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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
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Repulse
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 21 Nov 2020, 10:47

Lord Jim, if we are set to carry on as-is with a little more money to plug the holes, this will be a disaster. The Strategy piece is key - but I’m taking from the PM’s statement to “renew the RNs position as the foremost naval power in Europe” that a course is being set.

The days of large scale land operations or nation building are far in the past; we can’t afford it, and even if we did it’s done very little for world stability. Neither does the UK need to focus on the continental BAOR mentality, other EU nations in particular Germany and Poland can and should do this. The UK’s contribution to NATO should be based on helping to secure the North Atlantic, and keeping Russia pinned in in the far North and in the Eastern Med.

Also, the Parachute regiment and other ‘elite’ light infantry regiments should be taking a lead from the future commando force concept.

The regular Army can and should be better equipped, more mobile, but smaller. There is though an argument for a larger reserve force. However, it must use the money already allocated much better than it has done to date.

The RAF is and will do ok - it’s primary role is QRA, surveillance, air superiority, logistics, long range unmanned strike, manned strike (via CEPP and land bases such as Cyprus) and now Space. On the whole it has what it needs already.

Strategy is about making hard decisions that match the requirement. It’s not about being seen to be fair to all three services in equal measure. The UK having a global presence is always going to be primarily maritime. Let’s deliver a real strategy or live with the consequences.
”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

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 21 Nov 2020, 10:58

Repulse wrote:Lord Jim, if we are set to carry on as-is with a little more money to plug the holes, this will be a disaster. The Strategy piece is key - but I’m taking from the PM’s statement to “renew the RNs position as the foremost naval power in Europe” that a course is being set.

The days of large scale land operations or nation building are far in the past; we can’t afford it, and even if we did it’s done very little for world stability. Neither does the UK need to focus on the continental BAOR mentality, other EU nations in particular Germany and Poland can and should do this. The UK’s contribution to NATO should be based on helping to secure the North Atlantic, and keeping Russia pinned in in the far North and in the Eastern Med.

Also, the Parachute regiment and other ‘elite’ light infantry regiments should be taking a lead from the future commando force concept.

The regular Army can and should be better equipped, more mobile, but smaller. There is though an argument for a larger reserve force. However, it must use the money already allocated much better than it has done to date.

The RAF is and will do ok - it’s primary role is QRA, surveillance, air superiority, logistics, long range unmanned strike, manned strike (via CEPP and land bases such as Cyprus) and now Space. On the whole it has what it needs already.

Strategy is about making hard decisions that match the requirement. It’s not about being seen to be fair to all three services in equal measure. The UK having a global presence is always going to be primarily maritime. Let’s deliver a real strategy or live with the consequences.


I agree with all of this expect the part about the army being smaller it is already at its lowest levels since before the nepolionic war. Better equipped with a different look at what might be needed and what areas they should concentrate on though is a big yes from me.

For me the 3 specialist forces of the RM, 16AAR and the Gurkers should have more focus and better equipped. This along with getting the right variants of things like boxers and consolidate around a smaller set of vehicle families.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 21 Nov 2020, 11:13

Jake1992 wrote:expect the part about the army being smaller


I said (or meant if not clear) that the regular army being smaller. At this point in history and for the foreseeable future, there is no imminent threat of invasion of the UK, nor are there significant oversea territories to defend. And even if the threat emerged the time to build a force capable and holding something the size of the UK will give time to build up, especially when coupled with “strong” RN and RAF forces.

The threats to the UK are much more likely to be cyber, pandemics (like COVID), terrorism and threats to crucial global supply / communication lines. Again, areas under discussion and not needing a “large” regular army.

My view though that a smaller Army should be coupled with a large reserve Civil Voluntary Force, capable of scaled operations from civil emergency support, fighting pandemics to defence operations.
”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

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 21 Nov 2020, 11:20

Hopes of OMT selling the Iver Huitfeldt design, basis of the T31, to Indonesia may be dashed? Following Japanese Prime Minister visit with Indonesian President in October now reported that Japan might be selling four of their new 30DX frigates to Indonesia, no doubt at attractive price. Japanese trying to build an alliance to counter the threat of China. The Chinese Navy new build five year plan to 2025 includes 8 cruisers, 9 destroyers and 20 frigates plus 26 corvettes.

