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Future Solid Support Ship

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Repulse
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 21 Mar 2020, 08:14

Jensy wrote:(LPD) running costs and crew size are the reason we've ended up with only a single one operating at a time.


As far as I understand, the crew size is primarily linked to acting in the role as a Brigade headquarters, which will no longer be the purpose. With the mothballing that has gone on, both are approx 15yrs into a 30-40yr lifespan; both are also the most flexible platforms we have (and on par with equivalents elsewhere) when it comes to operating off board landing and other craft. Let’s change the record and stop throwing away things that work, to spend billions, and just use them both.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Repulse
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 21 Mar 2020, 08:58

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Clearly SSS is more important than T31, from the viewpoint of the "balanced approach".

Ellida's supply capability will be even less than half of the original SSS, I'm afraid. It is like replacing T26 with T31.


I have to tend to agree with this statement. The original FLSS concept was for 2 ships, one East of Suez the other West - having the ability to refuel forward based ships is I think a good one, and with the four Tides allocated to the CSG then this is then the death nail for the two Waves. I can see the argument for another one if a Hospital ship is not forthcoming, but three would be the maximum.

The ship that the Elida does start to put into question in the longer term is actually the Bay Class, as these ships will be more capable outside the role of landing large amounts of kit for a RM brigade which no longer seems a requirement (and could be done by the Points in a more benign scenario).

As @Donaldsan points out, at least two Solid Store ships would still be required, and one could be RFA Victoria in the shorter term. I cannot believe that a more simple design could not be achieved- e.g. no hangar, hospital facilities etc.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SW1 » 21 Mar 2020, 09:25

One thing to remember all the ships planned or entering service have been built large to enable them to carry more fuel food and stores so they have much increased endurance than before and with similar or less crews than what went before. Individual ship capacity up, crew numbers down, use of precision weapons mean physical size and numbers used dwn and no vls replenishment.

Second the carriers have stores and weapons magazine capacity far far beyond the capacity for aircraft we have for them. Anyone who thinks we’ve order 48 f35 aircraft and then ordered a further 24+ spare engines to store on a ship are living in an alternate universe, if spare engines for the entire force is as high as 10 I’d be amazed.

If this proposal allows these ships to operate in a role almost like a depot ship of the past supports smaller craft in various roles and in particular the transport and deployment of unmanned systems then it seems a sensible approach to add things like dock, hanger and embarked force accommodation into a hull that has spare capacity. The fort 1 capacity is capable of being replaced with such a vessel..

You may very well be looking at bay, fort, Albion and Argus all replaced by such a multi role vessel

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 21 Mar 2020, 10:20

SW1 wrote:If this proposal allows these ships to operate in a role almost like a depot ship of the past supports smaller craft in various roles and in particular the transport and deployment of unmanned systems then it seems a sensible approach to add things like dock, hanger and embarked force accommodation into a hull that has spare capacity.


Completely agree, it gives a nucleus of a small low end task group capable of HADR, presence and low end SF operations.

SW1 wrote:You may very well be looking at bay, fort, Albion and Argus all replaced by such a multi role vessel


I still disagree with the Albions being in the list. Whilst OTH operations will feature in future operations, we still need ships capable of operating in higher threat environments and closer to shore, no way do you want to do that with a tanker/solid stores ship. The argument could be that the Albions get replaced by the mission bay capability of the T26 and T31, but still can’t see it especially given the number of T26s and the chosen design for the T31.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Mar 2020, 10:31

Repulse wrote:I have to tend to agree with this statement. The original FLSS concept was for 2 ships, one East of Suez the other West - having the ability to refuel forward based ships is I think a good one, and with the four Tides allocated to the CSG then this is then the death nail for the two Waves. I can see the argument for another one if a Hospital ship is not forthcoming, but three would be the maximum.
It really depends if the FLSS/LSG concept is now dead too, I suspect it isn't. It's just that the Albions don't fit into the change in doctrine so solutions need to be found to fulfil requirements within the budget constraints. The crucial question remains, what will an LSG be comprised of? Little clarity on that as of yet.

A FLSS in whatever form it takes plus a Wave/Tide and a T31 and/or RB2 is probably the best that could be realistically hoped for. It all depends what RN is prepared to delete to achieve it. Probably more than many of us would like.
Repulse wrote:The ship that the Elida does start to put into question in the longer term is actually the Bay Class
Agreed but possibly more as a replacement than an alternative. Jensy's suggestion of a two variant design based on a common hull has merit but would result in a lack of efficiency for the SSS variant even if the well dock was replaced by a steel beach. A common hull form would be better shared between the A140 and a British Absalon variant.

It should also be remembered that the Points future/replacment also requires consideration. Perhaps this is where the MSS concept could find some economy of scale.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Tempest414 » 21 Mar 2020, 10:40

Poiuytrewq wrote:Tempest414 wrote:
the way forward for me is to replace the 2 LPD's with one LHD the 3 Forts with 2 large SSS and Argus plus the 3 Bay's with 4 LSD's capable of operating 3 Merlins off 2 spots giving them the ability to take on the LSS role.
I think an LHD might be a stretch in this climate but the rest of your list seems plausible.

