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River Class (OPV) (RN)

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 27 Dec 2018, 10:18

SW1 wrote: If more sophisticated asw is required then we assign an asw frigate


Or we make them to work as hubs and usv's would then work around them as spokes... greatly increasing the area(s) that can be covered as frigate sized ships will always be at a premium
- now, for that greater area (one frigate, one helicopter - so not always immediately available) the Japanese version of ASROC might hold some appeal (with its extended range and supersonic flight)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 27 Dec 2018, 10:56

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
SW1 wrote: If more sophisticated asw is required then we assign an asw frigate


Or we make them to work as hubs and usv's would then work around them as spokes... greatly increasing the area(s) that can be covered as frigate sized ships will always be at a premium
- now, for that greater area (one frigate, one helicopter - so not always immediately available) the Japanese version of ASROC might hold some appeal (with its extended range and supersonic flight)


Yes we would create a distributed network of sensors and use the type 23/26 to collate the picture and use a helicopter to attack.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 27 Dec 2018, 10:57

ArmChairCivvy wrote:the point though is that signal processing for eliminating self-noise must be pretty good

Indeed - a point that I have tried to make on occasion. Coupled with Donald-san's comments on the specific wavelengths generated by ships and used by sonar, it would appear that there might be some mileage in the idea.
It would be interesting to compare the performance of an OPV with BlueWatcher and Captas-1 or ST2400 against the known benchmark of a GP T23 with (the non-updated variant of) 2050. How many vessels, equipped in this way, would it need to equal the capabilities of a T23GP (it might be the other way around, of course, which would be embarrassing for the RN)? Also, if it can deal with the self-noise issues in a River, then might the combination be a good fit for the T31e , which is intended to have a "low-noise mode" and be suitable for "entry-level ASW"
SW1 wrote:You don’t need a river, though it could meet up with one and take on fuel to extend endurance.

Though I agree with your general argument, the fact is that the Rivers are capable of operating in far more difficult conditions than the small USV's demonstrated so far (which I see as operating more in the manner of the Harbour Patrol Launches of WW2, defending static points - though some did act as ASW cover for convoys heading for the Med and Africa). I would say worth trialling on a range of vessels of different sizes as well (Border Force cutters, anyone?).
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 27 Dec 2018, 11:13

Caribbean wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:the point though is that signal processing for eliminating self-noise must be pretty good

Indeed - a point that I have tried to make on occasion. Coupled with Donald-san's comments on the specific wavelengths generated by ships and used by sonar, it would appear that there might be some mileage in the idea.
It would be interesting to compare the performance of an OPV with BlueWatcher and Captas-1 or ST2400 against the known benchmark of a GP T23 with (the non-updated variant of) 2050. How many vessels, equipped in this way, would it need to equal the capabilities of a T23GP (it might be the other way around, of course, which would be embarrassing for the RN)? Also, if it can deal with the self-noise issues in a River, then might the combination be a good fit for the T31e , which is intended to have a "low-noise mode" and be suitable for "entry-level ASW"
SW1 wrote:You don’t need a river, though it could meet up with one and take on fuel to extend endurance.

Though I agree with your general argument, the fact is that the Rivers are capable of operating in far more difficult conditions than the small USV's demonstrated so far (which I see as operating more in the manner of the Harbour Patrol Launches of WW2, defending static points - though some did act as ASW cover for convoys heading for the Med and Africa). I would say worth trialling on a range of vessels of different sizes as well (Border Force cutters, anyone?).


The Israeli system has demonstrated capability to sea state 5 and survivability to sea state 6 in the North Sea to the Dutch and Belgians, obviously if you get bigger they can survive and endure more developing into the landing craft options the French have experimented with. A river is much bigger but from what I’ve read some of the asw systems will be limited to much the same as the smaller boats. We have a far idea where the Russia’s will be looking primarily around our naval bases and exercise areas, so you use the unmanned systems closer to shore then our asw frigates as we move more into blue water.

I wish we would trail actual systems in real world trails on 6 month operations rather than 2 week exercises but we seem scared to try in case it removes cash from sacred cows.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 27 Dec 2018, 11:45

i have to say my vision for littoral ASW on MHPC is more as a off board system with the main ship acting as a mother ship in the same way it would conducted MCM

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 27 Dec 2018, 13:29

River is 13.6m wide and 90m long, so it can go anywhere. Israeli SeaGull USV is good that they worked in sea state 5-6, but it is not clear if it is also true for ASW (I understand it was on MCM). This two things are both promising = good things.

