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T.S

How about a Visby class stealth Corvette for the job backed up by a shore battery of Spear 3 and seaceptor for extra deterrence? Oh, and massive loudspeakers on the rock playing our national anthem at a 130db.

4th watch

Interesting stuff. There is a need to replace the P 2000 at some stage and a need for fleet protection generally. All these types of Inshore patrol vessels went by the board in the 60’s and 70’s. We used to have Seaward defence vessels, Ham class minesweepers in the role. I’m not going to second guess what the RN has in mind except for Gibraltar you need something that can go round to (say) Lisbon in all weathers for starters. It gets rough in the Straits and anything less than 30 metres (25 metres lwl) is too easily thrown about to maintain reasonable 30kt speed.

Nicholas

As well as not being able to keep up a decent speed the sailors need to be in reasonable condition too.

Yankee

Well, a problem would be the cost of a Visby; they cost about £200 million. Not a lot for a warship, but a lot for a job such as this without the utility (range, size, weaponry, etc) that is needed for many RN roles.
 
For the same price, say an upgraded River batch 2 (in ways another article on this site shows) could be an option; one that also would involve not introducing so much new equipment and getting a larger ship with a longer range and in some areas more utility

T.S

I was joking!

Yankee

Thought so, honestly its hard to tell though considering many people’s knowledge of the procurement and logistics. And some people just like loudspeakers

D J

If the loudspeaker is a LRAD system, they will more than pay attention.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long_Range_Acoustic_Device
 

donald_of_tokyo

If the replacement is coming on 2021, why not simply extend the life of HMS Scimitar and Sabre? Surely it will cost, but of course not a lot.
 
Although just speculation, I’m afraid the replacement be postponed for years, in which case, sending HMS Dasher and HMS Pursuer makes good sense. It is not so high speed, but I think the 18 knots mark is for full load? If light weight, can reach 20 knots? In this case, may be OK against Spanish OPVs.
 
To counter faster boats, I think RN can send 9.5m RHIB or even order 12m RHIB to handle it.
 

Fedaykin

For boats at the end of their life it is not cost effective especially when a replacement has been ordered.

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks, but I do not understand your point. Why not just wait for another year, when everything is there. Just one year.
 
Yes, you need inspection, maintenance, etc etc, but that is what you do, when you plan to buy a car, and it turned out to reach you only next year, because of booked orders.
 

Last edited 6 months ago by donald_of_tokyo
Fedaykin

Well I am getting the strong impression that HMS Scimitar and HMS Sabre are very close to being un-serviceable without an extensive and expensive overhaul. With a Couple of P2000 available to stand in that have recently been overhauled with new engines we are probably in the situation that it was just cheaper to send them to Gibraltar instead.

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks.
 
If so, yes, sending two P2000 is a good temporal replacement.
 
My (hidden) concern was, I think this is some sort of permanent approach, and HMS Scimitar and HMS Sabre’s replacement be silently cancelled. Also I guess re-organization of P2000 squadron is meaning reduction in their tasks, and “surplus” P2000s coming out. (may be too pessimistic)
 
If the replacement really comes, my concern will go out.
 

Steve
sparky42

It could also be that the replacement if it’s already been ordered might be hit by the Covid lockdown and subsequent reduced working numbers, Safehaven Marine for example is 2 months at least due to lockdown and production will be slowed, guessing it would be the same for others of the same size.

Challenger

3 and a half years to select and deliver some pretty simple and small patrol boats isn’t great going. Must be plenty of options on the market? Are there other Archer class boats currently operating at Faslane? Interesting to see the RN reorganise into coastal and overseas patrol squadrons. Basing an OPV in Gib would do absolutely nothing to shore up the protection of sovereign waters but would be good for low level engagement with allied navies in West Africa and The Med as the article states. In terms of Spanish incursions I wish we had the bottle to start using non lethal force with water cannons for example to make it not worth their whole to cause a nuisance.

borg

Or just send a couple of OPV’s to Ceuta.

Fedaykin

In terms of Spanish incursions I wish we had the bottle to start using non lethal force with water cannons for example to make it not worth their whole to cause a nuisance.”
 
