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Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
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Tiny Toy
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Tiny Toy » 22 Dec 2015, 16:18

I already have, and have shown exactly where it should be if it existed. But it doesn't exist. It seems that this is an urban myth based on a misreading of Article 9 of the 3rd Hague Convention, which as I have said we did not ratify in any case.

If cannot be arsed to actually back up your assertion with a link to the law which is publicly available for all to see, but instead gesture vaguely at hearsay, why should we be bothered to listen to the assertion in the first place? At the moment your argument goes "we shouldn't build a hospital ship because a bloke down the pub told me we shouldn't".

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby jimthelad » 22 Dec 2015, 17:15

I am minded to agree with Arfah but I too can't be arsed to embark on an exercise in semantics. Cue putting kids to bed and Mulled wine I think! :lol:

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby seaspear » 22 Dec 2015, 18:11

There are a number of issues discussed that are addressed in the 1949 obligations on hospital ships by combatants , that is more up to date ,I found it curious that it seemed to read first aid and such on warships were somehow exempt from being targetted by another combatant

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby arfah » 22 Dec 2015, 18:17

-<>-<>-<>-
-<>-<>-<>-

Why this forum is pish!

1: Ineffective moderators
2: Too many fantasists ruining dedicated equipment threads with notions of what gun/mortar/artillery/missiles the equipment should have because it makes their panties moist.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby shark bait » 22 Dec 2015, 21:45

seaspear wrote:I was thinking along the lines of something of a similar size to a Canberra class with modifications allowing easy conversion when required to a large hospital facility/ship when needed , and had all of that classes capabilities after modifications changed again


I don't think something like that could legally be classed as a hospital ship. Something similar to the Canberra has a clear use for projecting military power and therefore couldn't be a hospital ship. I do believe the ships have a reasonably large medical facilities on board, but they are not afforded the same protection as a hospital ship.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby seaspear » 22 Dec 2015, 22:08

Article 22 16.1 requires ten days notice to the combatants of the use of a vessel as a hospital ship, 170.2 allows the ship and it does mention with the usage of misiles being deflected into the path of a hospital the allowance of purely deflective means of self defence ,Im not able to find a section that sets out what a hospital ship cant be and whether an obvious surplus military ship cant be converted for the duration of these hostilities , we need a lawyer on this

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby shark bait » 22 Dec 2015, 22:38

seaspear wrote:Article 22 16.1 requires ten days notice to the combatants of the use of a vessel as a hospital ship, 170.2 allows the ship and it does mention with the usage of misiles being deflected into the path of a hospital the allowance of purely deflective means of self defence ,Im not able to find a section that sets out what a hospital ship cant be and whether an obvious surplus military ship cant be converted for the duration of these hostilities , we need a lawyer on this


I wasn't necessarily speaking legally, just sailing a LHD around close to a battle is going to look suspicious.

In a real battle a hosptal ship cannot take part in any other role, so using your valuable LHD in a hospital role is probably a bad idea.

ARTICLE 33. - vessels which have been transformed into hospital ships cannot be put to any other use throughout the duration of hostilities.


I think we do need a lawyer! :D
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby seaspear » 22 Dec 2015, 22:49

On the international register of hospital ships is the San Guisto l9894 also a lhd of the Italian navy that though not technically a hospital ship is registered for that use and can be converted to that use

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Tiny Toy » 23 Dec 2015, 12:11

arfah wrote:Fact3: A hospital ship cannot send those deemed Hors de Combat back to combat without risking its protected status.

Fact3 is not a fact, in fact it's not true. Here are the exact and only reasons for which a hospital ship can lose its protected status (Article 35 of 1949 GENEVA CONVENTION (II) FOR AMELIORATION OF CONDITION OF WOUNDED, SICK, SHIPWRECKED MEMBERS OF ARMED FORCES AT SEA):

The following conditions shall not be considered as depriving hospital ships or sick-bays of vessels of the protection due to them:
1. The fact that the crews of ships or sick-bays are armed for the maintenance of order, for their own defence or that of the sick and wounded.
2. The presence on board of apparatus exclusively intended to facilitate navigation or communication.
3. The discovery on board hospital ships or in sick-bays of portable arms and ammunition taken from the wounded, sick and shipwrecked and not yet handed to the proper service.
4. The fact that the humanitarian activities of hospital ships and sickbays of vessels or of the crews extend to the care of wounded, sick or shipwrecked civilians.
5. The transport of equipment and of personnel intended exclusively for medical duties, over and above the normal requirements.


It is absolutely fine for a hospital ship to allow patients to return to their duties once they are well, and in doing so they lose their hors de combat status. If they have been captured and are POWs, they're not going to be released back to the enemy to fight - that is a different situation and has nothing to do with hospital ships per se.

