Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 12 May 2022, 12:30
Repulse wrote: 12 May 2022, 12:07 …JEF is and will be increasingly a key part of the UKs NATO commitment.
Which will require substantially more Amphibious shipping than transporting/deploying a FCF Company for short endurance Littoral Strike Ops.
True, but not necessarily the whizz bang Amphibious Assault shipping that some have described on this thread previously - more smaller FCF platforms suited for smaller raiding / insertion ops in the Baltics and Norwegian fjords with amphibious logistics to move large army groups into position quickly via prepared and secured locations.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Repulse wrote: 12 May 2022, 13:08 True, but not necessarily the whizz bang Amphibious Assault shipping that some have described on this thread previously - more smaller FCF platforms suited for smaller raiding / insertion ops in the Baltics and Norwegian fjords with amphibious logistics to move large army groups into position quickly via prepared and secured locations.
That is current planning but ultimately it is really just a cut dressed up as something else. Short Endurance Littoral Strike is an incredibly important capability but the UK must retain the ability to do much more if required.

The modern battlefield is becoming ever more lethal. Going forward, large quantities of drones will be required to reduce the lethality of the battle space. What form these drones take is open to debate but using an LPH or LHD to operate a drone based strike force or sustain a longer term deployment of long endurance drones providing overwatch for individual units still looks highly plausible.

A LHD operating 20 to 30 MQ-9B STOL as a strike force would be a massively capable force multiplier. Add a well dock full of XLUUV’s and the LHD becomes a submarine’s worst nightmare.

When compared to the cost of a CVF with F35 or even a single T26 it would provide excellent value for money. As unmanned technology continues to develop, a flattop vessel with a decent sized well dock or even a moon pool could become much more common than is currently envisaged.

IMO scrapping the UK’s highly versatile Amphib fleet to replace it with six Ellida style tailored for FCF raiding Ops would be a monumental mistake.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 12 May 2022, 15:04 IMO scrapping the UK’s highly versatile Amphib fleet to replace it with six Ellida style tailored for FCF raiding Ops would be a monumental mistake.
I would not replace it with six Ellidas, I’d keep the 2 relatively young LPDs and replace Argus (LHDs are far down the priority list IMO, especially as there are plenty of land bases already for aviation assets around the Baltics and anything further afield will have a CVF or two). In addition I’d be looking at small / fast platforms designed around supporting RM company or troop level ops. Medium term I’d also dust off the old MARS plans for joint sea-based logistics vessels for the Bay Class.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

The Royal Marines have practicised artic warfare for around 60 years, along with Dutch, reinforcing Allied Land Forces Norway. We have 3 full Brigade strength RM Commandos, along with a couple of small RM Commado formations. I still believe that it will be a shame that the RM are apparently throwing away that capability in amphibiously reinforcing Norway with a brigade strength RM force, even if we nned the Dutch to make up the numbers

The FCF maybe an an appropriate template for deploying smaller company or even platoon sized RM detachments globally. But I still believe that we are losing a vital capability, even if only one of the three RM Commandos was assigned to it in rotation. That still leaves two further RM Commandos to do global raiding missions.

Look at the USMC as a comparison. Now I know they are much larger and just because it is right for the US to do something does always mean that it is right for UK to copy slavishly. But the USMC is moving away from being just another US Army under a different badge, getting rid of their Abrahms MBT, and aiming for distributed lethalityas they will be used more as araiding force across the Pacific. The USMC is maintaining a VARIETY of amphibious ships, from the big LHA's / LHD's to the medium LPD's / LSD's to the smaller future Light Amphibious Warships.

I understand that the USMC are trialling the fast catamaran Spearhead class EPF as a possible basis for future LAW's.The EPF are small (1,500 t), fast (40+ knots), able to operate in Littoral waters (roughly half the draft of Albion), with a small flight deck, and able to carry 300 troops and with a 20,000 sq ft mission bay. Something like the EPF might be ideal to deploy RM in littoral waters such as the Baltics, Mediterranean or Persian Gulf.

