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River Class (OPV) (RN)

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donald_of_tokyo
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 29 Jul 2018, 08:03

Sorry this not fantasy for me. Just proposing to use River B2 with CVTF.

Mounting CIWS is not much different from mounting a UAV container, which I think is a serious proposal. Mounting CIWS is a serious proposal for me, much more realistic than adding a 57 mm gun, more realistic than UAV, and is very cheap solution. For example, if you dismount it (taking only a few days), it will become the original ship easily.

[edit] of course, I will follow the moderator’s suggestion. I just post this here, because this is not a news thread. But I agree this is “on the edge”. :D

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby dmereifield » 29 Jul 2018, 08:20

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:
Repulse wrote:1) UK EEZ and BOT protection
2) North Atlantic sea control in partnership with the US / CAN
3) Mediterranean SLOC control in partnership with the US / EU
4) Horn of Africa to Gulf SLOC control in partnership with US / EU and Oz
5) Far East SLOC Patrol in partnership with Oz / NZ
6) HADR (part time)
7) Global Power Projection (100%, 1 week notice)
...
Suggestions:
- The UK invests in facilities to forward base the T26 through RN bases (Gibraltar and Oman) and through joint support arrangements with Oz (who will operate the Hunter T26 derivative) then I think it’s quite feasible to get a 1:2 ratio of commitments to ships rather than the current 1:3 ratio.
...
Excluding the Ice Patrol ship and fast Patrol ships, this would give a surface fleet of:
2 x QEs
1 x LHD
6 x T45s
10 x T26s
18 x MHPCs
2 x RFA AORs
2 x RFA FSSs
2 x RFA LSDs
8 x RFA Tankers
...Then, this will give

CVTF: 2 CV, 2 T45, 4 T26 --> 50% on station (or two "6 month deployment" within 2 years) of a CVTF with 1 CV, 1 T45, 2 T26.

Remaining: it is "4 T45 and 6 T26" in your fleet. This will give us "1 T45 and 1 T26 always deployed", reserving 2 T26 for TAPS.
...
- [plan-B] in 50% of the time, RN deploys "1 CVTF and 1 T45", while in the other 50% "1 T45 and 2 T26".
...
In other words, since RN already cut APT-S, and by also cutting FRE-escorts, "6 T45 + 10 T26" fleet will work, to my understanding. Less hull = less tasks. Make it clear cut, so that UK people can "see" there is a cut.
The "6 T45 + 10 T26" fleet reminds me of up-arming River B2.

If the CVTF is made of 1 CV, 1 T45, 2 T26, 1 SSS and 1 AOR (it could be even less), I feel I want 1 (or 2) low-level patrol ship to look over "suspicious" fishery boats or fast incoming boats, while keeping the 3 escorts in position. I think River B2, slightly up-amred, can fill this "Aviso" role.

But, "two more T26" will eat all the 1.25B GBP budget reserved for T31e. This means, up-arming River B2 must be cheap.

My proposal is as follows:

1: Assign 2 River B2s to the 2 CVTF, 1 for 1.

2: Rip 4 CIWS from 2 T26, and mount them on River B2s, as follows. With no significant modernization on the hull, it will be relatively cheap.
スクリーンショット 2018-07-29 10.28.04.png

I think this "OPV-of-the-fleet" or "fleet Dispatch boat" will

- contact approaching "suspicious" ships/boats to take a visual inspection. T45 or T26 can be also sent, but for this kind of operations, River B2 armed with 2 CIWS and 2 7.62mm mini-guns has a capability comparable to these "billion pounds" escorts.

- despatch to some ports when the TF is cruising offshore, to "say hello", and accumulate information. Even though the ship looks "low level", it means "UK CVTF is nearing". It will make a good local news = show the flag.

- can be used as a guard-ship in air operations, leaving precious expensive helicopters "at rest".

- also be good for training. These OPV will be commanded by young leaders. They will be trained in solo-deployment (such as Falkland island guard ship and EEZ) in normal patrol, but when they join CVTF, they can have a good experience on "being along the fighting TF fleet".


Interesting stuff Donald. Aren't these roles the sort of thing that the T31 is (or was) intended to do? Assuming it is still going ahead...

