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This is a discussion on The Royal Navy Discussions and Updates within the Navy & Maritime forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Contedicavour, I like the idea of a power loader for the Apside, I read that it was one item wanted ...


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Old December 30th, 2006   #61
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Contedicavour,

I like the idea of a power loader for the Apside, I read that it was one item wanted by the RN for Sea Wolf vetoed on cost basis.

Has the latest Apside been made capable of lower level engagements. I notice the floor and ceiling data says a floor of 15 metres or 49 feet in our measurements. Wiki data suggests exocet flies at 2 metres, Im not sure how correct this is but the videos showing them slamming into a ship probably support this. Has the Apside and its directors some way of perhaps attacking from above, maybe with a directed warhead or would it struggle to engage a 600 mph object at 2 metres? It must be a brown trouser moment for the crew in any case.

As per range of sensor, perhaps I am not understanding the technology but I assumed that you would have a director at a set heght above the sea level and then you would draw a straight line out to the horizon, in this case for 40km, but an aircraft or missile at sea level would get much closer before passing over the horizon line. That is why the IRST and the like are necessary. That cuts reaction time and shows why AEW platforms such as Sea King are crucial.

SW was introduced at a time wen the RN had 18 vessels with Sea Dart, 14 Type 42's, one Type 82 and Invincible, Illustrious and Ark Royal. So the medium range out to about 40 miles was well covered. But we had no AEW so I think a point defence missile, even with its limitations in range, fitted the bill. The mix looks pretty sad today, 8 and shrinking Type 42's and 17 Ships with SW. Thats not impressive.

We have always suffered from politicians not backing the forces. The type 43 project was cancelled in the 1970's. It was going to be a big daddy to the '42. Double ended with Sea Dart and Sea Wolf at both ends and a flight deck in the middle. Its a pain finding pictures of it though. I like the italian and French destroyers from that era with two types of missile, We did it with the County class but our accountants seemed to penny pinch.

I dont know if the next Government, hopefully a conservative Government will be any different. The Defence spokesman Liam Fox is a bit of a clown and is always a step off the Pace. In 2004 they said they would keep the 3 Type 23's culled and the Sea Harrier. I doubt they even realise that the 23's are now in Chile and the Harriers stripped for scrap after India turned them down. The Conservatives never seem to mention more Type 45, FSC etc. suspect the army would be the priority as many are ex regimental boys. I would like to hear the conservatives commit to the carriers, nothing as yet.

I like your belief in costings for warships. The Italian yards are obviously better at delivering on price than ours. Nothing we make comes in on budget, even the last two landing ships will be twice the price, how that happens is a mystery!
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Old December 30th, 2006   #62
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I agree with Dave's rather negative assessment about the RN's future 'strength' no one seems to be in a hurry to exspand on the actually number of surface warships. After the mess in the middle east, i agree, that larger standing armies are going to be the "flavor" at least for now. Then maybe, just maybe, the navies will get there turn.
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Old December 30th, 2006   #63
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Greetings to All !

This is my first post (although I've been avidly reading your thoughts & comments for the last 6 months), so forgive me for barging in, half way thru a very in-depth discussion!

I firstly wanted to respond to Dave H's comment above. I do this not to be confrontational, but because as an industry insider, I feel it's a tad unfair to blame the good old British worker for the mistakes of his Over-Lords & Masters.

If you return to the initial post of this thread, & access the link to the Navy-Matters / Beedal.com website, you'll see that on the left there's a link to just about every major construction project that the RN has & is involved in, spanning the last 20 years. While I appreciate that this is the view of an individual/website (??), having read the comments, I'm intrigued by how close to home they have come on some of the statements.

Anyways, If you click on the link for the LSD(A) programme, you'll find a potted history of the pitfalls & issues that have plagued the project from the start, including possible reasoning for the cost overruns that eventually put the nail in the coffin for Swan Hunter & their involvement on the programme.

The comments made, while possibly contentious, clearly indicate that the traditional hard work of the employees constructing the vessel is not the reason for the extra costs.
Additionally, If you can find someone from within the MoD who is currently involved with the project, I'm pretty sure that glowing reports on the operational capability of the vessels will be forthcoming, possibly even justifying some of the additional expense (not that the British media have attempted to pass any of these reports onto the masses!)


Secondly, SW vs. Et all....

