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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 » 30 Dec 2018, 15:50

I wonder if we gave them the plans for the T-26, how long it would take then to build all eight? Could they do it faster then what BAe offered? Could they build thirteen for the same money? Could we get the South Koreans to build the hulls and outfit them in the UK. Should the Government leak such ideas to put a rocket up BAe to get them to drop their prices after the first three so we can add two or three onto the programme and cancel the T-31e?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Ron5 » 30 Dec 2018, 16:25

NickC wrote:November Daewoo Shipbuilding and Engineering awarded a $558M/~£440M contract to build the fifth and sixth FFX-II Daegu class frigates for South Korea’s navy, December Hyundai Heavy Industries contracted to build the last two of the eight Daegu class frigates for $563M/~£440 million order. Total programme budget reported to cost $2.7B/~£1.6B, ~£200M per frigate. The first of class launched by DSME June 2016 and delivered Feb. 2018, last to be delivered 2023, eight ships to be delivered in six years.

Daegu frigates 122m LOA, 14m beam, depth moulded of 7.4m, draught 4.15m. The standard and full-load displacements are 2,800t and 3,600t respectively. Ships will be CODLOG hybrid-electric drive for quietness, same propulsion system as T26, powered by a single RR MT30 36-40MW and two shaft mounted 1.7 MW DRS Permanent Magnetic Motors powered by 4 x MTU 12V 4000 M53B 1,650 kW gensets (as in T23 update), cruise 17/18 knots; max 30 knots; range: 4,500 nm; complement: 120.

Armament: 1 × 5 inch Mk-45 Mod 4 L62 ; 1 × 20 mm Phalanx CIWS; 2 × 3 K745 Blue Shark LWT, flight deck/hanger for 10t helicopter.

Missiles: 16 cell K-VLS; Cheolmae-2 MR-SAM, max. range 40 km; Haegung short range K-SAAM (4 per cell); Haeseong II supersonic Tactical Land Attack & Anti-Ship Missiles; Hong Sang Eo (Red Shark) ASROC ; 2 × 4 SSM-700K quad deck launched Haeseong sub-sonic anti-ship missiles.

Sensors: SPS-550K air search 3D radar; SPG-540K FCR; SQS-240K HMS; SQR-220KA1 TAS; SAQ-540K EOTS; Hanwha Systems IRSTs; Naval Shield Integrated CMS; LIG Nex1 SLQ-200(V)K Sonata EWS; SLQ-261K torpedo acoustic counter measures; MASS decoy launchers.

IF, if budget costs are accurate, it shows the order of magnitude of how more efficient South Korean shipyards are and by implication Chinese shipyards as they are the world's largest builders of commercial ships, makes the T31 budget look positively generous.

PS - HHI planning & design for follow-on FFX Batch III class of six started in December 2016 will be ~200 standard tons larger, 125m LOA, beam 15m, draught 5m, range 8,500nm @ 15 knots, endurance 40 days, variously reported budget as £333M /~£430M each

The main update will be the anti-air/BMD mission role, include a new MFR GaN-AESA flat panel dual polarised radar (same tech as in the new LM radars) S & X band plus four IRST sensors with the 'Sea Bow' M-SAM, said to be ABM capable system, a longer range and larger interceptor version than the land based Sky Bow SAAM.

The six FFX Batch III are set to be built by 2026, delivered by 2028?, to be followed by six Next Generation destroyers KDDX.


Before criticizing UK shipbuilders you need to see what is and is not included in Korean warship contracts.

I've commented before on your juvenile habit of assuming all contacts are equal. You need to grow up.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 30 Dec 2018, 16:47

Lord Jim wrote:I could go on quoting the scenario covered by numerous works of military alternative history fiction and so on, but to sum up we will only have one Carrier group available to us, not two, one. We have enough escorts to protect it and police UK waters to some extent. At a push we can escort the ARG at the same time for a limited period with help. That is going to be it going forward.


No matter how much we would like it not to be the “ARG” and “Carrier” group are one and the same. They aren’t separate, individual ships can always be sent to various places on there own but as a group there’s only one.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 30 Dec 2018, 16:51

Lord Jim wrote:I wonder if we gave them the plans for the T-26, how long it would take then to build all eight? Could they do it faster then what BAe offered? Could they build thirteen for the same money? Could we get the South Koreans to build the hulls and outfit them in the UK. Should the Government leak such ideas to put a rocket up BAe to get them to drop their prices after the first three so we can add two or three onto the programme and cancel the T-31e?


