Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Contains threads on Royal Navy equipment of the past, present and future.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

tomuk wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 05:34 T31 is a frigate all that missing is the AShM which is missing off most of the other escorts until we pull our finger out and buy some NSM.
It depends on its role and how it will operate. Its ability to protect/influence events below the water will be v.limited. The number of Sea Ceptor missiles is also questionable and definitely could not go in harms way unless part of a bigger group with more capable platforms. That’s before we get to AShM.
tomuk wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 05:34 The T31 is a whole better capability than any imaginary River variant.
Yes, there hasn’t been one built, but given the broader River/Khareef family hardly imaginary.

My problem is it is the T31 is neither fish nor foul. It’s not capable enough to influence local events in any significant way (nor can it easily as a forward based ship). Then on the other hand, it cannot access shallow / ecological sensitive areas nor areas as easily with political sensitivities which are significant parts of the Indo Pacific region, Caribbean and to a degree the South Atlantic. However, it’s costs will probably be 3 times the cost of the B2s currently doing the job.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by SD67 »

But there are Problems with Khareef - short range, and it looks dangerously like a frigate, so there’s a political risk of someone at Treasury getting clever.

I’ve also heard that it’s not a straight forward build - a lot of systems crammed into a 100 metre hull, the losses on that program are the reason Vospers got out of shipbuilding

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Short range is less of a problem when forward based.

You are right the number of systems crammed into the Khareef is too many, but really what I’m personally thinking about is more aligned to a simpler fit (no VLS for example). In fact, more of a B2 with a hangar and a 57mm (anti UAV/USV gun).

It would need to be to ensure a smallish crew and ability to be repaired overseas. Otherwise you may as well deploy the T31s as is in the role.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Ron5 »

Tempest414 wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 18:37
Ron5 wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 14:25
Timmymagic wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 12:12
Tempest414 wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 09:39 The RN had that choice in the Type 31 comp it could of had the 117 meter Leander in fact at the time when we got the RB2's we could of got 4 dumbed down 99 meter Khareef class ships but the RN went for A140

For me if BAE had not been so greedy and pushed a dumbed down Khareef class fitted with a Sea Giraffe 3d radar 57mm 2 x 30mm we could by now had 10 of them with say 6 of them fitted with CAMM
It was the River Batch 2's that I was surprised by....£650m in the mid 2010's...

RN could have had 5 Khareef's for the money and still fulfilled TOBA. Or more credibly 5 x Avenger's (the stretched River Class). More ship for the money, better prepared for unmanned ops for the future but not a massive increase in running cost or manning.
It's been explained that there was not time for any kind of meaningful design work. That left a candidate list of one.

Not even enough time to add a hangar which was a Navy desire.
This may or may not be true as they made some 12 design changes to the OPV-90 to make the River B2 the Khareef class could have been dumbed down both the OPV-90 and Khareef ship classes had been built at around the same time and were well known
We were told that by N-A-B, a reliable source. I doubt Khareef was to RN standards and would require a lot of rework, that's assuming the RN even wanted any.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Ron5 »

Repulse wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 08:32 My problem is it is the T31 is neither fish nor foul.
Exactly, does the niche role it performs need filling? Esp by a cash strapped RN.

Well apart from the Osbourne Treasury role of being cheap and enabling Cameron to claim he hadn't broken the frigate building commitment to Scotland. Which was its original raison d'etre.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

For me any tire 2 ship should be half the cost of a tire 1 ship given that both type 45 and type 26 are 1 billion per ship and type 31 is 400 million there is some room left to spend a bit more

What I would like to see in place of of any type 32 is a 2.5 billion pound program to build 3 more type 31 and 3 more River B2's giving 8 of each class and this is what I would like to see program

