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David Currie

Our great forces sold down the river again the old saying ie to prevent a war prepare for war what part historacly do our politicians over time fail to grasp

Supportive Bloke

Lets see what the future build pipeline looks like first.

As I have said previously if the MOD are prepared to enter into fixed contracts for the T32 (a la T31) then I will buy into the growth story.

I don’t quite agree on the T45 statement above in the article because an enhancement was specifically mentioned. Although there were a few spoonerisms: such as Harpoon being referred to as Typhoon.

Sonik

I agree, best to wait and see what actually happens.

The MRSS announcement is interesting though. Last year there was suggestion that this might involve combining FSS and the proposed LSS into a single fleet. These requirements are now clearly separated, which is good.

What’s maybe more worrying, is that the LSS on which MRSS appears to be based, originally proposed to use conversions of civilian ferry boats. The designation as ‘support ship’ also presumably means these vessels will operate under RFA, or possibly even a civilian contractor as suggested by Prevail Partners.

So the important question is, will MRSS eventually replace the entire existing Amphibious fleet (Albions and Bays) or be in addition to it? Given the timeline, capability and number of vessels, I suspect maybe it’s the former, in which case it’s a very substantial capability cut cleverly disguised as a ‘new’ capability.

I hope very much to be proved wrong!!!

Last edited 26 days ago by Ben Robins
Andy a

Possibly but I think they feel the days of an old style amphibious landing by thousands of men are gone, hence the re defining of commandos, if that’s what they are going to be trained for I suppose it makes sense. It does seem to be the way war is moving, ie fast, violent and high tech. Let’s face it with modern tech and the speed of conflicts we need to be fast, dispersed and use SF and force multipliers

Sonik

I don’t disagree at all, I think amphibious landing will always have a place, especially in terms of deterrence. It just needs to be done differently like you say. So it depends if MRSS actually delivers the new style of warfare, or just something watered down to save money. Having read a bit more and joined a few dots, I’m a little more confident it’s heading in the right direction.

Something Different

Wallace seem to trip over his words a few times, probably very nervous which is understandable considering the magnitude of the announcement.

Duker

Not what someone at the secretary of State level should be doing, especially one with his ministerial level experience.

Something Different

Well he is human, I rather someone was appointed to post based on the totality of their skills rather than just abuse they can deliver a speech.

Sonik

I agree, and whatever your politics, to be fair I think it would be hard to argue that Wallace was not the most pragmatic and decisive Def Sec in a very long time.

Considering the sh1tshow he inherited, Wallace has had to make many difficult decisions, some that it appears he is not entirely comfortable with himself, hence the nervousness. But difficult decisions need to be made if the overall situation is to be improved.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ben Robins
Duker

No . He should selected for the job because of his skill in the public eye and under pressure . He doesnt have either and should return to the junior minister ranks where he belongs. As well he seems to be political careerist , jumped from a MSP in Edinburgh by moving to UK soley to be selected as an MP for Westminster. A careerist who isnt even much good, thats all MoD needs ??

Bob

He spent eight years in the army.

RichardIC

On the new MRSS, I can’t find them either described as “strategic ro-ro” or and reference to there being up to six. Did that form part of a verbal briefing?

RichardIC

Thanks. There’s quite a lot in here that’s not in the command paper. So let’s see what comes out in the Defence Industrial Strategy and refresh of the Shipbuilding Strategy.

borg

exactly Ron.

Sonik

Great article and thanks for updating.

As I noted above, the various MRSS proposals don’t include significant amphibious capability, so overall, medium term this looks like a pretty major shift away from amphibious towards lighter, air mobile ship to shore deployment.

Which to be fair does fit with the overall intent as outlined in the review.

Sonik

I think the strategic ro-ro is probably point class.

Sonik

The reference to 6 MRSS is in the Defence and Security industrial strategy.

Michael Haney

I’m very sad to hear about the reduction in F-35 numbers; however, I do hope that futher decreasing prices in the future may envourage a slighly increased number above the 60-72 outlined above.

Cam

It’s a joke, cuts cuts cuts dressed up as well bulls**t.

Teves

To many faults and too expensive to buy and run and not enough range to be a serious carrier fighter we should cut and run with the 48 we have ordered and build some stol UAV’s to operate off the carrier’s. Even the stealth aspect of the F35 is in question. Even the yanks don’t want them. That’s how good they are, a white elephant.

CIZUK

BS.
They have a similar range to the F-18 with 3 drop tanks.
Stealth is not in question and the yanks certainly do want them.

Michael Haney

You are wrong but you can’t be blamed. It is much better for the media to run negative press than positive. If interested check out the F-35 quora as it has accumulated many interesting articles that may change your mind regarding the F-35.
Site: https://www.quora.com/q/thefascinatingf35

Teves

Check this out may change your mind I still think the plane is not as good Lockheed Martin would like you to think. Several pilots say they regularly have to reboot the on board computer does not make good reading.

https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/320295-the-us-air-force-quietly-admits-the-f-35-is-a-failure#:~:text=There%20have%20been%20so%20many,gun%20can%20crack%20the%20plane.

Trevor H

Nope. You are talking cobblers

X

Range isn’t really an issue. Isn’t it about 450nm-ish? How many countries are say 250nm deep? Most of what China has that is ‘militarily interesting’ is in within 100nm of the coast. And if we went to war with China our carriers would be operating under an umbrella of US assets.

Stealth is an ever shifting target. RADAR didn’t ground the world’s airforces when they suddenly became visible to those on the ground.

Saying all that F35b is a cul-de-sac that cuts us off from the USN CTOL mainstream.

And I am concerned about the maintenance hours.

But we would be 20 years away from developing VSTOL UAV, perhaps even more. And they would have problems too………..

We are where we are.

Squirrelly

If China is threat then good luck gett g within 500nm with the F-35B and within a 1000nm for the carrier.

John

I would argue that now is the time to take a really serious look at converting POW to CATOBAR. F-35 while in many aspects a great aircraft is dreadful re: maintenance and has many unresolved issues. Our interoperability is limited. It would be dreadfully expensive but would give our carrier strike vastly more options. This could be done over time. Finally, carrier point defense has to be dramatically enhanced. Why no rolling airframe? Sea Ram would be a very nice and frankly, inexpensive addition.

Michael

To convert to CATABAR would be prohibitively expensive. It would require more a redesign of the ship, and a total refit. It would be cheaper to just build a CATABAR carrier from the keel up. Which will never happen. We are pretty much stuck with POW and QE as is.

