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Erich W

Great news if they can commit to it, but 500 missiles seems very high, particularly considering the very tight supply of missiles like SAMs and TLAM. I can’t really see a scenario where a warship needs to fire dozens of these, particularly before the helicopter can be deployed. Can’t hurt but it feels like other missile options could use those numbers considering they are in far higher demand.

stephen ball

Most UK warships only have one helo. So it looks useable.

Russia lately has been using subs in number when they deploy in the artic.


I read 500 missiles as the expected global buy…not the total required by RN. Suspect the RN would buy at most 150 tops…

US has only made c 1,200 VL-ASROC in 20 years of production…and thats mainly for the USN and JMSDF….and the JMSDF take ASW very seriously…


So they should with China laying claim to the whole of the South China Sea


Both Chinas claim that . Taiwan has its own fortified island distant from its territory
Taiping Is


What has this got to do with the South China Sea? Is RN also going to be active there with ASW operations?


The map explains all . Its the south China Sea with Taiwans island shown, but they support Beijing all the way with its claim for all the area inside the red line

Rob Cameron

Was never a TAS Ape nor a sonar maintainer but a little surprised that the likes of ASROC don’t even get out to the first convergence zone at 30 to 33 miles. I would’ve thought that would be one of the design parameters?


Probably can’t get the required accuracy to drop the torpedo for it to acquire the target at that range.


The first versions of ASROC were hopeless. With early ASROC a Russian Sub could actually accelerate to max speed and be out of the Mk.46 torpedo acquisition range by the time the rocket had completed its unguided flight to last known position of sub, deployed the torp by parachute, descent under the parachute followed by impact with water and activation of torpedo and search….the torpedo would find nothing there.

It only really worked with the W44 nuclear depth bomb…which had a blast radius of 7.3km ….max range of ASROC was…. 9.7km….I think you can see the problem with that….rather fine margins…

The only good thing about ASROC was you could fit Harpoon when it arrived in the box launcher…

Ikara had a range of c20km and was guided from launch to weapons release….far, far more sensible…

In retrospect DASH was a better solution, but too early technologically to work reliably….

The sensible ASW navies like Canada and UK went for SeaKing and Wessex on Destroyers…with dippling sonar….and then developed Merlin….US developed LAMPS II eventually.

Whale Island Zookeeper

Your comment reminds me of a discussion I had about Sub-Harpoon. I was told by a three ringer it leaves too much of a signature. I said it would probably only be used by a submarine when they judged safe to do so. And if you plot a circle you can see that the submarine could be well away from the launch position by the time even a 150kts helicopter got there, stopped, lowered its sonar.


I always assumed weapons like Sub Harpoon were primarily carried to hit merchants and auxiliaries, aka targets of opportunity lacking the sophisticated air defence systems and acoustic signature reduction of warships.

Random Commentator

Hasn’t the RN been trialling drone delivery of ASW torpedoes? This seems far more economic for a cash-strapped RN. The ranges of these missiles also seems far too short – at least 50km is required to match latest Russian torpedoes otherwise the subs can just fire out of range.


They are likely looking at scenarios where an air asset couldn’t be used such as rough weather or multiple contacts in opposing directions.

stephen ball

India’s 400miles does look nice for range, then it’s just the detection that’s the problem.

Last edited 29 days ago by stephen ball

Not just initial detection but also tracking and maintaining contact. Consider the length of time it would take to deliver the torpedo and then consider how far the submarine could have travelled in that time. It would require a number of assets, preferably another submarine of several ASW helicopters and other air assets to keep tracking it.


The only thing that possibly makes sense for India is that they have a very extensive SOSUS style installation in the Indian Ocean and are sure they can get a decent track from it. Beyond that it looks barking mad…


Precisely. Detection needs to be nearby to make sense since the speed of sound on water is quite slow.

Order of the Ditch

I’m still surprised the UK Type 26 won’t have a torpedo launcher. At the moment we really are putting all of our eggs in the Merlin basket.
I know the situation has become quite dire if a ship has to launch its own torpedos but it is better to have something to respond with than nothing at all.
Why are the Australians, Canadians, Americans, Chinese etc still having a ship launched torpedo capability yet the RN isn’t? Is it purely down to money?


I’m hoping they will reconsider and re-fit. MTLS is getting a small upgrade to keep it going and SEA in the UK make the standard torpedo launchers for lots of Navies. Everyone is thinking about a SSN/SSK at knife fighting range…but what about XLUUV’s or UUV’s? Think we need to reconsider…


Is there any space on the design for it though. If there’s no internal space you’d have to slap some external tubes on but for one they’d be pretty high up on the ship and how would you get torpedos to them.

Last edited 29 days ago by Hugo

Plenty of space in the mission bay. Thats where MTLS would be located as it takes advantage of the weapons lift for helo torps to the magazine. Canadian and Australian T26 variants I believe will have ship launched LWT.


If you put a module in there perhaps but they’re not going to make it a permanent installation and having that there constantly would remove much of the utility of the space.


According to this previous article, there is space on the port side behind the boat bay.


I saw that. Article speculates it could be used for that but we don’t actually know what’s going in that space.


They are thinking of knife fighting ranges because detection ranges are often very short despite the improvement in signal processing for passive systems.
Slightly different for active systems, but by pinging you are still giving ur position away. Any SM with a ASM will fire on a active bearing from range.


Firing an AShM will also give your position away. Against low end, who cares. Against high end, likely a death sentence. You also can’t usually fire an AShM at someone directly above you. Minimum ranges still apply.


The RN have probably been thinking about this for a while as a better solution than hoping a submarine gets close enough for ship launched torpedoes.
I’d consider this a must have for T26 given its role.


I think the plan is that if we have to respond to a such a close contact, you launch an electric powered BAe/Malloy T650 that is being held on deck alert to deploy the Stingray. According to the BAe site the max speed is 140km/h which is roughly 75kts, which is nearly twice the Stingrays publicly advertised 45kts – now, Stingray may(?) be faster in real life, and we don’t know if that top air speed for the UAS is what it can do while carrying a fish, but I think the overall strategy is that is cheaper to have a UAS sat on the large flight deck when needed than build the very “last ditch” tubes into the design of the ship?


Lots of RN do not make sense.
So Type 26 is an ASW ship without torpedo launcher then why it can’t operate 2 Merlin helicopters?

Whale Island Zookeeper

It can operate 2. It’s just access to the hangar isn’t optimum especially on such a big hull. This is what T26 should have looked like from aft.

