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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 05 Nov 2018, 14:30

Pongoglo wrote:...I suppose the point I am making is that whilst we may consider Leander small by today's standards, she certainly qualifies as a Frigate by those of the past and is most certainly not a Corvette.
...Point is Leander may look a tad small when judged by our current expectation, but she ain't that small !?
Agree. Leander is a "corvette" in point of cost and armament, but in its size and endurance it is a "frigate". So I call it, "long range corvette". :D

This also marks the figure-of-merit of Leander. Difference between an OPV or Bay-class and a Frigate has been enlarged significantly. A Bay-class added with 2 CIWSs is far less capable than a Leander with CAMM, ESM/chaff/flare kits, a gun and a CIWS, in self defense. Far far less.

Bay-with-CIWSs will be sunk with 2 Exocet coming from the same direction at once, or one highly-maneuvable ASM, or one super-sonic ASM (no problem, they are not required to counter them). A T31 Leander with 12 CAMM, two CIWS (57mm at bow and 20mm astern), and extensive soft-kill kit with much lower profile than Bay, can handle these ASMs. Maybe enemy needs 8 or more highly-maneuvable or super-sonic ASMs, by soft-kill, by CAMM, and a little by the CIWSs.

If the threat is higher than this, RN needs the whole CVTF. But, number of nations which can shoot more than 8 such modern ASM to Leander at once is very limited. Among them, Russia, China and India are "super power", and not a nation UK must handle alone.

Here is the rationale of T31e (such as Leander).

Saying Leander's task can be done by Bay and River B2 is not completely wrong, but in many cases not true. Clearly many of the tasks Leander can do cannot be done by OPVs or Bays.
shark bait wrote: (on 76/57 mm canons) ... I think what we end up with is something too big for AAW, and something too small for NGFS. In the case of the T31, I think the RN would be better off not bothering with a medium sized gun, save what little funds there are for a system with real capability.
Interesting proposal. How about using the Leander's bow with "only" 24 CAMM and a 30mm gun ?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 05 Nov 2018, 14:33

Lord Jim wrote:As for the effectiveness of the Italina 76mm in its role as a CIWS, well give the darts ride a beam to the target they should be pretty effective against maneuverable targets,

How do following a beam change the kinematic performance of a round?

Its quite simple physics, a small missile without propellant and small control surfaces will not have a great ability to change direction. This is why the USN have SeaRAM instead of a medium gun for the bit between Phlanx and ESSM. Incidentally CAMM also covers that range.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 05 Nov 2018, 14:41

On NGFS role. I'm very interested in the fact that everyone has different point of view.

For me, with now RN having a CVTF, NGFS is an "easy task". All important enemy assets will be erased by F35B and TLAM, before any of RN ship are reaching near the shore.
- If the enemy is high-end, we will see some "ambush" from remaining land-based ASMs, but it cannot be in big salvo. Even 12 CAMM may work.
- If the enemy is low-end, even a Floreal-class can do NGFS. Because some "simple" counter attack is expected, such as 1 or 2 105--155 mm howitzerer, having a good damage control will be preferred.

NGFS now is a "cheap" land attack capability, which is very important, but just as "the cheapest end of an array of land attack capabilities", from NGFS to TLAM and F35B precision attack. I also think, with CVTF coming, NGFS importance is decreasing. In many cases, sending a F35B with two dozens of SPEAR3s or SDBs might be preferable.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 05 Nov 2018, 15:59

Lord Jim wrote:
NickC wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion
Unread postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Nov 2018, 18:55

NickC wrote:
no UV on horizon has that capability to deploy/operate a CAPTAS 4, need a low cost T31 or if not available will be left to the T26 to use its CAPTAS 4 and making it a noisy fat target.


The pinger part (equivalent to it) from the full set should not be beyond practicalities... the rest done by the T-26. Getting incoming signals bounced off the sub at different angles should also help to deal with improving stealth?


My thinking differs in that I see no possibility whatsoever of any future UV pinger with enough power to be effective in detecting the new gen exceptionally quiet subs, agree that you need signals bounced off sub at different angles to improve chances of detection. That's why think you need a ASW squadron, one T24/26 with two or three simple/cheap T31s for pinging.

The USN use civilian crewed T-AGOS class ships, some nearly 6,000t, to conduct surveillance operations, using very powerful low frequency active pingers, 100-1000 Hz 235+dB, USN Navy gave a figure of 160 dB at about 2 km from the LFA generated by the massive sound transmitters towed behind TAGOS ships that can reach 100 miles, necessary to detect quiet subs at longer ranges, programme required a 50% reduction in weight and power requirements for the acoustic source. Controversy surrounded the project as noise effecting marine mammals, e.g. whales and dolphins.


All of the above works well for "blue water" ASW but as I mentioned above this is very different from the area where these new very quiet conventional submarines are going to hang out most of the time, that being in the coastal and littoral arenas.


