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Future Littoral Strike Ships

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donald_of_tokyo
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 05 Apr 2019, 12:31

Tempest414 wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:This will make Bulwark a "specialist MCM drone mother ship, which can be converted back into LPD if MCM need is less and landing need is high" (say, rapid deployment to Norway)?

This is what I put forward with the Makassar LPD and you no because it has a well dock
Yes and no. I am saying, 4 MCMVs will be needed to be replaced with a single MCM-drone-based-Bulwark LPD. In other words, 12 MCMVs shall be replaced with only 3 or 4 LPD, and nothing else (because of man-power).

I actually think 12 MCMV shall be replaced with:
- 2 LPDs (no problem with Makassar LPD) and ~6 PSVs,
- or 6-8 Venari 85-like MHCs.
(in addition to another 2 Venari 85-like MHCs to replace Echo/Enterprise. )

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Poiuytrewq » 05 Apr 2019, 13:40

donald_of_tokyo wrote:...how less the Bulwark can be manned without C&C and reduced damage control, is not clear. I guess, 150 at minimum as a core-crew (only ship handling) ? A ship designed with large manpower cannot be lean manned easily. Even the basic choice of design differs (Bay has a propulsion kit with less maintenance, but also with less shock resistivity, compared to Albions).
Firstly, I am not proposing any reduction of damage control standards. I don't think RN would accept it.

As for the core crew number, we are all guessing but if it can be reduced down to a T23 level I think the option is worth exploring.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Secondly, APT-N/S is really so much needed?
- RN has been gapping APT-S for long. Do we really need it?
- Also, there are many assets which can be used for APT-N.
-- FLSS
-- 2 RFA Waves are lacking peace time jobs (also their crew?),
-- River B2 is mentioned sometimes to be deployed for APT-N
-- in addition to a Bay allocated there now.
APT(N) and APT(S) are only two examples, there are many other possibilities. Others options could involve joint deployments with USN/USMC, RAN or the Dutch Marines etc. A wider NATO C&C role could be established with everything over and above the core crew provided by NATO. Flexibility and adaptability would be key.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:So, if ever to re-activate the 2nd Albion (Bulwark), I propose the "source" of manpower may come from:
- disbanding and selling the two Waves (80 crew to solve the RFA manpower, and 80 crew for Bulwark?)
- disbanding 2 Hunts and 2 Sandowns to be replaced with the Bulwark-revived, to provide ~70 crew for ship handling and ~90 crew for "4 sets of MCM drone systems".
Getting rid of the Waves would be a mistake but reorganising the MCMV's is worth looking at, especially if existing platforms can be used in a more efficient way.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:This will make Bulwark a "specialist MCM drone mother ship, which can be converted back into LPD if MCM need is less and landing need is high"
Why not? This level of flexibility could very well be the future with modular systems added and removed as and when necessary. It would have been good to see a bit more of this in the MDP, hopefully we will next time around.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 05 Apr 2019, 13:56

No big objection.

One thing to point out. Flexible and convertible is OK. But as US Navy's LCS program has shown, a specialized operations needs specialized team and conversion needs time. So, regardless of how flexible the asset be, I guess each asset must have "primary" role, and just can be converted (shortly) into other assets.

I am not against any platform agnostic system. But, thinking that "a conversion with a few hours can make a PSV into a specialist MCMV", is not an idea I will believe.

In my proposal, Albion is Amphibious-specialist LPD and Bulwark (could) be MCM-specialist LPD. It is not a "easily convertible assets" in my view.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Poiuytrewq » 05 Apr 2019, 14:17

Is this what a Littoral Srike Group really looks like?
image.jpeg
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SKB
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby SKB » 05 Apr 2019, 15:24

Here are France's literal strike groups.
ImageImage
:mrgreen:

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Lord Jim » 05 Apr 2019, 17:09

Has drone technology matured enough to replace conventional platforms like the Sandowns and Hunts? The RN is still one of NATO's major providers of MCM assets even after the reductions, and has some of the most highly skilled specialist personnel. WE often talk about the UK providing niche capabilities for NATO and allied operations and this is one of them. We need to think very careful about downgrading this capability any further.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Tempest414 » 06 Apr 2019, 09:35

Poiuytrewq wrote:Is this what a Littoral Srike Group really looks like?
image.jpeg


It is what it looked like a few years back plus you would need some escorts

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Poiuytrewq
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Poiuytrewq » 06 Apr 2019, 10:33

Tempest414 wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:Is this what a Littoral Srike Group really looks like?
It is what it looked like a few years back plus you would need some escorts
Exactly but my point is how would an equivalent look today? Is it credible if a FLSS is included or is an Ocean type vessel really still required?

