River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Caribbean »

Repulse wrote: 14 Dec 2021, 11:07 this is the domain of OPVs/Sloops, Survey Ships, small RM platforms and RFAs - not frigates.
Classically, this is exactly what frigates did. Patrol, convoy escort, presence, engagement, surveillance and all aspects of maritime policing, with sloops being the coastal equivalents. Fast, nimble and lightly armed.

I guess it's all part of the general growth in platform size, but I think we need to adjust our thinking slightly - modern "OPVs" are becoming the light frigates of yesteryear and they should be equipped for, and utilised in, the same roles. Cheap (relatively) and plentiful should be the mantra.

Actual OPV functions should be fulfilled by civilian-standard hulls equipped for law enforcement, SAR and environmental purposes (light deck gun, low-end "military" radar and comms, plus ability to launch boarding parties, firefighting, environmental protection, etc.). The B1 Rivers are a good example, but they could be even simpler and cheaper
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

Caribbean wrote: 14 Dec 2021, 11:45 Classically, this is exactly what frigates did. Patrol, convoy escort, presence, engagement, surveillance and all aspects of maritime policing, with sloops being the coastal equivalents. Fast, nimble and lightly armed.

I guess it's all part of the general growth in platform size, but I think we need to adjust our thinking slightly - modern "OPVs" are becoming the light frigates of yesteryear and they should be equipped for, and utilised in, the same roles. Cheap (relatively) and plentiful should be the mantra.
Completely agree, the modern OPV built to similar standards as the B2 Rivers is probably the equivalent of the lower rate frigates of yester-year. If you look at the B2s, the speed (25kts), sea handling and maneuverability make them very capable ships. 2D or entry level 3D radar , basic hull mine avoidance sonar and a modest 57mm gun is sufficient, nothing more. Without subsidies, the unit cost of these and equivalent ships should be sub £100mn.
Caribbean wrote: 14 Dec 2021, 11:45 Actual OPV functions should be fulfilled by civilian-standard hulls equipped for law enforcement, SAR and environmental purposes (light deck gun, low-end "military" radar and comms, plus ability to launch boarding parties). The B1 Rivers are a good example, but they could be even simpler and cheaper
Again agree, but I would look at the TCO - multiple classes cost money, for the sake of 2-3 additional RN "OPV+"s for UK waters, I would say it's not worth it; especially when coupled with simple MCSLVs with secondary "OPV" roles.
”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)

Post by Lord Jim »

The T-26 would be classed as a Destroyer in most other navies, with similarities to the now retired Spruance class of the USN back in the day. For comparisons to the T-31 I look towards the T-21, though these did have an ASW capability of sorts.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Tempest414 »

This talk of the B2's be the same as GP frigates of the past may not be that far fetched the B2's have 28 improvements over the Amazonas class of Brazil which where built to more OPV standard like the B1's and if the B2's had a 57mm , 2 x 30mm and Phalanx it would not be that far off a type 21

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Caribbean wrote: 14 Dec 2021, 11:45 Classically, this is exactly what frigates did. Patrol, convoy escort, presence, engagement, surveillance and all aspects of maritime policing, with sloops being the coastal equivalents. Fast, nimble and lightly armed.

I guess it's all part of the general growth in platform size, but I think we need to adjust our thinking slightly - modern "OPVs" are becoming the light frigates of yesteryear and they should be equipped for, and utilised in, the same roles. Cheap (relatively) and plentiful should be the mantra.
Repulse wrote: 14 Dec 2021, 12:05Completely agree, the modern OPV built to similar standards as the B2 Rivers is probably the equivalent of the lower rate frigates of yester-year. If you look at the B2s, the speed (25kts), sea handling and maneuverability make them very capable ships. 2D or entry level 3D radar , basic hull mine avoidance sonar and a modest 57mm gun is sufficient, nothing more. Without subsidies, the unit cost of these and equivalent ships should be sub £100mn.
Caribbean wrote: 14 Dec 2021, 11:45 Actual OPV functions should be fulfilled by civilian-standard hulls equipped for law enforcement, SAR and environmental purposes (light deck gun, low-end "military" radar and comms, plus ability to launch boarding parties). The B1 Rivers are a good example, but they could be even simpler and cheaper
Repulse wrote: 14 Dec 2021, 12:05Again agree, but I would look at the TCO - multiple classes cost money, for the sake of 2-3 additional RN "OPV+"s for UK waters, I would say it's not worth it; especially when coupled with simple MCSLVs with secondary "OPV" roles.
Tempest414 wrote: 14 Dec 2021, 19:07 This talk of the B2's be the same as GP frigates of the past may not be that far fetched the B2's have 28 improvements over the Amazonas class of Brazil which where built to more OPV standard like the B1's and if the B2's had a 57mm , 2 x 30mm and Phalanx it would not be that far off a type 21
Looking around these interesting discussions, I understand, two independent topics are discussed here:

1: OPVs are doing the task light frigates were doing in 1970-1990s.

