UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 1731
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 29 May 2019, 15:46

ArmChairCivvy wrote:and the counter (an operational concept, as opposed to leaving everything to "design"


Seems to be a concept currently in action:

https://mobile.twitter.com/CdrBobBond/status/1133612016013381633
"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

Caribbean
Senior Member
Posts: 1476
Joined: 09 Jan 2016, 19:08
Location: England

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 29 May 2019, 16:07

Repulse wrote:Argus has 3 spots (being reduced from 4 when it was converted to be primarily a PCRS). Nice pick below, where there are 6 Sea Kings on deck:

Argus isn't really a hangar forward design, though, the hangar is below the flight deck and she has a lift (originally two) to assist with moving aircraft to and from the hangar. I'm sure a Bay-type design could operate three or four spots, given sufficient deck space, but I believe the inefficiencies come about by having to move aircraft and equipment to and from the hangar at one end of the deck, rather than to lifts in, or at the edge of, the flight deck. This could be mitigated, obviously, by re-positioning hangars, adding lifts etc, etc, but that's not really what we were talking about with a Bay upgrade. Basically, stick with two landing spots and you can get the same operational tempo per spot as when operating a single spot, add more and operational tempo for each individual spot starts to degrade.
If all you are doing is flying aircraft on, ferrying them from point A to point B, then flying them off, operational tempo is not really a concern, which is why I would consider large hangars as useful for the ferry role, but not so useful on a day-to-day basis.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 1731
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 29 May 2019, 16:34

Caribbean wrote:Argus isn't really a hangar forward design, though, the hangar is below the flight deck and she has a lift (originally two) to assist with moving aircraft to and from the hangar.


Fair enough - perhaps it’s the best affordable / effective compromise design between a flattop and a Bay Class with hangar, that won’t result in the loss of the 2nd CVF.
"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

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5741
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 29 May 2019, 16:43

Jake1992 wrote:What was suggested is for the Albion’s to be replace with 2 Dekdo style LHDs built to ocean standards. The fact that they’ll be operating LCUs would require them to come closer and not be able to stand off like Ocean did.

Don't bother with the dock, build a modernised HMS Ocean, problem solved.

Jake1992 wrote:My thinking is each of the Albion’s and bays replaced 1 for 1 with 5 vessels

So spreading 20 helicopters across 5 platforms? This is the long standing comprise between distributing for additional resilience, or centralising for greater efficiency. When it comes to operating aircraft at sea it's a bloody difficult job (expensive), which is probably why the more efficient centralised option wins the world over.

Can the RN afford the cost of a 'distributed LPH'?
@LandSharkUK

Online
Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1181
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 29 May 2019, 16:51

shark bait wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:What was suggested is for the Albion’s to be replace with 2 Dekdo style LHDs built to ocean standards. The fact that they’ll be operating LCUs would require them to come closer and not be able to stand off like Ocean did.

Don't bother with the dock, build a modernised HMS Ocean, problem solved.


And how are you going to get your heavier equipment ashore in a first wave ? A Dekdo class won’t be able to carry many chinooks ( and won’t be able to maintain them below deck ) so that cuts what you can carry even more.

Like I said if this was on top of an Albion replacement I’d be all for it even though it’d be very hard to get through with out risking PoW but to get rid of the main assault heavy lift vessels for what 2 LPHs that can’t come close or take anything greater than 6t ashore and 3 bays with out hangers that are built to a standard that would put the personal at high risk if they came close early on is IMO madness and just destroys our amphibious assault capabilities

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5741
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 29 May 2019, 17:08

The Bay class.

One platform for helicopters, one platform for landing craft. Keep it simple stupid.
@LandSharkUK

Online
donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 3055
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 29 May 2019, 17:09

But locating a precious "LPH" and helicopter airwing near shore is, just very very BAD idea.

Well dock in LHDs, if ever needed, is NOT for the 1st day assault, but for the logistic 2nd-wave landing. I understand even USN's ARG, LHD is carrying LSUs not LCAC, and LCACs are carried on LPD/LSDs. In other words, I understand LHDs are not considered to use their well-dock in the 1st day of landing. Quite reasonable idea.

