Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
Repulse
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by Repulse »

donald_of_tokyo wrote:- Can a civilian PSV be "comfortable enough" for RN to use them for MCM tasks? (I fear not).
For UK and BOT territorial waters where ships can be safely forward based, yes. Another 3-5 ships like SD Northern River, combined with smaller near shore assets operated from ports, would be sufficient motherships operating under a combined umbrella of support assets.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:So, may be the 5 River B2s and 2 Echo-class will be the main mother ships
Whilst it is clear that other Surface and other RFA assets can support, I agree the Rivers and Echo class will be the main assets. As argued elsewhere, I think by far the best low cost / risk option to get the required hulls is to build another batch of “B3 Rivers” with evolved facilities to support a mothership (for drones and possibly RMs) - would be an idea gift to Appledore. 2 Echos + 5 B2s + 5 B3s (replacing the B1s) would be a solid capability.
”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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Jensy
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by Jensy »

Repulse wrote: I think by far the best low cost / risk option to get the required hulls is to build another batch of “B3 Rivers” with evolved facilities to support a mothership (for drones and possibly RMs) - would be an idea gift to Appledore. 2 Echos + 5 B2s + 5 B3s (replacing the B1s) would be a solid capability.
Remarkable how close we keep coming to the original Future Surface Combatant categories of C1, C2 and C3 from two decades ago.

With the C1 and C2 role being fulfilled by the Type 26/31, we now find ourselves looking to the C3 requirement of a 'Global Corvette', which was at the time perceived as an enhanced River Class OPV, with elements on the Khareef Class Corvettes.

Whilst a clean sheet design seems tempting, I would be curious how cheaply a basic 99m or 102m derivative of the BAE/CL Leander concept could be delivered if we were talking about up to eight platforms, Vs a stretched Batch III river with a mission bay and enhanced boat handling facilities.

Image

Though a modest loss to the patrol fleet, retaining Clyde would have given us a rather excellent platform to examine the requirements of a small, multipurpose mothership for MHC and other future tasks.

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shark bait
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by shark bait »

Easy to get carried away with this, I hope admiralty can show some more restraint.

The next gen will need to be more 737 than MRA4, otherwise it will end up just like Nimrod. In other words no fancy bespoke stuff because its simply not required to operate remote boats in a low threat environment. Something fat, simple and cheap will work.
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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

shark bait wrote:operate remote boats in a low threat environment.
... and in a high threat environment?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by Repulse »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:
shark bait wrote:operate remote boats in a low threat environment.
... and in a high threat environment?
It’s either a LPD or an RFA/Minor Warship with rop cover from a CBG, Escorts or land assets or a combination of all three IMO.
”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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shark bait
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by shark bait »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:... and in a high threat environment?
Anything, it really doesn't matter. This will be <1% of the workload, so its really hard to justify ramping up the cost to cover the fringe use cases, especially when their are loads of other options for contested ops.

Mine clearance doesn't happen concurrently with any surface operation so there will be mission bays, patrol boats, amphibs or auxiliaries the available for use. Failing that, get a truck and operate from the shore.
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shark bait
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by shark bait »

Reminds me of a little vignette from the wavell room where the author imagines the OPV's being used.
The Littoral Task Group Commander sits offshore onboard HMS BULWARK, just over the horizon and radar silent, waiting for the first reports from the raiding party. His combat system plot shows blue force positions and status updates. Evidence of enemy activity up and down the coast is still abundant, flushed into activity by the decoys seeded into three different potential amphibious operating areas and supported by deception strikes from HMS PRINCE OF WALES group further offshore and well to the north. Two of BULWARK’s Searcher UAVs were still airborne, the last launched just an hour previously, scouring the coast for enemy movements and listening for any potential chatter that might provide warning to the raiders. A third Searcher is tracking an enemy destroyer to the south; the LSG’s Type 31’s have it covered, missiles already programmed with coordinates and constantly updated. The escorts have already swept the area for hostile SSK’s well before the LSG moved into position, and maintain their patrol with their Shark USVs in formation; two Manta drones were still trolling slowly north and south of the group. HMS SPEY has recovered her remote minesweeping and minehunting vehicles having cleared the boat lanes to the beach, and is back in the close Force Protection station on BULWARK, two armed Sidearm UAVs ready on her flight deck and her own weapons trained into the night. She had been here for a week already, slipping into the coast in the dark and deploying her remotes without exposing herself. A Supplier buzzes past the Bridge, ferrying an urgent spare to the beach-head; the message sent half an hour previously, relayed through the Zephyr battlefield comms node, had been processed quickly.

