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Jason

Is there nobody of any competence in the RN these days? What you describe here is a clowns circus.

Meirion x

Not the RN’s fault!
It’s the contractors are in the circus!

Philmo

Yes! Under MoD procurement’s contracts and supervision. Have you not noticed how cripplingly poor is HMG at contract supervision?

AlexS

It is RN fault. RN choose the contractors if it is really contractors fault.
The specs were defined by RN, the checks as the project went along are done by RN.

This is valid for the building and for the PIP disaster, taking 3-4 time more than was supposed to.

CCwea

Bath could not run a shower.

Cammy

I think the cleaning lady Mary’s Quite Competent.

AlexS

Disaster continues:

Royal Navy in a race against time to fix Portsmouth based warship HMS Diamond as a technical defect keeps her from aiding Nato amid Russia-Ukraine tensions

https://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/defence/hms-diamond-suffers-defect-before-planned-voyage-3580211

Muttley

As a tale of woe, gives the Baden-Württemberg class a run for its money

Sean

Hardly. The Type 45s look heavily over armed by comparison and aren’t top-heavy so they can be up armed even further (eg the Sea Ceptor upgrade).
Not to mention the T45 doesn’t have a permanent list to starboard… 😂

Last edited 4 months ago by Sean
zavve

Agreed. F125 is a disaster by all mean necessary while T45 has some problem that is fixable

Boris

What has the Germany Navy has anything to do with RN? F125 is not designed as Anti Air fleet defense. Does making fun of other navies make the T45 better?
Remember you need allies when the shootings start?

Last edited 4 months ago by Boris
zavve

I’m not even from the UK so I’m not trying to make fun of the German navy. If you read the comments above I was not the first one to compare it to T45. F125 was way overweight and listed 1.3 degrees to starboard. Now that these problems are fixed it’s a good frigate and it’s what the T31 should be. Type 45 is by no means perfect as the sonar is pretty bad (decommissioned?) and very unreliable engines.

David MacDonald

The leader of the MoD Integrated Project Team was, if I recall correctly, an “amazingly clever” Army Brigadier.

They are primarily air defence ships but I have some questions outside their primary role:
1. Are they, as has been reported, noisy ships with high a noise signature?
2. Are they still fitted with the Ultra MFS 7000 sonar as designed, is this kept in an operational state and is the performance seriously degraded by the ships noise signature?
3. Why are these ships not fitted with AS torpedo tubes (the type 42s were, as are the type 23s)?
4. Harpoon is obsolete. When, if ever, are they going to be fitted with anti-ship surface to surface missiles and/or cruise missiles?

Sean

No current RN ships are fitted with torpedoes, because if you’re firing at that close a range you probably have even greater things to be concerned about.

Cammy

So no Royal Navy vessel can take out submarines?? Seriously. I thought 8 23s were..

Tim Hirst

Helicopters take the torpedoes out to the subs which you hope are way outside the range of ship launch lightweight torpedoes.

4thwatch

I think we should have our ships armed with Spearfish heavyweight torpedoes for actually sinking things.

Last edited 4 months ago by 4thwatch
Nat

I couldn’t agree more with you, especially when it comes to the Type 26 ASW Frigates and the cripplingly low number of Spearfish equipped SSN’s. Spearfish would mean our surface combatants would be able to sink adversary submarines at comparable ranges.

JustMe

No it wouldn’t.

Tim Hirst

? It’s decades since a western surface warship has been armed with heavy weight torpedoes. There is a reason.

4thwatch

What reason is that? Can the RN tell me how they will sink derelicts or crippled warships in a future conflict. In my opinion there is nothing more dangerous than group think in the armed forces.

Supportive Bloke

Using the helo?

Or NGF using the 4.5″ and 5″ that will be fitted to T45 and T26?

I am not sure how lightweight torps really help.

I am also not convinced how effective a lightweight torp would be against a modern double hulled sub.

The main thing with a pinger or a lightweight torp is the fear factor of “we know you are here and something bigger will be heading your way shortly”

AlexS

? It’s decades since a western surface warship has been armed with heavy weight torpedoes. There is a reason.

No. Italy have got A184 in their Maestrafrigates and Ardito destroyers. Only when A-184 went obsolete they were taken out. That is in 1990-2000’s

Reportedly the new PPA Plus might get the Blackshark. But i suspect it will be FFBNW.

AlexS

Maestrale frigates. Apologies.

Deep32

Really! On a T45 or T31 what sensors are you going to employ to take advantage of its five fold increase in range over the lightweight Stingray?
The warhead on a spearfish alone weighs more then the Stingray, they come in at a tad under 2 tonnes and are close to three times the length. Not exactly a small item to throw over the side.

Rob N

It is a silky idea to have heavy weights on a ship, you do not need them. Use the helicopter that is why it is there…

The T26 could be fitted with a rocket launched torp if required. Short ranged ship launched torps are almost useless. If an hostile sub it tgat close it is game over…

Deep32

Our heavyweight torpedo is a wire guided one, for a reason. It’s IDR of a ship/SM is actually fairly short, so uses the SMs onboard sensors to guide it into a position where it should be able to detect it by itself. Stingrays IDR is even shorter the Spearfish due to its small diameter, for it to gain contact it really needs to be dropped fairly close to the target as it’s not wire guided.
Films like’The Hunt for Red October’ are just that, films…..

4thwatch

Aren’t we talking more and more about maritime drones. Isnt that what a torpedo is and can’t we expect them to get increasingly intelligent? The Russians say they have developed nuclear drones which can penetrate into enemy ( our) bases. Take for instance today’s situation where hostilities could erupt at any time. I can see situations where large drones could perform useful reconnaissance and attack. We are short of SSN’s and T26 so armed and with the sensors needed could be the future.

JustMe

Yes, let’s arm our ships with weapons that travel 80kts out to 20nm to engage ships armed with weapons that travel 1,200kts out to hundreds of Nm.

Sunmack

“Helicopters take the torpedoes out to the subs which you hope are way outside the range of ship launch lightweight torpedoes”

That’s definitely how you’d prefer to engage a submarine. However, if a submarine has remained undetected and is going to attack your ship, then it will usually launch it’s torpedoes outside the range of your ship launched torpedoes to avoid you firing one back down the track of the incoming torpedo and putting the sub at risk.

The greater the range the submarine launches from, the better the survival chances of the ship due to the increased time available to deploy decoys and maneuver.

The lack of ship launched torpedoes on the T31 and T45 leaves submarines able to safely launch any attack from very close in thus reducing the survival chance of the ships.

As both ships are noisy, normally carry the Wildcat which has no submarine detection gear, have no ship launched torpedoes and have no sonar (T31) or a poor one which is reportedly no longer operational (T45), these ships are sitting ducks to submarines.

It’s reported we’re sending HMS Diamond and a River class OPV into the Black Sea. If things turn into a shooting war then the Captain of the Russian Kilo class sub photographed transiting into the Black Sea last week will be lacking his lips.

Last edited 4 months ago by Sunmack
Prj

Someone talking sense v’s group think of underarming everything

Supportive Bloke

But the BAE plan is to be able to fire lightweight torpedoes from the 5″ gun.

Realistically I think it will be sonar buoys patters that will be fired from the 5″ and drones that will drop the lightweight torpedoes where the SM’s don’t want them!

I get the sterile areas idea created by the lightweight torpedoes on board the T23 and T22, as was. But the reality is that the sterile area can be created by other means?

Nick

Does the WildCats have any ASW detection capability ? Or does the whole strategy depend on one of the eu=ight Merlin Type 23s being present ?

Peter

So what does the ship do when the helicopter is shot down? Go home?

4thwatch

Yes, soon smart missiles will become automatic hitiles and we wont risk helicopters in AS. At best we’ll be using drones to carry weapons to destroy subs.