This week the first of the new Japanese 30DX frigates launched on 19th Nov from Mitsui yard, their 2,050th ship, first steel was cut in October 2019, so 13 months to launch (30DX a Mitsuhbishi design, expect their first ship to launch soon), reflects Japanese expertise as still one of the worlds premier shipbuilding nations.

Japanese plan for a total of 22 30DX's, 6 ordered to date and a further $951 million for two more ships in its latest defense budget request.

The 30DX, ~5,500t FLD; 30 knots, one MT-30 GT and two MAN 12V28/33D diesel engines; Mk.45 mod.4 127mm gun; FFBNW Mk.41 VLS 16 cells; SeaRAM ×1; MHI Type 17 anti-ship missiles ×8; 12.7mm RWS ×2; Mitsubishi Electric OPY-2 MFR and OAX-3EO/IR; NEC OQQ-25 VDS/TASS; Hitachi OQQ-11 anti-mine sonar; UUV (OZZ-5 by MHI) and USV (unknown type) for mine counter measures; Sea mines for offensive mine warfare.

Donald-san any knowledge if $951 million for two ships is only the shipyard costs or includes GFE, ~£720 million, ~£360 million per ship

rom <https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/2020/11/japans-mitsui-es-launches-kumano-%e3%80%8c%e3%81%8f%e3%81%be%e3%81%ae%e3%80%8d-new-30ffm-frigate-for-jmsdf/>

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 21 Nov 2020, 11:28

Repulse wrote:The UK having a global presence is always going to be primarily maritime.


Hard to square with the fact the uk has currently a global presence and it largely isn’t martime

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 21 Nov 2020, 11:33

Roders96 wrote:Just to make it even more clear, here's the approved transcript of the PMs statement to the house:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... ember-2020

We shall use our extra defence spending to restore Britain’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe,

taking forward our plans for eight Type 26 and five Type 31 frigates,

and support ships to supply our carriers.

We are going to develop the next generation of warships,

including multi-role research vessels and Type 32 frigates.

And this will spur a renaissance of British shipbuilding across the UK

– in Glasgow and Rosyth, Belfast, Appledore and Birkenhead –

guaranteeing jobs and illuminating the benefits of the Union in the white light of the arc welder’s torch.

If there was one policy which strengthens the UK in every possible sense, it is building more ships for the Royal Navy.


For me this stood out Vessels more than Vessel could mean more than one could this be the new name of MHPC / MHC. Would make more sense to me

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 21 Nov 2020, 11:33

Repulse wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:expect the part about the army being smaller


I said (or meant if not clear) that the regular army being smaller. At this point in history and for the foreseeable future, there is no imminent threat of invasion of the UK, nor are there significant oversea territories to defend. And even if the threat emerged the time to build a force capable and holding something the size of the UK will give time to build up, especially when coupled with “strong” RN and RAF forces.

The threats to the UK are much more likely to be cyber, pandemics (like COVID), terrorism and threats to crucial global supply / communication lines. Again, areas under discussion and not needing a “large” regular army.

My view though that a smaller Army should be coupled with a large reserve Civil Voluntary Force, capable of scaled operations from civil emergency support, fighting pandemics to defence operations.


All well abd good but a couple of things need to be kept in mind 1 in 20 personal are always out on long term sick or injured after that only 1/3 of personal are useable at any time, with all that in mind we only have roughly 25,000 personal usable for all our needs lowing this by any significant amount would truely make the army of no true use in the eyes of allies.
With regard to increasing the lost numbers with increased reservist this has been tried for the last 10 years as it was Cameron’s plan and has fell well and truely short.

I agree that the RN RAF and cyber forces will be much more our front line of defence abd unless defence spending was to shoot well well up the idea of BAOR needs to be kept well out of mind, but the current army is already so far from BAOR that that idea is already gone.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Roders96 » 21 Nov 2020, 11:52

Tempest414 wrote:
Roders96 wrote:Just to make it even more clear, here's the approved transcript of the PMs statement to the house:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... ember-2020

We shall use our extra defence spending to restore Britain’s position as the foremost naval power in Europe,

taking forward our plans for eight Type 26 and five Type 31 frigates,

and support ships to supply our carriers.

