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Nigel Collins

Some very positive news for the RN.

NSM would be a good choice for both Land, Sea and Air.

“The aircraft version of the NSM is part of the advanced armament of F-35 Lightning II, Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen and NH90 multipurpose fighters.”

https://en.missilery.info/missile/nsm

https://www.kongsberg.com/kda/what-we-do/defence-and-security/integrated-air-and-missile-defence/coastal-defence-system/

Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
Fred the Frog

NH90 Fighters ?

Nick B

Are F35B’s operating off carriers capable of handling NSM load weights and high fuel loads at take-off on vertical landing at the end of sorties ?

Fred the Frog

Are Helicoptors called Fighters ?

Just Me

You don’t do ‘vertical landings’.
SRVL allows plenty of bring back weight.

Nick B

I understand that this isnt routine at sea yet. Only test ilots have managed it.

Angus

The SHAR managed it so would expect the F35B to do likewise

DaveyB

Yes, the F35B flying from the QEC can take-off at the aircraft’s max-all up weight, from about 1/2 to 3/4 the length of the deck (I think it was calculated at 1/2 way, but was decided on 3/4 for saftey). This includes a full fuel load and maximum weapons load. The JSM (aircraft version of the NSM) weighs 416kg (917lbs), is has a different airframe to the NSM, as the engine intake is below the airframe, whereas NSM’s is on top. The two inboard hardpoint stations on the wings are rated at 5000lbs and 2500lbs. So technically, the F35B could carry four JSMs under the wing complete with a full internal load of Spear 3s, plus a pair of Meteors and two ASRAAMs mounted on the wing outboard stations and still be well within the aircraft’s max all weight.

The question is whether the aircraft can recover to the ship and do a hover landing? With a full weapons load but a decreased fuel load, the shipborne rolling vertical landing (SRVL) will probably have to be used. Otherwise the aircraft will have to jettison some of the stores.

Supportive Bloke

There has been very little conversation about SRVL since it was trialled?

Was it too dangerous? Or did the flight rules need a bit more work?

Scott

If, your going to carry an Anti-Ship Missile under the wings. I would go with the larger and more capable LRASM. If, you want total stealth then the JSM.

Nigel Collins

Slightly overstated!

Steve

Block 2 harpoon to save money but ends up costing 3 times the quoted price and 4 years late.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
Duker

Thats ‘UK project price’ which is over inflated and probably includes everything under the sun
This is actual out the factory door price: around US1.5 mill each
‘NAVAIR also awarded to Boeing a $657 million firm-fixed-price contract modification for the procurement and delivery of 467 Harpoon full-rate production Lot 91 Block II missiles and support equipment.
https://seapowermagazine.org/navy-awards-boeing-3-1-billion-for-harpoon-slam-er-missile-systems/

notice the Secretary of State says ‘not sure when it will be put out to tender’

While RADM interjects to say ‘We are in negotiation now etc”, essentially contradicting the SoS.

Supportive Bloke

Why?

The missiles can be procured at a fixed price.

The fact the UK procurement prices roll everything in for the lifetime of the project make the numbers huge by comparison.

Just Me

USN Rules of Engagement are much loser than the UKs.
Harpoon has ‘issues’.

Scott

Stealth is the name of the game in Fighters or Missiles. In short forget the Harpoon…..JSM/NSM/LRASM or “BUST”

captain p wash

Well I guess we might just have a new PM then…………..

Supportive Bloke

Be careful what you wish for.

Doris From No 10 Downing Street bounced Sunak into the various defence spending commitments. He was not happy about that.

However, in this instance, Doris was right and a commitment to uplifts is needed if only for credibility purposes. Particularly as there is a European war on and as Wallace clearly stated too many things have been gapped and slid down the spending plan.

In his usual buffoon way Doris was unable to get agreement for this prior to the NATO meeting so just did winged it under a lot of pressure from Wallace and others in Cabinet.

Last edited 1 month ago by Supportive Bloke
Nick B

The expected (priced in) 2023/4 recession is going to cost an awful lot of money. Since NHS spending can only be increase to shorten the politically deadly waiting list crisis and we’ve maxed-out tax rates and borrowing (with an implosion of Sterling against the $ and Euro likely by the end of the year), I dont see anything but more austerity “cuts” for public spending until the late 2020s now.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nick B
Duker

Tax rates arent maxxed out . Boris is saying he wants to cut them…or something

Grant

£250Bn of working age benefits increasing 10% this year is where the cuts should be. 5 million people collecting benefits and not working despite the record amount of vacancies being used to justify continued high immigration. Of the 1.6m NHS employees, 100,000 are doctors and 300,000 are nurses.

