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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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RetroSicotte
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 14 Jan 2019, 16:56

Poiuytrewq wrote:Enough for a hostile force to turn around and head for home?

Too variable to say, to be honest.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 14 Jan 2019, 17:05

I agree, at the moment China is a very localised threat within an area they believe is historically theirs. They are being very methodical though and are expanding this sphere year on year. They understand their limitations and are conducting regular exercises to increase they experience levels of their fleet.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 14 Jan 2019, 18:31

Lord Jim wrote:NATO is not far form being broken and this adds further confusions to things. The military command structures have at nearly all level been made subservient to Politicians from the various member states greatly reducing the alliance's effectiveness. Decision at almost every level now require political approval from one committee or another. Like our Government many nations do not want to full accept how the world has actually regressed.




I would rather say that:

a) there's no more "huge-global-communist-menace-from-the-East" (TM)
Simply, things like will Russia have Donbass/Crimea or not aren't so important to people like "OMFG the Reds are coming, we shall all end up in gulag"...
Same thing to China and her having or not Spratley's.

b) The whole world has become softer. If you only look at kids these days, you probably have forgotten their faces, considering they constantly look at their smartphones. Do you think they will sacrifice their life/wellbeing for anything? Except for opportunity to be first to get IPhone XI? :lolno:
It goes for all countries, from America to Russia...

c) many countries simply don't care about Russia/China (at least anymore). They don't feel that these countries are anything than great investment opportunities. I mean, what Spain has to get from conflict with Russia? They have their axe to grind with the UK and Morocco, not with Russia. Same thing with China. Why would they meddle in that conflict? What has Spain or Belgium or Italy to gain or loose if China is the dominant power in western Pacific?
Why would they loose their money or lives because of the US?
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ~UNiOnJaCk~ » 14 Jan 2019, 19:44

shark bait wrote:As much as we would like them to be, they are not a coastal navy any more. For the last decade they have been developing blue water skills, and since they're not breaking new ground they're learning very quickly.

We have yet to see a combat example of this, but we do have a botched evacuation in Libya followed by a more proficient evacuation from Yemen. They gained experience and moved on. I'm sure they have done the same in their war games in Russia and Iran, or on the tours of Africa.

Yes Russia failed, and their surface fleet is an embarrassment in decline. The Chinese have the opposite, and over the last decade the Chinese surface fleet has been more active then the Russians.

Its dangerous to underestimate the Chineese as a 'brown water' Navy.

How can we assess the degree to which they have supposedly "learned" though? The point is, we can't really. Of course this leaves open the possibility that the PLAN may have transformed itself into a credible, highly skilled fighting force, fast cacthing up with the West in terms of proficiency. Alternatively, and i believe this is more likely, it may prove to be the case that, as with so much of China's military "transformation", the changes are skin deep only - capable of offering endless opportunities for glossy marketing material and propaganda but little else of real value when it comes to the big leagues.

The quality of the PLA (Army, Navy and Air Force) as an organisation is an unknown quantity - in terms of both material and proficiency. As i said, they could have made substantial progress and there is some argument for that. On the other hand there is much that points towards their apparent progress as being little more than a veneer of credibility. The limited information we have from exchange programmes (one reported on by the BBC a few years back had British officers offer up a rather scathing opinion of overall levels of competence within junior leadership in the PLA for example), the ongoing dependence on industrial espionage as a means to further their military industrial complex (combined with the apparent absence of almost any sort of real, domestic innovation capability), the lack of meaningful real world operational experience etc. etc.

It all adds up. I'm not one for underestimating your potential opponents, but neither do i think we should overestimate them either.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 14 Jan 2019, 20:36

shark bait wrote:China has the same ability to operate in the Indian ocean as we do.
Not quite, yet, I would say
shark bait wrote:Djibouti
A pier - like we have in Singapore (with lots of fuel!), or a dry dock, like what is being put in place in Duqm for anything up to the QEs?
RetroSicotte wrote:how well they can keep a cohesive force in unfamiliar waters.
Well, with the base in the area now, the entertainment & relaxation ship (R&R in good old terms) can now be withdrawn
Lord Jim wrote: at the moment China is a very localised threat within an area they believe is historically theirs. They are being very methodical though and are expanding this sphere year on year.
This is the crux of the matter: PLAN is not going to sortie out to the Indian Ocean and attack anyone
- we are dealing with their threat to Freedom of Navigation; if that is not done, forget about the Law of the Seas. Not just there, but everywhere (the Sea of Azov access getting a bit closer to home, and at a smaller scale, too)

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 14 Jan 2019, 20:54

~UNiOnJaCk~ wrote: the ongoing dependence on industrial espionage as a means to further their military industrial complex (combined with the apparent absence of almost any sort of real, domestic innovation capability)


