Subscribe
Notify of
guest
157 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Simon m

Will the fix also allow enough power margin for direct energy weapons to be fitted? Also should the 4.5 inch be dumped and replaced with 57mm? Which would be especially useful if MAD fires could be adopted. 57mm is also quite cheap?

4thwatch

While they are chopping it about; what about the extra vertical launch Mk 41 Tubes? Why do things by halves?

Cam

Yeah we could have 8 tomahawks and 24 extra anti air for only 16 Mk4 41 tubes. Hell we can put some rocket launched anti submarine missiles into them also.

Meirion X

That would of been done in the Portsmouth dry dock, if the MoD intended to.

Rudeboy

There is zero chance of the T35’s getting Mk.41 VLS ever. And for a very straightforward reason.

What would they be used for?

The RN’s Mk.41 decisions are fairly complex (if only they’d insisted on Mk.41 compatibility for Aster….). I suspect they don’t know themselves…the choices are many:

Anti-Air
– SM-3 – The only Standard series missile that makes sense, but only if the RN upgrade the T45 for full Ballistic Missile defence. This would also mean the RN doesn’t go down the Aster 30NT route, which IMHO is much more likely.
– Sea Ceptor? – People keep mentioning Sea Ceptor and Mk.41. But why bother? It would cost a lot of money and the Italians are already paying to have CAMM-ER integrated with Sylver. If CAMM-ER works…so will CAMM aka Sea Ceptor.
Sea Ceptor also doesn’t require a complex hot launch system like Mk.41.

Land Attack
– VL Tomahawk – The RN desperately wants to get away from using SSN’s exclusively for long range land attack. Problems are, as ever, money and also that Tomahawk is going out of production soon…
– FCASW – Highly unlikely. Should arrive (if proceeded with) after 2030, possibly 2035. But is likely to come in 2 variants. A subsonic, stealthy cruise missile and a supersonic multi-role missile. Not confirmed if either is Mk.41 capable, but the RN and MBDA would be mad if it isn’t. But how long will T45 be in service after 2035…probably wouldn’t be worth fitting. And you can guarantee that the French will insist that it is Sylver capable…so why bother.

Anti-Ship
Space is available for canisters…so why bother? Why spend huge sums of money…no decent VL anti-ship missiles anyway. Even LRASM, which won’t be available until 2027 onwards will be available in canisters and VL (and we will never buy LRASM as its timeline directly overlaps FCASW).

Other Uses

– ASW – No need on T45. VL ASROC for T26 very likely.

– Loitering munitions or UAV’s – Unlikely, but more credible than ASW.

Summary – For T45 Mk.41 is not likely unless the RN decides to go down the BMD route, and then only if it wants SM-3. It needs some serious money for that though. Either way it won’t need it, or be likely get it until the late 2020’s. At which point you have to wonder why the RN would bother so far into the ships lives. Anti-shipping is covered by canisters and land attack is likely to be the preserve of F-35, SSN’s with TLAM and possibly T-26 with FCASW. I’d actually say T45 is more likely to get some ExLS for Sea Ceptor or additional A70 Sylver for Aster 30NT than Mk.41.

For T26 Mk.41 will be baked in. That means VL-ASROC is likely (unfortunately not with Stingray). TLAM is unlikely unless they extend the production run, any replacement is likely to be too close to FCASW. FCASW will need to be Mk.41 capable (in addition to Sylver for the French) or will need canisters adding. That will leave the Mk.41 rather empty…
Basically, the RN’s inexplicable decision not to demand Mk.41 for Aster has complicated their lives immeasurably for the next 30 years…I’d even go as far to say its been left that long that it now makes no sense. It would be smarter to standardise on A70 Sylver across T45 and T26. Put more A70 on T45 where the Mk.41 were planned to go. Adopt Aster-30NT for T45 BMD duties, develop an MBDA VL ASROC type weapon carrying Stingray (very easy job to do, it would be far superior to VL-ASROC and MBDA already have a superior type weapon in MILAS) and then wait for the FCASW in either canister launch or more likely A70 configuration. The canister launched Harpoon II’s, NSM or RBS-15 that will be bought can be left on the T45’s or ported to T31’s.

Truth is….Sylver as a VL system makes more sense on T-26 than Mk.41 for the RN…

Rudeboy

Should of course say T45…no edit function..

Sunmack

I remember reading an article in Jane’s Defence Weekly suggested that we bought the more expensive yet less flexible Sylver for political reasons after Chirac appealed to Blair to show European solidarity by buying it

Rudeboy

Not sure about the price as different figures get bandied about and it usually comparing apples to oranges.

The smarter move than Sylver would have been to follow the same route the South Korean’s have done with their K-VLS system:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Vertical_Launching_System

Its backwards compatible with Mk.41 but a sovereign capability…

But in terms of flexibility, at least for the UK is it less flexible? This is the part of everyone’s fascination with Mk.41 that I find illogical. The Mk.41 can fit a large number of munitions, that is true. But the UK is unlikely to use the vast majority of them ever. The direction of travel for the UK is a wholly sovereign capability in complex, guided munitions. You can clearly see this in air weapons. US guided munitions are a niche item for the RAF now and the trend is away from them. With the exception of a small buy of Amraam D to tide us over until Meteor is on F-35 and until Tranche 1 Typhoon leaves service, the rest of the future developments in air weapons is MBDA led (Meteor, Asraam CSP, Spear and its variants, Brimstone, Storm Shadow and FCASW. Even PWIV is made in Scotland by Raytheon. Hellfire will likely be replaced by Brimstone as well. There may be small buys of US munitions in the future (Harpoon and Mk.54 for P-8 and APKWS for Apache) but these will be very small requirements (and usually a cost saving measure, not for capability…).

The same trend is likely to play out in Land (Javelin’s replacement is likely to be MMP or Spike), GMLRS is a co-operative endeavour already. And LRPF may only arrive in tiny numbers if at all.

At sea the RN is committed to all of its surface to air weaponry coming from UK/Europe (Aster and CAMM family), Martlet and Sea Venom are UK/European. The i-SSGM is likely to be the NSM or RBS-15 and torpedoes (Spearfish and Stingray) are from the UK. Future development of the FCASW is European as well.

The obvious exception to all this is Trident. Which is a rather special case.

So wanting Mk.41 to be able to fire US weapons is precisely the opposite direction from where the UK forces are heading in general. Sure MBDA might want to make sure that its munitions can be fired from Mk.41 in order to satisfy export opportunities in the future, although in truth there is little evidence that there is any appetite for non-US munitions in Mk.41, the Koreans and Japanese fit their own munitions but don’t tend to export.

Essentially the rule is: Buy Mk.41, buy US munitions.

So what exactly are we going to put in out Mk.41 on T26? At present there are only 2 munitions that the RN would genuinely be interested in: TLAM and RUM-139B ASROC. The problem here is that by the time T26 actually arrives in service TLAM will be out of production. The UK’s stated aim is to produce its own long range stealthy cruise missile anyway (one of the FCASW munitions) in a not dissimilar timeframe to replace Storm Shadow and provide anti-ship strike. The French will definitely require that it will be Sylver compatible, and in order to satisfy export opportunities canister launched as well.

So we’re left with the RUM-139C ASROC as the entire reason to get Mk.41. The USN has less than 300 of these in service. And to be honest its quite an underwhelming weapon. A range of 13 miles is only just 2 miles further than Ikara managed in the 1960’s

In contrast the Russian anti-submarine missile, the RPK-7, has a range of 60 miles. The Mk.41 launched Japanese Type-07 has a range of 18 miles. The South Korean Hong Sang Eo has a similar range to ASROC (to all intents and purposes its a copy).