We are all familiar of the waste in the MOD and defence, but for the NHS – where money is usually always given – the amount wasted is through the roof.

Angus

100% in agreement

Simon

Were are you getting the figure of £250 Billion from ?

Duker

Yes . Unemployment benefit spending in 2021 was £1.56 bill and for the other ‘working age’ benefit , disability was £5.7 bill , which comes to £7.25 bill
So hes out by a factor of 35!
I know someone recently who was at same firm for 20 years and then a sudden medical condition mean he was in whellchair but may require medical assistance for a year. he was 61 and worked in active outdoor job so no chance of a ‘desk job’ in future.
As the population bulge moves through the 55-67 age group more will have medical disability

Grant

Disability benefits was £57m in 2018. Doubt its gone down and its about to go up 10%. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/benefit-expenditure-and-caseload-tables-information-and-guidance/benefit-expenditure-and-caseload-tables-information-and-guidance

So we spend more than >30% on disability benefits ALONE then we do on our defence.

Of course many people absolutely deserve those payments…

Nicholas

More benefits go to people who are working than to any other group. Are you suggesting that this should stop?

Angus

NHS does not need more cash but a total revamp as so much is wasted on managers who know so little about health to start with. 1.7Million work for the NHS but a lot of that is not medical for sure. More money will not get you more medics over night. Folk need to look after themselves better than they do so less burden to the taxpayer in the end. MOD Budget is an insurance policy which currently does not cover what it should for the UK.
The ships of the Fleet need real offensive weapons on the right units NOW

Will

Wait! You mean…when government takes over entire sectors of a nation’s economy, the main beneficiary is…the government?!? Which then proceeds to balloon itself to brobdingnagian proportions by hiring legions of corruptocrats who replicate themselves and their cushy, overpaid pseudojobs to infinity?

Who knew, I ask? Who knew???

Fred the Frog

Lets hope Bill Grommet will be Wallace’s Deputy 🙂

flying dustman

and he might just extend the time you needed to serve in the nick

Nick B

Yet more examples, if any were needed, why UK Defence spending delivers so little and wastes so much money on eeach decision taken.

Of course Type 26 is a year behind schedule. When you dont design and build complex warships for years, the skillsare lost and cost vastly more to recover. I expect the BAe defence plants that built Typhoon will soon run into much the same issue, when Tempest orders actually arrive sometime in the 2040s (being realistic). By then tempest will be a joint project with Airbus and EU design requirement will take preference.

Supportive Bloke

Are QEC carriers not complex hulls with complex systems?

The point in the article is well made. B2 Rivers were bought, at an extortionate price, to prevent skills fade and to keep the practical side of ship building alive. That is the bit that is hard to forgive as is the nonsense of building a complex warship outdoors with some plastic sheeting to protect product and workforce.

Last edited 1 month ago by Supportive Bloke
Nick B

Does that count as on ontime and budget contract now ? That wasnt my impression at the time.

The point regaarding rthe B2 Rivers is well made, but clearly the supposed benefits for the T26 programme havent been realised. That whole project with only 3 warships actually ordered so far, is in anycase, years behind an acceptable delivery timetable. HMS Glasgow was expected to have a slower than typical build and fit-out time to make sure that the rest of the 8 units wouldnt see any delays. The timetable was already quite extended, before addinng another 12 months delay on top. First steel was cut in 2017. Are we looking at a 2027 in service date now ?

N-a-B

The issue with the T26 is not really to do with build – let alone build outside. It stems from inadequate design capability, coupled with budget and time pressures. It is perfectly possible to build high quality low defect ships outside on the berth. A certain – now sadly defunct- shipyard did so regularly, including aircraft carriers and large auxiliaries.

HM ships Westminster, Northumberland and Richmond were built from first steel cut to contractor sea trials in about three years each.

It’s largely competence. Covered facilities help, but they’re not the deciding factor.

ETA. What most interesting about yesterday’s proceedings was how little the three Admirals contributed. Wallace was largely on top of his brief, although he should be admonished for referring to HMS Argos, albeit led there by the chimp that is Nice But Tobias.

Last edited 1 month ago by N-a-B
Deep32

I am getting a strong feeling in the force that N-B-T is your most favourite politician…….

N-a-B

His heart is in the right place wrt defence. Unfortunately his knowledge – like that of Spellar, Tubs and Jones is sadly lacking.

Interesting that the FSS submission was still referred to as having four participants.

Deep32

Yes, I noticed that too. Might provide some interesting proposals.

