hall? In any case, Lairds don’t have a cat in hells chance of putting something like 75000 tonnes of lightship through their yard in 8 years – which is what FSS requires.

If there is someone in the RN who seriously believes they’re going to get an MROSS platform in service by 2024, with only a 15 man complement, while launching and recovering “drones”, then I’d suggest RN drug testing policies are ineffective. Or perhaps not aimed at certain 3* on Tracy Island……

A “small” platform is not going to fare well in the deep ocean, let alone while trying to shovel small drones overboard and back.

Last edited 24 days ago by N-a-B
N-a-B

The statement regarding the ACA is the sort of bollocks that John Spellar swallowed hook line and sinker.

You can’t award a contract without a design – and guess what, there wasn’t one then and there wasn’t a BAES/Babcock design in the last competition. Despite the plaintive cries from Spellar.

There were two UK designs in the last competition, but – in the absence of one of their own – Team UK used the likes of Spellar to collapse the competition. In fairness the commercial conditions required by DE&S also played a major part.

X

I thought this would flush you out.

Ron5

It was written in the technical press that BMT left the Team UK consortium over a disagreement with Bae over whose design was better. That seems to indicate Bae had a design at that point.

Or perhaps the story was incorrect.

N-a-B

You can tell who is and is not serious in a competition by how deeply they engage with equipment suppliers during a tender process. BMT and the other Brit company were talking to literally dozens of suppliers to get prices off them. No-one heard a whisper from BAES.

Were you to replace the word “design” in your statement with “strategy” I think you’d be closer to the truth.

criss whicker

just my opinion,
yet once again we have problems building ships, not enough time, yards , people , skills, apprentices, money, and numerus other reasons, I thought the whole point of the new ship building program was to build British ships in British years quickly skilfully and at a affordable price and on time, , just my opinion, but surely all these delays are hindering rather than helping, mmmmmmmmm

Cam

“In British years” yeah twice as long as other ship building years…

N-a-B

Sadly, you can’t build ships without the people. The people can’t be magicked up just like that. Only a halfwit places a contract knowing the delivery method is not in place.

Supportive Bloke

And I’m not sure what level of wit you would have to be to take on a commercially angled contract without a delivery method.

As with everything skills related the skills gap is the major problem. It is why everything is eye watering my expensive to do in this country as you are constantly using half skilled labour with terrible efficiency and loads of reworking. And you rely on a few people with eyes and sense to pick up on all the issues.

Ron5

The MoD placed a production contract with GD UK for Ajax without the production facility being created. Just saying.

Supportive Bloke

And that went well?

Ron5

Absolutely not!!!!!!

Cam

I hope it’s these beuitiful ships that get built.,

71B85E58-DA59-4E05-BFAB-42C616384F6C.jpeg
N-a-B

A very old NDP “design” from 2009, produced to estimate high level cost. It’s not real, it’s just a render. It doesn’t even have system information.

People need to understand that these pictures are not designs.

Cam

I was just saying they are buitifull..

Cam

And N-a-B why should people understand? Are we not allowed to like or prefer Some ships renders?, and I’m sure if wanted we could build ships almost identical to this mate.

N-a-B

Like whatever renders you want. Just understand that there’s less than 1% of the design info needed to build a ship developed by that stage. Its a picture, not a design.

That particular one (UBE IIRC) had plenty of things that wouldn’t have worked.

Cam

It’s a nice picture though lol, Ships with the Bridge at the bow look more aesthetically pleasing I think.

Is there an operational advantage to having the Bridge at the Stern?

N-a-B

Reduced ship motions compared to up forward.

Position tends to be driven by working arrangements internally and for cargo.

Cam

Cheers

Supportive Bloke

Functionally it is more about controlling RAS which needs visual monitoring.

That is easier it if the bridge can see the course as well as the RAS which militates to having the bridge fore.

It is non trivial getting two big ships close side by side with very little relative motion.

When I say RAS in this context I mean tension on lines and the course and general state of the recipient vessel not the minutiae of the cross load which will be in the hands of the load master.

Cam

👍

Supportive Bloke

“ which militates to having the bridge fore.”

Should have read

“ which militates against having the bridge fore.”

