Royal Navy SSK?

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
Ron5
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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Ron5 »

Lord Jim wrote:I am not sure why a submarine with 38 crew, that has a range of 8000 miles, can stay submerged for two weeks straight, can do 20 kts submerged and has top of the line sonar systems being able to track basically anything within 100 miles including coastal areas and is as near to silent as you can get is such a bad thing?
A Ford Escort is not a bad car but it's bloody useless if you're trying to win a Formula One race.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Ron5 »

Caribbean wrote:That is a good point. Many people have commented on here how modern SSKs are so stealthy that they are making ASW very difficult for the RN. During the Falklands, two old diesel subs caused us a lot of anguish - imagine how much trouble half-a-dozen modern AIP subs could give an enemy fleet approaching UK waters, while our SSNs are off hunting down their subs. The Dutch demonstrated only last year that they were able to keep tabs on the Russian carrier in the Med for a week (that's all they claimed - personally I wouldn't be surprised if they trailed them all the way from the Channel). The record for an AIP boat staying submerged is now three weeks as well. These are relatively cheap systems that would readily find tasks that they are capable of doing in outright war. The training and retention issues are very important, but so is the ability to harass an enemy fleet or to sneak in special forces or intelligence agents.
The Argie subs made a minuscule impact on the campaign. The contribution of the 3 UK nukes on the other hand, was huge.

You are aware that an SSN doesn't need to surface at all during it's entire deployment? And usually doesn't. And can motor over 30 knots for indefinite periods.

Your 3 week AIP sub was probably doing 5 knots max.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Caribbean »

Ron5 wrote:The Argie subs made a minuscule impact on the campaign.
Which is why we allocated at least two frigates, and only used c. 3000 torpedos/ depth charges on suspected contacts (and had to apply for a whaling license!). We ended up catching one on the surface early on, so most of those rounds were spent on ONE submarine, which we exerted a huge amount of effort on trying to catch, but failed. It's effect was to distract effort from more useful activities and to force the carriers to be more defensive. I suspect a more modern machine (not crewed by people who seemed to be obsessed with "polishing their torpedos") might have been quite difficult to deal with.
Ron5 wrote:You are aware that an SSN doesn't need to surface at all during it's entire deployment?
What? Noooooo! Really? Goshdarnit, I thought they still had to snork (or is it snark ........ no, that's you) every ten minutes and surface every day so they could have a hog-roast on deck, just to feed the guys doing the rowing.
Ron5 wrote:Your 3 week AIP sub was probably doing 5 knots max.
If it gives the opposition the heebie-jeebies and acts to limit their freedom of action, who gives a fuck how fast it's going?
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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Lord Jim »

A Ford Escort will beat a F1 car on more surfaces that it will lose on.

I fully agree the SSNs are the top predator and fantastic if you can afford them and in the number you need, so the USN is in a very enviable position. The RN has only half of the SSNs it needs and that number will probably shrink given funding difficulties across the MoD. But the argument put out there is that SSKs are useless in modern warfare, yet in exercises SSKs have hunted down and claimed kills on SSNs. The quiet submerged speed for a SSN and modern SSK are not dissimilar as are the sensors. To say my arrays are bigger than yours so are better does not hold up. And saying that a 212A class SSK can go at almost 20kts when submerged and be silent due to the way its propulsions system works. I am not advocating replacing SSNs with SSKs but that both have a roll to play. Again the 212A with a range of 8000 nm and able to stay submerged for up to two weeks at a time could sail from the UK to the Falklands undetected and patrol. Similarly it can operate under the Arctic ice, previously the realm solely of the SSN, yet is can also operate in shallower waters more effectively and has a much smaller crew at around 40. So the USN can continue in its lofty kingdom of only having to operate SSNs because it can. Everyone else needs to keep their options open, and in the above exercises both Australian and Japanese SSKs successfully engaged USN SSNs.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Repulse »

For me the SSN vs SSK topic is the same as the T26 vs T31e/OPV. The SSN (T26) is part of the Big Stick and a SSK / UUV is part of a forward presence surveillancing UK/BOT activity.

However, the current 7 SSNs are the absolute minimum number for a bare bones credible Big Stick and should (with SSBN protection duties) be closer to 10-11.

