UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2016, 22:37

MHC, previously know as MHCP, is a big long programme aiming to establish unnamed, off board systems for Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic tasks. The project is expected to culminate with the production of a new platform to replace the Hunt, Sandown and Echo classes.

The project is still into early phases, with contracts out for 3 technology demonstrators, aiming to develop commercial ROV technologies and integrate them into a military system. Two main strands are currently being pursued during the project's Assessment Phase;

  • 1 - There is a joint UK-French project lead by Thales. The Maritime Mine Countermeasures (MMCM) demonstrator programme, under which an Anglo-French industry team led by Thales will prototype an unmanned 'system of systems' capable of performing end-to-end mine detection, classification, identification and neutralisation;

    This part of the program is not just a vehicle, but a system of systems using the Thales HALCYON USV amongst other vehicles.

    Image
  • 2 - The second main part is a UK only project lead by Atlas Elektronik for a new mine sweeper. The MHC Sweep capability demonstrator, under which Atlas Elektronik UK has been contracted to design and build a prototype multi-influence minesweeping system deployed from an 11 m unmanned surface vehicle (USV).

    The system is called ARCIMS and uses an unmanned version of the Hazard motor boat, that will will tow the sweep equiptment. It is essential a development of the SWIMS system obtained as an Urgent Operational Requirement for iraq

    Image
  • 3 - The third part is testing unmanned Hydrography equipment such as the REMUS 600 USV


Eventually around 2028 it is intended unmanned MCM will take over so this is a very slow transition to ensure the technology is fully matured and we maintain our world class MCM capabilities. Initially the unmanned systems will be operated from the hunt class which will be modified to launch and recover the vehicles more efficiently.
Image
The above is an image from the royal navy publication the naval enginer, and shows how they system is indnded to look in the future. A single USV, acting as the surface platform for multiple underwater systems depending on the role. It is envisaged it will be rapidly air transportable, and operated from land or a simple sea based platform.

update
At present we have;
  • ASV developing the unmanned surface vehicle / taxi
  • ASV also integrating UUV with the taxi including Comms and Launch & Recovery
  • kongsberg providing autonomous uderwater survay vehicles
  • Atlas Elektronik developing a towed sweeper
  • SAAB developing a mine hunter UUV and neutralizer
  • Thales developing a portable control centre
  • BAE developing a mission management system
  • Also menton of a UAV as a comms node, but no contract yet.
@LandSharkUK

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4599
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby marktigger » 07 Jan 2016, 22:59

the detection and survey is part of the picture. yes ROV are good you also still have requirements for clearance diving team. Do cable cutters and LL sweep still gt used?

User avatar
Engaging Strategy
Member
Posts: 775
Joined: 20 Dec 2015, 13:45
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby Engaging Strategy » 07 Jan 2016, 23:09

Is there a consensus that, even with a range of manned and unmanned offboard systems, both functions could be achieved with a single class? The MCM fleet should absolutely be rationalised with a single replacement for both the Hunts and Sandowns. Is it then worth trying to add a Hydrography requirement into the mix? Currently there are only two Echo Class ships, we won't be replacing them with more than two hydrographic MHCs so why not build a bespoke class but use as much common equipment with other classes as possible?

There's also the matter of HMS Scott, rumours are that she's used for sneaky beaky things as well as hydrographic work so we'll probably need a one off replacement for her unique capabilities as well. That can't be part of MHC.
Blog: http://engagingstrategy.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter: @EngageStrategy1

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4599
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby marktigger » 07 Jan 2016, 23:22

but into that mix you could also throw protector, Scott & Protector could be replaced with a common vessel tied into replacement of British Antarctic Survey & Royal Reasearch Ships?

User avatar
Engaging Strategy
Member
Posts: 775
Joined: 20 Dec 2015, 13:45
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby Engaging Strategy » 07 Jan 2016, 23:30

marktigger wrote:but into that mix you could also throw protector, Scott & Protector could be replaced with a common vessel tied into replacement of British Antarctic Survey & Royal Reasearch Ships?


