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Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 24 Dec 2019, 11:13

Lord Jim, if the RUSI route is followed the current 40 + 45 RM Cdos will be split into two mini 3 company mini Cdo structures plus company level independent units. Therefore, their Norwegian role would change also to a force capable securing key strategic points or a landing ground for a Strike Brigade.

As SW1 points out, a minimum of three Strike Brigades would be needed (I’d argue four) such that they would be able to fight also in all environments from the artic to deserts.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 24 Dec 2019, 11:55

Dahedd wrote:When was the last time NATO practiced a Reforger exercise? That could be an interesting thing to see.


The 90s?? Something similar planned for next year defender 2020.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 26 Dec 2019, 20:37

The RUSI proposal would see the two Commandos reorganised into three full companies plus support elements allowing each company to be reinforced with for example Mortar and Javelin sections. This allows the formation of three "Raiding" formations from within each commando, and is far better suited to this role than the current organisation of two Close Combat and two Stand Off Companies. This however does not prevent a Commando from being bused in the more traditional role, as it appears the MoD wish to be able to especially with relation to the UK's commitment to reinforce Northern Norway. In this role the Commando could operate almost as a Mechanised formations using its Vikings to manoeuvre in the harsh arctic terrain effectively, whilst also being able to organise and send out smaller recce and raiding units. This will be more so if the MoD replaced the elderly Bv206s still in service with additional Viking Mk2+ as is currently being looked at.

These reinforced Companies could as mentioned be used to secure a port of entry for a "Strike" Brigade, but with out current resources, any UK Government will have to be very careful as to where and when it would deploy the former. I cannot see the UK sending a "Strike" Brigade EoS for example as we lack the resources to carry out such an operation, with all its required components and resources without leaving our core commitments unable to be fulfilled. Also in its current structure, the "Strike" Brigade would not be an effective formation to deploy without the back up of its heavier cousin in the form of an Armoured Infantry Brigade. The two are linked with each providing capabilities the other lacks.

The RUSI proposal also allows the deployment of one or more of these reinforced Companies on a forward deployed naval group based around one of the FLSS. Looking at the FLSS it is vital that the MoD get the design right, and that it includes the capabilities it will need to meet the aspirations of the Royal Navy and Government. To that end I would propose that initially the Royal Navy obtain a civilian platform and give it the basic capabilities needed for the role such as davits for assault craft and a flight deck. It would then use containerised modules, based on ISO containers, to carry out experiments as to what other capabilities are needed and their scale together with what additional vessels would be required to form an effective LSG. In addition it would also highlight what personnel and units would need to be embarked to make the LSG effective. It would be the results of these trials that the design of two or more FLSS would be finalised, but the trial platform would not be disposed of. It would make an ideal platform to take over many of the roles carried out by RFA Argus, and could follow a similar developmental path as she did.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 27 Dec 2019, 16:30

Interesting overview in this months Warships IFR magazine on the US Littoral Combat Groups (LCGs) following a conference speech by Captain J.R.Hill (the amphibious warfare branch head).

Describes the similar thought process to the RUSI RN/RM, with a concept of a light and heavy LCG. A heavy LCG would be centred around a LHD/LPD plus an Expeditionary Sea Base (ESB) ship plus LCS escorts. A light LCG would be centred around a ESB plus LCS escorts.

Sounds like the traditional ARG as we know it will be dead before long.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 28 Dec 2019, 00:31

I agree and I also think future amphibious assault platforms are going to have to be both specialised and flexible, especially in the case of the RN/RFA. In addition we will need to ensure we have sufficient sea list to move an Army Brigade with all its components and logistics in one go, and these platforms will probably need to at least be in the grey of the RFA.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby jedibeeftrix » 28 Dec 2019, 09:11

Lord Jim wrote:Regarding the Royal Marines. We will have two Commandos available so it would be possible to have one providing detachments for raiding and support of SF whilst the other is available for their NATO role up north.

Don't you mean "three" Commandos available?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Gabriele » 28 Dec 2019, 15:33

42 Commando, for now, retains its heavy weapons, mortars included, and can deploy as part of the brigade if really needed.