Sorry @Cam

CaptSim

Bridge position is driven by the operational demands of the ship, if you want to efficiently operate a bulk cargo in a port aft is generally good. Plus you save on control systems and available cargo space by having all the none profitable stuff in same place.

X

JUST GET ON WITH IT! 🙂

N-a-B

You are John Spellar and I claim my five pounds…..

X

🙂

Tim Hirst

They are getting on with it. Getting designs worked up to the point that bids can be developed which a company is willing to be held to is an important part of the process.

X

Are you this tiresome IRL?

Teves

Let’s hope the use some sense and follow on with the litoral strike ships and try to use similar base hull and engines for commonality spares etc then they can think about replacing some oilers and see if they can get a drum beat running.

dick van dyke

That is a joke I’m assuming ?

Teves

I think the talk about a ship building strategy is the joke, these ship are 5 years too late now, the LSS are now late everything is getting old on 6 T45 are embarrassing and hardly at sea only 1 of 6 at sea. Think the mod is the joke. By the time we get these ships in the water they will be out of date.

CaptSim

A lot more than five years late, we started the process of replacing them in 2002! It’s about money, political strategy and failure to invest in British shipbuilding for at least two generations

David Broome

Why? Teves is spot on. The Bay’s and Albions will need replacement from the late 2020s that present opportunities for LSS and LPHs. If BAE and Babcock become focussed warship specialists (including OPVs and MROSS) and the surface fleet grows, does that not allow Harland & Wolf to emerge as a auxillary specialist in a national shipbuilding strategy based on three yards?

Cam

She we have so few English yards left. They still have the dry docks tnough

dick van dyke

I was merely offering the view that Teves replied with…. it’s a bit of a joke.

Tim Hirst

I strongly disagree with your dates for the Bay’s and Albion’s. The first of theses classes came into service in 2007 and 2003. Given 30years is a reasonable target life for these sorts of ships the are good till the mid 30’s or just after the last of the solid stores ships is planned into service.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

Rather a unique position that the Royal Navy finds itself in, two modern aircraft carriers with only one Solid Stores Support Ship between them. Presumably both Q.E. and Fort Victoria will carry out extended maintenance periods when they return to the U.K. leaving P.O.W to do what exactly what? Somewhere in the near future the maritime ambitions of our Government could be best served by having the gutless Senior Officers in the Royal Navy fall on their swords.

Justin Burton

Are we going to see the return of one of the older ones I wonder?

Tim Hirst

I’m not sure that’s the plan for QE maintenance. I believe that the idea is to do jobs along side in Portsmouth in such a way as to be able to get to see in a week or so. RFA’s often spend a few years on station without long yard periods so FV should be good for another few years. When she is in dock the duty carrier will need to plan its ops around the extensive stock she can carry and top ups in friendly ports. Not in any way ideal but what will need to be done till the end of the decade.

Supportive Bloke

That sounds worryingly like the maintenance plan for T45 – “don’t need so many as they are a new design and very reliable” Adm who said that?

Ron5

Why do you think the Royal Navy Senior Officers are to blame for these ships not being built and there not being enough facilities to build them?

I’d personally point fingers at Geo Brown & Geo Osborne.

Warren

I think there’s more than Brown and Osborne to blame and its certainly not the senior navy guys to blame. What doesn’t seem to be understood is that we can’t just restart building ships that we haven’t built for decades and expect it to be cheap and efficient, typical political ignorance!

Ron5

Amen

CaptSim

Here here

Phillip Johnson

Politicians love competition but real competition assumed that there is enough work to sustain the ‘competitors’ so skill can be built and maintained long term. That means BAe and BMT at best if the build is to take place in the UK. The rest are one trick ponies which would grow into the contract, decline with the contract and leave an inflated supported bill behind.
It would be nice if politicians would learn the realities` of the work place.

X

Makes me wonder about the German system. If a consortium wins a government contract it always gives some work to the losing one. Unwritten rule, but broadly what happens.

Last edited 24 days ago by X
Paul.P

Its a family thing.😉

X

Ja!

