Subscribe
Notify of
guest
173 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Merlot

As usual , an informative and balanced appraisal.
I look forward to digesting the “armchair admirals” responses.

andy reeves

well heres mine. 24 f 35’s a bunch of tomahawks ‘lobbed’ from an astute wouldn’t bother belgium. a strike group needs teeth and cruise missiles are as good a weapon for a carrier group to have. i’d like to see theM.O.D task MBDA and BAE, with the design and production of a homemade version of the russian club k system(google it.. almost every ship in the R.N has room for a shipping container.so a system that can quadruple the power of a group would them make it a REAL STRIKE GROUP. whaddaya think guys?

Cam

Very good, but we British really need more frigates and destroyers! Even corvettes for other dutys that an OPV batch 2 is to under armed to do. Doesn’t anyone think a dozen corvettes would suit the RN well and cover areas where a destroyer or large frigate is too much.

China has 50 destroyers and almost 50 frigates and 70+ corvettes!! And they are building more every month! They also have 60 atack submarines! Britain has 19 frigates and destroyers, the lowest we have ever had in the modern age!.

We should build a minimum of 5 extra type 31s to boost numbers as this would be the cheapest and most effective way to boost warship numbers in coming years! but we have to arm them with more than “12” Sea Ceptor missiles! 12 total is a dam joke for a huge vessel that size Maybe 12 on a corvette would be fine but a dam large frigate!!.. We need 32 Sea Ceptor minimum like all our type 23s have, we shouldn’t be down Armouring Our already thin frigates… We can and should be able to afford more vessels if the will is there and country’s behind the Royal Navy…..

4th watch

Yes, 12 is a joke even 24 which was the expected armament would be an improvement.

Cam

Let’s hope decision makers decide “12” sea ceptor missiles is far too few and they double or triple the numbers. It won’t cost that much more to add more into the design, heck the type 31s parent has far more than 12 missiles in its design…

Garry Gopping

That’s 6 shots , not really a deterrent as you just need to fire 7 missiles at the ship

Cam

Exactly Garry! It wouldn’t deter much. Ok fast atack craft with its guns but that’s it! Oh and wildcat obviously.

andy reeves

wildcat and the Merlin’s Will be busy with sub hunting two t23 will have their work cut out by themselves

andy reeves

won’t happen.

Donaldson

T31 also needs some teeth, What’s the point in a WARship that can only defends itself? And I hope the USN have a CBG supporting the UKCSG just in case the Chinese think we’re easy pickings.

Cam

The British carrier battle group will be well protected against any nation on earth with two type 45s, two type 23s (type 26 in future) And an Astute class Submarine, along with Nato and allies warships That will always want to sail with us. And the RFA ships will hopefully have CIWS aboard to provide a little extra protection no matter if it’s minimal. And the Carriers whole F35 stealth fighter jet air wing and all their weapons along with all of our choppers like merlin and wildcats weapons systems, not many nations have that kind of naval power, even China sucks just now. I would really love a naval Apache with brimstone missiles and even naval strike missiles But I’m just dreaming…

Last edited 11 months ago by Cam
Donaldson

Two T45 and two T23 may sound impressive but in China’s backyard isn’t going to cope well or very long vs a sustained attack by all forms, The VLS capacity just isn’t there (Fit the extra 16 VLS on T45 please)

I think QE will be teaming up with an USN CBG if she does go SCS which will be great.

X

I agree about the number of missiles available.

But consider the RN put a lot of faith in EW; they see it as their primary defence weapon.

They see missiles as a backup to EW failing.

EW is very clever and works very well. But………..

X

Another factually correct post by me downvoted out of ignorance, stupidity or spite.

Does the blog no favours. Does the cause no good either.

Chris H

Is that right? I hadn’t realised that the RN put quite so much faith into EW. Would you say we do so more than other nations?

X

The RN puts a lot of faith in EW. Were, perhaps still are, world leaders in the dark art.

X

The RN does put a lot of faith in EW. A lot more than all Western navies hence the lack of kinetics systems. And yes that does make the RN a world leader in the field.

Perhaps I have spent more time in the ‘gloom room’ than the 3 down voters? Though I suspect some body has been vising daily to down vote.

Anybody new to the topic will go away thinking the RN doesn’t have faith in EW which would be wrong.

X

They do. Another fact down voted.

andy reeves

cheer up nobody likes a whinge

andy reeves

down voted? why the long face?

D J

But …. Over reliance on any one thing is a problem in itself. Take for example the Konsberg NSM. It uses IIR which is basically immune to EW. Konsberg JSM utilises both IIR & RF. You can fool one or the other – can you fool both? Well, yes you can, but it’s not easy. Especially since both, in this case are passive. Do you even know it’s there (NSM or JSM)? EW in itself is detectable. If you don’t want it to be detectable, you leave it turned off. How do you know when you should turn it on?

EW, like everything has its limits. Knowing where those limits are is the tricky bit & what was true today may not be true torrow.

X

Never said the RN were right.

All I said was that was the way of the world.

There is a story of a USN commander visiting a Type 42. As he left the warship he told his hosts that they all had the equipment they needed to tell them when they were going to die. T42 were under armed chronically so. There comes a point where the answer is to send HE down range.

Gavin Gordon

Yes, X, the T42 were to a great extent, and our warships still are comparitively. That said, did this USN commander make the comment before of after Gloucester successfully defended Missouri – who was also under escort by the US navy at the time.

X

An exception doesn’t disprove the general rule.

Gavin Gordon

Indeed – as stated. KRs

Sam

Indeed….NSM is a pain in the ass missile which in addition to what you have mentioned…is itself a very Radar Stealthy design before you add the fact its sea skimming

Joe16

To further develop that point, I believe it was EW that spashed the ASMs that got fired at the Burke by the Houthis.
EW really does make a difference, although I’ll grant you that missiles are always helpful!

Sam

USS Mason…was attacked 3 seperate times and the 3rd attack involved 5 antishipping missiles. The Mason fired SM-2s and ESSMs at the inbound missiles. Total missiles launched at Mason was 9….likely most were C-801s. SRBOC and Radar decoys…probably every decoy were deployed. Only Phalanx wasnt called upon (you can bet it was in full auto mode though lol)

Last edited 11 months ago by Sam
Joe16

I hadn’t actually realised that it tallied up to 3 attacks in the end- I’d thought it was two! You can bet they probably left the Phalanx on standby for the rest of the cruise, just for peace of mind…
I’ve just read up on it, and even the USN can only confirm that one of the missiles was specifically intercepted by the missiles that they launched; the others were “neutralised” or fell into the sea- cause unsure as to whether it was countermeasures or missiles. Some most certainly could have been missiles, but even in a best case scenario, the missiles are getting 50-60% of the incoming fire and the EW the rest. In the most critical reading, the missile defences only got 1 of the 9 (I doubt it would have been that bad though)… The missiles were clearly incredibly important, but the EW was way more effective than I thought it would have been.

X

I am not anti-kinetic. Far from it. The cost of 8 missiles (and supporting systems) as a percentage of a ship’s cost is negligible. I am very pro gun. One of the most annoying things about T45 to me is they didn’t carry over the Horizon’s gun armament. All I am saying is that the RN rely on EW as the first line.

