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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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Repulse
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 17 Apr 2019, 16:53

Poiuytrewq wrote:With the Waves, RB1's, RB2's and the proposed FLSS vessels, RN has plenty of mass for low threat patrol duties.


Poiuytrewq wrote:shark bait wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:
building three cheap EEZ patrol vessels now be a realistic option?
For what? They just built 5 the Navy didn't want.
I completely agree, I would arrange for the sale of all 5 RB2's, subsidised with foreign aid as I think they are unbalancing the fleet but it's clearly unlikley to happen. The truth is the RB2's are built to a higher spec than necessary for EEZ patrol around the UK. A suitable vessel for UK EEZ patrol should cost around £70m or around £210m for three RB1 replacements.


Replaying old ground but disagree completely. The B2 will be a capable ship and will be doing rather more than just chasing ships or sailing around the UK EEZ. The idea of regularly using Bays (of which one will be in the Gulf and the other two on HADR/ARG duties) or Tankers which should be supporting deployments is nuts IMO.

The “magic” figure of 24 has been reported in the press and mentioned before, but I see the number being 30 as UK EEZ protection and FIGS should be included, leaving MCM to one side. Some will state that fisheries is not that complex and does not need the RN or ships of the B2 level, but protecting UK waters will get more complex, not less, and I also see another 10 years of life in the B1s yet.

A hi/lo mix for the 30 is a given, though some think a mid (Arrowhead) level is needed also - I don’t. I see a first rate (T26/T45) hi to a volume as much as can be afforded and a low which can fulfil the forward presence/diplomatic/low level threat role (a B2 River or derivation there of).

If no money is forthcoming, and squeezing another T26 out is not possible, then I see that probably the best option would be to go for a fleet of 8 B3 Rivers, evolved from the B2 - why?

- It’s a known design that can be evolved at low risk,
- Training and support costs can be shared with another 8 ships already in the fleet.
- A forward based model has already been proven with HMS Clyde.
- The number in the class and level of complexity would allow a factory to be relatively cheaply built and then used for future B1/B2 replacements and MHC ships.
- The evolved design would be of interest to countries like Brazil and Thailand.

If we take off the TOBA and support & maintenance package costs, and adjust for inflation, then I’d say a new B2 River build would be @ £100mn per unit at today’s prices, not including any efficiency gain from implementing a factory model. Using the £1.25bn would give an average @ £160mn per unit - now the question is what would the £60mn additional buy?

My view is £60mn would buy another 10m in length, a 57mm medium gun, 12 CAMM VLS, Artisan, a Wildcat hangar and entry level of EW defence kit.

This combined B1/B2/B3 fleet IMO would give the RN significant flexibility and options to tackle everything outside of major war fighting.
"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 Repulse » 17 Apr 2019, 16:57

Poiuytrewq wrote:However if HMG refuses to build more T26's RN will have to build more Frigates of some description. Fourteen escorts is nowhere near enough no matter how capable and cutting edge they might be.


I agree with the first bit and thrust that 14 are not enough, but we differ on the latter part - IMO oranges (T26s) are oranges and apples (“Sloops”) are apples the two are different and if we try to mix someone will try to take a fruit salad to a fight :)
"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 Poiuytrewq » 17 Apr 2019, 18:04

Repulse wrote:...disagree completely...
No problem. That's what healthy debate is all about. It would be really boring if we agreed all the time :thumbup:
Repulse wrote:This combined B1/B2/B3 fleet IMO would give the RN significant flexibility and options to tackle everything outside of major war fighting.
I think you make a lot of really good points and your mixed B1/B2/B3 mix would work well if it was backed up by 12 to 14 T26's. Sadly this seems increasingly unlikely.

Also I'm not sure how many River class vessels of any configuration will be built from here on. Leander appears to be the future for 100m+ vessel's.

Lots of things with current planning seem contradictory which is normal when getting close a SDSR. Maybe a fresh government and SDSR 2020 will streamline the MOD/RN wishlist into a coherent and fully costed strategy.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 17 Apr 2019, 18:16

Poiuytrewq wrote:No problem. That's what healthy debate is all about. It would be really boring if we agreed all the time


Agreed :thumbup: - I think it demonstrates that the RN finds itself at a real crossroads, which way it goes now it will need to live with and make work for the next 30 years.

