Type 45 – 13 Years, 6 Billion Quid and Six Ships

And that was that, after 13 years the sixth and final Type 45 Anti Air Warfare (AAW) Destroyer has entered service.

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”https://www.gov.uk/government/news/final-type-45-destroyer-enters-service-early”]

It is worth noting the final ship entered service four months earlier than planned, either the plan was pessimistic or the benefits of continued production, you decide! Forget the programme problems, forget the reduced numbers and increased cost, they don’t half look good.

HMS Daring

HMS Dragon's Lynx Helicopter Firing Flares

HMS Dragon

HMS Dragon

HMS Dragon

HMS Diamond

HMS Diamond

HMS Diamond

HMS Duncan Arriving in Portsmouth

HMS Dragon Near Gibraltar

HMS Defender

HMS Diamond

HMS Diamond

HMS Diamond

HMS Diamond with HMAS Melbourne

Royal Navy Ship in Rough Weather

HMS Diamond with Sea King Helicopter

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dauntless

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dauntless

New Type 45 Destroyer HMS Duncan Begins her Sea Trials

Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring

US Aircraft Carrier USS Enterprise Sailing with HMS Diamond

Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dragon

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring in Heavy Seas

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring Passing Through The Suez Canal

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring Passing Through The Suez Canal

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring Passing Through The Suez Canal

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dauntless Sails Under the Dartford Bridge

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Dauntless Entering Portsmouth

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring Leaves Portsmouth for First Operational Deployment

Type 45 Destroyer HMS Daring Leaves Portsmouth for First Operational Deployment

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mike
mike
December 31, 2013 2:30 pm

Looking pretty, cant shake the feeling that she is way under armed though.

Mark
Mark
December 31, 2013 2:39 pm

Nice to see they finished early, Photo 2 looks gd. Any news on astute becoming operational yet.

Mike Barker MBE
Mike Barker MBE
December 31, 2013 2:47 pm

Just needs 6 Exocet Missiles to sink these outdated tools of warfare.

Surely our incompetent Government remembers the Falklands?

Mike Barker MBE

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts
December 31, 2013 2:52 pm

Wald-nae buht buy half of a failed NHS [England] computer-system; nae a few months of EU-taxes; and whah’ wah’ dat’ ah’boot Euro-Turkey (and Scottish-Banks’ and Voyager]? Common-point: Gormless McBruin…. *

* Sorry Boss: Must B_Z…

Paul R
Paul R
December 31, 2013 2:59 pm

6 billion? Nice! I’m sure you can compare the costs to other countries and find that’s not bad. Sure we’re missing bits but only so we can put newer cutting edge stuff on. I’m looking at you harpoon….

dave haine
dave haine
December 31, 2013 3:06 pm

Good looking ships- not bad value for money- and as someone else said room for updating/ adding stuff…

Now they’ve got the hang of it, starting to wonder if T26 might be a bit good too….

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 31, 2013 3:07 pm

£6 billion? Jesus Christ, anyone would think there’s a credible air threat.

An extra million gets a towed aerostat capability to do the air picture beyond the rather myopic reach of PAAMS in all but the most threatening situation when you wouldn’t want to compromise the boat’s position. The latest research by DARPA is quite instructive even using a cobbled together F15 AESA system flying on an aerostat at 10,000 feet for weeks on end. Saves millions over the cost of helicopters through life, so we might be able to afford CROWSNEST after all.

Peter Elliott
December 31, 2013 3:08 pm

Still waiting for @Not a Boffin to spill the beans over why the current T26 design won’t float (or whatever the problem is he keeps hinting so darkly about…)

Repulse
December 31, 2013 3:14 pm

Seeing how much R&D we’ve spent on what will be bloody good ships once fully kitted with the optional bits, we should be ordering six more and forgetting about burning more cash on a new design.

mickp
mickp
December 31, 2013 3:17 pm

Still should have stuck to 12, getting more VFM with a 2nd slightly enhanced batch – more cells for TLAM and quad packed CAMM allowing full Aster 30 load out, better sonar suite, a new main gun (3″ or 5″ – former probably good enough as I can’t see these ever being put in use as gun fire support), harpoon or son of, torpedo tubes and a couple of remote 25mm/30mm cannons on the hanger roof.

T26 could then have started out as more utility, ASW / TAS tug and NGFS, only gold plating future batches

Challenger
Challenger
December 31, 2013 3:19 pm

@Mark

Good question regarding Astute. Another Trafalgar bows out in the next few months so if Astute and Ambush don’t start conducting actual deployments soon then we will be down to just the 4 active SSNs.

Mark
Mark
December 31, 2013 3:26 pm

Challenger

You can’t rush these things you know it’s only 6 years since see was launched

Brian Black
Brian Black
December 31, 2013 3:28 pm

Would be nice to see these few ships supplemented by an AAW type 26 (instead of the five GP variant), carrying SeaViper, Spectar (single array Sampson), and CEC.

Challenger
Challenger
December 31, 2013 3:33 pm

Even if we had of ordered 12 the T45 was and is an expensive ship, what would the later hulls have cost? Sure it may have dropped to as low as 700 million a pop, but that’s still the price (fingers crossed!) of a couple of T26 with cash to spare. 8 was the a good number which we should have stuck to.

We should definitely be looking to implement a gradual, incremental upgrade plan that gives them not just Harpoon (all 6 not 4) but torpedo tubes, a new main gun, and more VLS.

What’s the anti T26 vibe as well? All things considered it looks like a good design that shouldn’t break the bank. Plus at roughly 6,000 tons they should be adequately future-proofed for additional systems and improvements further down the road.

x
x
December 31, 2013 3:34 pm

Mike Barker said “ust needs 6 Exocet Missiles to sink these outdated tools of warfare.

Surely our incompetent Government remembers the Falklands?”

Horlicks.

Elizzar
Elizzar
December 31, 2013 3:36 pm

They are very nice looking ships, aren’t they? Personally (playing fantasy fleets) I would have gone for 8 of these and 16 T26 for an escort fleet of 24 (still, what, 6-10 short of the original SDR requirement?). A little more oomph on each one (Harpoon or similar) as well – the stripping of the old Harpoon sets from the T22 (I think?) does seem a little Steptoe-ish. Then again, when was the last time one surface warship sank another, compared to air or submarine threat …
The Astute program seems a lot more worrying at the moment, especially with certain newspaper reports over the last few months.
Also as interesting as the QE2 carrier(s) are appearing to be, when are we likely to have anything to fly off from them? A lot of potentials in the RN, but a lot of ‘maybes’ and unknowns too it would seem.

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
December 31, 2013 3:42 pm

“… aerostat capability to do the air picture beyond the rather myopic reach of PAAMS in all but the most threatening situation when you wouldn’t want to compromise the boat’s position.”

So, an airborne early warning system that is of great use and capability, unless you are actually at war when enemy aircraft might be coming to attack you. There is a problem with that concept somewhere, Mr. Trousers, I just can’t quite put my finger on it.

Mark
Mark
December 31, 2013 3:42 pm

I’m i right in saying the much vaunted French navy reduced its air warfare destroyers to two? So perhaps we did rather well to get 6

Observer
Observer
December 31, 2013 3:53 pm

mick, that would be 12 billion please. :)

Rocket Banana
December 31, 2013 3:54 pm

To be honest Mark, we only really need four.

Add to that eight T26-ASW and we’re set with a nice couple of credible carrier battle groups.

Unless we need military patrol at range then I don’t see a need for the other 7 ships… unfortunately those 7 ships would be about perfect to provide two standing deployments, one in the gulf and the other in the unmentionable isles ;-)

wf
wf
December 31, 2013 3:57 pm

@RT: I note that years later, our resident aerostat expert has yet to write his promised article. Might I be cheeky to suggest an all singing and dancing AEW and missile armed aerostat might be equally late in arriving?

Fedaykin
December 31, 2013 3:57 pm

We get six vessels that in the primary role are world beating, they have some of the most advanced radars ever fitted to a warship and a missile system that on paper at least is pretty much the bleeding edge when it comes to long range engagement of supersonic sea skimming targets. With the current T23 fleet and Astute having other capabilities like Harpoon or TLAM spending money on putting those capabilities on T45 is nice but not essential. Four are getting Harpoon off the T22B3 (with the other pair more then likely when money is to spare), getting TLAM on T26 is more of a priority to me at the moment and it would be a silly idea to start cutting steel on nearly new T45 to get that capability. When T45 have their mid life update and T26 has fully replaced T23 then maybe a look at putting TLAM on T45. To be honest I doubt TLAM with ever be fitted on T45 unless T26 numbers are cut in half, getting TLAM on T26 is a 100% improvement incapability over what the surface fleet has now.

@Mike Barker

That was a joke? You are going to need significant;y more then six Exocet to take on Sea Viper.

