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River Class (OPV) (RN)

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RichardIC
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby RichardIC » 04 Jan 2020, 11:27

Repulse wrote:I’d argue that each would require a higher level of self defence capability along the lines being discussed (though personally I’d say adding a 57mm plus a port & starboard 30mm with LMM, would be a good mix).

However the rest would be off board systems such as a couple of ASV P950 Autonomous Ribs, additional davits for two larger craft (like a CB90) plus vertical UAV capability (like Camcopter). For a fairly modest investment this would give a significant uplift to make the B2s adequately strong platforms for the roles being discussed.


Plus radar upgrade to replace the current 2d set plus at least one EO tracker for the extra 30mm and possibly a targeting radar for the 57. Plus ESM, ECM and soft kill. This is all going to add to the crew size at a time of crew shortages. You’re going to need to find space for a larger ops room with more consoles. You’re going to need extra magazine spaces. You’re adding to the power requirements. You’re going to need extra ballistic protection. All of this is adding weight which will impact on the ship’s trim and negatively impact on performance. Then other stuff I’ve not thought about.

It’s all doable if you make it a priority. But please don’t pretend it will be modest either in capital or operational terms.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 04 Jan 2020, 12:17

RichardIC, yes but it’s a modest investment when compared to building new classes of ship. We can revisit the history behind the B2s and what could have been, but at the end of the day the direction looks to be to keep them and the B1 Rivers. If the RN has them then they should use them, if they don’t want them or can’t use them then sell them, but it shouldn’t expect magically new money to be available. Like getting both LPDs back into service, I want to see the RN maximise what they have - only then can they argue for more.
”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: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 04 Jan 2020, 12:44

For me the middle ground could be fitting a 40 MK4 up front with associated sensors to make best use of the 3P rounds and then fit 2 stabilized GAU-19 on the wast points this could give the ship a high rate of fire power out to about 2000 meter and keep off the grass reach of 10,000 meters

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Repulse » 04 Jan 2020, 12:52

Tempest414, to be honest the only criteria I have is to be able to provide suitable protection for the role and environment the ship is operating in. A 57mm gives greater range against surface and air targets, but if it’s operating in confined / crowded sea spaces then you could argue the advantage is minimal over a 40mm.

The real focus should be though it needs to do a useful role (e.g. one of the three I suggested); otherwise no point it being there (and therefore does not need any new self defence weapons).
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby jedibeeftrix » 04 Jan 2020, 14:00

Tempest414 wrote:For me the middle ground could be fitting a 40 MK4 up front with associated sensors to make best use of the 3P rounds and then fit 2 stabilized GAU-19 on the wast points this could give the ship a high rate of fire power out to about 2000 meter and keep off the grass reach of 10,000 meters

This was my thought a few months back, as it seemed to be the cheapest way to provide basic swarm/uav/atgm protection in a platform that is already much better equipped to operate outside a benign zone. The 40 Mk4 having commonality with T31 being the icing on the cake - particularly as they might well be operating together.

This might make a convoy role very possible when acting in concert with a T23GP / T31. FFG up front, B2+ trailing.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 04 Jan 2020, 15:47

Repulse wrote:... If the RN has them then they should use them, if they don’t want them or can’t use them then sell them, but it shouldn’t expect magically new money to be available. Like getting both LPDs back into service, I want to see the RN maximise what they have - only then can they argue for more.
Generally agree.

But here, I think low availability of escorts is the top issue.
- Because of LIFEX delay, 5-6 T23 are in long refit.
- Because of lack of manpower, (even with ~5 T23 not manned as in refit) still 1 T45 is in extended readiness.
- Because of operation budget shortage, (even with only 12 escorts being manned) the active escort's sea going days are only ~110 days ave. per year, compared to ~140 days ave. in 2010s.

#By the way, average sea going days for all the "19 escorts" is as low as ~70 days.

In other words, by improving operational basis, the 12 active escorts can stay at sea ~30% more, and by relaxing the manpower, at least 1 more escort can be active.

I think T31, which is new and much lightly armed = needs less maintenance compared to T23GP, can enjoy much longer sea going days than T23GP, i.e. 160-170 days will be easily achievable. In other words, if 5 T31 come in on 2024-2028, it can effectively provide 7.5--10 T23GP equivalent availability = +2.5--5 hulls more.

