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I regret that if a real engagement Duncan would not fare well. History (Prince of Wales in WW2 and lately the Falklands) shows ships that operate without air cover don’t survive. Let’s not kid ourselves.


In a real engagement it would have air cover.


So why……?Never mind……..


She may be the most advance Anti Aircraft Destroyer, but she also has a meagre number of Asters.

Kevin Hastie

Oh come, come….you cant expect the government to adequately arm its ships ; it has a foreign aid budget to fund.




I don’t even think if 48 missiles is enough, they not only have to be able to destroy the aircraft but also their missiles, they each would probably have 48 missiles each, you could either destroy quite a lot of the missiles and a couple of aircraft or destroy quite a lot of aircraft and a few missiles(hoping the aircraft you shot didn’t already release their missiles). They couldn’t survive a second attack surely, and if its a wartime situation then their would be a second attack!


Beautifully illustrates how to overcome a T-45. Badly needs the extra number of missiles that a quad packed sea ceptors would add to the mix for near shore deployments.


Bear in mind though, that the Phalanx are designed to take out any aircraft or missiles within a mile radius of the ship, if they get through the Sea Viper barrier.


Keithdwat, Are there any potential current “enemy” aircraft that actually have a payload of 48 anti-ship missiles?




Radar guided missiles are historically not very accurate (by far the least reliable of missiles compared to heat-seeking eg. sidewinder). It is reasonable to assume that if you fire 48 missiles, only a few at most are likely to hit a fast moving plane with a competent pilot. The military-industrial complex loves them because they are super-expensive, although in reality they are not very useful. A surface warship has no hope of lasting very long these days against a competent pilot in a decent plane.


Comparing historical radar-guided weapons with modern missiles with exponentially more advanced seekers is a tad misleading. Radar guided weapons are also effective at far greater ranges than heatseekers, hence why IR guided weapons are mostly used for dogfighting or defensive weapons like Sidewinder or RAM.

Against a competent pilot in a decent plane, a modern warship can survive just fine. Against 17 aircraft carrying up to 12 anti ship missiles each? No chance

Rob N

In a real war your 17 planes would not have got close to the T45. Neither would a small number of missiles. A T45 can tackle at least 36 targets at once. The kill darts on Aster can cope with 60G turns and side slips – more than capable of killing a plane or a missile with a very high kill probability. I think you need to have less of a downer on the abilities of the T45.


I’m not being a downer on the T45’s capability, I’m being a realist and using basic maths. 17 Su-35s can carry 12 Kh31 anti ship missiles with a range of 100km+.

A T45 physically can’t stop 204 missiles. Even assuming it fired off every Aster 15 and 30 and they all got kills, that’s 156 missiles left. CIWS might get 2 or 3 more in the limited engagement time it’ll have, which leaves over 150 missiles to try and stop with just decoys and jammers. The Kh31 is relatively old, but in such numbers only 10% getting through would sink a destroyer easily.

In a real war, those planes wouldn’t have to get near the T45. They could obliterate it from the safety of long range where the T45 has a very narrow engagement window on the planes. Aster 30 is a bloody fast missile at Mach 4.5, but to intercept those aircraft before they fire it still has to cover <120kmin the time it takes for fighters capable of Mach 2+ to cover the 20km to firing distance.


Firstly not all of those were Su-35s, there were plenty of less capable Su-24s there too.
Secondly, I’m pretty sure the Su-35 can carry no more than 10 anti-ship missiles, as the wing-tip pilons will only be for lightweight heatseeking air-to-air missiles (which they would always carry for self-defence). The Su-24 can only carry 9 missiles total, but assuming that they too are carrying self-defence weapons, then that is probably 7.
So at most you’re probably looking at 150 anti-ship missiles, but then there is the question of if even Russia can field that many in 1 go and afford to expend them against a single target.
And thirdly the situation you’re proposing is a lone destroyer vs the most heavily armed squadron imaginable, hardly “realist”(ic).