The problem with that plan is you end up with a tit for tat escalation of events that could get very dangerous quickly. When you start firing water canon at other boats you could end up causing serious injury to someone (maybe even a death) that would ratchet up tensions out of control.

ATH

We use water cannon Spain cuts Water and other utilities.

gibrebro

No they don’t because we don’t rely on Spain for our utilities

Basil Barnes

I think Gibraltar does rely on Spain for water and electricity. While it has the ability to desalinate sea water it hasn’t relied on those facilities for decades and would likely have to ration it if Spain cut off the pipes.

X

No. This is a good article for a Wikipedia entry…….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibraltar#Water_supply_and_sanitation

Challenger

I can see the potential danger of escalation. Like the idea of one of our OPV’s irritating them in Ceuta’s waters as a proportional response!

borg

I can just see the SUN’s headlines, Royal navy sends Battleships to defend Gibralta.

Sunmack

It’s a shame we have to make this investment at a time when cash is strapped when the problem is one that’s down to macho posturing and willy waving by a NATO ally.

The Spanish must have been red faced when they subsequently realised that the SSN they’d been harassing was American. Perhaps we could ask Uncle Sam to lend us a couple of LCS to help us keep his submarines secure. After all, the LCS has been a solution looking for a problem that makes it relevant for ages 😂😁

Sunmack

It does look like a mismatch when you see pictures of Scimitar or Sabre standing up to a much larger Spanish vessel. A bit like a Jack Russell taking on a Rottweiler. Still, having had a Jack Russell that could start a fight with itself my money would be on the terrier!

borg

Size, isn’t everything !

Sunmack

You’ve met my Jack Russell then

Gunbuster

Sounds like my Jack Russel as well. Small dog that thinks its a Rotty .

ATH

You may want to change the caption on the last photo. The mounts on the rear of boat look like 7.62mm GPMG not 20mm cannon.

Challenger

Aren’t some or all of the class designed to mount a 20mm if necessary? May be where the confusion came from.

4thwatch

Wot no gym?

Simon m

An RN vessel FFBNW 🤔

Rudeboy

The BMARC 20mm’s existed in stores, but it would be a maintenance nightmare to leave them on in the URNU role.No point mounting them if they just sit there corroding and never get used, whilst increasing security issues around docking, and also using valuable space up in the hull.
 
Not sure if the 20mm’s still exist in stores or not, there are still a few around on RN/RFA vessels.

Challenger

I imagine some 20mm’s still exist in storage as a few RFA’s carried them, at least until recently with the older Forts, Rovers and Leaf’s. The Archers were designed to mount one but it’s never been needed due to their training role.

Roodog

Time to replace the P2000 with a suitable replacement. Give a company like Austal the Appledore yard and tell them to crack on, breaking up the monopoly held by other yards (BAE) creating jobs and ultimately providing suitable vessels for patrol and trading of our waters.

Roodog

Training not trading

sparky42

Why would you need a yard like Appledore for relatively small boats?

rec

? Why not keep HMS Clyde for forward basing at Gib as well as 2 small boats?
Certainly an up armed batch 2 River would make a statement, casting my mind back to the Falklands, where the planned withdraw of HMS Endurance was significant. So HMS Clyde or an up-armed batch 2 might not be that effective, but one of these in addition to the smaller boats sends a signal that we are still interested and take Gibraltar seriously.

Donaldson

Say an up armed Clyde were sent to Gibraltar, What would be the point as it would be doing the same job as the 9.5m RHIBs which is to shadow the intruders? Waste of time and resources.

rec

It wouldn’t be doping the same job, I guess, much like the Endurance in the Falklands, it’s a sign that we take Gibraltar seriously, a tripwire. She could even be part RNR manned on rotation, also she would be be a low level British presence in the med. In the past there was a Frigate deployed as the Gibraltar guard ship.
HMS Chichester was used along with patrol ships as a RN presence in Hong Kong, again a more visible presence, upingn the ante without being aggressive, getting the Spanish to think what next? . On manning you could be radical and invite some ex RN to come back for a limited period.?
 