Last edited 24 days ago by Michael
Derek

80 x f35B is a good number for me. A refueling drone solves range and loyal wingman gives mass to strike. We don’t need CATOBAR other than for the drones at modest fitting cost. The RN has a plan!

Lord Haw Haw

We were never going to get 138

I always suspected 60-70 AC to ensure full capacity of carrier strike

It’s not doom and gloom it’s a sea change

John

I think a great and realistic number would be around 80 with 30 being of the A variant for the RAF. Fifty dedicated to the carriers. The reality is that both carriers will never deploy at the same time.

Grant

I agree lack of additional F35s and Merlins were the biggest disappointment. 72 F35s would be enough if they were just for the WAFUs, but as they have to be shared with the RAF (who have 96 front line Typhoons) you can see some serious contention for those assets (especially as the RAF have been very busy bombing the middle east for years and havent had any replacement for yheir Tornados)

Duker

Typhoon is ‘swing role’ aircraft – an improvement on multi role- so can do the strike missions of the Tornado

Deep32

Agree with your comment, but what the RAF will not be getting isc airframe numbers to replace the retired (62) Tornadoes. 48 F35B’s looks increasingly like exclusive use for CSG, despite a potential futher buy of some 20 F35 aircraft somewhere between 2025-2030!

Duker

Never going to match the numbers of Tornado which was built in quantity for the Cold War period.
Unfortunately, the keeping of 2 squadrons of unmodified T1 Typhoon seems to be reversed. They would have made ideal single role strike plane

Deep33

No, not the 350+ we had, nut was supposed to rrplace the retired 62 left over. As it stands the RAF now only has some 110ish front line Typhoons and use of small number of F35 when not in CSG use. Strip out AD from Typhoon flt, not a lot left for Strike if ever req!!!

Duker

Strip out AD ? Doesnt need to do that, you just have the squadrons dedicated and trained for strike and maybe self defence.
The RAF should be just told this is the force you are given and the missions and make it work for the money. Maybe they have to reduce non front line areas . The politicians seem to work backwards

Supportive Bloke

Technology is moving on fast.

60-70 gets 36 onto one carrier for strike and if the other is available 16+ for CAP.

Which is not a bad output.

And realistically nobody by the USA can match ATM. And please don’t counter that with the Chinese aircraft which struggle to get off the deck with a decent fuel or weapons load.

Sonik

As I have said before the key issue at the moment with F35 is availability.

But yes, even despite that, 36 F35 on a QE is streets ahead of anything else out there besides the USA, and fortunately they are on our side.

John

very sound point.

Michael Haney

I’m not interested in countering, I’m happy with the capability that it presents and completely agree with your view. However, it cannot be denied that for maintenance and training more would be nice.
I also saw a concept that saw almost all F-35s used for one carrier and training, whilst the other carrier is used as an aphibious assault ship or helicopter platform (with 4-5 F-35s for long range strike).

Meirion X

I think that idea went out of the window! The PoW was not adapted for amphibious assault in the end, due to delays as well as budget.

Paul.P

They seem to have thought through amphibious assault problem and come to a decision. Two littoral assault teams; one for Norway, one for Asia Pacific. Each consisting of a permanent forward based River 2 plus one of more ‘littoral support ships’ plus a frigate. In the short term I see the Norway team as Spey, Albion plus a T23 and the Asia team as forward based Tamar plus the revamped Bay plus a frigate from a regional nation. Longterm I expect we will see Albion and the Bay will be replaced by the new MRSS.

Something Different

I think you need to remember how few sea harriers there were and their relative utility versus the F35.

Trevor H

True. I do wonder of squadrons of 12 is a bit inflexible.
But I think long term we ought to purchase some 96 over the lifetime of the project.

And then… albeit decades away… what next for a VTOL fast jet?

Sonik

Maybe we will have EMALS by then, or fully unmanned systems, or both?

Phillip Johnson

Something to ponder on is how long will the F-35B remain in production? The only orders for the F-35B are the US marines, the UK, Japan and Italy. That isn’t going to keep the line going at quantity for very long.
Only 2 options really, the line closes later this decade or it continues at a trickle and the price of the 35B explodes.

X

And Singapore too I think. But it is an orphan of a design.

I am more intrigued in the fact there appears to be no VSTOL variant on the cards of Tempest.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

I’m even more intrigued that people think Tempest will happen. The Americans must be developing a similar aircraft which will be far cheaper than our plane and if they develop a carrier version say goodbye to Tempest.

Duker

UK isnt going to buy a US plane for its main fighter to replace the Typhoon. It just isnt going to happen.
Far cheaper ? Have you seen the latest cost estimates for Block F …that is only a block upgrade for the F35 is $14 bill over 8 years or so. And thats an estimate !

Meirion X

The US keeps its aircraft production lines going for many decades! Unlike UK!
The F-16 lines are still open, and with the prospect of new successor aircraft for the Air National Guard.

Last edited 25 days ago by Meirion X
Duker

how few sea harriers there were”
98 built but over a longer period period and in 2 variants , but still..

Something Different

But how many were operational at any one time? 28 were deplyed to the Falklands for example. Also with the size of the new carriers I would ha e through more sorties can be generated per day compared to the Invincibles for a given air wing size.

X

Doesn’t sorties depend on hours in maintenance? I have heard all sorts of figures for F35.

Sonik

F35 maintenance time has improved. Problems have been as much about supply chain, logistics, availability of spares etc. as technical issues with the plane itself. USMC in particular have been very focused on resolving this and UK will benefit from the improvement.

But F35 is much more complicated than Harrier so more to go wrong and harder to fix, so IMO will probably never reach the same availability. But I hope I am proved wrong!

Duker

The F35 was supposed to be able to generate a significant increase in sortie rate per day than Sea Harrier- which is one of the reasons for the small number ‘intended’ for such large UK carriers.
Like everything else about the F35 it was LM puffery and even if possible the spares needed probably wouldnt have been affordable for UK.
The US Marines have a strange aviation engineering policy with the NCO maintainers just doing replacing of modules and the squadron engineer was always a pilot rated ( on on rotation) but not any engineering qualifications. That follows USN policy as well.

Duker

Its still repeating the problems of the last decade with the ballooning development cost and delays and it was a only a new Block !!!
The GAO report found that the current 2027 goal for finalizing the Block 4 modernization is “not achievable.” GAO said that costs of the effort had ballooned by $1.9 billion between 2019 and 2020, bringing the overall cost to about $14.4 billion. Software development has been the primary driver of the problems, the report said — including the fact that about a quarter of the software being delivered by prime contractor Lockheed Martin was found to have defects after it had already been integrated into the aircraft.”
LM has struck the magic formula for delayed and pricey development of a plane , rinse and repeat for a block upgrade.