Steve fox

People don’t like to hear the harsh reality of maths though… They would rather just yarp at each other!?

Gavin Gordon

I fear Russia will annex the sea of Azov to add to their ‘Crimea Collection’, but hope I’m wrong. Whether or not that would be a precursor to further intrusions into eastern Ukraine, the economic hit to Ukraine would be significant. That aside, I agree with Ian that adding sea ceptor, since it can be targetted by simpler onboard radars in a worst-case scenario, has I believe a more close-in envelope than even aster 15, and has a useable anti-vessel capability would make for a significant survival boost. Probably capable of being added elsewhere on the type 45 other than the set-side space for additional standard silos, too, I imagine.


Intercept 48 incoming in a row?

Craig Wilson

Will there ever be a Hms Teresa may or may not?

Knotty Ash

Does anyone believe that it would be a good idea to send H.M.S. Echo (survey ship) to the region?

Bobs Baradur

Sending some tankers would be more warlike, the Solas TS is available.
Press gang a crew and raise the White Ensign, just like the bad old days.

Gavin Gordon

Someone on UKDJ has made the valid comment that a sophisticated survey of the area would be very useful, though I admire the balls of the crew at this time. May depend to an extent on how close other assets are, and particularly US carrier in the med. That aside, I like to say that I agree with everything said.


Faulklands missile kills
Seawolf 2 confirmed 3 poss 8 fired
Seacat 0 confirmed 1poss
Seadart 8 confirmed inc 1 FF
Seaslug no AA hits
Blowpipe 2 confirmed 1 Brit +1Arg 95 fired
Rapier 1 confirmed 2 prob 2 poss

Exocet 2 kills 5 fired
Type 42 2 sunk 1hit but bombs failed to explode.
Type 45 only 6 exist
Japanese aircraft engaged in the sinking of POW and Repulse 88
Ofcouse AA weapons are better now,but so are anti ship missiles.
Conclusion,confronting Russia or any pier nation with type 45 would be suicidal.Admiral West is a maniac .Non pier nations can quickly acquire advanced missiles even if they can fight over a very wide spectrum.


Supposed to read can’t fight over a very wide spectrum


When looking at the scenario that HMS Duncan faced it is clear that although I would not have like to have been one of the pilots in all reality if that was a shooting scenario we would have lost the Duncan.
She needs to be up armed. Her radar and electronic suite is more than capable but the limited Aster outfit is a weakness.
When looking at the T45 it is possible to increase the weapons fit without extra radar equipment but extra rewiring will be required.
1. install the twelve Mk 41 launchers aft of the 4.5 gun
2. install a further 24 Mk41 tubes aft of the Aster launchers in the location where we have at the moment Harpoon
3. remove the ribs and convert the bays into Mk41/A43 or A50 launchers six each side
4. Install a third CIWS on the hanger roof relocating the aft antenna to the rear of the CIWS.
This would give an extra 48 Mk41 launchers, or a combination of Mk41, A43 and A50 launchers; 12 of which can be used for Sea Ceptor quad packed and a further 36 to use for SSM missiles, Cruise missiles ASROC and Anti ballistic missiles. So if we equally install everything we would have 48 Sea Viper missiles, 48 Sea Ceptor (taking the information from the S1850M surveillance radar, 8 LRASM or Perseus, 8 ASROC, 8 Cruise missiles and 8 Anti Ballistic Missile such as Standard 3. and for point defence 3 CIWS. It would mean that the Type 45 would loose two RIBS and its boarding party capability. However, with this weapons fit Ballistic missiles could be engaged, the ASTER 30 would engage aircraft up to 120 km out, ASTER 15 would engage incoming missiles 30 km out and Sea Ceptor anything that gets within the 25km envelop. At the 2.5 KM and under self defence both passive and active take over. In an extreme AAW fit it could mean 96 Aster 15/30 missiles or 48 Aster 30 with 192 Sea Ceptor missiles. That outfit would give any nations airforce a bad day.
Enemy surface vessels could be engaged at distances up to 300 KM out, submarines could be engaged directly with advanced ASROC, as the T45 does not have a tail command of these weapons would be either from an anti submarine helicopter or one of the new T26 frigates.
Some might say that I am dreaming with this but if you think that an Arleigh Burke has 96 Mk41 launchers then why not?