@Red Trousers

Myopic reach of PAAMS/Sea Viper…another joke? Show me another ship based area air defence system that has significantly more reach then Sea Viper. Of course details are highly classified but what is in the public sphere shows a weapon that can engage a small supersonic target at well over 100km (some sources even 120-140km). Good luck deploying that aerostat in heavy winds…

@Brian Black

Fitting Sea Viper and a single face Sampson to T26 is a needless expenditure when Artisan and Sea Ceptor are more then adequate. Actually if you look at the specs Artisan and Sea Ceptor will be significantly superior (except max range) in area air defence then the T42 Sea Dart combo, for that matter superior to what many nations field as their primary AAW destroyers. CEC would be nice but the fleet already has data-links and I want CROWSNEST, TLAM for T26 and new medium calibre gun first.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 31, 2013 3:58 pm

@HL,

Not really if you think of whole life costs. You have the cheap aerostat for the 99.95% of the time when an air picture is normal business and it is not mission critical if the boat’s location is not TS. When it is, you use helicopters.

Savings over the whole period will be significant, and can be invested wisely.

East_Anglian
East_Anglian
December 31, 2013 3:59 pm

Great looking ships. If we can’t get 8 (I’ve given up on the original 12), then lets make sure that they are fully specced.
Harpoon and TLAM (in VLS) would be nice too, especially if SSNs are going to be at a premium.

Ships Torpedo system and CIWS as well please.

Then we will have a proper destroyer

Jeremy M H
December 31, 2013 4:02 pm

@HL

You mean the fact that by putting the radar on a blimp above the thing you are basically screaming to the world “here I am, come shoot me”?

I agree with your critique of that concept. Though I would offer that helicopters have a similar problem of not having a ton of cross range capability. Still just moving off 50 NM’s makes a huge difference.

@ Challenger

I hope Type 26 comes in on budget but I am a bit skeptical. I think a fair amount of creative accounting is being use to shift some cost to the Type 22 refit program.

RE: Astute

I agree with those who say that program has been very worrying across the board. It seems to have gone quiet for the moment and I am not sure if that is good or bad.

Engineer Tom
Engineer Tom
December 31, 2013 4:22 pm

I personally don’t believe that ship launched torpedoes are a credible option when you can use a helicopter, the weapon itself is identical a stingray, it gives the torpedo far greater range and doesn’t create a new compartment on the vessel a whole new system to maintain and doesn’t need the crew to man it.

Sir Humphrey
December 31, 2013 4:54 pm

If you are close enough as an AAW platform to fire ASW torpedos from the ship, then you’re probably better off investing in some surface ship torpedo defence kit instead!

Repulse
December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

@Simon, looking at similar structures the RFTG should probably have 2 AAW, 1-2 ASuW and 1-2 ASW escorts and 1 SSN.

If the RN went for a fully pimped T45, then I’d say 4 T45s and 2 SSNs, plus supporting minor warships would be a good structure. To support 2 RFTGs max with cover that’s 12 T45s and 7 SSNs in my book.

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
December 31, 2013 5:20 pm

Mr Trousers,

Not being a Navy man I can’t comment on the details but I should have thought that it is in that 0.05% of a ships life one would actually really, really want to have a good picture of where aeroplanes within an few hundred miles of one’s position. Swanning about in time of peace dragging around a balloon that tells one than the BA midday flight to New York is passing on time is nice but not really essential.

“Signal from the Admiralty, No.1. A Backfire raid has been launched as is believed heading our way”.

“Righto, sir, we will winch in our airborne early warning system”

“Damn it, No 1, we need to know where the enemy is as far out as possible”

“Of course, Sir, we will be launching a helicopter soon. Well as soon as the chaps have read the manual to find out how the radar thingy works. You see for 99.95% of the time we have never needed it so …. what is that fiery dot on the horizon that seems to be coming this way very quickly?”

John Hartley
John Hartley
December 31, 2013 5:37 pm

Going from memory, the real cost of a T45 per unit, is around £450-485 million. The rest is R&D. So we got 6 for £6 billion, but could probably have got 12 for less than 9 billion.
You never need a main gun until you do. With all the cyber warfare about, having something non-jammable like a 4.5″/5″/155mm shell seems a good back up to me.
So we have great radar & engines, but playing fantasy fleet, I would want ; a hull toughened for light ice, TLAM, CEC, towed array sonar, heavyweight torps, Exocet/Harpoon/Perseus, swap the 20mm Vulcan for 35mm Millenium & the hangar big enough for 2 Merlin.

ron
ron
December 31, 2013 5:58 pm

Do you think while they are watching for all these aircraft that might not notice the nuclear stealth sub which has fired a torpedo with a nuclear warhead in their direction which does not even have to hit them..
It might also be a good idea to keep them out of the Thames estuary near sheerness as if the wreck SS Richard Montgomery decides to explode ( no way to detect when even with T-45) will do more than scorch its paintwork.

James Bolivar DiGriz
James Bolivar DiGriz
December 31, 2013 6:30 pm

First comment from me.

I am sure that I have read about it being possible, even easy, for the T45 ‘s to have extra VLS cells added. Is that the case and if so where would they go?

There is space between the existing VLS cells and the gun (maybe enough for another 16 cells) but there needs to be plenty of space (more than 5m) under that area to put new cells in.

Also the existing cells have some sort of barrier around them. Is that just a weather shield?

Jim

Jeremy M H
December 31, 2013 6:30 pm

@Ron

“The nuclear stealth sub which has fired a torpedo with a nuclear warhead”

So you basically mean either the Russians or the Chinese who just elected to start (or end depending on how you want to look at it) WWIII?

I am not sure what your larger point really is there. Are you criticizing the ships ASW capabilities? Are you critical of them existing at all? I am confused.

Derek
Derek
December 31, 2013 6:45 pm

The lesson from the T45 class is obvious and should never of had to have been learnt in the first place. Developing a Gucci new destroyer (not just the radars but the propulsion plant is a thing of wonder too) R&D costs a lot to develop. If you look through the NAO reports on the T45 it’s clear that for what it is, the procurement cost (about £600 million per ship) was quite reasonable. The expense came from the R&D which made the whole thing look worse as they halved the numbers (thus reducing the number over which the R&D costs were amortised).

All in all, it’s a great ships and a lot of the R&D costs have probably fed through into both CVF and T26 programmes. Real shame a few/a lot more can’t be procured.

Then there is the outstanding VLS question. There are people who swear blind that the T45 was scoped to carry an additional three 8 cell Sylver launchers in the middle of the current VLS farm into addition to the space reserved between the current VLS farm and the main gun for strike length cells.

John Gough
December 31, 2013 6:56 pm

Good pictures and a good ship that will only get better as capability is added over time.

6 seems ok to me, given their job is to protect the RFTG, although they all need Harpoon eventually. I think we now need to concentrate on getting 13 T26 with TLAM and 1 for 1 replacement of MCMs with MHPC which can take over some of the lower level duties freeing T45 and T26 to do the fleet/flighty stuff.

ron
ron
December 31, 2013 7:01 pm

The torpedo does not have to be nuclear but I think the attack from underwater is more lightly than the air attack so defence in that direction has to be strong. Submarine and torpedo propulsion and stealth systems are at the highest level of top secret for this reason.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 31, 2013 7:21 pm

@ Fedaykin,

Would you prefer your AEW radar at 10,000 feet or 100 feet AMSL?

Little factoid for you. Properly designed aerostats fly in winds twice the speeds that ground helicopters. I’ve had them flying strongly in winds of over 50 knots, and the bigger the aerostat, the more resistant to wind. The main thing to worry about is the power and data tether, which oscillates and can be dangerous in the swept area.

Phil
December 31, 2013 7:24 pm

Crikey. We design, develop and build the most capable AAW vessel in the world after getting proper spanked in 1982 by some 1950s era jets and for some it still isn’t good enough?

Fedaykin
December 31, 2013 7:26 pm

Well that is all very nice but in the end buying Aerostats for T45 is a WASTE of money when we have far more important stuff to fund.

The radars on a T45 off Portsmouth can track all the aircraft flying over Paris Charles De Gaulle airport. That is good enough for me. Even if an Aerostat is cheap to operate, procurement of said system draws funds away from other stuff. CROWSNEST being one of them but also new medium calibre gun and strike length silos for T26. Actually given the choice CEC is WAAAAY higher up my list then Aerostats.

What do you want cut from the current program to buy aerostats when those ships already have an excellent set of radars.

Waylander
Waylander
December 31, 2013 7:42 pm

The T45s are not under armed, the only kit they are now fitted for but not with is the 12 strike length cells, but with 7 TLAM capable SSNs and in the future 13 T26s each with 16 – 24 strike cells, the RN will have 20 platforms able to launch either Tomahawk or SCALP.

Type 45 armament

Sea Viper 48 cell Sylver A50
2 quad Harpoon launchers (4 of 6 ships, MoD should buy 4 more launchers)
4.5 inch gun
2 30mm cannons
2 Phalanx CIWS
2 mini guns
6 GPMGs

1-2 Lynx/Wildcat with Sea Skua & torpedoes or 1 Merlin HM1/2 with torpedoes.

