The Royal Navy Discussions and Updates

spoz

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Not sure being made CDS is exactly being "kicked" anywhere! Not quite like a pollie going to the House of Lords - although of course he might make that too. Having a Naval officer at the top can only be a good thing; particularly one who seems committed to expanding the RN.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes, but kicked upstairs, not out.
Absolutely. I've now actually got a much better feeling for the type 31 program and recent comments about future ship designs having to be more rapid do strike home.



If Babcock execute on time and in budget the RN will be holding five decent sized lightly armed frigates with good upgrade potential.
 

Systems Adict

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Absolutely. I've now actually got a much better feeling for the type 31 program and recent comments about future ship designs having to be more rapid do strike home.



If Babcock execute on time and in budget the RN will be holding five decent sized lightly armed frigates with good upgrade potential.

As one of the professionals in the firing line in all of this, it often makes me wonder if the general public have any concept of what is actually being asked, if the sound-bites that are being released even make sense & of course, some of the practicalities, as well as financial drains that are going to be put onto the price tag for having a new class of vessel, run by a smaller crew, with more weapons & more automation.

Do we move away from 'warships' & go down the commercial / cruise liner route, stripping out some of the complexities of building warships to be 'quiet', or do we go the other way & make them smaller, while having them more regulatory compliant ?

Industry 4.0 will be getting bandied about in all of this (as part of the lean manning / automation) & few if any understand what that concept actually means to an 8,000 - 10,000 GRT warship that can do 30 knots & be crewed by 120 - 150 personnel, expanding up to 190.

The RN customer must also overhaul their very regulatory demanding requirements, mixed with the 'Gizzit's & nice-to-have's' that often find their way into warship design. Mix this in with a turn over of staff who have to play 'one-upmanship' with their predecessors & 'change' things to put their stamp on things.

Practicalities on costs & suddenly changing your mind on the material being used / the size of a unit / its physical position within a space, all of these have knock on effects that cost time & eventually money. The RN must take ownership / responsibility for those elements that they have done this with & be held accountable, rather than moving the programme to the right & then blaming the equipment suppliers / shipbuilder.

It is time that UK Govt PLC / Whitehall / the RN sat up & took notice of the reality of demanding a 'complex warship' that has fully integrated the latest technology, rather than demanding that the Industry who have to design & integrate said systems, do it quicker / learner / faster, for less cost. A warship is not a microwave oven to be turned out by the 10's of 1,000's on a production line, that is why the are Complex, take 5 - 10 years from initial design to first hitting the water & cost North of £500 Million.

Rant over...

SA
 

Rock the kasbah

Active Member
As one of the professionals in the firing line in all of this, it often makes me wonder if the general public have any concept of what is actually being asked, if the sound-bites that are being released even make sense & of course, some of the practicalities, as well as financial drains that are going to be put onto the price tag for having a new class of vessel, run by a smaller crew, with more weapons & more automation.

Do we move away from 'warships' & go down the commercial / cruise liner route, stripping out some of the complexities of building warships to be 'quiet', or do we go the other way & make them smaller, while having them more regulatory compliant ?

Industry 4.0 will be getting bandied about in all of this (as part of the lean manning / automation) & few if any understand what that concept actually means to an 8,000 - 10,000 GRT warship that can do 30 knots & be crewed by 120 - 150 personnel, expanding up to 190.

The RN customer must also overhaul their very regulatory demanding requirements, mixed with the 'Gizzit's & nice-to-have's' that often find their way into warship design. Mix this in with a turn over of staff who have to play 'one-upmanship' with their predecessors & 'change' things to put their stamp on things.

Practicalities on costs & suddenly changing your mind on the material being used / the size of a unit / its physical position within a space, all of these have knock on effects that cost time & eventually money. The RN must take ownership / responsibility for those elements that they have done this with & be held accountable, rather than moving the programme to the right & then blaming the equipment suppliers / shipbuilder.

It is time that UK Govt PLC / Whitehall / the RN sat up & took notice of the reality of demanding a 'complex warship' that has fully integrated the latest technology, rather than demanding that the Industry who have to design & integrate said systems, do it quicker / learner / faster, for less cost. A warship is not a microwave oven to be turned out by the 10's of 1,000's on a production line, that is why the are Complex, take 5 - 10 years from initial design to first hitting the water & cost North of £500 Million.

Rant over...

