Subscribe
Notify of
guest
123 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Geoffrey Hicking

Assuming that the next generation of SSNs will be so complicated and expensive that they will amount to 3 platforms instead of 7, it will be interesting to see what tasks the UUVs are designed for. I live in hope we get at least 5 SSNs though.

David MacDonald

 We won’t wait. We want eight!

Gavin Gordon

I believe that the Dreadnoughts are currently intended to be a template for the successor SSN i.e. effectively the SSBN with the ballistic missile section removed. If so, this could accord with the kind of soundly researched whilst not overtly revolutionary approach we’re coming to associate fom the RN and it’s engineering partners. So maybe more a 1.5 to 2 platform solution with comensurate cost benefits. The last at least as well as modern technology will facilitate.

Duker

Should have been the other way round. The Dreadnought class as a developed Astute class. The missile tubes a single row of 8 ( or 12). maybe with a humpback like the Russians do.

DaSaint

The USN and RN should just collaborate on a shared SSN design, produced in both countries. They utilize systems from each other anyway! BAE Systems is a major supplier to the USN, and several US companies, such as Lockheed, Raytheon, and Honeywell provide systems to RN SSNs.

David MacDonald

Fewer admirals? Maybe but there now seem to be commodores skulking behind every office door in the MOD. I used to think that the concept of the then effectively acting rank commodore was a clever way of placing the most appropriate, if not the most senior, captain in temporary local command. The RAF, by contrast, seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of air commodores doing nothing much. Sadly the Royal Navy seems now to have gone down the same path.

I am not too keen on the new concept of promotion to lieutenant commander the subject of selection, an idea which was rejected as long ago as in the early 1900s on the grounds that it would favour the pushy to the detriment of the slow and steady.
.
I fear  the Royal Navy seems to be picking up some bad habits of the other two services.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

Unfortunately for the past and present Royal Navy the inexhaustible supply of Air Commodores all seem to have one good habit, they automatically head for Westminster and the politicians when decisions regarding procurement arise. Their skills and influence make the Senior Officers of the other Armed forces seem like amateurs.

MikeD

A friend’s son a submariner on SSN’s recently had no post-deployment leave and then no pre-deployment leave prior to setting off on patrol. Coupled with the fact that he is from the South of the Country and had no time to visit friends and family he is seriously considering his future in the service.
The decision to base all submarines in Faslane is also a problem for him. The attractions of the highlands notwithstanding.

Arran

Yes, I’d imagine Covid is making service rough. Things will eventually improve I hope. There is no other real suitable location for the subs and having been stationed there for some years I can’t help but think maybe he should of thought of that first before signing up.

Duker

Barrow ?
Dont really need a deep firth or other such drowned valley.

The US Navy does Ok with its Kings Bay Georgia base which is a winding shallow (ish) estuary..

Cam

Glasgow’s near by though and has lots to do, but covid screwed that I suppose, and Faslanes not in the Highlands lol

MikeD

I did not say Faslane was in the highlands

Cam

ok mate my bad.

David MacDonald

I don’t see how the type 31s, can be classified as “frigates” without any AS capabilities and so they will not be escorts. They are certainly not frigates in the modern tradition which began with WW2 River Class but rather large expensive gunboats with small guns.  

The aircraft carries may be complete but they are not operational and will not be without four naval air squadrons of F35Bs; thus far, only one such, 809 squadron, is in the pipeline and then only in 2023.

You still have much to do, First Sea Lord, Sir.

X

For me it is Crowsnest that is the real gap. What the MoD(N) have purchased is woeful.

Gavin Gordon

I’ve been wondering how they’ve performed during CSG21, even in pre-production guise. Even so, phase out by 2029 seems a bit precipitous.

Tim Hirst

Odds of developing and deploying a new system and modifying both ships and working up both crews by 2029 seam low to me.

Cam

How much further can crowsnest see than the type 45s.

X

It is more a question of what can Crowsnest see that SAMPSON can’t. I think the latter can look out to 200nm. The much, much smaller Crowsnest lofted a lot higher can see further but with less resolution. We can’t do without it. And it needed a much better sensor.

Cam

And having just 3 with the carriers seems like the bare minimum needed..