But, I agree USV option will be "more advanced". Actually, ATLAS ARCIMS UAV has 2-sets of ASW version ordered from "somewhere". I understand it carries ATLAS ACTAS sonar.
https://www.naval-technology.com/contra ... -contract/

- The ACRIMS system is 11.2 m long, 3.4 m wide and 10-12 t including the mission systems. Therefore, River B2 can carry two of them, in both sides of the 15t crane (a slight re-arrangement in deck-plan might be needed). A 50-man capable "additional accommodation space" will easily accept the operators' team, and River B2s main accommodation area around the bridge itself has some redundant space. Clearly, this is one option.

# The same applies for Israeli Sea Gull USVs. Two can be carried on River B2, if needed.

- On the other hand, as shown by Thales' movie, River B2 with CAPTAS-1 (and Blue Watcher) is also a good example.

Apparently, the two options are both "doable", and "at what theater" and "against what threat" will define which options are better. As both systems has VDS, it can cover complex sea water conditions (e.g. river water floating above the salt water), which is a clear merit against any hull sonar.


By the way, to relieve the escorts' tasks, I think River B2 can be the primary option for shadowing Russian warships around UK water. It is so-so fast, so-so sea worthy, and very cheap to operate. Using escorts for such tasks is not efficient, I think.

----------- ARCIMS ---------
arcims.jpg
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby shark bait » 27 Dec 2018, 13:57

SW1 wrote:systems now exist to deploy these kind of systems (mcm/asw/surveillance) on usv’s primarily directly from shore especially from around the uk overwatch

What exists that could spend days tracking a submarine out at sea in all weathers?
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 27 Dec 2018, 14:11

shark bait wrote:
SW1 wrote:systems now exist to deploy these kind of systems (mcm/asw/surveillance) on usv’s primarily directly from shore especially from around the uk overwatch

What exists that could spend days tracking a submarine out at sea in all weathers?


How many days and in what weathers? USV (seagull) and UAV (reaper) systems operating as 4 vehicle orbits can sustain in theory for considerable number weeks. We’re talking around the uk not mid Atlantic.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby shark bait » 27 Dec 2018, 14:24

The small boats like seagull are a nice solution for protecting static infrastructure, but I've seen no evidence they can spend days tracking down a submarine in the shitty Scottish weather, which is exactly what's needed.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby SW1 » 27 Dec 2018, 14:32

shark bait wrote:The small boats like seagull are a nice solution for protecting static infrastructure, but I've seen no evidence they can spend days tracking down a submarine in the shitty Scottish weather, which is exactly what's needed.


Well we’re mainly talking screening around the Clyde and out off the coast of NI, seagull has already been demonstrated to the Dutch and Belgium navys in the North Sea operating to sea state 6 and 35knt winds. They have endurance of 4 days which is why you multiple ones and would help extend the net working with your frigate and air assets.
The towed array systems and sea sickness of ships crews limits the efforts of even frigates let alone a river.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 28 Dec 2018, 04:27

"USVs" and "CAPTAS-1" both are applicable to Type-31 frigates. As can be easily imagined, adding (even) CAPTAS-1 to T31 will be very promising.

But, as ASW-USV can be carried on 5 River B2, 5 T31e, 8 T26 (and even 3 Bays, 2 CVFs, 8-10 (?) MHCs (or 2 Echo)), it is more worth trying. And, as a test-bed, River B2 will be ideal because it needs the least man-power.

#Also I thing using 5 River B2 as the "Patrol" part of "MHPC", and leaving the rest as "MHC" = slow and bulky vessels is very efficient way for RN near term future. We must fully utilize it.

Personally, I think "USV-based shallow water ASW" will quickly see its limitation. However, there still be some area the "USV-based shallow water ASW" is needed (e.g. all entrance of important British ports, and part of, channel, north sea, baltic sea, Persian gulf, and Irish sea (too deep?)). Therefore, buying ~3 sets of such systems is no problem.

Establishing practical tactics is the most important. ASW is a system, not a warfare covered by a single asset. Getting used to USVs and even establishing new tactics for them will be very good for UK/RN.

