Polish Surface Combat Vessel Competition

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In all the discussion about BAE we often forget the UK has another ship design business, Rolls Royce.

Responding to the Polish Navy modernisation programme, Rolls Royce have released images of their submission for the Coastal Defence Vessel (CDV) requirement in the Miecznik  programme. The same design is also proposed for the patrol ship Czapla programme, the key differences being the weapons fit. It is 99.7 metres long and displaces just over 2,400 tonnes. Accommodation for 60 crew and an additional 30 personnel is included and the ship is said to have a 28 day endurance. With a CODLOD propulsion system its design top speed is 25 knots. Weapons and sensors include a 76mm Oto Melara gun, twin MSI 30mm automatic cannons, two quad NSM missile launchers, MU90 torpedo launchers and four Sylver A35 cells for quad packed VL-MICA anti-aircraft missiles; Smart-S 3D radar, Thales optronic systems and Kingclip sonar.

The hangar and flight deck can accommodate an NH90 sized helicopter and the stern ramp allows the embarked RHIBS to be safely launched and recovered in high sea states.

Rolls Royce CDV 2

Rolls Royce CDV 3

Rolls Royce CDV 4

Rolls Royce CDV

Lockheed Martin, DCNS and others are also reported to be bidding.

 

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HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview

It looks damn sexy.

Jules

Yes it does. Very useful looking vessel.
Should wave that un under the 1SL’s nose!

Martin
Martin

do RR actually have ship building capability in the UK?

Looks very nice in comparison to the B2 rivers we are being stuck with.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Looks very similar to the Singapore LCS (that Saab helped to design) and the concept released by the Finnish MoD for 2025 IOC just weeks ago… all three have something to do with the Baltic: confined space and a high (multi) threat environment, with the underlying purpose to keep commercial shipping flowing under all circumstances.
http://www.defmin.fi/files/3219/Laivue_2020_vnk-pohjalla.pptx

Observer
Observer

@ACC

I won’t be surprised, there isn’t really much copyright in ship design these days. And what you can see, others can copy.

Nice ships though. Very general purpose.

Engineer Tom

The weapons fit and size is very similar to the Omani’s Khareef class that was built in Portsmouth, but RR only do the design, they then go to a shipyard to do the build, I am pretty sure Poland has a competent yard so I assume they will build there. I believe they designed some vessels that Babcock has built in the UK.

WillS

Looks like one of the RNZN’s OPVs after having spent some time in the gym.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

Except that the RR Naval Ship Design business primarily resides in Norway using the resources of their subsidiary companies there. The UK office also appears to be under threat given the number of their staff who are applying jobs elsewhere…..

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

I can guarantee you that waving something like that at Adm Z will result in a very abrupt reaction.

Martin
Martin

@ NAB – maybe we need a new admiral then :-)

Jules

It’s worth the risk of a good shoeing and being told to leave in short sharp Jerry movements to get him to have a butchers at that little floaty!
I think it’s an ideal vessel for the RN Minehunter /Hydrography program.

Steve Coltman
Steve Coltman

Sorry to sound a note of dissent but this ship seems neither one thing nor another to me. Not sufficiently well-armed and protected for high-intensity warfare and a bit OTT for an OPV. Who is it designed to fight?

HMArmedForcesREview
HMArmedForcesREview

No the Singapore future “LCS” has more advanced technologies but no clear ASuW missile yet.

Hohum
Hohum

SC,

Nailed it. This a is compromise for the clusterfuck that has been Polish naval procurement. They wanted a full corvette (think Saar V or the Russian ships) but couldn’t afford it so ended up with this.

Its massive overkill for any RN small ship requirement.

Clive F
Clive F

How much?

Engineer Tom

It is the perfect vessel for a country that wants a bit more fire power than an OPV with a 30mm but doesn’t see the point in having a full frigate. surprises me that Poland wants one it is a requirement I would expect more from a Middle Eastern Government.

JamesF

Oh no a corvette. Where do the crew sleep? Probably home in time for tea if it operates in the Baltic.

Observer
Observer

@Steve

Well armed or protected compared to?

I won’t get too hung up on only 8 anti-ship missiles, I’ve seen a lot of ships that can “only” carry 8 suddenly sprout 16 or more.

As for protection, gone are the days of the battleship, most destroyers and frigates are rather thin skinned these days, and 16×4 = 64 MICA is fairly decent.

@James

Exactly. Why gold plate it if you don’t need to. Though I suspect you’d be surprised at how far such ships can go even when people are packed to the bulkheads. Old WWII subs have even worse conditions in the past, they had no problems ranging further out if need be.

Thomson
Thomson

Why ‘MICA’ and not ‘CAMM’?

Engineer Tom

Cost probably and i think it is already proven with the Smart-S.

Peter Elliott

If we’re talking about alternative British ship design expertise then surely we should mention BMT?

