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That is all…..

Supportive Bloke

Nice places around there.

Used to spend a lot of time in that area in my younger days.

Trouble is the roads are so bad it takes an age to get anywhere.


QinetQ also has a deployable range facility for the MCMV force in the Gulf. It can be set up and conduct noise and magnetic signature ranging locally for the UKNSF based ships.

Important point. In peacetime RN ships never enter a harbour (except for those named above) with DG on. If they did you could get fingerprinted and give an enemy important ship signature data.


give an enemy important ship signature data.’

Would that be the ‘all knowing, all capable’ enemy ?


You never know who may have dropped a hydrophone or magnetometer at a harbour entrance. The nation in question may not even know something has been left there by a third party. Its the same policy as EMCOM. Don’t make it easy to fingerprint your assets so that the information could be used against you in the future.


Are the Chinese balloons overhead yet? From that not interesting part of Asia?

Bloke down the pub

Nose emitting? Causing a stink?


What Fleet?

Supportive Bloke

The largest European navy by tonnage is RN by miles.

When T26 and T31 come in it will have a low average age per ship.

Compare that to the Russian scrap heap approach or the other theoretically large navies padded out with Cold War relics.


You know the only other truly global navy apart from the USN…that one.


You doubt the French have a blue-water navy when Operation Jeanne d’Arc is literally a round the world trip this year?


The French do have a blue water navy. But there are different grades of blue water navy, proffessor D Todd’s hierarchy Is a good one, as blue water navy describes any navy that can really operate from around 1500NMs from base and has ASW and AAW assets as well as the ability to sustain deployment through RAS there are around 13 of those in the world. The more sensitive hierarchies split blue water navies into around 4 groupings from global power projection to regional power projection. Generally the RN skips between global power projection and limited global power projection, with La Royal Sitting just below the RN usually, due in the main to the RNs better support structures ( the RN is still able to support multiple global deployments, just about).


Plus the French actually have considerable territories in the South pacific still- UK has Pitcairn!
Plus theres an island well off Mexico ( Clipperton Is) which they have long claimed even though its 1000s of km from the Tahitian islands.
US also has some island territories in odd places , which they dont mention when China says distant islands like Paracels are theirs


Remember the Astute grounding in 2010
‘The inquiry found poor planning and communications, combined with a failure to adhere to correct procedures, had been to blame for the £1.2 billion vessel being left marooned near the Kyle of Lochalsh.’

It seems that was the real reason it was in the immediate area was the Butec Range, but another cover story put out

Last edited 1 year ago by Duker

Not sure why a new submarine undertaking trials on a test range would need a cover story. Doesn’t excuse the actions that led to the grounding but the reason it was in the area was pretty well known, you can see the range from the road.


The story alludes to the ‘trials’ but completely avoids mentioning Butec, which isn’t exactly a secret.


The media stories seem to refer to some ‘transfer from sub to helicopter’. They could have only have got that story from the MoD media spin doctors.
It seems later enquiry gave the full story, as it wasnt really a secret but media interest had moved on.
Media spin 101

Commonwealth Loyalist

Sounds a lot like the grounding of the good old 16 inch-gunned battleship HMS Nelson in earlier times, groundings happen fairly often IMHO

With the Carriers getting in and out of Rosyth for maintenance we can exppect more of them in the future til the RN finds or renovates another dockyard, they exist in British waters but are mostly abandoned.



China has surpassed the United States in the number of land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers it possesses.

The Pentagon estimates that China currently has approximately 300 total ICBMs in its rocket force, including those used by both fixed and mobile launchers.
Four main ballistic missile types are currently known to be in Chinese inventory. DF-4 entered service in 1980 and is a transportable, liquid-fueled missile with a single nuclear warhead and a range of up to 3,417 miles. DF-5 is a silo-based liquid-fueled ICBM that entered service in 1981 and has a range of around 8,077 miles. A DF-5A variant carries a single warhead while DF-5B carries multiple independently targeted warheads, and the Pentagon believes a DF-5C is now in development as well. 

Third on the list is DF-31, a solid-fueled missile that entered service in 2006, carries a single warhead, and has a range of up to 7,270 miles. Finally is DF-41, a road-mobile ICBM that was first tested in 2012 but has yet to officially enter operational service despite the country having already explored a train-based launch system for the missile. DF-41 is solid-fueled, can carry up to 10 warheads, and has a range of about 9,320 miles.

Last edited 1 year ago by Boris

Well the us has 400 minutemen 3 ICBMs that can take 3 warheads each although only carry 1 at present.. In total at present the US has around 1300+ warheads on strategic ballistic missiles and around 300 for air launched platforms and 100 air launched tactical weapons in Europe. For a total of 1700+ deployed warheads…it has about the same again in storage and another same again in retired warheads that are stored intact for a total of 5000+ warheads…China has around 400 warheads in total….