D J

Helicopters are not a 24×7 platform (neither are drones). You can’t guarantee it’s ready to fly right now & they use fuel at a very fast rate. So even if it’s in the air, it will need to refuel pretty often. That’s why some nations like the ability to fit 2 on ASW assets (T26 can fit one in the mission bay). Some submarines are gaining the ability to field short range AA missiles for use against helicopters. Yes, that will give them away but could keep the submarine in the game & if that helicopter was your only offensive piece, you are in a spot of bother. There is also the fact that a submarine may not be interested in you if they think they are undiscovered & there are higher value targets. How far will a submarine risk it to take out a carrier?

4thwatch

Some nations need two (helicopters).Yes they do and in WW2 we had 2 Walrus on our modern cruisers and Battleships till they were removed in 1943. My father flew these and was on an anti raider patrol in S. Atlantic, when the other pilot fell ill. He had to fly all the 14 day patrols himself and his Navigator. Approximately 16 hours on.
Is that what we are expecting our pilots to do?

Sunmack

Why do all other navies still fitvASW torpedoes to their escorts (including their specialist AAW vessels). What is it that the Royal Navy knows which no other navy has discovered about the utility of ship fitted ASW torpedoes?

JustMe

If you are firing lightweight torpedos at a submarine, you are already about to be sunk.
They are a last ditch weapon of desperation.

Prj

They still keep the submarine at range so reduces risk otherwise they’re death traps – read about Aboukir, Hogue, Cressy

Stungray

They are a last ditch weapon, but they are still a weapon, despite what everyone thinks, occasionally a ship can get lucky, while the submarine might be within firing range, they might not deem it a priority to shoot at a surface ship that is armed with weapons they can use to sink them, they generally are trying to keep it quiet and get away. The surface ship can do exactly that, drop torpedo’s into the water, while making an exit at 30 kts, while launching a helicopter to hunt down that sub.

Some light weight torpedo’s also are soft kill like a decoy and hard kill (like kinetically hit) incoming torpedo’s.

The UK also doesn’t fit antishipping missiles and generally have pretty light fitouts. The real reason the UK doesn’t fit anything is because they don’t have anything decent to fit currently in that role.

Last edited 4 months ago by Stungray
Supportive Bloke

I think we have plenty of decent torpedo technology to fit if we wanted to.

However, it is a want / need situation.

Want / need is controlled by budgets: what do you need more?

It alway comes back to the comment I keep making ‘laser focus on things that really work and not fig leaves.’

Prj

Look up Abokir, Hogue, Cressy to see how a lack of capabilities plays out

Gareth

All Type 23S are fitted with 2 x twin magazine reloadable Stingray torpedo tubes, in addition to further ordnance carried by embarked helos.

Ivan The Non-Russian

Sorry Sean, that is incorrect.
Eight of the Type-23 frigates have 324 mm. Stingray antisubmarine torpedo’s housed internally either side of the forward end of the hangar structure. The side rails are lowered when using the tubes. There are two on each side.
They are not for launching at ships “…firing at close range…” like WW2 torpedo’s, their function being antisubmarine out to 8-12 kilometres max.

https://www.naval-technology.com/uncategorised/newsuk-royal-navy-tests-sting-ray-torpedo-after-completing-longest-refit-5768081/

Allan Desmond

Thats not correct in any way, a somewhat lazy statement. British Stupid Cheapness ” is the correct answer you’re looking for..

Gunbuster

T23 of all types be they GP or ASW have MTLS tubes in the air weapon mag . They can fire Sting Ray.

Dogs Nads

And its also been recently fully refurbished.

Bench

The funny thing about the Royal Navy ships, they were too expensive and yet they underarms

Deep32

In response to your questions:
1: Yes, but it’s improving.
2: Yes it’s fitted, no it’s not currently operational as they don’t have the bodies to operate it. It’s an active system, so that side isn’t as affected as the passive side.
3: To fire a tube launched ASW torpedo you need a system that can detect a SM, T45s can’t do that
4: T45s will operate as part of a CSG, the strike element will be conducted by accompanying SSNs and F35 aircraft. Arguably they don’t require one.

Prj

4. T45s get sent to places like Black Sea where kilos patrol and there are no SSNs or F35s. Without ASW or ASuW they’re badly exposed.

Sunmack

Exactly right

Samuel

Getting USS Indianapolis vibes….send a ship without any ASW into area’s with subs without its own ASW escort and blame the Captain when it gets sunk

Deep32

Yes they currently do, but we are not at war with Russia!!!

Prj

Russia has sent warnings, the RN has been warned! We don’t have to be at war for RU to attack they’ll cry self defence and their territory. Don’t be naive

Deep32

Niave, really! The RN wouldn’t be sending a T46 or a B2 River class into the Black sea if they thought they would be shot at!!!
That scenario would invoke Article 5 and bring all of NAtO into this conflict. Putin isn’t after a war with the West, he just wants to stop NATO expanding Eastwards. Do some reading and learning, you might benefit from the experience….

Prj

No one’s invoking article 5 over an ‘accident’. I agree Putin’s not going to war with west he’s too much to lose, but he wants to send a message and what better than an under armed non US warship. Accidents happen.

Prj

I’d also be looking a range of COAs, including planning against a number of MDCOAs of which that is one

Deep32

Seriously fella!!
I imagine that Putin has sent his messages loud and clear, and by the look of things, he’s got what he wanted or at least the majority of what he wanted. This was only ever a squabble albeit between the big players and not a prelude to WW3 as some would have us believe.

prj

By sending a T45 into the BS we’re deliberately provoking when they’ve made it clear their warnings. Don’t forget a ‘rogue’ actor shot down a passenger jet with no comeback. I wouldn’t discount any ‘rogue’ threat to a T45 amongst the most dangerous courses of action, and plan against it.

David Barry

Good point, well presented, but wrong.

An attack on a NATO power does not mean all NATO MS are at war with the aggressor.

It means MSs will deliberate in their respective parliaments etc and decide; have fun getting the French, Belgiums and Germans on board.

Deep32

Maybe they would, maybe they wouldn’t, like to think NATO would show some backbone/solidarity if push came to shove, if not, then what’s the point?

Paul

Are you too old and senile to remember Pear Harbour 7 Dec 1941?
Did the Argentine junta ever declared war in 1982? They took advantage of weakness.
When will you start waving your piece of paper “Peace in our time!”

Paul

So you are waiting for the shootings to start before taking actions?
Sit and wait?

Deep32

I’m assuming all your knowledge is based on vast experience of military service ,or just the hot air you seem to like spouting to fit in with whatever you think is trendy?
We are not at war with Russia, nor are we going to be, despite what utter drivel you come out with.

Jones

Napoleon can you ask your mate Putin what those 150,000 troops doing along Ukraine boarder?
The MOD like to know where you get your information from?

Rob N

You can bet they would not be sent without an anti-sub partner if there was a serious risk of conflict. Also the T45 would be reserved for carrier AAW in time of conflict not sole missions by itself…

Sunmack

Great: £6.5 billion of destroyers and £2 billion of T31 frigates that will form 60% of our escort fleet that we can’t send into any potential conflict area where there’s a submarine

Sunmack

We sent a T45 to operate on it’s own in the Gulf when Iran was hijacking British shipping. If that had escalated she’d have had to find an ASW escort or leave the theatre given the Iranian submarine threat.
A £1.2 billion pound warship that has to run away or be protected is a joke. German, Spanish, Dutch, Australian AAW escorts cost way less than a T45 but have full ASW capability and SSM’s.

Prj

Even in the company of a well armed escort enemy TTPs would likely exploit weakest link anyway

Supportive Bloke

Not so much.

The active sonars on some of the ships you mention are not that great IRL.

They can make a lot of noise bonging away but none of them are like a T23 in passive mode. Different leagues.

Supportive Bloke

It is not impossible that it is decided to upgrade T45 active sonar as the one thing there is on a T45 as well as world beating AAW and EW is lots of space and power.

The actual sonar sets for the T26 were surprisingly cheap – so cheap that it couldn’t possibly have included the R&D costs or the software development. But anyway once that is paid for the unit costs are not crazy.

Operators may get fixed as RN is full to capacity with new recruits.

