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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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RetroSicotte
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 11 Feb 2020, 20:09

donald_of_tokyo wrote:1: My major motivation (although just a guy in far east) comes from the fact that, SPEAR3 is primarily a land-attack missile. Thus, it will be produced in number, even 1000+. If the air-launched SPEAR3 and VL-SPEAR3 can share the majority of the airframe, it will be cheap. Mass production will never happen to SSM.

Correct, butt hat doesn't justify spending millions upon millions o na missile whos point of use is so niche and has mass overlap with other systems that it becomes a waste.

I like the CAMM being common in many part with ASRAAM. Short-range AAM is a missile to be mass produced. Sharing the components with frigate-launched SAM has a big merit, I guess. Can the same happen to SPEAR3? This is my sole point.

Specialized anti-ship 120 kg missile SeaVenom, vs common anti-surface/land 100 kg SPEAR3.

As a replacement for Sea Venom from helos? Sure. On escorts, pointless.

2: By the way, against modern escorts, swarm of SPEAR3 will be critical. Its warhead is small but still cannot be overlooked. So, any ASTER-equipped escort will rapidly consume their 16 ASTER15/30 try to shoot them down (here I suppose SPEAR3 is resilient against soft kill). As an intelligent modern missile, I understand SPEAR3 can easily arrange to do simultaneous swarm attack. I think it will be a nightmare?


If launched from air yes.

An escort will never be in viable range against a peer foe to ripple launch Spears. Not when most navies of that scale are slinging 500km+ AShMs at each other en masse.

Aethulwulf wrote:The real questions are:

A. How likely is it in the next ~20 years that a small scale UK force will be faced with an opposition force mostly armed with Toyota pick-up Technicals or other light armour, and these operations will be within a coastal area.

B. How much priority should be given to equipping UK forces for such a scenario, versus all of the other potential threats.

I would say the answer to A is greater than 50%. I don't know the answer to B.

More likely, but that doesn't justify wasting money on a weapon system that even in that scenario it might be used, is still an incredibly niche thing. Lets say it's a fantastic range for its size, out to 100km. That's still a tiny area. And every target that is not a moving one can be gunned. And those that do move need spotted from the air anyway. The odds that such a target is being spotted from the air, specifically by an asset which cannot target itself, or have another asset capable of launching the same munition even faster and even further nearby, and is within the small range of a ship off the coast, but has no air assets in the area to be tasked, and is not ceasing moving to simply be naval gunned...it's specifics within specifics within specifics. The requirement for weapons taking up VLS space and budget to account for JUST that instance is a huge waste.

ArmChairCivvy wrote:On the ship-to-ship 'front' I have made my views known:
- it won't kill 'anything' (of equivalence)
- but you can ripple launch, saturate the defences and 'blind' the opposing vessel(s) by taking most of their sensors out... as good as a mission kill that would be

And as I've already said, Spear-VLS is far too short a range to ever be used in such a manner. That sort of "knife fight" fleet to fleet firing of major escorts within 75-100km of each other simply does not exist in any sane manner today.

If you want to kill an escort, you hit it with Spears from aircraft, you set a sub on it, or you launch coordinated AShMs at it. it is suicide to entertain this notion of ships waltzing up with weapons a fifth of the range of the enemy until they can finally get a shot.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 11 Feb 2020, 22:45

Why would spear need to be on the main ship in a vls? Depending on size and weight in a more conventional launcher it could be mounted on a usv similar to the ones being used for the mcm work, launched from the frigate the usv could close the coast be on call to a littoral strike team on launch against radar or missile positions along a coast as part of a SEAD operation.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Aethulwulf » 11 Feb 2020, 23:17

RetroSicotte wrote:
Aethulwulf wrote:The real questions are:

A. How likely is it in the next ~20 years that a small scale UK force will be faced with an opposition force mostly armed with Toyota pick-up Technicals or other light armour, and these operations will be within a coastal area.

B. How much priority should be given to equipping UK forces for such a scenario, versus all of the other potential threats.

I would say the answer to A is greater than 50%. I don't know the answer to B.

