RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by Repulse »

Interesting that the 1SL yesterday in the commons started to raise the option of Argus remaining till 2026 (a 2yr extension).

Given the broader fleet composition the Aviation Support Ship requirement remains key and there are now only 4 ships in the fleet that can operation more than 2 helicopters in the fleet (2 CVFs, RFA Argus and RFA Fort Victoria).

Pairing Argus with a LSD for the LRG(S) seems to be the logical short term solution to me.

With the recent RoRo RFI then it seems the option of converting a few Points is dead. This really leaves only the MRSS as an option, but with it's potential MCM mothership role (also mentioned by the 1SL) then we could end up in a FSSS situation where the requirement does not match the budget.

My vote remains for a 3rd flat-top :D
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by Tempest414 »

Repulse wrote:Pairing Argus with a LSD for the LRG(S) seems to be the logical short term solution to me.
As I said 8 weeks ago as she is just out of refit now is the time to send her EoS as the lead ship of LRG south for the next 4 years along with 2 Merlin and 2 Wildcats .

Argus along with the Gulf based LSD and the 2 Indo-Pac B'2's would make a good first step for long term deployment EoS
Repulse wrote:My vote remains for a 3rd flat-top
at least we can agree on this if not what it should look like and do

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by Jensy »



(£) https://www.shephardmedia.com/news/nava ... abilities/


RFA Argus medical facilities will eventually be replaced by a capability hosted on the future Multi Role Support Ships (MRSS)


The UK MoD has confirmed it plans to extend the service of life its primary casualty receiving ship RFA Argus beyond 2030.

The MoD confirmed the decision in a letter from Defence Procurement Minister Jeremy Quin to the UK Parliament’s Defence Committee, dated 13 June and made public on 29 June.

RFA Argus, with its onboard Role Three medical capability, was scheduled for retirement in 2024. Plans were being explored to extend it until 2026.
Can only see this as a positive. I don't think anyone was expecting the MRSS to enter service much before 2030.

Also somewhat compensates for nothing having been done yet to fit a fixed hanger on the Bay Class LSDs.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by Repulse »

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Looking at the article, I was wandering how RFA is to man the planned assets.

RFA (and RN) is in shortage of crew, especially skilled engineers. RFA Argus will be active until 2030, which is good. But, in view of man-power, I think
  • her crew was kept by simply putting Wave Knight into extended readiness, I guess.
  • considering the situation around 2030, Argus will NOT be replaced by MRSS, but rather by FSSS.
Now RFA “mans”, 4 Tides, 1 Argus, 1 Fort Victoria, and 3 Bays. 2 Waves have no crew. When 3 FSSS come in, Tides and Bays will still be there. Then, how can RFA man the 3 FSSS?

I guess the plan will be to man 3 FSSS with the crew from Argus and Fort Victoria (This means the FSS crew must be ~2/3 of current For Victoria and Argus. Or, there can be only 2 FSSS "active" = third one not built, or always in extended-readiness/deep maintenance).

What is more, how can RN/RFA man the (up to) 6 MRSS? The crew must come from, HMS Albion (or Bulwark) and the 3 Bays. Simple assumption is that, 2 MRSS will have a crew of 150 RN sailers, and 4 (or 3) MRSS will individually manned with 80 (or 110) RFA crew. Not easy, but doable, I hope.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 03 Jul 2022, 14:18 Looking at the article, I was wandering how RFA is to man the planned assets.

RFA (and RN) is in shortage of crew, especially skilled engineers. RFA Argus will be active until 2030, which is good. But, in view of man-power, I think
  • her crew was kept by simply putting Wave Knight into extended readiness, I guess.
  • considering the situation around 2030, Argus will NOT be replaced by MRSS, but rather by FSSS.
Now RFA “mans”, 4 Tides, 1 Argus, 1 Fort Victoria, and 3 Bays. 2 Waves have no crew. When 3 FSSS come in, Tides and Bays will still be there. Then, how can RFA man the 3 FSSS?

I guess the plan will be to man 3 FSSS with the crew from Argus and Fort Victoria (This means the FSS crew must be ~2/3 of current For Victoria and Argus. Or, there can be only 2 FSSS "active" = third one not built, or always in extended-readiness/deep maintenance).

