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Despite all the hard work that goes into getting ships ready for deployments, issues like this can arise at any time as is the case here. It is very unfortunate, but not insurmountable to rectify, or, if it is then another unit will be tasked as a replacement(Dragon) What it does highlight is the lack of assets/options available to the RN (only Dragon available), something for the powers to be to seriously consider when deciding on the budget for T83s!!!


As ever, the Treasury has the final word…


Not the HM Treasury but the tax payers always has the final word.

Rob N

Oh that odd. I thought the politicians had the last word ignoring the tax payers until they need to be re-elected…

Meirion X

Quite right, true!


The Royal Navy should never have fewer than eight (8) destroyers in its order of battle. Never. And really, it ought to be more like ten.

mr patrick f burke

Totally agree.

Darren Sharrocks

No taxpayer’s money the govt can fund 100 destroyers but does not want to. Tax pays for nothing, except council tax, income tax et al takes money out of the economy.

Last edited 2 years ago by Darren Sharrocks

We’re currently procuring type 31 frigates with a very low end weapons fit – which are based on a fairly capable AIr defence frigate design. Could the RN order a sub-class of say 4 type 31s (type 46?) fitted out with VLS mirroring the Iver Huitfeldt but with radar appropriate for Sea Viper? They wouldn’t be as capable as T45 but they would give hull nos and they would be an attractive re—sale option to a third rank navy when type 83 came along… and, speaking in public finance terms, having demonstrated the need to make an additional procurement (to protect the major capital asset that is the carriers) would be a compelling argument for procurement of a sensible number (at least 8) of the latter.

Tim Hirst

Yes they could.


These would be much much more expensive than the T31. You would likely be looking at £2B plus for a class of 4. Where would you find the money from? The cabinet already thinks the MoD is generously funded, that’s why they stuck it with the bill for the “trade mission ship”. So to build this class, which wouldn’t happen untill the later 20’s you would need to cut some other project. What would you cut?


You’re right of course and I think with the current Govt mindset the armed forces will only get what they’ve been ‘promised’ if they are very lucky.

But I am public sector myself and I’ve funded my share of sizeable capital projects. And if I were making the pitch to Treasury it would be something like “we’re all Keynsians now, but we live in a free trade world – so the problem is that public investment can leak overseas… however, spending on defence can stay in the UK, and fund high value jobs, ( possibly in marginal constituencies) and build export capacity, and reduce unit costs of our defence assets, and keep strategic industries in being – preventing Type 83 or 32 or whatever being late and overbudget. And those Type 46s could even sell to others who found the Type 45 over-specced…”
It makes more sense than ordering batch 2 rivers did at stupid money apiece. But we all know it won’t happen…

Tim Hirst

Mite work.

Re the B2 Rivers, they weren’t stupid money. They actually only cost the materials and equipment. The money was to pay BAe to keep the Clyde yards open and staffed waiting for an agreement to allow the start of the T26 build.


The River’s made sense from a continuity perspective as you say but the lack of a hangar and helicopter makes them all but useless for the patrol, humanitarian and SAR missions that they were supposed to undertake in place of a frigate.
I’d have rather we spent the same money but built 4 ships with a hangar rather than 5 without.


In many ways I agree, we could have got possibly something like the Khareef class corvette for the same overall price as a batch 2 OPV. I wonder which of the two is the best £ for £ ship. I think the avarage price for a Batch 2 with spares and support is £127 million each, a Khareef with its 76mm, 2×30 mm, 12 VL-Mica SAM, 8 Exocet and a hanger for a Wildcat was £133 million per ship plus spares and support. Which would a fighting navy rather have? I really wish a politcian can explain that one to me, especially as they are both built by BAE and both based on the same design.

Humpty Dumpty

Exactly, the Batch 2 Rivers are a complete rip-off when you look at the similarly priced, far superior Khareef class. And the Type 31s are a complete rip-off when you look at the Iver Huitfeldt class they’re based on. Spending money on ludicrously underarmed and underdefended ships has got to stop.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty
Meirion X

An River OPV does Not Need a hangar, as No permanent helicopter is attached to it. It only has a landing pad for emergency use only. It is rare for corvettes to operate helo’s from them, as well!

I see the River’s are performing in their roles well, contrary to what you say!

Last edited 2 years ago by Meirion X
Humpty Dumpty

What roles are the Rivers performing well? Fisheries protection? 42m customs cutters could do that job at a fraction of the cost. They cost just over £4 million a pop back in the early 2000s.

Batch 2 Rivers could and should be upgraded into corvettes. The Khareef class corvette has a hangar. The Batch 2 Rivers would be far more effective with a hangar. A permanently embarked Wildcat could be fitted with Martlet/LMM and Sea Venom missiles as well as Sting Ray torpedoes and depth charges. A Merlin could be fitted with torpedoes and depth charges.

Batch 2 Rivers could possibly be fitted with the Krait Defence System:

Then Rivers could be used to escort commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf.

Type 31s should be built to a much higher spec so they can form part of a carrier group.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty

Hooray, at last someone acknowledges the lack of a hanger space (achieved by splitting exhaust uptakes outboard). For an OPV, a hanger is one of the most utilisable spaces on board such vessels, aircraft embarked or not.

Meirion X

How often have you seen a helo landing on an OPV?

If so, how long did it stay for?

An even better question for you, would be, what would you cut to pay for hangers on OPV’s?

Last edited 2 years ago by Meirion X

I think helo usage of the OPV in the Carribean is quite common – I forget now which ship it is. In any case, what would be nice, at the very least, is if we could routinely equip out OPVs with a couple of UCAVs (e.g. FireScout/S-100 with Martlet). Relatively cheap for a half-decent expansion in the patrol ships capabilities. A cheaper retractable hangar cover could also be fitted rather than a permanent one. Again wouldn’t cost that much.

Humpty Dumpty

How WEREN’T the Batch 2 Rivers stupid money? Ridiculously expensive 2,000 tonne, 90m long vessels whose only armament is a 30mm cannon, miniguns and GPMGs? And no helicopter hangar. That is absolutely idiotic and laughable.

The Batch 2 Rivers could (and should) be corvettes, not OPVs.

All the Rivers are currently capable of is fishery protection duties, which 42m customs cutters from Damen could perfom at a fraction of the cost. Just £4 million a pop back in the early 2000s. Give them a 30mm cannon and some GPMGs and job done.

Rivers upgraded to corvette standard would be capable of escorting commercial vessels in the Persian Gulf instead of Type 31s.

And upgraded T31s would be capable of operating as part of a carrier group.

We could (and should) make FAR better use of the assets we have.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty
Humpty Dumpty

Oh please. We’ve built two carriers costing nearly £8 billion, Type 45s and Astutes. We’ve bought F-35s and will be buying more. We’re building two more Astutes, we’re building Type 26s and will be building T31s, T32s and T83s. Does it look like we’re short of money?

The problem is that we spend the money we do have on the wrong things.

I’d forget carrier groups and focus instead on extremely long-range aircraft to fire long-range anti-ship missiles and land attack missiles from beyond the range of enemy defences. Far cheaper than a carrier group, far more effective and far less risky.

Also build more SSNs and start building diesel-electric AIP subs and sub-hunting UUVs.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty
mr patrick f burke

The mod does not know how to budget, period.


that may well be the t32 spec, we just don’t know

My understanding is that the “bath tub” in the centre of T31 is remaining, so in theory they could be unarmed very quickly with some stanflex modules and Mk41.

not sure how accurate this is now, though, but was part of the original plans for very little change to the huitfeldt plans.


Agree on the T31 weapons fit which leaves them as the worlds largest OPV’s which can only operate independently in low threat environments where there is no ASW, mine, SSM or air threat.
While the 24 CAMM announced for the T45 last week was welcome, I’d have rather seen that money spent on putting a sonar and 12 extra CAMM on the T31 so that it can be deployed in medium threat environments and actually be of some use.


While the 24 CAMM announced for the T45 last week was welcome, I’d have rather seen that money spent on putting a sonar and 12 extra CAMM on the T31 so that it can be deployed in medium threat environments and actually be of some use.

hear hear !!

Luke Barnes

Yeah well, the type 45s 48 vls cells are a fairly limited fit for an anti air warfare vessel tasked with defending a carrier. Giving the carrier escorts the missiles they truly need is more important than being able to send a type 31 somewhere it probably shouldn’t be in the first place. Still. A sonar would’ve been welcome, and I would rather seen a mk 41 added to the type 45. Even one would’ve been more CAMMs and more options.

Humpty Dumpty

Yep totally agree about Mk41 VLS. I don’t think adding CAMMs to T45s are a particularly good idea, but if you ARE going to add them at least fit Mk41 which means CAMMs can be quad-packed and also means that VL-ASROC and TLAM can be fitted as well.

That said, the T45s really need a way to take out ballistic anti-ship missiles and CAMMs don’t provide that capability.


A mix of full-sized mk.41 for cruise missiles & ExLS for Sea Ceptor, as you can still fit 4 CAMMs in those, without the size & weight implications of the mk.41 systems.

The addition of the Sea Ceptors will mean all 48 Slyver cells can be for the longer-range Aster 30 missiles, which can hopefully be upgraded to the NT standard (at least some of them) which will allow for intercepting ballistic missiles.

Still no word on how they’d fare against hypersonic missiles though. I’m guessing not well.

Humpty Dumpty

When you say cruise missiles I presume you mean TLAM. If a carrier group is staying out of reach of DF-26s, Kinzhals or H-6 bombers with DF-21s then TLAM wouldn’t have the range to reach land. We need a ship-launched land attack missile that outranges all these missiles.

What’s the point of CAMM missiles? AFAIK they’ve only been test against a subsonic Mirach drone. A BAE Mk110 57mm gun would be able to deal with subsonic missiles, would be cheaper than CAMM and you’d have far better magazine depth.

What the T45s really need is SM-3, SM-6 and Aster 30 Block 1NT. As well as Dragonfire, 1+ megawatt chemical lasers, laser dazzlers, ship-based microwave weapons, a ship-launched version of CHAMP missiles and a 5-inch gun to fire HVPs, all of which would make the T45s more survivable against saturation attacks. They’re meant to be dedicated AAW ships, yet they’re woefully underarmed for a war with Russia or China. Plus replace Phalanx with a modern CIWS, fit anti-torpedo torpedoes and replace Harpoon with a missile that outranges Kalibr, Oniks and YJ-18.

Aster 30 Block 1NT can only deal with certain ballistic missiles, not the high altitude ones SM-3 is designed to take out. We also desperately need to develop a way to take out the mobile land-based ballistic anti-ship missile launchers.

Manoeuvrable hypersonic missiles would be especially hard to shoot down with missiles. All the more reason for other methods that don’t rely on missiles. Of course it’s better to take out the archer than the arrows, i.e. take out the missile launchers as well as the runways that aircraft carrying long-range anti-ship missiles would take off from. Of course both require far longer ranged land attack missiles than TLAM.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty

The common theme between the DF-21, DF-26 & KH-47, is they’re all ballistic missiles, and if you’re waiting on a cruise missile that’s going to outrange them, especially the DF-26, you’re going to be waiting for an awfully long time (basically forever). That’s basically fantasy land territory, unless we’ve recently discovered some kind of alien nuclear propulsion for cruise missiles… Well, there is actually 1 such missile, the 9M730, it’s nuclear powered… and nuclear armed, because you can’t really call it a conventional weapon if you’re strapping a bomb onto a nuclear reactor and flying it into someone’s country… Obviously, it’s Russian.

The only way would be to create a ballistic missile, but 1) they’re flipping huge! Way bigger than anything that could fit on a modern destroyer (the DF-21 is roughly 11m long & 15 tonnes… and the DF-26 is meant to be significantly larger than that).
And 2) we probably wouldn’t use a ballistic missile as a conventional weapon (especially to be fired into a country, rather than at their ships in the middle of the ocean) in case it triggered their early warning systems, being mistaken for a pre-emptive first strike & accidentally triggered nuclear war.

