Subscribe
Notify of
guest

202 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Salty Dog

This is effectively a five inch gun, Battleships are no longer around, I’m guessing you are talking historically ? Agreed they are a step up which begs the question why the T31’s are being fitted with 2 1/4 inch guns as main armament. ????? If anyone can shed some light please ?

Jamie

It appears that you have been ill informed,
The Type 31 will be equipped with a 57mm and 2 40mm’s. The 2 40mms are not a main armament per say but will most likely be used as a CIWS / Small craft attack role. They are doing this as it would be overkill to have a ship where its main job will be patrolling in high risk zones such as the straights of hormuz use a 5 inch gun where most vessels of danger will be nothing bigger then a fishing boat or equivalent.
In short the 5 inch is too big for the Type 31’s role and use thus has been overlooked for the other option the 57 & 40mm

stu

57mm is 2.24409 inches. I think he was just rounding up & making the point it’s less than half.

Salty Dog

I was…….. !

Tom

I’m making more than 85 dollars per hour by just doing a very easy and simple online job from home. Last month my friend sis received 13k us dollars from this work by just giving only 10 to 12 hrs a day. Everybody start earning money online. visit for more details…This is what I do.. https://incomeliberty7.blogspot.com/

Last edited 3 months ago by Tom
Rudeboy

MODS…
Please have a report function…

Salty Dog

Oh dear…. I was under the impression that the 5 T31’s were replacing the GP T23’s…. which all mount 4.5 inch main guns. You are now telling me that I’m “I’ll Informed” and that 57 mm is not the two and a quarter inches that I always thought they were. Any links you can share here to back up your facts please ?

Yank

Seems a bit backwards to me. I would think the 31 would get more use out of a larger and heavier hitting anti-ship gun specifically because it’s made for low intensity conflicts where the chances of gun action are far higher.

As opposed to the 26, which is made for high intensity conflicts where guns in the anti-ship role are far less likely to be a factor. Seems like in that situation a smaller and faster firing AA type gun would be more useful as defense against incoming missiles.

Meirion x

A 5 inch gun could fire mini depth charges several km’s, in a few seconds, faster then a torpedo.

Duker

Nope. A 5in gun AS ‘mortar’ would have no effect on hull of a submerged submarine with a very strong hull. The explosive charge is tiny

Thats why they used to use these 12 inchers which are way way out of date ( and the had to be a multiple shot pattern to produce a large enough shock wave)

Limbo_ASW_mortar_on_HMNZS_Taranaki_(F148)_c1963[1].jpg
Bloke down the pub
Steve
Last edited 3 months ago by Steve
Duker

Its too silly for words . A depth charge of a few kg of explosive isnt going to make any difference even to a WW2 sub marine hull let alone modern types with far stronger steel ( for deeper dives )

Im surprised Navy Lookout gave it any credence but Im pretty sure the RN ASW people will give the idea short shrift.

Supportive Bloke

I think it depend on what is delivered and how?

It it was say a tungsten dart with an explosive armour penetrating charge that was hammered down on the sub by an in water active propulsion system it *might* not be so silly?

Personally I think the idea of throwing out sonar buoys at range and speed into a pattern has some legs? Backed up by a drone doing the same and another drone/cab to drop a heavy torpedoe.

Duker

How does this ‘tungsten dart’ find a sub underwater – which is moving from the point they thought it was when the gun fired the ‘5 in depth charge’
The ‘dumb’ depth charges and mortars from post war period were replaced by actual 12 in torpedoes that had their own sonars which searched after the Ikara or rocket projectile dropped it in the traget area from the ships own sonars .

Wacky ideas that required even wackier answers to their basic problems isnt an answer

Check out how tungsten darts as used in MBT work and perhaps you might see the first flaw of many ( hint the dart is fired from the barrel itself not from the shell as it nears the target)

Rudeboy

Against a manned submarine its useless…

But against a UUV…..

Rob N

T26 has 2 Phalanx 20mm for as CIWS, however I think it would be better to ditch the Phalanx and fit 2 40mm mounts with 3P smart ammunition instead. The 5inch on the T26 would be good for fleet defence and this ability will be enhanced with new high velocity and extended range ammunition. I think the T45 should ditch its 4.5 gun and replace it with a 57mm gun more suited to air defence, it should also ditch its Phalanx and move to 2 40mm….

Rudeboy

The beauty of Phalanx is that it includes all of the search, guidance, radar E/O and tracking system in the mount.

A 40mm Bofors does not…

Sunmack

A T31 must never be deployed independently in the Gulf. It would be criminal to use a ship that has only OPV sensor and weapon capabilities in that way.

There is a substantial range of undersea threats in the Gulf including mines, mini-submarines and conventional submarines. The T31 has no ASW detection capability or weapons and neither does it’s Wildcat helicopter (it has to rely on the ships sensors to drop a torpedo).

There are a significant number of SSM equipped warships and as the T31 has no SSM’s of its own, it can’t establish a sterile zone around itself to keep them out of launch range. There are also land based and air launched ASM’s and the T31 has only 12 missiles to defend itself against that huge spectrum and volume of ASM threats.

ATH

Then you need to have a word with the First Sea Lord as my bet is the T31 will take over the Gulf presence soon after the type is established in service.

Matt Smith

The T31 was intended as a global patrol ship to replace the B2 Rivers, however they are the wrong ship and the requirement has moved on.

The B2s are a perfect platform for the low level shadow war be fought against China. They provide a sustainable forward presence, capable and operating across a wide area and a large number of ports. A large under armed frigate is limited in where it can go due to its size and can be accused of increasing tensions due to it being classed as a warship.

We have the ordered, so we cannot cancel them, so let’s arm / equip them properly and get over the obsession with “cheap” warships if they don’t fit the requirements.

ATH

They will do what the GP version of the T23’s do. Maybe they will get an anti ship missile in a few years, but in the next 4 or 5 not getting a numbers cut of a reduction in production rate will be a good outcome.
With the economy heading for the toilet and LT wedded to tax cuts being the solution to all are ills things are going to be difficult at spending departments including the MoD.

Rudeboy

I don’t think anyone needs to worry about Liz Truss…at least in the medium/long term.

She won’t last more than 2 years. We all thought the Conservatives had lost the plot picking Boris….and so it proved, but picking Liz Truss as leader indicates they are utterly insane…

Right now they’re going to be headed back to the backbenchers for a New Labour style length of time. I’m not actually sure there is anything worth saving in the Conservative Party at present, they’re utterly detached from reality with no real ‘ideology’ at all.

D J

Currently they can’t do what the GP T23 can do. They have no hull mounted sonar, don’t have a NGFS capable main gun, don’t have any heavyweight AShM & likely only 12 CAMM, 24 at the outside. GP T23 has a hull mounted sonar, 4.5” gun, 8 x heavyweight canister AShM (Harpoon) & 32 CAMM. T31 has loads of potential, but too many bad choices were made that will cost far too much to rectify.

donald_of_tokyo

T31 is very much optimized for KIPION task, countering the “gray zone” war against Iran, to my understanding.

1: cheapish fast boats on swarm
2: cheap UAVs in number
3: occasional ASM attack (in many cases, not so high-tech ones)

These three are the typical threat T31 will see there, and T31 is actually the most properly equipped assets against such threat, Much better than T23, T26 or T45 can do, T31 can handle it, as I understand.

Items-1 and 2, and partly 3, can be well handled by CAMM. If item-3 is in a bit high end, CAMM will defend the ship. As high-tech missiles are DEADLY expensive, it will not come in number.

Using CAMM to shoot down cheap drones is a waste. As such drones will be numerous, CAMM number will quickly come short. 3P rounds of 57 mm and 40 mm guns will perfectly handle it, because such drones are inevitable slow and not agile.

Being simpler means less maintenance, which means larger sea-going days. Even if you have a T45/23/26, it won’t be in theater in non-negligible occasion because of maintenance. On the other hand, T31 with longer sea-going days can be there in more occasion. Big difference.

