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Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby marktigger » 27 Sep 2016, 07:07

why shouldn't we have more RFA's and the ambition to expand the Navy out to relieve the RFA of its plastic frigate role?

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Poiuytrewq
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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Poiuytrewq » 01 Feb 2019, 19:24

I think it's becoming clear that the National Shipbuilding Strategy which made the decision to allow non combatant RFA vessels to be put out to international tender got it very very wrong.

Time for a rethink?


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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Tempest414 » 01 Feb 2019, 21:09

Yes the clue is in the name ( National shipbuilding strategy ) and I said before with 36 ships that need replacing over the next 30 years there is enough work for 3 yards

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Jake1992 » 01 Feb 2019, 23:02

Tempest414 wrote:Yes the clue is in the name ( National shipbuilding strategy ) and I said before with 36 ships that need replacing over the next 30 years there is enough work for 3 yards

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Yes there is but it is not for the MOD to subsides UK yards, in times of tight budgets the MOD need to get best value for money.

Now since national ship building is a strategice industry this is where HMG should step in by saying to the RN you build all ships in the uk that can be and we'll cover the cost differenc. This can be done by 2 means, 1 the treasury front loads the tax it will take to the RN and 2 the DTI pick up the remaining cost difference as it is there remit to help strategice indisties service and flourish.

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Tempest414 » 02 Feb 2019, 10:57

I agree and that is where I going with this in that the MOD will need to replace 36 ships over the next 30 years and that it is in the National interest that these ships go to keeping British workers employed. I would look to go one step further and say the steel works in Port Talbot should be included in the National shipbuilding strategy and as you say the money should not all come out of the MOD budget and if dose then the budget should reflect this

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 02 Feb 2019, 11:38

Tempest414 wrote:as you say the money should not all come out of the MOD budget and if dose then the budget should reflect this
This one has a x-dprtmntal approach... any good ideas, to highlight?
https://media.defense.gov/2018/Oct/05/2 ... LIENCY.PDF

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby shark bait » 04 Feb 2019, 08:38

Poiuytrewq wrote:I think it's becoming clear that the National Shipbuilding Strategy which made the decision to allow non combatant RFA vessels to be put out to international tender got it very very wrong.

Restricting the choice of suppliers to a small and generally non-competitive market does not return good value to the services. It will only serve to drive up cost, which means our service personnel are less well equipped.

Neither is there much strategic value building cargo ships.

A tender in the big international market is the correct option. The Polar Ship should be a model for the future, with the pressure of international competition resulting in domestic suppler with a good value bid.
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Poiuytrewq
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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Poiuytrewq » 04 Feb 2019, 10:30

shark bait wrote:Neither is there much strategic value building cargo ships.
There is if it supports your national commercial shipbuilding between RFA orders. If Babcock shuts Rosyth because the QE's end up being dry docked in Portsmouth, and Cammel Laird and H&W go to the wall, who is going to build the Amphibious replacements in the 2030's?

How expensive will it be to resurrect an industry when we need it 15 years from now rather just support it on a drumbeat basis. The stop/start business model didn't work too well at Barrow.
shark bait wrote:A tender in the big international market is the correct option. The Polar Ship should be a model for the future, with the pressure of international competition resulting in domestic suppler with a good value bid.
Only if the playing field is fair. State funded foreign yards will always be cheaper that UK yards. HMG need to take that into consideration when evaluating the bids as well as the swelled tax receipts and lower welfare costs by employing workers in the UK.

If you are right, why does virtually every other country with a national shipbuilding capacity look to build their own vessels in their own country? Is the UK strategy right and the rest of the world wrong...again?

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby shark bait » 04 Feb 2019, 10:50

The T31 project is establishing a second naval ship yard, there is no strategic requirement for a third. Plus 10 year contracts already exist with businesses mentioned above, the first part of the above comment is only loosely based on reality.

-------------------------------------

The DE&S value assessment should absolutely included local economic benefits such as the ones suggested above, that would give any UK bid around a 20% head start, which is an easy zero cost method to 'level the playing field'.

The UK strategy has to be different to a lot of our peers, the American scale makes their model unsuitable for us, and the European model of mixed commercial and state funded yards is unsuitable for us. The UK has almost no commercial revenue, and government contracts are not on a large scale.

