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

Surely the overall cost of replacement would be less using the Harpoon B2, recognising the straight-forwardness of the comparable launchers? I truly hope they are not planning on trying to cover the gap with Aster paper-covering.
The transition to the Anglo-French Perseus is going to be messy however its bridged. But that missile is a long-term ‘Must’ due to the Russians having Brahmos II’s being tested next year, which have a speed of, wait for it, MACH 8! The latest version will have a range of over 600 KM. These facts need to be bourn in mind, and understood as being strategically vital to counter effectively.

Ivan

Mach 8, that’s 2.7 km per second.
That means a modern CIWS would be able to engage only one incoming missile (range limitation of CIWS and the need to focus several seconds of fire to ensure a kill).
Or are we planning to kill the missile with an anti-missile?
As our type-45’s only carry 48 missiles, it would not take much of a saturation attack to sink a £1 billion ship.

Desert Tortoise

The answer is RAM Block II. A bit expensive but extremely capable and much longer ranged than CIWS. 21 rounds per launcher. Put one on each end, four to six on the Queen Elizabeth. Fire and forget so one launcher can engage multiple targets as fast as the missiles can leave the launcher.

csm

It’s all about having a layered defence; the Type 45s with Asters for long range, the rest of escorts with the better CAMM missile (compared to RAM) for mid range and the ships own CIWS for short range.

The QE does not need RAM, why waste the money on it when it is more needed elsewhere?

Jim

Note they never state what altitude that mach 8 is at. This is critical because the speed of sound changes with temperature (ie altitude) so while it may be about 340 m/s at sea level, by 11km it’s only 295 m/s (~13% less) but does increase a bit again above 20km. Also because the air density will greatly affect the drag, and therefore the speed it can achieve.
My guess is those missiles will reach mach 8 at around 60,000 ft (18km), but closer to sea level it might “only” be mach 3 or so.

Richard

If this mad decision goes ahead, it shows the govt and MOD place little value in the lives of it’s sailors. Putting vessels to sea without protection is negligence.

Richard

At a cost of $1.2m per missile the Block IIER seems a sensible option…better value than spending £11m on a reservist office block in Cardiff..MOD has its priorities all wrong.

Chaffers

The current stocks can be upgraded using a kit supplied by the manufacturer, which I think halves the cost.

sisyphus

Well said, Sir,,, though I ould have spent that £11m on either making ‘Lusty or HMS Ocean the reservist ‘office block’, parked up in a harbour, as a great training tool, but in extremis could be put to see at least in support of operations … I am beyond baffled how this decisions get made…

Also there seems to be zillions available for support contracts for the industrial complex, but what will we have left to support!!!!!

4thwatch

How these decisions are made is indeed mind boggling. As the lead says it is usually made by someone who is over the hill and going into retirement or has little or no concept of how devastating a ship loss is in human terms.
HMS Hood was lost because similar decisions were made just before WW2.
How does it go- if you forget the lessons of history…….
It seems there needs to be a specific annual ‘catch all’ funding provision set aside to cover, as best, such obvious and known weaknesses. I suggest this funding needs to be in the hands of someone with ultimate responsibility; not the MOD.

Gerard

I think Naval procurement for the last 15-20 years has been based around a simple enough idea. Look at those two magnificent world leading, huge symbols of global power we are planning/building/putting to sea, do not ****** look at the escort “fleet” behind the grey curtain.

Lord Curzon

Absolutely. Both the Hood and Force Z in SE Asia were sunk because of strategic and procurement incompetence. At £1bn a boat the loss of a Type 45 would be a serious physical as well as reputational dent in the history of the Royal Navy.

Darren

Yes, HMS Hood needed a refit, and attention to compressed air system so flare back did not occur….

Desert Tortoise

ER is in development and I don’t think it is something that can be back fitted to older Poons. Block II+ maybe could be a back fit but by the time you refurbish everything else it starts to cost as much as a new weapon.