Also, if the trial goes well, RN can buy more "USV-based shallow water ASW" sets for the 5 T31e (and even 8 T26). If not good, go for CAPTAS-1(2 or 4CI or 4(full)) options for T31e.

But yes, all of them needs money. (part of the reason I am very much "a cost cutter" in all other fields, such as amphibious vessels :D ).

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 28 Dec 2018, 07:45

SW1 wrote: we’re mainly talking screening around the Clyde and out off the coast of NI, seagull has already been demonstrated to the Dutch and Belgium navys in the North Sea operating to sea state 6 and 35knt winds. They have endurance of 4 days which is why you multiple ones

Yes, good horses for those courses

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 28 Dec 2018, 09:21

I’ve just tried to quote Donaldson on my iPhone, it copied the text but said it was from ArmChairCivvy - does anyone else get this?
"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 » 28 Dec 2018, 09:40

donald_of_tokyo, agree completely on focusing funds on escorts and off board capabilities. I’m a big fan of a third flattop primarily as it enables a cheaper RN/RFA amphibious mix (for what will effectively be a large raiding capability) but can also act as an ASW Carrier also (like Ocean did).

I’m reading a book “White Flag?”, only half way through but very enlightening and a good reminder on what is currently the real threats in the world and the players. Forget focusing on ISIS, whilst terrorism isn’t going away anytime soon, it needs to be balanced versus standing up against low level incursions and disruptions caused by Russia and China who are playing a long game.

Standing up to these two will be an international effort, but will require hard power (for RN this is CASD, CSGs and SSNs) backed up by lower level assets (MHPCs / MPAs / UAVs etc) which can be used to challenge incursions/ events without threatening to escalate using a Frigate / Destroyer. This is why sending HMS Echo to the Black Sea was a good move IMO.

I personally can see the B2 Rivers being used extensively for low level missions, and would still think a B3 River batch (with another T26 or two) a better investment than the T31e misfit.
"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 Caribbean » 28 Dec 2018, 15:38

Repulse wrote:I’ve just tried to quote Donaldson on my iPhone, it copied the text but said it was from ArmChairCivvy - does anyone else get this?

Yes - the mis-attribution of quotes within quotes is a "feature" of this software - it's a real PITA, particularly when you are on a phone - you are not alone
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 28 Dec 2018, 15:53

Don't worry guys, I am not one of those :) who would tear the rugby shirt to shreds... just for a small thing like that

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 28 Dec 2018, 16:06

Repulse wrote: This is why sending HMS Echo to the Black Sea was a good move IMO

And a perfect opportunity to update those submarine maps. :D
Repulse wrote: personally can see the B2 Rivers being used extensively for low level missions, and would still think a B3 River batch (with another T26 or two) a better investment than the T31e misfit.

I see the need for both. Two or three frigate-like B3 OPVs with hangar and more room for containers, for routine patrol, HADR and maritime security work (i.e. what the B2s should have been) and light frigates at the low-end of the T31 spectrum for the "challenging" role, where the risk of misunderstandings of a kinetic nature is much greater and a more survivable platform is needed, just in case things go pear-shaped.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Pongoglo » 29 Dec 2018, 10:47

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Compact VDS/TASS examples:

As the ship noise is not strong above ~1 kHz, while those VDS/TASS in active mode is using ~2 kHz (CAPTAS-1) or 22-29 kHz (ST2400), maybe "River B2 noisy" issue will not be a big problem.

Thales CAPTAS-1 (<2 kHz)
With Blue Watcher (hull-mounted FLASH), it is specifically designed for adding ASW capability to OPV-class ships.


Great video not seen this before and is this not the answer to the ASW dilema we have with T31 - does anyone know what it would cost ? To be honest I would be happy just with Blue Watcher as a start if it would make the maths work, and with CAPTAS 1 fitted FBNW. All the proposals we have seen to date specifically state that the space is reserved, certainly as regards Leander where the brochure refers to a 'large space' reserved for ASW under the flight deck, and I'm pretty sure that Babcock's did too. Sadly we now don't really seem to have a clue what either Team 31 or Atlas Elektronik are proposing but can be pretty certain that to compete with BAE both will have to include ASW as an upgrade path.

