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Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.

What will be the result of the 'Lighter Frigate' programme?

Programme cancelled, RN down to 14 escorts
51
11%
Programme cancelled & replaced with GP T26
13
3%
A number of heavy OPVs spun as "frigates"
121
26%
An LCS-like modular ship
22
5%
A modernised Type 23
22
5%
A Type 26-lite
66
14%
Less than 5 hulls
21
4%
5 hulls
64
14%
More than 5 hulls
92
19%
 
Total votes: 472

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Feb 2020, 10:16

It is always amusing how much huffing and puffing there is around the 19 escorts (or below!) number. Take the reality as it is - or average over last 3 yrs - and you get the significant shortfalls from T45 and T23 availability
- the T45 "thing" can happen to any navy (especially to the ones who want to score "firsts" in applying some promising new tech)
- but the T23 LIFEX did not "just happen"... it was planned as a knee jerk reaction to a very long period of (political) inaction

So when folks read their bank statements, which one is more relevant: the EoM snapshot balance, or what the avg balance has been, through highs and lows?

BTW, what Zero Gravitas points out (graphing the alternatives, even though that was three years back so could be redone more accurately) falls perfectly in line with what is said above

NickC
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby NickC » 09 Feb 2020, 12:32

"Next-generation naval ships which operate in the complex threat scenarios must have a fixed panel AESA radar system to ensure robust surveillance & tracking performance."

Thales blurb on their recent bid for the four Finish Pohjanmaa Class Corvettes based on their SM400+ , a four panel antenna S-band AESA Multi-Function Radar, an improved development of the SMILE and the NS100-series S-band radars, Thales lost out to Saab who won the contract Oct 2019, with their dual band radar suite, 4A four panel AESA GaN S-band and 1X rotor AESA GaN X-band radars.

If you take Thales statement at face value the single rotor panel antenna Thales NS110 radar for the T31, as shown in latest image from Babcock, or by implication T26 with Artisan, T26 and T31 will be at high risk if operating independently in high threat area of air attack.

Thales not alone in their analyses that four panel radars have now become de rigueur for new frigates eg Australian Hunter, Canadian CSC, Dutch/Belgium Omega, French FDI/FTI, Italian PPA, Spanish F110 etc, the RN stand out as the exception as the other navies forecast above water threats growing exponentially in terms of complexity, coordination and speed, with missiles up to Mach 3, and possibly even faster with hypersonic.

The heart of a radar is the management of its resources, it must direct its TRM's RF energy/dwell time to receive signals, process those signals, and then potentially redirect its RF energy based on its analysis. A radar operating in search mode based on the operating environment/expected threats and if it receives return from a certain bearing, range and altitude, the returns analysed with predetermined algorithms and based on the strength and number of repeated reflections determines that the reflections are, in fact not a false alarm, but a target. It then implements its tracking algorithms which radiate RF energy with required number of TRM's to ensure that the radar continues to receive reflections from the target, more if it has to burn through jamming eg Spear-EW, clutter, ducting. TRM's also required for midcourse guidance of the AAW missiles while simultaneously tracking multiple other targets and searching for new targets.

The algorithms use the analysis of the reflections to predict the location of the target allowing for error, faster/supersonic targets require more reflections in order to keep those predicted positions accurate, as time delays associated with the receipt of reflections, processing, predictive calculation require more resources. The delays can be significant, even if those times are measured in fractions of a second, when the AA missiles and targets are moving at high/supersonic speeds and/or are constantly changing course or speed.

If a group of TRM's are radiating to guide a missiles to target for the terminal phase of an engagement, they cannot radiate to search in another sector. A single target should be a trivial problem for a modern radar, given the computing power available to perform the calculations and issue the subsequent commands, however the system could soon be overwhelmed by high numbers of targets and conflicting/confusing demands with single rotor antenna.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby abc123 » 09 Feb 2020, 14:26

What's the price of that 57 mm gun?

Edit: Found it: US Navy payed for one about 9,5 mil. USD ( with inflation added ) in 2008, for their LCS.
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What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

Scimitar54
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Scimitar54 » 09 Feb 2020, 16:06

The inability to conduct Naval Gunfire Support. Meaning that for that role we will now have to risk using a first rate escort, with a consequent increased risk to the vessel(s) that the first rate escort was supposed to be escorting! :mrgreen:

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby serge750 » 09 Feb 2020, 17:00

Scimitar54 wrote:The inability to conduct Naval Gunfire Support. Meaning that for that role we will now have to risk using a first rate escort, with a consequent increased risk to the vessel(s) that the first rate escort was supposed to be escorting! :mrgreen:


If it would be "Risky" for a T26 to do naval gunfire support would that mean the situation is bad so it would be equally as risky for a bigger gun on a T31 to do it aswell? would you rather be on a T26 or a T31?