D J

Donald

T31 may be usable against Iran (questionable IMO). But Iran is not the main problem. There are bigger fish. Russia can never be out of the picture. Many point to their troubles in Ukraine, but Russia spends more of it’s time looking over it’s shoulder at NATO. The real problem is not Russia, but China. Against China, T31 is more of a liability than an asset. Allies will waste resources trying to protect it. It is basically an oversized OPV, without a reason to be so. It would have been better to only build 4, but spend the money to exceed GP T31 specs.

Val

https://www.arrowhead140.com The land strike version features a 5″ gun.

Salty Dog

OK cool, but that’s nothing to do with the question I actually asked is it ?

ATH

Money. The T31 was all about cost. The RN decided that for the long term deployment’s these ships will likely undertake a bigger ship was better. But that meant compromises elsewhere. In particular in the sensor package, number of Sea Ceptors carried and the size of the main gun.

Salty Dog

Exactly. Just like the Rivers really, Build them, sail them but don’t ask them to actually fight. Am I wrong ?

ATH

In part.
The B2 rivers are very much pure OPV’s. Pirates and drug runners are about the limit of there combat capabilities.
The T31 is very different it has as being built reasonable defence against medium sized air and or anti ship missile attack and good defence against “small boat swarm” attack. This will allow them to operate in much more dangerous areas than a B2. What they don’t have are anti sub defences or significant attack capability. They are fine for patrol and trade protection is most areas but not much use in offensive ops with the carrier group.
You get what you pay for. A full spectrum even light frigate would cost 50-100% more than a T31.

Steve

Kinda depends, if you use them in coordination with other vessels they can help create a layered defense bubble around the carrier’s. After all they will have limited, not nonexistent anti air defense capability and sonar.

Salty Dog

So, what you are saying is that these 5 ships will be patrolling the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Persia and the Caribbean most of their lives leaving just the 8 T26’s to do all the other work.

ATH

I doubt they will spend much time in the Caribbean, that’s the perfect area for a B2 River. If you made me guess I would say 1 at home for training. 1 in the Gulf with a second backing it up to cover maintenance, working with the LRT if it happens and working in the Indian Ocean. 2 working in the Pacific possibly with 1 or both of the B2 currently there. This presupposes the new government is still keen on a British presence in the area.
The T26’s will be on exercise or standby for Carrier ops together with North Atlantic anti sub work.
Non of this will be cast in stone but will in my opinion be the general pattern.

Salty Dog

Pretty much how I see it too. That then just leaves the T32’s.

ATH

At the moment no one knows what the T32 is going to be. I could be anything from a more automated T31 to a completely new light ASW mother ship for the North Atlantic.
The other issue is funding. It’s clear the next few years in the U.K. are going to be very difficult. Getting any new projects approved will be hard. It wouldn’t surprise me if the government was to try and negotiate to add a couple of T31’s to the program in return for slowing the build rate/spending rate. There may also be a push to sell ships that are close to completion to any takers that can be found. If it’s lucky the RN would get its ships added to the back of the line.

donald_of_tokyo

T31 is new, so less maintenance than T23GP.
T31 is lightly armed, so even less maintenance load than T23GP.
Thus, a single T31 will provide much longer sea-going days than a T23GP, which was 227 days in 2020.

Also, I think RN may adopt the “dual crew” concept now utilized in HMS Montrose.

Imagine 5 T31, all with dual crew adopted.

  • One hull may be in long maintenance,
  • 4 hulls will provide 240-260 sea going days each –> 1000 sea-going days per year

The sea-going days provided by the 5 (or 4) T23GPs within 2015-2020 was 375 days/year in average. The 4 (+1 in long maintenance) T31 can provide ~1000 days/year, or 2.7 times more.

Big big improvement.

On the contrary, as dual crewed, total number of crew needed here increases (even though the nominal crew ~120 of T31 is 2/3 of ~180 of T23 (both including Wildcat flight)). May be even doubled. As RN lack crew now, just fully utilizing the T31 will be a big challenge for RN. (and there is no room for additional T32, I guess)

Sunmack

Pirates and drug runners are well beyond the capabilities of the B2 River’s. They have no hanger so can’t permanently embark a helicopter and without that they have no over the horizon capabilities which are essential in monitoring and pursuing pirates and drug runners

ATH

They will get mid weight drones to do that in the next few years money willing.

Meirion x

An armed Wildcat was trailed on a B2 this year in the Med.

Sunmack

To your point about a light frigate costing 50% more. The original budget for the T31 was £250m per ship. The budget for the Finnish Pohjanmaa class is £294m per ship or 18% more. For five ships that would cost a total of £220m which could be paid for by cancelling the £250m National Ship.

The Finnish ship has an ASW sonar, 8 SSM’s and 32 SAM’s

ATH

A class designed for short duration missions in the restricted waters of the Baltic is not what the RN was told to buy. From the very beginning world wide longterm deployments with rotating crews were the planed usage of the class.

ATH

As to the national flagship I’m sure that will be gone within weeks of BJ’s departure. But the money will probably be needed to cover the inflation related cost increases the MoD is facing.
With the economy in a mess and tax cuts being LT’s path to No 10 all government departments are going to struggle to pay their bills. Thoughts of defence spending increases are likely to become ambitions to increase spending in the next 5-8 years,

Salty Dog

Are you blaming Boris, Brexit or Putin ?, personally, I think we’re in for a cluster….k of challenges over the next few years and that’s nothing if Vlad decides to throw all his nuke toys out of his pram. I’ve been saying this for decades now, the West have missed a massive opportunity to really reap the benefits of the end of the cold war.

ATH

The “National Flagship” boondoggle is purely down to BJ. It’s in the same file as his Garden Bridge. Fortunately there’s a good chance that neither will go beyond CGI.
The economic mess is a mixture. Years of failure to improve productivity put the U.K. economy in a fundamentally weak position. Combine that with Brexit and Brexit done badly and Ukraine and things are going to be bad, and probably worse than most of the G7.

Salty Dog

Maybe we should have kept Gordon Brown in then.

ATH

Or any of the the people before or after him. Non of them would have been as bad as BJ.

Duker

What weak position ? Have you seen the dire straights Germany is in?
UK unemployment level is 3.8% in 2022 and for goodness sake let the 2016 project fear claims over Brexit go

Duker

The 250 mill National ship was never budgeted and cancelling something that was a no go wont produce any money

Jon

After announcing the National Flagship, they cancelled a £250m project that was budgeted, the ship to surface missile. Now the Flagship is likely sunk along with the past regime, the missile has made a comeback. Coincidence, or do we just believe the obvious about where the money came from and to where it’s returned?

Jonathan

To be honest the 57mm and 40mms is a far better set up that a 5inch gun for what the T31s are going to end up doing. Which will be escorting and keeping crowed sea lanes open. With their most likely enemy being a nation that likes to use small boad swarms. From an anti small combatant/boat swarm and air defence point of view the 57mm x2 40mm is better in every way than the 5inch. The area it falls down on is NGFS, which is a shame but, the 5 inch overall would make the T31 a less effective escort.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jonathan
donald_of_tokyo

Totally agree.

John Clark

They may initially be lacking in ASW and large ship SW, but the gun fit is actually pretty impressive.

The mix of 57 mm with smart ammunition and the twin 40mm, with the 24 CAMM load out will provide one hell of a protective umbrella.

ASW and SW will likely be addressed via upgrades, using the bays for ASW and Mine warfare and a bolt on missile system for SW.

As has already been suggested, the world situation has certainly changed and a more complete weapons fit and additional T31’s must now front and center in planners minds.

If the RN wants a relatively quick and affordable uplift in numbers, then ‘a more complete load out’ T31 really is a no brainer.

Supportive Bloke

But, and it is a very important but, T31 can be unarmed to be a very, very impressive warship.

FormerUSAF

? Presume you intended to write armed? Guilty of many kb glitches, myself. 🤔🙄😁

Watcherzero

The 40mm are dual purpose CIWS-Anti Ship, the 57mm is the main anti ship armament (but can also do anti-air as well).

Theyve chosen to use 40mm for CIWS as opposed to the traditional 30mm Goalkeeper or 20mm Phalanx with an eye to the increasing use of supersonic anti-ship missiles with the 40mm providing greater range and flak volume.

Salty Dog

Well I do like that answer, it’s way better than the others above, but I still question the choice given the numbers of Type 26’s being built in comparison to the number of type 23’s being replaced.

