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Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 15 Aug 2019, 18:36

Jake1992 wrote:In the gulf do you believe mcm can be conducted by the off board system operating from shore ? IMO I don’t think this could be done so intern you’d still need a new Bay there st all times to be the Mother Ship.

In the Caribbean it could under take all the roles you’ve mentioned but the vessel it’s self would still need to be there.

This is what I’m getting at the bay Mk2s operating as flexible mother ships for all sorts of roles is perfectly fine I am not arguing that at all. What I am arguing is the numbers required to under take all the tasks they’d be set at any one time, in this I don’t believe 6 would be enough.

1 - in the gulf mcm
1 - in the Caribbean doing a multitude of tasks
1 - part of NATO standing mcm group
1 - conducting amphibious ops ( either training or operationally )
1 - doing security roles where needed
2 - in refit / work up


Well there’s 4 mcm in the gulf assuming mcm task in future is covered by pairs of the 12m usvs as currently under trial the tasking required say 8 12m usvs and about 120 people? So could a bay cope with that in a mother ship role or from pier side to an extent possibly would there be spare capacity possibly for 60 RM and a couple of wildcat? Can you mix and match and have remote operates controlling craft from the uk?? Who know it would be up to experimenting. Would you replace a bay with an Albion if task increased??

The question would be do you consider the gulf a priority to commit such a presence in future?

Caribbean yep a fwd presence good idea and many benefits.

All the last roles could be covered by 3 vessels doing what is required when necessary and not on an enduring bases 2 vessels being available out of the 3 at any one time.


I’d be experimenting with the 3 bays and 2 Albion’s and be using funds for the systems

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 15 Aug 2019, 19:06

SW1 wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:In the gulf do you believe mcm can be conducted by the off board system operating from shore ? IMO I don’t think this could be done so intern you’d still need a new Bay there st all times to be the Mother Ship.

In the Caribbean it could under take all the roles you’ve mentioned but the vessel it’s self would still need to be there.

This is what I’m getting at the bay Mk2s operating as flexible mother ships for all sorts of roles is perfectly fine I am not arguing that at all. What I am arguing is the numbers required to under take all the tasks they’d be set at any one time, in this I don’t believe 6 would be enough.

1 - in the gulf mcm
1 - in the Caribbean doing a multitude of tasks
1 - part of NATO standing mcm group
1 - conducting amphibious ops ( either training or operationally )
1 - doing security roles where needed
2 - in refit / work up


Well there’s 4 mcm in the gulf assuming mcm task in future is covered by pairs of the 12m usvs as currently under trial the tasking required say 8 12m usvs and about 120 people? So could a bay cope with that in a mother ship role or from pier side to an extent possibly would there be spare capacity possibly for 60 RM and a couple of wildcat? Can you mix and match and have remote operates controlling craft from the uk?? Who know it would be up to experimenting. Would you replace a bay with an Albion if task increased??

The question would be do you consider the gulf a priority to commit such a presence in future?

Caribbean yep a fwd presence good idea and many benefits.

All the last roles could be covered by 3 vessels doing what is required when necessary and not on an enduring bases 2 vessels being available out of the 3 at any one time.


I’d be experimenting with the 3 bays and 2 Albion’s and be using funds for the systems


I was going off what Donald proposed of 6 Mk2 Bays so looking beyond the current bays and Albion’s.
I do believe the mcm work in the gulf could be conducted by a Mk2 Bay with USVs but would require one based there at all time only switching out every few years for refits.
Is this a priority task for the RN ? I’d say yes with regard to the amount of UK trade and UK shipping passing through the region. As we’ve seen with Iran they would quite happily disrupt this when they see fit.

IMO the other tasks would be required on a regular basis so Vessel numbers will be needed, even to get 4 out of 6 available would be a hard push let alone more.

Like I say the key question for me if going down this route is what would be used to conduct these roles when the Mk2 Bays are needed in larger scale amphibious ops ? What will do the mcm role for this op ? What will do the mcm roles in the gulf and around UK ? What will do security roles ?

These are the reasons why I’m saying greater numbers would be needed for this route or a mix of these and multi mission sloops / absalon style vessel ?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 15 Aug 2019, 21:43

Jake1992 wrote:was going off what Donald proposed of 6 Mk2 Bays so looking beyond the current bays and Albion’s.


Yeah but there’s no money for new ships especially especially when one is mothballed.

I’d say the gulf isn’t a long term priority and next to no uk trade has been affected by Iran. There is freedom of navigation issue which deserves attention.

You commit your ships as you see fit but if you do one think you can’t do another. You prioritise and get on with it. If we decide the Caribbean and gulf needs presence then there’s less for else where.