But there is another option…MILAS from MBDA. It’s canister launched and MBDA could easily be persuaded to install Stingray on it. Which would save a lot of money. It also has a longer range than ASROC at 20 miles. So better range, European solution and better Torpedo than the Mk.54 on the ASROC. Makes a whole lot of sense.

https://www.mbda-systems.com/product/milas/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gk50-Lu4fZg

Mk,41 just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. We either go all Mk.41 and integrate Aster with it, or we should go all Sylver and follow that route.

Paul T

Rudeboy – Do you think its too late in the production cycle to swap the MK41 for the A70 for the T26 ?.

4thwatch

Can any one say when the French last bought a UK Defence item? No. Its a one way street with a no entry sign.

4thwatch

Are we pinning our Naval hopes on dealing with Euro-France or USA, Canada, Australia, S.Korea and Japan? That is the real strategic question. So far my preference is with the later. So far the France option isn’t going too well with UK being shut out of Galileo and next fighter project. Don’t mention Gibraltar and Falklands.

Daveyb

At this point in time the 4.5 is still a useful weapon, I would not replace it. I would however, place a 57mm in the ship’s blind spot, i.e. on the hangar roof. BAe/Bofors make a magazine, that the turret can either sit on or is placed directly behind it, so the weapon system does not need to penetrate the deck. Upgrading the DS30s with the Martlet modification is also a cheap and easy win.

Rudeboy

The new Sovraponte mount from OTO is a stand alone mount for 76mm…and fits on a hangar roof.

Daveyb

What’s not to like, if gives a bigger bang for you buck, I’d vote for it. So here’s a thought, why not fit the 76 Sovraponte to the hangar roof, but also replace the 4.5 with another? Sure you’ll lose a heavier amount of firepower, but the smaller gun is more useful for an air defence ship, if that is the role it will only be doing. We all know the Navy haven’t the hulls, so the T45 will be doing other duties. With the greater variety of shells the 76 can use, it should be a more flexible weapon system. Granted the weight of fire can be said to be more with the 4.5 and should have a greater affect with less shells. However, with the Vulcano ammo reaches 40km which is significantly further than the base bleed round that the 4.5 fires. Leonardo have also mentioned a laser guided version of Vulcano, that can use 3rd party designation for even more accuracy over range.

Here’s another thought, replace both Phalanx systems with a pair of Mk110 57s. The Phalanx is mounted pretty low on the hull line and weighs (6,200 kg), the 57 weighs 7,000 kg. Will this throw the ship’s balance off, I doubt it? It would also give the ship 4 longer ranged close in weapon systems behind Sea Viper, that can cover all around the ship. If both the 76 with the Dart and the 57 with the 3P ammo, it would give the ship a greater chance of dealing with attacks from multiple anti-ship missiles, aircraft and fast attack boats, at ranges three times greater than the Phalanx.

Sam

Rudeboy….minor quible but Oto Melara is now Leonardo 🙂 Understandable because some of their products are sold with the Oto branding eg SAPOM and SAPOMER 76mm shells. Semi Armour Piercing Oto Melara + extended range. Otherwise quite accurate 🙂

ushio

You mean the 57mm dropped from the Zumwalt’s for a 30mm that had superior range, accuracy, reliability and lethality?

Sam

The 30mm does not have better range and lethality than the 57mm mark 3 – its range is 1km + while the 57s is several times that. The Zumwalt itself is a disaster as its way overbudget and struggling to find a role in the Navy. The 57s were removed for weight reasons and the 30mm Bushmasters are hopeless for Air defence. I give the Type 45 a lot of crap but Zumwalt is even worse.

N-a-B

Couple of corrections.

1. The intercooler is a small part of the problem. If you know why the electrical system falls over in extremes, you understand the real issue.

2. Laird’s may well have been “ready to start” but were almost certainly not willing or able to deliver the whole ship out of refit. Which is why she’s been brought to a referencable baseline before they start.

Supportive Bloke

Whilst I have no direct Knowledge of the of the ‘45 I agree with N-a-B that the electrical control and distribution system is more than a bit suspect.

What should happen in a properly designed system is that if input power level degraded a) non essential hotel load is shed/throttled if things get worse b) propulsive power is throttled down but not killed to maintain way and steerage c) critical load is never touched.

What it sounds like to me is that the load is maintained on the GTs when the recuperator is already overheating – rather than the system sensing degredation and backing off a touch – it spirals down to a point where it hits safety margins and self protects.

So I’m pretty sure you could mitigate the worst effects with a software and sensor upgrade as Gunbuster hints.

In all fairness, very high power dynamic electrical control systems are now at a totally different level to where they were when T45 was designed.

Rob N

Hi,

Perhaps the partial fixes mentioned include the gradual power management you describe above. However getting the new power plants will be very good news.

Supportive Bloke

Couldn’t agree more particularly if there are other benefit say reduced fuel costs, quietness, load growth. Anyway I hope the project goes well.

X

If memory serves down the years you have referred to the “IEP mafia”!

Informed

Dauntless’s refit may have dragged on but CL were certainly not ready in Sept (or even a lot more recently than that). The refit took so long as there had been many undocumented STOROBs during her time tied up which needed identifying and correcting.

N-a-B

Spot on. There was a time just as she was entering “layup”, sorry “harbour training” when majority opinion in Porflot was that she wouldn’t be coming out again. Same with Diamond for more significant reasons, now hopefully fixed.

N-a-B

The “official” who is probably one of three people at Laird’s, may well have been expecting the ship on the original schedule. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they were “ready” or more precisely unaware of what was going on.

Laird’s have had a difficult year. SDA is still there nearly a year late. They really need her gone before they can start chopping Dauntless up.

Laird’s and BAES have a good, close relationship. It’s very unlikely the slippage was a big surprise.

Challenger

They are impressive looking vessels and Sea Viper is undoubtedly world class, but whenever i see them it always strikes me how much they represent the single-role, money no object attitudes of the Royal Navy in the 1990’s, between the so called post Cold War peace dividend and the start of the War on Terror.

A main-gun that was already 25 years old with no prospect of further upgrades and guided munitions, a standard hangar arrangement (ie no thought to boat bays, mission spaces etc), only 48 VLS with no scope for cruise missiles, investment in cheaper point defence (aka CAMM) or inclusion of any AShm or ASW capabilities.

I’d argue that the T26, whilst very expensive for lots of complicated but primarily political and industrial reasons will be the ‘combat ship’ the RN has needed for a very long time.

ETH

They were intended/designed for space to harbour 24 strike length Mk41 VLS forward of the Sylver farm, but were not equipped as such due to budgetary reasons. This can allow for AshM’s or quad packed Sea Ceptor. Though I agree, it seems as if these vessels were designed exclusively for a large Carrier Strike Group before we even knew we were getting one.

Callum

12 strike length VLS, not 24 or even 16 like a lot of people say. 16 was an early estimate, the RN revised it down to 12 a few years later.

The T45 WAS designed almost exclusively as a carrier escort. The programme was started in the later 90s at the same time as the carrier project, at a time when the RN was still planning for a surface fleet of ~30 escorts. The Type 26 programme also originally started at roughly the same time, although it went through so many iterations that it only really got started in 2010.

As for the other criticisms levelled by Challenger, at the time 48 VLS was a good amount for a ship this size and price. The Burke was still pretty new but cost more than 3 times what the T45 was INTENDED to cost, and the various other VLS equipped ships being developed in Europe all used 48 or 32 VLS as well. The main gun was slated for replacement by a 155mm weapon under development, but the programme didn’t survive the 2010 cuts.

Ron5

Mk41’s come in multiples of 8. So either 8, 16 or 24. But not 12.

