Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Repulse wrote: 25 Mar 2024, 22:27 We need to start with what is the requirement in a UK context, and then decide what it needs to do.

Is it to launch brigade level amphibious operations? Is it to transport large formations or troops and kit to reinforce the JEF region? Is it a platform for reinforced SF operations?

My view is the last is a requirement (reinforced SF ops), plus as a forward operating base for manned and unmanned strike aircraft and long range ground attack missiles.

This does not require a traditional ARG made up of LPDs/LHDs.
Your options for a 21st ARG looks remarkably old fashioned!

I see it differently.

The next-gen ARG needs to be a broad spectrum capability specialising primarily in Littoral A2/AD specifically designed to augment and protect the forward based LRG.

Other capabilities would include:
• Forming a Blue Water or Littoral ASW group.
• Forming a ASuW group.
• Large Scale HADR.
• Company level Short Endurance Littoral Strike.
• Battlegroup level operations routinely.
• Brigade level operations as a maximum effort.

The forward based LRGs are the right approach but they need to be simple and cheap to operate. Something like a Damen Enforcer 14428 or 15628 with a core crew of ~125RN plus a BMT AEGIR Joint Logistics Vessel with ~40RFA and ~30RN core. Total procurement cost for each LRG ~£700m.

These LRGs would be completely self sustaining both in terms of fuel and solid stores with a combined core crew allocation of less than 200.
- Hanger space for 5x medium helos.
- 3 or 4 Landing spots
- 500PAX rountine to 900PAX for short duration
- 4x CIC on davits
- Floodable dock for 2x LCU or 4x CIC
- 2x Mexefloate
- 600-800lm of RoRo
- Two highly capable Role 2 medical facilities
- Large quantities of both fuel and solid stores

Due to the potential of the LRGs the reinforcing ARG really does not require a CVF unless the full CSG capability is required.

• A modest floodable well dock is a must for universal utility, therefore it’s a LHD.

• Six landing spots and a flight deck long/wide enough to operate MALE STOL drones.

• Modest RoRo with lift connectivity with the hanger

• Around 500 PAX

• Hanger space for 6x F35, 6x MALE STOL drones and 12x Medium Helos as a maximum effort.

It looks a lot like a Juan Carlos LHD.

Add a FSS and a Tide and RN would have one of the most capable ARGs afloat and for a remarkably low cost both in terms of procurement and operating costs.

If escorted by multiple T31 (with FCASW and NSM) and a T45, it would be an extremely potent group and completely separate to any RN CSG operating simultaneously.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Thank god we’ve moved the future army discussions out of this thread…

There is an overlap with requirements for future amphibious capabilities, but they are very limited. If you want to move large / heavy army units it will be the job of the Point Class / STUFT and transport aircraft.

The overlaps I can see are potentially four:
- Forward basing / support for SF operations
- Support for joint humanitarian / UK national evacuations
- Littoral manoeuvre as part of an offensive operation
- Securing a landing ground for Army formations (but not transporting them)

The first two are given and I think are relatively well understood, the last two need hard questions on ambition and requirements IMO.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 12:21 The next-gen ARG needs to be a broad spectrum capability specialising primarily in Littoral A2/AD specifically designed to augment and protect the forward based LRG.
IMO there is no ARG and no meaningful separate LRG in reality - it’s one task group.
Other capabilities would include:
• Forming a Blue Water or Littoral ASW group.
• Forming a ASuW group.
• Large Scale HADR.
• Company level Short Endurance Littoral Strike.
Absolutely agree and have said so myself.
• Battlegroup level operations routinely.
Debatable - happy to be convinced but want to know the role and scenarios we are solving for. There’s also a big difference between a RM / Para battle group vs an armoured/mechanised battle group.
• Brigade level operations as a maximum effort.
Absolutely not in the remit of this capability. A brigade would require Points / STUFT / transport aircraft in this a CSG could be assigned to escort. The open point is the door opening part which I think is irrelevant outside of a securing a port in a permissive low threat environment.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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So if it is right that the RM are moving to LSU's with 2 x strike companies plus support with a total of between 400 and 500 troops then what they have done is moved from 2x infantry size battalions to 4 x Ranger size Battalions with 2 at high readiness and 2 at low readiness.