2: Whether RN OPVs shall be cheap or shall be with at least River B2 hull standard and with at least a 57mm gun.

Item-1 is fact. Actually, it is a world trend. OPVs are replacing light frigates and/or corvettes (Dutch Holland-class, Spanish BAM class, Portuguese Viana do Castelo-class ...) and many of the fast missile boats worldwide. Trend for "less armed, good sea keeping" vessels. (and I think River B1s are one of the triggers of this trend).

Item-2 is a good point to debate. It shall not be mixed with Item-1. (continue)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

2: Whether RN OPVs shall be cheap or shall be with at least River B2 hull standard and with at least a 57mm gun.
If the tasks is law enforcement and HADR, merchant-ship standard hull (*1) and "a 30 mm gun + 4-6 small armes" armament is good enough.

But, when someone think it is to fight against Iranian fast-boats or Hoiti-rebels suicide-drones or even SSMs, better armaments like, 57mm/40mm 3P guns and/or Phalanx CIWS comes into my mind. (If it carries CAMM or RAM, it is already a light frigate and here comes "T31 as of now". Not an OPV).

In this case, what kind of hull standard be needed?

Looking at T31 RFI, I thought RN was thinking a Frigate Standard hull is needed and hence T31 was required. If true, "using River B2 to counter fast boat swarms" will not be a good idea. This is my main question, and the reason why I am not so strongly pushing for "up-armed River B2".

#Even so, River B2 in the gulf can have good "place to live", because there are many types of ships (mostly merchant vessels) steaming in the Gulf and variety of tasks will be there. In short, if a MCMV can do some types of patrol, surely River B2 can.

Another idea of arming OPVs with "a 57mm gun" will be for deplomatic reasons, "show the flag". That is one idea, very different from the above one.


Ref *1: On hull standard.

If we look around the web, we can find merchant-ship like hull based OPVs like Damen OPVs (see https://www.damen.com/catalogue/defence ... curity/opv) and Vard-7 series. The Malta-navy OPV (Babcock lost its bid, and directly causing the closure of Appledore) looks the same.

Another class "looks" like a more a corvette like hull, like River B2, Holland, and BAM

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Tempest414 »

For me it is interesting that the RN have gone to quite some length to make the B2's warships over a standard OPV and we see this in 28 changes made to the standard BAE 90 OPV ( Amazonas Class ). Now given the role they have been given that of over seas patrol and some way from home they should be given a base line air defence weapon and the best all round weapon is the 57mm.

Now as talked about if power could be got to the waist points it is possible that the B2's could carry 2 x Phalanx this along with the 57mm would be highest level we should look to take the B2's and should only be fitted when operating in areas like the Gulf and SCS.

Now this being said if we were to take the two B2's in the Indo-Pacific when and if they were asked to enter the SCS and if they were fitted with a 57mm each plus mounts for 2 x Phalanx we could fit one with 2 x Phalanx and the other with 2 x SeaRam this would not make ether ship a frigate but combined they would have a light frigate armament sensor package of

2 x Air /Sea search 2D Radars
4 x fire control radars
6 x EO sensors
2 x 57mm
2 x 20mm Phalanx
2 x SeaRam ( 22 ready missiles plus more carried for rearming if wanted )
8 x 12.7mm HMG's
90 crew plus 52 RM

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 01:45 But, when someone think it is to fight against Iranian fast-boats or Hoiti-rebels suicide-drones or even SSMs, better armaments like, 57mm/40mm 3P guns and/or Phalanx CIWS comes into my mind. (If it carries CAMM or RAM, it is already a light frigate and here comes "T31 as of now". Not an OPV).

In this case, what kind of hull standard be needed?

Looking at T31 RFI, I thought RN was thinking a Frigate Standard hull is needed and hence T31 was required. If true, "using River B2 to counter fast boat swarms" will not be a good idea. This is my main question, and the reason why I am not so strongly pushing for "up-armed River B2".

#Even so, River B2 in the gulf can have good "place to live", because there are many types of ships (mostly merchant vessels) steaming in the Gulf and variety of tasks will be there. In short, if a MCMV can do some types of patrol, surely River B2 can.

Another idea of arming OPVs with "a 57mm gun" will be for deplomatic reasons, "show the flag". That is one idea, very different from the above one.
I understand where you are coming from @Donaldsan, but I would argue that "fight" is a broad term. I see it as a spectrum of Defensive vs Offensive and Scale (what you are fighting).

My view is that going on the offensive with terrorists or criminal gangs at sea is something that should be in a forward based OPV requirements. Equally, I would expect an OPV to be able to defend itself, and commercial vessels, against such threats that these groups could realistically deploy.

However, I would not expect a forward based OPV to go on the offensive IRGCN or any other government organization - this would be a declaration of war, and this is where the CSG/SSN big stick comes in. What I would expect is for a forward based OPV to be able to operate in non-war conditions in international waters / shipping lanes, and if required defend itself from an attack from the likes of IRGCN enough to withdraw to a safe distance.