I think the problem here is that, with regards to Scott, there are a lot of unknowns around her actual capabilities. As I said there have been rumours about her carrying equipment that's for "purposes other than hydrography" for a while. Protector is really just a simple civvy conversion, Scott is something very different. My bet is that she isn't very large and purpose built for no good reason.
Blog: http://engagingstrategy.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter: @EngageStrategy1

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4599
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby marktigger » 07 Jan 2016, 23:32

i'd say allot of vessels carry capabilities that aren't generally discussed

User avatar
Engaging Strategy
Member
Posts: 775
Joined: 20 Dec 2015, 13:45
Location: United Kingdom
Contact:

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby Engaging Strategy » 07 Jan 2016, 23:34

marktigger wrote:i'd say allot of vessels carry capabilities that aren't generally discussed


Absolutely, but there may be things about Scott that we don't know that would necessitate a bespoke purpose built replacement and rule out a simple civvy conversion like Protector.
Blog: http://engagingstrategy.blogspot.co.uk
Twitter: @EngageStrategy1

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4599
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby marktigger » 07 Jan 2016, 23:38

i'd say a new build like the BAS ship could meet the requirement but buying more than one again is an advantage

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 08 Jan 2016, 07:30

HMS Scott is defiantly something of an enigma, everything about her is an enigma, including her alternate purpose, I think the term 'survey' can mean multiple things, such as 'surveying' submarines. The way she is crewed and deployed is also unique within the Royal Navy I believe. Clearly she is a very specialist asset, and there is no indication that she is part of the MHC programme.


Engaging Strategy wrote:Is there a consensus that, even with a range of manned and unmanned offboard systems, both functions could be achieved with a single class? The MCM fleet should absolutely be rationalised with a single replacement for both the Hunts and Sandowns. Is it then worth trying to add a Hydrography requirement into the mix?


I think that is very much the end game for the programme. Rationalizing the hunts, sandowns and echos down to a single platform. That platforms is likely to be a cheap non specialist civilian modification. Instead the platform will gain its specialist capabilities from its off board sensors, which brings a whole host of advantages, its a trend I think we will start to see across all platforms once operating practices have been developed in the MCM domain.

I think it is very reasonable to merge the MCM and Hydrography roles, as there are clear parallels between the tasks.
@LandSharkUK

rec
Member
Posts: 241
Joined: 22 May 2015, 10:13

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby rec » 08 Jan 2016, 11:34

The Echoclass have a secondaryMCM role as did the Bulldog class before them

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4599
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby marktigger » 08 Jan 2016, 11:52

yes as HQ & motherships

donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 2541
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 08 Jan 2016, 13:28

# from river 1.5/2 thread.

shark bait wrote:The point is by 2030 when this move will be happening the system will all be off board, comprised of UUV/USV/UAV for the Mine countermeasure, hydrography and patrol parts

I know. What I said is, there will be assets in the mother ship: analysis system, MCM-"CIC", maitenance kits, controle systems and consoles for these UUV/USV/UAV. Is the plan to even containize all of these stuffs?

If yes, is it really cheap to do that? I really don't know.

Secondly, all of us should be aware that, UUV/USV/UAV-based MCM kit will be very very expensive. Making anything "remote controlable" is not an easy thing, and surely not a cheap task. I totally agree this is the way to go. But, I think it does not mean you can have an MCHC fleet "cheaper".

Modulated, UUV/USV-based MCM capability will surely add great flexibility and survivability in future RN MCM operations. But, it surely needs overhead ("tax" for modurarity) in addtion to the fact that the system itself must be expensive (another "tax" for remote-operation).

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 08 Jan 2016, 13:41

donald_of_tokyo wrote:But, I think it does not mean you can have an MCHC fleet "cheaper".


I wouldn't be so sure. One of the main driving factors is the adoption of commercially available ROV, into a military role, to lower costs. Adopting commercially available equipment should keep the system affordable.

I think it will certainly be less than the cost of a clearance diver.

Moving the systems off board also removes the need for complex composite platforms, and again you can fall back to cheaper commercially available platforms, helping to bring the costs down some more.

I don't think it will be a cheap system, but comparing it to the very specialist and dangerous roles humans preform it will be affordable.
@LandSharkUK

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 21 Jan 2016, 14:09

The talk of the Samuel Becket Class on the OPV thread made me think that a modified version could make a good MCHP vessel.

Needs more mission space at the back, and probably doesn't need the gun, and then you have something that looks a bit like the Echo class, which is part of the current MHCP fleet.

Purchased in bulk they could be afforded at under 50 million pounds from everybodies favorite little shipyard, Appledore. Sounds nice to me!
@LandSharkUK

donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 2541
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 21 Jan 2016, 14:31

shark bait wrote:The talk of the Samuel Becket Class on the OPV thread made me think that a modified version could make a good MCHP vessel.
Needs more mission space at the back, and probably doesn't need the gun, and then you have something that looks a bit like the Echo class, which is part of the current MHCP fleet.

In this case, why not use River B.1s? It has a large space (designated "multi mission space" it is), has the similar dimension, lack gun from the beginning... and what is more, you already have it and actually going to dispose it.

Doesn't it perfectly match your wish?