Actually, I was talking about whatever missile is available in 2030, or whenever these ships are getting their extra VLS (no point deciding on a legacy missile nearly a decade before the ships are ready). The MoD has said that the Type 26 will have their new anti-ship missiles by 2028, so we’ll see what the UK/Europe/USA come up with by then (but it’s not likely to have a range greater than 1,500 km, but it will likely be hypersonic).

I would agree that RIM-161s would be a very welcome addition to deal with the longer range ballistic missiles, that the Aster 30 1NT can’t deal with. But the RIM-174 doesn’t have a great enough performance margin over the 1NT to justify its insane cost, not if we had SM-3 to take out the very long range ballistic missiles in a dual layer system. That money could be better spent for example investing in getting the Type 26s some mk 50 Advanced Lightweight Torpedoes, or developing our own equal.

I could equally point out that the Royal (cheap-skate) Navy has only tested Aster against Mirach drones & that only the French have tested the Aster against supersonic cruise missiles & ballistic missiles… So that doesn’t mean that the CAMM missiles can’t take out supersonic missiles. ASRAAM, which is very similar to CAMM is certainly designed to take out supersonic targets, and I have no reason to doubt MBDA’s active radar seeker either. The navy just needs a bigger testing budget.

But say they were limited to subsonic… They’re still incredibly useful for dealing with saturation attacks. At the moment, 48 missiles (plus 8 harpoons) isn’t all that many, just look at the US destroyers, 96 VLS cells & many of those come with 4 ESSMs per cell, resulting in well over 100 missiles.

While the 57mm Bofors has a max range of 14-17km (for non-extended range ammo types), effective range against a surface target is meant to be around around 8.5km (probably longer with guided rounds, but those are only guided against ground targets). So effective range vs a manoeuvring air target… probably less than 5km. At that range, even a subsonic cruise missile like the KD-88 will cover that in about 17 seconds, giving a 57mm Bofors enough time to shoot down about 4 of them (because it’s limited to shooting at 1 at a time)… And that’s assuming the missiles are headed for the destroyer, not another ship like the carrier, which makes aiming much more difficult.

24 extra short-range AAMs would be able to deal with them 25km away & engage many more targets simultaneously, then if 1 or 2 get through, then there are far fewer for the CIWS (be that a 76mm, 57mm, 40mm, 45mm… or if it’s still going, the Phalanx).

Of the rest of those suggestions, a 5″ gun is a pipe dream since it’s about $50m each while being rock bottom of the priorities list. Most of what you are describing isn’t an upgrade to the Type 45s, but an entirely new ship (would probably be cheaper than to change all the things you’re suggesting too). And based on the time frame for just adding a few extra VLS cells, the new ship would probably be quicker to service too. The Type 83 is only about 15 years away at this point, which in terms of modern naval construction is really not that long, and any extra spent on T45 will only detract from what could be spent on its replacement (and the other ships of the fleet).

Humpty Dumpty

The overarching point of my comment, which seemed to completely pass you by, was that if a RN carrier group (or ANY carrier group for that matter) is staying out of the range of DF-26 or Kinzhal then it’s COMPLETELY IMPOTENT AND UTTERLY USELESS.

The carrier aircraft won’t have the range to reach land. Not even with the MQ-25 refuelling drone that can only fully refuel one F-35B and can’t even fully refuel one F-35C. This applies to ALL carrier aircraft: the F-35B, F-35C, Super Hornet, Growler and Rafale M. They’re all currently useless against Russia or China because of their lack of range.

(Also Kadena and other bases in the region will be attacked in the first hour of a war, damaging or destroying aircraft on the ground such as F-35As, F-22s, AEW&C aircraft, dedicated EW aircraft and tankers. Any aircraft that aren’t hit won’t be able to take off because the runway will have been cratered. These airbases require multi-layered defences using missiles and other methods. They should also use dispersal, multispectral camouflage, hardened hangars and deception (e.g. dummy hangars) to make aircraft more survivable. And don’t put hangars in a straight line all next to each other – that’s idiotic. Spread them out, disperse them across an airbase and camouflage them. Same goes for fuel and ammo dumps. Have multiple small ones, don’t have all your fuel and ammo in one location. Also use multispectral camouflage to make control towers harder to detect and take out. Build multiple runways and multiple control towers for redundancy.)

TLAM (assuming ships even have it) won’t have the range to reach land.

Harpoon is outranged by Kalibr, Oniks and YJ-18 (and soon Zircon).

VL-ASROC (again if ships have it) is outranged by the Russian Type 65 torpedo for example, so subs can fire Type 65s from beyond the range of VL-ASROC, which is far from ideal (a) because no Western ships have anti-torpedo torpedoes and (b) if ASW helicopters can’t get airborne because of the weather/sea state, maintenance/repairs or sick crew members then a ship is highly likely to get hit by a torpedo.

Our Type 23s only have Sting Ray torpedoes, which has a pathetic range of just 11km. They’re meant to be dedicated ASW ships, yet don’t even have VL-ASROC. Even VL-ASROC is inadequate in this day and age though; we need an anti-ship missile with a range of 100+ km that contains a long-lived and fast torpedo to hunt down subs, ideally fitted with LIDAR to complement active sonar.

SSTD is a soft-kill system. Modern torpedoes can filter out decoys and I don’t think wire-guided torpedoes can be decoyed period. Wake-homing torpedoes are especially hard to deal with. The sooner Western ships get anti-torpedo torpedoes and depth charges the better. We also need to invest heavily in R&D to develop other ways to detect and take out torpedoes. LIDAR might be a possibilty. Maybe a modern take on old-school torpedo nets as well? Possibly an electrically based system to burn out a torpedo’s electronics (if such a thing is possible under water)?

Would fitting ships with acoustic tiles below the waterline help? Also ALL ships (including RFA support ships) should have CODLOG propulsion, rafted engines and an acoustically quiet hull (like the Type 26 frigates will have). I’ve read that the Type 45 is especially noisy. It’s pointless building ships that cost £1 billion (or more) and then skimp on measures that will make them hard to detect in the first place. You can have “cheap” ships (not that £1 billion is especially cheap) or you can have survivable ships. You can’t have both.

No Western ships have anti-torpedo torpedoes, while some Russian ships are fitted with the Paket-NK system. Why aren’t we testing existing systems to see if they work as advertised?

Currently sending a carrier group up against either Russia or China would be completely pointless and almost certainly suicidal.

The only Western assets imo that would currently be any use against Russia or China would be SSNs, diesel-electric AIP subs and long-range aircraft firing long-range stand-off ordnance like the Tomahawk Block Va anti-ship missile, LRASM, JASSM-ER and JASSM-XR. And if you’ve got THOSE assets you don’t even need a carrier group in the first place. Well, not unless you want to get troops ashore and we’re not planning on invading Russia or China.

If we bought Airbus A350s and converted them into military aircraft they could presumably carry dozens of anti-ship and/or land attack missiles. They’d have far greater range than ANY carrier aircraft and could carry FAR more ordnance as well; enough ordnance to OVERWHELM enemy defences. Throw some EW missiles into the mix and missiles would be even more likely to hit their targets, so fewer would presumably need to be used to successfully overwhelm targets.

The A350s would be able to fire missiles from beyond the range of ship-based SAMs and land-based SAMs. Tomahawk Block Va, unlike LRASM, could also be fired from beyond the range of enemy carrier aircraft (even when the new Chinese carriers with cats & traps are built).

That said, the Tomahawk Block Va anti-ship missile could do with being stealthy with the guidance sophistication of LRASM, LRASM could do with being much longer ranged and both missiles (as well as JASSM-ER/JASSM-XR) would be more likely to hit their targets I’d have thought if they could accelerate in their terminal phase.

Developing EW variants of these missiles would make sense as well.

In fact a JASSM variant that’s even longer ranged than JASSM-XR would make sense as well since it would allow A350s and other long-ranged aircraft to fire land attack ordnance from beyond the range of long-ranged ground-based fighters such as the J-20 with a combat range of 2,000km plus a range of approx 300km for its BVR AAMs.

The only threat the A350s would possibly face (once carriers have been sunk or mission-killed) would be from long-range land-based fighters, but they could be made harder to detect by fitting them with the Arexis EW pod for example and/or by developing a dedicated state-of-the-art EW variant of the A350 (which would be useful in all sorts of other missions as well with its long range/endurance).

We could even develop a refuelling variant of the A350 to give our F-35Bs (and land-based fighters) enough range to accompany the A350s on land attack missions and to protect the A350s from land-based fighters, although the sooner our F-35Bs get Meteor instead of AIM-120 the better. AIM-120 is too easy to thart BVR.

Our F-35Bs could also do with BriteCloud and ASRAAM or IRIS-T instead of AIM-9X, since AIM-9X can be fooled by old Soviet flares:

In fact A350s could carry a lot of IRIS-Ts and these missiles would be especially useful because, unlike other AAMs, they can shoot down AAMs (and SAMs).

If A350s were fitted with GaN AESA radar, an EW/ESM/ECM/RWR/MAWS suite, an F-35-style DAS system, an IRST system, a DIRCM system, a towed radar decoy, Meteor, IRIS-T and BriteCloud maybe they could protect themselves without the need for fighter support? They could certainly carry far more air-to-air missiles than an F-35B could. And in the not too distant future they could probably carry laser and microwave weapons for self-defence. I also wonder if a weapon firing airburst ammo that sends out hundreds of tungsten projectiles could be developed to take out AAMs and SAMs?

That said, I’d like to see a longer-ranged variant of Meteor be developed to outrange any current or planned Russian or Chinese AAMs. Meteor will be getting AESA radar as the result of collaborative work with Japan. An IR seeker would also make sense imo to complement the radar. And if possible an IRST system.

“The common theme between the DF-21, DF-26 & KH-47, is they’re all ballistic missiles”

Is Kinzhal a ballistic missile? I thought it was a long-range hypersonic missile. Its flight ceiling is 20km (it doesn’t enter space) and it’s said to be manoeuvrable at every stage of its flight. Anyway, whatever, it’s long-ranged and a serious threat to all surface ships.

Even worse, carrier aircraft can’t take out aircraft carrying Kinzhal because it can be fired beyond their combat radius (even if MQ-25s were available). MQ-25s will have very limited usefulness and against peer nations like Russia or China will be completely useless. Spending loads of money fitting cats & traps to the QE and PoW would be completely pointless and would be far better spent on A350s and LOADS of anti-ship and land attack missiles instead. We don’t want to run out of missiles in a war, which has happened before more than once.

“and if you’re waiting on a cruise missile that’s going to outrange them, especially the DF-26, you’re going to be waiting for an awfully long time (basically forever)”

I wasn’t talking about cruise missiles specifically, I was talking about the West developing long-range missiles that outrange DF-21, DF-26 and Kinzhal, whether fired from land, aircraft, ships or subs.

It would also make sense for countries in Europe (especially eastern Europe) and countries near Russia and China in the western Pacific to buy Gripens because they can land on and take off from roads and be rearmed and refuelled in 10 minutes by a minimal ground crew. If accompanied by a dedicated EW aircraft they’d be very survivable. (And no I don’t work for Saab, it’s just that the Gripen concept is too sensible to ignore. My only criticism of the Gripen is that it could do with a higher service ceiling of 20,000 metres and a longer-ranged anti-ship missile than the RBS-15.)

Then like Sweden, these countries should develop a network of austere bases located near roads so that if airbases are taken out in the first hour of a war they can still get fighters airborne. Long term, countries should look at developing other aircraft with austere basing capability and fast turnaround times in terms of refuelling and rearming. These are the sort of aircraft that we need in a war against Rusia or China, especially since currently defending airbases isn’t considered a priority by the West and West-allied countries which is absolutely nuts.