To return to the Rivers, this winter we are seeing poor souls risking their lives in the Channel on an almost daily basis to reach our shores and all we can seem to muster is a sole Border Force cutter tied up in Folkestone with the Home Secretary stating he 'may send another ' .IMHO we need to leave our very few available OPVs for what they are intended - where the hell are the Rivers? Even if we sent a handful of P2000s it would show that we as a nation care about lives, and regardless of colour or creed. To me defence is far more than war fighting and what is happening in our waters this winter is a national disgrace. Leave the Rivers to do what they are meant for, protecting our shores, ASW sits fair and square with the T31.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 29 Dec 2018, 12:29

Pongoglo wrote:Leave the Rivers to do what they are meant for, protecting our shores, ASW sits fair and square with the T31.


Assuming 1 B2 goes to be the FIGS and the B1s stay, then potentially you’d have 7 in UK waters. Adding an ASW capability to the B2s given the Russian motive to make mischief is a very good move IMO, especially as they can operate (to a basic level) ASW Merlins from their flight decks. Leaves the larger and more expensive kit for the North Atlantic and further afield.
"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 Caribbean » 29 Dec 2018, 15:24

Pongoglo wrote:To return to the Rivers, this winter we are seeing poor souls risking their lives in the Channel on an almost daily basis to reach our shores and all we can seem to muster is a sole Border Force cutter tied up in Folkestone with the Home Secretary stating he 'may send another ' .IMHO we need to leave our very few available OPVs for what they are intended - where the hell are the Rivers? Even if we sent a handful of P2000s it would show that we as a nation care about lives, and regardless of colour or creed. To me defence is far more than war fighting and what is happening in our waters this winter is a national disgrace. Leave the Rivers to do what they are meant for, protecting our shores, ASW sits fair and square with the T31.

Unfortunately, I think we have the old British malady of "demarcation" getting in the way. The RN doesn't do border control, it does Fishery Protection and the Border Force doesn't do rescue, that's the RNLI etc, etc.
I think we need a proper UK Coastguard, similar to, but not quite as militarised as the USCG, combining physical resources from the RN, UKBF, marine Police, civilian Fishery protection and possibly even some of the Serco resources, with each of the different law-enforcement agencies providing sea-going teams as needed, to be hosted by the UKCG. The RNLI should remain as it is, as a separate life-saving organisation outside of Government control
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 29 Dec 2018, 16:35

Caribbean wrote:we need a proper UK Coastguard, similar to, but not quite as militarised as the USCG, combining physical resources from the RN, UKBF, marine Police, civilian Fishery protection and possibly even some of the Serco resources, with each of the different law-enforcement agencies providing sea-going teams as needed, to be hosted by the UKCG. The RNLI should remain as it is


Like the idea (in principle) but we have already diluted the "assets base" by a multi-decade helicopter contract... so they and RNLI would stay as "sidekicks"
... so in this set-up, all that would happen is the RN getting denuded of their smallest vessels (bar MCM fleet; the ones remain dedicated to that purpose)

The career path to having command of a ship would look quite different from now.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 29 Dec 2018, 16:59

ArmChairCivvy wrote:The career path to having command of a ship would look quite different from now.

That is a reasonable consideration, but I would not see it as significant if the RN retains the River B2s. I would see the 3 x B1s, 13 x BF Cutters (with all eight 20m RHIBs now in service), plus a portion of the dozens of local council and Police-operated launches as the starting point. Add in the Fisheries Patrol aircraft (possibly add a couple) and possibly a couple of new, larger platforms for offshore patrol I would see it as a reasonable foundation to build on.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Lord Jim » 30 Dec 2018, 07:23

There would be fewer "Command", slots available I agree but all three services are still to top heavy with Officers of the rank of Group Captain (or equivalent) and above. There needs to be a more stringent hard career cut off in all three services beyond Squadron Leader, linked to Staff College and selection, where those that are not selected to move forward against a set number of slots leave the service. I have used RAF ranks as those are the ones I am familiar with.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 30 Dec 2018, 09:23

Caribbean wrote: 13 x BF Cutters (with all eight 20m RHIBs now in service)


I must say that I thought we would have raided the Scot's fisheries protection fleet, for the cutter numbers... before :D I read the part inside the brackets.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 30 Dec 2018, 11:43

for me if we were to go down the UKCG road I would go with transferring

From the RN
3 x B1 River 1 based in Orkney 1 in the North sea and 1 off the west coast of Scotland and NI
6 x Archer patrol boats

from Boarder force
all the 42 meter Cutters

I think this would be a good starting point


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