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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Jul 2019, 20:05

abc123 wrote:Don't agree. FLSS can be just a floating target there. Hormuz isn't the Horn of Africa or Gulf of Guinea.
True but realistically in the Gulf everything's a floating target including the Bays and MCMV'S. RN just needs to be given the escorts to protect them as well as the commercial shipping transiting the shipping lanes.

Personally I think this is the first big test for Mr Williamson's Littoral Strike Group concept and actually I think it may have performed rather well. However, the commercial build standards of the FLSS are still a valid concern and remains the achilles heel of the whole strategy IMO.

Having a FLSS, 2XT31's, a Bay, a Wave and 4 MCMV'S based EoS with the ability to form a Littoral Strike Group at short notice when required would have been extremely useful in this instance, especially if it was then gradually reinforced by other T23's/T45's as necessary.
Caribbean wrote:...and the FLSS would become part of a well-protected amphibious assault group
Exactly
Pongoglo wrote:it might just remind Boris that there is more than Brexit to being PM and he also needs to focus on Defence.
Its Hunt that has been making all the noise about enlarging the fleet. Boris has been much quieter on the issue. Recent events will help to give useful context to the validity of the debate regarding increasing UK Defence spending.
SW1 wrote:why ask for a bigger fleet the current one can’t be manned properly.
Completely agree. New ships take time to fund and build. Increasing manpower can happen very quickly if the political will is there. Making the most of what we have in the water, right now, today, is the immediate priority. The wisdom of the 6XT45, 8XT26, 5XT31 strategy can be re-examined at SDSR 2020.
SW1 wrote:I think it does make a case for looking at how we proceed with littoral sea control. In the end this was 4 speed boats and helicopter maybe frigates aren’t the best way to challenge such a threat in narrow waters.
Agreed but this must surely tie-in with the design and makeup of the FLSS/LSG. It will be interesting to see if the FLSS design starts to resemble a more Enforcer based design with a well dock to enable the embarkation of larger, more capable fast patrol craft after recent events.
dmereifield wrote:But May, Hunt & co rejected it becuase they didn't want to be seen as being too close to Trump......Seems stupid to me
Just another example of a disfunctional government that is now quite clearly not fit for purpose. Definitely time for a new broom....

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 21 Jul 2019, 22:53

Poiuytrewq wrote:
abc123 wrote:Don't agree. FLSS can be just a floating target there. Hormuz isn't the Horn of Africa or Gulf of Guinea.
True but realistically in the Gulf everything's a floating target including the Bays and MCMV'S. RN just needs to be given the escorts to protect them as well as the commercial shipping transiting the shipping lanes.

Personally I think this is the first big test for Mr Williamson's Littoral Strike Group concept and actually I think it may have performed rather well. However, the commercial build standards of the FLSS are still a valid concern and remains the achilles heel of the whole strategy IMO.

Having a FLSS, 2XT31's, a Bay, a Wave and 4 MCMV'S based EoS with the ability to form a Littoral Strike Group at short notice when required would have been extremely useful in this instance, especially if it was then gradually reinforced by other T23's/T45's as necessary.
Caribbean wrote:...and the FLSS would become part of a well-protected amphibious assault group
Exactly
Pongoglo wrote:it might just remind Boris that there is more than Brexit to being PM and he also needs to focus on Defence.
Its Hunt that has been making all the noise about enlarging the fleet. Boris has been much quieter on the issue. Recent events will help to give useful context to the validity of the debate regarding increasing UK Defence spending.
SW1 wrote:why ask for a bigger fleet the current one can’t be manned properly.
Completely agree. New ships take time to fund and build. Increasing manpower can happen very quickly if the political will is there. Making the most of what we have in the water, right now, today, is the immediate priority. The wisdom of the 6XT45, 8XT26, 5XT31 strategy can be re-examined at SDSR 2020.
SW1 wrote:I think it does make a case for looking at how we proceed with littoral sea control. In the end this was 4 speed boats and helicopter maybe frigates aren’t the best way to challenge such a threat in narrow waters.
Agreed but this must surely tie-in with the design and makeup of the FLSS/LSG. It will be interesting to see if the FLSS design starts to resemble a more Enforcer based design with a well dock to enable the embarkation of larger, more capable fast patrol craft after recent events.
dmereifield wrote:But May, Hunt & co rejected it becuase they didn't want to be seen as being too close to Trump......Seems stupid to me
Just another example of a disfunctional government that is now quite clearly not fit for purpose. Definitely time for a new broom....