It would also make sense to look into seaplanes, flying boats, amphibious aircraft and long-ranged tilt-rotors and helicopters (i.e. with a combat range of over 1,000km). The proposed Bell hybrid tilt-rotor/jet looks especially promising:

I don’t work for any of these companies, I just happen to think they’ve come up with good ideas that we should embrace.

It would also make sense to look into airships, both manned and unmanned. They don’t require runways, if fitted with flotation devices they could land on water, they have endurance measured in days or weeks, not hours, they’d be useful for ISTAR and communications capability if satellites have been taken out and they could carry a lot of anti-ship and land attack missiles. Or else we could build loads of smaller airships and create redundancy by fitting more airships with fewer missiles. Also airship A could potentially dock in the air with airship B to refuel and rearm it. Airships could also refuel tiltrotors and presumably F-35Bs since they can fly slow enough for this.

Basically any aircraft that doesn’t require a runway is going to be far more survivable than one that does:

“The only way would be to create a ballistic missile”

Exactly my point.

“but 1) they’re flipping huge! Way bigger than anything that could fit on a modern destroyer (the DF-21 is roughly 11m long & 15 tonnes…”

Um, last I checked destroyers are far longer and wider than 11m. The Type 45 has a beam of 21 metres, I don’t see what the issue is.

And in any case, a simple quick solution would be to buy cheap commercial vessels modified into arsenal ships rather than waiting for the Type 45 replacements to get built. We could buy loads of them for the cost of one destroyer and that would provide redundancy we don’t currently have. Sink or mission-kill 1 destroyer and a RN carrier group has lost 50% of its AAW capability. That is a very vulnerable position to be in.

Another possible solution would be to develop TELs for land-based ballistic missiles and simply drive them onto commercial ships. Don’t know how feasible this would be, I’m just thinking of possible solutions to get a system in place as cheaply and quickly as possible, because at present everything (missiles, ships, carrier aircraft) takes far too long to develop, build, test and deploy. China is building stuff so fast we can’t keep up. AIUI FC/ASW (if it ever gets built) is going to take a decade. Same goes for the TWISTER anti-ballistic missile system. It shouldn’t take a decade to build some damn missiles. That’s absolutely ludicrous.

“and the DF-26 is meant to be significantly larger than that”

Source? How long is it?

“And 2) we probably wouldn’t use a ballistic missile as a conventional weapon (especially to be fired into a country, rather than at their ships in the middle of the ocean) in case it triggered their early warning systems”

Maybe, but wouldn’t the same apply if ballistic missiles were fired at Kadena or Guam for example to take out aircraft and runways?

And in any case, (a) don’t early warning systems require human interaction? They don’t just fire off nuclear missiles willy-nilly and (b) surely back channels would be used to inform the enemy that the missiles on their way aren’t nuclear.

Also, MAD would still apply in such a scenario regardless of who fires nuclear weapons first, which should ensure restraint I would have thought. Low-yield tactical nuclear weapons might be used (especially to take out a carrier group), but high-yield ICBMs? I’d be very surprised if they’re ever used. And if they are, we won’t be around to worry about it anyway. And if by some miracle we do survive a nuclear attack, we’ll wish we hadn’t. Slow death by radiation poisoning and a nuclear winter don’t sound very appealing.

That said, if firing ballistic missiles at land IS considered too risky, the West and its allies could still fire JASSM-ER/JASSM-XR from long-range aircraft and fire TLAMs from subs. The US could still use ballistic missiles fired from Kadena, Guam and other bases in the region to take out ships at sea though (assuming it develops some).

“Actually, I was talking about whatever missile is available in 2030”

Well isn’t FC/ASW meant to replace Harpoon and TLAM in about a decade’s time? According to Wikipedia it’ll only have a range of 300 or so km, which is woefully inadequate, so as a ship-launched or aircraft-launched missile it’s obsolete before it’s even built.

And even as a sub-launched missile 300km is too close for comfort when you consider the combat range of ASW helicopters.

FC/ASW will be supersonic, which is good. It’ll be stealthy, which is good. And it’ll be able to carry two mini-missiles internally, which is good. But a range of about 300km? That’s not much more than Harpoon and far less than TLAM. What were they thinking/smoking?

“or whenever these ships are getting their extra VLS (no point deciding on a legacy missile nearly a decade before the ships are ready)”

Well TWISTER should be ready by the time the Type 45 replacements start coming into service and that would make perfect sense to fit:

TWISTER should also be deployed to airbases and other high-priority targets for self-defence (as well as other defences that don’t rely on missiles).

As for FC/ASW, a far longer ranged missile is required. It needs to considerably outrange TLAM and it needs to outrange Kalibr, Oniks, YJ-18 and Zircon. Zircon especially.

“The MoD has said that the Type 26 will have their new anti-ship missiles by 2028, so we’ll see what the UK/Europe/USA come up with by then (but it’s not likely to have a range greater than 1,500 km, but it will likely be hypersonic).”

Yet another example of things talking FAR too long to develop and build. The West really needs to pull its finger out. We’re wandering around in a daze, developing stuff at a ludicrously leisurely pace with absolutely no sense of urgency or danger. Meanwhile China is manufacturing war equipment at a furious pace. It’s already overtaken the US as the largest navy.

This new anti-ship missile will need to outrange Zircon especially. According to Wikipedia the range of Zircon will be
“>1,000 km (540 nmi; 620 mi)[5], 1,000 – 2,000 km depend [sic] on the type of target[6][7][8]”.

And whatever this anti-ship missile ends up being like, ideally F-35Bs will need to be able to carry it internally and Astutues will need to be able to fire it from torpedo tubes because they don’t have a VLS.

“I would agree that RIM-161s would be a very welcome addition to deal with the longer range ballistic missiles, that the Aster 30 1NT can’t deal with.”

A WELCOME addition? It’s absolutely ESSENTIAL. Without SM-3, Type 45s can’t shoot down DF-21 or DF-26.

Not sure about Kinzhal though. I don’t think any current Western missile is capable of shooting it down, hence why we need laser weapons, microwave weapons and guns that put a lot of tungsten projectiles into the path of an incoming missile using programmed airburst rounds. Such weapons would also provide a second layer of defence aginst DF missiles. As would SM-6 and/or Aster 30 Block 1NT.

“But the RIM-174 doesn’t have a great enough performance margin over the 1NT to justify its insane cost”

You’ve no way of knowing that.

We don’t know how SM-6 or Aster Block 1NT would perform against DF missiles because we don’t have equivalent missiles to test them against. Computer modelling isn’t the same thing as real-life testing in stringent, non-ideal conditions (e.g. at night in heavy rain and atrocious sea states). And in any case $4 million (approx £2.9 million) to protect ships costing £1 billion or more is a bargain imo.

Plus SM-6 has an estimated max range of 460km (far greater than that of Aster 30 Block 0 that Type 45s currently have), which would keep most aircraft at arm’s length so they can’t get close enough to fire anti-ship missiles in the first place (with the exception of aircraft firing Kinzhal). For that reason alone, a few SM-6s would be worth every penny imo.

And lastly SM-6 is far longer ranged than Harpoon and can be used as an anti-ship missile against ships that don’t have missiles as long ranged as Kalibr, Oniks, YJ-18 and Zircon. And no, I have no links with Raytheon whatsoever. I have no dog in this race.

“not if we had SM-3 to take out the very long range ballistic missiles in a dual layer system”

I’d fit SM-3 and SM-6 to Type 45s tomorrow if the decision were up to me, but neither missile represents a foolproof solution. Missiles can, and do, miss their targets. DF missiles can afford to miss, SM-3 and SM-6 can’t. Therefore we need other layers of defence against ballistic missiles (as well as long-range hypersonic missiles).

We also need a way to take out or otherwise neutralise the mobile land-based launchers that fire these missiles and a way to take out aircraft carrying Kinzhal before they can fire them. Always better to take out the archers rather than the arrows.

“That money could be better spent for example investing in getting the Type 26s some mk 50 Advanced Lightweight Torpedoes, or developing our own equal.”

The Mk50 only has a paltry range of 15km and in any case I have serious doubts about the ability of ASW ships and ASW helicopters to detect modern quiet subs with acoustic tiles, and especially diesel-electric AIP subs.

I think active and passive sonar has reached the limits of its capability as the Gotland exercises clearly demonstrated.

We need new better methods to detect subs: LIDAR, satellites and/or long-endurance drones detecting sub wakes, more sensitive diesel-sniffing tech and analysing how subs affect marine life, especially bioluminescent creatures.

Maybe more sensitive active and passive sonar combined with more sophisticated and powerful computer processing and analysis will give sonar a new lease of life, but when even SSBNs can’t even detect each other I’m not exactly filled with confidence:

Also sub collisions and groundings aren’t uncommon:

Why subs don’t have automatic laser-based proximity sensors I have no idea, but surely all these incidents demonstrate that sonar isn’t what it’s cracked up to be?

“I could equally point out that the Royal (cheap-skate) Navy has only tested Aster against Mirach drones & that only the French have tested the Aster against supersonic cruise missiles & ballistic missiles…”

I’m only aware of a CAMM test against a subsonic Mirach drone and a French Aster 30 Block 0 test against a sea-skimming Coyote target flying mid-supersonic.

I’m not aware of any Aster tests against Mirach drones – do you have a link for that?

And I’m not aware of any Aster tests against ballistic missiles. Got a link?

Aster 30 Block 0 isn’t designed to shoot down ballistic missiles, that’s what Aster 30 Block 1NT is for. And Aster 30 Block 2 BMD if it ever gets built, but it looks like the TWISTER project may supercede it.

“So that doesn’t mean that the CAMM missiles can’t take out supersonic missiles.”

How do you know?

I want to see tests where CAMM missiles repeatedly and reliably take out supersonic missiles (ideally up to Mach 5) in non-ideal conditions (i.e. in heavy rain and atrocious sea states). Anything else would be a benign, simple-to-pass test.

But what would we test CAMM against anyway? We don’t currently have any Mach 5 anti-ship missiles. Let alone anything faster.

“ASRAAM, which is very similar to CAMM is certainly designed to take out supersonic targets”

Yes, but again what’s ASRAAM been tested against? And in what sorts of conditions?

And again I want PROOF provided by recorded stringent tests that CAMM can take out supersonic missiles, not supposition.

Our missiles didn’t do great in the Falklands, did they? We struggled to shoot down low-flying aircraft, subsonic Exocets and even old-school gravity bombs. And in the case of Atlantic Conveyor, because it had no defences at all.

Plus what sort of supersonic missiles are we talking about? Speed? Sea skimming? Or attacking a ship from altitude? Manoeuvrable?

“and I have no reason to doubt MBDA’s active radar seeker either”

Oh well if some random person on the internet says so, then I’m worrying over nothing, aren’t I? What a silly worrywart I am. For crying out loud, that’s idiotic and negligent. Only STRINGENT testing in unfavourable conditions can prove if missiles work will work as advertised.

And what if the enemy uses MALD-type missiles alongside the anti-ship missiles? Will CAMM and Aster still work as advertised? Such missiles will play havoc with active radar seekers.

And in any case we don’t have any hypersonic anti-ship missiles (let alone manoeuvrable ones) to test CAMM and Aster against anyway.

Plus Type 45s and Type 23s carry such a small number of missiles (even when the Type 45s get CAMMs), it wouldn’t be hard to overwhelm them with anti-ship missiles fired from aircraft, ships and subs, all coordinated to arrive at the same time. Then throw in some torpedoes for good measure to make things even harder to cope with.

And all the while the carrier group will be staying out of the range of DF-26 and Kinzhal, meaning it will have NO offensive capability whatsoever. So the ships will defend themselves until they’re out of ordnance (or possibly earlier if leakers get through) and then get sunk or mission-killed. What a totally pointless mission. We’d be better off not sending a carrier group in the first place.