"these new very quiet conventional submarines are going to hang out most of the time, that being in the coastal and littoral arenas"
To me that is a very big assumption to make, if true the T23/26 ASW frigates will be of very limited use in that scenario, the 8,000t T26 not suited to coastal and littoral waters with its miles long passive TAS tail optimised for blue water. A big if, if only threat in blue water are the SSNs, the new gen with electric drive will be nearly as quiet as the new gen conventional subs so the T23/26 will still require powerful pingers to be operationally effective.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 05 Nov 2018, 16:19

As it is few nations have "Quiet" SSNs and although some conventional submarines are well suited to "Blue water" operations, their strength lies in coastal/littoral operations. There is still a need for being able to operate in the mid Atlantic or further north but far more nations have SS and will use them in a sea denial roll to prevent shipping from accessing key areas like the Norwegian coast, Persian Gulf and so on. I raise this because a lot of people seem obsessed with trying to put a tail on the T-31e, when a reasonable to good active hull sonar would be more useful in many cases.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 05 Nov 2018, 18:00

donald_of_tokyo wrote:On NGFS role. I'm very interested in the fact that everyone has different point of view.

For me, with now RN having a CVTF, NGFS is an "easy task". All important enemy assets will be erased by F35B and TLAM, before any of RN ship are reaching near the shore.
- If the enemy is high-end, we will see some "ambush" from remaining land-based ASMs, but it cannot be in big salvo. Even 12 CAMM may work.
- If the enemy is low-end, even a Floreal-class can do NGFS. Because some "simple" counter attack is expected, such as 1 or 2 105--155 mm howitzerer, having a good damage control will be preferred.

NGFS now is a "cheap" land attack capability, which is very important, but just as "the cheapest end of an array of land attack capabilities", from NGFS to TLAM and F35B precision attack. I also think, with CVTF coming, NGFS importance is decreasing. In many cases, sending a F35B with two dozens of SPEAR3s or SDBs might be preferable.


Mmmm I think you might be a trifle optimistic about the effectiveness of air support :D

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 05 Nov 2018, 19:29

Lord Jim wrote:Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion
Unread postby Lord Jim » 05 Nov 2018, 16:19

As it is few nations have "Quiet" SSNs and although some conventional submarines are well suited to "Blue water" operations, their strength lies in coastal/littoral operations. There is still a need for being able to operate in the mid Atlantic or further north but far more nations have SS and will use them in a sea denial roll to prevent shipping from accessing key areas like the Norwegian coast, Persian Gulf and so on. I raise this because a lot of people seem obsessed with trying to put a tail on the T-31e, when a reasonable to good active hull sonar would be more useful in many cases.


"a reasonable to good active hull sonar would be more useful in many cases" though for detecting new gen extremely quiet sub would have limited to zero capability, ASW T31 would need quiet hull, engine, MGR etc plus a VDS e.g.

December 2016 Monch report - DUTCH NAVY EVALUATES LFAPS
The Royal Netherlands Navy has recently completed an operational evaluation (OPEVAL) of its new Low Frequency Active Passive Sonar (LFAPS) aboard HMNS VAN AMSTEL, 3,300 t, an M-class (also known as KAREL DOORMAN-class) frigate.
Conducted over several days in conjunction with a WALRUS-class submarine and an NH90 helicopter fitted with low frequency dipping sonar, the OPEVAL demonstrated LFAP’s capability to detect and track a diesel-electric submarine, both mono- and bi-statically, in challenging conditions in littoral waters. Marine Corps Lt.-Gen. Rob Verkerk, Commander of the Royal Netherlands Navy, used Twitter to express his opinion that the testing represented a “quantum leap in the field of submarine warfare!”
Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems developed the hardware for LFAPS, while the processing software was developed by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO.)

The Chinese Navy as well as installing VDS on their frigates and destroyers are now fitting VDS to their light guided missileType 056 1,500t corvettes. A total of 60+ Type 056 are expected to be produced by 2020, 50 launched to date, of which approx the first 20 were built as standard 056 “no-VDS” corvettes, while the latter 40+ are expected to be the 056As.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 05 Nov 2018, 19:50

Caribbean wrote:
SW1 wrote:on uk and overseas territories are we invisaging we need more than Bay/River in the Caribbean depending on time of year

The Rivers have not proved to be a huge success in the Caribbean. Too limited for the anti-smuggling/ maritime security/ HADR role. If we had them there in significant numbers, then they might possibly have some impact, but a single ship, without air assets and limited to a short-endurance 8m rib, is too little in a million sq. miles of the Caribbean (never mind the Gulf of Mexico and the Lucayan Archipelago/ North Atlantic). The Rivers even had to ship extra crew , so that they could field a full rugby team for the obligatory matches against local sides. :) The T21 was much more effective in that role, however, when used in a wartime scenario, it's lack of adequate air defence proved crucial - that has been significantly improved in the T31, being both CAMM and Phalanx capable (one up on the T23, at that). AND they could field a Rugby, football and cricket team AT THE SAME TIME.

SW1 wrote:I don’t see a need to upscale in any of those areas.

See my comments on the RB1's above. Yes - we need to upscale in the Caribbean. In the Falklands and the UK, there are significant land-based assets available, so a different scenario.

SW1 wrote:if we use the 1980s tanker wars as an example would you put a type 31 into that

Considering that we used both Leanders and T21s in the Armilla patrol (both equipped with Sea Cat, which was obsolete by the time of the Falklands), I don't actually see why you couldn't (assuming that, like other ships on Gulf duties, it gets a Phalanx mounted and some CAMM in it's tubes). Ditto for any scenario involving FIACs etc. That's what the Wildcat/ Martlet/ Sea Venom combo is designed for.