The question is what required to provide these offensive and defensive capabilities...

I'd argue that the current B2 (2D Radar + 30mm + miniguns) and embarked RMs are sufficient for "terrorists or criminal gangs" - though additional ship based / hand held UAVs and anti-UAV weapons would be wise additions.

What is needed / appropriate to defend itself against a IRGCN or other paramilitary attack is more difficult. I would say a 57mm (or similar) is appropriate as it will allow the OPV to keep any attacking force further at bay. The addition of LMMs either on 30mm mounts or on containerized UAVs would also give the OPV the ability to withdraw at range. Obviously, a Wildcat would be the ultimate as it could not only head off a suspicions of an attack, but also help defend any nearby civilian shipping also being attacked. Having said that the speed and maneuverability, plus the damage control of the OPV design is also key.

For me a CAMM launcher is not needed in these "peace-time" use cases. If someone is firing a missile at you, they are declaring war - being in an isolated OPV or T31 isn't going to make much difference, in fact they will try harder to sink a frigate. IMO, if you are going to war, go with a fleet and hit them so hard that they don't want to get back up again (hence the need for more RN lethality).
”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)

Post by Scimitar54 »

OPVs would be more likely to be able to operate safely, in any area of the world, provided that we had sufficient “Big Stick” assets either visibly within reach, or an actual or even possible covert presence in those areas (SSN). It must however be a credible possibility, too few of these assets reduce the credibility of possible presence! :mrgreen:

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Repulse wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 11:38
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 01:45 But, when someone think it is to fight against Iranian fast-boats or Hoiti-rebels suicide-drones or even SSMs, better armaments like, 57mm/40mm 3P guns and/or Phalanx CIWS comes into my mind. (If it carries CAMM or RAM, it is already a light frigate and here comes "T31 as of now". Not an OPV).

In this case, what kind of hull standard be needed?

Looking at T31 RFI, I thought RN was thinking a Frigate Standard hull is needed and hence T31 was required. If true, "using River B2 to counter fast boat swarms" will not be a good idea. This is my main question, and the reason why I am not so strongly pushing for "up-armed River B2".

#Even so, River B2 in the gulf can have good "place to live", because there are many types of ships (mostly merchant vessels) steaming in the Gulf and variety of tasks will be there. In short, if a MCMV can do some types of patrol, surely River B2 can.

Another idea of arming OPVs with "a 57mm gun" will be for deplomatic reasons, "show the flag". That is one idea, very different from the above one.
I understand where you are coming from @Donaldsan, but I would argue that "fight" is a broad term. I see it as a spectrum of Defensive vs Offensive and Scale (what you are fighting).

My view is that going on the offensive with terrorists or criminal gangs at sea is something that should be in a forward based OPV requirements. Equally, I would expect an OPV to be able to defend itself, and commercial vessels, against such threats that these groups could realistically deploy.

However, I would not expect a forward based OPV to go on the offensive IRGCN or any other government organization - this would be a declaration of war, and this is where the CSG/SSN big stick comes in. What I would expect is for a forward based OPV to be able to operate in non-war conditions in international waters / shipping lanes, and if required defend itself from an attack from the likes of IRGCN enough to withdraw to a safe distance.

The question is what required to provide these offensive and defensive capabilities...

I'd argue that the current B2 (2D Radar + 30mm + miniguns) and embarked RMs are sufficient for "terrorists or criminal gangs" - though additional ship based / hand held UAVs and anti-UAV weapons would be wise additions.

What is needed / appropriate to defend itself against a IRGCN or other paramilitary attack is more difficult. I would say a 57mm (or similar) is appropriate as it will allow the OPV to keep any attacking force further at bay. The addition of LMMs either on 30mm mounts or on containerized UAVs would also give the OPV the ability to withdraw at range. Obviously, a Wildcat would be the ultimate as it could not only head off a suspicions of an attack, but also help defend any nearby civilian shipping also being attacked. Having said that the speed and maneuverability, plus the damage control of the OPV design is also key.

For me a CAMM launcher is not needed in these "peace-time" use cases. If someone is firing a missile at you, they are declaring war - being in an isolated OPV or T31 isn't going to make much difference, in fact they will try harder to sink a frigate. IMO, if you are going to war, go with a fleet and hit them so hard that they don't want to get back up again (hence the need for more RN lethality).
What would be the cost of adding the following three upgrades to be usable (i.e including power supply / deck rinforcements etc) on existing River B2's:
-Upgrade main 30mm gun to say 57mm
-Add secondary guns e.g. 2*30mm or 2*Phalanx CIWS
-Adding LMM launcher (either on 30mm mount or in POD)

These upgrades would significantly help them in missions EoS. The only thing would lack from what I wanted from any potential B3 upgrade would be enclosed helicopter / UAV hangar.

