UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 12982
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Sep 2020, 07:20

Caribbean wrote:as a bolt-on fr the ASCG mount), only one missile can be in flight at a time, which must be a concern.

Yes, the real benefit would be that the engagement envelope is extended.

The other thing with the bolt-on is that it removes the optionally-manned operator seat, meaning that a hit somewhere else on the ship can render even the close defences inoperable.

dmereifield
Senior Member
Posts: 2314
Joined: 03 Aug 2016, 20:29
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby dmereifield » 16 Sep 2020, 07:26

Tempest414 wrote:So in the next week or so we will see 7 of the 14 or so active escorts out at sea with 4 x T-23 and 3 x T-45 given the times we are in I think we need to tip out hat to the RN


Very much so. And probably helps to explain some of the poor deployment figures over the past year or so?

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 12982
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Sep 2020, 08:29

Making sure more ships are shipshape... a good thing to do.

Indeed, one of the early utterings by Mr. Wallace, soon after taking office, was that the RN should make sure they use what they've got.

User avatar
Old RN
Member
Posts: 204
Joined: 30 Apr 2015, 19:39
Location: South Africa

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Old RN » 16 Sep 2020, 09:10

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Caribbean wrote:as a bolt-on fr the ASCG mount), only one missile can be in flight at a time, which must be a concern.

Yes, the real benefit would be that the engagement envelope is extended.

The other thing with the bolt-on is that it removes the optionally-manned operator seat, meaning that a hit somewhere else on the ship can render even the close defences inoperable.


I think the Falklands experience showed that manual aim systems are pretty irrelevant! The stabalised EO system is very credible.

In terms of the number of LMM missiles in the air at one time, unless the gathering phase is limiting, there could be any numbers of missiles guided by a single beam. The last beam rider the RN had (Sea Slug) could have two missiles guided simultaineously, and that was only limited by the fact the launcher onlt carried 2 missiles!

SD67
Member
Posts: 120
Joined: 23 Jul 2019, 09:49
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SD67 » 16 Sep 2020, 11:36

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:24x strike-length VLS (mk41)
This is the biggest trick that is being missed with the T31 IMO.

Adding 16x Mk41 cells to the T31 (8x Strike) would keep potential adversaries guessing with absolutely no way to tell what munitions were actually onboard. Meanwhile the Treasury bean counters would be happy that the majority of the cells were empty on routine deployments.
Only if there are money. And because of money, enemy do know there are nothing within the silo. (It is the weapon system and missiles, which are expensive. Not the VLS cells themselves). But, even the small cost to add a 16-cell Mk41 VLS (cell-only) will enable adding 12 more CAMM, and may be even 8 more NSM. I prefer the latter.
Fitting a 57mm, 2x 40mm and 12 CAMM cells, the T31 is fooling no-one.
Why? It makes T31 armed as much as a typical heavy corvettes: Gowind-2500, Damen 10514, Al Khareef, and possibly European common Patrol Corvettes (other than ASW kits). I agree T31 with current armaments will not look like a full fat frigate. But, T31 has NEVER been a full fat frigate. It is an enlarged heavy corvette. From its start, it was £250M average cost ship. A very clear message it is NOT a frigate. Even with current £400M average (including support and training), its "hull cost" is not so high. (*1)

So, T31 is NOT required to fight against frigates/destroyers. T31's opponent is heavy corvette or missile boats.

*1: We shall not compare the cost with FREMM. This is the first time ever Babcock builds an escort, and Rosyth is building a new hall, steelwork, and many other infrastructures to build T31, TRAINING their work-force and engineers and managers from scratch. Big big sunk cost exists, which are NOT included in Damen, Naval, or Fincantierri cases. This is what "establishing second escort builder" means.


I don't think you can say it is not a frigate, it's a classic Patrol Frigate like a type 21 but with more growth margin. Pretty similar armament to a GP Type 23. In no way does it resemble an enlarged corvette - that would have been the BAE offering, which had River class lineage. This is more a de-specced destroyer than an enlarged OPV

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 12982
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Sep 2020, 12:24

SD67 wrote: it's a classic Patrol Frigate like a type 21 but with more growth margin. Pretty similar armament to a GP Type 23. In no way does it resemble an enlarged corvette - that would have been the BAE offering, which had River class lineage. This is more a de-specced destroyer than an enlarged OPV

Exactly and the desire to be able to upgrade later got the term patrol dropped for "light" - at 6400 t :D

Interestingly Rivers have T-21 lineage, and as you say, the BAE offering was just one more 'off-spring'
- also, though the T-21s were fine ships - about as useful as Porsches - they got obsolete in record time as nothing could be added to them without making them top heavy... had been optimised for cost, with not an ounce extra

donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 3696
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 16 Sep 2020, 14:26

