UK Defence Forum

News, History, Discussions and Debates on UK Defence.

RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
User avatar
shark bait
Senior Member
Posts: 5861
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby shark bait » 05 Apr 2017, 10:11

Jake1992 wrote:Does anyone have any rough idea of what the cost of conversion would be to the cost of purpose build ?
And time scale as in above how it took 4 years to convert argus compared to new build ?


HMNZS Canterbury is a good modern case study for this class of platform. £70m to build, £10m to correct the flaws.

Canterbury was a new build conversion, compared to Argus as a second hand conversion.

I think in the end they've done well with HMNZS Canterbury.
@LandSharkUK

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 10916
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 05 Apr 2017, 18:07

shark bait wrote:£10m to correct the flaws


American hospital ships have had a lot of investment into stabilisers, not to bounce the critically ill around too much in rough seas. I think the flaws that needed correcting in C-bury were of a different order.
- about that size, though; can still be made dual purpose and quickly reconfigurable

marktigger
Senior Member
Posts: 4599
Joined: 01 May 2015, 10:22
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby marktigger » 17 Sep 2017, 13:58

with the deployment of HMS Ocean on disaster relief duties It throws some light of OOW that the navy undertakes. Argus as PCRS has excellent medical facilities aboard, helicopter capability and not sure how much vehicle/cargo capacity now. But Humanitarian and disaster relief should be one of her core missions. Certainly her replacements to.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Aethulwulf
Member
Posts: 893
Joined: 23 Jul 2016, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Aethulwulf » 10 Nov 2018, 00:30

https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/christopher-pyne-promises-new-ship-in-pivot-to-the-south-pacific-20181108-p50es8.html

The Australian government has announced their intention to build a new, large ship for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Perhaps the UK should offer a joint programme to build 2 ships, and the one for the UK replaces RFA Argus and also relieves one of the Bays from HADR missions.

R686
Senior Member
Posts: 1755
Joined: 28 May 2015, 02:43
Location: Australia

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby R686 » 10 Nov 2018, 02:35

Aethulwulf wrote:https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/christopher-pyne-promises-new-ship-in-pivot-to-the-south-pacific-20181108-p50es8.html

The Australian government has announced their intention to build a new, large ship for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Perhaps the UK should offer a joint programme to build 2 ships, and the one for the UK replaces RFA Argus and also relieves one of the Bays from HADR missions.


That depends on what type of ship and capability they intended, as its clearly defined as HADR that would mean it needs organic beaching/ship to shore connectors, I that something that the UK (RFA) needs more of?

Aethulwulf
Member
Posts: 893
Joined: 23 Jul 2016, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Aethulwulf » 10 Nov 2018, 03:38

R686 wrote:
Aethulwulf wrote:https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/christopher-pyne-promises-new-ship-in-pivot-to-the-south-pacific-20181108-p50es8.html

The Australian government has announced their intention to build a new, large ship for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

Perhaps the UK should offer a joint programme to build 2 ships, and the one for the UK replaces RFA Argus and also relieves one of the Bays from HADR missions.


That depends on what type of ship and capability they intended, as its clearly defined as HADR that would mean it needs organic beaching/ship to shore connectors, I that something that the UK (RFA) needs more of?
Well,

A. One of the Bays is currently deployed 6 months every year to the Caribbean, another is normally a mothership in the Gulf, leaving only 1 available for amphibious ops. So a ship that could take on the HADR task in the Caribbean would be attractive.

B. RFA Argus has an OSD quite soon (2024?). So a ship that could also be a Role 3 medical facility would be a replacement for Argus, and also useful for HADR.

C. There has been some hints that the third FSS may not be like the first two, and could be more geared towards amphibious ops.

Could all be a convenient alignment of requirements.

donald_of_tokyo
Senior Member
Posts: 3306
Joined: 06 May 2015, 13:18
Location: Japan

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 10 Nov 2018, 04:55



On Euronaval 2018, the guy from FASSMER explained their idea for multi-purpose landing ship. He states that, (if I understand correctly) the landing ships are needed but do not have enough jobs in peace time. To handle this, they are proposing the up-arm LPD and make it "more fighty". The first half of the talk is very important I think. Now, RFA deploys 2 Bay class, one at Caribbean for HADR+smuggler, and one at Persian gulf for MCMV support. This is a good rationale to have 3 Bays. I think having tasks other than amphibious operations usually is very good to save them from disbanding, because in many cases landing ships has no tasks.

In other words, I'm afraid, when people says "relieve the Bays and use them for intended tasks = landing", immediately those ship will face strong pressure for disposal (as RN lost Largs Bay).

