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David Steeper

It’s a shame HMWHS isn’t being fitted. It would be interesting to know if whole life cost was taken into account. Spend today to save tomorrow. Apart from the cost of the additional manpower recruitment is a continuing problem but that can’t be helped now. All in all though they look the business and will be a huge step forward for the RN.

N-a-B

The HMWHS was never seriously considered. If you know what it is and what it requires, it would be a real issue for working other stores types in a ship where flexibility is key.

Ditto the HRAS system. The real reason it was deleted belongs at the other end of the jackstay……Nor was it ever gold-plated – we have in effect locked ourselves into a situation where many, many small loads (with associated manpower burden) will have to be transferred using 1960s constraints.

One more thing, the FSS can only align two rigs with a QEC reception point. She won’t be using her stbd rig to RAS the carrier, simply because there’s nowhere for the jackstay to connect or stores to land. The deletion of the requirement to RAS both solid points for QEC at the same time was another false economy.

N-a-B

Only by one team. Who happened to be the OEM. I remember that briefing too..

Last edited 11 months ago by N-a-B
Supportive Bloke

There is a real point though, that increasing the RAS rate decreases the time on station. RAS does make the ships more vulnerable as they cannot execute a high speed manoeuvre or even speed change instantly.

Sure an emergency disengagement is possible with concomitant equipment loss/damage. Although even that is an issue if the aft RAS station is used as you have trailing cables in the water which is a risk to the props and rudder.

N-a-B

HMWHS has nothing to do with increasing the RAS rate. All it does is remove people from the deep mags on QEC. It doesn’t make weapons strike up or build up any faster. Nor does it deal with the other variety of stores like fresh, frozen, chilled, naval, general etc etc. Most of which come on NATO 2 te pallets and would be amenable to being transferred on LACONs or as someone references down thread by multiple gull-wing travellers.

The thing that affects the RAS time connected, is the transfer rate, which is primarily driven by the number of loads, which is a function of the size of each load and the speed it can be hooked up, transferred, unhooked and moved away from the pocket. Much of that is fixed procedural stuff, which means that the only way to reduce the time connected is to either reduce the number of loads (ie increase their size for a fixed amount) or use multiple jackstays in parallel (deleted as a cost-saving measure).

Supportive Bloke

Or move two 2t pallets at a time as one load on a 5t setup?

N-a-B

Exactly. Which they’ve chosen not to be capable of.

Joe16

Your second paragraph- you seem to be implying that the reason we can’t transfer larger, heavier loads has more to do with a) the way the loads are packaged and b) handled on the receiving ship?
As someone with only a superficial knowledge of logistics in general, if you’ve got the time for an explanation that’d be great.

Paul42

Impressive ships that sadly could be even better if it weren’t for the usual UK cost cutting and penny pinching attitudes….

AnotherAndrew

The omission of portholes being a prime example!

Supportive Bloke

Which I find bizarre TBH.

Saves pence in the scheme of things but makes life for the crew much better.

N-a-B

I can see why they did it. It has a significant effect on your accommodation layout and space used, which drives the size of the deckhouse. Which then impacts on the rest of the layout.

Doesn’t mean its a good thing – retention may be a bit of an issue.

Supportive Bloke

I understand the thought process.

Make design easier and reduce costs by removing all non critical parameters. Thereby reducing the design interactions to be resolved.

I am not sure that not having portholes to habitable spaces is non-critical……they might well have the ultimate lean manning to these ships!

Jonno

Yeah fitted for crew but not with!

Supportive Bloke

Massive saving in both crewing and running costs….

An Employee

The thing is, not having a porthole won’t save money… Not in the long run at least. They have to pay employees uncomfortable living allowance if they don’t have access to certain things and a porthole is one of them. It’s the reason someone can be paid to live in an inboard cabin on a Bay Class, yet have the luxury of having the bathroom to themselves. It will save money at the build stage sure, but cost them hundreds of thousands in the long run on wages.

Last edited 11 months ago by An Employee
AnotherAndrew

Well, I certainly can’t, besides extreme penny pinching. In which case I’d be very interested as to the actual savings gained by excluding them.

Also, I fail to see what the significant effect by having them would have on the accommodation layout, as opposed to not, as you appear to claim.

Not only is there the potential retention issue, which there already is. Moral issues would be a bigger immediate issue IMO. When supposedly personal well being and mental health is a priority omitting them just makes any such awareness and campaigns mere lip service.