“The navy just needs a bigger testing budget.”

ALL navies need to stringently test missiles and other ordnance. They have money, but too often spend it on the wrong things.

Against Russia or China, surface ships would be pointless for all the reasons I’ve given.

We’ve spent a fortune on two woefully undefended carriers, a small number of F-35Bs (that can’t reach land, can’t currently take out ships, can’t carry much ordnance internally and the most useful ordnance can’t be carried internally anyway), buying missiles that haven’t been stringently tested, buying under-armed and under-defended Type 45s, fixing the Type 45 propulsion problems (that should never have been an issue in the first place) and upgrading Type 23s (although these supposedly dedicated ASW ships don’t have anti-sub missiles, anti-torpedo torpedoes, depth charges or sub-hunting drones).

ALL surface ships in any navy will be unsurvivable and totally ineffectual in a war against Russia or China unless we take out their surface fleet, take out all their ports, take out all their runways that are a threat to our ships, take out mobile anti-ship missile launchers and somehow neutralise the sub threat (no idea how we’ll effectively do the latter, especially for subs that are already at sea).

We could do most of this with long-range aircraft firing long-range stand-off ordnance, so we don’t need a carrier group against Russia or China at all. And if we don’t send a carrier group in the first place, then we won’t need to take out anti-ship missile launchers since they pose no threat to non-existent ships.

“But say they were limited to subsonic… They’re still incredibly useful for dealing with saturation attacks.”

Define “saturation attack”. To me a saturation attack is more incoming missiles than a ship (or ground target) has missiles to take out or where leakers are likely to get through. Fitting a couple of dozen CAMMs to the Type 45s isn’t going to change things much, it’ll just delay a bit how long it takes to sink or mission-kill the ship.

Once a ship is out of missiles it’s a sitting duck (Phalanx is garbage and would make next to no difference). This is why we need to fit defensive systems to our ships that don’t depend on a limited number of expensive missiles: electric laser weapons, 1+ megawatt chemical lasers, laser dazzlers, ship-based microwave weapons as well as CHAMP missiles and guns that can put a large amount of tungsten projectiles in the air in the path of incoming missiles (the larger the gun the higher the altitude or the further the range it can fire rounds and the more tungsten projectiles it can contain).

“At the moment, 48 missiles (plus 8 harpoons) isn’t all that many”

No kidding. And the Harpoons are useless against high-end Russian and Chinese ships. Plus Aster 30 Block 0 lacks range to keep carrier aircraft at arm’s length.

“just look at the US destroyers, 96 VLS cells & many of those come with 4 ESSMs per cell, resulting in well over 100 missiles.”

Some Ticonderoga cruisers have 122 VLS cells, but I doubt most of their missiles would do them much good against DF-26 or Kinzhal. Especially Kinzhal.

Only SM-3 is capable of taking out DF-26 (plus US ships don’t carry many of them because they’re so expensive and they could miss their target anyway) and I don’t think ANY current Western missile is capable of taking out a fast, manoeuvrable missile like Kinzhal, even if it has to slow down to Mach 5 as it reduces altitude and gets closer to the ship. (I’m not sure how fast or for how long a missile can fly hypersonic before friction would cause it to break up. Ablative materials and/or heat tiles could potentially fix this problem though.)

“While the 57mm Bofors has a max range of 14-17km (for non-extended range ammo types)”

Well to take out sea-skimming missiles using the BAE Mk110 57mm gun (that the Type 31s will be getting) I had 3P and MAD-FIRES in mind.

“effective range against a surface target is meant to be around around 8.5km”

I think generally half the max range gives you the effective range, so this makes sense.

“So effective range vs a manoeuvring air target… probably less than 5km.”

What are you basing 5km on?

Plus MAD-FIRES is specifically designed to engage manoeuvring missiles.

“At that range, even a subsonic cruise missile like the KD-88 will cover that in about 17 seconds”

According to KD-88 has a max range of 200km, which puts it well within the range of the Type 45’s radars and within range of F-35Bs flying CAP, so I doubt this missile would be China’s first choice to attack a Type 45 destroyer by any means.

Plus it’s subsonic so should be easy to shoot down.

Wikipedia says the 57mm has an effective range of 8,500 metres and a rate of fire of about 200 rounds a minute (i.e. 3.3 a second), so in 17 seconds it could fire 56 rounds. Would that many rounds be required to take out a sea-skimming missile? I highly doubt it, but stringent testing would be required to demonstrate that.

The Mark 3 version of the 57mm can carry over 1,000 rounds, so that’s far superior to a couple of dozen far more expensive CAMMs. At the risk of stating the blinding obvious, 24 CAMMs can only take out 24 missiles and that’s assuming all of them even hit their targets.

I mean if you want to fit CAMMs, go ahead, but it doesn’t seem a sensible use of money (or deck space) to me when a 57mm is far better to deal with subsonic sea-skimming missiles and when the surface ships desperately need non-missile-based defences to make them far more survivable from all sorts of missile threats.

Two 57mm guns on each side of a Type 45 and one up front instead of the main gun make far more sense to me than a couple of dozen CAMMs and a 4.5″ gun, which is good for what exactly? When is a Type 45 going to be providing NGFS? In this day and age that would be suicidal. Also, 57mm guns can also take out fast attack craft and low-flying aircraft, which would be very useful when leaving and entering a port.

“giving a 57mm Bofors enough time to shoot down about 4 of them”

What are you basing this on? 4? Seriously?

Plus if you want a very high rate of fire, fit the Oerlikon Millennium Gun or the Thales RAPIDSeaGuardian. Ideally deck-penetrating with auto-reloaders (don’t know if such an option is available, but it should be). I can’t see any subsonic sea-skimming missile getting through a wall of tungsten projectiles and especially if the radar is complemented with EO/IR sensors.

“And that’s assuming the missiles are headed for the destroyer, not another ship like the carrier, which makes aiming much more difficult.”

True, but the same applies to CAMMs as well.

And in any case, I’d fit as many 57mm guns to the carriers as will fit (ideally 8) and get rid of the 3 useless Phalanx guns. A modern CIWS with a high rate of fire wouldn’t go amiss either (again as many as will fit). CAMMs could be fitted of course, but again I don’t really see the point. But if they are, I’d fit quad-packed CAMMs, not single-packed SeaCeptor CAMMs.

I’d also fit laser weapons and microwave weapons. Plus do the QE and PoW even have an EW suite like SLQ-32 or decoys? I’ve never read that they do.

“24 extra short-range AAMs”

AAMs? Do you mean SAMs?

“would be able to deal with them 25km away”

In theory. I’d like to see this proved in stringent testing in non-benign environments.

“engage many more targets simultaneously”

Many more targets than what? A 57mm? And firing what? 3P? MAD-FIRES? What are you basing this on?

And what about a modern CIWS like the Millennium Gun or RAPIDSeaGuardian?

“then if 1 or 2 get through, then there are far fewer for the CIWS (be that a 76mm, 57mm, 40mm, 45mm… or if it’s still going, the Phalanx)”

I don’t think strictly speaking that 40/57/76mm guns are classed as CIWSes, because they lack the high rate of fire of a true CIWS.

Anyway, whatever, they DO deal with missiles relatively close to a ship, so it’s probably splitting hairs a bit.

“Of the rest of those suggestions, a 5″ gun is a pipe dream since it’s about $50m each while being rock bottom of the priorities list.”

Yes it’s expensive, but a 5″ gun firing airburst HVPs at high altitude could presumably send out hundreds (possibly thousands?) of tungsten projectiles in the path of DF-26, DF-21 or Kinzhal and so cause the missiles to crash harmlessly into the ocean.

Again testing would be required to test this theory, but first we’d need to build equivalents of DF-26, DF-21 and Kinzhal to see if a 5″ gun is capable of shooting them down.

Plus our destroyers would probably need upward facing radar to make this possible.

So, no, I don’t consider this bottom of the priorities list at all. If 5″ guns can take out DF-26, DF-21 and Kinzhal then they’d be worth every penny. And far cheaper than having to replace a sunk destroyer. Of which we don’t have many anyway.

“Most of what you are describing isn’t an upgrade to the Type 45s, but an entirely new ship”

I don’t dispute that, but it’ll take years to design, develop, build, test and deploy the Type 45 replacements. In the meantime it would make sense to fit Type 45s with as much stuff as possible that will make them more effective and survivable. Because in a war with Russia or China they’re not going to last long at all Same goes for ALL surface ships, regardless of what navy they’re in. RAND wargames say the same thing:

“The Type 83 is only about 15 years away at this point”

OK, so what do we do in the meantime?

Apart from the fact that I seriously doubt that the Type 83 will be much more survivable than any existing surface ship (anti-ship missiles and torpedoes are only going to get better and better), what are we supposed to do until the mid-2030s? Write to Russia and China and ask them pretty please to not start a war with us until we have our new shiny destroyers?

We need effective solutions NOW, not in 15 years’ time. And imo that’s subs and long-range aircraft firing long-range stand-off missiles, as I outlined above.

We need to spend money buying very long-range aircraft (e.g. the Airbus A350), buying diesel-electric AIP subs (my preference would be the German Type 212), building dozens of Astutes (and their replacements) and LOADS AND LOADS of missiles and torpedoes.

Supportive Bloke

It is much more likely that T31 would have UAV sonar given the hull noise emissions not being down to either T23 or T26 levels.

T31 is designed for 8 x box launchers and will almost certainly get the Interim Anti Ship Missile system fitted to it.

As for 12 more CAMM the precise number has never been announced – everything is base on CGI’s. Given the level of up arming going on right now as well as the general success of the CAMM program, I would be surprised if the fit was not extended. It is flavour of the month.

As I understand it, the is a second structural hole (for want of a better word) for more CAMM launch tubes in the design anyway.

Just as there is a hole in the structure for a VLS – it is part of the original Danish structural design.

In order for the T31 to be a credible export unit it had to retain these characteristics.

I’m sure someone will pop up and say this can never happen but it **could** happen in the future and might well happen at launch.


Alternatively you could fit the a SMART-M radar to Type 26 and put some AA missiles in the Mk41 tubes. These ships are already in build.


“Despite all the hard work that goes into getting ships ready for deployments, issues like this can arise at any time as is the case here.

Wrong, serious turbine issues are very rare, This once more show the T45 project defect.

Meirion X

A T23 frigate had recently had a main engine changed for some reason.


In a high profile worldwide carefully prepared trip?

Meirion X

As GB says, further down, GT’s can suddenly fail out of the blue.


The 23s are far older tnough.


The saddest news here is of the loss of a sailor from HMS Kent. That’s very sad to hear, and I can’t imagine what it’d be like for their shipmates still working in the same ship without them without much distance.

The comment on COVID breakout I find a bit disturbing – the UK is now at about 68% fully vaccinated. They seem to have prioritized by age quite tightly (so mostly 20-30 somethings aren’t/weren’t prioritized), but I’d expect the RN to be ‘key workers’ (although maybe it’s The Sullivans or Evertsen?). It seems bizarre that on an operational deployment there wouldn’t be vaccinations.

Bad luck to Diamond, I remember the last 2017 incident seemed very shrouded in mystery and it seemed only much later it was given as ‘prop shaft’ with no further details if she’d hit debris or what. Hopefully the engine works will let us reach a point where it’s no longer worth ‘noting’ that the ships can run at design speed for a moderate period at about 44’N off the Crimea.


Vaccination while reducing spread in a population doesn’t prevent an individual from catching a virus. What it does do is reduce the impact the virus has on the individual. So while there may be an outbreak aboard with a number of cases, these are probably all minor, with no hospitalisations required.

