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Sisyphus

‘It would be much more sensible to be honest about this now..’

I fear you ask too much of the MOD to demonstrate the ability to be either ‘honest’ or ‘sensible’. In a week when the US Navy Secretary clearly stated the UK should consider more investment in its navy it will only fall on deaf ears.

We have a revolving door of ministers only concerned in the next election. Asking them to plan for the end of next decade is beyond their shelf life. What we need is a bunch of admirals willing to say ‘No, minister, we need more ships, and we need them now.’

But of course that’s not possible. We cant even crew the ones we have now [you noted the increasing ‘Birkenhead’ Navy in a recent tweet] and as your article notes, its taking 11 years to build one frigate, dictated by cashflow and spreadsheets, not industry I suspect.

Only the likes of those who frequent your marvelous site cares about this sorry state of affairs.

Sean

Ben Wallace was in office at Defence for 4 years, hardly a revolving door. Shame other ministries didn’t have as much stability.

As for needing “more ships now”, we do. But modern frigates and destroyers are not Liberty ships, they are far more complex to build, and while there may be areas where current build times can be reduced, the first new ships are years away.

AlexS

Look at time it took to build the FREMM frigates either French or Italian.

Will

Speaking as an American, I can tell you for a fact that whether the UK or any other Euros like it or not, the postwar free ride is over. The US is broke and bankrupt in everything but name. Our own navy is shrinking and subject to maintenance and readiness issues caused by the drastic and idiotic drawdown in the aftermath of the Cold War. In addition to this, our once mighty military is now infected from top to bottom–fatally, IMO–with woke leftist politicization resulting in a suicidal institutional persecution of what is still the largest population demographic in our nation. The result is massive shortfalls in recruiting as members of that demographic refuse to serve.

Do with that what you will. I just hope that there are some adults in the room in the UK and that they will do what is prudent and necessary. But as with the rest of the western nations, I’m not holding my breath.

Esteban

100% true. And nobody else seems to believe this

KiwiRob

As you say the US is broke and bankrupt in everything but name, so how do you expect to pay for such a large navy? Why do you need 92 Burkes for example?

David MacDonald

Quite so and, in the interim, we need additional type 26s; probably a third batch with upgraded air defence systems.

Hugo

There’s no suitable radar or longer range missile we have to “upgrade their air defence systems”
Aster won’t be carried forward, and sampson probably isn’t even in production anymore.

David MacDonald

I was thinking more along the lines of the Australian and/or Canadian variants of the T26.

The Spice Island Bartender

The RN T26’s are primarily Sub Hunters rather than the Canadian and Australian all rounder GP spec.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

There is a need for escorts to have a much deeper defensive envelope.

What the RN did yesterday or even today isn’t what the necessarily what the RN should be doing tomorrow.

All you have done there is stated a truism. It is not argument for or against anything.

The Spice Island Bartender

Unlike you, I don’t seek an argument. Nor do I seek your opinion or comments as they just tend to be rather lacking in accuracy/fact/relevance. My answer was to David, It explains accurately the reasons they are different. Now run along Mr “IR” expert.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Argument is a an academic term.

I knew when I saw your username you were a returning troll.

The Spice Island Bartender

Says the ex “X”…. and so many others too….. oh the Irony ! Seriously mate….. just Do one, no-one cares what you think or post here, It’s all utter rubbish, “Warpons”, “Russia will never invade Ukraine” just look at how many have died after your “expert IR opinion” ….Nothing you say here has any credence…… all you have is a direct line to Admin where you report everyone who calls you out on here…. How sad a life you must have. ….. Pop in to the bar next time you leave Zoo Island…. I’ll stand you a pint of Milk. Would you like it still warm ?

Duker

Moderation policy
 Please try to stick to the subject matter of the article you are commenting on and above all, avoid personal attacks, however much you disagree. Feel free to present any opinion, but make your case using facts and evidence as its not a ‘chat room’

I can see fail on all 3 here

Duckr

Is this your site or do you just like acting like it is ?

Boneyard

Australia’s type 26 isn’t a GP vessel, it’s a specifically designed anti-sub ship. A good choice for the UK would be the CEAFAR radar with AGEIS or a local/RN preferred control system.

AlexS

Australia T26 is indeed a GP ship. The RN T26 is anti-sub ship.

Hugo

Neither are really suitable candidates for us. They’d both introduce niche radars and weapon systems that we haven’t committed to picked up on a wider basis.

Theoden

It’s too early to judge the CSC but the Hunter class has been a case study of how not to do it. The additional danger of a Type 26 AAW variant is it will be used by the Treasury and the Army press to kill Type 83

Supportive Bloke

ASTER is still in production.

UK is involved in CAMM-ER / LR with Poland and Italy. That still leaves a possible CAMM-LR etc if the nomenclature is anything to go by.

So things that go bang are catered for.

Radar wise the project behind SAMPSON and ARTISAN still rumbles forward.

SAMPSON itself was a limited production run. And it is fair to say there is no active production line. Anyway why would you want to start from that?

T45 is designed round SAMPSON on a super high mast – T26 cannot take that due to the metacentics.

But are you looking at dealing with skimmers or other threats?

Skimmers need a high mast.

Other threats need an air search radar.

T45 is unusual in that it does both to a very high degree.

Honestly you’d be better off putting son of SAMPSON on QEC even higher (they are so massive that it isn’t an issue and the initial designs allowed for it) and networking the sensor data to a T31 / 32 / 26 with a suitable VLS.

A Robinson

Sampson is too powerful for the QEC. operating it on those ships would seriuosly impact flying operations.

Supportive Bloke

If you look at the original designs it was there on a very tall mast.

KiwiRob

Just build improved Batch II Type 45’s.

Order of the Ditch

Why wouldn’t Aster be carried forward?
RN seems happy with its performance and it is used by 10 other countries including France and Italy. I think the MoD would rather have an MBDA made missile than using even more US kit. MoD is looking at a Sampson replacement for the T83.

Hugo

Because we’re moving to mk41 cells which are able to carry more than 1 type of missiles. And MBDA won’t allow mk41 to be installed in those.

DaveyB

MBDA have not ring-fenced Aster for Sylver VLS only. That would be a stupid business move. As it severely restricts who wants to buy your missiles. MBDA are in the business of selling missiles. The Sylver VLS is designed and produced by the DCNS a separate company.

