HMS Duncan

HMS Duncan celebrates her fourth birthday with missile success.

The sixth and final of the RN’s Type 45 destroyer fired her main weapon system for the first time – proving HMS Duncan is ready to take her place on the front line alongside her sisters.

 

 

Read more at navynews.co.uk

 

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From 12 down to 6, what does this mean for the Type 26?

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Nick
Nick
October 14, 2014 11:57 am

TD

Any idea how much it would cost to do a more realistic test scenario (multiple, simultaneous, incoming/crossing targets at various altitudes and speeds ?) in the real world as opposed to the computer ?

The Limey
The Limey
October 14, 2014 12:06 pm

@Nick – that would certainly be interesting and it always strikes me as one of the more amazing things about modern weapons systems is they do not appear to be live-fired anywhere near the level that would make me comfortable.

But it should probably be considered that a large part of the utility of the weapons systems may be in deterrence – so if the operator does not know how well they do (or do not) work, neither does any opponent. Similarly, for the deterrent effect of Trident to work, the missiles and warheads themselves don’t actually need to (they just need to be thought of as working by potential opponents).

Observer
Observer
October 14, 2014 12:26 pm

Nick, my estimates would be about 9 million USD per shot. I’m basing this on the worst case figures of the Astor 30 at about 5 million USD and addition to the target drone used.

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/gqm163-ssst-a-tricky-coyote-to-match-wits-with-defenses-03155/

27.7 for 7 and further below 29.9 for 8, so cost is about 3.7-3.9 million per.

My estimates for Astor is probably high since it is by system costs, I can’t find unit costs only, but the high end of the ballpark is somewhere there.

Multiply these by how many missiles you want to test and you can see why most countries don’t do all out testing. A 6 missile test is going to cost approximately 54 million USD. And you also get to see why people are so ga-ga about lasers.

Nick
Nick
October 14, 2014 12:40 pm

Observer

I can understand the system cost being that high, but the individual missile ought to be rather cheap. The active radar guidance unit is probably the most expensive element, but I would have thought the integrated circuit technology would be pretty cheap to make as the cost is in the design and software to run them not in making them, even if they were still hand assembled (I did use to audit some UK defence technology manufacturing companies in my previous life).

Observer
Observer
October 14, 2014 12:48 pm

Nick, I’ve learnt that “ought to be” isn’t a common operating principle of this world. :)

Besides, better a highball estimate and get a nice surprise at a cost saving than to lowball it and cry when it cost more than anticipated.

Nick
Nick
October 14, 2014 1:02 pm

Observer

you’re right there. A Cruise missile is supposed to cost around $1.5 million to buy off the shelf and a storm shadow, perhaps double that amount.

Even if Aster cost $6 million each, how does a 10 missile test stack up against the cost of an individual T45 or worse a carrier.

The Limey
The Limey
October 14, 2014 1:46 pm

@Nick- exactly right, the marginal cost of producing most missiles should be pretty low. The vast majority should be in sunk costs. Do we know if the procurement contracts accurately reflect that? I know something appropriate was done for bullets and shells, but am not sure for complex weapons.

Jean Tirole, who this week was awarded the Noble Prize for economics, has done lots of excellent work on contract design in this sort of situation. I’m just not confident MoD staff know it…

Observer
Observer
October 14, 2014 1:56 pm

Nick, if my figures are even remotely in the ballpark, your 10 missile test is going to cost almost as much as an OPV. :)

It’s like sending one ship out to be sunk for free.

Though I really do wish that it is a test that would be done too. It’s just that I’m sort of taught to see both sides of the equation. Didn’t the General Paper at A-levels insist on the ability to take both sides of an argument?

BTW, one firm figure I did get was the cost of an Aster 15 in 2002 at 1.1m USD. The 30 should cost a bit more, and add in 2008 to the problem and you get a ???

The Other Chris
October 14, 2014 2:04 pm

The really complex scenarios are difficult to enact.

Although not specifically what you’re after, the animated gifs and video at the following article give you an idea of what a pair of supersonic missiles can do before and after the warheads go off and why limiting the risk to your vessels is important. You have to look closely for the second missile:

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/watch-these-russian-missiles-completely-tear-through-a-1636002082

Incidentally this also helps explains why CIWS fore and aft on T45 and Arleigh Burke’s are preferable to abeam. The concept of “crossing the T” is still valid and maneuver is still an important part of your defence. Although presenting as small a width target as possible seems sensible, if you think you’re going to be hit then a “beam strike” verses a “stem to stern strike” is more preferable.

