The Type 26 Global Combat Ship

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The MoD tweeted a few images of the latest Type 26, the BBC and Portsmouth News run the story and we have all gone bonkers with anticipation.

Except the images don’t look that different from the last time BAE Systems released a video

The BBC link has a nice little CGI animation which has been released by the MoD as well

Here they are

Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI 2013
Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI 01
Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI 2013
Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI
Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI 2013
Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI
Type 26 Frigate overhead view
Type 26 Frigate overhead view
Type 26 Frigate
Type 26 Frigate
Type 26 Frigate
Type 26 Frigate

And for a trip through the recent archives on the Type 26, the most recent post on the subject is here complete with over 700 comments!

This is nothing really surprising, just programme continuation with a confirmation of an earlier design iteration.

Good stuff of course, the Type 26 is a modern but conventional and low risk design that makes maximum use of mature systems either already in service with the RN, about to be in service with the RN before the Type 26 build or in service with other nations. This conservatism is no doubt a good thing because the programme has to be achievable within a well defined ‘cost envelope’ to use the latest trendy buzzwords.

The MoD released a news story on the news story including a helpful reference to how many double decker buses its length will be the equivalent of.

More from BAE

The intention is to get 13 in service and the next phase will get down to detailed design and specification work.

Does anyone know of any major projects in recent history that have achieved their initial/planned quantities and/or specifications by the way?

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Challenger
Challenger

Just read the current specifications, it all sounds pretty great.

Swap out the intended small calibre guns for a naval 40mm CTA and Sea-hawk Sigma fit and id be a very happy chappy!

As TD rightly pointed out the big challenge now is for the costs to be kept down and by extension the 13 ship target to be preserved.

I want to be optimistic, but given the track record….

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

If you don’t aim for the stars you’ll never reach heaven: 24 new ships for me, please.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix

echoing Gabbie – get 13.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

In answer to the question on initial quantities and spec, I give you (the RAF buy of) C17.

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

In answer to the answer of C17, I wish you good luck floating in that.

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

Is it fair to use the River class programme as an example? Five vessels completed including one export?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

The answer to the re-phrased question has got to be somewhere between f8ck and all!

History should indeed point towards less – the only “plus” point is that unlike T45, there is next to no developmental kit on T26. However that’s also the case with QEC and look what happened there, albeit more to do with inter-service politicking than anything else.

Chris – what is this fifth River?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

Elephants! In all seriousness though, as soon as the specs are finalised the contract should be written in such a manner that BAE are to provide x ships at y cost. Penalty clauses on both sides should be horrific to prevent BAE trying to pull a fast one and to tie in any future Government.
Publially planning for less would be a huge mistake as it would simply invite the Government to cut. obviously internal TS planning docs will be drawn up but they should go nowhere near anyone who is not a Senior RN officer and I include MOD civil servants in that.
On the Phalanx part of the video. Since Phalanx is not fitted on T23 whatever CWIS is decided upon will need to be bought. Will The US still be using Phalanx in 2020? I think they have put a Phalanx representation on the video to illustrate plans for 2 CWIS.
Personally I would like a 57MM in place of the forad one and a RAM launcher aft, please. The remote weapon mounts will almost definitely be the 30MM ASCG mounts transferred from the T23.

steve taylor
steve taylor

What we are seeing in the South China Sea, the Arctic, and around those islands is really an indicator of where global security concerns will be focused in the coming decades. Paddling about littorals will be important but not as important as blue water or operations off distant mainly unpopulated shores; blue water operations like interdicting Chinese movements in the Indian Ocean and the seas around Australia and New Zealand. (The presence of humanity in large numbers drives the speculation of need for littoral capabilities.) Though that will be a job mainly for SSNs I would hope that the West still wants to aim for a degree of sea control which means operating ships.

I want all sea going T26 have both hull and towed sonars. I want them to have to have the 127mm Oto Melara gun with Vulcano ammunition. And a anti-ship missile, well two actually, one screwed to the deck and the other for Merlin. Let’s not forget that the purpose of a navy is to inflict violence on the enemy not just block its electronic signals.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix

“I want all sea going T26 have both hull and towed sonars. I want them to have to have the 127mm Oto Melara gun with Vulcano ammunition. And a anti-ship missile, well two actually, one screwed to the deck and the other for Merlin. Let’s not forget that the purpose of a navy is to inflict violence on the enemy not just block its electronic signals.”

Absolutely agree X.

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

What other competition is there in the export market for a 5,400t Frigate? FREMM, F125? Independence/Freedom LCS?

How do these solidifying T26 specifications match up against the competition and who are the likely export/development partners?

Opinion3
Opinion3

Tight contract writing probably served the CVF program and the RN well. (unlike the MRTT PFI contract). One of the issues is unrealistic expectations, another is Bae’s stranglehold.

Lets hope all parties considered each other’s interests and that at least 13 affordable platforms are built. Being realistic needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Most of our platforms have been fairly competitive compared to the alternatives.

Challenger
Challenger

If the final decisions aren’t to be taken until the 2015 defence review what do people think the chances are of more than 13 ships being ordered?

I think the possibility is so slim it’s pretty much zero, but id be interested if anyone else thought differently.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix

i always thought we’d lose one, and go to 18 escorts total, but that is just my cynicism.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@TD You cannot have another 50 Typhoons!

steve taylor
steve taylor

I think we will end up with 12. It is going to be a long programme. Events will drive or preserve the need for T26 numbers. And even accelerate spending on bringing T45 into line equipment wise with its European peers.

Challenger
Challenger

I can also see the number dropping to 12 due to a cost increase.

However if they do what it says on the tin then I still think they would represent a formidable capability.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

From the BAE link: ” A key feature is the ship’s flexible mission space, which can accommodate up to four 12 metre sea boats, a range of manned and unmanned air, surface or underwater vehicles or up to 11 20ft containers or ‘capability modules’.  This delivers improved Intelligence, Surveillance, Targeting and Reconnaissance capability and ensures the ship is future-proofed against further technology developments” – Hmmmm, ‘capability modules’; will they be doing MCM? Is the budget for MHPC for hulls, capabilities or both?

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

I’m sure one of the proposals at least for MHPC involves T26 hulls as the Platform.

martin

I never understood the rational behind 13 other than desperately trying to get every hull you can. If labour come back in in 2015 then 12 is a given to keep both yards on the Clyde. If the SNP win or the Tory’s come back in then all bets are off.

Many contracts have reached their initial target but I can’t think of one involving BAE. I still think the monopolies and mergers commission should have a look at breaking them up.

WiseApe

@Challenger – “what do people think the chances are of more than 13 ships being ordered?” – To quote the great Don King: “You have two chances – fat and slim – and slim just left town.”

I would like to see at least a couple more built fitted out as AAW frigates to supplement the T45s, but would settle for 2 of the 13 fitted as such.

martin

@ Swimming Trunks – MCM was to be a capability of the T26 from day one. The idea is to give the fleet at least an austere capability even when operating beyond the range of conventional MCM vessels. Interestingly on the video the boat access door on the port side seems to have been removed.

martin

@ Wise Ape – Not sure what the AAW version would look like. Could not afford a SAMPSON and the prospect of developing the SAMPSON lite is probably too much for just two vessels. I suppose the Herakles from FREMM may be an option but that’s not too cheap either.

I would say the money would be better spent on giving the fleet CEC and fitting Aster 30 to the T26.

Observer
Observer

From what I can see, for the ship, you’d have

1x 4.5 Inch
1x CIWS
2x 8-cell small VLS? (L/R of the CIWS)
1x 24-cell VLS behind the CIWS
and
2x Miniguns L/R above the hanger bay.

