River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

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.
Brazilian navy calls it "Navios-Patrulha Oceânico" = Ocean Patrol Vessel. (But, I do also see in some web page it was called "patrol corvette". Not good...)
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.
Although I agree here, it will all depend on the FCS and ammo carried.
- 3P rounds will be there by deault, but it needs good FCS, especially against anti-air warfare. If will be very efficient against (slow) UAVs, and against simple SSMs (Exocet/Harpoon etc), but may see some difficulty against sea-skimming agile ASMs (like NSM).
- For anti-surface, 3P rounds are also used but ALaMO is the big enabler in this gun. Is RN going to buy it? The ammo is NOT cheap, but cheaper than many of other guided rounds = practical for use.

So, having a 57 gun will be good. But, with what level of FCS, and with what kind of ammo is essential.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Lord Jim »

Crewing a B2 is going to be a choice billet form now on, with the ships operating where they are. Also a good advert for recruitment, bringing back the idea of joining the RN and seeing the world on a more regular basis. I would like to see a T-23 in a similar paint scheme though or a T-45 when one comes out of over haul. It would make RN ships very distinctive compared to other navies.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Good article on RN asset deployed oversea at this X'mas.

ALL 5 River B2 are in action. Great effect thanks to the great effort of the crew.

https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-l ... s-presence

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Dahedd »

Ever think we're doing it wrong. This Russian corvette must by about B2 size. Its armed to the teeth for Baltic ops.


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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

But do the RN need to be buying ships suitable to fight in the Baltic?

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Scimitar54 »

Not when they don’t have sufficient of the Destroyers & Frigates (and SSNs) that they really do need. :mrgreen:

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Dahedd wrote: 27 Dec 2021, 23:34 Ever think we're doing it wrong. This Russian corvette must by about B2 size. Its armed to the teeth for Baltic ops.

1: This Corvette cannot do better in Caribean nor Falkland Island. Much much worse. River B2 has twice better sea going days and much less crew. In other words, to patrol the region against low threat level, River B2 is far better suited than this Corvette.

2: In war fighting capability, this Corvette has too small hull compared to T31 frigates (T31 is a large, sea capable vessel with a Corvette-level armaments = definition of GP frigate).

3: Of course, this Corvette is doing their jobs better than either River B2 or T31.

These three points are all consistent.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

@Donald-san, completely agree it’s all down to requirements, but given that the current top three areas of potential conflict are the Black Sea/Eastern Med, South China Sea and Gulf (closely followed by the Baltics), having platforms optimised for forward based fighting in these regions shouldn’t be so easily dismissed by the RN who wants to play and win in them all.

Personally, I would opt for more forward based war fighting Sloops / Corvettes (backed by the CSGs/SSNs) rather than a pure fleet of largely unarmed global frigates.
”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 »

I agree with Donald here the B2's are built for a different job. This being said the job they are tasked with ( global patrol ships ) should see them armed with a 57mm as a base line.

If this was the case then as said before they could be quickly fitted with 2 x SeaRam and 4 x NSM allowing them to go toe to toe with these corvettes

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by SW1 »

But but “Rear Admiral Burton and Dr Kaushal both agreed that “the foremost threat is clearly the pacing threat posed by Russia.”

According to the defence committee report people get excited about cause it wants more ships. Soooo how are they countering this Russian threat in the Baltic or elsewhere.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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SW1 wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 10:29 But but “Rear Admiral Burton and Dr Kaushal both agreed that “the foremost threat is clearly the pacing threat posed by Russia.”

According to the defence committee report people get excited about cause it wants more ships. Soooo how are they countering this Russian threat in the Baltic or elsewhere.
The simple answer is we need more of every thing to counter Russia however as said before NATO Europe as it stands has what it needs just

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by SW1 »

Tempest414 wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 11:17
SW1 wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 10:29 But but “Rear Admiral Burton and Dr Kaushal both agreed that “the foremost threat is clearly the pacing threat posed by Russia.”

According to the defence committee report people get excited about cause it wants more ships. Soooo how are they countering this Russian threat in the Baltic or elsewhere.
The simple answer is we need more of every thing to counter Russia however as said before NATO Europe as it stands has what it needs just
Well then that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, if we have enough to counter Russia and it is the “pacing threat” then we don’t need any more and certainly not double.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Repulse wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 09:24 @Donald-san, completely agree it’s all down to requirements, but given that the current top three areas of potential conflict are the Black Sea/Eastern Med, South China Sea and Gulf (closely followed by the Baltics), having platforms optimised for forward based fighting in these regions shouldn’t be so easily dismissed by the RN who wants to play and win in them all.