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The boat bays are right next to the hangars, probably why they can’t have 2. Especially so as as any space further forward is taken up by the mission bay.
Plus consider the fact they may just not have enough Merlins to be able to regularly make use of a double hangar.

Last edited 28 days ago by Hugo

Two hangars doesn’t necessarily mean two Merlins. It could mean 1 Merlin and two ASW Proteus drones. As it stands, even a single 3-ton class RWUAS can’t occupy hangar space next to a Merlin, and would need to be kept in the mission bay or on deck.


I mean that doesn’t change what I said about why there isn’t room for 2 hangars side by side. Is what it is. At least the mission bay does provide alot more room than previous vessels

Last edited 28 days ago by Hugo
Whale Island Zookeeper

There isn’t room because the design doesn’t allow for it yes.

The point is, why doesn’t the design allow for it?

The ‘helicopter’ is the ultimate upgrade module. The ASW helicopter the primary ASW weapon delivery system. Why wasn’t more thought given to helicopter operation?


Well in part you can point to the fact they’ve have only 1 ASW Helo on like every RN escort so far. So they can clearly manage. And it’s fighting against requirements like length of the ship, breadth of the ship and fitting a massive mission bay.
But I’d point out it’s not some glaring oversight or a budget cut, they clearly settled on 1 hangar.


We have so few Merlin’s its a moot point…..

Whale Island Zookeeper

Glaring oversight I would saw. Metal and air are cheap.


Space to build them isn’t. Especially since the build hall wasn’t a given.
I don’t see how it’s a glaring oversight if the resources aren’t there to even exploit the possibility of 2 hangars or the desire for them.
But at this point were going in circles.

Last edited 28 days ago by Hugo

The ‘helicopter’ is the ultimate upgrade module. The ASW helicopter the primary ASW weapon delivery system.

Not only the helicopter but the helicopter drone. For ASW the most important advanatge over submarines is the speed and that is achieved by air.
By air is also achieved a dissimilar precison. The submarine needs to wait for the sound to arrive say 50km distance in passive sonar that means the ship submarine is detecting a 34 seconds delay.


You can in theory fit 2 Merlins nose to tail using the hangar and the central part of the mission bay, which is what the Zookeeper is talking about.
It just means that in a hurry if the outer Merlin gets stuck you wouldn’t be able to get at the second.
The solution is of course to make sure that the merlin in maintenance is the inner one but no one has tried it before.

Whale Island Zookeeper

Well I don’t think the plans for T26 were handed down from the Almighty.

They could have designed a ship with two doors perhaps? 🙂

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No, they couldn’t of. On the starboard side of the hangar is one of the engine exhausts, on the left is the permanent boat bay, in front is the mission bay. In front of that is the mast of the ship so they’re not gonna be able to put exhausts there. So by having a mission bay, without lengthening the ship no there isn’t really room for a double hangar.


Send the exausts to the sea. The French FREMM sends a part of its exaust trough the hull.


If they’d absolutely wanted a 2nd hangar perhaps they could’ve done that but clearly they didn’t.


Which offers up a couple of issues.

  1. One way valve system to stop water coming along the exhaust into the engine.
  2. Massive IR signature at sea level. With standard uptakes you can at least mitigate the IR signature with cheese graters and mixing cool air into the uptake.
Whale Island Zookeeper

Good grief man are you being obtuse for sake of it?

No you can’t do it with this design as you say. But what I and others are saying is that the design is poor because it doesn’t have better access to the hangars. THE DESIGN OF T26 IS POOR IN RESPECT OF ITS AVIATION FACILITIES.


And you’re not wrong in regards to the aviation aspect. I’m just saying that if the Royal Navy didn’t spec for a double hangar then why argue about whether it would’ve had one or not. I get why it seems like an obvious inclusion but equally can you not see why it isn’t?

Last edited 28 days ago by Hugo
Whale Island Zookeeper

OK. 🙂

I get your point.


Another Navy Lookout page suggests that the anti-sub launcher could be a module.


Thats just a standard deck mounted compressed air launcher


It is bit ridiculous all that investment in mission bay to have occupied by 2 light torpedo modules. Make it a Spearfish module at least :))))

Whale Island Zookeeper

There has been no investment in ‘mission bay’ it is just spare volume within the hull repackaged as a USP when it is anything but.


It exists, it has cranes , large side doors etc.

Whale Island Zookeeper

Of course space exists……….


Type 26 won’t have a torpedo launcher because anyone paying attention to naval matters will know that a lightweight torpedo launcher is as good as useless in a modern naval environment. Because it doesn’t have the range to be effective.


pay attention to the decks of a FIIA Burke DDG , notice the Mk161 lightweight torpedo launchers

I think the USN doesnt have the hubris to assume they will always find a sub before it gets too close

Last edited 27 days ago by Duker

Well the Burkes are dinosaurs so they would have and anyone who has bothered to read about the continuing travails of the USN (congressional audit reports et al), wouldn’t hold them up as exemplars of good practice.

Whale Island Zookeeper

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Has STWS…….First commissioned 2022………..

I only ever here RN personnel saying STWS are useless. Everybody else appears to fit them. If a submarine can come within range of a surface ship then a surface ship can come within range of a submarine.

Type 12 torpedo the Mogami carry. These were introduced in 2012.

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Dinosaurs with all their flaws and still the most capable surface combatants in the world.


According to who? They are not the best AAW and they are not the best ASW. Maybe they are the best All Round Warships (ARW), or will be when they are all upgraded with new radar, in the next 3/4 years.


Unless you have classified info saying otherwise, we can only go by their operational performance that’s publicly available and going by what we have seen in the red sea in the last few months it’s become abundantly clear that they are the most capable AAW warship by a significant margin. Yes other platforms have more modern radars and in some cases more modern missiles but taken as a whole system it’s clear which ships are engaging the vast majority of drones, cruise missiles and significantly all but a few asbm.

Zue Gaspar

The Swordfish biplane sunk the most ships in tonnage of WW2. Nobody of right mind would call the dinosaur that it is, the most capable naval strike aircraft compared to its more modern contemporaries.

Type 26 latest design

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Saying even more silly things to justify an earlier incorrect claim.
Its not for everyone but the evidence shows that its not obsolete


Quantity has a quality all its own, with 73 active and counting.


Radar upgrades are limited ( roughly 40% of those in service) but the deck torpedo tubes are staying
Improved Aegis software and a quantum leap for electronic listening and countermeasures is just as important

Last edited 23 days ago by Duker
Whale Island Zookeeper

The actual ship yes is an old design.