We are going to develop the next generation of warships,

including multi-role research vessels and Type 32 frigates.

And this will spur a renaissance of British shipbuilding across the UK

– in Glasgow and Rosyth, Belfast, Appledore and Birkenhead –

guaranteeing jobs and illuminating the benefits of the Union in the white light of the arc welder’s torch.

If there was one policy which strengthens the UK in every possible sense, it is building more ships for the Royal Navy.


For me this stood out Vessels more than Vessel could mean more than one could this be the new name of MHPC / MHC. Would make more sense to me


Could be - it would be nice to have a fleet of what was once called sloops but those MHPC or whatever would (as announced) be alongside that fleet to Type 32.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Nov 2020, 12:43

J. Tattersall wrote:I guess the question its what is the T32 for?
That's probably the fastest way to work out what form the T32 may take.

A process of elimination:

1. The T32 suggests General Purpose but what is a GP Frigate going to look like in two decades time?

2. We already have a perfectly serviceable GP Frigate design (A140) in production. It may be under-armed and it's ASW credentials suboptimal but it can be easily upgraded if required and therefore it's a perfectly adequate design. So why build another GP Frigate unless the Arrowhead A140 can't do something that will be required in the foreseeable future?

3. Although I would very much like to see a more cost effective version of the T26, I think the high/low mix between the T26 and 31 is now the chosen path and it won't be altered. At this stage I think any T26lite option can be discounted.

4. Lots was mentioned and confirmed in the recent announcement including the T26,T31,FSS and surprisingly the T32 and a multi role survey vessel but some glaring omissions were obvious. For example,

- What has become of the LSS/LSG? Maybe confirming that the LPD's are to be replaced with something cheaper and less effective would have tarnished the "biggest increase in defence spending since the cold war narrative" . Perhaps the LPD's aren't being scrapped after all and confirmation with come when the Integrated review is published.

- What has become of the MH(P)C programme? IMO this is biggest omission of all. It isn't credible that RN isn't seriously considering how the Hunts and Sandowns will be replaced. The MH(P)C programme has been treading water for a long time and with such a budget increase it is inconceivable that the future MCM force isn't being actively considered. If so, why not say so?

- It was also very apparent that an Argus replacement was not mentioned. This seems odd as one or more PCRS or HADR vessels would seem to slot nicely into a Global Britain agenda and as they are cheap and easy to build it would have been a cost effective win for British shipbuilding. Could the LSD's be destined to fill this PCRS/HADR role? Scrapping Argus without replacement seems unlikely now, especially considering the budget uplift.

5. The addition of the multirole survey vessel could be important. Could this vessel become a testbed for onboard and offboard systems that are currently in their infancy before installation on the wider fleet? Although this vessel could have a clear long term role mapping the ocean floor for the SSN's/SSBN's perhaps R&D for the wider fleet will be of similar importance.

Bearing all that in mind, were does that leave the T32?

With the T26's covering ASW, the T45's covering AAW, the T31's covering medium threat environments and the OPV's covering low threat environments it's a crowded field for the T32. It must offer something that none of the other vessels offer or it is simply pointless.

Through this process of elimination, IMO, the T32 is most likely a replacement for the MCM vessels but with a wider multirole capability. As the offboard systems are becoming larger and heavier the T26's and T31's will be incapable of deploying them. If I am correct these T32's could have a larger displacement than any RN Frigate or Destroyer currently afloat. If so, and if they are to achieve an Escort standard of damage control they will be expensive vessels to construct. The most expensive part however is likely to be the onboard/offboard systems.

I will refrain from posting any concepts to illustrate my point.

It is also possible that the T32 becomes a 100m class patrol Frigate with basic sensors and armament to replace the RB2's but this is less plausible IMO. This may happen in time anyway but not as part of the T32 programme.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Roders96 » 21 Nov 2020, 13:09

Poiuytrewq wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:I guess the question its what is the T32 for?
That's probably the fastest way to work out what form the T32 may take.