Sounds good in the main but the rhibs are very useful for all sorts of tasks and almost imperative to most naval operations. Potentially if you installed Sea ceptor only launchers then this may not be necessary due to lightweight and shorter tubes. I believe the t45 was supposed to have an inner layer missile system anyway. I think rn/mod are being very shortsighted in not potentially using the opportunity whilst doing the power upgrade to add more mk41 cells and if possible lengthening the hull slightly to include more at the moment as I believe that only an extra 12 are allowed for in the design. I would also investigate starstreak to be added to the 30mm automated guns. To be honest I am unsure that aster 15 offers any more performance than sea ceptor range is stated as 25km + I believe it has a higher g rating as well then due to the fact you can quad pack I would be tempted to lose that capability. I also think a capability that sure be explored is a longer range missile possibly combining aster and meateor technology an aster 45 maybe similar to sm6. Urgently pushing the dragon fire project would also be something to look at. The type 45 are a small expensive assets and I think a significant midlife update is needed for both protection and area of influence. Not sure if revisiting the cea-ram may be an idea as well? Maybe your 3rd ciws


Also could there be any merit in fitting a 57mm main armament? It could free up front deck space for more missiles and has a rapid rate of fire giving an aaw capability as well

Meirion X

An alternative option, would be to replace PAAMS with all MK 41 on some of the T-45’s.
Also to add extra block to foredeck of some T-45″s, to lengthen a ship.


It’s dreaming because you want to make major changes to the ship with no consideration of power generation, internal layout, or practicality. Also several of your additions make no logical sense.

1. The 12 Mk41 strike VLS fitted in the space left for them is fine (although the crew might be miffed they’re losing their extra gym space). Carrying Tomahawks would be the most practical peace time weapon, with later replacement with Perseus or LRASM, but in wartime when its role is carrier escort, as many defensive weapons as possible would be preferred. ASROC is a bit pointless, the T45 is definitely not an ASW platform and it hasn’t got the volume of VLS to be a generalist like the Arleigh Burke.

2. There isn’t the internal space for VLS where Harpoon current is. Google Type 45 diagram, you’ll see there are cabins and such in that space.

3. Small craft aren’t a nice-to-have, they’re a necessity. If someone goes overboard, you need to go ashore, assist civilian vessels, etc, boats are necessary.

4. A third CIWS on the hangar probably wouldn’t be too difficult to fit, although given the number of aerials mounted there it might be impractical. Unlike the later Arleigh Burkes the T45 hangar is bigger and central, whereas the AB’s is split in two by the aft VLS farm. Major structural work would be needed, and you’d likely give up Merlin capability for it.

You mention having both Aster 15 and Sea Ceptor, but given the similarity in performance, quad SC is far more efficient than singular A15s, and combining the two is illogical.

A best case, practical loadout for the T45s would be 12 Mk41, modern cannister-launched AShMs, Phalanx replaced/supplemented with Dragonfire or RAM launchers for an improved inner defence, Aster 30 upgraded to the Block 2 BMD standard currently being developed, and Aster 15 completely replaced with quad Sea Ceptor. Total of 12 cruise missiles, 8 AShMs, 32 long range AAW/BMD missiles, 64 short-medium range AAW, and potentially 22 RAM PDMS.


Not knowing the metacentric height of T45 I cannot be certain but common sense says pjtting another heavy launcher system and ammunition on top of existing superstructure is going to negatively impact handling. Add to that it will make a bigger silhouette and reduce the impact of the low vis / low radar vis you increase the risk of successful hits if they do get through. Swings and roundabouts.


