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Future Solid Support Ship

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Jake1992
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 30 May 2019, 11:08

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
in high intensity ops requires the SSS to be designed dedicated
yep, add a fraction to the one (could be +1.0) as the SSS will also need topping up - and heavens know from how far
would almost be like a merging of a bay with the old rover class

+
But that would be separate to a solid stores requirement

=
Jake1992 wrote:I see the Karel doorman’s more of a modern fort class


The RN has decided otherwise (not to build a new mongrel, but to go for the operational rqrmnt and through near-commercial design get the cost down... to make the numbers!)


Oh I agree with the way the RN have gone with the tides and SSS being separate and design around the carriers needs but what the RFA have regarding RAS is as such
4 Tides ( dedicated CSG )
2-3 SSS ( dedicated CSG )
2 Wave ( rest of the fleet )

My suggestion would be as and when the time comes for the waves to be replaced they should be with 2 Karel doorman’s, as these would give what the Waves do but also give a sold stores RAS for the rest of the fleet leaving the SSS to concentrate on the CSG.
They would also offer the large helo repair areas that was once sort after for the amphibious force and be flexible enough to conduct other task in a similar manner to what some on here are asking a modified wave to do.

All this would leave the SSS to be solely designed for CSG and do away with all the asking for them to be more than that.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby shark bait » 30 May 2019, 11:25

What happened to the commonalty you were pushing the other day?

If there is a requirement similar to the above, surely it would be better served by the Tide Class derivative in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy?

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A Tide Class Solid Support Ship
A Tide Class Fleet Tanker
A Tide Class Hospital

Good idea for a common RFA fleet?
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 30 May 2019, 11:37

shark bait wrote:What happened to the commonalty you were pushing the other day?

If there is a requirement similar to the above, surely it would be better served by the Tide Class derivative in service with the Royal Norwegian Navy?


I’m all for commonality of platforms where it’s possible, I refer to the Kareldoorman more as a good example of what we should look at IMO as a replacement for the Waves.
As far as I’m award the Norwegian derivative of the Tides doesn’t have the helo capacity or steal beach and dividends of a Karel doorman style vessel, please correct me if I’m wrong on that.
If the capabilities KD offers can be done via i variant of the tides or SSS then I’m all up for it.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Poiuytrewq » 30 May 2019, 11:38

Jake1992 wrote:I see the Karel doorman’s more of a modern fort class, I bring them as Iv seen people on here talk about upgrading the waves to allow them to do more for the fleet while keeping RAS ability Karel doorman fits this nicely.

If done right a set up of 1 Albion, 1 LSS and 1 Karel doorman each west and east of the suez doing there own thing but being able to come together would be a good boost for our selfs and our allies in these areas. It would also leave the SSS to be what they need to be, which is dedicated to the CSG
I agree this is worth looking at.

The Karel Doorman gets lots of criticism, much of it deserved, mainly for trying to do too much on one hull. However just because the Dutch haven't got it to work efficiently doesn't mean it isn't possible. The problem I see with the KD concept is the liquids. Remove the liquids and things become much more straightforward. It's also not very smart mixing troop transports with bulk munitions, potentially an accident waiting to happen but what if the roles could be split operationally?

I think there is an opportunity here to make a bit more of the pretty generous £1bn FSS budget rather than simply procure 3 FSS vessels with the third effectively becoming a spare. In my opinion RN should look seriously at cancelling the third FSS vessel and upgrading the FLSS substantially. By dropping the third FSS and adding the £200m from the FLSS programme around £530m could be secured to add a lot of extra capability within the existing budgets. At £265m each these vessels could be substantially more capable than a Point based option and truly warrant building a Littoral Strike Group around them.

Around £265m won't build a Karel Doorman but it would build a highly capable Enforcer based multipurpose vessel that could act as an auxiliary SSS vessel within the LiTM group. At 205m LOA with a 32m beam a 6 Merlin hanger should be possible. A 32m beam should also allow for 4 Merlin capable landing spots and a well dock wide enough to embark 2 LCU's side by side. This would make for a truly capable FLSS vessel with a clear secondary SSS role within the LiTM. It may also provide a useful template to replace the Bay's down the line. I think it's worthy of consideration.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 30 May 2019, 12:59

Poiuytrewq wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I see the Karel doorman’s more of a modern fort class, I bring them as Iv seen people on here talk about upgrading the waves to allow them to do more for the fleet while keeping RAS ability Karel doorman fits this nicely.

If done right a set up of 1 Albion, 1 LSS and 1 Karel doorman each west and east of the suez doing there own thing but being able to come together would be a good boost for our selfs and our allies in these areas. It would also leave the SSS to be what they need to be, which is dedicated to the CSG
I agree this is worth looking at.

