A Ship that is Not a Frigate – Part 5 (Operational Concepts)

Operating in singles, multiples and a part of a larger force the key attributes of SIMSS is flexibility and adaptability.

SIMSS is somewhat of a blank canvas and it is likely that uses will be found for it beyond its initial design and operational concept.

When testing the concept of SIMSS it might be interesting to compare it against recent deployments and standing patrols.

Libya, instead of a frigate and mine countermeasures vessel a single SIMSS could provide for non-combatant evacuation, special forces support, mine countermeasures, small craft interdiction and even land attack.

Caribbean, equipped with a range of disaster relief supplies, work boats, helicopter and embarked sappers SIMSS could provide hurricane relief to impacted communities. In the drugs interdiction role the same helicopter, multiple UAV’s, a small detachment of RM/civilians and a group of fast response boats would be able to cover a large area.

South Atlantic, basic presence patrolling would be combined with an embarked force for training opportunities.

Gulf of Arabia, using its workboats, tasking support equipment, diver support and unmanned MCM systems, SIMSS could combine the MCM and MCM Tasking Support role

Looking in more depth at the various equipment and personnel combinations for a couple of roles

Piracy and Smuggling Interdiction

Although the impact of piracy is often overstated and the role of the naval component similarly inflated the fact is sending billion pound destroyers or half billion pound frigates to carry out this task is lunacy, fair enough if they are all you have and equally fair enough if they were actually effective, but they are not.

A SIMSS pair could effectively dominate a large area, each carrying the following

  • Wildcat helicopter
  • Royal Marines security detachment
  • Royal Navy small boat crew team
  • Civilian legal and welfare team
  • Containerised medical facility
  • Containerised secure prisoner storage
  • Multiple UAV systems
  • 2 RHIB’s
  • Containerised small craft fuel dispensing system
  • 4 CB90 style 20m fast patrol interceptor craft

A third SIMSS could also provide logistic support, thus sustaining the capability in theatre for a long time.

This shows the tremendous flexibility of SIMSS, it’s the large spaces and configurable work areas that make the difference.

Click to enlarge

 

 

 

Comments on the Part 5 post so they are all in one place

PART 1 – Introduction

PART 2 – Roles and Requirements

PART 3 – Design Discussion

PART 4 – Modules and Payloads

PART 5 – Operational Concepts

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jed
jed
August 30, 2011 3:17 am

Why is “maritime security” a bread and butter task of the RN ?

If as you contend, warships should indeed be warships, why aren’t the MSO missions handled by “auxiliaries” – manned by the RFA with Naval Parties, Marines, Coasties, Customs, or Fisheries officers as required?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 30, 2011 6:47 am

I like the name, SIMMS,
but the interdiction part in it is sort of “over reach” relative to what you are describing as the base design (which I like, too).

I understand that here interdiction is about pirates in dhows/ outboard vessels. Compare that with LCS where the name is a misnomer
“seems that almost everything is predicated on operating at high speed”
– interdiction for them means reaching, checking and if necessary neutralising by one means or another suspect vessels over the vast distances of the Pacific
– these vessels could be many (intel, say about a dirty bomb in a container, might only say at which port it was loaded, not necessarily onto which vessel)and some of them might be aircraft carrier size, moving at 28 knots

… so, what is littoral about that role? But I read on with interest, just an observation

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 30, 2011 7:24 am

Fully agreed on the benefit of size: To be able to take Chinooks; “whether this goal can be achieved but making the assumption it can, this will be a significant capability that delivers great utility.”
– the SF edition of Chinook has a greatly extended range (by how much is perhaps not in the public domain?)

Chris.B.
August 30, 2011 7:35 am

@ Jed

I’m not sure if you saw me mention about the Michael Lewis book “The History of the British Navy” on another thread, but “trade and commerce protection” was listed by that author as one of the four key roles of the Royal Navy (alongside; Command of the Seas, Defence of Britain, Armed Transport)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 30, 2011 8:02 am

The Holland class are admittedly a lot of ship, for a price a tad over 2 x your target price
– they got criticism for being “over-specced” with the Thales i-Mast (their MoD wanted to include it as a reference installation for exports)
– their crew grew from the intended 32 slightly (never specified why, but I assume the late inclusion of CIWS dictated more bodies, even though the guns themselves are automatically operated (unlike what you specify for SIMMS)

repulse
August 30, 2011 8:13 am

@TD great set of posts with a lot of detail that will take time to digest. Overall though, I agree with wholeheartedly the approach. Tight budgets are here to stay, and the RN cannot support a domestic warship industry beyond a specific high end core. Having ships designed to commercial standards which could be built in multiple ship yards in a time of crisis to me seems a logical conclusion.

Chris.B.
August 30, 2011 8:30 am

That’s a great article Admin! Took some time to read it all though. Some thoughts;

— Note to self, must check the ThinkDefence Tumblr on a more regular basis to avoid single day overloading,
— Nice to see the Forward Presence Ship idea fleshed out in more details,
— I’m gradually being swayed towards the way of the container,
— As for names, perhaps a return is due to the old rating system? So Carriers would be 1st rate, AAW Destroyers would be 2nd rate, Type 26 and associated ASW frigates would be considered 3rd rate, with your new ship design coming in as a 4th rate?
— A slightly unrelated question for anyone that knows; with regards to chaff against a missile attack, what is the preferred Navy method of meeting this threat? Turn into the threat and deploy chaff to one side (to reduce exposed cross section and “thicken” the apparent target)? Turn perpendicular and fire chaff aft (to “stretch” the ship)? Just curious.
— Would this vessel really need anything more than navigational radar? We’ve established that it’s not a combat ship and would be defended by other, better armed vessels. So does putting a higher grade radar on it risk making it more expensive than it needs to be?
— Overall the design is very good, but would 14-16 even be enough of these ships for the tasks we have to fulfil?
— I can’t even begin to imagine how many hours it took to put all this together,

repulse
August 30, 2011 9:34 am

My understanding is that the RN was planning 8 C3s to replace the Hunts / Sandowns. Assuming a one for one requirement to replace River, Echo and ice patrol ships this would mean 15 vessels. In my view we should be setting our ‘price bar’ to be for 24 vessels, with a construction cycle of one per year (e.g 24 year lifetime).

Repeating previous posts I know, but we should cancel T26 and build additional batches of T45s. 9 ASW / GP vessels (with CEC minus Sampson) should be achievable. As TD says focus on the warfighting bits…

Mark
Mark
August 30, 2011 9:56 am

TD I believe in several pieces the budget for mhpc is 1.4b pounds post sdsr

Gabriele
Gabriele
August 30, 2011 10:10 am

Yes, the 1.4 billions budget for MHPC appeared in an article, post-SDSR, rather recent, of Navy News.

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
August 30, 2011 10:41 am

A very well written and researched article. My only worry would be that you could create a 2 tier navy personnel wise with these Ships unable to keep personnel at same leve of readiness but with more advanced simulators this may be overcome.

b there is no definitive answer to your question. There is a publication which I will not name that covers the ASMD response to every known threat missile in exsistence. the response vaties from missile to missile dependnet on profile and more importantly the missile control system. Chaff would most commonly be used against a group 1 active seeker head missile and soft/hard kill sytems integrated. Chaff can be sown at different ranges to seduce or distract. active ECM decoys can also be employed. the crucial thing is to ensure taht you are presenting the correct profile of the ship prior to seeker head switch on wgich prevents a beam flash and a massive increase in radar cross section. For instance a T23 Frigate would present its stbd quarter to exocet prior to seaker head switch on. Active ECM decoys would gbe deployed at x miles and then if that was ineffective Sea wolf would be useed as soon as the 911 s could be moved as they must be locked in position to avoid increasing RCS during the soft kill phase. That is really as much detail as I could give in an open forum. The routine varys from missile to missile obviously and a 45 would of course look to go to hard kill at extended range as soon as it detected the missile or even engage the aircraft carrying the missile.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
August 30, 2011 10:50 am

good series Admin, as ChrisB says above; it’s good to see the forward presence ships (or C3?) fleshed out some more.

i am quite happy to see them based on an OSV such as the ulstein designs, and perfectly content to see them configured as you have laid out.

predictably, i am unwilling to contemplate seeing the numbers of warfighting ships drop below 18.

the ATG post 2020 should have a normal escort of two T45’s and three T26’s, and in a situation such as the-island-that-must-not-be-named that needs to be doubled.

that screams 18 escorts as a minimum as far as i am concerned, and frankly i think the 19th SDSR escort will get canned by 2020, but i don’t see it dropping below that.

what does the £1.4b C3 budget buy you, make do with that.

Chris.B.
August 30, 2011 10:54 am

Fair enough, cheers.

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
August 30, 2011 11:07 am

@ TD

The mighty Killer tomato!! It is indeed carried though not as fashionable as gucci active deployed decoys these days.

A friend of Mr Gladstone
A friend of Mr Gladstone
August 30, 2011 12:05 pm

These are wonderful posts by TD. However, I am concerned that the need to avoid cost escalation prevents the ‘future proofing’ of the design in the area of fightiness.

If the design included an integrated mast option then the potential future fightiness could be provided – given the size of the hull by providing an small weapons deck behind the bridge (instead of the space for a 20′ ISO).

Such an space (smaller then this one on the Absalon ships http://www.navalhistory.dk/images/Pressebilleder/ABSL_Vaabendaek.jpg) would enable fighty equipment to be added later in a modular way.

This would work best if those systems were sensor agnostic, but an integrated mast solution would enable the mast to be enhanced easily if required.

For a Royal Navy SIMSS those extra modular fighty fits in the deck could include a the loitering land attack capability suggested by TD, vertical launching chaff and other decoys or a small number of CAAM missiles in canisters. There is no need for the space to be big enough to include Harpoon!

The potential for a more capable air defence capability is important. If we remember Gulf War 1 there was considerable reluctance by the RN to forward deploy MCMVs into the northern gulf due to the need to provide them with an air defence envelope and that would in turn involve putting major units forward when there was a perception that the threat from the Iraqi airforce was significant.