Not sure if there is a CIWS above the hanger, I have my doubts, the LOS is severely blocked for that position by the miniguns.

Pretty decent throw weight.

Edit: I stand corrected, there IS a 2nd CIWS above the hanger.

WiseApe

I’m encouraged by the lack of change since the last video, we don’t want any CVF-like vacillation. Is a mission deck under the flight deck still part of the design?

@APATS – big gun up front :-)

@Martin – “I would say the money would be better spent on giving the fleet CEC and fitting Aster 30 to the T26.” – actually that’s what I had in mind; put Aster 30 in the “strike tubes” rather than Tomahawk etc.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

So where will this “flexible mission space” be?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

Observer,

Think the 2 VLS Silos forad of the 24 cell silo are 12 cell? Difficult to count. There is also the strange thing to port of the Ffrad funnel. The main gun significantly is not portrayed as a 4.5. Seems to be a CWIS forad and another above the hanagr. Portrayed as Phalanx but as the system will have to be purchased who knows. The mounts Port and Stbd on the hangar roof are I believe meant to be the ASCG 30MM remote mounts currently on T23. They would be better further forward.
ST Must be forad of hangar looking at the doors on stb side.

Observer
Observer

@ST

It’ll be incredibly amusing if they loaded in a missile payload module with no external exit through the ship. :)

Was playing with the horizon calculator from the other post and was very surprised to find that radar range from a surface object to another is so limited. Airborne sets really are a must.

As for the T-26, time will tell, time will tell.

martin

@ Swimming Trunks – the Flex space is suppose to be in the centre of the super structure behind the hanger. It was suppose to be accessible by roller doors on both port and starboard but looks to me like its gone.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

martin, think access is from Stbd side only now. Looking at the variety of door type panels on the stbd side. This will of course save money and it may be the space does not go all the away across but makes evolutions where access is required alongside tricky.
Need to put things ashore from mission bay STBD side to. Want to then put a boat in the water? Aghh slight problem, wind ship anyone?

steve taylor
steve taylor

Fitted for, but not with, flexible mission space.

S O
S O

“Does anyone know of any major projects in recent history that have achieved their initial/planned quantities and/or specifications by the way?”

The Swedes can pull this off quite easily.
IIRC the Norwegian and Spanish AEGIS mini destroyer projects went well as well.

steve taylor
steve taylor

I think he meant UK projects……

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Oh noooooo….. Another post about ruddy floaty little boats. That’s me scuppered for another 700 comments.

To be positive, how the hell do you run around the outside of the boat, the only legal onboard activity that is any fun? Running laps of the small baseball court behind the garage door (and typically, BAE have forgotten the baseball hoop above the door, no doubt it will be an expensive option) is going to result in having to count into the hundreds before even a bead of sweat appears. Where are the Andrew’s priorities?

EDIT: TD, could you increase the rations of the hamsters powering the TD servers, or give them an energy drink or something? It’s taking about 3 minutes for the site to open any post, then another 3 minutes to upload a comment. The rest of the web on the trusty old Mac is working at normal speed.

WiseApe

@Red Trousers – “how the hell do you run around the outside of the ship” – magnetic boots?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Baseball hoop? Ruddy spellcheck trying to take over. Clearly, the software coder for the spell checker in OSX was never entranced as a child by the Harlem Globetrotters, and instead prefers Septic Rounders.

@ WiseApe, if they are marketing this as a slightly stealthy design, I’d assume it’s going to be made of plastic****. Otherwise that much slab metal is going to be lighting up the radar screens – looking at the slope angle it is going to appear perpendicular at anything from about 10,000 feet at 20 miles to 40,000 feet at 80 miles, and that surely is in the sweet spot of most airborne radars? Anyway, magnetic boots sound heavy and that’s not good when you slip and fall into the briny. If magnetic boots is indeed the design solution, BAE seem to have missed off the safety rail.

(I’m rather hoping these entirely pertinent and indeed sensible suggestions will derail this thread from yet another techno-porn discussion of boats, interspersed with financially unfeasible suggestions to have ever more of them at the expense of everything painted green, because apparently 1,487% of our trade arrives by sea and needs full time protection)

;)

**** “Steel is cheap and air is free – but plastic is even cheaper and we live in times of austerity, so we’ll go for the plastic option, thank you” – the RT take on what should be spent on the Andrew… better put in a few more :) ;) :) ‘s

Observer
Observer

Damn it, TD has me doing it. I keep reading it as the Global Container Ship…

@APATs

Don’t those things come in sets of 8?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

Observer, Silos? Yes the normal arrangement is 4×2 or a variation. Those could be 3 rows of 4 singles or an error in the animation. Def looks like 12 cells though.

S O
S O

@Red Trousers:
“looking at the slope angle it is going to appear perpendicular at anything from about 10,000 feet at 20 miles to 40,000 feet at 80 miles, and that surely is in the sweet spot of most airborne radars? ”

I have log have had the suspicion that the whole polygonal stealth fashion of warships since the USS Arleigh Burke is a response to missile radars, not bomber radars.

Bombers capable of looking down will be able to even bow waves of ships faster than about 5 kts. MPAs furthermore have SAR and GMTI nowadays, that means they can even identify a ship by its shape from great distances, probably more than 100 km.

Sea skimmer missiles on the other hand have a very poor vantage point (shared with sea skimming fighter bombers such as ’82 Super Entendards or Cold War German navy Tornado IDS) and supersonic AShMs have almost no time window.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ RT re cheap plastic boats.

Per ton the Sandown’s, a plastic boat, were the most expensive ship the RN had purchased up to that point…..

FWIW magnetic boots won’t work on plastic hulls.

Jonesy
Jonesy

“That’s me scuppered for another 700 comments.”

If that was unintentional its the best pun I’ve seen in a while….otherwise yuk, yuk, yuk.

“To be positive, how the hell do you run around the outside of the boat, the only legal onboard activity that is any fun?”

Beauty of being at sea, specially in the warmer climes, is that one is not obliged to get ones exercise onboard. A pipe of ‘hands to bathe’ is followed by copious amounts of good old fashioned exercise in the deep end. If the boss thinks the ships company could stand a challenge he simply passes down a few discrete engine orders when everyone is at a safe distance!.

S O
S O

@x:
“FWIW magnetic boots won’t work on plastic hulls.”

They wouldn’t on austenitic steels either, and those may be employed as protection against magnetic fuzes.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ SO

That had occurred too, but I thought it was a bit too complex for him. :) ;)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Jonesy,

re the ship buggering off while the hands are swimming. I’ve got a photograph of myself standing on top of Out Stack Rock, some several hundred metres to the north of Muckle Flugga, the most northern point of Britain. Taken by the co-pilot of a Lynx which was taking me and the boss around the Scottish coast over 4 days to conduct an aerial audit of the state of the concrete pads that in Cold War time were there for AD defences and radars. How I laughed when the Lynx buggered off for 10 minutes – far enough away to no longer be visible – as a joke. There’s little you can do in that sort of situation, perched on top of a 50 square metre chunk of granite that’s covered in bird shite and nothing else, apart from wonder whether the Lynx had some genuine emergency needing it to return to Sullom Voe, or if the boss was having one of his periodical fits of humour. Having established that the boss didn’t really want me to be killed, a couple of hours later I asked to be put down on top of the Old Man of Hoy, because I wanted that photo as well (framed up nicely, in the downstairs bog and always attracts a comment from any visitors). And a day later, we dropped in on the family distillery on Islay unannounced, which was good for a tour and the General Manager there thinking he’d better stuff a couple of cases of 18 Year Old Malt into the back of the Lynx to ensure no negative repercussions at the next AGM.

