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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
Tempest414
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 30 Apr 2019, 10:33

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:I will it again the NSS is looking the wrong way it is looking at exports when it should be looking at what ships the RN/RFA needs and how best to build them in the UK. I still feel there is enough work and up coming orders to keep 4 yards working

Yard 1 = SSBN , SSN ( plus if we wanted SSK)
Yard 2 = Tier 1 Escort fleet
Yard 3 = Tier 2 escort fleet + MHPC
Yard 4 = All Amphibious & RFA ships

Add to this that Port Talbot steel works should taken back into UK interest to make steel for MOD and the national rail system
Overall, I agree to your point. But, I prefer to make it 3 groups.

Yard 1 = BAE Barrow-in-Furness = SSBN , SSN ( plus if we wanted SSK)
Yard 2 = BAE Clyde/Scotstown = Tier 1 Escort fleet
Yard 3 = Cammell Laired = Tier 2 escort fleet + MHPC + All Amphibious & RFA ships

Keeping 2-3 more yards for maintenance/upgrade is no problem. But, "ship building" is highly skilled and infrastructure intensive business, if you want to keep it competitive. The "Yard 3" must aim at something like Damen, who builds patrol boats, corvettes, frigates, and LPDs, along with several non-military vessels, such as PSVs (and even some cargo-ships?).


You may well be right and I would be happy with this out come

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 30 Apr 2019, 15:19

But the NSbS wasn't about the Government propping up multiple ship building yards. It was about using the five T-31e as seed money to get one or more yards to invest in themselves and then stand on their own in the face of competition. And until the rules change this means for all vessels that are not classed as True Warships, competition from overseas yards. This was the key reason why exports was so heavily spun for the T-31e, with the hope follow on export orders would move things along.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 30 Apr 2019, 19:20

Lord Jim wrote:This was the key reason why exports was so heavily spun for the T-31e, with the hope follow on export orders would move things along.


Agreed, but given what’s on the market already being sold (at prices the UK cannot commercially compete with) “hope” is all we have - “no hope” and “Bob Hope” and Bob’s dead...
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 01 May 2019, 09:56

Lord Jim wrote:But the NSbS wasn't about the Government propping up multiple ship building yards.


quite right it was another attempt but HMG to push responsibility on to someone else. The thing is the RN and RFA need ships and like it or not it is in the national interest to have good naval yards and I do not think it unreasonable for HMG to invest in 3 yards using money already put side for Naval ship building and say the companies who own yards that they need to show true and real investment also in the National interest. For UK ship yards to have any hope they need a steady flow of work

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 01 May 2019, 22:11

You would probably get better value for the money, putting our eggs in one basket, forgetting this Scottish independence thing. If they go that way we just declare Rosyth area an English version of Kaliningrad and move the Paras there as a garrison. Faslane would become a Sovereign Territory Base like those in Cyprus but with a Royal Marine Garrison. Make these preconditions for and referendum in the first place :lol:

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 01 May 2019, 22:57

Lord Jim wrote:Make these preconditions for and referendum in the first place

Hmmm - interesting idea
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 02 May 2019, 03:44

The one essential pre-requisite seems to have been missed. Dissolution of Hollyrood if she loses. :idea:

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Halidon » 02 May 2019, 17:26

TACTICOS now has a foot in the door

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby dmereifield » 02 May 2019, 18:26

Halidon wrote:TACTICOS now has a foot in the door


Wow...CL and BAE might actually have a fight on their hands for the T31 after all

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Pongoglo » 03 May 2019, 11:27

Excuse my ignorance but presumably QEC have a BAE based CMS ?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby cyrilranch » 03 May 2019, 12:03

Surely the the bottom line is that the BAe CMS system is only a uk taxpayers system which does not compete with the rest world's systems.
Compared with the American ,swedish saab (9LV),french(Tacticos) all have sold worldwide and employed on more ships then the BAe cms.
I suspect we the taxpayers are paying thought the roof for a system which is about just good but not cutting edge to a company which has a monopoly on what goes on uk warships.just because its British (even through the company makes more products and profits in the states then here.)

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 05 May 2019, 12:21

A long weekend controversial but not fantasy question (given political movements and broader budget pressures): What should the RN do if the T31e gets scrapped and in its place is left say £250mn budget for Warships beyond what is committed for the T26 in the next 10yr budget?

My view is that a 100% available CSG should remain the bedrock of RN offensive strategy, along with TAPS/CASD and UK EEZ protection (inc FRE). This will require the 8 ASW T26s/T23s as specified plus the 6 T45s.

Some of the £1bn budget for the FSS could be saved by buying only 2 and keeping Ft Victoria longer, saving say £250mn. Assuming this could be transferred to the Warship budget then this would give £1/2bn.