It’s unfortunate that the class was cut from 8 to 6, but it was always unlikely the RN would get 12, as after all the Marine Nationale only has two modern AAW frigates the two Horizon class vessels, the MN’s two other AAW frigates the ageing Cassards will probably soon be scrapped.

One of many annoying things about the RN website is they don’t seem to know the displacement of their own ships, a recent article on Daring gave her displacement as 8,500 tonnes, the piece on Duncan says 7,500, and the Type 45 page says 8,000. same with the QEs RINA says they are 70,600 tonnes, but the RN still gives a displacement of 65,000 tonnes.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Fedaykin,

Try working out how close an extremely low level threat can get, before a T45 can detect it. Not something flying at height.

About 18 nm for a sea skimming missile, at 5 metres and a radar mounted on a 35 metre mast. Or around 75 seconds for something travelling at 1,000 mph.

Or around 20 seconds for a Mach 4 anti-ship missile, such as the Chinese have tested. Not much time to sort out the ROE, is it?

ron
ron
December 31, 2013 8:03 pm
Reply to  Red Trousers

how quickly for two steath torpedos fired from steath sub at 2 kilometers, probably not quick enough.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
December 31, 2013 8:05 pm

@RT

An inbound mach 4 target is a physics not an ROE issue. Nothing in any ROE profile prohibits the right of self defence which may and can be premptive. You are just going to engage any missile that is inbound at you atthose sort of ranges.

AlthoughI have never seen an ROE profile that prohibits engaging inbound missiles.

Mark
Mark
December 31, 2013 8:09 pm

“Little factoid for you. Properly designed aerostats fly in winds twice the speeds that ground helicopters. ”

I believe helicopter operations in the offshore industry cease when mean wind speed is 60kts or greater are you telling me aerostats will land in 120kt winds?

Jeremy M H
December 31, 2013 8:11 pm

@RT

I don’t object to the idea of getting a radar up high. An aerostat is a fine way to do it but it does kind of limit your options as far as EMCON conditions go. You are pretty much forced to go with the on and radiating approach because not many ships are out there with a big floating blimp tied to them.

Not to reopen the carrier debate at all but this is why you want something like CEC and an E-2D to really deal with those threats properly. Lets you run the E-2 off axis and radiate so that it covers the force without giving a good datum point to the side trying to find you and shoot at you.

Fedaykin
December 31, 2013 8:13 pm

Still not worth the expenditure, what do you want sacrificed RT?

If we are facing that kind of threat then we are at war and taking our AEW helicopters with us.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 31, 2013 8:17 pm

APATS, I’m sure you are correct: it sounds right. Even so, 20 seconds of warning is going to be a bit tense.

Mark, aerostats*** can fly in well over 100 knots, and in theory the limits are to do with envelope construction. Tethers whip around though.

*** not blimps. You need an aerostat with a wing.

Fedaykin
December 31, 2013 8:35 pm

Again what do you want sacrificed RT? You don’t seem to understand the point, for the vast majority of the time we won’t need an over the horizon radar for the kind of tasking T45 is doing. If we do then we are at war and bringing the whole tool chest with us including the AEW helicopters.

Adopting Aerostat means paying for its adoption, maintenance, crewing and training. What is the point of that when most of the time it is a useless luxury.

Anyway if we really think there is need for an organic over the horizon radar capability for our destroyers when they are not deployed with Merlin HM2 carrying crowsnest there is another far simpler and cheaper option. The AW159 Wildcat will be fitted with the Selex 7000E. That radar has already been tested by the manufacturer in the AEW role and the product sheet clearly states it has dedicated air to air modes including an MTI track option. Rather then spend money putting an aerostat that will be largely useless for most of the time it is far simpler and cheaper fitting an appropriate down-link from the Wildcat to the destroyer and integrating its data in with the ship CMS. That way if we want an over the horizon radar the Wildcat can be used, OK it can’t get as high but we haven’t just wasted money on an aerost system that won’t get used most of the time.

Overseas
Overseas
December 31, 2013 8:41 pm

What prospect a single T45 to be perma-based in Bahrain as part of a beefed up UK Navy presence down there?

What about Ocean or QE/PoW assigned to Mina Salman as well? Beginnings of UK ‘East of Suez’ fleet right there.

Re the T45 use in fleets, I’m sure it’ll be just the 1 for all but the most (potentially) hostile locations. 1xT45, 1xT23, 1xSSN, 1xMars, 1xCVF = 1xRFTG.

Mark
Mark
December 31, 2013 8:49 pm

RT

Flying along in wind is not the limiting factor on helicopters (within reason wouldn’t want to fly one in a hurricane) its wind at takeoff and landing (rotor start) or hover though they won’t make much progress into winds of those speeds. Helicopters can fly at 150 knots + after all.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
December 31, 2013 9:39 pm

Fedaykin, we really are doing not very well at understanding each other.

Aerostats can go up and down to 10,000 feet in around 45 minutes. They can stay up for at least a week. They cost about £100,000. A 200 cubic metre aerostat uses around £500 of helium for every 1,000 hours of flight.

Helicopters are chuffing expensive to buy and operate.

I’m not saying don’t have the helicopter, at all. What I’m saying is use an aerostat for routine tasking, and through life you’ll save money.

Fedaykin
December 31, 2013 10:04 pm

I perfectly understand what you are suggesting and I think you are fundamentally wrong. :-)

What could we possibly need a 10,000ft over the horizon radar system for when performing routine tasking? It is a waste of money pure and simple.

We don’t need the capability now for routine peace time tasking so by its very nature it would take money from other far more important requirements.

dgos
dgos
December 31, 2013 10:10 pm

Why not have one or more unmanned parasitic vessels, remotely controlled from primary warship, equipped with the aerostat(s) .

Parasite could be maintained at changing reasonable distances from the primary warship.

Not beyond whit of man to secure a parasitic vehicle from third party interference when deployed. (up to and including self destruct)

Opinion3
Opinion3
January 1, 2014 1:45 am

Fedaykin

A blimp for control of uncontested air/sea space seems entirely appropriate to me. My only question is the range of detection from and blimp vs range of takeout from enemy air assets. Sounds like they would have been useful during the fight against the U-boats.

martin
Editor
January 1, 2014 6:07 am

@ Mike Barker

Your about 30 years out of date with your 6 exocets.

@ APATS and RT

Surely if a target is travelling at mach 4 then by default its an anti ship missile and any ROE will let you engage it.

I can’t see why we ever needed 12 T45. With the removal of the ARG and CSG and just a single RFTG then 6 is fine. That allows 2 deployed with the RFTG any time and the ability to surge 4 or more with two RFTG’s if needed.

Would rather see more money going into the T26 program and fully arming the T45.

I agree on CEC would rather use the money for CROWSNEST.

Obsvr
Obsvr
January 1, 2014 7:07 am

At the recent fleet review in Sydney Harbour the T45 was without doubt the best looking ship on parade.

Repulse
January 1, 2014 9:28 am

:

“I can’t see why we ever needed 12 T45. With the removal of the ARG and CSG and just a single RFTG then 6 is fine. That allows 2 deployed with the RFTG any time and the ability to surge 4 or more with two RFTG’s if needed.”

Assuming we want the option to operate 2 RFTGs in a surge scenario against a foe then I cannot see that 6 will be enough. In a “hot” war the RFTG would be 100-200 miles off shore to gain maximum manoeuvrability with supersonic anti-ship missiles / aircraft being the main threat along with submarines.

You’ll want to keep subs as far away from your RFTG as possible using a SSN / MPA / ASW helo assets (trials against the USN showed the Astute class was fantastic at this).

For anti-ship missiles, you’ll want maximum detection range with enough missiles to counter a mass attack. Imagine in the Falklands war, if the UK not only had T45s accompanying each carrier operating to the east of the Islands, but also had a number on picket duties between the Islands and mainland Argentina, a fraction of the aircraft would have got through saving lives and kit.

Sorry to use the Falklands in my argument, but it demonstrates the principle and why I would be going for 12 T45s over the T26. Of course this strategy would require MPA and more SSNs but I think there is the money for both based on their relative priorities.

Opinion3
Opinion3
January 1, 2014 10:15 am

If the UK needed air defence would it use the T45s? like during the olympics. If so that alone makes a good case for more T45s. You would certainly need a few based around the UK for maximium detection and response.

I think the T26 GP frigates should be full ASW or ADD destroyers really, not that the T26 ADD capabilities are lacking but that the T45 numbers are too low

John Hartley
John Hartley
January 1, 2014 10:24 am

I think it was part of the 1998 SDR that an American defence think tank, was asked to report on the minimum number of air defence destroyers for the RN. They said 12, as the Earth is round, so to cover everything & allow for refits, 12. After all we had Sea Dart on 14 T42 (2 got sunk) + Bristol + the 3 Invincibles.
The money wasted on the FRES Ascod prototype would have bought another T45.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 1, 2014 11:28 am

I don’t think an American think tank in 1998 has very much relevant to say about British defence policy in 2014.

