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Sam

“5x 57mm Bofors Mark 3 and 10x 40mm Bofors Mark 4”. I wonder whether the RN will replace Phalanx Block 1b with Bofors Mark 4 in the long run 🤔 or will they use both but move phalanx to other ships like RFA ships to boost their protection. Thinking logistically and weapons lifespan….Phalanx is getting obsolete due to its guns shortcomings with modern missile threats, might be time to switch to longer ranged weapons like the 40/70 bofors firing 3P ammunition. Phalanx could still serve on ships from the RFA etc whom wouldnt have dedicated fire control radar or search radar etc. The Germans had the Koln Class Frigate in the 1950s and they had 6 modern bofors each and with PFHE introduced in 1980/1981 could have been exactly what the RN needed in 1982 😉 The Argentine Air Force would have taken major losses against that kind of firepower. 6x 300rpm of PFHE is a brick wall of death lol

Daveyb

It’s a real shame that the CTAS 40mm couldn’t have been used and maintained some commonality with the Army’s Ajax and Warrior programmes. I see France will be equipping their new OPVs with the CTAS weapon system. The CTAS has a programmable multi-purpose round as well as a dedicated anti-air round. It’s just a pity the rate of fire is lower than the Bofors as they have similar effective ranges.

Basil Barnes

Thalas has a design in testing but I’m sure it would cost 4 times as much as the boffers Canon.

Ron5

CTAS was all about saving space in a cramped armoured vehicle. Ships don’t have that problem. France, as always, selects its weapons from a largely nationally owned industry on the basis of promoting sales rather than military and financial rationale.

AlexS

Italians had 2×2 Breda Bofors in their Maestrale, Lupo frigates, An Ardito class destroyers had 4x 76 Oto melara and 2x127mm.
I have elsewhere said that Royal Navy destroyers of late WW2 would have made better against Argentinian AF than what they had in 1981 in their frigates.

Challenger

Probably true. The Argentinian forces were familiar with Sea Darts high altitude capability having bought a couple of T42’s which resulted in their aircraft flying very low. Sea Wolf performed fairly well but was in short supply and Sea Cat was virtually useless, often leaving a couple of manually operated 20mm bofors and some handheld arms.

Late 1940’s destroyers could at least have thrown up a much more impressive wall of anti-air fire which would have most likely dissuaded several attackers and may even have bagged a few kills.

Duker

The missiles are always blamed but after 30 yrs ‘challenges’ amoung the crew itself were revealed, including negligence from the principle AAW officer
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/oct/15/revealed-full-story-behind-sinking-of-falklands-warship-hms-sheffield
Amoung other failings at the top were RN command ‘shuffling’
The board also concluded it was “unfortunate” that the Sheffield’s captain, the submariner Sam Salt, and his second-in-command, a helicopter officer, had “little or no relevant recent surface ship experience”.

Supportive Bloke

It is unfair to focus just on Sheffield.

Things unquestionably went wrong but even if they hadn’t I don’t honestly think it would have totally changed that outcome.

There were plenty of other things that occurred where the missile(s) could take the blame.

I can personally say that Cat and Slug were totally useless systems against jets. And as was said further up the thread Mod0 Dart had major failings in the fuze. Mod1 Dart, which went from thermionic -> solid state electronics largely solved that problem. The actual Dart Mod0 missile was fine the only real issue was with the in missile ‘electronic’ system which wouldn’t have much puzzled a WWII radar maintainer. Dart Mod1 was in development before 82 and was put into service not long afterwards as Gunbuster has previously discussed.

I am told, I don’t have first hand knowledge of it, that the later Dart on-missile electronics fits were getting very sophisticated. By this stage it was a very effective weapon. The real limitation, in later service, was the limited rate of fire, due to the twin slot launcher, so it could be out swarmed.

I don’t know enough about the Dart guidance system to really comment much on that.

You can get a sense of how useless Slug was. One was fired off in a ground support role. Only one. Why? There were plenty of them on board the Counties. I don’t think anyone trusted the guidance not to dump it in the heads of our guys or on civilians. It it had been more accurate I would have been an early version of shock and awe to have had each County fire one off in a volley in ground support. Imagine the effect on moral of one of those slamming into the ground ever 30 seconds…..Slug made a very impressive bang.

Andrew Deacon

Sea dart was also let down by the 1950’s radar fitted on all but one of the type 42’s, I think I’m correct in saying that Exeter which had a brand new radar achieved most of the kills credited to sea dart.

Supportive Bloke

Yes that is a very fair point.

The UK had state of the art radar and other tech but not much of it was fitted to anything.

I’m afraid it is the point I constantly make – are you better of with 39 hulks with mostly useless aged kit or 19 hulls all of which are state of the art?

The latter is where we now are with the T23 Artisan/Ceptor and T45 Sampson/Aster

Sam

Type 965 Radar….The Type 61 Frigates during the 1960s had it but also had Type 982 then 986 Radar that was an Air Direction radar…it worked well over land tracking air targets…something badly needed in 1982

Duker

That large 1950s ‘mattress’ ( like you said on the early ships) was used for surveillance, not the fire control which guided the missiles and was developed for the seadart.

Sam

Had to detect the missiles first 😉 then fire control.

Duker

And it could do so ..over the open ocean. Not so good was for planes coming from over land.

Rob C

@Andrew, you are wrong. Both Cardiff and Coventry before she was lost had engagement success. Exeter turned up relatively late as she didn’t work and had been in yhe US flying the flag. BAe rewrote her ops programme to get her working.

Andrew Deacon

Just checked on Wikipedia, Exeter was credited with 2 skyhawks and a Lear jet , so 3 out of 8 (8 kills were claimed at the time) or 5 (later evidence suggested it might only be 5) Sea dart kills.

Rob C

And Coventry had 3 as well. Cardiff took out a high flying Canberra and had an unfortunate blue on blue. Glasgow had some unfortunate failures and Invincible managed to apparently fire 6 missiles at one target without hitting it by all accounts! Invincible had 1022. 1022 wasn’t the problem, 992 was the problem; failing to work in a high clutter environment. It couldn’t pick out the targets for ADAWS to then alert the 909s.

Supportive Bloke

I think you might mean ADAWS-2?

ADAWS(-1) was on the Counties and was very primitive?

ADAWS-2 was on the Bristol and the ’42’s if I remember well.

This is the critical bit that is often missed: that this hand off of fire control data was supposed to be automatic or at very least semi automatic.

In the case of Sam Salt and Sheffield. If the main radar was non functional then there was no automated feed to ADAWS-2.

Manually transferring the data was possible but inevitably slower. And then the 909’s had to lock on. Keying the data and committing it would have taken 5-10s(?) but that needed a predictive point to attempt the lock. The lock then took seconds plural as these systems were nothing like todays computers.

I don’t honestly believe that this could have been done (or at least successfully) in the published timeline.

Rob C

There was a reason, as you probably know why, the I & J band missile interdiction shells were withdrawn from the 4.5″ gun: they were not much good against fast moving targets.

When the AA functionality on the 4.5″ was withdrawn the AA munitions were withdrawn. The proximity fuzes in the standard shells of the time were not designed for close to Mach 1 targets and would have been too slow for the closing speed. As it was now surface to surface it was equipped with surface to surface munitions.

Duker

Mod 0 Seadart was in Bristol only and Mod1 was the CVS and T42.

The Sea cat was quite advanced in the Amazon frigates, yes the Mod 0 missile was ‘valves’ while the later Mod 1 was solid state with a bigger warhead
As for the combat systems
GWS20 the initial system was in T61 and Rothesay T12s
GWS21 in Tribals ( and others no longer in service)
GWS22 was in Leanders and Hermes
GWS24 in T21 was referred to as a ‘Blindfire’ system

Sam

GWS24 was equipped with the RTN 10x Orion fire control radar. The GWS21had type 262 radar and that was capable of blind fire as it previously was used in STAAG

Supportive Bloke

That isn’t quite my recollection when it comes to the missiles themselves. But my memory may be playing tricks.

That is, I think accurate, for the twin launcher and the fire control systems of which I have less knowledge.

Sam

The AAW officer couldnt really do much, the RN cleared the AAW officer of any wrong doing as it was a toilet trip he went on and had been cleared for…the Type 42 at that point had just Chaff to use. Type 965 Radar couldnt detect an Exocet because using the long range comms messed with the radar. Sam Salt was using the comms at the time. Only the 2 type 22s and the 1 Leander Sea Wolf/Exocet frig could have dealt with that missile….this would have happened to any other ship in the fleet. HMS Invincible and Exeter would have seen the missile sooner with type 1022 radar but only Invincible in late May when she had a Phalanx CIWS block 0 fitted could have responded

Rob C

I disagree a little. Types 965 and 1022 are long range early warning radar. 965 would never have seen a sea skimming profile and 1022 would have been lucky to see it. The real problem was that the the main target identification radar in the fleet at that time was 992. It wasn’t up to the job. The 967M on the T22s was the only pulse doppler available. You’re right, Broadsword and Brilliant were the only 2 ships capable of defending themselves against Exocet.

Sam

I know later the 42 had a type 996 Radar installed…was it the same radar the type 23s first had or was it just a duplicate number for the 992’s replacement?.

Rob C

Sam, 996 was a completely new set built for the T23s and refitted to the T42s. It was the RNs first rotating phased array.

Rob C

How can somebody give this a -ve vote? Care to explain?

Duker

Really ?
From the report :
When a nearby ship, HMS Glasgow, <i>did spot</i> the approaching aircraft, the principal warfare officer in the Sheffield’s ops room failed to react, “partly through inexperience, but more importantly from inadequacy”.
Inadequacy … the everyday day term would be ‘useless’

William Pellas

Sam, this is the first I have heard of any RN vessel being fitted with Phalanx prior to the end of the Falklands War. It was my understanding prior to reading your post that Phalanx first went to sea aboard the rushed-to-completion HMS Illustrious before it sailed to relieve Invincible in the South Atlantic.

If Phalanx was indeed installed on Invincible, were there any other RN ships that also received the CIWS?

AlexS

The final flight profile of Argentinian aircraft was at wave crest. Only guns and maybe Seawolf could get that. All other missiles were useless or only could be useful as scare weapons. Unfortunately RN ditched the gun – the 4.5″ being more of a land support item- and went with “modernity” only.

In a sense and now from Argentinian point of view also a WW2 solution to their problems with weapons could have been more lethal:

air launched unguided torpedo.

Duker

The Planes were picked up Glasgows radars , who passed the information on. The Sheffield had a 4.5 in gun which had AA capability, the Entendards werent supersonic.
Any way the report didnt blame the missiles at all. The principal AAW officer was both ‘inexperienced and inadequate’ and the captain and EO had no experience of how to operate an air defence destroyer.
The whole 3 layers of command were the issue.

AlexS

“a 4.5 in gun which had AA capability, the Entendards werent supersonic.”

Are you joking?! what is the effective anti aircraft range of 4.5″ which fires a pitfull number of rounds per minute?

Sam

The only guns in the RN that could do it were on the Tiger cruisers

4th watch

They should have pulled one out of retirement. Why not?

AlexS

The only guns in the RN that could do it were on the Tiger cruisers

Wasn’t the Exocet fired around 15 miles from Sheffield? how a gun can intercept Entendards at that distance?

Sam

I meant about killing the Exocet not the aircraft😉

AlexS

Ok. thanks. Since Duker was talking about Entendard not being supersonic.

Sam

No worries 😁

Rob C

Sam, 4.5 Mk8 was never accurate enough to get a shell close enough to an inbound missile to destroy it. What it did originally have was ‘RE’ (Radar Echo; I think) rounds. RE (I) and RE (J) for I band and J band homing heads. I believe the idea was to detonate these somewhere in front of the inbound missile to mess up it’s lock on the ship.

Sam

The 4.5 inch HE shell used has a proximity fuze….it just has to get close but even with the 76mm Super Rapid its takes several shots on average…that was the whole reason behind the Strales upgrade to have guided ammunition to kill missiles further out with less ammo used 🙂 The 4.5 would have been really last ditch as its rate of fire even with Prox fusing was too slow to deal with missiles like Exocet (Up against the Aircraft sized and higher flying Styx it could probably handle) What you are describing is the Chaff round the 4.5 inch can fire (It had HE with Prox fusing, RE as you described, HE-ER and Ilum rounds) http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNBR_45-55_mk8.php

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam
Supportive Bloke

That is an interesting link. But that applied to the newer Mod 1 where as in ’82 it would have been the Mod 0 Mk8.

So the AA fuse was seemingly reintroduced for Mod 1 which is interesting. And the range increases to 27km with the base bleed shell.

Although what the accuracy of the projectile would be at that extended range probably makes it not particularly useful against moving targets given the Time Of Flight.

Note 1. The HE round is used for both air and surface action with the fuze mode selected electronically just prior to ramming

Duker

The 4.5 in could fire out to 20km or so. Of course thats beyond the horizon when at sea , but the Super Etendard was a low level strike aircraft but not ‘wave skimmer’ as some fancifully suggest ( and with pilots not very familiar with their new plane)

Duker

Avenger did down an exocet with its gun. Have you even followed the events of the era ?

Sam

I know Avenger apparently took out an Exocet with its gun….it had tracked the aircraft and the missile all the way and so knew exactly where it was. Avenger was also a Type 21 Frigate not a 42 Destroyer and on the Seacat mount had a very good RTN 10x Orion fire control radar. Type 42 did not have this. The 4.5 inch guns issue was rate of fire….it had PFHE shells but for Sheffield seeing the missile 6000 meters away how many shots after warming the system up could it fire?…1 or 2…not enough

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam
Duker

A 4.5 in gun did shot down an exocet missile, they are ideal targets in some ways , steady speed and altitude. Repeated again in Gulf War !

Duker

lethal radius of 114mm is fairly large old chap. 14 rounds could be fired in burst mode without gun crew below deck.
range is 22km at 45 deg. The horizon isnt that far at deck level which might be 6 km.

Sam

It depends on when the exocet is detected…by the time the Sheffield knew an Exocet was incoming it was just about to hit and with a 10 second warm up time for the Mark 8…it would have been ready after the ship had been crippled

Sam

The 4.5 inch rate of fire was 20-26 rounds a minute…..you really think that is capable of Anti Missile work? AA roles are specifically Anti Aircraft not Anti Missile….its a whole different level of accuracy required. The mod 0 that ships of the era had also malfunctioned often. The Type 42 had practically no way to defend itself against Exocet at that time…aside from chaff and praying a stray 20mm round kills it…the ship was screwed regardless. Who placed those officers on Sheffield? You blame the officers not the people whom assigned them to the ship to begin with.

Supportive Bloke

I would agree. It was the RN’s responsibility to train and appoint appropriately trained officers. Sam Salt did not appoint himself!

It was and is the RN’s responsibility to fit ships with up to date radars that can detect known types of threats and also provide comms systems that don’t jam your own radar. Those are chain of command failings and I feel strongly that in trying to blame good men for those failings that a grave injustice is being perpetuated.

Sam

Indeed….the failings lie up the chain of command and with the decisions made whilst designing and fitting out the Type 42. My guess would be the RN was short on Command staff for the surface fleet and were forced to grab officers from anywhere they could

Supportive Bloke

I would guess the same

Duker

Captain White led Avenger in the Falklands War surviving an attack by an Exocet missile which it shot out of the sky with the 4.5 inch mark 8 gun”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Avenger_(F185)
I think the missile at low level had locked on another target, but there you go.
Whats this ‘high level of accuracy’ that you talk about ? never heard of CIWS using cannon ? The principles remain the same whether its 20mm or 120mm

AlexS

One has him, before his astounded crew, personally calculating bearing and elevation with lightning mathematical ability, and with the perfectly-timed firing on his order of her single 4.5in gun, blowing the Exocet, at eight miles’ distance, to pieces.

In fact Avenger downed an Argentine Skyhawk among four following behind two Super Etendards, of which one had fired the Exocet. White’s own account, as remembered by his family, was that Avenger’s decoy “chaff” diverted the Exocet. Two of the aircraft circled overhead, then sped back towards Argentina. Another ship, probably the destroyer HMS Exeter, was behind Avenger.
The Task Force commander, Admiral Sir John “Sandy” Woodward, recorded in his 1992 memoir One Hundred Days his belief that a Sea Dart missile from HMS Exeter travelled close past Avenger, and that either Exeter’s second Sea Dart or Avenger’s 4.5in gun destroyed a Skyhawk. “Meanwhile,” Woodward added, “the Exocet, either poorly aimed or unserviceable, passed harmlessly mid-way between Exeter and Avenger… The other two Argentinian pilots .. went for Avenger… Their bombs, however, missed.”

Rob C

If you go on the IWM website there’s a series of audio tapes recorded by the CO of Exeter. Exeter was the first T42 fitted with 1022 and would have had a similar radar signature to Invincible. The tapes describe the Etendard letting the Exocet go. It overflew Avenger. The missile was likely in it’s settling/cruise phase and not searching for a target. Therefore Avenger would have been seen as a wave/obstacle. Exeter was fearful of launching half a ton of Mach 2 Sea Dart on the same bearing as Avenger! The Exocet crashed in the sea short of Exeter. The 4 Skyhawks were a decoy to give the Etendard a free run. I think it’s the Skyhawk pilots who claimed to have hit/sunk Invincible!