Take the example above,

1x Invincible
1x Albion
1x Point
1x Fort
Plus escorts

As opposed to,

1x FLSS (MRV)
1x Albion
1x Bay
1x Wave
Plus escorts

In very rough terms the vehicle capacity and EMF numbers are broadly similar but aviation capacity is down by around 60%. It seems like a big drop but is all that aviation capacity necessary? What is the optimum level?

This remains the issue that I have with the LSG concept, the FLSS vessels aren't able to provide enough aviation capacity to build a Littoral Strike Group around them. One way or another a QE would have to get involved and that trashes the idea of two independent LSG's either side of Suez.

One possible solution is to have 2 FLSS vessels within each LSG and then the numbers would start to look healthier. Especially if each FLSS had a six Merlin capacity. It would good to get a bit more official clarity on how the LSG would be setup.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Apr 2019, 12:21

Poiuytrewq wrote: FLSS vessels aren't able to provide enough aviation capacity to build a Littoral Strike Group around them

mission creep
Poiuytrewq wrote: One way or another a QE would have to get involved and that trashes the idea of two independent LSG's either side of Suez.

one at a time :thumbup:
- the other one is still on location, bobbing up and down, and fulfilling 'the' mission

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Lord Jim » 06 Apr 2019, 14:08

I cannot see a Ba being part of an FLSS. It is supporting SF operations and small scale operation by RMs not landing an amphibious assault force.

It needs to be able to lift between 20 and 40 troops at a given time, it is not a back door LHA.

It will be able to participate in HADR operations but will be inferior to vessels like the Albions and Bays by quite a margin.

They are to be mobile bases not Amphibious Assault platforms.

They are to be ridiculously cheap and built to RFA standards at best.

There will be no mission creep in the design as there is a set amount of money from the Transformation fund and that is it. In fact with the MoD wanting to probably do too much with this budget they amount available for LSS might shrink.

The whole LSS is not set in stone it is still really an idea to allow the UK to regain a global maritime presence on a pittance of a budget.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby jedibeeftrix » 06 Apr 2019, 14:32

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote: FLSS vessels aren't able to provide enough aviation capacity to build a Littoral Strike Group around them

mission creep

Agreed, the LSG is the T31 / Tuccano / LightCav of amphibios ops.
It will include a wave and T31 and that's about it, where the scale and ambition of LPD/LSD ops will bring T26 / T45 / Carriers / JSS.
FLSS will have utility in a major op, but it will be all those unused LIMS in the lower desk, and providing an auxiliary landing spot.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 06 Apr 2019, 14:49

jedibeeftrix wrote:FLSS will have utility in a major op, but it will be all those unused LIMS in the lower desk, and providing an auxiliary landing spot.


The LIMS will be valuable, but I’d say the FLSS role in an ARG will be as a Aviation Support Ship to the LPDs/LSDs operating the ship-to-shore connecting Merlins and Chinooks, any supporting CVF(s) will be much further out primarily on air defence and strike duties.

Personally can see the value of 3 FLSS ships with the third acting as the Argus replacement whilst the others act as SF/RM forward bases.

Ultimately an amphibious fleet of 4 RFA LPDs, 3 RFA FSSs and 4 Points (backed up by the 2 CVFs) is the best we can hope for.
"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: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Lord Jim » 09 Apr 2019, 14:42

Can we get some of these for the LSS. Maybe even the T-26?

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Jake1992 » 09 Apr 2019, 18:47

Lord Jim wrote:Can we get some of these for the LSS. Maybe even the T-26?


Would they be any better than the CB90 ?