If SIMSS is ever to be used for Minewarfare in the littoral then there has to be a risk that its deployment could be constrained by the risk of air attack. Future proofing by providing a weapons deck into which future systems could be fitted would allow additional defensive kit for those few units that need it to enable deployment in those higher threat environment.

DominicJ
DominicJ
August 30, 2011 12:11 pm

I think for thias idea to have legs, it needs a hard power function as well.
Add a well deck, or a realistic ability to load Troops, ISO containers and Tanks onto landing craft via ramps and cranes, and its something that might both actualy happen and be useful when it does.

Steel is cheap and air is free, but, deep sea floor mapping equipment is very expensive, as are Lynx Wildcats and the like.

Could we build it with a through deck to provide a runway for light UAVs?

Brian Black
Brian Black
August 30, 2011 12:40 pm

While you say it would not be a LCS, the possibility of carrying a wide range of aircraft, landing craft, combat boats and various other vessels does mean that it could be effectively used in that role; allbeit used with entirely different concepts and tactics than the Americans super-expensive new tubs.
———
I’m sold on the idea of this type of ship, but I think it certainly needs to have the potential to climb a couple of rungs of the fightiness ladder. Dropping down to around a dozen high-end fighty escorts would mean that the need for a flexible and adaptable fleet was more important than ever. The Navy certainly needs ships that can be adapted for new threats and tasks within their service lives.

Brian Black
Brian Black
August 30, 2011 12:47 pm

I think the Finns have, or have ordered, the M12 LCP with a NEMO turret. Being able to launch that size of boat certainly gives you many more choices.

RichardW
RichardW
August 30, 2011 12:58 pm

An interesting discussion, as always.

I think here there are two notions here that are complimentary, but separate. Yes a new approach to ship design is interesting to come up with something that may be better, more appropriate, more efficient, cheaper, whatever. The second is to recognise that the current RN fleet has fallen victim to the iron law of defense procurement – if the new one costs more than the old one, relatively speaking, then you are going to get less new ones than you had of the old ones. Therefore, quite separate from the specification is the simple fact of how much you pay for what you buy. You can buy your suits in Saville Row or buy them at Marks & Spencer; there is not a lot of practical difference in what you can do with the suit when you get it, but all the difference in the world in what you pay for it. Unfortunately the MoD habitually shops in Saville Row and hasn’t heard about Marks and Sparks.

If we bought our air defence ships at less than the one billion thereabouts we paid for T45s, or our submarines at less than the 1.2 billion we pay for Astutes, which I tend to think wouldn’t be too hard to do, then it’s a fair bet we would have more of both. If we had more ships by better procurement and not gold plating the specification, would we be motivated to creating a SIMSS rather than buying a frigate? Possibly not.

The problem with a clean sheet of paper and new thinking is that while it sounds like common sense and gives you to believe that your good ideas will save money, in practice it doesn’t work like that. If TD were to send off his ideas to the MoD, at best they would appoint a study group to think about them while they are being paid generous salaries and pensions, then there will be studies commissioned, alternative options considered, test rigs produced, overseas studies of comparative equipment, RFPs requested, joint ventures with all and sundry investigated, and even if the final result was still TD’s dream ship at a parts cost of 250 million, the billion or so development costs the MoD is addicted to would be in addition.

The only way to avoid development costs is to avoid development. If the task is to replace the T23s because they are worn out, then the first question is to ask is would it be so bad to just buy more T23s? A hell of a lot cheaper and easier to build more of what you know and understand, than to produce something else that doesn’t yet exist. Okay you wouldn’t buy exactly the same – feel free to change any bolt on part you like for some other bolt on part, but by staying with the same design envelope there is a whole lot of cost you can avoid. If not the T23, then any other ship where you don’t have to go back to square one to design it and to learn how to build it.

Jed
Jed
August 30, 2011 2:09 pm

TD – I love the concept, its a new way of doing MHPC, but that’s all, this is a MCMV and Survey vessel for the RN, and a coast guard cutter for our non-existent coast guard.

Pay for it out of MHPC budget for sure, but reducing actual “warships” to build these would be a bad, bad idea, as per Brian’s comments above: so when you say:

“The future RN surface combatant fleet would then consist of about a dozen frigates and destroyers, split between T45 and T26, plus CVF(s), amphibious and submarines” – then I say NO !

Your settling for too little. 6 x T45 and 8 x T26 gives you maybe 10 available warships to protect a carrier and its RFA, an amphibious group (say 1 x LPH, 1 x LPD, 2 x Bay, 4 x Point, 2 x RFA) and maybe a URG as well – simply not enough.

Build more Bay’s instead of getting rid of them and you have soft power, disaster response and anti-piracy / anti-narco “mother ships” for CB90’s or whatever.

So your concept rocks as the C3 / MHPC, but robbing the T26 budget to pay for them is wrong (IMHO and all that).

Jed
Jed
August 30, 2011 2:16 pm

Why on earth would this class of vessel want to land on a Chinook ? Seriously ?

I think your over-egging the versatility pudding with Merlin. Keep the price down by have a flight deck sized for Merlin and a hanger sized for a single Wildcat ????

Jed
Jed
August 30, 2011 2:19 pm

While I see the point of the vessel as a mother ship for fast interceptors and Helo’s / UAV’s I just think you have set the design speed way too low. The oceans as you well realize are vast, and as a modern container ship can do 22Kts or greater, your not going to be able to chase down pirated vessels, or get in position to board suspected terrorists, smugglers, whatever, if your relying on 2 x 18.5m Interceptors and your Wildcat.

Jed
Jed
August 30, 2011 2:21 pm

Surely the Caribbean (and elsewhere) disaster support role is better undertaken by larger vessels, such as the Bay class, which are still relatively cheap, and are not constantly being used on amphibious ops / exercises ? Bay with Lynx shelter, or Bay / Enforcer variant with hanger as per my previous article.

A friend of Mr Gladstone
A friend of Mr Gladstone
August 30, 2011 2:28 pm

These are wonderful posts by TD. However, I am concerned that the need to avoid cost escalation prevents the ‘future proofing’ of the design in the area of fightiness.

If the design included an integrated mast option then the potential future fightiness could be provided – given the size of the hull by providing an small weapons deck behind the bridge (instead of the space for a 20′ ISO).

Such an space (smaller then this one on the Absalon ships http://www.navalhistory.dk/images/Pressebilleder/ABSL_Vaabendaek.jpg) would enable fighty equipment to be added later in a modular way.

This would work best if those systems were sensor agnostic, but an integrated mast solution would enable the mast to be enhanced easily if required.

For a Royal Navy SIMSS those extra modular fighty fits in the deck could include a the loitering land attack capability suggested by TD, vertical launching chaff and other decoys or a small number of CAAM missiles in canisters. There is no need for the space to be big enough to include Harpoon!

The potential for a more capable air defence capability is important. If we remember Gulf War 1 there was considerable reluctance by the RN to forward deploy MCMVs into the northern gulf due to the need to provide them with an air defence envelope and that would in turn involve putting major units forward when there was a perception that the threat from the Iraqi airforce was significant.

If SIMSS is ever to be used for Minewarfare in the littoral then there has to be a risk that its deployment could be constrained by the risk of air attack. Future proofing by providing a weapons deck into which future systems could be fitted would allow additional defensive kit for those few units that need it to enable deployment in those higher threat environment.

Jed
Jed
August 30, 2011 2:42 pm

TD – thank you for all your efforts indeed.

I am with JediBeefTrix, the thought of major surface units dropping below 30 (!!!) makes me vomit, never mind frakkin 18 – just look at what the JMSDF manages to do with a smaller budget….

Anyway, superb concept for “going big” for the C3 / MHPC role:

6 to replace Hunt’s as deployable MCMV
2 to replace Survey ships
3 to 4 to replace Rivers
2 more for good luck…….

As I have said before though, apart from MCMV’s, these should all be operated under the Blue Ensign by the RFA, as they are “auxiliaries” not warships, and I would move survey into that class too. This operating model would potentially reduce costs even further. There is a long history of Naval Parties operating on RFA’s and you add all the other government agencies required for the mission (Coast Guard, Customs, blah blah blah).

The MCMV’s should have enhanced fightiness in the form of a simple SeaRAM for self protection. Overall I think the vessel could be smaller by getting rid of Chinook ‘land on’ and Merlin ‘hanger’ capacity (although this obviously shrinks your covered multi-role deck too). Flight deck for Merlin, hanger sized for Wildcat plus a couple of UAV’s would be fine would it not ?

As for your Libya scenario, haven’t you drunk your own cool aid a bit ? : “a single SIMSS could provide for non-combatant evacuation, special forces support, mine countermeasures, small craft interdiction and even land attack.”

I fail to see after re-reading all the articles, how a SINGLE SIMMS could do all those things. Your not going to fit many evacuated civvies onboard if the bunks are all being used by SF and the module space is taken up by MCM kit. Where the hell are the land attack missiles going to fit…. ???

In the end if the T26 ends up as a fairly unsophisticated and crappy (sorry ‘relatively cheap’) “warship” based on CAMM, hull mounted sonar and some Anti-ship missiles, then it still has the greater versatility bestowed by the innate “fightiness” of being a “proper” warship; if we limit’s MSO capabilities to carrying bigger RHIBs (or more of them) then it is hardly going to be a gold plated battleship, and I would have no problem using them in the Caribbean on anti-narco duties, or even on anti-bloody piracy (a law enforcement role !!) because we have no Coast Guard to speak off. Believe me, from experience, just because your trolling up and down a certain piece of ocean somewhere, doing one particular job, it DOES NOT prevent the ops room being closed up for six hours at a time to practice ASW, AAW or anti-ship missile ops etc This is even more relevant with modern C3 systems having built in simulation capabilities. My point being, the whole “we should not be doing MSO with expensive warships” argument is often somewhat disingenuous.

However, superb articles, superb design, lets have it as the C3 / MHPC !

Bravo Zulu, time 10.45, authentication Lima Mike, out.

x
x
August 30, 2011 3:16 pm

@ Jed

A ship needs to be able to move 500 miles per day. This is the bar set by the USN/USMC.