JamesF

MICA because its got a Sylver VLS – its a Norwegian offer, remember. The RR badge is a bit like the GD in Ajax. I note the Norwegians themselves don’t have any – they have https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fridtjof_Nansen-class_frigate and OPVs. But then Norway has a big bad Ocean to play in – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NoCGV_Harstad. Leave the mini-frigates to mini-navies. Mission system? acoustics?

WillS

@Steve Coltman
“Who is it designed to fight?”
Polish Treasury I suspect.

Jules

Well this mornings announcement seems to point to Camerons desire for the UK to
police the world again, so why not the high seas too?
Perfect vessel for hunting mines with a chopper or remote submersibles, legs are long enough for Hydrography and it’ll make a great policeman too. Could build em at Appledore so the wouldn’t interfere with the BAEs /Government agreement.

Engineer Tom

We will probably get something like this out of the MHC project but that isn’t due until after T26 so no point looking for a design for a few years yet. Also that will probably be 110m to get some extra deck space on the back for the MCMV gear.

MSR
MSR

The patrol ship variant reminds me of a Floreal (and not just because of the hull break and turret, forward). They’re both about the same size and layout. The RR design is simply more advanced with lower manning, better powerplant and features like the stern deck and ramp.

The Floreal ‘surveillance frigate’ model is the way to go if the RN wants capable overseas OPVs to relieve frigates from some of their burdens. The Dutch have done the same thing with two of the Holland class, another vessel of around the same size and capability, by fitting them with an integrated mast from Thales. ‘Offshore Patrol and Surveillance Vessels’ or OPSVs (a new TLA just now coined by me) have solid peace and wartime utility, don’t cost the same as a T26 and are much less likely to be mistaken for a T26 by a penny pinching treasury minister.

Forget the AShM and Sylver. If you want you can leave some space up front for CAMM, but don’t be so quick to dismiss the idea. It’s only since the late ’80s that the RN has really pursued the doctrine of an all high end fleet. It never had one before and neither did anyone else. It’s got one now and it’s never been smaller or more stretched. The USN has also got one and it’s facing block obsolescence and financial procurement meltdown. We need a spectrum of vessels appropriate to their tasks and half a dozen UK Floreals, officially assigned to the Fisheries squadron but with a broader remit, have been very much needed for decades, whether successive 1SLs were willing to admit it or not.

Jules

Agreed MSR

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

“We need a spectrum of vessels appropriate to their tasks and half a dozen UK Floreals, officially assigned to the Fisheries squadron but with a broader remit, have been very much needed for decades, whether successive 1SLs were willing to admit it or not.”

Except that there is a decreasing requirement for UK military Fisheries patrol – certainly in terms of HMG appetite to fund it as a military output. Nor is there any requirement (or manning) in the UK/RN for some sort of Ocean Patrol vessel that is incapable of being deployed at short notice to a live combat operation, where it can make a worthwhile contribution.

The USN issues are less to do with having a high-end fleet and more to do with prevaricating on practical (as opposed to powerpoint) replacements for the Spruance and Perry for so long they forgot what they were trying to achieve in the first place.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

Agreed : “more to do with prevaricating on practical (as opposed to powerpoint) replacements for the Spruance and Perry for so long they forgot what they were trying to achieve in the first place.”

Hohum
Hohum

NaB,

The USN of the 90s and very early 2000s knew exactly what they were trying to achieve, unfortunately that thing was very narrow (clearing the littorals and naval fire support) that is nice to have but not very versatile and that gets problematic when you are planning to commit a large part of your spend to it.

Re fisheries patrol, its increasingly an outlier in a department that has been shedding activities that are not core to its function for some time.

Peter Elliott

Burning Type 21s cast a long shadow. Given the snatch landrover scandal I can’t see any government buying “non fighting” warships for the RN.

Better to use an RFA for patrol, presence and HA/DR: more endurance, more load carting capacity and not even the pretence of combat readiness.

Engineer Tom

Could we see OPV’s moved to the RFA, possibly with new ones being purchased to take on non war fighting tasks, with RN(and other) personnel attached when needed. It would also allow the Govt to sidestep any built in UK requirement.

Helmoed Heitman
Helmoed Heitman

The Floreals are interesting. Not only can they conduct long patrols, but they have long periods between refits. If my memory serves, the name ship served six years in the southern Indian Ocean before a minor refit, and then another four before her major refit.

But they have two critical weaknesses:
1. All machinery, including the generators is in a single compartment, so there is nothing left working if that space floods. That might have been changed, but that is how it was aboard Floreal and a concern for her captain.
2. The dropped forecastle not only weakens the basis box girder of the ship, but also means that the deck machinery is generally useless after a few weeks at sea – to quote Floreal’s captain of some years ago: “I cannot maintain that machinery at sea; it is too dangerous for the crew in anything but a flat calm”.

