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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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Poiuytrewq
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 20 Jul 2021, 20:49

tomuk wrote:The reality is that T32 will be more T31
Tempest414 wrote:type 32 will be a reworked type 31
Which begs a question.

If what RN really wants is a modified T31 why are five non-modified T31's currently on order?

Another politically driven nonsensical decision to add to an ever increasing list.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Jul 2021, 02:21

Different contracts with different pots of money. T-31 was built to a budget, sort of which led to its planned configuration. If the pot of money for T-32 is bigger and it is an evolution of the T-31 it will look more like the versions put forward in competitions for other navies.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 21 Jul 2021, 08:05

Poiuytrewq wrote:
tomuk wrote:The reality is that T32 will be more T31
Tempest414 wrote:type 32 will be a reworked type 31
Which begs a question.

If what RN really wants is a modified T31 why are five non-modified T31's currently on order?

Another politically driven nonsensical decision to add to an ever increasing list.


No not really the MOD and the RN know that Rosyth need to work up. By keeping type 31 simple yet with a lot growth Rosyth get building by the time ship number six is ready to start they should be up to speed also the type 23 life ex should be done allowing space for the type 31's to go in for upgrade

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Dobbo » 21 Jul 2021, 10:41

A quick point I’d like to make is the numbers mix between T45 / T83, T26, T31 and T32.

Unless I’ve got this wrong (happy to stand corrected) as things stand it is anticipated that the RN will have 8x T26, and 5x of each of T31 and T32.

The current issues with the T45 (and the poor availability from it) demonstrates the need for the T83 to have no less than 6 units (ideally 8).

How this is squared with the inevitable cost pressures that come with delivering a ship that it almost inevitably going to be much larger than the T45 and have a greater range of capabilities I have no idea, but it is nevertheless a vital part of what the RN has to be moving forward.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Jul 2021, 10:46

Tempest414 wrote:No not really the MOD and the RN know that Rosyth need to work up. By keeping type 31 simple yet with a lot growth Rosyth get building by the time ship number six is ready to start they should be up to speed also the type 23 life ex should be done allowing space for the type 31's to go in for upgrade
The T23's will be decommissioning at the same rate that the T31's will be commissioning so escort availability is likely to be very similar.

If the plan is to give the T31's major upgrades at the point when work on the first T32 is commencing (around 2026) it is worth also considering what other build programmes will be in progress at that time.

1. At least £2.5bn will need to have been found for the T32 programme which should begin construction in 2026.

2. The £1.5bn FSS programme should be underway with hull 1 under construction and at least steel cut on hull 2.

3. The T26 build programme will be well advanced with HMS Glasgow commissioning and another 5 hulls under construction. At least £2.6bn will have had to be found for the second batch (hulls 4, 5 & 6) and also the third batch (hulls 7 and 8) for another £1.7bn or £2.6bn if hull 9 is ordered. This is relying on the fact that Batch 2 and 3 are not altered, improved or upgraded which would cost more.

4. The MRSS build programme will be commencing with perhaps six £300m+ vessels split between two £1bn batches of three vessels.

5. SSN plus SSBN builds continue as scheduled hopefully on budget.

6. The River Class Batch 1 will also require replacement around the mid 2020's. Lots of options but another 3 OPV's would likely cost £300m to £400m.

7. The much heralded Multi Role Research Vessel should be commissioned and fully with perhaps a second to follow. A budget of 300m+ would seem realistic for the first vessel.

This is a highly ambitious build programme, a substantial amount of which is currently unfunded. Going on the MoD's historical track record there is a very high likelihood that these programme will be cut, possibly quite severely. The first thing that will happen is programmes will be delayed, then hull numbers will be reduced and finally FFBNW items will never materialise.

It must be remembered that the T31's are replacing the T23 GP's they are NOT replacing the RB1's. The addition of the two LRG's have changed everything. The rationale for the flag waving T31's is now obsolete. If the T31's are to be upgraded starting in 2026 something else will get binned, such as the 3 OPV replacements or one of the MRSS vessels.

This is the reason IMO that the extra £200m must be found NOW to ensure the T31's are credible escorts from the outset.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 21 Jul 2021, 11:01

Tempest414 wrote:
Poiuytrewq wrote:
tomuk wrote:The reality is that T32 will be more T31
Tempest414 wrote:type 32 will be a reworked type 31
Which begs a question.

If what RN really wants is a modified T31 why are five non-modified T31's currently on order?

Another politically driven nonsensical decision to add to an ever increasing list.


