NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
Ron5
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Ron5 »

SW1 wrote:
Ron5 wrote:
SW1 wrote:What ships or ship systems do the RN have to deploy recover such systems. Even some of the mcmv unmanned vessels are now coming in 15m length.
The T26 mission bay springs to mind. The capability that folks on here are dying to scrap :roll:
There too big for the type 26 mission bay
The MSUB thingie is 9m and 9 tonnes. That'll easily fit in a T26 mission bay.

donald_of_tokyo
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Repulse wrote:donald_of_tokyo, larger LSDs (and other amphibious ships) definitely have a role, and as Lord Jim points out, where there is a specific choke point like the Gulf this would seem more appropriate than individual ships. Equally would be operating them from a port - this flexibility will be important.

However, it feels like we will be heading towards a fleet of small (5-6) fleet of larger ships to effectively replace 15 MCMs and 2 Survey ships. People will also say that there could be 10 T31s/T32s also - however all these platforms will have day jobs, and physically ships cannot do multiple roles if they need to be in different places to do them. Hence, I would focus the T31 on being a real escort, and make sure you have enough “T32” mothership platforms (10+) to complement them - to get the numbers you have to remove the word frigate.
Thanks. Again, I understand your point. I'm just proposing another idea. My point is, RN may not need "10+" platforms for MCM.

Among the 12 MCMVs, 4 MCMVs are deployed in the Gulf. In rotation, I understand 8 (at least 6) MCMVs are assigned there. So, there will be another 4 (6 at most) remaining. I understand some of the remaining MCMVs are assigned for coastal tasks, most of which can be replaced by land-based MCM-USV operations.

As such, "single MCMV tasks" will require only 2 or 4 vessels. If two, River class OPVs can cover most of them. If four, may be RN need 2 or 3 PSV-like MCMVs (or 2-3 more OPVs). Anyway I do not think "10 MHC vessel" is needed.

Note, I am not talking about Survey Ships replacement yet. They shall be replaced independently. And, the "PSV-like MCMV" can have the same hull. This vessel cannot be common with OPVs. Fishery, EEZ patrol, BOT patrol requires 25+ knots speed, which is never required on these tasks. As speed is expensive, it will be a very bad way of spending money.

On this discussion, I do not base my idea on "five T32 to come". If with the same money, for example, I prefer
- "3 more T31", 1 more "smaller- LSD" added, and 2 PSV-like MCMVs + 2 more PSV-like Survey Ships.
OR
- "3 more T31", 2 more "smaller- LSD" added, 2 more PSV-like Survey Ships.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Repulse »

Thanks donald_of_tokyo, I understand where you are coming from, and in a lot of ways I think we are aligned.

I would say a couple more SD Northern River type vessels to complement SD Victoria, HMS Protector and HMS Scott (replacement) as large USV/UUV motherships would be a good approach. Basing one in the Gulf again would as you say cover the 4 MCMs, though the requirement to keep the IIRC away remains, and a Sloop or two could fill it IMO.

In terms of command and control; whilst on the T26/T31 I’d expect them to be “built-in”, the RN has already shown it’s “POD” direction in this area - so effectively any RN ship could be a mothership (though let’s not get carried away and say that ships can always have multiple roles at the same time and be in multiple places).

More broadly though, we need a large number of available hulls capable to operate the new off board systems coming on line. My biggest objection is that we could end up with 10 T31s/T32s and 5 OPVs to replace what is currently a fleet of over 30 ships.

Also, I’m less worried about speed as I think 25kts of a B2 River is a good balance - ships will be needed to get to places quickly even if when operating speeds will be much lower.

Perhaps a good balanced alternative to the current 5 T31 + 5 T32 + 5 B2 OPV could be:

- 6 (full fat) T31s assigned to the CBG allowing better use of the T26 mission bay capability
- 8 B2 Rivers (inc new build of 3 to replace the B1s)
- 2 PSV motherships
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Tempest414
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Tempest414 »

Repulse wrote:Perhaps a good balanced alternative to the current 5 T31 + 5 T32 + 5 B2 OPV could be:

- 6 (full fat) T31s assigned to the CBG allowing better use of the T26 mission bay capability
- 8 B2 Rivers (inc new build of 3 to replace the B1s)
- 2 PSV motherships
The problem is T-26 is a born and breed ASW platform and T-31 is solid GP platform with little ASW built in we can't just bolt a tail on and send it off to the CSG

if we take the cost of T-32 as 2 billion then for me we would better off going

8 x T-31's ( 3 more ) cost 350 million each = 1 billion
8 x B2's ( 3 more ) cost 100 million each = 300 million
4 x 140 meter Tarlac class LPD's ( built in South Korea) cost 80 million each = 320 million

allowing for 4 x T-31 , 4 x B2's and 2 x UUV/ USV LPD,s each side of Suez

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Repulse »

Tempest414 wrote:The problem is T-26 is a born and breed ASW platform and T-31 is solid GP platform with little ASW built in we can't just bolt a tail on and send it off to the CSG
Disagree on the point. Whilst, you cannot change the hull form to be super quiet, this isn’t required for primarily ASW defence of a relatively noisy carrier group with RFA escorts. In terms of sensors the Danish are already looking at this for their Absalons: https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... -asw-role/

Also, let’s be clear in wartime the T26s would support the CBGs anyway.