A process of elimination:

1. The T32 suggests General Purpose but what is a GP Frigate going to look like in two decades time?

2. We already have a perfectly serviceable GP Frigate design (A140) in production. It may be under-armed and it's ASW credentials suboptimal but it can be easily upgraded if required and therefore it's a perfectly adequate design. So why build another GP Frigate unless the Arrowhead A140 can't do something that will be required if the foreseeable future?

3. Although I would very much like to see a more cost effective version of the T26, I think the high/low mix between the T26 and 31 is now the chosen path and it won't be altered. At this stage I think any T26lite option can be discounted.

4. Lots was mentioned and confirmed in the recent announcement including the T26,T31,FSS and surprisingly the T32 and a multi role survey vessel but some glaring omissions were obvious. For example,

- What has become of the LSS/LSG? Maybe confirming that the LPD's are to be replaced with something cheaper and less effective would have tarnished the "biggest increase in defence spending since the cold war narrative" . Perhaps the LPD's aren't being scrapped after all and confirmation with come when the Integrated review is published.

- What has become of the MH(P)C programme? IMO this is biggest omission of all. It isn't credible that RN isn't seriously considering how the Hunts and Sandowns will be replaced. The MH(P)C programme has been treading water for a long time and with such a budget increase it is inconceivable that the future MCM force isn't being actively considered. If so, why not say so?

- It was also very apparent that an Argus replacement was not mentioned. This seems odd as one or more PCRS or HADR vessels would seem to slot nicely into a Global Britain agenda and as they are cheap and easy to build it would have been a cost effective win for British shipbuilding. Could the LSD's be destined to fill this PCRS/HADR role? Scrapping Argus without replacement seems unlikely now, especially considering the budget uplift.

5. The addition of the multirole survey vessel could be important. Could this vessel become a testbed for onboard and offboard systems that are currently in their infancy before installation on the wider fleet? Although this vessel could have a clear long term role mapping the ocean floor for the SSN's/SSBN's perhaps R&D for the wider fleet will be of similar importance.

Bearing all that in mind, were does that leave the T32?

With the T26's covering ASW, the T45's covering AAW, the T31's covering medium threat environments and the OPV's covering low threat environments it's a crowded field for the T32. It must offer something that none of the other vessels offer or it is simply pointless.

Through this process of elimination, IMO, the T32 is most likely a replacement for the MCM vessels but with a wider multirole capability. As the offboard systems are becoming larger and heavier the T26's and T31's will be incapable of deploying them. If I am correct these T32's could have a larger displacement than any RN Frigate or Destroyer currently afloat. If so, and if they are to achieve an Escort standard of damage control they will be expensive vessels to construct. The most expensive part however is likely to be the onboard systems.

I will refrain from posting any concepts to illustrate my point.

It is also possible that the T32 becomes a 100m class patrol Frigate with basic sensors and armament to replace the RB2's but this is less plausible IMO. This may happen in time anyway but not as part of the T32 programme.


There's definitely alot of vaguery at the moment.

Best to not read much into it - but I really wouldn't mind if T32 turns into a general purpose behemoth that swings between the unmanned mothership / amphibious day one door knocker based on what's in its 168 MK41 and loading / mission bay.

One can hope.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RichardIC » 21 Nov 2020, 14:09

Poiuytrewq wrote:What has become of the LSS/LSG


It's dead. It was Gavin Williamson's "thing". It died the moment he leaked national security details. He mentioned it in one speech and just about nothing else he mentioned in that speech has materialised either.

As for the rest, maybe the Strategic Defence and Security Review will cast some light but I'm not counting on it.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 21 Nov 2020, 15:46

Poiuytrewq wrote:What has become of the LSS/LSG?

As I'm sure you know, the concept is effectively being trialled at the moment, using a Bay, rather than a dedicated vessel.

Apparently it was an idea that had been kicking around long before Gavin Williamson mentioned it in his speech. He gave it some cash to do an initial study, rapidly spiralling from a cheap civilian conversion into a £3-400m project for a dedicated vessel (it sounds to me as if someone dusted off the proposals for the old "sea-base" variant of the SSS to use as a starting point), which effectively stopped further progress, as there wasn't that kind of money available. As a dedicated asset, I think it's a back-burner project for the forseeable future, certainly while there is some debate about where, exactly, our amphibious capability is going.