Scimitar54
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Scimitar54 » 09 Feb 2020, 17:18

I’d rather the Carrier Strike Group was able to retain it’s invaluable ASW Escorts, Removing the only vessels with 5” Guns and thus Hazarding the CSG could easily become a “ Game Ender”! To be of real value as an escort, the T31 [bmust[b] have a 5” Gun. Or are you suggesting that a vessel without an HMS, let alone a TAS (T31) should take the place of the T26 CSG Escort? Do HMG seriously think that they are going to get enough time to up-arm the T31s to be credible ASW or NGS vessels (or both) and install additional Sea-Ceptor, should a situation demand it? :mrgreen:

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 09 Feb 2020, 17:24

jonas wrote:
Ron5 wrote:I think the penny is finally dropping with some folks as to what a shit show the Type 31 program is turning out to be ..

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/only-seven-years-to-wait-until-the-royal-navy-gets-a-new-frigate/


Well no actually, if you also read the comments which I found more interesting, and which you contributed to. :D


Yes, I was surprised with the volume of "anything is better than nothing" crowd.

Not-a-Boffin is an odd commentator, he sings a different tune depending on which forum he posts. Maybe he is just a contrarian. So many of us are.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 09 Feb 2020, 17:26

ArmChairCivvy wrote:it was planned as a knee jerk reaction


Hard to do!! :D

Scimitar54
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Scimitar54 » 09 Feb 2020, 18:19

But maybe not for a bunch of “Knee-Jerkers”. :mrgreen:

serge750
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby serge750 » 09 Feb 2020, 19:34

I think we all agree the T31 ( as proposed ) will be just a gap filler to get to the 19 number,

I don't mind the concept of a cheaper ship to keep the numbers up & flag waving/lower end tasks etc, But if they are to be used as a proper frigate in a combat situation, a 5" gun & increased CAMM load out along with preferably mk 41 vls, sonar (hms or tas ) etc would be preferable to help lower the risks to the crews.

Hope if the T31 is part of the way forward a second higher spec batch will be built, as suggested selling of the first batch. or upgrading.

Lord Jim
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Feb 2020, 19:36

The most important change needed is that to long term funding, especially of complicated platforms and not the year on year micro management dictated by the Treasury.

Unfortunately we are going to be stuck with the T-31. How long it remains in service and whether it get any upgrades we shall have to see, but at least it will mean we can keep the eight T-26 for the priority work a.k.a. Carrier Escorts and maybe a singleton task. With the Carriers we will be most likely withdrawing from the MATO standing forces, other NATO members will have to fill the gaps, as out contributing a Carrier Group is a far greater capability.

Finally in no way does a ship need a 5" Gun to be an escort, a 57mm will do quite nicely and is the only thing on the T-31 I approve of.

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Feb 2020, 20:44

Lord Jim wrote:The most important change needed is that to long term funding, especially of complicated platforms and not the year on year micro management

Oh, you mean proper planning :) - rather than just filling in on contract notes, in last minute, for what's needed to keep the ships going... when new ones are not ;) arriving

As per that StRN article "We have discovered a fantastic new way of keeping on schedule, by moving planned in-service dates into the distant future, nothing will ever be delivered late."

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby dmereifield » 10 Feb 2020, 01:33

Ron5 wrote:
jonas wrote:
Ron5 wrote:I think the penny is finally dropping with some folks as to what a shit show the Type 31 program is turning out to be ..

https://www.savetheroyalnavy.org/only-seven-years-to-wait-until-the-royal-navy-gets-a-new-frigate/


Well no actually, if you also read the comments which I found more interesting, and which you contributed to. :D


Yes, I was surprised with the volume of "anything is better than nothing" crowd.

Not-a-Boffin is an odd commentator, he sings a different tune depending on which forum he posts. Maybe he is just a contrarian. So many of us are.


No we aren't!

Lord Jim
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Lord Jim » 10 Feb 2020, 02:27

ArmChairCivvy wrote:As per that StRN article "We have discovered a fantastic new way of keeping on schedule, by moving planned in-service dates into the distant future, nothing will ever be delivered late."

It also means most Contractor will get their delivery early or on time bonus :)

Scimitar54
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Scimitar54 » 10 Feb 2020, 08:52

If the RN never get the “Jam tomorrow”, then it will continue to shrink as HMG will always be able to argue that “You are managing without it” so WE obviously don’t need it. God it makes me feel sick, where the hell do they get these muppets from? :mrgreen:


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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 10 Feb 2020, 10:07

Upon contract, all contractor get honest. Before, it is just sales talk. The user needs to understand what they are going to ask for. Personally, Babcock's "claim" of schedule was un-reliable, at least (or dishonest, I shall say). Even I was able to see it from the far east.

MOD/RN must learn what it is to build a ship (or they actually knew it and just "acted" as Babcock wanted, playing the game).

