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Bloke down the pub

Hopefully the Poles won’t whine so much when parts are built out of country.

Duker

Poles will be more trouble for this ship build than they are worth. Even though member of EU , a trade block, have decided to ban Ukraines food exports, grain etc

Jon

What have Polish farmers miffed at grain dumping got to do with shipbuilding?

Duker

I said they march to their own drumbeat and will for the shipbuilding too …You wait
Everyone forgets now the Poles invaded ukraine after WW1 and were a 2nd tier ally of Germany before WW2 and got a share of Czechoslovakia after Munich too.

Angus

Many Poles served freedom from the UK and fought harder than many so with all due. Show me a state that does not have back stabbers. The UK Farmers would be out the same if getting cheap imports of food stuffs taking away their market.

Duker

Thats very true. Its their government , both back then and now
The point was belonging to EU means you sign away the rights to pick and choose your own trade restrictions. The UK made the choice to walk away from the EU .
I cant see this shipbuilding modules working out, as for series production you need a well established partner. Im hoping that that was the criteria not that it was cheapest and came from Polish government ruling.

Last edited 10 months ago by Duker
Arjun

Brain farting as usual. The junior doctor strikes will definitely derail the T31 project and China will send spy balloons over your head.

Duker

I thought this sort of thing got deleted by editors ?

Arjun

Stand up as a man take it up the chin

X

I will not be surprised for some of the RN hulls to become Polish hulls for all manner of reasons.

Don’t care about Poles doing some welding. These ships are more about allowing Poland to get involved in US / NATO adventures abroad than defending Poland. Surely there must be options for that job?

comment image

PS: The Poles do have some fantastic landing and miner layer hulls. But that is a topic for another day.

Joe16

Not at all worried about Polish welders per se, I am slightly concerned that their first run at an Arrowhead block will be for the RN rather than the Polish Navy. No disrespect intended, even if they were trying their hardest, getting the hang of a new build based upon new CAD models carries risk. I hope the QAQC is suitably rigourous.

Duker

the CAM side of CAD has been around shipbuilding for some decades. And likely even in major building projects in Poland the software driven process of parts delivery , assembly of sections in the right order, the install of pipes and conduits in the right order and so on and is followed in shipbuilding.
What Im thinking about is more the government and business hierarchy being ‘difficult’ and having a different agenda Just substitute Poland with say ‘India’ and eyes would roll knowing what you meant.

Stuart Robinson

I very much doubt the same QA will apply ???????????? through experience ????

fvf

HMS venturer looks fairly incomplete for a hull rolling out this year…. then again that was taken early this year.

Duker

sept 2021 18 months back But thats how block build works, the pre built blocks arrive for final assembly and fitting out

Duker

Opps my dates were wrong

pjh

Wow, You are only Human after all !

N-a-B

I suspect Babcocks are discovering that there isn’t enough room / capacity in the Dutch barn to build the sub-units and units and consolidate them into blocks. Which might be one reason they’ve outsourced some steelwork to the Poles.

From cutting steel in Sept 21 to Jan this year (say 15 months), they’ve managed to get 40% of the ship consolidated – without a huge level of pre-outfit judging from those pics. the stated intent was to have ship 1 in the water this year – which gives them eight months or so. Noting that “in the water” just means structurally complete with as much outfit as you can get scheduled in during that time, plus all your hull penetrations either fitted or blanked off until pre-CST docking.

The big unknown is how many blocks are out of shot in the assembly hall, the Dutch barn or Rubb tents over the road. I think they’ll just about get there, but it will be very interesting to see just what level of outfit they’ve managed to include by the time she’s buttoned up. Once that happens, installing stuff gets much more expensive.

Duker

Seems strange for the story to mention the polish shipbuilder getting up to speed. I would think shipbuilding there is bigger than UK , real ships too. A legacy of the totalitarian system of heavy industry those skills and workforce still exist, that’s if they don’t have too many strikes

N-a-B

Gdynia and Remontowa were / are predominantly merchant builders or ship repairers. They were always good quality steel fabricators, but they’ve all struggled over the last decade or so – I think at least one of them folded during that period. The structural arrangement of a frigate is very different to that of a large bulker or tanker.

Babcock will also be flowing down the T&Cs of their MoD contracts, which will mean different QA and inspection procedures and so on.

Last edited 10 months ago by N-a-B
Sonik

Is it possible that the decision to outsource is commercially motivated? Babcock must be feeling the pinch with inflationary pressures on a fixed price contract. The subcontractors strike is due to a pay settlement dispute so that’s a good indication of the pressures they are facing. Perhaps it’s bit of both.

Last edited 10 months ago by Ben Robins
N-a-B

I suspect there’ll be an element of that – but only enabled by the Polish frigate contract. Probably gives them a nice little way out of a potentially tricky situation.

JimP

Is the Dutch Barn what used to be the old syncro lift that did minor war vessels.?

Duker
fvf

No, one of those sinking ships will take them out into the deeper forth for the ship to be offloaded then they return to the port

N-a-B

Yes – although the synchrolift is the platform, rather than the maintenance shed – aka Dutch Barn.