Personally, I would opt for more forward based war fighting Sloops / Corvettes (backed by the CSGs/SSNs) rather than a pure fleet of largely unarmed global frigates.
Thanks. My assessment is as follows:

Black Sea : Russia having Corvette there is understandable. But, why RN? Severe air threat, a fleet of SSKs, land-based SSM. All means, if RN want to send something, it shall be T26 and/or T45? Also, UK do not have good port in Black sea, so, short-legged ship might be in-efficient?

Eastern Med : SSK threat not severe, air threat not severe, sea is relatively calm. Might be a good place for Corvette, but T31 will do nice.

South China Sea : Located far away from UK, and severe SSK threat there. Not a good place for a Corvette nor T31?

(Persian) Gulf : Corvette and T31, both can do good job.

Baltic : Severe air threat in shallow water. Corvette as one of the integrated combined arms might be ok. T31 lacking SSM and ASW is not good here. But, does RN really need to provide Corvette there? Local navies shall.

In short, I think Eastern Med and (Persian) Gulf will be the only two placed where Corvette is good. And, in both cases, T31 can do the same, I guess? Yes, it is better to have NSM or alike. But, that's it?

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

Thanks @Donald-san. You are of course correct that a T31 can do the same if you build it to the same specification as a T26. The point is that money is finite, and therefore where do you compromise, its either size/endurance, systems or numbers.

Where I think Corvettes/Sloops will have the edge is in shallow littoral waters and also the fact that they are by nature smaller targets and can be more numerous.

Corvettes like all ships can be tailored to their requirements, but for example for the Black Sea I think operating alongside XLUUVs, and being replenished at allied (Romanian/ Ukrainian) ports allows them for operate for the required duration. One point though is that I would add Ballistic / Cruise Missile capability as being able to target hostile ground threats is one of the key reasons to be there.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 14:27
Repulse wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 09:24 @Donald-san, completely agree it’s all down to requirements, but given that the current top three areas of potential conflict are the Black Sea/Eastern Med, South China Sea and Gulf (closely followed by the Baltics), having platforms optimised for forward based fighting in these regions shouldn’t be so easily dismissed by the RN who wants to play and win in them all.

Personally, I would opt for more forward based war fighting Sloops / Corvettes (backed by the CSGs/SSNs) rather than a pure fleet of largely unarmed global frigates.
Thanks. My assessment is as follows:

Black Sea : Russia having Corvette there is understandable. But, why RN? Severe air threat, a fleet of SSKs, land-based SSM. All means, if RN want to send something, it shall be T26 and/or T45? Also, UK do not have good port in Black sea, so, short-legged ship might be in-efficient?

Eastern Med : SSK threat not severe, air threat not severe, sea is relatively calm. Might be a good place for Corvette, but T31 will do nice.

South China Sea : Located far away from UK, and severe SSK threat there. Not a good place for a Corvette nor T31?

(Persian) Gulf : Corvette and T31, both can do good job.

Baltic : Severe air threat in shallow water. Corvette as one of the integrated combined arms might be ok. T31 lacking SSM and ASW is not good here. But, does RN really need to provide Corvette there? Local navies shall.

In short, I think Eastern Med and (Persian) Gulf will be the only two placed where Corvette is good. And, in both cases, T31 can do the same, I guess? Yes, it is better to have NSM or alike. But, that's it?
A good summary. I cannot see the RN be in a position to contribute signicantly to the Baltic/Black/South China Seas due to distance and the lack of sitable ports.

For NATO I think our best role will be in supporting Norway on the northern flank in addition to ASW patrols of GIUK Gap. For Baltic Sea, then Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland are all better situated to supporting Poland/Latvia/Lithunania/Estonia, and will have suitable Corvettes and patrol boats of their own.

For Black Sea, the key is what happens in Ukraine. The UK has been supporting Ukraine with training and arms sales which will in time help Ukraine be able to defend themselves. But we would have to rely on Turkey as a Nato member, with US support, to keep Russia in check. (Assuming that Greece-Turkey relations don't deteriorate further).

Once / if the RN gets up to 24 escorts after delivery of all T26/T31/T32, then we can be in position to revisit forward basing ships in Balttic/Black/South China Seas, but first priority would be to ensure that maximise VLS luanch cell sin T26 and up gun T31 from initial proposed armanents.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Repulse wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 16:30 Thanks @Donald-san. You are of course correct that a T31 can do the same if you build it to the same specification as a T26. The point is that money is finite, and therefore where do you compromise, its either size/endurance, systems or numbers.

