DSEI 2013 Highlights – The Type 26 Global Combat Ship

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The design of the Type 26 Global Combat Ship continues to evolve with yet another model on display.

There were also a number of contract announcements, so, what is the current state of play with the Type 26 Global Combat Ship, or more specifically, what has changed since the last time I wrote about the subject (with a whopping 541 comments)

Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI 2013

Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI 2013

Type 26 Global Combat Ship DSEI 2013

Main Gun

Still no decision on the Maritime Indirect Fire System (MIFS)

BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 - main gun
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 – main gun

The two contenders are Babcock/Oto Melara with their 127/64 LW and BAE with the Mk 45 Mod 4 5inch/62 calibre system. Both are in service, both are very capable and both are able to use precision guided and extended range ammunition although the development path for these capabilities is still being defined, designed and trialled with differing approaches.

Flight Deck

The last time a design animation was revealed the flight deck looked somewhat smaller than the model revealed at DSEi

BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate - helicopter deck size
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate – helicopter deck size

The latest design looks much larger, able to accommodate a Chinook

BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 - Chinook on helicopter deck
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 – Chinook on helicopter deck
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 - helicopter deck with Chinook
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 – helicopter deck with Chinook

There are also a number of recessed areas for mooring fittings and small calibre gun positions

Silo Positions

This aspect seems to be one of the biggest changes with the previous uptake/exhaust arrangement being changed.

At the forward position are 4 sets of 6 CAMM/Sea Ceptor launchers for a total of 24 missiles and amidships, is what appears to be an identical configuration

BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 - forward missile silo
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 – forward missile silo
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 - amidships missile silo near funnel
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 – amidships missile silo near funnel
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 - amidships missile silo near funnel
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 – amidships missile silo near funnel
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 - amidships
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 – amidships

In the forward position are 16 ‘strike length cells’ of non-determined type, a change from the 24 on the previous design.

CIWS Position

In the previous iteration the Phalanx CIWS were mounted adjacent to the front cells and the hangar roof.

BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate - CIWS detail on old design
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate – CIWS detail on old design
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 - stern
BAe Royal Navy Type 26 Frigate at DSEi 2013 – stern

Propulsion and Gearbox

As expected, Rolls Royce have been confirmed as providing the MT30 system

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.rolls-royce.com/news/press_releases/2013/11092013_type_26_global.jsp”]

CODLAG it is then!

David Brown Gear Systems will provide the create the detailed design for the gearbox and associated equipment

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.davidbrown.com/david-brown-wins-type-26-design-contract”]

Communications

Again, not unexpectedly, Rhode and Schwarz will provide the integrated communications system

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://www.corporate.rohde-schwarz.com/en/news_events/press/press_releases/press-Rohde_%26_Schwarz_wins_design_down_select_for_the_Royal_Navy%E2%80%99s_future_Type_26_Global_Combat_Ship.html”]

Multi Mission Bay and Hangar

There does seem to be a lot of confusion about this but it will be central to the flexibility of the Type 26. I have included the two in the same section because they are linked.

The hangar will be able to accommodate a single Merlin or pair of Wildcats and this space will be separated from the mission bay with an ingenious door arrangement that can be fixed in a number of positions.

There is a single mechanical handling equipment system that runs the length of the bay and hangar meaning that containers, boats or other equipment can be landed on the flight deck and transferred to the mission bay (assuming the hangar is clear). The roll doors on the hull sides can be retracted and containers or boats loaded and unloaded by the same arrangements through them from a quayside.

The mission bay can accommodate 10 Twenty Foot ISO containers and can be seen in this video

Summary

Seems to me that the design team are making good progress within the obvious funding constraints

Of course we would all like more of this or a bigger that (stop sniggering at the back) but let’s be realistic about what is achievable.

No doubt things will change yet again as the design matures, problems appear and compromises made so at the next major naval exhibition there will be another model and yet more speculation about the position of the silos even though this model is the one that will be taken to the next main gate!

To close, something from RT

The lovely lady is Patrizia from Barcelona.  She has a special message for the navy blue on TD (although the last bit seems a bit blurred – Besos de Navantia y los pantalones rojos (Kisses from Navantia and Red Trousers), and one just for you…. ;)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/73614187@N03/9739318649/

H/T Red Trousers for the images and interesting snippets

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Opinion3
Opinion3

What a great post.

Thank you to TD, RT and P from B :-)

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

The RT

Last bit made me laugh. Did you get her number?

I really like where we are going here, hope BAE are switched on enough to have an AD variant on the plans featuring a 32 cell strike length silo forad and retaining the 24 Sea Ceptor aft with Artisan replaced by something like EMPAR.
Not going to be T45 or Arleigh Burke rival but if price stays down would offer a fabulous cheap air defence solution that would be good enough to 95% of the worlds navies.

Mark
Mark

Superb post I like the type 26 looks right to me. Well done RT and the lovely Patrizia for carrying of a superb message.

Chuck Hill

Think the joining of mission bay and hangar is an outstanding idea that will be see on a lot of future combatants.

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved

This is looking and sounding more and more like what we actually need – the evolved Type 23 with lessons learned from that class. It is still being sold as the Austerity Frigate, but there are great ideas here as well. I won’t be surprised if lots of the goodies are fitted ‘for but not with’, especially Phalanx as we simply do not have enough mounts to go around even now and more are unlikely to appear in the contract. There are still problems with it as well – no dedicated holding area for detainees, no centralised data capture system and no flag briefing space, all simple little ideas that would cost nothing but enable more capability. And that crane system in the hangar/mission bay fills me with dread – we have an awful reputation when it comes to such systems – Type 23 torpedo handler, OCEAN’s davits for LCVPs and the Type 45 boat launch/recovery system is an accident waiting to happen. We just need to hurry up and start cutting steel.

Fedaykin

@SomewhatRemoved

I suppose that is the curiosity thing about T26, whilst it is being presented as the austerity Frigate it actually packs more punch then any post Second World War vessel in the Royal Navy. I am really looking forward to seeing them enter the fleet. I am also interested to see how the USN views them, the T26 on paper offers significant capabilities over the LCS. Actually whilst I see the T26 as a pragmatic development building on our experinces with T22 Batch 3, T23 and T45 the US LCS is a complex over priced under equipped boondoggle.

Opinion3
Opinion3

Do we have a MV22 capable T26 here? Or maybe a F35 capable one?

Would be strap a F35 to a frigate if we played Falklands War again with the Argies?

wheatleymr

I note it is now 16 strike-length cells rather than 24. Perhaps this indicates the selection of Mk-41 over Sylver A70?

Sylver A-70 has a deck area of 2.6m x 2.3m, whilst Mk-41 is 135″ x 103″ = 3.43m x 2.62m,
I.e. 6m2 vs. 9m2

So is the space on the T-26 enough for either 3 Sylver modules (of 8 cells) or 2 Mk-41 modules (of 8), as per customer requirements?
And if so, is that the right choice? Would it not be better to have 24 Scalp-N rather than 16 Tomahawk?

Then again, is the “land attack” requirement less about a relatively small number of cruise missiles, and more about precision long-range naval gunfire and/or helicopters that can effectively attack inland targets?

Also, I’m worried we are putting to much into these ships: they need to be cheap, and I note that the “net book value” of the most recent T-45 is only £434m.
– Firstly, is that an accurate measure of the total cost to the government of series build for the T-45?
– And if so, that seems a bit close to the T-26 goal cost of £350m, especially if the latter does not include the cost of SeaCeptor & Artisan, which HM Gov does need to pay for, and has yet to pay for, after all.

Challenger
Challenger

I’m still curious as to what the differences will be between the ASW and GP variants in UK service. The GP ships obviously won’t have TAS but what else will they scrimp on to keep costs down? It’s an interesting balance between trying to get as many hulls in the water as possible whilst also ending up with an acceptable level of capability.

I can never decide as to whether id prefer 12 fully kitted hulls or 8 of those and as many as possible of a sparsely ‘fitted for not with’ platform. A main gun, basic AAW systems and the flight-deck + hangar/mission bay are all a T26 would need to sufficiently undertake Indian Ocean counter-piracy and West Indies drug interdiction/humanitarian aid operations, basically anything that doesn’t involve high-end war-fighting and task-group escort duties.

I think you need to either invest more heavily in fully equipped high-end warships or have a more defined split between them and a significantly cheaper and more basic variant. I just don’t like this wishy washy GP stuff.

Jed

SomewhatRemoved – how do you know there is no dedicated “brig” ? Why should it have one, its a warship not a Coastguard Cutter ! However if the multi mission bay takes 20ft ISO containers, other is your “modular detainee holding area” and / or “flag plot” – although I don’t understand why you want that either !!

Challenger – agreed, you don’t need a GP T26 to do counter-piracy / drugs type MSO, you need a cheap OPV manned by the RFA ! However a GP T26 at some point can be “upgraded” or the TASS moved from a different hull as it goes into refit / deep maintenance, giving some flexibility to fleet management.

Bug
Bug

Type 26 is viewed by many here (I’m in Australia) as favourite for the mid/long-term replacement of the ANZAC class frigates both Australia and New Zealand use. Both navies are to go/are going thru upgrade programmes for their respective vessels but that extends their replacement dates to probably 2022-2025, or thereabouts.

Whether this includes Sea Ceptor or retains ESSM (or one of its future developments) is a moot question at this early stage. The Sea Ceptor firing trials out of LM Mk 41 VLS is interesting tho……….

martin

@ TD
A very interesting read and the summary really made me giggle, well done.

This design seems to be getting much closer to the finished ship that will be delivered and it seems like a very good design to me especially if it can be delivered for £350 million. The announcement of the reduction in the VLS silos from 24 to 16 is welcome if it still shows than the ships will have them from the start and it shows we are getting to Mk41 instead of the A70.

martin

@ Mike

“And if so, is that the right choice? Would it not be better to have 24 Scalp-N rather than 16 Tomahawk?”