SW1 wrote:If your doing NGFS Shore launched anti ship missiles are likely against a near peer particularly a Russian one

And do you really think that ANY current RN warship is going to be doing NGFS solo in that environment? There will be T45s, T26 and Carriers with F35s involved in that scenario.

SW1 wrote:if it’s as benign as Libya or sierra leone would an mlrs on the deck of a lpd be better.

Has anyone actually got that to work? I believe that all attempts so far have been complete failures. Something to do with salt water spray and non-marinised equipment (and the fact that MLRS is not designed for use from a wobbly platform - much prefers solid land under it.).

SW1 wrote:it’s still capable of being a high threat escort ship as type 26 was originally supposed to be

Sorry - straw man argument. Where did I say that. You said "secondary war role" and there are a lot of "secondary war roles" that a ship capable of defending itself and others would be able to do. Convoys don't typically enter high threat zones - quite the opposite, but it doesn't mean that they will never be attacked. The T31 has never been intended to be a T26 equivalent - it's original description was "a T21 for the 21st Century", which shows you exactly what it is aimed at - a Caribbean and Atlantic patrol ship, with the capability to take on a "secondary war role" (though hopefully with the weaknesses of its predecessor eliminated)..


Yeah but I would disagree we’ve had either a bay or wave in the Caribbean for over 10 years now indeed outside of hurricane season at times it was gapped, there’s been no deterioration to justify going to a type 31. Likewise with river probably why we made changes to the river batch 2. Some have said that using a river in the Caribbean has had benefits to with allowing the ship to visit ports frigate and the like could not and training with the locals was better as frigates can be too sophisticated in some cases.

The navy has told us for years nothing less that a type 23 with tail or type 45 would do in the gulf so what’s changed.

No,I don’t expect it to be along I expect the carrier group will be deployed so type 45/26 will be there so as they’ll have 5” guns why do I need a type 31 there or doing the role if our principal escorts are deployed. If your using Vulcan ammo then the extra range I believe comes with reduced warhead size so if your type 31 only has 76mm it maybe limited.

The US marines seem to be persisting https://news.usni.org/2017/10/24/marine ... iment-navy I think they also had further firings with the Japanese at this years Rimpac

Well we’ll have to agree to disagree on that I class the gulf as a high threat environment as is operating against an ssk threat potientially at choke points which has been mentioned for type 31 but possibly not by yourself. I think the type 21s perofrmane in the Falklands ensured the navy does not want a repeat.

For me the bench mark for a Royal Navy escort is the type 23, if type 31 delivers a ship of similar capability and survivability great, however if type 31 can do that for the budget quoted then it opens up bigger questions over type 26 because both can’t do it

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 05 Nov 2018, 20:22

Thanks Donald,

I think we are going around in circles.

Maybe some context would help the debate,
donald_of_tokyo wrote:I think you ignore design+initial cost.....Ignoring design+initial, a 2nd-tier frigate option becomes attractive. But, design+initial cost is huge...
I am not ignoring anything, I have already stated that HMG should invest further in the T26 design and that an overall rebalancing of the fleet will cost more money if the 24 escort/patrol target is to be met.

It isn't just a lack of money, it also a lack of value for money. Everything we build in the British shipbuilding sector is too expensive and the T26 is no different. Put simply the current UK model for naval shipbuilding isn't working. Let's be honest, it's a mess. It's isn't providing value for money for the tax payer, it isn't providing job security for the workers and most importantly it isn't providing the right vessels at the right price so the Royal Navy can live within its means. So what's the solution?

There are no easy answers but if we look across to our nearest European neighbours we see thriving naval and commercial shipbuilding so why not in the UK? Why is Damen so successful? Why are the French building so many vessels for so many countries? How can the Italians have a shipbuilding operation on the scale of Fincantieri and the UK can't? How strong and competitive will the joint venture between Naval and Fincantieri actually be going forward?

It's clear that with the NSS, HMG are at least half interested in addressing some of the problems that have hampered the UK shipbuilding industry since the 1970's and 1980's. But realistically will HMG commit to supporting a UK producer the size of Fincantieri for the long term? If the answer is no then nothing will change and any renaissance in British shipbuilding will be short lived. If the answer is yes then how does HMG go about it? How many yards can RN and RFA work realistically sustain going forward? Is locating all complex naval surface ship building in Scotland sensible or should an English yard now be given at least a portion of the complex work to offset the threat of independence? Is it now time to start thinking about returning to the south coast with the possible closure of Appledore? Should certain yards be supported from a commercial standpoint whilst being able to bid for complex blocks as and when the work is available. Should HMG renationalise one or more of the yards to achieve continuity of supply?

Lots of questions and the NSS tried to address a lot of them but as ever it was a Government review wrapped inside a fiscal envelope. The NSS is in danger of failing before it has even started.

