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

Postby seaspear » 07 Jan 2019, 19:57

Often in areas of disaster much of the infrastructure is damaged like power generation ,should a specialist ship in this role have the ability to deliver heavy equipment and plant to carry it from the ship in robust conditions?

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

Postby Pseudo » 07 Jan 2019, 20:03

I've said this before and I think it's worth repeating. Two dedicated hospital ships paid for the DfID would provide very visible soft power both overseas and at home. The government often struggles to justify the size of the foreign aid budget because a lot of what it does isn't immediately visible, but these ships would provide much more tangible examples than statistics about the amount of aid distributed ever could.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 07 Jan 2019, 20:15

Pseudo wrote: The government often struggles to justify the size of the foreign aid budget because a lot of what it does isn't immediately visible [or is wasted?], but these ships would provide much more tangible


I agree with the tangible/ visible part.

We have been doing a good job keeping African dictators in (original) croc shoes and armoured Mercedeses
... they even have a trade union (African Union) that provides solidarity and insurance against premature and unplanned retirement

"Global Britain" can perhaps gets its act together and act "joined up" externally
... we know, by now, that a joined-up Gvmnt at home is a "vain wish" or a mirage appearing only momentarily. The latest outbreak of Mad Cow disease needed bringing in the army, to get some coordination in place
- This time around... we will see

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

Postby tomuk » 07 Jan 2019, 21:08

What about 3 mistral LHD. Used on rotation.
One - Painted white/red cross as hospital ship - defensive weapons. Caribbean Hurricane Season / Africa/Pacific Medicins Sans Frontier
Two - Grey full weapons fit - Royal Navy Use
Three - In refit/training swapping roles
Argus goes in the bin.

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

Postby Scimitar54 » 07 Jan 2019, 22:19

Paint them all grey, Dual use Amphib vessels. If not required for military operations, why should the citizens of any nation object to medical treatment from a military source. Why should the UN complain about it either. If one (or two) iare needed, then the budget required should be vired from the DOD to the MOD, without even a second thought. :mrgreen:

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

Postby Digger22 » 07 Jan 2019, 22:43

arfah wrote:-<>-<>-<>-


Is there something you wanted to say?

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

Postby Poiuytrewq » 08 Jan 2019, 11:38

tomuk wrote:What about 3 mistral LHD. Used on rotation.
One - Painted white/red cross as hospital ship - defensive weapons. Caribbean Hurricane Season / Africa/Pacific Medicins Sans Frontier
Two - Grey full weapons fit - Royal Navy Use
Three - In refit/training swapping roles
Argus goes in the bin.
Argus is due to decommission in 2024 anyway which could be the principal reason why this issue has hit the headlines. Many suspected that there had been no money allocated for an Argus replacement which would have seen the UK lose its PCRS capability. Hard to justify with an aid budget as large as the UK's.

To propose not one but 2 new HADR vessels is interesting. Could this be a signal that something else is due to be axed? Albion, Bulwark, Wave Ruler or the 3rd FSS vessel?

Regardless, this a massive opportunity for RN to reshuffle the currently badly unbalanced Amphibious pack. With a sympathetic DfID Secretary of State it's time for RN to get sharp elbows and make this work.

Based on previous experience I would suggest that the UK's most effective HADR platform was probably HMS Ocean. For a purely HADR platform Ocean's aviation element was a bit on the large side and 2 Chinook capable landing spots would probably be plenty. The 4 LCVP's would be excellent for disaster relief in flooded riverine zones and a couple of LCU's would be excellent for getting the heavy machinery ashore. A lift big enough to move an ISO from the vehicle deck up to the flight deck would also be a useful addition which of course Ocean had no trouble doing. The medical facilities would need to be extensive, probably in the region of 1500sqm, effectively taking a large chunk of Ocean's hanger space.