As has been regurgitated time & again in this thread, SW is the current Point Defence weapon of the majority RN fleet (CIWS/Phalanx/Goalkeeper aside).

It's initial design & requirements for operational envelope, pre-date most modern missiles by approx. 20 years (as initial design concept was somewhere in the very late 1960's/early 1970's !!).

It's accuracy & capabilities have been proven in combat & the missile has been sold to other nations on the back of this.

As also pointed out, this accuracy is down to the fire control system, the sensors attached to said system & the training / ability of the crew operating the complete package.

To quote an advert from UK TV, "It does exactly what it says on the tin.", meaning it meets it's operational requirements.

In fairness, one supposes comparison with Aspide could be like comparing a German WWII sniper rifle to the latest US Barret .50 Cal variant.

Hindsight & technology are wonderful things...

But we have wandered off Topic.

Future Strength of the RN is currently at the hands of the Four Winds...
(The Media, Those in Power (Govt.), Those in Charge (MoD) & those whom see our naval requirements as a thing of the past (the General Public)).

To further enhance some of the reasoning of how the RN & the UK Shipbuilding Industry have got to this juncture, a quick read thru the RAND Report (via the link below), provides a great insight, all be it that the report is a few years out of date with current events.
http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1486/

Without major investment in equipment, manpower, training & an increased budget, not forgetting the consolidation of the UK shipbuilding Industry, the next 10-15 years will see either the total demise of our capability to be a Blue water power, or half hearted attempt to hold a status quo, while the politicos argue out which project should be funded, if any.


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Old December 30th, 2006   #64
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I like your belief in costings for warships. The Italian yards are obviously better at delivering on price than ours. Nothing we make comes in on budget, even the last two landing ships will be twice the price, how that happens is a mystery!
Dave, it probably has something to do with the fact that their shipyards are all subsidised - apparently to the tune of about 10% of the contract price. This could go a long way to explaing why economies like Italy's and that of the French are in such a mess, double digit unemployment and all. Italy has practically had zero economic growth since 2000.

This from The Economist:

Quote:
A lacklustre economy is causing broader problems too. Italy's infrastructure is creaking: roads, railways and airports are falling below the standards of the rest of Europe, and public and private buildings are looking ever shabbier. Educational standards have slipped: the country comes out badly in the OECD's PISA cross-national comparisons, and no Italian university now makes it into the world's top 90. Spending on research and development is low by international standards.
State ownership and subsidised industry don't work in the long run.

Last edited by Padfoot; December 30th, 2006 at 08:52 PM.
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Old December 30th, 2006   #65
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Oh dear oh dear!

Half of Royal Navy’s ships in mothballs as defence cuts bite
Michael Smith

HALF of the Royal Navy is to be “mothballed” as it bears the brunt of cuts imposed after a series of expensive procurement projects and the hidden costs of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Six destroyers and frigates and two other vessels are expected to be put into reduced readiness, known as mothballing, to achieve urgent savings of more than £250m. It can take up to 18 months to bring mothballed ships back into service.

The armed forces have been told to save more than £250m this year, and £1 billion by April 2008, amid a “rebalancing” of the Ministry of Defence’s (MoD’s) spending plans, defence sources disclosed.

The MoD will also cancel the last two of the eight Type-45 destroyers the navy was supposed to get. The navy was promised the government would provide these in exchange for cutting 15 major ships in 2004, sources said.

Julian Lewis, the Tories’ defence spokesman, said the fresh cuts were “absolutely devastating stuff” and that cutting the number of Type-45 destroyers would be “catastrophic”.

“You can’t have a navy without ships. This government is absolutely hellbent on the destruction of the Royal Navy,” said Lewis.

Admiral Sir Alan West, the then first sea lord, has said he only accepted the cuts in return for the “jam tomorrow” of the eight Type-45 destroyers and two large new aircraft carriers he was promised.

Adam Ingram, minister of state for the armed forces, admitted this month that 13 of the Royal Navy’s 44 main vessels were already in mothballs to save cash.

A total of 13 were at sea, and a further 18 in port and ready to go to sea at any time. But the decision to mothball another eight ships will mean that 21 of the 44 are not available. Ingram refused to say which ships were out of action, admitting that this would “enable deductions to be made that could be prejudicial to national security”.

Measures to save money that are already under way include a review of the Royal Navy’s three main remaining bases at Plymouth, Faslane and Portsmouth.