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 29 Jul 2018, 08:23

I have to say I feel the UAV option would be more realistic once UAV's joins the main stream fleet and would give the Rivers a real step up in capability

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 29 Jul 2018, 08:45

It would be interesting to know what the thinking is behind the 16 ton crane and how much use it will get. Maybe on the last 2 ships replacing the crane with Phalanx mounts allowing these ship to be fitted with the weapon when deployed over seas

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 29 Jul 2018, 08:49

dmereifield wrote:Interesting stuff Donald. Aren't these roles the sort of thing that the T31 is (or was) intended to do? Assuming it is still going ahead...
Exactly it is the tasks T31e are expected to do. Because “more T26” discussion directly means “by cutting T31”, I am proposing to use River B2 opvs to cover them.

UAV containers are of course a good way, but it is not needed in CVTF.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 29 Jul 2018, 08:54

Tempest414 wrote:It would be interesting to know what the thinking is behind the 16 ton crane and how much use it will get. Maybe on the last 2 ships replacing the crane with Phalanx mounts allowing these ship to be fitted with the weapon when deployed over seas
I guess the crane is to handle containers by themselves. And my proposal actually is, we can place CIWS without touching the crane.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 29 Jul 2018, 08:56

I just feel the best way a lightly armed OPV can take a look at a suspicious ship is at arms length with a UAV

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 29 Jul 2018, 09:02

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:It would be interesting to know what the thinking is behind the 16 ton crane and how much use it will get. Maybe on the last 2 ships replacing the crane with Phalanx mounts allowing these ship to be fitted with the weapon when deployed over seas
I guess the crane is to handle containers by themselves. And my proposal actually is, we can place CIWS without touching the crane.


there is a lot of clutter there like the deck lighting bar would weapon clear this

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 29 Jul 2018, 09:09

donald_of_tokyo, My projected CVF group had 2 x T45s and 1 x T26, reason beingthe T26 is more use elsewhere (and could share support facilities with other nations) and if in a warm war against a nation like Libya (which had older subs) an additional T26 would be found or a SSN would escort though.

I do think a B2 River (and future MHPC) could have 3 significant roles to play:
- Picket ship for investigating suspicious surface contacts
- Additional ASW protection
- Contanerised / USV MCM

I think for this a containerised CAPTAS, anti torpedo defence and 2 CIWS could be added relatively cheaply. For the CIWS however I’d look to see how minor modifications could be made to sit the CIWS where the side 25mm guns sit on the Amazonas class.

Assigning 4 of the B2s to CVF duties would leave 1 for FIGS and require the B1 Rivers to remain/be reactivated for fisheries, until a Venari style MHPC programme comes on line.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 29 Jul 2018, 09:13

Tempest414 wrote:I just feel the best way a lightly armed OPV can take a look at a suspicious ship is at arms length with a UAV
In that case, CV itself can handle it. But I think UAV and a ship has a different role.
Tempest414 wrote:there is a lot of clutter there like the deck lighting bar would weapon clear this
Yes. But it is the deck lightning and can be moved, I guess.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 29 Jul 2018, 09:37

Apologies for being negative here but I just can't get excited about these vessels.

Given the current budget constraints I think HMG should swallow hard and put the RB2's up for sale and retain the RB1's until the MHPC Programme gets underway.

Fisheries Protection does not need vessels anything like as expensive as an RB2 or Venari 95. Money can be saved here.

The £400m to £500m sale price for the RB2's could be used to turbo charge the T31 programme, kick start the MHPC programme or modernise the Amphibious fleet.

This would be a painless cut with potentially game changing rewards.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 29 Jul 2018, 09:57

Turbo charge might be pushing it but another 100 million for type 31 would be great the other thing is it might be seen as the RN rejecting the ship which could make it hard to sell them

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Old RN » 29 Jul 2018, 10:01

If the RN wants to get more use from the B2s why do they not bolt the Army's CAMM version on to it. It could link to the current combat system and give them another medium range (25km) air defence node? In the context of even a Falklands 2 type scenario it would be of great value.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 29 Jul 2018, 10:06

Poiuytrewq, true that Fisheries does that require a vessel like a Venari MHPC, but that would not be its only role, and I’d see some of the current fisheries role being replaced by contracted ships say from Serco.