3 x type 31 @ 375 million each = 1.12 billion
3 x RB2's @ 100 million each = 300 million
8 x 57mm guns for the RB2's = 70 million
8 x Camcopter S-300 for the RB2's = 30 million
8 x sets of 8 NSM for T-31= 200 million
8 x Containerised TAS to be used by both classes =240 million
16 x 8 cell Mk-41 =150 million
Extra CAMM for Type 31 to bring them to 30 each 200 million

this would leave money for over run and other stuff

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

donald_of_tokyo wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 03:50
wargame_insomniac wrote: 18 Nov 2022, 18:32Greetings Donald-san. I thought I had used the term General-Purpose rather than Multi-Purpose, but if I had said the latter, then I meant it as opposed to a specialist AAW escort like T45 or a specialised ASW escort like T26.
Thanks. Sorry I was not clear. I meant, GP frigate in RN standard is "sloop", not a multli-purpose frigate. T81 tribal class was a sloop, later designated as GP frigate. The next GP frigate for RN was T21, as we all know. How to evaluate T81 and T21 depends on who does it, but I think T31 is exactly in the same group, "Long rage heavy corvette".

Actually, T31 has equipment-sets almost the same to that of Al Khareef class corvette.
I feel any RN escort needs to, as a minimum, be able to defend itself from a wide variety of enemy foes, even if it is not a specislit at that task.
Understandable argument, but I think it is rather vague. What will be included in "a wide variety of enemy foes"? For me,
<AAW>
- hypersonic ASM : maybe not
- sub-sonic ASM in large saturation attack: maybe not
- sub-sonic ASM a few at once: yes
- slow ASM drones in swarm : depends.

T31 complies perfectly. It has 12 (or more) CAMM, 57 mm gun, 2x 40 mm gun. Perfect.

<Anti Surface>
- carry hypersonic ASM : not needed
- carry long-range sub-sonic ASM : maybe yes
- carry smallish sub-sonic ASM : maybe yes
- carry only guns : for sure

T31 has SeaVenom and 57 mm gun. Good.

<ASW>
- hunting SSN/SSK: completely out of scope
- can cover a small area around herself in ASW against SSN/SSK: maybe yes
- can avoid torpedo attack: maybe yes
- carry a high-end ASW helicopter : maybe not
- carry a helicopter or UAV to provide sonobuoy cover: hopefully

T31 has Merlin capable hanger (only as an option), can carry Wildcat, will be able to carry ASW-capable (although limited) UAV (but, not now). It has torpedo defense system (good), and no hull sonar.

Anyway, T31 with a hull sonar cannot be used to hunt SSK/SSN. It is always inferior to SSK/SSN. Adding a hull sonar will slightly improve its survival probability. Of course, adding a torpedo defense system has a big effect, and thus adopted.

T31 meets the "minimums level", I think.
I am quite comfortable thinking of the T31 using the terms global / patrol / light and frigate / sloop (and I am not fussd which term we use), and I still feel there is a need for them as we move towards more peer focussed high intensity global warfighting. I agree broadly with the type of threats you listed and the fact that would not expect T31 to be aimed at defeating Hypersonic Missiles etc. So it is just a question of where exactly the T31 should be against those various scales you noted.

I do think that T31 should be able to conduct ASW even if self defence. So I would be looking for Sonar over and above the SSTD / Sea Sentor. And I think Kongsberg's NSM might be a good lower cost Anti-Ship / Land Attack Missile for T31.

The Dec 2021 HoC Defence Committee warned that Royal Navy “When ships do get to sea, they act like porcupines — well defended herbivores with limited offensive capabilities." We need to address that with all of our escorts, IMO including the T31. The more expensive. higher performance offensive weapons need to be prioritised to T45 and T26 but we still need to consider upgrades to the T31 if we can add them at low cost for both acquisition, maintenance and crew requirements.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Tempest414 wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 14:11 For me any tire 2 ship should be half the cost of a tire 1 ship given that both type 45 and type 26 are 1 billion per ship and type 31 is 400 million there is some room left to spend a bit more

What I would like to see in place of of any type 32 is a 2.5 billion pound program to build 3 more type 31 and 3 more River B2's giving 8 of each class and this is what I would like to see program

3 x type 31 @ 375 million each = 1.12 billion
3 x RB2's @ 100 million each = 300 million
8 x 57mm guns for the RB2's = 70 million
8 x Camcopter S-300 for the RB2's = 30 million
8 x sets of 8 NSM for T-31= 200 million
8 x Containerised TAS to be used by both classes =240 million
16 x 8 cell Mk-41 =150 million
Extra CAMM for Type 31 to bring them to 30 each 200 million

this would leave money for over run and other stuff
My concern at the moment is that the MOD won't have the funds for this 2.5 billion pound program you suggested and the RN won't be able to crew the additional 6 more ships as it can barely crew the ships it has (having to juggle the early retirement of T23 GP and MCMS ships to cover when T45's come out of PIP and T23's come out of LIFEX).