Sonik

As I understand it F35 spares are held in a common international pool by LM and other OEM suppliers. The problem was related to the software portal that manages logistics. Was completely up the wall resulting in orders not being processed, stock levels not being replenished, and parts shortages. Or something like that – it was reported to Congress as a factor in F35 poor availability.

Duker

Pleeeeese.
Software portal to blame…. before it was the spares packages included the parts that werent needed and didnt have the parts were needed.

Sonik

I’m only reporting what I have read – there has been a shortage of parts due to the distribution system breaking down. What that involves specifically doesn’t really matter, the impact on availability is the same.

I do acknowledge your point though – it’s entirely possible that LM have used these problems as an excuse, to cover bigger issues, because it looks like something that should be relatively easy to address.

X

The loss of MCM is a real shame. We needed a system like the Belgian Netherlands are about to deploy. Immature ‘drone’ technology is no substitute. It also belies the idea that the MoD has preached for decades that each country (in the West) brings something to the mix. For us it was MCM.

Russia has a viable mine that can be deployed by Kilo. She sold 1000 of those to Iran.

We need a replacement for Scott.

I would have built 3 fast LPD’s to accompany the carriers. The RM is already a light force. Going ultra light won’t work.

Sjb1968

Totally agree with your comments. This review is another cutting exercise that leaves the U.K. military so small they could not sustain any losses in personnel or equipment during even a limited and short lived conflict.

X

I think the future of peer to peer conflict is for short less than war style engagements. A crisis will arise. Forces will arrive and deploy. And perhaps at some point somebody will blink and there will be a brief exchange of fires which will be rapidly deescalated by diplomats and politicians, perhaps even senior commanders in the field. We are entering a period rather like that of the early modern where armed forces were expensive so deployed sparingly and engaged rarely. Cyber systems etc. are all well and good but you need to turn up with the ability to do the other party real harm. If for no other reason than deterrence. So for example T45 without a decent ASW capability, unlike its peers, or the RN’s general lack of capability beyond submarines, an edge we have lost, to sink (or mission kill) the ship’s of our enemies is a real worry. Compare T45 to Horizon, Hobart, or Burke. I thought T26 was well balance until I learned that the RCN and RAN variants will go to see with AEGIS. Before we start sending large slow ships towards the shore we need to ensure there is a bubble of protection for them. And I don’t think the modern or future RN will be able to do that.

Trevor H

Do they do both ASW and AAW? They are frigates. Are they big enough for AAW?

Sonik

Yes and yes.

The downside for Canada and particularly Australia they are using up a lot of the growth margin on the ship. Both are much heavier than T26 from day one, and will cost a lot more.

It does though show the potential for what could be done in future to either T26 or a T45 replacement based on the same hull

X

I can’t see son of Aegis being any heavier.

Cost more or cost the right amount?

Sonik

Not so much Aegis itself – bigger mast for fixed panel radar, more cooling and more weapons all adding to top weight for both export variants.

Cost wise that’s a fair question but for both Canada and Australia, T26 will be the mainstay of their fleets, RN has a bigger fleet with capability more spread out.

So horses for courses, each is about right for each countries needs. Canadians are complaining it’s way too expensive so you can’t win either way!

Last edited 25 days ago by Ben Robins
X

You were talking about growth margin and said the RCN and RAN variants were already eating into that.

A bigger mast is already set by the ratio of bean to draught to length. That can’t be changed. And you would want more weight anyway. Do we need to discuss meta-centres moving around the centre of gravity etc?

And what weapons exactly will be added that won’t fit into the VLS? Or won’t be queued by the existing sensors? More cooling perhaps, but a growth margin for that will already be factored in. A few decades back you would have had to have found space on the exterior of the ship (and the interior for magazines for larger weapons) for the weapon and its associated sensor but not these days.

The RAN will have 12 Aegis escorts and the RCN (if all goes to plan) will have 15. We will have 6 single purpose T45 and 8 T26 with less capability than the RCN / RAN variants. In terms of total hulls the RN may be bigger, but in terms of true warships where are we winning? Where is the balance? More capability spread out? Really? We have small pool of escorts and will have a large carrier to defend. Our naval forces won’t be spread out. We don’t have them to spread out.

Sonik

I understand what you are saying re stability, it all evens out I don’t think we are really disagreeing here.

I also take your points re growth/adding missiles etc. but the one advantage with not filling your ship day one, is opportunity to add future weapon developments, these may not be VLS based e.g. DEW, railguns and autonomous remote systems.

Regardless, I don’t disagree in principle – we would all like to see better equipped RN ships!

But RN must cover a much wider capability set that includes carrier strike, substantial amphibious capability, SSN, CASD, and a logistical tail far longer than either RCN or RAN could ever hope to muster.

None of this comes cheap, so RN must cut their cloth accordingly. So I agree we are spread more thinly, but we have a much larger capability set to boot. That’s what I meant, by right for needs. Just because another Navy has one or two things better, does not necessarily mean ours are insufficient for the task.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ben Robins
X

What exactly will be added that won’t fit in a VLS tube? For railguns I think the ship will have to be built from the keel up for a variety of reasons. As for ARS they would be hosted better in other ways if not too small. Have you seen the size of the new Dutch Belgian MCM hulls?

Carrier strike? Our main problem with that despite a lack of airframes is targeting as we are reliant solely on the US for information. Substantial amphibious capacity? We are already climbing back from that now unlike our peers. Even the RFA is shrinking. SSN? Where is Astute 8? CASD? Where is the dedicated route surveillance for the SSBN’s route to the sea? CASD to one side and SSN’s to oneside we are heading towards the RAN and RCN in size. And we are reliant on the US for all the enablers that make ‘big systems’ work.

Sonik

I don’t disagree with any of your points, but I think my underlying point is still valid – RN is trying to deliver much, much more than either RCN or RAN within finite means. Which approach is correct, in how that gets divided up, is a matter of opinion.

There is also political dimension – Australia currently has a strong willingness to invest in defence, post Timor. Canada is more focused on jobs and industrial capacity, but the willingness is still there. The UK does not currently have same political appetite, so MOD has to make do with the resources available, and if anything has done pretty well to get a small uplift in budget.

In that context, the first priority must be to improve procurement efficiency and reduce waste. There have been some shocking examples, but there does now at least seem to be an acknowledgement of this problem, and various attempts to take a new approach.

Beyond that, the more fundamental question is, if RN are spread too thinly, should they try to do less? this would allow much more to be invested in individual capabilities, just as we see with RAN & RCN.