Challenger

Not surprised the Polish ones will be way better armed than our T31’s but actually it shouldn’t be too expensive or difficult to significantly up-gun them in Royal Navy service and turn them into great general purpose frigates.

NSM is being procured for 5 T23’s and can be easily cross-decked. Upping Sea Ceptor from 12-24 to 32 with it’s less invasive/cold-launch silo’s wouldn’t break the bank. As demonstrated in the article bow or towed sonars could be added and Stingray is getting an upgrade to support it into the 2030’s anyway so a decent ASW fit and capability is perfectly possible.

Lets hope we at least see some of these additions once the vessels are in the water!

Sean

The Polish vessels will be the top tier surface combatant in the Polish navy, whereas above that the RN will have T26 and Astute for ASW, and T45 for AAW. So it’s not surprising the Polish ones will be more weapons heavy from the start, they potentially have more roles to fill.

Challenger

Absolutely, but I think most would agree that a T31 with just 12 Sea Ceptor and it’s 57/40mm guns would be a very limited platform.

Louis

Well it won’t just be that as you’ve already said they’re getting 8 NSM.
Danes managed to fit 32 mark 41, 24 mark 56, 16 harpoon and 4 torpedo tubes so there’s plenty of space on the ships.

X

comment image

Louis

Not sure of your point, other than that there is a lot of space for further add ins.

fvf

Approximate loadout is going to be: 8 NSM. FFBNW MK41, estimates of 32 if fitted. suspect.24 CAMM. x2 40mm MK4 bofors guns. 1 57mm MK3 gun. sonar 2170. Decoys.

It should be noted that we will also build bits of the hulls for Poland according to George Allison, editor of UK defence journal.

Cost -GFE of £1.25bn, or £250/£265m. Total programme buget of £2bn. so potencial, though very unlikely, to have a max cost of £400m. Still potencial Max price of T31 less than 1/2 the price of B2 T26.
Now we just need to get a few more under T32!

fvf

If anyone has £7-8bn lying around though, tell me. could get 8 additional T31 and 5 T26.

fvf

Also note new LSV coming with apparently 3 out of 4 already have buget for. But wait and see for the Intergrated Defence Review soon.
I assume RFA Stirling castle is the Offshore Support Vessel (OSV) mentioned in the Defence Equipment Plan 2022-2032.
Up to 4 Logistics Support Vessels (LSV) are also mentioned and it appears 3 are already funded.
The LSVs will probably be larger than RFA stirling castle but the SLAMF mother ships are somewhat smaller.
Quote:
The MHC programme is procuring up to 6 Mine Countermeasures (MCM) Maritime Autonomous Mission Systems (MAS), up to 4 MCM (LSV) and a UK MCM (OSV) from the spot market. The Mission Systems and LSVs will deliver a global MCM effect, while the OSV will enable UK offshore operations. The programme will replace the Hunt and Sandown Class MCMVs, exploit its MAS capability and to achieve rapid MCM effect at range without the requirement for personnel to enter minefields. It is designed to rapidly exploit advances in technology within a quickly evolving sector. The Mission Systems can be deployed at pace by air, land and sea and will eventually be capability of operating from a number of RN, RFA or suitable commercial vessels; including T26 and T32 frigates and the MultiRole Support Ship (MRSS). 
page 29
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1120332/The_defence_equipment_plan_2022_to_2032.pdf

Challenger

It’s great that we’re getting at least some LSV’s to replace the Hunt’s and Sandown’s rather than completely relying on operating autonomous systems from other existing platforms as feared.

Forward basing them in The Gulf, The Med and elsewhere with the additional option to deploy mission systems from frigates and other RFA’s will make for a pretty impressive and flexible capability that will hopefully be a forerunner for other navies to look to.

Just a bit of a shame that the LSV’s will be a hodgepodge of different ships taken up from the commercial sector and RFA rather than RN operated. May not be the focus and priority but i still think there is something to be said for the low level engagement and command opportunities the MCM fleet has always offered.

fvf

In my opinion, minus of having actual new build mine-hunters / plentiful OPV, This is a great budget balance of flexibility while the fleet and self deploy-ability. 1 UK ops, 4 overseas ops. the systems could be deployed with fleet movements via using surrogate or by escorting LSV. when deployed independently more common via LSV than surrogate. The problem with Multi-role ships is that they can be very expensive and each system is under-utilised. LSV provide bandwidth , T26/T32/MRSS the multi role part.

As for Just a bit of a shame that the LSV’s will be a hodgepodge of different ships taken up from the commercial sector it must be noted that:
RFA Proteus was made 2019 bought and converted for less than 100M.
RFA Stirling castle was made in 2013.
it may be possible for LSV to be just 2 separate classes, relatively new, and no matter what it will always be for a good deal. Can’t wait for MROSS2 though. I feel in my blood that she, consequently of sole UK production will be a sexy looking ship. Then again, look at the echo class. Then again, vard is making very nice looking ships now, especially comparative to 20 years ago.

Supportive Bloke

I would not be too surprised if Mk41 is fitted straight after acceptance trials are done.