SA
Interesting reading
Would it be feasible to have a big hull, a medium hull and a small hull then fit them out in any particular manner you wanted ?
Something along the lines of auto factories. Assuming of course you have the right 3 hulls.
 

spoz

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
To some extent the cost of going down the manned warship route, with all the associated regulatory and other costs that now surround people in potentially dangerous environments is, I think, one of the significant drivers of the large USV push. The costs in both actual human and treasure terms, but possibly more importantly in the population's "will to fight" occasioned by the loss of a major warship in action would be considerable whereas if you lose a remotely controlled vessel, whatever the combat impact of that might be, the "people" and "will" elements are going to be much less. It becomes just another throw away piece in a throw away world. And of course, if that is your attitude then you can build your USV to commercial standards, or something like that anyway, at much lower cost in terms of LSD than when you have to go the whole warship hog.
 

StobieWan

Super Moderator
Staff member
As one of the professionals in the firing line in all of this, it often makes me wonder if the general public have any concept of what is actually being asked, if the sound-bites that are being released even make sense & of course, some of the practicalities, as well as financial drains that are going to be put onto the price tag for having a new class of vessel, run by a smaller crew, with more weapons & more automation.

Do we move away from 'warships' & go down the commercial / cruise liner route, stripping out some of the complexities of building warships to be 'quiet', or do we go the other way & make them smaller, while having them more regulatory compliant ?

Industry 4.0 will be getting bandied about in all of this (as part of the lean manning / automation) & few if any understand what that concept actually means to an 8,000 - 10,000 GRT warship that can do 30 knots & be crewed by 120 - 150 personnel, expanding up to 190.

The RN customer must also overhaul their very regulatory demanding requirements, mixed with the 'Gizzit's & nice-to-have's' that often find their way into warship design. Mix this in with a turn over of staff who have to play 'one-upmanship' with their predecessors & 'change' things to put their stamp on things.

Practicalities on costs & suddenly changing your mind on the material being used / the size of a unit / its physical position within a space, all of these have knock on effects that cost time & eventually money. The RN must take ownership / responsibility for those elements that they have done this with & be held accountable, rather than moving the programme to the right & then blaming the equipment suppliers / shipbuilder.

It is time that UK Govt PLC / Whitehall / the RN sat up & took notice of the reality of demanding a 'complex warship' that has fully integrated the latest technology, rather than demanding that the Industry who have to design & integrate said systems, do it quicker / learner / faster, for less cost. A warship is not a microwave oven to be turned out by the 10's of 1,000's on a production line, that is why the are Complex, take 5 - 10 years from initial design to first hitting the water & cost North of £500 Million.

Rant over...

SA
Lots of good points in there - and for my point, I'm not poking at the people who actually deliver the product - it's the process to get to that point and how the customer interacts with the suppliers I think is wrong.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
Wonder what assets the braintrust at MoD will pawn off in order to replace the jet.
Is there any point in finding money to replace one F-35? They're still being delivered from the initial order of 48. But it will increase pressure on HMG to order more precisely because with only 48 (now reduced to 47) there is no little margin for accidents or combat losses.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Hav
Is there any point in finding money to replace one F-35? They're still being delivered from the initial order of 48. But it will increase pressure on HMG to order more precisely because with only 48 (now reduced to 47) there is no little margin for accidents or combat losses.
Haven’t been paying attention to UK JSF requirements. Are the 48 Bs being shared with the RAF or are As going to be ordered. How many Bs can the new carriers accommodate? Seems QE had 10 USMC and 12 RN jets for its Pacific cruise.
 

swerve

Super Moderator
All Bs, for a joint RAF/RN force, & it's been repeatedly said that 48 is not the final figure. It looks as if some of the pencilled-in 138 requirement is now intended to be met by Tempest & perhaps UAVs, but I don't think it's been formally abandoned, though I've not heard it officially mentioned for a while.
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
Haven’t been paying attention to UK JSF requirements. Are the 48 Bs being shared with the RAF or are As going to be ordered. How many Bs can the new carriers accommodate? Seems QE had 10 USMC and 12 RN jets for its Pacific cruise.
No F-35As are planned. 48 F-35Bs have been ordered so far. The QE class would have a normal airgroup of 24 to 36 F-35s - don't ask me what the maximum in an emergency would be.

The former First Sea Lord said that he wanted to order around 60 and perhaps more up to 80.

Theoretically the F-35Bs are to be made available to the RAF as/when are needed, but I expect the Royal Navy would have priority.
 