You can operate from a port or hired vessel around the uk. If you need mcm for an amphibious operation you make allowance to carry it.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 15 Aug 2019, 22:03

SW1 wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:was going off what Donald proposed of 6 Mk2 Bays so looking beyond the current bays and Albion’s.


Yeah but there’s no money for new ships especially especially when one is mothballed.

I’d say the gulf isn’t a long term priority and next to no uk trade has been affected by Iran. There is freedom of navigation issue which deserves attention.

You commit your ships as you see fit but if you do one think you can’t do another. You prioritise and get on with it. If we decide the Caribbean and gulf needs presence then there’s less for else where.

You can operate from a port or hired vessel around the uk. If you need mcm for an amphibious operation you make allowance to carry it.


The bays and Albion’s have 10 years until replacement needs to begin so money issues can change over that time.

The less nations like us put in any particular area ( the gulf ) the more nations like Iran or China or Russia will feel free to disrupt or even block trade via freedom of navigation. Yes you put ship where needed at any given time but where they are need is dictated by economic and political need, this is why areas such as the gulf and even scs will be important for us.

I can understand the point your making so HMG need to either match there ambition to the current funding ( a big drop in what they think we can do ) or match funding to there global ambition. That has been the big problem for the last 2 decades HMGs ambition has been to maintain our global military influence while simultaneously cutting funding.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 15 Aug 2019, 22:22

SW1 wrote:Yeah but there’s no money for new ships especially especially when one is mothballed.


Agree completely, we should get both Albions active and using what we have before expanding further elsewhere.

Has anyone heard anything on the FLSS progressing? Feels it’s gone quiet (and died?) since Williamson left. I think the conversation has moved on and wouldn’t be sorry to see the back of the idea as long as a real RFA Argus replacement comes in (primarily role Aviation Support, second PCRS).
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Lord Jim » 15 Aug 2019, 23:11

Any new build will certainly be after the FSS, but if these are built in the UK then the same yard would be a good choice in order to maintain skill etc. Build one Albion/Bay replacement every two years or possibly eighteen months and so on. Sort of links into the discussion we were having in the Escorts thread about the NSS and the overall approach needed regarding warship building I the UK.

By the way with our lovely new base in the Gulf, will we still need to have a Bay acting as a depot ship out there, supporting the MCM force in the future?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 16 Aug 2019, 04:27

Jake1992 wrote:...No because even through the platform it’s self will be flexibile in what it can do due to its design and off board systems it can use the initial numbers would still be needed.

In the gulf do you believe mcm can be conducted by the off board system operating from shore ? IMO I don’t think this could be done so intern you’d still need a new Bay there st all times to be the Mother Ship.

In the Caribbean it could under take all the roles you’ve mentioned but the vessel it’s self would still need to be there.

This is what I’m getting at the bay Mk2s operating as flexible mother ships for all sorts of roles is perfectly fine I am not arguing that at all. What I am arguing is the numbers required to under take all the tasks they’d be set at any one time, in this I don’t believe 6 would be enough.

1 - in the gulf mcm
1 - in the Caribbean doing a multitude of tasks
1 - part of NATO standing mcm group
1 - conducting amphibious ops ( either training or operationally )
1 - doing security roles where needed
2 - in refit / work up

This is at least 7 while ignoring a need for any round the UK.
Thanks a lot! Good list.

Continuing discussion, my perspective is;

1 - in the gulf mcm
0.5 - in the Caribbean doing a multitude of tasks (coupled with River B2 in non-hurricane season)
0.5 - part of NATO standing mcm group (LSD-MCM is equivalent to 3-4 Hunts/Sandowns. 0.5 is more than enough)
1 - conducting amphibious ops ( either training or operationally )
1 - doing security roles where needed
2 - in refit / work up


So, may be 6 will work. 7 is better, but it will start eating other assets. Do not forget these ships are just mother ship. MCM team, Littoral Fast Patrol Craft team, both needs additional investments. Assets for amphibious team already exists, but I think LCU must be replaced with fast one, such a BMT Caimen 90. These money is needed.
The other thing that would need to be taken in to account when going down this route is what happens when a large scale amphibious op is needed? What vessel conduct mcm for the fleet and what vessel take over the roles that the bays would be taken away from ?
Let's assume 4 of the 6 is sent to the theater, in addition to a LPH (sometimes PoW), which is also included in my proposal.