Jonesy
Jonesy

Got to be said I’d be perfectly willing to stand a watch or two on top of some solitary and desolate lump of Scotland if there was a case of 18yr old at the end of the journey!.

Just got to stress for the uninitiated, as my writing was less jocular than intended, that the screws wouldnt be turned with people in the water owing to the very great danger and stupidity of such an action. Poor attempt at humour gratefully rescued by RT!

Leaving people on top of rocky Caledonian columns could be considered perfectly acceptable….cap doffed!. The term ‘mincing stokers’ usually doesnt involve the ships screws though!!.

JohnHartley
JohnHartley

Air is free, steel is cheap, so make the hangar big enough for 2 Merlin. Do not need to operate 2, but the option is then there in an emergency.
Copy the liner QM2 & use 50% thicker steel on the hull. only adds a couple of million to a £350 m ship, but adds a decade of service life & enables operations near the Polar regions.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.

Erm, what happened to the ramp at the back for launching small boats? Wasn’t that one of the great new features, that it was going to be able to conduct small boat operations at much greater speed etc?

mmoomin
mmoomin

Davits on the side through the side hanger doors by the looks of it.

Or clever RN ploy to ensure MHPC which does have a rear ramp……..who knows. It’s simpler and less risk I suspect which is the point of T26.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Swimming Trunks re FREMM

What are you insinuating young Gareth? That we have paid BAE to reinvent the wheel?

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

@x You may very well say that, I couldn’t possibly comment…

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Just a thought, given the steel is cheap and air free line Chris B puts across.

Why are not all frigates built rather larger, with well deck*** and accommodation for several hundred passengers on board, but fitted out for a primary role as a frigate with the sexy sonars? No rule on God’s earth that says such a ship should always be fully laden with passengers and landing craft, but criminy, it would make the “frigate” so much more useful for the 99% of the time it is not actively pursuing submarines. Yes, it would need more juice to push through the water, but over a lifetime, that would still be cheaper than buying up Ocean and Albion replacements.

I’m thinking something like Wasp, or JC or anything similar, maybe with half a flight deck for hosting 2-4 helos at once, and the rest of the internal space given over to a modular fit out for mass accommodation, or ISOs of disaster relief, modular hospital, UAV operations.

How much more would that cost? Frigate ASW capability in a biggish boat, mostly empty as SOP, but when the call comes, hugely flexible?

*** I like well decks because you can launch ISO carrying LCs from them. But if a well deck is too much, how about some internal “tube” through which you can launch a RIB or seaboat or whatever the Andrew call them by launching downwards into the wash // wake, and into which the RIB can self-recover (ever seen the USMC do that back into a Sea Knight helicopter’s rear door – good stuff). Should be enough space to fit such a tube in between the propellor shafts of such a boat, and it should do as well for the towed array. Probably need a chain winch mechanism inside the tube for recovery, but a lot simpler than the whole davits operation.

Chris.B.
Chris.B.

Low risk maybe, but then all we’re talking about is a ramp and a door, which was on all the early design stuff. The USCG has basically got that method of deployment down so it shouldn’t be that hard.

Topman
Topman

@ST

Are those two like for like with the type 26, how much do those two classes cost each if we were to buy 12, roughly ?

WiseApe

I realise this may be raking over old ground for many here, but would anyone care to enlighten me on why we chose to go it alone on designing our future frigate rather than partnering France and Italy on FREMM or Germany on F125 (btw, I know it shouldn’t matter, but those German ships have been soundly beaten with the ugly stick!).

@Red Trousers – noisy, but plenty of room to run about on.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@TD Be years before we see any outcome to that bet. However the feeling is very much that both the Service Chiefs and the Govt are serious about getting this right and a lot of lessons have been learnt. It is a low risk design with a lot of kit transferring from the T23. BAE quite happily seem to fulfill other contracts. Sow whilst i may not bet on their being 13, there will definitely be more than 8 and the number specified on the contract when signed will be the number obtained.
A reduction to 14 escorts would mean that the RN had lost more than 75% of its FF/DD hulls since 1990. Given the fact that MHPC is very theoretical and the current requirement for escort tasks which will increase with the arrival of the Carrier I am extremely confident we will see more than 8.
RT About double.
F125 were £400 million a pop when ordered in 2007.
FREMM about £380 million.
Chris B stern ramp deployment and recovery of Rhibs is not difficult. the question becomes how would it interfere with both the operation and storage of a towed body? Then does it offer advantages large enough to make any risk worthwhile?

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Swimming Trunks re wheel 2.0

I think I have said it several times before myself. Given what we wanted on paper (Merlin capable, range, habitability, the 127mm gun, etc) T26 was going to turn out very similar to FREMM. Then again the RN know better than all the other worlds navies so perhaps there is some subtle aspect we mere mortals are unaware. Of course all the old arguments would come out about retaining skills etc. which I suppose are valid. But it smells a funny colour. I suspect the wages bill and sundry costs (some new 3H pencils etc) for the design came nowhere near £127million. I bet we could have bought FREMM, had the advantage of ship in the water to run a rule over, and still found something for BAE to design such as an Ocean replacement or a new barge to move SeaViper.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

@ APATS, re “about double” for my suggestion of a bastard love child of a sleek sexy frigate and a north sea ro-ro. Thanks for that.

About double whatever T26 is going to cost. Given that you remove the need to replace Ocean, Albion, Bulwark, and have 13 such multi-capable hulls, is that looking good or poor VFM over the service life of about 30 years? (Honestly, no bloody idea at all – just punting an idea)

steve taylor
steve taylor

Can somebody explain to me what the fascination is with about launching RIBs? It is a bit like having a thread about new Ferrari and being obsessed with which air freshener should we hang off the mirror.

Topman
Topman

@ APATS

Cheers, roughly how much does a Type 26, at the moment aim to be? Or are there no public figures yet?

Chuck Hill

@Chris.B. August 20, 2012 at 20:37

“Low risk maybe, but then all we’re talking about is a ramp and a door, which was on all the early design stuff. The USCG has basically got that method of deployment down so it shouldn’t be that hard.”

The “National Security Cutters” (NSC) and LCS have them,as does the French L’Adroit, but the new large Coast Guard offshore patrol cutters will not. A stern ramp was explicitly excluded by the specification. Can’t help but suspect the vertical movement of two vessels of very different size might cause a problem. I’ve gotten feed back that that might be true.

http://chuckhillscgblog.net/2011/11/09/no-stern-ramp-for-boats-on-the-opc-mistake/

On the NSC it also resulted in having two separate steering gear rooms on either side of the ramp. (that might be a good thing?)

steve taylor
steve taylor

Chuck Hill said “On the NSC it also resulted in having two separate steering gear rooms on either side of the ramp. (that might be a good thing?)”

There are lots of little extra costs with NSC. The cruise ship evacuation tunnel for me was the WTF? moment for me. No wonder it costs an arm and leg per copy. Nice though. Pretty too.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

Topman, The aim is between 300 and 350 million I believe. Hopefully closer to £300 million. Costs being driven down by the transfer of equipment from the T23 flotilla as they leave the service. 997, 2087, 30Mm ASCG, Sea Ceptor. Possibly even ESM, Command systems and Bridge outfit/nav radars could be transferred. So you are paying for a hull, propulsion, hotel services, new main gun (hopefully), CIWS, Silo installation and any new missile systems required.