Poiuytrewq wrote:Also I'm not sure how many River class vessels of any configuration will be built from here on. Leander appears to be the future for 100m+ vessel's.


You say “Leander”, I say “River B3”, the difference is in the emphasis of the scale of evolution and level of cost.
"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 Tempest414 » 18 Apr 2019, 09:12

For me this thing of 24 escorts will need to come over time if it comes at all but for me if there is a true push for more escorts I would go about it like so . First add one more full fat T-26 next make T-31 a six ship order with a 2 billion pound budget and build two batches of three like so

Batch one
Cost 280 million each
Artisan radar
BAE CMS
Hull mounted sonar
Hangar and flight deck for Merlin
1 x Main gun , 4 x 30mm , 24 CAMM , 4 x SSM , FFBNW Phalanx

Batch two
Cost 385 million each
Artisan radar
BAE CMS
CAPTAS 4CI
Hangar & flight deck for Merlin
1 x Main gun , 2 x 30mm , 24 x CAMM , 4 x SMM , 1 x Phalanx , 2 x triple torpedo tubes

Next up I would get into MHPC with a program of 16 ships in two classes like so

Class one Venari - 95 ( 100 meters long )
Scanta 4100 radar
BEA CMS
Hull mounted sonar
hangar & flight deck for Wildcat
1 x 57mm , 2 x 30mm , FFBNW Phalanx / SeaRam

Class two PSV ( 90 meters long )
Scanter 4100 radar
BAE CMS
Hull mounted sonar
hangar & flight deck for UAV's
1 x 30mm , 2 x 50 cal

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 18 Apr 2019, 09:28

I see no real operational need to add SSMs or Torpedo Tubes to a 2nd rate warship as standard. By doing so, you are planning to put your ship in harms way to use them, and my fear is that people think we can spend a lot less and still get a real warship. Maybe design for FFBNW for these systems, but if you ending up adding them you are pretty desperate so normal rules won’t apply.

The MHC mothership design is a difficult question as I think it will be a class small in number (@8-10) coupled with operating from RFA LSD/FLSS ships and shore bases.
"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 Tempest414 » 18 Apr 2019, 11:24

Depends how you are going to use the 4 SSM my thinking is that they would be there to help our patrol ship to get away in terms of firing them to force a attacker to take avoiding action and giving it time to get away

Also my fantasy 24 would 16 T-26 and 8 T-45 replacements but it will never happen

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Pongoglo » 18 Apr 2019, 11:45

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
T31e is a cost cutting program of T23 replacement; cutting ASW (very expensive) and even cutting NGFS (rarely used) to make it cheap.


Rarely used? NGFS or NGS as it is referred to by the RN has been used in action by the RN (and Commonwealth) surface fleet more than any other capability in pretty much every major campaign that Britain has waged since the Second World War. The Falklands being the obvious example but since 1982 when was the last time an RN surface combattant shot down an enemy aircraft, fired off an SSM in anger, or launched a torpedo against an enemy submarine? Yes I know, Gloucester shot down a Silkworm in Gulf War One.

NGS was used extensively in Gulf War One and Two, and more laterly in Libya . Over 8,000 rounds of 4.5 inch were fired on Op Corporate compared to 17,000 from the lighter land based 105's. In 2003 in the assault on the Al Faw peninsula NGS was used to effect by HMAS Anzac, HMS Richmond, Marlborough and Richmond and in 2011 during Operation Ellemy over 500 rounds were fired, a high percentage by HMS Liverpool, a T42. Rarely used ? [/quote]

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 18 Apr 2019, 11:50

Pongoglo wrote:in 2011 during Operation Ellemy over 500 rounds were fired
I forget what the number for the French 100 mm was (very much higher), but perhaps they were in a hurry :) to deplete the stock before the guns are withdrawn

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 18 Apr 2019, 12:36

Pongoglo wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:
T31e is a cost cutting program of T23 replacement; cutting ASW (very expensive) and even cutting NGFS (rarely used) to make it cheap.


