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Grant

Another interesting article. What would you say the real strength of the frigate force is? It reads like 10 or 11 vessels in reality.

Any chance you could update the graphic in this article in light of the latest build schedules. It looks like Frigate numbers could drop to 8 or 9 for the back end of the ’20s….

https://www.navylookout.com/making-sense-of-the-royal-navys-frigate-building-schedule/

Cam

It’s more like 6 or 7..l

Derek

It seems to me that this is the reason the RN posited the idea of more firepower for the Batch 2 Rivers. I do believe they will be forward based more often than not in the medium term and that may involve requiring better defensive weapons. It fits that this led to the decision to keep the batch 1’s for home basing.

Paul.P

Yes, I’d agree with that view. If HMS Tamar and Spey are to be deployed on policing duties off Aden, the coast of East Africa or in the Straits of Malaca then they ought to be better armed. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that even HMS Trent might find herself on the receiving end of a rogue Exocet launched from the coast of North Africa. Remember INS Eilat?

N-a-B

Mentioning the Leander refits is ironic, as they were the precise reason the T23s were designed for such a short life (18 yrs). In the event, some will serve double that.

Slightly surprised that the FAMR diesels are described as being shipped through the shell, as a dedicated removal route for both (opening on the upper deck aft of the forward deckhouse) is provided. It was originally a set of portable plates – something that was swiftly changed when people remembered whereabouts on the ship (near midships) that was and what the likely local bending moments and stress was likely to be…….

Iron Duck isn’t a lifex refit per se, it’s her final docking period. She’s getting SeaCeptor because GWS26 is no longer supported.

donald_of_tokyo

Very informative article, thanks a lot.

Any engineering process is a hard work, finding many “un-known un-konws” in the process, and will get easier in the later phase because of learning curve.

FSC future is interesting. Can we expect some of the workers move to Rosyth? By then, T31 program will be moving into “fitting-out” phase, as the “building” phase of the first hull must be ended by then. Along with later hull on “build”, fitting-out work will emerge as one of the major tasks, on which FSC staff will be professional.

The biggest problem is, I agree, how to man all these T23s after LIFEX. Simple answer will be “impossible”, I’m afraid, making a “good (or bad)” rationale for early disbanding of some T23s. For example, even if HMS Argyll decommissions without replacement, ironically RN will see no reduction in “active/ready” frigates because it will just mean re-activating yet another T23 in “extended readiness”.

Anyway, the LIFEX T23 look like a fine ship. I think it can be exported. Yes it is too old, but there are many more “toooo old” frigates worldwide still. Modern (actually old-but-modernized) T23 will be so-so attractive. How about replacing the three “remaining” Niteroi-class frigates of Brazilian navy? Much much new, T23s are.

Last edited 2 months ago by donald_of_tokyo
Meirion X

We saw that HMS Argyll was needed in the Gulf earlier this year, as well as Montrose. So a minimum of 4 T23s GPs are required, until replaced by T31. When Montrose comes home, will most likely replaced by Iron Duke out of refit.
So Monmouth is a candidate for early decommissioning, then?

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion X
Otterman

Interesting. There’s a big range in the apparent value of the Lifex’s for certain. St Albans for instance looks like she’ll be around for ~13 years after her Lifex completes, but Iron Duke seems pretty questionable, laid up in 2017, refit 2019-2022ish and then just 3 years service, even without the PGMU upgrade. From 2017-2025 she’ll have just 3 years service?

It seems like the plan hasn’t changed much with the delay of the Type 31’s, in service dates from 2023 have slipped to from 2027. I wonder if some of the Type 23’s still slated to go out in 2023-2027 will be pushed right somewhat, of if they don’t have the legs.

Paul

I suspect the out of service dates for the Type 23s will be moved. Another goes on behind the scenes with decisions already made that will only become apparent at later days. The RN now needs to focus on honouring its commitments whilst also providing carrier escort groups for the QEs, albeit one at a time, but there is a will and determination to demonstrate our ability to do that at very high levels.
So I would take all out of service dates with a pinch of salt at present.

N-a-B

These are very tired ships, most will be nigh-on twice their design life at their OSD. Extending them this far has been a real challenge in terms of safety certification.

You might get the odd extra year out of the best few, but it will be an absolute last resort.

Last edited 2 months ago by N-a-B
Paul

The lifex refits are extensive, and in a number of cases have added a good few years to these ships when you bear in mind how many days are actually spent at sea. Its simply a case of how much money you want to spend. Classic example is INS Viraat – served for more years with India than it did with the RN. How? The will was there and refits were extensive.

Phillip Johnson

INS Viraat is not a good comparison. Size really matters in planning life extensions. In general terms it is easier to extend the life of a big ship than a smaller one and the issue is stress concentration. Once you cut an old highly stressed ship open, finding metal sound enough to weld to can be a real problem and there goes the manpower budget and the schedule.

N-a-B

Stability certification, scantling draught are not things you can just “fix”. Cable life is also a limiter and expensive to replace.

