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Future Solid Support Ship

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
dmereifield
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby dmereifield » 18 Oct 2019, 23:03

Tempest414 wrote:
dmereifield wrote:Poor consolation prize. Probably wouldn't happen even if Navantia won anyway


maybe they have been watching Babcock say you will offer work to other yards then say they didn't meet the standards needed and keep the work


Yup, that was my point

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Repulse
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 28 Oct 2019, 18:05

How about a couple of the BMT FSSs and a couple of the following - built under license in UK yards...

https://www.navalnews.com/event-news/pa ... ip-design/

Would be a good HADR platform and tie up nicely with the a follow on RFA 2nd wave amphibious force.
”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

Lord Jim
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 29 Oct 2019, 18:17

A larger version of this is roughly what I see replacing the Bays.

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Repulse
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 05 Nov 2019, 22:25

Worrying as a delay will have impact, though maybe the pressure to build in the UK is increasing it may have a silver lining.

‪Royal Navy halts order for support ships as bidders could not meet budget
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/20 ... y-vessels/
”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

donald_of_tokyo
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 05 Nov 2019, 23:37

Repulse wrote:Worrying as a delay will have impact, though maybe the pressure to build in the UK is increasing it may have a silver lining.

‪Royal Navy halts order for support ships as bidders could not meet budget
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/20 ... y-vessels/
FT report.
https://www.ft.com/content/39c16806-001 ... fa4e77dd47

dmereifield
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby dmereifield » 06 Nov 2019, 00:00

Can't see beyond the paywalls. Can anyone provide a summary? Is this likely to help or hinder a possible UK build? There was a UK consortium in the running wasn't there, so presumably the consortium wasn't competitive?

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Jensy
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jensy » 06 Nov 2019, 01:51

dmereifield wrote:Can't see beyond the paywalls. Can anyone provide a summary? Is this likely to help or hinder a possible UK build? There was a UK consortium in the running wasn't there, so presumably the consortium wasn't competitive?


Trimmed a little fluff:

The £1.5bn contract to build a new fleet of supply ships for the Royal Navy has been abandoned because none of the bidders could meet the budget.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace will halt the competitive tendering process tomorrow on advice from Navy admirals because bidders were “not compliant” with commercial terms and not delivering on value for money expectations.

Unions have demand the vessels be built in the UK to support British industry, a call backed by industrialist Sir John Parker in his review of the UK’s shipbuilding industry. He said that to safeguard the future of British shipbuilding, all warships should be constructed at UK yards to ensure a steady stream of work.

This, he said, would prevent the previous boom and bust cycle with workers being laid off as contracts finished and skills being lost as they sought jobs in other industries during downturns.

“I recommended warships should be built in the UK for reasons of national security and for the sustainment of sovereign capabilities,” Sir John said in his review, which was handed to the Government in the summer but released on Monday. He said Government accepted this but then did not classify FSS ships as warships, despite them sailing alongside the Navy. This meant the contracts are open to foreign shipyards.

Sir John said: “This is contrary to policy in most developed economies, where all defence-funded vessels are built in their home yards."

“All ships painted grey - like warships - should be built in the UK. Without a steady supply of work to keep shipyards open they risk failing. It’s not just the yards themselves. Without a stream of work, the supply chain will be hollowed out too.”

Sir John also questioned whether foreign bidders - many of which are state-backed - are being subsidised so bid low, at the cost to British industry.

As well as a UK consortium which included Babcock, BAE Systems and Cammell Laird, Spain’s Navantia and Japan Marine were biding for the work which was expected to be awarded in 2020.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: “We can confirm that the FSS competition has been stopped, as it is clear that the current approach will not deliver the requirement.

“We are now considering the most appropriate way forward for the procurement project.”

The GMB union also laid into the FSS contract and the publication of Sir John’s review, accusing the Government of “trying to bury this critical report the day before Parliament is dissolved”.

Ross Murdoch, GMB national officer, said: “"This report by the Government's own adviser leaves no room for doubt - it was a catastrophic mistake to put a string of shipbuilding orders out to the global market.

