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River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Jan 2019, 13:10

Tempest414 wrote:If the Protectors could be picked up for the right price or swapped for HMS Clyde it would be a win win


You seldom get two bites at the "same" apple:
- we bought only one of the three "Protectors" that were for sale by the Finns
- let's buy some (more) NZ apples now :) (they are not lemons as budgetary reasons are behind their semi-retirement)?

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 10 Jan 2019, 15:54

Not Royal Navy related, neither new information, but, another "River B2" is taking shape in Thailand.
OPV-522 HMTS Trang (now renamed HTMS Prachuap Khiri Khan *1) has been taken out of the dock, for fit out. (*2)

Good to see UK-OPV further "export" (albeit only design + build support) taking real shape. Now there are 14 River OPVs active or under build. If we include their larger sisters "Khareef" in Oman, it is a fleet of 17. Not bad, actually.

*1: https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/genera ... ame-change.
*2: http://asian-defence-news.blogspot.com/ ... nched.html
fhIDLuw.jpg
OPV-522 HTMS Trang was Launched 2.jpg
OPV-522 HTMS Trang was Launched 1.jpg
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 12 Jan 2019, 10:22

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Now there are 14 River OPVs active or under build. If we include their larger sisters "Khareef" in Oman, it is a fleet of 17. Not bad, actually.
A surprisingly successful design.

I wonder how many more could be sold if HMG invested further in an RB3 design even just to support the export potential.

You have included the Khareef's in fleet of 17. Would Leander now need to be added if they ever hit the water? Leander does appear to be a natural design progression.

Personally I think the 103m Leander is probably a better bet than the RB3 for a Global Patrol Vessel in low threat environments if CAMM, Mk41's and/or AShM aren't required.
image.jpg
It would interesting to know the cost difference of an RB3 vs a 103m Leander.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 Jan 2019, 10:54

Poiuytrewq wrote:A surprisingly successful design.

I wonder how many more could be sold if HMG invested further in an RB3 design even just to support the export potential.

You have included the Khareef's in fleet of 17


Damen (the info is a year old) is going at that sort of annual rate:
"Damen Shipyards Group has compiled a comprehensive summary of its worldwide shipbuilding activities regarding Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs). The information shows that, with five vessels delivered in the last year and 15 currently under construction"
and STX was at some point clearly dominant globally
- both have used a globally dispersed model for their ops
- e.g. 10 of the mentioned Damen 15 were being built elsewhere, on a JV or licensing basis

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 12 Jan 2019, 11:38

Damen is clearly in a different league but that shouldn't take away from what the River class have achieved.

The Damen OPV designs are generally much more capable than the RB1's and RB2's but are they as seaworthy? I don't think so.

My concern is that we are pretty much reheating the River/Khareef design with Leander rather than moving it on to the next generation.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 Jan 2019, 11:44

Poiuytrewq wrote:more capable than the RB1's and RB2's but are they as seaworthy? I don't think so.


A good point; the "O" in OPV should receive more emphasis, so that the market segment is better defined (and thereby any comparisons are more relevant).

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 12 Jan 2019, 12:21

Poiuytrewq wrote:I wonder how many more could be sold if HMG invested further in an RB3 design even just to support the export potential.


I would say HMG have invested enough in the B2 River program at 635 million for 5 ships. However as we have seen from Donald adding to the current design can be done and for me this is were BAE is falling short concept work on this design could be done and put out on the website like Damen do

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 12 Jan 2019, 12:40

Poiuytrewq wrote:The Damen OPV designs are generally much more capable than the RB1's and RB2's but are they as seaworthy? I don't think so.

The Holland Class are a Damen OPV design - I would have thought that they are pretty seaworthy.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 12 Jan 2019, 12:51

Tempest414 wrote:I would say HMG have invested enough in the B2 River program at 635 million for 5 ships.
Its a lot and I agree it may be enough. The decision probably has to be taken in time to replace the RB1's, is it to be RB3 or MHPC?
However as we have seen from Donald adding to the current design can be done and for me this is were BAE is falling short concept work on this design could be done and put out on the website like Damen do
The BAE website is terrible compared to Damen. Very typical of a company with a market monopoly. Maybe the export success of the T26 will give an incentive to do better in this area. A very keen and proactive Cammell Laird could also help.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 12 Jan 2019, 12:58

Caribbean wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:The Damen OPV designs are generally much more capable than the RB1's and RB2's but are they as seaworthy? I don't think so.

The Holland Class are a Damen OPV design - I would have thought that they are pretty seaworthy.
No argument there but have the Hollands had any export success? Not that I am a aware of.

It was the other Damen OPV designs that I had in mind.