Aster is cleared for Mk41. It has been modelled for fitment and firing. It has yet to do a live firing however.

Grant

I am unsure why we would move to the Mk. 41, we have no weapons which use it in inventory…. As the FCASW will be built with the French, it will use Sylver. Obviously Aster use Sylver. CAMM is cheaper in its own dedicated cold launchers…And we have seen the issues using US gear: slow speed to integrate European weapons into the F35, a strong dollar impacting value for money, relatively small UK content, buying Hellfires for Apaches when we should be integrating Brimstone…

DaveyB

FCASW will be a multi-launch platform missile. It will be the primary offensive weapon for both the RN’s T26 and T31. Which have/will have Mk41 VLS. Similarly both France and Italy will use it as their ship’s primary offensive weapon. So it will be used from the Sylver VLS. MBDA will also producing the weapon to be cannister launched. So at some point the T45s may also get it, to replace the NSM.

Aster is part of the MBDA French/Italian directorates. Therefore, it is in France’s particular interest to sell the missiles with DCNS’s Sylver VLS. Notwithstanding that Aster has been partially integrated with Mk41. So there is an option to sell the missile to Navies whose ships use Mk41.

Nick

Driven by UK and US budget issues surely

Hugo

And yet no ones buying Aster in Mk41

DaveyB

It’s unlikely, as Aster’s direct missile competition is ESSM and SM2. These are both already integrated with Mk41, whereas Aster is only partially integrated. It therefore becomes incumbent on the customer to fund the integration trials. As MBDA won’t do that out of their own pocket. Plus I would expect the US to use a fair bit of leverage on the Mk41 user to buy their missile products over a rival.

Grant

The point I was making when I suggested we should continue with Sylver, as it is already integrated with our choice of SAM. I know the plan for FCASW will be built for both… but it would be cheaper to do it for one VLS system.

What rationale is there for the RN to use Mk.41? We aren’t going to move to Standard or ESSM. FCASW will launch from Sylver. What weapons are we likely to buy that will need the Mk. 41

Nick

Since the UK, France and Italy are the only customers for Aster and none use a Mk 41 VLS today, its very unlikely that Aster will be fitted to any future D83 class (assuming we can fund the design and build them anytime before 2035) IMO (worth little of course).

For 2040+ service its much more likely to be a next generation Euro missile system or we’ll join Australian and Canada using US tech.

Joe16

MBDA have no problem with Mk41- they’ve already cleared CAMM for it. The issue is normally that weapons aren’t integrated until a customer pays for that- the UK, France and Italy have their own type of VLS so MBDA haven’t needed to account for MK41 before now.

DaveyB

There is CAMM-ER and CAMM-MR, both can be used with the current Artisan radar and CMS.

AlexS

CAMM-ER is the only one currently in existence. MR is a different bigger beast and i suspect will not be as compatible with same launchers.

D J

Poland is the one pushing for CAMM-MR & it’s in build A140 frigates are getting mk41. Graphics from LM show 2 CAMM-MR per mk41 cell. So work is underway. Both T26 & now T31 will have mk41 fitted. While CAMM-MR does not yet exist in a usable form, neither does the T26 or T31.

Scott

Based on the need for expansion of the surface fleet to provide credible escorts to the two carriers, why not lifex the type 45 AND step on the gas to get the Type 83 on the blocks in build.

The peer threat to our nation is escalating whilst successive governments here dither and under invest in defence.

Mike

Was going to say much the same. Fundamentally the Chinese are going to force us to expand the Royal Navy! An outright invasion of Taiwan is looking more likely in shorter timescale I believe.

The Spice Island Bartender

Taiwan is not really our fight, we go there to show solidarity but I seriously doubt we would go there to fight other than as support for a wider alliance.

Jon

Anything with the potential to wreck the UK economy for a decade (along with the rest of the world’s) and an outside chance of plunging us into World War 3 is very much our fight. If we can help deter it, we should. Let’s worry less about where our ships might be deployed and more about having enough threat to make it unnecessary.

Jonathan

Agree the mission needs to be to pursuing china not to fight a war in which everyone losses. For that we need to actually show will and capability…

fearlesstunafish

Taiwan is not really our fight”…..i guess you don’t use anything with a modern computer chip in it then??

Duker

China is their biggest customer .

ATH

Before doing that you need to find a way that is demonstrated to actually increase RN recruitment and retention.

Theoden

Spot on.

Scott

Improving pay, conditions and harmony time would go a long way towards addressng those valid concerns.

Clueless Observer

Anyone know why we are going for the 24 sea ceptor fit rather than a mk41 VLS silos that would add a land attack option whilst still being able to quad pack sea ceptor ?
The best form of defence is attack and it might make people reconsider launching attacks if they knew a cruise missile would be coming back at them ?
If the type 83 is delayed, wonder if a couple more type 26 could be produced ? Would potentially be cheaper by then and would keep the skills in place.

Hugo

Cost is probably the reason for just sea ceptor, plus there’s no weapons to go in mk41 rn

Paul Bestwick

I suspect this relates to the decision to put MK41 vls on the T-31. Thus freeing up SeaCeptor tubes from the GP T-23. Better to see them used rather than scrapped.

ATH

The Tubes are cheap. The purchase of missiles to fill them is a far bigger cost.

tomuk

The VLS on the T23s will be scrapped with the ships. They aren’t transferring them to any other vessels.

VLS for Sea Ceptor on T31, T26, T45 will be new build whether that is new mushrooms or ExLS.

A Robinson

The Type 45 is designed specifically to provide Force Air Defence, particularly for the carriers. The missing capability is actually a long range air to suface missile for the F35! Sea Ceptor is a much cheaper option for proving the 45 with additional SAM capability.that is necessary to meet evolving threat profiles.

Duker

Spear-3 . Its been 3 years since it came out of concept- validation and into demonstration-production phase
https://www.navylookout.com/putting-the-strike-in-uk-carrier-strike-the-spear-3-stand-off-weapon/

Spear-1 paveway IV of which the RAF has over 3000
Spear-2 Brimstone with a rocket motor
Spear -3…TBA
Spear-4 is upgraded Storm shadow cruise missile

Last edited 26 days ago by Duker
Lord Hood

Storm shadow is rapidly becoming obsolete thanks to the situation in the Ukraine…

Duker

I thought it was proved highly capable in its use in Ukraine and not obsolete at all

Sean

That ‘obsolete’ missile has destroyed 3 surface ships and a submarine of the Black Sea Fleet, and it’s not even an anti-ship missile! It’s also severely damaged the reputation of Russia’s S-400 air-defence system. One of the abiding images of Russia’s air-defence impotence is a Storm Shadow destroying the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet.