With this, I think it would be a case of keeping longer what the RN has, plus making more of it:
- Keep the commissioning of T26s in-line with the decommissioning of the 8 ASW T23s.
- Reduce the 5 GP T23s down to 2 almost immediately, investing £100mn each on another LIFEX to see them into the 2030s (using bits from the other 3 as spares) - these can then be used to rotate a forward based T23 in the Gulf.
- Crewing all 6 T45s, spending £200mn on upgraded BDM capabilities plus putting in additional VLS initially for SeaCeptor.
- Bringing the 2nd LPD out of reserve, this would allow each CSG to have a LPD available plus Singleton flag waving like the recent Far East deployment.
- Purchase and refit HMS Clyde to continue as FIGS for say £50mn.
- Spend £50mn on minor modifications to the 5 B2 Rivers which will become the RN globe trotting ambassadors.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 May 2019, 08:15

Repulse wrote:- Purchase and refit HMS Clyde to continue as FIGS for say £50mn.
She is off to Brazil?

On the list, the first 250 mln is a premise. The others I would not do.
- as for the money above, I would back bringing the 2nd LPD out of reserve, this would allow each CSG to have a LPD available plus Singleton flag waving like the recent Far East deployment.
- with whatever left, I would buy better ship-to-shore connectors (including Force Protection boats over and above the current raiders; the project was put on ice after the CB90 trials... which went well!)

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 06 May 2019, 09:23

ArmChairCivvy wrote:She is off to Brazil?


Reportedly yes, but my view is that the threat level hasn’t significantly increased so with some work could do the job for another decade. If the threat rises a swap for a B2 could be done later.

The point of saving two of the GP T23s is to ensure there is a first rate escort in and near the Gulf. Whilst with another T26 to 9 T26s I think the RN could have a forward T26 EoS, with 8 it would be very occasional.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 06 May 2019, 10:29

what would swapping Clyde for a B2 again you unless the B2's were up armed both Clyde and Forth have

Scanter 4100 radar
merlin flight deck
30mm and mini-guns
and so on
Forth is a bit faster at 24 knots over 21 and can stay at sea a week longer that is it right now

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 06 May 2019, 10:38

Tempest414 wrote:what would swapping Clyde for a B2 again you....
Exactly, strategically they're the same asset.

Swapping Clyde for a 105m Leander with a Mk8, 12 CAMM, 2x30mm and a Wildcat would be a good upgrade especially if Kingklip and Captas2 was also fitted.

Personally I wouldn't bother upgunning the RB2's. Simply keep them within the EEZ were they belong.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 06 May 2019, 10:43

Tempest414, agree, but there is no doubt that the B2 is superior to HMS Clyde.

It’s not in the areas of offensive weaponry (though has more ability to scale up if needed), but more in seaworthiness, ability to sustain damage (albeit still far from a first rate frigate), endurance and speed and also accommodation & support facilities.

Whilst these would be “nice” they aren’t crucial for FIGS and with limited frigates could be put to better use elsewhere.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 06 May 2019, 10:55

Poiuytrewq wrote:Swapping Clyde for a 105m Leander with a Mk8, 12 CAMM, 2x30mm and a Wildcat would be a good upgrade especially if Kingklip and Captas2 was also fitted.


Yes, and an occasional visit from a SSN or a CSG combined with a OPV would be ok also.

The scenario that looks increasingly likely is that with the departure of Williamson and the cosying up to China and open hostile briefing in the press, Defence has lost the argument within the government. The Chancellor seems to be increasingly in control and will be more focused on giving money to the NHS, Housing, Policing, Education etc. The MOD will need to cut its cloth to its current budget and soak up any overruns - the navy will be told to soak up the SSBN overrun in its own budget for sure - cutting elsewhere. It was hard enough even when Williamson was there arguing to make a name for himself.

Poiuytrewq wrote:Personally I wouldn't bother upgunning the RB2's. Simply keep them within the EEZ were they belong.


Keeping the B1s is enough for what is needed. Outside of possibly better supporting the FRE requirement the B2s would be wasted - they are more than capable of flying the flag globally in low level threat environments. The USCG add a 57mm as standard, the Irish Navy has a 76mm as standard and even the RFA gets Phalanx when they go EoS, why not the B2s?
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 May 2019, 10:35

Repulse wrote:What should the RN do if the T31e gets scrapped

Start fighting for a replacement program because scrapping the T31 is not in the best interests of the navy.

Stopping the T23 replacement creates a big drop in combatants, a drop that's likely unrecoverable for decades. Is it acceptable to operate only 14 combat ships until the 40's?
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby dmereifield » 07 May 2019, 11:40

shark bait wrote:
Repulse wrote:What should the RN do if the T31e gets scrapped

Start fighting for a replacement program because scrapping the T31 is not in the best interests of the navy.

Stopping the T23 replacement creates a big drop in combatants, a drop that's likely unrecoverable for decades. Is it acceptable to operate only 14 combat ships until the 40's?