Tim Hirst

The SoS stated that all sailors in the group where fully vaccinated before departure.
But vaccines aren’t perfect particularly against the delta variant. Sailors got a run ashore in Cyprus that made it almost certain that someone would bring the virus onboard.


Atleast the virus is 99.004% survivable.


Worth remembering also there are not many obese people on active service, so there is far lesser risk of death due to the cv. The trouble with rna viruses is they mutate constantly and quickly.


Where do they put the dead body? Fridge?


what time dauntless back to fleet

Paul T

That is the key question that we can only guess at.


where are the hms duncan


Geting work done in UK.

Trevor Holcroft

These things happen on all ships and in all navies. The French carrier had issues and a US helicopter ship caught fire.
The sailors death is tragic.

The maintenance issues with the T45s is an instance of trying to be too clever with fresh designs rather than evolutionary ones.


It was an evolution , the Gast turbine part from Rolls Royce was an evoluation of the Trent aviation turbine. The intercooler/ recuperator part that was Westinghouse ( hence the W in WR) has been a good idea which from an outsiders opinion was ‘de-scoped’ during development to save money and time ( my view), and it caught up with them in certain operational conditions. The failure of the GT so soon after the Crimea showdown makes me wonder if the usage at high speed to out run the Russians was imprudent

Last edited 2 years ago by Duker
David Graham

This is HMS Diamond that has the problem. It was HMS Defender that was in the Black Sea.

Meirion X

It is apparent the difference between Defender and Diamond, is that Defender has a blub shape device in the middle of it’s antennae, Diamond has not had this device fitted yet.

Last edited 2 years ago by Meirion X
Tim Hirst

It may not be with the “clever” bit. I could just be a “common a garden” gas turbine failure, the sort that happens from time to time.

Meirion X

The Westinghouse intercooler was not tested on a land test site with the RR GT first.


Royal navy’s turning into Russia’s great white fleet during their deployment to Tsushima.

Hope the Fleet Commander has a box of spare binoculars


Embarrassing. Apparently it doesn’t impact the deployment ‘for now’.
One sub on the bench remaining. Do we wait for the penalty shootout?


Another poor choice. MoD (N) needs to bite the bullet and accelerate the replacement programme for these hulls.
comment image


I’m absolutely in love with these italian evolution of the HORIZON-design…


It’s everything we need. I am just hoping they won’t hobble us with some picked out of the air hull number. Six is a minimum. Nine would be better.

Paul T

I agree it looks an impressive Ship but can’t see much of the Horizon Class there, I’m inclined to think it’s a clean sheet Design.


Somewhere I read the Horizon class ist the basis for the new design. But to be honest I can’t find the source anymore.

You are right, it don’t look very similar. With up to 10.000 t the new ships will also be much bigger than the Horizon class.


Someone will be along shortly to tell you that as it’s an AAW vessel it doesn’t need the sonar, SSM or land attack missiles!!!!

The more I reflect on last week’s announcement of 24 extra CAAM for the T45 the more I think it’s money spent on the wrong priority. These ships already had excellent air defence missiles against aircraft and SSM’s. CAAM is improving what is already their strongest capability while leaving in place the weaknesses in other capabilities.

If we were going to spend money on the T45 I’d rather it was on giving them a TBMD capability that they currently don’t have.


For a long time I thought we hadn’t bought any Aster 15 because Sea Ceptor was coming down the line. I was shocked to find out we had. And yes you have a point. Sea Ceptor is good, but is it good enough over A15 to warrant the cost fitting it to T45? Reminds me of those talk about buying F35a for the RAF over just buying all F35b just for a little extra range and capacity but at the cost of not being able to launch from the carriers.

Yes anti-ballistic missile systems are rapidly climbing up the list. But I would do something about Phalanx and Mk8 first. I think ‘conflict’ will come with China before we get a working anti-ballistic system working.

Let us just hope this problem with the turbine is just a one off and not something intrinsic.

I have given up on the ‘general purpose’ rants here.

Last edited 2 years ago by X

Considering the RN has decided on 40mm Bofors Mark 4 for the Type 31 and Millenium Gun for the Type 83….I expect either system to replace Phalanx.57mm Bofors Mark 3 would be even better

Tim Hirst

Are you sure the RN has picked a particular gun for a ship that won’t be in service for 15+ years.


Well the Type 83 is still in concept with the Millenium Gun so the Navy are at least thinking about it

Tim Hirst

Just looked up the Millennium Gun. Why on earth would the RN have any interest in it? I can’t see anything it can do that one of the existing or currently planned gun systems can do. If it was to have stood any chance it would have been as part of the T31 bid. In my opinion its chance has now passed.

Humpty Dumpty

Why would the RN have any interest in the Millennium Gun?
Because it has a greater effective range than Phalanx and its AHEAD ammo that sends out a cone of 152 tungsten projectiles per round means that a hit is far more likely than it is with Phalanx. Compare using a shotgun to a rifle.

Combine a Millennium Gun with an OTO Melara 76mm firing PFF/DART ammo and/or a BAE 57mm firing 3P/MAD-FIREs ammo and you have a far more effective layer of gun-based defence compared to the useless Phalanx.


The question was what to spend the Sea Ceptor upgrade monies upon. All I said I would do something about Phalanx and 30mm mounts first. I was talking about a specific mount or system here. And I wasn’t talking about T31 or T83 only T45. Purely speculation that is all.


I mention those two classes because of Component Compatibility in terms of Logistics. Its the reason why Goalkeeper CIWS was dropped for Phalanx to reduce the number of different systems to train for. Since we know the Type 31 for sure is getting 40mm Mark 4 its likely to replace Phalanx on the surface fleet. Mark 4 has 3P ammunition with programmable Proximity fusing for Missiles, Aircraft and Impact fusing for Surface targets so it could replace both Phalanx and 30mm Bushmasters in their roles. Phalanx is a great system but its 20mm M61 Vulcan is at its limits in terms of range which against modern threats. TBH I think the T45 will get Sea Ceptor and a Phalanx Replacement (Both Mark 4 Bofors and Millenium Gun can cover both roles required)

As for Ballistic Missile Defence it depends on Whether Aster 30NT requires the S70 VLS or not. The Mark 8 4.5 inch gun needs to go and hopefully replaced by either a 5inch or possibly a 76mm SR? (Adding a 57mm Mark 3 while great for Air defence really struggles with Surface Warfare, and the Type 45 needs more of ASW and or ASuW) Yeah and add the Torpedo Tubes while they are at it for Stingray Mod 1s

Last edited 2 years ago by Samuel

Ok so how do you target the 40mm?
You will need a interface to the surveilance radar to command system to tracker( Electro optical or radar) to get the thing to point in the correct direction.
The old Seawolf is a good example of the time it takes to detect, allocate a tracker, lock up and engage a target that can be used as a comparrison to a 40mm gun system.

Pick up the target on radar, threat evaluate, allocate a tracker= 3 rotations which is 1.5 seconds.
Allocated tracker to slew and lock on 2 seconds.
Fire a missile when in range 1-2 seconds.

5-6 seconds ish , from detect to shoot for a missile that whent at over M2 .

So for a gun you need all of the above (except for a missile) plus corrections to fall of shot and the fact that the bullets are not going as fast .

A M5 missile is going to be doing nearly 2 miles a second.
So a detection on the horizon is going to be pretty cl;ose to hitting by the time you start shooting.

Phalanx does all the above on mount without needing anything else from the ships sensors.

Goalkeeper was dropped because its expensive to maintain. Its a far better and more capable sytstem than Phalanx but its on ship footprint and ship services requirements are very large.

Mk8 is fine for what it does. Its reliable if a little limited in range. The ER shells helped but they are not going to reach out quite as far as a 5″.

Where will the tubes go for torpedos?
You need reloads so it would have top be on the same deck as the mag which is fwd of the hangar.
They wont go on the flight deck …torpedos and Helo crash on decks do not make a good mix

Its all well and good coming out with wish lists but you need to consider system integration and the practicalities of integrating the individual parts of systems into the whole.
Nothing is Plug and Play and there are a miriad of other things that need to be considered before putting systems on a ship.


*mach 5 is one mile per second


My typo … Rounded up to 4k mph and got 1.1 mile a sec

Humpty Dumpty

“Phalanx is a great system”

Is it? AFAIK it’s never shot down a missile in a real environment. And it seems to be more of a liability than anything, firing when it shouldn’t.


I don’t think the booster of the Aster 30 is changed going to the NT, I think that’s mostly just a seeker upgrade as it’s only meant to intercept ballistic missiles in the terminal phase, unlike the larger American SM-3 missile which I believe tries to intercept during the flight phase.

It would be a very bad business decision for MBDA to make it require the A-70, as only the anti-submarine versions of the French FREMM frigates have those… And they’re for cruise missiles.

I know guns are traditional & all, but we shouldn’t be wasting money changing main guns or anything as they have such little utility in the modern-day. Fair enough replace the Phalanx with something like the 40mm Bofors (though the rate of fire is a bit low), since we’re buying them for T31 anyway, but purchasing new 5″ guns for ships we’re already looking to replace is just frivolous.

That money could be much better spent increasing the missile capacity of the new ships or going into the development of hypersonic missiles & how to counter hypersonic weapons… Because even upgrading to a 40mm or 57mm or 76mm gun is not going to stop one of those.

T45 already has helicopters that can protect them from submarines when they’re on their own, and when they’re part of a carrier task force, we have frigates for ASW duties.
We just don’t have the budget of the US to make every ship capable of every task, and even then arguably they’re worse ASW vessels than the T23 and trading blows with the T45 for best AAW destroyers (when they’re not broken) though the new Arleigh Burke flight 3s (which will be entering service in a couple of years time) will take that crown very convincingly… But at a huge expense, even for the USN (though the fiasco with the Zumwalt class probably made them look pretty cheap).

Frigates need to be able to move freely (and quietly), away from a task force while hunting subs, whereas the destroyers need to stick relatively close to the carriers for air defence. The 2 roles require the ships to be in different places, which requires 2 ships.
If you’ve got the amount of cash floating around the USN does, then sure, it’s better to make both the air defender & sub hunter be able to do both interchangeably, but that’s a really inefficient use of money. For the price of 2 jack-of-all-trades ships, you could have 3 or even 4 specialist ones.

Humpty Dumpty

Do you have a link saying that the T83s will get the Oerlikon Millennium Gun?


The point about Sea Ceptor on T45 isn’t that it’s better than Aster 15s. It will take over the short range defence relatively cheaply (no Sylver required) and will allow the Aster 15s to be replaced by Aster 30s. The increased number of Aster 30s that makes that upgrade significant.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon
Humpty Dumpty

A BAE 57mm firing 3P/MAD-FIRES would be cheaper than CAMM and it has good magazine depth. Adding CAMMs to T45s makes absolutely no sense when what they really need is a way to take out ballistic anti-ship missiles.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty

The AS15 is actually a better missile, able to engage targets Sea Ceptor cannot. Obviously, any additional weapons fit is welcome, but additional silos to enhance the existing missile load would have been better.

Tim Hirst

I’m not sure it has been announced that all the A15’s will become A30’s. We could, and I stress could see T45 with Sea Ceptor, less but still some A15 and more A30.
Additional silos for A class missiles would have given more capacity but at a much higher cost both for the install and the extra missiles. Plus the SC system has a much higher U.K. content than Aster.


I’m not sure it has been announced that all the A15’s will become A30’s

Re-read the announcement.

Humpty Dumpty

Yep, exactly. Aster 15 is slightly longer ranged and faster than CAMM, plus it uses PIF-PAF which AFAIK CAMM doesn’t.

What T45s really need is SM-3 and SM-6. Or SM-3 and Aster 30 Block 1NT. As well as upward facing radar.

Adding CAMMs doesn’t make a lot of sense, considering that CAMM AFAIK has only been tested against a subsonic Mirach drone. A BAE 57mm gun firing 3P/MAD-FIRES ammo could take out subsonic missiles and much cheaper than CAMM. The 57mm also has good magazine depth.


