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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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

Postby Lord Jim » 08 May 2019, 22:56

So are the T-31e and National Ship Building Strategy still interlinked or is the latter going to be left to wither and die.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 08 May 2019, 23:45

For me I never thought NSS was up to much I could never see how spending 1.2 billion on 5 ships was going to change anything the only real way to affect change is to invest in UK yards with money set aside for navel contracts. As said at this time here is 2.2 to 2.5 billion out lined for Type 31 , SSS & FLSS for me type 31 and SSS should be built in the UK and FLSS should go over seas

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby serge750 » 10 May 2019, 18:30

Not what I would want but if money is getting ever tighter maybe it is time to consider the bae Avenger design basically a river class with a hanger, just use them for med & fleet ready escort duties or a occasional visit to the Falklands, 4 would do then hopefully that would help with the lack of manpower issues in the short term also getting other uk yards involved under a NSS joint venture ?, then maybe put CAMM on T45, hopefully still would be less than the 1.25bn budget.

I am not at all in the T26 is under armed camp, I know they could be better for a little more but I would rather the T45 with CAMM or other more urgent requirements, anti ship missiles for the F35b....

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 11 May 2019, 04:26

IT needs to come down to a choice made by the MoD and Government. If they want to keep the fleet at 19 Escorts then it need to up the budget to procure 5 Escorts able to do the job but at less cost then the T-26. Or in need to accept that the T-31e is not going to be an Escort but a large Patrol Vessels able to conduct extended operations, and that the Navy will only have 14 Escorts in future. Build 5 of these to a design that costs far less then the current budget for the T-31e and use the money saved elsewhere.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 11 May 2019, 10:12

Probably worth going back to the key statements made in the NSS.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... tsheet.pdf

THE NATIONAL SHIPBUILDING STRATEGY:
Backed by a rising defence budget will:
- Transform the procurement of naval ships.
- Enable the Fleet to grow by the 2030s.
- Energise the UK’s maritime industry to compete for and win work.
- Increase skills, exports and prosperity across the UK.


INDUSTRIAL POLICY:
- All Royal Navy warships will continue to have a UK-owned design, and will be built and integrated in the UK.
- Warship build will be via competition between UK shipyards with international partners encouraged to work with them and other providers to produce the best possible commercial solution.
- All other naval vessels will be subject to open competition and integration of sensitive UK-specific systems will be done in the UK, where possible after competition between UK providers.
- Defence will take account of wider factors (including the impact on UK prosperity) when making procurement decisions.
- We will consider distributed block build for all our future surface ship procurements.
- Government is working hard to make sure that UK producers of steel have the best possible chance of
competing for contracts.
- We will forecast steel requirements for shipbuilding through the UK Government Steel Pipeline and have commissioned research into future market opportunities for the sector.


One could argue that with the export success of the T26 (and potentially CVF) design has already gone a way towards this.

One could also argue by doing the following could significantly meet most of the broader aim:
- Buy the FSS from UK yards (paying over the odds if needed to ensure efficiency and build future capability)
- Modularise the T26 build to allow sections to be built remotely - allowing a quicker drum beat and increasing numbers by at least 2. Could also open export opportunities to build modules for others.
- Build a specialist OPV / Sloop factory to build 4 B3 Rivers (increasingly RN numbers) and making a future MHPC programme cheaper and opening up real export opportunities.

All comes down to money, but If the UK wants to invest in its industrial capability this is a good way to do it IMO.
"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 donald_of_tokyo » 11 May 2019, 11:00

Repulse wrote:Probably worth going back to the key statements made in the NSS.
Thanks.
INDUSTRIAL POLICY:
- All Royal Navy warships will continue to have a UK-owned design, and will be built and integrated in the UK.
How Arrowhead 140 and MEKO A 200 are filling this item? I'm not sure how much the T31e program is following this strategy...
- Defence will take account of wider factors (including the impact on UK prosperity) when making procurement decisions.
Repulse wrote: - Buy the FSS from UK yards (paying over the odds if needed to ensure efficiency and build future capability)
I am not sure if MOD shall restrict the SSS build into UK ship yards, because it may significantly hurt the RN/RFA capability. But taking into account the "tax coming back" effect must be considered, because it will only benefit UK and do no harm on RN/RFA.

But, the most critical point is "Backed by a rising defence budget ...". Is it rising? Actually, yes, but is it increasing "above" the inflation?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 12 May 2019, 08:37

donald_of_tokyo wrote:I'm not sure how much the T31e program is following this strategy...


I agree, and trying to turn the T31e into something that delivers a key part of the NSS seems a hard way of not achieving the objective.

