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Peter S

Set out in this comprehensive list, the report highlights how few available ships the RN has. More of a flotilla than a fleet.
What is even more troubling is that the nature of the work being undertaken means that the ships could not be brought back rapidly into service in a crisis.
If ships have been inactive for years and the RN still can’t find crews for the small number actually available, the manpower problem must be even more serious. Or is the situation partly a result of poor management of the resources we do have?
I know other navies have similar problems with ship availability but RN numbers do make the global Britain idea look rather foolish.

Dave

Frankly this is humiliating to a sea based nation, but this ball free gutless shambles of a government won’t fix it, not will the lgqbta obsessed labour party, perhaps if people voted for someone else their might be a hope, maybe reform, it’s time to kick these others into the long grass, for my 60 years they have alternates in power and frankly there has not been a single period in that time, regardless of the rosette colour, that the armed forces have grown to match the threats like China amd Russia nor indeed has my ability to get NHS treatment, an education, to drive on a tarnaced riad that doesn’t look like the moon nor to have a decent standard of living

Sean

Reform are another protest party, they won’t even get the votes of UKIP etc let alone a single MP.

Plenty of us have worked hard and enjoy decent standards of living. As Thatcher would say, take responsibility for your own life.

Defence thoughts

I will accept what you say as soon as I am permitted to personally tarmac a road and therefore avoid damage to my car. As soon as I am allowed to magically make private healthcare available near where I work.

Personal responsibility does not solve everything.

Sean

Simple answer;- get rid of your car and you won’t won’t have to worry about potholes and you might be able to afford private healthcare. Alternatively, get a job with a company that provides BUPA cover as part of the benefits package.

Defence thoughts

Er. You missed the bit with the tarmac. The state has some responsibilities. I also need my car for work. If you change the law to permit people to re-tarmac roads I’ll happily do it myself. I am angry that I cannot do it myself.

I am speaking as an individual that tried to maintain someone I’d barely met for a few weeks before it became clear they were not looking for work and were trying to scam me. I am well aware of the need to shoulder a burden and do things yourself.

Wave

Such a conservative attitude. “Pull yourself up by your boot straps, son!”

Sean

Worked for me, why don’t you try it?

Duker

take responsibility for your own life”
She would say that after marrying into money- the family firm Atlas Preservatives, a paint business- which enabled Thatcher to do a career change from food technology to a barrister.

Sean

She clearly did then. Another pointless comment.

Prof200

Reform? That’s a laugh. The Tories have had their chance over 14 years maybe Labour could return our armed forces to a reasonable strength, they make the right noises your weird irrelevant jibe at them is sad.

Dunder thunder

I don’t want to get into political debates, but it was the Labour government that ruined the rolling navy renewal system, awarding the contracts to one company rather than having the historical 2 or more. The tory government has done not to bad a job getting the percurmen program back on track. Yes, they bring their own problems which we can discuss all day long but you’ll find the tories tend to be better at uk defence spending than Labour. Not perfect by a long shot I’ll grant but then any government would not spend what’s needed because we have to give money to those not wanting to work, and God help any government that tries to stop the lazy.

Peter S

The USN is facing similar problems, though obviously on a much bigger scale. It is struggling to meet its target of 75 ships deployable out of 297. Build times of new ships are behind schedule and there is a massive backlog of maintenance. Recent designs such as LCS and Zumwalt have been a huge waste of resources and are of little operational value. The USN has no frigates at all, instead relying on Arleigh Burkes, a 40 year old design, not really suited for ASW work.

Bryan

Peter, you make very good points, but have you considered how rude it is for you to make well considered, reasonable and relevant observations about naval readiness when both Dave and Sean would rather faff about trying to tie the issue to their own bizarre political obsessions that don’t have anything to do with the issue at hand?

Sean

Oh look, Peter S has a friend, or should I say, a second login identity… bit sad.

gerrystratford

How far up your own arse can you get?

Supportive Bloke

On the positive side the upgrade program kickstarted by BW – with Treasury pressure ‘to get what you have working’ is paying off with T45 availability about to come good just when it is most needed.

The fact that Babcock were able to publicly state that Argyll is completing the contracted LIFEX is also very good as even if she is rotated through the double crewed hulls then it gives more usefully deployable days to the fleet.

I’m mystified how it is taking so long to upgrade Defender for the described package which, to me, means there is something going on that hasn’t been declared. Which might be good?

I’m generally a bit mystified as to how slowly NSM is being fitted given the money to buy 11 sets has been expended.

Last edited 1 month ago by Supportive Bloke
Hugo

Pretty sure for Defender that’s just how long it’s taking us to sort PIP refits.

ATH

Maybe you could fit the NSM set more quickly, BUT to do that ships in the active part of the fleet would need to be taken offline for a number of months. It’s a balancing act between ship availability and ship upgrades.

Supportive Bloke

Of course it is.

But ships are alongside and a lot of the basic work can be done in short insertion periods.

Craning the new racks into place can’t take more than two days when the prep is done.

I’ll bet it is done with a hired in mobile crane anyway. And that can just sit on the dockside.

ATH

Crew will need to do training. They can’t to that and be at sea and all there other jobs without overloading them.

N-a-B

Here’s a thought. Do BAES have unlimited resources in Portsmouth?

Supportive Bloke

Nope – nor anywhere else!!

Paul

You are all living in the past, we no longer need a massive expensive navy, I don’t think we will be fighting napolionic style Waterloo battles, or massive sea fleets. It’s a complete waste of money in this day and age. The problem is the idea of it rather than it’s cost and effectiveness.

Sean

Nobody here has said we will be fighting large naval actions such as Jutland. But just because there was no repeat of Jutland in WW2 or subsequent wars has not meant there has been a lot of significant naval action. There will always be a need for naval warfare, the majority of the planet is covered by seas, the question is the capabilities these platforms will need, size, and disposition.

Sunmack

It’s disappointing we need to wait until 2028 for TDMD capability. It’s a capability that is needed now with the USN already using it in anger.

Jon

TBMD?