No not really the MOD and the RN know that Rosyth need to work up. By keeping type 31 simple yet with a lot growth Rosyth get building by the time ship number six is ready to start they should be up to speed also the type 23 life ex should be done allowing space for the type 31's to go in for upgrade

Your are re-writing history, the T26 costs massively exceeded budget with a ship twice the size of a T23, Treasury understandably put the boot in when the hard figures came in and cut T26 numbers from 13 to 8.

To keep the numbers of frigates at the politically correct 13 Treasury imposed a £250 million limit per ship for the 5 remaining 'frigates', nothing to do with its capabilities or Rosyth, within the cost constraints RN picked what they thought the best option, Babcock's, and that's why five long range OPV T31 'frigates' in build at Rosyth.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 21 Jul 2021, 12:36

Yes that is the simple history of the frigate program however it does not change the fact that whoever won the type 31 contract would need time to work up and there fore the ship had to be simple

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby tomuk » 21 Jul 2021, 15:49

Poiuytrewq wrote:6. The River Class Batch 1 will also require replacement around the mid 2020's. Lots of options but another 3 OPV's would likely cost £300m to £400m.


The Batch 1 Rivers won't be replaced that's what the B2 will do when they are released from covering for T23GP/T31.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Jul 2021, 17:44

tomuk wrote:The Batch 1 Rivers won't be replaced that's what the B2 will do when they are released from covering for T23GP/T31.
Following that logic requires two T31's to be forward based in Singapore plus a third in Gibraltar leaving only two left to conduct FRE and pretty much all of the UK's NATO obligations. I would suggest that isn't a credible plan.

Also with one RB2 permanently forward based in the Falklands and three assigned to Fisheries Protection it only leaves a single RB2 to deploy on APT(N). This leaves the OPV fleet massively stretched at a time when the UK will be renegotiating its fishing quotas with the EU. Again this scenario doesn't really look credible either.

I think it is now highly likely the RB1's will be replaced with another batch of OPV's at the appropriate time.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby tomuk » 21 Jul 2021, 18:25

Poiuytrewq wrote:
tomuk wrote:The Batch 1 Rivers won't be replaced that's what the B2 will do when they are released from covering for T23GP/T31.
Following that logic requires two T31's to be forward based in Singapore plus a third in Gibraltar leaving only two left to conduct FRE and pretty much all of the UK's NATO obligations. I would suggest that isn't a credible plan.

Also with one RB2 permanently forward based in the Falklands and three assigned to Fisheries Protection it only leaves a single RB2 to deploy on APT(N). This leaves the OPV fleet massively stretched at a time when the UK will be renegotiating its fishing quotas with the EU. Again this scenario doesn't really look credible either.

I think it is now highly likely the RB1's will be replaced with another batch of OPV's at the appropriate time.


On Singapore I think two B2s forward based is a bit of PR. B2s aren't really credible so by sending two you sort of make up it by tonnage.

On fisheries three OPV for the high end are fine any additional cover should be from non military assets Coast guard/ Border Force.

Overall you seem to forget that the Navy has T45 and T23ASW/T26 to cover some of the tasks you mention too.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby J. Tattersall » 21 Jul 2021, 18:41

tomuk wrote:B2s aren't really credible
What role or mission aren't they credible for?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby tomuk » 21 Jul 2021, 19:11

J. Tattersall wrote:
tomuk wrote:B2s aren't really credible
What role or mission aren't they credible for?

For deploying to Singapore. They are just a very token presence. What do they bring the table? For example in an exercise with local navys?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby J. Tattersall » 21 Jul 2021, 20:25

tomuk wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:
tomuk wrote:B2s aren't really credible
What role or mission aren't they credible for?

For deploying to Singapore. They are just a very token presence. What do they bring the table? For example in an exercise with local navys?
I&W

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 21 Jul 2021, 20:31

tomuk wrote:On Singapore I think two B2s forward based is a bit of PR. B2s aren't really credible so by sending two you sort of make up it by tonnage.
I really don't know what "make it up by tonnage" means but if you are saying that the RB2's aren't ideally suited for forward basing in Singapore but RN simply has nothing else available I would certainly agree with that.
tomuk wrote:On fisheries three OPV for the high end are fine any additional cover should be from non military assets Coast guard/ Border Force.
What is the high end of Fisheries Protection? Do you mean offshore?

The coastguard and border force have no resources to do anything meaningful for fisheries outside of the 12 mile limit. I certainly agree that a UK coastguard force should be supercharged going forward and given a fleet of fast patrol vessels and drones to safeguard the UK EEZ but HMG is currently showing no signs of going in such a direction.
tomuk wrote:Overall you seem to forget that the Navy has T45 and T23ASW/T26 to cover some of the tasks you mention too.
Not at all but realistically with the CSG and the CASD RN are fully stretched. Only 14 escorts are not enough to ensure the safety of the CVF's and the CASD so asking even more of this escort force is unwise IMO.

