Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Tempest414
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

Tempest414 wrote:Group 1 ) 1 x frigate , 1 x Bay , 4 x MCM = Gulf
Group 2 ) 1 x frigate , Argus = LRG EoS
group 3 ) 1 x tanker , 2 x OPV's = Patrol group EoS

Group 1 would remain in the gulf at all times and groups 2 & 3 could deploy across the Indo-Pacific and if needed come together to form a LRG+
As I said right now I would be looking to deploy Argus plus another frigate and a tanker and as I said above groups 2 & 3 could come together to form a LRG+ and if really needed I am sure the Bay base in the Gulf could redeploy to the LRG if more lift was needed for a short time

An LRG of Argus and 1 frigate is about the right fit and a LRG+ of Argus ,1 x frigate , 1 x Bay , 1 x Tanker , 2 x OPV's is not to be discounted as it could carry a good sized RM/ Gurkha force 6 helicopters plus landing craft . Outside of this we are starting to look at the CSG being sent

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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You are going to need a forth LSG, as the plan is to have one looking after the Baltic and Norway at all times, LSG (North) I believe it is officially called. What its make up is or will be I am not sure, but LSG (South) has to cover the Eastern Med, Gulf and Indo-Pacific under current plans.

It would be useful to find any info in the public domain as to what is the make up ship wise of these two LSGs both in the immediate and longer term.

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Tempest414
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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It is laid out on page 575 of this thread . LRG North will be made up of 1 x LPD , 1 x Bay , 1 x escort plus a Point class if needed LRG south will be made up of 1 x Bay , 1 x escort plus a Point class if needed that is it

For me I would swap the Bay class with Argus for the next 4 years so LRG south was made up of Argus + 1 escort and given the area that LRG south has to cover I would add tanker support

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Tempest414 wrote:I would swap the Bay class with Argus for the next 4 years so LRG south was made up of Argus + 1 escort and given the area that LRG south has to cover I would add tanker support
Exactly but that 40t deck crane could be useful on the Point if XLUUV’s are procured or retain the ability to offload via mexefloat.

Done properly this group could have much more utility right across the Indo-Pacific rather than solely concentrating on the Littoral areas.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote:
Tempest414 wrote:I would swap the Bay class with Argus for the next 4 years so LRG south was made up of Argus + 1 escort and given the area that LRG south has to cover I would add tanker support
Exactly but that 40t deck crane could be useful on the Point if XLUUV’s are procured or retain the ability to offload via mexefloat.

Done properly this group could have much more utility right across the Indo-Pacific rather than solely concentrating on the Littoral areas.
If we were to send RFA Argus and a escort to form LRG South we could have Argus carrying 3 x Merlin's and 2 Wildcats plus the escort with a Wildcat = 6 helicopters as said if this group is given a tanker it can move around the Indo-Pacific at will. So along with the two B2's as said we could form two groups one with Argus and a Escort and the other with a Tanker and the two B2's if the tanker could carry 2 wildcats this small group could be interesting with two groups moving around the Indo-pacific and needed coming together to form a LRG+ able to move at will and deploy and support a company of RM or 5 wildcat each carrying 10 LMM and 2 Sea Venom

For me I think it is very doable to send Argus , 1 escort and a Tanker EoS full time for the next 4 years but for me what ever we send as the LRG ship a tanker is key to allow free movement around the region

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Glad to see the focus on "where do the helicopters come from" as I believe that a 'quick in & out' is the name of the game.

However, the pausing of Bay conversion does not seem to get factored in (and losing the primary casualty facility, through it being sent on a world tour, seems like a suspect way of filling a glaring gap in 'delivering' the new concept)?
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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More and more programmes seem to be either on hold or progressing at a slower rate these days. Are DE&S afraid to spend the new money announced with such fanfare or is it a case of they don't know where to spend it so aren't spending anything. LRG(South) is due to stand up next year, but at this rate the ships involved will be a case to using what we have, whilst the new platforms for it are going further and further down the line. It is like "If we dither for four or five years it will be someone else's problem".