Samuel

The US are looking into a newer Anti-Ship Variant of the Tomahawk which if you replace the Sylver50 launcher for the strike length S70 will kill 2 birds with 1 stone having ASM and LAM capabilities. Since newer ASMs are supersonic and longer ranged, the Navy should look at equipping 2-6x OTO MELARA Strales guns for another close in defence layer before CIWS as these guns have a 10km range plus and are 76mm auto-cannons. The French and Italian Frigates that were produced as a result of PAAMS (which spawned the 45s) both carry 2 of these guns each. Guns are still useful in CQC situations and in situations where missile lock/radar lock is unachievable

Jim

How do you think guns are aimed if not for radar? If you can’t get a radar lock for missiles then your guns aren’t going to be of any use either. Unless you’re planning on eyeballing your shots, in which case that range advantage is basically pointless.

Gerard

You’d think the Navy would understand the deterrent part.

The first step of the 2SL doing something would have been having his boss complaining at least a little in public, not saying how its OK just one of those things.

Maybe Jones could sink Russian ships by having the RAF drop copies of press releases from the new Cardiff building saying how well things are going on them.

Farce Multiplier

“[…] canisters are relatively simple to bolt onto the deck in place of Harpoon.”

Meanwhile, the RN is spending millions on Mk 41 VLS for T26 with no plans to fill them with anything. Is it any wonder there is apparently no money when those in charge are unable to prioritise or compromise on anything?

“When the Type 23 Frigates decommission the interim missiles could be migrated to the Type 31 frigates.”

The RN would then have to pay to keep 2 types of ASM in service generating no long-term financial savings in missile commonality.

I find it hard to feel sympathy for RN anymore. There is not a shortage of money in the Defence budget. Competent leaders would find the money for ASM by stripping out the waste and inefficiency that is endemic.

Blaming politicians is all very easy, but we know they are idiots and always will be. It’s time those in uniform took responsibility for their own affairs and stopped passing the buck.

4thwatch

The problem is no one can be sure these joint projects with European partners will ever bear fruit. I think you will find that is why covering bases with Mk41 VLS is needed.

Gerard

Almost seems like a self fulfilling profacy, the French pull out as they look at us looking across the pond, one foot already wet. If your seen as all in from the get- go they may been more willing to put up the cash.

Even if a design partnership falls through you have a lot more going for you mid to long term. Just being a lowly customer (who will get really low production slots despite the special relationship and tier-one-super-fun-time-AAAA+ partner status) just means money leaving the shores again until EOL, rinse-repeat .

Chaffers

Meanwhile there are 57,000 civil servants in the MoD costing us well over £2 billion a year just in pay and pensions. If we could fire them at any potential enemy they would rapidly degrade any opposition Navy’s ability to fight by parasitically sucking all of their available funding away.

Modern ASMs also give you a precision land attack capability, something which could have great diplomatic as well as warfighting utility. The actual costs associated are relatively small in the grand scheme of things, provided you don’t prioritise and second breakfasts for civilian staff.

Simon

Haha-Budgets is always what we end up getting back to. The sad reality is that our defence budget has kept on shrinking, and at 2% of GDP, I am not surprised HMG so often turns around and says things similar to, “there is no budget for replacing Harpoon”. https://twitter.com/NavyLookout/status/803157987191713792 Shows this drama clearly. We MUST increase this, lets see a politician with some balls and state we need to be paying at least 2.5%, perhaps this would ensure we can actually give all the good boats we have on the drawing board decent dependable weaponry needed to properly protect our carriers and our personnel.

Chaffers

We don’t spend 2%

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3550904/Defence-spending-includes-foreign-aid-pensions-Ministers-accused-fiddling-books-ensure-Britain-met-Nato-target.html

They just shift the goalposts. They include almost £10 billion of foreign aid in the 2%, in other words paying people not to shoot at us.

Also the 200,000 people ( a quarter of them lazy civil servants plotting new bungles) paid from the defence budget all pay tax. They never see the money, it never leaves the treasury effectively.

Pompeyblokeinoxford

Lazy civil servants? Based on what?

Grubbie

Having been one

Gerard

Even as someone who is not CS I take offence to the lazy slur. It takes a huge amount of effort to oversee such failure while still finding a way to justify your employment and deflect all blame.

Incompetent absolutely but not lazy.

I think we would be best served increasing wages to close to private sector rate (benefits taken into consideration) at every MOD level and make everyone reapply for their positions with only 1/2 – 2/3 of the positions available outside candidates welcome so the same toxic conditions aren’t allowed to take hold again . Save money and get rid of the dead weight, improved moral and conditions for those that are worth keeping.