If we could even do just the above two upgrades just on HMS Spey and HMS Tamar then I would be far more relaxed in their ability to operate in Indo-Pacific. They still lack proper AAW/ASW capability to defend themselves against proper military escorts but they would be far more capable of dending themselves against pirates or Iranian fanatics etc and yjus be able to carry out their patrolling, policing and support operations in a wider variety of locations.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

Scimitar54 wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 19:23 OPVs would be more likely to be able to operate safely, in any area of the world, provided that we had sufficient “Big Stick” assets either visibly within reach, or an actual or even possible covert presence in those areas (SSN). It must however be a credible possibility, too few of these assets reduce the credibility of possible presence!
Completely agree - regular global CSG training deployments and high availability of units is key. It's better to have 18 Frigates operation ready to fight at short notice than more with lower readiness and crew shortages, and it's encouraging that the RN is moving in this way IMO.

Also, I would like to see the SSN threat more realistic again with six SSNs and publicised concerns on availability, the threat of there may be a SSN lurking nearby feels very hollow. The only way this will happen is to ensure that funds are focused properly on what is important, rather than what politically sounds good.
”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)

Post by Repulse »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 22:32 What would be the cost of adding the following three upgrades to be usable (i.e including power supply / deck rinforcements etc) on existing River B2's:
-Upgrade main 30mm gun to say 57mm
-Add secondary guns e.g. 2*30mm or 2*Phalanx CIWS
-Adding LMM launcher (either on 30mm mount or in POD)

These upgrades would significantly help them in missions EoS. The only thing would lack from what I wanted from any potential B3 upgrade would be enclosed helicopter / UAV hangar.
Not sure if you've seen it, but this is a good article on the options: https://www.navylookout.com/enhancing-t ... h-ii-opvs/

What you are talking about is a "OPV Max" minus the telescopic hangar - this is where my thoughts are for anything east of Crete.

In terms of costs, it's not clear, there was supposed to be a study into options but it got dropped. Probably, because it started to blur with the low end T31 requirements.
wargame_insomniac wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 22:32 They still lack proper AAW/ASW capability to defend themselves against proper military escorts but they would be far more capable of dending themselves against pirates or Iranian fanatics etc and yjus be able to carry out their patrolling, policing and support operations in a wider variety of locations.
I really think we should put this to bed. If the RN is stupid enough to use a OPV (or a single frigate to that matter) to poke China, Russia, Iran or whoever to the point where a AAW/ASW attack could happen then they are criminally mad. If China, Russia, Iran etc want to start a war by surprise, they could target an OPV but the strategic value would be very low and you'd hope intelligence would be good enough to sense something is going on to allow the OPV to withdraw before it happens. As discussed above, a T31 has a higher strategic value and whilst more capable of defending itself would still probably be easily sunk with a concerted attack.
”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)

Post by Tempest414 »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 22:32
Repulse wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 11:38
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 01:45 But, when someone think it is to fight against Iranian fast-boats or Hoiti-rebels suicide-drones or even SSMs, better armaments like, 57mm/40mm 3P guns and/or Phalanx CIWS comes into my mind. (If it carries CAMM or RAM, it is already a light frigate and here comes "T31 as of now". Not an OPV).

In this case, what kind of hull standard be needed?

Looking at T31 RFI, I thought RN was thinking a Frigate Standard hull is needed and hence T31 was required. If true, "using River B2 to counter fast boat swarms" will not be a good idea. This is my main question, and the reason why I am not so strongly pushing for "up-armed River B2".

#Even so, River B2 in the gulf can have good "place to live", because there are many types of ships (mostly merchant vessels) steaming in the Gulf and variety of tasks will be there. In short, if a MCMV can do some types of patrol, surely River B2 can.

Another idea of arming OPVs with "a 57mm gun" will be for deplomatic reasons, "show the flag". That is one idea, very different from the above one.
I understand where you are coming from @Donaldsan, but I would argue that "fight" is a broad term. I see it as a spectrum of Defensive vs Offensive and Scale (what you are fighting).

My view is that going on the offensive with terrorists or criminal gangs at sea is something that should be in a forward based OPV requirements. Equally, I would expect an OPV to be able to defend itself, and commercial vessels, against such threats that these groups could realistically deploy.

However, I would not expect a forward based OPV to go on the offensive IRGCN or any other government organization - this would be a declaration of war, and this is where the CSG/SSN big stick comes in. What I would expect is for a forward based OPV to be able to operate in non-war conditions in international waters / shipping lanes, and if required defend itself from an attack from the likes of IRGCN enough to withdraw to a safe distance.

The question is what required to provide these offensive and defensive capabilities...

I'd argue that the current B2 (2D Radar + 30mm + miniguns) and embarked RMs are sufficient for "terrorists or criminal gangs" - though additional ship based / hand held UAVs and anti-UAV weapons would be wise additions.

What is needed / appropriate to defend itself against a IRGCN or other paramilitary attack is more difficult. I would say a 57mm (or similar) is appropriate as it will allow the OPV to keep any attacking force further at bay. The addition of LMMs either on 30mm mounts or on containerized UAVs would also give the OPV the ability to withdraw at range. Obviously, a Wildcat would be the ultimate as it could not only head off a suspicions of an attack, but also help defend any nearby civilian shipping also being attacked. Having said that the speed and maneuverability, plus the damage control of the OPV design is also key.