The T26 is already proving a world beating design with significant orders, and an outside chance of being more successful with the USN. It is also the kind of ship that remains out of reach for a local build for nations that could afford one or two.

My view is that investment in making the T26 build, modular, efficient and lower cost helps the RN (increased numbers) and delivers key part of the NSS (spreading work and sales opportunities for modules built in the UK).

Then the business case for setting up a “C3 Sloop” factory line to build the future MHC and OPV replacements, would both meet the requirements for the RN (which will need in total somewhere 15-20) but also again gives a chance to sell export designs and modules.

If the T31e is a must, remove the shackles of the NSS and focus solely on what the RN needs to fill its operational requirements.

donald_of_tokyo wrote:I am not sure if MOD shall restrict the SSS build into UK ship yards, because it may significantly hurt the RN/RFA capability


I agree there is little chance, as the UK government has always looked short term - the unit costs of the FSS built in the UK will be higher but you’ve taken a national capability away and the chance to build something that in the longer term could be competitive building skills and jobs for the advancement for the whole UK industry.
"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 S M H » 12 May 2019, 10:43

[quote="Repulse"]I agree there is little chance, as the UK government has always looked short term - the unit costs of the FSS built in the UK will be higher but you’ve taken a national capability away and the chance to build something that in the longer term could be competitive building skills and jobs for the advancement for the whole UK industry.[/quote The treasury has never looked at whole U K cost benefits of UK construction. The bean counter mentality is so ingrained as those who could slim departmental expenditure yearly have reality mismanaged the departments so actually increasing costs causing reduction of numbers. More efficient procurement. Not deferring production would have allowed more numbers for the same costs. This along ridged enforcement of E U rules to mask political decisions has handed us the present situation. The SSS build should as the rest of Europe does be U.K. construction. Benefitting the whole economy by the saving to other departmental expenditure. And tax revenue. Not to mention a stable construction industry that could then build small orders for export. While providing support for the larger indigenes constructions. Benefitting future R N procurement.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 12 May 2019, 10:50

S M H wrote:
Repulse wrote:I agree there is little chance, as the UK government has always looked short term - the unit costs of the FSS built in the UK will be higher but you’ve taken a national capability away and the chance to build something that in the longer term could be competitive building skills and jobs for the advancement for the whole UK industry.[/quote The treasury has never looked at whole U K cost benefits of UK construction. The bean counter mentality is so ingrained as those who could slim departmental expenditure yearly have reality mismanaged the departments so actually increasing costs causing reduction of numbers. More efficient procurement. Not deferring production would have allowed more numbers for the same costs. This along ridged enforcement of E U rules to mask political decisions has handed us the present situation. The SSS build should as the rest of Europe does be U.K. construction. Benefitting the whole economy by the saving to other departmental expenditure. And tax revenue. Not to mention a stable construction industry that could then build small orders for export. While providing support for the larger indigenes constructions. Benefitting future R N procurement.


Iv been saying this exact same thing on other threads over the JLTV over Foxhound decision.
Personal I think the only time a foreign build ( naval wise ) should be chosen is if the capacity here is fully in use like with the tides, or a foreign option chosen over British ( JLTV over Foxhound ) is if it is the clearly better option

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 12 May 2019, 10:59

Repulse wrote:The T26 is already proving a world beating design with significant orders, and an outside chance of being more successful with the USN
Given that the F100 and FREMM derived designs are now a similar size to the T26, I will be amazed if it's not seriously looked at before the FFG(X) reaches a conclusion.
Repulse wrote:My view is that investment in making the T26 build, modular, efficient and lower cost helps the RN (increased numbers) and delivers key part of the NSS (spreading work and sales opportunities for modules built in the UK).
Modular building has many benefits but it's not the most efficient construction method. If the UK really wants to build Frigates and Destroyers in the most efficient way possible an all encompassing escort production centre of excellence needs to be constructed. It doesn't necessarily need to be built at Scotstoun but it needs to be built.

The most useful aspect of modular building is that it allows yards with a light order book to bid for modules between larger contracts. This can be the difference between continuing to operate and closing the doors. Appledore is a good example, a few modules at the right time would have kept the wolf from the door until the FSS, FLSS and T31 contracts were awarded.
Repulse wrote:Then the business case for setting up a “C3 Sloop” factory line to build the future MHC and OPV replacements, would both meet the requirements for the RN
It depends on what on what RN considers is the future of MCM. Is it going to be Venari 85/95 or Enforcer LSD(A) based? Maybe even something entirely different?