Deep32

The choice of gun on the T26 is effectively a throw back to the old Global Combat Ship requirement. GCS eventually turned into the T26 as we know it today. The navy originally wanted 13, split 8/5 ASW/GP, with the only real difference being the 5 GP variants had no tail fitted. This proved too expensive an option, so the 5 GP variants were turned into T31s.
The 127mm gun stayed on the T26 as that was in the original requirement. The T31 got a new gun fit as the Navy couldn’t afford to equip them with 127mm guns. You might argue that the gun fits are the wrong way round, but I imagine that redesign costs and initial orders for the guns meant they things sayed as is.

Salty Dog

Thank you Deep, that explains everything I actually wanted to hear and I thank you for your matter of fact reply. At one point there was talk of “At least 5 Type 31’s” but that all ended pretty soon, I’m hoping that we will still get the extra type 32’s though but history and government promises are seldom exactly truthful.

Steve

‘at least’ is goverment code word for that number and no more, maybe less. Can’t think of any time it has been used to mean it’s dictonary definition.

Meirion x

Do you know anything about the mini depth charges to fit 5″ gun, are they U.S made, Deep?

Deep32

Believe it’s a BAE proposal (Kingfisher) of what they might be able to provide, not entirely sure if it’s ever going to see the light of day so to speak?

Duker

WW2 depth charges had 130 kg of TNT and wernt that good unless a ‘direct hit’

A 5in shell to provide a ‘mini depth charge’ is a joke as its bursting charge is 3-4 kg

Supportive Bloke

Agreed

Jed

Isn’t the CIWS capability still up for debate? If you define CIWS as anti-missile capable, then it is doubtful the scan rate of the NS110 main radar will revisit the target often enough if it’s a high subsonic missile capable of terminal maneuvers, or a supersonic one. None of the guns (57 or 40’s) have a dedicated fire control radar, relying on the EO systems for target tracking, and again there seems to be some difference of opinion as whether the EO is good enough all weather solution against small, fast sea skimming targets; so really the 3P ammo is meant to provide a good capability against fast small boat swarms ??? So really for anti-air it’s the smalll number of CAMM, and maybe the guns if the EO can get and keep a lock???

Sean

Nothing wrong the 57mm as a main gun. The most well funded navy in the world, the US Navy has chosen the 57mm to be the main gun on the 20 Constellation class frigates that it plans to build – each of these will cost over $1bn.

Salty Dog

Well it all depends on your viewpoint and what it may be called upon to do, I see the T31 as being built down to a low price with a very small package of armaments and a “Main Gun” no bigger than a WW2 6 pounder.

RichardIC

Could a WW2 6 pounder fire smart ammunition at 200 rpm? Or were there any proposals to give it guided rounds. What it fires is far more important than the calibre of gun.

Salty Dog

No, of course not and neither did the 14,15 and 16 inch naval guns but they sure as hell packed a bigger punch (at the time) just like the 127mm does now.

D J

The 57mm can do that for all of 10-15 seconds. Then it overheats & stops firing. A 57mm cannot fire 200 rounds in one minute, even if the magazine supported it. A76mm SR can fire 120 rounds in one minute if the magazine supports it. An upgraded 76mm compact can do 100rpm. If you can keep feeding the magazine fast enough, they will keep firing. The 57mm will refuse to fire (to ensure the shell does not detonate in the overheated barrel). The 76mm is water cooled, 57mm air cooled. Both can fire 3P type ammunition (4AP in the case of 76mm). The SR also has guided munitions.

A frigate armed with a 57mm will likely lose in a surface warfare scenario against even an OPV with a 76mm SR if there is no AShM involved. This is ignoring rounds like Volcano (40km). It doesn’t matter if the ship manoeuvres within range, Canadian live fire SinkEx shows, unless you are extremely lucky, the 57mm looses. The USN Constellation class will have 16 NSM AShM. T31 – currently none. A current specked T31 will struggle against a Brunei OPV (both have 57mm), however the Brunei ships have the latest Exocet version (as used by French navy).

Jon

The Darussalam has a flight deck but no hangar (it’s the parent class for the Aussie Arafura), and unlike the RN, the RBN doesn’t run any helicopters, so I quite fancy the chances of an OTH Wildcat with Sea Venom hosted on a Type 31 against the Exocet-armed OPV. Rather than a struggle, it’s almost a tailor-made battle for the RN, looking at Lynx/Sea Skua history (if it weren’t for the fact that Brunei is an ally).

And now you have me wondering if a Mach 2 Martlet could intercept a subsonic cruise missile, like Exocet.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jon
Jon

The Brunei navy (our allies, by the way) don’t have helicopters for their OPVs, whereas the Type 31 will have a Wildcat with Sea Venom. There wouldn’t be a struggle.

D J

Except the Sea Venom & Wildcat still has the 57mm to get past. The Brunei version of Exocet is the latest mm40 Block 3 version, as used by the French navy. If the Exocet strikes home you will definitely know about it. Brunei is a pretty small nation. The reason for not having a hangar (Brunei do have helicopters, but no dedicated Navy helicopters), is they don’t have far to go. They could easily fly them on or off from the mainland. Sea Venom is a short range lightweight helicopter launched AShM designed to take on regular OPV sized & armed vessels. Exocet is a heavyweight, long range (180km) missile, designed to take on modern, missile armed frigates.

The Brunei example is just that. An example. You should not be comparing a 5,7000t frigate to a 1,624t OPV, yet why are they comparable? If you want another, look at the Thailand version of the B2 Rivers.

Just Me

The RN wanted to standardise on a 5” gun for medium warships, and a 3” aka 76mm automatic for minor warships. See the 3” AA mounts on Tiger Class cruisers.
The 4.5” is a historical anomaly due to the 3” failing.

Duker

Not so. The 4.5 in in a twin automatic turret replaced the 4.7 in as the primary gun of destroyers . Frigates and such were 4 in during WW2 and standardised on the 4.5 in after the war.
The 3in in an automatic turret was for AA purposes only and used alongside the 6 in auto in the Tiger class. I dont know that it ‘failed’ other than usual RN lack of development for their turrets and loading which led to jamming.

Joe16

You’ve already had a good reply or two, but I’d throw another angle in there: I’d suggest that the T31’s armament is a more modern (and suitable) gun armament for a surface combattant.
The conflict
in Ukraine is showing that range and precision are king (everyone loves HIMARS
these days), and there’s no reason to think that combat at sea is different-
whether it’s ship-to-ship or NGFS. The counterpoint to that is always that it’s
a lot cheaper to sling a few shells at a target than a guided missile, but only
the most accurate 155 mm shells like Excalibur or Vulcano match the HIMARS guided
rockets for precision and they have a much shorter range. They also pack way
less punch in terms of warhead. That brings reversal of the economy- one or two
precision guided rockets accomplish what would otherwise take quite a number of
artillery shells (even guided on larger targets). As guidance systems and
sensor packs get cheaper, this economy is only going to be extended. By the
time we’re getting to rocket-assisted ramjet 155mm shells with guidance
systems, all so they can be fired from traditional tubes rather than a VLS or cannister,
is there really significant cost difference?
In my (civvy person) opinion, the place for guns on ships is for what T31 has them: Close-in defence against smaller boats, aircraft (unmanned or otherwise), and missiles, where the high volume of fire and decent sized shell (compared to the traditional 20/30 mm) are effective. If we’re expecting surface ships to kill other large surface combattants (technically the RN assigns this task to SSNs, rather than escorts), then AShMs are the answer; if we want them to provide NGFS, then we could do worse than qualify HIMARS rockets for naval use. The “problem” with the T31 is its lack of longer-range AShM (remember, Sea Ceptor has a secondary surface strike capability), which is something shared by the rest of the fleet. My limited understanding says that its gun armament is just fine, and that T26 is a generation behind.

Salty Dog

Oh, Ok then.I’ll go by your superior knowledge then.