Deep32

Upgrade or replace? Obviously given the will and £ all is possible, even getting the trained operators back in required numbers is achievable.
I think the RN probably has much higher priorities then upgrading the ASW suite on the T45s. I think the plan is as more T31’s come on line, the 26/45s will be mainly tasked with CSG/LSG/TF protection, and won’t be doing much of the singleton role where possible. So perhaps not having every unit armed to the teeth isn’t really as much of an issue as it might be.
Not sure how they would square the circle WRT the T31, as this is intended to act by itself, so perhaps more to come on up arming them once they are built and in commission.

Supportive Bloke

Sorry, I meant replace.

Upgrading what is there is a waste of time.

I think ASW training will be a high priority after the Life At Sea latest instalment.

After all everyone recognises that Russian subs are the main threat and that Russia doesn’t play by any rules so it needs to be contained.

Further, UK has the preeminent ASW assets, other than P8, and this has always been a UK specialism. Easier to scale something you are good at and understand rather than start from scratch.

I agree that T45 belongs in a CSG and is wasted pretty much anywhere else. It is not the best singleton for escort duties as it has a big crew and relatively high running costs. May as well use it for what it was designed for.

David Barry

When you say lots of power available on a T45, is that tied up alongside?

Granted, if, the PIP works as promised, you might be right.

Nick

Shame our F035s dont have any antiship capability and none is currenlty planned until ? the lastlate 2030s, assuming the B can carry the Stormshadow replacement and the MoD can afford to pay for integration (given Tempest and Typhoon are likely to be given preference)

John Hartley

If PIP fixes T45, then they need a Harpoon replacement to be credible. The Super wonder Hypersonic is at least a decade (or two) away. Money is tight, so forget my current fave of the stealthy Italian Teseo 2E. The Turkish Atmaca is going into service with them. It is half the price of Harpoon. It is designed to slot in seemlessly & replace elderly Harpoon in the Turkish fleet. It looks similar to Harpoon, but has a slightly greater range. It has a data link for mid flight correction.

Tim Hirst

Still costs more than the zero now in the budget for an interim anti ship missile. The only way anything gets bought is the cut another part of the naval plan. What are you proposing to cut?

John Hartley

That can be applied to anything. The government regardless of party, always claims to have no money, but always manages to fund their favourite vanity projects.
Either you have 6 reasonably armed destroyers or you do not. If not, they are a waste of money.

Sean

They are reasonably armed 🤷🏻‍♂️

Yes an anti-ship missile is nice, and the 24 Sea Ceptors to be fitted have that as a secondary function. But these destroyers were built to provide air-cover to the carrier groups. If they’re engaging other ships then the Astutes and frigates of the group have failed in their task.

Last edited 4 months ago by Sean
Sunmack

They frequently deploy independently without Astutes and frigates. Other nations fit their AAW escorts with SSM’s for that reason.

And the lack of missiles able to provide TBMD and the omission of the Co-operative Engagement Capability means that they are not not even capable across the full spectrum of the AAW defence which is their primary role.

John Hartley

One ex Army officer used to complain that RN ships have become “self licking lollipops” i.e. they can defend themselves , but have no offensive capability.

Tim Hirst

It’s all down to political priorities. The MoD isn’t any parties priority.
It has to as best it can balance the competing needs of the 3 services, the push to spend as much money as pos with U.K. companies and the absolute requirement to stay with in its annual spending limit.
Some things get done slowly, or in the future or they get added to the nice but not essential list. It’s clear the Naval senior leadership sees current gen anti ship missiles as nice but not essential.
Given just how common they are on allied ships you can see the argument that the RN can manage without on its anti air warfare ships.

4thwatch

These are warships. Surely they should be fitted out for war and survival in the off chance some lunatic actually starts one.

Last edited 4 months ago by 4thwatch
Prj

Depends on how much the MOD and RN value the lives of its sailors. Going into a potential peer conflict without any ASuW is fraught with lethal risk. It was funded in IR.

Gareth

What are you proposing to cut?

HMS Nostalgia for a start.

Urwin

The cutting edge technology ie IEP has been around for decades, in fact my last pipelayer was fitted with exactly the same (Converteam) drives as the Type 45’s so nothing new or clever about it. As for the answer of solving the power black out problem of removing excellent Wartsila DG’s and replacing them with pile of junk MTU is simply curing a symptom not the problem. The problem is the recuperators. Also maybe the decision to stop Artificer training was not too well thought out, leaving the maintenance to stokers and contractors does not seem to be working too well.

Watcherzero

Its a bit of Column A and a bit of Column B, the recuperators fail after about 4-5000 hours of use, this wasn’t picked up as halfway through the sea trials the recuperator was replaced with a new design and only tested for the remaining 3,000 hours rather than the full 8,000 planned. But the other issue was the boat was supposed to operate off a minimum power supply of 1 gas turbine alone (21MW) or both diesel generators alone (2x2MW). The two diesel generators have proven unable to provide enough hotel power for minimum functions when both gas turbines are off and likewise when operating on a single gas turbine if speed is pushed too hard the grid is again tripping out so they adopted a standard practice of 1 gas turbine and one diesel generator running to provide standard power demand. The MTU are more compact than the Wartsila so three can be put in the same space previously occupied by two and at the same time they generate a bit more power (2.2 to 2.6 MW each).

AlexS

So the engineer team did not know how much energy was necessary?!

The whole thing seems to be a result of working in silos at best or sabotage at worse.

Urwin

I must agree with you this sounds like complete incompetence at the design stage. How does two DG’s at 4MW = One GT at 21MW?

N-a-B

It doesn’t. And was never meant to. That’s not what the DGs were for.

It’s not that the engineers didn’t know the power demand either.

The principal issues were how DS00-35 was applied in the spec, coupled with some unforeseen elements in the PMS.

D J

Makes one appreciate the propulsion setup of the IH/T31. It may be old school, but it does appear to at least work.

AlexS

The principal issues were how DS00-35 was applied in the spec, coupled with some unforeseen elements in the PMS.

What is DS00-35?

Challenger

Overall the Royal Navy seems to keep a third of its 18 frigates and destroyers deployed or ready to deploy which is pretty good and I don’t see many other navies doing better.

With the T23 refits nearing completion and improvements to the manpower situation we should see availability becoming even more consistent as time goes on.

Andy

The whole thing is shameful, we pay top dollar and as usual when it come to defence we get short changed. The lack of urgency to fix all this issues is also a laughable we having to wait until 2032 to get all six back, WW2 took six years and we cannot change engines on all six ships before 2032 just shows the MOD is. Ot fit for purpose

Tim Hirst

The MoD works to the budget the government gives it.

4thwatch

We need to kick up a stink and more to get the money we need to for defence. Start shaming the Government and demanding more money.

Duker

Shaming ? They are way beyond that now

Bob

It’s not the MoD but the bean counters that people are annoyed with.

Andrew Wilde

Thank goodness the Royal Navy did not get the 12 Type 45,s originally planned. There would not be any room available in Portsmouth dockyard for their accompanying tug-boats!!

Cammy

Just what I was thinking, 12 would be a nightmare. But we do need 12 destroyers just like South Korea France ect 18 Frigates would be good too, I hope the 32s dint get chopped by who ever replacing Boris.

Challenger

France has 4 destroyers, 8 fleet frigates and 11 light frigates, some of which are being up-gunned but others which have been relegated to ‘surveillance frigates’ in their overseas territories.

Supportive Bloke

What would RN ever use 12 AAW destroyers for?

We would be doing GP stuff with expensive AAW destroyers.

Even if we have two QEC task groups working solo 4 T45 is more than enough for the job.

That is about right as only in war time would you ever have two QEC operating.

That leaves two T45 in various levels of re-fit.

Realistically the two QEC would be used for the same CSG so having 3 T45 would be absolutely fine. One QEC up threat doing close support and one down threat doing CAP and deep scheduled maintenance on the F35B’s and Merlins.

That assumes we are not working with allies which is pretty unlikely unless we are going for a rerun of ’82 for some daft reason.

Pacman27

I agree and believe that the T26 should be given 3 upgrades to take over this role and leverage the design further.