Until this is established a dedicated C3 facility is unlikely to get much traction but if a Venari/PSV/CSV type vessel was to get the nod then a C3 production facility would make a lot of sense in my opinion. Setup to launch a minimum of one vessel per annum the workforce could be modestly sized and highly skilled to ensure maximum efficiency and keep overheads as low as possible.

Sir John Parkers idea with the NSS was to sell the T31's at around the 15 year mark, before their first major refit but I don't believe this makes financial sense. Just look at how much is being transferred from the T23's to the T31's, very little. The sophisticated technology would have lost the bulk of its value and 15 year old T31's are highly likely to be sold so cheaply to foreign navies that the Treasury will push to have them refitted and kept in service for another 10 to 15 years.

Conversely the RB1's, RB2's, RB3's, Venari's, PSV/CSV's and basic Leanders would all benefit from Sir John Parkers 15 year rule. They are simple ships with little sophisticated technology and disposal at the 15 year point would make sound financial sense, especially if the dedicated C3 production facility was producing capable vessels on time and budget at a price the taxpayer can afford.

This would create a sustainable drumbeat of orders and any excess vessels could be sold on the open market.
Repulse wrote:I agree there is little chance, as the UK government has always looked short term...
Highly likely the occupants of both No10 and No11 will have changed by the Autumn so plenty time for a rethink before the T31's and FSS contracts are awarded in 2020. Hopefully sense will prevail.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 12 May 2019, 11:10

I can see no issue with building foreign designs in UK yards. What is important is that these yards are viable and have the design and construction capability to produce their own designs, possible after the initial order for the aforementioned. But the key to the UK increasing it military ship building capacity is for it to be funded from across Government, not relying on orders form the MoD. If it is a strategic assets it needs to be treated as such, and need a guaranteed multi year funding agreement to allow one or more companies to feel secure enough to also invest themselves in their capabilities. As for cost and the inclusion of additional benefit to the UK when determining tenders, I have more of an issue with this. If ships are built in the UK at greater expense because the UK gains tax income as a result form the jobs created that does not help the MoD which has had to spend more than it needed to. The only way this works for the MoD is if UK industry is subsidised so that any difference between a cheaper foreign bid and that of a UK company it met. This goes against Government policy on many levels and a I believe a number of international agreement also. Of course not all foreign bid will be cheaper, and we do restrict who can build certain types of platforms, but there is an impact on what and how many we can afford to build under such protections. Imagine how many T-26 we could have had if their construction was carried out by the South Koreans or even the Italians, with only the design work being carried out in the UK. In a nutshell the Government needs to take a stake in Britain defence industry, especially the land and naval side, like countries such as France and Italy do. They see the benefits this brings back to the country for their Governments investment, which is something ours fails to see as a possibility with its religious adherence to the "Private sector knows best", philosophy.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 12 May 2019, 11:12

Repulse wrote:I agree, and trying to turn the T31e into something that delivers a key part of the NSS seems a hard way of not achieving the objective.

They aren't "trying to turn the T31e into something that delivers a key part of the NSS". The NSS was derived from the perceived need for stability in naval production. The T31 is the low-cost, low risk, test project, to see if the NSS works "out of the box", or whether it needs "tweaking" to make it work long term. Don't forget that the cap on the cost of the T31 is nothing to do with the NSS - there is nothing in the NSS that requires ultra-low budgets. At it's most basic , it's about harnessing spare capacity in yards that are already capable of standing on their own, in order to smooth the peaks and troughs of naval construction (and also smoothing those peaks and troughs by adopting a long-term construction plan), without investing huge amounts in a single monopoly manufacturer, only for that investment to sit idle throughout the troughs.

Too many conflate the NSS with the T31 RFI - completely different beasts, originated by different groups, with different objectives..

Repulse wrote:My view is that investment in making the T26 build, modular, efficient and lower cost helps the RN (increased numbers) and delivers key part of the NSS (spreading work and sales opportunities for modules built in the UK).


The T26 was explicitly excluded from the NSS, though the core thinking (i.e. stability) seems to percolated though to the T26 project.

If they can avoid problems like the River B2 construction cock-up, BAE have work for the next 20 years out of the T26 (and probably another 12- 20 years after that, if the T45 replacement program starts immediately after the T26 completes). Why would THEY want to hand some of that work to others. BAE have existing yards that have the capacity to handle a higher rate of production. The limiting factor is a sufficiently large, skilled workforce (a huge number were "let go" since the completion of the T45s), which can be expanded, but not rapidly. If we wanted to expand production to one T26 a year, then we would probably need to bring in another yard to build blocks (3 yards were needed to deliver T45 at one per year, BAE have only two construction yards now) and maybe double the construction workforce. Now that they have stability of orders for a prolonged period, it is up to BAE to make it's own investment decisions and not expect the taxpayer to foot the bill.

