Subscribe
Notify of
guest
65 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RMJ

great pics, fabulous demonstration and informative article. Only gap remains is heavyweight ASuW, as just 8 elderly harpoons for a maritime ‘strike group’ shows a glaring weakness for any EN N2.

Lionel

SSGW-I announcement is due soon hopefully. Judging by the specs they want something terrain hugging which I believe rules out a straight Harpoon upgrade. Naval Strike Missile seems the logical choice since it ticks all the boxes and has been deployed in canisters already. I think the initial requirement is for cannisters for 5 T23 ships. These could in due course be transferred over to T31, assuming a decision is eventually made to go with a VLS option on the T26.

DaveyB

I agree, it is also being qualified for external carriage of the F35B’s wing hardpoints, as USMC are looking at a dual use weapon for both anti-ship and land attack. Unlike the A and C vercions, the B’s weapons bays are too shallow for the missile.

Dogs Nads

NSM is not the same as JSM…

And at present there have been no trials of external carry or release of JSM from F-35. The only flight tests to date have been internal carry and release from F-35A. It’s not actually clear if any trails are scheduled for external carry from F-35B at all….either way it wouldn’t be available until c2027.

KeithD

If you are talking specifically this CSG you have to be fair and count the loadout on the Sullivans and Evertsen

Jack65

The Sullivans is a mini battleship all by itself. We could really do with a few of the flight twos or threes in the RN. Wishful thinking of course!

KeithD

They are really something. What I also like is the design evolved over time instead of creating a whole new class every few years, and they have been built at a steady cadence. That approach optimises costs, avoids feast and famine for the ship building industry, and the workforce skill, experience and knowledge base isn’t lost every few years. The RN and UK Gov should learn from that.

Duker

Was the T45 design based around escorting a carrier strike group , or were the carriers proposed after?

N-a-B

QEC Staff target 1997.

T45 Initial Gate 2000.

Meirion X

Was not the T45 based on the earlier Horizon Class European frigate developed in late 1990s, NaB?

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
N-a-B

No. The ship design started again.

N-a-B

The effect of the 30 year Raleigh Burke build programme is that the USN have effectively forgotten how to design surface combatants. See LCS, Zumwalt and FFG(X) for details.

PeterS

To be fair, it’s not obvious the USA learned in time to avoid the LCS shambles and the massive cost overruns on the so far almost useless Zumwalts.
You’re dead right about long production runs of an existing design. And it applies to aircraft and army equipment. With numbers ordered likely to remain far lower than during the cold war, this is the only way to spread huge development costs over a sizeable production run.
The challenge is to resist the attempts of the defence industrial companies to push their latest whizz bang product.

X

It wasn’t just ship design. It was this whole move to the littoral idea that was a mistake. They didn’t see China building a blue water force so quickly.

Meirion X

So 30 of so LCS’s was a ‘whole move to the littoral’! It depends on if more LCS’s were on the cards, which did not seem like it, maybe a few too many built. Most navies are unbalanced in one way or another.
In contrast, at least the RN has 8 T23 ASW vessels, 5 available now to deploy, another later this year to deploy, but still 6 under armed with No rocket launched Stringray torpedo warpon. The T23’s lethality rests on the Merlin helo being available to use its torpedos.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
PeterS

The original plan was for at least 55 hulls. Now reduced to 40 with early builds retired at least 10 years early. The idea may have been sound but cost overruns and technical weaknesses-propulsion, premature corrosion and the failure to deliver the intended flexible mission packages- have led one senior admiral to call them all but useless.
In comparison, our Type23s have been brilliant value.

Meirion X

Yes, LCS’s kept breaking down a lot over the last few years.
And two or more to be decommissioned and US Congress is in huff about it?

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Meirion X

Do you think it would be worthwhile to equipped a few younger T23″s with Mk
41 VLS?

Deep32

I’m not sure that they would fit in a T23? Even if they did, T45 are FFBNW, so if we where to suddenly fit Mk 41 VLS to a ship, surely that would be the better option? As they will still be around for another 15 years or so.

Meirion X

The reason I proposed Mk. 41 for some T23’s is to enable launch of rocket launched Stringray torpedo with at least 20 mile range. Their Mk. 41 can be donated to T32 or T83 when last T23s decommission in 2030s.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Deep32

Well, agree that all our ASW ships should have some form of ASROC launcher, but probably na bit late for the 23s. Certainly hope that it goes on the T26s, given the choice would opt for the Japanese version as it’s range is 30kyd, might be able to do a deal, ‘Son of Stingray’ for their Asroc!!

Meirion X

Thanks for info Deep32!
Do you know the availability on average of the Merlin?
I wonder if new Merlins could be procured instead?

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Deep32

I believe we have 30ish Mk 2 Merlin ASW helicopters, but I think 10 of those have been converted for use as Crowsnest variants. It probably leaves us short of cabs for ASW work, as our Wildcats have no dipping sonar and can only drop Stingray after 3rd party targeting.

Gunbuster

Crowsnest is a fit for Merlins . It can be moved around between Cabs as required.

