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Max Jones

Interesting analysis. Of course, it is a very broad way of looking at it, much like comparing ship numbers, ‘firepower’ or similar metrics.

Buyan scores a 5 but I don’t think the argument for it being more capable than a Type 26 is very strong. It doesn’t even have a helicopter which is probably the most valuable component of an anti-submarine vessel.

Obviously their broader roles are different but it still seems slightly skewed if you explore individual ships or the value of different weapon systems, or non-weapon systems that are equally important.

Jon

Like the Type 26 the Buyan also has short-range missile system plus a medium calibre gun and CIWS. However, why compare a missile/artillery ship’s ability to hunt subs with a specialist ASW ship?

The Buyan is a 500 ton corvette that serves in the Caspian Sea and local rivers. A quarter the displacement of the B2 Rivers and a fraction of their cost, you could buy nearly 40 Buyans for the cost of a Type 26. It no more needs a helicopter than a British fisheries protection OPV. Russia can fly aircraft from their mainland. The Buyan’s shallow draft of about 2m and water jet propulsion means it can go places blue water vessels can’t.

For what it’s designed to do the orignal Buyan is far more capable than the Type 26, which will not be able to operate in the Caspian at all.

The point is that even a small Russian patrol vessel has a 100mm gun, two 30mm guns, machine guns, VLS, missiles, rockets and grenade launchers.

Last edited 20 days ago by Jon
Cam

Well considering the Caspian Sea is land locked we would be pretty hard pressed to get a Royal Navy ship in there.

Paul T

The Caspian Sea is Navigable by River – the Russian build up of Forces around Ukraine recently saw some of the Caspian Sea Fleet transfer to the Black Sea.Sailing a T26 through them is probably out of the question,but a River Class would be ok.

Jon

That southern route the Caspian flotilla used would be tight even for a B1 River. The Volga-Don max is 141 m (463 ft) long, 16.8 m (55 ft) wide and 3.6 m (12 ft) deep. The nominal draft of a B1 River is 3.8 m so it would have to go through unladen. However the Volga-Baltic route allows for a draft of 4.2m and as you say, Rivers could easily manage that, as could Archers, Hunts, Sandowns and HMS Magpie.

Back on topic, the small Soviet-era Shmel class (c. 75 tons displacement) that formed part of Caspian flotilla transfer has a 75mm main gun, two 25mm guns, rocket launchers, grenade launcher, machine guns and mine laying capability. Imagine upgunning the P2000s to a similar standard. The university units would have a fun day out with that lot. Much better for their mock attacks on the carrier group than FFBNW.

Last edited 17 days ago by Jon
Tim Hirst

I think there is an error in the spreadsheet. It show the T31 as having a gun bigger than 100mm for NGS, I think the main gun on the T31 is 57mm.

I’m also not sure about not crediting the T31’s 40mm’s as ciws. They may not be multi barrelled but with modern ammo they are intended to do the same job as the phalanx.

Callum

I had the same thoughts. Makes even less sense when the US FFG X has the same main gun but isn’t credited with a Y for NGS

D J

Also the RAN Anzacs don’t have a CIWS. RNZN Anzacs do (but have less missiles).

Sunmack

I understand out 40mm mounts will not he radar guided meaning that they can’t be used in the CIWS role. I stand to be corrected.

X

Oh lummy. 🙁

Tim Hirst

I disagree. The Phalanx doesn’t fire guided ammunition, it relies on hits with non explosive rounds. The 40mm can fire exploding shells with time/proximity fuses. I would argue that lots of 20mm projectiles and lots of shrapnel are equivalent. Close in both can work well.
At the longer ranges the 57mm can operate at a guided projectile comes into their own.

Phillip Johnson

Not quite, the phalanx fires what is in effect a stream of projectiles at what is generally a closing target. 40mm and Sea RAM, and other missiles for that matter, will form a donut of fragments around the exploding proximity fused warhead, most of which will miss.
What Plalanx lacks is range not impact energy, at least close in..

Rob N

Not quite true either the 3p amo used on the 57 and 40s has about 3 motes. One is impact, one is proximity and the last is an area bounded. The gun can mix and match the types dependant on the threat. So it is more flexible and smarter than Phalanx and longer range.

Bob

That longer range is useless though if you are relying on the human eye to aim it at a fast moving target.

Rob N

No normally radar or optics.

Nick B

Presumably the 40 mm would need to be through deck mounted with the auto-loading magazine system (as well as radar, IR and image intensifier controllable)

D J

Most 40mm are not through deck mounted (if you are meaning below deck reloading systems). They tend to have 72-100 rounds onboard the turret.

Rob N

Hi I am not sure that can be true, the 40mm do not have on mount radar so they have to get target data from the ships command program this will have radar as an input. There will also be optical targeting. There should be a fussed targeting picture the 40s and 57 can work off. So I very much doubt the guns will not receive targeting data tgat is informed by radar. As a result they should be capable of CIWS activities.

Supportive Bloke

It is a very straightforward digital interface with the CMS. I know one individual was banging on about it not being interfaced a while back but it is so easy to do I’d be somewhat amazed if it wasn’t done.

The 40mm guns can switch mode from the electro optical director to radar guided and back again.

I’d be amazed if it wasn’t done as it is an essential layer of defence.

Sonik

The interface itself may be simple but isn’t gun targeting for CIWS rather complicated/difficult with an off-mount solution?

It’s not in line with the axis of fire so the incidence angles have to be constantly recalculated in real time, against a fast moving target, while accounting for wind, gravity and ship movement.

Not saying it’s impossible but easy is not the word I would use! I guess proximity/pre-frag does reduce the need for pinpoint accuracy.

Last edited 17 days ago by Ben Robins
Supportive Bloke

That problem was solved a long time ago. It is a core function of CMS to do that kind of targeting.

It is essential to have a fused picture so that the most appropriate weapon engages the threat.

That said the 40mm can, for sure, be taken off CMS and switched to electro optical targeting if CMS or main radar, for any reason, fail.

You are right that the reason Phalanx and GoalKeeper used on mount radar was to avoid the offset maths. Processing power was very limited with ‘70’s electronics so it was a deminimis solution.

D J

On mount radar also allows a CIWS to operate independently of the sensors & CMS of the ship. Handy when the ship concerned does not have the required sensors or CMS.

DJE

The 40mm guns will each have their own director system, the Thales Mirador EO director system is very capable and can provide a CIWS function, as does the NS110 radar.

Patrick Goff

I fear the mindset that sent battleships to patrol looking for Japanese forces without air cover, task group ships to the Falklands without effective air defences (I don’t count cooks with MG’s ). I fear for carriers sent out with out their own air defence systems (Courageous) – and 18 F35’s are not going to be enough against a mass attack by (say) Chinese aircraft in the South China Seas.

Accountants should be made to sail into the dangers in ships they have robbed of equipment, preferably with politicians tide to whatever passes for a mast these days

pompeyblokeinoxford

Well put. Life would be much easier if the bean counters had experience of the front line. And, I dont just mean defence.

Sean

I didn’t realise we were already at war with China…
The CSG is not sailing into battle, it’s going on a deployment that involves developing closer ties and operational experience with allied navies and a freedom of navigation cruise. So 18 F35Bs should be sufficient.
The technical designation of air-defence systems of the carrier is “T45”. And it has two of them.

Meirion X

Totally agree Sean!

Rob N

Yes but when you compare the defensive fit of our carrier to every other significant carrier – it is lacking. Other countries arm their carriers AND have protective ships, The UK is not being cleaver it is being cheep…

What if you loose a T45? The T45 runs out of missiles (the only have 48 each). If you are going to build a carrier you should not skimp on its defence. I understand that even the 30mm mounts have been deleted! Just leaving the minimum Phalanx cover (it was built to carry 4, it only has 3).

Lets just get over the bull and admit it the UK is not interested it properly equipping its ships as it does not want to pay for it.

Cam

The funny thing is, we do actually pay through our teeth for our ships already…it’s just the deals me make with contractors, we gota get more tough with them.

Rob N

Agree they are having a laugh. Hopefully after BAE lost the T31 they may think twice about messing around.

Meirion X

We are going to SCS at this stage in peace time, there is Not a war on at this moment! In the future the CSG will go to SCS with more aircraft in war time.

Chinese aircraft are far from perfect, anyway with problematic jet engines and unreliable AEW

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
Bob

Excuse me old chap, but no one told me you intended to start a fight.
Would you mind awfully if I popped back to old Blighty and fitted a few more weapons before we start. Jolly decent of you sir.

Meirion X

If China was to start a war while the QE CSG was nearby, more warpons would be flown over to places in the region e.g Australia and loaded on there.

Duker

The must have a war plan, it will be blockade China to cut off its oil, coal,iron ore and all the other uncountable container ships carrying its exports and imports.
It will be a repeat of WW 1&2 in North Sea with distant blockade to choke the Chinese economy tout suite

Last edited 19 days ago by Duker
Meirion X

I agree, with a checkpoint at the Strait of Malacca?

Bob

If a war was to start while the CSG was nearby it would likely include a pre-emptive strike on the carrier.

Deep32

No it wouldn’t, the first targets would be the High Value Units (HVUs) – first the AOR, then the the Supply ship, without those, the TG goes home!

Nick B

How do you add the 16 extra VLS to a Type 45 in Australia, when we don’t have the VLS system on order let alone the weapons to fit with in it ? I also assume the space is used for something and no just empty right now as well.

Meirion X

It would be a warpon that the RN would have access to, and in store, that would fitted deployed abroad in somewhere like Australia.
I am not party to that information of RN emergency stocks of warpons.

Last edited 16 days ago by Meirion X
D J

Actually the space is still there. It just means lowering the ceiling somewhat in the gym. (from something like 6m). Australia does not itself produce any of the ammunition used on the T45. It does produce 5” (127mm) ammunition, and I gather it does produce some of the components used in the 4.5” ammo (but not the whole thing). All the missiles are non compatible. even though NZ does use CAAM (T45 doesn’t).

Duker

‘sent battleships to patrol looking for Japanese forces without air cover’
Churchill!
The plan initally did include Indomitable but she ran around in Carribean

Gunbuster

Its overly simplistic to only compare stuff that goes woosh and bang .
A warship is a system of systems.
Even the most mundane of minor systems can have a negative effect on overall weapon system performance if its input is lost.
Losing wind speed and direction anemometers seriously messes up NGS , Decoy Chaff and Helo ops…so you better have at least 2 fitted in case it goes U/S.

For a T45 and now the T23, no target illuminating radars are required, unlike say a Tico or AB which needs them . The most common USN AAW weapon is Standard 2 a Semi Active homer so best practise is 2 shots at a target. For active homers such as Viper and Ceptor and USN Standard 6 its mostly one per target. The importance in the number of VLS tubes comes down when that is taken into consideration. Ok its a simplistic measure but 48 tubes = 48 targets on a T45 …96 Tubes =48 Targets on an AB…but some of the tubes may have other missiles in them so that number of AAW missiles available will come down. If an AB only has 64 tubes with AAW missiles in them it should be less capable than a T45 as it only has 32 shots available?

PESA/ AESA Radar, EW systems, Sonar, Decoys, Helo capability in ASW and ASuW all need considering to get an overall picture.
Merlin Carries 4 torpedos…most other helos only carry 2.
Wildcat has 2 torpedos but also Anti ship missiles and now Martlett .
Torpedo tubes ok…but whats in them? If its a 1960s era Mk46 or Mk46/Mk50 bastardised MK54 it is pretty worthless against most ASW targets.
Sting Ray as you obviously know is streets ahead of anything else out there.

Yes I will agree that RN vessels appear to have less weapon systems on them but its the operational capability of those weapon systems that counts.
As you say a tail equipped T23 is much sought after asset in a TG for doing Awfully Slow Warfare because it is very very good at what it does as is a T45 at being the AAW commander in a TG.

And yes a new SSGW with land attack capability would be good to have but rumour has it that Ceptor will get a Surface attack capability this year which will be a good, if somewhat short ranged, addition for T23 and T26 ASuW

Sunmack

T45 can’t be the AAW commander in a task group with US ships as it’s lack of Co-operative Engagement Capability means it can’t network fully with the US vessels

X

Actually it can. The USN actually really like T45 for that job.

Meirion X

Yes, correct!

Andy a

I thought they cut the co operative capabilities to save cash?

Meirion X

No, you are wrong again!

Andy a

Yeah didn’t they cut to penny pinch?

D J

CEC is normally a two way street. ie both sides can see the same view & can even fire someone else’s missiles if given permission. You don’t need CEC on a RN ship to feed out radar & other sensor data to someone else (just data links & agreed formats).

Meirion X

Ceptor too short range for SSGW, GB.
Maybe useful for short range lightweight targets. But certainly Not heavyweight targets!

The USN are to use Tomahawk as long range ASM.

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
Tim Hirst

I don’t know what your on about. The Sea Ceptor was never planned as a SSGW.