I think with the current debate we are in danger of being so fixated on the fine details and the in-year budgets, weapon systems and capabilities vs cost that we are not giving enough regard to the wider structure of the British shipbuilding industry and how it needs to be supported and organised going forward to ensure the RN and RFA gets what it needs. Without an efficient an cost effective shipbuilding industry RN will never get what it needs at a price the taxpayer can afford. The decline will simply go on and on and everyone will be left scratching their heads as to why we receive so little for such a massive amount of money.

So before looking at budgets and individual vessel designs in my opinion we need to focus on how ships can be built in the UK more efficiently and cost effectively to provide the highest value for money for the taxpayer, and provide RN with what it needs on time and in budget. How do we achieve this?

Some prefer the single, all encompassing mega yard with everything required on a single site. This is undoubtably the most efficient way to build ships but it's also the least cost effective when the work dries up and the massive overheads still have to be paid. When that happens it government bailout time and HMG aren't big fans about getting involved with that sort of thing.

It's controversial, but I don't think the single mega yard format is the right choice for the UK at this present time and the reason for that is pure politics. Where would we build it? No site in the UK currently has the infrastructure without massive investment and building it north of the border I think would be too risky now.

It is for these reasons that I think the NSS got it right by recommending a distributed build strategy but I think the UK needs three centres of excellence namely three yards specialising in three distinct areas.
    1. Complex Frigates and Destroyers, both Tier1 and Tier2.
    2. Survey vessels, OPV's and Corvettes.
    3. Commercial vessels, Auxiliaries and Amphibs.
(I am not anticipating the construction of any further CVF's in the foreseeable future)

Other commercial yards could still bid for blocks if the order books are healthy enough to warrant it.

The strategy of a centre of excellence at Barrow is working well (despite the political interference) and although nothing is ever straightforward with the construction of SSN's and SSBN's it appears the yard is performing well, helped by a continuous drumbeat of work. I would seriously consider expanding the infrastructure at Barrow to increase capacity and start producing British designed and built SSK's. Why let the France, Germany and Japan have the submarine export market to themselves? A steady drumbeat of SSK's leaving Barrow for the export market can only be a good thing for the UK but BAE are unlikely to get into the SSK sector unless it is fully funded, at least initially by HMG through an RN procurement programme. Are RN ready to re enter the SSK game? I don't see any prospect of it at present as it would require a large investment in facilities, a large increase in manpower and a corresponding increase in budget. Highly unlikely which is a pity.

Where the 3 surface orientated yards that I proposed above are situated is of course open for debate but at present I feel its highly unlikely that complex shipbuilding is moving from the Clyde so HMG should fulfil the promise that was made and build the frigate factory, instantly improving efficiency and lowering build costs which will mean more T26's for RN and more competitive pricing and build times for the export market. It should be made very clear when the frigate factory is built that if Scotland ever votes to leave the Union, the frigate factory will be leaving as well.

The yard best suited for building the survey vessels, OPV's and Corvettes is Appledore in my opinion. Some criticise Appledores lack of capacity but in reality it's the small footprint and low running costs that make Appledore ideal for building these various types of modestly sized vessels. It's the highly focused approach on each individual vessel coming out of Appledore that make the yard so efficient and the quality so high. There is nothing wrong with Appledore if HMG would only hurry up and give it something to build.

Again, it's clear, a highly organised build schedule backed by a reliable drumbeat of orders is key. If organised correctly HMG can keep a yard like Appledore ticking over perfectly happily with an RN order book with no need for exports. I would resist the temptation to expand Appledore much further to chase the export market as any expansion in facilities and workforce will also increase overheads which will hit the yard hard if the exports dry up. I would be inclined to keep the survey vessel, OPV and Corvette yard highly focused, highly skilled, highly efficient and highly cost effective. In my opinion Appledore is the perfect fit.

The commercial yard is again an extremely easy choice for me as it has to be Cammell Laird backed up by H&W. The combined capacity of these two yards is massive and it is very unlikely we will ever see them building at full capacity ever again. Cammel Laird continues to do very well from the RFA maintenance contracts. This regular support has turned CL into a thriving enterprise which is fantastic to see but it could be doing ever better. Cammell Laird would have been the perfect yard to have built the Tides and should now be gearing up to build the FSS ships along with any Argus replacement and/or the Points when the time comes. How much better would the wider economy of Birkenhead be doing if CL was being fed a steady drumbeat of RFA orders? How much more efficient and competitive would this yard be if backed by HMG with a steady stream of regular orders? Cammell Laird has the capacity to take on other commercial work even with one or two RFA vessels under construction simultaneously but if a bottleneck did occur H&W could float blocks across to speed up the build schedule. If HMG really wants to support the British shipbuilding industry it must stop sending the RFA orders abroad. A regular drumbeat of orders to build RFA vessels would safeguard the future of CL easily until the mid 2030's when the Amphibs start being replaced. This secure future for Cammell Laird would help solve the next problem - Rosyth.

Trying to maintain BAE's yards at Govan and Scotstoun as well as Rosyth is giving Scotland a bit too much of the wider UK naval shipbuilding work share in my opinion. I think this can be solved by giving Rosyth the maintenance contacts that Cammell Laird currently profits from. Rosyth is an important facility and should be supported but I think Cammell Laird backed by H&W is a better fit for the RFA and Amphib construction going forward.