The hopes of this or future Governments approving an increase of defence spending to 3% or higher are long gone following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So we have to cut our xos-exoctingg

But if we were to pare down this suggested program to more realistic levels, for upgrading the esiting 5*T31's, I could agree with:
5 x sets of 8 NSM for T-31= 125 million
5 x Containerised TAS =150 million
5 x 8 cell Mk-41 =50 million
Extra CAMM for Type 31 to bring them to 30 each 125 million
(Assuming your estimates per unit are accurate and achievable if we pro rate down to just 5 T31's).

So looking at spending somewhere in the region of £450m - £500m to upgrade the 5 existing T31's so that they can contribute more to various RN missions as tensions increase.

For the existing 5*RB2's, the 57mm gun is deck penetrating and thus I beleive it would be more realistic to stick to the 40mm if you wanted to upgrade them. The Camcopter S-300 for the RB2's seems to be a good ideagiven their lack of helictopter facilities or hangars. I am not sure about fitting VLS to RB's - seems too much for their low-intensity roles and could encourage their deployment to unsuitable missions. So we should be sparse with any extra funds allocated to exisiting 5*RB2's.

As to whether we need more escorts, most of us think th answe is yes. Bu can we afford them and etxra crew required? We might ned to replace the 3 RB1's but not sure more RB2's, let alone the up armed RB2's that you proposed would be the answer for patrolling UK EEZ.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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wargame_insomniac wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 17:55
Tempest414 wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 14:11 For me any tire 2 ship should be half the cost of a tire 1 ship given that both type 45 and type 26 are 1 billion per ship and type 31 is 400 million there is some room left to spend a bit more

What I would like to see in place of of any type 32 is a 2.5 billion pound program to build 3 more type 31 and 3 more River B2's giving 8 of each class and this is what I would like to see program

3 x type 31 @ 375 million each = 1.12 billion
3 x RB2's @ 100 million each = 300 million
8 x 57mm guns for the RB2's = 70 million
8 x Camcopter S-300 for the RB2's = 30 million
8 x sets of 8 NSM for T-31= 200 million
8 x Containerised TAS to be used by both classes =240 million
16 x 8 cell Mk-41 =150 million
Extra CAMM for Type 31 to bring them to 30 each 200 million

this would leave money for over run and other stuff
My concern at the moment is that the MOD won't have the funds for this 2.5 billion pound program you suggested and the RN won't be able to crew the additional 6 more ships as it can barely crew the ships it has (having to juggle the early retirement of T23 GP and MCMS ships to cover when T45's come out of PIP and T23's come out of LIFEX).

The hopes of this or future Governments approving an increase of defence spending to 3% or higher are long gone following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. So we have to cut our xos-exoctingg

But if we were to pare down this suggested program to more realistic levels, for upgrading the esiting 5*T31's, I could agree with:
5 x sets of 8 NSM for T-31= 125 million
5 x Containerised TAS =150 million
5 x 8 cell Mk-41 =50 million
Extra CAMM for Type 31 to bring them to 30 each 125 million
(Assuming your estimates per unit are accurate and achievable if we pro rate down to just 5 T31's).

So looking at spending somewhere in the region of £450m - £500m to upgrade the 5 existing T31's so that they can contribute more to various RN missions as tensions increase.

For the existing 5*RB2's, the 57mm gun is deck penetrating and thus I beleive it would be more realistic to stick to the 40mm if you wanted to upgrade them. The Camcopter S-300 for the RB2's seems to be a good ideagiven their lack of helictopter facilities or hangars. I am not sure about fitting VLS to RB's - seems too much for their low-intensity roles and could encourage their deployment to unsuitable missions. So we should be sparse with any extra funds allocated to exisiting 5*RB2's.