Sam

Again the circumstances between Avenger and Sheffield are completely different. 2 very different classes of ship with 2 very different sensor systems

Duker

Sure there were some differences , but with the 4.5 in there were similarities in the guns inherent capabilities to hit a low level non maneuvering target. Was it ideal , probably not but opportunity is like that, when offered you take it instead of doing nothing ,which seemed to be the choice that was made.

Duker

The small cannon need a high rate of fire because, if they have a proximity fuse, it doesnt have a large lethal radius. The 114mm does so, so close enough will do major damage. I would say 5 rounds which can be fired in quick succession.
The Mk 8 Mod 0 had 18 ready rounds, of which 14 could be fired without gun crew in position below deck.
Of course the final defence was chaff , but that wasnt used either.

Supportive Bloke

With CIWS it is more about creating a lethal spray cone of lead that that the missile has to enter so it gets shredded. Rather than the one-lucky-shot that downs it.

Gavin Gordon

One thing very prevalent when studying WW2 fleet actions is how certain ‘lucky’warships were at fighting attacking aircraft, etc or even just managing to stay afloat and return to port when crippled. Turns out the luck boiled down to punctilious crew training on virtually all occasions. No matter the outward sophistication of a combatant, the same basic factors come to the fore throughout RN history.
KRs

AlexS

Remind also that the missile obsession also extended to the British Army,, land based Rappier can be said to have been inferior to the Argentinian 35mm guns.

AlexS

It might have been the RAF Regiment not the British Army with Rappier.

Sam

Sea Cat has to be broken down by each variant. GWS 20 was the original mk1 eyeball guided version while GWS 21, 22 and 24 were radar guided. Radar guided Sea Cats had the same issue that most ships had that San Carlos was not Radar friendly. HMS Plymouth and Yarmouth had GWS21 Cats but because they were old ships they originally had GWS20…they retained the manual system 😉 Yarmouth got a kill with her Cats. Sea Cat did effectively act as a limiting factor on the Argentine Air Force as their pilots attested to. Sea Slug was most definately useless as it was classed as Obsolete in the 1960s. Sea Cat gets a lot of flak for not killing more but you have to remember it was subsonic and had 5000 meter range so against jet aircraft it was most effective only with closing targets not crossing targets. Whats more unbelievable is that the RN used Sea cat to replace STAAG mark 2….a radar guided and tracking twin 40mm Bofors that was pretty much a CIWS. They scrapped it because it weighed 17 tons and because it used vacuum tube tech that at sea was unreliable. Funny thing is a few years later the Eliat was sunk by Styx missiles…STAAG could have shot it down. Hell STAAG would have given HMS Sheffield a chance of survival.

Supportive Bloke

That was kind of my point about Sea Cat.

Yes, I appreciate it had various upgrades to the director systems.

But fundamentally it was a subsonic munition.

So it had a single situation where it *might* work = a closing target. It also wasn’t terribly agile.

If your opposition knew that you could avoid that situation. And keep out of the limited range.

I appreciate that the fact there was a threat of a missile would put off most pilots when combined with Harrier as the Argentina pilots were afraid of getting manoeuvred into positions where they were exposed to successful firing solutions. Where their Evasion geometry was therefore limited.

It was also a perfectly good anti helo weapon.

Sam

Sea Cat did perform better than Rapier did interestingly as Rapier did not have a proximity fuzed warhead. Tigercat (Sea cats land based brother) under Argentine control managed to inflict very heavy damage on a Sea harrier (Level 4 precisely…wasnt repaired fully till after the conflict). Rapier was brand new and the MOD were hoping for sales lol Blowpipe MANPADS also did pretty horrendously. Argentina fielded Roland Missiles which were very capable at the time

Supportive Bloke

I’ve already slated the dreadful BlowPipe on here In previous posts. I’ve fired it at a target so I can claim a good level of knowledge as to it uselessness!!

WRT to Sea Cat the fundamental problem is that at a Mach 0.8 munition can’t really catch a Mach 0.85 aircraft…..the maths doesn’t work……irrespective tube of how good or otherwise the director systems are.

Sam

True enough…it ultimately depends on where the aircraft is and where the ship is. The Fire control issue is relevent because of how San Carlos bay screwed Radar over….its terrain was non condusive to Radar operations which left the RN with Sea cat being the only weapon that could really work there. Sea Cat was better than having nothing but it was designed to only defend the ship it was mounted too. Lots of 40mm/70 bofors or bucket loads of Stingers would have been more effective. You fired Blowpipe…..I defer to your experience then 😁

Supportive Bloke

@Sam
@Duker
@Rob C
@Alex S

We were having a nice polite and maybe even, informed & informative, exchange of views. Then the manic down voter struck!

I was quite enjoying the conversation and getting other points of view……

The bit that irks me is the repeated down voting of referenced checkable facts. Why down vote a comment pointing out that audio recordings exist in the Imperial War Museum: that makes no sense at all? It is a nice historical link to put into the conversation.

Won’t put me off from posting but must just look a bit strange to visitors.

Sam

Indeed…I was enjoying our discussion as well 🙂 I suspect someone doesnt like things that disagree with their own point of view. I got downvoted for clearing up a misunderstanding with Alex and myself.

Duker

It was a close in weapon , not area defense. Sure, a plane heading directly away at high speed and low level is probably outside its envelope, but as you can guess if they want to attack you they can be crossing or heading towards you….. which is what it was designed for.

Supportive Bloke

But you need a long range radar to detect the closing threat……which takes us back to the top of the thread on the 900 series radars!!

And as we have all agreed the only two fully capably equipped ships were the T22 with their pulse Doppler radars.

Sam

And HMS Andromeda XD She spent the war babysitting Invincible and Hermes lol Andromeda had the full Seawolf system but with only 1×6 box launcher 🙂 Type 967/968 was the best for dealing with sea skimmers and radar clutter – also was able to somewhat better detect aircraft flying over land sporadically but thats probably terrain getting in the way, Type 1022 was the best Long Range system, HMS Lincoln with Type 982/986 would have been great if she was there (not sitting in home waters) for tracking targets over land and would support Exeter with her 1022…and Type 965 and Type 992 belonged on Antiques roadshow. Type 982/986 was related to the Type 984 radar HMS Eagle had which was very capable and 3D 😉 They definately needed more Radar pickets in 1982 and the Type 61 Frig was just that 😀 I might be a little biased towards the class XD The 3 Seawolf ships were the best ships at the time….loosing any of them would have been a disaster to which only a carrier sinking could be worse

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam
Supportive Bloke

At the risk of stating the obvious a lot of the ships sent South were, in modern terms, quite small with limited electrical power and top weight.

So the 984 was not going to end up glued atop a T21!

Also the tech of the time didn’t really allow for the function of a radar to be changed to the extent it can now be in a fully agile manner.

Back to the T31 thread: T31 has the growth margins.

Sam

All true 😊 yes…type 31 has spare room. Room for more 40mm Bofors Mark 4s 😁 lol It wont be the most powerful ship but hopefully it can be built en masse especially if war broke out. I am a big fan of Admiral Zumwalts High Low fleet design and the Type 31 fits that fleet build in the low end. Give the 31s a good E/O and FLIR passive sensor system and with the 3 Bofors on the drawing boards they could be deadly answers to the RN shortcomings in 1982 and littoral warfare. Passive sensors will also be valuable for stealth as well 😉

Duker

This was an open ocean engagement , not like some later actions closer to the coastline where land and sea discrimination was an issue

Sam

The Battle Class and Daring 1949s especially 😉 both had 4.5inch mark 6 guns (3×2) as well as 6 Bofors of which 2×2 were Radar Guided STAAG mounts….which while a maintenance nightmare were highly accurate and were abondoned just before Styx sank the Elliat….the powers that be had a system that could engage such weapons but didnt bring it back. STAAG was pretty much a CIWS. It weighted 17 odd tons but for stopping Styx it would be worth it. Its stabilisation system and all the vacuum tube computers were the issue. It even had a small diesel genny incase the ship lost power – Only 35mm Millenium Gun today has a battery for such occasions. The radar it had must have been good because it was still in service 40 years after it was developed (Type 262 X band 3cm wavelength)

David Broome

The 40mm will need deck penetration to be effective. The mount holds 100 rounds or 20 seconds of continuous fire. For the Type-31s, that is a compromise with 2 mounts but other platforms will need a magazine.

Sam

Leonardo offers its Twin compacts with above deck magazines….it looks like a dick on deck but it works.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam
Mark

I had a discussion with a Fkl veteran and a salty sea dog who said well placed barrage balloons around San Carlos water would have worked wonders.

Last edited 1 year ago by Mark
Sam

Lol yep….Barrage balloons would have been effective 😁 watch the argentine Air force fly right into them. An old tactic revived i like it😂

Something different

Good to see this project is progressing well despite recent challenges. I think the key is to ensure ‘scope creep’ does not emerge which seems to have been mitigated by the terms of the contract precluding additional customer changes.

Also the lessons of the Type 21 have clearly been learned; I am so glad that the Type 31 has good inherent growth potential built in.

Sam

Type 21 being overweight and top heavy…that killed their potential. They also burned very well too

4th watch

I wish they would get a move on and name these Frigates. Thank goodness they aren’t going to be City names. Something to inspire surely. If they go alphabetic they will be ‘F’ class. We need to know don’t we.
Ships need names there are so many; I liked the H class. Hero, Havoc, Hotspur, Hardy, Hostile. The Auzzies have Hunter.

Rob Collinson

Budget price ships, so:

HMS Aldi
HMS Lidl
HMS Poundland
HMS Poundstretcher
HMS Home Bargains

Last edited 1 year ago by Rob Collinson
Something different

It’s either that or we could
afford one and a half (max) HMS Waitroses (type 26)?

Cam

HMS we need more ships

HMS bloody hell

Rob Collinson

Sorry, just some Friday fun! No offence meant to the T31. I actually think that these are very welcome additions to our future fleet. It is good to get out of the BAE Systems monopoly in RN Shipbuilding. Also, it will be good to have a Destroyer/Frigate on a different CMS architecture.There are benefits and problems with the whole fleet using the same CMS.

These will be large and effective ships. They will be loved by the crews and will be very popular and well used by the fleet. They will be much more than the critics crowed about when the T26 order size was cut. The T26 is a ‘fat’ ship – it will be a bruiser and very strong and well equipped to carry out the ASW role. Why will all of that be needed for the other tasks frigates carry out, especially as the destroyers will be stretched to meet the requirement of the carrier groups.

With the bigger Rivers, T31, T26,T45, Carriers, Astutes and Dreadnoughts – a significant Main Fleet with an improved RFA and Small Craft update. Not bad for such a small country!!

X

The Danish ships are really nice.

Rafted diesels, a sonar wouldn’t go amiss.

And I would prefer they were called ‘sloops’ not ‘frigates’.

Something different

No offence taken, quite humorous really 🙂

Supportive Bloke

We all appreciate a bit of humour.

Make a pleasant change from how to up-gun the B3 Rivers Into cruisers!!

At Least the T31 has got a lot of space and power for growth.

Gavin Gordon

Time to revisit the names issue. I still go for Leander Class as the HMS designation belongs to the MOD not PLCs.

Hugh Thompson

Significant that the first two are German?
And what about HMS B&M?

William

Where’s HMS Iceland 😠

Gavin Gordon

Has the RN all the requisite loyalty cards, though?

Callum

Hoping that we don’t go another alphabetical theme. We’ve already got D class destroyers and A class submarines. I’m personally in favour of a new Battle-Class:
HMS Armada
HMS Trafalgar
HMS Jutland
HMS Matapan
HMS San Carlos

4th watch

I agree but you are going to upset almost the whole of continental NATO and the Argentinians.

Callum

Not unless they get really sensitive. As far as I’m aware no one kicked up a fuss when the US used battle names for the Ticos that they fought against us, or when we last used Trafalgar.

Granted, HMS San Carlos would probably cause some issues, but it’s also the only proper naval engagement for half a century, and the ships and lives there deserve commemoration. Besides, it’s not like it can possibly make Argentina moan even more, can it?

David Broome

How about the Leander class (not BAE’s but the 8 famous cruisers from WW2 (and may help with the New Zealand connection Leander, Achilles and Neptune).

Ships 1-5:
HMS Leander
HMS Achilles
HMS Neptune
HMS Ajax
HMS Orion

Ships 6-8:
HMS Amphion
HMS Apollo
HMS Phaeton

4th watch

I like the Cruiser names a lot and I look forward to three funnels on the next batch! Orion Cruisers were unique with one funnel.

Mark Davison

The cruiser names are a great idea but I also like the Tribal class approach for a hat tip to Commonwealth connections and proud past fighting ships –
HMS Gurkha
HMS Maori
HMS Inuit
HMS Zulu
HMS Punjabi

Dan

I suggested a while back that we should name them after wartime admirals, so you might have HMS Cunningham, HMS Harwood, HMS Ramsay, etc.

Duker

Was HMS Eskimo not Inuit. The inuit are the northern canada tribe, while Eskimo is now more generalised to cover the other non inuit ethnicities

Rob

Tribal Class

Ashanti, Bedouin, Cossack, Eskimo, Gurkha, Mohawk, Maori, Nubian, Punjabi, Sikh, Zulu

All good fighting names and multicultural for these times…

Duker

‘The Aussies have Hunter’
Hunter was an RN captain (later Vice Admiral), Governor of NSW colony and the name of a river and its region in NSW. They havent used Bligh who also was a Governor though.

Cam

Great, Now let’s get some foreign orders and maybe an extra three to bring us back upto full type 23 strength! .

And Surely there’s some Rich oil nations who would love this type of vessel, they pay billions for jets but only have patrol boats and the like. But On another point Britain has a huge merchant fleet so why don’t we try get vessels built in the uk again.. we need hundreds of new ships every year for our merchant fleet one super yard that could build them for a good price should be setup.

RichardIC

I think you maybe mistaking the British merchant fleet of 1920 with 2020.

Callum

We do still actually have one of the largest registered merchant fleets, 10th on our own and 5th including the various Overseas Territories fleets.

Supportive Bloke

True something that often gets lost in the conversation.

A bit like the “we don’t manufacture anything anymore”

We are very negative about UK capabilities which are actually pretty good.

Callum

A lot of people seem to have this mindset that because we’re no longer top dog, we therefore no longer matter. It’s like saying no teams in the Premier League matter except the top 4

Finney

Good to be positive but we also have to be realistic and I’m glad that the article points out that although “75% of contracts placed with UK firms” that that could well be misleading e.g. an order placed with MTU via Rolls Royce, i.e. the contract is placed in the UK but in reality the lions share of the money and jobs is in Germany.
Engines, transmission, propellers – All made in Germany.
Radar – made in the Netherlands
Weapons – principally made in Sweden.
Combat management system – Dutch.
I would be surprised if that isn’t already already over 60% of the value made abroad.
Government still doing very poorly in terms of industrial strategy despite a lot of talk in recent years.

Sonik

I agree that defence industrial policy has been dismal for decades. However I do think that Astute was a big wake up call for HMG and now we have the NSS it’s still not perfect, but at least things are moving in the right direction.

Callum

An unfortunate consequence when price is the primary driver. I don’t think it’s really fair to criticise the government on where a lot of the equipment is coming from when the idea is to build a cheap and exportable warship.

The reality is that unless we actually get the industry up and going again first, opening new production lines for the guns and engines in the UK would’ve likely doubled costs and risk.

DaveyB

The problem as I see it, it that we don’t have these industries in the UK, When was the last time a large calibre weapon system was manufactured in the UK? Do we still have that capability at all? BAe and Rolls Royce closed down their domestic manufacturing and bought abroad. They probably had clauses that the sites had to remain in the original country.
I t would have been nice to see the ships built with an all UK based equipment, but I don’t think it’s feasible any more.

Cam

Exactly Callum, something people tend to forget Or not know, these ships need built somewhere, even 1% of those ships built in the UK would be a huge boost.

Cam

Yes we do still have a huge merchant fleet.

KiwiRob

Because there is no way you would be able to compete with the Korean, Chinese and Japanese for largr vessels, the Finns, French, Germans and Italians for ferries and cruise ships and the Turks for trawlers and smaller vessels. You gave up commercial shipbuilding, sad but them’s the breaks.

Cam

Also I’m glad Babcock bought that Big blue crane, it went up for sale and thought it would be sold cheap to India or china!! Just like Lots of our other ship yard cranes and equipment!! Leaving 5hem with no future or gear!!

Peter S.

These ships exemplify the decline of UK industrial capacity which now sees us apparently unable to upgrade our armoured vehicle fleet without foreign help. Where is the defence industrial strategy in ordering ships with German built engines,Dutch built combat system and Swedish built guns? The fact that BAE own Bofors and RR owns MAN does not give UK sovereign capabilities. As for the specification, I cannot see what use these ships are. They cannot find and defeat submarines, cannot incapacitate a major surface vessel and cannot perform shore bombardment. They are just oversized OPVs. Certainly, by modern standards, they are cheap. But that is because they are crap. An utter waste of money with the sole purpose of allowing useless politicians to pretend they have maintained the RN.