But its broad base capability is introduced is where the rest world is now.

A 5in gun, large number of VLS, two helicopters, hull sonar, TAS, short fat hull etc.


They have been through many upgrades for their weapons systems the most important aspect
Even the hull form below water line has been re shaped in the latest build to add more buoyancy. A complete structural re analysis was part of that

Removing a deck launcher is the simplest thing to do in an upgrade – but they havent. So your claim doesnt stack up

Fast fashion doesnt work in navy vessels


Here’s something to blow everyones mind….

We tested Super Ikara in the mid-1980’s…

It was fully built up and containerised, so no massive installation….and had a 100km range…

Whats old is new…


Yes. “The statistics of the missile were as follows: 3.42m long 1.52m span and weight 600kg, have a TRI 60 with a range of 60+ nm at .75 mach, giving the missile an extended loiter ability combined with an ability to be controled by a search helicopter.” -Secret Projects

just that nowdays it would be called a ‘drone’ which it was even in the 60s.


I mentioned this in UKDJ, the Type 7 should be the winner here, range and speed wise it is better than the competitors and the UK has a new military agreement with Japan

…of course now the fitting of relatively small number of cells in the T26s and 31s looks a bit stingy considering TLAM and the future ASM options as well, let alone possibly quad packing Sea Captors for additional AAW.

Last edited 29 days ago by Ex_Service

Not really. We’re not going to have alot of any of these missiles and the fact on our budget we have this armament at all is great when you compared it to some European Frigates.
Fcasw covers land attack as well so TLAM isn’t a given.
Also do we actually know they’re going to use quad packed sea ceptor. And neither if these frigates have a radar to make good use of then for anything more than self defence, so I don’t see them equipping more.

Last edited 29 days ago by Hugo

The most simplistic load out – half and half the Mk41’s and CAMM only in its specific cells:

  • 48 CAMM
  • 12 FCASW – anti-ship and land attack
  • 12 Vertical launch anti-submarine weapons

Of course it’s stingy, T26 only has 24 Mk41’s for cost reasons no doubt, just about everyone else’s designs put 4 x 8 cell blocks in a symmetric arrangement for at least 32 cells. Any bets on whether the RN asked for 32 and the Treasury said no…..????


I’d point out that the T26 has 48 camm cells instead of 1 more block of 8 Mk41, which if that was installed and there were no camm cells would always have to be filled to make up just 32 Camm missiles.
And please elaborate on the everyone else, out of mk41 users in European navies, the Germans only 32 cells ships are their high end air defence, not their ASW or GP vessels which range from 16 to 0 cells.
Spain, again, high end air defender with 48 cells, future ASW Frigates with 16.
Norway, 8-16 cells they’re that stingy.
Danish, 32 cells on their main frigate and air defence vessel.
The point I’m trying to get is the T26 is not badly armed at all. He’ll it’s armed alot better than most ships of its classification. Maybe they could’ve squeezed some more on there but I’m not gonna complain about what we’ve got.

And before you point out Frances Fremms for example. Slyver is a terrible system for density or capacity. They have have 32 cells but they can only load 16 asters and 16 mdcn, Aster cannot go in A70 vls

Last edited 28 days ago by Hugo
Whale Island Zookeeper

Slyver is a terrible system for density or capacity.

As I have said before we would have been far better off adopting AEGIS and MK41 and grafting on SAMSPON and our own missiles.

Heck the USN might have brough SAMPSON sets too………..


USN haven’t had a ship between then and now that could’ve or would’ve mounted Sampson so that last bit seems unlikely.

Hard to say whether Aegis would work with the T45 radar setup, but as we’ve seen with the Danish/German/Netherlands radar setup there are issues between US Missile systems and European radars.
That’s why Germany is moving more towards Aegis with their next air defender.

Whale Island Zookeeper

The US has lots of platforms. I was just speculating.


More referring to very few classes of new vessels in that time period. As they certainly weren’t going to change out the Phased array radar of the Burke.
If were talking new “surface combatants” they had the 2 LCS and Zumwalt between the T45s introduction and now. Which isn’t great tbh.

Whale Island Zookeeper

They have lots of platforms beyond the escorts.


Okay but if were talking putting a Sampson within a strike group, which one of those would be able to support this massive radar placed high up like is done on the T45. Plus consolidation around Spy 6 has clearly been the plan for a while. I think they appreciate Sampsons ability, but not so much that they would’ve sought to use it specifically in favour of overlapping Aegis radars.

Last edited 27 days ago by Hugo
Whale Island Zookeeper

The USN has all manner of large ships……….

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They now have 2 different versions of the newest SPY radars , one for allies and own smaller vessels (SPY 7) . The other for the carriers ( large and larger) and their DDGs(SPY 6)
The technology of the emit/receive modules apparently is very different and the price is much higher


SAMSPON uses two-planar arrays to provide coverage over only part of the sky, complete coverage is provided by rotating the arrays. The theoretical target update rate is then half of the rotating frequency.
While the SPY 3/6 radars have no rotating arrays so the theoretical target update rate is limited by the time required for beams forming.

Whale Island Zookeeper

I know. Yet the USN loves SAMPSON.

All I said was nearly two decades back if we had adopted Aegis and we had integrated SAMPSON into the system the USN might have looked at the radar and might have bought.

I know the differences between the two phased array and rotating radars.


Just saying, a two-planar (or as you termed it two phased) array needs to be rotating to cover full 360 coverage since each planar can provide about 165 coverage max,
But then you know that already.


The downside is the Aegis radar has to be mounted lower in the ship due to weight and has poorer sightlines both to the horizon as well as a bit of a blind spot frontally with few elements that can see head on targets forcing the ship to zig-zag. Sampson radar with its 30 RPM speed has a higher resolution picture of every angle every 0.5 seconds.


Clearing you do not understand how phase planar array radar works?

In the Aegis system, 4 planar arrays provide 360 coverage by beam forming, zig-zag my foot. Tell that to the Garman, Dutch, and Danish navies besides the RAN and Canadian for their T26 versions.
The bigger the planar array the higher the energy in the beams for range and resolution,

Last edited 25 days ago by Hakens
Zue Gaspar

When he speaks of blindspots, I believe he is referencing the fact that when two radar beams from two different arrays collide, as they do for certain sectors of a Burke, the result is a much degraded radar picture of said sector.

Also to note is that the further off 0 degrees a radar beam is from the planar arrays face, the lesser accurate the picture is. Of course, thats not a problem with rotating arrays. Generally, planar arrays are most accurate when directed less than 60 degrees off from the face of the array, which is why 6 arrays is understood to be most ideal when not taking into account cost, weight, or space restrictions.