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
SD67 wrote: it's a classic Patrol Frigate like a type 21 but with more growth margin. Pretty similar armament to a GP Type 23. In no way does it resemble an enlarged corvette - that would have been the BAE offering, which had River class lineage. This is more a de-specced destroyer than an enlarged OPV

Exactly and the desire to be able to upgrade later got the term patrol dropped for "light" - at 6400 t :D

Interestingly Rivers have T-21 lineage, and as you say, the BAE offering was just one more 'off-spring'
- also, though the T-21s were fine ships - about as useful as Porsches - they got obsolete in record time as nothing could be added to them without making them top heavy... had been optimised for cost, with not an ounce extra
No objection here. As T21 was, T31 is as armed as typical heavy corvette of the day. Its task is NOT to counter tier-1 level enemy navy, but to counter corvettes and less (if alone). As T21 was called a GP frigate, T31 can be called a GP frigate. Can be.

But I propose, it shall not be.

My big fear is, as much as RN keep saying T31 is a proper frigate, cutting the remaining 5 T26 becomes more and more likely. UK people are told that, RN has 8 new frigates under contract now. "Great! Why not just cut, or delay, the remaining? Anyway it is only 5. RN is to refuse sharing the burden of COVID19 cut? (which will be very significant in all fields)". We all here know that T26 and T31 (as is) is completely a different beast. It differs a much as "heavy cruiser vs light cruiser", or "frigates vs corvettes", in WW2 era. But, now BOTH T26 and T31 are called "proper frigate". Within this BIG CUT era, will the folks care about the "small" difference?

This is why I (sometimes, not always), propose that it will be better to call T31 as "light frigate" (or "long-range corvette"), and then T26 a "heavy frigate" (or a "frigate"). Much easier for the folks to understand the big big capability difference. :D

SD67
Member
Posts: 120
Joined: 23 Jul 2019, 09:49
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SD67 » 16 Sep 2020, 14:40

Well I'd be happy to copy the Italian Navy and call them "Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship" and then pay for them with DFID money :-)

NickC
Member
Posts: 687
Joined: 01 Sep 2017, 14:20
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 16 Sep 2020, 15:13

Old RN wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Caribbean wrote:as a bolt-on fr the ASCG mount), only one missile can be in flight at a time, which must be a concern.

Yes, the real benefit would be that the engagement envelope is extended.

The other thing with the bolt-on is that it removes the optionally-manned operator seat, meaning that a hit somewhere else on the ship can render even the close defences inoperable.


I think the Falklands experience showed that manual aim systems are pretty irrelevant! The stabalised EO system is very credible.

In terms of the number of LMM missiles in the air at one time, unless the gathering phase is limiting, there could be any numbers of missiles guided by a single beam. The last beam rider the RN had (Sea Slug) could have two missiles guided simultaineously, and that was only limited by the fact the launcher onlt carried 2 missiles!


Thought the Chess Dynamics the Sea Eagle FRCO might be a very good option. FRCO, Fire Control Radar Optical, with thermal imaging and daylight optronics plus the small Weibel FMCW X-band radar, range of ~ 16.2 nm/30 km. The Weibel radar has a low power output of only 40W, especially useful when you do not want to advertise your presence to enemy ELINT with the main T31 NS100 500-1MW ?? radar, have not seen the W power quoted for the NS100.

Continuous Wave (CW) radars transmit constantly and therefore two antennas required, one for transmitting and one for receiving the return echoes and is unique in its ability in minimising clutter and thus easy to filter away. Normal X-band single antenna radars at sea level and very low elevation angles returns can be nearly canceled by the return from the same target reflected off the water, giving multipath propagation clutter, that's why Phalanx uses a short range high definition Ku-band radar with FLIR, the Ku-band high frequency subject to clutter from the signal absorption in molecules of liquid water and scattering giving clutter in rain, commonly called rain fade. As always trade offs called for.

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4664
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 16 Sep 2020, 16:27

ArmChairCivvy wrote:though the T-21s were fine ships


They started to fall apart in rough seas!!

Tempest414
Senior Member
Posts: 2054
Joined: 04 Jan 2018, 23:39
Location: France

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 16 Sep 2020, 19:06

Ron5 wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:though the T-21s were fine ships


They started to fall apart in rough seas!!


But still in service today 40+ years on with not bad armament

1 x 4.5" , 2 x 20mm , 1 x phalanx , 8 x Harpoon or YL-60

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4664
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 16 Sep 2020, 21:15

Tempest414 wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:though the T-21s were fine ships


They started to fall apart in rough seas!!