Joe16

Not superior knowledge, just an interest in military history and watching the news. I’m not saying I’m right, I made it pretty clear I wasn’t an expert.
A few precision bombs level bridges and other targets in Vietnam that would have taken multiple bomber raids during WW2. Dozens of modern 155 mm howitzers have been provided to Ukraine, where they’ve been warmly received- but they write pop songs about just 16 HIMARS units’ success in ruining Russia’s logistics at greater range.
I know Salty is in the name, but not sure what the issue with what I wrote was? It was just a suggestion meant to encourage discussion, nothing more. 

Duker

Ukraine had its own ballistic missile industry from the Soviet days and the widespread conclusions in the last decade was the North Koreans had bought more advanced rocket motors from Ukraine
Ukraine has plenty of its own rocket artillery and heavier long range guns.
The only difference now is Nato is providing the target lists and locations and for technical compatible reasons that is more precise and faster with Nato standard artillery.
Of course in any war the morale side over hypes the accuracy of any targeting. And hyper scale puffery from military contractors would leave those selling womens makup products speechless.
Remember the early claims UKs new carriers wouldnt need so many embarked F-35s as they would have a ridiculously high daily sortie rate and and near perfect target hitting capability

Joe16

I hadn’t heard that, but wouldn’t be surprised re the North Koreans. This current war has helpfully encouraged the west to ignore the state of democracy and corruption in Ukraine, which is rather poorer than we’d normally be comfortable with. Are they still capable of making ballistic missiles, or are they just going through their old stocks?
Ukraine does indeed manufacture and have a lot of rocket artillery and big guns, almost all of it of Soviet pedigree and definitely unguided. And that’s the point I was trying to make, and the big difference that HIMARS appears to be making- it has a slightly longer range and you need fewer missiles to deliver the same effect. HIMARS has publicly, according to DoD, a circular error probable (CEP) of 15 m out to 70 km- which means that 50% of rounds (with a 100 kg warhead) will land within 15 m of the desired point, and 90% within 30 m.If 100 kg of explosive went off within 30 m of most targets that aren’t a bunker, that’d be done and dusted. Equivalent Soviet system would be a BM-27 (rocket of approx. 220 mm diameter and warhead ~100 kg), which has an apparent effective range of 35-40 km (Wikipedia)- which would be the range you could expect consistent accuracy at. I’ve not been able to find CEP for the BM-27, but for the smaller Grad it’s supposed to be about 100 m. Let’s call it 50 m to be generous. You can see how many BM-27 rockets you’d need to hit a point target compared to HIMARS against anything other than an area target.
Sure, DoD are potentially exaggerating for HIMARS, and maybe BM-27s are a bit more accurate than the internet suggests. But that’s a huge difference in accuracy, even before we talk about accuracy at maximum range- which drops off for unguided rockets. But you’re right either way- the targeting data being provided by NATO makes the biggest difference; it’s no good having a super-long range, super-accurate missile if you don’t know where to fire it at.
Yes, I agree that the economy of reliability +/- accuracy can only be taken so far and mass is vital. Our tank force is another good example, like the carriers. But my original point was that you can get better economy in terms of range, accuracy and payload from the newer guided rocket types than you can from guided shells, and so gun and missile armament for our escorts should reflect that. The number of escorts we have is a different conversation entirely!

Salty Dog

“This current war, blah blah blah in Ukraine, blah blah blah” Seriously ? You believe that the Ukraine is any more corrupt than any other Country ? Man, get a grip.

Joe16

It’s Ukraine, not “the Ukraine”- unless you’re following Russia’s narrative of it being a region rather than independent state of course? If you support them, at least show Ukrainians the respect of referring to their country the way they have asked.
Seeing as there’s a global corruption index, with countries being ranked, then I guess most people do think that some countries are more corrupt than others. I struggle to believe that you actually think that the UK is as corrupt as Nigeria? It may be you who needs to get a grip if you think that. When was the last time you had to pay a bribe in the UK to receive basic services, or to get official ID documents, or to avoid a fine from the police? I’ve no doubt that there is corruption at high levels in all countries, but it’s the extent of it, and the impact that has on the functioning of a productive and fair society that can be and is ranked. Ukraine comes in joint 122nd out of 180 countries, the lowest of any European country- although higher than Russia. Corruption within public institutions was specifically cited as reasons for not allowing membership of the EU, the IMF have made reduction in corruption a condition of continuing aid, and USAID have also highlighted concerns, so again it would seem that corruption is indeed a measurable concern in Ukraine. 

Duker

No need to be absurd over ‘pronouns’ my friend – I hope friend is gender neutral for you/them
Ukraine – ‘The Ukraine’ makes no difference

Joe16

Haha, while I seek to refer to people how they wish to be referred to as a general gesture of respect I also try not to be absurd about it- a friend is a friend, mate!
With that respect in mind, I’d point out Ukraine and ‘the Ukraine’ makes a big difference to them. Yes, it’s the same region, same people, same language, same history. But it’s the history that makes the difference. They were ‘The Ukraine’ because they were a territory of either the Russian Empire or the USSR- and suffered terribly under both. When they gained independence in 1991, they very deliberately dropped the ‘The’ in their constitution as part of the emphasis of what that indpendence meant. Using The Ukraine 31 years after the name change is not a million miles away from referring to Poland as the Polish People’s Republic, it’s going to p*ss off a lot of people who remember how bad life was under Soviet rule. Especially as they’re experiencing a new round of aggression from their historic rulers.
But it’s not me saying that, it’s Ukrainians themselves.
https://time.com/12597/the-ukraine-or-ukraine/

Duker

Ever heard of The United States ?
If I wanted to call it a russian province it would be called Ukraina

Essentially its a slavic word for borderlands and only a small area is ‘Ukrainian’ most of the rest was added by Lenin , Stalin and Kruschev ( Crimea) that werent traditional Ukraine areas. But of course the ‘modern rule’ is cant change borders unless its agreed – which was ignored when Turkey invaded Cyprus and Nato invaded Kosovo ( still there 25 years later) and nato interventions in Afghanistan and Libya allowed only because …reasons

Duker

Yes. Ukraine was far more corrupt even than Russia ( which is saying something)
You are in a dream world if you thought differently

Thats why they kept changing Politicians every term and replacing them with ‘non political types’ – Chocolate millionaires, TV actors. Even Zelensky was seen as a pawn of the oligarchs until the war started and is now recognised for his leadership.

As for Ukraines heavy weapons I wouldnt call the previous types ‘unguided’. It might not have been a precise as the latest Nato types ( and thats partly hype from those who take up the war porn aspect).

But you think about it , a 155mm shell is about as unguided as it gets , the target information when its immediate and provided to gun layers makes all the difference. Thats where Nato is making all the difference and its seems the US has electronic and human intell inside the Russian military at its higher command levels outside Ukraine itself. ( They knew all the Russian war plans months before the invasion and even Zelensky didnt really believe an invasion prep was under way until right up to when it happened – according the Washington Post story on the lead up)

Jim

Because the 5″, though originally a dual-purpose calibre, no longer really is (as the article alluded to when comparing the traverse and elevation rates to the 4.5″). The 57mm (plus the 2x 40mm) guns being fitted to the T31 are dual-purpose, though heavily weighted towards AA, and defence against swarms of speed boats.

This armament supports the idea that the T31 is intended to be a forward-deployed patrol ship to counter piracy around Africa and southeast Asia as well as protecting shipping in maritime choke points like the Strait of Hormuz and acting as counter-terrorism ships, even as backup to the River class if they are likely to be overwhelmed by Chinese fishing fleets etc. Most of these don’t have the most advanced anti-ship missiles, rather on their own guns, suicide drone swarms etc so relying on gun-based AA systems is a much more cost-effective solution.

A 57mm gun will still mess up a Corvette or anything smaller, such as the boats they’re likely to face, and the 40mm will be rather potent against small boats too, so I still see them as dual-purpose weapons.

Personally, I might have chosen to go for the OTO Melara 76mm SR, as I believe they were offered at the same price as the 57mm mk.110 and the weight was similar too, but I’m not sure what swung the decision in favour of the 57mm (possibly rate of fire?).

Oh, and I nearly forgot. At £250m per ship, there was no way they could fit a £50m 5″ gun into that budget, even as the more “expendable” (aka cheaper) general-purpose asset, they might have made more sense to be fitted for NGFS over the expensive ASuW vessel, and fitted the T26 with the 76mm instead, but defence budgets are funny things.