As to whether we need more escorts, most of us think th answe is yes. Bu can we afford them and etxra crew required? We might ned to replace the 3 RB1's but not sure more RB2's, let alone the up armed RB2's that you proposed would be the answer for patrolling UK EEZ.
I would like to try and clear some points up here

1) the RN already operate 8 River class OPV's so the 3 new RB2's or RB2.5's would take over from the B1's and would need say 60 extra crew rather than 3 full crews

2) Yes the 3 new type 31's would need 3 full crews but we do have until 2032 to find them and we would have to find 5 crews if type 32 went ahead

3) the RB2's already have the space for the though deck mount of the 57mm and Mag but I could live with the 40mm . I also would not have the B2's doing the same job as the B1's. I would have them patrolling UK waters the North sea and Baltic carrying out shadowing of Russian and other key shipping plus global deployments as needed

4) I never intended the RB2's to have VLS I was looking to give the T31's 16 cells however I would be happy with 8 as long as they had 30 CAMM. I would add 10 or so Hero 120 loitering weapons to the RB2's this along with a Camcopter S-300 with 6 LMM would give the RB2's good OTH punch without going to far

As for your last point we will need more Escorts and OPV's as China push out to East and West Africa and even South America and this is why I would be pushing for 4 T-31s and 4 RB2's each side of Suez

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by shark bait »

wargame_insomniac wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 16:32 “When ships do get to sea, they act like porcupines — well defended herbivores with limited offensive capabilities."
That is a wonderful analogy, can't believe I've not heard it before!
Tempest414 wrote: 19 Nov 2022, 14:11 3 more River B2's
That it doubling down on past mistakes. That's one thing the MOD are very good at.

If there was any money for small boats it should be spent bringing some of these drones into service instead of perpetual trial runs.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

The RN does need three new OPVs to replace the B1s. They are the work horses is the UK EEZ that are doing many invaluable roles including shadowing Russian naval units.

Whilst I do see an opportunity to combine the requirement with a small class of MCM motherships the B2s have proved their value already in their short lives, buying more B2s and getting commonality would be very far from the worst “mistake” the RN has made.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by tomuk »

Repulse wrote: 20 Nov 2022, 15:48 The RN does need three new OPVs to replace the B1s. They are the work horses is the UK EEZ that are doing many invaluable roles including shadowing Russian naval units.
Are they the workhorses? They supposedly don't have contract with DEFRA to do fisheries anymore and escorting Russians is just a side hustle which is carried out by other vessels if available anyway.
Whilst I do see an opportunity to combine the requirement with a small class of MCM motherships the B2s have proved their value already in their short lives, buying more B2s and getting commonality would be very far from the worst “mistake” the RN has made.
The Rivers aren't wide enough to be a MCM mothership you need a stable platform if deploying drones over the side.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

tomuk wrote: 20 Nov 2022, 19:02
Repulse wrote: 20 Nov 2022, 15:48 The RN does need three new OPVs to replace the B1s. They are the work horses is the UK EEZ that are doing many invaluable roles including shadowing Russian naval units.
Are they the workhorses? They supposedly don't have contract with DEFRA to do fisheries anymore and escorting Russians is just a side hustle which is carried out by other vessels if available anyway.
Whilst I do see an opportunity to combine the requirement with a small class of MCM motherships the B2s have proved their value already in their short lives, buying more B2s and getting commonality would be very far from the worst “mistake” the RN has made.
The Rivers aren't wide enough to be a MCM mothership you need a stable platform if deploying drones over the side.
How big a vessel would RN ned to be able to deploy the 11m ARCIMS :
tomuk wrote: 20 Nov 2022, 19:02
Repulse wrote: 20 Nov 2022, 15:48 The RN does need three new OPVs to replace the B1s. They are the work horses is the UK EEZ that are doing many invaluable roles including shadowing Russian naval units.
Are they the workhorses? They supposedly don't have contract with DEFRA to do fisheries anymore and escorting Russians is just a side hustle which is carried out by other vessels if available anyway.
Whilst I do see an opportunity to combine the requirement with a small class of MCM motherships the B2s have proved their value already in their short lives, buying more B2s and getting commonality would be very far from the worst “mistake” the RN has made.
The Rivers aren't wide enough to be a MCM mothership you need a stable platform if deploying drones over the side.
What size vessel would RN need to be able deploy the 11m long ARCIMS?
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Tbenz »