The rest can go back to whatever foreign intelligence agency or ditch digging level job they belong at.

Pompeyblokeinoxford

Then who would do their job? Expensive officers? Already mentioned is decisions made by those who know that they will not be in post much longer than 2 years hence.

Grubbie

The RN has stuffed itself for a generation by building 2 big carriers, eyes bigger than their stomachs. It’s never too late to back out of a bad idea.
The hogging story has reimerged, brought up this time by sharky Ward.Far too much smoke for there to be no fire.
I would rather have long range asm on merlin than on ships if I had to choose,much more difficult for the enemy to predict.

Simon

The carriers are essential-the only good decision taken by Cameron (to keep both). Not having the (or any) carriers at all was the stupidity.
The Merlin idea is then bound by reliance on mechanics/maintenance and the machine being able to get airborne, i.e.; its not all-weather.

Grubbie

Any potential enemies must laughing their heads off,2 big useless carriers and no asm to defend them.

4thwatch

When and if they do get tooled up the last laugh will be on our enemies right?

Chaffers

We’ve spent almost as much on 18 aircraft ( £5 Billion thus far) to fly off them as we did on the carriers themselves ( £6.2 Billion from memory?).

Quite how the Ministry of Silly Walks thinks we’re going to afford 138 of them….

And no before you ask we don’t have any ASMs for the F-35Bs either. That would cost more.

Gerard

As someone who was hoping for a a single class of 12 “commando carriers” (I know a realist) that could have taken the same amount of aircraft the QE are going to roll with and filled so many mores roles (Invincibles, Ocean, Albions) while being in more places. I can honestly say it doesn’t matter they will never be put in a situation where there may be in danger. To big and too scarce to fail.

If they get caught out I can only assume our plan is to surrender quickly or pray the cousins turn up quick.

Grubbie

Also too vulnerable, someone will probably sort them out while they are in a harbour

Pompeyblokeinoxford

Why did we go for the F35?

Gerard

Lots of reasons (mainly workshare and was offered as a replacement for all our aircraft). Which meant lots of savings on parts supplies and ground crew training etc.

Now though the B (which may be so different that the parts commonality may be out the window) will replace the Harrier, Protector will replace certain Tornado roles with Typhoon picking up the rest. Neither of the latter is ready though hence the Tornados life extensions.

Typhoon replacement is IDK but maybe Taranis or the Anglo/French successor to it will play a role there.

Any saving that may still be achieved with parts commonality will be eaten up in the fact the RAF will still have to keep hold of two different refeulling systems thanks to cheaping out on initial buys of other planes.

The B still has one advantage over conventional takeoff aircraft, it can still launch if the deck is warped. How much of a realistic advantage that adds is up for debate.

David Stephen

What is this “hogging ” story you speak of?

David Graham

What the ship experienced is what is known as still water bending moment [SWBM]. This is calculated because all ships when afloat experience pressure on the hull, whether they are at sea and affected by waves etc, or simply in port, loading or discharging, as it applies to commercial ships. Thus it affects all ships constructed in building docks, when they are floated out for the first time.

Depending on the distribution of weight within the hull, there will be a tendency to hog or sag when floating, and this factor should be calculated and allowed for by the designers. Obviously, it affects larger ships more than smaller vessels. Stress also builds up around openings, for example around hatch coamings in large bulk carriers, and in the case of aircraft carriers, around lift edges.

It is a known fact that the side lifts in QE were jammed once she was afloat. These had been installed and tested during building of the blocks, and were therefore known to work. l tried to obtain information about this when it became known, but at the time [autumn of 2014] there was a complete embargo on any information regarding the matter. Obviously, it is to be hoped that by now a solution has been found to rectify this problem.

I can therefore see no reason for Cdr McCartan-Ward, as an interested party, not to draw attention to it.

There are many technical papers available for study which explain hull stress, hogging, sagging etc in detail, and how they affect both ships in service, and ship construction and design.

Grubbie

Thanks a lot for explaining that. Oh F***, that sounds expensive and we haven’t been any where near any dynamic loads yet.