Sam

We could always move HMS Belfast to Gibraltar…..her 6 inch guns still work >:) But seriously Spain has some hostile intent if they are deploying their Navy to harass and threaten Gibraltar. They did threaten the ships in Gibraltar previously and they did send a boat in firing its weapons. To be honest they have been far more dangerous than Argentina (whom rhetoric is as far as they have gone) Granted they are trying to goad the RN into firing first….we should be prepared to defend the area. Admiral Leech told Maggie before the Falklands when discussing whether or not to respond militarily “Because if we do not, or if we pussyfoot in our actions and do not achieve complete success, in another few months we shall be living in a different country whose word counts for little.”

Callum

Spain can continue to piss around all they like. The reality is, if they continue doing stupid s**t like f**ing with US nuclear boats as they come into harbour, it’s not the UK that’s up shit creek without a paddle.
 
As for preparing to defend the area, why? Spain knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that invading Gibraltar wouldn’t get them the result they want. The Spanish aren’t the Argentine military junta, desperately looking to cling to power by diverting attention by attacking a colonial possession on the other side of the world from any response. They’re a democratic NATO and EU member who would be attacking an ally a few hundred miles north of them, at the same time as alienating themselves from the political body that control controls their finances.
 
Nowadays military action generally only happens when the aggressor is confident they can get away with it. It’s a large part of why big nations haven’t openly fought each other in decades. Spain knows a war with the UK isn’t worth it, so they stick to making trouble in the hope that eventually they’ll get their way.

Gareth

Somewhat crude perhaps but could get a few out-of-commission and, of course, empty tankers and anchor them line astern along the territorial boundary (with bouys and lines connecting them). Or even just mexefloats if you don’t want to spoil the view too much
 
 

4th watch

Freedom of Navigation. You cant block off an area of sea in such manner. You must allow peaceful passage…It’s that the Spanish dont abide by the rules but just trample on others.
Inside 3 miles you are on someone elses Territory.

DAVID GRAHAM

The Territorial Sea is 12nm, and has been since the Convention was ratified in December 1993. See UNCLOS 1982, Articles 2 to 11.

Geo

Could be base an Apache or 2 there…..

Aidy P

Isn’t the legal situation more complex than you suggest here? You say:
 
Spain refuses to recognise Gibraltar has any territorial waters, a position at odds with the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) which gives the right to claim the waters up to 3 nautical miles from the coast“.
 
But isn’t the basic problem that the Treaty of Utrecht was only loosely written, reflecting the practice of the times, and did not explicitly say anything about territorial waters? That is to say, the UK’s title to Gibraltar is clear as far as the land area is concerned (although the strip where the airstrip was built falls into a grey area), but the Treaty gave Britain no associated territorial waters – only the right of transit and access to the port?
 
I think that this is why Spain feels that in regularly sailing in these waters, it is within its rights (and presumably is engaging in its own “freedom of navigation” exercise.
 
Or is this all superceded by the UNCLOS?

Duker

The UNCLOS allows foreign military vessels transit rights across territorial waters too as long as its ‘innocent passage’. The position of Gibraltar seems to allow this as they move from one area of Spanish waters to anothercomment image

Cam

Remember the Royal Marines accidentally invading a spanish beach instead of Gibraltar’s, was that really a mistake……and what happed to the yours squadron? We have two large bases there surely we need patrol boats?

Cam

What happend to the cyprus squadron I meant

Challenger

It was established in 2003 due to the amount of stuff being moved through the SBA’s for Telic but lasted until 2010 and officially disbanded due to no longer being required but was more likely one of a number of small cost saving measures taken in 2009 before the big slash and burn exercise we saw in the SDSR later in the year.

Completely agree that with two pretty big bases and a lot of important infrastructure we could do with a couple of patrol boats there again.

Phillip Johnson

The key point here is that nearly 3 and half years will have gone by in a process to replace 2 small patrol boats. Money will be mentioned but it is chicken feed in the scheme of things and a tiny fraction of what is handed back to Treasury unspent every year.
The problem is the process.

donald_of_tokyo

I think it is not a matter of Treasury. Just an apparent lack of will in RN/MOD to make it happen. Treasury spent nearly 1B GBP more in 2018-2019 than planned, none of them went into Gib boat replacement.
 
RN decided it, not Treasury.
 