X

It is. We need 5 or so for 24 hours to be on the safe side.

Ideally we need enough so we can have two (task) groups covered.

Though somebody here once told me that I was being stupid saying that……..

bloke at the bog

The question here is radar horizon, SAMPSON may have the output power to look straight out to 200nm but will still be limited by the curvature of the earth, anything below the curvature is hidden.

Examples;

  1. SAMPSON is 30 meters and target is 5 meters above sea level, then 17nm is when the target becomes visible.
  2. SAMPSON is 30 meters and target is 10 meters above sea level, then 20nm is when the target becomes visible.
  3. SAMPSON is 300 meters and target is 10 meters above sea level, then 45nm is when the target becomes visible.
  4. SAMPSON is 30 meters and target is 1000 meters above sea level, then 82nm is when the target becomes visible.

Assuming that SEARCHWATER 2000 has the same performance (which is not) as SAMPSON then

  1. SEARCHWATER 2000 is 3000 meters and target is 10 meters above sea level, then 130nm is when the target becomes visible.
Tim Hirst

The laws of physics mean at radars can’t see below the horizon. If a potential contact is at say 30 feet you can see it at a massively greater distance from 10,000 feet than from the top of a T45 mast. If you potential contact is at say 55,000 then quality/power of the radar set will likely be the factor that limits range.

This formula is taken from https://www.alternatewars.com/BBOW/Radar/Radar_Horizon.htm

Simplified Radar Horizon Against a Target at a Specific Height for Earth (English Units)
RadarHorizon = 1.23 * ( sqrt [HeightAntenna] + sqrt [HeightTarget])

  • RadarHorizon = Distance to the Radar Horizon in Nautical Miles.
  • AntennaHeight = Height of Radar Antenna in Feet.
  • HeightTarget = Height of Target in feet.

NOTE: This equation is inaccurate compared to the full radar horizon equation, but it yields results accurate enough for “back of the envelope” work.

Cam

Cheers Tim, was interesting 👍

Jonathan

What is really interesting is that the radar horizon is not the same as the visual light horizon.

dick van dyke

But, the Earth is flat !!!!

X

Rubbish! RUBBISH! We live on the inside of a sphere. It rotates to stop the water sploshing to the bottom. 🙂

bloke at the bog

steady on old boy, what have you been drinking?

David MacDonald

 In fact on rare occasions of anomalous atmospheric propagation (particularly in the Mediterranean for some reason) microwave radar can sometoimes detect targets beyond the horizon. Longer wavelength radar waves are diffracted around the surface of the earth to a significant degree and, in the right conditions, can also be bounced off the Ionosphere. Radars which use HF / MF can make detections significantly beyond the horizon.

A primitive form of HF radar was tried out in the Falklands War using the ships’ HF communions aerials but I don’t think much was achieved then. HF/MF Over the Horizon Radar (OTHR) has since been developed further and the Australians have an operational OTHR system, “Jindalee”, to protect their North coast.    

I don’t know how much further shipborne OTHR has been taken by the RN recently. Perhaps someone here knows more than I.

AlexS

Italian Navy developed naval radars for that propose in 70’s, 80’s , but it was still irregular occurrence.

The highly secret experimental radar SPQ-5A “Sarchiapone” installed from 1973 to 1987 on board the frigate Alpino, was able to locate aircraft during their take-off from the aircraft carrier Kennedy at a distance of 350 nautical miles. A further evolution of SPQ-5A “Sarchiapone” was the SPS-702ACo.Ra (Condotto Radar, Radar Duct) installed on board the “Lupo” class frigates toward the end of 1980s and then removed, prior to the sale of the four units to Peru. The task of the Co.Ra was the remote control over the horizon of the Teseo missiles toward their targets, without having to resort to the use of the helicopter. Three more radar sets of this type were based on the coast in La Spezia, Taranto and Venice; the latter was able to intercept, at the distance of about 280 miles, the air traffic of the large Italian air force base Luigi Rovelli, in Amendola near Foggia; they considered the chance to create a network of such “Radar Duct” systems for coastal monitoring throughout the Mediterranean, but the project had no followup because of the inconstancy of the phenomenon and the need to install the antennas at the suited, not known a priori, altitude above sea, sometimes as low as a very few metres.