How about a cheaper option,
- QE as CVF
- PWLS as LPH
- 3 Bays refitted as LHD's with 1000 sqm (6 Merlin) hangers
- Argus, Forts replaced with 4 MSS with steel beach rather than well dock
- Albion and Bulwark mothballed until replacement with LHD in mid 2030's

This would seem affordable and achievable if Albion is mothballed.


For me the Start should be replace both Fort 1's with a large deadicated SSS And Fort Vic with the same later on next when Bulwark replaces Albion at the next swap ( which should be about 2025 for me ) Albion should be retired and sold off leaving Bulwark to go on until 2035 being replaced by a LHD. and as said before the 3 Bays and Argus should be replaced by 4 Enforcer LSD's capable of operating 3 Merlins off of 2 spots which could allow them to take on the LSS role

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SW1 » 21 Mar 2020, 10:55

Repulse wrote:we still need ships capable of operating in higher threat environments and closer to shore, no way do you want to do that with a tanker/solid stores ship


The rfas and others all went into San Carlos bay under fire. No ship is going close to a high treat environment without an escort and once the opposition have been degraded enough to allow.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 21 Mar 2020, 11:02

Poiuytrewq wrote:It really depends if the FLSS/LSG concept is now dead too, I suspect it isn't.


I suspect the LSG concept is alive and well also - I see the concept working with an Ellida style ship, as it has in some form to date using RFA Victoria.

However, I also believe the Amphibious Assault Group (ASG) is alive also, and this is where the LPDs come into play. I’d say an Albion / Ellida combination is sufficient for the level of 90% of all operations the MOD is planning for, outside of involving the CSG. As per the RUSI document, aviation facilities on the LPD itself are of limited value in the role envisaged and see zero point of a LHD.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Repulse
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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 21 Mar 2020, 11:06

SW1 wrote:The rfas and others all went into San Carlos bay under fire. No ship is going close to a high treat environment without an escort and once the opposition have been degraded enough to allow.


Wasn’t aware any tankers went into San Carlos?
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SW1 » 21 Mar 2020, 11:52

Repulse wrote:
SW1 wrote:The rfas and others all went into San Carlos bay under fire. No ship is going close to a high treat environment without an escort and once the opposition have been degraded enough to allow.


Wasn’t aware any tankers went into San Carlos?


We’re talking stores ship are we not?

http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/52/09521030.jpg

RFA Stromness (A-344) with landing craft alongside in San Carlos Water, 'Bomb Alley', 1982. The image shows an Argentinean IAI Dagger of Grupo 6 sweeping through the anchorage at low altitude on the morning of 24 May, photographed by Sub-Lt. Phil Dibb, RN, on board the fleet stores ship RFA Fort Austin (A386). The bow of the fleet stores ship RFA Resource (A480) can also be seen.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Mar 2020, 12:12

I would ay there is a debate going on regarding the ASG, whether the capability needed is to get a force form A to B rather than how it gets ashore, and at what size. This is going to drive what platforms de have in future. The chances of an LHD are probably similar to an eight Astute, with a common platform replacing both the Albions and Bays.

I think the RN will make a pretty good argument for at least one FSS but the procurement maybe split into two orders for single ships spread over a period of time, so that we will have two stores ships in service, with Fort Victoria being extended further.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Jake1992 » 21 Mar 2020, 12:26

If the right platform is chosen for the SSS ( the old concept that’s been around for a while ) then it could be used as the base for a whole raft of vessel from LSDs LPDs to LSS and even a multi role vessel like Ellida / KD, but trying to combined all the above roles in to one platform is just asking for a very expensive vessel that can’t do any of the roles in full.

So for me common platform base ? YES
All in one multi role only ? NO

If money is there over the next 15-20 years odd I’d like to see Something like this all based of “variants“ of one hull design -
2 LPDs
3-4 LSDs
2 SSS
2 LSS
2 multi role ( replace waves )

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 21 Mar 2020, 13:18

If the steel is cheap, and all these ships are basically merchant vessel hull based, do we really need to have a common HULL design? Rather, just having a common propulsion train, common electric power generator, common pumps and fire-fighting gears, common ship-control system, navigation system and communication kits are enough?

Of course, the ship size matters. Here, although the SSS was to be ~40000t ship, Spanish AOR Cantabria and RAN (new) Supply are 19000t FLD. At the same time, Albion are also 20000t FLD. While Fort Victoria is 31000t FLD.