Where I think Corvettes/Sloops will have the edge is in shallow littoral waters and also the fact that they are by nature smaller targets and can be more numerous.

Corvettes like all ships can be tailored to their requirements, but for example for the Black Sea I think operating alongside XLUUVs, and being replenished at allied (Romanian/ Ukrainian) ports allows them for operate for the required duration. One point though is that I would add Ballistic / Cruise Missile capability as being able to target hostile ground threats is one of the key reasons to be there.
So we need a Combat Ship for Littoral waters? :)
Joking aside, it would be important to learn from the mistkes that USN made with their two LCS classes, (albeit finally arming them with NSM).

But if this is a NATO responsility, does nt mean that RN have to be the ones covering it.....

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 16:45 But if this is a NATO responsility, does nt mean that RN have to be the ones covering it.....
You are making the assumption that NATO speaks with the same voice, with the same aims and the same priority. Russia senses weakness over Ukraine, as does China over Lithuania.

Ultimately, it’s down to HMGs appetite to operate in those zones and the funding it wants to allocate. I’d say on both the Northern and Southern borders with Russia there is a lack of leadership, and if the UK with its maritime global engagement approach wants to be in these regions (which are long term flash points) then it needs to look at what is needed in terms of optimising the fleet composition.

In terms of your point on USN Littoral Warships - an idea poorly implemented doesn’t make it a bad idea.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Tempest414 »

Repulse wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 16:59
wargame_insomniac wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 16:45 But if this is a NATO responsility, does nt mean that RN have to be the ones covering it.....
You are making the assumption that NATO speaks with the same voice, with the same aims and the same priority. Russia senses weakness over Ukraine, as does China over Lithuania.

Ultimately, it’s down to HMGs appetite to operate in those zones and the funding it wants to allocate. I’d say on both the Northern and Southern borders with Russia there is a lack of leadership, and if the UK with its maritime global engagement approach wants to be in these regions (which are long term flash points) then it needs to look at what is needed in terms of optimising the fleet composition.

In terms of your point on USN Littoral Warships - an idea poorly implemented doesn’t make it a bad idea.


Well if we look at the Independence class LCS it is not a bad ship with low crew needs . If we were to lease say 3 or 4 of them to boost the RN in the short term and we ask to keep the 57mm and Sea Giraffe 3D radar we could fit 12 CAMM in the front module behind the 57mm we could fit a Phalanx in place of the SeaRam add 2 x 30mm and a Wildcat and we would be good to go most places

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Repulse wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 16:59
wargame_insomniac wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 16:45 But if this is a NATO responsility, does nt mean that RN have to be the ones covering it.....
You are making the assumption that NATO speaks with the same voice, with the same aims and the same priority. Russia senses weakness over Ukraine, as does China over Lithuania.

Ultimately, it’s down to HMGs appetite to operate in those zones and the funding it wants to allocate. I’d say on both the Northern and Southern borders with Russia there is a lack of leadership, and if the UK with its maritime global engagement approach wants to be in these regions (which are long term flash points) then it needs to look at what is needed in terms of optimising the fleet composition.

In terms of your point on USN Littoral Warships - an idea poorly implemented doesn’t make it a bad idea.
Fair points. But in these times of financial constraints, we need to prioritise what meets our objectives and expect other NATO nations to stop freeloading and pick up some of the slack. So that means protecting home waters, British Overseas Territories and assisting our allies in policing major global shipping lanes.

The US has got two huge coastlines and several overseas territories in Pacific where the LCS was intended for. Their criteria emphasized speed, with almost double the River B2 class 25 knots, while River B2's emphasized range/endurance, with range 5,500 nm and 35 days.

The RN needs more hulls. But would it be better to add Corvettes for littoral zones? Or light frigates intended for ASW duties in the Atlantic? But that is getting away from River Class topic.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Lord Jim »

I do not like the USN's LCS for many reasons, but its requirement to be a large Corvette with the performance of an FAC leads to many of them. In their current roles the River B2s should do a good job and as long as the RN and HM Government don't push them into doing missions they are not suited for everything should be fine. Up gunning them in a very limited manner with crew served M2 .50cals replacing the existing mini guns or GPMGs, would make a difference, allow the B2s to be more capable in their current roles. Where a larger increase in capability is needed will be the T-31 for the missions that are already assigned to it even before the first is built.