More likely, but that doesn't justify wasting money on a weapon system that even in that scenario it might be used, is still an incredibly niche thing. Lets say it's a fantastic range for its size, out to 100km. That's still a tiny area. And every target that is not a moving one can be gunned. And those that do move need spotted from the air anyway. The odds that such a target is being spotted from the air, specifically by an asset which cannot target itself, or have another asset capable of launching the same munition even faster and even further nearby, and is within the small range of a ship off the coast, but has no air assets in the area to be tasked, and is not ceasing moving to simply be naval gunned...it's specifics within specifics within specifics. The requirement for weapons taking up VLS space and budget to account for JUST that instance is a huge waste.
I don't think it is as niche as you think...

1. A very large proportion of the world's population live within 100km or so of the coast.

2. When faced with the prospect of NGFS (or any sort of artillery), it's amazing how quickly any force learns to be mobile (or they hide within a civilian population). These days, most will already know that.

3. Naval gunnery has a large collateral effect. Makes it very hard for the UK to use in conflict zones that include civilians. Even precision rounds for naval guns do not approach the accuracy of dual mode Brimstone and hence, I presume Spear. NGFS is great for suppressing fire against a fixed site during a full-on fight, but very bad at trying to take out mobile targets moving around within an area full of civilians.

4. While operating in a pre-conflict "grey zone", a frigate (and maybe the future Littoral Strike Ship) could already be forward deployed to the region in question. Their transit into a particular Littoral area is almost normal business and much less likely to provoke a direct response than deployment of a carrier group or sqn of fast jets to the region. The covert landing of a small force (RM or SF) would be less risky if they were under the umbrella of Spear from a frigate, with a few small UAVs for spotters. Such a force could gather intel and, if need be, use Spear to take out key nodes of the enemy chain of command & control, weakening the enemy's anti-access system.

Basically, the thinking is the changing nature of future conflicts makes the use of precision munitions against fleeting targets more likely, and suppressing NGFS less likely. Whether such precision munitions need to fired from frigates, or other platforms, is of course debatable. Would make more sense for Spear on frigates if the frigates are forward deployed support a small Littoral Strike Group and if its relatively less expensive, exploiting the investment already made in air launched Spear.

On the matter of ship launched Spear for anti-ship, this would only be useful in scenarios against swarms of FIAC where a Wildcat with 20 Martlet is not adequate on its own. Pretty much zero utility against a Corvette (or bigger) armed with its own anti-ship missiles.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 11 Feb 2020, 23:30

Aethulwulf wrote:I don't think it is as niche as you think...

1. A very large proportion of the world's population live within 100km or so of the coast.

2. When faced with the prospect of NGFS (or any sort of artillery), it's amazing how quickly any force learns to be mobile (or they hide within a civilian population). These days, most will already know that.

3. Naval gunnery has a large collateral effect. Makes it very hard for the UK to use in conflict zones that include civilians. Even precision rounds for naval guns do not approach the accuracy of dual mode Brimstone and hence, I presume Spear. NGFS is great for suppressing fire against a fixed site during a full-on fight, but very bad at trying to take out mobile targets moving around within an area full of civilians.

4. While operating in a pre-conflict "grey zone", a frigate (and maybe the future Littoral Strike Ship) could already be forward deployed to the region in question. Their transit into a particular Littoral area is almost normal business and much less likely to provoke a direct response than deployment of a carrier group or sqn of fast jets to the region. The covert landing of a small force (RM or SF) would be less risky if they were under the umbrella of Spear from a frigate, with a few small UAVs for spotters. Such a force could gather intel and, if need be, use Spear to take out key nodes of the enemy chain of command & control, weakening the enemy's anti-access system.

Basically, the thinking is the changing nature of future conflicts makes the use of precision munitions against fleeting targets more likely, and suppressing NGFS less likely. Whether such precision munitions need to fired from frigates, or other platforms, is of course debatable.

On the matter of ship launched Spear for anti-ship, this would only be useful in scenarios against swarms of FIAC where a Wildcat with 20 Martlet is not adequate on its own. Pretty much zero utility against a Corvette (or bigger) armed with its own anti-ship missiles.

None of this addresses my point. That a ship equipped with a (very) short range land attack missile that has its only real relevant use against specific targets in specific areas spotted by a specific aircraft doing a specific thing in a specific range of something that the air cover is not already handling is niche beyond all compare.