Last edited 24 days ago by Sean
The Spice Island Bartender

Because they are primarily “Air Defence” platforms.

Otterman

Why do air defense platforms not want land attack missiles, while the anti-submarine platforms of the Type 26’s do?

Jonathan

The original concept or the type 26 was a global combat ship…not just a carrier escort..the type 45 was always a focused AAW escort.

to be honest if there is one thing the type 26 could loss its it’s MK41 silos….

Supportive Bloke

It could also be a manpower retention issue – the gym on T45 is popular. This may not be the marginal issue we would have assumed only a few years ago.

People I know who e served on T45 speak highly of them as well appointed big ships.

The next issue is the availability of Mk41 modules.

RN ordered Mk41 VLS for T26 and I’ve previously speculated that some of those have been diverted and backfilled for T31.

Could more Mk41 be acquired and fitted in those timeframes? It could be that Mk41 production is maxed out in the relevant timeframes.

The next question is why. That may be subject to a rethink.

The final question is what goes inside these VLS [what flavour] and why?

It is very likely that the new Anglo French land attack missiles will fit in SYLVER……so I speculate that there will be eight of those in the existing silo……in the mean time NSM will be used in deck mounts.

However CAMM-ER/MR fits into Mk41…….but are these soft launch tubes going to be for CAMM / CAMM-ER / CAMM-MR?

There is a lot more to this matrix of decisions than just adding land attack.

Ultimately you don’t want to be chopping up bits of warship more than you have to.

Also it is essential that T45 has incredible availability to deal with the T23 disintegration issues. So any additional complex or difficult insertion periods will be dodged. Bolting NSM on can be done along side.

So I suspect that we are seeing more T45 crews being generated as they are coming off the wall and we may be seeing rotating crews for them to maximise their use. This is the *only* way of keeping up available unit days. This might be why there is such an acute short term shortage of crew.

Numbers are not that far down to explain the apparent lack of crewing that unless one specific trade is down close to zero – which is an alarming thought.

Last edited 27 days ago by Supportive Bloke
DaSaint

Mk41is in expedited production and will remain the most flexible launch system for decades to come. The RN can purchase them and use them anywhere they want, they just have to have the will to do so and the means to fill them with weapons.

Craig

NSM will be coming to T45, it has a land attack capability.

Teves

Mk 41s are not compatible with the silvers silos they would have to switch off the air defence system to use the mk 41 tubes apparently. It would be cheaper to build 3 more type 31 loose the 3rd boat bay and put a mix of 18 sea ceptors each side of 32 mk41 may be use the smart l radar from Thales.

David Slocombe

Four of the type 26 could be converted to guided missile destroyers, all you would have to do is remove the mission bay and the anti-sub systems, fit a strike module with 24 mk41 VLS for a total of 48 mk41 VLS. You could then remove the sea ceptors from the front and fit a 40 mm Bofors there, and add one above the hangar, you would then move the sea ceptors to the strike module for a total of 48, you the have an overall total of 96 VLS, add 16 NSM and you would get 112 missiles of various types. Build another batch of type 31 and convert them to anti submarine frigates and if that works then convert the first batch of type 26 frigates and build more type 31’s, maybe?? also need to find a radar system for the type 26??

Last edited 26 days ago by David Slocombe
DaSaint

You’re going to arm your AAW Destroyers with 2 40mm Bofors? Really?

Supportive Bloke

In addition to the other systems – yes, the 40mm adds something for getting rid of cheap low threat drones and swarms at a longer reach than 30mm or Phalanx can.

Jonathan

Yes it would be a very good idea..not only are the idea weapons for a lot of low end AAW..but the very nature of the AAW destroyer means it’s down the threat axis and likely to be targeted itself. The mk4 is a very effective anti air weapon system.

Last edited 26 days ago by Jonathan
Teves

The 24 mk 41 at the front would stop you putting a 40mm Bofors at the front, putting sea ceptor in a mk 41 is a total waste of a strike length silo and ,I have read that they cannot be quad packed due to the need to incline the sea ceptor in the launch tube tube. Using type26 as a base for the type 83 will be very expensive. The type 31 is cheaper can still do an aaw roll will use less crew and will allow cover whilst we wait for 83 to come on line also the type 31 version can make up the no’s as you can bet your life they will only build six type 83.

David Slocombe

The sea ceptors would be in there own silo’s therefore keeping the mk41 silo’s for lacm or ashm

DaveyB

There is no need to angle the CAMM if its quad pack in a Mk41 cell. By using a staggered firing pattern, it alleviates the risk of collision.

The forecast for the T83 is that it will require a VLS cell count of at least 96. Which is still below its possible contemporaries. To house 96 cells you will need a bigger ship that the T31. Or the T26 if you still want a mission bay etc.

D J

My understanding of the angling is not for collisions between missiles, but for collisions with the deck if the main motor doesn’t fire. ExLS Host is fitted inside a non angled mk41 cell, so limited room to play with. How likely is it for CAMM to fail? Has it ever happened? The minimum angle required will also vary depending on cell location & hull width. So is the answer 3 or 4 or even both?

It has, I believe, happened to soft launch Russian missiles (the motor not firing), so the angling has proved useful (to Russia).

Sean

Great, you propose reducing the ASW frigate force from 8 to 4 vessels to create to create top-heavy missile barges…

You do realise why the T26 are the expensive high-end vessels as opposed to the cheap T31s is because of all the design decisions, like rafting the engines, to make them less detectable to submarines. Adding a towed sonar to the T31s won’t put them on par with the specially designed T26.
If you want to build create an arsenal ship, the T31s would be the better choice of the two.

The one good suggestion is replacing the Phalanx with Bofors 40mm, for CIWS.

Last edited 24 days ago by Sean
Supportive Bloke

Eh?

T45 was designed to take both types of silos.

There is zero need to switch off AD to launch Mk41.

Obvs you don’t hot launch more than one missile in any instant. But that is what a CMS threat table does prioritise…..land attack isn’t generally a priority if the ship or fleet is under attack.