47 Commando has taken over the boats and the existing raiding squadron as well as the boat / landing craft training squadron and the deployable boat support base package, plus the LCAC hovercraft. This is where reorganisation will be interesting to see.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 28 Dec 2019, 16:27

Yes 42 Commando currently retained the four Company organisation (2 Close Combat and 2 Stand Off), but is being retasked to provide "Ship Protection Teams" and will lose the majority of its heavy Weapons and also its allocation of both armoured and unarmoured vehicles. This will leave only 40 and 45 Commandos available.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Gabriele » 28 Dec 2019, 20:35

The Commando has already reorganized and the companies have taken up their specific roles. They are outside the normal rotation of units for the Lead Commando Group role, but the plan is to keep the ability to get into the field as a Commando if needed.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby jedibeeftrix » 29 Dec 2019, 09:58

Gabriele wrote:47 Commando has taken over the boats and the existing raiding squadron as well as the boat / landing craft training squadron and the deployable boat support base package, plus the LCAC hovercraft. This is where reorganisation will be interesting to see.

Is "47" a typo?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_Command ... ganization
-------------------------------
a separate question:

42 commando - our template for a raiding commando - is there any margin for keeping a four company structure, just revised to making them unified rather than two+two?

the idea being that the one commando could supply each LSG with two companies on a hi/lo rotation...

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby clivestonehouse1 » 29 Dec 2019, 11:32

jedibeeftrix wrote:
Gabriele wrote:47 Commando has taken over the boats and the existing raiding squadron as well as the boat / landing craft training squadron and the deployable boat support base package, plus the LCAC hovercraft. This is where reorganisation will be interesting to see.

Is "47" a typo?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_Command ... ganization
-------------------------------
a separate question:

42 commando - our template for a raiding commando - is there any margin for keeping a four company structure, just revised to making them unified rather than two+two?

the idea being that the one commando could supply each LSG with two companies on a hi/lo rotation...


47 Cdo is not a typo.
It was formerly 1 AGRM

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/47_Comm ... ding_Group)_Royal_Marines

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Gabriele » 29 Dec 2019, 21:33

42 commando - our template for a raiding commando - is there any margin for keeping a four company structure, just revised to making them unified rather than two+two?


42 Commando is not the template for a raiding commando, but literally a permanent "other tasks" unit. It took up all the various tasks that one Commando would take up on rotation when the readiness cycle involved all 3 units.
They have decided to build more of an institutional, permanent focus on said tasks, and that has resulted in:

Lima Coy - Joint Personnel Recovery
Juliet Coy - opposed boarding team ("green" teams of Royal Marines do the "difficult" boardings [i think it's technically called Level 3, but i might not be up to date, while "blue" RN teams can do on their own where the risk is lower)
Kilo Coy - Support, Augment, Liaise and Train, currently sustaining a permanent mission in Nigeria
Mike Coy - Force protection teams for embarkation on deployed RN and RFA ships

The Future Commando Force experimental unit is 40 Commando.


47 Commando, as already mentioned, was until recently 1 AGRM. Now renamed and re-subordinated under 3 Cdo brigade, with 539 Raiding Squadron as the most notable sub-unit.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby jedibeeftrix » 30 Dec 2019, 08:33

Gabriele wrote:Lima Coy - Joint Personnel Recovery
Juliet Coy - opposed boarding team ("green" teams of Royal Marines do the "difficult" boardings [i think it's technically called Level 3, but i might not be up to date, while "blue" RN teams can do on their own where the risk is lower)
Kilo Coy - Support, Augment, Liaise and Train, currently sustaining a permanent mission in Nigeria
Mike Coy - Force protection teams for embarkation on deployed RN and RFA ships

Is there much cross-over between Juliet Coy in 42 Commando and the Royal Marine Boarding Teams and the very high readiness Fleet Contingent Troop in 43 Commando:

"a 550-man unit of the Royal Marines responsible for guarding the United Kingdom's Naval nuclear weapons and providing Royal Marine Boarding Teams and the very high readiness Fleet Contingent Troop to conduct maritime interdiction operations in support of the Royal Navy. The unit, based at HM Naval Base Clyde, is part of 3 Commando Brigade."