Joe16

Fair point, I didn’t want my comment to sound like an attack- you seem to be suffering some down voting for no reason that I can see.
Having a couple of kinetic layers in defence is always a good idea, don’t get me wrong- and some 30 mm or 40 mm (now that they’re being brought in on T31) with AA airburst rounds makes sense- maybe even for the Qes, seeing as they won’t have to be concerned by debris on the flight deck from guns. The only thing that’s a bit of a shame about switching to 40 mm from the 30 mm is that we can’t fit the Martlet launcher onto it.
I think it should be remembered also that the Aster missile system is intended as a one-shot kill, while only the very newest Standard range of missiles hooked into the AN-SPY-6 radar can do that (most Burkes haven’t been upgraded to this yet, although I’d be willing to bet that they’ll be prioritised to the Pacific fleet!). A Burke fitted with SM-2s will have to volley fire at each individual target while a T45 just fires one. Burkes also pack TLAM and ASROC in some of their VLS, so they’re never carrying a full complement of AA missiles whle a T45 is.
From that perspective, T45 has a very similar air defence loadout to a Burke with the VLS that it currently has, although I’d most certainly agree that the extra lot would be beneficial. That said, I’d probably rather they save it for development into T4X at this point; T45 is quite a way through its service life and we aren’t exactly flush with cash…

andy reeves

the difference between the French navy and the Italian navy is in the number of destroy ers each has a cheaper better value for money t45 replacement should be already on the board a fiasco like the t26 and the t31 procurement mustn’t be repeated the t45s are being flogg ed to bits and will be lucky to see th proposed retirement ages

Joe16

I’d agree, having a T45 replacement already anounced would add a bit of weight and plausibility to the whole “steady drumbeat” NSS stuff.
I think the French and Italian vessels consider themselves frigates, I know that definitions have kind of disappeared these days but my understanding is that they’re smaller vessels than the T45.
It’s not just in tonnage though, it’s beam and how high they are; The T26 is only marginally shorter and narrower, but it is shorter by a whole deck. This makes a big difference when it comes to radar horizon, which is obviously hugely important for an air defence platform. I’d imagine that the radar horizons of the smaller French and Italian FREMM-based vessels are also shorter than the T45. Sometimes, being cheaper isn’t always better- and bear in mind the French and Italians didn’t consider them that great value because they cut their purchases down too.
I would broadly agree with you though, we’re getting better at running these projects, but T45 was terrible, T26 was OK aside from the budget-induced slowdown, T31 seems to be going OK for the time being. T4X has to go at least as well as T31 is at the moment, if not better.
All this is a bit moot though, as we don’t have enough sailors to expand our escort fleet- even if we had the money for the hulls. Improved enlistment and retention numbers need to precede any fleet hull number increase, and that means money spent on better pay and conditions.

Cam

Will Hms Queen Elizabeth have a decent EW fit out?

Joe16

Honestly, I’m not sure…
It’s always complicated implementing EW onto ships that, b their nature have to give off a lot of EM raditation for control of flight ops and the rest of the CSG. That said, I’m sure that would apply to the EW systems on the accompanying escorts so don’t know if it’s a big concern (RF signals being stronger by the transmitter, and dropping off on a squared curve, means that a system mounted on the ship will have a far greater effect than one on a vessel a few hundred metres away).
This would really be a question for Gunbuster, or someone else with more hands on knowledge than me. Then again, he may not be allowed to say!

Cam

Thanks joe16

Cam

But two type 45s and two frigates and an aircraft carrier and nuclear submarine is a huge detterant and will stop most nations messing with them.

4thwatch

They said that about two battleships.

Stephen

There was a World War going on back then!, lol!, Anyone who seriously thinks China is going to sink our carrier is delusional.

Gavin Gordon

Also, of course, the RAF was intended to supply aircover when a carrier was unavailable, but could not come good at the time. Then it was a political decision, not one that the Admiralty was content with at the time, but they ‘saluted’ just the same. Raise this issue within the modern context below.
Cheers

Cam

Exactly stephen, it would destroy their nation! Sanctions and the like from the USA would cripple them, but have we been relying on china too much these days to get all kinds of cheap products and in turn could we do without China’s huge economy now!

Last edited 11 months ago by Cam
andy reeves

and two anti submarine frigate s are expected to protect the carrier by themselves?

andy reeves

other nations count corvettes in their front line fleet if we did what the Thais have done to their B2 i.e mount a 76mm oto melara rapid fire gun two extra 30mm canon aft of the bridge wings with the intention of fitting martlet to them I believe the role of missile boats is under estimated. the Iranians have mounted cruise missile availability s ont o some of these craft. the archers would be ideal for the same treatment. especially when escorting Russia n ships through u.k waters

TrevorH

The South China Sea is a big place, thats the point is it? China cannot be allowed to claim it. Who is saying we are going into their back yard. We plan to cross the high seas.

But specifically I suggest we work with Australia and their interests. And cruise with them
May be we can build them a carrier…?

Cam

Australia can hardly man its current expanding fleet, and the two LPH they have is probably what they need, however a light carrier could suit them well.

D J

Australia’s two 27,700t LHD’s are already F35B capable (but they don’t currently have any F35B). I would suggest they would start there before looking at another carrier.

Cam

No they are not f35 capable, the Ozzie version has been modified for landing large amount of troops, and only have choppers, it would need a very very expensive modifications to host the F35b…

Geo
  1. The Canberra class are not F35 capable.
  2. The RAN are NOT, say again, NOT looking for a carrier.
D J

Cam & Geo

The Canberra’s are as F35B compatible as the JC1. The only real difference is the island superstructure. Flight deck & below is pretty well JC1. Nothing was ripped out (costs money). JC1 holds just as many troops & helicopters as the Canberra’s. These are multi role ships. To operate F35B you need a few landing aids (for use in bad weather) & a heatproof coating on the flight deck (just like everyone else). That’s basically it. However, if you wanted to operate them solely as dedicated light carriers, that a different matter. But the JC1 design was never intended to be operated that way.

Geo

Landing aids and a heatproof coating the Canberras do not have, making them – as I said – not capable of carrying the F35.

X

True. But the deck could be heat proofed and the landing aids added.

X

The deck could be heat proofed and landing aid added.

Why does this deserve a down vote?

Cam

And F35b fuel tanks, and all the other stuff that would make it very expensive. I heard they would need other F35b fuel tanks added.

D J

The F35B uses the same fuel as the turbine powered helicopters, hence these ships all already carry significant amounts. No one is saying that it doesn’t cost additional money to operate F35B on a continuous basis if you aren’t already. It also costs if you want to operate a different type or model of helicopter than previously. That has always been the case.

andy reeves

Japan making their izumo types f 35 capable same thing!

D J

Geo

The landing aids I mentioned are a system of lights & are really only for bad weather (or rather thats when then would move from a nice to have to its a bit silly to operate without). It’s not particularly high tech.

As to the heat proof coating, every ship in every navy in the world that expects to operate the F35B on an ongoing basis needs it. It is an addon product, its not part of the normal build. You don’t need to cut open the ship to apply it. Spain (& Japan) obtained the expected operating specs for the F35B from LM (size, weight etc) when they designed their ships. In theory (according to specs), a F35B can land, get to & from the hangar & take off again from a JC1 or Canberra in the normal fashion without the coating.The flight deck will not melt. What you can’t do, is keep doing it.

Cam

Exactly geo

Meirion X

You would only get 3 or 4 F-35bs on the deck of a Canberra.
The Invincibles struggled to get 12 Harriers on board, 6 was a usual deployment.