Chuck Hill
Mark
Mark

I like the overall look of the design though I wonder if there is any concern with turbulent air over the flight deck with the two gun sponsons sticking out at the back of the hanger. Could said guns be upgraded to 40mm cannons for some commonality with the army would that improve the ciws discussion further. 127mm gun would be an important update a must. I do wonder if the end of the deicated surface to surface anti ship missile is drawing close. Perhaps the Norwegian missile JSM could be used on ship helicopter and jet as a strike missile. Or some further development of the sea skua replacement. An rn esg type task group should be the RN striking force not individual ships as death stars.

I have a feeling the future mphc maybe more systems orientated rather than ship orientated which may mean an entirely opposite direction to tds type 26 numbers suggestion a lot will depend on cost.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@TD It had blasted better! If £127million buys us any less than a finalised design completely agreed by both parties and a contract signed for x hulls at y price with massive penalty clauses then someone should be shot!
Selling raffle tickets to pull the trigger would probably pay for the design costs.
Everything i have read says that BAE have been given £127 million and 4 years to “fully design” the T26. so hopefully it includes the detailed design work once the prime movers, weapons and sensors have been finalised.

Topman
Topman

@ Apats

Thanks, assuming the German design that someone popped on earlier is similar in design then that’s a fair bit cheaper. But like has been mentioned sticking to that budget will be the hardest thing for the project.

What state is all that equipement that will robbed off the T23s be in? I assume it will all have to be overhauled/repaired before fitment?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

The F125 is a strange beast. it is designed as a land attack and stabilisation frigate. It is 148M long yet weighs 7,200 tonnes. Has a phased array radar but only RAM launchers for AAW. Has no sonar at all. In the anti surface role it will carry the 127Mm Oto melara and 2 remote 27Mm guns and 4 remote 50cals plus other manned mounts. It can also carry 2 NH90 helos and will eventually carry a Swedish designed anti ship/land attack missile. At £400 million pound plus each that seems expensive for such a niche capability.
Kit of the T23 will need to be refurbished, checked and may need to be replaced or upgraded earlier during the life cycle of the T26 than would otherwise have been the case.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

X,

surely RIBs give you an option somewhat less final than letting rip with even the smallest weapon on board, the option to do boarding work, etc. Seems like a bargain to me given that some of the sideways mounted popguns typically installed on naval craft are pretty useless in either high end war fighting (spray and pray mode), or in low end patrolling (ROE), and lets face it, are operated by matelots who have literally zero idea in how to use MGs effectively****, and no cultural willingness for the ambush (all of that graduated response of chasing a pirate ship, then shouting at it on the radio, then a loudhailer, then shots across the bow rather give away the ambush factor).

You can put Royals onto a RIB, which makes it / them quite potent, or you can put sailors onto a RIB, which makes you look like HMS Cornwall, so they are still a bit of a double edged sword and need to be thought about in their deployment.

**** Truly pathetic performance on Bristol when I asked for the GPMGs to be got out for a bit of rubbish sack shooting in the Baltic. Not only had none of the crew been taught how to properly deliver ranging or killing bursts, there was some “instructor” who had done a “course” at a shore establishment who did not even know about gas plug settings and adjustments based on the Mark One hand temperature gauge of barrel heat. No wonder the ruddy things kept jamming, and even then none of the sailors could clear a perfectly normal gas plug setting stoppage and had to wait until the “instructor” arrived alongside to clear it for them. Total waste of time.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

RT,

There were Royal marines on the RHIBS during the Cornwall incident. The boarding team was a combined RN/FPGRM team. All I can say about Bristol is oh dear but yes it is something that used to be an issue and has been massively worked upon in the last decade. At the end of the day though the effectiveness of the individuals involved will be down to the training given and amount of exercises undertaken.

Challenger
Challenger

I reckon that the spare Harpoon, or perhaps the JSM will provide an initial ‘bolt on’ anti ship capability, with the strike length silo’s utilising TLAM if it’s affordable.

I then think that by the early 2030’s we will see initial deep maintenance and refit replacing both systems with something rather advanced and futuristic like Perseus.

Anyone else agree?

mickp
mickp

Looks a sound ship to replace T23. A new main gun and decent fit out of silos for seaceptor and strike length silos for other stuff, even if not filled until crisis. I hope the phalanx CIWS and 30mm cannon mounts are placeholders only. Both will be way behind the times when the first of these ships hits the water. Those platforms for the 30mm are decent size so something like a 40mm cannon or the 30mm sigma thing would seem more appropriate nearer the time. Put the T23 30mm cannons on RFAs / CVFs to bolster close in defences if they are servicable and spare – or mount forward on T26s if room. Maybe there will be an upgraded phalanx by then but assuming they have to be bought anyway, there may be other options, eg a 57mm fore at least and a sea ram aft. The T26 would be very well placed ot go in harms way, just short of an offensive AshM to make it a true all rounder. I hope we get at least 12 built in batches of 4 for continuous improvement. All 2 should have TAS. Its a future decision as to whether to switch to another MHPC design or possibly build a few more T26s with slightly more austere, but upgradable fit out (eg 76mm gun) and then just an ‘MH’ class

S O
S O

@x:
“Can somebody explain to me what the fascination is with about launching RIBs?”

Man over board drills, inspection of vessels without use of helicopter are the obvious examples.
There are certain reasons from a countermeasures point of view as well, especially concerning both infra-red and radar decoying and the issue of home-on-jam modes of missiles. MCM drones could also be employed instead of RIBs.

I think we can easily consider most of those strange rigid inflatables as placeholders and the internal space spent for them as a equipped_for,_but_not_with thing in regard to countermeasures.

H_K
H_K

A few thoughts on T26 vs. FREMM, since this is coming up a fair bit:

– FREMM is a pure-bred frigate, with sleek hull lines and a lot of effort put into stealth (waterline diesel exhausts and very angled superstructures). Designed to be a very slippery customer in a high threat environment. Limited modularity despite the “M” in its name.

– T26 shares Absalon’s portly genes, with a very “fat” bow. This allows the main gun and superstructure to be moved forward, maximizing volume at the expense of speed & seakeeping.

– T26’s waterline length is only ~4-5m longer than FREMM, so 5,400t standard displacement seems dead on. The extra length is used to lengthen the helicopter deck (Chinook capability).

– Since T26 is therefore only marginally larger than FREMM, not surprisingly the modular payload bay isn’t all that big. It’s more accurate to think of it as a multifunction reconfigurable hangar/boat area, rather than an additional dedicated payload bay as on LCS… i.e. what’s novel isn’t so much the size of the mission area as much as the fact that BAE have figured out a way to make the internal superstructure reconfigurable.

– There doesn’t seem to be any space reserved for traditional (non-VLS) ASM launchers. Since neither Harpoon nor any of the current MBDA missiles are VLS compatible, this is either a huge leap of faith or indicates a high degree of confidence that something like CVS 401 Perseus will be funded on at least one side of the Atlantic.

Challenger
Challenger

@H-K

Looking at the new images I believe their is space for ASM launchers between the radar mast and funnel, or perhaps further back if some of the small calibre guns are moved around a little.

I’m not saying they will definitely have ASM installed, but it seems that allowances have been made for them in the design.

As I said earlier, I’m willing to bet that the initial load out will be a Harpoon/TLAM mix, followed by an eventual dual role missile like Perseus.

H_K
H_K

One more thing:

Stealth doesn’t seem to be as much of a primary design requirement aboard T26, what with the more vertical sides, raised siloes forward, lack of waterline exhausts, longer superstructure, more sharp angles etc. Basically stealth is being (somewhat) sacrificed in order to maximize internal volume.