The Other Chris
October 14, 2014 2:05 pm

@TD

Post title very different from URL

monkey
monkey
October 14, 2014 2:08 pm

@Observer
“Nick, if my figures are even remotely in the ballpark, your 10 missile test is going to cost almost as much as an OPV”
Our OPV’s cost £348m dived by three = £116m each , that’s some expensive missiles :-)
Sooner we get our own rail guns and lasers the better , all it will cost then is a few gallons of fuel per shot .

Nick
Nick
October 14, 2014 2:13 pm

Observer

Clearly there was a lot of testing which showed that Aster/Sampson can hit a wide range of targets in test conditions to prove the overall system works. However, that is clearly not the same as showing the entire system works as designed to intercept multiple targets in what might be defined as a “realistic” combat environment, even if the system is proven to deal with each individual element successfully,. Surely something like this should be the final test?

Ignoring profit for a moment, then once the production/assembly line is set up to build the individual missiles, the incremental cost of an extra missile really ought to be little more than the cost of the components plus the labour (or the cost of sub-assemblies).

I agree blowing $20 million or $60 million to prove that a complex system can really handle what’s most likely to be shot at it in a combat situation is always going to be so expensive that you chose not to do it, but then you end up as we did in 1982 loosing several Destroyers and Frigates because SeaWolf malfunctioned and SeaDart wouldn’t discriminate against land background (HMS Coventry) and that wasn’t with sophisticated weapons. In today’s terms that was a $1.5 billion cost and 19 crew.

Nick
Nick
October 14, 2014 2:21 pm

TOC

The missile passing through virtually the entire ship stem to stern is very surprising. I wouldn’t have expected that at all. Looks like you ought to have 4 CIWS to multiple engage targets, although there’s probably some maths that suggests you don’t need to.

Observer
Observer
October 14, 2014 2:23 pm

Nick, I know, I know. I’d love to see something like that done as well, but as I said, I can also see why they don’t/can’t do it.

Not to mention the safety factor on tests like that. 10 missile, oops, missed one… = drone to ship collision, fire and possible deaths. Something like the Antrim and their CIWS test.

Edit, Nick, in case of supersonic missiles do NOT use CIWS, they don’t work too well on those.

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
October 14, 2014 3:03 pm

@Observer

“Edit, Nick, in case of supersonic missiles do NOT use CIWS, they don’t work too well on those.”

Why not ?…you might as well thow everything you’ve got against the target. Regardless of the threat, CIWS is by their very nature a last ditch defence system.

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
October 14, 2014 3:13 pm

Besides , modern missile based CIWS like (Sea)Ram has the speed, range and maneuverability to engage super sonic targets.

And with programmable ammunition, even gun based systems , like Bofors 57 mm with 3P ammo or the Millennium gun with 35mm AHEAD , provides a more than marginal defence against fast maneuverable missiles.

Observer
Observer
October 14, 2014 3:22 pm

MKP, if you’re that desperate, but once you hit CIWS range on a supersonic missile that is on your bearing, it’s too late, you may or may not be hit, but the CIWS isn’t going to be a factor.

Part of this is due to the target and the effective range. A rough rule of thumb I tend to drum on a lot here is that supersonic missiles at Mach 3 goes at about 1km/sec. At a CIWS effective range of 400m, it will cross that range in 0.4 seconds. Beside the fact on if you can accurately hit something like that, there is also the problem of debris. A hit on the missile does not cause the missile to disappear like computer games, it may mangle the warhead, it may cause a fuel cell rupture, but at 0.4 seconds, not much of the missile is going to shatter and disperse before the leftover mass hits you at supersonic speeds. To really put down a supersonic missile, you either decoy/ECM it away or use missiles to put it down at range. This was also the reason behind SeaRAM development.

Check up on the Antrim incident I mentioned, the drone was killed by the CIWS, only to bounce off the water and hit the ship, and I think that one was not even supersonic.

Edit:late reply didn’t read your 2nd post until this went up.

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
October 14, 2014 3:54 pm

@Observer

“At a CIWS effective range of 400m”

That might be the max effective range of Phalanx, but other more moderns systems have ranges of anywhere from 4-10 times that.

Even at 1km/s ,with a radar horizon of typically 25-30 km , you’ll have an engagement window of 25-30 seconds….granted not a lot , but more than sufficient for CIWS to start engaging the target. You dont have to wait till it reaches your CIWS nominal max range before you start shooting.