Like with nearly all uk defence programs the speed of delivery is nearly always down to the fact the MoD has no money to pay for units if they are delivered quicker because it crams too many programs it cannot afford in to its budget and pushes programs to the right to compensate.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 30 Dec 2018, 16:55

Lord Jim wrote:In theory everything said above makes perfect sense but we either have our fleet supporting NATO or we have them in the east supporting friendly nations against Chinese expansion, we cannot do both. Simple having a token vessel be it a T-26 or an OPV is not going to make any difference except to provide a show of solidarity, and it deprives the actual important parts of the navy the CSG and ARG of a valuable escort in the case of the former.

Our Navy is good and will have some very capable vessels but not enough of them. It is going to take a real step change in funding to increase the size of the Navy such as increasing the Defence Budget to a minimum of 2.5% GDP or even 3% and that is going to take a major event to take place like the Chinese invading a country or Russia going after the Baltics or the rest of Ukraine.

Everybody on here know the Navy needs more assets but under current plans we are going to only have 14 true escorts, 5 high endurance patrol vessels and that is about it,
Actually I think this policy of opening new forward bases makes things clearer about the UK's forward direction in the next decade and this is exactly the role a £250m T31 is designed to perform. It's not a war fighting vessel, it's the cheapest possible way to increase the UK's global presence. A £250m T31 will fool no one but it doesn't need to. It's about expanding UK global presence not UK global military presence.

Regardless of the wisdom of this policy I am left wondering, do any of the current T31 designs actually suit this strategy? Of course they will all perform well at providing maritime security but little else.

The Caribbean for example has little use for an RN frigate, it would be a waste of scarce resources, especially when frigate numbers drop to 8. So what does the Caribbean need? It all depends on what type and size of base is opened but I would suggest at this point a modified Wave and and RB3 would be perfect. A Leander would do just as well as an RB3 of course but it's twice the cost and requires twice the manpower. We don't have the luxury of wasting resources.

Singapore is an entirely different ballgame with the current tensions in the region. My query would be, what are we trying to achieve? Forward basing a T23 could be justified but what about 1 of only 8 T26's? I don't think so. Current planning is a mystery here as a £250m T31 would be little use in a conflict in the South China Sea. I would suggest a T23 backed up by a Wave or Bay would be a good start.

In conclusion my initial reaction would be to forward base,

    - One T23 plus an MCM mothership plus the MCM's in the Gulf
    - One T23 plus a Bay/Wave in Singapore
    - One modified Wave or similar plus a RB3 in the Caribbean.

Based on that assessment it appears that we really need to be looking at upgrading the spec of at least some of the T31's or simply build extra T26's but not necessarily at top spec. It also shows the need for a RB3 type vessel.

Of course none of this in line with current planning so will planning now have to change to achieve the new objectives?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 30 Dec 2018, 17:18

Poiuytrewq wrote:Singapore is an entirely different ballgame with the current tensions in the region. My query would be, what are we trying to achieve? Forward basing a T23 could be justified but what about 1 of only 8 T26's? I don't think so. Current planning is a mystery here as a £250m T31 would be little use in a conflict in the South China Sea. I would suggest a T23 backed up by a Wave or Bay would be a good start.

In conclusion my initial reaction would be to forward base,

- One T23 plus an MCM mothership plus the MCM's in the Gulf
- One T23 plus a Bay/Wave in Singapore
- One modified Wave or similar plus a RB3 in the Caribbean.

Based on that assessment it appears that we really need to be looking at upgrading the spec of at least some of the T31's or simply build extra T26's but not necessarily at top spec. It also shows the need for a RB3 type vessel.


Just as a consideration if you look at the nations which we consider friendly in that region Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand if you asked them what they’d like us to provide to help them operate in region, would they rather have another frigates or a tanker or stores ships.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 30 Dec 2018, 17:24

Poiuytrewq wrote:So what does the Caribbean need?