Russ

Tactical Ballistic Missile Defence

SailorBoy

I thought it was Theatre?
Might be tactical because Aster 1 isn’t really theatre level

Paul

It should be Terminal I think. Aster 30 and even SM-6 fall into Terminal BMD range.

Jon

I was checking he meant TBMD when he wrote TDMD. (I also thought it was theatre.)

Joe16

Just a point to note: The French Navy’s frigate Aquitaine splashed a Houthi ballistic missile with her Aster 30s, which are the same model as the ones we are currently using on our T45s. We already know that the current radar fit on T45 can provide sufficient targeting information for a Burke to take out ballistic missiles- that was proven in a test a few years ago.
What I’m saying is, I reckon we do have an ABM capability right now, the Block 1 Asters and radar upgrades will just improve it.

Sean

Previously the French Navy’s FREMM frigate Alsace (D656) splashed 3 Houthi ballistic missiles with its Aster 30 missiles. The French and Italians are using Block 1 versions of Aster whereas the Type 45s use Block 0.
However I believe the difference is only software based, so an update should be possible relatively quickly.

Joe16

My mistake, I thought they were on Block0 on their ships too. Either way, they don’t officially have the ABM capability that Block1NT brings.
Hopefully, in times such as these, a quick software flash can be rushed through without too much red tape.

Rudeboy

This is incorrect.

The French and Italian’s only use Block 1 missiles on the SAMP/T land based system NOT on their FREMM or Horizon vessels.

The Type 45’s will get Block 1 NT with a new seeker head using different radar frequencies (believe Ka Band rather then Ku). I believe they will be the first vessels to use it. The Italian’s are planning to use 1 NT on their 4 ‘Full’ PPA vessels but they’ve been doing a lot of FFBNW recently so whilst potentially capable they might not get it. SAMP/T will also get 1 NT capability.

I’ve no idea what the French and Italians are doing with their Horizon Class…

Joe16

We should really be getting some SAMP/T systems with Block1NT to layer out from the Sky Sabre systems we already have. Even with CAMM-ER, we need a larger AD bubble for our forward deployed forces, looking at how everyone is now using glide bombs and other ranged PGMs to push launch ranges.
For that matter, we also need some wing kits for our Paveways- all well and good having Spear 3, but pushing out the max range of our cheapest air-launched munition just makes a lot of sense.

AlexS

90’s Patriot destroyed Scud missiles, much more modern Aster 30 already had ABM capabilities.

Joe16

Fair point, although I was talking about official capability, which MBDA hasn’t claimed for the Aster30 Block 0 and 1 as far as I’m aware. Also, Aster 30 has a curiously (for me at least) short range on paper compared to Patriot and Standard type missiles- wasn’t sure if that would limit ABM capability too.

ATH

It’s all down to the type of BM. The shorter the range the slower and easier to counter a missile is. Most of the ones being used in the Red Sea are very short ranged for a BM.

AlexS

Yes range limits capability. But 100-150km is large.

Joe16

Range is roughly the same as an SM-2 and the latest MIM-104 PAC3 for the Aster30 Block 1NT, but less for the other versions. And it should be noted that the 1NT is supposed to be ABM capable- so I should really be comparing that to the SM-3 or -6, which have much greater range. Obviously, MBDA always stick that ‘+’ after their stated ranges, but still… But it’s not just the lateral range: max engagement altitude for the Aster 30 is 20 km for the Block 0 and 1, and 25 km for the Block 1NT. That’s roughly the same for SM-2 (remembering again that Block 1NT should be really be somewhere closer to the SM-3), but a good 12 km lower than the Patriot’s missile. That’s quite a significant capability gap.

Rudeboy

Aster 30 Block 0 certainly has more capability.

But Patriot’s effectiveness in 1991 came in for a lot of criticism. The timing issue with the computers/guidance was massive. And a lot of the ‘Scuds’ engaged were the discarded boosters or other detritus when then missiles broke up. Few warheads were intercepted, hence the massive amount of work the US put into new interceptors and better discrimination (plus fixing the timing issue…).

Jon

Thank you for a full and timely update: 16 escorts plus one that will never sail again.

I’d like to see them repurpose Argyll back to ASW. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that the inspections of Kent and Northumberland will include some nasty surprises. We can’t afford to exercise stupid logic like “we don’t have the crew right now so let’s get rid of the ship”. We need both flexibility and reserves.

We spent £1.4bn in today’s money on each of the first three T26s, Norway should be paying all that and enough to extend the life of one of the T23s — going rate around £100m — for their early ship. I’d hope that was enough to upgrade Argyll.

Supportive Bloke

Cutting old ships around isn’t for the faint hearted.

You might start that and regret it with a ship that never goes back to sea.

Argyll needs to be kept active in the new multi crew model. So she can cover for others when they have mechanicals.

Hugo

You want to extort money from Norway to keep our fleet running?
All that would result in is them buying someone else’s ship, there are other options

Last edited 1 month ago by Hugo
Jon

You think it’s extortion for them to repay the same amount MOD paid for the same ship, and compensate for the knock on costs to the UK treasury? You think the treasury would be happy subsidising shipbuilding sales? Hasn’t happened so far.

If Norway want five or six ships and one has a surcharge because they want to jump the queue, it’s not going amount to that much over the whole project. If they say we’ll buy BAE product but we won’t compensate your Navy for costs incurred, they can wait for their first ship or go elsewhere (where the odds are they will also wait for the first ship).

Hugo

Then theyll go elsewhere because trying to charge them more than the current price of a T26 is not a winning strategy. And the government will quite happily throw the Navy under the bus and make them wait.

Joe16

I would tend to agree with Jon on this- from the perspective that they won’t get anything as quickly as an in-build T26 from the RN’s run. They’re not paying more than the going rate, they’re paying to jump the queue and get capability early- and that’s a universally accepted notion.
We’d be mad to try and charge them that same rate for the subsequent vessels, though. That would indeed lose us the contract.

Mark P

I think we should still only offer Norway slot four ie HMS Birmingham at the very earliest, this way she is still very early in her build and room for alterations to Norways needs and it shouldn’t impact our needs to much?