Rarely used? NGFS or NGS as it is referred to by the RN has been used in action by the RN (and Commonwealth) surface fleet more than any other capability in pretty much every major campaign that Britain has waged since the Second World War. The Falklands being the obvious example but since 1982 when was the last time an RN surface combattant shot down an enemy aircraft, fired off an SSM in anger, or launched a torpedo against an enemy submarine? Yes I know, Gloucester shot down a Silkworm in Gulf War One. NGS was used extensively in Gulf War One and Two, and more laterly in Libya . Over 8,000 rounds of 4.5 inch were fired on Op Corporate compared to 17,000 from the lighter land based 105's. In 2003 in the assault on the Al Faw peninsula NGS was used to effect by HMAS Anzac, HMS Richmond, Marlborough and Richmond and in 2011 during Operation Ellemy over 500 rounds were fired, a high percentage by HMS Liverpool, a T42. Rarely used ?
Thanks. So, I was wrong in writing "rarely used".

But, I do think NGFS is considered to be NOT important for T31e. At least in T31e, it is consistently expressed that "76 mm or even 57 mm is OK".

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 18 Apr 2019, 12:42

Pongoglo wrote:Rarely used ?
Great overview of what's happened in the recent past but what's the future?

I have been trying to make sense of why RN is persevering with the 4.5" Mk8 and I have concluded that they intend to use it with a VLS version of Spear 3. If the Mk8 can reach out to 25km+ and the Spear3 out to maybe 100km or 150km? It would give the T31's some real punch in the Littoral.

Although not as good as the T26's with TLAM and the Mk45 with Vulcano rounds, the Mk8/Spear3 combo would be a well balanced and credible option for a Tier2 Frigate especially considering a single Mk41 eight cell VLS could hold 32x Spear3's.

Using Leander as an example, that would mean a maximum mixed load of 44 CAMM/Spear3 if the single 8 cell Mk41 and 12 mushrooms were fitted. Combined with the Mk8, 2x30mm's, 4 or 8 Harpoon and an embarked Wildcat it would seem like a fairly well balanced platform, above the surface.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 18 Apr 2019, 13:39

Relevant to recent discussions.

Written by a serving RN Warfare Officer this is worth a read.

https://wavellroom.com/2019/03/14/royal ... n-warfare/

Another thought provoking article on the UK's diminished ASW capability and possible solutions going forward.

https://uklandpower.com/2019/04/18/does ... ssion=true

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby chinook88 » 19 Apr 2019, 04:24

Why The Royal Navy Does Not Need New ASW Corvettes

https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com ... w-asw.html

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 19 Apr 2019, 09:00

I used to think that having a ASW Corvette would have been a good idea, but after reading the article from ThinPinStripedLine and the recent announcement on the XLUUV then this seems much less important.

What is important is that these ships can act as part of this integrated multi-asset ASW model. This means for me having the ability to operate UUVs and ASW helicopters, along with a hull mounted sonar (like the T45 medium-frequency Ultra/EDO MFS-7000 sonar) and SSTD (maybe even jumping on the USN TRAPR DCL programme).
"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 Repulse » 19 Apr 2019, 09:15

All the discussion on NGFS is also important and agree often forgotten. I personally don’t see the T31 as an answer to this question as their primary role is stated as freeing up the T45s/T26s for CSG duties. Also, adding a 4.5” gun seems to be a short term fudge and 5” gun too expensive for the envisaged role.

Easter question is, would a modern day Monitor class actually be a very useful addition to the fleet, to operate close to shore supporting the (LPD/LSD/FLSS) ARG and ground forces?

Given current funds it’s is pure fantasy, but what would it look like? Thinking of something 120m long by 30m beam, @7,000 tons with a couple of 5” guns and 36 x CAMM VLS, helicopter landing platform but no hangar.
"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 Caribbean » 19 Apr 2019, 09:18

I would agree with Sir Humphrey, and also add that I believe that large autonomous ASW systems will fill the "ASW corvette" niche in the future. And that smaller semi-autonomous unmanned systems will transform the ASW abilities of all platforms that have the space to carry them.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Apr 2019, 11:06