Array interference, and Aegis vessels lack of arrays, do mean that American ships need to zigzag to intermittently properly scan certain sectors to full effect.

When he says that fixed arrays have to be mounted lower on a ship, he isn’t saying the rotating array is lighter or smaller than a fixed array. Rather, he is saying that you can mount one rotating array higher on a mast than you can four fixed arrays, for obvious reasons.

Comparing the SAMPSON to the SPY-1D(V) that equips FIIA Burkes? The SAMPSON is markedly superior, in nigh every regard. Its a modern AESA, meanwhile the SPY-1D(V) is a PESA from the 1990s. SPY-6 is moreso Americas equivalent to the SAMPSON/S1850M combo. Regarding fixed arrays versus rotating arrays? I’m personally a supporter of rotating arrays, though each have their own benefits.

Last edited 23 days ago by Zue Gaspar

The computer in the combat system maintains the tracks despite the fractions of second between each rotation.


That is true for all radars, isn’t it? What else would the radar tracking do?


Of course . But some seem to think its still like the 50s-60s where the crew can see the line rotating on the scanner screen


Both Aster 15 and Aster 30 are compatible with the strike length A70 (which also adds Storm Shadow capability) its only used by the French FREMM and Italian OPV’s though the British Type 45 were intended to be upgraded with it during a future refit with space left below the silos for longer silos to be fitted (using A50 was a cost saving). Sylver takes up 20% less room than a Mk.41 with cells being 3″ narrower (a line of cells is 7.8m rather than 9.51m for a Mk.41) and it has a passive spring mounted cover vs the Mk.41 which requires hydraulics to open and is reportedly a pain to maintain. There was originally going to be a long range Aster 45 missile using it as well with a ballistic intercept capability and range of a few hundred km similar to S-200/S-400/Patriot but it was not developed.


It’s definitely not compatible with A70. The Air Defence Fremms had to trade their A70 cells out for A50s to give them an Aster load of 32 rather than the only 16 the regular fremms have.
Maybe it was planned at one point but that one fact alone indicates its currently not possible

Also I’d argue that sylvers tradeoffs for being “more compact” are huge in the variety of missiles it has compared to Mk41.
And there’s always a large gap left between slyver cells unlike Mk41 which can sit right next to eachother.

Last edited 25 days ago by Hugo

The T26s current vls layout is better than most Euro ASW/GP Frigates. Most have 8-16 cells and usually just quad packed with ESSM and in turn have little to no offensive firepower. Only 32 cell modern ASW Frigate in our region I can think of is the Fremm, and it can only mount 16 asters and 16 strike missiles due to how slyver cells are designed.


My point on the number of VLS cells is 24 is rather low compared to contemporary frigate designs where 32 is the defect standard. Personally, I would prefer a boost in VLS cells via additional hulls in the fleet (i.e. a minimum of 30 frigates), but instead of that additional cells per hull to ‘at least’ 32 would be prudent
– The frigate design needs to take into consideration the number of such ASW or anti-surface weapons needed to prosecute any given mission scenario. For example, Exercises may demonstrate 3..5 ASW missiles are required to sink a submarine (excluding false positive detections which are prosecuted) and if the ASW threat includes n- number of submarines, any counter weapon system should be scaled accordingly (and include resupply options with the time to effect (whether at sea or in port).

For the Sea Ceptor, it would be much more desirable to use the dedicated silo farms for that missile so the Mk-41 can be utilised for the other missile types and numbers; my point re Mk-41 Sea Ceptor is where the ASW threat is lower than the the air threat, the Mk-41 Sea Ceptor should be an option.

Last edited 28 days ago by Ex_Service

Where are you getting 32 cells as the standard. If were talking ASW Frigates there’s like 1 in Europe that meets this arbitrary requirement. Also 30 frigates is just plain fanciful.


I said contemporary, you are mistaken to imply just European.

– Type 54A
– Type 54B
– Constellation
– Type 31 (+ Indonesian + Polish variants)
– Iver Huitfedt
– Hunter
– FREMM (although presently only Aster SAM utilised, more types are supported)

For further clarification, the contemporary terminology includes the fitting of a VLS system which supports multiple missile types – I ignored frigate classes with single purpose VLS fitted of similar cell quantities, such as the Nilgiri.

30 frigates may be fanciful especially with the head-in-the-sand mentality prevalent in the UK (and elsewhere) regarding military levels leading into the next global conflict, but I’ll repeat Nelson anytime regarding more frigates.


I compared to European Frigates because that is closer to what we can afford rather than China’s massive budget.

Constellation will only carry marginally more missiles with if we assume quad packing 128 Essm and 21 RAM (and 16 NSM)
Compared to T26 96 Quad packed missiles, 48 Sea ceptors and potentially 8 NSM.

The Polish T31 is their sole naval vessel so not only does it have to do ASW but also AAW, unlike T26. However via quad packing it would have less missiles than T26

Indonesian variant is also specialised towards AAW and we don’t know what VLS it sill have.

Iver huidfeldt again an AAW Frigate so course it had more cells.

Hunter has to serve a more general purpose role due to Austrlias 3 ship destroyer fleet, but with 32 cells carries less potential missiles.

And Finally Fremm which on the French version at least has no plans for compact or multi pack missiles. And with the issues with Slyver can only carry a max of 16 Asters and 16 MDCN, or only 32 Asters on the air defense version and no MDCN

Last edited 28 days ago by Hugo

I will agree to disagree with you.

🙂 Thanks for the clarification of how you came to such a narrow point of view on the topic.

Last edited 28 days ago by Ex_Service

It’s a bit childish to just look at missile capacity (Chinese) without looking at missile capability. If you require 2 “dumb” missiles to hit a target, having twice as much capacity doesn’t mean you are twice as effective.


And how did you know that? Are you from the PLA Navy?


Any idea when that next gen torpedo would be in service? Might give a good indication of when this would cone around (if they go ahead with it obviously)


Future LightWeight Torpedo is a study at present. Could result in a new design or Stringray Mod.2

Phillip Johnson

Sounds like a fishing expedition to me.
Trying to use Stingray with someone else’s missile will hugely complicate things as it will generate a special UK variant with associated costs.
As long as they stick with Stingray there will certainly be integration and certification costs which may consume funds equivalent to a fair portion of the costs of ‘500 missiles’ before you even get to the software issues.
Fundamentally a dumb idea.