Last edited 2 months ago by Jim
Steven Alfred Rake

All the above mentioned new systems look good, the 5″ is ha heavy hitter, the 57mm and 40 mm will give a good account of them selves but my only drip is the logistics. The RFA are struggling to supply the 4.5″, 30mm and 20mm already in service so for some time to come they will have to supply 5″, 4.5″, 57mm, 40mm, 30mm and 20mm not to mention the millions of 7.62 for the strap-on GPMGs with just the Fort Victoria at the moment she is going to struggle!!. Even when/if the 4 promised new RFAs enter service there is going to be struggle to replenish all weapons in an heavy hitting environment and we have not even talked about missile/ bombs and torpedo replacements.

David Steeper

Good points but 20mm is only on River B1’s. Am sure 30mm will be replaced if 40mm proves superior in service which is still a few years away.

Steven Alfred Rake

The Phalanx uses more 20mm than you can shake a stick at, I am sure that in time the Phalanx (20mm), 30mm and 4.5″ will disappear from the RN inventory but that is going to take some time and in the mean time we only have RFA Fort Victoria to resupply the whole fleet.

ATH

Clearly for a number of years support of anything outside the carrier force will be done in friendly ports.

Steven Alfred Rake

You are assuming there will be a friendly port capable of resupplying a taskforce within the operational area of the deployment or are we only going to deploy RN vessels in areas of the world that will allow RN vessels into their ports. Also with just one RFA vessel capable of resupplying the fleet with arms, ammunition, dry goods as well as spear parts there is only a finite amount of stuff that can be carried so by adding to the list of stuff (more calibres of munitions) we are adding more complexities to an already complex logistic chain and the weak point in that chain is the fact that we only have one vessel capable of delivering the stuff to the fleet at sea.

ATH

The situation is very bad. But nothing can be done about it for 5 years. I doubt any of the new shells bar the 5” will be stocked by Fort Vic. She will purely support the carrier group which the T31 won’t be a significant if any part of.

Steven Alfred Rake

The USN are thinking of getting rid of the Montford Point and the John Glenn these are only 10 years old and with a small conversion would fit well into the RFA. They are even looking at down sizing the Lewis and Clark Auxiliary fleet with most of them only 15 years old would make a significant improvement to the current disposition of the RFA .
Several of the Bob Hope class as well might be coming up for sale as the USMC reshuffle there priorities. If the RN is to be taken seriously we need to be maintain the ability to RAS. So if we have not got the money to build a new class for the RFA then we must look at what we can get off the shelf.

ATH

The Montford Point, John Glenn and any of the Bob Hopes are not solid stores ships or anything close. Rebuilding them would likely take almost as long as waiting for the current procurement.
As to the Lewis and Clark Class where are you getting that the USN wants to get rid of some of them? With there push to increase Pacific Ops it seams odd.
The current situation is not good but unfortunately there is no magic wand to wave and get out of it.

Last edited 3 months ago by ATH
Steven Alfred Rake

The M.P and J.G along with the B.H’s are build to carry and deliver a lot of diffrent equipment and goods, but would need RAS gantry’s installed this is true but would be a temporary stopgap while the MoD get their s–t together and order the new replacements for F.V.
As far as the L.C’s go the USMC are having a rethink on the prepositioned program and “might” let the Lewis Clark and Sacagawea go back the the regular fleet so there is a possibility that there would be one or possible two L.C’s hanging around for “charter” or sale either way it would be an prudent if the MoD expressed an interest in acquiring 1 or 2 of these as they would be a good asset for the RFA which would only need a coat of dark grey paint and a new name.

ATH

This is a total fantasy. There is no chance of it happening.

Steven Alfred Rake

I just wonder if the MoD is as negative as a lot of the regulars on this site who clearly work or have worked for the MoD. Have they (the MoD) asked USN/USMC if we could charter/buy one or two vessels to help the RFA with dry goods delivery until the replacements for Fort Victoria come on line. As it stands at the moment the RSA of dry goods will soon be yet anouther capacity lost to the RN.

David Steeper

Never considered CIWS in same category as 4.5, 30 or Oerlikon 20. I see what you mean but I see it as a specialised stand alone system. Type 26 being equipped with them certainly doesn’t help my argument but I see Sea Ceptor as the Phalanx replacement not 40mm.

Last edited 3 months ago by David Steeper
Steven Alfred Rake

The Phalanx still needs to be resupplied especially in an high threat environment so in the mean time the only option is to get the proposed replacements for Fort Victoria at sea ASAP.

ATH

ASAP is still more than 5 years when you include sea trials, work up and FOST.

Steven Alfred Rake

Not if we can get some US hand-me downs.

X

Time the Mk8 was retired.

Hopefully the RN gets a good number of PGM.

These are needed for T31 too.

RichardIC

Couldn’t agree more. It’s a technological dead end. I’d replace with 57mm on the ASW T23s and T45s. It would at least enhance their capabilities against surface or airborne swarm attack.

X

One of the features T45 should have retained from the Horizon design was the 76mm mounts. A much better ship than T45.

comment image

Last edited 3 months ago by X
Salty Dog

Only if they left Portsmouth and didn’t break down so much.

ATH

Now that’s just lazy. The T45’ have spent a lot of time at sea in the past 3 years and 1 or probably 2 of them will shortly be accompanying QE on her deployment.

Salty Dog

Not lazy at all, T45’s have a long history of inactivity and mechanical unreliability even on the deployment, HMS Diamond missed much of the trip and quite often over the past few years not one was out of Portsmouth.

X

In what way are they poorer than T45?

Salty Dog

Sorry ?

X

Sorry. I clicked on the wronged on the post.

Salty Dog

Oh, I did wonder what I wrote, personally I think the T45’s are amazing in so many ways, it’s just that we have so few and they have issues that seem to be taking way too long to address.

X

Sea Viper is a good system. T45 the ship isn’t.

It is a reverse of how the Counties were seen. Counties were superb ships but Sea Slug over shadows the ship.

Salty Dog

Oh.

X

No end of trouble would have been saved if the RN had simply gone with an appropriately sized CODAG system using a ‘common’ gas turbine design. Indeed Horizon generates more MW than T45 in its original form. T45 is noisy. etc. etc. etc.

The RN wanted a replacement for T42. It ended up with a specialist aerospace defence system strapped on to a ‘barge’………

Salty Dog

Flipping heck.

X

Heck! 🙂

Duker

Nothing wrong with the WR21 gas turbines – from rolls a marinised Trent aero engine I believe which is still being built.
The W part of WR was Westinghouse in US who designed the intercooler- recuperator – electrical distribution system where all the problems arose A considerable jump in fuel economy from a normal CODAG system was the aim. The T45 are of course CODAG anyway and the WR issues solution seems to be 3 diesels instead of 2 and some software rewrites to eliminate the power drop outs .
Whats ridiculous is the time taken to ‘add an extra diesel’

The old QE2 liner only spent a year in dock in Hamburg to have the entire steam boilers and turbines removed ( out the funnel superstructure) and replaced by 9 large diesels along with new shafts and propellers in a mostly electric system. A cabin and public spaces refit was done at same time.
A year !

An interesting new design of free wheeling secondary propellers called Grimm wheels was added too but were damaged during high speed trials and removed completely
https://www.roblightbody.com/qe2-1987-rebirth.html

2480526[1].jpg
Last edited 3 months ago by Duker
X

How many customers have bought WR21? Who uses it apart from the RN?

As for fuel consumption perhaps they could have built them half the size and saved nearly 100% fuel compared with T42?

They are a poor design.

The Indonesian re-engining of their Leanders is an interesting example of steam to diesel.

4thwatch

Should have done that with HMY Britannia! Could still be done as there are many examples of old yachts refitted in as new condition.

Just Me

Everything wrong with the WR21 – no one else’s uses it, not even us.
the preferred choice was the LM2500, but the WR21 was ‘more fuel efficient’….then along came the LM2500R that’s more fuel efficient than the WR21.
We Bought the wrong engine and didn’t fit enough DG power.

X

Exactly.