We should not see the strike length launchers as just space for TLAM. They the vessel a full range of capability from land attack missiles to, anti-submarine weapons, air defence, ballistic missile defence and ant ship missiles. In all respects the Mk41 should offer superior capabilities to the A70.
@ Fedaykin
“building on our experinces with T22 Batch 3, T23 and T45 the US LCS is a complex over priced under equipped boondoggle.”
Agreed, I think the US Navy could benefit greatly from a T26 type vessel. With current moves to reduce LCS purchase to 24 we could well see it. Seem to remember Romney also calling for a US navy frigate.
@ Chuck hill
“Think the joining of mission bay and hangar is an outstanding idea that will be see on a lot of future combatants.”
I agree, should massively increase the capability of the ship especially when required to carry more air assets. I think it’s a major boost over the LCS type mission bay. In fairness the LCS mission bay is more optimised for MCM roles which would support the need to have it lower down with better access to the water but for a frigate its far more likely to require additional air assets.

Repulse

Thanks @TD & @RT – great post and pics.

On the AD version, I would be interested in what radar fit they are designing for. EMPAR is an option, but what about a secondary long range radar? Can the design handle the additional top weight?

Rocket Banana

Well done TD and RT,

Shame the last picture is blurred – you can still just make out the wonderfully made point that we should have wined-and-dined the lovely Navantia lady to get 4 Juan Carlos ;-)

Just noticed the lipstick smack – I presume that’s RT’s :-)

Fedaykin

@Martin

The amazing thing about LCS is they decided to go forward and award continued production contracts to both competing designs! Which is almost absurd when it comes to sensible spending, it isn’t even that both competing designs have a similar systems fit, they both require their own maintenance chain from the prime contractors.

That they didn’t award the ongoing production contract to one winner and keep the other vessel as a trials ship beggars belief. Both of them lack facilities to render even basic repairs meaning contractors have to be flown out to wherever an LCS is deployed if there is problems. They are classed as less survivable then the Perry Class they are replacing.

T26 on paper so far has the same features that are apparently special to LCS:

Modular mission bay: tick
Large helicopter pad: tick

But also has a system and weapons fit vastly superior:

Better main gun: tick
Better missile fit: tick
Better radar: tick
Better ASW fit: tick
Better ability to repair itself: tick
Better growth potential: tick

About the only area I would rate LCS over T26 is the MCM fit an even then that isn’t ready yet for LCS and there is no reason why that capability couldn’t be fitted to T26 is so desired.

steve taylor
steve taylor

Super pic’s RT. I don’t see T26 as an austerity frigate. Yes we won’t have enough and then there will be the ever present curse of FFBNW. But we could have ended up with something far simpler and initially cheaper say a CODAD a la RSN Formidable. Still want them all to have TAS. Don’t see why an AAW variant couldn’t work, 8 of please, leaving T45 to sit at the centre of task groups. All good stuff.

PS: I eventually find the Spanish lady in the last picture. She is standing behind that awesome model of the JC. Do I get a house point?

steve taylor
steve taylor

Fedaykin said “About the only area I would rate LCS over T26 is the MCM fit an even then that isn’t ready yet for LCS and there is no reason why that capability couldn’t be fitted to T26 is so desired.”

I hope that was said with tongue firmly in cheek. :)

Opinion3
Opinion3

Mike W’s observation about maybe the silos being switched to Mk41 from Sylver is an interesting one. I don’t know the extra cost between the various types but there seems to be a general assumption that Mk57 won’t be considered.

These silos are certainly something we could fit but not fill to save some pennies up front. In reality we should have plenty of money to play with. Big ticket items

Sonar, CAMM(M), Radar, Helicopter, and I think the mission systems will all have been paid for. Even the decoys and electronic countermeaures will probably come from the T23. So presumably this £350M is paying for the design, ship build and engines. New comms and better computers and a network to run everything on, CIWS, VLS and a main gun. Is that the grand total of the big ticket items? To me it seems we should have sufficient to build what we want and need.

The german F125 has been designed to stay a sea for longer periods. This appears to be a misleading statement because it’s range is much smaller than the T26 but my question is what could we do to extend our capabilities. The mission space (10 TECs) is massive in comparison to their 2 TECs.

steve taylor
steve taylor

F125 at least has hangar space to carry 2 NH90s. Just sayin’…….

R38
R38

@BUG

My understanding – others better informed will correct me – is that the design has been conceived to make different weapons and sensor fits (relatively) easy to implement for other customers. Since the RAN and RNZN have long been identified as one of the most promising export markets, I assume / hope the ship is designed with weight / space / power / stability etc margins for RAN/RNZN equipment, especially what looks to be your superb new radar.

Hopefully, therefore, as the RN plans to do with T23 equipment, the RAN will be able to migrate expensive systems from the ANZACS – Mk 45, aesa radar, CMS etc. – to reduce acquisition costs

Opinion3
Opinion3

@x we should be able to take two Lynxs or a Merlin and probably a UAV.

Also as the NH90 is only a meter or so longer it might actually be the case that it could fit two NH90s. Although I do appreciate width is probably the more important dimension. Could our mission space we used for extra birds?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@X
F125 costs £530 million has a PDMS and no sonar :)

The Other Chris

@Opeinion3 asked:
“Would be strap a F35 to a frigate…

The Brits have a mental track record for abusing what they have at hand to do what they need when pushed: Non-marinised Apache operations from an LPH, WOMBAT equipped Land Rovers, Vulcan-refueled Vulcans on Global Tours, bivvies in a Challenger II, U-2 interceptions with a stripped down BAC Lightning, moving a giant port about a mile to the right, chicken-warmed nuclear land mines…

A devious bunch at times, eh?

Wouldn’t surprise me if the RAF got together with the RN to perform a RATO with a refurbished Jaguar loaded with concrete bombs from the deck of a River class if they were in a bind…

Opinion3
Opinion3

@APATS whats a PDMS?

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ APATS

When I am put in charge of naval procurement everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, will be 2 Merlin capable. :)

TBH I never give much thought to F125. It is a complete cock-up. Apparently I am lead to believe that Germans, or some of them, consider their navy to be too small. And we all know what happened last time they thought that……..

The Other Chris

Point Defence Missile System.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Opinion 3

The point was the Germans, God bless ’em, built an escort that can carry their largest naval helicopter in 2’s. It wasn’t the actual model of helicopter that concerns me.

PDMS means Point Defence Missile System such as SeaWolf. Designed to knock out air threats approaching the ship. I is short range not an area weapon that can engage crossing targets.

As for Wildcat well I would say if we had dual hangers we could carry 3 or more. A better solution to the FAC problem or >cough< swarm problem.

Opinion3
Opinion3

NH90 goes 3820 x 13640
AW159 goes 3050 x 13490
AW101 goes 5720 x 15750

all folded dimensions.

The Other Chris

Wonder what the “ingenious doorway” width between the hangar and mission bay is?

5721 by any chance? That could give x his two Merlin’s…

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

X,

would it be simpler if our helicopters had folding tails as well as blades? I’ve got a Brompton bike that lives in the boot of my car. Folds up to about the size of a briefcase.

Strikes me that a helicopter folded for parking and packing should be no longer than one blade plus the distance from main rotor hub to its’ nose, and a couple of metres across. Even shorter if you don’t need it for a while and take the blades off. You can still drag it around a hangar on its’ little dolly wheels with something painted yellow and black.

I think the Andrew need a consultation with Mary Poppins on how to pack properly (and they’d quite like her VTOL brolly. I remember being impressed with that as a child, and even more so when watching the film with my own children).

Rocket Banana

RT,

That is how our SK and Merlin fold.

Your sizing is almost spot on too.

Folded Merlin

Challenger
Challenger

It’s a dam shame the T26 isn’t designed to accommodate 2 Merlin’s, but with a lot of other stuff being crammed onto a 5400 ton ship and a mission bay in the mix is having that kind of sized hangar even possible?

It would be nice but with CVF at the centre of the RFTG and hopefully a few MARS SSS scattered around I wouldn’t say fitting extra helicopters onto the T26/T45 beyond what’s already planned is a priority.

X aren’t you the one who is always saying we don’t need more hangar space, just plenty of flight-deck space spread across the fleet?

steve taylor
steve taylor

http://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints-depot/helicopters/agusta/aw101-helicopter-folded.png

Helicopters can bring so much added capability that it should have been a driver from the get go. These ships aren’t small. It isn’t like trying to squeeze a Wasp into a T12 or T81. The Canadians realised this an age back and used to operate two Sea King from escort sized hulls. The helicopter is today’s T14 without the cost of a ship’s crew, it is the FAC without a boat’s crew.

I will stop harking on about it now.

PS: My joke about the RAF forming an RN co-op squadron (heavy) with the new
Chinooks seems to be less of a joke and more of a goer……..

PPS: Needs a crane too for launching amphibious UAVs.

PPPS: I will fetch my coat…. :)

Rocket Banana

You could probably fit two Merlin abreast if you were happy to sacrifice the LO provided by the sloping sides.

Basically a folded Merlin is 6m wide. You need about 1m between the two (13m) and at least 1m either side of that for a balcony and walkway (15m). This leaves 5m of beam to slope two 7m high sides which is an angle of about 20 degrees. Doable but not very practical and does not allow much else either side and doesn’t really support maintenance of both cabs during bad weather, you’ll always have to put one on the deck to be able to move stuff around it.

Opinion3
Opinion3

@TD

I thought the CIWS doesnt exist on the T23 and the gun is a new fit = new expense. Are these scheduled for the T23 refit?

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts

2087s: Operate as a pair; Type 45 providing AAW as shot-gun. Used to flank a HVU with support. Two such flotillas will be sufficient (each with an SSN sniffing about).

Kit:

48 Sea-Ceptor,
5″ Gun,
Merlins,
UUVs,
Rhibs,
Cannons and small-arms.

No need for Strike-length Mk41! That is for Dave-B and StormShadow to undertake (or what is the point of a strike-carrier)…!

GP: Singletons or flotilla (MHPC) leaders. Choke-points; C2.