Sea Ceptor has a secondary anti ship capability. While each Missile packs a light punch a whole Salvo of 24 of them would be a threat to enemy air defences. Granted a dedicated Anti Ship missile is needed but in the interim its better than having nothing. Sea Skua and Sea Venom have similar ranges at 25km but Sea Ceptor would be the easiest to install on a surface ship as the other missiles are Helicopter specific (MBDA are working on a Surfaced Launched version of Venom)

Humpty Dumpty

Talk sense.

T45s need a very long ranged anti-ship missile like Tomahawk Block Va that outranges Kalibr, Oniks and YJ-18. It has a range of 1,600km.

CAMM on the other hand has a range of just 25+ km.

Paul T

As I understood it TBMD will be looked at and addressed as part of the upgrades in which Sea Ceptor will be fitted.


That was not announced.

Humpty Dumpty

Totally agree. The T45s need SM-3 and SM-6. Or SM-3 and Aster 30 Block 1NT. As well as upward facing radar. What’s the point of adding CAMMs? They’ve only been tested against subsonic Mirach drones AFAIK. BAE 57mm guns firing 3P and/or MAD-FIRES could deal with such missiles much cheaper and these guns have good magazine depth.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty
Andrew Deacon

I guess the point is when/ if Aster 1NT is ready you can have 48 of them rather than 32.
Also of course sea ceptor provides a useful defence against swarming small boat attacks.

Humpty Dumpty

Why do you say 32? Is that the current mix? 32 Aster 30s and 16 Aster 15s?

The T45s need a way to take out ballistic anti-ship missiles now, not at some undefined point in the future. SM-3 and SM-6 could be fitted quickly if the will was there. Plus SM-6 would keep enemy aircraft at arm’s length (max estimated range 460km) and can be used as an anti-ship missile, although T45s could do with Tomahawk Block Va as well (range 1,600km) to outrange Kalibr, Oniks and YJ-18. SM-6 is a very versatile missile. Whether Aster 30 Block 1NT would be better as a ballistic anti-ship missile I have no idea, but any defence now is better than some uncertain defence in the future that may or may not be fitted.

SM-3 takes out ballistic missiles at very high altitude, which is the ideal way to deal with them (well other than taking out the launchers of course,which is something that needs to be developed), so whether T45s get Aster 30 Block 1NT or not, they (and the entire carrier group) would be far better defended if T45s had SM-3 as well.

As for using CAMMs to take out fast boat swarms that’s a ridiculously expensive and ineffective solution that would only allow a T45 to take out 24 boats. That could be done far cheaper and far more effectively using Phalanx (one thing Phalanx is actually useful for), DS30Ms, BAE Mk110 57mm guns firing ORKA rounds (range 8.5km) and a Wildcat firing 20 LMMs/Martlets.

57mm guns firing MAD-FIRES rounds could also take out anti-ship missiles. 57mm guns have greater range and magazine depth than Phalanx and should be a no-brainer to fit to T45s.

But all this will be for nothing if T45s (and all escort ships) aren’t fitted with Kingfisher and anti-torpedo torpedoes. Surface ships are ridiculously vulnerable to torpedoes and sophisticated torpedoes can filter out decoys that SSTD uses. We should be testing Sea Spider, MU90 Hard Kill, SDTD CAT and any other options that may exist to see if they work as advertised and then fit the best solution as a matter of extreme urgency.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty

Not sure where you get the idea that SM3 / SM6 could be fitted quickly if the will was there.
Neither are integrated with the combat system and even if they were they’ve never AFAIK been launched from Sylver VLS and neither would fit in to the Type 45 A50, so no it wouldn’t be easy or simple. Instead of the CAMM launchers we’d not only have to install MK41 or MK57 which would be much more work (although worth IMO) and still integrate the missile with CMS-1 and the radars. If the Royal Navy had the funds I’m sure they’d have liked to do this alongside the PIP work but yeah money…

Not sure where you’d place the 57mm either?

Humpty Dumpty

As I said IF THE WILL IS THERE. Everything happens at a ludicrously leisurely and glacial pace when it comes to UK military procurement and the fitting of new systems. SM-3, SM-6 and Mk41 ALREADY exist. How long would it take to link them into the T45’s fire control system once they’ve been purchased and delivered if people pulled their fingers out and worked 24/7 in 2 or 3 shifts? (Not a rhetorical question.)

(Mk41 would also enable the fitting of TLAM, VL-ASROC and presumably Tomahawk Block Va as well, which with a range of 1,600km is far superior to Harpoon. As well as new missiles in the future.)

And in any case, the T45s should have been fitted with anti-ballistic missile capability YEARS ago. They’re meant to be dedicated AAW ships after all. (We also need a way to take out land-based mobile anti-ship missile launchers, but that’s a separate topic.)

As for the 57mm, if there’s space I’d put two where the Phalanx guns currently are (i.e. replace the Phalanx, not fit a 57mm next to each Phalanx). The 57mm guns are longer ranged, have far greater magazine depth and can fire 3P ammo for UAVs and FIACs, ORKA for FIACs as well as 3P and MAD-FIRES for anti-ship missiles. It’s a far better and far more flexible system than Phalanx. We could even replace the 4.5 inch gun with a 3rd 57mm. Or else maybe put two 40mm guns where the Phalanx are and a 57mm in the bow. This would also provide commonality with the Type 31’s guns.

As for money, don’t make me laugh. The government always picks and chooses what it claims we can and can’t afford. We had no trouble magically finding billions to bail out the banks, did we? Money which should have been loans btw, not just given to them. The banks were considerd too big to fail, but apparently the Royal Navy isn’t viewed the same way.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty

I don’t disagree about the fitting of MK41 but as said I think your underestimating the difficulties of ABM systems, yes the missiles and launcher already exist but getting the systems to target the incoming missiles and passing that info to the interceptors is a whole other matter.

MK41 itself and say Tomahawk would be much less of an issue assuming SWAP had been factored correctly at the design and build stage.

I’ve never worked for bAe or on the Darings (I worked for their garlic and onion competitor) so I really don’t know timescales I just think you’re seriously underestimating the work needed for a working ABS solution.

VSO, MoD and governments past and present all have plenty of blame to share about the state of defense programs, it does seem to be a very western affliction as well not just this country. I’d love to see a full set of MOD accounts although I dont think my ears could take the steam pressure!

Humpty Dumpty

“I don’t disagree about the fitting of MK41”

It’s a no-brainer. It would make the T45s more effective and survivable not just now but into the future as well (same goes for their replacements). Not just because of SM-3, SM-6, TLAM and VL-ASROC, but also because CAMMs can be quad-packed in Type 41 cells. That said, longer ranged variants of TLAM and VL-ASROC need to be developed to outrange DF-26/Kinzhal and the Type 65 torpedo for example.

Why Sea Ceptor is being added to the T45s which only allows one CAMM missile per cell makes no sense to me at all. Plus a far better option than CAMM for the T45s imo would be the 57mm, which has greater range than Phalanx and has very good magazine depth. The 76mm OTO Melara is also another good option, but I can’t see the Royal Navy ever buying that. The BAE 57mm (and 40mm) on the other hand would provide commonality with the Type 31 frigates. The Oerlikon Millennium Gun is another good option with a very good rate of fire, but again I can’t see the RN ever buying that because of the lack of commonality.

CAMM is inferior to Aster 15 that T45s already have. AIUI the Aster 15s will be upgraded to Aster 30s for a total of 48 Aster 30s, which is an improvement I suppose (although Aster 30 Block 1NT would be a very sensible addition too), but is getting rid of all the Aster 15s wise? I mean more Aster 30s makes sense, but getting rid of the Aster 15s and fitting CAMMs instead doesn’t. Well not to me anyway.

To me it would have made more sense to fit these Sea Ceptor cells to the 2 carriers and the 3 Tide-class ships instead (not ideal protection, but better than just Phalanx and 30mm guns), then fit Mk41 cells to the T45s instead of Sea Ceptor, which would not only have enabled CAMMs to be quad-packed, but would also have enabled other missiles to be fitted in the Mk41 cells (either current or future missiles). As for the Point-class ships, they currently have no defences whatsoever. They’re Atlantic Conveyors waiting to happen. Being weird hybrid vessels that are kinda sorta half civilian and half military I’m not sure if they’re allowed any defences, but at the very least would non-lethal laser and microwave weapons as well as anti-torpedo torpedoes be an option?

I’d hold off on buying TLAM for now though until a much longer ranged variant is brought out that can outrange DF-26 and Kinzhal (and ideally one that can accelerate in its terminal phase too), but the Tomahawk Block Va anti-ship missile is needed right now since it’s the only Western anti-ship missile I’m aware of that outranges Kalibr, Oniks and YJ-18 (an even longer ranged missile will be needed to outrange Zircon when that comes into service though).

T45s (and T23s) going to war with Harpoons can’t attack high-end enemy ships since Harpoon lacks range against Kalibr, Oniks and YJ-18. There’s talk of fitting the NSM to replace Harpoon, but that lacks range against these missiles too so that makes absolutely no sense at all and would be a complete waste of money. LRASM lacks range too and so does RBS-15. Tomahawk Block Va is the only viable option for now in terms of range, but even that could do with being stealthy, manoeuvrable and able to accelerate in its terminal phase, which would all make a hit more likely. If it could be fitted with lasers to blind EO/IR sensors then all the better. (NSM, RBS-15 or LRASM would make sense on Type 31s operating in the Persian Gulf for example, but not on Type 45s operating in the Atlantic or Pacific say where only Tomahawk Block Va makes any sense.)

LRASMs fired from F-35Bs might work, but F-35s can’t carry LRASM internally, which would negatively affect their stealth. Plus being subsonic, LRASM would be relatively easy to shoot down I’d have thought for any ship that has EO/IR sensors to provide targeting for its missiles and CIWS. The same applies to F-35s firing SPEAR 3 at enemy ships. The only way imo to ensure a hit with subsonic anti-ship missiles is by means of a saturation attack, but anti-ship missiles aren’t exactly cheap, although they’re cheaper than high-end warships and especially carriers. What we really need though imo are ballistic anti-ship missiles fired from ships, subs and aircraft. And/or very slow anti-ship missiles that are capable of performing such convoluted evasive manoeuvres that shooting them down would be next to impossible.

If the Harpoons currently on the T45s can be modified so they can be fired from the Astutes then all the better. AIUI they have a couple of years life left in them. I’m not entirely sure what happens at end of life though. I mean missiles don’t go off like food and even canned food is generally good far longer than the use-by date printed on the can, so is the same true of missiles? If so, I’d move the Harpoons over to the Type 31s since they’re likely going to be used in the Persian Gulf escorting commercial vessels and that’s one place where Harpoons would actually be useful.

“but as said I think your underestimating the difficulties of ABM systems”

Well obviously they’re extremely complex systems (and I never said or implied that they’re not btw), but what I can’t get my head around is why it takes so damn long to order, build or fit new systems.

The F-35Bs won’t be getting Meteor or SPEAR 3 until Block 4 (which is years off), AIUI the T45 propulsion fixes are taking a year or so per ship and the Perseus anti-ship missile is going to take about a decade before it’s ready. Why do these things take SO long? And why does it take a DECADE to build a new anti-ship missile? A missile btw that is obsolete as a ship-launched anti-ship missile before it’s even built because of its woeful range of about 300km.

Compare this situation to WWII where Sherman tanks and Liberty ships were built not only fast, but in vast numbers. Yes I know that modern tech is far more complex, but nevertheless I fail to see why things these days take as long as they do. Wars tend to make people pull their fingers out and get things done because there’s a sense of urgency that doesn’t exist in peacetime. As Churchill said “Action this day” [“action” here being a verb, so “action this day” means “put this into effect today” or “make this happen today”]:
We need this attitude today to get things done even in peacetime.