Gavin Gordon

There was an ASuW option on the table if/when required.
Although not selected by RN, I believe they have ‘gamed’ the ability in exercises, but happy to stand corrected on this point.

Meirion X

It was mentioned by Gunbuster, I was replying to him.

Spellchecker

I never know what you’re on about with your crap spelling.

Sonik

Thanks for the detailed analysis as always, it’s great to get these viewpoints from someone who has done this for real and understands what really counts.

Personally I think all of the armed forces have long been underfunded Vs what’s been expected of them, and this will inevitably lead to service personnel being put in unnecessarily dangerous situations. But at the same time the RN in particular still have plenty of world class capabilities and are doing a reasonable job of making the best of what they have.

Ultimately it’s not a game of top trumps.

Meirion X

Yes EW defence is very important for the RN.

Gavin Gordon

GB. Off topic, I know. But responding to the SC ASuW rumour you’ve mentioned, I wonder if you’ve heard anything on the extent to which the River B2s are to be up-gunned, as mentioned by Fleet’s WO1 recently?

X

Yes and no. Let’s look at USN CBG vs a RN CBG. How many escorts in the former can do AAW? And how many in the latter? What 5 verses 2? And those 5 will be contributing to overall defence of the group not just AAW so will be helping with ASW too. Again 5 verses 2. As good as Sea Viper is it is a cul-de-sac. AEGIS is 40 years old and an evolving system. T23 with 2087 is excellent and hopefully T26 will continue on that. Much superior to Burke. But numbers again. Are 5 USN escorts better than 2 T23? What of the future? What about constellation? Consider in a high threat environment the US CBG will be sitting behind a CAP and under the watch of E2 with probably 2 SSN’s close by. The USN has everything in depth and is constantly improving. We have some good things now and but very few in number. The RN relies on the USN. With hindsight T45 should have replaced both T42 and T22/T23. We don’t have the depth in age where weapons are gaining range, speed, and sophistication. Our escorts need to be able to threaten the archer not just dodge arrows. Not just above water but below it too. And the surface gap needs to be plugged too. We can’t rely having a mix of ship in the right place all the time. That goes back to the 1950s when the first T12(M) went down the slip.

As for helicopters Merlin may carry 4 torpedoes. But the USN deploys ASROC too. The missiles Wildcat carries may be OK for less than peer but against somebody who can shoot back? What is needed is a heavy AShM for Merlin with an OTH capability.

I don’t think the Russians or Chinese will be scared of a SeaCeptor with a surface attack capability.

Airborne

To be fair you are talking about numbers not capabilites, and GB is talking about the capbility aspect. And we all know the RN, indeed all our forces are low on modern assets which can actually fight a war and hope to survive.

Deep32

Hi mate, I had much the same discusdian with GB over on UKDJ a few weeks ago, although not in such broad terms. I think that both views are perfectly valid ones, but, attrition rates will be high in any peer conflict no matter how capable said units. I think ultimately in such a scenario, its numbers that will count.

Airborne

Agreed, I’m always waffling on about no matter how good your tech and capabilities, you will always need an absolute minimum number which we can never go beyond. There is always a need for attrition replacements and the ability for battle damage repair. And I fear that in all 3 services we are at the absolute minimum and in fact tin some areas we are below what is credible. Numbers do count mate no matter what some will say cheers.

Meirion X

“With hindsight T45 should have replaced both T42 and T22/T23.”

Certainly far off the mark again!
Not possible to have the best of both Worlds!

Harpoon would be best ASM for Merlin. to carry.

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
Airborne

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, he shoots and scores once more. Here we are again, your subject matter experience is thrown into the ball park and not many, if anyone, wants to argue. I do enjoy reading your posts GB, as its from an experienced realist that doesnt like top trumps! Warfare is all about a number of capabilites, working in unison, to achieve the end state. And how many civvies (with all due respect to them) seem to forget about skills, drills and the people operating these systems. The one thing we can be sure about is that for person to person, the RN have pretty much the best. Although you would all prety much fall by the wayside in the mighty British Army…………….. ;0)

Warren

What are going to when gunbuster stops posting his bang on comments

OOA

It’s interesting to see two insiders at odds on this. I have no doubt that the complexity you refer to is a real factor, and perhaps also the defining one – but this will self-evidently be true of all Navies and yet the majority appear to have a different approach to the RN. So the question is, who’s right? Them or us? When so much is potentially at stake, surely some kind of precautionary principle should apply. Under-arming the T31 is one thing but under-arming the T26 to my mind means that we’re guilty of seriously degrading our capabilities or we got the concept wrong in the first place.

Sonik

I think both views are partially correct. It’s no secret that RN cheap out for budgetary reasons and there are a number of gaps, some of which seem nonsensical given the fairly minor cost savings.

But it’s also true that what does get fitted to RN vessels is generally well considered, highly effective and fully operational. Fit is based on how the vessels, weapons and overall fleet are intended to be used, in real world threat situations. RN also does not waste resources with things that have minimal tactical value e.g. ship launched torpedoes. Keep it simple and effective seems to be the mantra.

That’s not the case for many other navies, having ships bristling with poorly integrated, poorly maintained weapons, some of questionable tactical value. And often having very heavily armed ships as a poor substitute for overall fleet depth (in which I would also include availability, reach & logistics capability)

Russia being a case in point, but there are plenty more examples.

Last edited 17 days ago by Ben Robins
Supportive Bloke

Agreed.

Except that the missiles RN now fit are state of the art.

Sonik

Yes – that was kinda my point! Less of it, but top quality stuff that’s effective.

Last edited 17 days ago by Ben Robins
Supportive Bloke

I totally agree with that GB is saying.

I have a slightly different overall take on this.

Firstly, as I often day on here, only fit really current stuff that you are 100% sure is of value. Anything else distracts from the task of focussing minds on having a proper operational capability.

Secondly having masses of kit on board requires masses of people to maintain it. Also masses of sensors that will all very slightly degrade each other.

Thirdly, most controversially, you can actually over-arm a vessel and turn it into a floating arms fair / jumble sale where confusion exists on which system to use for what. That reduces operational effectiveness.

Pmichael

>For a T45 and now the T23, no target illuminating radars are required, unlike say a Tico or AB which needs them . The most common USN AAW weapon is Standard 2 a Semi Active homer so best practise is 2 shots at a target. For active homers such as Viper and Ceptor and USN Standard 6 its mostly one per target.

What kind of nonsense is that?

Meirion X

Active homing is likely more accurate.

Pmichael

It isn’t. Semi vs. active homing is a complex field and can’t be boiled down to a simple statement. There are good reasons why the SM-2 is semi-active (actually, it isn’t anymore so it can use the best of two worlds). But the claim that two semi-active homing SM-2 have the same probability of destroying a target as one active homing Aster is maybe one of the dumbest things I have heard in the comment sections of this website. And that’s pretty telling.

DaveyB

No, it’s not dumb and has been proven at missile ranges. Using two SM2s to attack an airborne target is standard ops for USN and will remain so until all their missiles use active radar and no longer rely on the ship’s tracking radars. Even the US Army use this practice with their Patriot batteries. It was only the introduction of the PAC3 modification with the MIM104F missiles that had an active seeker did they stop firing in pairs. The RAF Tornado that was shot down during Gulf War 1 by the Patriot system, was hit by the second missile, as the pilot managed to evade the first one.

The theory behind it is sound. As a target is illuminated by the continuous wave tracking radar, it will try to jink to then confuse it by altering its radar cross section and redirecting the reflection away from the ship. However, as the aircraft is jinking the reflections will be bouncing off it in a number of directions. Therefore, if you have two missiles approaching the target at different angles, then at least one of them has a better chance of getting a stronger return that it can then home in on towards the target.

Both SeaViper and SeaCeptor use command guidance to direct them towards the intercept point. Both missiles carry a nose mounted active radar. This is either activated straight away for a close target or is only activated by a command signal when its very close to the target. This means in general these missiles will be flying passively towards the target. It also means that without a tracking radar to warn the attacking aircraft they are being targeted; they will have to rely on missile approach warning systems to give them a clue that they’ve been fired upon. I am not saying that Artisan or Sampson does not increase its pulse repetition frequencies to highlight and spotlight a target, as that information is classified. But it is entirely feasibly that the ship’s radar does not need to change any frequencies or waveform characteristics to search for and then track a target, sufficient to generate a firing solution against an incoming threat.

Pmichael

The actual reason why Americans (other SM using countries have different protocols) are firing two missiles is because they can. A Burke class has over 90 cells ready to use a mix of SM-family missiles.

The joke is the Standard Missile only needs a few seconds of target illumination as part of the end game, providing the target with no meaningful warning time. Meanwhile the sooner Aster switch to its own radar seeker the possible time for the target to react and to deploy ECM are longer – also a small missile seeker is an easier target for ECM than a TSARH missile.

There are different mind sets and reasons why one would prefer semi-active or active missiles – or they use both like the newer SM-2, but there is no way to twist the reality that a Type 45 with its 48 cells is somehow on par with the 96 cells of a Burke-class.

Supportive Bloke

But there is still command guidance from the very high powered Sampson to fall back on. So you have the best of both worlds.

Or we could just be very negative and assume that everyone in RN BAE, MBDA & DSTL hasn’t a clue what they are doing and never learned the lessons from last time……

Apologies to all but my spell checker was for some odd reason changing every four letter acronym, on here and UKDJ, starting with a D to DEiS for a few weeks. Only spotted it looking at an old post which was, of course, nonsense as a result.

Pmichael

>Or we could just be very negative and assume that everyone in RN BAE, MBDA & DSTL hasn’t a clue what they are doing and never learned the lessons from last time……

Like I said there are various reasons why SM-2 and Aster are like they are. But claiming that Aster is twice as efficient as SM-2 and because of that the Type 45 has basically the same fleet defense capabilities as the Burke-class is, of course, nonsense.

D J

Everyone is forgetting quad packed missiles. An AB will have at least 64 ESSM if not more, RAN Hobart, at least 32 if not 64. T45 needs quad packed CAAM/CAAM-ER. 48 missiles, no matter how good don’t go far when most front line warships carry 8 AShM (even Brunei OPV’s carry 4), & some 16. Most strike fighters can carry 4 or more. Most naval helicopters can carry 2 (where integrated). Not to mention mobile shore based AShM. A single squadron of strike fighters (12) can run a single T45 out of missiles in one go. Unlike the T45, the fighters can reload.

D J

The added complexity is that not all illuminating radars (or search radars) are equal. ASEA illuminating radars such as those by CEA can concentrate so much on the target that given a purposefully tuned CMS, can achieve outstanding results from a semi active such as ESSM. It is harder for a target to spoof a semi-active than an active due to the power of the ship radar. JohnN may wish to comment, but the CEA/SAAB 9LV/ESSM combination took more than the normal relationship to achieve. I have even heard rumours that Australia was a big factor in ESSM B2 being dual mode rather than just active as many expected.

In short, at the high end, everything has its plusses and minuses. Active only has more problems against jambing or swamping due to the lesser processing power & smaller antenna of an active missile. Counter that by home on jamb. Counter that by off board jambing. Counter that by – you get the picture. Besides at really long ranges, you have to go active as semi-active is line of sight. Hence SM6 has to be active. SM2 probably would be better as active. ESSM, not so clear cut provided you have the right gear. ESSM appears to outperform CAAM (esp ESSM block2), but provided you have some form of radar, you can make CAAM work on just about anything that floats. Perhaps the RCN has it right (what? – that can’t be).

Supportive Bloke

GB is 100% correct in his assertion.

Tico & AB shoot pairs of missiles except Standard-6.

There are no target illuminating radars on any UK ships anymore now that Dart and Wolf are retired.

I know it doesn’t go down well with the mood music that RN are using the wrong tech etc…..but actually the missile tech that is fitted now to T23 and T45 is state of the art.

Joe16

What about it is nonsense? Debate requires explanation.
I’ve heard this said by a number of experienced people before, and the future Flight III Burkes will be utilising active homing upgrades because they see the value.

Rob N

However you say it 48 missiles on the T45 is too few. You just do not get combat persistence. It might do the job once against a large attack, but if the attackers returned it would be screwed. It has an option for 12 (some say 16), VLS but instead of adding the extra cell we would rather penny-pintch. All the same arguments were rolled out with the T42. About it was the over all ship you should look at and it did not need as many weapons as other navies because ours were very good. Then the Falklands came along and left 2 T42s on the seabed.

We should have got the message that underarming our ships ultimately costs lives… but here we are again…

Chasman

Actually the US is putting new seeker heads in the SM2 which will not require illuminating radars, plus there will be more of the SM6 produced.

D J

Some SM2 versions do have active available (but as you say most don’t). ESSM though (which you forgot to mention) is quad packable & the latest B2 version does have a dual mode active/semi-active seeker. Quad packing makes a sizeable difference to the missile count (even if you keep firing 2 at a time). Adding 4 x 3 cell ExLS to T45 & fit with CAAM / CAAM-ER would double its load out to 96.