As the hull shape may differ, I guess "smallish SSS = 30000t hull" and "Bay replacement (future) = 25000t hull" can be driven with the same propulsion to have the same 20knot top speed (SSS hull shall be more "fuel efficient"). On the other hand, LPD requires low profile propulsion system for the well-dock (engine, intake and exhaust), while SSS can make it more up-right and hence efficient. Also, "SSS-replacement hull(s)" and "Bay replacement hulls" will have 10-15 years separation. In this case, using "the same system" will just make the latter very expensive to maintain = not good.

Hmm, again, I see not much merit on the MSS concept... Sorry.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Repulse » 21 Mar 2020, 13:56

SW1 wrote:We’re talking stores ship are we not?


We are - apologies.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 21 Mar 2020, 15:15

There are more and more of these threads [ADMINS, PLS NOTE] where the highlighting of the text for a quote does not work, and when you have all of the ones that you want to comment on... start writing! Errr...will have to miss the bigger picture, and do it in bits

Having said that, there are many more comments to get through, but on this one
"the crew size is primarily linked to acting in the role as a Brigade headquarters, which will no longer be the purpose. With the mothballing that has gone"
any joint Op [more than a quick in-and-out raid, call it Op Alex?] would need that kind of thing; indeed, it was one of the major lessons learnt from the Falklands!
- I know that the writer of the quote promotes keeping the Albions (both of them)
- so upwards, and onwards

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 21 Mar 2020, 15:44

Lord Jim wrote: a debate going on regarding the ASG, whether the capability needed is to get a force form A to B rather than how it gets ashore, and at what size.

The theme not so different:
we have had quite a different approach from, say, the French, who put everyting into the first wave. Admittedly, with a formidable vertical insertion capacity

So, ashore: Albions & Bays... one method; if others are available, then the whole biz gets expedited
And at what size? For the Points, only one method... 4 or 6 of them: cal it a bde anway

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Ron5 » 21 Mar 2020, 18:34

[quote="ArmChairCivvy".... the French, who put everyting into the first wave.[/quote]

In theory. In practice, they stay home.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Tempest414 » 21 Mar 2020, 20:54

If only we had had the foresight to keep Fort George A388 and not scrapped her after only 18 years of service maybe we should done the same with the Fort 11's as we have done with the Albion's or got rid of the Fort 1's

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 22 Mar 2020, 09:12

Tempest414 wrote:If only we had had the foresight to keep [x, y or z] and not scrapped her after only 18 years of service


There was going to be free beer in 2015/2016 again, so it seemed sensible at the time
- our PM is talking about a sharp, V-shaped recovery
- so surely defence will not be robbed twice, first by Brexit and then by COVID19 (or rather, concurrently)

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Mar 2020, 09:47

ArmChairCivvy wrote:There was going to be free beer in 2015/2016 again, so it seemed sensible at the time


The sensible thing to have done would have been to get rid of one or both of the Fort 1's which at that time were already 30+ years old as it is now they are both laid up

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SW1 » 22 Mar 2020, 10:12

Tempest414 wrote:If only we had had the foresight to keep Fort George A388 and not scrapped her after only 18 years of service maybe we should done the same with the Fort 11's as we have done with the Albion's or got rid of the Fort 1's


Because Nobody stands on there soap box to champion logistical equipment that has multiple uses. Much more interesting is shinny fighting things. Given the issues with manpower within the RFA no one was calling for it to be increased especially as I believe they fall into the civil servant bracket of mod accounting.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Mar 2020, 10:19

SW1 wrote:Given the issues with manpower within the RFA no one was calling for it to be increased especially as I believe they fall into the civil servant bracket of mod accounting.


Then getting rid of a fort 1 over a Fort 11 would have made more seance as they need more crew 127 v 95

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby SW1 » 22 Mar 2020, 11:03

Tempest414 wrote:
SW1 wrote:Given the issues with manpower within the RFA no one was calling for it to be increased especially as I believe they fall into the civil servant bracket of mod accounting.


Then getting of a fort 1 over a Fort 11 would have made more seance as they need more crew 127 v 95


I thought the fort1 are laid up/scrapped up as well?. Fort Victoria is the only one left

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 22 Mar 2020, 12:34

SW1 wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:
SW1 wrote:Given the issues with manpower within the RFA no one was calling for it to be increased especially as I believe they fall into the civil servant bracket of mod accounting.


Then getting of a fort 1 over a Fort 11 would have made more seance as they need more crew 127 v 95


I thought the fort1 are laid up/scrapped up as well?. Fort Victoria is the only one left
Two Forts (A385/386) are still there, but as you said, non-active. Sort of extended readiness, I guess, at Cammell Laird, but their decommissioning date is stated as 2024.

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Re: Future Solid Support Ship

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Mar 2020, 13:12

SW1 wrote:I thought the fort1 are laid up/scrapped up as well?. Fort Victoria is the only one left


I think we are talking at cross purposes here my point is that in 2011 we should let one or both of the Fort 1's go as at that time they were 30+ years old and kept Fort George that in 2011 was only 18 years into service we could have even rotated the two Fort 11's as we have done with Albion's and Waves we may have been in a better place now


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