Good points but weren't you previously arguing that T31 designs such as Leander werent combatants amyway, and that a utility ship witj off board systems like a bay would be better than T31?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 May 2019, 12:07

The new Brazilian Meko frigate is a good benchmark for the T31. The Brazilians are budgeting more per unit than the Brits to build basic patrol frigate / corvette.

The Brits budget will only afford a big OPV. The Navy's short term priority is fixing this issue, removing the burden a bottom heavy OPV fleet will create.

A big flexible hull may be solution, and this is now being explored through the LSS, so the T31 should find another niche. Perhaps another niche is a small specialist sub hunter tuned toward the coastal environment, complementing the blue water focused T26?
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 07 May 2019, 14:31

shark bait wrote:The new Brazilian Meko frigate is a good benchmark for the T31. The Brazilians are budgeting more per unit than the Brits to build basic patrol frigate / corvette.


Given similarities in labour costs you could argue that a good equivalent is the Braunschweig-class corvette for Germany - €2bn for 5, £340mn per hull. You could say that kit transfer from the T23s could make up some of the price difference, but not a lot. Now which bits would we vote to leave off?

shark bait wrote:The Brits budget will only afford a big OPV. The Navy's short term priority is fixing this issue, removing the burden a bottom heavy OPV fleet will create.


Yes, but worse as we will be paying £250mn each for our OPVs. I’m the first to say we can do more with our B2s and perhaps build some simple B3s but not blowing that same budget.

shark bait wrote:A big flexible hull may be solution, and this is now being explored through the LSS, so the T31 should find another niche. Perhaps another niche is a small specialist sub hunter tuned toward the coastal environment, complementing the blue water focused T26?


Agree it needs a niche to mean something, perhaps the MHC role. Unless hull numbers are reduced then it will never be a ASW ship, in which case it will be a short production run and therefore very expensive for not a lot.

My view, given the lack of cash, is that we should probably keep the B1 Rivers going as long as we can (inc HMS Clyde), improve the globe trotting capabilities of the B2s and increase the number of T26s by one or two.

Hopefully the 2030s will bring more money...
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 07 May 2019, 14:45

shark bait wrote:The new Brazilian Meko frigate is a good benchmark for the T31. The Brazilians are budgeting more per unit than the Brits to build basic patrol frigate / corvette.
That is the point. Why not RN forget "19" escort saga, and reduce the T31 hull number to 4?

If five Leanders, each with "12 CAMM and a simple 76mm gun and completely omitting ASW" could be possible with 1.25B GBP, or 200-210M GBP unit cost (paying 1-unit cost equiv. for initial costs), making it 4 = saving 200M GBP, will provide +50M GBP each (or 25% more) on the 4 remaining hulls.

As I think hull-sonar is very "weak" against modern SSK, I will
- top priority: add the torpedo-defense system for all 4 hulls (Sea Sentor is not that expensive)
- second priority:
replace a simple 76mm gun with either a 57 mm 3P/Orca system, or a 76mm DARTS/Volcano system
or
add a CAPTAS-2 or alike to 2 of the 4 hulls (I think a so-so level of ASW systems needs 80-100M GBP more per hull, or even more, and arming "ASW" to 4 hulls cannot be done with 200M GBP.)
... A big flexible hull may be solution, and this is now being explored through the LSS, so the T31 should find another niche. Perhaps another niche is a small specialist sub hunter tuned toward the coastal environment, complementing the blue water focused T26?
Interesting, but along with my own proposal, this is a significant "re-think" on T31e, meaning significant delay in project.

Here, we shall not forget the Repulse-san's warning for future cuts, which is very "reasonable". It may come or may not come, but assuming it will NEVER come is simply too optimistic. Therefore, delaying T31 for two years, so that SDSR2020 can re-arrange and allocate budget is critically important. If not, probability to cut T26's number in SDSR2020 becomes highly probable, I'm afraid.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 May 2019, 14:57

@Repulse, Indeed the Braunschweig-class is another good benchmark, a patrol vessel built in the Europe at an established yard, and still considerably more than the Brits frigate budget.

The Navy need to reallocate some budget if they want a real frigate. That should first come from a reduced support ship order, and if needed come also from reducing the T31 to 4 units.

That generates a bit of cash to add some capability beyond patrol.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 May 2019, 15:04

@Donald, in many coastal environments a variable depth sonar, like CAPTAS-2, is unusable. Likewise passive detection in this environment is almost impossible. A solution often applied in these environments is a powerful active hull sonar pared with a simple towed array.

The Royal Netherlands Navy use something very similar to the above, I will try and find the article that explains some of the choices. From memory the towed array is often cheaper to purchase, and simpler to operate than a VDS, both features that are important for controlling life time costs. At the same time performance whilst using active sonar is as good as a VDS.
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