Exactly. We should use Patrol vessels for patrolling and Warships for Warfighting.donald_of_tokyo wrote: ↑21 Sep 2023, 15:16Disagree. OPV is anyway needed. It is must. T31 will never be able to beat River B2 in its sea-going days. Very very inefficient for basic patrol task.shark bait wrote: ↑21 Sep 2023, 11:43 The River B2 exists at a convenient time. In a high performance navy the River Class would have little utility, but they have found a valuable role in a crumbling fleet where the Frigates are knackered, the Destroyers have never worked properly, and the only serviceable ships are uninspiring patrol vessels.
Long term the B2s should be replaced with something more interesting (T31/T32) and the B1 can be retired.
For River B2s I have said before that I wish that, when they were being built, that they had been strecthed by a further 5-10m, enough to put in a basic hangar. I think that having a Wildcat or similar sized helicopter would have been invaluable on their missions - it may be that in the near future the RN might be able to rely on UAV instead.
The RN has always had a mix of ship sizes. In the near past the RN has has had 20-25 MCMV that had a secondary patrol function. We are now experiencing yet another capability gap as we now have just 3 of 15 Sandown class and 6 of 13 Hunt class remaining. Only now are we starting to see the autonomous MCMV systems being rolled out with the trial of Cardigan Bay in the Persian Gulf, and Stirling Castle doing likewise in home waters.
I doubt that the remaining 9 Sandown / Hunt class will be replaced oe for one with new ships - so far just three support vessels are due to be built / converted to carry the new autonomous MCMV systems. This reduction in smaller ships makes it all the more important that RN acquired new OPV's to replace the River B1s.
I do think that moving the River B2s back to home waters would be overkill. I think we need a smaller, cheaper ships requiring less crew - I would be looking to see what OPV's that Damen and Vard have in the 80m range, large enough to ensure good seak keeping. I am intereted to see more for example of the Vard Vigilance which is being built for Canadian Navy. Their us f the cube system of standardised shipping container sized modules and a multi-mission bay, with crucially a system of moving the cubes around the ship could be vital ine nsuring that RN gets the most flexibility out of any new OPV.