Why a Wave class? Surely it would be better if they were employed doing what they were designed for an supporting forward-deployed naval vessels - RAS rigs are of little use for HADR in the Caribbean. Far better to base a cheap and simple freighter in the region (bolt on, or containerise, a few goodies, like a desalination plant and decent medical facilities, sure) and pair it with a helicopter capable patrol ship (A B3 if you must, but it seems an expensive option, when considering the cost of the B2s - I'd prefer a Vard design). With the change in OECD rules about Development aid being useable in natural disasters, a large part of this could be paid for out of either DfID or Caribbean Infrastructure funds.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 30 Dec 2018, 17:31

Poiuytrewq wrote:In conclusion my initial reaction would be to forward base,

- One T23 plus an MCM mothership plus the MCM's in the Gulf
- One T23 plus a Bay/Wave in Singapore
- One modified Wave or similar plus a RB3 in the Caribbean.

Based on that assessment it appears that we really need to be looking at upgrading the spec of at least some of the T31's or simply build extra T26's but not necessarily at top spec. It also shows the need for a RB3 type vessel.

Of course none of this in line with current planning so will planning now have to change to achieve the new objectives?


A few thing here for me . One we need to put this talk of RB3 to bed and move on with the MHPC program. Two we need to make type 31 more capable this would allow for something like this

A) 1 x T23 + 1 Bay + 3 MCM in the Gulf to be replaced as new ships come on line by 1 x T31 + 2 x MHPC in MCM fit
B) 2 x Wave in Singapore joined as and when by a escort
C) 1 x Bay + 1 x RB2 which would be replaced later by a MHPC in patrol fit

as I said up thread I think the Waves would work well in the east offering much needed support to allied assets plus being able to conducted freedom of Nav stuff

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 30 Dec 2018, 20:35

Lord Jim, Whilst Russia is getting more belligerent the Far East is too important to the future world stability and UK wealth to be ignored. I agree, the RN has limited funds, but equally it doesn’t need to do it all alone either, but even then it needs to prioritise.

The RN focus should be on:
1) Securing the North Atlantic (including the North Sea and U.K. EEZ)
2) Securing the EEZ of the BOTs
3) Working with Allies to ensure the freedom to navigate the seas and prevent choke points being blocked / controlled by potential adversaries.

(1) can be achieved in partnership with the USN & RCN and (3) with the RAN, RNZN, RSN and USN. (2) can be achieved by forward based OPVs.

The RN should be aiming for a larger escort fleet (minimum of 15 T26s, scrapping the T31e) and 3 CSGs so that one can be deployed East of Suez with Allies and another in UK waters ready to respond to an incident closer to home, whilst the third is in refit.

This is the best use of limited funds in my view as well as investing is as many SSNs the U.K. can build and afford.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 30 Dec 2018, 20:48

Repulse wrote:Securing the EEZ of the BOTs

What does that mean? It's not something the RN do today, why should they bothered starting?

The territories are self governing, they should look after their own, the RN don't need more tasks that return little value.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 30 Dec 2018, 21:47

shark bait wrote:
Repulse wrote:Securing the EEZ of the BOTs

What does that mean? It's not something the RN do today, why should they bothered starting?

The territories are self governing, they should look after their own, the RN don't need more tasks that return little value.


We do with FIGS and I’d argue do for Gibraltar using smaller craft and have done on occasion for Cyprus. I’m seeing an increasing need for Diego Garcia also with recent Chinese moves with the Maldives.

I’d argue that a OPV/Survey Ship hybrid would be perfect for a ship based in Singapore - good bit of ISR and underwater mapping to the benefit of any RN deployment and our allies. If a T26 could be found I’d say forward base with the RAN and use common maintenance facilities to keep it there.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 30 Dec 2018, 21:52

There is no Gibraltar or Cyprus EEZ claimed by the UK. What little value is there adding further tasks for "Securing the EEZ of the BOTs"?

There is lots of value working closer with our FPDA partners, it's the only way we can sustain operations in the region.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 30 Dec 2018, 22:02