I’m guessing that the Black Swan philosophy is starting to percolate, i.e. “it’s the payload, stupid, not the platform”.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

H_K< Just wondering how you came to your conclusions? Absalon is 137M with a beam of 19.5M and displaces 6,200Tonnes. FREMM is 142M long with a 20M beam and displaces between 5,800-6,000 tonnes dependent upon variant.
As far as we know T26 will be 148M long with a beam of 19.5M and displace 5,400 tonnes. longer slimmer and lighter hardly lead to a conclusion of portlier? I as lucky enough to spend a day at sea on the Carlo Bergamini a few months ago and she seemed like a really nice ship but not sure I would describe her as any more slippery than numerous other designs. See pics at link.
http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?q=“Carlo+Bergamini”+frigate&hl=en&sa=X&biw=1327&bih=914&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnso&tbnid=bmilz2VrCWymoM:&imgrefur

Concur on the non portrayal of an ASM missile but there is plenty of room to place one. i think that the portrayal of a Phalanx and lack of an ASM is simply down to the fact that nobody has decided what they will be yet. Norgies NSM/JSM may be made silo compatible on back of JSF orders.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

These anti ship missiles. Unless they are fired in salvoes and with digital brains that allow the little beasts to communicate with each other mid-flight****, to encircle a target and to swarm in from all sides at once to overwhelm local defences, presumably the assumption is that they are going to be shot down one by one by an OPFOR CIWS / RAM etc, and thus turn into sunken ironmongery at some significant cost per missile fired? If so, why the fascination? If not, who is not slapping the Whitehall “thinkers” around the chops and inviting them to join the 21st century?

**** If we really let dstl do what they are best at, we’d have a NEC firing solution for all sorts of ship-, land-, and air-launched missiles (some launched on demand, some loitering) doing a bit of racing in under the radar and spearing in from great height all at once while chattering away to each other. That would be a bit of a bugger to deal with all at once if you are OPFOR, especially the Chinese and certainly Carlos Fandango. CEC – a great programme that somehow got canned.

Challenger
Challenger

@APATS

You’re right about the weapons fit.

Pretty much everything except CAMM will be off the shelf purchases that can be decided at a later date.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

RT, CIWS is a last resort. the first part of any successful surface engagement is Surface Picture Compilation. Having a missile with a range in excess of 100Nm is fabulous but bloody useless if you do cannot find something 100Nm away. So other surface assets, a Helo, MPA,Sub or satellite are handy to find the target.
Then you have to engage it bearing in mid it may have moved since you found it it and launched. does your missile have a data link to update target info as it closes? does it rely upon sheer speed. does your missile attack from above or sea skim? Does it pop up and activate radar x miles out before beginning terminal phase manouvre? Does it accelerate in the terminal phase? Does it need to go active at all?
Is the target alerted or not. Your average radar guided anti ship missile will be detected by a Ship when it pops up and goes active, revealing a threat radar down a bearing, intel and research prescribes reactions. A high flying fast but active missile will be detected further out.
Something like the Norwegian NSM that is sea skimming, sub sonic stealthy and non active (utilises an Infra red scanner and target database) yet is capable of mid course data link updates is far harder to detect.
Defence against most anti ship missiles is, own ship missiles, e.g Sea Ceptor or aster, soft kill, IR, jammers, Active decoys, chaff etc. Then CIWS, when a PWO ssts a CWIS system to auto it really si time for 2p 50p onboard.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

@ mickp and H K – ” I’m guessing that the Black Swan philosophy is starting to percolate, i.e. “it’s the payload, stupid, not the platform”.” – ” Its a future decision as to whether to switch to another MHPC design or possibly build a few more T26s with slightly more austere, but upgradable fit out (eg 76mm gun) and then just an ‘MH’ class”

What about the austete Type 26 as the full MHPC? It will be quiet already, and the idea is to have UV’s do the mine hunting and mapping. Could the Type 26 hull perform high end escort and “sloop” roles? How many of these hulls would we need? How many could we afford?

I suggest this as devils advocate – I quite like the Black Swan/BAM/VLR Corvette idea but what would be the pro’s and Con’s of a single common hull?

H_K
H_K

All politicians, sorry I wasn’t clear. I was comparing FREMM(FR) and T26, based on top view images available online, drawn to the same scale… I wasn’t thinking of FREMM(IT) which is a different beast.

Once you put them side-by-side, T26 has a much more “snub nosed” bow and vertical sides, hence my comments about volume being the priority over stealth, seakeeping & speed.

The top view of FREMM(FR)can be found here: http://www.meretmarine.com/objets/12409.jpg (actually, this is FREMM(GR), but who cares!)

Chris.B.
Chris.B.

re; T26 and small boats,

Wasn’t that touted as one of the key upgrades of this vessel over just being another Type 23 by BAE? Because it was going to be sooooo much better at launching and recovering small craft, safer, in a wider range of sea conditions and a greater envelope of speeds.

Chuck Hill

Looking at the odd arrangement of three stacks, it makes more sense if the propulsion is hybrid or fully integrated electric propulsion, like the Type 45.

The diesel generators might be physically well separated from the gas turbine.

If an integrated electric system, might the gas turbine be in the superstructure, perhaps even in the stack itself? That would eliminate an awful lot of ducting and make changing out turbines a lot easier.

It appears the after uptakes preclude a two bay hanger, but perhaps there is a door between the hanger and the “garage” that would permit at least UAS to move between the two.

I notice one of the doors in the starboard side appears abeam the forward stack. Does that mean the garage is below the stack?

Chuck Hill

@H_K says:
August 20, 2012 at 23:03

“- There doesn’t seem to be any space reserved for traditional (non-VLS) ASM launchers. Since neither Harpoon nor any of the current MBDA missiles are VLS compatible, this is either a huge leap of faith or indicates a high degree of confidence that something like CVS 401 Perseus will be funded on at least one side of the Atlantic.”

Apparently there is a VLS compatible anti-ship and land attack missile already available that has a 900 mile range and a two way UHF SATCOM data link for cuing and updating, the block IV Tactical Tomahawk. http://www.informationdissemination.net/2012/08/back-to-future-targeting-new-tasm.html

Having a single missile that can hit both ships and land targets will add to the ships’ flexibility and if it hits a target only 100 miles away, the unspent fuel will just add to the fire.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

RE “Everything i have read says that BAE have been given £127 million and 4 years to “fully design” the T26. so hopefully it includes the detailed design work once the prime movers, weapons and sensors have been finalised.”
– me, too
– but what has happened with timing? At the capabilities level the trade-offs were frozen in November, supposedly giving hull size, propulsion choice and target size of crew/ other accommodation
– this was supposed to have been worked into detail by about Easter, for detail design then to start putting it all together (after a further go-ahead, after reconfirming no deviation from budget)
– does it take the propaganda department to the end of summer to get anything out?

martin

It looks like the USN may be getting ready to replace harpoon with a TLAM re design to give it an interim capability until something more advanced comes along. There is great debate on the effectiveness of harpoon now against any type of modern vessel.

I am still dubious whether or not we will see some form of strike length VLS on T26. The fact that these have not been put on T45 yet says to me the treasury is un happy at the prospect of the RN having the capability to launch anything but a small contribution to an opening barrage with million dollar missiles.

In terms of working with the Germans and French I think we would gain very little and risk way too much. If T26 comes in at the £350 million mark with the systems we want then we are getting a hell of a lot of bang for our buck compared to FREMM or German designs. With no need to develop costly radars or missiles as with PAMMS I just don’t see a need for joint development.