Poiuytrewq

While it’s well worth illuminating the fact that RN vessels are vastly underarmed when compared to other frigates and destroyers of comparable navies it is also fair to say that RN vessels still possess a massive offensive capability primarily from their embarked helicopter.

The wildcat is a phenomenal surface predator and the Merlin is among the best sub-surface hunters in the world today. This fact should not be overlooked.

Take the T26 for example, it is true that TLAM, ASROC and an ASuM such as NSM would complete the package and I’m confident most or all of these systems will be ordered before HMS Glasgow commissions around 2027 but regardless, look at the capability already contained. Due to the T26’s hanger/mission area arrangement TWO Merlins can be embarked or up to THREE Wildcats. A pair of T26’s hunting with 2 or 3 Merlins and a P8 would give any unfriendly SSK or SSN a hard time. Likewise a pair of T26’s operating 4 or more Wildcats would put a hole in many navies surface fleet in short order.

Provided the weather allows the helicopters to operate, RN is still a force to be reckoned with.

The lack of an ABM capability on the T45’s is inexcusable, the Mk41’s should have been fitted from day one and if used incorrectly the RB2’s and the T31’s are an accident waiting to happen but the potency of RN helicopters should not be overlooked in this debate.

Last edited 20 days ago by Poiuytrewq
ANDREW JOHN WILDE

No one doubts the potency of RN helicopters when hunting submarines, just how potent they are is another matter, and like the warships they fly from have these helicopters the ability to be in four places at the same time, which, when hunting Russian submarines in the North Atlantic/Arctic Ocean will be what is required. This country cannot forever put off a future war for 15 years as it has done since the 90’s just because HS2needs to be built or ten new hospitals need to be built or the overseas allowance to rich countries has to be increased or the welfare debt isn’t large enough. Money has to be spent on Defence in vast quantities now and the people who know where it has to be spent urgently appointed.

David Broome

What happens when the helo is down on the deck or in the hanger? The reality is that we could upgrade the harpoons to get additional missiles to sea using a USN COTS kit. The question is why not?

Last edited 20 days ago by David Broome
Sean

The RN has already put out a tender to buy an off-the-shelf anti-ship missile as an interim to fill the capability gap until the one it plans to deploy has finished development. A Harpoon upgrade is potentially one of the contestants for this tender.

D J

One of the possible reasons why not will be the question of what that upgrade kit actually includes. RN missiles are rather old. If it’s an electronics & seeker upgrade only, then there is the age of the non replaced items to consider. If these kits are cheap enough & gets you another 10-15 years, then great. Another 3-5 years is not so great.

Andy A

does any one know in or just after the defence review I remember some one saying they planned to put either land attack missles on the t26 or get an anti ship weapon that does both. Anyone know any more?

Badger.

I fear the truth is that whatever the Treasury may pretend, they operate a covert “Ten Year Rule”.

Ken Pearson

My ship was technically sunk by a Blackburn Buccaneer. I was serving in an WWII ocean minesweeper, HMS Pelorus, that had led the sweep on Juno Beach. Transferred to the South African Navy as SAS Pietermaritzburg we were sailing in False Bay when the Buccaneer flew over at very low level. I think it was a bit of fun for the pilot. But we wouldn’t have been able to detect it with our antiquated radar nor destroy it with our 4 inch guns.
The lesson – it is essential to be able to both detect the enemy and destroy it. If you have only one you’ve had it! Fitting ‘for but not with’ could be disastrous for the ship and moreso for the crew and their families.
If defence is one side of the coin then attack is the other. In a war situation surely it is better to neutralise the enemy before he attacks you! If a ship cannot do both is it really a WARship?

Meirion X

The Buccaneer was an incredible aircraft for its day Ken!
Could skim just above the water.

Ken Pearson

I know – you could tell from the noise that it was low level flying. I think the South African Air Force was one of the very few forces that flew Buccaneers and Shackletons. I believe there still a Buccaneer in private hands in Cape Town.

Waddi
Warren

I think the buccaneer sank most ships it came up against😅

CJH

The underarming of RN ships continues to concern those of us interested in such things. Every time I see pictures of Russian warships they look like the pictures I used to draw as a child with guns (I was a tad early for missiles) where every inch of deck bristled with guns. The OPV flotilla is woefully undergunned and virtually defenseless against anything other than….Well anything! This creates a huge drain on escort resources because in any war fighting they will have to be kept well away as there aren’t escorts available to defend them. HMS Trent is currently deployed in the Black Sea. How on earth will she deal with the multiple aircraft alerts that previous T45 deployments have encountered?

Andy A

question is how much of the russian kit works or even exists (hypersonic super missles)

stephen ball

Noticed on wiki type 26.

Type 26 Global Combat Ship | BAE Systems | International go down to download

show’s Mark 41 VLS

Last edited 20 days ago by stephen ball
stephen ball

The [18].

On janes.

UK Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon has confirmed the selection of the strike-length Mk 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) to meet the Flexible Strike Silo requirement for the Royal Navy’s next-generation Type 26 Global Combat Ship (GCS).
Each ship will be fitted with three eight-cell modules in a silo sited forward of the bridge.
Fallon confirmed the decision to install a 24-cell Flexible Strike Silo fitted with Mk 41 launchers in a written response to Rory Stewart MP, chairman of the House of Commons Defence Committee. His statement said the VLS infrastructure “will be able to accommodate a range of missiles from long-range strike weapons (such as the Tomahawk land attack missile) to anti-ship missiles and anti-submarine rockets with the weapon payload being reconfigured to meet changing threats and missions”.

Meirion X

Michael Fallon MP has long gone, thank goodness!

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
Meirion X

The front row of Sea Ceptor could be replaced by a further row of 24 Mk. 41. giving a total of 48, there still be 24 Sea Ceptor at Midship.

stephen ball

Been looking around seems the new missiles the UK want aren’t online yet, So maybe buy enough till they come online around 2030-2035. Then equip the first 5 type 31.

Could work with modular system 8 cell VLS on Type 31, A Type 31 joins carrier strike group proceeds’ to target fire 8 tomahawk, withdraw carrier strike group. Type 31 reloads in port etc.

Last edited 20 days ago by stephen ball
Nigel Collins

I wonder if we will purchase these at some point in the future?

“1. Increased capabilities. Raytheon’s Tomahawk Block V, when fully realized in its Block Va and Block Vb varieties, will be expected to hit surface ships at Tomahawk ranges – in excess of 1,000 miles – with the integration of a new seeker. It also will integrate a new warhead that will have a broader range of capabilities, including greater penetrating power.”

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2020/12/14/the-us-navy-has-an-upgraded-tomahawk-heres-5-things-you-should-know/

stephen ball

Believe UK are looking at surface Storm Shadow, The French have them on there Fremm.

Meirion X

Do you have any info on the Source of this claim?
The RN had not planned for SCLAP. It would require fitting A70 cells on T45. This is no small job!

The RAF had planned to phase out Storm Shadow at the end of the decade.

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
stephen ball

sorry its perseus the UK want.

MBDA CVS401 Perseus Missile Concept – YouTube

Last edited 20 days ago by stephen ball
stephen ball

UKFRS_security_and_defence_final_2_March.pdf (publishing.service.gov.uk)

18. Since the last Summit, significant milestones have been reached on Collaborative weapons projects: on the Future Anti-Surface Guided Weapon (Heavy) / Anti Navire Léger programme, a joint contract for the £500m (€600m) worth Development and Manufacturing phase was signed in March 2014 ; on the SCALP / Storm Shadow Capability Enhancement Programme, a 2-year Design Phase was launched in July 2014 ; there has also been extensive information exchanges in 2015 and building of understanding on portfolio opportunities. Besides, other key cooperative missile activities will be extended further in 2016, such as the sustainment of our Aster missiles stockpiles and the shared-studied enhancement of our SCALP / Storm Shadow capability. We signed today a SoI confirming our intent to enter into a joint concept phase for the Future Cruise/Anti-Ship Weapon (FC/ASW) programme to identify solutions for replacement of the Scalp/Storm Shadow missiles for both countries, Harpoon for the UK and Exocet for France. Any Concept Phase would seek to inform by 2020 decisions concerning a potential follow-on Assessment Phase. We are working with the objective to sign arrangement for this Concept Phase for the end of 2016, to pave the way for possible contracts by March 2017.

stephen ball

Anglo-French FC/ASW Missile Programme Successfully Passes Its Key Review – Newsroom MBDA (mbda-systems.com)

The FC/ASW aims to replace Storm Shadow/ SCALP air launched cruise missile in operational service in the UK and France as well as Exocet anti-ship missile in France and Harpoon anti-ship missile in the UK. 

Andy A

Will the new anti ship missle contain land attack? I remember after the defence review the first sea lord said he wanted land attack on the t26? is this seperate or the same missle?

Meirion X

Yes, Perseus was renamed I think to FC/ASW, due in service about 2030?

Meirion X

Yes I agree!

Moonstone

The decision to fit the Type 26 with the Mk41 VLS was a wise and unusually far-sighted move. This vital technology offers the RN a splendid opportunity to end the historic underarming of our warships – which arguably dates back to WW2 at least. This opportunity must be grasped.

The sight of these large and expensive ships being deployed with such a potentially powerful VLS effectively mothballed would of course be an absurd development by any standard – but one I suspect that few experience MoD watchers would be the least surprised to see happening.

The two QEC carriers are also underarmed of course.

Sunmack

The less flexible Sylver system in the T45 was actually more expensive than the Mk41 but was ordered ahead of it by the Blair government so that we could demonstrate our credentials as good Europeans

Meirion X

No wrong again! The Sylver system was much better at the time, it did not require X-band radar for targeting, as most of SM missiles do. Aster missiles are a One shot missle, unlike most of the SM missiles, except the new SM6.

Do you ever learn anything?

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
Jason Simmons

And the SM-2 Block IIIB and SM-2 Block IIIC, not to mention ESSM Block II but lets not split hairs!

Meirion X

You need a heat source for ‘Duel Mode’ to work, it has got an infrared seeker.
If the heat source is too far away, it will Not work. That applies to SM2 and ESSM.
Unlike RN missiles with full radar homing.

Last edited 19 days ago by Meirion X
D J

Um – no. Both the the new SM2 & ESSM dual mode seekers are RF active/semi-active seekers. ie they can act as semi-active or active as required. If you have an illuminating radar, you get to choose. If you don’t, then active. Nothing to do with IR in this case. Dual mode just means two modes. Two what is a different question.

N-a-B

You might wish to check your own facts before querying others.

Sylver is a missile launcher. No missile launcher requires X-band radar, what comes out of it sometimes does. In the case of Sylver, that’s primarily an ASTER 30 or 40, which because it has an onboard active seeker does not require terminal guidance.

The Mk41 is the US launcher. It doesn’t require X-band radar either. What comes out of it sometimes does, depending on which missile it is. Those that are SARH require illumination in the terminal phase by a FC radar, eg SPG51.

The choice of Sylver to go on the T45 was partly political, partly financial. The financial part was that qualifying Aster for launch from Mk 41 was a non-trivial cost in an already cost-challenged programme. It’s not just a case of missile (or more precisely, canister) dimensions, but how that missile/canister behaves throughout the cycle. Storage in the launcher, services / data required, safety (eg misfire, missile failure effects). All of which would have had to be assessed, tested and if necessary reconciled.

Last edited 18 days ago by N-a-B
Meirion X

I wonder will Tomahawk be procured for T26? Which could be use as interim long range ASM.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2021/03/17/us-navy-set-to-take-delivery-of-the-latest-version-of-its-tomahawk-missile/

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
Moonstone

It seems questionable whether a Tomahawk cruise missile would ever prove to be a very satisfactory ASM – against adequately defended modern warships anyway. Tomahawk is afterall a large and relatively slow (500mph+) missile that may well lack the stealth and/or terminal phase maneuvering characteristics required to evade modern defensive systems.

There are I think a number of modern higher performance alternatives out there on the international market that are designed primarily for this task and that also offer a useful degree of land attack capability.

Another question might be to wonder why has the west been so comprehensively caught in the ‘slow lane’ when it comes to the field of hypersonic weapon development? Do we even have any effective hard kill options if confronted with such a missile?

Jason Simmons

SM-6 users do…

Jason Simmons

The main benefit of Tomahawk is it’s cost and extant land attack capability in addition to it’s new ASM capability. For such a capable long ranged cruise missile, it is extraordinarily cheap, coming in at under USD$900,000 per warshot. Even newer missiles like LRASM you are looking at near $4m a shot.

Given it’s dual role and 1800k range, having 4 of these coming in from different directions simultaneously for the cost of each LRASM, seems a pretty scary proposition for a defender. Not to mention they are also available for traditional land strike missions, the entire time…

On top of which, no-one least of all the USN is planning on using these as a single shot wonder weapon. That is more in the LRASM bag of tricks. These are more likely to be used in timed attacks with high speed weapons such as SM-6, AARGM-ER or other future high speed weapons.

