Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

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

Post by Scimitar54 »

Well would you have argued for Drones rather than Fast Jets ? I think not, so do not blame it on the RN. If sufficient resources are not provided, hard choices then have to be made. The real problem is INSUFFICIENT GRASP BY THE DECISION MAKERS OF WHAT IS REQUIRED, LEADING TO INSUFFICIENT FUNDING BEING PROVIDED !!!

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Timmymagic »

Tempest414 wrote: 21 Nov 2021, 12:04 When we look back at 2009 it was as good as it was going to get i.e

1 x LPH , 2 x LPD's , 4 x LSD's , Argus and 6 Point class

On top of this we had 2 x light carriers , 6 x destroyers , 17 frigates .
There were also 2 Fort Class solid stores ships to carry large quantities of ammunition and other stores for a landing force, and the promise of replacement MARS Amphibious support vessels down the line to replace these, that may even have had floodable stern docks.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

Timmymagic wrote: 23 Nov 2021, 09:53
Tempest414 wrote: 21 Nov 2021, 12:04 When we look back at 2009 it was as good as it was going to get i.e

1 x LPH , 2 x LPD's , 4 x LSD's , Argus and 6 Point class

On top of this we had 2 x light carriers , 6 x destroyers , 17 frigates .
There were also 2 Fort Class solid stores ships to carry large quantities of ammunition and other stores for a landing force, and the promise of replacement MARS Amphibious support vessels down the line to replace these, that may even have had floodable stern docks.
There were 3 Forts active with Fort Rosalie out of refit and Fort Austin going into mothball in 2009 but not only could they carry lots of stores they could carry 9 helicopters between the 3 of them

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 23 Nov 2021, 08:48 Where is the damage control?
They aren't amphibious assault ships, they are logistics - they will need a secured port to land with escorts (probably including a CSG) if we are at war.

The days of large scale amphibious assaults are over (at least for now).
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Scimitar54 »

If we don’t have the vessels, they will not be over “just for now”, but virtually on a “permanent basis” as if they were needed, we would not have the time to acquire any !

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Scimitar54 wrote: 23 Nov 2021, 14:16 If we don’t have the vessels, they will not be over “just for now”, but virtually on a “permanent basis” as if they were needed, we would not have the time to acquire any !
Possibly, but the chances that of a full scale amphibious assault with a significant land element (like Iraq) is almost zero IMO. A classic example is the Falklands, whereby if refought would be done a probably a similar way landing where the enemy isn't or light, but with CSG air superiority.

Also, you could also argue (rightly IMO) that the FCF & MRSS will provide a seed-corn to expand and re-establish skills (with time) if ever needed.

What is needed is the ability to bring the Army to the theater which is and always has been primarily about logistics, and ability to scale when needed.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Scimitar54 »

But we won’t have time !

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Lord Jim »

With the Falklands, a significant amount of personnel were carried by requisitioned civilian ships ranging from Ocean Liners to North Sea Ferries. Even today, depending on the level of emergency there are always option. Regarding the Points, yes they are for hauling the Army's vehicles and such like as they are the difficult part of any expeditionary force to move. Just as they will use a friendly port to unload, there is little stopping the personnel being flown to their destination at marry up with their equipment once on the ground.

With the MRSS, the Navy should be looking for a self contained unit that carries everything the RM Company/LSU need for it mission, as well as the necessary ship to shore connectors and the stores for the initial part of the operation. To this needs be be some sort of Escort in order to form the LRG. I cannot see an RFA being permanently part of any LRG, but rather the group would resupply in friendly/allied ports during its operational cruise. By its nature it will operate in the littoral environment rather than in the middle of come ocean. They will be home ported at a forward location, in the case of LRG(South) with LRG(North) possibly based in Northern Norway or the Baltic in times of tension to act as a component of the UK's part of NATO's deterrent forces.

My mentioning of the ACV was tongue in cheek, though it would give any LSU greater range once ashore. But yes The Viking is probably the ideal AFV for the Royal Marines, and the number should be expanded when and/or if it is chosen to replace the elderly unarmoured Bv206 used in the support role. Whilst raiding is the way forward for teh Royal Marines, this role covers quite a range of activities, both in size and duration. The RM will still have a requirement to be able to manoeuvre and fight once landed regardless of the size of Raiding force. This is why they are currently experimenting with lightweight vehicles such as the Polaris, which can be transported inside large Helicopters rather than as an underslung load, increasing the range and speed of the helicopter involved.

Air support for the LSU is something that also needs to be addressed. At present there is a single Squadron of Apaches modified to operate from naval vessels to a degree, but further modification are still needed to allow long term embarkation. The FAAs Wildcats can also provide limited support with their LMM and door mounted M2 .50 cal, and they have the capability to operate in adverse weather. As a result I believe that the AAC Apaches should be further modified and operate routinely from the MRSS, especially with their new longer range missiles that should contain a man in the loop function.