I don't think the concept has gone away, but I think it as more likely to be achieved as one of a set of roles for a future generation of LSD (assuming there is one, of course), rather than as a dedicated vessel.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RichardIC » 21 Nov 2020, 16:11

Caribbean wrote:As I'm sure you know, the concept is effectively being trialled at the moment, using a Bay, rather than a dedicated vessel.


Sorry for lack of clarity. I meant the LSS. That's dead.

I don't know how the LSG trial differs from any other exercise that's involved amphibious forces.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 21 Nov 2020, 16:41

Well you may consider the LSS is dead but the Iranians have gone a built one for 2.75m dollars


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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Nov 2020, 16:56

Caribbean wrote:I don't think the concept has gone away, but I think it as more likely to be achieved as one of a set of roles for a future generation of LSD (assuming there is one, of course), rather than as a dedicated vessel.
Scrapping the LPD's before the future direction of the FCF was formulated always seemed like a Treasury induced knee-jerk reaction.

The Bays are the perfect vessel to form an LSG around if their aviation capacity was increased. A modest refit to add a permanent hanger should be relatively straightforward considering ever other Enforcer class derivative has one installed already. Where the LSD's fit into the LSG concept is unclear however so an early decommissioning for the Albions is still a real possibility IMO. Both hulls placed in extended readiness until 2030 is probably the best we can hope for.

Maybe we will get a surprise in the Integrated Review with a couple of £500m Ocean Mk2's funded from Donald-sans £1bn cash injection that appears to have just fallen from the magic money tree.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RichardIC » 21 Nov 2020, 17:31

SW1 wrote:Well you may consider the LSS is dead but the Iranians have gone a built one for 2.75m dollars


Bonkers!... and Williamson.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 21 Nov 2020, 17:56

donald_of_tokyo wrote: Proposal-3: Designing "a new UK-own new light frigate" also comes into my mind.

UK lacks combatant designing chance by 2032 or later (for T4X). This means, the highly successful BAE T26 designing team can disappear. I think this is a very serious problem. France decided to cut FREMM to design new (inferior) frigate, FTI. If you look at the cost, capability wise I think continuing building FREMM would have been better. But, it will ruin Naval group's world-top-ranked escort designing capability.

The same may apply for UK.

BMT shall start concept study of newly built light frigate. Venetor 110 is already a decade old. Lessons from both T26 and T31 exists. If overlap with T31 is OK, then a good candidate is already proposed by Poiuytrewq-san.
Poiuytrewq wrote:... This would allow an additional five modest patrol vessels to be built with a T31 spec, wildcat hanger, 57mm, 2x 30mm/LMM, 12 CAMM, (8x NSM FFBNW) and Artisan. With an LOA of 105m, a UPC of around £200m to £250m would seem plausible. BAE can build the Frigate factory and use the extra Leaders to speed up the T26 builds and keep the drumbeat going to T4X.....
This will not be cheap, because "newly designed" is the essence. So, "T31 B2" will be strong contender. Can UK HMG/MOD be decisively as French government did with its FTI program? (May be not...)

If avoid overlap with T31, the original BlackSwan concept, Venetor and Venari concept shall come in. Or something like Damen Crossover 115S, but designed by UK. As many imagine, this can also cover part of MHC tasks, leaving most of the MHCs to be a simple PSV-like cheap cheap vessels or even chartered civil vessels (99% of MCM tasks are in peace time). This will be a Multi Purpose (MP) frigate = good at several things, rather than a General Purpose (GP) frigate = good at nothing but patrol. (Note patrol/presence is VERY important, so rationale for GP frigate does exists, but not in number.).

Other many possibility may come in. How about the large USVs, US Navy is planning? BAES Leander design revive? Significantly enhanced River B2 as a "Floreal-class equivalent?" (in this case, the 5 T31s shall be up-armed)

End...


Thank you very much for these three analytical posts. Very well thought out and argued.