The frigate export market is so small that spreading the handful of orders likley around three of four countries would be a waste of time.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Frigate export market so small?

These are global numbers by Bob Nugent, presented in a very recent RUSI fleet planning conference

As the copy-paste destroyed the table formatting, including losing column headers altogether, I ‘ve added a comment to the last figure (% change, to indicate the trend)

20-Year Global Market Forecast: Number of Ships
AMI International /
Cruiser 2 14 -12 -85.7% Dying out altogether, the two on order must be the Zumwalts, which are more akin to battle ships
Destroyer 146 145 1 0.7% Holding on, but the destroyer/ frigate borderline varies (AMI int’l if anyone knows how to make it like-with-like when comparing)
FAC 298 242 56 23.1% (growing, but are there many exports?)
Frigate 281 243 38 15.6% (with OPVs, the growth market, but when you add value as a dimension becomes the most important)
MCMV 103 210 -107 -51.0% Dying out as a specialist breed, not as a function
OPV 272 234 38 16.2% (affordable frigate substitutes, similar growth)

When you look outside the surface combatants, the stellar growth is in amphibs

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi Mickp, RE
” I hope the phalanx CIWS and 30mm cannon mounts are placeholders only. Both will be way behind the times when the first of these ships hits the water. Those platforms for the 30mm are decent size so something like a 40mm cannon or the 30mm sigma thing would seem more appropriate nearer the time. Put the T23 30mm cannons on RFAs”

I agree that the 30mm alone is not much. But put it in as the remote-controlled Seahawk with CAMM on the same turret… then we are talking
– against a swarm attack you would prefer a faster firing cannon than the 40mm CTA?

Interesting about the Phalanx as a place holder: RAM is unlikely to be acquired, but the USN says they hope to have the laser gun working in 4 years’ time… when was it again that we will get the first T26?

Rocket Banana

Martin,

I am still dubious whether or not we will see some form of strike length VLS on T26. The fact that these have not been put on T45 yet says to me the treasury is un happy at the prospect of the RN having the capability to launch anything but a small contribution to an opening barrage with million dollar missiles.

I still think T45 was an interim stop-gap solution. She’s the most expensive and advanced AAD in the world… which is somewhat needed if your government fancies the idea of retiring your interceptors early ;-)

I don’t think T45 was ever designed to be a strike capable ship, we have Astute to do that much more sneakily and (eventually) CVF.

However, I do agree with you in that I doubt we’ll have strike-length VLS on T26 – I simply don’t see the point. What would they ever get used for? When would T26 ever launch them without a full task force? I think it’s more likely (and cheaper?) to see Hellfire/Brimstone on Wildcat/Merlin as a shore-based aggressor neutralisation system.

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno

The T26 looks like a reasonable design but the UK hasn’t been too sucessful exporting warships for the last decade or 3. One of the major reasons is that the UK produces very integrated designs which cannot readily accept other peoples equipment.
Just how flexible will the T26 design be?
The RAN will about mid decade kick off the competition to replace the 8 ANZAC frigates and the T26 pretty much fits the thumb nail sketch issued so far (bigger than an ANZAC/ASW-GP role).
The big but however is that the RAN is welded at the hip to the USN and will want to stuff the ship full of US compatible weapons and equipment as well as local equipment for good and logical reasons. Will the T26 design allow that without costing a fortune? That goes to how the ship is designed. Does it matter to the UK, well spreading class cost over several users might be the difference between gettin 12, and getting 8.

Rocket Banana

ACC,

So if you add your ship numbers together you see that the numbers are actually decreasing – i.e. an investment in smaller numbers of larger ships, which is the current trend is it not?

There should always be a market because of the ~1000 ships you mention about 30 need replacing every year. The trouble I see is that most countries can build their own. They have access to the Internet too. There a precious few secrets on how to build a 5000t escort ;-)

martin

@ ACC – The problem is now that most nations who consider buying new want to build it themselves. I can’t think of a new build major surface combatant built in the UK since we sold T42 to Argentina. I think the T26 may be able to generate foreign orders but it will never be more than a handful.
@ Simon – Not sure what a strike ship is but T45 has space for 16 strike length silos between the A50 launchers. Each silo only cost around 500 K so the fact that these have yet to be fitted suggest to me there is additional pressure from the Treasury. We only keep a stock of around 60 TLAM’s and the contingency budget pays for any used.
The treasury is quite happy for us to fire a few on the first night so we can grab the headlines of British and American warships firing TLAMS but they don’t want us making a real contribution.
You are correct that T26 will probably only ever launch these as part of a task force but if that task force does not contain US vessels then we may not have the ability to launch enough missiles for SEAD or other opening night missions.
I am all for Brimestone or Hellfire on Lynx but it’s no substitute. I think being able to launch a barrage of 100 missiles on the opening night as with Libya is a capability we should aspire to. It really would not cost very much especially if we put the launchers on the T26 and T45.

martin

@ Aussie – I think you are right about previous UK designs but I think the T26 make a real change. The RAN needs ASW capabilities and its a field the US has all but abandoned. I can see the RAN buying LCS or Burke. The ability to use Mk41 VLS on the T26 means that it can take any US weapon. It would probably be relatively easy for BAE Australia to build it as well. I am still surprised Australia has not signed up as a joint development partner but I think this is more to do with budget reasons than operational issues.

Tubby
Tubby

RE: Strike length tubes on T45,

Am I right in thinking that the Anti-Ballistic Missile version of Aster will need strike length VLS tubes? If so, then presumably we will see some or even all of our T45’s get strike length VLS tubes and software update to perform thearte ABM.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi Simon,

The Indian T45 equivalent (with sensors/ weapons MOTS from Russia and Israel) is already way above the T45 cost, because they believed in “have access to the Internet too. There a precious few secrets on how to build a 5000t escort”
– I agree that when you go a bit down on the ladder (large OPVs)then the statement holds true
– even then STX seems to have cornered the market, in many cases appeasing the political decision makers by building them in-country

martin

At Tubby – Yes if there ever is an Aster 45 or the like we would need the A70 Launcher. I still can’t see us getting ABM capability any time soon other than what we already have in the Aster 30 for terminal intercept.

martin

@ ACC – Maybe T45 is not so expensive after all. Given what they are I don’t think you can find anything better for cheap any where in the world.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Martin, I think you are right here “. We only keep a stock of around 60 TLAM’s and the contingency budget pays for any used.
The treasury is quite happy for us to fire a few on the first night so we can grab the headlines of British and American warships firing TLAMS”

If you take the wider context, the defence budget is all the time being quoted as “about to touch” 2% of the GNP, when all in it is more like 2.7%
– when 20% is spent in this way, no wonder that the services will try to get under that sail by all possible means

martin

@ ACC – not sure how we would change this. I do think its ridiculous that we lack the stored ordinance to fight even a short limited campaign with out immediate re supply from either the USA or NATO.

This is the real fur coat no knickers issue of HM armed forces.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix

@ Admin – “Mine is for 8 with the remainder cash (if any, defence inflation is a bitch) going in to MHPC, which funnily enough is exactly what I would do”

I doubt it will drop to anything like that.

I can quite see a ninth TAS equipped T26 being used as an excuse to blag the capability uplift as justification for the loss of a single T26(GP), for a total run of twelve, but i really don’t see it being less than that.

@ Wiseape – re: why not FREMM/F125

Because the DIS considers complex warship building as a strategic industry, so we must therefore retain the ability to [both] design [and] manufacture said vessels.