The espionage bit makes the difference: do you want to put 97 octane or 102 octane duel into the tank, if you are in a speed race. An accelerator for the solid knowledge base that they are building, some country comparisons here: https://www.ft.com/content/384ba4b4-08d ... 3b21361b43

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby dmereifield » 15 Jan 2019, 00:04

Sorry this is wondering a bit off topic, but it relates to the suggestions of forward basing RFA's instead of escorts (T23s or err, T31s) - aside from HADR, why would allies in the area find a tanker a more useful than an escort. Surely if tankers are cheaper to build, maintain and man than escorts (i.e. the arguments about them being more cost effective for overseas engagement), are they really in short supply for our allies in the far East?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Jan 2019, 00:23

dmereifield wrote:are they really in short supply for our allies in the far East?


A tip on this "from Singapore" story would be that when the Formidables were made much more formidable by changing the spec of the build for the Singapore Navy (they have the CEC that we planned for our AAW assets and frigates to have installed) they also received faster diesels, which, while adding a good few knots to the foreys from base out the the SCS and back, also cut their range by a third).
- so refuelling not an issue; punch and survivability more so

RAN can look after their own, and India (forward defence, rather than meeting the PLAN in their own - ie. Indian - Ocean) have pushed to Cam Ranh - on SCS - to be part of the military cooperation pact between Vietnam and India that allows for the sharing of Cam Ranh Air Base and Cam Ranh Bay Naval Base.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Jan 2019, 04:23

Although I am not a fan of operating east of Suez, having a RAF Tanker out their would serve a number of roles beneficial to the UK and our allies in that area. Firstly it is a UK presence, albite a small one. Secondly although some of the nations out there do have support assets, there are not enough. Thirdly, those nations that do not have their own support vessels would gain expertise in operating with such vessels and improve their skills at replenishment at sea. All of the above would ensure more positive relations without allies as well as other nations in the region through joint training and so on.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 15 Jan 2019, 07:41

Poiuytrewq wrote:History shows RN should never be underestimated even if heavily outnumbered.

This type of phrase pops up all the time, but does it actually mean anything in reality? I think it might be something us Brits say to comfort ourself, but it could be a dangerous attitude. History is good to have, but it does not define the present.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby RetroSicotte » 15 Jan 2019, 08:06

shark bait wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:History shows RN should never be underestimated even if heavily outnumbered.

This type of phrase pops up all the time, but does it actually mean anything in reality? I think it might be something us Brits say to comfort ourself, but it could be a dangerous attitude. History is good to have, but it does not define the present.

I agree on this, it's a very vague statement, hence why when I was talking of experience, I was meaning very specific types of experience relating to geographical logistics and capability, rather than just "skill at fighting".

As I think I've made clear in other things I am more than happy to call out "laurel resting". Just in this case I felt there was a bit of a different angle in the current years.

Give the Chinese another decade, and I imagine it will no longer be the case. Wouldn't be surprised to see them make a long range patrol with a task group just to learn.

So...about them escorts then? :D

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 15 Jan 2019, 09:26

RetroSicotte wrote:experience relating to geographical logistics and capability

+
RetroSicotte wrote:about them escorts then? :D


Save them for West of Diego! But on the first point, we do mention the formidable navies of Singapore and Australia; Malesia maturing fast (with larger vessels) and Japan renewing their participation in the region
- I think they are quite proficient in support (and Malesia & SIN) can do it out of their bases
- it is the India navy for which such "skills transfers" would be very beneficial as they are busy-ly building a counterweight to the PLAN... we might even sell one of the Waves to them (instead of Brazil ;) )

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 20 Jan 2019, 13:46

I have been thinking about spending and what can be done to make the fleet better and I keep come back to needing a year on year spending plan that will keep the Treasury happy and builds a workable fleet within the current spending which I feel is about 900 million a year. So this is what I come with so far and feel should be put in place by 2020 to see the benefits starting in 2023

450 million per year on the type 26 program with a ship every 2 years first ship in the water 2024
175 million per year on the type 31 program with a ship every 2 years first ship in the water 2023
200 million per year on the SSS program with a ship every 2 years first ship in the water 2023

this = 825 million per year with the remaining 75 million per year being spent on programs like MHPC and unmanned MCM , ASW development

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 20 Jan 2019, 13:48

Selling just 15 years old RFA Wave Ruler without replacement? :thumbdown: :crazy:

Disgrace.
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Pongoglo » 20 Jan 2019, 14:15

abc123 wrote:Selling just 15 years old RFA Wave Ruler without replacement? :thumbdown: :crazy:

Disgrace.