For me a CAMM launcher is not needed in these "peace-time" use cases. If someone is firing a missile at you, they are declaring war - being in an isolated OPV or T31 isn't going to make much difference, in fact they will try harder to sink a frigate. IMO, if you are going to war, go with a fleet and hit them so hard that they don't want to get back up again (hence the need for more RN lethality).
What would be the cost of adding the following three upgrades to be usable (i.e including power supply / deck rinforcements etc) on existing River B2's:
-Upgrade main 30mm gun to say 57mm
-Add secondary guns e.g. 2*30mm or 2*Phalanx CIWS
-Adding LMM launcher (either on 30mm mount or in POD)


These upgrades would significantly help them in missions EoS. The only thing would lack from what I wanted from any potential B3 upgrade would be enclosed helicopter / UAV hangar.

If we could even do just the above two upgrades just on HMS Spey and HMS Tamar then I would be far more relaxed in their ability to operate in Indo-Pacific. They still lack proper AAW/ASW capability to defend themselves against proper military escorts but they would be far more capable of dending themselves against pirates or Iranian fanatics etc and yjus be able to carry out their patrolling, policing and support operations in a wider variety of locations.
We know the the B2's have a magazine under the front gun mount and that front gun mount can take a 57mm and the 57mm is part of BAE as is the CMS on the B2's. As said the we also know the waist points on the B2's have the space and can take the weight of a Phalanx I feel it is likely that there is already power there also if we had a 40 or 57mm there would be no need for LMM as both guns would out range and hit harder then LMM as for cost 57mm is about 5 million pounds and the Phalanx would come from the pool the RN already have

As said if we take the 2 B2's in the Indo-Pac fitted them with 57mm's and add the Phalanx mounts they could combine to bring the power of a light frigate as said with

2 x 2D radars
4 x fire control radars ( on the Phalanx )
6 x EO sensors ( one on each ship plus those on the Phalanx )
2 x 57mm guns
2 x Phalanx 20mm
2 x Sea Ram ( 22 ready Ram missiles )
8 x 12.7 mm
4 x UAV's ( 2 fitted with I-master radar 2 fitted with weapons ) allowing for 1 radar and 1 weapon bird to up at anytime
100 crew and 52 RM

meaning when the two ship working together they are about the same as a type 31

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 22:32 What would be the cost of adding the following three upgrades to be usable (i.e including power supply / deck rinforcements etc) on existing River B2's:
-Upgrade main 30mm gun to say 57mm
-Add secondary guns e.g. 2*30mm or 2*Phalanx CIWS
-Adding LMM launcher (either on 30mm mount or in POD)

These upgrades would significantly help them in missions EoS. The only thing would lack from what I wanted from any potential B3 upgrade would be enclosed helicopter / UAV hangar.

If we could even do just the above two upgrades just on HMS Spey and HMS Tamar then I would be far more relaxed in their ability to operate in Indo-Pacific. They still lack proper AAW/ASW capability to defend themselves against proper military escorts but they would be far more capable of defending themselves against pirates or Iranian fanatics etc and yjus be able to carry out their patrolling, policing and support operations in a wider variety of locations.
Thanks. Two comments come in my mind.

1: Currently, with a group of RM team, River B2 is carrying a 20ft container and the 3rd boat.

-Upgrade main 30mm gun to say 57mm
-Add secondary guns e.g. 2*30mm or 2*Phalanx CIWS
-Adding LMM launcher (either on 30mm mount or in POD)

This is doable I agree. However, anything on both side of the waist will fill the space now used for container and boat. "2*30mm" could be mounted on the bridge wing, "2*Phalanx CIWS" must be on the waist.

Also, "2*Phalanx CIWS" will be very man-power intensive (you can see many photos when numbers of crews are maintaining Phalanx).

So, at least an option adding two Phalanx will eliminate the "RM team" carried. If so, it might be better to remove the 15t-crane, and mount a single 40mm 3P gun or a Phalanx CIWS in place. This will leave the two waists to carry 2 PODS or more guns or LMMs.


2: "defending themselves against pirates or Iranian fanatics etc and yjus be able to carry out their patrolling, policing and support operations in a wider variety of locations."

I think "pirates" vs "Iranian fanatics" shall not be mixed. They are as different as "Algentina" vs "Russia". UK sends a River B2 to Falkland island, but an Astute SSN or T45 against Russia.