But still in service today 40+ years on with not bad armament

1 x 4.5" , 2 x 20mm , 1 x phalanx , 8 x Harpoon or YL-60


That's due to the Navy welding a few hundred tons of steel to stop the cracking. Knocked at least 5 knots off max speed.

Roders96
Member
Posts: 115
Joined: 26 Aug 2019, 14:41
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Roders96 » 16 Sep 2020, 21:19

Aluminium throughout made em go up like tinder boxes also.

Tempest414
Senior Member
Posts: 2054
Joined: 04 Jan 2018, 23:39
Location: France

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 16 Sep 2020, 22:00

Fact is 40 years after started it is still in services was it the best ship no but it has proved long standing

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 12982
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 16 Sep 2020, 22:11

Ron5 wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:though the T-21s were fine ships


They started to fall apart in rough seas!!


see why I likened them to Porsches?
- go fast
- but trouble with getting over speed bumps :)

Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 4498
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 16 Sep 2020, 22:17

With the T-31s, a lot is going to depend on what we ask them to do. Their lack of a AShM means that they cannot go in a zone that will mean they are threatens by any enemy warships, be they a Destroyer, Frigate, Corvette or even an FAC armed with missiles. Even if a single Wildcat is embarked the situation changes very little and most FACs nowadays all carry a SAM system of some sort, and often at least eight AShMs which should be more than enough to saturate a T-31s defences.

This leaves the ship really only capable of countering Small hostile vessels armed solely with guns unguided rockets and such like. So what the Royal Navy ae going to end up with is a very large Patrol Vessel when they are launched at their current spec. level!

But I think that is the whole point of the T-31 programme from the Royal Navy's point of view. It wanted ships in the water to try to reduce the possibility of the escort fleet further shrinking, given how the T-26 programme has already shrunk. By choosing the A140 design they have a large platform with good endurance and sea keeping and plenty of space to grow. The last time the Navy tried to keep numbers up it bought the T-21s, which managed to do the job asked o them but had little or no room to grow. The Navy has remembers that lesson when deciding on the A-140.

There is no money to add capabilities to the current design at present, but if funding is made available either through the core budget or possibly a UOR, much can be done to equip the T-31 and boosting its capabilities. The omission of a HMS I think was a mistake, but there is the possibility of fitting a towed array in one form or another at a later date.

So whilst I am a natural sceptic, I think we should wait and see with the T-31, wait until they are commissioned and see how they are to be used. Almost by accident we could end up with capable C1 and C2 vessels in the form of the T-26 and T-31 over time.

Scimitar54
Member
Posts: 818
Joined: 13 Jul 2015, 05:10
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 16 Sep 2020, 23:32

To my mind, there should be two “must haves” to greatly increase both the usefulness and the survivability of the T31s.

1. A Sonar (whether this be a HMS or a TAS)
2. A Mk41 VLS Silo (I will not comment here on numbers, but obviously the more there are, without getting
ridiculous, then the greater the potential capability). :mrgreen:

donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 3696
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 17 Sep 2020, 02:07

Scimitar54 wrote:To my mind, there should be two “must haves” to greatly increase both the usefulness and the survivability of the T31s.

1. A Sonar (whether this be a HMS or a TAS)
2. A Mk41 VLS Silo (I will not comment here on numbers, but obviously the more there are, without getting
ridiculous, then the greater the potential capability). :mrgreen:
No objection. But please only AFTER the 5 remaining T26s order contract be signed ... As much as RN make T31 look like a full fat frigate, not only the review, but also just a new Prime Minister will be able to easily cut some T26 saying "I am reluctant to ...., but we now need a new way of blah-blah....".

In other words, only after 2024 or 2025 or so. Yes, this means most (or all) of the T31 hulls will be delivered without it.

So, seriously speaking, PERSONALLY, "up-arming" T31 issue shall be focussed on addition, not re-design.

- Sonar, both HMS and TAS, is good. We know there are spaces reserved for them. Of course, adding SeaSentor ship torpedo defense system (if not budgeted yet) will be of very high priority, anything before adding a sonar.

- VLS, I'm afraid there is not space left for Mk.41, without significantly cutting the hull. But, for "more missile", doubling CAMM (12 -->24) will be easy. Adding I-SSGW is also doable, even 16 of them.

- But, I'd rather improve the 57mm gun. Add radar FCS, add guided rounds. By 2025, at least anti-surface guided rounds will be there, I think. (On 40 mm, I can find no future improvement program on-going in the world. It's another concern on 40 mm).

- Also making it a USV-tactics lead-ship will be a good way to go. But, I have no good idea, what two (or three) "9.5m-class" USVs can do, other than surface patrolling (which is very important in gray-zone duty).