As for Chinook I take it that the latest RAF recruitment adverts aren’t shown in Canuckistan?
:)

@ TD

Wonderful piece of work.

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
August 30, 2011 3:43 pm

@TD

One issue the Ship would have in Libya is a limited comms fit. NSWAN and the ability to keep track of the RMP is vital but I am guessing there is no reason that could not simply come in a plug and play container.

WW
WW
August 30, 2011 4:01 pm

Interesting series of articles. Thanks.

One remark though. In part 3 (design) you compare Viking Poseidon (base for SIMSS) with the Echo-class. The Echo roughly measures 90.6×16.8×5.5 and comes in at 3.500 tons full load displacement. The SIMSS, as proposed, roughly measures 130x24x7 or so. I think that translates to a full load displacement of more than 8.000tons. Obviously a lot bigger than the Echo-class.

This makes me wonder whether the SIMSS is not too large for some tasks or circumstances. Wouldn’t it be better to have two classes of SIMSS?
one large one (between 4 and 8 units as proposed) for e.g.
– South-Atlantic patrol
– Carribean patrol in hurricane season
– Chasing pirates off Somalia
– Forward presence base off West-Africa
– More generally : long endurance, large payload tasks
a smaller one (between 8 and 12 units at 2000-3000tons in line with current thinking and concepts for MHPC or C3) for e.g.
– MCM operations in the Gulf (maybe supported by a large SIMSS mother-ship)
– Offshore patrol activities in UK waters
– Carribean patrol outside hurricane season
– More generally : medium endurance, specific tasks

One or two of the larger class could also have additional protection and features for operations in icy waters up north or down south.
The larger one could form the bases for two other specialised variants later on : one dedicated ocean survey vessel to replace Scott and one OMAR-variant to replace Diligence (as TD already suggested
Both types of course share the same design philosophy of the SIMSS.

Jed
Jed
August 30, 2011 4:16 pm

Ref Chinook abilities

Rotors turning areas is quite a bit bigger than Merlin – depending on where that crane sits, a Merlin can be main wheels on the deck (i.e. tied down) with the tail rotor boom extending out over the dropped safety nets. A chinooks after wheels are pretty much at the aft end of the fuselage, and of course the forward mounted rotor is thus much further forward.

Of course it also about weight. A fully loaded Chinook is a lot more mass than a fully loaded Merlin HM3A – so your looking at considerable expense to stress the landing deck to take the weight.

Just saying….. :-)

As for speed, well that is the main problem with using this hull form is it not.

DominicJ
DominicJ
August 30, 2011 4:25 pm

“Why on earth would this class of vessel want to land on a Chinook ? Seriously?”

Because containerised accomodation/stores and a chinook pad gives you a low grade assault ship.

Last time we discussed these I wanted a modular Apache workshop remember….

I think 10-15 knots is plenty for this sort of ship, its still 240-360 miles per day, and the fuel savings are amazing.

I’m sat looking at the fuel consumption for a 65ft yacht, at 6knts, it has a range of 5000 miles, at 8knts, it has a range of 2000 miles, at 10knts, its down to 1000 miles.
2.7, 1.1 and 0.55 miles per gallon respectivly.

Tops out at 18knts, where it burns 4 gallons for every mile it moves.
3x the speed, 10x the fuel consumption.

Thats not a good trade off for a long range endurance vessel.
Leave going fast to embarked whirly birds or boats

Jed
Jed
August 30, 2011 6:03 pm

DomJ

I completely understand ref fuel burn, but then maybe this is the wrong hull form – a big part of TD’s roles for this vessel is MSO, and yet it cannot keep up with, or chase down a suspect vessel if its a modern ocean going merchant ship.

Ref: “Because containerised accomodation/stores and a chinook pad gives you a low grade assault ship” – WTF ? Seriously ?? WHY ???

It does not give you a low grade assault ship at all, it gives you a low grade troop transport. Even if only carrying an Merlin HC3A (because don’t forget it can only ‘land on’ a Chinook) and containerised Accom, your only carrying two “lifts” worth or troops (or less). What mission do we need this for exactly ?

What mission do you foresee requiring between a Platoon and a company of RM supported by a Merlin HC3 and 2 x CB90 or 2 x LCVP, and maybe a LCAC(L) craned off the arse end in “mini-assault ship” role????

Mark
Mark
August 30, 2011 6:15 pm

I def would not reduce the warship fleet below 18. I think the vessel outline is too large particularly it’s draft these will spend a lot of time in shallow areas looking for mines sf insert ect. I keep coming back to thinking these needs to be 2 diff ships with common systems. Perhaps the austral jhsv ship and a more reducted signature vessel perhaps an enlarged visby type 16 ships min eg 8 each. min arm would be 57mm gun mini guns and fitted for but not with phalanx. Cracking serious the innovation of the modules are endless

S O
S O
August 30, 2011 6:31 pm

At some point 6+ years go I got interested in LSDs as incredibly versatile (mother)ships.

The classic approach for real combat is the cruiser, though.
I’d like to see a ship that combined credible ASW with credible area AAW, a powerful surface target gun and an unknown (below deck) depot of ASuW munitions.

A really big production run (several units per year for one or two decades, comparable to Arleigh Burkes) and improved procurement (such as buying the electronics in large batches instead of one or two sets per year, real competition between shipyards for such a business of the generation) and export success (one navy specifies it, but with many navies’ needs in mind) could make such a ship look affordable.

JS123
JS123
August 30, 2011 6:44 pm

My suggestion would be that in a time of war, these ships should be able to be re-configured as mini LPDs, capable of carrying say, two LCVPs or an LCU.

Also, could you discuss a bit about what is the advantage of the SIMM over a Bay class?

x
x
August 30, 2011 7:03 pm

As a general of thumb a ship burns twice as much fuel at 30kts as it does at 20kts.

High endurance speeds are important. The time difference between 20kts and 15kts to cover say the 6845nm between here and Port Stanley is only 5 days (14 days vs 19 days.) Now 5 days doesn’t sound much but it is 5 days extra the opposition has to consolidate defences. How many extra deaths is that in an natural emergency? At 10kts the Falklands are 28 days away. And all that extra time is on top of the time the politicians have had to dither about an appropriate response. In military terms the higher cruise speeds add to the manoeuvre envelope.

As for yachts I take it you mean a motor vessel and not a sailing yacht with a small engine? What you have to consider here is thermal efficiencies. A ship engine is considerably more efficient than a yacht engine. It has only been over the last decade or so that motor yacht designers have treated fuel efficiency as a major design driver. A container being moved from China to Europe costs about $1 per mile. It is only been over the last 5 years or so that the main container lines have introduced slow steaming to reduce their costs. And their slow speed is 19kts as opposed to the design speed of many of the bigger ships which is about 25kts. The lines get by this by increasing the number of ships on the loops by one or two. Of course there is a difference between operating a shipping line and a military force. The latter could spend the majority of its time at 15kts or even alongside. But if the balloon goes up the military force needs to move and move fast.

repulse
August 30, 2011 7:19 pm

@Mark / @WW, I agree that a single size does seem overkill for all the scenarios listed. Perhaps what we should be looking at is a Clyde plus hanger solution for Patrol and MCMV replacement (e.g. 12 vessels) seperately. Surely, these would still be in the £75m ball park and could be built commercially?

Reducing the number of first rate escorts below 18 is not ideal, but I think we should be thinking about maximizing the use of what we have. If we could get 8 of these instead of 2 escorts and long term replacements for the echo class and Protector/Endurance then it’s a big win in my opinion.

If we scrapped the T26 design and kept with the T45 hull, it would also mean we would have 3 hull types for 90% of the significant RN surface vessels…

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 30, 2011 7:25 pm

I quite like the idea of the HMS Clyde design but with a 114 or 127mm gun on the forecastle, plus a slightly ice reinforced hull like the latest NZ patrol ships (Otago?). Great for hunting pirates & smugglers.
Also interested in the X-Bow design. Would make a stable rough sea tanker to replace the old Rover tankers.
Would also make a base ship for 4 helicopters. No forecastle for a gun, but vertical launch missiles would be ok.

IXION
IXION
August 30, 2011 7:25 pm

WW

I have Long thought that it would be fiesable to have 2 ships sizes with essentialy identical equipment.

JED

On the other hand I think the Bay sized derivative has benefits.

In short IMHO TD’s Idea is very sound; there may be some discussions about design and vessel type, but beyond that, the commercial vessel based patrol ship seems to have much to recomend it.

My only question is speed.

TD’s point about how much it costs is as ever well made, but 15 knots sounds too slow it would be faced with many commercial vessels that could outrun it and that would make interceptions difficult and force the launching of expensive helicopters. It seems from TV that the most of the Anti Sommali piracy stuff is being done at 17 knots or so…

Some of the Commercial vessels can be pushed up to 20 knots. At cost always at cost.

S O
S O
August 30, 2011 7:29 pm

x, I’m not familiar with such a rule of thumb. I do remember that power requirements grow a lot more than that, though.

I am curious about your source.

x
x
August 30, 2011 8:06 pm
Joe88
Joe88
August 30, 2011 8:22 pm

BAE Systems and the Admiralty seem to me to be the two biggest obstacles for correct completion of such a progressive project like a “SIMSS”.

x
x
August 30, 2011 8:34 pm

IXION said “Some of the Commercial vessels can be pushed up to 20 knots. At cost always at cost.”

A good number of commercial ships (other than the big 25kt container ships,) especially some big ferries can do 20kts with ease. Ships much bigger than what TD proposes. It isn’t a question of going all out all the time but having the legs to do the distance when needed.

This is going to become another rabbit hole I think I will stop.

DominicJ
DominicJ
August 30, 2011 8:46 pm

Jed
Chasing down the suspect vessel could be left to a flock of smaller boats.
Something along the lines of the CB90.
Perhaps operating in pairs, and fire support and a seizure varient, to ward against another iranian incident.

As for the troop transport.
Alone, you are right, its basicaly pointless, although for resupply of places like South Georgia its ample alone.
But 8 of them, is, well, giove or take a battalion worth of infantry.
Not a huge amount, but a handy addition to the actual landing fleet.