Actually, I think all 4 can be used for amphibious role. Mine Counter Measure is made of three parts, as I understand:
1: detection/identifying
2: neutralizing part of the mines to make a corridor
3: neutralizing the field for safety

Among them, 3 is the most long lasting and time consuming, but it is not important in war time. In wartime, 1 is the most important. If you know there are mines in the specified beach, many options can be seen.
- Neutralize it to land there ? (I'm afraid, there shall be remaining mines even after neutralizing) —> not practical I think.
- or move to other beach
- or "dig" a corridor, if the mine density is low (only in this case, the full MCM team on LSD is needed)

Anyway, in wartime the most important is item-1. Up to now, yes we need MCMVs to do this. But, in near future, here, USVs with towed high-resolution side-scan sonar, or a fleet of UUVs (REMUS pods) to survey the beach and corridor to the beach, are important. And I think this can be done from either River B2, T26, T31e, or Echo/Enterprise, in addition to the LSDs.

So yes, the 6 LSD is not enough to cover all MCM tasks currently considered, but 6 is "enough" (better be 7) when coupled with the flexible mission decks of the new assets = River B2, T26, T31e, are there exactly to handle these issues, I guess.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Aug 2019, 07:27

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:...No because even through the platform it’s self will be flexibile in what it can do due to its design and off board systems it can use the initial numbers would still be needed.

In the gulf do you believe mcm can be conducted by the off board system operating from shore ? IMO I don’t think this could be done so intern you’d still need a new Bay there st all times to be the Mother Ship.

In the Caribbean it could under take all the roles you’ve mentioned but the vessel it’s self would still need to be there.

This is what I’m getting at the bay Mk2s operating as flexible mother ships for all sorts of roles is perfectly fine I am not arguing that at all. What I am arguing is the numbers required to under take all the tasks they’d be set at any one time, in this I don’t believe 6 would be enough.

1 - in the gulf mcm
1 - in the Caribbean doing a multitude of tasks
1 - part of NATO standing mcm group
1 - conducting amphibious ops ( either training or operationally )
1 - doing security roles where needed
2 - in refit / work up

This is at least 7 while ignoring a need for any round the UK.
Thanks a lot! Good list.

Continuing discussion, my perspective is;

1 - in the gulf mcm
0.5 - in the Caribbean doing a multitude of tasks (coupled with River B2 in non-hurricane season)
0.5 - part of NATO standing mcm group (LSD-MCM is equivalent to 3-4 Hunts/Sandowns. 0.5 is more than enough)
1 - conducting amphibious ops ( either training or operationally )
1 - doing security roles where needed
2 - in refit / work up


So, may be 6 will work. 7 is better, but it will start eating other assets. Do not forget these ships are just mother ship. MCM team, Littoral Fast Patrol Craft team, both needs additional investments. Assets for amphibious team already exists, but I think LCU must be replaced with fast one, such a BMT Caimen 90. These money is needed.
The other thing that would need to be taken in to account when going down this route is what happens when a large scale amphibious op is needed? What vessel conduct mcm for the fleet and what vessel take over the roles that the bays would be taken away from ?
Let's assume 4 of the 6 is sent to the theater, in addition to a LPH (sometimes PoW), which is also included in my proposal.

Actually, I think all 4 can be used for amphibious role. Mine Counter Measure is made of three parts, as I understand:
1: detection/identifying
2: neutralizing part of the mines to make a corridor
3: neutralizing the field for safety

Among them, 3 is the most long lasting and time consuming, but it is not important in war time. In wartime, 1 is the most important. If you know there are mines in the specified beach, many options can be seen.
- Neutralize it to land there ? (I'm afraid, there shall be remaining mines even after neutralizing) —> not practical I think.
- or move to other beach
- or "dig" a corridor, if the mine density is low (only in this case, the full MCM team on LSD is needed)

Anyway, in wartime the most important is item-1. Up to now, yes we need MCMVs to do this. But, in near future, here, USVs with towed high-resolution side-scan sonar, or a fleet of UUVs (REMUS pods) to survey the beach and corridor to the beach, are important. And I think this can be done from either River B2, T26, T31e, or Echo/Enterprise, in addition to the LSDs.

So yes, the 6 LSD is not enough to cover all MCM tasks currently considered, but 6 is "enough" (better be 7) when coupled with the flexible mission decks of the new assets = River B2, T26, T31e, are there exactly to handle these issues, I guess.


I believe the 0.5s on your list would still need to be seen as 1 each as even though the tasks maybe no be full time each they may over line in the times they are needed.

I completely agree with the LCU statement this is a must.

