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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 Oct 2019, 09:38

SW1 wrote:Berger goes far beyond the other service chiefs in describing how existing doctrine, weapons, and operational concepts are no longer adequate for the wars of the future
shark bait wrote:That is a great article, and even though it's about the USMC as I'm reading it so much is applicable to the Royal Marines too. There are clearly people in the British and American Marines that recognise they must change to stay relevant in the future, and I hope the vision in this article wins!

Question is what do the Brits need to achieve the goals set out by Berger?
SW1 wrote:A complete change of mindset.

Starting with ensuring this

“must continue to seek the affordable and plentiful at the expense of the exquisite and few.”

Is Tattoo on the wall of ever service commands and ever procurement office of past current and future pet wonder project.
Not sure how to "distribute" them.

For example, we know SPEAR3 is coming. Distributing assets on plenty of 20-30m long boats will be a good "game" for SPEAR3 (=small smart weapons). Even if there are 30-40s of them, 30-40 SPEAR3 will easily sink all of them in a minute.

Then, how about a 2000t level (like River B2 or Cross-over-like) vessels? Without good SAM and soft-kill tools, it will be a good "game" for "a dozen of" NSM or even SeaVenom (=smaller family of modern ASMs).

Then, how about Bays and Albion = the same size as currently used? Will be hit by a swarm of NSMs or super-sonic ASMs, or even a few anti-ship ballistic missiles?

So, if the enemy countermeasure is a big concern, only way I can see is to carry RM soldiers on escorts. T45, T26 and T31 all can carry ~50 RM soldiers. (River B2 can also carry the same, but she is not an escort). So, this is the way to go? Not sure.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 05 Oct 2019, 11:03

donald_of_tokyo, this is one of the reasons why the T31 is a waste of an opportunity. I get the GP frigate bit, but ANY frigate can do the GP bit - it needs to have a primary role - either a MHC mothership or an Amphibious Support frigate.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Tempest414 » 05 Oct 2019, 11:21

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Then, how about a 2000t level (like River B2 or Cross-over-like) vessels? Without good SAM and soft-kill tools, it will be a good "game" for "a dozen of" NSM or even SeaVenom (=smaller family of modern ASMs).

Then, how about Bays and Albion = the same size as currently used? Will be hit by a swarm of NSMs or super-sonic ASMs, or even a few anti-ship ballistic missiles?


There is only one quick fix for the above a order for 10 SeaRam units for Albion and the Bays plus some for the River B2's allowing a weapons fit like so

Albion and the Bays 1 x SeaRam , 1 x Phalanx , 2 x 30mm , 4 x HMG's
River 1 x 57mm , 1 x SeaRam , 4 x HMG's

this could give these ships a fair point defence

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Caribbean » 05 Oct 2019, 15:00

Repulse wrote:donald_of_tokyo, this is one of the reasons why the T31 is a waste of an opportunity. I get the GP frigate bit, but ANY frigate can do the GP bit - it needs to have a primary role - either a MHC mothership or an Amphibious Support frigate.

Well, considering that the T31 can carry an EMF of c. 75 and will have the capability to use 4 x 9.5m RhIBs and a Merlin HC3/4 (combined capacity c. 75 pax), I would say that supporting amphibious ops is entirely possible. A T31 plus an FLSS would give you the capability of landing and retrieving 200+ men plus light equipment, along with a couple of Wildcats (or even Apache), which seems like a fairly robust raiding force, as well as providing basic air defence for the naval component (the landing force would presumably carry Starstreak/ LMM).

As for an MHC mothership - I can think of better platforms for that (SD Victoria or Northern River spring to mind), however loading a T31 with (say) two, or even four Pacific 950 optionally manned RhIBs, with an ASW package of dipping/ lightweight towed body sonar and one or two LWTs (the Pacific 950 can carry a payload of 3 tonnes) would give the T31 a useful littoral ASW capability.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby SW1 » 05 Oct 2019, 16:52

Distribution of assets will place a greater emphasis on logistics enablers and people than has hitherto the case and generally a need for more.
It should also mean keeping things simple and reliable. This doesn’t mean impotent or under armed, there’s plenty of examples out there and type 31 is a welcome step down that path. The type 31 and a bay in a way if paired together the point the general maybe getting at, if you set is against type 26 and Albion as an example.