Callum

Tell that to the RN. They revised the number of strike VLS down to 12 from the original 16. Presumably that means not enough space for two full Mk41s.

Callum

You can downvote if you like, but I’m just going off the numbers the Royal Navy themselves are putting out

4thwatch

Not enough space for the squash court. This would be the best time to upgrade these potentially fine ships with all they need to get through the next x years. However we are controlled by Slow Central.
Where is Jackie Fisher when you want him?

X

Multiples of 4 plus don’t forget the crane.

Geo

That version had 5 not 4, and has been out of production for quite some time now anyway

D J

Perhaps forget about strike/mk41 & go for 12 stand-alone ExLS. That’s 4 sets of 3 cells, all quad packable with CAAM. That will give 48 extra AAW missiles, double the current number. ExLS is way cheaper than mk41 & is more space efficient than the mushroom farm launchers. They are also several meters shorter (than strike length mk41), which may allow continued use of the space underneath.

Leave strike & ASW to the T26 (& potentially T31 if they want to spend the money).

Sunmack

The Type 26 will be a great ship depending on what happens to the Mk 41 VLS. If they carry ASROC, Tomahawk and an SSM then she will be one if the most capable frigates in the world. Even before China wrecked the world economy though cost pressures meant that there was no talk of buying ASROC, leaving the ship dependent on it’s helicopter being availabile for ASW attack as the T26 carries no torpedo tubes. And SSM capability seems required to wait for years as we wait for some promised future Anglo French job creation scheme to produce Perseus.

GlynH

Note sure they (T.26s) need T.Hawks. UK posture (and expense) has never fitted with Land Attack missions from Surface Ships. I am content with the occasional contribution of Trafalgar/Astute boats firing T.Hawks alongside the dozens Arleigh Burkes, Virginias & Ohio SSGNs launch. What the T26 does need is ASROC (wish we could dev. our own with StringRay, but Mk54s will do for now). If the VLS LRASM project comes to fruition then a dozen LRASMs and dozen ASROCs alongside the 48 Mushroom Farm CAMMs makes for a solid all around ship.

Stevep

Tomohawk on the T26 would free Astute’s up for ASW and ASuW which should be their priority tasking. Given we only have 1 or 2 SSN’s at sea using them as cruise missile launchers is a waste of their capabilities.

We could buy LRASM from the US and have it in service on the T26 from day one. Instead the missile we are developing with the French won’t be in service until the 2030’s leaving the T26 with next to no ASuW capability for years

Ron5

The MoD have announced they will be buying an interim anti ship missile to cover the gap.

Sunmack

Recent reports, some linked on other articles on this site, have suggested that’s being abandoned on cost grounds. Even if it wasn’t, it was only for 5 ships rather than the 17 currently equipped to carry Harpoon

X

It isn’t a waste to have TLAM as an option for SSN’s. They have the range and stealth that our surface fleet and our aircraft at the moment don’t have. It just looks staged when a T-boat has to be ‘placed’ so we can engage in helping the USN. Personally I was surprised that A-boat didn’t follow the Virginia’s and have VLS too as there was the volume. What concerns me more with these missiles is that we are entirely dependent on the US for reconnaissance satellite images. Rather like having a nice rifle and having to borrow a mate’s scope. A surface ship with TLAM in the Med’ and Indian Ocean would cover most of our potential ‘enemies’.

X

Can whomever down voted that please tell me what is wrong with what I said?

Dern

Calm down Steve.

4thwatch

If true to form the French will collapse any joint project with UK so they can profit and we can waste money. Urgh.

Ron5

Lockheed would be very happy to fit Stingray to their ASROC. Or any other light torpedo. Just write a check.

4thwatch

For a nation relying on sea communications in large measure for its survival, the best investment might be our own version of an ASROC.
If you look at North Atlantic in Mid Winter; a helicopter may be grounded more often than people think. Has any one done any work on the downtime of this?

Allan

Maybe they should fit the T26s with some depth charge rails. 😀

Challenger

48 missiles was the amount the T42’s carried in their magazines and one may have thought The Falklands demonstrated how quickly stocks dwindle when they start being fired off in a hot scenario.

True there was a 155mm gun being developed but the fact the Mark 8 was still being rolled out well into the 21st century and the lack of coordination with the upgrades to the T23’s as well as future planning for what became the T26 shows a typical lack of joined-up forward thinking.

N-a-B

48? Nowhere near, even on the stretched four. The stumpies had 22, with 40 squeezed into the B3s.

The Mk 8 was fitted as the absolute lowest cost option (see other post on cost constraints). If memory serves, the ones fitted to the 45s were part of the T42/T23 pool as the 42s dropped off the plot.

Sam

Batch 1 + 2 Type 42 Destroyers carred 20ish missiles in their magazines. Only the Type 82 Bristol carried Seadart in that number you quoted 😉 Batch 3 Type 42s were stretched for better seakeeping and may have carried more missiles. This makes your dwindling missile stocks arguement even more valid 😊 In terms of guns the Royal Navy have 3 great gun systems to go to….57mm Mark 3 Bofors, 76mm Leonardo Super Rapid (Strales if they could splash out) or BAE/Leonardos 5 inch offerings (2 different weapons but they share a lot in common including ammunition) Soldiering on with the 4.5inch is illogical as the supply of ammo is nowhere near as plentiful especially if the RN operates with other Navies.

Rudeboy

“48 missiles was the amount the T42’s carried in their magazines and one may have thought The Falklands demonstrated how quickly stocks dwindle when they start being fired off in a hot scenario.”

Err….in the entire Falklands War a grand total of 26 Sea Dart were fired..over a 6 week period…from 7 Sea Dart equipped ships in theatre (you could make it 9 if you included the 2 Argentinian T42’s…).

The RN had 170 Sea Dart in the magazines of the ships that went South.

Thats not really ‘dwindling stocks’ is it?

Challenger

As N-a-B & Sam kindly pointed out i was incorrect on the number of Sea Dart the Type 42’s carried.

I make it 6 Sea Dart equipped ships in 1982, Coventry, Sheffield, Glasgow, Exeter, Cardiff and Bristol.

Fair point about the number of Dart’s actually fired, although i was generalizing that in wartime against an adversary with a navy and an air-force you’re likely to have multiple engagements and want to fire 2x missiles at each contact for good measure. Plenty of Sea Wolf’s and Sea Tiger’s were also used in The Falklands and with VLS’s once they are empty the only places to load them are Portsmouth and Devonport!

48 Sea Viper represented a big upgrade in quality but on a modest one in quantity.

Rudeboy

You’re forgetting HMS Invincible….and she did fire quite a few of the 26 Sea Dart…Those 26 Sea Darts achieved 8 kills in total.

Only 8 Sea Wolf firings in the Falklands with 3-5 kills (2 could have been other platforms). 4 kills seen reasonable as one of the kills was disputed with Sea Cat (the other with Rapier)

Sea Cat apparently had c 100 launches in the Falklands. Number of kills was 0-1, down from original claim of 6-8. No-one was surprised by this though.

Aster is designed for 1 missile per target. The USN does Shoot, Shot, Look. The RN does Shoot, Look, Shoot. Difference in doctrine, but also the belief that a highly manoeuverable active RF seeker missile is in a different league to Standard or ESSM.

Sam

With Seacat you have to break it down by the 4 different versions. GWS 20 the Mk1 eyeball guided (On HMS Yarmouth the ship that got a kill with Seacat) , GWS 21 with Type 262 radar (County class), GWS 22 (Leanders) and GWS24 (Type 21). These ships were mainly in San Carlos bay which was a nightmare for Radar which all but the original basic GWS20 used. It should also be noted the Argentines had more success with Tigercat (Land version of Seacat) as for far fewer launches they gave a Harrier level 4 damage (Severe) and killed one of their own aircraft. HMS Exeter and HMS Invincible had the new Type 1022 Radar which was vastly superior to the Type 965 1960s era radar that the other Type 42s had.