At the height of its power in the 19th century, the Royal Navy was as large as the seven next biggest navies combined. Even as the US and German navies grew at the start of the 20th century, it remained twice as large as its nearest rival.

But the 2004 cuts reduced it to its smallest since before Trafalgar in 1805, and there are suggestions it now needs only two major bases.

The decision last month to renew the Trident nuclear deterrent, based at Faslane, saved the Scottish base and made Portsmouth the favourite for closure.

Mike Hancock, the Liberal Democrat MP for Portsmouth South, said the cuts were “as potentially damaging as the (then defence secretary, Sir John) Nott cuts of the early 1980s, which preceded the Falklands conflict. Closing the Portsmouth dockyard, the most important of the bases, would be an historic mistake. This government keeps cutting back on equipment without cutting back on commitments. It is putting more on crews and undermining the navy.”

The problems with the defence budget are largely caused by cost overruns in procurement projects such as the RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon, the Bowman communications system, and the Navy’s Astute submarine and Type-45 destroyer programmes. The Eurofighter Typhoon programme costs about £1 billion a year, which will rise in the next financial year to £1.3 billion. The other major programme costs are: the Type-45 destroyer £600m, Bowman £545m and Astute £415m.

The cost overruns on procurement are exacerbated by the Treasury’s refusal to refund the costs of training for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq and up to 40% of the cost of actual operations. The Treasury claims to meet the full cost.

The MoD said it was not prepared to provide details of internal government budget discussions but it did not expect to see an overspend in this financial year and no budget had been set for next year.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...524444,00.html
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Old December 31st, 2006   #66
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I don't know what all the fuss is about - just because there is a war on doesn't mean that fiscal responsibility should go out the window. The MoD should be applauded for its discipline, not scorned.

Unfortunately for the RN they have the smallest role in the War on Terror, hence their getting a smaller slice of the pie. Speaking of which, the defence budget of the UK is now the second largest in the world and is set to rise in 2007/08 to about $65 billion(USD), substantially higher than either France, China or Russia, so I don't see why the British government should be expected to spend even more on defence.

Furthermore, if this is true it would almost guarantee that the CVF programme is to go ahead, so that's good news.

Last edited by Padfoot; December 31st, 2006 at 01:03 AM.
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Old December 31st, 2006   #67
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The MoD, the governemnt and the treasury seem to be happy to bleed resources away, its like the earily 80's all over again. Then bang something will happen. Like i said eariler one CSG, one Amphigious group, and the subs, that what the RN will become. Strong presence at one place (at least on the surface) at one time.

The points about the war on terrorism and the sheer cost fo it all and the fact the RN are amoung the lowest players in that war are well made above.
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Old December 31st, 2006   #68
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Dave, it probably has something to do with the fact that their shipyards are all subsidised - apparently to the tune of about 10% of the contract price. This could go a long way to explaing why economies like Italy's and that of the French are in such a mess, double digit unemployment and all. Italy has practically had zero economic growth since 2000.

This from The Economist:



State ownership and subsidised industry don't work in the long run.
I've been reading the Economist for over 10 years now, and if all of its predictions and comments were taken litterally by now Italy would have gone bankrupt 5 times, we would have huge unemployment and we would be out of the euro
Although our economy does have problems (in 2006 it grew by 1.9% though, that's a far cry from 0%) your view is way too simplistic. Our problems are more in the fact that our industries aren't large enough and operate too often in product categories that suffer from Chinese and emerging countries competition. Plus of course our big state debt of 100+ % of GDP, though luckily enough it is helf by Italian citizens and not foreign institutions.
Oh by the way, our unemployment is not double digit as you mention, it is 6.7%, not far from the UK's...
Back to topic : our shipyards, though for the moment wholly owned by Finmeccanica (a 11 bn euro profitable high technology and defence group which is state owned, yes), are competitive enough to live without any state aids since the early '80s. Remember they are world leaders in high speed transport ships and in big cruise liners, and this without a penny in state aid. In defence matters, our budgets are so desperately short that our shipyards have to keep low costs or else there is just no more money for the next contracts...
Oh, last thing, there is a plan to list on the stock exchange Fincantieri ! So soon enough bye bye state ownership.

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Old December 31st, 2006   #69
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The MoD, the governemnt and the treasury seem to be happy to bleed resources away, its like the earily 80's all over again. Then bang something will happen. Like i said eariler one CSG, one Amphigious group, and the subs, that what the RN will become. Strong presence at one place (at least on the surface) at one time.