As said before there goal is to fight across a wide area using small fast moving teams to engage and harass the enemy

Since 2018 they have ordered or have got

25 Merlin HC-4 = 2018 to 2023
? MRZR - D4 2021
? Jackals 2023
60 Viking ordered 2023
KS-1 rifle
20 CIC start in 2024
upgrading ORC to CRC ongoing
22 MA T150 heavy lift drones

So with this said it looks like we need to be able to deploy and support over a wide area a small battalion working in small units within the Littoral zone by air and sea

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Tempest414 wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 16:19 As said before there goal is to fight across a wide area using small fast moving teams to engage and harass the enemy….
The only way it would work is with an incredible amount of support. Otherwise the risk of overmatch by the opponent is substantial.

It’s currently not clear where that support is coming from?

Also, how many regions in the world are the RZRs not suitable? Anywhere boggy, mountainous, heavily afforested, with deep snow or with swollen rivers isn’t happening.

It’s a pretty niche capability.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 17:08 Also, how many regions in the world are the RZRs not suitable? Anywhere boggy, mountainous, heavily afforested, with deep snow or with swollen rivers isn’t happening.
They’ve got an option for snow for the MRZR Alpha

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Tempest414 wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 16:19
22 MA T150 heavy lift drones
Should look at the T400 also
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Repulse wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 17:49 They’ve got an option for snow for the MRZR Alpha
Thanks.

The tracks are great until you hit the first rock.

The RZR have a role to play but as a universal vehicle for the FCF IMO they have major limitations.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 07:56
Repulse wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 17:49 They’ve got an option for snow for the MRZR Alpha
Thanks.

The tracks are great until you hit the first rock.

The RZR have a role to play but as a universal vehicle for the FCF IMO they have major limitations.
True - an array of air / LCVP transportable light vehicles are required - my view is that there is already a good spread especially with the Vikings but more can be done.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Repulse wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 08:13
Poiuytrewq wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 07:56
Repulse wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 17:49 They’ve got an option for snow for the MRZR Alpha
Thanks.

The tracks are great until you hit the first rock.

The RZR have a role to play but as a universal vehicle for the FCF IMO they have major limitations.
True - an array of air / LCVP transportable light vehicles are required - my view is that there is already a good spread especially with the Vikings but more can be done.
quite right they now have

Viking , HMT 400 & 600 , MRZR , Landrover , Snowmobile what else should they have

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 17:08
Tempest414 wrote: 28 Mar 2024, 16:19 As said before there goal is to fight across a wide area using small fast moving teams to engage and harass the enemy….
The only way it would work is with an incredible amount of support. Otherwise the risk of overmatch by the opponent is substantial.

It’s currently not clear where that support is coming from?


Also, how many regions in the world are the RZRs not suitable? Anywhere boggy, mountainous, heavily afforested, with deep snow or with swollen rivers isn’t happening.

It’s a pretty niche capability.
what do you mean by support ?. If mean fire support then this why I think they need a Brimstone rear unit for Viking as well as a upgrade from 81mm to 120mm on the Viking mortar units plus as I also said 29 RA Cdo needs to be a combined fires regiment with a new light gun , GLMRS & UAV batteries

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Tempest414 wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 08:56 quite right they now have

Viking , HMT 400 & 600 , MRZR , Landrover , Snowmobile what else should they have
Firstly, is it sensible that RM and 16AAB are not utilising similar kit? Seems like a missed opportunity especially if the rapid reaction forces are going to increase interoperability.