AlexS
Tim Hirst

There is no such thing as an RAF or FAA F35 squadron.
All have personnel from both services and are planned to stay that way. 809 could well have an RAF (or an FAA) boss and will most likely have a majority of RAF people as there are more of them in the F35 force.

David MacDonald

We tried that in the 1930s but it did not work well.

Tim Hirst

And what relevance has that to the 2030’s?

Dont be a prisoner of history.

Sunmack

I think some of the lessons are still relevant though.
In the 30’s the RAF prioritised strategic bombing over coastal command and the Navy was left with obsolete aircraft on it’s carriers.
In recent times the RAF were prepared to dump maritime reconnaissance, VTOL aircraft that could be used on carriers and the Sentinel surveillance aircraft (which were so useful that other countries have borrowed them). Dumping Harriers was particularly irksome as it was done to retain GR4’s whose capabilities were largely already present or soon to emerge on Typhoons.

X

I think because persons who join the RAF are doing so to stay on dry land. And those who join the RN expect to go to sea. Mind blowing I know. Just as some don’t join the Army because they don’t like the idea of camping on a two way range.

Sunmack

We can be upbeat if:

1) We equip T26 with a ship launched ASW weapon and land attack capability.
2) We equip the F35 with a stand off heavyweight land attack missile and anti-ship missile (that’s not Spear which hasn’t the range to be launched outside the engagement envelope of land and sea based area defence SAM’s)
3) We either sell the B2 Rivers and use the crews on useful vessels such as MCM ships or put a telescoping hangar on them so that they can carry a helicopter permanently and actually be of some use in relieving larger units of SAR, humanitarian and interdiction missions.
3) We ensure all independently deployed destroyers and frigates carry SSM’s and ASW torpedoes as they do in every other major Navy
4) We give the T45 a TBMD capability, equip them with the Co-operative Engagement Capability and return their sonars to operational status
5) We put a data link on the Lynx helicopter
6) We put a sonar and double the number of SAM’s on the T31
7) We never deploy our carriers with an air group smaller than 18 F35’s
8) We buy additional medium helicopters or UAV’s for the AEW mission so that Merlins csn focus on ASW operations

You’d get most of that capability for the £5.5bn we’re planning to spend on Ajax!

David MacDonald

Indeed. Good points.

I would go further and suggest that the British Army does not need to be as large as it currently is. The larger the Army the more the temptation for our inept politicians to send it to fight unwinnable wars in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The defence of the Realm, back up to the USA, assistance to Canada Oz, NZ, Scandinavia, Singapore or Japan or and the freedom of trade can mostly be entrusted to the Royal Navy and the RAF with, of course, highly mobile forces for short term interdiction, special forces, garrisons in Gib, the Falklands, Cyprus, Diego Garcia, home defence and aid to civil power in the UK if (when) required.  We are simply not, ever again, going to become involved in major continental wars.

So there is little or no requirement for new tanks.

dick van dyke

“We are simply not, ever again, going to become involved in major continental wars. ” Well that’s nice to hear then, can you tell me what this weekends Lotto numbers are now please ?

David MacDonald

We are not because we cannot, even now.

dick van dyke

“Ever Again” you wrote, that’s the bit I’m on about, seems like a wild sweeping statement especially if you look back a few hundred years.

X

The age of industrial war has come and gone. We are already fighting WW3 and losing and hardly a shot has been fired.

dick van dyke

No need for Aircraft and ships then, not that we have that many !

X

I didn’t say that.

David MacDonald

History does indeed tell a tale.

Prior to the two world wars of the 20th century our army was, compared to other European powers, very small. Tudor attempts to become involved in Continental wars ended badly. Marlborough’s campaigns in the Wars of Spanish Succession were highly successful but largely fought by non-English / British troops.  Wellington’s Peninsular campaign was brilliant but again the actual numbers of British troops were not high and his successes were possible only  because of the Royal Navy’s near absolute command of the Sea, post Trafalgar. At the other end of Europe Saumarez broke Napoleon’s Continental System and turned the Russian’s against the French with just a small part of the Royal Navy’s total fleet. Most of the soldiers under Wellington’s  his command at Waterloo were not British and that battle would have been lost without Blucher.