A half dozen of these may make a bit of mess to in the littoral

https://www.mbda-systems.com/product/br ... sea-spear/

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 05 Oct 2019, 22:27

Caribbean wrote:Well, considering that the T31 can carry an EMF of c. 75 and will have the capability to use 4 x 9.5m RhIBs and a Merlin HC3/4 (combined capacity c. 75 pax), I would say that supporting amphibious ops is entirely possible. A T31 plus an FLSS would give you the capability of landing and retrieving 200+ men plus light equipment, along with a couple of Wildcats (or even Apache), which seems like a fairly robust raiding force, as well as providing basic air defence for the naval component (the landing force would presumably carry Starstreak/ LMM).


I think we are talking about apples and pears - a LSG of a FLSS/T31e/LSD combination is all well and good in a low to mid threat environment, or maybe a 2nd or 3rd wave in something bigger (with the right top cover) but would be toast near a peer coast with capable A2D.

What would be more appropriate to enter these environments is a combination of a OTH CSG with a LPD to deploy more heavily armoured fast landing craft / Littoral attack craft (probably unmanned) along with supporting modern day (maybe unmanned) Monitors. Getting back the 2nd LPD into service would be high on my priority list.

I know people will say that this kind of capability is beyond the RN and not required, but given the proliferation of A2D technology and coastal, choke points and maritime regions likely to be the battlefields of the 21st century (even at small scale) then can we afford to ignore it.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Caribbean » 05 Oct 2019, 23:39

Repulse wrote:but would be toast near a peer coast with capable A2D.

Even in a relatively benign environment, they are hardly likely to be stooging around a few mile offshore, are they? I would expect that an LSG would also operate from over the horizon and make use of the fact that RhIBs (or ORCs) can do 30-40 knots (and helicopters and SF Insertion craft a lot more) to get its landing force ashore with reasonable transit times. Their primary purpose is to support SF operations, which are, by their nature, covert and unannounced. What we have is scalability, from a singleton T31 supporting a small force (plus backup) level raid, all the way through to the full ARG, with LPDs, LSDs, T26, T45 and a CV (maybe two) - in that event, we probably intend to stay for a bit, so the FLSS will serve as an auxiliary LPH/SSS (plus be able to insert SF/RM forces to make a mess of all those enemy missile sites :D )
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby jedibeeftrix » 05 Oct 2019, 23:43

shark bait wrote:
SW1 wrote:Berger goes far beyond the other service chiefs in describing how existing doctrine, weapons, and operational concepts are no longer adequate for the wars of the future


That is a great article, and even though it's about the USMC as I'm reading it so much is applicable to the Royal Marines too. There are clearly people in the British and American Marines that recognise they must change to stay relevant in the future, and I hope the vision in this article wins!

Question is what do the Brits need to achieve the goals set out by Berger?

To reprise what we discussed on twitter: :)

Yes, but not at the cost of being able to conduct a combined arms battlegroup amphibious operation.
i.e. A marine commando with company strength support units, and amphibious assets to deploy and support them.
Yes, the Commandants vision is crucial, but babies and bathwater...

"This change has to come at the cost of something. If the Marines are unwilling to modernise their role are they are risk of becoming unusable..."
Maintaining the ability to mount an ATFG of 1800 people: 1500 ground entry + 300 aviation support. Is not a big ask from the current 2 main commandos, 1 raiding commando, and 1 demi special duties commando.

"isn't that retreating into the comfort zone of 'it's the way we used to do things'?"
[It's] a requirement because Strike's long range mobility begins at a port.
For Strike to have real deterrent value outside Europe (the major use-case of strike in 21c), it needs to have a guarentee that a port is available to stage from.
So we need an ability to seize a port.
That require scale and throughput, i.e. LPD's and LSD's.
And the mobility that a mobile combined arms formation offers (above a bunch of raiders in speedboats), is that the option exists for that formation to onward deploy in support of the Strike brigade.

" Isn't the point of strike to start where the enemy isn't followed by a long range land manoeuvre?"

