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RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

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SW1
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 02 Apr 2020, 22:19

Caribbean wrote:A ready-made 100-bed unit becomes quite valuable if the surge capacity is needed


But you would only have such a capability if you removed most of the defence medical personnel from nhs hospitals and fly them out to the ship, can’t see that happening anytime soon. Not that I know but can’t see why you’d risk bringing the virus into a confined space of a ship surely it would be asking for trouble. Could see it being used as a non virus treatment facility in a limited way.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Caribbean » 02 Apr 2020, 23:28

SW1 wrote:Could see it being used as a non virus treatment facility in a limited way.

Indeed - often forgotten in all the hoo-ha about CV-19 is the fact that people are still getting sick for other reasons. It all depends on what is best in the circumstances (and I agree with your point about ships being non-ideal). The NHS Nightingale London, for instance, will be used for non-critical CV-19 victims, with critical CV19 and non-CV19 patients being treated in existing hospitals, whereas the one outside Birmingham will be used exclusively for non-CV19 cases (or that was the plan last time I heard it)
SW1 wrote:you would only have such a capability if you removed most of the defence medical personnel from nhs hospitals

I was just quoting the Royal Navy's own statement.

Don't forget, there are plenty of qualified doctors and nurses available in the Caribbean - what they don't necessarily have is experience of handling a pandemic - a few people on the spot, giving guidance and training can make a huge difference.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 03 Apr 2020, 09:54

Going back a bit, the Caribbean deployment does demonstrate the value of being able to deploy 3-5 helicopters as part of a Littoral Task Group. Being able to do this across multiple platforms across the globe is key to future RN strategy, more so than 1 or 2 LHDs, as any big fight will include the CVFs.
”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: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Jake1992 » 03 Apr 2020, 10:11

Repulse wrote:Going back a bit, the Caribbean deployment does demonstrate the value of being able to deploy 3-5 helicopters as part of a Littoral Task Group. Being able to do this across multiple platforms across the globe is key to future RN strategy, more so than 1 or 2 LHDs, as any big fight will include the CVFs.


This is one reason that I believe the best route in current funding is for the amphibious remplacemtents to be 5-6 large LPD/LSDs based on the SSS hull ( that ideally being the concept been out for years ) you could vary slightly with 2 having a larger 6 merlin hanger 3 merlin flight deck and 3 with a smaller hanger / flight deck to allow a large mid ship work deck.
I believe this would give the best flexibility over the fleet but still allow larger scale ops with the only draw back being it’ll be slight more difficult in organising flight ops in first wave.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 03 Apr 2020, 10:44

Repulse wrote:Going back a bit, the Caribbean deployment does demonstrate the value of being able to deploy 3-5 helicopters as part of a Littoral Task Group. Being able to do this across multiple platforms across the globe is key to future RN strategy, more so than 1 or 2 LHDs, as any big fight will include the CVFs.


A return to something similar to the original fort Victoria class operating model.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 03 Apr 2020, 11:03

SW1 wrote:A return to something similar to the original fort Victoria class operating model.


Agree, my thoughts also - I still see value in separating the logistical RFA platforms (which act as the Aviation Support Ships) and the RN LPDs/Littoral Warships that a closer and personal with the enemy.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Lord Jim » 03 Apr 2020, 18:38

Jake1992 wrote:I believe this would give the best flexibility over the fleet but still allow larger scale ops with the only draw back being it’ll be slight more difficult in organising flight ops in first wave.


That brings us back to the discussions we had about replacing both the Albions and Bays with 3-4 Damen Enforcer based platforms, ideally modular so they can have their capabilities in certain areas scaled to the task at hand.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 03 Apr 2020, 19:47

Lord Jim wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I believe this would give the best flexibility over the fleet but still allow larger scale ops with the only draw back being it’ll be slight more difficult in organising flight ops in first wave.


That brings us back to the discussions we had about replacing both the Albions and Bays with 3-4 Damen Enforcer based platforms, ideally modular so they can have their capabilities in certain areas scaled to the task at hand.


Depends what you want to achieve - if it’s logistics, then the Bays and Points are ok. I’d it’s a LSG capable of operating 2-3 companies of RMs/SFs for a duration then I’d say a Fort II / Albion LPD combination isn’t a bad choice.
”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: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 03 Apr 2020, 23:00

Repulse wrote:
SW1 wrote:A return to something similar to the original fort Victoria class operating model.


Agree, my thoughts also - I still see value in separating the logistical RFA platforms (which act as the Aviation Support Ships) and the RN LPDs/Littoral Warships that a closer and personal with the enemy.


Does such a front line exist anymore, as the army re learn with its logistics truck has there ever been that much of a distinction in a real shooting war.