So, we should be very careful to keep the "utility" of Bays. If the cut to come with MDP/SDSR2020 is inevitable, using one of the Bay as a Argus replacement will be one solution. So, I propose to wait until SDSR 2020 or at least MDP. Combining future of the two Wave class, one Argus replacement, and three SSS, we need a "coherent plan for RFA future".

Aethulwulf
Member
Posts: 893
Joined: 23 Jul 2016, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Aethulwulf » 10 Nov 2018, 08:15

It appears that the Australians wish to "combat" the soft power of the Chinese ship Daishan Dao.

Given that China has deployed her to the Caribbean and Africa, maybe the UK should also take notice.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_hospital_ship_Daishan_Dao

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 10 Nov 2018, 08:35

Per pound, I’d argue Argus is the most valuable ship in the fleet, and I’d spend money on a replacement before feeble forward based T31s. Bundling some of the T31 cash with the third FSS could buy two.

However, if designed properly (with well dock and large hangar / vehicle deck) any class can not only do HADR & PCRS (which is probably less important nowadays), but also act as:
- Ship to shore connector mothership
- SF platform
- Auxiliary Carrier inc ASW mothership

That would be valuable.

Question: with some deck work, can Argus operate F35Bs in Ferry Mode like the Harrier could be?
"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

Aethulwulf
Member
Posts: 893
Joined: 23 Jul 2016, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Aethulwulf » 10 Nov 2018, 08:48

PCRS is more important these days, not less. It is the primary role of Argus.

Trying to give the Argus replacement a secondary role as an Auxiliary Carrier would be a complete waste of money. There are no such things as cheap auxiliary LPHs, they are an illusion and don't work - as Argus has proven herself.

If you want a LPH, then pay the money and get a real one.

User avatar
Poiuytrewq
Senior Member
Posts: 1657
Joined: 15 Dec 2017, 10:25
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 10 Nov 2018, 14:53

Aethulwulf wrote:PCRS is more important these days
I would agree with that and it's also worth bearing in mind the soft power and good will generated from hospital ships Is often disproportionately higher than the cost of operating the vessel. A smart move for Global Britain?

Considering the size of our foreign aid budget I'm always surprised the UK hasn't got a dedicated hospital ship already, it would certainly be a tangible way to show the UK taxpayers that the money is being well spent and is reaching the most vulnerable and deserving across the globe.

When Argus is decommissioned how high will a global hospital ship capability actually be to any replacement? Is combining the PCRS role with the Aviation Training/Support capability actually the best way forward?
If you want a LPH, then pay the money and get a real one.
I would also agree with that but I would nervous about pushing to replace Agrus with an Ocean type replacement. I think in this political climate it would be too risky for PoW. I would suggest waiting until a 35,000t to 45,000t LPH that is capable of around 25+ knots can be justified, maybe in 10 to 15 years time. It looks very unlikely that the necessary crew would be available for an additional LPH within the next decade in any case.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 10916
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Nov 2018, 15:38

Poiuytrewq wrote:would also agree with that but I would nervous about pushing to replace Agrus with an Ocean type replacement. I think in this political climate it would be too risky for PoW. I would suggest waiting until a 35,000t to 45,000t LPH that is capable of around 25+ knots can be justified


@ArmChairCivvy, are you proposing replacing the 2 Albions with 2 UK built San Antonio's and the 3 Bay's with a simpler version along the lines of the LSD Flight iia? [I did answer this at the time, Sept 25th, but the weak point was that my answer entailed a singleton - not as for deployment, but as for support over its life] Hence, my thoughts are, in no particular order, that
1. OpFor (the likely one) has not shown much respect for the rules of war
2. Having a single PCRS is thus not a good idea
3. Need to have large enough ships that can be configured with high-enough level of facilities "containerised" for roll on and off

We have got, out to mid 30s
- 2 Albions, rotated (or not?)
- 3 Bays, make their permanent allocation as: 1 Amph (RM Coy, with vehicles); 1 MCM (mothership, going forward different from today's being a mobile jetty, off which to load support); 1 for packing the Port Augmentation/ Bare Port establishing capability, as per TD
=> gives you a close to a Cdo (in their boots) from an Albion; one Coy (at least) with their vehicles from one (at least) Bay... and 2 Coys (not necessarily RM) off a carrier, vertically inserted, within 6 hrs

So, the pared down San Antonio (in 1 copy, for starters) would solve
- the (P)CRS problem ... a "P" has been made to disappear before, as ;) we know
- by creating the potentially available space, for the alternative solution

SW1
Member
Posts: 990
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 10 Nov 2018, 18:25

I have to say I am quite surprised that the idea of having a hospital ship or primary casualty ships is growing in importance. I would of thought it was the exact opposite.