I think assuming a £2bn T32 budget is a fair one. Approx. I feel my proposed force would be around £1.5bn (2 PSVs, £100mn, 3 B2s, £400mn, T32, £400mn, ASW T32 upgrade £600mn) - more money for systems :P
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Repulse wrote:More broadly though, we need a large number of available hulls capable to operate the new off board systems coming on line. My biggest objection is that we could end up with 10 T31s/T32s and 5 OPVs to replace what is currently a fleet of over 30 ships.
Not sure why such number is needed?

By the way, what is 30 ships? I understand it is 12 MCMV, 5 T23 GP, 8 OPV, and 3 Survey ships? = 28 ships? But, anyway there is 5 T31 and 5 River B2s, already existing/ordered.

So we are here talking about, 12 MCMV, 3 OPV, and 3 Survey ships = 18 ships.

My proposal (as already noted) is to replace them with
- 3 more T31
- 1 more LSD and 2 PSV-type drone-handling ship (or 2 more LSDs)
- 2 PSV-type survey ship
- 3 OPVs (could be as simple-and-cheap as Irish OPV)
- in addition to 10-12 sets of remote MCM kits.
which is 10 (or 11) largish ships, and 10-12 sets of MCM kits.
Also, I’m less worried about speed as I think 25kts of a B2 River is a good balance - ships will be needed to get to places quickly even if when operating speeds will be much lower.
I disagree here. There are many reasons why most of the support vessels are designed with 14-15 knots top speed. 20knot is already high, and 25knots is very high = needing big resources to achieve. I think it does not worth its cost.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Jake1992 »

I keep seeing in the descutions up thread about the T32 either replacing the mcm’s or to scrap them in favour of other options, people seem to be forgetting the T32s are meant to be seen as an increase the escort fleet to 24.
This can’t be done if they are scrapped or if they are small MHCPs style vessels. That’s does not mean they have to standard “escorts” though, they could be a flexible design to allow them to add to a pool of vessels that can be used to operate the off board systems in different environments.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Repulse »

donald_of_tokyo wrote:By the way, what is 30 ships?
- 15 MCMs (okay we are 13, but that is because we are winding down and rotations are being reduced)
- 8 OPVs
- 5 GP T23 frigates
- 2 Echo class

Admittedly I said over 30 - but the point is clear we are halving the number of hulls.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:There are many reasons why most of the support vessels are designed with 14-15 knots top speed. 20knot is already high, and 25knots is very high = needing big resources to achieve. I think it does not worth its cost.
Depends on what we are talking about. If it’s PSVs I agree, if it’s in relation to another batch of 3 B2 Rivers I don’t. There is cost savings to keep the same equipment in all the hulls, both for training and maintenance.
Jake1992 wrote: I keep seeing in the descutions up thread about the T32 either replacing the mcm’s or to scrap them in favour of other options, people seem to be forgetting the T32s are meant to be seen as an increase the escort fleet to 24.

If we get 24, plus the OPVs/PSVs and the ASW kit on the T31s I’m fine - if not then we will end up with a very slim navy of 24 ships…

Sorry, we are way off topic now
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Thanks, Repulse-san.

I think I found some important difference in attitude between you and me.

Related to all Navy-X programs, I understand these unmanned vehicles are coming as replacements for current capabilities, not "in addition to".

Modern autonomous MCM kit is even capable than legacy MCMV. So, at least partially, a kit including a few 12m long USVs (operating several remote-controled MCM UUVs (SeaFox etc)) is replacing a 50-60m long MCMVs (also operating several remote-controled MCM UUVs).

Of course, NOT ALL. But, "a LSD + 4 MCMVs" in the Gulf can be replaced with "a LSD + 3-4 autonomous MCM kits". Coastal/near-harbar MCM operations by "an MCMV" can be replaced with "an autonomous MCM kit" operated from land. And therefore, not many remains. This is what I am talking about.

This is not off topic. All assets to be introduced in the Navy-X program are the same. This is a modern equivalent of the history that the Aircraft Carriers (with aircraft) has replaced the Battleship.


Related to Jake1992-san's comment...

The big problem is, if the T32 program is "in addition to" the current RN capability or just re-use of the resource of MCMV replacement (the vessel part). T32 program emerged in coincidence with declaring that the MCMV fleet will be replaced with autonomous MCM kits, not new-generation MCMVs. As "the resource of MCMV replacement" is not large (because significant fraction of it will be spent on autonomous MCM kits), this is a big question no one knows the answer (any info there?)

