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Future Littoral Strike Ships

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
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RichardIC
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby RichardIC » 27 Jun 2020, 11:06

What this seems to indicate is:

Massive commitment to new sleeve patches.

The LPDs aren't being replaced.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 27 Jun 2020, 11:18

I sense we are forecasting the demise of LPDs too soon, and the fact that a combination of vessels will be used. Also, we are ignoring what it would take to transport an Army Strike Brigade which needs the Bays and Points.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Lord Jim » 27 Jun 2020, 11:36

To actually support an entire "Strike" Brigade conducting high intensity combat operations, would the Bays be sufficient or would we more like use commercial vessels? I am sure they could provide the initial logistical support of a limited time but maybe it would be better to have a scheme in place to utilise commercial vessels in time of crisis or war in a similar vain to how we use the points, to provide the logistical support of the deployment of a large Army formation and have the Bays tied in to support the Mission of the Royal Marines.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby SW1 » 27 Jun 2020, 11:50

I don’t think they would be using the bays to support an army strike brigade simply wouldn’t be there function. You’d be using the points and or the solid stores ships and or commercial shipping if the points were insufficient.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Gabriele » 27 Jun 2020, 14:39

Single company groups deployments on lone BAY class LSDs have been happening for years under the heading Special Purpose Task Group.

A SPTG based on HMS Albion operated into the Pacific in 2018. Lyme Bay in the Med, etcetera.

It is literally nothing new.

What might be new is the inability to do anything more than that if this is just an excuse for cuts. "Future" my arse. Less slogans and more substance, please.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby shark bait » 29 Jun 2020, 08:45

It's not that negative Gabriele. The Royal Marines are reorganising into a more usable structure that will make them appear more valuable to their pay masters. They are desperate to shake off the 'just another infantry brigade' they have earned them selves over the last decade and differentiate so they don't look like a mini-army that happens belongs to the Navy and could easily be axed.

Doing nothing is not an option: they die.
Asking for more money is not an option: they die.

That only leaves one direction of travel, so the future force sounds entirely reasonable to me.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Gabriele » 29 Jun 2020, 10:08

It is in no way more useable or useful, though. It is but a pale shadow of what they can do now.

If there is no actual amphibious lift and capability left, the logical consequence must be the immediate disbandment of 3 Commando, the move of 29 RA and 24 RE and the Logistic Regiment and the VIKINGs to an army brigade in 1st Division, so that at least one brigade can be rescued from the current state of insignificance, and 40 and 45 Commando disbanded as no longer useful.

42 Cdo still needed, 43 Cdo needed as long as there are nukes, and 47 Cdo might still become something useful if they can at least buy actual combat boats for littoral / riverine support to the Navy. If not, it can disband as well.

An expensive hollow force without a clear role is not needed. If you really need to save money, at least do that decently. If you kill a capability to save pennies and gain no real personnel / budget headroom to do anything else anyway, you are shafting yourself twice in a row.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Tempest414 » 29 Jun 2020, 11:38

Gabriele wrote:An expensive hollow force without a clear role is not needed. If you really need to save money, at least do that decently. If you kill a capability to save pennies and gain no real personnel / budget headroom to do anything else anyway, you are shafting yourself twice in a row.


I would say that 3 Cdo is a hollow force that has a clear role in that it is the High North response brigade and that the high North can only be reached and supported by sea in any real way. Having looked back over the last few pages of this thread I would say using the Bays to form LRG's and getting the RM back to sea is a good thing for both the RM and the Bays the big thing here is the LPD need to be ready to surge in support of the LRG's. I would also say that the EoS LRG should work and train hard with the 2nd Battalion Gurkha's in Brunei working as each others surge force

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 29 Jun 2020, 13:12

Gabriele wrote:actual amphibious lift and capability
Not forgetting connectors. If and when the marinised transport helicopters are withdrawn in 2030, any meaningful vertical lift will be coming from the not-marinised Chinooks (the next batch will have longer range) meaning that MTF will be one indivisible task force and littoral ops can only reach a meaningful scale when also the Dutch are present... which neatly takes us to:
Tempest414 wrote:High North response brigade
yes, ours, but need to add many things to round up to a bde. The other three being Norway's own northern bde, the USMC one with prepositioned equipment and the VeryHighReadiness Nato bde. Moving Multinational Division North East that way would necessarily be slower addition.
Tempest414 wrote:the high North can only be reached and supported by sea in any real way.
which is the fact why the above list is difficult up in quantity; will have to be in quality (=suitable kit, also in the future).

Summa summarum: ops elsewhere, with a quick response, but not necessarily at scale, would sorely need something like the proposed LSS

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Gabriele » 29 Jun 2020, 16:30

Let us be clear on one thing, once and for all: the LSS concept was born as a (very) poor man's LPH replacement because the current amphibious fleet's greatest weakness is the lack of aviation facilities. It was conceived with the expectation that there would be 2 LPH covering that side, which quickly became 1 (Ocean) and then 0. In absence of the carrier, the LSS was (is?) going to provide some hangar space and a big flight deck as well as extra lift to compensate, again, the loss of Ocean as well as the reduction in the number of LSDs.