1 LPH, 2 LPD and nothing else, could be the candidate solution to replace 1 active LPD and 3 Bay-class LSDs, I'm afraid.

For the logistic 2nd-wave landing, LCUs on LPDs can use the steel beaches of Point-class ships. Also, Point-class shall be modified to carry mexefloats, which is the main gear of the logistic 2nd-wave landing.

Although just an idea, to keep Bay-like ships, I am more inclined to use it as MCH mother ships. Say, replacing 12 MCMVs with 3 Bay-like ships, each carrying up to 6 MCM USVs. This fleet could be supported by 5 River B2, and 3 River B1, which can be modified to carry up to 2 MCM USVs each. (but this is another story).

Online
Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1181
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 29 May 2019, 17:19

donald_of_tokyo wrote:But locating a precious "LPH" and helicopter airwing near shore is, just very very BAD idea.

Well dock in LHDs, if ever needed, is NOT for the 1st day assault, but for the logistic 2nd-wave landing. I understand even USN's ARG, LHD is carrying LSUs not LCAC, and LCACs are carried on LPD/LSDs. In other words, I understand LHDs are not considered to use their well-dock in the first day of landing. Quite reasonable idea.

1 LPH, 2 LPD and nothing else, could be the candidate solution to replace 1 active LPD and 3 Bay-class LSDs, I'm afraid.

For the logistic 2nd-wave landing, LCUs on LPDs can use the steel beaches of Point-class ships. Also, Point-class shall be modified to carry mexefloats, which is the main gear of the logistic 2nd-wave landing.

Although just an idea, to keep Bay-like ships, I am more inclined to use it as MCH mother ships. Say, replacing 12 MCMVs with 3 Bay-like ships, each carrying up to 6 MCM USVs. This fleet could be supported by 5 River B2, and 3 River B1, which can be modified to carry up to 2 MCM USVs each. (but this is another story).


This is why Iv come to believe that with out current budget constraints 2 LPDs and 3 LSDs with good size hangers each ( LPD 6 merlin, LSD 3 merlin ) to make up for the lack of LPH / LHD / LHA is the best way to go for us.

One active LPD is mostly due to lack of personal since we are talking 15 years away it’s very feasible that this could be sorted, and I really can’t see the RN wanting to permanently down to one LPD as this would drastically reduce what could be done and when it could be done.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 10163
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 29 May 2019, 17:28

shark bait wrote:spreading 20 helicopters across 5 platforms? This is the long standing comprise between distributing for additional resilience, or centralising for greater efficiency.

Resilience 50-100% of the time (rqr'ed);
TLC by support crews in deeper ways than refuelling/ rearming... say 10% of the time

Now that moves the argument and you will need to do a weighted average (of the decision factors).
Jake1992 wrote: A Dekdo class won’t be able to carry many chinooks ( and won’t be able to maintain them below deck )

No need either; it belongs to a Marine Corps whose doctrine is a "coastal hook". This is prevalent in the "lesser" such forces, like
- Russia... only one Bde per Ocean (and the Black Sea is not even an ocean)
- or ROK, with their Dokdo.... soon to be a class of two, whose Marines strength only stands at 40'000

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 1731
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 29 May 2019, 17:40

shark bait wrote:Can the RN afford the cost of a 'distributed LPH'?


Probably not, nor can it afford a real LPH anytime soon neither. I see an Argus replacement being an affordable and defendable option (the icing on the cake would be to buy two, arguing that the RN needs a 100% capability).

The Bay LSDs are useful ships and can’t see them going soon, even if used as MCM motherships I believe this will always be a hybrid role.
"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

Online
Lord Jim
Senior Member
Posts: 3047
Joined: 10 Dec 2015, 02:15
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 29 May 2019, 21:53

Like so many things what we think we want and what we can afford are two vary different things. Add to that the size of force we would be landing anywhere but a friendly port and the equipment they have, the heaviest probably being the Vikings and you have a baseline for what the UK requires for its next generation of amphibious platforms.