Waddi

Contract awarded in 2023, General Election 2024? No votes for the Conservatives in N Ireland nor Scotland. A consortium that sees the ships constructed in a former Red Wall location might be onto something.

A&P have dry docks on the Tyne and the Tees and do some fabrication work for CL and BAE, but are predominantly ship repair. But taking NaB’s point have minimal shipbuilding staff/skills/facilities. Would require a major long term investment by one of the consortium in yard construction and staff training. Possible but not probable I am afraid.

X

For the longest time I have favoured continuous building with incremental changes even if it meant ships would be decommissioned when still quite young. And having a yard to build experimental one offs to maintain and develop skills in fabrication and support architects. Though the latter can now do a lot through modelling. This is where we should have gone post Cold War. But there was no real thought given to what we needed.

David Broome

The DUP and UUP (aka unionist parties) generally vote with the Conservatives in Parliament. Harland & Wolf would bolster the Unionist parties on your timing and hence, the government. Canning phase 2 of HS2 and putting that into local rail and roads will go down far more with red wall voters too.

DJE

The Team Resolute option with BMT as the design house already have a mature design in the Ellida.comment image
As far as I understand it, Navantia have partnered with H&W and will build the first platform in a spanish yard using staff from H&W, training them up on the job. This will have the effect of retraining H&W staff, renewing skills that have been lost over the years with all of Navantia’s experiences. The next two hulls will be built in the H&W yards with all the re-trained staff brought back from Spain. This redevelops H&W, creates a much bigger pool of skilled workers in the UK and gives Navantia a look into the UK business as well as building the prestige of a UK design company. Looks pretty good to me.

Ellida-Model-2.jpg
N-a-B

Ellida isn’t a mature design. It’s another picture and a display model for DSEi.

It’s not skills that have been lost, it’s staff. There are just over 100 staff in Belfast at the minute, including BD, HR etc. The number of technical and production staff you’d need to train is in the hundreds (~400). Having been to Cadiz – you might not get all of them back to Belfast after 3 or 4 years there! I’d certainly think twice.

sisyphus

I defer to your greater knowledge N-a-B as ever but someone please explain …

The FSS requirment was identified in the SDSR 2015 – 6 years later, are we led to believe that no-one, no-one, has had the foresight to already draw-up detailed designs that meet the spec’.

What does this £5m get? What’s stopping an Indian led syndicate, acting quite rationally knowing they stand no chance of getting to the next stage, just putting together a powerpoint or two (only knows Gen Carter does it for future Army ORBATS), and pocketing a very nice sum for the effort.

Finally, It was put rather amusingly on another site, that ‘grown ups did realise that this was a bit of a flaw [lack of RFA solid support to carriers] so one of the two mothballed ships [Fort Rosalie class] is at a higher state of readiness’ With their scrap sale seemingly withdrawn… any news on that?

cheers

RichardIC

My understanding is that a ship design is something a ship builder can use to build a ship.

You can’t take a pretty picture from a corporate website or marketing brochure and use it to build a ship. It takes 10s of thousands of hours of work by skilled people who are in short supply.

That’s why no-one designs ship speculatively and why you need a £5 million contract to get a detailed bid prepared.

Only if your bid is successful do you invest in a detailed design. For at least two of the contenders being selected for the competitive procurement phase is the prize. The other couple probably have some serious intent and would like to design and build the things.

N-a-B

No one is going to produce detailed designs without a contract. Detailed design is literally tens of thousands of drawings, procurement specifications, materials lists etc and costs low tens of millions of pounds.

In the previous competition, my information is that two UK designs (neither with Team UK) were produced to tender-level detail (low hundreds of drawings, major equipment lists and material estimates etc), including manpower estimates for design and build, prices from equipment suppliers etc.

That process costs money (a seven figure sum) which at least two organisations (again not Team UK) were prepared to front up. When one team declined to submit a commercial proposal due to the T&Cs being required by DE&S, there was no longer a viable competition. Having spent that money out of their own pockets, you can imagine why bidders were unwilling to do that again, which is why MOD are funding the bidding phase this time round. I’d be very surprised if the funding didn’t depend on some fairly well defined deliverables to prevent the powerpoint approach.