Allan
Allan
October 14, 2014 4:01 pm

As an outside looking in, why on earth did it take four years for the RN to get into a position for one if it’s £1bn – yes £1bn – warships to be able to fire it’s main weapon for the first time? Four years is about half the time of the full Apollo programme and that got mankind to the moon.

Observer
Observer
October 14, 2014 4:03 pm

Sorry MKP, when you say CIWS, it tends to refer to a specific type of gun based 20-40mm rotary cannon system, not missile based SeaRAM nor the medium calibre new 76mms. If you are talking about the rest, yes, those have a chance, but not the old R2-D2s. I’m not sure of the Millennium though.

I would like to know which of the newer systems you have in mind specifically.

Edit: Allan, budget. :) And trying to spread skills. You get a huge single batch trained in a live fire, the next one will not be for a while, so you got a training interruption as opposed to something like once a year.

Craig
Craig
October 14, 2014 4:25 pm

@Allan

According to Wikipedia:
“She was launched from Govan on 11 October 2010,[10] on the 213th anniversary of the Battle of Camperdown).[11] HMS Duncan sailed from Scotstoun shipyard, Glasgow on 31 August 2012 to commence sea trials.[12] Duncan, the sixth and last type 45 destroyer, was commissioned on 26 September 2013.[1] She entered service on 30 December 2013, 4 months ahead of schedule, after a period of trials and training.[13]”

Launched means when she went down the slipway – she still had a fair amount of work to be completed in dry-dock/at berth. The Royal Navy have only had her for barely over a year – allow for other training needs, leave, the availability of the Hebrides range, etc and it looks a pretty reasonable timescale.

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
October 14, 2014 4:46 pm

@Obs

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Close-in_weapon_system

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RIM-116_Rolling_Airframe_Missile

CIWS is very much a generel term that covers all point defence systems , whether gun or missile based.

I was thinking of RAM,SeaRam, Oerlikon 35/1000, Denel 35DPG* ,Bofors 57mm* and the Oto Melara 76mm*.

And some of the more recent russian systems like Kashtan , with both gun and missiles, seems fairly capable as well

*Only with programmable ammunition,

On the Millennium gun
http://gallery.military.ir/albums/userpics/CIWS_article.pdf

http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNGER_35mm-1000_Millennium.htm

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2005garm/tuesday/buckley.pdf

It was made specifically to defeat both sub and supersonic ASM’s .Whether it(or any other PD system )lives up to the marketing , is open to debate. We won’t know for sure till they are tested in a real combat situation.

WiseApe
October 14, 2014 6:17 pm

From MKP’s first link on the Millennium gun system:

“As an option, the unique “ISO mount installation” (The
ISO mount installation facilitates ammunition
stowage and “cross decking” for warship
mission module flexibility)…”

Observer
Observer
October 14, 2014 8:02 pm

MKP, I’m old. SeaRAM wasn’t invented yet when the term CIWS was in use. :)

As for the Russian stuff, they get more utility out of CIWS because most of the Western stuff that they are likely to end up against are all sub-sonic, so roughly from the maths I pointed out before, 1 km takes about 3 seconds, lots more engagement time.

It was pretty much a weapon/countermeasures race, The US got carriers, Russia went missile heavy, the West invented CIWS, Russia developed high-speed missiles to counter, the West went to medium calibre defences and countermissiles.

On the other side of the coin, the West went Gabrial/Harpoon/Tomahawk, mostly slow stuff, so Russia went CIWS heavy. Lots more other stuff like carriers vs missiles, high altitude bombers vs S-300/400 SAMs vs low altitude bombers etc.

Wonder what would have happened if the West had pushed ramjet missiles as well instead of carriers. The West used to lead in terms of ramjets until it was neglected in favour of carriers and aircraft. I especially remember the Bloodhound missiles and the Talos.

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
October 14, 2014 8:40 pm

Okay, so:
how much more funding is required in order to enable all the items we are currently signed up for, with nothing extra?
– RN gets: 13 Type-26, with some sort of strike-length vls, both carriers, fully armed Lynx, Merlin AEW, and the Trident replacement.
– Joint carrier strike gets 48 F-35B quickly enough to enable a surge of 36 on one carrier, or 24 on both.
– RAF gets all the planned upgrades for Typhoon, an MPA, and a plan to increase up to 136 F-35’s in order to replace Tornado 1-for-1, at a realistic date.
– Army gets enough funding to maintain a larger army until and unless reserves are able to meet the plan, plus FRES, pus Apache upgrade, and all the capability gaps (engineering, NBC, etc.) get filled in.
Plus all the logistics associated with the above.
Because 2% GDP doesn’t seem to be meeting the requirements.
But what would be needed to bridge the gap? Are we talking about 2.1%, or more like 4%?