  1. a better radar, let’s call it Sampson 2 (move artisan to T32 and other to be built ships)
  2. change the seaceptor launch cells from single to a quad pack VLS. This should not be expensive at all (relatively) and is a game changer,
  3. a couple of SeaRAm type units with martlet would add a very good capability bro take out Rhibs etc

adding this to the T26 is very doable and low cost in the scale of things, luckily Canada and Australia will probably do most of loadings and design work for us.

all this will be offset by savings in design and build knowledge bringing down the cost further. T26 has taken years to bring to market we should make sure that money is spread across as many hulls as possible.

upshot of all this is we could end up with 3 T26 with artisan and 11 with a full spectrum capability and the ability to be BMD ships.

money saved can move to 14 x T31/2 and I would build 14 x new corvettes similar to the C-Sword 90 to eventually replace the river’s and be the main constabulary vessel

this creates the combat fleet the RN always wanted, 14 x C1 global combat ship (GCS) for high end warfare roles, 14 x C2 global missions ship (GMS) for escort support and mothership roles14 x C3 multi mission ships (MMS)for constabulary deployment

this would bring the combat fleet up to 42 ships and is ver doable and affordable if we start leveraging the Hull designs we already have and make the most of the yards and orders already placed,

we are literally doing this in the most inefficient way possible and it is costing far more than it should as a result. We know we need replacements for T45 in 10-15 years time let’s order now and tag onto the end of T26 tranche 2 upgrading both the 5 tranche 2 and the 6 tranche 3 to be better than either T26 or T45 on their own.

D J

Why would you more a mediocre radar from one new frigate to another new frigate? As an upgrade to a T23, it’s ok. As an upgrade to the OPV’s it would be great. As a main radar to a LHD or equivalent, it’s fine.

Quad packing CAMM is a no brainer if you want to maximise the load out. If however, you were never going to & have the realestate, you may as well do it on the cheap. If you take T31, you can have 32 quad packable mk41 cells (128 missiles) or 24 ExLS also quad packable (96 missiles), or 48 stand alone CAMM only cells (based on what is planned for T45). Of course, if you expect to carry bigger missiles as well, realestate is a limited resource.

Nick

Do you really think more than 8 Type 26 will be ordered ?

Cammy

Oh Jesus this will be fun…or Embarasing.

Cammy

Is that Diligence behind Daring in the picture? Maybe we should have her sail with the dam Destroyers from now on..l

Geoff Crow

Chapeau to thinpinstripedline for posting a few days
back about Type 45 availability? This reads like an expanded version…..

Ian

I do hope that no further type 23s are scrapped before the type 26s and others have proved reliable and effective.

4thwatch

This is a complete fiasco. The PIP has obviously not been thought through. Who would imagine at a time of crisis we would be in this state with spare parts in short supply etc. Really embarrassing it has taken this long to fix. This needs to be properly investigated and to stop wasting time and fit all the bells and whistles, Seaceptor, Mk41, Ballistic defence, carronades, halbards, whatever else they have been fitted for but not with. Sails maybe?
You’d never think these ships where necessary the way things are proceeding.
Phew its almost as bad as the Army.

Michael

Time to bring HMS Terror back on line…

4thwatch

Time to get the T45’s sorted and fast. Meaning PIP and Seaceptor. This should be done within 2 years or sooner. Spearfish would be important addition to have in all Escort Vessels. That’s all I have to say.

Duker

Nothing wrong with the British made gas turbines, a marine version based on the RR Trent aviation engine
The MT30 version powers the new carriers

The WR21 has the W for Westinghouse Electric a US firm ( now owned by Northrop Grumman Marine ) and the R for Rolls Royce.
Westinghouse developed the integrated system for inter cooler recuperation and its system integration, while Rolls had the marine gas turbine part
Westinghouse and its US project team are where the problems grew out of.

4thwatch

Wasn’t Westinghouse UK owned for a while? Brown sold it along with 1/2 our Gold reserves. I wish I could play PM for 5 years we’d see a few changes for the better.

Duker

Thats the Westinghouse Nuclear power station division ( spun out of Westinghouse Electric 20 yrs ago) which was bought by British Nuclear Fuels
George Westinghouse was one of the great american inventors, but also obtained Teslas patents for AC power and became a giant in the power generation business

JustMe

The WR21 is a steaming pile of merde.
There’s a reason RR gave up on it.

Duker

The complicated fuel saving compressor-recuperator system , yes.

The gas turbine section which was their side of the partnership continues on as a normal marine gas turbine such as MT30 in many frigate projects including T26

Dogs Nads

The Intercooler was Grumman Marine I believe..

Duker

Grumman Marine bought out Westinghouse Electric defence business

G DDG

If there are crewing issues effecting deployment of at least one ship in the class – how is the RN going about things to assure the (planned) quickly built T31s/T32s and the more complex, slowly built T26s will all have available, appropriate, and experienced crews as they fall off the line and into service?

I’m not being pessimistic, I’m rather more curious as to the RN’s recruitment and retention techniques which make this possible?

Tim Hirst

Retention/Recruitment have improved in the past couple of years.

Plus

The new classes of ships are all designed to operate with smaller crews than the current ones.

Supportive Bloke

Exactly this.

T31 uses less crew than T23
T26 uses less crew than T23
Ocean was taken OOS to provide crew for PoW

Recruitment is absolutely full to the gunwales ATM.

There is one less T23 in service ATM

And as you retention improved during COVID as RN was seen as a stable employer that paid regularly come what may as well as providing a social environment for employees.

Not everyone wants to WFH and some people want to work in physical teams.

Rob N

Not sure why the cannot fit Sea Ceptor when the ship is in for PIP…. this would get it into Service faster.

Tim Hirst

Money, or perhaps more acutely cash flow.

4thwatch

Excuses, excuses really wont wash. Well done Navy Lookout for bringing these scandals to light.

Allan

I really hope not, but this may not be a problem for long if cooler heads don’t prevail.

Supportive Bloke

Not really.

PiP is complex so no reason to make it more complex by adding another element to it that has nothing to do with PiP. Also Birkenhead has zero experience with Ceptor.

The way the Ceptor upgrade will be done is that quite a lot of the changes can be made at sea or during short alongside periods. Then a relatively short period alongside or in dock when the deck is cut and the Ceptor cold launch tubes are added. Connecting up doesn’t need to be alongside.

Being cold launch, the test launching of dummy missiles is not very high risk.

I’d be surprised if the work has not started of the guinea pig T45 already.

Ceptor has the advantage of being a very well understood system now.

Philip Goodfellow

Pretty shocking state of affairs. Surely the T45’s are needed to protect our aircraft carriers? NATO is obviously concerned about what Russia is up to with regard to Ukraine. International tensions remain high and war is a distinct possibility. Let’s hope Putin gives us plenty of notice before he invades Ukraine and on to Poland!!

Roy

Would the carriers even put to sea under such a scenario? T45s (those that are actually available) might well have to stick close to the UK to augment air defence. Whatever is available from a fleet of 18 destroyers/frigates would be extremely hard pressed. Would the mere 20 F-35s need to similarly reinforce air defence of the UK? Would the 30 Merlins not all be employed from ships or shore-based on ASW duties?

i.e. there might be nothing left to either protect the carriers or to put in them in such a scenario….

N-a-B

What’s actually happening is that the shortfalls in the industrial base are being exposed. It’s very little to do with the Turbines any more and more to do with shortages of ship-wide spare parts and skilled labour.

The BAES team in Portsmouth are pulling their hair out trying to balance the refits and upkeep periods required by Class, complicated by a shortage of spares, leading to frequent STOROBS on any ship entering upkeep to keep the ones at high readiness available. Whether the CSM fixes this or not, is currently moot, but it does need to happen.

In labour terms, there is – allegedly – a shortage of test and commissioning engineers at Lairds. There’s a fixed pool of these people in the country, you can’t just magic them up and it appears that Lairds may have underestimated the difference between what you need for an RFA / merchant ship and what you need for a warship.