Modifying one Bays to a configuration with a hanger wouid provide a test platform for a future Bay replacement or simple a protype for the modification of the remaining Bay's . The LiTM (I hate the new name) needs an integral aviation capability so that we do not need to alway have the SECOND carrier for amphibious operations. If present, the supporting Tides and FFS could also carry a number of support helicopters. With just one modified Bay and the other vessels of the LiTM it would be possible to lift a Royal Marine Company in a single lift with planning. WIth all three modified the lift capbility would be far greater. In my opinion such a level of capability would be more than sufficent for the level of amphibious assault operations the UK will undertake going forward.

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5741
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 30 May 2019, 08:15

Whatever happened to keeping things simple?

Sure, it may be possible to distribute just as many helicopters around the fleet, but operational efficiency will suffer. Operating aircraft at sea, is incredibly complex. Amphibious assaults are incredibly complex tasks. There is no need to make the job more difficult, probably why no one does this.
@LandSharkUK

Tempest414
Senior Member
Posts: 1197
Joined: 04 Jan 2018, 23:39
Location: France

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 30 May 2019, 09:58

Keep it simple is the best way that is why for me RFA should be operating LPD/ LSD and the RN a LPH/ LHD

Online
Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1181
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 30 May 2019, 10:21

Tempest414 wrote:Keep it simple is the best way that is why for me RFA should be operating LPD/ LSD and the RN a LPH/ LHD

shark bait wrote:Whatever happened to keeping things simple?

Sure, it may be possible to distribute just as many helicopters around the fleet, but operational efficiency will suffer. Operating aircraft at sea, is incredibly complex. Amphibious assaults are incredibly complex tasks. There is no need to make the job more difficult, probably why no one does this.


This problem with this way is as it stands we are very unlikely to get a new flat top at lest with out putting PoW at great risk. So it then comes down to if we can’t get 1 or 2 new flat tops whether that be and LPH / LHD / LHA how do we then give the amphibious force the require helo capacity it needs ?

Do we sit there with the current plan of always using a QE in that role ? If so how will that impact on carrier strike or even how would it work if only 1 QE was available at the time needed ?

Or do we give each amphibious platform it’s own good size hangers and flight decks and spread the helo force over the fleet and put up with the inefficiencies that’ll bring ?

This is what needs to be asked, yes we’d all love 1-2 good size flat tops ( we may dispute what type LPH / LHD / LHA ) and 3-4 larger bay Albion hybrids but that is unlikely with the current budget and political set up.

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5741
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 30 May 2019, 10:35

In a decades time construction will need to start on a new assault ship, if the MOD can't fit it in the plan when with ten years of planning something is very wrong.

I would expect the next SDSR to launch a project to build a new flat top, to be delivered in the early 30s. A single flattop over that time span is realistic.
@LandSharkUK

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 1731
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 30 May 2019, 10:59

shark bait wrote:Whatever happened to keeping things simple?

Sure, it may be possible to distribute just as many helicopters around the fleet, but operational efficiency will suffer. Operating aircraft at sea, is incredibly complex. Amphibious assaults are incredibly complex tasks. There is no need to make the job more difficult, probably why no one does this.


I see it more as making more of what we have and replacing it - a.k.a. Argus replacement (or two :))
"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

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5741
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 30 May 2019, 11:16

Making use of what we have means using the carriers.

This is acceptable in the short term because the UK don't have many F35, however one day there wont be the space for 10+ commando Merlin, and another deck will be required.
@LandSharkUK

Tempest414
Senior Member
Posts: 1197
Joined: 04 Jan 2018, 23:39
Location: France

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 30 May 2019, 11:30

shark bait wrote:In a decades time construction will need to start on a new assault ship, if the MOD can't fit it in the plan when with ten years of planning something is very wrong.

I would expect the next SDSR to launch a project to build a new flat top, to be delivered in the early 30s. A single flattop over that time span is realistic.