Supportive Bloke

The cable life is a very big issue.

Which pre ‘82 was ignored.

Following on from ‘82 it became top billing: much reinforced in people’s minds by Kings Cross fire.

One of the main reasons a lot of the older ships had to go was getting them up to decent battle resistance standards.

Nick B

N-A-B Then won’t the RN effectively reduce the frigate fleet below 13 sometime between 2027 and 2030 (wish) ?

N-a-B

Yes – for a hopefully temporary period.

Meirion X

I would have thought that HMS Iron Duke would be ready by mid 2021?
She went into the shed in March 2019.

Yes, newly refitted Lancashire is schedule for retirement in 2024, this does Not make sense!

Hugo Barrington Smythe

Hello Chaps, I must say that I’m unimpressed with the decisions being made in the MOD recently. We do need to get a grip really. 13 Frigates will simply not do at all.

borg

13 is the total though, It’s never going to be 13 available at any one time. I see the Downvoter is up early tonight.

X

All the posts above yours received a down vote. I have up voted them.

I have spoken with the ‘site owners’ who once again have said they think voting is a positive. They are planning to revamp the site in a few month’s time.

So down voting Not A Boffin, a naval architect with vast experience of the UK defence sector, whose post only contained information is a positive.

I don’t have anything to say on the topic of T23.

Merlot

Agree X. Down votes definitely detract from this site.
Why not just be able to either up vote, “like” or “agree”?
However, If you disagree, then take the time to table a response.

X

You see that got you a down vote. Now upvoted so removed. Crackers.

borg

The Previous Thread and your Post’s and mine were Downvoted Furiously a few Nights back. Some truly dedicated Trolling indeed. Multiple Downvotes all in one little period suggests, Multiple Accounts I guess. Haven’t seen anything from Ron though !

borg

Oh Hang on, Hello Ron.

Cam

its so dam annoying why ppl downvote decent truthful and factual posts….

borg

It is mate, I think that Ron is Pissed.

borg

Think he might be Adrian too.

borg

Oh and a few more.

X

It’s just weird to think somebody is getting off on it.

X

It’s a positive for the site. Honest. The site owners tell me so.

Cam

Funny!!

X

That’s what they said……..

many users who like the comment voting system as it can give an indicator of general level of approval.

So if you post something factual and a weirdo comes a long and down votes it over and over it is an indicator of approval. Somebody posts something questionable to an audience of laity who know little and it gets lots of votes that is good. How does somebody who knows nothing about the topic decide?

Cam

Exactly, it’s like the opposite…sometimes.

Flip flop

Just fir me, can Someone elaborate on the reasons for Monmouth being mothballed ?

Also, would the black duke make a good replacement for HMS Bristol or would that not be viable ?

TVM oppos

X

Replacement for Bristol? RN training perhaps, but SCC use I don’t know. We live in an age of health and safety and to be honest I was surprised when she was refitted. Accommodation might be tight for their annual summer camp.

Bob

I’ve heard a continuous and persistent rumor that Daring is going to be the replacement for Bristol

X

Wow. The accommodation in T45 is very nice and a lot more flexible. Lots of space for classrooms. It wouldn’t surprise me for them to take a T45 out of service.

AlexS

I think that would be not short of a scandal.

N-a-B

The same rumours applied to Dauntless when she first went into HTS status. It’s based on the scuttlebutt in the dockyard about the amount of STOROBing conducted. Daring will be out again – as was Dauntless.

What it does demonstrate is the folly of skimping on your logistic support for ships and systems.

X

I hope Bristol is replaced with a ship. But I don’t think it will be. Hopefully somebody knows better. As I said above I think health and safety is the problem. I have taken kids to Nelson’s sick bay (back in the day) and the QA too often not to know ships and young people aren’t always a good mix.

Basil Barnes

I can’t see them using Daring as a training ship, it would be a complete disgrace considering it cost £800m or thereabouts. It would also suggest to the treasury that it was right to cut them down to 6 if the RN end up using only 5.

Meirion X

I don’t think it is viable to refit Monmouth. Also the shed is full, She would have to wait until Iron Duke comes out.

N-a-B

You don’t need a shed to refit a ship. Portsmouth and Rosyth have done plenty of full refits on T23 with no particular dramas.

ATH

Do you think the current OSD’s will hold? I wonder if the availability dates for the T26 and T31 will lead to a 2/3 year additional extension for some of the T23’s.

Paul

The current OSD’s are proposals, not set in stone. They can and will vary.

