HMS Diamond Back in Action

After a 15 month Capability Upgrade Period (CUP), HMS Diamond has started acceptance trials.

The 15 month upgrade included work on the communication satellite systems, internal computers and weapons systems as well as adding Harpoon anti-ship missile system launchers.

The ship was launched in 2007 and after various trials, was accepted into service in 2011.

So less than 4 years after being commissioned she had to have a 15 month upgrade.

Is this normal for such a new ship?

Am sure the scope of work was wider than the press release suggests but would 15 months be normal for a communications and computing system upgrade?

 

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HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
October 17, 2015 1:18 am

I think it’s just to rush the Type 45s back at sea with the Harpoon. It’s late 2015 & only Duncan is deployed.

duker
duker
October 17, 2015 2:00 am

Launched in late 2007- means its computer and software dates from early 2000 – or before. In modern terms it may as well be a pre- dreadnought. Same thing with Typhoon, the first batch would require expensive mid life update mostly in computing area so rather than keep as a sub fleet its for the chop

RoundTower
RoundTower
October 17, 2015 5:35 am

I hear HMS Dauntless is being renamed HMS Powerless. Do T45 engines ever look like working properly? What are RR doing about it?

mike
mike
October 17, 2015 6:24 am
Reply to  duker

The T1 Typhoons actually did go through similar software update a few years back, the “Austere” patch. Indeed, but 15 months is rather long, perhaps issues with engines/structure? Who knows… but perhaps the next one will go through quicker.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 17, 2015 6:38 am

Next one quicker? One would hope so, because one by one the T23s are also entering the dry dock:
“In March 2012 Iron Duke began a major refit in HM Naval Base, Portsmouth. Some major parts of the work package took place for the first time on a Type 23 class of ship […]Also included in the refit was the installation of BAE Systems Artisan medium-range 3D surveillance radar[22][23] and in June 2013 she was put back at sea.”

So both surface combatant classes are going to be one short (each for a similar duration) as far as the eye can see…

And the stripping of Artisan and other goodies off a T23 will again put one out well in advance of the corresponding T26 “rollling off” the production line.

M245JM
M245JM
October 17, 2015 7:01 am

There is a lot more to this story than they are letting on. Diamond was out for 15 months, during which they did a number of upgrades, however she was initially only due to have a post-deployment maintenance period. Due to the sheer number of issues experienced during her deployment, this period was extended. Even then, she was due to be back in action within 6months, but more issues kept cropping up and her return was delayed. They obviously took the opportunity to fit some new systems, which was sensible, but by calling it a CUP they are certainly putting a positive spin on things!

There are actually two fully functioning 45’s, Duncan currently deployed, and Defender about to take her place on K1. Due to the unavailability of other 45’s, Defender has been retained to East of Suez, despite only arriving back from that deployment less than a year ago.

I would also say that it isn’t unusual to only have 1 45 deployed at any one time. The RN escort fleet only really have 3 standing deployments, Kipion North, South and APT(S). Of our 19 escorts, one third are 45’s so it makes sense for them to only be doing one third of the deployments! We tend to keep them on K1 as the Americans like to have them around to escort their Carrier in the Gulf, and act as Fighter Control for raids over Iraq and Syria. Therefore the two other slots are usually filled by T23’s.

ArmChairCivvy
ArmChairCivvy
October 17, 2015 8:08 am

Makes complete sense “I would also say that it isn’t unusual to only have 1 45 deployed at any one time. The RN escort fleet only really have 3 standing deployments, Kipion North, South and APT(S). Of our 19 escorts, one third are 45’s so it makes sense for them to only be doing one third of the deployments! We tend to keep them on K1 as the Americans like to have them around to escort their Carrier in the Gulf, and act as Fighter Control for raids over Iraq and Syria. Therefore the two other slots are usually filled by T23’s.”

Leaving the boomers aside, you are facing the prospect of (in availability terms; without notice):
.7 x 2 carriers
2.5 SSNs
2 T45s
.8 x 12 T23s (0.8 being an old statistic, and whether it can be maintained even with the help of refits remains to be seen)
zero LPH
1 LPD

Now, is the manning problem the main one? How much weight should be assigned to readiness? All good SDSR questions.