Duker

Not correct . The Rolls MT30 Trent based gas turbine is in many ships .

The Westinghouse based intercooler-recuperator part was the failure and not used again.
The name was WR for a reason.

Rolls only job was to provide the marine gas turbine and of course it remains in the T45 and will be in T26 also

Duker

The last 2 Counties were a late order, when it was obvious the Sea Dart was available soon.
Instead do the last 2 as modified new builds by changing the design by removing the two forward 4.5 twin turrets , put a Sea Dart launcher in one and the new single 4.5 in in the other .
Cut down the rear deck which stored the Sea Slug horizontally and put in a decent helicopter deck right to the stern where the launcher used to be and you have great multi helicopter ‘cruiser’. Instead silly money was wasted in converting 2 Tigers to carry multiple helicopters

Maybe another 4 or 5 could have have had similar in mid life refit

Last edited 3 months ago by Duker
X

Yes. Playing the ‘Modify the County’ is a fun game.

Duker

Much better outcome than the actual ‘modify the Tigers’ that happened

Just Me

The Anti Air mode was deleted from the Mk8 decades ago, the Pk was vanishingly small.

ATH

Main gun anti air use may make a comeback. Some of the drone systems are sufficiently slow and predictable at there is a good chance of a kill with a 5” air bust.

Just Me

The 5” always had a much better AA capability than the 4.5, putting a lot more scrap into a bigger bit of sky.

Duker

Really. This isnt the med 1942, when the lack of decent radar targeting meant you filled ‘a box of the sky’ where they felt the slow flying planes would travel through. with shrapnel – too little effect

Modern radar and targeting means the shell can be far more precisely targeted at the predicted location and air bursts from prox fuses which they didnt have till the last years of the war help too

Just Me

Box and splash barrage are still SOP against an incoming anti ship missile.

Salty Dog

This site has no Upvote or thumbs up facility, otherwise I’d be giving you both.

Duker

Totally wrong . The targeting is precise enough to hit the missile itself.
Thats what even the Phalanx can do with a separate radar following the rounds ( also on some larger calibre guns) so the corrections can be made for the ships movement for the rounds about to leave the barrel.
Incredible that you should claim some 1950s type gun aiming as SOP for this century. Most bizarre comment here in ages

Bloke down the pub

Fitting the weapon most suited to shore support onto the T26 always seemed a bit odd, maybe a future T32 would be more suited? The USN are removing the ‘advanced’ guns from the Zumwalt DDGs to make room for hypersonic missiles. Any news as to whether they’ll fit a 5″ at the same time?

X

These days with intelligent rounds and sabots they fulfill a surface role.

Leonardo have a CGI video on their site showing a salvo of IR guided 76mm rounds hitting an enemy vessel.

No reason to think we couldn’t have the same for new 5in. Cheaper than a small missile.

Jonathan

Interestingly there are a number of 5inch rounds being developed for ASW work.

Just Me

the Royal Navy has been trying to ditch the 4.5 since 1942, it was a formal aspiration from 1945 with a variety of failed attempts to develop a British 5” automatic gun post war.

Duker

Not so .
The standard destroyer gun before and into the 2nd WW was the 4.7 in ( or 120mm)

The 4.5 in came mid war as they wanted much much higher elevations for the destroyer main guns as the dive bomber threat was realised. Along with that came a fully enclosed turrets and more automated gun laying.
Even more awkward was the 4.7 in came in two types. And there was a 4 in naval gun as well for escorts and frigates and such and used a secondary AA guns for cruisers
The US navy managed with only the 5in for all the roles , twin and single turrets and single open mount ( there was a 3 in used in some classes late war escorts)

As far as new fully automatic medium calibre the 6in and 3in were the only types to see service post war. A new 5 in auto would have been silly when they had the existing 4.5 in twin for frigates and destroyers

Last edited 3 months ago by Duker
Just Me

Nope, after the experience with the 5”/38 and US director on Delhi, the RN wanted to standardise on the US gun for all future Destroyers. A lend Lease order for 142 mounts and directors was sent, but knocked back as the USN needed every 5” gun it could get after the Japanese gate crashed Sunday prayers at Pearl Harbor.

Duker

No evidence they wanted ‘to standardise on US 5 in’. Plenty of US equipment was ordered in this time period as they needed much more hardware in a hurry than the UK factories could provide. remember the North American Mustang was from a UK requirement , didnt mean they wanted to ‘standardise’ on US fighters

The Delhi was done because of a need to re-equip theses older WW1 period small cruisers as AA ships and the UK didnt have a suitable high angle QF 4.7 in gun. The 5.25 was too big and a twin 4 in
. As well the re-equipping was to be done in US shipyards as UK yards were fully occupied. After Pearl harbour and US entering the war this option ended
You are putting the cart before the horse as Delhi didnt come back till 1940 when the vast majority of AA cruisers had been converted

ATH

Not sure what relevance this has to the armament of a 21st century war ship.

Duker

Its how they ended up with a 4.5 in main gun not a 5 in or a 4.7 in.

No need to play editor on whats relevant or not

Andrew Deacon

Goodness knows how, but back in the 80s my Dad got us as teenagers in the Mk6 turrets at HMS Cambridge. For the uninitiated the Mk6 has the crew in the turret so in we went with anti flash gear! Dread to think what the Health and Safety police would make of it today!

Last edited 3 months ago by Andrew Deacon
Just Me

A sensible move would be to delete the 4.5” across the fleet and replace it with the 57mm Mk110.
It has Very good anti air capability and a good anti missile capability.

Warren

Not a bad idea if your not looking at gunnery support etc, but you also have to purchase enough of the smart rounds to be really effective and we’ve not been the best at that since god knows when.

Teves

Won’t use gunnery support any more as they will likely get sunk by land based missiles which will out range any naval gun, same as what happened the Ivan’s ships in the black sea.

Steve

Its a fair point and with limited sea ceptor tubes it won’t be able to defend itself for long against them.

Duker

Land based anti ship missiles need targeting coordinates.
Which the USN P-8 flying high over the Danube delta in Romania were able to do for the sinking of the Moskva. Snake Island is off the Danube delta too, right on the Ukraine -Romania border.

Teves

They can use drones to give them targeting as well don’t need a P 8 and a drone has 150km range from shore it’s a no brainer don’t loose a ship for the sake of using a 30km canon

Duker

Which drones send targeting information back to another firing position ? It seems you need a more sophisticated means of obtaining targeting like a helicopter or in this instance the P8 – although this was supposed to remain a secret. Its doesnt take much to realise that Nato is running the highest level command- control -targeting for Ukraine , who previously struggled on their own to even handle the semi irregular forces with some heavier Russian support in the 6 yr war in Eastern Ukraine.

Supportive Bloke

The drone needs to be told where to look: it isn’t wide area like the P8 is.

D J

Volcano rounds push the range out to 40km (76mm) or 90-100km (127mm).

Duker

More expensive
Canada has just chosen the OTO Melara 127/64 LW Vulcano gun system from Leonardo for at least the first 3 CSC Type 26 Frigates. A contract was signed yesterday, 21 April 2021, with the Leonardo company for 4 of these gun systems (3 for installation and 1 for training). So what about the rest of the Frigates? Does this mean the other 12 CSC Frigates will receive the BAE MK 45 Mod 4 naval gun? Why not buy all 15 OTO Melara 127/64 LW gun systems for every CSC Frigate or does this mean just an initial purchase with other contracts to follow? The gun is certainly lighter than the MK 45 but most likely more expensive. Weight and cost seem to be an issue here. 
https://www.navalreview.ca/2021/04/csc-canada-buys-oto-melara-leonardo-127mm-64-lw-gun/

D J

I would expect it’s an initial order. It will take quite a while for Canada to build 15 ships. If you ordered 15 upfront, there is a good chance that some will need upgrades (& some may need upgrades to the upgrades) before they are even fitted. If they launched one ship every 2 years, it will take them 30 years. What if a future Canadian government decides to reduce the number of T26 from 15 to 12? Or change from 127mm to 76mm or 155mm or lasers or photon torpedos by then. These are big, heavy & expensive guns that you can’t reuse on anything smaller then a frigate.