To me they are an absolute no-brainer and I hope RN and RAN jump onto these as soon as fiscally possible…

Glass Half Full

Just to point out that in recent US DoD budgets Tomahawk is costing the USN and USMC on average either ~$2M each or ~$3M each if you include the RDT&E costs, which we really should. That was on quantities of ~200 missiles. So not as cheap as many suppose.

Howard Newman

Most of our ships need to be uparmed as never before. It needs to be hammered into the heads of the bean counters once and for all

Sunmack

Excellent article.

The problems extend to maritime air platforms as well such as the F35 which will have no heavyweight stand-off land attack or anti-ship missiles, Wildcat which has no data link or ASW detection equipment and Merlin which has no ASM.

Politicians are happy to build hulls as this creates jobs (which they see as the primary purpose of the defence budget). The weapons systems create fewer jobs so are often neglected.

In part the lack of money comes from almost continual military action on peacetime defence budgets (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria) but we also waste a huge amount of what we spend.

If you take the money wasted on MR4, Nimrod AEW, FRES research and the Batch 2 Rivers whose lack of a helicopter leaves them all but useless for any mission in practical terms, this would come to £8bn in 2021 prices. That’s enough to deal with all of the capability gaps on the T45, T26 and T31 and equip a proportion of the F35 fleet with a stand off land attack and anti-ship missile like JASSM.

We also seem be spending a huge sum of money on three different types of ASM (Martlet, Venom and Spear) which seem to overlap each others capabilities and none of which has the range to be a proper stand off missile. Indeed Martlet isn’t even fit for purpose as an anti-swarm missile as it isn’t fire and forget.

Only the RN does this. It’s the same thinking that saw T42’s sent to the Falklands with no low level air defence capability, T21’s with an obsolete SAM and landing ships used unescorted despite their only self-defence weapons being WW2 era 40mm guns. Five ships and 111 men didn’t come back because of those decisions.

Last edited 20 days ago by Sunmack
Meirion X

How many times you got to be told, that Wildcat helos are Not uselly attached to the ASW tasked T23s, only the GP tasked?

The River Class does Not need a hangar, as No helo is permanently attach to this type of vessel.

The F-35 does Not need a long range stand off warpon. It could carry Harpoon.

The three different types of ASM, are of different ranges and sizes for different types of targets.
You would complain, if the RN had a one size fits all warpon!

Martlet does Not need fire and forget, it is too short range.

Lot of misinformation on costs of failed projects!
Inflation has Not been 100% since 2010!

A lot of lessons were learnt in the Falklands War, and taken into account and fixed since that time.
A lot of new tech has come online since 40 years.

Why bother posting here if you dislike the Royal Navy so much!

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
Sunmack

So many factual errors there and opinions dressed up as facts that I don’t know where to start.

Just for one I used the ONS pricing index to convert the costs.

And I love RN which is why I want to see it properly armed.

Meirion X

You certainly have stated A lot factual errors and untruths!

And So you believe that No other navies in the World make mistakes!

Last edited 20 days ago by Meirion X
Sunmack

Did you read the table in the article? No other major navy has as much FFBNW kit as the RN.

Jack65

To be fair, a lot of lessons were learned in the Falklands which clearly illustrated how woefully underarmed our warships really were, and how the more modern systems fitted proved inadequate due to simplistic thinking? For example, the Seawolf targeting system was only designed to track and engage aircraft flying over open water, the idea of a land mass in the equation had not even been considered. But years on, those lessons have been forgotten as we once again build woefully underarmed ships on the basis of course that they won’t have to actually fight a war…….

Supportive Bloke

Seawolf with its pulsed Doppler radar was very easily modded to deal with that.

The problem was more the T42 radar that struggled with landmass and clutter. But that was based on some very obsolete core technology.

Andy a

Why do u say f35 doesn’t need stand off weapon cos nearly all other countries are fitting one longer range than spear?

BobM

Great article.email it to every MP then print it out and mail it to them. keep doing it until they beg you to stop!

Gavin Gordon

I understand that Glasgow, Cardiff & Belfast already have each of their complement of 3×8 Mk41 vls ordered. On that basis, the FFBNW would at least include the silos. One step further on than with Type 45 where the same terminology only refers to the forward voids for similar purpose.
Assume and hope that the Ceptor silo fitment remains as specified i.e. both forward and amidships.

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks for good summary.

———-
T45 and T26 must be fully kitted, as they are the high-end escorts, I agree.

1: T45 must have ABM capability. Aster30 B1NT will be a good starter.

2: T26 must have some anti-submarine system. Better be new-generation ASROC (how about buying Japanese new super-sonic ASROC, integrating Stingray?). Adding cheap Stingray tube will be also needed. Yes, T26 will be “almost” dead when enemy SSK reaches as nears as Stingray’s range, but with SeaSentor ship-torpedo-defense-system, I think there are still a significant chance to survive. And to utilize that possibility, Stingray tubes will be needed.

3: For T26’s Mk.41 VLS, TLAM Block V will be a good starter. Its cheap! I do not “trust” FC/ASW program. It will surely delay and be high cost. Note, T26-hull1 will fly white ensign on 2025, not 2027, starting RN-side trial. It is better to try shooting TLAM then. So, ordering TLAM BlkV now is reasonable. FC/ASW has very high risk, and carrying TLAM as “interim” solution will be important and clever.

4: Increasing the Interim-ASM from 5-sets to 11-sets will be also not so expensive. New generation ASM such as NSM or LRASM are different beasts with high-level of imaging target identification capability and high-G maneuverability to avoid CIWS. The missiles are expensive than TLAM BlkV (proposed on T26), so I propose 11-sets for 6 T45 and 5 T31.

I think all 4 (expect for new ASROC) items here I proposed are relatively cheap. Why not just reduce the number of T32 hull by 1 hull, and realize all these additions? They will be surely more important than “one more hull”.

———-

5: I think River B2 is perfect as armed as now. Adding armament will significantly degrade their sea-going days, and “easy to maintain” capability, which itself is very important aspect. Hoping for up-arming is something I also think “nice”, but any such approach must be carefully assessed so that maintenance-needs do not explode. Replacing the 30 mm gun with a 40 mm 3P will be good enough, at most, I guess.

6: (After adding I-SSGW on T31), adding ASW capability is something not clear in my view. ASW is not such an easy business. Also, RN must introduce new generation ASW drones. Increasing P-8A, or adding SeaGuardian UAVs with sonobuoy pods will be also very promising approaches. Adding a hull sonar to T31 is NOT more important than these alternatives, I guess. By the way, T31 must surely be equipped with SeaSentor ship-torpedo-defence-system, much important than any of the ASW capabilities.

———–

Last edited 20 days ago by donald_of_tokyo
Moonstone

Although I can agree with much of what you write failing to fit the Type 31 with any sonar system at all – a fate the Type 45 only just managed to avoid I understand – represents to me an almost criminal level of negligence. Yes these ships will never be first class ASW vessels and there is much to do elsewhere with limited funds. However, should the Type 31 design be adjudged as fundamentally incapable of meaningful ASW operations then the decision to develop this type (as opposed to ordering additional Type 26 frigates) is I fear dangerously flawed.

With our newspapers this very morning reporting that Russian submarines are increasingly active in UK coastal waters, and with the vulnerability of our ever more vital underwater infrastructure also apparent, it seems to me a situation where a sizable proportion of our escort fleet is incapable of making any real contribution to war (or even peacetime) ASW operations is quite unacceptable. It should go without saying that a capability to detect hostile submarines must be matched with a method to engage them.

I would go so far as to state that I’d be surprised to see the Type 31 delivered without a sonar set of some kind installed – and I’m no optimist when it comes to this kind of thing. I would also question whether fitting some commercially available ‘off the shelf’ set would even be a very expensive commitment in the

PeterS

I agree that limiting our ASW hulls to just 8 in the face of the Russian challenge looks to be one of the worst decisions in recent years. Replacing 8 T23 with 8 T26 is not a cut but several of these ships will now be attached to the carriers and thus not available for independent ASW operations.
The most serious naval threat to Britain in both world wars was submarines. Since then submarines have become vastly more dangerous. ASW should be the RNs top priority.

Meirion X

I agree!

PeterS

A first!!

Meirion X

I have argued with another commenter, intensely, that the RN should continue with ASW focused frigates like T23 and T26 as best means of hunting for submarines in UK waters and further afield, rather then non-focused ASW vessels like T45, which have their own qualities.
And if necessary, increase overall numbers of ASW type frigates in the future. But because the new Type 26 is so expensive, there maybe cheaper options like Iver Huitfeldt based hull of Type 31, with maybe a quieter CODLEG propulsion system to make up numbers of ASW focused frigates in the future.
One T31 could be built with a different propulsion as a trial vessel. The MoD holds the IP for T23, so not the case of reinventing the wheel!

Last edited 18 days ago by Meirion X
Meirion X

I will add that ASW focused frigates crews are specialists in their field.

Glass Half Full

I doubt T31 needs anything too radical in changes to propulsion to reduce its noise signature.

Babcock have stated that “Arrowhead 140 specifications already meet NATO noise requirements for an ASW vessel” and in addition the Danes are converting their two Absalon vessels to ASW frigates.

This might especially be the case if ASW ops are performed from USVs where the sensors are removed from proximity to the T31.

Nick B

I agree. Conceptually a Type 26 lead group of quiet ASW fitted Type “33”s combined with long range ASW drone support is the ideal UK/NEAtlantic solution. However, until a Contract is placed to build the remaining 5 Type 26s it is a pipe dream.

All of these options are at best last 2030s solutions. It seems to me that this is the most significant problem.

Meirion X

Yes, at last it is good to be in agreement with some issue, Peter!

Last edited 18 days ago by Meirion X
Nick B

Will all 5 remaining Type 26 be ordered though or a cheaper Type 33 ASW version (if the Type 32 is going to AAW version) instead ?

donald_of_tokyo

Thanks.

If it is the Russian Subs to counter, and also if it is mostly for UK coastal water, I suggest increasing P-8A and adding Sonobuoy-pod-kitted SeaGuardian will be better response than adding a sonar on T31. Also (slow but quiet moving) ASW drones will be best used around UK water.

Please do not get me wrong, I am not against adding CAPTAS4CI to T31. I just do not believe adding a hull sonar will make T31 an ASW escort. And anyway, tier-2 (or tier-3?) ASW escort is not a “good” ASW asset, while air-born assets will always be. In short, having only 9 P-8A (which shall be 20 or so, at least 14, I think) is much more unacceptable for me than T31 being without hull sonar.

PS By the way, “However, should the Type 31 design be adjudged as fundamentally incapable of meaningful ASW operations then the decision to develop this type (as opposed to ordering additional Type 26 frigates) is I fear dangerously flawed.” Sorry to say, reading into T31 RFI, it has very limited or no ASW requirements. T31, from its beginning, has never been ASW capable. Please note I was always against T31, proposing for more T26, even if it means the total escort hull be reduced from 19 to 16 or so. T31 is designed as Patrol Frigate or Sloop, not an ASW escort.

Last edited 19 days ago by donald_of_tokyo
Moonstone

The Type 31 is of course a close development of the orginal Danish Iver Huitfeldt design. The record shows that this foreign class are indeed equipped with a (Atlas) hull mounted sonar system and associated ASW torpedo tubes. Therefore, the Royal Danish Navy would appear to believe that this basic design is indeed capable of useful ASW operations – as frankly do almost all international naval forces that operate broadly comparable frigate types. Why is this consensus of professional naval opinion wrong? I would also point out that as the AW159 Wildcat helicopters the Type 31 will normally operate also don’t field any onboard sonar system this results in a combination that can’t contribute very meaningfully to fleet ASW. This is act of pure folly given our situation.

As I understand it your argument is that following this Danish example and equipping the Type 31 with a basic ASW capability would – you claim – threaten any future moves towards supplementing UK ASW capabilities in other areas. The problem I think with this line of reasoning is that the dicotamy you present here is questionable if not false. For example, a new Boeing P-8A Poseidon MPA would cost the UK tax payer at least £300m and commit further substantial sums towards its upkeep over time while the procurement of the hull sonar systems required here would obviously cost a mere fraction of that.

So while I can fully agree that strengthening ASW should be high priority area I’m not seeing any good reason why we should be constructing frigates that are virtually useless when it comes to anti submarine warfare.

Last edited 19 days ago by Moonstone
donald_of_tokyo

Thanks.

On T31 hull for ASW, when Danish navy start really thinking of ASW, they now planning to add CAPTAS sonar. I think this is a good answer. French FDI is aiming at using CAPTAS4CI with “not very quiet, but cheaper hull”, in addition to their FREMM quiet-and-expensive frigates. So it will be efficient, especially in active ASW tactics.

Thus, I am not saying hull sonar is meaningless. Just saying it is inefficient.