617
617
October 17, 2015 9:30 am

So now Duncan and Diamond have Harpoon, I heard only a total of four would get Harpoon there for I assume the next two to get it will be the next to go into refit? Dragon?

Peter Elliott
October 17, 2015 9:46 am

I presume all 6 will be equipped with the mounts and cabling etc – and the 4 actual launchers will then be rotated between the 6 ships depending on refits and tasking.

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
October 17, 2015 11:58 am

It was mentioned by Wiseape in Open Thread – 2015 Week 13 that HMS Diamond had reportedly got a new gas turbine and stabilisers, amongst other things.

x
x
October 17, 2015 12:01 pm
Reply to  RoundTower

It is a clever ploy to cover the lack of clankeys….

A Different Gareth
A Different Gareth
October 17, 2015 12:04 pm

Trying to get the link to work… Open Thread – 2015 Week 13

https://www.thinkdefence.co.uk/2015/03/open-thread-2015-week-13/#comment-332985

Peter Elliott
October 17, 2015 12:20 pm

A new gas turbine? I’m sure NAB once told us that there are only 12 WR21 turbines in the world and there will be no more. If she has had a new turbine what is it?

More likely that she’s just had to sit alongside the whole time while the existing unit is stripped, overhauled/modified and put back together…?

S McRoth
S McRoth
October 17, 2015 8:21 pm

On a similar topic is it true that Argyll has just completed 15 months of upgrade and maintenance? Clearly the length of this period of work is more reasonable for a ship of Argyll’s. The article mentioned upgrades to Sea Wolf, curious given the arrival of Sea Ceptor? I am rather ignorant when it comes to such issues, I would like ton educated gently.

Challenger
Challenger
October 17, 2015 9:33 pm

Is having frigates & destroyers on 9 month deployments now the norm? 15 months alongside for ‘upgrades’ does seem rather excessive.

There have also been low-key announcements recently concerning new diesel engines for 12 T23 frigates as part of their ongoing life extension (does this mean the 13th will be axed in the upcoming SDSR?) and some new radios and other bits & pieces for some of the AAC Gazelle’s (thought only handful remaining for N.Ireland which were leaving service in 2018?).

Didn’t around 60 Tornado’s also recently get some significant enhancements?

Spending money on certain things like the T45’s and keeping the T23’s up-to date makes perfect sense given that the former are absolutely integral to the future RN and several of the latter will be worked hard for another 10-15 years of service. However, is throwing money at soon to be scrapped bits of kit the best use of precious resources?

Peter Elliott
October 17, 2015 10:09 pm

I think the 13th (oldest) T23 has already had its last major overhaul so will miss some of the bits that are going onto the newer ones. Presumably it is deemed fit to get to an OOS date of around 2020 without them.

Peter Elliott
October 17, 2015 10:11 pm

For Tornado is that the proximity alert crash avoidance system? I guess politically and legally they just decided that enough body bags was enough.

617
617
October 17, 2015 10:19 pm
Reply to  S McRoth

I live in Plymouth and I think I remember seeing Argyll a couple of months back with scaffolding on it

Challenger
Challenger
October 17, 2015 11:04 pm

Elliot

I thought it was more than just the crash avoidance updates, which was overdue and perfectly justified.

You’re probably right on the T23’s. I really hope yet more aren’t chopped in the SDSR for some quick, but ultimately rather feeble savings. We all know how hard it would be to regenerate a force of 19 escorts in the long-term if it was cut in the short-term, not matter what tosh the politicians may utter.

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
October 18, 2015 4:47 am
Reply to  617

Harpoon-armed Type 45s are

HMS Ducan
HMS Diamond
HMS Defender
HMS Duncan

All traced from RN website.

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
October 18, 2015 4:49 am

It is interesting that Defender is going to the ME/Gulf again (was there w/o Harpoon in 2014).

