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David Steeper

Amazing. Hope everyone involved enjoying experience this maybe a once in a lifetime voyage. Have fun and stay safe.


Second from last photo is interesting. That darker (bluer) grey does seem to merge with the sea…..

Lee H

Great photo log, if only the MoD could do the same…..


Royal Navy Twitter accounts do a great job. I recommend the official account and then the individual accounts of the ships.

Bloke down the pub

I can’t help reflecting on how forces in the RN fought against the idea of the UK building corvettes. Instead the RN will soon be despatching OPVs to these waters, when they could so easily have had vessels like the Malaysian Lekiu class, which are far more suited to the job that faces them.


Our OPV’s with no helicopter and T31’s with no sonar (to detect mines, torpedoes or submarines), no SSM and the huge loadout of 12 SAM’s will soon be imposing themselves on the region. And all that huge capability only cost us £2.2 bn.

What could go wrong? It’s not as if any warship has ever been mined out there (Samuel B Roberts) or sunk by a submarine (Cheosan), attackedby land based SSM’s (USS Mason), attacked by air launched ASM’s (USS Stark), or attacked by ship launched SSM’s (USS Wainwright et al during operation Praying Mantis).

Last edited 2 years ago by Sunmack

May be a bit prematurely pessimistic about T31. They might still get 24 Sea Ceptor and there is a decent chance the 5 interim AShM sets being procured can be transferred over once the last T23’s leave service. Admittedly the lack of sonar isn’t good but there are options – a bow mounted set and/or dipping sonar for Wildcat would be achievable additions for a fairly modest price-tag.

All questionable and not perfect solutions but I think the RN has wisely focused on getting the basic vessels into service quickly and to budget with an eye to possible upgrades if further funds can secured in future.

Andy A

I think like USA navy the future will be unmanned under sea drones to use sonar away from noisy ships, cheap and effective

Meirion X

River Class OPV’s are constabulary vessels, Not combat vessels!


They are constabulary vessels which makes it all the more risky to base them there. An undergunned OPV lacking an organic heil in low threat environments like the Caribbean or the South Atlantic is one thing (they still need a wildcat and 40mm minimum there in my view), but sending them to what China considers their EEZ and territoral waters is completely different. It is asking for confrontation. We wouldn‘t send them to the Baltic, the high North or the GIUK gap for the same reason as a true corvette, whether Russian or Chinese, would simply outclass them.

Simply put the South China Sea needs a more serious UK committment to encourage China to back down.


River Class OPV’s are constabulary vessels, Not combat vessels”
A long tradition of those in the RN, only interrupted by the post WW2 surplus of hulls and the Cold War


In a stunning achievement we’ve actually managed to build 5 “general purpose” frigates that are more lightly equipped and armed than most navies corvettes

Meirion X

The ‘detailed designed stage’ of the Type 31 has still Not yet been completed. Should be soon.
So likely the T31 will get more armament.
Be patient, and wait and see!

Supportive Bloke

I’d tend to agree.

It is almost certain that they will get IAShM as it has land attack as well.

There is budget for up arming created by new money and decommissioning garbage.

Given that Ceptor is “in” I’d be surprised if it did not get some more tubes as they are quite cheap – in relative terms.

Sonar will almost certainly be drone based. Probably not helo based. Drones are “the new thing” so it looks good to be spending there and in this case it makes sense.

I would not totally rule out Mk41 VLS as there is a program to fill the VLS on T26 and the Danish original has Mk41. We are told that the structure of the ship has been changed little so there is almost certainly a void that could be used unless it has been repurposed already.


I tend to also agree with most of your points here mate.

Renderings of Sea Ceptor range from 12-24 tubes, so it’s possible that 24 will be fitted, if as you say they are not relatively expensive.

I believe that I-SSGW will also eventually end up on T31s, although given their role and where they are likely to be operating, they may or not really need them. It’s probably a bit much for gulf operations, something smaller with more numerous tubes (Sea spear etc) might be a better option!

Due to their role, I can’t see the justification of fitting them with Mk41, certainly I-SSGW as and when required, but that’s it.

As these ships are destined for GP ops in ‘non ASW’ environments (whatever that is), I assume that they will not have a mainframe sonar, but as you say, possibly something drone based in the future. Yes even a dipper on Wildcat is a remote possibility, but unlikely.

Given that these have the space to be upgraded, I can see lots of other upgrades happening (ie more AAW/ASM systems etc), but turning them into something they are not (ASW frigate) is probably not one of them.


I get you point. But being based East of Suez like that is a job for a cruiser. Ideally a cruiser, a frigate, and an RFA. As I keep saying with hindsight T45 should have replaced both T42 and T23 and sat at just over 10,000 tonnes.


“As I keep saying with hindsight T45 should have replaced both T42 and T23 and sat at just over 10,000 tonnes.”

Just as well T45’s did not replace both T42 and T23, we would be truly stuffed, for ASW capability, with such a lack of numbers to deploy!