D J

Meiron

The Invincibles dumbel shaped hangar did not help. Change the Harriers to F35B & its pretty much the same for all the 27,500 – 30,000t LHD/LHA/light carriers out there at the moment. ie 10-12 F35B + 8-12 medium helo’s maxed out (unless you want to leave aircraft on the flight deck). The mix will change depending on what you are doing & if you want to operate maxed out or not. There has been some suggestion, that due to availability rates, you may want to operate a minimum of 8 rather than 6 when / if utilising F35B.

Cam

Harriers are far smaller than the F35b though.

D J

Which could be why these ships (Spain, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Australia) are all heavier? The design’s are also different & things have moved on a bit since the Invincible’s were built 40 years ago. The designers already knew how big & heavy the F35B was going to be. LM was happy to provide such information to any ally that asked.

D J

In case anyone missed it, Naval News has a new article on S. Korea’s LPX-II light carrier plans. It appears It has had it’s expected launch date moved forward from early 2030’s to late 2020’s. Yet another nation to add to the list.

andy reeves

but they did a n admire able job

andy reeves

why All the talk of Canberra carrying f 35’s? then?

andy reeves

but the navy budget is going into it s new submarine s

Spud114

It looks like it will take the entire navy to protect one battle group. That’s unacceptable. We have tiny underarmed navy, it has to change before too late!

andy reeves

they’ve got the ships we don’t

andy reeves

we could always dhttps://www.google.com/search?q=iranian+missile+boats&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjaksmSsN_rAhUKA2MBHYTMCpIQ_AUoAnoECBMQBA&biw=1266&bih=571#imgrc=gfMQJCZdFu-gZMo this with the archers

andy reeves

that’s why we are here!

andy reeves

I hop one of the remaining Trafalgar’s will be in the group

andy reeves

unless they’re near enough and the isolationism politics of the American government allow it

ETH

The Type 31 will fulfil the exact same roles as a corvette would, it’s just larger. As you said, they’re for deployments where a billion pound warship is unnecessary. The primary difference between a corvette and a Type 31 (generally speaking) is that a Type 31 is a large enough platform to be expanded upon (into a full blown warship) whereas a corvette is not.

In an ideal world we would have ordered Type 31’s with atleast 24 CAMM and anti ship missiles but all this will do is increase cost to ships that are designed currently to do nothing but what a corvette would.

Cam

Yeah, but it depends on the corvette, there will be corvettes with more teeth than our type 31s. Range and size is obviously nothing like a type 31 though. Horses for courses I supose. And I really think we need a dozen well armed Cheap corvettes for the Royal Navy to forward base around the globe.

Meirion X

Only if the UK had sovereign territory with a base near the SCS, it would be worthwhile to use corvettes to defend them.
Maybe we should ask Brunei if they want to rejoin us!

andy reeves

and Sri Lanka with the old RN yards at columb o and Trincomalee

andy reeves

and reboot the Mediterranean squadron from Gibraltar I was there for a while a couple of weeks ago the economy is hit by the less frequent visits to the place by the royal navy. it’s a sad neglected place nowadays and the sailor s favourite pubs have All gone

Max Jones

I don’t see how. Corvettes are short range coastal warships. They could be more (Sa’ar 6) or less (A69) heavily armed but it doesn’t have any relevance.

I think you are confusing capability and purpose – they are very much separate.

Last edited 11 months ago by Max Jones
Sam

Corvettes in general are High Speed short range interceptors…..OPVs are their long range modest speed cousins. The RN and BAE were looking at adding teeth to the River Batch 2s with I believe Leonardo 76mm SR specifically (Not Strales but still able to shoot kill missiles). OPVs also have top notch sensors…the Holland Class OPV built by Damen has an AESA radar. I agree with the principle of having a large number of smaller warships as suggested by people here. Something mass production friendly , small crew, common weapons as much off the shelf as possible. Maybe even adding RIM 162 ESSM to the Arsenal – its quadpackable, its fast and importantly for the RN right now…it can be used as an Anti shipping missile (Most USN SAMs since Terrier and Tartar and Talos have anti shipping modes) Its also used worldwide. Sea Ceptor “can” do the same but the RN didnt purchase that specific version. In hindsight a bit silly as the Harpoons block 1c’s are older than I am (33)

Meirion X

ESSM can Not be use by the Royal Navy, because the missile uses X-Band radar for semi-active homing missiles. The Royal Navy’s missiles are fully active homing, so do Not require X-Band radar. The RN does Not operate X-Band radar now.

Last edited 11 months ago by Meirion X
D J

Meirion

You are thinking of the original ESSM B1 missile. The new ESSM B2 missile has a dual mode seeker, both active & semi-active. If you have the relevent radars, you can choose what mode any one missile will use. If you don’t (or no longer can), you use active.

Sam – I would suggest it would make more sense to quad pack CAMM-ER (for ESSM type range) than add a completely new missile to the RN.

Sam

Yup….I was under the mistaken impression Sea Ceptor for the UK did not have ASuW modes hence why I suggested ESSM 😉

Humpty Dumpty

Can CAMM-ER be quad-packed in Mk41 cells and ADL launcher cells? This is something I’ve been wanting to know for some time. Do you have links confirming either?

D J

HD

Nothing official. Everyone has been basing their opinions on the missile dimensions. ESSM diameter is 254mm & is quad packable. CAMM is 166mm & is quad packable. CAMM-ER is 190mm. However these are all bare missile diameters & these missiles are packaged in canisters which are larger, before being fitted into the launcher cell. The CAMM-ER canister is given as 275mm x 275mm. Two of these side by side would be 550mm. A Tomahawk missile is 584mm diameter & one of them fits in a mk41. So math is saying yes to the mk41, but there is the additional question of the space taken up by the ExLS addin required for the mk41 to fire soft launch missiles.

As to ADL launcher, the same should apply but I don’t know that you can fire either CAMM or CAMM-ER from them. They are a low angle launcher, a bit like AShM canister launchers. They would probably require a similar addin to the mk41, but I would be worried by that angle. CAMM soft launch is to about 30m straight up before it is tipped over to the required direction & the main motor fires. You would have little height to play with here from ADL. What if your ADL system faces port but you need the missile to go starboard? ESSM will loop around reasonably clear of your ship (something traveing at mach 4 takes a little bit to execute a 180 degree turn). CAMM though will make the turn before it fires.

What I want to know (other than official conformation on mk41), is the stand alone ExLS system. Did they allow for the extra length of the CAMM-ER missile?

Humpty Dumpty

Thanks for your reply. Didn’t get an email saying you’d replied (must have forgotten to click the bell) and have just stumbled across it.

“As to ADL launcher, the same should apply but I don’t know that you can fire either CAMM or CAMM-ER from them.”

According to https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/improving-the-type-45-destroyer/ CAMMs can be quad-packed in ADL launchers:

“Quad packed into two ADL’s Mk 41 cells the T45 could carry thirty-two Sea Ceptors without the need to reduce the complement of Aster missiles. The greatest benefit brought by the ADL is that unlike VSLs it can be replenished at sea.” [Presumably VSLs is a typo for VLSs]

ESSM can also be quad-packed in ADL launchers.