The MHPC roles would include:
- EEZ enforcement
- Lower level FRE duties
- ISR duties
- Anti terrorism
- MCM
- Littoral ASW

All of this is needed in the U.K. and BOT EEZ and increasingly will be needed more IMO. Also, these ships can escort HVUs.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby RichardIC » 29 Jul 2018, 10:46

donald_of_tokyo wrote:can be used as a guard-ship in air operations, leaving precious expensive helicopters "at rest".


Don’t have the speed.

Sorry, but they’d offer nothing to a carrier group. If anything they’d be an impediment.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Aethulwulf » 29 Jul 2018, 10:59

Poiuytrewq wrote:Apologies for being negative here but I just can't get excited about these vessels.

Given the current budget constraints I think HMG should swallow hard and put the RB2's up for sale and retain the RB1's until the MHPC Programme gets underway.

Fisheries Protection does not need vessels anything like as expensive as an RB2 or Venari 95. Money can be saved here.

The £400m to £500m sale price for the RB2's could be used to turbo charge the T31 programme, kick start the MHPC programme or modernise the Amphibious fleet.

This would be a painless cut with potentially game changing rewards.
A £400m to £500m sale price for the RB2s would not be possible. Who is going to buy the second hand RB2s?

A brand new Irish OPV can be bought for €70m. Brazil bought the Amazonas class for £66m each.

So £330m for all five RB2 might be possible, but only if a buyer can be found.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 29 Jul 2018, 11:14

RichardIC wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:can be used as a guard-ship in air operations, leaving precious expensive helicopters "at rest".


Don’t have the speed.

Sorry, but they’d offer nothing to a carrier group. If anything they’d be an impediment.


May be for full blue water operations, but transiting shallower and cluttered waters such as the Med, Red Sea, Gulf and Straights of Mallaca they can add significant value IMO.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 29 Jul 2018, 11:18

I don’t get the attitude of let’s just throw money away with the B2 Rivers, sure they could have been better designed (e.g. with a hangar) but they do have a role to play even in their current form. They will not just be Fisher Protection Ships, they will be reasonably fast EEZ patrol ships, have increased ISR capability over the B1s and also be able to refuel ASW Merlins in ASW ops. Agree that a little more cash can mean they can do more, but to throw hundreds of millions away is madness.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 29 Jul 2018, 11:40

Old RN wrote:If the RN wants to get more use from the B2s why do they not bolt the Army's CAMM version on to it. It could link to the current combat system and give them another medium range (25km) air defence node? In the context of even a Falklands 2 type scenario it would be of great value.
Who pays for it?
Surely not army. Spending a lot on River B2 will mean less hull.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 29 Jul 2018, 11:49

Repulse wrote:
RichardIC wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:can be used as a guard-ship in air operations, leaving precious expensive helicopters "at rest".


Don’t have the speed.

Sorry, but they’d offer nothing to a carrier group. If anything they’d be an impediment.


May be for full blue water operations, but transiting shallower and cluttered waters such as the Med, Red Sea, Gulf and Straights of Mallaca they can add significant value IMO.
With 25 knots top speed, and fleet speed being 16 knots to my understanding, in many situation I think it will work. River B2 is larger than WW2 River class frigates.

In war, RN will surge more escorts to join the TF, and River opvs will be doing other important jobs in other theater. I here proposing that River can support the TF in peace time operations.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby hovematlot » 29 Jul 2018, 12:03

I think the idea mooted by some of just 'bolting on' a CAPTAS winch etc is pie in the sky. Unless a hull is designed from the bottom up to be capable of taking the stresses and strains of towing something that long there is risk of a failure of the hull. HMS Lowestoft and the Towed Array Leander hulls had many problems associated with towing an Array with numerous fractures etc. They welded railway lines on the hull to try and stop them being pulled apart.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 29 Jul 2018, 12:14

Aethulwulf wrote:A £400m to £500m sale price for the RB2s would not be possible. Who is going to buy the second hand RB2s?
They are hardly 'second hand'. In my opinion if our extremely generous Foreign Aid budget was used to its full extent, the UK's Naval export sector would be the most competitive in the world. :D
A brand new Irish OPV can be bought for €70m. Brazil bought the Amazonas class for £66m each.
The Samuel Beckett Class are not quite up to a RB2 standard in multiple areas including being 2 knots slower but I admit both classes could patrol an EEZ equally well. The Amazonas deal was a bit of a convoluted affair and probably not a good basis on which to estimate a sale price in today's market.
So £330m for all five RB2 might be possible, but only if a buyer can be found.
If no additional money is forthcoming the cuts are coming. This is an area that can be cut with little loss of capability.