X
It was a Flemming 65
http://www.flemingyachts.com/
So a motor yacht.
http://www.beringyachts.com/hybridpropulsion/
Apparently yachts now come with hybrid drives, and the RN tells us the T45 is one of a kind.

Remember, these are not warships.
99% of the time, they will be used for peace preservation.

The carriers ajnd such could really use a sustainable 30knt + speed, for the reasons you gave, but if the SIMSS arrive after 30 days, not 10, does it make a huge difference?

True, in an emergency, 5 days is a long time.
But is it?
At the end of the day, a forward deployed slow ship is gouing to beat a UK based fast ship
No one was praising the UK for a swift reaction to haiti, the bay class arrived how long after?

Ixion
The big ship acts as a mother ship for the actual interception vessels.
Which should be fast little buggers capable of 40knts

SO
From what I understand, the shape and size of the ship has a massive effect on fuel consumption at different speeds.
Which was why battleships were made longer to make them faster.

Admitadly, I figured it would go up much more than double 20 to 30

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 30, 2011 8:50 pm

I think I read of a new, thin fast 25kt cruise ship for the Med, designed for American/Japanese tourists that only have a few days to “do” the Med.
A similar ship would make a fast troop/cargo transport.

S O
S O
August 30, 2011 8:57 pm

It takes about double power output to go from 20 to 25 kts, I doubt that 20 to 30 kts means only double fuel consumption. Drag increases about proportional to v^2, after all.

On top of that you have the option of using fuel-efficient diesels at 20 kts, which becomes quite impractical for 30 kts (exception: FACs with turboloader diesels). For 30 kts you will likely employ gas turbines.

Have a look at the installed power of the T45 destroyer: The diesels for 18 kts cruise have only about a tenth of the power of the gas turbines for 29 kts top speed.

x
x
August 30, 2011 9:03 pm

@ DomJ

Well the USN seem to think 20kts is important.

Who am I to argue?

Joe88
Joe88
August 30, 2011 9:12 pm

RFA Diligence underwent a refit that was completed in 2007 that should extend it’s life for 10 years (around or at least? I don’t know). So does anyone know whether whether Future Force 2020 includes RFA Argus or a replacement of it?

The Bay Class were delivered to the RN between 2005 and 2007. What is there projected life, 30-35 years plus, right? New-build vessels will definitely be needed for providing our MCMV capability in the 2020s. Hydrographics don’t need new vessels to help the fulfillment of it’s capability in 2020-25.

Albion and Bulwark should be well-used by the RN in the 2020s, so there will be less use of our and others assets with these two vessels in full use.

I fulyl support the idea of the RN not building unit for unit replacements of the Type 23. I believe that procuring TLAM for this smaller GCS (Global Combat Ship)fleet, is an excellent idea. I appreciate the cost of TLAM.

I believe we need better solutions with our deployments in the Caribbean, APT(S) and I guess everywhere else.

On a side-note shouldn’t the UK have more aviation assets in the Caribbean, like a good availability of a Hercules…… Montserrat is a important place in the drug war.

Please can someone factor in RFA Dilligence and Future Force 2020 into this subject.

Joe88
Joe88
August 30, 2011 9:20 pm

Sorry, what I’ve written above is not that good. I’m quite passionate but struggle to be constructive. Sorry.

Joe88
Joe88
August 30, 2011 9:29 pm

Thanks. 1234567890

Mark
Mark
August 30, 2011 9:39 pm

This is one of the reasons why I think we need two hulls speed is important in some case the recent documentary on hms Manchester in the carribean shows why speed is important in intercepts. The jshv allows troop transport and high speed movements ideal for the carribean but maybe not others.

Joe88
Joe88
August 30, 2011 9:42 pm

Quick thought.

We all know how the Arctic region, and lesser so, the Antarctic region, are going up the agenda. The US and it’s military is seriously thinking about this area. Maybe then we should consider a couple ice-breaker variants of an “SISS” like concept.

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 30, 2011 9:48 pm

Joe
thanks for mentioning Montserrat.
One daydream involves building a launch pad for a modernised Black Arrow there. Could share tracking with NASA on Ascension. Would give Britain small satellite launch sovereignty.

Joe88
Joe88
August 30, 2011 9:53 pm

@Mark. If HMS Manchester was operating a couple UAVs (fixed-wing and rotary), then it wouldn’t have needed to sprint so often. It could have easily have operating a couple of these, the ship could facilitate the little bit of extra room needed, and the off-the-shelf UAVs out there aren’t expensive whatsoever, relative to much improved capability and fuel costs, having fleet tankers around etc… This is why a little while ago, just after the “Caribbean Patrol” programme, when I came across the Camcopter, and read all about it, I was posting online about it. The Royal Navy have so missed this last decade or so, something very helpful and important in small shipborne UAVs.

Also the one small lynx and the couple small RHIBs weren’t great.

Joe88
Joe88
August 30, 2011 10:01 pm

@ John Hartley I know that’s a day dream of yours, but it makes me think this: Montserrat is tiny and for the UK to be facilitated for big ground -based ops in the Caribbean we would need a lot of money and a lot of help from other nations. Why is the UK FCO’s only real practical policy in the Caribbean a fast fleet tanker (with Merlin, hummanitarian stores etc..) on station for most of the year and a frigate/small destroyer on-station for a few months of the year, with the occasional port-visits (sports with locals, volunteering, hosting on the ships).

There seems to be very, very little else. What arrangement do we have with the US Coastguard? Do we give back in any way to the US for the prescence and operation they have out there which extremely dwarfs ours, and that we very much rely on. We should be shamed for how much drug-running and cannabis cultivation goes on at Montserrat.

Sorry for going very off-topic. Please resume thinking about a new Royal Naval multi-role non-combatant platform for the 2020s!!!

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 30, 2011 10:08 pm

Thanks to the volcano, Montserrat is not short of rocks to build docks, airstrips or launch pads.

Joe88
Joe88
August 30, 2011 10:12 pm

Igneous rocks, I think aren’t good for construction or sea-reclamation.

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 30, 2011 10:18 pm

The fast cruise ship I was on about is the 28kt Olympic Voyager.

Mike
Mike
August 30, 2011 10:32 pm

RE: the inflateable balloon ASM decoy’s…if they fail I can imagine the exchange the admiralty would have with the MoD…

“How did you think a giant balloon will stop them?”
“Shut up! Thats why!”

(just had to quote the Simpsons re that!)

Great series TD and will deffo share it around, despite being a crab I find this very interesting – would this replace the current vessle we have for Antartic patrol?

I support the idea of having the pad Chinook capable, since special forces usually use the Chinook for most of their trade and itd more practicle – the chinook is usually one of the first helicopters we use for big ops (like the lebannon evacuation) – but with the CHF moving to Merlins, we may see a step change in that. Though I think it would be more of a ‘nice to have’ feature.

I see issues in funding wise for the Navy; changing their small dedicated mine-hunter/patrol ships for these larger ones. Surely the only replacement for specialist tole of dedicated mine-huntering is a dedicated mine-hunting design? Like the HMS Bangor with its composites hull and design? Rather the larger, metal, multi-role (other than fighting) ships you propose as their replacement?

I am not sure if I read this right, but it seems your changing one type of ship from being multi-role in patrol and associated tasks (T23/26/45) to another type, this new one, with added much more demanding roles such as mine-hunting, which was covered by a dedicated class… and to ease this larger workload and multi-roleness by using container moduels to be fitted as/when needed? – That latter part would be useful, say a modual was needed down south where the ship was, a quick load into one of our C17’s with the specialists and its done within a day…no need for transit back home or reshuffeling other ships for the role…I like that, but a bit dubious if *all* roles could be covered that way.

I’m not privvy to ship-matters, but I am not sure with having them doing mine hunting. The other roles seem fine, though with these wouldn’t we see a net decrease in actual war-ships?

I support this idea though, but I dont think it should touch the role the RN reigns supreme in, mine countermeasures.

Michael (Civ.)
Michael (Civ.)
August 30, 2011 10:40 pm

@TD

tbh, i find what you are suggesting in the Army series very interesting, i may not have much (or anything sensible), to say about it but you have come up with some really well reasoned, thought through and researched posts.

Saying that, i am very impressed with what you’ve come up with here. The Automatied Minesweeper system is just incredible. I doubt it would get that much actual use but what an asset!

My tuppence worth is this.

I think the Navy could live with 10 Type 26’s as long as both they and the Type 45’s were given real, serious firepower (new gun and newer SSM’s) and full CEC (across both type’s), etc.

I think i’m in agreement with A friend of Mr.Gladstone, Stanflex already exists, why not make use of it along with the Thales iMast?

Doesn’t have to have Tomahawks but 4 Harpoons and 12 – 16 CAMM in a short Stanflex behind the bridge would make me feel a whole lot better, cause lets face it, these ships and the people on them WILL be put into stupid situations by people who are many time zones away.

Also think the 57mm gun you suggested before might be a better idea. I know it ups the costs (again), but i’d rather keep people respectfully wary.

I think the Chinook idea might be stretching it a bit but space for a Merlin or a couple of Lynx’s (if they are needed), would be ideal especially coupled with something like the fast CB90.

Speed….honestly don’t know, if these ships are designed for 15 knot’s then i’d be inclined to live with it, rather than try to mess with the overall design. I think the Navy could plan around the speed issue, it might also make them think a bit more before sending them somewhere instead of a fullscale warship.

Size….i disagree with JED (first time for everything, i think!), i like the idea of a single class, costs, ease of construction and could keep people guessing as to what’s intended when it shows up. What kind of surprise’s is it carrying this time, etc etc? Might keep the opposition off balance a bit or running around trying to find out. If it’s needed and you’re smart you could then leak the wrong information.

Numbers….to offset the increased costs of the above suggestions (mainly increased fightiness)…..what would you say to a 10 ship class?

High end Navy, 16 networked destroyers and frigates. Medium to low end 13, if we include the Bay’s and could be more as sometimes RFA ships are/were used for some of these roles.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 12:33 am

A quick comment on Part 4:

“collective expertise in this area within European nations. The emergent specification for the afloat component would seem to fit neatly around the Spanish BAM design.