N-a-B

Put simply, single berth cabins with external light can only be on the external faces of the block. That means you get a significant amount of space that is hard to utilise in the centre of the block.

It also means that for a given number of MLC2006 cabins, you have to either make the block bigger (essentially longer, as beam is pretty much fixed) or add decks. Longer deckhouse occupies space between flight deck and RAS rigs which starts to impact on the overall ship layout. More decks starts to impact on both your air draught and potentially your stability.

With no requirement for external light, then you get to utilise that mid-block space for cabins and there’s less need to increase the size of the block.

That’s why its been done. Doesn’t mean I think its a good idea.

Atlas

Could be enhanced by adding a thin film screen linked to an external camera for a ‘virtual porthole’ in all cabins

DaSaint

Agreed!

KiwiRob

That’s how it’s done on many newer cruise vessels for the below waterline crew accommodation and recreation areas.

Duker

The place to be is well away from the funnel area, as my dad used to say they transfer vibrations from engine room- also explained why in modern ships the funnel block is usually separated from the accommodation block. This design not possible as they have quite a large crew compared to a tanker, bulker or container ship

Duker

never been to sea as a job or worked in the engineroom have you

AJB

That cabins on the inside of the block, cannot have portholes, does not mean cabins on the outside of the block cannot, should not have portholes.

ATH

An impact of having to have a porthole in each cabin is that each cabin has to have a section of exterior wall. Do away with portholes and you gain flexibility in layout.

Gavin Gordon

Not sure should be considered as a prime example, TBH i.e. when was the last time an RN crew saw a porthole? Long gone by the time I served decades back. Think their lack was also said to benefit NBCD integrity, if recall correctly.
HRAS decision could be, mind. Including the issue of adjacence to carrier bays. But even then I suppose the vessels have the size for some upgrade in time.
Overall, these look a well designed class. Naming? – ‘RE’ Class sounds good.

N-a-B

RFA are signed up to Merchant Navy T&Cs (MLC2006). Matelots not so much……

Gavin Gordon

Yes agreed, N-a-B, but as a prime example?

Gertrude

Difference is the crew on RFA’s aren’t RN and so can’t see the relevance.

Wonder how much bang for buck we could have gotten if we continued with the previous round of contract before they became “warships”.

Supportive Bloke

I don’t think in the 2020’s RN can pretend everyone likes the suntan that comes with the Silent Service!

A large range of humans function better with access to daylight.

Whilst I agree that the lack of portholes was to do with NCB it is also a weak point on the hull of a warship as in a warship such as T23 the crew areas are below decks. Here the crew accommodation block is above the deck so it isn’t the same issue with watertight integrity.

Gavin Gordon

OK, would certainly be interesting to monitor how this pans out before build. Wonder what contributed to the ‘cost/capability’ calculation compared to the Tides for sure.

fvf

Air search radar?

ATH

Gives warning that the Phalanx may soon be needed.

Supportive Bloke

May also be connected via the CMS to the 30mm cannons to deal with drones.

Random

Perhaps more you that can’t fly long range drones from the ship without clearing the surrounding air space (using an air search radar), if operating in a distributed task group there might not be a handy warship in range to do it for them.

Dewey

Surprised they chose not to fit the 5-tonne HRAS rig.I thought the Carrier’s lack of a C2 Greyhound drove the requirement to be able to supply an F35 engine core at sea?

Duker

Can the Merlin carry one inside as its internal load is 5 1/2 tonnes. The Chinook of course could carry it underslung.
But as the story says plenty of room in the carriers for spare engines , which are way more reliable than the days of the old carrier fleet ( more planes and different engine types)

Last edited 11 months ago by Duker
N-a-B

Five and a half tonnes? Not according to any Merlin operating manual I’ve ever seen…..

That’s before we get to dimensions.

Last edited 11 months ago by N-a-B
ATH

5.5t no way. In the civilian world that’s the equivalent of over 50 pax and their luggage.

Duker

I think its difference between max takeoff weight and empty weight.
Its hard to pin it down as RN doesnt say and Leonardo brochures give everything else but the internal deck load.
Could it be around 4 tonne ( but that depends how how far you want to go with it and the temp/altitude etc)

Wouldnt worry about airline passenger numbers, the little C-27J made by Italians can carry 11 tonnes

DaveyB

No, the ramp mouth access area is too small. It should be possible on the Chinook, as this is wider than both the Osprey and the Merlin. The USN CAG version of the Osprey can just about squeeze in a F35 engine. Though in all cases the engine would have to be taken out of its transportation container.