Simon m

I do agree that we need both a land industrial strategy & shipbuilders strategy and we need to strength UK industry.
But the T31 is the supposedly the start of the second strategy and part of that is breaking BAE monopoly. I think it would be very difficult in the short term to have an instant rival? It also seems very harsh to critise foreign components most ships from all over the world have foreign components e.g. US navy LCS & FFGx will both have the 57mm & are being armed with kongsberg NSM. FFGX are designed by an Italian company? So does that effect American sovereign capability?
I think as to being a waste of money is also harsh, they are to carry maritime interdiction operation anti-piracy at long range & duration.
The RN is only equipping 5 vessels with ISSGW & for some reason those next to the SSN, T45 & 65000t aircraft carrier. The RN also possesses a large amount of GFE that they could choose to equip these vessels for ASW if they decide that is on the mission set. I’m not sure what would be better instead having a T26 doing anti-piracy ops is a complete waste of money & if we bought T26 there would be less ships so likely more would be doing this type of work & not escorting the carriers. In a major operation these would make excellent close escorts for the carriers & other high value assets. At least with the T31 we can easily upgrade if needed. There are systems such as “The Cube” although this is a Danish firm I’m sure an English/British firm could come up with something similar bringing in capabilities using ISO containers.
T26 demonstrates we have the capability for high end ships but T31 shows that we aren’t going to continue to pay any price for these. The decision was made in the financial crisis. Hopefully COVID-19 won’t force similar decisions.
But there is now the choice in the future to grow the fleet either cheaply or expensively or a mix of both.

Peter S.

I am perhaps too much of a glass half empty person! But on your points about US adoption of foreign equipment: the 57mm guns are made in the USA, the Kongsberg missiles will have Norwegian content but be built with their launch systems by Raytheon also in USA and the new frigate will use the Italian design as a base but be US built. Type 31 engines, guns and combat system will have no UK content and simply be installed here. If we need replacements we have no control over the supply. I even wonder if the steel will be made here. I would love to know how much of the total build cost will flow out of the UK.

Sonik

All remaining UK engine factories are USA or German owned e.g. Cat (Perkins), MAN (Paxman), Cummins. MTU engines are made in Germany but owned by RR so I think UK does still have control – and UK factories do exist if ever needed. I would be much more concerned about weapons/ammunition as these could be subject to embargo if supplying countries ever disagree with what we are doing militarily. That’s never been an issue with UK/USA has it?

Peter S.

There are 2 issues with the reliance on key foreign built equipment. First the inability to order replacements if urgently needed( doesn’t matter who owns the supplying factory but where it is located does).Second the loss of economic value to a country with a chronic balance of trade deficit. If BAE can manufacture the 57 mm in USA, why did we not insist on them being made here? Same with the engines. I could understand opting for a foreign supplier to get a unique top notch capability. But we have opted for a second rate fit with no economic benefit. Why? Because only 2 things mattered about this contract: £125m and 19.

Peter S.

Sorry I meant£1.25b.

Heidfirst

I fear that the cost of tooling up a facility to make 5 guns would make those 5 guns very expensive individually.

4th watch

The USA has maximum purchasing clout and their politicians have been better educated and inclined towards a nationally self sufficient military.
All this could be about to radically change if the Trump loses in 3 weeks.

Supportive Bloke

Hmme well making 5 x guns in the UK wouldn’t increase the price at all? How would it make sense to do that IRL?

Why are we worried about making marine diesels which are sunset tech and a commodity item?

You have got to let sunset stuff go. Clinging to it like a comfort blanket is industrial suicide.

RR does the clever GT & reactor stuff.

I’d be more interested in protecting the electric motor production tech in the UK that is used for T26.

Supporting SMR development would also be a good thing building on our tech advantages.

Joe16

Good point about the electric motor tech, I definitely think that could be another (future proof) arrow to struggling RR’s bow. That is exactly the kind of thing that we should start excelling in as part of a national industrial strategy.

Sonik

Yep I agree – the electric motor tech would be a very good add for RR they are already doing a lots of work on electric propulsion for aviation plus GT integrated electric generation for Tempest for directed energy weapons etc.

At least HMG & MOD did eventually move to save the Rugby plant, but it’s unbelievable that essentially it was the trade unions that had to remind them that moving a list-x site out of the uk was a major national security issue…the mind boggles!

Last edited 1 year ago by Ben Robins
Joe16

Yeah, tell me about it! Governments of both sides have been guilty of exactly the same over the last 30-odd years. I’m no great fan of trade unions, but in this instance they did us a solid.
I’d far rather have RR operating Rugby than GE at the end of the day, I know that the concept of internatonal corporations means that one can be very much like the other. But GE has shown a general propensity for not being that intersted in the local areas that it has plants in, whereas RR seems to have kept production longer term. Maybe I’m wrong.

Supportive Bloke

RR’s military side isn’t struggling at all – performance is pretty much flat. Which in present circumstances is actually very good.

The only bit really struggling is the civilian aero engines division.

Joe16

Good, glad to hear it!
The nice thing about the advanced electrical drive stuff is that it has very clear civilian and military applications in the mid to long term, so it could be a winner all round. Not sure how well it’ll feed into the civilian aero division, but the more supporting departments you have, the easier it is to weather a storm in another. Turbofan engines are a really important technology, so it’s not like they’ll have difficulty forever.

Sonik

Not sure if it’s still the case but I think HMG used to own a single ‘golden share’ in both RR and BAE, a hangover from nationalisation in 1970s. It meant that HMG could veto any corporate decision that went against national interests. Very useful for situations like what happened with the Rugby GE plant!
But to be fair I think both companies have done a lot to try to keep the important things going in UK, as well as expanding internationally.

Sonik

Balance of trade is a valid issue but remember import/export is a two way street and overall defence wise UK is a net exporter.

UK is the biggest offshore defence supplier & investor to USA which is by far the largest defence market globaly. UK manufacturing exports also do very well in several international partnerships such as Airbus, MBDA, Leonardo, JSF (F35). UK defence industry leaders such as BAE, RR and Babcock all have very substantial global interests and supply many countries.

Ultimately I think UK (and indeed other European) defence industries have had to both consolidate and globalise in order to compete effectivly with USA and the Far East. So it’s not always as simple as ‘Buy British’ We must remember that the global success of numerous UK companies & UK international partnerships has very much helped to sustain world class sovereign design & production capabilities in the UK.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ben Robins
Sonik

I think export potential is also important with T31 & T26. The choice of premium Vs low cost platforms allows UK plc to attract a much wider range of export destinations. Anything that increases overall market volume will reduce costs which ultimately benefits RN too.

T26 has obviously been very successful with Australia & Canada but there are few countries globally that can afford such a high end platform. It’s great for T26 program & supply chain but further sales are unlikely, save for perhaps NZ.

T31 is cheap enough to attract countries that might otherwise go for an OPV/Corvette, T31 is a whole lot of ship for the money. It’s attracted a lot of attention internationally, if Babcock’s can deliver on time & on budget it will raise many eyebrows because it seems some don’t believe it’s possible or are actually willing it to fail.

So I think possibly the absolute insistence on keeping ‘sticker price’ below £250m is as much about attracting export options, as it is about keeping a lid on RN budgets. If you read the NSS it pretty much says as much that – that RN must consider export potential of all new platforms – but of course it works both ways!

IMO the possibility with T31 to sell & replace RN ships on much shorter lifetimes e.g. 10 years is also very sensible. Because by default, countries which purchase ex RN ships get brought into the UK programs for weapons, CMS, radar etc. which can lead to support contracts and further sales. Examples are Chile with CAMM for their type 23s, also Brasil buying Artisan & CAMM for their new frigates after buying HMS Ocean.

So UK plc benefits twice. RN gets an up to date fleet, avoiding costly refits, and UK gets a more diversified user base for platforms such as CAMM, Artisan, which should ultimately make it cheaper & more sustainable for the RN too.

David Broome

NZ will not buy the Type-26. Its budget may be £1bn all up so maybe three Type-31s. The Meko 200 has just undergone a mid life refit so will not be replaced until the 2030s

Sonik

Yeah for NZ the timing will be good to slot into tail of UK T31 program, perhaps also a contender for UK builds, because NZ don’t have own yards big enough.

Duker

Good point. They are converting their Meko/Anzacs to Seaceptor, and dont carry harpoon. The size of the T31 would appeal and maybe can carry over the 5in from the Anzac…depends

Ron5

@Sonik

“So I think possibly the absolute insistence on keeping ‘sticker price’
below £250m is as much about attracting export options, as it is about
keeping a lid on RN budgets”

No, it was 100% about the UK budget.

Ron5

The guns for the Type 31’s will be made in Sweden not the US

X

 

Last edited 1 year ago by X
Ron5

Best comment you have ever made!

Paul.P

Designing and building quiet ASW ships like T26 is a circus act; you buy on supplier expertise. GP and patrol frigates like T31 are a commodity. You buy on competitive price.

AlexS

“As for the specification, I cannot see what use these ships are.”

Yeah , there is a sense of that i get too. I think there was a mistake of making Type 26 as the ASW vessel instead of an overall combatant with abundant strike cell missiles.
T31 instead should have been the RN ASW vessel.

Ian Legg

Come on they will never be used in a war, it’s all postering re Russia and China trying to pretend we’re still in the major league. In the South Atlantic
we had plenty of hulls but pathetic weaponry, think of GPMG lashed to railings as anti aircraft cover. You can talk all you want about desirable weapons fit but you’re just whistling in the dark because the boogie man is
real and armed to the teeth.

David Broome

I disagree completely. These are powerful warships with margin for growth and a means to increase surface combatant numbers. For too long we’ve obsessed about cutting edge that saw the Type-45 go from 12/8/6 hulls. The Type-26 from 13 to 8, again, due to cost. The better comparison are the make-work Batch II Rivers that cost almost the same as a Type-31. What an opportunity cost.

From the stand point of 2020, it looks like 5/8 Type-31s are a possibilty if costs can be controlled. With open architecture it means we can bring weapons to the ship and to see the surface fleet grow. For once I am optimistic.

AlexS

David Broome in first read of your text i had a vision that i have read “these are peaceful warships” … 🙂

The only offensive thing they have is the helicopter, in an age of hundreds of drones – see the Turkish UAV and Israeli loitering Harop in Nagorno Karabach for a taste of the future – 12 Sam and short range guns do not cut it. There is need of a ceiling at least +6km to intercept drones.

David Broome

Have you heard of Electronic Warfare? Drones are jammable. I also suggest you look at the substantial growth margins and what the parent design features in terms of armament. The 57mm is a good option if NGS is not envisaged and is in fact superior to a 76mm. In combination with the 40mm it creates a wall of steel.

Offensively, Block II+ kits for Harpoon off the Type-26 as they
retire, creates a credible SSGW and creates a land attack option. My big worry is 12 Seaceptor when 24 ought to be a minimum. Still space, weight and a CMS that can accommodate it and more.

Hugh Thompson

In what way is the statement ‘NGS is not envisaged’ compatible with ‘warship’? Of what use is the pop gun? If the RM are to conduct an opposed beach landing (it’s what they do) NGS is essential otherwise you have Gallipoli all over again ( I knew an ex RM old boy who was there, believe me, his description of it wasn’t ‘what good looks like’).
So we have a platform with whizzy integrated electronics, a lovely power plant, a few SAM, lots of toys, and you can land a Chinook on it (will really impress the politicians, but why? – apart from enabling rapid resupply of Nutty) but basically it can’t do anything useful without adult supervision.
What’s its mission or role, otherwise than bumping up hull numbers and becoming a liability? What’s it actually for? It has all the features of Fisher’s description of the navy he took on as one ‘that could neither fight nor run away’.
A complement of sailors would be far better employed in a ship that could do something useful.
Names have been suggested, how about:
HMS Oh God, One of Those
HMS If Only
HMS What Were Their Lordships Thinking
HMS Waitwhat
HMS Is That All We Have
Etc.

Rentaghost

With the T31, I could see it doing a couple of roles. Primarily I suppose it is good for singleton deployments, particularly as a tanker escort in the Straits of Homuz. It has a good weapon fit for fighting off fast attack craft and drones and is good base for a couple of Wildcats which are well armed for surface action against small attack craft as well. Sea Ceptor is far from being a point defence weapon and provides a reasonable local area defence for other ships in a closed in, littoral zone.

The other job I think it’d be good for is as a Carrier goal keeper. Both the 57 and 40mm guns can, I believe, be configured with various smart munitions that allow it to act effectively in the anti air/missile role with a longer range and heavier punch against supersonic missile threats than can be provided by Phalanx. Thus it could provide a decent close in layered defence between Sea Viper/Sea Ceptor and Phalanx.

Sonik

Agree with both examples, also excellent for drug busts & counter piracy with the boats, guns & a generous EO fit.

T31 weapons fit has to be considered in the context of roles and how it fits into deployments alone or alongside other platforms. RN thinking with this is far more joined up than is obvious.

T31 armament appears to be light, but that’s the whole point – it adds defensive capabilities that do not really exist elsewhere in the fleet, and which are very relevant for some current threats.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ben Robins
AlexS

“It has a good weapon fit for fighting off fast attack craft and drones”

Not even close.

Point 1
57mm does not have ceiling to fight drones that pluck missiles down.

Point 2
it will have to face hundred of drones or even a thousand in near future.

In Ormuz not even a Arleigh Burke is safe. Iranians have land based torpedo launchers, underground missiles and lots of decoys.
Ormuz needs a prepared operation otherwise is suicide.

I don’t think people realize what is coming. Turkey in last operations in Syria employed almost 200 drones.

donald_of_tokyo

Hundreds of air-drones over land. Yes, it is a problem. Army and Marine must think of it (and I also think “soft-kill” is important).

Hundreds of air-drones over blue water? Yes, it will come soon, but not now. Long range flight and communication are expensive. Also, cheap communication is vulnerable so in that case, “soft-kill” is the way to go.

But, is this a threat a single GP frigate shall handle? If it is in the gulf, it is AirForces’ task to SEAD these assets. If anymore is needed, it will be a flight of anti-air-warfare drones (in future).

On Ormuz, you are talking about assets for real hot war (attacking ships “in number” is equivalent to declaring a war). If it comes to real hot war, all those threat must be handled with the force as a whole. Hundreds of TLAM, powerful jamming, hundreds of stealth fighters’ attack. Among those fleet of assets, AEGIS destroyer exists as “one of the assets”, and not required to withstand it alone.

What about T31? I think, in real hot war, T31’s task is to cover the logistic backend, not in frontline. Does this mean T31 is useless? Far from it. I understand T31 is there is cover the peacetime patrol and part of the grey-zone period.

Several air-drones and/or dozens of fast boats simulate attacking her, or fisher-boat pretending terrorists, are the main threat. And T31 will not be cleared to fire anything until the last moment = in close distance. At least, 1x 57mm 3P gun and 2x 40mm 3P guns look to me making T31 optimized to handle these threats.

12 CAMM is covering the task for SeaRAM on USN LCS and other navies’ ships (although CAMM is has longer-range and more capable). I think it is to handle “sudden attack with a few hi-end ASMs”, which sometime happens in the Gulf.

Carrying 5inch gun with high-altitude AAW guided munition, is, mounting expensive asset with expensive munition, with questionable capability. Flying a few long-endurance anti-air-tasked drones and firing micro-missiles from them will be much more cheap and flexible (can be forward deployed).

DaveyB

Following the recent trials in the US with hypersonic projectiles (sabot). I believe we will see a renaissance with larger calibre weapon systems. The current 5″ Mk45 fires a 70 lbs shell at Mach 2.2, for a rough distance of 13 miles (unassisted). The hypersonic sabot is 20 lbs and flies at Mach 7 for a distance of 50 miles. Then just last month (September) they proved that the hypersonic round fired from a 155mm Paladin could shoot down a BQM-167 target drone at 40 miles.

What wasn’t clear in this recent trial, was the height of the interception. The other the question is, was the engagement just a predicted flight path interception, or is the sabot guided, much like the Leonardo Dart?

Regardless, the hypersonic round may be the answer that the Navy needs for a cheap but very effective method of dealing with any airborne threats at large distances from the ship. Now if we could make Mk45 cheaper…….

Last edited 1 year ago by DaveyB
donald_of_tokyo

Thanks.

I agree hypersonic rounds are “interesting”, but surely it will never be cheap. And anyway, it will be a decade from now.

We know land-attack guided-rounds for 5inch gun appeared a decade ago, but still not widely used. Anti-drone tactics study will improve dramatically within a decade. We do not know the hyersonic rounds are the answer.

# Also, it is great RN has a possibility using it from T26.

But anyway, long-range munitions are useless in most of the cases for peace-time patrol because of ROE. So, T31 with 57mm gun + 40mm guns = making her a close-in-defense specialist looks still relevant for me.