I don’t see how it’s a dumb idea. It’s reasonable to at least ask whether it can be done rather than then having to maintain a whole different pipe line of torpedoes.
Also the 500 number doesn’t seem like a solely UK stock, because that would be completely unaffordable

Last edited 29 days ago by Hugo

Maybe, but not for the reasons you suggest. Its the missile that needs to be integrated with the RN ships combat system. Not the torpedo, as thats autonomous once dropped into the water


500 or a subset of (if a global purchase), is at this stage the initial requirement for projected ships with supported VLS fitted (13 at this stage). If the ships, or cell numbers, or logic re threats etc change, then further orders would be likely.

The torpedo is quite irrelevant to the flight control of the missile itself, with the payload torpedo most likely programmed pre-flight, and integration with the host ship would not be onerous compared to say a SAM for example. An in-flight data link for the torpedo isn’t likely given the response time from launch to torpedo release (for the Type 7). Same applies to the future stingray replacement.

Also, having sovereign weapon capabilities, rather than purchase all up rounds from other countries helps the domestic defence industry, and this will be a consideration here too (so don’t expect VLA with Mk-54, or Type 7 with Type 12/97 torpedo for example).


A VLS rocket/missile would be ideal but it’s clear that cost and range will be issues.

Drone delivery systems are also immature and risky, and I think AEW, COD and tanker variants are more pressing.

At the very least porting the updated MLTS from the T23’s and looking at a gun fired mortar would be good for some last ditch options.

In a high intensity fleet action we’d be looking to get as many Merlin’s as possible onto the carriers and RFA’s.


Only obvious option for torpedoes on T26 is a mission bay module. There doesn’t appear to be any space set aside. But the whole point of looking at a system like this is then you won’t need or to a lesser degree won’t need a MTLS.
Also I’d point out we have a working example of drones delivering a torpedo compared to no examples of AEW or tanker drones that a qnlz class could use. They’re a completely different scale. One is a large quad copter and the other has to fly hundreds of kilometers while also landing unassisted on a carrier deck


That is wasting the nice and dandy mission bay.

Whale Island Zookeeper

Mission bay is code for, ‘We have this spare volume in the ship. Let’s call it something fighty and sell it is a a feature!”


Party bay?

Supportive Bloke

Surely you mean the ‘soft power projection area’?


I welcome your inner Sir Arnold

Whale Island Zookeeper

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Cocktail party or even this


Soft power

Whale Island Zookeeper

I am just not sure what you would put in there. Weapons and sensors need to be ‘outside’; I can’t see the need for extra processing Any drone of use is going to be big to fit in it; never mind escorts should be escorting And so on.


I can see 2 surface drones one in each side. Still i doubt of its usefulness in ocean.

Whale Island Zookeeper

Let us say you wanted two ASW drones. They are going to have to be big enough to keep up with 7500 tonne size ship both in terms of sea keeping and endurance. It might not have a crew but engineers technicians will still need to be able to access systems from inside for repairs when deployed away from the comforts of the dockyard.

Drones for MCM? Well with the small number of escorts available do we really want one sitting for a week or more clearing an anchorage or choke point. Those drones aren’t exactly small either. Too many here think something torpedo sized will be dropped into the oggin and come back a few hours later job done. That is just fantasy.

Additional weapons? A side shooting ‘horizontal launch system’?!? Perhaps……….


Slightly off topic but has anyone seen the MBDA LCM announcement? Is that not basically the capability we are looking for in FC/ASW (for the land attack part)? But 4 years earlier than FC/ASW project can manage


No its not. MDCN already exists on the French Fremm class frigates which LCM is the land based version of.
MDCN is supposed to be replaced by Fcasw so it’s clearly aiming to be better than what we have now.


As Hugo said, it’s based on the older generation of missiles: a surface-launched Storm Shadow. We didn’t go for the naval version supposedly because we didn’t have a big enough VLS on our ships. We won’t go for the land version because we still want the FC/ASW and we keep getting scared that politicians will cancel future stuff if we already have a capability.


In regards to the VLS it really shows the issues with slyver.
A50 is what the T45 has and the Horizons and that takes Aster 30 or 15.
A 70 is what’s required for the Mdcn but it cannot take Aster missiles as while it’s stated as a longer version its apparently a different shape. Hence why the Fremms are built with A70s and A50/43s rather than all A70s. Means they only have 16 of each though.

Last edited 28 days ago by Hugo

Interesting. Thanks for that. Might help answer the question why RN went for Mk41 rather than sticking with Sylvers.

Last edited 28 days ago by Jon
Bloke down the pub

If the Americans need to replace their VLS Asroc stock then it would be nice if they chose to order whatever we start to produce but that’s probably unlikely.


This is hopefully a good sign!

The problem set:

  • Heavy SSN fired torpedoes have a range of 50km or more
  • Merlin numbers mean they might not be in range, or available to prosecute a contact picked up by tails (2nd or 3rd convergence zone)
  • Stingray carrying UAS like BAe/Malloy T650 might not be able to fly in the absolute worst weathers, which don’t bother the Sub or its torpedoes, and don’t have the speed for a deck alert based response
  • Add your own additional tactical conundrums here…..

So even the Japanese Type 07 doesn’t have long enough range, but as far as I am aware it, like the original ASROC is sized for a tactical length Mk41 – whereas I believe the T26 has 32 longer “Strike length” cells – so could we use our new defence relationship with Japan to come up with a stretched Type 07 booster that makes the full use of the longer strike length cells to get a Stingray or successor out to beyond 50km?

Considering this could be part of the toolbox, for high threat open ocean ASW, alongside Merlin, the new 3 tonne UAS under development (dipper and sonobouy dispenser), T650’s for closer in deployment in lieu of STWS etc. would we be able to afford only 8 to 12 per ship, it would still be a useful capability?


None of the solutions available seem to suit us. If there is money to be made available for ASW assets the first thing it should be spent on is additional Merlin’s, built to the latest standard (per the Norwegian ‘SAR Queens’ which have an extra tonne of MTOW.

Then I wonder if it’s better to pack the mission basis with UUWV / USVs. You could set up a defensive perimeter along way from the T26, which gives time to prosecute the target with the Merlin’s (in a carrier group hopefully more than one).

Kingfisher and a ship board torpedo launcher required for adversary UUVs.

If once we have all that there is cash for VLA then maybe get some….


Spot on.

Whale Island Zookeeper

Then I wonder if it’s better to pack the mission basis with UUWV / USVs.

How can you expect small boats to keep up with a frigate? Never mind power sensors etc. Small boat next to frigate in quite calm waters…..