Repulse wrote:Then the business case for setting up a “C3 Sloop” factory line to build the future MHC and OPV replacements


..... is currently non-existent. The RN already has a surfeit of low-end patrol platforms and the River series is, in itself, already a modest export success, that could be developed further (BAE Shipbuilding seem to have been rather moribund in that regard) into a reasonable range of OPVs and minor warships. Most potential customers for them would, however, be more interested in developing their own ship-building capacity and would be better served by BAE providing licensing and consultancy services to allow them to develop that (in the same way that Damen does). If the current unmanned systems trials go as hoped, the future MCH fleet for the RN is probably going to be comprised of vessels of opportunity and a small number of general-purpose platforms derived from existing civilian designs, which could be built easily in existing yards, by existing companies (i.e. the system that the NSS is trying to bring about).
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 12 May 2019, 13:01

Lord Jim wrote:I can see no issue with building foreign designs in UK yards. What is important is that these yards are viable and have the design and construction capability to produce their own designs, possible after the initial order for the aforementioned.
Do you mean, for example, Babcock can "learn" new way of designing warship from OMT from the Arrowhead 140 project, and then can design their own Arrowhead 120 (or alike) based on the technology for future export ? Just like Navantia started their new generation of escort building with FFG-7 class building, and came to F100/F110 designs?

Worth considering.

But, I am not sure how long Babcock needs (even if they win T31e project) to come with their own escort design "NOT restricted in license to OMT", and gain export. I'm afraid RN may need to order 5 "T32", based on this new design, to make it happen.
... If ships are built in the UK at greater expense because the UK gains tax income as a result form the jobs created that does not help the MoD which has had to spend more than it needed to. The only way this works for the MoD is if UK industry is subsidised so that any difference between a cheaper foreign bid and that of a UK company it met.
So, you propose the Government to "invest" the money they expect to "be payed back as TAX when SSS are ordered in UK" (say 200M GBP) prior to the SSS order (of 1B GBP) ?

Considering the Starbucks and Amazon "no TAX" deal with UK government, it MUST be possible in principle, but surely will be very difficult.


Caribbean wrote:They aren't "trying to turn the T31e into something that delivers a key part of the NSS". The NSS was derived from the perceived need for stability in naval production. The T31 is the low-cost, low risk, test project, to see if the NSS works "out of the box", or whether it needs "tweaking" to make it work long term. Don't forget that the cap on the cost of the T31 is nothing to do with the NSS - there is nothing in the NSS that requires ultra-low budgets.
I do not think so. I think, NSS is not widely supported, and could not "gain" many budget, which resulted in ultra-low T31e program cost. To make NSS work, constant future order flow is "must", but are there enough budget to do it?
At it's most basic , it's about harnessing spare capacity in yards that are already capable of standing on their own, in order to smooth the peaks and troughs of naval construction (and also smoothing those peaks and troughs by adopting a long-term construction plan), without investing huge amounts in a single monopoly manufacturer, only for that investment to sit idle throughout the troughs.
"Harnessing spare capacity in yards that are already capable of standing on their own", means "a shipyard with 10B GBP order list for a decade (= standing on their own), bidding for T31 or SSS project, which is ONLY 1.25B and 1B GBP for a decade". Surely this is not the case in UK.

The truth is, any shipyards in UK do not have any order list exceeding 1B GBP (actually, even 100M GBP....), and T31 or SSS program will be the major (dominant) work for them. In other words, those shipyard are NOT "standing on their own".

- H&W's dock has lost their steal work right after the CVF ends,
- Appledore was abandoned right after the Irish Navy's OPV program ends,
- Carmell Laired is trying to lay-off their worker right after the end of RV S.D. Attenborough build.

A&P is focussed on RFA maintenance, Babcock Portsmouth on T23 LIFEX, and CL on RFA maintenance, as well, and all of these program is significantly cheaper than T31e or SSS. This is the current status.
Too many conflate the NSS with the T31 RFI - completely different beasts, originated by different groups, with different objectives..
I'm not sure what you meant. Without NSS, there is ZERO rationale for T31e, I think. So, these two are clearly related. But, I think you mean something else?
Repulse wrote:Then the business case for setting up a “C3 Sloop” factory line to build the future MHC and OPV replacements
Caribbean wrote:... If the current unmanned systems trials go as hoped, the future MCH fleet for the RN is probably going to be comprised of vessels of opportunity and a small number of general-purpose platforms derived from existing civilian designs, which could be built easily in existing yards, by existing companies (i.e. the system that the NSS is trying to bring about).
No yards other than BAES and the one who wins T31 program, will survive until 2030, in current situation. As these ship are also not a "warship" (as you rightly say "platforms derived from existing civilian designs"), it will go to international tender. So, it could be Damen itself, Navantia, or Hyundai, which is building MHC.