As we are looking 10+ years for the LRGs to fully mature and have the equipment, ships and personnel they need, a lot can happen between now and then including at least two General Elections. Will the LRGs still be fully developed or could they and the LSU go the way of the Army's Strike Brigades and be over written by changes in threat and resources?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

As said the new AH 64 E for the army are having work done to allow better operations from the sea the AAC idented a lot of thing when operating from Ocean and Argus and most of this will be covered in the new build

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Poiuytrewq »

Repulse wrote: 23 Nov 2021, 12:44
Poiuytrewq wrote: 23 Nov 2021, 08:48 Where is the damage control?
They aren't amphibious assault ships, they are logistics - they will need a secured port to land with escorts (probably including a CSG) if we are at war.

The days of large scale amphibious assaults are over (at least for now).
Why replace purpose built amphibious craft with commercial ferries unless cost cutting is the primary aim?

Given the proliferation of long range and hypersonic long range AShM how realistic is it to think that ferries carrying 500 or 1000 troops are going to be sent into war zones regardless of whether a port has been secured?

I suspect the MRSS is an attempt to negate at least some of the risks associated with relying too heavily on commercial ferries for troop transports.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Poiuytrewq wrote: 24 Nov 2021, 08:35
Repulse wrote: 23 Nov 2021, 12:44
Poiuytrewq wrote: 23 Nov 2021, 08:48 Where is the damage control?
They aren't amphibious assault ships, they are logistics - they will need a secured port to land with escorts (probably including a CSG) if we are at war.

The days of large scale amphibious assaults are over (at least for now).
Why replace purpose built amphibious craft with commercial ferries unless cost cutting is the primary aim?

Given the proliferation of long range and hypersonic long range AShM how realistic is it to think that ferries carrying 500 or 1000 troops are going to be sent into war zones regardless of whether a port has been secured?

I suspect the MRSS is an attempt to negate at least some of the risks associated with relying too heavily on commercial ferries for troop transports.
Let's face it the LSDs have been consumed into the broader RN fleet and increasingly becoming RM only platforms. The MRSS will effectively covered the requirements for the RMs (and RN given the MCM discussion) that are provided currently along with the LPDs.

The MRSS and current LSDs are not sufficient to cover the transport of an Army CBT. Some will argue that it can be done via plane, which is possible but there will be times where it's not possible so need a Army Transport capability IMO.

In terms of likelyhood of sending in a ferry / cruise ship, I do think it is likely. More often than not it could be to be a neighboring country, a country that is being attacked or at threat or a secured port (either by the RMs or allied forces). Given the probability that the transport of heavy kit is more likely, then dedicated Point like ships with limited hotel facilities, backed by troop transports via STUFT / shared contract is probably ok. However, it needs planning and funds, plus they group needs to train together. Not sure if it still happens, but in the past the government used to give the likes of PO money when they built their ships to ensure that "UK military conversion" requirements were considered.

I am really surprised the Army isn't trying to do "transport a battlegroup via the sea" exercise already, it would be great PR and fill part of the hole left by the RMs.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

right now with the 2 Bays and Points we could move a Battalion battle group some 1400 troops plus kit and support this in turn could be supported by a RM force operating from the LPD now a zero notice deployment of such a force to Poland would be a good thing

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Tempest414 wrote: 24 Nov 2021, 11:39 right now with the 2 Bays and Points we could move a Battalion battle group some 1400 troops plus kit and support this in turn could be supported by a RM force operating from the LPD now a zero notice deployment of such a force to Poland would be a good thing
You could, and it does seem odd why they haven't tried IMO. BUT, RFA Lyme Bay is in the Gulf playing MCM mothership and RFA Cardigan Bay is in refit. Then you have the problem of only using one of the LPDs so that means that RFA Mounts Bay is needed to help carry kit for the RMs. The reality is that with the grand plans of using the MRSS not only as Littoral Platforms for the RMs but also motherships and other roles, the chances of them being available to the Army is getting slimmer - PLUS the MRSS should be optimized for forward LSU operations, the Army need larger Battlegroup / Brigade level logistic ships.
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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LSS - Bay Conversion

Post by rbeedall »

Any recent news on the conversion of a Bay-class LSD(A) to an LSS? Any progress?

I saw back in September reports that the project had apparently been "paused" just 5 months after being announced, but with no explanation. I can only speculate on the reasons why, e.g.:
* It's become clear that £50M isn't enough for the conversion work.
* The Bay's are all middle-aged and hard worked, maybe doubts have emerged about the suitably of converting one to the LSS role.
* It's proving very difficult to release a Bay from other duties for the conversion work and dedicated LSS role - particularly if Argus will be paid-off in 2024.

