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We can’t be serious about operating nuclear submarines without the capability Scott brings.

Similarly we need a replacement for Diligence if we want to operate SSN’s in the Indian Ocean.


Is Dillegence still sitting about doing Jack?


I haven’t been south since Covid. But this picture was featured on a defence website recently saying Jan 2020……….

Somebody will know……..

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Darren Fielding

Hms Daring Portsmouth type 45


Diligence is a clapped out wreck and up for sale as scrap.


That wasn’t his question was it?


It wasn’t my question. ?


We have a joint agreement with the US on sharing surveys of the Atlantic. They may not be best happy about a gap, but I think we can continue.


We do let US bombers, fighters, istar have a home in the UK…


Where is that National Shipbuilding Strategy release?

Last edited 2 years ago by DaSaint

Am I right in saying Scott is the only RN vessel that actually makes money? Selling Data.

Tim Hirst

Not sure that’s going to be true. The deep water info she collects is of limited commercial interest. The Echo class and Magpie produce more interesting data.


Yeah, it’s just what I read years ago.


Hmm, 2023 and then what? MROSS is still nowhere to be seen! It would be utter, utter madness to contract out any hydrographic survey work when the Royal Navy is a world leader and it apparently even makes money for the MoD!

We need to replace her in the deep ocean survey role, provide a undersea cable surveillance platform and also be increasingly thinking about a presence in the High North.

With HMS Protector committed to The South Atlantic i’d look to procure two derivatives of RRS David Attenborough to both replace Scott and take on the two North Atlantic roles between them.

One off the shelf conversion just won’t cut it!


You want derivatives of a design but off the shelf conversions won’t cut it?

Do you think Scott’s hull is shaped like it is for a reason? And do you think RRS DA has a hull shaped in a certain way for a variety of reasons too?


By off the shelf I meant a second hand merchant vessel. Perhaps one could be found to fill the MROSS requirement but as I said there are increasingly operations in the Arctic to consider and one platform will be stretched to fill multiple roles.

Fail to see what you mean with Scott as her hull shape is pretty conventional.


Is the hull of Scott the same as the hull of the RRS SDA?


RRS Sir David Attenborough has been designed with an acoustically quiet hull and operates survey equipment.

Different basic shape to HMS Scott granted but you haven’t actually said why you think that’s a big problem?

Maybe actually put across your point rather than asking rhetorical questions!


Look at the hulls, surely it obvious what I am getting at?

Do you know how Scott goes about its business?

They are not rhetorical questions, I am asking you to explain your thinking.


RRS SDA is described as having an acoustically quietened hull for it’s own sonar equipment. Scott has it’s main sonar attached to the length of the outside hull, separate workstations for data collection and ballast tanks at the bottom for added stability – all of which a derivative of the former could easily have.

My point was only that if it proves too expensive and complex to find and adapt a suitable merchant ship then utilizing the experience gained from the recent completion of a ice-strengthened research vessel would be a good place to start.

What am I missing? You’re clearly dying to explain it to me!

Kevin Hastie

Why so aggressive?


Do you know what aggressive is?

Supportive Bloke

As an informed observer I haven’t got to the bottom of what this thread is about either!

Presumably it is about stability, quietness and having the right shaped hull so the hull mounted sensors are optimally placed and not blinded by hull reflections.

Extrapolating a stage further that needs a specific hull shape that is quite different from commercial vessels?

Maybe I got that right?


I thought he was referring to the fact that it’s a Class 1A ice breaker. But its hull isn’t shaped that way at all (rounded bow). I think it has just been strengthened. Is it double-hulled or something?

Andrew Wilde

Don’t you just love that sentence, “work is underway to understand current and future requirements and how they will be delivered after HMS Scott leaves service” Is that Admiral speak for “somewhere in the next ten years after I too have left the service”


Personally, I wonder why such work wasn’t started sooner, so, that requirement was understood well before Scott’s OSD was reached and a replacement built in good time!!


We are not at war with Russia so there is no hurry, start when the bombs are falling,


That’s one way of sorting it…..


Who is talking? The Russian appeaser!


Think you might have me mistaken for someone else Pompey boy, don’t agree with what Putin’s doing, but the fact remains, we are not at war with Russia! Unless you know different of course, in which case please let us know, I’m sure we’re all waiting with anticipation about your startling revelation!!!!


well its obvious we aren’t at war with Russia, or we wouldn’t be losing half our effing Millitary..,


Then it will be too late!

criss whicker

it seems to me, that the royal navy is still shrinking, rather than growing.


I think it should look like that to anyone with any sense, and it’s not acceptable. We’re closer than ever to war, and we still see no defence budget increases. At least with chamberlain we were stalling for time and started a large rearmament programme. FC/ASW by 2030 with no interim is similarly idiotic.

criss whicker

totally agree with you, they could speed thing up on the ships, but seems frozen to act, just my opinion.