Buts it’s all academic because if the USA launched its 1300 warheads on strategic ballistic missiles, the human race is probably done for even if no one fired back…. as crop production and black soot modelling has evidenced that around 100 nuclear warhead dropped would remove around 10% of the worlds crop production. For a decade…1300 warheads =no crop production for a decade which = no more people.

John Hartley

I have a vague memory of a British firm, 15-25 years ago?, came up with a cheap way of building icebreakers. The hull would have been two thin sheets of steel, with a layer of plastic inbetween. I think they partnered with BASF, on construction & recycling techniques. Might be a cheap way of armouring up & quietening a frigate or Destroyer hull?


It would have to be carbon fibre . Thats expensive and since an icebreaker needs about 1.75 in max thickness at the front they will continue with that. Scantlings increased as well

John Hartley

No, it was BASF plastic of some sort.


This is all really good and very impressive and it definitely demonstrates that the “bones” of the Royal Navy (and in fact, of the entire UK defence establishment) are still very strong. Again, however, the military in general and the Navy in particular are too small. They just are. You know it’s bad when a blog dedicated to UK land forces is advocating for a bigger Royal Navy. If even the landlubbers are worried, you’ve got big problems.

The answer is screamingly obvious and not expensive as such things go. What is wrong with Parliament and the MOD that this doesn’t get done yesterday?


Not happening because of this fanciful notion of ‘corvettes’ based on history. Also when a long ago time subs were far slower and AS warfare was dropping a pattern of 12 depth charges directly on top of the target. The main warship builders in 1939 were already full and to enable the smaller yards – which dont exist anymore- build ships to fit the slipways and to mostly commercial standards and in less than 9 months.

The Russians just dont have that many submarines – apart from those mostly dockside- plus they face the combined naval forces of Nato not just Britain


I would think it is quite obvious that the warships proposed in that article bear virtually no resemblance to WWII Flower class vessels. A present day “corvette” would be a multirole vessel (albeit with an emphasis on ASW) that would certainly be considered a “frigate” in most navies until the past 20 years or so. The obvious solution for the shortfall in RN hulls is a new class of general purpose, smaller warships in the 2500 – 4000 ton range. You could call them “corvettes” or “sloops” (as in the proposed Black Swan class), but whatever the name, the RN cannot fulfill its mission with a small boutique battle line made up of fewer than 20 major surface warships in the escort fleet.



Why call it Flower class and cover these whaler based ships in some detail – if theres no comparison.
You and I know this , but does the general public or even Mps grasp the difference.
They are better off saying a ‘improved Leander type’, as they were by todays standards light frigates.


That’s quite an old article. I think the Navy’s mind has gone to cheap larger frigates rather than corvettes for good reason. The days of the Flower class are gone, because everything these days is quieter. A cheap and cheerful corvette can’t hunt subs alone.

A top class ASW ship needs a purpose-designed hull, quiet mode of travel, a top of the line set of ship-mounted sonars, a means of creating a distributed sonar mesh, protection torpedoes, decoys, a hangar and an ASW-capable helicopter with all the onboard maintenance and safe munitions carrying/arming to support it. That’s expensive so you will want extra protections, such as anti-ship, local anti-air and CIWS. Oh look, it’s a Type 26.

If we go for a lower tier ASW, it still needs a lot of these capabilities, and given steel is cheap and air is free, why wouldn’t you go for a Type 31 rather than a corvette that would barely have room for all the kit required? Could multiple Type 31s working together rival the quieter Type 26?

A third solution is to go for a hetrogenous swarm-type capability, where a complex mesh of cheap ships, boats and planes hunt the subs. I think the mothership-drones-P8 combination is the way the Navy is heading in this regard. The mothership would still need a helicopter unless Project Proteus (currently advertised as sub-hunting but not sub-killing) can also deliver lightweight torpedoes. Stingray is over a quarter ton, so a 3-ton MTOW rotary drone might just be able to deliver one, as might a Malloy T-650 if we ever get around to ordering it, albeit for a very limited range.

I don’t think any single route is obvious, and if the Navy is trying to play all lines despite a lack of cash (or perhaps because of it), I can’t blame them.


I could definitely live with more T31s, though I think they are somewhat larger vessels than are really needed. But yes, the design is established, the production lines are set up, and the RN and UK would definitely benefit from economies of scale if additional units were to be built.


The actual smaller light frigates, if you notice the buyers, are for countries that use them for limited reach ( Qatar, Algeria, Mexico, Indonesia) and dont have to face North Atlantic type weather – for longer periods.


Can I just say HMS Richmond looks very freshly painted in that picture.

Kitty Darling

I have an old barge called Maytime. I have no other identifying features. I am trying to find some info about her, but have drawn a blank. I think that she was owned by the MOD (RMAS) but am still having no luck. She is a flatbed. Any suggestions gratefully received. Thanks!