The UK used to have eight amphibious ships with Ocean, Argus, 2 Albions and 4 Bays (not to mention the 4 Points). So I have no problem in replacing SOME of those with smaller ships, whether UK equivalent of EPF. But I strongy feel we do need a couple of larger amphibs (with both a well deck and flights deck, with hangar able to carry half a dozen helicopters or large UAV) so that one ship is always available in active service for LRG(N).
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Lord Jim »

Besides the elite Artic and Mountain Warfare Cadre, the artic warfare training for the Royal Marines took a series hit whilst we were engages for nearly twenty years in Iraq and Afghanistan and they are only now getting back up to speed. Even then they are training form operation in LSUs rather that at full Commando/Battalion level. What is left in theory of 3 Cmdo Brigade are the two remaining Commandos and the numerous Brigade level assets, and these have an uncertain future. We can no longer deploy a full Brigade sized formation unless we attach a Infantry Battalion.

What needs to happen as a matter of urgency is for the Army to allocate a Brigade, ideally one of its planned Light BCTs, to take over the mantel of the RM and specialise in Arctic and mountain warfare. WE will still have RM Commandos, but they will be operating in their historical role of carrying out Commando Raids, the clue is in the name, and in this they will be joined by both the Dutch Marines and German Marine Infantry.

The FCF's main change to the organisation of the RM is how the the existing conventional Commandos are organised and operate. The simplest description is that each Command will be ties to one of the two LSGs and at any given time will provide a Company sized uit or LSU which will be embarked on the respective LSG. What has not been fully fleshed out is what supporting element will be used to reinforce this LSU and will these come from a Support Company or from existing Brigade level assets. I think assets from the Assault Boat unit are a given, as are engineers, Signals and possibly Air Defence. As for Artillery and the Armoured Transport Company with its Vikings, I do no know, but I can see the latter being transferred to any Army unit stood up in the Arctic warfare role instead.

If and possibly when Sweden and Finland join NATO it is totally going to change4 the face of how NATO operates up north. No longer will it be trying to defend a thin stri of land along the western coast of Scandinavia and the Baltic becomes a much more friendly place for NATO units to operate. Both Sweden and Finland bring small but very well equipped full time formations backed by large and still well equipped Reserve Forces, all trained to operate in arctic conditions. The options Russia would have for non friendly operating in this theatre would be far more complicated, and will require far more units than it has currently earmarked. In fact it would not be implausible for Russia to now nee any northern front as a defensive theatre. As a result the urgency of reinforcing northern Norway should be reduced, but having an allied Brigade move there, be it from the UK, Canada or the US would go a long way to show NATO's unity in the face of any hostile act. WE also have to look to the territorial disputes that already exist in the artic further north especially with regards to resources and who owns them. This is a new area of possible conflict and one we are already looking into but at a small scale.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

Look the best way forward for the RN and to cover all the boxes is to have a amphib fleet of

2 x LHDs
2 x LSD's
2 x Karl Doorman
6 x Absalon class

This will allow the RN to use its Absalon ( Type 32's) to carry a Company of RM supported by ORC and 2 Merlin for raiding all the way up to a full RM Commando and the high readiness Air Assault Battle group anywhere in the Indo-Pacific using a LHD , LSD, MRSS and 3 Absalon's . We should not just look at what the FCF needs but what we can achieve using combined forces. For me we should be looking to have a Atlantic fleet and a Indo-Pacific fleet

Atlantic Fleet
2 x Carriers , 1 x LHD , 6 x Type 45 , 8 x Type 26 , 3 x Type 31 , 3 x type 32 , 6 x OPV , 4 x Tankers , 3 x SSS , 1 x MRSS , 1 x LSD

Indo-Pacific fleet
1 x LHD , 3 x type 31 , 3 x type 32 , 2 x OPV , 1 x MRSS , 1 x LSD , 1 x Tanker
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Lord Jim »

The idea is a good one if the resources to achieve it are made available in the timescale needed, but given the pressure that already exists on the Naval budget and the considerable shipbuilding programme, for the UK at least, building three to four MESS in the timescale needed will be hard enough. Personally I hope we reduce our aspiration for operations east of Suez, as more resources are needing in the northern and southern NATO theatres of operation. Having an elite specialised raiding force of RM (LSU) and SF available in the Med and possibly further east should be the most we should consider.

