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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 17 Mar 2019, 11:01

Poiuytrewq wrote:incompetence? Looks like something else to me.


You mean 'pursuit of ideological purity'?

Historians say that "self" tends to exist in a geographical and temporal vacuum, without knowledge of history. No link to the rise of "identity politics"?
- however, knowing history is not enough. If there is not a sufficient understanding of the political dynamics of what has driven events before, history might not repeat exactly - but might still rhyme!

The sad fact is that politicians do not live in evidence-based reality, but these 'drive-by' politicians can thrive by calling on history to justify irrational policies - and get away with it! If and when their slogans are not set against any degree of proportion or perspective on the voters side.

If I misunderstood :? your meaning, sorry for the rant

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 17 Mar 2019, 11:25

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
Repulse wrote:the new strategy seems to be a strong (but smaller) first rate globally deployable core based in the UK, which is exercised regularly, coupled with smaller but more numerous global presence. I’m okay with this and I think fits our position in the world.


I am also at ease with it (as it seems not to have cost us the amphib fleet)
- the weak plank is ASW, and what the price tag for another SSN could achieve, spent in a different way, should urgently be looked at
... as there won't be any coming out in any hurry after Boat7 (even that one could get run over, scheduling wise, by Dreadnought as there is a degree of jointness in their stages of build)


And this is the story of the U.K. armed forces, of the strategy had been clear a few years ago, a few more SSNs would have been possible, but now it’s too late so 3-4 SSKs is the best way to maximise the assets we have. Sure it will cost the dream of half arsed T31 frigates with basic ASW capability, but it’s not even considering IMO.
"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

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 17 Mar 2019, 16:58

Acquiring SSKs has merit but I disagree regarding expanding Barrow to meet a future order for a limited number of boats. Barrow has continuity of work with the transition from Astute to Dreadnought. After than and depending on the timeframe for the next SSN it might be worth looking at the construction of SSKs at the site.

In the mean time if we went with the procurement of say five SSKs, I would go for the latest AIP boats from Sweden and have them built there., though this is a personal preference and there are other choices out there. I would not consider installing TLAM or an equivalent as this would be an un-necessary cost increase. Integrating the Spearfish Torpedo and other UK specific components will be the priority for whatever design is chosen. We will already have the seven Astutes ad eight T-26 with the capability, assuming it is installed on the latter. To fund this I would follow the idea of building the T-31e as more of a B3+ River to act as a forward present platform ands use the balance of this budget as seed funding for the SSK programme. Where the remainder would come from I am open to suggestions.

But I still think the T-26 should be seen as the future foundation of the RN's escort force and it evolution should start with the remaining five ships already planned, but with the programme continuing past these to twelve or more.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 17 Mar 2019, 18:39

I know this is an escort thread, but 3-4 SSKs with solely ASW and ASuW torpedoes would be okay IMO, they would be solely UK/North Atlantic assets freeing up the SSNs.

A global ASW capability of 8 ASW T26s plus 7 SSNs and a few MPAs isn’t bad and probably still be better than anything outside of the US and maybe soon China.
"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

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 17 Mar 2019, 22:11

Repulse wrote:I know this is an escort thread, but 3-4 SSKs with solely ASW and ASuW torpedoes would be okay IMO, they would be solely UK/North Atlantic assets freeing up the SSNs.

A global ASW capability of 8 ASW T26s plus 7 SSNs and a few MPAs isn’t bad and probably still be better than anything outside of the US and maybe soon China.


Have to say that I don’t quite get the logic there repulse. SSNs were built primarily for the Atlantic and the high north under the ice patrol. The Uk and by extension the RN and RAFs primary asw focus is not global it is the North Atlantic and around the uk, the other asw requirement is the deployed carrier group. There is no other asw requirement for the UK.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Dahedd » 17 Mar 2019, 23:35

If we're back looking at SSKs then it shows how daft it was to sell the Upholders to Canada.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 18 Mar 2019, 01:50

SW1 wrote: There is no other asw requirement for the UK.


That is the issue we are discussing. The Politicians want the UK the regain a global presence, especially a naval one. If you are going to have units forward deployed they need to be able to defend themselves with at least some AAW and ASW capabilities integral to those units deployed. Yes we can hopefully get some support form out Allies, but we mustn't have to rely on them.

But doing the above is going to seriously weaken our ability to meet our core commitments to protect UK Sovereign Territories and to support NATO in the Atlantic mainly. TO be able to meet these and deploy forces globally on a routine basis is going to require at least more medium capability Escort, more so than what the current T-31e RFI is asking for.