ATH

Norway if the choose T26 are unlikely to pay much more than the marginal costs of building the extra ships for them. Try to charge more and you’ll just drive them to buy French or possibly Italian.

Heidfirst

or Damen’s new ASW frigate for Belgium & Dutch navies.

ATH

There is no way that can make the Norwegian targeted in service date. If Norway don’t like the performance or price of the in service options they could move the date but timing is a big strike against Damen’s chances.

Raz Rose

Basically very few active ships and no crews to man them

Hugo

Except most of them are manned.

Rowan Maguire

And have dual crews that rotate on and off periodically.

ATH

Only one of the escorts has a dual crew.

Mark P

Yeah and Lancaster will be for the chop when she arrives back at the end of next year so let’s hope Argill will be around to replace her in the Gulf?

Jon

Iron Duke I’d have thought.

Mark P

As the only other GP frigate you could well be right but keeping Argill operational would at least give the RN the option and depth to keep one GP frigate for other tasks.

Marcus FARRINGTON

Poor situation.23s on last legs,26s and 31s arriving snails pace,Darings doing better but only ever been 6.Meanwhile China churning escorts out like luxury cars,maybe not as good as T26 but numbers game always wins..SEE Sherman v Tiger

Hugo

You really can’t compare our economy or Navy to China, they’re not even our most direct adversary.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

China, they’re not even our most direct adversary.

Yet our only standing task for SSN’s is the Indian Ocean.

Hugo

I said our most direct. Let’s at least be able to defend against russian SSNs before we try to fight a war on the other side of the world.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Yes I agree. But HMG think Australia’s security needs are more important than ours. To keep one forward will mean ‘patchy’ deployments to the Atlantic.

FLJ3

But HMG are just following the neocons in the US orders.. the US needs to constantly play cowboys and indians. Just think how much nicer the planet would be if the US and it’s poodle didn’t ride rough shod around the world stirring everyone up..

Duker

Yes. UK broke the ‘rules based system’ back in the early 1960s to take Diego Garcia atoll from its administration by Mauritius- since before 1810 when it was french-, remove the inhabitants and hand it over to the US Navy instead under a sham ‘British Indian Ocean Territory’
let the USN patrol that Ocean with its subs while the UK flouts the decisions of the International courts

chagos-archipelago1
FLJ3

The international rules based order is a Western manifestation that others abide by that the West flout

Jonno

Was Mauritius UK Sovereign territory in 1960’s? Yes. There is your answer. Decided long ago or do you think Canada should be part of the USA?

Sean

Is that a direct quote from RT or George Galloway?

Duker

Ha. Its the decision of the International Court- you remember those parts of the global legal rules – which the UK follows when it suits
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/28/un-court-rejects-uk-claim-to-chagos-islands-in-favour-of-mauritius
Are you saying its doesn count ?

Sean

I hadn’t realised the International Court had made a ruling in the US neocons playing “cowboys and Indians “ as FLJ3 said.
But I understand that dementia can make it difficult to follow threads.

Duker

Ah the personal abuse – which doesnt follow the rules of this website either.
Theres a pattern there , your claims never follow the evidence, just the headlines of conservative party press or bumper stickers of XR

Bryan

LOL, well said.

FLJ3

don’t be so silly

Sean

I leave that to you.

Esteban

Are you on something?. That’s just stupidity. Look inward not outward.

Sean

It’s called alliance building.

We’re also a maritime nation. Shipping to the Red Sea passes through the Indian Ocean – and we deployed vessels to the Red Sea out of self interest as 60% of our imports and 40% of our exports pass through it. If you don’t have an economy then you can’t afford a navy.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sean
Duker

You mean UK trade in imports/exports to/ from China.!

The experts say East Asia is not much compared to EU at 41%
https://santandertrade.com/en/portal/analyse-markets/united-kingdom/foreign-trade-in-figures#classification_by_country

Grant

The important thing to note is the trade defecit with the EU – we import more from the EU then they import from us. For the rest of the world we have a trade surplus, and our largest trade surplus is with the US m

Sean

I need to give you a geography lesson too? There’s a lot of countries on the other side of the Red Sea that we trade with. Though I realise “trade” is a dirty word to you communist types.

Duker

The Royal navy withdrew from Asia decades ago because of the cost.
Anyway India, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Korea, japan all have large militaries of their own these days. They with the US can manage without a Royal Navy OPV which as this story shows is stretched managing the prime areas of interest to UK.
I follow the evidence

Sean

You follow Putin’s political agenda.

Duker

Ah the tar brush method for those that disagree

Jonno

They’ll keep looking for a place that is safe for refugees from the bad old UK.

Wave

Reigning in China is a world wide problem, not an Australian problem. That’s why the SSN’s will be deployed to Fremantle. That and the huge profits to be had for British industry and economies of scale to be derived from SSN AUKUS, make deploying to Australia an important idea.

It might also slightly reduce the flood of British SSN crews who want to immigrate to Australia when they need SSN crew in a few years.

ATH

When was the last time we had an SSN in the Indian Ocean?

Sean

Pretty sure the standing task of our SSNs is to make sure our SSBNs make it out onto patrol without a Russian SSN tailing them.
After that, they are the RN’s primary ASW assets.

Supportive Bloke

T31 – snails pace?

Not at all. Very ambitious program to be totally fair to Babcock.

New facility never built a warship from scratch.

Hope it works out – if it does many are watching and many more buyers are in the market at that price point.

Robert Blay

Capability, training and experience wins. Everything China lacks. They do not globally deploy, or can sustain operations far from home.

Last edited 1 month ago by Robert Blay
Jon

Yet they sustain operations increasingly far from home. Whether that’s FONOPS in the High North, Carrier ops in the Pacific or constabulary work out of Djibouti. This capability will grow, like everything else in the PLAN, as long as it is funded. And with a 7.2% declared increase in 2024, you know it will be funded.

Joe

..

quote-quantity-has-a-quality-all-its-own-joseph-stalin-51-5-0516
Jonno

The Russians always used to build rugged,rough and ready and in quantity on land. At sea I’m never quite sure how that worked out. They have never in fact been tested since 1945 until Ukraine and that has shown them wanting in defensive combat effectiveness.
The only things I admire are their ships fine looks, plethora of armaments and thick hull plating for ice conditions. Living conditions look to be awful.