We were strung harder in Afghanistan…and Iraq.. Atleast our Army has some better gear now.


Tonnage… Supposedly makes up for losing globally deployable ships.Aparently.


I can’t help thinking a lot of decisions are being made across the services to cut capability based on it being replaced by autonomous vehicles that don’t currently exist. If the tech takes longer to develop than they hope, then there could be significant gaps for long periods.


It’s the 1957 White Paper all over again.


She will be replaced in a timely manner.

Supportive Bloke

Timely on a geological timescale?


Naa far to quick, these things need to be planned you know.

Steven Alfred Rake

Just my opinion but I do not see why we cannot have ships like HMS Scot payed for and operated by the 5 eyes agreement with a mixed crew supplying data to all of the 5 nations involved with the programme. Also with 4 of the 5 countries being in the commonwealth we could also have a joint commonwealth naval building programme after all we are half way there with the T26 but if we sheared the R&D costs and agreed to build the hulls a a set rate so that if a country decides it needed more vessels at a quicker pace then they could be built in one of the other countries to speed up delivery. With having more vessels in the build programme it would bring down the costs quite considerably. This would be beneficial to all concerned with ships like HMS Scot being replaced in a timely and cost affective way and also keeping a steady supply of cutting edge frigates and destroyers flowing into the various navy’s at a realistic price.
Just a quick reminder the 5 eyes are UK, Australia, NZ, Canada and the USA



It is already sort of happening (though not formally as you are suggesting). Babcock have recently acquired the other half of what was an Australian joint venture to further enlarge their Australian footprint. They also seem to be indicating they want to build & support A140 in Australia. They already have Indonesia to support. Likely looking at NZ as a build customer & possibly Australia as well (overly large gap between 1,650t OPV & 10,000t Hunters as the 3,600-3,800t Anzac patrol frigates retire).

Steven Alfred Rake

I believe if we had an agreement at government level with a joint R&D and development programme along with the ability to build one another’s vessels the logistics and unit costs would come down quite considerably.
If you look at what we need in the near future, Subs, Frigates, Destroyers as well as replacing the RFA fleet then there is the LPD’s that will need replacing soon as well as the survey fleet then if we add on what the Australians, New Zealander and Canadians need you are looking at a substantial building programme, so if you cold agree on common designs with a common logistics’ set-up you are looking at quite a bit of money saved to be reinvested in to the Defence budget of the respective country’s
I am surprised that our collective governments have not started thinking along the same lines given the costs of individual programmes.

Supportive Bloke

The problem is that every government wants there to be an indigenous R&D footprint to these things.

Running these big collaborative projects actually drives costs up as they become glacially slow and there is duplication everywhere.

Look at Typhoon. Essentially a BAE demonstrator design that took forever to emerge as a production items and was nearly killed by the international “collaboration”

If you want to do something cheaply keep moving forwards and moving fast.

Steven Alfred Rake

It cannot be any slower than the UKs acquisitions over the last 30 odd years that combined with a 10 year build cycle for the T26 units is just ridicules. After the 1st of the class has been accepted then it should be 5 years / vessel max as it is in the real world.
If we had a common R&D programme paid for and policed by the governments who are paying into it and not by the private companies who profit from it that also will keep programmes on track instead of convincing the MoD that it needs a class of vessels that are just going to be used as a foriegn sales poster like the T31s which seem to be reflecting the same issues as the T21’s from way back in the 70’s and 80’s.
With a beefed up R&D paid for by like minded governments who have the same problems you will get vessels that are more suited to the task, unlike todays Navy were we have to invent tasks more suited to the vessel.

Supportive Bloke

“ needs a class of vessels that are just going to be used as a foriegn sales poster like the T31s which seem to be reflecting the same issues as the T21’s from way back in the 70’s and 80’s.”

There is a world of difference between T21 and T31.

T31 is

– big
– Built to class standards
– generous in power margin
– generous in top weight
– from a proven parent design with whistles & bells
– good accommodation quality

T21 was

– small
– built to an unusual standard
– high power margin but low electrical margin
– little too weight growth potential
– one off design
– poor accommodation quality

I could go on and on but fundamentally they are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Steven Alfred Rake

The T31’s have only just started being built and yes they are big for a Corvette which is affectively what they will be with the weapons fit that is proposed at the moment. Apart from the helicopter that will be on board it will just be yet anouther herbivore looking for shelter when the S–t hit the fan. We need vessels with teeth that can stand their ground and dish it out if needed.


Never mind a corvette, some countries OPV’s are as well equipped as a T31.


The only difference is they tend to be maxed out already. T31 has margin to burn. Still can’t understand the 57mm though – even an upgraded 76mm compact can punch out to 40km with Volcano or 27km with a BER round, 20km with SAPOMER. Most of the more heavily armed OPV’s have 76mm, some have heavyweight AShM. The only things really wrong with the T31 is the 57mm & lack of hull sonar (though the NS200 would have been nice). Everything else is an easy add. FFBNW is easier if you don’t have to rip out existing stuff first.