We should build and buy new systems as if we were at war even if we’re not. That way we’d have hardware and ordnance far sooner than we do now and we’d also be able to stockpile hardware and ordnance for wartime and we’d also be able to replace lost hardware and ordnance much faster as well.

We should also build and/or buy lower-spec ships and aircraft in case we lose much or all of our high-end stuff in a war. We should upgrade our OPVs for example to corvettes (as well as build more of them, e.g. Batch 3 River OPVs) and upgrade our trainer aircraft to passable fighter aircraft. This would also give us more capability in peacetime as well.

I’d also like to see us buy Gripen Es and GlobalEye aircraft. Gripens can land on and take off from roads and can be refuelled and rearmed in 10-20 minutes, which would be vital capability to have if air bases are being attacked by missiles in a war. GlobalEye would also provide AEW&C capability as well as EW capability, which would make both Gripen Es and Typhoons (ideally upgraded to Tranche 4) far more survivable. We’d need to adequately protect the airbases where the GobalEyes and Typhoons are kept though to prevent them from being taken out on the ground. Btw I don’t work for SAAB or have any links with them at all, I just happen to think they make some excellent military gear.

“yes the missiles and launcher already exist…”

Well this immediately speeds things up because we don’t have to design, test and build missiles and launchers that don’t already exist.

“… but getting the systems to target the incoming missiles and passing that info to the interceptors is a whole other matter.”

Yeah of course, it’s not easy stuff, but it’s not impossible. But as I said earlier, we should have fitted all this stuff YEARS ago and ironed out most or all of the kinks by now. Who builds supposedly dedicated AAW ships and doesn’t give them the means to shoot down ballistic anti-ship missiles? Not very bright people, that’s who. Either that or people who don’t give a damn about the lives of the people on the ships in a carrier group, which is even worse.

But why do we need carrier groups anyway? I mean if we had extremely long-range aircraft carrying dozens of Tomahawk Block Va anti-ship missiles and JASSM-ER/JASSM-XR land-attack missiles that could be fired from beyond the range of enemy defences then why do we even need carrier groups or F-35s in the first place?

Long-range aircraft could do the same jobs far cheaper and… well, I was going to write “far more effectively”, but the sad fact is that T45s currently have no way to take out high-end Russian and Chinese warships at all because of lacking a long-range anti-ship missile. F-35Bs won’t be getting SPEAR 3 until Block 4 (which is years off) and even when they do it isn’t capable of taking out large warships (let alone carriers), plus being subsonic missiles they could be easily shot down, especially if a ship has EO/IR sensors.

If a Royal Navy carrier group is staying out of the range of DF-26 or Kinzhal (which it should if it has any common sense) then F-35s wouldn’t have the range to reach land (and neither would TLAM, not that T45s even carry it). So that renders a RN carrier group largely impotent and mainly dependent on Astutes to get things done (attack ships with torpedoes, fire TLAMs at land).

And even if F-35s could reach land, they can’t carry JASSM/JASSM-ER/JASSM-XR internally, so what are they going to take out ground targets with? Harsh language?

They also can’t carry LRASM, AIM-9X or standard HARM internally. All that leaves is AARGM-ER, but as I said, F-35Bs wouldn’t have the range to reach land anyway, so it’s all moot.

The F-35B is not only the most expensive F-35 variant, it has the least range and lowest payload capacity. It can’t use Sidekick to increase its internal payload like the A and C variants can. And to add insult to injury, it uses AIM-120 which (unlike Meteor) can be thwarted BVR simply by using evasive manoeuvres. Once an F-35 (of any variant) is out of AIM-120s it’s a sitting duck because it can’t carry AIM-9X internally. And even if it could, AIM-9X can be thwarted by old Soviet flares:

The F-35 project is an absolute shambles.

Anyway, getting back to the point of long-range aircraft doing the same jobs as a RN carrier group (or at least the ones it’s SUPPOSED to capable of doing even if it can’t in most cases), I’d suggest buying and modifying the Airbus A350 with a range of 15,000km to 16,000km depending on variant (and obviously even more range with refuelling).

A350s cost about $300 million to $350 million per aircraft according to Google. That’s approx £220 million to £250 million per aircraft. The 2 carriers cost us about £7.6 billion. At £250 million per A350 we could have bought 30 A350s for that price. Not that we’d have needed anywhere near that many and each A350 we didn’t buy could have bought us LOADS of missiles instead. A Block V Tomahawk for example costs just over $1.5 million according to Wikipedia, so instead of buying an A350 for $350 million we could have got about 233 Block V missiles instead. JASSM-ER costs just over $1.3 million according to Wikipedia, so that would have got us about 269 JASSM-ER missiles. That’s a lot of missiles for saturation attacks and to GUARANTEE that targets are taken out, despite the missiles being subsonic.

But instead we’ve decided to build carrier groups with a LOT of shortcomings, some of which I mentioned above (and that was far from an exhaustive list of everything that’s currently wrong with the Royal Navy).

As for tracking and engaging ballistic anti-ship missiles, my understanding is that a Type 45 can track & engage 500 bazillion targets travelling at Warp 10 while sipping a Martini with one arm tied behind its back while simultaneously getting a foot massage. It’s THAT good apparently. Well if you believe the hype. So tracking ballistic missiles and engaging them apparently shouldn’t be an issue, although from what I’ve read upward facing radar may need to be fitted to the T45s to complement the existing radars to deal with HGVs.

How long do you think it would take to:

1) Receive SM-3, SM-6 and Mk41 VLS after ordering and paying for them? (Let’s ignore for now how long it would take for the orders to actually be placed in the first place.)

2) Fit Mk41 VLS to the T45s?

3) Connect Mk41 VLS to the T45s’ fire control systems?

4) Fit the missiles in the cells?

If the answers to those questions add up to several years (or a decade or longer) then something is VERY wrong with how we’re currently doing things. Things take FAR too long at present.

The TWISTER project is going to take about a decade apparently. Yes I know this is VERY complicated stuff, but a decade??? Come on, does that sounds right to you? We could start a 9 year war today and it would be over before TWISTER would be ready. That’s absolutely bonkers. If these sorts of timescales are considered acceptable, then all I can say is that a serious shake-up is needed. This shouldn’t be the norm by any means and shouldn’t be considered acceptable at all.

“MK41 itself and say Tomahawk would be much less of an issue assuming SWAP had been factored correctly at the design and build stage.”

Do you mean the Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) or the new Tomahawk Block Va anti-ship missile?

Or both?

And what does SWAP stand for?

“I’ve never worked for bAe or on the Darings (I worked for their garlic and onion competitor) so I really don’t know timescales I just think you’re seriously underestimating the work needed for a working ABS solution.”

Well I didn’t actually give a timeframe, I simply stated that if the will was there then SM-3, SM-6 and Mk41 VLS could be fitted quickly. Considering how VERY VERY slowly these things normally progress, then 1 or 2 years would actually be quick by Royal Navy standards. Although ideally I’d like to see new systems installed and up and running in a matter or months, not years. I mean what are we going to do if war breaks out with Russia or China? Are we going to call them and say “I say old chap, would you mind awfully holding off on your beastly war plans until we have all our ducks in a row? We can resume fisticuffs in 2031. Thanks awfully old bean, hugs & kisses, tootlepip for now, love the UK.”

“VSO, MoD and governments past and present all have plenty of blame to share about the state of defense programs, it does seem to be a very western affliction as well not just this country.”

Well you say that but current and potential SM-3 operators are:

And yes I know Japan and South Korea aren’t Western countries geographically, but they’re allied militarily with the West.

SM-6 operators:

See the infobox on the right of the page for current operators (my comment above applies to Australia too)

As for foreign aid, if we REALLY want to help third-world countries, instead of paying lip-service to it, then we’d cancel all third-world debt.

We get far more money on interest on third-world loans than we give away in foreign aid, so if we cancelled third-world debt and also cancelled foreign aid those countries would actually be better off. But we get to have our cake and eat it too. We get shit-loads of interest on loans (I think you’ll find that’s the technical financial term), while giving away foreign aid that in the global scale of things is crumbs from the table and quite frankly condescending and insulting. But it makes us look good. Or at least we think it does. It’s like a multi-billionaire writing a cheque to a charity for £10,000 every year, which makes him look generous, but which really is just a drop in the ocean for him. And all along he’s loaned the charity money and is getting more interest back on the loan every year than the £10,000 he gives the charity every year.

“I’d love to see a full set of MOD accounts…”

So would I.

And I’d also like to know what it actually costs to build ships, aircraft, tanks and ordnance in terms of raw materials and labour hours, i.e. what the actual mark-up is on all these items.

I’d also like to see some REAL competition introduced into the arms market to drive down prices and speed up delivery times. I’d also like to see proper contracts with penalty clauses for late delivery or hardware/ordnance that’s not fit for purpose. In other words, stop letting arms companies rip off taxpayers and blatantly take the piss.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty

Okay. This is an ancient post. But I’m still adding something here. Do you have any idea how much money and work it’s taken to integrate pac-Mse into aegis? There’s ZERO guarantee it’s even doable. On top of that, no non aegis ship has ever integrated sm6/3. Why? Because non aegis ships utilize the ancient terrier/tartar data link. That’s no where near as capable as an aegis link. On top of all that, a30b1nt offers a good amount of the capability of the sm6b1a. The newer more capable blocks won’t fit in the sylver….. and FINALLY, those missiles cost between 1.5-3 times what a single a30 does.


We will see several new dedicated AAW frigates/destroyers in Europe in the 30s. The lack of a British commitment for a new generation AAW destroyer is just another capability gap in the future.


I thought the design study for Type 83 replacement for Type 45 was slowly getting underway now?

Tim Hirst

The study into requirements for the T83 is the first stage in the replacement of the T45. Things are still at a very early conceptual stage as the ships are still 10/15 years away from service entry.
The upgrades to propulsion, weapons and probably radar are in effect a typical mid life upgrade for the T45.

Humpty Dumpty

Damn, you don’t half talk some nonsense.
The T45s should have been built properly in the first place and should never have suffered from propulsion problems.
T45s as so-called dedicated AAW ships should have had anti-ballistic missile capability from the get-go, or as soon as it was available.


Bollox. See type 83.

captain p wash

very good
looking ship

Last edited 1 year ago by captain p wash

HMS Daring broke down in 2009, in November 2010 and April 2012
HMS Dauntless in February 2014
HMS Duncan in November 2016 
HMS Diamond in November 2017

All together, T45 recorded more than 5000 faults;

After so much preparation, still could not get a ship for reliable deployment.

Last edited 2 years ago by Arjun

This is a typical meaningless statistic. Without context, how many by category (minor/major) and average for vessel types over previous years. These figures might well be very good, in comparison to other vessels/navies. I presume this is a platform for “intelligent” debate.


as meaningless as a system with “one shoot one kill” ?

the perfect T45 break down more often than any others in RN

these meaningless static comes from “intelligent” HM government written parliamentary questions

just hide your head in the sand and not look at the facts
and this platform is for dump ass

Last edited 2 years ago by Arjun

Arjun, So please define a Major/minor defect.
If the description involved OPDEF catagories and their affect on the delivery of Operational Capability ( Line 5!) they give you a better understanding.
A minor defect on the main engines such as a leaking lub oil pipe that has a temporary repair on it may have little if any affect on OC.
A Major defect on the RO plant or Fridges reduces OC by limiting water and food for the crew and hence your ability to stay at sea.

Some defects are on major systems and are defered for repair until a refit. They are defects but nothing will happen for possibly years to correct them.


So please define a Major/minor defect –

Defence Minister Philip Dunne added – “We would not release more detailed information related to these figures as this would allow deductions to be made about a ship’s capability and may affect operational security.”