Sunmack

Very informative as ever

Moonstone

The cold hard fact of the matter is that Europe stands today on the brink of war yet again – at least that is what we are told – and the RN would currently struggle find a single servicible destroyer that is immediately ready for deployment. This is clearly an appalling situation that traces its roots back to many decades of neglect and mismanagement in regard to our navy and wider defence effort. Even were the entire fleet in tip top condition our ships are in truth both too few in number, and too woefully under armed, to be capable of bringing much influence to bare on the situation. As for our Army … well it has almost mismanaged itself into a state of irrelevance when it comes to major land war against a sophisticated and formidable opponent.

The political leadership of the NATO alliance is at least as unsatisfactory as much of its military preparedness – the utterly shameful Afghanistan debacle needs no further comment here and the fact that much of Europe has allowed itself to become dependent of Russian gas supply looks very much like a strategic policy error of the gravest significance – one moreover that was eminently predictable. Our political class are a bunch of second raters at best.

Of all nations you would think that Russian would instinctively know what the true cost of war is and with the passing of the old cold war era I did question the wisdom of renewing our nuclear deterrent and the huge cost implications that will certainly have on our (already hard pressed) conventional defences. However, looking at how aggressive and expansionist Russian foreign policy has now become one can only wonder if the Ukraine would be rather less threatened today had they retained at least some of the nuclear weapons the old Soviet Union once stationed on their soil. A case of ‘Mea culpa’ I suppose.

So political weakness and lack of foresight breeds military vulnerability and that ‘wiff of Munich’ in the air is becoming overpowering don’t you think?

Sunmack

Great post

4thwatch

I’ll second that.

Allan

Reminds me of a quote from Gorbachev that I cannot remember verbatim, about not being able to take the US down militarily, so they would take them down from within starting in their education systems and political systems. It has worked pretty well.

Duker

Gorbachev never said anything of the kind. he already knew from the inside of the inherent absurdity of the communist system.
They have rejected the whole Leninist party-state system themselves

Michael

Well said.

Barry Larking

The present situation vis-s-vis the RN is bad but not dire. In any case, Ukraine is essentially a Continental problem without a maritime component of any great dimension. A strengthened navy, desirable as that is, will be a spectator in this crisis. The Russian Navy is not either in particularly sparkling shape and is at distinctively geographical disadvantage always.
When they appeared, the Daring class T45’s were criticised for being a throwback to the Cold War, ended a decade or more earlier, unnecessarily expensive and unsuited to present conditions, war fighting an asymmetrical campaign in Asia Minor or on our own streets, where AAW/ASW wouldn’t exactly be first on the menu. It wasn’t just politicians who were fooled by the Peace Dividend; were all were in truth. In their memoirs politicians as different as Barbara Castle and Alan Clark testified to the way civil servants manipulate or keep ministers in the dark; they scheme in the sure and certain knowledge they remain in the shadows and survive come what may. Slashing defence spending became firmly non party political.
Trying to decide what the British defence stance ought to be in 2000 sans the U.S.S.R., much of whose equipment was capsizing at anchor or being stripped of saleable bits for ready cash, abruptly changed a year later. It seems we have been distracted by fighting a campaign no one had thought about – fighting or peacekeeping? – in places we never expected to be fighting alongside an ally that culturally avoids talking to its allies in turn – well, unless you have been asleep for decades, the results were never going to be good. In spite of that, the penny has dropped; Trump threatened our N.A.T.O. partners and they blanked him. Now I suspect they are sitting up very straight – particularly the ones closest to Ukraine.
My impression is the T45’s aren’t that bad just tempramental; however, cure these issues and you are still looking at racehorse; good only for one purpose. However, geopolitically, I sense they have had more of an impact than is readily appreciated. Personally, I would have preferred a more ‘expeditionary’ style of armed forces but hey ho! I would have got everyone killed had I served; you could creep up on me in a tank.

Moonstone

Narrowing the discussion to the Type 45 itself, yes these warships have acquired a reputation as potent and sophisticated AAW destroyers. But as they have never seen the ‘acid test’ of real action it is rather hard for the layman to judge whether they deserve this appraisal or not. One can only hope they are as capable in reality as the RN claim they are in theory.

The propulsion system problem is well known and a matter that goes far beyond the old (and seldom acceptable) ‘teething troubles’ excuse. This serious design flaw is especially disappointing when you take into account the extremely protracted gestation period this design went through before construction ever commenced. It would seem that all those years of research and preparation don’t in the final analysis ensure a successful warship design is achieved. The lack of any SSM capability (now that Harpoon is going) along with the MODs endless dithering over funding a ABM upgrade for Aster means that the Type 45 can’t really be compared, in the round, with the best modern destroyers of the USN, PLAN and JMSDF etc.

It is common knowledge I think that at least two additional units of the Type 45 class – and maybe more – were sacrificed by the RN in order to ensure the £6bn CVF programme progressed. Arguably the end result of that outcome is that our navy is destined for generations to come field a fundamentally unbalanced force structure that is long on capital ships and short on the essential escorts they will require to operate prudently ‘in harm’s way’. It would perhaps have been better to have scaled back CVF in some way and got the additional two destroyer hulls commissioned – if you could have made the numbers work and got it past the MOD/Treasury that is.

No one I’m sure would argue against the proposition that embarked helicopters are useful assets for any modern warship to have. However, their principal value surely is lays in ASW – a role the reputedly noisy Type 45, with their embarked Wildcat helicopters, bargain basement hull sonar and lack of any TT system appear rather ill equipped to fulfill. So would have ditching the designed hanger in favour of a additional aft VL missile silo, which should have contained land attack missiles as well as additional Aster (and even Asroc perhaps) have resulted in a ship better suited to our needs?

Finally, I’m sure everyone welcomes the decision to fit this class with CAAM – but the ‘rub’ here is that I understand this upgrade project is not scheduled to complete until 2032. The work seems straightforward enough and for me at least waiting a decade for the last ship to receive this additional armament (when this class will be rapidly approaching its out of service date) is quite unacceptable. Yes, I’m well aware that funding is always a issue – but for the want of a nail ….

donald_of_tokyo

If additional spare parts can relax the issue, money must be spent there. It is more important than adding Mk.41 VLS to T31. Make them work, before making them “looks like fighty”.

A ship deployed in full of ammo, even if it is only 12 CAMM, a 57mm gun and 2x 40mm gun, is much better than a ship cannot deploy (must stay alongside waiting for spares).

Last edited 4 months ago by donald_of_tokyo
Joe16

Out of interest, does anyone know if Aster 30 has a similar secondary surface strike function to the SM-2 that the USN uses? I know that Burkes have been sailing without Harpoon for quite some time now, but they’ve been part-covered by their SM-2s. Would be interesting to know if Asters can do the same.

Sunmack

Aster cannot be used against surface targets.
The Burke’s without hangars do carry Harpoon still and as I understand it, the latest version of Tomahawk can be used against ships as well as land targets

Joe16

That’s a shame- would be quite a handy additional capability. But then France and Italy both have a pretty modern heavyweight AShM, so probably less of a concern for them.
Am I right that it’s the older Burkes that don’t have hangars? Are they going to be retired anytime soon? Yes, I read that the Block V Tomohawks can hit ships. I do wonder how they’d fare against a modern missile defence system though- they’re slow and unstealthy even if they’re low-flying.

Sunmack

It is the 28 older Burke’s that don’t have a hanger. They will probably be retired first though not for a while yet.
I’d guess you’re right about Tomahawk being slow and vulnerable to AAW defences. But a Burke might be carrying as many as a couple of dozen which can be launched in quick succession from the VLS giving them a reasonable chance of overwhelming the targets defences.

Jack65

The Burkes carry Tomahawk, to include Block V with anti-ship capability i believe.

Supportive Bloke

I’d be surprised if it absolutely cannot be used in that way. It isn’t optimal but the question is more why couldn’t it be used in that manner?

It can be headed towards and then home onto targets: known.

It can use a software library to identify targets: known.

