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

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

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Jan 2019, 17:23

This is why I like the Enforcer as a baseline for a class of vessels to replace the RN's and RFA's existing fleet on amphibious warfare platforms, as well as providing additional capabilities to both services. They can be looked upon a modular with the level of manning determining what role they will carry out at any given time. Their facilities allow them to operate as a HADR platform, casualty receiving ship or Aviation training ship as well as the more traditional Amphibious warfare roles. To switch role mainly required the specialist personnel to be embarked. Their core crew would not be much more then the current Bays for routine operations. I understand that such an idea would require a lot of further investigation but having four such multi-role vessels operated by the RFA meet the needs of the UK going forward in the 2030s.

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

Postby Poiuytrewq » 14 Jan 2019, 17:42

Lord Jim wrote:Their facilities allow them to operate as a HADR platform, casualty receiving ship or Aviation training ship as well as the more traditional Amphibious warfare roles. To switch role mainly required the specialist personnel to be embarked. Their core crew would not be much more then the current Bays for routine operations.
Exactly, but I would go further and convert the existing Bays. This would give ample time to assess the concept before decisions are made regarding the replacement of the fleet in the 2030's.

Even with the modifications they would probably still be cheaper to operate than a T31. Especially on simple patrol deployments with a core crew allocation.

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

Postby dmereifield » 15 Jan 2019, 00:30

A Servo contract may save money now, but can you call up Serco for additional support, if necessary in times of conflict, like we can with RFA Argus? Is it a worthwhile trade off? What is RFA Argus' running cost compared the outsourcing contract costs for France and Australia?

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

Postby shark bait » 15 Jan 2019, 08:09

No, there will be no 'additional support' from Serco, and that should be by design.

Hand them a contract for 100 days training a year and be done with it, allowing the RFA focus on its core activities.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Jan 2019, 09:28

shark bait wrote:Hand them a contract for 100 days training a year and be done with it, allowing the RFA focus on its core activities.


I agree. The SF support ship (contract) might be a 'different kettle of fish'.

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

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 15 Jan 2019, 10:23

shark bait wrote:No, there will be no 'additional support' from Serco, and that should be by design.

Hand them a contract for 100 days training a year and be done with it, allowing the RFA focus on its core activities.
Problem is that "RFA core activities" will double or triple in real war. Just imagine how much fuel and bombs the F35B fleet will consume in strike role. It will be 10-times larger than in peace time, and even several times larger than in the days with SeaHarriers.

At the same time, RFA vessels need to "move-around", to keep the RFA (and RN) crew themselves well-trained and prepared for the tasks. So, "peace-time tasks" must be defined, I guess.

- For me, APT-N is a "good pool" for RFA fleet to keep themselves busy in peace time (sorry Caribbean-san). If war breaks out, a Wave (for winter) or a Bay (for summer) assigned to APT-N can both rush to war, leaving the district almost vacant. (I think a River B2 shall be sent to fill "a fraction of" the gap. For more sever situations, just rely on allies. Note that, I assume here UK is in war).

- I understand, the Bay at Persian Gulf is doing MCMV mother ship tasks also as a "peace-time part time job". It must be replaced by Echo/Enterprise, which are the MCMV mother ship as built when war breaks out.

- Similarly, helicopter training could be a good "peace time tasks" for a Wave or Tide (or even Bay) stationed around British water. Out sourcing it to Serco (or alike) will save the money HOW? Yes, in such a way that banning a Wave tanker and cutting 50-80 RFA crews. Only if UK is NOT thinking about war and thinking only about peacetime tasks, it is OK.

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

Postby Jake1992 » 15 Jan 2019, 15:27

What about replacing argue and the 2 waves with 2 x Karl doorman with each having a role 3 medical facilities added.

The Karl doorman design is perfectly suited to most HADR missions, they could free up the bay in the Carrabean or anywhere else HADR is needed.
With its large 2 x chinook 6 x Merlin hanger and twin chinook flight deck they would more than make up for the lose of argus, and with there large stores and LCVP capability could not only do well in HADR situations but also contribute to amphibious ops.

They would also keep what the waves offer so would be good to assist allies in the Far East, or even be used as an ASW mother ship in the North Sea like the forts were planed for.

The manning would be there for them as it would come from argus and the 1 manned wave.

If DFID could be convinced that these with role 3 medical ( say 100-200 bed set up each ) would be just what's needed for HADR then they could fund them ( I don't think this would be too hard with all the talk that's going on )

We could then base our future amphibious fleet on 2 derivatives of Babcocks SSS design ( if that is chosen )giving a fleet of 8 vessels based on the same base design, 3 SSS, 3 LSD and 2 LPD giving greater commonality with out the worry of fitting in role 3 medical or HADR so much to sell them to DFID.

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

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Jan 2019, 18:29

Thing is the rules probably won't allow anything but a big white vessel with red crosses if at all. Like so many things there are rule as to what counts as Over Seas Aid and because we are tied to spending 0.7% such a platform would have to meet the rules.