Action! The raiders have destroyed their objective; they are en-route back to the ships. They have hostiles in pursuit; the southerly Searcher has them on camera. Coordinates are swiftly transferred; the nearest Type 31 lights up with rapid salvoes inshore from its main gun. No sense hiding now; the task group goes active, radars flooding the area. Two craft turn towards the group; hostile FPBs inbound. SPEY actions her Sidearms; a Wildcat lifts from the nearest frigate, and the group homes in on the threat, neutralising it with a salvo of Martlet missiles. Now the Marines are inbound; the two Merlin troop transports dust off and the Wildcat veers in to cover the landing craft now powering off the coast. Two F35 are en-route to cover the force, their diversionary mission complete. Missiles flash out from the southerly Type 31; the destroyer is alerted and closing, but with only radar bearings has no solution of its own. The enemy is off-guard and trying to cover a wide front; the LSG recovers its forces in swift order and sails clear, mission accomplished.
https://wavellroom.com/2018/10/20/how-t ... oyal-navy/
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by Lord Jim »

I was just about to make a post regarding clearing mines as part of a raiding operations when the above post appeared. Spooky :D

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

shark bait wrote:Mine clearance doesn't happen concurrently with any surface operation
Me too. Watchwords: sweeping vs. breaching
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by bobp »

Looks like the future is going to be unmanned....

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/worl ... royal-navy

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

The above (will expand with a quote), together with this from Shephard
"Naval Warfare
PREMIUM: Might the mysterious Type 32 ‘frigate’ really be the UK’s MCM replacement?

19th November 2020 - 17:33 GMT | by Richard Thomas in London"
gave me a little snicker.

On order will go
"Following a successful demonstration phase and trials completed in October 2020, the new contract will produce three sets of minehunting equipment, consisting of:

Autonomous vessel – a boat controlled and operated from a “mother ship/base.” Towed sonar – a sonar which is towed/dragged behind the vessel to locate ordnance. Mine neutralisation system – a remotely operated underwater vehicle which is used once the mine is located to neutralise the device and prevent its detonation.

When used together, these three elements are known as the Primary System. This next-generation mine hunting capability is designed to potentially replace conventional crewed mine hunting vessels, such as the Royal Navy’s Hunt and Sandown class ships, with autonomous systems."

When @xav reported the success for the testing of these modules, it was noted in the quoted statements that on UK's part what will constitute "the mother ship" was left open.

Will the 'P' be put back onto the prgrm name; Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)?
- perhaps it is the 'H' that will become separate (when replacement become due)?
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by bobp »

ArmChairCivvy wrote:Might the mysterious Type 32 ‘frigate’ really be the UK’s MCM replacement?
Highly likely I believe. France is slightly ahead and has ordered 4 systems.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... this-year/

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

bobp wrote:France is slightly ahead and has ordered 4 systems
Yes, and they look like self-deploying "The motherships will displace between 3,000 and 4,000 tons with a length close to 90 meters" whereas the one they had for the prgrm (experimental) was more like for waters either side of France.
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by bobp »

Possible mothership order in the near future?

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Yet another info in French side
https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... ns-remain/

... The SLAMF program consists of four components:

8x Unmanned systems (details below) including 4 to be delivered by 2024
6x motherships for UAV/USV/UUV known as “bâtiments de guerre des mines” (BGDM)
5x EOD divers support vessels known as “bâtiments base plongeurs démineurs nouvelle generation” (BBPD NG)
1x Mine Warfare Data Operating System (SEDGM). Mine Warfare Data Operating System (SEDGM).