Last edited 2 years ago by Roland
stephen ball

First Sea Lord reflects on Navy’s technological and structural revolution – YouTube

0:36 Over the next decade, we have 7 or 8 classes of new ship’s being built.

stephen ball

Type 26
Type 31
Dreadnaught Sub
Gib patrol
Fort class replacement

Next 3 or 4?
Type 32 but I class as 31 with MCM so not a new class in my eyes
New replacement for MCM

So an extra 1 or 2 new classes

Last edited 2 years ago by stephen ball

still trying to work out if it is still Artful or Astute/Ambush on the other side of The Suez??

bloke at the bog

HMS Artful

David Graham

Not Artful; look closely at photos of Artful at Gib, and the six vents in the casing abaft the fin. Then look at the A boat doing the boat transfer with Richmond: eight vents.

Audacious in all recent photos has six. My guess: Ambush. I have unfortunately no recent archive images of Astute.


D. C Graham

Meirion X

Artful was in Gibraltar, met up with PoW, at the same time another Astute was in the Suez Canal! It looks like HMS Ambush.

Last edited 2 years ago by Meirion X
bloke at the bog

South China Sea 28/7/2021

sat image.jpg
Last edited 2 years ago by bloke at the bog

That’s incredible and within range of the F-35s ?

Seriously though, Do we know if it’s recently left port to come out and play or doing it’s own thing?

Last edited 2 years ago by Jamie
bloke at the bog

On the other hand, CSG is now well within hypersonic, ballistic, cruise missiles range of PLA Airforce/Navy

bloke at the bog

Yulin naval base at Hainan island is like Portsmouth to the PLA navy, so the Chinese carrier is just sailing in their Solent, a figure of speech.

On the other hand, the CSG is now well within range of ballistic, hypersonic and cruise missiles range of the PLA air force/navy, let alone bombers and fighter bombers.

Distributed around SCS islands are also PLA SAM and anti-ship missiles bases.

Have fun.


Most people dont realise Taiwan is only spending just under 2% of GDP on defence , and they are prosperous country. Singapore for instance is almost 3% and their immediate surroundings is benign.
Could it be that Taiwan itself isnt as concerned about any Chinese invasion?

Meirion X

The CSG will also have a few hundred intercepter missiles on board. The F-35 can also intercept missiles in the air.


what F35 radar and intercept missile has the capability to hit ballistic and hypersonic missiles? sidewinder, sky flask? and a few hundred against thousands of AShM? laughable!
cheers another pint?

Last edited 2 years ago by ElectricRazor
Meirion X
Last edited 2 years ago by Meirion X
Medallion Y

Has it been proven and working? Pure speculation what might happen and has nothing to do with what is now happening in South China Sea.

Last edited 2 years ago by Medallion Y
The Big Man

Remember hypersonics have only been able to hit slow moving buildings, sorry stationary buildings. The CSG moves and over the horizon hypers are unproven and technically challenged against moving targets.

The Little Willy

Perseus is a perfect weapon against fast relocatable targets – MBDA

Exactly my point, did anyone mention it to MBDA about the CVS401 hypersonic anti ship cruise missile being developed for the Royal Navy/Royal Air Force is just an advertisement hype, unproven and technical challenging.

There is no need for fast missiles for slow moving buildings.
Better stop the development now.

Same for the US Air force AGM-183 and the US Army LRHW to name but a few. Total waste of time, will never hit any fast moving buildings.

Last edited 2 years ago by The Little Willy

Then why are Russians in their 3rd generation of supersonic/hypersonic naval cruise missiles, we saw their launch vehicle in the Med with the latest Tu-22..Kh-32, kH-47


We are British!
RAF and Navy don’t need such sneaky underhanded hypersonic missiles, just old fashion Lancaster bomber will do nicely, thank you.


A Lancaster bomber FFBNW gun turrets of course

bloke at the bog

Where is the CSG now? After three days sailing, it would have reached Japan by now or it is sailing around in circles.
China warns UK as carrier strike group approaches
China has recently embarked on a major uplift in its nuclear ballistic missile arsenal, building new launch silos in the remote Xinjiang region. It has also been developing Hypersonic Glide Vehicles, high-velocity missiles that can reach speeds of up to eight times the speed of sound and which have been dubbed “carrier killers”.

Last edited 2 years ago by bloke at the bog

Philippine Sea

bloke at the bog

UK Carrier Strike Group in the South China Sea on July 28.

sat2 image.jpg
Supportive Bloke

Around 175,000 tonnes of combined naval power (Photo: US Navy).”

The US carrier is about 100kt the QEC is about 75kt and Iowa is 45kt?

Lets be honest in real money Iowa is a carrier…….

Other than QEC & CDG it is more of a carrier than any other carriers outside of the USA…

stephen ball

USS Iwo Jima can carry 20 harrier or F35b

Italy carrier’s are around 10-12

So yes USS Iwo Jima could/can be classed as a carrier.