This keeps getting framed around the context of new ships and I’m not sure it should be, but while you maybe able to entice new recruits you can’t keep the experienced ones you got so more money is needed what’s offered as the package.

But what if we don’t need any new ships what if a way to deal with such issues in the least aggressive way is to offer “British” flagged ships access to an onboard security assistance team of RMs for the transit of choke points. It’s a complicated and confusing puzzle to solve in congested waterways, but one I’m sure we will.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 Jul 2019, 00:50

Sorry for interrupting by different issue: (source https://twitter.com/NavyLookout/status/1152873506968940549)
Image

<personal impression>

Although just guess, I'm afraid there are only crews for escorts in red and blue (+Monmouth crew, moving to Montrose soon) = 12 crews. As I "think" about 3 hull could be in routine "major refit", it looks like "15" escorts could be handled by current RN, in man-power point of view.

From sea-going days, "19 escorts operated with 40% less seagoing days than in 2010" is 11. So, if true (I agree there are many "ifs" here), RN is operating the "15 available escort" with 11/15 = 20% less operational tempo even compared to those in 2010-14 (and 40% less tempo compared to 19 escorts in 2010-14).

In short, man-power shortage is (presumably) limiting the 19 escort to 15, but still operational restriction is limiting the sea-going days further to 11.

Thus, the operational restriction = (presumably) "the operation cost", is more demanding than man-power. (I'm afraid this is caused by the stupid "efficiency saving" term. Of course, ships moored in port costs less than those in action :clap: )

But, the operation cost issue is very easy to solve, because it is just money (do not take several years to regain, like human resource does need). So just do it!!. Also, "19 escort saga" is still far away, still 15 at most now. (Again, I agree there are many "ifs" here).

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Jul 2019, 08:06

For me the fact that there are 5 T-23s in Life ex and one waiting to go in tells me that the T-23 class is in a hell of a state and we need new ships like it or not this life ex is only a band aid. we talk a lot about crews but it could be as simple as the T-23s are costing to much to keep going with there old age and state. We must also remember that defence spending is the lowest it has been in terms of GDP for nearly a 100 years this will need to change and pressure is building to up spending and in my mind it will come before the end of the year. the question of the escort fleet is as simple as recrutement + retention + new ships needing less crew = more available escorts

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 22 Jul 2019, 08:44

Poiuytrewq wrote:As for RN's role in providing security in the area the proposed FLSS vessels would seem like a good option. Operating 3 Wildcats and 2 Merlins along with multiple small craft and the Royal Marines to go with them it would seem to be the perfect option.

I agree, maritime security does not revolve around frigates.

In the past Fort Victoria hosted two surveillance Sea King's in the gulf to monitor for exactly this type of activity. It doesn't take any kind of tech revolution to apply this on a FLSS, what I am trying to say is 'this is nothing new'.

Chucking more frigates at the problem is a very blunt solution. A more effective option would be to add intelligence assets and security teams, pairing them with the combat vessels in the region to keep tabs on everything.
@LandSharkUK

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Jul 2019, 09:22

shark bait, I have no doubt that RFA Victoria could have played that role as could have RFA Argus, given the close links with Oman having those two Wildcats would have helped also. A FLSS could do the same job in future as could a couple of Rivers with Wildcat hangars.