Supportive Bloke

HMS Argos: priceless – maybe he was hoping to click and collect a replacement.

I totally agree covered facilities are no panacea: but they do help with productivity, recruitment and manpower retention. The latter does feed into competence.

Just Me

Could have been worse, they usually call it RAF Argus

Just Me

Tempest will never be a joint anything with AIRBUS.

Duker

yes. They ( Italy UK Sweden) already have a tie up with Japan on some common elements like fuselage and cockpit and maybe different wings for longer range for Japan.

AlexS

That depends on money.
Italians from start have been voicing that 2 air systems in W.Europe are not coist sustainable. Maybe if Japan enter the plan fully that might work.

Just Me

you really think the UK wants anything to do with France and a fighter project after Typhoon?
and let’s not even go down the NH90/A400M trail of tears

Supportive Bloke

The French routine is so well known. They insist on their specs being dominant, insist on leadership and then start a Yorkshire argument.

The German approach is to say they will order 100’s of units. Have a workfare argument win it on the back of their order size and then cut the order!

Why bother going round that well worn political path? Sometimes dealing with sensible people who have clear and alligned priorities is the way forwards.

Duker

One Italian – the AF chief was merely ‘predicting’ the two systems will merge.

These days , the airframe part isnt even the most expensive and time consuming . Its the software and the sub systems that have a hardware component like radar and defensive and offensive aids

Cal Lawrence

Joint projects to “save money” are a good way to end up spending more money.

Nick B

Its likely that money will count and we’ll be negotiating to rejoin the EU by 2030.

Duker

Remainers never give up do they. The EU has even bigger worries, masked by the pandemic events and spending

Jon

Remainers is a historical term. Rejoiners is what they would be now, and rejoining would be on far less favourable terms.

Duker

Its a trading bloc , there not much difference to what access the UK has now. remember the EU got itself fisheries and agriculture access to UK in return.
Theres the Northern Ireland thing, but since the Good Friday agreement didnt the involve the EU at the time ( US was the mediator) and virtually no mention of ‘the border’ at all in the agreement ( mostly minutiae about the shared power in the North, yes I read it)
It was just a political stunt by the Republic that the island remain undivided ( Which it was previously before 1922 and it was the South who put up border customs posts)
All the previous UK special arrangements , borders , keeping pound etc were all seen in hindsight as the right choice rather than taking the EU alternative. Same goes for leaving the trading bloc and its myriad other EU mini bureucracies

Cal Lawrence

By 2030 we’ll probably see Northern Ireland and Scotland voting to leave the UK.

ATH

What wasn’t announced was any extra money to pay for a new weapons system. I fact the PM (as of 17:41BST) has refused to commit to honouring his manifesto pledge to as a minimum increase funding of the MoD by at least RPI +0.5% each year of this parliament.

Nick B

Given RPI is heading towards 11 %+ by the end of the year, that is never going to happen !

4thwatch

Since we are in a near war situation reasonable extra funding of the Defence budget is essential.
The Navy is way behind on a number of issues resulting from FFBNW.
I’m glad we have a competent Defence Minister in Ben Wallace.

Supportive Bloke

It might spike up to 11% for a few months but all predictions are that it rapidly falls away.

In construction we saw terrible price rises but things have now plateaued as energy costs have fed through and we are already seeing gentle price falls in labour (still very expensive) and materials (competition / market forces engaging)…..

If energy supply gets sorted, not impossible but requires realpolitik and diplomacy not Biden specialities and nobody listens to the EU’s doctrinal hectoring, and priced come back to sensible levels. The Norwegians sorting gas production will be a big help and if EU gas storage is filled everything should be fine short of an ultra cold windless winter.

Last edited 1 month ago by Supportive Bloke
Nick B

No one believes that it will fade away on its own. Fed rate rises are higher than expected and the Fed has made it clear that eliminating inflation is its number 1 priority. Unless the Bank of England matches, the pound will collapse and import prises will rise as a result. Of course higher borrowing costs are used to reduce demand to eliminate the extent to which demand is >> supply. That feeds into Mortgage and credit card payment costs and Govt borrowing, which drives higher taxation of lower Govt spending to control th budget deficit.

We can expect to see the $/£ interest rate difference impact towards the end of the year (as the BoE continues to lag rate rises to protect UK economy to manage the “slow” landing). This is when we see the remaining 25 % + rise in UK gas and electricity prices as the price cap is adjusted again (the current price cap is underwater and the market is being subsidised by the Govt).

After that, Inflation should reduce as Energy cost rises should cease to be a significant source of cost inflation. However, by then most workers (and all of the public sector) will have pushing for 10 % or more wage rises, and higher interest rates will drive up borrowing and investment costs.