Underslung by a Chinook is no problem, it can do 11500kg. From a Merlin it should be doable as the engine in the container weighs about 2000kg, whereas a Merlin can undersling a load of 5500kg.

N-a-B

A Merlin “may” be able to undersling a 5500kg load, but it won’t get airborne with it. Partly because it’ll have no fuel and partly because it’s still beyond the MTOW. At least according to the APs I’ve seen……

Duker

Probably why the RAF offloaded all its Merlins for more Chinooks

ATH

They didn’t get a choice. Swapping the Merlin’s was seen as a cheap way of replacing the commando SeaKing. The RAF did get some extra Chinooks but some of the order was cancelled. This was part of a post Afghanistan package of cuts to the UK’s planned military transport helicopter fleet.

Gunbuster

Osprey is now going to be doing COD in the USN. It can take the F35 engine internally for carriage(Greyhound could not). As the USMC is probably going to be along for most long deployments anyway they could “Borrow” one and bring it along. It will have a 1000 Mile range with a full load.

Random

Not really convinced the Osprey is a viable option outside emergencies for transporting the power module, as I believe there is a fair amount of stripping down required.

However the MSC’s contract helo detachments operate heavy lift capable Super Pumas that can transport the required mass as underslung loads; so I expect that will be the USN’s main method (and one we can copy by contracting Bristow to work off the RFAs)

DaveyB

USMC will use the CH53 King Stallion. It has a wider ramp entrance than a Chinook, which is wider than the Osprey’s.

The P&W F135-600 has to be taken out of it container for it fit internally in the Osprey. Any mark of Osprey will do, they are all have the same internal dimensions and ramp area.

The engine is kept in the environmentally sealed bag and placed on a purpose made trolley. The only thing needed to fit the engine in the back of the Osprey, is for the seats to be raised. Yes it’s a tight fit, but you can scramble around the engine.

SJR 1948

Size of clearway has no correlation to pace of transfer. The speed of the rig is the only arbiter of speed of transfer. As for 5 tonne v 2.5 tonne load limit, 5 tonne version takes twice as long to breakdown. There is no advantage as all RAS gear has to be returned to FSS prior to breakaway.

Duker
Supportive Bloke

If you are on an aircraft carrier and you are RASing into the hanger there is loads of space to throughput stuff into a dump area. That is almost never the issue.

It can then be forklifted around with tele handlers and normal warehouse forklifts.

The pallets are still needed in the refrigerated areas etc. Not a lot of it gets dynamically depaletised.

Getting the surplus pallets singly going back the other way is a total waste of time. So you are much better off creating shrink wrapped or strapped piles of pallets, usually from the previous RAS to send back the other way just to clear space on the receiving vessel and reduce unecessary flammable load.

N-a-B

Depends how you feed the RAS dump and where from. Also, the intention for the 5te pallet was that it was struck straight down. No break down needed.

Random

The clearway size and access to the point determines the speed you can load it, for most RAS the limitation to speed is the unload speed. Carriers by design can take maximum throughput, Escorts slow things down considerably.

A large amount of items being transferred are bulky not heavy, 2.5 tonnes is fine. However the RFA really need to start using gull wing hooks like the MSC to make the load/unload quicker/easier.

seaclanky

The largest ever operated by RFA ? Dale boats surely ?

N-a-B

Displacement is not the only measure…..

Captain Washandgo

what then for ships? the number of toilets? baked beans and sausages eaten? or the number of nuts and bolts?

Supportive Bloke

Olympic swimming pools (to measure hangar volume), London busses (flight decks) and Nelson’s column (radar mast height) are the key naval parameters.

Do keep up.