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 01 Jan 2020, 13:29

Lord Jim wrote: This [however] does not prevent a Commando from being bused in the more traditional role, as it appears the MoD wish to be able to especially with relation to the UK's commitment to reinforce Northern Norway. In this role the Commando could operate almost as a Mechanised formations using its Vikings to manoeuvre in the harsh arctic terrain effectively, whilst also being able to organise and send out smaller recce and raiding units. This will be more so if the MoD replaced the elderly Bv206s still in service with additional Viking Mk2+ as is currently being looked at.
1ST COMMENT:
- the older ones are, I understand, exclusively in logs & transport role


Also in its current structure, the "Strike" Brigade would not be an effective formation to deploy without the back up of its heavier cousin in the form of an Armoured Infantry Brigade. The two are linked with each providing capabilities the other lacks.
2ND COMMENT:
- fully agreed


The RUSI proposal also allows the deployment of one or more of these reinforced Companies on a forward deployed naval group based around one of the FLSS. Looking at the FLSS it is vital that the MoD get the design right, and that it includes the capabilities it will need to meet the aspirations of the Royal Navy and Government.
3RD COMMENT:
- THAT'S THE REAL CHANGE; the need for the other changes flows from that. How to do more, not with less, but with the same level of resourcing



Also Norway does not permit the forward basing of foreign troops though it does allow the prepositioning of some kit.
- this statement is no longer true: Initially the prepositioning was agreed with one Coy, rotating (plus excercises/ Arctic training)
- the numbers have been upped since; All these sorts of things go through their Parliament... and, thus, are documented

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 01 Jan 2020, 13:35

Lord Jim wrote:also its allocation of both armoured and unarmoured vehicles.
Atleast the armoured part (Vikings) are held and allocated centrally,
and thereby
Gabriele wrote:the plan is to keep the ability to get into the field as a Commando if needed.

is viable as the heavy weapons are kept in armouries, anyway
... as long as you train with them (and the tactics that are thus enabled)

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Gabriele » 01 Jan 2020, 14:19

jedibeeftrix wrote:
Gabriele wrote:Lima Coy - Joint Personnel Recovery
Juliet Coy - opposed boarding team ("green" teams of Royal Marines do the "difficult" boardings [i think it's technically called Level 3, but i might not be up to date, while "blue" RN teams can do on their own where the risk is lower)
Kilo Coy - Support, Augment, Liaise and Train, currently sustaining a permanent mission in Nigeria
Mike Coy - Force protection teams for embarkation on deployed RN and RFA ships

Is there much cross-over between Juliet Coy in 42 Commando and the Royal Marine Boarding Teams and the very high readiness Fleet Contingent Troop in 43 Commando:

"a 550-man unit of the Royal Marines responsible for guarding the United Kingdom's Naval nuclear weapons and providing Royal Marine Boarding Teams and the very high readiness Fleet Contingent Troop to conduct maritime interdiction operations in support of the Royal Navy. The unit, based at HM Naval Base Clyde, is part of 3 Commando Brigade."



The boarding / fleet contingent troop tasks have all been concentrated in Juliet Coy, for all i know. What was in 43 Cdo moved out to let 43 focus on Protection and, in the worst possible event, Recapture of nuclear installations.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 18 Jan 2020, 09:45

Apologies if this has been posted before, but below is a short but good summary of the questions posed as part of the future UK/US strategy by Nick Childs.

https://www.iiss.org/blogs/military-bal ... ging-uk-us

A few key points for me:
- “General Berger [USMC] also talks about creating ‘a new fleet design of smaller, more lethal, and more risk-worthy platforms’.”
- “ The LSS could also fulfil a significant presence mission as part of a littoral strike group (LSG) that could include one or two other platforms, such as one of the new-generation Type-31 frigates. With their large volume, these new frigates could also be useful hosts for elements of an embarked force and add to a multiplicity of littoral strike platforms in a more mixed force.”
- “Clearly, the LSS is not the full answer, especially in a contested A2/AD environment.”

It’s going to be interesting how this evolves, but the three points above (and limited T26/T45 numbers) suggest that the T31 has a big role to play to make this an effective strategy. My personal hope is that whilst it is probably too late to reshape the first 5 T31s, the RN uses the opportunity for any follow on ships to revisit an evolved Absalon design (whose design shares common history to the T31).
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 18 Jan 2020, 10:26

Repulse wrote:the three points
well picked, to relate to our circumstances
Repulse wrote:(and limited T26/T45 numbers) suggest that the T31 has a big role to play to make this an effective strategy
...fully agree, about the much ridiculed (on these pages) T31. Tell me the year when there will be enough of (available) T26s and T45s for all of them not to be ties to the carrier task force(s)

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 18 Jan 2020, 11:18

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Tell me the year when there will be enough of (available) T26s and T45s for all of them not to be ties to the carrier task force(s)


Unless someone gets their chequebook out and buy more, that will be the year after never.