No idea what’s happening with the old Forts. But their jackstay systems (among other things) aren’t compatible with QEC and I’m reasonably sure their decks are only cleared for Sea Kings, which of course are no longer in service, so VERTREP might also be a bit tricky…….

Tim Hirst

Do you think Team UK will be serious this time round?
Do they now want work but last time either felt the government was going to delay for its own reasons or they weren’t in a position to put skilled manpower on the design at the time?

Ron5

There’s a view that the Team UK used the unions to sabotage the last competition because they weren’t ready.

Maybe they’ll have a proper design & build plan this time around. If so, its reasonable to expect a press campaign in their support. Today’s Daily Telegraph article might be the first shot.

David Broome

Does the Indian consortium count as foreign aid? They won’t win but British taxpayers have just funded a design that the Indian Navy will probably build for their carriers!

Varghese George

”What’s stopping an Indian led syndicate, acting quite rationally knowing they stand no chance of getting to the next stage, just putting together a powerpoint or two and pocketing a very nice sum for the effort.”

I don’t understand the motive behind such accusations. Of all the firms involved in this contract, L&T has the highest revenues (around $21 billion). They made ~9 million GBP from ”scrap sales” last year as reported in their annual report, so 5 million GBP is pocket change for them.

From an engineering POV, they are as capable as any other in this list given that they are involved in Indian SSBN Programme. I know about BAE & its involvement in RN SSBNs & SSNs, but they do not make reactor pressure vessels or such like L&T.

sisyphus

Then they wont need the MOD’s pittance and can offer to do the work, for this stage of the conract, for ‘gratis’ …

More like, as someone mentioned, that UK MOD has actually just paid for the design work of Indian Navy’s solid support ship…thank you very much

Varghese George

Why should they work for free? It’s a design for your MoD after all. I don’t see BAE doing it either.

I don’t remember the Indian Navy having any solid support vessel requirement. There is a requirement for five much larger (40,000 t) fleet support ships that are equivalent to your Tide-class.

X
Dave G

The below is somewhat old but i expect the general process is much the same…. I assume the £5m would get you somewhere near main gate (p4/5) or whatever the current equivalent is called.

http://www.defence.org.cn/aspnet/vip-usa/uploadfiles/2004102932134509.pdf

Last edited 22 days ago by Dave G
X

I have also been wondering whether CIWS is enough.

Last edited 24 days ago by X
Teves

I think CIWS has had it’s day think 2 40mm Bofors and at least 6 sea ceptors would be a better fit and they can help protect the carrier

X

I have been reflecting on the size of the Naval Service and how the RFA have plugged the gaps thanks to a shortage of RN hulls.

Sunmack

They should upgrade the mounts to SeaRAM. Two on RFA’s at all times and two on each carrier.

Cam

SeaRam’s always seemed like a no brainer, especially because we have phalanx already. And a SeaRam on the last corner of the carriers also seems like a no Brainer and perfect for last ditch defence.
But if we had the 4 30mm put on the carriers like we need and should have then Martlet on each 30mm mount on each corner of the carriers would have been a great defence and relatively cheap too.

And the two OPVS heading east should have been top priority to have Martlet put on them, adding much needed teeth to the opvs. And considering Martlet can be launched from your shoulder do any of our ships especially OPVs carry any anti air person launched missiles? Or any atall? Seems like another no brainer. Half a dozen crew with shoulder mounted missiles for protection, the ones heading east need more capability.

Tim Hirst

SeaRam is apparently very expensive for what it is. I can see no case for setting up the whole structure to support it in the U.K. when we already have Sea Ceptor in service.
It’s in my opinion notable that Canada looked at it but have decided on Sea Ceptor to backup ESSM.

Mark

If the rivers are accompanied by a detachment of marines wouldn’t they be kitted out with starstreak shoulder launchers I’d assume the 42 camando on the carriers would be. There was a great pic of when USS wasp went through the straight of humouze they strapped a striker vehicle to the deck withs 30mm and Towe missle to give a bit defence against fast attack craft. There are lots of ways of up gunning a ship in real war situations without spending money in peace time using existing assets.
You could even strap a couple of 105mm to the rear deck or a few quad packed containerised missle launchers but during peace time and policing duties having basic ships in the water is all we need.

criss whicker

they say barrow is to shallow and and subs can only sail a few times a month,

so, why cant they dig out a 100 f/t deep trench right up to the sea deeper,

i know one of you will have an answer…

Jonathan

Probably end up being filled in again in no time flat.