The Karel Doorman gets lots of criticism, much of it deserved, mainly for trying to do too much on one hull. However just because the Dutch haven't got it to work efficiently doesn't mean it isn't possible. The problem I see with the KD concept is the liquids. Remove the liquids and things become much more straightforward. It's also not very smart mixing troop transports with bulk munitions, potentially an accident waiting to happen but what if the roles could be split operationally?


For me I wouldn’t use the KDs in the way the Dutch do, think of them as modern fort class that can do both solid and liquid RAS while having a very large hanger and vehicle deck to be used as the sea base transport and repair shop for helos and other vehicles in any amphibious set up that was once require before budget cuts.

These would be used as secondary replenishment vessel that can act as a sea base in a small manor when part of an ARG but would also be flexible enough that during peace time a role could easily be found.

The main change I’d make to the current KD design would to reduce the massive 2000 lane metres to 1000-1400 and reused that space for larger stores.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 30 May 2019, 16:21

How much does a Karl Doorman cost these days. How about buying two using both any funding around for the third FSS and that for the two FLSS plus any other cash behind the sofa. Use them forward deployed to support SF operations and RN fleet units when in their areas.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 30 May 2019, 18:40

Poiuytrewq wrote:Around £265m won't build a Karel Doorman but it would build a highly capable Enforcer based multipurpose vessel that could act as an auxiliary SSS vessel within the LiTM group. At 205m LOA with a 32m beam a 6 Merlin hanger should be possible.


Which one of your designs/ concepts is the closest match?

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby jonas » 01 Jun 2019, 09:21

So now the MOD even goes to the lengths of altering the conditions of the deal, to help foreign shipyards bid for the FSSS :-

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... ish-ships/

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Timmymagic » 01 Jun 2019, 12:23

Simon82 wrote:Not that appearance is particularly important or reflective of capability... Although I do recall it had an interesting well deck, which I’m sure would have it’s uses.


The Well Deck was only on the concept graphics for the MARS Amphibious Support Ship of which there were to be 2. Not MARS SSS. The Amphib Support Ship was a great idea, but was dropped very early on, about 15 years ago. The idea was that these would work with HMS Ocean, the 2 Albions, 4 Bays and the 6 Point Class to deliver and sustain a Brigade Group anywhere on earth. Obviously in conjunction with CVF with JSF and MASC, Tide Class, 3 x MARS SSS, 12 x T45 and the GCS with 155mm gun plus C-17 and A-400, LIMAWS(R), LIMAWS(G), FRES et al.

Things have clearly moved on from there though. Pity as it would have delivered an astonishing capability. But budget cuts, GWOT, crazy decisions, poorly managed programmes (FRES) and some bad luck have brought us to where we are (and the desire to stop doing big interventions). The worse part is just how close we came. CVF and Tide successful. Bay Class and Points all sorted (but then numbers slightly cut). MARS SSS on the way (but badly delayed), F-35B, Crowsnest on the way, 6 T45 (when buying 8 would have cost the same, 12 wouldn't have been that much more), GCS horribly delayed but finally on the way, C-17 and A400 here, LIMAWS R and G developed and working but not procured. FRES? Boxer was the real FRES...now on its way back. Ocean was probably expected to be extended. It was a capability that would have made the USMC jealous...particularly the sustainment element.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 01 Jun 2019, 12:41

Timmymagic wrote:
Simon82 wrote:Not that appearance is particularly important or reflective of capability... Although I do recall it had an interesting well deck, which I’m sure would have it’s uses.


The Well Deck was only on the concept graphics for the MARS Amphibious Support Ship of which there were to be 2. Not MARS SSS. The Amphib Support Ship was a great idea, but was dropped very early on, about 15 years ago. The idea was that these would work with HMS Ocean, the 2 Albions, 4 Bays and the 6 Point Class to deliver and sustain a Brigade Group anywhere on earth. Obviously in conjunction with CVF with JSF and MASC, Tide Class, 3 x MARS SSS, 12 x T45 and the GCS with 155mm gun plus C-17 and A-400, LIMAWS(R), LIMAWS(G), FRES et al.

Things have clearly moved on from there though. Pity as it would have delivered an astonishing capability. But budget cuts, GWOT, crazy decisions, poorly managed programmes (FRES) and some bad luck have brought us to where we are (and the desire to stop doing big interventions). The worse part is just how close we came. CVF and Tide successful. Bay Class and Points all sorted (but then numbers slightly cut). MARS SSS on the way (but badly delayed), F-35B, Crowsnest on the way, 6 T45 (when buying 8 would have cost the same, 12 wouldn't have been that much more), GCS horribly delayed but finally on the way, C-17 and A400 here, LIMAWS R and G developed and working but not procured. FRES? Boxer was the real FRES...now on its way back. Ocean was probably expected to be extended. It was a capability that would have made the USMC jealous...particularly the sustainment element.