David Stephen

Never mind, I found it. Sharkey Ward is full of it. The ship has never been to sea yet so how the hell can it be suffering from hogging or any other issue caused by heavy sea states. Ward has always been a heavy critic of the carrier program and the F-35B. However most of his grumblings are nonsense. F-35B just completed trials on USS America in heavy weather with full loads. Royal Navy personel where aboard particapating. If Mr Ward bothered to check he would know this but instead prefers to sit around and make lazy and unjustified attacks on both the carrier and F-35B. As for too much smoke for no fire to be present, where is all the smoke? I can find nobody else who backs up Wards claims. Do you have any refrence for others who share this view?

Grubbie

Look around the Web and ther are several references to it going back a year or so. Also a rather ominous statement from the MoD saying something like” it’s a known problem, no big deal “.There are hints that something happened when floating her out of the dry dock. I can’t understand how this could happen either, that’s why I’m trying to find out.

David Graham

Reference Sharkey Ward: When he was involved in Corporate, he was a Lt-Cdr and CO of a squadron. He therefore flew fast jets earlier in his career from real carriers……….think Ark Royal IV, Eagle, Victorious etc. which means Phantoms [Ark only], Buccaneers, Scimitars, Sea Vixens etc. I think he served in the same squadron in Ark Royal as two friends who were Phantom pilots.

What he is drawing attention to is the inherent danger of recovering a 30 ton aircraft to a carrier by means of a rolling stop, using the aircraft brakes only. Any of you who have witnessed recovering aircraft by means of arrestor wires in marginal conditions, possibly in the dark, will see what he is getting at. No one else is doing this except the RN, and although trials were carried out years ago in Charles de Gaulle [actual landings using a modified Harrier] and in the channel using the Bedford Light Array set up in Illustrious [no actual landings as the deck area was too short], the proof of the pudding cannot take place until QE conducts sea trials in all weather conditions.

It cannot be compared to recent trials in USS America, because the USMC only land from the hover.

Both my friends [who prefer not to be named] expressed similar reservations, although perhaps in more moderate terms than Sharkey.

I’m a seaman, not an aviator, but I witnessed lots of recoveries in marginal conditions in the Far East in the 60s.

PS: I don’t know or have any contact with Sharkey Ward. I accept he is pretty acerbic at times, but his concern, as a former fast jet pilot, is, I believe, quite genuine.

Grubbie

I did wonder about that, it’s a lot of money to go rolling off the deck. Is there some sort of go around procedure that you know of? I’m assuming that the pilot would just ditch his/her stores and land vertically in difficult conditions.

Business Cat

So, for about £50m they could have the modern version of the Harpoon…..

Or in other words just 1/180th of the amount of the MOD budget that is actually foreign aid and is falsely booked as defence spending……

So, the money is very much there….. there is enough money to soak the ship in missiles.
This is down to politics and incompetence.

Grubbie

Never mind, explosives and rocket fuel are a bit of a health and safety hazard. It’s very difficult and expensive looking after them properly. Same thing with the gun at the front, you might easily end up hurting someone unless you are very careful.

David Stephen

I honestly don’t think it is anything to worry about. like I said Ward has an axe to grind and various other sources (usually reliable) give no hint of any such issues. You are right about the lack of ASMs leaving a gap in the carrier groups defences. I don’t think there is any way to avoid at least gapping the capability. I would prefer not to but the hope is to get LASRM for Type 26. So the best move is getting MK41 installed on Type 45 (along with engine upgrade) and on Type 31 (from build). That way we can buy a bunch of LASRM and load out ships as required. Upgrading and extending Harpoon won’t do as Type 26 needs VLS ASM and so will Type 31 if configured for MK41 (3rd option on BMTs website). There is no chance of spending the money on Harpoon and LASRM so we will need to bite the bullet and go without for a few years until New or refitted ships hit the water. On the plus side it will give LASRM and NSM a chance to fully develop and hopefully drop in price, maybe even enough that we can buy lots of them.

Richard

I think your response is delusional, and symptomatic of someone who doesn’t understand warfare. Would you advocate the RAF having no air to air capability? I suspect you may be an accountant who is happy to risk the lives of sailors to save a few £m, whilst spending thrice that on consultants

Richard

Ward has, in my mind credibility, much more than most of the defence establishment…he after all seen the effects of amateurs running the navy e.g. Sheffield going to war with no CIWS.