I agree that the Baltic and Black Sea are not regions we should be looking at operating in in any future conflict with Russia, the former not at all and the latter only with at minimum a number first rate escorts including at least one T-26 and one T-45. In a NATO role we should stick to our historic roles, providing support for Norway and covering the approaches to the North Atlantic. The Eastern Med would be the responsibility of NATO's southern members and part of the French Navy. As capability of the T-31 currently appears to be, it will only suffice in peace time or as part of a coalition task force in wartime. It will be a poor independent platform as it stands. As for the Far East, having the B2s as presence platforms works well but for any conflict they would need to be withdrawn and for the UK to make any real useful contribution we would need to dispatch our available Carrier Strike Group, IF it was available.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

HMS Tamar, in many theater. Very attractive movie. Versatile, she is.


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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by SD67 »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 14:27
Repulse wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 09:24 @Donald-san, completely agree it’s all down to requirements, but given that the current top three areas of potential conflict are the Black Sea/Eastern Med, South China Sea and Gulf (closely followed by the Baltics), having platforms optimised for forward based fighting in these regions shouldn’t be so easily dismissed by the RN who wants to play and win in them all.

Personally, I would opt for more forward based war fighting Sloops / Corvettes (backed by the CSGs/SSNs) rather than a pure fleet of largely unarmed global frigates.
Thanks. My assessment is as follows:

Black Sea : Russia having Corvette there is understandable. But, why RN? Severe air threat, a fleet of SSKs, land-based SSM. All means, if RN want to send something, it shall be T26 and/or T45? Also, UK do not have good port in Black sea, so, short-legged ship might be in-efficient?

Eastern Med : SSK threat not severe, air threat not severe, sea is relatively calm. Might be a good place for Corvette, but T31 will do nice.

South China Sea : Located far away from UK, and severe SSK threat there. Not a good place for a Corvette nor T31?

(Persian) Gulf : Corvette and T31, both can do good job.

Baltic : Severe air threat in shallow water. Corvette as one of the integrated combined arms might be ok. T31 lacking SSM and ASW is not good here. But, does RN really need to provide Corvette there? Local navies shall.

In short, I think Eastern Med and (Persian) Gulf will be the only two placed where Corvette is good. And, in both cases, T31 can do the same, I guess? Yes, it is better to have NSM or alike. But, that's it?
IMHO
Baltic should be well and truly covered by the German Navy supported by Swedish and Finnish missile boats. Although it will be interesting if Poland buys T31 - that plus exRN Sandowns in service with Estonia could give the UK a toehold there in a supporting role.

The Eastern Med should be France and Italy's "turf". The Greek Navy recapitalised with FTI supported by the increasingly impressive Marina Militare should be able to easily deal with an Isis breakout or a couple of Russian ships that are a long way from home. France also has an increasing defence relationship with Egypt - Gowind, FREMM, Rafale. And there's always Israel if things get really nasty.

The Black Sea is a whole different kettle of fish IMHO. There is Ukraine, surrounded by Russia on three sides, sitting on Europe's largest gas reserves. We've loaned Ukraine 2 billion to rebuild their Navy and sent a carrier there in a show of force. Looks like we're as good as committed. Many questions though - could we get there? Montreux Convention allows closing of the Straits "in times of war". Erdogan's cosying up to Putin scares the hell out of me.

The Gulf we all know about. Good place to test MCM technology. As you say a T31 or Corvette in support.

South China Sea is the big one and dwarfs everything. 75% of global trade including basically all of Japan's oil. I wouldn't be surprised if medium term one of the Carriers pus a T26/T45 is more or less permanently based out of Singapore. And we have strong allies - Australian / Korean / Japanese navies can put a strong group of escorts in support of a RN lead task group, plus in the future Australian SSNs.

Batch 2 rivers - I cannot see them fitting into the above. Falklands / Caribbean / Anti-piracy ops / Defence engagement / Intel gathering. ie a Colonial Sloop

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Lord Jim »

I am pretty sure the CTF didn't enter the Black Sea but rather one of its escorts was detached for that operation to stir up the Russian hornets nest in the region. Did that job very well it appears.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by wargame_insomniac »

SD67 wrote: 01 Jan 2022, 14:13
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 14:27
Repulse wrote: 28 Dec 2021, 09:24 @Donald-san, completely agree it’s all down to requirements, but given that the current top three areas of potential conflict are the Black Sea/Eastern Med, South China Sea and Gulf (closely followed by the Baltics), having platforms optimised for forward based fighting in these regions shouldn’t be so easily dismissed by the RN who wants to play and win in them all.