It is the principle reason why AShM are often canister launched so that air and surface threats can be dealt with simultaneously.

DaSaint

Mk41 doesn’t get ‘switched-off’. It’s compatible with most combat systems. Where do you get your information?

Daniel

While I agree with others that it is likely down to cost, theoretically Type 45 will gain some land attack capability once fitted for NSM.

Jonathan

Cheaper…MK41s cost a lot and have maintenance costs….the CAMM cold launchers far less so.

rst 2001

I think the Royal Navy and govt can easily design a ship using existing templates in record time , there is just zero will to do so from govt and business . Surely ships want to be a more modular design so you can just add and remove weapon systems as they come an go. Spending years designing a boat around weapons systems , radars is just nonsense and old school. Build the ship with modular capability and the right size , best current standards and just upgrade as u build each batch . Its way too unnecessarily complicated . China is bashing ships out like smarties , yes they have cheaper labour but that is a small proportion of cost , they have a different mindset and focus

Hugo

There are no such “modular designs” in our inventory. It has to be a new build. And also of course it has to be designed around the radar, its a power hungry piece of kit that has to sit 20+ meters in the air and not tip your ship over.

Theoden

Plus Dragonfire or son of Dragonfire coming over the horizon.

Chippym

but… Dragonfire won’t work over the horizon 😉

Theoden

LOL.

Jonathan

Not unless you have a drone mirror system, you can refract it….a sort of snooker double but with a laser.

Chippym

Initially LOL, but thinking about it this might actually happen one day there are papers on in orbit mirrors for ground based lasers.https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/tr/pdf/AD1018554.pdf

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

How much modular do you want a ship to be? A VLS silo is just a rack of module for weapons. Helicopters are just modules. Ships engines in a properly designed ship are just modules that can be swapped out through the uptake. There are already standards for everything.

DaSaint

Modules, modules everywhere! VLS, CMS, shipboard main guns, CIWS, diesel-electric generators, gas turbines, torpedo handling and launch systems.

Chippym

(Built for but not with) Modules modules everywhere but not a missile to fire

A Robinson

The Sampson radar has to be at the height it is to meet its performance targets and thus requires a dedicated structure – how would you make that a modular system?

KiwiRob

The Chinese have an incredibly efficient world class shipbuilding industry, only two other countries can build on the same scale as China, South Korea and Japan.

Lord Hood

On these timescales a combined ASW / Air Defence platform (similar to FREMM?) is starting to make more sense.

Adrian

We kinda tried that with type 45, then the type 26 to a certain extent and they all end up too expensive.. also the navy need to make sure they argue for more ships which is difficult when one ship does everything

Lord Hood

The French managed it, so why can’t we?

Theoden

Are their AAW as good as 45 ? Because their ASW are not even comparable to 23 never mind 26.

ATH

Why do you say that? The FREMM and T26 have similar drive systems and the same main sonar.

Theoden

They don’t have the anything like the same quietening around the engines and gearbox. There is a reason the Type 23 is considered the NATO gold standard for ASW warships. The main reason the RAN chose 26 was an exercise a 23 can’t remember which one did over there against their Collins SSK’s. They were gobsmacked by how it performed against their subs. The Type 26 will take it to the next level.

Donaldson

That’s encouraging to read if true

AlexS

They don’t have the anything like the same quietening around the engines and gearbox.

Ridiculous, Type 23 is a 80-90’s tech, FREMM is 20 years later.

AlexS

Btw French FREMM have been collecting ASW prizes from USN.

Hugo

Their VLS depth is terrible. It’s a boutique capability for the Fremms

AlexS

It is only Italians that have multimission FREMM, all capable of firing Aster 30 and tested for ABM in NATO exercises.

The French made 2 AAW versions after making ASW ones. The more numerous ASW version only can fire Aster 15.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

There are two routes. Either join the Italians in their DDX programme. Or just buy more T26 with AEGIS and the associated gubbins. The Italian ship would be a good option if we wanted a flag ship. Whilst going with AEGIS means we plumb ourselves into our main ally’s supply chain so better for costs. We will probably only end up with 3 hulls anyway.

I am reminded that without the carriers escort figures would be lower. The ‘escorts need something to escort’ argument from HMT supposedly.

A Robinson

I worked for 4 years with the Italians on the CNGF programme – I don’t recommend it!

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

T45 started within an Italian-Franco project. I don’t see why the next ‘destroyer’ couldn’t start from that point too.

A Robinson

PAAMS was the onlypart of the CNGF that was taken forward and that with a UK MFR for the UK. The Uk wanted the Mk41 launcher but had to put up with the Sylva launcher due to the costs that EuroPAAMS were imposing

OkamsRazor

I suppose that’s the difference between people who take what they read as gospel and people who have worked experience in these matters.

Paul T

How about working with South Korea as an alternative – tie in with their KDDX Destroyer build,reduce costs and hopefully increase numbers ?.

Hugo

Italian escorts will be older tech by the time we’re building these. And T26 is not a good AAW platform

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

Older technology in what way?

And exactly makes T26 a ‘not good’ AAW platform. Certainly not optimal. But in a time of reducing budgets we might as well as go with what we have.

Hugo

Older tech as in its something being built for service this decade, not the late 2030s or beyond.

And I say not optimal as in the T26 can’t carry a large radar, just look at the hunter program.

Jonathan

It could carry a large radar..it’s a 7000 ton hull…

Hugo

Tonnage doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t handle the top weight well as again, seen in the Hunter class program, the ship is feared to be unstable and overweight. Was only ever designed for something like Artisan

Jonathan

Tonnage does matter, many things matter but tonnage indicates the internal volume of the hull…which does matter a lot…what can be loaded into the hull ( it’s tonnage ) will impact on its meta centre as well as metacentric hight….when you load stuff on the top of the hull..like a radar.

Hugo

Great, still ignoring the fact that the design does not support a large radar very well. As can be seen from the Hunter program

Jonathan

The Australians have been trying to cram a lot more than a larger radar into the hunts, which is the fundamental issues….BAE seem to think that they can put a larger radar on the type 26 as they are the navel architects with all the calculations on metacentre and meta height they will know…you have no idea, neither do I..But CEAFAR is a very very heavy radar compared to anything in the RN…it’s a lot heavier that Samson…with 24 radar faces working across 3 bands..that’s a profundity heavy sensor and power package beyond anything in the RN…CEAFAR can be scaled..but RAN have insisted on a the maximum number of radar faces…and finally they are actually building the things so you can do it… so there will be a T26 high end AAW and high end ASW version in the water….