Secondly, can everything that 3Cdo and 16AAB needs (on land) be made air mobile by underslung Chinook? It’s essential IMO.

Rather than adding more vehicle types it’s time to start adding capability to the existing fleets. HMT is the perfect universal flatbed chassis. Modular 105mm Howitzer, 120mm Mortar, Brimstone, SHORAD, GMLRS plus is a RC 20mm/30mm turret possible on Coyote with ballistic protection for the crew?

By keeping these systems modular they can transported separately by Chinook to remain within the weight limitations.
Tempest414 wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 08:56 what do you mean by support ?. If mean fire support……
It really depends on the adversary. Against a militia or rebel force the level of support may involve Protector and 120mm mortar. Against a peer the full spectrum of ISTAR and fire support will be needed.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 14:51 Firstly, is it sensible that RM and 16AAB are not utilising similar kit? Seems like a missed opportunity especially if the rapid reaction forces are going to increase interoperability.
Aren't they already doing that?
Poiuytrewq wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 14:51 Secondly, can everything that 3Cdo and 16AAB needs (on land) be made air mobile by underslung Chinook? It’s essential IMO.
Why would RM be limited just on Chinook? After all they will use a fleet of landing platforms which could be used to transport heavy equipment to the shore. Similar for 16AAB which could use A400 and C-17 to air drop heavier equipment.
Poiuytrewq wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 14:51 Rather than adding more vehicle types it’s time to start adding capability to the existing fleets. HMT is the perfect universal flatbed chassis. Modular 105mm Howitzer, 120mm Mortar, Brimstone, SHORAD, GMLRS plus is a RC 20mm/30mm turret possible on Coyote with ballistic protection for the crew?

By keeping these systems modular they can transported separately by Chinook to remain within the weight limitations.
Coyote is already borderline heavy, in the best case, or to heavy, in the worst, to be transported by Chinook. Adding armoured cabin would significantly increase its weight. Paras already went back to WMIK from Jackal which is lighter than Coyote. Having modular vehicles make sense but there an issues with it. For example, modular 105mm gun or 20mm/30mm turrets are nit light enough to be mounted just by men as they could weight a lot. Kongsberg RT-20 base weight is 1.250 tones so equipment to mount it on vehicle is necessary and would also be required to be transported separately.

I mean majority of equipment will be similar by nature, ATGMs, mortars ... but enforcing same equipment would be counterproductive. RM would probably prefer Vikings over Coyote just because they are more mobile over rough terrain but also amphibian. After all 16AAB and RM have different roles and ways of insertion.

But having same models could help. For example both Viking and HMT should be able to utilise same 120mm mortar system or same launcher for Brimstones. Standardisation in that way have much more sense.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 14:51 Secondly, can everything that 3Cdo and 16AAB needs (on land) be made air mobile by underslung Chinook? It’s essential IMO.
[If] we've made the choice that the RM are out of the business of combined arms maneuvre under armour, then sure.

[If] the game is now 72hr raids by company sized units of naval infantry - lacking the wider gamut of CS/CSS - then sure.

But i'm not sure those "if's" are load-bearing structures:

a) The reduction of the RM's seems to have stabilised at ~5,200 (down from ~7,000), and that is way too many for a couple of commandos and minimal raiding support.
> With the manning pressure on the RN no-one is pissing away 5,200 potential royal navy berths to support company sized raiding.

b) We're still buying Viking, and that - along with all the logistical equipment and support required to deploy and support it - is absurd for company sized raids.
> It's a cascade of procurement consequences that frame and scale amphibious methods right across the fleet. Seems inappropriate, no?

c) Every time we see glimpses of FCF theory-crafting from co-opted academia, it has a heavy focus on fires as a core commando purpose that it's their job to enable/protect.
> Those things don't exist at a useful scale without enormous logistical burdens, and you don't simply offload them on a beach with no mobility.