For a similar concept consider the Danish Thetis. A very nice ship indeed, with space for a fourth motor if needed. The only weakness (apart from a single shaft, chosen for ice work) was that all the deckheads are nicely panelled to conceal the wiring and pipe runs, making it easy for a small crew to keep clean, but difficult to locate a short the seat of a fire.

Jules

Thankyou Helmoed, a nice insight into this type of vessel.
@NAB They could just give the old Rivers to the Borders agency and a couple of C295’s for that matter, cheapo MPA by the back door, Ha Ha Ha
@Engineer Tom That idea of moving more vessels into the RFA could have some legs, working between the RN/RFA/Coastguard/Borders Agency, crews could be picked for a given situation whether it was training, policing, or the balloon going up, purple assets, UK GOV likes purple assets (Probably why they shouldn’t do it then)!

Engineer Tom

Long term deployments are reasonably easy for a small frigate or OPV. HMS Clyde is doing 10 years in the Falklands with major maintenance being carried out in South Africa when needed. I believe it is maintaining 300 days a year availability.

A single engine room is a big weakness but it is not unusual in a sub 100m vessel.

Supposedly there is an updated version of the Floreal going to the Philippines, but I can’t find any decent information on it.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

The ONLY OPV requirements the RN currently have are :
1. Fishery protection – funded by DEFRA or whatever its called this week and limited to UK EEZ and FIPV and quite possibly better a Border Agency role. There are no other OPV taskings or requirements. Full stop.
2. We are struggling to man the RFA now. Why would adding additional ships solve any of that problem?

Nice to see the reality of what Floreal actually represents outlined.

Engineer Tom

@ Jules

I have a feeling the RN already take civilian personnel on the Rivers, as I don’t think they have the powers needed to carry out some of the roles required.

Also I am pretty sure the RN takes US civilian teams on-board for the counter-narcotics operations in the Caribbean, I presume as they have the knowledge and connections to local law enforcement to carry out the operations more effectively.

So it wouldn’t be a stretch to do it the other way and take on RN personnel for roles that require military personnel.

Engineer Tom

@ NAB

We are also struggling to man the RN, at least if the ships were civilian we could possibly try and recruit trained personnel from industry or even recruit foreign personnel maybe.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

To be fair to the USN – they believed that any open ocean threat had largely gone away (sound familiar folks?) – hence the whole Arsenal ship, littoral combat ship, DDG1000 farrago. USS Cole and the difficulties experienced marking Iranian boghammars just added to the eye off the ball pressures. That they let the low-signature mafia have such a long unopposed run driving requirements (and ultimately size and cost of DD(X)/DDG1000) demonstrates how they’d forgotten the basics of what they were trying to do.

Hohum
Hohum

NaB,

Well there is the silly Caribbean deployment, but lets not get started on that.

My own view is that the entire OPV role (and associated boats), except for Falklands patrol, should be handed over to the border force, they already operate 42m cutters. Given how the police have been armed in the last decade I don’t see why a 20mm cannon can’t be operated by the border force.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

APT(N) ships embark a USCG LEDET (law enforcement detachment) and occasionally DEA. The USCG is a military service…….

Hohum
Hohum

NaB,

Re USN; absolutely, DDG1000 and LCS were exactly the result of the belief that open ocean had gone away. It just never seemed to occur to anyone that when it takes ten (closer to twenty five) years to get a ship from concept to operational service, then it has a 40 year lifespan, it might be a good idea to go general purpose when committing large chunks of your budget.

The real size drivers in DDG1000 were not the RCS requirements but those damn guns, they dominate the ship design.

stephen duckworth

Is that a 20′ ISO container next to the stern ramp? This looks like it will cover the needs of the Polish Navy if it choses to operate in the Baltic only. Why go bigger . If they can get the Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians to buy in to the design and the support facilities it should nicely box the Kalingrad enclave in :-)

John
John

Good idea. It’s looks a lot more capable vessel than the River Class.

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

Au contraire. The guns are relatively small – but still much heavier than the Mk45 – but trying to pass stability certification with a tumblehome hull is (unsurprisingly) quite difficult.

Jules

Oh N.A.B. your’e so in the now, what about the future, we seem to be getting into Sudan and Somalia, maybe Syria, already in to the fifth knuckle in Iraq and the Stan, not to mention eastern europe, all on land but what about the sea, there could well be a role for a vessel of this type, working offshore in support of a lot of our activities abroad able to scare off Pirates and chase down Seize already captured assets,land shore parties gather intel, they could also be used to form small groups, making there utility even greater than the sum of parts of one vessel, Caribbean/FL/somali Coast/Arabian waters too, there are many places a vessel of this type could prove useful. Granted we all want a belting first tier navy, no one disputes that but if we a clever we could well manufacture these vessels along with T26 and apart from the obvious huge elephants and glug glug kit do a lot of it with two hulls….