I firmly believe that without this secure industrial base, UK shipbuilding will never be truly competitive, RN will continue to pay vastly more than necessary for each vessel and the majority of RFA vessels will be built abroad. In other words any renaissance for RN or UK shipbuilding will be short lived. It is not beyond HMG to implement a 3 yard plan (4 with Barrow) in my opinion, and with the upcoming build programmes on the near horizon now is the perfect time to do it. HMG must prioritise support for British industry over in-year budget spreadsheets. We only need to look to France and Italy to see how the supported model can work and help build export momentum and confidence that will ultimately lead to a healthy tax receipts for the exchequer.

So back to where we started. The Type T26 and the numbers the UK can afford.

I believe that the T26 design could actually be the one thing that provides the catalyst for the resurgence of British naval shipbuilding. It's a world beating design, but it's very expensive, so not for everyone. The obvious challenge now (to me) is to make it simpler and cheaper to widen the export market towards the Tier2 price point to take on both the FREMM and FTI priced vessels. At the same time work needs to start on making the T26 even more complicated with a Tier1 AAW variant so that the transition from the T45 to its eventual replacement is as seamless as possible.

This is probably were I look at things differently to most. The popular argument is, rather than investing further at this stage in the T26 hull, we could just build a few more T26's with the same amount of money so why bother? This in my view is far too simplistic and shortsighted. If we do that the T45 replacement, even if built on a T26 hull, will cost billions to design and get into production. And it will probably be late. More overpriced OPV's to bridge the gap?

Why not make the same investment slowly over time to gradually evolve the T26 design into multiple variants. In effect there would be no stopping T26 production and starting building the T45 replacement, it would just be a production line working to a steady drumbeat, producing whatever variant that RN requires at the time. This steady drumbeat of manufacture would need to be backed by a steady drumbeat of real money and this is where I think Tempest414 has got it bang on. A confirmed UK shipbuilding budget of around £1bn per annum, adjusted by inflation annually and ideally agreed on a cross party basis would solve a lot of the current problems. A cross party consensus should be possible as I see no reason why the SNP or labour would object? They might criticise but I don't think they would object.

With all this in place, what might be possible?

A few points to consider,

1. With the Frigate Factory built and the artificial brakes removed from the T26 build schedule, how much would hulls 4 to 8 or 4 to 12 actually cost?

2. With a very basic weapons fit (76mm, 2x30mm, 24 CAMM, Artisan, 2150 and 2087), how much cheaper would an unaltered T26 cost if ordered as hulls 9 to 12?

3. How much would a goalkeeper version cost with 76mm, 2x30mm's, 96 CAMM quad packed, Artisan and 2150 cost if ordered as hulls 13 and 14?

4. What would a UK built export variant look like? How much cheaper can follow-on T26's be before really having to start altering the existing design if the goal is to manufacture a £500m/£550m variant? CODAD, CODELOD? Mission Bay?

5. Would adding 4 or 5 extra T26's into the build schedule to increase build speed and efficiency, built specifically for export and to be sold on at cost actually bring down the cost of UK's 8 hulls? Could these extra hulls be retained if the financial situation improves or be sold to an export customer if they don't ?

None of this affects the T31 programme but the answers to these questions may have a bearing on the final design that is chosen for the T31. If 5x cheap patrol vessels have to be built to provide a maritime security presence and bridge the gap then that is the way it has to be but the longer term strategy is the critical factor in my opinion.

That's a reasonably long way of explaining my position but concentrating on the minor details whilst ignoring the major issues is almost pointless in my view. The UK needs a coherent and fully funded naval and commercial shipbuilding strategy first and foremost. Until we get it, boom will be followed by bust again and again and RN will be the loser. Further shrinkage and decline will be the result. I think the T26 hull with further investment could provide the pathway to stop the rot and halt the decline.

With the Frigate factory up and running and a clear forward looking industrial strategy in place how far could the £9.25bn actually go? Wouldn't it be interesting to find out.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 05 Nov 2018, 21:35

Poiuytrewq

But if that’s the model you wanted to follow why wouldn’t you follow the carrier build and assemble your ships at roysth when you’ve invested in the assembly process there and have yards around the uk bid to build blocks. It would potentially help you exports too because why would anyone looking for such a ship want it built in the uk?

Most countries now want to assembly designs in there own country, is that not one reason why France has developed the integrated mast and control room module initially on gowind and now expanded it for FTI. They keep the high tech, large IP content module in France and ship to the hull being built in the customers country.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 05 Nov 2018, 22:04

SW1 wrote:I think the type 21s perofrmane in the Falklands ensured the navy does not want a repeat.


I for one feel the type 21 did a good job in the Falklands lets remember that these ships were sent into war woefully under armed and then they were given some of the worst jobs with two being lost in San Carlos water and all they had to defend them self was 1 x 4.5 and 2 x 20mm and only after the war did the remaining ship get a extra pair of 20mm. As I have said before they feared no better or no worse than any other type as we also sadly lost 2 type 42s

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 05 Nov 2018, 22:37

Tempest414 wrote:
SW1 wrote:I think the type 21s perofrmane in the Falklands ensured the navy does not want a repeat.