Kit:

16 Strike-Length Mk41 (8 x SLCM, 8x {ASuW, AAW})*.
48 Sea-Ceptor,
5″ Gun,
2 x Lynx Wild-Cat,
UUVs,
Rhibs,
Cannons and small-arms.

No supporting air-cover. Need to be able to “punch” over long distances.

If you play chess then you would call the 2087s the knights (or horsies); randomly moving pieces that are good at the start and end of a battle. The GPs are bishops: They have good range; can fight autonomously and cut off the flanks.

Costs should not nor be not the issue: IIRC a 2087 sonar-piece will cost about £27 million. Buying four extra peices for the cost of an [£350 million] ship is perplexing!

Let the MoD go back to the C1 and C2 doctrine: The T26 class can fulfill both. Each part of the programme should have a role within a future Royal Navy despite SDSR2015….

* Feck-it! If the 2087s are FFBNW Mk41 then reallocate the spare Mk41 unitss to GP. Eight of each: SLCM, AAW, ASuW….

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Opinion 3

I wouldn’t worry about the CIWS in the pic’s. See it more as an indicator that the ship can have a “unit” of that “size” at that location in the future.

Rocket Banana

Fluffy,

I’d be happy with your “no need for strike length VLS” if we had a proper carrier with proper strike aircraft and proper SEAD capability.

As it stands with a non LO (in total) Storm Shadow strapped to the bottom of a 450nm radius bird I’d very much like the ability to smash some radars, airstrips and SAM silos up with a few TLAM (or new one) from 600nm a few hours prior to being within range of a series of “tidy up” sorties to interdict Bob The Builder and his merry bunch of radar fixer-uppers.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@simon remember storm shadow itself has a range of 270 nautical miles. So the Carrier could be 600 miles plus offshore when the raid is launched.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Simon

Come on now. Surely it is better that strike missions are launched from hundreds of miles away so they can be scrubbed because the picture on the ground has changed during the transit time to target? We don’t buy shiny missiles to blow them up you know or aeroplanes to expose them to enemy fire. Next you will be wanting a ship a hundred or so miles off the target coast ready to act at a moment’s notice to intelligence and whilst waiting for the call for fire doing other tasks like surveilling the enemy’s coast and airspace, interdicting shipping, etc. I am surprise you haven’t been banned from Think RAF before now for heresy you silly sausage you. ;)

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Simon

Don’t forget that TLAM Block IV can have range of 900nm…….. :)

The Other Chris

@Simon

Why do you consider Storm Shadow (a “stealth” cruise missile) carried underneath an F-35 (a “low-observable” aircraft) to be non-LO?

Rocket Banana

x,

You know full well that I’d prefer strike sorties to be launched from 1000’s of miles away at a nice sedate, Sunday morning type of sortie rate. Much better use of tax payers money.

Why would I want a warship capable of rapid reaction? I’d much prefer mobilising a slow moving ground force using skiffs and rubber dingies that can have a “good chat” with the loud mouthed yobos and give them a stiff telling off.

Rocket Banana

ToC,

Because of maths and geometry.

Mark
Mark

I see we’re into Tom Clancy navy only ops again.

The Other Chris

@Simon

Could you expand further please?

Details on the external pylons themselves have not been fully released into the public domain, however it is reasonable to assume that Low Observable characteristics are being baked into their designs.

A typical scenario on approach to a Storm Shadow delivery given the ranges involved (200nm+) would be a forward aspect presented to an observer.

Storm Shadow itself protrudes in front of the wings on the available pylons (3 and 9 on Bravo model).

Upward, Downward and Outboard scatterings would be away from the aircraft given that positioning. Inboard scattering would be oblique against a low-observable surface coating and geometry, diffusing secondary scattering further.

Maths and geometry would suggest that any additional return from the carriage at a maximum release point would be… miniscule.

steve taylor
steve taylor

I think we are into value for money for the UK taxpayer territory more like. And even more importantly ensuring that our few manned aircraft operate in a sky that though not benign is certainly a margin safe.

The Other Chris

@Simon

My reply comment appears to have been eaten (I can’t see it in the spam or moderation folders) but simply put:

Can you expand on your maths and geometry please? I contend that any additional return, especially at the release ranges we’re discussing, would be minimal.

The Other Chris

Comment system shenanigans. Original comment at 2:03pm has returned. Apologies for any confusion.

Bob
Bob

Current VLS arrangement is silly and is probably being driven by a desire to keep costs down by being able to reuse the cells from the Type 23 class which if you ask me is especially short-sighted. It would be far more logical to add whatever length is required to the hull (if any, probably very little) to provide space for an additional 16 Mk41/Sylver in the place of the forward 24 CAMM cells. A frigate design with ready space for 32 Mk41/Sylver would be very competitive on the export market- especially if being able to swap Artisan for SAMSON was an option.

Rocket Banana

Sorry Chris, I forgot the question mark at the end of my overly flippant reply. Didn’t mean it to sound as rude as it was when I re-read it :-)

The basis for my statement is in the fact that a lot of the frontal LO comes from geometry and the reflection of radio waves away from the source and away from any other obtrusion (a good example is the jet intake making sure not to reflect off the turbine blades).

If you put two wedges (point towards the observer) together you form a cavity in which just about any radio wave will reflect back. I think this is due to cavitation and standing waves but can;t really remember. I just don’t see the sum of the RCS of the F35 and SS being equal to the individual components. I’d guess it will be substantially greater even when they work on the pylon design.

I’d suggest the best solution is a conformal weapon. But that will lower the overall lift of the wings and still produce a massive EM spike when the weapon is released.

Where’s Somewhat when you need him/her?

Rocket Banana

No worries Chris, my response will be with you when it has been vetted and approved ;-)

Opinion3
Opinion3

Has anyone heard anything more on SPECTAR? Maybe this might fit on a T26 instead of SAMPSON. Which would surely not as afterall that what one of the reasons we went with T45 rather than Horizon.

Mark
Mark

This weeks defence news is majoring on an interview with first sea lord who spoke very well in a straight forward manner. And in particular on type 26 and carriers

http://www.defensenewstv.com/video.php?bctid=2670193158001

Rocket Banana

Mark,

Wow. That guy is one hell of a politician.

Nice to have the conclusions we have come to here laid out by the top brass.

Thanks for posting that.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Mark

Thanks. :)

@ All

Do I hear a hallelujah? Do I? :)

Mark
Mark

He makes the RN case straight fwd and simply no mention of scrapping other services or any other inter service nonsense. This is who we are what we do and we have some excellent capabilities.

I would expect nothing less from an aviator!

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ TD

You would have had a triple letter score for warfighter.

@ Mark

He is a sailor who specialises in driving a particular vehicle. A product of BRNC. Let’s not get carried away with any of this WAFU business. The subtext definitely was in straighten times the navy is all that the country needs. Play it backwards and the audio says “scrap the RAF” repeatedly. True. :) ;)

The Other Chris

@Simon

Ahh I see :)

Wavelength of the radar in this case would be smaller than the gap between the package and the fuselage, so the wavefront would move through the gap with little change in it’s shape.

You need a gap closer to the wavelength to cause the wavefront to radiate from the gap and create the interference (constructive/destructive) that I think you’d need to get the kind of reflection beyond the gap that I think you’re thinking about.

The gap between the package and the underside of the wing would be closer to the wavelength numbers:

Ku band is 1.8cm
X band is 3.2cm
L band is between 21 and 24cm

Some good animations on wiki of all places [1]. Slit represents the gap between package and wing/fuselage.

First animation would be a gap equal to the wavelength [2]. Strong signal radiating behind the slit as the waveform is altered.

Second animation would be a gap wider than the wavelength [3]. Wave pretty much passing through with a weak diffraction.

[1] Diffraction Formalism.
[2] Gap matching wavelength, strong diffraction and wavefront alteration.
[3]
Gap wider than wavelength, weaker diffraction and wavefront alteration.

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved

x, what’s the point of designing a ship capable of 2 Merlins when we can’t afford enough Merlins to put one on each ship we have, let alone two?

Sorry guys, but the internal RN strapline is that the T26 IS the Austerity Frigate. Feel free to argue otherwise. Remember that all you have is a model to go on.

Jed, internal word from a friend in the design team. And whilst it isn’t technically difficult, it’s just symptomatic of a wider failure to learn lessons from current platforms. Personally I don’t care where they get locked into but it is an enabling capability of a warship so why not address it? All it takes is a door with a little window and a steel loo.

Fluffy, could you expand on your ideas for warship chess? Would that mean the Queen Elizabeth is actually a King? F35’s for pawns? I’d happily buy a set!

Mark
Mark

Maybe this could be off benefit

http://powellsafetysolutions.com/containment-prison-cells/

Can’t believe I posted a container post

dave haine
dave haine

Part of the multi mission bay then…

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ Somewhat

How long does to build a ship? What is the quickest way you could improve a frigate’s combat capability?

If you have two Merlin sized hangers you can carry two Merlins sized aircraft, or a combination of other helicopters. I very much doubt when T42 was designed it was envisioned that it would fight a war in the upper reaches of the Gulf where its biggest contribution was as a base for Lynx. I understand and can see evidence of what the helicopter has done for naval warfare. I have yet to be convinced of the value of 10 TEU buried deep with the hull beyond perhaps giving Clubs an indoor play area or the galley extra stores space.

As for austerity as I said above if T26 had come out looking like a RSN Formidable class I would go with that idea. It isn’t.