Not a Boffin
Not a Boffin

You do speak English? Please attempt to convey your ideas in English as well.

HK
HK

Not a very impressive design… very old school, particularly for a corvette.

The whole idea of platform commonality is stupid and obsolete anyway. These days it’s all about systems commonality, and modular, scalable platforms. Navantia, DCNS and Damen will eat Rolls Royce for lunch. They can offer a more flexible range of OPV and corvette platforms with some common systems instead of a one-size-fits-all magic bullet.

This is the state-of-the-art that RR are competing with. The blueprints already exist, four hulls alreafy building… going to be hard to undercut on price even without some of the stealth bells & whistles.
http://www.esdpa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Cérémonie-du-15-avril.jpg

http://www.navyrecognition.com/index.php/component/content/article/153-royal-malaysian-navy-frigates/2698-gowind-class-frigate-sgpv-lcs-corvette-royal-malaysian-navy-littoral-combat-ship-second-generation-patrol-vessel-malaysia-boustead-dcns-bhic-bns-nsm-datasheet-pictures-photos-video-specifications.html

HK
HK
Chuck Hill

These ships are similar is many ways to the Offshore Patrol Cutters the Coast Guard is planning to build. I expect them to be about 100 meters in length, about 2,500 to 3,000 tons, and about 25 knots.

The US Navy may not have low end combatants, but the country does. The Navy also seems to be beginning to use the Joint High Speed Vessels, now redesignated, EPF (expeditionary fast transport), for some of the low end tasks.

Lord Jim
Lord Jim

MHC could actually solve many of the RNs issues with lack of numbers. We have been here before but if the eventual platform is modular, and the current number of tasks seem to point towards this, it could replace the Rivers, take over the mine hunting role and hydrography and provide enough hulls to cover deployments like the Caribbean, maybe doing more than one task at the same time. The hull and endurance requirements would probably exceed those of the Rivers and definitely those of current MCM platforms. With clever and innovating design, getting everything out of one platform is possible just avoid using world like corvette or light frigate.

Observer
Observer

Some crystal ball gazing. With the reducing RN/RFA manning, any future ship is going to have a heavy degree of automation to compensate for it, you can already see some of this trend in the new QE carriers and the new escorts. This means that any new ship is going to be eye wateringly expensive, so don’t be surprised with 1 billion pound new ships, it is either that or go undermanned. You can’t have a ship designed for a reduced crew yet come in cheap.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective

“Well there is the silly Caribbean deployment, but lets not get started on that”

OK – I’ll pick that one up – I know it’s a wind-up , but what the heck……

Humanitarian assistance is one of the RN’s primary peace-time roles, as is patrolling the UK’s EEZ and counter narcotics/ people smuggling work (an extension of the anti slavery patrols that have a long history in the RN). HMG also has a duty to protect UK Citizens (and yes – there are a LOT of UK citizens in the BOTs – not only expats – all “Belongers” and naturalised residents in the BOTs can apply for UK Nationality – many have).

UK Police can only operate within UK territorial waters. The Police of the various BOTs have the same limitation. As the UK bears sole responsibility for both internal and external security in the BOTs, only a UK force can operate in the UK EEZ and international waters surrounding them. The only UK body currently authorised to do that is the RN. The USCG and USN cannot make arrests in UK territorial/ EEZ waters without RN authority and hope to get a conviction in a US Court (kind of hands the defence the “illegal abduction”/ get out of jail free card)

So – nothing silly about the APT(N) tasking. it fulfils a host of UK obligations under both UK and international law to ensure the security of both the BOTs and those Caribbean countries for which it has a special responsibility as the former “colonial master”.

Chuck Hill

CODLOD propulsion would to some extent provide the redundancy the Floreals don’t have. Assuming the electric motors are outside the engine room, the motors can be powered by generators, some of which are hopefully, also outside the engineroom

Chuck Hill

These look a lot like the Spanish BAMs to me.

Hohum
Hohum

Caribbean Perspective,

You spectacularly missed the point, which was about the suitability of the ship to the caribbean role not about the role.

Mickp
Mickp

Four naval manned OPVs is just right for us, 3 uk (that can be deployed if needed on patrol and presence) and one in FI. Then max out the T26 order and hopefully (and only if) if the tech works MHC will get us a ship with more deployable utility than an MCM. The only scenario where we would need any more OPV style vessels is if the T26 order is slashed and we need hulls of some sort even if 2nd rate.

pjs
pjs

What do forum users think about retaining the batch 1 Rivers, balanced against a withdrawal of a suitable number of Hunt class. The Rivers have more ‘deployable utility’ than the ageing Hunts, it releases a useful number of personnel, as the Hunts need a larger complement, that can man these retained Rivers, and the move towards greater use of unmanned solutions to the MCM question, means that the Rivers can act as a larger testbed demonstrator for equipment, as a specialist ship is no longer necessary .