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The USN’s current largest UUV Orca is 26 meters in length and has a top speed of some 3kts. And a range of 150nm between recharges. It is a technology demonstrator. Something able to do real work would have to be larger so speed and endurance can be increased never mind access to systems for technicians away from dockyards plus redundancy.

T26 will go to sea with one of the best current TAS. The best way to cover more ground is more helicopters.


Valid points about the Boeing-Ingalls Orca.
However the 3 kt cruising speed allows months of on station time – presumably delivered near its area of interest so doesnt need fast transit from a distant port.

The slow speed cruise on station is a feature of the SLBM boats as well.

Its suggested that mining or counter mine warfare is one of its missions , seeding or sweeping clean routes used by surface vessels and submarine, so speed isnt required

Whale Island Zookeeper

But that is not what Grant is saying is it? He is talking about craft carried by a frigate being deployed to form part of the screen, which is MOVING by the way.

No good for route surveillance. To keep station mid ocean it would use it’s battery. You would be looking at 50 hours. And then it would have to be collected.

I understand what you are saying. But all you have done is regurgitate back to me what I said and displayed a lack of understanding of how craft move in water.


It was you who raised the Orca at 26m and its slow on station speed. Im not replying to him. Please reread your own comments first

I was replying to you that was a feature and obviously cant be carried by a frigate within the existing bays- maybe a rear ramp ?

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What your source for 50 hrs when Boeing says month or more
read the blurb carefully and till the end

Its more than a technology demonstrator as they are building a series for USN
The previous demonstrator was called Explorer

Its like a home computer in the late 80s- who would buy such things as they did so little


I agree with you on more helicopters, per my original post.

The tactical speed of a Russian nuclear sub is around ten knots. For a diesel electric or AIP boat even less. UUWVs should be able to screen and identify these threats, especially if the frigates are guarding a box the carrier is operating in or undertaking an operation in confined waters.

Limited battery power is why we need lots of them to recycle them into the water.


But the Korean Red Shard ASW missile is not MK41 compatible, it can only be launched by K-VLS, a Korean equivalent to Mk41. Up to now, Japanese 07 VLA is the only none-U.S. made missile which is compatible with Mk41 launcher, if not consider ExLS. Although it would likely to be joint with A-SAM, another Japanese missile.


K-VLS is probably a copy of Mk41, just built in Korea


There’s actually some contention between Kvls and mk41. On korean ships fitted with both they have to be spaced away from eachother as otherwise Lockheed won’t insure or work on them. Something along those lines but if you see pictures of Korean destroyers there is very weird spacing.

Wild? I was absolutely livid! ...

I could see a quid pro quo scenario with Mitsubishi re Tempest buy in.
07 VLA-ER would do nicely.


Depends on if Japan wants to develop that otherwise we’re footing the bill.


So here we go …My take as an former Air Weapons Maintainer and back endy on FF and DDs looking after Mk44, 46 and Mk75 torps, STWS, MTLS, towed arrays, active sonars, Lynx, Wildcat & Merlin Helo Services and an FDO!

Irrespective of the system used to get the torpedo into the area that you detected the sub in its the torpedo that goes into the water that counts.
Mk54 currently on ASROC has a modern sonar but a blast type warhead and OTTO fuel internal combustion engine propulsion system from the 1960s era Mk46 torpedo.
In its day the Mk46 was OK ish. However, it would have struggled to get to a then Soviet deep diving, fast, double, or titanium hulled sub. The warhead was assessed to be ineffective.
In the Falklands the RN launched some Mk46s at a number of POSSUB contacts. One was believed after later analysis to be a Soviet Victor SSN (!!!) . It evaded with decoys and by up revving to outrun it.
The RN recognised the Mk46s issues in the 1970s and developed Mk75 Sting Ray to overcome these. It is very fast, deep diving and carries a shaped charge warhead capable of punching through double hull subs and into the pressure hull. The latest MOD 1 version may look the same as the original and previous Mod 0 weapons on the outside but internally it’s a new weapon. New battery and power control systems, processors, algorithms, actuators, warhead (IM Compliant).

So a Mk75 or its UK designed and produced replacement needs to be used on whatever the RN decides upon. It needs to reach out to over 40km to negate a subs own torpedo. Magazine depth will be minimal with an LRAW weapon. You cannot reload it easily. A helo with a supporting Air Weapons mag onboard is going to be good for at least 4 times the total engagements of an LRAW system assuming two torps per POSSUB from the 12 missiles in silos.

Regarding helos.

Helo Dippers are a subs biggest threat once you acquire a sub, at range using a tail or active sonar. Towed arrays give the best detection range, but modern hull mounted sets can and do acquire subs (Enviromental’s notwithstanding) at ranges outside of a subs heavyweight torpedo range. Course, speed, aspect are just some of the data a hull mounted sonar can give you.
Once acquired send a dipper to prosecute. It can carry its own weapons or coordinate with other helos and fixed wing assets to drop on the target. If not carrying weapons its endurance is greatly increased. A Mk75 SR weighs in at 300+Kgs with all the FIAM attached to enable air carriage. For a regular 2 weapon carriage that’s 600kg less fuel and less time on station. Using a Wildcat or drone as a pony to carry the weapons to conduct a VECTAC drop onto the target is a better option. For T26 a dipper and a wildcat or drone would be an ideal pairing.

As for the Helo availability question that is often cited, I never had a helo miss an ASW tasking for weather or a defect. Even if the weather is to bad to fly (and it would need to be really bad) then enviromental’s will be such that detection chances for an FF/DD or a sub will be minimal. Surface noise from waves and wind, surface mixing of the water will all mess up detection ranges. A sub will not want to come up in roughers if it can help it. The rolling and pitching will not be good for it.


Thanks GB, helpful run-through.
I can’t help but think that the RN is factoring in that RAN and RCN are also procuring a common type of ASW capable (to varying degrees between the navies) frigate, and may well also be interested in a VLS-delivered lightweight torpedo (plus potentially USN with the Constellation class). I also wonder if they had this in mind all along, hence not speccing MTLS, although that might give the RN too much credit. I’d definitely choose rocket delivery over tubes on the frigate.
I believe that the RAN uses MTU-90, RCN is probably Mk54 (I haven’t checked), and we’re obviously Stingray. Seeing as they’re all NATO standard in diameter, and probably within a few cm and kg of each other in terms of weight and length, is there really a great difficulty in having a common booster for them? it’s like different rocket payloads for getting into space- you just design for the maximum and the flight control system accounts for any difference. I’d imagine the greater challenge is in clearing it for Mk41 and ensuring that separation occurs properly.
I take your point about it being helicopters still being the primary though- I guess the big step will be those unmanned systems providing greater endurance, magazine depth etc.