Whatever the reason, it now seems very unlikely that there will be a LSS on station as LSG(S) in the Indian Ocean in 2023.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Lord Jim »

If the RN is to create a LRG for the Gulf and Indo/Pacific region it needs the modified Bay. The replacement MRSS are not due until the beginning of the 2030s, with the last of up to six not being delivered until 2035 at the earliest. Regarding the MRSS, from further reading it seems the usual number of Army and RM personnel in each LRG will be no more than 150, or an enlarged Company. This and the lift capacity needed and so on should give an idea on the size of the MRSS. Any naval design engineers out there what to give it a go and come up with some rough statistics?

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Scimitar54 »

Why the pause in conversion of a Bay class ? Due to both age and operational demands, also perhaps because it would be cheaper and better value to recreate a “Fourth” (modified) Bay !

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Repulse »

Trying to read between the CDS recent comments to Parliament, I’d say that they are seriously looking at running RFA Argus on another 5-10 years.

Comparatively RFA Argus is about 10% more expensive to run than a Bay class, by adding new capabilities then you can see how the two will be comparable. So the biggest cost and risk is keeping her going, and perhaps there has been an assessment that this is possible for £50mn or less.

For me this would be the best outcome - RFA Argus will be a more capable Aviation Support Ship than any converted bay. Also, the Bays are needed to support a more globally deployable Army. I just wish money was found to run both LPDs…
”We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow." - Lord Palmerston

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Caribbean »

Lord Jim wrote: 10 Dec 2021, 06:09 Any naval design engineers out there what to give it a go and come up with some rough statistics?
Well - using the Damen XO131 Crossover (131m x 30m)as a model and allowing for extra range and endurance, I could see us using a hull of around 140m x 20m and approx. 5700t as a good starting place. I wonder where we could find one of those :)

Of course the Damen design is broader in the beam (c. 30m), so some "fattening up" might be needed, perhaps by adding an additional deck for, say, two-thirds of the length (we could give it a snazzy name, like "Flex Deck", so some such). The resulting ship would probably come in at around 7000t or so, capable of handling an EMF of c. 200, two large helicopters, a variety of assault boats, as well as carrying light vehicles and supplies for raiding operations ashore. Armed with a 127mm, 2 x 40mm, 1 x Phalanx and 24 CAMM, it would also function as a littoral combat ship, capable of providing NGFS to a a raiding party. We could add a steel beach and LCVPs on davits for a logistics variant, perhaps

Build, say, ten of these (maybe 5 amphibious assault and five logistics support), plus two Dokdo-sized LHDs and an extra SSS for more serious engagements and I think we would be in pretty decent shape.

Not sure what we would call it though
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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

This is what I said up thread if type 32 was 5 Absalon's with the weapons lay out above plus 2 x LCVP davits and a steel beech and we had 5 MRSS that were capable of carrying 300 troops 4 x Merlin , 2 x LCVP & 2 x LCU. Add to this 1 light carrier of say 230 x 45 meters capable of operating 12 F-35 and 14 helicopters and 400 troops for me we would be in a great place capable of having 3 x full LRG's and 3 x light LRG's as so

Full LRG) 1 x Type 32 and 1 x MRSS ( deployed Baltic , Med , EoS )
light LRG) 1 x Type 31 and 1 x Type 32 or MRSS ( deployed Gulf , EoS and from the Home fleet as seen fit )

Any of these groups could join up as needed and could also be joined by the Light carrier and say a type 45 this could allow say the full and light LRG's EoS or in the Baltic to join up and look like

2 x type 32 , 1 x type 31 and 1 x MRSS carrying 6 x Merlin's , 3 x wildcats , 6 x LCVP's , 2 x LCU's and 600 troops .

Or it could look like

1 x Light carrier , 1 x Type 45 , 1 x type 32 , 1 x type 31

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by donald_of_tokyo »

Simple question. What is wrong with the "tent" hangar onboard many of the Bays?