On P-8 cost, it will not be £300m, because all the logistics and training is already there with the initial 9 unit contract. Adding one more will be more like £150m-200m. Anyway, hull sonar is relatively cheap. Sonar itself is very cheap but what you need is a brand-new multi-static analysis capable ASW system. Even so, with £150m-200m it will be able to add hull sonar and its analysis system to all 5 T31.

But still, I think adding one P-8A will threaten Russian SSK than 5 T31 with hull sonar. That’s my point.

“So while I can fully agree that strengthening ASW should be high priority area I’m not seeing any good reason why we should be constructing frigates that are virtually useless when it comes to anti submarine warfare.” No objection. Just saying let’s do that AFTER increasing P-8As.

Or, if adding a sonar to T31, equip 2 of them with full CAPTAS4CI, rather than equipping all 5 with hull sonar. As we know T23GP sometimes deploys without ASW crew, there are many tasks no ASW capability is needed. But, when it is really needed, we shall equip them with meaningful sensor.

Last edited 18 days ago by donald_of_tokyo
D J

While I agree that a P8 is likely better (in fact I know it is – not hard when it comes to the T31), the P8 may not be where the T31 is at the time you want it. It also has limited time on station. Getting a P8 to the middle of the Indian/Atlantic/Pacific ocean is one thing, keeping it there is another. A hull mounted sonar was the minimum that should have been fitted. Rafting the engines was also a design option if you wanted even better ASW performance. The IH frigate was not a thought bubble. Serious thought went into its design & Babcock are well aware of this. It’s partner in the T31 – Thales, is a well regarded sonar supplier in its own right.

Luckily for any T31 based out of Singapore, the Singaporean navy publish the whereabouts of their submarines when operating in the Malacca Straights shipping lanes (to stop ships running into them submerged). Likely the only submarines a T31 is likely to find.

Meirion X

The Type 31 was never intended to be tasked for a ASW role. They are to replace the 5 General propose T23s, they could get a hull sonar if the MoD was to change its mind in light of increased sub activity in home waters.
The proposed Type 32 should be s more ASW capable and to be able to increase the ASW tasked frigates in UK waters to detect those Russian subs in UK waters

Last edited 19 days ago by Meirion X
Deep32

It will be interesting to see what if anything the MOD buys to fill the Mk41 tubes. It will be totally unacceptable big they buy nothing to put in them!
Agree with you, both a Asroc system(which is a must) and TLAM BLK V should be strong contenders, although they might just opt for LRASM purely as its latest tech-but far more expensive.
If they opt for LRASM for T26, then, it might be considered for Intrim-SSGW despite not currently being canister launched. Personally I think the choice will be either Harpoon BLK II+ or NSM (might buy JSM for F35!). It would be good to get 11 sets, just can’t see it unfortunately.
Agree T31 is not a good match for ASW, yes fit SeaSentor for defence, but we need to invest in UAV ASW assets if we can’t increase P8 numbers, Sea Guardian would be a good choice as you say. I would have preferred us to buy P1 MPA (despite being more expensive) rather than Boeing’s version, as it’s purpose built for the task, but, I think lack of world wide customers killed that option, hence buying P8.

Glass Half Full

The AGM-158C LRASM isn’t likely to be around for long (in missile terms) and I suspect very unlikely to be qualified by anyone for surface launch. It was intended as a fast to operational capability, no-competition solution, under the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW) Increment 1 program. The USN has now kicked off Increment 2 of the program with IOC planned for FY28-30 for a carrier aircraft launched ASM, likely to completely replace AGM-158C. Of the two, Inc 2 seems far more likely to be qualified for surface launch, but end of the decade at the earliest. Both time frames broadly align with FC/ASW.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2021/05/us-navy-issues-details-on-new-offensive-anti-surface-warfare-oasuw-increment-2/

Andy a

Isn’t their long term plan the new hypersonic missle?

Glass Half Full

Well there seem to be a number of USN ship launched ASM missile programs currently.

  1. A new version of SM-6 supporting longer range and hypersonic speed for its role as a ASM.
  2. A boost-glide weapon aka Hypersonic Glide Vehicle HGV, perhaps limited to Zumwalt class and future large surface combatant
  3. Expanded use of NSM for medium range cruise missile, perhaps only for Constellation frigate and smaller vessels
  4. Tomahawk Blk Va for long range anti-ship cruise missile, perhaps only for ABs and Ticos.
  5. … and finally OASuW Inc 2, that could be tweaked versions of AGM-158C LRASM or NSM, but seems like it might be aiming for longer range to replace Tomahawk Va

I think I caught them all … but probably not!

Meirion X

Will rocket launched Stringray become a reality? That a big if!

Deep32

They will need to put something in the Mk41 launchers, currently we don’t have anything that will go into them. As the T26 is a ASW unit, I would like to think they will add an Asroc system with Stingray or its successor on the end of it. A Merlin will not always be available/in the air.

D J

The Italian system is also an option. It appears to be torpedo agnostic (within limits), but is deck canister launched, not VLS.

Glass Half Full

I agree with many points. A few thoughts.

  1. The BAES Kingfisher concept is an interesting approach for close in ASW, using the 5″ gun for launching sonobuoys and depth charges. BAES also seem to have aspirations to produce a VLA, perhaps using the new lightweight torpedo that’s planned. BAES info in videos here if not already seen.
  2. For N. Atlantic ASW it seems sensible to consider the entire system, divided between detection and destruction. So I agree that P8’s augmented by Protectors will greatly expand air capability, while a range of UUV solution will add persistent underwater surveillance in numbers. Then add T26s. Attacks might be prosecuted from air or surface, or sub-surface if a SSN is present (I don’t see UUVs being used for torpedoes anytime soon). If all these sensors are tied back into a cohesive picture then T26 numbers aren’t quite so critical IMV for the N. Atlantic role.
  3. Surface launch TLAM is not a compelling proposition for me, either for land attack or for anti ship use, even with its upgrades. I don’t see a compelling need to rush the land attack capability and I’m not convinced they will do well against a peer defensive system as an ASM. They also don’t seem to be as cheap as people believe, with FY2021 budgets showing an average cost of ~$3M each, including RDT&E, or about $2M each excluding the latter on quantities of 200 for the USN and USMC.
  4. Its fair to be sceptical of FC/ASW delivery dates, European missile collaborations have been quite successful, Meteor being the standout IMV, but they have taken time. However, if the program delivers the air launch, surface ship launch and sub-surface launch, long range, large warhead, land attack and ASM capability then there are significant benefits to logistics, training, servicing, production numbers/costs for consolidating around one or possibly two missile types if we end up with both sub-sonic and supersonic options. Whatever we get as the interim solution should bridge to this OK, particularly augmented by other shorter range, smaller warhead options.
  5. LRASM is unlikely to be around for long in its current form, now the USN has kicked off OASuW Inc 2 with IOC planned for FY28-30, per Naval News
D J

Also, TLAM or equivalent fired from a surface ship means the opposition knows your there & likely sees you coming. It depends if they can do anything about it of course.

Andrew D

IF UK want to be Global Britain then it’s about time we start getting it right pointless having ships only half kitted out reading the Article did not surprise me at all .The Type 45s very under cut could be a lot more capable if no corners were cut ,let’s not get it wrong with the new Types coming into service let alone the Type 83 if it ever comes of.

Mick

There is a point of view that missile and submarine technology has advanced to the point where surface warships are going to be extremely vulnerable regardless of how much high-tech equipment that you add to them. Therefore there is an opportunity cost. Question really should be why so much funding is going into funding surface warships in the first place. Would it be better spent elsewhere? eg. submarines, mine countermeasures, aircraft, the army etc.

Duker

Submarines generally go after other submarines. Helicopters with dipping sonars make frigates and destroyers risky targets to go after

Deep32

No, not strictly speaking correct. In the RN, the SSN is the primary strike assest for both ASW and ASuW targets. It is what they are designed for. Going against a submarine, particularly a SSK is probably more challenging then any other opponent. Surface ASW units hold their own particular challenge, but, would still be a viable target despite having a ASW helicopter.

Mick

Total rubbish. All the way back to world war 2, submarines were the leading cause of ship sinking. A helicopter can’t be in the air at all times and when it is, can only pull 1G so can’t defend itself. Not as easy to identify friend or foe as a sub can with a ship. Diesel-electric submarines have “sunk” US Nimitz class carriers in war games, something that a surface warship is totally unable to do.

Duker

Fighting the last war are you ? How did that work out for France in 1940. Same goes for your ideas that SSN are going to roam the oceans going after merchant ships.
Havent sunk Nimitz , merely a solution for a torpedo exercise. These capital ships have the same sort of under water bulkheads with air and water compartments to absorb the much bigger charges of modern 21 in torpedoes.
Plus they have towed decoys and the anti -torpedo-torpedo installed.

Supportive Bloke

It is worth reflecting on the results of various SINKEX’s on both sides of the Atlantic. Closed up ships are pretty hard to sink even when static and being hammered – ignoring the T21/42 issues which have been fixed going forwards.

Part of the reason is that the whole ship hull system can be computer modelled for the shock effects from every point. So the effects of a hit can be fully understood and mitigated. How do shock waves propagate how are the after effects contained etc etc. So there is little point in having very thick external plating when it is perhaps the bulkheads that are possibly more important in some critical areas. Using fuel, water and ballast tanks as part of the energy dissipation strategy is not new news as it has been around since the time of the Dreadnoughts but can now be modelled for maximum effect.

Big hulls are inherently better at taking punishment: it would be very, very hard to sink something a QEC and would require a silly number of torpedo hits.

Duker

The ‘8’ designator suggests that these ships will be big enough to have been called cruisers in years gone by”
That would raise some eyebrows from the veterans who served in the earlier Type 81 Tribals.
Type 80 numbers were multi-purpose range

AlexS

French FREMM do not have SAM except last one. French FREMM and Horizon have CIWS IN 76 Oto Melara with guided rounds.

Paul T

All French FREMM Frigates have SAM Capability,just differ in VLS type and quantity.

AlexS

No. French FREMM have only have Aster 15 except the last ship they developed into an air defence variant., while all Italian version have Aster 15 and 30 – plus their radar demonstrated ABM capabilities.

Paul T

Aster 15 is a SAM is it not.?.

AlexS

In author qualification it is a PDMS,

D J

Actually it’s one of those each way scenarios the author mentioned. RAM is a dedicated PDMS system. CAAM is questionable, the likes of ESSM & CAAM-ER are both PDMS & SAM. SM2/6 & Aster 30 are SAM.

AlexS

Zumwalt does not have working NGS

WJColton

Good catch.

AlexS

Type 31 doe not have NGS , its main gun is 57mm.

AlexS

Type 26(UK variant) is really a lost opportunity.

Meirion X

In what way?

AlexS

Should have been at Canadian or Australian T26’s level capabilities with area AAW. Look at its poor radar…

X

Yes. Sadly here those don’t understand RN history or basic terms won’t agree with you.

Commonwealth Loyalist

Another good article. As mentioned in the second to last paragraph, the attitude of poverty and low budget military expenditures needs to change for Global Britain to succeed. Britain is still a major economy in the world and can afford much more than it is paying for defense. Let’s not fall back on thinking pensions and other social payments are more important “investments”, in this world it is going to be necessary to drastically increase military expenditure to survive and prosper.

Cheers

John.

Teves

I thought the t26 30mm canons with 3p munitions and the ability to fit martlet were for ciws. And the t31 mix of 40-57mm cannon do the same for ciws. Also t31 can be fitted with containerised weapons depending on mission and these will include Sam, asw, aaw etc weapon systems.

Nick B

How you you fire a containerised Missiles through the flight deck ? At best you can put the electronics and people into a container, but the radars/other detection equipment and missiles need to be deck mounted somewhere if they are a modularised fit.

If you put Mark 41 on the Type 31s, then fitting everything else and the drew in the the existing hull makes more sense.

Paul T

‘How do you fire a Containerised Missile through the Flight Deck ‘ look at the Israeli Saar 5 Corvette with Iron Dome in situ on the Flight Deck.

Teves

They are designed to be plug n play from the out set and connected to the CMS, power, utils etc.

Teves

Check out black swan concept images they show different weaponised containers for deck mounting I believe iso mounts were to be fitted to the type 31.

D J

Not sure they have 3p ammunition for the 30mm as yet. 3p is for 40 & 57mm, AHEAD for 35mm & 4AP for 76mm & up..Martlet off 30mm cannon turret got cancelled as far as I am aware.(I assume it failed.testing).

PeterS

Even with the overgenerous attribution of >100mm gun to the Type 31, its low score stands out.
TheUK has two linked problems: a nostalgia for a more glorious past which causes us to measure ourselves against the USA and an unwillingness on the part of any political party to make the case for a bigger defence budget. As a result, we expect too much of ourselves leading to the typical ffbnw problem. The integrated review and its accompanying papers are likely to make things worse: a more global presence with no long term increase in the budget but short to mid term cuts in ships, aircraft, land systems and manpower.
The IR failed to prioritise the real threats Britain faces and clearly identify what forces we most need. If we started from nothing what would we now fund to give us the best possible defence capabilities? The result might be very different from current plans.
The only part of the reviews I found encouraging was the commitment to more domestic sourcing of equipment. Making that a reality would go some way toward strengthening the case for a bigger defence budget.