David Stephen

Try reading the post again. I don’t advocate it, I just don’t think we can avoid it. If Harpoon lasts until 2018 and Type 26/31 or even refitted Type 45s are at sea by 2023 then that’s going to have to do. An interim solution would only be for 5 years and eat in to any budget for future missiles. Gapping the Harpoon replacement does not mean losing all anti ship capability, just a heavy ASM. We will still have light air launched weapons and SSNs. In what way is anything I said delusional? There is not an unlimited budget. Ignoring the cost implications of your demand for a solution, it is you who come across as delusional. This being the case I don’t care if your (delusional mind) thinks Ward is credible or not.

Richard

The cost per missile is miniscule compared to the cost of other programs..just depends on priorities. How high a priority is keeping our sailors and carriers safe? What lightweight alternatives are you suggesting as there are none, whilst 2 SSNs aren’t ubiquitous. Why are we the only navy to think its ok not to have ASU weapons? It’s called incompetence.

David Stephen

I am aware of the missiles costs. It does not matter if they cost 4p per missile, if we do not have that extra 4p then we cant afford the missiles. FASGW project will deliver Martlet (light) & Sea Venom (heavy) for use on Wildcat by 2018/20. Also we have seven SSNs. As to keeping the carriers safe, a 200km range ASM is a poor second choice to F-35B striking the enemy surface vessel from beyond that range or indeed Sea Venom delivered from a helo launched from an escort even further down threat. It is also worth remembering that short of WW3 rules of engagement will likely require visual identification before weapons release, therefore limiting surface launched ASMs but not so much air launched. We don’t think its ok to have no ship launched ASM. We intend to remedy the problem when the funds are available. There are lots of other things I would like to see money spent on possible even before Harpoon replacement, like some V-22 for air to air refuelling of F-35B or uplifting the stored Merlins to HM2 standard (minus ASW suite) to cover the AEW role but the money is not there at the moment.

Richard

Sea venom not in till 2020, RN doesn’t have enough crew for 7 SSNs (6 actually as Torbay to decommission) = gross incompetence which means people could die! 1SL should either demand a replacement or resign.

4thwatch

The missile gap is inexcusable. You need to be able to think like your enemy and the Russians are very good at this. I can think of innumerable ways in which I could cause immense harm to our Navy; chiefly by asymmetric warfare. Its never a subject to discuss too openly but its a fact if you leave gaps you will more often than not get caught out. Keeping your fingers crossed is no excuse when hundreds of lives are at stake.

Chaffers

I agree with you, apparently being skeptical about the costs and capability of the F-35 makes you a dangerous nutter who knows nothing.

I don’t know about the hogging bit but Ward’s observations about SRVL landings seem like common sense. Twenty tonnes of aircraft still generating lift and vertical thrust hitting a wet rolling, heaving, pitching and yawing deck at 70 miles an hour with only three very small wheel brakes to stop it within a couple of hundred feet sounds….. A bit roger dodge to me! He would know.

Frankly though if you point out that the emperor has no clothes you aren’t going to make many friends, especially when there are 57,000 useless bastard civil servants who seem to spend all day defending the MoD’s latest hilarious cock up on the internet rather than working for a living.

Frankly if they decided our ships should set to see without propellers you’d find the same people defending the decision with the same arguments. No other Navy is ‘having a capability holiday’ from ASMs, in fact most seem to think them more important than ever particularly the USN.

David Stephen

The same US navy that has brought the world the LCS disaster, the Zumwalt disaster and the Ford, a $14 billion carrier that cant launch aircraft. Plenty of other navys have gaps in their capabilities. Few nations have an amphibious capability, we do. Few nations have 7 or 6 SSNs. We simply cant afford everything we need/want. What are you talking about in regard to being classed a dangerous nutter. I don’t recall saying that and I don’t see anyone else saying it. We where discussing ASMs. Oh and Ward would not know as he has not flown a combat aircraft since the Harrier, a very different aircraft to F-35B.

Chaffers

Ward knows a bit about carrier ops, rather foolish of you to think otherwise.

Rather disingenuous to say he has an axe to grind too, I would expect any ex serviceman to speak out where he sees danger, though I doubt this is the axe you are referring to.

David Stephen

He may know carrier ops but that is different from knowing carrier ops with a new aircraft type and landing technique. I don’t mind him pointing out a genuine concern but just because he flew the Harrier doesn’t mean he knows more than the guys building, testing, flying or buying the F-35B. In regard to the “hogging” stuff, well like I said he if full of it.