What?? Is this news ?? You're source ?? Just done a search and there's nothing on the web , the MOD denied this in June last year :-(

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 20 Jan 2019, 14:59

Brazil said a few days ago that the UK were drawing up a list of ships for sale but there is nothing from the UK on this

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 20 Jan 2019, 16:39

Pongoglo wrote:
abc123 wrote:Selling just 15 years old RFA Wave Ruler without replacement? :thumbdown: :crazy:

Disgrace.


What?? Is this news ?? You're source ?? Just done a search and there's nothing on the web , the MOD denied this in June last year :-(


Nope, I'm not the source, this is source: ( it's in Portuguese, but Google Translate is your friend )

https://www.naval.com.br/blog/2019/01/1 ... rao-baixa/

I had no time to put a source there, and I was thinking that everybody have seen it allready... Or you think that I would make up something like that?
Fortune favors brave sir, said Carrot cheerfully.
What's her position about heavily armed, well prepared and overmanned armies?
Oh, noone's ever heard of Fortune favoring them, sir.
According to General Tacticus, it's because they favor themselves…

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 20 Jan 2019, 22:01

It makes sense to line up potential buyers for the vessels due to decommission in the coming years but if we are taking about another fire sale of something like Wave Ruler, multiple Type 23's, multiple MCMV's and multiple RB1's it's clearly unforgivable.

I would support the removal of a T23 now as long as it resulted in the remaining 12 returning to operational status but certainly no more until the T31's start hitting the water. The MDP has made a lot of noise about solving the North Atlantic problem, cutting frigate numbers would seem like an odd way to proceed if HMG are serious about tackling that particular issue. Converting all remaining T23's to ASW spec and dispatching them to go and hunt submarines might be a more credible response (along with increasing P8 numbers to 16).

I can't see any logic in decommissioning more MCMV's before replacement. There is no rational justification due to the current lack of progress in the MH(P)C program and the still fluid future direction of MCM off board systems. It would be simple cost cutting to save money.

Selling HMS Clyde is pretty much nailed on already, the rest of the RB1's will do a good job in the UK EEZ were they are clearly needed. On the other hand I would be very happy to see all 5 RB2's being sold immediately. We don't need them, we didn't want them, and they are unbalancing the fleet which could and probably will result in further poor procurement decisions going forward. I would get rid of all 5 RB2's and get Appledore busy building some nice shiny Venari 95's to replace them. If anything is going to be sold it should be the RB2's in my opinion.

As far as Wave Ruler is concerned it would be another nonsensical loss in the same category as Largs Bay. Why would the UK sell this vessel? We are on course to have 40% of the Patrol/Escort fleet made up from OPV's and stretched OPV's in the next 10 years. I think that ratio is too high. Personally I think the Auxiliaries and Support vessels are much more useful for many deployments than the OPV's, stretched or not. Selling Wave Ruler just because Brazil wants to by a tanker is clearly ludicrous.

HMG promising the earth down the line in the next spending review or SDSR fools nobody any more. We all know the promises made are rarely kept. The cuts just keep continuing. I thought the bottom of the barrel had been firmly scraped but maybe I was wrong. Pity.

Hopefully sense will prevail in the end....

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 20 Jan 2019, 23:02

Don’t know why people are surprised things are gonna be scrapped and sold. The budget remains seriously overspent and the piper must be paid there’s zero indication defence will be getting more money. It’s all well and good championing cap badge protectionism that happen to be located in your constituency, even if they have been mothballed for years but in the end all you do is unbalance any chance of a balanced defence review see sdsr 2010 for examples.

The longer this goes on without people taking the decisions that need to be made the worse the reductions will need to be. The mod and the service chiefs only have themselves to blame.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 20 Jan 2019, 23:22

The MoD is desperate to balance the books and be able to move money around to what they believe are more pressing requirements. Having a "Fire Sale" maybe something their Bean Counters have come up with to facilitate the speeding up of another programme or simply enabling existing programmes to continue as planned.

We could lose a number of the GP T-23s and till begin to re establish our traditional role in the North Atlantic but it would mean that there would be few if any Warships deployed elsewhere such as the Gulf. This maybe a situation the MoD and Government are happy with, I mean there will still be MCVs in the Gulf so it can be said we have a presence there.

Talking of MCVs. there replacement seems to be at least a decade away, but we are likely to see our current vessels, especially the Hunts receive additional systems to keep them up to speed in the mine warfare role.

With the Rivers, the B1s are what the RN needs for patrolling around the UK. The B2s are a quandary, but selling them off as soon as they hit the water may be the cause of a major embarrassment to the Government on numerous levels. Could these operate in the overseas presence/flag waving role many believe the planned T-31e will end up doing? Have one in Gibraltar permanently together with one in the Falklands, and have another showing the flag in the Caribbean or even out east. I think we need to retain them to help keep Naval personnel number slowly moving up. This would become more important if we let the GP T-23s go early.