So bearing all that in mind my specification would as follows,

- 175m-200m x 28m-30m vessel built to an HMS Ocean standard.
- Minimum of 2 Chinook capable landing spots, ideally more.
- Hanger of at least 1000sqm to embark 2 unfolded Chinooks plus 2 Merlins or 6 Merlins.
- 4 LCVP on davits and 2 LCU's in a well dock.
- 750lm vehicle deck.
- 1500sqm medical facility.
- Accommodation for 500 crew/personnel.
- At least one lift from vehicle deck to flight deck.

So what are candidates?

If an LCU capability is required then LPH's are out, so it will have to be LPD's, LHD's or LSD's.

Based on the criteria above BAE's LHD design looks to be a good fit.

https://www.baesystems.com/en/download- ... 568205.pdf
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Can we really justify having 2 LHD's cruising around the world looking for an earthquake or a hurricane? It might be a tad over optimistic.

How about the Enforcer alternative?
image.jpg
image.jpg
At 195m x 29.5m the Enforcer 22000 LHD would be a good candidate and very similar to a Mistral configuration.

Realistically though, all those landing spots aren't really needed so unless RN really want to reshuffle the pack, LPD's are the most likely candidates.

As Lord Jim suggested previously, a Johan De Witt stretched out to 200m would fit the bill very well.
image.jpg


The original FSS concept would again appear to be a perfect fit. Might it see a resurrection now?
image.jpg


Personally I would be happy with any of the options above but I my initial reaction would be to explore the possibility of modifying the Albions. I think this would be a win win for RN. With a substantial superstructure modification the Albions could be fantastic HADR platforms and could still deliver another 15 to 20 years of sterling service.

That would allow RN to get on and build an appropriate LHD that incorporated the C&C from Ablion and then transfer Bulwarks C&C to PoW. This would make for a well balanced fleet. One LHD, 3 LSD's, 4 Points and the 2 Albions in reserve. The strength in depth would be impressive.

It's an attractive prospect but to be honest all of the available options are good, that is unless vessels are cut to make this happen....
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby shark bait » 08 Jan 2019, 11:58

Using the foreign development budget to build assault ships is dumb to the highest degree
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby RetroSicotte » 08 Jan 2019, 12:06

If anything is to come of it, it'll be converted commercial shipping. Simplest, proven concept.

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

Postby Tempest414 » 08 Jan 2019, 12:08

How about building 4 x 200 meter and 2 x 160 meter Enforcer hulls ( as these are the modern Bay ) and go with 1 LHD , 3 RFA LPDs and 2 RFA hospital ships it would give a lot commonality

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

Postby Poiuytrewq » 08 Jan 2019, 12:11

shark bait wrote:Using the foreign development budget to build assault ships is dumb to the highest degree
Care to elaborate?

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

Postby RichardIC » 08 Jan 2019, 12:45

Poiuytrewq wrote:shark bait wrote:
Using the foreign development budget to build assault ships is dumb to the highest degree
Care to elaborate?


Using the foreign development budget (which is for overseas aid) to build assault ships (which are warships right?... you posted lots of pics of military vessels) is dumb to the highest degree.

I understood. What's not to?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 08 Jan 2019, 12:53

"Should the Royal Navy have a real hospital ship", no.

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

Postby bobp » 08 Jan 2019, 13:29

I think the idea of a Hospital Ship has some merit, but should it be owned and run by the Navy I agree with Lord Jim NO. In addition where are you going to get the medical staff and nurses to man it, our NHS is already struggling. The running costs would not be affordable unless DFID paid all the bills, including fuel, supplies and salaries for those manning it.

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

Postby RichardIC » 08 Jan 2019, 14:39

Lord Jim wrote:"Should the Royal Navy have a real hospital ship", no.


Yeah, all that needs saying really.

One of the reasons I'm hardly looking at this board now is that every thread seems to be taken over by the fantasy fleet crowd. This is the first time I've looked at it since before Xmas, just to see if there were any interesting new discussions. Instead it's.... hospital ships.... let's have an LPD... what weapons could they carry?

