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".
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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