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

Postby Jake1992 » 15 Jan 2019, 18:34

Lord Jim wrote:Thing is the rules probably won't allow anything but a big white vessel with red crosses if at all. Like so many things there are rule as to what counts as Over Seas Aid and because we are tied to spending 0.7% such a platform would have to meet the rules.


At first glance I thought the same but after reading in to more of whats been said it seems like they are wanting a vessels that can do a more all round HADR role than just a hospital ship.

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

Postby Caribbean » 15 Jan 2019, 20:17

Lord Jim wrote:Thing is the rules probably won't allow anything but a big white vessel with red crosses if at all. Like so many things there are rule as to what counts as Over Seas Aid and because we are tied to spending 0.7% such a platform would have to meet the rules.

Very true, but from what I've heard the UK got some concessions out of the OECD as to who can be helped and what can be spent as aid in disaster situations (I confess I haven't seen chapter and verse on what was agreed, however). The next logical step is to negotiate over disaster preparedness measures, such as the proposed medical and HADR logistics vessels. No point in being allowed to donate aid in a disaster, if you have no means of delivering it :). The fact that they can be rented by the military when needed (a reverse of the current position) should have no real bearing on how they are designated in everyday use.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby shark bait » 16 Jan 2019, 08:02

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Similarly, helicopter training could be a good "peace time tasks" for a Wave or Tide (or even Bay) stationed around British water. Out sourcing it to Serco (or alike) will save the money HOW? Yes, in such a way that banning a Wave tanker and cutting 50-80 RFA crews. Only if UK is NOT thinking about war and thinking only about peacetime tasks, it is OK.

Those platforms do not become redundant in peace time if aviation training is removed. The Bay class is the most flexible platform in service they will always find a job, and there will always be a demand for tankers.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Jan 2019, 08:25

shark bait wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Similarly, helicopter training could be a good "peace time tasks" for a Wave or Tide (or even Bay) stationed around British water. Out sourcing it to Serco (or alike) will save the money HOW? Yes, in such a way that banning a Wave tanker and cutting 50-80 RFA crews. Only if UK is NOT thinking about war and thinking only about peacetime tasks, it is OK.

Those platforms do not become redundant in peace time if aviation training is removed. The Bay class is the most flexible platform in service they will always find a job, and there will always be a demand for tankers.


This is why I surgested 2 x karldoorman in place of the 2 waves and argus as they offer the tanker capability of the waves, they offer the aviation capacity of argus and for the most part the flexiblity of the bay's.
The only change that would need making is upgrading the medical to role 3

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

Postby Poiuytrewq » 16 Jan 2019, 08:37

Jake1992 wrote:
This is why I surgested 2 x karldoorman in place of the 2 waves and argus as they offer the tanker capability of the waves, they offer the aviation capacity of argus and for the most part the flexiblity of the bay's.
The only change that would need making is upgrading the medical to role 3
Two Karel Doorman vessels as you describe would likely cost £700m - £800m If built in the UK.

Where are you proposing to get the money from?

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

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Jan 2019, 09:26

Poiuytrewq wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:
This is why I surgested 2 x karldoorman in place of the 2 waves and argus as they offer the tanker capability of the waves, they offer the aviation capacity of argus and for the most part the flexiblity of the bay's.
The only change that would need making is upgrading the medical to role 3
Two Karel Doorman vessels as you describe would likely cost £700m - £800m If built in the UK.

Where are you proposing to get the money from?


I'd look to havd them built abroad and fitted out here like with the tides, and then in turn have the SSS built here with the future LSDs and LPDs based on a Modifed version for a build of 8 over all.

Money wise I'd look to work closely and keep up the pressure on the DFID, 2 x karldoorman each with role 3 medical seems to me to fit very nicely with the HADR vessels that department are looking in to funding.

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

Postby Poiuytrewq » 16 Jan 2019, 10:19

Jake1992 wrote:
I'd look to havd them built abroad and fitted out here like with the tides, and then in turn have the SSS built here with the future LSDs and LPDs based on a Modifed version for a build of 8 over all.

Money wise I'd look to work closely and keep up the pressure on the DFID, 2 x karldoorman each with role 3 medical seems to me to fit very nicely with the HADR vessels that department are looking in to funding.
Having them built abroad would be cheaper but politically I'm not convinced.

One the suggested reasons for building the proposed HADR vessels is to show British taxpayers that the Aid Budget is being spent wisely. British Aid money spent building British HADR ships in British shipyards would be a very popular way of doing that. In much the same way as British Aid money being spent building Landrovers in the Midlands rather than DfID just ordering hundreds of white Toyota HiLux's. DfID doesn't have the same financial constraints as the MOD so building abroad should be much less of a priority.

Having said that, I think two Karel Doorman's might be a bit rich even for DfID's deep pockets but time will tell.

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

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Jan 2019, 11:03

Poiuytrewq wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:
I'd look to havd them built abroad and fitted out here like with the tides, and then in turn have the SSS built here with the future LSDs and LPDs based on a Modifed version for a build of 8 over all.

Money wise I'd look to work closely and keep up the pressure on the DFID, 2 x karldoorman each with role 3 medical seems to me to fit very nicely with the HADR vessels that department are looking in to funding.
Having them built abroad would be cheaper but politically I'm not convinced.