Meirion X

Vary little room for Mk. 41 forward of the Sylver farm, too close to the main gun.
I seen the schematic of that area. Looks like a lot of pipe work.

Supportive Bloke

This could be the reason it was never done that you couldn’t physically fit 2 x 8 VLS ‘41 in there?

If what is said further up the thread about RN numbers being 12 it could also be the cost of bespoke goods the VLS modules.

Meirion X

A FMS by the USA to Finland in 2018 to arm 4 corvettes with Mk. 41 cost $70 million.

David Stephen

I think they are supposed to go aft of the Sea Viper farm, where the current Harpoon fit is. I also think the space underneath is currently occupied by a gym.

Rudeboy

Thats incorrect. The Mk.41 ‘space’ is between the Sylver farm and the Mk.8 gun

Rudeboy

It’s a great big empty space at the moment. Its in use as a second gym. Here’s a picture of it…

https://www.reddit.com/r/WarshipPorn/comments/aiaee3/the_space_on_a_type_45_destroyer_reserved_for/

4thwatch

Why not a Nail Clinic of Hair Salon? Seems it fitted For but Not With.

Sam

Indeed I too see the Type 26 being the go to ship. The 45 will have to herded around with the carriers under the 26s protection as they are defenceless against AIP Subs which even the type 23 has a hard time with (a common issue even in the mighty US Navy when the Swedish sunk a carrier in wargames). The Type 26 does look good on paper right now, I am waiting to see what happens to the Phalanx CIWS as the 31 is going with 40mm Mark 4 Bofors so I would think the RN would use the same system on all ships ( 40mm 3P ammo is very nice and 40mm APFSDS is Anti-tank >:)

Phillip Johnson

I suspect you will be proved right and the 30 mounts will go. That will leave space where the Phalanx are now shown for something else.

Sam

40mm L/70 Bofors are capable of doing both the 30mm Bushmasters DS30b and Phalanx’s job of close in protection. The Mark 4 Bofors only downside is that its not a self contained total system like Phalanx is but its range is 2x greater and uses less ammunition to get the same effect. Phalanx is coming to the end of its frontline naval career (Combat ships) and will be mainly protecting auxiliaries and enjoy a 2nd career with the Army/Marines as C-RAM. The M61 Vulcan is the problem as its range is too short to deal with the latest generation of missiles. I doubt the MoD would pay to get the UKs stock of Phalanx converted into Sea RAM (The whole system bar the gun is the same)

X

Nothing in Sam’s post is factually wrong. T45 won’t venture from the carriers. T26 will be the fleet’s workhorse from the mid-2030’s on.

Yet two down votes. Down to one as I have expunged one.

N-a-B

“Money no object”? Far from it. Most of the compromises in T45 were a result of trying to save money.

Anything not directly required to support the force AAW capability had to be justified down to the last penny. Hence the debate over sonar, the omission of SSGW etc. Had the 155 plan for FSC continued, she might have had that – the provision is for 16 Mk41 strike cells, OR an enlarged gun mag for the putative 155 gun.

The cost capability trades for 45 were a continuous feature of the very early noughties. This is when Browns refusal to properly fund SDR98 really began to bite.

James Yates

I thought the collapse of global capital markets and the UK banking system was caused by Mr Brown overspending. And now we are informed that Brown was underspending on defence and ignoring the advice of Royal Navy officers and the MoD to buy inferior kit. (I wonder what was he overspending on: the NHS, roads, rail, police, schools, local government?)
And while we are on political economy. Every pound spent/invested on, say, a piece of US military kit, is gone for ever. Every pound spent on a piece of UK miliatry kit, returns to the treasury like a boomerang to the treasury, roughly 50 pence in every pound, already within 3 years, as taxation, social insurance contributions, tax on profits, etc, or as money not spent on social insurance benefits. Buying British is not just about providing jobs for poor people who have to work for a living. It makes economic sense! Is that really too hard to understand? Don’t be fooled again

Stevep

Fine. If you want the defence budget to be a job creation budget then increase it so we can have UK kit even when it’s more expensive. Otherwise that cost is absorbed by buying fewer platforms or degrading their capabilities

John Clark

I agree Steve, far too often we have squandered our defence budget with a buy British bias. British industry support is the job of DTI, not the MOD.

By all means buy British, but not at the cost of the young men and women who serve on our country.

Wildcat ( great example), though an excellent maritime helicopter, is of dubious use to the Army and we spent an absolute fortune on it.

Very poor use of the defence budget.

Duker

Wildcat for the AAC was light reconnaissance/attack/utility helicopter, which can seat 6 passengers, also used for SAS. They had the Lynx, which is the same airframe, before it for similar reasons.

John Clark

The Wildcat actually has half the carrying capacity re people due to the crash worthy seats, Lynx could carry 8, Wildcat 4.

It possesses no attack capability and minimum reconnaissance abilities…

As a maritime helicopter, it’s excellent, no doubt, but it’s been forced on the army.

It’s ‘extremely’ expensive due to the small numbers being built…

I wonder if anyone actually asked the Army what they would prefer to replace the Lynx with?

Our defence budget is squandered on this sort of politically driven procurement.

Sunmack

Wildcat is not excellent for the Navy at all. Unlike the Lynx it replaced it has no submarine detection sonar buoys. It also has no data link back to the ship.

John Clark

Both items will ‘eventually’ be added Sunmack, the crippling price of Wildcat ment both services got a minimum spec machine in basic fettle and small numbers.

The sonar and data link are already developed.

Re the the Army Wildcat, they could have procured additional AH64E’s for scouting and reconnaissance and Lakotas for general duty, both off the shelf and tying into US Army multi year procurement and saving a fortune.

The Naval procurement is slightly more vexed, NH90, Seahawks or more Merlins?

Darren

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_61-52_future.php most likely cancelled after Brown although labour started the destrution of the armed forces when they got into office. Conservative/Libs (Laws in particular) cancelled Sheffield Forgemasters investment, but labour used this as a poltical tool too. They are just as bad as each other.

X

The 2008 crisis was the Labour government’s fault. They brought in the FSA which was ineffective. London became a place where foreign banks could engage in all sort of dodgy and risky stuff, the best example and the one that tilted it all over was ‘subprime mortgages’.

X

Sad to say Labour supporting down voter that is documented fact. Why not point out where I was wrong instead of just down voting?

Dern

Why create the alt account Stevie boy?

X

Actually this is my proper account. I commented on Think Defence as X for a long time.

Are you the person down voting the posts for the sake of it?

It is you and your other trolls who devalue this site.

But if you don’t bother me I won’t bother you.

Dern

I downvote toxic comments that consist of nothing but whinging about the comments section.
You can act like the aggrieved party but I never respond to you unless you start having a tantrum about a feature of a website that was here before you.

John Clark

I voted you back👍

X

I have never known site that allows trolls who add nothing and knowingly cause discord to get away with so much. Little one liner digs and Top Trumps point scoring make the site look infantile.

John Clark

They voted me down, for voting you up, Labour sour grapes again!

I would have far more respect for Labour supporters if they owned and accepted the economic mistakes.

I’m no apologist for the Tories either, Cameron’s government decimated our armed forces….

finol

I have commented on this site in support of labour policies many times…. This site does not have very many ‘Labour sour grapes’ on it. although judging by the comments you make and the way you make them it seems pretty clear why the downvotes are coming.