The Hollands are a very high spec and almost niche OPV design. Clearly superior to the Rivers in most aspects apart from top speed.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 12 Jan 2019, 13:03

ArmChairCivvy wrote:As for the last quote [above]
- typical law(yer) text
- put it in (there are no such ships?); should there be any... that should do it (as the max)?
... and you can always amend it, as long as the paragraph is there. Starting a "new" text, from nothing ... oohh, what will the other side say

There are actually four such ships, three operated by Pacific Nuclear Transport and one by International Nuclear Services, a subsidiary of the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (INS is UK based and owns 62% of PNTL, which is co-owned by a Japanese consortium and AREVA). All part of the Serco fleet and built to INF3 standard (double-hulled, reinforced, hold cooling and flooding capability, multiple-redundant systems, enhanced damage control etc, etc). The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (formerly the Atomic Energy Authority Police) provide security and operate the on-board weapons in transit. Very specialised and probably not suitable for inclusion in a Coastguard fleet :D
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 12 Jan 2019, 13:11

Poiuytrewq wrote:No argument there but have the Hollands had any export success? Not that I am a aware of.

It was the other Damen OPV designs that I had in mind.

The Hollands are a very high spec and almost niche OPV design. Clearly superior to the Rivers in most aspects apart from top speed.

Yes - the Hollands seem to fall into the "not quite a frigate" category, particularly the two with the iMasts. Probably "too much ship" for most nations looking for OPVs. All the other nations with a need for very long-ranged OPVs, with widely dispersed Overseas Territories have their own ship-building capability.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 12 Jan 2019, 14:39

What the development of Krabi and Trang for Thailand demonstrates is that there is very much a market in developing countries for a design that can be built locally. Ultimately this is what the export T26 success is but at a higher level.

Question is how to you monetarise this and use it to the benefit of the U.K. and its ship building industry. IMO evolving the River Class is a great opportunity in this area; what BAE needs to do is package up the build and design support services alongside giving add-on options, for example building some of the more complex modules whilst the local country builds the rest.

The problem with the River Class currently is that it doesn’t have a hangar and is too lightly armed for countries in higher treat areas than the English Channel.

This is where a little thought in a RB3 design taking design concepts from the Al Khareef Class would be a world beater, especially linked to finance options (inc leasing) backed by the City.

The problem with the Leander design as it is currently is that it is too much for the target countries.

A see the need for a few more RB3s in the RN for a number of roles, though they should be aimed around the 150mn mark and smaller based more on the original BAE Avenger design.
"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 Tempest414 » 12 Jan 2019, 16:24

As you all know I am not a big fan of a B3 River and would prefer to go to MHPC. However if a B3 River was to be built then maybe a 110 meter Avenger design laid out like so for 150 million could work

Core Crew of 70 but can be operated by a crew of 36
space for 60 more (giving total crew of 130)
Scanter 4100 radar
Hull mounted sonar
BAE - CMS
Wildcat capable Hangar
Merlim capable flight deck
1 x 57mm , 2 x 30mm , FFBNW Phalanx/ SeaRam ( weapon can come from pool when needed )

Plus replace the missile block with a working deck capable of carrying 4 20 foot containers or off board unmanned littoral ASW , MCM kit

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 12 Jan 2019, 16:59

Tempest414, I would also like to go straight to a MHPC design but in reality there’s probably another decade R&D of the off board systems and operating trials to be done before a good design could be matured.

Killing the T31e in its current form and replacing it with either a T26 + 4 RB3s or a 2 T26 + 3 RB3s (my preference being the latter is a bit more cash could be found) is needed in the short term.

I’d agree with your specification, but would add Artisan, permanently have a Phalanx CIWS on the hangar and have space for FFBNW amidships VLS.

Building the 3-4 RB3s in the next 5 years allows the T23 decommissioning schedule to be supported, with a small uptick in the T26 build schedule.
"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 ArmChairCivvy » 12 Jan 2019, 17:18

Poiuytrewq wrote:almost niche OPV design
It is. When the Dutch thought that there would not be any opposition turning up in the N. Sea, they decided to eliminate the layer below their destroyers (some went to Belgium, I think) and to put a class (was it 4 or 6?) of oversized OPVs in place, so that
- they could cross the ocean, to go fishing (that's the Caribbean presence)
- and spend a lot of time at sea, making economies for the rest of the fleet

Caribbean wrote:The Civil Nuclear Constabulary (formerly the Atomic Energy Authority Police)
and then there is the non-civil :D n. constabulary, ie. the designated part of the RM
- interesting about those specialised ships, btw

Repulse wrote: Krabi and Trang for Thailand demonstrates is that there is very much a market in developing countries for a design that can be built locally

- like the French Gowind, built in Malesia (with a v warlike fit-out)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 12 Jan 2019, 17:31

ArmChairCivvy wrote:and then there is the non-civil n. constabulary, ie. the designated part of the RM

True - but they are tasked more with the security of military nuclear stuff, like warheads. The CNC deal more with nuclear fuels and waste from the civilian sector. I'm sure the RM would be happy to "help out" though, if needed :)
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 12 Jan 2019, 18:03

Repulse wrote:I’d agree with your specification, but would add Artisan, permanently have a Phalanx CIWS on the hangar and have space for FFBNW amidships VLS.