If UK want to avoid such case, HMG shall ask BAE to buy Cammell Laird (paired with TOBA-like agreement for SSS, LSD/LPD, and MHC order) or simply select Babcock to buy Cammell Laird and do the same. Other companies (H&W, A&P, CL) are too small to tolerate the financial risks in future.

[EDIT] or I may be completely missing your point? ....

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 12 May 2019, 14:05

Caribbean wrote:They aren't "trying to turn the T31e into something that delivers a key part of the NSS". The NSS was derived from the perceived need for stability in naval production.


If that was the case why on earth is the NSS and T31e mentioned in the same breath by all government spokesmen. The “e” was supposed to bring the UK shipbuilding industry great new opportunities- at best it will be the most expense way to build 5 half-arsed frigates, leaving an empty production line at the end.

Caribbean wrote:The RN already has a surfeit of low-end patrol platforms and the River series is, in itself, already a modest export success, that could be developed further (BAE Shipbuilding seem to have been rather moribund in that regard) into a reasonable range of OPVs and minor warships. Most potential customers for them would, however, be more interested in developing their own ship-building capacity and would be better served by BAE providing licensing and consultancy services to allow them to develop that (in the same way that Damen does).


We disagree, and probably always will between a larger hi-low mix and a hi-mid-low mix, my view is clear the budgets do not support multiple class types. And is better to have more T26s + River Sloops than a new class of T31s.

Your point on the River design and supporting services being a success is correct, and agree Damen has done well in this area also. What Damen also does is also build the complex blocks for other customers also.

Your view on the lack of a C3 demand is linked to your view on the need for a hi-med-low mix. As I said above is that this IMO leads to a dead end for the “mid” given current RN budgets and the money would be better spent on getting the “low” factory up and running, starting with a River B3 order.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 12 May 2019, 15:16

donald_of_tokyo wrote:I think, NSS is not widely supported,

The NSS is official Government policy for the Shipbuilding industry. That is the only relevant support required. I have yet to see a defence blog contributor that addresses all of the issues that the NSS is designed to address
donald_of_tokyo wrote: I am not sure how long Babcock needs (even if they win T31e project) to come with their own escort design "NOT restricted in license to OMT"

They will probably just ask OMT to design it for them, based on OMT's experience. As the customer, they will simply put "ownership of the IP" into the contract. OMT take an existing design, change the colour of the wardroom carpet and call it something else (how about "A" plus the length in metres). Money changes hands and now Babcocks own the new design. Babcocks then engage another design team to take it on (let's call them "B" MT) and change "their" design as they wish. Job done.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:"Harnessing spare capacity in yards that are already capable of standing on their own", means "a shipyard with 10B GBP order list for a decade (= standing on their own), bidding for T31 or SSS project, which is ONLY 1.25B and 1B GBP for a decade". Surely this is not the case in UK.

No, it means a business that is capable of staying in business by carrying on a trade. The yards involved in the various consortia may not build many ships these days, but they do build a lot of offshore infrastructure and carry out a lot of maintenance and conversion work. They have businesses that can survive without naval work. Maybe not at the same size, but they are still in business.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:- H&W's dock has lost their steal work right after the CVF ends,
- Appledore was abandoned right after the Irish Navy's OPV program ends,
- Carmell Laired is trying to lay-off their worker right after the end of RV S.D. Attenborough build.

All examples of management taking the hard decisions to keep their businesses running. It's harsh, but workers can be re-hired. Re-starting an entire business is orders of magnitude harder (and more expensive)
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Other companies (H&W, A&P, CL) are too small to tolerate the financial risks in future.