Deep32

Cheers mate, had a vague idea that Mk41 VLS was too big for T23.
Ref Crowsnest and Merlin’s, is it moveable across all 30 cabs, or, as my understanding is, it can only be moved between those converted to carry it?

Gunbuster

Sting Ray isn’t cleared for fitting to ASROC. The cost of integrating it would be prohibitive. The RN uses Merlin dippers with 4 Sting Ray carried or a Wildcat pony with 2 carried for MATCH attack.
Current ASROC has a Mk54 torpedo which is a new front end electronics with the 1960s era propulsion system back end from a MK46 torpedo, the same torpedo the RN replaced with Sting Ray because it was incapable of catching or sinking double hulled deep diving Soviet subs. Since then Subs have improved and ASROC design has pretty much stood still.

Meirion X

So the RN would have a problem sinking a sub with its ASW vessels, GB?

Meirion X

Thanks for the info of a ASROC-Stringray, GB.

What are the chances of ASROC sinking a sub?

Dogs Nads

Why go to the cost of Mk.41…

VL-ASROC is a spectacularly underwhelming weapon…10 mile range…

A far better idea would be the MBDA MILAS. Twice the range of ASROC, canister launched rather than VL (so could be added to T23, T26, T45 or T26) and MBDA are far more likely to be willing to add Stingray as the payload to it…

Gunbuster

A MK 41 would be what 5 m long so around 2 M would stick above the 23 Silo area. Again the RN could fit Mk 41 at a ridiculous cost for little if any gain.

Meirion X

I now agree a silo block of Mk. 41 sticking above the Sea Ceptor mushroom tubes by over 1M would look odd, GB!

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
X

I didn’t really want to reply you for obvious reasons but I can’t leave this alone as it illustrates why I don’t want anything to do with you.

When I said a ‘whole move to the littoral idea’ I wasn’t talking about the two classes of LCS. I was talking about the USN’s shift in focus due to GWOT and the absence at the time of a peer competitor to the littoral in the Middle East and around Africa. The USN saw itself pottering about in shallow waters delivering SF, attacking multiple (smaller) targets ashore, launching drones to do their wonders, and it all came to naught. The LCS weren’t a success for a variety of reasons. The replacement for the AB’s the Zumwalts were an even bigger disaster. And beyond the ships there was a whole library of supporting doctrine that proved to be flawed. In the intervening time the Chinese have built the foundations of a blue water navy and the Russians have to start to rebuild their navy.

But you being clever and ignoring my requests not to reply to my comments saw the word littoral and went off half cocked. Displaying not only ignorance but your general rudeness to boot.

Why you then went on to waffle about T23 I don’t know. If you think a T23 with just a hull sonar isn’t a valid and decent ASW asset then I don’t know what to say.

PLEASE DONOT REPLY TO COMMENTS.

Meirion X

Now you blame others for your poorly worded comments!

“When I said a ‘whole move to the littoral idea’ I wasn’t talking about the two classes of LCS. I was talking about the USN’s shift in focus due to GWOT and the absence at the time of a peer competitor to the littoral in the Middle East and around Africa.”

You were wrong anyway, it was only a partial shift to the littoral, Not a whole shift to the littoral. How come the USN was still building up it’s Burke fleet by at least 3 ships per annum, into a ‘blue water’ fleet, and still had all the cruisers, at the same time then?

My comment on the Type 23 frigate, was because the program was a success in comparison to the LCS vessels of the USN.
Yes the T23 has a good hull sonar and other kit, but Needs warpons that can sink a sub when necessary.

You do have to reply to my comments if you don’t want to, it’s your choice!

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Meirion X

I mean, Not have to reply to my comments.

Gunbuster

I have worked on ABs doing repairs etc.
They are era wise, mechanically similar to a B3 T42 internally. As such for ASW they are comparable to a late T22 or T42 for ASW capability.
AAW Weapon system wise they use mostly Standard 2 missiles which are semi Active homers. The RN stopped using Semi Active homers over a decade ago and went to active homers. With Viper and Ceptor the RN only has active homers in its inventory so no need for additional illumination radars on RN vessels anymore.
AB Main Radars are PESA not AESA as they are on T45. The USN is just now starting to fit AESA SPY 6 onto new build ships well over a decade later than the RN had moved to AESA on T45.

So if the RN wants a +30 year old design that is right on the margin for growth using GT direct drive yes lets get some.

Dogs Nads

I don’t think people realise just how far behind the US is on surface ASW compared to the RN.

You only have to look at the AB’s, MH-60’s and torps (plus the relative weakness of their CSG ASW complement) and the relatively small numbers of AB’s with modern towed arrays (let alone the number of AB’s without hangarage for a helo).

USN relies on its SSN’s for ASW.

Meirion X

Yes, I thought so! With the number of subs the USN has got, a fair chance of finding a adversary sub, but, still like looking for a needle in a haystack.

But unfortunately the RN does not
have the luxury of 10s of SSNs, so sub hunting mainly by surface ASW T23s.

Cheers DN!

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Dave G

Wouldn’t it be better and cheaper just to add the strike length VLS to the type 45s that they were designed for and fill them with TLAM? For the cost of a whole new ship class and equipment fit that is not common to the rest of the fleet you could probably throw in extra type 26 as well….