The project is therefore seeking to replace the Hunt, Sandown, Echo and River classes.”
– 50% over TD target price for SIMMS (and that’s without mine hunting ‘specials’ onboard)

“SIMSS fits entirely within the general direction of MHPV but self-evidently takes a different view in other areas.”
– I am reading on with interest (there should be a link button on the other threads to get here easily for commenting – getting back has the back arrow, no problem)

Chris.B.
August 31, 2011 1:09 am

[offthread]

Diego Garcia for a space program anyone? Runway. Fairly close to equator. Reasonable amount of space to the East and West.

[/offthread]

repulse
August 31, 2011 8:08 am

I think Jed’s point around the RFA is an interesting one seeing that the RN currently uses Bays and the Forts for these activities now. Should the vessel TD is proposing actually be replacements for the Bays, Diligence, Argus and some part of the now defunct MARS project? Is the Bay’s stern dock actually a must have in the most likely future conflicts? The more I think about it the more it makes sense. In fact, they could also cover the long term Echo replacement (why are these not RFA vessels now?).

I’m all in favour of sacrificing a couple of escorts to increase the MHPC order, but in my mind an extended Clyde / Gowind / BAM built to commercial standards is still probably the best way to go.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 8:18 am

I take my early comment back
“but the interdiction part in it is sort of “over reach” ”
– with the (Part 5) 4 CB()’s or similarly sized Interceptors and a Lynx/Wildcat onboard, interdiction is part of the function set

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 8:57 am

Hi BB,

RE “I think the Finns have, or have ordered, the M12 LCP with a NEMO turret”
– a good idea, as that would extend the ability to persecute “things” on land
– in the current spec we are down to what a Lynx/Hellcat can do, or taking a squad or two ashore by CB90/Mk5/potentially a hovercraft
– 10-12 km reach onto land should suffice, and the direct fire mode will certainly deal with any size of dhow (thereby the 30mm on the mothership being sufficient, even though I like the 7-pack CAMM on the same mount and that would also offer commonality with one of those dinky unmanned rotorcraft, to add to the very expensive helo, to operate on the side of it)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 9:01 am

Hi Richard W,

Even though I agree with you in principle
“Unfortunately the MoD habitually shops in Saville Row and hasn’t heard about Marks and Sparks”
they actually operate a similar ship (out of the sight, so to say) leased through Serco.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
August 31, 2011 9:20 am

re speed –

is the USN 500mile/day requirement likewise valid for the RN?

that equates to 21mph, which is roughly 18 knots (?).

isn’t eighteen knots the basic fleet transit speed for the RN?

i point this out because there are ulstein variants that are already designed to provide 18 knots, and i believe this would be sufficient.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 9:30 am

Jed, I agree “Pay for it out of MHPC budget for sure, but reducing actual “warships” to build these would be a bad”
– take 8 BAMS at $ 116 a piece, make $ into £ to account for “sailing” the hulls from Spain to UK for fitting out (at a higher cost?) = almost a bn
– still leaves £400m for specialist modules (a BAMS is ‘fightier’ to begin with than what is now being specified)
– I hope, though, that the helicopter part other than hangar etc is paid out of the existing budgets

The “trade” is at about 1.5 for 1 so 8 or 12 units, or any combination of the two types
– part of the answer is of course to string it out, and keep some mine hunters/ sweepers for longer (while starting to get a self-deploying ocean-going capability) and also extending the lease for Rivers & the one improved edition

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 9:47 am

Hi BB,

RE “I think the Finns have, or have ordered, the M12 LCP with a NEMO turret”
– a good idea, as that would extend the ability to persecute “things” on land
– in the current spec we are down to what a Lynx/Hellcat can do, or taking a squad or two ashore by CB90/Mk5/potentially a hovercraft
– 10-12 km reach onto land should suffice, and the direct fire mode will certainly deal with any size of dhow (thereby the 30mm on the mothership being sufficient, even though I like the 7-pack CAMM and that would offer commonality with one of those dinky unmanned rotorcraft, to add to the very expensive helo, to operate on the side)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 9:56 am

Hi Jed,

RE “Flight deck for Merlin, hanger sized for Wildcat plus a couple of UAV’s would be fine would it not ?”
– otherwise yes, but flight deck Chinook size; why?
– with their extended range , the SF Chinooks are not only good on missions but pretty good at self-deploying as well
– you never know in which part of the world an “extraction type of emergency” arises and having thees ships (by the nature of their tasks well dispersed) to fly to – perhaps also exiting the danger area in an unexpected direction – comes across, at least to me, as very valuable

x
x
August 31, 2011 9:59 am

@ Jedi

Well matey last time I looked the UK and the US were on the same planet. Many of the same international events drive the diplomatic and defence needs. The US are everywhere. Yet you don’t see them saying well we can cut the speeds of amphibs down to 15kts because we are closer to many events.

As I said it is rabbit hole I don’t want to go down. To be honest I might as well spend my time reading all the naval books I have got this apparent rubbish out of than trying to take part in a discussion here.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 10:12 am

Following on from JS123 ” should be able to be re-configured as mini LPDs, capable of carrying say, two LCVPs or an LCU.”
– the Mk5’s are already there
-would the crane be able to lift an LCU (loaded/ empty?)
– would the open area hold one or two (or none)?

As JS stated, this would be a “reconfig” option only

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
August 31, 2011 10:24 am

@ X – “To be honest I might as well spend my time reading all the naval books I have got this apparent rubbish out of than trying to take part in a discussion here.”

Cheers for the confirmation, but i don’t think such drastic measures are necessary. you keep reading the books and telling me when i get stuff right or wrong. ;)

Brian Black
Brian Black
August 31, 2011 10:44 am

There’s been a couple of people raising concerns about going below 18 escorts; but we’ve already seen with the scarce T45 that the gov are aiming very low indeed. The T26 will probably / possibly be 8 ASW and 4 or 5 GP frigates (?) – and for general pupose I’m assuming that means not fitted for anything other than the gun up front, and generally unsuited towards any particular purpose.

In that kind of context, I don’t see much of a problem with replacing the GP hulls with the SIMSS concept, as long as there is some potential to fit a modest aray of more fighty weapons at some point in the future. You would have a ship with real utility, and perhaps be able to stretch to a couple more hulls than by sticking to a pared down type 26.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 11:06 am

Hi JH,

The NewWars site informs of the costs for the so far mentioned types, on ascending scale (no inflaition correction, I assume?):

River (Britain)-$31.4m

Clyde (Britain)-$47m

Otago (New Zealand)-$62.6m

BAM Maritime Action Ship (Spain)-$116m

The not mentioned & odd one out on that scale is
Knud Rasmussen (Denmark)-$50 million
– even though it it as ocean-going & ice-hardened as any of the mentioned, the cost could be an optical illusion as
— the Danes have their warships commercially built
— and then put them into a naval yard for warlike items fit-out (what I am saying that the latter part might be missing)

Further, if we go for a conventional hull and not the “already mass-produced item” as outlined by TD, we can only get something between a Rasmussen and an Otago (not meaning to rank the two)

Joe88
Joe88
August 31, 2011 1:04 pm

Just found this which you all really should read.

http://www.unmanned.co.uk/unmanned-vehicles-news/unmanned-autonomous-underwater-vehicles-uuv-auv-news/bae-and-seebyte-sign-agreement-to-develop-autonomous-maritime-operations/

“BAE and SeeByte sign agreement to develop autonomous maritime operations

BAE Systems and SeeByte Ltd of Edinburgh, Scotland have signed a Co-operation Agreement to pursue business opportunities associated with the UK’s Mine Counter Measure (MCM), Hydrography and Patrol Capability (MHPC) Programme.

BAE Systems Mission Systems and SeeByte have identified a shared vision for the managed introduction of autonomous computing into future military mission systems through the exploitation of ‘open’ or modular, yet secure, architectures. Thus they intend to work together to develop fully integrated MCM mission systems offering innovative, flexible and adaptable solutions for the adoption of unmanned systems into future MCM operations.

These will be designed to minimise human operator load whilst providing maximum operational support to the Command Team. The systems will combine vehicle agnostic UUV Mission Management capability with the complex Mission Planning, Situational Awareness, Battlespace Information Integration and Combat Decision Aids required in modern Naval Operations………………

Jed
Jed
August 31, 2011 2:49 pm

BrianBlack said: “I don’t see much of a problem with replacing the GP hulls with the SIMSS concept, as long as there is some potential to fit a modest aray of more fighty weapons at some point in the future”

And therein lies my problem, the utility of the SIMMS is not in making it fighty, its in MSO and “operations other than war” – in other words its the roles that other countries have para-military coast guards for.

If the Government wants to transition the RN into a maritime police force, with only enough “real” warships to be able to undertake operations as part of a Euro-navy or wider coalition then thats OK as long as it is open and transparent about it and drops te SDSR bullshit about independent ops.

Jed
Jed
August 31, 2011 2:55 pm

ACC

Ref Chinooks and self deploying – if we had HerkyBirds fitted as tankers and ALL the Chinooks were fitted for but not with IFR probes, and the crews regularly trained, then I may (but only ‘may’) agree with you.

Otherwise, be it a sudden incident somewhere in north africe, or west africa, or the Caribbean – where are these Chinooks self deploying from ? Once they have self deployed, they cant be hangered, and can’t undergo any real maintenance, and having been on a ship that lost its Lynx over the side (oh yes it did ……) when the deck lock harpoon failed in rough weather, I can testify to the need to put the fragile helicopter in its shed when the goffers start breaking over the flight deck.

All I am saying is, for the additional carry and range of a Chinook over that provided by a Merlin, I don’t think the cost benefit analysis comes out in favour of the added weight and cost of a Chinook capable flight deck for this class of ship; for the “occasional” nice to have ability to support SF.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 3:16 pm

I can’t contribute to the hull forms evaluation, and speed has been mentioned as a related issue, leading to power/fuel consumption/reduced endurance an overall higher costs (still, very much a requirement upheld by the USN). This piece is from NavyTimes forum:

“And as far as fuel use is concerned, could we estimate that at speeds less than planing the fuel use for the freedom class would be astronomical? I mean if the ship is designed for riding up and over it’s bow wave, it probably doesn’t have a fuel saving bulbous bow. Watching the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fHn45mgCVA you can clearly see the massive amount of water being displaced and thrown around. That equals a lot of power required and fuel being used. In contrast watching the independence here and I apologize, it seems GD isn’t as video-savvy as Lockheed, http://www.gdlcs.com/media-center/videos/lcs2-independence but look at the wake.. It’s like watching a gold winning Olympic diver enter the water compared to a belly flop or cannonball.”

