Type 26 at #DSEI

Lots of new images and contract announcements

Click to enlarge (these are very high resolution)

Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI  2013 Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI  2013 Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI  2013

Contract awards from BAE, click here

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/News-and-Events/Latest-News/2013/September/11/130911-Type-26″]

Latest footage of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship

 

UPDATE

Type 26 GCS Update at DSEI 2013

 

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Think Defence hopes to start sensible conversations about UK defence issues, no agenda or no campaign but there might be one or two posts on containers, bridges and mexeflotes!

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Repulse

Can we please dump Artisan for Sampson…

Tim

The main VLS silos have been obsucured with a grey rectangle in the video and renders…

Simon

So are we seeing 48 CAMM here and space for 16 TLAM?

Interesting consideration for stealth/LO – especially the bit that protects the hub of the gun assembly.

Much happier about the CIWS position.

Much happier about the CAMM positions too.

Does look a little top-heavy though. I guess that makes the superstructure built from tin-foil ;-)

Simon

Question: seen them on lots of our ships but have no idea what they are… What is the circular array of little pyramids and panels usually seen just below the main radar?

Not a Boffin

Begin work in three years…..ho, ho, ho, I wonder why. No contract awards that are hull dependent either….

Simon – Outfit UAT, or more likely its replacement.

Chris Werb

The CIWS arcs (bearing in mind the system is now presumably primarily anti small fast attack craft) seem limited. A slightly longer hull with greater VLS space would also give growth potential at relatively little additional expense (no, steel and air aren’t free). These vessels are going to be in service for a long time (or at least the ones we don’t flog off prematurely will be).

Simon

NaB,

Thanks. I was very surprised to see one on RFA Victoria in a pic posted by x.

Fedaykin

@ Sampson

Why? Artisan is optimised for this class of vessel, it is a multi function AESA 3D search radar at the current cutting edge. It significantly outperforms what it is replacing and actually has some hope of exports. Once Type-23 and Type-26 have Artisan and Sea Ceptor they will have a better area air defence capability then Type-42 (except maximum range). Finally it is cheaper which is a rather important consideration with the Type-26.

As for hull contracts, nothing until after the Scottish independence referendum. Ironically if Scotland votes for independence it will be good news for BAE Systems Portsmouth, Appledore in Devon and Birkenhead based Cammell Laird. Don’t believe the tosh that only the Clyde has the skills! Skilled workers have had to be flown up from Portsmouth to support the QE class build.

Chris.B

“Begin work in three years…..ho, ho, ho, I wonder why. No contract awards that are hull dependent either….”

— Do we sense a reduction in numbers coming then?

Does look like they would be better off swapping the position of at least one of the CIWS with one 30mm.

Jason Lynch

Chris W,

CIWS is still very much an air defence weapon with a secondary ASuW role: it’s being pursued for T26 because it’s a second, independent layer of hardkill defence. (Different sensors, different kill mechanism).

Simon,

The Forts have Outfit UAT because they have, and need to properly cue, the DLH decoy system – remember the original concept for the Forts even included Sea Wolf, since they would have been doing up-threat support for the T23s in the face of the Soviet threat.

Jason Lynch

Interesting that the (only) CR weapons, other than the 30mm guns aft (with EOGS fore-and-aft) are a chunky-looking Minigun and a spidery .50″ Browning on each bridge wing, plus an LRAD on at least one shot. Keeps the upper deck clutter down, but I’d expect to see more small-calibre weapons in practice…

WiseApe

Interesting snippet from the RN website: “…anti-submarine warfare, air defence and general purpose duties…” – So there’s going to be an air defence version afterall; presumably for export only?

To my untrained eye it looks less stealthy.

No they mean SeaCeptor………

JS123

Looks like anti-ship is back on! Or are those torpedo launchers?

Engineer Tom

@ JL

There are two .50 cal’s on the flight deck, they have rendered them the same as the bridge wing guns so they are flat to the flight deck, and with the firing arcs of all 6 guns they have the entire ship covered, as long as the RN can shoot well they should be able to take out small boats etc.

Jason Lynch

JS123,

If you mean the four cylinders just in front of the superstructure, flanking the VLS silos, I’d think those are more likely to be DLF(3) decoys or successors thereto.

El Sid

@WiseApe
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-10/bae-systems-new-global-combat-ship-draws-export-buyer-interest.html

Eight countries are considering the purchase of BAE Systems Plc Type 26 Global Combat Ships, including an air-defense variant the U.K. isn’t currently planning to acquire.

While export campaigns total more than 30 ships, not all are expected to result in sales, Commodore Steve Braham, who leads U.K. export efforts for the vessel, said today.

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_09_11_2013_p0-615229.xml
Rolls-Royce will provide the gas turbine element of the Type 26’s Codeleg (combined diesel-electric and gas) propulsion system, in the form of a self-contained module housing a 36-40 MW MT30 engine. MTU (jointly owned by Rolls-Royce and Daimler-Benz) is contributing the diesel element, comprising four V-20 high-speed diesels and generators in an insulated module, providing a total of 12 megawatts for cruising power and ship systems. David Brown Gear Systems will use technology from the Astute-class submarine in the reduction gearbox that connects the two propeller shafts to the MT30.

The power system allows the gas turbine and gearbox to be clutched out and shut down at low speeds. The diesel-electric module has no mechanical connection to the ship and is heavily insulated and mounted on tuned isolators.

And going OT :
http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/awx_09_11_2013_p0-615007.xml
The U.K. Royal Navy is broadening the scope of how it might use its future fleet of Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers. The first of the two ships, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is 80% complete internally…

A surge force of up to 24 JSFs could deploy on the ship along with what he described as a Maritime Force Protection package of nine Merlin Mk. 2 helicopters equipped for the anti-submarine warfare (ASW) mission, while a further four or five would be available to provide an airborne early warning capability. A littoral maneuver package also is envisaged, potentially using the Royal Air Force’s Chinooks, the upgraded Merlin Mk. 4, Army Apache attack helicopters and the Wildcat helicopter.

Studies are being carried out by the U.K. Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) to see if the ship can operate safely with more landing spots than the six currently planned. Harding suggests that by adding a further four landing spots, the ship will be able to lift a company-sized unit of troops (up to 250 soldiers) in a single group lift using medium helicopters. “This is possible,” Harding said. “We just need to decide how we paint the lines on the flight deck.”

Significant work has gone into reducing the manpower levels of the ship. Current crew complement for the vessel alone is 679 sailors,…the U.K. is planning to send more than 300 personnel from officers to sailors to gain experience in carrier operations with the U.S. Navy on its CVNs and with the U.S. Marine Corps on its LHDs. And while more pilots will be involved in exchanges with Navy Hornet squadrons and Marine Harrier units, one officer will exchange on the French navy’s Dassault Super Etendard carrier-borne fighter bomber in a bid to gain experience flying operations from small deck carriers.

I wouldn’t read too much into where the various small arms are placed. It is all speculative.

Unlike the lack of a second hangar. :(

JohnHartley

Does anyone know if the T26 hull will be strengthened to operate in light ice? It would be handy to be able to send it to the Polar regions, or even the Baltic in Winter.

Opinion3

I do wonder if the T26 might be becoming a bit small. It might make it easier to export but flexibility and the use of modules/UAVs will be substantially compromised.

Jed

Jason said: “CIWS is still very much an air defence weapon with a secondary ASuW role: it’s being pursued for T26 because it’s a second, independent layer of hardkill defence. (Different sensors, different kill mechanism).”

Technically true I suppose, but the pathetic little 20mm Vulcan pop gun on Phalanx was proved to be pretty ineffective against U.S. own Harpoons during considerable amount of testing in the mid 80’s ! If your lucky the APDS rounds may rip enough of the missile apart so that the warhead impacts the sea, but in one infamous test, enough bits of a Harpoon carried on inbound under its considerable momentum and made a real mess of the test barge.

It is more effective as against FGA, helo and fast boats than it is against modern manouvering ASM – if we had the cash we should have taken the mounts and made them SeaRAM…… :-(

Jason Lynch

Hence the extended barrels of Phalanx Block 1, and the Enhanced Lethality Cartridge, introduced since then. Phalanx still has a lot of utility, and it’s something of a standard footprint for “replacement systems” be they gun, missile, laser damage weapons, or anything else: if you’ve got space, weight and power for Phalanx, you’re leaving options open for future upgrades.

martin

Is it just me or has the mk41 launcher been removed? If you look at 42 seconds on the video at the top of the ship you can see identical VLS aft of the Radar and just behind the main gun. I am guessing these are the launchers for Sea Ceptor. The Mk41’s were suppose to go directly in front of the bridge and behind the forward sea ceptor VLS but the space now looks like its covered over in the video. Maybe I am reading too much into the video but I can almost here the phrase fitted for but not with echoing around.

One issue I can’t understand is how the First T26 will come into service in 2020 with the First T23 leaving in 2023. I thought the idea was to take the Artisan Radar’s off the T23 and then put them onto the T26. I think Artisan will be a good fit for T26 but one wonders how the fleet will cope if they have to pull in T23’s to strip of their radar before the T26’s can even get in the water.

martin

@ El Sid

Its good news that the MOD is looking at different packages and its one of the major benefits of reverting back to F35B. Not only does it make operation of the Second carrier at least in extended readiness a possibility but it also gives us the ability to operate mixed packages. A QE armed with 24 JSF as We all as Merlin AWACS and ASW, Chinook and Apache able to offload a full Company in one go is quite a capability. The ability to potentially have two such vessels both with the same is awesome.

Hopefully we will get more than the bare bones 48 F35’s in order to make this a possibility.

This work pretty much guarantees that Ocean will be paid off without replacement though. Given that the QE Class uses the same size crew as the Invincibles and Ocean is a modified Invincible I wonder if we will be able to transfer over the two crews. So Lusty’s crew with leave her in 2014 and begin transferring over to the Queen Elizabeth with Oceans crew leaving her in 2018 and transferring over the the Prince of Wales (or Ark Royal 6).