 In the Great War the British Army played the major role in the defeat of Germany in the autumn of 1918 but this defeat was also, in a large part, due to the Grand Fleet’s blockade of Germany thus precipitating its economic implosion.  In WW2, our most vital campaigns, at least from the viewpoint of national survival, were the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic. Also. In both World Wars, a large part of the British Army was, in fact, Canadian, Indian, Australian Irish or NZ.

I agree that “never” is a long time but after failure (or whatever?) of the Iraq and Afghan wars, and in contrast to the successful Falklands campaign, the  British Public has no stomach for any further such campaigns.

dick van dyke

I don’t disagree with any of that or events in our earlier history, it was just the use of the “ever again” bit, no-one can predict what’ll happen in the future and certainly no-one on an internet site such as this.

X

We didn’t have a large army because we are an island. You seem to be arguing from the point of view that a large standing army is something we should have had.

Saumarez’s ‘fleet’ was small. But it was part of a much larger greater whole that was exerting influence elsewhere.

I think you over egged the pudding with a large part of the British Army was, in fact, Canadian, Indian, Australian Irish or NZ. 

David MacDonald

My point was precisely that Saumarez did not require a major fleet because of the overwhelming global dominance of the Royal Navy after Trafalgar. Admiral Cowan was in a similar position during the Baltic wars of 1919.

My second point was that that we need not require a large arm precisely because we are an island and that the World Wars of the twentieth century we an aberration.

The contribution by the Iimperial forces in both World Wars should not be underestimated. Now, since we no longer have an empire, we should, in my opinion, revert to what we can do which is a maritime defence policy and avoid future commitments in potential continental conflicts.

X

Fairy snuff. 🙂

that the World Wars of the twentieth century we an aberration.

A point I have made many, many times myself. After WW2 after we had our own A-bomb we should have left the Continent to the French and Germans and returned to the sea.

D J

During WW1, Commonwealth troops included 15,000 from the Caribbean, 140,000 from India & surrounds, 620,000 from Canada, 410,000 Australian, 100,000 New Zealanders & sundry others from Africa. You are looking at around 1.3+ million troops. Looks pretty large to me.

X

The British Army (home!) had nearly 4 million men.

Last edited 2 months ago by X
PeterS

The only significant defeat of the British Army in Europe was in 1940. Unlike in 1914, the small size and outdated equipment of the BEF meant it was overwhelmed.
In 1918, the British Army including Canadian and Australian divisions was the key factor in the defeat of Germany.
In 1944/5, it played a secondary role to the US army.
I don’t think these different experiences provide a clear answer on how today’s army should be organized and equipped or even how big it should be.
For that we need a coherent strategy and we don’t have one. Global Britain is a meaningless sound bite but in pursuit of it we are deploying all R2 s to areas where they will be neither use nor armament. The rest of the surface fleet is too small and poorly armed to achieve much in a peer on peer war. What can it actually do? Blockade? Too small. Deliver major assaults on land? Army too small and not enough aircraft to deliver control of the airspace.
Our only long range non nuclear strike capability is a small number of Tomahawks on just 6 SSNs.
Rather than frittering away resources in areas where we have no vital interests, we need to focus on defence of the UK and of our near neighbours. This should apply to all branches of the armed forces including the RN.
If we choose an army fit mainly for home defence, then we may as well design a navy that does the same.
If we really want to have global capability, we will need a much bigger budget. I can’t see that happening.

Stu

Agreed. Been saying for some time (and was hoping they’d wake up to this in the last review), we need to decide what we want to be. You can’t plan for x, y and z equipment or force structures until you set a capability goal.
If we want to just defend ourselves, could drop out of NATO, ditch the carriers, most of the RFA, any amphibs and half the fleet. Save some money.
If we want to ‘do our bit for NATO’, again ditch the carriers, lose all expeditionary elements & just send token 20 guys when asked. Save money.
If we want to be capable of independently engaging in conflict globally (which politicians like to bluster about), we have to decide what scale and spend accordingly.