ArmChairCivvy wrote:...fully agree, about the much ridiculed (on these pages) T31


The T31 has been ridiculed I agree, and I’ve been one of them. The problem for me is that it’s never really had a clear purpose in my mind. Some see it as a GP Escort frigate, which is okay, but with the original budget of £250mn it never seemed more than an expensive OPV. Now that the budget is £400mn (£250mn plus £150mn fitting out) it looks more realistic, plus with the future amphibious force vision amd continued evolution of unmanned assets (especially MCM) there could be a real purpose.

However, I’d still like it to be more Absalon than Iver Huitfeldt, or at least have a couple of “boat” bays large enough for LCVPs or fast littoral craft like the CB90.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 18 Jan 2020, 15:52

A lot will depend on how the LSS actually takes shape. My opinion is we should obtain a cheap and cheerful ex civilian platform in order wo work out how we want these units to operate and also sort out what type and size of embarked force is needed. Then a follow on class of two or three build to the requirements that were identified should be built. The ex civilian vessel can then be returned if leased or possibly modified into a replacement for Argus, following the same developmental path if funding allows. This would be an ideal project to receive contribution form the Aid Budget as it would make a good HADR platform.

As for the T-31, well it still has a lot of potential and more importantly space to evolve.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Jan 2020, 04:23

Repulse wrote: continued evolution of unmanned assets (especially MCM) there could be a real purpose.
the dinky plastic boats that you or I could use for a wk end of fishing (OK, would assume quite a whopper to be caught :) ) suddenly became 'self-deploying' across the oceans
- which has always been a stated goal in the long-running MCM prgrm

Repulse wrote:at least have a couple of “boat” bays large enough for LCVPs or fast littoral craft like the CB90.

+
Lord Jim wrote:the T-31, well it still has a lot of potential and more importantly space to evolve

agree, as you guys are crayoning what B2s will look like
- our friend here did a good job - with much better tools - on the evolution path that the Bays might take

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 19 Jan 2020, 08:41

ArmChairCivvy wrote:agree, as you guys are crayoning what B2s will look like
- our friend here did a good job - with much better tools - on the evolution path that the Bays might take


Not sure I fully understand the point you are making. Are you suggesting that the three points I highlighted from Nick Child’s article could be addressed by evolving the Bay design?

From all I read the direction seems to be more LCS than LSD - the nearest the RN is planning in this area is the T31. The platforms need to be smaller and capable of “fighting” in a A2/AD zone.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Jan 2020, 09:17

All I meant was that the evolution of current/future Bays was mapped very conveniently, using appropriate tools that you or I don't have access to (nor would I know :D how to use them). This was done by our fellow contributer with an unpronouncable :) call-sign
Repulse wrote:From all I read the direction seems to be more LCS than LSD - the nearest the RN is planning in this area is the T31. The platforms need to be smaller and capable of “fighting” in a A2/AD zone.

And I agree with that direction.

But while we are waiting for the 1st batch of 5 T31 to hit the water (and prove the design), the experimentation, instead of the civilian vessel charter as proposed by LJ, could be done with one of the Bays. Something akin to a patrol-Bay was done for Atalanta, just that the interdiction vessels housed were Dutch, or Swedish (or both; taking turns?). No mods, though, so really an application rather than an experiment.
- we really should have 4 of them: one on standby, one as the MCM mothership (can convert back within days, whereas sailing into that area would take considerable longer), one on HADR/ refit... there is not much flexibility in the three left, for experimentation :(

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 19 Jan 2020, 10:41

I’m hoping that with HMS Medway now seemingly forward based in the Caribbean, coupled with an opportunity in the SDSR / talk of a civilian HADR solution, the Bays will be able to focus more time on the mothership role being discussed.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 20 Jan 2020, 04:41

With
Repulse wrote: talk of a civilian HADR solution, the Bays will be able to focus more time on the mothership role being discussed.

yes; but has the idea been dropped since Penny went?
- not sure, haven't seen any mentions (since)


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