I for one feel the type 21 did a good job in the Falklands lets remember that these ships were sent into war woefully under armed and then they were given some of the worst jobs with two being lost in San Carlos water and all they had to defend them self was 1 x 4.5 and 2 x 20mm and only after the war did the remaining ship get a extra pair of 20mm. As I have said before they feared no better or no worse than any other type as we also sadly lost 2 type 42s


I was less thinking of there armament when I mentioned performance more the issues operating in heavy seas and how the structure reacted once hit. The Falklands was as big a shock to the RNs standards as recent incidents in the Pacific have been to the USN.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 05 Nov 2018, 23:19

SW1 wrote:we’ve had either a bay or wave in the Caribbean for over 10 years now

Almost exclusively during hurricane season - and they've proved more capable in the anti-smuggling role than the Rivers, since they can carry helicopters and see further with their radar. It has, however been some years since we were involved in a large drugs bust in the Caribbean (genuinely, that is, rather than being allowed to take some credit for a USN/USCG operation).
SW1 wrote:outside of hurricane season at times it was gapped, there’s been no deterioration to justify going to a type 31

See my comments above re: lack of drugs busts etc. - a marked deterioration, in fact.
SW1 wrote:Some have said that using a river in the Caribbean has had benefits to with allowing the ship to visit ports frigate and the like could not and training with the locals was better as frigates can be too sophisticated in some cases

That's a reference to Cayman - the moorings in Hog Stye Bay (just across from what was, for many years, one of my favourite watering holes) are very shallow, so the Rivers were the first RN vessels to moor alongside, rather than out on the cruiseship line. Not so much of a problem in most of the rest of the Caribbean BOTS. Training with the locals is one point in favour of the Rivers, but doesn't really compensate for their inability to catch drugs, people and gun smugglers.
SW1 wrote:as is operating against an ssk threat potientially at choke points which has been mentioned for type 31 but possibly not by yourself

No - the T31 is not intended to be an ASW vessel (at least not in this iteration). With the right equipment, it is intended to be an ASW "picture contributor" and capable of "entry-level ASW", but it is not intended as a substitute for the T26 (intentionally, I would think)
SW1 wrote:type 23, if type 31 delivers a ship of similar capability and survivability great, however if type 31 can do that for the budget quoted then it opens up bigger questions over type 26 because both can’t do it

The T26 is the T22/T23 replacement - the T31 is more of a T21 "replacement", only this time with no aluminium and with a state-of-the-art AAW system.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 06 Nov 2018, 07:24

Poiuytrewq wrote:Thanks Donald,

I think we are going around in circles.

Maybe some context would help the debate,
Thanks a lot for comprehensive documentation. Helps a lot.
There are no easy answers but if we look across to our nearest European neighbours we see thriving naval and commercial shipbuilding so why not in the UK? Why is Damen so successful? Why are the French building so many vessels for so many countries? How can the Italians have a shipbuilding operation on the scale of Fincantieri and the UK can't? How strong and competitive will the joint venture between Naval and Fincantieri actually be going forward?
Good point. We need a good assessment on it.

- Damen is a world leader on small specialist vessels, especially in offshore vessels such as PSV. Without that merchant section, Daman will dry out.

- France. We all know French Marine nationale (MN) is sacrificing a lot to keep the export competitive.
--- FREMM frigate "stolen" from navy to be sold to Egypt. It was right before commissioning. MN was forced to use old-frigate for 1-2 years more.
--- As FREMM export was ended with 2 (Egypt and Morocco), and international export effort was concentrated into Italian FREMM (which all failed to now). France proceeded to FTI light-frigate.To get 5 FTI, France is spending money more than those needed for 5 FREMM.
--- La Fayette was very successful in export, but their original ones are very lightly armed. Even with recent "ASW capable" modernization, what it is getting is a small hull sonar and replacing its Crotale SAM with 6x2 Mistral SAM system (it is just MANPADs!)
--- Their G. Leygues frigate has seldom been modified, and has a terribly outdated SAM.
- In place, they have an innovative and well-trained designing team, well-trained ship yards, and hence good export results.

If UK wants to follow them, much more comprehensive affirmative action is required. Sacrifice is needed. It will not only benefit RN by providing good ships, it will even degrade RN capability (as we see in France).
The NSS is in danger of failing before it has even started.
NSS is just a propaganda. It is made up of many contradictions. For example, standing up and concluding T31e in such a hurry means, RN resources will dry out by 2025. Because of its short timeframe, shipyards will not grow their engineer/labor force = no chance to gain their strength. It also does not train any design team. So, if no export was there, ship yards are certainly dead and bankrupt around 2025, and all the money is wasted. It is crystal clear. Yet another prototypical example of "hoping for thin optimism, destroying RN".
I think with the current debate we are in danger of being so fixated on the fine details and the in-year budgets, weapon systems and capabilities vs cost that we are not giving enough regard to the wider structure of the British shipbuilding industry and how it needs to be supported and organised going forward to ensure the RN and RFA gets what it needs. Without an efficient an cost effective shipbuilding industry RN will never get what it needs at a price the taxpayer can afford. The decline will simply go on and on and everyone will be left scratching their heads as to why we receive so little for such a massive amount of money.
So before looking at budgets and individual vessel designs in my opinion we need to focus on how ships can be built in the UK more efficiently and cost effectively to provide the highest value for money for the taxpayer, and provide RN with what it needs on time and in budget. How do we achieve this?
No objection, but your approach also needs big sacrifice. For example, to invest such money, how about totally abandoning T26 program? RN "may" get benefit in 10 years future, but see big drop now. It is not clear if your approach is better than current one.