PeterS

Use nor ornament! Armament would be useful.

bloke at the bog

Well argued, lad! Are you sure you are not older?

dick van dyke

We’re all getting older mate.

X

We are simply not, ever again, going to become involved in major continental wars.
So there is little or no requirement for new tanks.

I agree. But I will say the Army has too few vehicles even for limited actions (such as those France is undertaking in Africa.) And I would say we are already past the minimum even with MBT’s.

Bob

We are simply not, ever again, going to become involved in major continental wars.”

WWI – The war to end all wars.

dick van dyke

🙂

Mark

Deffo on the ASM for F35bs but fingers crossed we go for the NSM for ships and land batteries and drone ships and then equip F35s with JSM 2 on each wing as it won’t fit inside. Not ideal but covers the basics and is off the shelf.

Jack65

I would go for LRASM and integrate it on to F35B and P8 Posiedon along with mounting on Type 26,Type 31 & Type 32 giving all these assets a truly viable ASM.

D J

LRSM is big, very expensive & competes with the UK/France missiles under development. NSM & JSM are at the lighter end of the heavy weight AShM & have multiple options (versions) as a family (shipboard canister, shipboard VLS, truck mounted canister, helicopter, fast jet & submarine launch). Also remember that the F35B needs to be able to ski-jump launch & land vertical carrying these things.

Anthony McKiernan

Incisive and very relevant comments. Indeed, the £5.5bn should go the distance. Good points well researched.

rec

An upbeat speech, but additional ships have yet to be ordered. Two glaring weaknesses are: 1) The need for a small force of say 5 AIP Submarines, a real force multiplier, 2) Too few Merlin HM2s. Possible solutions could be for 1) sell this as a job creation scheme maybe Japenese / German investment into CL, in exchange for something they need help with. 2) transfer all Wildcats to the RN and equip some with MAD and dipping sonar. The army buying Blackhawks.

X

How do settle on 5 SSK’s? What availability are you looking at?

Stu

Agree the Wildcats need dipping sonar. Cost/benefit is a no-brainer.

Blackhawks though? No. The US is going to start replacing them in 6 years. V280 or similar will be a huge step change in capability. Lets not spend a fortune on new helicopters (especially not in volume) that will be obsolete in 10 years.

Deep32

We already are, with the Puma replacement (covers 4 helicopter types, some 40-60 aircraft). Unfortunately we cant wait for the V280, so have to get something now.

Stu

Fair point. I don’t know enough about how soon things are going to be unserviceable but, knowing how woefully slow our usual procurement is though… Is it possible we could wait?

Deep32

In the case of the Pumas, the answer is no, OSD is 2023/4, they have already had a mid life update to get them to this date, they are out of flying hours, so a new type is needed.
Merlin’s are good till 2040, and the Chinooks beyond that, so, they will be prime contenders for anything new.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

Radakins speech would suggest that he and Admirals before him have played some part in the successful rejuvenation of the Royal navy. If these men had resigned their commission rather than play patsy to mainly Conservative governments defence policies then maybe they would have brought it to the the notice of the country that we no longer possess any maritime force capable of defending our own shores or the lives and property of British citizens abroad, especially at the same time.
Everything that Radakin comments on is said to reassure the Government that he and his Senior Officers are ‘on message’ and not doing anything to rock the sinking boat. Anyone reading this article who can compose a wish list of items- manpower and equipment, urgently required by the Royal Navy and get that list down to less than fifteen items may pass Go and become an Admiral of the fleet.

4thwatch

I’m fascinated by the news we intend to operate catapult launched drones from the carriers. This suggests they need wires and that the weight will be fairly limited. Any ideas what the limit might be and have we done some negotiations with Bae yet?

Tim Hirst

Suggestion is the system will be much smaller than you would need to land any of the manned carrier aircraft.

dick van dyke

Ah, you mean the F35B then, after all it’s the only one we can launch and land, just hope the airframe hours can last the 50 years often mentioned. Would it need another upgrade in 25 years or so ? all this and more will be answered in the next few decades I guess. Unless we just sell the Carriers of course !