Other than mission profile software there is not anything fundamentally not there that it needs to hit a relatively slow, compared to aircraft, moving surface target.

I would **speculate** that it could **potentially** do a top attack profile with a very, close to hypersonic, fast dive terminal phase.

It would not have a sea-skimming mode for sure as it was never designed for low level work.

Warhead is not that big compared to the heavy AShM’s but then you have the kinetic effects of something moving at Mach4 etc.

The real question is does the mission software support a surface target role.

Warren

I’m no expert, but a a friend who is a RN officer said they could be if needed but obviously not ideal as they are far better used for their intended purpose.

Apoplectix

With regards adding Sea Ceptor to the Type 45 where would they be added in the bit of space where the Harpoon launchers were?

Paul T

Information released shows them just forward of the Aster Cells – it might be the case that the VLS Structure is extended fwd towards the Main Gun.

Apoplectix

That’s really squeezing them in.

Teves

The space was already there in front of the sylver slots For future vls, currently used as a gym, with the seaceptors installed they get to keep the gym space.

Supportive Bloke

The Ceptor tubes are quite short so the reduced ceiling height will still be more than a couple of decks as the space the gym is in was was set aside for the Mk41 VLS.

Teves

This just goes to prove 6 destroyers are not enough. Maybe should consider 4 type 31’s, with 32 sylver sylos for mix of aster and 24 seaceptor, & 4 NSM as a budget air defence frigates. Less crew and more reliable.

Tim Hirst

And a whole new radar and control system. This inc development would drive the cost up to £500+M.
What do you propose to cut from the MoD budget to pay for it.

Sunmack

Cancel the UK yacht:£250m
Sell three of the B2 Rivers £250m

Paid for

Tim Hirst

Happy to bin the gin palace but the Rivers do the job their assigned to very well.
So you’ve found half the money for one ship.

Sunmack

The B2 Rivers undertake pointless flag waving and a limited role in humanitarian relief which in no way justifies their £630m construction costs or annual operating costs.

Without a hangared helicopter they can’t successfully carry out anti-piracy, anti-smuggling or maritime interdiction as they can’t see over the horizon and their role in humanitarian missions is limited as they can’t deliver aid and personnel beyond the dockside.

HMS Medway’s contribution to humanitarian relief in the Caribbean was to take some lovely photos of RFA Argus whose helicopters were doing the real work.

The B2 Rivers are inshore and not offshore patrol vessels due to their lack of a helicopter. We already have the B1 Rivers for that role.

X

The B2 Rivers are inshore and not offshore patrol vessels

No. They are offshore assets most definitely not inshore. I think you need to go to revise those terms.

Grant

Well upgrading / investing in Samson would reduce the cost for T82 if they happen. Bin off a couple of T32s (assuming they are funded!) and have 3-4 GP, 3-4 AAW T31s.

Teves

I believe the NS 100 radar would still do a job out to 200 km the NS 200 is better and not much dearer but if utilised with a t45 they can network and use the Sampson radar, should save a few quid. We cannot afford 10 or twelve t45 so why not a cheaper platform maybe use one of the batch 1 t31 and up arm it, and possibly one of the first t32, we need to start some where and we need additional hulls now not in the next decade. Mk 41 vls are very expensive so maybe second have mk 41s I went with sylvers as they are already in use and the French also us tacticos so most of the work can be cribbed.

Supportive Bloke

Exactly

I’d be surprised it they were less than £1Bn for something that complex.

And making another small class makes zero sense to me.

Mk41 VLS on T31 would provide some AAW capability particularly if CEC was fitted so it could be cued for the T45 radar or from the carriers very high mounted radar.

Supportive Bloke

Not enough for what exactly?

To escort one CSG: yes there are enough.

To escort two CSG: I agree it is thin.

But the chances of ever doing two separate CSG without allies are zero and the French, Dutch & Italians as well as Norwegians have AAW assets that would be available for a NATO conflict.

Steven Alfred Rake

This is a good artical but there are one or two statements that are not quite right, the main one is that the PIP program is going to fix the problem, it is not, the PIP program is replacing 2 medium power generators with 3 high power generators but the problem with the main engines will still exist. So it is Hoped that when the main engines trip out that the sudden demand put on the generators dose not trip them out as well by having 3 higher rated generators it is Believed that they can cope better with the sudden demand but the ship will have to decrease speed and will have to reduces functions.
It is my belief that if the MoD are not properad to fix the actual problem then the money being spent on the PIP programme would be better spent in bringing the T83s on line quicker.
With the MoD being taken to court for sending in troops without adequate body armour in Iraq I just wonder how many court cases there will be by sending a known faulty Destroyer into a combat zone under armed and under powered.

Tim Hirst

I think your plan is an example of the “great being the enemy of the adequate”.

This plan isn’t perfect be it’ll likely work OK. The money it’s costing wouldn’t do much to finance the T83 which will likely (inc sensors and weapons) cost well over £1B each. Plus we don’t have build capacity for the 83 till after the 26 build.

We need to live in the real world, this idea in my opinion doesn’t.

Sunmack

Well said

Steven Alfred Rake

In the real world we should have rectified the problem after it came to light on HMS Daring back in 2008 and even before she hit the water it had been pointed out on the testbeds that there was a problem. Fast forward 14 years to 2022 and we are still expecting people to go to sea and fight in vessels that are under armed and with a list of well documented defects. Yes on paper the T45’s are (or should be) one of the best Anti Aircraft/area defence platforms in the world but in reality are unreliable with no anti ship, land attack, anti satellite capability all of which were supposed to be on the ships when first designed.
I would say it is time to cut our losses and stop throwing good money after bad so is it not people like your selves who need to get into the real world.

Tim Hirst

You’re still not getting the message about living in the real world as it is. Nothing can be done to change the past, but we can make the best of the future. We could “stop throwing good money after bad” and scrap the class but that wouldn’t do anything to get a replacement to sea it would just cripple the RN for 15 plus years. The power plan will make the T45 a perfectly fine anti air ship. Land attack and anti ship weapons aren’t in the RN’s plan for the T45. These aren’t GP ships. In war they are pure AAW ships.

Sunmack

Anti ship weapons and a sonar were in the RN’s plan for these ships which is why both were in the original design. The reason they are not fitted in the case of SSM’s and are of low cost and not operational in the case of the sonar is entirely down to cost. It has nothing to do with operational requirements.
And no fleet defence AAW ship can be described as “perfectly fine” when it doesn’t have TBMD or Co-operative Engagement Capability. It can be described as adequate in certain circumstances and that’s disgraceful for a £1.2 billion pound ship.

Last edited 4 months ago by Sunmack
4thwatch

Why are you so happy with the mediocre? That’s precisely the group think that get us into real trouble and has done so in the past. Remember the Falklands? We nearly got crushed by a third rate naval power. I knew a guy at Northwood who said we were 10 days from defeat. If it doesnt work Fix It and mean business.

Tim Hirst

With what for money? Live in the real world not a world of fantasy warship porn.

Sunmack

With some of the £5 billion we plan to spend on Ajax for money. A maritime nation geographically surrounded by allies should be prioritising it’s defence expenditure on its navy, on air defence, air transport and deployable light infantry

Last edited 4 months ago by Sunmack
Tim Hirst

If there was going to be a major re balancing between the 3 services it would have happened at the recent defence and security review. So I see little or no chance of the RN increasing its funding though cuts to the Army.

Sunmack

You keep saying there’s no money so there’s no point criticising as nothing can be done. I’m pointing out that there is money but politician’s are choosing to spend it on other things so criticism of those choices is perfectly valid.

For the £5bn budget for Ajax we could:

Provide T45 with a TBMD capability (£1.5bn)

Put canister launched SSM’s onto the T45 and T31 (€1.1bn)

Buy an additional T26 (£0.65bn)

Put a decent sonar and 12 extra CAAM onto the T31 (£0.75bn)

Upgrade a third of the F35 fleet with a heavyweight ASM and a third with a stand off land attack missile (£1.0 bn)

All far greater defence priorities than Ajax

Last edited 4 months ago by Sunmack
Tim Hirst

In your opinion. But we’ve just been though a defence review and nothing like this happened.
So I think it’s more productive to work out what can best be done in the real world. That means choices. That’s what the RN appear to be doing.