The priority for the T23ASW/T26/T45's must remain the safety of the CSG and CASD, relying on Allies to fill the gaps in the escort fleet whilst also claiming that the Royal Navy is growing is disingenuous to say the least.

There is no chance of any increase in escort numbers within the next decade and any increase that is planned is totally reliant on the T32 programme which is currently only an unfunded aspiration.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby tomuk » 21 Jul 2021, 20:42

[/quote] I&W[/quote]

How? By the crew relaying gossip from the long bar at Raffles?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby tomuk » 21 Jul 2021, 21:05

Poiuytrewq wrote:What is the high end of Fisheries Protection? Do you mean offshore?


Yes I think a RN contribution to fisheries is useful where distance and 'force' is required. I agree that supercharged coastguard for EEZ fisheries/customs/border would be best.

Poiuytrewq wrote:Only 14 escorts are not enough to ensure the safety of the CVF's and the CASD so asking even more of this escort force is unwise IMO.

The priority for the T23ASW/T26/T45's must remain the safety of the CSG and CASD,.


I agree things are stretched and more escorts are key. But covering the CSG and other tasks isn't so binary. Both CSG won't be deployed together or if so only for short overlaps, escorts can break of from the CSG and deployments can vary in length. This and better availability and some forward deploying should provide more flexibility.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby SD67 » 22 Jul 2021, 02:52

tomuk wrote:
I&W[/quote]

How? By the crew relaying gossip from the long bar at Raffles?[/quote]

Orchard Tower more likely ;-)

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 22 Jul 2021, 07:09

J. Tattersall wrote:
tomuk wrote:B2s aren't really credible
What role or mission aren't they credible for?


Any except showing the flag? :think:
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Jul 2021, 08:24

Poiuytrewq wrote:Following that logic requires two T31's to be forward based in Singapore plus a third in Gibraltar leaving only two left to conduct FRE and pretty much all of the UK's NATO obligations. I would suggest that isn't a credible plan.

Also with one RB2 permanently forward based in the Falklands and three assigned to Fisheries Protection it only leaves a single RB2 to deploy on APT(N). This leaves the OPV fleet massively stretched at a time when the UK will be renegotiating its fishing quotas with the EU. Again this scenario doesn't really look credible either.

I think it is now highly likely the RB1's will be replaced with another batch of OPV's at the appropriate time.


we have gone from 4 OPV's to 8 some part of this is down to the type 23 life ex we will be getting the type 31's and if the B1's are not replaced that will leave us with 5 B2's and 5 T-31's. as for there deployments I would see the 5 B2's like so 1 as FIGS , 1 in Gib and 3 at home when it comes to the T-31's I see them 1 in the Gulf , 1 in the Indo-Pacific , 1 on AP-N and 2 at home . As for NATO obligations we now have the Carrier groups and the LRG the days of sending the odd escort on SNMG-1 or 2 is gone. Also it is only right that we have escorts from allies with the CSG's the more flags the better it shows commitment to stand together

I would also suggest that the biggest hole in the fleet right now is only having one SSS in Fort Vic it means we can only deploy one carrier group at a time for the next decade and by the time this is sorted we should if all goes well have T-32 as well

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Jul 2021, 08:27

abc123 wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:
tomuk wrote:B2s aren't really credible
What role or mission aren't they credible for?


Any except showing the flag? :think:


Ok, I’ll take the bait.

The B2 River’s operational envelope is to cover sub conflict patrol and presence roles. This covers patrolling U.K./BOT and allied EEZs, broader regional maritime security (terrorism, illegal fishing, pollution, drug smuggling etc), training of allied navies and to a limited extent surveillance operations. With their speed, range and ability to be easily forward based they are the optimal design for these roles - forget an expensive frigate or slow civilian ship.

The real question is, with the threats in this envelope evolving (especially with increased backing from state sponsors) how do the Rivers need to evolve to keep relevant. And given the increased demand given the rise of superpower / regional tensions and climate change, does the UK have enough hulls to match its ambition - and what is that ambition.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Jul 2021, 08:45

Tempest414 wrote:I would also suggest that the biggest hole in the fleet right now is only having one SSS in Fort Vic it means we can only deploy one carrier group at a time for the next decade and by the time this is sorted we should if all goes well have T-32 as well


I would say that getting the three SSSs in the water is a priority but not the only one.