Cam

I wonder if we added an arestor wire what we could also launch, STOBAR is a cheap and good option too. The Indians launch migs dont they?

Anyways a Navy tempest would be cool to compliment F35b and if it’s STOBAR then no need for heavy STOVL gear, it just needs a longer run up and really powerfull engine. Actually I wonder how long a runway the f35C needs to take of from and the ski-ramp would defo shorten that….

X

STOBAR is inefficient when it comes to deck space. But saying that we are unlikely to have a lot of airframes and have a big deck so……… 🙂

D J

SAAB Sea Gripen would probably be the better option as a STOBAR fighter. Smaller & lighter weight, quite capable flying CAP over the carrier 24×7 & leave the F35B as the strike fighter.

X

It’s cheap. But can’t just have Rafael-M instead?

Tim Hirst

STOBAR kills payload. The Chinese are looking to go catapult having tried STOBAR.

magenta

RFI008 AIRCRAFT LAUNCH AND RECOVERY EQUIPMENT
A Pre-Procuement Noticeby MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
Published 25 Feb 2021

See – https://bidstats.uk/tenders/2021/W08/745668808

“Potential arrestor solutions ideally should offer:
a. Max trap 47000lbs / 21318Kg
b. Min trap 11000lbs / 5000Kg
c. Energy damping method
d. Potential for energy reclamation
Potential catapult solutions ideally should offer:
a. Max launch weight 55000lbs / 24949Kg
b. Electrical power input required against launch cycle time.”

Last edited 2 months ago by magenta
Sunmack

I thought last nights C5 documentary on HMS Trenchant summed up what happens way too often. A rusty, 30 year old boat which should have long since been replaced soldiering on but unable to complete her mission due to knackered kit breaking down. As ever, the positive part was the calm, can do attitude of the crew. It’s an all too often repeated pattern of great personnel let down by poor or worn out gear thanks to hopeless politicians

Tim Hirst

Or politicians who have worked out were the majority of the public’s priorities are and are concentrating on those. We are a democracy, we get what we as a majority vote for.

Sunmack

You’re right. Politicians largely use the defence budget for job creation rather thsn defence as that’s what people vote for.

Duker

Hardly. The NHS does that and it gets 12% of GDP not 2%

X

During the Cold War the general trends were Labour liked building platforms (metal bashing) and the Tories liked tech and cutting platforms.

Stu

Do we though?

Truth is, with maybe the exception of CASD, neither party make Defence an issue – because they don’t want to – so you never get to see what the public actually want. If we were to have an election or referendum with Defence as the only issue, I think many would be surprised at the level of support it has when you sit people down and have a conversation with the public about it. It’s rarely considered by people as most have been cocooned/insulated/had the wool pulled over our eyes about any potential threats and/or operate on the assumption that it’s all taken care of. Defence is ‘someone else’s problem’.

The media never raise Defence as an issue (goes against their agenda) & it’s never really debated come the hustings.

Given the entrenchment in a two party system – neither of which really want to discuss such things and let’s be honest, they’re both cut from the same cloth at the minute – where no-one really uses defence as a political weapon to cudgel the opposition with, as they do in the USA, the public are never actually consulted on the matter.

It’s kind of like forcing a choice between gruel or porridge & then claiming ‘the majority wanted porridge so that’s what everyone will get’ when actually, if presented with all the options, most would prefer a bacon sandwich.

That’s part of the importance of sites like this & the “cool” photos of BIG ships. Try and have these conversations, try and engage people who don’t even think of these things, try and get the word out there about the state of our Defence so we can remedy it.

Cam

Was fascinating. Fridge breaking down too…

dick van dyke

Lec are not the best truth be known .

Cam

“A bigger Navy” in tonnage yes! But in ships no where near… they need to stop talking Cr*p that’s what they need to do.