🙂

Caldicott

What about those places that do not have swimming pools, London buses, and Nelson column?
Will the number of kangaroos do as weight and the number of innings run as distance?

fvf

few points:

  1. Now second larges ships in RN after carriers(?)
  2. Close to light MRSS ? think about it, look at how the Tides and Wave classes have been used in the Caribbean, and the Bays in the Gulf. It ain’t exactly like that they were meant for that mission. and this with a ship that has greater hanger capabilities, featured with RM landing craft and potential for navyPODS , in a ship designed for solid stores. Or maybe as a escort range extender for world ops / extended periods of endurance? or , for the first S in MRSS, use it as a sort of base similar in role to the bay’s in the gulf. IMO, if the RN wants a (light) MRSS soon they better grab the opportunity if this is the only one with production line is operation.
N-a-B
  1. “Production lines” are rarely appropriate for ships.
  2. If you know what a solid stores ship is and does, it’s a significantly different beast to an MRSS.
fvf

fair enough

ANDREW WILDE

Question. Over two decades, just how many idiots has it taken to come up with a cheap rust-bucket design to supply a couple of store ships!! The Royal Navy does not have the warships to protect all RFA’s, as things stand. This situation will only get worse in the future, and if that is the case, at what stage do we, the United Kingdom, just give up ,scrap our vastly diminished defence budget and concentrate on housing immigrants and building hospitals?

N-a-B

“Cheap rust-bucket” is about as far away from the truth as its possible to get.

Jon

Answer. Zero. These aren’t cheap, they aren’t rust buckets, and they weren’t designed by idiots. We, the United Kingdom, won’t give up on our defence. Ever.

Why on earth would we concentrate on housing immigrants, instead of preventing the conflicts that displaced those migrants in the first place?

Sean

Actual number of escorts in the RN will be increasing over the next few years, the opposite of your claims. The defence budget hasn’t “vastly diminished” either.
These, together with your comments about “housing immigrants” shows you’re more interested in political rants then actual factual debate.

Hassinger

The exact number of idiots believed the writing of £300M on the side of a London bus during the Brexit campaign.
In any case, Royal Navy would not last more than 5 days in a war.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/02/14/sharp-loss-britains-blue-water-navy-leaves-world-vulnerable/

Last edited 11 months ago by Hassinger
Duker

In 2020 the UK made an estimated gross contribution (after the rebate) of £17.0 billion. The UK received £4.5 billion of public sector receipts from the EU, so the UK’s net public sector contribution to the EU was an estimated £12.6 billion”
Theres still settlement payments and the EU itself does a multi-year budget ( 7 years) so the 2021 -2027 UK contribution is €20 bill for that period

So a close estimate was £88 bill pounds net to EU over 7 years ( while they were a member), instead will contribute £17.5 bill saving 70 bill pounds or £830 MILL PER Month

Supportive Bloke

Against whom? Russia?

RN would last 5 days. That isn’t an issue as the Russian surface fleet would be toast on day one. If Russia attacked UK then NATO would be involved and whilst you can, rightly, doubt France and Germany there would a pile on from the Nordics and the Baltic states that cannot afford for Mad Vlad to be militarily successful.

To find the Russian ships you simply need the Mk1 Eyeball looking for massive clouds of smoke.

If the Russians were so stupid as to start something their subs would be sunk alongside and those that were not would be aggressively hunted by the rapidly increasing P8 / Orion force that is in Europe.

So I am not seeing that threat as being massive but it does need to be overmatched so it is containable. And we do have a loon in Russia who likes big long wars.

China is a bit different. There will have been a good bit of acid indigestion in Bejing when they saw how good the older generations of NATO missiles are and how useless the Russian technology that they have copied and improved on actually is in relative terms. So, yes, Chinese ships may have lots of missile slots and flashy radars and all the other toys but are they fully integrated into a CMS and do they actually work as advertised? Bear in mind Russia had nothing approaching a CMS, all systems worked in isolation, they would have had to develop their own with limited combat experience in a vacuum: not easy.

I am not saying the Chinese are stupid, they are not, but they are not first class innovators and have relied on stealing tech and blueprints wherever they could get them from. Even Russia tried some of its own scientists for sharing hypersonic ‘secrets’ with China – cooperation with no limits? Although, I suspect, when China does strong-arm the increasingly desperate Putin for the final defence secrets that Russia has they will discover that there wasn’t that much to hide.

Gunbuster

I was doing alongside maintenance on a USNS Lewis & Clarke class last year for a couple of months. Massive ships with a massive lift capability. They will be a good comparison to make Vs FSS.
The clearway road from the flightdeck to the fwd area is great for moving stores around from the centre lifts (which are massive) out to the RAS Points. They do need a lot of MHE though, with over 30 forklifts onboard. A nice to have is the ability to RAS L from them and I cannot see why this isnt included on the FSS from the outset. Even a few thousand cubes of fuel would help with flexibility in RAS L to FF/DD or when FSS is a singleton.