Steve D

RCN is indeed using Mk 54.

Irate Taxpayer (Peter)


I will 100% agree with all of your (as always) very made points: except the one about the ASW experience gained during the Falklands War.

The Third Battle of the Atlantic was fought in 1982. Once again – for third time during the 20th century – the RN was up against some excellent, and very silent, German made U-Boats (and an older US Navy made one).

Overall, during the entire 1982 Falklands War, the RN launched well over 200 ASW torpedoes (from all “platforms”) at what can be described as “suspected enemy submarine contacts”.

However not a single one of those couple of hundred ASW torpedo’s ever hit anything that was both man-made, and also naval, in origin!

On top of that “rather large number” of torpedoes launched, there were also very many more hundreds of depth charges used in action…….all to no effect whatsoever…….except for giving many nearby fish a severe headache….

… …and just a couple of those heli-dropped depth charges only helped to “further disable” an “already surfaced and disabled” old submarine off South Georgia.

Crucially, that submarine – the one and only RN “kill” of the war – had been detected by local radio direction finding. The Argie’s had transmitted (note 1) whilst either surfaced or at periscope depth.

This sub had not been detected by any RN acoustic sensors, nor by the MAD detectors on the Crabb’s Nimrods

(Note: This was their very-old US made boat. Even worse, on the other much-newer enemy subs, those sneaky German’s had used a very good grade of “low-magnetic” steel in their U-boat hulls: thus making our airborne MAD useless…).


With regards to the story about one of those targets for our errant ASW torpedo’s being a Soviet Victor SSN: that is incorrect. As I shall explain fully (below /next), this was cock-and-bull story, one orginally invented by a very senior officer just after the end of the war.

It was invented to cover up a “very embarrassing cock-up”.

What actually happened was:

  • Off South Georgia, the RN surface ships and therefore all of their ASW helicoptors were being commanded locally (Op Paraquat: named after the brand of weedkiller).
  • However, all of the RN nuclear submarines in the Atlantic (North and South) were all being commanded directly from Northwood. There were numerous commuications break-downs and thus very big delays.
  • Thus there was complete and utter confusion within the various different efforts (by various different officers located in various different parts of the globe).They were all attempting to, seprately, coordinate the very complex and fast moving movements – of the RN surface fleet; the RN submarine fleets and RAF aircraft – which by now were all racing about within the South Georgia “battlespace”.
  • Crucially, each of the three “teams” (ships and heli’s / raf aircraft / submarines) did not know the up-to-date locations of either of the other two “teams”… .
  • Therefore, during the hunt for this aforementioned Argie submarine, it had already been hit.
  • Thus it was being forced to flee, back to the nearby harbour, on the surface.
  • Its captain believed (and I have to add “probably quite rightly”), that being both already damaged – and thus very very noisy – that attempting to transit underwater would make his ship an a very easy sitting duck for any helio with a sonar and an RN homing torpedo. He decided he might be able to evade on the surface just the helios which were fitted with guns and depth charges
  • Thus a few RN heli’s then attacked this slow-moving surfaced submarine….using various different weapons…
  • One shot was, in the eyes of one Biggles, a “dead cert”. He thought he quite-literally had an open goal….in clear skys … at point-blank range
  • Thus, mid-morning, one RN helicoptor dropped its homing torpedo onto this already surfaced and slow moving “surface target”.
  • However, in a classic early case of “computer says no”, Biggles had forgotten what the Argie skipper knew – that the torpedo’s software was programmed to ignore noise from surface waves……
  • Therefore, exactly as it was programmed to do, once it had been air-dropped into the water, this homing torpedo only started looking for underwater targets
  • Thus, at first, it tracked directly underneath this surfaced enemy submarine …(i.e. a procedure in football is called “missing the wide open goal”….)
  • Unfortunately, a few seconds later, the homing torpedo found what it was looking for……
  • …..And thus it soon aquired the second fully-submerged submarine….
  • ….the one which was – unknown to Biggles and his boss – operating in the same area ….
  • ….which was sneakling up, ready to take its own pot-shot at a nice and juicy target..
  • This second submarine soon detected this air-launched torpedo’s homing sonar –
  • It turned, accelerated (very hard!!!!) and also launched several counter-measures.
  • Fortunately…… after a couple of minutes, HMS Conqueror sucessfully evaded the RN air-launched homing torpedo.
  • and thus,post-war, a Gunbuster rightly says, the torpedo was redesigned….
  • so in the subsequently-written-up training manuals, these rapid evasive manouveres “by an SSN” were attributed to a “Mr Victor” (not Mr Wexford-Brown)…


There was also a “very well informed rumour” that one RN submarine – one which much later in the war was operating very near the coast of Argentina (and thus it was probably either listening out for overflying jet aircraft and/or transmitting by its radio) was detected at periscope depth by an Argentine Airforce C130 Herculus.

This aircraft (apparently?) launched (or maybe, tried to launch?) a US made homing torpedo at it. This one was apparently dropped out off the Herc’s rear loading ramp. However I personally have no “hard evidence” for that one.


All in all, the ASW experiences of that war – when many tons of British-made HE was used to terminate:

  • many large swimming biologicals (aka “collaterall damage”),
  • several sunken old whaling ships (aka “confirmed MAD contacts”)
  • and even attacking several large “clups” of plankton (aka “floating weeds” )

….just goes to remind us just how difficult ASW was back then: and still is today……

Thus, in 1983, the Soviet’s Admiral of the Fleet commented “The Royal Navy has sucessfully sunk very many Moby Dicks during their recent war”.

OVERALL = Very effective sonar is still THE key to ASW

Regards Peter (Irate Taxpaper)

Note 1: I don’t know the Spanish for the phrase “You stupid boy”. However that is one phrase which should always be applied to anybody transmitting anything by radio from a submarine. Rule 1 – EMCON. Rule 2. Never forget Rule 1…

Note 2. For all of the Oxbridge-generated “hypebole” about Alan Tuning and Enigma (note 3), the simple truth of the matter is that, during the second battle of the Atlantic (1939-45), more German U-boats were sunk as direct result of very-effective allied radio-direction finding than were ever located and sunk by decoding their written encoded Enigma signals.