In any case, current factory gate proce stats collected in the UK show that suppliers have not increased selling prices as much as their input prices have risen. That itself will drive future inflation as companies are forced raise prices to survive the impact of reduced cash flows due to lower sales caused by the Global recession. With lower demand, cost cutting becomes much more important, which drive unemployment and higher Govt spending. The unemployment safety net in the UK is much smaller £ value now than in the 1970s and 1980s…That will have to be fixed to avoid a sociali meltdown and rioting IMO.

By analogy we’re currently in 1972/3 and UK inflation peaked then in 1975 and then again in 1980 as the Callaghan wages and price control policy fell apart.

Duker

You seem to assume what happened 50 years ago is ‘deja vue all over again’
The 1970s recession was kicked by the oil shocks of the period, much greater effect than the current energy price bumps

AlexS

1970 was not only by oil shock.
Besides we have various shocks now:
Oil being sabotaged by most Western Green Gov’s

The huge imbalance of Government economy cost vs Free economy cost. In my country in 70’s getting a construction license was several cheaper than buying a refrigerator now it is the inverse.

Nick B

There has been very limited investment in new Oil and Gas projects since 2014. Youre looking at 3 to 5 years for a new small scale development project and up to 10 for the very large ones to meet full capacity.

If you seriously try to reduce Russia’s 10 to 11 million bbls/day production to say 4 million, thats extra global demand that doesnt have a home .

We’re looking at Gas prices (45 to 50 % of UK electricity production today) being c4 to 5 times 2018/9 levels for the forseeable future (current prices are c6 times higher). US LNG exports to Europe will compensate in the late 2020s, but then global demand will be higher than today anyway.

Julian Edmonds

By October we will be paying 40p a unit for electricity and more than 10p a unit for gas. Compared with 16p and 3.5p last year. There’s no way the 1970s were that bad.

Duker

Oil price was $25 per barrel in 1970 by 1980 it was $140 . Its now $115 .
Thats inflation adjusted it was from $3.50 per barrel to $40 unadjusted in a decade

5-6x increase in rough numbers then . Its gone up 50% recentlyand no the sky wont fall in

Sean

CPI rather than the old RPI is the main inflation figure used these days, I believe the manifesto pledge only referenced “inflation”.

As it is, there’s a good chance Ben Wallace could be gone next PM, in which case we’ll see the defence budget jump to 2.5% GDP sooner than planned.

Nick B

from the magic money tree ? There ar emuch higher UK political priorities than Defence over the next 24 months to the 2024 election. Whoever replaces Boris will prioritise relection before anything.

Sean

Clearly you don’t understand the complexities of government finance, so let me simplify for you. Governments can’t just print money indefinitely, cf Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe, etc. Likewise a government can’t go on a line borrowing spree to finance expenditure, cf Greece.

But when ALL governments are having to do emergency borrowing, cf the pandemic, then it’s not going to spook the markets.

Let me know if I need to make it simpler, such as single syllables or maybe in picture form.

Duker

yes they can. Japan and US have done so. They havent been printing money like Weimar Germany did.
Their problem was the Reich government borrowed to pay for the war rather than raise taxes as they thought the costs would be covered by reparations when they won. The reverse happened but the reparations were a fraction of what would have been the case if Germany won. of course the German revisionists blame the allies for the miserly reparations they were expected to pay , considering it was always intended to be a nominal amount of the headline figure from the treaty of Versailles.

Fred the Frog

Well whilst you’re at it, can you clear up what “Ben Wallace could be gone next PM” means please, some of us thick folk aren’t as clever as you.

rmj

It’s about priorities. Last 4 years MOD spent £400m on consultants!! What about cost of separate messes across defence estate v’s combined. There’s money if there’s a will. ASuW is a basic warfighting and survival capability.

Nick B

Duh. All very obvious and not what I stated, given I was making the same pooint regarding the prvious post.

You ignored my point. Politically 6 to 10 million people on NHS waiting lists (ie 1 person in 7 in the UK) for any significant period of time is POLITICAL suicide. Pensions, recession driven unemployment benefit increases, current high level of personal taxation, furthere devalaution of Sterling against USD and as you say a maxed out UK credit card, is going to mean a very low spendibg priority on Defence for the remainder of this decade.

Scott

The problem isn’t really money per se. Its the government would rather spend resources on Social Programs than Defense. Which, much of the public supports. Until that changes I don’t see much of a change in Defense Spending!