But that would also necessitate RN dropping entire capabilities. What capabilities should go? Or should RN try to keep everything going? This inevitably involves, some things being under resourced,

Alternatively, we need to find new ways, to do the same things cheaper – hence T31/T32 and MCM for example. I’m not saying these are the right answer – but ultimately we don’t really have any choice, if we are to maintain full capability set.

It’s easy to say more more more, but that does not accnowlege the financial and political reality that RN currently faces. IMHO, they have not done such a bad job, of trying to keep it all afloat, especially when compared to the Army.

Last edited 24 days ago by Ben Robins
Meirion X

The RN has decided to keep the T26 as a primary ASW based platform, to keep costs from escalating, and to allow for growth margin.
The proposed Type 83 destoryer will be interesting, maybe a Burke type with bigger hull?

foton

This article from “the war zone” makes interesting reading regarding Aegis and CSL evolution-

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/39508/how-the-aegis-combat-system-is-evolving-to-dominate-naval-warfare-of-the-future

We go in-depth with Lockheed’s point man on Aegis about the combat system’s revolutionary past, evolving present, and universal future.

X

Thank you. 🙂

As wonderful as Sea Viper is I do think we should have just bought AEGIS and tacked SAMPSON into……….It is the latter the Yanks really like…….

X

At 8,800 tonnes yes just about big enough.

Bob2

The report states that the MCM replacement will be developed with the French. As it is Naval Group that won the Belgium/Dutch contract, we might end up with the same system.

X

It is still a gap we don’t need. We need route surveillance out of Faslane. Something to deal with the mess in the Gulf. And something just in case something happens elsewhere. And we need to be able to operate from the sea. We are the world leaders in MCM and ‘poof’ it is all gone.

Sonik

It’s not being gapped though? Just changing the way the capability is delivered. As long as adversaries think that it ‘might’ work (in truth they won’t really know for sure) it’s still a deterrent.

X

Do we have systems ready to go right now? Proven systems? Mechanisms to deploy them world wide? No. It is being gapped.

Cam

The army will be far too small for anything but small skirmishes, however I like the commandos and new ranger force taking on special forces role and I’ve always seen some of the commandos as sf anyways. And about bloody time A Bay getting a dedicated hangar shame it’s Not all three.

Its great we are getting 3 new FSS ships I thought we would be lucky with two, and then 6 MRSS ships too, so not bad really, I don’t like scrapping all the mines but the futures not them kind of boats anyways but we should have dedicated ships to carry the drones, seems a waste using a huge frigate or a bay, but maybe they will just patrol certain areas Globaly and be transported by air. But what about all the specialist Divers on the mines? We will still need divers for some duties when or if tech fails, HMS QE having to use her lamps to communicateWith a frigate recently proves this.

Also I was told by someone to watch out for the type 45s possibly getting the Mk41 silos they were fitted for but didn’t receive, anyone know more?

Last edited 26 days ago by Cam
Michael Haney

I don’t really understand the content regarding the new marine units and structure, I hope they do an article about it. Can you point me in the direction of some aditional reading on it?

X

A hangar would have robbed the Bay, a logistics hull primarily, of cargo space. The Dutch and Spanish Enforcers have a different role.

Duker

The T26 frigates are getting them so seems unlikely that T45 would have more modifications including the targeting radars and changes to ships own mission software to carry an unknown weapon

Cam

Well our” surface fleet” is to get land atack capability…. could this include the 45 like a friend of mine told me to watch out for….

Meirion X

Yes the lamps, Just like when the computers and IT goes down! Back to paper and pen!

Last edited 24 days ago by Meirion X
Dian Mamadou diallo

J ai besoin de resoindre votre army

Dian Mamadou diallo

I love the royals navy please help me 00221773905555

Roy

For a defence plan that is supposed to set the course of defence (and naval) policy into the 2030s, it is shockingly vague. I suppose it permits the Government to cut in future where it needs to. It certainly seems positioned to do so with respect to both mine countermeasures and amphibious capability. And it is also setting itself up to do so with respect to carrier air power where there is nothing specific on either F-35 or on helicopter requirements. The idea that one can have a serious “global presence” with this force is wishful thinking. OPVs with nothing more than 30mm guns and not even a helicopter are to be increasingly used in lieu of frigates. Just frightening when there will be increasingly less behind them.

Supportive Bloke

It is realistic to expect the OPV’s, and pretty much everything else, to end up with drone aviation.

Roy

Sure. But it might only be a very modest UAV. But with or without a drone, an OPV won’t impress the Chinese or anybody serious east of Suez.

The Snowman

OPVs aren’t there to go toe to toe with the Chinese fleet. They are to patrol for errant trawlers, smuggling dhows, and pirates in small open boats.

Roy

If that’s all it’s limited to, I suppose that’s fine. But why bother?

If you were serious about a presence East of Suez you wouldn’t deploy OPVs … you would structure a force around the GP Type 23s, AORs, and buy more P-8s/Protector (basing them out of BIOT for instance). You would perhaps put a RM Commando (or part of a Commando) East of Suez on a more or less permanent basis. You would then have included a longer term plan in the command paper to upgrade the Type 31 with SSMs, with hull mounted sonar – i.e. make it a real frigate. And then you would announce that you will build a few more of them (3?) to allow for a serious presence East of Suez from the latter 2020s.

… but none of that is in the paper. So what do they fall back on? A single OPV (apparently still only mounting a single 30mm). That’s just not serious.

donald_of_tokyo

But, it is still, much much better than nothing. UK was losing influence here in this decade. Regardless there are “good friends”, like FPDA nations, they will never represent UK there. If you are not there, you lose your influence. This is just a fact.

Roy

I would just say that the OPV is a back filler for frigates. It doesn’t replace the frigates – at least not the UK version of the OPV. It just isn’t sufficiently capable. Heck, the River Batch II is not even as capable as its Thai sister ship. Deploying it East of Suez, with a declining RN behind it (particularly the carriers with totally inadequate F-35 numbers), is just illustrative of weakness.

donald_of_tokyo

Yes and no.

I think 48 F35B is “relatively” much capable than any carrier strike capability UK RN had after 1970s. If F35B is to be increased to 60 (as announced), even better.

(Note “relative”. Modern fighter is very expensive, capable and precious)

But yes, I agree better be a frigate. Let’s see what happens after the 5 T31 comes in.

Last edited 25 days ago by donald_of_tokyo
ANDREW JOHN WILDE

If HMS Tamar does go to the Far East to be supported by our “friends” should she be renamed HMS Amethyst in memory of the last bunch of matelots who got stuck up a river without a paddle.

