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Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Jake1992
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 06 Jan 2019, 18:38

Let me ask a question, what do people on here believe the minimum amphibious set up is needed to retake an BOT if ever needed is ?

What do they belive the core of this force should be set up for -
1 - a small force concentrated soley on taking and holding a port to make it safe ?

2 - a large force that is capable of taking a holding an area of beach to make it safe for others to follow on ?

What do they belive would be best mix of vessels and aircraft to achieve they're core expected need, for a realistic cost of corse ?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 06 Jan 2019, 19:31

The principle of defence of the BOT is that they shouldn’t be invaded and military facilities are configured in each area as such. Luckily the threat to any BOT is even less than it is to uk almost non existent.

We’re not in the same league as the USMC or anywhere close. If you wanted to to get to an uk amphibious capability against any theoretical opposition then your looking at a force structure as used in operation musketeer which just isn’t going to happen. It should be remembered even for the Falklands significant numbers of ships from trade had to be acquired and that is just not possible to retain.

Any uk operation will require access to the use off a neighbouring country or some form of port or disused one and the requirement to take or protect it is would be paramount. Think defence did an excellent series on this and I think this would be the upper limit of what the uk should provide for use of a port for amphibious operations

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/joint-po ... t-opening/

I think reconfiguring the Albion’s and bays towards smaller scale but more sophisticated operations using there inherent flexibility as reconfigurable motherships would be better. The use of Albion in the Far East last year or trialing something similar to ACCs linked us navy experiment of assigning a lpd and ff/dd maybe of interest. If it were me I would be thinking of following Australia’s lead and bring the bays into the RN and fully man them and the second Albion. The cost and crew would come from retiring a few type 23 and not preceding with type 31 assuming no new money is forthcoming.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 06 Jan 2019, 19:55

SW1 wrote:The principle of defence of the BOT is that they shouldn’t be invaded and military facilities are configured in each area as such. Luckily the threat to any BOT is even less than it is to uk almost non existent.

We’re not in the same league as the USMC or anywhere close. If you wanted to to get to an uk amphibious capability against any theoretical opposition then your looking at a force structure as used in operation musketeer which just isn’t going to happen. It should be remembered even for the Falklands significant numbers of ships from trade had to be acquired and that is just not possible to retain.

Any uk operation will require access to the use off a neighbouring country or some form of port or disused one and the requirement to take or protect it is would be paramount. Think defence did an excellent series on this and I think this would be the upper limit of what the uk should provide for use of a port for amphibious operations

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/joint-po ... t-opening/

I think reconfiguring the Albion’s and bays towards smaller scale but more sophisticated operations using there inherent flexibility as reconfigurable motherships would be better. The use of Albion in the Far East last year or trialing something similar to ACCs linked us navy experiment of assigning a lpd and ff/dd maybe of interest. If it were me I would be thinking of following Australia’s lead and bring the bays into the RN and fully man them and the second Albion. The cost and crew would come from retiring a few type 23 and not preceding with type 31 assuming no new money is forthcoming.


Oh I complety agree the whole premise of deffence is for them not to be invaded in the first place but as history has shown these sorts of thing do happen.

Yes the Falkland used a lot civilian shipping and even the bulk was off loaded at a port, but the core of the force was and amphibious one of LPDs and LST backed up by carriers this was also deemed not good enough after the event thus the push for a better amphibious fleet and what we ended up with 1 x LPH 2 x larger LPDs and 4 x large LSDs ( this was still less than what deemed needed 2 x LPH 2 x LPD with hanger and 5 x LSD )
The crux I'm getting at is some on here would like to reduce the amphibious fleet to sea lift only which would mean even with a large number of civilian vessels the above would never be possible again. This in turn would leave BOTs vonerable in the future.

I complety agree we are no where near the USMC and am not surgest for a minute we so be.

So I gather you would lean to a force that is set up as a small capable force there to soley capture and hold a safe port ?

The idea of using an LPD with a frigate or destroy to do more small scale literal ops or for mother ship dutys is something the USN is trying out at the moment and looks interesting

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 06 Jan 2019, 20:11

The force required to take back Gibraltar from Spain (with or without EU support) would make the Falklands look like a skirmish against a few spear throwing natives. As SW1 puts it, it’s better to put the cash into not losing it in the first place.