Every single F-35 or Typhoon with Spear has a larger bubble of effect than the ship with the same weapon even if they were stationary in midair, and carry 8+ of the things each, and doesn't rely on them loitering around in the threat zone off a hostile coastline waiting for a target to appear within their tiny envelope.

Not a single other country in the world has even entertained the notion of a weapon like this, neither has the UK in any serious manner. There's a good reason. Because it's completely reundant, and an enormously expensive way to create a weapon that has barely any viable targets to justify the VLS space, the integration costs, and the added training, maintenance, logistics train for an effect that other platforms are already handling, and handling better, on a budget that already can barely afford the other major, essential capabilities that it cannot go without.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Aethulwulf » 11 Feb 2020, 23:36

And my point is that there are credible future scenarios involving small scale operations where F35s or Typhoons or other fast jets will not be present / deployed.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 12 Feb 2020, 01:23

Aethulwulf wrote:And my point is that there are credible future scenarios involving small scale operations where F35s or Typhoons or other fast jets will not be present / deployed.

Out of curiosity, such as?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 12 Feb 2020, 09:28

should spear 3 be part of the Wildcats weapons list even if the range drops to say 100 Km this could give a frigate a 200 to 400 km precision strike capability that fit nicely next to LMM and Sea Venom

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 12 Feb 2020, 10:44

We won't be giving the T-31s a missile with a 100km strike capability or a 5" Gun for NGFS. Both of these weapons put the platform carrying them in range of return fire to start with and that is that last place a T-31 want to be. The only two possible upgrades I can see the T-31s getting are possibly the five sets of Interim AShMs being bought for the T-23, when the latter are replaced by whatever the RN finally adopts, and maybe additional Sea Ceptor "Mushrooms", to bring each vessels loadout to 24. Until then the main striking power of the T-31 will be the Wildcat when one is embarked.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 12 Feb 2020, 10:47

Tempest414 wrote:should spear 3 be part of the Wildcats weapons list even if the range drops to say 100 Km this could give a frigate a 200 to 400 km precision strike capability that fit nicely next to LMM and Sea Venom

That is an angle I'd see as much more viable than a vertical launch version. Saves on VLS space, much less design hassle, actually provides an important capability.

To be honest, there's only one option I see as worthwhile on VLS for it, and that's Spear-EW. An escort having a launchable electronic warfare munition IS quite handy. Particularly given its much longer range than the normal version.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 12 Feb 2020, 14:10

Lord Jim wrote:We won't be giving the T-31s a missile with a 100km strike capability or a 5" Gun for NGFS..// The only two possible upgrades I can see the T-31s getting are possibly the five sets of Interim AShMs being bought for the T-23,


Slightly confused as appear contradictory, am I missing something?

Lord Jim wrote:We won't be giving the T-31s a missile with a 100km strike capability or a 5" Gun for NGFS.. Both of these weapons put the platform carrying them in range of return fire to start with and that is that last place a T-31 want to be.


Begs the question to why fitting the expensive NGFS to the T26 (~£180+ million Mk 45 for first 3) when high probability of being attacked by land AShM, third world Houthis rebels demonstrated the danger back in 2017 by taking out a Saudi ship.

Among my priority list for additions to T31 would be soft kill defence against AShMs and ASW defence against torpedos, Surface Ship Torpedo Defence and a HMS and LWTs to give some token teeth against subs.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 12 Feb 2020, 14:20

NickC wrote:Begs the question to why fitting the expensive NGFS to the T26 (~£180+ million Mk 45 for first 3) when high probability of being attacked by land AShM, third world Houthis rebels demonstrated the danger back in 2017 by taking out a Saudi ship.
Not sure. If T26 cannot handle Houthis rebels' AShM, it will never be able to survive in real war and cannot defend QNLZ. Well-armed T26 used for NGFS is very reasonable, I think. Shortage of ASW frigate number is a problem, but in that case, just carry Merlin in full onboard QNLZ. For a few days when a single T26 approaches near shore, the Merlin fleet can do it.
Among my priority list for additions to T31 would be soft kill defence against AShMs and ASW defence against torpedos, Surface Ship Torpedo Defence and a HMS and LWTs to give some token teeth against subs.
Oh, I wasn't aware that most recent Babcock T31 rendering shows no AShM soft kill system onboard ! I totally agree it is the top priority.