Watercat m12 -
Weight - 14t
Length - 14.2m
Beam - 3.6m
20 troops
30knots full load
180nm range

CB90 -
Weight - 20t
Length - 15.9m
Beam - 3.8m
21 troops
40knots full load
240nm range

Watercat m18 -
Weight - 32t
Length - 19.9m
Beam - 4.3m
24 troops
35knots full load
200nm range

If I remember right the mission bay on the T26 is 13m long, if so all are too big for them.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Lord Jim » 10 Apr 2019, 11:40

Ok maybe not he T-26. Is there a cost comparison out there? The other issue is that the CB-90 is also a combat vessel with numerous hardpoints to mount weapons on where the Watercats are really fast landing craft. I was assuming the M-12 was a cheaper alternative to the CB-90.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Jake1992 » 10 Apr 2019, 12:21

Lord Jim wrote:Ok maybe not he T-26. Is there a cost comparison out there? The other issue is that the CB-90 is also a combat vessel with numerous hardpoints to mount weapons on where the Watercats are really fast landing craft. I was assuming the M-12 was a cheaper alternative to the CB-90.


I haven’t been able to find a cost comparison but one thing that could effect long term cost it the much larger numbers of CB90s in service nearly 200 compared to the watercat m14 only have around 12 in service.

As for hard points Iv seen the watercat m14 has an armament of 1× 12.7 mm NSV machine gun or
1× 40 mm grenade machine gun or
1× 120 mm NEMO mortar

But like you say it all depends on price, it is a shame the T26 mission bay isn’t big enough for these though.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Lord Jim » 10 Apr 2019, 18:18

Ideally I would like the LSS to have two CB-90s and two SF optimised Merlin HC4s, with the optional gear such as the EO sensor fitted as standard. Give it the capacity to handle twice that number if needed and to utilise cargo transfer floats/platforms (forgot the name!). There would be two davits for the CB-90s and hanger space for up to four helicopters be they Merlins, Apache Guardians or Wildcat, though the Flight deck should be capable of handling a Chinook.

As for troops it would routinely have a platoon of Royal Marines on board plus what ever number of SF were required for the current mission. It would have the capacity to accommodate a Royal Marine Company for a short period. It would not carry any vehicle heavier than a JLTV or its SF equivalent. Any heavier equipment would be off loaded from a Bay in which case the mission would obviously be bigger then the one envisaged for the FLSG and be more a traditional amphibious op.

The use of CB-90s rather then conventional landing craft will reduce its capability to handle HADR missions but not prevent it from doing so. As this is a secondary mission this should not be an issue.

The vessel would have military communications and a military grade radar. Its defence would be a minimum of four or more pintel mounts for weapons up to 12.7mm though having these also being able to mount the three round Starstreak launcher could be of benefit. If funding allowed there would be space allocated for one or two Phalanx to be fitted if required and a control station permanently installed.

Well that about covered what I think the FLSS should entail, as for size, well the minimum needed to accommodate all of the above.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby inch » 10 Apr 2019, 20:29

I might be shot down for saying this but is it all just a bit piece meal ie that small and not really going to make any difference to which ever crisis ? I mean if say they had a few ships like this stationed in each area it might be a small force capable of making a difference but a single vessel of only 2 and in different areas in my view makes no difference ,it's like the t31 debacle neither a opv or a frigate , or having our major vessels not even armed fully or to their full potential just do stuff correctly for the perceived job/threat in hand or go home .sorry if people don't agree and like this tokenism but that's all it is , please please just do the job right ,we are a rich country for our faults and deserve better

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby shark bait » 11 Apr 2019, 07:52

Why does it have to make a difference to a crisis? Isn't improving the mundane simple tasks good enough?

The LSS is not a warship, its a support ship that could be highly useful releasing pressure from the very thin escort fleet. With a far greater aviation, boat and human capacity than any T31 proposal these new platforms will make better patrol/security/engagement platforms than the new fake frigates.