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Lord Jim wrote:If we dither for four or five years
It is a wider point ('Politics' thread for this next) as the 4-yr settlement was calculated to make the Tories a party-for-defence once again, while waiting for the benefits - if any - of Brexit to start to trickle through, over that same time frame.
- at the same time there is pressure to go to the polls before the vaccines campaign 'shot in the arm' boost fades away

Difficult. Equally difficult for us to make sense of the direction in defence as the across the board type of reporting on what money has been spent on lags by a year, or close to two
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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We are also getting mixed messages. On the one hand we were told the new money in the spending review was for new, transitional programme's, not for filling holes in existing ones, and they at the same time we hear the MoD has used a substantial amount of the settlement to partially fill the existing "Black Hole"!

Where is the order for the second batch of T-26 for example? Will that be further split into batches two and three? I am sure the Treasury would like to further stretch the in year spend for the programme, maybe with the passivity of a ninth boat at the end to help dovetail into the T-83 programme which of course will also be pushed further along.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:Glad to see the focus on "where do the helicopters come from" as I believe that a 'quick in & out' is the name of the game.

However, the pausing of Bay conversion does not seem to get factored in (and losing the primary casualty facility, through it being sent on a world tour, seems like a suspect way of filling a glaring gap in 'delivering' the new concept)?
Sending Argus to be the lead ship in LRG South makes good use of her and would keep her employed until 2026 it would mean that UK troops would have good PCF and Helicopter support EoS where and when needed as for LRG North it seems it spends a lot of its time with one of the Dutch LPD's or Karl Doorman giving it good Helicopter support and PCF it is also able to be covered by a carrier

For me the three key thing the LRG/S is going to need so far from home and in a region the size of the Indo-Pacific is good medical support good organic helicopter support and good tanker support

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Tempest414 wrote:g the LRG/S is going to need so far from home and in a region the size of the Indo-Pacific is good medical support good organic helicopter support and good tanker support
Not unreasonable... where is the company's worth of RM going to have their bunks?
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Whilst I like the Bays, they were designed to be logistical ships. The fact is that LRG(S) should be based around a LPD and an Aviation Support Ship (let's call it Argus for now), with support from a Tanker. That would give the right package for the requirement to project (and support) a RM company level operation in the Indo Pacific region.

In the short term the LRG(N) should be a LPD plus a LSD, as we should be planning to project a larger force in the Artic / Baltics / Med, but would say a ASS is less critical as it is likely that the ships will be operating closer to friendly shores, and if required easier (and more appropriate) to assign a CVF.
”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: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Repulse wrote: would say a ASS is less critical as it is likely that the ships will be operating closer to friendly shores
A key point that also applies on the medical side of things (and thus could be used as a defence for a decision to re-role the - only - PCF).
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:A key point that also applies on the medical side of things (and thus could be used as a defence for a decision to re-role the - only - PCF).
Agree - if you are looking at company level operations you do not need a full time PCRS with 100 beds. A ship capable of operating six helicopters is much more useful.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Somehow I cannot see any MRSS having more than two or three spots for a Merlin sized Helicopter (two for Chinook) and a hanger for no more than four Merlins. Where I am undecided is whether the ship should have a well deck or launch small craft via davits. Also what size of vehicle would the LCF carry. If it is nothing larger than a Viking, and in fact mostly light 4x4s then either option should suffice, but anything larger is going to require at least Medium landing craft if not larger. Small craft are still vital due to their Stealthiness compared to Helicopters and can still be launched from over the horizon in theory.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:Not unreasonable... where is the company's worth of RM going to have their bunks?
Good question well presented . she dose have room for 200 medical staff when in full hospital op's as this will not be the case I am sure there would be room for the RM company

Also LRG North is made up of a
LPD + LSD and a escort

so for me if LRG South was made up of
Argus + LSD + Tanker and a escort

so if these two groups came together they could deploy 900 troops using 6 x Merlin , 8 x Wildcat , 4 x LCU and 8 x LCVP

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Lord Jim »

Nice thoughts, but under the FCF aren't the maximum size of each Commando detachment an expanded Company, so wouldn't that mean between 150 and 180 personnel per LSG?

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Lord Jim wrote:maximum size of each Commando detachment an expanded Company, so wouldn't that mean between 150 and 180 personnel per LSG?
For the prolonged deployments (which is not the same as any ramping up).