I recently learnt that CAMM can be quad-packed in Sylver cells. Since Aster 15 and CAMM are so similar, it would make sense imo for Type 45s to drop the Aster 15s and fit the 48 Sylver cells with say 30 Aster 30s, 6 Aster 30 Block 1NTs (to take out ballistic anti-ship missiles) and 48 quad-packed CAMMs (CAMM-ER would be better still). 12 Mk41 cells would provide another 48 CAMMs. And 2 ADL launchers for another 32 CAMMs.

From what you’ve said above, it would appear it’s possible to quad-pack CAMM-ER in ADL launchers since they use Mk41 cells.

“What if your ADL system faces port but you need the missile to go starboard?”

Well ideally ships would have 2 ADL launchers, one on each side of the ship. Not only would this increase the number of CAMMs that a ship can carry, ADL is replenishable at sea. This could make the difference between life and death. (As would making all gun-based defences like CIWS/OTO Melara/Bofors/etc deck penetrating to allow for fast auto-reloading. I’d start replacing Phalanx on all RN and RFA ships with the Oerlikon Millennium Gun, starting with the Type 45s and Type 23s, which currently don’t even have a CIWS at all.)

“What I want to know (other than official conformation on mk41), is the stand alone ExLS system. Did they allow for the extra length of the CAMM-ER missile?”

Can’t answer that I’m afraid.

Even though I’d like to see the Type 45s (and Type 23s) carry far more anti-air missiles to take out anti-ship missiles, they would also benefit from a better CIWS than Phalanx (my preference would be the Oerlikon Millennium Gun with AHEAD ammo, backed up by an OTO Melara 76mm with DART and PFF ammo) as well as defences that don’t rely on missiles or ammo like microwave weapons, Dragonfire, laser dazzlers and a ship-based version of DIRCM. (A ship-based version of IRST, although not a weapon, would also be sensible to detect stealth missiles and possibly stealth aircraft too.)

That said, the best solution is to shoot the archer, not the arrows (or at least keep the archer at arm’s length), so:

1) Develop much longer ranged anti-air missiles so that enemy aircraft can’t get in range to fire anti-ship missiles in the first place. For example, an Su-35 can fire Kh-95MK2 with a range of 550km and P-800 Oniks with a range of 600km to 800km depending on variant. Those missiles are far longer ranged than Aster 30. These new longer-ranged anti-air missiles I’m proposing would need to be able to accelerate in their terminal phase like Meteor to make them a credible threat.

2) Develop much longer ranged ship-launched anti-ship missiles so that Russian or Chinese ships can’t get in range to fire Kalibr, Oniks, Zircon or YJ-18. Also fit these new missiles to the Astutes. They would need to be stealthy and able to accelerate and/or manoeuvre in their terminal phase to make a hit more likely. Fitting Perseus to ships would be pointless against Russian or Chinese ships with longer ranged anti-ship missiles as Perseus will only have a range of about 300km. Fitting it to Astutes would make sense though. I don’t know if Perseus will be able to be carried internally by F-35s, but if it can’t that will ruin an F-35’s stealth. The Chinese HHQ-9 ship-launched anti-air missile has a range of 250km to 300+km depending on variant, so if F-35s are carrying Perseus externally, it would be foolish of them to get in range of the HHQ-9 as they’ll run the risk of getting shot down. If F-35s stay outside the range of HHQ-9, then Perseus may not have enough range to reach the enemy ship. So the range of Perseus needs to be dramatically increased if it’s to be fired from ships or if F-35s are to carry them externally.

3) Develop an anti-ship missile that the F-35B can carry internally since carrying LRASM (or any missile) externally ruins its stealth. Ideally this new missile should be able to take out any ship including carriers. It would also need to be stealthy and able to accelerate in its terminal phase to make a hit more likely.

4) Develop a very long ranged anti-sub missile so that subs can be taken out before they can get in range to fire their torpedoes. VL-ASROC is far too short ranged and is next to useless. It would also be wise to fit ships with the Scutter torpedo countermeasure and anti-torpedo torpedoes like SeaSpider, MU90 Hard Kill or SSTD CAT. We could also improve the sub-finding capability of the Type 23s/26s by equipping them with sub-hunting surface drones like Arcims and Seagull, ideally fitted with torpedo launchers. Airship drones might be worth looking into for ASW. With solar panels and mini wind turbines to recharge their batteries, they could have very long endurance and could potentially operate in weather that’s too windy for Merlins to operate in. I’d also like us to invest heavily in R&D to find other ways to detect & take out subs & torpedoes, considering how deadly they are.

Max Jones

Corvettes are probably the least defined term in use right now in general – some corvettes are just large OPVs, some are fast attack craft-style ships like you mention (such as the Scandinavian stealth designs) and others are more reminiscent of major surface combatants. Either way, they have far shorter ranges. Even the largest have ranges of a few thousand kilometres at most – the Type 31 has a range of 17,000km – it is primarily designed for projecting an overseas presence.

In terms of up-arming for them of the OPVs, some new AShMs would be great, though they are generally only defensive weapons on surface combatants. Maybe a handful of NSMs, RBS.15s, or LRASM if we can afford it would be perfectly sufficient and perhaps some Mk.41 for a bit of versatility so they have a realistically wartime role, but the helicopters are a big factor.

For the OPVs they are generally just used for fishery protection however with the Batch 1s and Batch 2s in service together, more of the latter are available for overseas deployments almost in a similar role to our general purpose frigates, so it would be great if we could at least get a basic telescopic hangar or 2-4 of them. If they can deploy overseas to the Mediterranean, Caribbean or Falklands with a wildcat (use the space for marines to carry half a dozen Sea Venom/Stingray and accommodate the air crew), it would be a significant force multiplier without adding anything major to the navy’s inventory or turning the ships into something they are not.

As for Surface-toAir Missiles in an anti-ship role, most SAMs have that capability including Asters – it just isn’t regularly used as such because they aren’t design for it, particularly with the warheads. Considering Sea Venom has a more specialised warhead and can be deployed over far greater ranges on helicopters, the use of ESSM or any other SAM in an anti-surface role is relatively redundant.

I thinker any further developments on the Type 31 the question needs to be raised as to what missions they can handle, which they need to be able to and which missions they could be made to perform that would increase their value without interfering with their core role.

As they aren’t and never were intended to be dedicated escorts, AAW and ASW aren’t too important outside of local self-defence so perhaps something like land-attack would be more fitting – either dived what the T26s have or if possible, specialise theirs for the mission and add some Mk.41s with tomahawks to the Type 31, upgrade the gun to a 5-inch and now it can be deployed in ground-based conflicts to provide a significantly more valuable role.

With that all being said, there haven’t been any capabilities lost from the Type 23s they are replacing that hinder their main job so any major additions are primarily just in the interests of expanding Royal Navy capability with the already limited numbers available.

Sam

Just had a fresh look at Sea Ceptor (I was sure I read somewhere that CAMMS had a variant that could do Anti Shipping as well but the UK didnt buy it)….apparently it is capable of smacking small naval vessels 🤔😁 I stand corrected. Then yes equiping ESSM would be redundant. Thats slightly better for the position of the RN than I thought. With Harpoon starring on Antiques Roadshow and Sea Venom not in service…Sea Ceptor would have to pull double duty as AAW and ASuW. While Sea Venom is a dedicated weapon….spamming Sea Ceptor with it against a super high priority enemy asset that needs sicking at all costs would not be a bad idea. Say 2-3 Type 23s face off against a Kirov class BCGN (Nuclear Missile Battlecruiser ) 😉 after dealing with its current 20x P700 Granits

Gavin Gordon

My understanding is that all SeaCeptor have capability, it’s principally a case of funding the software package for anti-ship use. A bit ‘fitted for but not with’ again, though the RN has gamed the surface role in exercises, apparently. Where you have sufficient numbers onboard, you’d end up with a very flexible system.
At least in the littoral, I like the concept of multiple cheaper missiles directed at an opponent, rather than a couple of dedicated large SSM say, as the countermeasures are going to have a proportionate headache – whatever the size of that opponent. ‘Course, unlikely to suit T31, as envisaged, because you’d need all Ceptors for anti-air cover.