With regard to operating mcm teams off other platforms in times of war I think this sums it to for me.
T26 - not enough platforms to allow ant to being a the location needed as they will be bogged down with there primary ASW task.
T-31 - all depends on design chosen to see if they’ll have the space to carry and operate the unmanned systems and on how large these system become.
RB2/Echos - so really a future multi mission sloop ? This is something I think would be best to compliment the Mk2 Bays.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 16 Aug 2019, 09:01

donald_of_tokyo wrote:Not sure. In amphibious operation, now (after PoW commission) RN can send, Prince of Wales as LPH only sometimes, in addition to 1 Albion and 2 Bays, at most.

With my plan, up to 5x 150m (or 170m) LSD (1 in long refit) on surge, in addition to one LPH or PoW will be there. Big big improvement.
Sorry Donald can't agree. Your proposal involves surging 5 out of 6 Bay Mk2's with the sixth presumably in refit etc. This leaves zero MCM capability apart from what can be provided by other assets.

Today, in surge conditions RN could deploy 1 or 2 Albions, up to 3 Bays, Argus and soon PWLS. Along with 8 to 10 MCMV's this is a vastly superior force than six 150m Bay Mk2's.

150m Enforcer derivatives would be fantastic additions but on their own they probably wouldn't be enough.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Good point. So, 5x 170m LSD each with 2 landing spots in addition to a LPH may work well?
At 170m they would be much better but stretching to around 200m would be better still.

At around 175m double Chinook capable landing spots are viable, along with a 1000sqm hanger and 2 LCU's side by side in the well dock which wouldn't impact too greatly on the capacity of the tank deck or EMF accommodation.

At 205m four LCU's are viable without impacting tank deck and EMF etc. At this LOA 3 Merlin capable landing spots are also possible or alternatively a modest working deck could be formed between the hanger and the superstructure whilst maintaining 2 Chinook capable landing spots.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:No. My proposal includes LPH or PoW, so the total landing spot is much much higher. Also, heart of my proposal is to surge up to 5 LSDs in amphibious operations = flexibility, from the "pool" of LSDs used for MCM tasks.
The flexibility is very welcome but for a true comparison Ocean would have to be included. Without PWLS, Ocean would in all likelihood still be here and a replacement in the pipeline.
donald_of_tokyo wrote:What happened to FLSS?
Probably the same thing that happened to Gavin Williamson :D
donald_of_tokyo wrote:I think 3 SSS is critically important for RN, if RN really want to operate a CVTF.

When 1 CVTF is actively operating, the SSS need to go back and forth to replenish the TF. This means, 2 SSS are needed. If RN have only 2 SSS, this means RN cannot do this, when the 2nd SSS is in long refit.
I agree, it's important but could the USN fill in if absolutely necessary for the short periods with one of the FSS is in refit?

If the USMC are already onboard why not?

In my opinion if both the CSG and LitM are ever to be surged at the same time then RN will need all 3 FSS and 2 FLSS with a secondary SSS capability would be a big help also. As ever it's all a question of priorities and overall balance, not forgetting the funds available.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Aug 2019, 09:46

Poiuytrewq wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Not sure. In amphibious operation, now (after PoW commission) RN can send, Prince of Wales as LPH only sometimes, in addition to 1 Albion and 2 Bays, at most.

With my plan, up to 5x 150m (or 170m) LSD (1 in long refit) on surge, in addition to one LPH or PoW will be there. Big big improvement.
Sorry Donald can't agree. Your proposal involves surging 5 out of 6 Bay Mk2's with the sixth presumably in refit etc. This leaves zero MCM capability apart from what can be provided by other assets.

Today, in surge conditions RN could deploy 1 or 2 Albions, up to 3 Bays, Argus and soon PWLS. Along with 8 to 10 MCMV's this is a vastly superior force than six 150m Bay Mk2's.

150m Enforcer derivatives would be fantastic additions but on their own they probably wouldn't be enough..


This is why Iv said a mix of the above and or multi mission sloops, absalon / UXV Style Vessels would be the best mix going forward.

Poiuytrewq wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Good point. So, 5x 170m LSD each with 2 landing spots in addition to a LPH may work well?
At 170m they would be much better but stretching to around 200m would be better still.

At around 175m double Chinook capable landing spots are viable, along with a 1000sqm hanger and 2 LCU's side by side in the well dock which wouldn't impact too greatly on the capacity of the tank deck or EMF accommodation.

At 205m four LCU's are viable without impacting tank deck and EMF etc. At this LOA 3 Merlin capable landing spots are also possible or alternatively a modest working deck could be formed between the hanger and the superstructure whilst maintaining 2 Chinook capable landing spots.


The 205m option sounds very much like what I was thinking of when having the family of LPDs and LSDs based on BAEs SSS design.

Poiuytrewq wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:I think 3 SSS is critically important for RN, if RN really want to operate a CVTF.