The writing is on the wall, with the RN getting seven new simple ships (5 OPV + 2 LSS), that covers the simple tasks, now focus on making the escorts real escorts.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Apr 2019, 13:07

Lord Jim wrote: The other issue is that the CB-90 is also a combat vessel with numerous hardpoints to mount weapons on where the Watercats are really fast landing craft.
Jake corrected that, but the difference is that Watercat is deep-V, whereas CB-90 is littoral and riverine (only)... can run over a coral reef at speed and Brazil uses them in the Amazonas.
Lord Jim wrote: If funding allowed there would be space allocated for one or two Phalanx to be fitted if required and a control station permanently installed.
That's a good point as "baddies" -even the irregulars- these days have missiles with a fair bit of reach
shark bait wrote:The LSS is not a warship, its a support ship that could be highly useful releasing pressure
Quite.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Timmymagic » 11 Apr 2019, 13:13

shark bait wrote:The writing is on the RN is getting seven new simple ships (5 OPV + 2 LSS), that covers the simple tasks, now focus on making the escorts real escorts.


If we can get another vessel to cover TAPS that would be a straightforward win as well. It should be a mission for the MCM replacement vessel (hopefully the Venari 85). No need for an escort to do the role.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby shark bait » 11 Apr 2019, 14:14

An interesting thought, it would certainly be an advantage if a future mine clearance platform could operate a capable sonar. However are we ready to make that only solution? Would sprint speed be missed? would the self defence capabilities be missed?

Unfortunately that is not what is on offer
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Jake1992 » 12 Apr 2019, 12:20

Lord Jim wrote:Ideally I would like the LSS to have two CB-90s and two SF optimised Merlin HC4s, with the optional gear such as the EO sensor fitted as standard. Give it the capacity to handle twice that number if needed and to utilise cargo transfer floats/platforms (forgot the name!). There would be two davits for the CB-90s and hanger space for up to four helicopters be they Merlins, Apache Guardians or Wildcat, though the Flight deck should be capable of handling a Chinook.

As for troops it would routinely have a platoon of Royal Marines on board plus what ever number of SF were required for the current mission. It would have the capacity to accommodate a Royal Marine Company for a short period. It would not carry any vehicle heavier than a JLTV or its SF equivalent. Any heavier equipment would be off loaded from a Bay in which case the mission would obviously be bigger then the one envisaged for the FLSG and be more a traditional amphibious op.

The use of CB-90s rather then conventional landing craft will reduce its capability to handle HADR missions but not prevent it from doing so. As this is a secondary mission this should not be an issue.

The vessel would have military communications and a military grade radar. Its defence would be a minimum of four or more pintel mounts for weapons up to 12.7mm though having these also being able to mount the three round Starstreak launcher could be of benefit. If funding allowed there would be space allocated for one or two Phalanx to be fitted if required and a control station permanently installed.

Well that about covered what I think the FLSS should entail, as for size, well the minimum needed to accommodate all of the above.


What about something like the barracuda stealth boat at 13m by 4m it just might even fit in a T26 mission bay.
It can do 40 knots with a 200nm range holds up to 14 troops and has weapons mounts ( standard fit of a 7.6mm stabilised machine gun )

A mix of these and CB90s for the RM and SF could be a very nice addition for the over all force but even more so for the LSS

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby SW1 » 13 Apr 2019, 10:55

Timmymagic wrote:If we can get another vessel to cover TAPS that would be a straightforward win as well. It should be a mission for the MCM replacement vessel (hopefully the Venari 85). No need for an escort to do the role.


Does the RN have enough ASW specialist to just man the type 23/26 asw vessels or an excess of crew so it can put them on other vessels without have to take them away from primary assets?

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Timmymagic » 13 Apr 2019, 11:32

SW1 wrote:Does the RN have enough ASW specialist to just man the type 23/26 asw vessels or an excess of crew so it can put them on other vessels without have to take them away from primary assets?


Not sure. But its a whole lot cheaper and an easy win to train some additional crew over a period of years to man a simple vessel than it would be to deploy one of our precious fleet escorts for a comparatively routine tasking. It wouldn't need to be a Venari in the short term (although that would make sense). A good example would be the US Surtass vessels. Thats all we need for TAPS...you could turn it into a permanent training asset for the ASW community, after all it's permanently engaged in actual ASW against some of the hardest targets going.


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