And, for me, it is reasonable. Is Gib boat replacement important than near-future total lack of ship-launched heavy anti-ship missile (ASM) fleet wide? Is Gib boat replacement important than SSBN replacement? No, not, for sure.
 
Sending P2000, after upgrade (with wishful thinking of its future) but with apparent reduction in their tasks, just makes sense.
 
May be RN can send yet another 2 P2000 to make it 4, if needed. Making use of assets they already have.
 
I hope Gib patrol boat to be replaced soon, as P2000 is too slow for its tasks. But, if it comes with “accepting no ASM at all”, I am not so sure. Making it political, and buy these boat within “temporal additional money” will be the way to go. And I GUESS they are waiting for such chance?

Duker

 tiny fraction of what is handed back to Treasury unspent every year.”
 
I think you misunderstand the budget process, the Treasury levies a capital charge on ‘assets used’ which comes out of the budget. The original funding allows for this , but explains why unused ships or planes are sold off or broken up quickly, as then no capital charge is payable.
In new buys , it seems the capital charge is included along with sustainment costs, which explains why say the P-8 foreign military sales contract with US Navy/Boeing is a fraction of the RAF budget for indroducing the type into service.

Phillip Johnson

The capital charge is a particularly nasty aspect of UK governance but I was talking about the basic budget process which is pretty much the same for all ‘Anglo’ nations. Parliament passes an annual budget which gives Department authority to spend a given amount in a financial year. If it is not spent within the financial year, the unspent funding is cancelled by Treasury at the end of the financial year.

Duker

I dont think its a ‘not to exceed’ figure what they spend as they wish, and any ‘left over’ is returned, thats very old style. Its more like every item has to be justified and included in a group of similar items. So spending on new patrol boats isnt mixed up with spending on new missiles for RAF and arent interchangeable. Maybe spending on consumables that isnt spent is returned , but any decent capital project will have money staged over a number of years, and often the reasons for delays as they cant spend next years money this year.
I think the US is different ( and sensible) as Congress allocates say a lump sum for a new destroyer ( or even a batch of ships) , but its spent over many years based on a plan. Sometimes long lead items can be funded ahead of time separately. And the contract prices are public information rather than secret as in the ‘anglo world’

Phillip Johnson

‘left over’ money is returned, or more correctly the unspent allocation is cancelled at the end of each fin year is exactly what happens.
One of the trickiest things any large project has to do is to predict its spend for each financial year. Get it wrong and Treasury get a free gift or kick. That is why delays either in the process or by contractors are so damaging.

Sjb1968

Whilst permanent based vessels are important and their size and capability should exceed what we have currently a more serious statement of resolve would be to ensure a regular and large scale U.K. exercise takes place from Gib.
 
We have the perfect opportunity with the Carrier deployment next year. Her air group, escorts, support vessels and perhaps a flight of Typhoons and a Poseidon working up in the area and using Gib for a week or two would send a peaceful but nonetheless powerful message that the U.K. is staying put whatever the Spanish may think.
 
From memory in the 80s exercise Springtrain use to see a significant U.K. military presence. Of course we have reduced bases facilities on the Rock but a couple of exercises a year rather than single vessel stopovers reasserts our presence without getting drawn into a petty tit for tat escalation.

Sebastian

I thik these could make problems with die USMC and a possible deployment of a dutch frigate as escort.
 
But as german i still have to say the spanish behavior is absolutely unacceptable.
 

Last edited 6 months ago by Sebastian
Bloke no longer down the pub

My preferred option would be something big old and rusty. The Spaniards would be less likely to throw their weight around if they thought they were going to get their paintwork scratched.

Bloke no longer down the pub

Maybe a converted trawler, towing warps that no opv would want to get tangled up with.

Sam

HMS Belfast with added CIWS ^^ let them digest 6inch shells

Rudeboy

The best Gibraltar patrol boat would be an old Oil Rig supply vessel or tug, with a well known suspect steering issue, that was captained by someone with a noticeable drink problem…

Harry Bulpit

the Guardian-class patrol boat would be a great replacement for the P200. Given their better sea going capabilities and RHIB dock in the back, they could fulfil the role of fishery protection. freeing up the rivers.

donald_of_tokyo

Guardian class is very nice ship, but it is because it is optimized for its purpose = keep a “so-so good sea-keeping patrol craft, with so-so sea-going days to cruise between Pacific islands, with so-so speed of 20knots, and what is more, easy to operate with low operation cost coupled with not-so-high sea-going days”. Their speed and size just fits it. Its being rather fat is good for cruise, while bad for top speed and fuel consumption. Its steel hull is also bad for fuel, but it is not the driving factor for Pacific islands. In comparison, Australian Armidale and Cape classes, designed with very high sea-going days and higher 25knot speed, are of aluminum hull, to minimize fuel cost.
 