When 1 CVTF is actively operating, the SSS need to go back and forth to replenish the TF. This means, 2 SSS are needed. If RN have only 2 SSS, this means RN cannot do this, when the 2nd SSS is in long refit.
I agree, it's important but could the USN fill in if absolutely necessary for the short periods with one of the FSS is in refit?

If the USMC are already onboard why not?

In my opinion if both the CSG and LitM are ever to be surged at the same time then RN will need all 3 FSS and 2 FLSS with a secondary SSS capability would be a big help also. As ever it's all a question of priorities and overall balance, not forgetting the funds available.


I still don’t like the idea of being reliant on ally’s, yes work with them but to be reliant is just asking for problems.

The FLSS that has a secondary replenishment idea sounds very much like a Karel Doorman to me.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Poiuytrewq » 16 Aug 2019, 11:55

Jake1992 wrote:I still don’t like the idea of being reliant on ally’s, yes work with them but to be reliant is just asking for problems.
I don't like it either but with defence spending at its current levels I'm afraid we are going to have to get used to it more and more.
The FLSS that has a secondary replenishment idea sounds very much like a Karel Doorman to me.
I suspect what is being considered now is whether 2 UK built FSS vessels would be enough if Fort Victoria can be kept in extended readiness for the foreseeable future after the FSS vessels come online.

If the FLSS vessels were to get a secondary solid stores role they would probably end up looking very much like a Karel Doorman minus the liquid capacity. The downside is the £700m-£800m it would take to build them, completely unaffordable at present unfortunately.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Aug 2019, 12:03

Poiuytrewq wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I still don’t like the idea of being reliant on ally’s, yes work with them but to be reliant is just asking for problems.
I don't like it either but with defence spending at its current levels I'm afraid we are going to have to get used to it more and more.
The FLSS that has a secondary replenishment idea sounds very much like a Karel Doorman to me.
I suspect what is being considered now is whether 2 UK built FSS vessels would be enough if Fort Victoria can be kept in extended readiness for the foreseeable future after the FSS vessels come online.

If the FLSS vessels were to get a secondary solid stores role they would probably end up looking very much like a Karel Doorman minus the liquid capacity. The downside is the £700m-£800m it would take to build them, completely unaffordable at present unfortunately.


If money could be found would it make sense to replace Argus, the 2 Waves and the 2 planes FLSS with say 3 Karel Doorman with a bit of tinkering to suit what we need ? I say tinkering because they have a ridicules lane meterage nearly twice that of the bays.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 16 Aug 2019, 13:30

I think it would be a mistake to build specialist large MCM motherships, or to that any unmanned craft motherships.

I’m personally ok with using the (LPD + LSD) resources we have and building more patrol type craft (MHPC) which have the a T26 style mission bay for unmanned and manned craft. I’d say another few Serco SD Victoria’s would be useful also. Future LPD/LHD/LSD ships should be more based on our Amphibious Assault ambition than unmanned carriers IMO.

The FLSS should probably be dead, with focus on a Argus replacement.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Aug 2019, 13:46

Repulse wrote:I think it would be a mistake to build specialist large MCM motherships, or to that any unmanned craft motherships.

I’m personally ok with using the (LPD + LSD) resources we have and building more patrol type craft (MHPC) which have the a T26 style mission bay for unmanned and manned craft. I’d say another few Serco SD Victoria’s would be useful also. Future LPD/LHD/LSD ships should be more based on our Amphibious Assault ambition than unmanned carriers IMO.

The FLSS should probably be dead, with focus on a Argus replacement.


To me it all depends on where you go with the amphibious fleet replacement, if we go down the route of just 2 large LHDs then the idea of them being used in a Unmanned Mother Ship role is a no go, but if you go down the route of multiple LPDs / LSDs Based on one flexible parent design ( like the USN is going with the San Antonio family ) then it could be a good use for them when not doing amphibious work.

The above only works for me though if it is coupled with a MHPC type fleet ( black swan / Venari 95 style vessel )

The key is going to be what money if put up from the amphibious fleet replacement. If money was there I’d like to see a combination of the above but with funding increase that’s not going to happen.

Wouldn’t a pair of FLSS be a good replacement for Argus if designed right ? Or were you thinking more of an LPF route ?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 16 Aug 2019, 14:20

Jake1992 wrote:I believe the 0.5s on your list would still need to be seen as 1 each as even though the tasks maybe no be full time each they may over line in the times they are needed.
Not sure what you mean. Bay in APT-N can do refit, or join amphibious training, when a River B2 (or Wave/Tide) is covering the other half year. No problem to assign 0.5 here?
Poiuytrewq wrote:
donald_of_tokyo wrote:Not sure. In amphibious operation, now (after PoW commission) RN can send, Prince of Wales as LPH only sometimes, in addition to 1 Albion and 2 Bays, at most.