"Our yards cannot compete against the unfair subsidies awarded by other nations while our competitors would not dream of letting the UK bid for their contracts.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who was named as “shipbuilding tsar” by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: “This Government is committed to reinvigorating British shipbuilding industry for both the civil and military sectors."

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 06 Nov 2019, 03:25

Was the "£1.5Bn" contract for two or three ships? It is always going to be difficult to procure equipment when you demand a set number for a set budget and to a strict set of specifications. The Government either needs to increase the funding or reduce the specifications.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2019, 05:46

Jensy wrote:be built in the UK to support British industry, a call backed by industrialist Sir John Parker in his review of the UK’s shipbuilding industry.

+
Jensy wrote: was handed to the Government in the summer but released on Monday.
So the review of the review is out now... I've totally missed it
Lord Jim wrote: The Government either needs to increase the funding or reduce the specifications.
They tried a different trick: tempt the bidders to lower the unit price by dangling the option for a third one as a carrot... seems not to have worked

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2019, 05:57

shark bait wrote: Solid support is still at the speculation stage.
Back to the drawing board; I wonder if we will get sight of any of the designs pitched?

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RichardIC
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby RichardIC » 06 Nov 2019, 06:53

ArmChairCivvy wrote:So the review of the review is out now... I've totally missed it


https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... y_2019.pdf

Easy to miss - all six pages of it. The most important recommendation is to increase the scope of orders ringfenced for UK yards.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby jonas » 06 Nov 2019, 09:14

RichardIC wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:So the review of the review is out now... I've totally missed it


https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... y_2019.pdf

Easy to miss - all six pages of it. The most important recommendation is to increase the scope of orders ringfenced for UK yards.


Indeed and if as it appears, they have at last been listening to the end user, then this might bode well for UK shipbuilding. Is the new secdef actually going to take some concrete action, or am I being to much of an optimist.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 06 Nov 2019, 12:36

jonas wrote:am I being to much of an optimist.


In a word, yes in my opinion. Until we have a steady stream of naval orders instead of the current stop start, and Governmental investment into ship building beyond actual orders, we are going to struggle to retain more than one and a half warship building yards. Both BAe and Babcock need ordered beyond those already in the pipeline, t-26 for the former and T-31 for the latter. The FSS should go to BAe together with the T-45 replacement and Babcock should get the MPHC work when that moves forward.

AS has been pointed out, the majority of Naval Yards in other countries are Government subsidised, even those in the UD, though indirectly. Why do we think we can do otherwise?

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2019, 13:59

jonas wrote: Is the new secdef actually going to take some concrete action, or am I being to much of an optimist.
Nominated "the ship-building supremo" must carry some meaning.
Lord Jim wrote: even those in the UD, though indirectly.
in the US, I guess? As they have it there, all ships in grey must come from domestic yards; perhaps that was in the SJP report?
... and if you have a good design, pls feel welcome and rescue one of our bankrupt yards, to realise the commercial value.That's how it works in the US, perhaps more difficult here as the production runs are so short

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 06 Nov 2019, 18:41

Yet again the curse of Brain, Fingers and Eyes not working together strikes. :)

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Ron5 » 06 Nov 2019, 18:43

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Jensy wrote:be built in the UK to support British industry, a call backed by industrialist Sir John Parker in his review of the UK’s shipbuilding industry.

+
Jensy wrote: was handed to the Government in the summer but released on Monday.
So the review of the review is out now... I've totally missed it
Lord Jim wrote: The Government either needs to increase the funding or reduce the specifications.
They tried a different trick: tempt the bidders to lower the unit price by dangling the option for a third one as a carrot... seems not to have worked


The commonly stated theory is that the excuse given was bull and the real reason is to pause the program to change the rules so that the ships have to be built in the UK per SJP.