"Pirates" could be easily handled by Vard-7 like, River B1 like simple OPVs, but "Iranian fanatics" will require a T31 or even T26/45.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Tempest414 wrote: 16 Dec 2021, 12:34 ...
As said if we take the 2 B2's in the Indo-Pac fitted them with 57mm's and add the Phalanx mounts they could combine to bring the power of a light frigate as said with

2 x 2D radars
4 x fire control radars ( on the Phalanx )
6 x EO sensors ( one on each ship plus those on the Phalanx )
2 x 57mm guns
2 x Phalanx 20mm
2 x Sea Ram ( 22 ready Ram missiles )
8 x 12.7 mm
4 x UAV's ( 2 fitted with I-master radar 2 fitted with weapons ) allowing for 1 radar and 1 weapon bird to up at anytime
100 crew and 52 RM

meaning when the two ship working together they are about the same as a type 31
Two comments;

1: Yes, River B2 up-armed as such will provide as many fighting power as a T31, but their damage control will be significantly lower. River B2's hull is NEVER told to reach the Frigate standard, while T31 was touted as such. (If River B2 is in frigate standard, I'm sure BAE shall advocate it).

Are we really sending an OPV-standard hull vessel to fight against Iranian fast boat swarms, which has high possibility of getting hit (although by smaller warheads)?

2: A minor comment, but I think SeaRAM has too much overlap with CAMM. Actually, Canadian navy selected CAMM in place of RAM, as a missile CIWS.

CAMM's beauty is on its small and (hopefully) cheap darts but still able to provide "local-area air defense" = can cover AAW tasks of other vessels in the vicinity, thanks to its active seeker and 2-way datalink. Virtually sitting in between ESSM and RAM. I think CAMM has overlap with RAM as much as CAMM has overlap with ESSM, partly covering both, but NOT totally covering either.

#But I agree this can see counter arguments.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Tempest414 »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 16 Dec 2021, 13:14
Tempest414 wrote: 16 Dec 2021, 12:34 ...
As said if we take the 2 B2's in the Indo-Pac fitted them with 57mm's and add the Phalanx mounts they could combine to bring the power of a light frigate as said with

2 x 2D radars
4 x fire control radars ( on the Phalanx )
6 x EO sensors ( one on each ship plus those on the Phalanx )
2 x 57mm guns
2 x Phalanx 20mm
2 x Sea Ram ( 22 ready Ram missiles )
8 x 12.7 mm
4 x UAV's ( 2 fitted with I-master radar 2 fitted with weapons ) allowing for 1 radar and 1 weapon bird to up at anytime
100 crew and 52 RM

meaning when the two ship working together they are about the same as a type 31
Two comments;

1: Yes, River B2 up-armed as such will provide as many fighting power as a T31, but their damage control will be significantly lower. River B2's hull is NEVER told to reach the Frigate standard, while T31 was touted as such. (If River B2 is in frigate standard, I'm sure BAE shall advocate it).

Are we really sending an OPV-standard hull vessel to fight against Iranian fast boat swarms, which has high possibility of getting hit (although by smaller warheads)?

2: A minor comment, but I think SeaRAM has too much overlap with CAMM. Actually, Canadian navy selected CAMM in place of RAM, as a missile CIWS.

CAMM's beauty is on its small and (hopefully) cheap darts but still able to provide "local-area air defense" = can cover AAW tasks of other vessels in the vicinity, thanks to its active seeker and 2-way datalink. Virtually sitting in between ESSM and RAM. I think CAMM has overlap with RAM as much as CAMM has overlap with ESSM, partly covering both, but NOT totally covering either.

#But I agree this can see counter arguments.
I would not be looking at anytime to use the two B2's combined as a frigate or to poke China but by having them fitted as above would giving them the weapons / sensor fit of a light frigate and would offer more defence against rouge attack and should only be fitted when needed

As for the CAMM v RAM the only reason for using RAM would be its ability to operate it from a Phalanx mount without the need to replace the ships radar to 3D and add the data links meaning a missile system could be fitted and removed as needed

For me the best thing about the B2's is flexibility and the ability to roll into port and pick up two ORC or containers or even Phalanx and don't think for one moment that we should remove the Crane

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 16 Dec 2021, 13:04 "Iranian fanatics" will require a T31 or even T26/45.
To do what? I wouldn't try blowing IRGCN fanatics out the water unless I had some serious firepower on standby. If we are referring the frequent skirmishes, I'd say a River B2 kitted out as discussed with onboard RMs and fast boats plus a couple of Oman (Musandam) based Wildcats is ok. If it's getting hot then call in the heavy calvary.
”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)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Repulse wrote: 16 Dec 2021, 09:56
wargame_insomniac wrote: 15 Dec 2021, 22:32 What would be the cost of adding the following three upgrades to be usable (i.e including power supply / deck rinforcements etc) on existing River B2's:
-Upgrade main 30mm gun to say 57mm
-Add secondary guns e.g. 2*30mm or 2*Phalanx CIWS
-Adding LMM launcher (either on 30mm mount or in POD)

These upgrades would significantly help them in missions EoS. The only thing would lack from what I wanted from any potential B3 upgrade would be enclosed helicopter / UAV hangar.
Not sure if you've seen it, but this is a good article on the options: https://www.navylookout.com/enhancing-t ... h-ii-opvs/

What you are talking about is a "OPV Max" minus the telescopic hangar - this is where my thoughts are for anything east of Crete.