With my plan, up to 5x 150m (or 170m) LSD (1 in long refit) on surge, in addition to one LPH or PoW will be there. Big big improvement.
Sorry Donald can't agree. Your proposal involves surging 5 out of 6 Bay Mk2's with the sixth presumably in refit etc. This leaves zero MCM capability apart from what can be provided by other assets.
Sorry can I make it more clear? My plan can provide more LPH+LSD than current fleet, so some can be used for MCM if needed. My plan include using River B2, T26, (and T31 or other assets) for "mine-finding". It is default in my plan. If not, no need for mission bay, I guess?
Today, in surge conditions RN could deploy 1 or 2 Albions, up to 3 Bays, Argus and soon PWLS. Along with 8 to 10 MCMV's this is a vastly superior force than six 150m Bay Mk2's.
Too optimistic, sorry. (If you say, "2 Albions and 3 Bays and Argus and PoW, along with 10 MCMV's", it is equivalent to saying "1 PoW and 1LPH and 6 LSD". In the latter case, it is 2 LPHs, 3 LSD for amphibious role, and 3 LSD equivalent to 9 MCMVs in mine-hunting speed.)

Considering availability, in my assumption, current fleet will provide
- Zero by default, and with 33% probability one LPH as PoW (QNLZ and PoW both 67% available means, in 2/3 of the cases, only 1 is available).
- 1 Albion (no crew for the second)
- 2 or 3 Bays, combined with 4 or 3 Points, respectively. (I mean, within 3 Bays and 4 Points, at least 1 will be in long refit).
- up to 9 MCMVs, if can deploy to the theater, and if needed.

My plan is to make it
- 1 LPH or PoW 100% ready (if very lucky, BOTH will be ready, in addition to QNLZ as a strike carrier)
- 5 LSDs, combined with 4 or 3 Points, respectively.
(In this case, up to 2 of the 5 LSDs can be converted into MCM role, if needed. This will provide 6 MCMV equivalent speed in mine counter measure. Supported by 4 River B2 used for "mine-finding operations", it sums up to equivalent to 8 MCMVs, I think? Also, if mine threat turned out to be small, all 5 LSD can be used for Amphibious operation)
donald_of_tokyo wrote:No. My proposal includes LPH or PoW, so the total landing spot is much much higher. Also, heart of my proposal is to surge up to 5 LSDs in amphibious operations = flexibility, from the "pool" of LSDs used for MCM tasks.
The flexibility is very welcome but for a true comparison Ocean would have to be included. Without PWLS, Ocean would in all likelihood still be here and a replacement in the pipeline.
My proposal is to include a LPH and 6 (or 7) LSDs in the replacement program for 1+1 Albion, 3 Bays and 12 MCMVs. Without PWLS, 2nd LPH will be needed for 100% availability.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 16 Aug 2019, 14:39

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:I believe the 0.5s on your list would still need to be seen as 1 each as even though the tasks maybe no be full time each they may over line in the times they are needed.
Not sure what you mean. Bay in APT-N can do refit, or join amphibious training, when a River B2 (or Wave/Tide) is covering the other half year. No problem to assign 0.5 here?


If I am understanding you right from your list you are saying that Caribbean and NATO mcm are both only 6 month tasks at any one time so can be covered by 1 Mk2 Bay correct ?

If that is the case what I am saying is this only works if both tasks do not occur at the same time or cross over each other at the time they are conducted. This is why I put 1 vessel for each instead of 0.5 as this would negate that concern to guaranty a Mk2 is available when needed.

I just don’t see RB2 giving what a Bay can during hurricane season nor a wave either really. Linking this to another discussion on here if the waves, Argue and FLSS were replaced with 3 Karel Doorman then I could see this type of vessels taking a bays role in the Caribbean very nicely when needed.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 17 Aug 2019, 08:46

Jake1992 wrote:if we go down the route of just 2 large LHDs


That will be the great debate for the next 15 yrs, but I’d say that a) no replacement will come till mid 2030s and b) the historical LPH/LPD/LSD combination is superior.

Having LHDs look very nice on a photo shoot, but are suboptimal compared to a LPH + LPD combination. Not having LSDs means that you are not able to provide depth in any operation. As all these ships have roles (like today + the unmanned mothership partial role) outside of an ARG the overall value to the fleet is higher.

Jake1992 wrote:Wouldn’t a pair of FLSS be a good replacement for Argus if designed right ? Or were you thinking more of an LPF route ?