Duker

Ordering in bulk up front is the cheapest , staging delivery over decades even and with price increases along the way is normal too.
Im pretty sure the first order has options or letters of intent and such to go with it.

Good info about the time schedule, it does seem unworkable for 15 ships. And Canada has a history of military indecision and reversals which are then re- reversed.
Maybe they do 8 or so top end T26 and then start some T31 or similar in parallel after 10 years for another batch of 6 plus ?

AlexS

Canadians are not sure of how many T26 they will get. At rythm they are going i am not sure they will even get a number near half of 15.

Steve

The four 5-inch guns will be distributed as follows:

  • One for training
  • Three for first batch of 3 ships

Everything so far associated with this program has been ordered to equip 3 vessels and the land-based training facility (https://www.thedefensepost.com/2021/06/10/canada-warship-systems-facility/). Examples of this are shown below:

Note that the build plan is as follows:

  • Batch 1, 3 ships, CSC baseline
  • Batch 2, 6 ships, CSC baseline + 8 additional MK41 VLS + technology update/insertion
  • Batch 3, 6 ships, ???. (Rumoured to be a “substantial” redesign of the CSC, and could even be a brand new bespoke design.)

Given the batch-build plan, with the anticipation of changes to the design with each batch, it would not make any sense to pre-order 15 guns, or 15 of anything, for that matter.

The build tempo, or drumbeat, when the program is fully realized, is planned to be 18 months. So, 22.5 years to complete the entire 15 ship program. Latest information is test blocks will be built in 2023, and the “first steel” will be cut in 2024.

D J

Australia was saying planned 2 year drumbeat for theirs, but possibly going to 1.5 years if pushed. All this though is when everything is up & running. First of class is not going to get anywhere near that. Canada would be doing well to do it in 25 years, unless they want to involve more shipyards. The other problem is life of ship & continuous build.

Duker

Leonardo doesnt seem to claim that range for 127mm.
But for the 155mm its
BER or Ballistic extended range
155/52 cal its up to 50 km
155/39 cal is up to 36km

Guided Long Range , GLR is 70km and 55 km
Their website doesnt seem to give range details of the 76 and 127mmm naval gun

AlexS

Leonardo brochure claim 80km guided and 60km ballistic for Vulcano rounds in 127/64

D J

Alex,

Yes, it appears not to have preformed as well as expected in the 127mm. So instead of the 90-100km originally expected it’s dropped back a bit. Haven’t seen anything about a drop in 76mm range as yet. Their 76mm/62 brochure is still saying in excess of 40km for GLR version. In excess of 80km for 127/64 GLR version.

D J

Duker

Try https://electronics.leonardo.com/en/products/vulcano-127mm
& https://electronics.leonardo.com/en/products/vulcano-76

You will need to download the brochure. As Alex below has pointed out, the 127mm Volcano has not reached the expected 90km+ ranges & is now quoted as 80km+.

Steve D

The Canadian variant is NOT getting this gun. Leonardo won that competition.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/04/canada-selects-leonardo-naval-gun-systems-for-the-csc-combat-ships/

Last edited 3 months ago by Steve D
Steve

Cheers. Also, it is rumoured, but not officially confirmed, that Leonardo will be supplying the 30mm guns as well (Marlin 30 – https://electronics.leonardo.com/documents/16277707/18421316/MARLIN+30_new.pdf?t=1618842731728)

MikeKiloPapa

No matter which way you cut it, £60M for a simple 5″ gun is a ridiculous amount of money . Especially when compared to the significantly cheaper Oto melara 127mm which also happens to be a superiour gun system.
I also dont buy the crew saving claim/argument wrt to the AHS. Being on a gun crew is a secondary tasking at best so these people will still be needed onboard for their primary jobs .
What will be needed though is extra tech personel, both onboard and onshore, to maintain and repair the complex ahs mechanism Best case scenario, the AHS will be cost neutral but IMO its more likely to be more expensive over its lifetime than a standard MK45 installation.

Duker

What makes you think the OTO 5 in gun is much cheaper ?

MikeKiloPapa

Well for instance, the Dutch recently signed a contract for 4 OTO Melara 127/64 LW ,including fully automatic ammunition handling systems , at under €200M , which is > €20M less per system than MK45 .
Then there is the Indian contract for 13 similar OTOs (without AHS) at a value of 243 or <$19M per gun, which is AT LEAST $6M less than a bare bones MK45 installation.

The US 5" is a decent gun system but it is HORRIBLY overpriced for what it is and does.

Duker

UK MOD has it’s own pricing methods which essentially can be double the ex factory price. This was obvious for the P8 purchase when the UsN will reveal actual contract price for each years buy , the RAF was paying Boeing via USN far far less than what was said to be the price for 9. That included training simulators the maintenance hangars etc but still it was close to 3x the ex factory price

ATH

There is a good case for including all the costs of a weapons systems in the price. Without training, support and maintenance facilities a new gun is just a deck ornament.

Duker

For the budgeting purpose yes, but for equipment price it cant hurt to say equipment price in rough figures. US military equipment contracts are all public information

ATH

Except for the huge “Black World”.

Duker

The ship building or P-8 contracts arent ‘black programs’ The US also lets separate development contracts and maintenance or upgrades.
The UK just pushes it all together along with VAT and Treasury capital charge on assets and thats given as ‘the cost’. The main thing to remember that isnt the unit cost of the equipment when divided by the numbers bought

Deep32

I think you will find that the crew saving claims are real.
The navy still has a Gunnery branch – now called Above Waterwarefare Weapons (AWW) I believe. Gunnery is their primary role with everything else they do being secondary roles.
Wouldn’t disagree that it’s an expensive bit of kit, also wouldn’t know if it’s any better or worse then the OM offering.

MikeKiloPapa

Sorry, still dont buy it. Yes Gun Captain and Gunner/Consol operator (ops room) are primary taskings. Being a loader feeding ammunition to the gun is not. Not in any of the many NATO navies i have trained and exercised with at least.
The 4 gun crews you could potentially save with the AHS , would then also be missing for other tasks like DC. The AHS is also likely to require extra crew in the engineering department so any personal savings will be marginal at best.

Deep32

The ‘Gunnery’ branch also man all the smaller calibre weapons systems do they not, helping with keeping the ammo supplied too I believe!
You have a valid point ref the potential need for more WE’s, not sure how many are allocated to gun systems as it is.
Whatever way you look at it, its an expensive bit of kit, which in the case of a T26 will probably only ever be used infrequently for something like NGS. If these units are going to get some form of AShM which seems very likely, what is the point of the MK 45? Wouldn’t something smaller/cheaper (OM 76mm!) been a better option?Indeed, would the OM 76mm have been a better option on a T31 in the A position with either 57 or 40mm in the B and Z mounts?

D J

Stop talking sense! Common sense is rather uncommon, didn’t you know? The idea that NGFS is old hat, assumes that every action will be against a peer with the shore lined with AShM. There is no realisation of how big the world actually is (hint – it has not changed it the past xx billion years). The nation of Indonesia (an example only) consists of some 8,000 islands & a population of 300 million, spread across a similar east to west distance as Australia. Indonesia does not have 8,000 AShM of any size (that would be one per island). Australia does not have 8,000 AShM either and it has some 8,000 islands of its own.

If you wish to operate in the littoral space, people need to understand that the littoral space is actually a harder space to operate in than the high seas. Seas are shallower, landforms above & below interfere with radar & sonar, aircraft can appear to pop out of know where. 57mm cannot seriously support troops ashore other than on the shoreline. Missile land attack works, however the cost ensures there is limited capability. Doesn’t help if the target is no longer where the last satellite circuit said it was.

Just Me

You are comparing headline unit cost – OTO 5”, with MOD through life cost with support – 5” Mod 4.

FormerUSAF

Reasonably comprehensive article; interested in extended range/guided munitions presentation promised in future NL article. BAE and Leonardo conducted trials of Vulcano in (2019?) w/ Mark 45. Ninety kilometer (55 mi.) range for a relatively modest price is an apparently decent trade-off. Believe US Army Excalibur round has also been trialed. Curious re whatever the labs and/or DARPA may bring to the competition.

Jon

I wonder if Nammo will make a 127mm version of their ultra long range (150 km) 155mm shells, or if that will be too expensive anyway.