Duker

Doesnt seem to be a problem in the shallow estuary for Kings Bay Sub base in Georgia.
Also the Meyer Werft shipyard for very large cruise ships only ‘floats out’ at high tide for the trip down the Ems.
Interestingly is been owned by same family for 7 generations.

N-a-B

Barrow is hellish to get out of. Apart from anything else it will be at capacity with submarine builds for the forseeable future, to the extent they’ve been subcontracting bits of steel fabrication to Lairds and A&P for years.

Tim Hirst

You can get quite big ships in and out of Barrow. Just look at the Albion’s.

N-a-B

Draught is the limit. Remind me when Bulwark left Barrow? 2004? She’d have been in very light condition too.

In any case, there is no capacity to do anything but submarines in Barrow.

Tim Hirst

Very true, I get the impression the Albions were used as a not very successful way to keep skills alive in Barrow during the submarine drought around the turn of the century.

David Barry

A few years back an Askham was walking her dog on the shores of the Duddon, she’d done so for many years. Not today, overnight, 30m depth of shoreline had been replaced by a deep channel.

The Morecambe Bay sands of the Duddon, Kent and Leven estuaries are totally unpredictable, hence from the outer gates you need dredging to ensure navigation right of way to the open sea.

Jonathan

20 million pounds to refine 4 bids for what will essentially be pretty much two horse race. I’m not sure paying random companies to make tenders is a good use of tax pays money.

If the works not going to British shipyards then why hand out money.

N-a-B

Because after the last competition, when at least two consortia (not to mention those in the equipment supply chain) conducted a lot of design work, produced lots of technical documentation, pricing, project management planning and ILS work at their own expense only to see the MoD cancel the competition, no-one was going to self fund again.

I wouldn’t be too sure about a two-horse race either.

PeterS

Are these ships going to have a secondary oiler role like the Forts? Or has the purchase of the Wave class made this unnecessary?
The final cost of the Waves including UK fitting out was @£750m. The project cost for just 3 FSSS is £1.5b. This seems a lot for auxiliary vessels.

Duker

Thats because Treasury counts more than the ship construction as the ‘project cost’.
Example is P-8 delivery of 9 planes for RN . US navy contracts publicised for the block orders from Boeing ( around 12 each time) showed a price of around US$145 mill each, but the RAF ‘contract’ was for $3.2 bill for 9.
The introduction into service, simulators, training systems, weapons and a long time maintenance contract gives a nominal price of $350 mill ‘each plane’.
Im not sure on this but I suspect the Treasury annual capital charge for defence hardware is added to the price as well

N-a-B

The clue is in the name “Fleet SOLID Support”. The new Forts were AOR – fuel supply a primary role. Four Tide class and a couple of Waves is enough for liquids.

£1.5Bn for ships with large cargo ammunition holds, multiple internal stores lifts, large temperature controlled holds for vittles, NBCD capability, internal firefighting, surveillance and comms systems and a whole lot more, plus the design and project costs isn’t expensive. I’d be amazed if they get three for that price.

Last edited 24 days ago by N-a-B
Tim Hirst

Tankers are very much simpler ships than military solid stores ships. I bet the internal systems to support the cargo will cost 10 or 20 times more than the tanks and pumps of a Wave.

Gareth

Would a Freedom of Information act application be worth it to get the MoD to put a % on the proportion of the work completed in the UK? It is public money after all – don’t see why the public should be kept in the dark about this.

Ron5

I think its fairly clear they have no percentage figure in mind. It will all be decided by political whimsy 😀

Paul.P

Lots of questions. What’s the project timescale? How much time is allowed for design? Anyone have an oven ready boilerplate design? As a UK taxpayer I would like my taxes to create UK jobs and am happy to pay a reasonable premium for this. Is Appledore slated for the Ukrainian attack boats? Can H&W build on a Lagan slipway, assemble a whole vessel or just build blocks? Aren’t the new automated T31 halls in Babcock Rosyth incremental capacity to what was used for the carriers? If Navantia build first in class how does UK build for the later ships work?