The RFA ships will be battleships in comparison the the USNS vessels. USNS dont carry anything bigger than a 50 Cal.

Phillip Johnson

19 knots max speed with an 18 knot sustained speed is almost an impossibility. It would suggest that the diesels can be run at or above 95% of their max revs more or less all the time
That is unlikely to be the case. It is much more likely that you are going to get a max sustained of around 16 knots, a sprint for a few hours at 18 knot and an absolute max of 19 knots if you are prepared to break something.

N-a-B

Maximum continuous rating (or MCR) is how you size your propulsion plant. It’s not difficult.

Jonathan

Not really the maximum sustained speed is decided by the Maximum Continuous Rating of the marine diesel (MCR) and is not the same as normal service speed or nominal continuous rating (NCR) which is what commercial vessels use as a cruise speed for maximum efficiency, this is generally around 85%-90% of the MCR. Now a commercial vessel would never generally run above the MCR but you can….but what you have to remember is marine diesels are designed to run at high load and are very happy running at 100% load…in-fact you shorten the life and cause a lot of issues running at low loads ( running less than 55% load is generally considered not good for a marine diesel.

so for your example of a 18knot sustained speed that’s your MCR…it will cost a bit more in fuel but the marine diesel will do that all day every day.

If the RFA wanted to save some pennies and did not need to be anywhere in a hurry they could run at the NCR..which would be a few knots less ( probably 16 or so knots)….but they could run above MCR if they want to burn engine hours..but I’m pretty sure most large ship marine diesels only have around 10% above that so a 19knot max would be about right….

remember fast warships use a secondary method say CODAG or CODOG to have a far higher potential speed above their diesels MCR..but this is provided by a gas turbine….which you don’t have in hulls like this. That is why a frigate may have a cruise speed of say 16knots ( it’s diesels NCR) and then a top speed of 30knots.

so to summarise the 18knots will be the MCR which is the marine diesel running at 100% of the load the Engine can run continuously and for a diesel this is very close to its maximum load anyway. ( as in maybe 10% difference). The most efficient load would be at 90% of the MCR..which is called the NCR…finally running your diesel on a low load is far worse for it that running around at your MCR.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jonathan
KiwiRob

Maersk’s Odense built E Class container vessels have a service speed of 25 knots, all on diesels.

Jonathan

Yes that is fine that will be their MCR…but they will not have anything much above that. The discussion was around fact the maximum sustained speed of a ship with only diesels is very much close to its potential top speed….not about how fast you can make a ships Maximum sustained speed using diesels.

Bob Lunn

No need for portholes in this day and age. Flat screen TV in each cabin with ability to view via cameras, Forward, AFT, Port or Stbd. Same as views available on Emirates aircraft.
( EX RN, RFA and Emirates)

Gertrude

Don’t forget the PS5. Bit useless without wifi, but I’m pretty sure we could make a LAN with the wifi router when it undoubtedly doesn’t work.

Salty

TV’S gets wooded now, wifi very poor for WhatsApp msg let alone streaming as no bandwidth because it is expensive. Lose the portholes and you end up like the Bay boats internal cabin with no TV, no phone signal and no wifi.
Who wants to sign up for that nowadays. We need to recruit and retain, not put people off.

Duker

It will be a cabled LAN of some sort. When you are supporting one or more naval ships you dont want some wireless signals telling anyone with extra sensitive equipment where you are . Maybe a very short range Bluetooth hot spot in the cabins for phones/tablets

An Employee

This is exactly why I don’t understand the thinking behind this. They have to PAY employees to live in an internal on a Bay Class with an ‘uncomfortable living’ allowance, which will be the same with these ships if this design goes ahead. That’s why those particular cabins are usually filled with RN or trainees. The only way to get phone signal on many ships is to stick your phone into the port box and pray. Not only is it going to vastly affect morale, but it will cost them hudreds of thousands down the line in the extra pay allowance.

Julian Edmonds

Or in the cheapest grade of cabin on any modern cruise ship.

Duker

They are working on board with round the clock shifts 7 days a week.’
The leave is taken away from ship, its not a ‘cruise’

X

With a shortage of escorts and the West now a ‘maritime empire’ I think they are somewhat under armed. Phalanx needs to go. And was there any thought given to SeaCeptor?

Supportive Bloke

The US versions are even less armed with only Phalanx? No sign of 30mm etc.