Sam

Yeah Type 31 was shown with like 8 vls cells or something similar….Throwing Ceptors at the enemy from the Type 31 would be a “we are going to be dead anyway so lets take them down with us” approach. AKA USS Johnston from Taffy 3

Gunbuster

The SSN 19 is on the way out to be replaced by something else , possibly hypersonic if they can ever get it working. They also have only one unmodified Kirov at sea ….and then only occasionally when its working. The other one has been in refit for years and there are some disturbing reports regarding the state of the reactors on both vessels.

Sam

Yes the Kirovs will have VLS Oniks ASMs and will carry 80 vls for ASM, Land Attack and ASW missiles and 96 VLS for pure AAW. There were 4 Kirovs but the 2 oldest built to a different spec are beyond hope (they are the ships with badly degraded reactors). Pyotr Veliky and Admiral Nakhimov are being modernized. They are also getting 8 Pantsir M Ciws (combined missile gun systems) and Modern AESA radar. So basically to ensure a Kirov sinks…send 5 plus Burke DDGs to spam missile it to death (5 is overkill but best to send more to minimize risk of casualties). Its teeth have entire weapon systems 😉 It would end up being a repeat of Bismark and Tirpitz I think…too valuable/ crippling to the Russian Navy risk loosing.

andy reeves

t31 will be ideal for forward basing

andy reeves

do this with the archershttps://www.google.com/search?q=iranian+missile+boats&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjaksmSsN_rAhUKA2MBHYTMCpIQ_AUoAnoECBMQBA&biw=1266&bih=571#imgrc=gfMQJCZdFu-gZM

andy reeves

I’ll believe the t31 when I see one

Sebastian

Maybe the first thin the royal Navy should do is arm her ship adequat and solve the personel problem. More (necessary!!) ships can only be the second step.

andy reeves

fitted with not for

andy reeves

sailors numbers could be improved last year up to 10,000 nepalese went for 400 places with the gurkhas, maybe they could be offered a place in the R?N next ship call it h.m.s gurkha

andy reeves

on paper the r.n is too similar in size and make up as the french and italian navy’s the main area of difference is in the number of destroyers each has. i’m often confused as to why many navy’s count missile boats and corvettes in their main inventory just going back for a second to the well worn debate about’ gunning up the rivers’ if wwe did that, we could increase the front line fleet by 5 corvettes almost immediately foreign nations include missile boats. i’ve seen that iran is mounting a chinese cruise missile to some of their boats if the R.N did that to the 17 archers then they could ‘escort the russian navy ships transiting u.k waters pie in the sky, but ALL THESE SHIPS/BOATS ARE BUILT.

andy reeves

all nations which operate corvettes count corvettes as front line vessel s we’ve got 5 batch2 rivers Already built so almost immediately by gunning them up the front line of the navy would be over the 20 ship level. and quickly too.cross decking as much as possible from an already retiring t23 would save on money 💰 a fitting of extra 300mm cannon aft of the bridge wings with the intention of fitting martlet and installing a 76mm oto melara rapid fire 🔥 gun would be a great move. shame that it’s the Thais that have shown what these ships can become.

ANDREW JOHN WILDE

Why are British warships always “fitted for but not with” , why is there always “room for future development” Why is equipment that can be found on any other nations warships always missing in the Royal Navy? A Type 26 frigate, with the exception of its radar, sonar and communication equipment, is already a 10 year old ship. Money may be short but why on earth didn’t some bright spark decide that it would be far cheaper to fit H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth with Aster and Sea Ceptor missiles at build which would, in effect, add to the defensive action of the Carrier Escort Warships. A Type 23 frigate will only take so many additional years being beaten up before it involuntarily retires, collapsing in the middle of the South China Sea will be a very appropriate place to do so.
I assume that Force Z battleships arrived in the Far East with their main armament working. Short of escorts, yes, of course no aeroplanes, and naturally no intelligence as to the enemies location. Oh dear do I really have to continue with this!

Nick

Let us hope that history does not repeat itself in the south China sea.

Sean

I doubt the Chinese would be so daft as to attack a British carrier carrying USMC aircraft and with probably one or more USN ships as escorts. While the Chinese would love to humiliate Britain, they want to avoid a military confrontation with the USA. (The CCP believes it can defeat the West with using the West’s own weapon against us, capitalism.)
But I’m sure we’ll see the Chinese try and humiliate the UK in other ways. Such as forcing the carrier group to change course by close sailing by their own navy, etc. Or overflights by their aircraft, etc, etc.

Last edited 11 months ago by Sean
Aldo

At least as long as the US has a president who will take a stand anyway. Depending on what happens in November things could change substantially.

andy reeves

I just hope that eight trump get s the bullet he’s the most dangerous Man on the planet

Cam

Nah, the type 23s that are heading with the carrier have just had lifex right?, new equipment all over the place. They will do another 10 years…

Cam

We should include a full kit out on the dam build cost!!

Joe16

I share your frustration in many cases, but I think there are some moderating counterpoints:

  • I assume, by missing equipment you’re talking about land attack and anti-ship missiles? These, rightly or wrongly, are not missions of the RN’s surface fleet. The harpoon lanuchers on the T23s and T45s are a relatively on-par armament for frigates, but actually go in the face of RN tactics.
  • As far as T26s go, hull design was finalilsed in 2015- so only 5 years old rather than 10 and therefore about the newest clean-sheet ASW frigate design in the world that I’m aware of. But it’s the elements that you mention that make it the world class sub-hunter that it is, so it’s very difficult to criticise to be honest.
  • As far as air defence missiles on the carriers go, I’m reliably informed by serving personnel and veterans that missiles are actually a liability; launch of a missile kicks out quite a bit of packing and other debris that then has to be cleaned up prior to launching or recovering aircraft. Unless you are very careful about their positioning, which would invariably reduce their engagement envelopes. You’re better sticking with EW and CIWS on carriers and leaving the missiles to the escorts.
  • Your description of Force Z bears little or no resemblance to a force that we would send into the SCS in the event of a declared conflict (Force Z was incredibly sent out in that state after declaration of war, rather than as a FONOP like next year…); we are in no position that we would be similarly underestimating the Chinese due to racist stereotypes and an assumption of our techonological and numerical superiority.

That said, I think that:

  • The RN should be routinely fielding ASMs on all escorts, as surface warfare should clearly be on their mission list.
  • There should be some decent plan to populate the T26’s VLS with something- at the moment that doesn’t appear to publicly be the case
  • RN rotor craft should all be equipped with data links (ridiculous that these were written out of the requirements…)
  • RN should continue to concentrate on recruitment and retention- we cannot crew the escorts that we do have, so it’s a moot point to discuss expanding the fleet.
  • The RN should be putting in plans for T45 replacement now, alongside a second block of T31 and the FSSS, in line with the NSS to keep ship builders busy.