Simon m

Good article thanks I have a question – is the RN actually writing off these vessels after decommissioning? Or or they still planning to sell these on? Looking at history many countries seem to have bought and kept vessels the RN has judged too old. Normally at a very low price 👎
The whole lack of GFE on T31 puzzles me & the transfer of GFE to T26 doesn’t seem ideal. What will happen with the 5 Artisan for instance? Will sea ceptor etc. Still be cutting edge when the last T26 enters service? Is the slow delivery rate really going to give the savings? What’s happening with the extra 3 towed sonars supposedly order?
An interesting article would be an insight & an educated guess as to how this may progress?
Obviously assuming the Review doesn’t cut the fleet even more ☹️

Challenger

Former RN vessels sold to foreign navies tend to be a fair bit younger than the T23’s which will be 30+ years old at the time of decommissioning and worked very hard in a dwindling surface fleet. That being said never say never!

You’d like to think the additional Artisan and sonar’s will be put to good use. I’ve long thought 2 more T26’s tagged onto the end of the current schedule would be a smart move considering some of the most expensive kit will have already been purchased and the wider costs should be pretty stable 10-15 years into the construction program.

Given the amount of Sea Ceptor cells needed to refit the T23’s there shouldn’t be any issue finding 24-32 for each of the T31’s as well which is why i find the designs showing just 12 a bit strange!

2 more T26 and a 2nd batch of at least 3 T31 would bring the RN back up to the 24 escorts it has always said it needed, including 18 frigates mimicking the original FSC plan.

Sunmack

I wouldn’t classify the Type 31 as an escort vessel.
They have no anti-submarine capability thanks to no sonar on the ship or the Wildcat. There’s no anti-ship capability against any SAM equipped vessels where Wildcat would have to enter the engagement envelope of the enemy vessel to launch Martlet. And with only 12 SAM’s they are limited in terms of anti-air and anti-missile protection.
An escort to me is supposed to provide protection to the vessels it accompanies and a ship with no anti-submarine, limited anti-aircraft and very limited anti-ship capability isn’t worthy of the title.

Peter S.

Agreed. T31 with proposed weapons fit is just an oversized opv.

Challenger

Agreed that the T31 is pretty light on the sort of capabilities normally associated with escort vessels but the RN are classing them as such and we could yet see 24 Sea Ceptor cells. Although box-launched AShM’s and a bow mounted sonar aren’t currently on the cards there is plenty of space within the design to include them with minimal effort.

It’s also worth looking at the roles the RN needs to fill vs the proposed weapons/sensor fit. They of course won’t be much good as actual escorts deploying with the carrier-group but they’ll be perfectly suitable in The Gulf, on anti-piracy ops in The Indian Ocean or conducting surveillance/patrol duties in The Med working with other NATO assigned units.

Granted 14-16 higher-end ‘full fat’ escorts doesn’t leave much in the way of an attritional reserve but it should be just enough to form a carrier led task-group and support CASD.

Sunmack

I agree on most of the missions you list but not the Gulf. No T31 should never go into the Gulf unless it is escorted by a T23/T26.

The lack of a sonar means the T31 is vulnerable to mines and submarines. The Iranians have used the former and possess the latter.

The lack of an SSM means they would have to back off in any confrontation with an SSM equipped vessel of which the Iranians have a number.

The lack of a datalink on Wildcat means the ship has no real time over the horizon picture of the threat environment.

And only carrying 12 SAM’s in an environment where there is a ground, air and ship launched anti-ship missile threat means they could quickly be overwhelmed.

We saw last year how the Iranians can turn the threat environment hot at a moment’s notice so there is no way a T31 should ever be operating independently in that environment.

As an aside, if we’d built the B3 Rivers with a hanger they could have undertaken the other missions you mentioned.

The T31 is little more than a 5,500 ton OPV.

X

In the recent past they would have been classed as a sloop. See the Tribals. They suddenly became frigates along with Mermaid to up our numbers.

Challenger

I agree with a lot of your points. In particular the lack of a datalink on the Wildcat is a ridiculous omission!

Completely agree that 12 SAM isn’t anywhere near enough for a saturation attack but like i say with 32 per T23 I can’t imagine it’d be difficult or pricey to get at least 24 per ship – frankly it’s hard to understand that level of penny pinching!

I’m happy to be corrected but my understanding was that The Gulf is too shallow and congested for a TAS to work effectively, but a bow mounted sonar and a small amount of dipping sets for Wildcat are more relatively cheap and simple additions i’d hope to see one day.

AShM’s are another point of contention as i’ve often read the RoE in crowded coastal waters makes the possibility of launching them very unlikely. Perhaps box launched Sea Spear or Sea Venom (so as not to introduce a whole new missile type) would suffice to be able to threaten an opponent a bloody nose rather than providing a heavyweight ship killer capability.

AlexS

Iranians also have land based torpedo tubes.

D J

They also have guided 155mm artillery shells & reverse engineered 76mm naval guns. If Iran ever decide to use more than FAC’s, things could get interesting. The T31 will need it’s own escort.

Supportive Bloke

Up arming them with weapons that are already used by others on the CMS and radar should not be very hard or very expensive. So there is hope for growth particularly as T31 should have decent topside weight growth margins.

Although you could say the same of T45 except that I don’t think the Mk41 VLS is integrated into the BAE CMS yet?