Tempest414 wrote:One we need to put this talk of RB3 to bed and move on with the MHPC program.
Fine by me but it's due to be at least a decade away, can we wait that long?
Tempest414 wrote:... we need to make type 31 more capable
This is a priority, scrap it or properly fund it.
Caribbean wrote:Why a Wave class? Surely it would be better if they were employed doing what they were designed for an supporting forward-deployed naval vessels
Use them or lose them. I think a modified Wave would do a good job in the Caribbean but there are also plenty of other options.
Caribbean wrote:Far better to base a cheap and simple freighter in the region (bolt on, or containerise, a few goodies, like a desalination plant and decent medical facilities, sure
Sounds good to me. We need to honour our obligations in the region but it must be done in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.
Caribbean wrote:A B3 if you must, but it seems an expensive option, when considering the cost of the B2s - I'd prefer a Vard design). With the change in OECD rules about Development aid being useable in natural disasters, a large part of this could be paid for out of either DfID or Caribbean Infrastructure funds.
A Vard design would be just as good, something for Appledore to be doing right now. I would be tempted to build a few of them for the Falklands and the far East as well. I would also make them bigger rather than smaller to increase the HADR capacity. Would that kill 2 birds with one stone making the freighter unnecessary?
SW1 wrote:Just as a consideration if you look at the nations which we consider friendly in that region Singapore, Japan, Australia, New Zealand if you asked them what they’d like us to provide to help them operate in region, would they rather have another frigates or a tanker or stores ships.
Good question, Tempest414's double Wave proposal may actually be more appealing to our Allies in the region but regular visits by Frigates and Destroyers would also be welcome I'm sure, as would our CSG :D

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 30 Dec 2018, 22:39

shark bait wrote:The territories are self governing

Only internally. The FCO can actually override the locally elected Assembly with Orders in Council. We are also responsible for defense, security and foreign relations.
Poiuytrewq wrote:Tempest414's double Wave proposal may actually be more appealing to our Allies in the region

I would see that as a better use of the Waves than in the Caribbean
Poiuytrewq wrote:A Vard design would be just as good, something for Appledore to be doing right now. I would be tempted to build a few of them for the Falklands and the far East as well. I would also make them bigger rather than smaller to increase the HADR capacity. Would that kill 2 birds with one stone making the freighter unnecessary?

A good thought, but the reality is that hurricane or earthquake relief needs the ability to shift a lot of material fast. That could be handled by leased civilian shipping, of course, but the vehicles and supplies would have to be stored, and a system would have to be in place to get appropriate personnel, in-region, at relatively short (2-4 days) notice. The USMC move troops in from Honduras by helicopter, using Cayman as a staging post. They were actually waiting in Cayman c. 24 hours before the hurricanes blew through last season (and the one before when Haiti got hammered).
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 30 Dec 2018, 22:51

Caribbean wrote:The FCO can actually override the locally elected Assembly with Orders in Council.

@T&CI it was unclear whether the Premier went on the run because he owed Russian mafia money for "business" gone wrong, or because the FCO sent someone to take over from him
- both happened, but in which ;) order

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 30 Dec 2018, 23:29

Poiuytrewq wrote:Fine by me but it's due to be at least a decade away, can we wait that long?


If we need a new class of ship then we should build ships we need and will be part of the future fleet. and I feel if there was a need we could have MHPC in 5 years and a mix of RB1 & RB2 should do until then

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 30 Dec 2018, 23:32

ArmChairCivvy wrote:@T&CI it was unclear whether the Premier went on the run because he owed Russian mafia money for "business" gone wrong, or because the FCO sent someone to take over from him
- both happened, but in which order

We took over (i.e the Governor assumed executive and legislative authority) because a former premier (his name is a matter of public record) hit on the great wheeze of selling Government owned land to his cronies for a peppercorn and then granting development rights, for which he was later amply rewarded by the grateful developers.
When the UK took over, they set about recovering all of the land that he sold and returned it to common ownership, without compensation to the people who had knowingly bought the land fraudulently - that may have caused him a few problems with Russian "investors", of course.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 31 Dec 2018, 07:51

I actually like the idea of having two Waves in Singapore. Those would be assets that would help our allies in the region and show the flag so to speak. We could even possibly accept all major credit and debit cards from anyone wanting to use them.

Going forward though unless there is a step change in funding we are going to have to work with what is currently planned and organised out deployments accordingly. The MHPC programme could increase our available options if done right, but that appears to be moving further away as funding is moved to higher priority programmes.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 31 Dec 2018, 08:10

On the assets to be forward deployed.

I see no problem sending T31e. Any of the Leander, Arrowhead 140, and MEKOA200 (?) is a perfect match for, at least some of those tasks.

1: Against China or Russia, its modest fighting power is not a problem, even a T45 or a T26 is "nothing" in their vicinity.

2: At Persian Gulf, the main threat is high-speed boats, I think (Ships and fighter can be better handled by Air Forces. SSKs by P-8, or bombing at port or mines near their ports. I am not sure T26 is so efficient in Persian gulf shallow water). Against fast boats, T31e is as good as T26/T45.

