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Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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jedibeeftrix
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby jedibeeftrix » 19 Oct 2019, 19:41

abc123 wrote:
Repulse wrote:
abc123 wrote:One-commando task force RMs are IMHO useless and should be disbanded. Either a proper brigade-sized force with all things that go with it, or save a few pounds.


How about a Cdo assault force quickly followed by an Army Brigade?


How many Army Brigades are ready to do so? Are the UKs amphibious capabilities large enough for that?

if they aren't then there is a fundamental problem with Strike...

abc123 wrote:One-commando task force RMs are IMHO useless and should be disbanded. Either a proper brigade-sized force with all things that go with it, or save a few pounds.


if the army has decided that combined arms battlegroups are of no real utility that is news to me.
maybe it is so, in which case I will reevaluate the utility of a 1500 strong ATFG based around a core battalion sized unit?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 20 Oct 2019, 00:22

A Battalion sized force of highly trained light infantry skilled in arctic and mountain warfare is far from useless in such terrain.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby jedibeeftrix » 20 Oct 2019, 08:25

but more generally a battlgroup sized mobile force acting in whatever littoral environment required not useful?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 20 Oct 2019, 11:18

jedibeeftrix wrote:if they aren't then there is a fundamental problem with Strike...


Agreed - a lot has been made of travelling on the channel tunnel to dash somewhere Eastern Europe; an equally (perhaps arguably more) relevant scenario is deployment by sea to Norway and further afield such as the ME.
"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 Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 20 Oct 2019, 12:08

But that is the problem it’s a light battlegroup that isn’t very mobile. It would be required to be equipped with significantly more aviation lift than it has, more logistics capability and or significant uplift in armour and long range artillery capability to be relevant and operate as a manoeuvre battlegroup against near peer or peer adversaries.

If that was to be the direction of travel then they should have been integrated with strike brigade thinking. that would of meant selecting the patia vehicle, were by a marine battlegroup would of been equipped with the patia version that swims and lands via a different axis to the other battlegroups in the brigade and when ashore they can all manoeuvre as required.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 20 Oct 2019, 20:41

Pure fantasy, so please feel free to ignore...

Been reading up on the Italian cruiser Vittorio Veneto which decommissioned in 2003. It was capable of operating 9 helicopters (with 2 lifts under the rear flight deck) but also had solid ASW, AAW and ASuW capability.

If the RN needs additional helicopter carrying capability (with perhaps a couple hundred of RMs) able to operate close to peer-nation shores (with A2D) covering other fast boats and landing craft, could a couple of modern day equivalents be an option - funds allowing? Would also double up as ASW carriers.
"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 Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 20 Oct 2019, 22:46

In a similar vein, how about a couple of westernised Kiev class carriers, fitted with a ski jump (just in case). Quite a bit bigger but we are in the realm of fantasy here.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 21 Oct 2019, 20:07

Lord Jim wrote:In a similar vein, how about a couple of westernised Kiev class carriers, fitted with a ski jump (just in case). Quite a bit bigger but we are in the realm of fantasy here.


Would say something more like the Moskva-class helicopter carrier... had some serious punch.

Whilst of course this is fantasy, I can’t help but think that to make the changes needed we are talking about something more than a few flexible RFAs and fast Rhibs...
"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 Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Oct 2019, 10:46

However when look at the new Trieste class capable of 25 knots and has a armament of 3 x 76mm , 3 x 25mm and 16 cell A-50 VLS. Now if we were to go with 76mm and 40mm on type 31 we could build a LPH capable of carrying 25 Helicopters and armed with 3 x 76mm , 3 x 40mm and say 32 CAMM

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Simon82 » 22 Oct 2019, 11:54

Two (or even three) Trieste class, or similar would be just the thing to replace HMS Ocean, Bulwark and Albion. Not that the U.K. would really require the Trieste’s ability to operate the F-35B, so the design could be altered to place more of an emphasis on vehicle stowage and rotary-winged aviation. Now all the British need to do is find a massive gold reserve under Kent to pay for them...

