National Shipbuilding Strategy

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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

Have never read the TOBA but saw a mention (cant remember where) that there is some kind of breakpoint in 2023, the same year the first of the ordered T23s will be in the water.
- now, in fact there are two TOBAs (one for under the water; this one for the surface fleet... noteworthy that BAE is in both of them).

"it's less about mapping the future of the Type 31 or other programmes, but instead targeting BAE, sort of putting on the pressure on them to get the Type 26 programme right (cost/time) or else risk losing its monopoly via the implementation of Sir John Parker's recommendations in a restructuring of the military shipbuilding industry."

TOBA is about work load p.a. so it really does not restrict placing future orders (if my 2023 recollection is just not a failure of the hard drive... on the grey matter).
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

A bit more information from Defence News on the report.......http://www.defensenews.com/articles/rep ... g-projects

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

bobp wrote:A bit more information from Defence News on the report.......http://www.defensenews.com/articles/rep ... g-projects
Thanks. This is good read for me. "No money assigned" is (for me) the biggest issue on T31 for now. On the other hand, Navy's lack of decision, lack of control over requirement and implementation (= cost estimate) is the most important point to be cured. BAE monopoly is blamed sometimes but I am not sure it is really an issue. They are getting too much profit? Just make it small by contract. They are paying too much for the engineers? May be. They are paying too much for the workers? May be.

But I guess "wrongly organized program" is the main issue, from my experience on designing complex systems (not ship, sorry). If you require something technically "very difficult", it may cost HUGE. If easy, it will be cheap.

It is not only for "complex" stuffs you can easily imagine, like "radar range of 250nm is needed, and 248nm is not acceptable", "noise level shall be XX dB, and a 2dB over run in YY Hz is not acceptable" or like. It could also be "require a space of 30.0 cm around module-A, and 29.5 cm is not acceptable", or "asking the size of 20m long module-B to be 5 cm smaller", both can require whole re-design, or could be very easy. To "require" these stuffs, someone on charge must know the technical aspects in deep.

If this is not cured, there is no way getting cheaper T31, no matter it is BAE monopoly or distributed around English ship builders.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

Agree with your post Donald especially the part about specifications. Hence why the MARS are late incorrect wire used so not in specification. Perhaps the MOD want too much for their money so the manufacturers try to cut costs to increase their profits.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by WhitestElephant »

So, mine-countermeasures and hydrography to be undertaken by T31, the B2 Rivers, RFAs (Bay class?) and perhaps some civilian vessels.

Does that mean more ships like SD Victoria for Serco Marine Services?. Could it also mean a few more T31 for the RN?
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by shark bait »

Over the next decade mine-countermeasures and hydrography will start to be undertaken from any platform in or even without one, and instead operated from the shore.

It likley we will see more platforms like SD Victoria, and possibly even acquired in the same way. This is the second time in a month a report as suggested acquiring platforms as a service, the Unmanned Warrior report also mentioned it.

Too early to say if this means more T31, it has been the plan to use frigates as MCM platforms for a while now, so I think that's an unlikely conclusion.
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

SaaS is all the craze in the sofwareworld ; does not make it a good idea, though

RE " acquiring platforms as a service"
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: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by dmereifield »

Does anyone know the original rationale for the planned (later denied) releasing of the NSS prior to the autumn statement? Now that we have seen it there is nothing (in its current format) quantitative in there that would need to be aligned to the autumn statement....

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by shark bait »

why not? works well with the point class or Marine Services for the sub rescue system ect...

Its how I see Argus and Diligence being 'replaced' too.
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Gabriele »

We are running too fast on sir Parker's report, and especially on "Type 31 and MCM bit".

BUT. Trying to determine what Type 31 must do, what the MHC mothership must do, and where the overlap is; that is really important. I'm no sir Parker, but i was saying exactly this a while ago, and i will continue forever to say it.

The single most important recommendation in the whole report is that of working to a 30 year plan. The Navy must know where it needs to go; it needs to say where it wants to go; governments must at least give some kind of reassurance about what requirements they endorse, if not promise exact funding lines so far in advance (that is obviously challenging) and industry must be shown the picture if it is to invest in the sector and plan ahead.

