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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Tempest414
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 May 2019, 10:34

Scimitar54 wrote:Well here is a slightly different tack to start you off again.

Is it felt that 2 x Type 45s and 2 Type 26s are really adequate for Escorting a QEC Carrier?
Of course they could (and probably should) be accompanied by an SSN as well.

Other Navies are currently planning significantly larger Air Defence "Escorts" that are more like Heavy Cruisers than Light Cruisers. Despite being of "Light Cruiser size, is the Type 45 compromised to some degree as an Air Defence "Escort" by the presence of a Hangar & Helicopter. Could the space occupied by the Hangar have been better utilised as a site for a a second VLS and possibly even a second Turret?

Sea-Viper may indeed be a very effective weapon, but can a T45 as currently configured carry anything like enough of them?


I think what we will see is our carriers going to sea with say something like 1 x Type 45 , 2 x Type 23/26 , 1 or 2 x NATO frigate as for a SSN will be said that a SSN could form part of the CSG and you will see pics of them with the group from time to time.

As for Type 45 as said before MBDA say on there site that CAMM can be quad packed in the Sylver system as fitted to T-45 so without anymore cells added T-45 could carry a load out of 32 CAMM and 40 Aster for a total of 72 missiles. Now if the UK were to go with EXLS across all its escorts Type 45 has extra space for 16 Mk-41 cells however if it was me I would try for 18 x EXLS in this space this could give type 45 a load out of 72 CAMM and 48 Aster for a total load out of 120 Missiles

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 May 2019, 11:44

Poiuytrewq wrote:The RB2's are lightly armed OPV's so completely different. Keep them in the UK EEZ or sell them. Outside the EEZ the 105m Leanders would be better in every way.


With the view that RN want to get to 24 escorts the RB2s could be a first small step. Yes the RB2s are in many ways under armed however as I said on the River class thread if the RB2s were to get two extra 30mm's with a seven round LMM fitted plus two UAV's like Camcopter or Hero fitted with I Master radar this would give the RB2s a good to fair protection and hit but more importantly they would have the capability to search an area of up to 25,000 Km2 an hour witch could make them a very highly useful ship in areas like the west coast of Africa or on AP-N

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 22 May 2019, 15:27

Tempest414 wrote:With the view that RN want to get to 24 escorts the RB2s could be a first small step.
They could and they most likely will but I don’t they will be drastically up-armed as they will be needed in the UK EEZ as soon as the RB1's are chopped.

It will be interesting to see what the RB2's are tasked to do between now and when they replace the RB1's. Forward basing in the Falklands and the Caribbean seems likley but what are the other 3 to do? Could they act as the FRE on a regular basis to free up the T23/T45's?

Is RN seriously considering foward basing OPV's EoS?

Personally I think they will be used to validate the concept of forward basing the T31's. If the RB2's prove useful then 105m Leanders, suitably armed, would be just more of a good thing.

What nobody has been able to answer thus far is where the crews are coming from to operate the T31's as they hit the water without leaving 2 escorts in extended readiness. By procuring 5 basic Leanders with a core crew of 60 as opposed to 100+ for something like the A140, the crews from only 2 decommissioning T23's would be sufficient to keep all five Leanders fully manned. I think this is an important consideration.

In my opinion scrapping the T31 programme would be a mistake. RN has simply run out of time to introduce a new batch of credible Frigates by 2023 even if the programme was properly funded (which it isn't). Much better to get 5 basic Leanders in the water to take the strain as the T23's start to decommission and start to come up with a sensible and fully funded way of procuring 12 or 13 credible frigates (along with the crews) to give RN the escorts that are needed to ensure that reality remains firmly in line with the UK's often lofty ambitions.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 May 2019, 16:26

shark bait wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote: The important thing is to settle on a final design that will meet the simple low threat security tasks as envisaged for the T31

If that's the objective, it has already achieved through the River B2, Bay class and the proposed LSS. Why do the RN need another 5?
River B2, Bay, FLSS are both far behind any T31e candidate in war fighting capability. Difference between "River B2, Bay, FLSS" and "T31" is even lager than the difference between T26 and T31 for sure.

Just imagine some templates:
a Leander as a T31 example: a 76 mm normal gun, 12 CAMM, 2x 30mm, Artisan 3D, ESM/chaff/flare kit, a Wildcat, 2 RHIBs with 2 ARCIMS-class USV, a set of CMS with link-16/22, packed in a frigate standard stealthy hull.