Does the RN really need to replace the Batch I Rivers though? With the RN no longer responsible for fishery protection anywhere in the UK EEZ, the requirement is different and arguably more focussed on shadowing Russian ships.

Basing OPVs overseas for defence engagement is all very well, but the real threat is arguably closer to home.
5 Batch II Rivers are sufficient to cover the FIGS and UK EEZ roles without any additional armament, only perhaps upgrading to the 40mm Bofors if and when that weapon becomes standard across the fleet. Any budget for the Batch I River replacement could go instead on upgrading the 5 Type 31 frigates.

A TAS, 8 NSM and a minimum of 24 CAMM would make the Type 31 quite capable ships. 2 x 8 Mk.41 VLS would be a bonus, although I don’t know whether the ‘weapons deck’ on the Type 31 can take 24 CAMM, 8 NSM and 2 Mk.41 VLS?

Add a second batch of 5 Type 31 optimised for the mothership role similar to BAE’s Adaptable Strike Frigate design (not sure to be fair how feasible this would be) plus a couple of cheap and cheerful PSV-conversion MCM motherships and the RN would be in a relatively good position.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

If the threat is all at home as you say, then why not base the T31s at home and keep the B2 Rivers where they are? Also, there is zero chance of a T31 having the same availability as a B1 so better get a few more.
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Tbenz »

By home, I meant not just the UK EEZ, but the North Atlantic and European waters in general.

A major threat going forward is likely to be sabotage directed at CNI such as undersea cables. This will require increased surveillance of Russian vessels, a task for which the Batch II Rivers are ideal, and more specialised support from the future MROSS.

Do we also need (upgraded) Type 31s in UK and North Atlantic waters? Absolutely.

We have limited resources with which to protect our EEZ, CASD, Carrier Strike and undersea CNI, as well as commitments in the Gulf. Without a huge uplift in budget and additional ships (and headcount), I just don’t see how we can justify basing or routinely sending ships of any type to Asia Pacific.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Repulse wrote: 20 Nov 2022, 15:48 The RN does need three new OPVs to replace the B1s.
Surely the plan is to replace the B2's with the T31's and the B1's with the B2's. Which would mean no new OPV's.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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The RN is clear that the T31's are to perform peace time duties: showing the flag, maritime constabulary and are fitted appropriately for those tasks.

It would take major money to upgrade them to perform warlike tasks.

I suspect the Navy would chose to spend that hypothetical money in other places to much greater effect.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

For me yes we need to be East of Suez with a good force and that is why I have pitched my view of building 3 more Type 31's and 3 more River B2's under my above 2.5 billion pound program which would also included the upgrade of the existing T-31s and RB2's this would give the RN

6 x T-45's
8 x T-26's
8 x T-31's
8 x RB2's

with 4 T-31's and 4 RB2's stationed EoS that would leave 18 escorts and 4 OPV's in the Atlantic plus it is worth noting again that NATO Europe has 127 escorts plus some 80 + corvettes , OPVs this does not include escorts from the US and Canada Atlantic fleet

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

Ron5 wrote: 21 Nov 2022, 14:15 The RN is clear that the T31's are to perform peace time duties: showing the flag, maritime constabulary and are fitted appropriately for those tasks.

It would take major money to upgrade them to perform warlike tasks.