The FLSS concept is an interesting addition but I don’t believe ever give the LPH nor Argus replacement required - as the feeling is budgets will remain under pressure, we simply cannot afford the distraction.

My view is build as large a replacement for RFA Argus as possible, that gives as much aviation support capability as possible. The RFA focus of such ship is not strike (any hot operation would require a CBG cover), nor a RM Carrier, just the ability to launch and maintain a large (6+) number of Chinooks, Merlins, Wildcats and Apaches (plus maybe F35Bs in ferry role).

Do this, and the RN will remain second only to the US in the ability to deploy a brigade level force globally via the sea.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 17 Aug 2019, 09:12

Jake1992 wrote:If I am understanding you right from your list you are saying that Caribbean and NATO mcm are both only 6 month tasks at any one time so can be covered by 1 Mk2 Bay correct ?
No. I'm saying it can be absorbed in the "rotation". For example, after a half-year APT-N, the Bay can move to long-refit, and then to NATO MCM, then Amphibious, then..... So, 0.5 is 0.5.
I just don’t see RB2 giving what a Bay can during hurricane season nor a wave either really.
RB2 is proposed for NON-hurricane season (May be better to add UAV, or implement land-based air-cover in the region).

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 17 Aug 2019, 09:13

Repulse wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:if we go down the route of just 2 large LHDs


That will be the great debate for the next 15 yrs, but I’d say that a) no replacement will come till mid 2030s and b) the historical LPH/LPD/LSD combination is superior.

Having LHDs look very nice on a photo shoot, but are suboptimal compared to a LPH + LPD combination. Not having LSDs means that you are not able to provide depth in any operation. As all these ships have roles (like today + the unmanned mothership partial role) outside of an ARG the overall value to the fleet is higher.

Jake1992 wrote:Wouldn’t a pair of FLSS be a good replacement for Argus if designed right ? Or were you thinking more of an LPF route ?


The FLSS concept is an interesting addition but I don’t believe ever give the LPH nor Argus replacement required - as the feeling is budgets will remain under pressure, we simply cannot afford the distraction.

My view is build as large a replacement for RFA Argus as possible, that gives as much aviation support capability as possible. The RFA focus of such ship is not strike (any hot operation would require a CBG cover), nor a RM Carrier, just the ability to launch and maintain a large (6+) number of Chinooks, Merlins, Wildcats and Apaches (plus maybe F35Bs in ferry role).

Do this, and the RN will remain second only to the US in the ability to deploy a brigade level force globally via the sea.


I agree the replacements won’t start coming in till the mid 30s but the design work and all the precedes it will start in 10 years odd.

I do agree that a mix of LPD, LSD and LPH is a better set up than just LHDs ( personally in that mix I’d like LHDs over LPHs ) but we can’t make the same mistake we’ve made with the current crop by not having hangers on our LPDs LSDs, this mistake has really limited them when not working as one big group and even worse now we have not LPH.

I agree with what your suggesting with regard to Argus replacement but weren’t some of the ideas for the FLSS to have a twin chinook flight deck and 4-6 merlins hanger ? If a pair of vessel to this style came out then it’d give us an over all better set up than just Argus does now.

But yes as always all these discussion are going to all depend on how the funding is going forward, hopefully MPs across the board are starting to see the need now ( with the acceptation of the idiot Corbyn )

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 17 Aug 2019, 09:16

donald_of_tokyo wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:If I am understanding you right from your list you are saying that Caribbean and NATO mcm are both only 6 month tasks at any one time so can be covered by 1 Mk2 Bay correct ?
No. I'm saying it can be absorbed in the "rotation". For example, after a half-year APT-N, the Bay can move to long-refit, and then to NATO MCM, then Amphibious, then..... So, 0.5 is 0.5.
I just don’t see RB2 giving what a Bay can during hurricane season nor a wave either really.
RB2 is proposed for NON-hurricane season (May be better to add UAV, or implement land-based air-cover in the region).


That’s what I’m saying though, your plan is counting on the hope that APT-N and NATO mcm are not needed at the same time if both are required at the same period then there will not be enough Mk2 Bays to do them and the other jobs.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby donald_of_tokyo » 17 Aug 2019, 09:35

Jake1992 wrote:That’s what I’m saying though, your plan is counting on the hope that APT-N and NATO mcm are not needed at the same time if both are required at the same period then there will not be enough Mk2 Bays to do them and the other jobs.
Yes and no.
1: NATO MCM is in rotation. Why not RN properly plan it?
2: And, if both are needed at the same period (as planned from some reason), no problem RN will put two Bays in long refit before/after the period.
Both are planned deployment, and can be properly handled in the rotation plan. So, 0.5 is 0.5, thanks to the total number of 6 (or 7) which can absorb such "surge" issue.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby SW1 » 17 Aug 2019, 09:45

There is zero chance of a lhd when the two carriers have been bought and there is barely the aviation assets available to fill half of one regularly.