Sean

Said the man who needlessly sacrificed millions of his own citizens. Might as well include some Hitler or Mao quotes too…

Last edited 1 month ago by Sean
Duker

Yes, imperialism only destroyed a few million more

Sean

The greatest example being Russian imperialism under the brand of “Communism”. Though I see Putin is trying to set new records on killing innocents…

Duker

Iraqi war and aftermath killed 200,000-300,000 civilians.

15,000 killed in Yemen during the Saudi-UAE attacks on their neighbour, which was supported by US and UK.
Recent history doesnt seem to be your side
https://www.voanews.com/a/white-house-defends-support-for-saudis-in-yemen-war-/6880474.html

Attacking your neighbour like Putin , is rightly seen as bad.
Friends of nato… those international rules dont apply to them, nor do decisions of international courts…

Sean

And your hero Stalin killed between 9 and 15 million of his own people, before we start considering international casualties…
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excess_mortality_in_the_Soviet_Union_under_Joseph_Stalin#:~:text=In%202011%2C%20after%20assessing%20twenty,American%20historian%20William%20D.

AlexS

Iraqi war and aftermath killed 200,000-300,000 civilians.

Who killed them?

Duker

Battle of Falluja was one, most of the city flattened by USMC artillery.
Then theres the attacks on civilians by US Air strikes , especially Mosul and Raqqah in Syria

The Israelis must feel really aggrieved as they have just been doing in Gaza what US forces at multiple times did in Iraq and Syria over last 20 years- crush the cities where their opposition holds out

1050173_1_1103-Syria-ISIS-Deir-el-Zour_standard1
AlexS

Every city fight is “appears” like that photo.
There is no comparison at all flattening a city with population there or allowed to evacuate.
In Iraq before ISIL most deaths were done by the alliance between Saddam Trikit tribe and Al Qaeda attacking the Iraq civilians and US and Iraq Gov. forces… but you seem to forget the bombs that exploded in markets, mosques, bridges etc.

In Gaza there is Hamas that due to how perverse western journalism works wins more if has more of their own civilian deaths. As someone wrote, Hamas is the first government that wins a war if it has a large number of their own civilians deaths.

Duker

Its not perverse western journalism. Its the Geneva conventions on war that say you cant flatten the place with 2000lb bombs or artillery barrages . Israel has substantial ground forces in gaza
Your claims are preposterous and clearly you have no idea of the rules of conflict .

AlexS

Geneva Convention say nothing of sorts. If firing is done form said places there is nothing that protects it. Likewise if evacuation orders are done with a sensible schedule there is nothing illegal.

Instead all Palestinian combat is based on War Crimes, did you saw any journalist put it in writing it or saying it in TV?

Houthi attacks against commercial shipping are War Crimes, did you saw any journalist putting it in writing or saying on TV?

Duker

Quantity ? 2 bottles a day of course

1ed2bc_79ffefa8fbf24834bcb0bc08ff6958femv21
Supportive Bloke

Pint bottles.

The champagne bottles were not 750cl in those days.

That is a metric magnum, for effect, in the photo.

So I’m dubious of the photo’s authenticity.

Duker

They are french, for goodness sake, always been metric. He drank like a fish, whiskey , cognac too
https://www.champagneandgifts.co.uk/champagne-bottle-sizes

Last edited 28 days ago by Duker
SD67

To be fair the T31 is cracking on at pace, Venturer due to float out in the first half of this year.

David MacDonald

There are, as ever, engineering problems to be fixed and these are compounded by the age of the Type 23s and the need for the Type 45s to have the PIP.

Far more serious is the recruitment problem which seems to have been exacerbated by outsourcing and aiming too much at those who may be unlikely to wish to join up whilst unintentionally discouraging youngsters with a services family background. Retention would be improved by encouraging the young, who tend to like excitement and do not generally have family responsibilities rather than the 30 plus who may be less adventurous and are more likely to have children.

 But why oh why are there so many admirals (almost as many as when I was serving and the 1960s – 80s) and commodores?  Making commodore a substantive, rather than an acting, rank was a mistake in my view.  The more senior officers there are then the larger the number of staff to keep them informed and so the more ponderous the decision chain.  The Church of England has a similar problem with more bishops than ever before and a proliferation of archdeacons with ever fewer vicars and is in terminal decline.

Adrian

You watch the navy suddenly increase in size if you start limiting the higher ranks based on number of sailors

Duker

theres around 90 Commodores , when I recently looked. Around 30 Rear Admirals -10 Vice Admirals- 3 Admirals
meanwhile :
At the time of writing, defence sources day there are just 108 recruits allocated to the last 7 entries of 2023. That means 354 training places for this quarter will go unfilled. “
https://www.navylookout.com/royal-navy-failing-to-get-enough-recruits-into-basic-training/

not counted is Vice Admiral The Prince Andrew, former Commodore in chief of the Fleet air Arm

Gunbuster

Look at NATO posts and see how many Admirals and Commodores are allocated to those jobs.
You can then add in the Tri Service posts such as DLO.

You are always going to need CEO/MD type jobs

O Gilkes

If I die, and am opened, the reason shall be found graven upon my heart. Want of submarines…. The shortsage of effective escorts is dangerous. But the silent service is even more so. We have six SSN, assuming a couple in refit a mere four to cover global commitments. They are arguably better AS platforms for straightforward undersea control.

Rob N

I would like to see all Type 45s get ASTER 30 block 1 as an urgent operational requiem ent. I am sure this could be done before the full Sea Viper Evolution upgrade. We have seen the T45s take out drones in the Gulf but not ballistic missiles… I am not sure without the ASTER 30 Block 1 they can do this. It is possible the navy has already given the Gulf ships this capability….

ATH

Are you sure Block one is in service anywhere? Can it be operated without all the supporting elements?

Sean

It’s on the French frigates, one of which recently downed 3 ballistic missiles with its Asters.