Does any support fleet in the world carry a full modern air defence fit that really works?

I suspect we will see a containerised Sea Ceptor POD at some point – mainly because Sea Ceptor is ubiquitous across the fleet. But I don’t think it will be locally controlled and will be networked to be controlled by a T45 or failing that a T26/31 that is proximate.

X

The question should be should they carry more?

Gertrude

Think I read somewhere that they were looking at seaceptors for an RFA, but they nixed it. For me it’s a case of how much can you uparm a civilian ship before it stops being civilian? For me small cal. and Phalanx makes sense, but adding aa missles might be a step to far.

Mind you, ww2 there were auxiliary cruisers, but they broke so many laws that I’d doubt they’d be a good comparison.

X

SeaCeptor would be OK. Defensive arms permissible.

RFA deck officers can do the PWO course. The ships have to fit into a defensive whole.

International law is always, well, a minefield.

Duker

‘MBDA will supply two Simbad-RC Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) Systems per ship.’
Its a mounting for the Mistrale

French Navy BRF

French-Navys-New-BRF-Supply-Ship-Starts-Sea-Trials-2-1024x539[1].jpg
Boris

Said who? Wishful thinking or hallucination?

Duker

Was it too hard for you to click the link provided ..French Navy BRF
but here it is again
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2023/01/french-navys-new-brf-supply-ship-starts-sea-trials/

AlexS

Trials were fast. Already in service

Rudeboy

Simple solution is adding LMM and Starstreak 2 to the DS30M mounts on the Tides and FSS like the RN have trialled. In addition to the 2 Phalanx 20mm you’d have 2 x 30mm cannon and 10 8-10km missiles available. With the already fitted softkill that would look after them pretty well.

Joe16

Interesting write up.
As always, there’s a balancing of capability and cost, hopefullly they’ve got it about right on this one. Overall, seems like they have to this layman.
One thing that I’m surprised no one commented on, and haven’t seen anywhere else: The retirement of the Mk44 minigun?! I’ve no idea how useful it is in reality, but I’ve always liked the idea of being able to dump 5,000 rounds per minute of 7.62 NATO at small boats if the need arose. I presume they’ve worked out that you get more bang for your buck from a .50 cal, but I wonder if the minigun might be better at knocking out drones? Otherwise it’s just Phalanx for that job, and I’ve no idea how good or not it might be at that.

DaveyB

A mini-gun is significantly easier to walk rounds on to a target, than say a GPMG or 50 cal. This is due to the high bit number of tracer used in the “belt”. It forms a near solid line, which makes it’ easier to visualize where to aim or lead a hi-speed target.

The main issue is that they are maintenance heavy, expensive (lots of titanium parts) and blast through ammo. Plus the Mk44 which is based on the M134 is 7.62mm, so its effect on slightly armoured targets is not great. Whereas a 50 cal will blow throw most composite armour.

Dillon who make the gun, also do a 50 cal version. This is an absolute beast. The 503D, is a three barreled electrically driven gun, that operates up to 1500 rpm (25 rounds per second).. The standard ammo bin contains 600 rounds, which gives you 24 seconds of fun. You can dial down the fire rate to try and preserve ammo.

Joe16

Thanks, I can see the logic to that- long term maintenance and operation is a major cost factor.
I’m struggling to picture the 503D in my head, but sounds awesome- even if a little excessive.
Has any consideration been given to 40 mm marinised automatic grenade launchers, they’re really simple and airburst rounds might be pretty good against small boat attacks- their range is supposed to be pretty good too, although I acknowledge they’re not much for armour penetration…

DaSaint

Really interested to see what RR/MTU diesels she’ll be equipped with.
Glad there will be a dedicated air-search radar to complement the armament. Not bad really, compared to USN. One or both Phalanx probably get upgraded to SeaRAM at some point in the future. They will probably also have some form of UAS system on board.

N-a-B

They won’t have any RR/MTU diesels. They’re too small to be of any use. The engine supplier is likely to end in”ila” and have a 46cm bore.

SeaRAM isn’t happening in the RN. Full stop.

DaSaint

You’re absolutely right about the diesels. The Tides have two Wärtsilä 2.5MW diesel generators that supply the power to the motors and the ship. For higher speeds, there are two 7.2MW Wärtsilä L46F diesel engines which drive the shafts through reduction gearboxes. More than likely this will be a similar fit, though not necessarily the same model engines.