The LSS has nothing particularly magic about it and while it might carry several boats / ORCs it is highly unlikely to have any real ability to land heavy stores and vehicles unless she can use a port or go real close to shore to make do with Mexeflotes.
The sooner this basic reality is understood, the better.

Whatever kind of fantastic insertion concept you want to imagine with RHIBs, "boats and helicopters", the only thing the LSS truly adds is a damn hangar, probably for a couple of MERLIN.

Even if there was anything truly smart to "using boats and helicopters (only)", and there is not, you can do that extremely well from the LPD. You can fit a crapload of boats in the well dock and vehicle deck; the davits have already been tested with CB90 combat boats in place of LCVPs, the flight deck can operate 2 CHINOOKs at once.
Whatever you can imagine doing from a BAY class with "boats and helicopters", you can do better from the LPD. More boats and more helicopters, literally. Capability-wise there is exactly ZERO reasons to lose those ships early, whatever concept of operation you want to fantasize about. If the LSS is to be a replacement and not an addition, again there is ZERO reason to bother.

If the cargo deck of the BAYs can be sacrificed to add extra superstructure for hangar space and "medical facilities" (you can do it, pretty surely, just look at their Dutch and Spanish siblings), that is an alternative way to ease the aviation facilities problem.

The rest is a matter of LIFT and ability to move from the ships to the shore. Lose the LPDs and you've lost much of the LIFT (especially so if you get nothing at all in exchange, obviously) and the very vast majority of ship to shore capability.
It's really simple math.

Talk money, if you have to. But whoever thinks the LPDs are a problem capability-wise is clearly not in touch with reality.

And since the carries thankfully exist, i'd rather take the lack of aviation facilities in the forward deployed element, knowing the carrier can at least be used when really needed, than go for the lack of ship to shore, which nothing else in the fleet gives you.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 29 Jun 2020, 22:29

Gabriele, completely agree with your comments. The only thing I would add is that the RN needs to replace RFA Argus to give a third ship capable of operating 6 helicopters in an Aviation Support Ship role. This would not be a LPH and would be secondary to the CVFs, but gives an additional option for HADR / smaller operation or like you point out carrying troops via the LPDs OTH.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby shark bait » 30 Jun 2020, 09:58

Gabriele wrote:The LSS has nothing particularly magic about it and while it might carry several boats / ORCs it is highly unlikely to have any real ability to land heavy stores and vehicles unless she can use a port or go real close to shore to make do with Mexeflotes.
The sooner this basic reality is understood, the better.


Which is absolutely fine, that sounds like a totally realistic use case.

It's completely fine to acknowledge this is not going to cover all the use cases the original amphibious fleet was design to do back in the 90's. But everything has changed massively since then, with full on hostile theatre entry looking less and less usable. This is moving towards a cheaper system, that cuts off the fringe use cases. Totally fine.

The important bit is it creates a more usable force, mostly because its smaller and cheaper and requires less effort from the Navy who would rather be doing carrier stuff. What this means is there will be more time at sea, and more Marines doing Marine stuff, instead of general infantry stuff.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Gabriele » 30 Jun 2020, 10:22

What the fuck even is "marine stuff".

This is a cut, and an half-arsed one which merely delays more reductions to the useless stump that remains to the following SDSR. If it comes to a cut, make it a cut that has actually one hope to help fund something.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby shark bait » 30 Jun 2020, 10:36

Anything that shakes of their image of stomping round the desert in a land locked country. I understand the Marines don't want to look like a mini army anymore, and they want to spend more time out and about doing cool stuff. The Future force proposal can achieve that, and without a significant cash injection, which is important.

It's anecdotal, but I had a friend accepted onto basic training, and didn't know he was joining part of the Navy! He thought it was an elite part of the Army. But maybe that says more about Marine candidates than anything else :lol:

Maybe it is a cut, and it's one that seems acceptable. Getting the Marines out and about is going to become less resource intensive for the Navy, which means it will happen more, which is a positive outcome. It's not the perfect option, but all things considered (mostly budget pressures) it's good enough.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Tempest414 » 30 Jun 2020, 12:01

For me the answer could be keep the 3 Bays and Argus going until 2028 and then start to replace all four ship with 4 180 x 30 meter Enforcer's each with room for 400 troops a full width hangar for up to 3 helicopters a well deck for 2 Caiman 90 and davits for 2 LCVP/CB90. these would be operated by the RFA

As for going forward in the world and in the next decade I feel following the 2021 carrier deployment we should look to use the LPD as part of a RAN lead amphib group made up of 1 x Canberra class , 1 x Albion , 1 x Hobart , 2 x Anzac , 1 x type 23 , 1 x Wave for me this would be a good use of the RM and a better use of the LPD. The Navy needs to start showing that along side the Carriers the RM and Amphibs can show force to

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 30 Jun 2020, 13:07

Maybe we just dump the fluffy stuff completely and make some very hard choices:
- No expeditionary ground based interventions, the max we do is SF raids and training
- No RN support for HADR unless it’s in the UK or a BOT

The LPDs are our raiding platforms supported by air assets from our CVFs. There is no requirement to launch amphibious operations from the Bays, so unless there is another requirement for them, they get binned.