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

Postby Lord Jim » 08 Jan 2019, 15:18

As I said above, the UK doesn't need a specialised Hospital ship, but having one or more LPDs with good medical facilities is a different matter which is why I proposed the platforms over in the Amphibious thread. Now if we could get other Departments to chip into part fund these platforms due to their ability to conduct non military roles such as HADR that would help matters. But that conversation is for the aforementioned thread.

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

Postby Jake1992 » 08 Jan 2019, 15:39

IMO 1 or 2 hospital ships would be a good thing for the UK if payed for out of the DFID budget, it would help in part justify the stupidly large budget and give a visual impact of soft power. On top of this we can see that hospital ships around the world from the US to China have been of great help to not just natural desaster areas but areas that were struck by disease.

There are 2 big questions hanging over this though, 1 is the design of the vessel what should it be able to to do and 2 is who pays not only for the construction but the running cost of them.

For me this is the best way to answer them

1 - I think they should be based on the SSS concept design that's been floating around it can been see above. This should be built in tandem with the 3 SSS. I would like to see it having 100-250 bed facility with a small 1 lcu well dock or at least an ability to lurnch and recover an LCVP, this would be to bring light medical vehicles and surplies to the area as well as bringing back larger numbers of none emgerance pacients back for treatment.
I don't think something along these lines based off a design that would be in use so allowing a decent number to be built would be too much to ask.

2 - the construction costs as is already being put forward should rightly come from the DFID budget I don't think that's up for question.
The running cost ( manning, fuel, upkeep, so on ) should come from the DFID budget unless they are used for a soley military operation, even if it's an operation like the Ebola outbreak where the military is involved the cost for these vessels in these cases should still come from DFID as it would be an aid operation.

I think we should stay well away from trying to turn these in full fat LPDs LPHs or so on as this would make it almost impossible to push the cost to the DFID, aswell as it making it much less likely to ever happen.

These vessels should be painting in the white and red and in turn not be armed ( making them proper hospital ships )

It's a multi win for HMG
1 - it gives them a visual justification to a public that is deeply unhappy with the size of the aid budget showing that it's not all just a waste
2 - it allows the RN to keep a high end medical capabilty ( even if it's not in house per say )
3 - it's large visual simble that Britain will remain global and increase its soft power.

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

Postby Poiuytrewq » 08 Jan 2019, 17:34

RichardIC wrote:Using the foreign development budget (which is for overseas aid) to build assault ships (which are warships right?... you posted lots of pics of military vessels) is dumb to the highest degree.

....Instead it's.... hospital ships.... let's have an LPD... what weapons could they carry?
Have you actually read what the Secretary of State said? Or did you just stop at the headline?

Here are a few relevant paragraphs,

.....Tens of millions of pounds in foreign aid money could be used to build ships to provide humanitarian relief – and help the Royal Navy....

....However, Miss Mordaunt claims the vessels’ dual role – by assisting in military operations when they are not needed as hospital ships in disaster zones. – will allay those fears.....

....In addition, the ships could even be used to host trade missions and promote Britain to the world, much like the Royal Yacht Britannia did before it was decommissioned in 1997....

....In a letter to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, a copy of which has been seen by the Daily Mail, former Armed Forces minister Miss Mordaunt said the ships could take the place in crises around the globe of Navy vessels, such as the RFA Mounts Bay,which has been stationed in the Caribbean during the hurricane season....

...She added: ‘We should also explore how this could support our military capabilities [and] take pressure off a stretched fleet.’....

...She told Mr Williamson the two departments have ‘an opportunity to think more radically and entrepreneurially about what could be delivered’, adding: ‘I am committed to demonstrating how UK aid and the Armed Forces can work closely together to achieve the best outcomes for the UK, and, as we approach the next spending review, that we are ensuring we are using our budgets in the smartest way possible.'...

