River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Repulse
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

£105mn pa running and maintenance costs for all 8 OPVs including the 5 globally deployed - extremely good value for money.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/costs-a ... ployments/
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Repulse wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 19:47 £105mn pa running and maintenance costs for all 8 OPVs including the 5 globally deployed - extremely good value for money.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/costs-a ... ployments/
How much with a hull stretch and a hanger?

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Fr0sty125 »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 19:58
Repulse wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 19:47 £105mn pa running and maintenance costs for all 8 OPVs including the 5 globally deployed - extremely good value for money.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/costs-a ... ployments/
How much with a hull stretch and a hanger?
Sea Giraffe 1X would be higher on the list at £2m a set. Then either giving the DS30 Martlet or swapping for the 40mm mk4.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Fr0sty125 wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 20:25 Sea Giraffe 1X would be higher on the list at £2m a set. Then either giving the DS30 Martlet or swapping for the 40mm mk4.
I wouldn’t spend a penny on the Batch2s.

IMO they are too much and not enough.

Retain them for another 10years to fill gaps and patrol the U.K. EEZ before starting the decommissioning process around the mid 2030s.

The three RB1s will need to be replaced within four years so the next-gen OPV design should be getting finalised now.

The big question remains - does RN even need an OPV for global patrol or will the MRSS and T31 adequately cover the requirement.

I suspect money will be the deciding factor.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 20:55 I wouldn’t spend a penny on the Batch2s.

IMO they are too much and not enough.
Sounds like they are just right then. No one is suggesting spending £100’s mn on them, but a modest spend to keep them aligned to the requirements is absolutely necessary and the right thing to do - let’s not let dogma stop common sense shall we.
The big question remains - does RN even need an OPV for global patrol or will the MRSS and T31 adequately cover the requirement.

I suspect money will be the deciding factor.
And crew. If you want to spend atleast three times more and probably four times the crew, sure go-ahead and waste money on forward based T31s. I’d rather buy and crew another 2-3 T26s.

As for the MRSS, let’s see what comes but there isn’t going to be more than six (likely much fewer) and will be needed to do their day job.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Repulse wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 22:34 Sounds like they are just right then. No one is suggesting spending £100’s mn on them, but a modest spend to keep them aligned to the requirements is absolutely necessary and the right thing to do - let’s not let dogma stop common sense shall we.
Where do they fit in?

If the RB2s are withdrawn EoS then where are they needed apart from replacing the RB1s?

A MRSS operating from Gibraltar makes more sense if available. A MRSS in the Caribbean augmented by an occasional T31 looks like a good fit and whatever is patrolling the Falklands and South Atlantic needs to be more capable than HMS Forth going forward.

IMO the rationale for the too much and not enough OPVs is weak.

Stretch the hull to 115m, add NS50 or NS110, a 57mm and 2x 40mm, deck space for containerised CAMM, containerised Captas 1 or 2 plus a hanger for a Wildcat and it’s exactly what RN need to fill the gaps in low threat environments which may warm up in the future.

The advantages of replacing the 3x RB1s with 3x RB3’s is considerable. If 3x RB2’s concentrated on the U.K. and the 4th acted as FIGS then 3x RB3’s could concentrate on patrolling the Caribbean, Western Mediterranean, West coast of Africa and the South Atlantic. This would free up the hopefully upgraded T31’s to concentrate on the areas with a higher threat level.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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What do you propose doing with the 5th RB2 ?

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 20:55
IMO they are too much and not enough.

Say's who? You? Not like we haven't already paid for them in a budget numerous years ago in a department that runs on year by year spending.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 23:30 Where do they fit in?
Putting aside a potential MCM role, they fit exactly where they do now. Assuming that the UK based T45/T23 fleet had better availability where is the gap exactly that you are trying to fill that is a priority?
IMO the rationale for the too much and not enough OPVs is weak.
IMO it’s the opposite. Where is the rational to spend in the order of £300mn pa operating a forward based T31s and MRSSs, who at best will withdraw gracefully from threats, taking up somewhere between 800-1000 personnel.

No, we need to use the £200pa and 500+ crew difference to operate more T45/T26/T83 platforms that make a real difference.