Either way with the T45’s and Astute delivered and the QE’s on the way along with a future fleet of T26’s the RN of the 2020’s should have quite a significant capability to generate a substantial force albeit in a single area for a short period of time. Lets just hoped SDSR 2015 does not continue chopping the plan to bits.

martin

@ Jed

“Technically true I suppose, but the pathetic little 20mm Vulcan pop gun on Phalanx”

I suppose these will be quite cheaply transferred across from the existing T23. If we went for something larger like Goalkeeper then it would have to be worked into the hull and would cost a hell of alot more. It Sea Ceptor works as advertised then its very unlikely that the CIWS will be required to deal with missiles and it will perform a very secondary role.

There is also a very good chance that by the time these ships are in service then will be using these Phalanx mounts for a solid sate laser instead of a 20mm gun. SeaRam would be nice to have but I think there are other things better to spend the money on.

Simon

Martin,

Re: the Mk41 launcher…

Probably “fitted for but not with” as it’s likely to be one of the main customer specific options: more CAMM, A50, A70, Mk41, nothing, etc.

Michael

Martin,

I think it’s just the quality of the CGI model – there’s no detail on the Sea Ceptor silos either but if you look at the photos of the model from DSEI you can see the strike silos are still very much there. Plus it was confirmed that the strike length silo was still an integral part of the ship by Geoff Searle, the Type 26 GCS Programme Manager.

Re. SeaRAM, the argument comes back to the Royal Navy’s decision that it offers no significant advantage over the current Phalanx. Best to wait for the solid state laser to be further developed ready for mounting.

martin

@ Simon – If so it will really f**k up the T26 role as there is no harpoon style launcher showing which means no anti surface capability beyond the main gun and helicopter.

It might just be that the launchers at the front are the Mk41’s and the Launchers aft of the Radar mast our the Sea Ceptor VLS. Previous designs should them all grouped together at the front but if all these VLS are only for Sea Ceptor its quite a large number of VLS.

Simon

Martin,

I’m guessing that the VLS to the rear of the up/down take are CAMM, as are the ones to the extreme front. The ones just behind these look to be about 16 standard sized which could be for VLS Harpoon type things or TLAM?

Perhaps the “plate” can also have port/starboard Harpoon launchers instead and we lose the strike capability?

mickp

I feel we are narrowing down to the UK version, essentailly T23 type armament no strike length cells. T26 will get some sort of anti ship missile mounted on the plated over strike cell space. Hopefully a modern one, but in a worst case, they’ll just move the by then geriatric harpoons from T23 on a one for one basis!

I even feel the phalanx will be fitted for not with

‘GP version’ will be without TAS

It won’t be a bad ship though , CAMM, Artisan, 5″ gun, TAS in some, but it will be no surprise it is more T23 than Arleigh Burke. Future variants may be enhanced in AAW / Strike Cells etc but I think that is presently fantasy fleet stuff

Its not right in my view but we are where we are

Chris

mickp – one line summary then is a stronger modern Type 23 with 20 years+ service life ahead, built with inherent upgrade compartments pre-defined for future kit as required? What’s not to like? T23 is a bit old now; buying new systems for it and trying to wedge them in is a mug’s game. Much better to spend our few pound notes on a solid platform with good sea manners and buy the gucci upgrade packages to fit into it later. From what I’ve seen it doesn’t look like the T23 capability is degraded by transfer of legacy kit to T26 – or have I got that wrong?

martin

@ Chris

“buy the gucci upgrade packages to fit into it later”

Thats all good and well but if the T45 is anything to go buy the Gucci kit will never be bought. One has to ask what the point is in having a fleet of large vessels such as T45 and T26 if our greatest offensive weapon is a 4.5 gun and a small anti ship missile launched off of a Lynx.

It would seem truly insane to me for T26 not to have Mk41 but then it’s insane that T45 does not have it either. One wonders if the issue with the RN is not like that of the RAF Tornado Mafia. If your Top brass spent their entire career driving round in ASW frigates then everything has to look like an ASW frigate.

A GP T26 with no mk41 will look extremely silly and would seem to have little if any capability for £350 million +. It will be little more than a large OPV.

@ Simon

” I’m guessing that the VLS to the rear of the up/down take are CAMM, as are the ones to the extreme front. The ones just behind these look to be about 16 standard sized which could be for VLS Harpoon type things or TLAM?”

I could not see any VLS behind the four identical looking banks at the front behind the main gun. The previous video’s from last year showed twin banks for Sea Ceptor right behind the gun with mk41 launchers directly behind them but this new video appears to just show four banks of VLS which look identical to the four banks behind the mast.

On the face of it the suggestion of the first T26 in the water in 2020 and the first T23 out 2023 is intriguing.

It implies that by overlapping the new and old fleets we might actually get more than 19 surface comabatants in commission at a time, building up to a follow-on order for T26-AAW some time in the 2030s.

A less charitable interpretation is that (a) with the proposed equipment pull through this is impossible anyway (b) all recent experience suggests that the T26 will be moved to the right with its ISD slipping past 2023 and (c) if by some miracle it is ready in 2020 then the T23s will just be swapped out 1:1 wheter they are due or not.

martin

If you click on the high res photo TD has supplied at the top of the page and zoom in aft of the main gun you can quite clearly see that the forward VLS are for Sea Ceptor and a large metal plate is sitting on top of the space that is earmarked for the strike length VLS which is a pretty clear indication in my mind that T26 will not be fitted with strike length launcher’s in RN service.

F*8cking Brilliant job RN.

Yet again another warship unable to take advantage in the biggest revolution of naval arms in the past 50 years.

This one won’t even carry Harpoon either

WiseApe

“No they mean SeaCeptor……” – I am sticking to my glass half full view until soundly disappointed.

Anyway, the recent frenzied rate at which articles have been appearing has taken its toll and I’m off on holiday. The delights of budget airlines again. I trust it will at least be pouring down when I depart Manchester, always cheers me up that.

Observer

Wise, the company sent you by freight again? :)

I won’t be too bothered by the CG and models at the current point in time, until they start building, these things are very, very subject to change.

On a more personal note, I’m with the “junk CIWS” crowd, the CIWS is more a success of Top Trumps and marketing than actual performance (Oooo!! Look!! So many bullets!!). It probably was decent in the days of sub-sonic anti-ship missiles, but these days, a lot of the foreign stuff breaks the sound barrier and turns the engagement time too critical for Phalanx or Goalkeeper to be very effective. At the 500m “effective range”, you only have half a second to deflect the missile. Just try to time it with a stopwatch to see how fast “half a second” is.

Lasers? Ug… another high tech toy. I’ll believe it when the first operational version comes out instead of getting cut due to under-performing technical specifications besides the problem of a “one gun, one kill at a time” system vs an anti-missile missile system that can flush or chain fire its entire warload at an incoming wave in a single strike.

@Jed, that wasn’t a Harpoon or a target barge, it was the USS Antrim and the target was a sub-sonic drone, most likely a BQM -74 Chukar. It skipped off the water, slammed into the frigate and blew its fuel, killing a civilian contractor. Unless it was another case?

Chris

Obs – so what is the solution if current ideas are more for show than effect? Tarian nets strung 10m out from the ship structure?

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@All

If you zoom in on any of the high res photos you will see all the VLS silos represented by plates. The forward ones are simply represented by 4 plates rather than one. This represents the layout of the sea ceptor mini silos and the separation between them. The larger single silo behind them is represented by a single plate.
The only place the individual cells have been shown is on the model which does clearly show 24 Sea Ceptor Cells forad of 16 larger cells and a further 24 sea ceptor cells aft of the funnel.

Why would we want to carry harpoon in the 2020s? The US will have switched to LRASM which will be MK41 capable.
Also not one single comment on the only confirmed piece of news. We are going CODLAG with a more powerful but still ultra quiet diesel electric pod which will offer eben more flexibility in her primary role. The deck level mission bay and side doors also still there but we spend our time commenting on holes or lack of holes on a CGI. Grumpy!

@chris
As I explained yesterday it is not a mugs game at all. The required baseline to simply train the ships company is a standard Frigate fit and the future of Gucci packages and mission specialisation is deployable systems not trying to bolt on some radar on gun you should have had in the first place.

Fedaykin

Well the old CIWS argument rears its head again, thing is I don’t think people understand what Phalanx’s primary role is these days or for that matter when we first purchased the system.

In respect of anti ship missiles the primary way of defending against them is still soft kill using jammers and chaff, after that hard kill with some kind of missile system.

Whilst a rapid fire cannon like Phalanx is an inner layer system giving a last ditch “lets throw some tungsten” in that direction people forget the other primary reason it was purchased. To deal with low flying jets attacking with dumb bombs! Something the fleet in 1982 was almost entirely unable to deal with due to lack of rapid fire cannon. There are ships in the task force that more then likely would of survived the war Coventry in particular if Phalanx and the other 30mm rapid cannon systems common to the fleet now were fitted.

Phalanx is also a primary weapon system to deal with things like small boats with suicide bombers and most of the recent upgrades have been focused on that role.

I would argue those two roles in particular the latter is the reason why the RN is retaining/standardising on the Phalanx and even buying more mounts.

Simon

I’m certainly “on the fence” regarding the effectiveness of CIWS.

However, if we worked on the fact that they are fairly useless then why not put some CAMM silos on each side. If you pull them forward enough then you only really need 16 either side forward and another 16 to the rear, maybe even to each side of the hangar. This gives 360 degree CAMM coverage without the need to overfly any part of the ship.

El Sid

@martin
You need to be a bit less hysterical about a video that is deliberately vague on detail. Compare this photo of the model at DSEi :
comment image

Lumpy and bumpy enough for you?

As for Harpoon, it makes no sense on T26. Aside from the fact that it’s already obsolescent, and our stocks are near the end of their lives, by 2020 there should be a Mk41-launched replacement under the Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare programme (LRASM, maritime TacTom or similar). If we feel that submarines, fast jets and helicopters aren’t sufficient for the threats we see at the time, then that’s no doubt what we’ll buy.

Thats all good and well but if the T45 is anything to go buy the Gucci kit will never be bought. One has to ask what the point is in having a fleet of large vessels such as T45 and T26 if our greatest offensive weapon is a 4.5 gun and a small anti ship missile launched off of a Lynx.