I find it odd that you categorise what appears to be a well thought out design as shall I say lacklustre? And then criticise me for some sort of what I will term platform largess.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@X

“I understand and can see evidence of what the helicopter has done for naval warfare. I have yet to be convinced of the value of 10 TEU buried deep with the hull beyond perhaps giving Clubs an indoor play area or the galley extra stores space”
Instead of having 2 hours at dawn and dusk of precious helicopter hours being used on surface search. My mission bay allows virtually 24/7 UAV operation. Expanding my line of sight, allowing a far better RMP and more targeted use of my Organic Rotary Wing Asset.
On boarding ops instead of making do with ship borne Rhibs I can utilise bigger Rhibs embarked for the task as well as USVs for security.
Intelligence gathering, simple just plug the relevant module in. Need better medical facilities, embark them. UUVs yes, accommodation modules, definitely.
Sorry X but thinking back on years of actual Ops the number of times I would have appreciated the capabilities a mission bay offers vastly outweighs the number of times I pined for a second Merlin sized helo. Give the capabilities of 2087 would 2 Wildcat weapon carriers actually offer a better balance of overall capability even for an ASW T26?
Love to have both but if I had to choose it becomes a no brainer.

Mark
Mark

TD I hoping its a mild case. I don’t have room in the garden to start a container collection!

Does reports not say you can get two lynx in the hanger like the type 45 as well as accomadation for 70 extra people. I mean that and the mission bay sound pretty gd to me.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

TD,

the world of containers is so broad that it may possibly make the Andrew’s head explode. I personally favour all sorts of inventive new uses for rockets in a box poking out of the side of the ship, and let’s not forget to have a waterslide for those couple of hours of fun in between chasing down pirates or drugs.

However, when the mission bay is empty, I suggest an RN variant of cage cricket. Of course, any truly posh CO (there are still some in the Andrew) will immediately come up with a nautical variant of Fives (see http://ukwallball.co.uk/about-us/fives-federation/ , the webified and cool version). We had three open air courts at school, and once you’ve broken your hand in (gloves are for sissies) it’s a decent way to achieve superiority over your classmates which lasts for life. The only game I’ve ever represented the country in (versus India, we won 22-7, but let’s face it there’s only around 10,000 people globally who’ve ever played it and are still alive).

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@RT
How little you know about “flight deck” sports. Non stop cricket is a non starter in a mission bay but 2 of the old favorites would be in.

1. Deck Hockey, imagine Ice Hockey but with no pads and more contact, pucks made from wood wrapped maskers and sticks of various descriptions. broken bones are quite common and a lot of CO’s have banned it.

2. Bucket Ball, full contact netball, 3 steps only aim to get “ball” in bucket held by your goal keeper. Officially no contact, actually full on! Great fun.

‘Mark

yes, 1 Merlin or 2 wildcat, thx for 1 SL link. T26 looking like a good design. Gun capable 60NM plus precision engagement, 16 strike Length cells, 48 sea ceptor for 15NM plus range AAW capability, CWIS and 30MM. Mission bay, hangar big enough for 2 wild cat or 1 merlin, CODLAG propulsion, 2087 sonar. what is not too like.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

APATS,

my knowledge of what the Andrew do for games is limited to being on (not “in”, as I refused to sleep below the waterline) Bristol on a Baltic cruise with around 80 BRNC cadets on board. All sorts of fun, yes deck hockey but I do recall it being very strictly supervised by the XO. Actually not much deck space on Bristol, either. We played British Bulldogs onshore as a warm up for my 24 hour evasion exercise for the cadets – oddly for a game that was completely normal at school (and I was only 24 at the time) some of the cadets had never heard of it.

Am I alone in thinking of a Field Gun competition for the 21st Century? Get one of TD’s ISOs (this one with rockets) from flight deck to mission bay past 2 Wildcat and negotiating the broken ingenious internal door, pop off several Sea Ceptors sideways, then run the empty ISO back to the flight deck? SomewhatRemoved say the mechanical handling will never work based on past experience, so the manual ISOing might be a skill the Andrew need to develop.

Fedaykin

@Bob

As I understand it no decision has been made about what VLS to use on T26, whilst CAMM on T23 will use the Sea Wolf VLS cells that isn’t a done deal for T26.

The recent test with MK41 VLS is an interesting move and the missile is advertised as compatible with the A70 launcher as well.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@Fedaykin

Interesting, apparently you put 4 sea Ceptor in a capsule which then fits inside a Mk41 Cell. Now whilst i hate to agree with Bob, a 32 Mk41 cell forad 24 Sea Ceptor specific cell aft arrangement makes sense.

Allows 26 Cells to be used for Land Attack/Anti ship and still have 48 sea Ceptor or have 24 cells dedicated to Land attack/Anti ship with 56 Sea Ceptor carried. either way an incredibly useful load out.

SR
SR

x, the joy is that we get to disagree and I’m not convinced that I’m speaking at cross purposes. Modifying designs to operate two aircraft instead of one is not a small modification. Modifying something to operate two aircraft the size and complexity of Merlin is a massive mod. Merlin has to be moved about the flight deck using built in handling systems, not simply little ram handlers like Lynx, so you’ve added costly complexity already. The acquisition of military equipment has to be in keeping with our economic capacity, and spending money on an unlikely growth area like double Merlin hangars takes it away from basics like guns, radios and sensors, all of which have greater validity and relevance in the current climate.

Fed, SeaCeptor will not use the SeaWolf tubes. It will come in its own custom launch tube, with a door on top. The SeaWolf launcher is an incredibly agricultural thing, just a GRP tube with guides for the fins. Did you know that the cover is actually glass? At the moment of firing the cover shatters before the exhaust efflux pushes it all out. Sweeping up the decks after a firing is a bloody nightmare. So trust me, it won’t be reused for SeaCeptor! TD posted a presentation which included the T23 CSP on it some months ago, and on it was the clear design for the launcher, that is the existing silo roofed over and 12 cells concentrated on the port side only. We’ve also seen those designs on in-house briefings.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ SR

Um the point is it should have been designed from the get go not that the current iteration of the design should be altered.

As for “the acquisition of military equipment has to be in keeping with our economic capacity” yes balanced against inclusion of margins for growth or contingency. Steel is cheap and air is free (relatively). As I said above I doubt when T42 was launched, now there is an austerity (re)design for you, that it would fight a war as a mini-helicopter carrier in littorals but ii did. We don’t know what is coming down the line either in terms of international affairs or technology. But I have faith that the next few wars that the UK fights will involve helicopters. If we have a year or two’s lead up to a crisis a la 1930s I know it will be easier for the UK to build 12 extra helicopters than it would be to build 12 extra ships, as you say keeping within our economic capacity. A helicopter is not a total substitute for a ship but increasing a ship’s aviation capacity would have considerable impact on its and its taskgroup’s combat capability. Escorts carrying 2 or more helicopters isn’t unknown far from it and as I said these modern escorts aren’t exactly small there is volume to support a second aircraft. Even from the point of view of being able to offer safe refuge to an aircraft from another ship I would say warrants the inclusion of a second hangar.

I don’t want to stray into territory that could be construed as ad hominem because you are nice chap but I am sincerely shocked that I have to explain any of this to you. Not sure whether you are toeing the corporate line, playing the I am a professional card, you are just having a failure of imagination, or some combination of the latter. And I sincerely hope that your thought processes aren’t a product of training. I may be a madcap civi. But nothing I have said about two hangars is outlandish in anyway.

Rocket Banana

ToC,

Thanks for the animations, however that’s not quite what I was getting at. I was talking about reflection rather than diffraction and the standing wave that would be set up between two converging plates that re-radiate isotropically.

Unfortunately I can’t find any pics that explain it other than the top right of this, which simply explains the re-reflection like a collapsed periscope.

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts

@SomewhatRemoved September 15, 2013 at 8:13 pm

As you asked nicely….

Fluffy’s Unproven Guide to Royal Navy Chess:

The King:
A slow lumbering asset that must be protected at all cost. It must therefore be the Amphibs (as how else can the British Army be put at danger on their own [sic] turf)?

The Queen:
The QE-class. Aggressive, flexible beasts that like to strut all-over the board. Total centre-of-attention creatures upon which we obsess.

The Rooks (castles):
Type 45 class. Extremely powerful and robust. Often criticised for being two-dimensional.

The Bishops (horsie-b):
Type 23/26 GP. Should be able to stand-alone (T26 should be better in this respect) or command other, lesser assets to execute a move. Free-reining.

The Knights (horsie-a):
Type 23/26 2087. Sprint-and-drift: A long spurt forward followed by a float aside. Work very well in pairs. Can be useful for scouting but not generally suited for aggressive [fleet] activity once battle is undertaken with the foe.

The Pawns (prawns):
Astute-class. Probing, sacrificial but capable of great things: True usurpers to the QEs. We’ve paid for eight so all pieces covered, no? Oh…!

Rocket Banana

Fluffy,

The pawns should be the LCUs – slow, oneway trip, but when they land they become hugely potent.

Rocket Banana

Fluffy,

Actually…

Queen=QEC, King=LPD and Rooks=T45s – agree.
Knights should be Astute as they can slip past but move relatively slowly?
Bishops should be T26s as they are less poweful than the destroyers and cover only 1/2 the board?
Pawns are LCUs (an infantry company)

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom

Regards helicopter numbers, it seems to me 1 Merlin/2 Wildcat is the preference for the RN when it comes to escorts and when they need more in theater they send a bigger vessel, also I would always go for the 2 Wildcat option as it is far more flexible, 2 Merlins is a bit overkill for an escort and looking at the weapons available to each vessel Wildcat seems the better option. Also adding extra helicopters will remove some of the flexibility as there will need to be more space given over to the aircrew and maintence personel, more space for fuel more space for stores. It all adds up and we have these fancy new aircraft carriers as well as an exisitng helicopter carrier and multiple vessels that can take 2+ merlins on the amphib side so why do our escorts need 2 as well.

Bob
Bob

The decision has clearly been taken- announced or not, no up-front procurement of additional Sylver or new Mk-41, all the work on integrating MBDA missiles into the Mk-41 is company funded and all the discussion of the large cells for T26 is about reserved space.

To me, it almost does not matter whether they re-use the single cells from the T23 class or buy new cells, as long as that forward space has volume enough for 32 cells.

Rocket Banana

As you know I agree with Bob here….

32 x Mk41 sized VLS at the front.

These could be packed as follows:

8 x VLS Harpoon (don’t think it actually exists yet)
8 x quad-packed with CAMM (32 missiles)
16 x TLAM

…we can then remove/reduce the one’s near the rear of the ship.