My only (minor quibble) is the suggestion that a new design frigate would have to be small. I can see no reason for this. I think the Type 31 has set the bar and any new design would follow. I think the genie is out of the Royal Navy bottle that ship size and cost are not related. I don't think it will get stuffed back in :D

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SD67 » 21 Nov 2020, 18:45

donald_of_tokyo wrote: Proposal-3: Designing "a new UK-own new light frigate" also comes into my mind.

UK lacks combatant designing chance by 2032 or later (for T4X). This means, the highly successful BAE T26 designing team can disappear. I think this is a very serious problem. France decided to cut FREMM to design new (inferior) frigate, FTI. If you look at the cost, capability wise I think continuing building FREMM would have been better. But, it will ruin Naval group's world-top-ranked escort designing capability.

The same may apply for UK.

BMT shall start concept study of newly built light frigate. Venetor 110 is already a decade old. Lessons from both T26 and T31 exists. If overlap with T31 is OK, then a good candidate is already proposed by Poiuytrewq-san.
Poiuytrewq wrote:... This would allow an additional five modest patrol vessels to be built with a T31 spec, wildcat hanger, 57mm, 2x 30mm/LMM, 12 CAMM, (8x NSM FFBNW) and Artisan. With an LOA of 105m, a UPC of around £200m to £250m would seem plausible. BAE can build the Frigate factory and use the extra Leaders to speed up the T26 builds and keep the drumbeat going to T4X.....
This will not be cheap, because "newly designed" is the essence. So, "T31 B2" will be strong contender. Can UK HMG/MOD be decisively as French government did with its FTI program? (May be not...)

If avoid overlap with T31, the original BlackSwan concept, Venetor and Venari concept shall come in. Or something like Damen Crossover 115S, but designed by UK. As many imagine, this can also cover part of MHC tasks, leaving most of the MHCs to be a simple PSV-like cheap cheap vessels or even chartered civil vessels (99% of MCM tasks are in peace time). This will be a Multi Purpose (MP) frigate = good at several things, rather than a General Purpose (GP) frigate = good at nothing but patrol. (Note patrol/presence is VERY important, so rationale for GP frigate does exists, but not in number.).

Other many possibility may come in. How about the large USVs, US Navy is planning? BAES Leander design revive? Significantly enhanced River B2 as a "Floreal-class equivalent?" (in this case, the 5 T31s shall be up-armed)

End...


Donald-san I'm also concerned about the design skills dissipating, which have been built up over a long period and at great cost, I had a long rant about this on this thread a few months back. Personally I think FSS is the bridge to t4x in terms of retaining these skills. FSS is due mid 2020s, and BAE are the only UK based firm who have the capability to do the detailed design - even if BMT supply the concept and Cammells lead the build. So the t26 teams move onto FSS then to t4x. Of course there's also Hunter to finish.

I really don't see the Navy going smaller for t32, if t31 can be delivered on budget then the cost-size link is broken.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 21 Nov 2020, 20:23

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Ron5 wrote:You, not being either, have never understood the joke.


Some advice on your use of English: neither - never :D would be much punchier
- but as for the topic, we had ample correspondence on the it, from the opposing sides, and you were not just stating that the option (that prevailed, as I was saying from the very ;) beginning) was not feasible, but also added the normal venom against Babcock as a company - the latter I will still need to understand as for where it comes from. BAE Good; Babcock Bad on all occasions :crazy:

It is all v well to try and rationalise an irrational stand - after the fact. And repeated practising will make you perfect in that... in the end


Not sure I completely understand your comment (I rarely do) but I think you are asking me why I was against the Babcock's bid for the Type 31. It's all water under the bridge but seeing you are curious. From memory, my major concerns were as follows:

1. Babcock's is a company with zero experience of building warships and intended to build them at a site with insufficient facilities and with an inexperienced workforce. Awarding them the contract therefore would be a repeat of the Ajax & WSCP deals in which the contractors have turned in a very poor performances because of their lack of experience, facilities & experienced workforce. The taxpayer and services have had to pick up the pieces.

2. Babcock's proposal was to build the Type 31 in blocks at various locations around the UK and ship them to Rosyth to be plugged together. Technically achievable no doubt but not in the least conducive to low costs and low risk which were the heart of the Type 31 program.