Your suggestions of a modest upgrade to a RB3 is valid, but the same calculation needs to be kept in mind.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Tempest414 »

The way I see it is the RB2's need an upgrade first they need a Peregrine UAV next a 40mm and if money allows a 3D radar

We are starting to see how the grey zone is going to work and there is a need for low cost patrol ships at can stop and search boats smuggling weapons into these grey zones plus act as cover for MV's in areas were piracy is high

If type 31 was to comes in with 40 CAMM and 8 NSM they would be perfect for long range patrol and chockpoint duties

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Scimitar54 wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 01:20 What do you propose doing with the 5th RB2 ?
Kept in refit/reserve.

The perfect low cost gap filler.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Repulse wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 19:47 £105mn pa running and maintenance costs for all 8 OPVs including the 5 globally deployed - extremely good value for money.

https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/costs-a ... ployments/
How can be this numbers compared with the information on 2015, as can be seen in “Revised_2015-06440_Average_costs_RN_Surface_vessels.pdf”?

The latter states £3.2M per hull for River B1.

It does NOT include, maritime domain maintenance costs, central allowances, overheads for common services, support costs for Naval base and other MOD top level budgets, IT/com, aircrafts (n/a for OPV), and training and force generation costs.

“The annual running costs” in this release is £13M per hull. Inflation between 2023 and 2015 is 20 percent, so cannot explain them…

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 08 Feb 2024, 23:30 Stretch the hull to 115m, add NS50 or NS110, a 57mm and 2x 40mm, deck space for containerised CAMM, containerised Captas 1 or 2 plus a hanger for a Wildcat and it’s exactly what RN need to fill the gaps in low threat environments which may warm up in the future.
Other than the size, this is pretty much the T31, if we read the RFI. RN has already ordered 5 of them. Not needed much more?

Actually, I am against an up-armed OPV. GP tasks need to confront gray-zone tasks, and gray-zone tasks has a high possibility to get hit. If something happens, GP frigate needs to rush to it. As it is asymmetric warfare, there is a high possibility to see ambushed an get hit. Frigate standard damage control is needed here.

As OPV does not have this damage control level, it must retreat, not rush. If some "up-armed 2000t class ship" is needed, it is a corvette, built to escort-level damage control standard, not an up-armed OPV.

My thought.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Repulse wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 08:07 …where is the gap exactly that you are trying to fill that is a priority?

Your suggestions of a modest upgrade to a RB3 is valid, but the same calculation needs to be kept in mind.
RN needs mass and fast. Unfortunately the headcount isn’t there for 100, 150 or 200 crew in these extra vessels. The solution needs to be found whereby an OPV can carry out the security and basic HADR tasks in low threat environments without the involvement of the Frigates. Effectively a UK USGC equivalent.

The RB2 isn’t it as the limitations are as obvious now as they were when being built. It’s too much for basic EEZ patrol and not enough for global security taskings. Therefore the globally deployed RB2s appear to concentrate on defence engagement with allies. Very commendable but is it a priority when resources are so tight? Not sure.

Adding a class of 3 to 5 more capable OPVs to replace the RB1s is absolute no-brainer IMO. Why not build them at Appledore under licence?

Keep them simple by adding a 57mm and 2x 40mm plus NS50 or NS110 and ideally TACTICOS. Stretch the hull to around 115m and make provision for PODs in a modest stern mission area. That’s it.

Aim to keep the procurement cost at 50% of a T31 with 50% of the core crew allocation plus flight.

Set a target of 2030 to have a class of 5 commissioned. A big win for RN and HMT for around £800m and 250 core crew plus flight.

IMO the advantages would be widespread.

• RN adds mass quickly and affordably will low risk.

• RN can upgrade the T31s to full GP configuration to counter increased threat level. The T32 program could then proceed at a more modest pace or be replaced with a second batch T31s.

• The 115m RB3 or equivalent would effectively perform the role of the original T31 light frigate concept but with reduced crew and a lower procurement cost.

• The open deck TEU capacity would be at least 6x TEU. That’s a lots of containerised CAMM or off board systems. The 50x strong EMF could utilise 4x davit deployed RHIBs as per the original T31 requirement and a stern mission area could embark a basic containerised TAS without impeding the flight deck operations.

• If Appledore or Cammell Laird built them at a rate of one completed hull every 10 months then all 5 would be commissioned by the end of the decade.