Sunmack

I disagree. It’s better to criticise politicians when they make poor choices. Expressing opinions is what we’re supposed to do in a democracy.

4thwatch

Yes, I always thought we should have cut and shut the Nelson class BB’s and installed at least 80k shp. Just joking.
As I was saying, the Government are going to realise we should need to do a lot better and increase in % gdp on defence. As they say if you want to hit the mark you have to aim higher.
We need to aim higher and make our Destroyers at least as good as the Ardleigh Burkes if not better. Instead of doing everything from scratch maybe a drum beat will enable us to save a load of money and the T83 will have much in common with the T26.

X

We need to continue T26 production past the initial order with an AAW version. And join the Italian DDX programme.

4thwatch

Sometime in life you simply have to find the money.

Andy

I served on Hermes in 82, and the command whispers were that we were 3 days from supply, ergo, 2 days from losing.

Steven Alfred Rake

Who is not living in the real world, it will cost millions to put a sticking plaster on the T45’s power problems and it will still have those problems after we have cut open the hull took out a load of equipment so we can cram in 3 bigger generators the problem will still exist.
I do believe that the original speck for the T45’s was for it to carry Tomahawk and have an anti satellite capability non of which have been fitted.
Even if we could afford to have a purely AAW platform at sea it will still struggle to do its job if it cannot generate enough power.

X

Forget TLAM etc. What the RN wanted was 1 for 1 replacement for T42; that is an air defence frigate with a full suite from AAW (first rate) to second rate ASW. We ended up with a noisy specialist aerospace defence asset as a test bed / sales vehicle for Rolls Royce GT’s. Something that needs to be escorted itself. Go look at the De Zeven Provincien class or the Hobarts.

Duker

Rolls has many marines GTs in use on many navies ships. MT30 is very sucessful based on the later Trent aviation GT

The WR21 was a 1993 USN NavSea project out of US with Westinghouse marine as prime. RR was just the GT part. US Navy pulled out.

4thwatch

I have been saying for years we under power our ships. I only hope the T83 has the carriers powertrain and can be rated like the Japanese ships. I’m worried the T26 is underpowered. The Australians are saying it is. Is one main engine enough? Where is the redundancy (again)?

Paul T

The new JMSDF Mogami class Frigates use 1 x MT30 GT and 2 x MAN DG’s and are good for 30 knots + admittedly on a significantly smaller Hull.

Duker

Australia has added another 2000 tonnes to the displacement as they have piled so much stuff on, mostly extra fuel by reading between the lines

X

Yep. Distance and dependence on oilers are a big factor. They can RAS from USN oilers but if the balloon goes up they will be targets so……

Sunmack

There have been a number of posts about what terrible value for money we get and there’s few better examples than the T45

They cost £1.4 billion in 2020 prices including PIP (though the reported additional complexity of that work will surely increase its cost). Compare that to the Japanese Maya class at £1.1 billion in 2020 prices.

The Japanese ship has TBMD capability and the Co-operative Engagement Capability. It has modern SSM’s, ASW torpedoes and a good quality sonar. The T45 has none of those capabilities despite costing more.

Japan and the UK are both high wage enconomies so that’s not the reason for the difference.

Duker

UK prices its defence equipment differently than other countries. The purchase price is only a portion of the announced UK cost. It becomes obvious when they buy US FMS equipment where the actual supplier contract price is published as is normal in US spending.

4thwatch

The way we cost our purchases is detrimental to export sales. If I bought a Mini and included the running costs 5 years forward, all my friends would say I could buy a Mercedes for the same money. Crazy. Its no way to run a defence department and help international sales. MOD needs to live in the real world. They can’t run an annual budget and include revenue costs 5 years forward in Capital purchases in the same breath. I’d start again with new people and new mindset. Winning wars.

Duker

The countries that are serious buyers are told true figures.
For many in ME and SE Asia for example life cycle costs make sense as they want the support included.. 1/3 to buy, 1/3 to operate, 1/3 to upgrade.

Grant

The Japanese brought Aegis off the shelf where as we built our own superior radar system (with some work with the French / Italians) in PAAMS. That cost was then spread over a far smaller fleet.

This is why when people often say ‘we should replace Merlin with Blackhawks because they are only $12m” forget that the fixed costs in the US are shared over a massive scale.

There is a lesson tho for the T26s: which is if we had someone who could negotiate we should be able to get 4 more for far less then the first 8 because the fixed costs will have been paid and other components in the supply chain will be needed by Australia and Canada….. And the truth is the more complex – and therefore able to overmatch our adversaries – the bit of kit the greater its maintenance demands and the lower its availability (see OPVs vs. other ships or F35s vs Typhoons)

X

Sea Viper is amazing. But we would have been far better off with AEGIS purely for scale as you mention.

Grant

For pure military purposes I agree, we could likely have far more hulls if went AEGIS. That said the ability to develop a system of that complexity indigenously certainly has value.

We should pick and chose which things give us an edge and accept they will have a higher per unit cost (and where we just need equipment but it won’t really give us a qualitative edge against a peer adversary look to purchase that cost effectively – e.g. armoured vehicles)

In some case we can of course go indigenous and get good value (I’m thinking the Carriers as a great example.

John

(with some work with the French / Italians) ?????

The prime contractor is EUROPAAMS, a joint venture between Eurosam (66%) and MBDA subsidiary UKAMS (33%).
In the United Kingdom PAAMS has been given the designation n Sea Viper.

The Aster missiles family is primarily operated by France, Italy, and the United Kingdom as an export customer, and is an integrated component of the PAAMS air-defence missile system

Grant

Fair enough, I stand corrected on the some work 😉 regardless point stands: R&D costs shared across far fewer hulls.

Steven Alfred Rake

It is only my opinion but I believe that the UK should approach other Commonwealth government’s such as Australia, NZ and Canada and look to start a joint building programme with sheared R&D and costs and we could split the building of the vessels so that you could have all continues delivering hulls to be fitted out in their respective countries to the respective specs. That way if a country has a need for more hulls the other countries could then help in the supply keeping the delivery’s at a steady rate. You would then have a common logistical set-up for your spear parts and you could also have a sheared training programme.
Our commonwealth brothers have stood alongside us for a long time and now we have shed the shackles of the EU we should start to drive down the costs of these bespoke vessels that we cannot afford to arm or even power correctly, and by having a common approach to naval vessels would help drive down the costs so that we can then afford to have a carnivore fleet in stead of a fleet of herbivores.

Bob

If the current situation tells us anything it’s that we need to increase the defence budget to at least 3% GDP as a matter of urgency.

4thwatch

More like 4-5%. Its infinitely more dangerous than any time since the Korean War era. Now we have Russia and China with a global reach and toxic wish to surplant the West as controlling the World. I’d say all bets are off we come out on top. Just Think of that! We need to man up very fast indeed. Smoking weed and hoping it all goes away wont cut it.

Duker

Hasnt been 4-5% of GDP since middle late 70s.
A proper spend of 2.2% should be fine without £7 bill spent on depreciation and other financial manoeuvres that are just Treasury ways of not spending real ‘cash’

Jon

Unfortunately There’s no returning the measure to the pre-NATO older British standard. Gresham’s Law, bad money drives out good, applies here too, and the bad measure has driven out the better measure because it sounds like we’re doing more. That’s why I agree with Bob, and it needs to be 3% under the newer definition. We couldn’t spend much more than that anyway as UK infrastructure couldn’t handle it. They would take a long time to gear up.

Tim Hirst

Given HMT is already looking for cuts to finance a pre election tax cut. The chances of any sort of increase in defence spending is much less than the chance of a cut or a failure to increase with inflation.
BJ like all realistic politicians know that there are very very few votes in defence.