Supportive Bloke

I think those were the same A30’s RN uses?

Sean

The French have Block 1 whereas the RN has Block 0, Aster 30s. Apparently the only difference is an update to the seeker software, so if it hasn’t been done already, it shouldn’t take long.

Rudeboy

As above this is incorrect. Block 1 is only in limited numbers on SAMP/T.

T45 will get Block 1 NT with a new seeker head and other improvements.

Terry

No wonder these ships have problems.
As a vet myself, the state of these ships is appalling.
They are “Crabby”
Obviously the crews of today don’t know what that means (goole it) ?
That includes the ships Captains !
Have a look at the Leanders and Co, of the seventies.
Ships companies of today not good enough.
I’m glad I served when I did, I would be embarrassed today.
Let’s go back to the Royal Navy, and not the Royal crabby Navy of today.
Ashamed vet !!!

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

A while back some where saying that RN should take cleaners to sea because it is too much to expect highly trained technicians to clean toilets. I suppose the same argument could be extended to ship husbandry. I bet somebody sometime had to do a risk assessment for putting matelots over the side to paint.

comment image

Last edited 1 month ago by Whale Island Zoo Keeper
FLJ3

Agreed.. I am in a supporting role to the RN, what I see is uninspiring sailors who want to go home (early), who are badly led, let down from the very top, bound in woke, require social media to function, without a definitive routine (i.e. drafted to a ship for 2 years etc.).. and there are so many of them in different roles to what they joined.. it must be the most complicated drafting jigsaw ever

Gunbuster

And Leander’s had so much paint slapped onto them they suffered from top weight and hull loading issues.
Things have moved on from red lead and “slap some topcoat over the rust.”
I suggest reading Warpaint

The T23 rust stains is caused by a number of factors not least of which are

  1. Stanchion Deck supports – Almost zero access between the support and the deck to get in there and represerve it- Poor design
  2. Upper deck fixtures and fittings especially Valve operating boxes, poor access to get behind them and they get secured with dissimilar metals – Poor Design and Engineering practise.
  3. You cannot do a side party anymore unless alongside. You cannot go up the mast at sea unless its in extremis. You get a Contractor in with Cherry Pickers to do the work for you (Me!). Modern paint systems are way better than anything used in the past.

I served on T23s and then when I left the RN became a PM. I ran a lot of FTSPs on a certain T23 that was in the Gulf for many years. I still do work on RN and USN vessels that visit out here.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

T23’s rust because they ‘live’ in the sea! 🙂

Gunbuster

Another T23 issue is the upper deck scupper lips at the gunnels. Gaps in the gunnels to drain water have a bit of U-shaped rubber fitted into a stainless-steel u shape, bolted onto the steel hull with any bolts that part of ship can find. Dissimilar metals and it rusts out like nobody’s business. This is where the staining lines down the side comes from.

Anyway she looks operational not decorational!

Jon

So a plentiful supply of steel bolts for the purpose would reduce the rust streak look? Might have been seen as worth it at one point, but perhaps a bit late in the lifecycle now.

Supportive Bloke

“ And Leander’s had so much paint slapped onto them they suffered from top weight and hull loading issues.”

And I might add fire BDM issues too….that paint burned mighty well…..amazing ability to create thick acrid smoke…..and at that thickness it would have been a nightmare…..like coating a ship in rubberised oil really.

As you say coating are much better at stopping the tin worm but also designing out the electrochemical corrosion even before coatings are considered.

Terry

The photo above of Hms Richmond, and tv series, Warship life at sea.
Have a look , you’ll see what I mean.
I may have said it once before “Crabby”

FLJ3

I suspect the state of the navy is down to Brexit.. the powers that be never expected to leave the eu and were building a Royal Navy (full military) to fit within the eu defence service/force/nonsense.. The UK supply the capital ships with many of the eu coastal countries supplying the escorts. Along with the French, we would supply the bombers and the subs to protect them. We would also supply the bulk of the maritime surveillance.
The army and RAF would also be slotted in to teeth armed infantry and lead air and land logistical support.. we are very good at it
Sadly for those in charge; we left the eu and their plans left the UK with a much depleted, inconsequential (self-reliant/organic) military..

Last edited 1 month ago by FLJ3
Sunmack

It’s got nothing to do with Brexit. The propulsion problems with the T45 are due to choosing a higher cost and higher risk propulsion system in the early 2000’s to “showcase British industry” (Geoff Hoon, the Secretary of State for Defence).
The delays to ordering T26 were due to defence cuts arising from austerity. Those delays cost £650m to build 5 River class OPV’s.; expenditure which could have been used to avoid capability gaps on the T31 such as no sonar.
The State of the escort force is entirely down to decisions taken by useless politicians of both main parties.

Hugo

Well I’m not sure the T31 ever would’ve got a working sonar. The T45s have sonars which are deactivated because they don’t have the funding to support them and its not their main role.

Sunmack

T31 without a sonar is unacceptable. The Danish and Polish versions both have a hull sonar. The T31 is replacing the T23 GP frigates all of which have a good quality hull sonar and quietened machinery for ASW. The T31 is inferior to the 30 year old ships that they are replacing.

Hugo

It’s the reality of our budgets. Fact is the GP Frigates don’t do ASW work, even if they have a bow sonar.
And its inferior in ASW ability to the GP T23, what’s its not inferior in is everything else, its a very capable design well suited for the forward deployed role.

Sunmack

T23 GP’s operate on the Gulf. A submarine threat most definitely exists there. We could easily afford it if we made better decisions e.g. MR4A, Ajax etc

Hugo

Again. As I pointed out the T45s were fitted with it, but have never used it. Because it was seen as something outside the scope of their purpose it was not funded or given the personal to use it.
Frankly it would’ve been a waste if money, there’s a reason they only have 8 ASW ships, because that’s what they’ve been allocated.

Last edited 1 month ago by Hugo
Whale Island Zoo Keeper

T45’s sonar was a breathed on mine and obstacle avoidance sonar not really an ASW fit at all. It is useless.