Repulse wrote:personally don’t see the T31 as an answer to this question as their primary role is stated as freeing up the T45s/T26s for CSG duties.
Aren't you contradicting yourself? Sailing a T31 (or two :) ) closer to the shoreline for NGFS would maintain the freedom of manoeuvre - well away :!: - for the rest of the CSG.
Repulse wrote:Easter question is, would a modern day Monitor class actually be a very useful addition to the fleet, to operate close to shore [...] what would it look like?

a mini-Zumwalt? The Russian go at it saw the 130 mm scaled to 57 mm (but that design was a combo, to also land troops and vehicles)
Caribbean wrote: I believe that large autonomous ASW systems will fill the "ASW corvette" niche in the future.
True for blue-water navies, but China (quoted a class of 60, with permanent magnetic motor for propulsion) and Russia are building them. India, with blue water ambition, built an ASW corvette class of frigate size, to be able to stay with a carrier group for a meaningful length of time... and they have their own Ocean :) . No need to cross one to go fishing for subs.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby serge750 » 19 Apr 2019, 11:08

The modern Monitor class ship is an interesting idea for NGFS & I presume the CAMM would also be helpful for local area defence for the assault group aswell, you pretty much nailed the spec's on the head for the mission,

Would having no hanger make it less capable for solo deployments if needed ? that is the trouble with having so few hulls they all have to be more versatile,

if we had more hulls we could of gone a different route, T26 as a true ASW focused global combat ship, 4-5 shorter versions with no boat bay & ASROC type weapons just for carrier ASW escort

I think if the T45 is only going to be escorting task groups you could get away with no hanger but just a landing pad & load her up with more missiles preferably CAMM.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 19 Apr 2019, 12:31

The US Navy FY2020 five year planned funding reducing spend on ships and aircraft by $6+B, weapons, R&D spend increased plus funding additional $3+B for unmanned ships and subs.

Two new unmanned surface vessels,

Larger version size of a corvette 2,000t; 200-300', cheap as R&D 2020 budget $447M for two vessels (ten by 2024) plus GFE C4I and CMS, expected to be based on a commercial hull, single mission for firepower, 32 VLS cells for offensive missile capability, presume Tomahawk and maybe the hypersonic Next Generation Land Attack Weapon, NGLAW, in R&D as Tomahawk replacement.

The medium unmanned vessel, 11 to 50 m vessel, order expected this year, expect it will be based the Sea Hunter, reported to cost $20M, equipped cost higher, 145t: 40m; 10,000nm; 27 knots: endurance 30-90 days. Again single mission, designed purely to carry sensors, no weapons, may be an active sonar as part of a multi-static ASW system or a radar transmitter as part of bi-static radar system both to work as part of squadron with mother frigate/destroyer, or as a persistent radar picket, many possibilities.

The future navy? If so would not UK versions of the above and necessary systems be money better spent than on the £1,250M on T31?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 19 Apr 2019, 12:51

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Aren't you contradicting yourself? Sailing a T31 (or two) closer to the shoreline for NGFS would maintain the freedom of manoeuvre - well away - for the rest of the CSG.


Not really, I see the option of a T31 as a Littoral Escort but more as adding a protective layer rather than an offensive capability, but even then it depends on how many are built. Lobbing shells at shore targets requires the ability to protect yourself / escape rapidly when things come flying back, especially when acting in the Singleton role, and I just don’t see the T31 being kitted for this.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 19 Apr 2019, 14:13

Repulse wrote:I used to think that having a ASW Corvette would have been a good idea, but after reading the article from ThinPinStripedLine and the recent announcement on the XLUUV then this seems much less important.
The XLUUV could be the future but how long will it be before it is in widespread use with RN?

If the XLUUV proves to be in the 50t class what RN vessel could deploy it apart from the Albion's? Are we going to be leaving Littoral ASW up to RFA vessels?

Of course the XLUUV could be deployed from the shore but with a top speed of less than 10 knots it isn't going to arrive in a hurry and if it malfunctions, neither is its replacement.

Many have said over the years that the T31 should be large and bulky with plenty of room for future growth, heavy lift deck cranes and a generous hanger for ASW helicopters if required. If RN sees this as the future why are we building light frigates that can't deploy a 50t XLUUV? Also, if RN thinks the XLUUV is the future, why the minimal investment?