4thwatch

Its not a MSM priority but it does need to be. Its clear to me and many others I’m sure, that the risk of confrontation at sea is on a level with the Ukraine situation on several counts. Unless the big powers somehow play by the rules it could easily go wrong in the far east. We have interests and we need a really first rate navy.

Tim Hirst

Don’t blame the MSM. BJ and his team are the ones looking for money for a tax cut. His party has been in government for 15+ years.
Leopards don’t change their spots and this government isn’t about to prioritise defence in any real way.

AlexS

How much it costs the PIP and what impact it does have in RN spending= what RN have had to cut?

Strange that i don’t see that question.

Steven Alfred Rake

You are right Alex, Instead of having the money to install Tomahawk, SSM, and an anti Satellite capability we have to spend countless millions on PIP. I cannot believe the utter inaptitude of the people at the top of the food chain who have agreed to this. If you are going to spend a lot of you budget on fixing something then fix it properly. PIP is a sticking plaster that dose not fix the actual problem. We should either fix the problem properly or leave them as they are and push forward the T83 program.

Michael

What is a disgrace is that the RN has a total of 6 destroyers in the first place.
The Japanese MSDF has 26. South Korea has 10. It is unbelievable that the total of Britain’s destroyer fleet today is half of what was sent to the Falklands. Shameful.

X

And what was sent south was only a percentage of a much larger fleet.

Duker

And defence spending was 4% or so of GDP and fleet built during even higher spending in 60s. That was all real money. Not like now when non cash accounting type charges are included like £7 bill for ‘depreciation and impairments’

Slimak

What is so in-excusable is the amount of time taken, from the faults were first noticed in 2012, to rectify all 6 ships, by mid 2020, some 15 years or more.
Some T45 ships spent years on end in port without anything happening.

Last edited 4 months ago by Slimak
4thwatch

Dont worry then, they will be in as new condition in 20 years time. Like barn finds in the car world. Unmodified and still in their box! We can sell all 6 to Brazil for a knock down price in 2042.

Esteban

Sad, but true.

DaveyB

How much time and cost would it have been, to look at replacing the whole WR21 system with the MT30? If you are hacking open the hull to remove two diesel generator and replacing them with three. Was there originally space for three or does that require more hacking and bashing to make space for the extra generator? If you already have the hull open (ok different location) how about replacing the gas turbine as well? I know it would add extra time, but would it not be a worthwhile investment?

X

The hull (engines through to hotel) is 40% cost of a surface warship.

Duker

The Gas turbine part of WR21 is the same as the MT30
They are both derived from the RR Trent aero engine/industrial engine with only minor differences on the GT side

Sonik

Not strictly true, albeit there is a common heritage. WR21 is based on RB211 core from which the Trent series is a derivative. MT30 uses the T800 core which is the largest in the Trent series, several generations and decades of development from RB211. The principal problem with using MT30 in place of WR21 would be the much higher fuel consumption, MT30 is a sprint engine whereas WR21 incorporates the recuperator to be economical enough to be used for cruising.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ben Robins
DaveyB

Cheers, I did think the engine package looked at bit small for the MT30. You’ve explained why, when it doesn’t use the recuperative circuit.

I know RR have sold quite a few MT30s for use in power stations. But they include the intercooler and recuperator. I wonder why the ship version doesn’t use it?

Sonik

Recuperated MT30 is not something I have come across, but I suspect it would have a much larger output than WR21 because it’s a bigger core, higher OPR etc.

GT engineering is eye wateringly expensive – the original WR21 development was part funded by the US and possibly some others, so for T45, I think the issue is that the MOD just don’t have the budget to do a full re-engine or redevelopment of WR21, and the original spec was too loose to pin liability on the contractors. So it’s perhaps more of a financial/commercial problem than a technical one.

So RN have to make do with PIP which is a bit of a ‘fix’ but hopefully will be at least adequate to keep T45 effective. That’s my reading of the situation anyway.

Duker

Thanks for that.
Yes development is from around early 90s when contract let in 1993 by the US Navy.
Westinghouse Marine. Prime and system integrator
Rolls Royce RB211 derivative engine developer
Allied Signal Recuperator and Intercooler
CAE Electronics. Digital controls

The paper from ASME covers it in detail

Last edited 4 months ago by Duker
Sonik

Thanks, very interesting read. Seems like the WR21 is a bit of a parts bin special, including some T700 components with the RB211.

I wonder why the USN didn’t proceed any further with it, having spent all they did on development?

Duker

GE and its LM range have powerful friends.

Max

Hello to everybody, i’m italian, and fond of naval history. I have also a deep admiration for what has been the british civilization, a renowned style, some of your classic values such, for example, self control, fair play, civil freedoms and rights, and so on…Well,RN belongs to this heritage, and it’s no without concern that i hear a simple truth: over few years no british surface ship – but QE Class – will be able to counter, at the same level, pratically all other comparable warships. Except with medium or small calibre guns, or one helycopter on board, an efficient but unfortunately vulnerable weapon, being subject to weather, mechanical failures, and of course a massive AA fire from skilled enemies…How is it possible, in the country surrounded by sea, which taught naval warfare to all the world?

4thwatch

We dont do history anymore. When I was at school Naval History was taught as a special subject. That was many years ago. Thanks Max for reminding us.

A British tom

I think in light of events of the past few hours adding the Aster Block 1NT to the type 45s arsenal should go straight to the top of the list of upgrades, followed ASAP by the block 2 version I understand that may mean stripping out the launch cells for deeper ones and a lot of expense but things are getting serious very fast.

4thwatch

I agree. We cant go on assuming it will be ‘all right on the night’ in ten years time. Daring should be fully sorted while its in dock. Diamond next to go in and so forth. Things can no longer be allowed to be done half arsed. These are vital assets and their crews our best people.

R Watt

As these expensive warships were built over a considerable time period, can anyone explain how this built-in fault was repeated time and time again. One would have thought that having commissioned the first one or two the flaw would have been spotted and not repeated.

Is it not the case that with the advent of new hypersonic weapons these vessels like the much vaunted aircraft carriers are little more than sitting targets. While submarines are not so impressive as they pass under the Golden Gate Bridge they would seem considerably more survivable and effective in a real war.

Will

The best remedy for the current “lethality holiday” is simply to buy large numbers of the latest Harpoon variant (Block II) and have done with it. No, it won’t be the sexiest nor the fastest weapon. Yes, it will easily be the most bang for the pounds sterling, and “low and slow (but sneaky and with a big warhead)” is still an effective anti-ship missile technology. Harpoon can also be fired from a dizzying array of platforms. For the life of me I don’t know why the RN hasn’t already done this.

Will

I truly hope the RN will build 8 destroyers next time around, rather than the current 6. 8 is the absolute bare minimum needed. Ideally DDG numbers would mirror SSGN numbers. so the Astute replacement would also have 8 hulls. Do that, and this American would rest a lot easier. I don’t think this kind of modest but real increase in the number of major surface combatants is at all out of reach for the UK and the RN.

Last edited 2 months ago by Will
4thwatch

We used to build in groups of 5 or 9. That was because a division, flotilla or squadron was supposed to be 4 or 8. One was a flagship or leader and one was off having boilers cleaned or whatever. Just so we remember.

PeterG

Just spotted on Marine Traffic that HMS DAUNTLESS finally departed Cammel Laird today after just over two years in hand undergoing PIP. Let’s hope that the lessons learned will be fed into DARING and follow on ships of the class.

David hughes.

The Labour Party in office at the time of procurement,took the wreckless decision to fit a concept propulsion unit into all the Frigates ,instead of fitting just 1 !, all ships are being counted as available which none of them are and might never be,of the new carriers one of which had to dock at Newport News for engine repairs during sea trials,same propulsion units,Polticians must not be allowed to take decisions that adversely affect the military`s ability to defend the UK.

David hughes.

BAE systems should`ve been made to remedy the problems with the propulsion system immediately,unless the problem came about as a result of Politicians trying to cut corners,in any event,Comrade Boris decisions,when it comes to the military,has laid-out the!Red Carpet” for his mate Vladimir to walk through the UK !!!.