Scott

The UK Military needs a solid 3% of GDP on Defense! Hell, they can’t adequately fund the T-45’s, T-26’s, Queen Elizabeth Carriers, or buy enough F-35B’s. Honestly, the future of the Tempest Stealth Fighter and the New Submarines give me considerable “pause”.

Sean

And he failed miserably at that…

Apoplectix

Whatever happened to the UK national flagship, erstwhile Royal Yacht? I read a few months ago that it would be revealed in the run up to the Queen’s jubilee…but nothing. Quelle surprise.

Matt

Whilst I think in principle a national flagship is a good idea, it’s not a priority so should be consigned to the bin.

Supportive Bloke

Hopefully quietly forgotten in a ‘reprioritisation’: I don’t think Charles III was too keen on the optics and realistically QE II would be too old to enjoy her by the time she was in the water.

Joe16

Agreed, I never saw the point in it either- especially at the price they were discussing

Just Me

The.’Boris Boat’ is in the bin along with his career

Matt

I actually think keeping RFA Argus on as an Aviation Support Ship is a good outcome. It’s there and real, rather than an expensive PowerPoint dream.

I would add also that with the focus on NATO and Europe, I think the need for a maritime PCRS is limited. Sure it can be used for HADR (like in Sierra Leone) but it’s not a priority for the RN.

Bob

UK manufacturer: “We need to expand our factory to meet our production targets. Let’s ask the government to give us some money towards it.”

Elon Musk: “Hmm, I need a new building to make more experimental rockets. Guy’s, put up another building.”

Stu

Yup.

Gov pay business for products & they employ people to make them. Tax both. Then use tax revenues to pay for the business expansion costs. Wonder why we don’t simply cut out the middle man sometimes & let the business use their profits to pay for expansion… But we do that too since the costs of expansion affect profits resulting in less tax to pay.

Just Me

It will be NSM – it’s already cleared for carriage on the F-35

Bob

B?

Just Me

4 externally on the F-35B

Duker

The JSM is the name for the air launched NSM. I cant see 4 on the F35B even externally, its a pretty big missile
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/03/jsm-anti-ship-and-land-attack-missile-successfully-tested-from-f-35a/

Just Me

It’s no bigger than JSOW. 4 can be carried externally on any variant, and 2 more internally on the A/C variant.

Duker

As Joe says its a bit more different than I thought
https://navalpost.com/joint-strike-missile
Carrying 4 requires 2 internal and 2 external and isnt the F35B internal bay smaller and less weight capacity , so its only for wing hardpoints

Joe16

Unfortunately, I’m told that there are some fairly fundamental differences between NSM and JSM that make the dream of commonality a bit of a stretch- more like the differences between F-35A and C from what I understand. I’d still go with the two of them if I had the choice though.

Fred the Frog

Launching JISM against an Enemy might just be the answer. It’ll probably put them off their stroke that’s for sure.

Scott

The JSM (NSM) can only be carried internally on the F-35A/C. On the “B” it has to be carried externally. (I forgot about that!)

Jon

I just watched the committee meeting and the Def Sec said on the anti-surface missile, “The Navy have decided on an interim weapon…..” but it’s still subject to negotiation. That sounds pretty advanced in the process. I don’t know how that squares with the “I’m not sure when it will be put out to tender but there is a plan to do so.”

So they decide first and then put it out to tender? Hmm.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Duker

I noticed that too. Professional advice would be to put all the latest information in front of the SoS with finer details probably indicated as confidential. ( but up to him to release at his discretion)
Seems too much like they hadn’t briefed him fully at all. Blind freddy could guess that Boeing will supply a later mark of Harpoon.

Jon

I suppose he’s been busy, what with wars both in the Ukraine and the Cabinet. It was a two hour, not too friendly questioning, and I though he was tactful, especially when asked how we are to ensure the level of activity of HMS Norfolk. I doubt I’d have let that one pass.

JJ Smallpiece

More to the point why have RN commanders let the RN get to such a state, with such a lack of offensive weapons? Isn’t the point of a navy to be able to sink enemy warships if necessary?

rmj

Group think is rife across the services which is why we lack so many capabilities

X

Over reliance on the USN. We don’t need to do X, Y, or Z because the USN does it. Why we ended up with large aviation ships when the USN have many was more to do with Blair’s European ambitions in Europe than need. The RN is also sinking under doctrine and hypothetical theory which leads to stupidity such as MCM sans hulls. Making a virtue out of scarcity. And as I have just said a loss of vision, no understanding history, and no understanding of geography. I once had a discussion with a three ringer about why we have a navy. I said we had a navy to cause harm to the enemies of the state. He said it was to do the will of the government.