Paul.P

Why bother? Because the way you stop big wars happening is to stamp down on small crimes. That’s why Dixon of Dock Green policing worked and why community police officers were introduced. Presence results in assurance, reliable intel, co-operation, local knowledge, trust. We want to stop wars not provoke them. Worth also remembering that the River 2 remotely controlled cannon can reliably put 30mm shells on the bridge or waterline of a ship at some distance. It has a deterrent effect.

Meirion X

Yes I do agree the Command Paper is
vague on a lot of things.

The T31 frigates may get the old sonar from T23’s, T2050, that are LIFEX’ed or retired. HMS Portland has had a new hull sonar Type 2150 fitted to be trialed this year.

Last edited 24 days ago by Meirion X
Sonik

That would be excellent, but not sure how achievable. I know T31 is a bit light all round but lack of sonar is the one glaring omission IMO. The hull does have space for a bow sonar, so I guess it will come down to the cost of moving it across and integration with a new CMS

Challenger

The Royal Navy is certainly the winner here but a lot of caveats remain.

Of particular interest will be whether the Ocean Surveillance Ship will be in addition to a replacement for Scott and how the withdrawal of the Hunt’s & Sandown’s actually plays out as the autonomous systems come on line.

I didn’t catch any mention to the MRSS in the paper. I’d have no problem with 6 replacing Albion, Bulwark, Argus and The Bay’s gradually if they have a decent spec with things like proper aviation and SF support facilities and aren’t just repainted ferries!

Sonik

That’s the pinch – if MRSS turns out something like BMT Elida then that’s fine, it would be replacing Albions, Bays and possibly Argus, with a single class that sits somewhere in between the three types, while possibly adding additional aviation, hospital and evacuation capability.

That would actually be an improvement, and certainly more flexible as an overall fleet. Repainted car ferries would not! As always, have to wait and see…

Last edited 26 days ago by Ben Robins
ANDREW JOHN WILDE

So far this report is summed up for me in one sentence. ‘ An OPV, presumably HMS Tamar, will be based in the Indo-Pacific “with support from partners in the region” What nonsense is this. When has our country ever benefitted from sending weak, almost unarmed lone warships into this area of the world?

AlexS

It is a Diplomatic Ship 🙂

X

I remember reading the RN apocryphally liked T41 for ‘diplomatic duties’ in certain regions because they looked more war like with two turrets……..Poor Tamar doesn’t have one!
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AlexS

Nice one.

Duker

Yes. Even Singapore has its own well resourced navy, and there frigates and patrol vessels are properly armed
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_equipment_of_the_Republic_of_Singapore_Navy
The public there might think it was something from New Zealand not Britain

X

THIS ^^^^^^^^^^ too.

If T45 was properly armed it would be an ideal ship for the role. But it isn’t.

X

THIS ^^^^^^^^

donald_of_tokyo

“No ship at the region for nearly a decade, with only 3 RN ships’ very short visiting an year before” (2010-2019)
vs
“Always an OPV, and sometime (maybe once in three years) a full-set of CVTF”
is what is compared here.

If HMS Tamar is considered as an intelligence gathering asset, armament nor “looking like fighty” is not a big issue, but “existing there” is. If someone attacks her, a full set of CVTF will come up for revenge.

I think this is one way of thinking, and NOT “totally foolish”.

X

It would be marginal. The RSN, USN, and RAN would provide all the intelligence we need. I see where you are going but it is a stretch.

donald_of_tokyo

Uhmm. I was worried about 2010’s cut of the standing escort deployment (6month a year) for FPDA at the region. “Being there” vs “not being there” makes huge difference.

France was in Pacific for long, showing their tricolor flag in Pacific ocean. Showing much bigger presence than UK, for sure. In other words, UK was gradually been “forgotten” in this region.

But, the French navy is using here is just two Floreal-class surveillance frigates, an asset somewhere in between River B2 and T31. And, that makes big difference.

Thus, nothing vs one OPV will surely make huge difference. Of course, a T31 or a T23/T26 will be much better. But, to do that RN needs to cut something else.

X

The reason why the French are in the Pacific is their EEZ which is the largest in the world. That is why the French have light frigates and other ships out there. We don’t have such commitments. And those commitments we do have we don’t look after. An OPV is adding nothing to the mix out there. Better to not be there than to be there with a worthless platform that adds substance to the idea we are stretched. As I said above it was a full cream T45 bristling with missiles and a couple of helicopters it would look different. Sometimes in international relations appearances do matter.

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Cam

i don’t understand why Britain gave back all its Pacific territory.. no we have only Pitcairn Islands. The French have the right idea, especially with French Guiana…We should have kept our territory there. It really pisses me off for some reason…

Duker

Those ‘territories’ are integral part of France with local self government in most cases. UK didnt want to make them ‘part of Britain’

I dont see how Clipperton Is off Mexico !! has its own EEZ as its literally uninhabitable complete ring atoll with stagnant fresh water lagoon which dont qualify for EEZ under UNLOS rules

X

Yes. What always amuses me is how we are portrayed by the EU as ‘deluded imperialists’ when others have as many possessions elsewhere as we do now. The Dutch possessions are so large in the Caribbean that they built a ship just for the area. Might not be too big HNLMS Pelikaan is a better effort than our constant shifting on WIGS.

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Or how we are seen like ‘war mongers’ yet we unlike the Germans or French practically have no true domestic arms industry. The ‘war guilt’ ridden Germans can sell a country everything from a rifle to a tank and every thing in between.

Meirion X

Britain did Not want to make it’s OST’s
part of UK and subsidised.

France has done both for its OST’s.

Last edited 24 days ago by Meirion X
donald_of_tokyo

Thanks. On “reasoning” basis, I totally agree to you, why France has larger footprint there. On “resulting” basis, UK has significantly decreased its influence in ASEAN/Pacific after stopping FPDA deployment. Not comparing with France, but comparing with UK 10 years ago.

I hope “a single OPV” is a gap-filler until “a T31” comes in. But it is still much better than nothing. UK lost 10 years, by clearly stating “I have zero interest there”.

This year’s sending CV TF there will greatly regain it. And, an OPV remaining there will at least help stopping the rapidly decreasing UK influence in this region. (typical booby-trap?)

Cam

The opv should go with the carrier strike group to the Far East…

X

It isn’t much better than nothing. It is a waste of money. What does it actually achieve? Nothing that can’t be gained in other ways.

donald_of_tokyo

Sorry but I disagree. Many can be achieved.

