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Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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

Postby Pongoglo » 19 Apr 2019, 16:09

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
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.
[quote="Repulse"]

Absolutely agree and this is exactly the way that the Type 21 was employed in the Falklands, close inshore in support of the amphibious force and freeing up the more complex and specialist vessels to stay over the horizon and in suport of the CTF. To me the T31 is the modern equivalent and it is no coincidence that in the case of Leander and the Meko', almost exactly the same tonnage and size. Sure it could be argued that the T21's paid a very heavy price with the loss of Antelope and Ardent, but this was down to their woefully inadequate AAW, a quad Seacat ( a useless system) a lot of GPMG hastilly bolted on and a couple of WW2 vintage 20mm guns.

Clearly a Leander with CAMM, a Phalanx and DS30's would fare much better and if armed with a Mk 8 Mod 1 could still provide the vital NGS. Indeed it is argued by some and particularly 148 Battery, that of all other factors apart from the fighting prowess of our Infantry our success in the land battle was largely own to the 4.5inch gun, with most barrels being provided by the T21. To me the advent of the LSS and LSG is prob a game changer here with the key role of the escort being to provide heavy indirect fires, particularly as the raiding force itself is unlikely to be large enough to have any integral fired support of its own except possibly a section of 81mm.

For those interested the below makes a very good read;

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... La4ypuvlYE

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 19 Apr 2019, 17:00

NickC, It’s a very good challenge; basically with the T26 and T35 order (outside of any MCM replacement) the surface warship budget will be used up till mid 2030s. Technology may not be that mature now, but can we really wait that long?

Must admit, this is part of my rational to keeping the T31 simple and more focused on forward presence / sea security/ diplomacy, so to ensure that maximum cash goes to the real war fighting capabilities.

One (controversial) option would be to go for a 100m B2 River design with Multirole Mission Bay/ Hangar with additional 57mm gun, Artisan, CIWS plus possibly CAMM and cap the budget to £150mn per vessel, plus spend a small amount of cash upgrading the current B2s - this would leave @ £1/2bn to invest in additional unmanned kit.

That would still give the RN the ability to forward base ships with world beating off board systems, whilst retaining the war fighting CSGs with supporting unmanned vessels.
"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 ArmChairCivvy » 19 Apr 2019, 17:39

Poiuytrewq wrote: If RN sees this as the future why are we building light frigates that can't deploy a 50t XLUUV?
A good question
Caribbean wrote: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.
or future proofing its options by going flexible, by going big?
Poiuytrewq wrote:if RN thinks the XLUUV is the future, why the minimal investment?
Perhaps proceeding with caution
S M H wrote:would allow the remote USV to mature.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 19 Apr 2019, 18:29

ArmChairCivvy wrote:or future proofing its options by going flexible, by going big?

If they pick the A140 :)
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 19 Apr 2019, 19:49

Caribbean wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:or future proofing its options by going flexible, by going big?

If they pick the A140 :)
The Arrowhead140 is big but how flexible? Compared to Leander we haven't seen a lot of detail but the four boat bay's seem pretty cramped and there is no sign of a deck crane like Leander. The storage area under the flight deck looks like a really useful space but how is the kit contained within transferred to the mission areas or up to the flight deck?

Arrowhead 140 seems like a great starting point but the lack of budget to adapt the design for what RN really needs rather than what can be afforded for £250m is apparent.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 19 Apr 2019, 19:58

Poiuytrewq wrote:
Caribbean wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:or future proofing its options by going flexible, by going big?

If they pick the A140 :)
The Arrowhead140 is big but how flexible? Compared to Leander we haven't seen a lot of detail but the four boat bay's seem pretty cramped and there is no sign of a deck crane like Leander. The storage area under the flight deck looks like a really useful space but how is the kit contained within transferred to the mission areas or up to the flight deck?

Arrowhead 140 seems like a great starting point but the lack of budget to adapt the design for what RN really needs rather than what can be afforded for £250m is apparent.


This is the exact reason I think that an Absalon design would be better in the position were in

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 19 Apr 2019, 23:02

You can work the inheritance Absalon - IH - Arrowhead in which ever direction that arising needs ("requirements") dictate
- and also Batch1, 2...
- so as not to fall back into cottage industry -like handicrafting of 1 or 2 two ships at a time

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Caribbean » 20 Apr 2019, 00:06

Poiuytrewq wrote:The Arrowhead140 is big but how flexible?