Chaffers

The people buying the F-35 are the MoD, and we all know how stupid they are. It’s equally stupid to disparage and write off the views of an experienced naval aviator when he raises safety concerns.

As for you ‘don’t mind him’, what a precious little cupcake you are.

David Graham

Sorry, but to write off still water bending moment by stating Ward id “full of it” is to completely fail to understand the significance of the problem. All he is doing is commenting on the phenomenon, and I can assure you that the lifts were jammed.

I have a friend who is a former nuclear submarine engineer, who spoke to former colleagues who, reluctantly, confirmed the problem before any discussion [of it] was embargoed by the ACA.

The problem was possibly the result of a miscalculation of the weight distribution in the vessel before she was floated out. There has been absolutely no information released about it that I have seen.

As to the rolling landing issue, it’s worth noting that the Chinese, Russians and Indians, whose navies operate similar aircraft all use arrestors when recovering aircraft. The proof of whether the system works is not whether the approach guidance is good, bad or indifferent [I understand it is excellent], but how controllable a 30 tonne aircraft is when on the deck and braking to a standstill, and this will not be apparent until QE runs sea trials with embarked aircraft.

4thwatch

I fail to understand why the QE class don’t have arresters. It seems like its a PC decision. The deck layout is a throwback of 70 years. At the root of it I simply don’t think anyone at the MOD has understood the needs and purpose of a fighting Navy for decades.

Skyler

Huh. Where have all the brains gone??!!!! Literally! This is coming from your concerned friends across the pond. Here’s a revolutionary (pun not Intended and I didn’t vote for Trump) idea; why not ask your closest Ally, the USA for help. Chances are, we might say yes. I know there are counterarguments, but this we can he!p you with. We could let you borrow a few missiles, help train your F-35 pilots, etc. Seriously p!ease, when your No. 1 ally also starts questioning whether you are making wise decisions with your navy, that is when you should be really, already worried.

David Stephen

I would always welcome additional US help but you guys have some budget issues as well. You are already helping us big time with training of aircrew and deck handlers on board US carriers and embedded crew on board your MPAs. I think the plan may be to tag on the back of US navy orders for LASRM or whatever gets built instead just like we do for Tomahawk.

Chaffers

Lol, one minute you are slagging the USN off in your comment below…

“The same US navy that has brought the world the LCS disaster, the Zumwalt disaster and the Ford, a $14 billion carrier that cant launch aircraft. ”

Where have all the brains gone indeed.

David Stephen

No, just pointing out that that the US navy just like the RN is not perfect. Your comment suggested that as the US navy thinks ASMs are very important and therfore must be true. I pointed out that the US navy is just as capable of making poor decisions as the RN. Both services have to work with reduced budgets and cannot afford everything that they or you want. The RN has decided to gap surface launched ASMs for hopefully only a few years. The US navy has on the other hand allowed its MCM capabilities to attrophy as they have concentrated spending on other higher priorities. None of this means the RN or US navy wants to gap or downgrade capabilities but if the taxpayer is unwilling to fund increased defence spending then choices have to be made. The RN has never fired a Harpoon in anger and think they can go without for a few years to help fund other critical projects. The US navy has not had to conduct MCM in any meaningfull way for a long time so decided to concentrate on other priorities. You are obviosly a incapable of grasping an incredibly simple premise. You are also a rather disagreeable little troll. So everyone at the MOD is stupid but you are not? Is everyone in the Pentagon stupid as well? As to being precious, you are the the one with his panties in a bunch, making you incapable of conducting a grown up conversation. You have contributed precisly nothing to this discussion. I can tell you where the brains definatley did not go, anywhere near your head.

Chaffers

“So everyone at the MOD is stupid but you are not? Is everyone in the Pentagon stupid as well?”

Actually my point was that no other Navy in the world thought ASMs to be optional, with the USN highlighting their importance recently.

So it’s you and the world famously incompetent MoD spouting spurious bollocks versus, well the rest of the world’s navies really.

Just read Skyler’s reaction above. It is one of concern rather the more normal ‘laughing their bollocks off at the MoD’s latest cock up’ though you appear quite determined to provide the Comical Ali commentary.