Are you saying then the Chinese submarines will see a T45 and decide not to attack it then? Dash that is clever. I see now why the government have sent ships with no real weapons to Asia. The Chinese air forces won’t attack them because their have no AAW kit. The Chinese submarine fleet will leave them alone because they have no ASW gear. They have no real ASuW capability so the Chinese won’t attack on that front either. Gosh!!! Their Lordships’ wisdom knows no bounds! What if they sent no ship at all? Surely that will be the ultimate naval strategic stroke!

Duker

The chinese having a ‘fishing boat militia‘, one step below their Coastguard to deal to the RN ships in eastern waters ….LOL

China20Vietnam20ramming1
Hugo

I’m saying that’s the Gov. And treasury attitude. Because its pretty obvious from how the ships are designed and used during to funding.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Fact is the GP Frigates don’t do ASW work

That’s interesting.

Hugo

When was the last time they went and practiced submarine hunting. The whole point of them being “GP” is that they didn’t pay for towed arrays and use them for forward deployed and any other role than ASW

Sunmack

Why do you keep bringing up T45. I never mentioned T45. T23 GP mist definitely undertake ASW operations; e.g. the Persian gulf where they are regularly rostered as our escort presence. T31 needs a sonar to be an effective GP frigate. The reason it doesn’t have one has got nothing to do with operational requirements and everything to do with money wasted by politicians.

Hugo

I’d say T31 is one of the least wasted money designs, but there was certainly a reason for not installing a sonar, whether due to lack of funds or realising it wouldn’t be supported, doesn’t matter at this point though.

Jon

How do GP T23s, for example Lancaster and before her Montrose, undertake ASW? How do they find, track and if necessary target and engage subs or UUVs, or do you mean something else?

Sunmack

They use their very good quality hull sonar

Nigel Collins

Some potentially good news for the Type 23/26 frigates.

UK company Systems Engineering and Assessment (SEA) has been tasked to demonstrate a software application designed to enhance the performance of the UK Royal Navy’s (RN’s) principal surface ship anti-submarine warfare (ASW) sonar system.

In a 16 April announcement, the company said it would work with prime contractor Thales UK to test the software under the umbrella of the RN’s ASW Spearhead programme.

While SEA has not explicitly identified the potential exploitation, it is understood to be a candidate solution for the Capability Insertion Project (CIP) designed to improve the performance of the Sonar 2087 variable depth low-frequency active/passive sonar system fitted to RN Type 23 frigates.

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Last edited 28 days ago by Nigel Collins
Jon

SEA make KraitArray, a thin-line towed array-sonar which the RN were trialling on Manta a couple of years back just before they ordered Cetus. Being thin-line, it won’t have the number or quality of sensors on Captas 4, so presumably they need some clever algorithms to make it more useful. I wonder if somebody thought, hmm, we can use those on the 2087.

Rudeboy

The frustrating thing is that when T26 arrives we will have 11 seagoing sets of Sonar 2087….and only 8 ships to stick it on….plus an even greater number of upgraded S2150 bow sonar….

FLJ3

i was not refering to the build quality or mechanics of the fleet, but the size and force structure.. do keep up! I am fiercely in support of Britain and its Armed Forces and absolutely what ALL the incumbents of Westminister have done to this country since November 1990

Jon

I sometimes wonder if it’s just coincidence that the PMs since 1990 were the ones that didn’t experience WW2. Maggie only experienced it peripherally, going to university rather than serving, but as an adult she would have been able to see the effects.

Whale Island Zoo Keeper

I think you are right. But for different reasons.

I think our ‘elites’ have intentionally gone out of their way to reduce our maritime power to bring us in line with the continental EU. So sea power to land power.

The UK should never have kept a large army (and air force) in Germany once there was a credible nuclear deterrent. We should have returned to the sea. Re-rolled the Army along the lines of the USMC.

The French were cleverer as always. Once they saw US support for their venture in SE Asia decline and with Europe recovered to the point where an industrial war could be fought they bailed on the military part of NATO. They kept forces tailored to their national interest while we sat in Germany with the US and Canada defending their eastern border.

Duker

Very interesting point of view.
I remember Field Marshal Bramalls comment about his time in Germany in Cold War. Bramall started his career as a lieutenant at D Day Normandy landings

‘ I commanded In Division on the Inter german border and thought it very unlikely the Soviets would invade, my adjacent american division commander considered an invasion could happen ‘next week’
Bramall was right as history showed for every one else.

Dont forget the RAF as well as heavy mechanised part of the army benefitted from the large and permanent forces in Germany

FLJ3

while serving in the Army, I trained or visited many former warsaw pact armies once the war come down. I was not surprised that when I told them we were waiting for them to invade, they told me likewise.. Bramall was right. there is only one war hungry nation – and if the report to Congress is true, that country has commited over 251 military interventions into other countries (this does not include black ops) https://geopoliticaleconomy.com/2022/09/13/us-251-military-interventions-1991/

Jon

And how much land have they acquired? Since 1991, acording to the link, US has militarily intervened in Britain and Spain, which is true given the US military bases, but unhelpful. There is no distinction between

Bosnia. On February 28, 1993, the United States began an airdrop of relief supplies aimed at Muslims surrounded by Serbian forces in Bosnia.

and

Haiti. On March 21, 1996, President Clinton reported to Congress that beginning in January 1996, there had been a “phased reduction” in the number of United States personnel assigned to UNMIH.

Not only does it include US troops going in to support UN interventions, it includes reports of the troops coming out as a separate intervention!

They announce troops going into a US Embassy because there’s a dangerous environment, and that’s a military intervention. Of course there are also invasions and real military interventions too, but the link’s numbers are specious.

Duker

Kosovo is a current one , occupied by The US Army National Guard units on rotation. Even americans flatly refuse to accept this is true.
https://www.dvidshub.net/news/462215/oklahoma-guard-aviation-unit-trains-deployment-kosovo
Kosovo is part of Serbia , and is effectively now a Nato protectorate for 30 years , not allowed to become independent or return to Serbia

Jon

NATO protectorate stuck between statuses, yes that’s true. However, that doesn’t make it a US protectorate. NATO is not the US, no matter what Mr Putin will tell you. Last I heard, the US provided only a small percentatge of NATO forces. [Just looked it up and as best I can tell it’s about 12-13%. An extra 50 members of the Georgian National Guard don’t change those numbers.]

The US recognises Kosovo as a separate country, as do we and more than half the UN member states. So it’s arguable that it’s still part of Serbia. In effect it hasn’t been for some time. As long as we don’t do an Afghanistan it will be a full de facto state in time. Perhaps Russia would recognise Kosovo in exchange for the US recognising Transnistria. I wonder if Putin would see that as a win.

Last edited 28 days ago by Jon
Duker

So the ‘rules’ about Europe’s borders arent allowed to change without consent doesnt apply when nato members are involved in Kosovo and Cyprus
Declaring independence while occupied by another country doesnt work for Crimea nor should it for Kosovo.

Does Britain recognise the Republic of Northern Cyrus and why not . Its 70 years now ?
The legality of the British Indian Ocean Territory- taken from Mauritius – isnt recognised either

Why dont you just admit these are made up ‘international rules ‘ and just say might is right

Sean

Ah so it’s all down to a conspiracy by the ‘elites’ – would this be the Illuminati, NWO, or the Reptilians?

Duker

maybe you could explain why the US especially rejected Stalins offer- Stalin Note , look it up- in 1951-52 for a unified Germany that was neutral.?

After all the other allies accepted that arrangement for Austria who were similarly divided and yet remain neutral to today

Would have had the outcome Zoo keeper suggests for Britain remaining a maritime power instead of an large land army
870,000 total personnel in UK armed forces 1952
https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2011/sep/01/military-service-personnel-total

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Last edited 28 days ago by Duker
Nat

A very informative piece on the current status of the RN’s Surface Escort Fleet, whilst all I can conclude from this, is what a depressing status report. The inevitable situation which has been brewing for years now, has finally coming to bare with the need for deep maintenance and refit colliding with operational commitments and frontline taskings.

It strikes me, that it is taking an unacceptable amount of time for new upgrades and systems to be fitted and installed ie, NSM, despite contracts being paid for. Too much red tape and corruption spring to mind here. Whilst at the end of the day ultimately, if the politicians want ‘Global Britain’ to be realised, then they need to be prepared to actually pay for it properly and not delude themselves that it can be done on the Cheap.

Concerned Subject

Most embarrassing article ive read this year. Frigates from the 1980’s holding things together, super hitech billion pound destroyers still not working. Repair garages full for years. If this was a company the shareholders would have sacked the CEO years ago. Some serious arse kicking needed but please not another ‘review’. Just sort it out ! Pathetic.

Jolly Roger

Cant we get the Koreans to design & build our warships?

This feels like we are getting delivery from British Leyland , and suprise nothing works, when we should be buying bmw now – available & reliable.

Nigel Collins

A very interesting point, but they’ll have to get a move on if they do as the US are already eyeing up the possibility to increase numbers.

https://edition.cnn.com/2023/06/02/asia/japan-south-korea-naval-shipbuilding-intl-hnk-ml-dst/index.html

Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
Nigel Collins

The four Tide Class Tankers were built at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering shipyard in South Korea.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nigel Collins
Duker

Tale of woe for that class. Shipbuilder went bankrupt ( this was GFC) and cost blew out, and then
RFA Tidespring was delivered nearly 18 months late after serious issues with electrical design and the discovery that multi-cable transit insulation did not meet new legislative standards. Foreign construction is clearly not the panacea that many believe it to be. “

Then after all that another £150 Mill was spent in UK yards outfitting to our standards
https://www.navylookout.com/supporting-the-royal-navy-at-sea-in-focus-the-tide-class-tankers/

Nigel Collins

Five years for all 4 is not too bad considering it was a new design including delays I would have thought.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tide-class_tanker

The LIFEX project hasn’t exactly gone to plan, or the construction of the opv’s as I recall. HMS Forth took from October 2014 to February 2018 before being accepted into the RN.

https://www.navylookout.com/costs-controversy-and-context-update-on-the-royal-navys-new-opvs/

Duker

Yes. But foreign designs and shipyards are their own special hell.

Nigel Collins

It will be interesting to see how this pans out if it goes ahead.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2023/04/south-koreas-dsme-to-design-arsenal-ship-for-rok-navy/
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Last edited 28 days ago by Nigel Collins
Hugo

No, British warships have to be made in the UK, at least that’s the law. So it’s not gonna happen.

ATH

Are you sure “it’s the law”? I’ve heard lots of people claim that, but know one has been able to quote the actual law. I’m know lots of government ministers have said it’s government policy, but that’s not the same as a law.

Hugo

Perhaps not. But it’s extremely unlikely, especially with all the issues around Scotland and employment

Duker

never owned a BMW have you. Terrible reliability for their mass market vehicles

Gunbuster

My X5 is fine! 150K on it and no issues.

Problem with BMW is what is now standard on most cars is an optional extra on a BMW and cost a shed load more to have fitted.

Bit like Lynx/Wildcat in the helicopter world!

Duker

How did the German-French NH90 and Tiger helicopters turn out ? More than a few users are offloading them out of desperation. Norway gave up during EIS and asked for a full refund, thats normally the case for Russian stuff

Gunbuster

We did get ships built by the Koreans …the Tide class.

That didn’t work out well for the Koreans or the RFA

Late, overbudget, incorrectly built and fitted out.

In this case the contract issued by MOD was watertight and the Korean yard was on the hook for putting it all right and there was a lot to put right…

Jon

Don’t I recall correctly that work was done in UK shipyards to bring them up to scratch?

Grant

So 8 out of 16 ships available. That’s actually a fairly good ratio if you consider their age and the complexity of refits. Problem is we need more ships (obviously)

With the T23 LIFEXs taking so much longer could those ships be extended? Obviously there is the Norwegian T26s (fingers crossed) but it’s the only way to get the fleet bigger this side of the 2030s…

Jonno

The saga of RN escorts Frigates especially is a terrible reflection on the negligence, incompetence and scroogelike behaviour of our politicians and civil servants, no matter what their political persuasion.
Their sheer ignorance of Defence matters is a national scandal and should we get into a peer on peer fight and lose thousands of sailors lives and possibly the war, we should put many of these same politicians on trial for their lives.
Its only fair and just to do this.
Just see how few of them turn up for Defence debates, it is totally ridiculous and scandalous.
Can some one prepare the evidence on the attendance of all MP’s for defence debates in the last 15 years? There needs to be an outing of their neglect and an urgent remedy.