Sure, that would be lovely, but you can't depend on that:
https://t.co/463iiT6p8r?amp=1
Particularly not when you look at a world map that doesn't use the mercator projection. 800km doesn't get you far in africa.
Not arguing against change, or Commandant style raid-n-seize.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 06 Oct 2019, 02:30

May be just meaning, LPD and LSD replacements shall be several LSDs, and not LHD with which I guess only two can be built?

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 06 Oct 2019, 08:40

Caribbean, what I question is with limited resources where should the UK focus it’s limited resources.

For example, FLSS/T31 combo for lower end ops is ok, but an Multirole Auxiliary with a SAM VLS and multiple calibrate guns / CIWS, plus a large hangar could do the same (like the original Fort II design) but at a lower overall cost. If that same Auxiliary was capable of Solid Store transfer then you also get a “self escorting auxiliary” that supports higher end CEPP.

The T31 itself could be more useful if it actually was a stealth ship, capable of operating closer to shore than the CSG providing NGFS and AAW support for landing craft and fast boats. Also, if it had a T26 style mission bay it could operate boats up to 12m, allowing to operate craft such as the SBS FIC.

As others, my view is that the RN future amphibious/ commando force needs to remain elite focused towards supporting SF and exceptionally Cdo level (1,800 men) operations to seize and secure a landing area for a follow up Army brigade (via the RFA and STUFT) - no more, no less.

HADR is important but is in the realms for the RFA and other government/civilian departments.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 06 Oct 2019, 09:00

donald_of_tokyo wrote:May be just meaning, LPD and LSD replacements shall be several LSDs, and not LHD with which I guess only two can be built?


A lot of people will disagree but whilst a USN size LHD would be interesting, I think the need for a LHD either of that size or smaller within the RN isn’t high on the list IMO.

I also think that the RN needs to retain a LPD and LSD split. I see the need for two “fast” LPDs capable of being part of the CSG in high threat scenarios - which means a solid level of self defence / stealth capable of keeping up with the other ships. These would transport not only a couple of RM companies but also fast insertion craft and supporting unmanned surface and under water platforms.

Then like now combined with multi role LSDs and a replacement Aviation Support ship for Argus.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby SW1 » 06 Oct 2019, 09:17

jedibeeftrix wrote:Maintaining the ability to mount an ATFG of 1800 people: 1500 ground entry + 300 aviation support. Is not a big ask from the current 2 main commandos, 1 raiding commando, and 1 demi special duties commando.


That is the point it is a big deal to deploy such a force, for the RN infact it requires the deployment of its entire fighting strength. Eg the carrier group with lpd attached and that is a simple matter of fact given the force structure we have cook up over the last 20 years.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Tempest414 » 06 Oct 2019, 10:09

Repulse wrote:The T31 itself could be more useful if it actually was a stealth ship,


We can not afford stealth ships and if we could then type 26 would be it and we can't even afford 13 type 26's

I do feel we will need a third flat top ready for when QE goes in for refit and I think we should be looking for a 240 by 40 meter Ocean 2 and the Bays plus Argus should be replaced by 4 new Enforcer class ships

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Oct 2019, 10:47

Repulse wrote: given the proliferation of A2D technology and coastal, choke points and maritime regions likely to be the battlefields of the 21st century (even at small scale)
A good premise for planning
Caribbean wrote:scalability, from a singleton T31 supporting a small force (plus backup) level raid, all the way through to the full ARG, with LPDs, LSDs, T26, T45 and a CV (maybe two) - in that event, we probably intend to stay for a bit, so the FLSS will serve as an auxiliary LPH/SSS
The way to go; I would just replace the present tense with "we must have"... so back into the planning
jedibeeftrix wrote:deterrent value outside Europe (the major use-case of strike in 21c), it needs to have a guarentee that a port is available to stage from.
agreed
jedibeeftrix wrote:we need an ability to seize a port
and also repair one (or upgrade; smaller ones might be easier to take) and once upon the time TD put a fair bit of thought into that, and concluded that to ship the relevant regiment and its heavy gear, to be on the spot early, would tie up one Bay (more planning input 8-) and goes back to the underlined part in the quote from @Caribbean )

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Caribbean » 06 Oct 2019, 12:30

Repulse wrote:what I question is with limited resources where should the UK focus it’s limited resources.