It’s not about willy waving. If a 4.5″ gun and air-launched missiles are sufficient for a T45 within the context of a wider fleet plan for the threats we face then terrific – we save massive opportunity costs and the money can be deployed elsewhere to further UK interests. Just within the defence budget it means we have more money to spend on anti-IED kit or developing Sampson/Aster for BMD or whatever. In fact there’s a good argument to say that at the moment we shouldn’t be buying hardware, we should be throwing our money at R&D because a)high-tech stuff gives us the best hope of exports and b)it’s the only way we’ve got a chance of being competitive in the 2030s and beyond. A time of relative peace is the time to invest in R&D and relative short runs of demonstrators to prove that the tech works, so that you can ramp things up if things start to look scary but you’re not wasting your money on a Death Star that ends up chasing pirates. Bloggers in the 1820s would have excoriated the RN for not converting the whole fleet to steam immediately but there was no point, there was no real enemy to speak of and it would only have sparked a mini-arms race as happened in the 1850s. It was better to just do 3-4 ships with MkI and Mk II steam power, and put your energy into developing Mk III, rather than buying 100 ships with MkI and not having the option to deploy Mk III later on. You could look at something like the Zumwalt in this view too.

Chris

APATS – thanks I got the message yesterday about my really nifty modular ship (shame!) but what I meant just above is that because we are in a position of ever so slightly constrained budgets, it makes more sense to make sound (apols for marketeer-speak) best of breed platforms that have the capacity, real estate etc to support future systems than to spend money on new systems which can only be selotaped onto the worn out hulls we now have. I guess in terms of an analogy I’m suggesting we spend money on really strong foundations and put a modest building on top knowing more floors can be added safely when required/affordable, rather than trying to build a skyscraper on 3ft-deep footings.

The alternative as I see it to building a good number of upgradable hulls into which much T23 kit is transferred, is to build the all-singing all-dancing super-power dreadnaught frigates as so often featured in TD’s Fantasy Fleet threads, but in very small numbers (T45 springs to mind). Then you would I guess need to retain a selection of T23 just to have enough ships to cover current levels of deployment.

I really doubt the budget to create large numbers of fully equipped (to the desires of TD commenters) frigates is going to magically appear in MOD’s bank account. So a reasonable number of modern hulls with T23 kit aboard or half a dozen each of super T26 and worn-out T23. That to me seems to be the choice.

Observer

Chris, anti-air missile systems. Hit the target further out so that momentum and water skipping won’t be a problem, which is for things like ASTER 30 and SM, then an inner layer of ESSM or SeaCeptor (we use Israeli Baraks, but that is getting a bit long in the tooth too). Don’t let anything get within 2km if possible.

Tarian doesn’t work against anti-ship missiles nor most of the modern RPGs. I’m a big fan of it as a replacement for slat armour, but you have to understand that it is specifically an anti-RPG 7 defence due to the RPG’s interesting detonation system. Crushing the rocket’s nosecone causes a short circuit in the firing system, turning the weapon into a dud, or failing that, deforming the EFP. Anti-ship missiles don’t use the same firing circuit or care about EFP at all, most ships are not heavily armoured, they are just blast/frag.

@Fedaykin

I get the point on the anti-swarm weapons, but against aircraft, I have to disagree, missile tech is now much more reliable than in 1982, you can more easily swat the aircraft with an ASTER than a gun. If you are saying that it was the rational in 1982+, I’d agree, but post-2000, it has become too hard to get into bombing range of a well armed escort, and tactics have changed to standoff weapons. The CIWS could have been replaced with a 20-30mm mount for anti-swarm and you would still get similar capabilities, though I do agree that the possible “alternate use” of the CIWS in air defence, even as a totally last ditch weapon is probably nice to have as a backup. As I said, it’s personal preference. I would have gone for 20-30mm mounts or SeaRams. Air defence or anti-small boat.

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@chris

That is basically what I am suggesting but my upgrades and mission focussed kit comes in form of missiles for pre installed silos or ‘modules, for the mission bay.

@Observer
I think the geography the Ships were forced to operate during the Falklands had quite a bit to do with the aircraft getting so close.

ref CIWS I would go for Seahawk Sigma mounts personally, accepting that its primary role is anti FIAC.

Brian Black

On the lack of Harpoon, as folks have mentioned, not really relevant for the T26.

Mk41 launchers opens up Tomahawk and LRASM; however, the MoD’s forays into ballistic missile defence indicate a desire to develop a longer ranged missile with the other Aster users. That route would presumably lead to Sylver70 being fitted on our destroyers, and I’m guessing that would make Scalp-Naval the more likely candidate for anti-ship and land attack for the Royal Navy – rather than using both European and American launchers, trying to plumb them into a single fire control system, and perhaps losing flexibility by having long silos that can’t easily accommodate all missile types used.

Jed

On Harpoon etc as per Brian above:

It’s all about budget. Stupid comment’s like “nice one RN… blah blah blah” are ridiculous. You really think Admirals dont want as many anti-ship / land attack missiles as they can cram in ? Its all about MOD versus Treasury !

We may indeed end up with a ship with the big space for the VLS plated over, because we simply cant afford any more anti-ship weaponry than SPEAR on Lynx or hopefully the Vulcano round from an OTO 127mm gun.

Cash, cash and cash, not doctrine, is the problem.

martin

@ APATS

“That is basically what I am suggesting but my upgrades and mission focussed kit comes in form of missiles for pre installed silos or ‘modules, for the mission bay.”

Agreed, missiles cost allot of money but silo’s are cheap. Missiles can be bought relatively quickly and used if you have the Silo’s. So make sure at the very least the boat has the silo’s and we can worry about the other stuff later.

@ El Sid

“T45 within the context of a wider fleet plan for the threats we face then terrific – we save massive opportunity costs and the money can be deployed elsewhere to further UK interests.”

The issue with this is that T45 thus far is generally being used on its own away from the wider fleet. Secondly with such a small fleet we need versatility in each vessel. I am all for having bigger numbers and not gold plated solutions but having a VLS system on a modern warship seems about as essential as a helipad or deck gun to me.

@ El sid

Thanks for the model pic, Thats what I hoped it would be. I will hold judgement on my histericks until the RN actually launches a ship with a strike length VLS on it. Something it has not been able to do in 30 years since the things were invented.

martin

@ Brian Black

“losing flexibility by having long silos that can’t easily accommodate all missile types used.”

Its seems likely that MBDA will soon start making its missiles all compatible with the Mk4. THey are currently in discussion with LM regarding this. So having Mk41 on T45 is likely to allow it to carry both the Aster 30 Block 2 or Aster 45 ABM as well as SM 3 and TLAM and LRASM and Scalp (n) as well as quad packed CAMMS.

Personally if MBDA do get everything into the Mk41 then I would rip out the A50 cells from the T45 and go all Mk41.

El Sid

@martin
T45 thus far is generally being used on its own away from the wider fleet.

By “fleet plan” I meant not a taskforce but the whole caboodle – SSN’s, fast jets, cyber, whatever. People on t’internet get very hung up on what an individual platform can do in isolation rather than looking at them as a piece in a jigsaw.

In fact you’re wrong – something like this is more common : http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=125649

Of the two 45’s on deployment at the moment, Dragon is at the heart of the CVBG in the Gulf, and Daring is knocking around the Gulf going from one collaboration to the other, visiting such undefended outposts as Pearl Harbor and Kwajalein before doing a bit of 5 Powers training and visiting Oz.

But I’m not sure what your point is – that’s nothing to do with fitting the T26’s with obsolete Harpoon in the 2020s, and the T45’s are getting ex-T22 Harpoon today. So what if they’re being used on their own – what matters is the threat they face.

In particular things are a bit tight at the moment with the 45’s not quite fully worked up but all the 42’s defunct – and the RN seems to be particularly busy just at the moment, what with the RFTG out to play and even just small things like having two T23 at DSEi. But you can imagine that once things settle down you’d expect to see a T45 with RFTG and another in the Gulf battlegroup.

with such a small fleet we need versatility in each vessel.

Not at any price. We could install a replica of the Rovers Return in each warship, so that they could film Coronation Street there. That would add versatility – but it would be a complete waste of money, and it wouldn’t help us achieve our strategic objectives.

Ditto installing BMD on our minesweepers, or an ice hull on ships intended for the West Indies. You need to think more about what you expect each ship to realistically do in support of that wider strategy, rather than reducing things down to a Top Trumps checklist. Everything’s nice to have, but you can only spend each pound once.

Mark

A navy recognition interview with the bae program head of type 26 program

Simon

…missiles cost allot of money but silo’s are cheap…

As far as I was aware each Aster missile is/was about £1m and each Aster launch tube is/was about £1m.

So a silo full of missiles is only twice as much as an empty one.

Challenger

On the one hand I’m pleased that the flight-deck has been enlarged by moving the superstructure forwards but on the other it’s not good that some strike length cells have been removed as a consequence.

Even after this redesign it looks and sounds like a good ship with a decent range of capabilities. I’m just worried that between now and 2015 we will see further watering down with the end result being a refined T23 (with Artisan, CAMM and Type 2087) as opposed to a ship with true offensive capabilities in the shape of Mk.41 and the missile variety and potency it offers.

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@simon

You only pay for your silo once though. Also if Aster 30 is £1mil a pop then it is pretty cheap.
SM-3 BMD come in at over £ 8 million a pop. The new SM6 designed to replace the SM2-ER at £3 million. A typical Arleigh Burke load out mix of SM3/SM6/SM2-ER/ESSSM and TLAM can be about £300 million.

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@Mark

Interesting waffle at the end. So we are putting a silo that supports “future” land attack or anti surface missile capabilities but we are not commiting to actually putting anything in it initially.

Mark

Apas

Yeah almost like either hedging bets or it will enter service withing nothing there guess you could take it either way. Do you think other navies maybe interested in this, can you see anything obvious of way a foreign navy would buy this over one of the many other ships out there or is it that its operated by the rn the unique selling point? I did also see that they have tested caam from a mk41 launcher

Simon

Mark,

If they sell it with CAMM and Artisan as part of the “base spec” then it’s a great idea to have the additional functionality provided by the copter and VLS missiles. Trouble is that 16 missiles hardly gives enough for anti-ship and land-attack…. so I’d guess this means anti-ship for the RN with no TLAM.