The point is.that we’ve now gone beyond that, the Iranians have boarded and seized a UK registered Tanker. This of course requires diplomacy and economic retaliation, but the RN should be sending a clear statement that it also carry’s a big stick and sending SSNs and a Carrier Task Group to the area. This is why the ability to operate a third (and possibly a fourth) Task Group is key and why more real DDs/FFs plus aviation platforms are key IMO.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Jul 2019, 10:12

Maybe the thing to do right now is make ready and deploy HMS Kent , Forth , Medway to the gulf fit the two Rivers with 3 x 30mm/ LMM mounts add to this 3 land based Wildcats this would allow the RN to start convoying British assets and the wildcats decks to refuel from

Also another way is to UOR six AW109m's fitted to take 4 to 6 LMM and a GPMG door gunner and forward deploy them along with a Chinook

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 22 Jul 2019, 11:22

Tempest414 wrote:Maybe the thing to do right now is make ready and deploy HMS Kent , Forth , Medway to the gulf fit the two Rivers with 3 x 30mm/ LMM mounts add to this 3 land based Wildcats this would allow the RN to start convoying British assets and the wildcats decks to refuel from

Also another way is to UOR six AW109m's fitted to take 4 to 6 LMM and a GPMG door gunner and forward deploy them along with a Chinook

The horse has already bolted. If Iran does it again at this stage, they undo what they sought.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RichardIC » 22 Jul 2019, 11:59

Tempest414 wrote:Also another way is to UOR six AW109m's fitted to take 4 to 6 LMM and a GPMG door gunner and forward deploy them along with a Chinook


How random. If it was judged some rotary firepower was needed, why wouldn't you deploy Apache which is actually in service, rather than UOR a new type (the AAC retired their handful of AW109s long ago) and then start fitting them to carry new systems?

And if you are planning sending Forth and Medway anywhere that's getting fighty you'd better start thinking of fitting a damn site more than a couple of extra guns, even with some missiles strapped to the side.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Jul 2019, 12:18

In many ways you are both right that why sending the a pair of slightly up armed Rivers is not such a bad move these ships would be under the CAMM cover of the T-23 but could more than deal with fast boat attacks and helicopters so to be clear I am not saying put the River's out there on there own but as part of a convoy protection group to show the RN and UK are stepping up

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Old RN » 22 Jul 2019, 12:22

One of the things that could be done would be to transfer some (12?) of the AAC Wildcats to the FAA and convert to the naval standard (which Iundrstand is not that complex). There could then be a meaningful support by Martlet armed Wildcats in the Gulf?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 22 Jul 2019, 12:42

Tempest414 wrote:In many ways you are both right that why sending the a pair of slightly up armed Rivers is not such a bad move these ships would be under the CAMM cover of the T-23

If they have to be under the CAMM cover, then why have them? All they would do is slow down the much faster frigate that has to accompany them, and you'd still only be in one place.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 Jul 2019, 12:56

I'm still not sure why FLSS comes into this topic (NOT saying discussing it is bad).

1: Why not ask help from Oman? Aren't they good friends ? If possible, it is much cheaper, cost effective, and actually the most influencial choice?

2: The Hormuz strait is only 200-300 km from Al Udeid Air Base. If a few Typhoon with Brimstone are placed at alert, it will need only 15 minutes in Mach 1.5 to reach there. The time needed here is equivalent to a 30 knot ship located in 15 km distance from the enemy. If any serious issue happen, RAF will react quickly than any RN assets?

3: Then, the RN focus shall be on "patrolling", playing a (dangerous) dance with Iranian boats. For this task, UK can send a Bay, with full of Offshore Raiding Crafts (ORCs), and four LCVPs. Of course, it shall better be CB90s, or even Mark VI boats, but it is not existing now.

4: If LMM can be added, sending River B2 to carry two 7m-RHIBs and two 9m-ORCs may also work. If fixed-wing air cover exists, it can even add 3 or 4 more ORCs on the flight deck.

Compared to these candidates, FLSS is,
- with less defense capability, with a hull as large as Bay, with damage control less than even a Bay.
- compared to River B2, much much vulnerable.