For T45 we should put the extra 16 VLS on them and fit them with double the above.

Note: all numbers are nominal as we can mix and match to our heart’s content

This then allows us to realistically remove the “strike” concept from our carriers and let them concentrate on perimeter air defence and assault support (including CAS and, yes I suppose, limited interdiction).

Bob
Bob

Engineer Tom,

Re Helicopters; it is not so much a preference as a product of numbers. Both T23 and T45 were designed to take a single Merlin which was itself designed as a heavy sub-hunting platform for the North Atalantic. The Maritime Lynx started life as nothing more than a torpedo delivery platform to replace the Westland Wasp- it was not meant to sub-hunt on its own and to this day it does not possess the capability to do so (in RN service). It has however evolved into a lovely little utility helicopter and small boat hunter which is very useful for virtually everything except submarine hunting- it’s diminutive size allowing two to be stuffed in a decent sized hangar. Of course the USN managed to develop a truly multi-purpose helicopter in the form of the MH-60R.

Bob
Bob

TD,

Lynx is that small. rotor-blades only tell us so much- it is weight and airframe size that are the real tells and on these measures Lynx is definitely small.

I agree with you regarding the best approach, everybody else’s approach is right, in my opinion.

The unmanned element is interesting but needs to play itself out a bit yet.

Rocket Banana

The NH90 makes a lot of sense as a frigate copter, but it would still mean we’d need Wildcat and Merlin for assault ops as NH90 is really too small – it’s smaller than SK by quite some margin considering they are similar MTOW. And when you rack them up ready to transport a commando company 6 NH90 and 4 Merlin in a line are massively different in terms of required deck space.

This is the problem when you scale up (Sea King to Merlin), you leave a massive void of practical size requirements behind you.

Simply put, we are missing a 10-12t copter. We jump from 6t (Wildcat) to 15t (Merlin) to 22t (Chinook). Merlin is terribly off-center.

McZ
McZ

@APATS
“Give the capabilities of 2087 would 2 Wildcat weapon carriers actually offer a better balance of overall capability even for an ASW T26?”

If I understood this BAE-guy correctly, the mission bay and the hangar are one space divided by a flexible door system. If that is the case and if we look at the dimensions, even three Merlins could fit into this space.

But I would also prefer to have two Wildcats, we should really have a few dipper-sets for them, as well as a few Vigilance-pods. Put them in a ISO-box to gain TD-approval, call them “ASW-package” or “AEW-package”, and let all this “Crowsnest-meddling to save money by delay” be ended.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom

I see the Merlin as a good helicopter when it is assisting a fleet, where heavy lift is needed more, for instance supporting the Roayal Marines etc, but when your task is patrolling and interdiction which are tasks likely to be assigned to a T26 surely the wildcat is the better option as it allows a much better weapons package. Then when it is sailing in a fleet again you will have all the Merlins etc on the carriers/amphibs and leave the escorts with wildcats, the only way round this now would be to start from scratch ie get a new medium helicopter that can do all the jobs the merlin can and carry all the weapons the wildcat can, then redesign the hangar on T45 and T26 so that they can carry two, scrap the entire helo fleet and buy all one type.

A good question to ask is, what helicopters are routinely deployed onboard T45 and T23 at the moment?

Rocket Banana

TD,

If you look at the whole shebang then with an NH90/Chinook/Apache mix (I’ve added Apache as I assume you’d advocate that as the attack/escort copter) you don’t have anything LESS than 10t. You then end up having to add a Lynx anyway.

What should really have happened is we should have gone for a common mechanics chassis for Lynx/Mangusta as attack and light utility. As I said some time ago, Apache was a mistake… bloody great copter though, but not right for the UK.

The whole helicopter fleet really needs rationalising.

Lynx/SeaKing/Chinook would be my choice and NH90 (or Blackhawk) does not come close to Sea King for commando ops (lift=yes, pax=no).

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts

Maybe the T26 deck is to accomodate a CH-53K. Boy would that be fun….

:snooze:

Pt. James Frazer
Pt. James Frazer

Now that RR and MTU have been selected as GT and diesel genset suppliers and David Brown for the CODLOG gearbox, I wonder whether this innovative technology combining electric drive motor and reduction gearbox from Magnomatics of Sheffield has a chance of being selected for the main propulsion motors (that’s assuming the David Brown ‘box is a combiner ‘box + reducing the GT power ouput shaft speed)?

http://www.magnomatics.com/Technology/Pseudo-Direct-Drive.aspx

http://www.magnomatics.com/images/flash/MagnomaticsMagGearPDD.wmv

http://www.theengineer.co.uk/news/magnomatics-signs-defence-deal/312859.article

If they’ve managed to successfully scale up the prototype to the MW power class (see The Engineer article) then it appears to offer several advantages not least in size and power density, noise cooling and lubrication.

They’re probably too small to be a Tier 1 supplier so would have to partner with a larger firm such as the incumbent (GE Power Conversion) for license manufacture ans support.

Anyway more cool, disruptive UK technology…..

Bug
Bug

@ R35

Indeed the RAN and RNZN may choose different radar fits, etc to maximise local content and known capability. An interesting comment here, on a local forum, was the possibility of a mix’n’match having both ESSM (in an active radar proposed development) and SeaCeptor to provide increased range from ESSM and good overlap with SC with the latter being the inner area/layer killer………….possibly get rid of the gun CIWS and add to the RWS cannon?

Mk 41 cells would allow for a tacical flexibility between the two missile systems dependant on the perceived threat.

The helicopters used here differ of course being SeaHawk 60R’s (RAN) and Super SeaSprites (originally developed for the RAN but contract cancelled) for the RNZN. Our gunships are Eurocopter TIGER’s. Chinooks are used by the Australian Army but both Australia and NZ use NH-90’s for Army Tactical transport.

None of this will change by the time Type 26 comes into service bar upgraded later models, e.g. Chinooks will be “F” models by that time.

Chris Werb
Chris Werb

It does seem a bit strange that the ship has no over the horizon anti-ship missile capability, other than perhaps Volcano rounds for the 127mm gun. CAMM/Sea Ceptor can (according to the manufacturer) have an anti surface (presumably range rather than horizon limited) capability added easily, but this is, I believe, currently unfunded, though the manufacturer may well fund it to enhance the missile’s export prospects. Years ago it was mooted that Block IV Tomahawk would be gaining an anti ship capabilty, but how this would be achieved sensor and targeting wise was never revealed and I have heard nothing of it since.

Pt. James Frazer
Pt. James Frazer

Chris W

LM and DARPA working on this……..autonomous guidance

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/darpa-flight-tests-lrasm-missile-390320/

The Other Chris

@Simon

Re: Reflections I understand your concerns now. If you take a quick look at the planform [1] you’ll notice the angles (e.g. nosecone, intakes, leading edges) are designed to carry scatters away from the source. It won’t be perfect (e.g. tunneling effects, backscatter) but indicates just one aspect of the “baked in” stealth features.

[1] F-35 planform

The Other Chris

Fantasy Fleet time:

Looking ahead towards Apache replacement after the current extension, bearing in mind willingness to operate Apache from a flat deck has placed a marine seed in some peoples thoughts.

What options would you like to see considered, why and how would you see them deployed? One-for-one? How “Joint” would you go?

– Further Apache extensions or derivative?
– Bell AH-1Z Viper or derivative?
– More Wildcats?
– Consideration of the Armed Aerial Scout winner (e.g. S-97)
– Consideration of the Joint Multirole Helicopter Winner (e.g. AVX)
– “Sovereign” design (e.g. AgustaWestland, Eurocopter)?
– Pure UAV solution? What models?
– Other?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@chris web

A version of block IV was proposed with 2 way data link and a millimetric seeker head. Not taken up though.

Chris WErb
Chris WErb

Where I think they’re missing out with LRASM is that it takes up a precious cell, very expensively with something you can only shoot at a ship. Wouldn’t it have made sense to retain the land capability of JAASM even if some compromises were made in warhead weight and/or design. Another alternative might be the Norwegian Joint Strike Missile which does have both anti ship and land attack capabilities, albeit in a much smaller package at some expense in range (c. 300km vs 370) and lethality toward land targets.

SR
SR

Lynx is markedly smaller than Merlin. 4-5 tonnes vs. 15 tonnes. Not a small difference. The operating limits for Merlin are significantly more constrained, such that you frequently have a very narrow window for launch and recovery. Lynx frequently has no course limits at all. Aircraft do not simply ‘lift off’, they need relative wind over the deck to get clear, especially when carrying heavy loads such as weapons.

Arguments in favour of a smaller aircraft may be valid, but Merlin was concieved as a long ranged long-endurance sub hunter and needs the additional capacity. There is a full combat system in that cab plus a full load of sonobuoys, radios, Link and other such necessities. Then add weapons. The US may have a smaller, more multi-purpose cab but we have a more capable ASW machine. And since one of our absolute prime roles (which everyone conveniently forgets when wittering on about global missile strikes) is the protection of the nuclear deterrent, and since the RAF gave up on that, we need our ASW focus.

NH90 might figure highly in your helicopter top trumps packs but remember it STILL isn’t in service yet, whereas Merlin has been in for years.

On ASUW/missile capabilities, which theatre are you thinking about when it comes to the necessity for such a capability? Going toe-to-toe with another blue water player is simply not on the cards for the RN. So not having Harpoon or equivalent doesn’t bother me at all. It’s in those situations that I would count on having a US battle group to back me up – because of course the RN is NOT, repeat NOT about to go it alone against China or India, is it? If you think otherwise, please log on to http://www.janesfantasyfleetcommand.com and carry on playing games.

Actually, as a Gunnery Officer I rather like the idea of infra-red guided Vulcano rounds. Nobody would see it coming, and trying to engage a small sub-calibre round with SAM systems – well, how many SAM’s vs. how many rounds in the gunbay? Not an equation that works out for the defender.