Be there, see there, and steam along with the allies. Just compare it with, “never, no one being there, having no friends, just reading reports from your allies?”. Order of magnitude difference.

Without an asset, UK will rapidly lose influence in the region.

Of course, UK can concentrate on Atlantic or others. But, if then, there is also NO NEED to send CVTF there this year. But UK will do so. Thus, clearly UK is thinking they need influence there. Then, sending an asset which can stay there with minimum cost is surely one possibility.

In other words, if not sending an OPV is good, UK shall also stop sending the CVTF. Anyway, OPV is very cheap and also cost efficient (high sea going days). You can be in many place, see many things, make many friends with many allies.

Not so bad, I think?

Last edited 25 days ago by donald_of_tokyo
X

An 8000 tonne escort with a full set of weaponry, sensors, and a helicopter is an asset. ** An OPV is nothing. All the intel we need would be available through other channels. We have extremely good relationships with many of the major states in theatre thanks to the Commonwealth, being a G7 country, a P5 state, and one of the world’s leading soft powers. And that is without us having any permanent naval assets there since what 1975? Sending a carrier task group to play with the Americans and Japanese is something else.

** Perhaps with an on station RFA too?

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks.

UK had a standing escort tasking at the region until 2010. Every year, about 6month each. Semi-permament presence it was. This is why I’m saying “rapidly decreasing influence” in this decade. Not from 1975.

A 8000 tonne escort is expensive to procure and to operate. Its sea going days are only a half of that of an OPV. Yes, OPV is not a war fighter, but more capable in existence. Also, an OPV can be sent with only 15-25% resource needed to send an escort, I guess. Thus, sending an OPV shall not be compared with sending an escort.

I do not agree “All the intel we need would be available through other channels”. An OPV will IMPROVE the intel, for sure (and I think it will be a significant improvement, while I understand you think it is almost zero). Compared to its cost (like peanuts), I think it will pay enough (more than a peanuts).

Anyway, I understand you have a different view point. Thanks to this debate, I guess mutual misunderstanding is almost diminished?

I very much like to see RN OPV sent to Singapore, sniffing around the region.

Cam

It’s like messing with someone big guys little brother (Tamar) you just wont do or you’ll get your ass kicked, that’s the way I look at Tamar in Indo Pacific. And will the Gurkhas based in that area be expanded? I hope so.

Jamie

Stocks of Sea Viper missiles to be increased, Does this mean;

A) We didn’t have enough to fill all tubes on our Type 45s?
B) Type 45 is getting fitted with its extra VLS cells it was designed with?
C) Future ships will also get the Sea Viper system?

Supportive Bloke

A) probably enough to deploy 3 filled up with mixed 30/15 would be my guess
B) this is increasingly likely once we have decided on anything to fire from them
C) it is possible that the T26 might have a few vipers in it. I noticed the manufacturers website stated it could fit into Mk41 VLS.

The issue of cooperative engagement is more who controls what as missile need to launch with close to zero warning if hypersonic. It could be very disruptive for a T45 to launch a viper from a T26 (T26 doesn’t have the high mounted Sampson radar) so T45 will be the AAW controller.

Sonik

That’s an interesting concept with many potential benefits – besides increasing the effective magazine it adds some redundancy by spreading it out, also offsetting a little the limited number of T45 available.

My only reservation with CEC is reliance on radio based links, which may introduce some additional risks particularly when you need a very fast launch as you noted. But I’m sure there is some clever tech in the pipeline, and SOPs can take some of these issues into account.

X

TBH I don’t think the RN / MoD(N) ever bought Aster 15 with Sea Ceptor coming down stream.

I very much doubt any T45 went away from the wall with a full VLS.

Supportive Bloke

I would have said the same a few weeks go.

Actually I was quite surprised to see, a few days ago, a statement that there was a mix of 30/15 in service on T45.

X

Gosh. Well that is a surprise. And very interesting. Thank you! 🙂

Meirion X

Aster 30 is the same as Aster 15, with a booster added on.

Last edited 24 days ago by Meirion X
James Fennell

7.26 says The lethality of the surface fleet will be increased by upgrading the air defence capability in our Type 45 destroyers, So I would expect an ABM (Sea viper Block 1 NT or 2) capability as well as increased stocks of Sea Viper.

Don

The wording for upgrading the T45 is nice and vague. It could mean anything from high end cooperative engagement ,upgrading radars, Mk 41 , SM6/3 , Sea Viper 1NT/2NT etc etc… Which would be great. However judging by the penny piniching I fear It could be a nice way of saying that a few seaceptor systems could be recycled especially with more T23 retiring sooner.
In a similar vein of the recycling of the harpoons when the T22s went.

Rob Collinson

Is the converted ‘Bay’ be withdrawn from the RFA and brought into the RN?

Sonik

Don’t want to read too much into it but the paper states: “our new Type 83 destroyer which will begin to replace our Type 45 destroyers”

I don’t know much about RN Type classes but could Type 8x classification mean the T45 replacement will be more of a multirole destroyer? That would make sense looking at T26, being more multirole than T23 it replaces.

Trevor H

Means it’s bigger (?) like the T82 ?

Ron5

Yes, it means its multi-purpose. Says nothing about size.

criss whicker

as only an amateur in these things and not fully understanding, may one ask the following,
1, why is so much committed to NATO, does this mean the British military cant use them when they want, or in an emergency ask NATO to release them for home defence , for places like the Falklands,
2, was not the type 83 a single class ship, [ is this a hint ]

3, and is the royal air force going to work more for less,
thanks.

Trevor H

T82 (?)

criss whicker

T82?
well that’s what the UK defence journal says. Type 83,
perhaps i read it wrong.

The Defence Command Paper released today, titled ‘Defence in a Competitive Age‘, confirms that the UK will develop a new destroyer type, the Type 83.
UK Defence Journal

Duker

Under the original ‘type’ numbering , the 80 series was for multi purpose ships and if they had ‘fleet speed ‘ were to be destroyers
T81 Tribals
T82 Bristol
Both were advanced designs for their time

Sonik

Ah ok, thanks for that. Likely that T83 will be more multi purpose than T45. Makes sense too if it’s to be based on the T26 quiet ASW hull as rumoured.

Meirion X

It will need a wider beem at midship as well, this would depend on how much weight in the superstructure.

Sonik

Yep, I get that.

Talk of using a lighter mast, and the Australians and Canadians are showing what’s achievable with the T26 hull.