Hugo

Sure they’re gonna build it. Will the vessel actually perform is a whole other matter.
Either way the chances the Royal navy picks it up are nill

Duker

Where does it say Cefar is ‘heavy’. The RAN use it for Evolved Sea sparrow class missiles ships , not the SM family missiles.
Now that its an Australian government owned corporation i imagine they will be able to create 4 large plates for the main search radar

Jonathan

Cefar is a scaled radar you can add and remove radar faces…the specific scale that RAN have picked for the hunts has a huge number of faces that both weigh a lot themselves as well as eat a lot of power needing a huge amount of weight in power supply.

AlexS

There are various CEAFAR variants and developments. They have it in Meko Frigates for example but that is an old version. I don’t see why it can’t be scaled but as usual in a culture that pushes limits often find themselves going overboard in capabilities for the baseline ship and money available.

DaSaint

2 Carriers should require 3 Air Defense Cruisers or 6 Air Defense Destroyers. That said, I’m all for a variant of the T26, with a mid-hull plug, AEGIS, and Mk41. AEGIS works, and very well, as current events is proving every day.

Duker

Nothing wrong with the current T45 destroyers radar sensors and missiles…..as current events are proving
The new Sea Ceptor missiles is a welcome mid life weapons upgrade along with that for the existing Sea viper types.

AlexS

Nothing wrong with the current T45 destroyers radar sensors and missiles…

I disagree, Aster are too expensive and big for future drone swarms.
CAMM will mitigate it but i am not sure will be enough for what is coming.

Sean

Current events are proving that SAMPSON and the T45 works very well too.

Esteban

Not exactly state of the art and not nearly enough sustainability. And most importantly, not enough of them

Sean

Wrong, state of the art and sufficient sustainability.
Won’t argue on numbers.

bing

They aren’t state of the art anymore, sure they’re good, but they have had little to no development since they came into service, we are only just starting looking into sea viper upgrades. Given how Sampson development hasn’t moved forward, their sustainability is in question, we can use them now certainly, but unless their is going to be a huge overhaul and upgrade program they will die with the T45s.

KiwiRob

Or build Batch II Type 45’s. The design is newer than the Burke, which the US will be building far into the 2030’s.

Oliver Craig

The problem started in 2010 when Camerons government scrapped the two small aircraft carriers and their Harriers. I’m 76 and and I can’t remember from the 1960s to the present day any government giving a toss about the military. Too have scrapped any reasonable air cover at sea was a gross dereliction of duty by Cameron and his abysmal side kicks. Little wonder they can’t get young people to join up with the state we are in.

Jonno

Agreed. Maybe they dont understand The Navy at his level!

Andrew

In an ideal world 6 T83’s will be built before the first T45 is retired and then 1 in, 1 out thereafter and operate a fleet of 12 destroyers. Only achievable of course if the money becomes available and industry is capable.

Theoden

How would they be manned sorry personed ?

Jonathan

Well we would be talking a decade away..so you would actually recruit and retain…not something HMG has bothered about in 20 + years

nige

The hull of the type 26 could be used as the base for the type 83. This would be easier for construction following on from the 26 as it is possible to fit 14km 41 launchers into the ship as it stands; 6 in front of the bridge and 8 behind the funnel. Look at the Hunter class enhancement. It all depends on the radar system required. The hull might need to be widened slightly if flat radar panels are used, ie AN/SPY 6 type.

Theoden

I’ve not come across a single Australian who thinks the Hunter class programme has been anything other than a total balls up. Why would we want to go down the same road ?

Sean

The Hunter class enhancements have been a nightmare as they’ve tried to turn a specialist ASW into a vessel that is both top-tier at both ASW and AAW…
Which is why the RN has T45s and T23s, if you try to build a vessel that does both jobs you get a vessel that’s extraordinarily expensive and you end up with fewer vessels. Complexity increases cost.

Supportive Bloke

And absolutely massive

Duker

Massive ? The Hull is still the same dimensions as
HMS Glasgow L 150m beam 20.8m
What they have done is increase the fuel load for the longer pacific deployments. that would mean draught is greater and about 1000 tonnes more than UK T26 which are also have put on weight

Its also not top tier AAW – as it doesnt use those SPY-6 radars like the actaul AAW Hobarts
They have their own lesser Cefar radar sensors with a custom Aegis software libraries back end

tomuk

Are they the same? BAE Australia CEO told Australian Parliament committee that there have been modifications to the hull and earlier testimony by an Aus MOD official said it had been widened.

Duker

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-08/parliament-scrutinises-problems-45-billion-warship-project/102832248
You mean this testimony from BAE Australia

“In terms of anti-submarine warfare performance, its range, the margin on the ship and all of those to the best of my understanding, and are in line with what we put on the table at the start of the program”

While I think your comment is still valid, no one has given numbers and they will be fairly small changes.

the core problem is the RAN couldnt design itself out of a paper bag, despite pouring large sums/large teams into the development process

Paul T

The revised Hunter Class Hull has been widened by a grand total of 0.4m i believe.

Supportive Bloke

Which is actually quite a lot in terms of displacement…..

AlexS

CEAFAR that will be put in RAN T26 is a top tier radar.

Donaldson

Are the Hobarts not the AAW specialist ships for RAN? I see they only have 3 of them which I can understand why they’d want more AAW ships.

Sean

Unfortunately the Australians are in the habit of taking a design built for one purpose and trying to squeeze in capabilities to make it best in class at everything.

• The Hunter class is based on the Type 26 ASW frigate, which they are also trying to make a top tier AAW platform…

• The Hobert class is based on the Álvaro de Bazán class of AAW frigates, which they also tried to make into a ASW platform with bow and towed sonars…

tomuk

And then in their own evaluation for Hunter declared that a Hobart class follow on would be non compliant and poor at ASW.

The Whale Island Zoo Keeper

comment image

SailorBoy

Seems to be a whole lot of nothing going on with that design
Why build a 10,000 tonne destroyer and not pack it with VLS, its obvious purpose?
BAE have their own concept (it occasionally appears on their ads I get) for a similar ship with larger radar and more VLS, basically the front end of T45 and the back end of T26 with flat panel radar.