Man the rail with lightweight sholder launched AA missiles.

Phillip Johnson

Any plan to add Seaceptor to the T45?
Aster is a medium to long range missile and in confined waters you cannot assume that the threat will appear at medium to long range.


Duncan is definitely under armed but you could upgrade her and send her with a group of surface ships and an attack by a large number of aircraft will still result in the loss of several ships. That is the lesson of history because to fight aircraft and protect your ships you need your own air cover. Any so called show of strength by NATO surface ships in this region without considerable air support is a gesture of displeasure and little else.

Geoffrey Hicking

It is incredibly depressing that surface ships needed to be treated with kid gloves these days. in a major war, they are there as a last resort- the aircraft and subs do everything offensive these days.

In peacetime they are vital, but it is probably a good thing that the T45 numbers were slashed. Carriers are infinitely more important.

Yes, I know, armchair admiral and all that. but aircraft have such an overwhelming advantage. Meh.


An aircraft carrier won’t survive for for very long in the black sea either,especially one with no aircraft. I believe that they are banned from entering the black sea by treaty in any case.

Mr Putin

Don’t you lot mess with us, my boys we will kick your heads in, O.K.


I see the episode last night, not saying the incident with the Russian jets didn’t happen, but most of the so called Russian jets in last nights episode shown was actually hawks,,,very clearly! i see one or two Russian jets, the rest were our hawks LOL shocking from channel 5!


One of the things that was quite interesting is that the crew of a T45 is quoted as 191 with accommodation for 235. Yet Duncan sailed with 280. They made a feature of the cramped conditions. But how could they be 90 people different from the designed crew to the actual crew. It’s no wonder that the navy is short of sailors.

Wilton Lewis

This incident points up one very clear weakness with the Type 45 design: limited missile capacity. OK, the ship could have dealt with this “raid”, and another of similar scale, but what then? Almost all the missiles would have been fired, and even worse, they cannot be reloaded into the silos underway at sea. Contrast the magazine capacity of a Type 45 with similar ships in the USN.

Rob N

Yes you are quite right too few missiles. The are likely to be more accurate then the USN ones so less will be used to get a kill. However 48 are too few. It is almost like the built the T45 to fight a Falklands war not a NATO vs Russia/China conflict.

Subby Human

The documentary looked ok on tv except that it seemed like maybe the top brass contacted the russians before hand and agreed on the visit.

They extoled the superiousness of the 1BN bit of RADAR and how it can peek for hundreds of miles and up to space, and 5 minutes later they report that the radar has lost a russian ship right under their nose.

Then all the planes appear and after they leave the ship is told it is still on high alert, they have little time to eat as they are on alert YET they forget about the high alert and all stand about taking the pee having a drugs test.

Bet some “of the club” make a few quid on the defence contracts…

Also have proper studies been done about the deliterious affect on mens performance when in company of females and also variations of female effectiveness due to pre mentrual tension affecting decisions….Sorry to step on the female ego.

John Gartside

Excellent series. Well done CH 5. Well produced, informative and balanced rather human content. Narrative a little over dramatic for me. However Chanel 5 is applauded for commissioning this series. Well done.


By Mike

Over the last 30 years every government has cut the size of the RN. We now have a very small navy. Yet the politicians are now threatening Russia ?

John Wilson

In a real war Duncan would not even have seen what a hell just hit them. They would have been sunk in minutes and the professional military knows it. Of course the tribal ignoramus would not agree. Let them. Then if that happen they are all deeply shocked:”How it can be? The Russian Navy is a rust bucket and their whole army is obsolete comparing to ‘superior’ west technology” That’s the narrative spewed by the fake news media for the insouciant and naive swallow or tribalists like to believe.

Tim Higgins

Keep poking the bear, nothing good is going to become of it.