Jonathan

I would add protecting trade as a fundamental reason for the navy. It is after all what drove the size of the 18th and 19th century navy.

X

I have spoken several times here that RN was once a cruiser navy and that would have been better route for us to take than carriers. Doesn’t go down well here.

Duker

In practice they are now a cruiser navy , just not called that.
Its deja vue as once the RN was a ‘frigate/corvette navy’ in the 1880s when some one decided to name those types all as ‘cruisers’

Duker

Post WW2 the carrier has been king, the cruisers only job became to protect the carrier. Since then the Destroyers and now frigates ‘grew up’ and can do that job including long deployments
RN actions since WW2 have involved carriers.
Korea, Suez Falklands , Bosnia- Kosovo. Gulf Ware 1 & 2 would have involved carrier more if the current types were in service.

captain p wash

You forgot to add…. If they actually had any F35’s….without sounding boring and repetative…… We still have two gurt ooge empty Vessels with capacity for 84 of these world beating 5th generation aircraft ….. yet we have only managed to stick 8 on one of them…. apart from the Yanks…..even then one fell off.

Last edited 1 month ago by captain p wash
Duker

Thats because of the slow F-35 development, meant the UK deferred most of its deliveries to the later better equipped production blocks. Its already costing a fortune to upgrade those delivered earlier and Im sure maybe the very first 10 or so never will

Just Me

He was right, you are wrong.

Paul42

We’re at a critical point with the RN. Type 26 construction is stupidly slow, I would suspect the first Type 31s will be in service before Glasgow, so they need to be upgunned now with Mark 41 VLS and the new ‘interim’, but in reality long term missile needs to be a compatible with that and cannister launch, plus with F35B and P8. Bearing in mind its very unlikely we’ll see a hypersonic missile in RN service for sometime, we need to choose carefully and acquire a very credible weapon! LRASM fits the bill perfectly and I suspect that’s the choice, but, its not cheap, although prices sometimes depend on numbers and I wonder if a number could be purchased under the RAF banner for P8 & F35B.

Jon

Glasgow’s operational date is now expected to be 2028. There’s an off chance that all the Type 31s will be delivered before Glasgow is declared operational. 2026-2029 will be a very busy time for the RN. We’ll see if steel is cut on Bulldog in a couple of months and all is on track.

Others have commentated, and I agree, that not fiddling with the Type 31 contract at all is critical to the speed, and retrofitting Mk41s after deliver would be a better plan than messing with the spec. Once you get stuck in changing one thing, even fitting with a FFBNW, the temptation is there to change more and knock the programme backwards.

Paul42

The space to fit Mk41 vls on Type 31 is already vacant as it were, just a case of ordering and fitting it which could be done post launch during fitting out.

rmj

Some clear thinking at last! A basic maritime warfighting capability – glad Wallace is in the seat.

Jon

Did Wallace say that one of the LPDs might be converted? That’s not what I heard. I thought one option was that Albion and Bullwark would each support a Littoral Response Group, unchanged. Or one would support one group and the other would be supported by Argus or a modified Bay. It’s discussed about 54 mins in.

I’m not sure why adding a hangar to the Albion class would require “a major reconfiguration of the superstructure” anyway. Does anyone know? There’s already equipment needed to support aircraft operations plus space for two Chinooks to land. Would taking up one of those spots with a hangar really be that disruptive/expensive, or might it need something else?

X

Originally the LPD’s were to have a hangar. But it was deleted, quite literally as all that happen was one whole deck of the superstructure was just removed. That’s why they look a bit dumpy. See here from aft. Note ‘fly co’ to handle lots of movements off the deck……..

comment image

ATH

Taking up deck space with a hangar would substantially reduce the rate troops could be put ashore by helicopter. Speed of deployment is likely seen as very important.

N-a-B

There’s this little thing called wind shear, plus airborne and landing scatter. That is affected by superstructure size, shape and configuration. That affects the space needed for a helo to land.

The Wokka spots are also en echelon, which means you can’t just clag a hangar on the arse end and hope it works.

That’s before you then get to storing routes, working the ship etc etc. All of which could be affected by adding a hangar. A hangar which (btw) would need something like 5.5m clear height (2 decks) to be of any use.

Plus – the LPD deckhouse is among the most densely packed areas on a ship of that size I’ve ever seen.

Jon

Then I suppose the question is, would it really need a hangar or enhanced aircraft support at all?