If you can do Phalanx, you can do SeaRAM. I don’t see why not.

Supportive Bloke

Because RN has gone down the sovereign IP Sea Ceptor route?

It *might* make more sense to put Sea Ceptor in PODs that to bring in yet another kind of missile to inventory.

Sea Ceptor is significantly better than Sea RAM anyway and cheaper per shot.

X

SeaRAM is a Close In Weapon System. SeaCeptor is a Point Defence Missile System.

Doesn’t CIWS imply gun.

Duker

Like Mae West once said ” I used to be Snow White but I drifted’

The range capability’s have moved further out. PDS ( like Sea Ceptor) is now more of ‘smaller Area Defence and CIWS now can goe out as far as PDS used to

X

Makes not a jot of difference……..

Last edited 11 months ago by X
Nick

MBDA in their press release on winning contract for CAMM on the CSC describe CAMM as a Close in Air Defence system (CIADS), the CSC graphic describe the ESSM as Point Defence Missiles

X

For the US ESSM is their PDMS as they have nothing smaller than Standard. SeaCeptor replaces SeaWolf which was the RN’s PDMS.

Watcherzero

Can I point out that if they actually carry the two phalanx and two 30mm ASCG they are actually better armed than the QE which has three phalanx and four fittings for 30mm ASCG but none actually carried.

Duker

QE has F35B

X

QE will be sitting at the centre of a task group. Phalanx is a bit old now.

comment image

comment image

Not that I like the idea of missiles for aircraft carriers.

Last edited 11 months ago by X
Duker

Phalanx block 1B dates from 2015, plus a new radar ‘baseline’.
It seems that a new variable speed cannon mechanism is under development, conserve ammo for some targets that don’t need the top firing rate

X

20mm is too small for a variety of reasons……….

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-Sc5gkUwAAxTXk?format=jpg&name=900×900

Last edited 11 months ago by X
Duker

Its actually a 15mm in the APDS ammo or 20 mm tungsten penetrators
The M61 itself dates from the late 1940s, but the shells have improved enormously like the rest of the full system

US_Navy_101027-N-8913A-252_Rounds_from_a_Mk-15_Phalanx_Close-in_Weapon_System_(CIWS)_from_the_guided-missile_destroyer_USS_Mitscher_(DDG_57)_impact[1].jpg
X

Gosh…..

Duker

Actually hitting something is the real challenge, always has been . Not the debate about this calibre or that.
The RN seemed to at one time have the Goalkeeper 30mm but no longer so

Supportive Bloke

Goalkeeper was a joint Anglo/Dutch project as Phalanx wasn’t that great. There was an attempt to make 30mm work with the Sea Wolf targeting systems. This was abandoned as it got over complex and was to bulky and expensive to fit to things like RFA’s

Initially Goalkeeper showed more promise and was significantly better than the early versions of Phalanx. However, with the various mod state improvements Phalanx is now a very robust and very well understood system.

Once the 30mm mounts were networked and various other things happened including the deployment of Sea Ceptor there wasn’t any real advantage in keeping Goal Keeper.

At that point it was down to budgets and which type to keep.

Sea Ceptor + 30mm + Phalanx is also a layered package.

FYI the patents for the software that ran/runs Goal Keeper were held by a gentleman who worked at Roke Manor and the software, plus a dumbed down version of the hardware, was also used for ball tracking by TV cameras. That is before the next person pops up and say it was a totally Dutch project…..

AlexS

Nothing fixes ballistic physics. 30mm Goalkeeper had much better range than Phalanx. it is is just was not economically to improve it due to low numbers compared to Phalanx. And when the lead nation Netherlands chooses RAM and the 76mm guided rounds there is no future in it…

David MacDonald

Please will someone explain to me what is a “porthole”?

Robert

Porthole = a small round window, typically in a cabin

David MacDonald

But not so in the RN where it is a scuttle!

Last edited 11 months ago by David MacDonald
Deep32

Actually, the term ‘Scuttle’ refers to a small opening or hatch in the deck. Originally from some French term for hatch/opening.

X

No it means a circular window. Sometimes called a sidelight in the Royal Navy.

Last edited 11 months ago by X
Duker

Ive seen pictures of WW2 frigates where the wheelhouse is mostly a blank wall, a deck below the bridge which was open to the sky.

X

Yes the rating on the wheel could not see out. You didn’t want him to see out. If he did he could take visual cues that were contrary to what was needed and steer the ship into hazard.