Lets start with "more flexible than Leander". The A140 has four boat bays (don't look particularly cramped to me) for USV/ UUVs/ ships boats and can easily carry a Merlin-sized helicopter/ maybe even land a Chinook. It has room for multiple TEU-sized modules in the mission bay and can handle up to 32 Mk41 VLS cells (which alone gives it significant flexibility). More to the point, it also has a lot of internal volume and deck space to allow the installation of systems we haven't even thought of, without causing major space-based integration issues.
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 » 20 Apr 2019, 04:46

Caribbean wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:or future proofing its options by going flexible, by going big?

If they pick the A140 :)
It is two fold.

To carry USV/UUV in future, there are already T26, Bay, (maybe LSS), and MHC. T31e is only one of those options.

To buy USV/UUV in future, the operation cost of T31e must be the smallest. Making T31e "more flexible" may dry-out the money to "buy" these assets to be used on T26, LSS and T13e.

11-12 m long USV series (e.g. ARCIMS of Atlas) will be there, simply because T26 mission bay design is already fixed. Then, any "mission bay" for T31e must be aligned to this size. In this regard, Arrowhead 140's concept design is not capable of it, and may need modification.

Since there are little rationale to build any USV "slightly larger" than it, any future larger USV/UUV will be 30-60m long and "self deploy" (= replacements for SSK and ASW-corvettes) and therefore, non-related to T31e.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 20 Apr 2019, 04:54

Jake1992 wrote:This is the exact reason I think that an Absalon design would be better in the position were in
But I'm afraid the damage control standard will be important? US Navy escorts attacked by mine, suicide boats and Exocet SSM, survived because they had good damage control standard? Absalon design with large vehicle deck may not be a good solution?

Also, for sure, it will start "killing" Bays, if they cannot find new job.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 20 Apr 2019, 09:23

If we go with the A140 some people dream, my view is that there will not be any funds for the fancy UUV / USuV stuff we are talking about.
"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 » 20 Apr 2019, 09:27

Many years ago the RN used depot ships stationed at various places around the world to support small craft, submarines and the like. They say history rhymes rather than repeats. If you are wanting to have a portion of your force used as fwd presence for engagement maritime security and the like then a recreation of this idea is what is needed.

I return to the lsd/lpd as the ideal ship for this task but instead supporting unmanned air, surface and sub surface systems as well as commando teams to board search and destroy. Unmanned systems are available in all domains from scan eagle variants, to seagull/acrims, to future underwater systems not to mention manned patrol craft and helicopters. And if you want fire support himars on the deck the army’s looking at new artillery systems make them compliant.

They are the 21c depot ships supporting unmanned systems to gather ISTAR engage with local forces and provide that information to support the arrival in the region of your primary fighting element the carrier group. Having unmanned systems means you don’t need all your specialist operators fwd deployed all the time they can be controlled from the uk. In future it maybe possible to launch a low cost satellite with limited life to improve communication in an area for higher intensity operations.

The problem being no one will cancel type31 and divert funding to unmanned systems and other craft because no one higher up is willing to restrict tasks to manage the transition or take the risk of things not working out.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 20 Apr 2019, 09:32

SW1 wrote: In future it maybe possible to launch a low cost satellite with limited life to improve communication in an area for higher intensity operations.

Isn't this what our HAPS will initially (until payloads increase) be for - and they are reusable

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 20 Apr 2019, 10:19

SW1, you’ve summed up perfectly the current debate - I actually think this Multirole is ultimately what the RN is planning for the LSDs/FLSSs. I think they’ll be a Bay in the Gulf for a while yet, with the other two supporting HADR in the Caribbean and the unmanned vehicle support for the CSG.
"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 » 20 Apr 2019, 10:47

Repulse wrote:If we go with the A140 some people dream, my view is that there will not be any funds for the fancy UUV / USuV stuff we are talking about.

Why? Ever thought that the T31 budget of £250m/ ship was set that low, so that money from the shipbuilding budget could be moved elsewhere (by my "back of a fag packet" calculations, around £5-600m is still "unaccounted for" out of the original £11.4b T26 budget, maybe more if the £500m clawed back by the Treasury some years ago has been restored as part of the additional £1.8b for defence. You can do a lot with that sort of money). Since the cut to 8 T26 and the announcement of the T31e program, we have seen trials for UAVs (S100 and Solo), USVs (ARCIMS etc) and now they starting to trial UUVs and there are mutterings about developing ASW capabilities for ARCIMS. This is in parallel with trials and purchase of systems for the other branches of the Armed Forces (30 new Black Hornet for the Strike Brigade experimentation team, for instance) and running "Unmanned Warrior" every year. Unmanned tech is very much at the forefront of current thinking. The change of emphasis has been quite sudden (when you think in terms of HMGs somewhat glacial annual budget process), so it's more likely that money is being diverted into the unmanned systems budgets, rather than out of it.
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby NickC » 20 Apr 2019, 14:13

One option how to spend some of the limited £1250M budget if ASW was the priority.