Yearly budget is cash flow, not stock. If spend exceeds income, HMG will simply stop. So, investing more than current budget means debt. Of course, debt needs interest. It may pay, or it may not. I am not saying your plan is bad. But, I am saying your plan is clearly with risk. Current plan is also with risk. BOTH has a good rationale, I think.
It is for these reasons that I think the NSS got it right by recommending a distributed build strategy but I think the UK needs three centres of excellence namely three yards specialising in three distinct areas.
    1. Complex Frigates and Destroyers, both Tier1 and Tier2.
    2. Survey vessels, OPV's and Corvettes.
    3. Commercial vessels, Auxiliaries and Amphibs.
(I am not anticipating the construction of any further CVF's in the foreseeable future)

Other commercial yards could still bid for blocks if the order books are healthy enough to warrant it.
Full of political compromise from the start. I do not like this plan. I will select Barrow for SSN, Clyde for escort (and OPV), and another one (CL?) for RFA, MHC (and OPV). I will let all others survive within the market. If Scotland is gone, Defence budget will shrink and escort and RFA ship number will further decrease. May be merge all into CL, because keeping 1 escort yards will become impossible.
...HMG should fulfil the promise that was made and build the frigate factory, instantly improving efficiency and lowering build costs which will mean more T26's for RN and more competitive pricing and build times for the export market.
Who are paying the cost to build frigate factory? If it is HMG, it is debt. Future "decrease in T26 build cost" will be almost absorbed in the debt's interests. If not, surely BAE as a private company must have been done it by themselves. Also, as UK is not exporting T26 hull built in UK, "frigate factory" will do nothing for export.

Sorry I admit I am a bit too ironic here. But please do not misunderstand me.

I think forgetting the debts interest will be very dangerous = can guide us into wrong conclusion.
Again, it's clear, a highly organised build schedule backed by a reliable drumbeat of orders is key.
I totally agree here!! So the first thing to do is to make both parties in UK to agree on it, and contract TOBA valid for at least 20 years with the 3 or 4 shipyards we select, so that any general election cannot change this conclusion. In other words, HMG takes all the future risks. If it is done, many options may come out, and your proposal is one of the options to be discussed, I agree. I even think BAE will invest by themselves on the frigate factory.

So back to where we started. The Type T26 and the numbers the UK can afford.
I will answer it later.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2018, 07:28

Caribbean wrote:the T31 is more of a T21 "replacement", only this time with no aluminium and with a state-of-the-art AAW system.


Well put. I would assume that "global" deployability is also markedly a step up? Forward basing is an option - you can, but may not, use it.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2018, 07:59

[quote=]especially in offshore vessels such as PSV. Without that merchant section, Daman will dry out.
[/quote]
Because of its short timeframe, shipyards will not grow their engineer/labor force = no chance to gain their strength. It also does not train any design team. So, if no export was there, ship yards are certainly dead and bankrupt around 2025, and all the money is wasted.


Long post, will have to get back later. But re: above quotes. May be we are just filling in for the lacking off-shore demand, to keep the capacity as it is, not grow it?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 06 Nov 2018, 08:20

ArmChairCivvy wrote:I would assume that "global" deployability is also markedly a step up? Forward basing is an option - you can, but may not, use it.

Agreed - both factors are definitely a step in the right direction.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2018, 08:45

HMG takes all the future risks. If it is done, many options may come out


What did Einstein say about doing the same thing again and again, and expecting a different result?
- we tried it for 15 years
- BUT it was done for a good reason (how to carry over the industry with its hangover, after indulging with the carrier binge drinking)
- clearly a one-off reason (if we restrict our horizon to 50 years)
- do it again, and one result will be sure (again): ship price inflation

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 06 Nov 2018, 09:08

SW1 wrote:I was less thinking of there armament when I mentioned performance more the issues operating in heavy seas and how the structure reacted once hit. The Falklands was as big a shock to the RNs standards as recent incidents in the Pacific have been to the USN.


And as I said the the type 42 was no better when hit my point that it would hard for a modern ship to survive the damage from 7 bombs hitting home as was the case for HMS Ardent

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 06 Nov 2018, 09:20

The only way we are going to be able to maintain a credible warship building industry going forward is really to put the majority of our eggs in one basket. The Key to everything is the T-26 programme and not the T-31e. BAe need to have confidence of continued orders form the UK Government if it is to be willing to invest in its facilities and workforce. This can only be done by having the T-26 produced under a drumbeat style programme and having the existing programme brought back up to the speed BAE offered originally. This will involve money up front but this could or should come from other government departments as it is really a case of support industry. There is the option of having blocks built in other yards, but, as has been pointed out by the Defence Select Committee we need to retain a yard able to refit the carriers, so Scotland must remain our prime shipyard location. Other types of vessel that are not true warships should still be put out to international tender unless the work is required to maintain the above. Under this I would include all RFA platforms and even the future MHPC, with the possibility of hulls being built overseas and fitted out in the UK. The majority of resources must be committed to he T-26 building and development programme which means the T-31e should be killed off ASAP and the £1.25Bn used as seed money for the former programmes expansion.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Nov 2018, 09:23

Contrary to 'folklore' about T31 being a rushed idea, the decision to to split the class in two (8+5) was taken in 2010, but seeing T-26 through the main gate took longer than anyone had expected
- letting the follow-on act 'bolt' before time was not permissible

Had it become known that a T23 successor will cost three-four times more, then defending that 8+5 split might have been an onerous task ;)
- sliding the ruler later, little by little, suits everyone involved better?