Been wondering myself how do we get from your numbers to the oft quoted 200?
- boat handlers?
- helo crews (incl. 'ground')? These folks are not Marines, though
- a specialist recce platoon?
- support weapons, not organic to a Coy?
... own cooks :) , separate from the ship's company
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: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Lord Jim wrote:Nice thoughts, but under the FCF aren't the maximum size of each Commando detachment an expanded Company, so wouldn't that mean between 150 and 180 personnel per LSG?
The Vanguard Strike Company created earlier this year, consisted of 150 RM & Army commandos. I would add that for "hotter" operations you'd have RMs on stand by to support an emergency extraction and/or a light armored troop, possibly up to the scale of a similar size. Whilst this can come from a 2nd platform, having the ability to host and operate 300 troops would be beneficial.

Both a Bay LSD and Albion LPD can technically accommodate forces of this size, but personally I would be erring towards the latter, hence the LPD + Argus combination. The LPD also has the larger well dock for assault craft. Appreciate the manpower costs of the LPD are high, but given the reduction in the overall MCM fleet then if there is a will the resources could be found.

If the RN ended up with say three but cheaper to run LPD sized ships with say two (6 helicopter) RFA Aviation Support Ships, along with two tankers (Waves or Replacements) this would give a solid core for two to three LRGs. Of course this would be combined with smaller groups of RMs/SFs operating from other RN/RFA surface and SSN platforms and even contracted civilian platforms. I see in particular the B2 Rivers and future MLSVs playing a significant part in these low-level operations.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Lord Jim wrote:Nice thoughts, but under the FCF aren't the maximum size of each Commando detachment an expanded Company, so wouldn't that mean between 150 and 180 personnel per LSG?
As said above the high readiness ( deployed) troops would be between 150 and 200 meaning if both groups came together there would be say 400 but there would be room for 400 to 500 more the hole group would then be about 2000 staff

I would like to see what the RM part of the LRG is made of and what support a company will get

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Under FCF and it main role as a "Raiding" force, I cannot really see a situation where we would combine the two LSGs. Yes the two could operate in the same theatre but would operate independently. Large scale landings of greater than company strength are going to be a thing of the past.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Repulse wrote: personally I would be erring towards the latter, hence the LPD + Argus combination
Well, the LPD alone (on shorts trips, over to Norway, can hold a 'whole' Commando, i.e. a bn). Of course , the new operating concept is rather different.
Repulse wrote:the manpower costs of the LPD are high, but given the reduction in the overall MCM fleet then if there is a will the resources could be found
Those costs are (costed) for A. supporting a whole Cdo and B. also carrying the staff element for the whole combined sea&landing Op... to avoid the discontinuities seen in the Falklands
- both of those elements would be much smaller in the LRG (use) case
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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ArmChairCivvy wrote:Those costs are (costed) for A. supporting a whole Cdo and B. also carrying the staff element for the whole combined sea&landing Op... to avoid the discontinuities seen in the Falklands
- both of those elements would be much smaller in the LRG (use) case
Exactly, the LPD’s are incredibly manpower intensive and therefore very expensive to operate but how low could the manpower levels be safely reduced down to with the leaner LRG concept?

Also is a twin Chinook capable flightdeck actually required with the LRG concept? If not would it actually make more sense to fit the hanger to the LPD’s?

If the FCF concept is going to be tested thoroughly surely adding a RUBB hanger to the LPD’s has got to be high on the list of things to attempt.

Getting the second Albion out of extended readiness must now be an absolute priority, especially if the operating costs can be reduced substantially.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Lord Jim wrote:Under FCF and it main role as a "Raiding" force, I cannot really see a situation where we would combine the two LSGs. Yes the two could operate in the same theatre but would operate independently. Large scale landings of greater than company strength are going to be a thing of the past.
Yes the LRG's will operate independently but even the RN's own flow chat shows that they can come together and be joined by the CSG . For me now with what we have today and in the future the LRGs must be able to work in small groups or come together to form a larger force

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Tempest414 Wrote
with what we have today and in the future the LRGs must be able to work in small groups or come together to form a larger force
Agreed, but it must be “AND” and not “OR” ! :mrgreen:

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