Everything I’ve read about medical facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan has been that the idea was to get someone injured on a MERT heIi as quickly as possible stabilise at a field hospital and get them on a transport plane as quickly as possible to get to the trauma centre of excellence at Queen Elizabeth hospital Birmingham.

I would think this would continue to be the case, so I would be surprised if large hospital facilities would be deployed on land or sea certainly not at divisional size.

Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief I can see growing in importance because these play into a whole host of issues with conflict prevention, immigration , piracy ect will can all start the process of deterioration to a failed state the breading ground for extremists. I would of thought the ability of several ships to provide more modest medical facilities would be more beneficial. The Norwegians have added medical facilities to there tide class tanker and looking to our stores ship and lsds that maybe a good place to look at adding these facilities.

RFA Argus benefit in operation gritrock was more that she brought a large volume of stores, vehicles, landing craft and helicopters with her to distribute people and supplies around a very large country. Her medical facilities were only to be used to treat any uk military persons injured in the operation but not infected with Ebola.

R686
Senior Member
Posts: 1755
Joined: 28 May 2015, 02:43
Location: Australia

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby R686 » 10 Nov 2018, 19:10

Aethulwulf wrote: Well,

A. One of the Bays is currently deployed 6 months every year to the Caribbean, another is normally a mothership in the Gulf, leaving only 1 available for amphibious ops. So a ship that could take on the HADR task in the Caribbean would be attractive..


That's the inherited flexibility of the design in times of relative peace they will be pushed into role's other than core role, when the balloon goes up all these ships will be recalled to fulfil core roles and could in theory be pushed into roles not suited as needed. With A&B future questionably sorted it does reduce the need to look at further LPD until the Bay replacement comes along

Aethulwulf wrote:
B. RFA Argus has an OSD quite soon (2024?). So a ship that could also be a Role 3 medical facility would be a replacement for Argus, and also useful for HADR..


A future PCRS does not need the aviation training capability IMHO if it gets extensive aviation bonus.
As its not designated as a hospital ship under the Geneva Convection she's fair game for that reason it also could become a fast troop ferry with capability of moves stores and vehicles with the help of port infrastructure, I believe a RO/PAX ferry would be the ideal Argus replacement, something along the lines of MS Spirit of Tasmania II and used a mixture of PCRS/troop/vehicle/training in seamanship and navigation training

MS Spirit of Tasmania II stats:
1,400 passengers
750 berths
1,000 cars
1,852 lane meters

Aethulwulf wrote:C. There has been some hints that the third FSS may not be like the first two, and could be more geared towards amphibious ops.

Could all be a convenient alignment of requirements.


Would be interesting to see how far it changes from the original design for the role

Aethulwulf
Member
Posts: 893
Joined: 23 Jul 2016, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Aethulwulf » 10 Nov 2018, 19:35

SW1 wrote:I have to say I am quite surprised that the idea of having a hospital ship or primary casualty ships is growing in importance. I would of thought it was the exact opposite.

Everything I’ve read about medical facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan has been that the idea was to get someone injured on a MERT heIi as quickly as possible stabilise at a field hospital and get them on a transport plane as quickly as possible to get to the trauma centre of excellence at Queen Elizabeth hospital Birmingham.

I would think this would continue to be the case, so I would be surprised if large hospital facilities would be deployed on land or sea certainly not at divisional size.
Clearly you have misunderstood the importance of the medical facility at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan (and similar facilities in Iraq) or how it operated.

A full Role 3 field hospital was set up in Bastion. It had world class trauma and surgical facilities, including CT scanner and clinical labs. The intention was that any serious casualty (T1) would be picked up by the MERT and be receiving life saving surgery at Bastion in less than 1 hr. Once the patient was sufficiently stabilised (typically in 24 to 48 hrs), they would be flown back to Birmingham for longer term care. They were incredibly good. I can't remember the exact number, but something like >97% of patients entering the hospital alive made it back to the UK alive.

So a Role 3 field hospital, like in Bastion and RFA Argus, is set up to provide a wide range of life saving medical interventions, supported by a quite small number of intensive care beds. There is then a steady flow of patients back to the UK to keep these facilities open for new casualties. In fact, military operations would have to be suspended if the medical facility didn't have the space to cope with the expected casualties.

So, the expectations for medical care have been set very high. Without that level of cover, military operations will be halted. But establishing such a R3 facility on the ground takes time. A R3 on a ship, however, is good to go from day 1.