River B2: a 30 mm, scanter2000 2D, 2 RHIBs, a flight deck, and a basic CMS, packed in a compact OPV standard hull. (Can carry 2 ARCIMS-class USV or add a CIWS in place restricting the flight deck)

Bay: 2x CIWS, navigation radar, many RHIBs, LCVPs, and 2x mexefloats, and a well dock good for USVs, packed in a predominantly merchant standard bulky very large radar-cross-section hull.

As enemy military power is not 1 vs 0, but in a spectrum (from no-navy, coast-guard-navy, missile-boat-navy, small corvettes/light frigates navy, and larger ones), clearly there are many theater a T31 can happily go while a River B2 nor Bay cannot patrol.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 May 2019, 16:27

As SDSR2020 nearing, discussions based on past many thoughts, added with the newest information will be needed now. It is now, when HMG/MOD/RN guys are "start thinking" of how to cope with SDSR2020.

Issues with T31e are not limited to its capability. It is more the matter of crew shortage of RN, as well as cost shortage of T31 program.

First of all, RN escorts were "at sea" ~140 days a year on average before 2015 (T23 and T45). Now, they are "at sea" only ~80 days a year. This is 40% reduction. Even RN still has "19 escorts" now, it is only equivalent to "11 escorts" of 2011-2014. In other words, even if there is zero T31 to be built, RN loses nothing. Just revamp the activity of the remaining 14 escorts into 2011-2014 level, RN will be having ~30% more (active) escorts than now. To really have a "19 escort" as of 2011-2014, RN need to revamp its activity (e.g. number of trained man-power assigned to escorts) by ~75%. A little less than twice.

With this situation, do we really need all 5 of the T31e?

Secondly, 1.25B GBP total cost for 5 T13e is not enough, clearly. Even RN/MOD has abandoned such idea. So, without significant amount of GFE transfer, T31e as "templated" in my last post may even not come true.

With this situation, do we really need all 5 of the T31e?

Many kinds of solutions will exist. But, even being a bit optimistic, I can easily reduce the T31e number by at least 2 (5 --> 3 hulls), with completely no harm to RN. As my calculation shows that "RN need significant resources (man-power and operational budgets) investment to even fully utilizing 6 T45 and 8 T26", totally banning T31e has also little harm. (although I do not like it).

If RN/MOD were to pass key-decision point of T31e before SDSR2020, it is really really a bad idea. What RN needs is not a vague call for "19 escort commitment" (which is already broken now), but a well-thought, sustainable, practical, and logical approach to maximize/increase the escort fleets capability, not just its hull number (which includes those in extended readiness).

Also, as a total package, thinking of getting resources out of other assets will be needed. For example, how about completely banning "ship handling" man-power of the MCMV fleets? Completely rely on LPD/LSDs, T26s, T31e, River B2s, and abandon MHC hull program.

[Edit] Made a big mistake....

This will free-up ~1/3 of the 500 man-power now assigned to MCMV fleets. ~170 crew can man 1 T45/T26, or nearly 2 T31e.


But, this means RN will not be able to conduct amphibious and MCM operations at full power concurrently. (I understand this is the way US Navy is partly doing, using LHD/LPDs for air-born MCM activities).

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 22 May 2019, 20:17

Yes we spend decades deciding what the next generation of escort will be, ending up with a Rolls Royce design costing £1Bn per copy and yet it is still being done on the "Cheap", so to speak when it comes to its load out. How can both Canada and Australia be receiving variants that have been far better thought out. WE have 48 Mushrooms growing on our T-26 then have a couple of extra Mk41s, which could carry 64 Sea Ceptor! We have good engineers but piss poor Project Managers and Accountants who to make matters worse have to spend most of their time looking down the back of the sofa to try to find extra money to keep their programme on track. Part off me thinks we should go back to having a Home Guard, CASD and a big sign at Dover saying "Trespassers will be nuked"!

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 23 May 2019, 01:43

Lord Jim wrote:How can both Canada and Australia be receiving variants that have been far better thought out.
Because they paid for it.

I see no big problem on "48 CAMM + 24 strike cell" on RN T26. RN has sufficient loads (better than/similar to FREMM) and better future margin = can replace 48 CAMM mushrooms with 196 CAMM/SPEAR3 ExLS in future, if needed. Not bad, just different from Australian and Canadian ones.
We have good engineers but piss poor Project Managers and Accountants who to make matters worse have to spend most of their time looking down the back of the sofa to try to find extra money to keep their programme on track.
The negative of "19 escort" myth, I think. T26 is much more capable than T23, not just for 30 years gap, but also as a requirement itself. So requiring one-by-one replacements are actually requiring significantly more.