Can see the benefit of running both LPDs in the short term. Whilst I definitely see the benefit of a LHA longer term, perhaps a shorter term fix would be to spend the 3rd SSS cash on converting an existing civilian ship into an Auxiliary Carrier to replace Argus.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 06 Jan 2019, 20:22

Repulse wrote:The force required to take back Gibraltar from Spain (with or without EU support) would make the Falklands look like a skirmish against a few spear throwing natives. As SW1 puts it, it’s better to put the cash into not losing it in the first place.


Oh I complety agree Gib would be a different kettle of fish and IMO the EU would take spains side now where leaving the EU so it'd be more the USA help that would be required.
But the core of any respons in this exteam situation would be the need for some form of RN amphibious set up as we would not be able to go via land or air ( unless off a flat top )

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 06 Jan 2019, 20:34

Jake1992 wrote:
SW1 wrote:The principle of defence of the BOT is that they shouldn’t be invaded and military facilities are configured in each area as such. Luckily the threat to any BOT is even less than it is to uk almost non existent.

We’re not in the same league as the USMC or anywhere close. If you wanted to to get to an uk amphibious capability against any theoretical opposition then your looking at a force structure as used in operation musketeer which just isn’t going to happen. It should be remembered even for the Falklands significant numbers of ships from trade had to be acquired and that is just not possible to retain.

Any uk operation will require access to the use off a neighbouring country or some form of port or disused one and the requirement to take or protect it is would be paramount. Think defence did an excellent series on this and I think this would be the upper limit of what the uk should provide for use of a port for amphibious operations

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/joint-po ... t-opening/

I think reconfiguring the Albion’s and bays towards smaller scale but more sophisticated operations using there inherent flexibility as reconfigurable motherships would be better. The use of Albion in the Far East last year or trialing something similar to ACCs linked us navy experiment of assigning a lpd and ff/dd maybe of interest. If it were me I would be thinking of following Australia’s lead and bring the bays into the RN and fully man them and the second Albion. The cost and crew would come from retiring a few type 23 and not preceding with type 31 assuming no new money is forthcoming.


Oh I complety agree the whole premise of deffence is for them not to be invaded in the first place but as history has shown these sorts of thing do happen.

Yes the Falkland used a lot civilian shipping and even the bulk was off loaded at a port, but the core of the force was and amphibious one of LPDs and LST backed up by carriers this was also deemed not good enough after the event thus the push for a better amphibious fleet and what we ended up with 1 x LPH 2 x larger LPDs and 4 x large LSDs ( this was still less than what deemed needed 2 x LPH 2 x LPD with hanger and 5 x LSD )
The crux I'm getting at is some on here would like to reduce the amphibious fleet to sea lift only which would mean even with a large number of civilian vessels the above would never be possible again. This in turn would leave BOTs vonerable in the future.

I complety agree we are no where near the USMC and am not surgest for a minute we so be.

So I gather you would lean to a force that is set up as a small capable force there to soley capture and hold a safe port ?

The idea of using an LPD with a frigate or destroy to do more small scale literal ops or for mother ship dutys is something the USN is trying out at the moment and looks interesting


I don’t know if going toward a more sea lift make the BOT more vulnerable, were really only talking about the Falklands and to be honest I think we need to recongnise that conflict is now almost as close in time to ww2 as it is to present day. Would we need to do an operation in the same way definitely not.

I would say yes capture a port of some description and repair or operate it. But I think the littoral martime security, riverine operations and “raiding” operations will be more prevalent and important. The ability to use a dock to operate small craft and equipment in an fwd area has much utility in roles far beyond what we would consider traditional amphibious operations. If we think more along these lines https://www.public.navy.mil/surflant/af ... fault.aspx

If you indulge a spot of fantasy from years ago for me had we gone with something like 5 Canberra sized lhd type vessel with something like 4 f35 8 merlin 4 wildcat, a 5 air vehicle scan eagle system, 4xcb90, 4x Usv, 2x RM hovercraft and a LCU with a company of marines with a frigate and destroyer would of been excellent way to conduct sea control in multiple areas simultaneously. But going down the qe has scupped that.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 06 Jan 2019, 22:58

Jake1992 wrote:we ended up with 1 x LPH 2 x larger LPDs and 4 x large LSDs ( this was still less than what deemed needed 2 x LPH 2 x LPD with hanger and 5 x LSD )
Correct but don't forget the 6 Points, they are crucial and often overlooked. Modified Points could be amazingly capable. For example, adding a single deck to a 200m Point could give an EMF capacity higher than an Albion or a Bay and also allow mexefloates to be flank mounted like the Bay's. A modified Point could embark up to 12 Merlins and still retain 3 Chinook capable landing spots. The potential is huge.