On the other hand, as many says, current time schedule looks doable, although still challenging.

As already announced, in the T31 contract it is no more "all contractors responsibility" as originally planned. Now MOD/RN shares the risk = normal contract. This means, as Ron5-san is saying, increase in cost and delay in delivery is "highly likely". In this case, it is NOT because Babcock is dishonest, but because this is the first time ever they build an escort. We must be patient (not happy to write so, though...).

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby NickC » 10 Feb 2020, 11:14

Re possible sale of Italian FREMMs 9 and 10 to Egypt, general purpose variant, ships due to be commissioned March 2020 and April 2021 respectively.

What was of interest are the cost figures on web, cannot vouch for authenticity though think correct, the Italian FREMMs built by Orizzonte Sistemi Navali SpA, a Fincantieri 51% and Leonardo 49% company, OSN FREMMs 9 and 10 funded from 2014 to total of €764 million.

If allowing for nominal inflation to say ~€800 million, €400 million per ship / ~£340 million per ship.

If £340 million FREMM taken as a baseline for a fully fitted out full fat frigate, no FFBMW, and compare to the similar sized T31 OPV, T31 baseline cost of £250 million looks in correct ballpark due to its very limited fit out, but if you take programme cost of ~£400 million per ship looks expensive, depends on what additional costs in programme that are not build costs to arrive at a semi-accurate apples to apples comparison.

PS FREMM sales price to Egypt said to be €600 million per ship, will include "export" profit margin, finance and guarantee costs plus training and support package, 10 years?

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RichardIC
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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby RichardIC » 10 Feb 2020, 11:45

NickC wrote:If allowing for nominal inflation to say ~€800 million, €400 million per ship / ~£340 million per ship.


Wiki, which I acknowledge isn't an authoritative source, gives the 2016 price of an Italian FREMM as 598m Euro, so north of £600 million today.

It's all nonsense because no-one hands over a cheque and walks off with a new class of frigate under their arm. There are significant extra costs associated with getting them operational.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 10 Feb 2020, 12:43

Isn't it clear that it is a bargain price?

Just imagine how much you can gain, if RN decide to throw away all 5 T31 and looking for sales? I think it will NOT be north of 200M GBP. Yes, with many support contract, you can gain some income later, but it is hidden.

In world standard, when you sell a ship, it does not contain much profit. See how cheap France sold their FREMM to Morocco. Still it is good for Italy or France, because the industry gains experience, labor gets their fee, and no need to "artificially slow down" their escort building program.

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Feb 2020, 14:34

RichardIC wrote:Wiki, which I acknowledge isn't an authoritative source, gives the 2016 price of an Italian FREMM as 598m Euro, so north of £600 million today.

That's right, and that is what gets handed back, in the state-to-state deal
- the MPs won't get upset (tax payers' money to e'f' Egypt?!)
- navy gets theirs cheaper though a tad later, and they, and associated companies, can give the support... ending up 'cost neutral' AND not like us : fewer ships ;)

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 12 Feb 2020, 16:32

Saw these on Twitter. Supposedly available on the Fife Councils website but darned if I could find them:

Image
Image
Image

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby SKB » 12 Feb 2020, 16:57

Complete waste of time and money. What happens after the 5 ships are all built? It then becomes an empty shed like the one in Portsmouth (and other dockyards) with no more orders, and repurposed to repair old RN minehunters.

Perhaps the future empty shed could be used to store Rosyth's growing flotilla of decommissioned nuclear submarines in a dry enclosed environment?! :mrgreen:

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Ron5 » 12 Feb 2020, 18:56

SKB wrote:Complete waste of time and money. What happens after the 5 ships are all built? It then becomes an empty shed like the one in Portsmouth (and other dockyards) with no more orders, and repurposed to repair old RN minehunters.

Perhaps the future empty shed could be used to store Rosyth's growing flotilla of decommissioned nuclear submarines in a dry enclosed environment?! :mrgreen:


So they can "compete" with Bae for the next order silly :D

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Re: Type 31 General Purpose Frigate [News Only]

Postby Jake1992 » 12 Feb 2020, 19:03

Ron5 wrote:
SKB wrote:Complete waste of time and money. What happens after the 5 ships are all built? It then becomes an empty shed like the one in Portsmouth (and other dockyards) with no more orders, and repurposed to repair old RN minehunters.

Perhaps the future empty shed could be used to store Rosyth's growing flotilla of decommissioned nuclear submarines in a dry enclosed environment?! :mrgreen:


So they can "compete" with Bae for the next order silly :D


But there won’t be enough orders to keep both going so one would end up on the brink.

The truth is a minimum of 25 escorts are needed for more than one reason, the RN say they need at least that number to do the roles be asked of them and that number would be the minimum to keep 2 escort builders going at 1 every 2 years each on average.


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