RN has few other realistic options to add mass quickly. IMO it’s worthy of consideration.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Poiuytrewq »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 14:00 Other than the size, this is pretty much the T31, if we read the RFI. RN has already ordered 5 of them. Not needed much more?
RN needs many more but also the crew to operate them. If the headcount issues can’t be solved a growing Royal Navy simply isn’t happening.

A more capable OPV is exactly what RN need but any updated design needs to increase self defense capabilities even for low threat environments.

The T31s need to be upgraded now, far above what was originally envisaged. As such the original lightly armed patrol frigate requirement needs another class to do it.


As OPV does not have this damage control level, it must retreat, not rush. If some "up-armed 2000t class ship" is needed, it is a corvette, built to escort-level damage control standard, not an up-armed OPV.
Does the same apply to the MRSS?

The Enforcer or Ellida designs would be built mainly to commercial standards, what is the difference? The OPVs would operate in the same environments as the MRSS when unescorted.

The original T31 concept needs to be passed on to an OPV+ design. How much of Leander could be cost effectively passed across to an upgraded River Class? Much of the work may have already been done.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 15:03Does the same apply to the MRSS?

The Enforcer or Ellida designs would be built mainly to commercial standards, what is the difference? The OPVs would operate in the same environments as the MRSS when unescorted.
Of course, MRSS or Bay will retreat from the threat, not rush for.
The original T31 concept needs to be passed on to an OPV+ design.
Then, we shall agree to disagree.

Why River B2 is so lean manned? Because it is less armed and has less damage control level. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

What you need is corvette, not up-armed OPV, I think. Braunschweig-class corvette is smaller than River B2, as armed as you sate, and needs a crew of 60. Note that they are designed with smallish endurance of only 7 days. I guess, if with endurance as long as River B2, the corvette will need to be nearly 3000 t size and with 80 or so crew. As this "80 crew" are not x1.5 manned and with an-order of magnitude larger amount of maintenance needs, the corvette cannot be at sea as long as River B2 does.

Then, a simple question comes into my mind. Why not just more T31? You do not need detailed design cost, neither.
How much of Leander could be cost effectively passed across to an upgraded River Class? Much of the work may have already been done.
Almost nothing on detailed design has been done on the streched Al Khareef = Leander. We can be sure because of the small budget allocated for the assessment phase, and big big modification between Al Khareef and Leander. Detailed design costs as much as 2 to 3 unit coat equivalent. Some part of the design are already done with Al Khareef, but significant amount shall be remaining.

I agree this is just my thought, but again and again, I always feel, why not more T31 rather than up-armed/enlarged River "B3"?

Note: Up-arming some of the existing River B2 is another story. Although I am also not supportive of this idea, I think it differs from building "up-armed/enlarged River "B3"".
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Poiuytrewq »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 15:45
Then, we shall agree to disagree.
It appears so.

RN will commission no new T31s before 2030 even if ordered now. A class of 5 would take until the mid to late 2030s to commission. The planners always commit to adding mass in a decade or two, it doesn’t move the dial.

The OPV design isn’t important. It could be a Vard or Damen design just as easily.

IMO there are two reasons to add more defensive capabilities to the next gen OPVs.

1: Threats will occasionally appear in choke points and low threat environments, it’s inevitable.

2. The OPVs should be able to contribute to a task group if required. Six units of containerised CAMM in the middle of a LRG would very useful in some scenarios. As would a simple TAS and the CIWS effect of the 57mm and 40mm. If the MRSS are there why not the OPVs?

OPVs should always retreat from a serious threat but that’s absolutely no reason not to properly arm them for self defense.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by tomuk »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 16:25
donald_of_tokyo wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 15:45
Then, we shall agree to disagree.
It appears so.

RN will commission no new T31s before 2030 even if ordered now. A class of 5 would take until the mid to late 2030s to commission. The planners always commit to adding mass in a decade or two, it doesn’t move the dial.

The OPV design isn’t important. It could be a Vard or Damen design just as easily.

IMO there are two reasons to add more defensive capabilities to the next gen OPVs.

1: Threats will occasionally appear in choke points and low threat environments, it’s inevitable.

2. The OPVs should be able to contribute to a task group if required. Six units of containerised CAMM in the middle of a LRG would very useful in some scenarios. As would a simple TAS and the CIWS effect of the 57mm and 40mm. If the MRSS are there why not the OPVs?