The downside is the very low commercial build standards, the increased procurement/operating costs and higher crew allocations than the current Points. It's all a question of balance.

Let's compare what was deemed necessary previously to what I am proposing and see how it stacks up.

If we leave the standard Points and Argus to one side (as they remain unchanged).

That would be,

2x Oceans, 2x Albion's with double Merlin hanger, and 5x Bays without hanger
vs
1x 40,000t LHD, 2x 200m LPD's and 2x modified 200m Points

2x Oceans, 2x Albion's with double Merlin hanger, and 5x Bays without hanger:
Max Hanger capacity: 40 Merlin sized helicopters
Max F35 capacity: 0
Landing Spots: 21
Non Overload Troop capacity: 4000
Max Vehicle/Cargo space: 7600 lm
Max LCU capacity: 13
Max Mexefloate capacity: 10
LCVP/CB90 capacity: 16 if all Well Docks carrying LCU's. More could be carried on deck.


1x 40,000t LHD, 2x 200m LPD's and 2x modified 200m Points
Max Hanger capacity: 56 Merlin sized Helicopters
Max F35 capacity: 20
Landing Spots: 20
Non Overload Troop capacity: 3300
Max Vehicle/Cargo space: 9500 lm
Max LCU capacity: 12
Max Mexefloate capacity: 8
LCVP/CB90 capacity:
    4 if all Well Docks carrying LCU's
    14 if helicopters capacity reduced to 50
    24 if helicopter capacity reduced to 44.

Surprising? It certainly surprised me when I ran the numbers a while ago.

I believe this fleet could be built with a £2bn budget and operated within the 2% GDP framework.

It's a lot of capability for the money.

As a comparison, this is what we have today,

Albion and 3x Bays with hanger:
Max Hanger capacity: 3 Merlin sized helicopters
Max F35 capacity: 0
Landing Spots: 7
Non Overload Troop capacity: 1600
Max Vehicle/Cargo space: 4000lm
Max LCU capacity: 7
Max Mexefloate capacity: 6
LCVP/CB90 capacity: 4 if all Well Docks carrying LCU's. More could be carried on deck.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 07 Jan 2019, 04:26

And my mission is complete as the discussion has now evolved into discussing what I proposed a while back with the emphasis on Sea Lift and an Amphibious capability to ensure the security of any entry point and carry out coastal raids.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2019, 08:28

Poiuytrewq wrote:A modified Point could embark up to 12 Merlins and still retain 3 Chinook capable landing spots. The potential is huge.

The potential is stupid. They're suppose to be dirt cheap commercial ships that spend 95% of their life working as a ferry. Ferry's do not need Chinook.

No way can you justify doubling the cost to add a capability that will be empty 99% of the time, with no crew trained for air operations, and at the same time as having a massive aviation over capacity in the fleet.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 07 Jan 2019, 08:36

shark bait wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:A modified Point could embark up to 12 Merlins and still retain 3 Chinook capable landing spots. The potential is huge.

and at the same time as having a massive aviation over capacity in the fleet.


This bit right here is s complet misnomer, how can it be an over capacity if it can only be in one area doing one role at any one time, I can't is the answer.

The QEs offer a large increase in aviation capacity yes but if there is no other capacity anywhere else then it does the revers as it massively limits sure that aviation can be and for what perpouse

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2019, 08:38

Lord Jim wrote:And my mission is complete as the discussion has now evolved into discussing what I proposed a while back with the emphasis on Sea Lift and an Amphibious capability to ensure the security of any entry point and carry out coastal raids.


I don't like that term you keep using, a 'coastal raid' sounds like something that could be done from a T26, which is a cosmic difference to the scale of operation required to secure infrastructure.

Securing infrastructure will be large amphibious assault, Iraq 2003 is the best cast study for that.