This will enable 3 River B1s to retire (anyway they will be ~25 years old by then). Then, 3 of the 5 River B2s can succeed them = re-rolled as EEZ patrol/Fishery protection/part of FRE tasks (Russian ship escort). Crews of the 3 River B1s can join the T31 fleet. For example, forming "6th" crew-team to rotate on "ship-swapping" the 5 T31s, which will enable further increase of sea-going days of the fleet.

As such, I think any up-arming to River B2, shall better be "temporal" and "cheap", the reason I propose adding 1 CIWS aft and adding LMM on the 30mm gun.

But, many options are there, I agree.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 04 Jan 2020, 19:04

RichardIC wrote:radar upgrade to replace the current 2d set

Actually, I can't see any reason to replace the Scanter 4100, unless you are proposing to bolt on a couple of dozen Sea Ceptor as well. It might be a "2D" radar, but it is intended for use in tracking both surface and airborne targets up to 35000'. One of it's primary functions is as a helicopter tracking and control radar. I suspect that it can derive approximate altitudes (though perhaps only at shorter ranges/ lower altitudes) by comparing the different signals returned by the high and low beams (it generates two beams and uses two receivers, using a single parabolic antenna). Or maybe it uses simple trigonometry to calculate approximate altitudes. While not an air-defence radar, it does have some capabilities in that domain. Probably sufficient if operating under cover of a T23's radar and Sea Ceptor.
Tempest414 wrote:For me the middle ground could be fitting a 40 MK4 up front with associated sensors to make best use of the 3P rounds and then fit 2 stabilized GAU-19 on the wast points this could give the ship a high rate of fire power out to about 2000 meter and keep off the grass reach of 10,000 meters

I would agree. Even adding a couple of crew-operated 50 cal to the existing 30mm would significantly improve their defense against small boat swarms. The minehunters were felt to be adequately protected by the addition of a single 50 cal (covering the stern) in addition to the existing miniguns and GPMGs. The USMC conducted tests and decided that a standard 50 cal could stop a Boghammer-type boat in about one-third the time of a GPMG (IIRC around 20 seconds vs. 60 seconds - I can't find the article ATM to confirm those times, though, so please "treat with caution"). Presumably the GAU-19 would be even quicker.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 05 Jan 2020, 10:39

For me even once the B1's have gone the 5 B2's will be tasked as needed they will carry out home waters tasks but will also be sent on deployments else where and this is why I feel they should be fitted with 1 x 40mm , 2 x stabilized GAU-19's , 2 x manual 12.7 HMG's giving them a good basic anti-air and swam protection

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 07 Jan 2020, 21:49

HMS Forth has arrived at her destination.

Looks like she entered Mare harbor, not Port Stanley? (I might be wrong, though).
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Aethulwulf » 08 Jan 2020, 15:52

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Do anyone know to where HMS Medway, 2nd-hull of Batch-2 River OPV, will be forward deployed?

- Caribbean option: where will be the home port? Bermuda?
- Persian Gulf option: at Bahrain?
- Singapore option: at the RN jetty?
Confirmed that HMS Medway is off to the Caribbean.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2020/january/08/200108-disaster-relief-mounts-bay

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby dmereifield » 08 Jan 2020, 20:00

Very interesting, according to the piece (as I read it) she will be permanently based there....

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 08 Jan 2020, 21:54

Also inferring from the article, they may be starting out using the Dutch naval facilities in Curacao, though Guyana (not a million miles from Curacao) was talked about as a possibility last year
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 08 Jan 2020, 22:33

By the way, HMS severn looks like recommissioning as a dedicated Navigation Training ship, if I read it correctly.


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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby ArmChairCivvy » 09 Jan 2020, 02:53

Caribbean wrote:starting out using the Dutch naval facilities in Curacao, though Guyana (not a million miles from Curacao) was talked about as a possibility last year

One of the Rivers (Batch 1.5 ;) ) had maintenance done to it several times in Simonstown, without that making her based out of there
- which Guyana, though? One of them hosts the joint Franco-Dutch jungle warfare school (we already run two, so from that point of view irrelevant... but shows "form")
- The French one does have a naval base... not huge, but need not be, either

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Caribbean » 09 Jan 2020, 08:16

ArmChairCivvy wrote:which Guyana, though

I was thinking the former British Guyana

We also seem to co-operate more with the Dutch in the region than the French for HADR (HNLMS Pelikaan often takes over from the Bays during HADR missions, to allow the Bays to re-stock and change DR teams etc.) and with the US for counter-smuggling. I think location relative to storm paths is probably a significant factor in the choice. The ABC islands also seem to get fewer direct hits from hurricanes than the islands further North and are quite central, so not a bad place to have a base (also the thinking behind Guyana, I presume. The Coast Guard base in Georgetown looks pretty basic at the moment, but could be improved, no doubt).