Unfortunately I don’t think everyone at the MoD is stupid. Frankly they are world class, utterly brilliant, at lining their own nests and ensuring the needs of civil servants come well before the needs of the front line.

They are also brilliant at never taking responsibility for anything, nothing is ever their fault and no-one ever gets sacked, no matter how many people die from their incompetence.

The MoD was meant to cut another 17,000 staff. That would pay for any ASM in the world ten times over. Will it happen or will the civil service prioritise keeping their chaps in a job?

I think we all know the answer.

RICHARD

You are clearly either an accountant or politician who has little understanding of the priorities needed to keep a warship effective. Just because no HArpoon’s been fired in anger doesn’t mean we won’t need them in the next 2-3 years…no-one has a crystal ball. At a time when RU are rearming and building up their capabilies we are reducing ours whilst talking tough…in military circles you need to be able to walk the walk if you want to talk tough. Interesting that even the Israeli’s, Koreans and Egyptians see the need to upgrade/ acquire which seems common sense..Something the RN top brass and MOD folk are missing

4thwatch

Just seen MBDA are going ahead with supersonic cruise missile development. However it will not be in service till 2030! We have been asleep and let the Ruskis get a 10 year + lead.
We simply must have a better system of long term procurement in Defence development and equipment.

csm

This entire problem stems from the Type 45s and the sylver vls, like with VHS & Blu-rays the mk41 has won the adoption war. So that every missile produced will be designed for or be adabtable for that system.

Subsequently, we are currently locked out from these cheap off the shelf missiles. Which could in the future be used in parallel with our highly capable and much more expensive Asters and Perseus missiles.

Subsequently, we need to spend money to save money in the long run. And perhaps more importantly, we need to spend this money to ensure the success of the aircraft carrier program. If we don’t have viable escorts capable of anti-ship warfare than we are not going to use our carriers to their full potential or perhaps even worse.

Richard

Even the Spanish OPVs will be better armed that all the RN warships put together. This decision is an open invite to Spain/ anyone else that the RN is a joke

4thwatch

Its Official- The RN is now a joke. Gilbert and Sullivan would have produced a Pirates of Penzance 2 on the situation.
Just watching ‘Admiral’ Jones having to spin the shortcomings is embarrassing.
An emergency now catches us in the middle of a complete meltdown.
HMS Ocean scheduled to be sold to Brazil.
A complete lack of offensive strike by surface or by air.
A submarine fleet of minimal proportions.
A clapped out RFA.
Reduced Royal Marines.
Type 45’s……
Oh why bother no one is …………

Darren

When are we going to purchase 3m22 Zircon?

Darren

Why cannot western nations purchase Russian equipment?

Darren

Whilst everyone is in agreeance with a new anti ship missle capable of mach 10 (China aparently has a missle that can do this. I don’t know if that is at the end of the flight), the need for a first class system that can kill ballistic and hyper sonic missles (anything coming at a ship from the air) has to be top priority too.

Mark

Earl Howe’s illustrious ancestor will be turning in his grave listening to this inexcusable drivel. We need a new political pressure group to fight those Tory MPs in marginal seats who won’t stand up to the dismembering of this country’s defence capability.

4thwatch

So here we are standing on the brink of a serious showdown in Korea with no apparent steps to redress five crucial deficiencies.
1. The impending retirement of Harpoon with no replacement ordered.
2. The lack of any RAF or Fleet Air Arm missile to attack and sink surface vessels.
3. The lack of an anti surface vessel missile on the Merlin helicopter.
4. the lack of a deployed or planned ABM system on RN warships.
5. the lack of the Boeing P8.
These 5 deficiencies are absolutely critical in the face of today’s naval threats . There should be an immediate Parliamentary enquiry into why this situation has been allowed to develop. It is now an impossibility for the RN to face down independently virtually any adversary without full Nato or US support.
I would argue that for the money spent we have the worst prepared war fighting Naval Force in the world.
We are hopelessly unprepared. It has been as a result of criminal neglect.

John Fleming

Worry! it is actually worse than that.

Henryv

National disgrace, truthful the Brass are more bothered about their pensions than the Fleet, Glas my day’s have gone.

Desert Tortoise

Harpoon ER and Harpoon Block II+ are both in development now for the US Navy.

Ryan

Saudi Arabia: