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Bloke down the pub

The US is moving to integrate the USMC into the area denial picture by providing them with the means to set up base in remote spots such as islands in the Asia-Pacific and operate uavs, anti-ship missiles, land attack and air defence. They will soon have more anti ship capability than the RN.

Duker

The RN areas of the North Atlantic, Artic and Mediterranean dont resemble the vast areas and the scattered atolls of the Pacific that the USMC has focussed on. Theses sea areas have their own littorals with their own countries and armed forces.
The Pacific is largely micro states and of course the US strategy is to push its defensive perimeter as far away from its own main territory as possible. UK doesnt have that geographic situation
UK pulled out of SE Asia in the 1960s ( and defence spending might be around 6% of GDP) and its certainly not going back on a continuous basis ( maybe 1 every 5 years !)

Debra

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Last edited 1 month ago by Debra
rnsc8397

Arguable the US Marine Corp has gone for broke on a dud idea. What Islands? Is China worried by a few more anti ship missiles.?

And the reason looks like short sighted despair at the loss of past roles.

Less interest in the Gulf and terror threat seemed to remove the need for forward deployed rapid intervention and the abilty to bring it ashore. History shows crises tend to break out, as in 1990 when no US carrierv or BLT was in the area.

The experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and the view not to repeat them looked to remove the rolevof oroviding back up and numbers for tge US army.

And the NATO role looked redundant with a peace loving Putin

Trying for a role in the new anti-china Pacific focus, may have looked the only option. And that couldnt include invading China, or fighting its arny.

But the China focus was naive and underresourced to the point of being impossible , not least because US naval forcd levels are falling not rising.

We are now facing war and a returned, mad, unpredictable adversary, in Europe, and a potentially enlarged role for the USMC on a more under threat northern flank and possibly the Med.

The Gulf may soon explode literally , as Biden fails to deal with the imminent Iranian nuclear capability and his regional allies lose confidence in him and opt to solve it themselves. If it does explode , unless Biden deserts another ally, and ignores the collapse in oil supplies, the Gulf role will be back .

Compared with that a coastal artillery role, fighting vastly larger Chinese force, is going to look suicidally silly.
.

Will

Putin isn’t going to be invading any NATO countries, ever. He will happily grind Ukraine into dust, but that’s as far as it goes. BTW, as ginormous as China is, ol’ Vladimir wouldn’t be the worst guy to have around as an ally against Beijing, now, would he? But beyond all this is the elephant in the room, which is that the RN is just too small. Period, full stop. All that needs to be done is build the Black Swan sloop of war and add in some unmanned systems, and the fleet would be large enough for London to meet all of its strategic commitments.

RMJ

The bean counters will argue that if you can afford to do without ASuW for 5 years, why have any at all! disaster waiting to happen. If last 2 months has shown anything it’s sub sonic heavyweight ASuW are still very potent and required. The RN is a bit of a laughing stock navy without any, and is equivalent to RAF doing away with Meteor.

Will

Agreed entirely. I’ll say it again: the solution, or a big part of it, to the RN’s “lethality problem” is simply to buy the latest Harpoon variant(s) and have done with it. Harpoon is an older design, yes, but it has been continually updated and upgraded, it is crazy cheap (relatively speaking), and it is a proven weapon that can be fitted to, and fired from, a dizzying array of platforms, which all by itself further complicates any enemy’s plans. Why isn’t anyone in the UK talking about this option?

GTEORGE THOMAS

FULLY AGREE WITH YOUR COMMON SENSE. ADMIRALS HAVE TO SEE IT NOW!
NOT ROCKET SCIENCE FOR ME . JUST DO IT!!!!!!!! WHAT IS DEFENCE SECETARY DOING ABOUT THIS EASY SOLUTION .DON’T FORGET THE DAY JOB WHICH IS BIG HARPOON AT THE MOMENT KALA UKRAINE ( GOOD UKRAINE)

Gunbuster

No mention of the anti surface capabilities of Ceptor. OK its not heavyweight and it’s warhead is small but something diving at you at over M3, exploding in proximity and spreading tungsten ball bearings around the upper deck systems or hitting you is going to upset your day

Supportive Bloke

Particularly if they are aimed at shredding the radars so leaving the ship blind.

Just Me

And how do you get within 25km to do this shredding of any vaguely armed surface combatant?

GTEORGE THOMAS

FIRE AT RUSSIA AIR DEFENCE FRIGATES AS THEY APPEAR NOT TO WORK VERY WELL, LIKE THEIR SAM’S

D J

GTEORGE

Please don’t use Capitals. It means you are shouting. There are naval gun systems that exceed 25km without resorting to rocket existed eg BAE 127mm mk4 etc. Guided long range shells such as volcano 127mm, can do 100km for less money (volcano 76mm does 40km). Most major warships carry more than one radar. Taking out a front line warship with CAMM (please note T31 is not front line), only works if they have (a) no such gun system, (b) no AShM (almost all front line warships carry AShM except carriers & RN) & most exceed 25km, (c) no radar controlled SAM, (d) you can get that close. If Sea Wolf from last century could shoot down a 4.5” shell, how good are current systems? Mind you these are all NATO type examples. How good are Russian & Chinese systems? How much of Russian real power is held in reserve in case NATO moves? If you know the answers, what are you doing here?

Sean

Agreed. Even the small warhead of a Sea Ceptor can render a complex modern warship combat ineffective if it detonated in the right place.
Hitting the CIC would be particularly effective.

Duker

It cant hit a CIC, which is deeper in the hull. if theres a proximity fuse then a small blast area results on upper areas. Even a frigate T26 is 150m or nearly 500 ft long. I cant see it even being able to discriminate on parts of the hull like a sea skimming ASM does, it doesnt do sea skimming either so would be an easy aerial inbound target to pick off. ( something its intended target a fast jet cant do)
Fast speed boats with little or no defences and an airburst attack are the most likely and probably better dealt with by shipboard rapid firing guns

Andrew Deacon

Easy to pick off ? No need to worry about zircon then.

Just Me

Yeah, and it’s outranged by every real anti ship missile on earth.
I assume in your curious scenario an enemy Frigate will just sit there and let you try and peck it to death with a tiny repurposed A2A missile no more lethal than a Hellfire.

Airborne

You’ve used that same chuff comment to Gab just the other day on UKDJ, remember, when you were rude and disrespectful to him for no reason?

Supportive Bloke

Russia and China are considerably ahead in this particular arms race”

Is there objective evidence of this? Or is this relying on Mad Vlad’s CGI’s and dubious claims of wonder weapons?

The only hypersonics that have been seen in the Ukrainian conflicts are warmed up cold ware weapons that execute a fast terminal hypersonic dive.

So I am unconvinced that the Russians have this. The Chinese might have it but it likely relies on Russian tech anyway. And we all know how good that has proved to be…..

captain p wash

Nope, none at all and in the case of Chinese stuff, It’s all just Lipstick on a Pig….. nothing they build is either proven or tested in actual combat and if all their other crap is any indication, none of it will work or perform as intended. 003 just launched will be a total disaster if the SHTF…..

Horatio

So then there is no need of RN anymore.
No more use for any weapons onboard RN ships.
What was said of the Japanese navy pilots before Pearl harbor? They were inherently incapable of flying, yeah some pilots, some flying.

Last edited 1 month ago by Horatio
captain p wash

Sorry I fail to see how that is a valid reply to my post in any way other than I agree with your comment about Japanese Pilots, however they were in combat for some considerable time before Pearl unlike present day China which Is actually the point I was making.

Ngatimozart

It’s never a wise move to understand estimate your opponent, and whilst the PLA haven’t fought a modern war, it doesn’t make them any less dangerous. It could indeed make them more dangerous because they may not have the same inherent strictures and budgetary problems that many western nations, especially the UK, have. You also have to look at and understand the political differences between the UK and the PRC with regard to national security strategy, defence policy, planning, and procurement. The CCP ensures that the PLA is given the resources and tools that it requires to action CCP policy. Remember that the PLA is responsible to the CCP and not to the PRC official government. We don’t know how good they actually are until we face them in combat,but I suspect that their discipline may be better than that currently exhibited by Russian forces in Ukraine. However there is claims of, and evidence of, corruption within the PLA with many promotions being based upon the level of bribes rather than ability. The higher the rank, the greater the asking price. Because the PLA is now an all volunteer force, even the lowest ranked recruit has to pay the recruiter a fee in order to pass selection for service. So to a certain degree it does call into question their capability, but doesn’t give us a reason to underestimate them.

In the UK, the politicians don’t have an unified long term plan and they are only focused on electoral cycles. They interfere far too much wasting billions of pounds because of their ineptitude. Then there are the Treasury and the Civil Service. Mind you UK defence procurement isn’t as bad as Canadian defence procurement which is pretty hideous, or Indian defence procurement which is slightly more hideous than Canada’s. In todays world you can’t afford to stuff around with defence capabilities and procurement. The Type 26 is a good FFG and the number being acquired by the RN should be doubled to 16. The Type 31 is a glorified OPV and a waste of a perfectly good FFG hull and machinery. Look at what the Royal Danish Navy have achieved with the original design for a similar amount of money. The RDN use their Iver Huitfeld Class FFG as escorts for USN CVNs when they deploy with USN CBGs.

captain p wash

Hello, you must be new here…… !!!! but seriously though, I get what you are trying to say, I really do but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see……

D J

I recognise Ngatimozart from elsewhere. He is ex RNZAF & RNZN. He does sometimes fire a bit too quickly, but he likely has a better idea of the situation in the Indo-Pacific & the the CCP than most who post on here.

Deep32

You are missing the point WRT what/how the UK intends to use the T31s!! RDN IH class are fitted out that way, because they are multi role warships of which they now only have 3. Their 2 Absolom class vessels are being converted to perform the ASW role that the IH lack.
The rN uses two vessels to conduct the same roles. T23(26) and T45s which we have many more of.
Granted the T31 could be better armed, and probably will for certain roles/regions, but we don’t need them to be a major surface combatant.
The Canadians will follow a similar route to the IH class with their T26 buy, because they have to as it will be their only major surface combatant, so needs to be multi purpose.

Sunmack

How will the UK be using its T31’s differently from how it uses it’s T23 GP ships?

The T23 GP’s have a hull mounted sonar, 8 x SSM’s, ASW torpedoes, a large calibre gun and 32 SAM’s. The T31 will have no ASW sensors or weapons, no SSM’s and 12 SAM’s.

We often use out T23 GP’s on the Gulf. Have threat levels in the Gulf and on other missions that they are assigned to decreased or if not, what other warships will now be undertaking the T23 GP missions which T31 is clearly not equipped to undertake.

Duker

What war at sea did the Imperial navy face combat ( especially dive bombing and torpedo attacks) before the 7th Dec 1941. You might say that about the Imperial Army and its airforce in China before that date. That was essentially a land war.

captain p wash

I didn’t actually say that did I ? What i said was that Japanese Pilots had combat experience prior to Pearl just like German Pilots had in Spain. That experience enables other Pilots to learn valuable skills as witnessed at Pearl which I might point out, happened after Taranto. As I said originally, China has no actual combat experience and no equipment has been tested in War for a very long time but they will be learning from recent events in Ukraine just like us. As for all the other comments from all the new posters !!!!, yes I agree with you to a large degree.

D J

I would also point out that fighting someone that has not read the same rule book as you, can add an extra dimension. Also it is good to remember that old methods have not gone away. They are just used more selectively by most modern militaries. Bayonets were actually used as bayonets during the Falklands war. A one off? Sure, but it happened.

PRC tend to go for numbers (when you have a population over a billion, that makes sense) & firepower (they will fit a big gun to anything that can handle it). One for one, it’s likely NATO & it’s allies are in front, but it’s not one for one. Even a .22 rimfire will kill you & a WW2 era 25 pounder has been spotted in action in the last 25 years. While everyone concentrates on NLAWS & Javelin in Ukraine, underneath it’s still a WW2 meat grinder (at least a step up from WW1 stupidity).

Duker

The comment was about Japanese navy pilots and you responded
Surely you know their navy and army air arms were separate with different planes even. For the IJN the war began with Pearl Harbour although land based bombers were active over China previously

captain p wash

I actually said Japanese Pilots not Navy Pilots, I then responded to Horatio’s comments regarding Navy Pilots……and yes I do know thanks.

Duker

Which Japanese pilots launched from Japanese navy ships for the raid on Pearl Harbour.https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/japanese-memory-of-world-war-ii

Patton

There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.
You underestimate your opponent in battle, odds are you won’t live to see another.

captain p wash

Yep, works both ways.

Patton

.

Last edited 1 month ago by Patton
ToraToraTora

Britain’s most humiliating military blunder – Fall of Singapore

The British in their arrogance underestimated the capability of Japan. When Shenton Thomas, the Governor of Singapore was told that the Japanese forces had landed in Kelantan in the east coast of Malaya, he was reported to have remarked to Gen Percival , the British Commander for Malaya and Singapore, “I suppose you will push the little men off”.
Both Thomas and Percival had to pay a price ending up as prisoners of war of the Japanese Imperial Army, when Singapore fell.

captain p wash

One Battle doesn’t win a War.

ToraToraTora

On a wider strategic level, the fall of Singapore was symbolic of the fall of the British Empire in the Far East, and one where the British could never recover its position militarily, or strategically.

It was a testament to how the British Empire could not adequately plan to fight a war… tactics and strategies, were totally ignorant of how the Japanese waged war.

— ukdj

captain p wash

Oh yes, Absolutely, It had become a bloated and ineffective dinosour by then in so many ways and not really without any surprise for such a large portion of the World with so few “Boots on the ground”.

captain p wash

Are you trying to post a link from UKDJ or are you a bit lost ? I’m a bit lost truth be known….. Especially now that a DJ has turned up here….. lol.

D J

I alternate – just to keep you on your toes. Plus a few other sites on occasion.

captain p wash

Your alternations are most welcome, especially as i am currently barred from commenting on the “impartial” UKDJ Site for speeking (typing) my thoughts……..i do miss being able to reply there though, even the latest subject there , has me talking out loud to DM and NC lol…..

Gavin Gordon

Didn’t realise you’d been sent to HMS Coventry by UKDL, Capt? Only ever get an image of a little round chap with that moniker i.e. of no offence to anybody!
That set against the pseudonyms adopted by some posters on these various sites, for sure …..Assuming these are chosen as apt – well, the image is not totally reassuring, let’s say.

captain p wash

Hello my old UKDJ friend, yup, George didn’t like what i had to say on his “impartial” site…. It was mostly down to my replies and responses towards the Keyboard warriors that infested the place (Herodotas and the like) and after I managed to get him to rid the place of the mis-used and abbused Up/Downvote feature……. It’s fine though, I’m happy enough playing on this and other sites now….. oh and It’s not actually my real name but Seaman Stains is a tad embarrising don’t you think !!!!!!

D J

It has. It’s only the larger nations that can afford to lose a battle & still keep fighting. Even England has lost a war in one battle (Hastings). It depends on how much you loose & how much you can save to fight again & how much you actually committed in the first place. UK can loose on mainland Europe & keep fighting. Nations like Belgium & Portugal, they lack depth. France, Germany, Spain have depth. If you don’t have depth, you simply don’t have the room or time to fight the next battle.

captain p wash

Absolutely, To be fair though, the original post I actually put on here was more about Chinese Equipment/ships……… I’ve not really disagreed with any of the replies since…..

D J

Was replying to your post to ToraToraTora. Sorry if I got a little carried away.

captain p wash

My VR Face is now smiling rather broadly …… shame you can’t see it !!!!! God I love these sites, been sat back just viewing and soaking it all up for a fair few months untill about a week ago….. reckon I’ll stick around untill the next Keyboard warrior turns up !!!

D J

Percival was worse than incompetent. They should have hung him at the end of the war. How he ever got to the rank he did has to be questionable. Percival lost Malaysia because he did not get on with his only General that had any idea. Most of his troops had no jungle warfare training (which he made no attempt to rectify), except the 2/3 strength Australian 8th division. He lost Singapore because he was exceedingly stupid. Despite London sending someone to oversee fortification of Singapore, Percival ignored him till Churchill personally intervened & even then it was half hearted. He ignored intelligence because it came via the General he didn’t like (his own troops lacked the capability). Fortress Singapore never existed. It could have, but Percival ensured it didn’t.

Sorry for the rant – one of my pet subjects. I could go on for ages. Relatives died because of this fool.

ToraToraTora

Not totally Percival was to blame, Force Z (HMS Repulse and HMS Prince of Wales) was not under Percival direct command.

The Singapore strategy was the cornerstone of British Imperial defence policy in the Far East during the 1920s and 1930s. By 1937, according to Captain Stephen Roskill RN “the concept of the ‘Main Fleet to Singapore’ had, perhaps through constant repetition, assumed something of the inviolability of Holy Writ”.

A combination of financial, political and practical difficulties ensured that it could not be successfully implemented. During the 1930s, the strategy came under sustained criticism in Britain and abroad, particularly in Australia, where the Singapore strategy was used as an excuse for parsimonious defence policies.

The strategy ultimately led to the dispatch of Force Z  to Singapore and the sinking by Japanese air attack on 10 December 1941.

The subsequent ignominious fall of Singapore was described by Winston Churchill  as “the worst disaster and largest capitulation in British history”

D J

Percival lost because he was worse than WW1 incompetent. He had 85,000 troops (a large proportion not combat ready – his fault entirely), next to no defences (because he refused to build them), failed to fortify Johore (source of most of Singapore’s water) & ignored the only commander that thought to actually put scouts across the straights. He also had the entire Malaysian campaign reports to get the fact that the enemy was taking no prisoners. On that basis, you surrender 85,000 troops?

Did you know that the last troops across the causeway were greated by someone wanting to know officer laundry orders? They were given orders to take up defensive positions that did not exist & no tools to build them themselves. Ok… where is the closest city road maintenance depot. Oh, it’s closed – weekend you see. Did anyone mention there is a war on? Not in Singapore it seems. Someone liberated a whole lot of picks & shovels from that depot. Police are fast running out of time to charge anyone.

Cal

Overestimating your enemy’s capability can be just as much of a blunder as underestimating them. Russia’s penchant for aggression should be accounted for, but their alleged wunderwaffe shouldn’t be feared.

Lord Jim

Ok they might be pulling a PR stunt regarding Hypersonics, but both Russia and China have large numbers of effective supersonic AShMs, whereas NATO has no weapons of even this type at present.

Supportive Bloke

You have used the words:-

Russia + effective + missile + large numbers in one sentence.

Does not scan.

Lucis1019

CPS missile has a diameter of 34.5 inches, not 32.

Lucis1019

Cheers!

Supportive Bloke

Despite the best efforts of MBDA, QinetiQ, Dstl and others, the UK will struggle to truly keep up with a new generation of weaponry being developed by China, Russia and the US. Around £2 billion has been allocated by the MoD for research into ‘next generation’ weapons between now and 2026. This is a good investment but is spread across several technological areas, contrast this with the $4.7Bn (£3.8Bn) the US is spending on hypersonic weapon research in FY 2023 alone. The First Sea Lord said in February that the RN is aiming to become “a global leader in hypersonic weapons”. This worthy aspiration is unfortunately very hard to reconcile with the reality of scientific and fiscal resources.”

Let’s take that apart.

The fact that we are spending 20% of what the US us spending on this is unsurprising as their economy is about 5x bigger than ours.

The spend isn’t actually that relevant it is more what tech can the UK bring to the table. By which I mean what research have Reaction Engines etc produced. They are the company with the essential tech in this area and the tech to massively enhance the efficiency of jet engines such that super cruising is possible without after burners.

I wouldn’t underestimate just how much UK tech is valued by the US arms industry. Small units of highly competent people can develop tech disproportionately fast to massive organisations. Why do you think they want Ultra etc?

UK PLC need to take a few more golden shares in critical companies etc so we have full spectrum sovereign tech in this and other areas.

Grant

I think DARPA is the one now funding Reaction Engines: maybe we’ll get to buy something American produced from them in 20 years…. Its madness we haven’t thrown more investment behind them here in the UK. Despite everything our aviation industry is still 2nd or 3rd biggest in the world but I can only see that position slipping backwards.

Suportive Bloke

That would depend on the structure of the agreements with DARPA – which will exist at some level as this started out as sovereign UK teach.

What Reaction Engines developed in the UK or as a UK based company is available to the MOD because of the structure of the various Defence Acts. Yes, MOD police can turn up at any defence related UK company and take stuff if they become uncooperative with the state just the same is USA.

The importance of Reaction Engines really should not be underestimated to both Gen6 planes and to missiles as they will massively increase the burn efficiency by increasing the air density.

Sean

BAE own 20% of Reaction Engines and both Rolls Royce and Boeing have made investments. Government funding has come from UKSA, ESA, USAFRL, and they have a contract with DARPA.

Hardly either a “yanks stealing our technology from us” or a “British failure to invest in world-leading technology” story. But people like to take the pessimistic view of life for some reason 🤷🏻‍♂️

captain p wash

I must admit to being a tad pessimistic myself at times…. but It’s mainly based upon previous failures and mistakes like giving Russia Jet Engines, Re-building VW, Cancelling TSR2… the list is very long.

Simon

The UK government has a control over MBDA via it golden share in BAE. I also think they have a veto over a takeover of QinetiQ

Duker

MBDA actually operates as ‘national divisions’ So that MBDA UK has say 4000 staff in the UK. The original French and Italian divisions have been joined by German and Spanish divisions as their missiles business came un MBDA umbrella.
Of course where national governments have decided on a joint venture project- like the hypersonic cruise missile Perseus- the various divisions share the work

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MBDA_UK

D J

Most government’s have some sort of veto when it comes to takeovers that they consider are against the national interest or national security. Occasionally they are taken by surprise, but they then change the law to close the loophole. They always have the option of taking over afterwards (nationalising), but that usually involves financial compensation.

Grant

“being effective at AAW and ASW have great value in keeping the sea lines of communication (SLOC) open and allowing the force to operate in theatre but are not the means to really threaten the adversary”

As our lethality was to be centred on the carriers and LSG, the fact our surface combatants are configured to be defensive is logical. The problem is too few jets, weapons integrated onto the jets, two few helicopters and not enough investment in the RM. If there is extra money it would be better spent filling out the gaps in CSG and LSG, which would be front and centre in any peer to peer engagement.

That said, we should of course have AShM, they are still clearly useful and when our ships operate alone they should have a bit more punch. The ability to launch tomohawk (and a replacement) will also free up our limited SSN force

FCASW is miles off: the fact there are two different design directions being mooted by the two partners tells you that: NSM and JSM for ships and F35s should be brought ASAP. The FCASW will be a very expensive round, brought in small numbers, for use against high end adversaries, so cheaper missiles will have a long term use as well.

Supportive Bloke

What I’m not seeing is thinking being updated to reflect the fact that lots of mid tech missiles are needed to fight the Russians not a tiny number of exquisite ones.

We are seeing that Harpoon is effective: there are lots of Harpoon about.

Maybe a Harpoon life extension program is the way to go until something much better comes through?

Fred the Frog

Well if all the Russian Tugs are sunk by Harpoons, They’ll not dare putting to Sea.

Suportive Bloke

And the cruisers are sunk by Harpoonski……

Grant

I think this is right. Truthfully a weapon like FCASW will never be used: we have it to stay ahead of potentially peer aggressors and therefore hopefully deter a clash with them: what will actually get used is mid range stuff against mid range adversaries and we need both kinds of kit.

I read an interesting RUSI analysis that one of the reasons Russia is struggling is that they have tried to build ‘overmatch’ capabilities, much like the US has whilst forgetting the ‘quantity has its own quality’ maxim that really was the cornerstone of Soviet thinking…

Suportive Bloke

It is an interesting point of view.

The trouble is that Russian overmatch weapons are at about the level of what UK would consider to be obsolete.

I agree with need both to keep a massive tech edge but also to realistically be able to take out masses of opposition units.

The one things that is proved again and again is that the Russians have large number of their junk. Trouble is if they can keep their junk rolling forwards they could win a war.

We clearly do have the tools to take out their platforms but do we have enough of them? That is surely the real question?

captain p wash

That very question is and has been asked in every War since War’s began. We learn nothing from any War apart from how to kill more people.

D J

There is an upgrade kit available for the Harpoon Block 1C version (USN has been upgrading some of theirs), however the UK missiles are particularly old. If you have to replace too much of the missile, it quickly becomes cheaper to buy new. It’s not just the tech in the sensor & guidance systems, but rocket fuel & warheads also have an EOL timeframe. An alternative may be to buy ex RAN missiles as they swap in NSM. They are Bock 2 standard which does give some level of land attack as well. There is the added advantage of additional canisters & control systems as well as missiles.

Netking

I’m in total agreement with you on this. Why rely on expensive and a limit amount of SSNs for sea control when you can arm your surface fleet with something like the harpoon and get a similar deterrent effect.

Duker

Then there is this.
The Germans looked closely at using 155mm self propelled howitzer turret on a frigate size hull. The weight was the same as the 76mm it replaced, the space below deck requirements were similar. The recoil that was acceptable for a SPH wasnt for ship needed some modifications
Range is 67 km with rocket assist or 30-45 km for normal shells. A feature is the 3 rounds in 9 sec from auto loading.
I think what scuttled it was the poor corrosion prevention, or maybe it was a reluctance to take risks

https://web.archive.org/web/20051112194002/http://www.rheinmetall-detec.de/index.php?lang=3&fid=742

MONARC1[1].jpg
captain p wash

The whole Naval Gun/Shore Gun thing has been experimented with for Centuries and will be for some time to come I reckon. interesting to see a German ship with a 6 incher though.

DaveyB

Ah, you mean this:

The fabled BAe 155mm from the AS90 fitted to the Mk8 turret. Shame it didn’t get to the testing stage before it was cancelled.

The-BAE-155-mm-gun-prototype-which-was-later-canceled.jpg
Captain P Wash

I was thinking more of Hitlers Atlantic Wall where a serious mix of Ship Guns were installed.

Supportive Bloke

I do wonder how well it would have worked IRL. It has a ridiculous unbalanced cantilever for a modern naval gun.

Dictated by the tiny turret of the Mk8.

So the effectors would have been very, very powerful.

There might have been good reasons why it was canned?

D J

155mm guns on ships has been looked at repeatedly. 6” guns used to be a common light cruiser armament. Smarter people than you or I have come up short (so far) on a modern version. Cheaper & easier to park a SPH on the flight deck & keep it in the hanger when not in use. Or just buy Volcano for the 5”.

captain p wash

I just said that !!!!!!

D J

Sorry – slow 1 finger typing & the wife interrupted. Should have hit refresh before posting & not been looking at ukdj at the same time. Maybe I should make my posts shorter?

Supportive Bloke

How was it stabilised?

Too big to be directly gyro stabilised?

Theoretically you can hydraulically gyro stabilise using a remotely connected sympathetic weight that moves in the same regime. But that needs the actuators in the right place.

I’d be surprised if they had something of this mass using electro servos?

All well and good during it on a mirror pond. You then need to see what happens to accuracy as the sea states increase…….

DaveyB

Harpoon is and will always be a very effective anti-ship missile. Anything that has the capability to skim the sea’s surface at 5m will present a problem to any ship, where its response must be at the top of its game, to try and stop it hitting.

Harpoon’s problem is that it is a weapon of war! Where it can only really be used, where there are clearly defined targets, such as in the northern part of the Black Sea. Where there are no cruise ships, tankers, cargo ships or large fishing boats to distract the missile away from the intended target. Firing it in the Straights of Hormuz would be a problem, unless you cleared all traffic from the firing area.

The newest Block 2+ has a one way data-link, where it can be fed mid-course corrections. But that only works up to a point, if there is are two ships passing close to each other. The Harpoon’s radar will try to lock on to the largest radar return or invariably the closest target.

This is why the Kongsberg NSM/JSM would have been perfect for the interim anti-ship weapon. Its imaging infrared sensor searches for a target that matches its preloaded target library. It will only lock on to its intended target if it matches the stored imagery. So as a weapon used in a peacetime environment, it would match the UK’s rule of engagement (RoE). Whereby the target has been identified and can be tracked to impact via its two-way data-link. NSM/JSM is being further enhance by installing BAe RF tracking analyser that is being fitted to the AGM-158C LRASM. This will allow the missile to hunt for the target, when a 3rd party can’t get close enough to give it updated course correction data. The other bonus with NSM, is that it can also be used against land targets. It has a “healthy” stand-off range, although no where near Tomahawk’s. It t does mean, that when faced with a similar attack the USS Mason faced off Yemen, it can immediately retaliate.

In some respects, the Sea Venom would also match the need for an organic ship launched anti-ship missile (Wildcat not withstanding), that could be used to defend the ship during normal peacetime operations. For a within line of sight use against small attack craft, corvettes or by multiple firings against frigate/destroyer sized ships. Its Imaging Infrared sensor will allow it to lock on to the designated target and be as lot harder to decoy. Whilst its 30kg warhead will do more damage than Sea Ceptor’s. It can be cannister launched, which could then be deck mounted. But interestingly, it weighs a little bit more than a Sea Ceptor, but less than a CAMM-ER. Therefore, it could be soft launched from a vertical launcher cell, which raises some compelling possibilities!

Supportive Bloke

If we had to sink Russian or other scrap at scale we would be at war…..so the point holds…

D J

DaveyB

You have it the wrong way round. LM have asked BAE US to develop an updated RF sensor after the new BAE Australia supplied JSM sensor jumped ahead of their existing LRSM BAE US supplied RF sensor. ie JSM sensor is currently in front. National IP laws add an extra dimension. Now we have BAE competing against itself. If you are a BAE shareholder, you are grinning.

Teves

Would have thought that the 5 sets of 8 deck mounted NSM would have been a useful stand in for harpoon and would have offered us a short rang weapon to work along side the longer range FCASW or at least add the NSM to the the 5 type 31 for a little extra bite.

ATH

What would you use to pay for these missiles? The RN had the money in the defence review but decided it was better spent on contributing to developing the Anglo-French missile.

Sunmack

…and better spent on a national ship (£250m) and 20 scout vehicles (£3.2 billion). There’s plenty of money. It’s just being wasted on the wrong things

ATH

Then you need to find a way to convince the Chief of Defence staff that it’s a good to reprioritise defence spending. It won’t be easy as he’s the person that killed the interim harpoon replacement as poor VFM.

Teves

We should be spending at least 2.5% of our GDP on defence and probably closer to 3% if we want to be taken seriously on a global stage, but the MOD insists on wasting millions on start stop projects, Ajax being the big one of the day, take a leaf out of the Norway playbook cancel the order get the money back and spend it on something useful.

Duker

Norway and its NTH Helicopter for Navy and Coastguard was an existing fully developed system when they ordered it. Good luck with getting the money back
The Boxer was a development program for UK where the army ‘couldnt make up its mind/ major infighting over the requirement’…or both.

ATH

And how do you propose to convince one or preferably both the main political parties that it’s in there electoral interest to up defence spending as opposed to using spending on health, education or social care or cutting taxes? Without a successful political argument planning where to spend money is just self delusion.
Plus Norway haven’t got their money back on NTH, they’ve asked for it back and the manufacturer has said no. So it’s in the hands of the lawyers, probably for a decade or so.

Last edited 1 month ago by ATH
nonsense

There is no budget to allocate to the Royal Navy because the Army has to prepare for World War III and armored vehicles that will not be reached in 2030.

captain p wash

Brilliant article, so much to take in and digest….. This has made my day.

Nick B

UK capability is always in the future and when the future arrives, it is rarely delivered. It is clear that Mark 41 VLS should be added to Type 31 and Type 45 asap, but…

When the upgrade money is available for the Type 45 Sea Ceptor cell addition (which is after the completion of the current refurbishment power generation upgrade) it will only be a few years away from the decommissioning of the first Type 45 and will not represent value for money at that point.

Given the curent intend role of the Type 31, they are “perfect” as designed. However, were we to upgrade them closer top the Ivor Huitfeldt class capability, surely, we would surely need to upgrade the sensors to a add 3D and a multi-function radar ? The upgrade time requirement and cost will be prohibitive in practice.

The whiole of the UK defence startegy is based around a seroes of assumptiopns that state that we dont need anything more than we have today before the late 2030s, by which time more money will be available and we’ll have replaced…(the list there is almost endless) and have expanded numbers.

Can any of us really beleive this is at all likely based on history, before we deal with the consequences of the current bout of inflation, the likely recession of 2023/5(?) and the political and economic decline that Boris and his successor come 2024 are likely to leave as there legacy ?

Until Govts (and voters) are willing to match budget increase to at least 3 % of GDP, we keep writing Defence and Foreign Policy cheques which are going to bounce.

Fred the Frog

You need to “upgrade” your spell checker !!!!

Nick B

I hope you’re not another Dreary messaniaic spelling obsessed individual ?

Perhaps I should mention my near life ending Brain Hemorrhage from a few years ago and speculate about low level brain damaged (my typing and memory certainly went downhill a bit afterwards) or perhaps its just old age. But I suppose that wouldn’t worry you too much.

Fred the frog

I guess you missed the irony then. What’s a Messaniaic ?

D J

If T31 is perfect for its role, than HMG government need to re-examine their definition of what it’s role is. A number of nations are looking at the A140, no-one is looking at the T31. Why – because it’s an out & out dud. RN knows this. They want hulls in the water. Oh, you want us to operate in the Indian Ocean, we will need another 12 SAM’s. Pacific- make that 24 extra or should that be 48. BTW we will need some AShM & a sonar. Our gun is no good at NGFS. Can we change it?

captain p wash

I Like you DJ….. You’re on a similar wave length ……….. Have an Upvote !

rnsc8397

Its a dud because its designed to an entirely unrealistic class price cap imposed by the Treasury.The navy was told how little was available and told to build something with it. The hope as ever was that it might be possible to uparm it later. It should be capable of operating in harms way, but is vulnerable to anyone who can exhaust its dozen air defence missiles and its unable to hit back. It should be able if needed to fill in as a goalkeeper for the world’s only carriers without their own missile defence , or as a forward deployed cruise missile option.

And this Treasury mindset dictates all the other problems. Capability gapped to late 20 s or mid 30s ? Obviously not a problem as the Treasury know somehow there will be no war in the interval. The old Treasury10 year rule – no war for 10 years ‘ so no need to be resdy for it , lingers on. One F35 squadron between 2 carriers, because of sloth like F35 procurement , looks like the other old argument why have more aircraft than we put on the Invincibles? By Treasury definition that was enough, so why hurry to put more on a bigger ship? Something due to turn up in 2028 or 2035 in Treasury terms means problem solved – no possibility of buying something off the shelf to fill the hole in the meantime . Filling the gap by say buying USMC, USN or allied weapons for the F35 now , in Treasury terms, just duplicates the spending committed later and HM Treasury know there will be no war, so that would be foolish.

This mentality has now been tested to destruction by Putins war and the promise of more to come. WW3 could currently break out in days, not a decade. Defence forces with minimal capability to defend or attack don’t fit the defence need, or the politics of burdensharing as its generally acknowledged more of most capabilties is needed, fast , and America won’t want to keep on filling in for European capability.

The question is has the politics changed?. Demands on money are rising elsewhere too. There is no visible sense of urgency filling holes that might be needed soon.But most of the major contenders for Conservative leader seem keener on increasing dedence spending. And Labour is trying to kill off the Corbyn image on defence, has a good shadow defence secretary and a good argument that if Brown failed to spend what his defence strategy had needed in 1998, Cameron and subsequent defence cuts have been whats reduced capability to ridiculously low levels since 2010. Wouldnt bet on it , but at some point our politicians may catch on tgat the world is dangerous and can become more so , quickly.

D J

Leaving aside the politics, they could have achieved more for their money. The 57mm costs around the same as the 76mm. The 76mm can handle volcano (40km) & also has SAPOM-ER which out ranges the 57mm. General consensus is that 76mm is the minimum (& marginal) for NGFS. 76mm is the most common frigate main gun out there & a very common OPV gun in SE Asia. So how do you operate a 6,000t OPV east of Suez? You can’t. Every second OPV you meet will outgun you. No AShM & only 12 SAM? Australia, NZ & Singapore will feel they need to escort you in case you hurt yourself.

Fred the Frog

Anyone seen X ?

X

I am here.

How are you Merion X?

Fred the frog

Who as ?

John Hartley

The Turkish Atmaca was designed to be a straightforward replacement for Harpoon. It is also half the price of Harpoon. What if the UK said to Erdogan, “drop your objection to Sweden & Finland joining NATO & in return the RN will buy Atmaca for its T45 Destroyers”.

Duker

I would think its a ‘copy’ of an existing missile, seems almost same diameter as Harpoon but uses a Safran-Microturbo used in Exocet and Kongsberg NSM

D J

Doesn’t mean it’s worse than what the RN has now. Sure it’s a copy. But it’s a modern copy from a NATO power. Countries are still buying new current Harpoon missiles. Given the option I would go with the Konsberg NSM for surface ships, JSM for air & submarine. For all the talk of Harpoon falling behind, I see little mention of sub-harpoon replacement. Somehow the topic doesn’t exist.

Jon

The MoD has said the Type 26 frigates will be equipped with the (FCASW) from 2028.

This should be taken with a pinch of salt. Minister Quin actually said:

The Planning Assumption for Service Entry for Future Cruise /Anti-Ship Weapon on the T26 Frigate and Typhoon aircraft is 2028 and 2030 respectively.

He did not say HMS Glasgow would be operationally equipped by 2028, he just said that was the planning assumption. An assumption made before it’s even been agreed what the missile will be, is worthless, and I’m pretty sure the Minister knew it. He wanted to sound optimistic because he was cancelling the funded I-SSGW.

The design and development phase, which was supposed to have kicked in by 2020 didn’t start until this year, and there should be no real expectation that old planning assumptions are meaningful. If it took eleven years between the announcement of FC/ASW and the start of the design, is it realistic to assume it will be operational six years from now?

Suportive Bloke

The reality is that it could well be produced faster.

I am guessing that what was done was a lot of digital design and simulation.

The old days of building loads of missiles a bit amateurishly, firing them and going ‘Oh b****er that didn’t go very well’ are long passed and these days once the missile is built it is generally hot off the blocks in a pretty refined state.

donald_of_tokyo

Basically, your point works. But, I guess not in the hyper-sonic missile design.

Digital modules based design is a new technology, which is becoming a new trend. But, at least in my personal understanding (I am working on something complex, of course not a ship nor missile), the technique does NOT work well on new field, with relatively limited experience.

This is simply because the simulation parameter there has a big error, because of lack of experience.

If FC/ASW were to be hyper-sonic weapon, I do not expect “easy development”. If it is sub-sonic long-range version, all experiences on StormShadow and other cruise missiles will help a lot, and possibly the Digital modules based design will be applicable.

Just a personal comment as an engineer.

Supportive Bloke

Hypersonic modelling isn’t new.

There is masses of data from re-entry vehicles and previous hypersonic tests going back decades. Ballistic missile tests will have produced loads of data.

I’d not be so negative.

I’d agree if we were trying to simulate a whole system with very little experimental data. The error margins would then be ridiculous in so many elements that the models would be meaningless.

There will be bits that are not understood well and those will be the R&D focus.

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks. I understand your point, but, new trend in hypersonic is a maneuver in the air, not just reentry. This is very different from ballistic missile. Look at US hypersonic missile development. They have x100 times more re-entry/ballistic-missile experience than UK/France, and still struggling to develop their own hypersonic missile.

T-7A was developed with digital modeling technology, and they went so-so well. Even with current difficulty, I think its development speed is still great. But, none of the T-7A capability envelope is new.

Completely differs from hypersonic missile, for sure.

Supportive Bloke

Are the US struggling?

They have set out an ISD which is pretty soon?

Duker

Being doing plenty of development work before

Advanced Hypersonic Weapon -AHW
Hypersonic Air-breathing Weapon Concept -HAWC or ‘hawk’, and its follow on Mo-HAWC or ‘mohawk’
Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon HCSW or ‘hacksaw’ cancelled in favour of ARRW as twice as many can fit
Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon ARRW and yes ‘arrow’. This is the program you are thinking as its now known as AGM-183, many testing troubles
Expendable Air breathing Multi Mission Demonstrator or ‘mayhem’, maybe a follow on to AGM-183

Jon

Technically it could be produced faster, of course. Especially if it’s not hypersonic. IAI co-developed the Blue Spear missile (a variant of the Gabriel) for Singapore in a little over a year and already has samples going to Estonia, their lead export customer, and production deliveries expected next year. IAI offered the Royal Navy the same speed for Sea Serpent early last year and the RN claimed it couldn’t get it on a Type 23 before 2027.

It’s not the technical aspects that slow UK purchases. FC/ASW is an Anglo-French collaboration. Do we think that will be faster or slower?

Supportive Bloke

Speed of

Design -> development -> testing -> manufacture is mostly mindset related.

Cost is duration related.

Ian

Slower!!!

boris

And you were the person that argued in the past that hypersonic missiles cannot possibly work due to principles of physics, plasma and all that, until you start to jump on the bandwagon.
Tell us how much you know about hypersonic flight then?

Supportive Bloke

But there are non trivial hurdles that need to be overcome for comms, range, sensors or manoeuvring. That is why I don’t believe the Russians or Chinese have a **fully** hypersonic weapon that ticks all of those boxes.

The US and UK are a lot closer particularly with long range hypersonic propulsion: which is critical for a useful weapon.

I have a shrewd idea as to what has been done to overcome one of the hurdles but it isn’t for an open forum.

Manoeuvring has been shown on the US tests.

boris

Wrong again construction guy, an study has concluded that plasma is not a serious problem at the “hypersonic speed” that cruise missile will fly.

Your lack of information does not tick all the boxes and that is a fact.

Supportive Bloke

Well Boris: time will tell.

The issue is does the nose ablate or get very hot? Both have considerable downsides.

I’d be interested if you can explain that to us dullards on here……

FYI my PhD was in chemistry

Sean

Wrong, it was the First Sea Lord that cancelled the the I-SSWG.

Sunmack

I’m not sure that you can say that the RN is a potent ASW force. Only the T26 will have ASW capabilities. The sonar on the T45 is poor and apparently unmanned these days and the T31 will reportedly have no sonar (despite the T23 GP frigates that they are replacing having a good quality hull mounted sonar). Both are also noisy ship classes with no shipboard ASW torpedoes to establish a sterile zone around them.

The Wildcat job creation scheme, sorry I meant to write helicopter, has no ASW detection equipment either.

Merlin and the T23/T26 are excellent ASW platforms but Wildcat, T45 and T31 (which will constitute over 60% of the escort fleet) are totally useless as far as this capability goes. And no, it’s not okay because we have SSN’s. Our fleet of 5 SSN’s, rising eventually to 7, are already grossly overworked.

Challenger

I sadly agree. T26 with it’s sonar/Merlin combo, Astute and Poseidon will all be world beating but there is just not enough of them to cover all the tasks asked of them.

Same with mine-hunting. Until recently we still had a pretty large fleet of world class Hunt’s and Sandown’s. Now we are getting rid of them as quickly as possible and yes the new autonomous/remote systems may be very good but if we are only purchasing a handful of them with no mother-ships to deploy from it represents a huge cut in capability.

AlexS

Good point. Only Type 26 and Merlin are ASW ready. Which is too few.
I continue to have problems understanding RN thinking.

Craig Lewell

Actually, I don’t think there is even a commitment yet for ASROC out of the T26’s VLS iirc an article on this site previously, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Sean

T45 is an air-defence destroyer, expecting it hunt submarines is like expecting Astute’s to provide air-defence.
Shipboard ASW torpedoes are a comfort blanket, nothing more. Submarine launched torpedoes far out range them, so you’d have to question the reasoning if a submarine commander who unnecessarily gets in range of a ships torpedoes.

RMJ

A basic requirement of any major surface combatant is they should have capability to detect and deal with surface, subsurface and aerial threats. Without defensive ASW torpedoes a submarine can get as close as it likes to guarantee a hit (read about Aboukir, Hogue, Cressy). Having major warships that can only perform 1 critical task means they become centres of gravity and liabilities themselves.

Sunmack

You nailed that reply. The AAW vessels of every other major navy carry a sonar and ASW torpedoes for the reasons that you stated.

Joe16

OK, but Burkes have to cover both AAW and ASW, because the USN don’t have ASW frigates, so they don’t count (in terms of sonar, at least). They’re also rather noisy in terms of modern ASW platforms, so their use and fitout in that realm shouldn’t be considered an example for anyone.
As far as the French and Italian Horizons go, yes they do have both a decent sonar and ASW torpedoes. But they also have a rather different view of the purpose of their military industries; they’ll fit stuff and build stuff because it feeds extra work and cash into the economy. Doesn’t necessarily mean it’s useful.
A lightweight torpedo does not have the range to engage an SSN or SSK; they simply will not get that close. If you want to justify ship launched torps then you need to be thinking heavyweight 533 mm versions that have the same range as the ones the subs will be launching. Like the Russians and Saudis do.
Besides, I believe AAW vessels need to be fairly centrally located within the fleet that they’re protecting, to ensure that everyone is covered by their AAD bubble. ASW is all about screening on the edge of the fleet to prevent the subs from getting into range of the juicy targets like carriers and supply vessels. An AAW vessel acting as part of a fleet can’t easily perform the ASW task, and vice versa. There is an argument for specialist vessels doing specific tasks, because they won’t be able to make use of both very expensive sets of equipment at the same time.
That said, I do feel that the RN has gone a little too hard towards the specialist ships side of things with the T45 in particular. But I’d be looking at getting an upgraded ASROC for Stingray, that can launch a lightweight torpedo out to 40+ km, so that they actually have a chance of reaching a hunting sub. That way, they can respond to contacts from Merlin, T23/T26, sonobuoys, and any other contact / sighting from their position where they should be- putting up an AAD bubble near the middle of the fleet.

Duker

Im not so convinced that frigates are ‘noisy’ because they use diesel engines and dont have electric driven propellers
SSK have always used them and continue to do so. Modern design techniques are able to isolate sources of noise and vibration and practically eliminate or attenuate them out. Rafting for machinery isolation as used for nuclear subs can be easily used in the larger hull frigates that are common now.

Joe16

Sorry, maybe I wasn’t clear; I was sayign that the Burkes were noisy in terms of ASW platforms, rather than any frigates. You’re quite right about the rafting etc. but I don’t think Burkes have that- as far as I’m aware.
Because they’re also jacks of all trades, I’d be surprised if they get to train as intensively on ASW skills as a T23 or French Aquitaine-class frigate would- and I think that makes a big difference. I’m no expert, but from little I’ve heard and read, those two frigate types are kings of the hill in terms of ASW platforms at the moment. Hopefully T26 will effectively take up the mantle.

Joe16

I can only agree so far with that; no SSN or SSK is going to close to within 6 km (that’s the range of ship-launched torpedoes) to an enemy escort before firing. You reference HMS Aboukir, Hogue and Cressy to prove your point, but that engagement happend in 1914; back then, torpedoes ran straight, without guidance, and so closing with the enemy was important to reduce the chance of a miss. That is no longer the case, and there is absolutely no reason that a modern submarine with advanced passive sonar and heavyweight torpedoes would get that close. They wouldn’t even close within ASROC range!
Defensive torpedoes are the cope cages of ASW, they’re fitted to other nation’s warships because their military industrial strategy sees value in buying domestic products and paying their nationals to design, fit, and integrate those systems.
That said, I don’t have a problem with having ships that do one task well and others as a secondary; rather than one trick ponies. But spend the money wisely: hull sonar for T45, maybe a longer ranged ASROC equivalent (I think France and Italy have one), something that would actually be useful.

rmj

I reference the Bacchantes to illustrate what happens when a navy (RN) neglects ASW capability. defensive torpedos keep other subs at distance. If it’s good enough for the RCN it’s good enough for us.

Joe16

I’m afraid you’ve lost me, I can’t find a vessel named Bacchantes that fell foul of a torpedo…
I’m afraid I’m still not with you on this- what “distance” are you trying to hold them…? A lightweight defence torpedo has a range of about 6 km, so that’s the distance that it’s pushing the sub out to. From what I’ve read from people on here Stingray and others seek in a downward spiral until it finds a contact to prosecute; not the ideal engagement plan for a target 6+ km from the vessel in a straight line if you want to hit it fast before it launches a torpedo / before the torpedo hits you. But, let’s assume that it can be fed coordinates at launch to send it out towards the contact, for the onboard active seeker to then complete the attack- I’d be surprised if it couldn’t. The latest Russian heavyweight torpedo in service will do 110 km/h, so will cover the 6 km in about 3 minutes, it’ll do 8 km in a little over 4 minutes and then you’d have no hope of combatting it. Even at full action stations I find it hard to believe that even an RN ASW frigate could give the Stingray a firing solution and launch it, with enough time for the Stingray to take out the sub before the heavyweight torpedo hits- particularly as Stingray can only do 83 km/h.
Back when torpedoes weren’t wake homing, I can maybe understand why a sub would want to get close(r) before firing. But there is absolutely no reason why a submarine these days would do anything other than launch at 50 km out and let the torpedo home passively all the way into the target.
I am genuinely struggling to understand what the defensive torpedo achieves. It’s like a featherweight thinking he can hold Anthony Joshua off with his left jab; he’s going to get plastered from outside of his reach. 

D J

Because the closer you are the shorter the reaction time. If you are close enough, it can be near impossible for the target or it’s escorts to do anything about it. It takes time to deploy both decoy & hard kill options. The point about things like ship launched ASW torpedos is they are not aimed at stopping a submarine attacking the escort, they are aimed at stopping the submarine attacking the high value target. ASW helicopters can’t always fly & missile launched torpedos (eg ASROC) have a minimum engagement range of 800-1000m. Without the shipboard torpedo, the safest place for a submarine to be is next to (or under) the escort.

To launch at 50km gives around 25 minutes for the target & escorts to work out what to do if they detected the launch (including sink your submarine). On your own figures, at 6km they have 3 minutes. At 3km they have 1.5minutes. At 1km they have 30 seconds. At 500m they have 15 seconds. By all means, take a 50km shot at a tanker. But if the escorts include ASW frigates, perhaps wait for the next one. If you are trying for a carrier, they will have escorts & they will have the means to kill you. A sh*t load of money has been spent on both sides of this equation.

Joe16

I take your point- it’s about the only argument that makes sense for them. But I’d argue that trying to operate under- or at least within a 100 m of an escort is an incredibly dangerous place to be; you are far, far more likely to be discovered and your chance at killing anything is pretty much gone as the escort and everyone goes aggressive. You’re far safer being on the other side of the convoy or fleet than said escort- outside of the range of both the shipboard torpedoes and the ASROC. Any noise made attenuates massively under water, and modern torpedoes are as quiet running as the subs they launch from. The target isn’t likely to know it’s being targeted until the torpedo gets to terminal phase, and then it’s likely too late.
Take a read of this article from a retired attack sub guy, he doesn’t even consider the idea of getting in close with an escort to launch against targets. You’re better spending your money on a second ASW drone that can supplement the Merlin, so you’re looking at multiple points around the perimeter of the group, than you are fitting shipboard torpedoes that will sit in their tubes forever. Unless they have an anti-torpedo hard kill capability like the MU-90 is supposed to have, then there’s a purpose.

D J

Joe,
No one will try to launch from close to an escort because most escorts carry ASW torpedos & a hull mounted sonar. If you take that away? Submarines have piggybacked into port under a naval ship multiple times post WW2. It can & has been done (all cases I am aware of are SSK’s). If you have a hull mounted sonar & go active, you will certainly find a submarine hiding near you (but not necessarily if behind you unless you turn around). This is one reason (amongst several) why the current T31 makes no sense.

A number of nations operate the MU-90 (both NATO & non NATO) & has a range over 20km (depending on speed). If a helicopter can’t fly due to weather, it’s doubtful a drone can either. I have fire insurance on my house. It’s likely I never will collect. Yes, most ship based ASW torpedos will never be launched. Most AShM will never be launched. Most SAM’s will never be launched. Yet we still have them & everyone knows who does & doesn’t have what weapons on what ships (not necessarily the load out). I would also point out that most ASW torpedos have a secondary surface capability (provided you remember to change the programming). Not the capability of a HWT, but still a hit from a MU-90’s 30+kg shaped charge below the waterline from 20+km out will still spoil your day.

D J

Joe
You forgot to add the link to the article you mentioned.

D J

It may depend on how much you want to take a shot at a carrier. ASW frigates will be operating some distance from the carrier & other ships. The closer the submarine gets, the more certain of a hit. The frigate still has to find the submarine. High quality SSK’s can be particularly hard to find.

RMJ

Indeed. Whilst limiting fleet ASW detection and prosecution to just 8 frigates makes them centres of gravity. Remove them and the fleet’s horribly exposed. The RN is playing a dangerous game in limiting it’s surface fleet capabilities to a few vessels.

John Hartley

I think the Swedes may be on to something with their wire guided 400mm torpedoes. If an enemy vessel/sub gets into your convoy/task force, then having a discriminatory way to tackle it, is a good idea. Did not a Chinese sub, be a “hole in the ocean” then surface next to a surprised US Carrier group a few years ago? Had it been hostile, you want a way to sink it, without the Torp being confused & going after a friendly target.

Duker

Thats why surface or air launched torpedoes have a depth setting of say 50m so they dont go after surface vessels ( your own)
Incidentally thats why Harpoon was developed, as in the 60s the Soviet missile carrying subs had to fire at a carrier or vessel from surface and the air launched torpedoes from Vikings on patrol were not useful. Thus a surface target missile fired from ships and planes – Harpoon was developed. The surface ship role was secondary as there was barely any Soviet surface ships at the time compared the the subs

Last edited 1 month ago by Duker
AlexS

The problem is not the T45, but the T31.

Craig Lewell

Can Storm Shadow from Typhoons hit moving ships? I can’t say I’m too worried about enemy surface ships as they can’t sail near to the UK without them being detected by NATO allies further out and ‘Spearfished’ if needed. Against ships lacking AA, presumably mass Brimstone would be the answer again delivered by Typhoons, if necessary with their range extended by Voyagers. In terms of expeditionary forces I can’t see us not working with allies and perhaps we do need to find our niche/specialism alongside NATO which is probably detecting subs in the GIUK Gap 🤔

Sean

No Storm Shadow can’t, hence the need for its successor FC/ASW.

But Block V Tomahawks can hit ships.

Last edited 1 month ago by Sean
Craig Lewell

Thanks Sean 👌

Jon

Not all Block V Tomahawks. I don’t know it we are upgrading to the variant that does.

Deep32

Blk Va is the anti ship variant, indications thus far don’t seem to point to us getting that or the Vb!

Supportive Bloke

I’d be quite surprised if a Storm Shadow couldn’t hit a large ship.

ATH

At the dock absolutely. At sea, I’m not sure if it has a sensor that works on moving targets.

Bob

To summarise then, HMS Glasgow is expected to enter service in 2026 without the means to launch an anti-ship missile expected to enter service just two years later?

Two years in and it will have to undergo a major refit to install the Mk41 cells. Talk about a lack of joined up thinking.

Teves

Mk 41s are fitted to T26, it’s the t31 which is fitted for but not with.

Ian

Just a thought from a non military person.. how does HMS POW defend its self from multiple income ASM’s or Sub launched torpedos….
Thanks Ian

Duker

Mostly passive protection and in PoW its escorts ( yes I know), even then its large size offers enormous protection
Naval Ships are surprisingly resilient because of the way they are built

A sinkex in the 1970s with one of the Type 14 ‘cheap light frigates’ -Hardy – from the 1950s was hit with an Exocet, a Sea Skua a Mark VIII torpedo, and was still afloat ( unmanned).
It then took a salvo of AS mortar to actually sink her !

Last edited 1 month ago by Duker
captain p wash

“Layered Defence”….

captain p wash

As someone a bit thick in regards to Hyper Sonics (and probably many other things), are they actually any good ? have they been proven to work ? should we all be afraid ?

ATH

In a few years people will be able to answer with certainty. At the moment it’s all based to best/worst estimates.

Joe16

As far as I’m aware, no one has landed one on a moving target, let alone an evading one launching countermeasures. Think of them currently as a very long ranged, very fast GPS-guided weapon like a JDAM/Paveway.
That is going to change over the next few years, question is how many.

Supportive Bloke

Very nicely put!

It might well be using very high end inertial navigation as I’m not sure how good it will be with a weak GPS signal.

Simon m

Switch FCASW to super/hypersonic, invest in Tomahawk for surface vessels.
Add Adaptable Deck Launchers to T45. Work with USMC to get NSM on F35B. Procure Marte ER for Merlin & RAF Typhoons build on integration already being done for Italy.

DaveyB

I will have to agree and disagree. Our military need to standardize on the anti-ship missiles it uses, not massively increase the logistical and training footprint. Plus these missile need to be multi-use. So they must be capable of land attack, as I’d expect them to be predominantly used for this function over anti-ship.

The Kongsberg JSM is the air launched version of the NSM. It has a slightly different airframe from the NSM. It will also receive BAe’s RF analyser/tracker, which will then be fitted to the NSM in a later block version. Both Japan and Australia have made a combined payment for the integration of the JSM for their F35As. The software and integration will be directly transferable to the F35B. So it makes financial sense for the Navy/RAF to buy JSM for our F35s. Kongsberg were looking a paying for the integration of the JSM on the Typhoon. So far this hasn’t gotten any further publicly. But the Typhoon is missing a capable anti-ship capability. The Marte-ER has ben proposed for integration, as Kuwait and UAE have requested an anti-ship capability for their new Typhoons. It would be in both Kongsberg’s and Eurofighter’s best interest to integrate JSM. As this can then be part of the sales package to prospective customers. Especially as JSM can be used against not just fixed grid position land targets, but also some moving targets, as well as hunt for targets due to its imaging infrared seeker. The RF analyser/tracker will also allow it to be used against active radars and radio communications transmitters.

The Sea Venom should be integrated with Merlin. This would be a quick win and not overly burden logistics or training. As its a weapon already in service. It would then increase a ship’s lethality against both shipping, but also land targets.

My opinion is that for a medium weight multi-role missile that can be used against both shipping and land targets, that is available off the shelf, is the NSM/JSM.

For a lighter weight multi-role missile, we should concentrate on using the Sea Venom. But increase the number of platforms it can be used by. This includes integration with Merlin. But also via cannister launchers on board a ship, i.e. OPVs, T23, T26, T31/32, T45 and T83.

I have an idea for an off the shelf heavy weight multi-role missile, that is currently in service with the RAF, but it will need modifying, so that it can engage moving targets. This is the Storm Shadow. It can currently be used to attack moored up ships. So if it can recognize a ship as a target, why can’t it hit a moving one? Storm Shadow is made by MBDA, who also produce an anti-ship missile that also uses an imaging infrared sensor as its primary sensor, which is the Sea Venom. Could the Sea Venom’s software not be transferred to Storm Shadow, thereby giving it a capability against a moving target? The SCALP version of Storm Shadow can be launched from a container or via a vertical launch cell (Mk41 and Sylver) using a rocket booster. It may not have the range of Tomahawk, but it is cheaper. Plus the RAF are supposed to have over 900 of them in its inventory. If a modification program converted them to a multi-use cruise missile. We would have a very lethal capability that could be used from a ship, or Typhoon.

Supportive Bloke

Quite.

Given it would be mostly a software upgrade it wouldn’t be widely announced……..

D J

France also has a submarine launched version with a 1,000km range. It may not be Tomahawk but it is a serious missile.

Just Me

The U.K. backed the wrong horse with the dead end one trick pony Sea Viper.
if it had stuck with SM as originally specified, the RN could be fielding SM-6 – a Mach 5 200nm ship killer in its latest multi mode iteration.
it’s also an exceptionally capable SAM and ABM missile.

Duker

An dedicated ASM with a large warhead isnt a warship killer , an AAW type with a much smaller warhead even less so. Naval vessels are more resilient than you think as they are built that way Sheffield was a bad design with above water line fuel tanks which fuelled the fire . Stark was hit by 2 exocets and survived easily.

Supportive Bloke

But SM-6 didn’t exist, in its current form, when A30 was chosen?

D J

SM6 is a SAM with a secondary anti ship capability. The only advantage SM6 has is speed, which decreases with distance. Something like NSM is way slower, but is very hard to locate, a lot harder to hit & you will definitely know if it hits you.

rnsc8397

Good analysis of the problem. The list of gapped defence capabilties, or capabiities now provided in tiny numbers, or not really provided, is almost across the board in UK defence. It ranges from antiship missiles for ship or air launch, to Type 31s designed to Corvette costs, a tank fleet reduced by a third to meet another arbitary cost cap, to antiradar missiles , gapped AWACS and Sentinel capability, and no SAM defence for key UK air or naval bases.

The two key assets that are capable of sinking ships , projecting offensive power or defending task groups are , as you say, the SSN force and the Type 45s. But theres also a problem here. 4 or even 5 operational SSNs are simply not enough to do whats needed.You cant protect an ampibious group , 2 carrier groups, undersea communications, the deterrent, and provide forward deoloyed cruise missile options, and a capability to deal with the Russian surface fleet and its conventional subs, SSNs, SSGNs and ,SSBNs with so few boats . Theres a reason why then1998 SDR wanted 10 which was reduced to 8 and then 7. Similarly with Type 45s. There you have had 3 operational ships recently trying to escort two carrier groups, contribute to alliance task groups, maintaining freedom of navigation rights in contested waters, contribute to national airdefence , operate protecting assets assigned to the northern flank , and supposedly also eventually substituting for a national BMD capability for homeland and possibly allied defence too. All of those threats and missions are proven and most are growing. But, unless you have a hypersonic ship , they cant be met by 3 or even 5 sssets. Again the 1998 review got it right with a need for 12 and the last cut from 8 to 6 was a cut too far.

The problem here is one shared by the USN. To really get back to a fleet that meets strategic demands, we need to look at Type45 and SSN numbers and then solve the core problem there which is lack of building capability. For airdefence the type31 might redeveloped to help, but extending some Type 23s, delaying some Type 26s, and building a couple more airdefence destroyers looks extremely difficult. And here , and in the US, theSSN numbers problem is exacerbated by the need to belatedly replace the deterrent. But the reality is if you dont increase those capabilities,you cant do what all your warplanning says you may need to , US shortages of assets, and their growing China problem, may also mean fewer available for NATO use- which makes UK shortfalls even more dangerous. And waiting till the late 2030s to start to deal with the issue looks dangerously late..

Andrew Deacon

Weren’t the last indications that FCASW is splitting into 2 separate weapons a supersonic ASM and stealthy sub sonic land attack missile? I don’t believe there’s been any mention of it being hypersonic other than talk of a hypersonic weapon in the 2030’s which is outside of FCASW timeframe.
I don’t believe your standard go to missile should be hypersonic as just like ballistic missiles they make people very jumpy, they might end up being a weapon you can’t use , just something you have as a deterrent.

Jim

£265m ($319m) to upgrade just 65 tomahawks? That’s over £4m ($4.9m) PER MISSILE!
The USMC are buying 48 block V tomahawks this year for $2m each.

Who the hell signed off on such a rip-off of a deal? Why can’t we just buy new ones at a vaguely comparable rate (within +20%) instead of paying through the nose to upgrade them (and donate the old ones to Ukraine).
This is why we can’t afford to put many weapons on our ships.
We need to start demanding better value for money!

Jim

Doing the maths on the energy required, I really don’t see how they’re going to make it fit the Mk 41 (or worse, Sylver 70), let alone be fired from a fighter-sized plane without making it either have an incredibly small warhead, have an incredibly short range, or both (and probably only be in the low end of hypersonics).

This cost-cutting, do it all approach I think will ruin this missile. The requirements are just too different between air force and surface navy.