I personally see (saw) little problem with replacing "5 T23GP and 8 T26ASW" with "10 T26". The latter would be even cheaper (considering efficiency improvements) than current “5 T31 and 8 T26” plan, more capable in top-tier warfight, but need to abandon 1 standing deployment (requiring 3 hulls).

In addition, "10 T26" fleet requires significantly less manning than "8 T26 and 5 T31" fleet (~200 saved). Maintenance/logistic and training costs will be saved.

And hence the fleet will be more fully used in RN, who is facing man-power shortage for decades, with better maintenance and training costs (can shoot multiple supersonic drones in AAW exercise, for example).

So, the drawback will be much smaller than "abandoning 1 standing deployment".


But this is the "lost future", it is too late. Then what is the "currently best approach"? Here comes my "one more T26 around 2030, and 3 Floral-like T31e sloop on 2025-2030" idea, or "only 3 highly armed T31e on 2025-2030, leaving 2 more for future", I've already expressed several times here.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 23 May 2019, 02:43

Lord Jim Wrote
Part off me thinks we should go back to having a Home Guard, CASD and a big sign at Dover saying "Trespassers will be nuked"!


Nobody would take any notice because they would know that a Nuclear response would not be used against a small scale trespass. Of course, a lunatic however might think differently. Emperor's New Clothes!

That is the danger of insufficient conventional forces to deter a potential opponent. It is not enough to be able to shadow and escort a trespasser from the premises .......... all that shows is "That you are awake"

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 23 May 2019, 07:18

Lord Jim wrote: Part off me thinks we should go back to having a Home Guard, CASD

... you forgot the RM.

Picking up expats if e.g. the Gulf goes up in flames (again). A major exercise could be run off the Costas in Spain; to test 8-) the capacity

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 23 May 2019, 10:48

Lord Jim wrote:WE have 48 Mushrooms growing on our T-26 then have a couple of extra Mk41s, which could carry 64 Sea Ceptor!


For me we should be moving over to fitting EXLS on all our escorts to allow something like this

Type 45 with 6 x 3 cell EXLS plus 48 Syliver cells = 72 CAMM & 48 Aster total 120 missiles
Type 26 with 4 x 3 cell EXLS plus 24 Mk-41 cells = 48 CAMM & 24 other weapons
Type 31 with 3 x 3 cell EXLS = up to 36 CAMM

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 23 May 2019, 13:34

I agree with the idea that we would be better off with 10 T-26 then 8 T-26 + 5 T-31. I would however like to see the potential of these 10 vessels and the 6 T-45 maximised at the same time and a plan developed and funded for the next class to "Escorts" to hit the water at the beginning of the 2030s so that we have a far shorter gap and smoother build programme than that between the T-45 and T-26.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 24 May 2019, 18:10

Lord Jim, agree, and I think by keeping 8 Rivers in service gives additional options.

The T31e Arrowhead 140 video looks interesting, and I can see flexibility in the design, but it’s fundamentally flawed in that unless significant funds are found (to the point where more T26s are viable IMO) then a lot of it will remain brochureware, with little hope of more than an order of 4-5 ships and zero hope of export orders that are built in the U.K.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 24 May 2019, 18:27

Repulse wrote:The T31e Arrowhead 140 video looks interesting, and I can see flexibility in the design, but it’s fundamentally flawed in that unless significant funds are found (to the point where more T26s are viable IMO) then a lot of it will remain brochureware, with little hope of more than an order of 4-5 ships and zero hope of export orders that are built in the U.K.

It'll be interesting to see what Indonesia hope to get for their £275m per ship (and how much they hope to build locally - their plan to build four Sigma-class frigates has hit a lot of problems - they've needed a lot of help from Damen).
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 24 May 2019, 18:36

Repulse wrote:The T31e Arrowhead 140 video looks interesting, and I can see flexibility in the design...
Realistically the A140 is a £350m to £400m Frigate to do it properly.

Interesting to see the core crew has now increased to 'around 100'. That means with the aviation and boarding parties included we are looking a total complement of around 130. For a basic forward based maritime security vessel thats about 40% too high IMO.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby dmereifield » 25 May 2019, 00:18

Poiuytrewq wrote:
Repulse wrote:The T31e Arrowhead 140 video looks interesting, and I can see flexibility in the design...
Realistically the A140 is a £350m to £400m Frigate to do it properly.

Interesting to see the core crew has now increased to 'around 100'. That means with the aviation and boarding parties included we are looking a total complement of around 130. For a basic forward based maritime security vessel thats about 40% too high IMO.