Last edited 2 months ago by Cam
dick van dyke

I’m with you on that mate, It’s Cut after Cut after Cut either way they try to disguise it. Would be interesting to see Hull Figures rather than Tonnage, after all you can only be in one place at any one time and we seem to be spread rather thinly at the moment, not to mention the next ten years or so. Big’ing up the T45’s is one thing saying just how World Class they are but we all know the reality is they are mostly broken down or undergoing refits, as for the T23’s well yes, we will soon be down to 11 of the original 16 with at least another 2 being paid off pretty soon, not to mention the 11 remaining Mine hunters/Patrol boats and the Batch 1 Rivers too you can bet your bottom Doller on that. Oh and We might just get 8 T26’s but what are the T31’s actually going to be good at ? Then we have the 5 T32’s whatever they may be ? Type 83’s ? will we get 6 or will we get half ? 2 Carriers, or 1? 138 F35B’s or just 48? Merlin’s and Wildcat’s look vulnerable if you ask me. Call me Young and Stupid but heck, Wake up UK, smell the Coffee.

dick van dyke

Rant over, for now.

bloke at the bog

Calm down old boy, you’ll get a stroke.
Have a Drambuie at the Duke of York if you are over 18!

Cam

It’s good to rant at times matey.👍

Sunmack

You’re being unfair on the T31. It will be the largest offshore patrol vessel in the world. Just the same as the Batch 2 Rivers are the largest coastal patrol vessels in the world.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the £2bn spent on building these ships and the hundreds of crew used to operate them couldn’t possibly have been better spent on hulls that were actually of some use.

X

It won’t be the largest. I am the sure China Coastguard have some 10k tonners. And the Japan Coast Guard has 6800 tonners……. 🙂

D J

Don’t forget the Canadians. 6,500t for their artic OPV’s .

X

Good one! Heck we could also then mention the Norwegians too.

Cam

Royal Navy’s ice patrol ship too HMS Protector , 5,000t

dick van dyke

🙂

Robert Blay

You guys are completely missing the point of the T31.

Cam

Exactly mate, cuts everywhere since 2000s, our ships are under armed and vulnerable, barely any ASM on our carrier battle group or even in the fleet, and even down to not fitting the 4 30mm to the carriers is something i don’t understand as we have the dam guns!…

And The MCMVs going without a manned replacement giving the RN even less options and capability as the mines have specialist divers and equipment that autonomous boats won’t and cant have! The mines going will make the RN worse off and have less ships to help train new captains crew and specialists!, and to think we had 30 odd MCMVs not long ago.. 20 odd frigates and 12 destroyers….I hope we get the type 32 to help replace them and 5 minimum or 8 would be great then we can scrap the batch one OPVs or give them away! we like giving assets away. But 24 escorts is about the minimum we need for The RN, but let’s be honest only the type 26s and 45s are true escorts..I hope we get a surprise and the 31/32 are better armed than we think, they are great cable ships if given the right gear.

The 31s missile counts less than the much smaller type 23s and thats almost criminal especially because adding an extra 24/34 to the 12 planned on the huge ships with loads of room won’t exactly break the bank and the 23s we have left will all have new top notch gear and missiles installed so why not take what we can for them .

The 45s getting engines fixed is good and should give us 4 deplorable at once and the extra 24 sea ceptor is very welcome as the 45s 48 missiles were low for something that size and cost. Also do the 45s wildcats always carry the Martlets and wing system now ? And I wonder how many extra martlet the ships carry, if it’s just 10 then the 45s have 82 launchable missiles aboard and Thats a dam sight better than what we started with, now put the sonar back on and get the interim ASM ordered for the fleet.

Thats my Rant over too m8 😆

Deep32

Evening Cam, yes it’s good to rant, we all do it at some point mate!
We’ve always had AShM in the fleet, certainly since the early 80s, Exocet on Leander’s/B2 Counties, T21 and T22s, then we switched to Harpoon on B3 T22s,T23 and T45s. They are carried as a deterrent as escorts don’t normally go toe to toe with the opposition. The UK uses SSNs to target opposition ships, yes we do not have enough of them and that’s not going to change in the next 20 years.
F35 will help the SSNs against opposition ships in the short term until FC/ASM comes online, and indeed if we do get some form of effective I-SSGM!!
Nobody knows exactly how many SeaCeptor T31s are going to receive.renders have shown anywhere between 12-24, but they are just that, drawings, so who knows.
Totally agree that increase in tonnage is not a good barometer to measure RN improvement, it’s a con, as we all know hull numbers are decreasing and that, will have a detrimental effect on our capabilities, that no matter how many drones we have (defence on the cheap), will not improve it.
Have a few beers mate, I’m having a glass of rouge!