APATS,

Yup, you only pay for the silo once, but it’s not like we’ve fired many Aster yet ;-)

My figures are from memory with SAMPSON at £100m and about the same for the full VLS. I’ve seen many figures ranging from $1m per Aster15 (£666k) to $2.5m for Aster30 (£1666k).

So with 16 x Aster30 and 32 x Aster15 that equates to £48m, or £1m per missile average.

jedibeeftrix

@ Martin – “A QE armed with 24 JSF as We all as Merlin AWACS and ASW, Chinook and Apache able to offload a full Company in one go is quite a capability. The ability to potentially have two such vessels both with the same is awesome.”

agreed.

Mark

Jedi

I didn’t read is as both at the same time. I thought it implied either 24 jsf and 14 merlin or chinook, apache and company of marines?

Simon unless the missile you choice can do either mission

I still wonder, what with the aft CAMM silos descending to rest against the forward bulkhead of the mission bay, that there exists an opportunity to reload them internally and replenish from the flight deck. Just a bit of ingenuity needed.

Surely not impossible?

Um. I think a ship that has expended all its SeaCeptor missiles and needing reloads would be a very lucky ship. The crew even more so……..

Simon

I read it as a 12 F35 + 12-14 Merlin as the base air group.
Plus a further 12 F35 “surge”
or
Plus a wad of Chinook, Merlin HC and Wildcat/Apache for the “littoral manoeuver package”

I’d imagine the latter will also involve “offdecking” the ASW Merlin onto escorts and supply ships.

Mark,

Very true. Nice idea. Are there any in the pipeline then?

@ Simon

But surely the escorts and the RFA’s would expend their AVCAT at a much greater rate if they had to maintain the screen…………? ;)

@x:
True, though it would be nice to feel you wouldn’t have to return to port for a top up, just in case, after a short sharp engagement (making your own luck).

Would you be more interested if one or two rechargeable silos could then be set aside for VL Fireshadow?
Or if similarly a TLAM cell could be loaded like a cartridge from below? They look about long enough.

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@Mark

I think he mentioned that “the silo” would be there often enough to make me pretty sure it will. However I am also willing to be he has simply been told to make x room at the moment until we decide what sort we want. This will depend upon numerous factors including the progress of missiles currently under development. Integration of MBDA missiles on Mk41. economics can we afford a MK 41 launcher with integration of TLAM and LRASM or are we better with Sylver 70 and SCALP NAVAL doing both jobs? I think the decision will be delayed for as long as possible.

@Simon
You have 16 tubes of flexibility, if you are in the Gulf with a possible land attack role and any surface threat being asymmetric and unsuitable for engagement with a traditional anti ship missile you may carry 16 land Attack missiles.
If you are escorting a CBG with a serious threat from OPFOR surface units you may want to carry 16 anti ship missiles.
If you are designated as plane guard and “goal keeper” for the Carrier in an air threat environment you may choose to quad pack CAMM if possible.
For a standard solo deployment you may want to go 8 and 8.
Of course we could go for a missile capable of both roles, I hate compromises but better something than nothing.
Much happier to hear about the mission bay and yesterdays news ref CODLAG.

@ All

I definitely read it as 24 F35B plus ASW/AEW Merlin for an operational “Carrier” Deployment and the other configuration as an “LPH” style config.
I have known Russ harding for 15 years and it is not like him to be obtuse.

JohnHartley

El Sid A light ice hardened hull would add very little in cost (1%?), but give a longer service life , plus be more capable of withstanding a hurricane, or suicide bomber.

@ Ant

Yep. I believe I understand your thinking.

The VLS is both magazine and launcher, reloading for a variety of reasons isn’t practicable or economic (either in terms of treasure or survivability or crew endurance) .

Recently here I decided that T45 is best classed as the RN’s heavy missile carrier. The T45 escorting CVF could trade some AAW missiles for strike missiles as there would be greater depth to the air defence zone. My preference of course would be for a new class carrying SeaViper to escort CVF but that won’t happen. A T45 at the centre of her own task group could tip the balance back towards AAW missiles.

Not sure there is any real value in T26 carrying TLAM or strike missiles. A better spend would be guided munitions in good amounts for a 5in gun.

Simon

x,

The airgroup I outlined above would be the airgroup for the whole CBG component of the RFTG.

So I suppose they don’t really offdeck 9 because I doubt 9 will be on CVF anyway (3 will likely be on escorts/tankers) so they only really offdeck 6 in surge situations (3 to additional escorts and 3 to the tankers and supply ships).

There is therefore no extra AVCAT utilisation on the escorts. Good try though ;-)

Mark

Thanks apas.

Simon Is that jsm missile from Norway fired from a vertical launch system? I think it has a anti ship, and land attack capability obviously not as long as tlam. I forget the name of that one mbda had concepts for

Simon

APATS,

What is the advantage of CODLAG over IEP?

Seems like extra expense, weight and maintenance for nothing!

Simon

Mark,

Cripes. Is the NSM VLS ready then?

Was the MBDA one Perseus?

@ Simon

Your argument actually trumps what you yourself said earlier on. So try and conversion……

Simon

x,

Not sure I’m with you?

@ Simon

If a ship has a flight of two helicopters (its air group) is only using fuel as fast as two helicopters can use fuel.

Challenger

Mk.41 is the key. Artisan, Type 2087, Sea Ceptor and a new medium caliber gun are all safe. The bit the RN needs to fight for and what’s seriously needed if the T26 is going to avoid ending up as a refined T23 (as lovely as that would be!) are strike length cells. At least 16, but preferably more, just focus on getting the silo’s installed (shouldn’t cost too much) and then worry about what to put in them later.

It’s probably a dam sight easier to get funding for missiles to fill empty launchers than it is to get a whole new capability installed from scratch. They could probably get some vertical launch AShM into service for the first few years of T26 service and then explore land attack options further down the line.

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@Simon

The space required to fit the diesels to bring the same amount of power as when the you use the GT and Diesels would be massively greater. Using GT in an IEP would be massively noisier.
So to get the 48MW available from the MT30 and the 4 Diesels you would need to fit 16 equivalent diesels. A GT is simply the lightest most space efficient means of producing power but it is noisy. That is why you go CODLAG, you have 12MW worth of Diesels responsible for propulsion and hotel services, so a bit like IEP, these can even be mounted above the waterline like on T23 and allow extremely quiet operations up to about 14-16kts plus on a T23, maybe more on T26. In other words across the ASW operational envelope.
When you want to sprint or go faster you spin up the big GT engage the clutch and gearbox and add 36MW worth of power to the equation. Obviously noisier but quicker and lighter method of generating the extra power.
Plus you are only maintaining 5 units in a far smaller space.

@Simon/Mark
I believe NSM still has to be fired in a horizontal plane. The Skjold class has a pop up launcher.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=55f_1350186239&comments=1

I had heard that MBDA were proposing a dual use MdCN

Simon

APATS.

I appreciate the value of the GT.

I thought the difference between CODLAG and IEP is that with IEP the GT would drive a generator which would in turn add to the power grid for the electric motors. In CODLAG the thing has to be mechanically switched in. That’s not a small clutch or gearbox!

So are you saying that “clutching in” the GT through a massive clutch and gearbox is quieter (or cheaper???) than simply driving a generator?

El Sid

Even the Aegis-based Nansens have box launchers for the NSM :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE17MP8PyOk

But I’m sure if they won the OASuW competition, they’d at least have a go at putting them in Mk41. But I suspect that the only way they would win OASuW would be in conditions of extreme budget squeeze, where even the USN was just looking for a straight replacement of Harpoon.

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@Simon

Remember that going IEP using GT for the boost phase would mean some seriously big electric motors! That adds expens and complexity, the motors on the LPD were huge and fragile. The acceptance is that when you want to sprint you are no longer tactical and you use a tried and proven system.
We have also had nightmare issues with the IEP systems on the LPDs.

Fedaykin

The UK has developed a significant amount of experience with IEP, arguably more so then any other Western navy so far. Bay class, Albion class, Type-45 and QE class.

It allows easier packaging, the removal of gearboxes and quieter operation as the gas turbines/diesels can be decoupled from the hull.

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Fedaykin

“The UK has developed a significant amount of experience with IEP, arguably more so then any other Western navy so far. Bay class, Albion class, Type-45 and QE class.

It allows easier packaging, the removal of gearboxes and quieter operation as the gas turbines/diesels can be decoupled from the hull”

Or in real life, breakdowns in the Gulf of Mexico, propulsion units attached to hulls, screwed up differing shaft lengths and single screw Suez transits (allegedly :) ) Not to mention a myriad of other mechanical breakdowns.

Simon

APATS,

Fair enough. Ultimate reliability is a perfectly acceptable reason.

I am now officially concerned about Type 45’s future.

martin

@ El Sid

“But I’m not sure what your point is – that’s nothing to do with fitting the T26′s with obsolete Harpoon in the 2020s,”
I’m not advocating harpoon, far from it I would like to see us acquire an Anti Ship missile to be used in a mk41 launcher. My point was that if the ship’s don’t have mk41 and don’t even have harpoon they will be little better than large OPV’s.

“Ditto installing BMD on our minesweepers, or an ice hull on ships intended for the West Indies. You need to think more about what you expect each ship to realistically do in support of that wider strategy, rather than reducing things down to a Top Trumps checklist.”
I will say it again I do not believe having strike length launchers on our T45’s or T26 is any kind of gold platting rather a basic necessity along the lines of a helipad or main gun. They can be used to support the primary mission of the vessel i.e. ant ship missile for T26 or ABM for T45 as well as land attack missiles or simply an additional increase in defensive missiles such as Sea Ceptor.

martin

At least we have got the 5 inch gun kind of confirmed.

I think the T26 looks like an excellent design and if they can deliver it for £350 million, then even better. But it really really needs to strike length launchers. Hopefully with the US developing anti ship missiles for VLS systems the RN can dupe the treasury into buying them.

Does anyone know how difficult it is to integrate land attack or anti ship missiles with the ships systems. Obviously AAW missiles need a very high degree of integration with the ships radar and defensive systems but I am guessing land attack and anti ship missiles don’t. I had heard that the control for Harpoon missiles was done essentially by a box in the CIC that was not really integrated with anything else of the ship.