Cam

The type 31 can still go with a carrier strike group though…

X

That’s why the bigger design won. The RN is a global navy.

Cam

Totaly. And carry out duties a billion pound destroyer and frigates don’t need to do.

Sunmack

Which would be fine if the T31 was supplementing frigates but they’re not; they are replacing them. We are losing 5 full spectrum warfare frigates and replacing them with 5 oversized OPV’s

Nick B

Doing what ? Missile and Torpedo decoy ?

Liam Hillman

When the Type 26s retire from RN service, could they not be assigned to fisheries protection duties?

borg

Let’s build them first EH ?

Cam

Lol

ATH

Your talking 2060 or 2070 for the first T26 to leave service. Bit to far away to plan for.

Derek

I think Liam mis-typed T23 and put T26 in error.

Simon m

Also how does the T31 being a turn key solution effect things?

criss whicker

[ if the 3 dry docks are to small and thus no viable work after the last ship is upgraded,, ]
would that be the best time to upgrade and extend the dry docks whilst awaiting for future ships to be upgraded,

as for lack of recruits, as the RN knows in advance a shortage will accrue, perhaps a recruiting campaign now for sailors would be help[full,

just a humble thought.

Nick B

All takes cash which isnt available now or in the foreseeable future.

Killick

Sounds like over here in Canada. On our West coast we have two of 5 in deep refit at this time. They are almost all going through a longer than estimated period due to structural and hull issues.
But as far as I know all of our ships are getting new DGs which work fantastically. We are also getting 4 .50 cal remote weapons systems.
We are eventually getting a new underwater warfare suite and sensors, but that will be a while. The surface and above water warfare equipment was upgraded years ago as part of the FELEX program.
That aside, we intend on having our frigates in the water until at least 2027, when the HMCS Halifax is scheduled to retire at the age of 35. But that all depends on our replacement surface combatants being on time.

Last edited 2 months ago by Killick
Paul.P

An interesting and informative article, Thx. Given the build schedules of T26 and T31 it does look like some of the OSD need to be extended. If we were to bite the bullet and decommission Lancaster and Argyll could their duties be done by HMS Tamar and Spey? Is it practical to add a telescopic hangar, Wildcat and a 40mm, say?

Meirion X

It does Not make sense to decommission Lancaster after only 4 years of being refitted with new equipment, like new radar and VLS etc!

Paul.P

Maybe Iron Duke or Monmouth then. Just thinking that at least numerically a T23 crew could crew a River 2 and a T31. The T23 have been great ships and the ASW hulls are still the gold standard and worth holding onto until T26 arrives. But I think we need to crack on now and sunset the 5 GP versions and put the new engine money into T31.

N-a-B

No. It’s not.

Paul.P

Ah, ok. Thx.

donald_of_tokyo

I understand Babcock’s TOBA, starting 2010 with 15 years long agreement, will expire in 2025. (Although not so famous, TOBA is not only for BAE Clyde, but also to Babcock FSC.)

# see https://www.babcockinternational.com/ja/who-we-are/

So the FSC future is not yet clear, I’m afraid? We need another TOBA for Babcock FSC?

N-a-B

No. The Frigate Refit Complex is simply too small (length, breadth and air draft for modern surface combatants. No 2 basin would also need a complete rebuild to allow decent sized ships to actually fit in.

Huge amounts of money required to do that – not a huge amount of return on investment.

Supportive Bloke

“Although the failure to begin constructing their replacements sooner is indefensible“

Equally true of the T26, T31 can down the road procurement approach.

Had either program been procured faster then £600M would have been saved.

N-a-B

The failure to order T26 (and FSC before it) is largely due to a combination of the following factors :

  • fighting two land wars at scale and duration way above planning levels
  • a bunch of senior Naval Officers who “knew” with absolute certainty that a frigate displaced less than 5000 tonnes and therefore anything larger than that was “the wrong answer” (irrespective of what their own requirements actually said), which is why the displacements quoted for GCS/T26 were “standard displacement” or even lightship weight for a number of years
  • the answer to HMTs question “can you extend the life of the T23 further and will it cost less than new ships” until recently being a qualified “yes”
  • A design process that was conducted at too detailed a level (to “reduce risk”) without having actually got the main parts nailed properly first, which led to a four year long game of chicken between BAES/MoD and HMG – which no-one won.

It’s a lot more than £600M that would have been saved…..

Last edited 2 months ago by N-a-B
Ron5

Not heard the bit about the SNO’s knowing best. Happens the world over in civilian as well as military organizations. Need a big ego to get to the top but often becomes a major weakness.

Supportive Bloke

Is totally agree with all that.

Supportive Bloke

As I heard it one of the drivers for keeping the frigate size down was the cost of rebuilding the frigate complex.

There is also an element of CVA01 -> Invincible about this if ships get too big numbers get cut.

I’m not sure that trying to keep a lid of the size and costs was that silly but what was very silly was the way everyone went about it.