Nick B

Presumably the current concept is that in the Pacific the UK CSG is protected by Australian Mark 26s and by Canadian Mark 26s in the Atlantic as well as one UK Type 26 ?

Ron

Its not that the RN is just undergunned but have sometimes the wrong gun on the ship.
Lets start from the top down, and I will include ships planned.

The Carriers, three CIWS systems and that it. Every other nation that operates some form of carriers has some form of point defence missile system such as Sea Ram. We have not even bothered to install the 30mm possibly with LMM. As for the reason we might hit one of our ships in a carrier group. I have never heard such rubbish, possibly the gunners need to learn how to shoot.

The T83, can’t say much about it but from the class definition it looks like we could get a good all round ship. To be honest with this ship I would do something very diffrent if I had my way. Basically I would make them as a modern version of the Italian Vittorio Veneto Helicopter cruiser. So give her say a 76mm gun, 64 MK41s/Sylver A70s, 2 Sea Rams, 4 40mm, a below deck aft hanger for four Merlins an above deck ready hanger for two Merlins, single lift and a containerised CAPTAS 4 towed array. Hopefully we get a minimum of six possibly eight of these ships.

T45, all in all not a bad ship, yes she has had some power train issues the main regret is that the 2 Mk41 or Sylver A-70 blocks have not been installed. The Mod/Government really should give the money for the RN to make use of the very good SAMPSON radar. If we installed now the Mk41s on the T45s then we could also use them as test beds for when the T26s come on line. We will not be wasting to much money on this as the launchers and control cabinets would be of use on future ship programs as the T45s get replaced.

T26, Don’t get me started on this ship, although good on paper I am still trying to work out what the hell it is for. She is a Anti Sub Platform, and I suspect she will be a good one, but charging around with a carrier battle group, a ASW platform main weapon is silence. It need to operate at low speed to listen. Then comes the 5in gun, what for she will almost never go on the gun line, with that being the case then possibly they should have the 57mm or the 76mm gun. They do have a comprehensive weapons capablie fit with Sea Ceptor and the Mk41s, but does the Artisan radar give the full capability of weapons load. Not sure on that one, but I don’t think so. She is missing a anti submarine torpedo system.

The T23, although at the end of their life they have given good service and now when fully armed are good all round ships. Their one major disadvantage is a lack of CIWS.

The T31, these ships have the potential to be nice little frigates on the condition that the space that in her half sister Iver Huitfeldt is used for missiles and a larger gun is not used for filing cabinets. Don’t get me wrong, the concept with cost restaint I think is a good one so I’m not knocking them, I would just like to see them reach their potential. These ships will find themselves on the front line with the LSS/ assault groups etc, they will possibly be on the gun line. The 57mm gun should be replaced in the future with the 5in guns possibly from the T26. By the mid 2030s the T45s will be starting to get replaced so depending on what the T83s weapons fit would be it could be possible to refit the T31s with the Sylver A50s from the T45s in addition to 12 Mk57 vls launchers, say for 44 launchers total. These can now work with the carriers leaving the T26s to do their ASW work. Sometimes I wonder if a twin gun mount might be better for them. Again their is the possibility of using a containerised CAPTAS 4 lite Towed array.

T32, these could be the most intresting frigate concept yet. However the government seems to have made a desision without thinking. When it was announced that this project would go to Rosyth it to me means that they would be a development of the T31. Possbly an Absalon based concept. Although the Absalon is not a bad ship I would strangly enough prefer a ship based on the Damen Crossover concepts. If we could get them based onthe Crossovers that concept has the ability to be used for the MRSS/LSS as well. However if these ships are to operate in the frigate mothership role then she need to be able to defend not only herself but her deployed assets.

OPV batch 2, these for many people are a pain, a good large hull fairly stable and fairly good at police duties. Yet they can be so much more. Possibly if the T31 ever got upgunned then the 57mm mount could be used, combined with spare 30mm mounts and LMM would give the OPVs some teeth. I know the LMM is not the best solution, but it would give someone with a anti tank rocket on a skiff something twice to think about. Give them a containerised RWUAV and you have limited air capability.

There is one type of vessel the RN does not have but I keep thinking would be a very useful one in choke points/littoral areas and that is the fast attack missile boat. These could replace the P2000 class and be based on the Finnish Hamina class boats. Armed with a 40mm gun, anti air missiles, anti ship missiles,an anti sub torpedo tube, a towed array designed for littoral waters they could operate out of the Clyde as sub escort, Gib, Persian Gulf, Singapore, Brunei, Jamaica, Cyprus etc. They would free up the larger blue water capable ships, and still be used for training and the RNR. In fact if these vessels belonged to the RNR then you might even see an upturn in numbers of people wanting to join. Yes they will be more expensive than a P2000 but what is the point of an Archer, I know these boats, sailed on them when they were with the RNR, good fun, but that was all.

The future of the RN looks like it is much better than what it has been for several years and yet we still fail to give the men and women of the fleet the tools to do the job. The ships of the RN when they go to sea must be ready to go to war, they cannot tell a potential enemy wait a few weeks so I can go back and get my weapons. All ships must leave port with their weapons fitted. We are short on anti ship missiles, anti submarine capability, BMD is not available and our air defence ships have less than half the load out of our peers. Yes we have good sensors but what good is sensors if they cannot use something to throw at you? We have a real lack of anti ship capability our Harpoons are at the end of their life, and land attack. Do we really want our SSNs with cruise missiles, their job is to kill enemy subs and surface ships. We need to start thinking about putting land attack ability on our surface ships. The MoD need to do something about the Phalanx CIWS, it is outdated, very limited in range and with modern missiles even if the CIWS hits the thing the shrapnel will still cause damage. So the possibilities are there we just need to get the most out of the limited number of hulls we have.

Meirion X

The ASW task component should still sail with a CSG, but be days ahead along the, or decoy routes, to sanitize the waters.

Meirion X

Launching TLAM from a Sub gives a very big element of surprise.

Nick B

It seems logical to me that the Type 31 is a better fit for the Mark 45 gun system and the Bofors 57 mm for the Type 26.

The only other argument is that Mark 45 with guided hypervelocity shells provides an up to to 100 km range for various options. The US has demonstrated these steel can shoot down a cruise missile and they would also provide some fairly long range anti0ship weapon as well.

Ron5

“It was announced in the House of Commons earlier this week that initially the Type 26 frigate will be armed with just a helicopter and a short-range missile system”

An interesting statement to lead off this article but it’s not exactly true is it??

The Parliamentary answer did not include any words that meant or implied: “just”, “only”, “no more than”.

The Mk 41 VLS will be occupied, the MoD is not willing at the moment to say with what.

You could (and should have) more productively speculated as to which, rather than assume they will be empty and go off on a flawed top trumps inspired rant.

By the way the Type 45 has a NGS gun, Phalanx CIWS, Aster 15 PDMS, Aster 30 area SAM, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and a Wildcat equipped with more anti-ship missiles plus torpedoes. A score of 7 in your silly TT table. But that rather ruins your argument, doesn’t it? So you fudged the numbers.

Glass Half Full

Its strange. A number of ex-military bloggers, including some who held relatively senior rank, have used sophomoric arguments to justify positions, including one who has testified to the House of Commons Defence committee.

All that weak justifications do is undermine the argument, if its so simplistic that even lay persons (my case) can see the faults. Using a table that is crude at best at capturing actual capability, generated by someone who should know better and who does in fact add a number of qualifiers to that effect, just demonstrates that it is the wrong tool to communicate the message.

Ron5

+100

borg

I’d be made up as a fellow Lay person to even know what “Sophomoric” actually meant. !

Deep32

Lol mate, me too, had to look it up, not one that you come across everyday! Just like a school day!

X

A gun that will never be used because it will always be with the carriers. An old gun with no PGM.

A CIWS that is out of date by nearly 2 generations now.

Ooh! An AAW hull carries AAW missiles! Wow.

Harpoon so old they are suffering a range of issues.

Wildcat carries small missiles. That won’t worry anybody who can fire back at it. And when will this helicopter see use? And torpedoes cued by a sonar that is an ‘enhanced’ MOAS sold only to a second world country.

borg

Hello Ron, Are you coping well ? Looks like you might be missing your old “Powers” on here lately.

Ron5

Sophomoric means :

1. Conceited and overconfident of knowledge but poorly informed and immature

2. Lacking in maturity, taste or judgement

Meirion X

What old Powers?

Jason Simmons

There are often reasonable reasons why capability isn’t present in a ship, despite it being long planned. Case in point, Australia’s Hobart Class destroyers. They have long been planned to maintain a terminal ballistic missile defence capability for the RAN.

The delays however have been in ensuring AEGIS Baseline 9.0 is available and installed on the vessels, as well as SM-6 Block IA was available as the interceptor. It was merely a timing issue, but again a reasonable reason why the capability is not available at a certain point in time.

borg

None of this matters, until it actually matters.

Deep32

How very profound mate! Love it! 🤣👍

borg

Lol, Back in 39, we still had the largest fleet in the World but even with that huge amount of ships to call upon, we still had to beg, borrow and Steal more. At the end of 45 we had more aircraft carriers than any other Nation too. What we see today is a positive in many ways but a terrible negative in oh so many other ways, I hope all the Gambling by the Well Off Elite Leaders of the past 80 years will prove to be worth it, but I fear not and I also fear that the rest of us who are not so comfortably well off will have to once again, Shed our blood to save ours and theirs, skins. Why do we do that exactly ? As a little aside, It’s interesting to see that Super Yachts sales have hit an all time high during this past 18 months whilst the vast majority of us have taken a massive hit in the wealth department. Anyway, got to go now, Animal Farm is on the TV and I like to remind myself of my lowly Position in Life !!!!!

Ron5

the vast majority of us have taken a massive hit in the wealth department

We have??

borg

Well yes if you are one of said vast Majority, I guess you are not one of them then Ron. good for you my friend, good for you.

Supportive Bloke

When it matters it MUST work.

OkamsRazor

Bit of a sloppy article I’m sorry to say. Too many mistakes. However, having served the writer should understand that not all navies are created equal and this informs their policies.
The RN have been to war in modern times. This has informed their policy of “specialist” vessels. Most nations have not and have “generallist” vessels. If we look at your points re AAW and ASW they require completely different hull designs, so I am not sure how any informed observer could suggest that a generalist ship packed to the gills with everything could perform adequately in either role.
ASW requires Radar height, beam to support this and a powerful AAW Radar. Informed observers and serving personnel seem to agree that currently the T45 is the best there is and that the AB3 may be as good in 2023. But whether they successfully achieve IOC in 2023 is another matter. The T45 for AAW has short range and long range single kill missiles. The ABs do not so require twice as many missiles ditto PLAN and Soviet Navy. How this becomes a “advantage” I’m not sure I follow, less equals more?
With regard to ASW, any informed observer will be aware of noise and speed limitations which determine the efficacy of sonar. Therefore putting sonar on a noisy ship like an AB or T45 makes it almost useless. Also AAW needs to be close to the carrier whilst ASW needs to be as far away as possible. Similarly light weight torpedo’s on ships are almost useless as their range compared to heavy weight torpedoes makes them redundant. However, when they are carried by helicopter they are a formidable tool.
I could go on, as many commentators have pointed out obvious errors. The problem with writing an article to fit a headline. Instead of to explain a doctrine acquired from painful experience in lives an material. Too few, maybe, not best in class I think not.

Supportive Bloke

I think you hit the nail on the head.

X

Rubbish. The RN has built ‘general purpose’ ships since T12(M). Even back then as the world’s third navy the RN could always guarantee the right mix of ships at the point of need. Sea Viper is the best AAW system at the moment. But T45 the ship is adeqaute.

You whole post is rhubarb.

Meirion X

I see the Kremlin has you in their black books!

Anyway, I very much agree with you.

Spandexboy

It is interesting how the RN’s Type 26 compares to the RCN’s Type 26. The RCN’s Type 26 will be fitted with 32 Mk.41 Strike Length VLS cells at the outswt for ESSM Block 2, SM-2MR Block 3C, Tomahawks, 24 amidships Sea Ceptor as a PDMS/CIWS, the Oto Melara 127/64 DPNG w/ 127mm Vulcano ERGM, Mk.54 lightweight torpedoes, Kongsberg NSM/JSM, BAE 30mm RWS, probably Mk.38 Mod.2/3–I’d prefer Bofors 40mm Mk.4. The RCN Type 26 will share a common hull-mounted sonar, but use an Ultra Electronics active-passive towed sonar. Furthermore the RCN Tye 26 will also feature the US Navy developed Co-operative Engagement Capability and the extremely advanced fixed four-face AESA AN/SPY-7 radar and associated systems in an integrated mass that will much superior to the RN’s Type 26 Artisan and in many ways superior to the Tyoe 45s. While I highly doubt that RCN will get 15 ships, more likely 12, surprisingly the RCN will have a more capable surface combatant fleet then the RN when they are all in service. I can hardly see how the RN’S mixed fleet of 6 Type 45, 8 Type 26 and 5 Type 31s are as capable if the RN had pursued a similar solution.