In average terms. the Leewards, the northern Windwards, the Bahamas and the central islands (PR, DR, Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica) get the most powerful storms, though Bermuda (well to the north of the Caribbean) seems to get one or two hits a year these days (fortunately at lower intensities) - it's pretty well prepared for them, however, compared to the less well-off islands. It would seem best to site your base in the Southern Windwards, the ABCs, T & T or the northern coast of South America (still get hit, but less frequently and usually, but not always, at lower intensity) The French base is right in the middle of the typical hurricane path - good geographically, but not weather-wise. Other potential sites could be Belize, I suppose and Road Town, BVI (decent port, but right in the storm path).

Of course, right in the middle there's ... ahem.... Guantanamo :twisted:
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Scimitar54 » 09 Jan 2020, 09:06

Is that another “Bay” Class? :mrgreen:

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby abc123 » 09 Jan 2020, 17:46

With the HMS Severn reactivated, what about the other two ships?
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Gabriele » 12 Jan 2020, 14:59

The other two are already back in action. Severn is the last one to be re-activated.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 20 Jan 2020, 12:08

HMS Medway deploys with two 20ft ISO container. (from Navylookout (Photo: Andy Amor) and HMS Medway twitter)

Showing high versatility of River B2 (not saying it is a big cargo capability, though. Its just small/modest, but good enough as her size and speed). Interesting that the location of ISO container differs between starboard and port waist. Also it is clear, by scaling the 6m-long container, River B2 shall be able to carry two 9.5m long boats (such as Offshore Raiding Craft or Munson LCVP type 30-8 *1) in addition to the two RHIBs.

[EDIT] I'm wondering that she might be able to even carry a 11.5 m-long ARCIMS USVs, two of them, may be? With the enlargeable crew size (volumy main-crew accommodation), as well as the guest accommodation for 50 troops, carrying USV control system and its maintenance man-power and kits shall be doable. She might be able to "contribute" (but never replace) the Hunt-class MCMV replacement, providing the "lighter" part of the MCM operations, such as identifying relatively exposed mines (although just a guess).

*1 see: https://www.munsonboats.com/military_2.php

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 20 Jan 2020, 15:26

Very impressive movie.

1: Beautiful sea.
2: Very low wave generated by the River B2 OPV. Great. Must be very fuel efficient.
3: Wildcat's "wake" (ripples on the water) very beautiful.
4: I can see there is a "cover" above the stern "rope holding deck", slightly lower level than the flight deck. Is it a panel or just a cloth-cover? Interesting. (Looks like a panel, for me. Can it withstand Wildcat's gear? Or, even Merlin gear?)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby SKB » 20 Jan 2020, 19:01




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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 21 Jan 2020, 00:17

Rank of the Commanding Officer (CO) of River B2 OPVs are
- HMS Forth : Commander
- HMS Medway : Commander
- HMS Trent : Lieutenant Commander

I understand originally (or normally) the River OPVs CO's rank is/was Lieutenant Commander. Is this situation "special" as they are "the first ships" to forward deploy (but, HMS Clyde did it already on FI), or shall this new trend continue? Interesting.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby RichardIC » 21 Jan 2020, 07:43

Image

Well at least a helicopter has now actually landed on a River. Up until now the pad has been nothing but a winching spot.

But from the overhead pic, despite having an onboard crane, when it comes to getting a pretty standard container onboard they’ve felt the need to hire in a crane and do the lifting from shoreside.

At least with Medway deploying so rapidly after leaving the builder it seems the quality control issues suffered by Forth have been addressed.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Postby Tempest414 » 21 Jan 2020, 12:16

great pic's above of the containers fitted shame she is not carrying a UAV to help give eyes on over the Horizon for anti drug or recon op's


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