Turing to the possible sale of one of the Tides, this is probably one of those "We can gat by for now with less if we get more later on", sort of decisions, that also raises a small amount of cash for other uses. Again if we are going to pull back our warships we can probably cope especially if the new Waves come on stream.

The MoD is engaged in a juggling act where they are trying to keep more and more things in the air at once. Without resolving at least some of these issues as a matter of urgency there is a growing danger they are going to have things come crashing down

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 21 Jan 2019, 05:32

I believe there is some kind of truce deal around MDP (which is restarting as we speak; the name may have been dropped). The Treasury bail out last year was to the tune of (c.) £ 2 bn and it has been agreed (?) that these can't repeat and against assurances in that regard TM/PH have promised to look on the review outcomes favourably... if they are still in office come the summer (!)
Lord Jim wrote: would become more important if we let the GP T-23s go early
Well, they are going early enough, it is more likely that some would need to be extended, individually and with a "crash upgrade" to patch up numbers of their ASW brethren.
- money well spent! Thanks to kicking the can down the road for so long (supposedly to save money)
Lord Jim wrote: if the "new Waves" come on stream
I don't think there is any "if" with that. Ideally the build of the Tides would have been dovetailed with the SSSs (i different countries!), the latest Fort upgrade cost could have been avoided - but I am sure the discount achieved by going for a 'batch build' was significant. The Koreans (and the Chinese) run a factory approach where the 'trades" go trough 3 or 4 of identical ships in waves and never sit idle - at least not while the batch is being run.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 21 Jan 2019, 07:43

Poiuytrewq wrote:There is no rational justification due to the current lack of progress in the MH(P)C program

There is, a new platform is not due into service until 2028. If these are suppose to be simple commercial platforms there's no need to be rushing now.

Poiuytrewq wrote:As far as Wave Ruler is concerned it would be another nonsensical loss in the same category as Largs Bay. Why would the UK sell this vessel?

The RFA has just received a massive capacity boost, so I guess there are some accountants claiming the net balance will still be positive, even if Wave Ruler is sold. It's rare to have both Waves at sea at the same time, the immediate effect would be small.

Selling a wave is unlikely to yield big savings, so is that small saving worth loosing a surge tanker capacity?

I don't expect it would be worth it, especially if our Pacific deployments become more common place. Perhaps it would be valuable to forward base one of the Waves at our fuel depot in Singapore?

Lord Jim wrote:With the Rivers, the B1s are what the RN needs for patrolling around the UK. The B2s are a quandary

The RN should not be tasked with more patrol duties. They already face huge challenges transitioning to a 'carrier group' navy, that requires the focus not these new distractions.

The B2 Rivers are a total shit show, but what's done is done, the cost is already sunk, how do the RN turn the mess around and deliver a valuable addition to the fleet?
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Jan 2019, 07:54

shark bait wrote:I don't expect it would be worth it, especially if our Pacific deployments become more common place. Perhaps it would be valuable to forward base one of the Waves at our fuel depot in Singapore?
Personally I think a Wave based in Singapore would be more valuable to our Allies in the region than a Leander style T31.

It is also something we could do in the near future.

Forward basing T31's is still nothing more than an aspiration at this point.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Jan 2019, 08:18

shark bait wrote: The B2 Rivers are a total shit show, but what's done is done, the cost is already sunk, how do the RN turn the mess around and deliver a valuable addition to the fleet?
They are unbalancing the fleet and should be sold at the first opportunity.

The cost of the RB2's is attributable to the T26 programme, as it was due to delays in the T26 programme that required them to be built in the first place. It basically cost us half of a Type 26 to keep the lights on in Govan/Scotstoun. Political embarrassment is not the main priority. It's not like the first time this government has suffered an embarrassment. In this climate would anybody even notice?

The money raised from the sale of the RB2's could kickstart the Venari programme, a vessel RN does want and need. The sale of the RB2's would probably finance 3 or 4 Venari 95's if built at Appledore. We need to cut our loses, put the bad decisions behind us and end the procrastination. Replacing the RB2's with a modest number of Venari 95's would be a good start , getting Appledore back up and running would just be a bonus.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby shark bait » 21 Jan 2019, 08:33

There is no Venari programme, the RN does not want or need new mine clearance platforms until 2028. If they are in the market for new vessels, why would the be overhauling the existing fleet?

Selling off five brand new and real ships to buy four concept vessels to prop up a broke shipyard you fancy is real dumb. There is no way you can justify that.
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