For 150 million we would have to get Artisan almost free from the T23s also I can't see these ships getting VLS for this money the best we could hope for is if we got 4 ships for 600 million we might get 2 SeaRam units for the fleet which would allow the ships to scale up from 1 x 57mm , 2 x 30mm to 1 x 57mm , 2x 30mm , 1 x SeaRam with 11 ready missiles and 22 more in the magazine

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 12 Jan 2019, 18:19

Tempest414, yes assuming reuse of T23 Artisan. For the FFBNW VLS it’s just reserved “empty” space amidships, probably used as a gym or storage.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 Jan 2019, 18:56

Tempest414 wrote: allow the ships to scale up from 1 x 57mm , 2 x 30mm to 1 x 57mm , 2x 30mm , 1 x SeaRam with 11 ready missiles and 22 more in the magazine

Repulse wrote:assuming reuse of T23 Artisan


You could take the older Leander layout https://www.stlfinder.com/model/royal-n ... al/4498441 and play with it; so that the base radar would be just a surveillance one, but the other mast could take the T23 Artisan... if and when
- the base version being a patrol frigate/ OPV where the aft is a boat handling deck, perhaps with a surveillance UAV pad to make the best use of available space
- whereas in the more air-minded (with Artisan) version you would also beef up anti-air with SeaRam (that works equally well for anti-boat and much further out than the 30 mm's)

With such a scant fitting out the crew size could be kept down and as the size is no different from the Floreals (both more of today's OPV than frigate size) the range/endurance could be made to fit their task.
- presence being the one for both RB2s and T31s
- so doing some sort of 'minimum viable design' and its costing might be useful in getting the mix of the two types right... rather than just drifting away, for fun, with another design fantacy

Of what use could this sort of minimum viable concept be (when we already have the OPV one and T-31 is 'in the works' though still on a competitive basis)?
We could vary
• scenarios (not only external, as to which part of the world, together with whom... and against whom) but also RN taskings, standing ones and how the tasking would need to/ could change under each scenario
• ship types (in this case the OPV, T-31(s) and the average, i.e. the minimum concept)
• fleet composition (as for "the" cost optimum would come out, based on many viable and not too extreme scenarios)
• modular configuration for swappability (between ships in service), recyclability (from ships being decommissioned) and upgradeability (to brand new), finding out what the practical limits would be and whether the savings would be worth the bother
• crew composition (with size of crew a key parameter for life time costs)
• national standards (maintenance policy, habitability, picking naval vs. commercial stds and defining main aims in such a selection: e.g. for an OPV's survivability to avoid catastrophic failure ~ crew survival vs. for a frigate a higher standard ~ to avoid mission kill...)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Lord Jim » 12 Jan 2019, 20:10

Are we still talking about the B3 Rivers here or had it evolved into a discussion on the T-31?

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 12 Jan 2019, 20:55

Lord Jim wrote:Are we still talking about the B3 Rivers


Errm... what are they? And was gently trying to question why we would need more Patrol Vessels when we are actually getting 5 (or more) Patrol Frigates.
- answering all the bulleted points might come up with a justification, in some circumstances

I wanted to open up a discussion with that dimension included, but if I now need to plunge straight in and share my opinion: It is very unlikely. B3s are a fantasy fleet, and that will only (if even then) change if the Patrol/ Lighter Frigates should by any chance turn into a fantasy fleet.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 13 Jan 2019, 02:51

Poiuytrewq wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Now there are 14 River OPVs active or under build. If we include their larger sisters "Khareef" in Oman, it is a fleet of 17. Not bad, actually.
A surprisingly successful design.
...
You have included the Khareef's in fleet of 17. Would Leander now need to be added if they ever hit the water? Leander does appear to be a natural design progression.
1: If you directly "overlay" the ship design of River B1 to B2, and River B2 to Khareef, you can easily find how they are "improved" along the development.

And Leander is a design with 15m extension (I suspect 12m amidship and 3m astern) they are the family. (you can see a clear "straight inserted section amidship" in Leander model's photograph posted in T313 thread).

2: But, on "adding options to River OPV design", I think VT (and maybe BAES) is doing something.