So new money would need to be found. The two new subs for Singapore costs around $1.8bn, which to me shows the UK should not be looking at going down the traditional SSK route, but something more innovative.
”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: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Repulse »

Scimitar54 wrote:And perhaps the next Repulse should be a Patrol Boat? Stop playing into the hands of the empty headed politicians who would like to abolish defence altogether so they could then have an excuse to do nothing about anything!
In the real world of limited funds, the RN has always been innovative and to survive and maximise its effectiveness it has to remain to be so. Smart use of minor warships has always been a key strength and must continue to be so.
”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: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Scimitar54 »

Artificially Limited

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Pseudo »

Scimitar54 wrote:Artificially Limited
All government spending is artificially limited. That's the nature of fiat currency.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

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Caribbean wrote:
Ron5 wrote:The Argie subs made a minuscule impact on the campaign.
Which is why we allocated at least two frigates, and only used c. 3000 torpedos/ depth charges on suspected contacts (and had to apply for a whaling license!). We ended up catching one on the surface early on, so most of those rounds were spent on ONE submarine, which we exerted a huge amount of effort on trying to catch, but failed. It's effect was to distract effort from more useful activities and to force the carriers to be more defensive. I suspect a more modern machine (not crewed by people who seemed to be obsessed with "polishing their torpedos") might have been quite difficult to deal with.
Ron5 wrote:You are aware that an SSN doesn't need to surface at all during it's entire deployment?
What? Noooooo! Really? Goshdarnit, I thought they still had to snork (or is it snark ........ no, that's you) every ten minutes and surface every day so they could have a hog-roast on deck, just to feed the guys doing the rowing.
Ron5 wrote:Your 3 week AIP sub was probably doing 5 knots max.
If it gives the opposition the heebie-jeebies and acts to limit their freedom of action, who gives a fuck how fast it's going?
Minuscue impact on the campaign. Got zero to do with your numbers of munitions expended. They didn't change the British course of action one iota. The British nukes on the other hand ...

Heebie-jeebies within 10 miles of your coastline, absolutely useless for the other 99.9% of the world oceans. Fine for Sweden, dumb for the UK, US, Russia & China.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Ron5 »

Repulse wrote:However, the current 7 SSNs are the absolute minimum number for a bare bones credible Big Stick and should (with SSBN protection duties) be closer to 10-11.
Gotta agree 100% with that.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Ron5 »

Lord Jim wrote:But the argument put out there is that SSKs are useless in modern warfare
The only person saying that is you.

And you're the person that thinks a Ford Escort can win a Formula One race.

Eyes roll.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by andrew98 »

Well I expect a Ford Escort would beat an F1 car around a Welsh forest rally stage :twisted:

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by andrew98 »

8 SSN
4 SSBN
8 SSK say a modern upholder class, until they get replaced end of life with SSN.
With the long term objective being 2 batches of 8 SSN (Astute replacement with VLS and a smaller designed boat better for more confined waters and SBS type naughty stuff) and 4 SSBN.

Just need M.o.D. to win the funding lottery and get back up to 4.5-5%

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Lord Jim »

I have serious worries about the age of some people here. This escort vs F1 is a joke. Of course around Silverstone an F1 car is going to beat a Escort Cosworth, but on a rally stage things would be different, simple point totally misread/misunderstood. AS for me being the only one to state that others seem to think SSKs are of no use and SSNs are the only game in town, well every time a person tries to say that SSKs do have a roll and can be useful and effective, they get told they are talking rubbish and only SSNs can get the job done. All I have said is that modern SSKs like the 212A are a new breed, and can do things previous SSKs couldn't and were the realm of the SSN. As a result they are a viable option IF a country cannot afford a fleet of SSNs of which they are only three or four, and that doesn't include the UK as six or seven is not enough. But some on here are content to stick their fingers in their ears and sing "La la la", because only a SSN can do the job. Funny how the same people think the Royal Navy's new ships are the ultimate in fighting platforms and will be fit for purpose without any of the additional kit they need because we haven't the money to purchase it and won't have until the late 2030s at the earliest. I give up.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Caribbean »