As an aside to ASW, wouldn’t a smallish helicopter carrier, like the Japanese Hyūga-class helicopter destroyers, be a more capable anti-submarine asset than a conventional frigate (or repurposed LHA/LHD)?
Being that the Merlin HM2 seems to be the primary submarine detection and ASW weapon delivery system in the Royal Navy, a ship carrying 6 or so would on the surface seem to be the most efficient way of delivering ASW to an area of ocean.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 22 Oct 2019, 12:38

4 or 5 Trieste/Izumo/Cavour or the like that could of distributed aviation assets and small boats almost as a seas control vessels if you like or operated together for more concentrated efforts would have been a gd idea for the scale of aviation assets we have however we built cvf instead so all our aviation is concentrated in one location when we need it to go to sea.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Oct 2019, 13:48

I agree the RN has chosen the CVF route rather than a Trieste/Izumo/Cavour approach. Even if it hadn’t each of these would need to be treated as HVUs so would need more Escorts than we have today.

The point I am wondering is that whilst an Auxiliary FLSS plus T31 combo is a reasonable combo in a low-ish threat environment, it does not work in a peer conflict scenario or anywhere with a half decent A2D capability. Therefore, given cost pressures would it make sense to make the “helicopter carrier” self-escorting or even better to do that plus give local area cover for a landing force. Sounds expensive, until you add up the constituent parts that would need to be in place instead.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Oct 2019, 18:10

so a if a Trieste class LHD is not self escorting and capable offering area defence with 3 x 76mm , 3 x 25mm and 16 cell A-50 capable of carrying 16 Aster or 64 CAMM what are you planning to arm your ship with

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby serge750 » 22 Oct 2019, 19:41

Sounds like the original concept behind the invincible class CVL before the CVA got canned !

Maybe a few Kaalat Beni Abbes for small insertions or ASW,MCM mother ships or just enforcers with CAMM & 76mm,phalanx etc, as said self escorting is preferable, either way a multi role ship is a must

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Oct 2019, 21:08

Tempest414 wrote:so a if a Trieste class LHD is not self escorting and capable offering area defence with 3 x 76mm , 3 x 25mm and 16 cell A-50 capable of carrying 16 Aster or 64 CAMM what are you planning to arm your ship with


The Vittorio Veneto had 8 x 76mms :P

To be more serious it also had first rate ASuW and ASW capabilities also. A Trieste would need a ASW escort and also limited capability for deterring other surface threats. Still all fantasy though.
"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 Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Oct 2019, 02:11

The more I think about it, replacing the Albions with 4 to 6 smaller LST type vessels with effective self defence capabilities and able to move at between 25 and 30 knots for the sprint to and from the landing area could be an interesting approach. They would need to be able to operate over long distances, and have a modular capability so that they should be able to operate in alternative roles when needed. Whether they have a conventional front ramp, a more complicated arrangement like the old USN LSTs, or a rear ramp like some contemporary designs would need to be looked at.

To support these we would need 3 to 4 replacements for the Bays but built to a design that would be an evolution of the Dutch Rotterdam or Johan de Witt platforms. These would provide the logistics support and aviation capacity, more then able to carry the available Merlin HC4s and or a number of Chinooks. Both these current designs have proven to be very flexible and efficient during their continued service.

Finally there will be the need for some heavy lift and the current number of Points is more than adequate, though I would like a pre fabricated helicopters landing pad to be developed so that in time of conflict these vessels could be easily retrofitted. This proved invaluable when both Canberra and the QE2 were given temporary helicopter landing facilities when it came to moving troops, equipment and supplies to and from these vessels.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 23 Oct 2019, 07:50

The LST is ready for a revisit. The traditional types are still as unattractive as ever, it is a modern design coupled with modern operations that could make the type relevant again.

As well as being a landing ship, the type could be suited to unmanned mine clearance and survey tasks. It's essentially a big flat bed for moving vehicles, so it stands to reason LST's could move unmanned naval vehicles too. Could that be a game changer for the type? Previously an LST was too niche to survive in a modern navy, perhaps adding a mothership role could make the LST relevant again as general-purpose utility vessel?
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 23 Oct 2019, 11:39

shark bait wrote:The LST is ready for a revisit. The traditional types are still as unattractive as ever, it is a modern design coupled with modern operations that could make the type relevant again.

As well as being a landing ship, the type could be suited to unmanned mine clearance and survey tasks. It's essentially a big flat bed for moving vehicles, so it stands to reason LST's could move unmanned naval vehicles too. Could that be a game changer for the type? Previously an LST was too niche to survive in a modern navy, perhaps adding a mothership role could make the LST relevant again as general-purpose utility vessel?