Brian Black
Brian Black

I don’t buy the idea that anything less than a Type 26 frigate is bugger all use to the Royal Navy.

Wasn’t the HMS Cornwall abduction incident an OPV tasking? Maybe a smaller OPV would have had better situational awareness than a frigate anchored miles away from everything that was happening. And anti-smuggling or embargo tasks are not unusual during war or warlike operations.

And if the trend is for ‘escorts’ to increasingly become modern day battleships, and built in smaller numbers so becoming individually more critical to the mission, don’t we reach the point where the ‘escorts’ need escorts too?

Deep ocean, middle of nowhere naval battles are perhaps less likely to take place than small boat attacks in crowded and relatively near-coastal seas. The US Navy’s littoral combat ships, with small guns and surface missiles, have an expected role in screening and defending their big-ship groups when they operate closer to potentially hostile shores. Surely a Royal Navy task group, with a capital ship and just a couple of mission critical high-end escorts would often be better off if it also had a corvette or two in accompaniment. If you can’t afford enough high-end frigates and destroyers to sustain even modest unit losses, then shouldn’t you at least think about adding another more affordable layer of protection?

Peter Elliott

I understood that the Cornwall incident happened becuase the chain of command went to sleep on the job, failed to appreciate the threat, and didn’t have the helo either airborne or on alert.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

@PE, yes, they went to sleep, but according to my recollection they landed the helo prematurely (?)

That just raises the question about a single helo, with a GPMG. If you have boghammers / any speed boats turning up without notice, who says they don’t have a man with an Igla or a Stinger onboard?

Observer
Observer

I might have to disagree on the Cornwall vs OPV evaluation. If the Cornwall was an OPV, the end result would have been the same because it is not the role of the OPV/frigate to board the target vessel, it is the RHIB’s job, so even if you had an OPV, it would still be a RHIB that is sent out, the OPV would still be where the Cornwall was and the whole situation would have played out similarly.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective

Hohum, then you made the point spectacularly badly

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective

Re: Cornwall – wasn’t the draft of the ship the main reason she was so far away? Perhaps there is some mileage in the LCS idea

SEA2
SEA2

The weapon and sensor fit reminds me very much of the RMN’s Gowind class currently under construction. If what I heard is right, the Smart-S + MICA VL combo can track/engage more targets than the Aster 15 solution can.

Observer
Observer

@ACP

I think it was more that she was patrolling through the shipping channel, not out to harass Iran. No reason to go close to their territorial limit. Pity the Iranians came out to play instead.

Jules

Bingo!

Hohum
Hohum

Caribbean Perspective,

No, you just didn’t read it properly, try harder next time.

Donald_of_Tokyo
Donald_of_Tokyo

@NAB

>Nor is there any requirement (or manning) in the UK/RN for some sort of Ocean Patrol vessel that is incapable of being deployed at short notice to a live combat operation, where it can make a worthwhile contribution.

Why APT(N) needs frigate? It is done by USCG cutters, RCN Kingston class (with land-based air-cover), and OPVs from Mexico, and from Netherland. Better be with Bay class ALSL, or frigate/destroyers, but OPV can do some significant visible contribution, cannot it?

I understand B.1 River is quite cheep to operate. Retaining and operating 3 of them may not even cost a half of operating a T23/26, while providing more than 3 times (literary 4.5 times) longer sea going days for patrolling. Of course, it cannot fight. But it can let the escorts fight (not occupied by OPV roles).

Note that personally I do not agree to a Floreal like “a slightly fighty” vessel, simply because it loses the important merit, “very cheap to operate”. Operation cost of a Floreal may be twice of those of B.1 Rivers, and may reach 1/3 of a T26. In other words, three such OPVs will kill a single T26, which I do not think is good idea.

With keeping 3 B.1 Rivers, one of the T23/T26 might (only “might”) be held in low readiness. But in real war, you can withdraw crews from Rivers to make the frigate fully ready within, say, 3 months. It may be too late to contribute to the conflict/war. But considering that you will still need some hi-end ships kept on theater AFTER the war ends, it will be able to contribute to it.

# Somewhere I have read that after the Falkland war, many of your escorts are very “tired” and desperately needed deep maintenance.

Of course, I am proposing to use B.2 Rivers in APT(N) (and even horn of Africa) and B.1s to be kept in fishery protection around Britain. B.2 rivers for fisher protection looks a little over-kill.

Observer
Observer

@Donald

But then look at the reverse side, you now need a frigate for a “fighty” situation *and* an OPV for APT(N) now. By combining the 2, the same ship can be used for both, so you only pay for 1 ship instead of 1.5.

APT(N) is something the RN does when there is nothing more serious on, so they use their high end ships for it instead of having them sit aound doing nothing.

@Hohum

Hohum, I think you have a serious inability to communicate and apparently it’s not an isolated opinion. You might want to take a look at what you write and consider if someone said that to you, what would your response be?