Each LSG will most likely be build around a single MRSS, with one ort more escorts and possibly RFA support. This will bring capabilities at a level many of our allies in these regions lack and operating and training with our LSG will bring multiple benefits to our allies and ourselves. IF a conflict occurred, there role would compliment the amphibious forces of out allies, providing a spear point for amphibious landings or Commando raids to harass an enemy, distracting them for the operation of our allies. At the same time the LSG would probably be expanded by the addition of naval units from our allies and possibly a second LSU embarked on another MRSS sailing from the UK.

We will not, under the FCF see a full Commando operating as such, but we may see multiple LSUs operating in the same theatre of operations. As I stated above, where in the past we have seen 3 Cmdo Brigade operate or units from this formation, in future we will have to see Army units taking over this role and the specialist capabilities required for operating in such condition they would endure up north or further afield like the Gulf. In both cases the troops, their equipment and their logistics would travel on board RFAs or charters civilian Ro-Ros.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Tempest414 wrote: 13 May 2022, 09:38 Look the best way forward for the RN and to cover all the boxes is to have a amphib fleet of

2 x LHDs
2 x LSD's
2 x Karl Doorman
6 x Absalon class

This will allow the RN to use its Absalon ( Type 32's) to carry a Company of RM supported by ORC and 2 Merlin for raiding all the way up to a full RM Commando and the high readiness Air Assault Battle group anywhere in the Indo-Pacific using a LHD , LSD, MRSS and 3 Absalon's . We should not just look at what the FCF needs but what we can achieve using combined forces. For me we should be looking to have a Atlantic fleet and a Indo-Pacific fleet

Atlantic Fleet
2 x Carriers , 1 x LHD , 6 x Type 45 , 8 x Type 26 , 3 x Type 31 , 3 x type 32 , 6 x OPV , 4 x Tankers , 3 x SSS , 1 x MRSS , 1 x LSD

Indo-Pacific fleet
1 x LHD , 3 x type 31 , 3 x type 32 , 2 x OPV , 1 x MRSS , 1 x LSD , 1 x Tanker
I would prefer LPD over LSD purely so that have better helicopter capacity, which will be important for deploying the RM.

And in the longer term the hangar would also be of use for UAV etc.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

The following diagram is doing the rounds in terms of what the USMC is considering for their light amphibious warship.

Image

Personally, I’d be going for the second design as it would blend better into commercial traffic. A couple of davits for LCVP sized boats would be a good addition also.

My RM amphibious fantasy fleet would be a dozen of these, the 2 Albion LPDs, 3 joint sea-based logistics vessels and a forward Aviation Support Ship (Argus replacement). With additional CVF support as required of course.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

For me I think we would be better off buying say 15 or so Caiman-90's to go with the 2 x LHDs , 2 x LSD's and 2 x MRSS
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by jedibeeftrix »

agreed, docks and caiman 90.

if these LST designs have a purpose for the RN it is as a niche requirement alongside more typical LPD/LSD vessels.

too small to support mass (even in aggregate), and of questionable utility for HMG's IP ambitions.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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But if I understand correctly the FCF is not about mass, it’s about the ability to deploy and sustain smaller distributed units across multiple platforms, forward based to handle threats before they escalate and if they do better capable of infiltrate and neutralise A2AD defences as part of an integrated force.

If distributed FCF ops is a requirement I’m really struggling to see why we would put them all in a couple of LHDs.

What I can see are multiple smaller (LST type) platforms forward deployed both in Europe and globally, backed by LPDs that can be integrated into a CBG (with associated air assets) when required, supported by JSBLs.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by jedibeeftrix »

Repulse wrote: 14 May 2022, 09:46 What I can see are multiple smaller (LST type) platforms forward deployed both in Europe and globally, backed by LPDs that can be integrated into a CBG (with associated air assets) when required, supported by JSBLs.

But if I understand correctly the FCF is not about mass
Agreed, I can see them as useful particularly in scandinavia. short duration distributed ops. with the LPD/LSD supporting IP deployments.

On the lack of a need for mass - I remain to be convinced:
Right now one Commando has been de-nutted to provide penny-packets of commando jack-tars clinging to the gunwales of a rigid raider.
I'm being provocative in my description, but really it is fine - i recognise the utility.