What size do you see this new LST being

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 23 Oct 2019, 13:31

The bigger it is the fewer are needed
The bigger it is the better it can cross an ocean
The bigger it is the fewer beaches it can reach

It needs to be whatever size strikes the best comprise on the above.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 23 Oct 2019, 14:32

shark bait wrote:The bigger it is the fewer are needed
The bigger it is the better it can cross an ocean
The bigger it is the fewer beaches it can reach

It needs to be whatever size strikes the best comprise on the above.


I thought that this set of compromises was why most nations went down the route of LPDs / LHDs with LCUs / LCACs so compromising wasn’t needed ?

Iv been following the above descution on LSTs my question is how will they be any more serviceable than an LPD ?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 23 Oct 2019, 18:50

The worry is with certain countries increasing their sea access denial capabilities, you will not be able to get a large conventional amphibious platform near enough to an objective without putting it at too great a risk. In addition their is a worry that the current large platforms put all your eggs in one basket so to speak, and the loss on one platform would make further operations by the amphibious group unsustainable. You will still need large platforms to move in reinforcements and logistics once an area has been secured, but the USMC at least has identified the need to use smaller, fast and more flexible platforms, able to be purchased in relatively large number, to carry out the initial sea borne landing follow an airborne landing to secure the immediate disembarkation point. The aim is to gradually push back the enemies area of sea access denial with your own.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 23 Oct 2019, 19:09

So if we go down the LST route to give a distributed force to counter act the lose of one being a mission kill how many would we need to allow the lose of one or two to not be that mission kill ?
How many do we really think would can get past the treasury bean counters ?

Would a number of LSTs coming up to shore be better than LPDs sitting far out with faster LCUs ?

Would it be better to have 40 knot LCUs armed with short range air defence like star streak ? What would be worse to the mission a lose of one of these or an LST ?

What would the cost of the 2 different options be ?
Would it be cheaper to have 5 LPDs / LSDs based on the same hull or 3 large LSDs and what ever LSTs we can get ?

If the LST route is taken what about the helo portion of the op ? Are going say we need to put a QE closer to shore than we’d really like to ?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 23 Oct 2019, 19:31

Have thought about LSTs in the past, but not relevant I believe for the RMs for two reasons.

- The RMs is aimed to be a globally deployable force, LSTs have limited size hence less seaworthiness (unless you get to a LPD size at which point you missed the point).
- They are designed to deliver Tanks in the first wave over a beach; we’ve discussed already that is not the RMs.

What is an option is a LSL (like the old Roundtable class) which is focused on logistics and transport as part of a second wave.
"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 Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 24 Oct 2019, 03:59

I suppose it is actually the second wave I would be talking about, but chose to refer to the platform as an LST rather than a LSL. It would however still need to have good self defence capabilities as well as having a much higher speed and even a reduced RCS. But lot is going to depend on where the RM are going to end up with this review of how they are to operate in the future.

For raiding as an example they are going to need a platform that can be launched from far greater distances from the shore than the current RHIBs and similar craft. For larger Company sized operation, the majority of the combat troops could be landed via helicopter, with their logistics, support units and heavier equipment being landed by a single LST/LSL once an initial debarkation point had been secured maybe one route to follow.

Heavy units such as the Bays or similar platforms will need in future to hold much further off shore, possibly 100km or more until the threat of enemy shore based weapons has been at least reduced. This would also be the launch distance if we continued to rely on traditional LPDs etc and used a new generation of LCUs to move larger equipment from ship to shore.

What may appear to make sense and be cost effective in peace time, may end up being inappropriate and ineffective in wartime. A recent article by a senior RAF officer mentioned with regards to force size and composition, that the UK is only spending enough to purchase the most basic insurance package, hoping that we will not need to make a claim. But if something does happen, there are likely to be a number of things the basic package did not cover with serious repercussion for both out military and country. And of course other nations can see we only have the basic package and can plan their actions accordingly. This is something that needs to be explained with far greater clarity to the Government and Treasury.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 24 Oct 2019, 08:55

Jake1992 wrote:I thought that this set of compromises was why most nations went down the route of LPDs

Sure, and a few things have changed now, the two most obvious are the LPD is a single point of failure in an increasingly risky environment, and the other is they're too big to use routinely. For example the UK will regularly have all three bay class at sea, but could never achieve that from the LPD's. Smaller ships could change solve these points.

Repulse wrote: focused on logistics and transport as part of a second wave.

That is whats required. The initial assault will be via aircraft and fast boats to secure a site, from that point on it's a race to build mass before the enemy can counter.
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