3. Babcock's burned through two designs in order to end up with A140. The delay inserted into the program last year was clearly to allow Babcock's more time to take direction from the MoD that their initial designs were not good enough, so they could scrabble around to end up with A140. It's not fair and open competition when the MoD steps on one end of the scales.

4. The A140 was too large a design for the requirement and therefore would be less likely to be delivered on time and to budget and would generate excessive running costs.

5. The A140 like its inherited IH design would be built to commercial standards and would not be good enough for the RN.

6. Awarding the T31 contract to a second frigate/destroyer shipyard would be a short sighted decision that would lead to under investment in both Rosyth & Govan. The obvious thing to do from a UK point of view would be to enable one, super efficient, yard to be supported with a continuous work stream. And run in a genuine partnership between industry and government, unlike the current unpleasant and unproductive war that the MoD/Treasury process creates.

7. A UK warship should be equipped with UK products, not Thales European product line.

Looking back:

1. Is alleviated to some extent by Babcock's partnering with BMT and OMT. Two very capable outfits. But I still remain very sceptical. I'd be very glad to be proved wrong.
2. Babcock's seems to have dropped this notion. Perhaps it was just included to get politicians onboard. If so, rather cynical.
3. Clearly there was an "anybody but Bae" factor. Stupid.
4. I was wrong about this. I like big frigates now.
5. I was wrong about this too. MikeKiloPapa educated us that this was not correct for the IH's. They were built to military standards and so will the Type 31s.
6. Still true. Babcock's at Rosyth will go bust when the frigate orders dry up and their investment wasted. Or Govan will. There's not enough RN work for two escort yards. One yard yes, it could churn out an escort a year to last for 25 years and never run out of work.
7. Still my opinion.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 21 Nov 2020, 21:16

Thanks, in summary
- a far less tortuous evolution than that for the T26
- over a much shorter time span and with less cost to tax payer
- likely to be a successful delivery, and end up with a happy customer
... might even buy more ;)

Not a typical defence procurement, and was met with much doubt ( so you were not the only one - just vocal, as per usual. That is a good thing, too - how else would we have enough to discuss as most projects stick to their glacial speed).

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Aethulwulf » 21 Nov 2020, 22:52

Ron5 wrote:3. Babcock's burned through two designs in order to end up with A140. The delay inserted into the program last year was clearly to allow Babcock's more time to take direction from the MoD that their initial designs were not good enough, so they could scrabble around to end up with A140. It's not fair and open competition when the MoD steps on one end of the scales.
This statement is not true.

Initial bids were first submitted to MOD for the Value Management Phase. MOD received bids / designs from CL/BAE (Leander), Babcock (Arrowhead 120), BMT (Venator), OMT (Iver Huitfeldt), Atlas (Meko A200) and Navantia light frigate.

By that stage Babcock and BMT were working together, although their two separate designs were both submitted.

After receiving the feedback from MOD in the Value Management Phase, Babcock then also teamed up with OMT.

The Arrowhead 140 design from Babcock/BMT/OMT, the Leander design from CL/BAE and the Meko A200 from Atlas were all entered as bids for the Competitive Design Phase. It was only after these bids/designs had been received that MOD paused the programme, in order to change the rules regarding counting the cost of GFE and inflation (plus contractual matters). MOD did this so that all three bids could be taken into the Competitive Design Phase (which they were). The CL/BAE bid made the most use of GFE, and so would likely have benefited the most from the pause in the programme and rule adjustment.

The pause had nothing to do with allowing "Babcock's more time to take direction from the MoD that their initial designs were not good enough, so they could scrabble around to end up with A140" The A140 design was submitted by Babcock before the pause occured.

If MOD had stepped on one end of the scale as you allege, I'm sure BAE/CL would have protested loudly. No such protests were made.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 Nov 2020, 09:40

NickC wrote:Japanese plan for a total of 22 30DX's, 6 ordered to date and a further $951 million for two more ships in its latest defense budget request.