And yet Cammell Laird took on the RSS on their own. A much larger project than the average PSV
Repulse wrote:a dead end for the “mid” given current RN budgets

And yet it is the "mid" that the RN wants and where the money is going. Perhaps they look at the reality of the proposed "mid" designs, not the weird viewpoint that you seem to have, where a virtually unarmed 2000t OPV is more capable than a 4000t frigate (maybe even 6900t for the A140), built to UK ANEP 77 naval standards, meeting NATO ASW standards and capable of carrying all the equipment currently on the existing T23 GP, PLUS Mk41 VLS cells AND Phalanx). Three tiers is the reality of what the RN has been operating for years - I think the fact that two of the tiers used a common hull has confused you somewhat.
Repulse wrote:If that was the case why on earth is the NSS and T31e mentioned in the same breath by all government spokesmen

a) They're not. The T31 is often mentioned on it's own without reference to the NSS, and b) The T31 is the first project being run under the NSS guidelines, so when the NSS is the subject, the T31 gets mentioned.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 12 May 2019, 17:48

Caribbean wrote:And yet it is the "mid" that the RN wants and where the money is going. Perhaps they look at the reality of the proposed "mid" designs, not the weird viewpoint that you seem to have, where a virtually unarmed 2000t OPV is more capable than a 4000t frigate (maybe even 6900t for the A140), built to UK ANEP 77 naval standards, meeting NATO ASW standards and capable of carrying all the equipment currently on the existing T23 GP, PLUS Mk41 VLS cells AND Phalanx). Three tiers is the reality of what the RN has been operating for years - I think the fact that two of the tiers used a common hull has confused you somewhat.


Really? The two tier T23 force being with or without TAS? I’d be happy with 13 T26s, 5 without TAS. If you ask what the minimum the RN wants it will be that. But yet again they are being dragged into another fantasy that real frigates can be built for 1/4 to 1/3 of the price of the ship they actually need, which anyone apart from the most ambitious 1SL can believe.

My “weird” viewpoint as you put it believes that we need more T26s than the 8, and a number of the lower risk tasks can be done by a OPV with a hangar and some more self defence kit to save the money to buy more T26s. Your naive viewpoint is that the T31e will be a success.

Caribbean wrote:a) They're not. The T31 is often mentioned on it's own without reference to the NSS, and b) The T31 is the first project being run under the NSS guidelines, so when the NSS is the subject, the T31 gets mentioned.


Rubbish, the T31e has been held up by politicians on numerous occasions as the NSS star. What else is there? The T26 has been locked in (nothing currently to do with the NSS) and the FSS will go abroad. There is nothing else happening for the next 10 years apart from the T31.
"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 » 12 May 2019, 21:37

Poiuytrewq wrote:Sir John Parkers idea with the NSS was to sell the T31's at around the 15 year mark, before their first major refit but I don't believe this makes financial sense. Just look at how much is being transferred from the T23's to the T31's, very little. The sophisticated technology would have lost the bulk of its value and 15 year old T31's are highly likely to be sold so cheaply to foreign navies that the Treasury will push to have them refitted and kept in service for another 10 to 15 years.

I think you are promoting the thinking that NSS was trying to "address"?
Caribbean wrote:The T26 was explicitly excluded from the NSS

To avoid controversy
= tonnage up- down -up
= cost down- up -up again, and again
BAE have work for the next 20 years out of the T26 (and probably another 12- 20 years after that, if the T45 replacement program starts immediately after the T26 completes). Why would THEY want to hand some of that work to others. BAE have existing yards that have the capacity to handle a higher rate of production. The limiting factor is a sufficiently large, skilled workforce (a huge number were "let go" since the completion of the T45s)
Obviously a thing learned twice: with the Astute Prgrm (no cross-over to any other kind of shipbuilding, save for the nose cones for the not-nuclear Spanish subs)
... and then with the T-45s. Became very obvious with the carriers (only two of them ... and the second one was: now you see it, now you don't :roll: )
Caribbean wrote:The NSS is official Government policy for the Shipbuilding industry. That is the only relevant support required.
A lot of folks do miss this point.
Caribbean wrote: just ask OMT to design it for them, based on OMT's experience. As the customer, they will simply put "ownership of the IP" into the contract.
Would thnk that is happening... as we speak :)
Caribbean wrote:and capable of carrying all the equipment currently on the existing T23 GP, PLUS Mk41 VLS cells AND Phalanx)
... and what else should there be :?:
Caribbean wrote:Three tiers is the reality of what the RN has been operating for years - I think the fact that two of the tiers used a common hull has confused you somewhat.
Indeed :idea:

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 13 May 2019, 07:15

Repulse wrote:The two tier T23 force being with or without TAS?