See RNZN ANZAC frigate upgrade. I has
- DLF decoy
- MASS off-board ECM (or decoy launcher)
- Sea Sentor torpedo defense system
- and two types of ESMs and laser warning sensors.
Image

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SKB » 12 Feb 2020, 14:24

Royal Navy thread.... :yawn:

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 12 Feb 2020, 14:28

SKB wrote:Royal Navy thread.... :yawn:
??

I am talking about Royal Navy. Should I also put the T31 rendering, for comparison?
Then here it is. Easily, it lacks many soft-kill kits as RNZN 3600t frigate has. Image

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 12 Feb 2020, 16:20

NickC wrote:Slightly confused as appear contradictory, am I missing something?


The suggestion was to fit SPEAR to the T-31 to give it a precision land attack capability, where as getting hand me downs in the 2030s in the form of an AShM could be a possibility, though the five sets could go to the T-45s I suppose. And yes I know that some of the contenders for the Interim AShM have a secondary land attack capability.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 13 Feb 2020, 10:25

Mention of "Sea" SPEAR.

Possible outside contender for the short term "interim" RN AShM requirement ? The Italian MARTE-ER (Extended Range) had a second successful test firing yesterday at the Poligono Interforze del Salto di Quirra test range in Sardinia hitting a floating target with "almost zero" miss distance after a flight of about 100 km, which included several major manoeuvres including very low sea-skimming at very high speed.

Marte-ER range ~100km with its turbojet engine; combined INS/GPS guidance system and the up to three 3D waypoints; 3.6m lenth; weight 330kg; 70kg semi-armour piercing warhead; new active RF radar seeker.

Of interest if MBDA bids with either or both French Exocet 780kg and Italian Marte-ER 330kg, presume whether MOD/RN priority is capabilities or cost/numbers.

PS The Finns 2018 choice for the Hamina Class and Squadron 2020 Class vessels was the Israeli Gabriel V as a result of competitive bidding against the Harpoon Block II+ ER, Kongsberg NSM, MBDA Exocet MM40 Block 3 and Saab RBS15

From <https://www.mbda-systems.com/press-releases/new-marte-er-missile-on-target-in-second-test-firing/>
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 13 Feb 2020, 10:53

If the RN buy 5 sets of I-SSGW for the T-23 ASW's is there any sense in keeping 10 of the 17 odd sets of Harpoon 5 for the T-45 and 5 for T-31 or is Harpoon to old and to costly to be of any use on these ships now

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 13 Feb 2020, 13:21

You mean the marte anti ship missile that Italians use on merlin helicopters and that is being integrated on typhoon for Kuwait also has a version that can be fired from a ship..... The MoD selecting such a weapons family would cause confusion, much better to select multiple different weapons from multiple different suppliers or just gap the requirement all together.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 13 Feb 2020, 13:37

SW1 wrote:or just gap the requirement all together.


Yep.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 13 Feb 2020, 17:00

SW1 wrote:You mean the marte anti ship missile that Italians use on merlin helicopters and that is being integrated on typhoon for Kuwait also has a version that can be fired from a ship..... The MoD selecting such a weapons family would cause confusion, much better to select multiple different weapons from multiple different suppliers or just gap the requirement all together.


Yeah, super idea, let's chuck the whole complex weapons strategy in the bin and start over.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 13 Feb 2020, 18:27

Yes because of course mbda isn’t the prime for complex weapons and Italy of course isn’t a partner nation on the next generation fast jet program oh wait a minute... Yet we are on the look out for an interim anti ship missile which so happens there is an option made by mbda which the Italian already have in service integrated on merlin our principle maritime heavy helicopter platform and in the process of being integrated onto our principle fast jet platform as well as being available in ship launched format. So in a cash constrained era we have an option where the expensive bit (platform integration) is already there so possibly affording a simple bridge to the next generation with a weapon built by our two principle partners in our future air weapons space.