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
August 31, 2011 3:43 pm

re speed part duex –

the SX119 to me is pretty much the perfect spec for a constabulary/MCM vessel as far as i am concerned.

standard ulstein bow design
designed for fast response/rescue
davits for largeish boats
rear ramp for deploying ‘stuff’
2000 tonnes for good seakeeping
21 knots which is plenty really
decent sized helipad aft of the bridge

paint it grey and stick a 57mm on it and we’d have a winner:

http://www.ulsteingroup.com/kunder/ulstein/mm.nsf/inpdocuments/4AA8D8EF37D289EBC1257288003752C4/$file/ULSTEIN_SX119.pdf

S O
S O
August 31, 2011 3:44 pm

@JBT:
“is the USN 500mile/day requirement likewise valid for the RN?

that equates to 21mph, which is roughly 18 knots (?).”

“miles” in a nautical context are usually “nautical miles”. About 1/8th more than a normal “mile”.

1 nm = 1.852 km
1 nm/hr = 1 knot
1 mile = 1.609 km
1 mile/hr = 1 ‘mph’

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
August 31, 2011 4:05 pm

cheers Sven, much obliged.

so the SX119 linked above could meet the requirement.

it even has something of a nose onto which something shooty could be affixed……..

it may not meet the requirements of a forward presence vessel, but i think it’d do a good job with most of the C3 requirement.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 4:07 pm

Hi Jed, like you I am all for the cost/ benefit -analysis before going for the Chinook size/ strength flight deck.

All I suggested was capability to receive a loaded Chinook, after extraction or such like.

Friendly countries can always say they know nothing about where the odd chopper came from, but if they go back there, the story will be out (and the political cost so high that they refuse the service in the first place)

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
August 31, 2011 4:32 pm

Hi Jedi,

Having looked at both designs, I tend to agree with your
“it may not meet the requirements of a forward presence vessel, but i think it’d do a good job with most of the C3 requirement.”
– the smaller focussed around MCM and without permanent helo, just the deck for it, plus a kennel hangar for a UAV helo (or two)
– the bigger (TD’s) for Forward Presence, incl.
— enough extras (as discussed) for MIO (interdiction, not just presence and monitoring)
— helo hangar (hold 2 Lynx or one Merlin) and deck to temporarily receive a Chinook

These are relative priorities and differences in size, accommodation, on-station endurance and range

As a minor detail, think of the angles for the 57mm in the front (terrible?)
– as much as I like its versatility, I would go for the positions/ size of guns as outlined by TD (add CAMM onto the same mounts; and NEMO/AMOS on the interceptors as pointed out by BB)

x
x
August 31, 2011 4:47 pm

1 nautical mile equals 1.15 land miles

24 hrs steaming at 20kts means 480nm are covered

480 nm equals 552 land miles

I have checked all 600 or so of my books that cover 20th century naval warfare. Apparently most warships in the 20th were painted in grey. Shall we argue the toss over that now?

The Mintcake Maker
The Mintcake Maker
August 31, 2011 5:18 pm

@ TD

Great set of posts TD, very interesting and eye opening to how costs stack up. However I have to agree with others on here that it just doesn’t have enough “fightiness” to defend its self in my opinion.

May I make a suggestion that since several people on here are coming up with ideas, that if they wanted to flesh them out a bit more we could submit them to you and you could combine them all into another post to add to this set?

@ Jedi

Interesting proposal. Just wondering about the position of the 56mm, wouldn’t it be a little too high up if you stick it at the front (unless the barrel can have negative elevation?) or do you intend to cut into the x-bow (is that possible?)? [Sorry for the questions, naval architect I am not].

If I was going to submit a hull it would be the Ulstein P108.
http://www.ulsteingroup.com/Kunder/ulstein/mm.nsf/inpdocuments/244C75221361CB4BC12571A7003EAB23/$file/ULSTEIN%20P108.pdf

It doesn’t have an x-bow but is slightly longer than Jedi’s proposed design (we might be able to accommodate a landing pad big enough for Chinook). However it is also slower with only 16 Knots on tap however I’m not sure if this could be increased by adding some more power (if its cost effective to get it up to 18 Knots) or if it is a limitation of using a hull designed for ice breaking. It is also rated to ICE-10, I think that is good?

The reason I chose this hull is 3-fold:

1) If we are going to do this properly and replace lots of small sub-classes, then let’s try and replace them all, including the Antarctic Patrol Ship.

2) If HMS protector breaks down now, we don’t have any ice-breaking capable vessels. However if one of these vessels were tasked with patrolling the Antarctic and breaks down, we can just send another one (as long as the weapons are modular)

3) It might also come in hand if the passages in the Arctic start to open-up as we would have a means to patrol them.

As long as its main armament was a 67/56mm gun in a stanflex unit mounted in the bow, this would be ideal for the Antarctic Patrol Ship as all other weapons such as mini-guns can be locked in the ships, magazine whilst the gun is craned out in the Falklands. (It would also have to 30mm cannons which i assume could be un-mounted from the deck and craned off as well?)

I’m already doing a Shipbucket design for it (I had a few hours free) and according to some measurements; it should be able to hold 9x 40ft hi-cube containers (think that’s how you spell it) or 18x 20ft (so not quite as TD with his double stacking cargo hold)

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
August 31, 2011 5:35 pm

@ AAC and TMM –

i believe you’re probably both right regarding mounting a 57mm up there, the angles would be…….. awkward.

i still think the SX119 is an awesome design for C3, but it is probably coloured by the fact that i think X-bows look damned sexy, along with all the tangible benefits they bring such as speed and fuel efficiency, etc. ;)

i’m sure some clever solution could be found to add some shooty fun, but i’m no naval engineer either.

The Mintcake Maker
The Mintcake Maker
August 31, 2011 5:36 pm

@ John Hartley

Do you mean something like this when you say a River class derivative?

http://www.shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Alternate Universe/GB OPV C3 Grandson of a River 1b AU.gif

(just nicked this off shipbucket)

DominicJ
DominicJ
August 31, 2011 6:45 pm

X
But arent we here to “think” defence, not repeat defence of 30 years ago?

10 knts seems fairly common place for fishing vessels.
A 10knt ship based in diego garcia could have a few MCM ISOs flown out, plugged in and be nosing around long arabia before the 30knt ship from Portsmouth could.
And a damned site lower cost too.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
August 31, 2011 6:59 pm

that is still some serious distance it needs to travel!

wiki – “The atoll is approximately 1,800 nautical miles (3,300 km) east of the African coast and 1,200 nautical miles (2,200 km) south of the southern tip of India.”

S O
S O
August 31, 2011 7:25 pm

This is “Think Defence”.

How exactly can you defend the United Kingdom in the Indian Ocean?

All Politicians are the same
All Politicians are the same
August 31, 2011 7:28 pm

The reason that the River Class is rated at 20kts, Mersey 22kts a slightly different bow is that the contract stated that they must be faster than 80% of the EU fishing fleet.

Tubby
Tubby
August 31, 2011 7:48 pm

Know sod all about ship design but how about something where the bridge is position in a more traditional position – such as cable laying ship in the 5,000 – 6,000 tonne range (not sure if they are actually converted merchant ships), with the rear cranes replaced with a hangar and aviation facilities, and this gives you the forward deck to fit a 57mm gun

http://www.iscpc.org/information/Cableships_1.htm

and

http://www.fincantieri.it/CMS/Data/prodotti/000363.aspx?cms640909ff=f2c330e5504e40b0b40603db65fe0efc

I also wondered about a scaled up BMT 94m NSV, if it was stretched to ~105m then this looks like a good option as well.

http://www.bmt-titron.com/BMT/bmt_media/bmt_media/71/Standby_Supply_Support_1.pdf

x
x
August 31, 2011 8:05 pm

Dom said “But arent we here to “think” defence, not repeat defence of 30 years ago?”

And I have said that to others here myself on more than one occasion.

But the product of British amphibious warfare thinking of the last 30 years is the Albion class and Ocean. Both of whose best economical speed is 15kts (for a range of 8,000miles.)

We aren’t talking about moving supertankers at 50+ kts.

Mark
Mark
August 31, 2011 8:31 pm

For a ship design how about modifing the hms echo ship design for these ships. Big ship over 3000tns speed about 20 kts and can lower uavs over the back. Add a 57mm to the front and maybe move the bridge fwd to get a heli deck

IXION
IXION
August 31, 2011 9:09 pm

TD

I think in that you are right I for one do not want to ruin the concept with to much power.

I remember watching on TV about 20 years ago, a bunch of ‘gay whales against racism’ beardy weirdies running from a Danish patrol ship in a rust bucket doing about 17 Knots. Somewhat embarrisingly the Patrol ship could not catch them…

Joe88
Joe88
August 31, 2011 9:11 pm

With vessels that aren’t small, upping the hull length often increases the hydrodynamic efficiency/mass ratio.

3,500+ tonnes RN ship would be seen to require stabilisers, right?

These are the minimum starting points that I’m thinking for this light multi-role vessel.

3,500+ tonnes naval vessel able to operate a variety of unmanned systems, hanger a large/medium lift helo, have an open stern system including boat ramp, for launching whatever, deck cranes, good radar, maybe not Artisan, CAMMS, small light/medium naval gun, around 18kt cruise speed with sprint of say 25kt, “modularity” deck, capacity for UAV of up to US Firescout size, long-term deploy-ability, optronics, good data-link communication etc., at least a bow thruster and good stern propulsion system, designed with some top naval damage and control character, naval self defence/countermeasures system of whatever size, could be a very small system.