Jeremy M H

@Chris WErb

The electronics packed into the head of an ASM are highly expensive things. The high end ones like LRASM will a million or more dollars of electronics on the front end to seek their target, dodge defenses and what not. There is no economical argument for firing such weapons into fixed land targets. JSM is made for a smaller and much less well defended target set so you likely don’t have the same level of front-end electronics on board.

If the USN wanted to fire JASSM out of a VLS cell I would imagine they would just bolt it to whatever booster they come up with for LRASM and save themselves some money by not using million dollar ASM seekers to blast a group of tents. More practically they will just continue to tote around TLAM’s and then whatever takes over for TLAM in the future.

I don’t think you will see any full bore ASM’s that get used in the land attack role. The economics just don’t make much sense.

SR
SR

I ought to add that the Merlin troop-lifter (HC3/3a/4) is definitely a crap choice. Too big, too expensive, too fragile and too high up off the ground for rapid troop embarkation. I’m not overjoyed that they are coming to CHF, but beggers can’t be choosers – at least we have something. Puma, much better. Chinook, even more so. Still, at least we’re all on the same side.

Rocket Banana

On ASUW/missile capabilities, which theatre are you thinking about when it comes to the necessity for such a capability? Going toe-to-toe with another blue water player is simply not on the cards for the RN.

South Atlantic vs SATO? The USA might find it politically difficult to help us against the likes of Brazil.

In certain situations it doesn’t matter if we’re backed by the mighty USA, we still need certain basic capabilities and neutralising enemy warships is one of them. Yes we have Astute, but we’re not likely to have many of them if we do end up in a call to arms against China.

As it stand we currently have almost no way to defend against another surface combatant.

Rocket Banana

TD,

I agree, Merlin is a bit of a fatty. Its useful load is pretty poor relative to it’s empty weight.

However, I think SK seated 27, Merlin can seat 27-30 normally (or 40 in high-density fit out – unlikely to ever get used) and NH90 is 20.

Obviously Merlin and NH90 outrange SK with their nominal troop payloads. It’s the physical size of SK I like.

Chris Werb
Chris Werb

JSM (and its predecessor NSM) are designed to penetrate modern defences by Stealth. The sources I’ve read haven’t described exactly what LRASM uses to penetrate defences other than Stealth and employing ESM and a threat library to route around threat envelopes, but on the other hand I’ve never seen anything in the marketing literature for NSM/JSM to state that its target set is in any way limited (the predecessor missile was designed with a specific target set in mind which was about as sophisticated as it got at the time). It’s much smaller size also means you can hang more of them on a platform which is a not inconsiderable benefit when saturating defences. The US Navy may have a lot of cells and may actually leave many vacant, but with 12 on a ship, I’d want whatever I carried to be as versatile as possible.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

OK, names? Is SR Somewhat Removed who was somewhat involved but has obviously deployed and became Somewhat Removed again? We have Chris and The Other Chris, at least 2 versions of a James and last night I got Observer and Osvr mixed up. We need some proper naming conventions :

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom

@Simon
The odds of us going up against Brazil are tiny, whetever they may publically say they aren’ t interested in the Falklands, so far the most they have done is made some statements in support of the argentines position on talks, but if it comes down to it I daresay they would rather have us as an ally, we actually have money and also products they want to buy.

Also looking at their inventory the biggest threat is the excocets they seem to have loaded on every ship, and their biggest weakness seems to be air defence, to counter we have a strong air defence and as long as we have enough harpoons and F-35’s we should be able to hold our own.

But yes we do need to develop our ASuW assets, mount harpoon on everything, maybe only two or four tubes per vessel, but look at the damage a small number of exocets caused in 1982.

steve taylor
steve taylor

SR said “too high up off the ground for rapid troop embarkation.”

I am beginning to think you fell asleep during Helicopters 101 at Dartmouth.

I have stepped into a Merlin………

http://www.airshows.co.uk/features/2005/raf-merlin-hc-mk3/photos/raf-merlin-10.jpg

and I have climbed into a Puma…….

http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/files/2013/06/wrcoveringflood139.jpg

and I know which is the easier of the two to embark.

This is just a nice pic’ and what we should be using some of the refurbed Puma’s for during CVF’s trials and early service life………

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/US_Navy_111224-N-ED900-655_An_SA330J_Puma_helicopter_from_the_Military_Sealift_Command_dry_cargo_ammunition_ship_USNS_Richard_E._Byrd_(T-AKE_4)_tra.jpg

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom

Looking at our ASuW assets we only seem to have Harpoon launched from T23 and T45, and Sea Skua launched from Lynx, with in the future Harpoon for T26 and a future replacement of Sea Skua for the Wildcat (due 2015).

Seems to me this is a huge capability gap, is the air launch Harpoon compatible with F35, shouldn’t the RAF have some form of air launch ASuW missile or are we going to rely on good old fashioned gravity bombs to do the job?

Rocket Banana

…whetever they may publically say they aren’ t interested in…

Didn’t Hitler say something about that regarding the UK?

Real intent is rarely publically stated ;-)

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@ET

We will not have harpoon on T26 or on F35B, whether we have something else is a matter of debate and budget unfortunately.

dave haine
dave haine

@SR- I remember exactly the same arguments being used against the introduction of Puma. Too fragile, too big, too high off the ground da-di-da…Couldn’t replace the Wessex…needs a tail wheel, not a nose wheel…da-di-da.

If you want a decent load to all-up-weight ratio- you don’t pick a helicopter… because of it’s very nature, and capabilities, they’re heavy. And because one of the Merlin’s requirements was a long range and a good engine out performance (hence the three engines) due to the ASW role…it’s going to be heavier than the average. The rotor disc area was always going to be restricted because of the requirement for onboard operation, so the ability to use the power available from the extra engine, was therefore also limited. This is always going to be the issue with a compromise type.

As for fragility, the RAF aeromedical squadrons don’t seem to have had a dispatch reliability problem with them in Iraq and Afghanistan, certainly nothing reported publically.

@simon- size isn’t everything you know…but the SK was a nice looking chunky aircraft, it’s true.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

We also won’t have F35B or T26 until well into the 2020s under current plans (for operational capability). Let’s hope no one spots a capability gap which looks like a window of opportunity (to them).

Thank you Gordon :(

Given the realities of budget wrangling, constrained funds, competing requirements, the fact that politicians catch the blame but actually equipment decisions and trade offs are made at Colonel-2 star level, mostly, and so on (and trying desperately hard not to be fair to Gordon)….

As an honest question, where does “we sink ships” fit into the RN’s overall priorities these days? I have been told that the easiest way to sink a ship is to fill it with water (i.e. below waterline holes), and that filling it with air (bombs and above waterline damage) is pretty much an inefficient way of doing so. So should Ash capabilities be slightly higher in the pecking order, as opposed to yet another land attack weapon such as Storm Shadow on F35B?

Rocket Banana

RT,

At least until then we have Harpoon on T23.

I assume we’re banking on son-of-Harpoon (Mk41 VLS version) being available by the time T26 starts to roll over the T23 fleet.

dave haine
dave haine

@x- my favourite subject, old aircraft, still working…funny how if you want to see old aircraft still working you go to the states- i notice they have a couple of hunters doing fighter aggressor training… They don’t waste a capability, something we could learn over here.

IXION

Simon

That sort of argument about Hittler could be deployed to cause US like paranoia about being armed to the teath. To fight everyone.

BTW

I see the yellow peril has raised its ugly head with someone talking about how the t26 will take on china.

Really?????

dave haine
dave haine

@RT- absolutely, we might not need it now…but I bet we will in the future…like i said in a post in a previous thread… Getting there fast…to only wag a finger, is only going to make people snigger.

We need an ASh capability on all our combat ships, from a couple of harpoon or preferably exocet on a small fast attack boat (along the lines of a Tarantul or Nanuchka) to QEC F35, with airlaunched exocet.

You may notice i like exocet, mainly because of the joke about jock warrant officers and mother in laws, but also because it has proven to be an effective weapon.

mikezeroone

@ Dave Haine re Hunters and aggressors;

We actually have a private company over here whom do exactly the same thing;
http://www.hunterteam.com/main.htm

Though not quite air aggressor (for RAF assets I mean… to the RN they are aggressors along with FRADU…but then, we have 100 Sqn for that role)

Not to mention;
http://www.cobham.com/about-cobham/mission-systems/about-us/aviation-services/christchurch/markets/warfare-training.aspx

Also, BAe own a A-4 type that is very similar to the current A-4AR used by a certain nation, useful ;)

gotta love it when a naval article brings out the comments – who says TD ain’t dark blue friendly! :D
You have to admit, we do build them pretty, though seems less and less equipment to ‘sink ships’… only a gun and missiles from a chopper? The strike cells seems always to be mentioned along with “future capability growth” which worryingly sounds close to the T45 “fitted for but not with” :(

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

Simon, I hope we’re not putting all our eggs into one basket represented by a 1980s design subsonic missile that flies in straight lines just above the water and therefore has no capability of rapid manoeuvre (although improved, upgraded etc, but surely by now the upgrades are into the domain of rapidly diminishing returns)? The sort of missile that whatever else their faults, CIWS are designed to eat for breakfast, and various Russian-sourced SA-4, -9, and -12 missiles are designed to counter? Because that really would be silly.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@ Dave Haine

Why on Earth do we need an anti shipping capability on all our combat ships? The exact importance of ist fit to an FF/DD can be argued but we do not have a fleet of small missile boats and are not going to start fitting anti ship missiles to MCMVs and Amphibs.

Yes Exocet has been proven to be an effective weapon in the 1980s. Even MM40 Block 3 is a medium ranged non data link equipped active missile. The latest version of the air launcged variant, AM39 is a short ranged weapon easily countered by soft kill. It is an old missile not used by F35 purchasers and so will almost definitely not be integrated. If we decide to purchase an anti ship capability for F35 and I believe we should then it will be either JSM or LRASM, as these are modern missiles that will be integrated.

Any anti ship missile on T26 will have to fit into the Mk41 silo. This will be backed up by FASGW and the main gun.