I would hope that as the ship is being made for export its computer architecture should easily support integration of different weapons systems.

I’m guessing like T45 that they will be running everything through windows :-)

El Sid said “an ice hull on ships intended for the West Indies”

Um. One hopes that wasn’t a less than subtle jab at yours truly……….

The Other Chris

NSM is also undergoing Mk 41 studies [1].

Note: NSM not JSM.

Currently NSM is launch-able from it’s own box launcher.

[1] Jane’s article on NSM for Offensive Anti-Surface Warfare (OASuW)

The Other Chris

Some selections, including the ship’s main gun, will be made by the government. The 5 inch (12.7 centimeter) gun choice should be made next year, [Geoff Searle, BAE’s program director] said. [1]

Searle also referenced the 5″ gun being capable of firing guided munitions during the video interview posted above. As discussed before, the Vulcano submunition fired by the Oto Melara is one option while the BAE option is called the the Multi-Service Standard Guided Projectile (MS-SGP) [2]:

In June, the company completed an initial demonstration program with a 127-mm derivative of LRLAP, the Multi-Service Standard Guided Projectile (MS-SGP), designed to achieve a 95-km range when fired from the Mk 45 Mod 4 gun proposed for Type 26. Unlike Oto Melara’s Vulcano long-range projectile, which is a subcaliber round encased in a sabot, the MS-SGP is a rocket-assisted shell.

[1] Wall, R. (2013). Rolls-Royce Sees Type 26 Win Spurring More Navy Engine Contracts. Bloomberg.

[2] Sweetnam, B. (2013). Long Shot. Aviation Week.

Opinion3

Can anyone advise whether the Mk57 is benefical over the Mk41?

I really am assuming that we are going the US route, it would seem so limiting otherwise. Whilst I realise a helicopter is a weapon deliverer what evidence is there out there that is can work and survive in a contested environment?

If the helicopter is taken out it appears the frigate days as a useful asset are probably over.

Nick

Any thoughts on layout plans of the engines being a COmbined Diesel ELectric Or GT. The only info I can find on David Brown gearbox mentioned in the press release to be used with the RR MT30 36-40MW GT, is that it is a derivative of that used on the Astute, by necessity “quiet”, I presume direct drive to the prop shaft via gearbox and clutch. I also presume the MTU 20V 4000M53 (4 x 3MW) diesel generator sets will power an electric motor (GE Power Conversion?), not mentioned in the press release which I find odd as the rest of the hardware announced, and how will the gearing / clutches work to take power in and out from the electric motor to prop shaft, similar to the Renk design that won the contract for the CODELOD MARS tankers?

The Other Chris

@Opinion3

Raytheon touts the Mk 57 as [1]:

The MK 57 Vertical Launching System (VLS) is designed as a versatile, open architecture solution that is mounted on the ship periphery and is adaptable to a centerline usage as well, making this launcher a candidate for future use in a wide variety of maritime and shore-based installations. The MK 57 design allows integration of new and existing missiles into a launcher structure built to handle not only all existing MK 41 VLS encanistered missiles, but future “growth” missiles as well, without requiring complex and costly modifications to the launcher hardware or software.

In addition [2]:

The robust MK 57 VLS gas management system can accommodate new missile designs having up to 45 percent greater rocket motor mass flow rate than current-generation rocket motors.

[1] Raytheon. (2012). Seapower. Retrieved from raytheon.com.

[2] Raytheon and BAE Systems. (2007). MK 57 Vertical Launching System. Retrieved from alternatewars.com.

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@Nick

The aviation weekly press release said CODLAG although up to this CODLOG was the rumour. If it is CODLAG then a similar layout to the T23 though not sure if they are going to put 2DG on 1 deck for ultra quiet ops.

@opinion 3

All I have heard about MK 57 is that it is designed to cope with more exhaust gas release.

Not a Boffin

In the current design, you have a single MT30 driving a splitter GB to get to two shafts. There are then two EM on those shafts powered off the main electrical dist system by the MTUs. Can’t remember whether they’re LAG or LOG atm and it isn’t really important. All the prime movers are (currently) on the tank top last I saw.

The actual prime movers can be ordered because they aren’t going to be any different – irrespective of what may happen to the ship design itself.

El Sid

@x
Huh, err? I don’t get the reference but if it came across that way my apologies, it wasn’t intentional.

@martin
See that’s my confusion – hitherto you’ve been referring to VLS tubes as “Gucci kit”, as in “will never be bought”. Look, if you read anything about the wider strategy for T26, land strike and a mission deck are seen as the two big things it brings over the T23, in a way that land strike was never a big part of the T45 mission (where it was more a nice to have). You’re just getting yourself in a big tizz over a badly-rendered bit of CGI.

if the ship’s don’t have mk41 and don’t even have harpoon they will be little better than large OPV’s.

Stuff like that just makes you look stupid. If they don’t have a VLS then they’re “just” a better T23 with a mission deck and bigger helideck. Given that a T23 with 2087 + HM2 (and associated meatware) is a bloody awesome ASW ship, that means eight of the T26’s will still be bloody awesome at their main job, with more flexibility for operations less than war; adding SeaCeptor makes it a pretty nice all-round escort. I know things like isolated diesels and experienced sonar operators aren’t as sexy as Blowing Stuff Up, but defence of your SLOCs in war is arguably more important than the sexy stuff.

You’re obsessed with Harpoon. An anti-ship missile is nice to have, but no more than that – just think about the times when you would use it. If there’s submarines or fast jets in the area – you’d use them first. So there’s no fast jets around, but you still need something to give you a target ID. Your ROE need to be sufficiently relaxed to allow you to shoot, and the waterway sufficiently free of civilian traffic that you don’t worry about hitting the wrong thing. You’re looking for a target that’s big enough to need a decent warhead, but with insufficient ECM/CIWS/SAMs to defend against eight subsonic missiles – you’re not going to be taking on a Kirov or Type 052C. It’s not impossible that these conditions will all be met, but it’s not terribly likely either – there’s a good reason why no Western ship has unequivocally sunk anything ever with Harpoon. It has its place for navies too small to have anything much more than FACs, or for non-state actors to “do a Hanit”, but it’s marginal for the kind of navy that can call on submarines and fast air, and whose strategy is primarily defensive. Sure, if you had more than 8 effectors, and they were supersonic, then that gets a bit more interesting. Personally I’d rather see the T26 get themselves an ASROC to support their main mission, but I know that’s pure fantasy right now.

@Opinion3
Mk57 is a couple of inches bigger, so it will eventually be able to take fatter missiles than Mk41 (at the expense of fewer tubes in the same space), and as has been mentioned the exhaust system is sized accordingly. It’s mainly intended for BMD missiles, but it also increases your multi-pack options. Still, for an austerity frigate you’d go for the “Model T” option of Mk41 if you were buying USian.

People get obsessed with the tubes when its integration at the software level that’s the complicated (hence expensive) bit. The argument for going with MBDA missiles is for exports, there’s lots of countries who want to buy kit that’s as free as possible from US political interference. That’s why we’re about to sell ££££’s of Typhoons to the Gulf for ground attack and why the Saudis are pressing for Storm Shadow integration thereon – the Jewish lobby in Washington won’t let the US sell long-range weapons like JASSM and Tomahawk to the Ay-rabs. So if that kind of consideration is enough to tip export customers choosing a T26 with a SCALP derivative over a ship design from Russia or wherever, then it could really help defray R&D costs that would otherwise fall on the RN budget. But that’s much less likely to happen if the RN has bought Tomahawk rather than SCALP-x.

@ El Sid

My bad I forget the :) at the end. A while back I was speculating about a build of 2 ships based on the new South African Antarctic research vessel to cover WIGS hurricane and humanitarian relief and Antarctic sovereignty and science support missions. Obviously the WIGS ship would have been ice strengthened too, but I saw the greater cost as a gain in utility as we would always have an additional ship for ice ops at both ends of the planet, we would save on design costs, and it would be a class not a one off oddity which is a plus. My bad as I said I forgot the emoticon. Sorry.

Brian Black

With all the talk of Mk41 and American missiles, I wonder how things would have panned out if years ago we had bought all the gubbins from the Burkes and stuffed them into a British hull instead of going down the PAAMS route for T45.

If we wanted the GP Type26 to be a do-it-all multipurpose platform, including trucking about dozens of land-attack missiles, wouldn’t the whopping Type45 hull have been preferable?

A pared down T45, with Artisan and SeaCeptor. The big hull able to carry a whole bunch of strike missiles, as well as being potentially better able to accommodate a large hangar/mission bay, troops/passengers, and various boats or USVs.

@ El Sid re ASROC & T26

Oh yes.

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@BB

We don’t want the T26 to truck around dozens of land attack missiles but a precision land attack capability via a new gun and some strike length cells is nice. What we do want it to be is a quiet ASW platform and produced at a price that attracts potential exports. A T45 based option carrying dozens of strike length tubes would be neither.

@El Did/X

Always wondered about ASROC but I guess the thinking is that both detection ranges when active with LFAS and the range of submarine torpedoes have increased to the point where engagements are going to be outside ASROC range. Making it a nice to have but not worth the cost of developing our own version. This may change if we had the silo to put them in.

Not a Boffin

“If we wanted the GP Type26 to be a do-it-all multipurpose platform, including trucking about dozens of land-attack missiles, wouldn’t the whopping Type45 hull have been preferable?”

What on earth makes you think that the T26 is significantly smaller than T45 anyway? It’s a couple of metres smaller in length, a couple in depth and a metre smaller on the beam if that.

As for the rest, exactly what APATS said, with the addition that AEGIS/SM2 (or SM3) isn’t necessarily what it’s cracked up to be when compared to PAAMS…….

Jeremy M H

@NAB

“AEGIS/SM2 (or SM3) isn’t necessarily what it’s cracked up to be when compared to PAAMS…….”

I always get a bit of a kick out of this statement as it is so amazingly broad. I mean the relevant question is what version of AEGIS, what type of SM-2, what type of SM-3 and what task exactly are were talking about here? Neither have what amounts to an operational history in their use. One is older in origin than the other and each are looking to solve only somewhat similar problems differently to be sure but I find it funny when people make statements with such certainty about matters that only a handful of people on earth probably have the level of understanding to really offer a fully informed opinion on.