I get that MOD and Babcock want these ships to be delivered on time and on budget so won’t want to fiddle mid production.

There is already an export agreement for it in place for T26 and indeed units ordered for that purpose.

Former 1SL was very clear he would like Mk41 VLS on all new ships.

fvf

agreed. During a defence review committee earlier this year the rear admiral(?) in charge of the T31 programme said that it was a fixed term contract or something of similar effect. MK41 tubes are rather expensive though, with just the tubes alone being 10m per 12; a full sea ceptor load-out with missiles can be the same. I would be very surprised if CAMM load out is 12 as Navy lookout seems to think. It just seems operationally ineffective even for royal navy standards. it almost feels like 12 CAMM, 32 FFBNW MK41 should be reversed to 32 CAMM and 12 MK41. Would be in line with existing CAMM numbers of T23, and would use less of the expensive MK41 that we don’t have missiles to fill. ( unless RN uses tomahawk in VLS, with FC/AWS and rocket launched torpedoes. On the other hand if you are correct and MK41 will be installed immediately after launch than it would make sense as they offer more options and could have tri-packed CAMM.

T45: 24 CAMM, 48 sylver VLS, 8 NSM
T26: 48 CAMM, 24 MK41
T23: 32 CAMM, 8 NSM
T31: according to Navy Lookout 12 CAMM, FFBNW 32 MK41.
I would rather have 12 FFBNW MK41 and 32 CAMM unless MK41 are going to be fitted soon / garenteed as if MK41 will be installed immediately after launch than it would make sense as they offer more options and could have tri-packed CAMM. But then yet again it would be the more expensive option and we are talking about the RN here for a budget ship.

Last edited 10 months ago by fvf
Paul42

CAMM can be placed in Mk41 so we just need to get it installed and get these ships into service before we find ourselves needing to manufacture cannon balls as we bring victory and warrior back into service!

AlexS

Any evidence of CAMM working from Mk41?

Jon

Tri-packed CAMM? I thought Mk 41 could handle quad-packed.

fvf

sorry, i stand corrected, thanks

Last edited 10 months ago by fvf
D B

Why use mk41 for CAMM? Given integration costs, it’s probably cheaper to rack the CAMM on deck and leave the mk41s empty…

Jonathan

I think you are right, these ships will get fitted for both NSM and MK41 very quickly, I’m not sure what will be in the the MK41 launchers mind.

fvf

In my mind NSM is guaranteed as T26 will be fitted with Future Cruise / Anti Ship Weapon from the get go ( 11 8-pack NSM systems ordered, with 6 on T45 leaving 5 for the 5 T31) however I am less sure about MK41 as it is the MoD we are talking about. As for what can go in MK41 there is quad packed CAMM, FC/AWS, if RN can find the buget for it adapted Tomahawks from our current stock. FC/AWS will play important role in future fleet being on Astute, Dreadnought, T45, T26, T31 if MK41 added, SSN(R), T83 and beyond.

Jonathan

I do think having tomahawk would makes these some very serious strike assets..no one is going to happy having a ship that potentially has 24 tomahawks cruising anywhere within a 1000km of their coast…and with the MK 41 silos they will never know if the ship is loaded with none-24 missiles…so just having the ship floating around is an asset geopolitically.

I’m not really sure of the value of putting camm in the MK41 silos as it defeats the object of cheaper cold launch systems…I would prefer to see a good fit of 24-32 camms in cold launch silos.

fvf

24 CAMM= 6 MK41
32 CAMM= 8 MK41
so say inital fit out of 12 CAMM, + 8 NSM + 32 MK41, of which 8 for 32 extra CAMM, 16 for FC/ASW, 8 for Tomahawk. Something to fear, with defense against 22 missiles + guns in defensive role, with striking power of 32 missiles

D J

If you fit all 32 mk41, then the initial CAMM cells will go. There are boat bays in the way to the sides & AShM canister launchers in front. ie the midship below deck vls space is the 32 mk41 space. The only other place to put additional below deck vls is where the front 40mm currently is. Babcock do list this as an option.

N-a-B

Fitting a Mk 41 is a non-trivial exercise. I’d be astonished if it happen before first large maintenance period, say 3 years into service.

Supportive Bloke

Depends just how *for* but not with and if any prep work is done during fabrication?

N-a-B

Depends on whether the weatherdeck steelwork is set up as a portable hatch – or as a welded patch. If the latter, there’s a fair bit of steelwork to do there – not to mention any seatings required at the base of the compartment. If you have to fab seats and then install them, then the deckhead below will need clearing. You’re also looking at a crane lift for a 15 te module at a considerable hook height, which then means you’re into capacity restrictions dockside. It’s all do-able, but just adds embuggerance.

That’s before we look at whether the electrical, HVAC, firefighting water, LP air and data supplies have been run to the vicinity of the compartment – or even included in the overall system design. I’d expect the ship has IPMD or at best FBNW provision, as opposed to FTR which would be easier.