As for 12 T45, why? We’re only interested in small bits of the world, and I really struggle to identify any possible country with which we might go to war that would justify fielding the world’s newest anti air capability on a floating platform. Have a think around the countries of the world that combine both modern missile capability and a possible intent to threaten UK interests. Apart from Syria, more easily dealt with by land-launched weapons, I don’t see a single threat that needs us to have 12 T45s.

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved
January 1, 2014 11:52 am

‘Or around 20 seconds for a Mach 4 anti-ship missile, such as the Chinese have tested. Not much time to sort out the ROE, is it?’

ROFLMAO!

6 is what we have, 6 will do. Sampson/1045 sees further at the seaskimming level than any other ship in service, including anything the Americans have, by virtue of the sheer height of the radar. SeaCeptor will be a significant upgrade in local AAW defensive capabilities. For a future AAW capability across a TG, I’m happy with that. BTW the extra Sylver silo space is actually forward of the silo, in between the gun and the silo. Means that if we extend the silo, there’s not enough space for a 5″ gun (which is what we should be buying).

Rocket Banana
January 1, 2014 12:25 pm

I’m assuming the active carrier would be escorted by an SSN, a single T45 ahead and two flanking frigates. This is the minimum I’d go to sea with for such a large and expensive asset.

This is why I can see separate CBGs and ARGs in peacetime allowing training in totally different locations on totally different schedules.

It’s only in wartime that they would be merged together to form a more secure screen. Well, I say “only”, I can also see training ops that would have both task groups come together every now and again.

Martin
Editor
January 1, 2014 12:25 pm

would we still operate a picket of air defence destroyers out on their own? Seems quite an outdated concept. Los for the price of buying and manning the extra 6 T45 we could probably afford an extra 2 squadrons of F35 so having two RFTG’s operating 4 squadrons of F35 B backed up by E3/CROWSNEST, four T45 and Mabe another 8 T23/T26 with sea ceptor. I can’t see many airforces in the world able to get through that lot.

I think the 12 figures was purely based on the RN wanting as many as it could get it’s hands on and while I think the T45 is an amazing AAW escort I think its a bit of an expensive one trick pony to use in the cruiser role. The T26 will do better as an all round platform to be used on its own leaving the T45 to concentrate on fleet air defence.

Mickp
Mickp
January 1, 2014 12:33 pm

@somewhatremoved – why do we need a 5″gun on a T45? Will we ever risk a T45 on NGFS? Does a T45 need a big gun at all or should it just have as many cells as possible? I quite like the Horizon arrangement of 76mm guns (3 on the Italian ones). Could we mount 2 on a T45, one forward ( would that free up space for more cells?) and could we put one on the hanger roof or does it need deck penetration? Open to debate

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 1, 2014 12:35 pm

@Simon

It depends where you are going. The US CBG transiting the Med splits up after the STROG to conduct visits etc.
The CVN normally accompanied only by the Tico, they reform North of Suez. There is little need for an escort every time the Carrier pops South of OSB.

John Gough
January 1, 2014 12:39 pm

Wasn’t the plan to have 4 x Type 82 for the 2 x CVA01 carriers in the 60’s?

We wll now have 6 x T45 for the 2 CVFs, so slightly better than the plan in the 60’s.

I think we should focus on getting the 2 CVFs so it allows us to have 1 RFTG active with the ability to surge to 2 (when not in deep refit). As long as T45 concentrates on being part of the RFTG then the numbers are fine. Leave other duties to T26 and MHPC.

This is realistic and achievable and a better use of resources which will give UK great flexibility.

Derek
Derek
January 1, 2014 1:10 pm

John Gough,

No it was not the plan. The 60s plan was for four T82s per CVA and the CVA itself was to have the same radar and missile outfit as the T82s. Even that was scaled down from the original plan that would have had 4 Area Air Warfare Ships with 150NM range missiles and 4 T82s per CVA which came to an end as it was realised how big and expensive the T82 was and how unaffordable the 150NM missile system was.

Repulse
January 1, 2014 1:12 pm

Of course the CVFs should have Sampson also…

@Simon: Sorry, cannot agree that the T45 is a one trick pony. Given the right enhancements, it can be a first class BMD asset and have strong ASuW and ASW capabilities. Also, the defence of the RFTG must be based on depth, AEW and other air assets is only part of this.

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved
January 1, 2014 1:13 pm

MickP,

The capability of the 5″ designs being considered means that a T45 would gain a long ranged precision NFS capability, especially if you accept some of the figures being quoted by OTO Melara. And if there is a high-threat environment where the only ship available is a T45, the best defended ship in the fleet, then yes, I’d put it up there. Libya proved that all we can rely upon is the RAF to fly thousands of miles to drop one or two weapons. Having a precision attack capability right off the coast (and bear in mind that even when we don’t have guided gun rounds, we are still accurate to 50ft with the current system) is a sight more flexible and justifies the investment in such a capable AAW platform.

Derek
Derek
January 1, 2014 1:17 pm

Also, in addition to four T82s per CVA and the CVA having the same radar and missile outfit as the T82 the CVA was to be comprehensively armoured and have true torpedo protection.

Martin
Editor
January 1, 2014 1:20 pm

@ Repulse

the t45 could be a great all rounder but it’s not so not only will you have to spend money on buying 6 more but you will have to spend a fortune upgrading the other 6 with better sonar, Merlin facilities, strike length launchers torpedoes, anti ship missiles etc.

The fact is in her current state operating on her own well she may be able to shoot down any air threat she is kind of f**ked if their is a SSK in the area or even a half decent surface threat.

Mickp
Mickp
January 1, 2014 1:42 pm

– so is it definitely the case that it’s 5″ or extra cells and no option for both?

Derek
Derek
January 1, 2014 1:44 pm

Martin,

T45 already has Merlin facilities, and is fitted for but not with both AShMs and torpedoes. The only elements missing are sonars. Screw strike length launchers, any additional launchers are best used for additional ASTERS- preferably ABM capable.

Derek
Derek
January 1, 2014 1:48 pm

Mickp,

There is still some dispute about exactly what the growth potential is. It seems certain that there is scope for two 8 cell strike length VLS modules in front of the existing VLS farm and it may be possible to squeeze a 5″ in there as well. However, there are still those who swear blind that there is room for another 24 A50 cells between the current two rows. I didn’t design the ship so I don’t know.

TD,

There are not going to be any more T45s so it kind of doesn’t matter. All focus now should be on ensuring that 13 T26s are procured.

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved
January 1, 2014 2:02 pm

I saw the original specs about 6 years ago for T45 at a capability presentation. The spare capacity is definitely forward of the silo but if the 5″ is introduced, the additional footprint of the gun machinery below decks invaded that space. So who knows what may come – a better designed 5″ system may obviate the issue.

Don’t forget that more capacity in the existing silo will be freed up by the introduction of SeaCeptor. Although there is nothing concrete on the quad-pack concept for Sylver, there is a definite requirement for all Aster/Sea Viper 15s in service to be upgraded to Aster 30, which suggests that Aster 15 is on its way out of RN service TBRB SeaCeptor.

Daniel Hodges
Daniel Hodges
January 1, 2014 2:03 pm

At the end of the day as long as the t45 and t26 are fitted for but not with for all war time weapon systems that they need then not having them onborad in peace time is not a problem only fitting all systems to the ones on deployment is the right and most cost effective way while mantaining a core group of sailors who can in time of war step and train the rest we will have plenty of time to build up our forces

Mark
Mark
January 1, 2014 2:07 pm

I’m nearly sure one of the navy guys said on here that the sonar on type 45 was fine for what it needed to do. I also though the sea sentor system was fitted to all rn warships. The change of the gun seems sensible.

Rocket Banana
January 1, 2014 2:32 pm

Repulse.

Simon: Sorry, cannot agree that the T45 is a one trick pony

I don’t think I said that?

APATS,

I think you’ve mentioned that USN CBG thing before. I’m pretty sure that there would be an SSN in the area along with the Tico?

So, I understand and agree. The flotilla I suggested is the minimum that I would be able to go anywhere with.

Others,

T45 has about the best ASW and ASuW capability in the world* – the SSN that lurks silently beneath the waves ;-)

*Capabilities of Astute class pending confirmation of course!

Rocket Banana
January 1, 2014 2:34 pm

…there is a definite requirement for all Aster/Sea Viper 15s in service to be upgraded to Aster 30, which suggests that Aster 15 is on its way out of RN service TBRB Sea Ceptor

Good call.

Much more efficient use of deck space.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 1, 2014 3:09 pm

@ Simon

“APATS,

I think you’ve mentioned that USN CBG thing before. I’m pretty sure that there would be an SSN in the area along with the Tico?”

No and no reason for there to be, SSNs operate far better in associated support than direct support and vs a conventional threat which does not exists during a Med transit.

Fluffy Thoughts
Fluffy Thoughts
January 1, 2014 3:21 pm

If Sea-Viper/ASTER-15 is to be upgraded [to 30-spec] why more “sub-strike-length” silos? No need for TLAM if your escorting a NSW of Daves, is there? Any space (for example behind the funnels – do they still call them that – would suit a few Sea-Ceptor drop-ins). An AAW with 48 Medium-range and 24 LAAD missiles is fine.