-River B1 to B1.5 = can add a Merlin-capable flight deck to B1.

-River B1 to B2 =
-- add a 10m hull and increase the deck-hight by ~30 cm,
-- and locate a Merlin-capable flight deck, but retain ~10m long "mission deck" with a 15t crane and 2x ISO container slot. As the "mission deck" and the "flight deck" is seamless, further 4 ISO containers can be located on the latter.

-River B2 to Khareef =
-- increase the hull width by 1m (13.6 --> 14.6 m), add the hull length in a few places (bow, amidship) in total by 10m, and increase the deck-hight by further 30-50 cm
-- enclosed the anchor-capstan deck for stealth,
-- add a Wildcat-capable hangar
-- and add armaments as "an average heavy corvette".

Therefore, I think there are already many options based on "River OPV". Better "promotion" will be needed, than more "providing options".
river_opvs.jpg
Repulse wrote:...The problem with the River Class currently is that it doesn’t have a hangar and is too lightly armed for countries in higher treat areas than the English Channel.
May be. A helicopter hangar to a 90m ship is now becoming less demanding worldwide. We can see many of the 90m-class OPV and corvette do not have hangar anymore. But, still there will be some needs there, and preparing a simple example (maybe just a computer rendering, or try one of the River B2 with a hangar) for such promotion may be good.

Another clear "lack of option" is River B1 like simple OPV options. I understand now BAES is offering only River B2, not B1. But, River B1 is one of the pioneers of the generation of "bulky, good endurance, and very long sea-going days" offshore patrol vessel for EEZ/fishery tasks, and clearly there is a need here. River B2 is "too much" in many case. Maybe we need "River B2 light".

However, I strongly suggest UK/RN/MOD to invest more, and promote more the USV options. MCM will be the starter, but patrol/policing may be also important. Even (shallow water) ASW may come in. Type-26 is designed to carry 3 or 4 12m-class USVs. Type-31e also is required to carry 2. River B2 (as I've pointed out) can handle 9m or 12m-class USVs. Many of the existing OPVs and almost all of the existing escorts cannot handle such USVs.

It is a clear "special point" of UK offering. Note none of Damen cross-over design was sold, none of Absalon, and French escort design never has such flavor. It is very "British". May be French-way (using large PSV-like ship for USV, and keep the escort as "escort") will win, or British way may prevail. Possibly, both will remain. Then, UK's only option is to push it.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Jan 2019, 07:11

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:Are we still talking about the B3 Rivers


Errm... what are they? And was gently trying to question why we would need more Patrol Vessels when we are actually getting 5 (or more) Patrol Frigates.
- answering all the bulleted points might come up with a justification, in some circumstances

I wanted to open up a discussion with that dimension included, but if I now need to plunge straight in and share my opinion: It is very unlikely. B3s are a fantasy fleet, and that will only (if even then) change if the Patrol/ Lighter Frigates should by any chance turn into a fantasy fleet.


I agree with your verdict, and all this talk of a B3 River is pure fantasy. What it does show is that rather then try to turn the T-31e in to a true escort or as near to one as possible, we should stick to the RFI and build them as you described, namely as patrol frigates. This will get the "We need more Escorts", brigade a bit upset, but we may find more use for five Patrol Frigates whose role is understood, than five would be escorts that are not really fit for a true combat role, but will be put in harms way because it has been decided to class them as Escorts.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 13 Jan 2019, 10:49

Lord Jim, it’s the wrong thread but what you highlight is the crux of the debate. What is a “Patrol Frigate” and why do we need them rather than OPVs and real warships (call them escorts if you want).

The world is moving quickly, and the era of Western Nations “patrolling” far regions to uphold (the western view) of law and order against natives who are weak is over. I can only think of the Mediterranean where a Patrol ship may be of use, outside of UK BOT FIGS and WIGS commitments (where they are either a tripwire or in a low threat area protected by the US). For each of these a RB3 would be cheaper and have equal effect.

Can you honestly see a T31e “Patrolling” the Black Sea or the South China Sea, or even to that the Gulf? No - you either send a lower level vessel like a MCM/Survey Ship which is less aggressive or you send a real warship, SSN or CSG.

The RN needs to meet its FIGS, WIGS and GiGS (Mediterranean) commitments- but it needs real warships for everything else outside the U.K. EEZ which means more T26s currently. A RB3 gives the export opportunities that were part of the Shipbuilding Strategy.

The RN needs to forget the numbers games and think smarter, maximising the effect it can. For me, I think part funding / owning / manning joint T26s with the RNZN or RSN with perhaps a RFA Tanker working with regional allies would be a balanced and effective option. There are more, which IMO better than pretending a “snatch” T31e is anything more than a flimsy flag pole.
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