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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 19 Apr 2019, 14:27

chinook88 wrote:Why The Royal Navy Does Not Need New ASW Corvettes
https://thinpinstripedline.blogspot.com ... w-asw.html
I admire Sir Humphrey, but I'm afraid he is not thinking much about active-passive sonar operations. Even though the ASW frigates get silent, they need to "ping" to hunt submarines, which means enemy SS/SSN knows ASW frigate's location from far away.

On this regard, ASW corvettes are good, as such that using a pinger which is "cheaper" than SSK. Even if SSK attacks those corvettes, if they were counter attacked and sunk, it does not "pay".

But, as many says here, this task could be better done with USVs and UUVs.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 19 Apr 2019, 14:47

Submersibles the size of XLUUV are intended to be pier-launched, not deployed from another surface vessel. We are developing smaller systems that are deployable from anything with a 11- 12m boat-bay, currently for MCM, survey and surface operations, but ASW is on the list for future development.

NickC wrote:The future navy? If so would not UK versions of the above and necessary systems be money better spent than on the £1,250M on T31?

Do you see any of these autonomous ASW systems being fully mature in less than 10 years? I don't. Curiously we seem to have also embarked upon building a class of frigates, where it has been explicitly stated that they could be replaced in around 10-15 years. Could be coincidence, or maybe the RN is actually planning for future innovation.

By the way, $43m for 4 systems seems something of a bargain in defence expenditure terms - be interesting to see how capable these vessels really are.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 19 Apr 2019, 14:54

Poiuytrewq wrote:The XLUUV could be the future but how long will it be before it is in widespread use with RN?

If the XLUUV proves to be in the 50t class what RN vessel could deploy it apart from the Albion's? Are we going to be leaving Littoral ASW up to RFA vessels?

Of course the XLUUV could be deployed from the shore but with a top speed of less than 10 knots it isn't going to arrive in a hurry and if it malfunctions, neither is its replacement.

Many have said over the years that the T31 should be large and bulky with plenty of room for future growth, heavy lift deck cranes and a generous hanger for ASW helicopters if required. If RN sees this as the future why are we building light frigates that can't deploy a 50t XLUUV? Also, if RN thinks the XLUUV is the future, why the minimal investment?
I think your point is the key. Of course, assets like XLUUV will deploy independently.

Even if they cannot deploy "with" CVTF, there is no problem. ASW is a system. P-8A MRA is also a key asset, but it cannot "deploy with CVTF". Also we must note that SSK itself cannot deploy with CVTF, but it has important tasks in ASW. Similarly, ASW tactics including XLUUV-like UUV and ACTUV-like USV must be established. On the other hand, ASW based on T23/26-ASW frigates and Merlin will stay, as CVTF will remain.

I think T31e having no ASW capability, being small, has little problem. Even cancelling T31e will be better. In future, when "XLUUV-like UUV and ACTUV-like USV" turned out to be key assets, what assets RN can afford to sacrifice? May be mixture of
- postponing T31 for 5-6 years,
- paying for more T23 life extension,
- and re-defining T31e as a combination of a few light frigate and a dozen of "XLUUV-like UUVs and ACTUV-like USVs"
might be better...

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby S M H » 19 Apr 2019, 15:48

donald_of_tokyo wrote:I think T31e having no ASW capability, being small, has little problem. Even cancelling T31e will be better. In future, when "XLUUV-like UUV and ACTUV-like USV" turned out to be key assets, what assets RN can afford to sacrifice? May be mixture of- postponing T31 for 5-6 years,
The major problem in advocating this approach is the loss of mass to the surface fleet. The type 26 with its mission bay would provide deployment option for a future remote A.S.W. for carrier group. Fitting the future L.S.S. with a remote A.S.W. handling capability would be prudent. A hull mounted ASW capability on the type31 would be prudent. preferably reusing the type 23s units. This would allow effective lateral water ASW that is where the type 31 are most likely to be used.
This would allow the remote USV to mature. If the treasury could it would use the delay in procurment to remove the type 31 saving money. The fact that the navy's surface fleet would be overworked would cause even more problems in retaining people than now.


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