But it's not going to be that, it's going to be an underarmed Frigate with reasonable growth potential

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 25 May 2019, 01:57

dmereifield wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:
Repulse wrote:The T31e Arrowhead 140 video looks interesting, and I can see flexibility in the design...
Realistically the A140 is a £350m to £400m Frigate to do it properly.

Interesting to see the core crew has now increased to 'around 100'. That means with the aviation and boarding parties included we are looking a total complement of around 130. For a basic forward based maritime security vessel thats about 40% too high IMO.


But it's not going to be that, it's going to be an underarmed Frigate with reasonable growth potential
Then, just reduce the number to 4, or even 3.

Say,
- because of innovative forward basing, ....
or
- The second batch will ...

Hoping for future “more money” is hope less, if we review the history of these TWO decades. Assuming these ship will live most of their life with similar armaments level as they are built, is the realistic point of view.


If it is 5, I think Leander will be the best solution. With smaller hull, it’s maintenance and fuel will be small. With its narrowness, it needs only two deisel, which is cheap. All this means, Leander has the highest possibility to be the most heavily armed, most extensively “at sea”, the most well balanced for 1.25B GBP total cost.

By the way, Babcock guy said the boat alcove can accommodate “up to 9.5 m”. I think it is too small for USVs currently considered. Even though Arrowhead 140 is larger than Leander, the latter is better on this, so that it can handle up to 11 m or more.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby J. Tattersall » 25 May 2019, 07:46

Chaps, what is EXLS ?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Old RN » 25 May 2019, 08:14

J. Tattersall wrote:Chaps, what is EXLS ?

A quad packed cold launch system to fit in Mk41 silos. It is seen by some as a way to improve on the "mushroom installation" of CAMM onto Type 26 & 31e. I believe that if you have a minimum load-out of CAMM then installing the cheapest launcher (per missile) is a good solution, unless you are limited by the physical deck area, which 26/31e are not. The only logic of fitting more expensive systems is if you intend to sail with less than the minimum load-out of CAMM.......

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 25 May 2019, 08:46

EXLS is a stand alone system that can be fitted in 3 cell units or be fitted into a Mk-41 launch this system allows Camm to be quad packed and in the case of the Leander design for Type 31 with its poor use of large tubs to hold just 6 missiles it could offer a quick way doubling the load out. however some on here ask that as the Land based CAMM can pack 12 missile on to a 1.5m by 1m part of lorry bed why naval camm needs so much space

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 25 May 2019, 10:12

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Then, just reduce the number to 4, or even 3.


But all we’ll end up is an overpriced unit cost for an below RN standard Frigate. Any short production run without any chance of a follow on (which seeing the T26 will be the RN standard is unlikely even if more cash) is madness IMO.

Splitting the money between more T26s (or higher spec on the T26s) and a follow on OPV (Sloop) still makes more sense as it gives sustainable production lines.

I’d argue that 6 T45s, 10 T26s and 8 River Sloops would be as good as the current mix (6 T45s, 13 T23s, 3 Rivers) if not better.

Building a Sloop Factory with a “guaranteed” order book for 20+ ships from the RN (OPVs, MCMs and Survey ships) over the next 20 years is much more of a strategy than we have now, as is a Frigate order of 10 over 20 years (with a follow up T45 order).
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 25 May 2019, 10:23

dmereifield wrote:it's going to be an underarmed Frigate with reasonable growth potential
At present it's going to be a dangerously underarmed frigate with reasonable growth potential.

It's too much and not enough at the same time. Too much like a frigate to be a cost effective maritime security vessel and too much like a maritime security vessel to be a credible Frigate. A dangerous compromise.

How many other nations in the 21st century are looking to build underarmed Frigates with growth potential?

The current £1.25bn is plenty to procure 5 or possibly 6 maritime security vessels to plug the gap in the mid 2020's allowing HMG enough to figure out a way to fund 12 or 13 credible frigates. Hopefully sense will prevail in the end.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 25 May 2019, 10:56

My view is that Type 31 will end costing 300 to 310 million each once all the dust settles and for that we will end up with a ship that has

3d Radar
good CMS
good soft kill self defence
Hull mounted sonar
Merlin capable Hangar and flight deck
1 x refurbished Mk-8 gun
2 x refurbished 30mm
1 x Phalanx mount Weapon to come from the pool
24 x CAMM with space for more

If I am right this will be a good ship able to conduct ops in most spots in the world. And we should look to keep them for 25 years and then replace them with a new escort type

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 25 May 2019, 13:58

Repulse wrote: below RN standard Frigate

The A140 team (and, I think the Leander team) have publicly stated that they will be built to ANEP 77, which are the RN standards (I would think that the Atlas offering would be as well). The A140 is also said to be NATO ASW rated (I'm not sure if there is anything public about the other two designs ).
Repulse wrote: 6 T45s, 10 T26s and 8 River Sloops