Steven was mentioning the Commonwealth. Australia has 5 x 76mm compacts & 2 x mk 41 in the shed (not strike length). NZ has 2 x mk41 in the shed. Not saying they are available, but did anyone ask?

Steven Alfred Rake

I think we will be beg, steeling and borrowing quite soon if the current world affairs have any influence on government thinking.


The T31 are supposed to be mainly operating ‘east of Suez’. That is Indian & Pacific Oceans. This is where Australia & New Zealand operates. It is in their interest not to have UK frigates running around that will require escorting out of danger if things fall apart.

Phillip Johnson

Scott was ommissioned in June 1997. For a survey ship, 30 years is not unreasonable life so that would take it through to June 2027 and possible beyond. You would say that given other prorities the options are either lose the capability or extend the ships life further.

Supportive Bloke


Provided it can do a useful job.

Trouble is if you put it into a big refit then it is gone for nearly two years and that gaps the capability anyway.

You then get 3 more real years of use out of her?


It’s worth remembering that HMS Scott was ordered in 1995 from Appledore, launched in 1996, and commissioned in 1997, all in two and a half years. It was designed to fit the American sonar system. Modern MoD procurement will ensure the competition for the replacement will still be running in 2030, with no appreciation of what will be placed inside it.

RFA Argus will go soon too. I hope there won’t be a conversation like this in two years about MRSS, but Argus will be too old to keep going.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon

The difference between Argus and Scott and Diligence is Argus is a nice to have, whereas Scott and Diligence are really must haves if we want to be serious about operating multi-billion pound SSN and SSBN’s.


They could go down the route that the USNS operate their Pathfinder class of vessels under. They are of a similar age and they do a similar job to Scott.
Civilian Crew, Military/Govt Specialists onboard when required, Maintenance and refit operations by a civilian company who effectively “lease” the vessel back to the USNS.


We outsource far too much with regards to our military these days. Even Recruitment Is a joke…


Such pretty ships. I am surprised hydrogaphic work didn’t go RFA decades back to be honest.

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The MOD seems to be in a perpetual state of surprise and bewilderment that the RN needs vessels. It’s only when vessels are about to go that they wake up!


We have a navy that’s too weak and small.. even South Korea has far more capability…


Building a replacement or two based on RRS David Attenborough would be dejavu. After all the Hecate class were based on RRS Duscovery.


As I tried and failed to explain above a bluff bowed ice-strengthen ship isn’t a good basis for the necessary ship. There are reasons why Scott looks like she does. Why do so many of you here have no understanding of hulls? As I have said many times here now if I said we can replace all aircraft with C130 you would all say (rightly) I am wrong. But no when it comes to ships anything shape will do.


Does anyone know the rationale for not replacing HMS Scott? I’ve searched for reasons, but haven’t come up with anything.


Lack of money.


Off topic, but important. More cuts.

The 2021-30 ten year defence spending plan expects to spend less money procuring surface ships than last year’s plan.

Even after an injection of £16.5bn over 4 years and specific instructions to spend on the navy and make it the best in Europe, the MoD have CUT spending for surface ship procurement. And not just $300m over the ten year plan, but throughout. The declining spend over the period, halving spend in 2030/31 compared with 2023/24, might be the usual fudge to hide the black hole, but less over the next two years when contracts for T26 and FSSS are expected to be signed is unbelieveable.

What the heck is going on?

Last edited 2 years ago by Jon

“What the heck is going on” Well the World is going insane, the UK is hell bent on Leading and the Lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum. But worry yee not, we are at the forefront of LGBGT rights, PC correctness, Saving the Planet, Going Green and every other T**ish thing that might just come along before some Dictator presses the button.


The government do need to build a war chest because of energy bill price caps. It would be nice if overseas aid went first.


There’s £14bn extra on submarines [£14bn in and £2bn out], split roughly 50/50 between support and procurement, a huge number. Why does submarine operations need £6bn extra? Odd that the money is going to an area that MoD will not comment on and won’t be held accountable for. The procurement part might be explained by this line

DNO’s new investment is focussed on the modernisation of the UK’s nuclear warheads…

Another area the MoD won’t be held accountable for.

In other words, £14bn of the extra £16.5bn will result in no measurable capability increase.


Nuclear submarines are just expensive.

Most of the cost of the Deterrent isn’t operating the boats but AWE. About 3 to 1.


HMS Scott continues to provide very low-cost survey-per mile and important data for the navy and Hydrographic Office.
It makes sense that the purpose-built HMS Scott with all of its infrastructure be extended for the duration required as it continues to be the most expedient and cost effective means of continuing production of the high accuracy bathymetric chart data required by the Submarine fleet. 
The cost to maintain the HMS Scott is a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of a submarine fleet that depends on the Scott data for it’s deterrent success.