Jonno

We should have had 8 T31 with the second batch (3) up graded to the Polish standards add some ASW capability. Sell the first 5 and build 8 more.

fvf

Why sell the first 5??? just upgrade them. what a waste to sell them. and if you reply with ” Oh the drumbeat”
than a. Creating a short term shooting spree of ships isn’t constant. Creating an evolutionary 1-2 per year surface combatant programme is.
B. With economics of scale, just give who ever you are giving the second-hand ships lower armed new ships, probably at the same price. You can’t tell me that 7 year old ships should depreciate that much. If so then i feel like the RN is missing out on some good value for money here
“….. e second batch (3) up graded to th ……” What does “(3)” mean?
Just realised this may come across as overly argumentative, sorry if so as not the intent.

Last edited 10 months ago by fvf
X

You sell them (or take them out of service) because you can’t man them.

fvf

damn I forgot about that. But the person above proposes a net gain of +3 ships, so technically ….

Last edited 10 months ago by fvf
Sunmack

To my mind ASW capability is a far greater priority than Mk41

Duker

These things come and go as ‘fads’ Heavy artillery and tanks was out and now seems to be back -from what Ive heard Nato is telling UK to beef up its tank forces again. ASW sensors from ships hulls is out and anything that goes bang from a MK41 is in.

Grant

We’re building brand new Merlins for Poland in Yeovil…. if only the RN would buy some more and we could keep the line running and have some spares for the ones we have…

fvf

We do need more, now. But i assume some may see it as a threat to this:
https://www.nato.int/nato_static_fl2014/assets/pdf/2021/2/pdf/2102-factsheet-ngrc.pdf
but that is 15 years away. It could be a lot of benefit to have a £1bn order to Leonardo for 48 NMH then + Interim maritime heli. If we settle down on NMH then we should order a second batch, if not then use as an interim for say the Bell V-280 produced here under licence. Would guarantee heli industry / capability in the UK for decades.

OkamsRazor

Read the GAO report on the contested V-280 contest. Would be very surprised if medium lift did not pivot to tilt as it beats standard rotors on almost every metric. Boeing tried to win by making a lowball bid, but couldn’t supply the engineering technicals to support their estimates. Leonardo would secure a lead on the competition by jumping in quickly.

Jon

If we aren’t at least looking to use tiltrotors fifteen years down the line, we are idiots. V-280 may fail to live up to its promise, but right now it must be the one to beat.

Given the existing agreement between Bell and Leonardo, we could risk jumping in ahead of time with a maritime version built in the UK. Get some dosh chipped in by USMC and it could work out very nicely.

Jonathan

The only issue is that tilt rotor can have some issue landing on a ship if it’s only got one engine…the procedure for an engine loss for present tilt rotors is a rolling landing at around 60 knots….thats not going to work on the back of a type 26, where as a duel or triple engined rotor is able to still land.. so tilt rotor cannot take on all the rolls of a medium life rotor…but it’s better at a lot of stuff.

fvf

Yes, I agree . However I do not see a MLH having just one engine, let alone a tilt-rotor. both V-280 and V-22 have engines for each prop ( Must be noted the V-280’s design is much more smarter). Also NMH in the form of AW149 Medium Multi-role Helicopter or any NMH contender or in the form or interim for V-280 ( UK did a deal with US army on there Future Vertical Lift programme which V-280 ultimately won the black hawk replacement role for : https://www.defensenews.com/land/2022/02/14/us-and-uk-sign-cooperation-agreement-for-future-vertical-lift-programs/ ) it is for RAF in the support of Joint Helicopter Command / army, not maritime roles which Nato NGRC is for.

Jonathan

Hi yes the issue is with present tilt rotors is that each engine powers one rotor hub so you loss an engine you loss one whole rotor hub and massive amount of lift…so you need to keep the speed up so the lift is coming from the wing…with a normal rotor all the engines drive a single rotor hub via the gear box so loss one engine your losing some power and lift not losing the same level of lift from 50% or your rotor blade area just stopping.

fvf

In the case of an engine failure, both prop rotors can be driven by a single engine thanks to a driveshaft that passes through the straight wing. Retractable landing gear, a triple-redundant fly-by-wire control system, and a V-tail design will all be features of the V-280. Cross engine drive shaft is also a feature for V-22

X

Yes. The US authorities would have never allowed a design to fly where the loss of one engine meant complete failure. Doesn’t bear thinking about does it?

Grant

For most applications a standard helicopter is far more useful than a tilt rotor: in hovering configuration the disc loading is very high which means for a given weight they need to be far more powerful. Other than for CSAR their uses are pretty niche. For ASW and at sea SAR work, a normal helicopter will be better in most cases. And affordable for us…

Fun article here on the subject.

https://hushkit.net/2020/09/29/v-22-osprey-a-triumph-of-money-over-common-sense/

DaveyB

Not completely true. As the disc loading is based on aircraft weight and the surface area of the prop-rotor blades, which are used to generate the lift.

The V22 Osprey has a high disc loading. This is due to the prop-rotors being shorter than the ideal. This was a design compromise. As the US Navy placed a size requirement on the design. Where it had to have 3ft clearance from the island superstructure on a Wasp class LHD, plus it’s undercarriage had to be 3ft from the flight deck edge. These requirements were made so that the aircraft could taxi on the flight deck.