Jeremy M H

Where I think LRASM makes the most sense for the UK is really that you could stick it in a VLS silo and then provide it targeting information from an F-35 (or presumably P-8 or MQ-4C if the UK gets those). Yes, you could also carry it on the F-35 or P-8 if you wanted but to me the best way to use it is to leverage its range and data-link capabilities with a clean F-35. To me that means than an F-35 on fleet defense patrol basically always has an ASM that it can call upon to fire, even if it is not carrying the weapon itself.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom

Out of interest does anyone know if Stingray is anti ship as well as anti sub?

RT’s below the waterline comment made me think of it.

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ dave haine

I have said here before that if we are going to refurb Puma we should throw the lot of them at one task. I don’t buy into the SAS want them for urban use hoopla. Firstly none of us here really know anything that specific about them. They operate in 4s anyway, last time I look Wildcat/Lynx carries more than 4 if there is need. And if there was a need for more than Wildcat/Lynx can carry send two. These invented niches to cover service politics annoy me.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

@ Jeremy M H,

I’m slightly sceptical of these very long ranged missiles, clever datalinks and autonomous modes notwithstanding. I don’t think that – short of an all out general war, the ROE will permit them to be launched into the blue yonder based upon some algorithms making a correct prediction. There is a rule of thumb in recce that two different sources of INT are better than one sole source, and I also wonder about how much capacity the F35B Kevin is going to have to fly his jet, possibly in a threat environment, and still make a positive ID of a possible target. At the very least, who would you trust more: a possibly 23 year old first tour Kevin flying by at 700 mph, or the CO of an ASTUTE that might alternately get his periscope onto a suspect ship? And yet, AFAIK, there’s no comms from LRASM to ASTUTE. Even if a digital image of the suspect ship can be transmitted from either F35B or ASTUTE back to the task force, the image analysts and lawyers on board (if there are any) are going to take some considerable time to make their minds up beyond reasonable doubt, and in that time, the ship can move many miles and change direction many times.

I’m afraid that technology is outstripping ROE. Here is a simple question: does a Task Force have a complete “white picture” of all commercial shipping, cruise liners, large fishing vessels, and so on? Somehow I doubt it. And yet here we are thinking of buying a missile with a potential 300 km range.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@RT

Yes in some cases 2 sources are what we look for. So we could have an ESM hit and visual, or an acoustic report from a submarine. Or a pattern of movement(are they sprinting and drifting, did we detect them launching a helo. The stringency of reaching weapon release approval will depend upon the threat the OPFOR pose, whether we want to escalate, de escalate or maintain the staus quo.

Remember the sort of missiles are talking about are clever enough to use their own sensors and a library of targets to ensure that they are attacking what they are meant to be.

The F35 pilot would have his Electro Optical Targeting System and whilst I am not an expert it would seem very likely that he can pull up the image and look at it in the cockpit later if not actually send it somewhere. As for considerable time to ID a warship, yep about 30 seconds. as the “threat” should be ingrained into every warfare Officer and SR head, with numerous electronic and paper images to hand.

Reference the white picture, with AIS and satellite AIS and the shared picture via places like NATO shipping centre and Lloyds the ability to maintain a white picture has become a much easier in the last 10 years. A suitable equipped War Ship should be bale to look at a world wide, White Red and Blue picture. A huge amount of work has gone into sharing the picture between Western Nations.

Jeremy M H

@RT

Sure. Astute is a better option presuming one is around. But there are only 7 of them and they have a lot of missions and are hugely expensive assets both in terms of the equipment cost and the number of people you have to put at risk to use them.

I can’t speak for what the RN will and won’t be allowed to do when shooting at targets. What I can say is that LRASM fits the model of what I think will be the future of naval warfare where the shooting platform can at times be well detached from the targeting platform. If you want a surface or air fired anti-ship weapon in my view you might as well get the most capable one as they are all kind of expensive anyway. You may never use the long-range capability but it is nice to have if you need it. And it will still work closer in as well.

By their very nature anti-ship missiles are for real conflicts, not minor ones. Many here seem to think the RN needs Harpoon. I am not passing judgement on if they are right or wrong. I am simply saying that if the RN wants to have an ASM capability I think LRASM makes the most sense given what you can do with it. If it is decided that such a capability is not needed or will never be used then the whole conversation is pointless.

SR
SR

APATS, not to worry, it’s still me, just thought I’d go with a shorter name as it’s getting tedious rewriting SomewhatRemoved every time. Isn’t it about time we had another attack of silly names and started changing to Blue Trousers or something anyway?

Exocet is less capable than Harpoon by a long way. If an ASM is required (and I don’t believe it is finacially justified at this time) then we need a low-observable, multi-sensor capable weapon i.e. combined radar/IR/TV guidance that cannot be decoyed by a modern decoy suite. Speed is less of an issue if stealth and resistance to countermeasures can be assured. BrahMos could be utterly useless if its seeker is easily seduced by a basic countermeasure. To make something truly anti-ship capable means a lot of dedicated sensory equipment, which I believe renders it unsuitable for land attack for cost reasons (as stated by Jeremy MH).

RT, bearing in mind that few navies have genuinely effective training in damage control, an above-water hit will still likely achieve a mission-kill if not a sinking. Indeed it becomes a vulnerability as you have to protect it, thereby tying up at least one more asset. I wouldn’t discount the ‘filling it with air’ philosophy completely – it is still useful. The only real way of sinking in one hit is a torpedo attack (or a nuke), but a lightweight torpedo like Stingray doesn’t have the explosive power to snap a ship in the same way as a heavyweight – it will just make a small hole that ultimately could be contained.

Troop carrying capacity of a Lynx (mark whatever), 4.

Mark
Mark

I do like lynx for frigate roles small capable and relatively easy to support and not expensive to run.

One question on the two helicopters. Can a type 45 or type 26 have 2 aircraft airborne at the same time? Is there any issues with a black deck? I would imagine that would be more of an issue with a helicopter the size of merlin or even nh90.

Is the French mbda naval storm shadow or successor out of the picture I would have thought it was more likely than an American weapon.

Jeremy M H

@SR

I tend to agree a hit by a bigger ASM will mission kill most destroyers out there in the world. LRASM would carry a very big warhead compared to Harpoon (twice as big) so it is going to do some damage if that is what you use. Frankly I would guess that anything short of a capital ship (carrier, the Russian nuclear cruisers) is going to have a really tough time making it if hit by something like that. Most likely you will be able to come back and finish the job with a couple of laser guided bombs delivered from carrier aircraft or close on it with a sub and finish off the cripple.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

APATS,

I must have spent too long on operations just slightly short of war and therefore have been hit around the head with the ROE Caution shovel… Even during a full monty proper shooting war (Gulf 1) the ROE I found very restrictive. And the southern Iraqi desert was hardly full of Civpop.

The need for positive ID remains, even in general war. I think that from your own service the Belgrano is a good example: not only did it have to be positively identified, its’ intent had to be established, and the decision to fire was made somewhere between Whitehall and Northwood. How many hours was it tracked for? Quite a few, by all accounts. (OK, granted, it was politically extremely sensitive).

I think it is now common to all 2 star HQs to have embedded lawyers, and ROE are always discussed during targeting conferences. Somehow the idea of a single CO, on his own initiative, taking a shoot / don’t shoot decision for a whole ship seems slightly fanciful to me. Even more so trusting the decision to some ninja doing 700 mph called Kevin from the back end of a Burnley estate with too much time playing computer games as a teenager giving him his life’s skill set.

Ack your points on the white picture – things have obviously moved on a lot. But I still don’t think any “computer says it’s not White” answer is going to be good enough to satisfy the lawyers in the task force HQ. Positive ID still seems to be a need.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@Mark
“One question on the two helicopters. Can a type 45 or type 26 have 2 aircraft airborne at the same time? Is there any issues with a black deck? I would imagine that would be more of an issue with a helicopter the size of merlin or even nh90”

I remember flying a Mk3 and Mk8 in the STROG in 2003 doing night convoy escorts but we had Gib to divert to and the Mk8 operated out of Gib though we fueled both of them during tasking.
SR would be more up to speed on specifics but it is basically going to depend on, visibility, weather forecast, possible diversion decks, day or night etc etc and of course how important the mission is. So yes they can but there will be limitations and I am not up to speed on exactly what they are or indeed will be.

@RT

yes pos ID is a need but there are lots of different ways of obtaining that Pos ID apart from visual ID. Remember we have been conducting over the horizon ops for a long time and our ROE has evolved to reflect this. Missile tech is also moving on.

We are moving from missiles that you launched, they flew towards where the target was and a ta certain range from that point, switched on a radar detected a target and attacked it.

Now we are looking at missiles that can send and receive data all the way to the target, altering course as required. That use passive and or active sensors and compare them to what the target should show then decide to attack or ditch. We should in theory be able to transmit a visual picture “live” from the missile allowing a yes or no decision to be made.

Jeremy M H

@Mark

I think the cost of just the land attack version of SCALP is substantially higher (about double) than TLAM and as far as I know there is no anti-ship version even on the drawing board. If someone wants to throw money at it then I am sure anything can be done. The problem is one of production runs. As said earlier you really can’t dual use ASM’s as they are too expensive for that kind of stuff, at least the high end ones. So you are talking about having 8 or so per ship.

Amortizing the development cost for an ASM across a run of 300ish missiles (optimistically for French and British needs) is a lot tougher than doing it for whatever the USN uses for a Harpoon replacement which will likely see 2-4,000 units built for the USN and others who buy (Harpoon had a 7,000 plus unit run).

Rocket Banana

Jeremy M H,

I love your detachment between shooter and aimer/acquirer.

I hope that it will continue in that vein. Especially for CAS. Point your iPhone at a tank press the button and “blam” Brimstone fired from nearby asset and cued onto the target.

Such a massive shame no one has realised that ASaC could be one of the most potent air defence assets if only it could cue Aster to a target.