Duker

Saying the Global Financial Crisis “is labours fault” is just bizarre. Calls into question your understanding of real world financial systems.

X

It was the trigger. The FSA had little to no oversight. The world’s banks came here and started doing things they shouldn’t. It says more about your lack of understanding.

Darren

Correct. Labours cost cutting started as soon as they came into office and is disgusting as to what happened after. I’ll deal with your FSSS issue when I get time. Just seen your Comment there. Even ticked you up for this though. OK.

X

What exactly is the situation with T45 as regards to CBRN / NCB?

Cam

And we will only have 8 type 26! We need 10 minimum and 10 type 31s.

Andy

We were meant to get 13 type 26 according to the 2010 SDR but we can’t afford 13 and I am pretty sure we will end up with 6 due to cost pressures.

AlexS

Maybe Mr.Humphrey, sorry Sir Humphrey at MOD managed things to build a ship only useful to escort CVs as a chastity belt to have the CV’s build , not cancelled e… Type 45 was the carrier lobby planting the flag: to everyone, you have no solution, you have to build them…

X

The RN wanted a direct replacement for T42. T45 ended up being the way they are due to money.

When I first Sea Viper I was amazed at the jump over Sea Dart. No wonder the Yanks are jealous.

X

Again what did the RN want? A missile barge? They wanted 12 fully functioning destroyers just as the Italians, French, Dutch, and Germans got with their new AAW frigates.

ushio

Single mission trumps multi mission ships. Sticking ASW on a Type 45 is insane since it just means you lose everything when a 30year old diesel electric sub puts 3 torps into one.

ASW ships need to be very cheap, even the T26 is far too large and expensive for the ASW mission.

A modern olive hazard perry class would be ideal built around 2 helo’s a couple of SeaRam and maybe 4 VLS cells quad packed with Sea Ceptor for AA defence with 2 mark 57 quad vls for VLS ASROC, 2 triple ASW torpedo tubes and a couple of ASW mortar’s.

There shouldn’t be any reason you can’t get 2 ships 1 for ASW and 1 for surface warfare for the price of a billion pound Type 26.

Mike O

As a concept I totally agree. Cheaper more numerous single mission ships is a superior concept. But then we have T45 which is both single mission and unaffordable in large numbers. I feel there is a balance to be found.

The cut in numbers of T26 shows that it is still out balance and too expensive. T31 acting to counterbalance this is maybe too far in the other direction but this is yet to be seen.

I do not like the argument that nothing less capable could possibly do the job so ships have to cost that much. This suggests that we have built ships to the minimum credible capability. It also suggests any unmanned systems are pointless as there capabilities are less than the minimum credible capability of a T 45/26. This obviously is not true. Many of the most valid arguments for unmanned systems also transfer over to the argument for cheaper manned single mission ships.

In my head I imagine a balanced fleet with 6 muti-mission cruisers, rather than T45, then a multitude of cheaper single mission ships deploying unmanned systems where appropriate. Anyway I will stop my incoherent ramblings now 😁.

Sunmack

Other navies seem to be able to manage affordable multi-mission ships in sufficient numbers. The German, Dutch, Spanish, Australian, Norwegian, Italian and French AAW vessels all have a sonar, ASW torpedoes and anti-ship missiles

Meirion X

The French FREMM frigates are either optimised for ASW or air defence roles.
The RAN has its own ASW optimized frigates, and destroyers optimized for air defence.

Sunmack

Yes, and those ASW or AAW ships also have a proper sonar, SSM’s and ASW torpedoes and didn’t cost $3bn!!!!!!

AlexS

No Italian FREMM are either optimized for General Propose(with emphasis in anti ship and 100km range 127mm gun) and ASW role. AAW is practically the same.

Meirion X

A truly modern muti-mission warship, would most likely to exceed $3 billion +.
Even the Arleigh Burkes at $2 billion apiece, have their own shortfalls.

X

The RN canned the idea of single role ships back in the 1950s. Even the single role air-defence ships of that era, the T41 and T61 had ASW systems, and the single role ASW ship, T12, had some AAW weaponry. Are you saying then that T26 should have no AAW weaponry as it is an ASW ship? No.

Why does a ship to design to fight submarines have to be cheap? ASW is very complex. It isn’t something that can be done in the modern era on the cheap.

A ship for anti-surface warfare? Wow…….

Good grief.

Mike O

Ok you really jumped at those conclusions 😁. The T45 is optimised for AAW. It is not a muli-mission ship. I like the concept of vessels optimised for a single role. This does not mean AAW vessel has no sonar. This does not mean ASW vessels have no air defence. To assume such is slightly preposterous.

If ASW can not be done on the cheap then why does anyone expect expect unmanned ASW to work? If its not cheaper then why do it? It will not be making better decisions then a well trained crew. It’s just supplementary maybe? Then why not supplement with a manned vessel that can defend itself, make decisions and have peace time presence/maritime security roles? Unmanned saves manpower? Nonsense. It just moves people to different roles or requires civilian contractors (maintenance etc).

Let’s be clear on terminology. Single role does not mean totally incapable of any other task. A RIB with a GPMG can carry out multiple different roles. Good grief 😉

To be fair I do think unmanned systems have a part to play as part of a balanced fleet. T26 could be great but I would love to see move ASW ships. I truly hope we do get all 8.

Meirion X

An ASW warship really needs to be quiet when hunting submarines, so top of the range ASW vessels have their engines rafted, and pipework made not to make noise etc. and quiet gearboxes etc.
All this noise quieting costs a lot of money!

Mike O

Yes. A lot of expense. Because of that I think I understand the current desire to stuff as much capability into limited hull numbers. But when this results in even lower hull numbers I have to stop agreeing.

Compromises or innovative ideas must be found to maximize capability within the allotted budget. This is the balance. For example the navy wanted mission bays. This accumulated costs in design and construction of type 26. Could the mission bay capability be achieved in another way to save costs on T26? One option would be to incorporate mission bays into the new Mine/Hydrographic vessels in a design like Venari 85. The capability would remain in a task force but t26 would be less capable and a little cheaper. A worthwhile compromise perhaps.

This is just one hypothetical example. There are lots of ways to compromise to maximize the budget. Some may be seen as unacceptable, others may only be seen with hindsight. But for me T23 is proof of concept for a ASW focused affordable compromise. It is not a mini Arleigh Burke at £1billion a go.

MARK.

Excellent non sided coverage, should be more of it.
In fact excellent site all round.

OOA

Will be interesting to see how long the first conversion takes. Once completed, I wonder if Dauntless will go straight to a hot place to see if the PIP solution actually works in practice. Would be a bit of a bummer if it doesn’t, but best to know for sure ASAP I guess.

Plan B could be to go Russian and accompany warships going far-foreign with their own personal tug…..

Gunbuster

The GTs do not directly move the ship through the water. They turn the alternators that then provide power to electric motors that turn the shafts to move the vessel.
The way the article is written makes it sound like you flash up the GTs and sprint away at 30knots. That is not the case.
Its all about supplying and balancing the electrical power requirements. If you want to do 30knots you need lots of power for propulsion which limits whats available for other systems. Thats not an issue nornally as the overhead for spare power is so large. The new DGs will increase this overhead as will the alterations to the IEP control system.

That said I worked on a T45 for a few weeks whilst it was deployed to the Gulf during the height of summer. It had no power issues at all. A lot of work arounds had been put in place and confidence in the IEP system was such that they sailed around on GTAs most of the time only requiring the DGs to be on or available as standby for hazardous evolutions such as RAS or entering harbour.

borg

Will there be any improvement/reduction in Sound Generation ?

ATH

I doubt it, this is a very focused project.

borg

Thanks, I was Just asking as they are noisy Ships.