I read that after cuts where am made and it was clear that SSS and ASS as separate entities was not possibke that the requirements were merged to allow an ASS capability but to a lesser extent.

This could be where the MARS SSS concept with a steel beach came from.


It is shame as you say, that’s the first time I saw it write down like that and god it would of been one hell of a force. I can only wish that the next PM starts to take defence seriously and looks for us to start aiming for this again.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Timmymagic » 01 Jun 2019, 12:44

jonas wrote:So now the MOD even goes to the lengths of altering the conditions of the deal, to help foreign shipyards bid for the FSSS :-

https://www.defensenews.com/industry/20 ... ish-ships/


The worrying bit from that is that it mentions that the main change was the demand for a new ship. Shipyards could bid now with an existing design.
But for Fincantieri thats the Vulcano Class. Italy is getting 1, with the French buying 4 under the FLOTLOG programme through the 2020's.

It's a perfectly good ship, but its less capable than the Fort Victoria. Far too small to do the job. Essentially its got the same capability as the RNoMS Maud, which is based on the BMT Aegir design. Maud is a smaller Tide Class ship with a more multi-role fit. Unless they significantly change the design and role the only benefit would be using the hull form, and its small for the UK needs. Can't see this getting Fincantieri back in the game to be honest.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LSS,_Logi ... pport_Ship

https://www.fincantieri.com/en/products ... ssels/lss/

I think the MoD have only done this to keep the pressure on in terms of price.

Mind you, if the UK consortium had an ounce of common sense they'd be waging a major social media campaign on ensuring the ships were built in the UK. Right now with the Conservative leadership campaign underway it would be very easy to extract promises from the candidates to guarantee a UK award...all it takes is one of them to make a point of it and they all have to join in.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 01 Jun 2019, 13:13

To support the CSG on extended deployments we really need the SSS to be at least as capable as Fort Victoria, but I fear with money tight we may see something more akin to the Italian design.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Timmymagic » 01 Jun 2019, 13:46

Lord Jim wrote:To support the CSG on extended deployments we really need the SSS to be at least as capable as Fort Victoria, but I fear with money tight we may see something more akin to the Italian design.


The Italian design in its current guise is a non starter, I'd question if its actually big enough if adapted. It's a tanker, with a small amount of underway replenishment capability (only 200 tonnes of ammunition). All told in its current guise its a 30,000 tonne full load ship that carries c500 tonnes of solid stores, 250 tonnes of which are in ISO's on the deck (which the Tides can also do). Thats not going to keep a CSG running, and we don't need any more oilers with the Tides and Waves. I suspect its actually far cheaper to design, build and operate a larger vessel or adapt a design than start with a smaller one and try and cram it in.

In fact with the Heavy RAS system it could be emptied of stores totally in 4 hours, as Heavy RAS spec is to shift 125 tonnes (in 25 x 5 tonne individual loads) per hour for 5 hours. In contrast the old Fort Rosalie Class carry 3,500 tonnes...Fort Victoria up to 6,200 tonnes of solid stores in addition to a shed load of fuel (more in the past when double hulls weren't required). SSS is supposed to carry and transfer a minimum of 7,000 tonnes. Don't look at the tonnage of oil a ship can carry and transpose that to solid stores though as you need rack space, MHE, elevators, wide corridors and solid stores are far less dense.

So basically I'm not sure what the purpose is of the change for Fincantieri as the Vulcano would need to be a totally new design anyway to become a SSS. I would have thought a Chinook capable deck and hangar was necessary as well and I think (from eye) that Vulcano has a smaller helideck than the Tides. In contrast the helideck on the Fort Vic is enormous. With the loss of Ocean I wouldn't have thought the RN would want to lose more deck space and hangarage (the RFA carried a lot of helos down south for the Falklands, particularly on the OL and Tide oilers). And whilst a proper hangar isn't cheap, it's not the volume, its the kit inside which adds the cost, which is the roughly the same for medium or large. The larger a helideck is, is a marginal cost at best. You wouldn't save much money making it smaller once the hangarage, aircraft handling gear etc. is factored in.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 02 Jun 2019, 11:31

I agree with all of the above, but my instinct is to be less than optimistic regarding defence procurement having first hand knowledge. I personally think the best we can hope for is a cheaper Fort and that the design will be purely for stores with a Merlin capable flight deck with hopefully a hanger for two.

I often wonder if the powers that be understand how essential the SSS is going to be for the operation of the CSG, and how really Fort Victoria should be the minimum standard. The support needs of the Queen Elizabeths is going to be far higher that we needed to support the Invincibles. In addition, the carriers do not seem to have an UETF like that on the American carriers so ideally having one on one of the RFA accompanying the carrier would be a benefit. Otherwise on an extended deployment the availability of engines for the F-35, for example could limit the number of aircraft available, something we need to avoid at all cost given the number being carried. Of course the SSS cold simple have a facility to store a large number of engines for all types operated by the CSG, and the means to move them to and from the carrier.