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

Type 45 is an AAW specialist – the class is designed to help achieve air superiority and missile control over a wide area using a combination of SAMPSON, the Sea Viper (PAAMS) weapon system and a plethora of other sensor and ECCM equipment.

This capability should not, as discussed in other comment sections, be confused with an Air and Missile Defence capability as embodied by Sea Ceptor (CAMM(M)).

The Block II Aster 30’s have ballistic missile defence capability and these fit within the existing A-50 containers.

Aster 45 development appears to have gone quiet since MEAD (proposed Patriot replacement) hit the scene. Regardless of form, fitting an A-70 sized launcher to AAW specialist of Type 45’s alleged calibre and adding an Intercontinental Ballistic defence capability is a different kettle of fish, politically, to Block II Aster 30 squeezed into an A-50 sized VLS. Russia will find it harder to complain about defending against Iranian (comparatively) short range Ballistics when their own ICBM’s are comparatively safe, for now, as an example. The space on the T45, and by extension a Threat, from the UK is there however.

With regards hull length and beam of the Type 26, it’s not about the bigger numbers, it’s about the ratios. A longer, and thereby narrower ratio hull form (usually) means a faster boat. You also want a length and beam to accommodate the wave-length of the likely sea states you’re operating in. It’s fluid dynamics we’re dealing with rather than aerodynamics, focus on the waterline and subsurface lines. The higher freeboard is likely to mean a dryer fore deck too.

Type 26 certainly has more range, at least on paper, than contemporariness. A combination of fuel capacity, engine efficiency and hull form at work.

With regards to stealth, always remember that unless you’re going to the extreme that these features are intended to work with countermeasures, with less focus towards avoiding detection. You want your chaff, flares and other soft kills to be more attractive than your vessel.

With Satellite/UAV/CROWSNEST/etc detection, Sea Viper and F-35 CAP providing a dome against Airborne acquisition, T26 should be able to perform ASW operations without going active in the EM bands.

F-35, SSN, T26 and T23’s (until replaced) should also be available for Strike whether via stand-off munitions (TLAM, loitering, etc) or providing NGS (100km effective range with Vulcano?).

Peace-time operations should see a T26 able to slot into the role of a T23. Longe range, single vessel cruises. Helicopter, Small Craft launched from Davits, space on board for some equipment.

Who says we can’t squeeze a second helicopter further inside?

I’d be really interested to see how the “mission deck” is configured with regards loading equipment and power/water/sewage systems for containers.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix

“If you take the wider context, the defence budget is all the time being quoted as “about to touch” 2% of the GNP, when all in it is more like 2.7%”

Isn’t that due to national governments conflating operational spending with core defence budgets, whereas the NATO commitment is interested in only the latter?

p.s. isn’t nato also concerned with GDP rather than GNP insofar as the 2.0% guideline is concerned?

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_85966.htm?mode=pressrelease

[edit]

just noticed in the pdf linked that britain is pegged at 2.6% for 2011 (estimate).

that either means i’m wrong above or there are big drops ahead!

martin

@ Jedi – NATO target is based on GDP not GNP. I suppose the issue with the contingency budget is its only temporary. Doubt we will be getting another war the last 14 years any time soon.

Aussie Johnno
Aussie Johnno

Martin, the simplest example is radar, the RAN since the 60’s has had a policy of fitting long range air search radar to all frigates. The Dutch LW02 initially and more recently the US SPS-49. This makes perfect sense out here (and in the Indian ocean/Pacific generally) because of the distances and the likelyhood of dispersed operations. UK frigates since the T21 have omitted long range radars. This is also true of the T26. You only have to look at the rotation rate of the Artisan radar to realise it is set up for short to medium ranges. The unknown is how difficult would it be to change the radar given the single mast setup and what it would take to interface different sensors with the combat system.
The risk with the T26 is that the UK will offer a solution, rather than a series of options. Time will tell I guess.

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

The mast on the Type 26 concepts suggest an I-Mast approach to sensors (if not an actual I-Mast).

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

Johnno said: “UK frigates since the T21 have omitted long range radars.” – thats an interesting point. One of the capabilities of the leander class which is often overlooked was its long range radar.Similarly the Type 41/61 and Type 81 had long range radars – the diesel escorts for their AAW roles and the “Sloop” for the reason Johnno said, dispursed individual opetations.

Another Leander capability was its communication set up.

” HMS Achilles, the Leander Class was a superb maid of all work, one of their less obvious attributes was their ability to act as a communications centre with extensive MF/HF/UHF radio systems which would be augmented with satellite communications in later years”

http://www.leander-project.homecall.co.uk/Type%2012i.html

We may want a cheap patrol vessel but the capabilities a modern “Cruiser” role vessel requires may be that of a high end escort, or even in some areas better.

martin

@ Aussie John – The T26 is supposed to have an AAW version however the question would be what radar to fit. The USA is virtually out of the game of anything other than large fixed arrays. The LCS uses the Sea Giraffe from SAAB which is nearly identical to Artisan 3D. Rotating Phased arrays like SAMPSON are two heavy for anything other than a 7,000 t destroyer. Something like Heracles’ or the proposed SAMPSON light should fit on to a T26.

Unless the RAN follows S Korean and Japan and starts building something very much like a Burke I think they will eventually be forced to move down a more European style sensor fit. Given the lack of ballistic missile threat to Australia I just don’t see the RAN building anything like a Burke. If they fit European sensors they may choose to use European missiles such as CAMMS and Aster. The US seems to preoccupied with land attack capabilities and ABM capable ships. Most of it sensors and weapons are 30 + years old and while they were revolutionary at the time they are starting to look dated when put up against modern threats like BRAHMOS.
Maybe an Australian built T45 or FREMM is the best option for the RAN. However given the tight budgets and the need for more vessels I think T26 is a better option. Equipping it with Sea Ceptor and Aster 30 would still give a far better AAW capability than the current set up even if the Radar is not that great.

martin

@ The Other Chris

Is there a long range survalance radar in the I mast family? I can’t think of one.

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

@martin

The principle behind the I-Mast isn’t the sensor(s) specifically, it’s the structure, position, infrastructure and architecture that supports the sensor. The intention is to make it easier for you to fit and refit your own choices.

martin

@ The Other Chris

Yeah I get that but I was wondering if nay one had developed a long range radar that could go on it. At the moment Artisan seems to be the longest range radar I can find that can be used on it.

Anixtu
Anixtu

martin,

Australia already has an AAW class in the pipeline with the Aegis equipped Hobart class Air Warfare Destroyer. If they look at T26 it will be as an Anzac class replacement.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

Ozzie, Concur ref radars Artisan is a medium range 3D conventional radar. Looking out to approximately 120NM with declared detection ranges of 100Nm for aircraft and 26Nm for missiles. Based on MOD requirements vis height and RCS. Obviously normal limitations apply.
A more sensible solution than the 2 radar approach for the RAm would be to fit a multi purpose Phased array radar. One of the things coming out of the 45 is that the S1850 is almost superfluous given the range and capability of Sampson. A Phased array radar would also get rid of requirement for Fc radars, lose the long rage search radar. Therefore helping pay for itself and free up space on the upperdeck whilst allowing Standard missiles to be carried if required.

martin

@ Anixtu – The three Hobarts give the RAN a decent AAW capability so I don’t see a big radar as an issue for Australia in choosing T26. However going back to AJ’s point the the RAN is joined at the hip to the USN and will choose a US fit for political reasons, I just don’t see a US based solution for the RAN in replacing the ANZAC’s unless the RAN considers LCS which would be insane. The USN has left the small warship sensor space with even the LCS using a SAAB radar.