Please note I am NOT saying 5inch gun is bad. But, I do think adding a 5 inch gun will mean deleting not only the 57mm gun, but also the 12 CAMM, because of cost. Added with guided-hyper-sonic rounds, I’m not surprized even if one whole hull needs to be deleted. How to aim it, how to guide it, there are many many additions to make it work, not just munitions, and all of them is expensive, for sure.

Last edited 1 year ago by donald_of_tokyo
DaveyB

Yes, I agree to a point, any guided round will be more expensive than a dumb round. BAe are quoting a price of $85,000, which I admit is quite expensive, but still massively cheaper than a guided surface to air missile. With the push from the US Navy I would expect to see the HVP round being used sooner rather than later, perhaps as in little over 5 years. They have been doing trails with the HVP since 2019. The current HVP is designed to attack individual targets.

I can foresee that as swarming technology becomes more widespread and capable, there will be a need to better counter the threat. It may be that the HVP round could be developed into a cluster munition giving it a bigger effective kill area when it detonates near a swarm. If drone swarms do become more of a threat, I think autocannons will still have their part to play. The issue being is the range that the swarm is engaged at.

David Broome

NGS is centred on the Type-45 but especially the Type-26, with its 127mm capable of firing extended range munitions. If you carry land attack SSGW there’s no point putting the ship in close proximity of shore batteries (artillery or missiles). The Type-31 are also general purpose frigates and due to this, gun systems are inherently defensive but capable out to 10km. That’s why equipping them with SSGW, a compact towed sonar array and ASW torpedos, matters.

William

There’s always a lot more capabilities on
a RN than is advertised. A friend of mine who is a current captain of a RN ship, is very confident that capabilities are beyond what is in the public domain, but that’s only his opinion….

D J

David

I don’t get your comment re the 57mm being superior to a 76mm. In what way?

Both have similar programable rounds available. Both have guided AA rounds available. A 76mm Super Rapid can put a greater weight of shell in the air in a given period of time than a 57mm can. A 57mm can only fire continiously for a very short period of time before it overheats & has to stop & cool down. The main downside to a 76mm is the extra maintenance required due to its water cooled barrel. The Super Rapid gives some NGS options including 40km Volcano rounds. The 57mm is also a rather poor performer in anti surface against much more than a patrol boat & T31 has no AShM, so main gun is only option.

AlexS

There are no guided rounds available for 57 yet i think.
The 76 guided rounds are already installed in Italian Horizons some FREEM.

BigH1979

I hope the governments thinking goes something like this….. Lets low spec the frigate and make sure it gets built for 250m by Babcock. Then maybe we can look at uparming it as a seperate rolling contract. This could be a competitive tender to any other British supplier.

All this rather than giving a high spec Type 26 style contract to a single supplier.

You never know, might be the smartest thing they ever did!

Supportive Bloke

It might well be *if* it gets a decent sized capable ship into the water on time and budget.

The thing is once you have the ship out of the tender clutches of the yard you can then get other to fit the FFBnW kit on a separate fixed price contract.

As in any contract you pay a % to the main contractor for the ‘risk’ and ‘project costs’ of every item that is installed in the yard. This can be 20-40% depending on contract structure.

Keeping the initial build simple is a very *good* idea.

I’m sort of sad that we didn’t use electric propulsion as this make the T31 odd one out as QE, 45, 26 all use electric final drive. But it again is the cost/complexity matrix.

If you want genuinely fixed costs you have to have a genuinely fixed design and *fixed risk*.

Paul.P

I don’t think there was any great conspiracy or masterplan. I think the way it went down was just that there came a point in the T26 project when it became clear, after a lot of delays , replanning etc that the MOD / RN/ BAe ‘team’ had so overspent the T26 budget that 13 T26 was not affordable; that 8 T26 was an acceptable bare minimum and that when you divided the remaining budget by 5 in order to maintain the magic number of 13 frigates you get £250m a piece. That focussed the mind on optimising the role of the ship, Aldi levels of choice and vale for money and growth potential. Result ; Arrowhead built by Babcock.
No offence intended to Aldi. I shop there. Excellent quality products.

donald_of_tokyo

Babcock’s movie clip is there, I understand (one of) the source of this article.

https://www.babcockinternational.com/news/type-31-progress-update/

1: On 08:07, we confirm there is only one boat bay port side = 3 boats, also confirmed in the image on 10:54. So, it is not 4 boats. Also, they clearly state “no change” anymore, which means, 1x 57mm, 2x 40 mm, 12x CAMM is what T31 will have.

2: Their digital designing, building, software including VR, all look similar to those provided by BAES. (not saying the same software but) it looks like these digital way is farely common in new generation ship-building.

3: Overall, it is always good to see front-line engineers explaining their job with passion. I really hope BAES do the same for their Type-26 build.

4: Interestingly, the ship delivery and in-service time is the same to T26, deliver on 2025, and in-service on 2027. This means, frigates “in hand of” (not in service) of RN will be as such:
end of 2022 = 13 T23
end of 2023 = 12 T23
end of 2024 = 11 T23
end of 2025 = 12 (10 T23, 1 T26, 1 T31)
end of 2026 = 12 (9 T23, 1 T26, 2 T31)
end of 2027 = 13 (8 T23, 2 T26, 3 T31)
end of 2028 = 14 (7 T23, 2 T26, 5 T31)
end of 2029 = 14 (6 T23, 3 T26, 5 T31)
….

Don

Thanks for the link.

I think it could be 24 camm🤞
See model below.

https://mobile.twitter.com/Amalgammodels/status/1305923999617212416

David Broome

Wow you are right. Cause for optimism?

Ron5

Thank you for posting the link Donald-san. Bae has indeed done a similar Type 26 video with the engineers, project manager and Royal Navy talking about their ship. Still available on YouTube.

In the Babcock’s video graphic showing the Type 31 configuration, they list the ability to carry 3 Pacific 24 RHIB’s which confirm the 3 boat bays. Also top speed is 26.1 knots, a reduction I think.

12 CAMM are shown.

Glass Half Full

I don’t know what to make of the infographic Babcock included in their video. It lists a maximum 26.1kn speed, but the T31 order to Rolls includes 4x diesels, of similar power to the Iver Huitfeldt class, which supports 30kn maximum speed. The infographic contains a typo regrading the boat bays, switching the port and starboard 1x and 2x splits. Range also seems to be sandbagged at >7000nm, given IH range of >9000nm at 18kn. Presumably the 6.65m draft is also at maximum displacement, given in standard fit the T31 should displace less with lighter armament and sensors than IH.

Ron5

Or maybe the Danes exaggerated the performance of their ships just as they’ve exaggerated the low cost of building them?

Glass Half Full

Doubt it. 32MW+ is consistent with higher speed. Point class is capable of ~22kn with ~16MW.

Ron5

Doesn’t really work like that, hull resistance grows exponentially by the powers of 2, 3, 4 etc when the ship gets into those higher speeds. So doubling the Points power wouldn’t get them to 30 knots.

Glass Half Full

Yes, I appreciate that. An IH can cruise on one engine at 18kn, with 2x it can get to 24kn; that’s why I used the Point class at 22kn as a conservative comparison for speed using 2x similar diesels in a non-high performance hull. To get from 24kn to 30kn takes the additional 2x diesels for just 6kn extra, to address the hull resistance you noted.

Ron5

Doubling power at 24 knots would probably get you 28. But let me not undermine your main point that the infographic is puzzling. I agree that 26 knots seems too low. I don’t understand it either.

Sonik

IIRC the different figures for top speed & range relate to displacement which includes fuel.

The Danish figures are for IH with displacement as-built, max speed with part fuel load OR max range with full fuel load at a lower speed.

Babcock I think are being much more conservative by quoting absolute worst case all ways I.e. max top-weight, max displacement, max fuel load & end of life machinery.

Engines are same model same size just updated version. So T31 should actually outperform IH because not so much weight on top. RN seems to prefer to under quote top speed see also Astute & QE as recent examples.

Ron5

This is all speculation by you rather than fact.

Sonik

Yep…hence the qualification IIRC!

Sonik

But the basic points being:
1) more weight increases displacement.
2) a hull sat lower in the water has more resistance hence lower top speed (and indeed lower range)
3) Fuel has weight
4) 9000nm worth of fuel is quite a lot

These are facts, no?

But I’m sure I also read somewhere that the 30Kn max speed quoted for IH was with minimal loading & fuel…but I might well have imagined that LOL I can’t find the quote!

Ron5

Grass is green, the sky is blue, therefore the IH goes 30 knots. Good argument.

Sam

Just to chime in here….the Royal Navy has built slower ships before in the 1950s. The Type 41 and Type 61 frigates which had a top speed in the 24 knot range due to their use of pure diesel power ( ie not CODAG, CODOG etc). They did have a range of 7500 kmiles at 16 knots…which is quite high 😊

Don

With the transition to drones for minewarfare a reduction in Minewarfare fleet size seems likely. This reduction would give headroom for a second batch of T31. The Minewarefare capabilty being deployable from assorted RN ships through Mission bays and perhaps even of the Batch 2 Rivers waist and flight deck with its crane.

X

And what about the work these assorted ships, growing ever fewer in number, should be doing?

Drones are decades away from being the answer.

Last edited 1 year ago by X
David Broome

They’re here and they aelre in production.

X

Not working how many here think they are. Far from it.

Kevin Hastie

I thought Cammel Laird were involved with the Type 31 at Birkenhead…..where did I get that from?

Sonik

Original Babcock bid included H&W, Ferguson and Appledore, interestingly all three of which went under in the meantime! Ferguson got nationalised and the other two are now under common ownership.

Challenger

Cammel Laird were part of BAE’s bid with their Leander frigate design which lost out to Babcock with Arrowhead.

To be honest it’s now looking almost certain that the Future Solid Support ship contract will be awarded to the UK consortium bid which includes CL as the main yard so they will hopefully have plenty of work for a number of years to come.

Sonik

There’s nothing to stop CL bidding for type 31 block subcontracts, Babcock CEO John Howie said as much – it’s not limited to the consortium members.

FSS I think is still wide open could go a number of ways, but increasingly looking like multiple UK yards should at least get a slice. And big ships so plenty opportunity to share workload.

Ron5

Babcock’s clearly had a cost figure for the blocks in order to bid for the contract and from their video, it seems they expect them to be manufactured somewhere other than Rosyth. But no contracts have been awarded to other shipyards for their construction. What if no one can meet Babcock’s price? What then?

Sonik

T31 is a fixed price contract so Babcock would have to suck it up. They are big enough to absorb such losses which is part of the reason they won the bid. But I think they have done their homework on costs so it’s not going to be an issue.

Ron5

It’s not Babcock’s homework that’s at issue and unless you work for them, your confidence doesn’t mean much does it?

It’s the homework of the suppliers that would build the blocks. Whoever that might be.

I’m not so sanguine about Babcock’s swallowing any losses. They’re not that kind of company as any student of their history would quickly learn.

Supportive Bloke

There are a lot of firms with laser/water jet cutting, rolling and welding kit these days.

My **guess** if this true is that they have gone outside the traditional supply chain.

I had an architectural curved steel staircase made a few months ago. A few years ago this would have cost ££££stupid it was reasonably priced and beautifully accurate and finished. I know it isn’t the same as building a whole warship but 3D CNC steel fabrication is out there in a lot of places.

Sonik

I think that’s the whole point of using block build. Some of the smaller yards and other suppliers are not just doing MOD work.

This makes them more efficient because they deliver higher volumes and they also have to be very competitive to win the less lucrative commercial work

Ron5

Who are you thinking of?

Ron5

Well that was one of the NSS ideas, get non-shipyard box builders to bid on the work.

Trouble is that blocks are fitted out out to a very high level these days, they are not empty boxes by any means, and it’s not clear that manufacturers other than shipyards have those skills.

Challenger

Fantastic to see Babcock investing in the manufacturing capabilities at Rosyth and hear some real ambition to capitalise on what they’ve started with a longer term plan to foster exports.

They have been pretty sensible in choosing a tried / tested design which has plenty of margin for future growth and hasn’t had costly amendments to suit UK service.

My main area of concern is the increasing talk of just 12 Sea Ceptor which is frankly barely worth the effort. It would only take 24-32 Sea Ceptor to have a sensible anti-air capability and the additional of a bow sonar and eventually some canister launched AShM’s would turn them into more well-rounded warships that would be useful as secondary escorts instead of glorified patrol boats in The Gulf.

The proliferation of gun types is also a bit dismaying as we’ll soon end up with 20mm, 30mm, 40mm, 57mm, 114mm and 127mm systems across the fleet! Surely this can be rationalized a bit?

Ron5

50 million investment in Rosyth is a tiny number I’m afraid, so not much more than the shed and plate line plus, of course, new bike racks.

AlexS

114mm is already legacy.

Glass Half Full

The 57mm has the potential to be a great deal more effective than many assume. For example look at the Raytheon MAD-FIRES program being developed with DARPA. That’s in addition to 3P rounds and guided ammunition like L3’s ALaMO and BAES’ ORKA options.

Naval main gun systems such as 57mm, 76mm, and 127mm seem to be increasingly moving to support a single tube-deep silo to counter air threats, augmenting/overlapping with VL AAW missile capabilities. The 57mm is a good solution for a light frigate and even a not-so-light frigate as in the USN FFG(X) program.

As to gun calibres, 20mm and 114mm will go away when the B1 Rivers and T45s do, we’re just in a migration to larger calibres. Having 30mm, 40mm, 57mm and 127mm doesn’t seem excessive.

Ron5

On land, many are predicting a move back to guns as Active Protection Systems get the upper hand on missiles. I wonder if we will see a corresponding move at sea.

X

The reason why this is happening on land now is because it has already happened at sea.

Brenton Blandford

Would like to see type 31 frigates with a main gun of 12th for more firepower, plus CUSU weapons. Also names of type 31 could be black swan class frigates like Amythyst, Black Swan, Starling, wren, stork, Peacock etc most of which were part of Captain Johnny Walker si hunters group in the Atlantic again u boats during WW2. Believe that the 3 RFA Solid support hips be built in UK splitting the order between Campbell Laird and Hartland and Wolff. Certain lying not Scotland so they have type 26 and 31 frigates.

David Broome

I am hoping the order for 5 may become 8 noting the MoD £2bn budget while Babcock says £1.25bn for five.

There’s a real opportunity here if the MoD could find additional money (Overseas Aid anyone), to increase Seaceptor to 24, buy Harpoon II+ Kits (£190,000 each) so that we can move and upgrade 8 Harpoons on the Type-31 (with I-SSGW for the Type-26/Type-45), and a low cost towed sonar array (Captas-1 is better than none), and mounts for ASW torpedos. That makes them genuine GP frigates with teeth and for not a lot more.

4th watch

I wonder why one couldn’t drop in the T26 powerplant into an ASW upgrade. Methinks the T26 is overpriced by about 20%. I’d be interested to know what the cost would be of a fully ASW T31: Towed array etc to be armed as per the T23.

David Broome

You are adding to cost. If Babcock can deliver on £1.25bn then there is budget provision for three more units. It means sticking to the turn key noting GFE can be added post build.

Simon m

The easiest way to make T31 more capable in ASW other than sensors would be to raft mount the diesels. This is already “designed in” in the parent design, easier to coat build so more likely for a second batch should there be one. I wish NSS & mod etc. Had been slightly more pragmatic with £250 million, but fully understand why not.

Ron5

Seeing Babcock’s are still in the design phase, I think it’s a bit early to celebrate them keeping to the budget & schedule. Good luck to them but they’ve never, ever built a warship before.

4th watch

I’m talking about any Batch2 T31s to make them more ASW capable and generally G them up a bit. Probably not correct thinking though.

David Broome

They are a systems integrator and I have more faith as there’s a 3-ship follow on as an incentive.

Sonik

I agree, it’s also fair to say that both Babcock and Thales have a well proven track record from their work on QE/POW. Very complex ships with lots of new ideas & systems, both delivered on time, on budget and with no serious gremlins.

From what John Howie has been saying team 31 is essentially all the same people who did ACA so I can’t see they will have much difficulty delivering much simpler ships using a tried & tested design and well proven systems throughout.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ben Robins
Ron5

Two things: firstly Bae provided the majority of the Aircraft Carrier workforce and secondly, the carriers were most definitely NOT delivered on budget and schedule. You really need to do your homework on that.

Keep holding that thought that a company that’s never built a warship before, at a newly constructed facility, will be both on time & budget. I hope they will be but I’d be a fool to bet on it.