As the prop-rotors were now shorter. To generate the necessary lift, they spin faster. Hence why when on the ground the Osprey has a down wash to rival a Chinook’s along with the higher disc loading.

The V280 was designed to replaced the UH60 Blackhawk in the US Army. It was not constrained by the same limitations as the Osprey, except it had to have a similar footprint as the Blackhawk. Therefore the wing could be wider. Which meant the prop-rotors could also be longer, so don’t have to spin as fast to generate lift. So the generated lift vs the aircraft weight is significantly closer. Which means it’s hovering efficiently is significantly better than the Osprey.

You could make the wing’s wingspan wide enough, to then have really long prop-rotors. This would give you the same hovering efficiency as a helicopter. However the wing will need to be extremely strong to withstand the lift bending moment.

Grant

For a shipboard helicopter the same space constraints would surely apply?

DaveyB

It will depend on the helicopter’s layout. For instance a Chinook with its longitudinal tandem rotor layout, will need a lot of deck area. As the forward rotor has a rotor diameter of 60ft. So a single blade extends forward some 30ft forward of the fuselage, Which is why you see some images of a Chinook on ships landed at an offset angle to the ship.

A helicopter with coaxial rotor layout, will have the smallest footprint, as the blade length can be shorter.

Whereas with a tilt-rotor like the Valor, the rotors can hang over the sides of the ship. The Valor’s fuselage is a similar length to the Blackhawk’s. Bell have shown an model of a marinised Valor, that has a folding wing and prop-rotors like the Osprey.

Duker

Tilt rotors dont work like that. Each engine hub can transfer power to the other hub, its a continuous thing

In the event of an engine failure, power is transmitted by a cross-shaft, similar to that on the V-22, from the operative engine to the opposite proprotor.’
https://aerossurance.com/helicopters/bell-v-280-valor-first-flight/

Jonathan

To be honest I was taking the landing characteristics from a pilot who was discussing managing on one engine. But you are clearly right about the gearing…but I still understand landing these one one engine is not something to be done on an escorts deck. So we do still need normal rotors for the small ship flights.

DaveyB

No that is incorrect. The V22 Osprey, AW609 and V280 Valor have a drive shaft that goes through the main wing. The shaft links the two rotor gearboxes. This is to make sure that if an engine losses power, both rotors can still be powered.

DaveyB

Unlike the V22 Osprey, the V280 Valor can autorotate. So it’s safer in a complete engine loss situation. As per the Osprey, the Valor has a drive shaft going through the main wing joining the gearboxes. So drive is maintained to the rotor, if an engine losses power. So far Bell have not produced any figures on single engine performance. Therefore its single engine hovering performance is speculative.

What I can say though is the production model will be using the same engines as the Osprey. These make 2000hp more power and along with the Valor’s much lower disc loading. It will have a significantly better hovering performance than the Osprey. It should therefore have a much greater safety margin for single engine out situations.

AlexS

“beats standard rotors on almost every metric.”

You should read the V-280 performance hovering and performance in altitude.

That thing will never replace an helicopter as it is.

V-280 have same power as CH-47 but can not even sling half of the load.
They also have a much larger propwash and a larger footprint.which makes them more problematic to land in forested areas when free space is more along roads so favours a longitudinal configuration.

AlexS

V-280 cannot hover at 6500ft so for example it cannot really replace an helicopter at that ceiling.

Jon

Because hovering at 6,500 ft (as opposed to the V-280’s nominal 6,000 ft hover ceiling) is such an important requirement! Instead it can circle at 25,000 ft unmanned. Which helicopter can do that?

Besides the 6,000 ft ceiling was specified before the engine upgrade, wasn’t it? Maybe the new spec will go higher in hover if it’s all that important.

AlexS

6500ft is only 2000m you have a lot of geography at 2000m in Europe, USA etc.
For example a V280 in Afghanistan would restricted to valley’s.

Jon

That’s a good point. I’m too busy thinking of it for ships. However, it would only be restricted from vertical take-off and landing at greater than those heights; it could still fly over higher mountains and the like, as long as it started and ended at lower positions.

Supportive Bloke

True but 25,000ft flying in circles much more useful for a CSG?

Hovering is essential for ASW work. So it may be that helos have some life left in that role.

X

Tilt rotors are new so many will just say they are the future without thinking about it. Just say as with drones.

Jon

So what if some think tiltrotors are new and thoughtlessly hail them as the future as a consequence? That doesn’t mean all who believe they’ll be in our future are thoughtless or indeed wrong.

Tiltrotors have been in the air since Churchill was Prime Minister. Bell have been flying them since the 1950s — only twelve years after their prototype helicopters — and Westland tiltrotors were shown off at Farnborough in the 1960s. They aren’t new.

As hundreds of V-22s are in service with more on order, and the US Army are scheduled to order V-280s in the thousands, you better believe they are as much a part of the military’s future as they are the present.

Last edited 10 months ago by Jon
Duker

Westland tiltrotors in 1960s ?