NB (2) above includes the whole thing about cryptography not being allowed aboard hospital ships, if you were wondering.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby seaspear » 23 Dec 2015, 13:58

So it might be that a ship like a lhd may be disarmed painted white with red croses registered as a hospital ship, advanced notice of ten days given to all combatants and be acceptable in that role providing it conforms with the legal requirements of its conduct as a hospital ship

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Tiny Toy » 23 Dec 2015, 15:08

seaspear wrote:So it might be that a ship like a lhd may be disarmed painted white with red croses registered as a hospital ship, advanced notice of ten days given to all combatants and be acceptable in that role providing it conforms with the legal requirements of its conduct as a hospital ship

Absolutely. As to how difficult it would be to disarm (including complete removal of all cryptographic equipment) such a vessel at short notice, that's another question.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby shark bait » 19 Jan 2016, 07:40

From the SDSR fact sheet, commenting on joint force 2025

Continuing to provide world-class Defence Medical Services at home and on operations.


Going to become difficult with Argus being withdrawn in 2024, and no replacement plan as yet.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Engaging Strategy » 19 Jan 2016, 08:35

shark bait wrote:Going to become difficult with Argus being withdrawn in 2024, and no replacement plan as yet.


Might see some of the more long term items appear as part of the national shipbuilding strategy to be announced later this year. Might see Argus run for a few years beyond 2024, but she'll probably be replaced soon after the SSS programme completes and yard space is freed up.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby marktigger » 19 Jan 2016, 09:33

and they can have a "guard force" who are armed as medical are allowed to carry personal weapons for the protection of themselves and their casualties.

However whether this would include self defence systems like CIWS would be interesting to look at under internetional law.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Engaging Strategy » 19 Jan 2016, 11:48

You could probably justify CIWS as a purely defensive system. Don't you have to regularly announce the location of a hospital ship to all warring parties (so it shouldn't be near your fleet, and therefore having missiles fired at it, anyway)?
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby marktigger » 19 Jan 2016, 12:12

it has to be in a defined geographic area from memory.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Halidon » 19 Jan 2016, 19:07

CIWS for Hospital Ships has been mooted in the US before but generally there's not been the desire to test the limits of Geneva's Hospital Ship rules. At least to the present day.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Poiuytrewq » 07 Jan 2019, 08:26

That's more like it :thumbup:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... zones.html

I will believe when I see it....

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Caribbean » 07 Jan 2019, 08:52

Indeed. Now make them into a floating medical school and use some of the aid money to help train more doctors and nurses for the NHS (win win for both defence and the NHS)
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2019, 09:13

An interesting proposal, but it sounds like they'll have to do some serious rule bending to get it through, so much so I would guess this turns into vapourware

Poiuytrewq wrote:That's more like it

Perhaps they should look at your point class concept.

Whilst it's not an amphibious assault platform, it could work well as a sea base for lower intensity tasks like delivering aid.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Poiuytrewq » 07 Jan 2019, 16:38

shark bait wrote:Perhaps they should look at your point class concept.

Whilst it's not an amphibious assault platform, it could work well as a sea base for lower intensity tasks like delivering aid.
I'm not sure who it was that claimed it was an Amphibious Assault platform? I see them as being multipurpose support vessels that would excel in the transportation of troops/vehicles and helicopters AFTER the initial assault phase.

One thing I am sure of is that they are too versatile and cost effective to ignore. Getting the optimum Hi/Lo mix is difficult, I think modified points could have a lot to offer.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Jan 2019, 17:02

Poiuytrewq wrote:Getting the optimum Hi/Lo mix is difficult, I think modified points could have a lot to offer.


Would having a roll-on Primary Casualty Receiving facility be a "first" or has it been done anywhere before?
- the so-called "ship's services" needed might be quite extensive and would need to be pre-installed, as opposed to driving AFVs or containerised supplies through that same space

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Poiuytrewq » 07 Jan 2019, 18:11

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Would having a roll-on Primary Casualty Receiving facility be a "first" or has it been done anywhere before?
Good question. I'm not aware of any globally.

This is something many of us have been suggesting for a long time. I am hoping Ms Mordaunt is proposing two general purpose HADR platforms rather than 2 dedicated hospital ships.

With an unlimited budget within reason, what would an optimised HADR platform with extensive PCRS facilities actually look like?

How much aviation?

How many landing spots?

Well dock, steel beach or Ro Ro?

LCU's, mexefloates or both?

How capable should the medical facility actually be?

What size of vehicle and cargo facilities are required?

Lots of questions, requires a bit of thought.....

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby Lord Jim » 07 Jan 2019, 18:27

A list of very valid questions, and one that will probably keep such a programme in the Assessment phase for years to come. In the mean time lets build some of those Dutch Bays with reasonable Hospital facilities already designed in, I wonder if these could be spun as actual Hospital ships, at least the Johan de Witts if operated by the RFA.

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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Jan 2019, 18:30

Poiuytrewq wrote:I am hoping Ms Mordaunt is proposing two general purpose HADR platforms rather than 2 dedicated hospital ships.

With an unlimited budget within reason


Well, they (I am not saying "she", as she only recently landed there) don't even know how to spend it... so "unlimited" in that sense


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