DJB

Root cause has always been funding. Politicians should have been challenged far earlier. The nonsense that “We’ve met the NATO 2% of GDP target therefore we’re doing a grand job” was always easily disprovable. A politician’s “feel good” defence budget that was never enough to maintain conventional forces, a nuclear deterrent and overseas bases. It was a budget that was always detached from reality. It would always lead to a series of perpetual defence cuts and organisational decay.
We can’t allow this to continue. We need to do a better job of “rubbing our politicians noses” in their decisions. Every time they start the “we delivered the 2% mantra” they need to be shown up for the vapid fools they are. It’s an embarrassing fig leaf which proves the individual is either disingenuous or a fool. We have politicians provisioning a defence budget whose sole purpose is to keep the treasury happy. Actual defence of the realm is not even a “nice to have”.

Anonymousperson000000009

Albion isn’t an escort surely?

Anonymousperson000000009

Disregard. I misread the post

Irate Taxpayer (Peter)

The KFC Frigate Fleet

All

The “really-quite-atrocious” condition of the RN’s vital escort fleet has been very nicely summed up here on NL: both in the article itself and furthermore (especially) by publishing this photograph of HMS Richmond.

As others have quite-rightly said whilst posting above, the RN should never ever have got itself to this quite-sorry and utterly-shambolic state.

The only barrage the Navy has fired in recent years has been a paper-based one: policy statements, excel spreadsheets, defence reviews etc – all as part of a never-ending bureaucratic paper-chase.

However that indecision is the quite-inevitable consequence of having us now having an entire generation of so-called decision-makers – naval officers, civil servants and politicians etc – who only have the experience of “I have only served in peacetime” .

The office interns are now running the entire show…………………… so the mentality in both Portsmouth and Whitehall today is one of “why should I take any decision? = because me putting my decision off will still get me both my next promotion and also my next pay-rise!

They have all been unable to make a decision. Thus they have ALL constantly put off the inevitable. The RN’s fleet of new escort ships could have been ordered at anytime over the past two and a half decades.

—————————— .

The one and only possible solution today?

A very firm line now needs to be drawn under any proposals for any further LIFEX and upgrade programmes on the T23. Furthermore, all upgrades of the T45 should stop after the completion of “already planned” PIP, sensors and weapons upgrades etc.

Just say “NO!”

The only possible and practical solution – and one which will save money even in the short-to-medium term – is for MOD to quickly order at least another eight Type 26 and Type 31’s (i.e. four of each). Yes, I did type that number correctly……………..

We have both the design and also the contract costs for both of these new types vessels agreed………..,..so it requires only a very simple instruction of “more please”

This decision (key word) will allow all of the oldest vessels, especially all of the now-KFC’ed (note 1) Type 23’s, to be pensioned off = and ideally also allow them sent to the knackers yard sooner rather than later…..

Very importantly, those new orders will supply a continuous pipeline of work over at least the next decade to both warship yards. That certainty of having a proper pipeline of future orders will enable them to invest, for the long-term, in both better infrastructure / production facilities and also crucially, to keep the right people employed at the yards (both productively full-time and also ensure they are fully-motivated).

It will also allow the RN to properly plan and resource its own personnel: for the future

Any other possible decision, for whatever reason, would simply be throwing more good money taxpayer’s money after bad = to pour more quid’s go into the ever-deepening financial black hole called “the quite-obsolete frigate refitting complex”

regards Peter (Irate Taxpayer)

Note 1. TLA translation for all civvies: KFC = “Knackered and F*****ed Completely”

Jon

“the mentality in both Portsmouth and Whitehall today is one of “why should I take any decision? = because me putting my decision off will still get me both my next promotion and also my next pay-rise!

It’s not just that they won’t take a decision, they can’t. There is no delegation. They have no authority. Anything above the cost of a paper clip has to be signed off by a four-star, the Permanent Secretary and a minister to boot, and if it serious money the Prime Minister wants to weigh in to stop the money being spent on anything that’s not shiny enough to make the papers.

Shaun

I would love the opportunity to be able to use 1 as a home and another as a museum. I did try to find out about the sister ship’s for The Life and Joy Project one as a museum and donate the other for the Royal Marine Cadets to use. I am still working on the start up of The Life and Joy Project to local communities with information and advice especially with Mental Health and Disability awareness and support. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.
Thank you
Shaun

Jon

You want a Type 23 as your personal houseboat? It’ll be a swine getting someone in to service the boiler every year. On the upside, pointing the main gun at the local council offices should exempt you from mooring charges.

Rob Fairclough

It is a worry, but in reality, what would a few personnel worrying about Putin blustering on about hitting the West’s armaments and ammunition stores, while our war ships are laid up for Hull certification amount other such Red tapping duties? Still…. Mus’nt worry.

Rob Fairclough

Just heard…. Moments ago. Sunak is putting our defences on a war footing!!!! What? In the lists up above it states…. Due to a lack of …..men?
Will any of these immigrants stand up and fight? Or just take take take?

John Clarke

Election run up rubbish regarding immigration by boats across the channel- if we can’t let the RN collect and return immigrants to France which was where they came from then instead go giving money to France we should give the immigrants back!

Order of the Ditch

has been unable to test-fire the Naval Strike Missile (NSM), effectively delaying the RN gaining a key capability.”
Sorry but this pure RN incompetence. Get the system installed on another ship for testing! NSM is needed and there is no point having the sets sitting around not in use because one ship is in a poor mechanical state.
Somerset’s refit cost a lot of money, how can she still not be deployable?
The delays in getting T26 and T31 built have caught up with us.

Vista

Well thus article grew old quickly eh? ☹️