But that is one Commando out of three (and a half), and is only half of the wider 3Cdo functions (CS/CSS/armouredmobility/etc).
If all three Commandos receive the same de-nutting then the establishment of 3Cdo drops by roughly a half from ~5,500 to ~2,750. You simply don't need vikings and an armoured mobility component, commando engineers, commando logistics, commando artillery, commando signals. It can all go out the window - along with any ability to sustain combined arms manoeuvre. Oh, and you cease to need docks and LSD Lims capacity either!

Someone up-thread mentioned that FCF planned to see 3Cdo drop to an establishment of 4,200, something I have never seen announced. I asked twice if there was any evidence of this and got silence. Was somebody indiscreet, or is this just fearmongering?

Back to FCF:
One Commando has been de-nutted.
I can even see there being a second - one support each theatre (N/A + IP).
But I am not yet convinced that it will happen to all three. And if a fully capable Commando survives it will in my opinion be because the RN still wants to be able to conduct (and sustain!) combined arms manoeuvre (under armour).
Thus survive the LPD/LSD/Docks/Caimen90/engineers/artillery/logistics/signals/armour - even if that is at a smaller scale than before. Perhaps it is via a weird hybrid Commando Combined support regiment, but it will still exist, and it will exist explicitly to support the purpose highlighted above. There to exploit weaknesses exposed by the other two Commando Raiding formations.

#FreeFCF seriously, WhereTF is it?
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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jedibeeftrix wrote: 14 May 2022, 10:12
Repulse wrote: 14 May 2022, 09:46 What I can see are multiple smaller (LST type) platforms forward deployed both in Europe and globally, backed by LPDs that can be integrated into a CBG (with associated air assets) when required, supported by JSBLs.

But if I understand correctly the FCF is not about mass
Agreed, I can see them as useful particularly in scandinavia. short duration distributed ops. with the LPD/LSD supporting IP deployments.

On the lack of a need for mass - I remain to be convinced:
Right now one Commando has been de-nutted to provide penny-packets of commando jack-tars clinging to the gunwales of a rigid raider.
I'm being provocative in my description, but really it is fine - i recognise the utility.

But that is one Commando out of three (and a half), and is only half of the wider 3Cdo functions (CS/CSS/armouredmobility/etc).
If all three Commandos receive the same de-nutting then the establishment of 3Cdo drops by roughly a half from ~5,500 to ~2,750. You simply don't need vikings and an armoured mobility component, commando engineers, commando logistics, commando artillery, commando signals. It can all go out the window - along with any ability to sustain combined arms manoeuvre. Oh, and you cease to need docks and LSD Lims capacity either!

Someone up-thread mentioned that FCF planned to see 3Cdo drop to an establishment of 4,200, something I have never seen announced. I asked twice if there was any evidence of this and got silence. Was somebody indiscreet, or is this just fearmongering?

Back to FCF:
One Commando has been de-nutted.
I can even see there being a second - one support each theatre (N/A + IP).
But I am not yet convinced that it will happen to all three. And if a fully capable Commando survives it will in my opinion be because the RN still wants to be able to conduct (and sustain!) combined arms manoeuvre (under armour).
Thus survive the LPD/LSD/Docks/Caimen90/engineers/artillery/logistics/signals/armour - even if that is at a smaller scale than before. Perhaps it is via a weird hybrid Commando Combined support regiment, but it will still exist, and it will exist explicitly to support the purpose highlighted above. There to exploit weaknesses exposed by the other two Commando Raiding formations.

#FreeFCF seriously, WhereTF is it?
Not strictly true. A lot of the supporting functions to 3cdo are army formations, the questions is does it make sense for the navy to essentially have a another light infantry largely static brigade? If not then it needs to change focus to the more specialist skill sets. They say the hard bit of the amphibious operation is the skill in planning the movement from ship to shore and the operation of the craft, not the getting on or off a helicopter or landing craft.

You can have small units for commando operation but they need mobility to move and recon areas with some protection (Viking/cb90?) and when they find things rather than expose there position they can access to long rang precision fires (artillery) to attack targets. They then need the distributed logistics to support that (unmanned or a/c). They can of course do hit and run on high value targets (any of the previous) all this requires fwd bases of operation on land or sea (signals) to mount from generally simply easy to operate and supt locations. The bay class have been doing this for years not sure they need much else to be honest maybe type 31 in the future.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

The issue I see with the Bay Class is that they are slow, oversized (due to the fact they are logistics ships), auxiliary manned (should be no where near active offensive combat zones) and most importantly there are only three of them.