Tasman

Ship Watcher
Verified Defense Pro
No F-35As are planned. 48 F-35Bs have been ordered so far. The QE class would have a normal airgroup of 24 to 36 F-35s - don't ask me what the maximum in an emergency would be.

The former First Sea Lord said that he wanted to order around 60 and perhaps more up to 80.

Theoretically the F-35Bs are to be made available to the RAF as/when are needed, but I expect the Royal Navy would have priority.
If the normal air group for two carriers is to include 24 F-35Bs surely a minimum order just to meet RN needs would need to be north of 72? So 80 would seem a reasonable RN target and that doesn't include RAF requirements.

Tas
 

Musashi_kenshin

Well-Known Member
If the normal air group for two carriers is to include 24 F-35Bs surely a minimum order just to meet RN needs would need to be north of 72?
I assume you're making that calculation on the basis both carriers would need their own airgroup? Realistically the Royal Navy would not be operating both carriers at the same time. Having two ensures one should always be available, but probably not both. Then there's the relatively small size of the escort fleet and the fact we probably wouldn't have the available ships to protect two carriers at the same time.

I don't see the RAF as a real factor. The F-35 buy has been justified on the basis they can use them as well, but the Navy will always get priority. Typhoon and Tempest will provide current and future land-based air defence. Whereas the Navy can only use the F-35.
 

seaspear

Active Member
Perhaps in most cases, the R.N would not be operating two carriers at once, but having the ability to do so as warships must be imperative as a deterrent, it would be likely in the event of hostilities the carriers may be allied with allied warships, this though is an old argument over the size of the airwing for these carriers and if you can't afford the airwing you should not have built the carriers
 

ngatimozart

Super Moderator
Staff member
Verified Defense Pro
They'll be wanting to recover the aircraft quickly, not only for the investigation, but before the Russians, Chinese, or other nosey sods can get their hands on it.
 

StingrayOZ

Super Moderator
Staff member
They'll be wanting to recover the aircraft quickly, not only for the investigation, but before the Russians, Chinese, or other nosey sods can get their hands on it.
The French?

Perhaps in most cases, the R.N would not be operating two carriers at once, but having the ability to do so as warships must be imperative as a deterrent, it would be likely in the event of hostilities the carriers may be allied with allied warships, this though is an old argument over the size of the airwing for these carriers and if you can't afford the airwing you should not have built the carriers
For much of the program I think the aim was just to get the carriers built. The UK can afford the airwing, but needs to fight across other programs for them. 48 was enough to proceed with the build and begin operations. Getting another 20-30 is entirely doable. It can also embark other nations F-35B's. Contributing and airwing of say 6-12 x F-35B's would be fairly easy for a nation to do, compared to deploying an entire carrier + escort + airwing.

Through the program, remember, PoW was going to be a commando carrier and not have an airwing at all. Then perhaps both weren't going to have airwings and perhaps sold. Or used as helo carriers.

The F-35B also had it prove itself, back 10 years ago, there was a lot of uncertainty about the program, particularly for inservice dates and which block would have what fitted, plus the UK was still wrangling with the US about where they sat in the project and about local content. A large upfront order doesn't provide future negotiation room.

But it seems like the UK didn't want the embarrassment of two large, ski-jump equipped ships, but no fighters to throw off them.;)
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
The French?


For much of the program I think the aim was just to get the carriers built. The UK can afford the airwing, but needs to fight across other programs for them. 48 was enough to proceed with the build and begin operations. Getting another 20-30 is entirely doable. It can also embark other nations F-35B's. Contributing and airwing of say 6-12 x F-35B's would be fairly easy for a nation to do, compared to deploying an entire carrier + escort + airwing.

Through the program, remember, PoW was going to be a commando carrier and not have an airwing at all. Then perhaps both weren't going to have airwings and perhaps sold. Or used as helo carriers.

The F-35B also had it prove itself, back 10 years ago, there was a lot of uncertainty about the program, particularly for inservice dates and which block would have what fitted, plus the UK was still wrangling with the US about where they sat in the project and about local content. A large upfront order doesn't provide future negotiation room.

But it seems like the UK didn't want the embarrassment of two large, ski-jump equipped ships, but no fighters to throw off them.;)
I guess there is the possibility (remote) that the carriers could see a CATOBAR conversion down the road but realistically more Bs with the inevitable upgrades seems the most likely path forward. But, if those Frenchies build 1-2 CATOBAR carriers and develop a naval FCAS jet, can the quest for a naval Tempest be far behind along with a EMALS upgrade for the QE class?
 
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