The UK has now kicked of a policy (rightly in my view) of deliberately poking the Bear and Dragon. It is required to keep in check their expansionist aspirations typically through sub major conflict means.

We should not expect this to go unanswered, and should equally expect to be challenged closer to home and also globally.

For the Navy increased ASW assets in the North Atlantic and Artic is a must.

Increased land (radar installations), air (manned and drone), sea (OPV, MROS) surveillance assets for sea/air/BMD defence both for the UK and key global installations backed by credible strike / counter measure options is also a must IMO.
”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: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Tempest414 » 22 Jul 2021, 08:58

Repulse wrote:The real question is, with the threats in this envelope evolving (especially with increased backing from state sponsors) how do the Rivers need to evolve to keep relevant. And given the increased demand given the rise of superpower / regional tensions and climate change, does the UK have enough hulls to match its ambition - and what is that ambition.


As I said with the 2 B2's heading out to the Indo-Pacific the most common PLAN ships they are likely to come across are the Type 056 corvette and Type 054a frigate if we take the 056 as the nearest in size and task it has a 76mm , 2 x 30mm 8 x SR SAM's and 4 SSGW so what could be done to give the Rivers a bit more punch well as said a hundred time fit a 57mm and 2 x 30mm with 5 LMM and they would not be that far off a Type 056

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Jul 2021, 09:33

Tempest414, I’ve made my views on adding more of a defensive punch to the B2s on a number of occasions (at least those operating EoS). However, it all needs to be seen through the lens of the broader ambition and strategy.

If the UK wants to be globally engaged, supporting the low level rule of law and protecting UK and allied interests, backed by the ambition to deliver a limited tier 1 punch globally in partnership with allies, then the fleet should reflect this.

Part of this is the size of the escort force, the ambition in the IR was 24 (though experienced heads are stating a force of 30 is really required).

Putting aside MCM/mothership role which seems to be a requirement (to a greater or lesser extent) for all platforms, then probably one of the key requirements is to make sure that every frigate is a credible escort first and foremost.

This means that we need to maximise the number of T26s and maximise the war fighting capabilities of the T31 and T32. As such, you can see the blank sheet of paper approach for the T32 being dangerous. Best thing is to just crack on, add ASuW and ASW capabilities to the T31 and build 10.

That would mean though that the role being played by the Rivers continue, and a B3 River (to free the B2s to replace the B1s) comes into play and makes a lot of sense. However, these will not be frigates, but more an evolution to meet the low-level operational requirements I described above.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby abc123 » 22 Jul 2021, 09:55

Repulse wrote:
abc123 wrote:
J. Tattersall wrote:
tomuk wrote:B2s aren't really credible
What role or mission aren't they credible for?


Any except showing the flag? :think:


Ok, I’ll take the bait.

The B2 River’s operational envelope is to cover sub conflict patrol and presence roles. This covers patrolling U.K./BOT and allied EEZs, broader regional maritime security (terrorism, illegal fishing, pollution, drug smuggling etc), training of allied navies and to a limited extent surveillance operations. With their speed, range and ability to be easily forward based they are the optimal design for these roles - forget an expensive frigate or slow civilian ship.

The real question is, with the threats in this envelope evolving (especially with increased backing from state sponsors) how do the Rivers need to evolve to keep relevant. And given the increased demand given the rise of superpower / regional tensions and climate change, does the UK have enough hulls to match its ambition - and what is that ambition.


Yeah, with two fearsome Rivers there, China and Iran and Russia can just self-sink their whole fleets. They have no hope whatsoever now.

Come on people, be serious, keep Rivers for fisheries patrol around UK, West Indies patrol and Falklands patrol (until the Argies get something more serious than that French OPV) and other such policing dutues- and put real warships where real conflict is possible.
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 donald_of_tokyo » 22 Jul 2021, 10:25

Tempest414 wrote:As I said with the 2 B2's heading out to the Indo-Pacific the most common PLAN ships they are likely to come across are the Type 056 corvette and Type 054a frigate if we take the 056 as the nearest in size and task it has a 76mm , 2 x 30mm 8 x SR SAM's and 4 SSGW so what could be done to give the Rivers a bit more punch well as said a hundred time fit a 57mm and 2 x 30mm with 5 LMM and they would not be that far off a Type 056
As Corvettes nor frigates cannot be at sea as long as River does, in peace time, they need at least two corvettes/frigates to counter one River B2. Big win, already.

But, I guess China will send their coast guard ships against River B2.

OPV and Survey ships went into Black sea, not only T45. It will be the same in south China sea.

OPV has their own task. Frigate has another task, not the same.


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