3: FRE. Shadowing Russian Vessels will be well covered by River B2. TAPS need T23/26. All other FRE tasks is good for T31e.

+1: (APT-S. "If needed", one or two "round-trips" a year in south Atlantic by T31e (each 2 moths long) will be more than perfect. )

Of course, APT-N shall be something optimized for "Coast Guard" or "HADR" and Gib can be an OPV.

But, 5 T31 is even not enough to provide these 3 +1 tasks. I am not saying 5 T31 is the best solution, but it does not mean T31e is meaningless.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 31 Dec 2018, 08:24

Lord Jim wrote: MHPC programme [...] appears to be moving further away as funding is moved to higher priority programmes.


Yes, may be a fully trained Kremlinologist could read MoD accounts/ plans? That prgrm started with an indicative plan of £ 1.4 bn: experimentation, hulls, kit.
- chip away "P" as there is no (?) TOBA line, to pay out
- pay for the experimentation
- 0.5 bn disapperead from the T-26 line over those years that T-31s are planned for (before :) the latter got their own funding line of 1.25)... of course the half a bn did not come back

Without a follow-on T-31 batch that has MCM as a secondary/ swing capability
, I think we will not see any self-deploying MCM hulls - not forgetting the "H" - before we come to the end of the 20's.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 31 Dec 2018, 09:09

Mr Williamson is working on plans for two new UK bases in Caribbean and the Indo-Pacific region so Britain can project her influence militarily after Brexit.

Britain already has permanent joint operating bases in Cyprus, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.

A source close to Mr Williamson said the new bases could be sited in Singapore or Brunei


The latter two would be expansions. The more official wording (bolded) would cover taking over DG. Even though the US lease was extended to 2036, they have been (at times) talking about "leaving" as their prepositioning capabilities based on ships have been improving
- taking over, as a British base?
- as Repulse pointed out, China has been active: Burma, Pakistan, Djibouti, Eritrea. Negotiations with Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Seychelles. Secret base in Tanzania (non-aligned nation etc...)
Let's do some "triangulation" to establish where the 'centre point' for all of these would lie https://wriorg.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-pu ... gh-res.jpg

Not a great (deep) harbour, though, despite being geographically a "unique spot".
- then again, a very deep harbour & an in-depth maintenance facility is not that far (in Oman)

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 31 Dec 2018, 09:46

shark bait wrote:There is no Gibraltar or Cyprus EEZ claimed by the UK. What little value is there adding further tasks for "Securing the EEZ of the BOTs"?


Sloppy wording on my part, it’s not so much protecting the EEZ but more of the waters around important bases.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 31 Dec 2018, 10:04

Repulse wrote:not so much protecting the EEZ but more of the waters around important bases.


For the waters around our SBAs on Cyprus: there is a dispute brewing about drilling rights. "At best" Turkish and Israeli fighters were mock dog-fighting to assert "rights"
... do we need to get involved?

Gib, as I've said before, the NATO navies in that general area are massive relative to anybody else's... including any passing Russian rust buckets

Money is tight; we need to get the priorities right... a little jingle for the coming year

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 31 Dec 2018, 10:23

ArmChairCivvy, I’m really just taking about incursions into our territorial waters (e.g. to stop snooping, terrorist / low level hostile nation attacks or preventing the base from operating etc) rather than stacking claim to local resources which I agree would not be the right thing to do.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 31 Dec 2018, 10:39

Sir H has just done a great blog on the current noise on new oversea bases. Well worth a read and relates perfectly IMO to the concept of forward basing ships. Each base & region will have different requirements, but the principle is as much basing forward logistics than hard war fighting kit.

If the RN wants to have high level war fighting capability in the Far East, forget basing a T31e in Singapore but perhaps instead embed a T26 with the RAN / RNZN navies, coupled with regular CSG & SSN visits.

In terms of forward basing, we should then consider what would benefit this effort. I’d say a small expansion of the Singapore Logistics base to support CSG and SSN operations. Second, I’d say forward basing a Survey Ship to map the sea bed and gain vital intelligence. As the region has a higher threat than say the Atlantic it should probably have a slightly higher spec of self defence weapons and also it would need the ability to operate UAVs and possibly a Wildcat (good for export orders). This is exactly where the MHPC should sit (call it a R3 River or Batch 2 Echo) - it is not the T31e which is not a serious warship yet seems to attempt to be. Now who built the Echos and wonder if they are free to build a few of these new batch...
"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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