Ron5 wrote:They didn't change the British course of action one iota.
Frankly, I think you are just trolling at the moment. Assigning at least two frigates out of 15 was a fairly major commitment to tracking a single submarine, as was expending that amount of resources. We were lucky that we caught ARA Santa Fe on the surface (laid down in 1944, for f***s sake). Had Argentina had 5 or 6 ARA San Luis-type subs (a 1960s diesel-electric design), they could have seriously impeded the landings . As it was, ARA San Luis was the only Argentine vessel to remain at sea after Conqueror sank the Belgrano (and Splendid managed to lose the Veinticinco de Mayo). It was never tracked down, despite the efforts of the surface and submarine fleets.
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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Caribbean »

andrew98 wrote:Well I expect a Ford Escort would beat an F1 car around a Welsh forest rally stage :twisted:
I expect that it would also fare better over the speed-bumps on the average UK urban street :D
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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

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Caribbean wrote:
Ron5 wrote:They didn't change the British course of action one iota.
Frankly, I think you are just trolling at the moment. Assigning at least two frigates out of 15 was a fairly major commitment to tracking a single submarine, as was expending that amount of resources. We were lucky that we caught ARA Santa Fe on the surface (laid down in 1944, for f***s sake). Had Argentina had 5 or 6 ARA San Luis-type subs (a 1960s diesel-electric design), they could have seriously impeded the landings . As it was, ARA San Luis was the only Argentine vessel to remain at sea after Conqueror sank the Belgrano (and Splendid managed to lose the Veinticinco de Mayo). It was never tracked down, despite the efforts of the surface and submarine fleets.
No I was being quite serious. I don't troll. But did the Argie submarines actually change anything the Brits were going to do? I don't think they did. Yes, the RN had to put resources in place to guard against their interference but I cannot think of one major decision that was impacted because of their presence. Quite happy to be proven wrong.

I thought it was well established that the Argie carrier never left its territorial waters because of the UK nukes. Doesn't really matter that the nukes didn't know its position every hour, it was their presence that cause the carrier to be a non-factor.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Ron5 »

Ron5 wrote:A Ford Escort is not a bad car but it's bloody useless if you're trying to win a Formula One race.
That is actually what I said.

To make it simpler, I mean an SSN was better suited for global navy, like the RN & USN, in their deterrence of the Russian & Chinese threats. SSK's are not well suited at all.

Just like SSK's would make bad hosts for ballistic missiles. Not too many SSBKs around.

Horses for courses.

Queue for someone to tell me that a dog would beat a horse when chasing rabbits. Eyes roll.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Lord Jim »

That I agree with, and is basically the point I was trying to put across. Hope your eyes are Ok

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

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Ron5 wrote:Minuscue impact on the campaign. Got zero to do with your numbers of munitions expended. They didn't change the British course of action one iota. The British nukes on the other hand ...
I assume we're talking about the Argies subs here? The Brits we're very lucky the Argentine torpedos were so crap, numerous torpedo were launched, but thankfully all failed, one reportedly hit a Frigates towed decoy and still failed to explode.

The RN was at least prepared to counter the threat, at times a couple of frigates and helicopters chasing the SSK's away, they went in prepared to fight underwater.

The Brits torpedo was clearly much less crap, and it clearly had a decisive impact, but it could have gone the other way.
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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by indeid »

shark bait wrote: The Brits torpedo was clearly much less crap, and it clearly had a decisive impact, but it could have gone the other way.
That’s because we used such a modern and high tech weapon.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Timmymagic »

indeid wrote: That’s because we used such a modern and high tech weapon.
IIRC the Conqueror's skipper didn't choose the Mk.8 because of worries over Tigerfish reliability (although he may have been wise to do so). It was primarily because of the warhead size and comparatively easy shot that swung it.

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

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(Real Engineering)

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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by shark bait »

The Gotland replacement; now there's a boat to watch out for. If I we're in the market for an SSK, SAAB would get my full attention.
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Re: Royal Navy SSK?

Post by Timmymagic »

shark bait wrote:The Gotland replacement; now there's a boat to watch out for. If I we're in the market for an SSK, SAAB would get my full attention.
Apologies if someone has posted this already, but HI Sutton has put up, as usual, an excellent write up on the A26.

Didn't realise it could have 12 VLS for Tomahawk...and an SDV onboard....I'm sold.

http://www.hisutton.com/A26.html

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