MEZ type situations don’t seem to matter for the poor chaps painting the target for laser guided bombs ;-)

Jeremy M H

@Simon

Hell, that is really what the whole of CEC is going to be about with the E-2D. It will do the aiming and the ships will carry the SAM’s. LRASM in my view is mostly about giving the P-8/BAMS(MQ-4C) team an effective weapon for when they operate in packs. A P-8 operating with a couple of MQ-4C’s off its flanks can cover a lot of ocean and the P-8 can shoot at targets found well outside of its own sensor radius. As an added benefit the US needs to replace Harpoon anyway so they will stuff the thing in VLS cells and carry it on B-1’s and other fighters. But I think its main focus platform will really be the P-8.

dave haine
dave haine

@APATS- TBH, I’m not utterly wedded to Exocet, but how many other western missiles have actually been used in warlike operations to ‘sink ships’…however, by all means find a good weapon and fit it. I admit you are, right on the MCMV and amphibs, i wasn’t being precise in my argument.

But, i keep looking back to the two egyptian ‘Komars’ that gave the ‘Eilat’ a good f**king, and the israeli FAC’s that returned the favour, and the russian navy’s continued use of guided missile corvettes (the russians are not to be called c**ts just because we dislike them- I think sometimes the russians get it right in what they do and how they do it). I just think that a couple of guided missie corvettes can add another layer of defence/ attack for a task group, it relieves the pressure off the main escorts, they can concentrate on running the battle space, and dealing with the air threat. (I don’t think the septic’s LCS concept fits the bill by the way, strikes me as a bit of a gunboat/special forces thing). Coastal defencewise A FAC with chuffing big missiles on and enough 20-30mm gunnery (thanks observer-very interesting read) on is a potent deterrent to any bearded nasties, with ideas of using merchant ships as cruise missiles (see what i did there?) .

@x- I totally agree- i don’t like to only part of a fleet refurbished, do the whole lot or replace. As for the boys- in my experience, they use whatever is appropriate for the mission, and whatever is available. They might need the range one time, they might need the lift the next. That being said, at the mo’ they do seem to be getting about a bit- so it does make sense to have units dedicated to supporting them…not necessarily with specific kit, mind, just specific tasking.

@RT- totally agree, after all, it was that lack of white picture that ‘allowed’ the Vicennes to bring down an Iranian airliner. This is where you start needing a AWACs/ Sentinel over the task group, nice and high, full picture, oh wait…we haven’t got CATOBAR…what’ll get that high? Seriously, though, it does seem as if intel/recce is being ignored/ pushed to the back again.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers

APATS,

Hmm. I’m still sceptical. Apart from the cost of launching something worth half a million quid, and then deciding “no” when it’s 2/3rds of the way down range. You can’t get it back and put it back in its’ tube, so in itself the launch decision is not going to be taken lightly.

I’ve also spent a surprising amount of time at the DEWC (don’t ask – leading a 3 year bid that we lost for the next generation DEWDB. Still hurts, that one….) so know a little of the capabilities of ID using non-visual means and electronic signatures. And I don’t think that for a major target (ie a ship) at 300 km range, electronic ID is going to be good enough (for the lawyers). You may disagree, but that’s my feeling. Yes, electronic ID should / would cue all sorts of other ISTAR assets, but we don’t really have much when at sea at 300 km range if beyond the reach of land based assets. Satellite maybe, a submarine or two possibly. You are not going to get visual ID from an F35B, because to be close enough to get adequate resolution, the Kevin is well within threat range of even moderate SAMs, and there’s no RAPTOR pod on F35B.

To turn it around, in a general war a submarine is going to be part of the task group. In the time taken to establish a positive ID, and assuming the TG Comd has placed his boats appropriately upthreat, I suspect a heavyweight torpedo is just as much an option as launching a missile. And, unless I misunderstand, given a choice of launching either / or a torpedo or a missile (yes, both is probably the DS answer), the torpedo will more effectively take out an OPFOR ship than a 1,000 pound missile.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@ David Haine

Missile corvettes and fast patrol missile boats really seem to be most used by countries that are worried about defending sheltered coast lines with lots of inlets and Islands. Scandinavia, Med countries etc. Not really UK applicable.

Ref the Vicennes shoot down. well let us see.
Following an airlane TICK
Squawking Mode 3 TICK
responding to warnings NO
Vicennes transmitting warnings on correct Frequency NO
Gungho US CO TICK

The Vicennes incident had nothing to do with the picture available and everything to do with human error and the inability to correctly interpret a perfectly good picture.

Rocket Banana

Jeremy MH,

Thanks. I’ve now found that CEC (Cooperative Engagement Capability) is what I’ve been after for ages (well, actually it’s what I thought we already had… decades ago… ‘cos it’s frikin’ child’s play to code). Turns out the Royal Navy have dropped this. Remind me again, why do I pay my taxes?

I’m annoyed :-(

steve taylor
steve taylor

@ david h

Yes they use what’s available. Never said they didn’t need specialised support.

Mark
Mark

Apas thanks for the info

Sorry Jeremy but I disagree. The US keep banging on about moving to the pacific and wanting Europe to stand on our own feet. In my mind thats perfectly reasonable it doesn’t however mean doing that so as long as we buy US kit in the process. That means we develop and field our own systems for our own needs. US kit always appears cheaper cause its development costs are either removed from price comparisons or as you say averaged over a much larger larger buy in a closed US market. Does harpoon cost more than then 1.5m dollars we pay for a tlam round?

Jeremy M H

@Mark

That is fine. It is your money after all. It is not something that Europe has spent any real money on in a while, other than the lighter JSM which I would love the USN to pick up as well. Producing a heavy ASM would be incredibly expensive. I just don’t see it happening.

I believe India was quoted a price of around $10 million per Harpoon. That probably includes a lot of other stuff (training missiles for sure and probably training and support). But the base cost for the weapon seems to be at least $1.2 million for the USN vs $1.45 million for TLAM. Harpoon is otherwise about half the missile TLAM is (warhead and rangewise) so one can see the cost. The difference between the SLAM-ER and the Harpoon is more than double cost wise ($500k to $1.2 million) in basic cost where the main difference is the lack of the anti-ship seeker in the SLAM-ER.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/indian-p-8is-to-have-harpoon-ii-missiles-351436/

Mark
Mark

Jeremy

It is and the US spends there money doing exactly the same thing developing kit it could have purchase from else where. So harpoon is cheaper than tlam then.
The French have developed a naval land attack missile on ther own leveraging development work of storm shadow, and using a similar mission program system so in my view that maybe a better route for uk type 26. I don’t entirely think the rn need a heavy anti ship missile so jsm or a further development of mdcn is a possibility.

SR
SR

For those interested the Conqueror ROP from the engagement and sinking of Belgrano has ben released and fully declassified. It is available on the web somewhere, and makes for utterly fascinating reading. I have a copy here but it’s 4MB and that means I can’t email it off for submission (the joys of military email at sea). Hopefully someone can find a link.

For dual helo ops, the biggest single risk is the aircraft going U/S on the deck or, worse, having an on-deck incident. As soon as you do that the second helo is either useless (stuck in the hangar) or dead if there’s no diversion. Without a 2-spot flight deck you are on thin ice trying to fly two at once. Given that many of our units operate as singletons, i.e. no diversion option, the risk is that much more prevalent. And it’s not just a second cab you have to look after but a bigger maintenance team, twice as many aircrew, more stores and spares – the logistics footprint becomes much larger and when you only have an FF/DD sized ship’s company, the impact is significant. There is a lot of value in operating your aircraft from a supporting RFA, freeing up the escort to manoeuvre harder whilst the big stable deck on the RFA looks after refuels. That’s why all our tankers have flight decks, including the new Tides, and Fort George has three Merlin hangars.

That said the on-task T45 is playing with two Lynx but I think that’s more a reflection of the raised threat state in theatre than an realistic ambition for future ops.

RT is bang on regarding RoE. The limits imposed by the targeting directives are significant. It’s one of the reasons why I genuinely believe ASMs are not worth having, because getting clearance to fire would require nothing short of all-out war. It’s hard enough getting clearance to fire precision weapons; imagine the legal implications of unleashing something that has at least a moderate risk of veering off and chasing down a merchant vessel, or a ferry? On the open blue it’s not an issue, but in the crowded waters of the Med it’s quite a challenge. Extralopate to congested waters of your choice. If you don’t have a visual or TV/IR/EO image confirming the ID of your target, you are unlikely to get clearance to fire in anything other than self defence (which of course is down to the CO, not higher authority).

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same

@SR

Ref AShM and i agree with you on their priority, our current ROE is based upon something like Harpoon which is limited in the version we use. Future ROE will be based upon missiles with 2 way data link and the capability to have a far more useful target ID facility, as well as an option to abort them in flight.

Though I cannot imagine us actually needing to sink enemy surface combatants at long range in anything short of a proper war scenario. Far more likely to require the ability to deal with an asymmetric attack via something like FASGW or clever munitions for the gun.

Jed

RT said: ” I suspect a heavyweight torpedo is just as much an option as launching a missile. And, unless I misunderstand, given a choice of launching either / or a torpedo or a missile (yes, both is probably the DS answer), the torpedo will more effectively take out an OPFOR ship than a 1,000 pound missile.”

Cool ! Lets get TigerFish back into production and use that 10 x 20 Ft ISO modular mission bay capacity to develop the Containerised Surfaced Launched Heavy Torpedo System (CSLCHTS for short….)

By the way, not joking…….

Opinion3
Opinion3

@Chris Werb

I think the Dual Brimstone work they are doing would allow pop up capability – does that count as OTH? Not that I am suggesting the research is going anywhere, but they must think it reasonably worthwhile.

Opinion3
Opinion3

@Simon

Someone said that CEC was sort of covered by Link22. Not sure who and how. Mark and myself have both asked the question.

For me CEC fits our needs. Good sensors but lacking lots of options in individual platforms. Combine the whole lot into one network and your P8 or F35 can fire a missile from a T26 (well not quite but you get the idea). Sampson becomes fleet wide – like you wanted.

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