... and that is really the core question. What can we do with the c. 5-10% of the build budget left over from building the specialist components of our fleet?

My personal view is that, whatever we do, every component of our answer to that question should be capable of more than one role, which is why I believe that we are going in the right direction with the T31 and the FLSS. They are both "budget" vessels that can fill a number of roles.

Depending on what it is paired with, and which offboard sytems it carries , the T31 can act as a globe-trotting maritime security vessel (it's primary role), an amphibious raiding vessel, a primary escort (low/ medium threat), a secondary escort (high threat) or as a littoral ASW ship. It could even make a modest contribution to HADR/ civilian evacuation operations.

Likewise the FLSS (to drag this thread, kicking and screaming, back on-topic), if it follows the principles of the Prevail partners offering, is primarily a SF/RM sea-base, but also capable of covering aviation support (i.e Argus replacement), auxiliary amphibious assault, sea-lift and HADR (which is a central RN mission and, I would argue, valuable for training and retention). As for weapons and protection, I would stay with the current RFA standard of Phalanx and ASCG, along with a decent EW/decoy set-up and possibly, if circumstances dictate, a self-contained, bolt-on, point-defence missile system, like SeaRAM, to back up Phalanx. Again, as a purely personal view, I would hope that, if the FLSS conversions come in cheap enough (say < £125m each), there is a possibility of getting a sixth T31.

That doesn't negate the need for specialist vessels, where needed, but supports those specialists with multi-role vessels that provide lots of options.
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 06 Oct 2019, 13:32

Tempest414 wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Then, how about a 2000t level (like River B2 or Cross-over-like) vessels? Without good SAM and soft-kill tools, it will be a good "game" for "a dozen of" NSM or even SeaVenom (=smaller family of modern ASMs).

Then, how about Bays and Albion = the same size as currently used? Will be hit by a swarm of NSMs or super-sonic ASMs, or even a few anti-ship ballistic missiles?
There is only one quick fix for the above a order for 10 SeaRam units for Albion and the Bays plus some for the River B2's allowing a weapons fit like so
Albion and the Bays 1 x SeaRam , 1 x Phalanx , 2 x 30mm , 4 x HMG's
River 1 x 57mm , 1 x SeaRam , 4 x HMG's
this could give these ships a fair point defence
Not sure SeaRam is the only solution. As RN has CAMM/SeaCeptor, a combination including CAMM will be a better option.
- RAM missile is the same class as CAMM in its size. A bit duplication with CAMM.
- SeaRAM is good as it is stand alone, but it also means we need 2 sets of it to cover 360 degree, and still can fire only 11 darts to one side. CAMM can be launched 360 degree.
- SeaRAM cannot defend "neighboring" vessels, but CAMM can.
- And, to accomplish this, SeaCeptor system is more complicated and expensive than SeaRAM.
- But, SeaRAM is not so cheap either. If it be cheap, many of the phalanx system must have been replaced with SeaRAM.

So I think, in RN, "an escort with CAMM" coupled to "a RFA vessel" will be one of the good solution.

SeaCeptor is a local-area air defense system. If a T26 can survive "NSM-class modern ASM saturation attack", it means a RFA vessel located near the T26 also can survive. (Here I assume, for NSM-class modern ASM, soft kill is not efficient, and hard kill is needed).

If enemy has hyper-sonic or ballistic ASM, then a T45 (modernized to handle such threat) shall cover the RFA/LPD fleet.

So, there is no big difference to current model.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Tempest414 » 06 Oct 2019, 14:49

Yes CAMM is the better missile offering 360 degree area defence however for Albion and the Bay's to use it they will need radars and CMS upgrades = big costs where at this time SeaRam will just bolt on one of two Phalanx mounts plus it can be reloaded by the ships crew unlike CAMM. No the RN dose not have RAM but it dose have Phalanx = half the system

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Repulse » 06 Oct 2019, 15:07

Tempest414 wrote:We can not afford stealth ships and if we could then type 26 would be it and we can't even afford 13 type 26's


Disagree, stealth is just a relative term and if you look at other navies looking to defend / control Littoral waters then they go for corvette sized ships - the RN didn’t it went for a blue water frigate without the bits. Now if only the UK had an ideal corvette design that it had delivered in the past decade...
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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Aethulwulf » 06 Oct 2019, 16:11

Tempest414 wrote:Yes CAMM is the better missile offering 360 degree area defence however for Albion and the Bay's to use it they will need radars and CMS upgrades = big costs where at this time SeaRam will just bolt on one of two Phalanx mounts plus it can be reloaded by the ships crew unlike CAMM. No the RN dose not have RAM but it dose have Phalanx = half the system
Albion class already have the Artisan radar and DNA2 CMS, as is used on the Type 23s.