MSR
MSR

“… instead of having them sit aound doing nothing.”

When do they ever sit around doing nothing? Whenever a war/conflict/intervention takes place, tasks get gapped. Why do tasks get gapped? Because everything ‘fighty’ goes to theatre and there is nothing, literally, nothing left to go elsewhere except, perhaps, an RFA… but there are now even fewer of those so these days, not even an RFA would be available because they are also all in theatre, or cycling in and out.

The escorts always have lots to do. Half a dozen escort escorts* are not designed to replace or supplant frigates/destroyers – the frigates/destroyers would take their turn doing the bread and butter stuff if only because their crews will need the practice/training it affords outside of working in a CVBG.

No, the baby escorts will allow the UK as a nation to fulfill all of its obligations (which it currently isn’t on a regular basis) and to adequately support and enforce both UK domestic, overseas and international laws, such as those governing things little things like EEZs or marine conservation zones (the UK has nearly zero ability to police any conservation zones beyond UK mainland waters, which is pathetic and stupid, because you should never make a law you can’t enforce). It will also add to the UK’s rapidly withering capability to do proper SAR in all of those zones across the globe in which it is either responsible for SAR, or expected to contribute to SAR.

In other words, it’s an effective force multiplier.

*because Brian Black is spot on: he has reiterated a common view that has been expressed ever since T45 numbers seven through twelve got chopped; that our theoretically expendable escorts have now become mission-critical capital assets that need protecting in their own right by dint of their scarcity.

Chuck Hill

To the question, What might these ships do in wartime, I attempted to answer a similar question here. http://chuckhillscgblog.net/2012/02/10/what-might-coast-guard-cutters-do-in-wartime-part-2-coast-guard-roles/

Overseas
Overseas

Manning is fascinating. 180ish for a T23, 110ish for a T26 and 40ish for a River Batch 2.

You man 8 T26 plus 10 (additional) R-Batch 2’s with 1400 personnel, compared to the near 2400 for 13 T23’s. Five more hulls to play with or better yet gives crews a bit of a break.

Capability be damned. There aren’t enough people to man all the high-end ships a full Tier-1 navy demands.

Or, build half a dozen more Bay’s for the RFA, as I’ve been saying it all along.

Peter Elliott

Except it’s not that simple. Not all headcounts are equal. Some critical skils take a decade or more to train. You can’t just magic then up because you just saved 10 ‘bods’ somewhere else.

Ship replacement also takes decades. Some time around 2020 we could have both carriers to crew plus 6 Rivers plus all the T23. Is that possible? Maybe not. Which is the softest bit to omit? Probably the additional 3 Rivers.

By the time all 13 T26 are in service and we saved 1,000 bodies compared to T23 who knows what other financial or recruitment pressures we will be under…? The saving will be long gone.

Peter Elliott

To develop the theme savings from automation will tend to be ‘bods’. Increase the numbers of hulls in the fleet and you require more watchkeepers, chiefs, officers and expensive skilled leaders of every kind. Only worth investing in those skills if it gives you a viable fighting ship for your trouble.

mickp
mickp

Let’s see where we get on T26 orders; commitment to at least one for one for T23s (then we hold them to 16…)

B2 Rivers replace B1s in RN fleet. B1 Rivers either sold, transferred to Border force (along with any lingering fisheries requirement), or give the RN reserves a proper ship or two, or use some of them as test beds for some of the mine hunting robots etc. B2 Rivers are the available for presence / patrol tasking in and out of EEZ. They are not fighting Frigates but will be more capable than B1 Rivers for that role, possibly with some UAV capability like camcopter. Relieve a little of the tasking stretch assuming we get 13 T26s and provides a degree of home cover if the main fleet is deployed.

If the robotic approach to mine hunting works and we don’t need tupperware, then Sandowns go, Hunts go to reserve (war reserve) and 8-9 MHC replacements for the Sandowns c 110m, Venator type vessel (original style) with secondary ‘shotgun’ littoral patrol / escort role (decent modern gun fit to take out asymmetric threats to the main fleet / supply vessels etc. Only if we get less than 13 T26s would we look at a smaller patrol frigate / corvette to cover routine tasking and leave the T45s / T26s for QE escort and perhaps one standing overseas task, e.g. gulf. Manning savings on T23s used to recapitalise shortages elsewhere.

Jules

@Mickp Yeah lets see what comes to us at the year end and where we get to with the manning
Before I get ahead of myself again, and start building mini flotillas of beefed up SKADI 90’s in my mind… :)

MSR
MSR

“… or give the RN reserves a proper ship or two…”

A thoroughly under-utilised resource if ever there was one.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective

@Observer – re: Cornwall – yes – you are right – she was keeping well away from the border to avoid an incident – I think her draft prevented her from moving closer after the incident started (or was given as a reason, anyway. I’m going from memory of a press report here, so it may not have been accurate).