The closest I can find is this Fairey prototype in the 50s

300px-Fairey_Jet_Gyrodyne-1[1].jpg
Jon

Designs for the experimental We 01C and the We 028 were exhibited in 1968 according to the Wiki, which cites a Flight International article, but I don’t know if they actually flew anything that early.

Did the Fairey Gyrodyne rotor tilt? Fancy that. I had no idea. It dates back to the 1940s.

Duker

It doesn’t but it’s the closest with those little propellors on stub wings.
No trace of the Westland models you mention, any links?

Jon

The little propellor is a tail rotor except on a wing.

As for the Westland links, no, sorry. Even the wiki’s reference link no longer connects, possibly moved behind a paywall. I’m beginning to wonder now; maybe it’s a bit fishy because Westland models were WA not We, and WA01 was the MOTE or Wisp drone in 1976.

Duker

I notice you qualified those projects as ‘designs exhibited’ rather than flew.
Im presuming that means some sort of model

DaveyB

No, the Fairey Rotordyne does not use tilting of the main rotor or its two tractor propellers like an Osprey. It is a convertiplane, where it transitions from helicopter to autogyro and back again.

It does this by applying power to the main rotor through propjets (next to no torque reaction). These spin the main rotor to generate lift for forward flight and hovering. The main rotor has a swash plate that is used to tilt the main rotor for low speed control as per a helicopter. Though it’s range of movement is less than a traditional helicopter.

The aircraft has a turboprop under each of the main wings. These are used for thrust for forward flight. But also by using differential thrust for yaw control in the hover.

Once the aircraft has reached altitude from the hover. The pilot pushes the cyclic stick forward as per a normal helicopter, tilting the main rotor disc to build up airspeed. At the same time, the angle of attack of the two turboprop propellers is altered to provide forward thrust. As the airspeed builds up. The air/fuel flow to the tip jets is reduced. The main wing starts generating more lift. Where the pilot can then pull back on the cyclic to reduce the main rotor disc tilt.

As the airspeed builds further and the turboprops generate all the thrust. The air/fuel to tip jets can be turned off completely. This means the main rotor is now spinning purely down to the air pushing it just like an autogyro. From memory the balance of lift between the main rotor and wing is around 50:50 at 200kts.

As the main rotor is now spinning at the local airspeed, the affects of rotor tip stalling are significantly reduced. It will still generate more lift on the advancing side of the disc. Which will cause the aircraft to roll without trimming out. Though the opposite main wing will compensate for some of the extra lift.

To go into the hover again, the pilot just reverses the procedure. The test pilots who flew the Rotordyne said it was very easy to fly and transition.

The Rotordyne concept is perhaps the most efficient method for making a “helicopter” fly faster. The main reason for this is that the drive to the main rotor is removed. So that it is spun by the air pushing it. Thus the rotor tips stay below supersonic speeds. Clearly as there is now a loss of lift and thrust. These have to be compensated for by using a main fixed wing to generate lift and either a propeller or a jet for thrust.

This was one of the major disadvantages of the SB1 Defiant aircraft. It used brute force to make it fly faster. It did not slow down the main rotors or use a fixed wing. Instead it used ultra rigid rotor blades to counter the pulsing of the blade as they hit transonic speeds. Which makes for a very choppy ride, unless the whole gearbox is damped like the Merlin’s. If it used a fixed wing and slowed down the rotors, it could have gone a lot faster, as the Airbus X3 proved.

Duker

The image I used wasnt the well known Fairey Rotodyne- which you have described well
The Gyrodyne they called it, which wasnt a tiltrotor either.
I imagine Putnam type book on all Fairey aircraft would have details it the type existed but I dont have a copy

X

Which does beg the question as to why they were adopted along time back then doesn’t it?

And the US adopting something doesn’t automatically mean it is the best solution. Plus other considerations.

Have you thought the reason why the US Army is going for them is because somebody thinks these things are new and the future and the bestest evah?

V-22 is a nightmare to maintain.

All you are doing is calling me old fashioned.

So yes I stand by my assertion.

Jon

The advantage of VTOL is that you can turn it around to fit the space. Given that the 18m diameter rotors of the Chinook exceed the 15.5m length of the V-280 and that the length of a Chinook exceeds the width of a V-280, I’m not sure I believe it won’t fit on roads where a Chinook will or that it has a larger footprint. Care to elaborate?

I’m not saying the V-280 can land anywhere a CH-47 can. The Chinook can land on water and I don’t know if the V-280 will ever match that party trick.

Duker

Chinook is what size ? It’s a 50,000 lb takeoff weight max. Bell is 30k lbs
Compare it’s footprint to a similar weight chopper or it’s predecessor the Blackhawk
It’s like people expecting the little lynx/wildcat to have same capability as the twice the weight seahawk. ….maths probably isn’t their strong point amoung other differences

Jon

It was Alex who compared the footprint to a Chinook, to which I responded. The length of the V-280 is still a little shorter than a Blackhawk’s rotor diameter, but the Valor’s 25m width is longer than the 20m length of the Blackhawk. Given the road scenario Alex mentioned, that’s unlikely to be an issue.