Brian Black

APATS, you might not want the T26 to carry about cruise missiles, but a number of folks mentioned it. We are due to see two variants in service -ASW and GP- I specifically mentioned ‘GP Type26’, not ASW.

NAB, a couple of metres in the beam could make a whole lot of difference to what types of boats could be launched. And there is a 2,600t difference in displacement, that doesn’t seem negligible to me.

Nick

Thanks for explanation

Not a Boffin September 13, 2013 at 11:23 am
In the current design, you have a single MT30 driving a splitter GB to get to two shafts. There are then two EM on those shafts powered off the main electrical dist system by the MTUs. Can’t remember whether they’re LAG or LOG atm and it isn’t really important. All the prime movers are (currently) on the tank top last I saw.

Confused by the terms LAG or LOG atm ?
Any thoughts on the advantages / disadvantages of ABB’s new marine electrical power system DC (direct current) as against AC distribution.

Not a Boffin

Jeremy MH – you’re quite correct to refer to the “task”. That is where comparing AEGIS/SM2 with PAAMS on a “Top Trumps” basis as so often happens here falls down. I was merely making the point that each system has particular strengths depending on threat and engagement envelope, such that wishing for a bunch of Arleigh Burke kit does not necessarily answer the RN question.

Brian – it depends whether you know what the “5400 te displacement” (from which I assume you derived your 2600te difference) refers to or not………..

The Other Chris

@Nick

“COmbined Diesel eLectric And Gas” as opposed to “COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas”.

Jeremy M H

@NAB

I agree. The RN kit makes a lot of sense for the RN on a lot of levels. PAAMS is likely a better system for one ship standing alone into a dangerous air environment. The radar is higher up. You can conduct more terminal engagements (kind of…sort of…well it depends) at once. In the same way it makes a lot of sense for the Type 26 to have quieting technology that is not really used on USN surface ships. If/when operating alone that stuff is a big deal. For the USN spending the money to bring a Brukes noise signature down further would be useful but the fact is they are usually tied to a carrier or amphib that really can’t be made quiet. Different needs yield different kit.

I think the relevant question for the RN is really what do they want their ships to do? Are we making a couple of CVBG’s out of the QE and that is going to be the main role of the whole navy? Or are we going to do ASW work in the North Atlantic in small groups? Or stand alone patrols? That is where I think the RN has run into the most trouble. Things seem a bit muddled at the upper level on what exactly the most important thing the fleet will be asked to do really is.

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@BB

I am sure NAB will know but I get the impression the only difference between a GP T26 and an ASW T26 will be the initial absence of a tail. not a noisier propulsion fit or lack of any other weapons or sensors. They will still be very useful units. Indeed one of the ASW exercises involves the use of an active 2087 “beater” and a silent passive weapon carrier.

@NAB

I think we have to be careful to separate the capabilities of the T45 radar and command system to gather and process information from the actual kinetic performance of the missiles they control.

@JMH
Ask the politicians. At the moment we are just about aiming to maintain capability over almost the full spectrum.

El Sid

@x
No worries, just thought I’d missed something major, it makes sense now!

@APATS
Re: ASROC, I don’t think it’s the range so much as just this on its own :

Making it a nice to have but not worth the cost of developing our own version.

It’s a lousy business model – even the USN have been averaging 32/year, so we’d be buying single digits. Not even remotely worth doing unless you have a suitable big modular missile to adapt. Having said that, the time could be right to do it with an eye to selling it to the USN and others, they do seem to be waking up to ASW again. Particularly if they were to put a couple of Mk41’s on later LCS’s as has been mooted (if that batch are not cancelled altogether).

Just to be clear, I wasn’t thinking literally of RUM-139, which is after all a pretty ancient weapon now – it would be interesting to see how what sort of range you could get out of an A50-sized missile using modern technology, assuming a similar improvement as you’ve seen with SAMs since RUM-139 was developed thirty years ago. And I was thinking of a range more like the Russian ones, so realistically you’re looking at a turbojet-powered strike-length weapon. The obvious place to start is MBDA’s very own Milas – and in fact Milas box launchers would make a better fit on our 2087 frigates than Harpoon. Then you could have Otomat on your GP ones if you wanted. Obviously it would be preferable to have a Stingray version of Milas, changing torpedoes is claimed to be relatively easy to do.

In a fantasy world, Milas-Stingray would just be another depot-installable warhead option for a modular strike-length VL missile. In a slightly less fantasy world, I’d cut and shut Milas onto the arse end of a Tomahawk/SCALP-x. But it would still be a multi-££m programme for just a few missiles per T26, it just doesn’t work without export sales and even then it’s expensive.

@Jeremy M H
Bear in mind that some of that handful might be hanging around these parts….

Opinion3

Thank you all for your responses.

My general feeling for British kit and designs is that when we do something we do it well, very well in fact and often better than anyone else.

The Type 45 is clearly a brilliant ADD but there are gaps. Given the low numbers of T45s I would hope some of those gaps are going to be filled by the Type 26. The T45 isn’t a ASW asset, although there is a sonar and it does have the helicopter(s). Land attack is limited to the gun (although presumably CAMM could be configured to work with both static and moving targets). I also recollect there is work on developing the Brimstone dual mode to do exactly the above from ships. There are no torpedo or ship attack assets other than those provided by the helicopter(s).

The Type 26 is designed to be a brilliant ASWF and hopefully fills some of the gaps.

Do we need Land attack? I think so, has it been the weapon most used by the RN is recent operations?

Do we need to be able to operate as escorts independently? I think so and I have imagined this would be assigned to the T26s. If so can they defend themselves against subs, ships and aerial threats in a contested environment?

That’s the question I don’t know the answer to. My gut feeling is – as long as the helicopter is operating and in the right place doing the right task then yes. Otherwise it is game over. You might see the sub, the ship, the jet but the ship can only defend itself (or within range, the helicopter) from aerial threats and not torpedos. Of course I am overlooking the decoys but against I imagine you don’t risk one on one and eventually the waiting game will be won by the enemy.

Because I don’t have the full knowledge, the Mk57 would be my choice. BMD, ASROC, TLAM seem lacking IMHO.

HurstLlama

One of the best things about Think Defence is when we get these discussions between people who know what they are talking about. They are a joy to follow but can sometimes leave the lay-man a tad mystified.

So I wonder if one of you grown-ups could explain what this gas turbine/diesel argument is about. I thought that the modern thing was to have the propellers driven by electric motors and the electricity could be delivered by gas turbine/diesel/nuclear or combination thereof as required. Is that not the case? Just a bit confused by CODLAG and CODLOG and the points made about clutches/gearboxes and propeller shafts.

@APATS
“Indeed one of the ASW exercises involves the use of an active 2087 “beater” and a silent passive weapon carrier.”

I am sure that there is such an exercise, doesn’t mean it is an optimal or even good tactic to use though. Beating on a shoot is fine, the birds don’t fire back. I would have thought that blasting out one’s location to an enemy submarine might invite a response (it will know where you are long before you get an echo), leading to the “silent weapon carrier” having to chose between picking up survivors (and thus coming out of silent mode) or prosecuting the enemy. Would not two ASW frigates, each with a tail, be a more efficient method of operation and leave any active stuff to their helicopters? Especially if one is escorting a convoy, or even a carrier group.

@Jeremy M H

“Things seem a bit muddled at the upper level on what exactly the most important thing the fleet will be asked to do really is.”

The RN has traditionally done everything from expeditionary warfare to protecting commerce to sea control and taking the fight to the enemy’s fleet, but since the 60s hasn’t been able to, though it does seem to have tried hard. The problem isn’t I think at the service level it is at the political one. If HMG can’t decide what its foreign and defence policy is for more than five minutes at a time then the Sea Lords can’t be blamed for not having a fleet tailored to deliver whatever it is the politicos want today, especially as their budget gets cut every second year by those same politicians.

Opinion3

MBDA & Lockheed Martin co-operation achieves first missile launch from a MK 41 launcher using ExLS
12/09/2013

LONDON, Sept. 12, 2013 – MBDA and Lockheed Martin demonstrated the first launch of a Common Anti-air Modular Missile (CAMM) from Lockheed Martin’s MK 41 Vertical Launching System (VLS) launcher using the host variant of the Extensible Launching System (ExLS).

This is the first test by MBDA and Lockheed Martin since the May 2013 announcement of cooperation between the two companies to offer MBDA missile systems for use with the MK 41 and ExLS family of launchers. The test used MBDA’s soft vertical launch technology to eject the CAMM from its canister and position the missile for main motor ignition. The trial is the first in a series to demonstrate that the CAMM can be installed using ExLS in vessels that use the MK 41 launcher or on the 3-cell stand-alone ExLS CAMM launcher.

Announcing the result of the trial, Paul Mead, Business Development Director for MBDA said, “This first CAMM trial is an example of how MBDA and Lockheed Martin are offering the global MK 41 customer base a real choice in which missile they use. The missile offers a wide range of benefits, not least its active seeker, as well as low impact of installation on-board due to the soft vertical launch method. This is the start of what we hope will be a wider range of MBDA missile systems available to Lockheed Martin vertical launcher users.”

“The multi-missile MK 41 VLS has fundamentally changed the way world navies think about sea-launched weapons by providing the flexibility to respond to numerous threats,” said George Barton, vice president of business development of Ship & Aviation Systems for Lockheed Martin’s Mission System and Training business. “Our partnership with MBDA allows us to grow the MK 41 multi-missile capability and offer our customers an outstanding VLS launcher alternative.”

Lockheed Martin, in collaboration with MBDA, is developing a 3-cell stand-alone ExLS CAMM launcher for those navies whose ships cannot accommodate the larger MK 41 VLS but desire the superior missile packing density, survivability and reliability that the 8-cell MK 41 launcher has been offering for over 30 years to 13 navies worldwide.

The trial was carried out on the 10th of September near Bedford, England, using a MK 41 launcher outfitted with a host ExLS.