If we wanted to make a statement about our intent to protect our allies and interests in the Far East, basing a Flotilla of four high end SSKs in Singapore who achieve this nicely.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 18 Mar 2019, 02:25

Much better would be additional SSNs, with just the possibility that one or more of them MIGHT be in the vicinity. For this to be really credible however, would require the SSN fleet to be increased by at least 3+. The advantage would be that in fact they could well be SOMEWHERE ELSE ALTOGETHER. :mrgreen:

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 18 Mar 2019, 06:30

Dahedd wrote:If we're back looking at SSKs then it shows how daft it was to sell the Upholders to Canada.


Take all the years appearing in this
RN Name Laid Down Launched Commissioned Paid Off RCN RCNName
SSK01 Upholder Feb 86 Dec 86 Dec 90 Apr 94 SSK 879 Chicoutimi
SSK02 Unseen Aug 87 Nov 89 Jul 91 Apr 94 SSK 877 Victoria
SSK03 Ursula Feb 87 Feb 91 May 92 Oct 94 SSK 879 Corner Brook
SSK04 Unicorn Mar 90 Apr 92 Jun 93 Oct 94 SSK 878 Windsor
... and you get the date of the Berlin Wall coming down
- what would we have done with them in the intervening time?
- now that the rqrmnt is re-emerging, they would be long since gone

A thing to note that at the time of their build there were two yards in the UK capable of building subs. Ever since: one. Basically building one type, sometimes fatter, sometimes slimmer (a hungry hunter-killer :) )

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 18 Mar 2019, 07:59

Lord Jim wrote:
SW1 wrote: There is no other asw requirement for the UK.


That is the issue we are discussing. The Politicians want the UK the regain a global presence, especially a naval one. If you are going to have units forward deployed they need to be able to defend themselves with at least some AAW and ASW capabilities integral to those units deployed. Yes we can hopefully get some support form out Allies, but we mustn't have to rely on them.

But doing the above is going to seriously weaken our ability to meet our core commitments to protect UK Sovereign Territories and to support NATO in the Atlantic mainly. TO be able to meet these and deploy forces globally on a routine basis is going to require at least more medium capability Escort, more so than what the current T-31e RFI is asking for.

If we wanted to make a statement about our intent to protect our allies and interests in the Far East, basing a Flotilla of four high end SSKs in Singapore who achieve this nicely.


The uks asw deployed capability is solely with the uk carrier group. Singleton deployment are purely a tripwire event, much like a handful of troops in Estonia ect. Their sole mission is to show a presence and run away bravely until reinforcements arrive. They are not and should not be expected to conduct any sort of shooting war on there own

I have to say this idea of a renewed interest in the Far East is puzzling it must be something particular to the RN. The UK has never left the Far East there has remained a permanent deployment of the Gurkha battalion and the jungle warfare school with occasional deployments in the region. Reconfiguration of that capability to allow more East Timor type Operations maybe a better use of resources.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 18 Mar 2019, 08:16

Scimitar54 wrote:Much better would be additional SSNs, with just the possibility that one or more of them MIGHT be in the vicinity. For this to be really credible however, would require the SSN fleet to be increased by at least 3+. The advantage would be that in fact they could well be SOMEWHERE ELSE ALTOGETHER. :mrgreen:


If only the decision had been made a few years ago to add a couple more Astutes rather than slow the drumbeat and waste money. However, it feels that this time has past so the only thing to do is build (or buy) some SKKs. The beauty of the SSNs as you say is that they can quietly operate anywhere unseen, so any foe does not know where they are globally, and with the Astute being world class it should be used to maximum effect.
"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

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Scimitar54 » 18 Mar 2019, 08:43

The decision to slow the drumbeat was taken by people who know only the price of things, but not their value! :mrgreen:

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 18 Mar 2019, 08:46

Lord Jim wrote:If we wanted to make a statement about our intent to protect our allies and interests in the Far East, basing a Flotilla of four high end SSKs in Singapore who achieve this nicely.
I think that would be seen as an escalation at this stage but you raise an interesting point in a different way.

Would such an SSK design need to be high end?

What would a maritime surveillance sub look like rather than a hunter killer? If we accept that any ASW capability east of Suez is to deter rather than confront in an aggressive way, would an inexpensive SSK with a high level sensor suite but very lightly armed be an acceptable compromise? In much the same way as the T31 is designed to patrol and observe but not confront a peer. If we want to free up the Astute's in home waters is a surveillance SSK all we really need anyway?

Effectively, what would a SSK look like with the T31 rules applied? Good enough to get the job done, keeping build costs low to maximise hulls in the water and using existing designs to condense the overall programme timescale.

What could be achieved for £250m each if built in the UK and would it be good enough to cost effectively provide the coverage needed?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 18 Mar 2019, 08:47

Repulse wrote:If only the decision had been made a few years ago to add a couple more Astutes rather than slow the drumbeat and waste money.
Much like the Type 26 programme today...