In terms of costs, it's not clear, there was supposed to be a study into options but it got dropped. Probably, because it started to blur with the low end T31 requirements.
Thanks for the article. It was helpful showing the options, if not the costs involved. I imiagine that we pretty much all feel that the "Corvette" option for upgrading River B2's would be way too expensive, so would rule that option straight out.

The "OPV Max" is totally what I want if we can squeeze in 2-3 new build River B3's (if have spare capacity at either HW Appledore, or at Babcock if a gap between finishing T31 and starting T32), also assuming that we get them cheaper than the B2's under the 2009 TOBA.

As for upgrading the River B2's, the choice between the two options "OPV Plus" or "OPV Max" would depend both on overall cost of each upgrade and the time it would take to refit them accordingly. One of the big draws of the B2's is their very high level of availiability. It maybe that we could not afford either the cost or time to refit all five of them - so maybe just the two most modern, Spey and Tamar, which are deployed EoS and thus most likely to need these upgrades.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Repulse wrote: 16 Dec 2021, 19:53To do what? I wouldn't try blowing IRGCN fanatics out the water unless I had some serious firepower on standby. If we are referring the frequent skirmishes, I'd say a River B2 kitted out as discussed with onboard RMs and fast boats plus a couple of Oman (Musandam) based Wildcats is ok. If it's getting hot then call in the heavy calvary.
Uhm, interesting point.

You propose to use OPV-standard hull (with less damage control) against fast-boat-swam harassment (happened a few years ago; "skirmishes" as you name). One idea, worth considering I agree...

At least, looking at T31 RFI, RN thinks they needed Frigate standard hulls to do the same task.

A heavily armed River B2, how many crews be onboard? 35 core crew is for steaming and boat handling. With a 57mm gun, two Phalanx and a few UAVs, you need to increase the CIC size and capability. Then, the crew size will be 60-70, at least?

In other words, "two heavily armed River B2" will require similar crew size as a T31. Then, why RN will send a "less damage control-level hulls" (up-armed River B2s) in the theater rather than a T31? Merit of high sea-going days of the OPVs won't remain so high, as these vessels carries many weapons.

In short, why not T31?

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Tempest414 »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 00:30
Repulse wrote: 16 Dec 2021, 19:53To do what? I wouldn't try blowing IRGCN fanatics out the water unless I had some serious firepower on standby. If we are referring the frequent skirmishes, I'd say a River B2 kitted out as discussed with onboard RMs and fast boats plus a couple of Oman (Musandam) based Wildcats is ok. If it's getting hot then call in the heavy calvary.
Uhm, interesting point.

You propose to use OPV-standard hull (with less damage control) against fast-boat-swam harassment (happened a few years ago; "skirmishes" as you name). One idea, worth considering I agree...

At least, looking at T31 RFI, RN thinks they needed Frigate standard hulls to do the same task.

A heavily armed River B2, how many crews be onboard? 35 core crew is for steaming and boat handling. With a 57mm gun, two Phalanx and a few UAVs, you need to increase the CIC size and capability. Then, the crew size will be 60-70, at least?

In other words, "two heavily armed River B2" will require similar crew size as a T31. Then, why RN will send a "less damage control-level hulls" (up-armed River B2s) in the theater rather than a T31? Merit of high sea-going days of the OPVs won't remain so high, as these vessels carries many weapons.

In short, why not T31?
As said the B2's have 28 upgrades to the hulls over the BAE 90 OPV that went to Brazil including improved water tightness and fire control

I don't think replacing the 30mm for a 57mm will need any extra crew and feel the 2 Phalanx would need say 6 extra and the UAV's 5 extra meaning a crew of 50 to 55. I also don't think it would affect the sea going days that bad

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 00:30 In short, why not T31?
Because it is better used in a different way. Sure in a world of endless resources, why not a T31, in fact why not a fast Cruiser Squadron? Fact is that by filling in gaps in frigate numbers with cheap vessels and then forward basing them just undermines the things that will be used in a real conflict.

I think we all need to stop and think about it; the IGRCN has started an aggressive conflict firing missiles at warships to block the Straights - how long are we expecting the T31 to hang around, and what exactly are we expecting it do? I suggest that the T31 will be beating a hasty retreat until reinforcements, as would any pimped River. Now if said T31 was properly kitted and available to sail at short notice as part of a task group, and said task group was able to remain on station for a period of time as there were enough Escorts to support it until tensions went back to normal, that would actually bring real value.