For Gib., fast small boats such as US Mk.VI will be the best solution. No need for long leg, no so much of sea-keeping, and high-speed is very important.
 
As for P2000 replacement, UNRELATED TO Gib. tasks, Guardian class can be a good candidate, ONLY IF they are primarily for university units and not so much for fishery patrol. Low sea going days, so-so accomodation, so-so speed, and very low maintenance cost, all fits well. But, if it is primarily for fishery protection, Damen Stan patrol series, such as Stan 4207 (UK BF has them) or new SeaAxe series is much much better. Or even Cape-class is a good candidate. Task profiles required there is very different from what the Guardian class is superior at.
 
 

Last edited 6 months ago by donald_of_tokyo
Harry Bulpit

interesting. For the fishery protection duties out in the North Sea I can defiantly agree that the River type vessel is needed. But for the smaller fishing boats closer to sure such as the channel area I think a large ocean going OPV is a bit over the top.

Cam

Well the opvs use their small ribs for fishery protection and boarding ect, they just use the big opv as mother ship and to find Illegal trawlers ect, makes total sense as you could be at sea for a week or two. We defo need more fishery protection ships of various sizes though.

borg

Hello Admin, Is there any chance you could show the Up and Down Voters here please, It’s not like We will be able to see who they might be in Real Life. I’ve found this place to be a great source of Info but You seem to allow an almost Childlike function that spoils it somewhat. Sorry If I have caused any trouble.

Simon m

I’d rather it just be dispensed with I don’t think revealing them would be a good idea as it could generate animosity to their other posts that could be quite valid, shouted down because someone is upset that they have been voted down.

Simon m

My stupid optimist would love to see the RN procure 2 Thunder child 2s with 2 0.5 HMG astern and a Bushmaster upfront & possibly LMM. Or maybe 19m Barracuda.
But sensible me says probably something like a C-Truck derivative akin to Thor as part of the general small boats contract which wouldn’t be too shabby either.

Rudeboy

For such a short timeline it has to be something off the shelf. Particularly as no-one knows who the contract has (or is) going to.
 
Whats odd is that for the P2000’s to get delivered there for such a small stretch of time. Surely the Gib Sqn boats could be kept going for 1 year? Or their material condition is really bad….or the order is massively delayed….or isn’t going to be placed…

Simon m

It does seem odd and everywhere I can find states it to be on schedule, with no one seeming to know of contract award? And it does seem weird to deploy for a year.
Unless they are replacing themselves? I guess they’re plastic hulled? Could who ever is doing it just be ripping everything off restoring & adding new equipment, engines and weapons?
Would make some logical sense or otherwise I wonder if the replacements will be taken up from trade as they themselves were and the mod have a purchase agreement in place & are awaiting these to be available? All seems odd but doesn’t sound like new extremely capable vessels are on the way?

Trevor

Hmmm

Last edited 6 months ago by Trevor
Simon m

Interestingly Dasher and pursuer had v12 Perkins is that correct? now if that’s correct they are the same engines in the boats on the Clyde & if this is the similar CV12 of challenger 2 fame then this basic engine design isn’t going anywhere soon? & likely to be upgraded with common rail technology? Could the V12 be destined for scimitar & sabre or other archer class? Scimitar & Sabre are currently fitted with MAN 2480LXE which if you search for on the web basically brings this class up as the result I can’t see Clyde’s going down to C18 speeds either? Makes you wonder…

sparky42

Don’t think the Thunderchild are designed for weaponising currently, she’s a racer.