As for ABM: Does anyone know if Dave/Meteor has any [pencilled-in] capability? ASAT-revisited…?

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
January 1, 2014 4:35 pm

Peter E – you’ll have a long wait in a public forum.

Let’s just say that the “6000te” displacement being quoted currently is a particular kind of displacement measure that may (or may not) allegedly be some 33% from the true value. That in itself is not a problem per se. What is a problem is that you don’t normally make significant changes to the hullform at this late stage, particularly when in fixing one issue with the change you may (or may not) allegedly exacerbate another. All of it is “fixable”, but will require some fairly brutal conversations and a willingness to re-evaluate the overall ship design. Things that to date appear to be beyond the appetite of the project.

Main Gate is late this year. It would be unfortunate if nettles had not yet been grasped by then.

John Hartley
John Hartley
January 1, 2014 4:42 pm

Going from memory. I think it was Rand that said the RN need 12 AAW destroyers. If you want less then fine, but you have to accept that the shield will be leaky. As 1982 showed, it only takes one Etendard to sneak through with an Exocet, or whatever fighter/missile similar combo you can think of.

Allan
Allan
January 1, 2014 4:46 pm

I hate to say it to all the very knowledgeable posters but the headline bit is the only thing people will remember…..

…..that the project took years and years, cost billions of Pounds and delivered 6 ships……most voters won’t care about R&D etc….they’ll see six ships at a cost of £6bn and say “Hellfire, a billion pounds per ship…..hmm…..remind me Mr. Local MP why it costs so much and I can’t have more coppers in my area and why the Royal Navy can blow £1bn on each ship…..”

And that leaves aside the inter-service rivalry when it comes to the next spending review and the Army come under pressure – to put it brutally – chop cap badges….

…..mind you I suppose the ‘sailors and the flyers’ can always point out FRES……

Fedaykin
January 1, 2014 5:09 pm

@Not a Boffin

Problem is that which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence. You have provided zero evidence for your assertions that their is some serious and almost insurmountable problem with the T26 program.

Considering it hasn’t been main-gated yet and the design is still sitting on a hard drive somewhere being amended and the final tonnage is not set in stone I struggle to believe what you are saying. I have heard no evidence from anywhere else that there is a problem. Present your evidence or at least some corroborating sources to support what you are saying, if not then frankly it is so much hot air and getting a bit boring.

If they were half way into build and problems were found (as was with Astute for example) then criticism would be deserved but not a singe piece of steel has been cut. If the systems wanted are too much for the target tonnage then don’t you think the designers would address that with the MOD and RN? They did with T45 without any major complaints. The suggestion that there is a problem wit the hull form is even more fanciful considering the access to computer modelling and test tanks. Any new ship class is tested in the water tanks as models over and over again, if there is an issue with the design then it is caught at that stage.

Come on put your money where you mouth is, if your answer is “you’ll have a long wait in a public forum” again fine but don’t expect me or anybody else to believe you.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 1, 2014 5:21 pm

@ Allan, re FRES.

I think the reality is more complicated than your inter-service observations portray. Procurement really is not an inter-service fight with winners or losers (although it would be silly for me to try to pretend that sub-optimal decisions are not sometimes made by foolish senior officers of all 3 services).

What is procured is “capability” to achieve a certain effect. To take as an example FRES. I’ve been involved in that at various points since the FRES SV KUR’s were initially staffed, both in government circles and later industry. What was originally required was the capability for the UK to “go first, go fast, go home”, with the planning assumptions something similar to what the French did in Mali 6 months ago. So a real mix of strategic and tactical lift, “enough” armour protection for vehicles, but really the balance favouring strategic mobility.

And then IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan happened, A400m got delayed, and the Government started getting afraid of casualties. Armour protection Requirements became physically impossible to meet along with weight limits for aircraft.

The FRES IPT were in an impossible position. The way out was to lower armour protection limits, but that was politically impossible.

Of course, some among the blameworthy wear green uniforms, but they were not really responsible for the key decisions that made this an impossible programme.

Chris
Chris
January 1, 2014 5:40 pm

RT – just made a similar point on the SDSR 2015 thread. As a (one time) military bod, in your opinion do the fighting soldiers want protection at any cost (even if it renders the military task difficult/impossible) or would they prefer the older fashion of balanced mobility protection & firepower? Is this a case where the politicians (fearing public outcry) have applied their own view of acceptability without ever having been in the military themselves?

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
January 1, 2014 5:56 pm

I strongly suspect that following that recent legal case the decision as to what vehicle to buy will actually be made by lawyers. The decision makers, be they politicians, civil servants or senior officers, are going to want to know, “If we buy this vehicle and it gets hit by x type of weapons system killing or maiming its occupant will we be able to defend the almost inevitable action in the courts?” Before they sign on the dotted line they will want counsel’s opinion that it is OK for them to do so.

Mark
Mark
January 1, 2014 5:59 pm

Fedaykin

I would say not a boffins credibility is rather high and I certainly don’t require sources to believe what he’s saying is true. You will not hear of any issues he alludes to on any program be it air sea or land in public unless someone wishes too make it known the press stories tend to be 18 months behind reality. Even thing is present as a ok unless its used to cancel it. I would also say from experience that attempting to change outer mold lines this far down the design evolution would be nothing short of a disaster.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 1, 2014 6:09 pm

Chris, I can answer with certainty only from my own perspective, but one I can comfortably assert was shared by my colleagues in the 80s, 90s, and noughties, and which I’d lay my mortgage on hasn’t changed.

You want to do your job. You know that protection from armour is limited, and not total. You know that getting shredded by shot, shell, or mine / IED is a chance you take; you just hope that if it happens you don’t know anything about it.

What you don’t want is crap engineering, such as Alvis did in spades with CVR(T). Things like the rubber lining of your petrol tank perishing and so you have 2 inches of petrol sloshing around on the turret floor. Nor the aluminium internal handle to the back door of a Sultan command wagon breaking due to metal fatigue 4 hours before the land campaign kicks off, with no spares in theatre, leaving 4 worried soldiers that you lock in with no way of getting out if they go over a mine and the wagon starts burning.

Fedaykin
January 1, 2014 6:14 pm

@Mark

We are all faceless names on the internet. I have not heard of any issues anywhere else … not even a whimper.

You can choose to believe him if you so wish and I do respect his input but until he puts money where his mouth is I am very much in the cynic camp on this one.

Rocket Banana
January 1, 2014 6:38 pm

NaB,

Very cryptic message.

Any chance you could explain the difference between light, standard and loaded displacements?

It would be great if you could include an example ;-)

dave haine
dave haine
January 1, 2014 7:02 pm

@ Chris
See! Weisel would be perfectly alright. Ideal as a replacement for RT’s bicycle.

@ RT
Wouldn’t be nice for them not to build down to a budget….Mind you some of it sounds like dodgy maintenance- our aeroplanes had rubber self-sealing liners to the fuel tanks, but they used to be replaced every ten years or so, because petrol and kerosene degraded the liners.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 1, 2014 8:01 pm

@DH

the only thing better than my old bike was one with gears that worked properly… Not a vorsprung durch technik dinky toy. I should think it embarrassing to be seen in such a little mouse wagon.

I passed my motorcycle test on an Army Harley single pot piece of crap, each procured at £12,000. Why?, when Hondas and similar were about £4,000. And better.

Anything Alvis ever made was a crap design and poorly engineered. Good thing for us that they no longer trade.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin
January 1, 2014 8:02 pm

Fed

Whether you believe me or not is a matter for you. Note that I’ve never said that the issues are insurmountable, merely that it is going to require some rather hard decisions to be made, by a bunch of people (in MoD, Fleet & BAES) who thus far have not shown themselves capable of such. I personally would very much like the project to succeed, because the Navy needs the ship, the concept itself is sound, it is merely the technical execution of the detail which is disturbingly awry, none of which is unknown in certain parts of MoD.

References to computer models and test tanks are all very well, but models only produce results with the assumptions included in the model. Test tanks actually tell you whether the hydrodynamics of the design will work or not, but that is all. They don’t tell you (for example) whether your weight estimates in the design are correct or not. I personally would be rather disappointed if after three years and the best part of £140M funding in the assessment phase, I was having to change principal dimensions by a significant value, particularly as that will require me to resubmit a number of my basic calculations to Class (which will delay my final structural design and the generation of production information), within a year of main gate – assuming that the dimensional changes fix the root issues of course…….

Simon – your crypto skills are improving. I don’t normally encourage Wiki, but in the interests of brevity…..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Displacement_(ship)

Chris
Chris
January 1, 2014 8:10 pm

DH – I started to reply, but stopped – this is a ship thread so it would have been well off-topic here. I’ll take the response to the SDSR 2015 thread.

RT – I will not start an argument in support of Alvis for the sakes of a happy website, but I have met many who used and liked their products. I accept they will have had their problems, as all machines do.

Brian Black
Brian Black
January 1, 2014 8:53 pm

Fedaykin, you are obviously right when it comes to being wary about what you see on the internet; however, on this occasion I can support what NaB is saying.