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 10916
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 10 Nov 2018, 20:17

Aethulwulf wrote:Clearly you have misunderstood the importance of the medical facility at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan (and similar facilities in Iraq) or how it operated.

A full Role 3 field hospital was set up in Bastion.


I think this is a very common misunderstanding.

The fact that there "is" a specially kitted-out Chinook arriving, as an ambulance, might not be repeatable when the casualties rise into hundreds.
- the army has a project for Protected this& that under the Tranche 2 of that project, where ambulance is half of the stated requirement (and troop transport the other half)
- US JLTV for anything else

SW1
Member
Posts: 990
Joined: 27 Aug 2018, 19:12
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby SW1 » 10 Nov 2018, 21:06

Aethulwulf wrote:A full Role 3 field hospital was set up in Bastion. It had world class trauma and surgical facilities, including CT scanner and clinical labs. The intention was that any serious casualty (T1) would be picked up by the MERT and be receiving life saving surgery at Bastion in less than 1 hr. Once the patient was sufficiently stabilised (typically in 24 to 48 hrs), they would be flown back to Birmingham for longer term care. They were incredibly good. I can't remember the exact number, but something like >97% of patients entering the hospital alive made it back to the UK alive.



I maybe misunderstood but I could of sore this is what I said, get on helicopter, stabilise at bastion get on a plane to Birmingham as quickly as possible.

I thought the bastion facility while uk lead was only the size it was because of the addition of danish Estonian and American medical staff. Is the UKs future medical capability not based around the 50 bed hospital supplied by Marshall’s Aerospace. I still don’t see why this needs a single ship assigned to the task and couldn’t be for example on all the tide ships much like the Norwegians have done.

User avatar
Poiuytrewq
Senior Member
Posts: 1657
Joined: 15 Dec 2017, 10:25
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Poiuytrewq » 10 Nov 2018, 21:09

R686 wrote:I believe a RO/PAX ferry would be the ideal Argus replacement, something along the lines of MS Spirit of Tasmania II and used a mixture of PCRS/troop/vehicle/training in seamanship and navigation training

MS Spirit of Tasmania II stats:
1,400 passengers
750 berths
1,000 cars
1,852 lane meters
One impressive stat that you didn't list is the top speed of 30knots and can cruise around 27knots. Absolutely no problem keeping up with the CSG, with a 25m beam that's pretty impressive.

https://www.spiritoftasmania.com.au/med ... -facts.pdf
SW1 wrote:I have to say I am quite surprised that the idea of having a hospital ship or primary casualty ships is growing in importance. I would of thought it was the exact opposite
You have had some great replies already but my perspective is a little different. I believe that the biggest battles RN will have to fight in the next decade or so is with the MOD and HMG. It will all come down to funding, and priorities will dictate funding allocations. Low priorities will receive little or no funding and entire capabilities could be mothballed or cut altogether. RFA Argus and to a certain extent the wider Amphibious fleet is seen in certain quarters as a low priority or even surplus to requirements. So if SDSR 2020 needs to swing the axe, it's highly likely the wider RN Amphibious and RFA fleets will get a large dose of "modernising".

So how do you make the Amphibious fleet and associated support vessels politically uncuttable? Simple in my view, HADR. I think HMG should ensure that the UK's HADR response to any crisis is always disproportionate to the size of our country. Regular port visits should be made to developing nations especially in Africa to provide medical treatment for people who otherwise would not receive it. Every ship, helicopter, landrover and tent should be covered in at least one large Union Jack. Highly visible soft power. The Politicians will love it and few will want to be seen to be responsible for cutting it. It should all be paid for by our extremely generous foreign aid budget.

The instant a conflict scenario occurs these vessels would instantly form the backbone of our support fleet for Amphibious operations to back up the full time dedicated LPD's and LPH's.

So for me it isn't a case of should we replace RFA Argus? It's a case of how many vessels with an Argus type capability do we need?

User avatar
whitelancer
Member
Posts: 421
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:19
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby whitelancer » 10 Nov 2018, 21:44

Aethulwulf wrote:So a Role 3 field hospital, like in Bastion and RFA Argus, is set up to provide a wide range of life saving medical interventions, supported by a quite small number of intensive care beds. There is then a steady flow of patients back to the UK to keep these facilities open for new casualties. In fact, military operations would have to be suspended if the medical facility didn't have the space to cope with the expected casualties.

While that level of medical cover may be available in similar operations to Afghanistan, it certainly wont be against peer or near peer opponents. As for suspending operations for lack of medical facilities, what are you going to do, ask your enemy nicely if he wouldn't mind stopping the war because they have caused you too many casualties?

If casualties become your major consideration in war I would suggest that you are on your way to losing the war, and should have done everything possible to avoid becoming involved in the first place.