Joe16

Ignoring age for the minute, 8 cannisters is pretty standard across NATO when it comes to ASuWs on escorts. Admittedly, most of the other navies are using newer iterations of their chosen missile because they’ve periodically upgraded them and we haven’t (what’s new?!).

Grant

Amazing pics although I would have preferred never to of seen Boris in that god awful “prime minister” jacket ever again.

Supportive Bloke

I’m no Boris fan.

But he did make the effort to be there.

Coupled with HM’s visit this does show a high degree of naval prioritisation.

Let’s put it this way: I’m pleased the PM signalled intent by being there. I’m less sold on the jacket!!

Duker

He doesnt have the interest level of say Churchill, but that had its downsides as he interfered horribly in the RN actions in 1940 in Norway,almost scuppering his chance at national leadership

KeithD

Counting jets on the deck reminds me, did the 18th which had a technical fault and missed the first weeks strikewarrior join for the jaunt around the world?

Last edited 3 months ago by KeithD
Patrick

“….RAF Typhoons & French Air Force Rafale jets. 617 aircraft Squadron flew with and against French Rafale jets and the USMC F-35s in simulated combat.”

This seems to be a typo. The F-35s being referenced were F-35As of the 388FW deployed to France for the exercise (the USMC F-35Bs on QEII were referenced earlier in the sentence).

Dave

Isn’t it concerning that a CSG aircraft is using air to air refueling? Shouldn’t they be practicing what they have and increasing sortie rates from the carrier itself?

Duker

This is what will be watching them in the Eastern Mediterranean, based out of Syriacomment image

James Fennell

Coal fired?

DaveyB

Yep, there’s now 3 of them in Syria. They have also been flying with a single Kh22/32 Kitchen under the wing. A Tu22 can only carry 3 of these huge missiles, so if something did kick off, Not only would the F35Bs have a good chance of downing them all> Followed by the two T45s, The Sullivans and the Eversten, with a mix of Aster, SM2, SM6 and ESSM along with the two T23s SeaCeptors will provide a very good defensive umbrella.

Duker

The missiles are launched well outside any defensive screen, the newest KH-32 is quite the beast

  • ‘Kh-32 flies to a target with a ceiling of about 40 kilometers, which is 7 km higher than the height of short range US missile defense system;
  • The Kh-32 on the final stage[Mach 4] attacks the target in a steep dive (breaking the missile defense against radars that do not include objects directly above themselves in their viewing angle)

I suppose the various allied ships are designed with exactly this in mind.

Gunbuster

Kitchen is a 1960s era designed missile currently being updated to KH32 standard
I remember conducting ASM Drills against this system and the AS6 Kingfish when I was a baby tiff in the early 80s on T42s
It needs a separate OHT asset for it to be effective at its max range.
So by breaking any part of the kill chain of OHT, tankers, jammer escorts, mid course guidance assets, missile carrying aircraft etc you vastly reduce its effectiveness.

Has everyone forgotten about RAF Akrotiri in the Sovereign Base Areas on the unsinkable isle of CYPRUS? Huge SIGINT capabilities on the island and the RAF Typhoons would make short work of the Backfires if needs be.

Duker

Isnt a climb to 40 km altitude its own way of seeking a target . Even at 1.5km altitude its radar horizon is 150km away, detecting a carrier group radar emissions is even easier.

Last edited 3 months ago by Duker
Meirion X

The missile would have a plasma helo at its core. So would not pick up a radar picture very well.

OOA

The dusk departure is awesome

Eufster

It’s interesting how a surfaced submarine (an intended covert platform) creates more whitewash when surfaced than a surface vessel. It makes it rather visible.

X

Is Boris joining the FAA as a chock?

DaveyB

No a WAFU.

criss whicker

Will they stop over over in Gibraltar, if not why not,
and where will it stop in the med- what base.

Meirion X

Highly likely at Souda Bay Crete.
A main NATO naval base.

Last edited 3 months ago by Meirion X
Duker

Covid likely means shore visits are out of the question for crew.
I was reading something about US sailors where long deployments are quite normal. For first timers, they say at 3 months it really gets to them and at 6 months they get wound up. This deployment is 7 months and most shore leave other than a walk on wharf will be out of the question.

Gunbuster

3 or 6 months …Ha !!! Lightweights!

7 months was about average for the RN for a long time with some going out to nearly 9 Months. I did one 9 months , plenty of 6-7 months and loads of 3-4 months.
Admittedly the lack of decent runs ashore is going to be a killer on this trip. Staying in your bubble and staying on the jetty will be the highlight I suspect in many of the ports. Which is a pity . You don’t get a lot of chances to do that kind of Far East deployment.

Supportive Bloke

On the other hand with the rest of the lockdown(a) still fresh in people’s minds people are adjusted to the necessity of bio security?

criss whicker

Thanks chaps

Cam

Shame we didn’t have the carrier group in Gibraltar, would have been nice to see.

Sebastian

On the 6th picture Boris looks like the supervillain “syndrom” from the movie the incredibles

Danie

Amazing Information and Pictures for Navy Lovers.