Opinion3

COGAG: Combined Gas and Gas
CODAG: Combined Diesel and Gas
CODLAG: Combined Diesel Electric and Gas
CODLOG: Combined Diesel Electric or Gas
IEP: Integrated Electric Propulsion

The CODLAG is a variation of the CODAG. We are going for an IEP CODLOG.

Gas = Excellent acceleration, compact
Diesel = Efficient for cruise (medium-high RPMs), simple intake/exhaust requirements
Electric = Silent, efficient at low RPMs
IEP = More damage resistant & more design freedom (can locate diesel/gas generators anywhere)

These days diesel-electric is almost mandatory for ASW combatants and OPVs. Moreover gas is required for ASW (for sprints). AAW and GP combatants, as well as amphibs/logistics ships, are the only ones that can get away with diesel-only propulsion

The “Or” propulsion variants – COGOG, CODOG, CODLOG may appear less flexible and less capital-efficient, but those disadvantages are often more than offset by the less complex reduction gear. Reduction gear is often a weakness of “And” propulsion arrangements.

Simon

Pic for CODLAG

In the pic the props are driven by either the electric motors alone (these are powered by electricity produced by diesel generators) or, if the Gas Turbine is “switched in”/”clutched in”, then both the GT and the electric motors contribute to the shaft power to the props.

CODLOG (OR instead of AND) allows the electric motors to be “switched out”/”clutched out” so therefore runs on the motors OR the Gas Turbine.

CODLAG is simpler and allows the electric motors to “brake” the props if necessary. In addition, due to some clever trickery with electrons in magnetic fields it can also be used to generate power from the Gas Turbine.

Brian Black

The thinking behind my earlier comments on the GP T26 is that it is simply a regular patrol frigate, the likes of which every middling navy goes and buys half a dozen of as soon as they have the cash. So does sailing a few around benefit Britain beyond providing a floating showroom for BAe?

A more versatile ship might be of more use to the UK than a handful of basicly fitted, albeit very fine, frigates that offer little more than a way to make up the numbers.

Considering that the first rung on the naval ladder for most countries is a bunch of OPV, equipped with a generous helping of anti-ship missiles, perhaps the money would be better spent on a couple more air-defence ships instead.

Simon

I think we’re missing a trick with T26.

More VLS silos and the option to mount SAMPSON high up.

That way we can realistically replace T45 with the same nice, quiet, hull…

…or, more realistically, not replace T45 at all and just stick with 12-13 T26, which should be enough to support the CBG we’re likely to have (our amphibious capability might drop by the wayside).

Observer

HurstLlama, subs are usually not that gung-ho, in a way, they operate almost similar to recon teams in that their main weapon is their stealthiness, so if a frigate is blasting the area with active sonar, the first inclination of the sub is not to kill the enemy but to get out of the way. This is why the beater-shooter tactic works.

You are right in saying that using helos to detect the sub is the safest way, but unfortunately a helo can’t be up 24/7, and even if you have 2 for a 1 on, 1 off system, the fuel usage would be horrifying. A ship on the other hand, floats 24/7 and fuel usage is minimal if he is just station keeping. More likely, a ship will be used as a floating sensor platform while the helo would be used to chase down suspected contacts and to persecute it without letting the sub too close to the frigate.

Jed

Sooooo, having spent millions on “concept definition” and “design phase” (or billions ?) can somebody please tell me what this vessel offers over a similarly configured FREMM other than a “Chinook capable flight deck” ?

Why the hell do we need a “Chinook capable” flight deck on a Frigate ?

And please dont come back with a load of tosh about exports . On a pure military capability cost benefit analysis what are we getting here that did not exist MOTS elsewhere ???

McZ

@Simon
“Do we need to be able to operate as escorts independently? I think so and I have imagined this would be assigned to the T26s. If so can they defend themselves against subs, ships and aerial threats in a contested environment?”

This was never the task of a second rate warship like a T26. Even the USN sends Burkes, not OHPs or LCSs into contested areas.

The obvious recipient for any strike-length VLS is a T45, as it is capable to detach from a task group, make a firing-raid, and GET AWAY with it.

I still guess, a 200-VLS-cells container-vessel-conversion may be a better solution. “RFA Kickass(ad) underway to Cyprus”, morning news not easily been stomached by third-world dictators next door.

I would also propose to not make the T26 too potent initially by adding VLS. Because adding more capability means more firepower to treasury budget-hawks. We need numbers, anything else comes later or in case of emergency.

The Other Chris

To add to comments on ship propulsion, directly driving the shafts from the Gas Turbine via the complex gearbox gives you high sprint speeds when you need it.

Given the range of TLAM and SCALP-N, set against the range of F35b, and the number of these things we will launch as part of coalition I would say T45 is the best ship to carry the strike missiles. I would have the UK to have the capability to carry 100 or so TLAM into theatre but it won’t happen. To the MoD strike means dangling missiles under aircraft. If you look at the crisis we have been involved in with the US since the end of the Cold War, aircraft losses, missiles launched, and the cost of missiles it would be far cheaper to go with shipborne missile strikes. But culture eats strategy for breakfast.

HurstLlama

Mssrs. Opinion3 and Simon,

Thanks for your explanations of CODLAG/CODLOG etc.. I am now much better informed, none the wiser, mind you, but definitely much better informed.

Jed asked “Why the hell do we need a “Chinook capable” flight deck on a Frigate ?”

I think Chinook capable flightdeck it the RN equivalent of the RAF’s C17 can carry tanks. It is just a metric. A demonstration of size and capability. But not wholly realistic. A USAF C17 can only land an M1Ax on a long runway. And then it would spend the next two weeks in the hangar while the maintainers look for microfractures in its airframe.

T45 is just huge. To be honest I think the flightdeck is just that big because they didn’t know what to do with all the volume. They tower over T23, the size difference is greater than between say a T23 and a Leander.

El Sid

@Simon
That’s the trick that we’re missing so much, that it was explicitly mentioned as a possibility in this interview :
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-10/bae-systems-new-global-combat-ship-draws-export-buyer-interest.html ????

But I think you’re getting a wee bit ahead of yourself, looking to replace a class of ships that haven’t even all been commissioned yet!!!! And by the mid 2030’s Sampson will be long gone – I’d guess we’d end up with AESA plates like the Thales SF500 on the proposed FREMM-ER.

Separately, I’ve been thinking on how MBDA could increase the volume of MILAS sales. I’ve concluded they need to follow the example of car manufacturers and do a limited edition which is little more than a special paint-job, a new name and a marketing campaign.

It would be an Extended Yield variant especially for SYRia – the MIL(EY-SYR)AS. Do a Youtube video of a pop tart squirming naked on it and jobzagoodun.

Fedaykin

Well the early Type 26 concepts were shown with a Chinook capable deck then later concepts were shrunk down and now it is back again. To get a Chinook capable deck the multi mission bay is cut down and the number of strike length cells reduced from 24 to 16.

Personally I am happy with those changes, I think having a larger helicopter deck will be more useful over the life of the ship. Personally I am sceptical about these multi mission reconfigurable container decks, those vessels that have employed the concept tend to end up sticking to one set of container modules rather then swapping around. 16 strike length cells (or the potential to fit) is still 100% more then what is fitted on any current Royal Navy vessel. If a cruise missile is procured I highly doubt that every single missile cell would be filled even with 16 let alone 24. Actually my guess is that many a Type 26 will sail with none or no more then 3 to 5 cruise missiles at any one time.

Red Trousers

Pictures to follow when TD tells me what resolution they need to be at, but in advance, I apologise for the slightly poor quality of some of the photographs (a combination of weird indoor lighting, and a poxy little iphone camera). They’re good enough if you know what you are looking for. I’ll do the photos tomorrow and email them to TD so that he can post them wherever appropriate. And there’s a nice little surprise one in there just for you all.

Had a fascinating 15 minute conversation with the BAE Systems Senior Programme Director for T26. The model which he talked me through was, he confirmed, the very latest. It represents the T26 in the configuration in which it is going to be taken to Main Gate next year, so if Main Gate is signed off, the systems on board are going to be part of the specification. If not, if less money is approved, then things will start to be trimmed.

In no particular order:

Size: he said that the design had been criticised by some as being too large, but it was deliberately sized as it is in order to accommodate future systems (over 20-30 years), and because modern RN regulations for living space mean that even a T23 would have to be 1000 tonnes larger if it was built today.

The thing has 24 Sea Ceptor and 16 Strike Length launchers forward (pictures clearly show the layout), and the same number of Sea Ceptor aft of the superstructure. So total 48 Sea Ceptor and 16 strike length launchers.

He made an interesting point about the standard load out. Not even thinking about the cost of the missiles, the RN it seems have to obey various rules about “Net Explosive Quotient” (I think he said): basically a total amount of explosive that can be carried on board in any particular harbour. Makes sense to me: you don’t want the entire of Plymouth being flattened if a single ship in the harbour goes up. Anyway, T26 if fully loaded would have more NEQ than most harbours allow. Obviously, different in wartime, but something to bear in mind if a 1982 situation arises again and a whole squadron is told to turn left at Gib instead of right and going home.

The CIWS are highly likely to stay where they are. (I didn’t ask about the small armaments). The gun shown in the model is generic: it will be 5 inch, but either the American or Italian one, as the competition between the two is still running. I didn’t think to ask what the white tubes forward of the bridge were for, so can’t help anyone out there.

The hangar is sized for one Merlin or 2 Wildcat. CH47 cannot fit into it.

All sorts of UAV options possible for rotary and smaller ones like Scan Eagle, but no design decisions yet made on L&R methods. They will happen, and not seen as being difficult to integrate with ship operations because of the modular mission bay and large flight deck.

The multi mission bay is really good, and they are proud of it. Almost anything can be fitted into and operated from the space. It is separated from the back of the hangar by a clever door that can be reconfigured in different modes, and there is continuous mechanical handling from the flight deck right through to the mission bay to allow up to 10 ISOs to be moved about and stored in there. ISOs arrive either by dockyard cranes or there is a method for Chinook to undersling an ISO direct onto the flight deck.

He was much more guarded on export orders, but said that was currently mostly a Government to Government conversation. Currently, the plan is for the RAN to start having officers on postings, discussions about common requirements and so on. The decision as to whether to build any export version in the UK or abroad is very complex, only likely to be decided later.