There is plenty more that could be said, but there’s enough for them to be getting on with for the next 5 years!

X

Yes. If you look at a French, German, or Italian ship they have French,German, and Italian systems. It is all churn. Tax money being pushed through a country’s industrial base. Something the UK doesn’t do or doesn’t do well.

andy reeves

Britain is too snobby to use other nations stuff this nation is not going to get foreign kit it’s too blinkered by the BAE catalogue

andy reeves

same as being a part of the booming military hardware market many nations trade warships. but the snobs at the admiralty won’t we should be in the market to buy the Australian Collins class ask as they retire them perhaps use the most recently retired Trafalgar as part of a deal

Gunbuster

Basically FFBNW saves money and equipment wear and tear. If you have a T23 tasked to do Southlant it will get a specific outfit for that deployment. A ship going to the Gulf will have a different outfit of kit. If the area you are working in has a low to none existant ASW threat why do you need all the ASW gear fitted including Torpedo defence and decoys? If you are not doing boardings you dont need specific boarding ribs and all the kit that comes with them.

Its not just the stuff you see on the upper deck that goes woosh or bang. There are lots of other bits of kit fitted onboard dependent upon the tasking along with the specialists to operate it.

andy reeves

money

andy reeves

if you aren’t going to fit them, leave them off the design.

Phillip Johnson

If you follow world press you will have noticed that in ‘AustMin’ talks in the US this week, the Australian Foreign and Defence Ministers ducked (again) the question of the RAN conducting/participating in FONOPS in the SCS.
The logic behind the duck was that the US had the resources to escalate if the Chinese played rough whereas the RAN didn’t.
Simple question does the UK government have the will/resources to escalate if it comes to that?

Donaldson

The RAN conducted FONOPs in the SCS just last week with a 5-ship task force.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-23/australian-warships-encounter-chinese-navy-south-china-sea/12481514

Last edited 11 months ago by Donaldson
OldSchool

Yes but they didn’t if I recall correctly approach with the 12 mile limit (as the US has at times). I think that is what the US would like Oz to di.

andy reeves

the u.s would have to help enforce it

Phillip Johnson

Australia has a policy to transit and train in the SCS and the RAN and the RAAF are frequently up there for those purposes.
However there appears to be no willingness to enter the 12 mile limit zones around the sand islands that China has built even though the ‘islands’ don’t meet the UN legal status for a 12 mile limit.
US FONOPS generally penetrate the 12 limit to demonstrate that it does not accept these constructs as islands.
Question`is what is the UK willing to do?
If you are just transiting to port visits here and here and exercises with the locals you will likely get a burst of rude diplomatic words from China.
If you are willing to penetrate the claimed 12 mile limits you will likely get a more strident response.
Point I am making is that the UK needs to be prepared for what ever it plans to do. Doing something and then backing away would be worse than useless.

Will O

Legally the 12 mile limits don’t exist.
The Chinese forces stationed there have no legitimacy & are effectively an invasion force.
Politically, the 12 mile limits should therefore be disregarded by the entire international community.
Practically though, IF you’re going to actively make a point of disregarding the 12 mile limits, why of all things would you use your Carriers to do it instead of something with a shallower draught & better designed for the task with less risk of running aground?

Phillip Johnson

Generally if you don’t have the power to enforce them, laws are just so many words. The problem with the Chinese islands is that they are there. If they stay there and it is most unlikely they will be removed they will become the status quo that people learn to live with.

Gavin Gordon

That’s a point that hovers in the back of many folks minds, I believe. Technically, we do have the power to enforce them. They do not belong to the Chinese so a strike upon them would not be a infringement of Sovereign territory. As you say, China must view the (predicted) lack of response as a very satisfactory outcome, considering what resources their action liberates from other state’s legitimate claims. Further afield, they regularly intimidate and attack other legitimate – as defined under UNCLOS – users of all corners of the SCS waters wherever those vessels impinge on Chinese objectives. They’ve become confident thus far that there will be no comeback for any action, so more of the same rampant contempt for the rest of the world – and over the rest of the world – will proliferate.
The international community could justifiably give Beijing a taste of it’s own medicine by the above mentioned response. If Beijing wished to escalate the status of their bluff to a war under, the spurious claim of an attack on ‘their territory’, then let them try.
Genuinely, I’m not intending to come across as overtly gungho, since there is a heaviness as I write this. But, if we will not act against illegal military personnel and equipment on isolated ‘unowned’ islands – a direct confrontation with international law to the detriment of so many – then when will we take counter action?
Yours

andy reeves

not the resources or the political will unless there is a direct threat to the u.k or its assets

Tristan

Just a small point, article refers to Jerry Kyd as Rear Admiral when he is in fact Vice Admiral.

Garry Gopping

I honestly think politicians are living in their own world

The ‘fitted fit bit not with ‘ rubbish had been in place since type45 construction and David Cameron’s resurrection of the 10 year no war rule ( that expires this year btw)

If Bojo wants a global Britain he’s gotta pay for the defence assets to Guarantee its economic Security

Anything else is just bluff and bluster

Sunmack

In fairness, David Cameron’s 10 year no war rule expired after a year when we took military action against Libya

GoppingGipper

fair point, i did mean a peer power war though

Michael Walsby

We should never have taken action against Libya. It was a blunder of the first magnitude and a very predictable disaster. I should know, because I predicted it before the first NATO shot was fired and everything turned out exactly as I said it would, with Libya in chaos, Gaddafi’s weapons stockpiles in the hands of terrorists and half of N. Africa destabilised. We also tricked Russia and China into supporting it, and they are still smarting from the deception. Blair’s policy of constructive engagement was bearing fruit until that idiot Cameron decided he wanted regime change. I’m glad to say he was equally incompetent in his attempts to keep us in the EU.

Meirion X

This Article is of No relation to Libya! Please keep to subject it is about.

Last edited 11 months ago by Meirion X
IwanR

Alternatively, a transit of the SCS but avoiding most of the waters claimed by the Chinese would be a compromise.

How exactly does one do that? There is even a small patch of international waters that is claimed by no one but the Chinese. Is it just avoiding the reefs by 12 nautical miles?

Perhaps a visit to Brunei and then passage through the proposed Archipelagic Sea Lane 2 of the Philippines? Pretty sure only the Americans use that route.

Quite certain a lot of military vessels pass through the SCS. Haven’t heard of anyone avoiding it or accepting the Chinese claim of the area. This includes the navies of the other permanent UN security council members like France and Russia.

Cam

How about paying a visit the thousands of British gurkhas actually Based in Brunei permenantly?, have them aboard the carrier for some R+R

Duker

More like 500

Cam

I thought it was over a thousand.

Gunbuster

500 and some other advisers on Loan Service.

Cam

Ok, atleast we are being paid to keep them In Brunei

Mike

Another excellent and well balanced article. Just one thing though about Exports. We Import far more from China than we Export, if we cut that out as well our balance of trades with them would improve dramatically. Also on inward investment. The downside is that they end up with the asset. The test should be, would we, could we and should we be making that investment ourselves.

GoppingGipper

I think its not jst about ecominic consderations anymore, but actual raw power and inlfluence. It would be hard to wean ourselves off the investment but with the will it can be done.