X

Not if it is following around a 70,000 tonne aircraft carrier with a huge under utilised hangar.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
X

There is no reason why an LPD can’t be built with a full length flight deck sans hangar. A Japanese Ōsumi-class tank landing ship……….

comment image

X

This model illustrates usage of volume in the class………

http://www.journeysetc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/IMG_20200520_224050043.jpg

Barry Larking

The reason behind all these defence problems is always the same. In 2010 the country got a Conservative Liberal Democrat government that slashed defence. It has been catch up since then, hamstrung by an unachievable notion in the Ministry of Defence that this country ‘can do everything’ instead of a rational analysis of what we have achieved – brilliantly – sometimes alone but most often together with allies for two centuries. One critical reason for that has been our key geopolitical location exploited since the 1800s by our navy.

X

Labour didn’t do much for defence either. None of them do much for defence really.

The problem goes right back to the end of the Cold War and the stupid concept of the ‘peace dividend’. Nobody had any vision. Nobody had a sense of history. Nobody had any understanding of geography. Nobody seemed to understand how the worlds works.

Last edited 1 month ago by X
Fred the Frog

Well said that man.

Duker

Not really .
There were 2 Conservative defence cuts after the Cold War ended
the 1990
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Options_for_Change
and the 1994
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Front_Line_First
Although in sense the military bases become a refuge for military personnel away from active duty or deployment and it was a good move to centralise many
Rosyth Naval Base had 1500 military and 700 civilian

X

I said none of them care for defence.

Both the main parties do nothing constructive.

So could you please explain ‘not really’?

Duker

You seem to always ignore the Conservative cuts
Even before the end of the cold war there was the 1981 Nott cuts- ‘The Way Forward’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1981_Defence_White_Paper

plus a longer look
https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7313/CBP-7313.pdf

X

No. I have said several times up and down the page that they are just as bad as each other. And neither has a real plan.

I shall be equally harsh next time. 🙂

David MacDonald

The incoming Cameron/Clegg/Osborne Goverment initiated major defence cuts with the 2010 “Strategic Defence Review”. Neither party is much good for defence but, of the two, the Conservatives are (even) worse than Labour.

They have also allowed American asset strippers to take over Cobham, Meggit and Ultra and previously ARM (in that case a Japanese asset stripper), E2V and Inmarsat.

X

The Ultra business was disgusting. The US put pressure on HMG and they caved. It wouldn’t happen in France. But hey the US are on our side.

X

On which of the main parties is best for defence. Traditionally it is said Labour like platforms, ie metal bashing, but not so keen on systems. Where as the Tories like systems and being clever which means mostly reducing manning.

Jonathan

Don’t forget the underlying political dogma. Conservatives prefer small government and low taxes, which means that politically they will never truly be happy with a large military. Labour is more willing to accept a larger government and tax base with means they have less of a dogma issue with larger spending on the armed forces, they do have a small part of the party that believes the whole notion of conflict is foolish and tend to try and focus on small armed forces. But as you say the Labour Party is always at its heard a party of Labour ( and not a socialist party as both the far right and left try to make it for different reasons) so they like making stuff and employing people ( hence why we got the two carriers, which no conservatives government would have ever ordered). In balance ( and barring those who don’t live in the real world like Corbin) I would trust the Labour Party to maintain a larger armed forces and millitary industrial base than a really low tax small government type conservative ( although I think the one nation conservatives are to be more trusted on defence as well).

X

Broadly agree, yes. 🙂

PaulC

Not sure I agree. Being willing to spend big on a few pieces of glamorous new kit chiefly to benefit industry/employment and convince the public that you are committed to defence is one thing. Being prepared to sustain the military over time in terms of operating budgets, personnel, infrastructure etc. in order to maintain a coherent fighting force quite another. On balance I do not think Labour have been any better than the Tories on defence.

With the carriers Labour gave with one hand and took away with another There was definitely sleight of hand evident in the rolling programme of cuts they made to the RN from 2003 onwards, starting with the often overlooked 2003 White Paper. SDR 1998 promised 32 destroyers and frigates and 10 SSNs. By the time Brown left office we were down from 35 escorts and 12 SSNs to 23 and 7 respectively and many, many other cuts besides (MARS project, minor war vessels, personnel etc.). The real picture was nothing like as rosy as it is often portrayed to be.

I think Labour would have cancelled the QE class after the 2005 GE and gone for a pair of smaller, cheaper ships had they not left things until the 11th hour, had a Plan B to fall back on and not been so preoccupied with reputational damage. Also I do not believe that the Tories would have left the RN without carriers. The MoD had already stated in 1995/6 that the government was committed to replacing the Invincibles with more capable ships and studies were underway as to the likely options. No doubt SDR 1998 made use of these.

I do not trust the Tories on defence by the way, but do you really believe that a Labour administration under Starmer, Rayner and Reeves is preferable?