Out closest contemporary are the Australians, like us they place strategic value on domestic production of the high tech products, but outsource the simple commercial products that don't return the same value.
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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Tempest414 » 04 Feb 2019, 10:56

It could argued that all RFA ships are semi complex as not to many civi ships have to unload there goods while underway or have well docks. and as said HMG would get the tax back plus tax from the work force and supply chain. So if a ship costs 50 to 75 million more to build in the UK HMG should get a good chuck of that back in taxes. Also if a yard was to close due to not getting that contract then it could see as many as 1000 jobs go with the knock on affect on the supply chain which in turn could cost HMG 16 + million per year for untold years in benefits

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 04 Feb 2019, 12:08

shark bait wrote:The DE&S value assessment should absolutely included local economic benefits such as the ones suggested above, that would give any UK bid around a 20% head start, which is an easy zero cost method to 'level the playing field'.
How much actually the benefit is.

Even if you order ships within UK, not all money goes into UK.
- diesel engine is not of UK, and many of the equipments are also not of UK.
- steel is not of UK, and even some of the worker is not from UK.

But, the UK "refund" is surely larger when ordered in UK and not abroad. Treasury I think can easily calculate the actual total "refund" (re-tax?) value of Waves and Tides. What is important is fact. Exact number is much more impressive than MP's swelling blah-blah percent.

Then, just add that number to foreign orders, and it looks very fare.

For example, consider a case, a 100M GBP was payed for the hull abroad, and 50M GBP for fitting equipments in UK. The "100M" abroad shall be regarded as 120M, if the refund margin is 20% for hull building. The "50M" is 50M.

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Feb 2019, 12:34

Poiuytrewq wrote: Is the UK strategy right and the rest of the world wrong...again?
I'd give it a 1/28th chance ;)
shark bait wrote: outsource the simple commercial products that don't return the same value.
Like hulls to Navantia, by Oz? I think this is what we should do with MHC and get some from the Belgo-Dutch batch (and fit them out in the UK)
Tempest414 wrote:It could argued that all RFA ships are semi complex
I've often done that. Tankers are a borderline case as it is mainly the added kit that makes them differ from civvie production. The savings from ordering a batch of 4 on this basis were probably strong enough as a justification. SSS Class are likely to be much more "custom designs" even within the class (the option for the 3rd one may not be based on budgetary constraints alone)... and with added complexity, too.
- So they could easily sit on the other side of the dividing line.

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Poiuytrewq » 03 Apr 2019, 21:58

Well below the rate of inflation. Very poor :thumbdown:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.plymou ... 713089.amp

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Lord Jim » 03 Apr 2019, 22:12

Wouldn't be surprised if that was the offer to most Government employees. In the 10* + years I worked for the MoD every year the pay increase was imposed rather then negotiated and always a bad deal.

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Tempest414 » 03 Apr 2019, 23:51

When I was with the NHS I was offered 1.6 over two years

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Poiuytrewq » 04 Apr 2019, 00:12

It really wants to be closer to 3% this year.

Industrial action over pay and conditions is unlikely to encourage too many to look to embark on a career in the RFA.

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 04 Apr 2019, 03:44

Poiuytrewq wrote:unlikely to encourage too many to look to embark on a career in the RFA.


It is a calling, like teaching and nursing
- the Gvmnt has, or will soon, learned that when you twist a thing for long enough, it will break (all mentioned professions are losing people who have been in those jobs all their professional lives)
- and the magic trick, getting people from elsewhere, has also been (?) crossed over as a way to get by, year by year

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Lord Jim » 11 May 2019, 10:51

Listening to the Radio yesterday it was announce that a unmanned cargo ship had sailed from the UK to Belgium and back recently and that a full sized unmanned Container Ship was due to be launched next year. Could we see this technology being applies to the RFA in the future, sooner rather than later?

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Scimitar54 » 11 May 2019, 21:25

RFA or RN ship, If it does not have any crew, or not enough crew the it will become extremely vulnerable to piracy. The day the government, the MOD, or anybody else advocates that, it will be absolute confirmation that those running this country must have gone stark raving mad! :idea:

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Lord Jim » 12 May 2019, 10:48

The same obviously goes for any Civilian vessel. Bit think of it this way, if a RFA is doing shuttle runs form one of our overseas bases to and from the CSG it is never going to be too far away either from a shore establishment or the Warships it is supporting. How long would ot take a rapid reaction force form either to reach said RFA? Also as there is no crew on board there is no danger of hostages being taken by any pirates. Most importantly, what is to stop a current RFA being taken over by Pirates? The do not carry armed personnel all of the time and the key this is in a war zone you would most likely actually have at least some crew on board to deal with issues that are only likely to occur is those situations, or as they would be escorted at these times, crew could be transferred rapidly across with the required emergency equipment actually on the RFA.

These sort of platforms are a good few years away from being routinely used to transport containers for example, further work is going to be needed on damage control and dealing with possible fires are just a few of these. But if the job of an RFA is to go to and from the CSG for example, it must be considered an possible use for this evolving technology at some point.