You have a RFA, Argus in this case operating with a river in the Caribbean, maybe in future 2 rivers and an RFA and at some point in the future an RFA and 1 or 2 type 31. Or the RFA on its own.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 04 Apr 2020, 08:14

SW1 wrote: Does such a front line exist anymore


Probably not, nor did it ever really. The point I’m echoing is that there is a benefit to split air assets and supplies which can be held initially OTH from RMs and fast boats which need to be positioned optimally for the operation. People get obsessed by multirole “LHD” style platforms but they have real compromises, and what the RN has done well is having optimised platforms that come together for an operation - it gives both scale and depth when needed. RFA Argus is a good example of this.
”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: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 04 Apr 2020, 09:45

Repulse wrote:
SW1 wrote: Does such a front line exist anymore


Probably not, nor did it ever really. The point I’m echoing is that there is a benefit to split air assets and supplies which can be held initially OTH from RMs and fast boats which need to be positioned optimally for the operation. People get obsessed by multirole “LHD” style platforms but they have real compromises, and what the RN has done well is having optimised platforms that come together for an operation - it gives both scale and depth when needed. RFA Argus is a good example of this.


The RN separated aviation assets out of its lpd because it runout of money building them nothing else. Fearless could hanger helicopters. The closer the RM and fast boats are to the logistics the more sustainable they become.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Lord Jim » 04 Apr 2020, 10:01

But with "OTH" getting further from the shore so to speak with airborne and other sensors, other issues come into play.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Apr 2020, 10:45

SW1 wrote:The RN separated aviation assets out of its lpd because it runout of money building them nothing else


That's been a handicap, but in today's situation I will rather take two Chinooks spots and no hangar, rather than a hangar with (two?) Merlins and only one spot to operate them

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 04 Apr 2020, 10:47

SW1 wrote:Fearless could hanger helicopters


As far as I know, Fearless did not have a hangar but could operate / maintain 4 Seakings on its flight deck; I’d argue the Albion class could the same.
”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: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SKB » 04 Apr 2020, 10:54


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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Apr 2020, 11:02

When RFA Argus resumed aviation training after refit it "deployed with 50 personnel from the Royal Naval Air Station’s MASF, who are tasked to cover a range of naval service areas such as aircraft handlers, logistic support, medical support, and chefs."

So in providing helicopters to other ships and maintaining them centrally one can cut the overall number onboarded in specialist trades. What is unclear if the number of helicopters can be expanded (casualty wards obviously took a lot of the original space) and even whether the equipment for night ops has been put back, as part of the refit.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 04 Apr 2020, 13:44

Three marinised Merlins in Argus’s hangar

Image
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SKB » 13 Apr 2020, 00:11


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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 Apr 2020, 08:47

That 'busy' inside the hangar photo explains why the helo & load movers (4 visible) are stored on the deck
... hope nothing will get blown off during the voyage (like the RHIBs next to them)

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 13 Apr 2020, 21:46


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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Apr 2020, 22:04

I only wish the Admirals and Mandarins in the MoD appreciated the value and flexibility that RFA Argus provides to the UK. I my mind before we start looking at LSS or new smaller LPDs, a replacement for RFA Argus should be the priority. A design combining her capabilities with the ability to launch seaborne platforms like say the CB-90 would actually fill those roles as well. It just takes some out of the box thinking on their part.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 18 Apr 2020, 10:18

Lord Jim completely agree, RFA Argus is proving to be one of the most flexible and valuable ships in fleet. Sure there are some well documented deficiencies that would have to be addressed in any replacement, but nothing insurmountable.

A replacement, which could be another conversion, should be ahead of any discussion on wasting money on LPD and LSD replacements in this decade (all can wait till the 2030s).

What a RFA Argus (and replacement) gives is the ability to provide and operate aviation assets for a mid level task group without drawing on the CVFs.

My view is that we should be looking at a East of Suez forward based task group with the second LPD, RFA Argus, RFA Victoria at its core. Would offer significant capability for low-mid operations with a significant air lift capability, and a relatively low cost.
”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: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 18 Apr 2020, 10:38

The RFAs in general have been over a long number of years now been shown to be ideal for fwd presence and engagement roles alongside there traditional logistics role because there large, flexible and have good accommodation and don’t cost a small fortune.

I don’t think they are talking about a replacement for the LPDs I think they’ll be decommissioned without replacement.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 18 Apr 2020, 11:05

SW1 wrote:I don’t think they are talking about a replacement for the LPDs I think they’ll be decommissioned without replacement.


My view is that they will be replaced with something, but shouldn’t be till the 2030’s. We have them and they work, for another approx £40mn per year we could have both operational. Even with the big refocus in the USMC there is not any talk of scrapping LPDs.
”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: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 18 Apr 2020, 12:05

Repulse wrote:
SW1 wrote:I don’t think they are talking about a replacement for the LPDs I think they’ll be decommissioned without replacement.


My view is that they will be replaced with something, but shouldn’t be till the 2030’s. We have them and they work, for another approx £40mn per year we could have both operational. Even with the big refocus in the USMC there is not any talk of scrapping LPDs.


And if you don’t have 40m or .5billion over 10 years?


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