Humpty Dumpty

What an idiotic comment. Warships shouldn’t break down like T45s do. They were built bad from the get-go. And they can’t even shoot down ballistic anti-ship missiles, which for so-called dedicated AAW ships is absolutely ludicrous.


Are you Arjun Mittra, the hard left labour councillor of London?

You certainly hate the Royal Navy, and to find any fault going against it!

Last edited 2 years ago by Arjun

Best of luck of keeping out of trouble with the new leadership!


I’d hope anyone elected as a councillor would have more than an apparently basic grasp of English, and logic, than the Arjun that spouts off here.


Arjun is right. This is unacceptable.

Humpty Dumpty

Damn right.

Rob N

To be fare the Gas on the T45s are not often the problem. It is the US built inter-coolers that have caused the major problems.


That is a very tiresome excuse. Hardly the fault of the US.


Yes its is . The W part of the name was Westinghouse , now Northrop Grumman. They were responsible for the troublesome intercooler-recuperator section


But who accepted it? It is RN responsability.

What was the reason RN got out of Horizon class?


The RN wanted a more capable system able to defend a larger area than the French and Italians. French ships would be under CdeG umbrella. The Italians under their carriers or land based air in the Med. This was before tour own carrier requirements kicked in. There were disagreements over work share and suppliers etc.

Typical UK bugger’s muddle.

Last edited 2 years ago by X

I don’t think a different more capable radar like it has can justify a different ship. For ex. Italian and French FREMM are quite different.

Tim Hirst

It part it was about what mission the ships were optimised to do. But it was also about all the partners wanted to protect their national capabilities in the key technologies. No agreement could be reached about who wasn’t going to lead what. It’s the same infighting that resulted in Typhoon and Rafal.


You asked and they are the reasons. Sorry. I could have mentioned propulsion. But I think IEP decision came after the split. Not A Boffin may pop and tell us.


Maybe bureaucracy needed to justify the split so they went differently in propulsion.


I just can’t remember the time line. It has been a cock up. We would have been so much better with a simple CODOG. First WR21 is an orphan as there are no other customers apart from the RN and T45. And then apparently it is noisy.



Last edited 2 years ago by Lukewarm
Humpty Dumpty

Who cares what the problem is? The point is that warships shouldn’t break down as often as T45s do.


Ok so I am going out on a limb here, the T45 in general is a good anti air warfare ship. Yes the design has had issues with its propulsion system which has been well documented. At the same time they have also given good service. One of the major issues is not the ship itself but the numbers we have. Say for example we had nine T45s, would we need to work them so hard, could they spend more time being upgraded and faults rectified, yes. However, with only six T45s they are worked and worked hard. Engines break its that simple. Do I like the idea that the T45s are getting 24 Sea Ceptor missiles and that the Aster 15s will be upgraded to Aster 30s, in many ways yes; but I would have done it diffrently. I would have used 8 of the Sylver A50s and quad packed Sea Ceptor into them, this would have given 40 Aster 30s and 32 Sea Ceptors for a total of 72 Anti Air missiles and I still would have been able to install 16 Mk41 or Sylver A-70 launchers possibly for 8 MdCN-NCM and 8 Aster 30 block 2 BMDs, with 8 anti ship missiles in containers. To finish the overall rearming of the T45 I would remove the 4.5 inch Mk8 and install the 57mm. Only an idea on what I would do but then again who am I.


All seem like entirely sensible suggestions to me


I would say Sea Viper is a very good air defence system. But the barge it rides around on isn’t up to much at all. 🙂

I wouldn’t just put 57mm at A I would put them on each beam too in place of the Phalanx and 30mm’s and with some fiddling given the size of that flight deck one aft as well.

Last edited 2 years ago by X
Tim Hirst

What would you use to pay for this plan? The MoD getting stuck with the bill for BJ’s gin palace shows that the cabinet thinks the MoD is overfunded. So with no new money your plan could only be financed from cuts to other parts of the MoD budget.


The MoD got stuck with the bill because it’s the legal way to avoid going out to a global tender, as all nations have opt outs for Defence procurement/industries. That doesn’t mean the Cabinet care one way or the other, other than wanting more money for their own departments.

Humpty Dumpty

Oh shut up you mug. Either build properly defended ships or stop trying to be a world power and just stick to home defence.


Where is evidence they are worked hard?


“however, with only six T45s they are worked and worked hard. Engines break its that simple.” 

No it is not simple, Diamond was set for CSG 21 so it was careful prepared for the long deployment.
This is just short of an absolute disaster.

I remind that UK is trying to sell T31 to Greece…nice show.


GTs break.
It is that Simple.

I have been on 2 ships where the engines ( one Tyne, one Spey) have decided to leave the engine room and deposit the fan blades all over the flight deck. No warning, no indication via maintenance, Vibration analysis or Machinery Control System, they just went bang.

You change out the GT modules and move on. Its a well troden path for all Navies that operate GTs not just the RN


True. But the RN is the only WR21 customer. How many are there? What is the depth of spares? Is this as you rightly say just a normal happening as a highly stressed small machine breaks? Or is it a fault intrinsic to the design? Further I don’t think these can be taken up the uptake for a quick swap I think they are more built in. So yes it is a well trodden path, but not so for T45.


They are far more modular than the Tyne, Oly and Speys where. They are designed to change out parts of it not the whole thing.

Now if you have an intercooler/recuperator core go down that is a a major evolution involving lots of specialist contractors working shifts for weeks on end to dismantle and rebuild the system that was not designed to be dismantled and rebuilt. I have been involved with 2 core changes years ago and its a major pain. Core changes are now (Hopefully) a thing of the past as the cores have been modded and the design issue sorted out.

And there is ITAR issues involve to further complicate matters!


Do you know I have yet to find on the web a picture of a GT being exchanged? I have them in journals and books. But not one on the web. It is another facet that supports my position that the modern escort with VLS, helicopter, and swappable GT’s is already the most modular weapons platform out there.

Yes intercooler/recuperator core exchange is a major pain in the bum.




One Spey……..
comment image

RR names engines after rivers.


strange , my post just disappeared..


It’ll pop up when you have retyped it. 🙂


It was just a quote from usni article stating the issue is related to the defect that T45 GT have.


FWIW WR21 is based on Spey.


River Olympus?


Last edited 2 years ago by Gunbuster


Tim Hirst

Historically the Olympus was a Bristol then Bristol Siddeley design. They had a Greek Mythology based naming convention. That’s why you also get the Orpheus and Pegasus.

bloke at the bog

Tyne from the 50’s and Spey from the 60’s are much too modern, no wonder they broke. I’ll go back to using sail, an even much proven and trodden path for centuries.


aster 30 is not upgrade for aster 15

they are different sam


As far as I am aware ASTER 30 is an ASTER 15 missile body with a bigger booster.


You are correct. Aster 15 is identical to Aster 30. It just has a smaller booster.

John Wood

It is

Humpty Dumpty

“Ok so I am going out on a limb here, the T45 in general is a good anti air warfare ship.”

Is it? It’s never been tested in warfare. Plus it has no way to shoot down ballistic anti-ship missiles, which is idiotic for a so-called dedicated AAW ship.

“One of the major issues is not the ship itself but the numbers we have.”

It’s both. The T45 is woefully under-armed and under-defended, but we also don’t have enough of them.

“I would have used 8 of the Sylver A50s and quad packed Sea Ceptor into them, this would have given 40 Aster 30s and 32 Sea Ceptors for a total of 72 Anti Air missiles”

Well that makes more sense than fitting 24 Sea Ceptor cells, but surely it would have made more sense to fit Mk41 cells? That would also have enabled CAMMs to be quad-packed, but also have meant that VL-ASROC and TLAM could be fitted.

“Aster 30 block 2 BMDs”

AIUI Aster 30 Block 2 BMD has been shelved and will be replaced with TWISTER:

“with 8 anti ship missiles in containers.”

My preference would be the Tomahawk Block Va with a range of 1,600km to outrange Kalibr, Oniks and YJ-18. A longer ranged variant (or a completely different missile) will be needed to outrange Zircon. And ideally a missile that’s stealthy and flies at Mach 5. If it carries mini-missiles internally like Perseus then all the better.

“To finish the overall rearming of the T45 I would remove the 4.5 inch Mk8 and install the 57mm.”

I’d replace the 4.5 inch gun with a 5 inch gun that can fire HVPs. And then fit a 57mm as well. Plus I’d also fit laser and microwave weapons.

Last edited 2 years ago by Humpty Dumpty

I hear she’s fixed and already on way?


She is due to enter Italian Navy Base of Taranto to be repaired.

Last edited 2 years ago by AlexS

Helicopter will also be landed to nearby Grottaglie Air Base for crew qualification and maintenance.
some of the crew have covid.

Meirion X

It has been about at least 10 days since the breakdown, I would have thought through the repair would have started at beginning of this week. It could be delayed news?


Not delayed news.
I guess RN had to find a country with capability and willing to help with repair and make the arrangement.
The ship will enter Taranto naval base in 19 July, appears she is going slow.
Repair do not appear to be something simple.


I read elsewhere that Diamond has a problem with one of her Turbines. Its unfortunate and the last thing the RN needed at this time, but I hope she is repaired and underway soon to rejoin the group.

Meirion X

Where did you hear that? If true, good news! So the repair could of taken place this week.

If Not, it would be Unbelievable that the RN wasted a whole week to start the repair!

Last edited 2 years ago by Meirion X
bloke at the bog

What so good news about ships keep breaking down? except maybe for Putin or the PLA Navy.

Total cock up :-J

Last edited 2 years ago by bloke at the bog

Video of HMS Diamond entering Taranto, passing the rotating bridge


I was waiting for it to happen. This is why the T45s going with the CSG maiden operational deployment should have had the Power Improvement Package (PIP). The MoD (probably already a few years ago) knew they would have the first carrier on her maiden deployment around this time, I don’t understand why the update is taking so long. The company doing the PIP update (Cammell Laird) has stated that the work could be carried out in 6 months per ship but it doesn’t seem like the MoD is in any hurry to speed it up. This should be a priority.

John Wood

There is one, read that again, one type 45 in service at the present time.
One type 45 available out of six. And still we hear this bulls**t about “otherwise capable“.
Whoever is to blame,Lousy kit, poor specifications, hasty design changes, it really doesn’t matter. This is a disgrace, the ships cost over £1 billion each.


One wonders, given the air defence mess the RN finds itself in, if they have approached the Royal Australian Navy about attaching a Hobart class air warfare destroyer to the group while it is in the South China Sea . North Pacific?

David Waugh

All expensive surface warships are now history. Swarms of inexpensive ( perhaps small sized) lethal drones present a new threat for ships operating alone or as part of a larger group. The vast expanse of an ocean is now longer a safe hiding place. This is history repeating itself in the same way that large battleships of WW2 became vulnerable to airpower.


How can it be that the MOD issues one statement about Hms Diamond propulsion problem then silence.
No indication what is happeng to get the Destroyer back to the Strke Group!
No indication whether or not another vessel is joining the Strike Group if Diamond cant be fixed.
Lets be clear this is a National disgrace, luckily the USNavy Arleigh Burke class not only work and are heavily armed and one the US Sullivans is with the strke group.
Time for Ministers ad fleet commander to give some explanation


Sorry abou typing wrote it whilst being bounced about never the less sure you got the message.


Any updates on this yet? She appears to still be laid up in Italy after arriving for repairs 6 weeks ago? This has to be a very serious defect indeed!!


With 1/3 of the destroyers typically available at any time, but only 6 ships, we only have 2 available and if 1 breaks down we’re down to just 1 of our own AAW escorts.

I hope this is a lesson for the government when it comes to the Type 83 that we need more than just 6 ships. I think we need to find the budget for at least 8 (between 8 & 10 of them).