The main difference between CAMM and SeaRam is the far superior probability of kill against a full range of targets.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby tomuk » 06 Oct 2019, 16:14

Tempest414 wrote:Yes CAMM is the better missile offering 360 degree area defence however for Albion and the Bay's to use it they will need radars and CMS upgrades = big costs where at this time SeaRam will just bolt on one of two Phalanx mounts plus it can be reloaded by the ships crew unlike CAMM. No the RN dose not have RAM but it dose have Phalanx = half the system


Albion class is fitted with Artisan and CMS so fitting Sea Ceptor/CAMM would be very easy. Bays would need an upgrade (Sea Giraffe?) or you could park a Land Ceptor set on the deck.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby Lord Jim » 06 Oct 2019, 18:20

To conduct the style of operations the USMC are looking at conducting the Royal Navy and Royal Marines will need new equipment that is not even in the periphery of our current procurement plans. The FLSS is not the platform for conducting such operations point blank, and the aviation assets we currently have are not well suited for the OTH rapid insertion of forces to achieve surprise and seize an objective. The latter is key to this evolved form of amphibious warfare which is tailored to operation in the far east.

We should not even attempt to follow this route, but rather concentrate on our existing areas of responsibility and ensure we have the kit to carry these out effectively. The RMs ability to carry our small raiding operations is relevant further afield and should be out main contribution EoS as far as amphibious operations are concerned.

We need to ensure there is little mission creep with the FLSS and that it remains what it was intended, a mobile base of operations for SF and RM, not an amphibious assault platform. Its role should never be to take and hold territory, but rather carry out surgical strikes against key objectives, be they on land or sea.

But until the world changes, they key land commitment to our amphibious forces must remain the reinforcement of NATOs northern flank, an increase in training tempo together with the integral Dutch component, and ensure the modest equipment plan for this is not sacrificed on the alter of politically driven aspiration of global operations.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby SW1 » 06 Oct 2019, 18:42

Lord Jim wrote:reinforcement of NATOs northern flank


But doesn’t that lend itself to the idea. Distributed commando raids to hit the Russians with short sharp raids from unpredictable areas and disappear into the wilderness again.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 06 Oct 2019, 21:50

tomuk wrote:Albion class is fitted with Artisan and CMS so fitting Sea Ceptor/CAMM would be very easy. Bays would need an upgrade
Work the two classes as pairs... problem solved?

Lord Jim wrote: but rather carry out surgical strikes against key objectives, be they on land or sea.

But until the world changes, they key land commitment to our amphibious forces must remain the reinforcement of NATOs northern flank, an increase in training tempo together with the integral Dutch component, and ensure the modest equipment plan for this is not sacrificed


Agree with both, but the first one is conditioned on the abilility to be persistently present (in regions that might require such quick reactions)

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 06 Oct 2019, 22:27

Tempest414 wrote:No the RN dose not have RAM but it dose have Phalanx = half the system
Far less than half.

Replacing the 20mm gatling with 11-rounds RAM is much more expensive than a full set of Phalanx.

Don’t get me wrong, RAM is a good system, I agree. My only point is, CAMM has a big overlap with RAM. Not surprised to see CAMM carried on the RAM tube as “RF version of RAM”, fitted with passive RF antenna but omitting 2-way datalink.

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Re: Future Littoral Strike Ships

Postby shark bait » 07 Oct 2019, 08:21

donald_of_tokyo wrote:So, if the enemy countermeasure is a big concern, only way I can see is to carry RM soldiers on escorts.

Sounds like a short cut to the Axe for the Royal Marines, it will make them far too expensive to use.

The simpler option is to land where the enemy is not, and at the same time distribute assets to reduce the risk of a pop up threat.
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