N-a-B

Once you specify a Merlin and a modular bay and updated accommodation standards and a decent TL growth margin (absent from T23, as it was only going to last 18 years), you end up with a long ship with a large beam and a high internal deck area. You can’t get round those making the ship significantly bigger than 5000te (T22B3).

Using Class rules also hits you on the weight (less scope for using high stress levels as design limits, which is no bad thing).

Supportive Bloke

Agreed – performance characteristics and kit in service lead size.

It is simply a matter of adding things up at that point and it won’t fit into a 5kt package.

That said T26 is going to be a really good ship and I am optimistic that RN will get good use from the T31 too.

AlexS

It as also the reason that the USN LCS ended up as “frigates” instead of coastal sized combatants: Helicopter, Pacific oceanic range capability means at least a frigate size.

Sam

I honestly can see some of the newer Type 23’s remaining for a long time especially with rising global tensions. The Older ships can be stripped for spare parts. The Type 23 has provided decades of good service and was arguably the best Air Defence ship the RN had until the type 45 (32 VLS Sea Wolf vs Twin Arm launcher Sea Dart on the Type 42) I do believe that with HMS Bristol being decommissioned that a Type 23 will replace her as a training ship which makes a lot of sense…they are much more modern. Good ships IMHO…definitely the RNs Workhorse 🙂

Sipowitz

Seawolf was a better system with more chance of a kill but only within a 1-2 mile radius, hardly qualifies as air defence.

X

Sea Wolf belongs to a class of missile known as ‘point defence missile system’. It defends the ship. It isn’t an area weapon as Sea Dart was and Sea Viper is. The main difference is the ability to attack crossing targets. That is targets not heading directly towards the ship just passing through the missile’s envelope.

Sea Ceptor does have ability to attack crossing targets.

But I would rather the new T26 had AEGIS like their RAN and RCN cousins.

ATH

Are you sure RAN are getting AEGIS in full? I think they are getting a domestic main radar.

Sam

Dont the RAN have Aegis on the Hobart Class ship?

X

Yes. The radar is a bit higher and the ships are larger so they can be flag ships. They will have 12 AEGIS ships.

On a 3 for 1 basis they will have 1 Hobart and 3 Hunters available.

Duker

Isnt it going to be 9 planned Hunters ?
While they will be using AEGIS ‘software modules’, it wont be a SPY/Aegis system like the Hobarts but have the Australian origin CEFAR radar

X

Under Project SEA5000 Phase 1, the Hunter Class Frigate Program (HCFP) is re-capitalising the majority of Australia’s surface-combatant fleet with a state-of-the-art ASW-biased multi-mission heavy frigate, based on BAE Systems’ Type 26 Global Combat Ship. The HCFP will deliver an advanced, flexible surface combatant fleet with advanced ASW capability and a world-class layered anti-air warfare (AAW) capability based on AEGIS and Australia’s advanced CEAFAR2 AESA radar system.

https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/event/2020/04/design-and-construction-rans-new-hunter-class-frigates

Last edited 2 months ago by X
Supportive Bloke

I’d be surprised is Wolf really is better than Ceptor.

Whilst Wolf was widely liked and known to be effective the systems behind it were a long way off what would now be a standard fit.

The response speed of any computer system would now be orders of magnitude better. And if there was one lesson learned from ’82 is that slow relocks were not good news.

Also being able to engage further out gives you a proper layered approach to shooting down incoming with Ceptor -> 30mm -> CISW etc

Ceptor does have the ability to put an umbrella over a small convoy of ships or deny an area to aircraft. A few Ceptor equipped ships in a convoy would deny a very large area to hostile operations.

Paul.P

My understanding is that Sea Wolf had a range of 5-6 miles and was a pretty good Mach 3 point defence system. It was able to tackle crossing missiles and supersonic targets. There was a report that in testing it took down an artillery shell. In addition to being a bit short ranged its weakness was that the tracking system, while good for both high flying and sea skimming targets could only direct a maximum of 2 missiles at once so would be easily overwhelmed by a salvo of AShM. Sea Ceptor has a longer engagement range, out to the horizon I think, and is fully active once its seeker detects the target.

Sam

“2 missiles at once” now I dont know for sure but that could have been an issue for GWS25 Seawolf on the Exocet/Seawolf Leanders and the Type 22 Frigates with Type 967/968 radar. Type 23 uses the GWS 26 Seawolf VLS with Type 996 then 997 Artisan.

N-a-B

Ahem. Radar T910 and T911…….

Sam

Right done a little digging…you are right mostly but apparently it is 2 missiles PER fire control radar and the Type 22s and 23s both had 2 Type 910 and 911’s respectively.