That's what you took away from what I posted? The real point is that the "mid" range is clearly not a dead end. The "high" and the "mid" range are the ones that are actually getting all the funding. But to answer your point - Yes - one more capable, one less capable - two tiers. They do different jobs, as well.
Repulse wrote:My “weird” viewpoint as you put it believes that we need more T26s than the 8

That's not what's weird about your viewpoint - we all want that. What IS weird is that you think that 9 frigates and some pimped OPVs (because that's all that there is actually cash for) are a substitute for 13 frigates (in two tiers). The gap between what a T26 can handle and what a B3 River can handle is vast. The OPV can't step up without putting the crew at major risk, so the T26 has to step down, taking away from already meagre forces available to defend the carrier task group. The T31 will be able to handle anything that a T23 GP can handle.
Repulse wrote:Your naive viewpoint is that the T31e will be a success.

Well - looking at the proposals, which would you rather be on in a fight? A T31 or a River B3 (whatever that is). Export success is neither here nor there, but I remember only a few years ago reading many posts, both here and on other boards, about how the T26 would never be an export success, as it was "far too RN specific", "nobody wants mission bays", it was "far too expensive" yada, yada, yada.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 13 May 2019, 09:07

Caribbean wrote:The gap between what a T26 can handle and what a B3 River can handle is vast. The OPV can't step up without putting the crew at major risk, so the T26 has to step down, taking away from already meagre forces available to defend the carrier task group.


Let's face it, aside from our submariners (1600 in strength?), we have
- a temporary Coast Guard (funded for 2 yrs)
- a presence fleet (frigates/ destroyers - a fading term, the latter - that are not AAW or ASW
- a single task force (or rather 1.5 as the Amph part could split from it when a not facing a near-peer, but on Ops against a near-peer or peer would need all the protection that the amalgamation of the two can offer... as alluded to in the quote)

There are only two open questions
- how much logs backup (does not all need to be afloat, if we enhance forward presence), over and above a minimum translating to "how much global deployability"
- and how counter-mine ops/ technology, and the hulls to deploy the latter will evolve. At no point has the original premise of the long-running prgrm, namely that the future fleet will need to be capable of self deploying, been challenged
... with new tanker wars looming, we may well have to station more of the existing fleet in the Gulf. What a good thing that not all of it has been scrapped/ sold. Perhaps we will even have to pull the crews seconded to our "Brexit CG" back :?:

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 13 May 2019, 10:42

Or perhaps the government should do what it is supposed to do ............ Provide the people and the equipment to adequately defend the realm and the trade that it needs to conduct in order to exist. :idea:

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 13 May 2019, 14:49

Caribbean wrote:The NSS is official Government policy for the Shipbuilding industry. That is the only relevant support required. I have yet to see a defence blog contributor that addresses all of the issues that the NSS is designed to address
Strategy without investment nor procurement policy is, almost nothing, I'm afraid. This is technical and industrial issues, and technology and industry is pretty much proportional to the money invested.
They will probably just ask OMT to design it for them, based on OMT's experience. As the customer, they will simply put "ownership of the IP" into the contract. OMT take an existing design, change the colour of the wardroom carpet and call it something else (how about "A" plus the length in metres). Money changes hands and now Babcocks own the new design. Babcocks then engage another design team to take it on (let's call them "B" MT) and change "their" design as they wish. Job done.
Not convinced, sorry. In general, the builder has no free license for the ship design. Japan Marine United (JMU) is building Mitsubishi designed FFM for JMSDF, but it does not mean JMU can use the design freely.

"Money changes hands and now Babcocks own the new design" is only possible if you have a specific "technology transfer" contracts, which is not cheap.

Not convinced here, sorry.
No, it means a business that is capable of staying in business by carrying on a trade. The yards involved in the various consortia may not build many ships these days, but they do build a lot of offshore infrastructure and carry out a lot of maintenance and conversion work. They have businesses that can survive without naval work. Maybe not at the same size, but they are still in business.
Also not convinced. H&W or A&P, doing offshore business is good. But it does not mean they retain "good" skills on ship building. Infrastructure needed for efficient ship building and for offshore infrastructure will not be the same. Training/skill will not be the same. As these yards rely more and more on offshore business, they "lose" their skill to build ships. In technology, training and experience wins. Thus, these yard will be inefficient in ship building, and will not be able to win future bids.

Ship building needs investments/infrastructure and well-trained work-force. Without, the cost will simply rise.

Also, if they want to survive on the offshore business, they need to be a professional there. In other words, they will have no time to keep their order list vacant to handle T31e build. If not, they will lose in the game and lose their job. Thus, these yard will eventually become "amateur" in ship building, to be competitive in their "main field". Just imagine a car factory building a bridge as a part time business. Or, building a washing machine in place. They will both lose in car business and bridge/washing machine business for sure.

By both ways, they will never win against South Korea, Damen, Naval, Navantia, nor Fincantieri. It is a waste of money.