Bob2

Report states “ Type 32 frigates, designed to protect territorial waters, provide persistent presence overseas and support our Littoral Response Groups.” Does this suggest something more “fighty” than t31, or does it suggest they are to replace Batch 1 Rivers in UK waters, which appear to be gone by 2030 (based on the RN schematic in report).

Ron5

Yes, I think it does.

Rob Gazzard

If the 6 x MRSS are truly multi role the surely they won’t be a converted RO RO design but instead a LHD as suggested by BAE? Can I ask how we are going to ‘pivot’ on some ferry’s?

https://www.baesystems.com/en/product/amphibious-vessels

Otherwise where is the flexibility? What happens when we do need to put an Amphibious Brigade on a beach, when a conflict occurs that inconveniently pops up and does not conform with a failed and limited vision (i.e. 1980s Nott Defence cuts before the Falklands Conflict)? I thought we learnt that lesson from the Falklands and was demonstrated again Gulf War 2? What about the lessons from Australian experience during East Timor which resulted in them developing their Amphibious capabilities around the Juan Carlos LHDs?

Fully reinstated 3 Commando Brigade plus additional 4 x Raiding Commando Squardons, 4 x 30,000t LPDs, 4 x replacement Bays (with hangers this time) and 2 x JSS 30,000t replacement for RFA Argus please….well don’t ask for, don’t get…

Last edited 26 days ago by Rob Gazzard
Duker

‘Dont ask dont get’ applies for birthday presents. This isnt the 1980s and those extra troops and ships dont have a justification to back them up. Then there is the cost.
Its better to ask for some increments that is reasonably possible, after this is a Tory government who dont see the Marines in the same way as you.
One increment may be that with the new ‘Ranger battalions’ or reinforced platoons why does Britain need Parachute Regiment when they have a new 2nd level special forces. Could that not be some 1 or 2 more Marine Commando units instead

Sjb1968

The reduction in the RM’s is due to a number of factors:

  1. They are expensive to train, equip and operate. Dedicated ships, aircraft and specialist equipment are required.
  2. They are part of the Navies funding stream so less marines means more matelots because there is no more money.
  3. Key decision making politicians are ex Army and have a desire to find some new roles for their ex-exployer.

Before someone says over the beach assault is no longer feasible please tell me the last time the RMs did that on a genuinely defended beachhead because that was USMC doctrine and not that of our smaller and more nimble RM’s.
Only in the strange and distorted world of the MOD would you reduce the RMs who consistently have little problem in recruitment, are nearly always deployed first by the U.K. in conjunction with the Paras and are respected by friends and potential foes alike to put together a Ranger brigade.
Logic would have been to supplement RM Commandos with Army Commandos trained at Lympstone and grow that established capability, whilst diversifying it.
Instead, we have kneecapped some of our very best forces to maintain some cap badges again and whilst we are about it we have scrapped the SAS’s airlift and reduced our new AEW aircraft numbers.
Whilst the latest review has less jam tomorrow type promises you can guarantee we we will be lucky to see 4 out of 6 MRSS suggested.
However, it was good to see several sections specifically on diversity that made me feel better.

X

THIS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I would be happy with just 3 fast LPD’s roughly something like the USN San Antonio’s. As you say plans for 6 ships is purely fantasy.

Sjb1968

Agreed, whatever is provided it must have a well deck around the size of those in Albion. To loose that capability would be criminal.

X

For me it has always been this obsession with landing tanks that has got me. Yes as with the big transport planes a tank is a good demonstrator of lift, but just as with planes the few an LPD could carry is worthless. We need a fast ship to shore connector like the French L-CAT or even the LC1ME. Or even better perhaps something like CB90 on steriods; big enough these could be carried in an RFA manned LSD hundreds of miles out.

We need an LPD that can move in 500nm jumps just as the USN amphibs can. Something that can keep up with the carriers. One company plus small TAC HQ plus Merlin plus Wildcat in the carrier. The balance in the LPD. And other assets in a Bay trailing behind if needed.

Sonik

As I said above 6x Ellida could work. The BMT concept has 2x LCU dock, so 6off Ellida would have total 12x LCU capacity.

That’s actually one more dock than at present: Albions = 2off 4x LCU + Bays = 3off 1x LCU = Total 11x LCU.

And 6x Ellida would give better redundancy and flexibility due to spreading dock capacity evenly, Vs now, we have 2 very large and 3 smaller shps.

Actually the Ellida concept is a hybrid Landing/Replenishment ship. Since we are geting FSS separately we can delete the replenishment stores, RAS rigs etc. and free up space for LIMs, C&C and other facilities. But I think the basic ship is about the right size, but only if we can get six of them.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ben Robins
X

You would never has 6 in commission.

Sonik

Maybe we won’t – I’m just trying to make sense of the MRSS announcement and the possible thinking behind it.

X

It will be a cheap programme that will be cut and disappeared before anybody realises.

X

I am not surprised by the obsession here of giving the Bays hangars; helicopters aren’t a panacea and are expensive. When they were acquiredit was logistics hulls and the space where there is a hangar on the Enforcers is used for containers and outsize and awkward cargoes. Not everything needs a helicopter. And aviation facilities impact heavily on design.
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Last edited 26 days ago by X
donald_of_tokyo

I think “helicopter hanger is not always a killer” is the exact reason behind that only one hull will be modified as such, (as a trail, I guess?)

X

The Bay is being rerolled away from the logistic or auxiliary LPD / LSD role.

donald_of_tokyo

What is the problem?

One Bays is an MCMV mother ship at Persian Gulf now. One is a HADR ship in the Caribbean.

One Bay being used for Littoral Strike group is nothing different? Or, I am not understanding it correctly?

X

To be honest I didn’t really understand your post and my post was my best guess.

Sonik

Its a temporary solution, to fulfill LSS ‘requirement’.

As a trial, yes, but perhaps only to test out, without much expense, if LSS concept works. So I think you are correct in that assessment.

Longer term, Bays will be replaced by MRSS, which presumably will incorporate any lessons learned. It’s a sensible plan, if looked at like this.

Last edited 25 days ago by Ben Robins
Cam

And all that’s only a couple billion max extra a year untill all built. And we give 14 billion Per year in foreign aid and the EU another 10 billion this year And next..

X

Remember we have to borrow foreign aid money. So not only do we lose the money we throw we lose more in interest. The money often ending up in China who are throwing money at the same countries we are spending aid in…..YAY!

A one off £14 billion would have recapitalised the Army.

Moonstone

For all its airy talk of transforming our armed forces for the future this review is in reality just another hatchet job. If (as I’m sure we all agree) frigate numbers are dangerously inadequate then reducing them further makes no sense – scraping the already inactive T23 may not make much real difference to the fleet but neither does it save much real money. Increasing the ‘cap’ on our nuclear warhead numbers may mean something or nothing – if it’s the former then it’s going to be (very) expensive one assumes.