Arent F35s allot bigger than harriers though.. can’t see 20 on iwo.

bloke at the bog

you forget HMS Victory, add another 2000 tonnes.


Aviation Support Ship

Nigel Collins

All we require now is a new combined strategy for the future.

Suggestions welcome!

“The Joint Chiefs of Staff are rethinking the United States’ warfighting concepts after failing “miserably” in a wargame that simulated a variety of scenarios. Many of the Pentagon’s core strategies for conducting warfare proved themselves futile in the face of modern threats and capabilities, forcing the Joint Chiefs to explore a warfighting concept known as “Expanded Maneuver.”

stephen ball

German Navy To Deploy A Frigate In Indo-Pacific Region For The First Time Since 2016 – Naval News

Think USA might only use there forces without looking further afield.(For the war game)

If a war with Taiwan were to happen the whole Indo-Pacific would blink.

Nigel Collins

It’s a pity they opted not to sail with the task force, the answer I think lies within the article itself!

I found this sub-link from my posted link interesting and wondered what the six classified category one deficiencies of ten might be in relation to the F35. Does the B and C variants suffer from the same issues?

Interesting times ahead for the programme, the debate on the future of the F35 continues on!

Last edited 2 years ago by Nigel Collins

I do find it funny that most successful variant will be the red head Bravo. Great plane for us. Too much plane really for what the USMC needs.

Meirion X

Need to take with a pinch of salt!

Nigel Collins
Last edited 2 years ago by Nigel Collins

F35x would be OK as one of a portfolio of jets as we had during the Cold War. In someways it reminds me more of a Jaguar.


Its heavier than a Phantom. Jaguar was a ‘light’ attack plane – 16 tonnes while F35 is 28-32 tonnes


Everything is heavier these days…..

T26 is 6900 tonnes. Leander 2500 tos.

Heck for a really big jump consider Merlin replaced Wessex for the RAF.

It’s heavier……wow…….

Last edited 2 years ago by X
Nigel Collins

Not quite!

Excellent news for the RN.

30 July 2021

Ultra successfully passes first-of-class sea acceptance trial

“June 2021 marked a significant milestone for both Ultra and the UK Royal Navy; with Sonar 2150 successfully completing its first-of-class sea acceptance trial onboard HMS Portland. This success represents further validation of a new world-leading hull-mounted sonar, that aims to provide improved capability and paves the way for further performance proving activities later in the year.”

Last edited 2 years ago by Nigel Collins

Still wondering, that Bayern is still sailing.
Thanks to new Radar and TASS 6-3 Sonar, there a rumours that the ship is so heavy. Seemingly Bayern can’t carry torpedos becaus they are to heavy…


German frigate Bayern

Naval guns:
One OTO-Melara 76 mm/62Mk-75 multi-purpose naval gun
Two Mauser BK-27 27 mm rapid-fire cannons

Antiaircraft warfare:
Mk 41 Mod 3 vertical launch system 16 Sea Sparrow antiaircraft missiles 

Two x Mk 49 launcher for 21 x Rolling Airframe Missiles

Antiship missiles:
Four x MM38 Exocet antiship missiles (To be replaced by 8 Harpoon missiles)

Antisubmarine warfare:
Four 324 mm torpedo tubesMk 46 torpedoes

Last edited 2 years ago by JürgenK

Yes, but:
“Die Marine erfuhr das bei der Fregatte Bayern der derzeit aktiven Klasse 123. Dort wurden bei Modernisierungen immer wieder Systeme nachgerüstet, sodass die Bayern schwerer wurde. Sie ist inzwischen so vollgestellt, dass sie keine zusätzlichen Anlagen mehr tragen kann, sonst droht sie zu kentern. Ein Marineoffizier sagt: “Wenn die auch nur eine Kiste mehr an Bord nehmen als geplant, schwimmt der Kahn kieloben.” Der nachträgliche Einbau einer neuen Antennenanlage auf der Brücke der Bayern führte beispielsweise dazu, dass sie wegen der Überladung keine Torpedos mehr mitnehmen konnte.”


Seemingly Bayern can’t carry torpedos becaus they are to heavy –

Das Problem liegt nicht daran, dass die Torpedos zu schwer sind 
aber die F123 Fregatte war nicht für extra moderne Ausrüstung ausgelegt.

Die F125 Fregatte war bereits von Anfang an übergewichtig, schlechte Entwicklung. 

Last edited 2 years ago by JürgenK

Not that torpedoes are too heavy , that existing and new features high up have compromised the stability ( usually in damaged condition , ie flooding)
poor design with small margins when it was launched as it was a perennial problem with UK destroyers and frigates from the 50s -70s

Trevor Hollingsbee

Excellent piece.

Nigel Collins


Dick Van Dyke

should have had cats and traps and harriers and 16 inch guns and nuclear engines.

Meirion x

The QE carriers would Not be allowed to dock in Portsmouth, if they had Nuclear propulsion.