Ron5

Got some news for you: systems integrating is not shipbuilding

Joe16

I’m a fan of the idea of increasing up to 8, but also conscious that we may not have enough crew for another 3- I see zero point in having escorts with no crew. In fact, I’d rather that MOD spend that £0.75B on rationalising and improving the pay, conditions, and accommodation etc. for servicepeople and their families (across the services). We have a retention problem with experienced personnel as it is, to the point that we often have at least 1 escort out of 13 tied up alongside, it would be money well spent.
As far as cash goes, I’m also a little disappointed that there are only 12 SeaCeptor, particualrly if they can do double duty for surface attack (has this ever been confirmed one way or another?). I’d not thought about upgrading our Harpoons, once I-SSGW is in place for T26/T45, but as long as it’s not too much trouble/cost for having two equivalent yet different weapon systems then sounds like a good way of getting ASMs on all of our escorts. As far as towed arrays go, my understanding is that we actually have 3 extra Sonar2087 units in storage that were never used on the T23s or T26s, so no need to buy any Captas-1. I would disagree about the torpedo tubes, they’re only for lightweight Stingray torpedoes, which have a really short range. You’d virtually have to be sailing right over an enemy sub for them to be of any use at all (and that’s not going to happen, given that a submarine’s heavyweight torpedoes have a range of 50-odd miles), so there’s really no point in having them.
I’ve said it before on this site, the foreign aid budget is genuinely good for the UK (when it’s being used effectively) and the idea that other departments should get an extra £12B when they can’t use what they already have effectively is daft. We would very likely have enough to properly arm the T31s as you lay out from the MOD budget alone, if we could fix the way that major acquisitions are run. They seem to be making headway with the design freeze that they’ve put on T31. But if they have regular turnover of key project team members (as the military appointees often do when they finish their postings) and single year budgets (so that any unforeseen or temporary overrun has to be handled within the annual budget by a cut elsewhere or a schedule extension), then they haven’t gone far enough with their changes to procedure.

David Broome

The Type-31 has increased automation that requires substantially less crew than the Type-23 GPs. Two-three will also be alongside or in refit that also creates an extra buffer too. It is why 8 vessels is my hope and MoD is being rightfully cautious before doing what we haven’t seen them do in decades, increase a ship build order.

Sonik

Crewing factor doesn’t get mentioned much but it’s very key given RN manpower situation. The automation on T31 is great for starters but there are some additional possibilities.

Iver Huitfeldt has basic systems with fast simple maintainability designed in; it’s rooted in the design’s commercial heritage (OMT/Maersk) because in a cutthroat container shipping market they need to keep hulls always earning at sea with minimum crew. So A140 hull technical availability should in theory be much better and easier to manage than a more complex warship.

Somebody else on here made the excellent points, that smooth running ships, good standards of onboard accommodation, permanent forward basing and more opportunity for exiting & exotic drafts (e.g. Counter Piracy/Narcotics, FONOPS escort, WIGS, EoS) should all have a positive effect on recruitment & reduced VO too.

So taking account all above, T31 could have an even more positive impact, on available/deployable RN hulls, than even the basic numbers alone would suggest. Let’s hope so!

Last edited 1 year ago by Ben Robins
Badger.

Yes, 8 would be great particularly if the extra 3 were modified for ASW roles – could they be made quiet enough though? Two worries about the ships, excellent though they are for the money: Only a 12 cell Sea Ceptor installation and Tacticos is not used in any other RN vessel which surely means that moving people around is going to be a problem.

Ron5

The T31’s could be made quieter. They could even go to a combined diesel and electric propulsion like the T23’s. But quietening costs a lot of money which makes that rather unlikely for the RN. They have basic quietening now, so the real question is whether that is sufficient. The Danish Navy with the original Iver Huitfelds think so but the RN has higher standards.

David Broome

I don’t understand that when everyone complains about ships costing more, that suddenly the Type-31 shopping list grows with 127mm, quiet propulsion, Captas-4, strike length VLS etc.

Let’s get 5 and hopefully 8 in commission that allows GFE to be put onto them eg Harpoon after Block II+ Kits and surely, ASW torpedos. These are external to the fixed cost build and a separate budget line. It means we can upgrade them in situ with increased seaceptor to 24 (or 36) and a low cost towed sonar reflecting that she is not a Type-26 eg Captas-1 or Captas-4. Having Block II+ Harpoon more than compensates for the lack of a 5″ NGS gun as it allows for long range land strike missions (using mid course correcttion or GPS).

Yet if we all increase the specifications whilst building them, we fall into the same trap of the MoD with scope creep, cost escalation and an inevitable reduction in hulls. Let’s get them built and commissioned, please.

Don

Totally agree.
There is future potential to upgrade later. With 5 sets of future ISSGW – antiship/land attack missiles and 3 spare TAS (sonar sets) coming available as T23 retires these systems might become available for T31 if appropiate.

David Broome

I meant Captas-1 and Captas-2 and not Captas-4, sorry when discussing lower cost towed sonar arrays.

Ron5

Quietening basically cannot be added after build so if it’s required, a Batch II would be a pre-req.

David Broome

This is why it’s a GP frigate and why a VDS in this circumstance is better over a hull mount. The French have trialled Captas-1 on small craft to increase sonar numbers.

X

2087 isn’t a dear piece of equipment.

Dave Wolfy

There seems to be only EO directors for the guns, am I to consider good weather only capability?

Ron5

Yes.

AlexS

If it is only EO it is a big mistake. I can’t even conceive the thing.

Repeating the USN mistake with LCS

Glass Half Full

The Thales NS100 radar provides surface gunfire support.

Ron5

That’s not the same as acting a fire control system. The main radar might be capable of giving an initial bearing to the EO directors but after that, it will have no useful function. For example, it will not be capable of providing the 4 D co-ordinates to the guns so they can program their smart 3P ammunition.

Glass Half Full

Don’t see why not. NS100 is an AESA radar with 3 windows for gun fire support. With splash detection and Doppler, it can provide initial and changing range to target. As a rotating single panel it cannot support continuous coverage and its not X/Ka band, but that doesn’t preclude it from contributing more than just initial target data. Its not the only modern AESA radar with this capability.

Put another way, if all it and other similar AESA radars were capable of was spotting the initial target, then it would be no better than Kelvin Hughes SharpEye.

Ron5

The Ns110 radar can provide accurate 4d coordinates of a target and, if connected and integrated with the weapon system, can provide launch information and continue to give updates. The radar will be connect and integrated with Sea Ceptor system in that manner. However it will not be connected or integrated with the Bofors 40mm guns. Instead the guns will be given direction from the EO controllers, that’s why they are being installed.

Simon m

In another infographic it shows SWAP as to provide gun tracking support. Added to that the sharpeye navigation radars actually has a tracking mode built in claimed by the manufacturer to be able to track agile surface and air targets

Daveyb

All radars since the 1980s have been “4D”, it is just a sales pitch buzzword from Thales. 4D = slant range, bearing and altitude. The so called fourth dimension refers to the target’s doppler shift. Since the 1980’s pulse-doppler radars were the de rigueur and must have accessory. All subsequent passive electronically scanned arrays (PESA) and Active electronically scanned arrays (AESA) still have this function, but can exploit it further.

Rob C

You see the videos on YouTube and the gun systems always sound and look great. But the weapons fit seems to have a fair bit of overlap between SeaCeptor, 57 mm and 40 mm. The 127 mm Mk 45 gun going on the T26s has a hyper velocity round that might have a range of 100 kms! Wouldn’t that have been a better ‘main’ gun? Feels like the 40 mm and 57 mm may be a bit too ‘similar’. Any idea what the real (rather than manufacturer’s claimed) lethality is against small and agile air targets might be for these guns? And, at what range? You’d like to think that an AA gun system would complent Sea Ceptor.

X

Yes. It’s a mess.

We will have the old Mk8 Mod 1 on T45. A ship that will always sit in the middle of a group and never go near the gun line. This would be a better home for the 57mm.

We will have the 57mm on the cheap ship when it needs a larger medium gun for NGS and surface work.

T26’s main gun is OK. But I don’t think there are plans for a smart version which is a shame. In war it would be at sea and never see the land.

Other countries’ ships are better armed again.

Ron5

One of those ships that will “always sit in the middle of a group” is currently on its own in the Black Sea keeping an eye on the Russians.

A smart version of the Type 26 gun? What on earth are you talking about? If you are referring to smart ammunition, there are multiple offerings for the Mk 45 gun. Rob lists one of them.

X

We probably won’t be buying smart ammunition.

Well it is a good thing we aren’t at war with Russia. If we were it wouldn’t be on its own. Too valuable.

Stay out of the sun Ron5 you might evaporate.

AlexS

I would say that 5″ guns will be important for anti drone work, so they should be put into type 45.

5″ also to Type 31.

X

Do you mean watercraft?

AlexS

No, i meant air drones.

AlexS

You need a gun like that to get ceiling up to 10km.

X

And is this something you have read about?

AlexS

No, i thought it myself.
So the opprobrium should be exclusively against me. Also any lottery prize.. 🙂

X

Big chunk kit to lay accurately even at something moving relatively slowly for an aircraft. Is it that accurate to begin with? I would suggest not.
comment image

AlexS

I meant with guided rounds from a 5″. Like Strales or other.

X

Yes. Why not? 🙂

I didn’t down vote you BTW.

AlexS

No problem.
I don’t care about down votes.

AlexS

Btw the rounds in case of Strales are not guided per se but course corrected.

DaveyB

See my earlier entry above, on the recent trials by the US on the hypervelocity projectile (HVP) fired from the 155mm Paladin SPG.

DaveyB

I have always thought that T45 is missing something. There is space for a weapon system on the hangar roof. Whether the roof could take the weight or would need reinforcing would need to be factored in. But I would have thought the non-penetrating 57mm mount would be ideal in this location.

Paul T

The French Navy have the option of a Mistral PDMS on their Horizons,to me you could pick from as you say the Bofors 57mm,Bofors 40mm,a Martlet Mount,a Starstreak/Seastreak Mount or if you are HM Treasury none of the above.If Money and Technical Viability were no barrier id go Italian and fit an OTO 76mm Strales Mount there,it would be very useful for both Surface and Air threats.

X

Yes the hangar can take the weight. It is where the Italians have put a 76mm on their Horizons. Now with Strales too. One of the features I wish the RN had kept from Horizon were the guns.
comment image

AlexS

Those in the photo are the non Strales guns. They already have been upgraded.

Daveyb

So when the Italians and French upgrade the EMPAR to the new AESA version, They will have a similar detection resolution to the T45, but have a more flexible approach with dealing with air targets, i.e. Aster + 3 x 76mm with programmable and steerable rounds.

Sam

Also Surface targets….would not want to get into a gun fight with the Italian Navy…3 x120 rpm (Official rating…tests went to 139rpm)

AlexS

How much the SAMPSON vs EMPAR matter? or better in what circumstances?

French and Italians would have also the improved Aster missiles.
One of Italian destroyers is already being upgraded, The S1850 radar is being upgraded reportedly for ABM. Notice it was taken off.

https://www.aresdifesa.it/2020/09/12/iniziati-i-lavori-sul-cacciatorpediniere-caio-duilio/

AlexS

Notice it has already the Strale gun turret.

DaveyB

It basically boils down to Sampson = AESA, EMPAR = PESA. AESA will always be better than PESA if both operate on a similar power output. The main benefits are:

  1. Wider frequency bandwidth.
  2. Lower probability of detection.
  3. Much harder to jam or spoof.
  4. Multiple simultaneous beam searches.
  5. Very fast scan rates.
  6. Multiple simultaneous waveform transmissions.
  7. Narrow transmitted beam
  8. Smaller sidelobe production.

The main difference is that a PESA system will have a central oscillator to generate the main frequency. This is then fed along waveguides to the antenna where the signal is split and sent to time delay circuits before being transmitted by an antenna element. Therefore, the system is less efficient as each part of the signal path will incur losses through resistance. Being resistive these will heat up which incurs cooling, thus incurring more top end weight. So the effective radiated power is lower than the actual power from the last power amplifier. Similarly when receiving the signal these waveguides etc will degrade the sensitivity, thus decreasing the range a target can be detect at.

With a active electronically scanned array. The oscillator, power amplifier and antenna element are all contained within the antenna. The actual distance within the module from the last amplifier stage to the antenna is measured in centimetres, so transmission losses are minimized. These are generally called either transceiver modules or transmitter receiver modules (TRMs). Each TRM is an individual addressable radar. They can be part of a collective or operate individually. Therefore, their frequencies can be digitally controlled to either add to each other or mutually interfere with each other to generate beam steering and side lobe suppression. This is what gives AESA radars really narrow transmitted beams. Because they are now digitally controlled the scan rate, i.e. how fast the beam sweeps the sky is incredibly fast, depending on the range, you can sweep a 120 degree wide by 90 degree high patch of the sky in less than a second. One of the other main benefits is that the transmitted waveforms can be of different configurations aimed at the same target. For instance you can use interrupted frequency modulated carrier wave which is good for detecting targets against clutter. But you also overly this with a coded pulse compression waveform, that gives you good target resolution.

EMPAR was cutting edge for PESA systems, it can do some of the AESA techniques, but more slowly and is not as frequency agile. Thus Sampson even being a similar age is leagues ahead in capability.

Yes, the S1850M was designed to have a basic ballistic capability, but it turned out better than expected. Thales, based the development of the SMART-L-ELW on the findings from S1850M. Both the S1850M and Smart-S/L-ELW are PESA systems, Thales have now developed it in to an AESA system, with the Smart-L-MM. This radar has been fitted to a number of Dutch ships. This has an even longer range of 2000nm (published) and has dedicated modes for ballistic missile searching and tracking.

The Sampson radar can do a lot of the functions that the S1850M does. However, having two primary radar is a wiser choice, especially if one developed a long term fault or is damaged in battle. It also means you have two radars operating on different frequencies, which means they will be harder to jam/spoof, but more importantly means that there are two eyes looking for threats (holistically) rather than one. Therefore the ship will have greater chance at detecting a stealthy target/threat.

AlexS

Thanks Dave, It is a significant improvemnt if those emitters can have their own logic. Much more expensive too i guess.

Glass Half Full

The 127 mm Mk 45 gun system on the T26 cost ~$60m each. IIRC it include some ammunition but I suspect nothing fancy, especially not HVP. That’s a lot to add to a frigate with a base cost of £250M.

The 57mm has the potential to be a great deal more effective than many assume. For example look at the Raytheon MAD-FIRES program being developed with DARPA. That’s in addition to 3P rounds and guided ammunition like L3’s ALaMO and BAES’ ORKA options

borg

But surely We could have just fitted the Type 23 4.5 inch Guns as and when they became available ? Might be thinking out of kilter here but, they are still very capable, paid for, owned and under used, besides, they would at least be more proportionate on a ship some 2000 tons heavier. ( hope I don’t upset anyone here, wouldn’t want to see yet another thread get reported and Deleted ).

Glass Half Full

I considered that an option at one time too but the 4.5″ is limited by its ammunition. It won’t support the modern programmable rounds or anything as extreme as MAD-FIRES so it doesn’t have the versatility. This IMO is the most persuasive argument for a modern calibre.

There is the oft suggested NGS role, with people still thinking the RM are going to be doing opposed landings (not even the USMC plan to do that). Regardless, the 4.5″ doesn’t have ammunition with the range to keep the ship out of danger from modern shore based tube or rocket based artillery or anti-ship missiles, making the NGS risk-reward trade off very questionable, assuming it would ever be used versus alternatives. Also an additional manning requirement versus modern automated guns.

David Broome

The RN is consolidating main calibres that will see the 4.5″ and 20mm mounts leave the fleet over the next two-decades. Hoping against hope that the Type-4X destroyer may follow the Type-26 on a hotline to grow destroyers numbers to eight because at six there’s no margin.

Rob C

@Glass Half Full, thanks for the link to Raytheon MAD-FIRES. That looks to ‘up’ the potential lethality of the 57 mm against air and small surface targets but my original point was the cross-over between SeaCeptor, 57 mm and 40 mm. I think you’ve just amplified my point. I wasn’t aware of the cost of Mk45 but what’s the cost of the 57mm – the additional cost is the differential between those two figures. Don’t get me wrong, despite being a missile Tiff, I like guns but wonder if there is enough differential in calibre and roles for the T31 weapons fit?

Glass Half Full

Rob, I would separate out Sea Ceptor from gun systems as it is significantly more capable in air defence. Also for many lower level threats we wouldn’t want to fire a CAMM, even if we had 24 instead of 12, if the threat can be countered by 40mm or 57mm rounds.

So that leaves us with 40mm and 57mm, being relatively close calibres. We could fix that with a 2x 30mm and 57mm fit, but I doubt too many would see value in that substitution 😉 Which then suggests we need to justify either 76mm or 125mm instead of 57mm. A Mk 110 57mm costs about $8M, probably similar to t6mm, but a large difference from a full Mk45 gun system at $60M+.

So then we get into discussions that go back and forth regarding the merits of selecting 76mm versus 57mm. Those include range, water vs air cooling, rate and weight of fire, etc etc. 57mm has the rate of fire and MAD-FIRES will address range and accuracy at range, so IMO 57mm is a large enough calibre.

If we really believe we are going to be facing ship-on-ship engagements using guns, then the answer would be adding ship-launched ASM, assuming using Wildcat with Martlet and Sea Venom is not acceptable/sustainable in the context of the threat platform.