When all the above is not done, not even close, you end up messing things up. Potentially bad enough to match today's RN situation: RFA Diligence gone without replacement; Argus likely to soon suffer the same fate; MARS SSS probably heading abroad; 5 OPV purchased 10 years too soon and almost overnight, forcing the navy to settle for the one design BAE was immediately ready to produce, with bare minimum changes; and a "frigate" that is key to the survival of the surface fleet and yet is a complete unknown, with literally no one having a clue about what to do with it. And a big question mark over the whole shipbuilding sector.
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ArmChairCivvy
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

The first point is spot on...
"works well with the point class or Marine Services for the sub rescue system"

What are these Marine Services?
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: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by shark bait »

Serco defence has provided the marine services contract, the most are tugs with 2 notable examples are SD Victoria and SD northern river which was recently used as the mothership for unmanned warrior.

I believe both contacts have been successful, delivering platform's quickly and on budget, in the case of the Point class they were actually delivered ahead of time.

That is unheard of form the standard model of procurement, the one the Shipbuilding Strategy and Unmanned Warrior reports both criticised for being too slow to useful.

It really does have to change, it's a vicious circle, and perhaps "platform's as a service" will be part of the solution?
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

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Gabriele wrote: Trying to determine what Type 31 must do, what the MHC mothership must do, and where the overlap is; that is really important
.....
The single most important recommendation in the whole report is that of working to a 30 year plan.
Agree on both those points.

on the first; they should overlap capabilities, but differ on use cases. A pool of equipment and specialist, that operate form the T31 (& T26) in hostile environments, or a simple platform a benign environment.

In the report he outlines a framework that sounds completely reasonable, and is exactly what we should expect from a government who care about the long term sustainability of the Navy and of Industry.

Part of the issue for UK industry is there has been absolutely no sense of direction to measure investment against, meaning investment hasnt happened, infrastructure is outdated, and now the government is left wondering why it's in a bad state.
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by ArmChairCivvy »

shark bait wrote:Serco defence has provided the marine services contract, the most are tugs with 2 notable examples are SD Victoria and SD northern river which was recently used as the mothership for unmanned warrior.
Ahh, the modern day Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service
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: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by marktigger »

great is combining roles thinking for the future or covering up cuts

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by rec »

Some thoughts on the NSS.

1) The report is apsirational, and seeks some good solutions to the current monopoly of BAE. The challenges are as follows:

a) the need for additional investment beyound the current defence budget in order to resource Cammil laird, Babcock etal to deliver the Type 31. This would include a UOR in order for the first 5 T31s to be built. The other 5 coming from the main defence budget, yes 10 in total, any less are not going to make these shipyards commercially viable.

b) For the RN and MOD to have a long term plan as to what type os ships are required, in our current 4-5 year poilitical cycle this will be hard to deliver.

c) recruitment and retention of a shipbuilding work force, this is a long term issue again.

d) A commitment from the Government towards the RN, which would enable it to reach 24 escourts by 2025 and not the mid 2030s

e) A willingness to pay more so that the MARS SSS can be built in the UK.

f) After the T26, what next for BAE ? Albion class replacement with a LHD or T45 replacement?

What it doesn't cover: Is how to increase the numbers of Submarines by building a class of SSK under license.
Maybe buying in expetise to resurrect surface shipbuilding at Camil laird/babcock as we did for SSNs with the Astute.

An increase in mapower for the RN.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

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Are subs omitted because sub's aren't ship's, and our capacity there is packed for many years?