Save the RN page articles says it can handle Merlin (may be two of it?). Even if it is not satisfactory, it could be a good starter?

ref: https://www.navylookout.com/converting- ... ike-ships/

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Tempest414 »

yes the Rubs will get us started at a low level as we are looking at a company of RM plus support 2 Merlin's is pushing it if one is lost the troops on the ground are up the creek with out a paddle even with 4 Merlin's it is touch and go for troop movement , support and resupply

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Caribbean wrote: 10 Dec 2021, 10:10
Lord Jim wrote: 10 Dec 2021, 06:09 Any naval design engineers out there what to give it a go and come up with some rough statistics?
Well - using the Damen XO131 Crossover (131m x 30m)as a model and allowing for extra range and endurance, I could see us using a hull of around 140m x 20m and approx. 5700t as a good starting place. I wonder where we could find one of those :)

Of course the Damen design is broader in the beam (c. 30m), so some "fattening up" might be needed, perhaps by adding an additional deck for, say, two-thirds of the length (we could give it a snazzy name, like "Flex Deck", so some such). The resulting ship would probably come in at around 7000t or so, capable of handling an EMF of c. 200, two large helicopters, a variety of assault boats, as well as carrying light vehicles and supplies for raiding operations ashore. Armed with a 127mm, 2 x 40mm, 1 x Phalanx and 24 CAMM, it would also function as a littoral combat ship, capable of providing NGFS to a a raiding party. We could add a steel beach and LCVPs on davits for a logistics variant, perhaps

Build, say, ten of these (maybe 5 amphibious assault and five logistics support), plus two Dokdo-sized LHDs and an extra SSS for more serious engagements and I think we would be in pretty decent shape.

Not sure what we would call it though
LOL. I see what you did there. But do we have any 12th century bishops to name them after??
:)
But can we afford to build these at the same time as T31 and T32?
And would we be better off making these MRSS less a warship and more of a support vessel?
Otherwise they would be deployed as Frigates.....

I am not disagreeing with you. I am intrigued with the two ships of the Absalon Class.
A frigate sized MRSS would be useful in supporting a smaller number of RM than the RN Albion Class were designed for - a RN version of Absalon would certainly help in deploying the RM in more separate locations simultaneously.
-Could we reduce weaponry and increase Helicopter capacity to four?
-Could we take out the RO-RO deck and add in a Well deck?
-These would both help deploy RM faster via air/sea and help landing without needing harbours / jetties.

I love the idea of two Dokdo sized LHA / LHD but would be worried about the cost

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Tempest414 wrote: 10 Dec 2021, 11:11 This is what I said up thread if type 32 was 5 Absalon's with the weapons lay out above plus 2 x LCVP davits and a steel beech and we had 5 MRSS that were capable of carrying 300 troops 4 x Merlin , 2 x LCVP & 2 x LCU. Add to this 1 light carrier of say 230 x 45 meters capable of operating 12 F-35 and 14 helicopters and 400 troops for me we would be in a great place capable of having 3 x full LRG's and 3 x light LRG's as so

Full LRG) 1 x Type 32 and 1 x MRSS ( deployed Baltic , Med , EoS )
light LRG) 1 x Type 31 and 1 x Type 32 or MRSS ( deployed Gulf , EoS and from the Home fleet as seen fit )

Any of these groups could join up as needed and could also be joined by the Light carrier and say a type 45 this could allow say the full and light LRG's EoS or in the Baltic to join up and look like

2 x type 32 , 1 x type 31 and 1 x MRSS carrying 6 x Merlin's , 3 x wildcats , 6 x LCVP's , 2 x LCU's and 600 troops .

Or it could look like

1 x Light carrier , 1 x Type 45 , 1 x type 32 , 1 x type 31
I am a bit confused. You are talking about adding 5 MRSS to 5*T31 and 5*T32. Plus a CVL.
And what size are you anticipating the 5*MRSS to be in terms of length and dsiplacment?
Is that all above as well as Albion, Bulwark, 3*Bays and Argus? Or instead of?

If its's the former then how on earth are we going to pay for it?

If its the latter then feels a shame to say goodbye to ALL of the larger LPD/LSD. Yes - we do need some smaller ships for smaller dispersed Littoral Strike missions, but seems we are lacking ability to move a complete RM Brigade if needed to say Norway or Baltic.

What about Point class? Presumably we still need them to able to move high readiness British Army units?
As these smaller forces of RM won't be able to hold their positions for long as they move back towards their Commando roots.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by Lord Jim »

From what I understand, the two Albions and three Bays are planned to be replaced by up to six MRSS starting from the early 2030s. As with many plans though, with at least two elections and reviews before then things can change.

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Re: Current & Future Amphibious Capability - General Discussion

Post by wargame_insomniac »

Lord Jim wrote: 11 Dec 2021, 19:05 From what I understand, the two Albions and three Bays are planned to be replaced by up to six MRSS starting from the early 2030s. As with many plans though, with at least two elections and reviews before then things can change.
Thanks - there is so much up in the air at the moment for the RN.

So far only 3 out of 8*T26's have been ordered and laid down.
We are unclear as to what the T32's will be other than assumption that based on T31's.
We are unsure what is happening with the conversion of a Bay into a Littoral Strike Ship, the ordering of three Fleet Support Ships / six Multi Role Support Ships / a Multi-Role Ocean Surveillance ship.

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