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 11 Nov 2018, 10:13

Choices, choices... For me a PCRS capability is different from a Hospital/ HADR ship it is intended to deal with mass casualties in a war situation, yes there is overlap but a Hospital Ship can be civilian and much much cheaper to run. We do not need a dedicated PCRS if we don’t have ambition to do large scale global interventions. Smaller medical facilities on future “LPD/LPHs” yes, but we cannot afford everything and a large scale army intervention capability is not one of them.
"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
whitelancer
Member
Posts: 421
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:19
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby whitelancer » 11 Nov 2018, 15:42

Repulse wrote: but we cannot afford everything and a large scale army intervention capability is not one of them.


Yet the MOD has consistently announced their desire to be able to deploy a full division!

User avatar
ArmChairCivvy
Senior Member
Posts: 10916
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:34
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 11 Nov 2018, 16:23

RE: the above if anyone can purchase (or has) a paper version of the 1998 Defence Review report, the appendices (obviously by McKinsey... all the vogue at that time; rather than by the military) have loadsa "minuscule" force packages listed to deal with X, Y and Z
- look up the one for the Afghanistan scenario!

User avatar
Repulse
Senior Member
Posts: 1983
Joined: 05 May 2015, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Repulse » 11 Nov 2018, 19:53

whitelancer wrote:
Repulse wrote: but we cannot afford everything and a large scale army intervention capability is not one of them.


Yet the MOD has consistently announced their desire to be able to deploy a full division!


I know, they are just not funding to it.
"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: 5861
Joined: 05 May 2015, 21:18
Location: Pitcairn Island

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby shark bait » 12 Nov 2018, 08:18

Aethulwulf wrote:Perhaps the UK should offer a joint programme to build 2 ships, and the one for the UK replaces RFA Argus and also relieves one of the Bays from HADR missions.


A much cheaper option is to buy/lease a second hand supply vessels to act as the MCM over-watch in the gulf, releasing a the Bay stationed there. (Could even lease a crew with the ship)
@LandSharkUK

Aethulwulf
Member
Posts: 893
Joined: 23 Jul 2016, 22:46
Location: United Kingdom

Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Postby Aethulwulf » 12 Nov 2018, 09:06

SW1 wrote:
Aethulwulf wrote:A full Role 3 field hospital was set up in Bastion. It had world class trauma and surgical facilities, including CT scanner and clinical labs. The intention was that any serious casualty (T1) would be picked up by the MERT and be receiving life saving surgery at Bastion in less than 1 hr. Once the patient was sufficiently stabilised (typically in 24 to 48 hrs), they would be flown back to Birmingham for longer term care. They were incredibly good. I can't remember the exact number, but something like >97% of patients entering the hospital alive made it back to the UK alive.


I maybe misunderstood but I could of sore this is what I said, get on helicopter, stabilise at bastion get on a plane to Birmingham as quickly as possible.

I thought the bastion facility while uk lead was only the size it was because of the addition of danish Estonian and American medical staff. Is the UKs future medical capability not based around the 50 bed hospital supplied by Marshall’s Aerospace. I still don’t see why this needs a single ship assigned to the task and couldn’t be for example on all the tide ships much like the Norwegians have done.
The size of the facility (number of beds) is not the real issue. Patients are no longer expected to recover and recuperate in theatre; they will be returned to the UK. It is not the size, but the speed; the throughput of patients that can be managed. In addition, it is the size and skills of the medical team.

For a role 2 facility (such as on QEC and other ships such as the Tides), when a medical team is on board it will be based around a small number of general surgeons. It can perform basic life saving surgery and the medical team is around 50 people.

For a role 3 facility (such as Argus), the medical team is about 200 people. As well general surgeons, they will probably have consultants in emergency medicine, orthopaedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, clinical labs, CT, etc.

A number of types of ship could host a R3 facility but, in addition to the actual hospital, kit and beds, there are some key system objectives for such ships:
•accommodation space for medical team
•2 spot flight deck or bigger
•ability to offload stretcher patients from boats while keeping stretcher horizontal (e.g. well dock or similar)
•when alongside, ability to offload stretcher patients from ambulances while keeping stretcher horizontal (e.g. loading ramp. If you took stretcher patients on board using a standard ship's brow, quite a few would be dead by the time you got to the top. )

In terms of the role 3 at Bastion, they did not just "stabilise and get on a plane to Birmingham". They cured/corrected/resolved the primary issues at Bastion, and then transfered patients back to the UK for their longer term recovery.


Return to “Royal Navy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: dwardt7270, Flanders81, Paf_82 and 23 guests