Keeping the smaller yards going is going to be difficult on a budget, we struggle to manage one. Perhaps only working on a third each and then sticking together it could be done, and hope commercial competitiveness offset the additional complexity.
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

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shark bait wrote:Are subs omitted because sub's aren't ship's, and our capacity there is packed for many years?
Subs are under a separate arrangement (which has since 2008, at least, been pretty much on the lines now targeted for surface ships) rather than a TOBA with a single company
https://www.babcockinternational.com/Ne ... howLangs=1

Submarine Enterprise is working well, they are already doing parallel build (for productivity) and this could be accelerated, whereas the building of nuclear cores cannot, at least very easily. What upset the apple cart (to the tune of 50 months; Ive posted the details somewhere here) was the "recoring" need for existing subs.
- in the midst of the deepest defence cuts £300m plus was awarded to enable switching existing designs (not just Successor) to the newer type of reactor. Although the rationale given was nuclear safety, long-term cost avoidance (no more "recoring") must have played an equal role... now the new design is so safe that the onshore test facility was scrapped! Ie. the additional funding was not additional, just switched between items
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: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by marktigger »

suspect this report will be filed under B for Bin

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

The Parker report has been published the government response will be placed in the In Tray until after the next SDSR.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Spinflight »

Wasn't it the Treasury that commissioned it? It certainly reads as though it was aimed at Treasury ears, harshly critical of BAEs and the MoD. The Navy too at times.

In which case it certainly won't be filed under B.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by bobp »

I know a lot of people are critical of Bae but its also the case that the government has messed around with cuts which has left Bae low on work. I was reading the other day that Rolls Royce are starting to close their Marine division, and are threatening to pull out of Military Aviation as well due to lack of UK defence spending.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Spinflight »

Wouldn't surprise me, they were after all planning on selling 464 EJ200s plus spare engines plus lifetime spare parts etc for the Typhoon. Instead it's more like 250, plus export orders I guess.

Just thinking about this I'm pretty sure this was a Treasury driven exercise but, like ping pong, the ball is now in the MoD's half.

So say they call the bluff. You asked for a 30 year plan so here it is. We have determined that keeping ships past 25 years is uneconomic and that in future we should be looking to build new rather than refit after 15 years.

The contract for the Type 26 is x amount however we also need 5 Type 31 by 2030, 3 MARS by 2024, LPD replacements by 2025 and 8 MHC beginning in 2028. This shows a funding shortfall of x Billions between 2022 and 2030, which as Sir John recommended should be ring fenced to prevent expensive delays.

Cough up then.

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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Gabriele »

That is exactly what the italian navy chief of staff De Giorgi has done recently, going ahead of the defence committee and showing them that the fleet would "vanish" within a decade without new builds. He went in, again and again, and campaigned for a Naval Law providing funding for several programmes. He went in with very clear ideas, and indeed with ship designs already in the bag, designed by the Navy's own Design Office (something the Royal Navy unfortunately does not really have anymore, unfortunately), and he banged on the economic benefits of creating work for italian industry and on every thing he could think of to underline the value of the ships.

He obtained funding for 7 "light" (well north of 4000 tons, actually) frigates, that he sold to the politicians as "one size fits all multi-role class" that is going to replace small corvettes and simple OPVs, providing a dramatic uplift in capability for the surface fleet. A large supply ship, a massive LHD, F-35 capable even if it does not get mentioned openly, and 2 fast special forces small motherships. The supply ship, the LHD and the first light frigate are already being built.

The First Sea Lord goes in front of a supportive Defence Committee that would LOVE to help him make his point, and even so he plays the government tune in an embarrassing way, all but offending the members of the Committee who literally begged him (and other chiefs from the other services, to be fair) to be open and honest with them.

Maybe he could at least TRY...? Maybe it won't work, or it won't work as spectacularly well as it worked for De Giorgi, but try, goddamnit. Try.
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Re: National Shipbuilding Strategy

Post by Ron5 »

In the UK's system of government, the defense committee has zero power and very little influence.

Repeatedly, the committee asks for basic information from defence civil servants to be told no, you cannot have that.

For example, how much money did the MoD ask for in year XX and what did they want to spend it on?

I think the UK is almost unique in Western governments in that the spending plans of the MoD (and all the other ministries) are never published for information, debate or any other purpose. It would be a mighty good thing if they were. But no, everyone has to learn after the event and then only in stratospherically high level of detail.

The UK does not have an open form of governance. Not in the slightest.

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