....She said the vessels ‘could provide further presence Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean’....

...Department for International Development sources said officials believed that international rules would allow aid money to provide a ‘substantial’ share of the cost of the vessels, although the rest of the bill would have to be picked up by other departments....

...Under Miss Mordaunt’s plans, the new vessels would be fitted out to have the capability to act as hospital ships to help deal with casualties following natural disasters. They could also be used as a ‘forward operating base’ for aid workers, as well as delivering humanitarian aid....

....When not needed for disaster relief or by the Royal Navy, the vessels could be used as part of trade missions. Miss Mordaunt said the initiative could ‘build on our efforts to promote UK businesses overseas’....

It is clear that Ms Mordaunt is proposing not just hospital ships but vessels with a wider role.

- Able to provide humanitarian relief
- Able to operate as Hospital ships in disaster zones
- Able to host trade missions and promote Britain
- Able to replace the Bay in the Caribbean
- Able to act as forward operating base for aid staff
- Able to support military operations

It just so happens that LPH's, LHD's and LPD's excel in these kind of roles but feel free to enlighten us as to what vessels woud be more suitable for the above roles.

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

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 08 Jan 2019, 17:44

demonstrating how UK aid and the Armed Forces can work closely together to achieve the best outcomes for the UK, and, as we approach the next spending review, that we are ensuring we are using our budgets in the smartest way possible.'...


about time

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

Postby Jensy » 08 Jan 2019, 18:01

HMS Penny, a fine looking ship with impressive curved lines.....


In all seriousness though, could this be a role for The SoS's converted ferry concept?

Otherwise there seem to be a few small UK designs, like the BMT Salvas (optimised for HADR) that could fit the bill

https://www.bmt.org/sectors/defence-and-security/surface-systems/bmt-salvas-utility-auxiliary-ship/


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

Postby RichardIC » 09 Jan 2019, 06:50

Poiuytrewq wrote:Have you actually read what the Secretary of State said? Or did you just stop at the headline?


Did I stop at the headline? I didn’t start at the headline.

This is a thread called “should the Royal Navy have a real hospital ship?” Which I thought I’d take a quick look at as a brief diversion from work. At the point I joined it, it was being filled with pics of lots of different types of amphibious warships.

And I thought, “more fantasy fleet nonsense”, said so, and went back to work.

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

Postby shark bait » 09 Jan 2019, 08:07

Poiuytrewq wrote:Care to elaborate?


OK, "I want to buy some C17 out of the NHS budget because they'l be used for Medevac, I'll even paint them white!"

That would be seriously dumb, likewise buying assault ships from the international development budget is really dumb.
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Re: Should the royal navy have a real hospital ship?

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Jan 2019, 09:34


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

Postby Tempest414 » 09 Jan 2019, 12:45

shark bait wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:Care to elaborate?


OK, "I want to buy some C17 out of the NHS budget because they'l be used for Medevac, I'll even paint them white!"

That would be seriously dumb, likewise buying assault ships from the international development budget is really dumb.


Should the UK have one or two Hospital ships I think yes. Do I think they should be core crewed by the RFA yes. Do I think a Enforcer 10000 would a make good starting point yes and this is why. if we take this ship keep the flight deck and hangar reduce the well dock & vehicle deck to hold 2 x LCVPs , 10 land Rovers and 10 field Ambulances and then reconfigure the rest of the ship to hold 400 staff 3 operating theatres a 10 bed ICU , X ray , dentists plus 250 other beds we would have a very good ship able to pull up anywhere and start work on day one no matter what the job peace time or war

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

Postby RunningStrong » 09 Jan 2019, 13:58

Why are we sending it a abroad? Can't we just float it around the UK helping with the NHS waiting lists?


Jokes aside, I think we should have a military ship with a significantly sized hospital function within it. The DFiD/International Aid budget holders would agree prior to build to pay for use of the ship during non-military missions and perhaps for the duration of hurricane season.


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