GlynH

Join the discussion…I don’t see noise of T45s being an issue. When they are following the noisy CVs & Tides around as a group, everything will be noisy. But as long as the Astutes and T26s are quiet then you can go sub hunting.

Cam

It still bothers me to this day that we only have 6! And not 12! Even South Korea has double the number we have! Shameful. And built for but didn’t recieve mk41 silos for tomahawks or a variety of other stuff like quad packed anti air giving double our current numbers…good to know their engine problem will be fixed. Was it an inter cooler prob?

Ron5

Thank G Brown. And don’t forget he lied to parliament when he said extra ones would cost a billion each. They were actually being built at 650 mill a pop.

Sunmack

I blame Blair more than Brown. Blair fought two wars and one sustained air campaign on a peacetime defence budget. And though they threw money at everything else Blair didn’t have the balls force Brown to properly fund defence. Charles Guthrie when CDS recounted being asked by Blair to approach Brown to plead for more money for defence and rightly refusing to do so on the grounds that was the Prime Minister’s job

Basil Barnes

Brown was the Chancellor that sold our gold off at knock down prices and went on a spending spree as soon as he became PM breaking all of his own rules. He did nothing to cool the housing market until it was too late. Not that the Tories where much better, I would be shocked if we did not see another house price collapse after the lock down ends unless the goverent keeps printing free money.

James

All the while Blair was more than happy to throw billions and billions at the european project with absolutely naff all in return for the uk. Could find money for virtually anything that man providing it wasn’t spent at home.

Barry Larking

I recall when Daring was launched there was comment in the press that she had been built for a Cold War role that had vanished by the time she hit the water. In view of the miasma of the ‘peace dividend’ that was then still swirling about I think the R.N. were fortunate to get six! Remember the 1981 government – white paper was it? – that wanted to slash the Royal Navy much further. This resulted in the resignation of Minister Keith Speed in protest followed fairly soon after by the Falklands War that vindicated him and the need for a navy with teeth. Comes the Con-Lib Coalition and the first axe of Austerity Mk II falls on the R.N. Is it any wonder this schizophrenic behaviour has resulted in a mess? My admiration for those who have had to make sense of this nonsense is boundless. I wonder how many retired on health grounds or ran away into the hills?

Sunmack

Can an air defence destroyer with no TBMD capability and not fitted with the Co-operative Engagement Capability really contend to he one of the finest AAW platforms in the world?

rec

They are under armed, even the T42s had better anti submarine caapcity with a sonar and anti submarine torpedos. We have insufficient marutime helicopters , most of our surface fleet is fitted for but not with. The T31s just peretuate this. Under armed and unlikely ever to receive significant uogrades.

Gavin Gordon

Still, if wanted to hear an example of a noisy ship leaving harbour, a Type 42 would generally oblige.

Basil Barnes

Our budget was being spent on 2 carriers and 2 wars. Government and military planning over the last 20 year has frankly been shocking. Even with the budget cuts we have received surprising little for what has been spent compared to everyone else. Mostly down to constantly shifting goal posts.

4thwatch

Please stop exaggerating the cost of the carriers. I agree Wars are the really expensive things, which happen when you don’t have a deterrent or if your opponent concludes you wont use force.
If we’d had CVA1 its a given there would have been no Falklands War. Lives saved.

Ron5

Yes, the T45 is one of the best if not the best AAW destroyer.

X

Sea Viper is the world’s best maritime AAW system. T45 ship isn’t the best. You must not conflate the two.

Ron5

Don’t be silly. The ship is built around PAAMS and PAAMS is designed around the ship. Can’t look at one independent from the other.

X

So if we were to remove a Sea Viper system now from an as built T45 the ship is shining example of naval architecture? The size and hull design was designed to accommodate Sea Viper, but it being designed to accommodate Sea Viper doesn’t make the “hull” great. And it is only accommodating Sampson that really drove the ship design not the VLS. The Forts were designed to carry Sea Wolf, does that make Forts a frigate? No. The hull is one thing, the weapon system is another. Does the smaller Spanish designed frigates that carry AEGIS make them as good as a Burke or Tico or Hobart? If the ship was any good there wouldn’t be articles like this about correcting a fundamental fault in the most vital system in the ship.

Will O

At least it’s finally being done.

They have such outstanding radars & missiles, it’s disappointing governments failed to make the most of these assets. Building far too few from the beginning, and whilst it’s right to fix propulsion first, it shouldn’t have taken over a decade.

I’d have like to have seen them better kitted out by now, it’s lunacy not to have upgraded the Asters to block 1 already. How much effort would that take? Or to upgrade those DS30Bs to DS30M? Why, given these are Air Defence Destroyers wouldn’t those DS30s also be given some extra Air Defence capability such as programmable air burst munitions, not as if adversaries would shy away from using drones in this day & age is it? (Same goes for the carriers).

What is it with British politicians & doing things by halves?

I recall when they were first entering service the then Defence Secretary saying how versatile they were & not just a ‘one trick pony’, maybe they could have been more versatile had those FFBNW Mk41s been included from the outset, even now, they still have insufficient BMD capability. Yet Russia, China, Iran & India all have AShMs with ballistic trajectories.

They’re truly fantastic ships, but compared to counterparts in the Pacific theatre (Sejong the Great, Type 52s & 55s, Atago etc.) they have just half, or a third of the missile load. If the carriers go somewhere like the SCS, so will the Type 45s, it’s such an obvious lack of foresight. Potential adversaries like Russia, Iran, DPRK, China etc. wouldn’t hesitate to throw everything at them if ever it came to it. That’s another deficiency baked in thanks to our silly short sighted politicians, obsessed with cost cutting, which they always do so very badly & wastefully anyway, instead of optimising function & taking advantage of economies of scale.

The Type 45s aren’t likely to be superseded for around another 2 decades given the lengthy Type 26 build. So it’s fair to question if they’ll be sufficient & can remain competitive for that length of time. Looking at what China & Russia are getting up to, it’s not a given.

I just hope Boris’s lot can make a clean break from the idiocy & short sightedness of decades past & start to give the RN, & Defence generally the investment it needs next SDSR, especially given that the economy will need all the impetus & stimulus it can get following the shock of Covid-19. I don’t think it would break the bank though, once the propulsion is fixed, to spend a few extra million making these ships (& thus the carrier group) that bit more survivable, given what’s at stake.

4thwatch

Our Politicians are insulated from reality. When MP’s get elected they should remember the first duty of Government is the wellbeing of the people and the defence of their country. I agree that defence comes in many forms some is soft defence. However when deterrence fails and a war starts, lives of young people are put on the line. What we ask our service men and women to do should be backed up by properly funded and sufficient hardware. How many politicians appreciate this?

Rentaghost

In fairness, it has a different mission profile to that of the Sejong The Great destroyers. Those ships are multifunctional units, designed to give a degree of power projection that our carriers should, in theory already provide us.

Let’s not forget that the Korean ships have 32 of those cells dedicated to their indigenous land attack cruise missiles. That the remaining cells – the mk.41 farm, has a given number held over for ASROC ASW weapons as well. The Sejongs, don’t seem like ideal asw units, they are heavily based on the Burke design with the same 4 LM2500 COGAG arrangement, I am given to understand – though by no means an expert – that the Burkes are not entirely quiet ships so if the Sejongs are the same, you wonder about the wisdom of spending the money hanging both a bow and tower sonar as well as using up cell space for the ASW weapons.