Grant

They do seem to be woefully underarmed. Wasnt the reason T23 had a 32 box VLS because 12 Sea Darts wasnt enough? Retaining the M41 of the Iver Huitfields would have meant these could be used for lobbing TLAMs at people which is exactly the sort of intervention these types of ship will most likely get used for.

Ron5

Just curious, how do you think the Type 31 would obtain target co-ordinates for a TLAM launch?

X

Via a satellite link from Northwood just like the SSN’s do…….

Ron5

From the Americans then.

X

The UK has no satellite reconnaissance. Even the likes the German and Turkery have recce birds. Cruise missiles for ‘deep strike’ are useless without that sort of intel. As for that matter are aeroplanes.

X

Why that got a downvote I don’t know. Ron5 is right. Where else would we get such information other than from the Americans? So why don’t vote his post?

This site is unbelievable.

Ron5

My point is that the US would be unlikely to give a singleton Type 31 launch co-ordinates for a TLAM launch. Such targeting information is given out for large scale US lead operations which would be unlikely to include the Type 31’s.

X

A platform is a platform. A hypothetical T31 with a hypothetical cruise missile in the right place would…..

AlexS

Any drone or recon pod(SLAR/EO) in an aircraft can give coordinates if they are not already in database.

Ron5

If there’s an aircraft there, you won’t need a TLAM.

AlexS

SLAR and EO(if weather right) can get targeting to 100 miles distant.

Ron5

Which aircraft do you have in mind that will be at altitude, and a 100 miles away from a high value target?

AlexS

Could be a drone or a fighter aircraft like F35.

Ron5

Flown from the Type 31?

AlexS

Sorry , if directly from Type 31 would only be a drone in the future.

Ron5

So a drone flown from the Type 31 would fly over a thousand miles to obtain target co-ordinates to be passed to the ship’s TLAM missiles so they can be fired?

Who supplies the co-ordinates for the drone so it knows where to look?

AlexS

Are you being purposefully dumb? You know very well that using a reconnaissance asset depends in a myriad of causes and reasons.

Duker

T42 never had only 12 Sea darts. There was 22 in T42 and CVS, the Bristol had a larger magazine of 38. ( the rear location not limited by the narrower forward hull)

Grant

Thanks for the info, I meant the 6 box sea wolf launchers (my mistake In the original post) Feels like 12 missile VLS which cannot easily be reloaded wouldn’t be enough and is forgetting lessons of the past

Last edited 1 year ago by Grant
Rob C

The original Sea Wolf on Type 22 frigates had 2 x 6 cell launchers. There was a ready-use magazine nearby and a good team could reload pretty sharpish! Including the deep magazine there was capacity for well over 50 missiles on board. The identified shortcoming of GWS25 was swarm attack so GWS26 with the vertical launch magazine on the bow of the Type 23s was born. They then tried to RAS and reload the VLS at sea; a sad failure! So, I think you’re right to have misgivings about the size of the proposed SeaCeptor silo on the T31. These things never get added later. Look at the T45; “it’ll get a MK41 launcher later”. Nope, that budget is being spent on returning the power production on the ships to something close to the original design specification.

X

They used to come in those huge funny cases.

Don

The minimum specs for T31in the RFI are point defence missiles or CIWS not both (see Annex F). The orginal models from Babcock seem to offer both ie the 40mm/57mm guns and 12 cell Camm.
Some government furnished equipment was also anticipated to be added to these ship. From this perspective you could see an additional 12 cells for Camm coming through the GFE funding channel bringing the total to 24.

I can’t see the launch cells from T23 being reused as these will be 30 odd year old adapted seawolf cells and if the service life of T31 runs 20+ years , who wants do the risk assessment for launching a missile from a 50 year old cell. With T26 getting two 24 Camm launchers it may be logical to include addition 24 cell camm launchers in that production run to be fitted in the T31 or alternatively for Babcock to make new launcher cells inhouse.
You may see reuse of the new computer control cabinets for the camm launcher from the T23.

As for camm cell numbers 12 is adequate for the constabulary role for self defence purposes. However if T31 is to contribute to task force operations then 12 doesn’t offer much to the task group but 24 can make a credible contribution.

The current T23 fleet has 32×13 camm giving 416 cells across the fleet.
To serve these cells will be a stockpile of camm. With 48×8 camm for T26 giving 384 cells before even considering T31 cell numbers.
Depending on T31 hull numbers and camm cell numbers.
5 T31 × 12 cells = 60 cells
5 T31 × 24 cells = 120 cells
5 T31 × 32 cells = 160 cells
8 T31 × 12cells = 96 cells
8 T31 × 24cells = 192 cells
8 T31 × 32 cells = 256 cells
You have to begin to consider is the stockpile to serve all these cells adequate or does it need increased. Not only would this attract additional cost in purchasing more missiles but there is an increased storage and maintence cost.
In a world of finite budgets 5 to 8 T31 with 24 cells would raise the total number of camm cells across the fleet from 416 to 504 (5 T31) or 576 (8 T31).
8 T31 with 24 camm would be an excellent result.

Last edited 1 year ago by Don
AlexS

If has said above is true and the directors for the guns are EO only how can they even be called CIWS?

Duker

The fire control is integrated with the EO system
MIRADOR is designed for use on a wide range of platforms, from small patrol craft to large carriers, where it acts as an observation system and fire control director for distant optical investigation, as well as anti-surface and anti-air warfare.”
https://www.thalesgroup.com/en/mirador-electro-optical-multi-sensor

Aircraft have used a HUD for weapon delivery solutions , either designate the target with automatic fire when a solution is reached – the gun can elevate and point differently to the vessel. The system can choose the best solution from either 40mm or 57 mm depending on distance or location.

This was covered last year here..
The Type 31 will not be fitted with 20mm Phalanx CIWS but instead will mount two Bofors 40mm Mk 4 guns. These lightweight 2.3-tonne, non-deck penetrating mounts can deliver 5 rounds per second out to about 12.5km and are designed to respond rapidly at a wide range of elevations. By delivering heavier shells further away from the ship the Mk 4 is superior to Phalanx in some ways. They provide defence against air and missile attack but use the same sophisticated 3P type ammunition as the 57mm so can quickly change to engage small boat or UAV threats.
https://www.navylookout.com/more-details-of-the-royal-navys-type-31-frigate-emerge/

AlexS

So in fog can’t fire against a missile.

AlexS

Apparently only the missiles will be available.

Simon m

Infographic from Babcock shows SWAP radar for guiding the guns furthermore Sharpeye radar has a target tracking function

Ron5

Are you sure you know what you are talking about?

Phillip Johnson

The most significant decision taken to date is to avoid too many changes. People need to appreciate how destructive of production efficiency changes are.
Second point, the following reference is a worry:
‘There is nothing in the contract that compels Babcock to use other British yards to build blocks. However once the detailed design phase is compete……..’
By this point Babcock should have a pretty firm handle on whether they will need to subcontract blocks or not. Pushing along, discovering they cannot do it all internally and then looking for subcontractors is the second best way of wrecking a production line.
I would count block construction as significant risk which the MOD should be all over.

Ron5

Totally agree and furthermore, I do not think Babcock’s has all the facilities at Rosyth for large scale block construction. So if I am correct, who is going to make them?

Glass Half Full

I have a different perspective ref your second point. I doubt Babcock went for this contract just assuming that someone else would be available and willing to build blocks. I thought Babcock already said they do not need to subcontract block builds.

However, waiting until the detailed design phase is done allows Babcock to seek tenders from sub-contractors, with the latter knowing exactly what they are quoting for, which should de-risk that process. If those tenders come in at lower cost than Babcock think they can achieve (especially if Babcock need to add facilities), come in on time or with earlier delivery, and come in without adding undue risk to the overall build, then it makes commercial sense for Babcock to sub-contract. If that is not the case then it doesn’t.

Phillip Johnson

This project is on a very tight timescale and they really don’t have the time to do things end to end.
If Babcock finally decides they need block subcontractors they are simply assuming that subcontract capacity will be available.
These days no company has a work force unless they have work for it. That means that potential subcontractors will have to bid for the work, win some contracts, then fill out their work force with the right people, who are always in short supply.
Engineering is fun, a constant demonstration that you get nothing for nothing.

Sonik

Babcock did build the sponsons for QE & POW at Rosyth so they clearly have some capacity for block build on site. They have also announced investments for new robot welding & cutting plant for automated panel assembly.

As per G-H-F comments I think any choice to use block subcontractors will be down to timescales, required investments & cost effectiveness. The original team 31 bid partners were H&W, Ferguson & Appledore.

All three are at various stages of restarting following recent administration or closure. Many shipyard workers have only very recently been laid off so a very substantial pool of skilled labour should be available for quick re-employment.

In the case of H&W and Appledore, the new owner Infrastrata purchased very cheaply only the assets of both yards, as such they are not taking on the full costs and liabilities of the former businesses so they should be able to be very competitive with any bid.

I’m sure others such as A&P and CL would also be happy to bid for T31 work. So it may still be a case of too much capacity rather than not enough. Personally I hope all the yards can find enough work to keep going because several have already been lost & the skills can be difficult to regenerate, as we saw with Astute.

Ron5

Building carrier sponsons which are large empty metal boxes are in no way, shape, size, or form, comparable to building a frigate block. It’s an undeniable fact Babcock’s did not have the capability to build complex blocks at Rosyth. If they wish to do so in the future, they will have to grow the ability from scratch.

H&W, Ferguson and Appledore were NOT bid partners on the Type 31.

Apart from that, yes, there would be bidders for Type 31 blocks but would they come in at the correct price point to maintain the 250 million per ship and the delivery schedule? That’s the point under debate.

borg

STRN. When you choose to Censor what people post on a Public Site, You run the risk of losing your Fragile grasp on Reality. RIP Freedom of Speech. Long live Great Britain.

borg

See you all later. This Site has been taken over by Idiots, Adrian, mate, you did us all proud . what a fine bloke you are.

borg

.

A. Smith

I’m pleased to hear this news and I’m looking forward to seeing these vessels finally being built.

I really hope that the Type 31 focuses the minds at BAE and that they raise their game to offer an affordable and capable Type 45 replacement. If they use the Type 26 as a base to produce a variant to replace the Type 45 then many of the associated costs with designing and building new vessels will not exist. If BAE cannot offer a Type 45 replacement under £500m then the UK Government needs to seriously look at other options provided by the likes of Babcock and BMT.

X

Using T26 as base you can’t loft the radar as far as T45. You could give them T26 an area air warfare capability see the RAN T26 AEGIS variants (all the Italian FREMMs have AAW capability too). But theses systems’ horizon would be reduced. That’s why the RAN built the Hobarts.

A. Smith

With decades of advances in technology and computer modelling it could be possible to install Sampson on the T26 to a similar height to the T45 and in a smaller and lighter footprint.

I’d also like to see what BMT and Babcock could offer in terms of Destroyer designs.

X

Perhaps, why not? 🙂

I think T45 will be with us longer than we expected.

I am very taken with the RAN T26. If only the next batch of our T26 could be built to that standard. Shame it won’t happen.

David Broome

My pick is late 2030s for the first to be sold after 29-years in service ie Brazil. This means a hot line for BAE with the Type-4X build.

X

Seems a good bet.

X

I would ignore Ron5’s reply. Today a large escort needs to be all things. The main driver with T45 as we have said is the height of SAMPSON. But T45 would ideally be quiet, it isn’t; this was one of the design drivers that it be quieter than T42. An IEP ship should be inherently quiet. There is every reason to build a quiet ship whose primary purpose is AAW as there is to build an ASW ship with good air defence (better than PDMS). Consider the RAN’s Hobarts and their incoming T26’s with AEGIS. No reasons why T45 replacement shouldn’t replace both T45 and T26.

The Royal Navy gave up on single purpose ships back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s because even with a large fleet they couldn’t ensure the right mix of ships. Consider T42 used to do well at ASW.

Ron5

“If they use the Type 26 as a base to produce a variant to replace the
Type 45 then many of the associated costs with designing and building
new vessels will not exist”

I doubt that very much. There is a reason the Type 26’s were not based on Type 45’s. Different requirements mean different ships.

DaveyB

I think the T26 is a very good design, but believe it will be too small for a future AAW ship. By the time T45 is looking to be replaced, can we afford a single use design? I doubt it.

Personally, I think there will be requirement for the future ship to mount definitely one but preferably two 5″ type weapons, as I don’t believe rail guns or lasers will have the durability, all weather capability or continuous rapid fire within the next 10 to 15 years to replace legacy systems. The 5″ gun with guided hypersonic rounds will be available and nearly as capable as a small rail gun, but significantly cheaper. Recent trials in the US have proven that the hypervelocity projectile (HVP) can take out a BQM-167 target drone at 40 miles. The 5″ HVP sabot, as used by the Navy, is guided and will come in a number of different flavours. The trials are ongoing, the next one is to intercept a supersonic target. I would like to say that the HVP can be scaled down to smaller calibres, but don’t believe the 40 or 57 chambers are large enough, but I could be wrong. However, if the 5″ HVP proves to be as good as it’s expected to be, it could work in concert with or even supplant a number of missile systems.

Ron5

“Recent trials in the US have proven that the hypervelocity projectile (HVP) can take out a BQM-167 target drone at 40 miles”

If you believe that (and I’ve seen the video), I’ve got some swamp land for sale.

Daveyb

Yes, I believe it. The HVP round is in some respects much like a further development of the Leonardo Dart, only significantly faster. The HVP sabot round is actually the same one used for the rail gun. The technology is available, including the hardened electronics. The physics are well known as the HVP is basically a sabot, propelled by a separate but massive bag charge rather than an electric one. When compared to the Dart, the Dart comes as a one piece shell assembly, so its breech chamber volume is fixed due to the volume of the shell, so the pressure it exerts on the shell is fixed (I’m sure they could vary the powder content). With the 155mm HVP round, the chamber pressure can be altered by varying the type and number of bag charges. The Paladin that was used mounted the new 59 calibre gun, it also has a larger breech chamber. Because the of the larger chamber size and thus larger generated pressure the round “only” travels at Mach 7.2 rather than Mach 11 when fired from the rail gun.

There have been too many independent reports on the trial to say it all spin or propaganda. So yes, I believe the reported content to be factual and correct.

PS Is the swamp a brine swamp?

Ron5

It’s not about the performance of the gun & shell in shooting a long distance. It’s about the capability of the shell to intercept an aerial target that’s pure fantasy.

Daveyb

I disagree. If we base our assumptions on the capabilities of the slower Leonardo Dart, which has a very high hit rate. Then why not believe what has been published, as it is essentially the same, but quicker.

40 miles = 64km
Mach 7.2 = 8890 kph or 2470m per second
Therefore, in an ideal world, the round will travel 40 miles (64 km) in 25 seconds. if we compare that to the Leonardo Dart which leaves the barrel with a muzzle velocity of 1200m/s. It would take 53 seconds to travel 40 miles (64km) (if it had the oomph to get that far). The actual travel time will be slightly longer due to atmospheric friction slowing the round down.

As the event in September was part of a trial, I would them to fire off a number of rounds before the drone was hit. Admittedly, they have not stated the altitude of the drone or how it was flying. As this was the first part of the trial, I would fully expect the drone to be flying on a predicted straight and level flight path. The next phases of the trial would make the target less predictable, faster etc.

Like I said before, this is the start of the journey, it will be a few years yet before its fully capable.

Last edited 1 year ago by Daveyb
Ron5

HVP’s have not been reported to have any smarts just a future aspiration. All the public firings to date have been of dumb shells.

And even if it was guided, how would it intercept an aerial target that was over the horizon? What guidance mechanism do you imagine it to have?

I have a bridge for sale too.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ron5
DaveyB

It’s simple mathematics. If the tracking radar at the test site was 10m above ground level, the “radar” horizon will be 13.03km away. If the drone was flying a constant altitude of 5000m. It would be visible by radar 304.49km away, but visually 263.70km away. Therefore at 40 miles = 64.37km the drone will be seen visually and by radar. Even if the drone was flying at an altitude of 1000m, it will still be seen at a distance visually of 124.70km and by radar at 143.38km.

Note – the radar horizon is always further than the visual horizon due to the radar ground effect.

Even if the HVP was not guided, a simple ballistic trajectory guided by the radar will have calculated the interception point and placed the round in the right place at the right time.

The guidance mechanism could be simply beam riding as used by Leonardo’s Dart, or it could even be the same type of command guidance that Russia use for the 40N6 missile series that travel at Mach 8 to 14 depending on version. It will have a combination proximity and kinetic fuse. Realistically, the target would have been destroyed by the kinetic impact due to the merge speeds, as it was a trial, it probably would not have had its explosives fitted, as the merge/miss would have been recorded for analysis and adjustment.

BAe have designed and are producing the HVP round. It was originally going to be used for the US Navy’s rail gun project since 2015. The same round fired from a chemical gun didn’t start until 2018, with the first trials in 2019. The US Navy are looking at using the HVP round to replace the long range attack projectile (LARP) that was fired from the 155mm advance gun system on the Zumwalt, as well as fired from the Mk45 system. The main benefit is that the same round can be fired by ground based 155mm artillery but also from 5″ (127mm) guns, so the cost per round will be much cheaper.