What would you prefer, a slightly larger but slightly less forward based fragile flag pole, or the ability to wield real power projection to resolve and prevent conflict?
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 00:30 A heavily armed River B2, how many crews be onboard? 35 core crew is for steaming and boat handling. With a 57mm gun, two Phalanx and a few UAVs, you need to increase the CIC size and capability. Then, the crew size will be 60-70, at least?
Whilst it's nice to dream, forget Phalanx. A 57mm gun plus 30mm (with LMM) mounts port / starboard (similar to the current Amazonas-class corvettes) is a modest increase which would require a modest increase in crew. It will be far less (probably 50%) of the @100 required for a T31.
”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)

Post by Tempest414 »

Repulse wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 08:54
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 00:30 In short, why not T31?
Because it is better used in a different way. Sure in a world of endless resources, why not a T31, in fact why not a fast Cruiser Squadron? Fact is that by filling in gaps in frigate numbers with cheap vessels and then forward basing them just undermines the things that will be used in a real conflict.

I think we all need to stop and think about it; the IGRCN has started an aggressive conflict firing missiles at warships to block the Straights - how long are we expecting the T31 to hang around, and what exactly are we expecting it do? I suggest that the T31 will be beating a hasty retreat until reinforcements, as would any pimped River. Now if said T31 was properly kitted and available to sail at short notice as part of a task group, and said task group was able to remain on station for a period of time as there were enough Escorts to support it until tensions went back to normal, that would actually bring real value.

What would you prefer, a slightly larger but slightly less forward based fragile flag pole, or the ability to wield real power projection to resolve and prevent conflict?
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 00:30 A heavily armed River B2, how many crews be onboard? 35 core crew is for steaming and boat handling. With a 57mm gun, two Phalanx and a few UAVs, you need to increase the CIC size and capability. Then, the crew size will be 60-70, at least?
Whilst it's nice to dream, forget Phalanx. A 57mm gun plus 30mm (with LMM) mounts port / starboard (similar to the current Amazonas-class corvettes) is a modest increase which would require a modest increase in crew. It will be far less (probably 50%) of the @100 required for a T31.
Got to be careful here if we start to class the Amazonas class as corvettes then we need to do the same for the much improved B2's L also feel we are more likely to get a pair of phalanx's strapped on than a 57mm

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

Tempest414 wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 09:54 Got to be careful here if we start to class the Amazonas class as corvettes then we need to do the same for the much improved B2's L also feel we are more likely to get a pair of phalanx's strapped on than a 57mm
Fair point on the classification, but the majority of the press I read refers to them as Corvettes. Can't find a definitive answer from the Brazilian Navy website though.

I personally can't see the logic for a pair of phalanx's on an OPV, as you've pointed out they will take up a lot of useful space and given the location you are suggesting would be exposed when navigating adverse weather conditions. You could put one where the crane is, but again the ability to launch multiple boats / drones is a key feature that would be lost or significantly downgraded.

For me the 57mm offers more flexibility at the same cost, without taking away capabilities - it will soon be in RN service so maintenance and support will be spread over multiple platforms.
”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)

Post by Tempest414 »

Repulse wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 11:09
Tempest414 wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 09:54 Got to be careful here if we start to class the Amazonas class as corvettes then we need to do the same for the much improved B2's L also feel we are more likely to get a pair of phalanx's strapped on than a 57mm
Fair point on the classification, but the majority of the press I read refers to them as Corvettes. Can't find a definitive answer from the Brazilian Navy website though.

I personally can't see the logic for a pair of phalanx's on an OPV, as you've pointed out they will take up a lot of useful space and given the location you are suggesting would be exposed when navigating adverse weather conditions. You could put one where the crane is, but again the ability to launch multiple boats / drones is a key feature that would be lost or significantly downgraded.

For me the 57mm offers more flexibility at the same cost, without taking away capabilities - it will soon be in RN service so maintenance and support will be spread over multiple platforms.
I would totally agree that a 57mm should be the first stop there is limited use for fitting the a pair of Phalanx on a OPV unless you intend to send it into a known threat i.e the SCS or the Gulf. We already have a pool of Phalanx's and reason for putting them where I have is because they can dropped on and plugged in and be removed when finished the other reason is they would give good arcs of fire . However you put one on the flight deck right at the end of crane housing and still have room on the waist's for a ORC and a UAV

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Repulse wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 08:54
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 17 Dec 2021, 00:30 In short, why not T31?
Because it is better used in a different way. Sure in a world of endless resources, why not a T31, in fact why not a fast Cruiser Squadron?
Thanks. You think (with upgrade) T31 can be a real frigate and I think (current) T31 is best suited for the Gulf task (never asking for several cruiser to be there). That is our difference in attitude, resulting in different conclusion, I guess?
I think we all need to stop and think about it; the IGRCN has started an aggressive conflict firing missiles at warships to block the Straights - how long are we expecting the T31 to hang around, and what exactly are we expecting it do?
My view is as follows;
- T31 will survive the 1st attack, while River B2 may sink. This is my point.
- The reinforcements will come within a hour = air force attack. None of the Iranian assets will survive the intensive air-raids.
- Why not rely solely on air force from the beginning? Air force lacks endurance, and enduring presence needs warship.
In this point of view, T31 with frigate standard damage control, with tailored armaments against close-in anti-surface weaponaries looks ideal for me.

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