Jake1992 wrote:This bit right here is s complet misnomer, how can it be an over capacity if it can only be in one area doing one role at any one time, I can't is the answer.

do you expect the RN to performing concurrent amphibious operations?
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 07 Jan 2019, 08:44

shark bait wrote:They're suppose to be dirt cheap commercial ships that spend 95% of their life working as a ferry. Ferry's do not need Chinook.
Clearly the Americans don't agree, are they stupid too?
image.jpg

No way can you justify doubling the cost to add a capability that will be empty 99% of the time
Double the cost of a Point? Hardly expensive. How much do estimate a UK built Point would be today?
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2019, 08:49

That picture is not a strategic transport ship. That is a special forces froward operating base.

The Point class is generally kept busy, the UK needs simple cheap ships to take the base load of logistics as easily as possible. Why should we complicate that?
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 07 Jan 2019, 08:57

shark bait wrote:
Lord Jim wrote:And my mission is complete as the discussion has now evolved into discussing what I proposed a while back with the emphasis on Sea Lift and an Amphibious capability to ensure the security of any entry point and carry out coastal raids.


I don't like that term you keep using, a 'coastal raid' sounds like something that could be done from a T26, which is a cosmic difference to the scale of operation required to secure infrastructure.

Securing infrastructure will be large amphibious assault, Iraq 2003 is the best cast study for that.

Jake1992 wrote:This bit right here is s complet misnomer, how can it be an over capacity if it can only be in one area doing one role at any one time, I can't is the answer.

do you expect the RN to performing concurrent amphibious operations?


I expect the RN to be able to low leave small amphibious ops ( that don't require overwhelming air power from the carriers ) concurrently, but the larger ops where a carrier is required will still need a larger aviation set up than a couple of merlins out side the QEs.

I say this because most of the time only 1 QE will be avalible, this lone flat top can not do both the carrier strike element and aviation asset part of an amphibious op. Even if it's size allows it the actual missions require the vessel to be in different locations at the same time.

How this extra aviation for the fleet is set up I'm open to, wheather that be a third flat top or LPDs LSDs with large hanger and twin Helo spots.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 07 Jan 2019, 09:07

shark bait wrote:That picture is not a strategic transport ship. That is a special forces froward operating base.
Its a modified Point, just more heavily modified than what I am proposing.

I believe RN need 2 different classes of vessels. Assault ships built to full naval standards (LHD/LPD) and cheaper logistics vessels capable of transporting large numbers of troops,vehicles and helicopters as cost effectively as possible. A modified Point is the perfect blend of capability, capacity and cost effectiveness.
shark bait wrote:The Point class is generally kept busy, the UK needs simple cheap ships to take the base load of logistics as easily as possible. Why should we complicate that?
If you read my original post again you will find that I am not proposing to alter the existing Points or there replacements. The 2 Modified Points that I am proposing take the numbers back up to the original six.

The alternative is hiring commercial shipping in a crisis. Modified Points would solve this problem. How do you get hundreds of marines off of a North Sea ferry whilst at sea if necessary?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2019, 09:24

Jake1992 wrote:I expect the RN to be able to low leave small amphibious ops ( that don't require overwhelming air power from the carriers ) concurrently

Highly unlikely. Beyond small special forces operations the UK will not commit troops to soil without air support.

The Navy is not equipped to fight on two fronts, the carrier group and amphibious group are one and the same.

Poiuytrewq wrote:If you read my original post again you will find that I am not proposing to alter the existing Points or there replacements. The 2 Modified Points that I am proposing take the numbers back up to the original six.

How can you justify increasing hull numbers? To secure the future of the Marines they need a lower overhead. They need cheaper, simpler platforms that can be applied to the 'General Purpose' roles, much like the Bay Class today.

Poiuytrewq wrote:How do you get hundreds of marines off of a North Sea ferry whilst at sea if necessary?

You sure as hell don't put a Chinook deck on it and pretend that makes it an effective assault platform.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 07 Jan 2019, 09:44

shark bait wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I expect the RN to be able to low leave small amphibious ops ( that don't require overwhelming air power from the carriers ) concurrently

Highly unlikely. Beyond small special forces operations the UK will not commit troops to soil without air support.

The Navy is not equipped to fight on two fronts, the carrier group and amphibious group are one and the.