X

True. But why is it always thought here drones will be cheap, small, and unmanned? They are going to be expensive to do anything serious, big to do anything serious, and will take manpower to look after them.

Deep32

Wouldn’t disagree X, almost be worthwhile having manned assets instead!!!😂😂

X

Putting a man in a machine does mean he takes up volume. But if you want to move 10 tonnes of ordnance at over mach 1 you are going to have to build a big plane. Artificially intelligent devices are still dumb. And high end kit still breaks.

dick van dyke

Yes, exactly, just like the BAE T650, it can take a Stingray torpedo up to 20 miles at up to 90mph, probably cost an arm and a leg and take a team of Humans to control it not to mention all the others involved in maintaining and handling. Not really getting it personally.

X

Returning un-expended expensive ordnance is good. Taking what 13 minutes to get to the target isn’t so good.

dick van dyke

But what can this Drone do that a Wildcat or Merlin couldn’t ? 20 mile range at full load 90 mph ? Hell even a Stringbag has way more range and speed than that.

X

Nothing. As I said the only thing it can do is bring the torpedo back.

The Americans were trying out remote controlled helicopters in the 50’s and 60’s. Wouldn’t have the speed of Ikara; if it did and the lift body could be flown back? But no I see no advantage.

Deep32

An interesting tweet ref AUS binning French built SSKs for SSN with tech from US?UK if true!!

X

Yes. I have seen a few articles on it. The French boat wasn’t want they needed. It will be amusing if they end up with 8 SSN’s…….

Cam

Why have I got visions of the Electric drones coming back with torpedoes not used and hitting the side of the ship or crashing due to battery failure.,,

Cam

Hi Deep32 mate, yep had a couple beers, the way the Government treats the millitary almost drives me to booze lol 👍

D J

F35B will have next to no ability to assist the SSN’s unless some sort of fast jet capable AShM (such as JSM) is purchased. Unless you want to just drop bombs (which is pretty much the only current option).

Deep32

Yes fella I know, but it will be getting Sp3 as soon as Blk 4 is released (2026?) (not a big hitter I know, but carries 8 internally) which will help, which is where I was going with this.
A large AShM is a no brainer to me, but the powers to be might have a different view, perhaps we will need to wait until FC/ASM comes along for that capability?

Stu

I approve of this rant 🙂

David Barry

There was a certain candour in his words – note admission of only 6 fleet submarines, flagging issues with T45 – Jim30’s thinpinstrippedline might want to revisit that one with the guff he published the other month; acknowledges lack of surface and sub-surface fleet numbers not being able to operate all the places or all the time lack of offensive systems on the Batch 2s… and on.

Personally, I enjoyed the realism.

X

Jim30 is a Main Building shill. The MoD could decide to paint everything fluorescent orange and issue ROE that say the HMAF need to shoot themselves first and Jim30 would spin it as the wisdom of the gods and that anybody disagreeing is an ignorant civilian who should just be bl00dy grateful that the MoD is spending our money.

Last edited 2 months ago by X
Rob Collinson

A really balanced and fair response. Admiral Radakin HAS done a good job. He has helped the RN to fair better than the other services in the recent Integrated Review. (Only fair for the ‘Senior Service’!!)

GJG

Is 1SL not SIR Tony Radakan?

Scotsnomad

I thought drug testing was compulsory? Appears this one slipped through the net!

RobB
Stu

Only if they’re built in the USA so I’m going to say no. Barrow doesn’t have the capacity does it? I believe the US yards do so my guess is a Virginia derivative.
I’m also going to speculate that we’ll only have token involvement with some tech and helping with training where we can.
Good news though!

Deep32

I would think that whatever type the Aussies select, is going to be built in Australia with lots of support/help from the UK/US.
We certainly don’t have the spare capacity and neither do the US I believe, as they are tied up with building their Virginia class which is expected to go into the mid 2040s.
I daresay Thet the US could slot in some extra builds, but it would be at the expense of keeping their LA class in service for longer, that’s an expensive option.