I have it on good authority that they’ve welded both front ends onto one carrier, and both back ends onto the other.

At this stage, this is as bad as it gets. NaB’s discretion is understandable, it will be quite an embarrassment when this story breaks. :(

Fedaykin
January 1, 2014 9:15 pm

Wow! That will be a bad one if it got out to the general press plus ammunition for those who hated the program from the get go!

Observer
Observer
January 1, 2014 10:06 pm

NaB, might not be as bad as that, could simply be minor hullshaping changes where you might be able to get away with it by shaving a bit off the hull here and there or bolting on shaping plates. The Australians faced a similar problem with their Collins subs I believe when they found that the design of the conn tower caused unnecessary cavitation and required a bolt on piece to fix. Not ideal by any means, but it was fixable. Guess it all depend on what the problem is. Or what they think the problem is, as RT pointed out with FRES and IEDs.

As for displacements, it all depends. People and governments can use whichever displacement to publicise depending on their intent. For example, in the Asian region, to try keeping the arms race to a low boil instead of a full fledged sprint, most ships are reported with their light displacement, or at least they used to. More aggressive or defensive states would probably report their loaded displacement to look more war-ry or more threatening.

Peter Elliott
January 1, 2014 10:29 pm

@NAB

Thanks – that makes some kind of sense. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes out in the wash I guess.

Meanwhile we can rather nervously imagine things like the Mission Bay or the Strike Length VLS getting chopped back to bring the hull dimensions/tonnages back into line.

On the other hand if we do seriously end up with T26 being a bigger heavier ship is augers well for the fully developed / upgraded design one day being able to fill the Prime AAW role after the T45 are gone.

Rocket Banana
January 1, 2014 10:37 pm

…augers well for the fully developed / upgraded design one day being able to fill the Prime AAW role after the T45 are gone

:-)

Not a boffin
Not a boffin
January 1, 2014 11:32 pm

“On the other hand if we do seriously end up with T26 being a bigger heavier ship is augers well for the fully developed / upgraded design one day being able to fill the Prime AAW role after the T45 are gone”

Unless of course, the cost model for the project is weight (as opposed to work content and equipment) based, which might produce a number that was “unaffordable”. There are people (most often in uniform) who appear to believe that size is directly proportional to cost and that they can unerringly relate displacement to cost. One reason why a particular sort of displacement value has been in use for a number of years now – primarily at one end of the M4.

Zaitsev
Zaitsev
January 2, 2014 10:13 am

@Not a boffin There isnt anything at one end of the m4 so i guess you mean london?

Rocket Banana
January 2, 2014 10:29 am

Is it reasonable to assume then that certain establishments are using “light displacement”.

It goes some way to explaining how a 5400t T26 can be stretched to nearly as long as an 8000t T45.

Does this then put the T26’s deep displacement at about 7200t (my personal estimate)?

Furthermore, does it help explain the sudden surge from 65,000 tonnes for a particularly large ship?

mr.fred
mr.fred
January 2, 2014 10:54 am

The Weisel is a weapons carrier, not a recce wagon.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 10:55 am

@Zaitsev
Unless we have built somewhere new in Llanelli :)

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 2, 2014 10:58 am

May I ask a layman’s question? What is the value of quoting a displacement figure? I know what displacement is, and that different ships of different designs can displace different amounts despite having the same nominal mass of materials used in their construction. But what use is a displacement figure in practical terms?

I use displacement for aerostat hoisting capacity: 200 cubic metres will hoist 100 kgs, so aerial displacement is useful to me. But, purely as a matter of interest, what use is a displacement figure in the maritime world?

Rocket Banana
January 2, 2014 11:07 am

RT,

I think that’s very much the point. In the commercial world a ship’s displacement is meaningless as it is it’s cargo carrying capability that matters (tonnage). In the warship world there have been limits placed on them over the years and I guess that the physical size of the ship mattered.

Displacement implies size/armour a little more accurately than tonnage.

Zaitsev
Zaitsev
January 2, 2014 11:23 am

Displacement also implies roughly the wetted surface area which is going to determine your speed. However if you are bigger you can have a bigger engine, and in fact your volume will increase relative to your wetted surface area, meaning that it should be simpler to make big boats go faster as they have more room for the engine compartment, and then more room left over for anything else. Obviously the shape of a ship is going to make a difference to, and the long pointy ones are going to go faster.

dave haine
dave haine
January 2, 2014 12:34 pm

@RT
The poxy Harley one potter….there’s another example of dodgy procurement…wasn’t even a proper design…the original design was italian, but Armstrong developed it into a good competition bike- the MT500, which the army bought too…then Harley muscled in and redesigned it down to a 350, to lighten and shiten it.

Should have just bought KTMs of the shelf….somewhat cheaper….much, much better.

Allan
Allan
January 2, 2014 12:37 pm

@Red Trousers

Sorry for the delay in getting back….I’ve re-read my original comment and it reads far more flippantly than I intended. I agree – knowing some who have been in the supply business to MoD – that project teams are placed in an impossible position at times……

……but I think as budgets get ever tighter the patience of the Great British Public about vast overspends on military budgets delivering even less than capable OTS equipment will run ever thinner.

I don’t know the precise circumstances – I’m sure the commentators on here are better informed – but why were HM Forces using what amounted to an armoured JCB to do work when the US forces had kit like the D6? Is it simply that the procurement system didn’t allow it or was it a cost issue or did those at senior level simply not see the need?

After all, if you’re going to blow billions on FRES / T45 etc. you’d have thought there would have been some cash left over to get hold of smaller pieces of kit even if that meant admitting that we’d have to buy from abroad.

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
January 2, 2014 1:26 pm

I don’t know whether his question belongs here or in the open thread, but here goes.

Does the current Japanese navy operate below par ships and submarines? Are the training and readiness levels seriously below those of the RN?

I ask these questions because they do seem to have a much larger navy (including whole squadrons of MPA) than we able able to afford on a bigger budget. Their air force is also bigger and none too shabby looking and their army, on a quick glance, looks about equivalent to where we are going with ours.

If their gear, training and readiness is upto snuff perhaps they have a procurement methodology that we should be seeking to emulate.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 2, 2014 2:07 pm

@ HL,

What a good question, and one that I’d be fascinated to know more about. Have read the Wiki article, which is interesting and seems balanced, but still no nearer to understanding how they do this.

Some guesses:

Their personnel costs are somehow way cheaper than ours?

The non deploying aspect?

Their equipment costs are lower like for like than ours? Possibly, the US give them deep discounts through FMS as a reward for being a regional ally?

But those are really only guesses.

Jeremy M H
January 2, 2014 2:07 pm

@HL

Japan buys in almost all of its major systems, or at least it did until recently with the P-1 and the associated cargo plane it is building. They might assemble a lot of it at home but the bones of most of the major programs are all just bought in after being proven elsewhere for the most part.

They also have pretty low deployment cost as their forces almost exclusively operate in and around the home islands.

Mark
Mark
January 2, 2014 2:55 pm

HL

I draw your attention to page 16 of the document below the Japanese do not have this expense 36b pound buys a lot of things.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/70258/Defence_Equipment_Plan_2012_20130130.pdf

They also do not have quite the same expeditionary capabilities and costs of achieving that as we do.

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
January 2, 2014 3:19 pm

Since we are on the subject…
I recall the most recent Hansard listing the Net Book Value of HMS Dragon (then only just in service) as £343m.
If I understand it correctly, that price will equal the unit cost, for brand new ships.
Amazingly cheap.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 2, 2014 3:26 pm

@ MW,

I never really understood the fancy pants clever accountancy shite, but to me, if you spend £6billion including R&D on 6 ships, then each ship cost £1 billion. And that is not good value for a one trick pony optimised for a threat that no potential enemy can offer.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 3:39 pm

@RT

Hardly clever accountancy. It cost X to develop PAAMs and instead of being divided between 12 Ships it was divided between 6.
For a one trick pony, that was some great “Air Defence” Daring was doing in the Philipines.

Have a look at the proliferation of anti shipping missiles but “potential enemies” well last time I looked Hezbollah were not sending us Christmas cards and i was not a million miles away when INS Hanit discovered they had an anti shipping missile capability. If they could do it so can a lot of others especially if the Iranians feel like making mischief.

Rocket Banana
January 2, 2014 3:42 pm

APATS,

To be fair the Iranians only need 49 anti-ship missiles ;-)

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 3:48 pm

@Simon

Not true as how many would we get with soft kill ? Just for X :)

as
as
January 2, 2014 3:55 pm

The cost per unit would have been less if we had bought the twelve that was originally planned for.
It would have been something closer to £500 million per ship instead.

It would have came down even further if the Saudi’s had bought three for there Navy. it would of worked far better then the American stuff they bought instead as it uses the same missile system as there French frigates.

Six is not enough ships to do all the jobs that are needed. Eight would have been pushing it some.
If you put it as two per aircraft carrier and two per landing ship that puts you at the need for ten and that leave no replacements for refit and battle damage. The original number of twelve was for that reason. So you would have two spares.