PS T31 has passed the "whole ship preliminary design review (WS PDR)" on August this year. Assuming the word definition is the same to that of my field, it means "all options fixed and now writing down the final design". Here design includes not only the blue print (actually 3D CAD), but also parts procurement timeline, assembly process, verification process (testing and qualifying) etc, virtually everything until the ship delivery. In general, it also includes staff/engineer/labour training timeline (seriously).

It is a huge amount of documentation (surely exceeding 100 kg or even reaching 1 tonne, if printed in paper). After the critical design review (CDR), which I think will come early next year, there is no chance to change the design. (No chance here means "without significant MORE MONEY to re-do many many details". If money is there, anything is possible!)

Roders96
Member
Posts: 115
Joined: 26 Aug 2019, 14:41
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Roders96 » 17 Sep 2020, 07:16

Suggesting A140, with its pedigree, doesn't have space to add MK41 is laughable and undermines the author's credibility.

Anyone close to IH's bid for the Canadian surface combatant programme knows there were options to add MK41 in place of the superfiring gun position. This doesn't include the space readily available midships.

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4664
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 17 Sep 2020, 16:41

I'll throw my hat into the ring, at the first major refit I'd like to see for the Type 31's (in priority order) :

1. Sonar plus additional quieting (if needed)

2. More CAMM, I'd go for two ExLs if it were me.

3. Trade in the 2 x 40mm guns for one Phalanx/Dragonfire and 3 x DSI 30/40 mm

4. Better main radar, perhaps just upgrade from NS100 to NS200.

I'm assuming the baseline has adequate comms & EW kit.

Don't particularly see the value of ASM's for this class but I supposed provision for containers midships would be OK and pictured on the CGI's. ASROC would be great but not at the expense of fitting a Mk 41. Containers again maybe?

Not part of the refit but I'd also like to see the Type 31 Wildcats with more endurance (additional cabin fuel tanks can take it to >4 hours) plus video data link plus dipping sonar i.e. the Korean standard + datalink, all tested and qualified.

With that lot, the ships could productively participate in CSG's which is more than the Type 21's could ever do.

donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 3696
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 17 Sep 2020, 16:44

Roders96 wrote:Suggesting A140, with its pedigree, doesn't have space to add MK41 is laughable and undermines the author's credibility.

Anyone close to IH's bid for the Canadian surface combatant programme knows there were options to add MK41 in place of the superfiring gun position. This doesn't include the space readily available midships.
I'm not sure. You are suggesting the T31 design, which had already passed the WS-PDR, is reserving the space for a few Mk.41 VLS around the B-position?

We know T45 does have a space reserved for additional strike-length VLS, which is used as a very-tall gym now. You suggest T31 has such spaces left?

As far as I can see, at least the original Iver Huitfeldt design does not have such a space reserved. Adding VLS there needs significant re-design work, which is doable if money is there (as I already stated). On T31, no info yet. But, we see no indication on any of the Arrowhead 140 proposal option on having Mk.41 VLS there.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 12982
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Sep 2020, 17:18

Ron5 wrote:Wildcats with more endurance (additional cabin fuel tanks can take it to >4 hours)


It's a good idea; I think done on SF Chinooks. Though the latter do have a massive lift capacity, how much of Wildcat's would be left? Torps, then again, are not that heavy - were that to be their main job.

Ron5
Senior Member
Posts: 4664
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:42
Location: United States of America

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 17 Sep 2020, 17:27

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Ron5 wrote:Wildcats with more endurance (additional cabin fuel tanks can take it to >4 hours)


It's a good idea; I think done on SF Chinooks. Though the latter do have a massive lift capacity, how much of Wildcat's would be left? Torps, then again, are not that heavy - were that to be their main job.


I'm sure full extra tanks plus dipping sonar plus stingrays would be overload. But in its reconn configuration with no or little armament, >4 hours endurance would be a big deal. And to me, the Wildcat's reconn capability is its major reason d'etre, hence my desire for a full video data link plus link 16.

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 2429
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 19 Sep 2020, 10:57

Trying to read through the current speculation on cuts and future strategy, revolving around light forward deployed forces and UK based but deployable CSGs and LSGs, it feels like the following could be the post SDSR RN position and deployment structure.

Image
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 12982
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Sep 2020, 11:35

A nice layout; would suggest that that you make Patrol Squadrons a main heading with subheaders/ columns for
1. Overseas Patrol Sqdrn
2. Home Waters Sqdrn

I am not suggesting this bcz they (now) exist as org. units, but
- bcz they are clearly functions (to which more or less importance can be attributed, and thus assets/ cost allocated)
- and moreover, the same ships/ boats can easily be shuffled across the two


Return to “Royal Navy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Caribbean, Google [Bot], JHC, Poiuytrewq and 45 guests