Defence planning assumptions for what there worth indicates a maximum effort one off where everything else stops at about or slightly smaller than operation telic.

Which was ark royal, ocean about 20 helicopters spread across those two ships, 4 round table vessels (6500 tonnes for context). 6 frigates and 6 mine hunters.

Deploying half of the current carrier/lpd/lsd fleet more than covers the requirements for high end naval operations.

Add to that the changing role/nature of uk amphibious operations even that maybe far in excess of what is required for the amphibious side which leads into how you secure littoral zones. I’m more convinced that ever littoral strike concept is the replacement/renewal of the amphibious fleet.

Imo from here there won’t be any ships procured for the mcm replacement it will be unmanned systems and iso containers bolted onto whatever’s available.

Using the lsd/lpd fleet on sustained missions which would then be pulled or gapped for a large operation is noting new.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 17 Aug 2019, 11:47

Jake1992 wrote:but we can’t make the same mistake we’ve made with the current crop by not having hangers on our LPDs LSDs


I’ve been thinking about this and do not believe it was a mistake on reflection.

The LPDs were designed to operate with a LPH, and in the future it will also with a CVF (or a RFA Argus replacement) - the problem I have is that this combination needs to really operate over the horizon with the limited escorts available.

There was a problem with LSDs when operating solo on security and HADR operations, but since the addition of a temporary hangar sized for a Wildcat, I think this is actually the best solution. Having a larger more permanent hangar more reduce space and increase cost (build and operating), but also be of limited value when part of an ARG which has a flattop.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Repulse » 17 Aug 2019, 11:58

SW1, agree with a lot of what you say, but would still keep a RFA ship like Argus that is capable as a stand-in aviation platform for low level helicopter support operations; as a low cost alternative to a CVF and standby if there are availability issues.

I would say also that Amphibious Operations are changing but the requirement to deploy a brigade by sea (not necessarily via an assault over the beach) is still relevant and will remain so. However, as you say it will be an extreme scenario.

The problem I have with the FLSS concept is that I think it is actually sub standard to a LSD + RFA Argus / RFA Victoria combination already available. All these assets have broader capabilities both individually and as part of a large task group. I see nothing currently that should suggest that a future mix of ships should not be purchased.
"For get this quite clear, every time we have to decide between Europe and the open sea, it is always the open sea we shall choose." - Winston Churchill

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Postby Jake1992 » 17 Aug 2019, 12:33

Repulse wrote:
Jake1992 wrote:but we can’t make the same mistake we’ve made with the current crop by not having hangers on our LPDs LSDs


I’ve been thinking about this and do not believe it was a mistake on reflection.

The LPDs were designed to operate with a LPH, and in the future it will also with a CVF (or a RFA Argus replacement) - the problem I have is that this combination needs to really operate over the horizon with the limited escorts available.

There was a problem with LSDs when operating solo on security and HADR operations, but since the addition of a temporary hangar sized for a Wildcat, I think this is actually the best solution. Having a larger more permanent hangar more reduce space and increase cost (build and operating), but also be of limited value when part of an ARG which has a flattop.


It was mistakr though as they were original meant to have hangers but were cut due to the budget, so the need for a hanger was recognised but the budget wouldn’t allow in the end as this was the time that cuts started. The same can be seen even more so with the LSDs a rubber hanger is just a cheap make do due to budget and time constraints.
Once again it all comes down to budget but if the money is there then you simply build it slightly larger to accommodate a hanger with out cutting in to all the other needed space, this is why a few on here are calling for 200m odd vessels, LSDs and LPDs based on the same parent design.

Yes they Amphibious group was designed to work together with the LPH providing all the hanger space but we have seen how limiting this has made things due to the fact that them working as one does not happen all the time. How much more beneficial would it be for a LPD or LSD to operate on its own in a security role or small scale raiding op ? With the way the worlds moving these sorts of ops will become more common but would be very limited for us if there is no hanger space.

You say it’ll be of limited value when part of a large ARG but unless we get a 3rd flat top there is a good chance we will only have 1 avavilbe at any time for this ARG. Having that single QE carrying all helo and fix wing aircraft would really limit both, she’s big but does still only have limited space. Having 4-6 LPDs / LSDs with 12-16 merlin hanger places between them would make all the difference.


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