OPVs should always retreat from a serious threat but that’s absolutely no reason not to properly arm them for self defense.
But buying 5 Damen OPVs of the shelf add no mass.
And OPVs shouldn't be able to contribute to a task group they're OPVs not escorts. And all this containerised guff is just as expensive if not more so than adding to the ship in the first place. And if carried on an OPV doesn't get round the issues of fragility.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 14:28 RN needs mass and fast. Unfortunately the headcount isn’t there for 100, 150 or 200 crew in these extra vessels.
Absolutely agree on this - a minor warship is exactly the space of growth in numbers.
The solution needs to be found whereby an OPV can carry out the security and basic HADR tasks in low threat environments without the involvement of the Frigates. Effectively a UK USGC equivalent.

The RB2 isn’t it as the limitations are as obvious now as they were when being built. It’s too much for basic EEZ patrol and not enough for global security taskings.
I don’t agree, the RB2s are doing much more than basic EEZ patrols. They are doing a level of HADR already and have conducted anti piracy / sanction operations.
Adding a class of 3 to 5 more capable OPVs to replace the RB1s is absolute no-brainer IMO. Why not build them at Appledore under licence?

Keep them simple by adding a 57mm and 2x 40mm plus NS50 or NS110 and ideally TACTICOS. Stretch the hull to around 115m and make provision for PODs in a modest stern mission area. That’s it.
You can this already by spending a bit more on the B2s, though why on earth would we want another CMS (I know the T31s have it, but point still stands) I cannot understand. The thing that the B2s cannot accommodated in the currently is a UAV hangar or even a Wildcat hangar, this could be done in a B3 without adding another metre to the length by replacing the midship crane etc with a small multi role mission bay.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Repulse wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 20:11
Poiuytrewq wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 14:28 RN needs mass and fast. Unfortunately the headcount isn’t there for 100, 150 or 200 crew in these extra vessels.
Absolutely agree on this - a minor warship is exactly the space of growth in numbers.
The solution needs to be found whereby an OPV can carry out the security and basic HADR tasks in low threat environments without the involvement of the Frigates. Effectively a UK USGC equivalent.

The RB2 isn’t it as the limitations are as obvious now as they were when being built. It’s too much for basic EEZ patrol and not enough for global security taskings.
I don’t agree, the RB2s are doing much more than basic EEZ patrols. They are doing a level of HADR already and have conducted anti piracy / sanction operations.
Adding a class of 3 to 5 more capable OPVs to replace the RB1s is absolute no-brainer IMO. Why not build them at Appledore under licence?

Keep them simple by adding a 57mm and 2x 40mm plus NS50 or NS110 and ideally TACTICOS. Stretch the hull to around 115m and make provision for PODs in a modest stern mission area. That’s it.
You can this already by spending a bit more on the B2s, though why on earth would we want another CMS (I know the T31s have it, but point still stands) I cannot understand. The thing that the B2s cannot accommodated in the currently is a UAV hangar or even a Wildcat hangar, this could be done in a B3 without adding another metre to the length by replacing the midship crane etc with a small multi role mission bay.
no need for new ships, They RB2's can already facilitate UAV's of say a S-100 or even a bit bigger through a container or Shelter on her side skirts.


Image

Would also minimise the air crew amount.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Poiuytrewq »

tomuk wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 19:12 But buying 5 Damen OPVs of the shelf add no mass.
Why?
And OPVs shouldn't be able to contribute to a task group they're OPVs not escorts.
Why are the OPVs excluded if the Amphibs and Auxiliaries are there? Adding a large amount of containerised CAMM and an additional Wildcat and flight deck could be useful.

Why does anti piracy, anti narcotics patrols require a Frigate? A Wildcat and 2 or 3 RHIBs full of RM is required but a silo of CAMM and canisters full of very expensive NSM isn’t.

On current plans RN will have no increase in Frigates numbers before the 2030s. At which point the two RB2s EoS are due to be replaced by two T31s. That will be at least three T31 EoS. That leaves a single T31 for FRE and it’s likely the 5th T31 will be in refit.

That will leave around 5 active T45/T23/T26 to do everything else.

It’s totally unsustainable. More mass required.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 21:32
And OPVs shouldn't be able to contribute to a task group they're OPVs not escorts.
Why are the OPVs excluded if the Amphibs and Auxiliaries are there? Adding a large amount of containerised CAMM and an additional Wildcat and flight deck could be useful.

Wow this is a, well, comment.