The points about the war on terrorism and the sheer cost fo it all and the fact the RN are amoung the lowest players in that war are well made above.
One thing that I find amazing is that the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan operations are supposed to be at least partially funded by MOD investment cuts. This is crazy... based on this, the more the armed forces are used in dangerous operations, the less funding they get
Next time the government has better get less involved in foreign ops if the funding has to come from budget cuts !!
Regarding the navy, it is true that it hasn't really participated as massively as the Army to recent operations... but neither has the air force, for that matter. Anyway, let's at least hope that force levels will not go below 2 CVs, 6 T45 DDGs, at least 14 FFGs vs today's 17, and 8 Astute SSNs, plus today's strong Amphibious group.

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Old December 31st, 2006   #70
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I see we concur, I would project, RN strength of:

20 FFG/DDG, nothing smaller than 6000T
6 light corvette for patrol work, maybe with a limited escort capability
2 CV,
2 LPH/D,
8 large LPD types
3-4 SSBN
8-11 SSN ( i actually see SSN numbers increasing a litte due to the need to retain the ability to build SSN/SSBN).

Of course, there will be tankers, small and fleet and carrier support ships like fort victoria, mine sweepers etc to take into account.
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Old December 31st, 2006   #71
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Doc, I would be fairly happy with that sort of a future fleet. Overall it might be a little ambitious, but I hope the surface combatants work out that way - though if we end up with 8 Darings I'd hope for an extra two FFGs.
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Old December 31st, 2006   #72
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The obvious problem for the RN is that Blair wants Britain to play a big role in GWOT but Gordon Brown won't spend the money on defence!

I'm worried that in the future, the Trident replacement programme will soak up so much money that one of the CVF's will be cancelled. I can't help but think that Britain would be better off going to an ALCM based nuclear deterrent by either developing a nuclear warhead for Storm Shadow or even, and it would involve a massive change in policy, buying ASMP off the French. The cost of keeping Tornados or Typhoons roled for nuclear strike must surely be less than keeping an SSBN at sea?
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Old December 31st, 2006   #73
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The obvious problem for the RN is that Blair wants Britain to play a big role in GWOT but Gordon Brown won't spend the money on defence!

I'm worried that in the future, the Trident replacement programme will soak up so much money that one of the CVF's will be cancelled. I can't help but think that Britain would be better off going to an ALCM based nuclear deterrent by either developing a nuclear warhead for Storm Shadow or even, and it would involve a massive change in policy, buying ASMP off the French. The cost of keeping Tornados or Typhoons roled for nuclear strike must surely be less than keeping an SSBN at sea?

I do not think it will come to that, the indpendent nuke deterrent will not come at a cost of a CV, nor the wider fleet not after what it has gone through. Moreover, politcally, a degree of ship-building/war ship design is still called for. We do not need to be biulding our ships off the French/Spanish.

If you read the government white paper, sea launched ballistic missiles remain the more effective method of dilivering an indpendent nuke deterent. So we should arm the RAF with nukes. Its exspensive and far less effective than a trident system placed on one of the worlds best boats.
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Old December 31st, 2006   #74
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I'm worried that in the future, the Trident replacement programme will soak up so much money that one of the CVF's will be cancelled.

One aircraft carrier is next to useless, only an irresponsible government would spend billions on a single carrier project.

Anyways, the CVF programme is a given now - they will be built. I mean, why spend billions investing in Lightning II if you aren't going to build the Queen Elizabeth's? Especially when you already have all those Typhoons.
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Old December 31st, 2006   #75
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One aircraft carrier is next to useless, only an irresponsible government would spend billions on a single carrier project.

Anyways, the CVF programme is a given now - they will be built. I mean, why spend billions investing in Lightning II if you aren't going to build the Queen Elizabeth's? Especially when you already have all those Typhoons.
I agree, CVF is safe, F-35 is safe (maybe as long as we get the tec tranfers isues sorted). These are the brighter points of tomorrow RN. After all, its all about power projection, experditionary warfair, and deterrent and those 3 core areas have recieved the money.

Also, owning/biulding about 13% of one of the worlds forthcoming tactile figther, whilst being the biggest owner/producer of Typhoon well, looks nice doesnt it... for BAe systems
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