The Other Chris
October 15, 2014 5:45 am

A positive question that one Mike, nice one :)

Peter Elliott
October 15, 2014 7:54 am

You put your finger on the nub of the problem becuase until Main Gate no-one can say with any certainty how much either F35B or Type 26 will cost.

Mark
Mark
October 15, 2014 8:21 am

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/7b8fbca4-4b30-11e4-b1be-00144feab7de.html#axzz3GCQ90hqU

The first, for the UK to hit its Nato defence spending target in the next parliament, as Mr Fallon called for, is almost unfathomable. According to a recent analysis by the Royal United Services Institute, such a commitment would require an extra £25bn to be spent on defence, over and above current spending levels, in the next parliament. Senior military officers accept such a scenario to be “a pipe dream”.
The second scenario would be for the current settlement to be maintained and the MoD budget pegged to inflation, with an additional 1 per cent annual increase for equipment expenditure only.

(What’s on the block
Army 2020
The army has seen its permanent fighting force cut from 102,000 to 80,000. Further cuts – to perhaps 60,000 – are possible. The RAF and Royal Navy already have too few personnel, however, so the army is the most obvious service to be targeted for cuts in the MoD’s £8.8bn troop budget. This would have huge implications for the UK’s military capabilities, however.
Successor to Trident
In 2016, the next parliament will have to make a choice on the replacement of the UK’s Trident nuclear missiles and the Vanguard submarines from which they are launched. It will be the single biggest project in government: lifetime costs of the successor are independently estimated at £80bn. A cheaper option would be to have fewer than four submarines but this would mean no permanent at-sea nuclear deterrent.
Global Combat Ship
The new Type-26 frigates are expected to be the workhorses of the Royal Navy. They are due to replace the 13 Type-23 frigates and will perform a huge number of functions. While 13 new ships were envisaged, an initial order of only eight is expected this year. The next government may decide that at a cost of up to £350m each, it cannot justify buying five more.
Replacement for Nimrod
Russia’s renewed hostility towards Nato has exposed the UK’s military shortcomings nowhere more acutely than in the area of maritime patrol aircraft. The decision to scrap the Nimrod in 2010 has haunted the government, particularly with the advent of the new aircraft carriers)

It is this situation that senior armed forces officials told the Financial Times they hoped for. Indeed, all of the MoD’s current long-term equipment projects and military reforms are pegged to it. Even under such a commitment, however, given the government’s own current growth forecasts, by 2020, defence spending will have slid to 1.7 per cent of GDP. And by 2025, less than 1.6 per cent.

Nick
Nick
October 15, 2014 8:36 am

Elliott @Mike Wheatley

Quick and dirty for you. From what I’ve read, once full construction is going, an F35A is supposed to cost US$100 million fly away (LM/Programme Office). Allowing 15 % on spares (ignoring training , facilities, weapons etc etc), acquisition cost at the “planned price” in todays money would be around $15.6 billion.

If you don’t believe that price, I believe a T3 Typhoon is around $150 million today. 136 of these plus spares gives you a cost of $23.5 billion.

If I believe, ukpublicspending.co.uk, 2015 defence budget (excluding R&D. military aid and the rest) is $50.8 billion (at todays exchange rate of 1.55). A four yr F35 acquisition programme is going to cost between $4 and $6 billion pa. Roughly speaking around 9 % of the total annual budget. I’m not sure what the equipment spend is out of the total, but I’d expect that its not more than 40 % of the total. Roughly 25 % of the annual equipment budget would go on the F35 programme alone.

When you allow for the full cost, the F35 element is probably going to be more like 50 % of your annual equipment spend. Hard to know what the running cost would be today, but its probably a safe bet that its double the cost of running the equivalent Tornado fleet. More sophisticated weapons to buy as well.