The only issue i can see is if the short termism of politics leads to leaders looking for quick fixes and this is where chinese money is very attractive as its comes with less conditions and allows big flagship projects to go ahead ( HS2, Hinkley Point etc)

Gavin Gordon

Of course, part of the China’s multi-faceted plan is to so entangle states economically that they become over hestitant to react to the politburo’s wider expansionist policies. Some of the options in this blog rightly take account of this. Politicians, by their very nature, could well be over sensitive to this particular aspect – though it’s not a complete given.
However, I think it generally true that, if politicians are allowed too much headroom on decisions of this nature i.e. military deployment, the outcome is less that satisfactory. I think of the command structure of the powerful Italian fleet during WWII, and also the overall negative political reaction to Argentina’s Falkland invasion during 1982.
With regard to the CSC, best let the RN Command judge what is achievable by a combination of our own assets and those of our allies. One trusts that the Sea Lords’ are neither gungho nor timid.
On a final note (for now): to be fair, it’s not that we lack recent maritime challenges that have tested the RN’s mettle e.g. the Gulf straights, and HMS Duncan in the Black Sea being a couple we’re all familiar with. I’m sure there are others, of which some will be entirely unseen.
Regards

neville yeo

People…. just leave China alone….. Everything you buy is Chinese…… If you don ‘t like them, just stop buying there stuff……….. I mentioned tis on another site and got Banned…..


Last edited 11 months ago by neville yeo
Gavin Gordon

Hello, Yeo. We’ve mentioned this also. It’s not the Chinese people – it’s the Politburo who are the issue. Latest little snippet, for an instance, implies that in theory any individual anywhere in the world who sides Hong Kong could be liable to prosecution by Beijing – they are a joke. When they wind their neck in so can everyone else.
Don’t see you getting banned here, other than for offensive language, maybe. But coherent explanation of your thoughts could be an interesting contribution.
Regards

D J

Neville – I take your point. However, part of the problem is that China has no intention of leaving everyone else alone. The other problem to consider, if you stop buying their stuff, will that slow them down or speed them up?

Will O

Neville, China is invading all it’s neighbours, just slowly & incrementally, & it will continue to unless & until someone stands up to it, which should really have been done during Obama’s Presidency when they first laid claim to the Scarborough Shoal.

D M

Sabre rattling when your sabre is little more than a pen knife is a risky business. I guess the go ahead will depend on the Americans. If Biden wins the election I doubt he will jump straight into antagonising the Chinese. That will mean no American forces and no CSG going to the SCS.

Stephen

Are nuclear weapons “little more than a pen knife”?

Duker

UK no longer has any tactical nuclear weapons, its an SLBM strike or nothing

D M

Exactly. As I said in a previous comment cake or death. Until this country chooses to invest in more than just a token conventional force that will always be the only choice.

Gavin Gordon

There are hints, not a lot more substantial than that at the moment, that the CMC being developed with the USA could be somewhat more flexible than just a Trident launcher, if necessary.

Michael Walsby

Nuclear weapons are for deterrence, not actual use. Unfortunately, some people seem to think carriers fall into the same category. They don’t. Neither side will be daft enough to use nukes in the SCS.

As USA and China are on a collision course, there is bound to be a resort to arms sooner or later. If both sides use common sense, it could be just a brief naval confrontation lasting no more than a few days (Jutland lasted only about 24 hours), but there is no telling how far it might escalate.

Right now, China is heavily outgunned, so my guess is that US admirals would prefer a showdown sooner rather than later. China will have far more naval resources at its disposal in five or six years time.

Simon

Many thanks for your very imformed article. Much appreciated for landlubbers like my self. Particularly as my son is in the sea cadets

Michael Walsby

Have we gone mad? No one seems to see anything wrong with the situation described in the article! Britain never became a great sea power by having timid admirals. Remember what happened to Admiral Byng? As in those days, we need to encourage the others.

Of course, Jerry Kyd is absolutely right in demanding that his carrier be fully armed, with a full complement of aircraft and an adequate escort, We don’t want to repeat the Glorious fiasco of 1940 when an escort of two destroyers had to take on two German battlecruisers.

No one has ever before suggested it would be much more expensive to keep a carrier in the Pacific than in the Atlantic. The whole carrier project has been mismanaged from start to finish by our incompetent MoD, and I shouldn’t need to tell you what the blunders were. The threat from Russia in the Atlantic is trivial by comparison with the threat from China in the Pacific. We need to stand by our most important ally, especially as on this occasion (unlike some previous ones) the Americans are absolutely in the right regarding freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. The proper function of a carrier should be hard power; projecting soft power should be a minor afterthought.

DaveyB

I don’t disagree, when the carriers were first thought of, Russia was perceived as the main threat. However, there is a new kid on the block and they aspire to be a super power. They have and are getting lots of shiny new toys, but don’t have the experience to back that up. There are a number of crucial factors that will come in to play a lot sooner than expected and has a lot to do with the population size of China.

With a population nearly 1.4 billion, that is a lot of mouths to feed. The requirement to feed this number is already showing environmentally, as the Yellow Sea that separates Korea from China has nearly exhausted its fish stocks. The Party is all to aware that they need to keep the population under control. So they are basically doing a land grab, i.e. the South China Sea, for its resources. They have already comes to blows with both the Philippines and Vietnam over fishing rights. Where their fishing fleets are backed up by the coastguard vessels. They have even come to blows with Japan where they heavily damaged some Japanese fishing vessels near Okinawa. This is I believe the main reason why they have built up the atoll bases, not only top bully the other SCS nations, but also to make a statement, i.e. this area is now ours.

China also wants to wipe the history slate clean of being the “sick man of Asia”, which has a lot to do with the belligerence they are displaying recently. Then there’s the thorny issue of Taiwan! Just why are they building up their numbers of warships and carrier groups, but also investing heavily in amphibious capabilities? Simple its to threaten Taiwan. They now have the numbers to blockade Taiwan and could put a dent in the US Navy trying to lift that blockade.

China have effectively ignored the World Court ruling over their land (sea) grab. So its vitally important that we and other Nations prove they can’t get away with it. One of these is to sail a carrier group through the SCS visiting Nations around it and showing the Flag. But more importantly it is saying to Commonwealth countries around that area, we have your back!

Edd

The brit fleet and F35B aircraft have gaps? Lets hope the Chinese don’t plug those gaps with a high speed anti-ship missiles.
Also with the current turmoil in the states under ‘bunkerboy’. Is anyone giving any thought to the worst case e.g a break out of civil war which would put a end to F35s of any version being delivered? Far out I know but in 2000 if you had put it to an american that terrorists would use airliners as weapons………..
For the Dutch, Norwegians , Italians and Danes Rafale or Gripen would slot in well and with the ECM self defense suits and stand off air/air air/ground weapons they could well defend and attack if needed. And they could maintain and modify them to their hearts contend which you cannot do with F35 as the US forbids it. Of course if its Civil war 2 then the stateside teams who do the maintenance will be with their AR-15s on the street.
Britain on the other hand will just look silly as usual trying to look like a big boy on the world stage with time expired F35Bs that cannot move an inch.

X

F35B is an oddity in that in theory in 10 years or so it will be able to fly off more ships than CTOL types. But it also cuts off from the main branch of naval aviation development which is still CTOL. For me with hindsight I would have bought a CTOL ship. But we are where we are. I would be throwing money at Crowsnest now.