The recent Russian catastrophe crossing a river is for me a prime example of what can happen when forces are grouped at the point of entry and why neutralisation of defences and air superiority is essential before you can even consider landing a significant force over the beach. This is one of the key FCFs role IMO.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by SW1 »

Plenty of aux manned ships went to the Falklands and the both gulf wars and are still in the gulf.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Repulse wrote: 14 May 2022, 15:38 The recent Russian catastrophe crossing a river is for me a prime example of what can happen when forces are grouped at the point of entry and why neutralisation of defences and air superiority is essential before you can even consider landing a significant force over the beach. This is one of the key FCFs role IMO.
This was a prolonged artillery strike adjusted by surveillance drones probably from 15km to 20km distant. How is the FCF going to neutralise that threat?

Large numbers of drones, TLAM or F35’s are what is required to deal with a threat such as long range massed artillery whilst the FCF needs to excel at kicking the door off of the hinges.

The future is drones, lots of them and this is why the UK’s next generation of Amphibious shipping must be able to launch, recover and sustain large numbers of medium and large drones or the entire fleet will be obsolete before it even commissions.

The UK needs to get a move on with this as Watchkeeper is a one trick pony and the Protectors are in all likelihood too expensive to be procured in the numbers that are really necessary for a protracted attritional conflict.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 14 May 2022, 20:21
Repulse wrote: 14 May 2022, 15:38 The recent Russian catastrophe crossing a river is for me a prime example of what can happen when forces are grouped at the point of entry and why neutralisation of defences and air superiority is essential before you can even consider landing a significant force over the beach. This is one of the key FCFs role IMO.
This was a prolonged artillery strike adjusted by surveillance drones probably from 15km to 20km distant. How is the FCF going to neutralise that threat?

Large numbers of drones, TLAM or F35’s are what is required to deal with a threat such as long range massed artillery whilst the FCF needs to excel at kicking the door off of the hinges.

The future is drones, lots of them and this is why the UK’s next generation of Amphibious shipping must be able to launch, recover and sustain large numbers of medium and large drones or the entire fleet will be obsolete before it even commissions.

The UK needs to get a move on with this as Watchkeeper is a one trick pony and the Protectors are in all likelihood too expensive to be procured in the numbers that are really necessary for a protracted attritional conflict.
But this means RN cannot invest more on "LSDs" or large "LHDs with dock", because RN need to invest more on such drones. And, if one solution is something like Coyote family (suicide drones/slow missiles), you do not need a flat top.

For me, 6 Bay-like replacements as 6 MRSS looks more and more "better". Only need to add, "4 Merlin" or "2 Merlin with dozens of drones" hangar, and slightly enlarge the well-dock to handle two Caimen90 LCUs. The hull size can be even smaller = cheaper, to enable 6 ships to be procured to replace current "1+1 LPD and 3 LSD" fleet.

Bulk transfer shall be covered by Point-replacements. It can be even larger vessels.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 15 May 2022, 04:19 But this means RN cannot invest more on "LSDs" or large "LHDs with dock", because RN need to invest more on such drones. And, if one solution is something like Coyote family (suicide drones/slow missiles), you do not need a flat top.
Agree, in the two CVFs we have large flat decks that are capable of deploying significant numbers already OTH. A LHD which needs to be closer to shore to fulfil its other roles is just a big target, which when hit its game over, better to use distributed flight decks on smaller vessels. The flight deck on the B2 Rivers is significant for example.

You could argue that a third flat top is required to deploy OTH, and I would agree hence I’m pushing for a replacement for Argus. However, anything more is beyond the UK budget and other priorities to fill gaps should come first.
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 15 May 2022, 04:19 For me, 6 Bay-like replacements as 6 MRSS looks more and more "better". Only need to add, "4 Merlin" or "2 Merlin with dozens of drones" hangar, and slightly enlarge the well-dock to handle two Caimen90 LCUs. The hull size can be even smaller = cheaper, to enable 6 ships to be procured to replace current "1+1 LPD and 3 LSD" fleet.
It’s difficult, but I’d say my 12 LAWs, 2 LPDs, an ASS and 3 JSBLs is a better mix. The LAWs would go in first along with other Littoral warships deploying over a larger area neutralising A2AD capabilities and probing weaknesses. These would be supported OTH by the CVFs/ASS and JSBLs. Once a weakness is exposed a LPD could then sail in to land a larger force to exploit it.