I suspect the Navy would chose to spend that hypothetical money in other places to much greater effect.
The problem is all RN escorts and OPV's ships are in need of up-arming type 31 needs a bit more like NSM and 24 to 30 CAMM , Type 45 needs NSM on top of the 24 extra CAMM , Type 23 will need NSM
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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Tbenz »

I don’t disagree that the RN expects the Type 31s to undertake the flag-flying presence and constabulary roles. However, the announcement on 2nd November 2021 by the then First Sea Lord that the Type 31s would be fitted for, but not with Mk.41 VLS indicates that the RN also wants the Type 31s to be capable of a lot more.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Tbenz wrote: 21 Nov 2022, 16:23 I don’t disagree that the RN expects the Type 31s to undertake the flag-flying presence and constabulary roles. However, the announcement on 2nd November 2021 by the then First Sea Lord that the Type 31s would be fitted for, but not with Mk.41 VLS indicates that the RN also wants the Type 31s to be capable of a lot more.
The actual quote was that the Navy wanted the ships to be Mk 41 capable just in case, at a future date, they wanted to increase its lethality.

I'm suggesting that if and when that time comes, they will decide to spend the money elsewhere.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

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Tempest414 wrote: 21 Nov 2022, 15:04
Ron5 wrote: 21 Nov 2022, 14:15 The RN is clear that the T31's are to perform peace time duties: showing the flag, maritime constabulary and are fitted appropriately for those tasks.

It would take major money to upgrade them to perform warlike tasks.

I suspect the Navy would chose to spend that hypothetical money in other places to much greater effect.
The problem is all RN escorts and OPV's ships are in need of up-arming type 31 needs a bit more like NSM and 24 to 30 CAMM , Type 45 needs NSM on top of the 24 extra CAMM , Type 23 will need NSM
In your opinion, with zero rationale.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Ron5 wrote: 21 Nov 2022, 17:01
Tempest414 wrote: 21 Nov 2022, 15:04
Ron5 wrote: 21 Nov 2022, 14:15 The RN is clear that the T31's are to perform peace time duties: showing the flag, maritime constabulary and are fitted appropriately for those tasks.

It would take major money to upgrade them to perform warlike tasks.

I suspect the Navy would chose to spend that hypothetical money in other places to much greater effect.
The problem is all RN escorts and OPV's ships are in need of up-arming type 31 needs a bit more like NSM and 24 to 30 CAMM , Type 45 needs NSM on top of the 24 extra CAMM , Type 23 will need NSM
In your opinion, with zero rationale.
@Ron5 - given how prickly you have been recently, an apt time to remind you of the quote of RN Escorts being "Porcupines - well defended herbivores with limited offensive capabilities".

Yes that's an opinion but it was the opinion of the Chairman of House of Commons Selecr Defence Committee. I hope you would give at least some weight.

Of the two suugested upgrades, fitting Kongsberg's NSM is one of the cheapest options:for Anti Ship / Land Attack missile to give RN Escorts an offensive weapon, probably containerised.

And the increase in number of CAMM was to give higher indurance against Russia8 and China. whilst requiring little extra RN Crew.

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Re: Current & Future Escorts - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Ron5 wrote: 21 Nov 2022, 14:11
Repulse wrote: 20 Nov 2022, 15:48 The RN does need three new OPVs to replace the B1s.
Surely the plan is to replace the B2's with the T31's and the B1's with the B2's. Which would mean no new OPV's.
I know that’s the current plan, but I believe it’s the wrong plan.

All the GP T23s will have been decommissioned by the point that all 5 T31s are in the water, probably sooner.

Putting aside a minute the T32 debate whose commissioning will be at-least 5 if not 10 years after this date, what exactly are we not going to be doing today to allow the 2-3 T31s to be used in roles not currently supported by the GP T23s?

Given, unless something significant changes, 1 T31 will be required for Kipion, what for example will be escorting the LRG? I honestly think that even the five T31s will be stretched covering these two standing commitments.

Better to leave the B2s where they are and focus the high end force where people believe the threat is.

Also, I understand the OPVs are no longer responsible for fisheries in the UK EEZ, but there are numerous surveillance, anti-terrorism and escorting roles that are needed. Using frigates for these low level tasks is a very inefficient way of doing this - having numerous ships on station ready to act is key, and to replace the availability of one B1 River would require 2 T31s.
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