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 21 Jan 2016, 14:55

it could fit, but we only have 3 of those, we need more like 15+ of them.

I was thinking that may be a good option if we wanted something that still looks like a naval vessel. I don't think that is too important and an offshore support vessel should do the job perfectly well.
@LandSharkUK

donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 2541
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 21 Jan 2016, 15:26

Understood, you were talking about future.

I though about the "4 Sandowns" left. If we can convert the River B.1s to the RoV-based MCM kit carrier, they can be good trial vessels I suppose. Of course the conversion may not be cheap (navigation and kind-of-CMS you may need, in addition to the MCM system itself).

I think RN is planning to convert 4 (non-upgraded) Hunts to "RoV-based MCM kit carrier". I first thought this cost could be diverted to River B.1 conversion, but I was wrong. Anyway these 4 Hunts need upgrade.

In addition, the Sandowns are not yet obsolete and can do their jobs for another 10-15 years.

Thus, River B.1 conversion is in some sense need "pure additional cost" from the very lean resource left. Then, my plan end-up with agreeing to dispose and export River B.1 .... :oops:

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 21 Jan 2016, 16:24

Yes, it does sound a rather useful endeavour. And I was talking about the future, I've always thought something like the SD Victoria would be perfect as a future MCM ship, but someone mentioned to me she is not very good at sea, which made me think perhaps an offshore sippou vessel inst so good, and a more traditional naval ship would be. He could be talking rubbish of course!

There is a new statement on the hunt

To date, work to replace the propulsion system on four of the Hunt Class mine countermeasures vessels has been completed with the fifth due for completion later this year. Due to changes applied to the ships upkeep programme combined with the need to address emerging engineering issues, work on the remaining three vessels is now scheduled for completion by late 2019.


Changes in the upkeep program, could this be the addition of a hanger and a frame on the back? Or just boring maintenance issues?
@LandSharkUK

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4599
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby marktigger » 21 Jan 2016, 17:01

if we got the 4 hunts back we've passed on (maybe swop them for sandowns) and refitted them how long will the GRP hulls last?

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 07 Feb 2016, 00:33

Just browsing and spotted a design that looked like it would fit MHPC rather well
Image
@LandSharkUK

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4599
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby marktigger » 07 Feb 2016, 07:06

the 4 remaining sandowns could be used as along side training vessels and RNR sea training vessels

Caribbean
Senior Member
Posts: 1164
Joined: 09 Jan 2016, 19:08
Location: England

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby Caribbean » 07 Feb 2016, 19:47

shark bait wrote:Just browsing and spotted a design that looked like it would fit MHPC rather well


It looks to me as if someone at Ulstein has been reading about TD's SIMMS idea

Edit: I agree, though - an interesting concept, even if I'm not that keen on the shape. Maybe it'll grow on me
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 07 Feb 2016, 20:41

Caribbean wrote:It looks to me as if someone at Ulstein has been reading about TD's SIMMS idea


Just took another look at TD's concept and your right, it looks almost exactly the same. I quite liked the concept, would suite the 3C/MHC role very nicely.

I know what you mean about the shape, it doesn't look like a war ship, but its not meant to be a traditional warship. I don't think it would be worth making it look all angular and sexy just so it looks more like a fighty ship.
@LandSharkUK

donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 2541
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 08 Feb 2016, 00:52

shark bait wrote:Just browsing and spotted a design that looked like it would fit MHPC rather well...
How large is it? How much will it cost to be built under RN standard (damage control, CoG ...) ? I'm afraid you may have only 8, or even 6, of them for your 12 Hunts and Sandowns and 2 Echos replacement.

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5297
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Postby shark bait » 08 Feb 2016, 09:04

donald_of_tokyo wrote:How large is it? How much will it cost to be built under RN standard (damage control, CoG ...) ? I'm afraid you may have only 8, or even 6, of them for your 12 Hunts and Sandowns and 2 Echos replacement.


Don't know how big, but it looks pretty large. If it were up to me I would be wanting a platform bigger than 100m

The concept for this platform is centered around a cheap simple civilian hull. The concept calls for this to be more of an auxiliary warship for supporting off-board systems, so the mother ship can afford to have relaxed standards in pursuit of being savings. If built to military standards I agree there is no chance of getting the fleet we need. However there are a wealth of offshore support vessel designs we could leverage and adapt to this role which are cheap and utilitarian, which should allow a sizable fleet.

If we have a strong fleet of credible warships in the main escort fleet, I think it is acceptable to relax standards here, which will mostly be acting in support of the rest of the fleet.
@LandSharkUK


Return to “Royal Navy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bri, Bring Deeps, wurzeldub and 15 guests