Force structure would look something like:

- LRG(N): 4 LAWs, LPD + JSBL
- LRG(S): 4 LAWs, ASS + JSBL
- UK Surge Reserve: 4 LAWs, LPD + JSBL
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 15 May 2022, 04:19 Bulk transfer shall be covered by Point-replacements. It can be even larger vessels.
Completely agree, though we’d need to make sure that size doesn’t overly limit the ports etc that can be used. The ability to deploy and support an Army brigade is key to future UKs NATO and global aspirations.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Poiuytrewq »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 15 May 2022, 04:19 But this means RN cannot invest more on "LSDs" or large "LHDs with dock"
Not necessarily.

Very clearly an LPH or LHD is optimised for helicopters. Completely designing assault ships for exclusively operating helicopters is the past and the present but certainly not the future. IMO the future is drones, lots and lots of drones in all shapes and sizes.

-Large MALE drones will conduct ISTAR and ASW and deep strike
-Utility drones specialising in logistics will become the most heavily utilised ship to shore connector.
-medium drones will provide overwatch for individual units or larger formations
-suicide drones will remove pre determined targets perhaps in large quantities before Amphibious operations commence. A very cost effective but shorter range TLAM substitute.

To maintain a tactical advantage the UK will need to invest much further in drones of all shapes and sizes.

Other nations will invest in unmanned systems on the surface, sub surface and in the air especially if budgets haven’t been busted on F35’s, SSN’s SSBN’s and CVF’s. How long will it be before a nation decides to build an assault ship optimised for operating drones rather than solely helicopters?

What would such a vessel look like?

A Drone Strike/Support Vessel could be procured very inexpensively if the assault forces and large numbers of helicopters were not required. A commercial conversion would be a perfectly acceptable solution.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

A CVF could be very good drone strike ship, in fact I believe mixed manned aircraft/drone fleets are very much in the RN plans.

If the money existed and higher priorities then I’d be definitely arguing for some smaller LPH style carriers. I just do not understand the LHD obsession, unless the D stands from “Drone” rather than “Dock”. :D
”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 Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by SW1 »

Repulse wrote: 15 May 2022, 11:23 A CVF could be very good drone strike ship, in fact I believe mixed manned aircraft/drone fleets are very much in the RN plans.

If the money existed and higher priorities then I’d be definitely arguing for some smaller LPH style carriers. I just do not understand the LHD obsession, unless the D stands from “Drone” rather than “Dock”. :D
Drones will be operated from docks as well as flight decks. But we are where we are we built the carriers now we must live with them.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

SW1 wrote: 15 May 2022, 11:31Drones will be operated from docks as well as flight decks. But we are where we are we built the carriers now we must live with them.
Absolutely - I was reading the discussion point as regarding UAVs.

We already have two amazingly flexible and fairly young warships for deploying USV/UUV drones from docks ready to go already also called the Albion class. 😀
”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 Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by SW1 »

Repulse wrote: 15 May 2022, 12:31
SW1 wrote: 15 May 2022, 11:31Drones will be operated from docks as well as flight decks. But we are where we are we built the carriers now we must live with them.
Absolutely - I was reading the discussion point as regarding UAVs.

We already have two amazingly flexible and fairly young warships for deploying USV/UUV drones from docks ready to go already also called the Albion class. 😀
Problem is they can t aford them. Once the decision was taken to bring both carriers into service they were a busted flush.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Disagree - what they couldn’t afford is an amphibious force based around a brigade doing very much what the British Army was doing. Also, any talk of separate ARGs outside of a CBG is dead apart from lower end ops where ships can go relatively unescorted.

The two LPDs are paid for, and I’d argue the savings from mothballing one is probably in the order of £30mn a year. That money could be found by stopping all discussions on T32s and instead utilising the T31 and B2 River fleet to maximum effect. Babcock can be kept busy with exports and building RFAs/LAWs.

The other issue is crewing, which should be less if it’s not acting as a Brigade level HQ. By not building the T32 should mean there is more personnel available to ensure that both CVFs and both LPDs are active.
”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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