Back in the early 50s the RN experimented with running ships from ops using a periscope……..

Last edited 11 months ago by X
Supportive Bloke

Counties had the wheel below decks too in a windowless compartment.

X

It was the way it was done for very good reasons.

Supportive Bloke

I didn’t say it wasn’t.

I was just offering that I had seen the setup myself and that it was real in service in this type of ship.

Deep32

Largely depends on which reference you want to use to define the term doesn’t it? You might also argue that the term means to actively sink your own ship – and you wouldn’t be wrong there either.

X

True. 🙂

Duker

“Eight minutes before the collision with the merchant ship ACX Crystal in a busy shipping lane off the coast of Japan, USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) – traveling at 20 knots – adjusted its course 10 degrees, setting the stage for the collision, according to the National Transportation Safety Board report.
“This course change proved to be a critical error, and investigators were unable to determine the reason for it,” reads the report.
“The study found that if the Fitzgerald had not made the course change from 190° to 200° 8 minutes before the collision, the destroyer would have passed ahead of the ACX Crystal with a [closest point of approach] of about 1,000 yards, or about a 1/2 nautical mile.
https://news.usni.org/2020/09/03/ntsb-unexplained-course-change-was-a-critical-error-in-fatal-uss-fitzgerald-collision

X

I am not sure about your point. Pilot navigates the ship, helm helms…….You are also not considering that the screws also dictate direction of travel too.

blackcatbarrelbelly

Word on the street is that Portholes will be fitted to crew accomodation spaces.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Great article as usual thanks for doing it.

Re the conversation about portholes, I have not seen mentioned the effect on radar signature. From my studies of radar and sonar in electrical engineering school where I got my bachelors and PhD, I would expect that eliminating portholes would go a long way towards reducing the radar signature, they would (if present) scatter a lot of signal (at any high frequency) back to the enemy. Even on these proposed support ships I see they are careful to slope the more vertical planes away from vertical, I am sre that is to reduce radar signature. After all I gather they have to travel with the rest of the fleet and while not in the class of stealth fighters, might as well maximize the range at which they are easily detected by opposition radar.

Cheers

John

PS I wish we would stop insulting each other on this board, it is one of the worst in that dimension I have ever seen. Not a good omen if supporters of the Royal Navy all keep firing vitriol at each other, it greatly decreases the chance of this board doing any good in heloing the prospects of the Navy.

X

They love insulting others. I like how they get very indignant when it is past back to them.

Unless you are into Top Trump specs, think the RN never makes a mistake, or confine yourself to internet news you are not wanted here or liked.

I just post now. I am past caring.

Jason

Is there a source which says the Mk44 mini gun is going out of service?

N-a-B

Yep. RNTM 03-011/23 since you ask.

Jason

How do I access that?

X

RNTM is Royal Navy Temporary Memorandum. Freedom of information request or be on the distribution list.

PHILIP

giving a contract to a shipbuilder that says even before pen touches paper they’ll be two years late! who’s the clown that decided that was a great contract to pay for delays! ps crews(RFA)won’t man them; NO Portholes ie natural light a condition for merchant seamen!!

N-a-B

Pretty sure that’s not the case. FoC handover 2028 – MoD have always been hard over on that.

Nicholas

Is there any reason, other than the .50 now being preferred, for the minigun going out of service?

Duker

The harpoon was supposed to be going by 2018 , until it wasnt. Only this year was replacement ordered.
Usually its just a maintenance contract date or for accounting reasons, but unless there is money to replace these weapons or there is no savings from not replacing , why not keep them going.

AJB

There is mention of Mexeflot(?) being used. Is there any artistic impressions of these being carried, transported, fastened to the sides of the hull as was done with the LSLs ?

N-a-B

Not part of the requirement. Any mexe used will be brought by someone else.

blackcatbarrelbelly

Solid support ships (R Class, Old Fort class and newer Fort Class) dont normally carry mexe.

The Bay class do though.

George

Are these vessels classed with Lloyd’s Register?

blackcatbarrelbelly

it hasn’t been confirmed or announced officially but all RFAs normally are.

chris de pole

Great article, though one bit left me depressed, the part about having a full air group on the carriers being a long way off, so theres plenty of room to store F35B engine units on the carriers. Choosing F35B rather than C with angled decks and CATOBAR just looks to have been a huge error, especially with the way the geopolitical situation is going.