The other point work making is that they use the standard Aegis sensor fit, so as far as I understand, can only control the number of missiles as limited by the number of fire control radars. As I understand it, the AESA configuration of SAMPSON allows for a superior number of missiles under control at a given time. No doubt the Sejong, even with its land attack and ASW weapons on board still has more cells than a T45 for AAW, but the T45 can keep more of them in the air at any given time. The Sejong might be able to stay on station longer, but it’s not necessarily any better, indeed possibly worse than the T45 at getting missiles into the air with the limited engagement time it would have.

On the other hand, if I was given the project and the money to overhaul the weapon fit of the T45, iwould undoubtedly use the space afforded to add more cells. However, I’d *still* make then SYLVER cells for Sea Viper. I see little point in trying to make these into multifunction ships. Indeed, I’d go as far as to take out the main gun and replace it with something smaller, like the OTO 76 or the 57mm being touted for the T31 frigate, to give the T45 a bit more long range CIWS capability. I kinds feel like having 5 inch guns on T45s and T26s for Naval Gunfire Support and not the T31 is the wrong way about.

rec

They remind me of counties which also had an innovative propulsion system of gas and steam turbines and suffered mechanical issues.

X

They did suffer from issues. But on the whole they were big and powerful ships that were quite innovative at the time and did influence thinking (if not designs directly). (The RCN Iroquois-class destroyers were in a similar mould.) What I find funny is that Sea Slug colours opinions of a good well design ship which is reverse to how the excellent Sea Viper ‘covers’ for T45 rather lacklustre specifications.

rec

Absolutely, I thought the counties were brilliant with an obsolete main missile system. With the T45s its the other way round

X

Removing Sea Slug opened up huge expanses of internal volume for the South Americans. It isn’t hard to see a Sea Wolf conversion operating with a couple of Sea Kings. But their time had come I suppose by the 80’s.

Duker

The last Counties should have been the Sea Dart entry into service ships , with missile launcher forward. The helicopter deck extended to the stern to provide space for 2 Sea Kings. Likely the helicopter deck cut down a level, as I think one of the RN reasons for not extending the deck was for stability reasons- to RN standards of course as Chile had no problem.

D J

I have been pushing the opinion that the 57mm is a very very bad choice for the T31 (& FFGx) for months & that it really needed the 127mm (or at a minum the 76mm) , Even if it ment the T26 ended up with the 57mm (actually I would give the 57mm to the T45, if that was an option). If any ship should to be risked doing gunfire support it is the T31, not the T26 & definately not the T45. I would even settle for a 4.5″ over the 57mm on the T31. Unlike Australia & Canada, UK is planning to have less T26 to risk on this task (think about that for a minute), than either of the afore mentioned. Which ever way NZ jumps, its likely to be either T26 (from Austraila) or T31 (Australia or UK) & one thing for sure, its going to be 127mm (both current 3,600t Anzac frigates have 127mm guns). Sorry – 5 eyes oriented post.

As to ships like Sejong the Great, one needs to remember that S.Korea shares a land border with it’s main adversary. Its capital city is literally within land artilary range of N.Korea & PRC is only a little further away (in relative terms). In some ways, the StG AAW capability is to protect its land attack capability. It is important to realise that local conditions can disort what distant eyes may see. I for one would not want to be walking in S.Korean shoes (would you be happy with President Kim next door?). Nothing can be taken in isolation. Even comparing RN, RAN & RCN T26 (which most of us commenting on this site are guilty of, including me) needs to take this into account. eg Canada currently has zero destroyers (last one decommissioned a few years ago). UK has 6 problematic but existing T45 destroyers, Australia has 3 new Hobart class destroyers. In addition there is a massive East Asia military buildup underway. All these things feed into their relevent thinking on their version of T26. Don’t forget to add in politics & money, just to muddy the waters.

X

More Mk45’s would make sense for T31. Modern PG rounds add a whole dimension to fires.

Duker

Good points there. Regarding South Korea, distance can make it seem more dire. Those people in Seoul may be complacent, but it doesnt seem to worry them as much as more distant observers.

Don

I agree that T31 would be a better choice for NGFS and should be considered for the 127mm. However I don’t see any changes for main guns on T45/31/26 presently.
For the first batch of 3 T26 with construction underway any changes would impact on build and costs. Likewise with plans well advanced for T31 late changes would again impact on build and costs. Perhaps there could be a window for changes in main guns for the second batch of T26 and if there is any second batch T31.
For T45 if there were funds available a higher priority would be cooperative engagement capabilitly (CEC) and ballistic missile defence.
CEC for T45 coupled to the T26’s CAMM/MK41 launchers would allow the T45 to guide the T26’s missiles and depending on missile loadout options and if any quad packing utilised would greatly increase available missile numbers.
With this in mind I would opt for CEC first for T45 etc. rather than spending finite budgets on extra VLS for T45.
Only after CEC if there was any cash left then extra VLS would be great.

D J

One of my reasons for suggesting they give the 57mm to the T45 is if you did make the T31 NGFS capable, what do you do with the 57mm you have now acquired? There are three choices, give them to the Rivers or the T45 or put them in the shed. Under the current plan, only the T45 will have the 4.5” gun. Logistically that does not sound great. Either fit the 4.5” to the T31 for NGFS, or get rid of the 4.5” altogether (76mm super rapid would have been a better all round choice for the money).

Personally I would go for more VLS (ExLS) for quad packed CAAM over CEC. It’s much cheaper (CEC is very expensive) & if your T26 is sub hunting, then it will likely be some distance from the carriers/T45. CAAM is not a long range missile & neither is Aster 15. Remember that the UK T26 has a sub-par radar for a ship of it’s size, so it’s unlikely to be adding a great deal to the CEC picture (ie the T45 will be running everything instead of being a two way street). T31 is not much better & has next to no missiles. An Australian T26 will have CEC & the Hobart destroyers already do. However Australian (& Canadian) T26 will have high end destroyer class radars. You want the T45 to be able to cue the T26 & the T26 to be able to cue the T45 to get the most out of CEC. I would suggest double the T45 missile load out & change the T26 radar first. Then think about CEC.

Meirion X

But the Aussie radar system CEAFAR has X-band in it as separate transmit panels, of which RN warpons don’t need, they are fully homing guided.
The X-band panels would need to be striped out of CEAFAR, leaving just the S-band transmit panels. It maybe a redesign job!

D J

Meirion

The CeaFar2 radars as currently being fitted to the RAN Anzac frigates does include radar panels to control semi-active missiles. However the previous CeaFar radar they were fitted with did not have these additional radar panels (a seperate pre-existing radar is used). I very much doubt that Cea would consider it much of a problem.

Don

The 57mm and 127mm will be the main guns systems for the RN going forward as such I don’t see a place for the the 4.5 inch on the T31.
Lockheed Martin reckon Aster could be intergrated on the MK41VLS so in theory T26 could be setup to have Aster 30 for T45etc to cue.
The Americans have been testing interfacing the F35 with their aegis combat system.

D J

Don

Having something on the T26 to cue is not the problem. CEC works best if all parts add to the overall picture. Current spec UK T26 adds very little to the picture that CEC can create. Ideally you want the T26 to also be able to cue the Aster 30 on the T45, if that is what is required. The T45 also needs to have enough missiles. Yes the F35 can add to the picture. So possibly can crowsnest. So can Wedgetail. Yes, CEC is a really good option, but only if you are not half arsed about it.

Unfortunately I think you are right about UK & the 57mm. I have no problems with the demise of the 4.5”, but a 57mm on a frigate does not make sense. Canada is the only nation I am aware of that has used the 57mm on a front line warship, a mistake they are not repeating. In the last 40 years, UK has fired more NGFS shells than any other nation (by a considerable margin). Yet, when the current builds are finished, if you add the NGFS capable destroyers to the NGFS capable frigates, you end up with Canada 15, UK 14, Australia 12 & NZ 2. While I realise there is more to this than just the above numbers, it appears more than a little out of balance?