AlexS

That reminds me of Type 26…

Hugo

We don’t want to keep using Aster

Lord Hood

I think that we should adjust the T26 drumbeat from 18 to 12 months and base the T83 on an AAW variant with production to start in the 2030s.

ATH

Ask an Australian how trying to fit an AAW radar and lots of missiles to the T26 hull is going. Expect colourful language.

Last edited 27 days ago by ATH
Duker

Cefar radar sensors are very ‘compact’ They dont uses a single ‘plate’ for each face, but separate plates for L, S bands and a separate sensor for ‘fire control’
Their own system based on Cefar and aegis software libraries isn’t ‘top end’
The missile cells actually take up less space than in UK T26 [24 Mk41, 48 Sea ceptor] as they only use 32 Mk41

HMAS_Anzac_Mast1
Boneyard

Watch this space however. The Surface Fleet Review is due to come out shortly and one possibility is adding more VLS cells to the Hunters and possibly building an AAW version. I just hope they don’t let the Navy manage the program from this point forward.

backaftie

i think the first 3 T26’s should go full speed to finish we need them asap, 3 shifts etc, then order another 3 T26’s to keep the build programme correct.

ATH

3 shifts with which suitably qualified and experienced people? BAe can’t just magic experienced ship builders out of thin air.

Craig

Get the point around the gestation period and how we can’t do an AAW variant of the T26, also it’s been debated elsewhere on new hulls versus expensive LIFEX.
Why not build an evolved T45 which is a good sized platform with many modern features, proven (now the issues have been sorted) and weapons and sensors can just be moved from one retiring hull onto a fitting out one?
Is the T26 really worth 30 years of design evolution and will the T83 be? Likely be able to afford more hulls for an evolved T45.
We see F16s in build 50yrs on, replacing older versions.

Sean

Aside from the inter-cooler issue, the T45s have proven to be a great design. Planned with expansion in mind, they’re getting Sea Ceptors and NSM, with no worries about space or stability. An evolved, probably stretched T45, would make a good design starting point.

Oliver Grundy

I think The RN is looking towards a “son of Sampson” flat panel AESA (like the US SPY-1/6/7) which has already been explored into the type 83 concept art that has been released to the public (UKDJ did a piece on a while back). Larger flat panel AESA allows for far greater long range performance, especially against faster moving targets (hypersonic) and ballistic missile tracking, faster update speed (as it doesn’t have to rotate to face the target). This comes at the cost of weight though, meaning it has to be mounted lower down. To combat this, (as seen on the type 83 concept render) a larger ship is needed that can support this top weight. This is similar to the US, with higher mounted SPY-1’s on their Ticonderoga’s versus on their smaller (displacement-wise) Arleigh burkes.

Sean

They will certainly go for a far larger design for T83 than the T45. Partly because the T45 design has shown the usefulness of having growth space in the vessel for future weapons/ sensors/ power.
If the RN goes for flat panels then they’ll want them as mounted as high as the SAMPSON radar on the T46 to get the same range for sea-skimmers. That will automatically mean a far bigger hull design to cope with the greater top weight.

Upsizing seems to be the direction of travel. The USN is planning to replace the Ticonderoga cruisers the with much larger again DDG(X).

Supportive Bloke

Ironically larger ships are easier to build and outfit.

Design errors are much easier to sort out if you have a bit of space.

Bigger ships are more survivable.

And as you say much more modifiable too.

Then you get into range benefits as well as weapons load out benefits….

Oh and larger ships tend to handle much better and be better appointed for the rather vital crew.

Duker

Small point , the RN already uses ‘flat panels’, except they rotate.
What you mean is fixed quadrant flat panels arrays.
https://www.navylookout.com/in-focus-the-royal-navys-sampson-radar/

At almost 40 meters above the waterline, this is nearly double the height of the fixed arrays of the US Arleigh Burke destroyer’s AEGIS system and greatly increases the ship’s radar horizon and therefore warning of sea-skimming threats’

The L band S1850M  L-Band PESA electronically stabilised, multibeam, long-range 3-D surveillance radar is much lower located and is useful as a secondary backup

Sampson-S1850M-Long-Range-Radar-Type-451
Jon

Why mount heavy plates as high up as possible? Why not use a separate lightweight radar for sea skimmers? We should have enough drones in the air or specialist AEW platforms when in dangerous waters to make the highest possible up the mast requirement obsolete.

RAN

Given that Russia has so many submarines, I’d hope that even an AA-focused ship would have some consideration given to noise. The Type 45 was apparently rather noisy when first introduced; I imagine it’s got relatively even noisier?

Coll

“The first Type 45 fitted with an additional 24 Sea Ceptor missile cells should be delivered by the summer of 2026″ There’s no rush, apparently.

Sean

The rush is for PIP, which is why half of them are currently getting that done. After that the priority is NSM. Given how effective the T45 is showing itself to be it’s understandable that Sea Ceptor isn’t the top priority.
The big issue will be that with declining numbers T23s available, the T45s are going to be tasked far harder. Which makes it harder to schedule taking them out of action for long periods to fit Sea Ceptor – by comparison fitting NSM is a quick job.

Supportive Bloke

Agree

backaftie

i’m suprised the treasury are not on to the RN to replace T45 now, the cost of keeping them running will climb astronmically. mainly due to parts going obsolete. first 10 years running, minor problems, year 10-14 its getting expensive, past that its time to print money.
the cost is well yeah the cost but its also the time to get any changes/updates through the system and get it funded and its quite often years. That leads to ships alongside the get stripped for parts. IF we are having a proper shipbuilding strategy then the change point should be at year 15, the only exceptions would be if the current class is still being built,they fix the obsolecent stuff in build and this allowing a retrofit path. And very large ships due to the build time.
In reality they need the T83 design ready to build in one of the bays at BAE’s new build hall when it is complete.

Jon

The Treasury only care about annualised spend for the military as a whole. Is there anything you can do that makes it cheaper next year? They don’t care about saving money on a programme of work. Unit costs are a supreme irrelevance. As for whether the military is capable of protecting the country — really not their concern.

The guns of the museum ship HMS Belfast are said to point at a service station on the M1. I feel that they should point at the Treasury to concentrate minds.