How to be effective in countering the new generation of ever quieter subs, the passive sonar miles long TAS effectiveness seriously degraded, require ever more powerful active sonars and computers.

Looking at ASW helos and MPA's mode of operation with sonobuoys, P-8A carriers 129, they use multi-static sonobuoys, with one powerful active sonobuoy or with helo dipping sonar and half a dozen passive sonobuoys able triangulate position of target sub.

One possible solution use the T23/26 with their large electric capacity necessary to operate a powerful long range active sonar, eg as used in the USN Ocean Surveillance Ships, T-AGOS, and a complement of say four or five medium USV's now the necessary AI tech available , eg as the 145t USN Sea hunter, with passive towed arrays.

The above a thru back of the WWII hunter killer groups born out of the desperate and bloody experience of fighting the U-boats in the North Atlantic, that as said now needed as the long range the passive sonars have been partially negated.

The XLUUVS to used to sit on the sea bed off the Russian/Chinese ports and ambush them as they tranit, always easier to destroy sub at base than on high seas.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 20 Apr 2019, 15:02

Caribbean wrote:Ever thought that the T31 budget of £250m/ ship was set that low, so that money from the shipbuilding budget could be moved elsewhere (by my "back of a fag packet" calculations, around £5-600m is still "unaccounted for" out of the original £11.4b T26 budget, maybe more if the £500m clawed back by the Treasury some years ago has been restored as part of the additional £1.8b for defence. You can do a lot with that sort of money).


I imagine once upon a time there was a reserve of £5-600mn to have a surprise order of 2 additional T31s, or to add another £50-100mn on the T31 cost to add some more bells and whistles- given the broader finances however it’s probably long gone.

We know the £1.25bn is in the budget, so it’s as “real money” as it gets - an enlarged B2 River with a T26 style mission bay would be affordable and capable of doing the global forward based/flag flying that the T31 seems to be pitched for.
"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 » 21 Apr 2019, 09:57

Given that we have gone with CAMM for the Navy, Army and RAF anti air missile have we miss a trick and should we have gone for a M777 based gun for our navel ships , self propelled gun and field gun all using the same standard round and extended round

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 21 Apr 2019, 10:31

Tempest414 wrote:have we miss a trick


Not at all, it has been tried (there are photos of the firing on the interwebs):
"CORDA, BAE's consulting arm, together with the company's Land Systems business in Britain and defense research company QinetiQ, hope to start live-firing trials in fall 2009 with a 155mm naval gun based on the British Army's AS90 self-propelled howitzer system."

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 21 Apr 2019, 21:14

Many nations have experimented with putting 6" tubes back on to their Warships by utilising the same guns as their land based artillery. The costs in do so have outweighed the expected benefits in every case. Remember the USNs dalliance with re introducing the 8" gun and trialling what looked like a Mk35 on steroids.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Pongoglo » 22 Apr 2019, 09:00

Repulse wrote:We know the £1.25bn is in the budget, so it’s as “real money” as it gets - an enlarged B2 River with a T26 style mission bay would be affordable and capable of doing the global forward based/flag flying that the T31 seems to be pitched for.


Haven't you just described Leander ?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby PAUL MARSAY » 22 Apr 2019, 10:02

Problem for me is I can see a role for lender , arrowhead and a river batch 3

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 22 Apr 2019, 10:15

PAUL MARSAY wrote:Problem for me is I can see a role for lender , arrowhead and a river batch 3
How?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 22 Apr 2019, 11:33

Pongoglo wrote:Haven't you just described Leander ?


Possibly, but my two concerns (and the reason why I describe it differently) are:

- The Leander is being pitched as a “light Frigate” which gets interpreted as a Frigate with onboard ability for offensive action. This raises the requirement bar beyond what I envisage which is a “Utility Sloop”, more capable of looking after itself defensively than a OPV, but any offensive capability will come through the off board systems it carries (e.g. Wildcat, fast craft, UUV/USuV/UAVs etc). Sure in time of conflict things like SSMs could be strapped on but not by default.
- The base design should be closer to an extended River B2 than a Al Khareef. This and my previous point should be pushing the unit price towards @£150mn not @£250mn (and beyond).
"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 » 22 Apr 2019, 14:18

Poiuytrewq wrote:
PAUL MARSAY wrote:Problem for me is I can see a role for lender , arrowhead and a river batch 3
How?

Arrowhead in C2 role, Leander (105m) as C3, River B3 (95m) - OPV, perhaps?
The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
Winston Churchill


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