Helicopters are better at hovering, because one big rotor is better than two small ones, just as tiltrotors are better at moving forwards, because wings beat no wings. So there’s a place for both.

AlexS

Sorry to not be explicit for the roads i was comparing to an helicopter of same capability not a Chinook.

Grant

Potentially, but as you say if it’s PowerPoint now whether it will be operational in 15 years (unless it’s an evolution of something)…. See NH90!

I always like how the US thinks in sone of this stuff. ‘We need a new helicopter’ ‘the Blackhawk still works, let’s just upgrade that’….. whereas with our smaller resources ‘let’s get something new’

X

Note when they think out of the box invariably they mess up.

The US is the land where the door knob is more in common than the door handle.

pjh

Ah Yeovil…. The home of the Traffic light and Stupid Roundabouts…. There was talk of calling it “The Home of the Helicopter” but the residents know better.

Duker

 Great Britain was stagnant until 1944, when the Bristol Aeroplane Company established its Helicopter Division (eventually renamed Bristol Helicopters). Bristol’s first helicopter was the Type 171, which first flew in July 1947. The Type 171, also named the Sycamore, was in some ways more advanced than the Sikorsky R-5 and R-6 then flying in the United States”
Bristol helicopters was based in Weston-super-mare from mid 50s.

Westland , who took over the other UK manufacturers in 1960 was only a Sikorsky shop and the previous original british designs were no longer required.

Bristol_171_Syc_HR.14_XJ917_HS.H_CFS_Cornn_30.08.77_edited-3[1].jpg
Grant

Thanks for this: my wife will be pleased whilst I ignore her to read the entirety of this site you have just shared….

Last edited 10 months ago by Grant
Grant

Well if quality was the most important criteria we probably wouldn’t be building ships in Govan!!

If we wanted to think about working with the poles we could get our helicopters from them: bring them into Tempest etc etc,

Duker

Poland doesnt do ‘helicopters’ , they may have final assembly line for some US type they ordered.
Probably more likely cars and vans come from Poland and as 15% of their population left once they got work rights in EU , Ukrainians and belarussians on work visas filled the gaps

AlexS

Poland have a Leonardo factory PZL-ŚWIDNIK. It builds a small Leonardo helicopter and probably will assemble the 32 AW-149 that they bought.

Duker

PZL also make Blackhawks for export, they began with the main cabin production and then final assembly

AlexS

There are 2 PZL’s, That one is PZL-Mielec owned by Sikorski.

Baz

Babcock closed a perfectly excellent shipbuilding yard that they had in Appledore North Devon which the unions were told was going to be involved in the building of the type 31. It’s a complete insult to that workforce and community that some construction is going to Poland. HOLD YOUR HEAD’S IN SHAME BABCOCK AND THE TORY GOVERNMENT.

fvf

Thought H&W is using appledore for FSS modules.
https://www.harland-wolff.com/facilities/appledore/
The curse that has set on appledore is appalling. The MoD had the potential to give so many small ship contracts to it for little cost.

ATH

Maybe Babcock found the yards efficiency poor. The MoD aren’t going. to give work to somewhere that can’t compete on cost. It’s just not a very sensible place to have a heavy engineering company.

Mark

Given the limitations of the yard and the issues for the fairly simple P60s for the z Irish Navy I’m not really surprised it was closed tbh.

pjh

Oh and you are an expert then ? Prey tell.

Mark

A misaligned shaft from sitting on a mud bank each day as their fit out area is tidal, or do you think that’s an ideal outcome?

AlexS

The guns and radar are incorrect:

The guns will be an Oto Melara/Leonardo 76mm and 2x OSU-35K each with 2 35mm tubes this gun is of Polish development.
Radar will be the Thales planar NS400 with 4 planar faces as shown in the image and at the tip Thales NS50.
The NS50 will control the guns.

This is a proper armed and sensored Type 31.

Samuel

The main gun is a Leonardo 76mm in the reduced Radar Cross section turret in the image 🙂 …hopefully a Super Rapid model

AlexS

I don’t think the sell non Super Rapido anymore. The question i think is if it will have Strales guided ammunition.

Duker

SR is still available but newest variant is much lighter Sovraponte, and can be installed over helicopter hangars.

Samuel

I wouldn’t say no to having 1 of them added to the Type 45 and a few on the Carriers 😀

Duker

T45 has a main gun. Theres more important weapons to add, the Sea ceptor being next.
T45 should stay well away from any littoral conflict, italians dont have a choice

Samuel

For the Type 45 I was thinking adding a 76mm for an additional layer of Air Defence mainly but with the ability to supplement the other weapons in anti-swarm boat defence. You are very correct in that Sea Ceptor is a bigger priority 😉

Samuel

You are right…Leonardo doesn’t sell the Compact Version anymore which TBF is good as it gets confusing trying to figure out what ship has which lol Yes STRALES ammunition is very important for long range Anti Missile defence using guns but back when the Company was called Oto Melara they developed a 76mm x 636mm APFSDS round for the Otomatic SPAA project. I mention this as with the 40mm Twin Compact/Fast Forty mounts they had a 200 round secondary magazine full of APFSDS for when Anti Ship missiles got within 1000m…so it might have use there and of course in Naval Gunfire support vs enemy Armour on land. The 76mm Oto is such a versatile gun system 🙂

AlexS

I think the 76mm APFSDS was not for AA if i am reminding right but for anti AFV. Being a SPAA was also expected that would fire at land targets in emergency.
Yes for 40mm Fast Forty, i remember that one well.