So far it has been:

Dauntless
Defender
Duncan
Defender (again)

This is all for Op Shader/Kipion. Daring, Dragon, Diamond (if I’m correct) have none done this tour. Definitely not the 9 months away/

Bentham
Bentham
October 18, 2015 4:25 pm

It’s laughable, isn’t it? 15 months to install Harpoon and try to fix the worst bugs in Windows for Warships, so that the combat management system only crashes half as often… I mean, Type-45 Daring was on her second or third captain before they even got the Aster-30 and Aster-15 missiles installed and working. Years behind schedule.

I used to comment on a few web blogs three or four years ago. (I got exasperated and gave up.) I posted back then that the Type-45 was a lemon, and small corvettes with decent anti-ship missiles could sink it, and I was usually excoriated for my views. It was insinuated that I was unpatriotic, undoubtedly a gay communist, and possibly a Guardian reader. (Some insults are beyond the pale, they really are.)

Now, with the Russians launching dual-role anti-ship/land-attack Klub/Kalibr missiles from 1,800 ton corvettes, we have proof that even small ships, if well-designed, if built to have ‘teeth’, can trash a Type-45 from well outside the range of the antiguated Harpoon missiles. A single Russian Steregushy corvette could likely sink a Type-45 from 1,000km+ distance by firing its full complement of Klub/Kalibr, overwhelming the Type-45’s limited fire control capability. (If I remember correctly, at any one time, T-45 can target approx. 4 inbound missiles with 8 outbound Aster interceptors, allotting two Aster to each Mach3 incoming target. After the first round of missiles has been shot off, T-45 doesn’t have time to re-engage anything inbound that it failed to hit.)

ArmChairChivvy
ArmChairChivvy
October 18, 2015 10:45 pm

Genuine Bentham,

would you like to link us to your honest exhortations? One full moon, or more, ago?

Jeremy M H
October 19, 2015 12:47 am
Reply to  Bentham

How is that ship targeting its anti-ship missiles from that range?

Allan
October 19, 2015 1:33 am
Reply to  ArmChairCivvy

“So both surface combatant classes are going to be one short (each for a similar duration) as far as the eye can see…”

Respectfully, is that a bad thing? Is the Soviet Navy (or even the French) planning to appear on the horizon?

Allan
October 19, 2015 1:35 am
Reply to  M245JM

May I ask a question – and I’ll take a hammering – on any given day, how many ships has the Royal Navy at sea?

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
October 19, 2015 4:14 am
Reply to  Allan

@Allan Well it may not pass even through an FOIA but what do you count as “at sea”? Port visits?

1 x RN/RFA ship–Atlantic Patrol North
1x RN ship–Atlantic Patrol South
1/2 RFA ships–AP(S) (if you could the survey ship)
1x RN ship– in the Middle East/Indian Ocean/whatever place nearby
1 x SSN same location as above
1 x FRE (if there is any ship available!!!)

Did I miss out any?

HMArmedForcesReview
HMArmedForcesReview
October 19, 2015 4:16 am
Reply to  Challenger

@Challenger,

apparently HMS Ambush served 6 months underwater (probably surfaced for a while at Souda). Isn’t it 3 months for SSN operations?

Engineer Tom
October 19, 2015 10:01 am

That Harpoon fit only takes a few weeks, the other T45’s did it during normal post deployment maintenance. I believe there are 13 WR21’s, but I have no idea the state of the spare GT.

There has always been at least one, if not two, T23 in refit, takes over a year for a refit so they are slowly cycling them through it, the details of the refit change with each vessel, as new kit becomes available. So some vessels received what was called the mid life upgrade but one or two skipped that and went straight to the current life extension program which some of the later vessels probably won’t get, with the kit going straight to the T26 first of class.

TAS
TAS
October 19, 2015 10:14 am

“Now, with the Russians launching dual-role anti-ship/land-attack Klub/Kalibr missiles from 1,800 ton corvettes, we have proof that even small ships, if well-designed, if built to have ‘teeth’, can trash a Type-45 from well outside the range of the antiguated Harpoon missiles”.

Staggering. Nothing like making assumptions then rebranding as fact. Marvellous, most entertaining.

Allan
October 20, 2015 9:06 pm

@HMAFR,

Thanks for reply! I was just wondering how much of the RN was actually ‘out and about’!