Last edited 2 months ago by Sam
Sam

Specifically Sea Wolf was far superior to Sea Dart at engaging Sea Skimming Anti ship missiles…..even with all the post Falklands upgrades Sea Dart only had modest abilities at low level due to it being a long range High altitude missile for killing bombers. Despite its smaller range 32 vls Sea Wolf provide far better Air Defence than a twin arm launcher with an 8 second reload especially against saturation attacks. Sea Dart was combat tested against Seersucker (Chinese Styx variant) which flew much higher than Exocet/Harpoon in 1991 protecting USS Missouri. Sea Wolf was combat tested in the Falklands and even then it was very new as Marconi Engineers were with the Task force. Only HMS Broadsword, HMS Brilliant and HMS Andromeda were equiped. HMS Penelope spent the 1970s working on the prototypes.

Sipowitz

I’m familiar with both systems but I think we are differing on the semantics.

Sea wolf was not an air defence system but a point defence system as it could not provide defence for other units in the area (except where goalkeeping was employed but that required the Seawolf equipped ship to be very close i.e. within 3-400 yards of the HVU)

Ron5

There’s a valid point of view that all air defense missiles are point defense.

Supportive Bloke

I thought we’re were debating Wolf vs Ceptor?

Dart had great limitations **in early forms** solving those problems post ‘82 was a priority and later versions got rid of most of those problems mainly by improving the radars on the T42 and the head end of the missile.

There was little wrong with the Dart missile itself.

OK the reload thing onto a dual launcher was a legacy thinking issue from the way Slug worked. No question VLS is a better solution.

ATH

Bristol wasn’t so much a training ship as an accommodation ship for Sea Cadets. Odds on it will be cheaper to build on land than make and keep safe a T23 alongside.

X

I don’t think there is any space to build somewhere on Whale Island.

ATH

Does it have to be on the island?
Are the football and cricket pitches sacrosanct?

X

Well there are pitches in Temeraire.

You have access to the dinghies at Whale Island. And back in the day we used all the pitches when in Bristol.

Not sure if there is space in Nelson.

Of course it doesn’t have to Portsmouth.

Whaley is just nice and self contained.

AlexS

Sea Wolf only protected own ship or other ship by masking it if possible.

If you had 2 command guidances i think you could send it towards two different targets but that is it. Type 22 had 2 launchers and 2 guidance sets. Not sure with Type 31. Sea Ceptor is another ballpark, with active radar you keep firing missiles continuously until the farm is at 0 zero.

Cam

I’ll miss these ships, we better save Atleast one for the nation, next to HMS Belfast..

Cam

But who really knows the real OSD on the 23s!.

And who knows we might even start getting the Three type 26 workers Paul, Dave and Alan (currently working Monday to Thursday and half day Friday) to start working weekends… Their apprentice Lee has still done a runner don’t think he’s coming back to work… Then we could get a few 26 frigates earlier.. And Maybe hire Big Bob and Steve from the other Ship yard to help speed things up….

Ron5

Blame Gideon and the Treasury for that. Imposed a slow fixed “drumbeat” and sold the world on it being a great idea. Conman.

N-a-B

To be fair to Osborne, the “drumbeat” predates him by some years. It was all the rage when Paul Drayson was setting up his maritime industrial strategy and the associated ToBA.

The people who came up with the drumbeat tended to wear dark blue and had a fairly realistic view of what the navy could afford/were likely to receive in terms of manpower and new ships (or more specifically annual funding). What they didn’t realise, was that given those constraints, it was difficult for industry to scale its workforce to deliver large ships at that drumbeat without a long build duration.

The single most important element of the NSBS remains a long-term financed shipbuilding plan with an associated ring-fenced capital budget. It also remains the major party of the strategy that has not been implemented…….

Last edited 2 months ago by N-a-B
Ron5

And unfortunately never will given the UK’s peculiar political system.

Derek

Don’t forget Nobby. He retires in 6 months after 42 years but is willing to come back for 2 days a week if asked.

Cam

On another Note, I’ve got Typhoons flying fast and low over the moray Firth, Anything to do with that Russian destroyer sitting there just now…

borg

We’ve had a few USAF Heavy’s here lately, Inbound from the Colonies, heading East. Got some great Pics.

Cam

Sounds great, I broke my dam DSLR camera, but my phones got 16mp! I remember when they were barely 1mp!! But still takes ok photos just not good long range stuff!

Meirion X

Sorry to hear you broke your SLR Cam!

ATH

Why fly our best over a Russian ship and let the suck in and record all of it EM signature?

X

I think they will take precautions.

Cam

Well that’s what they were doing today….. From Lossiemouth, I watched them…

Meirion X

Maybe taking advantage of Tramp’s last few weeks in office!

Cam

And the Russians would easily already have it considering the number of typhoons in Europe and Russians are mainly European…

Sunmack

Can we not fly a P8 over them and empty the onboard loo whilst passing?

Last edited 2 months ago by Sunmack
Cam

I’m sure it’s already been up, not seen the P8s for a few days though, I still miss all the Nimrods up here! Flying over my house.

Ron5

After curry night.