The 30DX, ~5,500t FLD; 30 knots, one MT-30 GT and two MAN 12V28/33D diesel engines; Mk.45 mod.4 127mm gun; FFBNW Mk.41 VLS 16 cells; SeaRAM ×1; MHI Type 17 anti-ship missiles ×8; 12.7mm RWS ×2; Mitsubishi Electric OPY-2 MFR and OAX-3EO/IR; NEC OQQ-25 VDS/TASS; Hitachi OQQ-11 anti-mine sonar; UUV (OZZ-5 by MHI) and USV (unknown type) for mine counter measures; Sea mines for offensive mine warfare.

Donald-san any knowledge if $951 million for two ships is only the shipyard costs or includes GFE, ~£720 million, ~£360 million per ship
The cost ingredients, I do not know in detail. As I understand, it includes all weapon systems, and even some set of ammo, but does not include the 1st-year maintenance costs, which is included in UK case.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Nov 2020, 09:52

Just as a point of reference, the Littoral Strike Group (LSG) is now termed Littoral Response Group (LRG).

Although subtle, I think it points to a broader role (inc HADR) and to a degree a lower level role. The RUSI document referenced a Amphibious Strike Group (ASG) which seems to been dropped also.

Would see a LRG typically being a mixed bag depending on the job / threat level - it could be anything from an Aviation Support Ship (RFA Argus) + OPV like in the Caribbean currently, to a LPD + LSD + DD as what recently went to the Eastern Med, I suspect it could go as far as a LPD + 2 LSDs + ASS + a couple of Escorts.

Having warships that can be part of the scaling formula, and able to act as Escorts (like an Absalon type) IMO is the right way to go. Perhaps this is the T31, but would have liked ability to operate more boats, USVs, helicopters etc.
”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

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 Nov 2020, 09:59

Ron5 wrote:My only (minor quibble) is the suggestion that a new design frigate would have to be small. I can see no reason for this. I think the Type 31 has set the bar and any new design would follow. I think the genie is out of the Royal Navy bottle that ship size and cost are not related. I don't think it will get stuffed back in :D
SD67 wrote:Donald-san I'm also concerned about the design skills dissipating, which have been built up over a long period and at great cost, I had a long rant about this on this thread a few months back. Personally I think FSS is the bridge to t4x in terms of retaining these skills. FSS is due mid 2020s, and BAE are the only UK based firm who have the capability to do the detailed design - even if BMT supply the concept and Cammells lead the build. So the t26 teams move onto FSS then to t4x. Of course there's also Hunter to finish.

I really don't see the Navy going smaller for t32, if t31 can be delivered on budget then the cost-size link is broken.
Thanks. Good spot. The reason I stated "small" has four issues.

1: For a patrol frigate (or heavy corvette), in view of export, UK lacks 3000-4000t design. There are clear needs here, while the export competition is very severe. But, as we all know, export is not a pure price competition. It is more a political "packaging" issue. If a foreign navy want to have good relation with UK, but it does not need 6000t T31, UK can offer only out-dated Al Khareef (~3000t). Note, Leander has never had a detailed design. A ~4000t "Venator-110" sized escort is better to have. So there is a need here.

2: For a multi-role vessel, or sloop, it is a new concept. Here I think something like 3000-4000t, with T31-level armament and Venari-85 level utility. As being a new concept, if UK RN purchase them in real, not power points, then the world will start looking at it. And export is foreseen.

3: In both Patrol and multi-role vessels, it can also be based on Arrowhead 140. But, this is already included in the Proposal-2. It will take long time to grow the ship design team in Babcock. Designing a ship from scratch is very different from modifying the existing design (Also never forget its Danish "copyright" will never disappear). Also, this choice will have no relation with BAES ship designing team.

4: Then, in both Patrol and multi-role vessels, BAES team designing a T31-sized ship for what? Doable, but a big overlap with A140 will just kill it.

Just some thoughts, and happy to be corrected. But, these are the standpoint behind proposing something "smallish" (if "4000t" is small :D ).

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 Nov 2020, 10:01

Repulse wrote:Just as a point of reference, the Littoral Strike Group (LSG) is now termed Littoral Response Group (LRG).

Although subtle, I think it points to a broader role (inc HADR) and to a degree a lower level role. The RUSI document referenced a Amphibious Strike Group (ASG) which seems to been dropped also.
Thanks. The naming of "Littoral Response Group" makes me think if it can ALSO include MCM tasks?


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