You've complety neglected that the carriers can't do both roles at the same time, so even if the carrier is there aviation capabilty needs to be made avalible from other platforms, this is where your arguement that we have an over supply of aviation capabilty falls apart.

Have 60 odd helo capacity all on one vessel is no use when that vessel needs to be further out and moving around to conduct air defence and land strike.

So the choice for the future amphibious fleet is either a third flat top for the amphibious force or large hangers on LPDs or LSDs

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2019, 09:53

Jake1992 wrote:You've complety neglected that the carriers can't do both roles at the same time

They can do both roles at the same time, just at a smaller scale. However since the UK will not be able to put many F35 to sea within the decade is that an issue?

Using the carriers in this mixed role is an acceptable bodge for the first 10 years. As the UK's carrier strike capability grows, it does become more of an issue, and the natural fix is an aviation heavy Albion replacement.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 07 Jan 2019, 09:54

shark bait wrote:How can you justify increasing hull numbers?
Easy, we don't have enough and we need more. The cuts have been too deep and the Amphibious fleet is currently badly unbalanced.

shark bait wrote:To secure the future of the Marines they need a lower overhead. They need cheaper, simpler platforms that can be applied to the 'General Purpose' roles, much like the Bay Class today.
Disagree, they need properly funded. Simple.

They are also need capable vessels built to the correct standards backed up by efficient and capable logistics/transport vessels.

shark bait wrote:You sure as hell don't put a Chinook deck on it and pretend that makes it an effective assault platform.
Who's pretending that? Giving a logistics vessel a Chinook capable landing area does not make it an assault platform unless you consider the Waves, Forts and Tides as assault platforms too?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2019, 09:59

Poiuytrewq wrote:Easy, we don't have enough and we need more.

How can you justify that?

The MOD is spending 20 billion on a carrier strike group it will struggle to protect, 40 billion on renewing a deterrent it will struggle to protect, and now you want to spend more on amphibious platforms that hardly get used?
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 07 Jan 2019, 10:02

Because not enough is being spent right across the board. :idea:

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 07 Jan 2019, 10:06

shark bait wrote:How can you justify that?
We are discussing the future structure of the Amphibious fleet when replaced. What I have proposed is affordable at the 2% GDP level.

Therefore it is easily justifiable and substantially more capable than what we have today.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 07 Jan 2019, 10:09

shark bait wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:You've complety neglected that the carriers can't do both roles at the same time

They can do both roles at the same time, just at a smaller scale. However since the UK will not be able to put many F35 to sea within the decade is that an issue?

Using the carriers in this mixed role is an acceptable bodge for the first 10 years. As the UK's carrier strike capability grows, it does become more of an issue, and the natural fix is an aviation heavy Albion replacement.


They can't do both roles at the same time, this is where people seem to get very confused on this topic.
Yes the carrier could carry just barely enough aircraft to conduct both roles but that does not mean they can do both st the same as is needed due to the very simple fact that both operation require the platform to be in different positions at the same time.
You can't have the carrier 100miles off shore to conduct air deffence and land strike moving around and at the same time have 25-50miles of shore to laurch the helos for an amphibious assult.

We are not talking about a make do bodge for a few years but the replacement of the current amphibious fleet ( by which time by your own ambition the carrier will be fully up and running preventing the bodge )

At the end we get to an answer, you'd prefer to go for the LPD LSD mix with large hangers over introducing a third flat top. I'm perfectly ok with this, if we could get 18 odd helos out of 4 to 5 platforms then spot on.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 07 Jan 2019, 10:13

Poiuytrewq wrote:What I have proposed is affordable at the 2% GDP level.

Not its not. You're proposing more ships from the same budget, so what are you going to cut to afford it?
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 07 Jan 2019, 10:37

shark bait wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:What I have proposed is affordable at the 2% GDP level.

Not its not. Your proposing more ships from the same budget, so what are you going to cut to afford it?
Yes it is I'm afraid.

Today we have 2x Albion's, 3 Bays and Argus.

I am proposing replacing this between now 2035 with 1x LHD, 2x LPD's and 2 modified Points.

The LHD will cost the equivalent of 2x Albion's to contruct.

The 2x LPD's would cost the equivalent of 3x Bays to construct.

The 2x modified Points would cost the equivalent of an Argus replacement to construct.

The crew allocations are also affordable with the 2% GDP envelope.

It's really pretty simple.


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