Cam

Let’s go further after white night……

rec

On Leander class refits, I always prefered the Van Speijk-class frigates which had very impressive mid life refits – Harpoon, stws, Lynx caoable and 76mm gun . Looked better , compared to the UK. Also HMNZS Canterbury showed a sensible budget midlife refit – lighter gun control radar, stws, Lynx capable hanger and Phalanx. Of the UK Leanders the seacat and exocet looked more balanced. For batch 3s I would have gone for the Dutch route, and maybe some NZ style minimal refits. Anyway thats history the T23 originally conceived as basically a tug for towed array sonar, evolved into a very good frigate a d gas served the RN well.

X

It’s their diesel upgrade I find very interesting.

johnnytheunwise

However good the program is, these ships remain essentially 1980s vessels. They lack the stealth capabilities of modern warships and should be replaced, otherwise they are target practice.

X

On a radar they appear to be about the size of a good size motorboat. They are very, very quiet too. And they have SeaCeptor which is even more awesome than the awesome SeaWolf. They are not that vulnerable for their age. Never mind EW.

Meirion X

I would say, more the size of a large trawler 1-1.5Kt?

X

So as I said, good size motor boat. Nowhere near 1500 tonnes.

Go look at the dimensions of something 1500 tonnes and compare it with a T23.

borg

13 type 23’s are actually more like 6 or 7 in reality. 6 type 45’s are more like 2-3 in fact. 2 Carriers will be more like 1 if personal and maintenance are taken into account. Same with the Vanguards too, Probably only one at sea, with the remaining boats in various states of refit/repair. Just how small the UK’s Royal Navy is, Is a Joke when all things are considered. Is it 95 % of all goods are imported by Sea ?. Thank all the people who paid the ultimate price in years past, for protecting this Country despite our glorious Leaders.

X

HMG chose to spend money elsewhere. History and geography don’t count for much,

borg

As mentioned on here before, This whole Down Voting Feature is a Joke, It’s here to please the Trolls, Sick and Ignorant . My time on other sites has produced incredible results removing this feature, I’ll not give up on here, despite the best efforts of posters like Ron. Just sayin mate. Muchly impressed with your multiple Account Efforts though, Best I’ve seen for a while, on any Defence Site. Scroll up Peeps, you’ll see some pretty epic Down Voting/Trolling going on.

X

As I said above the site owners think it is a positive. I don’t mind to be honest. It just looks like fact aren’t accurate which does the site’s cause a lot, not. I just feel sad for the individual doing it. He is probably a lonely and tortured soul.

X

Hello sad sack! Give us a down vote.

X

You are a very damaged individual.

borg

Admin won’t allow any “Outing” as they are bound by the Data Protection Act. Shame though, It would be a rite larf.

X

I live in their head rent free. What a thing though to get that wound up on a tiny website about an esoteric topic that you go to all that effort to down vote somebody. But hey ho.

X

You can’t help yourself. Go on more down votes.

branaboy

If I had a say UK defence planning, I would retain 4 of these LIFEX Type23 with the 5 Type 31s. The Type 23s I would retain as part of a “Home Fleet” in conjunction with the River Class (Batch 1 and 2) OPVs.

I would man the Type 23 with naval reservists (civilian parttime sailors full time officers) with the ships based in Northern Ireland (2 set of tained reservist crews), 1 in Scotland again with 2 sets of reservists crews and the remaining 2 in England and Wales again with 2 sets of reservist crews each. At any point in time I would have 2 of these ships active and ready to sail on duties in UK waters. Service parts can be salvaged from 2 other ships that will almost certainly be scrapped (the other 7 might be sold to other navies hopefully, if not then source for more spares). This would be a maximum of 1,200 reservist.

There would be no need to upgrade any of the systems, just maintain them for 5-10 years until they truly become unserviceable in the 2040s. This would be a sure way to up hull numbers with minimal cost while freeing up the new Type 31s and Type 26s on Carrier strike and other gobal duties.

Just my 2 cents worth!

X

Interesting but far beyond today’s modern RN.

I would say that perhaps if the Archers were replaced with something bigger, say something similar to the RCN’s Orcas, there could be a window for getting the RNR (as it is) back to sea as a patrol service. But even that would be a stretch.

Meirion X

It looks like 6 T23’s will get LIFFX with PGMU. Some will get PGMU later, so keeping DP FSC open longer.
So some of T23s ASWs could be kept going a while longer.
Maybe replace their 4.5″ gun with 57mm to give some more under deck space and weight savings for other equipment?
Give the 4.5″ Gun to T31.

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion X
Nick B

I’d suggest swapping with the Type 26’s. How likely is shore bombardment with your primary and short number anti-submarine platform the Type 26 ?

Ultimately they’re all going to be replaced by a Rail Gun as well as getting laser weapons (so long as we spend the R&D money or buy US). The 5 inch guns are likely to have a longer useable life on the Type 31.

Nick B

Given only 3 Type 26 have been ordered to date and with the current and future spending restrictions, I would have thought it will be necessary to extend the Type 23s for quite a few years longer than originally planned.