One the suggested reasons for building the proposed HADR vessels is to show British taxpayers that the Aid Budget is being spent wisely. British Aid money spent building British HADR ships in British shipyards would be a very popular way of doing that. In much the same way as British Aid money being spent building Landrovers in the Midlands rather than DfID just ordering hundreds of white Toyota HiLux's. DfID doesn't have the same financial constraints as the MOD so building abroad should be much less of a priority.

Having said that, I think two Karel Doorman's might be a bit rich even for DfID's deep pockets but time will tell.


My thinking behind them being built abroad is a trade off, have these 2 built abroad but in return HMG have the 3 SSS built in the uk.

I agree that British aid pay for British aid ships built in British yard is a very nice spin but British aid paying for British aid ship still is good PR, and if the built abroad part allow a better more flexible vessel then I'm all for that.

The talk then needs to move on to how they are operated. With the lose of the waves and argus for them I think they need to be a shared UK asset agree but each department involved. For instance day to day be used by the RN I what ever way they see fit and then when a HADR situation a rises they head straight for that op.

To me 2 of these said vessels would allow the uk as a whole to keep the medical and aviation capabilties of argus, the replenishment capabilities of the waves and add a very good HADR capabilty all with out costing the RN a penny and giving much needed good PR to DFID.

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

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 16 Jan 2019, 11:46

shark bait wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Similarly, helicopter training could be a good "peace time tasks" for a Wave or Tide (or even Bay) stationed around British water. Out sourcing it to Serco (or alike) will save the money HOW? Yes, in such a way that banning a Wave tanker and cutting 50-80 RFA crews. Only if UK is NOT thinking about war and thinking only about peacetime tasks, it is OK.

Those platforms do not become redundant in peace time if aviation training is removed. The Bay class is the most flexible platform in service they will always find a job, and there will always be a demand for tankers.
Find what job? I do not agree here.

<Requirements of war and peace time>
- We lost APT-S, which required 1 tanker deployed. This means, RFA needs 2 less tankers.
- There is no T42 nor T22 anymore. All escorts and RFA vessels now have long legs.
- As such, major part of Tanker (and SSS) requirements resides on Carrier Strike. And, in peace time, they rarely strike.
In short, peacetime requirement has got less, while wartime requirement is much much higher than ever since 1950s. There is a huge gap here.

<Burden of additional (not RN currently do) tasks for Tanker and LSD>
- Yes with more ships RN can do more, but it is with more operation cost; more fuel, and what is more, more crew (with long deployment, crew rotation may be needed)
- Tasks near Britain water is very good for man-power promotion, because the rest of the fleet will deploy far away, leaving many families without a father or mother for nearly a year.
- Also it is amid the severe lack of man-power and money in both RN and RFA fleets.

Looking only at aviation training, Serco-option is the cheapest, of course. But, carrier strike's logistic burden is very very huge. Therefore, in peacetime, I think RFA vessels starve for "easy" tasks = those around Britain water, and Aviation training will be one of the good candidates, I think.

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

Postby Repulse » 31 May 2019, 15:50

Avoiding overloading the Amphibious thread with pics of RFA Argus, but the one below from a week ago is a great example of what the ship can give - apart from HMS Queen Elizabeth what other ship in active service can operate even this small number of helicopters?

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

Postby SW1 » 31 May 2019, 17:09

Repulse wrote:Avoiding overloading the Amphibious thread with pics of RFA Argus, but the one below from a week ago is a great example of what the ship can give - apart from HMS Queen Elizabeth what other ship in active service can operate even this small number of helicopters?

Image


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

Postby Repulse » 31 May 2019, 17:39

Fair enough, but all on deck at the same time?
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Caribbean » 31 May 2019, 18:13

It has four spots and can hangar four aircraft, so I guess it could get them all on deck at the same time.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Aethulwulf » 31 May 2019, 18:16

Photo is from Baltic Protector 19. From what I hear, I would not be surprised if the End Ex lessons again show major issues with Argus as a surrogate helicopter carrier.

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

Postby Repulse » 31 May 2019, 21:40

Caribbean wrote:It has four spots and can hangar four aircraft, so I guess it could get them all on deck at the same time.


The Forts? I was answering SW1s point - should have been clear but hate just copying and pasting comments.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 31 May 2019, 21:42

Aethulwulf wrote:Photo is from Baltic Protector 19. From what I hear, I would not be surprised if the End Ex lessons again show major issues with Argus as a surrogate helicopter carrier.


Anything would have (limiting) “issues” compared to a CVF or an Ocean replacement, but seeing the former will never be 100% available as a LPH and the latter is not on the cards it’s better than nothing. Hopefully a few lessons are being learnt for a replacement however.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Scimitar54 » 31 May 2019, 22:32

How do we get to where we want to be? How about getting Argus to "soldier on" along with Albion & Bulwark and their limited helicopter facilities, until all three are replaced by 2 x LHDs in the 2030's. Agreed, the situation will be far from ideal in the short to medium term, but it would be spending the money where it will have the maximum impact. :idea:


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