N-a-B

Lots of answers.

  1. Racy.
  2. Probably not enough
  3. No
  4. Appledore has a very small workforce currently and is too small to realistically contribute to FSS.
  5. Harland and Wolff haven’t built on a slipway in 50 years and have a workforce of around 100.
  6. There are no automated T31 halls in Rosyth. The new hall didn’t exist when the carriers were built.
  7. Transfer of work package and production information, but most importantly, exchange of staff (who will have to be recruited).
Paul.P

Thx.
6.By ‘automated halls’ I mean these.
https://www.babcockinternational.com/news/babcock-invests-in-technically-advanced-shipbuilding-facility/
5.A googlemap image of the H&W area in Belfast shows what looks like a very large concreted over dry dock several hundred metres long with several cranes at the sides.
https://goo.gl/maps/kgSMJNEn3poPvsUg8

RichardIC

H&W have huge dry docks….

… and that’s it.

Dry docks are inanimate objects and can’t build ships.

Paul.P

Turning the question around, what would need to happen for H&W Belfast to get a major share of the build?

Tim Hirst

They need to either find and move to Belfast or train hundreds and hundreds to people with all the hands on and support skills needed to run a shipbuilding yard. Putting this sort of team together from basically nothing takes a long time. That time equals money and lots of it invested in the business to grow it from a minor player in ship repair to a full scale yard. Who pays!

Don

From the Infrastrata take over they have been actively growing the workforce and continue to do so. In Belfast they have overhauled the facilties and installed a robotic Inrotech-MicroTwin welder. They have reopened Appledore, acquired further yards in Arnish and Methil and operate across oil and gas, defence, cruise and ferry, commercial, and renewables.

Lots of experience and resource available in Team Resolute with BMT and Navantia onboard.

N-a-B

They’ve bought lots of closed facilities. Not too much in terms of workforce though….

That’s what’s missing. Which is why the Navantia input will be vital. Trouble is, Navantia originally bid to get work for their Puerto Real yard in Cadiz. Which is now empty. I know where I’d rather build……

Last edited 22 days ago by N-a-B
X

Amazing how ignoring EU rules on state subsidy pays off.

Don

Interesting that Navantia are starting to invest 30 million euros in the Cadiz to optimize the manufacture of blocks.

Tim Hirst

What is the approximate current workforce at H&W Belfast and what was it 18 months ago?

Don

When Infrastrata took over end of 2019 figures quoted for Belfast were 69.

End of 2020 workforce for Belfast was over 200 including subcontractors.

Since then further recruitment and apprenticeships has occurred throughout the group.

FSSS manfacturing contract not due to May 2023 affords further opportunity for more recruitment.

What is more important is what level off financial contract risk is acceptable. There are risks in contract pricing, risk of cost and time overruns and potential for contract penalties. Mitigating these is vital.

This will play a key role in workshare of whoever wins the Manufacturing contract.

Last edited 21 days ago by Don
Don

A Fabrication and block facility and paint and blasting cells might come in handy then.

N-a-B

If only you understood what that actually means…

X

Luke 23:34

Paul.P

😂

Paul.P

So hence the bid for maintaining the carriers, right? Just trying to understand who can do what.

N-a-B

Maintenance is relatively trivial compared to build. Very different skillsets and facilities. H&W are desperate for cash, they’ll say anything to anyone to get it.

Gavin Gordon

If the UK is serious about the potential threat poised by China & Russia, including minor-state actors operating as proxies for those two or even on their own initiative, whilst at the same time the US appears to be going a bit 1920/30s, then at some point we’re going to have to focus on increasing our shipbuilding infrastucture to cover these logistic issues as well as warship building capacity.

All very obvious, of course, but still not sufficiently the focus within this article, it seems to me. That focus being more what commercial companies would prefer, possibly amid squabbles, rather than what political exigencies increasingly demand due to the above. A UK Shipbuilding Strategy – as most would envisage it i.e. emphasis upon the last word, and thus coordinated by the Government.