Extreme yes, but I just get bemused by people claiming that we can do it all, and what’s more do it all with dumbed down ships.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby SW1 » 30 Jun 2020, 13:11

Repulse wrote:The LPDs are our raiding platforms supported by air assets from our CVFs. There is no requirement to launch amphibious operations from the Bays, so unless there is another requirement for them, they get binned.


Which one has been fwd deployed already, which one is cheaper to run LPD or Bay?

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Gabriele » 30 Jun 2020, 14:05

I frankly couldn't care any less about the Marines not wanting to look like army. If they have a realistic role, ok, otherwise they can disband. The Bay ships can find plenty of other use for HADR, MCM mothership and USV mothership. A forward deployed pre-landing force without a landing force has no realistic purpose.

The humble sloop gets its strength from representing a force much mightier than itself. A lone Bay class with a bunch of guys with RHIBs with nothing else behind it represents only itself, and it really isn't worth it.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby shark bait » 30 Jun 2020, 14:13

It is well worth caring about. If they look like a little subset of the Army they don't appear particularly valuable to their pay masters. If they are the guys who can be on the ground quickly to counter hybrid or insurgent threat they can carve out a valuable niche for themselves.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Gabriele » 30 Jun 2020, 14:18

A single helicopter and a few ORCs, from a single Bay. Oh, yeah. They can really go places and do stuff.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 30 Jun 2020, 14:39

SW1 wrote:the Bays, so unless there is another requirement for them, they get binned.
There's 4 competing requirements for them

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby SW1 » 30 Jun 2020, 14:45

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
SW1 wrote:the Bays, so unless there is another requirement for them, they get binned.
There's 4 competing requirements for them


No following what your saying acc

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 30 Jun 2020, 15:01

No money is no money, this is the point. We may not need come into any conclusion what to cut now, but we can be prepared for it, in case, it is forced. So, my proposal will be

--- fantasy, I admit (but a black-fantasy ?) ----

1: Sell 1 LPD. Keeping it costs to some extent, and anyway RN will not be able to man her in near future. (Even 7 of the 19 escorts are NOT MANNED now)
2: Sell 6 MCMVs in accordance with introducing USV-based MCM kits. I prefer 6 Hunts to remain, and go away with all Sandowns. (for logistic commonality)
3: In place, allocate 1 Bay permanently to be used as MCM mother ship, operating 4-8 MCM USVs in Persian Gulf.
4: Allocated 1 LPD and 2 Bays to provide 2 "Littoral Strike Groups", and one in long maintenance.
5: Marinize a fleet of 12 Chinooks, to be used specifically for Royal Marines --> Always deploy 4 in front-line.
6: Convert 8 of the 25 Merlin HC4 to HM2- standard, specifically for Crowsnest.

When doing this, add "2 Chinook capable fixed hangar" to all 3 Bays, and "2 Wildcat capable hangar" to LPD (by cutting 2 of the 4 LCVP davits). Littoral Strike Groups with Bay and with LPD will have a bit different "taste", former more "air and light", latter more "ship-to-shore connecter and heavy". Just enjoy these diversities.

Marinized Chinook will operate from 2 CVFs and 3 Bays, and lily-pad on 1 LPD, 6 T45, 8 (in future) T26, and 5 (in future) T31 (and maybe in several RFA tankers and SSS?). It will be the mainstay for renewed RM.

In this scenario, RN/RFA
- sacrifices, 1 LPD (now in extended readiness), 1 Argus and 6 Sandowns (all with no replacements), to
- keep/upgrade 3 Bays, 1 LPD, 12 Chinook, 8 Merlins, added with (free) 6 MCM kits with 12 USVs (free, because this will anyway happen).

# Just fantasy, but here, I'm just trying hard to save the CVTF....

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby abc123 » 30 Jun 2020, 16:48

The goal is to reduce the costs, not add more...
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby abc123 » 30 Jun 2020, 16:50

Gabriele wrote:I frankly couldn't care any less about the Marines not wanting to look like army. If they have a realistic role, ok, otherwise they can disband. The Bay ships can find plenty of other use for HADR, MCM mothership and USV mothership. A forward deployed pre-landing force without a landing force has no realistic purpose.

The humble sloop gets its strength from representing a force much mightier than itself. A lone Bay class with a bunch of guys with RHIBs with nothing else behind it represents only itself, and it really isn't worth it.


This.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…


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