Last edited 10 months ago by AlexS
Samuel

Indeed it was designed for that….but it is nice to have that option in the Magazine. Could also be useful for when crippling a ship is required whilst causing fewest casualties (APFSDS doesn’t create a lot of spalling when fired at thin hulls…its why its less than useful vs IFVs and APCs) like taking out engines

Phillip Johnson

There are 3 possible explanations for the Polish involvement:

  1. That the Polish involvement is what it is claimed to be, ramp up work for their own T31’s.
  2. A indication that there is simply not enough fabrication capability in the UK to support planned shipbuilding and little prospect of increasing it, or
  3. They need to use cheaper Polish labor to keep the project on budget even at this early stage.

Time will tell, but 2 and 3 have some interesting implications.

pjh

It’s 1% Polish involvement….. get with the plot.

Phillip Johnson

Its block fabrication, without the blocks turning up when and where you want them and to the right build quality what you have got a delayed project and warehouses full of boxed equipment. Even if they are only a small fraction of the total cost.

Jon

It sounds low enough risk. The blocks are supposed to be for Active, but if looks like they won’t be ready on time, surely Babcock can build replacements in Rosyth and the Polish blocks can give us a head start on Formidable instead. Yes it means delay to ship 2, but that should be temporary and caught up on ship 3. I’m assuming Venturer will be already launched and in fit-out by then.

Phillip Johnson

You are assuming that the Polish contribution will not grow as either the contractor’s budget get tighter or UK capability for fabrication cannot be expanded to cope with planned workload,
Time will tell.

Anthony Parry

I always understood that British Navy ships had to be built in the UK. One asks the question was did Babcock tender on the basis of having parts of the ship built in Poland and if they did, was this declared and where the other Tenderers given the opportunity to do the same?
I feel the Government are putting all there eggs in one basket, which in my opinion is not the way to do business. If the work was shared out more with British shipyards then these ships could be in operation much sooner, all built to the same specification.

ATH

I strongly suspect the Polish involvement only came about after Babcocks success in selling an Arrow 140 variant to Poland.
T31 was contracted in a very different way to past U.K. warships. HMG set minimum performance requirements and a maximum price then left it up to the bidders to meet them as they saw fit. So Babcock and partners chose the base design, the CMS, radar, weapons, engines etc. They also chose the build method. They could have chosen to spread work around the U.K. but didn’t. They clearly believed keeping the bulk of the work in house was the most economical way to get all 5 ships built in a challenging time frame.

Duker

Its called ‘getting away from BAE’ method, which is more of a US- global business than british these days.
Wait till election comes nearer and BAE will start waving the shroud over possible closure of its naval shipbuilding yards unless…

AlexS

It is more efficient to give a smaller set of whole production to Poland than to give a larger set of only their order.

rmj

so Argies get a couple of new French/ German subs…would we send down a t31? nope. Would we send a T26? if so how many – they become centres of gravity in a t31 fleet devoid of ASW

X

I think the plan is to have a underwater speaker constantly blurting out ‘Please don’t sink us, we are no threat to you’ in various languages…….

The Iver Huitfeldt carry one of these Atlas ASO sets………..

comment image

It is rather odd to think that at one time ASW was the RN’s bread and butter. Now with submarines more deadly than ever and becoming more common by the year the RN doesn’t seem to care much about it.

Last edited 10 months ago by X
ATH

You know that’s rubbish. The RN is replacing the T23 ASW with the even more capable T26.

X

So we will have 6 T45 with no real ASW capability. 5 T31 with no ASW capability at all. And 8 T26 with ASW. So that is 11 without and 8 with…… And the Chinese building more submarines each year. Russian submarine technology improving. Never mind other powers like the Indians. And the West’s influence declining meaning more ocean that will need to be kept safe.

Bore off.

X

Never mind we had 16 T23. I don’t understand why you think T23 without 2087 is a poor ASW platform.

Every escort went to sea with a sonar. Heck even Invincible launched with a 2016.

Um. This is my second reply to your childish outburst. FWIW.

X

Lastly a hull can only be in one place. Unless T26 has some magic capability of which I am not aware.

ATH

I’m happy to leave you fantasising about how much better everything was in the past.

Duker

maybe currently 5% of the previous Soviet submarines of the past is most of the reason.

ATH

What exactly would Argentina use to pay for French or German subs?
At the moment, as it has been for the past couple of decades, the biggest contribution to the Falklands defence comes from the abject failure of the Argentinian economy.

Mark

Which ever nation gets the contract is meant to underwrite it according to reports.

ATH

Given Argentinas record for not paying its bills I suspect this “plan” has as much chance of happening as all the new aircraft the country has been just about to order over the past 10 years.

AlexS

Argentinian beef to German submarines…