The gradual reduction of the Royal Marines from what was once a formidable Brigade sized formation well capable of actually achieving useful effects on the battlefield (such as retaking the Falklands for example) into this ill-defined ‘raiding’ force concept represents a serious loss to our overall defence I think. Indeed, with the Army also seemingly obsessed with ‘special forces’ at the moment (although I suspect that this new ‘Ranger’ concept was primarily invented more to save five oh so precious ‘cap badges’ rather than fullfil some real operational need) our ‘cloak and dagger’ boys are in danger of outnumbering our regular units. I suppose we’ll soon be fully prepared to repeat ‘Operation Certain Death’ anywhere in the world but rather less capable of giving the likes of Vadimir Putin much to think about. A fleet of just 148 Challenger 3 MBTs is obviously pathetic, as is the money wasted on the Warrior IFV upgrade. But Army vehicle programmes have long been a disaster zone so this is no surprise.

I agree that the growing treat to our vital undersea infrastructure is a real cause for concern – but how one ship is supposed to counter that threat is another matter. More submarines and ASW assets are the answer surely? Ridding ourselves of conventional MCM vessels in favour of unmanned technology may either be a brave step forward or a calamitous move if the new tech does not work properly in practice – I note that other nations are still commissioning new MCM vessels. We appear to have committed ourselves to replacing the Astute class SSN force with another nuclear design in the distant future – so has no thought has been given to more affordable AIP options then?

The announcement that F-35 procurement will not cease at just 48 aircraft, and that the so called ‘split buy’ idea is dead, is I think good news as far as it goes. But typically we have no hard number to count on so it’s all endlessly negotiable. Pressing ahead with a interim Harpoon replacement is also a wise move. However, much like the frigate situation, reducing the RAF’s transport force at this time seems to be a dubious decision.

£6bn is a lot of money (two aircraft carriers worth in fact) but how much that type of sum is going to achieve in space is not a matter I feel qualified to comment on. Not much maybe?

X

AIP still isn’t nuclear. The RN sees it main submarine theatre as the Indian Ocean oddly. Even though they were keen to chop Diligence without replacement. And such distances mean nuclear for the UK.

We could do with some AIP boats to dodge about Northern Norway and for training. But it won’t happen.

Mick

Agree with most of this analysis. Don’t really see how the review is very positive for the Royal Navy or UK Defence. It’s really just another round of cuts.

The real missed opportunity is doing something to address the wastage and inefficiency in the MoD procurement process. Until this is addressed no amount of increased money is really going to address the problems. The standard process is to buy very low numbers of equipment loaded with every kind of expensive technology from a handful of monopolistic or oligopolistic private companies and will never deliver a meaningful quantity of anything.

Could also look at savings in the top-heavy structure/waste within the organisation and ask why there are so many Admirals and Generals. The Royal Marines alone have six generals and 16 Brigadiers. The size of the organisation would justify one general and two brigadiers at best.

FatPusser

I wonder whether the in service dates of T32 will match the out of sevice dates of River B2? so the order of battle grows from 24 ships to (funny old thing) 24 ships

Cam

It’ll be 20 odd years before we get the type 32 probably! So yep your prob right.

Duker

The Navy is following the Armys procurement model, have definite plans for specific hardware but years and billions are wasted over ‘configuration’ that very little is bought.
Compared to the old Navy procurement model, of definitely knowing what is wanted and ordering 10 then 8 then 6 as the cost goes through the roof.

Sonik

I think in fairness there is now an acknowledgement of the waste due to constantly changing/growing requirements. Hence T31 – fixed price, fixed basic spec, alows for larger numbers, grow from there in service. But of course everyone then complains that the spec is too basic- can’t win!

criss whicker

Seems the royal navy will do mainly ok,
but the RAF and the Army seems to come out badly,

but I noticed yesterday the Argentine government mouthing of again,
I know many will say that they have nothing to worry about as Argentina has nothing of interest to cause trouble,

but what if,?

Anyway we will all have to live with the review like it or not,
I just hope the military does not have to prove this review right or wrong,
at least until many of the new items are in service,

just a thought.,

,

donald_of_tokyo

Can a River B2 OPV be added with SIGINT sensors (like COMINT and ELINT) ?
Adding that capability will significantly increase the importance of a 2000t lightly armed ship to be deployed around Indo-Pacific?

[EDIT] I think it is surely doable, but how much will it cost? How about “re-rolling” a SIGINT set from a T45 to a River B2? River B2’s main mast is only a little less taller than that of T45. River B2 has large internal volume. SATCOM data-link speed might be not fast enough? Link16 or even better is must? Not sure.

Last edited 24 days ago by donald_of_tokyo
X

It would probably be better to buy a commercial hull and knock it about a bit to build something like………
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donald_of_tokyo

Thanks. But I think it is a different beast.

Just for clarity: My point is
1: looks like anyway a River OPV will go
2: by the way, SIGINT arrays are (likely) being prepared to be added to T45 within a few years
3: then, if technically possible and not cost large, why not put that arrays on an asset located more near the area of dispute. OPV can steam at sea at least twice more (sea going days) than any escort, and River B2 is large enough to go anyway, stay long at sea, if needed, and has many vacant space (a.k.a. 50 more accomodation), and cheap to operate.

Just an idea, and not saying this is the only right answer….

Rob

Jam tomorrow springs to mind but I remain forever an optimist! My hope is that a strong shipbuilding strategy would certainly support the governments levelling up agenda and thus possibly receive the required funding.

Andy a

The loyal wing man looks promising but considering the economy could we have not paid our way into Australia project in return for some discount of t26? Are we not just repeating there research and they have one flying already.
Did I see they are planning multiple sizes of the drone? Or have I miss understood? Is this just them complicating as MOD usually does?
This could be real force multiplier

David Billinge

Outside the Integrated Review the UK government France Germany Greece and Italy at the back end of last year in the Next Generation Rotorcraft program looking for a replacement for the EH101 / Merlin and NH-90 The outurn for the project os first deliveries by 2035, which could stretch the OSD of the Merlin from 2030 to 2035

David Billinge

That should of read Outside the Integrated Review the UK government joined with France Germany Greece and Italy at the back end of last year in the Next Generation Rotorcraft program looking for a replacement for the EH101 / Merlin and NH-90 The outurn for the project os first deliveries by 2035, which could stretch the OSD of the Merlin from 2030 to 2035