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 18 Mar 2019, 09:09

SW1 wrote:They are not and should not be expected to conduct any sort of shooting war on there own
On Russia's insistence the GMLRS planned were left behind; they could have rained on Putin's parade in St. Pete

Poiuytrewq wrote:What would a maritime surveillance sub look like rather than a hunter killer? If we accept that any ASW capability east of Suez is to deter rather than confront in an aggressive way, would an inexpensive SSK with a high level sensor suite

Not a new discussion. Someone who worked with the Submarine Naval Architecture Cell in what was then the Sea Technology Group at the time when do-it-all-in-one Oberons needed replacing has condensed for our benefit, from the archives:

"The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) looked at a range of conventional submarine options from a 500-tonne basic surveillance submarine to a large 2500-tonne ocean-going submarine. The MOD settled on a design displacing around 2250 tonnes as the answer for the Staff Target. Around the same time, Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd., UK (VSEL), was developing a comparable conventional submarine design for the export market with a slightly more capable weapons fit, a greater range, and displacing around 2800 tonnes. The MOD and VSEL, after discussions (and no doubt some political manoeuvring) merged their initiatives into a new 2400-tonne design"
that was still required to do the same things, and thus became overly complicated (tightly packed= complicated in both design and maintenance) and called the Upholder (subsequently Victoria) class
http://www.navalreview.ca/2012/05/some- ... ubmarines/

Note: should we desire to buy something small (in numbers) then we would need to get a submarine tender :( , too

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 18 Mar 2019, 10:39

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Not a new discussion. Someone who worked with the Submarine Naval Architecture Cell in what was then the Sea Technology Group at the time when do-it-all-in-one Oberons needed replacing has condensed for our benefit
Thanks, some interesting background there.
ArmChairCivvy wrote:should we desire to buy something small (in numbers) then we would need to get a submarine tender , too
BMT has some interesting SSK designs but none that really fall into the surveillance category. I think Saab really are leading the way at the moment.

http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.ph ... -from.html

https://saab.com/naval/submarines-and-s ... ubmarines/

As for a Submarine tender, BMT have that one covered.

http://www.bmtdsl.co.uk/bmt-design-port ... iary-ship/
ImageGen.jpg
Its a bit bigger than Venari and as such could be modified to include a Merlin capable flightdeck and hanger. Interesting concept for a slightly bigger MHC option.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 18 Mar 2019, 10:50

with this HMG lead move to the Far East and a more Global navy which i am happy with as long as it is done with proper planning and good ships. So with this in mind I feel we need a move to

6 x T-45
8 x T-26
8 x T-31
5 x B2 Rivers
3 x B1 Rivers

We should have
2 x Carrier groups with 1 x Carrier , 2 x T-45 , 2 x T-26 , 1 x SSS , 1 x Tide ( with one ready or at sea and other in maintenance or refit)
2 x T-26 on TAPS
4 x T-31 forward deployed 3 EoS and one on AP-N (with this task in mind I would go for A140's as the T-31 with a Wave class also forward deployed EoS in support )
4 x T-31 Home fleet / NATO Europe tasks ships ( i.e FRE , SNMG-1&2 )
3 x B2 Rivers forward deployed 1 in the Falklands , 2 in the Med
3 x B1 Rivers Home waters

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 18 Mar 2019, 13:20

So, let's say that the RN buys 4 SSKs ( never mind the type, Scorpene, Type 214, 212, A26 etc. ), that's about 3 bln. USD total. How many additional Astutes could be built for that money?
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 RetroSicotte » 18 Mar 2019, 13:27

abc123 wrote:So, let's say that the RN buys 4 SSKs ( never mind the type, Scorpene, Type 214, 212, A26 etc. ), that's about 3 bln. USD total. How many additional Astutes could be built for that money?

Exactly the reason I advocate against SSKs. The idea of wanting them utterly ignores the realities of procurement, treating the entire thing like some sort of video game where a "unit" has a single easy cost and that's it. There is never any accounting done for much how it'd cost to have the infrastructure, personnel, training, networking, unique operational procedures and industrial conversion added in for them, and the ongoing cost of a whole separate logistics and basing scheme to support these unique, less capable platforms.

More Astutes is unlikely due to industrial maxing out, but the better question is how much could the T26s be accelerated? How many more MPAs could be bought? What extra missile types could the Mk41s gain? What else could the Type 31 gain instead? All much more valuable than a bunch of logistically forgotten SSKs.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 18 Mar 2019, 13:32

RetroSicotte wrote:
abc123 wrote:So, let's say that the RN buys 4 SSKs ( never mind the type, Scorpene, Type 214, 212, A26 etc. ), that's about 3 bln. USD total. How many additional Astutes could be built for that money?