By the way, I've not been a fan of SJP specially the claim he was, and is, independent (he's a Babcock's mouthpiece) and that nice Mr Osborne didn't really give him many of the answers ahead of time. But having said that, his review makes good reading. Be nice if it were done annually. I always enjoy the Treasury getting a beating, guess he feels safe now Geo has left.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Ron5 » 06 Nov 2019, 18:50

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
jonas wrote: Is the new secdef actually going to take some concrete action, or am I being to much of an optimist.
Nominated "the ship-building supremo" must carry some meaning.
Lord Jim wrote: even those in the UD, though indirectly.
in the US, I guess? As they have it there, all ships in grey must come from domestic yards; perhaps that was in the SJP report?
... and if you have a good design, pls feel welcome and rescue one of our bankrupt yards, to realise the commercial value.That's how it works in the US, perhaps more difficult here as the production runs are so short


You'd have to be blind, deaf, dumb and stupid to invest even a penny in UK shipbuilding. In the US, the congressmen & women stick up for US industries and make sure they're not screwed over. Exactly the opposite in the UK with plenty of parliamentary dumb asses that conspire to get rid of them. Spreadsheet Phil being the latest in a long line.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Scimitar54 » 07 Nov 2019, 00:29

Good job spreadsheet Phil has stood down as an MP as well then. No longer will he be in a position to evaluate the cost of everything on his spreadsheet, whilst ignoring the value of those (defence) assets that were either cut, or insufficiently invested in.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 07 Nov 2019, 00:33

Without Government Investment, the NSS in any shape or form is dead. The UK will be left as it currently is, the T-31 programme is not going to allow Babcock to become a truly sustainable warship manufacturer, so it will really be BAe or nothing moving forward. And if they do not a get a long term organised ship building programme from the Government, we will be stuck in the stop/start cycle, causing costs to keep increasing and as a result the number of ships we can afford for the Royal Navy will continue to shrink as will the service. I would even be feasible for BAe to close its UK Yards and for them to build ships for the Royal Navy overseas, possibly I the US.

It has taken foreign investment as a result of contracts for the small recovery in the UK AFV manufacturing capacity after BAe basically left its sites to wither as it has no wish to invest in the UK when there were few UK orders and its US military vehicle operations we far more productive.

Only BAe's aerospace division seems to have a firm foundation at present though this may change again in future with almost all its eggs being placed in the "Tempest", basket.

IF the Government does invest in out Defence Sector, through placing regular orders and direct investment in the industry, it will create and retain highly skilled jobs in a shrinking manufacturing sector. Post Brexit we do not know in what shape the UK's other manufacturing areas will be, but defence should be the least affected. The Treasury and other Department besides the MoD must be made to realise that investment now will have major benefits down the road if done right. Failure to do so will eventually leave us in a position where UK manufactured equipment if totally unaffordable and result in the procurement of more and more kit form overseas with a shrinking level of UK manufactured components.

Do to kickstart things the UK must now build the two, or three FSS in the UK to the Royal Navy's specifications, probably giving the contract to BAe as they have the most up to date facticity able to build vessels of this size. These need to be maintained anyhow to allow for the future maintenance of the Carriers and the construction hopefully of the successor to the Albions and Bays. Bring forwards the MPHC programme and dovetail that into the T-31 programme if the latter is actually going to finish after just five ships. These should be the first steps, but the Government must keep up the support.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SD67 » 07 Nov 2019, 09:59

BAE are not closing UK shipyards, they have a lookahead on T26 into the 2030s then T4x after that. Their US shipyards are repair facilities and in any case US shipbuilding is broadly comparable to the UK in terms of cost and that's before you're factoring in exchange rate risk. It is in any case against government policy.

And where would BAE build FSS? the Clyde is full. I'm guessing it will be built in Merseyside as an expansion of their existing partnership with Cammells. Cammel are even building modules for Astute now.