The 6 are going to end up having short hard lives. They are going to really work for a living. They will be knackered by the end of there service.

dave haine
dave haine
January 2, 2014 4:03 pm

Isn’t the net book value, kind of like the trade in value?
So Daring cost us £1b, but if we sold it we’d get £343m for it

But, I suppose you could argue that some of the R&D will carry across to the T26 programme, and therefore the cost could be spread across the two fleets.

….Or are they trying to amortise the R&D cost across the expected life of the asset?….

….Or, is it just sneaky accountancy stuff designed to confuse and obfusticate?

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 2, 2014 4:04 pm

@ APATS,

Come on you know better than I do that Daring only turned up because she was relatively local, and that there’s an enormous limit to what an AD ship with a non specialist HADR crew, no embarked DR stores and a single helicopter can do. Air control to provide a temporary replacement ATS service for the airport, fine, but that’s equally easily provided from an ISO and is not by itself a reason to develop a £6 billion capability.

The cost of each ship is the total cost divided by total numbers. I don’t expect that the Initial and Main Gates would have signed off a unit cost double what was originally suggested, but to be fair, I blame suits and not the Andrew for the outcome.

As for the AshM example you mention, two points. Firstly, was nothing else apart from PAAMS considered? Aegis was already available at T45 initial gate, and is more than competent to take out satellites with SM3. No R&D needed. And secondly, is a single terrorist group with distantly limited ambitions and no known anti-UK stance adequate reason to piss away £6 billion of taxpayers’ money?

SomewhatRemoved
SomewhatRemoved
January 2, 2014 4:12 pm

Absolutely. What threat? Nothing that dangerous out there is there? Iranians, lucky if they can wire up a plug right! Wonder how those Chinese-Iranian relations are these days…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Gulf_(missile)

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
January 2, 2014 4:12 pm

@ Red Trousers and Jeremy MH

The Japs do seem to have a combination policy, some stuff they buy from the Septics (with home assembly and customisation) and some they develop for themselves (e.g. their subs which do seem to be rather good). So they have had half a dozen of the Aegis Class air defence destroyers for quite a while and I don’t suppose they forked out £6bn for them. Is the daring class that much better that it was worth spending the difference? I dunno (I appreciate that there are wider arguments of national industrial policy that have to be taken into account). Even assuming Daring is better are the extra capabilities ones that we actually need – could we have replicated the Japanese procurement route and got good enough ships for much less dosh? Again, I don’t know.

@Mark

Thanks for the reply. I did consider the deterrent subs and the cost of CASD, but as I understand it these have not been, and still are not, funded from the MoD budget (Osborne’s stealth defence cut doesn’t kick in for a couple of years). So this really isn’t a factor in thinking about why the Japanese can put out 16 submarines, albeit SSKs, when we are struggling to keep a flotilla of 7 SSNs, let alone why they can afford 80 MPA and we none or why their escort fleet is twice the size of our own.

I can see that SSNs are likely to be more expensive than SSKs and if you want world reach you must have the former, but do the relative costs justify the overall platform numbers, that is not just submarines but surface ships and maritime aircraft?

As for the Japanese expeditionary capability they have 3 fairly modern landing ships and a couple of helicopter carriers, which don’t seem far off the RNs capabilities.

Overall we do seem to have some really good kit (e.g. Typhoon, Astute, Daring) but very little of it and sodding great capability gaps (e.g. MPA) whereas they have kit that might not be quite as good (e.g. Aegis v Daring) but a lot more of it, no gaps and things we have long since given up (e.g. dedicated training vessels) and they spend less money. Something seems to be going on, but what?

mickp
mickp
January 2, 2014 4:26 pm

@DH – not necessarily. I would expect NBV to be unit cost less amortisation to date, ie writing off the unit cost over the expected useful life. If its £343m just after being brought into service, then amortisation will be small so the question being where is the other £657m per ship? This will probably be the development costs that could have either been written off as incurred or some may be being c/f separately as eg IP on the PAAMs system perhaps. Unlike the private sector though, government accounting can be a bit ‘odd’ (eg the different treatment of PFI depending on which set of books you look at) so I can’t be certain on this. Either way we get £1bn a ship as a headline which is not the whole truth. We don’t get VFM for our R&D spend – Typhoon, T45, Astute for example – shed loads on R&D and only small buys then start again with something else. I worry on T26 in that regard. I feel we would have been better pressing on with Batch 2 of T45 creating a primary high end escort fleet and pushing T26 out to replace the last 8 upgraded T23s as prime ASW assets. But we are where we are, and that’s more R&D on T26…

Rocket Banana
January 2, 2014 4:37 pm

as,

Although I like T45 and agree it would make unit costs less, I really don’t think we need 12 of them.

I see little need for them other than to defend our single likely task group. So 6 will deliver 2 on task.

It’s probably also worth remembering that if we assume one is in refit and another has gone wrong that the remaining four can deliver two standing tasks and FRE – the only problem then becomes one of manpower and lack of rest for the crews, not one of spending billions on extra ships and crew.

Rocket Banana
January 2, 2014 4:40 pm

mickp,

…£1bn a ship as a headline…

I couldn’t agree more. As a headline it is misleading and pretty unfair.

Better to say £500m per ship (or whatever they actually are) and £3b for the development of the worlds most advanced missile defence system. At least that has the effect of indicating that we are investing in R&D.

Repulse
January 2, 2014 4:43 pm

@Simon, sorry meant Martin…

@TD: it was your idea to get 12 T45s instead of the T26 :) The more i read about the T26 the better idea it becomes.

Rocket Banana
January 2, 2014 4:54 pm

Repulse,

No worries.

Perhaps someone can interject but I was under the impression that the T45 hull and powertrain is not going to be particularly great for ASW work?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 4:56 pm

@HL

One of the issues with the Arleigh Burke and something like the Kongo Class the Japanese use (Burke derivative) is they both have a Ships Company of just over 300 as opposed to a T45 with just under 200. Given our manning issues that is quite important. Not to mention that using RT figures the extra running cost for 6 would be close to £60 million a year.

They do deploy less and deploying costs money. The most modern fighter aircraft in their inventory is an F15 derivative.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 5:02 pm

@Simon

I thin k it is fair to say that the propulsion system on T45 is not optimised for ASW.

The Securocrat
January 2, 2014 5:11 pm

I think this idea that there is ‘no threat’ is a good example of the challenges of major defence procurement and the problems of managing risk as opposed to threat. Given the Type 45 started off back in the early 90s, and didn’t turn up operationally until a few years back, even with delays you are looking at a 15-20 year window from inception to deployment. It is an *extremely* bold (and I would say foolish) person who argues that there will be *no* threat from anti-ship missiles in that time, especially given our recent (in generational terms) experience in the Falklands, and our own use against the Iraqis in the first Gulf Way. If you really think it is none, you have to have exceptional judgement and confidence in your assessment, because otherwise once a threat emerges, flash to bang for you will take more than a decade.

Once you assume there will be some threat, you ask yourself how much risk you are prepared to take, and where your compromises will be; range of deployments or in technological capability or numbers. So then you ask yourself what you want to deal with the potential threat, and I think this is where RT’s real point hits home: was it necessary to develop a whole new system (both radar and missiles) for the Type 45. In value for money terms it doesn’t look great, but on the other hand it is more ‘current’ against airborne threats than, say, Aegis (and the US is going to have difficulty fitting the new radar they want on the Arleigh Burke upgrades, with its associated power requirements, if my limited reading is correct). That doesn’t firmly answer the question whether we *needed* as opposed to *wanted* Sea Viper and Sampson, but again, given the life of the system, it’s not immediately an obvious call either way. Certainly the claim that because where we are geographically sending T45 at the moment, we aren’t being fired on with advanced anti-ship missiles, and so it’s a waste is an *extremely* temporal argument and one that isn’t really about the original procurement.

The other value consideration, however, remains why such a large and expensive platform is so limited in terms of other ‘flightiness aspects’: anti-surface, both land and sea, capabilities are bare minimum at best. I’m afraid the old 4.5 inch gun and helicopter combination really is an absolute baseline. So, ‘is it a good AAW destroyer’ and ‘is it good value for money as a ship’ are different questions.

I’m sure that looks all over the place, I think I’m just agreeing it’s a messy story…

Jeremy M H
January 2, 2014 5:19 pm

@Simon

The Type 45 is a very good air defense ship but if you run around shouting about the worlds most advanced air defense system you are really just as guilty as the people who want to scream 1 billion pounds from the rooftops because that statement can only be properly made with a lot of conditions attached to it.

It is the best system in the world fitted to any one single ship that is engaging targets basically all on its own.

It is not the best in the world if you want to engage higher end ballistic targets, it can’t do that right now.

It is not the best in the world if you want to cooperate with an airborne radar to engage targets (particularly low flying ones) at long range. It can’t do that right now either.

Best is kind of a silly term that is thrown around way too often. And as an outside observer the British MOD is pretty bad about using terms like “best” and “world beating” to describe things that are much more complicated and not nearly so clear cut as terms like that would make them sound.