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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 21:32
And OPVs shouldn't be able to contribute to a task group they're OPVs not escorts.
Why are the OPVs excluded if the Amphibs and Auxiliaries are there? Adding a large amount of containerised CAMM and an additional Wildcat and flight deck could be useful.
Amphibs and Auxiliaries are there to do their tasks. If threat is there, they will be accompanying T31 or T26 or T45. And if enemy attack starts, T31/25/45 rush in their front to defend them. Of course, those escorts are exposed to risk of getting hit much higher than Amphibs and Auxiliaries, so they are better defended (not to get hit) AND has a higher damage control standard (to be able to survive the damage).

If we are to send OPV added with canistered CAMM, it is OK, but when the enemy attack starts, the OPV MUST NOT rush to the enemy, buy retreat with the Amphibs and Auxiliaries. In other words, they (=Amphibs and Auxiliaries and OPV) anyway need an escort to rush for the enemy, regardless of they have OPV with CAMM or not.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by Repulse »

new guy wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 20:20 no need for new ships, They RB2's can already facilitate UAV's of say a S-100 or even a bit bigger through a container or Shelter on her side skirts.


Image

Would also minimise the air crew amount.
This is true, though if the decision was to build another batch, a small mission bay would be at the top of my list.

Another point, the B2s have enhanced damage control, more than most OPVs. Whilst Rivers should not be seen as escorts, they are designed for independent low level global operations and its associated threat level - all capabilities it should be upgraded to keep inline with the threats. The current B2s would definitely benefit from a 40/57mm gun which can be integrated relatively easily along with a Sea Giraffe 3D radar - we are talking a few 10’s millions to keep them relevant till the late 30’s.

I think the point about the need to scale is an important one, but what needs to be clear is what we are scaling for.

The threat is Russia, China, Iran and North Korea - whilst China has a significant surface fleet, the threat is in the IndoPacific region where the RN will be a contributor. What the RN needs to scale for is to protect the North Atlantic - the threat from Russia is sub surface, UAVs, mines and long ranges hypersonic / ballistic missiles. This is why the T45/T26s/SSNs/XLUUVs are key if we are to be ready in 5-10 years and the T31 a distraction.

Where an ocean going minor warship comes into this is as platform for MCM and ASW sensors and off board systems. It needs a mission bay and a level of self protection but under a wide area air defence land and sea network - the threat level means it cannot be an auxiliary as an escort cannot be afforded.
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Re: River Class (OPV) (RN)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 09 Feb 2024, 14:28RN needs mass and fast. Unfortunately the headcount isn’t there for 100, 150 or 200 crew in these extra vessels. The solution needs to be found whereby an OPV can carry out the security and basic HADR tasks in low threat environments without the involvement of the Frigates. Effectively a UK USGC equivalent.
No big objection. River B2 is doing it.
The RB2 isn’t it as the limitations are as obvious now as they were when being built. It’s too much for basic EEZ patrol and not enough for global security taskings.
Disagree. River B2 is almost perfect match for many of the global security taskings. If you need something more fighty, it is T31. Not up-armed OPV.

Helicopter carrying OPV is an option, I agree. But it shall not be well-armed.
Keep them simple by adding a 57mm and 2x 40mm plus NS50 or NS110 and ideally TACTICOS. Stretch the hull to around 115m and make provision for PODs in a modest stern mission area. That’s it.

Aim to keep the procurement cost at 50% of a T31 with 50% of the core crew allocation plus flight.
I insist the damage control level must also be at the escort level. As we differ here, the conclusion differs, naturally.
Set a target of 2030 to have a class of 5 commissioned. A big win for RN and HMT for around £800m and 250 core crew plus flight.
Even if with OPV level damage control standard, I cannot see this ship be lean manned as low as 50 core crew.

Independently,
- from where we are getting the flight and Wildcat? To match the 5 more hulls, we need 10 more Wildcats, 6-7 flight teams. How much will it cost?
- If containised CAMM be needed, how much will it cost? 100% sure it will cost at least x1.5 times more than just adding a CAMM on the OPV. Modularization needs overhead and thus inefficient. Modularity pays only when we have "10 possible platforms and rotating 5 module units among them, depending on the task". The benefit comes only from the "10 possible platforms" can be common hull and commonality make it cheap. Modular CAMM systems will be always more expensive than a native one.
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