Each of the four “unmanned systems” mentioned above represents a mine warfare module consisting of:
1x Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), to identify and neutralize sea mines.
3x Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV),
2x Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV),to detect, classify and locate (DCL functions) the mines. ...


Notably, it is only 8 systems, with 6 MCH-like vessels and 5 diving tenders, and a "Mine Warfare Data Operating System" ship.

For comparison, now they have 10 MCMV, 4 Diver Tender, and 3 "Sonar towing vessel" for routine port entrance survey.

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by bobp »




A video to go with above announcement

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by Tempest414 »

bobp wrote:
ArmChairCivvy wrote:Might the mysterious Type 32 ‘frigate’ really be the UK’s MCM replacement?
Highly likely I believe. France is slightly ahead and has ordered 4 systems.

https://www.navalnews.com/naval-news/20 ... this-year/
But the RN already has 3 ARCIMS is service on the Clyde since March this year

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by bobp »

Tempest414 wrote:But the RN already has 3 ARCIMS is service on the Clyde since March this year
Are they not the units that were conducting trials rather than production units.

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by Tempest414 »

bobp wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:But the RN already has 3 ARCIMS is service on the Clyde since March this year
Are they not the units that were conducting trials rather than production units.
Quote) The system's have been handed over to military service and will be on live operations from March 2020

These are capable of unmanned MCM and survey op's

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by bobp »

So with the three sets on order...

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/worl ... royal-navy

and the three sets already in RN hands, that will be six sets.

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Of course we won't copy the French
"The motherships will displace between 3,000 and 4,000 tons with a length close to 90 meters"
,

but ARCIMs and the other components of the system are the ones that need a mother ship
... in some locations they can operate without (planes, trucks etc. to get them there)
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by BlueD954 »

If not post before

https://questions-statements.parliament ... -30/122600

I have interpreted the right hon. Member's question as referring to the Anglo-French Maritime Mine Counter Measures (MMCM) programme. The UK has committed to buying three sets of equipment under the programme. Each set comprises a portable operation centre, an autonomous surface vessel, towed sonar, and a mine neutralisation system. To date the total cost to the UK has been approximately £82 million.

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by bobp »

The mine neutralisation system is being produced by SAAB it seems...

https://www.defensenews.com/global/euro ... e-program/

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

OK, out of the five
"Besides Saab’s vehicle, there are five other technologies rounding out the MMCM package, including additional robots and sensors. Manufacturers include companies ECA, ASV and Thales."
this is the undersea and then there's ARCIMS on the water.

Compare the sleek Arafura OPV derivative that Australia is proceeding with and the 'tubby' shape that the Belgo-Dutch prgrm has settled for:
- both have a platform for use by a surveillance drone
- the Arafura workdeck, under that platform, can currently only launch 10.5 m boats... may be with modification an ARCIMS USV
- getting also the underwater killer drone (that we are buying for our use from Saab) into water would, on the 80 m long and 13 m beam Arafuras, require either sequential launch and recovery ops from the workdeck which does in the CGIs look big OR modifying the conventional davits on the sides to be of the craddle-launch type frames as seen on the Belgo-Dutch design

Why would any of this matter?
- the OPV design & size could easily self-deploy across oceans, but would seem to be already 100% filled up as for space with the current 'robotics' that we are going for (the Australian project is only entering the bidding stage for any such)
- whereas the tubby designs would seem to be more for local/ regional use
Ever-lasting truths: Multi-year budgets/ planning by necessity have to address the painful questions; more often than not the Either-Or prevails over Both-And.
If everyone is thinking the same, then someone is not thinking (attributed to Patton)

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Re: Mine countermeasures and Hydrographic capability (MHC) (MHPC)

Post by Tempest414 »

At this time the RN has the 5 River B'2 these with there cranes could deploy and operate the so called MCM in a box by carrying 2 x containers on the wast points and as many as 4 x 12 meter USV's on its working / flight deck plus they have berths for 50 extra mission crew

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