We have 6 T45 and 8 Rivers. There wasn't enough money to build 10 T26, only 8. When offered the choice of adding more money and reverting to building 10 T26, the RN chose to put it into the T31e program. Maybe they know more than you about what the standards are and what they need out of their ships.
Poiuytrewq wrote:it's going to be a dangerously underarmed frigate

How do you know, since no formal spec has yet been produced? The current implication is that it's going to be able to port over some or all of the current T23 weapons, comms gear and possibly radar and HMS, depending on which design wins. In addition, all the mock-ups produced so far (and under the old budget constraints) have included an 8-cell Mk41 and Phalanx mounts (both improvements over the T23 GP). My hope is that moving GFE outside the £250m cap has freed up enough money within it, to allow for a second Mk41 and a large-calibre main gun (with the 4.5 as a fall-back, if not).

As for the EXLS debate - they are not really needed unless we bring lightweight hot-launch missiles into use (VL Brimstone/ Spear 3 or whatever) and even if we do, they could initially be quad-packed in a Mk41 VLS. The mushrooms are all that is needed at this point - they do the job and reserve the space for future upgrades (if ever needed)
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 25 May 2019, 14:06

Tempest414 wrote:My view is that Type 31 will end costing 300 to 310 million each once all the dust settles and for that we will end up with a ship that has

3d Radar
good CMS
good soft kill self defence
Hull mounted sonar
Merlin capable Hangar and flight deck
1 x refurbished Mk-8 gun
2 x refurbished 30mm
1 x Phalanx mount Weapon to come from the pool
24 x CAMM with space for more

If I am right this will be a good ship able to conduct ops in most spots in the world. And we should look to keep them for 25 years and then replace them with a new escort type
No objection, but there will be no additional money. Now, MOD even lacks 5-10B GBP for coming decades (History tells NAO estimation is largely correct). If RN adds some money on T31e, RN is to cut something else. Thus I think the number shall be reduced to, say, 4.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 25 May 2019, 14:36

Caribbean wrote:The A140 team (and, I think the Leander team) have publicly stated that they will be built to ANEP 77, which are the RN standards (I would think that the Atlas offering would be as well). The A140 is also said to be NATO ASW rated (I'm not sure if there is anything public about the other two designs ).
This follows the T31e RFI.
How do you know, since no formal spec has yet been produced? The current implication is that it's going to be able to port over some or all of the current T23 weapons, comms gear and possibly radar and HMS, depending on which design wins. In addition, all the mock-ups produced so far (and under the old budget constraints) have included an 8-cell Mk41 and Phalanx mounts (both improvements over the T23 GP). My hope is that moving GFE outside the £250m cap has freed up enough money within it, to allow for a second Mk41 and a large-calibre main gun (with the 4.5 as a fall-back, if not).
There was no Mk.41 requirement in T31e RFI. RN version of Arrowhead 140 never had Mk.41, nor phalanx in any image. Leander demo model is for export variant, as I understand. For example, it carries ship torpedo defense system, SSMs, and hull sonar, which are all "Fit to Receive" = not included in the original T31e RFI.

I see no indication RN version of T31e ever carry Mk.41, and see no hope there. Being optimistic is basically OK, but "betting" on optimistic viewpoint is very dangerous. It is like saying, "T26 unit cost is 350M GBP (as stated in the early days) and we can build 16 of them easily", even though we saw French FREMM costing 500-900M GBP per hull in average. One of the reasons T31e mess came out.

Being realistic is always the best way to go. Judging based on optimistic view point, but in reality came to be much "realistic" or "worse", it causes disasters.
As for the EXLS debate - they are not really needed unless we bring lightweight hot-launch missiles into use (VL Brimstone/ Spear 3 or whatever) and even if we do, they could initially be quad-packed in a Mk41 VLS. The mushrooms are all that is needed at this point - they do the job and reserve the space for future upgrades (if ever needed)
As I see zero Mk.41 VLS, I cannot agree here. But, I do agree ExLS is not "must" in T31 candidates. "Realizing ExLS" was very important for CAMM export, to beat SeaMICA and to fight against ESSM-blk2. But, since it is already adopted by Brazil and Canada, any future customer can use it if they like. Thanks a lot to Brazil and Canada.

In case of Leander and MEKO200, using 3600t small hull (reasonable considering very cheap 250M GBP average cost), ExLS may help the design. It may even reduce the total cost by providing flexibility in CAMM location. So, ExLS could be "important" in T31e, if not "must".


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