Last edited 26 days ago by Jon
backaftie

T83 Design

needs 4 diesels and 2 gas turbines, use the MTU diesels being fitted and MT30 gas turbines. same engines across fleet for spares purposes where possible.

bin the 4.5 gun, use eithr 40mm or 57mm and have 2 fwd and 2 aft.
4 ciws , 2 either side.

upgrade the samson radar, the raf typhoon is getting a new asea radar mebbe 2 or 3 bolted together?

large hanger for multiple helicopters, this allows more space on the carrier cos the heli’s can be on the destroyer.

A lot of missles, 200+ and a reloading system!

some form of naval strike missle.

ATH

What are the chances the same MTU engine being fitted to the T26 will still be in production in 10 years? My guess is things will have moved on my then.

Duker

Based on the same 20 cyl V engines, Yes -as upgrades. They are very popular as backup gen-sets in massive data centres
Diesel engines are a stable design over longer periods, gas turbines are more leading edge but as marine propulsion still have a long life

Last edited 26 days ago by Duker
Jonboy

Commenting on the build time of modern warships. Plus the ability to grow the fleets operational size from its current state. It only took 373 days to build HMS Dreadnought in Pompey dockyard. I’m sure if the will and the money was there the build time of HMS Glasgow and her sister ships plus all future classes of warships could be accelerated dramatically. The politicians of whatever colour need to make the right decision’s and quickly. The Peace Dividend has long gone, we should already be at 3%. “Where there’s a Will there’s a way”.

Nila

Maybe this is why the Royal Navy can’t build a proper DDG and Maybe they should have brought some from South Korea or America that builds a REAL DDG.

Sean

Maybe you should learn English (using Google Translate doesn’t cut it), and something about the topic, before trying to comment?

Nila

I don’t speak British English, dude. I’m an American and I speak American English. So go back to the UK or we can repeat 1776 all over again.

Sean

You use of language doesn’t even cut it in American English. But I can believe you’re a redneck in your belief that America and the USA are the same thing… Zero geographical skills in additional to poor grammar.

As for 1776, yes the colonies decision to rebel so that they could steal all the land to the west of the Appalachians that King George 3rd had promised in perpetuity to the Native Americans…
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Proclamation_of_1763

Esteban

Wow! You are a special sort of snowflake…. Stick the things that relate to your little island.

Coll

Telling a citizen of another country to stick to their politics is rich coming from a Merimutt.

Sean

Really don’t like facts do you… guess you’re a Trumpian.

OkamsRazor

Maybe you should do some research as those with actual knowledge and experience seem to view the T45 and T23 as the best AAW and ASW currently in service. Nobody with any knowledge rates the South Koreans and know one who had bothered to read recent USN Congressional reports would make such a ridiculous statement.

Nila

The T45 doesn’t have ABM and Land attack capability that the Burkes have. The US Navy Burkes have Land attack, ABM, AAW, ASW, and ASUW capability. Sadly the UK’s T45 only have AAW, ASW and ASUW.

Sean

Doh, because the T45s weren’t designed to be DDGs they were designed as AAW destroyers. Idiot.

Chinese Gordon

The best evolved Burkes are the IJN Kongo class & Atago class.

Phillip Johnson

When will the T45’s be withdrawn? Obvious answer based on recent history……LATER THAN PLANNED.

I assume there are 2 basic questions:

  1. When will BAe launch T26 No. 8? (there will only be 8).
  2. What Missile/Radar combination will be used. With BREXIT, the financial pressure to US will be enormous.

Maybe the UK needs to stop trying to create whole ‘combat’ systems (Hull, Missile, Radar, Sonar) and concentrate on areas where the UK has advantages like the hull and the Sonar Systems. If only to keep costs from killing numbers, which seems to keep happening.

Duker

Brexit has nothing to do with existing european weapons systems and future development. UK will continue with the multinational providers in its own versions or team with the Europeans who share the development

The Ginge

Well a lot bickering on here. Some simple facts
1) With upgrades coming the fact is the T45’s haven’t worked that hard and should easily be life extended. Plan for it now.
2) We have an urgent need for more tubes on site. Thus provide a simple missile ship along the lines of the “loyal wingman” concept or missile truck the RAF are looking at. Use your high end asset to do the tough bit, then share that information to other missile on other ships. Those should be simple to build either on a commercial system or more Type31’s, Type 32 anyone or even a commercial large oil rig tugs with container modules. Make them also capable of large electricity generation to fit laser systems too so you don’t have to hack T45’s about to fit lasers which is the next likely development.
3) Everybody knows 6 T45’s a’int enough. So build the T83’s in the late 2030’s it allows the development of new radar, etc so that the skills in the UK don’t atrophy like other skills on Nuclear Subs, and will provide the 12 plus number of Air Defence vessels.
4) That gives the RN 10yrs to start getting recruitment and more importantly retention (multiple 6mth plus deployments within 3yrs is not acceptable). Start on the missile carriers and take it in to the T83’s who should hit the ground running with trained sailors.

This is not hard, we don’t need overcomplicated ships, we know the radar is cutting edge and can deal with hypersonic and ballistic missile profiles. Even if the RN don’t use them once T83’s come on the scene having them stationed around the UK even with shore based extra missiles with give the UK some air defence it desperately needs.

The one common theme is we haven’t got any money. So Gucci ships and getting double or more of the number to scrap perfectly serviceable vessels isn’t going to happen.

AlexS

UK have a lot of money and high taxes. you just choose to spend it in other things.

Moonstone

Whether they be AEGIS or PAAMS based systems is up for debate I suppose, but the need to maintain the fleet”s air defences at sea in some manner should be beyond any question. While we are about it, we should/must also recognise that NATO”s greatest ‘aircraft carrier’ (the United Kingdom itself) also requires some kind of air defence – this requirement is now pressing IMO given the rapidly deteriorating international situation. Anticipating future issues, were basing a potent GBMD system ashore considered problematic for some reason then perhaps the JMSDF is lighting our path forward with its envisioned ASEV class of missile destroyer/cruiser.

Surely we also urgently need to address the short range air defence of the fleet. First fielded back in the 1970″s our Phalanx CIWS guns are positively ancient by naval weapon standards and I fear of dubious value when facing far more modern threats. Phalanx might well be suitably replaced by the more modern gunnery systems guns about to be introduced on the Type 31 class, and the recent Dragonfire DEW test is interesting. However, I understand this system is of insufficient power – as yet anyway – to be considered an effective defence of the fleet against anything other than simple drones.