Exactly the reason I advocate against SSKs. The idea of wanting them utterly ignores the realities of procurement, treating the entire thing like some sort of video game where a "unit" has a single easy cost and that's it. There is never any accounting done for much how it'd cost to have the infrastructure, personnel, training, networking, unique operational procedures and industrial conversion added in for them, and the ongoing cost of a whole separate logistics and basing scheme to support these unique, less capable platforms.

More Astutes is unlikely due to industrial maxing out, but the better question is how much could the T26s be accelerated? How many more MPAs could be bought? What extra missile types could the Mk41s gain? What else could the Type 31 gain instead? All much more valuable than a bunch of logistically forgotten SSKs.


Indeed, but, on the other hand, if we want more Astutes, how much more will Barrow have to charge for them, considering that the whole program is organised at current 7 Astutes ( plus Dreadnought class ) as the goal?
I mean, it's possible to build more, but it would cost much more than simple sail-away cost of 2-3 new Astutes...

On the other hand, more T26 or P-8 are definitly a very fine thing, but not exactly a replacement for more submarines. SSNs are hugely important things, and the more, the merrier, IMHO. UKplc needs more of them all, not just more T26 or more P-8.
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 RetroSicotte » 18 Mar 2019, 13:37

abc123 wrote:Indeed, but, on the other hand, if we want more Astutes, how much more will Barrow have to charge for them, considering that the whole program is organised at current 7 Astutes ( plus Dreadnought class ) as the goal?
I mean, it's possible to build more, but it would cost much more than simple sail-away cost of 2-3 new Astutes...

On the other hand, more T26 or P-8 are definitly a very fine thing, but not exactly a replacement for more submarines. UKplc needs more of them all, not just more T26 or more P-8.

Likely not cheap. You'd need another construction zone. How much another Astute could fit alongside the Dreadnought remains uncertain, given we know their hall can fit 3 Astutes at once. Astutes 8-9 able to fit alongside Dread 1-2? If Dread 2 comes along while 8-9 are still there, problems emerge. I doubt they could even fit 2 Dreads and 1 Astute in the hall at once, given what little we know.

It's a fine idea wanting more SSNs, but I think for the disproportionate money it would take to expand operations, there are more valuable things that would give greater efficiency the end effect that are still very useful.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 18 Mar 2019, 13:50

RetroSicotte wrote:
abc123 wrote:Indeed, but, on the other hand, if we want more Astutes, how much more will Barrow have to charge for them, considering that the whole program is organised at current 7 Astutes ( plus Dreadnought class ) as the goal?
I mean, it's possible to build more, but it would cost much more than simple sail-away cost of 2-3 new Astutes...

On the other hand, more T26 or P-8 are definitly a very fine thing, but not exactly a replacement for more submarines. UKplc needs more of them all, not just more T26 or more P-8.

Likely not cheap. You'd need another construction zone. How much another Astute could fit alongside the Dreadnought remains uncertain, given we know their hall can fit 3 Astutes at once. Astutes 8-9 able to fit alongside Dread 1-2? If Dread 2 comes along while 8-9 are still there, problems emerge. I doubt they could even fit 2 Dreads and 1 Astute in the hall at once, given what little we know.

It's a fine idea wanting more SSNs, but I think for the disproportionate money it would take to expand operations, there are more valuable things that would give greater efficiency the end effect that are still very useful.


Yes, new hall, machines, training and hiring more workers, not cheap definitly. On the other hand, if you want to be serious about countering Russia and China, maybe the investment wouldn't be a so bad idea? If that ill-fated frigate factory costs 200 mil. pounds ( an oft mentioned number ), another sub-factory say 400 mil. pounds?

Of course, more P-8 and Type 26 is also a good idea, but it seems to me that the HMG by stretching out the T26 programme has jumped into same hole like with Astutes...
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 ArmChairCivvy » 18 Mar 2019, 13:51

Reactor/ core build is a single line, regardless of how much parallelism we insert into the hall (that was only recently expanded to hold 3)

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Defiance » 18 Mar 2019, 13:54

This pipe-dream of getting anything else out of Barrow over this timeframe needs to die. Go up to the yard and talk about getting more Astutes on the go and see what the reaction is.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 18 Mar 2019, 14:38

I agree more SSNs in the next 15 years is a pipe dream. I will continue to argue for more T26s and even MPAs for sure, but neither will free up a single SSN to be able to enforce the strategy of a low end forward based fleet with the heavy stuff delivered from the UK.

Does it matter? My view, hell yes - the recent strike of Syria showed that no-one believed the RN had a SSN operation the area. That blows a big whole in the “fear that a SSN maybe nearby” that has served well to stop our enemies in thier tracks.

Lastly, whilst it would not be cheap to buy a SSK stop gap, I’d like to see the breakdown of the $3bn to buy 3-4 subs which I wouldn’t care if were built in a Scandinavian yard or in the UK under licence.
"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


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