The only logical way to keep the second active shipbuilder is to
- HMG order ships to the yard (say, T31, SSS, MHC and LPD/LHD)
- enable the yard to invest on their infrastructure and long term man-power training, to become an efficient ship builder, which can at lease compete, if not win, against the world's shipbuilding industries.
Of course, RORO ship, Container ship, Tanker, and LNG business is too crowded and also requires huge investment. So, the ship yard must "aim" at mid-sized, special tasked ships, such as offshore support (PSV) or heavy lift (dock ships): in other words, like Damen. I think this is the only way to go, if UK want to grow/keep the 2nd ship builder.
Repulse wrote:If that was the case why on earth is the NSS and T31e mentioned in the same breath by all government spokesmen
a) They're not. The T31 is often mentioned on it's own without reference to the NSS, and b) The T31 is the first project being run under the NSS guidelines, so when the NSS is the subject, the T31 gets mentioned.
I cannot understand the difference. Does T31e follow what part of NSS, and what part of the NSS is to be covered by what kind of future programs? It looks like, NSS is only represented by T31e for coming decades, which means T31e is the NSS (as any strategy may not survive 10 years. See how the "commitment to 24 escort" was reduced to "19" just 5 years ago).

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 13 May 2019, 16:23

As I have said before in my book there is enough work on the MOD's books to keep 5 yards open.

1 ) Builds - SSBN , SSN and maybe if wanted SSK
2 ) Builds Tier 1 escorts
3 ) Builds Tier 2 escorts , RFA , Amphib and MHPC
4 ) Maintains tier 1 Escorts
5 ) Maintains the rest

fore me you reap what you sow by setting the Tier 1 escort fleet at 16 ships and working to a 2 year drum beat would allow these ships a 32 year service. the second yard could also contract out block and other work to other yards as needed when building the rest of the fleet

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 13 May 2019, 16:43

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Poiuytrewq wrote:
Sir John Parkers idea with the NSS was to sell the T31's at around the 15 year mark, before their first major refit but I don't believe this makes financial sense. Just look at how much is being transferred from the T23's to the T31's, very little. The sophisticated technology would have lost the bulk of its value and 15 year old T31's are highly likely to be sold so cheaply to foreign navies that the Treasury will push to have them refitted and kept in service for another 10 to 15 years.

I think you are promoting the thinking that NSS was trying to "address"?
It really depends how the T31 turns out. If it ends up being a 117m Leander with 12CAMM, a Mk8 and 2x30mm's then Sir JP's 15 year rule might still make sense but if the T31 ends up with 32 CAMM, a Mk8, 8 Harpoon, 8 Mk41's, Phalanx, a decent HMS and 2x30mm's it will make virtually no sense to sell them cheap at the 15 year point.

If HMG really wants to maintain 19 escorts it will have to be closer to the former than the latter and I think momentum is heading in that direction.

It doesn't mean the end for the NSS, but it might require a refresh given lessons learned.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 13 May 2019, 16:51

Tempest414 wrote:3 ) Builds Tier 2 escorts , RFA , Amphib and MHPC
The shipyard must be efficient enough so that at least "internationally so-so competitive". It must be able to bid with same quality/quantity of ships to South Korean or Spanish yards with "less than ~20%" more cost, which could be "re-funded" to HMG by TAX. (so that HMG can invest on the builder by saying it is "budget free". )

Also notice that this is sometimes "apparently money wasting" process.

French Navy ordered 5 FTI with the cost the same as that needed to buy 5 FREMM (or FREMM-AD). They accept the 7000t full-fat escort degraded to "good equipped 4200t light frigate" to enable design team be busy, and to provide an option design smaller than FREMM (with smaller unit cost), good for export.

This is the "investment", which shows "how to support your ship building industry". No trick, very clear-cut and logical strategy.
the second yard could also contract out block and other work to other yards as needed when building the rest of the fleet
Not sure. If properly invested and become so-so efficient, the "2nd yard" ship building will be so efficient that "contracting out to other yards" will just significantly increase the total cost. It will happen only when the schedule is too tight, and more money is available.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 13 May 2019, 16:54

Caribbean wrote:The T31 will be able to handle anything that a T23 GP can handle.
This is far from assured yet. If the T31 matches the spec of a T23GP then it could be just as effective depending on the design chosen but if we end up with a 117m Leander fitted with only 12CAMM, a Mk8 and 2x30mm's it will fall a long way short.

It would take a tripling of the CAMM load, the addition of Harpoon and 2150 to elevate the T31 into T23 GP territory.


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