It would be typical of the Treasury to try to save a few pennies by limiting the RAF support available to the CSG by limiting the capability and size of the SSS. The fact that only two are in theory secure instead of the three it was thought we needed does not bode well.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby shark bait » 03 Jun 2019, 08:34

Lord Jim wrote:purely for stores with a Merlin capable flight deck with hopefully a hanger for two.

Sounds perfect.

While I used to advocate a multirole SSS, we must recognise the RFA will not get extra hulls meaning a multirole SSS will only dilute the capability that really matters; supporting the carriers.

The continued support for the RFA renewal is one of the few things that give me hope, the Tides and SSS could have been easy targets in the cuts, but someone is clearly fighting their corner and making a storng case for the budget.
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 04 Jun 2019, 16:42

One wonders if it was by luck or design?

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 10 Aug 2019, 09:56

Suggestion that a possible update on the FSS may be made at the DSEI early September (depending on politics) - given an election is brewing I think it’s quite possible...

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... ard-times/
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Poiuytrewq » 10 Aug 2019, 10:52

Repulse wrote:Suggestion that a possible update on the FSS may be made at the DSEI early September (depending on politics) - given an election is brewing I think it’s quite possible...

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... ard-times/
Looks like DSEI could be a bit more interesting than usual this year!

Decisions need to be made but more importantly, the right decisions need to be made.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 10 Aug 2019, 16:41

But when has the fact that a decision needs to be made meant that one actually is?

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jensy » 10 Aug 2019, 22:19

Poiuytrewq wrote:
Repulse wrote:Suggestion that a possible update on the FSS may be made at the DSEI early September (depending on politics) - given an election is brewing I think it’s quite possible...

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... ard-times/
Looks like DSEI could be a bit more interesting than usual this year!

Decisions need to be made but more importantly, the right decisions need to be made.


I don't want to seem too optimistic about the chances of the FSSS going to the British consortium but with an election supposedly months away (as Repulse notes); two shipyards up the Swannee and talk of Sajid breaking open the piggy bank, it would be madness to go with a foreign yard.

Finally, the currency fluctuations should deeply disturb the Treasury from going abroad. Ever since the down-select the cost of building them in European yards will have gone up by €60m. That might not sound much on a £1bn and six-year programme but with only a one-year budget cycle likely from October, long-termism is irrelevant.

On an unrelated note, that image of the Venator 110 really irritates when you consider how the most potentially innovative T31e design got sidelined by an original RFI which seems to have gone out the window already.... Sorry for the deviation.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Ron5 » 11 Aug 2019, 17:25

Jensy wrote:On an unrelated note, that image of the Venator 110 really irritates when you consider how the most potentially innovative T31e design got sidelined by an original RFI which seems to have gone out the window already.... Sorry for the deviation.


Got sidelined because the budget & timescale does not allow a clean sheet design.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby xav » 19 Aug 2019, 10:05

Navantia & BMT to Unveil FSS Design Proposal at DSEI 2019
Image
Spanish shipbuilding company Navantia will be exhibiting at DSEI 2019 and is set to unveil its design proposal for the UK Ministry of Defence 's Fleet Solid Support (FSS) programme alongside its partner, BMT.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... dsei-2019/

Count on us for covering this topic (and many other) at DSEI (and in video!)

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby bobp » 19 Aug 2019, 13:09

Thankyou for the above XAV. Do you think we will get any major announcements from the MOD.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby RichardIC » 19 Aug 2019, 14:39

xav wrote:Count on us for covering this topic (and many other) at DSEI (and in video!)


"The future FSS ships are set to repla(c)e the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA)’s Solid Support Ships, RFA Fort Austin and RFA Fort Rosalie."

It's beginning to look more and more like the FSS order is going to get stuck on two.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Poiuytrewq » 19 Aug 2019, 19:15

RichardIC wrote:It's beginning to look more and more like the FSS order is going to get stuck on two.
Probably because the political heat is getting turned up to have them built in the UK.

Would such a weak government pick a fight by having them built abroad in the current climate? Especially in Spain of all places.... Can't see it.

Actually I think building two in UK yards now with the third to be procured when Fort Victoria is finally decommissioned makes sense. It could fill another gap when the yards are teetering on the edge before the Amphibs are built in the 2030's. With a coherent industrial strategy there is no reason why a drumbeat cannot be established for the non BAE yards over the next decade with the T31 and FSS, even if the FLSS never materialises or is simply refit work on a commercial hull.

With the pound nearing parity with the euro it now makes little financial sense to have the FSS built abroad.


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