X

Yes. Defence is about making money not defending us.

Jonathan

Yes the end of history brigade who all followed Fukuyama,s view that western liberal democracy had won and the future of the human race was to be one of a beautiful world full of happy neoliberal market led “creation of wealth” obsessed free trading nations was infact in the words of Capt Blackadder: “You see, there was a *tiny* flaw in the plan” “What was that, sir?” “It was bollocks!”.

History never ends and neither does to need to ensure security from power hunger individuals who are happy to use death and war as a means to consolidate their power.

X

Exactly.

Sunmack

The only interest that politicians have in the defence budget is spending it on job creation or sustainment schemes e.g. MR4A

Julian Edmonds

Or better still, get Ben Wallace as PM. He can then bring back Penny Mordaunt.

Jonathan

That’s not an out of the way possibility although it may be the other way around as Penny Mordant is likely to be a runner as well.

X

Mordant is a Catholic so can’t.

Jonathan

But so was Johnson and everyone just chose work around the Catholic relief act 1829 and as long as a catholic Prime minister does not advise the queen on the appointment of Anglican Bishops there is no harm or law broken ( he would have just got the Lord chancellor to deal with it and side stepped the out of date act).

X

Gosh. Really? Well you learn something everyday. Thank you for that.
One area he couldn’t cock up then……. 🙂

Jonathan

I’m sure he could have managed to end up breaking the rule somehow ( maybe sneaking a letter under HMs door) 😂😂

X

I don’t think it occurred because he got the job as it were. I find the kinks and oddities of our constitutional and legal system interesting.

Duker

Like his politics Johnson all over the place . born a catholic, he converted to Anglicism ( at Eton !) and only reconverted to a Catholic after he got the keys of No 10. ( and seems to have been re-married as a catholic and divorced man)
Blair delayed his conversion till after he ended being PM
Priests are still forbidden to sit in the Commons

Jonathan

What is very interesting is according the catholic canon law your always catholic if you have been baptised as a catholic and so he was actually formally the first catholic prime minister at the point he took up the office.

Also with his previous two marriages according to catholic canon law they did not exists as they were not married in a Catholic Church and followed the requirements of a manage in catholic canon ( so he’s been legally married three times but the Catholic Church on recognises the last).

What is really interesting is the difference between Tony Blair and Boris. As you noted Tony Blair actually wanted to convert to Catholicism and had started to attend communion with his wife. But had been informed by the archbishop of Westminster that this would cause offence to the various churches, he had not realised this apologised and stopped, then waited until he was no longer prime minister to convert ( not for legal reasons, but for respect).

The interplay of religious law with civil law is a very interesting subject. It’s why you can only have religious freedom in a truly secular state and even through we live in a secular state we have to remember that the basis for a lot of our laws and constitution still show the marks of the great religious struggles of the last Middle Ages and reformation

Mike B

BAE delivering late and over budget?
Now there’s a surprise.

simon

ben wallace knows his stuff, he is better for UK in his current defence role and good he decided to stepped down from PM leadership race.

captain p wash

Well give me Liz Truss then….. not any of the other Back Stabbing ingrates given their chance by BJ and those he stood tall to defend…….. despite their own dubious antics.

Allan Desmond

The Us Navy has its own problems, but at least with their new ships being aggressive timelines and throwing money, manpower at it.. But the British For a Island nation, is being its typical “Cultural Stupid Cheap, Lazy (10 years to build a very simple ship that was already 10 years old in designed )..as well as being not altogether to bright. Dear Royal Navy there Must Be ” A But” in there somewhere.

X

For a maritime country we are lax yes. The best indicator though is the lack of inshore security. Every other European nation has this in depth but not the UK.

John Hartley

A cheap interim weapon would be the Turkish Atmaca, which is said to be half the price of Harpoon. Atmaca was designed to replace Harpoon easily. Atmaca also has the Kara land attack variant. Just fit them to T45 as an interim capability.

Just Me

Or we could buy NSM that is a proven quantity already in service with close allies.

John Hartley

Fine if HM Treasury will fund it. I do fear that only a cheap missile stands a chance. The “bestest ever” will be too expensive for the Treasury.

Jon

Shepard are reporting the negotiations are for NSM.

Jim Carner

If we go with the NSM, then there’s also a helicopter-launched variant, the NSM-HL. It might make sense to buy both variants, assuming that Merlins and/or Wildcats can be modified to carry them that is. Also could the JSM be fitted to our Poseidons? A sub-launched variant would be good too.

Last edited 25 days ago by Jim Carner