Duker

Im thinking the RCN wont do all 12 as high end AAW ‘frigate-destroyers’, my bet is that the costs will mean the they will do 6 only and the followup 6 will be the cheaper less capable version. They currently only have 12 medium capability frigates with the missile load being Sea Sparrow so the Treasury people will ask ‘Howcome’
Interesting the estimated build cost with its government furnished equipment for the 2nd US FFG has been revealed. It comes to around £700 mill. Might come down for the follow ons but shows what these sorts of vessels cost.
Back at end of 1970s UK defence budget spend was 4.5% or so if GDP , while NHS was 4.9%. Now its 2% for Defence( actually less when cash accounting used) and NHS is 11%.

Last edited 19 days ago by Duker
X

It depends on China. The reason why they are going for all 12 was it cheaper than splitting the class. If they do build some cheaper ones they will be upgradable more easily. I think your hopes are more about hope the RN’s weaknesses aren’t shown up further than a true reflection on Canadian security.

Duker

RCN and Canada in general has some very strange procurement decisions/procrastinations , makes the UK MoD look like a well oiled machine.
They had a big support shop program announced say a 15 years ago and nothing has come of it apart from 1 ship ( and the Asterix)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protecteur-class_auxiliary_vessel
Then there was the ice protected OPV class
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_DeWolf-class_offshore_patrol_vessel

Jon

11% on the NHS? Where did you get that figure from? Yes it has grown hugely, but not that hugely. Total UK spend on NHS has never risen above 8% and is currently closer to 7%.

http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/chart/nhs-spending-as-a-percentage-of-gdp-1950-2020

Even when you add non-NHS spend and all the anciliary health spend, the percentage isn’t quite in double digits. As health-related long term care is included in the figures, it is likely to reach double digits as the population ages.

However, I agree with your general point, that defence spending has fallen well below sustainable peacetime norms.

Last edited 16 days ago by Jon
Glass Half Full

The Canadian CSC is intended as a multi-role or multi-purpose (not general purpose) vessel because of geography. There is no quick way to get ships from the Canadian East to West coast or vice versa. So having ASW and AAW focused solutions would cause problems in maintaining the appropriate mix of capability if 15 or 16 ships were split along those lines, particularly after taking into account routine cycling of ships through deployment and maintenance. Retreating Arctic sea ice and exposed northern shore exacerbates the problem. That’s before any contributions to NATO and/or deployments further afield.

Australia has similar issues, which probably explains why the Hunter class looks like it does, despite having three Hobart class AAW destroyers. They are also a long way from allies with similar capabilities in any numbers.

The UK has the luxury of European allies with very capable navies that are also being updated. Thus we can invest in capabilities like CASD, SSN, and carriers along with logistics to bring capabilities other allies outside France cannot. Europe has a lot of very capable escorts, lacking only ABM defence currently, where the Netherlands seems to be leading that push. All that ignoring US contributions, which we really shouldn’t.

That said the designation of the T45 replacement being T83 suggests a more potent ASW capability along with the AAW destroyer role. CSC may well come to the RN as T26 comes into service, there hasn’t been much benefit to doing so up to that point. Then there is always potential upgrades to the Artisan system, BAES show a 2027-8 timeline for a potential hardware upgrade. No need to turn T26 into an AAW destroyer. We should also look at T32 rather than T31 in that mix, with the former perhaps being more of an intermediate frigate platform similar to the French FTI or Italian PPA Full spec.

Duker

Yep they have a strategy from a decade ago and its all hopelessly delayed
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Shipbuilding_Procurement_Strategy

The spin is always ‘nothing is changed’, the practical result is very different.

Australia is different to Canada as its an island continent, with sea all around. Its only 7 days travel time from Perth to Melbourne, even less from Perth To Darwin. You can get to say Singapore from bases on both coast in roughly the same time

Glass Half Full

I agree that Canada seems to have some real challenges in executing on military procurement programs.

I also agree that Australia isn’t challenged in the same way Canada is geographically. But with a fleet of just 12 high end escorts, being able to have ships in the right place, with the right capabilities, at the required time is what seems to drive their Hunter specs. The further away from the Australian coast, the greater the distances and the challenge.

Duker

Maybe. But is Canada interested in ‘The Pacific’ in the same way Mexico is ?
Their defence ties are with Nato and Europe so that comes first and second, and Arctic next and that ocean has different challenges that more high end frigates arent going to meet. I think the ice capable OPV De Wolf class – which is 6000 tons bigger than the T31 but beamier . The money on these doesnt leave a lot for more than 6 full T26comment image

Glass Half Full

Canada seems to have 5 frigates on the west coast and 7 on the east coast. It also seems to have 3 of its four subs on the west coast. So on that basis alone I’d suggest it cares about the IndoPacific. Six T26s for the entire Navy just isn’t going to cut it for its foreign policy and international relationship goals. More here on at Naval News on Canada’s IndoPacific engagement.

What probably helps reinforce that engagement is somewhere between 17-20% of the Canadian population is of Asian ethnicity, so there is also likely to be significant population interest in the region. While the US dominates Canadian international trade, Canada also has significant exports to Japan, China and Korea and almost certainly wants to expand exports into Asia as everyone else does.

Duker

Thanks for that. It wasnt just 6 T26 it was 6 high end T26, as currently planned and 6 T26 of a lower standard ( UK?)
Most of the population is along the US Canada border in NE, and in the Prairies the Pacific is still a long way away
The link for ship tracking shows 4 on west coast/base, 7 on east/Atlantic and 1 at Bahrain(CALGARY) which could have come from either.
None were in east asian side of pacific

Glass Half Full

Well 12 T26 makes more sense. Not sure they’d save much by building two variants though, since they’d have the same expensive radar and weapons systems. A UK T26 isn’t much lighter in the weapons, the radar is much simpler though.

Where the population is located isn’t likely to make much difference to how the govt. weight Canadian interests. Votes may though and there is a very heavy Asian population skew in British Columbia, >25% of the population.

Canadian Navy site confirms 7 frigates for MARLANT, so 5 left for MARPAC. https://www.navy-marine.forces.gc.ca/en/about/structure-marlant-units.page

D J

I believe the number of Canadian T26 is to be 15, not 12. They are also replacing their now retired destroyers, not just their frigates.

Glass Half Full

You are correct, 15 is the plan. I was responding to Duker, who was estimating the Canadians would reduce numbers from 15 high end T26 to 6 high end T26 + 6 lower spec variants. I had interpreted his original comment as only being 6 total which didn’t make sense, hence why 12 T26 made more sense in that context.

D J

According to a senior RCN officer, they did look at a high / low mix, but that split fleet problem with extra long transit between the two makes it hard to change the mix if need be. If they are all the same, the problem goes away.

Glass Half Full

That is also what I had read, as I responded to Spandexboy above. The RCN solution seems a smart choice to me.

Allan

Arctic sea ice retreated a lot just prior to World War 1 and World War 2. Hopefully the current one we’re told about does not precede World War 3.

Joe16

Thanks for a helpful article, I’m not sure if I should address the author as Comander, Tom, Comander Tom, Comander Sharpe?
As the author himself says, it is a simplistic way of going about things, but it serves a useful purpose. The removal of the land attack mission from the RN surface fleet is pure cost cutting, nothing more. Same with not fitting out all escorts with a surface warfare missile.
I’m not an expert, but an interested amateur- however there are a few things being batted around the comments that I’ll pitch in on:
The newest (serving) Burkes are the Flight IIs, they don’t have Harpoon fitted and use semi-active versions of the SM missile family with their older radar fit. They therefore have to utilise their SM-2s as their surface weapon and air defence weapon- which limits their magazine depth. 96 VLS, some with ASROC, some with TLAM, some with SM-3 (primarily ABM due to its cost), some quad packed with ESSM and some with SM-2 (some empty?). The idea that a Burke can knock 96 aircraft/missiles out of the sky is a misnomer. There are definitely strengths to a pocket knife, but if the primary mission is AAD and surface warfare, then the T45 wins with its 48 Aster and 8 Harpoon.
I hesitate to talk ASW in the comments section of a T23 comander’s article, but there’s talk of how the Burke and Ticos can do both ASW and AAD in the comments. I agree that they can, but I don’t think they generally have tails, which makes them lilypads for ASW helos and a launch platform for the outdated ASROC. I’m also of the understanding that positioning for ASW and AAD of a CSG is quite different, so a Burke can’t do both jobs at the same time very well. That makes them barely better than a T45, and definitely weaker than a T23/T26.
I appreciate that it’s very difficult to put too much complexity into these tables, but given the capabilities of the weapon systems, I actually think that the French/Italian FREMMs are some of the strongest platforms in NATO; They use the superior Aster AAD missiles (compared to SM-2), their AShMs are canister launched and newer than the Harpoon, their land attack SCALPs may be slightly smaller than TLAM, but they are stealthy, and I understand that their torpedoes are better than the US Mk54. The Italians even have an ASROC equivalent with better range that uses the better torpedo.
Personally, everything I’ve read about ABM suggests that we can plan to integrate it as a capability for Type 83, but it’s not yet enough of a threat to worry about just yet. I’d personally like to see us stick with the Sylver/Aster combination too. Options for quad-packing Sea Ceptor as an ESSM-equivalent should be explored.
I’m a big fan of the interim AShM programme, particularly as most competitors have a secondary land attack capability at the moment. I seem to remember a figure of 5 sets to be purchase, but I can’t remember which vessels they’re supposed to go on? It should be expanded to all escorts, including T31 eventually. FC/ASW should see us into the 2040s with surface warfare and land attack solutions that are up there with the best in the world.
An ASROC VLA equivalent should also be looked into, but for Stingray/future lightweight torpedo (I imagine they’re already doing this), but with better range on the rocket motor.
As far as weapons fit goes:
Everyone gets interim AShM, Sea Ceptor (ER? Quad packed?)
T45 gets Aster, FC/ASW eventually
T26 gets ASROC 2.0, FC/ASW eventually
T31 gets nothing extra, presuming they get interim AShM eventually
T32 Don’t know what the mission is, so no idea
T83 gets Aster (ABM), FC/ASW, lasers?

Cam

Are the type 26 getting land Atack capability? I thought they were, but it says they don’t on here.

Ron5

To be determined. But most likely yes.

OkamsRazor

Why on earth would you want to give ships land attack capability when you have aircraft helicopters and subs for this?

Deep32

I think what Cam is referring to is TLAM and Storm Shadow.
SS is not being integrated on F35B’s, that capability was cut years ago, so only carried on Typhoon, no help to a CSG.
TLAM resides on our SSNs, we only currently have 6, so, low availability across the board. Fitting it on a ship would help not only take operational pressure off SSN flt, but also increase our options. Which is the best ship to fit TLAM/Land Attack Missile on, take your pick.

Nick B

Presumably the F-35s will get Storm Shadow replacement in the 2035s. Until then, UK carrier strike will have to get close in (high risk even for stealth) for any land attack capability using Paveway/Brimstone (?) (and mid range Spear 3 at some future point ?). That’s not much strike in practice.

What is the anti-surface ship strike weapon the F35s will carry ? Type 45/26 may have c100 km Harpoon replacement until SS replacement is fitted after 2035ish (I know the plan is 2030, but when do any of these programmes complete on time).

If UK CSG is supported by two Type 26 (ie c2030) and an Astute SSN is two to four (?) Merlin based ASW sufficient ? I would have thought not. This means the CSG will need to carry ASW Merlins plus the “AWACS” Merlins as well. 24 F-35 max in that case ?

Modifying the Carriers for catapults and ski jump makes a lot of sense, but cost/timing/space ? and then what Drones will they carry ?

Ron5

The carriers are designed to support 36 F-35’s and 14 Merlins for ASW & AEW.

Deep32

F35 currently has 2 X AAM and PWMk4 in its arsenal. Brimstone is typhoon only, Spear 3 and Meteor are available when we get Blk4 software on the jets. So, you would like to think they will be getting something like FC/ASW when/if it comes along, possibly some form of intrim AShM. If not, then as you say, not much strike, certainly not the deep strike role that the Tornadoes performed.

As @Ron5 states below, the carriers will always carry a further mix of Merlin’s, as the T23/26 will not always be necessarily operating that close to the carriers, but no, 2-4 is certainly not enough.

I believe the MOD are looking at drones for the AAR and AWACS roles initially, but have just seen something over on UKDJ saying that they are looking for a drone to assist with swarm defence in the next two years. The next few years will be interesting, to see what kit we actually procure.