Type 31 isnt really a replacement – as design fitted out – other than in low risk patrol areas and as yet the design is neither completed or any orders placed.

Paul.P

I think you are mistaken regarding the Type 31 orders.
i also believe one of the contract stipulations for the fixed price is no changes to the agreed spec.

https://www.forces.net/news/type-31-babcock-signs-ps12bn-frigate-contract

David Barry

I read Nick B as suggesting more T26 would be kicked into the long grass. However, an poster pointed that several long lead items have been ordered / purchased.

Doubt they’ll cut T31, bare bones, affordable canoe able to do what’s written on the box BUT, could the weapons outfit change? Calling @n_a_b

N-a-B

Type 31 is on contract and with five ships to be delivered between 2025 and 2028, although that’s not the same as in-service.

T26 batch 2 will get ordered when there is some certainty in long-term funding (which is a tad tricky at the minute). HMG has always said that the next batch will get ordered early in the decade. It won’t get canned in favour of T31.

borg

It’s often forgotten now but the official statement at the time was, “At Least 5 Type 31’s ” .

N-a-B

If memory serves that was in the heady days when MoD had convinced itself it could get a very capable ship for £250M on average. I think we passed those days some time ago, not least with the increased provision for GFE. It’s also worth considering that if Rosyth is building T31s beyond the first five, it won’t be building the arguably much more important FSS…….

X

I am still unsure how they are going to do it considering that was the base price of Absalon 15 plus years ago built partially in low cost Lithuania yard. To build twice the ship for the same money now in a British yard, never mind any design changes, is going to be some feat.

Ron5

N-a-B, what prevents Rosyth from concurrently building Type 31’s and FSS? Is it manpower or facilities?

N-a-B

Both, but primarily lack of blocking space. FSS will be a big ship, requiring plenty of room to erect units and blocks. Their new fab shed is sized for two T31 alongside each other, subsequently launched (in a oner) via a FLO-FLO vessel. That precludes doing FSS which will require most of the width of the shed and all the length at the same time. She may also be a bit deep to float off easily and certainly not in the basin.

It is possible that they could erect blocks in one of the docks, but it doesn’t get round the issue of covered space to erect and outfit units and blocks if there are T31 ongoing concurrently. This is the big difference from QEC build – the blocks for the carriers were largely erected and outfitted in Portsmouth & Govan. The smaller blocks (A&P, CL and Appledore/Rosyth build) were shovelled onto the ship as quickly as they could be and outfitted in-situ. They were all well under 900te complete, whereas for contrast, the big blocks were between 9000 and 12000 te. The bigger the block the easier and more efficient it is to have a high outfit content.

Last edited 2 months ago by N-a-B
Ron5

Thank you.

Don

When T31 gets is final spec approved I would not be surprised if it includes a 24 camm, hull mounted sonar and a crane These extras being part of Government furnished equipment budget.

If it is to be forward deployed in the Gulf a hull mount sonar could be useful in avoiding mines.

12 camm is inadequate to be any sort of meaningful escort.

A crane is handy for loading/unloading containers,supplies, aid and unmanned vehicles/drones etc.

N-a-B

I hate to disappoint you but it’s “final spec” is already approved and contracted. You don’t sign a contract and then agree to major changes to the deliverable. Particularly when your customer is as poor as a church mouse whose wife has run off with all the cheese.

Don

Yes, I agree you are correct that specifications are already approved and contracted. As to the detail of what these are and what will be included in GFE I have no idea, and would be grateful for any detail on this.
Do you think the church mouse’s wife has run off with the camm, sonar and crane as well as the cheese?

N-a-B

Yes.

4th watch

I wonder why BAe never developed type 23 class? Fitting it with electric drive, wider hull etc might have been a good way forward for the type 31 competion and export, rather than the pathetic offering they came up with.
In fact though I am happy we got the type 31 we have, but still puzzled why not more gear is being transferred across from type 23s. Maybe for a later date perhaps.

Don

There maybe a few Type 2150 sonars available from 2028 onwards with retirement of T23 (starting with HMS Westminister OSD 2028).

https://www.ultra-css.com/media/news/ultra-electronics-command–sonar-systems-awarded-contract-to-supply-sonar-type-2150-to-the-first-three-of-eight-planned-uk-royal-navy-type-26-frigates

Then there also is sonar 2087.
Eight on T23 and a further three on order for the first 3 T26.

Meirion X

HMS Westminster will very unlikely get sonar Type 2150, neither PGMU. She is Too close to OSD.
She will most likely be taken out of service early to provide a skilled crew for HMS Glasgow(T26) to start sea trials in 2025.
Richmond could possibly get Type 2150 at a later date.
Portland is the first T23 to get sonar T. 2150.

Last edited 2 months ago by Meirion X
Don

HMS Westminister is the first ship to go out of service that it is also planned to recieve S2150. If as you say she goes early without upgrading to S2150 then it will be interesting to see where that set goes.