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Scimitar54 » 12 May 2019, 11:34

What about the weapons, or the means of re-supplying the CSG being held hostage? What if, in the future the RFA were to contain nuclear devices?

"Personnel not involved" crewless ships make warfare more likely not less, as "no-one will get hurt".

Cotton Wool mentality and totally wrong.

If you want to go down this line, why not do away with physical forces and weapons and turn warfare into a virtual reality "game"? I'll tell you why not ........ Because when you go to war, it is about actual survival. :idea:

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Lord Jim » 12 May 2019, 13:00

We are talking about militarised cargo vessels here not warships and regarding Nuclear weapon transportation, well that has its own specific security regulations so no you would not transport a nuclear weapon on an unmanned and unescorted platform.

One of the aims of this is to deal with the manning issues we are facing in the RFA. In addition the day to day running cost would be less saving a few pennies. During peace time the day to day re supply of surface units is a mundane task but does require specialised equipment. Yes new types of cargo and fuel handling systems would have to be developed, but like many technologies these day having dual control systems either operated remotely or by being manned seems to be a trend gathering pace.

In an unmanned vessel it should be possible to build it as such that it would be extremely difficult for anyone un authorised to gaining access to the control, engineering or even cargo areas without requiring substantial amounts of time and equipment, the latter probably being specialised. This means it would take a serious well equipped and organised force to take over a vessel and such a force could just as easily take over a conventional RFA even if it had a small armed contingent aboard.

in war things would be handles dofferently, with crew and armed personnel on board, probably from the reserves as well as regulars. This woud also be an ideal role for on of the fleet protection Commando units. IN peace time but if operating in a high risk area, again personnel could be flow out whilst the vessel was transiting such a zone and taken off when such an area is cleared. In additoin the level of situational awareness required by unmanned vessels would meen the control station would be able to see threats readily. Having Rapid reaction teams at our planned overseas locations would provide security in most of these high threat areas.

AS I said above, have such platforms is a way off but who would have seen the current level of usage of UCAVs back in the 1980s. Many of today technologes entering service would have been seen as science fiction then and unrealistic for actual use by the military within the lifetime of many.

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Scimitar54 » 13 May 2019, 02:28

A few points and not in any specific order.
This is all dream (or nightmare) scenario stuff. By all means follow the technology and see how you MIGHT use it,
but.
In a serious war, I could see the UCAV's very quickly becoming unusable for example and if we go down that line, we risk the credibility of "The Teeth" of our forces. Credible Force deters. A wish and a hope, together with a penny pinching approach just will not do. Peacetime conditions are nothing to do with it, otherwise why not have no Forces at all, because you will always be able to call on the "Reserves"
1. You won't have enough of them
2. They will not be there when you need them
Anybody who sets out to "capture" and take hostage an RFA will likely have thought about what may be involved and be seriously committed to it.
Unmanned vessels of war and the ships that keep them supplied are absolutely not suited to the task.

What deters war is the threat to people's lives ....Take people out of the equation and war becomes much more likely. :idea:

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby Lord Jim » 13 May 2019, 04:46

We will have to disagree on this. I believe there is a role for unmanned platform on both land, sea and air in the appropriate roles when the technology is mature. Is is happening now and the technology will continue to advance. As for the subject I was raising, as I mentions t the beginning a FULL sized unmanned container ship will begin trials next year and there are multiple companies around the would developing this technology. The base technology is proven but there is quite a way to go. I was never suggesting replacing current Escorts with a fleet of unmanned platforms. With RFA, manning them with a limited crew in high threat regions would not be an issue and neither would allocating an armed contingent. Consider we might have a total of no more than six such platforms I am pretty sure there would be sufficient RFA personnel to cover manning if and when required.

Yes in an ideal world the UK would have a blank cheque for defence and we could have everything we would possibly wish for when equipping our military. But we don't and can't. We have to look at ways to make changes to allow us to get the most out of our assets. IF civilian shipping firms adopt unmanned Cargo/container platforms in a big way, and they are looking very closely at the evolving technology, the military is also going to take an interest to see how they might use and benefit form the technology, and fleet replenishment is an obvious area for them to look at in detail.

The technolgy is here and it is not going away. It is like the invention of the aeroplane in the early 20th Century. The doubters in the Military and Government though it would have any effect on how wars were going to be fought and was a gimmicky technology that would go nowhere. Look how right they were and where we and that technology are 100 years later.

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Re: Future Royal Fleet Auxiliary

Postby shark bait » 13 May 2019, 07:44

Lord Jim wrote:unmanned cargo ship had sailed from the UK to Belgium

Calling it a ship is a bit much, it was a small boat.

Logistics is one of the main drivers of autonomous technology in the civilian world, and some of that is bound to spill over into the military world.
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