See attached BAe data sheet:

https://www.baesystems.com/en-us/download-en-us/20190320154752/1434555443512.pdf

It clearly states that the round is guided and can be used by four different weapon systems, all the way up to a rail gun. Was the round guided during the trial, possibly. But as the drone was flying a predictable flight path, it didn’t need to be. I really do hate repeating myself, but for those who need further guidance, this is the beginning of the development program, so small steps to begin with, it will then be tested against more difficult targets later on.

PS If it’s London Bridge, I already have one of those!

Ron5

Firstly you described the way radar directed guns have been trying to shoot down aircraft since the second world war. Doesn’t work very well which is why missiles took over.

Secondly, I’m not sure your description matches the video of the drone being “shot” down.

Thirdly, an aircraft flying a nice steady course and speed at 5k meters altitude in range of your gun would be an absurdly easy target for any current long range missile system and would hardly need a new very expensive development program to develop a competing solution.

Fourthly, you didn’t read the brochure carefully enough, Bae states the shell is under development. Guided mechanisms fall very firmly in that development category, and the guidance systems being developed are to enable land targets like bunkers, to be hit accurately at a long distance. So GPS, advanced inertial, or laser designated by local ground forces. Methods that are not applicable to airborne targets.

The HVP shoot and accompanying press stories were generated by a request from the White House to show exciting new technologies that would boost Trumps election campaign. All the services responded. This was the Army’s piece. Trump commented on the shoot with a lot of inaccurate claims. It’s PR & spin.

Daveyb

You need to check your spin! It was a USAF trial that used US Army equipment, i.e. Paladin and M110 203mm howitzer paired with a new USAF advanced battle management system (ABMS), which ran from 31st August to 4th September this year. The trial was to test the ABMS more than the HVP capability and was called Exercise Onramp. It was to see if the ABMS could cope with a large number of realistic threats and put in place or use counters to the threats. Part of the blurb from the exercise is that a couple of drones were taken out using the HVP round fired from both the Paladin and M110. In the videos, it shows that both the M110 and Paladin firing their guns in a fixed elevation and they weren’t leading the target. Therefore, it can be assumed that either the guns were fired at the drones to intercept a predicted point where the drone would be, or that the rounds were guided to the target. It may have been part of Trump’s electioneering, but the HVP has been in development since 2015 and in concept since 2005. So if it was used for PR, so what?

Beam riding has been around since they first combined guns with fire control radar. It is the simplest method of tracking a target and laying a weapon system on to it to provide an intercept. The beam follows the target and weapon system tries to follow the beam. Beam riding works fine for close range targets as the beam width is still quite narrow, for longer range targets, the beams divergence means the target’s resolution is not accurate enough to generate a definitive fix. Beam riding systems of old like Sea Slug were hampered by the technology of the day. Big bedstead radar antennas or parabolic dishes generate a lot of sidelobes as well as broad transmitted beams. The majority of guided anti-aircraft artillery use this method of radar guidance as the range is below 10 miles (16km) and lately use planar antennas. This method is used by the ZSU23 Shilka, Oto 76mm, the Phalanx and Goalkeeper CIWS (flat planar bar antenna) use it, as does Oerlikon’s Millennium gun system when it’s paired with radar to name but a few.

Today, the radar tracking method used is beam riding track while scan using a pulse doppler waveform if you really want to be technical. It works thus. The radar scans the area, finds the target. It measures its slant range, bearing, height and doppler velocity. So the fire control system knows it travelling from point A to B at X height with a velocity of Y. It can therefore predict where the target will be in Z time. It will then point the gun at the predicted intercept point taking into account the “bullet’s” flight time. This is where the track while scan element comes in, as it continues to track the target as well as monitoring where the rounds are going. Constantly updating the intercept point until the target is eliminated. From the Exercise Onramp videos, it clearly shows an AESA radar being used to track the drones. The AESA radar will generate a much narrower beam than a tradition flat planar antenna, let alone a parabolic dish. Therefore, the beam’s dispersion over distance will be significantly smaller, so the target’s resolution will also be much better over a given distance.

Beam riding is not used for missile systems, as the missile wastes too much energy constantly correcting to match the predicted intercept point, thus decreasing its effective engagement range. For a gun system it doesn’t matter, watch and shoot, watch and shoot.

The guided HVP round is a cheaper solution to a missile, what’s your point? All R&D costs a significant amount to begin with, but the end product will cost a tenth if not less than a comparable RIM-116 missile, but be a more flexible and capable system, yet will also counter the same threats as ESSM and SM2.

BAe have been “producing” the trial HVP round since 2015. It initially started off as a dumb round fired from the rail gun. It then progressed, when they add sterrable fins to the round along with guidance electronics. The Leonardo Dart leaves the barrel with a muzzle velocity of 1200m/s, but with an initial acceleration of 10,000g reducing down 122g as it leaves the barrel. It took Leonardo working with BAe some 10 years to sort out the electronics so that they could withstand the acceleration forces and hit the target. The HVP round fired from the rail gun started off at just over Mach 6. The rail gun being constantly developed now can fire the round at around Mach 10 with an equivalent muzzle velocity of 3040m/s from a full 32 MJ charge. The initial acceleration forces on the guidance electronics are immense. The HVP round when fired from a chemical gun (203mm) on full charge will leave the barrel with a muzzle velocity of 2469.6m/s. Addressing the problem of hardening the electronics was a major hurdle, but they have done it. BAe have been in the guided round game since the early 90’s.

The Leonardo Dart has a proximity microwave fuse for the detonation of a tungsten warhead inside a segmented liner to form airburst shrapnel within 4-8m meters of an airborne or surface target. A Leonardo test-firing video actually showed the STRALES’s radar guide three DART rounds that bobbed and weaved to curvingly intercept and destroy a Drone target instead of conventional unguided rounds being fired straight line-of-sight and missing in order to “Walk the rounds into the target.” BAe having worked with Leonardo would have used this technology as a basis for the HVP round.

The US Congress has released a report – see below:

https://fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/R44175.pdf

In this report it gives some background on the development of the HVP initially developed for the rail gun from page 21, to what is now called the Gun Launched Guided Projectile from the US Navy’s perspective. The speeds quoted are when fired from the Mk45 system, which are why they are slower. The Mk45 not only being a smaller calibre but it has a much smaller breech chamber volume than the 155mm or 203mm guns.

The US Army have asked BAe, if they can develop a HVP round for their 105mm towed howitzers.

Ron5

A long winded and mostly inaccurate comment. We’ve both veered well away from the subject of the article so we should probably keep our thoughts brief and to the point.

Beam riding is where a radar or laser locks onto a target and a steerable missile/shell with suitable guidance follows the beam until it hits the target. In the early days, most missiles used this technique. I can only think of Starstreak that uses it today. Neither Phalanx or Goalkeeper out of your list use this technique. The shells from those guns are not steerable. I don’t know about the other systems you list. It is certainly inaccurate to say that radar guided AA guns use this technique. They do not.

Strales may use beam riding, at the short ranges that system operates and with a steerable shell, it’s perfectly possible. Highly likely even.

However, I am not aware of any evidence that the HVP shell uses this technique and I do not think the shell is capable of maintaining a straight line course, needed for beam riding, for the kind of ranges involved.

In fact, I am not aware of anyone revealing what kind of guidance the HVP shell is being developed. As land attack is its primary purpose, I think GPS, inertial & SAL are a given but what else seems to be kept a secret.

AlexS

Strales 76mm turrets have radio/radar guidance antenna inside it.

David Broome

The Aussies have packed a destroyer into a hull that’s smaller than the Type-26 (and it includes ASW tubes).

Duker

Essentially same length but narrower beam, which makes sense as the Hobart class has its Aegis flat radar at low level, while Hunter carries its flat plate radars higher up in a large UK style enclosed mastcomment image

A. Smith

In this current economic climate, post Brexit, the need to “level up the country”, create jobs and pressure to increase ship numbers I think it’s highly likely the Type 45 replacement will be based on the Type 26 hull. The French have gone with this model with the FREMM and I think we will too. I would also still like to see what BMT and Babcock have to offer.

Paul T

I think with £500 Million today you would struggle to get a decent Type 45 replacement, moving forward to the 2030’s that would be practically impossible.

A. Smith

The French FREMMs are reported to have cost €670m (£608m) per unit and €860m (£780m) including development costs (2014).

If we assume that the Type 45 replacement is not a newly designed vessel and instead based on the Type 26 hull (sharing many aspects of both the Type 45 and Type 26) then many of the design and development costs will be greatly reduced. Most systems and hardware will already have been tested, developed, upgraded and updated through use on the Type 26 platform. I think the £500m figure is ambitious but also achievable.

Ron5

I fear not many naval architects would agree with your superficial analysis.

Sunmack

I fail to understand the love for these ships. Someone referred to then as a great addition to the fleet. They are not an addition to the fleet; they are a replacement for 5 Type 23 general purpose frigates. And despite displacing more than the ships they are replacing and being a new design they are inferior vessels in every respect; ASW, ASuW, AAW and NGS.

I’ve read them touted as being useful in operations in the Gulf on here. They are absolutely not up to that mission. Without a sonar they are totally vulnerable to mines and submarines (the Iranians have both of these and have frequently used the former). With no SSM they would have to withdraw in any confrontation with an SSM equipped warship (which the Iranians have). The lack of a data link in Wildcat leaves the host ship unable to get a real time intelligence picture of the surface threat beyond the ships radar. And only 12 SAM’S leaves the ship easily overwhelmed by air, ship or land launched anti-ship missiles or a combination thereof all of which the Iranians have.

Unless escorted by another vessel or part of a task group these ships should never be deployed in a medium threat environment be that the Gulf or anywhere else. That leaves them to do missions such as anti-piracy, flag showing, disaster relief, search and rescue etc. Of course, those were the missions the Batch 2 River’s were supposed to do but can’t because they were built without a helicopter.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sunmack
X

I am not sure how T31 with no sonar, no rafting can replace T23. The RN has just muddied the water with this ‘general purpose’ business. How is a T23 with hull sonar, CODLAG, Merlin, and STWS with a PDMS, AShm, and a gun is less GP than a ship with some guns and 12 missiles and probably a Wildcat in the hangar.

The base ship is a great design. But only if it is fitted out properly.

Personally I would have bought 6 Holland class or another T26.

At least it will be able to keep pace with the carriers.

Last edited 1 year ago by X
Sunmack

I’d have built 3 Holland’s under licence instead of the Rivers. They would then be able to take on the anti-piracy, search and rescue, flag showing and disaster relief missions that the River’s can’t do thanks to their lack of a helicopter.
The only contribution HMS Medway has brought to the Caribbean patrol role is to take pictures of RFA Argus actually carrying out the mission.

Sebastian

I’am also a really big fan of the Holland class. But i allway ask myself is a ship without anti-missile-capacyties in these times still safe at anti-piracy-operations?
For the caribeans ore northern sea the Holland’s are great, but for other tasks?

X

Are you talking about the Yemenis attacking Saudi ships? It is a consideration I suppose.

David Broome

Or any state with SSGWs that is most..

X

It isn’t as simple as that.

David Broome

Really, do explain why.

X

Most of the time I don’t know if you have noticed we are not war. And most of the activity at sea takes place on the surface. There is a need for presence and sensors not lots of weapons to actually fight little more than pirates. 6 assets, on 3 for 1 basis, would take a lot of strain of bigger units.

Sebastian

Hallo, yes I mean the Yemenis on saudi ships. Or the attack on the USS Mason, or the attack on INS Hanit. You are absolute right with the need for presence and sensors. But I always ask myself if in near future, in the time of rockets and drones, which are also usable for non-state actors, a medium range air-defence should not be minimum for ships. I don’t think it’s necessary in the Caribbean or the northern sea. But beyond OPV’s? And I really should write in English more often…

X

Could be. 🙂

X

Yes. You need a helicopter. I like the Rivers. But they are a poor package for work away from the UK. And in a way they are too big for work here really as an ideal would be about 1000 tons.

This is the sort of ship we needed.

https://www.fassmer.de/en/shipbuilding/products/navy-vessels/80m-opv

Helicopter and a large pursuit RIB.

For actual ‘disaster relief’ a small landing ship would be better.

Bob2

I could never I stand BAEs positioning of the funnels on the River class. Damien and Fassmer split the funnel port and starboard allowing the centreline to be used for a hanger.

David Broome

I agree. A Holland as Falklands guard ship (with Lmm too), is a credible deterrent versus the Rivers.

David Broome

Do you work for HM Treasury?

That would be 15 surface escorts and 11 OPVs (6 of which have limited weight allowance for upgrades while the other 5 pack a 30mm).

Give me the Type-31 that are 5 now but could become 8.

X

Probably have a better grasp of systems and platforms than you do.

heroic

8 ?

David Broome

The MoD budget for the Type-31 build is £2bn, of which £1.25bn has been awarded. That £750 contingency and the frozen base specification equates to three extra units should the build cost be met. That provision also accords with parliamentary answers about growing the surface fleet.

Ron5

No, the 750 million is all spoken for. Government supplied equipment, infrastructure upgrades, trials, service and support.

Ron5

Yes @heroic, he got 8 down votes.

David Broome

We love them becuase the budget is sufficient for 8 but 5 have been ordered. That means 22 not 19 escorts and these are big units with weight allowance for some serious upgrades.

The answer to allay your concerns is Government Furnished Equipment or GFE. This is a means to add Harpoon as a SSGW if upgraded with Boeing’s Block II+ kit at £190,000 per round. This equips the Type-31 and Type-45, with I-SSGW going onto the Type-26.

As another poster has observed, there are enough Seaceptor rounds from the Type-23, to see numbers increased to 24 or even 32 as GFE.

Precision strike missilesmore than make up for the lack of a 5″ NGS and have a much longer range too. It’s CMS is open architecture and if the future demanded can easily take a Mk41 VLS. Look at the parent design for why we are excited.

For Carrier Strike, 57mn and 40mm can act as CIWS along with SeaCeptor. My hope is that there are surely ASW torpedo launchers in storage to add this as GFE. All that is needed is for MoD to find a budget line to add a low cost towed sonar array like Captas-1 or Captas-2. These will not be on a par with the Type-26 but at 600 feet depth with a VDS adds capability.

Mighty oaks from small acorns grow. Let’s keep ambition in check to make sure we have 8 of them and a model for the future.

X

Sufficient for 8?

Sunmack

If we build 8 and add a sonar, torpedoes, SSM and an extra 12 to 24 SAM’s then I’ll I’ll warm to them as well.

Unless and until any of that is confirmed I’ll continue to view them as poundshop replacements for the Type 23GP’S that can only operate in low threat areas.

RichardIC

The budget is for five not eight.

David Broome

The programme is £2 billion with Babcock awarded a £1.25 billion contract in November 2019. Yes there are costs to come out of that £2 billion but not £750 million, surely.

Ron5

No, the 750 million is all spoken for. Government supplied equipment, infrastructure upgrades, trials, service and support.

David Broome

Have you got a breakdown because aside from GFE (seaceptor, undisclosed equipment off Type-23 and trials), what infrastructure? Service and support is opex not capex. Is it credible to say that this adds up to £150m per ship?

Ron5

You are incorrect, the initial years of service and support come out of this budget as it does for all recent RN ship deals.

The budget includes infrastructure work to be performed at the ship’s future base.

There are publicly available descriptions of where this money has been allocated. There is only one source that says there’s room in this budget for additional ships, and that is you.

Duker

Thats my understanding too. The Treasury likes to have all the development, vessel, systems and onshore construction costs plus entry into service costs all in a single ‘fiscal envelope’.
More money may be ideal but in the current environment that money would have to come from something else.

heroic

You Echo so many others thoughts. I think you nailed it, why are these ships even being built ?

Deep32

@heroic
@X
@Sunmack
@David Broome

My view on this is that they are being built simply because the Navy needs hull numbers. Irrespective of what we think/would like they are going to do jobs that release the high end units T26/45 for CSG duties. Unfortunately MOD UK Plc doesn’t have the cash to procure enough T26/45 which we know we really should have.

Every class of RN FF/DD from the Leander’s of the 70,s upto and including the T45 have a Hull sonar. How effective they are is another question. ASW is an expensive game, which we are good at, thus the Gucci gear goes on the specialist units. So, I doubt very much that T31 will ever get a TA, or MTLS. It isn’t designed as a ASW unit.

Interesting comments around I-SSGW, if RN had say 100 Harpoon missiles , conversion to Block II+ would only cost some 20 million, which is a cheap win for RN. Supposed budget for this is some £200 million, so would suggest that RN are taking a different route with this procurement. I don’t think that whatever the choice is, will find its way onto T26, they are getting MK41 vls, with 1st unit not due until 2027/8, so will in all probability get something that fits it.

X, I know you’re a fan of LRASM, that would be my guess for T26, or possibly Perseus as timeframe fits. Only time will tell though.

X

I am not a fan of LRASM per se. Just that our escorts should carry heavy anti-ship armament.