We all know how China are streets ahead on the requisite war-infrastructure but soon, it appears, Russia also will be leaving us behind on that aspect. We cannot compete alone, but need to show more central determination.

Try this just as an example:-

https://youtu.be/Co8sQwqJsiI

Regards

X

I just don’t think we have time now. 🙁

Paul.P

I wonder how much Damen would charge to rip the storage tanks out of Wave Ruler and put in an ammunition hold?
https://www.damenshiprepair.com/en/markets/seagoing-transport

N-a-B

Next to nothing.

Of course that wouldn’t get you anywhere close to what is required.

Paul.P

Why not. Ammunition, food, solid stores…Merlin vertrep…better than nothing?

N-a-B

Facetious answer on my part. The difference between cargo fuel bunkers and solid stores holds ( be they ammo, vittles, gen stores, plus all the access and services) is huge.

Tim Hirst

And a space to prepare loads and large scale refrigeration and “warehouse” for parts and storage for packaging materials/cargo nets and and and. Plus accommodations for the much bigger crew a solid stores ship needs.
Does this sound either quick or cheap or even practical?

Trevor

I see the sales notices for Forts Rosalie an Austin seem to have been withdrawn………

X

By the time they are sorted, and it isn’t worth sorting them, we could have built new ones.

Urwin

It’s a merchant vessel painted grey and a few add-ons why are they trying to reinvent the wheel.

Tim Hirst

No it’s not.

Urwin

Yes it is. This can be built off the shelf with a few additional bulkheads.

N-a-B

No, really, it can’t. There are precisely zero off the shelf merchant ships with anything like the configuration or systems needed.

Urwin

What do you think the Foreland Point class vessels are? Basic design which is then modified like most merchant vessels. Also if RFA Officers actually got there hands dirty like other MN officers such large crews would not be required.

X

Not the same thing at all. The Point design bought ‘off the shelf’ is a simple transport ship. An RFA such as this solid store requirement is a complex specialist ship.

Urwin

No the RFA wants you to believe it is something special. Take a design and add extra decks, armoured magazine holds and blast routes if necessary. Thats all the original BMT offering was, it was what the Danes used as a base for their Absalon frigate it was simply scaled up.

N-a-B

That’s most definitely not what the BMT offering was and has nothing to do with the Absalon. A cursory understanding of ships and/or basic naval architecture would tell you that.

Your bile aimed at the RFA suggests a motive. Get turned down?

X

The RFA aren’t the Illumanti. I have been aboard all manner of ships from simple ferries to nuclear submarines and all points in between. There is a world of difference between a generic transport ship (that isn’t an RFA BTW) and a complex ship that transports everything from tins of beans to helicopter parts to ammunition. As I said here magazines for example are a pain in the bum. Go look up HERO for example.

X

Um. I have been aboard both Absalon too. Just for the record.

You are wrong on this. If you can’t meet the recruitment criteria of the RFA try a lesser organisation like the RAF. 😉 🙂

X

comment image
comment image

N-a-B

I’ve been on a Point – and both classes of Fort and one of the old Ness class back in the day. There is no comparison.

You appear to have a fryer full of chips on your shoulder, which is making you post arrant nonsense.

Sipowitz

Just a quick question. What do you think drives the choice of crew size on a replenishment ship?

X

The problems with siting just magazines in a hull is enough to drive the sanest of the deep end.

James Fennell

I think there is a misunderstanding of the process here, they will be mostly built in British yards in all circumstances. This is the contract for the design authority NOT the manufacturer. A separate RFI has been issued to British yards for the manufacture contract. This process mirrors that for the aircraft carriers, where Thales won the design authority contract, but BAe won the manufacture contract as the lead for the ACA.

N-a-B

You are correct that these first phases are for producing the tender level design, price and build strategy.

The bit you’re missing is that mirroring the ACA for build won’t be possible. The carriers were about 100000 tonnes of lightship, built over 10 years for £6.2Bn. The FSS is about 75000 tonnes lightship built over 8 years for a quarter of the budget.

And with the two facilities that did most of the carrier build (Govan and Portsmouth) unavailable this time.

Last edited 22 days ago by N-a-B