@Hohum – you used a generic word form, intimating that you were referring to the deployment in general and didn’t mention the lack of suitability of any particular ship. Get used to the idea that you have to actually spell out what you mean – people can’t read your mind – we have no conversational cues to work from.

Had you actually mentioned that you were referring to the deployment of HMS Severn, I would have agreed with you. I wouldn’t have described the deployment of HMS Severn as “stupid”, because within their limitations, the ship and crew did a good job, particularly with regard to liaison and training with local police, coastguard and civil defence organisations – but the reality is that it is quite lacking in terms of HADR capability (yes – it wasn’t hurricane season, but the Caribbean is an active seismic zone – we have earthquakes and tsunamis as well) and it is of rather limited capability when it comes to apprehending smugglers. It was worth the experiment and was certainly better than simply gapping the task, but hopefully the RN will now accept that the Rivers are not really up to the job.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective

Apologies – my last post should have said “silly”, not “stupid”. I hit refresh and the edit button disappeared

Observer
Observer

@ACP

Going from my memory of the reports from the incident, communications lag and distance was probably the biggest factor, IIRC, the Cornwall only knew of the incident an hour after it happened and by then the group was already taken into Iranian territory.

Hohum
Hohum

Caribbean Perspective,

It was very clear what I meant, it was your comprehension skills that failed.

The Other Chris

There are ways of clarifying or confirming what you said without taking a pot shot at people.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy

From mickp, exactly as I see it. Just needs adding the POV of the 2 x QE (how they will be operated) and Ocean (how many refits already? So the question is when she can be released), but as tthe lesser numbers with high multiples generally get forgotten, a valuable contribution:

If the robotic approach to mine hunting works and we don’t need tupperware, then Sandowns go, Hunts go to reserve (war reserve) and 8-9 MHC replacements for the Sandowns c 110m, Venator type vessel (original style) with secondary ‘shotgun’ littoral patrol / escort role (decent modern gun fit to take out asymmetric threats to the main fleet / supply vessels etc. Only if we get less than 13 T26s would we look at a smaller patrol frigate / corvette to cover routine tasking and leave the T45s / T26s for QE escort and perhaps one standing overseas task, e.g. gulf. Manning savings on T23s used to recapitalise shortages elsewhere.

Observer
Observer

“There are ways of clarifying or confirming what you said without taking a pot shot at people.”

He’s as bad as that screaming nutcase Solomon on Snafu. Wonder if they are on medication or need to be.

Hohum
Hohum

Observer,

Your bitterness amuses me.

Observer
Observer

Your anti-social tendencies enrage me. scum.

Observer
Observer

@TD

Can you do something about this guy? He has been running around doing ad hominem attacks on people like some kind of rabid dog. Hardly appropriate behavior on a forum that he does not own. At least hold him up to the minimum standard of decency.

Hohum
Hohum

Observer,

Coming from the person who compared me to solomon, suggested I take meds and called me scum, I suspect you may be a a hypocrite.

stephen duckworth

@ACP
On the Caribbean HADR response I would of thought a dedicated small general purpose cargo ship berthed centrally would of been of more use . The 90m rivers carry half a dozen TEU and a small crew. A small 90m GP cargo ship can carry 120 TEU( that’s TWENTY times more supplies) plus vehicles and load / unload them itself. Such small vessels are cheap to maintain and need tiny crews but could embark additional personnel to respond to a HADR incident as required , volunteers / local military etc. http://www.workboatsinternational.com/general-cargo-vessel-dvs1148.html
This particular one is Swedish built, 90l x 13.7b x 4.4d , ice hardened , to cope with the inevitable debris clogging up nearby waters after a tsunami, earthquake or hurricane . and at just a few million versus a £100m plus OPV affordable for the BOT’s to purchase themselves or dip into our humungeous DfID budget.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective

@SD – for the HADR role, I would tend to agree with you. When Severn was in the region, she only carried 2 TEU of DR stores, which is not a lot. Add an LCVP or two (or something similar) on davits for when the ports are damaged and provision for carrying some vehicles as well as containers (I suppose they could be carried IN a container :) and you would have a reasonably capable ship. Some sort of camera drone for damage survey would probably help as well. Pair it with a modestly-equipped OPV with a bit of range, a hangar and some boats for boarding (and, most importantly, a decent space for holding cocktail parties) to cover the presence, policing and security side and you could release both a T23 and/or a Bay from Caribbean duties. The French and Dutch seem to have adopted effectively the same model with their light frigate/ transport combo ( Floreal/ Batral and Amsterdam/ Pelikaan) and IIRC the Barbadians have copied it on a smaller scale with Damen cutters and workboats, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t work for us. It would probably cover the vast majority of incidents and only occasionally require backup from something more heavyweight (or assistance from the French or Dutch as happened with Dominica a couple of weeks ago). Getting the BoTs to fund it would be a job for someone who enjoys herding cats and local basing might be problematic, but DFiD might be induced to stump up something (and separating the HADR and security functions might make it easier politically, both in the Caribbean and the UK)