Nobody’s mentioned a dorsal UUV/submarine dock.

Does this vessel need an ability to survive nuclear and chemical warfare?

We must consider the problem of asking for more multi-role-ness from a vessel that has a small complement.

John Hartley
John Hartley
August 31, 2011 9:21 pm

Minty & ACC
SX119 looks good , but does it need 57mm on top of the bulby bit? 35mm Millenium would do most of the Police/low end stuff.
Thanks for the patrol ship prices. Thanks for the fantasy Grandsons of Rivers. Nice to know I am not the only one thinking this way.

Chris.B.
August 31, 2011 9:50 pm

I think I need to clarify something, because I don’t have great sea legs and feel I might be missing a point here but…

… with the speed issue, is not the point of these ships that a) they’re deployed across the world anyway, precisely so you don’t have to sail one from Portsmouth everytime you need help and b) Is their slow speed not the reason why they carry helicopters and fast boats? So if you need to chase a fishing trawler, it would be done with the helicopter or with a small boat?

And I’m also confused on the talk of not being “fighty” enough. Is this not the point? To make a vessel that is cheap and not particularly fighty, in order that it can cover the boring standing tasks on behalf of the Navy (that don’t require racks of harpoons or SeaWolfs), freeing up the main warships to do the proper, shooty, shooty, bang, bang, stuff?

Mark
Mark
August 31, 2011 10:06 pm

Chris

I agree with your points but I play devils advocate and add these comments. Your heli cant launch conditions to bad or u/s so you launch your fast boat but the boat your chasing doesn’t want visitors and shoots some RPGs at your boat which calls assistance from your main vessel but she’s out of range cause see aint fast enough. Also suppose she’s escorting merchant ships if your shepparding several you need to be faster than them to cover the line to sweep ahead ect.

Yes they should be lightly armed but you loose some flexibilty for example if you have a t23 on anti piracy in Indian ocean and something happens in the gulf you can retask to the higher threat area within 48hrs but if your fighty ships in Portsmouth you can’t. Which is why we shouldn’t reduce the fighty ships to pay for these there will be certain patrols that still require a fighty ship on station others dont we need to balance thinks better

Joe88
Joe88
August 31, 2011 10:18 pm

Speed is a very helpful asset. I guess for speed though you need a pointier ship hull and at least one gas turbine, (and these days why not stern spoilers and stabiliser fins).

I believe the RN has been applying very good hull coatings relative to the whole maritime sphere, that give a tiny but significant boost to hydrodynamic efficiency.

Will Diligence be replaced before 2020?
When is the MCMH capability project, projected to result in steel(/fibreglass)?
RFA Argus is insignificant in this discussion, right?

The BAE systems 57mm gun is a very mean gun, are any of you aware of the 40mm version?

MSI, the suppliers of the single mount autonomous 30mm guns on the type 45s, I believe will probably be the main supplier of light naval guns to the RN in the next decade or so at least. They’re most likely supplying single mount 30mm guns for the QE class.

x
x
August 31, 2011 10:50 pm

Helicopters can’t detain vessels. If a ship has to be search can a helicopter keep itself in the air for anything up to a day while that happens?

RIBS aren’t much good for pursuit once the sea gets too lumpy.

Good ships boats may be the answer would be answer. Something like the Docksta Varvet 16.5 Interceptor would fit the bill. You would need a fair set of davits to do it. But on a big diesel ship if there is no consideration being given to signature it shouldn’t be too problematic.

Fisheries Protection is more like “Carry on Pirates of the Caribbean” than “Dixon of Dockgreen meets James Herriot.” Some trawler skippers (especially Jonny Foreigner) can be a tad naughty. When the FPS tested HMS Speedy back in the 80s it was a great success because she could appear over the horizon and be along side the offender before the nets were back aboard the offender. Nets in the water being one of those blocks prosecution are built on.

But as I have said above this isn’t about high speed. This is about moving a big ship a good distance in good time. If these ships are being used for disaster relief surely those hours count? The fundamental weapon of naval warfare isn’t the gun or missile or torpedo but manoeuvre. Look at naval history look at those instances where various types or classes of ship can’t keep up. If these ships are to supplement the high end vessels in war or stay within protective orbit it will need good speed. Dawdling along at 15kts doesn’t really cut it. In the world of ferries there are many good high speed economical vessels. They have to be economical these days. And as I said above just because the ships can do 20,21, or 22kts it doesn’t mean they have to spend their whole time in service doing these speeds.

Just saw this on the YouTubes,

x
x
August 31, 2011 11:17 pm

You could go a stage further USV with blue green laser scanners measuring nets under the briny.

Or what about a UAV that can land on the boat turn into a robot that then can go below sorts through the catch for various prohibited species? I suppose with 3G the robot could access Google Translate so the foreigner skipper can’t play games because of his poor ingwish.

There is a lot more to fisheries protection than boats being in the wrong place. Actually marine reserves are relatively new, few in number, and really small. I suppose a UAV could check the ship’s name against a database to see if it had sneaked to sea for an extra few days fishing. But that isn’t likely. It takes days to reach fishing grounds, days to trawl, and days to come back. Plus then there is the problem of disposing of the catch. I bet this has been done but most wouldn’t risk it. Fishing ports are highly “policed.” Even without UAV trawlers aren’t that invisible……….

http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/

BTW The little purple triangles are where you will find the trawlers.

H_K
H_K
September 1, 2011 12:48 am

TD, I’ll build on some of my thoughts from the Warships forum:

1. 5,000t full load should be the upper limit for SIMSS. Look at the French ship Bougainville, which measures 114x17m and displaces 5,200t full load – she can carry 50 passengers, a 1,200 ton payload (e.g. 2 LCM or 40 containers), 2 LCVP and a helo. Big enough to meet all your requirements, so not sure why one should go any larger. http://bts.bougainville.free.fr

2. 19-21kts speed is very important, both for deployment and for tactical repositioning. Bougainville could only make 15kts, and that’s one of the main reasons she was decomm’ed early despite being a very flexible multi-mission platform.

3. The good news is that to get to 19-21kts you don’t need any more power than on a normal OPV like the Spanish BAM or Kiwi Otagos. 9-11MW should do the trick…

4. …but there’s a (big) caveat. To get those speeds on that amount of power you need a decent hullform. Beam should not exceed ~17m. Most supply ships simply won’t cut it – they are beamy and optimized for stability and payload. A rare exception is Ulstein’s 88m long SX119, which can do 21kts on 13MW and has already been discussed on this website before. Again, why would one want anything larger?

Chris.B.
September 1, 2011 1:03 am

@ Mark

You devil!

Well, if the weathers bad chances are the seas are a bit choppy so I’m putting my money on the number of RPG shots needed to score a hit being quite high. Especially as we’ll be shooting back.

“Also suppose she’s escorting merchant ships if your shepparding several you need to be faster than them to cover the line to sweep ahead ect,”

My guess is that she wouldn’t be asked to. That would be a job for a Type 45 or a Type 26. Otherwise known as Escorts ;)

I imagine the “regular” Navy would still be out and about, training etc. Just not requiring high end ships to play kiss chase with a bunch of Colombian fishing crews turned drug runners.

@ X

“Helicopters can’t detain vessels. If a ship has to be search can a helicopter keep itself in the air for anything up to a day while that happens?”

Then I’ve been misled and that’s my fault, hence why I’m asking about speed etc because this is a bit outside of my forte.

I’ve always understood that a helicopter will approach reasonably low, do a pass or two to around the ship to establish what’s going on, collect video evidence etc, and if necessary lower a boarding party onto the ship to seize the bridg and have a poke about, waiting for a boat party to catch up?

“Something like the Docksta Varvet 16.5 Interceptor would fit the bill. You would need a fair set of davits to do it. But on a big diesel ship if there is no consideration being given to signature it shouldn’t be too problematic,”

That’s how I understood TD’s proposal. That signature reduction of the SIMMS was a lower priority, compared to its ability to operate small boats, helicopters and other stuff.

“When the FPS tested HMS Speedy back in the 80s it was a great success because she could appear over the horizon and be along side the offender before the nets were back aboard the offender. Nets in the water being one of those blocks prosecution are built on,”

Again, that’s what I assumed the helicopter was for.

“If these ships are being used for disaster relief surely those hours count?”

I guess it depends where they’re based, as in a SIMMS based in the Carribean could have followed Hurricane Irene in for example. I see what you’re saying though about days being precious.

But then I think that’s the goal behind these offshore vessels. They’re designed to operate in crap weather, bad seas, and be cheap & build or run. If we boost in one direction (speed) we’ll hit ourselves somewhere else (cost).

Compromise.

“Just saw this on the YouTubes,”

I want one. Do you think they’ll accept a bid of £20?

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 1, 2011 8:22 am

Hi JH,

Let me work the “cost scale” further:
-supply ship based design would probably come cheapest (also to operate)and be most multi-role
– if you go traditional hull form, then the minimum (and a very good design) would the one referenced ” Thanks for the fantasy Grandsons of Rivers. Nice to know I am not the only one thinking this way.”
– next one up, still a lot of function for the price but e.g. a big crew:
http://www.shipbucket.com/images.php?dir=Real%20Designs/Denmark/FF%20SF%203500%20ABSALON.gif; we are still multi-role, but at the upper end of required “fightiness”

DominicJ
DominicJ
September 1, 2011 8:29 am

Mark
The CB90 has some mental fire support varients.
Twin 120mm Mortars for example.

Outgunned is not a factory installed option.

X
“If these ships are to supplement the high end vessels in war or stay within protective orbit it will need good speed.”

Perhaps we have different views on supplement?
My view was, ok, we have these ships, what could they do in a war? Auxilary flight deck and landing platform is quite easy. Missile catcher is callous.
But neither *need* to be available on day one.
It wouldnt be a problem if they arrived on day 20, because they are auxilary, supplementary to the actual task force, which ironicaly does include auxilaries…

I dont see how your arguement stacks up, a CB90 can do 40knts, outruns any fishing vessels nets and outguns any pirate ship.
How is a 20knt mother ship faster than that?