On the post budget, its probably reasonable to think about either flat at 2015 levels or low % indexation (say 1 % increase pa) up to 2020 at least given the state of Government finances and the need to fund a tax cut while delivery “austerity” savings.

in context:

Current UK government annual budget deficit looks likely to by $150 billion for FY2014/15 – it was planned to be about $130 billion. Cutting the current spending deficit to zero over 5 years – at say $30 billion a year – will increase government debt by about $300 billion over the next parliament term. Compared to today’s spending, that’s equivalent to either finding about $450 billion in savings over 5 years or growth driven increase in current tax revenue.

Peter Elliott
October 15, 2014 8:36 am

Or to put it another way of we do get a 2% commitment the MoD and the forces should be happy as pigs in sh1t.

Observer
Observer
October 15, 2014 9:37 am

PE, you already got a ~2% commitment and even with that, you’re getting cuts. On the bright side, your pigs are going to be lean meat.

Nick, I’ll add 50% to that cost just in case. Historically, the “military-industrial complex” of the US tend to lowball estimates, then once the project is committed, demand for more additional funds or threaten to scrap the whole thing. It seems like a common tactic to get past the “lowest bidder” hurdle. A safe-ish bet would be something along the lines of 135-150M USD. Better to plan for the extra cash and not need it than to not plan for the excess and end up short.

El Sid
El Sid
October 15, 2014 3:59 pm

@Nick
Current Equipment Plan is £164bn over 10 years, rising from £13.668bn in 2013/14 to £18.914 in 2022/23 per ABC13. Of that Combat Air has been allocated £18.8bn for procurement and support. It’s currently around £2bn/year, will peak at £2.4bn in 2017/18 as Typhoon and F-35 cross over, then declining to £1.5bn/year from 2019/20. In the early 2020s we are planning to spend around US$800m/year on procurement in Combat Air. Do the maths on how many F-35 that will buy….

On the post budget, its probably reasonable to think about either flat at 2015 levels or low % indexation (say 1 % increase pa) up to 2020 at least given the state of Government finances and the need to fund a tax cut while delivery “austerity” savings.

Any kind of real-terms increase seems pretty fanciful when politicians are busy ringfencing the NHS, education and just about everything else whilst promising more goodies to their core voters (and likely some bribes to other parties in return for support of a minority government).

Mike Wheatley
Mike Wheatley
October 15, 2014 6:15 pm

These don’t seem to quite be answers to my question.
I need to know if the plan is realistic, and if so, I need to be able to tell my MP “I’m not voting for you because you are not funding defence to x.y%”, where x.y% is an accurate amount.

Observer
Observer
October 15, 2014 6:36 pm

Mike, the answer is “we don’t know because some of the prices are in the future”.

cky7
cky7
October 15, 2014 7:16 pm

I realise its hard because the prices may change in the future but i’d be fascinated to get an idea of what sort of percentage we’d have to increase to in order to see the sort of thing Mike is talking about. Can anyone point me in the direction of sites/articles that provide info to help me try and work it out myself?

Martin
Editor
October 16, 2014 4:37 am

re Mike’s Comments

I would say 2.1% of GDP spending (about the same level we are now) would allow all the currently committed to projects including a smallish buy of P8’s (4-5)

So a buy of 48 F35’s is already factored in (assuming prices stay the same). If you want to increase to 136 then we need to buy 88 more. A rough rule of thumb for defence costs is that maintenance will cost about the same as procurement and life cycle running costs will be the same as combined. So using a 25 year life cycle your extra 88 F35A’s (assumed cost $100 million) will cost $35.2 billion or $1.4 billion a year (depending on when you buy them) (in today’s prices)

For every soldier you want to add to the Army add around GBP 100,000 per man per year. So keeping an extra 10,000 soldiers would add around GBP 1 billion per year. So roughly an extra GBP 2 billion per year would pay for these two programs you advocate. Its worth noting that GBP 2 billion per year is about the entire budget for the Royal Navy by the way excluding equipment, pensions and facilities. If we add a bit more for the likes of Apache upgrades FRES UV and the rest then lets call it GBP 3 billion a year or roughly 0.2% of GDP. So it should be possible to get your fantasy force if defence spending is pegged at 2.3% per year of GDP.

That being said our finances are in an even worse shape that they were in 2010. Back then it looked like the budget deficit would pretty much go away on its own eventually but it now appears that it is structural which leaves the UK short of around 5% of GDP per year to cover government spending. At the same time pressure on the NHS will get much worse and the ever increasing army of old people will expect it to provide ever more and expensive treatments not to mention and increase on their basic state pension. Given that the MOD is the only largish budget the government can actually cut I see zero chance for anything other than more savage defence cuts moving forward.