[ Double posting here as some folks may not consider this "news"... or not even an informed comment :( on 'news']

Officially, of course,T-31 only came out of the 2015 SDSR ( by then it was apparent to all that T-26 was going to be too expensive. Despite the fact (!?) that the concept and assessment phases of Type 26 development emphasised cost efficiency).
- what happened in 2010? Britain had just cut its defence budget of 36.9 billion pounds by eight percent in real terms up to 2015.
- but Osborne had promised 'jam' thereafter. 'Better' defence and security reviews were due in 2015 and 2020, which could alter future plans.
- Reuters reported on Nov 29 (, 2010) :
"LONDON (Reuters) - Specifications for a new type of British warship designed by BAE Systems will be scaled back to shrink costs, which could prompt the country to order more ships, defence sources said on Monday.

The new Type 26 frigate, due for delivery in the early 2020s, is being developed under Britain’s Future Surface Combatant programme. The vessel’s specifications will be lowered partly to save money as Britain tackles a record budget deficit.

One senior defence ministry source said the cost of a ship will be cut to 250-350 million pounds, from about 500 million.

Another senior defence ministry source said that could allow more ships to be ordered, countering criticism that the navy has sacrificed numbers in favour of fewer high-tech vessels, leaving it more vulnerable"

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 06 Nov 2018, 09:54

Lord Jim wrote:There is still a need for being able to operate in the mid Atlantic or further north but far more nations have SS and will use them in a sea denial roll to prevent shipping from accessing key areas like the Norwegian coast, Persian Gulf and so on. I raise this because a lot of people seem obsessed with trying to put a tail on the T-31e, when a reasonable to good active hull sonar would be more useful in many cases.


You make it sound like it is one or the other, tails for deep water and hulls sonar for shallow, which is not the case.

A small high frequency fish can be a very useful tool in the shallower waters, where thermal and salinity layers are much more pronounced and its handy to get a senor in different conditions.

Likewise if conditions allow for it bottom bounce is one of the better techniques for detection in shallower waters, the chance of this working increases when a passive array is working alongside and active pinger on the hull.

Recently the real focus for working in the shallows has been on multistatic sonobuoys.

What is needed is a proper sonar suite, like the FTI has, with a hull sonar and tail and helicopter.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 06 Nov 2018, 10:04

SW1 wrote:Most countries now want to assembly designs in there own country, is that not one reason why France has developed the integrated mast and control room module initially on gowind and now expanded it for FTI. They keep the high tech, large IP content module in France and ship to the hull being built in the customers country.


This is next level ship building. France has nailed their strategy with this novel solution, it makes the Biritish ship building strategy look like amateurs stuck in the 80's.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 06 Nov 2018, 10:11

Lord Jim wrote:The only way we are going to be able to maintain a credible warship building industry going forward is really to put the majority of our eggs in one basket. The Key to everything is the T-26 programme and not the T-31e. BAe need to have confidence of continued orders form the UK Government if it is to be willing to invest in its facilities and workforce. This can only be done by having the T-26 produced under a drumbeat style programme and having the existing programme brought back up to the speed BAE offered originally. This will involve money up front but this could or should come from other government departments as it is really a case of support industry. There is the option of having blocks built in other yards, but, as has been pointed out by the Defence Select Committee we need to retain a yard able to refit the carriers, so Scotland must remain our prime shipyard location. Other types of vessel that are not true warships should still be put out to international tender unless the work is required to maintain the above. Under this I would include all RFA platforms and even the future MHPC, with the possibility of hulls being built overseas and fitted out in the UK. The majority of resources must be committed to he T-26 building and development programme which means the T-31e should be killed off ASAP and the £1.25Bn used as seed money for the former programmes expansion.


If we put aside type 31 as a stand allowen project to get us out of the mess we are in right now we could still build all the ships the RN - RFA need for as little as 850 million a year over 30 years this could give us

15 x tier 1 escorts
15 x 95 to 100 meter Multi-Mission sloop
3 X FFS
4 X B2 Bays
1 x LPH
4 x B2 Point class
1 x Hospital ship
1 x Ice patrol ship

to start with and to put this in to context it costs over 2 billion pounds a week to run the NHS

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RichardIC » 06 Nov 2018, 10:42

Tempest414 wrote:to start with and to put this in to context it costs over 2 billion pounds a week to run the NHS


With respect, that contextualises sod all.

And where do you get your detailed fantasy fleet costings from?


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