H_K
20 containers or two landing ships doesnt really cut it.
TD did an awesome post of what you can containerise a while ago, really you’d want 20 containers (as an absolute minimum), a landing ship, and a couple of deployment trucks.
So, be it natural disaster relief or war supplies, you can load a container on a truck, a truck on a landing ship, landing ship to beach, landing ship back to ship, truck to drop off point and then back to beach, where it meets the landing ship, loaded with the second truck and container, and so on.

50 passengers aint a lot.
Assuming haklf containers half landing vessel, you’ve got 5 men per container.
5 men aint a lot to deploy a water treatment and distribution facility.
Its definatly not enough to keep order when 10,000 locals are very very thirsty.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 1, 2011 8:41 am

Hi Mark,

Not a problem “Your heli cant launch conditions to bad or u/s so you launch your fast boat but the boat your chasing doesn’t want visitors and shoots some RPGs at your boat which calls assistance from your main vessel but she’s out of range cause see aint fast enough.”
– as the CV90 has both a HMG RWS (out to 2000m; RPG?) above the “bridge” as shown in some vids and a NEMO turret (if they don’t want to live, rounds are too expensive for warning shots)

Mark
Mark
September 1, 2011 9:08 am

Dom/acc

Well the cv90 is a gd boat and may mitigate the problem to a certain extent.

Dom if these vessels are replacing the mcmv then not only do they need to be there day 1 but probably several days before they need to keep up with our deploying forces so 20kts is a min

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 1, 2011 9:45 am

Good point, Mark
” the mcmv then not only do they need to be there day 1 but probably several days before”
– has the unfortunate cost implication that on oceans where an mcm tasking is likely, the kit will have to be already onboard (just the specialists helicoptered or flown in)
– that kit is the expensive part of the ship (assuming integrated battle control system is not installed), and the requirement you raised is valid (but would only go for 1-2 of a fleet of say 8, at any one time?)

CB90, like CV90, are the children of the same defence review (these reviews confirm requirements, and thereby fund programmes). The latest (Swedish) defence review is cutting all the sensible upgrades to them both (and Visbys, and…) a pity

The nice thing about CB90 is that as it can beach itself, to land marines, it can also go over a coral reef at speed while in pursuit.The 50 knot Interceptor would have to use navigation charts, to see where to go through.

RichardW
RichardW
September 1, 2011 12:03 pm

ACC

I wasn’t saying I had any objection to TDs ship as an item. I am saying that if you adopt non-fighting ships as a component of your fleet simply because you can’t afford fighty ships, then I’d first look at what you are paying for your fighty ships and do what’s possible to make them affordable before resorting to rendering a portion of the Navy non-combat.

I’d have thought non-fighting ships would be something you could indulge in if you had a very large navy with a good number of combat capable to balance the non-combat. When you already have a small navy substituting non combat for fighting ships just makes your navy smaller.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 1, 2011 12:59 pm

Hi RW,

I think you , Jed and I are in agreement on this;
” I’d first look at what you are paying for your fighty ships and do what’s possible to make them affordable before resorting to rendering a portion of the Navy non-combat.”
– I can’t tie it down to anything specific I said (I mean, that the comment is directed at me)?

Ixion
Ixion
September 1, 2011 1:42 pm

ACC RW ETC

Do we not already have MCV/Survey/Patrol (River) Class vessels any way..

Are we not simply talking about a single design increasing the availability/ flexability, etc, reducing thhe strain of the diminishing warships?

I happen to think TD’s costings are a little light and that individually we might be looking at £100+ mill a pop. But that is still a third the price of a Patrol version T26. (at least).

Just seems the perfect ship for virtually everything the Navy has actually done over the last 10 years rather than waht it likes to talk about doing..

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 1, 2011 2:24 pm

Hi Ixion,

They are only patrol in my books, that shipbucket design would have stretched into multi-function quite nicely.

Yes, TD’s numbers are light as he has only costed the hull & commercial navigation bits. Power add-ons and anything that has to do with the military fit-out are still in the discussion.

That’s why Minty’s proposal (about some intermediate consolidation of what is to be , or not) was a good one; otherwise we will never get to a cost figure. The add-on is at least 100%; that still makes it only 75 to 100m.

Jed
Jed
September 1, 2011 2:28 pm

Ixion

Yes what you describe is what was originally C3, now the MHPC requirement. I agree that a civvy hull, in the shape of the faster and smaller SX119 would be ideal, and that TD’s concepts make for a flexible fleet (although I don’t think your ever go to re-role them on the fly, so to speak) so:

6 under White Ensign as globally deployable MCM
6 under the Blue Ensign (RFA) as Survey / MSO / Patrol assets.
If they are really cheap, lets add 2 spares to that……..

DomJ and all the others who have never actually been to sea and done any of these jobs – a CB90 might be able to chase down small trawler. It can even chase down a large fast modern container ship – it can’t force the container ship to heave to for boarding (and don’t come back with Hellfire, or 120mm mortar armed variants, we would never get them). Now to be honest, a 57mm pop gun is not going to stop such a big ship either, but it may well scare the hi-jacking pirates or maritime terrorists into doing what your asking (room for the 76mm on the SX119 ?) – whatever, apart from the most benign anti-pirate skiff crap, your mother ship needs to be able to position itself for your fast interceptors and even your helo to into the fray. I have fast roped onto tankers from a Lynx, during the sanctions against Iraq between GW1 and 2 – frakking scary, anyone wants to pop up from behind a hatch combing / container and gun you down as you hit the deck – no problem ! Which is why you want mother in attendance with snipers and big guns as required.

So, TD’s ideas, on the SX119, Lynx size hanger, Merlin size flight deck, keep it as cheap as feasibly possible – MAKE IT SO !

Ixion
Ixion
September 1, 2011 3:02 pm

Jed

My only conceern with smaller is that this thing needs every hour of endurance we can give it and areal blue water weather capability.

Frankly I do not know if a 35000 ton vessel can be built to handle the Cape in bad weather, and remain safe let alone opperational if so- great.

But I suspect that unlike what I tell Msrs Ixion Size is important; when it comes to range and endurance the larger vessel perhaps stretched to increase speed please.

After all to a degree this ship is about what it carries rather than what it is.

I have suggested that with the right Kit it could be the case that you have a small and large version equiped alike, just one goes where 3000 tons fits better than say 8000 tons.

Brian Black
Brian Black
September 1, 2011 3:44 pm

Is there a need for a new, larger LCVP to operate from a SIMSS concept ship? Since the end of the WMIK Landrover the RM’s light recce vehicle is the 10t Jackal; a tad weighty for the mk5, while the next available vessel – the mk10 LCU – requires a well deck.

The only new landing vessels I’ve heard of would be the PACSCAT demonstrator at the LCU end, and a potential combat boat capable of landing personnel only.

Would a new larger LCVP (mk6) be desirable or would a 10t+ load for a LCVP just not be practical?

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
September 1, 2011 4:04 pm

An excellent series of articles TD! I am struck by the similarities between the role/design of your SIMSS and that of the Global Fleet Station ship;

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA495485

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix
September 1, 2011 4:14 pm

i’m delighted to see the idea of the SX119 is getting enthusiastic response, as i feel it has merit.

as a standard design it gives us the required speed in a somewhat beamy hull with a cargo deck and a helipad behind the bridge.

it doesn’t need enormous engines because it has a relatively compact design with an advanced hull-form, that may be a compromise worth making vis-a-vis 3500t plus designs.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
September 1, 2011 4:19 pm

Another interesting link concerning the roles of the Global Fleet Station and possible ships (or combination of ships) that are best for it;

http://stinet.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=A475178&Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf

Interestingly this report disagrees with the previous one about the level of communication systems required by the GFS ship.

Ixion
Ixion
September 1, 2011 4:51 pm

TD

The ‘only’ difference needs to be the engines and propolsion machinery everything else weapons masts modules etc would be plug and play to both

Extra cost I Know but if we really needed a smaller one doable

x
x
September 1, 2011 5:34 pm

@ Chris B

Of course boarding parties can be landed by helicopter. On small ships in rough seas doing this evolution safely can be problematic. As can using small boats to board high sided vessels. If money was no object it would I suppose FPS would have vessels with their own flight. That Their Lordships saw fit to lease the Rivers without even a flight deck is telling. Consider the Castles had a superb flight deck that was Sea King capable. Further the fact the the helicopter is a major vehicle in the maritime environment. And lastly the experience of FAA SAR crews in witching operations from various vessels. If a helicopter or seaplane where an alternative to the FPS vessel I suppose they would have tried it.

x
x
September 1, 2011 5:48 pm

@ DomJ

I like good sea boats, sensible speeds, and volume!

The faster you shove a hull of course the more it will cost. But the difference between shoving something along at 20kts compared with 15kts is a lot, lot less than shoving something 30kts compared with 20kts. I only think about things in a naval cost. Soft power is important. But naval budgets should be spent on naval ships. That is ships that can be used in war.

@ Chris B

That YouTube clip is of HMS Speedy after she was sold into merchant service. Missed what you said early as on my netbook.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
September 1, 2011 6:40 pm

Hi Gareth,

I had read the latter before; Did you notice this (short) remark in it:

(Critical undetermined issue: Trade/offs between
inherent [comms] capability and modular capability – TBD).

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
September 1, 2011 7:04 pm

@ ACC – I remember now you’ve reminded me! I suppose if you wanted you could add comms via ISO container(s)as part of the payload. An important role I envision for a SIMSS/GFS vessel would be SIGINT and forward ISR, the eyes and ears of the Admiralty and Downing St/FCO/MI6, even DFiD for DR/HA. Having a good comm set up would be good for a number of roles/missions and the bandwidth would be useful for operating RPV’s?

repulse
September 1, 2011 7:20 pm

In a paper I’ve been reading on the BMT Venator design proposed for the C3 requirement it states:

“…speed is considered an essential requirement in order to allow MCM operations ahead of the task group…”

Whilst you can use UAVs etc for MCM, the supporting ship will still need to keep up.

John Hartley
John Hartley
September 1, 2011 7:26 pm

Hi ACC
Yep, have liked the Absoloms for a while. Wanted DfID to buy a pair for the RN.