Everything I see points to a top-end ambition that includes a scale and compelxity of formation that shouts "battlegroup!", and again; that is a cascade of procurement consequences that makes the idea of harmonising commando equipment to 16AAB Chinook-undersling seem short-sighted.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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jedibeeftrix wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 15:51
Poiuytrewq wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 14:51 Secondly, can everything that 3Cdo and 16AAB needs (on land) be made air mobile by underslung Chinook? It’s essential IMO.
[If] we've made the choice that the RM are out of the business of combined arms maneuvre under armour, then sure.

[If] the game is now 72hr raids by company sized units of naval infantry - lacking the wider gamut of CS/CSS - then sure.

But i'm not sure those "if's" are load-bearing structures:

a) The reduction of the RM's seems to have stabilised at ~5,200 (down from ~7,000), and that is way too many for a couple of commandos and minimal raiding support.
> With the manning pressure on the RN no-one is pissing away 5,200 potential royal navy berths to support company sized raiding.

b) We're still buying Viking, and that - along with all the logistical equipment and support required to deploy and support it - is absurd for company sized raids.
> It's a cascade of procurement consequences that frame and scale amphibious methods right across the fleet. Seems inappropriate, no?

c) Every time we see glimpses of FCF theory-crafting from co-opted academia, it has a heavy focus on fires as a core commando purpose that it's their job to enable/protect.
> Those things don't exist at a useful scale without enormous logistical burdens, and you don't simply offload them on a beach with no mobility.

Everything I see points to a top-end ambition that includes a scale and compelxity of formation that shouts "battlegroup!", and again; that is a cascade of procurement consequences that makes the idea of harmonising commando equipment to 16AAB Chinook-undersling seem short-sighted.
Is the concept that different to the brigade reconnaissance forces that were formed to support the brigade’s that were sent to Afghanistan or indeed the long range reconnaissance group that deployed to Mali only configured to deploy from the sea in complex terrain against a high end enemy.

They don’t hold ground but have heavier weapons than would normally be the case for a company and are supported from well in the deep by long range precision artillery/missile systems.

In the commandos case the logistics and surface to surface missile systems maybe kept at sea, himars launchers firing from the flight deck. If operating from a land logistics base then force protection of that base becomes a need with surface to air missile systems and ground forces.

The likes of bvs10 can be underslung by chinook so the ability to insert or potentially replace a vehicle on patrol would suggest helicopter compatible vehicles are of benefit if operating over considerable distance. Also means you can put more and fly them further in your transport aircraft or landing craft if they need be moved to fwd mounting bases. I would have made far more use of bvs10 across 3 commando and the air assault brigade. A wheeled protected patrol vehicle should also be available if the terrain was more conducive to wheels so to let them choose.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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SW1 wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 17:43 Is the concept that different to the brigade reconnaissance forces that were formed to support the brigade’s that were sent to Afghanistan or indeed the long range reconnaissance group that deployed to Mali only configured to deploy from the sea in complex terrain against a high end enemy.

They don’t hold ground but have heavier weapons than would normally be the case for a company and are supported from well in the deep by long range precision artillery/missile systems.

In the commandos case the logistics and surface to surface missile systems maybe kept at sea, himars launchers firing from the flight deck. If operating from a land logistics base then force protection of that base becomes a need with surface to air missile systems and ground forces.

The likes of bvs10 can be underslung by chinook so the ability to insert or potentially replace a vehicle on patrol would suggest helicopter compatible vehicles are of benefit if operating over considerable distance. Also means you can put more and fly them further in your transport aircraft or landing craft if they need be moved to fwd mounting bases. I would have made far more use of bvs10 across 3 commando and the air assault brigade. A wheeled protected patrol vehicle should also be available if the terrain was more conducive to wheels so to let them choose.
If I understand correctly the viking can be chinook slung if you break it in half:

Is that still true for the new viking?
i.e. it was marginal before, but have the new v2 viking bought last year have got heavier which now makes it impossible...