Repulse wrote:Poiuytrewq, true that Fisheries does that require a vessel like a Venari MHPC, but that would not be its only role, and I’d see some of the current fisheries role being replaced by contracted ships say from Serco.

The MHPC roles would include:
- EEZ enforcement
- Lower level FRE duties
- ISR duties
- Anti terrorism
- MCM
- Littoral ASW

All of this is needed in the U.K. and BOT EEZ and increasingly will be needed more IMO. Also, these ships can escort HVUs.
I understand it's part of a wider picture in an ideal world and If the money can be found to provide Venari 95's for EEZ patrol within a wider fleet rotation similar to what Tempest has proposed in the past I would be very happy.

In my opinion it a question of striking a balance between what is needed and what can be afforded and if over speccing EEZ patrol leads to cuts elsewhere I would not be in favour.

As ever it all boils down to the finance available.


Repulse wrote:Agree that a little more cash can mean they can do more, but to throw hundreds of millions away is madness.
The money has already been thrown away. Replacing the RB2's with simple EEZ patrol vessels would cost a similar amount to what the RB2's could be sold for. This would in turn support the UK's shipbuilding industry with additional orders in 8 to 10 years time when the RB1's are retired.

It's not ideal but tough choices will have to be made.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby RichardIC » 29 Jul 2018, 12:20

donald_of_tokyo wrote:With 25 knots top speed, and fleet speed being 16 knots to my understanding, in many situation I think it will work. River B2 is larger than WW2 River class frigates.


25kts in ideal flat calm conditions. They may keep up at fleet speed but not speed required to match a carrier launching heavy aircraft and trying to make max wind over deck in sea state whatever - and that’s precisely when you need a guard ship.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 29 Jul 2018, 12:40

RichardIC wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:With 25 knots top speed, and fleet speed being 16 knots to my understanding, in many situation I think it will work. River B2 is larger than WW2 River class frigates.
25kts in ideal flat calm conditions. They may keep up at fleet speed but not speed required to match a carrier launching heavy aircraft and trying to make max wind over deck in sea state whatever - and that’s precisely when you need a guard ship.
OK I understand. So, plain guard will not work, but all other may work?

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 29 Jul 2018, 14:06

hovematlot wrote:I think the idea mooted by some of just 'bolting on' a CAPTAS winch etc is pie in the sky. Unless a hull is designed from the bottom up to be capable of taking the stresses and strains of towing something that long there is risk of a failure of the hull. HMS Lowestoft and the Towed Array Leander hulls had many problems associated with towing an Array with numerous fractures etc. They welded railway lines on the hull to try and stop them being pulled apart.

A very good point. I think that, when discussing the possibility, we should not discount it entirely, but acknowledge that there are good reasons why systems like Captas-1 and Bluewatcher are designed and marketed as being suitable for OPV-class vessels (many of which are designed for towing, as part of their rescue capabilities). I am not aware that towing was a specific part of the River's design (does anyone have any info?), but I would be surprised if they didn't some capability in that area, as EEZ-patrol ships. The type of towed array chosen would have to recognise that design limitation. We then, of course, get to the debate as to whether the benefits of (say) a Captas-1/ Bluewatcher combo justify the costs of fitting them.

On the wider point of how the RB2s could be used, to my mind they will (by default rather that design) fill the C3/Global Corvette role, as envisaged 20+ years ago. Had they actually been built for that role, I suspect that they would have had the stretch to 100-105m, the hangar and additional facilities for boats and/ or container storage, but, for various reasons that didn't happen, so we are where we are. I think that we are going to see the RB2s pushed into roles that they were neither designed for, nor are particularly suitable for, until such time as a more appropriate vessel is available (i.e. T31 :D )
RichardIC wrote:25kts in ideal flat calm conditions. They may keep up at fleet speed but not speed required to match a carrier launching heavy aircraft and trying to make max wind over deck in sea state whatever - and that’s precisely when you need a guard ship.

Again, a good comment, but you have to also bear in mind that, other than in a flat calm, airspeed over the flight deck is always greater than speed in the water. Sea state is more likely to be the limiting factor for the smaller hull.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill


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