Thanks RT.

Repulse

@Simon: I’m with you, but let’s just have 6 T26 and use it as a stepping stone from the T45, nothing fancy just an incremental upgrade, with Sampson, decent hull sonar and some more VLS / TLAM… please can someone tell me why we need to use a 6,000t “capital” ship to tow a sonar array and hunt subs…

Fedaykin

@SIMON @Repulse

Gah! Why the obsession to fit SAMPSON?

Artisan is adequate for the vessel and cheaper! There is other stuff I would rather they spent money on for this class then putting a high end radar like SAMPSON especially when Artisan is actually pretty darn high end as well.

What worries me about T26 is peoples desire to play fantasy fleet and load all sorts of kit on it that is frankly overkill and drains money from more pressing needs.

The next person who refers to submarines as subs will be on defaulters…….

……….or have house points deducted or worse stars removed from their fridge chart.

You have been warned. ;)

Mark

x

Is it better if we refer to subs as ships?

Repulse

Fedaykin: Why Sampson? Because it is the “best” and actually makes a difference when it rocks up somewhere. A bloated T23 in my view does not.

X: I will take myself to one side and give myself a strong talking too :) Okay, why hell do we need a large “capital” ship to hunt submarines? If thr original plan was to put TAS on a Castle sized ship backed by a RFA Fort with ASW helos lilly padding. Why can’t we do the same with the RFTG, plenty of space on the CVF… wouldn’t even need a hanger.

Fedaykin

But why does T26 need SAMPSON? It might be “The Best” but T26 is a multi role frigate with where an eye has to be kept on cost, Artisan is a state of the art AESA multi function radar. Artisan is cheaper. Artisan is far more likely to be attractive to export nations. Artisan is good enough for what we want T26 to do and in the anti air warfare role superior to what T42 had and arguably what many nations field in that dedicated role.

Just saying Sampson is the best is not a reasonable justification to spend more money on it. For 95% of the time Artisan is more then what we need and for the remaining 5% it will be operating with the T45. SAMPSON is a high end radar allowing T45 a world beating area air defence capability. Why so you think T26 needs the same?

What do you mean a bloated T23? T23 has been arguably the most useful type in the fleet in recent years, T26 reflects that. Why does sticking a more expensive high end radar on T26 making it a less bloated type? Are you saying you want more T45 and we should ditch T23 and T26?

You need to make a compelling argument for SAMPSON on T26 beyond its the best. Artisan does the job and will fit the budget.

@ Mark

No submarines are boats as they only have one continuous deck above the waterline.

Anyway I can’t remember where we discussing Harrier and RAFG recently but 18 minutes into this fun rave from the grave there is a Harrier hiding in some woodland……

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@hurst lama

If you believe that a submarine can detect the position of a surface vessel via a LFAS in active before the ship gets a return then you offer a classic example of the first sentence of your post about experts etc. They simply hear the noise of the sonar. It is not the sort of persistent sound which even then would only give one line of bearing. Whilst the ship here solid returns. Initial 2087 trials were conducted against Dolfin a Dutch SSK which led to some very interesting data leading to the rewriting of lots of tactics to take advantage of these results.

@RT
Cheers for that.

@some
The reason type 26 is being designed the way it is, is because we do not have infinite money.

@MCZ
a full fat T26 is definitely not 2nd rate or to be compared with an LCS or OPV. I would rather be in a T26 than a T45 in your scenario. I am quieter, just as fast, Much better equipped to combat an ASW threat, I have land attack missiles to combat surface batteries, Anti Ship missiles vs surface threats and a couple of UAVs for situational awareness. I have an inferior AAW fit but unless they have gone nuclear missiles don’t kill me 40 miles away.

@X
When a missile can escort transport aircraft, ride off snoopers, conduct recon, do a show of force etc you may have a point.

Repulse

Fedaykin: Yep, in my world the T45 should not just be a AAW destroyer, but more akin to a Arleigh Burke class with TLAM, ASuW missiles etc. The T26 (or rename it the T46) should be an evolutionary, second batch of another 6. This would allow the RN to have a go anywhere hardcore, which would make a real difference. Buy smaller and simplier vessels to tow the TAS and even give them Artisan, forget the bells and whistles. I also fear that by bending the design to fit export markets we’ll end up with a complete fudge.

Sir H, did a great article on how sending a T45 on a tour to the far East would have more influence effect than forward basing a fleet of cheap or mediocre ships.

Repulse
Simon

Gents (I presume ;-)),

I was only really suggesting the “option” to put SAMPSON high up. In other words future proof the design so that it can ultimately take over the AAW role that T45 currently provides.

It’s a step towards an evolving design rather than these expensive shopping expeditions the MoD like to go on every 25-30 years.

What new hydrodynamic breakthrough is being applied to T26? None, I’d wager. It’s just a hull, similar to all the others that have been around for the last 50 years. No continuous wave detonation engines. No active boundary layer control. Is it still steel? Yes. Nothing new there then either. It’s not even using IEP! It’s the sensors and systems that are special and different. The hull just has to be the right size and shape to accommodate future unknowns (which, I admit is tricky). It just seems like such a lot of faff for a T23 with a mission bay, bigger bunks and a tiny VLS – just buy FREMM, or better still a score of Arleigh Burke.

@ APATS

Now it is my turn to be confused………….

What point was one trying to make and where, if you would be so kind?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@repulse

Neither would HMS Dragon sails to track Russian SSN, or HMS dragon sails to conduct MCM ops in the Gulf. The intelligence suggests any threat to Cyprus will be airborne, hence the fact we have had 6 Typhoons there for some time.

If the threat to Cyprus was a cruise missile launched from an SSK would you send Dragon?

Frankly the T45 fan club need to get real.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@X

Your post about missile ranges be F35B and cultures, would cut and paste but on my new Xperia Z tablet and my techno pygmy skills have not got that far yet.

@ APATS

Wow that is some jump. I have gone from 1SL to Duncan Sandys all in one week.

Not surprised you can’t cope with Android seeing as Windows 2000 literacy is the prime computer skill in >cough< today's RN…….. ;)

Isn't the Xperia Z the waterproof one? Good choice for somebody in your line of work, as those office water coolers can be a bit unreliable…….

Seriously you might find this video useful if you are drafted to a T45 and it all goes belly up. It will earn Brownie points with father

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@X

It is though have not tried it under water yet :) Maybe I should read the instructions? Only you know what you meant by your post but I do not think my reading of it is unfair.
Think my possible 45 ops are behind me.

Fedaykin

@Repulse

Well I hate to pour cold water on that but it is too late for more T45, there has now been a gap in production and long lead items would need to be ordered and new contracts signed. Under that circumstance it makes more sense to design and build an optimised frigate rather then more T45. If T45 was still in build as would of been if the original 12 had been procured then there would be a strong argument for T26 to be a derivative of that type. With the gap it makes little sense.

Also the simple vessel with a TAS and no high end stuff is not a new idea, that is what T23 was meant to be with the Fort Victoria class providing air defence. Luckily the Falklands put paid to that idea! A vessel which has a single role of towing an array around is exactly not what the navy wants. T23 ended up as a general purpose class with only few being fitted with a towed array. The navy wants another general purpose frigate, able to perform multiple tasking and capable of defending itself.

You keep on alluding to needing a vessel being able to go anywhere hardcore and needing a T45 variant to do that. Frankly that is a nonsensical argument. Have a look at what is being proposed for T26:

5″ Gun
48 Sea Ceptor
16 Strike length cells for assorted types of missiles including anti ship and cruise missiles
Two Phalanx
Two 30mm DS30
Torpedo magazine launcher
Large Hanger for ASW helicopter
Large Helicopter deck
Mission bay
Modern 3D AESA radar
Modern Sonar
State of the art towed array on some
Modular architecture allowing future growth potential

That is just scrapping the surface frankly but that is a significant set of capabilities to allow the vessel to go into harms way. Actually it is more punch then what a T45 has in many ways! T45 is meant to excel at AAW, T26 is meant to be an affordable jack of all trades.

It has taken many years to get to the point we are with T26 and the system and weapons fit is a reflection of a series of compromises to give the most bang for our buck whilst allowing enough to be procured.

Observer

I’m guessing that the white tubes in front are the inflatable lifeboat holders. Opinions?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@Observer

Wrong shape, they look like a DLF variant decoy. Now without getting myself into trouble, you can either use something like siren to electronically spoof a group 1 missile or use something like DLF to mechanically decoy it. The better option good and froes.

Opinion3

I am not sure Sampson is needed on the T26s. The most obvious solution is CEC. The sharing via CEC reduces the need for Sampson on the T26s.

F35s, T45s, CVF, T26s, the Amphibs and even the MARS FT should be able to share the targeting and threat information.

Give me BMD and CEC ahead of Sampson on the T26s. Where Sampson might be useful is the CVFs. The extra height could be handy, but then with helicopters, AEW Crowsnest, escorts and very possibly AWACS there might be no need at all.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@TD
There is no mystery simply a huge lack of understanding of the concept of requirement vs cost vs tasking which drives capability.

Mercator

@ x
I think Chinook capable flightdeck it the RN equivalent of the RAF’s C17 can carry tanks. It is just a metric. A demonstration of size and capability. But not wholly realistic. A USAF C17 can only land an M1Ax on a long runway. And then it would spend the next two weeks in the hangar while the maintainers look for microfractures in its airframe.

A little off topic but, the following article shows the RAAF airlifting a M1A1 from Darwin to one of the training areas at Shoalwater Bay (near Rockhampton Queensland). The airfield (Williamson Airfield) is 5900 feet/1800 m long. Small regional airport size. The photo shows it’s not a very wide airstrip either.

My point is simply that it can be done over operationally significant distances to fairly rudimentary (and quite common) airfields and in fact there were no problems at all with the aircraft afterwards. Just sayin’.

http://www.shephardmedia.com/news/mil-log/m1a1-abrams-tank-takes-ride-raaf-c-17a/

There’s a lot more photos and a few more details of the demonstration flight if you Google some of the specifics.

Observer

@TD/APATS

Darn, so close. Knew it had to be something inflatable. :) Thanks.

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