Will O

I see having fewer VLS as making an adversary’s task a lot easier (aside from the obvious). The T45s were clearly intended to operate in blue water, and avoid litorals, but that’s in part a political choice, and you just know they’ll end up sent to litorals anyway for lack of anything else to send. Already the decision looks to have been made to send them to the South China Sea. My point is not that one ship is better than another ship, more that ships designed for the Pacific & SCS tend to ALL have more SAMs to call upon. I think it was an oversight, which was compounded by building so very few.
The T45s offered a great potential added strategic advantage, had they replaced Type 42s like for like & been given their full compliment of VLS as originally intended, but because of an excessive cost cutting mentality on the part of politicians, it was an advantage never pressed home. Now there’s too few really even for Carrier escort let alone area defence.

I think if they were to be given 16 more VLS, and I think it’s a bit late for that now, then though the Mk41 may be in itself slightly inferior to the SYLVERs, it would give the option of SM6 & SM3s besides other things like TLAM & ASROC, even LRASM etc. so could enhance the T45s in their specialised role as AAW destroyers, potentially giving them some TBMD capability as well.
(There’s always the ExLS, I wonder if those could fit in the space without sacrificing the gym? – I’m sure it’s a better functioning ship with that gym intact. Could at least fit some CAMMs in there if so?)
I’d of course like to see block 1NG & block 2 ASTERs, I just see an upgrade to block 1 as being already possible & affordable right now, prior to the Carrier’s suggested deployment to the Pacific region in 2021.

Likewise with the DS30s, it should still be perfectly achievable within that time frame.

Swapping the main gun out, reintegrating something else; expensive, time consuming, not much useful to be gained by doing that? At least not prior to their deployment next year. Besides, it leads to an ineveitable debate about NGFS etc, & then T31s etc, which is why I left it well alone. (I don’t like to see the usual treasury driven mistake of too few VLS being replicated on the T31 btw). Plus, mention OTO’s & it opens up the comparisons with the Horizons etc.

That being said, had the T45 been given a 5″ instead of 4.5″ then it would have opened up a possibility of developing/using HVPs (rail gun rounds) for added air defence. Whilst interesting, I doubt there’d be the budget for that even if there was the willingness. Other than being useless for AAW, is there anything particularly wrong with the 4.5″ given the T45’s intended role?
I see other things of greater priority which should be easy fixes just being neglected. I do find petty penny pinching on relatively small things very frustrating & irritating, especially after so many billions have already been spent.

X

T45 isn’t going on to the gunline. You might stop a ship with Mk 8 if T45 was called on to perform coastguard / police action while at sea. But in terms of combat against a peer it isn’t much use; not that it will ever find itself alone in a real shooting war. It takes a lot of rounds to do a lot of damage.

The joke used to be the Mk 8 Mod 0 was fitted to ships to give the weapons engineers something to do as it was a monster with all those hydraulics. The Mod 1 with the electric motors is sickeningly reliable so it can’t even serve as distraction / make work project.

When B1 T22 went to see without a medium gun there was some reasoning behind. The Falklands War did change that. But I wouldn’t say it a lesson to be applied across all platforms. The B2 Rivers have a 30mm, while the German Federal Police OPV’s patrolling similar waters (will) have a BAE 57mm. On balance I don’t think T45 ‘needs’ a gun.

The obvious choice for T45 would have been the 76/62 Super Rapid.

X

Another down vote without qualification.

Duker

Most readers barely notice the up or down votes or count them or care, and they far out number those who comment or ‘vote’. ideally it should be ‘likes’ as the only option..but as I said who really notices.

Sebastian

The reason, that the german federal police bought 57 mm guns fort the new boats is that they should have the posibility to counter a terrorist attact. The idea was, that they should stopt a captures tanker heading for a german city. In the german law sciences it is controversial if the german navy can legal counter such attacks. Maybe the mission for a river class opv is just different (more sea patroling and fishery protection)?

Duker

Yes, its same arguments from the 20s and 30s over whether the RN should stick to 15 in or upgun to 16 in or even down size to 14 in – which they did in the end to obtain the 4 gun turret. The smaller calibre didnt make that much difference except in the minds of purists. And when the big gun capital ship had its day the debate shifted to variations on the carriers with armoured decks or not , or double or single hangars….ahh debates.

finol

gonna have to disagree with you there, there was never a particularly large argument, i suppose there was discontent about the 14in. But i mean post WW1 it was unanimous that the Royal navy was going to be using 16in and 18in guns for the G3 and N3 classes. this would only change to a standard 16in when the washington Naval treaty came, defence budget waas shrunk and the ships cancelled. With the 14in the KGV were originally planned for 9 15in guns to fit within the 35,000 ton treaty limit and also retain speed and versatility (unlike the 35,000 ton 16in Nelsons). This would only change due to Britain’s push for global forced usage of the 14in gun with the London naval treaty as planned also for the North Carolina class. This was seen as a necessary move to slow the arms race and we only think of it as absurd due to the benefit of hindsight.

4thwatch

Cant we produce our own Mk 41 cells cheaper. The patent must have expired by now.

Stej

Anyone noticed that if the type 45 life expectancy is 25yrs we lose all these boats from 2034 to 2039 the last type 26 arrives between 2039-2041 therefore the type 4x won’t be commissioned before 2041-2043
So we will not have any air defence ships between 2039-2043. Surely we should order2-3 type 45 now with modernised equipment power plant and more automation to reduce crew requirement to give us cover till the type 4x begin to roll out in the 40’s.

Challenger

The Type 23’s had a projected service life of 18 years but the remaining 13 will all do over 30! That’s partly due to the kind of life they’ve had as a lot more of their time has been spent in the more benign Med or East of Suez instead of the harsh conditions of the North Atlantic, but there is always a tendency to be a bit conservative with vessels life-spans.

The chances are the T45’s will have significant refits around the 20-25 year mark and keep going into the 2040’s. Their replacements will follow the T26’s and could be based on the same basic hull design which i believe is being looked at.

As has been said many times on this site not consolidating Govan and Scotstoun into the fabled ‘frigate factory’ was seriously short-sighted as it’s clear from the shipbuilding strategy among other views that continuity of production, the steady drumbeat of orders is the only way to maintain the skills base and keep costs down.

For example 16x high-end frigates and destroyers on The Clyde commissioned every 18 months and say 20x smaller surface ships built at Rosyth (with some work contracted out if necessary) commissioned every 12 months (8x Type 31’s and 12x multi-mission vessels to replace the Hunt’s, Sandowns and Echo’s) would easily provide that continuity and stability so badly needed whilst also keeping the Royal Navy modern/strong. A difficult task perhaps, but surely not impossible!

Teves

Would need 18 high end frigates for the rule of 3 6 on missions 6 readied to go 6 in maintenance. Cannot see gov parting with the money. Type 31 will never get uparmed to be able to protect themselves and the black swans are dead they would have done the multimission stuff. Hard to see how they will get this drum beat to work as there will be need to replace opvs RFA etc need another 2 yards camel laird and Mersey perhaps. Does not seem to be a long term plan on the board.

OOA

In other news, Fincantieri won the USN FFGX tender it seems:

https://defense-update.com/20200501_ffgx.html

Gaz

Does cruising on diesel increase the noise the ship puts out? Would it be of concern? I would love the Type 45 to be upgraded with more weapons, but fear there is no money. But in terms of ‘bang for buck’, they are among the pride of the fleet.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

Thank goodness only six Type 45s entered service. How on earth could the original twelve destroyers have been crammed into Portsmouth dockyard for years on end?