I would agree a new improved Ocean say 210 meter by 36 meters keep the 4 davit and stern ramp set up and square up the flight deck at the bow to allow 8 spots this would give the UK the capability of having one strike carrier and one LPH at all times

Online
Jake1992
Senior Member
Posts: 1181
Joined: 28 Aug 2016, 22:35
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 30 May 2019, 11:31

shark bait wrote:Making use of what we have means using the carriers.

This is acceptable in the short term because the UK don't have many F35, however one day there wont be the space for 10+ commando Merlin, and another deck will be required.


With the current budget and political out look on defence I just can’t see another flat top coming with out big risk to PoW.

It seems to be now days that what’s needed militarily and what politicians see are 2 very different things.

What was really needed was 4 flat tops to replace the 4 we had, 2 QEs and 2 commando carrier of what ever form. The QEs were never meant to be about reducing the number of flat tops but to increase our carrier strike ability back to a leave it once was.

The political look on defence is why Iv been trying to come up with an idea to provide the amphibious force with the helo capacity it needs with out another flat top.

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5741
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 30 May 2019, 11:39

Jake1992 wrote:With the current budget and political out look on defence I just can’t see another flat top coming with out big risk to PoW.

If the Admirals cart articulate the difference between a carrier and an LPH they shouldn't be in the job.
@LandSharkUK

Defiance
Member
Posts: 460
Joined: 07 Oct 2015, 20:52

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Defiance » 30 May 2019, 11:47

shark bait wrote:Making use of what we have means using the carriers.

This is acceptable in the short term because the UK don't have many F35, however one day there wont be the space for 10+ commando Merlin, and another deck will be required.


THANK YOU.

I distinctly remember a time back on mp.net, when everyone was riding the QEC hype, I said that one carrier is not big enough to fit all of the toys people want to cram into her simultaneously.

Got a lot of grief for saying it too, how could anyone possibly say that the carrier isn't perfect in every way and that she was more than big enough for anything we could possibly imagine using her for.

Nobody else likely remembers (and I wouldn't expect them too), but I did because it bugged the **** out of me.

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 1731
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 30 May 2019, 11:55

shark bait wrote:Making use of what we have means using the carriers.

This is acceptable in the short term because the UK don't have many F35, however one day there wont be the space for 10+ commando Merlin, and another deck will be required.


It means using both CVFs AND an Argus replacement in supporting amphibious ops, it’s naive to think both would be available more than 60% of the time 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

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5741
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 30 May 2019, 11:59

Defiance wrote:one carrier is not big enough to fit all of the toys people want to cram into her simultaneously

One carrier is big enough to fit all of the Navy's serviceable aircraft, so for the time being it's fine. However once the fast jet numbers start to rise space becomes an issue; 25 F35 + 10 ISTAR Merlin + 15 Commando Merlin + 2 Chinook is a jammed packed carrier.

Furthermore, is a pause in F35 operations acceptable whilst the Marines get airborne? Almost certainly not! The bodge is acceptable for now, but will need a solution in the early 30's.

Repulse wrote:Argus replacement

You present the case as if Argus is actually getting replaced.
@LandSharkUK

User avatar
Poiuytrewq
Senior Member
Posts: 1463
Joined: 15 Dec 2017, 10:25
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 30 May 2019, 12:02

Repulse wrote:
shark bait wrote:Making use of what we have means using the carriers.

This is acceptable in the short term because the UK don't have many F35, however one day there wont be the space for 10+ commando Merlin, and another deck will be required.


It means using both CVFs AND an Argus replacement in supporting amphibious ops, it’s naive to think both would be available more than 60% of the time IMO.
Exactly, plus how much is it going to cost to operate PWLS as an LPH along with the T45/T26 screen tagging along, just to operate a handful of helicopters?

Herein lies the reason for the FLSS...

User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5741
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 30 May 2019, 12:08

It's not going to happen, QE and PWLS will not see action at the same time.

For amphibious ops a single carrier will be operating with a Hybrid air wing of F35 + Commando helicopters.
@LandSharkUK


Return to “Royal Navy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: bobp, Digger22, donald_of_tokyo, Jake1992 and 12 guests