T45’s sonar is based on a ‘mine and obstacle avoidance sonar’ sold only to Brazil. Fish finders in trawlers sometimes see ‘submarines’, but I wouldn’t use one as my main ASW on a billion pound destroyer. It was penny pinching in the extreme not outfit them with 2150 or UMS 4110 CL. It’s not Gucci gear. I don’t see plans to build T26 in a hull with right angles and no air search radar just because it is an ASW ship. Too many on this site get hung up on terms like ASW, AAW, or GP without really understanding the history of RN escorts post WW2. One would suggest many here need to stop playing Top Trumps with specs off systems makers sites and Wikipedia. If T31 was designated as patrol vessel for peace time and in situations ‘less than war’ then it could do without a sonar. But it is being promoted or pushed as a fleet asset. To me it is more a ‘sloop’ than a ‘frigate’ but the MoD(N) wants to play with optics so it is classed as the latter not the former. This is why I like the Holland class. But if T31 is a frigate it needs sonar. Five is an odd number. They should have bought 4 (2 deployed, one returned / working up, one in deep refit) and used 5 crews and made sure those 4 went to sea with the necessary toys.

Deep32

I’m in total agreement that all our escorts should carry the necessary toys so to speak.
Was not aware T45 mainframe was so poor!

Agree T31 requires a decent mainframe, just don’t see any of the 5 ever being fitted with a TAS. Sub hunting is a totally different ballgame to having a good ASW set for self defence, when on independent ops or otherwise.
I like the 31, but agree that in its current guise is too lightweight. Remember seeing something on UKLP site reference RN frigate numbers, hard to argue against their conclusions about building more smaller units for not much more than 5 T31’s, although can’t remember which class they were proposing. Good article nevertheless.

X

I don’t think T31 needs a TAS. Just a well functioning hull set. They are being built without rafting so only the Lord know how noisy they will be. Once again I have to say all frigates since 12(M) have been general purpose. T42 did well at ASW with 2050 and with the same propulsion system as T22. It is about self defence of the unit (plus targets of opportunity) and contributing to the defence of ships that it may be with. Once again too many on sites like this see terms like ASW or AAW or GP and get over invested in them to be point of being ridiculous. T23 and T26 have stealth upper works, air search radar, and PDMS missiles for air defence even though they are ASW assets. T42 had 2050, STWS, and torpedoes for its Lynx for ASW even though they were AAW assets. All RN frigates are then in that sense ‘general purpose’. Why the RN decided to call T23 without 2087 ‘general purpose’ I haven’t a clue. FWIW I don’t see T45 as an escort per se. Its roll is to carry SeaViper. It should have been a ‘general purpose’ asset like Horizon or Burkes or Hobarts but it isn’t. SeaViper is worth it. But with less than 20 escorts we need them all to be ‘general purpose’. This is what the RN needed. Once again I look to the RAN future fleet with 3 large AAW AEGIS ships with ASW, and 9 ASW ships but also with AEGIS. That’s a modern well balanced escort force. The next war will come quick. We won’t have time to purchase equipment, fit it, work it up, and deploy it. 6 noisy under equipped destroyers, 8 ASW ships with a minimum of equipment, and 5 noisy diesel frigates not so balanced.

Deep32

I see what you’re driving at with the GP designation, T42 slanted towards AAW, T23 towards ASW, whilst retaining a mix of capabilities. Yes for a Navy of our size would agree it’s the way to go. Well hopefully the T31 will also turn out like that, preferably from build!

Always enjoyed playing with T22/42 back in the day, always kept us on our toes. T23 were very hard to play against, but much to be gained doing so, hopefully T26 will keep that going, T45 might improve once engine upgrade is sorted.

As an aside, just looking at your replys above, you seem to attract more than a fair share of downvotes, unjustly so IMO, you post some good well reasoned responses.

X

The post-war frigate programme saw the need for 3 types; an anti-air frigate (T41), a fighter direction frigate (T61), and an ASW hull (T12). The first two were diesels and the last steam. These were the days when frigates (and sloops) were ships to protect convoys of merchant ships and for “secondary duties”. T41 and T61 were found to be unsatisfactory due to speed; the RN wanted all ships to be able to move with the fleet. Improving technology meant that their rolls could be merged into the fast T12 hull. This brought about T12(M) ‘general purpose’ frigate and eventually T12(I) which we all know (and love) as Leander. But T41 and T61 had decent for the time ASW systems and T12 had decent AAW systems (such as they were). It should be noted that only frigates (and sloops) were built to a T designation. In a way T42 is an ‘air defence’ frigate not a destroyer! Back then destroyers and cruisers received class names.

I think T45’s woes noise wise will be propellers and rafting. How BAE can design a noisy electric ship I don’t know. I would have gone with gas turbines. The joke is the Horizons generated more ‘power’ than the T45’s as built. Amazing.

Yes I do attract a lot of downvotes. I have my own troll who spends a lot of time downvoting me. I probably know too much for my own good too. There is more to all this than Top Trumps on specs. And unlike many I don’t believe the Russians are coming to invade us……….

Ron5

X is totally misunderstand what GP means.

In the Royal Navy, it means a ship not optimized or either ASW or AA.

It does NOT mean all purpose. Never has, never will.

In the RN there has been a very direct line of ASW frigates that continues through types 22, 23 and 26.

Similarly there has been a line of AA destroyers, types 42 & 45. Recent discussion indicated that will continue with an AA dedicated type 46.

Some type 23’s had their major ASW gear & crew removed and are now classified as GP. Type 31 will replace them.

There are extremely good reasons why the RN has split its escorts into the 3 categories. I can elaborate if you desire or you could do some research. Interestingly the USN is following suit with its recent order of the Constellation class ASW optimized frigates. Arleigh Burkes and Tico’s are their AA ships.

X

How can a Type 23 even without 2087 not be seen as optimised for ASW work? How? The GP T23 still have 2050.

GP means able to do deal with a threat to some extent in any sphere.

The only reasons why the RN isn’t building 16 T26 is because of budgets.

Type 31 is too make up hull numbers for secondary rolls. It is hardly a frigate more a sloop.

I can see why you keep to one line posts now. Any more than that and you just reveal more of your utter idiocy. As you do across many forums I see. You are just a pathetic bully.

Last edited 1 year ago by X
Ron5

X you are misinformed. In the Royal Navy, General Purpose does not mean “able to do deal with a threat to some extent in any sphere”.

I understand this is in conflict somewhat with the common English language use of that term but nevertheless …

The Type 23’s without their tail, Merlin, and the ASW specialist crew are not ASW assets. Their Seawolf/CAMM missiles are primarily for self-defence not for the defence of other assets. The RN does not regard them as AA escorts. So being neither ASW or AA, the RN classifies them as GP.

X

Now I have finished laughing at you pomposity and stupidity.

The USN FREMM’s are filling a gap left by the OHP’s. This was going to be filled by LCS. LCS is a failed concept drawn up by those with little to know understanding of naval warfare. Persons like you.

The OHP’s were the cheap GENERAL PURPOSE escorts of the USN. They undertook patrol work away, escorted amphibious groups, leaving escorting CBG’s and warfighting to the destroyers.

They aren’t going to be USN’s primary ASW asset because all their escort classes have ASW capability. They will probably be a lot quieter than AB’s say but that is because they are newer design. Not only will they have modern ASW sensors but will go to see with AEGIS giving them an area anti-warfare capability. Why? Because they are GENERAL PURPOSE escorts.

In the USN smaller escorts are called frigates. Medium sized ones destroyers. And the big one cruisers.

You really are an idiot. Why don’t you go troll somewhere else?

donald_of_tokyo

Sorry to interrupt. I hope you all calm down.

As I understand, Ron5-san is correct in “GP frigate” in RN-term is “specialist on nothing”. Typical case are T81 Tribal-class frigate and T21 Amazon-class frigate. They are specialist on nothing and clearly one-rank lower than T12 or T22s, respectively.

In the case of USN, OHPerry FFG started as a Patrol Frigate (later renamed as FFG). Its AAW-kit is less than a half capable of their counterpart = DDG Kidd-class. Replacing DEs, OHPerry is more an ASW frigate, comparable to T22s = primary ASW frigate of the day of RN. In AAW capability, OHPerry was a bit inferior to T42 = AAW destroyer of RN. Overall, OHPerry FFG is a counterpart of T42 and T22, and never a T21.

In other words, T21 = GP frigate of RN, is clearly one-rank lower in capability than OHPerry FFG.

I agree General Purpose must mean All mighty. As such, Tyconteroga CC, A Burk DDG, and RAN’s T26 (Hunter-class) are General Purpose, in normal sense.

But in RN, it is not the case.

Last edited 1 year ago by donald_of_tokyo
X

Ron5 is wrong.

Ron5

As far as I know, the USN navy does not use GP as a descriptor. I think it’s use may be confined to the Royal Navy.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ron5
Deep32

@D-O-T
@X
@Ron5

Evening gents, certainly didn’t expect this during my discussion with X, so sorry if it’s caused a stir.

Looking back over the decades, the points X makes about the RN shift away from specialist assets to a more rounded capability is correct. The last truly GP FF we had was the T21. T22 started out as a ASW unit before evolving into a more GP frigate biased towards ASW in the form of the batch 3’s, despite some shortcomings Wrt noise reduction in the hulls.

The T31 were introduced as ASW units that addressed all those issues and went further, producing a v effective ASW unit. Are they only used for ASW work – no, they conduct broad-spectrum operations as required, so are equipped to do so. That in my mind infers a GP capability, whilst still being a highly effective ASW unit. Removing the Tail and crew doesn’t suddenly make them a non ASW asset, just one with a reduced ability in this domain. If the RN wants to call them GP frigates – fine, but they can still do ASW ops providing they have the chaps obviously!

So gents, I think this is more a case of glass half full or half empty depending on your perspective.

Donald, good to talk, have read a lot of your posts, always interesting too. OHP counterpart in ASW field was Sprunce class, Kidd class were more AAW oriented.

Regards
Deep32

X

I would say T23 is ‘general purpose’ too. And even B1 and B2 T22 even without a medium gun.

T21 was most definitely introduced as a low cost general purpose frigate.

You can’t say a T23 without 2087 is worthless as an ASW. In most cases it would be still world class.

Arguing that the Tribals are general purpose frigates isn’t on firm ground. They were originally classed as ‘sloops’ for independent ‘gun boat’ work in the Gulf. They only became ‘frigates’ to boost our numbers declared to NATO.

How a T31 without a sonar and decent anti-ship armament can be classed as GP just as T23 with sonar, anti-ship armament (when fitted), and even a bigger gun.

I am not apologising to Ron5. He trolls this site and others. He relishes trolling. He is a bully. If this site was serious he would be banned.

Deep32

Yes, sorry, para 3 should say T23 not 31.

X

I guessed something was wrong. 🙂

The RN’s future escort fleet will be under armed and unbalanced. It is easy to be jealous of the RAN’s future fleet of 3 large AAW ships with ASW to act as flag and the centre of a task group’s air defences and then a fleet of 9 ASW ships with AEGIS who will not only bring excellent sub-surface capabilities but will also have area air defence capability.. Even the Italian FREMM’s have area anti-air capability. The USN FREMM will have AEGIS too. SeaCeptor is good but it isn’t AEGIS. T45 has questionable ASW capability. And T31 will have none.

donald_of_tokyo

It’s wrong. Clear.

Then, why?

Simply because RN insisted on “13 frigates” saga, even though they only had a budget for 10 frigates (T26s).

This is partly because T26 is made a bit more capable than FREMM (not surprised it made T26 10-20% more expensive). If you look at French FREMM, its equipment/capability is exactly the “replacement” for T23. Anything there in addition to FREMM onboard T26, made it impossible to replace all 13 T23s with 13 “frigates”.

# Note I have been always negative to the T31 program. Even now, I still think 10 T26 should have been better than 8 T26 + 5 T31. As T31 program cost has increased from £1.25B including everything (including training of course, see T31-RFI) and fixed price (= all risks are on builder not MOD), upto £2B = £750M or 60% increase. I am even arfaid T31 has already killed one T26…

#Yes, T31 could be up-armed in future. But if such additional money will be there in future, one or two more T26 could have been built, as well. No difference.

X

You seem to enjoy dancing on the head of a pin just to support the MoD(N).

donald_of_tokyo

I suggest you to take a glance at Type-31 RFI, which is an official document.

Type-31 General Purpose Frigate is
1: ok with no hull sonar (FTR)
2: no SAM (written as ok with CIWS)
3: no SSM (FFBNW)

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/645149/T31e_RFI.pdf

I personally totally agree with you on saying “GP” must be capable of “multi-purpose”. I agree in normal English, it also means so. But, in RN, it is not. Multi-purpose and General-purpose has different meaning in RN.

T81 starting as sloop, you are correct. T31 RFI means many of the USCG large cutters are “GP frigate” in RN language. It means, modern name for a “sloop” is now “GP frigate” in RN.

So, you claiming T31 is under-armed is quite correct. It is DESIGNED to be so, because it is a “GP frigate” = “sloop” in the old naming.

# cotinues to your next comment.

X

No.

So Leanders, ‘general purpose frigates’, were under armed?

Type 23 (without 2087) were under armed?

Do you know anything about the ‘Type system’?

All you are doing is continuing the confusion the RN stared by saying T23 without 2087 is GP.

T31 is underarmed because the government won’t buy enough T26. Nobody goes out to design an under armed ship. It is called a frigate so as to look better to NATO, politicians, etc. And you are falling for the same trick. Why not call them ‘sloops’ or OPV’s or even large patrol vesels? Because politically it doesn’t look good.

donald_of_tokyo

No big objection to your two comments, thanks.

I have been proposing to call T31 a long-endurance corvette for long.
The reason why I like “10 T26” rather than “8 T26 and 5 T31” is, partly because then politician cannot say “there are still 13 frigates!”.

For most of the audiences, difference between T26 and T31 looks not so big. As many here are calling for up-arming = bright future of T31 as a “frigate”, it make it more ambiguous that T31 “as now” is just a long-range heavy corvette with large hull.

But, if there is only 10 frigates, regardless if they are versatile T26, it will be crystal clear that HMG is not paying enough for the Navy and cutting is still going on.

Make it simple and clean.

HMG is not paying enough to build “13 frigates”. T31 is not a (full-fat) frigate, just a “GP frigate”. And, a “GP frigate” is a modern rename of “sloop”. I strongly agree RN shall NOT call T31 a frigate, as such. It shall be called “Ocean Going Sloop” or “Long-range Corvette”.

Last edited 1 year ago by donald_of_tokyo
AlexS

Stop it.Type 31 is a peaceful warship. 🙂

Joe16

Glad to hear the project is still going well.
As far as exports go, it’s been a rreal pleasant surprise that T26 has found customers, I really hope for the same for T31. It’s interesting to hear that they had 34 expressions of interest. Hopefully, as the project progresses and shows itself to be a decent ship that can be reliably built to cost, then some of those will become orders.
I know that people have commented on the Gulf states, but I wonder if they actually need a vesel this large and with such long range; they’ve got no interests far beyond their borders. I was thinking that New zealand, and some of the South American countries that have historically bought British warships might be interested: Chile, Brazil, and maybe even Argentina if they can work out their economy. Most of the African countries that have money, like Algeria seem to go French with their vessel choices, and I think the French Navy are going to start retiring some of their escorts in the not-too-distant future, so there may not be a lot of market for T31. But maybe worth a shot! Otherwise, Greece maybe?

Last edited 1 year ago by Joe16
Basil Barnes

Interesting article today showing 34 groups have expressed an interest it’s seems a bit optimistic, but I’m sure Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, India would all be interested in a budget ocean going patrol vessel that could be up armed quite quickly if the need came around for it.

https://www.naval-technology.com/features/over-30-expressions-of-interest-in-type-31-babcock/

Joe16

Thanks for the link, I hadn’t considered the east asian countries because South Korea has such a major shipbuilding industry, but it is a good option.
They could always specify it a bit higher into a full fat surface warfare frigate if they wanted; the only reason we don’t is because we’re spending that money on different platforms. If it’s the only platform they have, they can afford to pay a bit more than us.

Basil Barnes

The Dutch have close ties with the Indonesia, the UK used to build ships for Malaysia but the French seem to have butted their way into that relationship. Singapore doesn’t really need long range patrol ships though. Brazil have a domestic program but they might keep an eye on T31. I think New Zealand and Chile are the only likely customers.

X

The Continentals have always subbed their yards. We Brits played by the rules. Plus out ‘betters’ weren’t interested in maintaining a world wide navy that is of use all the time.

Daveyb

I still think that the MoD should look at building more of these ships. But instead of for the RN, lease them out to friendly countries. It would be a major boost for the UK’s soft power, provide said country with a first rate ship and help reduce their overhead costs, especially if deep maintenance and upgrades were part of the hire contract.

Ron5

It’s hard to believe the MoD has spare money to subsidize the Navies of other countries.

Daveyb

It would be another use for the foreign aid budget. But then it would be paying for the full amount as the country leasing the ship would also be party paying for it.

Ron5

The foreign aid budget cannot be used for such purposes. That would be illegal.