Within a certain range of scenarios the Type 45 is very well equipped and capable. However compared to other systems those scenarios are quite limited and that is valid criticism of both the AAW system in particular and the ship in general. Patriot, S-300, S-400 and AEGIS all have more flexibility in terms of targets they can engage and the range at which they can do it.

None of this is a cut on the Type 45 but rather a caution about running too far the other direction in the face of criticism.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 5:29 pm

@JMH

I always said that we should have stuck with PAAMS but integrated Mk41 with US missiles and CEC.

The system is fantastic, even my USN colleagues struggled with its capabilities but it is limited by the performance of the missiles and a lack of CEC.

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
January 2, 2014 5:34 pm

@APATS

“Given our manning issues that is quite important.”

What manning issues would these be? Are you saying that the RN cannot attract sufficient recruits or are you saying that the RN cannot afford to pay for the number of people it would need? If it is the latter, and given the waiting list to get into Raleigh I suspect it might be, then buying cheaper, but good enough, ships might still leave us on the right side of the ledger despite needing 600 more people to crew the flotilla.

On the issue of deployment, perhaps they deploy each ship less because they have more of them. Just looking at Navy News, our T45s seem to be deployed pretty much full time and does that not come with a cost in itself? Then their is the question of where are the ships going to come from when the current, hard-worked, vessels go in for refit? The T45s have all been commissioned in quite a short space of time and are all busy, once the refit cycle kicks in we will probably never again have so many available for work.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 5:48 pm

@HL

Re read the CDS article, he admits that the RN are very close to critical manning mass. I am sure Sr can back me up with some more recent sea going experience but a lot of Ships and personnel were operating pretty close to a 6 months Deployed, return, leave work up exercise , Deploy, so effectively 6 months deployed 3 months around base Port, 3 months getting ready and then deploy again.
We lean man already so not sure how having less capable ships is meant to help operational capability.

The Japanese SDF still have restrictions on the type of Ships they can have and where they can deploy them.

dave haine
dave haine
January 2, 2014 5:53 pm

@APATS, SR
Is the relentless deployment cycle having an impact on recruitment and retention?

Mark
Mark
January 2, 2014 5:54 pm

HL

the mod is spending about 1b pounds a year on successor at the minute and operating costs have always been aid for by mod. But it doesn’t change the fact 36b pound is being spent on nuclear subs and there support which would more than pay for the mpa fleet (80 p8 would cost about 12b pound) and SSK subs you suggest. Also remember we spent 3.5b pound on an mpa and got razor blades 6.5b on 2 aircraft carriers prob close to 2b on c17 ect. I think you’d find when alls said and done that the choice of buying equipment for expeditionary warfare and using it and being a nuclear power are probably what accounts for the differences in force structure between the nations.

You pays your money and take your choices.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 6:00 pm

@DH

Yes!

HurstLlama
HurstLlama
January 2, 2014 6:05 pm

“We lean man already so not sure how having less capable ships is meant to help operational capability.”

Are the Aegis ships less capable? That is not what you said earlier, just that they require a larger crew. To which my question was is the RN short of people because it cannot attract recruits or because it can’t pay for them. As I said, buying cheaper, but good enough, ships might actually leave us with more money despite those cheaper ships needing more crew.

The RN seems horribly over-stretched, both in terms of the number of ships for the tasks and the number of people to crew those ships. The Japanese Navy seems to be able to manage to have more ships, more aircraft and more people and do so on a considerably smaller budget. I am just trying to find out why that should be – no disrespect here to you or your service.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 2, 2014 6:08 pm

APATS, in your judgement, should we be thinking of double-crewing the surface fleet? Standing back a little, it seems from what you say that for once, the crew and not the platform is the critical path.

I know, it might be a difficult concept, and I can see that equally as I understand regimental esprit de corps for a Cavalry Regiment could not easily be accommodated with a double crew, so ships’ companies might feel a bit sniffy about ” the other lot” cocking something up.

I have a no cost proposal. Have 2 crews, but give each crew a different ship’s name. You could do the same with Regiments, and Air Force squadrons.

Seems a bit revolutionary, but then I never gave two hoots for the normally shit equipment I was issued with by the MoD. Only the people.

Jeremy M H
January 2, 2014 6:17 pm

@APATS

That is certainly a viable option. The ASTER weapons do some nice things but in the end I don’t think you gain that much capability with them.

More on point that is always my main issue with most European defense programs. Sea Viper today is a very nice system. Where will it be in 20-years? Threats and systems almost constantly evolve. Someday the USN may have to replace AEGIS all together but right now it is still viable because it is on version 112 (or whatever it is) and they keep updating it. Heck, just look at the seeker updates on SM-2 missiles to see how much the system has evolved over time. Right now Europe seems somewhat stuck on when/if/how to provide a ABM capability to the Aster system (and we could look to Eurofighter as another example of this issue).

It is just hard to get that kind of sustained push for increased capability and modernization with multiple relatively equal parties. First you have to decide what you want. Then you have to hear what the other parties want, presuming they want to spend any thing at all. Then you have to decide who is building what. By the time you get around to doing it the world may have passed you by on that issue.

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 6:21 pm

@HL

I was not talking about AEGIS ships, the unit cost of a current Arleigh Burke is £1.15 Billion. Perhaps a much greater breakdown across all 3 services of the Japanese SDF would be required. Who owns the MPAs, the RAF owned ours? As I said they have no operational combat deployments, so how much does their “army” cost?
An awful lot greater detail is required.

@RT

We have been doing it with the MCMV flotilla for 6 odd years. The Ships Companies now have crew numbers. The 4 MCMVs based in Bahrain have a crew change every 6 months. Every 3 years we rotate the hulls. It was horrific to start with as trhere was no sense of ownership. Both the ships that the crews left in the Uk and the ones they inherited in Bahrain lacked any long term maintenance planning.
Crypto material was a mess and the Uk vessels safe to breathe air certificate for BA had been allowed to expire. A system of 2 inspections was instigated, one by squadron staff 6 weeks prior to handover and another by FOST 6 weeks after. I went on a couple of these on both sides but they definitely got better.
Interestingly enough when CINCFLEET visited us in my previous job, he used this handover system as a good example and looked shocked when I told him how it had started off. Obviously bad news only went so far up the chain :)
As for your proposal, we have looked at it and several options, 133% manning, swapping hulls, 2 crews etc but none have proven workable on an FF/DD.

@JMH

Think you are confusing radar and systems with the missile hardware, the T45 uses a different radar and software from the Europeans, we use their missiles, so we will update ourselves.
Of course would have been easier if you guys had come in with us and bought our “better” system at version 1 and integrated CEC and missiles.

Mark
Mark
January 2, 2014 6:47 pm

HL

the mod is spending about 1b pounds a year on successor at the minute. But it doesn’t change the fact 36b pound is being spent on nuclear subs and there support which would more than pay for the mpa fleet (80 p8 would cost about 12b pound) and SSK subs you suggest. Not to mention we spent 3.5b pound on an mpa and got razor blades 6.5b on 2 aircraft carriers and prob 2b on c17.

I think you’d find when alls said and done that the choice of buying equipment for expeditionary warfare and exercising /using it and being a nuclear power are probably what accounts for the differences in force structure between the nations.

Do the ssbns not run two crews? Could surface vessels not follow that procedure.

Jeremy M H
January 2, 2014 6:50 pm

@APATS

No, I know the system and radar are apart from the missiles but I would level the same criticism at British kit as European kit. They generally start out good and lack for upgrades over their life. You would not have to negotiate to integrate your system with US Missiles to be sure. But you would if you want to develop Aster missiles for the ABM mission.

While it is true that the US would be better at the individual ship level if it had simply stopped building AEGIS ships and built them with Sea Viper overall they would not be. There is a huge installed base of AEGIS ships and building new units feeds into the upgrade path for all of them. It would not shock me to see AEGIS simply continue to be upgraded and on the Flight III ships with new radars feeding into it. You are going to have to take a huge leap forward to justify making a clean break.

Rocket Banana
January 2, 2014 6:56 pm

Aster30 or SM2? Aster30 every time thanks :-)

Problem is no SM3 equivalent and the costs :-(

With Sea Ceptor entering the arena and Aster15 becoming obsolete it will only make Aster30 even less attractive and more expensive.

It’s the classic VHS vs Betamax problem again.

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
January 2, 2014 7:00 pm

APATS,

Are there double-crews on the V boats? Someone once told me there were, but I only have their word on it.

If so, and double (or 1.33) manning is viable for those and the MCMs, representing presumably the highest and lowest levels of crew/ systems complexity in deployed vessels, I wonder why the FF/DD hulls cannot also fit the paradigm?

All Politicians are the Same
All Politicians are the Same
January 2, 2014 7:01 pm

@JMH

Sea Viper is the missile, I was talking about the radar and command system with USN CEC and US missiles, best of both worlds with a more modern system capable of more upgrades yet CEC and better ballistic performance from the missiles.