Even if it is still technically possible; does it remain so marginal and so labour intsensive that it's not worth making it an operational requirement?
i.e. it will never be done in practice.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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jedibeeftrix wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 18:42
SW1 wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 17:43 Is the concept that different to the brigade reconnaissance forces that were formed to support the brigade’s that were sent to Afghanistan or indeed the long range reconnaissance group that deployed to Mali only configured to deploy from the sea in complex terrain against a high end enemy.

They don’t hold ground but have heavier weapons than would normally be the case for a company and are supported from well in the deep by long range precision artillery/missile systems.

In the commandos case the logistics and surface to surface missile systems maybe kept at sea, himars launchers firing from the flight deck. If operating from a land logistics base then force protection of that base becomes a need with surface to air missile systems and ground forces.

The likes of bvs10 can be underslung by chinook so the ability to insert or potentially replace a vehicle on patrol would suggest helicopter compatible vehicles are of benefit if operating over considerable distance. Also means you can put more and fly them further in your transport aircraft or landing craft if they need be moved to fwd mounting bases. I would have made far more use of bvs10 across 3 commando and the air assault brigade. A wheeled protected patrol vehicle should also be available if the terrain was more conducive to wheels so to let them choose.
If I understand correctly the viking can be chinook slung if you break it in half:

Is that still true for the new viking?
i.e. it was marginal before, but have the new v2 viking bought last year have got heavier which now makes it impossible...

Even if it is still technically possible; does it remain so marginal and so labour intsensive that it's not worth making it an operational requirement?
i.e. it will never be done in practice.
Chinook can lift BVS10 in one go without splitting.

https://media.defenceindustrydaily.com/ ... -47_lg.jpg

It’s about 11 tonnes for chinook underslung not sure what weight the new Viking is but obviously there is performance limitations when carrying things in such ways.

They did it operationally with cvrt . Not sure why it would be labour intensive to undersling things.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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If I understand correctly, it’s the Merlin that can take half. A “whole one” can fit into a LCVP and we need to ensure the future CIC is the same.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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sol wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 15:48 Coyote is already borderline heavy, in the best case, or to heavy, in the worst, to be transported by Chinook. Adding armoured cabin would significantly increase its weight. Paras already went back to WMIK from Jackal which is lighter than Coyote. Having modular vehicles make sense but there an issues with it. For example, modular 105mm gun or 20mm/30mm turrets are nit light enough to be mounted just by men as they could weight a lot. Kongsberg RT-20 base weight is 1.250 tones so equipment to mount it on vehicle is necessary and would also be required to be transported separately.
Thanks.

If 16AAB and 3Cdo have a underslung Chinook capability without losing effectiveness then where is the negative?

The HMT platform is modular so there is no reason to replace existing vehicles, just adapt to ensure the platforms are within the weight limits.

The HMT Common Base Platform has the protected cab but little else apart the bare chassis to ensure maximum payload weight.
https://supacat.com/newsevents/news/com ... tish-army/

Reattaching the modules in the field is a simple procedure and the existing Army telehandlers (which are certified for underslung Chinook) can easily lift the modules with a max lift capacity of over 4 tonnes.
https://www.jcb.com/en-sg/products/defe ... c-handlers

The potential goes much further than 16AAB and 3Cdo. The ability to move entire British Army units with Chinooks from the U.K. and other NATO allies would be fantastic, particularly in the Nordics.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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jedibeeftrix wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 15:51 Everything I see points to a top-end ambition that includes a scale and compelxity of formation that shouts "battlegroup!", and again; that is a cascade of procurement consequences that makes the idea of harmonising commando equipment to 16AAB Chinook-undersling seem short-sighted.
It’s worth remembering that the FCF transition started prior to Feb22 when the world changed. Perhaps the FCF plan “evolved” thereafter.