If the RAN wants a big air survalance radar I think they will have to develop it themselves because I just don’t see anything on the market that fits the bill that’s not a phased array and I don’t see the cost of a phased array as justified for the operational requirements of an ANZAC replacement.

steve taylor
steve taylor

Simon says ” an investment in smaller numbers of larger ships, which is the current trend is it not?”

No other things are driving ship size, the reduced numbers are due to “Peace Dividend”. I grant escort numbers were slowly decreasing before the end of the Cold War. But over the last 20 years numbers have decreased alarmingly. We are in a vacuum between the shift from a bi-polar to a multi-polar. As easy as it is to blame the MoD for lack of planning nobody as yet (apart from yours truly ;) ) has any angle on where we are going.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Swimming Trunks re Leander, radars, etc.

Back to what I said about “General Purpose” frigates in that other thread. :)

Jonesy
Jonesy

“If the RAN wants a big air surveillance radar I think they will have to develop it themselves because I just don’t see anything on the market that fits the bill that’s not a phased array”

Selex might beg to differ with you on that!. Their circa-400km ranged RAN-40L D-band air search set is almost exactly what you are citing requirement for and fits nicely into the hull size bracket discussed for T26. At least the MMI De la Pennes’ embark it on very similar hull dimensions.

Using an Artisan or Kronos style 3D set is more than adequate for most frigate applications though…including local area AAW.

martin

@ Jonesy Very nice had not come across that. I am inclined to agree with you that the Artisan is up to the job even for Australia’s needs.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

@ x – it appears (from a quick google search) that the 81’s, 41’s, 61’s and Leanders all had 965 long range air warning radar. Would the modern equivalent be the S1580M?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/S1850M#section_1

We don’t need the Sampson on a “Sloop”/cruiser role ship – not an AAW ship…

martin

Wonder if the S1580M could be fitted on a T26 AAW version?

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

Why are we discussing an AAW version of the T26?

steve taylor
steve taylor

ST said “We don’t need the Sampson on a “Sloop”/cruiser role ship – not an AAW ship…”

Not sure I said or even inferred that…….

As for Smart-L yes I suppose you could say that is the modern equivalent. Modern equipment is so capable it can be hard to make direct comparisons.

Ant
Ant

fyi
Decent article from DefenceManagement.com
Note the author. Congratulations Gabby.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

@ x – Sorry, didn’t mean to infer you did. Just that a Sloop doesn’t need to be a Type 46…

So for a sloop/cruiser (role) we need: range (diesels), helicopter (or two/UAV’s), LR Radar, self defence AA (RAM/Seaceptor?), good communications (possibly high level of bandwidth for UV’s), a sonar (what type?) and traditionaly a MCG. Now – whats the best hull to put all this in?

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Swimming Trunks

Thales UMS 4410 CL Hull sonar suite.

I have become increasingly fond of the pentamaran. A big one. High speeds with modest power. Good sea keeping. Should be a good radar platform too.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones

@ x – oohhhh pentamaran… Was always a fan of Trimarans… Multi-hull would be good for seakeeping and raising the radar but wouldn’t it be costly/risky to develop a new hull form?

Thales UMS 4410 CL Hull sonar looks good but expensive. This Sloop is getting expensive….

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi Jedi,

Have you noticed that in the relative (GNP/GDP)graph that the Treasury puts out (their website), the upturn (modest) for the defence expenditure is only in the year of the General Election?
– not that they would have a clue of what number they are dividing with!

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
Simon257
Simon257

If we want to sell the T26 to the rest of the world. We must offer not just ASW/GP variants, but also an AAW Variant.

All that BAE have shown is the basic design. They really should be showing different concept variants which suit the potential Foriegn customer, not just what the RN needs or wants. They could also have show what a stretched or a broad-beam variant might look like, or variants with different weapon and radar layouts as well. What suits the RN might not suit the needs of the Brazilians, Indians or Australians.

We have to show the full potential of the design now. Not in ten years time as an after thought.

Gareth Jones
Gareth Jones
All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

Simon 257. If BAE want to export it then fine, they can design other variants as required but not while they are working on the MOD dime! To be fair to BAE what we have seen so far is a baseline version. They will not even look at stretching or going broad beam until they have finalised the first version.
Weapons systems wise, all we have seen are indications of 2CWIS, 2 30MM transferred from the T23 and lots of silos. we do not yet know what flavour the silos are. Detailed planning of an AAW version without any firm interest could see BAE spending money on nothing. As a company i am sure they have some drawings somewhere and have been making enquiries.
How difficult would an AAW variant be? Well get rid of 997 and put a Multi Mode Phased Array such as Herakles or Sampson (if possible given its weight) on the mast, plug into command system. Put missiles as specified in silos. Probably a combo of Aster 30 and CAAM (can fit more in than Aster 15 with minimal performance loss). Specify your preferred options of Gun and CWIS systems and bobs your uncle. AAW version.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Swimming Trunks

If you poke about on the interweb you will come across some PDFs from BMT / Nigel Gee detailing a container ship that does something horrendous like 41kts. Most of the design work has been carried out. Having two outriggers on each beam helps with docking too. I have wondered if some sort of netting could be secured between the out riggers to help with stealth and/or missile protection. Outriggers could be armoured and the have the vital systems sitting behind them in the main hull. Greater beam means primer movers could be placed higher moving them out of shock zones. Long central hull, lots of subdivision; perhaps every other filled with containers or empty oil drums. The idea I think is to pour a 3,500t ship into a 10,000t hull as steel and fresh air is cheap. Of course the clever thing is the ships volume as such is outside the hull. Small crew. Armoured citadel perhaps? And Bob’s your aunty…

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Hi ST,

Your shipbucket (linked) VT derivative is better or equal to these LCS derivatives: http://www.sinodefenceforum.com/world-armed-forces/proposal-alternate-lcs-design-us-navy-3254.html

It is these sorts of things we need, as well as the gobally deployable… read the T26 just off the printing press
– the mix, and nothing but the mix (except the budget and the threat scenarios)

The Other Chris
The Other Chris
The Other Chris
The Other Chris

@Simon

“If we want to sell the T26 to the rest of the world. We must offer not just ASW/GP variants, but also an AAW Variant.”

Exactly!

The Other Chris
The Other Chris

@TD

“Export success results in royalties to the MoD which ultimately improves the chances of getting those precious 13 hulls in the water.”

Or more.

Ant
Ant

TD
Ah-no redemption or rehabilitation then?
OK

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ ACC

I have also considered pentamaran as a “barge” for SeaViper. It could sit at the centre of task groups. No need for a large crew or other sensors. Just missiles and perhaps CIWS. We would only need 3. This would free T45 to become a proper destroyer in line with US, European, and others’ destroyers.

(FWIW IMHO MHPC is weapons grade rhubarb.)

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

To all, Does anyone know that such an animation does not exist? we are not trying to attract walk in buyers to a show room. The MOD released the CGI we have seen. perhaps other interested parties for whatever reason do not want to release any CGI that have been done for them. What we have seen so far is the baseline model. We have not yet seen the differences in appearance if any between the GP and ASW, I do not think there will be any. We have not yet decided precisely what CWIS system will go on. We do not even know the exact Propulsion system to be fitted or what type and variants the silos are.
What will be happening is an awful lot of behind the scenes conversations with potential export customers about exactly what their requirements may be.
It is no coincidence that the exact specs of the RN version have also not been announced. If common ground and slight compromise can make versions more similar and drive down costs for everyone.

jedibeeftrix
jedibeeftrix

“Or more.”

Hell yes.

9x ASW and 6x GP would be just swell.

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