Simon m

That’s true but they do follow in the most part follow the Barracuda design & I did say I was stupidly optimistic. I also mentioned Barracuda & I have seen a 19m design somewhere even though 11m & 13m are the ones on offer from safehaven, however it is looking more likely an upgrade of P2000 or Scimitar & sabre at moment

Christopher Allen

Have Gibraltar government share cost of leasing Hms Clyde for the job it’s in there interest

[…] Save the Royal Navy source|arti­cles […]

donald_of_tokyo

Sorry, very late question.
 
What is the top speed of the Archer class after re-engine?
 
Many “top speeds” are quoted elsewhere, which range from 14 knots to 25 knots.
 

Challenger

I believe the hull design enables 40+ knots but they have always been limited to 18-20 knots due their less powerful engines.

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks.

It officially states, “top speed 25 knot+”.
https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/surface-fleet/patrol/archer-class/hms-archer
while there are many numbers on web, ranging from 16 knots to 25 knots.

As we know, the “propulsion power” = push power of the propeller at speed, are defined by, engine power, transmission capacity, and propeller shape optimization. As Archer class has been re-engined with new transimission, the net output will differ from the old value.

If it is 25+ knots, I think they can do most of the Gib. tasks nicely. If 18 knots, not so sure.

Joe16

Having been on a number of them, I wonder if one of the aluminium hulled offshore windfarm CTV designs might be a good basis of design for a suitable vessel?
They’re mostly catamaran hulls with high powered engines, so they’re stable and rapid in choppy waters- particularly the larger ones (some are a bit too short). They’ve also got decent crew and cabin spaces, decent sized forward deck, and designed for a high number of sailing days. Plus, a number of them are designed and built in the UK, so get to support local industry too.

Alec

If replacement vessels are required for patrol duties but at relatively high speed then surely this enters the realm of the Fast Attack Craft? In which case why not purchase a few of the BAE type currently in service with the Hellenic navy?
https://www.baesystems.com/en/product/fast-attack-craft

Should be able to carry out a deterrent role in Gibraltar and possibly even in the straits of Hormuz?

Challenger

Pretty big for Gibraltar. It’s tempting to want boats that can stack up to the OPV’s and corvette’s the Spanish make a nuisance with but you need something small (although perhaps a little bigger than the Scimitar’s 30 tonnes) and fast to be able to launch and intercept in time.

4th watch

Nice but its really too large. You need about 150t or the size of an old E boat IMHO.

Glass Half Full

Based on specs of 35+kn and sea state 6-7 I’d say Holyhead Marine might be a strong candidate with their significant history for delivering military craft to the UK. Their 15m Patrol Boat used by MoD police manages 33kn fully loaded and seems to have been designed for something like Sea State 4-5 but might be capable of more. Its a big step up to Sea State 6-7 though, so maybe “we need a bigger boat” well beyond what HM have produced to date.

So if MoD wanted something more upmarket then a Damen Interceptor 3007 at 32 metres, 45kn, armament up to 30mm + 3 MG, up to 8 crew + 4 embarked forces, a 4.2m RHIB, and 5 days/1500nm endurance/range might be a fit. Not clear what sea state it handles though.

DaveyB

I see nobody has mentioned a replacement boat designed on the Bladerunner hull form. Could be quite an interesting boat if it was based on the Bladerunner 45. Perhaps something larger in the 50 to 60m class may be better suited?

Gregory Raines

Endrorse Cat C1 Acer

Gregory Raines

C18

S Barf

Yet again the press get it Wrong. The P2000 is a highly capable vessel that can adapt to a lot of varying roles. No longer are they utilised as Training Platforms, they will make a big difference in the Operational Role that looking after our Sovereign Lands entails Get a grip ambulance chasing reporters and smell the coffee of the real World instead of lying to make a quid.

Trevor

Not as capable as the craft that will replace Scimitar, Sabre and the 2 P2000 in Gib

Ern

Our armed forces need our Gov to reform our workplace and for certain trades to be diverted where needed like during a war or national crisis pandemic, economic, climate, cultural,and high end conflict all merging in a clusterF.

andy reeves

i’d like to see the M.O.D pursue the possibility of mounting maybe s single harpoon missile fit onto an archer vessel or maybe martlet the modern fear of dealing with swarm attack from say the iranian missile boats in the hormuz area. the R.N has 17 archers mainly used for anything else other than actual royal navy tasking