What is more, how can RN/RFA man the (up to) 6 MRSS? The crew must come from, HMS Albion (or Bulwark) and the 3 Bays. Simple assumption is that, 2 MRSS will have a crew of 150 RN sailers, and 4 (or 3) MRSS will individually manned with 80 (or 110) RFA crew. Not easy, but doable, I hope.
I believe in one of the articles I read (can't remember if it was Navy Lookout or UK Defence Journal) it mentioned that the 6 MRSS would replace Argus, Albion & Bulwark and 3 Bays.

I presumed that 3 FSS would replace Fort Victoria and both Waves. So we would end up eventually with 4 Tides, 3 FSS & 6 MRSS.

But unfortunately that is going to require additional crew to what we have now so the government will have to fund extra salaries and put more emphasis on both crew recruitment and retention. So far we have seen no evidence that they are planning to do so.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by Repulse »

The lack of RN and RFA crew and the resulting early retirement of vessels is fast becoming a scandal. What ever comes next, the RN cannot argue for more kit if it can’t use what it has.

Also, the RFA has to return to its roots, replenishment and logistics. For too long it’s been used to fill in inappropriately gaps - whilst mixed crews is possible the working conditions and risk expectations are completely different between the two, and can only be suboptimal and lead to issues onboard.

If 9 is the limit of the current RFA crewing capabilities it either needs increasing or the size of the fleet needs to be limited to 9.

If it is 9 then the priority has to be replenishment based on 6 Tankers (4 Tides + 2 Waves) and 3 Solid Support Ships.

One option is to expand the SSS requirements to also cover some of the original JSBL (Joint Sea Based Logistics) ship requirements allowing more flexibility to move between the CSGs and LRGs. The reality is that in anything major the two groups would be joined as a single group anyway.

This of course would be combined with a new contract to replace the Point capability, plus I suggest the T32 becoming a fleet of 3 LPMs (Littoral Platform Motherships) as discussed on the escorts [Edit] thread.
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by Tempest414 »

Repulse wrote: 03 Jul 2022, 17:04 The lack of RN and RFA crew and the resulting early retirement of vessels is fast becoming a scandal. What ever comes next, the RN cannot argue for more kit if it can’t use what it has.

Also, the RFA has to return to its roots, replenishment and logistics. For too long it’s been used to fill in inappropriately gaps - whilst mixed crews is possible the working conditions and risk expectations are completely different between the two, and can only be suboptimal and lead to issues onboard.

If 9 is the limit of the current RFA crewing capabilities it either needs increasing or the size of the fleet needs to be limited to 9.

If it is 9 then the priority has to be replenishment based on 6 Tankers (4 Tides + 2 Waves) and 3 Solid Support Ships.

One option is to expand the SSS requirements to also cover some of the original JSBL (Joint Sea Based Logistics) ship requirements allowing more flexibility to move between the CSGs and LRGs. The reality is that in anything major the two groups would be joined as a single group anyway.

This of course would be combined with a new contract to replace the Point capability, plus I suggest the T32 becoming a fleet of 3 LPMs (Littoral Platform Motherships) as discussed on the escorts [Edit] thread.
Maybe we should start a new scheme for the RFA to offer over seas nationals contracts that if they do say a full 26 years service they git UK citizenship
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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by navynewbie »

A quick question that I've not seen the answer for online...

How many helicopters can Argus carry in her hangars? Thanks.

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

navynewbie wrote: 23 Nov 2022, 22:30 A quick question that I've not seen the answer for online...

How many helicopters can Argus carry in her hangars? Thanks.
Hi navynewbie-san, welcome!

See
https://www.navylookout.com/the-oldest- ... rike-ship/
and you can find your answer in "Space" panel of figure 2. In caption, the article states

Argus could theoretically accommodate up to 9 Merlin-sized helicopters if required, although she does not have the weapon storage facilities of a true aircraft carrier or LPH.

From Tokyo...

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Re: RFA Argus (Casualty Receiving Ship / Aviation Training Ship) (RFA)

Post by navynewbie »

Thank you! I obviously missed that article!

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