Personally, I would opt for more forward based war fighting Sloops / Corvettes (backed by the CSGs/SSNs) rather than a pure fleet of largely unarmed global frigates.
Thanks. My assessment is as follows:

Black Sea : Russia having Corvette there is understandable. But, why RN? Severe air threat, a fleet of SSKs, land-based SSM. All means, if RN want to send something, it shall be T26 and/or T45? Also, UK do not have good port in Black sea, so, short-legged ship might be in-efficient?

Eastern Med : SSK threat not severe, air threat not severe, sea is relatively calm. Might be a good place for Corvette, but T31 will do nice.

South China Sea : Located far away from UK, and severe SSK threat there. Not a good place for a Corvette nor T31?

(Persian) Gulf : Corvette and T31, both can do good job.

Baltic : Severe air threat in shallow water. Corvette as one of the integrated combined arms might be ok. T31 lacking SSM and ASW is not good here. But, does RN really need to provide Corvette there? Local navies shall.

In short, I think Eastern Med and (Persian) Gulf will be the only two placed where Corvette is good. And, in both cases, T31 can do the same, I guess? Yes, it is better to have NSM or alike. But, that's it?
IMHO
Baltic should be well and truly covered by the German Navy supported by Swedish and Finnish missile boats. Although it will be interesting if Poland buys T31 - that plus exRN Sandowns in service with Estonia could give the UK a toehold there in a supporting role.

The Eastern Med should be France and Italy's "turf". The Greek Navy recapitalised with FTI supported by the increasingly impressive Marina Militare should be able to easily deal with an Isis breakout or a couple of Russian ships that are a long way from home. France also has an increasing defence relationship with Egypt - Gowind, FREMM, Rafale. And there's always Israel if things get really nasty.

The Black Sea is a whole different kettle of fish IMHO. There is Ukraine, surrounded by Russia on three sides, sitting on Europe's largest gas reserves. We've loaned Ukraine 2 billion to rebuild their Navy and sent a carrier there in a show of force. Looks like we're as good as committed. Many questions though - could we get there? Montreux Convention allows closing of the Straits "in times of war". Erdogan's cosying up to Putin scares the hell out of me.

The Gulf we all know about. Good place to test MCM technology. As you say a T31 or Corvette in support.

South China Sea is the big one and dwarfs everything. 75% of global trade including basically all of Japan's oil. I wouldn't be surprised if medium term one of the Carriers pus a T26/T45 is more or less permanently based out of Singapore. And we have strong allies - Australian / Korean / Japanese navies can put a strong group of escorts in support of a RN lead task group, plus in the future Australian SSNs.

Batch 2 rivers - I cannot see them fitting into the above. Falklands / Caribbean / Anti-piracy ops / Defence engagement / Intel gathering. ie a Colonial Sloop
Agree with above.

I do wonder if there COULD be a use to have an updated version of the Flower Class from WW2. i.e. call it a Corvette / Sloop / Light Frigate / whatever but have it focussed on ASW patrols in North Atlantic. I would like it to have some ability to defend itself against ASuW / AAW but otherwise focussing on ASW. From what other have posted in the past, this might be accomplished from a ship as small as 110m - 120m hull length. Could easily be accomplished by a T31 fitted with appropriate sonar and ASW weapons. But it might be useful if we could get this backup ASW escort even cheaper than T31, especially if we are trying to increase the RN number of escorts.

Have talked before about the River B1's being fine for UK fishery patrols, and the existing River B2's being fine for (currently) Falklands/Caribbean/Gibralter for policing/patrols/protection of various British Overseas Territories.

I still think if HMS Tamar / Spey were upgraded to what we previously called OPV+ (i.e. upgrade main gun to 40mm, add couple of 20mm/30mm secondary guns, and add telescopic Wildcat hangar) then they could do a patrolling job in Cyprus / Gulf of Aden / Persian Gulf, especially if Martlett LMM launchers fitted to secondary gun mounts.

Everything we have heard so far about the T31's seems to indicate that the RN is intending them to be permanetly forward deployed, in a similar fashion to the River B2's currently. However if tensions in the Pacific continue to escalate, then I really hope that the RN properly up arm the first T31 before sending it to advance deploy Singapore. Then we could add to that with the periodic deployment of CSG along with attached T45's/T26's/Astute etc.

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