I agree on the AFV industry it's criminal that we let that run down.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 07 Nov 2019, 12:07

I know it is against Government policy to build Warships overseas, but you missed my point. the way things are going with the stop/start drip feed of order for warships, it is only going to be viable to retain one shipyard building complex warships. Even then that yard will probably not be as efficient etc. as it could be, as BAe will have no incentive to invest in it. With only a single source, BAe are in a position to say this is what this ship will cost take it or leave it. As a result we will likely end up with either fewer ships or ones that are less capable.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 07 Nov 2019, 14:38

Apparently, if ordered from UK shipyards, the FSS will need to reduce the requirement; only 2 hulls, and with smaller/simpler hull design.

UK shipyards claim that, foreign yards are subsided by their government and cannot compete against it. If literary read it, it means South Korean government was "paying money for UK" to build Tide-class vessels cheaper. As this "payment" does not exist, UK build FSS will be expensive.

In addition, the actual build cost will also differ. Simple. A shipyard with good investment, good training, and mass production flow (like DAEWO), is FOR SURE more efficient than those lack all of them (in UK).

So, UK order is good, as it will keep the UK industry active, but actual FSS program will probably shrink. RN/RFA need to pay for it.

A simple ship, like Lewis and Clark-class of US MSC will be good candidate. No sealift, no big aviation, not high speed. But, very good at ammunition and dry cargo replenishment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and ... cargo_ship

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 07 Nov 2019, 15:01

Lord Jim wrote:Without Government Investment, the NSS in any shape or form is dead.
This reminds me that all government has been claiming "committed to XXX B GBP 10 year equipment plan". So, they do commit for it. So, adding a sub-section that "HMG is committed to YYY B GBP 10 year budget for ship building" is doable, I guess?

The problem of "black hole" in current total equipment budget is NOT on lack of money, but cost overrun of each program. So, if some project see cost over run, then other projects must endure cuts, even though the total cost is the same. Adding a "subsection" for ship-building budget means, the "cost-over-run to cut other" issue shall be handled within ship building, and be independent from other items.

An example. The total T45 program cost was 6B GBP for 8 ships (at some point). It turned out to be 6B GBP program for 6 ships (at last). In this case, there should have been nothing to claim on paper (from industry side), because 6B GBP was payed. But, actually, the ship building steel works saw significant cut, and PAAMS integration/software/development work load has risen. This is the problem = "cost-over-run to cut other" happening even within a single program.

I do think "allocating certain amount of committed money to ship building" is a good idea. I also think it is doable. But, it does not solve the issue. I simply think addition of "contingent budget" will be needed, say 20%. In other words, number or capability must be reduced by 20% from the outset, and just keep the 20% margin money to get along with probable cost overrun. This will be the only way to keep all the technologies going on. I think SSBN(R) is doing so. And, in long term, I think this "20% margin" == "20% reduction in initial plan" will pay.

# In other words, MOD budget taking the risk, to keep the ship building industry free from sudden stop of workflow = risk.

Supporting industry is tightly connected with tough decisions. There are no such things as a free lunch.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 07 Nov 2019, 16:43

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Apparently, if ordered from UK shipyards, the FSS will need to reduce the requirement; only 2 hulls, and with smaller/simpler hull design.

UK shipyards claim that, foreign yards are subsided by their government and cannot compete against it. If literary read it, it means South Korean government was "paying money for UK" to build Tide-class vessels cheaper. As this "payment" does not exist, UK build FSS will be expensive.

In addition, the actual build cost will also differ. Simple. A shipyard with good investment, good training, and mass production flow (like DAEWO), is FOR SURE more efficient than those lack all of them (in UK).

So, UK order is good, as it will keep the UK industry active, but actual FSS program will probably shrink. RN/RFA need to pay for it.

A simple ship, like Lewis and Clark-class of US MSC will be good candidate. No sealift, no big aviation, not high speed. But, very good at ammunition and dry cargo replenishment.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_and ... cargo_ship


I am no saying they are simple ships but are we really saying that they would really cost £750m each of built in the UK ? That’s the price of a T26 and what around 5 times the price of a Tide.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Tempest414 » 07 Nov 2019, 17:25

For me I think we could get them built in the UK for around 450 million each and I would say the budget should be 1. 35 billion for 3 ships


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