There is of course never enough money to do everything that HMG needs to do in defence or any other area of public expenditure – a problem related to our appalling lack of economic growth one suspects – but not increasing our defence budget now would be a act of sheer folly .

Old Confused Duffer

How about building six Batch 2 Type 45s?

The cost of T26 and T31 have (supposedly) been kept down by building a new hull but fitting with known systems. Could we reverse that? Is there something about the hullform

Type 45 hull is now known.
We now know how to build it and maintain it.
We invested in IEP and then gave up on it.
Building with sufficient backup power generation will be cheaper than building and then retrofitting
We have (will have) already have training, supply and logistics for 5″ and 40mm. Surely cheaper to build with than retrofit to a platform on the way out.
We know how to make SAMPSON (although why we went for rotating two face rather than static three or four face with the same total number of TR modules still confuses me)

The silo farm is big and bitty -some of these here, a gap there, some of these there – how many Mk41s could one fit in that volume as a single farm (since we will already have Mk41 logistics in place)? I’d eyeball 96 cells but happily confess that I have not seen the engineering blue prints and might be missing something.

Duker

Cant be done in this decade. Last 2 were laid down just under 20 years back
The replacement T83 development phase be funded early is the best approach, as the actual ship designers are the ones without a major new project

DaveyB

On Sampson. being an active electronically scanned array (AESA). It has a number of physical limitations that affect all AESAs. Which are in general their field of view in azimuth is limited to +/- 60 degrees, from the centre of the array and +/- 45 degrees in the vertical plane.

In practice you can use 3 panels to give you a 360 degree view. However, if you imagine the field of view of the array to be similar to the positive half of a sine wave. At dead centre you have the maximum generated beam strength, as it goes past the centre, it starts to drop off and past 45 degrees of the centre it nose dives. This is all to do with how the beam is formed. It requires lots of transmitter modules to transmit at slightly different times. Which through interference can form the beam but can then also electronically steer it left/right/up/down. But as the beam is steered past 45 degrees towards 60 degrees, there are now less modules forming the back of the beam. Which causes the beam’s focus to diverge, i.e. the beam gets wider. You can push the beam further over, but it will start to increase the amount of self-generated interference. Also as importantly, the beam becomes significantly less powerful.

However, if you use 4 panels. Where each panel’s field of view is restricted in azimuth to +/- 45 degrees. You are using part of the sine wave that has the strongest strength for generating the beam, but also generating the least amount of self-made interference. Therefore the receiver sensitivity can be made much greater. Thereby extending the detection range.

AESA radar panels are significantly heavier than their previous passive electronically scanned array (PESA) panels. As both the transmitter and receiver are combined into a module that becomes part of the antenna array. Whereas PESA just has antenna waveguides using delay circuits to control the beam, which is considerably lighter. Part of the reason why the T45 has two Sampson arrays mounted back to back. Rather than say three, is due to the array’s weight and the need to mount them 40m above sea level.

Mounting Sampson so high requires compromises. In an ideal world, you would mount four Sampson panels to a similar height as the current two panels. But that would require some substantially ballasting or active balancing control. Similarly having three panels mounted as a triangle, that are mechanical rotated. Would also be an improvement for near constant 360 coverage. However, again, it is the weight issue that needs to be dealt with.

RAN

For the Type 83, would it be possible to build a stretched version of the Type 26 to fit additional VLS and a suitable high-mounted Air/Ballistic Defence Radar?

(For quick comparison, HMS Belfast has a slightly narrower beam but is over 35 meters longer…? So a c. 20% length extension looks eminently doable).

(If we could get Australia/Canada to build it first as a Batch II Hunter Class/Canadian Surface Combatant, that would speed up delivery even more).

Theoden

A big part of the design of the Type 83 will be what radar it will carry. With an existing design you’re designing the radar to fit the ship. With a blank piece of paper you’re designing the ship to carry the radar. A warship designed for AAW is significantly different to a warship designed for ASW. Also it’s sometimes cheaper as well as almost always more effective to use a new design.

RAN

Thanks for a good reply; but – just to understand better – isn’t 20-40 meters inserted in the middle of the ship a pretty decent bit of blank paper for the radar anyway?

And the Type 26 already shares so many EW/decoy systems with the Type 45, plus Sea Ceptor, and having a relatively quiet ship with hull sonar and the option for a towed array doesn’t get in the way of AAW – in a crisis it just makes the ship more multifunctional? (It’s like Australia ordering the Canberra class which came with a ski-jump which isn’t great for helicopters but can prove useful anyway).

I agree a Goalkeeper is better for AAW than a Phalanx, but we might have direct energy weapons in ten years?

On price, logically, mostly continuing with a current design and adding a bit in the middle should be able to be cheaper (and faster) than something which is all new. (Failing that it can line BAE’s profit margin more so we might at least recoup a bit in taxes).

Old Confused Duffer

re: acoustically quiet hull for AAW

That’s another received wisdom which confuses me. ASW ships have reduced radar signature and we all accept that as a good thing (on the grounds that an air threat might shoot at any of our skimmers). So why do so many think that reducing the acoustic signature of an AAW ship is a waste of time and money?

KiwiRob

Why don’t the RN order a Flight II Type 45. Why reinvent the wheel when the existing wheel works? The USN laid down the first Burke in 1988, they are still building Flight III versions today, the last probably won’t enter service until the late 2030’s.

Duker

Its been in continuous production – more or less- since the first vessel along with all its major radars propulsion and weapons systems

The T45 last two were laid down in 2006 and 2007. The shipyard has moved on since same for the propulsion.

KiwiRob

Same basic design with improved propulsion, and other improvements where necessary.

Richard Beedall

Totally agree with the article. By an reasonable analysis, it’s obvious that the T45’s will need to be kept in service well in to the 2040’s. The MOD has a consistent history of unrealistic out of service dates. Two things then either happen, defence cuts result in the class (or weapon system / aircraft / helo / ..) leaving service a decade or more early (e.g. T22), or persistent delays to their replacements result in aging ships (T23) being retained years after they should have been decommissioned.

Allan Desmond

Thank goodness for the royal navy, their sloth “cultural stupid cheapness and poor quality ” decade after decade, Make the US navy “not Look so bad”… and for that, we thank you…