Note 3. Enigma was first decoded by the Polish Secret Intelligence services way back in 1930/1931. However their results were only handed over, by the Poles to MI6/Bletchley Park, in that long and hot summer of 1939. That important meeting only happened a few days before the Austrian-born vegatarian invaded their peaceful homeland. The offical GCHQ history says of this handover: “Alan Turing got it immediately“. That begs the obvious question “why is he pictured on our banknotes?”

There's Grey in my beard

Dear Santa

Type 07 please
AW101 used primarily as offboard sensor rather than effector
Then TLAM as interim ASuW and land attack before FCASW arrives

(Mind you: I’m of the opinion that we ought to have 9 units of anything smaller than a carrier or SSBN, Spearfish on skimmers, decent accomodation, bring recruitment in house, and reinstate pension rights at end of service; so well aware I might be in cloud cookoo land)


RN ditched Ikara (40nm, mid-course updates – poor installation choices not withstanding) for what were apparently good reasons. What h as changed? The Aussies also developed the Super Ikara with a deck mounted launcher (similar to harpoon) with a range of 60nm.

David MacDonald

As the one-time WEO of an Ikara fitted Leander I found the system reliable, albeit a bit cumbersome. I understand that the perceived problem with Ikara was that, to “take out” a hostile SSN in attack mode before it launched its torpedoes, it was necessary to fire the Ikara missile before it was possible to fully classify the type 184 sonar contact as a submarine and consequently too many missiles would have been wasted on false contacts.

I am not convinced that this was really so since, in my experience, it was generally possible pick out a genuine 184 contact contact very rapidly.


Thank you for your input. It is always helpful to get experienced feedback, as opposed to the fantasist “let’s buy everything” brigade. So from the other “operator” on this subject, my understanding is that this would be a marginal use case solution, as the number one kill chain solution is a helicopter with missiles. And on the rare occasions that weather made flying impossible a missile solution would be needed and the RN are therefore seeing if current solutions are economically viable?


HMS Bristol didnt have its own helicopter, nor did the RAN DDG’s and Yarra frigates.
The converted Leanders had only the small Wasp later the Lynx.

better ASW ships without Ikara which replaced them used 2 Lynx

Whale Island Zookeeper

Bristol’s Ikara…………

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Last edited 26 days ago by Whale Island Zookeeper

RAN used the Ikara as it was intended for torpedoes only . RN staff decided it needed a nuclear depth charge capability, thus the magazines below the water line and special handling. It was never implemented.
The RAN generally had the magazines in the upper structure so it could fit where Limbo went and no loss of other capabilities.
As Ikara was rocket powered I wonder whether the launcher could have been adapted for the rocket powered Exocet in the RNs very substantial loader/magazine below deck. Didnt need the wings !

Whale Island Zookeeper

It’s just a picture of HMS Bristol’s Ikara nothing more,


The differences between RAN fitout on it’s ships and the RNs more complicated fitout need to be noted.
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Whale Island Zookeeper

Yes. The Perth’s didn’t have much spare space on the weather deck…..

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David MacDonald

I cannot remember the ranges of Ikara I think it was a lot less than 40 nm, maybe up to about half that.


Japanese Type 07 VLA.

There are no other real options.


I still think that both camm mushroom farms should have been MK41 launchers giving the ship 72 cells.

Allowing for quad packing camm this and double packing camm ER/MR, this would have allowed the ship/ RN a great capability. Especially with the risks associated with missile swarms/surge attacks.

Yes I know it costs money but the ships cost a hell of a lot more and are no use once sunk.

Whale Island Zookeeper

Type 45 was cut back too much. In some ways the programme mirrors its predecessor the T42 which was cut about to save money too.

The design should have been two thousand larger with a VLS back aft. Yes 72 cells or even more.

The Italian DDX programme is shaping up around a design with 96 (3 x 32) Mk 41 cells AND 42 RAM cells.

EW is the cornerstone of defence but the Navy should be out to inflict violence on the enemy. And EW doesn’t do that.

We need to throw more money at CAMM-MR.

Increasing VLS cells in the fleet isn’t much use if the number of hulls is reduced.

If we only end up a Type 83 design with 96 cells we may have double the number of cells in a T45. But if we only build 3 of them then we are no further forward. Never mind a hull can only be in one place, redundancy, etc.

T83 will need to have ASW kit too. Losing that in T45 was too much of a potential loss. Let’s hope it doesn’t become an actual loss soon.

Last edited 25 days ago by Whale Island Zookeeper

Thats hindsight, thinking about a late 90s design for that era for a time 25-30 years later. And they did have space up front for more missile silos ( built for but not with) and they are getting VLS silos for a missile that has capability from almost CIWS to 25km range thats wasnt around when it was designed


We need to throw more money at CAMM-MR.

It depends I am afraid the MR instead of ER in terms of cell size it will be like of Aster 30. So there will not be advantage in numbers. If that is correct the investment development and the missile buy needs to be cheaper than paying for more Aster.
Not forgetting the engineers time involved in a marginal gain.

Last edited 24 days ago by AlexS
Mark Tucker

I would assume we are talking about prosecuting a target first detected by the towed sonar array. In addition I am assuming that no helicopter is available due to bad weather, high sea state, maintenance issues or the nearest asset being simply too far away from the potential threat.

Wouldn’t you want to deploy a few sonar buoys to enhance your acoustic picture, giving the captain the confidence to launch your weapon? Like your helicopter would do if it was there.

It would seem at a minimum you would want a version of this missile that would deploy a few sonar buoys at long range. This would add to the number of missiles required but would seem a sensible part of a complete system. More costs.

The ideal solution would quickly become very expensive. A drone that could be rapidly deployed, capable of reaching a considerable distance quickly(supersonic?), with some ability to stay on station for a reasonable period of time, carrying both a number of buoys and a torpedo(s). It would end up being large. I don’t see how such a thing would fit on a type 26. Starting to sound like something an aircraft carrier would deploy, not a frigate, limiting its usefulness.

Is the real solution to the problem buying more P-8’s for the RAF or possibly the RN fleet air arm, so your captain could call in air support?

Random Commentator

Very expensive solution for deploying sonobuoys. The idea of deploying them by the 5″ gun is probably more econmic.

Mark Tucker

Totally agree we are talking expensive solutions here.

Given the high cost of other extended range gun fired projectiles providing similar payload and range, I wouldn’t be so sure that the gun fired solution would in fact be a cheaper solution for delivering a sonar buoy to any considerable distance.

The ESSM booster is an example of a quad packed solution compatible with the MK41 VLS.


Those electronics and sensors in the 5″ round need to be hardened for the high G acceleration.