My first question would be: What does RM need that cannot be transported by underslung Chinook?

My second question would be: How will the priorities of the British Army change now that Sweden and Finland have joined NATO?

Clearly the next question would be: How does that change in direction for the Army impact 16AAB and 3Cdo?

The FCF transition is impossible to finalise until the new role of the British Army within NATO is solidified.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 30 Mar 2024, 07:11 If 16AAB and 3Cdo have a underslung Chinook capability without losing effectiveness then where is the negative?
I never said there is a negative but why would they limited themself just to the weight which is transportable by Chinook, especially as both have other means to transport much heavier equipment. It is ridicules to said that they should not get something just because it is tone or two over the weight transportable by Chinook.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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sol wrote: 30 Mar 2024, 08:39
Poiuytrewq wrote: 30 Mar 2024, 07:11 If 16AAB and 3Cdo have a underslung Chinook capability without losing effectiveness then where is the negative?
It is ridicules to said that they should not get something just because it is tone or two over the weight transportable by Chinook.
Perhaps not, but it’s only ridiculous if we rule out something that is really needed. Everything that you have to transport via boat over the beach / to a port adds a whole level of complexity, cost and risk - it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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Poiuytrewq wrote: 30 Mar 2024, 07:40
jedibeeftrix wrote: 29 Mar 2024, 15:51 Everything I see points to a top-end ambition that includes a scale and compelxity of formation that shouts "battlegroup!", and again; that is a cascade of procurement consequences that makes the idea of harmonising commando equipment to 16AAB Chinook-undersling seem short-sighted.
It’s worth remembering that the FCF transition started prior to Feb22 when the world changed. Perhaps the FCF plan “evolved” thereafter.

My first question would be: What does RM need that cannot be transported by underslung Chinook?

My second question would be: How will the priorities of the British Army change now that Sweden and Finland have joined NATO?

Clearly the next question would be: How does that change in direction for the Army impact 16AAB and 3Cdo?

The FCF transition is impossible to finalise until the new role of the British Army within NATO is solidified.
The world didn’t change in feb22 it was changed long before that, active combat in Europe did commence though.

logistics vehicles and equipment. Also the Royal Marines don’t have chinook helicopters and they have other tasks so may not be available.

It’s not a single service is how does it effect uk defence that Sweden and Finland joined nato. A much longer border that we may have to help reinforce.

There is this continued narrative of changes of directions. There’s been that many changes of direction in the past 15 years it’s become a roundabout! If you have a coherent strategy and focus on the right things you wouldn’t need all these changes of direction.
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

sol wrote: 30 Mar 2024, 08:39
Poiuytrewq wrote: 30 Mar 2024, 07:11 If 16AAB and 3Cdo have a underslung Chinook capability without losing effectiveness then where is the negative?
I never said there is a negative but why would they limited themself just to the weight which is transportable by Chinook, especially as both have other means to transport much heavier equipment. It is ridicules to said that they should not get something just because it is tone or two over the weight transportable by Chinook.
Both Archer and M270a2 can be moved by LCU or A400m so both could bring support also maybe both 3 Cdo and 16AA should be looking at LMV 400/600 as a replacement to Landrover WMIK

Poiuytrewq
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Poiuytrewq »

sol wrote: 30 Mar 2024, 08:39
Poiuytrewq wrote: 30 Mar 2024, 07:11 If 16AAB and 3Cdo have a underslung Chinook capability without losing effectiveness then where is the negative?
I never said there is a negative but why would they limited themself just to the weight which is transportable by Chinook, especially as both have other means to transport much heavier equipment.
What is required that weights more than 11 tonnes that cannot be broken down into modules?

Having two air mobile fast reaction Brigades (ideally with a third in reserve) would be a huge capability for Euro NATO.

Virtually everyone agrees that recreating BAOR isn’t a viable possibility but maximising the fast reaction forces is something the U.K. can and should get on with ASAP.
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