P.S. How about sending the two Scimitar boats from Gibraltar to the Gulf, and in place send back two or three Archers from Britain to Gib? Also, in medium term, how about increasing the Scimitar replacement contracts from 2 boats to, say, 6 or so?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RichardIC » 22 Jul 2019, 13:30

donald_of_tokyo wrote:P.S. How about sending the two Scimitar boats from Gibraltar to the Gulf, and in place send back two or three Archers from Britain to Gib? Also, in medium term, how about increasing the Scimitar replacement contracts from 2 boats to, say, 6 or so?


Donald, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have literally hundreds of nasty fast attack craft carrying 14.5mm HMGs and RPGs. Primitive but if they get close enough potentially deadly.

It would be desperately irresponsible to send anything like the Scimitars. Send proper warships or stay home.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Jul 2019, 14:15

RetroSicotte wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:In many ways you are both right that why sending the a pair of slightly up armed Rivers is not such a bad move these ships would be under the CAMM cover of the T-23

If they have to be under the CAMM cover, then why have them? All they would do is slow down the much faster frigate that has to accompany them, and you'd still only be in one place.


The point is that the 3 RN ships would be escorting a bunch of tankers giving a fair bit of fire power and there speed would be limited by the said tankers we have to remember we are here because we failed in our threat reduction planning after the failed attempt a few days before we were to busy patting our selfs on the back

One T-23 and two rivers armed as said would bring would bring a good amount of fire power and sensors to the table

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 Jul 2019, 14:25

RichardIC wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:P.S. How about sending the two Scimitar boats from Gibraltar to the Gulf, and in place send back two or three Archers from Britain to Gib? Also, in medium term, how about increasing the Scimitar replacement contracts from 2 boats to, say, 6 or so?
Donald, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have literally hundreds of nasty fast attack craft carrying 14.5mm HMGs and RPGs. Primitive but if they get close enough potentially deadly.

It would be desperately irresponsible to send anything like the Scimitars. Send proper warships or stay home.
Understandable. But, Scimitar class, if up-armed with guns and hand-carried missiles, are nothing less than CB90. If CB90 is a candidate (say from FLSS), surely Similar will work? How about the BF coastal patrol crafts (of course purchased by Navy and up-armed)?

Also, what is the "critical" difference to Mark VI patrol boats?

Note that those boats need not to handle enemy fast boats' "swarm". If such swarm come from Iranian port, squadrons of Typhoons with Brimstones shall handle it. (within 15 minutes, ideally)

Note, I am NOT arguing against you. Just making it clear, what kind of vessels is needed there. Also my point is, it is very very strange, why integrated approach, using all UK military assets in the region (in Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman) is not considered.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RichardIC » 22 Jul 2019, 14:36

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Understandable. But, Scimitar class, if up-armed with guns and hand-carried missiles, are nothing less than CB90. If CB90 is a candidate (say from FLSS), surely Similar will work? How about the BF coastal patrol crafts (of course purchased by Navy and up-armed)?

Also, what is the "critical" difference to Mark VI patrol boats?


Donald, I'd say exactly the same about sending Mk VI patrol boats or CB90s.

Image

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 Jul 2019, 14:50

RichardIC wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Understandable. But, Scimitar class, if up-armed with guns and hand-carried missiles, are nothing less than CB90. If CB90 is a candidate (say from FLSS), surely Similar will work? How about the BF coastal patrol crafts (of course purchased by Navy and up-armed)?

Also, what is the "critical" difference to Mark VI patrol boats?


Donald, I'd say exactly the same about sending Mk VI patrol boats or CB90s.
Thanks.

In that case, how about locating a 5inch gun with guided rounds "over the horizon", and our-sides boats calls for a shot, with laser designator aiming at enemy boats?

I know the guided-rounds are not yet fully operational. But, at least, Volcano for 76mm gun is already there. Can these concept see a bright future, do you think?