Yep silly idea we should buy American instead.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 13 Feb 2020, 21:32

With the P-8 using Harpoon in RAF Service, at least initially, and these being the latest standard, wouldn't the cheapest and simplest way to achieve an interim ASHM capability to go to the US and either purchase or even borrow say 48 of the latest Harpoons. We would have to carry out some minor modification to he launchers and require some software updates , but as Harpoon is already used on both the T0-23 and T-45, both ship classes would be able to use the newer missile, which must be more cost effective and flexible that buying five sets of a new more expensive weapon systems and the upgrade work required to bring that into service.

Also given the location where the RN fits its current AShMs, surely that will limit the number f Interim weapons that could be carried as most current missile now use "Box" type launchers, Harpoon and Exocet being the exceptions.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby tomuk » 13 Feb 2020, 21:52

Lord Jim wrote:Also given the location where the RN fits its current AShMs, surely that will limit the number f Interim weapons that could be carried as most current missile now use "Box" type launchers, Harpoon and Exocet being the exceptions.


I don't see a problem fitting NSM in place of Harpoon. NSM in box launchers have been mounted on the bow of the Amercian LCS in a similar position to Harpoon on T23/T45.

https://gdmissionsystems.com/articles/2019/09/26/news-release-general-dynamics-enhances-lcs-10-with-new-missile-system

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 14 Feb 2020, 10:58

Lord Jim wrote:With the P-8 using Harpoon in RAF Service, at least initially, and these being the latest standard, wouldn't the cheapest and simplest way to achieve an interim ASHM capability to go to the US and either purchase or even borrow say 48 of the latest Harpoons. We would have to carry out some minor modification to he launchers and require some software updates , but as Harpoon is already used on both the T0-23 and T-45, both ship classes would be able to use the newer missile, which must be more cost effective and flexible that buying five sets of a new more expensive weapon systems and the upgrade work required to bring that into service.

Also given the location where the RN fits its current AShMs, surely that will limit the number f Interim weapons that could be carried as most current missile now use "Box" type launchers, Harpoon and Exocet being the exceptions.


Boeing did say that upgrading old Harpoon missile to Harpoon NG standard would cost 600,000 dollars and would give the upgraded missile a 300+ km range so given this if the UK was to go for upgrading say 136 missiles = 17 sets of 8 this would cost 81.6 million dollars or 62.7 million pounds. This could allow 6 sets for T-23 , 6 sets for T-45 and 5 sets for T-31

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Feb 2020, 13:44

tomuk wrote:I don't see a problem fitting NSM in place of Harpoon. NSM in box launchers have been mounted on the bow of the Amercian LCS in a similar position to Harpoon on T23/T45


That is not the issue, the space on both the T-45 and T-23 between the superstructure and the Missile silos is not that big and the dual 4 round Harpoon launchers almost totally fill this area. The Box launchers of NSM and other AShMs are far larger than the cylinders used for Harpoon, so could we fit eight box launchers in the same space.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 14 Feb 2020, 14:37

Tempest414 wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:With the P-8 using Harpoon in RAF Service, at least initially, and these being the latest standard, wouldn't the cheapest and simplest way to achieve an interim ASHM capability to go to the US and either purchase or even borrow say 48 of the latest Harpoons. We would have to carry out some minor modification to he launchers and require some software updates , but as Harpoon is already used on both the T0-23 and T-45, both ship classes would be able to use the newer missile, which must be more cost effective and flexible that buying five sets of a new more expensive weapon systems and the upgrade work required to bring that into service.

Also given the location where the RN fits its current AShMs, surely that will limit the number f Interim weapons that could be carried as most current missile now use "Box" type launchers, Harpoon and Exocet being the exceptions.


Boeing did say that upgrading old Harpoon missile to Harpoon NG standard would cost 600,000 dollars and would give the upgraded missile a 300+ km range so given this if the UK was to go for upgrading say 136 missiles = 17 sets of 8 this would cost 81.6 million dollars or 62.7 million pounds. This could allow 6 sets for T-23 , 6 sets for T-45 and 5 sets for T-31


Don't worry, the HMG will surely find a way to pay it at least 500 mil. USD and buy not more than 3 or 4 sets. :lol:
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