dmereifield wrote:Presumably these will be forward deployed with the forward deployed T31's (T23 GP in the interim). Each strike group consisting of the literal strike ship, a GP frigate and a wave...i'm guessing. Good value for money in terms of UK presence in the Gulf and East of Suez
An LSS plus a T31 plus a Wave seems like one vessel too many to me. If designed correctly the LSS should be relatively self supporting and possibly even able to resupply any accompanying escort via RAS rigs or VERTREP.
Mr Williamson said in his speech to the RUSI yesterday,
"Our vision is for these ships to form part of 2 Littoral Strike Groups complete with escorts, support vessels and helicopters. One would be based East of Suez in the Indo-Pacific and one based West of Suez in the Mediterranean, Atlantic and Baltic."
So support vessels and escorts are mentioned as part of the LSG's. Surely not T26's, Tides or FSS.
T31's and Waves?
"And, if we ever need them to, our two Littoral Strike Ships, our two aircraft carriers, our two amphibious assault ships Albion and Bulwark, and our three Bay Class landing ships can come together in one amphibious task force."
No mention of the Points or the Waves.
"This will give us sovereign, lethal, amphibious force. This will be one of the largest and best such forces anywhere in the world."
No doubt that's true but where are the F35's, helicopters and crew coming from?
I would still be in favour of retaining the Waves as they still have a role to play in my opinion.
Slightly modifying the Waves for a more multipurpose role and forward basing one in the Caribbean to alternate between APT(N) and APT(S) and the second in the Far East to slot into Allied Task Groups would be a great outcome.
The Defence Secretary has made it clear that the two littoral strike groups will operate in two distinct areas.
First LSG: East of Suez, a pretty big area (so still plenty of space for a Wave to operate from Singapore).
Second LSG: Mediterranean, North Atlantic and Baltic (again plenty of space for a Wave to conduct APT(N) and APT(S) standing tasks.
shark bait wrote: I've been making the case for big flexible ships for a long time, and now the RN are looking to build something similar it throws into question the already poor justification for the T31.
Actually I think it's the opposite. With this LSS announcement if anything the case for a small, flexible and low cost escort has increased. The Littoral Strike element was the missing link. If that requirement is now secured the reason for the T31 as an inexpensive escort forward deployed as part of an LSG makes more sense and Leander may even be preferable to something like Arrowhead 140.
It goes to show that the overall balance is much more important than individual platforms or capabilities.
ArmChairCivvy wrote:Forward deployed, or just deployed. We need to hear more about these two(?) new bases, making a Wave unnecessary (for those areas).
Agreed, a lot depends on how these new Littoral Strike Groups fit into the bigger picture.