For me, using T45 or T23 or alike in such a confined water looks likes NOT "the best" solution = waste of money and life (as you know, those escorts are also vulnerable to full SSM "alpha strike" as well, the same to Bay class being vulnerable to "swarm of fast boats". Escorts' figure of merits lies in its mobility. If the theater location is fixed/confined, there shall be many other possible solutions, I guess.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 22 Jul 2019, 15:24

Tempest414 wrote:The point is that the 3 RN ships would be escorting a bunch of tankers giving a fair bit of fire power and there speed would be limited by the said tankers we have to remember we are here because we failed in our threat reduction planning after the failed attempt a few days before we were to busy patting our selfs on the back

One T-23 and two rivers armed as said would bring would bring a good amount of fire power and sensors to the table

One T-23 is enough to make even what approached the taken tanker back off immediately. The Rivers would only slow them down.

The note about "they are slowed by the tankers anyway" isn't accurate. It's not a case of them accompanying the attacked one. There's not enough forces out there for that. Montrose has to speed to whichever one is attacked. River classes needing to stay with it would not be able to keep up with that.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Jul 2019, 16:31

Hypothetically, a 2 T23/T45, 4 modified B2 Rivers with RFA Victoria (operating 3-4 Wildcats) could offer a reasonable convoy defence through a choke point. By a modified B2 I’m looking for a low end medium calibre gun, 30mm Seahawk Sigma mounts with LMM either side and additional rib davits port and starboard behind the current ribs for ORCs and each operating 50 RMs. That way each “convoy” force could operate 2 B2s with supporting RM ORCs which would sail with the tankers plus a FF/DD for air defence and chasing off hostile forces. With each force either going east to west or vice versa, with the RFA offering oversight and supporting RMs.

Can this kind of conflict happening again...
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby bobp » 22 Jul 2019, 18:20

There is no easy fix to the Gulf solution, I believe that the MOD should order at least 10 fast patrol boats, heavily armed and crewed by experienced personnel, CB90 fits that bill. The Iranians have too many assets, including submarines to risk a capital ship in combat. In the long term we should start building T31 boats and recruit at least 5000 more sailors to man them. Imagine the headlines if we lost say a T45. Light forces are the solution I believe perhaps with Apache Helicopter back up.
The Iranians also have shore based Anti Ship missiles.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 22 Jul 2019, 19:00

RichardIC wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Understandable. But, Scimitar class, if up-armed with guns and hand-carried missiles, are nothing less than CB90. If CB90 is a candidate (say from FLSS), surely Similar will work? How about the BF coastal patrol crafts (of course purchased by Navy and up-armed)?

Also, what is the "critical" difference to Mark VI patrol boats?


Donald, I'd say exactly the same about sending Mk VI patrol boats or CB90s.

Image


Maybe we should post a picture of HMS Cornwall and sailors in a similar pose?

If read recent articles from US command on that event it will tell you the mk6 has been pocured and deployed to Bahrain exactly because of the incident you highlight to replace those shown. At that issues at play were poor training, poor hand overs and lack of situational awareness.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2019/ ... mpetition/

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 22 Jul 2019, 19:06

All of the above is great and may be of use in the future, but right now the only real solution is to form a multinational force under the command of US CENTCOM and organise convoys for ships wishing protection through the Straits. The RN is simply not capable of doing such a job anymore, we haven't got the assets needed. Unless the USN is on board, the Gulf States, no matter how good our relations are, are not going to stick their heads up by supporting the UK. But this is only going to happen if nations put aside the pollical differences regarding the Iran Nuclear Deal and reluctantly except that it is dead as long as the US is opposed to it.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 22 Jul 2019, 21:36

Maybe the answer is even easier, ships in question will simply change flag

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence ... ps-in-Gulf

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 22 Jul 2019, 22:40

SW1 wrote:Maybe the answer is even easier, ships in question will simply change flag

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence ... ps-in-Gulf


What an explicit humiliation of the UK... :thumbdown:
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…


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