X

I don’t see any other VSTOL fighters in development. Even this Tempest concept that gets numpties on sites like this all orgasmic isn’t going to be offered to work off the carriers.

The USN (and in a way the Chinese and French) are all pursuing new CTOL systems.

I would humbly suggest that a lack of FJ’s in numbers there is still a need to defend the carrier. So yes I would be investing in Crowsnest.

Another stupid unqualified down vote.

David Barry

In your second paragraph you state that “in 2000 if you had put it to an american that terrorists would use airliners as weapons…”

I would gamble a fiver that almost all the BritArmy, a fair chunk of the RN and even a few crabs would have read Tom Clancey’s Red Storm Rising and continued buying his books including…’Executive Orders’ published in 1996, where terrorists fly a jumbo jet into…

Doubt there will be a Civil War in the US, Trump should be gone by year end.

However, taking your premise about black swan events and the almost universal downplay on this site of Chinese hostilities, Chin fearing massive loss of face, trouble in Hong Kong, and its own doctors obtaining Western media outlets for dissatisfaction with the regime’s handling of the crisis, they might actually attack.

Stranger things have happened in life.

borg

Huh ?

X

Trump should be gone by year end.

That’s interesting. On what do you base your opinion?

Geoffrey Hicking

On behalf of whoever has it in for you, I apologise for these down-votes.

Seriously, why are they doing it? It’s bizarre.

X

Thank you.

What troubles me is when facts get down voted for no reason.

But the site owners are happy with it so who are we to argue?

borg

On Sites like this, there are no real names, so It’s easy to hide in the shadows and act like a Child/Troll. Other sites quickly learnt to delete this function.

Adrian

Here’s my armchair amateur opinion.

I think the SCS FONOP is largely a minor issue if the UK does it.

How often will it happen? Once every 3-4 years? That’s insignificant.

And the UK will need to use a large fraction of it’s frontline fleet to protect the carrier, just like the RAN does when the Canberra Class goes a-gallvanting.

I’m not saying FONOPS isn’t necessary. It is, and ideally the UK would be able to do many each year. But it’s not possible, and is far less important for a country like the UK, compared to Australia, the US and any other Asian country.

Sure, do one to show that the carrier and the RN can do a long distance deployment. But otherwise it’s a waste of time and money better used to work out how to get more Type 26’s in the water, and faster.

DaveyB

I think doing the “World Tour” is vital to the country’s PR and will have an impact on getting closer ties and business with not only Commonwealth countries, but others in and around the SCS. We have two carriers so for them it is feasible to do an annual tour. However, it is the support assets required to go with them. We are still looking at a current minimum of 2 T45s, 2 T23s, One Oiler, One Solid support ship and one sub. But also not forgetting the air assets required to fill the ship. To achieve an annual tour, these types of vessels, aircraft and crews will need to be ready. It is pushing the limits of what’s achievable, especially with only one solid support ship available and the small number of F35s and Merlins. The likelihood therefore, is that the RN will probably do a bi-annual tour.

I fully support speeding up the delivery of the T26s, as for this kind of task the T31s won’t be suited.

Edd

Instead of in the south china sea getting involved in a game of ”mines bigger than yours” with the chinese , the carrier and its escort vessels could be better employed in the Channel to stem the migrants in inflatable boats trying to get in for the free house,benefits and terrorist gangs etc. Not only are they putting themselves at risk but its only been good luck that none of them have been run down my the heavy shipping that uses that route.
The carrier would act like a floating base of ops for rotary wing and smaller vessels carrying royal marines. Hopefully they will stop and allow themselves to be boarded but if not a .308 winchester through the outboard motor should get the message across.

Rob

I suspect that the QE deployment will be multi-national. Not just the aircraft (mix of UK & US F35s) but also the escorts. Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea & the US could all provide additional escorts. They may also rotate so that ships come and go from the Carrier Group.

Bloggs

Please don’t send the carrier to the South China Sea without a decent CIWS system. Australia sent HMAS Canberra there recently which also is virtually defenseless. ( yes they has escorts but….) No point in having a naval vessel unable to defend itself.

Jon

I have just read through the excellent comments and discussion.

I hope this first deployment is a success and all return home safe with lots of experience and learning under their belts.

It may be we look back in a decade and see this as the tipping point for a new renaissance for the RN.

But I have to say the constant down voting of x constitutes bullying of the lowest order and does not show the site in a good light.

[…] taken on new sig­nif­i­cance. Set to embark on its first mis­sion next year, the warship’s potential visit to the dis­put­ed South China Sea may prove reveal­ing as to whether Anglo-Chinese rela­tions […]

[…] have taken on new significance. Set to embark on its first mission next year, the warship’s potential visit to the disputed South China Sea may prove revealing as to whether Anglo-Chinese relations have […]

[…] taken on new significance. Set to embark on its first mission subsequent 12 months, the warship’s potential visit to the disputed South China Sea could show revealing as as to if Anglo-Chinese language relations […]

[…] have taken on new significance. Set to embark on its first mission next year, the warship’s potential visit to the disputed South China Sea may prove revealing as to whether Anglo-Chinese relations have […]

https://www.google.com/search?maybe its time the modern day navy’s woke up to the valid case for missile boats in the modern threat environments threaenviromentq=Iranian+missiles+on+fishing+boats&sxsrf=ALeKk02yQc1yCa6h5haADlBaZIrBfS6U9g:1600358742497&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjA8-_yyPDrAhXWTBUIHQ4zDyMQ_AUoAXoECA0QAw&biw=1266&bih=571#imgrc=gfMQJCZdFu-gZM THE IRANIAN ARE MOUNTING CRUISE MISSILES ONTO FISHING BOATS. THESE IN MY POSTING ATE CRUISE MISSILES MOUNTED ON A LEISURE speedboat challenger built br bradstock IN THE U.K the threat of the missile boat has been acknowledged by both the royal and u.s navy’s the bradstock, marine, boats are actually SLIGHTLY SMALLER THAN AN ARCHER PATROL BOAT OF WHICH THE r.n has 17!!!! the u.k could station a squadron on the the north east coast and use it to shadow regular u.k waters incursions by the russians. many navy’s count corvettes and missile craft in their main inventory. WHY NOT THE U.K? 17 archer patrol/missile boats, 5 batch 22 2 rivers/corvettes an increase of 22 vessels DOUBLES the size of the royal navy’s ships with ships WE ALREADY HAVE.its not the government or the treasury we should be pointing the finger at, ITS THE ADMIRALTY.

andy reeves

Strike group lol 24 f 35s and a few tomahawks from an astute? utter rubbish.most modern conflicts start with a cruise missile attack none of the proposed group can do it. I’d like to see BaE and MBDA task ed to produce a system like the club k every ship in the RN can have space for a container 4 missiles per ship would make a massive change to the power of the group

D J

Andy

I don’t normally do this. But I was looking back through some old articles (looking for something mentioned by DaveyB actually) & came across a massive number of your posts made in the last few days (when most were a month ago). You are behaving like a 14 year old. Now if you are in fact 14, that is understandable, but I suggest you tone it down a little. If you are not 14, I suggest a reassessment may be in order. There are a few sites where this behaviour would have seen you banned already.

[…] need to walk a fine line if it is to com­bine its ongo­ing activ­i­ties in the Baltics and South China Sea with the emerg­ing “win with­out fight­ing” real­i­ties of infor­ma­tion war­fare. […]