Anyway, my point here is autonomous kits are not for free. It requires significant money and non-negligible number of man power (= in this case, the maintenance and operation crew). Thus, RN needs resources when introducing them.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Repulse »

Thanks donald_of_tokyo, I agree it seems we have a different view. I see UUVs/USVs as primarily replacing systems rather than ships. Sure, when there is a need for a concentration of multiple (MCM) USVs in a single location the number of ships can be reduced, but given the maturity of the technology, it’s size / endurance and vulnerability, it will in most cases require a mothership that in a lot of cases will require a reasonable degree of weapons and sensors. The good news is that these ships can have multiple roles.

From the 30 ships I listed, it’s really the MCM fleet that can be reduced. I would not however say it can be reduced to zero, it would take 2-3 PSVs (for the Gulf, UK and LRG(s)), plus a sufficient number of platforms reasonably globally spread / mobile. Given the spread and build & operating costs the OPV fleet this would make the most appropriate primary platform IMO. Of course the T26 and T31 classes can operate also, but there will be more than just MCM USVs to accommodate.
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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Tempest414 »

We are back to what dose the RN need from a mother ship the ship will need to support and protect operations of unmanned MCM , ASW & UAV therefore it will need a good search radar , good CMS and a fair weapons fit. We also need to look at how far will the unmanned kit work from the mother ship as this will effect what weapons are needed to protect the AMCMV's as they go about there work. If we take the Gulf at this time we have 4 x MCMV and a Bay and between them 4 x M Cube CMS , 5 x Nav radars , 6 x 30mm , 8 x miniguns and 18 x GPMG now this force will be harassed but is unlikely to be attacked due to having sailors on board this however has been proven not to be the case with unmanned kit with the shooting down of a US Navy Triton. So if a fleet of AMCMV's are working up to 20 km's from the mother ship the mother ship will need a 3d radar , CMS , CAMM ,and a Wildcet helicopter or the other side can gain a mission kill that we will be hard pressed to do anything about

So maybe the RN are right that it will be a job for escort

So for me PSV's should be contractor based and not RN

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Tempest414 wrote:So maybe the RN are right that it will be a job for escort
Not convinced. If so, all the 12 MCMV, and 3 Survey ships will be replaced by only 5 escorts, and 10-12 MCM kits. (not sure how the survey capability be replaced). Escort is very expensive, and autonomous MCM kits are also so-so expensive. As such, no money might be left.

If "unmanned" is really a big issue, you can easily man them by assigning a few RM soldiers onboard. Note that those USVs are designed to avoid mine, at least as much as current MCMVs does. (no plan to waste them by detonating a mine in the mine field).

If escort is needed, just fly a SeaGuadian from land, and Wildcats, autonomous boat MADFOX (with mini missile) and/or BAE autonomous RHIBs from the mother LSD.

If with higher threat, just send a T31. Comparing escort-level armed autonomous MCM mother ship vs a PSV located afar escorted by a T31, the total cost will be almost the same, I guess.
So for me PSV's should be contractor based and not RN
I agree that is one solution for operating PSV-like ships.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Tempest414 »

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Not convinced. If so, all the 12 MCMV, and 3 Survey ships will be replaced by only 5 escorts, and 10-12 MCM kits. (not sure how the survey capability be replaced). Escort is very expensive, and autonomous MCM kits are also so-so expensive. As such, no money might be left.
Maybe the whole MHPC thing has gone out the window with MCM now done from USV's and the Patrol part done by the B2's maybe we will see the Echos replaced ship for ship but also capable of MCM in part meaning unmanned MCM , Survey and ASW could be done from the Type 26/31/32 or the Echo's and B2's plus the Bays

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Tempest414 »

donald_of_tokyo wrote:If "unmanned" is really a big issue, you can easily man them by assigning a few RM soldiers onboard. Note that those USVs are designed to avoid mine, at least as much as current MCMVs does. (no plan to waste them by detonating a mine in the mine field).
Kinda defeats the object of keep troops out of the mine field using unmanned system if you are only going to put them back to stop them being attacked

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by Lord Jim »

The more autonomous you make an unmanned platform the more expensive it gets. We do not want to end up with complex unmanned MCVs, we really need vessels that are controlled and co-ordinated by a "Mothership" as of now and in the near future. The vessels we are working on at the moment are probably as big as we need for Mine Countermeasure missions, enabling a single "Mothership", to create a large web of sensors to located and deliver destructive payloads to mines.

That "Mothership" can be an ISO container on land, an LSD in safe areas and possibly a T-26 in hostile areas. We do not need the T-32 to be a "Mothership" though the new multi-mission platform for the LSGs should have the option to be so in my opinion.

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Re: NavyX - the Royal Navy’s new Autonomy and Lethality Accelerator

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Repulse wrote:rapidly develop, test and trial cutting-edge equipment, with the aim of getting new technology off the drawing board and into the hands of our people on operations at a pace that has not been possible before. It will operate across all maritime environments - over water, on water, underwater and the littoral.
This
https://newatlas.com/aircraft/vertiia-a ... 3-90656513
would seem to fit the brief - despite not being autonomous nor lethal.
- wonder what kind of radar (plus a skinny operator) would fit into the 500 kg?
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