Observer
Observer

@ACP

Or you could simply stockpile “strategic stores” for event of an emergency then distribute them from the deep storage warehouses in case of emergency without needing to wait for an aid ship that may or may not be coming. Some civilian boats or surplus LCUs and you can have your own HADR response right there. And it hardly costs anything, you just have to refrain from eating too much for a few months. Your food is still being distributed, just slightly delayed.

https://www.rsis.edu.sg/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PB150603_Public-Stockpiling.pdf

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective

@ Observer – “strategic stores” – do you mean supermarkets? ;)

Joking aside, there are local factors, some economic, some political, but primarily to do with attitude and corruption, that mean that local Governments are not likely to do very much to help their own people. The “Mother Country” is expected to do the work – they are just there to collect their paycheck.

As for stockpiling stores – standard advice is to have 2 weeks supply of food, water, torches, batteries, fuel for your generator, cash, etc, etc and rescue tools. (I would also advise having a machete to stop anyone attempting to take the aforementioned items away from you, as the local Police will probably take a few weeks off).

If you can’t afford that, go to Church (the Churches are rich, they have the strongest buildings).

Observer
Observer

ACP, really can’t imagine something like that, my country has the extreme good fortune to be totally untouched by natural disasters at all, not even a hurricane. The worst we get are floods, and even that is rare these days with the completion of drainage canals. The last serious “flood” we got really wasn’t a flood at all, except deadfall had the bad luck to choke the drainage outlets and the water backflowed. Even this was at the level of knee deep water only.

As for the police, I don’t blame them, they have their family too. During the Boxing Day tsunami, the Indonesian TNI ground commander had a daughter missing, presumed dead, as expected, he wasn’t on top form, luckily some of our HADR contingent were friends with him during college (and that is why we have a foreigner quota) and could give him some encouragement. It is already laudable that he was there to do his job when he was probably dying to go out and look for his daughter himself. If your police force took a week off after a disaster of that scale, I really won’t blame them, they are human too.

A Caribbean Perspective
A Caribbean Perspective

@Observer – I’m not blaming the police – just pointing to the reality – I’ve heard a lot about Hurricane Ivan from Caymanian colleagues and the fact is that very little functions in the aftermath of something like that (Ivan was a Cat 5, that stopped moving when it hit Cayman – they were under sustained 150 mph winds and a > 10 foot storm surge for 36 hours – much of Grand Cayman is < 6 feet above sea level.). The Caymanians did, however, recover without any external assistance, leaving the RN to concentrate on Grenada which had poorer building standards and suffered even greater damage.

The Other Nick
The Other Nick

@Hohum & NaB

Just noticed the comments on the 28th Sep. re. the size driver of the 15,000 ton plus $24 billion DDG-1000 Zumwalt three ship class, talk of third ship to be cancelled even though 40% plus completed.

Have seen words to the effect that the size was due to the two AGS 155mm guns, specifically due to the strike down and fully automated ammunition magazine with its associated internal robotic railway, AIRS, AGS Intra-Strike Rearmament System. Though the tumblehome hull stability couldn’t have helped.

Unable to find specific specs. of the system, but the YouTube video below gives a feel for the size of one the two gun mounts.

Hohum
Hohum

TON,

Yup, those guns really pushed up the overall size, they dominate the forward part of the ship.

The Other Chris

After the AGS, what really ballooned the size of the DDG1000 is the tumblehome hullform selected mainly for low observability when the vessel is performing it’s Monitor role.

Have a search around the Archives on this site, there’s a lot of material around from commenters in the industry regarding stability, maintaining reasonable deck angle for working onboard, and decreasing waterplane / increasing ton per inch immersion rates amongst a surfeit of tidbits on the topic.

What resulted is a hull form experienced commenters advise runs roughly twice as large as a more traditional flared hull according to current standards, which they say is not a criticism but a characteristic that needs to be accepted if you want what the hull shape brings.

stephen duckworth

_@ToN
The 155mm AGS is a humungeous beast . the rounds are enmourmosly long to achieve their incredible range and thus need large complex mechanical handling systems to achieve the fire rate required.http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cxBRBwu2G4Q/UeqH0PU__NI/AAAAAAAACUI/-OG_13UQZ10/s1600/AGS.jpg
Part way down this next link is a comparison to a man of the round.The pallets that contain the rounds are stacked on top of auto loader.
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAUQjB1qFQoTCKe_8J3GqcgCFUKJGgoddo4K0A&url=http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNUS_61-62_ags_pics.htm&psig=AFQjCNHTXZ4wzX53bU4duiropd5ty1I98A&ust=1444073247697304

The Other Nick
The Other Nick

stephen duckworth

Thanks for link

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