Duker

Seems pointless when theres theses sort of terminal guidance missiles around with up to 32 km range

https://www.rafael.co.il/worlds/naval/spike-eo-naval-tactical-missiles/

nukf-3Ow[1].jpeg
Supportive Bloke

It is about

– cost; and
– reloads; and
– multiple warhead types.

Unless you create son of Sea Dart’s reloading system I don’t see how you do that without a crazy big VLS farm?

Duker

NLOS Spike isnt expensive in the scheme of these things
The 150km gun isnt going anywhere.

DaveyB

Raytheon have stated that their MAD-FIRES guided sabot round, they are developing with DARPA is scalable for the Mk110 57mm system. It remains to be seen, if the US Navy is interested in it for the 5″. It would be a very good upgrade for the 5″ system. As it will have a significantly further engagement range than the smaller 57’s, due to its significantly larger propellent charge.

As it is, the MAD-FIRES has a slightly better engagement range than the larger Leonardo’s 76mm DART guided sabot round. It also has a faster time to target, as it is also rocket assisted. Though Raytheon and DARPA have not explicitly stated it. But reading between the lines, I believe the round uses semi-active radar homing, to be guided to its target. As this will allow a single gun to engage multiple targets within fixed cone angle. Moving the gun in azimuth and elevation will increase the cone angle and therefore the number of targets that can be engaged nearly simultaneously.

When teamed up with the new SPY-6 radar, this will give a ship a very credible capability against surface based swarming attacks, as well as air threats.

Salty Dog

I guess the cost would be rather more of a factor though, If I’m remembering correctly, didn’t the USN 155mm rounds cost a Million each ? I’m sure I read that somewhere.

DaveyB

Sort of. The 155mm advanced gun systems are different to the standard NATO 155mm field gun. In that the chamber volume is about half as large again. This was to give the guns a range well over 50km. I believe this means the angle of the throat to the barrel is different as well. Which means they can’t use standard NATO 155 ammunition.

As the USN cancelled the rest of the Zumwalt class, leaving only two ships in active service. By only producing a small number of bespoke shells for four guns, ramped up the price of the shells substantially as there was no economy of scale. To such an extent that a single shell became in at the basic price of $150,000 for a basic HE shell. The guided ones were over three times that. Hence why the USN didn’t buy any.

The USN have said they are going to remove both guns from both ships, and turn them primarily into missile ships. However, how practical would it be to convert the gun’s breech blocks to a standard NATO size? Thereby making the cost per shot significantly cheaper.

I haven’t seen anything yet on the cost per unit for MAD-FIRES. Though it should be substantially cheaper than a RIM-116 RAM missile, yet equally if not more effective, judging by DARPA’s recent statements.

Salty Dog

The original manufacturers unit cost was $35.000 but in 2016 the unit costs were between $800.000 – $1.000.000.

FormerUSAF

Believe that after all technical issues have been resolved and low rate production has begun, a purchasing cooperative/consortium of all identified users should be established, in order to ensure strongest fiscal negotiating position v. armament manufacturer(s). Everyone across multiple alliances would benefit from single lowest volume driven price.

ATH

Those were way more complex (and expensive) than the guided shells that are becoming commonplace with land based artillery.

DaveyB

Correct. The guided shells such as Excalibur are quite pricey. But then their price per unit depends on the variant used. The basic guided version uses only an inertial measuring unit backed up with GPS. Some of the variants also have a semi-active laser sensor. The manufacturer, Raytheon, are looking at adding a millimetric active radar for fire and forget missions. Excalibur has a limited manoeuvring capability. It can technically follow and intercept a moving ground target. In theory it should also be able to hit a helicopter that follows a predicable path. But something that manoeuvres erratically will make it bleed off a lot of energy and therefore slow it down and shorten its range.

MAD-FIRES is whole different kettle of fish. It has to manoeuvre to follow a target. This is why Raytheon fitted a rocket booster to it. The rocket extends its range but also crucially enables it to have more energy for manoeuvres. In some respects it is a simplified anti-aircraft missile. DARPA have said it can follow and intercept manoeuvring anti-ship missiles. But clearly won’t specify the full technicalities of the trial interception.

The mission criteria that MAD-FIRES is designed to intercept has a large range of targets. From fast inshore attack craft. UAVs, helicopters, fixed wing attack aircraft and anti-ship missiles.

From what I have read, the RN have stated they are looking at MAD-FIRES for arming the T31’s Mk110 57mm gun.

Supportive Bloke

“In some respects it is a simplified anti-aircraft missile.”

It is close to a philosophical argument – when is a missile not a missile!

Is this IRL a missile that uses explosive launch assistance?

DaveyB

That’s a fair point. MAD-FIRES starts off as an artillery round. When fired, the dart separates from the sabot. It then initiates its rocket motor, which must have a burn time in measured in a few seconds judging by its size. Where the added energy of both the shell’s propellent and dart’s rocket increase its velocity and reduces its time to target.

So I agree, why is a rocket assisted sabot dart, that can manoeuvre, not really a missile?

AlexS

Canadian T26 will have the Leonardo 127mm not this one. So the title is not correct.

X

It was pointed out well upthread with a long discussion about the guns and their costs.

The thread is days old. On a site full of Top Trumpers you don’t think that would have gone unnoticed do you?

AlexS

The point is that the title is wrong by omission and that this turns to be basically propaganda for BAE 127mm gun

Steve

I disagree. T26 is the British designation for their version of the Global Combat Ship (GCS). In Canadian service, the GCS is known as the Canadian Surface Combatant, and in Australia, the Hunter Class. Had the title said something like “all Type 26 and variants”, or “all Global Combat Ship variants”, I would agree, but as written, the title is correct, IMHO.

Duker

Some background on the previous work on proposed 155mm Uk naval gun

‘In response to the United Defense proposal, in December 2004 BAE Systems made a proposal to use the existing gun house for the 4.5″ (114 mm) Mark 8 Mod 1, but use the same 155 mm/39 gun barrel being used on the Army’s AS90 Braveheart self-propelled howitzer. BAE called this proposal the 155 mm TMF (Third generation Maritime Fire support). BAE claimed that this arrangement would not create recoil forces beyond the capability of the Mod 1 mounting and estimated that this design would weigh 24.5 tons compared with 22.5 tons for the 4.5″ (114 mm) Mark 8 Mod 1 and 26.4 tons for the original Mod 0. BAE forcasted that the largest modification would be changing to a double-stroke loading cycle needed to handle modular charges. BAE estimated that this change would reduce the rate of fire to about 12 rounds per minute. There would also need to be a modification of the gun shield to allow for higher elevation angles. A short time later, the acquistion of United Defense by BAE Systems in June 2005 made any competition between BAE and United Defense moot.

BAE stated in their proposal that the Mark 8 Mod 1 gunhouse could also be used for a Fourth generation Maritime Fire support weapon (FMF) using the longer-barrel 155 mm/52, but this combination would require strengthening of the gunhouse in order to meet the added recoil forces.

MOD awarded BAE a research contract in 2007 to pursue their TMF design. However, the project was cancelled in late 2010 as part of large UK budget cuts in defense and other areas.

from navweaps com

DaveyB

Such a wasted opportunity!

Angus

A question one has asked several times before but never gotten an educated reply, why or why don’t they fit a big gun to the assault ships Albion and Bulwark and of course their replacements? The ships are there to land the amphib forces and if they had that weapon they could support them ashore too without the need of a frigate of destroyer being employed for such when they are limited in number and needed for more pressing tasking. Seems to me to be a win win for the vessels and the forces they support and allows other vessels to get on with their main taskings. Of course they should also have some SAM’s fitted to give at least limited area defence. Come on RN show the way and increase the all round abilities of such vessels.

4thwatch

I agree but see that the Japanese are proposing big ships like the Albions for homeland missile defence against hypersonics and ballistic missiles. This could be an answer for the UK’s defending the homeland and reinforcing the Norway and other beacheads and the North.

4thwatch

Seeing the need for shore bombardment; it makes sense for an urgent reexamination of the naval 155mm Gun with extended range and standardisation with our land forces. The gold standard.