Paul.P

I see TLAM on T26 as an important diplomatic deterrent. There are times when you actually want people to know that if they don’t behave there will be serious consequences. Submarine TLAM is more use when the fighting has actually started.
Also you might want to detach a T26 from a CSG to broaden your influence or strike reach and range. Just my take.

Ron5

Why on earth would you want to give ships land attack capability when you have aircraft helicopters and subs for this?

Ask the US Navy, they do it in spades.

Joe16

Eventually, probably.
It has a good chance of being via the interim AShM followed up by FC/ASW, as most of those missiles have both land attack and surface warfare capability. The days of single-mission missiles like TLAM are on the way out, proven by the latest TLAM variant’s ability to kill ships and suchlike!

Fedaykin

A bit ‘Top-Trumps’ as articles goes but at least the author acknowledges it, unfortunately it is a bit too misty eyes over the wonders of the Arleigh-Burke class which is a common feature in many an article posted about this matter.

The Arleigh-Burke might well be packed to the gunnels with systems, missiles and dakka but that is more through them being forced into that position due to rather poor decisions made by the USN and DOD over the last few decades plus a stagnant when it comes to innovation, design & build practices US shipbuilding industry.

The Arleigh-Burke as a class is cramped, large crew intensive with woeful habitability standards! Later flights are so overladen with systems that they have a dangerously low freeboard that has required sticking plaster solutions in Flight IIB to remedy. As a class they are contemporary in design terms with the Type 23 class and the propulsion machinery is contemporary with the Type 42 due to pull through from other in service classes of vessel. The latter two facts make it extremely difficult to integrate in the new systems and weapons desired by the USN!

The reason why they are more multi role in their capability is not due to as inferred by the author to give a go-anywhere capability vs a task group mentality but rather the vessels being forced into a more multi role set of taskings caused by the decision to retire a slew of different frigate and destroyer classes in the 90’s and 00’s and the failure of the planned replacement programmes the DD(X) and LCS forcing Arleigh-Burke to step into those taskings.

The only reason they are still building the Arleigh-Burke despite all its problems is due to the US military shipbuilding industry losing the ability to design anything new due to the constant drumbeat of building older designs and updating them…which is why when they finally saw sense over LCS they went for a foreign design for the new Frigate class!

When UK shipbuilding representatives involved with the QE class went to Newport News to see the construction of the “State of the Art and all new” Ford class they were shocked at how outdated some of the build practices on display were. There are features built into the Ford class based upon their build practices that can be traced back to the Essex class and that is not a good thing…

The Arleigh-Burke class has been stretched beyond the edge of what it was designed to do and modern UK ships are luxury cruise liners in comparison…with less dakka to be sure!

X

All true. But as it stands the AB is comparable to anything afloat. And is the back bone of the West’s escort force. Unless you know how we can knock out 80 plus Type 45’s that are quiet and have a decent ASW fit out within a year or two we are b*ggered without them. All right to knock the USN but where is Europe?

AlexS

AB i very inefficient lacking range due to gas guzzling TG, about 4000nm.

X

The USN is a global force. It has 19 oilers in service. If it operated conventional carriers it wouldn’t be enough. All their big amphibs have good range and speed. Not ideal no. You argument is like pointing out a car from the 70s and saying it isn’t as good as a car from the 2020’s.

AlexS

I am only criticizing the range/ propulsion system. But i can add another one: Manning requirements.

Meirion X

I agree with you mainly, and a poor ASW tasking platform.
The USN needs to retire all the Flt.1 AB’s and replace with Constellation Class.

And Beware, x is extremely manipulative!

Last edited 16 days ago by Meirion X
Fedaykin

To be fair the manning requirements are partially due to doctrinal requirements for crew roles within the USN. The RN has a level of automation that the USN won’t accept.

pompeyblokeinoxford

Bit of a sad read. You would have thought that both the upper echelons of the RN and treasury would have learnt. From not just the Falklands but every conflict we have been involved with, don’t skimp.

X

The fewer hulls we have the more firepower and supporting systems they need. Type 45 should have been a 10k tonners and replaced T42 and T23/T22 and with 12 purchased at least.

Meirion X

“replaced T42 and T23/T22 and with 12 purchased at least.”

So the RN end up with 7 Less warships of what the RN have now and minus 8 specialist ASW vessels!

So the latest Con propagated by your Kremlin Masters!

We have seen though this before!

You think posters are daft enough to buy it!

Last edited 18 days ago by Meirion X
X

Look as I keep telling you you just don’t have a clue what you are on about. Interacting with you is therefore useless. Just go play Top Trumps or something. Isn’t tomorrow a school day?

Meirion X

This is what I expected from a Kremlin Trroll, full of distraction arguments and put down and denial!

And all the self-rightfulness that goes with it!

Of cause you have an agenda to weaken the Royal Navy!

Last edited 17 days ago by Meirion X
X

I have reported yet again. Grow up.

Warren

I totally agree, but quantity has a quality all of its own, and our government will not do anything to resolve it, apart from saying they did their best when the sh$t hits the fan😒

Meirion X

It is very disappointing you have endorsed a Russian troll!

Steve

What is the point of the strike length tubes, if they are only going to fit it for short range missiles (i assume sea ceptor).

X

A better question might be, why have strike length cells if you are reliant on a foreign power for targeting data? Unlike France, Germany, and even that super power Turkey (larf) we have no recce birds. Anything like that that we need we have to go to the US.

Meirion X

The Sea Ceptor will have their own cells, not Mk. 41 cells.

Last edited 18 days ago by Meirion X
Paul T

Sea Ceptor will be using their own dedicated VLS,no need to fill the MK41 with them.

Meirion X

The UK does have military satellites.

More misinformation by the Kremlin!

X

The MoD buys in surveillance video and images by a company called SSTL which is owned by Airbus. One bird. The MoD doesn’t OWN a constellation of its own. And we are still reliant on the US for a complete package of data.

The only person who spread misinformation on this site is you. It appears I am not the only person on the site who you hassle. Stop it. Or I will report you once again.

Meirion X

So now with threat to silence any opposition to you, is it?

Last edited 17 days ago by Meirion X
Meirion X

Skynet5 PFI contract on behalf of the UK MoD ends in Aug. 2023.

The UK MoD has brought a stake and control in another company for it’s future military satellites.

The Troll wont tell you that!

Meirion X

Sorry a typo, it should be 2022!

Stu

SKynet5 is for Comms. Not recce. Unless you know some classified info we don’t?

Since I have you, I’ve agreed & disagreed with things “X” has said on here before as I have with others. The majority of people on here have the decency to discuss topics & share thoughts & information in a constructive manner. I had a great discussion with another chap that said we should scrap the minesweepers to get another T26. I disagreed but he made some salient points and I learned something – didn’t change my mind but interesting and gave me new things to consider none the less.

May I suggest that unless you’re having a constructive dialogue, maybe just leave each other alone? Your “Kremlin” stuff is getting, quite frankly, boring. We’ve all heard you. You can leave it now.

Meirion X

Ok, I will avoid mentioning the K. stuff in future.

Last edited 16 days ago by Meirion X
DaSaint

I’m on the US side of the pond, but let me say this:
Point #1:The storied RN should fully arm their excellent Type 26. Fully. Ship-mounted torpedo tubes may be considered last resort, but they’ll still be times when the helo deck is disabled or the helos can’t take off.
Point #2: Forget about dethroning the Ticos or Burkes. Leave that to the US. Instead, fully fund, build and deploy the original 13 (or more) Type 26.
Point #3: Consider swapping out the forward Bofors 40mm for a SeaRAM or RAM system.
Point #4: The Type 31 looks as if it will have some promise, but for the sake of consistency, training, and logistics, reconsider the weapons control systems, unless you commit to them for another batch of 5 ships and/or make it the ‘standard’ system for 2nd tier vessels moving forward.
Point #5: Consider leasing some US Auxiliaries that are going to be retired, to plug the holes that will be apparent as the new resurgent fleet ramps up.

X

Surely ASROC is the helo alternative? I am not sure about torpedoes. Some say they are useless. But most navies seem to fit them.

And if any 40mm was to be replaced it would have to be the aft one because of arcs.

T31 in its current form has no promise.

It would be crewing US auxiliaries first issue. Our carriers’ role is to supplement your fleet not stand alone. In the next bunfight I see it being the base of USMC F35b freeing LHx deck space for MV22.

Ron5

Our carriers’ role is to supplement your fleet not stand alone

No.

X

It is. You have to face reality. Our entire defence is structure around the US. To think otherwise is to display ignorance. We are not France.

Meirion X

The UK’s defence structure is mainly based around NATO!

X

I have reported you.

FWIW take the US out of NATO and what do you have?

GO AWAY!

Meirion X

You prove my point, you hate NATO!

You the One to go back to the Kremlin!

Ron5

#1 Who says the T26 will not have ship launched torpedoes?

#2 Unwarranted arrogance, the USN has fully demonstrated its inability to produce a better AB or Tico.

#3 Sea Ceptor is much superior to SeaRAM, the T31’s carry them

#4 Agree. Using 100% different combat system, sensors & weapon in the T31 is not smart. But then again, this is UK procurement.

#5. None suitable and probably not needed, except for the carriers.

Supportive Bloke

#4 Agree. Using 100% different combat system, sensors & weapon in the T31 is not smart. But then again, this is UK procurement.”

But wasn’t that necessary to break BAE’s trump card neck lock that it will cost ££££ and take XYZ years to integrate and test?

Whereas the Thales CMS is already integrated for the weapons selected for T31 so it is a fixed price item on the spreadsheet.

Paul.P

Welcome and constructive comments, which is more than I can say for X who seems to have a random criticism generator. I don’t think relationships are his strong suit 🙂
The tender process for 3 new build solid supply ships has been issued. Pork barrel politics dictate these will probably be UK built. We need the jobs and to make the UK national shipbuilding strategy a reality.
Agree T31 shows promise mainly because it is a substantial beamy hull. Lots of growth potential which its competitor in the bidding did not have.
There has been a commitment to another 5 so called T32s. No guarantee these will be based on T31 but they are unlikely to be simply ‘patrol’ frigates.
I honestly don’t know the merits and demerits of replacing the fwd 40mm ( I presume you meant the T31) with Sea Ram. What I do know is that the killing power of the 57mm plus twin 40mm combination of guns on the T31 will have been extensively modelled as a system. So replacing one element of the system might have significant adverse impact.
Lastly I don’t know about the value of deck torpedo tubes. Better than not having them I guess.

Turenne

I notice that whereas the table includes T31s for the RN, it doesn’t include FDIs for the MN, which in all likelihood will enter service before the T31s. Surely, given their potent armament (76mm gun, Exocet block 3s, Aster 15/30, torpedoes and helo) they would have improved the MN’s score significantly?

X

Everything the T31 should have been but isn’t.
comment image

Jon

Excluding R&D, FDI costs half as much again as the Type 31, which isn’t bad. But the French spent more on R&D up front than we’ll spend on actually building all 5 Type 31s. Can you imagine the Treasury’s reaction had we copied the French?

X

I can imagine yes. Not happy with the idea at all. A ninth T26 would have been a better option by far.

Jon

Commissioned in 2037? Better than 5 Type 31s commissioned 10 years earlier? We’ll have to agree to disagree.

Patrick Borderie

First FDI to be commissioned in 2024. Next 2 in 2025.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fr%C3%A9gates_de_taille_interm%C3%A9diaire

Last edited 16 days ago by Patrick Borderie
Meirion X

You are right!, Jon!

Meirion X

The T31 has potential, I want see them better armed as well. With 76mm gun as well.

Last edited 17 days ago by Meirion X
Nick B

The 5 inch gun with guided hypervelocity shell design makes much more sense on the Type 31 over the equivalent 76 mm option in the longer term.

Meirion X

Thanks for that info!

captain p wash

Well Bugger me……….. Are all these sites inhabited by Herodotus ?

Meirion X

I can’t believe Herodotus is x, really?

captain p wash

Nor me mate…….

Meirion X

Remember Steve Taylor?
And how he behaved!

Last edited 17 days ago by Meirion X
X

To be honest I do know who you are talking about.

I have reported Meirion X for the second time to the site owner.

Meirion X

I done Nothing wrong, only opposing and exposing your self-rightfulness attitude, and appalling manipulative behaviour.

So get back in Your box!

Last edited 17 days ago by Meirion X
Meirion X

Who do you think is Herodotus here?

Last edited 15 days ago by Meirion X
Sophie

aster15 is point defence missile

Meirion X

True!

Sophie

30nm is so short for area defence i think

Meirion X

I agree!

Trevor H

The more weapons you stuff into a ship the more crew in theory they need and more maintenance they need and the sooner they deteriorate. Russian ships may be filed with this and that but they have never fired in anger.
The sooner we develop a weapon it becomes obsolete.

Our ships are more than good enough for their purpose. The Russians might worry about our attack subnarines, or not. But I’m sure as hell they are pretty worried about all the American ones as well. Not to mention the French ones.

In all the we are not alone.

Meirion X

I suppose it is easier and quicker to develop a counter measure to a warpon?